Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Traverse City Film Festival Tips

Rick Coates - July 25th, 2011
TC Film Festival Tips
By Rick Coates
The Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF), now in its seventh year, at times
might seem a bit overwhelming with 150-plus screenings, all the parties,
panel discussions and pomp and circumstance the week brings.
No need to fret as the hundreds of volunteers along with TCFF founder
Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore and co-founders New York
Times best selling author Doug Stanton and Traverse City based
photographer John Robert Williams have planned a navigable week for the
casual and diehard film buff.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of the 2011 Film Fest. Start by
pulling out the center section of the Express (the TCFF Guide) where you
will find a synopsis of all the films as well as a schedule and location
of the showings. 

Sold Out
Considering that there are more than 3,000 Friends of the TCFF who get
first crack at purchasing tickets it should come as no surprise that some
films sell out. Michael Moore’s response is simply “you can take my word
that you can literally throw ten darts at the schedule and, no matter
where they land, you will have just programmed yourself one of the best
weeks you’ve ever had in northern Michigan.”
Moore and TCFF Manager Deb Lake take pride in selecting films that will
entertain and enlighten; and after six previous festivals no one has yet
to complain. So while certain “hyped up” films will sell out, read deeper
into the program and seek out other films or toss the darts to make your
Now, if you are determined to see one of those sold-out films, there are
wait lines and usually minutes before a film starts seats become
available. Typically media, sponsor and VIP no-shows along with the
occasional ticket turn-in will allow an opportunity to see a sold-out
film; but arrive early -- this is not a best kept secret.
In the future consider becoming a Friend of the TCFF to have a better
opportunity to guarantee your seats. 

Take in some of the other great amenities the region has to offer. By
mixing up your week between the films, panels and parties with some of the
cool things to do in the area you will get the best of all worlds during
the TCFF.
To learn about area attractions, stop by the Traverse City Convention
and Visitors Bureau on the corner of Union Street and the Parkway
(across from the Open Space Outdoor Cinema) or by checking them out at
www.traversecity.com . Taking in some of the award-winning wineries of
the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula’s should be at the top of the
list. Another suggestion would be to visit the Village at the Grand
Traverse Commons (former State Hospital) with its shops and hiking

Get Looped
The TCFF has a “Festival Loop” and “Smart Commute” program in place to
make parking, getting around and riding your bike to venues simple.The
festival offers a free shuttle to all venues Wednesday-Sunday from 8 a.m.
until the last filmgoers and volunteers are returned to their cars. Park
at Northwestern Michigan College’s Cherry Lot, near Milliken Auditorium,
where buses will stop every 5 to 15 minutes to pick you up and take you
around the Festival Loop.
Parking at NMC’s Cherry Lot near Milliken Auditorium is easy. From there,
you can take the Free Festival Loop Shuttle while you park all day and
night without worry or cost. The Loop stops at each movie theater, the
free festival parking lot and the Larry C. Harding Parking Deck in
downtown. Check out the TCFF website for additional details including a
bike map (they have designated bike racks for TCFF participants) and
parking instructions for the Old Town Playhouse and the Lars Hockstad

Party Like A Rock Star
Everyone likes a great party and the TCFF is no exception. The week is
chock full of “official” and “unofficial” parties (these are usually
impromptu happenings at downtown restaurants and clubs).
TCFF parties feature guest filmmakers, actors and celebrities as well as a
lot of local flavor. Parties are catered by local chefs and feature food
and drink products from the region. The Filmmakers Party on Friday night
is quickly becoming the must-attend celebration of the week. Complete
party details and tickets available on the TCFF website. 

Get Educated
Everything about the TCFF is a great deal. Moore and festival organizers
have kept admission prices to films and parties affordable. Certainly the
free films at the Open Space and the free Panel Sessions each morning at
9:30 at the City Opera House are among the best deals.
The Panel Sessions are a great way to learn about the art of filmmaking
from various perspectives. Highlights this year include Wednesday with
Kevin Clash and the entire filmmaking team of “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s
Journey” as they talk about the creation of their award-winning
documentary.  Saturday’s panel will raise some eyebrows with the theme
“Who’s Killing Hollywood In Michigan?” Filmmakers, subjects, producers and
the head of the Michigan Film Office talk about taking a stand for the
hand and making great cinema art at the same time — and the new governor’s
severe cutback of the Michigan Film Incentive.
All panels are free and those interested in attending are encouraged to
get advance tickets through the box office. 

Meeting Michael Moore
The founder of the TCFF also happens to be one of the most famous people
in the world. Michael Moore makes himself available to the masses during
festival week but if you truly want some one-on-one face time with Moore,
here is the secret: call the TCFF office this week and make a substantial
Moore along with his wife Kathleen Glynn and a few others have bankrolled
the TCFF over the past seven years. Moore consistently says  he is
“looking for other angels” to come forward. To Make a donaion, call

Enjoy the 2011 Traverse City Film Festival and checkout
www.traversecityfilmfest.org for additional details. 
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