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..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Grayling: A Cross-Country...
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Grayling: A Cross-Country Skier’s Paradise

Mike Terrell - January 20th, 2014  

Grayling, a sleepy village of 1,874, is a sanctuary for lovers (of the outdoors, that is).

More than 70 percent of Crawford County is owned by the state or feds, which means nearly unlimited choices in outdoor fun year-round.

For that special sub-set – cross-country skiers – six of the Lower Peninsula’s best groomed trail systems are located here. Since temperatures are normally colder here than along the Lake Michigan and Huron shorelines, the ski season is longer. Grayling has several lodging options if you wanted to stay and sample multiple trails.


the Lower Peninsula’s largest state park, is located just seven miles north of town. It has the largest stand of virgin white pine left in our region and offers 7.5 miles of groomed single-track trail, some of which goes through the white pine stand. A couple of cutover trails offer shorter loops of three and five miles. A good intermediate system offers low, rolling hills. Forest and many large stumps are reminders that forests of giant white pine once covered northern Michigan.

Hartwick Pine’s Visitor Center, open daily, offers programs, scheduled guided tours and even lantern-lit night tours.



located near the Hartwick Pines just off I-75 at the Frederick exit, offers more than 20 kilometers of groomed trails for both track and skate skiing. The Corner has one of the largest fleets of Nordic-only grooming equipment around the Great Lakes. The trail, always in tip-top shape, is groomed daily. It’s a labor of love for owner Dave Forbush, an avid cross-country skier. The old homestead has been in his family for generations.

The trails are wide, forested and offer a wide variety of skill level choices. The Badlands trail cuts through an old high-sided stone quarry making it feel like skiing into a canyon. There’s a ski shop and instruction is available.



located near Roscommon just off I-75, offers more than 10 miles of groomed trails for both skate and classic skiers. They are groomed daily and always in great shape. Trails meander through forested ridges among red and white pine, oak, aspen and beech stands. There’s a good chance you may see deer and wild turkeys along the way. One of the trails is actually named Wild Turkey.

It’s the only cross-country touring center in the region that makes snow, and can lay down a kilometer or two around the day lodge in low snow seasons. The day lodge is one of the most extensive cross-country equipment outlets around the Great Lakes Region. They sponsor a variety of fun weekend outings throughout the season and always have a pot of soup, chili or tacos available in the café.



is an 11.5-mile groomed single-track state Department of Natural Resources trail. (You need a state recreation passport to visit any DNR trails.) The beautiful pathway follows the South Branch of the AuSable River. The Mason Tract, a 4,500-acre natural area, is non-industrialized and nonmotorized. Wildlife is abundant in the area and frequently seen along the trail. Views of the river are beautiful; the peace and quiet of the area are exquisite. The trailhead is off M-72, about 15 miles east of Grayling. Spot a friend’s vehicle at the south end where the trail exits at CR-519 and Chase Bridge to avoid the return ski.

A nice out-and-back outing, slightly more than nine miles roundtrip, is out to Durant’s Castle. The pathway hugs the river most of the way. The castle was built by a Detroit automaker in the early 1930s. Struck by a freak February lightning storm the year after it was built, it burned to the ground. Deep snow on deserted back roads made any rescue efforts impossible. It was never rebuilt as a result of the Great Depression. Nothing except its footprint remains of the 42-room castle that once housed a gym and seven stone fireplaces.



offers groomed single-track loops of 1.5, 3.8 and 6.5 miles. The trails flow through forested, gently rolling terrain that offers stands of red and white pine and beautiful, old plantations of oak trees. Some of the red and white pine is more than 100 years old. The trailhead is located on the north side of CR 203, across the road from the main park entrance.


located just on the west side of town off M-93, has some of the most challenging trails in the region, but also offers nice intermediate and beginner loops. There are more than 33 kilometers of both single track and skate groomed trails. The trails are mostly through forested hills that offer scenic overlooks: one off the Green Trail on the way up into the hills and another just off the return for the Blue, Red and Yellow Trails. The Red Trail offers a nice tour of about 15 km. Little Smokey is a one-kilometer trail along the bottom of the hill, perfect for novice skiers and where you can take dogs along.

Hanson Hills is a community-run area, which also offers downhill skiing and tubing. It has a day lodge with food and rental equipment.


  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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