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 · Revving It for Father Fred
. . . .

Revving It for Father Fred

Catholic chaplain. Counselor. One of America’s “1000 Points of Light.”

Kristi Kates - July 14th, 2014  

And one heck of a motorcyclist. Father Edwin “Fred” Frederick, one of Traverse City’s best-known advocates for the helpless and homeless, died 14 years ago.

But his legacy lives on in a beloved community event that honors the man as well as the legend.


Back in 1992, Don Pishney, the owner of Classic Motor Sports in Traverse City, teamed up with a dozen fellow motorcycle riders for a fun ride.

One of the riders suggested collecting a small fee from each participant, and donating it to Father Fred.

“Father Fred’s outreach covers a five-county area,” said Trent Tomlinson, director of the Northern Chapter of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group. “It’s such a positive thing, and it’s one of the very best functioning charities in the region.”

That first ride started at the dealer’s location on Blue Star Drive, with the riders aiming for a long cruise along the water.

“According to folklore, they got lost,” Tomlinson said. “But they didn’t realize how lost they were until they passed the same fisherman waving back to them three times in a row.”

Twenty-two years later, The Ride for Father Fred – a gathering of motorcyclists who trek down the road both for the sheer fun of it, and to help Father Fred’s charitable organization – is now wildly popular.


Open to crotch rockets, flatheads, and anything in between, the annual Ride contributes everything raised – the entry fee, tickets, money from sponsors – right to the Father Fred Foundation, as it always has.

But this year, the Ride features something new: a treasure map.

On each of the three routes, there will be stops and clues along the way in order to solve a puzzle and get to the treasure.

One main winner on each ride will be awarded a trophy, and there will be lots of additional prizes, including Harley merchandise and gas cards.

The three rides – one short, one long, and “the twisty” – allow riders to choose which most appeals to them and their abilities.

The long ride goes all the way to Northport, to Peterson Park overlooking the Manitou Islands. “The twisty” is for real cycle enthusiasts with a number of winding roads up the middle of Leelanau peninsula, Tomlinson said.


At the end of the day Saturday, the riders will all head to Streeters for the Father Fred celebration around 5:30pm.

The main entertainment will start at 8pm with a touring band called Iron Snake, who bill themselves as “The Greatest ‘80s Hair Band in the Universe.”

On Sunday, the riders return for the “escorted ride,” which includes members of city and county law enforcement.

This special trek runs from Blue Star Drive up the east side of the Old Mission Peninsula to the lighthouse. The ride pivots along West Bay, and ends back at Streeters for a special Sunday brunch that welcomes all riders, sponsors, and guests.

“By and large, motorcycle riders are generous people,” Tomlinson said. “This is a way to give back to the community, and it has a lot of meaning to our particular group, because we’ve been doing this for so many years.”

While carrying on Father Fred’s cause is the main focus of the ride, the Sunday ride changeover, Tomlinson said, is one of his favorite parts of the whole weekend.

“At the turnaround, you realize you’re with a lot of fellow riders – we had over 450 last year – and you suddenly start passing hundreds of participating motorcyclists going back the other way,” he said. “It’s an amazing sight.”

The 2014 Ride for Father Fred departs from Classic Motor Sports, 3939 S. Blue Star Drive in Traverse City, on July 19 and 20. For more, visit rideforfatherfred.com or northernchapter.com.

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