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 · Taking Flight
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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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