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 · Features · 200-plus Brews; Brandi Carlile...
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200-plus Brews; Brandi Carlile at Microbrew Fest

A simple idea – pairing local microbrews with live music – has exploded into something spectacular in Traverse City.

Kristi Kates - August 18th, 2014  

Bigger than ever, the fifth annual Traverse City Microbrew and Music Fest has a 200-beer menu, hotter bands, enormous tents, and a full-on light show to cap it all off.

“These things are what move me,” said organizer Sam Porter. “We love this event, and it brings so much good to the community.”


The offspring of the highly successful Montana Beer Festival, which Porter founded out West before he moved back to Michigan, Microbrew and Music is a result of Porter’s own love for music and craft beer.

The event is part fun, part fundraiser.

Proceeds will benefit the non-profit CherryT Ball Drop, an organization that supports local food banks.

“We’re big on gratitude here,” he said.

“We’re grateful to our vendors, musicians, community, VIP members … to every single person who walks through the door. And I think that flows through each component more than anything else.”

Porter’s goal, he said, is to highlight each individual aspect of an event while still operating as one big whole.

“For MMF, we have our local food and breweries stationed all day, people who are passionate about what they do, and you can tell when you experience it,” he said. “And for the music, we wanted artists who harness all the positive emotions and energy in music for festivalgoers.”


Porter says he’s “especially proud” of this year’s selected artists.

“The big one that everyone is talking about is of course Brandi Carlile,” he said. “When you listen to her, you feel the power behind every word. That connection that just snaps into place when you hear her is something we had to have.”

All of the bands at this year’s fest, Porter said, have something that resonates when they perform, transcending the different genres of music that he’s brought together for this event.

“Whether it’s Nahko and Medicine for the People, or our local Michigan bands Joe Hertler or The Ragbirds, or TC’s own Accidentals, they all have that ‘something,’” he said.

One musical event at MMF with a very different kind of something is the Mega Silent Disco Tent, which Porter’s whole team is excited about.

The tent will be set up with 300 LED enabled wireless headsets. Grab a pair when you walk in the tent, and the music goes directly into them.

“It’s pretty wild walking by and seeing all of these people dancing and having a blast while you can’t hear anything!” Porter said, laughing.

DJ Dominate, Stepdad, and Robert Lux will be spinning and performing on the Silent Disco stages, with the headsets tuned to different channels indicated by the different colors of the LEDs.

“The idea is to have a ‘Silent Disco War’ where half of the tent is listening to a DJ set, and the other half is rocking to a live band,” he said.


The stars of the show are the microbrews, more than 200 in all, including ciders, wines, and meads. Of the beers, there are rare and sour varieties, plus exclusive, limited-time brews created especially for the festival weekend.

Founder’s, Bell’s, Short’s, Rockford, Left Foot Charley, Leelanau Brewery, Dark Horse, North Peak, Jolly Pumpkin, Black Star Farms, The Filling Station, and Clown Shoes are just a few of the brewers that will be represented this year.

Local vendors will offer food and beer pairings, rounding out the festival menu.

“I think MMF is, in a way, the embodiment of what the whole summer brings,” Porter said. “You have all of these wonderful events going on all over the region, and they’re centered around two things: music and community. And I think all people are naturally drawn towards those two things.”

As for Porter and his never-silent cell, it’s doubtful if he will get a moment to enjoy the fruits of his labors.

“Are you saying I won’t have fun?” he laughed as his phone beeped away, calling him to yet another festival errand.

“I’ll have been in go-mode for a while, and during the event, I like to have my eyes on everything,” he said. “But I do always try to find a moment to step back and look at everything and think, ‘Wow – look at what we made happen.’ The weekend is an unreal experience every time.”

This summer’s TC Microbrew and Music Festival runs Aug. 22 and 23 at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. For schedule and tickets, visit microbrewandmusic.com.

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