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 · Hit the Water This Winter
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Hit the Water This Winter

A wintertime float down a frigid river is a far cry from the familiar, lazy July excursion.

Mike Terrell - February 17th, 2014  

The serenity and beauty of the season make the winter float special, according to those who’ve done it. For those who want to take the plunge, there are now winter float trips on the Jordan and Sturgeon rivers.


“That was really special; the solitude, the quiet except for the gurgling river,” said a trio of women from Grand Rapids who had come north to try a winter raft trip on the Jordan River. “We’ll be back to do it again and bring friends.”

That’s the kind of thing veteran guide Scott Harper says he hears pretty often.

“We see a lot of repeat business,” said Harper, who has run trips for 20 years with his wife Kay through Jordan Valley Outfitters. “Many come back with friends. Once they make the trip, they discover winter is a special time. The beauty and peace and quiet this time of year are extra special.”

A favorite time to take clients is when the snow is falling, he said.

“It’s like being in a snow globe,” he said.

“It’s especially beautiful this winter with all the extra snow clinging to the trees.”

Trips begin at Jordan Valley Outfitters in East Jordan, where clients are transported to the Graves Crossing put-in. The trip includes a stop on a little island for a snack and hot beverage. Along the way you will probably see waterfowl and may see beaver, mink, deer and an occasional coyote and eagle.

Take out is two hours downriver at Webster Road.

“The large raft, which hauls up to six people, works its way down the river pretty easily,” Harper said. “I mostly steer and will occasionally ask passengers to paddle for a few strokes around a tight bend. Most of the time they are enjoying the scenery and taking pictures.”

Winter raft trips depart the store Friday to Monday at 10am, 1pm and 4pm weekly through March 16. The cost is $40 per adult and $32 for children age nine and younger. Reservations are required by calling (231) 536-0006, or log onto jvoutfitters.com.


Big Bear Adventures in Indian River offers winter float trips on the feisty Sturgeon River, one of the Lower Peninsula’s faster flowing streams.

“We’ve been offering winter raft trips for over 10 years and the number keeps increasing,” said guide Jamie Porter on a recent excursion. “Winter is one of my favorite times of year to be on the river. You see a lot more wildlife because you can see further into the forest and snow highlights their movement. It’s also more peaceful. In summer you have a lot more traffic on the river.”

Porter said raptors and other large birds often make appearances.

“I’ve had turkeys fly over our heads from one back to the other. That’s always good for a little excitement,” he said. “Eagles are often seen in trees along the river during winter looking for food, especially late season when it may be the only open water around.”

The large six-person rubber raft deftly navigates the quick current, tight bends and leaning trees and sweepers the river is known for. Passengers are required to paddle occasionally during the four-mile, 90-minute float to help steer around sharp bends and obstructions.

Big Bear Adventures is located on Straits Highway across from the entrance to Burt Lake State Park. Winter float trips take place daily all winter long at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm. Call (231) 238-8181 or visit bigbearadventures.com for reservations and more information.

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