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 · The ‘Return’ of THE BEATLES
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The ‘Return’ of THE BEATLES

Beatles fans don’t take their tribute bands lightly.

Kristi Kates - July 14th, 2014  

When any foursome takes the stage and starts playing as John, Paul, George and Ringo, one false note can ruin the magic. Fortunately, four guys from Georgia aren’t just playing around – they’re serious as Sunday about the sound, look and mannerisms of the Fab Four.


The Return – Michael Fulop (“George Harrison”), Shane Landers (“Paul McCartney”), Richard Stelling (“John Lennon”), and Adam Thurston (“Ringo Starr”) – has been playing Beatles’ music since 1995.

“When we first started, it was just for the fun of it,” said Fulop. “It took many, many years for this to evolve into what it has become today.”

When Fulop and his bandmates began making an effort to replicate The Beatles’ performances, they had no idea what they were in for.

“We didn’t realize just how difficult reproducing some of the finer details would be,” Fulop said. “We figured we already knew the songs – although mostly incorrectly – so we just needed to get some black suits, comb our hair down, and we’d be ready.

“Boy, were we wrong!”


Part of The Return’s appeal is their attention to detail. They’ve managed to outfit themselves both visually and musically in a way that captures much of The Beatles’ sound and image.

“Off stage, we don’t look like them at all,” Fulop said. “But I think the audience cuts us some slack – the look definitely matters, but they know we’re not The Beatles.”

Yet the polish they put on their act shows off both their fandom and musicianship.

They use exact replicas of the instruments that The Beatles used, and went back through their set list of Beatles songs with a fine-toothed comb, learning each part note for note.

They also spent countless hours practicing the signature movements and details of each Beatle, right down to Lennon’s habit of chewing gum onstage.


But even with all of that careful curating, it’s really the four Return bandmates, Fulop says, that incorporate John’s wit, Paul’s singular vocals, and Ringo’s quirky style.

“And as for myself as George, I’ve been playing music longer than the rest of the guys, so I’m able to help break down the songs and figure out some of the final details,” he said. “I think we have a great mix of guys in the group - as musicians, individuals, and friends.”


Songs like “Twist and Shout” and “Hey Jude” are The Return’s favorite songs to play live because of the crowd participation, Fulop said.

But even though those are probably easy tickets to ride as far as getting fans to love their sound, The Return remain their own toughest critics, often recording video of their shows so they can go back and review.

“It’s difficult to sound like someone you’re not – but it’s nice to see how much better we’ve gotten through the years,” Fulop said.

Though the care and attention the group gives to their act attracts multiple generations, Fulop said they sometimes worry a bit about their future longevity.

“In the back of our minds sometimes that fear pops up: Are people still going to be crazy about the Beatles in 10 years?” he said. “But all I have to do is listen to a Beatles record, and that reassures me that the answer is yes, yes they will.”

The Return will be in concert on Friday, July 18 at 8pm in Gaylord as part of Alpenfest. For more, visit thereturnonline.com. For a complete Alpenfest schedule, visit gaylordmichigan.net.

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