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 · Peter & Paul
. . . .

Peter & Paul

Kristi Kates - July 19th, 2010
Peter and Paul: Seeing what tomorrow brings without Mary
by Kristi Kates
Singer Mary Travers, one-third of the influential ’60s folk group
Peter, Paul, and Mary, passed away last September, after a life
well-lived and five decades of collaboration with her bandmates Peter
Yarrow and Noel “Paul” Stookey.
Today, Yarrow and Stookey are carrying on the legacy of music that the
trio crafted over the years - including such well-known hits as
“Blowin’ in the Wind,” “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song),” and
“Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” - with Peter and Paul: A Tribute to Mary and
50 Years of Friendship, a live show that will showcase the best of
what these talents have to offer.
That show will arrive at Interlochen on Wednesday, July 21, a return
of sorts for Yarrow, who is actually an Interlochen alumnus.

“I had a fantastic time at Interlochen,” Yarrow says, “I was there for
two years - I loved it. I was involved in many aspects - the Festival
Chorus, in which I remember singing along with four brass bands and a
half-acre of cellos; I also sang in The Yeoman of the Guard. I was in
the theater - I played Emil in Tomorrow, the World. I remember doing
pottery and painting, the blue uniforms, the walk to the bunks.”
“And I remember falling in love there, the first time I fell in love,”
he smiles, “I even remember the song that was playing at the time.”
Yarrow says that within all of those memories, the thing he remembers
most was finding himself among fellow kids who were “in heaven about
life” because they were surrounded with so many opportunities to share
through the creative arts.
“I’m a proud alum,” he says, “I’m very grateful to the legacy that I
shared at Interlochen. It was extraordinary there, and continues to be
extraordinary today.”

Yarrow, of course, would go on to create a legacy of his own with
Peter, Paul, and Mary; Noel “Paul” Stookey and Mary Travers did not
attend Interlochen (although Stookey is an alumnus of MSU), but met
Peter in New York City’s Greenwich Village around 1959-1960. All three
soon auditioned for manager Albert Grossman, who was putting together
a folk group, and their trio was created.
It probably seems remarkable to many that, in this day and age of
“fast food pop culture,” there’s still a demand for their quietly
affecting brand of folk-pop music, which began with the release of
their first eponymous album in 1962, during an era of what Yarrow
himself terms “enormously powerful change.” But Yarrow thinks that
people want more than what’s available today.
“(Back then), it was the dawn of the civil rights movement, and the
music that was associated with it was an important part of that,” he
explains, “later, the anti-war, women’s, apartheid, and environmental
movements - all of those that were spawned by the civil rights
movement - gave Americans a sense that ordinary people could change
the world when they stood together. The music that we sang resonated
with that feeling.”
Much of today’s music, Yarrow feels, doesn’t carry anywhere near the
heft of the music scene that Peter, Paul, and Mary were part of,
mostly because it’s far more shallow than such a creative expression
should be.
“I think a lot of the reason for (the poor state of today’s music) has
to do with the monopolizing of music by large entities that are
concerned with the bottom line,” Yarrow says, “I think that is what
serves up the ‘fast food.’ Today’s music does not serve the heart of
most people. We have a problematic society right now, one that’s so
greedy and focused on power, money, and fame - and not fame like, say,
you’ve won the Pulitzer Prize.”
“Today’s fame is more like Britney Spears, or, actually, more like
Paris Hilton,” he continues, “because it’s not even feeding something
that’s interesting in terms of style - it’s just a Roman circus of
watching somone act out, humiliating themselves or someone else. And
that’s a lot of what is served along with the music and through the
Hollywood machine.”

“Serving the heart,” Yarrow says, was one of Peter Paul and Mary’s
goals for their music, and what he also feels is one of the most solid
reasons for their longevity.
“One aspect of what Peter, Paul, and Mary shared is that we truly felt
we were serving a particular purpose from an ‘us’ perspective, rather
than a ‘me’ perspective,” he explains, “we thought of our music, and
still do, as being something that addresses needs, feelings, concerns,
perspectives, heart, soul, and history of the world in general.”
While Peter, Paul, and Mary were solidly focused on this approach,
they also slowly evolved into their own unique roles within the group,
which Yarrow says has been discussed among themselves many times.
“As the years progressed, we became more and more understanding of
each other, and we realized that loving each other didn’t mean that we
had to prescribe the way the other ones would act,” he says, “we gave
each other space.”
And he says that now, with Mary Travers gone, they see with greater
clarity what she, specifically, was to them.

“Mary was the centerpiece in our performance,” he explains, “of a
certain kind of breakthrough in what people could be. Women were going
through a huge transition at that time that men didn’t have to go
through. She was a model of what a remarkable woman could do and still
be beautiful. In terms of the group’s identity, she was iconic in
nature, with an extraordinary voice.”
Yarrow and Noel “Paul” Stookey also found their unique places within
the strong, unified trio.
“I was always the organizer and the political driving force,” Yarrow
says, “which was sometimes - understandably - resented, because I was
tough and passionate about that in my own way. Onstage, my heart was
breaking for, and celebrating, those things I cared about most.”
Stookey, Yarrow says, was the group’s “peacemaker,” the “yin” to
Yarrow and Travers’ “yang.”
“Noel was not volatile in the sense that Mary and I were,” Yarrow
says, “so he was a counterpoint to us. He was kind of the voice of
humility and heart of the group - neither Mary nor I were the
personification of humility - so his (characteristics) invited the
audience to feel comfortable.”

Their musical collaborative chemistry remains today, even in the wake
of Travers’ passing. In addition to the touring, Yarrow and Stookey
continue to work together on new music, and have carefully crafted
their live show to both pay tribute to their departed friend, and to
the music they spent 50 years creating together. It’s set to be both a
greatest-hits celebration, and an ear towards tomorrow and the future.
“What you will hear at the show is a concert that carries on the music
of Peter, Paul, and Mary,” Yarrow says, “you will hear ‘Puff,’ you
will hear ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ - with the audience singing Mary’s
part - you will hear ‘Blowin’ in the Wind.’ You will hear a lot of our
songs, but you will also hear some other songs that Noel and I are
developing that are very much like the songs that Peter, Paul, and
Mary sang, but as their own entity.”
“It won’t be the same with Mary’s absence,” Yarrow concludes, “but
there will be a spirit about it that will celebrate all that Peter,
Paul, and Mary celebrated, and you will walk away knowing that that
spirit and heart continues - as well it should.”

Peter and Paul: A Tribute to Mary and 50 Years of Friendship, will
take place at Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium on
Wednesday, July 21 at 8:00 p.m. For more info, visit
www.interlochen.org and www.peterpaulandmary.com. Tickets are sold

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