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 · The family that works out...
. . . .

The family that works out together...

Anne Stanton - January 11th, 2010
The Family that Works Out Together...
How maniac athletes cope with parenthood
By Anne Stanton
Sure, it sounds good to pound out the miles on your bike or skis, but does
all that time short-change your kids? And does it unfairly impose on the
parent who doesn’t compulsively exercise, but is always left watching the
kids, buying the groceries, and cleaning the house?
Johanna and Ty Schmidt worried about that and designed a lifestyle to
accommodate their dual roles as parents and athletes. They are arguably
the most talented cycling couple in Traverse City; they both raced for the
Hagerty cycling team, and this year they took top awards in the Iceman
mountain bike race, one of the most prestigious in the Midwest.
They also have, arguably, the most original of lifestyles. Their theme is
“simplicity.” They spend very little money on the basics, and joke that
“frugal is the new black.”
Frugal, as in keeping the house temperature down to 58 degrees, and almost
never eating out. They share a single full-time physical therapist job at
Munson Medical Center, which allows them to each work part-time while
still qualifying for full-time health benefits.
“I work 25 hours, from 1 to 6 p.m., and Johanna works 15, from 8 until
noon,” said Ty. “She trains in the morning before she goes to work, and we
take turns training at night after I get home from work.”
When one returns from work, the other heads out the door, Johanna said.
“Last summer, when Jameson heard the door open, he would say, ‘Bye mom!’
He’d automatically know the next person is leaving to go do something.”

The family manages to eat three meals a day together, the kids don’t go to
daycare, and Johanna and Ty spend Tuesday nights together riding their
bikes along with weekends (kids stay with Grandma). The couple often
figures out a way to get a workout in while their kids are having fun.
This year, for example, Johanna skate-skis the oval track at Hickory Hills
while pulling Jameson on a sled, while Carter, 5, skis on his own (he was
actually going up the tow rope himself and skiing at the age of 3, with
Johanna frequently checking on him).
“We try to make our training invisible to the kids so they don’t miss
us—I’ll go for a run while they’re still sleeping, or try to incorporate
them into it. In the summer, Ty bikes up M-22 to Suttons Bay and hauls
them in a trailer. So if anyone sees them there, please be careful.”
In the winter, Ty runs for exercise, but still rides a bike everywhere,
although not to Suttons Bay. They live with one car, saving on car
payments, gas, and repairs.
Oh, they also turned almost their entire yard into an organic garden and
plan to raise chickens for eggs at their downtown Traverse City home. And
they’re also vegetarians. And they go to Arizona every winter for five
weeks in order to get a jumpstart on race training.
That will have to change, though, when Carter starts first grade next year.

Johanna and Ty emphasize that they figured out their lifestyle over time,
and were extremely lucky. Most people don’t have the opportunities,
education or energy they have. On the other hand, they’re a living example
that you don’t have to buy into the standard approach of two full-time
jobs, daycare, two cars, and cable bills. There are ways of thinking
outside of the suburban box.
“We live simply so we can do the things we like to do,” Johanna said. “We
live simply so we can travel for five weeks to Arizona, so both of us can
work part-time, which makes work much more enjoyable, and so we can spend
more time with the kids. And because we spend so much time with the kids,
we can ride our bikes more, and we don’t feel guilty going out for a
three-hour ride at night. And we commute to work on our bikes for the
environment and because it’s cheap.
“We have one car that’s 10 years old, paid for nine years ago, and it’s
fun to commute to work. It’s fun in the winter because it’s a challenge.
It’s fun in the summer because it’s a quiet way to get to work. And then
we have a garden because it’s nice to teach the kids where food comes
from, and how it’s produced and how much work it takes to keep a garden
going. And it saves on grocery bills and it’s quiet time. It’s peaceful,
realizing it’s out there.”

Few people are dying to exercise at 5 in the morning or skate-ski at night
with a lamp on their head, or work until 8 p.m. weeding a garden. And who
keeps their heat down to 58 degrees, shuns cell phones, bikes in the
winter, and doesn’t resort to TV as an impromptu babysitter?
But if it sounds like sacrifice, it doesn’t feel like it, they said.
Take their cold house: “Right now, I have on long underwear, pants on top
of that, a t-shirt, plus a hoody, a scarf around my neck, and my slippers
with two pairs of socks. I’m not cold. And then we go out and play in the
snow. When we come in, we’re actually warm.”
Cell phones? “I can’t imagine ever wanting one. I don’t like answering the
phone I have with the sales calls. Why would I want to be contacted 24/7?”
And the weekend races turn into family vacations. “We take the kids
camping or to a motel with a pool.”

Johanna and Ty first met in January of 2002 at a Tucson hospital, where
Johanna was working her final six-week clinical internship. “She was
stunning. I couldn’t wait for her to finish her internship so I could ask
her out,” Ty said.
At the time, Ty was biking 17 miles to work one-way, taking advantage of
the city’s policy of providing bike lanes for all the roads. Johanna
wasn’t a biker at the time.
“I think the first ride, he took me up Mount Lemmon, and that was 26 miles
up with a 6 percent grade. So he said, ‘We’ll go half of it.’ We’ll drive
to the halfway mark and go to the top and eat at Pie in the Sky
restaurant, where they serve this fantastic pie. So I have this old
50-pound mountain bike, that’s the only bike I have. Something I had in
college, rode to classes with, and he had this fancy road bike. We’re
trying to get up this hill, and I am just dying. He starts joking that I
need a bonk strap. He’s lucky I didn’t break up with him.”
Johanna soon was training as hard as Ty, and turned out to be a
preternaturally strong cyclist—something neither she nor Ty would have
guessed. Now when they bike Mount Lemmon, they easily ride from bottom to
top, no bonk strap necessary, she said.
The couple spent a lot of time in Ty’s native Canada and married in 2003.
Exactly nine months after their honeymoon, Carter was born and neither Ty
nor Johanna have worked full-time since. They lived in Arizona; Ty worked
part-time and Johanna stayed at home for a year and a half.
Their second son, Jameson, was born on New Year’s Eve in 2006 when they
moved to Traverse City. They were able to formalize an agreement with
Munson to allow them to job share.
“That was the year we moved to Michigan. So I didn’t train that whole
summer, and I gained 50 pounds and had Jameson on New Year’s Eve (at
home),” she said.
She was asked to join the Hagerty team, and the first ride was in May.
“Our first group ride was up Hoxsie (a hilly road), and we were going as
hard as we could. I was dead last. Absolutely the last person up. I wrote
it on my calendar, “DFL,” dead f#!% last up Hoxsie!”
By the end of the summer though, Johanna was a top team member. This year,
she was the lead attacker on the hills, her specialty, allowing the
Hagerty team to dominate in the state.
All in a simple day’s work.

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