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 · Art · Artists reach out to Guatemalan...
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Artists reach out to Guatemalan children

- July 14th, 2008
Area artists are lending their talents to help provide hope and opportunity to children of families who work and live at the Guatemala City garbage dump.
The dump is Central America’s largest land fill. The size of several football fields, the dump is in a deep ravine filled with everything from household trash to medical waste from Guatemala City’s two million residents. It oozes with toxic chemicals and methane gas. Vultures circle overhead creating a surreal scene of unimaginable poverty.
Last April, a number of local artists visited a virtual dump constructed at Higher Grounds Trading Company in Traverse City and viewed, “Recycled Life,” a documentary chronicling the lives of thousands of people who make their living scavenging at the dump.
Inspired by what they saw, Glenn Wolff, Melodee Rupert, Bill Allen, Delbert Michel, Janet Reed, Elizabeth Price, Ryan Greiner, Jessica Leggett, Tom Krueger, and Sherry Correl created original artwork for an auction at the third annual Fiesta of the Great Lakes Friends of Safe Passage to benefit the children of Guatemala.
The auction will also feature two tickets to see Madonna presenting her new film “I Am Because We Are” at the Traverse Film Festival, cooking classes with Chef Guilliuame Hazael-Massieux of LaBecasse Restaurant, as well as handcrafted Guatemalan goods, and much more.
All proceeds from the artwork and other sales at the Fiesta will support programs that provide over 500 children, preschool through high school. Donations help the kids attend school, obtain stable jobs, be self-sufficient, and lead their families out of poverty in a dignified way.
Safe Passage was founded in 1999 by Hanley Denning, a young educator from the U.S. who traveled to Guatemala to learn Spanish. She witnessed the devastating poverty endured by families at the garbage dump and started a drop-in program for the children. Her initial efforts with 40 children rapidly expanded and she was soon raising funds to build new facilities and involving hundreds of volunteers from all over the world.
After Hanley visited Traverse City in 2005, two local residents, Paul Sutherland and Sharon Workman, joined the Safe Passage Board of Directors and organized Great Lakes Friends to actively support the non-profit organization’s work here in Michigan. Since then, several local groups have traveled to Guatemala to visit and volunteer, including members of the Traverse City Rotary, Leelanau School, Northwestern Michigan College, and others.
Tragically, on January 18, 2007, Hanley Denning was killed in a car accident in Guatemala.
“In the wake of this unimaginable loss, thousands of people stepped forward to ensure Hanley’s dream lived on,” said board chair Sharon Workman. “Today Safe Passage is stronger than ever.”
Now under the leadership of executive director Barbara Nijhuis, who will be a special guest at this year’s Fiesta, Safe Passage draws volunteers and donors from 29 nations and has become internationally recognized for its use of education as a tool for combating poverty.
Fiesta 2008, A World United for the Children of Safe Passage, is set for July 16, 5:30 to 8 p.m., at the Hagerty Center in TC. Admission is $30 at the door. To make reservations, call (231) 590-6072 or email swworkman@centurytel.net. For more information about Safe Passage visit www.safepassage.org.

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