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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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.


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.


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.


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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