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 · Fox on a Hill
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Fox on a Hill

Kristi Kates - November 8th, 2010
Fox on a Hill: Celebrates Four Years
By Kristi Kates
Fox hunting takes a musical twist this week with an organization whose
‘targets’ are promising musicians.
Founded by Patrick Schaller, Susan Fawcett, and Clay Ebert, Fox on a
Hill Productions is becoming well-known for their promotion of
primarily Michigan-based musicians, artists, and filmmakers.
Four years in, and they’re still going strong - and celebrating their
fourth anniversary with their annual musical celebration. The event
also celebrates four years’ worth of helping bring a great range of
local talent to the public eye.
“We distribute local music to over 30 retailers in Michigan,” Patrick
Schaller says. “We have financed dozens of music albums, and have
executive-produced a full-feature documentary called ‘La Curacion.’
Clay and I purchased Susan’s equity last year, and we continue to run
the company with a small staff out of Petoskey, selecting musicians to
work with based on their presence in the Michigan music scene.”
So far, Fox on a Hill has primarily worked with musicians from
Earthwork Music, choosing artists for such events as the anniversary
show via, as Schaller puts it, “our existing relationships and their
amazing talent.”

For the anniversary show, set to take place on November 13th, Fox on a
Hill will be featuring Northern Michigan native and improv pianist
Biny Andrews, Kalamazoo roots-rock band Who Hit John?, Lansing duo
Gifts or Creatures (husband/wife folk musicians Brandon and Bethany
Foote), Americana/folk duo Jen Sygit and Sam Corbin, and Grand Haven
singer-songwriter Kali Rea.
Schaller says that Andrews will be a particular highlight of the evening.
“Biny will be launching his debut album, produced by Fox on a Hill, at
the event. We are very excited to do a project like Biny’s, outside
our traditional catalog of contemporary folk music.”
Another highlight of the showcase will be the introduction to the
public of yet another venture aimed at showcasing future Fox on a Hill
“I own both the restaurant/bar complex where the event will be taking
place (the empty commercial space formerly known as “220 Lake Street
Food and Spirits) and the attached Boyne City Theatre/Opera House, and
I am looking at potentially announcing the setting up of a non-profit
to fundraise the rejuvenation of the historic theater,” he says.
“It would be fantastic to renovate the theatre/opera house and hold
future Fox on a Hill performances, show films, and other entertainment
events. This theatre could really add a great vibe to the Boyne City
Sobo Arts District.”
Fox on a Hill’s Clay Ebert agrees that more support for local arts is
definitely needed.

“The state of indie music (here) is ripe with talent but drastically
underfunded,” Ebert says. “Thankfully, it’s improving with the advance
of technology. Tax credits for the music industry would also help the
indie labels improve the music scene in Michigan.”
Outside of Michigan, the term “indie music” isn’t limited to the
folk/roots scene that is prevalent in Northern Michigan - it’s
actually more focused on indie rock, pop, electronica, and more edgy,
experimental sounds. But Ebert points out that for Northern
Michiganders, that more acoustic sound is what independent music means
to this particular region.
“I think one reason that indie music in Northern Michigan is focused
on roots music more than any other genre is because it is very much a
part of Northern Michigan’s history,” he says. “Folk music seems to be
very connected to an energy that is about positive change and
environmental conscientiousness, which is something that new
generations of musicians are identifying with. We are currently
reviewing potential projects and events for Fox on a Hill this winter,
as Fox on a Hill best contributes to the local music scene by helping
artists get indie music into the hands of listeners who may not
otherwise have had the chance to experience it.”

Fox on a Hill’s 4th Anniversary Concert will take place on Saturday,
November 13 from 5 pm to 9 pm (doors open at 4:30 pm) at 220 South
Lake Street in Boyne City. Tickets and more info can be found at

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