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 · Take me out to the ballgame
. . . .

Take me out to the ballgame

Erin Crowell - August 1st, 2011
The hurler stares down the striker – a young chap who, to the
inexperienced rooter, would appear a Muffin; but the hurler knows better.
He considers his options: should he toss a dew drop for an easy pop or
send one fast and hard to his behind for his gardeners?
He hurls it against the timber.
It’s a cloud hunter, sailing to the garden where—the hurler is thankful to
see—a ready stonewall extend his hands.
“Leg it! Leg it!” the striker’s coots yell.
Is it a foul tick? An ace? A daisy cutter?
See for yourself at the Kilwins Fudge Bucket Classic Vintage Base Ball
Tournament, on August 6, featuring the rules, customs, lingo and uniforms
from the sport as it was played during the 1860s. Hosted by the Petoskey
Mossback Vintage Base Ball Club, the all-day event will take place
throughout Petoskey.

Like most sports today, baseball has been an evolutionary game – a bat and
ball activity with no exact date of origin. However, today’s version can
best be traced to 1845 when Alexander Cartwright and a group of other
young professionals formed the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. The group
fashioned a standard set of rules and physical boundaries for the game
(such as foul territory and base distance), modeled much like the game of
By 1850, more than a dozen base ball teams had formed in New York City and
by 1858, the National Association of Base-Ball Players was established.
It wouldn’t be until the mid 1980s that America would bring back the 19th
century game. This year marks just the third season for the Mossbacks
(named after the Civil War-era homebuilders who placed moss on their
roofs), but the roster of 15 men—with ages ranging from early 20s to late
50s—already has a long waiting list of locals wanting to get in on the

“I think it fills a recreational niche,” says Mossbacks co-captain, Matt
Berger. “It’s pretty laid back and although we like to win, it’s all about
having fun.”
A good time usually includes plenty of old fashion jabbing.
“But it’s also considered a gentlemen’s game,” says Berger. “The empire
can fine you at any time, up to a quarter, and make you apologize to the
The Mossbacks once owed 75 cents during a game.
“We call the other team ‘milk boys,’ ‘muffin’ or we’ll say ‘go throw on a
skirt’ if some guy catches a ball off the ground rather than in the air,”
laughs Berger, noting this form of base ball doesn’t use gloves, rather a
player must catch with his bare hands.
“We have a lot of broken fingers,” adds Berger. “We have one guy nicknamed
Brittle Fingers. He broke two fingers on his left hand last year and one
on his right this season.”
Nicknames are important, says Berger (a.k.a. Skip) – everybody has one. A
few Mossback names include Little T, The Count, Geezer, Einstein—“not
because he’s brilliant,” Berger laughs—Skillet Licker and Calvin & Hobbs
(two brothers on the team).

Other differences between today’s baseball and 19th century base ball
(yes, spelled with two words prior to 1880) include the following: both
fair or foul balls caught off one bounce are considered out; balls that
bounce once in front of home plate before spinning into foul territory are
considered fair; and the pitcher’s primary job, aside from throwing the
ball underhand, is to simply put the ball into play.
And while the base-to-base dimensions have always been 90 feet apart, the
playing area can be anywhere from a standard diamond to a farmer’s field.
“The rougher, the better,” says Berger. “If there’s a cow or an outhouse
or a tree or whatever, you just play around it. It’s the closest thing to
sandlot baseball as a kid.”

The Kilwins Fudge Bucket Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament will take
place at in Petoskey, on August 6. The winning team receives a bucket
of—you guessed it—Kilwin’s fudge. Opening ceremonies start at 10 a.m. in
Pennsylvania Park with the first round of games as follows: Regulars of
Mount Clemens versus the Rochester Grangers at Bay View, 11:30 a.m.;
Petoskey Mossbacks versus Kent City Base Ball Club at Petoskey Winter
Sports Park, 11:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Visit
wix.com/mossback/baseballclub for more info.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5