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 · Cloud Cult
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Cloud Cult

Kristi Kates - July 19th, 2010
Hazy Daze... Chasing indie-rock with Cloud Cult
By Kristi Kates
With a new album on the way in September (Light Chasers, on their own
Earthology Records), experimental indie-rockers Cloud Cult are doing a
great job of balancing life in the Midwest with being a swiftly-moving
national touring band.
Rolling Stone has dubbed them a “Breaking Artist,” and their new
single, “Running with the Wolves,” which was released to preface the
album this past spring, is climbing the playlists on national radio.
The band themselves will be climbing Up North for a show at
Interlochen on July 27.

You might recognize the band’s sound from a popular television
commercial they did for Esurance, in which the band is shown, in
animated form, performing one of their songs while floating on - what
else? - clouds. Or you may have seen them at one of their many, many
live shows - this is a band that knows how to tour.
But for Cloud Cult’s frontman Craig Minowa, Minneapolis, Minnesota is
still the place to be - and he’s still firm about having his band do
things their own way. The band has had plenty of offers from the
labels, but have rejected them all in favor of a DIY approach, which
includes touring in a biodiesel van and recording in their own studio,
which is also environmentally-friendly and off the beaten path.
“Our new studio is literally in the middle of the woods, with a
beautiful creek nearby,” Minowa says, “I recorded a lot of the natural
sounds into the actual album, and much of the music was inspired by
watching the wildlife. We are incredibly happy with where we are
living right now.”

The environmental component of their music is a big one for Cloud
Cult. Their label, the aforementioned Earthology Records, focus mainly
on helping to “green” the music industry; in addition to their
recording studio (which is powered by geothermal energy and built
partially from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic), the band plants
trees to absorb their CO2 output, and donates to a variety of projects
that build wind turbines on Native American reservations.
Minowa himself developed the first 100% post-consumer recycled CD
packaging in the U.S. market. And both he and his wife and bandmate,
Connie, are active in advocating something that’s of particular
interest to Michiganders.
“Connie and I have both spent a major part of our nonprofit
environment careers working on Great Lakes issues,” Minowa says,
“there’s no state more centrally located for that than Michigan. We’ve
been there many times - it’s one of my favorite states, particularly
the Upper Peninsula and Traverse City areas. We actually talked about
moving there at one point, but it would be too far from family.”

In addition to the environmental challenges, Cloud Cult are constantly
working on yet another challenge as a band - bringing their complex,
intricate songs to the performance stage.
“Translating the music to a live setting is very difficult,” Minowa
admits, “we’ve added another multi-instrumentalist to the band; she
plays French horn, trumpet, accordion and keys. Everybody in the band
plays multiple instruments on stage.”
Connie Minowa and Scott West, are a more unusual part of the band’s
performance lineup; they paint live on canvases during the band’s
sets, with the paintings to be auctioned off at the end of each show.
“Even Connie and Scott join in on the music in several songs,” Minowa says.
For their latest trek, they’ll be bringing along an opening act, too,
namely Ohio indie-rock band Pomegranates. Let it not be said that
those in the Midwest don’t stick together.
“Our band manager, Adrian Young, picked them up as one of his bands a
few months ago,” Minowa explains, “this will be our first time
performing with them. Their album is also a concept album, and few
bands do that these days, so I have a lot of respect for them.”
As for the Interlochen show, Minowa says that Cloud Cult will be
performing a “good number” of their new songs, and that he’s confident
the locale will contribute to the band’s high energy.
“The Interlochen venue is so gorgeous, it’s going to bring our energy
to new levels,” he says.

Cloud Cult with special guest Pomegranates will be performing at
Interlochen’s Corson Auditorium on Tuesday, July 27 at 8:00 p.m. For
tickets, visit
https://tickets.interlochen.org; for more info on Cloud Cult, visit

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