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 · My wild life
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My wild life

Mike Terrell - May 18th, 2009
My wild life
Mike Terrell 5/18/09

For the last 23 years many of you had followed my outdoor activities and resultant columns in the Traverse City Record-Eagle, but that came to an end in January when the paper lost its freelance budget for outdoor columnists. Daily newspapers are fighting for their very lives and having to cut budgets wherever they can.
It was disappointing. I was saddened by the fact that I never got to write a final column for all my loyal readers. In 23 years I had heard from many of you, especially when my wife Kathy passed away in 1997. I got hundreds of heartfelt responses, but I also heard from many over the years about how they enjoyed the columns, saved and used them. Some columns that readers showed me were from the late 1980s and early 1990s, yellowed and worn, but still being used.
The interaction with readers was one of the things I enjoyed most. Telling them of neat places to go outdoors, new areas to explore and new activities to try were also high on the list; plus I got to explore and enjoy new areas writing about them.

The good news is that now you will be able to keep reading about all those things in Northern Express, and I’m looking forward to a long association with the paper. Maybe not 23 years, but who knows? I’m 66 years old, still enjoy getting outdoors and still enjoy writing about it. Over the years I’ve written for a lot of publications and outlets. My degree was in journalism, and it’s served me well.
In addition to now writing for the Northern Express, I’m currently the Midwest editor for OnTheSnow.com and Ski Press Magazine, regional editor – covering six regions around the country – for Mountaingetaway.com, and my articles appear annually in Cross Country Skier magazine. In past years I’ve been Midwest editor for all three ski magazines; SKI, Skiing and Snow Country when it was around. I’ve written articles for the Chicago Tribune, Detroit News, Booth Newspapers, Michigan Golfer, Michigan Living and many other regional publications and newspapers over the years, as well as authoring two books on outdoor activities, and well over 1,000 columns for the Record-Eagle.

It’s been a good life. I’ve seen lots of beautiful natural areas over the years from all over the country. But, I’m always glad to get back home. I think we live in one of the greatest areas of the country for outdoor activities. Although not widely publicized, this is one of the heartland’s top destinations for silent sports. It’s a four-season paradise for this kind of activity; hiking, cycling, paddling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, rafting or fly fishing to name just a few.
“Traverse City is kind of a boom area for these types of activities,” said Joel Patenaude, editor for Silent Sports Magazine, when I spoke with him last summer for another article. “It’s all there in one area, and participants tend to like to stay in one location multiple days for a variety of activities.” The Grand Traverse Region lends itself perfectly to that concept. Patenaude, of course, was alluding to visitors to the region, but as residents we enjoy it year round.
When I began writing for the Record-Eagle years ago I wondered how long I could keep coming up with fresh articles and ideas for outdoor activities and places to visit. Twenty three years later I’m still coming up with new places to visit, new trails to explore and new parcels of unexplored land keep opening up thanks to the Grand Traverse and Leelanau Land Conservancies. It’s like a never-ending smorgasbord, and I never tire of sampling its fare.
The trails that I’ve been cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on throughout the long, just-finished winter are many of the same trails I now hike and mountain bike with my three labs. Forest trails are surrounded by a carpet of wildflowers and trees with emerging leaves. It’s a great time of year to be out, especially after a long, hard winter; one of the longest that I can recall in 30 years of living up here. And, who knows? You may be lucky enough to find a few morel mushrooms, one of the area’s most prized springtime delicacies. That’s another article.

Mountain bikers are drawn to the VASA Single-Track off Supply Road, one of the Great Lakes’ regional premier mountain bike trails, and the newly opened Day Hill Trail at Arcadia Dunes in Benzie County near Upper Herring Lake. Both are excellent mountain biking trails with Day Hill being the more challenging. Of course, there are forest roads, dirt roads and numerous named trails throughout the region open to both hikers and mountain bikers, including much of the North Country Trial; the nation’s newest long distance trail.
Cyclists enjoy the many miles of lightly-traveled country roads throughout the area. Some hug the Lake Michigan shoreline offering panoramic views of the lakeside country. My favorite rides are the circle rides around some of the region’s large, beautiful inland lakes: Torch Lake, Lake Leelanau, Long Lake, Crystal Lake and Glen Lake. Add in the Rail-To-Trail routes like TART; the White Pine, which runs from Cadillac down to Big Rapids and south; Little Traverse Wheelway, hugging the Lake Michigan shoreline from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs; the North Central State Trail, which runs from Gaylord to Cheboygan and Mackinaw City; the Betsie Valley Trail, which runs from Thompsonville to Frankfort, and you have a huge variety of scenic routes from which to choose.

Paddlers are drawn to the regions many choice rivers, lakes and bays. Some of the area’s smaller lakes – Pearl Lake, Lake Dubonet, Brown Bridge Pond – offer intimate glimpses of sandhill cranes, loons, ospreys and eagles as part of a hushed, almost reverent experience, and deer can often be spotted along the water’s edge. Rivers flow through large tracts of uninhabited forest, which just adds to the quiet serenity of a river trip.
We even have a little bit of whitewater for those looking for an adrenaline rush. The Boardman River’s Beitner Rapids, located just south of town, is a short stretch of pretty straightforward but exciting rapids that will definitely increase your heart rate; not recommended for novice paddlers. It’s the Lower Peninsula’s only true rapids.
For those that like to toss a line, Northern Michigan has long been considered one of the best places in the Lower 48 to indulge in the exquisitely silent sport of fly fishing, which has often been called the “Sport of Kings.” In 2008, Field & Stream named Traverse City one of “America’s Best Fishing Towns.” Within an hour of the city limits, anglers can find miles of blue-ribbon trout streams like the Boardman, Manistee, AuSable and Pere Marquette rivers.
It’s not hard to see why Patenaude names Traverse City as a leading silent sports destination in the Great Lakes region. We just don’t want to shout about it. I look forward to bringing you many more Northern Express articles on the numerous opportunities that abound in our area. It’s my passion, and I enjoy telling you about it.

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