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 · Blue October
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Blue October

Rick Coates - October 4th, 2010
Blue October takes aim at suicidal behavior
By Rick Coates
Matt Noveskey grew up in Traverse City as part of a musical family.
The 1994 graduate of St. Francis High School credits his family’s
diverse interests in music in shaping his path in the rock band, Blue
“I would walk down the hallway and my one sister had Rick James on
while my brother was listening to Iron Maiden and my other sister was
jamming Lionel Ritchie, and then my parents would be listening to the
Beatles,” said Noveskey. “So I definitely grew up with a hodge-podge
of music blaring around me. I was into the Dead Kennedy’s and Fishbone
when I was in high school.”
Today, Noveskey is the bass player for Blue October, which will be
wrapping up its Pick Up The Phone Tour this weekend with a show Friday
night at the Leelanau Sands Showroom. The Austin, Texas-based rockers
have hit the big time, headlining world tours and even opening for
the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger is a big fan of the band). Yet despite
being a band with a number of hits, “Hate Me,” “Into The Ocean,” and
“Dirt Room” (all top 20 songs), they remain a band many people just do
not get.
“That is definitely us; we are a band people either do not understand
or get, because we explore dark issues of society,” said Noveskey. “So
while we may not be the darlings of MTV or radio, we are fortunate
that we have a loyal fan base who gets us and often these fans are
people others don’t get. Often, our fans are people who have this
sense they do not belong, that they are alone, so there is this real
sense of community among them, this commonality of that connects them
together and to our music.”

The “Pick Up The Phone Tour” is the band’s attempt to create awareness
for the elimination of suicide.
“It truly is a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” said
Noveskey. “The numbers are astounding, it is amazing that our society
is not doing more to talk about this issue. It seems that suicide is
something very hard for people to talk about. We want people to talk
about it and …let people know there is help out there.”
He is quick to add:
“We have always been a band that has flown under the radar. Suicide is
also a societal issue that has flown under the radar, often because
community leaders do not want the ‘copycat syndrome’. It often goes
unreported. All of our songs have a personal message to them and some
of them certainly have touched on this topic.”
Blue October’s  “Pick Up The Phone Tour” is committed to reducing the
stigma associated with mental health, depression, and suicide. The
band had to cancel their tour in 2009 as a result of frontman Justin
Furstenfeld’s own battle with the very issues he deals with in so many
of the bands songs. Here was his statement last year upon canceling
the tour:
“Mental health diseases are unpredictable,” said Furstenfeld . “And on
the eve of this tour in support of a cause that means the world to me,
I am in need of time to heal from a setback in my own personal life,
which is severe enough for me to seek hospitalization. I hope that my
action to seek the strength and safety of treatment will inspire
others that are suffering to do the same.”

It has been a couple of years since Noveskey has been to his hometown
of Traverse City and he is looking forward to returning.
“I used to get here at least once a year but I have been so busy, and
being married and having a two-year-old daughter keeps me busy as
Noveskey is looking forward to a longer stay in the area during the
holidays with his wife and daughter but the music industry is calling
his name right now.
“I am very busy, as in addition to my work with Blue October, I am
producing and managing other bands,” he said. “Plus Blue October is
going into the studio to record another album before the year ends.”
Since bursting on the music scene with Blue October over 10 years ago,
Noveskey has seen a lot change in the music industry.
“I know a lot of people say it has changed for the worse, but I think
a lot is for the better,” said Noveskey. “There are a lot more
opportunities today for musicians and especially for musicians to have
more control over their artistic endeavors. Another difference is how
you go about marketing yourself. It is so much easier with the
Internet and social media. When I started and was gigging at Union
Street and the Loading Dock you would go to the Copy Shop, print a
bunch of posters, and spend the day hanging them around town. Now in a
matter of seconds you are able to get the information about a show out
to the world.”

So is Noveskey able to walk that fine line of guiding bands he manages
and produces without putting a Blue October stamp on their work?
“Yes, part of that has come with working from people in the past who
have said ‘this is how I do it and you should do it this way,” said
Noveskey. “What I try to do is help the artists I work with develop
their sound, and guide them to accomplish their musical objectives. I
am there to encourage and to remind them that if you stick with it you
can make it.”
That is also the message he and his bandmates in Blue October tell as
they carry the suicide prevention torch on the road. Their next stop
is Friday, October 8 at the Leelanau Sands Showroom. It is a
Porterhouse Productions presentation and tickets may be purchased in
advance at www.porterhouseproductions.com or at the box office the
night of the show.

If you are contemplating suicide there is help out there. Third Level
Crises Intervention Center has been offering assistance to Northern
Lower Michigan for 40 years and they have a 24/7 hotline 800-442-7315,
or check out www.thirdlevel.org.

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