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, June 23, 2014

Super Strings

Music Kristi Kates Now, the living banjo legend – a frequent contemporary, classical, and pop collaborator – is stringing a new sound together with Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet that has been described as “classical musicians performing with the energy of young rock stars.
Monday, June 23, 2014

Northern Michigan's Lollapalooza

For one weekend, a tiny town explodes with music, lights, and plenty of eye candy.

Music Kristi Kates There are several different levels of camping: “Group Camping” for a minimum of 20 people; the “Tripolee Comfort Campground” features air-conditioned restrooms, an ATM, and sites only steps from the festival gates.
Monday, June 16, 2014

A Red Sky Summer

Music Kristi Kates Housed in the old Montgomery Ward building on Mitchell St., Red Sky is injecting the local arts scene with grassroots entertainment. Its improved stage, sound system, lighting, and a new internet radio stream are all giving voice to both locals and touring performance artists.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Your Summer 2014 Music Fest Roadmap

Music The Rothbury Fest evolved into the Electric Forest Fest a few years ago, but the goal’s remained the same: bring a Bonnaroo-worthy selection of bands to Western Michigan, and give ‘em room to dance.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Jonny Lang's Fight

Music Kristi Kates “I wrote ‘Seasons’ when I was at our house over the holidays,” Lang explained. “And I was remembering when I was little and my parents were splitting up, so there was a lot of juggling around. I’ve always had kind of a bad feeling around the holiday since then, so it’s about some of the things that can happen in a broken-era family.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Gordon Lightfoot is Alive and Well, Thank You Very Much

News of his untimely death has not diminished Gordon Lightfoot’s musical mojo.

Music Ross Boissoneau It was his songs that first gained him notice. Canadian folk-rock duo Ian and Sylvia added his material to their repertoire in the mid-60s. The folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary enjoyed hits with his tunes “Early Morning Rain” and “For Lovin’ Me,” while Marty Robbins topped the country charts with Lightfoot’s “Ribbon of Darkness.
Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Up North Festival Roundup

Music It’s festival season! Music, food, dancing, and fun are about to take over Northern Michigan, and our 2014 guide is here to show off the lineup and make sure you’re prepared for all of it..
Monday, June 9, 2014

Downtown Diversions for Summer 2014

Two Northern Michigan towns are lighting up their Friday nights with streetside food, fun, and music.

Music Kristi Kates Petoskey Rocks! is set up to complement what’s already happening in downtown, and will build up to the Petoskey Proud! event on Aug. 1, which will be a big celebration of local Petoskey culture, and will serve as the signature event for Petoskey Rocks!.
Monday, June 9, 2014

The Black Cat Gets Lucky

When the Black Cat crossed Double Phelix the first time five years ago, it was hardly a case of bad luck.

Music Kristi Kates According to owner Carl Dhaseleer, Black Cat Concerts and Double Phelix are a natural fit. The barn, with its hardwood floor and country atmosphere, brings extra depth and audio warmth to any concert. Double Phelix puts a heavy focus on analog recording, with its equally layered, retro tones.
Monday, June 9, 2014

From Craigslist to Nashville

Music Kristi Kates “Josh … has the ability to not only learn the music quickly, but is flawless and makes no mistakes when he plays,” Martin said. “With Mike, it was his passion and persistence that attracted us to him. And when Jeff auditioned, we knew by the first song…He is by far one of the best guitar players in the Nashville scene.
Monday, June 9, 2014

Big Ticket Festival: A Party With a Purpose

Music Kristi Kates Fast-forward almost ten years later, and Big Ticket is still going strong, a multi-genre event that covers bluegrass, pop, rock, rap, and country music, plus a range of other festival diversions. The 2014 version is set to be one of their biggest yet..
Monday, June 2, 2014

Sweet Summer Sounds at The Rhubarbary

Music Kristi Kates After putting a timber frame addition onto their house several years ago, the Scotts wondered what they were going to do with the extra space. Already known around the area as musicians in their own right – they’re the Peacemeal String Band – the answer arrived quickly.
Monday, June 2, 2014

Folk, Celtic and More at Manitou

Music Ross Boissoneau From 2007 to 2013, Harry Fried helmed the series, now renamed the Manitou Music Festival, building on the tradition and incorporating new styles into the mix. He also oversaw improvements in the stage area behind Lake Street Studios, upgrades in sound and lighting, and a new stage monitoring system.
Monday, June 2, 2014

Sheryl Crow: The Story Behind Her Music

Music Kristi Kates Northern Express’s take Once out of high school, most of us look back five or 10 years later and wonder whatever happened to the ‘popular kids.’ Crow’s no exception with this tune lamenting lost youth. But she’s got a way of turning bitter regret into thoughtful observation.
Monday, May 26, 2014

Local Musician Spotlight: Charlie Millard

Music Kristi Kates CM: When I was 14, I started playing guitar at local farmers markets and selling my CD. I also walked into The Perry Hotel to see if I could play their beautiful black grand piano for their fine dining room. This will be my fourth summer playing there. I love it; I get to play all sorts of music, and I love the people there.