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..

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What to Wear?

Scott Stillings - December 9th, 2004
Ready for stocking stuffers and great gift ideas for the winter lovers on your list? Here’s what is hot, or cool, for the upcoming season.

• At Petoskey’s Bahnhof Sport veteran service guru Gary Hunter says what’s hot is, well, truly hot. “Its Hotronic boot heaters” says Hunter “They keep your feet toasty, fit in any boot and are guaranteed to keep your partner happy.” We all know that when your partner’s happy, you’re happy.

• Boyne Country Sports has stores across the north. Manager Kevin Moore says “Our hot items are the new Tecnica Diablo ski boot or any North Face Fleece.” Moore says that the Diablo is the only really new thing in boots and beside “they’re cool.” Hot orange in color The Diablo won’t be missed in the lift line. The North Face Fleece line “looks great and the colors are awesome” according to Kevin.

• Don Orr’s in the Cherry Capitol has bossman Jeff Swanson raving about O’Neill’s new Winter Wear. The fabled wetsuit maker is now making waterproof, breathable fabric winter clothing that’s “flying off the shelves”. Jeff says “O’Neill has all the high tech features you could possibly want at reasonable prices.”

• Darren White from KP’s Ski Gear at Crystal Mountain says their hot new product is the Atomic Metron B5 ski. White says, “The new Metrons hold like windshield wipers on the snow. They’re the perfect width ski for all snow conditions and can make any size of turn.” Style hounds will love Atomics’ new matching Neox bindings.

• “Nordica Dobermann Ski Boots are the best race boots you can get” says Brad Morgan from Traverse City’s Brick Wheels. A veteran Brickhead, Morgan says this Nordica model “dominates the U.S. Ski Team.” It comes in different stiffnesses for kids through hard skiing experts. Brad calls it a “straight forward no-nonsense design.”
• Modern Extreme Sports says the cool stuff is exactly what you need for all these new jumps and rails. “Our hot stuff is most definitely the 4frnt (say that forefront) and Armada twin tip skis” says Pat Dueweke “these are skis for terrain parks that are a lot of fun.” The Traverse City store says that almost any down-hill bind-ing will work on these skis that feature a curved up “tip” on both ends.

• Dan Webster Pro Golf and Ski in Gaylord says it’s all about the Blizzard CXP Cross Carve skis. “Cause they’re the best all mountain ski made” according to skimeister Tim Webster “these Blizzard skis carve like they are on rails.” Size ‘em a little longer these are for the strong willed skiers, no wimps allowed.

• Lynne Frye from Roscommon’s Cross Country Ski HQ says to try some Hot Chili’s Salsa wear. “They’re really cool micro fleece pants.” Lynne says the Salsa pant is “great all purpose winter
wear, even if you’re just heading to the store.” Back country skiers will love the great new Powerflex stretch fleece tops from Mountain Hardwear. For you high speed types try the new, stretchy 3 S P fabric from Sporthill. It’s completely windproof up to 35 miles per hour. Frye concluded “if anybody’s cold and crabby this year, it’s their own darn fault.”

Scott Stillings is Express’s snow man. He can be heard daily on The Ski News radio shows.

The Ski Scene
What’s new on slopes ‘round the region

By Scott Stillings
Remember when the Ski Patrol, yes the folks in the rusty red jackets, would kick you off the slopes for jumping? How they used to tear down all those hard-to-build little jumps and mark ‘em off with bamboo poles and rope? As Bob Dylan sings “Times they are a changin’.” Today it’s all about big jumps, halfpipes and “rails.” Rails? Yes. Like handrails that you slide down, across and over. It’s a new day for new age snowboarders and skiers. Here’s what’s up at your favourite winter playground.

• Shanty Creek has added helmet rentals for all ages. They’ve also opened a dedicated kids teaching area for 3-5 years olds in their Snowstars program. Shanty expanded their terrain parks to include a halfpipe and rails. The top junior racers in Michigan will race on the Schuss Mountain slopes in two major USSA ski events. New on the Schuss Mountain side of things is Friday night skiing and snowboarding. Shanty Creek is also the annual host the Michigan Special Olympics.

• Boyne Mountain made their snowmaking pond 10 times larger; better for both the snow makers and for year ’round use. All that water will travel through a new big main pipe to deliver more snow to the slopes. The Mountain added snowmaking to the Alpine slopes they built two seasons ago. The 30 new snowguns added to Boyne’s fleet will insure a longer season on those north facing runs. Platinum season pass holders will enjoy the new paved premier parking lot. Boyne has also added new rails and jumps in their rail and terrain park.

• Boyne Highlands cut some trees and put a new gladed slope off Amy’s run. The Highlands’ new “Rail Yard” is dedicated to both boarders and skiers. There are more lights for night skiing and snowboarding from Wednesday through Saturday. Boyne Highlands also increased their night skiing terrain. January will see their first big international race, as the Mid-Am Series tests the Highlands new FIS certified slalom hill. More snowmaking was added, along with 10,000 feet of new pipe to get more water to those snowguns.

• Nub’s Nob added a Superpipe and four new slopes, bringing their run total to 49. The Superpipe is one–of–a–kind according to local riders and will host the Midwest’s first ever U.S. Snowboarding Regional Superpipe competition in March. Nub’s increased its snowmaking capacity by adding 24 guns to their legendary arsenal. Rental customers will find all new Atomic skis for adults and kids. Snowboarders will love Nub’s new Rossignol step-in snowboard boots and bindings. The new Arena Glade opens acres of tree skiing and snowboarding previously poached by a few knowledgeable locals.

• Crystal Mountain was voted the #1 resort in the Midwest in the annual SKI Magazine reader’s survey. They’ve tripled the size of their learning area and added two wonder carpet lifts for beginners. Crystal’s halfpipe is back after a four-year hiatus in a great new location for showing off under the Crystal Clipper high speed chairlift. Riders and skiers will love Crystal’s new Super Park. Check out the details at www.ridecrystalmountain.com. A great fundraising event is Boarding for Breast Cancer Feb. 26, 2005 with the Cammy Potter Memorial Slopestyle Competition.

• Caberfae Peaks built a new terrain park. It is also dedicated to the late Cammy Potter, a Cadillac native who competed on the U. S. Snowboard Team. Including table top jumps and lots of rails, the new park is between Caberfae’s North and South peaks. Additional lighting was installed on North Peak’s Smiling Irishman run. Caberfae increased snowmaking and renovated the second floor of the Mackenzie Lodge. The Day Lodge was also spruced up at the second oldest continuously operated ski area in America.

• Treetops Resort has a great new romantic feature, their Dinner Sleigh ride. Treetops is also hyping the north’s longest halfpipe and increased hours of operation for this season.
• The Homestead doubled the size of their terrain park by adding an entire run with a Slopestyle course. The park will also feature jumps and elements aimed at younger, smaller snowboarders and twin tippers. One cool new program will feature snowshoe hikes with a naturalist guide. Your snowshoe leader will take you through the Homestead and into the 70,000 acre Sleeping Dunes National Lakeshore. The Homestead’s big event is their Holiday Wine Weekend with Leelanau vintners December 17 through 19.

• Mt. McSauba in Charlevoix increased their snowmaking with a tower mounted Nub’s Nob snow gun. This great local spot has a strong community ski and board school.

• Mt. Holiday’s resurrection continues. The big news is a new Pisten Bully grooming machine in the hands of Holiday’s great crew, all returning from last season. They added snowmaking, did more work on the lodge and put in more snowboard rental boots. Tower snowguns are being added. Brad Miller, veteran Traverse City Central coach, will again head the Holiday Race Team developmental program. The Kiwanis Ski School returns for ages eight to 13. Mt. Holiday is now open seven nights a week.

Scott Stillings is our resident Northern Express ski bum. Photos are courtesy of resort web sites.

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