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 · Bug Camp
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Bug Camp

Glen D. Young - June 28th, 2010
Bug Camp: U-M Biological Station celebrates 100 years of investigating nature
By Glen Young
A centennial celebration is always an auspicious anniversary. This is
certainly true on the shores of Douglass Lake in northern Emmet County
where the University of Michigan Biological Station recently
celebrated 100 years of scientific inquiry.
To mark the milestone, station director Knute Nadlehoffer and two
colleagues edited “The Changing Environment of Northern Michigan.”
Subtitled “A Century of Science and Nature at the University of
Michigan Biological Station,” editors Nadlehoffer, Alan Hogg, and
Brian Hazlett have collected the work of myriad experts in various
fields of study who have worked at the biological station. There are
chapters on the developing forests, the rivers and lake, as well as
entries on the flora and fauna found in northern Michigan.
“About five years before our centennial we started planning centennial
events and we decided that one useful outcome would be a book,”
Nadlehoffer says. He and his collaborators recognized that the work
done at the place sometimes known by insiders as “bug camp,” had been
written about before. “There have been thousands of peer reviewed
journal papers written about the work done at the biological station,
but there had never been a volume that explained to non-scientists
what we do.”

A primary goal of the work was to make the reading accessible to those
with limited scientific backgrounds. “In the back of our minds it was
to be a kind of field guide,” says co-editor Hogg. In addition, while
he admits each chapter could be turned into a complete field guide of
its own.
“The book is like 21 field trips you would take with people who know
something about their subject matter,” Nadlehoffer says.
So what have scientists and other observers learned over a century of
research on Douglass Lake and the surrounding vicinity?
“Because human life-spans are relatively short, it’s hard to sense
change, so people who are new to the north often don’t appreciate the
landscape that is recovering from a major disturbance,” Nadlehoffer
says, referring to the clear cutting that was common at the end of the
19th century.
“There’s really nothing pristine about it,” he says of the northern
environment, even in remote Emmet County, where development has been
less aggressive than in more urban areas. Even so, the development of
the lakeshore is another interest of the scientists. “The biological
station is an incredibly valuable resource for studying the interface
of land and water, says Nadlehoffer.
“You can see what happens when you don’t have cottage development
versus the places that have been developed,” Hogg adds.

10,000 ACRES
The biological station sits on approximately 10,000 acres in northeast
Emmet County, between Petoskey and Cheboygan. Each year students from
the University of Michigan and elsewhere gather to do field work and
research. The work is conducted in the woods, along Douglass Lake,
and in the nearby Maple River. The biological station also owns more
than 3,000 acres on Sugar Island just outside Sault Ste Marie.
In mid-summer, the camp is home to more than 250 people, representing
every group from undergraduate students through post-doctoral fellows
and professors, as well as visiting faculty from a variety of other
educational institutions.
On a typical day recently, Guy Meadows, professor of engineering at
the University of Michigan, was working along the shore with his team
of researchers on their “flying fish,” a robotically controlled
airplane with a wingspan of approximately eight feet that serves as a
weather buoy when it lands on water.
“The goal is to build an ocean monitoring buoy that can persist a long
time without human intervention,” Meadows says. The plane, with
monitoring equipment on board, is solar powered, and can withstand two
cloudy days, Meadows says. “The goal is for the plane to absorb
enough energy in the daytime to operate at night.”
On this day, under dark clouds, the plane took off quickly, droned
overhead, then splashed into the choppy waters 200 yards off shore.
Dubbed a “robotic pelican,” Meadows says the group wants the plane to
“autonomously land, then like a pelican, pop up and autonomously fly.”
The researchers, who have been working on the project for more than
two years, have obtained clearance from the Federal Aviation
Administration so the plane can fly in “watch circles,” on Douglass
Lake as well as Grand Traverse Bay.

Across the narrow gravel road from Meadows and his group, Dr. Scott
Heron from Ferris State University, and his assistant Matt Pierle were
conducting a class in ethno botany in one of the camp’s rustic
classroom buildings. Their students worked on constructing small
containers out of birch bark and sweet grass, as well as using a
variety of plants to create natural dyes. “Our students learn to
sustainably interact with the landscape,” Heron says. “They learn
field skills as well as cultural skills.”
Throughout the summer, the biological station hosts a free lecture
series that is open to the public. This year’s topics range from
“Parasites: A User’s Guide,” to “How the Baltimore Oriole Helped Lead
Us Astray.” The University of Michigan Biological Station is located
at 9133 Biological Rd, Pellston, MI. A full list of events and
contact information can be found at www.lsa.umich.edu/umbs/

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