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..

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4Play: Ron Sexsmith, Adele, The Jayhawks, Duffy

Kristi Kates - February 28th, 2011
Ron Sexsmith - Long Player, Late Bloomer - Thirty Tigers
Long underrated and often (unfortunately) unnoticed by U.S. audiences,
Canadian singer-songwriter Sexsmith nonetheless counts among his fans
everyone from Coldplay’s Chris Martin to Elvis Costello. Opening track
“Get in Line” is actually instantly reminiscent of Elvis Costello, right
down to the bobs and warbles at the end of the verse lines; other
highlights include “No Help at All” (on which he sounds a little like
Bruce Hornsby) and “Everytime I Follow,” with its off-beat acoustic and
heavier rhythms. This album full of quiet, stealthy hits closes with
“Nowadays,” prettily plucked on guitar and seasoned faintly with pedal
steel in the background.

Adele - 21 - Columbia
Neo-soul singer Adele is remarkable to listen to, combining as she does
her smoky, retro vocal sound with a very downtown-London-of-today
sensibility. “I’ll Be Waiting,” “He Won’t Go,” (surprisingly produced by
Red Hot Chili Peppers cohort Rick Rubin) and first on-the-edge single
“Rolling in the Deep” all showcase Adele’s voice, capable of large-scale
drama but always held in check by the singer’s own streetwise decorum. The
quietly-executed “Turning Tables” offers thoughtfulness, while “Don’t You
Remember,” by contrast, is more demanding in its requests for you to
listen; the balance of songs on the set is well-done, as is Adele’s own

The Jayhawks - Tomorrow the Green Grass (Legacy Edition) - Sony
Compiled by the band’s Mark Olsen and Gary Louris, this classic modern
folk album from their heyday is now back, remastered and bringing with it
a plethora of bonus tracks and collector-friendly audio surprises. Disc
one features the terrific original album itself, plus five bonus B-sides
and previously unreleased songs, while Disc two - dubbed “The Mystery
Demos” - showcases almost two dozen tracks recorded by Olsen and Louris
back in 1992. For those new to the band, you’ll want to start with the
most readily-accessible of their tracks - the uber-catchy “Blue” - and
then move on from there; for current fans, you’ll love this secondary
version of a favorite set.

Duffy - Endlessly - Mercury
Collaborating with songwriter Albert Hammond Sr. (The Hollies, Celine Dion
- and yes, he’s the father of Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.) Duffy
focused on more radio-friendly, sharp pop songs here than on her previous
effort. Not all of her fans were happy with this approach, as it veers
fairly far away from her sound on her hit debut set, Rockferry, but
they’re judging a little too harshly, as Duffy’s voice is still just as
strong and her compositions just as soulfully quirky as ever, especially
on tunes like “Well Well Well” and “Too Hurt to Dance.” Rumor has it that
Duffy is thinking of giving up on her music due to slow album sales -
let’s hope the talented singer doesn’t do so, since one uneven album does
not a career break.

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