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Monday, September 21 is the 30th annual International Day of Peace. World leaders will pay lip service and nothing more.
In Traverse City, the festivities will take place on the more convenient Saturday before, starting at the Clinch Park beach at 8am. There will be a march, there will be signs, there will be speeches. Hope for elusive peace will be the theme (and if previous years experience is a guide, there will also be people protesting those asking for peace. You would have to ask them why).
Next week the yellow buses will once again be among us.
More than 70 percent of northern Michigan school children will be riding those buses. Their safety will be in the hands of the courageous men and women who drive them (yes, courageous. You try driving up to 70 children twice a day, five days a week and then tell me that doesn’t require courage) and the motorists who interact with them.
Nearly eighteen years later, our community has a YMCA of which we can be proud and festival opportunities have quadrupled. But public art? Still lacking, and I think I know why. You might recall the controversy surrounding Dewey Blocksma’s “River Guardian” proposed public art piece in 1999. About 12-feet from its base, the figure’s shoulders are made of an aluminum canoe, the head created with a rounded piece of weathered wood, and eyes represented by seashells.
Food activists have zeroed in on their next target: Genetically modified organisms (GMO; it’s plural). They must be labeled, we’re told, because we don’t know if they’re safe.
It must be true because Neil Young has written a song about it and Gwynyth Paltrow has declared it to be so (Ms. Paltrow also believes the molecular structure of water changes depending on whether you’re nice or mean to it. Seriously).