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 · Minifest concert series
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Minifest concert series

- May 31st, 2011
MiniFest Concert Series : Free shows will celebrate 20 years of Northern Express

The Northern Express MiniFest will present some of the best of local music over the course of four Thursday evenings in June in a free concert series to be held at Lay Park in Traverse City’s Old Town.
“We’re inviting everyone to come down and to hear some great music in the park and celebrate the 20th anniversary of Northern Express Weekly,” said George Foster, co-publisher of the free newsweekly. Co-sponsoring the series is the Traverse City Parks & Recreation Commission.
The acoustic-oriented concerts will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Thursdays June 9-30 in Lay Park on Union Street (the tiny park just south of the Union Street dam).     The lineup includes Sour Mash (June 9), Soul Patch (June 16), Miriam Pico and David Chown (June 23) and the Fresh Fossils (June 30).  Warming up the shows will be the Acoustic Dynamite duo and special guests.
Of note, the public is encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets, as no seating will be provided.  Bring a picnic!  The stage will be oriented toward the river to avoid disturbing local neighborhoods.
This week Northern Express Weekly celebrates its 20th anniversary in a special edition of the paper to hit stands on May 30. The MiniFest will offer readers a chance to meet some of the staff and enjoy the sounds of bands featured in the paper.
Following is a rundown on who’s performing:

June 9 - Sour Mash: This old-time string band offers a foot-stompin’, high-fivin’, shucks & grins take on bluegrass, cowboy tunes, revamped contemporary songs and originals.  
Comprised of band leader Bill Dungjen on guitar/vocals (and many funny comments), Dick Costlow on guitar/vocals, Jonah Powell on fiddle, Mike Dorman on bass, Harry Dorman on banjo and Sandy Blumenfeld on slide guitar, Sour Mash is the house band at the Round Up open mic and radio show held each Thursday at the Hayloft on M-72, west of Traverse City.  Members of the band have been performing in one incarnation or another for the past 15 years, always hewing to the sounds of authentic Americana.

June 16 - Soul Patch:  With its current line-up formed in 2006, Soul Patch is as versatile as its members: Wink, Mando, Adam T, CB and Marc. Holding “a masters in groove,” the band cooks up everything from world beat to jazz, reggae, bluegrass, funk, surf, rockabilly, ska, blues and straight up rock n’ roll. 
“We never write a set list but are always prepared to feel our audience and bring them something they can move to,” says bandleader Christopher “Wink” Winkelmann. “Our shows are constantly taking on a new form that is inspired on the spot by the borderless space between the band and the listeners. We play songs with purpose but are not afraid to improvise.”
In short, expect “a sweet ride of organic grooves for your mind and feet.”

June 23 - Miriam Pico & David Chown:  Voted “Best Solo Performer” by readers of Northern Express in a survey earlier this year, Miriam Pico brings exceptional singing and songwriting skills to the stage, backed by pianist David Chown, a well-known veteran of local stages and a master of jazz and pop.
Miriam has recorded three albums over the course of the past six years, including her  2009 album with David, “S’bout Time.” A huge hit with audiences, the two have performed throughout the region, most recently as mainstays at Phil’s on Front.

June 30 - The Fresh Fossils: “Regulars” at Lil Bo Pub and Grille over the past two years, this dance-friendly band performs a mix of originals and covers, including updated sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s by The Band, Neil Young, The Beatles, and the Yardbirds, to name a few.
“We’ve grown to a six-piece band with the recent addition of trumpeter/vocalist Michael Nunn,” says drummer Doug Moser, “so our local fan base has increased since most of our fans are our friends!”  
Moser is one of the core members of the band along with bassist Dave Wells and guitarist/vocalist/ songwriter Nick Talantis (who formed the rock/folk trio Where’s Norman 10 years ago).  The Fossils are rounded out by lead guitarist Dave Poinsett and Roko Jans on vocals/keyboards.  Sound man Jan Waling is an integral part of the band. “If you like what you’re hearing, it’s all because of Jan,” quips Moser.
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