Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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Robert Downes

 
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Common Cent$

Music Robert Downes Masters of the Game: Common Cent$ rules the cover band universe
By Robert Downes
Young musicians interested in a masters’ class in how to succeed would
do well to study Common Cent$, a band of rock veterans who have local
audiences eating out of the palms of their hands.
 
Monday, July 5, 2010

It‘s the berries...

Random Thoughts Robert Downes It’s the berries...
What do people do when times get tough? They hold big parties and try
to fuggedaboudit for awhile.
It’s a global impulse: in Rio de Janeiro, where millions live in dire
poverty, slum-dwellers who may not even have electricity or running
water spend the entire year working on parade costumes and floats for
their annual Carnival.
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

Tex-Mex spirit of Los Lonely Boyskicks off National Cherry Festival

Music Robert Downes Tex-Mex spirit of Los Lonely Boyskicks off National Cherry Festival
The three-man power-pop of Los Lonely Boys will light up the crowd this Saturday, July 3 as the opening act on the Bayfront Stage at the National Cherry Festival.
Los Lonely Boys is the vanguard of a week of music that includes the return of several old favorites as well as some new faces. That lineup includes:
• Sunday, July 4: Gregg Rolie’s tribute to Santana (see related article).
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

We‘re all journalists now

Random Thoughts Robert Downes It was old news long before it hit the newspaper or the airwaves.
Last Wednesday, citizens writing on local Internet and social
networking sites helped spread the news that Traverse City Light &
Power (TCL&P) had shelved a plan to build a controversial new biomass
plant.
The news was passed on via environmentalists on Facebook and Twitter
and by TCL&P’s own e-mailed press release. The Traverse City
Record-Eagle also issued an email blast, scooping its print edition
story by some 20 hours.
 
Monday, June 21, 2010

The Moody Blues

Music Robert Downes The Moody Blues bring the power of poetry
By Robert Downes
Blasting, billowing, bursting forth
With the power of ten billion
butterfly sneezes
Man, with his flaming pyre
Has conquered the wayward breezes
Climbing to tranquility,
far above the clouds
Conceiving the heavens,
clear of misty shroud.

-- “Higher and Higher” by Graeme Edge

 
Monday, June 21, 2010

So long to Smoky Joe‘s Cafe

Random Thoughts Robert Downes So long, Smoky Joe’s Cafe
I’ve been hanging out in smoky joints most of my life and have
probably inhaled enough second-hand cigarette smoke to fill a
zeppelin.
 
Monday, June 14, 2010

The Art Crowd Gets Serious

Art Robert Downes The Art Crowd Gets Serious: ArtisanDesign Network offers a bold new venture in TC
By Robert Downes
Walk into the new ArtisanDesign Network Cooperative Gallery on Front Street in downtown Traverse City and it’s not hard to imagine that you’re in an upscale gallery in New York City or Chicago.
The new gallery is a bold yet thoughtful venture embarked upon by more than 40 of the region’s top artists and artisans. Committed to the exhibition of fine art, the gallery aims to elevate Northern Michigan’s art scene into the rare air of national significance.
In other words, don’t expect to find Petoskey stone knick-knacks, paintings of old barns, faux impressionist harbor scenes and other staples of the Northern Michigan art scene. The gang at the ArtisanDesign Network are gunning for glory with serious art, and are laying serious cash on the line to see that their work reaches the public.
 
Monday, June 14, 2010

Beyond Petroleum

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Beyond Petroleum
More than 20,000 suggestions on how to stop the oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico have been received by British Petroleum since its Deepwater
Horizon oil platform went up in flames this spring.
But some of us are wondering, what comes after that titanic rip in the
ocean is repaired?
 
Monday, June 14, 2010

Beyond Petroleum

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Beyond Petroleum
More than 20,000 suggestions on how to stop the oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico have been received by British Petroleum since its Deepwater
Horizon oil platform went up in flames this spring.
But some of us are wondering, what comes after that titanic rip in the
ocean is repaired?
 
Monday, June 14, 2010

Setting the Stage for Summer Theatre

Features Robert Downes Setting the Stage for Summer Theatre
“There’s no business like show business, there’s no business I know.” That’s one of the tunes in the lineup of plays and musicals across the region this summer; but do you know what Broadway hit it comes from? (Hint: it involves a lady who can shoot the wings off a fly.)
If “the play’s the thing” for you, then there’s a robust season in store at theatres across Northern Michigan this summer. Here’s a sneak preview:
 
Monday, June 14, 2010

Elberta Summer Solstice Festval

Features Robert Downes Return of the Sun: The Elberta Solstice Festival
One of Northern Michigan’s newest festivals also has one of its most
dramatic locations: Elberta’s Solstice Festival is held in the town’s
expansive Waterfront Park on Frankfort’s harbor, with great views of
the lighthouse and Lake Michigan.
 
Monday, June 7, 2010

A view of the Bay

Random Thoughts Robert Downes A View of the Bay
Is a “view of the bay” still worth “half the pay” in Northern Michigan? I
have a story to share about that old saying.
Years ago, I was indirectly involved in landing the 2,000 or so employees
of Munson Medical Center what was perhaps the biggest raise in the
hospital’s history.
 
Monday, May 31, 2010

Up in smoke/ Stupak‘s view/ Looking ahead

Region Watch Robert Downes Up in smoke: two proposed coal plants in Rogers City & Bay City
Plans for two new coal plants in Rogers City and Bay City were
scuttled last week, raising hope in Michigan’s environmental community
that power companies will pursue a cleaner path to producing
electricity.
 
Monday, May 31, 2010

Bringing the War home

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Bringing the War Home
Perhaps someday, someone will unearth some top secret file at the
C.I.A. which will tell us exactly what we’ve gotten in return for
5,456 deaths and $3 trillion spent on our wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan.
 
Monday, May 24, 2010

Pickin‘ Party? Hayloft

Music Robert Downes Pickin’ Party: Hayloft open mic offers authentic Americana
By Robert Downes
It’s not quite the Grand Ole’ Opry, but it feels pretty durned close:
Every Thursday, a driven group of guitar, banjo and mandolin pickers
congregate at a country-western bar outside of Traverse City to open their
musical veins and let it flow in what is widely considered to be the best
open mic in the region.
 
 
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