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 · Who Hit John?
. . . .

Who Hit John?

Kristi Kates - August 30th, 2010
Who Hit John? Only the Music Knows
By Kristi Kates
Who Hit John? has made a lot of progress since the eclectic acoustic band began in 2006 as “three guys jamming in the living room for fun,“ as Who Hit John?‘s Dan McCartney puts it. McCartney, joined by fellow multi-instrumentalists Nathan Dannison, Nick Vander Vliet, Josh Keller, and Mark Duval, says that starting the project wasn‘t any sort of pre-planned notion - but was instead spurred by the simple enjoyment of music, and pal Dannison‘s, er, unusual brand of talent.
“We soon found out that my old friend Nathan played the fiddle like a tipsy raccoon, and decided we had a band,“ McCartney laughs.

For those unfamiliar with the sound of Who Hit John?, the Kalamazoo-based band proves to be a tricky initial sell, although once you hear them, you‘ll definitely be buying.
McCartney himself describes their sound as “Steve Martin meets Dizzy Gillespie,“ while recent listens and other reviews peg them as a “rockin‘ string band“ or a “modern bluegrass dance band.“
While the base of their sound does begin with strings (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin), Who Hit John? keep adding other diverse musical elements in order to expand their sound.
“Where we were once mainly an old time string band (think Old Crow Medicine Show or The Red Clay Ramblers), we have now moved on to Baltic ballads, hot jazz and Dixieland standards,“ McCartney says, “and we continue to write dynamic originals that somehow seem to fit in with all those classic acoustic roots genres.“

Currently promoting their latest album, *Heirloom,* McCartney says that, while proud of the disc, they‘ve already managed to evolve the band past it as they‘ve continued to grow.
“Our sound has changed quite a bit since *Heirloom‘s* recording,“ he explains, “we‘ve just begun putting songs together for our third album, and plan to start recording into the fall, with a release date around December.“
Also being noticed by the band are a plethora of their peers, as McCartney points out that Michigan is “thick with folk music,“ many of which are some of the band‘s favorite acts.
“The Red Sea Pedestrians are some of our favorite local musicians as far as songwriting and performance,“ he says, “we also love Seth Bernard, May Earlewine and the whole Earthworks collective. Not to mention Red Tail Ring (Michael Beauchamp is one of my songwriting heroes) and Graham Parsons and the Go Rounds. There really are too many to mention.“

Who Hit John? are slated to join the ranks of the Black Cat Concert series in Charlevoix, the somewhat under-the-radar little concert site that could - and has - been quietly but steadily promoting a slew of original acts throughout the summer season for the past few years.
The band will of course play songs from *Heirloom,* but their Black Cat audience will also be treated to yet another evolved side of this skillful band, who McCartney says are “really proud“ of the new direction that their sound has taken.
“For those who have seen us before, they can expect a whole new flavor of the acoustic string band sound,“ McCartney explains, “with the addition of trumpet and two new songwriters in the band, we will arrive with a slew of new tunes and styles of music you never knew you loved.“

*Who Hit John? will perform as part of the Black Cat Concert series in Charlevoix on Friday, September 3 at 8 p.m.
Tickets ($15) at www.blackcatconcerts.com; more info on Who Hit John? at www.myspace.com/whohitjohn5.*

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