Letters

Letters 09-07-2015

DEJA VUE Traverse City faces the same question as faced by Ann Arbor Township several years ago. A builder wanted to construct a 250-student Montessori school on 7.78 acres. The land was zoned for suburban residential use. The proposed school building was permissible as a “conditional use.”

The Court Overreached Believe it or not, everyone who disagrees with the court’s ruling on gay marriage isn’t a hateful bigot. Some of us believe the Supreme Court simply usurped the rule of law by legislating from the bench...

Some Diversity, Huh? Either I’ve been misled or misinformed about the greater Traverse City area. I thought that everyone there was so ‘all inclusive’ and open to other peoples’ opinions and, though one may disagree with said person, that person was entitled to their opinion(s)...

Defending Good People I was deeply saddened to read Colleen Smith’s letter [in Aug. 24 issue] regarding her boycott of the State Theater. I know both Derek and Brandon personally and cannot begin to understand how someone could express such contempt for them...

Not Fascinating I really don’t understand how you can name Jada Johnson a fascinating person by being a hunter. There are thousands of hunters all over the world, shooting by gun and also by arrow; why is she so special? All the other people listed were amazing...

Back to Mayberry A phrase that is often used to describe the amiable qualities that make Traverse City a great place to live is “small-town charm,” conjuring images of life in 1940s small-town America. Where everyone in Mayberry greets each other by name, job descriptions are simple enough for Sarah Palin to understand, and milk is delivered to your door...

Don’t Be Threatened The August 31 issue had 10 letters(!) blasting a recent writer for her stance on gay marriage and the State Theatre. That is overkill. Ms. Smith has a right to her opinion, a right to comment in an open forum such as Northern Express...

Treat The Sickness Thank you to Grant Parsons for the editorial exposing the uglier residual of the criminalizing of drug use. Clean now, I struggled with addiction for a good portion of my adult life. I’ve never sold drugs or committed a violent crime, but I’ve been arrested, jailed, and eventually imprisoned. This did nothing but perpetuate shame, alienation, loss and continued use...

About A Girl -- Not Consider your audience, Thomas Kachadurian (“About A Girl” column). Preachy opinion pieces don’t change people’s minds. Example: “My view on abortion changed…It might be time for the rest of the country to catch up.” Opinion pieces work best when engaging the reader, not directing the reader...

Disappointed I am disappointed with the tone of many of the August 31 responses to Colleen Smith’s Letter to the Editor from the previous week. I do not hold Ms. Smith’s opinion; however, if we live in a diverse community, by definition, people will hold different views, value different things, look and act different from one another...

Free Will To Love I want to start off by saying I love Northern Express. It is well written, unbiased and always a pleasure to read. I am sorry I missed last month’s article referred to in the Aug. 24 letter titled, “No More State Theater.”

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Take Two!

Suttons Bay Floatilla attempts Guinness World Record…again

Erin Crowell - August 26th, 2013  


If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That’s the mentality of the Suttons Bay Floatilla2 on Aug. 31 when participants will once again attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records’ challenge for the largest raft of kayaks and canoes.

Last year, the event fell short of its goal by just 154 boats. The current record, which is held by the town of Inlet, New York, stands—or floats, rather—at 1,903 boats.

WORTH IT

However, last year’s massive on-water fundraiser was still a success, raising $45,000 for the Suttons Bay School Student Activity Fund. That money helped send the school robotics team to its state competition and elementary school trips to Mackinac Island and Grand Rapids, along with the school’s Spanish club to Nicaragua.

“We have a great group of kids in our school, but we aren’t the affluent school you think we would be for this type of area. The money is in second homes and that population. Our school just isn’t big enough to have that money on-hand for these types of activities,” said Kate Thornton, who returns as Floatilla’s organizer.

Thornton, whose children attended Suttons Bay School, first heard about such a raft world record from her friend who lives in upstate New York.

“She showed me a bunch of aerial photos of all the boats,” said Thornton, who brought the idea to school superintendent Mike Murray.

A LABOR DAY WEEKEND EVENT

Like the aerial photos showed in New York, thousands of green, red, silver, brown, blue and yellow boats speckled the Caribbean-like blue waters of Suttons Bay that Saturday of Labor Day weekend 2012.

The Floatilla is again happening on the Saturday of Labor Day.

“We chose that weekend for several reasons,” said Thornton. “There isn’t another big event happening in town and a lot of local families don’t go away on vacation because of school starting.”

It’s also an opportunity to get the outof-towners who’ve earned an extra day of weekend vacation.

“We’re getting a lot of people from southeast and southwest Michigan. So far, we have people registered from Ohio, Indiana, along with a few Canadians,” said Thornton.

Registration for this year’s Floatilla is also promising, with 1,300 signed up as of last week.

“We’re running almost double of what we were last year,” Thornton enthused.

GETTING INVOLVED

There will be four launch points on Saturday with registration and wristband pickup at Suttons Bay High School.

Every participant must wear a wristband, even though only boats—not participants— will be included in the official count.

“We had a lot of crashers last year, which isn’t fair to everyone who’s paid,” said Thornton.

Part of the reason so many unpaid boaters got through last year, Thornton says, is because the entry point to the on-water corral drifted apart.

“The corral consists of big pull boats and lines with buoys. Last year was windy and some of the powerboats only had one anchor so they started drifting apart.”

Not only will there be a stronger corral and count system, but a better sound system on the water.

“We actually got really high marks on our organization, which will pretty much be the same,” Thornton added.

Each participant must wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. Only kayaks and canoes will be permitted (no stand-up paddle boards or inflatable boats will be allowed). No boats can be tied together and in order to complete the record, the raft of boats must float without touching shore or bottom for 30 seconds.

“The folks in New York actually want us to beat the record,” said Thornton, “because they want to do it again, too.”

Registration for the Suttons Bay Floatilla2 is at sbfloatilla.com. Cost to participate ranges between $15 and $27 (depending on size of boat) through Aug. 27, then increases to $20-$30 through Aug. 31. Anyone under age 12 must be in a boat with a parent or guardian. Official count takes place at 1 p.m.

 
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