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 · Mud, Sweat & Beers
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Mud, Sweat & Beers

Erin Crowell - April 26th, 2010
Mud, Sweat & Beers:Get your mountain bike on at Mt. Holiday
By Erin Crowell
Mountain biking and beer.
Together, they have become practically synonymous for a good time in Northern Michigan. Cross the finish line at a mountain bike race and chances are, you’ll see a beer tent near the timing clock. It’s the reward for hard work: hammering up hills, fixing flat tires, avoiding flattening squirrels... it’s what mountain biking is about and it’s the idea behind Mud, Sweat & Beers – Fat Tire Fest 2010.
On Saturday, May 1, Mt. Holiday in Traverse City will host a 20 mile and 10 mile mountain bike loop along the variable terrain of Traverse City’s east side ski hill. Mt. Holiday is the only non-profit 501c3 ski, mountain biking, and Frisbee golf area in the Midwest. All proceeds from the race will support Mt. Holiday Ski & Recreation Area.

“This winter, sitting around the office, we thought about how there’s no big mountain biking event in the spring,” said race co-director Jim Kalajian of the Jenkins Group, who—along with co-worker Andrew Parvel—wanted a spring event that would reflect their small group Wednesday night rides on the VASA single track in Traverse City – a day of recreational riding, followed up by a cold beer.
“We figured we could do it as a component of Mt. Holiday,” Kalajian continued, “a place I’ve always been involved in, in one capacity or another. It would be a great way to raise money and utilize the facilities for something outside of the busy ski season.”
With help from Dan Stoudt managing the course route, the three have turned a small idea into an event that is quickly gathering steam in the mountain bike community.
MSB has a registration cap of 500 riders, so time may be running out. As of April 21, there were just 65 available spots.
“It really has taken a life of its own,” said Kalajian. “We didn’t know if we’d even get 20 riders.
“We’ve got people coming from Indiana, Colorado…a lot of people from the Grand Rapids and Detroit areas. Half the riders will be from out of town,” said Kalajian.

As of press time, there were still a few race spots available, but if you miss your opportunity to ride, Kalajian said there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved with MSB.
“We need about 100 people on Saturday. Right now, we have about 50 people signed up who are doing multiple tasks, but we need more,” he said.
Kalajian points to their easy online volunteer sign up.
“When you think about managing all those positions and responsibilities, it can be kind of overwhelming,” said Kalajian. “We’ve volunteered at events before where you don’t know how long you’ll be there or what you’re doing – sometimes you show up and told that you’re no longer needed. It’s very frustrating and disrespectful.
“Volunteerspot.com provides a place for people to go and opens the door for communication. It’s very slick. We’re working smarter, not harder.”

Right Brain Brewery will provide the suds. Located in Traverse City, the brewery has made frequent appearances at events across Northern Michigan since its beginnings in late 2007 – which include regular pours at mountain biking events such as the Peak2Peak Challenge at Crystal Mountain and the 28-miler Iceman Cometh.
“The mountain biking community drinks a lot of beer,” said Right Brain owner Russell Springsteen. “They’re just an easy crowd to work with.”
When approached by the MSB team to become one of the primary sponsors for the event, Springsteen’s answer was unconditioned.
“Absolutely. We’re all a bout supporting Mt. Holiday and the local community,” said Springsteen.
Look for four original brews concocted by RBB brew master John Niedermaier: Ethel the Frog ESB, Scottish Moor Heather Ale, Will Power Pale Ale and Spiney Norman IPA.

Kids will be able to enjoy their own day of fun with Mud, Sweat & Root Beers, a one-mile bike loop, followed by root beer floats – with Michigan’s Wild Bill’s Draft Root Beer on tap for all ages.
Things will wrap up with a pig roast at 3 p.m., but spectators are invited to watch the action during the race from multiple advantage points.
“It really is a spectator-friendly event,” said Kalajian. “It’s not just a bike race, but an all-day event where people can have fun while supporting a good cause.”

The inaugural Mud, Sweat & Beers Fat Tire Fest is happening Saturday, May 1, at Mt. Holiday, located at 3100 Holiday Road on the east side of Traverse City. Racers, along with members of the community, are invited to carb up on Friday, April 30, for a pasta dinner at the ski resort, from 5-8 p.m. For a schedule of race times and information on volunteering, visit mudsweatandbeers.com.
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