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 · The Lucas Paul Band
. . . .

The Lucas Paul Band

Kristi Kates - May 16th, 2011
The Lucas Paul Band: Michigan Made
By Kristi Kates
The Lucas Paul Band are Ann Arborites at heart, but often make Traverse City their temporary home away from home, at least on stage.
“We have and always will have plans to come up to Traverse City frequently because we get the best love up here of anywhere,” says the band’s namesake Lucas Paul, “hands down.”
The band is comprised of Pete Birchler on lead guitar, Bobby Streng on sax, Mark Damian on drums, Matt Henninger on bass, and Paul on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, 
In early 2006, Paul explains, he was a “lost soul” - freshly out of college, but with no job prospects and no band.
“I would frequent Goodnite Gracie’s in downtown Ann Arbor every Wednesday and Thursday to watch local blues prodigy Laith Al Saadi,” he explains, “and every night found myself staying until last call because his band was that good.”
After months of persistent begging to Gracie’s manager, Terry Martin, Paul got a shot to perform before one of Al Saadi’s shows.
“Eventually, Laith handed me a few gigs of his own that he couldn’t take,” Paul says, “so I put a band together. After getting our foot in the door, other nightclubs became interested in what we had to offer.”
Paul’s band quickly became a popular draw - as a cover band, playing other musicians’ songs. But, as he says, it soon became apparent that “something was missing.”
“I had done some songwriting slowly but surely over the years,” Paul says, “so I approached my guitar player, Pete (Birchler), about the tunes. He committed to the production aspect of the album, and I was in charge of songwriting.”
Recorded and mixed at Birchler’s own home in Detroit, that delegation resulted in the band’s first album, Hello Again, which was released in December of last year. Paul describes it as a “mash up of Paul Simon, The Beatles, Maroon 5, and maybe a touch of Stevie Wonder.” A quick listen confirms most of Paul’s take on his band’s sound, although perhaps more leaning toward the Maroon 5/Paul Simon side of things, with Paul’s vocals being most reminiscent of Aussie musician Ben Lee. It’s quite a pop sound for a musician who says his own skills were honed via one of country music’s best-known artists.
“I have to admit that I learned to play the guitar by playing along with Garth Brooks’ music back in grade school,” Paul chuckles, “but I am also hugely influenced by the Nirvanas and Pearl Jams of the world. In college I was on the Dave Matthews Band wagon, and as of late have been listening to anything from Mumford and Sons to bluegrass and folk.”

Currently promoting Hello Again with a small lineup of original shows - including a stop at TC’s Union Street Station - The Lucas Paul Band may venture out of state to play a few shows one of these days, but don’t count on that being any time soon. They’re perfectly happy in Michigan.
“Home base is and always will be Ann Arbor for us,” he says, “three out of the five of us went to school here and live here, and all of us have roots here. It is such a diverse, vibrant town with great food, entertainment, and art. We have not made a big push to tour - yet - as we are all very busy. It’s a tough thing to do, and I praise all musicians that go on the road to get their music out there; I’m hoping someday we’ll be able to do this.”
Now that they have the record finished, Paul continues, they need to actually do something with it, hence the live shows. While he jokingly fears what he calls the “train wreck” on stage - that familiar band-mistake phenomenon that happens occasionally during a live performance - Paul still looks forward to showcasing the band’s new music in front of the band’s fans, old and new.
“I think we’re all still in shock that it actually got done,” he laughs, “but nothing makes me happier on stage than when the crowd reacts with the same or greater energy than we are giving them through music.”

The Lucas Paul Band will be performing at Union Street Station in TC this weekend, May 20 and 21 at 10 p.m.. For more info on the band, visit www.lucaspaulband.com.
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