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 · Maybe August, Definitely Music
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Maybe August, Definitely Music

Kristi Kates - July 25th, 2011
Maybe August, Definitely Music
By Kristi Kates
“We used to just make stuff up,” Maybe August’s Rosco (no last name, please) says by way of explaining the origin of their band name, “you know - a different story for everyone who asked.” But the best of all, he continues, was when the media picked up a tall tale about a famous (nonexistant) connection.
“The story got out that we had been named by (actress) Halle Berry,” Rosco chuckles. “We were just messing around with the journalist who was interviewing us, but a lot of media outlets picked it up and that one went on for a while.”
The real story behind Maybe August’s name, he assures, is “so mundane, it’s stupid.”
“We’re five creative guys,” he says, “but we couldn’t decide on a band name for months. Finally, we just each threw our top three names into a hat. And we pulled out ‘August.’ Nobody liked it, but our plan was to stick with whatever we pulled out. We kept saying, ‘well, maybe we could call ourselves this… maybe we could call ourselves that… and we finally ended up at ‘Maybe August.’”

Aside from all the tall tales, the mid-state based band itself has been around for years, with Rosco himself a music industry veteran of over two decades.
“Keith (Carolan, Maybe August’s bass player) and I were in a band together called Blues Controversy,” Rosco says, “we played all over the country. Maybe August was formed around the time Blues Controversy folded; we combined three Blues Controversy members, myself, Keith, and our drummer at the time, Nathan, with Mike and Scott Robertson of the Michael Scott Band.”
Today, Maybe August numbers five - Rosco, Carolan, the two Robertsons, and newest drummer Bill Silverthorn. But that lineup wasn’t arrived at easily - much like the running joke in the movie Spinal Tap, the band had more than a little trouble securing a long-term drummer.
“We definitely hope to keep Bill around for a while,” Rosco says, “but we’d gone through nine drummers before we found him. There were so many that we just started referring to them by number - Drummer Number 4, Drummer Number 6, etcetera,” he laughs.

Maybe August’s struggles with band names and drummers have proved worth it for the stalwart group. The four “founding” members (minus Silverthorn) have been together for ten years, and, Rosco says, are in it to win it, not necessarily for fame and fortune, but for the rewards of crafting their own sound.
“We were all interested in writing and performing our own music,” he says, “Mike, Scott, and I are the main songwriters, but we all contribute.”
With Scott Robertson on lead vocals and guitars, Mike Robertson on vocals, guitars, and “all manner of strings,” Rosco says; Carolan on bass, Silverthorn firmly entrenched on the drums, and Rosco himself on guitar, vocals, and harmonica, the band has spent much of their summer performing live at a wide range of music festivals, and are now preparing to head back into the recording studio for what will be their third album.

“We already have a half-dozen songs ready to go,” Rosco says, “we like to have ten or so before we start recording. We’ve been discussing a lot about whether to do a full album or singles - I’m old-school, and I want to do a full album, with album cover and the works,” he laughs, “we’re kind of resistant to ‘just singles,’ although that seems to be the trend now.”
Whichever they choose, chances are they’ll be recording again at Big Sky Studio in Ann Arbor, where Rosco says they recorded their prior two albums.
“We may also do some work with Andy Reed in Bay City, at his studio,” Rosco says, “nothing’s been decided yet.”
What is decided is the band’s definitive sound. An eclectic blend of folk-rock harmonies to hard rock, Rosco says he’s been inspired to see the recent interest in such bands/performers as the Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, and Mumford and Sons, all of whom utilize a similar mix of genres in their music, as well.
“We’ve been doing that kind of mix of sounds for years,” Rosco says, “so it’s helped give us a second wind to see people appreciating this kind of music now.”

Maybe August will be performing at City Park Grill in downtown Petoskey on July 30. For more info on the band, visit www.maybeaugust.com.
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