Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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World Cup and Other Observations

George Foster - June 29th, 2006
No one should have been surprised.
Compared to expectations, the U.S. performance was the poorest of any team in the World Cup soccer tournament. The Americans meekly scored only two goals in three games - and one was by an opponent into the wrong net. Talk about not having a chance, the U.S. never held the lead in any game.
When tiny Ghana beat the Americans, it brought home (still again) how far behind the rest of the planet we are when it comes to playing the world’s most popular sport - soccer.
After upsetting the Americans, the Cinderella Ghana squad has earned a spot in the second round of 16 teams. For a country that has little to be proud of internationally, you can bet there is bedlam in this African country about the size of Oregon with a population of only 22 million. Reportedly, Ghanaians were still recovering from their shocking win over the Czech Republic when the second eruption occurred - a toppling of the mighty U.S.A.
Instead of criticizing our U.S. soccer team, Americans should be asking the question, “What is wrong with Ghana and other unassuming nations whipping us in major sporting events?”
Being the richest country on top of one of the most populous nations, we Americans always expect to succeed, if not be the best. I, for one, like being the underdog for a change. It is nice to reaffirm that we can learn something from the rest of the world.

Speaking of international sports, northern Michigan’s own Phil Thiel just returned from playing professional rugby for a team just outside of Gloucester, England. The 21-year old former Traverse City West standout football player has accomplished the unthinkable for an American - holding his own against some of the top rugby players in the world.
Thiel is well known in area rugby circles as he came of age through the development system of the Traverse City Blues Rugby Football Club and was the team’s most valuable player last year. For more information on the local rugby scene, call 231-342-9136 or log-on to www.tcrugby.com.

Don’t get too excited about the streaking Detroit Tigers just yet.
Despite a surprising start that finds the Tigers with the best record in the league much of the season, they have yet to prove they can beat good teams. The Yankees, Red Sox, and White Sox have beaten the Tigers ten of thirteen games so far this year.
The best news is that Detroit’s young pitching staff could sustain this team for another decade if they live up to their performances so far through the first week in July. Adding crafty veteran pitcher Kenny Rogers for the short term to the strong, young arms already stockpiled was a stroke of genius by Tigers management.

I look forward to attending my first minor league baseball game sometime in the next couple of weeks. Congratulations to the Traverse City Beach Bums who seem to be a big hit in their inaugural season. The last time I checked, the team is actually playing good baseball - thriving in second place in their league.
I did take a tour of the Beach Bum’s field just before the season began. One thing was never in doubt - Wuerfel Park is a fantastic place to watch a baseball game. Ordering tickets early is recommended. Call 231-943-0100 or log-on to www.traversecitybeachbums.com.

 
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