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...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Film Festival-itis
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Film Festival-itis

George Foster - August 4th, 2005
By the time you begin reading here, the First Annual Traverse City Film Festival will be history. Judging by the enthusiasm generated by the movies I have attended so far, this event is best thing to happen in Northern Michigan since the ice age left behind Lake Michigan.
In two short months, filmmaker/author Michael Moore and the festival committee performed a major miracle by renovating the State Theater, bringing in over two dozen new independent films, providing top-of-the-line projection equipment for all venues, and somehow rounding up hundreds of volunteers to do the work. Unbelievable - and a little overwhelming to ponder what future festivals could become with a full year of planning.
This past week downtown Traverse City has been abuzz with activity generated by the movies. It is THE social event of the year. Most of the movie theaters have been packed and the fifty-foot screen at the open space drew a reported 6,000 for the showing of “Jaws”. Local merchants must love the fact that many people attending are leaving their shorts and sandals behind and come dressed to spend money with Traverse City merchants before and after each film.
Personally, I look forward to the mystery of attending independent movies that have not been hyped in the media with reviews and short-clips beforehand. Each film has not been what I expected. When is the last time you were really surprised by a movie?
The only change I would recommend is moving the film festival dates to August or September. Do we really need the Cherry Festival, Bliss Fest, Film Festival, July 4th, and several other events all held within three weeks of each other? By the end of this film festival I am going to be burned out on the thought of having any fun (well, almost).
Forget any talk you may have heard that the film festival is a political statement by its founders. The documentaries I have viewed were received with loud applause and conspicuous by their lack of political commentary. This community has come together on all sides of the political spectrum to ensure the success of the Traverse City Film Festival.
Ironically, the alternative film festival (Freedom Festival), set up for the sole purpose of thwarting the T.C. Film Festival, seems to have accomplished little but galvanize the support behind the T.C. Film Festival. Could anyone tell me what the Freedom Festival is providing us freedom from? New ideas? Previews of innovative movies? Possible liberal participants?
Give me the slavery of a world with independent, creative thinking and diverse opinions, anytime.
On the other hand, the verbal attacks that are being vented against the person who launched the so-called Freedom Festival have now gone over the top. It is not surprising that a vendetta against Michael Moore at the expense of our community’s welfare would draw the ire of many locals. Yet, demonizing the Freedom Festival originator as the devil incarnate isn’t much different than those who say, “Michael Moore hates America and is the biggest supporter terrorism in this country” and other absurd hyperbole that only tends to split our citizenry.
It is time to dismiss all selfish, misguided attempts at divisiveness and move on. Michael Moore himself summed it up best when he referred to the T.C. Film Festival. “This is the America of liberty, where we can all have our different beliefs and opinions but where we can all come together for the good of the community.”
Congratulations, Traverse City. You should be proud.

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