Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Rolling out the New Betsie...
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Rolling out the New Betsie Valley Trail: Region‘s Newest Bike Trail will Connect to Michigan Network

Danielle Horvath - June 10th, 2004
Someday, the Betsie Valley Trail will connect to the Michigan Trailway System which is proposed to stretch over 1,000 miles across the state, creating a web of recreational trails that stretch from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan and from the south state line across the U.P.
A major section of the trail from Elberta to Beulah was paved last fall. When it is completed, the 22-mile piece in Benzie County will connect Thompsonville, Benzonia, Beulah, Frankfort and Elberta. Constructed on the former Ann Arbor Railroad Corridor, it passes around Betsie Bay, crosses through forests and parallels the Betsie River and Crystal Lake.
The project is a partnership project of Benzie County and the Department of Natural Resources. In 1993, the “Friends of Betsie Valley Trail” non-profit, volunteer group formed to encourage the development and operation of a recreational trail in Benzie County. They have been instrumental in generating support for the trail and in raising funds to build it. Other community groups, businesses and individuals have supported the project, from the Benzie Audubon Club, who erected a bird watching platform along the trail in Elberta, to families participating in the Adopt-A-Trail program which takes care of segments along the route.

Because of a lengthy court case, it took 10 years from the first meeting to the first pavement, laid in November 2000, to get the trail underway. The asphalt now extends seven miles from Elberta to Mollineaux Road west of Beulah, and then is gravel the next three miles along the segment in front of private homes east of Railroad Point along Crystal Lake. The court settlement case involving property owners along Crystal Lake requires a semi-soft material on the 2.5-mile stretch of the trail along the lake.
The next phase of the trail is the proposed 12-1/2 mile stretch that will connect Beulah to Thompsonville. Plans for trailheads in both Beulah and Thompsonville are underway. The proposed Beulah Trailhead and Visitors Center with bike racks, bathrooms, and parking space, would be located near the old railroad depot, behind the businesses in downtown Beulah. An MDOT grant request is pending and DNR lease agreement is being considered.
“It seems like such a simple concept; after all it’s just a trail, said Sean DuPerron, Betsie Valley Trailway manager, who works under the MSU Extension Office in Benzie County. “But it’s so much more than that. Trail management involves organizing and managing resources, being aware of requirements, keeping the public involved and informed, and much more.”

DuPerron sees the trail as an integral part of the community, with a multitude of uses besides the many bikers, hikers, roller bladers and snowmobilers who use it. “It’s can be used to teach school groups about the local history of the area, particularly the railroads; it can be a tool for master gardeners to share knowledge about the flora and fauna of the area; it’s a chance to see the land from a unique and different perspective,” he explained.
Volunteers are always needed and much appreciated for tasks ranging from folding trail maps to clearing brush and promoting the trail through photography. Anyone interested may contact 231-882-9605 or email: betsievalleytrl@benzie.com.

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