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 · Mt. Holiday
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Mt. Holiday

Rick Coates - January 3rd, 2011
Regrooming Mt. Holiday: Citizen support has put a new face on an old friend
By Rick Coates
Over the past 60 years, many Northern Michiganders have learned to ski
and snowboard on Mt. Holiday Ski & Recreation Area, located east of
Traverse City.
In recent years the operation had been challenged by financial issues,
some unruly behavior, the passing of the longtime owner, and being
closed for three seasons. But now, thanks to a nonprofit organization
formed by local citizens, Mt. Holiday has returned to the glory days
of its past.
“We are just one of five nonprofit ski facilities in the country,”
said Theresa Galante, who oversees the administration and ski
operations. “We are the only nonprofit ski operation that does not
receive municipal or taxpayer funding to operate. Our budget is based
on season and daily passes, food and beverage sales, off-season rental
of Mt. Holiday, and the support of donors and some grants.”
When Warren Brosch, who, along with his wife owned Mt. Holiday, passed
away in November of 1999, the operation eventually closed down. The
Brosch family was approached with offers from developers looking to
buy Mt. Holiday for home and condo development. But a band of local
citizens raised $1.2 million to acquire the property and began
restoring the Mt. Holiday area.

The non-profit hired an executive director but has struggled financially.
“This year we changed our business plan and we no longer have an
executive director; instead we have three department managers who
report to the executive board,” said Galante. “I oversee the
administrative, ski school, race teams, ski passes, and Michelle
Konstanzer handles the food and beverage operation and lodge
maintenance. Andy Reagan handles the outdoor operations from the lifts
to snowmaking to the groomers.”
So far the concept is working.
“The three of us get together once a week, review the operations and
events and make it happen and this model is working,” said Michelle
Konstanzer. “Our fiscal year started in July and for the first time in
three years we’re financially on track.”
But the management team and the board know that there is still a lot
of work to be done.
“We are working hard to stay above water. Our lifts are from 1965 and
every day this time of the year that we do not have snow it costs a
lot of money,” said Galante. “We are all donor and grant funded.
“So when we have major capital expenditures we have to rely on donors
and fundraisers,” she adds. “For example, our groomer had $28,000 in
repairs this year; we also have spent $30,000 on lift maintenance this
Yet the management team is overwhelmed by the commitment people have
to Mt. Holiday.
“We are operating with a skeleton crew of paid staff. Most people
working here are volunteers,” said Konstanzer. “Our board also donates
so much time. They are a great representation of the community, from
business people, a doctor, lawyers and a farmer -- all who want to see
this place work.”
Mt. Holiday is also seeing support from what some might see as their
“We are a unique facility, we are not trying to be a Boyne, Crystal or
a Shanty. We are actually good for those resorts because people learn
to ski and board here and move on to those places,” said Konstanzer.
“We have a partnership with the Grand Traverse Resort: they send their
guests here and our season pass-holders have amenities over there,
including use of their cross country ski trails. We also trade
employees seasonally with the Resort so some of their summer employees
come here in the winter and vice versa. We also have partnerships with
Timber Ridge and Shanty Creek.”

One aspect that has haunted Mt. Holiday in the past has been some
unruly kids, but those days are primarily gone.
“You have two moms with teenagers running the inside of this place and
that is the big difference from the past,” said Galante. “We are
trying to give these kids ownership of this place. We have made them
partners in this, so if they break something they know they are
breaking their own property. If you break it you don’t have it
anymore. A lot of the kids volunteer here, so if they see other kids
screwing around, they get on their cases.”
Another area that has helped is the new lounge that has become a
popular year-round dining spot.
“What I am trying to do is create an inviting environment for parents
to stay because in the past we had a reputation of being a place with
greasy food, boxed wine and plastic cups and that has all changed,”
said Konstanzer. “So I have created an environment in this lounge area
that keeps the parents here, offering a nice glass of wine and local
microbrews with a great bite to eat. We are offering entertainment,
affordable dining and drink prices.”
The management team also brought back Mike Wolf, who ran the Kiwanis
Ski Schools for years, to coordinate the ski schools again in January
and February.
“We also have the Holiday Ski Team for kids and this is a great
opportunity to learn how to race. Starting in January we are going to
have Friday night ‘Rail Jam Competitions’ that will be judged each
week and at the end of the season a championship event,” said Galante.
“We also have an adult ski league on Wednesday nights.”
Mt. Holiday also has a tubing hill and icludes a birthday party
package. Plus, they have had to come up with events year-round and are
offering music, dinners, open mic nights, banquets, class reunions,
wedding events and more.
“Our goal is to have one major event each month; in January we are
doing Rare Air a snowboard and music event with bands,” said Galante.
“During the Winter WonderFest in February we are having bobsled races,
plus we are going to have a mountain bike race down the face of Mt.
Annual passes for Mt. Holiday are $199 (down from $249 last season)
and keeping with their non-profit mission they offer special rates on
certain nights for area schools.
“We also give out several scholarships. Last year we gave away 190
scholarships,” said Galante. “Basically there is an application, the
child has to write a letter and the child has to volunteer 10 hours a
week, regardless of their age. We have had 7-year-olds who help clean

Cool Events:
• Winter Concert Series -- every Friday from 8 to 11 pm, with dinner
and drink specials.
• Open Mic Nights on Sundays from 5 to 7 pm starting January 2

For more information about Mt. Holiday go to www.mt-holiday.com or call

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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