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..

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Student Frame-UP
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Student Frame-UP

Doug Stanton - March 24th, 2008
For the past several months, area high school teachers and I have worked to put kids into the movie mix of the State Theatre in downtown Traverse City.
Now on the third Monday of every month, you’ll see high school kids put on quite a show. They take tickets, sell popcorn, and present a student and major feature film. Prior to the curtain opening, they promote their movie pick to the local media.
Each of the three area high schools—TC Central, TC West and Suttons Bay—has formed a chapter under the overall umbrella of the High School Student Film Club, which will run year-round. The night kicks off with a screening of a short student film. The student filmmaker comes on stage at the State to answer questions, which is always a lot of fun. After that, the students introduce that night’s feature and explain why their club chose the movie. Student tickets are $6 and the public is welcome at regular admission prices.
For the student’s premiere in January, they screened Rob Reiner’s hilarious Spinal Tap, complete with Traverse City West students in costume, selling the popcorn at the counter. The student short was the crime caper Domination Station and wins the award for “best use of exploding watermelon in a film.”
The second film club night in February featured the western 3:10 To Yuma, the original 1957 version. I asked Elmore Leonard, who wrote the original story, as well as Gretchen Moll, who appeared in the 2007 remake, to grant interviews with our Traverse City Central High School students, and both artists generously agreed. That says a lot about what kind of people they are, and showed the students that doing this kind of thing is not a pie-in-the-sky idea.
The student short was a comic documentary titled Senioritis (Truant officers, to your marks—go!).
The March movie pick—Everything is Illuminated—came from Suttons Bay High School. They kicked it off with a series of animated shorts the Suttons Bay students made in connection with The Art Place, a project headed by photographer Ken Scott.

So this is where you come in. First, I’ve had a blast meeting these bright, energetic students and their committed teachers.
But to make this club even better, we need your support. Most importantly, come to the theatre and witness for yourself what these students have to say about their own movies, and about those they think we should see.
Bring a student with you—they’ll have a great time. After the show, Horizon Books next door to the theatre, offers discounts to students who pull up to the coffee bar needing caffeine before they head home to study. (For Spinal Tap, Horizon made a signature drink with three shots of espresso, called... A Spinal Tap.)
Our fourth student film club night is April 21, with American Graffiti. In the meantime, I’ve asked film director Jim Gartner to do a guest edit of the student films we’ll show April 21, and to take part in the discussion with the film-maker at the screening.
Jim, a Traverse City resident (his wife graduated from Central), made the movie Glory Road with producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Movie director Terry George, who made Hotel Rwanda and Reservation Road and serves as a Traverse City Film Festival board member, has agreed to be guest director in May.
You can also support the film club by offering up ideas. Do you know anyone working in this art form who’d be willing to lend an hour talking to our students? If you have expertise of any kind— in film editing, for instance—or if you have equipment or money to give, please call us. Perhaps you have space for an instructional lab for students.
So far, the club members have secured a webmaster to donate a website. On it, they plan to talk about film—the good, the funny, and the awful.
Other things the website can cover: upcoming film festivals, student internships with filmmakers, scholarships for film school. The sky’s the limit.

When John Robert Williams, Michael Moore, and myself — board members of the Traverse City Film Festival — assumed ownership of the theatre from Traverse City’s Rotary Charities, we did so on behalf of our town and film-lovers everywhere. We hold the theatre in trust for the benefit of all.
As part of the Rotary mandate, the State provides artistic experiences for the wider community. In that spirit, the State offers highly popular community nights called Cinema Curiosa; Indy Flix; and the Inter-Faith Film series.
All of us at the State Theatre are deeply committed to giving back to the community, which so energetically makes the theatre possible. When I was a student in Traverse City, people took the time to let me see that it was possible to make a life and a living in the arts.
It used to be true, way back in the late disco-era when I was in high school, that everyone talked about moving to the big city where there were good jobs and good movies. We want to put an end to that.
The film club aims to nurture the students’ desire to learn more about movies and make a living with this art form. The moving image is the alphabet of the 21st century.
What makes this possible is new and cheaper digital technology. We have to prepare students who want to take part in this new growth industry. (One of the film club advisors, in fact, wonders if film and video production can’t become part of the vocational-tech program in order to qualify for more funding.)
Having said that, even if you don’t want to make the next No Country For Old Men, life is richer when you understand the art form. A rising tide in arts literacy lifts everybody up.

For more information, contact Charles Rennie of Traverse City West at 932-1967, Doug Stanton at 935-4183, Jim Filkins at Traverse City Central at 933-3546, and Scott Tompkins of Suttons Bay High School at 271-8677.

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