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 · Christos Piliafras 3/28/11
. . . .

Christos Piliafras 3/28/11

Rick Coates - March 28th, 2011
Christos Piliafas: Best Fitness Trainer
By Rick Coates
Mess with Christos Piliafas and you’re asking for a whoopin’ -- either
that or some good advice on how to get in shape: Christos was voted “Best
Fitness Instructor” by Express readers in a recent poll.
Piliafas is a Mixed Martial Artist (MMA cage fighter) who competes in the
ring  and also trains other athletes at his gym Great Lakes Mixed Martial
Arts in Traverse City.
He currently holds a Brown Belt in a Brazilian form of Jiu Jitsu and is
also a certified Russian Sambo instructor.
He grew up in Flint where he was an all-state athlete in several sports at
Flint Central. After graduation he moved to Traverse City (he had family
living here) and managed a sporting goods store before eventually
opening his own gym. Piliafas is not only a promoter of MMA but of general
physical fitness and good health.
He sat down and gave an overview of his training philosophy and why MMA is
enjoying so much popularity.

Northern Express: What’s new with Great Lakes MMA?
Christos Piliafas: We are moving to a new 6,500 square foot facility on
Park Drive in Traverse City near Art Van. This is more than twice the size
of the facility we are currently in. We just outgrew our previous
location and a big part of that has to do with all the kids that are
signing up for our programs.

NE: So kids are participating in the Mixed Martial Arts?
Piliafas: Well, classes like Brazilian Jiu Jutsu that will eventually help
them if they decide to compete in MMA events. But you have to be 17 to
compete in MMA events. 

NE: Do you think MMA is going to replace boxing someday?
Piliafas: Well it is hard to say. Soccer is popular all over the world,
but in America football still rules, despite soccer growing. MMA has grown
lots -- at first it was not socially accepted -- but that is changing and
now people are actually looking at the sport and starting to understand
that. This sport is not about two guys in a cage trying to kill each
other; there is a lot of technique involved. This is essentially a human
chess match.

NE: To what do you attribute all the growth in MMA?
Piliafas: Well, from a spectator standpoint I hear from people all the
time there is no way they ever would attend a match -- that it is too gory
and it is just a bunch of thugs trying to kill themselves. Then typically
what happens is they might see it first on TV and they start getting
intrigued and before you know it they come out to a match. Once they see a
match live they are hooked. They see these fighters as athletes and that a
tremendous amount of skill and training is required to be successful.

NE: Take us through the training process.
Piliafas: Cardio is king. There is an old saying that it doesn’t matter
how fast a car is if you don’t have the gas to drive it. The training is
intense -- it is a lot of roadwork -- you are putting a lot of miles in, a
lot of running. The cardio kick-boxing and the MMA crossfit training is a
lot of circuit and kettle ball work. A lot of hand and foot work. Jumping
rope and more. It is about several different exercises that you do
repetitively. You have to be 100% totally dedicated. You can’t come in and
just learn how to fight -- you have to condition. There are so many
aspects that you have to be dedicated to from the physical to the mental. 

NE: How much do you train?
Piliafas: You train three to six hours a day to get ready to fight. You
don’t take days off -- you simply mix up your workouts. So you work
different parts of the body and give another part of the body a day to
I have a fight coming up on April 16 and I am doing two workouts a day. I
come in in the mornings and do cardio and circuit work and the second time
I will do my weight training and something else with a five-hour break in

NE: Is there an age when you are too old?
Piliafas: No, we have guys in their 50s that are MMA fighters. We have
people who do the training and never fight; they just want to be in the
best physical and mental shape possible.
I am working with a guy who needed to lose weight. He has lost 150 pounds
in nine months and never had any intention of getting into the cage and
now he feels so good he wants to give it a try. 

NE: What is the biggest stumbling block for people getting themselves in
Piliafas: I think it gets down to dedication. Some people just do not
understand what it takes to be a MMA fighter. If you want to get into this
kind of shape, the way you live your life has to change. You have to get
on a routine and be strict with yourself.
I have people every week come in and say they want to be a MMA fighter --
that they are the baddest street fighter I have ever seen. Then when they
go through one workout they find out it is not easy and they never come
back. You have to take it one day at a time and remember it is so hard to
get into shape and it is so easy to fall out of shape. I think what
happens is one day you wake up and you say, wow how did this happen to me?

Christos Piliafas may be found daily at the Great Lakes MMA gym in its new
location at 1757 Park Drive in Traverse City or by calling 248-755-9979. 

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5