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 · Sheryl Crow: The Story Behind Her...
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Sheryl Crow: The Story Behind Her Music

Kristi Kates - June 2nd, 2014  

She’s a nine-time Grammy Award winner, and will be a three-time Interlochen performer later this month. Sheryl Crow’s new album “Feels Like Home” leans more toward country than pop this time around, a stylistic shift for the singer-songwriter.

In addition to Northern Express’s minireviews of each song, comments written by Crow and released to the media give her Northern Michigan fans an inside look to “Feels Like Home.”


Sheryl says I love old country, like Johnny Cash and June Carter, but at the same time, I also loved that 70s country, too – that almost easy-listening pop country like Glen Campbell’s records, especially his work with Jimmy Webb.

To me, this song has some of that magic.

Northern Express’s take Once out of high school, most of us look back five or 10 years later and wonder whatever happened to the ‘popular kids.’ Crow’s no exception with this tune lamenting lost youth. But she’s got a way of turning bitter regret into thoughtful observation.


Sheryl says I had just sung at the Kennedy Center Honors to pay tribute to Merle Haggard, and this song expresses having the honor of being around Merle. To me, he is emblematic about what’s deeply cool in country music. He reminded me that there was a time when crazy wasn’t marketable, when being an outlaw wasn’t a brand. This song is an observation about groundbreakers like Merle and how crazy eventually becomes normal.

Northern Express’s take Crow’s lyrical observations here are witty and topical, and might even be too deep of thought were it not for the super-catchy country melody that solidifies the track’s foundation. “The world was going half-crazy anyway/anything you can think of, it’s all been done before,” she sings, in a swaying homage to old-school country’s sturdiness in a reality-show world.

“EASY” Sheryl says I think of this as my sister song – and not a rich sister song – to all of those tracks about people running off to the Caribbean or Mexico. I kept thinking about all the people who couldn’t afford to live out their beach dream, or even drive to a park because driving was so expensive. So I thought, I’m going to write a ‘staycation’ song.

Northern Express’s take Slow down Crow’s “Soak up the Sun,” add a bit more sentimentality, and you’ve got “Easy,” a catchy song you’ll likely hear blasting from plenty of backyards this summer.

Crow sticks to her mid-range on the vocals, sounding so chill about this whole staycation thing that she almost makes you believe she wouldn’t jet away on vacation, even though we’re pretty sure she can afford it.


Sheryl says Right from the start, I wanted to make an album that had some classic country songs, the kind that helped shape my own understanding about what a song could do growing up. I think starting with a song like this informed the rest of the record. Whenever we play it, women keep tearing up every time – and I am one of them.

Northern Express’s take Crow co-wrote this one with Brad Paisley, his rural influence perfectly offsetting its thick production and polished-sorrow feel. Her vocals make quite clear that it’s a personal song for her, each line loaded with emotion and internal turmoil. And the lyrics are pure country.

In fact, you could easily imagine either Tammy Wynette or Loretta Lynn singing, “Thank God they make waterproof mascara /’cause it won’t run like his daddy did…”


Sheryl says I was thinking about that moment when you walk out the front door and start yelling ‘I got shotgun!’ My dad always said, ‘Drive it like it’s stolen, and park it like it’s rented.’ And I thought, that’s how you have to live life. So I’ve always wanted to write a song with that idea in it.

Northern Express’s take Confident and spirited, “Shotgun” fits right in with today’s radio-country, and would be playlist-perfect next to similar girl-power tunes by Miranda Lambert’s “Pistol Annies.” It also recollects one of Crow’s own older songs, “Steve McQueen,” which rolled with the fast car theme, too. Both have a sprinkle of honky-tonk that adds to their bravado.

Sheryl Crow will be in concert at Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium at 8pm on Fri., June 13, with country singer and Traverse City native Mandy Alexander opening. For tickets and more, visit interlochen.org.

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