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 · Winter Sports & Ski Resorts
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Winter Sports & Ski Resorts

Scott Stillings - December 13th, 2007
There is so much to talk about the beautiful resorts and winter sport areas right in our backyards, so it’s hard to decide which exciting, new features to include.
We all remember last season’s warm Christmas holiday week, and this year, every single ski and snowboard slope in Northern Michigan has made major expenditures to beef up snowmaking and grooming wherever possible.
There are also a host of new improvements, fun programs and events at your
favorite outdoor playgrounds. Every area and lodge listed has an inexpensive package for beginning any winter sport you choose; just call or click on the property closest to your abode for details on jump-starting your winter fun.

Check out The Homestead, which is hosting a huge family-a-thon. With great kids programs like Camp Tam-A-Rack, the youngest can learn the fundamentals of skiing and sledding indoors, and then progress onto special beginner slopes to become winter lovers.
The whole gang can snowshoe, ice-skate on Fiddler’s Pond in The Village, cross country ski or just go sledding. A true treat is hiking the beach with your sled in tow and sliding down the dunes. It’s a truly beautiful spot for a super
family day.

Here’s a very cool deal at Boyne Mountain. The venerable grandfather of northern midwestern resorts is offering a new winter guided river rafting trip (yes, in the winter!) combined with snowshoe hiking, hot beverages, delicious snacks and a spa treatment. So much for roughing it - I want my hot toddy!
The Mountain’s sister resort, Boyne Highlands, instituted dog sled rides a season ago, and will continue this new winter treat with hour long treks this winter. It’s a great gift for puppy lovers and a wonderful wintertime getaway you’ll remember forever.
Both Boynes also have expanded their huge tubing parks, so even if you don’t ski or snowboard, you can still slide around while enjoying the world-class amenities of these mega-properties.
On the outside, each Boyne has spent oodles of money on more snowmaking and all the parts and pieces that customers like us never see, but certainly love when it comes to good conditions. Toss in exciting additions like new snowshoe tracks, more in-tree glade skiing, and fancy salons, and you can spend weeks exploring all kinds of winter games.
On the national front, Boyne USA bought even more ski and snowboard areas across the country during the off-season, and their seasons passes now let you save on lift tickets from Maine to Washington.

Crystal Mountain is really talking up the old school, and I mean really old school, of Telemark skiing. The original downhill turn developed north of the Arctic Circle by those fun-loving Norwegians is now all the rage, and is being taught and even raced amongst the funsters of the Crystal Mountain Snow Sports School.
Also new on the Crystal learning front is their snow sports director, Tom
Bartholomew. A nine-year veteran of the teaching staff, Tom brings a huge snowboarding résumé, and his international snowboard
juggling title, to the snow school team.
Healthy is as healthy does; Crystal Mountain has also declared all of their buildings smoke-free facilities. The puffing ban applies to every building and room on Crystal’s gigantic resort campus.
On the environmental front, the Sierra Club recently awarded Crystal with its White Pine Award for its “extraordinary dedication to protection of the environment.”

Caberfae, Michigan’s oldest continuously operating ski resort, has expanded lots of their popular intermediate terrain. More snowmaking was also added, bringing the ‘Fae’s snow guns total to over 100.
For regular Caberfae customers, there are now 50% more seasonal lockers in their rental building, making it so much easier to just show up and go skiing or riding. The rental was also enlarged, with more new equipment for both sports.
The Mackenzie lodge saw extensive renovations, too; everything from lobbies to restaurants to rooms have been updated and buffed to new standards of lodging comfort and dining deliciousness.

The start of a $10 million renovation is underway at Shanty Creek. The former Shanty Creek lodge atop the Summit Slopes is the first to feel the huge undertaking with its redesign and new name, The Lakeview Hotel & Conference Center.
The Summit Slopes are having a meeting with the bulldozers for an upgrade as well, and all skiing and snowboarding for this season will be on The Schuss Mountain side of the resort.
Shanty Creek has also introduced a rewards program for students with good grades. This gives school kids super deals on lift tickets when they do well on their report cards; and, if you have kids who ski race, check out the WIN Alpine ski racing camp over the holiday break. It’s a chance to schuss the big Schuss slopes with great coaches, and can make a big difference in any ski racer’s season.

Nub’s Nob is throwing their own 50th birthday party this season with a million dollars’ worth of infrastructure stuff, including snowmaking, grooming and thousands of pieces of ski rental gear.
All new Rossignol skis and Nordica ski boots are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the constant improvements at the resort that’s self-proclaimed “Best in the Midwest”.
In their 2007 Readers Resort Poll, the readers of SKI Magazine chose Nub’s Nob as the #1 Terrain Park in all of North America. First announced by the national magazine in October 2006, it is the only time any Midwestern resort has ever topped the rankings in all of Canada and the U.S.
Nationally ranked #4 for grooming in the same survey, Nub’s Nob put their money where there reputation is, and have purchased two more fancy Pisten Bully snow grooming machines to keep it all smooth and corduroy-like on the slopes.

Your local neighborhood areas are updating, too. You’ll see more rental gear at Mt. Holiday and Mt. McSauba, and improved lights at the Petoskey Winter Sports Park. Hansen Hills has increased their nordic trails, and the ski racing programs at Hickory Hills, run by the age old Grand Traverse Ski Club, are bigger and better than ever for local youngsters.
On a personal note, our good Northern Express friend, Dick Fultz, proprietor of The Cross Country Ski Shop in Grayling, recently came through a surprise heart bypass operation with flying colours. Hard to believe that this marathon running, cross country ski racing, and cycling fanatic could have gone through that - but now that his heart is repaired, we all wonder if anyone will ever be able to keep up with him. We hope to see you on the snow soon, Dick!
So that’s it for this year - winter is here and so are you. Make your plans now to get outside and enjoy some of America’s finest winter recreation right in your own neighborhood. As for the author, I’m celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Ski and Snowboard News on local radio stations like WTCM - to all of you, thanks for listening for all these years. Now go and hit the slopes!

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