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 · Big Band Bill plays Charlevoix
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Big Band Bill plays Charlevoix

Kristi Kates - May 17th, 2010
Big Band Bill plays Charlevoix: Trumpeter brings memories of playing with the greats
By Kristi Kates
It was Bill Hart’s fourth grade year in Iowa, where his parents owned
a service station. Traveling big bands would stop on their way to and
from gigs to grab some gas and perhaps an ice-cold Coca-Cola; all of
them seemed pretty exotic to the little boy.
One day, Vaughn Monroe’s band was passing through, and one of his
musicians took the time to say a few words to Bill. Little did he know
how influential those words would be.
“We’re going to play tonight in Cedar Rapids,” the anonymous musician
explained, “there will be lots of good food, and people will be
dancing. Then we’ll get back on the bus, drive to a different city,
and do the same thing tomorrow night!”
The road had now officially called to
Bill Hart, and his trumpeting career was about to begin.

“They all seemed so happy,” Hart says, remembering his first meeting
with the big-band musicians, “and I thought, ‘how do I sign up to be
part of this’?”
Hart began playing trumpet that year, supported by his mother, who
played piano, and his grandmother, who lived with the family and gave
Hart “lots of encouragement,” he says.
When Hart’s father passed away, the family moved to East Grand Rapids,
which, while from sad beginnings, was another turning point in Hart’s
musical growth.
“Our move was a tremendous break for me, as the band director there,
Warren Faulkner, was an excellent trumpet player and was passionate
about teaching. He stayed after school three or four nights a week,
playing trumpet duets. I ended up going to Interlochen on a
scholarship for several summer sessions, and played first chair in the
University Symphony.”
The following two summers would finally see Hart stepping onto the
tour bus with Chicago’s Peter Palmer Orchestra, where he found himself
sharing stages with the likes of The Lennon Sisters and Les Paul.

In June 1962, Hart met trumpet great Don “Jake” Jacoby during his
junior year of high school via Mr. Faulkner’s introduction. Jacoby and
his wife took Hart into their home for a week, treating him like a
family member and gifting him with lessons, a new trumpet, and visits
to Jacoby’s own studio sessions.
“I heard wonderful, inspiring music there,” Hart remembers.
Jacoby then recommended Hart for a position in the Tommy Dorsey
Orchestra, and his career took yet another big step forward
“I toured with the Dorsey band from June through December of 1962,”
Hart explains, “the band is still touring today, as is the Glenn
Miller Orchestra; these bands are called ‘ghost bands,’ performing
even though their leaders are gone.”
One night in Fruitport, Michigan, Hart was at the dance pavilion, and
found himself sitting next to none other than the great Louis
Armstrong during an intermission.
“His sideman stopped me, explaining that the backstage area was for
musicians,” Hart says, “but Louis said, ‘if he’s a trumpet player,
it’s okay.’ He gave me eye contact, answered all my questions, and
wrote down the address of a place to get his favorite lip salve. The
friendly advice helped me become a better trumpet player; and I always
play Louis’ “What a Wonderful World” at my programs.”
Hart would run into Armstrong again at a later date, at the Croydon
Hotel in Chicago.
“Louis stayed there, also Woody Herman and Count Basie,” Hart
explains, “it was a real ‘band’ hotel. It was wonderful just being in
the same room with them and hearing them talk.”

Hart’s many conversations with famed musicians - some of which he’ll
be sharing at his upcoming lecture event at the Charlevoix Library -
both helped him continue pursuing his musical career and his secondary
career, as well. Hart has now accomplished 50 years of professional
trumpet playing, and 46 years as a math teacher at Detroit’s Macomb
Community College; he says that each career affects and supports the
“Knowing the power of the encouraging remarks I received from the
likes of Armstrong and Henry Mancini - who was a judge at the
Collegiate Jazz Festival in April 1962 when I won the Trumpet Award -
I enjoy talking to my math students and letting them know that they’re
going to do well in any math course they encounter,” he explains.
In what is perhaps now his third career - as a lecturer - Hart shares
his favorite big-band stories and songs (“anything from the Great
American songbook, really - music by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter,
Mancini, George Gershwin...”) and plays snippets of trumpet music to
give the audience an authentic ear as to what those days sounded like.
He also plans to continue teaching - and won’t give up the music any
time soon, either, continuing to play live with an award-winning
Detroit-based band.
“I am a regular with The Rhythm Society Orchestra,” Hart says, “it’s a
16-piece swing band.”
And he’s taken the musical lessons he’s learned over the years to both
heart and horn.
“I enjoy playing close to the melody whenever I do my programs,” Hart
explains, “it’s like Louis said; ‘Billy, you’re never wrong when
you’re playing the melody.’”
Bill Hart will share stories from his 50 years as a trumpet player at
his highly-interactive “Big Band Memories” lecture/program at the
Charlevoix Public Library on Sunday, May 23 at 2 p.m.; telephone
231-547-2651 for details. More information on Bill Hart and his music
may be found at the Rhythm Society Orchestra’s website,
www.rhythmsociety.net, while his math efforts are showcased at

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