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 · Going with the flow
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Going with the flow

Robert Downes - April 7th, 2008
Wondering where to paddle that new kayak this summer? In Northern Michigan, your biggest problem will be trying to choose from among the many spectacular rivers.
Here’s a rundown on some of our favorite rivers in the region, based on hours of exploring fun. Needless to say, there are many others worth exploring: the Platte, the Bear, the Fox and the Grass rivers all come to mind. But these will get you started:

The Betsie River -- Benzie County

The Betsie is noteworthy as a wildlife river: chances are good that you’ll see deer along the route, and certainly many birds and wild flowers.
There’s a place to put in on the Betsie at the bridge just down the hill on River Road to the west of Benzonia. You can spot your car about three miles downstream at a parking lot where the river crosses another bridge. It’s a short enough stretch by road that you can pedal a bike back to the launching area.
If you wish, you can paddle farther on to Elberta; but be forewarned: hefty kayakers may get stuck in the shallow mud flats just before the harbor... Bonus: a side-trip to Gwen Frostics fabulous print shop on River Road.

The Boardman River -- Grand
Traverse County

There are two great options for paddling the Boardman, which is the river that literally “built” Traverse City back in the lumber era when saw logs were floated downstream to the town’s lumber mills.
Option one: Jump off from Ranch Rudolf, located 12 miles southeast of Traverse City. The rustic resort offers canoe trips, with put-ins available upstream where the river is at its wildest and most scenic.
Option two: Put in at the Keystone Road parking lot on the Boardman near Chum’s Corners in TC. Be sure to wear a helmet and have your wits about you, because heavy rapids and dangerous rocks lie just 100 yards downstream. Beyond that, however, its smooth paddling all the way across Boardman Lake to downtown Traverse City and West Bay. Be prepared to portage around three dams, and possibly wade for a bit across one of the shallow sections just past the rapids. A shorter alternative is to put in at Sabin Dam.

The Crystal River -- Leelanau County

A jewel of a river and a fun option for friends and family who want to enjoy one of the many restaurants in Glen Arbor for an after-paddle get-together.
Take a right turn off M-22 on the road just north of Glen Arbor and follow the winding river about a mile to a put-in parking lot near a small dam.
The Crystal provides a beautiful, serpentine paddle back to the north end of town, with a good exit point being the landing across from the Shell station. Its shallow waters provide its shining “crystal” appellation (but may also necessitate some wading in spots). There are three short portages along the river, but you can bypass one of them by shooting a tunnel that provides a whooping slide under the roadway.

The Manistee River -- Wexford County

Opportunities for camping present themselves on the broad Manistee, which is Northern Michigan’s longest river. A good jump-off point is just south of the rest stop on US-131 (the former Chippewa Landing). Paddle west for fabulous views of the bluffs which tower for hundreds of feet along the north bank. There are designated campsites along the route, but some choose to simply pull in wherever looks good (although you run the risk of encountering teenage partyers who wander down the two-tracks to the river). A good place to exit the river is the parking lot on Summit City Road, southeast of Kingsley.

The Sturgeon River -- Cheboygan County

The Sturgeon is the fastest-flowing river in Northern Michigan, dropping an estimated 17 feet per mile. Put in at the park in Wolverine and hold onto your hat for a wild ride all the way to the town of Indian River.
Be sure to steer far clear of the many log jams along the river banks: kayakers, especially, can be swept into these traps and pinned underwater. And bring a change of clothes in a waterproof bag, because chances are good you’re in for a dunking. A more stable option is paddling the Sturgeon in a canoe.

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