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 · Take a Hike
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Take a Hike

Carol South - June 15th, 2006
Individuals and families can keep busy all summer exploring the outdoor bounty of the region by hiking and learning at some of the many trails in Northern Michigan. The organizations below work to foster an appreciation for the region’s natural features through educational programs and hikes:

-- The Botanical Garden of Northwest Michigan, which formed in 2000, has an option to purchase 81 acres of land tucked in growing East Bay Township near the busy intersection of Three Mile and Hammond Roads. This former farmland is situated along Vanderlip Creek and includes a medley of ecosystems from meadows and wetlands to ponds, hardwood and softwoods stands – plus stunning views of Grand Traverse Bay.
Since 2004, the society has offered monthly Walkabouts the first Saturday morning of the month. These free events run from March through November and feature a different program each month. This summer’s schedule includes bird expert Kay Charter on July 1 and Mushroom Man Ed Rienert in August 5. Families and individuals are welcome.
Schedule and info: (231) 935-4077 or http://www.northwestmichigangarden.org/Events/

-- The Grand Traverse Conservation District’s annual Discovery Hikes series offers educational adventures for all ages. During the one- to two-hour guided events, participants explore the Grand Traverse Natural Education Reserve. Situated be-tween Cass and Keystone roads, this 420-acre stretch of county parkland along the Boardman River is conveniently located just south of Traverse City.
Kicking off June 20, the weekday morning Hikes for Kids series, geared to children ages 5-12, covers topics ranging from bugs, birds and rocks, to trees, edible foraging and ponds. Five hikes for family and adults are also scheduled during the June, July and August, including birding and lunch, a hike and canoe trip, and a nighttime expedition to learn about moths.
Schedule and info: (231) 941-9060 or http://www.gtcd.org/news.shtml and select the Discovery Hikes for 2006 option.

-- The Grand Traverse Hiking Club maintains a 90-mile section of the North Country Trail, which stretches from New York to North Dakota. Think of this multi-state trail as an Appalachian Trail-style work in progress. The club’s section runs from M-37 on the south to Starvation Lake in Antrim County on the north. Most of this section is on paths through woods but about 10 miles is still on roads. Public hikers are encouraged to explore the scenic trail and the club’s website includes links to detailed descriptions of local trail sections as well as trail notes and directions to trail heads.
More info: (231) 938-9655 or

-- The 28 nature preserves owned or managed by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy include more than 24,000 acres of land in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Manistee counties. The organization also holds 115 conservation easements and has protected nearly 50 miles of shoreline along lakes, rivers and streams.
The conservancy’s website includes descriptions of and directions to eight public preserves open for self-guided hikes.
More info: (231) 929-7911 or

- The 1,165-acre Grass River Natural Area preserve in Antrim County includes a variety of habitats as well as miles of self-guided trails for hikers, bird watchers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The organization’s website includes directions and a map for visitors who want to explore the land on their own.
Guided hikes, pontoon trips, classes and activities are available for all ages. The organization offers a Nature Nuts series for children ages 4-6 plus their parents or grandparents and a Nature Explorers series for children ages 7-12.
Schedule and info: (231) 533-8576 or www.grassriver.org and select the Classes and Events link.

-- The Harbor Springs Chapter of the North Country Trail maintains a segment of the seven-state North Country Trail in Emmet County, from approximately Mackinaw City to Petoskey. Hikers along this trail will pass through potions of the Pere Marquette State Forest and Wilderness State Park.
More info: http://wwwnorthcountrytrail.org/hrb/

-- The Leelanau Conservancy has ten natural areas open to the public, nine nature preserves available during guided hikes only and two critical areas off limits to the public. Leland residents Edward and Barbara Collins founded the conservancy in 1988 to protect and preserve the character of Leelanau County and its natural areas.
The organization’s staff and volunteer docents have compiled a robust schedule of hikes with multiple events weekly at various locations throughout the summer. The website also includes information, maps and extensive descriptions of the ten areas open to the public for hiking.
Schedule and info: (231) 256-9665 or http://www.theconservancy.com/

-- Since 1972, the Little Traverse Conservancy based in Harbor Springs has worked to preserve and protect land parcels and scenic areas in the Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet and Mackinac counties.
Hikes for adults and families are scheduled during the summer in both the Susan Creek Natural Preserve and the Wilderness State Park in Petoskey.
The conservancy website, www.landtrust.org, has maps and information about the 164 preserves the organization owns or manages for anyone interested in self-directed hikes.
The conservancy’s summer series Young Naturalist Trips, is for children ages 7-12 and features a program every Wednesday morning at various locations for five weeks beginning June 28. Knee-High Naturalist Trips for youngsters ages 3-6 is a four-week program held every Tuesday morning at the Thorne Swift Nature Preserve north of Harbor Springs.
Schedule and info: (231) 347-0991 or http://www.landtrust.org/FieldTrips/listofevents.htm

-- The Sierra Club Traverse Group has more than 850 members and covers the region including Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Otsego and Wexford counties. In addition to environmental activism and advocacy, the group offers regular outings to explore regional natural highlights. Events including hikes, canoe trips and beach parties plus road and beach clean ups will be held all the summer throughout the nine-county area.
Non-members are welcome at outings; each adult will be charged a $2 fee to participate. Attendees under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and all participants are required to sign a liability waiver. Carpooling is encouraged and hikers who want to bring a dog must check with the hike leader before the event as some trails do not allow dogs. The club recommends confirming the hike before heading out.
Schedule and info: http://michigan.sierraclub.org/traverse/Getoutdoors.htm
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