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 · John Jorgenson
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John Jorgenson

Kristi Kates - October 25th, 2010
John Jorgenson Serves Up Gypsy Jazz
By Kristi Kates
Where most kids today probably don’t feel rewarded unless they’re bought candy, movie passes, or the latest videogame, musician John Jorgenson’s childhood was a lot less commerce-driven - and far more rewarding in the long run.
“I got interested in music really early on, because both of my parents are musicians,” Jorgenson explains. “My father is a conductor; my mother, a piano teacher. So we heard music all ‘round the house, all the time, when we were kids. It was like a treat - if we were good, we’d get to listen to ‘Peter and the Wolf’ or ‘Carnival of the Animals.’ Music was always something special and cool.”
Now, fortunate kids whose parents have a little more insight beyond BioShock 2 or Snickers bars might be passing along Jorgenson’s own music to their potentially musically-gifted offspring.

Jorgenson, who has played music himself since the age of eight, performed in bands in junior and senior high school, and played full-time at Disneyland in California in his 20s, performing in three different groups on clarinet, mandolin and guitar and changing costumes several times a day.
In 1985, he was part of the American country-rock outfit The Desert Rose Band, alongside The Byrds’ Chris Hillman; in 1993, Jorgenson formed the guitar trio The Hellecasters (with Will Ray and Fairport Convention guitarist, Jerry Donahue) and watched their debut disc win awards from Guitar Player Magazine.
And in 1994, Jorgenson was invited to perhaps the biggest-ticket collaboration of his career to date - a chance to tour with Elton John for 18 months. Jorgenson would prove such an integral part of John’s band,
playing guitar and saxophone, that he would remain with the pop showman’s organization for the next six years.
“I toured with Elton from 1995 to 2001,” Jorgenson says, “so I actually haven’t worked with him in quite a while. But, you know, once you’re part of that family, you’re always part of it.”
And what does Jorgenson miss most about working with John? “I have to say that I miss the luxuries,” he laughs.
“Everything is very, very first-class with Elton,” Jorgenson goes on to explain, “the travel, the hotels, the crew, the stage setup. So you have this great artist, of course - but then you also have the best lighting guy, the best monitors guy, and so forth - and that definitely makes focusing on the performances a lot easier.”
“If he called me, of course I’d go back,” Jorgenson says, “but now I’m working on my own music, which is awesome.”

Awesome, indeed. Jorgenson is finding even more success on his own, as part of the rebirth of the Gypsy jazz genre of music.
Also called “Gypsy swing,” the Gypsy jazz genre originated primarily in France, most notably through legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt and a virtual gang of Gypsy guitarists that swept through Paris beginning in the 1930s, combining jazz with a darker tonality, plus swing and waltz-musette rhythms.
Jorgenson even portrayed Reinhardt in the 2004 Charlize Theron/Stuart Townsend movie Head in the Clouds - and, in a full-circle kind of serendipity, Reinhardt is actually the muse who drew Jorgenson into Gypsy jazz in the first place.
“I first heard Django in 1979, and I’d been a guitarist for a number of years before that, but I’d never heard anybody sound that fiery and emotional on an acoustic guitar as he did. And the music he made with his quartet was so joyful, emotional, and accessible. Usually if I like a style of music a lot, I really want to learn to play it - so that’s what I did.”
Touring with his own John Jorgenson Quintet has now introduced Gypsy jazz to a whole new realm of audiences, and he couldn’t be more surprised - or more appreciative.
“I never thought I’d be able to tour and do this kind of music full time. There wasn’t enough interest at first. But in the last 10 years, with the advent of the internet, people around the world realized that they weren’t the only ones who loved Gypsy jazz music. So now there are festivals and concerts, and I’ve been performing this style for about seven years now - we play around 100 shows a year of Gypsy jazz. It’s just thrilling to me.”

John Jorgenson will be in concert with his quintet on Friday, October 29 at 8 p.m. at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center in Harbor Springs as part of the Blissfest Concert Series. For tickets, visit www.blissfest.org, telephone 231-348-7047 or stop by local ticket outlets Between the Covers (Harbor Springs) and The Grain Train (Petoskey). For more information on John Jorgenson, visit www.johnjorgenson.com.

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