Column: Olympics and the Oscars are fine, but we have stars

<p>Val Ryan</p>

Is it safe to turn on TV again? Are the Olympics really over?

It seems like they lasted at least a month, and the events felt like Ground Hog Day — the same people doing the same things with the same results over and over again.

After the closing ceremony, Sochi must go back to life as usual — whatever that was — before it became the world’s largest construction site. The area is now home to more than 40,000 hotel rooms, four ski resorts, dozens of restaurants and retailers, five sports arenas, one stadium and enough roads and railways to handle 20,000 visitors an hour – and no plan for attracting tourists. A $57 billion two-week show?

I guess if you’re Putin you can do anything with the citizens’ rubles. That side show called Ukraine is not likely to go away as readily as the Olympics. Who knows what will happen there?

The next Winter Olympics will be in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Let us hope that by the time 2018 arrives, that name will roll trippingly off the tongue, because it sure doesn’t now. We can start making book right now on whether and how Kim Jong-un will sabotage the games. A worthy pastime.

We have our own version of the “Olympics” every year. It’s called the Academy Awards — much more interesting to me than the international version. My information this year is based on hearsay, reading, trailers seen, previews enjoyed, etc., because I have been housebound for far too long. So, whatever I say should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

My personal picks for the Oscar were: “American Hustle” for best movie; Kate Blanchett, best actress for “Blue Jasmine”; Christian Bale, best actor for “American Hustle”; Bradley Cooper, best supporting actor for “American Hustle”; and Julia Roberts for best supporting actress for “August: Osage County.” The dark horse in that last category — no pun intended — was Lupita Nyong’o, nominated for “12 Years a Slave.” She not only garnered rave reviews for her performance but also is everyone’s favorite cover girl.

After all that praise for “American Hustle,” it would have been only right that David O. Russell should get best director, I think. The only other award I have to give is to “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” an engrossing, informative and entertaining documentary about backup musicians and singers.

We all know that Cannon Beach is filled with people of creativity, imagination, energy, leadership and entrepreneurship. Two prime examples are Christen Allsop, who put on the Yoga Festival, and Gary Hayes, who was responsible for another very successful Savor Northwest Wine Awards. He and his cohorts judged over 500 wines. This event just keeps growing, getting not just bigger but better and better.

Of course, both had help from many others, but the basic ideas were theirs. These two stellar contributions to Cannon Beach’s social life deserve a great round of applause all around. Let’s hear it!

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