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, September 3, 2016

The Fall Finale: Autumn’s Music Festivals

Music Kristi Kates Michigan is fortunate to have not one but two major folk and world music fes-tivals every year: Blissfest in Bliss, and Wheatland in Remus. Blissfest got its start in 1981, via a dozen area folk musicians and dancers who staged the first event in a fallow field.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Breakthrough Acts

Music Kristi Kates Breaking out of northern Michigan to achieve a major career in music takes more than talent. While our communities are avid supporters of all kinds of music, and our region’s beauty inspires many a tune, the hard facts are that there are fewer venues, auditions, music managers, record labels, and other resources here than in larger cities.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

What is the Northern Michigan Sound?

Music Kristi Kates “From my perspective, it seems like Traverse City is almost becoming a mini Nashville. Every night, you walk down Front Street, and you witness live music permeating though nearly every door. I’d say it’s a big ol’ pot of acoustic soup, with many rock elements thrown in.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

It’s A Harvest Of Beer And Wine!

Features Kristi Kates With the Mackinac Bridge towering in the background, and everything from savory pasties to fudge just around the corner, the annual Hopps of Fun Beer and Wine Festival in Mackinaw City helps stretch out summer just a little bit longer, offering...
Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Up North Venues Sampler

Features Kristi Kates While many northern Michigan restaurants, coffeeshops, bars, and nightclubs showcase the occasional musical act, there are also some venues that make concerts and big music shows their major focus. So if you’re looking for some places to hear new sounds and standout headliners, get these hot spots on your radar:.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

Happy Anniversary, COH!

Features Kristi Kates Back in the 1800s, you knew a town had grown from mere settlement to a proper city once it acquired its own opera house. In 1892, Traverse City joined the Michigan branch of that elite club. It cost $50,000 — a fortune at the time — to build City Opera House, one of only 48 opera houses in Michigan at the time.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

Future Sounds

Features Kristi Kates Brian Chamberlain, musician, recording engineer, and owner of Studio Anatomy in Traverse City: “Over the past few years, this area has seen a huge growth in the singersongwriter/folk/indie folk scenes. Anyone looking through the weekly Nightlife section of Express can easily see the local staples making the rounds.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Old Guard

Features Kristi Kates Streisand may have been singing about a faded love. But memories of northern Michigan’s early music scene are the ones we want to know about. Much like Streisand herself, our local musical celebs have been making music for decades, but they still have an ageless quality about them.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Next Wave: Local Artists to Watch

Features Kristi Kates in equal measure, then you’ll be glad to hear Biomassive, because this group combines both genres so smoothly you’ll never find the seam. They’ve actually been knocking around the scene since 2012, but with a brand new self-produced album and aims outside the state, they’re headed for bigger things.
Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wonderful Waterfalls!

Features Kristi Kates There are over 200 named waterfalls in Michigan, each as unique as their name. Our state’s waterfalls glisten and glimmer as they tumble through rocks and cliffs, burble past stands of trees, and add a little extra something special to Michigan’s scenery.
Saturday, August 27, 2016

An Auto Race For Everyone

Features Kristi Kates VOLUNTEER SPIRIT Today, the drag races run a little differently, although the spirit behind them is still the same.
Saturday, August 20, 2016

New Orleans, Represent!

Music Kristi Kates Shorty will share the brewfest limelight with a buzz band Rolling Stone called one of the Ten New Artists You Need To Know for 2016: The Revivalists, another New Orleans act that lean more toward horn-sprinkled alt-rock along the lines of Alabama Shakes or Galactic, thanks in part to the bellowing vocals of frontman David Shaw.
Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Heapin’ Helpin’ Of Country Fun At The Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair

Features Kristi Kates As American as apple pie, the annual Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair has been a beloved Up North summer tradition for more than a century.
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Five Great Beach Reads

Books Kristi Kates There’s still about a month of summer left, which means there’s plenty of time left to enjoy Michigan’s lakeside destinations. In addition to sunscreen and a cool beverage, you’ll of course need something to read — something light enough that lets you to pause for dips in the lake and ice cream breaks, then resume reading without missing a beat.
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Get Happy With the Sounds of the ‘60s

Music Kristi Kates The Happy Together Tour is arriving at Little River Casino Resort in August, and with it an impressive list of ’60s hits all polished up and ready for singing along. It’s no wonder this has become one of the most popular vintage package tours in North America; the musicians included boast more than sixty Top 40 hits between them.