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 · NMC BBQ Still Going Strong
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NMC BBQ Still Going Strong

Rick Coates - May 14th, 2012  

This weekend the largest picnic in Northern Michigan will take place. Northwestern Michigan College will hold its 57th Annual Barbecue, Sunday, May 20, on the main campus “under the pines” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Just how large is the NMC BBQ? It takes 500 volunteers to coordinate all the activities and to feed the 10,000+ expected to attend. Volunteers will prepare and serve 1,400 pounds of carrots and celery, 3,000 pounds of potato salad, 3,000 pounds of coleslaw, 3,000 pounds of baked beans, 8,400 ice cream cups, 4,500 cartons of milk, and the featured highlight of the BBQ, over 3,000 pounds of buffalo burgers (plus several pounds of hot dogs).

“It is a very impressive site to see all of this come together,” said Dennis Stavros of the NMC BBQ Board. “It goes like clockwork from the bean team starting a couple of days before, preparing the beans at the powerhouse, to the crews setting everything up to how quickly we are able to serve everyone.”

Stavros, a former financial planner, has served on the NMC BBQ Board for the past several years. Stravos, currently the vice president, notes that while the board works hard planning the event, it is the hundreds of community members who pitch in that make the day special.

“The board meets once a month starting in January and then weekly in mid-April leading up to the big day. While there are 25 of us on the BBQ Board there are literally hundreds in the community that contribute to the success of the event,” said Stavros.

“It is truly a community celebration like no other I have seen.”

Andy Dolan, NMC Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations, says the college hears that all the time about the BBQ.

“NMC President Tim Nelson has been all over the country for college conferences and everyone is amazed when they hear about the NMC BBQ,” said Dolan. “There just isn’t another community-based celebration for a college in the country like this one.”

Since its inception in 1956 when Gerald and Frances Oleson launched the NMC BBQ, the event has raised over $1,500,000 to assist the college. That first year, more than 5,000 people attended the event. For the past 25 years, attendance has averaged 10,000 plus.

“The community and the college can’t say enough about the generous contribution made by the Oleson family and their Oleson Food Stores for continuing to donate all the food for the past 57 years,” said Stavros.

“The meal remains pretty much the same as it was when it started: A very generous picnic lunch that includes a buffalo burger or hot dog, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, ice cream and a beverage.”

In addition to the picnic lunch, the event serves as a college open house. Several classroom exhibits and exhibitions take place, and the BBQ ticket also includes admission to the Dennos Museum Center.

The day includes continuous entertainment and plenty of kids’ activities as well.

Organizers are also pleased with their results of the efforts toward recycling. The “zero waste” effort has resulted in an event that recycles most of the waste generated.

“We started the process a couple of years ago, and we have been able to compost and recycle 90 percent of our waste,” said Dolan. “Our goal is to move to become a zero waste event, and with our partners Food for Thought and Waste Management, along with the many volunteers, we are getting closer to that goal.”

Proceeds from the BBQ over the years have funded more than 200 projects at the college, including radio station equipment for WNMC 90.7 FM, construction of the Rogers Observatory, and some of the initial funding for the Dennos Museum Center. This year the BBQ will benefit a half dozen projects, including a ship simulator for the Great Lakes Maritime Academy.

Stavros says deciding which programs or projects will receive funding begins months before the BBQ.

“The process starts in January when staff and department heads submit applications to the board for review,” said Stavros.

“Typically the projects that are submitted to us are for items and needs that are not funded through the operations budget for the college. Sometimes these items receive partial funding from other sources and we fund the balance.”

In 1998, the NMC BBQ added home delivered meals. The Grand Traverse County Commission on Aging will once again coordinate the meal delivery program in conjunction with the NMC BBQ Board. Since the home delivered meal program’s inception, over 3,900 meals have been delivered to area homebound senior citizens.

Home Delivered meals are $6. Reservations for the meals can be arranged by calling the Commission on Aging office through Wednesday, May 16 at 231-922-4688.

Stavros says the board is also proud that the BBQ remains popular with families and is accessible for people of all ages.

“At each board meeting we start out by reviewing why we are doing this and we have all the reasons why in writing. The last statement is to have fun,” said Stavros. “For all of us involved it gets down to seeing all the smiling faces.”

For the past 57 years people have been saying, “Let’s All Do The BBQ.” That tradition continues Sunday.

Northern Michigan College will hold its 57th Annual Barbecue on the main campus from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the BBQ. For complete information, ticket locations or to purchase tickets online go to www.nmc.edu/bbq. Call 231-995-1020 to volunteer.

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