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 · MacPodz
. . . .


Kristi Kates - June 6th, 2011
By Kristi Kates
The five members of the band that would become the MacPodz - Brennan
Andes, Nick Ayers, Jesse Clayton, Ross Huff, and Griffin Bastian - spent
much of the latter half of 2005 backing up various singer-songwriters and
other performers around Ann Arbor, including poet/social activist John
“We all really enjoyed each other’s musical stylings and late-night
antics,” explains percussionist Ayers, “and we just started palling around
more often.”
Andes was equipped with a basement studio at the time, and, as Ayers puts
it, “we’d stay up all night writing instrumental dance tracks.”
After a couple of house party gigs in 2006 (“just for fun,” Ayers points
out), the band became a fast hit, encouraging them to stick with it and
expand the group’s repertoire into more. Fast-forward to 2011, and the
MacPodz are still going strong.
“The response we got at those parties made us say, ‘whoa, we gotta roll
with this,’” Ayers says.

And that they did, putting together setlists, continuing to rehearse, and
snagging their name from a combination of bandmate moniker and, er, marine
biology (kinda.)
“Well, Brennan toured with the band Smokestack in the early ’00s,” Ayers
explains, “and his nickname was B-Mac. ‘Podz’ [sic] is a group of Orca
whales that once they band together, never part.” And there you have it -
Never parting is presumably what the plan is for the band, too, if Ayers’
enthusiasm is any indication. Their diverse and slightly wacky blend of
sounds brings together classical, metal, pop, Latin, electronic, and
rhythm and blues music, as Ayers lists; but above all else, it’s about
getting the feet moving, keeping the bandmates challenged and amused, and
keeping the dance floor full.
“We all have an affinity for the freedom of self-expression in jazz music
that keeps the brain occupied,” Ayers says, “but we also love the
mindless, effortless pulse that keeps hips moving ‘till the wee hours. The
style of music is really just a dialect or accent on how the story can be

The MacPodz’ story includes a couple of albums on the way, one this month
and one set for release after the busy summer months conclude.
The Truth E.P. will be available beginning June 21, with the
as-yet-untitled full-length album additionally on the way in the fall.
“You can currently download our new single, ‘The Truth,’ for free online,”
Ayers says.
And the band will be keeping their respective dance cards full with a full
slate of shows and festival appearances until their album is ready for the
masses, including live (and dance-floor friendly) sets at the likes of
Blissfest, Hoxeyville, Dunegrass, and the Electric Forest festival, the
latter of which will serve as the replacement for the defunct Rothbury
Festival. In Ayers’ opinion, the ‘local’ shows end up being some of the
band’s favorites.
“I think Michigan stands out in the Midwest, and therefore in the country,
as being a deep well of talented musicians,” he says, “the economic woes
create great stories from real people, and the people are so proud of
their beautiful homeland.”
Ayers himself is proud of his band and his bandmates, too. When asked what
fans can expect at their upcoming Traverse City show, he says with a wink:
“You’ll see five talented, energetic, and handsome young men whose sole
purpose is to create an environment of joy with their passion for music.”

The MacPodz will be performing at Union Street Station in Traverse City on
Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11; shows at 9 p.m. both nights. For
more info on the band and to download their current single for free, visit
them online at www.themacpodz.com.  
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