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 · Features · A Smash Hit
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A Smash Hit

Robert Downes - August 4th, 2005
There doesn‘t seem to be enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe the success of the first Traverse City Film Festival, which drew thunderous applause, standing ovations and full
houses at the 600-seat State Theatre throughout the week.
At a pre-festival party, co-founder and Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore said the event had sold 15,000 advance tickets before it opened, an unparalleled feat for a first-time film festival and the envy of directors everywhere.
Perhaps even more amazing was the fact that the festival was organized in a mere two months. Author Doug Stanton who also co-founded the event with Traverse City photographer John Robert Williams, said that he and Moore had discussed the possibility of a film festival for several years but was astounded when the filmmaker decided to move ahead with the idea in May with virtually no staff or funding.
Then too, the dilapidated State Theatre had languished for years in a state of disrepair, with local promises to refurbish the building going nowhere.
Support came quickly, however, with more than 100 area businesses turning out to sponsor the event and scores of volunteers materializing to spruce up the State (the theater also benefited from an “anonymous“ donation by Moore) And although the festival‘s all-volunteer organization suffered much in the way of infighting, turf wars and resignations, somehow the show managed to go on.
Politics went by the wayside, with filmgoers seeming resolute to accept Moore‘s promise that the event would be about enjoying good films rather than whipping up controversy. When a sailboat went past the Open Space showing of “Jaws“ with the far-right counter film festival promoted on its sails, it was greeted with a mixture of boos and yawns from the crowd of more than 6,000.
No one seemed more surprised by the level of acceptance from Traverse City‘s largely Republican business community than Michael Moore. Speaking at the opening night showing of “Mad Hot Ballroom,“ he said he never dreamed two months ago that conservative talk radio station WTCM-AM would sign on as a sponsor. He also thanked Republican State Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer (R-Bellaire) for supporting the festival in a courageous local newspaper column. Former Republican Gov. Bill Milliken and his wife Helen received thanks for sponsoring one of the festival‘s major events.
“That‘s the great thing about America,“ Moore told the crowd on opening night. “Although we may disagree at times and have different ideas and backgrounds, we can still come together to make good things happen.“

-- by Robert Downes

The ‘Other‘ Film Festival...
in Harbor Springs
It‘s the Blissfest‘s four-part Irish Film Fest, which kicks off at the Harbor Springs Middle School Cafeteria on Wednesday August 4. Irish music and a brief introductory lecture begins the evening’s program at 7:15 p.m.
Irish films dealing with famine, revolution and emigration will be shown each Wednesday night during August, including “The Great Hunger,“ “Captain Lightfoot,“ “Out of Ireland“ and “Beloved Enemy,“ leading up to the Harbor Celtic Festival to be held August 26-27 at Zorn Park.
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