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 · Folk, Celtic and More at Manitou
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Folk, Celtic and More at Manitou

Ross Boissoneau - June 2nd, 2014  

The Manitou Music Festival might be one of the region’s best-kept secrets. Its musical smorgasbord brings together folk, blues, traditional favorites, and Celtic music all over Glen Arbor.

This year’s festival includes familiar fare like Trina Hamilton and Mulebone, local favorites the Northport Community Band and Billy Strings & Don Julin, and Irish bands Girsa and Full Set, among others.

“It’s kind of a casual thing,” said Jack Conners, who took over the festival last year. A veteran musical engineer and musician, Conners also is on staff at Interlochen Public Radio and Northwestern Michigan College.

“People can walk in knowing there’s going to be something [nearly] every Sunday and Wednesday,” he said. “It’s nice to have a $15 ticket, and 18 and under are free. It encourages people to bring their kids out.”

Conners says securing the artists depends on who is touring and available. He works with local promoter/agent Seamus Shinners to book the acts. If the talent is a good fit musically and financially, they book it.

“That’s where Seamus comes in,” Conners said. “He knows the performers and who’s touring. We have to find someone at a reasonable cost.”

The rootsy acoustic blues of Mulebone, which is Hugh Pool on guitar and vocals and John Ragusa on flutes, whistles, cornet, and vocals, always draws a crowd. The duo has been a mainstay of the festival for the past several years.

Pool says the audience’s appreciation of the group goes both ways.

“We’ve been treated really well,” he said. “There’s great energy. There have been no bad gigs.”

What started out as a single show several years ago has become a series of concerts across the region and across the state.

Pool gives credit to Shinners and the Manitou Music Festival.

“Two shows became three became five became nine. Now it’s two weeks, 12 shows in Michigan,” Pool said. “We just jumped on the Seamus bandwagon.”

Pool said he values the long-term relationship he’s had with the festival.

“It’s not that often you can go back year after year,” he said. “Manitou has become the end of our Michigan tour. Who wouldn’t want to go there?”


Northport Community Band 7pm July 3, the old school house, Glen Arbor (free)

The Moxie Strings and percussionist Fritz Mc- Girr, 7pm July 13, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Climb on M-109 (free)

Mulebone, 8pm July 20, Studio Stage at Lake Street Studio, Glen Arbor

Guitarist Ronald Radford, 7pm July 24, the Homestead Resort, Glen Arbor

The Wilenes, 8pm July 27, Studio Stage at Lake Street Studio, Glen Arbor

Full Set, 8pm July 30, Studio Stage at Lake Street Studio, Glen Arbor

Billy Strings & Don Julin, 8pm Aug. 3, Studio Stage at Lake Street Studio, Glen Arbor

Girsa, 8pm Aug. 6, Studio Stage at Lake Street Studio, Glen Arbor

Peter, Paul and Mary Remembered, 8pm Aug. 10, Studio Stage at Lake Street Studio, Glen Arbor

The Summer Singers, 7pm Aug. 12, Glen Lake Community Church (free)

Trina Hamlin & Annie Gallup, 8pm Aug. 13, The Leelanau School, Glen Arbor

For tickets, rain locations and additional details, visit glenarborart.org and click on “Manitou Music Festival.”


The Manitou Music Festival actually began under another name and a different genre altogether.

Music Around the Lakes was the brainchild of Crispin Campbell of Interlochen and the late Richard Luby of North Carolina. The two classical musicians started a chamber music series more than 20 years ago in various churches and town halls.

As it morphed over the years, it took on a new name and broadened its appeal.

From 2007 to 2013, Harry Fried helmed the series, now renamed the Manitou Music Festival, building on the tradition and incorporating new styles into the mix. He also oversaw improvements in the stage area behind Lake Street Studios, upgrades in sound and lighting, and a new stage monitoring system.

After Fried retired last year, Jack Conners took over. A veteran musical engineer and musician, Conners also is on staff at Interlochen Public Radio and Northwestern Michigan College.

Conners said the mix of genres, the carefree summer attitude of the audiences, and the relative affordability of the shows makes for a formula that “works.”

“The festival has developed a formula that works over the years,” he said.

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