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 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day...
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The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk

Rick Coates - August 30th, 2010
Striding the Straits: The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk
By Rick Coates
On Labor Day, tens of thousands of walkers will converge on the 53rd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. Since there is no fee charged to walk, only estimates are available on how many people participate; organizers guess that on a great year it‘s 60,000 plus, and on an average year, around 45,000. All indications point to this being a great year.
“This has been a great tourism season here in St. Ignace,” said Janet Peterson, executive director of the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce. “The weather has certainly helped out this year
compared to last year. The Bridge Walk is one of the big events of the year for us; it is sort of the unofficial end of the summer celebration for a lot of people.”
For Peterson and the business community of St. Ignace, the 50,000-plus expected for this weekend will be a huge economic shot in the arm.
“Sometimes people think St. Ignace is just a town you drive through to get to other destinations in the Upper Peninsula,” said Peterson. “But we are also a destination. There is a lot to do here, plus, this is a great place to day-trip when going to the falls, the Soo locks, Mackinac Island and even Mackinaw City. We have a lot going on this weekend with our Arts & Crafts Dockside event Saturday and Sunday with 100-plus exhibits, lots of music and a fireworks show.”

St. Ignace is also where the Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk begins, hosted by the Mackinac Bridge Authority.
“If you are coming to St. Ignace for the weekend you may start here, the walk begins around 7 a.m. and you have until 11 a.m. to get started,” said Peterson. “There is bus service that will bring you back to St. Ignace for $5 per person.”
The 2010 Labor Day Bridge Walk is being dedicated to Lawrence A. Rubin, who passed away this year. Mr. Rubin was known to the people of Michigan as an instrumental figure in the construction and leadership of the Mackinac Bridge. He was the executive secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority from 1950-1983.
John Rintamaki is the accountant for the Mackinac Bridge Authority and coordinator for the Bridge Walk. So, does Rintamaki use his accounting skills to determine the number of participants each year?
“No, no, we have a couple of formulas we use to come up with our best guesstimate,” said Rintamaki. “We hand out numbered certificates as people finish the walk, plus we look at the number of tickets sold to ride the bus over from Mackinaw City, but not everyone uses the busses or gets a certificate, so we do our best. 65,000 participants has been our best year.”
So what impacts the numbers?
“A lot of things, from weather to campaigning,” said Rintamaki. “The weather looks good and since this is a campaign year we expect attendance to be up. Campaigns and organizations like to get their message out and we are in favor of that. But we do not allow signs or banners to be carried on the bridge for safety reasons.”

Speaking of safety, has the walk ever been cancelled?
“No, we have had to delay it a few times over the years,” said Rintamaki. “We monitor the weather very closely every day for safety reasons.”
What should people contemplating doing the walk for the first time take into consideration before attempting?
“Remember that it is five miles and it takes around two hours; if it is hot and humid there is no shade,” said Rintamaki. So I would recommend that all participants make sure they healthy enough and physically in shape to walk that distance.”
While organizing the walk is not a full-time job, Rintamaki says somedays it sure seems like one.
“I work on it year-round but it is usually just a meeting here and there and then it starts picking up in the spring with more meetings. There is a lot of coordination with the Governors office, the National Guard, law enforcement and the many others who help us. By August 1, I am on this full time to get it ready. We have crews out putting up fencing, there are stages to be
set up and lots of porta-johns to arrange for.”

The Mackinac Bridge Walk is the only time that people are allowed to walk over the bridge, but the Bridge Authority does allow for other special crossing events throughout the year.
“We close down one lane for the DALMAC bike ride; we have been doing that for years. For the Bridge Walk we do not allow people to run or jog but the Governor’s Office does take a group at the start for a jog across and you have to sign up in advance and they draw names to determine who gets to jog with the Governor,” said Rintamaki. “We do have a couple of running events and we even have an antique tractor parade over the bridge.”
For details on the 53rd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk and other events taking place at the bridge, visit the Mackinac Bridge Authority website at www.mackinacbridge.org and for all the happenings in St. Ignace over the weekend check out www.stignace.com

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