Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Get naked!
. . . .

Get naked!

Rick Coates - June 27th, 2011
Get Naked! Spruce Hollow Celebrates National Nude Recreation Week
By Rick Coates
This weekend kicks off “National Nude Recreation Week” across the country.
Now, while shedding your clothes in the privacy of your own home is okay,
doing so in public is not, so while this might be a week-long celebration
of doing things in the buff, be sure to be in a place where such
activities are acceptable. 
For example, Spruce Hollow Campground in Mesick is the only place for
nudists to go in Northern Michigan to legally practice their lifestyle out
in the open. Opened eight years ago by Pat and Jan Bell, the campground is
private and for nudists only. Spruce Hollow is one of 226 affiliated clubs
and resorts with the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). They
will celebrate National Nude Recreation Week with an assortment of
activities starting with their Third Annual Skinny Dipping event on
Saturday, July 2 and closing out the week with massage and body treatments
on July 10. 

Jan Bell remembers her first public nude experience.
“It was in the early ’80s and I was invited to go to Otter Creek near
Empire, that place was legendary as a nude beach in those days. I was
nervous but once I shed my clothes for the first time in public it was a
freeing experience,” said Bell. “I felt like the weight and stresses of
the world were off my shoulders.”
That is the common attraction for all nudists according to Carolyn
Hawkins, director of public affairs for AANR, which has over 300,000
“It is about being comfortable in your body and accepting of your body. It
is a natural thing. Think about it -- one of the first things everyone
does when they get home from work is slip out of their clothes,” said
Hawkins. “There is this misconception that this is about sex, but it is
not at all -- it is about enjoying activities without the constricting
feeling of clothing.”
Both Hawkins and Bell are seeing increased interest in nude recreation.
“Nude recreation enthusiasts are a cross-section of North America,
representing a variety of ages, careers and socioeconomic levels.
Typically, members are active, college educated individuals between the
ages of 35-65,” said Hawkins. “They are people who enjoy outdoor
recreation and activities such as swimming, tennis, volleyball, walking
and hiking.”
For the Bell’s they started their campground to give Northern Michigan
nudists a private and safe place to enjoy.
“What we found after awhile was that Otter Creek wasn’t very private and
people started complaining to the park rangers,” said Bell. “Eventually
the rangers started issuing tickets and people stopped going so we started
thinking about the campground and club idea.”

Spruce Hollow opens the first weekend in June and stays open through the
second weekend in September. The Bells offer annual memberships for $400
per year or a person may pay a day fee which is discounted if they are a
member AANR or Naturist Society. Spruce Hallow has several amenities
including a pool and RV and tent camping.
“We also have a lot of day visitors, nudists who prefer to stay at area
hotels or B&B,” said Bell. “We are close to Crystal Mountain Resort and we
will get people who are staying there for conferences to stop by for the
When they first opened their campground their guests were primarily local,
but that has changed.
“When we became a member of AANR the word got out and now we have guests
from all over the country,” said Bell. “We just had a couple in from
Seattle and another couple is coming in from Europe later this summer.”
Of course, besides being concerned about how they might look in public
nude, another concern for first-time nudists is the “perverts.”
“We typically don’t get those types of people. Usually people that come
here for the wrong reasons are easy to spot,” said Bell. “I think we have
had two in eight years and since we are private we simply ask them to
While Michigan law prohibits public displays of nudity in most situations,
the Bell’s are able to operate their club and campground because it is a
private entity. For those who are interested in trying the nudist
lifestyle for the first time, Jan Bell suggests a visit.
“Come and visit us for one day, just a day visit. What you will find is
that nudists are welcoming and accepting, not judgmental. The bottom line
is no one has the perfect body. Once you start walking around doing
activities in the nude from swimming to hiking to horse shoes to simply
laying and getting that no tan-line tan, you will start to wonder why you
didn’t start doing this long ago.”

For more info on Spruce Hollow go to their website at www.sprucehollow.org
or call Jan and Pat Bell at 231-269-3209. To learn more about nude
recreational opportunities around the country visit the American
Association of Nude Recreation website at www.aanr.com and as far as going
nude at Otter Creek, the National Park Service has said no and they will
issue citations. 
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