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 · Dick Siegel
. . . .

Dick Siegel

Kristi Kates - January 31st, 2011
Petoskey Welcomes Dick Siegel
By Kristi Kates
Michigan transplant Dick Siegel, born in New Jersey but now firmly a
part of the Detroit music scene, has become well-known over the years
for his quirky lyrics, singer-songwriter styling, and his unique
fusion of roots, folk, and jazz.
You may have heard him on NPR (he’s made stops most prominently on
segments All Things Considered and Mountain Stage), heard about his
latest album, Fighting for King George, or seen him perform live. And
now Northern Michiganders will have a chance to see Siegel live on
stage in Petoskey with his trio, the Brandos, performing at the
Crooked Tree Arts Center, Saturday, Feb. 5.

Given Siegel’s long career to date - he’s been in the music business
for over 25 years - one might assume he’d be slowing down by now. But
that’s not in the cards for this veteran performer.
“Lately, I’ve been working hard playing guitar, writing songs, finding
inspiration in the crazy and profound goings-on of life day to day,
and putting it to music,” Siegel says. “And I’m putting together a
live album culled from a year and a half of Dick Siegel and the
Brandos performances. We’re also spending time in the studio, playing
like we do on stage, honing our ability to bring the excitement of the
live show into the controlled studio environment. The studio album
will be all new material; the live album will be stocked with the best
of old and new from our shows.”
In addition to his own musical endeavors, Siegel says, he’s also
“wearing an educator’s hat,” with his visiting professorship at the
University of Michigan.
“I’m teaching a songwriting course,” he explains, “it’s called ‘The
Singing Out of Our Minds Songwriting Workshop.’ It’s very cool, and I
love doing it - shepherding the talents of some very talented people,
getting into songs work, how to make them better, and immersing
ourselves in the great roots songs that so much of contemporary
songwriting spring from.”
When asked what of today’s ‘contemporary songwriting’ Siegel, himself,
is inspired by, he actually steps back far more than looking toward
the future, referring mostly to the early music he’s been sharing with
his U of M class.
“The Carter Family, Stephen Foster, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Irving
Berlin,” he begins, “I’m inspired by Miles Davis’ hypnotically melodic
music. And I’m inspired by the music that emerges when I get together
to rehearse with my gifted trio-mates, guitarist Brian Delaney and
upright bassist Dave Roof.”
Locally, he’s a fan of May Erlewine, Seth Bernard, Micah Middaugh of
Breathe Owl Breath, Erin Zindle of The Ragbirds, and the Ann Arbor
band My Dear Disco - and he’s got plenty of fans of his own, given the
turnout at his live shows.
“Our shows have been a blast,” Siegel enthuses, “we have kind of a
jazz approach to my songs in that we’re always improvising, making new
discoveries. We push ourselves. It keeps the music exciting for us and
for our audiences, making that connection.”
For Siegel’s Petoskey show with the Brandos, he says he’ll be “singing
his heart out.”
“The trio will be shooting off musical sparks,” he promises,
“masterful upright bass, virtuoso guitar via Dave and Brian. We’ll
solve a few of life’s mysteries, give people something to laugh about,
and leave them with a song to sing themselves home with.”

Dick Siegel and the Brandos will be performing at the Crooked Tree
Arts Center in Petoskey at 8:00 p.m. on February 5, as presented by
the Blissfest Music Organization. For tickets and info, visit
www.blissfest.org or call 231-348-7047. For more info on Siegel and
his band, visit www.dicksiegel.com.

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