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...

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Spring Sports Roundup

George Foster - April 12th, 2007
You can just sense the baseball ghosts of Mickey Lolich, Al Kaline, Jack Morris, Kirk Gibson, and other World Series heroes lurking around Comerica Park in downtown Detroit this year. Almost everyone is expecting another run at the World Series for the Tigers. It’s amazing how seriously the experts are taking them after decades of losing seasons.
The main reason for the sudden success is the man behind the scenes, Dave Dombrowski. The Detroit general manager has stockpiled the Tigers system with numerous young arms whose pitching could carry the Tigers into contention for the post-season for at least the next decade.
Still only 24, Jeremy Bonderman might become the best pitcher in baseball. If he ever perfects his changeup, he will be unhittable - a certain Cy Young winner. Some say 24-year-old Justin Verlander is the best Tigers pitcher. He was only Rookie of the Year in the American League last year. Flame-thrower Joel Zumaya is only 22 and consistently hits the speed-gun at 100 mph. The best prospect of all, lefty Andrew Miller, is only 21 and growing (6’6” 210 lbs.) in the minor leagues for now.
On paper, the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers seem destined for a date in the Fall Classic. In the end, the Tigers pitching should prevail over the hefty Mets bats. Detroit over the Mets in the series 4 games to 2 with Bonderman MVP of the Series.
No one gets very excited anymore when the Red Wings come away as the best team during the regular season. What hockey fans really want to know is: can the Red Wings finally get past their recent habit of early exits in the playoffs? The answer is a resounding... maybe.
This team is definitely tougher up front with the addition of Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder. The season-ending injury to Nicklas Kronwell is a setback for Detroit’s defense, though not fatal. If Henrik Zetterberg and goaltender Dominik Hasek are healthy during the playoffs, the Red Wings should win the Stanley Cup. If one or both cannot play in top form, it looks like a second round knockout for Detroit.
As with the Wings, Detroit fans hardly celebrate that their NBA team once again has the best record in the Eastern Conference. Post-season success is far more important. Last year I was blasted by Express readers for a column I wrote predicting the Pistons would lose in the first round to Milwaukee though Detroit had the best record in the NBA regular season. At the time, I sensed a problem because of the Pistons lineup seemed to lack depth.
Well, last year Detroit did beat Milwaukee in the first playoff round, followed by barely beating Cleveland in seven games. Miami finally wore the Pistons down on their way to the NBA title. Most observers agreed that, despite the Pistons sensational regular season, Detroit lost to Miami because their starters were worn out by playing too many minutes. I told you the Pistons’ bench was weak... I told you.
This year the story has changed. The Pistons now have decent depth. Carlos Delfino is growing into an NBA star. Antonio McDyess is playing some of his best basketball, young Jason Maxiell usually provides a spark off the bench. Lindsey Hunter and Flip Murray are capable guards, especially as backups.
Because of their improved bench, it is difficult to imagine how the Pistons will not make the NBA finals. In the end, though, Detroit will not beat the Western Conference representative. And the winner is... the Phoenix Suns. They win the crown because of perennial MVP guard Steve Nash and a healthy Amare Stoudemire.
Whatever the results, it should be an exciting spring for local sports fans.

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