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..

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Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson to Return to Interlochen

Ross Boissoneau - April 14th, 2014  

Interlochen is welcoming old friends and new back this summer for its annual summer arts festival, which will feature Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, and Bonnie Raitt.

Another favorite is preeminent banjo player Bela Fleck. Fleck has performed with a wide range of musicians, from contemporary bluegrass pioneers New Grass Revival to jazz pianist Chick Corea. He’s touring with Corea through the end of this month before heading out on dates with fellow banjoist Abigail Washburn.

That restless musical spirit has served him well, he said.

“I thought it was the musician’s job to always search for new sounds and opportunities for growth,” he said. “I grew up musically in the 1960’s when all my favorite musicians seemed to constantly be expanding.”

Fleck has appeared at Interlochen previously with such peers as bassist Edgar Meyer as well as his group the Flecktones. The latter is currently on hiatus, and this time around he’ll be paired with Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet who played on his latest album, “The Impostor.”

“We have vague plans to reconvene in the next couple of years,” he said about the Flecktones, which includes bassist Victor Wooten and percussionist Future Man. Most recently the fourth spot was filled by original member Howard Levy on keyboards and harmonica.

“Everyone is busy with their own music right now,” he said, “but we should be able to saddle up together for another big ride before too long.”

Fleck said that Brooklyn Rider is one of the most interesting string quartets on the scene today.

“I love this group, and we’ve developed a very sweet show together,” he said. “It’s a combination of pieces I’ve written to play with the group, some arrangements of my own older material from New Grass Revival and Flecktones, and their music, some of which I have learned as well.”

Another familiar face coming back to Interlochen is actually a quartet of familiar faces. The Enso String Quartet will once again serve as artists-in-residence in August, a role they’ve filled for the better part of a decade.

Cellist Richard Belcher says the group enjoys the opportunity to work with the string enthusiasts at the Adult Chamber Music Camp.

“The campers – I guess you can call them campers – have the best attitude,” he said. “It’s just wonderful. They love the music and the other participants. They just want to make music.”

As do Belcher and his colleagues, violinists Maureen Nelson and John Marcus and viola player Melissa Reardon. The group came together at Yale University in 1999 and has since performed across the globe, earning accolades and awards, including top prizes at the Concert Artists Guild competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Belcher says the group, which will perform three shows at Interlochen, remains committed to the string quartet repertoire. That includes not only favorites by the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak and Mozart, but newer music by the likes of Dame Gillian Whitehead from Belcher’s homeland of New Zealand and American composer Kurt Stallmann.

“Some of our programs are pretty conservative, and others are more experimental,” he said.

Growing up, Belcher was greatly influenced by the performers he saw onstage.

“Back home in New Zealand, I remember thinking how cool it would be to be on that stage,” he said. “I did it a couple years ago, and it was a real marker point for me.”

In addition to working with the campers, Enso String Quartet will perform concerts on Aug. 11, 13 and 16.

In all, more than 30 guest artists will perform at Interlochen, along with countless concerts by campers and instructors throughout the summer.


• Sheryl Crow with special guest Mandy Alexander June 13

• Gordon Lightfoot June 18

• Lynyrd Skynyrd June 19

• Betty Who June 23

• US Air Force Band – Airmen of Note June 25 (Interlochen Bowl – free)

• Rioult Dance June 26

• Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” June 26-28 & July 2, 3 & 5

• Tigran Hamasyan June 27

• World Youth Symphony Orchestra June 29

• Bonnie Raitt with special guest Paul Cebar June 30

• Bela Fleck & Brooklyn Rider July 1

• The Capitol Steps July 5

• Alessio Bax, World Youth Symphony Orchestra July 6

• Interlochen “Collage” July 8

• Nickel Creek July 10

• Darius Rucker July 11

• Jackson Browne July 12

• Michael Cooper: Masked Marvels & Wondertales July 13

• Joshua Bell, World Youth Symphony Orchestra July 13

• Broadway’s Next H!t Musical July 14

• Willie Nelson & Family and Alison Krauss & Union Station with Jason Isbell July 17

• Cavani String Quartet July 19

• Five for Fighting July 19

• John Axelrod, World Youth Symphony Orchestra July 20

• Ray Lamontagne with the Belle Brigade and Jenny Lewis July 22

• Gary Allan July 25

• Ani Kavafian, World Youth Symphony Orchestra July 27

• “Les Miserables” Interlochen High School Musical Theatre Co. July 31–Aug. 3

• Buddy Guy with Robert Randolph and the Family Band Aug. 5

• Enso String Quartet Aug. 11, 13 & 16 • Steely Dan Aug. 20

Tickets for the Interlochen Summer Concert Series go on sale at 9am on Fri., April 18. Get tickets online at tickets.interlochen.org. Interlochen Summer Arts Festival 2014 On Sale: 9 a.m. Fri., April 18 Tickets: Kresge Auditorium shows range from $25.50 to $43.50 for most bronze seats, $40.50-$55.50 for most gold seats; Corson Auditorium tickets typically range from $20.50 to $30.50. Call: Interlochen box office at 800-681-5920 More info: tickets.interlochen.org

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