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 · Rocky the Rhubarbary
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Rocky the Rhubarbary

Kristi Kates - May 23rd, 2011
Why leave home to see a concert when you can have one at your own place?  That’s the spirit of the Rhubarbary Guest Concert series in Harbor Springs.
“In 2006, we put a timber frame addition on our house, which was quite a project,” Harbor Springs musician Dale Scott says with a laugh, “when we got done - we wondered why we had done it.”
Plenty of regional and national folk and jazz musicians know why. Because that addition would become one of Northern Michigan’s most unusual and intimate concert venues.
“We decided it would be the perfect spot for house concerts,” Scott says.
Scott and his wife, Maureen Scott, are well known around the region as the Peacemeal String Band, so who better to host those very concerts in the Scotts’ own house - and a concert series was born.

The large timber frame addition features big windows and vista views of the Scotts’ gardens, as well as their resident chickens and a small flock of sheep. Not your typical venue, true - but the Scotts, with all of their musical experience, have taken a wide range of measures to make the facilities top-notch.
“We can hold as many as 60 people,” Scott says, “and the acoustics are very good. We’ve taken all the walls out of the inside of our house so we can see and hear the performers from just about anywhere. I think it’s a very pleasing and comfortable venue.
And so do the performers. Rhubarbary Guest Concerts run May through October (except for July - “we don’t have any in July, as there are too many other things going on,” Scott says), and have featured such local favorites as Claudia Schmidt and international traveling musician Jack Williams. And sticking with that home-grown feel, the concerts are casual affairs, with chickens clucking away outdoors and cheese and crackers being shared among new friends.
“We encourage people to bring beverages and things along to eat, so we have a little snack break in between sets,” Scott explains, “and in the summer, people can walk through the gardens.”

Speaking of gardens, Scott and his wife’s project does its part to benefit local charities, too, one of the most recent being for local organic gardening non-profit Farming For Our Future; when a special fundraising event isn’t being held, the door charges go to the musicians at a rate much higher than most venues would pay.
“We usually ask for a $12 donation per person for each show,” Scott says, “we keep about $50 for advertising, and the rest goes to the entertainers.”
It’s not really a money-making venture for the Scotts, he explains - “just a way to offer a pleasant venue for our friends and fellow musicians.”
The Scotts have installed a P.A. system for the musicians to use, as well, but he says that many people don’t even use it.
“Like I said, the acoustics are very good,” he enthuses, “Claudia (Schmidt) has played here three or four times, and her voice is so good she doesn’t need a sound system.”
Rhubarbary Farm’s concert room has such natural, organic acoustics that it can actually handle a wide range of musical sounds.  In addition to regular Schmidt, Scott says they’ve also had string bands, jazz musicians, and a duo of hammer dulcimer players, among others.
Upcoming shows will include vintage country musician Mary Sue Wilkinson along with Roger Brown; jazz/swing guitarist and folk singer Ray Kamalay (“he’ll be here later this summer or early in the fall,” Scott says); local guitarist Steve Little; and a return visit from Schmidt. More benefit shows are also in the works.
“In late August, we’re planning to start an annual fundraiser for the local food banks,” Scott says, “our band Peacemeal will be playing at that; we’ll try to get another local group or individual to donate their time, and then the funds will go to the food banks.”

Peacemeal fans will probably wonder how often they’ll get to see Peacemeal themselves perform at Rhubarbary Farm; but according to Scott, those performances are few and far between.
“We don’t really normally perform here ourselves,” he chuckles, “we try to get jobs elsewhere, and promote other people here.”
So just how taxing is it to have that many people showing up at your house on a semi-regular basis?
“We’ve learned to do this without it being a huge imposition on our lives,” Scott explains, “the first couple of times, it was like, ‘holy cow, what have we done,’ trying to make sure everything was perfect.  But the reality is, this is where we live, and people seem to enjoy visiting our house to enjoy an evening of music.”
“Being musicians ourselves, we know it’s really nice when you can go to a place where people are really listening to you,” he continues, “they’ve showed up to hear you, they aren’t babbling in the background, and you aren’t playing as background music. It’s a nice thing, and you walk away with some cash in your pocket, too. It’s really rewarding, knowing that we’ve been able to assist the local and traveling minstrels so that they can continue to do what they do.”

Mary Sue Wildkinson and Roger Brown perform June 5 at the Rhubarbary.   For more info on the series, visit www.peacemealstringband.com (see “Upcoming Events”), or  phone   231-537-7339. All shows take place at the Scotts’ Rhubarbary Farm in Harbor Springs.
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