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 · The Hagerty Cycling Team
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The Hagerty Cycling Team

Erin Cowell - July 14th, 2008
Typically you can find them cruising along the winding roads of Old Mission Peninsula. Identifiable by their jerseys, they are a blue streak whizzing past houses and the open waters of Grand Traverse Bay. Their light road bikes easily maneuver the sharp turns as they ride like a pack of wolves, each bike just inches from the other.
The Hagerty Cycling Team is a group of local bicyclists from the Traverse City area. Established in the spring of 2007, the team competes at races around the state.
Recently, team members competed at the 2008 Superior Bike Fest held in Marquette on June 20-22. The weekend proved to be a success for Team Hagerty. Just a few of the highlights included Norm Licht winning the Men’s Roadrace Masters 45+, with six other team members finishing in the top 10. Lauri Brockmiller finished second overall for the Women’s Category 4. Many team members also won their respective divisions in road race, criterium, and downhill categories.
Although cycling is a recreational sport that can be enjoyed by just about anyone, racing takes training and discipline. It helps to know the strategies and rules of finishing a race.
The Hagerty Cycling Team is fortunate to have veterans blazing the concrete, teaching beginner and intermediate riders the rules of the road. Professional cyclist Derek Prechtl coaches and is a board member of the Hagerty Cycling Team. As a member of the pro tour for several years, the Traverse City native offers his training tips to other members of the club. Prechtl took second place for the Men’s Masters 35+ in Marquette.
“For a second year team, we have some of the best racers in the state in their respective category,” Prechtl says.

But those results aren’t just handed to riders. Team members train up to three days a week as a group. Workouts include speed training on one day where members ride fast through flat sections of road at 25 to 30 mph. Another day, they work on hill climbs, using the rolling hills of Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas as their training ground. Then, like a weekend family road trip, they pack up their energy bars and water bottles for a three to four hour endurance ride.
Crashing isn’t very common in road races, but it does happen. During workouts, team members will purposely bump tires on occasion. This prepares riders for potential wipe-outs during a race since they ride just inches from each other.
And despite the individual win at races, cycling is a very team-oriented sport. Susan Vigland, secretary of the board for Hagerty Cycling Team, helps organize the women’s team workouts.
“You can work with your teammates to go for a win,” Vigland says. “One of the things you can do is what’s called a ‘lead out.’”
Vigland explains that teammates ride in a group, the slowest of the pack leading the front with the fastest rider in the back. The group pedals as fast as the leader can ride until he or she gets tired and shifts to the back of the pack. This continues until the fastest rider is able to sprint ahead to the finish line. By taking the brunt of the wind resistence, the group allows the sprinter to save his or her energy for the last few hundred yards of the race. In essence, it’s not only the rider who wins the race, but the rider from Team Hagerty.

Vigland credits her team for her third place finish at the Tour of Cedar Creek, held on June 8.
“In order for me to get there, somebody pulled for me, allowed me to rest,” Vigland said. “It’s like a basketball game. Just because you didn’t have all the points, doesn’t mean you didn’t help your team.”
Winnings also go into the team account, used for after season parties or bike trips.
Although the primary sponsor is through Hagerty Insurance Agency, many cycling team members come from outside the Hagerty family. Ty Schmidt is a physical therapist at Munson Community Health Center and has been with the team since he and his wife moved from Arizona in 2006. Schmidt also gave up his driver’s license two and a half years ago in a commitment to cycling.
“It’s a little difficult having two kids,” Schmidt said, “but they’re pretty patient.”
When he’s not training with the Hagerty team, Schmidt bikes to work every day and uses a tag-a-long trailer to transport his two young boys around town.
“Riding in this area is awesome,” Schmidt said. “It’s just beautiful. I don’t think some people realize what they have around here.”

For over 20 years, locals have gotten together every Tuesday evening at Traverse City High School for some intense cycling. Anywhere from 15 to 40 riders come out to cruise along the roads of the peninsulas. One day, a group of those Tuesday night riders decided they wanted to create a local cycling team. Cliff Onthank was one of those riders and he, along with Prechtl and a few others, approached the executive board at Hagerty about their idea.
Other sponsors jumped on board, and the team was created. Now, there is a diverse team of men and women, ranging anywhere from 15 to 50 years old, wearing the blue cycling jersey.
“(The team) has really brought in a lot of great camaraderie,” Onthank said. “I think we’re broadcasting a pretty good image out there.”
Onthank also finished second in his division for the Men’s Masters 45+.
While a few team members now live outside the Traverse City area, the Hagerty Cycling Team is primarily a local team.
“The best thing about this team is that it’s truly been the first community-oriented team,” Prechtl said. “We have some fun people with us and, on top of that, now we’re showing up to races and people are saying, ‘Uh oh, here comes Hagerty.’”

For complete results of the 2008 Superior Bike Fest race, go to:
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