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..

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Imported From Detroit Motor City rockers make their way north

Rick Coates - July 25th, 2011
Imported From Detroit Motor City rockers make their way north
By Rick Coates
A new wave of Detroit rock and roll is making its way onto the music scene and three of those bands helping to revitalize the Motor City’s claim to being the “home of rock and roll” will make their way to Northern Michigan Friday, July 29 at the Ground Zero Nightclub inside the Streeters Center in TC.
Detroit has a long history of producing great rock and roll and two of the industry’s hottest artists Kid Rock and Eminem are currently carrying on the Motor City Music Torch. But that Detroit rock reputation is a big one and requires more players at the table so here comes The Dirty Americans, JTX and Jocaine.
JTX (JT Harding) is certainly making a name for himself of late. His current single “Love In America” spent a few weeks at the top of the charts on Sirrus Radio and remains in the top 10. Helping the cause are the commercials currently running for the new Justin Timberlake movie “Friends With Benefits” that features “Love In America” throughout the promotional spots. The song is his second single and a follow up to his smash hit “Party Like A Rock Star.”
JTX has been on a radio station blitz of the country to promote his song.
“I have been going to major radio stations and playing a live set during their lunch hour,” said JTX. “It is a great way to get publicity for the song.”
With the song’s success he has been spending time in the studio in New York City finishing up a new CD.
“I basically released just one song on my website and on YouTube and it took off, soon Sirrius was playing it and it went number one there and now mainstream radio has picked it up,” said JTX. “So I had to get into the studio and put out a CD and that should be out soon.”

Finding time to record a CD and write songs for himself has not been easy for JTX as he has become one of the hottest songwriters in the business. Over the past year he has penned two number one songs with “Smile” being a major chart topper for Uncle Kracker and “Somewhere With You,” the smash country hit for Kenny Chesney that spent three weeks at No. 1 earlier this year. Coincidently, Chesney and Kracker are currently touring major stadiums together performing those songs in front of 60,000 plus.
“The song with Chesney certainly has opened the doors for me to write songs with other major country stars. That is in the works and I can’t say now with who, just stay tuned,” said JTX. “Working with Kracker is great because we head to Northern Michigan and write songs together. We wrote ‘Smile’ up there along with ‘Good To Be Me’ that features Kid Rock. We hung out up north this past winter and wrote 15 songs together and Kracker will pick the best of those and head into the studio after his tour ends. I expect a new CD out from him around Christmas.”
JTX has also written hits for the Jonas Brothers and The Stereos; and recently three-time Grammy winners Train asked JTX to start writing songs for them. He is looking forward to returning to Northern Michigan to perform live.
“Northern Michigan has always been good to me. Not only does it provide a creative setting for songwriting but the people there have been really supportive of my music,” said JTX. “Doug Street and Streeters was one of the first places to book me and then of course the students from Boyne Falls High School asked me to be their commencement speaker a couple of years ago.”

JTX will join the Dirty Americans, who actually will be headlining the Imported From Detroit bill Friday, who are releasing their new CD “Black Feather” that night. The Dirty Americans will give out their new CD to the first 50 ticket holders through the door.
There are great expectations coming out of Detroit for the Dirty Americans. Gary Graff who has covered the Motor City music scene for 40 years for Rolling Stone and various Detroit publications had this to say about the Detroit rockers who have a couple of Northern Michigan members: “They’re a gritty, down and dirty Michigan rock band, I think they’re one of the best bands we’ve produced in Michigan, ever.”
Opening the show will be JoCaine, who just played the main stage of the National Cherry Festival. JoCaine is part of the Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker family and has been a regular guest of the the Ground Zero stage. He is out hyping his new album, titled “Can’t you Smell Whats Cooking?”, which features the legendary saxophone of Alto Reed, from Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band, blowing on the instant classic “Underprivileged Baby.” Uncle Kracker also joins JoCaine on the CD.

This “Imported From Detroit” show on Friday, July 29 at Ground Zero Nightclub inside The Streeters Center in Traverse City with the Dirty Americans, JTX and JoCaine will give a taste of the new music scene emerging out of the Motor City. Tickets are only $8 and may be purchased online at www.groundzeroonline.com or calling the box office at 231-932-1300.
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