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 · Echos of Pink Floyd
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Echos of Pink Floyd

Rick Coates - May 23rd, 2011
Take a quick glance at the concert scene in Northern Michigan and it seems
like half the shows are tribute bands. But it is not just here, the
tribute band craze is literally all over the world.
That’s in part because the legendary rock bands are either rarely touring
or not touring at all and partly because of the economy. Tribute bands
typically are $20 to $25 a ticket versus $75 to $150 or more for the real
Next up on the tribute band itinerary for Northern Michigan is  Echoes of
Pink Floyd, considered to be  North America’s premiere Pink Floyd Tribute.
They will bring their “Las Vegas-like Experience” to the City Opera House
in TC this weekend, May 27 and 28. Friday night’s show, titled the “The
Dark Side Of Oz will feature a performance of the “Dark Side of the Moon”
album.  Saturday night will feature “The Wall” album. Both nights will
have the full light and laser show along with deep cuts from the Pink
Floyd catalogue.

With all the Pink Floyd tribute bands out there what sets Echoes of Pink
Floyd apart from the others?
“I think there are several things that set us apart from other Floyd
tribute bands. We are probably the most authentic band out there right
down to the equipment we use. We have been studying Pink Floyd for years,”
said Tom Bellar who handles the Roger Waters bass parts.  “Also a lot of
tribute bands focus one one aspect of Floyd and usually stick to ‘Dark
Side Of The Moon’ or ‘The Wall’ but we go beyond that and play deeper cuts
as well. In fact we know the whole Pink Floyd catalogue, every single
Bellar and his band mates are also pleased that they go the extra mile to
be as authentic as possible.
“Sound effects are a big part of Pink Floyd’s music and we have that down
as well; most bands don’t have that. We have recorded every sound effect
they use, ourselves,” said Bellar. “We really have focused on the small
details. A lot of bands can play Pink Floyd’s music, but we actually sound
like them. We have the female back-up singers, video show, laser and light
Echoes of Pink Floyd formed in 2003; they get glowing reviews from the
critics and fans.
“I had the good fortune of seeing the original Wall tour plus some Pink
Floyd shows in the ’60s,” said Roger Pierson of Ypsilanti. “Echoes of Pink
Floyd is awesome, I am telling you if you close your eyes when they are
performing you will think you are hearing the real Pink Floyd.”
Bellar says they hear that sort of thing all the time.
“I have even put my friends up to the Pepsi Challenge and played our
recordings versus the Pink Floyd recording of the same song and most of
the time my friends can’t tell the difference,” said Bellar.  “So we are
proud of that.”

All members of the band have been musicians since high school and big fans
of Pink Floyd. While they do their best to sound like Pink Floyd, they
have a different philosophy than other tribute bands. 
“Our philosophy is we are paying tribute here, we just don’t want to go
through the motions -- we want to do their music justice,” said Bellar. “A
lot of bands out there sound like Pink Floyd but we take it a step
further. For example, when we come in this weekend to the City Opera House
a 700-seat venue we are coming with the production and lasers that are
used for stadium shows. Pink Floyd was a band that pushed the envelope
with production, with lighting and the live concert and we attempt to do
the same.”
Another thing the band is proud of is their Michigan connection.
“We are an all-Michigan company from the musicians to everyone that
handles our production,” said Bellar. 
The band rehearse a couple of times a month for six hours at their studio
south of Lansing.  They would perform and rehearse more but their day jobs
get in the way.
“We have an IRS agent, lawyer, CPA, computer network guy so we have a band
made up of people from all walks of life,” said Bellar. “The cool thing
and the reason we don’t need to rehearse more then we do is because we
know every song, I mean every song and the one thing is the Pink Floyd
catalogue isn’t going to get any new songs added to it.”

Tickets are available online at www.cityoperahouse.org or to receive a
special two-night ticket at a discounted rate, call the box office at
231-941-8082. Check out videos of past performances at

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