Conflict of interest?
The Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) is a wonderful asset to our quality of life up north. With its stated mission to “protect the natural diversity and beauty of northern Michigan...” the LTC’s diverse coalition of environmentally friendly volunteers work diligently “to retain the quality of life which makes northern Michigan so attractive.”
How ironic it is then that the chairman of LTC’s board, Neil Marzella, is leading the charge to develop a world-class motorsports complex in Indian River that, if built, will permanently scar, pollute and degrade an otherwise quiet and scenic community.
Marzella, a highly-regarded attorney from Harbor Springs, is representing Mark Hall, developer/owner of Griswold Mountain Properties, to acquire the necessary local, county and state approvals for the proposed motocross, super-truck and snowmobile racing complex and campgrounds.
The completed development will sprawl across 200+ acres and is expected to attract 20-30,000 spectators to every scheduled event and bring with them deafening noise, acute traffic congestion, heightened fire and safety risks, pollution, desecration of the land, and lower residential property values.
The peace, serenity and environmental purity of what is now a pristine wooded and water-side area and home to families, retirees and vacationers will be violated forever.
How is it that an individual can lead a prominent environmental conservancy and promote environmentally destructive development at the same time? While Marzella’s dual roles may not be a technical conflict of interest, what about ethics... not to mention civic responsibility?
Charles Willmott • Petoskey/ Indian River
Busted at Sleeping Bear
Let me give you all a warning. If you go to our National Lakeshore to hike or whatever, be very careful. Watch out for your friendly park ranger.
I was alone, walking down a Lakeshore path in the rain, minding my own business when out of the blue, I’m mugged by this park ranger. I produce my drivers license and my Michigan Medical Marijuana card. I’m 65 years old and retired.
He called the Leelanau Sheriff for backup, He searched me, Took two hours of my time, confiscated my small pipe and vial, wrote me a $525 ticket, and would not let me leave for two hours, saying that I was probably too impaired to drive. I was not.
This officer is young; perhaps he’ll learn to be a little more human and use his godgiven common sense. And by the way, I smoke to ease my pain because I have cancer.
Gary Roy Baumdraher • via email
No meth epidemic here
Re: “The Shadowland Bust,” 5/27) The fact is that meth is just one of many epidemics and I do not believe Michigan has a epidemic in this field.
Also the pilots who accidently bombed Canadian troops in the Kosovo war were found to have been up on meth for many days and our military has been giving speed to the troops for quite some time, as do most of the militaries around the world.
Also the pharmaceutical called aderal is so similar that all of the same symptoms of a aderal user are the same as a meth addict. I think it’s less of the object of a drug as much as it's the need of our current society.
Richard Zindler • via email
Gunshots on the Platte
I am sure that no resident of the Platte River Watershed neighborhood is unaware of the nearly daily event of gunshots ringing through our beautiful forest community. This is alarming for a number of reasons:
Our neighborhood in recent years has become increasingly populated with new residents seeking the tranquility and peace of a rural setting. In addition to the increased proximity to one-another on smaller and smaller pieces of acreage, is the increase in tourist activity, especially now that we are entering the summer season.
Visitors are naturally drawn to this area because of its beautiful, rivers, lakes, streams, hiking trails, horse trails, beaches, and woodlands. We homeowners like to take walks in the woods, alone or with friends, pets, our children and grandchildren to observe the beautiful wild flowers and animals who call these forests their home.
Needless to say, many of us are becoming petrified of the idea that we, a friend, child, pet or grandchild might be hit by a stray bullet while enjoying a morning walk. Or while gardening in our backyards.
I fear that it is only a matter of time before someone is gravely injured or killed. It is disquieting and frightening to be treated to the sound of gunfire at the rise of the morning sun, the tranquility of midday, or the serenity of an evening sunset.
Finally, since local township and county ordinances have not kept pace with local growth, perhaps it is time for those of us who are concerned to demand that restrictions regarding the firing of guns in the Platte River Watershed neighborhood be enacted and enforced.
Sylvia McCullough • Interlochen
More trail tips
It is great that you rode the North Eastern State Trail (“One Wild Ride,” 5/20). As you noted, it is a very rural trail where you will see more wildlife than people. It is also great that you told readers to be prepared as there are limited services along the trail A few notes/corrections: After a long winter as ours was this year, the snow pack keeps the trail wet and soft. But once it dries, it is hard as cement most all summer. I am sorry it was “squishy” for you, but it is not true that you can’t ride a skinny-tired road bike on it most of the year.
Although I recommend a hybrid bike, I have personally ridden the entire trail on a skinny-tired road bike last July (and it rained when I was out there) and it was fine. I preferred riding the road bike to my comfort bike on the trail. So it is more about the time of year that you ride and your bike choice.
You also noted there is cell coverage everywhere along the trail, but the most remote section between Aloha and Tower has no coverage at all. There is a good 9-mile section without coverage, so people really need to be prepared to fix their own bike and have adequate supplies.
Currently, there are limited services along the trail, but in the years to come you will see changes. The village of Metz has received funding to build a Metz Fire Historic Trailside Park where there will be bathrooms, water, interpretive signs etc. and Tower has applied for funding for a small trailside park. Of course Millersburg has a beautiful new modern trailhead at the depot. I also believe we will see more business pop up and cater to trail users now that the surface has been improved for year-round use.
Emily Meyerson, • Northern Lower Peninsula Trailways Coordinator Top of Michigan Trails Council
Don’t forget da U.P.
I must say that your front page photo - “Spring Styles,” April 15, shows a nicely done flag misrepresentation of Michigan showing only the Lower Peninsula.
Having also lived in the Copper Country (Houghton - Hancock) for 25 years previous to moving to the Lower Peninsula, I am totally aware that Michigan has two peninsulas, both very nice in their own way.
Are we not proud of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (The other Northern Michigan) which many refer to as “God’s Country”?
Obviously, I am disappointed when I see the “Spring Styles” front page photo and wonder if the other peninsula of Michigan has been totally forgotten? Lets get with it.
When Michiganders put up their hand and point to where they live in Michigan, are they unaware that they have another hand attached to their body that can equally represent Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?
Jack Chamberlain • Lansing