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..

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Mike Terrell - June 11th, 2012  
Wildwood Rush lives up to its name

Perched on the edge of a platform 40-some feet in the air wrapped around a sturdy pine tree, my 69-year-old knees were quivering as much as nearby aspen trees.

I was just starting my zip line canopy tour in the high hills above Boyne City and Young State Park at Wildwood Rush. I missed the first couple of lower to the ground zip lines, which the three other people doing the tour said were a little easier. You didn’t have to step off a platform. A running start on the ground got you going.

As I stood there holding tightly to my harness, hands sweating, one of our guides, Andrea Westrick, said, “Just sit down and go.”

She was right. When you sat down into the harness you are wearing instead of jumping off the platform, it was much easier. There was no momentary drop or sinking feeling. You just took off down the line feeling secure and elated. It was a thrill and indeed a rush, but a good one.


Once over the initial uncertainty of flying through the treetops and walking across narrow rope ladders in high the trees, it was a blast.

My companions, a couple from Indiana and a local Boyne City resident, had never done a zip line tour before and were elated with the experience. Not unlike me, heights made the wife Laura a little nervous.

“It was a gut check on that first platform, but once you lift off, the thrill takes over any trepidation. I’m really enjoying this,” she enthused. We had reached the fourth zip line on our tour.

At the fifth station she saw a couple of deer below in the valley while crossing on the zip line, which the guides said is fairly frequent with quiet, smaller groups.

“No ‘wee, wee, weeing,’ like the little pig in the Geico commercials,” laughed guide Wesley Ricker.

There are nine stations in all on a full tour, which takes about two-and-a-half to three hours to complete. I have done a couple of other zip line tours in the Midwest, and there is nothing else like this around the Great Lakes. More in line with western zip line tours, it’s a canopy tour as well. You are high in the trees, but never off of a safety line securing you to cables. It’s a very safe experience.


There are five “sky” bridges connecting the nine zip lines, spanning more than a mile-and-a-half tour over the ridges and through the trees. Jaw-dropping views of Lake Charlevoix can be seen from five of the tree platforms. It’s also an eco-friendly tour as the guides clue you in to the trees and foliage around you. All cables are secured to trees in a non-lethal way so as not to damage them.

There is over 5,000 feet of zip lines, the longest being 1,200 feet, which is the last line. You reach speeds up to 40 mph racing down the wire from a high ridge to a twostory platform at the bottom of the hill. A reliable braking system slows you down as you reach the platform, and a guide is there to help steady you as you land.

Reservations are required for the canopy tours, which are available seven days a week through October. With all the hardwood trees in the area, fall would be a surreal experience flying through the colorful foliage.

No reservations are required for single rides on the 1,200 foot Triple Zip Line, which is also the one that ends the canopy tour. It’s open daily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The full canopy tour is $75 per person, and the Triple Zip is $20 for one ride and $35 for three.

For more information and reservations you can log onto www.wildwoodrush.com.

I can’t wait to go again.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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