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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Ski Empire: Boyne Mountain celebrates its 60th anniversary

Carina Hume - March 23rd, 2009
Ski Empire
By Carina Hume 3/23/09

A passion for skiing, a little bit of luck, and the determination and money to make it work. That’s what Everett Kircher possessed. A former Detroit car dealer, Kircher’s vision of a ski club in Northern Michigan began with a one-dollar purchase of 40 acres near Boyne Falls.
Sixty years later, Boyne Mountain is a mega-resort anchoring nine sister resorts in locations as far away as British Columbia, and the Kircher name has its place in skiing history.
In 1947, Everett Kircher and partnersJohn Norton and Jim Christianson formed the Boyne Ski Lodge company. With the purchase of a chairlift from Sun Valley, Idaho, the ski club would introduce the first chairlift in the Midwest, hoping ski enthusiasts would travel north instead of west for their fun.
“Everett Kircher bought a used lift in 1948 in Sun Valley and installed it on the Hemlock slope,” explains Ed Grice, Boyne Mountain’s general manager since 2005. “That lift was the first chairlift in the world transporting skiers at Sun Valley.”
Detroit Youth Hostelers helped clear trails during the summer, including Hemlock, Aurora, McLouth, Victor – named after Victor Gottschalk – Everett’s first ski instructor and Boyne’s first director of skiing, and Pierson after Michigan Senator William Pierson who donated the original land. The resort opened during the holidays of 1948, with a grand opening on January 9, 1949.
As the ski club’s success grew, Kircher moved to Northern Michigan full-time and became sole owner of the former hobby turned full-time business. General managers Chuck Moll and Art Tebo each spent years as Kircher’s right-hand man.
Boyne’s successful ski school taught enthusiasts the most modern techniques, thanks to well-known instructors, Stein Eriksen – the world’s first ski superstar – and Othmar Schneider.
In 1964, Boyne installed the very first four-place chairlift – the Meadows lift – which was finally replaced this season with a higher-speed conveyor-load lift. In the 1970s, Boyne added golf to its offerings and patented the Highland Snow Gun, still one of the premier guns used for snowmaking today. The area’s first high-speed chairlift was installed in 1992 and the Disciples Ridge expansion added 12 runs and another chairlift in 1995.

Boyne Mountain’s formal 60th anniversary celebration in January included nearly 600 people, authentic German food and music, old-time period skiwear, Little Traverse Figure Skating Club skaters, a torchlight parade and fireworks.
“At the anniversary celebration, one of the neat things to see were the several generations who’ve been enjoying Boyne – the grandchildren, parents and grandparents all together,” says Grice.
“We had folks from all around the Midwest, and (filmmaker) Warren Miller from Montana as our special guest.” Many of Miller’s skiing movies were filmed at Boyne Mountain and his friendship with Everett continued until Everett’s death in 2002.
Everett’s son Stephen became Boyne Resorts’ president of eastern operations that year, and his wife Molly has commemorated Boyne’s 60th anniversary with a book: “Boyne: People, History, Memories.”
The book is filled with pictures and text depicting Boyne’s history, as well as the history of skiing through the present day.
“It’s just phenomenal how neat this book is and the history it shows,” says Grice. “[Molly] didn’t have a lot of time to put it together; we had a lot of archival material and she just started going through boxes – picture by picture. The book shows how the sport has evolved from being only a handful of ski resorts in use to where we are today.”

As for Boyne celebrations, Grice has one of his own. He began his career at Boyne Mountain nearly 35 years ago as a dishwasher and busboy, and worked his way up. “I’ve worked in hotel maintenance, bartending and all the different things there are to do in the resort business,” he says. He appreciates learning “from really a great businessman who invented many things” when remembering Everett.
“Being around here as many years as I’ve been, there’s a great deal of pride to see how [Boyne’s] grown. It’s neat to see what it means to the community, to jobs we supply to the area, to recreation opportunities we supply to local kids in schools. Since Boyne’s infancy, we’ve done Thursday afternoon ski programs for Boyne Falls students.”
Expansion and improvements are always in the works at Boyne Mountain, as evidenced by openings of the Mountain Grand Lodge, Solace Spa and the Avalanche Bay water park in May 2005. Next up is Helga House.
“We’re always looking at improving what we’ve got,” says Grice. “[Helga House is] going to be our teaching center for children; not only ski school, but an adventure camp for children in summer.”
Grice’s philosophy about working at Boyne is simple:
“We’re here as caretakers; we need to make it better for the next generation, the people who take over, also for our customers. We need to continue to improve, meet goals, set new goals so people can continue to enjoy Boyne for generations.”

El Niño’s effect on the country’s weather has proved challenging for a ski resort these last 10 years. “We’ve had a kind of a one-two punch,” says Grice, referring to the economic downturns combined with Michigan’s unreliable weather patterns. “We’ve also had some very unfavorable winters of trying to do business in the state of Michigan.” But Grice is confident that Boyne Resorts continue to satisfy.
“In spite of the economy we’re still having a very good year; we see that as continuing,” says Grice. “We always see opportunities for another chair lift here or ski run there or condo here; we think that we’re pointed in the right direction, and our customer base – by how popular we are – is telling us that.”
“Boyne is the total experience, in our minds,” says Grice. “We have our tag line for Boyne, ‘What are you up for?’ and that can be skiing, golf, the water park at Avalanche Bay – Michigan’s largest indoor water park – Solace Spa, hiking, biking, après-ski nightlife. There’s something for everybody here; that’s been our goal, and we’ve been achieving that.”

For more information about Boyne Mountain, call 231-549-6000 or visit
www.boyne.com. To purchase “Boyne: People, History, Memories,” visit www.skigolf.com or any Boyne Country Sports location.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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