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 · Dates · Fauxgrass aims to bend bluegrass
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Fauxgrass aims to bend bluegrass

Robert Downes - November 19th, 2012

Local bluegrass and string-band lovers will have a chance to hear Northern Michigan's new Fauxgrass band this Friday, Nov. 23 when they perform at the InsideOut Gallery in TC.

The band has local roots, says bassist Tim McKay, who is also the owner  of Fernand Footwear in Benzonia, maker of handmade custom shoes.

"We're a Michigan-based band with members in Benzie, TC, and Grand Rapids," McKay says.  Other members include Adam Balcer on guitar, Joey Schultz on banjo and Jason Wheeler on mandolin, with all contributing to the vocals.

The band played the Nauti-Cat a couple of times this summer and had an opening slot at Kilkenny's in TC for Soul Patch, but has yet to establish itself in the region, "though we have been selling out shows in Grand Rapids, and other points south," McKay notes.

"While we play mostly in the bluegrass style and instrumentation, we take a highly improvisational approach combined with tight arrangements, but don't really consider ourselves a bluegrass band. We do delve to the traditional music to make it our own, but reach into a variety of styles and genres for our covers, and our original music.

"We're a very busy band, and actively touring throughout the Mitten, and beyond," McKay adds. "So far we've over a dozen states under our belt, and our next trip in January-February will take us back toward Colorado and points westward."

Tix for Friday's show at 9 pm are $6 each, or two for $10.

Following are other events of note.  For the full listing, check out the Hot Dates section at www.northernexpress.com

Wednesday 11/21
- 80th Birthday Party: Celebrate Little Bohemia's 80th year in business, in TC, with a 1930s Best Dressed contest and music by The Accidentals, Zak Watson, Billy Strings & Ron Getz Trio, 3pm-12am. Free appetizers. 

Thursday 11/22
- 5K Turkey Vulture Trot: Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, 9am. Registration, $25, from 8-8:30am. Pre-registration, $20.
- Turkey Leg 5K Run/Walk: Zorn Park, Harbor Springs, 9am. Register at The Outfitter or day-of, 8:30-8:45am. $10 donation per runner. Supports Harbor Springs Community Food Pantry.
- CAH Thankgiving Turkey Trot: 5K run/walk at Charlevoix Area Hospital, 8:30am. $10 per person or $25 per family. Price increase of $5 day of event. Please bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to local food pantry.
 - UpNorth Media Turkey Trot: Featuring a 5K and five-mile distance, starting and ending at Thirlby Field, TC. Registration and packet pick-up on Wed., with entertainment, 5-7pm.

Friday 11/23
 - Holiday Open House & Tree Lighting: Three Pines Studio, Cross Village, 11am-7pm. Local fiddlers and visit from Mr. & Mrs. Claus at lighting, 5:30pm.
 - Grande Vision Art Show: Group exhibition of artists of the Grande Ballroom Era, including Leni Sinclair, Carl Lundgren and Gary Crimshaw at InsideOut Gallery, TC, 3-10pm on Friday; noon-10pm on Saturday. Eats, drinks specials and special guest appearances.
 - Holiday Open House & Parade: Boyne City, 6-9pm, featuring Santa Claus, shopping, refreshments, parade and more.
Leland PJ Party & Sale: Store deals in downtown Leland, 8-10am.
 - Brew Anniversary Party: Celebrate the downtown TC pub/coffee shop's first year from 8-11pm. Live music by True Falsettos. No cover.
 - Downtown Cadillac Storybook Christmas: Carols, Mrs. Claus storybook reading and live music in the city park, starting at 5:30pm. Santa arrives, 6:15pm, tree lighting, 6:30pm. Saturday events include Toy Town Toy Trot, 1k & 5k run at 10am (to benefit Toys for Tots), Santa arrival at 11am and Small Business Saturday with door prizes, specials, entertainment and more.  

Saturday 11/24
 - Harbor Springs Christmas Tree Lighting: Music, shopping and Christmas entertainment, starting at 5:30pm.
 - 3rd Annual Manna Rail Jam: Bring $5 or five canned goods to the 'shred' event at Nubs Nob Terrain Park, Harbor Springs, 11am-4pm.
 - M-23 Strings CD Release Party: New bluegrass band at Sleeping Bear Inn, Frankfort, 7:30-10pm. $10 entry.
 - Stafford's Holiday Parade: Downtown Petoskey starts at 10am. "It's a Doggone Holiday" theme with horses, floats, reindeer and local business and organization pets, traveling down Mitchell Street, ending at Stafford's Perry Hotel. Includes Santa's workshop in the veranda. Donations of new, unwrapped toys to Toys For Tots along the parade route.

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