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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Monday, September 22, 2014

The Modern Vaudeville of SHEL

Over a year ago, Express talked with Colorado indie band SHEL as they prepped for a performance at Blissfest.

Music Kristi Kates The four-girl band—all sisters—were just starting to snag attention for their unique brand of eclectic folk music. They were keeping a focused schedule of performances across the country and enjoying inclusion in ad campaigns like commercials for Splenda and Glade.
Monday, September 8, 2014

Twice the Fun at Hops and Props

There’s beer and boats … and then there’s hops and props.

Music Kristi Kates The breweries will be arriving from all over Michigan, and will include brews from Bells, Dark Horse, Shorts, Founders, Mitten, Hideout, North Peak, Rochester Mills, New Holland, and Arcadia Brewing Companies, plus offerings from The Livery, Douglas Valley Winery, Bardic Wells Meadery, Virtue Cider, and many more.
Monday, September 1, 2014

Frankie Ballard Headlines Country Jamboree

Music Kristi Kates LIKE NOTHING ELSE Festival organizer Chris Cook has been running the festival grounds in Buckley for the past three years. Over that time, he said, they’ve hosted a lot of country concerts, but this is the first time they’ve focused specifically on a full-speedahead, all-country event.
Monday, August 25, 2014

They've Got Moxie

Think you know folk music? Familiar with traditional instruments?

Music Kristi Kates The songs that they play may have a foundation in the traditional, but they run them all through their own unique filter, a process that started almost 10 years ago when Ladio and Lynn met at the Michigan American String Teachers Association camp in Howell, Mich.
Monday, August 25, 2014

From Chants to Muzak: Work Music Through the Ages

Music Kristi Kates Work songs have been documented since people started keeping track of history itself. From domestic trades to agricultural work, sea shanties to cowboy songs, chain gang chants to paperboys hawking their wares, tunes have long been utilized for a range of productive reasons.
Monday, August 18, 2014

Emmet County Fair Welcomes Joe Nichols and More

Persistence equals success in Nashville … and in Petoskey.

Music Kristi Kates

Country music singer Joe Nichols – whose latest single, “Yeah,” hit number one on the U.S. Country Airplay chart last month and just became his fourth gold single – knows the value of not giving up. At the age of 19, Nichols was signed to Intersound Records, where he released his first album, 1996’s “Joe Nichols.” The album didn’t sell, and Intersound dropped him.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The 2014 Men of Rock

Music Kristi Kates

This year’s Men of Rock list runs the gamut: From soulful singles to electronica to straightforward alt-rock, all of these artists share standout vocals, strong personalities, and plenty of talent. What makes them unique is their individual approaches to their tunes. This isn’t a popularity contest, though. Justin Bieber and Jay-Z get enough attention as it is. The following men of rock are causing a stir because of their innovation, music, and accomplishments. Check ‘em out.

Monday, August 18, 2014

May Erlewine’s Emotional Journey

Music Kristi Kates

Music runs in May Erlewine’s blood. Her father, Michael Erlewine, was active in the Michigan folk music scene, collaborating with the likes of Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop. He also founded the online All Music Guide in the early ‘90s, where it became a pop culture source for music fans worldwide.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Now That ‘The Voice’ is Over; What’s Next?

Music Kristi Kates Ryan Whyte Maloney made a strong showing on NBC’s singing competition program “The Voice,” snagging a spot on Blake Shelton’s team and making it to the playoff rounds before he was eliminated.
Monday, August 11, 2014

Ronny Cox


Music Kristi Kates You’ve probably seen him, but not on stage; Cox is actually an acclaimed character actor on screen. He’s held down pivotal roles in such hit films as RoboCop, Bound for Glory, Total Recall, and Deliverance. But it’s music that really has a hold on his heart.
Monday, August 11, 2014

Petoskey’s ‘Signature Event’ Returns

Music fans, prepare: Ryan Whyte Maloney from NBC’s “The Voice” is coming to Petoskey.

Music Kristi Kates And though Maloney is the headliner for the resort town’s Festival on the Bay, he’s not the only musical star. The Jelly Roll Blues Band, the Petoskey Steel Drum Band, Billy Strings and Don Julin, Third Coast Kings, and The Cookies are also on the lineup.
Monday, August 11, 2014

2014 Lollapalooza Report

A Nothern Michigander checks in

Music Kristi Kates A walk across the park got us to the far south stage in time for Interpol and a dose of ‘80s goodness, as the band cranked through an energetic setlist of their old hits, plus enthusiastic previews of tracks like “All the Rage…” from their upcoming new album.
Monday, August 4, 2014

An Ocean of Sound

If there was one singer that captured the fizzy sounds of the 1980s, it was Billy Ocean.

Music Kristi Kates

Born in Trinidad and raised in England, Ocean’s mellow, soulful voice captured the ears of pop music fans worldwide. Now, 35 years after he began, he’s rolling back around with a whole new, yet familiar sound.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Cult Comes to Streeters

Music Kristi Kates Tracks like “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Fire Woman” were their ticket. But by the mid-’90s, the roller-coaster portion of their career began, as they would break up and reunite several times, with Astbury at one point announcing that they would never make another studio album.
Monday, July 28, 2014

The Kenny Loggins You Don't Know

Music Kristi Kates

Kenny Loggins is kicking off August by heading to the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey for a live concert. Loggins, formerly one half of country duo Loggins and Messina, is best known for his hit title track to “Footloose,” a 1984 movie that starred Kevin Bacon.