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..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Shopping for the Slopes
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Shopping for the Slopes

Scott Stillings - December 7th, 2006
Happy Holidays from your Northern Express personal shopper.
My pockets are wadded full of Ben Franklin’s and I’m checking out local ski and board shops for the ideal gift. This will save a lot of valuable shopping time, getting you on the slopes before the holiday crowds appear.
This must be the season for underpants.
Missy Kruskie from Petoskey’s Bahnhof Sport says to buy your sweetie some Snow Angels long underwear.
So soft, so warm.
Snow Angels skivvies come in two weights: cybersilk and doeskin. No, it’s not little Bambis against your skin. It’s an incredible blended fabric that feels like cotton, but it’s not.
She also recommended Roxy goggles for those female carvers and riders on your list. Roxy is new, hot and part of surf giant Quiksilver’s big push into winter sports. Vented, Italian made, they’re fog free with Roxy logos everywhere!
Missy says you’ll be a very cool parental unit if you stuff anything Roxy into a Christmas stocking.

Grayling’s Cross-Country Ski Shop is celebrating 30 years of dedication to cross- country skiers.
Owner Dick Fultz claims his store has been under the same mismanagement and owner-ship for all 30 of those winters. He also says you need new SmartWool long underwear.
More underwear?
Yes, says Fultz. This SmartWool product is the only Merino wool fabric that you can actually throw in the washer and drier!
Wool? In the drier?
Testers say this new fabric is not only bachelor proof but it doesn’t itch and doesn’t stink after multiple days of wearing.
I’m not certain I want to be there when they run those stink tests.
Fultz notes that serious backcountry skiers and campers have always complained about the aroma of synthetic fibres after perspiring winter workouts. Not so with SmartWool.
According to testers you can wear this under layer for up to three days before it, and you, need a bath.
If you love your SmartWool socks you’ll love this stuff. The medium weight zip t-neck can be worn as a next-to-skin base layer or as your new favorite shirt.
Inside Don Orr’s Shop in Traverse City Ali Rice says hot holiday items are packed into Burton’s Shaun White Collection.
You remember our U.S. Olympic carrot topped halfpipe gold medalist. Shaun White now has a complete clothing and snowboard line from America’s #1 snowboard company.
It’s all top of the line stuff with great graphics. The Shaun White snowboard is a great all mountain model that’s also fantastic in the park and pipe. The clothing features great fabrics and designs. It’s da kine.
Ali says all the Burton Shaun White gear is “a great price for the product you’re getting.”
Parents take note.

Boyne Mountain’s Boyne Country Sports salesman Casey Powers says that grownups skiing with young tykes will love the new Leki ski poles with releasable straps.
A special clip on the strap between your thumb and forefinger snaps in and out of the grip with the flick of a finger. Casey says to imagine this feature as you approach Boyne’s High Speed chairlift with your little skier by your side. Any parent who has ever wrestled with ski poles and children in the lift line will love this convenient invention.
These Leki poles are made from carbon fiber, are extremely lightweight and come in three models. To quote Casey, “Just click and hold.” All parents teaching kids need a pair.
Owner Joe Host at Cadillac’s Sun N’ Snow says the foolproof purchase for the holidays is a gift card. That way, Joe claims, you can’t go wrong.
Such a boy answer.
Host highly recommends Volkl Skis’ new Attiva 5 Star performance ladies model. 20% softer and lighter, yet more stable than any previous model, Joe says that on Northern Michigan slopes, these skis have no top end. Let ‘er rip.
Volkl even installs the built-in Marker ski binding slightly forward of “normal” on the Attiva. It’s specifically placed to enhance balance and performance for women.
Joe also noted that Roxy gear for skiing and snowboarding women is flying off the shelves. He says young ladies who love their summer Roxy wear are gobbling up this new winter line. It’s very cool whether you’re a skier or a rider.

Brickhead Brad Morgan at Traverse City’s Brick Wheels says the gift of the season is the new Fuse helmet from Giro.
IPod and cellphone compatible, it is one of the lightest and most comfortable helmets ever made. You simply plug in and adjust all your IPod/cellphone settings within pocket volume and phone controls.
Brad also notes that while helmets are certainly warmer than hats, some rider and skiers think they are too warm for spring conditions.
Too warm?
The Fuse solves that problem with adjustments for ventilation geared for either cold or warm days. Giro is the world’s leading helmet maker for boys, girls, moms and dads.
Marty Blank in the huge Traverse City MC Sports is blown away by the new Rossignol Mini snowboard.
A do anything, take anywhere, pipe and park snowboard, Blank rode it last season and says, “It’s a blast.”
What’s new is The Minis’ size. A mere 128 centimeters long, it is enough ride for anyone from 75 to over 200 pounds.
Noted for it’s lighter swing weight, The Rossignol Mini is springy, holds a great edge and doesn’t chatter or bounce around. As soon as the first Mini hits the slopes, Marty predicts a quick sell-out.
At downtown Petoskey’s new Ride 45 snowboard shop, Chris McKay says the coolest holiday items are the new Rome snowboards and bindings.
Chris says after testing all this season’s hottest boards, Rome gear is unmatched.
Very rideable, Rome boards are constructed for the freestyle snowboarder. Rome bindings are precise and durable, yet their forgiving design eliminates a lot of unwanted vibration.
New Rome gloves provide great movement due to their hand friendly design. Great stocking stuffers include a thinner pipe and park model and a heavy glove for cold days.

Tim Webster, manager at Gaylord’s Dan Webster’s Pro Shop, says the insulated soft shell jackets from the Columbia Titanium line are super even if you’re not a winter lover.
Don’t worry, these Columbia beauties are not made from some exotic metal. You’ll still be able to get through airport security.
The Titanium line is lightweight, and as Tim tells it, these stylish coats have “warmth without weight with rockstar good looks.” Perfect for the street and the slopes.
Ready? It’s your turn to shop now.
Even if you’re not a skier or snowboarder your local winter sports store has a bunch of great stuff for anyone who lives in our snowy climate.
See you on the slopes, but please wash your long johns.

Scott Stillings is an Express contributor and plastic boot wearer.
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