Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Music · Best Solo Performer: Levi Britton
. . . .

Best Solo Performer: Levi Britton

Rick Coates - March 29th, 2010
Best Solo Performer: Levi Britton
By Rick Coates
If you ask singer/songwriter/guitarist Levi Britton about his life, he
will tell you that he has the best of “three worlds” and soon plans to
have the best of four worlds. Britton took home the Best Solo honor in
this year’s Readers Poll, but despite his win in the solo category
Britton is known for his band work as well. In fact, last week he was
in Chicago rehearsing with his band mates Down The Line for their much
anticipated new release Open The Door. They held a CD release party at
Chicago’s Lincoln Hall and the group is putting the final touches of a
major summer tour.
“I really do have the best of all worlds right now,” said Britton. “I
am in this amazing band Down The Line and we have been together for
nearly 10 years. it has been a great ride and it is still going.”
Britton was part of the first graduating class of Traverse City
Central in 1998. During his high school days he was in a local band
Eternal Circle, after graduating he headed to Kalamazoo not for
college but for a short musical pit stop before heading to Chicago. In
the Windy City Britton met up with percussionist Kris Myers and they
formed Blue Logic, the band built a following but Britton broke away
to form two other bands and Myers went on to form Umphrey’s Mcgee.
Britton’s two new bands would eventually fuse together to form Down
The Line and along with Umphrey’s anchored the Chicago jam band scene.
Down The Line has toured nationally opening for America, the Gin
Blossoms and Peter Frampton.
“It was pretty cool being on the Frampton tour and coming to play in
my hometown at Interlochen,” said Britton.
“America really took a liking to us and we plan to do some dates with
them this summer and there are some other big shows in the works but
the ink is still drying so I’m not allowed to say anything yet.”
But what about a Northern Michigan show?
“Yes that is definitely in the works,” said Britton. “I can’t wait to
introduce this new music to my friends here in Northern Michigan, this
is definitely our best songwriting effort to date, we are very pleased
with every aspect of it.”
The new CD was produced by three-time Grammy winner Glenn Rosenstein
(Peter Gaberial, James Taylor, Ziggy Marley, Talking Heads and the
25th Anniversary Saturday Night Live Soundtrack).
Joining Down The Line for the CD was percussionist Chad Cromwell who
got his start as Joe Walsh’s drummer and is currently Neil Young’s and
Mark Nopfler’s drummer. The album was mixed by the legendary George
Massenburg who has worked with a who’s who in the industry including
Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Journey, Linda Rondstant and Phil Collins
to name a few.
“I am also happy to be in Levi & The Good Boys,” said Britton.
“Basically we are a full band extensionof my solo work. I have great
musicians in the band and they all are in other projects. We only get
together once a month or so. I want to make each show special so we
just don’t play out much.”
so, world one being in two bands, it sounds like that is going well
and world two must be solo work?
“Yes my solo work, I love it and what I like is I get to be me all the
time on stage,” said Britton. “Look, I like my bands and it is great
performing with world class musicians but the solo work affords
different opportunities to express myself. I don’t have to worry about
what I say or play. it is just me up there.”
Britton is keeping busy around Northern Michigan with standing weekly
gigs at Kilkenney’s, Union Street Station and the Sail Inn.
“I am gigging out three to five times a week and feel fortunate even
having gigs three nights in a row in Traverse City. in the middle of
the week people fill these places up,” said Britton.
“I even have a sort of an odd approach; I use the live stage
essentially as my experimental studio. I take songs that are not
finished and try and finish them on stage, it is pretty cool and fun
and the audience seems to groove on it.”
So what is that “third world” that he has the best of?
“I get to live in Traverse City. Look I travel all over the country to
play music and see a lot of towns and Traverse City kicks ass compared
to anywhere else,” said Britton. “This is the best damn little big
town in America. I am looking forward to raising my family here.”
I am getting married to Krissie Twomey, who owns Krissie’s Creative
Gems on Front Street in Traverse City,” said Britton. “We are getting
married this July, so that will be my fourth world and we are going to
raise our kids here in Traverse City.”
So who is the band for the wedding?
“Not going to have a band. I am having a DJ,” said Britton, “He is a
family friend and has done other family weddings.”
That comes as a shock, a guy about live music is choosing a DJ, why?
“Sure I could get all sorts of musicians to perform and people have
volunteered but then I would be expected to get up on stage and play
all night,” said Britton. “This is my wedding, I do not want to work
it, I want to enjoy it. The DJ is bringing a Karaoke machine for later
in the evening and I know my brother Seth who is the superintendent at
The Bear and better singer then I am and he is going to sing a couple
of songs. I am sure that I will sing a song or two as well.”
Britton said that Down The Line is primarily going to be just “weekend
warriors” between now and summer so he plans to continue his Traverse
City gigs for the time being. Catch him Tuesday night at Kilkenney’s,
Wednesdays at the Sail Inn and Thursdays at Union Street Station. To
hear a sampling of Britton’s work with Down The Line and to keep tabs
on their tour, check out downthelineband.com.

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