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 · 2014 Lollapalooza Report
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2014 Lollapalooza Report

A Nothern Michigander checks in

Kristi Kates - August 11th, 2014  

It just wouldn’t be Lollapalooza without rain.

The massive festival that takes over Chicago’s Grant Park for one rockin’ weekend each August has an infamous history of soggy weather, which showed up both Friday and Sunday this year.

But in the end, you can’t put a damper on good music … and 2014 proved to be no exception.


Arriving at Grant Park a little later than expected (thanks, traffic), the first sounds we heard were the bouncy, jittery tunes of Bombay Bicycle Club, dressed down in Oxford shirts with Stratocasters cranked.

The rain made its first appearance here, too, but the crowd stayed put, a testament to the band’s catchy beats.

A walk across the park got us to the far south stage in time for Interpol and a dose of ‘80s goodness, as the band cranked through an energetic setlist of their old hits, plus enthusiastic previews of tracks like “All the Rage…” from their upcoming new album.

A bit of a run this time as we crossed the park again to check out buzz band Chvrches, with singer Lauren Mayberry garbed in all black. A quick scuffle of shifting people during Chvrches’ set revealed one of the male contestants from “The Bachelorette” in the crowd, although only a minority seemed to care. The rest were busy listening to Chvrches’ striking electro-pop.

Grabbing dinner at the excellent Chow Town food court, we returned to the south end for most of Lorde’s much-anticipated early evening set. The singer took the stark stage wearing simple black overalls and her trademark mass of wavy locks, and seemed amazed at the “heat” even though it was only around 72, cool by Lolla standards.

Lorde spent most of her set by herself, with a drummer and synth player triggering samples and backing vocals and holding down the rhythm behind her, but hits like “Royals” and “Team” kept the crowd riveted.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to move, as Arctic Monkeys were up next on the same stage. In front of a flashing sine wave logo, they played several tracks from their latest album, “AM,” and added in plenty of hits. Frontman Alex Turner soldiered on even when his guitar died in the middle of a song, and by the end of their set the entire audience was dancing in place, even those squashed against the barriers.

Across the park, Eminem was on the other main stage, but we Monkeys fans didn’t budge as night one ended.


Day two of Lolla technically started at 11:30am, but fans were slow to trickle in to the park, the aftereffects of a rockin’ Friday.

Buzz and ukulele player Vance Joy was one of the first ones on the stages, the crowd singing along to the indie-folkster’s singular hit, “Riptide.”

Drifting one stage over were Parquet Courts, who were for some unknown reason besieged by a pack of cardboard Bill Murray heads in the audience, from all different Bill Murray movies.

There’s likely an inside joke there somewhere.

Kate Nash showed up next across the way in a red cape, bizarre dress, and toppling platform shoes, and dragged several fans up on stage to dance with her as her new band charged forward with a more punky sound.

Grouplove was one of the few disappointments of the weekend. They’ve appeared at Lolla before, but showed little improvement.

Most of their tunes sounded the same as the next, all one-trick-pony. They did attempt a cover of The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” but it just kind of fell flat.

No matter. One of our most-anticipated bands at this year’s Lolla, Foster the People, were heading for the Samsung stage, and they definitely lived up to expectations.

Garbed in a leather jacket, frontman Mark Foster led his crew through uber-catchy FTP songs like “Helena Beat” and new offerings from their latest album, with extended arrangements on several songs just for fun.

Much of the crowd was singing along to every track, with a massive volume increase in singalongability when FTP played their biggest hit, “Pumped Up Kicks.”

The Samsung stage was also the place to be for tonight’s headliner of choice, Outkast. (Calvin Harris is across the park at the other headline stage for the EDM fans.)

This was a big reunion for Outkast fans, with Andre 3000 and Big Boi back onstage together, celebrating their 20th year as a rap duo.

That didn’t limit them, though – it never has.

During their set, Outkast also filtered in plenty of soul, funk, and hip-hop as tunes like “Ms. Jackson” and giant hit “Hey Ya!” They dumped bubbly melodies and heavy beats across the endlessly dancing crowd, which could be heard singing Outkast tunes all the way out the gates as day two ended.

“You’re all Lollapawinners!” Andre 3000 yelled.


Sunday is traditionally Lolla’s quietest day, as folks suddenly realize they’re actually going to have to go back to work tomorrow.

Spirits were sunk even lower this year by that expected rain, which started early, dumped heavily and steadily, and turned the festival grounds into a mud pit. People dealt with this by either covering up in garbage bags and rain ponchos, or by simply throwing giant globs of mud at each other. Another side effect was that lots of abandoned fashion gear could be seen all over the park in the forms of broken sunglasses, ruined shoes, and worn out umbrellas.

In spite of the newly formed swamp, the music, of course, continued.

We arrived later in the day today, and started with a quick listen to newbies London Grammar on the Lake Shore stage; this proved to be a good choice, as we then had time to grab some chicken tamales and a cold-pressed green juice at Chow Town.

We returned to that same stage for a standout performance by Irish troubadour Glen Hansard, who was competing with popular draw Chromeo across the park.

Some of the stages unfortunately suffered from what we called “Storm Syndrome,” no matter who was performing. Trekking from one end of the park to the other suddenly became pretty unappealing thanks to the weather, so we (and plenty of others) tended to stick to one side.

This worked great on our account, as the acts we wanted to see were conveniently lined up on the north end stages anyway. The Avett Brothers and Young the Giant both put on solidly entertaining shows while we waited for Sunday headliner Kings of Leon to start at 8:15pm.

Opening with the ironic choice of “Supersoaker,” Kings of Leon caused the mud to churn as their fans jumped up and down, creating blobby islands in the middle of the muck.

They played their hit “The Bucket” early in the set, saving “Crawl,” “On Fire,” and a left-field Robyn cover for the end, when their solid modern rock really served as an anchor for a massive field of swamped, tired fans.

Once 10pm hit and the Kings wrapped up, no one was interested in sticking around in the mire, so the night ended fairly quickly. As 100,000 fans left Grant Park, the trails of mud led all the out way to Michigan Avenue, marking the path to Lolla’s return next year. We’ll be there.

To keep updated on all things Lolla, including announcements and info on next year’s fest, visit lollapalooza.com.

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