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 · News · ’SUP DUDE?
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None - August 19th, 2011  
TC Waterman will celebrate stand up paddle boarding

By Rick Coates

A typical Stand Up Paddle Board race. Photos courtesy of Todd Mackey.

Todd Mackey rides the wild surf of Lake Michigan near Leland.

Surf´s up on Lake Michigan? For that matter, all of the Great Lakes have become a surfers’ paradise in recent years. While these salt-free waters may not get the big waves enjoyed by surfers off the California, Hawaiian and Australian coasts, one must not forget that the waves of the Great Lakes have sunk hundreds of large ships.

Part of the surging surf scene in Northern Michigan is due to the growing popularity of Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding (SUP). This Saturday, August 20 at the Open Space Bayshore Park in Traverse City the first ever TC Waterman Stand Up Paddle and Expo will take place.

The event is being organized by Todd and Michelle Mackey and is open to anyone.

“We have been a surfing family up here for a number of years,” said Todd Mackey. “SUP is the fastest growing water sport in the world. A SUP board is essentially a long surf board. They have the same design features as surf boards; both sports are rooted back some 2,000 years ago in Polynesian history. SUP boards being longer than surf boards -- typically 10 to 14 feet in length and you have a paddle. But you can surf using a SUP board.”


The TC Waterman is both a competitive and recreational event, allowing those new to the sport an opportunity to learn more about SUP.

“From a competitive perspective there are two main events with a 3.5-mile recreational course right off the Open Space,” said Mackey. “The premier event -- the one where we have competitors coming in as far away as Hawaii -- is the 9-mile Downwinder. If the winds are in our favor we will go from Bowers Harbor to downtown. if the winds are from the south we will go in the other direction.”

Mackey and Larry Bordine of the Beach Nut Surf Shop in Frankfort tested the Downwinder course on a day with perfect conditions.

“We were able to get from Bowers Harbor to Traverse City in about 75 minutes, but we expect that the best competitors under average conditions will be able to finish in 90 minutes,” said Mackey. “We are also excited that our event is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA), the sanctioning body for the competitive end of this sport. We have $2,500 in prize money for the first year. We will wrap up the day with a Luau awards party.”

The TC Waterman event evolved out of Mackey contacting the WPA looking to find some events to participate in when it suggested that he start one in Traverse City.

“I was looking to compete, now I am organizing a competition,” said Mackey. “Everyone has been great from the City of Traverse City to the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau to numerous local businesses who have jumped on board as sponsors. We expect this event to grow each year and hope to see the World Championships here someday.”


Todd’s wife Michelle is quick to point out that there are non-competitive options as well at the TC Waterman.

“We are going to have an expo with several vendors coming in from all over the country, there will be opportunities to try SUP,” she said. “Plus, we will have free kids races and free relay races for those wanting to try the competitive end out.”

The Mackey’s have five children who are all into SUP and surfing and they see it as a great family activity.

“We go for a whole day and do this. I am not as into the surfing end of it as much as Todd and some of our children. I find it very relaxing and this is a sport that everyone can do regardless of your age,” said Michelle. “This is a fun sport that is easy and very healthy. You can get a great core body workout from this as well. You will feel it in your stomach muscles the next day.”

Todd agrees: “This sport is fun and it appeals to anyone who likes board sports, skiing and kayaking,” said Mackey. “You can paddle any body of water with these boards and on wavy days you can surf. You simply paddle yourself out and hold onto the paddle and surf back in.”


Surfing and SUP were essentially developed simultaneously. In the ’50s when the surfing craze hit the U.S. paddleboards were used by instructors to teach new surfers.

“There has been a resurgence in the sport of SUP over the past 10 years. In the Traverse City area there were two shops carrying SUP boards three years ago and now there are over 15 stores selling them, including a handful of surf specialty shops,” said Mackey.

“Here in the Great Lakes SUP and surfing are both taking off because a long board catches smaller waves better than a typical surfboard and a small wave you can ride for 50 yards. A few weeks ago we had six-footers out on the bay and we had 40 surfers and a dozen SUP out there for eight

hours. I have surfed all over, from Hawaii, California and Florida, and it was some of the best surfing I have ever experienced.”

Rip currents or undertows have been in the news recently, but Mackey says understanding the currents makes the sport more enjoyable and the experience safe.

“We look for those rip currents; it is our version of a chairlift. One thing is they only last about 20 yards and they are usually only 20 or so feet wide. So you don’t panic and let it take you; then you swim parallel to the beach ‘til you get out of it,” said Mackey.

“I have seen people panic but the surfing community has been active in learning safety awareness. A few weeks back Larry Bordine hosted a class on how surfers can save people in the water. In fact Larry saved a person last year in Frankfort who got caught in an undertow. Larry was able to pull him onto his board.”

The popularity of surfing and SUP on the Great Lakes appears to be growing. Websites that report on surf conditions around the world now include the Great Lakes. A great way to learn more about the sport will be this Saturday, Aug. 20, at the TC Waterman Stand Up Paddle & Expo. Volunteers are encouraged to contact the Mackey’s at 231- 360-1806. To register and more info, check out www.tcwaterman.com or find them on Facebook.

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