Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Taking Flight

Birding events and new trails expand northern Michigan’s wings

Bekah Klarr - May 19th, 2014  

As waves of songbirds wash over Northern Michigan backyards, woods, and fields, eager birders are settling in and enjoying the show.

Just in time, several organizations have built new birding trails and are hosting events planned to take advantage of peak viewing season.


The Petoskey Regional Audubon Society (PRAS) is hosting weekly gatherings throughout the month to focus on sparrow identification.

PRAS President Darrell Lawson says the events have gone well in spite of poor weather, with participants identifying 36 species during one recent gathering.

“May is a great month for birding simply because it is the month when the most spring migrants return to or pass through the area,” he said. “In spring, they tend to be in their fresh breeding plumage, which, in many species, can be quite stunning.”

PRAS is also hosting early morning walks on Tuesdays and Thursdays in May; more upcoming events are posted on the group’s Facebook page and at petoskeyaudubon.org.


The new and highly anticipated Beaver Island Birding Trail will be dedicated May 23-25. As the largest island in Lake Michigan, Beaver Island provides birders the opportunity to view a large variety of bird types, especially during the migratory season.

Encompassing more than 12,000 acres of land, the Beaver Island Birding Trail includes 35 specific sites along with a trail checklist. White trail signs at each site indicate car viewing sites; orange signs signal birders to get out and explore various trails.

The dedication weekend is packed with speakers, events, fieldtrips, and an art show. All events are free and open to the public but many of the field trips and seminars require registration. Registration and more are at beaverislandbirdingtrail.org.


Another anticipated event this month is the fourth annual Leelanau Peninsula Birding Festival, May 28-June 1 in Lake Leelanau. Hosted by the Leelanau Chamber of Commerce, the festival includes a field trip to observe the golden-winged warbler and the rare Kirtland’s warbler.

Festival attendees can also take a tall ship trip to the Gull Island Preserve, just west of Beaver Island. Gull Island is closed to the public but many nesting sites and birds will be viewable from the ship. Potential sightings include Caspian terns and blue-winged teals. A birding workshop for beginners is also available during the weekend. Advanced registration is required for all events during the Leelanau Peninsula Birding Festival.

For more, visit mibirdfest.com or call the Leelanau Chamber of Commerce at (231) 994-2202.

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