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 · Features · Drew Hastings
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Drew Hastings

Rick Coates - April 18th, 2011
The Serious Side of Drew Hastings
By Rick Coates
Comedian Drew Hastings loves performing in the Midwest, especially in small towns, where he feels his humor connects. He hopes to prove that theory this week when he returns to the Traverse City Opera House for an encore performance Friday, April 22.
Born in Morocco, Hastings grew up in the Dayton, Ohio area. After high school he pursued odd jobs until the age of 31 when he decided to give acting and stand up comedy a try. He moved to Los Angeles and found himself in some development deals and television show pilots that didn’t go anywhere. But what did take off for him was stand up comedy.
Hastings quickly found himself being booked on several network talk shows including receiving a standing ovation on “The Tonight Show.”
He took his show on the road in the form of a one-man comedy act creating a fictitious Tony Robbins character known as “Jack Freeman of The Business of Living,” that quickly developed a cult following around Los Angeles.
Hastings’ character “Jack” caught the attention of the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom Radio Show, and his appearances were so well-received that he soon became a regular guest. In addition to his comedy touring, Hastings also often headlines on “The Bob and Tom Comedy All-stars Tour.”

Currently, Hastings pens a weekly newspaper column, “The Battles of Hastings.” He tired of life in Los Angeles and returned to his native Ohio, buying a farm in the southern town of Hillsboro where he is currently running for mayor.
“I have been doing standup for the past 20 years and much of my show is social commentary, with some hints of politics. The theme of my material over the past couple of years is that we have lost all common sense and that is not just one political party, it is all of them,” said Hastings. “As I looked around my small town of Hillsboro, Ohio similar in size to Traverse City, and very agriculturally-based, I started thinking about what life would be like for me when I am 80. Sure, I could rest on my career that has been successful, or I could add to the resume and give something back. And I decided on the latter.”
So why did Hastings specifically choose running for mayor and not a more high profile state or national office?
“I think that at the end of the day all politics is local. I feel I can make a difference here in my town. Over the past 20 years I have been touring towns all over the Midwest and one of the side benefits is you see what makes Midwest towns fail and what makes them succeed. Also, I have watched as many small towns have been lied to and cheated by corporations and government.”

Hastings is campaigning on helping his hometown “reinvent” itself.
“I have seen so many communities lose their identities and jobs,” said Hastings. “So what towns have to do like where I live is reinvent themselves. I see Traverse City as a perfect example of this in recent years. What I want to do is reinvent Hillsboro with ‘agritainment’ as our new direction with heritage tourism at the center. I think every town needs to brand itself and that is a focus of my campaign.
Certainly some in Hillsboro must have thought his campaign was a publicity stunt.
“Yes and that really pissed me off.” “When I first announced there was some suspicion that this was a PR stunt to enhance my career, said Hastings.” But when people saw me going door to door talking to everyone about ideas, that all changed. If anything my celebrity has been a great PR campaign for my town. All sorts of reporters from all sorts of major media have been here covering this and I am grateful because it is helping our economy.”
Hastings considers himself to be a conservative and made national news during the 2008 presidential vampaign.
“I was among the first celebrities to vocally come out against Obama and immediately the media jumped on that,” said Hastings. “So certainly my political views are opposite of the president’s.”

Hastings is in a three-way primary race with the winner facing the general election in November. He is considered to be the front runner and feels confident that he can be mayor and stand up comedian at the same time.
“I see myself working as mayor during the week, farmer at night time, and doing my stand up shows on the weekends,” said Hastings. “It should work out perfectly and I will have the time necessary to do all my jobs.
“I have no interest in taking it any further then mayor,” he adds. “I just spent 20 years living in LA and now I am adjusting to rural life and I like it. Plus, they have enough comedians at the state and national level.”
At 6’6’’ tall, clad in a tailored black suit and trademark black horn-rimmed glasses, comedian Drew Hastings will take the City Opera House stage Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets check out www.cityoperahouse.org or call the Opera House Ticket Office at 231-941-8082.
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