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 · Features · Petoskey Stone Festival
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Petoskey Stone Festival

Kristi Kates - May 23rd, 2011
Long ago during one or more of North America’s glacial intervals, sheets
of slowly-moving ice pulled fossilized coral pebbles from the bedrock and
deposited them in what is now Northern Michigan.
Today, those same fossilized coral pebbles, a mottled gray color with
 distinctive repeating hexagon patterns, are Michigan’s state stone, and
have been dubbed Petoskey stones. “They’re the stuff of local legend, the
collectible of many a summer, the region’s rockhound claim to fame, and
also the honoree of a dedicated springtime festival, taking place this
Saturday at Barnes Park in Eastport.
Christy Roman of the Antrim Conservation District is one of those now
running that fest, for which part of the appeal, she says, is the fact
that the Petoskey Stone is memorabilia as much as it is a collectible.
“I think that when you find a Petoskey Stone, you use it as a way to
identify back to the time or place when you found that particular stone,”
Roman says, “I also think they are captivating because they are unique,
and they represent a time in the history of our state.”

As far as the history of the Petoskey Stone Festival itself is concerned,
the idea for the event, Roman explains, was proposed by locals Linda
Gallagher and Eileen Wallick of Barnes Park as an opportunity to bring new
visitors to both the park and to Antrim County.
“Barnes Park is known as a great place to find Petoskey stones,” Roman
says, “so it seemed like a perfect fit to have a festival celebrating our
state stone.”
Now a program of the Antrim County’s Parks and Recreation Advisory
Commission, the fest takes place on a full day late in May, and is still
overseen by Wallick in addition to Roman’s contributions. It takes a
village - or, in this case, a committee - to put the event together.
“The festival is overseen by a committee of volunteers, with the festival
chair being Linda Gallagher, editor of the Antrim Review,” Roman explains,
“the committee meets on a monthly basis most of the year, but we go to
every other week between April and May, as there are many parts of the
festival to put together - that is why we take a team approach to
coordinating the event.”

Plenty of interesting activities make up this year’s festivities. Some of
the best-attended recurring events, according to Roman, involve fishing,
live entertainment, circus-worthy crafts, and, of course, plenty of
Petoskey Stones.
“Our popular festival events include the Commissioner’s Stone Skipping
contest, the Petoskey Stone hunt on the shores of East Grand Traverse Bay,
the trout fishing pond, the music of local entertainer Danny Bellenbaum,
and the balloon creations of Albo the Clown of East Jordan,” Roman says.
New to the festival this year is the inclusion of SEE-North’s North Wings
raptor rehabilitation program, which will bring in several of the large
birds from their nonprofit center in Harbor Springs.
“Among the raptors will be Chilli the Eastern Screech Owl and Lucy the
Red-Shouldered Hawk as well as other birds of prey that inhabit Northern
Michigan, including one of our largest raptors, the Golden Eagle,” Roman

While Roman enjoys all of the festival’s unique happenings, the best part
for her involves interacting with those who attend it.
“My favorite part is connecting with the people who attend the festival
and those who participate as vendors,” she says, “every year I learn more
about the Petoskey Stone, and because of my role with the festival, I am
able to take that knowledge back and share it with others.
“The other thing I enjoy is seeing all of the happy people. Our festival
is about creating moments, and there is nothing more rewarding than to see
people enjoy the day - it makes all of the work worth the effort.”

The 6th Annual Antrim County Petoskey Stone Festival will take place on
Saturday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 pm at Barnes Park in Eastport. For more
information, contact Christy Roman at the Antrim Conservation District,
telephone 231-533-8363, or visit the fest’s website,

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