Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · St. Ignace welcomes the U.S....
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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.

13 STATES
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.

PARTY TIME
“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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