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 · Something fishy in Oden
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Something fishy in Oden

Carina Hume - August 18th, 2008
Ever wonder how area lakes and streams stay stocked with brightly colored trout for area anglers? Stop in at the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center, located in Oden, just north of Petoskey, and find out.
With interactive learning displays, a replica of an old fish railcar to tour, natural trout stream and half-mile-long nature trail that leads to the Oden State Fish Hatchery, getting back to nature is fun and free. Daily tours at the modern facility, completed in June 2002, explain why hatcheries are necessary, how fish are raised and what happens to them as they mature.
“We raise brown trout and rainbow trout here,” says Maureen Jacobs, park interpreter with the Department of Natural Resources. “We do about 250,000 rainbows every year and about 750,000 browns that we end up releasing into our lakes, rivers and streams.”
The original Oden Hatchery was built in 1920 with fish ponds surrounding the building.
“The railroad system ran right in front of the hatchery,” explains Jacobs, “so the men working in this building would load the fish from the pond onto the train.”
Ten-gallon milk cans held the fish in specially modified railcars that traveled the state to distribute fish each year from the 1880s through 1931, before trucks replaced trains.
“We got $3 million from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust for fisheries education and interpretation, so that’s how we funded the train car, the interpretive signage and the stream viewing chamber (where visitors can see trout living in their natural habitat),” says Jacobs.
In 1941, the fish hatchery moved further inland and the main building facing US-31 became the manager and family’s residence. Currently, it’s used for office space, restrooms and a visitor center with interpretive displays, a video area and gift shop.
“In 1999 we got $12 million from the state building authority to remove old tanks and raceways from down on this part of the property and relocate the hatchery,” says Jacobs.
“We used the money to take out all the tanks because they were dilapidated and crumbling…and we removed the fish, put them up in the buildings that we built on South Ayr Road (in Alanson), and we restored the stream.”

After checking out the displays and railcar located at the Visitor Center, taking a nature walk back to the Fish Hatchery before the tour is part of the fun.
“We sit on 130 acres of property, so there’s lots of wildlife viewing opportunities,” says Jacobs. “This is sort of a self-guided nature trail.” Woodpeckers, beavers, eagles and bird-watching groups have been known to travel the trails.
Seeing the trout’s natural habitat is easy with the center’s covered outdoor viewing chamber that offers views into the side of the stream.
The four-inch thick glass wall, located a short walk inland, was built in 1999 and cost $1.2 million dollars. Funds for the project came from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, with help from the Department of Natural Resources.
“As far as I know,” says Jacobs, “there are only three freshwater stream viewing chambers in the nation, and we have one of them here in Northern Michigan.”

Educating the public has become an important aspect of the hatchery’s agenda, and each summer, tours attract close to 20,000 visitors.
“We have these structured tours so that we can tell people a little bit more about what this place really signifies and how important it is to keep stocking fish,” says Jacobs.
“There are so many poachers, and besides the poachers, there are about 1.3 million people that legally fish and buy their license every year, but that, coupled with environmental degradation, means we need to keep stocking fish if we want to keep some of these species around.”
The ecosystem’s stability as well as anglers’ fishing trips depend on it.
“Tours take about 45 minutes,” continues Jacobs. “We walk people through three different buildings of the hatchery, interpreting the life cycle of a fish at our hatchery, where we end up stocking fish (northern half of Michigan’s lower peninsula and the entire upper peninsula), how we raise them, take care of them and the purpose.”
No receptionist is on duty at the hatchery so visitors are encouraged to begin their experience at the Visitor Center.
“Guests can be greeted by an interpretive staff member and told what the plans are for the day, and if there are any special programs, acclimate them to the site,” says Jacobs.
“I think people are blown away when they haven’t been here to see that there’s all of this property back here; but with regard to the tour, I think the broodstock fish (mature fish kept separate for breeding) shock people the most. They’re so big and they’re so close in the tank and visitors are really impressed with the operation of squeezing eggs (which occurs September-February) and that sort of thing.”

Along the nature trail is the “retirement” pond for the broodstock. Visitors can feed the large eight-year-old brown and rainbow trout and children are invited for catch-and-release fishing days several times throughout the year.
“We provide all the equipment,” says Jacobs. “Fishing days are always free.”
Recruitment and retention is an important aspect of the center’s youth education programs.
“We’re trying to get young anglers interested in the sport of fishing, so that we can keep them for their whole lives. It’s a great way to get kids to enjoy the outdoors,” explains Jacobs. “Most kids really love it, and if they’re shown at an early age the proper way to handle a fish…it’s a really interesting sport for them to get involved with.”
Hundreds of school groups come out each year and summer programs are in place for youth visitors, as well. Brown trout Tuesdays will happen each Tuesday in July from 3-5 p.m. Call the Visitor Center for more information.

Although the new hatchery has streamlined operations, improvements can always be made.
“We have one forward-thinking employee at the hatchery,” says Jacobs. “His name is Dave Stine, and he’s worked for the Oden Hatchery for 25 years. Dave is working to get solar panels to run the two pumps that keep water (in the stream) flowing and prevent the water from flowing up in the stream’s viewing chamber.”
“I think it costs the state about $500 a month to run those pumps,” continues Jacobs, “but if we got the solar panels, of course, that would be free energy.”
One of seven employees who work at the hatchery, Stine is the maintenance supervisor and has been there the longest. He’s joined by the hatchery manager, biologist, fish technicians and assistants.
“Dave is also trying to work to get the sludge from the hatchery made into dry bio-pellets, so he’s chair of the energy committee with the fish division and he’s trying to get things moving.”

With the state’s economy uncertain, it’s fortunate that the hatchery is somewhat self-sustaining.
“How we’re funded now – how we pay for the electric bills and our salary and fish food – for example, is the sale of our fishing licenses,” admits Jacobs.
“I wish we didn’t have to have the hatcheries; it would be nice to have natural procreation out there in the wild and the fish taking care of their own numbers.”
“I’d have to find a job somewhere else, of course,” she says with a laugh, “but we’re just not there as far as natural stability.”
For now, Jacobs’ enthusiasm and love for the outdoors makes an educational visit to the hatchery and visitor center a treat.
“This is sort of a kept secret,” the Indian River resident and fishing fanatic admits. “A lot of people have just not had the chance to stop and see what a fantastic place this is.”
The Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with four tours daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and Sundays from Noon-6 p.m. with tours at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. There is no admission charge for any exhibits or tours. Park at the Visitor Center located at 3377 US-31 in Oden, six miles east of Petoskey. For more information call 231-348-0998.
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