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Letters 07-01-2013

- July 1st, 2013  

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Indian River motocross

Count me as one of the “whine asses” who is very concerned about the consequences of a large motocross racetrack (think 30-40 two-cycle dirt bikes, trucks, or snowmobiles per race), with races from Friday to Sunday, not counting practice times. Add camping sites for thousands of RVs or tents, and day parking accommodating 20,000-plus fans.

I, along with many others, would not object to a motorized sports facility in a genuinely rural area, such as east of Indian River, but to build a racetrack in an area with limited access and surrounded by hundreds of resident and vacation homes seems unneighborly.

Developer Mark Hall is quoted as believing that “until a proposal is finalized and submitted to the county, people shouldn’t criticize.” Mr. Hall, to his credit, presented a detailed preliminary sketch of the racetrack and campgrounds at the Tuscarora Town Hall meeting on 2/28/13. From the information to date that I have seen under the Freedom of Information Act it appears that his plan has not been substantially altered. So it seems to me entirely appropriate to be concerned.

Once a proposal is submitted to the Cheboygan Planning and Zoning Commission, there could be as little as five weeks to research the plan and the legal situation, and to organize a response.

Hall’s lawyer has been working with Cheboygan County staff for over a year to prepare the racetrack proposal; a lot has been going on since spring of 2012 to facilitate its success.

“Common sense would dictate that you wait for the plan to be presented”? I don’t think so. Many folks have questions about how traffic, emergency access, excessive noise from engines, loudspeakers, and crowds will be handled, and we have seen no independent analysis of these concerns. The only outside analysis we have seen is how many portapotties will be needed: for 20,000 people, apparently 162 for men and 322 for women, in case you were wondering.

We would also like to understand the options for limiting the number of 4-day events. I have been told there is no permanent way to do this; the developer could apply every year for more races.

Practice times and, as Mr. Hall points out, private gatherings of his motorcycle friends would not need anyone’s permission.

Yes, many of us do criticize the Tuscarora Township leadership for jumping on board with Mr. Hall in the absence of any independent research into some of these issues. But when we ask questions, we are called “negative,” “against progress,” “tree huggers,” “destroyers of hope for Indian River’s economic well being,” “elitists,” and ... “whine asses.”

But so far I have not seen any objective answers or independent analysis of issues that need to be looked at before a decision is made. I can’t afford to pay for these analyses. Maybe Mr. Hall is preparing them; I hope so. With some real data instead of opinions and guesses on both sides maybe everyone will be better prepared to make informed decisions about what sort of community Indian River wishes to be, and the consequences of such a development.

Good people can differ on whether this racetrack and campground complex is a good idea at the proposed site. I commend Mr Hall for wanting to give back to the community he grew up in. There are many wonderful ways to do so that would not be so contentious. I really would like to be a good neighbor to Mr. Hall. And I would like him to be a good neighbor to me.

Trish Woollcott • Indian River

Boozers a bummer

A recent letter bemoaned the fact that one can’t imbibe on restaurant patios in Boyne City. Good for Boyne City.

The writer’s alleged “preconceived notions’ about folks drinking aren’t preconceived at all. Boozers simply don’t realize how loud and obnoxious they are. (Same reason they get in auto accidents: their judgement is impaired.)

So, instead of other diners (or nearby residents) enjoying a peaceful meal, they’re subjected to overly-loud, boisterous men who care nothing about anyone but themselves.

The problem isn’t with the occasional indulgence in an alcoholic beverage, it’s with people who can’t enjoy a meal without it.

I’m with the elders in Boyne City: Keep it indoors, or better yet, in your own home.

Margaret Sarna • via email

Preaching discrimination

In response to the letter, “Yahweh’s view on gays” from Gordon Lee Dean from Troop 10 (6/24), I do believe you have a right to your views and religious beliefs. However you need to understand not everyone who attends Boy Scouts is affiliated with Christianity.

We live in a world with many different faiths, ideas, beliefs, and or non-beliefs. It is very offensive that you assume that everyone should live by your beliefs, even if they do not follow them.

I would like to introduce you to the separation of church and state. In America we are all supposed to have choices about who we are, our dreams, and how we wish to believe. I find the idea that Christians want peace astounding while you preach discrimination based on your Bible.

We do not live in a dictatorship, nor do I want to. I think you lack empathy and understanding of those outside your realm. It saddens me you cannot see other points of views. Until you can admit that people have a right to live their lives based on their own choices and not yours, or God's (as according to you, he gave us free will), we are going to have a divided country and people.

Angela K. Crandall • via email

Boy Scouts & Christians

Yahweh did NOT write the Bible - fallible humans did (re: “Yahweh’s view on gays.”) Scouting doesn’t teach “Christian morals” it teaches citizenship, leadership, sharing, healthy conservation and outdoorsmanship, and hopefully, morals are a by-product.

When we were in the program even the God and Country award was not only for Christians.

My two grown Eagle Scouts are appalled at the BSA’s recent decision. They had a gay leader and everyone knew it and they had a marvelous scouting experience. They hope their own sons will be able to join a more enlightened BSA someday. Alternatively they will not want them to join, I’m sure.

I am a Christian and a former Girl Scout and proud of the Girl Scout’s nondiscriminatory policy.

Mary Hunsberger Link • Frankfort

Fracking or nuclear?

I’m sympathetic to Peggy Case’s letter (“Time to ban fracking,” June 17), but the current move to ban coal and push wind means more gas-burning turbines to pick up the load in the lulls. More gas turbines means more fracking, not less.

Michigan already gets about 30% of its electricity from nuclear power. Why not a Fermi 3, Palisades 2, and new construction at Big Rock Point?

Better yet, let’s cut into existing gas demand. We could replace the gasburning turbines in Midland with some new, modular Babcock & Wilcox reactors to make electricity and process steam for Dow Chemical, as in the original vision. That would make employment at Dow less dependent upon natural gas prices, which would be good for Michigan’s economy.

I want to see the documentary “Pandora’s Promise” when it comes to Traverse City. I hope Peggy gets a chance to see it too. It might just change the way people think about energy.

Russ Cage • Williamsburg

 
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