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 · Music · Blues at the Bear: Sleeping Bear...
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Blues at the Bear: Sleeping Bear Dunegrass and Blues Festival Reawakens

Andy Taylor - August 5th, 2004
Fans of good music and good company will want to head for the lake this weekend for the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues festival in Empire.
Everything from bluegrass to folk to reggae is sure to please even the most hardnosed music listener.
There is a tradition of sorts with the festival, but those who frequent Dunegrass might be surprised by a few changes made this summer. “1992 was probably the first one that we did, but my husband (Mike) does not like to call it annual in case we can’t do it anymore. We had to move to M-22 from near M-72 where we were, so now we’re behind the St. Philip Neri Church and we have overnight camping this year,” says co-director of the festival Carol Vanderberg.
The whole intent of the festival is to feature local music as Vanderberg states. “All the bands are from Michigan except one,” which, according to Vanderberg is known as White Chocolate and the Topless Manskirt Revolution (yikes).
Gates to the festival grounds open at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 6 with music starting soon after. A trio of eclectic bands will be performing on this first evening. “We have three bands on Friday night,” Vanderberg says. “Deedle - Edle and Beyond Potato Salad will play. Beyond Potato Salad are really wonderful. They are going to do a little mellow thing this year. We also have the Jah Kings.” The Jah Kings are a Kalamazoo-based reggae outfit.
Saturday is the main day of the festival that includes music starting at 10 a.m. with two hours of open mic, then performances by Cheri and the Violators, Bruce Irwin, Jay Webber and Blueswater, with an “extra special guest” rounding out the afternoon entertainment. After a dinner break, the music begins again with Ion Quest, Greensky Bluegrass and Grasshoppah. K. Jones and the Benzie Playboyz were originally scheduled to close the festival but recently cancelled, so a back-up is being located.
Greensky Bluegrass is a favorite in the area and is well-liked for their acoustic music that shows hints of bluegrass founder Bill Monroe’s style, along with jazz and reggae roots. Grasshoppah is a folk/blues/bluegrass trio that might be the most unusual and interesting act of the night. The band features a lead vocalist and guitarist who plays the drums with his feet using a number of contraptions and pedals, and can also perform harmonica solos.
But music is not all there is to offer. “On Saturday we are going to have a kids tent from 12-4 p.m. There will be face painting and chalk drawing and ice blocks to slip and slide on. We have food vendors and arts and crafts. Lots of good food. And the BATA bus will be there to take people to the beach because we are really close,” Vanderberg adds. “We have a visitor tent but bring a lawnchair or blanket if you want to sit out in the sun. Otherwise everything is provided, including porta-potties and security,” she says.
Tickets to the Dunegrass festival can be purchased at Deerings Market in Empire, Cedar City Market, East Shore Market in Beulah, Kejara’s Bridge in Leelanau, Oryana Natural Foods in Traverse City and Leelanau Coffee Roasters of Glen Arbor. They can also be purchased using a credit card by calling 231-326-5287. The cost is $20 for adults with an extra $5 per person if camping overnight. Children 12 and under are free.
Saturday-only tickets are also available for $15.
To get to the festival, take M-22 or M-72 to Empire, then follow the signs which lead to the grounds on the north side of town.
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