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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Want to become an ‘Outdoor Woman?‘

Mike Terrell - November 2nd, 2009
Want to Become an ‘Outdoor Woman’?
...the DNR has a program for your wild side

By Mike Terrell 11/2/09

If one of your goals is to get outdoors more often this winter, and you’re a woman, you are in luck.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW), a program offered by Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has once again scheduled a number of winter events that will offer everything from learning how to build igloos to cast-iron cooking over campfires. Of course, practical applications like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter survival skills will also be covered.
“We’re in the process of scheduling classes for this winter, and we’ll be adding more over the next couple of months,” said program coordinator Sue Tabor. “For the past seven or eight winters our programs have been filling up, and we’re trying to schedule a few more each winter.”
Since its inception more than 15 years ago, the BOW program has averaged around 600 participants annually. Michigan, which runs classes all year long, has had one of the longest-running programs in the nation. Each year, close to 20,000 women participate in some form of the program nationwide.
The Wolverine State was one of the early success models when the program was introduced.
“Our program became a model for the rest of the nation,” Tabor said. “We were one of the first, and our success has inspired many states to try a similar model. The winter program is kind of unique, because not that many states can offer a similar setting that you find in a northern Michigan winter.
“The Canadian provinces have latched onto the success of our winter program,” she added with a laugh.

BOW offers both day-long and weekend programs throughout the year, and many fill quickly once they go online.
“That’s indicative of the interest in our winter programs. If women are interested in any of the offerings, they should sign up quickly. It’s a great opportunity for women to learn new activities and skills, brush up on existing skills or just enjoy the company of like-minded women who appreciate the beauty of winter,” Tabor said.
“We see new women coming out every year to sign up for these programs, and a lot of splinter groups will spring up from the friendships formed at these outings.”
That’s what attracted lower Michigan resident Linda Evans to the program.
“A close friend talked me into trying a winter outing a few years ago, and I’ve attended seven of the programs since that time, all over the state,” said Evans. “I’ve since brought friends, and have met some really inspirational women at the various outings. Some have been from other states. We stay in touch and regularly plan outings and camping trips of our own.”
Some of the things she has tried over the years include dog sledding, kayaking, operating a chainsaw, snowmobiling, ski-joring with dogs, archery, shooting handguns and shotguns, ice fishing, and building an igloo.
“It’s given me a lot of confidence in trying new things, and a willingness to push myself outdoors. We even slept in the igloo while ice fishing,” she said.

Faith Edwards, from the U.P., signed up for the program to build strength after an accident and to feel more confident in an outdoor environment.
“I took an outdoor survival course, and one of the things they covered was self-defense. It was a great course and I accomplished what I wanted,” she said. “I’m in my 50s, and it gave me a lot more confidence, not just in being outdoors, but in everyday life. I would definitely recommend the BOW program to other women. This winter I’m going to learn how to build an igloo, and I’m looking forward to staying overnight in it.”
Following is a quick look at classes scheduled for this winter. Check back on the website link listed below for the latest schedule and to register for the activities. They will be adding more classes between now and January, according to Tabor.
There are two BOW weekend retreats and a third Beyond BOW weekend scheduled so far, according to Tabor.
• The U.P. weekend event at Bay Cliff Health Camp near Big Bay is slated for Jan. 26-28. Classes, according to DNR coordinator Sharon Pitz, will include ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobile safety, winter survival and reading winter woods, fish identification, fly tying, outdoor cooking, GPS, and photography. The cost is $175 per person, which includes lodging and food.
• The northern lower Michigan class will take place at the DNR’s MacMullan Conference Center at North Higgins Lake State Park, March 5-7. It will include many of the same activities as the UP weekend with potential additional classes on archery, basket weaving, nest box building and cast iron cooking being added, according to Tabor. Final classes and their cost had not been determined at press time, but are expected to be in the $200-$250 range and will include lodging and food.
• The Beyond BOW event is also a northern lower Michigan weekend event, Feb. 19-21, that will take place at Nettie Bay Lodge near Hawks on the east side of the state. Classes will include snowshoeing and cross-country ski outings. The cost had not been set yet at press time.

For info on these activities and to check for new offerings in the BOW program, you can log onto www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10369_15424---,00.html. It isn’t easy to find on the DNR website, and this will take you right to the BOW page.

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