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 · Robbie Wyckoff
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Robbie Wyckoff

Rick Coates - October 18th, 2010
Robbie Wyckoff’s piece of ‘The Wall’
TC singer hits the road with Roger Waters
By Rick Coates
No one can accuse singer Robbie Wyckoff of being just another “brick in the wall.”
A Traverse City native, Wyckoff grew up wanting to be a singer. The 1983 TC High School grad was in the school choir and a lead vocalist in several area rock bands before making his way to Los Angeles shortly after graduation. While Wyckoff has had some pretty impressive gigs over the past 25 years, he returns to Michigan this weekend on the biggest tour of his life.
Wyckoff has been touring with Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters as the co-lead vocalist in the Roger Waters The Wall Live Tour. The tour makes a stop this Sunday, October 24 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Prior to this tour Wyckoff has recorded and performed with Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, Clint Black, Sheena Easton, Rick Springfield, Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Michael McDonald, Jackson Browne and Greg Rolie (Journey, Santana). In addition, he has been in several film and television projects with vocal work in the movie “Shrek,” the animated Disney TV series “Phineas & Ferb,” “The Emperor’s New Skool,” “The Replacements,” and appearances on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Yes Dear” and “7th Heaven.”
The Roger Waters Tour started in September in Toronto and Wyckoff has been performing in every major North American city and venue. The tour will wrap up a few days before Christmas, the European leg kicks off in March, continuing through June.

So how does a guy from Traverse City find himself performing on one of the biggest tours of the year?
“A friend of mine called me who had worked with Roger on the the original Wall recordings and told me that Roger was looking for someone to sing the David Gilmour parts and wondered if I would be interested in auditioning,” said Wyckoff.
“So he had me call the producer of the tour and I sang a cappella for him over the phone. Well, the guy liked what he heard flew me to New York and then they pulled out the original masters of ‘The Wall’ and had me sing to that and they hired me.”
What was it like for Wyckoff meeting
Roger Waters for the first time?
“Of course I was nervous, but at the same time I was confident. This business is a tough one and it is interesting, but I had been out of work for awhile and my wife and I were wondering what we were going to do. We both are very spiritual, so I got on my knees and prayed and the next day I got the call from my friend.”
Roger Waters has a reputation of being difficult to work with, but Wyckoff has not seen it.
“Actually, quite the contrary -- he has been easy, and very supportive to not only myself but to all of the members of the tour,” Wyckoff. “He is really nice and spends time with us and after the shows he organizes these really nice dinners for everyone and he eats with us. These are elaborate dinners and he always offers a toast. He has a great sense of humor and has been a great boss. It has been an awesome experience.”

Before moving out to L.A., Wyckoff was in a band in Traverse City called Lyric that played around the region and was quite popular. Fellow bandmate Kenny Olson, has also done quite well for himself,
So, has Wyckoff been enjoying himself?
“This is a dream come true for me. It is a very emotional concert -- people have told me they have been brought to tears by it,” said Wyckoff. “There are a lot of similarities to the original Pink Floyd Wall Tour. The wall is constructed during the concert and we perform behind it for about 35 minutes. I go up on top of the wall 40 feet above the audience to sing ‘Comfortably Numb’ and it is dark at first and then all of a sudden the spotlight hits me. It is all pretty amazing; we fly on a private jet and go to the shows in limos with police escorts.”
It has been several years since Wyckoff has been to Traverse City, although after the tour he hopes to return next summer. His father still lives in the area.
“My dad and his wife are coming to Detroit and I am excited because this will be the first time he has heard me sing on a professional level,” he said.

To learn more about the “Roger Waters Wall Live Tour” check out www.roger-waters.com. To see Robbie Wyckoff sing “Comfortably Numb” on top of the Wall at the Toronto show look on YouTube. Wyckoff will join Rick Coates on the Omelette & Finster Show this Thursday ( October 21) at 8 a.m. for an extensive interview on WKLT (97.5/98.9 fm).
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