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 · Michael‘s on Fire
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Michael‘s on Fire

Kristi Kates - July 18th, 2011
Michael’s On Fire
By Kristi Kates
“When I was young, the guitar represented a new way of life that you couldn’t really learn in school,” explains the California guitarist/vocalist/songwriter known simply as Michael On Fire. “It was portrayed as a symbol of freedom - a weapon of the young rebellious spirit that was called rock and roll,” he says.
By the time Michael On Fire was of age, as he explains it, musicians like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Muddy Waters had “gotten into the fabric of society,” and it was only a very short matter of time before Michael On Fire was - well, on fire for music. From that point on, no other career would do.

“As a kid, it seemed like a great way to make a living as portrayed on TV and the radio,” he says, “and as soon as I started playing, I started to discover the roots of American music, and it was very natural to me.”
Michael on Fire’s musical skills wouldn’t lead him to a hobby, but to a “way of life,” he says - “I have been on the road for four decades, traveling every part of the country and the world playing music for a living.”
Influenced by “all good music from every era and genre,” Michael on Fire is irrepressibly positive in his approach to his craft, which he sees as a vehicle for a kind of musical “good work” that he hopes will help encourage a more peaceful world of affirmations, soulful sincerity, and sharing.
“The theme of all of my music has always been the same,” he explains. “Self-awareness, self-healing, and striving to find the common emotions that we all can relate to as humans. The common thread is the roots of American music - the blues, country, rock and roll, and folk music, borrowing from all genres in the most simple way using guitars, fiddles, banjo, piano, organ, drums, harmonica, and beautiful melodies and harmonies.”

All of those musical elements were brought together for Michael on Fire’s latest album, which was recorded in November/December of last year.
“It was recorded at Real Sound in Novi, Michigan, and at Black Box Sound in Atescadero, California,” Michael on Fire says, “it is my latest studio album, and has been on the National American Music Charts for 20 weeks.”
Michael on Fire took tunes from that same album to England for the past two weeks, where he recorded a performance at The Live Room in Palmers Green in North London, a performance that he says is slated to be mixed and then potentially released as a Michael On Fire Live in London CD album.
“It was all improvised, with me singing my songs and the Irish players doing what they do,” he says, “Americana (music) mixed with traditional Irish sensibilities. I think we got some worthwhile music out of it.”

Michael on Fire will be bringing his sound to Northern Michigan for a trio of shows beginning July 20; he’ll follow his MI dates with a show at The Ark in Ann Arbor, and then it’s on to Texas, Colorado, and California, with a European tour in the planning stages.
“We will be coming through the Northern Michigan stretch of the tour with a four piece band,” he says, “myself on guitars and maybe piano; the great English guitarist Ced Curtis, who comes from the same lineage as the great Peter Green and Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler; California/New Orleans bassist Jack Joshua; and Tompeet from Santa Barbara, California on drums.”
Michael on Fire is keeping his positive attitude with an eye towards these upcoming shows, as well, as he looks to win over new fans - even if his style of music may not be your style of music.
“Whether or not (my music) is your taste,” he says, “I can guarantee that it will be presented from the heart of these wonderful players.”

Michael on Fire will be performing live at the Glen Arbor Music Festival on Wednesday, July 20; at the InsideOut Gallery in TC on Friday, July 22; and at the Elk Rapids Town Hall on Saturday, July 23.
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