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 · Other Opinions · Two loves
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Two loves

Stephen Tuttle - August 9th, 2010
Two Loves
I love elections.
I love the hope and possibility inherent in every election at every
level. Those of us who truly believe in our system can’t wait for the
chance to cast a ballot and then sit nervously as those ballots are
counted. Maybe that man or woman we just nominated or elected will be
the one who makes a difference, who has that spark of insight or
strength of leadership that gets us out of whatever mess we happen to
be in at the time.
Open elections are the quintessential symbol of American democracy.
For one day, despite the current failures of the two party system and
the truly onerous barrage of campaign commercials, we still have the
ability to go to the polls and freely vote for candidates of our
Those who wanted us to believe every candidate is the same and it
didn’t matter for whom we voted, or there were no worthy candidates;
shame on you. Given a ballot that included races for precinct
committee positions, district court judges, county commissioners,
state representatives, state senators, members of Congress, our new
governor and a barrage of millage issues surely there must have been
some candidate or some issue in there you could support.
For those who did find a reason to vote, were you shocked, stunned,
disillusioned? Did you expect Virg Bernero to thump Andy Dillon? Do
you think Mike Cox, Mike Bouchard and Pete Hoekstra would split the
hardcore conservative vote and allow Rick Snyder to dominate the
Republican race?
The real fun now begins. A former legislator turned mayor versus a
business guy with no previous political experience. A man who has been
referred to as America’s angriest mayor against the man who helped
sell Gateway to Acer. Political fire and brimstone against methodical
nerdism. Organized labor versus the business community.
Commence firing. This oughta be good.
I love the Traverse City Film Festival.
It brings new perspective, new ideas and new energy to Northern
Michigan. Not to mention millions of dollars. Traverse City was
downright electric for the six days of the Festival. Restaurants and
sidewalks were jammed. Parking places were almost non-existent.
Everywhere one traveled there was talk of movies. How many have you
seen? What did you like? How’d you rate it? What are you seeing
tomorrow? As a bonus, almost every movie is an adventure. Could a
South Korean romantic comedy be any good? Absolutely. Were the
documentaries interesting and informative? You bet. Were the young
filmmakers innovative and bold? Yes, they were.
The entire thing this year was almost perfect. Almost.
On Tuesday night there was an Opening Party. It was held on Front
Street for the first time. The party was fine, the venue a mistake.
There are a handful of events that are fairly expensive. The opening
party was one of those events. At $50 per person ($25 for Friends of
the Festival), it’s a pretty stout financial commitment in an area
suffering with unemployment hovering around 15%. Those who could
afford it were able to eat some nice food, drink some nice wine, beer
and vodka and socialize with some of the directors, producers and
movie sponsors.
Most of us understand these events are not just important but
essential to the success of the Festival. They raise money and create
an atmosphere integral to the ongoing involvement of both filmmakers
and some Festival goers.
But holding it on Front Street, behind a double fence, was ironic at
best and bizarrely insensitive at worst. While the gliterati wore
their orange wristbands and ate their fine food and drank their fine
wines inside the fences, the hoi polloi stood outside gazing
plaintively at what they did not and could not have. The haves on the
inside, the have-nots on the outside. All that was missing was
someone whispering, “Alms for the poor, please?”
Michael Moore has deservedly earned a reputation as the champion of
the little guys and gals, the underdogs, the downtrodden, the poor,
the disadvantaged and the have-nots. That he was part of an event that
so dramatically put the folks he so often and so righteously supports
on the outside looking in was disconcerting in the extreme. At another
time it might have been exactly the kind of event Mr. Moore would have
recorded for inclusion in one of his excellent documentaries. And not
By all means, the high dollar events should and must continue. But not
in a location that so nakedly fences in those who can pay and fences
out those who cannot. Organizers should hold them someplace else.
Well-dressed folks eating and drinking should not be a spectator sport
for people on a budget. Front Street would be better served by a party
that costs five bucks a head and involves nearby businesses, gives
everyone a chance to participate and puts a little money into Festival
Having said that, I can hardly wait for next year’s Film Festival.

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