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 · Soul Patch
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Soul Patch

Kristi Kates - June 13th, 2011
“Soul Patch has been a long and interesting journey,” begins Soul Patch singer Christopher “Wink” Winkelmann. The band, a Traverse City hometown favorite, began as a two-piece acoustic act made up of Winkelmann and Michael “Mando” Peck (on guitar and mandolin), and evolved into a two-piece with a whole lot of guest musicians sitting in.
“We are still in TC and probably always will be. This is our home and we love ‘Da Mitten!’” Winkelmann says.
By 2003, they’d added Christopher “CB” Belanger on bass; 2005 brought multi-instrumentalist Adam T. Sleder to the lineup along with Marc “Animal” Alderman on drums, and the official lineup of Soul Patch was “formed and complete on New Year’s Eve 2005,” Winkelmann confirms.
Soul Patch will lay down the grooves at the Northern Express Minifest this Thursday, June 16 from 7-9 p.m. at Lay Park (just south of the Union Street dam & bridge).  The public is encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to the family-friendly show, which is co-sponsored by the Traverse City Parks & Recreation Commission.
While Soul Patch’s sound seems like something that was carefully crafted to cover several genres, the eclectic mix, Winkelmann explains, evolved naturally following his own solo work, during which he performed both covers and originals. Working with his bandmates, he found that they had similar styles and approaches to crafting music, which just made Soul Patch’s evolution all the easier.
“We all have a love for all music,” he says, “with no one genre taking over our everyday lives. We are always listening, respecting, and gaining new musical bliss through the vast connections we all make as musicians.
“So, in writing new music one of the three songwriters brings a riff or a song to practice. We all give it a listen, and see if we can make it work with our many different styles. We’ll ‘put some Patch on it!’ - meaning we’ll all produce our own parts to the song - and put them together until it seems to work for our ears. That’s how we ‘settled’ on our sound.”

While they’re often referred to as a jam band or a party band, Winkelmann says that “if you love music, chances are you’ll like Soul Patch.” 
Their mix of styles can be heard within the range of just one song. And speaking of set lists - Soul Patch doesn’t believe in ‘em, so don’t expect to see the same show twice.
“I get asked a lot why we don’t make set lists,” Winkelmann says, “basically, I developed this philosophy years ago as a solo artist. I was in bands that would write set lists, and I was the front man, having to sing the list and see the crowd’s reactions to the songs and hear their requests. What I found was that the more I pay attention as an entertainer, reading the crowd the best I can from stage, it gives me the ability to keep the floor moving and the crowd interacting.”
“By not writing a set list, I can fulfill requests, interact with the audience more, and make them feel like they are involved in the show, not there to just hear my agenda for the evening. And for us as a band, it keeps every evening different and fresh. In the life of Soul Patch, you never know what is going to happen,” he says.

That approach extends to the life of their recording career, as well. A new CD from the band has been long-awaited and much-anticipated - but as Winkelmann explains, even the best made plans don’t always necessarily work out in time.
“In July of 2007, we put out a live CD which we recorded in the studio, live in one take, with little to no editing, and we gave it to our fans, as they requested,” Winkelmann says. “Over the past four years, many have asked us when we were going to have a new CD. Well, it was supposed to be late 2008, then early 2009, then 2010 - but it is actually being mastered as we are having this interview,” he chuckles.
The new 14-track, original album, titled S.P.i.N., is now set to be out in early to mid June.
“If it’s possible, we may leak one new tune off of the album to WNMC 90.7 FM once the album is mastered,” Winkelmann says, “but I make no promises when it comes to this album - it was supposed to be out three years ago.”

Soul Patch performs at the Northern Express Minifest this Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at Lay Park (just south of the Union Street dam & bridge).  The free show celebrates 20 years of Northern Express.  Bring a lawn chair. For more on the band, see http://www.facebook.com/soulpatchisneat


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