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 · Bibb plus Booker equals new music...
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Bibb plus Booker equals new music

Kristi Kates - January 24th, 2011
Bibb plus Booker equals new blues
By Kristi Kates
American-born and European-based, blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb was given his first steel-string acoustic guitar at the age of seven, encouraged in part by a remarkable lineup of supporters and family friends that included Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, singer/activist Paul Robeson (Bibb’s godfather), and the legendary Bob Dylan.
And that’s not even including the members of his actual family. His father - 1960s folk singer and TV personality Leon Bibb, and his uncle - jazz pianist/composer John Lewis.
It’s no wonder the young Bibb’s immersion in music led to a career of his own.
When Bibb was 16, his father invited him to play in the house band for the senior Bibb’s television talent show series, Someone New. Bibb later spent some time in New York City studying at Columbia University and playing with an ensemble company, and then left for Paris before he hit the age of 20, where he performed in restaurants. Eventually, he found his way to Stockholm, Sweden, where he was signed to the Swedish branch of BMG as a writer in the early ‘80s.

Bibb has continued to be, as they say, “big in Europe,” probably largely due to the fact that the music he’s so deftly importing - the Delta blues - isn’t as regularly played by live performers there or in the UK as it is stateside. Bibb’s choice of residence would also play a pivotal role in his newest album.
While playing a show in London, Bibb met a fan who, little known to him at the time, would give him inspiration for an entire set of songs.
The fan - carrying a guitar case - approached Bibb after his show. Inside the case was the unexpected - a 1930s vintage Reso-Phonic National steel-body guitar that had belonged to Booker White, an older cousin of B.B. King’s and a respected Delta blues musician in his own right. White had disappeared into obscurity after being imprisoned in Memphis, but was discovered later during the ‘60s folk-blues revival.
“Holding the guitar that Booker White had played for so many years,” Bibb states in his press release, “seeing his actual handwriting on a set list that had been taped to the side of the guitar - I felt like this guitar finding its way to me was a signal I had journeyed far enough to be able to make an honest tribute to the music of my heroes.”
That tribute would begin as a singular song, and that song would turn into the aforementioned entire album.

Booker’s Guitar was released last year on Telarc International, and has been nominated for a 2011 Blues Music Award (Best Acoustic Album), while Bibb himself is nominated for Best Acoustic Artist.
“Booker White was someone who I listened to while I was growing up,” Bibb said - “I followed his career from his earliest recordings to the time when he was rediscovered and started touring - which is how my friend, Keith, eventually came into possession of his guitar.”
The title track was recorded in England using that very same guitar; the rest of the album, while still inspired by the same, was recorded back in America, in Ohio, on Bibb’s own lineup of instruments. Bibb explains that once he had written the title song, he wanted to make a “complete statement” and document his own connection to the Delta blues tradition, but in a contemporary context.
His only accompanist on the album is harpist Grant Dermody, and the only two songs not written by Bibb himself are the old folk hymn “Wayfaring Stranger” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” Bibb’s own compositions include “Turning Pages,” his bluesy ode to the pastime of reading; the sanguine “New Home”; and the armchair travels of the album’s closing track, “A-Z Blues,” which sings of the many places Bibb and his fellow blues musicians have traveled while working on their craft.
Bibb will be adding one more place to that list this month, of course - Traverse City, where he’ll be performing this Tuesday. Given his skills at adapting his life experiences into music, who knows - perhaps TC itself will find its way into a future Eric Bibb Delta blues song.

Eric Bibb will be performing at the InsideOut Gallery at 229 Garland Street in TC on Tuesday, January 25 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20; for tickets and additional info, telephone 231-929-3254.
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