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, July 28, 2014

Surviving Lollapalooza

Music Kristi Kates

Lollapalooza, the modern age’s answer to Woodstock, took Chicago by storm 14 years ago. Now, 160,000 music fans descend on Grant Park the first weekend in August to see headliners like Kings of Leon, Skrillex, and OutKast.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Musical Side of TCFF

Believe it or not, someone once had to beg musicians to perform at the Traverse City Film Festival.

Music Kristi Kates Argentinian pop singer Milagros is returning, as well as some new groups, he said “We have the minimalistic music of Canadian performer Frank Paul, the neobluegrass of Fauxgrass, and an exciting collaboration of local legends Al Jankowski and David Chown,” said Sullivan.
Monday, July 28, 2014

Bo and Blood, Sweat & Tears at Bay View

Music Ross Boissoneau

It’s not easy to replace a legend. It’s not easy to revive a legend. Heck, it’s not even easy to be a semi-legend. For Bo Bice, none of that matters. The former American Idol finalist is happy to be part of Blood, Sweat & Tears as that band tours the country and the world, and maybe even produces a new recording.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Aaron Tippin Still Stands for Country

It took a country’s energy crisis to steer Aaron Tippin’s musical energy into country.

Music Kristi Kates “We are all comfortable performing on stage beside each other, and it’s great for the fans ‘cause it’s something new,” Tippin said. “We give the fans a mix of songs and a good variety, and we feed off of each other’s energy, which makes for a lot of fun.
Monday, July 14, 2014

The ‘Return’ of THE BEATLES

Beatles fans don’t take their tribute bands lightly.

Music Kristi Kates When any foursome takes the stage and starts playing as John, Paul, George and Ringo, one false note can ruin the magic. Fortunately, four guys from Georgia aren’t just playing around – they’re serious as Sunday about the sound, look and mannerisms of the Fab Four.
Monday, July 14, 2014

Five For Fighting Orchestrating a New Sound

Music Kristi Kates Resting on one’s laurels after breaking the Top 40 wasn’t an option for pianist John Ondrasik, who hit the big time with the Grammy-nominated “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” in 2000.
Monday, July 14, 2014

Lamontagne and Lewis Take Road Less Traveled

Music Kristi Kates LaMontagne, one of six kids, spent much of his childhood drawing role playing game characters instead of doing his schoolwork; Lewis grew up with a mother who was a professional singer, and a father who was in Johnny Puleo’s mid-50s “Harmonica Gang” band.
Monday, July 7, 2014

A Bliss-tering Hot Music Fest

After 34 years, Petoskey’s Blissfest has become as much a community as it is a music festival.

Music Kristi Kates Now “generations old,” as its co-founder puts it, each year’s Blissfest just keeps getting better and better, with a more eclectic lineup and more Bliss devotees.
Monday, July 7, 2014

They've Got the Beat

Music Kristi Kates They’re not exactly professionals from Brazil, but Traverse City’s Deep Blue Water Samba School is making waves here, creating a swell of interest in South American inspired beats.
Monday, July 7, 2014

Rusted Root

Fame Hasn’t Ground Them Down

Music Kristi Kates “Summer is one of my favorite times to tour because there are always a bunch of great festivals happening and we get to see and play with so many fantastic musicians,” he said. “I try to remind myself to breathe and enjoy the moments during the tour, but it flies by so fast sometimes, it’s just a technicolor blur, and then the tour’s over.
Monday, July 7, 2014


Northern Michigan is probably one of the few places you’ll find a band inspired by, and in fact formed because of, steelhead fishing.

Music Kristi Kates Adam Carpenter, Evan Simula, Jacob Kuhlman, and Jonah Kuhlman are Chasin’ Steel, an Up North bluegrass quartet that’s taken two of their shared hobbies to heart and string.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dancin' in the Streets, Harbor Springs-Style

They aren’t afraid of shaking a little booty in Harbor Springs.

Music Kristi Kates FANCY TUNES Mary Catherine Hannah has been cochair of Street Musique for the past three years, but the event actually started about ten years ago with the leadership of Sheryl McCleary (of Tom’s Mom’s Cookies) and the support of the Blissfest organization.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mummies, Much More (Music) at Cherry Festival

Bloody, bandaged, and undead, Here Come the Mummies have nonetheless got soul oozing out every pore.

Music Ross Boissoneau The fan fave funk/r&b/jazz band is coming back to the National Cherry Festival on July 6, along with a lineup that includes rock, blues, country, pop and alternative music – sometimes all on the same bill – by Collective Soul, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Uncle Kracker, Blues Traveler, Justin Moore, and Tommy James and the Shondells.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nickel Creek: Rising to the Occasion

Music Kristi Kates After years on the road and a seven year hiatus – during which Nickel Creek bandmates Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, and Sean Watkins embarked on a range of solo projects – the band is stronger than ever and looking forward to their July 10 Interlochen show.
Monday, June 23, 2014

Queen of the Road

Music Kristi Kates “I feel responsible, because we are traveling with 22 people and it’s important to stay healthy,” Raitt said. “We have organic food at each venue. We get fresh air. I bring my yoga gear with me. And we carry bicycles underneath the bus so we can explore..