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 · Blues Traveler
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Blues Traveler

Rick Coates - August 2nd, 2010
Blues Traveler dishes up Paella in the Park
By Rick Coates
The Paella In The Park event on Friday night in Traverse City will
focus on the Spanish peasant dish, Paella (see Tastemakers). The
evening will be highlighted by wine pairings from the Wineries of Old
Mission Peninsula. The question is, what will be for dessert?
How about a full serving of Blues Traveler?
“We had to pull some strings,” said Sam Porter, of Porterhouse
Productions. “They are playing Grand Rapids on Thursday night and then
they are at Lollapaloza in Chicago on Saturday, but they agreed.”
Rootstand, a favorite on the festival circuit will open for Blues
Traveler. Porter hopes that the evening will result in the community
getting an opportunity to see how the grounds that once housed the
Clinch Park Zoo can serve the area in various ways.
“This is a great parcel of land; I feel that several events can take
place here. Not everything has to be about thousands of people,” said
Porter. “We are capping this at 1,500. Though I suspect that with the
stage setup we will have a lot of boats in the marina and in West Bay
watching and listening as well.”
Porter likes to have music as a complement to his events. He has seen
that synergy work with the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival,
as well as a winter version of the same festival. He felt Blues
Traveler and Rootsand would offer the perfect music styles for a wide
range of attendees for Paella In The Park.
“Blues Traveler has mass appeal to people of all ages,” said Porter.
“The play danceable music and I see them as being perfect for the

The band formed nearly 25 years ago when frontman and harmonica
virtuoso John Popper and some of his high school buddies started
jamming together. It would take a few years for the band’s music to
catch on, but in 1994 they hit the big time. The blues-rockers
released their album Four that contained chart-toppers “Hook,” and
“Run-Around” and it even won them a Grammy that year.
They quickly joined Dave Matthews as the popular bands on the jam-band
circuit, including performing at the 25th Anniversary of Woodstock in
1994. The band released North Hollywood Shootout in 2008, their ninth
studio album.
Health and legal issues have not slowed Popper and his bandmates.
Popper who had been overweight for years had surgery six years ago and
dropped 180 pounds. He found himself in legal trouble, being arrested
twice for marijuana possession charges. A year ago he had hip surgery,
but according to Popper, all is well in his and Blues Traveler’s
“We are very, very busy,” said Popper. “There is a lot that we are
trying to accomplish with this band. We are still trying to reconcile
the different things we do, and cultivate what we’re individually good
at into something that’s bigger than the sum of its parts,”
For Popper and Blues Traveler, their focus has been on returning to
the band that has produced six Gold or Platinum albums, with a
combined sales of more than 10 million CDs.  They built their
reputation on the jam-band style that has resulted in more than 2,000
live shows in front of more than three million people over the past 16

“As we look at our last few records we focused on the songwriting and
we felt we were getting away from that spontaneity that we create on
stage,” said Popper. “So with this last album we eliminated all the
pre-production stuff and just went right into the studio and wrote the
songs. We wrote and recorded as we went along.”
Popper also felt this process helped the group get out of the musical
rut they were in.
“Look, if you stay in this business long enough you are going to fall
into ruts. We started in this business as kids, made some mistakes
along the way. But we are still here. If you want to stick around you
fight through it and that is what we have done.”
That also included the death of founding member and bassist Bobby
Shennan in 1999.
“We are like family and when Bobby passed away we sat down as a group
and talked about what we should do,” said Popper. “Sure, we
contemplated calling it quits but we knew that Bobby would want us to
continue on and we know that we have made the right decision.”
So what is at the heart of Blues Traveler’s success after 23 years?
“We are constantly reinventing things and discovering new aspects of
what we do in order to keep things fresh,” said lead guitarist Chan
Kinchla. “We’ve spent a lot of time sorting out everyone’s role and
learning how to listen to each other and get out of each other’s way.
It’s funny, but right now the band is feeling a lot like it did in the
early days, when we were just playing for the sake of playing and we
were hitting on all cylinders and the communication was fresh and
alive.  The shows have been really kicking, and the new songs have
been going over great.”
Popper agrees.
“I think we know as a band we have more to learn,” said Popper. “What
makes it work for us is honesty. As long as we all know that we mean
it, we know that we have the potential to come up with something good.
It is the philosophy we take every night onto the stage and into the

Blues Traveler will perform Friday night as part of the Paella In The
Park. Tickets are limited and may be purchased at
www.porterhouseproductions.com or at Oryana in Traverse City and the
wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula.

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