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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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Godaiko and Raion Taiko Bring Big Beats to Petoskey

Music Kristi Kates Taiko drumming, which uses Japanese drums, or Wadaiko, to make rhythmic sounds, has mythological origins in Japanese folklore and, in actuality, has been around since the sixth century.
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Back With Arms Wide Open

Music Kristi Kates The alternately feted and maligned ‘90s rock band, the weight of mental illness, the public breakdown, the estranged bandmates, the reality show — singer Scott Stapp’s been through it all, but the confessional nature of his music and the support of his family have revived his career.
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Catching Up with Jim Hawley

Music Kristi Kates Music has always been a part of Jim Hawley’s life. When he was a kid, he’d listen to his grandmother play piano. In grade school, he’d find local bands practicing in their garages, and would sit and listen. By high school, he’d become friends with a guy who played guitar, and that friend started teaching Hawley how to play.
Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Exploding Career of Chic Gamine

Music Kristi Kates Ariane Jean, Andrina Turenne and Annick Bremault all grew up in the French Quarter of Winnipeg, Manitoba and all had an interest in music. It wasn’t long before they all found themselves in a big a cappella group. When that group disbanded, the three friends decided they wanted to keep making music, and so they became Chic Gamine.
Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Reformation Jazz Band Brings Big Sound to CTAC

Music Kristi Kates “It was such a sound,” he said. “After the service, we all gathered in the dressing room and we were all like, wow. And just like Peggy Lee sang, we were asking each other ‘is that all there is?’ So we stuck with it, started playing pubs, and it grew from there.
Saturday, December 19, 2015

2016’s Most Anticipated Albums

Music Kristi Kates With Adele and Coldplay both smashing it out of the park right as 2015 draws to a close; Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and One Direction still hanging in there; and Christmas albums filling out the rest of the Billboard Top 10, the charts ended the year full to the brim with hits.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Mainstay's Musical Rebirth

Music Kristi Kates From the roots of the downstate party band Funktion has arisen a new musical outfit that’s added folk and grunge to an already-established funk-soul sound.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Beat the Winter Blues with Music

Music Kristi Kates JUMPSTART JAMS “We’ve all heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder),” said Blissfest guru Jim Gillespie. “And a lot of folks experience what’s just called the winter blues.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Gaylord Gets The Grand Ole Opry

Music Kristi Kates It’s certainly going to be a grand holiday for country music fans. The Alpine Lodge in Gaylord is turning itself into a re-creation of Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry to put on a show that’ll get boots stompin’, guitars twangin’ and folks singing along to some of their favorite country hits from the good old days to today.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Winter Concerts 2016

Music Kristi Kates Whether you prefer your music 100 percent homegrown or enjoy the excuse to take a road trip downstate, 2016 has a great head start on must-see concerts! You’ll find everything from vintage classics to country crooners to cutting edge tunes for the first three months of the year.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Local Music Spotlight on: Peacemeal

Music Kristi Kates While much of their recent press has centered around The Rhubarbary, their popular house concert venue in Harbor Springs, some people may not realize that the venue’s owner/managers, Maureen and Dale Scott, are in a pretty great band of their own.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Paddling to the Sea with Song of the Lakes

Music Kristi Kates Their sound is comprised of many influences, from Scandinavian elements to the blues, with the water running through each and every one. Their very name is evocative of the region we all live in. And they’ve been a familiar local sound to many since 1983.
Saturday, November 28, 2015

BeauSoleil Avec Michael Doucet

Music Kristi Kates It’s intriguing that BeauSoleil bills themselves as “with Michael Doucet” because it’s hard to think of BeauSoleil without Doucet, the bandleader whose instinctive, emotive vocals and standout fiddle playing are the heart of this wide-ranging group of top-shelf devoted players.
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Great Lake Swimmers On Deck at The Dennos

Music Kristi Kates If you like the music of Iron and Wine, Band of Horses, The Low Anthem or Nick Drake, chances are you’ll like Canadian folk-rockers Great Lake Swimmers, too.
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hick-Hop Hits From The Lacs

Music Kristi Kates Quiet is pretty much the only word that applies to the rural town of Baxley, Georgia. The eightsquare-mile city that holds a population of around 4,000 has had few claims to fame, save one mention in an old Charlie Daniels’ tune: “Open Letter to the Hollywood Bunch.