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 · From Rocker to Doctor
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From Rocker to Doctor

Queen guitarist Brian May visits TC

Rick Coates - June 3rd, 2013  

Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May is coming to Traverse City this weekend. Unfortunately he will be leaving his guitars behind.

“I will be in town to speak at the National Stereoscopic Association (3-D photography),” said May. “It has been a passion of mine for years.”

May, who is now known as Dr. Brian May after obtaining his Ph.D in Astrophysics in 2006, will speak about his new book he coauthored “Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell.” May also coauthored “Bang! The Complete History of the Universe.”

“Before I started Queen I had planned to get my Ph.D in astrophysics, but I was a little busy,” said May. “I have always had a curiosity about the universe and space.”


May grew up in England and would form Queen with Freddie Mercury, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon. The band would go on to sell 300 million albums worldwide, becoming one of the top-grossing stadium acts of the ‘80s and members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. May is considered one of the greatest guitarists in rock and roll history with the readers of Guitar World Magazine voting him the second best during a readers poll last year.

When Freddie Mercury died in 1991 May pursued various solo projects and reformed Queen for a few years with Taylor and Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers.

“It was tough on us when Freddie died, we were all close,” said May. “I think one of the reasons we were successful was because we were close. Plus we all contributed to the songwriting process.”

May isn’t sure if he, Taylor and Rodgers will tour again.

“I have been very busy focused on other interests. Writing books, and for the past five years I served as the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.”

He also has been busy as an animal rights activist and most recently being vocally opposed to the British government’s proposal to kill off 100,000 badgers.


May has been a regular at the National Stereoscopic Association 3D-Con as both an attendee and speaker.

“We all know he is a major rock star, but to us he is Dr. May an astrophysicist and 3D photography enthusiast,” said John Bueche convention organizer. “I know this sounds crazy, but we ask Dr. May to check his guitar at the door. He is so down to earth and humble.”

The National Stereoscopic Association 3D- Con takes place this week at the Grand Traverse Resort. It will attract more than 1,000 3D enthusiasts and experts from around the world. May will give his presentation on Saturday night, and while the conference is for association members, there will be an opportunity for the general public to participate.

“On Sunday June 9 we are going to open up the trade show, 3D viewing room and art gallery to the general public,” said Bueche. “It is a great opportunity to learn about and experience this fascinating art form.”

Of course the next question is, will Brian May be accessible to the general public?

“Maybe,” said Bueche. “He is very approachable, but I don’t know his Sunday schedule. But the organization he is affiliated with, the London Stereoscopic Company, will have a booth at the trade show.”

Bueche pointed out there will be a lot of interesting people at the conference.

“There are so many experts coming in,” said Beuche. “Typically you need glasses or a viewer but we have a gentleman coming who teaches people to see in 3D without using a viewer.”

As for May, despite his other interests he still is keeping music in the mix. When time allows, May still writes songs.

“I am one of those writers who can’t sit down and force myself to write and compose music,” said May. “I am more of writer and composer when the spirit moves me.”

May always chuckles when people ask him what his favorite Queen song is or the one he likes to play the most.

“I don’t have one favorite; we were fortunate to have a lot of hits,” said May. “My favorite riff to play is from “Tie Your Mother Down,” it always gets people up and moving. I always loved playing ‘We Will Rock You,’ live as well.”

May will turn 66 this summer and has no plans to slow down or retire.

“I am not one of those people who can retire and sit on the beach all day,” said May. “There is a lot I still want to do and feel very fortunate to have multiple careers.”

To learn more about Dr. Brian May, the National Stereoscopic Society and the 3D-Con at the Grand Traverse Resort check out 3d-con. com. The convention will be open to the public on Sunday June 9 at no charge to visit the trade show, art gallery and the 3D viewing room. Brian May’s organization the London Stereoscopic Company will have a booth at the trade show and May is expected to sign copies of his books.

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