Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Our magic bubble
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Our magic bubble

Robert Downes - July 13th, 2009
Random Thoughts
Robert Downes 7/13/09
Our Magic Bubble
The recession doesn‘t seem to be putting much of a dent in Northern Michigan this summer, where cool weather has driven tourists off the beaches and into stores and restaurants to benefit the region‘s economy.
Anecdotally, we‘ve heard from our writers that tourism is down in some of the smaller towns around Northern Michigan, but you wouldn‘t know that in Traverse City, where we‘re recovering from the National Cherry Festival and its 500,000 visitors, while bracing for the TC Film Festival to start at the end of the month. The sidewalks in town were packed in early July as we weathered temperatures that seemed more in line with October. Rest assured, tourists, we locals also look forward to beach weather, since we‘re barely out of our winter coats.
But like the weather, the recession seems to have had a silver lining for Northern Michigan, and perhaps the state itself. Consider:
• Anne Stanton‘s recent articles on the meltdown of the local auto parts industry offered some encouraging news on the flip side of manufacturing in Michigan.
While the auto parts industry is in the ditch, local manufacturers are shifting gears to create innovative new products. Stanton‘s June 29 article, “Darwin‘s Law,“ pointed out the success of local manufacturers such as Tellurex, Opti Temp, Microline and Petoskey Plastics, who are exploring new technologies and markets that don‘t rely on the cyclical nature of the auto industry.
Consider that Michigan is packed with former auto part makers who are also thinking “outside the box“ on ways to compete globally with new technology and products. Given that, we need to think of Michigan as being in the process of reinventing itself, not down for the count.
• Our region is also becoming a magnet for the well-to-do, which will boost jobs, real estate and business. An article in this month‘s Traverse City Business News notes that private jet visits are skyrocketing at Cherry Capital Airport. Nearly 4,000 private jets or charter aircraft landed here last July, with 4,138 in August. Those jet arrivals are expected to increase this year.
Wealthy visitors and celebs are flying in to attend the month-long Horse Shows by the Bay and the TC Film Festival. Was that Oprah, Madonna and Mel Gibson we saw at last week‘s cherry pie eating contest? Probably not, but they‘ve been spotted visiting the region. As word gets around the celebrity world, perhaps Northern Michigan will turn into some version of Malibu North.
• Speaking of those festivals, Horse Shows by the Bay is bringing in 1,500 horses and riders along with thousands of support personnel from 34 states, Canada and Mexico. Up to 1,000 spectators are expected each week of the event, which runs July 8-Aug. 2. That‘s money, honey -- pumped into businesses throughout the region.
Similarly, filmmaker Michael Moore expects to exceed last year‘s mark of 80,000 admissions to the Film Festival, which celebrates its fifth anniversary July 29-Aug. 2. The festival will feature 71 films, representing more than 30 countries. Major film stars and directors will be in town for the red carpet treatment.
Bonus: the Film Festival will screen a 40th anniversary cut of the Woodstock concert film, with never-seen footage as well as appearances by some of those who performed at the 1969 event. Moore will also host the 20th anniversary screening of Roger & Me, which launched his career -- again, with special guests from the film attending. Let‘s hope former GM boss Roger Smith has been invited...
• Well, you get the picture; despite the doom & gloom in the news, we‘re privileged to live in something of a magic bubble here in Northern Michigan, where the local economy has been blessed by those who dare to innovate and create while others despair.
Here at the Express we‘re grateful to have sidestepped the ruin of the mainstream press in other parts of the country, and are thrilled to be part of this dynamic community.
But nationally, even the alternative newsweekly genre has been hit by the recession.
As an example, I traveled to Chicago and New York earlier this summer and found that the once-robust Chicago Reader, NY Press and Village Voice have become shadows of their former selves. The Chicago Reader used to be a three or four-section brick, but now it‘s about the same size as one of our summer issues. Alternative newspapers across the country are slitting their own throats by dumping cartoons and popular columns and moving their entertainment listings online. Ultimately, they give their readers fewer reasons to pick up their papers.
No worries on that score at the Express, where we‘ve added to our writing staff and have maintained our page count over prior years.
This isn‘t to say that we‘re all sailing on the Good Ship Lollipop, but a rising tide lifts all ships and ultimately, the good things happening in Northern Michigan will benefit us all.

 
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