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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St. Ignace welcomes the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship

Glen Young - February 16th, 2009
St. Ignace welcomes the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship
Glen Young 2/16/09

Wearing team sweaters sporting names like The Puck Heads and Here For The Beer, more than 500 hockey fans are expected to descend on St Ignace the weekend of February 21 for the third annual U.P. Pond Hockey Championship.
This Michigan Amateur Hockey Association sanctioned event, sponsored by Labatt’s, takes place on Moran Bay, ordinarily home to ferry boats and fishing traffic.
Pond hockey has caught on quickly in St Ignace, where organizers are gearing up for more than 100 teams, nearly double last year’s turn-out. Divisions for women and men in all age groups provide opportunities for any player willing to brave the unpredictable elements.
Event organizer Mark Sposito says the tournament came about because local volunteers had long organized a winter carnival, but were looking for something new to offer. First held in 2007, the event has attracted teams from as far away as Virginia.
“We’re 100 percent volunteers,” he says, noting that the event couldn’t happen without local support.

The event is a fundraiser for the St Ignace Youth Hockey Association, and last year provided the group nearly $12,000. Organizers are more enthusiastic than ever.
“We’re represented by 13 states and some provinces from Canada,” Sposito says. He’s also had inquiries from teams stretching from Seattle to New York.
Sposito says he can see the tournament growing to 160 teams, but organizers are wary of the event getting too big, because they “don’t want to get to the point where people are coming and not having fun anymore.” He does acknowledge, however, that the event is “not ever going to be maxed-out space-wise.”
Pond hockey rules dictate a game played with four skaters per side -- with no goalies -- on a rink 75 feet by 150 feet. The “boards” are snow banks, and the puck is always “live.” Referees are stationed at each rink, but serve largely as mediators rather than enforcers. Checking is not allowed, and penalties result in a goal for the other team. Games consist of two 20-minute halves. The six foot wide wood “net” sits six inches off the ice.

“There is live music in the tent, the local food tastes even better when you are cold and hungry after a day of outdoor mayhem, and the town is rocking all weekend,” says Betsy Dayrell-Hart, who with husband Clyde, will travel from Virginia to play with the Straits Shooters team in her third event.
A concession tent, serving cold beer and warm food, live bands, and special guests, augments the fun of the games. Last year’s guests were the Hanson Brothers, the goofy trio of stars from the cult hockey film Slap Shot. This year’s guests will be a group of Detroit Red Wings Alumni, who will play a game against some of last year’s tournament winners on Friday night at the Little Bear East Arena.
Scott Winkleman, president of the local youth hockey association and also an event organizer, says the event had “the worst possible weather you can imagine” during its first year, with strong winds and cold temperatures. “It was like skating up hill,” adds Dayrell-Hart.
Volunteers wondered if anyone would come back the next year. Their fears were alleviated when the number of teams doubled, and skaters enjoyed “the most ideal weather you can imagine,” according to Winkleman, with bluebird skies and moderate temps.
Organizers are also busy preparing for a youth pond hockey tournament the weekend of February 28. Sponsored by USA Hockey, this will be a pilot program, as there is no other youth tournament in the country.
This year’s events will be helped by the addition of a zamboni. Organizers found the used machine in Negaunee, and will utilize it to keep up ice conditions between games.
Each adult team is guaranteed three games in the tourney. The pucks drop Friday at noon, with the championships scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Team registration fee is $300.
For more information visit the St Ignace Visitors Bureau at www.stignace.com,www.stignace.com, or call Mark Sposito at 1-906-643-7482.

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