Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Region Watch · Passanger train service...
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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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