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...

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. . . .

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
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
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

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