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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Technology, Protection & fun

Scott Stillings - December 8th, 2005
Winter stores are crammed with new stuff for those skiers, snowboarders and other assorted crazies on your shopping list.
From high-tech clothes to zippy sleds to piles of cranium covers, you’ll find gear your mother never imagined for having fun in the snow.
Remember those old leaky nylon jackets and snow pants? Throw ‘em away.
Your old knit hat is going in the trash, too.

At Petoskey’s Bahnhof Sport you can zip into the highest of high-tech Spyder iPod two-piece ski suit. Control your iTunes right from it’s specially equipped sleeve! Holy tunes Batman, what would Dick Tracy think? Gary Hunter, veteran Bahnhofer, also notes that the new designer Rossignol Pucci clothing line is “very sexy” and sure to be a hit under the tree.
There goes your nylon parka with that Walkman skipping along in the pocket.

Johan Roth from Traverse City’s Don Orr Ski and Beach Haus heads right for your feet and your head. Best at Don Orr’s? The new Tecnica Diablo ski boots. “The Diablo is the only boot to combine performance with recreational comfort,” claims Roth.
Johan also sees a big gain in helmet sales. Who is buying helmets? “Lots more adults and professionals like instructors and patrols” says the Don Orr staffer. Guess helmets aren’t just for kids and racers anymore.
Time to replace that old stretched-out knit toque.

Brick Wheels owner Tim Brick, one of this author’s personal favorite crazies, says the latest and greatest winter toy is the new Airboard Sled. Calling it “an inner tube on steroids,” Traverse City’s #1 Brickhead says the bullet shaped body board has a hard rubber bottom for sledding over rough spots. Fist grips allow you to hang on for dear life and supposedly steer the Airboard like a luge sled. Watch out Olympics!
So much for your Flexible Flyer.

Grayling’s Cross Country Ski Shop is all about function and maximum fun. The semi-fitted, 4-way stretch Sporthill ATV pant “blocks wind up to 35 mph” according to funster and shop owner, Dick Fultz. Its fancy polypropolene pulls moisture away from your body and the ATV’s new bell-bottom design makes if fit great over skating and telemark ski boots. Fultz’s best stocking stuffer? The Swix beverage (make that beer) opener with blue Swix shot glasses and pint mugs.
It’s the end of your wet butt. Or… at least you won’t care.

Tim Webster in Gaylord’s Dan Webster Pro Ski and Golf Shop combines technology and safety. The new Giro IPod compatible helmet features interchangeable ear pads for your headphones. The lightweight snowboard and ski model known as the Bad Lieutenant is “Cayenne hot” according to Tim. With your iTunes blazing in your ears, you’ll be riding like Hannah Teter starring in “First Descent,” a full-length snowboarding docu-drama in a theatre near you.
Now you’re going to have to learn how to download music.

At the base of Boyne Mountain, Boyne County Sports’ Dan Turcott says his hottest items are Nordica skis and, well, helmets. The new Nordica’s “ski well and have the best shelf appeal” says Dan. He prefers the Speedmachine 10 and the Hot Rod models because “they ski great in all conditions. They’re slightly wider with lots of shape.” Dan’s other top seller? “Helmets, helmets, helmets.” Sound familiar? New helmets are “more fashionable and widely accepted” with sales divided “about 50/50 between kids and adults.”

So, this winter your head will be warmer, safer and full of song. You’ll be drier, turn easier and have comfortable feet. Sounds like a great winter on the slopes. Once you’ve finished shopping.

Ski Bum and Express contributor Scott Stillings does it daily on the slopes around Northern Michigan.

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