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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Modern Rock

Monday, June 6, 2011

Moby destroys the charts with new album and book

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Moby’s 2010 tour, at least for the musician himself, consisted of even more than Moby music. The ambitious musician decided to write new songs while on the road, and also equipped himself with a camera to keep track of happenings on tour. The result? Two results, actually - one an album and one a photo book, both dubbed Destroyed. Full of airports, backstage areas, stage lights, and cold daylight (the songs and the pics both), the companion works are a great peek at Moby’s traveling-musician life. And the album includes guest spots by fellow musicians Inyang Bassey and Anna Maria Friman, among others; preview the set (out now) via a short digital EP titled Be the One that’s available at www.moby.com…
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Peas inspire with music video academies

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The Black Eyed Peas are utilizing their charity, the Peapod Foundation, to open a music school in New York City to teach youth music and video production. They’ve teamed up with the Adobe Foundation to make their school plans happen, with the New York academy set to begin offering classes this July. The Peas, Peapod, and Adobe have already opened up several of their “Youth Voices” academies in California…
Monday, May 23, 2011

Well, isn‘t that album just the Living End

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Aussie Band The Living End have wrapped recording on their sixth album, which they worked on in Melbourne, Australia at the Red Door Sounds Studio. The new set of songs, which will now be shipped to mixmaster Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Springsteen) for mixing, have also been road-tested by the band over the past few months - they selected the album’s tracklisting from over 3 dozen new tunes, including “Postcard American Town,” “Heatwave,” and “Black and White”…
Monday, May 16, 2011

Stripes Look Back at Mississippi, Minnesota Shows

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The White Stripes themselves may now be defunct, but there’s still some Stripes music left to be heard (and seen), starting with an album recording of their last complete live performance from back in July of 2007. Dubbed Live in Mississippi, the disc will be released in both CD and vinyl formats, and will include the duo performing several covers in addition to their own setlist. A live DVD of one of the band’s year 2000 shows will also be released around the same time; titled Moorhead Lights All Fargo Night, this one showcases the Stripes performing at a small bar in Minnesota. Additional releases are expected…
Monday, May 9, 2011

Electric Forest Fest Replaces Rothbury

Modern Rock Kristi Kates A fest of special local interest for several years was the Rothbury Festival, several hours downstate right here in Michigan. Well, Rothbury itself is no longer, but another fest has sprung up in its place - the Electric Forest Festival, which will run June 30 through July 3 in… the town of Rothbury. With a focus on what appears to be a trifecta of sounds - bluegrass, electronica, and local-ish bands - the lineup so far includes The String Cheese Incident, Tiesto, Stephen Marley, Galactic, The Ragbirds, The MacPodz, and Railroad Earth, among others… get more info at www.electricforestfestival.com…
Monday, May 2, 2011

Dido returns with new Electronica-fied album

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Dido Returns with New Electronica-fied Album
Electro-indie-pop singer-songwriter Dido’s long-awaited album is almost here, right on the heels of her Academy Award nomination (for co-writing the song “If I Rise” from the James Franco movie 127 Hours). Once again working with her brother, Rollo Armstrong (who was one of her bandmates in Faithless) as well as a few other producers, she says that the new set is much more electronic than her last album, 2008’s Safe Trip Home, and that she’s looking forward to performing the new songs live…
Influential Brit band The Kinks will reissue seven of their classic albums throughout this year, with each of the albums being reconfigured as double CDs, complete with added outtakes, demo tracks, session recordings, rarities, and a wealth of extensive liner notes. March 28 already saw two of the reissues hit stores, Kinda Kinks and The Kink Kontroversy
Monday, April 25, 2011

Oasis‘ Noel Gallagher not quite solo yet

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Oasis’ Noel Gallagher Not Quite Solo Yet
With his brother’s new band, Beady Eye, taking the bulk of media attention at the moment, talented songwriter Noel Gallagher - who actually wrote most of the songs for the brothers’ prior band, a little outfit called Oasis - has been calmly waiting under the radar to make his next move. The press and musical peers keep speculating as to whether or not Gallagher has already started recording a solo album - fueled in part by Gallagher’s acquisition of his new website name, www.noelgallagher.com
Monday, April 18, 2011

Phoenix start sesions in Aussie studio

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Phoenix Start Sessions in Aussie Studio
The land down under has welcomed French indie-pop-rockers Phoenix, who are currently doing some recording for their next album in Australia’s Byron Bay, working in some orchestral elements to their new songs. Early listens indicate that Phoenix’s next set is a pretty even mix between the classic Phoenix sound and some more retro-futuristic elements, as the band is including both organic sounds and a blender’s worth of rhythms that spin up drum machine sounds, loops, and actual (live!) drumming. No date has been set yet for the album’s release…
Capitol Records have finally confirmed that they’ll be releasing the legendary “lost” Beach Boys album, Smile, some time this year, as produced by archivist Alan Boyd and engineer Mark Linett. Re-dubbed The Smile Sessions, the album will be released as a 2-CD set, a limited edition box set, and on iTunes as a digital album, although real Beach Boys fans will probably want to spring for the box set, with its additional vinyl records and a 60-page hardbound book on the band. Brian Wilson
Monday, April 11, 2011

New documentary profiles The Libertines

Modern Rock Kristi Kates New Documentary Profiles The Libertines
A new documentary about modern rockers The Libertines is set to premiere at this year’s East End Film Fest in London, but stateside fans of the band will be happy to hear about the movie, too. Directed by Roger Sargent, the film will be prefaced by Libertine frontman Carl Barat’s solo single, “Death Fires Burn at Night,” which hit radio last weekend; the fest will take place from April 26 to May 2. The fate of the band itself, though, remains in limbo, with no live dates surfacing nor any mentions of further recordings…
Monday, April 4, 2011

Buzz Band Mumford & Sons 4/4/11

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Buzz band Mumford and Sons, along with Old Crow Medicine Show Buzz band Mumford and Sons, along with Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, are kicking off their Railroad Revival Tour in a pretty cool way - all three bands will be traveling through their tourdates across the American Southwest in vintage railroad cars, which will be pulled by two locomotives. The train itself, 1500 feet long, will travel over 2000 miles during the tour dates that will take the trio of bands across five states. Fans can either buy regular tickets for $55, which include a commemorative ticket and an MP3 download of some of the tour’s live recordings; or shell out $155 for all six commemorative tickets,
Monday, March 28, 2011

Storytellers and their songs return to VH 1 3/28/11

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Storytellers and Their Songs Return to VH1
VH1 is moving into the 15th season of its intriguing Storytellers series, which feature a wealth of stories, explanations on how songs were written/recorded, tales from the tour bus, and more in between performances of songs by a wide range of artists. This season’s roster will be kicked off in May by Kings of Leon, who will be followed in the 2011 lineup by the likes of Maxwell, Cee Lo Green, Ray LaMontagne, and Death Cab for Cutie…
Monday, March 21, 2011

Got Foo? Get it at a theatre near you 3/21/11

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Got Foo? Get It at a Theater Near You
Foo Fighters revealed their documentary at SXSW (the South by Southwest Fest) last week, and now the masses will be able to view the band’s latest film project. Back and Forth, as the doc is titled, will now be showcased in theaters across the country, starting with a series of special screenings on April 5 during which the film will screen and will be followed by the broadcast of a live performance by the Foos themselves, who will perform their new album, Wasting Light, which hits stores on April 12…
Monday, March 14, 2011

Bono‘s Doppleganger makes a movie

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Bono’s “Doppelganger” Makes a Movie
Comedy-drama film Killing Bono, the movie version of the Neil McCormick
memoir I Was Bono’s Doppelganger that chronicles the lives of two
schoolmate brothers who left U2 before they hit the big time, is set for
release this April, and will actually include a song from U2’s veeeeery
early days, back when they were still called “The Hype” and when The
Edge’s brother, Dik Evans, was still in the band (which is now, of course,
a four-piece.) The tune, “Street Mission,” will also be on the movie’s
soundtrack, alongside songs sung by Irish singer-songwriter Joe Echo and
the two actors who portray brothers Neil and Ivan McCormick in the movie,
Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan…
Monday, March 7, 2011

Obamas celebrate Motown music in D. C.

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Obamas Celebrate Motown Music in DC
President Obama and the First Lady celebrated Motown at a special White House event last week that included a slew of live performances. Mr. Obama, who called Motown’s music “the soundtrack of the civil rights era... that helped blur the line between music that was considered either black or white” - and Michelle Obama, who named Stevie Wonder as her favorite Motown artist and said that in addition to Motown music being a soundtrack, it was also “a heartbeat” - were treated to a kickoff off of the festivities in the East Room via a Motown medley by Seal, John Legend, Jamie Foxx, and Nick Jonas. Next up, Natasha Bedingfield, Jordin Sparks, and Ledisi channeled the Supremes with their take on “Stop! In the Name of Love.” Other performers included the legendary Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, Sheryl Crow, and yes, Michelle’s fave, Stevie Wonder himself...
Monday, February 28, 2011

Rockin‘ the Ozarks at Wakarusa

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Rockin’ the Ozarks at Wakarusa
Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas will be the setting for this year’s 2011 Wakarusa Festival, which has just announced its lineup for the music fest event. It’s a good-sized spring roadtrip from Northern Michigan, but it’ll be well worth it - Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, Thievery Corporation, and buzz band Mumford and Sons are among the headliners, with over 150 bands in all taking over six stages from June 2 through 5. The roster also includes Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Ghostland Observatory, Dark Star Orchestra, and Ozomatli, among plenty of others…
The latest inductees to the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame have been announced, honoring the latest lineup of recordings “of lasting historical or qualitative significance” that are at least 25 years old. This set of honorees