Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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Coach Carter Takes on Petoskey

George Foster - February 24th, 2005
I hate sports movies.
And I never grow tired of startling friends by telling them so. Many of them know that I actually live for sports - either following or participating in baseball, basketball, hockey, football, skiing, boxing, distance running, etc. Yet, films, depicting sports, turn my stomach.
For example, Bull Durham was ranked the No. 1 sports movie of all time by ESPN- I found it silly and Kevin Costner totally unconvincing. Some have rated Raging Bull as the greatest movie of all time in any genre. To me, it seemed overly demeaning to women and DeNiro‘s performance was nothing but a bunch of mumbling gangster talk.
In Field of Dreams, Costner again bores us with his monotonous Kevin Costner imitation. Caddyshack wasn‘t funny for even a second. If you are one of those knuckleheads who enjoy laughing at the predictably stupid Bill Murray jokes, I suppose that doesn‘t make you a bad person.
The interminable Rocky movies epitomize everything that is bad about sports movies. Suffocating through a Stallone boxing melodrama should warrant a purple heart. Yo Adrian, not one round of the fight scenes was believable. Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed collapsing atop one another in a heap at the final bell - Lord help us.
For all of these reasons, when recently conned into seeing the box-office smash Coach Carter, I entered the theater with a major league attitude against the film. An underdog basketball team, coached by a disciplinarian ex-player back in the ‘hood - it has only been done about a dozen times by Hollywood.
Despite the predictability of this movie, I liked it. Since it was based on actual events during the coaching tenure of basketball coach Ken Carter at an inner city high school in California, the film was complete with issues of gang violence, drugs, and academic underachievement. As with much in life, the ending was also bittersweet.
The movie was not really about basketball. It left me moved by what one person can do to inspire others to perform beyond expectations. My girlfriend says I was tearing-up during a climatic scene that I won‘t give away if you haven‘t seen the film. I still say I was sweating from the previous fast-paced basketball sequences.
Whatever the case, most of us have bumped into people like Coach Carter during our lifetimes. What can be more compelling than someone who takes a lonely stand against conventional wisdom to stand up for principle and the capacity of each person to perform academically beyond limited expectations? The force of Carter‘s convictions helped some of his players attend college who might not have even completed high school.
If life were fair, teachers would be the ones earning million dollar contracts and endorsement deals, not jocks. The distractions and pressures on today‘s youth have put a premium on the already infinitesimal value of inspiring educators. Sports are drowning in good coaches and players. Excellent educators, like Ken Carter, are preciously few and today‘s real superstars.

Coach Ken Carter will join the lecture series at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey at 7:30 pm on March 2, 2005. Doors open at 6:45, admission is free, and the presentation will be held in the NCMC Student & Community Resource Center.




 
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