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, May 26, 2014

‘Mind-Blowing’ Open Air Concert Series is Back

Music Kristi Kates Time for Three (July 19), who call themselves a “classically trained garage band.” The three string musicians blend country, gypsy, jazz, bluegrass, and classical sounds which has them rearranging Brahms one minute and reinterpreting The Beatles the next.
Monday, May 19, 2014

Downes' Dynamite Gig

Music Kristi Kates “Being a songwriter has been something of an identity crisis for me, because we could easily do all originals and try for the festival circuit,” he said. “But Jim and I both like playing happy hour and patio gigs the most, so we stick with a mix of covers and a few of our own songs.
Monday, May 19, 2014

Bret Michaels, Mega 80s @ TC Summer Concert Series

Dig out your day glo and hair spray, people: 80s rock is coming to Traverse City this summer.

Music Kristi Kates “We have some good musicians coming to the area via Interlochen, the Cherry Festival, and Sam Porter [Porterhouse Productions,]” Jim Harvey said. “But I think there is a need for more to do in Traverse City, which is one of the reasons we planned our concerts on Thursday nights, and not when anything else was really going on.
Monday, May 19, 2014

Blue October's Revitalized Rock

The boys in Blue October love coming to Traverse City, and it has nothing to do with the beaches or cherry pie.

Music Kristi Kates “My favorite thing about playing TC is getting to see Matt’s parents,” said lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Furstenfeld. “The Noveskys are like our second parents – hi Bill, hi Linda, we love you!” No wonder Northern Michigan shows are something of a homecoming for the altrock band.
Monday, May 19, 2014

The Beach Boys Are Back

Music Kristi Kates Now touring with Mike Love in the frontman position (Brian Wilson retired from touring with the band in 2012), the band includes Bruce Johnston, guitarist Scott Totten, bass player Randall Kirsh, keyboardist Tim Bonhomme, and The Cowsills’s John Cowsill on drums and vocals.
Monday, May 12, 2014

Gaylord's Prodigal Son Stays Put

Music Kristi Kates “I jumped at that opportunity because it seemed like a nice change of scenery,” Allen said. “Playing drums in a band that does a bunch of upbeat covers and gets people dancing sounded strangely inviting. I decided this was a good opportunity to give the Jake Allen Band a hiatus.
Monday, May 5, 2014


Smoldering vocals. Creative arrangements. And a bass player that can “lift the lid” off of any song or venue.

Music Kristi Kates “Maggie [Delaney-Potthoff]and I spent a couple of years at the Berklee School of Music [in Boston],” singer/mandolin player Sims Delaney-Potthoff said. “The notion then was to form a jazz unit with mandolin and violin where, traditionally, the saxophone and trumpet would be.
Monday, May 5, 2014

Folk Music Meets the iPod Generation

Music Kristi Kates From the blues of Detroit to maritime tunes, lumberjack chants to love ballads, Lomax captured the state’s musical traditions on his machine, which recorded audio directly to vinyl. Today, two local organizations are exposing these 75-year-old recordings to a whole new – but digitally obsessed – generation.
Monday, April 28, 2014

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus Redefines Jam Bands

Music Kristi Kates “In 2012, we released the concept EP ‘The Broomhilda Suite,’ about a witch who kidnaps a prince. Yes, we are nerds and have played a lot of videogames,” Olmsted laughed. “And then in October of last year, we released ‘Translate,’ another full-length, 10-song album.
Monday, April 28, 2014

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Music!

Music Kristi Kates From the synth-grunge of Reacta to the electrified translations of Yibel Jme’tik Banamil, Cinco de Mayo is the perfect occasion to check out what Mexico’s offering up in the indie-rock department, and we’ve picked five great bands for you to start with.
Monday, April 28, 2014

100 Years of Haas

One of Michigan’s great men of classical music is getting celebrated in style.

Music Ross Boissoneau The program will begin with a 30-minute documentary on Karl Haas’s life, produced by Jeff Haas and his sister Alyce Haas. It tells the story of his musical career, how he came to America just ahead of the Nazi pogrom of the Jews, and how he came to be a fixture in so many people’s lives through his radio program.
Monday, April 21, 2014

The Gypsy Jazz of Cyrille Aimee

French native Cyrille Aimee grew up cavorting with Gypsies.

Music Kristi Kates Aimee’s latest inspirations have resulted in her newest album, “It’s a Good Day.” It was recorded in New York City at Flux Studios, a vintage room with modern equipment that has helmed other recording projects by The Black Crowes, Duncan Sheik, Santigold, Jennifer Lopez, and Queen Latifah.
Monday, April 14, 2014

Scotty McCreery is Pure Country

Music Kristi Kates “I knew I wanted to finish high school, go to college, and then move to Nashville and try to make it as a country music singer,” he said. “That was always the plan and the dream. I just decided to take a chance in Milwaukee [at the “Idol” tryouts] and see if I could possibly make the dream happen a little faster.
Monday, April 14, 2014

Tony Lajoye's Circle of Sound

Music Kristi Kates “We might play ‘The Letter’ as a swing-jazz sort of feel, or ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ as upbeat groove-rock,” he said. “It’s another example of things that change from gig to gig depending on who’s playing and how we’re feeling.”.
Monday, April 14, 2014

Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson to Return to Interlochen

Music Ross Boissoneau Another favorite is preeminent banjo player Bela Fleck. Fleck has performed with a wide range of musicians, from contemporary bluegrass pioneers New Grass Revival to jazz pianist Chick Corea. He’s touring with Corea through the end of this month before heading out on dates with fellow banjoist Abigail Washburn.