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 · Pedal & paddle 4/4/11
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Pedal & paddle 4/4/11

Mike Terrell - April 4th, 2011
Pedal & Paddle: The Boardman River offers the best of both
By Mike Terrell
 It seemed like a long winter this year, and I’m looking forward to some
warm weather outdoor activity.  Paddling Northern Michigan rivers and
cycling -- especially mountain biking -- are a couple of my favorite
springtime activities. 
Combining them offers a chance for a good workout, but more importantly,
it gives you a lot of flexibility for river paddling.  “Spotting” a
mountain bike (or vice-versa, your car) downriver means you don’t have to
rely on a group outing or try to match schedules with others when you want
to go paddling, and it allows you to go on the spur of the moment. 
Sometimes when you and a group have planned an outing a week or so ahead,
the weather doesn’t cooperate.  Being able to go on the spur of a moment
allows you to take advantage of that sunny day.  Just throw your bike and
kayak or canoe on the vehicle and go.
One of my favorite rivers for this type of activity is the Boardman River,
because it allows several choices for pedal and paddle opportunities.  
Paddling the upper portion from The Forks (with its nice put-in just a
half-mile south of Supply Road) down to Sheck’s Forest Campground offers
about a four-mile float through a valley of high banks and heavily
forested terrain with few cottages.  The river ranges in size from 20 to
40 feet in width with a moderate to quick current.  I never get tired of
paddling this section. 
Summer, however, can be busy with rental canoes and tubes from Ranch
Rudolf.  That time of year, with long daylight hours, I often go after
four in the afternoon.  That’s the last run for the Ranch, and after five
or six you will often find deer coming down to the river for a drink.  If
you are quiet it isn’t hard to slip up on them.  I’ve floated around a
corner and been almost face-to-face with a group of whitetails.
Brown Bridge Road, which runs between Sheck’s Place and The Forks, is a
dirt road and you will need a mountain bike to get back to your car,
especially in summer when the surface is sandier and less hard packed.
 It’s about a five to six mile bike ride with some pretty sections right
along the river. 
Another section of the river that offers a good opportunity for using your
bike to spot your vehicle utilizes River Road and a short portion of Brown
Bridge Road.  Here you put in just below the dam and paddle down to
Shumsky Road public access, about a six-mile float. Or you can paddle all
the way to Beitner Road with a good public access and small roadside
park.  That’s about another four miles as the river flows -- a 10-mile
The pedaling distance from the parking lot for the put-in below the dam is
just a little over four miles to Shumsky, and a little over six miles to
the Beitner Road park.  River Road is all paved.  There’s only a very
short portion of Brown Bridge Road, normally hard surfaced dirt that you
pass over.  You can use a road bike.
There are several stretches of undeveloped land along this portion of the
Boardman, but cottages, homes and private bridges crossing the river are
frequent through this 10 mile float.  The landscape is mostly heavily
forested with occasional meadows and farmlands.  High banks are
interspersed throughout the trip. 
Despite the homesteads, which pass quickly, it’s a pretty and interesting
section of river.  I’ve had deer splash in front of me and have frequently
spotted eagles along this section.
For those that like a longer paddle you can go across Boardman Pond and
take out at the dam, which is a trip of around 12.5 miles; about a
five-hour float.  You could also take out at Lone Pine on the right side
of the river before entering the pond.  There’s a steep stairway to
negotiate, but the climb from the pond at the end isn’t easy either. 
If you just want to shoot the Beitner Rapids, which you pass through right
after paddling under the bridge on Keystone Road, the best place to take
out is just before the footbridge crossing the river. It’s about a
100-yard carry back to the parking lot.  The footbridge comes up around a
sharp bend in the river shortly after exiting the rapids. 
Using a bicycle for spotting your vehicle is easy.  The distance is about
the same using River Road to get to the roadside park on Beitner or the
parking lot off Keystone for the footbridge; a little over six miles from
the Brown Bridge Dam put-in.  Extending the float on through Boardman Pond
adds another 1.7 miles to your bicycling.  The parking lot is just off
Cass Road after crossing Sabin Dam.
The rapids are rated a Class II but are pretty straightforward.  For
experienced paddlers they are wild, wet and fun on a hot summer day.  They
won’t find them difficult.  Beginning paddlers will have trouble with
them.  The run of rapids is about a half-mile long, one after the other
with little chance to regroup before hitting the next set. 
Out of all these possibilities my favorite pedal/paddle combo is the upper
stretch of river from The Forks to Sheck’s.  The river seems more remote
and so does the bicycling. 

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