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 · Local ski clubs/ Riding dirty
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Local ski clubs/ Riding dirty

- September 14th, 2009
Rebooting Local Ski Clubs
Fundraisers and membership drives planned for two new clubs
Two of the region’s ski clubs are seeking a reboot, and we don’t mean slapping on a new pair of Salomons.
The newly-named Vasa Ski Club and the North Coast Snowsports Club are both planning fundraisers and/or membership drives this week in an attempt to get skiing back on track in the Grand Traverse/Leelanau/Manistee area.
“After many years of minimal activity, new and existing members of the Traverse Nordic Ski Club have reestablished our cross country ski club,” said Todd Vigland in a letter to members of the new VASA Ski Club. The club hopes to rebuild its membership, generate interest in cross-country skiing, offer group skiing and instruction, and regain prominence in statewide races.
Meanwhile, the Leelanau Ski Club has joined forces with the Northwestern Alpine Ski Academy (formerly the Manistee Ski Club) to form the North Coast Snowsports Club. The new club’s goal is to “combine resources in order to continue affordable top level ski and snowboard education to all area children.”

Here’s the lowdown on this week’s activities:
North Coast Snowsports Club:
A Fundraiser Gala To Benefit Area Youth Snowsports Instruction Programs will be held Saturday, September 19 from 7-10 p.m. at Crystal Mountain Resort in the Crystal Center.
Volunteer Mark Cantrell says the event will include hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar with live music by Blind Dog Hank, along with a silent and Chinese auction. “Our live auction will include a week’s stay at a Steamboat Springs condo in Colorado,” he says.
A $15 donation is suggested for the event, with free childcare and pizza and movies for kids. Tickets will be available at the door; but organizers recommend calling (231) 632-7056 to register your number of adult tickets and for any childcare needs.

The VASA Ski Club:
There will be a kick-off event from
5-6:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18 at Timber Ridge outside Traverse City. Learn more about the new club and register for the upcoming season. There will also be a VASA pre-season clinic featuring US Nordic Ski Team member, Lindsey Dehlin at 7 p.m.
Ski workshops will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. - noon at Timber Ridge with a charge of $5. There will also be a Roller Ski Technique Clinic starting at 9 a.m. that day, with a fee of $50 adults, $20 students.

For details on the club kick-off or ski events, call 938-4400, or go to www.vasa.org.

Cyclocross comes to Northern Michigan in a new three-race series

By Erin Crowell

“People like to see carnage.”
It’s the reason we love NASCAR and why the Plexiglas shakes when hockey players throw down their gloves.
It’s also why cyclocross racing has maintained its popularity, believes Jeff Koch, one of the sport’s local participants.
The sport has seen a resurgence on the east and west coasts of the United States – and will come to Northern Michigan at the inaugural Frost Cross Cyclocross Race Series, held at two Traverse City locations, September 19, October 10 and November 8.
Cyclocross is a hybrid of mountain biking and a criterium – a timed race on a short bike course of dirt, asphalt, mud and pavement with a few road barriers thrown in. Cyclists must dismount and carry their bikes over the two-foot-high wood barriers.
“There’s a lot of crashing, people get dirty,” says Koch, an Elk Rapids resident and Arizona State Cyclocross Champion of the mid-90s.
Cyclocross is also a spectator-friendly sport, another contributing factor to the sport’s increasing popularity.
“Unlike most bike races, people can watch almost the entire race from one vantage point,” says Rick Morris, the Frost Cross Series director.
For those participating, cyclocross is a transition between road and mountain biking. Although there are specially designed bikes for the sport, participants may use any sturdy bike with knobby tires – including a mountain bike – for the one-and-a-half to two-mile course.

Twin Bays Racing
The Frost Cross is the premier event of Twin Bays Racing, a new race organization founded by Mike Tarnow and Pete LaPlaca.
LaPlaca, who is president of the North American Vasa, wanted to introduce the area to what he believes to be one of the fastest-growing segments in cycling.
“We’ve got a very active community, a lot of great bike shops and riders,” he says. “There are quite a few cyclists in our area that travel down to places like Grand Rapids to compete (in cyclocross).”
Last October, LaPlaca helped his son layout the course of the National Cyclocross Championships in Bend, Oregon. It was at this well-organized race, in one of America’s biking Meccas that LaPlaca decided to bring cyclocross home.
The Twin Bays Racing partners met with Morris, a cyclocross veteran of 20 years, and came up with the three-race series, that culminates with the Ice Cross Race happening November 8 at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. The event will be held the day after the Iceman Cometh, a 27-mile mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City that brings over 4,000 riders to the area.
“It’s typical to do four (bike) races in one weekend,” says LaPlaca. “We’re hoping to attract the Iceman crowd and keep those riders in the area, longer.”
The Frost Cross Race Series will feature two training races prior to the post-Iceman event, allowing inexperienced riders try it out first.
“This will give people an opportunity to get their feet wet,” Morris says. “They can learn how to do the barriers and run the course. But you gotta be prepared to get dirty.”

Cyclists are invited to attend the first of the two training races: The Fall Stinger, held this Saturday, on the grounds behind the Grand Traverse Commons. The Fall Fest Twilight Race will be held at Timber Ridge Resort, October 10, in relation to the Fall Fest Fundraiser for the Father Fred Foundation. Riders are encouraged to bring a canned good for this event.
For more information on the Frost Cross Cyclocross Race Series, go to twinbaysracing.com or call 231-941-7050. See what other riders are saying at http://tccyclocross.blogspot.com.

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