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 · Mike Fornes as Gordon Lightfoot
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Mike Fornes as Gordon Lightfoot

Kristi Kates - August 23rd, 2010
Whispers of the North:Mike Fornes as Gordon Lightfoot
By Kristi Kates
While some tribute bands pay homage to big acts like Pink Floyd or The
Rolling Stones, a plethora of performers around the country choose a
solo artist to be the focus of their act. Mackinaw City
guitarist/singer Mike Fornes has chosen to perform the music of Gordon
Lightfoot, the Canadian performer perhaps best known in Michigan for
his Lake Superior-centric song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”
Lightfoot’s music has become legendary in folk/pop music circles, and
Fornes - along with his band of backing musicians - pays careful
attention to every performance detail in order to do justice to
Lightfoot’s talents.

Known for his work in journalism and sportscasting (“I have lived
several professional lifetimes in the broadcasting and journalistic
worlds,” he says. “Right now, the Lightfoot music project is my main
focus.”), Fornes sings in a voice of similar timbre to Lightfoot’s,
and he purposefully plays similar instruments.
“I play Gord’s Gibson B-45 12-string and the Martin D-18 that he
uses,” Fornes explains, “and Todd Golnick’s lead guitars are a Martin
and a Gretsch Country Gentleman, just like Terry Clements plays in the
Lightfoot Band. We have the same amps and effects too. All of us use
authentic instruments in order to create the sounds of a Lightfoot
The instrumentation, Fornes believes, helps the show stay as true as
possible to Lightfoot’s original recordings. In addition to Golnick,
Fornes’ sidemen include George Krawczyk on keyboards, John Riemer on
bass, and Joe Kwiatkowski on drums and special effects, augmenting his
drum kit with percussion instruments for various songs.

Fornes himself got his first guitar in the fifth grade, he says, and
“loved The Beatles.”
“I learned to sing in church, and in school choirs and performing
groups,” he says.
Those formative years would prove useful later in his life, when he
began putting together the replication of a two-hour concert of
Lightfoot songs that would resonate especially well with Michigan
“This is music from our culture, our way of life,” he explains.
His Lightfoot playlist is set to include such classics as “Carefree
Highway,” “Sundown,” and, of course, “... Fitzgerald.”
“I think you have to play the big songs,” he says, “especially that
song. It happened less than 100 miles from where we’re from, and
anybody who has ever heard that song identified it with storms they
have seen here, and what happened on that horrible night. But there
will be some surprises, too - some other great music Gordon wrote that
I think people will really enjoy.”

Lightfoot’s music, Fornes says, “connects with a lot of people,” and
he sees a lot of emotional reactions, from hand-holding to sheer
attentiveness, at his performances “as” Lightfoot.
“I think our show is simply an honest effort at recreating the
Lightfoot concert experience,” he says, “his music is about the
forests and lakes and ships, and a lot of it is about broken hearts
and lost loves, as well.”
If you couldn’t already tell, Fornes is a respectful fan as well as a
tribute performer.
“We’re in awe of the man’s songwriting and performing abilities,”
Fornes says, “we’ve worked very hard at capturing the acoustic
presence his music brings to a theater.”
For Fornes’ upcoming Lightfoot show at Ground Zero in Traverse City,
the venue will be setting a more folky, quiet mood to suit Lightfoot’s
introspective tunes and acoustically-focused sound.
“I think Traverse City is a great place to present this music, with
all the woods and lakes nearby,” Fornes says, “and Streeters will be a
wonderful venue, as they are planning a cabaret-style floor plan for
the show with tables and chairs. It will be a fun night together, with

Mike Fornes’ Whispers of the North, Gordon Lightfoot Tribute will take
place Friday, August 27 at Ground Zero in Traverse City, with a
pre-show “Deep into Dylan” tribute by Acoustic Dynamite. Evening is
presented by Oldies 97.5 WCCW. All seats for the 8 p.m. show are on
sale at the Ground Zero box office for $10/$12 day of show; call
231-932-1300 for more info, or buy tickets online at

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