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..

Topic: sound
Monday, March 31, 2014

Driftwood’s Striking Sound

Music Kristi Kates “The sound stems from a few different things,” said Byrne, who also leads and backs up on vocals. “We have all studied classically, and I think that, combined with our various musical influences, anything from Hendrix to Doc Watson, gives us the sound we have.
Monday, July 7, 2014


Northern Michigan is probably one of the few places you’ll find a band inspired by, and in fact formed because of, steelhead fishing.

Music Kristi Kates Adam Carpenter, Evan Simula, Jacob Kuhlman, and Jonah Kuhlman are Chasin’ Steel, an Up North bluegrass quartet that’s taken two of their shared hobbies to heart and string.
Monday, July 14, 2014

The ‘Return’ of THE BEATLES

Beatles fans don’t take their tribute bands lightly.

Music Kristi Kates When any foursome takes the stage and starts playing as John, Paul, George and Ringo, one false note can ruin the magic. Fortunately, four guys from Georgia aren’t just playing around – they’re serious as Sunday about the sound, look and mannerisms of the Fab Four.
Monday, November 24, 2014

The Ragbirds Are a Travelin' Machine

Music Kristi Kates Multiple appearances at Blissfest and other Up North venues have made the Ragbirds familiar faces around the northern Michigan music scene, despite being based in Ann Arbor. The last time Northern Express spoke with the band, they were in the middle of promoting their then-new album, Finally Almost Ready, and were taking their sound to stages in 20 states.
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.
Monday, March 16, 2015

Wisaal Weaving a Sound

Music Kristi Kates EARLY YARN All six members of the Lansing-based Mediterranean fusion group — Will Cicola on clarinets and saxophone, Houwat on oud, Ben Fuhrman on mandolin, Tim Patterson on bass, and Ty Forquer and Mike List on percussion — are classically-trained musicians.
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, 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, March 12, 2016

Matuto Brings Bluegrass and Brazil to the Dennos

Music Kristi Kates He was particularly inspired by the music he was hearing coming out of Brazil and he traveled to that country to study it further; coupled with his jazz roots, bluegrass flatpicking abilities and wry lyrics that recall the Talking Heads, he conjured up quite a mix for his individual sound.