Letters

Letters 04-25-2016

Taking Our Trees Seconds ago this pine tree was alive. Well, Mr. Cook — our County Road Commission head —and Peninsula Township government … by not weighing in (I guess it’s not your problem or responsibility to communicate with residents), you allowed the County Road Commission to bulldoze down huge swaths of lakeside trees in order to increase the bike lane. This can’t be happening. I have no clue why they would cut trees down that help block snow from creating drifts on Peninsula Drive and help keep the beach area intact. Plus, they are not increasing the width of the road when they repave. I just don’t get it. This is amateur hour at county and township government...

Government Service Unrewarded I served the federal government for XX years with the [agency], [doing XX]. I also worked in the private sector, [doing XX]. When I retired, I was surprised to learn my Social Security benefit would be $XXX less per month than my colleagues and neighbors who had never worked for the federal government. This is all because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) under the Social Security law...

Which Greased Palm Now that “Chicago values” have utterly corrupted the executive and judicial branches of our federal government, this November We the Plebeians shall either vote to right the governing integrity of the United States constitution’s twin pillars of limited government and separation of powers or turn and step collectively onto the blood soaked road to serfdom...

The Political Mess And Challenge As citizens we are faced with a real challenge. The media and the political candidates have taken over a year to attack those whom they are opposing. The unfavorable ratings of those who may be nominated are above 50 percent. That should be no surprise, considering the length of time given to bloodying one another with opinions that have little relationship to truth. The polling companies, which confess they are not reliable, make everything a game of winning...

CORRECTIONS In last week’s issue we had photos with the incorrect stories on page five. The dance photo should have accompanied the story about grants to nonprofits. The image of Crooked Tree Arts Center Petoskey should have accompanied the story about the ArtPrize exhibit at CTAC.

We also reported the incorrect day for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City. The correct date is Sat., May 28.

We apologize for these errors.

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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.

TEAMS PLAYERS
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.

BREAKFAST, TOO
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)
 
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