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 · Winter running
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Winter running

Erin Crowell - January 11th, 2010
Winter Running/Lunatic or badass? It depends on your viewpoint
By Erin Crowell
Here is an obvious observation, and something to think about next time you
step onto the treadmill: Fewer people run outside during the winter.
Now, take that with you when you step outside for a winter run. You are
among the few dedicated people who don’t let a little weather get in their
While others shuffle along wearing parkas and a look of pain, it’s just
you pushing through the whiteout, arms and legs pumping. With every step
you feel the give of snow and ice – and barriers. Something inside says,
“Oh yeah. You—my friend—are a badass.” Meanwhile, passing motorists are
laughing at the lunatic (i.e. you).
Keep your crazy-self running outdoors during the winter by following these
tips and guidelines.

There’s nothing glamorous about a winter run. You’re decked out in
earmuffs and unflattering layers, complemented by the collection of frozen
snot on your upper lip. Your face is cold while your body is roasting.
Sweat is pooling. You’re drowning in your own stench.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Wear the right clothing and you’ll feel like you’re running in your own
comfortable environment – allowing you to enjoy your surroundings, rather
than fighting it.
Cotton is your worst enemy. It leaves you overheated, wet and blistered.
“As cotton gets wet, it absorbs water, becomes heavy and then becomes
abrasive to your skin. Choose clothing made of ‘technical fabrics’ such as
Lycra, DriFit, even Polyester to keep you dry and avoid chaffing your
skin,” says professional running coach Joe English in a 2008 Running
Advice and News blog.
Although a bit pricier, technical fabrics will save you pain and
discomfort. They also tend to be less bulky than cotton. Just be sure to
keep the rule of three: base, thermal and outer layer. These will wick
away sweat, maintain body temperature and protect you from outside
elements such as wind.
Keep yourself dry and toasty by running into the wind first, then catching
a tail wind on your way home, says Jeff Gaft of Running Fit in Traverse
“(By running into the wind at the end of your run), you will get colder
because the wind is cooling your perspiration faster,” says Gaft.
Also, dress 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature, adds English.
Remove layers accordingly as your core heats up. You should always have a
layer covering your skin for protection, such as long sleeves, pants,
gloves and a hat (earmuffs are fine, too. The puffier, the funnier).
Wear clothing with bright colors that will stand out against the snow,
preferably reflective material – available in the form of vests, shirts
and jackets – even arm straps.
As for the runny nose, bring plenty of tissue or use an available sleeve.

Another important element of the winter running outfit is your shoes. As
long as you’ve got decent traction, a pair of running shoes used during
the summer will work just fine, says Gaft.
For temperature comfort, run in a Goretex or waterproof shoe. Want more
grip? Gaft says to add a traction-aiding device such as Yaktrax, a pair of
rubber webbing with snow-hugging wire that fits to the bottom of your
As far as where to run in the winter, Gaft recommends any less-traveled,
snowy road, avoiding icy spots and hard-packed snow.
“Snow will give you traction, but very hard packed snow doesn’t offer
much. If you’re running down a slippery road and there’s snow on the side,
run in that,” he says.
Gaft, an ultramarathon runner who has clocked 50 to 100 miles a race, is a
regular winter runner. He usually takes advantage of the back roads of his
home in Honor and quiet side streets of downtown Traverse City.
“The City of Traverse City does a great job of clearing the sidewalks,”
says Gaft.
In case you do come across some slick spots, it’s important to pay
attention to your posture and footfall.
“The most important thing is to have your foot under your knee, and your
knee under your hip and land more flat-footed,” says Gaft.
In other words, don’t land on your heel, with all your balance points and
joints out in front of you. Doing so gives you less stability.

All the technique and traction in the world won’t protect you from injury
if you come head-to-fender with a passing car.
According to the January issue of Runners World, “Nearly 20 runners had
been killed by cars or trucks during the first 10 months of 2009, and more
than 40 runners have been killed since 2004.”
On top of that, it’s difficult to know exactly how many runners have been
injured, and nearly impossible to track the amount of “close calls.”
Regardless, it’s a hazard to run wherever traffic may be present. Run
defensively around cars. Position yourself by facing traffic when running
on the road, in some places it’s the law, says English.
Also, observe traffic.
“It’s not hard to spot a driver that is having trouble with driving in the
snow,” he says. “If they look nervous about your presence, stop and move
over until they pass.”
There’s no sense in getting all geared up just to get hit by a salt truck.
Stay safe out there – and come back home for a nice steamy cup of hot
cocoa and a snowball for your spouse or roommate.
You just might have to do another run. Away!

Getting Motivated

You’ve got the gear, you’ve got the snow. Now, all you need is some
motivation. Here are some reasons to keep running outdoors when the snow
is falling. To find more winter races in Michigan, visit

Frozen Foot Race – Saturday, January 16
Run five frozen miles through Traverse City, starting at Eastern
Elementary School at 10 a.m. Cost, $15 for pre-registration, $20 the day
of the race. For more info, visit runfrozenfoot.com or call Running Fit at
933-9242 or

Bigfoot Snowshoe Race – Saturday, January 23
Use your winter training to compete in the snowshoe race at Timber Ridge
Resort in Traverse City, at 9 a.m. 5k and 10k races available at $15 for
early registration, and $20 for race day. Don’t have snowshoes? Rent a
pair for $7. Call 932-5401 for more info.

The Iceman’s Half Marathon/10k – Saturday, February 27
Mt. Pleasant road race for those ready for anything, including ice, snow
and wind. Starts at 10 a.m. at 2316 S. Mission St. $30 for the half
marathon, $25 for the 10k. Packet pick-up will be at the Runners
Performance Store. Call 989-289-2361 for more info.

Wanted: volunteers for the 2010 North American VASA
The 2010 North American VASA Cross-country Ski Race is seeking
volunteers to assist in both indoor and outdoor tasks February 12-14. 
Examples of volunteer jobs are: ski the course the morning before the
race to smooth the ski tracks and remove fallen branches, pack skier
registration bags, act as crossing guards at snowmobile crossings, pass
out water at aid stations, help with the awards ceremony, help clean-up
after the race, and more. Most activities will take place at Timber
Ridge RV & Recreation Resort at 4050 E. Hammond Road in Traverse City
on both Saturday and Sunday February 13-14.
  Volunteers are encouraged to sign up via the internet at www.vasa.org
and click on the volunteer link, or for more information call Lisa Taylor,
race director, at 631-2195.

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