Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · It‘s the...
. . . .

It‘s the berries...

Robert Downes - July 5th, 2010
It’s the berries...
What do people do when times get tough? They hold big parties and try
to fuggedaboudit for awhile.
It’s a global impulse: in Rio de Janeiro, where millions live in dire
poverty, slum-dwellers who may not even have electricity or running
water spend the entire year working on parade costumes and floats for
their annual Carnival.
The same community spirit holds true for the National Cherry Festival,
which brings out hundreds of volunteers who contribute more than
35,000 hours of their time to host an
8-day party for more than 500,000 people. This is on top of 10,000
hours of professional staff time: Cherry Festival staffers Tim
Hinkley, Susan Wilcox Olson, Trevor Tkach, Karen Siekas, Stephanie
Neville, Chuck O’Connor, Mandy DePuy, Jennifer Parlette, Erika Olsen
and Emily LaFollette get the ball rolling on 150 events, based out of
a small suite of offices in downtown Traverse City.
This is the 84th outing for the Cherry Festival, which got its start
in 1926 as a harvest celebration for the cherry crop. It’s been a bit
of a bum season for the cherry crop this year, owing to a hard frost
which split the budding fruit this spring. On the other hand, the
remaining cherries came early this year, so we’ll have something of
the spirit of 1926 with our own local fruit to savor, instead of the
imported stuff.
Some people have groused in recent years that the Festival has grown
“too corporate” with sponsorships. But the good news is that 85% of
festival events are still free of charge, and that’s a fine thing in
this economy, especially for cash-strapped families who are looking to
catch a break at a time when even a bucket of movie popcorn runs $5 or
more.
Last week was filled with somber news: the gusher in the Gulf pounded
out another 700,000 barrels of oil and the stock market fell something
like 400 points. Republicans shot down an extension of unemployment
benefits, leaving an extra 200,000 people per week dangling without a
safety net, on top of 1 million whose benefits have already expired.
The Asian Carp splashed its way to within five miles of Lake Michigan.
Unemployment is reportedly up to 19% in Benzie County and other
pockets of Northern Michigan. And there was the usual creepy stuff in
the news about child molesters, break-ins, druggers, muggers and other
bummers.
In short, we could use a break from the status quo, and lo and
behold, here ‘tis. This week, hundreds of thousands of us will line
the bay to watch the fireworks and the Blue Angels; camp out on Front
Street for hours of parades; party with our friends at the Open Space
and its Bayside Music Stage; and enjoy the simple sensation of walking
to town with our kids, if only to avoid the traffic. People from all
over the country will be here, enjoying one of the Top 10 Festivals in
the United States. And the good news is that every small town in
Northern Michigan has its own version of the Cherry Festival as the
summer unfolds. As the saying goes, it’s the berries. See you
downtown.

 
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