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 · Winter Festival
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Winter Festival

Rick Coates - February 14th, 2011
WOW! Winter festival warms up the weekend
By Rick Coates
Local organizers are hoping the whole town will say “Wow!” when they check out this weekend’s wide-ranging festival which will include a new winefest, snowboard competition, ice sculptures and much more.
Five years ago, the National Cherry Festival and the Grand Traverse Casino Resort and Spa formed a partnership to bring back a winter festival to Traverse City. Originally called The Cherry Winter Wonder Fest, it is now the Cherry Capital Winter Wow!Fest. 
Taking place at several locations around TC, the festival kicks off Friday evening with the new “Winter, Wine & Wow!” event that will feature local wines, craft brews, spirits, food and art, along with live entertainment. This opening night party will take place in a  large heated tent in the parking lot where the Traverse City Farmers Market is held at the corner of Union Street and the Parkway. The Festival will continue through Sunday with several outdoor activities for kids of all ages.
“We are excited about how this event has involved,” said Brad Van Domellen, president of the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Several organizations and businesses have come together to plan and promote this, there is no board. everyone has their own events and responsibilities. This and all the other events happening are great for Traverse City. As I travel the state people are telling me how amazed they are that Traverse City continues to have so many events year round.”

When asked if he felt maybe there were too many events going on Van Dommelen responded:
“No, we are very fortunate to be offering several options, something that other tourist destinations wish they had in the middle of winter,” said Van Dommelen. “Last weekend with the Microbrew Fest, Comedy Fest, Vasa and the Folk Festival and now the Wow!fest there is so much going on in February and this is a good problem to have.”
Tim Hinkley the executive director of the National Cherry Festival agrees.
“All of these events help to put Traverse City on the map. It tells the visitor or the person interested in moving here that this a place on the move,” said Hinkley. “I like how this festival is growing. This year moving things off of Front Street to the parking lot known as “Celebration Central’ between Cass and Union Streets will help downtown merchants by not having Front Street closed all weekend  and will provide more room for participants.”
Hinkley pointed out that in addition to “Winter, Wine & Wow!” event on Friday night that there will be a beverage tent, both in the Farmers’ Market lot and at the Civic Center to allow for people to get a glass of local wine or a local microbrew. He is also excited about some of the new events.
“Shanty Creek is partnering with us and they are building a monster tubing hill in the parking lot,” said Hinkley. “Plus the new EpicHappens Downtown Throwdown Rail Jam is going to attract thousands of visitors who want to watch some of the best snowboarders compete.” 

“The ski and snowboard community will come together for a full day of competition and socializing,” said action/extreme sports promoter Matt Hodges, co-founder of EpicHappens.com, who is organizing the Downtown Throwdown event. “This draws amateur and professional riders from all parts of the Midwest to compete for cash and prizes.”
Hodges developed EpicHappens 18 months ago as a means to financially sponsor local ski, snowboard and skateboard enthusiasts to participate in competitions.
“While we were able to raise funds to send a few to competitions we decided to evolve into an organization that would create events locally and give our competitors a chance to compete without leaving the area,” said Hodges. “These Rail Jam events are popular and we expect as many as 5,000 people will come and watch the 150 competitors.”
The EpicHappens Downtown Throwdown Rail Jam takes place all day Saturday with a large spectator viewing area along side beverage and food vendors. Hodges notes that several major industry vendors such as Grenade GLoves and Cushe Footwear will have booths.
“We are very fortunate that Danny Kass and The Dingo, two professional snowboarders with Olympic medals and the stars of ‘Adventures of Danny and The Dingo’ on Fuel TV will be joining us.” said Hodges. “They will kick everything off Thursday night at Shimmers Nightclub at the Holiday Inn West Bay at 10 pm with a major dance party. They will make some appearances on Friday, judge the competition on Saturday and then be at the big after party Saturday night at the Loading Dock that will feature nine Short’s brews on tap and DJ Rick Chyme.”

Other weekend events include the “Sweetheart of a Sale” promotion, horse-and-carriage rides and ice sculptures snow sculptures downtown. A softball tournament at the Civic Center plus several Cherry Festival events “winterized” including the Frozen Bed Race. 
The Grand Traverse  Resort will again offer the “Winter Fun Zone” featuring ice skating, sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, rides on ponies, dogsleds, snowmobiles and horse-drawn sleighs, plus bonfires, live music, and after-dark fireworks over the snow. 
The Winter Fun Zone is also home to a selection of competitive events that range from the familiar (Sunday’s Frosty 5K foot race and a kid’s snowshoe race) to the unlikely (a “frozen fish toss.”) There’s even a nine-hole Snow Golf Tournament on the Grand Traverse Resort’s famed golf terrain. This year, they’ve added yet another twist: a Sunday afternoon parade of vintage snowmobiles.
The Mt. Holiday Ski Area will offer several competitions including the Friday “Downhill Dash,” a no-holds-barred mountain bike/ski/snowboard race down the ski hill, the “Cardboard Bobsled-o-Rama” in which competitors must use sleds made only with cardboard, tape and paint, and Sunday’s “Big Air Championship.” 

“For a complete listing of events, log on to the festival web site at www.winterwowfest.com
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