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..

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4Play: Pete Yorn, Marc Cohn, The Who, Mumford & Sons

Kristi Kates - September 27th, 2010
Pete Yorn - Pete Yorn - Vagrant
Singer-songwriter Yorn, a veteran of the indie-folk scene, threw this
set together with far less foresight and planning than one would think
for a collection of songs of this quality. The album was actually
recorded in five days by Yorn along with The Pixies’ Frank Black in an
impromptu studio, eleven songs in all with minimal production and a
whole lot of Yorn-style musical introspection. The album’s first
single, “Sans Fear,” finds Yorn pondering the end of a relationship,
but he recovers fairly quickly (at least album-side) once the
follow-up tunes arrive, from “Rock Crowd” (an ode to his fans), the
witty “Velcro Shoes,” and the singledom anthem “Future Life.”

Marc Cohn - Listening Booth: 1970 - Saguaro Road Records
Casual Cohn listeners will most likely recollect his first hit (that’s
still a radio staple), “Walking in Memphis,” with its Tennessee town
imagery and Elvis references; but Cohn’s got a lot more than that up
his musical sleeves. In addition to his other original works, he’s
taken on this interesting self-assigned task; to take classic songs
from a certain year (in this case, obviously, 1970), and interpret
them his way, a cover album with a focus, if you will. He applies his
neofolk skills here to the likes of songs by John Lennon, Van
Morrison, Smokey Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens, among
others, all pushed through the boards by the talented producer John

The Who - Live at the Isle of Wight - Eagle Records
Often considered one of the best live shows of The Who on audio
record, the band cranked out the rock well into the dark of night
during this concert, the pinnacle of a legendary concert fest that
also included performances by Miles Davis and The Doors. The Who
performs most of Tommy on this revitalized set, and includes plenty of
songs that are known today as classic, timeless The Who singles -
“Pinball Wizard,” “My Generation,” and “Magic Bus” among them. Thirty
tracks in all help encapsulate the concert evening into a great
reminiscence, and a more than worthy Who album to add to your

Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More - Glass Note
They seemed to arrive out of nowhere late this past summer, this
quartet of old-timey folk-pop-rockers from West London; but Mumford
and Sons have actually been around, albeit under the scene, since
2007. The four musician pals’ sound is most remiscent of Kings of
Leon, with this new album having been produced by Markus Dravs, who
most recently added his skills to one of Arcade Fire’s sets. Layered
harmonies and acoustic instruments set the stages for songs like the
title track, with its spare arrangement; other highlights include “The
Cave,” “I Gave You All,” and “Dust Bowl Dance,” alternately festooned
with everything from guitars to retro banjo sounds.

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