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, March 2, 2015

Un-Jolly Green Giant

Music Ross Boissoneau He also notes the difficult work of costuming such a disparate cast. “Teter Orthotics is doing the masks for Shrek, Fiona and others,” Nichols said. The process involves creating a plaster cast of the actors’ heads so the resulting silicone masks are crafted to the shape of each individual.
Monday, March 2, 2015

The Evolution of One Hot Robot

Music Kristi Kates That group of friends — which today includes McDonald, guitarist and rapper Eric Wistrand, bassist John Paul, drummer Matt Hunter and singer Mallory Ramage — evolved into the band One Hot Robot, a dance outfit they say will, “drop hot dance music with hooks as catchy as a pandemic breakout.
Monday, February 9, 2015

After Dark at Crooked Tree

Music Kristi Kates Hailing from southwest Louisiana, the effusive Mojo is a colorful character. He seems to absorb life like a sponge, then squeezes it all back into his band, infusing their sound with a hefty dose of the Cajun and Creole influences that are such a large component of who he is.
Monday, February 2, 2015

Hot Jazz For a Cold Night

Music Ross Boissoneau During one of these geek out sessions, a friend of a friend stopped by with a delivery. Enthralled by the sounds, Eddy Francisco started tap dancing along with the music. Before long, “Fast Eddy” was part of the band’s percussion section.
Monday, January 19, 2015

Levi Britton Kickstarts His Career

Music Kristi Kates At 15, his mother was teaching him how to play guitar. At 18, he was performing in the Golden Garter Revue at Dill’s Olde Towne Saloon in Traverse City. As an adult, he became an integral part of touring bands Stolen Silver and Chicago’s Down the Line.
Monday, January 12, 2015

Help Beat Cancer: Buy Music!

Music Kristi Kates Various Artists, Let Us in Americana benefit album From opener “Come and Get It” as interpreted by the Wood Brothers through Bruce Cockburn’s “Fool on the Hill” and Steve Earle’s “I Will,” this Americana collection of McCartney/Lennon covers benefits The Women and Cancer Fund, established in the memory of McCartney’s late wife Linda.
Monday, January 5, 2015

Boyne’s Funk Brothers: The Pistil Whips

Music Kristi Kates “I met Will’s stepmom one of the nights at the festival,” Jaqua said. “It was dark and I couldn’t see her face. She told me her son was in a band and they were from Boyne City. When someone shined a light on her face, I realized it was a woman that had cut my hair at the salon in Boyne.
Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014: The Year in Modern Rock

Music Kristi Kates and it was an instant hit… Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Fest launched an international version in Paris with Chvrches, Mogwai and James Blake… Gwen Stefani duetted with Adam Levine on a new Maroon 5 song… OK Go played twice in Michigan this month, at...
Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Playlist

Music Kristi Kates “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” From an impromptu lo-fi Saturday Night Live holiday skit with Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz and a portable mini keyboard to a fully-produced rockin’ indie-pop fest, this one’s perfect for those who just can’t wait for Santa to arrive.
Sunday, December 14, 2014

Solstice Celebration Sheds Light with Music, Food and Fun

Music Kristi Kates “Luke is home visiting family and friends, as are Breathe Owl Breathe bandmates Micah and Trevor, who will also be performing. Seth Bernard is a perennial favorite, the Galactic Sherpas will be on hand with music to dance by and Dr. Goodhart will be going table to table with some seasonal songs.
Monday, December 8, 2014

A Look Ahead: Winter Concerts 2015

Music Kristi Kates Doldrums of winter already getting you down? Let this season’s upcoming concerts rock you out of that funk! With everything from Louisiana blues to ska on the schedule between now and spring, there’ll be plenty of reasons to bundle up and get out of the house, both locally and downstate.
Monday, December 8, 2014

From Sound to Screen at the Music House

Music Kristi Kates If you’ve ever driven by the white, modernized barn on U.S. 31 in Williamsburg and wondered about The Music House, you’re not alone. If you’re a fan of music, history, antiques or all three, you’ll find that this visually-understated stop is actually a must-see.
Monday, December 1, 2014

Turtlenecks Times Two

Music Kristi Kates The Turtlenecks add ambiance to high-end restaurants around the region, including the former Tapawingo in Ellsworth, The Leland Lodge, and Trattoria Funistrada and LeBear in Glen Arbor. They also enhance art openings, the Traverse City Film Festival, Northwestern Michigan College’s Culinary Arts annual dinner and other local events.
Monday, December 1, 2014

The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra’s Next Chapter

Music Kristi Kates Celebrating 12 years producing live orchestra performances for the Petoskey community, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra continues to grow with the recent addition of Anne McDevitt as the organization’s executive director and the appointment of Dr. Libor Ondras, originally from Slovakia, as the new music director and conductor.
Monday, November 24, 2014

Four Questions About Record Collecting Up North

Music Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Rush’s 2112 and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. “Dark Side of the Moon, I can’t keep in stock. And I don’t get many of them, so I’d probably sell as many of those as Fleetwood Mac, but I don’t get them,” said RPM Records Owner Greg Walton.