Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

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Passanger train service Petoskey/Traverse City to Ann Arbor

Anne Stanton - June 15th, 2006
It’s going to take some time and patience, but you might well see a nonstop passenger train service from Petoskey and Traverse City to the outskirts of Ann Arbor.
It will take at least two years to establish the passenger route from Traverse City to Howell and another two years to extend the route north to Petoskey, said Mike Bagwell, president and CEO of Federated Railways, which bought the Tuscola Saginaw Bay Railway Company at the end of March.
“Initially the train will go from south to north. Eventually, we may have some shorter train trips, milk-run trains that make stops. But this express train will not stop.”
The trip from Traverse City to Howell will likely take about six hours, so the rail line will provide some entertainment, dinner and drinks on the cars, Bagwell said.
“Maybe a murder mystery or an activities car with video games for children,” he said. “Keep in mind these are huge cars and you can do anything you want with them. We can take all the seats that are in there presently and design them into something our riders will want.”
Federated Railways is in the business of leasing passenger train cars. It will use some of these stainless steel passenger cars for the new train line, Bagwell said.
(Federated Properties, its sister company, has plans to build two multi-story buildings in downtown Traverse City with condos, offices, retail shops, and a parking deck if voters approve a bond issue in August. Its parent company, Federated Financial

Corporation of America, specializes in leasing.)
Federated Railways also negotiated an operating agreement with the State of Michigan, which owns the majority of the rail line from Howell to Petoskey.
The train won’t go all the way to downtown Ann Arbor because the rail line doesn’t reach that far. Federated will work with the city, however, to get bus service to the downtown area, Bagwell said.
Before the passenger service can become a reality, there is much work to be done. The biggest task is extending the warning signals at the crossings. That’s necessary because the passenger train will travel nearly 60 mph between towns, about twice as fast as the freight train. The railway has 367 crossings, but not all need to modified.
Federated, which owns 40 miles of the rail line, also has to complete about 16 miles of track upgrades, mostly in the area of Petoskey, Traverse City and Ashley (between Owosso and Mount Pleasant).
Federated believes the passenger train can work in cities like Traverse City because a large majority of visitors have family and friends in the area who can pick them up from the train station.
The track could be a boon to Turtle Creek Resort and the Boyne Mountain ski resort because the track runs very close to
those sites.
Ticket prices are up in the air right now, and will largely be determined by how many people ride the train, Bagwell said.

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