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 · The Mighty Microbrew and Music...
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The Mighty Microbrew and Music Fest Returns

Kristi Kates - February 3rd, 2014  

Sam Porter is a busy man. Not busy, as in “I’ll call you back later” busy. Sam Porter is busy, day and night, prepping for Porterhouse Productions’ sixth Microbrew & Music Festival in downtown Traverse City on Feb. 8.


Porter has a solid team that he works with, but it’s Porter’s house, the one-man idea factory which have launched several events to help revitalize the Traverse City concert scene.

Microbrew & Music is only the tip of this entertainment iceberg.

“When we did our first summer microbrew fest [in 2009], people loved it,” Porter said. “That’s why we started the winter one – from people saying, ‘That was great, you need to do something like that again, and soon!’” Porter chose a relatively slow weekend in TC for the winter version of the event, which is expected to bring 4,000 people downtown. Special after-parties at other local establishments will help connect festival attendees with the downtown district even later into the night, he said.

Porter also hosts the popular summer Microbrew & Music Festival in August, and says he’s in the middle of taking the concept to Lansing in April.


The February event is the one taking up the majority of Porter’s focus at the moment – with good reason. There are performers and bands to wrangle, more than 30 carefully selected breweries to organize, and food vendors to round up.

It all adds up to a logistical puzzle. For Porter, it’s all about finding those thoughtful, quality solutions.

“These fests are a pairing of all the senses,” he said. “It’s about that relationship between music and food and drink. It’s who we are as northern Michiganders. It’s about highlighting and celebrating these things.”

With everything hand picked, Porter says it’s also an opportunity to showcase “the new, the next, the greatness of the region,” much of which is reflected in his musical choices.

“I try to mix it up,” he said. “This year, we have a New Orleans horn line, there’s reggae, there’s ska, and we just added Frontier Ruckus. We’ve got plenty of standout local performers, and we’ll be presenting the entertainment on four stages, so there should be something for everybody.”

The main stage – a 2,000-capacity heated tent – will feature the bigger names on the bill, with Mustard Plug and Third Coast Kings serving as headliners. The second ‘Americana’ stage will include Frontier Ruckus, as well as additional appearances from Don Julin and Billy Strings.

A new solo and duets stage will showcase acts like local favorite Miriam Pico. And the Silent Disco tent – where attendees wear wireless headphones to dance to DJ-spun tunes – is back by popular demand.

The summer Microbrew and Music Fest will feature more buzz bands. The Lansing version is expected to crank things up a notch further, as Porter works to book artists on the level of second-stage Lollapalooza acts for his downstate festival debut.


But of course, music is only one half of the bill. The other half is that extensive roster of microbrews and food to go along with it.

The fest really kicks off on Friday night, as Porterhouse Productions hosts a special Brewers Dinner at Grand Traverse Resort with self-proclaimed ‘Beervangelist’ Fred Bueltman, who runs the New Holland Brewing Company. The dinner will feature 10 small plates paired with brew samples, plus live music in the Michigan Ballroom.

Bueltman is also going to be downtown on Saturday, suggesting specialized food and brew pairings to adventurous attendees.

“You’ll be able to find Fred, show him what beer you’re drinking, and he’ll send you along to match it up with some great food,” Porter said. “He’ll say, ‘Take that brew over there and get the truffle mac and cheese; you, take that one to the paella guy.’” The food is all part of the overall experience, Porter said.

“You walk in, get a custom glass, get your drinks, pick out some food,” he said, “and then just walk in circles, listening to all of this amazing music.”

Even the brews are handled in a more curated way, including the Hop-n-Brew Shack, at which brewers will be offering special samples of their craft beer, and meeting festivalgoers to discuss more about the brewing process and the differences between the beers themselves.

“Beer fests are changing,” he said. “We never want to be just ‘beer in a tent.’ We always want to find ways to connect the fans with the makers. We actually only allow breweries in that can have a representative available on-site, to tell you about the recipes, to explain the process. I think that’s really important.”


Also important to Porter and his team is the chance to give back to the community, even though some of Porter’s ideas have, at times, been too progressive for some of the locals, who have on occasion tried to scuttle his efforts.

What some might not realize is that each of Porter’s festivals help support hundreds of local artists, farmers, food providers, small businesses, and lodgings throughout the region. Each festival also directly supports a charity, with 100 percent of alcohol sales going to benefit the selected local nonprofit for each event. This year’s event supports Porter’s personal favorites, Bay Area Recycling for Charities. The fest additionally works to recycle and compost as much as possible.

“I’m very dedicated to BARC,” Porter said. “What they do is very important.”

What Porter’s doing is important, too, if in a different way. He’s helping musicians find new fans, he’s introducing craft brewers and chefs to new customers, and he’s also simply presenting an opportunity for people to have fun, himself included – although it’s not the kind of fun you might expect.

“The best part of these festivals for me is looking at all of the happy people,” Porter said. “That feedback is why I do what I do. Seeing their cups overflow with this experience – that’s the ultimate. “I’m so busy, I usually don’t even get a beer.”

The 2014 Microbrew and Music Festival in downtown Traverse City is scheduled for Feb. 8. You must be 21 to attend. For tickets and more info, visit microbrewandmusic.com.

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