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 · Brett Michaels wild year
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Brett Michaels wild year

Rick Coates - July 19th, 2010
Bret Michaels’ Wild Year: Poison frontman helms Kewadin’s 25th anniversary bash
By Rick Coates
If a cat has nine lives then how many lives does Bret Michaels have? This past year has proven he has at least three, and if you toss in the car accident back in the mid-’90s that nearly claimed his life, then Michaels is on life number four. But Michaels’ health issues are not over yet; after a year that has included an emergency appendectomy and a brain hemorrhage, he will have surgery next January as a result of a hole in his heart.
Michaels, the front man for the glam-rockers Poison from the hair band generation, is currently out touring in support of his new solo work Custom Built, released last week. He will make his way to Northern Michigan Thursday, performing at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie as part of the resort’s 25th Anniversary Summer Celebration. Motley Crue front man Vince Neil will open the show.

For Michaels his medical issues coupled by winning Celebrity Apprentice and appearing on American Idol have made him a media darling. He has recently appeared on Oprah, The View, David Letterman and a host of other regional talk shows and radio programs.
He has maintained a torrid appearance and touring pace, performing almost nightly for the past two months. His tour will continue through the middle of October. Toss in a new reality TV show, Life As I know It, that will air this fall on VH-1 and the fact that he is considered among the top contenders to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol, Michaels may be the busiest person in show business.
Bret Michaels took time to answer a few questions for the Northern Express.

Northern Express: Your pace is pretty amazing considering your recent medical mishaps and the fact that your doctors have given you the go-ahead is even more amazing. How are you feeling as you approach the halfway point of your tour?
Bret Michaels: I am a little better than 80 percent right now and feeling great. The doctors asked me to take another month before hitting the road. But they saw my determination and desire and told me to go for it and said I need to do this and not do that. They also said if I start to feel sick just to walk off the stage immediately.

NE: You started the tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and 38 Special but now you are on a headlining tour…
Michaels: Those guys (Skynyrd/38 Special) have been friends of mine so it has been very therapeutic for me. Having them with me on the road as I eased back into this as I was only about 60 – 70% then really made a difference, they were so supportive. Plus, having my daughters has helped me. Now I am doing full-on sets of all the great Poison songs, as well as my new stuff from Custom Built and it is great rocking out for all the fans who also have been so supportive. I think if I was just sitting around all summer thinking ‘poor me’ that would not have been a good thing. So touring and playing music has really helped me keep my mind off it all.

NE: On American Idol Simon suggested you would make a good replacement for him. What do you think?
Michaels: I was humbled by the suggestion. I think Simon is looking at it from a perspective that I am someone who has been around the industry for a long time. I agree with him. I think I would be a good fit. Not because I would try to be like him. Well not exactly like him, there is always going to be only one Simon Cowell. But in one way I will be like him because at the end of the day, Simon was in search of finding the best talent and that’s what I would do; but, I would do it from a Bret Michaels approach. We will see if it works out.

NE: Winning Celebrity Apprentice just adds to this wild year you have been having.
Michaels: Yeah, I wanted to accomplish a couple of things. First of all, winning $250,000 for the American Diabetes Foundation was very important to me. I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 6. It was also important for me to show people that there is more to Bret Michaels than some wild bandana wearing guy who sings rock and roll. I feel that I proved to a lot of people that if you set your mind to accomplish something you can, no matter who you are. Just to have all of this happen and then to have the appendectomy and brain hemorrhage, it has just been a wild ride.

NE: Take us through both emergencies, because it all happened just a few days apart.
Michaels: Yeah, but they were not related to each other. it was just a coincidence. First with my appendix I thought I had the flu and that I would just tough it out and do my show that night. Well, just before I was to take the stage in San Antonio, doctors came on my tour bus and said they didn’t think it was the flu and that I shouldn’t go on stage. Well, it turns out they were right because after I had my appendix removed that night; doctors told me it probably would have ruptured on stage and I could have died.

NE: Okay, so you are just recovering from this and -- bam -- on April 21 you suffer a brain hemorrhage, the same thing that Gary Coleman had.
Michaels: That was sad about Gary. I was lucky I am among the 25% who survive this sort of thing. It was around 11 p.m. and it felt like someone had come up from behind me and cracked me upside the head. Imagine intensifying your worst migraine by 10 times. I just knew something was wrong. I felt paralyzed and when I got to the hospital I knew things were not good when the room went from two people to more than 10 doctors and medical staff. The one doctor asked me if I was a crack cocaine addict and of course I am not, I am diabetic. He told me “well, you have blood at the base of your brain and you are in trouble. If you have kids you better get them here.” Well, I made it through from the support and prayer of my family, friends and fans.

NE: You built your career on music, both in Poison and as a solo artist, so this new album has to be exciting for you, especially since it has come out with strong sales and a hit single with Miley Cyrus ‘Nothing To Lose.’ How did you find time to record this?
Michaels: First of all I am very proud of this new CD. Custom Built is a reflection of where I am at not only as a musician but in life. I have a studio on my bus so that helped in the recording process.

NE: The CD has a lot of new material but you cover that Sublime song ‘What I Got’ and some songs have a country music flair to them. Are you going country?
Michaels: I love that Sublime song and enjoy singing it at my shows. That song has stood the test of time and it is one of my favorite rock songs of all time. Sometimes we rockers get labeled and I really like a lot of music including country so you are going to hear everything from rock to country on this.

NE: I think you surprised a lot of your fans and Jimmy Buffett fans when you got up on stage with him in Detroit last month and sang ‘Margaritaville.’ You need all the lyrics, not just the chorus.
Michaels: Who doesn’t like Jimmy Buffett? That was an awesome experience.

NE: So you have cheated death more than once. do you look at life differently each day?
Michaels: Yeah, I tell people this: that even my bad days are also my good days.

Bret Michaels will perform at Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday July 22. Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil will open the show. Both artists will perform the hits from their respective bands and both are touring in support of new CD. For additional information or to purchase tickets go to www.kewadin.com/entertainment or call them at 800-539-2346.

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