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 · Drummond Island
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Drummond Island

Mike Terrell - December 6th, 2010
Drummond Island: a Snowmobiling Paradise
by Mike Terrell
My companions and I had been following a snake-like trail that hugged
Drummond Island’s rocky shoreline.  At times we would dart back into
the snow-covered cedars, maneuver around a few boulders, and bust back
out along the shoreline.
It was beautiful, and we were going slow enough to appreciate it.
Along the shore the contrast of gleaming white snow and bright blue
water created a stunning picture, especially when you first emerged
from dark stands of cedars crowding the shoreline.  Gliding through
the cedars on your sled was like going through a series of strobe
lights with shafts of sunlight streaming through the thick cover.
“Wow,” said one of my companions.  “That was great.  Riding along the
shoreline is a blast; very scenic.  One moment you’re in thick cover,
and the next, riding along the open lake.”
 “The best is yet to come,” I remember being told by a couple of local
riders after talking about the same thing a few years earlier as we
paused at the same location.  They weren’t overstating either.  I just
kept quiet and let the ride speak for itself.
As we left the shoreline after the rest stop, we began to slowly climb
inland.  The landscape changed to rolling, open hills dotted with
hardwood stands.
I led them off trail as we approached a high point along the eastern
end of the island.  The trail does a U-turn and heads back down, but
you maneuver through a rock garden, over a rocky knoll and down the
other side to a flat shelf-like area along a bluff. Here you’ll find
one of the most incredible views in the eastern U.P.  While it’s not
officially part of the trail, there’s normally a well-worn path
leading to the popular view spot.

Standing on top of a 200-foot limestone bluff called Marble Head you
look over Lake Huron’s North Channel.  The Canadian mainland stretches
as far as the eye can on the other side of the channel, and Canada’s
Cockburn Island, just to the south, looks no more than a stone’s throw
away.  Beyond that Manitoulin Island, also Canadian and the largest
island in the Great Lakes, floats on the blue horizon.  It’s a spot to
linger and just enjoy the panoramic view.
While it can be pretty busy on winter weekends, we were there midweek
and had the trails mostly to ourselves.  Traveling a little over 50
miles that afternoon, we encountered only three or four other sleds.
We also took a ride across the Maxton Plains, which offers a glimpse
into one of Michigan’s rare alvar grassland prairies.  It’s an odd
combination of flat grasslands, limestone bedrock and large boulders
left by the last glacier; much different than the Marble Head area.
The local riders I encountered a few years ago used to crow about the
fact that Drummond Island may be the best kept secret in the UP for
snowmobiling, but that’s changed in the last decade or so.
Drummond Island Resort, by far the largest lodging facility on the
island, has seen a steady increase in its winter business over the
“It depends a lot on how winters are going in the Lower Peninsula,”
said Amy Hoffman, who works for the resort handling calls and
reservations.  “Our snow is normally fairly reliable.  Snowmobilers
can usually count on good conditions from late December through

Drummond, often referred to as the “Gem of Huron,” is the largest
American Great Lake’s island.  Its 150 miles of shoreline supports
some of the finest fishing and waterfowl hunting habitat in the UP.
It’s long been known as a sportsman’s paradise.  In addition to
plentiful deer, some of the deep wilderness areas on the island are
home to moose, bear, coyotes, and a few wolves that have crossed the
natural ice bridges that form in winter.
Snowmobiles used to cross ice bridges to access Canadian mainland
trails, but that’s not very popular anymore, according to Hoffman.
“Crossings used to be simple and quick.  Now with the borders being
much tighter, it’s much harder to do.  A bit of a hassle,” she added.
“Most snowmobilers stay on the island.  There’s over 100 miles of
marked, groomed island trails, and we have maps.  It’s easy to find
your way around.”
The resort, once a private hunting preserve, offers a unique blend of
modern convenience in a rustic, lodge-like setting.  You can access
the island trail system right from their parking lot.  Winter nightly
room rates, based on two people per room run $119, and they also rent
snowmobiles.  The resort also offers about 10 miles of groomed cross
country trails.
It’s a short ferry ride – about a mile across Detour Straits – but a
world apart from the mainland.  The 850-some year-round residents that
live on the island are a friendly lot that wave as you pass by.  They
love to talk about their beloved island and always lend a hand with
It’s a slow, relaxed pace of life.  “You’re on island time now.  Enjoy
the trip,” they will tell you.

For more information visit:
www.drummondisland.com and www.drummondislandchamber.com.

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