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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That‘s how they roll:Smart Commute Week

Robert Downes - June 6th, 2011
That’s How They Roll…Biking to work for Smart Commute Week
By Robert Downes
Buffy Bimgarden is trading in her hose & high heels for cycle shorts and clip-in pedals on the commute to work this week, while Clyde Clipperhorn is ditching his 4x4 monster truck in order to mountain bike to his construction site.
Okay, Buffy and Clyde don’t actually exist, but they represent the appeal of Smart Commute Week, which urges commuters of every stripe to bicycle, walk, carpool, or take public transportation to work this week, June 6-12.
“Smart Commute Week has been growing every year since it got started 17 years ago and it’s wonderful,” says Lee Maynard, the trail planning and programming director of TART Trails (Traverse Area Recreation Trail).  “Plus, last year, Petoskey and Harbor Springs started their own Smart Commute Week with the Top of Michigan Trails Council, so it’s become a regional event.” 
Smart Commute Week is a nationwide event, but Maynard notes that Northern Michigan celebrates it later in the season for comfort’s sake.  “Other communities celebrate it in May, but because it’s chilly up here, we hold it in June,” she says.

In addition to encouraging individuals to bike to work or take alternative transportation, the week offers a Smart Commute Challenge for teams from various workplaces in TC as well as Petoskey/Harbor Springs.
Pam Darling, who serves as TART’s marketing and outreach director, says that when the Challenge got started in 2001, there were just 13 teams registered.  Last year, that number grew to 64 teams, and this year could produce more than 80.
So what’s so “smart” about biking to work?
“For every mile commuted ‘smartly,’ one pound of carbon dioxide is prevented from entering the atmosphere,” Darling says.  Plus, one might note that you’re likely to look a lot better in your swimsuit this summer if you start pedaling more often…
Although the evidence is anecdotal, there seems to be a trend in more people biking to work, Maynard says.
“We as an organization have a consensus that more people are biking to work these days, especially with the rise in gasoline prices.  Our office is located off an alley in town and in the winter, even with snow flying, we see more people riding past our window than ever before.  Maybe it’s because of the gas prices, or just because they’re enjoying a lifestyle change.”
So, how does Maynard, 26, roll?
“I’ve been bicycling my whole life, but I’m a cruiser biker, not a Spandex cyclist,” says the transplant from Athens, Georgia.

As in the past, there will be daily breakfasts for cyclists from 7-9 a.m. at venues around Traverse City.  In Emmet County, breakfast sponsors include The Grain Train and Roast & Toast.  The partial schedule:

Monday, June 6:  
• Pangea’s Pizza (TC)
• Higher Grounds Coffee (TC)

Tuesday, June 7: 
• Central Grade School Smart Commute with the Mayor. Walking school buses & bike trains.
• Breakfast at Oryana Natural Foods 

Wednesday, June 8: 
• BATA offers free Cherriot bus rides (TC)
• Commuter Breakfasts 7-9am
• Breakfast at Old Town Coffee (TC)
• Breakfast at BATA Transit Center (TC)

Thursday, June 9:  
• Breakfast at Munson Medical Center (TC)
• Breakfast at Munson Community Health Care Center

Friday, June 10: 
• Take a Bike Train to Breakfast in TC: 3 trains to choose from:
• 1. Tom’s 14th Street 2. Tom’s West Bay 3. TART Trail head at Cherry Bend Road
• Breakfast at The River peddle and paddle rentals at Clinch Park
• Bike Swap drop off at The Old Town Parking Garage 5pm-8pm

Saturday, June 11: Bicycle Block Party & Bicycle Swap
• Breakfast sponsored by Fixed Gear and Another Cuppa Joe at building 50, 8-10am
• Bicycle Swap at Old Town Parking Garage 10am-6pm
• Bicycle Block Party 400 S. Union St. noon-6pm
• Porterhouse Productions Presents the Dandy Horse Festival Music & Beer Tent featuring The Ragbirds, 6pm. 

Sunday, June 12: 
Bicycle Swap Sale 9am-noon (TC)
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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