LELAND — Get involved.
That was the simple life lesson conveyed to more than 1,000 northern Michigan students at a mock election at Leland Public Schools — an event to teach patriotism, democracy and the importance of public participation.
"Become involved," teacher Ed Wodek said Tuesday morning to an auditorium packed with teens from across the Grand Traverse region. "Whether it's politics, school or any other activity you aspire to, be involved."
The mock election was just that: a simulation of a political convention in which students lobbied their fellow students to vote for a particular political candidate. The event featured all the traditional trappings of politics: American flags waved in the stands, political signs bounced up and down in the basketball arena, and a Bruce Springsteen rock anthem blared in the background.
Real political candidates who sought to get the word out about their campaigns showed up and encouraged students to always vote.
"It's an opportunity to tell my story, and to make sure people in Leland know who I am," said U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, a Republican who had a staffer hand out campaign signs to students.
Allen O'Shea is a Democrat who seeks the state House seat in the 101st District. He was on hand to meet students, and said he was impressed with what he saw.
"It's educational for the students," O'Shea said. "It encourages young people to participate in the voting process."
The message of getting involved and the importance of voting resonated with Aaron Bigelow, a West Middle School student in Traverse City. Bigelow watched as fellow students approached the podium and made their cases for Benishek, O'Shea and others who've campaigned for president and the U.S. Senate.
Bigelow said he planned to vote for the Republican candidates at the mock rally, in part because his family leans to the right. He was also voting Republican, though, because he'd gone online to check out the candidates positions on the issues, and he liked what the Republicans had to say.
"The ones I'm voting for would help my dad by lowering his taxes," said Bigelow, adding a fringe benefit of the rally was "I get out of math class."
Leland 11th grader Noa Yaakovy thought the mock election was valuable. It was a primer, she said, for the importance of voting. She also liked the format that emphasized only positive information about candidates.
"I want to hear about what's good about people," Yaakovy said. "It's a learning experience for me. I really don't know a lot about the candidates other than the presidential."
The event was broadcast live on Michigan Government TV. Benzie Central High School teacher Donna Balazovic said 82 students from Benzie County participated. She, too, believes the event is a great learning experience for kids.
"This is as close as they can get to a "¦ realistic perspective on the elections process," said Balazovic. "I think it's a great opportunity for kids to get involved. We want them to be more comfortable in seeking out information and learning about their local governments and how they operate.
"This is a chance to get involved," Balazovic said. "Normally they are sitting on the sidelines watching, so it's a great opportunity for them to get a hands-on experience of what the entire United States is experiencing."
Event simulates a political convention
LELAND — Get involved.
Film Festival adds screenings to schedule
The Traverse City Film Festival has added screenings of in-demand movies including Woody Allen's "Fading Gigolo" and director Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" to its schedule for next week.Continued ...
Community helps Cousins repay TCAPS
Community members and a handful of Traverse City Area Public Schools employees and board members helped former TCAPS superintendent Stephen Cousins repay the district, according to TCAPS records.Continued ...
TCAPS reimbursed ahead of schedule
Community members showed their support for Traverse City Area Public Schools’ former superintendent Stephen Cousins by way of their pocketbooks.Continued ...
Craigslist car sale leads to weapons assault charge
Leelanau County Sheriff's deputies arrested a Cedar man who tried to strike another man with a crowbar after a Craigslist car sale sputtered and stalled, authorities said.Continued ...
Lake Leelanau man arrested after domestic disturbance
A Lake Leelanau man was arrested on two counts of felonious assault after Leelanau County sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a man making threats with a knife.Continued ...
United Way donors can help with grant process
United Way of Northwest Michigan is looking for volunteers to sift through grant applications and decide how to divvy up the available funds of this year's grant cycle.Continued ...
Bensley backs off on visitation denial
Grand Traverse County's sheriff backed off his efforts to bar potential media access to a jailed high-profile criminal defendant, but it took a conversation with the county's prosecutor to change his mind.Continued ...
Gomery hearing delayed
Court officials agreed to push back the next court appearance for a local attorney accused of trying to orchestrate a murder-for-hire plot.Continued ...
Swimmers warned against four beaches
Officials issued bacteria warnings for four Grand Traverse Bay beaches after rain and high winds.Continued ...
Film producer pleads guilty
The ex-wife of filmmaker Michael Moore pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor impaired driving charge in 86th District Court.Continued ...
Ceremony will honor 2 Civil War soldiers buried in Kalkaska
Two Civil War soldiers, both Congressional Medal of Honor recipients buried in Kalkaska’s Evergreen Cemetery, will be honored once again for their bravery in a special military ceremony on Saturday.Continued ...
A new place for art
Visitors approaching the Dentolutions offices might mistake the sculpture outside for a giant red, avant garde toothbrush.Continued ...
TCFF's latest free venue is all 'The Buzz'
Harold “Buzz” Wilson was adamant that film should be enjoyed by all and not just those who can afford tickets.Continued ...
Calling all cowboys and cowgirls
The search is on for a few good cowboys and cowgirls. The Manistee County Fair, which also serves Benzie County, announced it will host a rodeo that’s open to any cowpokes interested in participating in bareback riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, cowgirl’s barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.Continued ...
- Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Parking violations spike Wednesday morning
Dozens of motorists who parked illegally overnight recently on city streets awoke to find tickets stuck to their windshields.Continued ...
City manager gets satisfactory review
City commissioners like the substance of new City Manager Jered Ottenwess and ruled his performance satisfactory but want him to develop a harder, older, and more political image.Continued ...
New driver education partnership for Big Brothers Big Sisters
Local teenagers now have the opportunity to learn to drive through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.Continued ...
UPDATE: A new Kid's Kove
Kassy Shaw and Ella Mead have some ideas about how to improve Grand Traverse County Civic Center's Kid's Kove playground.Continued ...
Moore, Glynn end marriage
Filmmaker Michael Moore's marriage is over. Moore and now ex-wife Kathleen Glynn filed a consent judgement of divorce recently in 13th Circuit Court in Antrim County. Most of the terms of the divorce are confidential.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 07/24/2014
Because of incorrect information provided to the Record-Eagle, the year of Bert Brengman's death was incorrect in Wednesday's edition. Brengman died in 1998.Continued ...
Traverse City man charged with sex crime
A Traverse City man is suspected of engaging in unwanted sex acts with a teenage relative.Continued ...
Grant will provide fresh fruit, veggies at Traverse Heights Elementary
Traverse Heights Elementary School students will get free healthy snacks during the upcoming school year thanks to a $12,650 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.Continued ...
Absentee ballots available for August election
Registered voters who won’t be able to make it to the polls for the August primary election still have time to vote by absentee ballot.Continued ...
Carter's Kids, GT County aim to replace Civic Center playground
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County is partnering with a national nonprofit group to raise money for a new playground at the county's Civic Center. Carter's Kids, a group that promotes youth fitness started by Traverse City resident and televisionContinued ...
Elmwood trustee charged with domestic violence
TRAVERSE CITY — An Elmwood Township trustee is accused of hitting his wife during an argument. David Lee Darga's wife told authorities that she was assaulted by her husband, according to a report compiled by the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department.Continued ...
- Film Festival adds screenings to schedule