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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Romance, skiing and the Northwoods

Mike Terrell - February 8th, 2010
By Mike Terrell
A few years ago I ran into friends the day after Valentine’s Day who
were doing a snowshoe hike along the Pyramid Point Trail in Sleeping
Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They had spent the weekend combining a
little romance with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
“We spent Valentine’s Day cross-country skiing several miles along
National Park trails, which was wonderful with the fresh snow.  We
were tired, but a turn in the hot tub followed by a great dinner
revived us for the evening,” laughed the woman.
“A decade ago we probably would’ve piled into a cramped car for a long
drive back home after skiing, and the post-ski meal was probably
through a fast-food burger joint.  Tired and wet by the time we got
home the glowing image of the trail would’ve faded, and so would we.
“Now we look forward to a weekend away from the kids.  It’s a great
way to relax, get some great exercise and enjoy some fine food and a
romantic evening,” she enthused.
These skiers are among the growing number of Nordic enthusiasts who
like to combine the physical aspects of the sport with the ambiance of
good food and pleasant surroundings.  Romance and skiing/snowshoeing
go hand-in-hand, and with Valentine’s Day falling on a weekend this
winter, it might be a good time to consider a quick getaway.
Following is a list of some of my favorite spots up north.  You don’t
even have to ski or snowshoe to enjoy the ambiance.

• The Homestead Resort, nestled among towering dunes in the midst of
Sleeping Bear Dunes, offers many jaw-dropping views from nearby trails
within the National Lakeshore.  The Bay View Trail takes off from the
The resort offers an array of packages that include luxurious
accommodations, gourmet dining in its award-winning restaurant
Nonna’s, and recently opened the Spa Amira, a total mind-and-body
wellness center.  It makes for a romantic getaway.  For more
information on packages, which start from $271 per night holiday
weekends, call 231-334-5100 or log onto
• Petoskey’s Stafford’s Bay View Inn offers guests the grace and
romance of a bygone era, set against the exquisite views of Little
Traverse Bay. This charming country inn was built in 1886 and has
enchanted visitors for over 120 years.
Through February, Stafford’s is offering midweek and weekend packages
that include lift tickets to either Nub’s Nob or Boyne Highlands, your
choice.  The package, which includes two nights lodging, a Country Inn
breakfast each morning, and two lift tickets, starts at $299 on
weekends and $275 midweek.  The price is per person based on double
occupancy.  Saturday evenings it includes an evening horse drawn
sleigh ride through the historic Bay View community, weather
permitting.  For more information you can click on

• Mackinac Island offers an ambiance that you would be hard pressed to
find anywhere else in the world.  Normally locked in mirror-like ice
this time of year, the popular summer retreat has found life as an
exotic winter cross-country retreat.
During the summer, village streets are packed up to 10,000 people
daily.  But the once-busy streets are now covered in snow drifts and
shuttered Victorian mansions stare blankly at the frozen Straits.
Part of the allure drawing an increasing number of cross-country
skiers is the peace and quiet of winter. They explore serene forest
trails and enjoy the magical charm of the Norman Rockwell-like village
clad in snow without having to jostle with thousands of tourists.  A
handful of pubs and inns remain open for winter business.  Rates start
from $75 per night midweek and $85 on weekends.
This year Valentine’s Day Weekend falls on the same weekend as the
Island’s Annual Winter Fun Weekend, which includes a chili cook off,
Postcard Poker Cross Country Ski Rally, and the Pancake/Bloody Mary
Breakfast.  For more information you can log onto
Daily flight service is available from St. Ignace.  The five minute
flight is $27 per person one-way.  Call 906-643-7165 for information
and to schedule a flight.

• North of the U.S. Border just above Sault Ste. Marie, Stokely Creek
offers over 75 miles of trails that explore this rugged region of the
Algoma Mountains.  One of North America’s top cross country touring
centers, the terrain consists of towering cliffs, rushing mountain
streams and frozen waterfalls; all within a couple of miles of the
lodge.  You can climb to the top of King Mountain – one of Ontario’s
highest peaks – where you see distant Lake Superior, or ski gentle
trails that wind along swift flowing streams that wrap around tranquil
beaver ponds.
The rustic ski-in lodge is a short distance from the parking lot.
They transport your bags.  Home cooked meals are served family-style,
and the lodge with its great stone fireplace and secluded, cozy
corners, quickly create a warm, romantic atmosphere.
February weekend packages start at $176 per person, which includes an
all inclusive two-night stay that covers trail passes, luggage
transfers and all meals.  Rooms with a private bath run $188 to $205
per person for the same package.  You can click on
www.stokelycreek.com for more information and to make a reservation.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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