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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Ski Season blends slopes with entertainment

Ross Boissoneau - December 9th, 2013  

While Northern Michigan’s ski resorts always pin their biggest hopes on cooperation from Mother Nature, they also put their best foot forward with entertainment, lodging, dining and other activities. From Cadillac to Harbor Springs, skiers and snowboarders can find a host of slopes and plenty to do after a strenuous day outside.


Caberfae Peaks just west of Cadillac has long been one of the state’s most popular resorts, in large part due to its proximity to Grand Rapids and other downstate locales. It’s also among the least expensive resorts. Special events include Family Funday Sundays, Ladies’ Day, and Silver Streak Day.

Dining options are plentiful, from pub grub to a breakfast buffet. And in a family-style twist, while the resort offers a variety of food for sale, those looking to bring their own are in luck. The downstairs area of the lodge features picnic tables where visitors are welcome to bring crock pots, make hot chocolate and enjoy the fire.

Snowmobiles are also welcome. For rates and additional information, go to CaberfaePeaks.com.


Head northwest to Thompsonville, where Crystal Mountain is introducing three new slopes this year. You can schuss down the 48 slopes, over half of which are open for night skiing.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Crystal offers cross-country and snowshoeing. And if you’re tired of the slopes (perish the thought), there’s still plenty to do. Family activities include bonfires, family bingo or Wii game night. Younger ones can go on a scavenger hunt, search for a snowman, or enjoy storytime. Those of all ages can enjoy the pool or hot tubs.

If you’re really feeling adventurous, try enjoying the frosty outdoors on two wheels. Fat Tire Snow Biking is the latest thing at Crystal, and the six-mile trail is typically groomed much like cross-country trails.

Laser tag, fishing and dogsledding round out the options. Plus there’s often entertainment at the Vista lounge, such as Girls with Guitars on Feb. 7 & 8. For more information, head to CrystalMountain.com.


The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor doesn’t offer as many slopes, but it uses that lack of congestion as part of its pitch. Just check its website, where it talks about views, service, and “limited lift ticket sales so the slopes aren’t crowded.”

Plus, who doesn’t love a good birthday party? This is the Homestead’s 30th year, and the festivities include a long list of festivals and activities including special deals on passes and ticket sales.

Throw in salon and spa services, fitness club classes and memberships, kid’s programs, the stunning views of Lake Michigan, the incredible food at Nonna’s, entertainment at Beppi’s, and you’ve got another winning ski resort. Plus, with a birthday, there’s got to be cake, right?

For the most up-to-the-minute reports on all resort happenings and 30th anniversary events and party dates currently in the works, you can head over to The Homestead’s Facebook page or simply keep an eye on The Homestead’s activities pages at TheHomesteadResort.com.


Speaking of birthdays, Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs is celebrating its 50th season, adding 31 Boyne Low-E fan guns, a new PistenBully 400 winch cat to evenly spread the snow, expanding the spa, and offering guests a remodeled main lodge pool.

The resort opened in 1955 as a private ski hill called Harbor Highlands. Everett Kircher, founder of Boyne Resorts, expanded his presence in the ski industry with the purchase and opening of Boyne Highlands in 1963. That season, he introduced the world’s first triple chairlifts at the Highlands.

There’s plenty of fun on tap this winter, including a new 110-foot suspended rope bridge constructed on Boyne Highlands’ Zipline Adventure course between lines three and four. Riders will cross the bridge hanging 20-feet above the valley. The course features seven ziplines descending over 50 stories.

Boyne is also once again partnering with the Iditarod sled dogs of Nature’s Kennel during the 2012/13 winter season. Every dog sled tour takes place on resort property among scenic trails blanketed (one hopes) with white fluffy snow.


Its sister resort, Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, is introducing new thrills this winter with the opening of the first SuperLOOP slide in Michigan at Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark. The waterpark, always a favorite, also includes “The Big Couloir,” featuring a trap door, plummeting riders into the extreme body slide and traveling at speeds up to 38 feet per second before finishing with a huge splash. What could be better in the middle of winter?

Well, maybe skiing and snowboarding, and the Boynes do indeed offer plenty of both. With a bevy of hills and trails, the Boynes needn’t take a backseat to any resort. Throw in a couple dozen dining options, some with entertainment, and your plate will be full, literally and figuratively. For all the latest, go to Boyne.com.


Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs continues to offer great skiing and snowboarding in its 56th year. One of the first events on the calendar is the Thanksgiving Weekend Rail Jam for Manna, Saturday, Nov. 30 at 11 a.m. It requires a signed release form and an entry fee of $5 or five canned goods, with all registration fees and food stuffs donated to the Manna Food Project of Petoskey.

In addition to fun on the slopes, there’s plenty of entertainment at Nub’s Pub, with entertainers like Mike Ridley and Sean & Patrick Ryan. Go to NubsNob.com for more information.


You can schuss down the slopes at the aptlynamed Schuss Mountain in Mancelona, part of the Shanty Creek Resort. Shanty Creek features 55 runs on two mountains, 6 terrain parks, 7 lifts, alpine tubing and 30km of Nordic trails.

Among the highlights is Monster Energy Park, a combination of three parks. Purple Daze features boxes and rails including a 35-ft. battleship, a 40-ft. roller coaster, an S-rail, a C-rail, and more. A long jumpline runs the length of Boulevard. The Natty Park offers rails and boxes created from all-natural materials like split trees, stacked trees, and boulders.

Then there’s the Moonlite Run, which rolls along the Summit Golf Course, featuring LED solar lighting. It provides a whole new Nordic experience.

And there’s plenty of fun food and entertainment options at the resort’s five dining rooms. For more, go to ShantyCreek.com.

Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding or tubing that gets your blood racing, you can find it in Northern Michigan. Throw in snowshoeing, dogsledding, skating, and snowmobiling, and your winter fun is just around the next drift.

Virtually all the ski areas offer instruction, rental equipment, and the chance to participate in various races and events. You can also keep updated on conditions at their web sites or Facebook pages.

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