Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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. . . .

Charged up

Erin Crowell - May 31st, 2010
Charged Up: Supersized solar system powers new parking deck
By Erin Crowell
“The best market for solar is out over parking lots,” architect Robert
Noble said in a May 2010 Green Tech Media article. The founder of the
California-based company, Envision Solar, realized back in 2007 that
parking lot and carport roofs were ideal for collecting solar power.
The idea has been adopted on the roof of the new Old Town parking deck
in Traverse City. Currently under construction, the $7.9 million,
four-level structure will be home to one of the largest solar arrays
north of Muskegon.
“This is a huge array,” says Matthew Vajda, owner of Voltage Electric,
the Traverse City company which received the electrical bid on the
parking deck.
The 186-panel, 40.2 kilowatt array will provide close to 15% of the
structure’s total energy needs.
“Residential solar systems typically run around 5 kilowatts, which is
still a pretty large system,” Vajda says. “The 40.2 kilowatt array is
the largest north of Grand Rapids. They’re currently building a larger
system in Muskegon.”

The Old Town parking deck project is managed by CWS Architects, the TC
firm responsible for such projects as the much-anticipated Grand
Traverse YMCA building on Silver Lake Road and the Cathedral Barn at
the Grand Traverse Commons.
Having worked on other projects with Voltage Electric, CWS architect
Ray Kendra was comfortable with using the company as the solar
installer. “We are one of just a few local companies that won bids on
the parking deck,” says Vajda. “It’s very exciting.”
Vajda agrees that a parking deck is an optimal location for using solar.
“For one thing, you’ve got the real estate. You’ve got the roof – a
space that you wouldn’t use for anything else. Second, the electricity
is right where you need it, versus racks upon racks in the middle of a
field. Also, because it’s a LEED certified job (an economical and
environmental standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council), you
get more return on your investment doing solar, versus planting some
trees or shrubs,” he adds.
Although solar is pricey—this particular endeavor costing around
$240,000—the return is about 20 years, “a huge payback” according to
Vajda, who also serves as a board member on the Home Builders
Currently, Michigan is limited in its solar incentives, but Vajda
believes that will change soon.
“Green building is something I’m strongly in favor of and we really
just want to be ahead of the curve,” he adds.
Vajda anticipates solar array installation on the parking deck will be
completed sometime by the end of June, beginning of July.

Contact Voltage Electric at
231-946-3678 or visit them online at

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