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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Teen Fitness

Mark Waggener - January 5th, 2006
Best friends, my son, Mark Waggener Jr. and T.J. Wisniewski have a penchant for fitness and weight training. These teens have known each other since the age of 3 and share many interests. While often seen playing pool, shooting hoops, or enjoying a variety of other activities, you are more likely to catch the two of them working out at Fit ForYou Gym in Traverse City.
Approximately two years ago these young men purchased a membership and have been lifting weights ever since. They adhere to a strict exercise schedule, as well as a closely scrutinized diet of various nutritional supplements, vitamins, and healthy foods. Mark was 18 when he started working out and just turned 20 this month, while T.J. is 19.
Through internet research, body building publications, networking and experience, both have acquired a thorough understanding of fitness and the importance of a healthy lifestyle for their bodies and minds.
“Our goal wasn’t to become competitive bodybuilders,” says Waggener, “but to become bigger, stronger, more defined, and generally to get in shape. Before I started lifting I didn’t have as much energy, and since I’ve started I noticed that it’s a good way to deal with stress and frustrations. I think I weighed around 150 lbs. or so when I started, and now I’m up to about 195 lbs.”
In a society that seems to overindulge in fast food, fast times, and occasional unhealthy tendencies, these teens chose a different path and set some positive goals for themselves.
It is true that exercise and “working out” at the gym can be a great alternative for teens and adults alike. It can keep them active in a very positive way and help them to avoid the pitfalls of physical inactivity, smoking, drugs, and alcohol that some may be imperiled to.
It is a fact that 7 out of 10 American adults do not exercise regularly despite the proven health benefits. (National Center for Health Statistics)

Weight Training
Americans spend enormous amounts of money each year on diet pills, misrepresented health products and fancy exercise equipment, when in fact, a brisk walk and a good set of weights may be all you need to get in the best shape of your life.
“The best way to get in shape and build muscle mass and strength is through free weight exercises which would include the use of dumbbells and barbells,” says Wisniewski. “Prior to lifting weights, it is always a good idea to include stretching and a warm-up in your routine to loosen up your muscles and to avoid injury.”
Wisniewski’s current routine consists of working each separate muscle group throughout the week, and resting on Saturdays. “By working each muscle group once a week it allows my muscles enough recovery time to grow in strength and size, without overtraining them,” he says.
An example of a muscle group would be the deltoids and trapezius muscles, which are part of the shoulder. Depending on how long and intense you train your muscles in a single session, they require at least a 24-72 hour recovery period until they are trained again.
Be careful not to over-train a muscle. Many amateur bodybuilders make this mistake and in turn gain nothing. This can actually be counter-productive. “I learned this from personal experience during the first 5 months of serious lifting,” Wisniewski says.
Mark’s exercise routine is similar to T.J.’s. He generally lifts 5 to 6 days a week for approximately 90 minutes at a time with rest in between sets.
A set is a group of consecutive repetitions, and a repetition (one full range of motion) refers to how many times an exercise is repeated during one set. For example, doing 2 sets of 10 repetitions on a bench press means doing 10 bench presses for the first set, resting, then doing 10 more repetitions to complete the second set.
Once you have learned the technique and proper form of the exercise, you should find a weight that you can lift 8-12 times for around 3 sets. When repetitions are low (2-5 per set), strength development is primarily promoted. With higher repetitions (15-20 per set), muscle endurance and toning can be achieved. It all depends on your own personal preference. For most people however, working with a weight that can be done 8-12 times per set is most appropriate, because muscle growth, strength and endurance improve.
“I prefer strength training over higher-rep workouts,” says Waggener. “But I switch my routine every 6-8 weeks to keep the muscles growing.”
To accomplish this, sets, reps, and the exercises you do for each muscle should be switched to avoid stagnation. Stagnation is a term used to describe the “plateau” your muscles go through when they are trained in the same way for too long. Your exercise regimen should also be switched every few months to “shock” your muscles into growth. A certain routine should last for no longer than 8 weeks. Sets should always be done with a weight great enough to cause muscle failure by the last rep in each set.
As you progress, the weight should slowly be increased over time. You need to continually “overload” your muscles with more weight than they are used to or else they will never change.

Many of us have heard the old saying “you are what you eat.” There is a lot of truth behind that. Eat right, live right.
Food selection is just as important as exercise itself, according to both teens. Foods that are high in saturated fat should be avoided, especially if you’re training for cardiovascular health. Try to reduce your consumption of refined sugar, salt, processed foods and most fast food meals, depending on what your goal is.
A good assortment of healthier food choices would include egg whites, whole grains (which contain complex, low-glycemic carbohydrates), traditional oatmeal, whole wheat breads and protein-rich food. Lean meats and fish are both good choices because of their high protein, and low fat content. Consume plenty of fresh vegetables in your diet and avoid those tempting sweets. Various fruits should be included in your diet as well because they are low in fat and contain essential nutrients. It is also very important to keep your body well hydrated and to rinse out toxins by drinking plenty of purified or distilled water. A gallon per day is recommended. Drinking skim milk and natural juices are beneficial and are better choices than whole milk and soda pop.
“Depending on what you are training for, whether it is mass, strength, or just fat loss, your diet should be altered,” Waggener says. For example, if you are training for muscle mass, you want to consume as many calories as possible, especially a lot of carbohydrates. On the flip side, training for fat loss would consist of a low daily-caloric intake with a smaller portion of carbohydrates, but a fairly high protein intake in both diets.
It would be a good idea to make a habit of paying close attention to nutritional value in the foods you eat. Once you initiate this habit, you will discover how easy it is to recognize the nutritional facts located on the label of all food that you purchase and consume.

Vitamins & Supplements
Another important aspect of weight training and overall fitness is getting enough vitamins in your diet. Vitamins are vital to your growth and are preferably obtained from the food you eat. Since it is quite difficult to obtain the numerous vitamins needed from food alone, daily multi-vitamins are necessary. There are also many supplements available on the market, which are very helpful in achieving your goals. Check with your doctor before taking vitamins and supplements.
If your goal is to gain muscular strength or size, creatine is one of the single best supplements available. Other great supplements include protein powders, weight gainers, amino acids (especially glutamine), and nitric-oxide inhibitors, which basically contain a form of arginine. Arginine is an amino acid which improves the circulation of blood, allowing more nutrients to be transported into the muscles. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein is the building block of all living cells.

Overall well being
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not only important from a physical standpoint but it is equally important for the mind. Through intense physical training and exercise, endorphins are released from your brain, as are other hormones, which promotes the “runners high” as it is called. This sensation is very stimulating when it is achieved.
Working out, maintaining a well balanced diet, and keeping in shape makes you feel good about yourself. You begin to look better and feel better while building self esteem and self worth. It gives you strength and endurance, improves flexibility, can promote relaxation, helps you sleep and relieves stress. It also increases lung capacity and keeps the heart muscle strong, as well as leaving you less prone to injury and disease.
If the gym is not for you or a rigorous training routine, there are some creative ways to incorporate physical activities into your daily lives. A walk in the park, riding your bike to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or simply mowing your lawn with a push mower can make a difference. Whatever your choice may be, exercise will allow you to enjoy a longer, healthier, happier life.

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