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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Region Watch

Thursday, April 21, 2005

New Park Idea

Region Watch Builder Gary Keyes is floating the idea of a new park for Traverse City on a choice parcel of land on M-72 overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay behind Tom‘s Market.
The 16-acre property has been in Keyes‘ family for several generations and has historical significance as well as a view. The land is the former site of the Smith Sanitarium, which was Traverse City‘s first hospital before burning down in 1915. Destruction of the Sanitarium prompted Dr. James Decker Munson to construct a 22-bed general hospital at the corner of 11th and South Elmwood Ave., which evolved into the region‘s largest medical center over the years. Keyes still has photos of the city‘s original hospital in his family‘s collection.
Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sign of the Times

Region Watch A new local group, TC Common Sense, hopes to energize area Democrats and “blue-value” citizens to get involved in local and state-level politics. They‘ve established the first in a series of billboards which point out that Traverse City voted “blue” (as in the “blue states” in the last election, with 4,191 votes for Kerry and 3,936 for Bush. The billboard is located on Cass Street, north of South Airport facing south-bound traffic.
“It’s important that people know there are lots of like-minded folks out their – people who want to stand up and be counted,” said group spokesman Gary Appel.
The mission of TC Common Sense is to encourage blue-value residents to run for office or to help out with a campaign. The billboards will direct people to visit the website tc-commonsense.org, where people will find many ways to get involved, Appel said.
Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cardboard classic

Region Watch Express Staff A Northern Michigan tradition goes on the slide this Saturday, March 19, when Shanty Creek hosts its 18th annual Cardboard Classic in conjunction with 106 KHQ Radio.
Utilizing only cardboard, glue, tape and paint for their sleds, contestants will race the slopes at Schuss Mountain.
The weekend will also feature nine hours of nonstop music at Ivan‘s Restaurant at Schuss Village both Friday and Saturday.
Prizes for the Cardboard Classic will be awarded in Adult and Junior divisions for single sleds or team entries. Judging for the design awards will begin at 11:30 a.m. when racers line up at the foot of the course. The race begins at noon on the lower portion of The Face. Registration for the event is free and takes place from 9am -11am in Ivan‘s Restaurant at Schuss Village. Racers must wear helmets.


Death to all Spyware: Legislation making it a crime to install software that tracks Internet users’ activity without their consent was overwhelmingly passed by the State Senate last week.
If signed into law, Senate Bills 53, 54 and 151, sponsored by State Sen. Cameron Brown, would protect consumers from unwelcome spyware installation, which can monitor online activity without the user’s knowledge or consent.
Thursday, March 10, 2005

Benefit for Tom Harrington‘s chi;dren

Region Watch Staff Reports Benefit for Tim Harrington‘s children
Volunteering in the South Pacific

Johnny Walker, a bartender at Leo‘s Lounge in Petoskey, says the thing he remembers most about Tim Harrington was his sense of humor.
“He was a really good person, really funny and open,“ Walker says.
“He was a pretty interesting character,“ he adds. “Really animated and a big pool player. He used to come in and play pool with his brother and if he won he used to make his brother get down and do push-ups. He always made us laugh.“
Walker and Leo‘s Lounge are hosting a benefit this Wednesday, March 19 for the three children Tim Harrington left behind in the wake of his murder on the evening of Jan. 17. His roommate, Bradford Carl Ross, 35, has been charged in 90th District Court with first degree murder for allegedly beating Mr. Harrington to death with a baseball bat during a fight at their home on Sheridan Street in Petoskey. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
A pit boss in charge of supervising gaming tables at Victories Casino, Mr. Harrington is survived by two sons and a daughter. Walker says the mother of Mr. Harrington‘s daughter died of a brain tumor, so the need for funds is especially pressing.
To lend a hand, Leo‘s Lounge is hosting a Chuck Barris-style “Gong Show“ karaoke night on Wednesday with a $3 cover to benefit the children. “The highest bidder will also be able to gong someone out,“ Walker adds. A professional
karaoke team called Kick-Ass Karaoke will be on hand to rev up the crowd.
Walker says he hopes Tim Harrington‘s memory will turn out the town in support of his children. “He had a really big funeral here,“ he says. “Tim knew everyone.“
Thursday, February 3, 2005

Dam dood idea

Region Watch BRIEFS

DAM GOOD IDEA? The Boardman River may be rippling a little closer to its natural state with the decommissioning of three hydroelectric dams.
Traverse City Light and Power plans to pull the plug on the outdated dams, clearing the way for their possible removal by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. One downside of their removal, however, would be the loss of Keystone Pond and Sabin Pond south of Traverse City. The ponds provide habitat for nesting swans, geese and other waterfowl in addition to providing a pleasant setting for a trail along the waterway.

SKI BUMMER: Due to budget cuts, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has reportedly discontinued plowing the trailheads of ungroomed cross country ski trails in the Grand Traverse region. Unless the lots are plowed by local citizens, the action virtually spells the end of skiing at trails such as Lake Ann or Lake Dubonnet for lack of a place to park. The rationale by Michigan‘s Legislature is that if user fees don‘t pay the way, the parking lots won’t get plowed. In short, cross country skiers are screwed, but snowmobilers get their parking lots plowed.
Thursday, January 13, 2005


Region Watch DONATIONS WELCOME: A Tsunami Relief Fund has been established at the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation to help Asian victims of the massive tsunamis on Dec. 26.
“We are working collaboratively with the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), CARE, USA and the International Red Cross to receive donations,” said executive director Jeanne Snow.
Anyone wishing to contribute to The Tsunami Relief Fund may send their donations in care of the Regional Community Foundation, 250 E. Front Street, Suite 310, Traverse City, or visit their Web site at www.GTRCF.org to make an on-line donation.
Thursday, January 13, 2005

‘My Neighbor is a Pedaphile‘

Region Watch Robert Downes Living next door to a sex offender is more common than you might imagine

Living next door to a convicted child molester is a terrifying experience for one Grand Traverse area mother of three young children. “How would I protect myself and my family if he ever came over here?” she asks.
Last year, while scanning the Michigan State Police Sex Offender Registry website, she was dismayed to find that a sex offender was living next door to her family’s four-acre spread southeast of Traverse City. She learned that her new neighbor had been released from a 15-year prison sentence for second degree criminal sexual conduct involving two toddlers, one of whom was his own child. She visited the county courthouse where the case was tried and was shaken and disturbed by the court records. “It was awful stuff he did to them,” she says.
Thursday, December 9, 2004

No groping please

Region Watch No groping, please

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland) has demanded that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies for ‘patting-down’ air travelers be immediately reviewed and a report be issued to Congress on what safeguards are in place to protect the flying public.
Camp issued the letter after reading press reports of abuses and receiving a number of complaints at the Select Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Infrastructure, which he chairs.
One report by the Washington Times had travelers equating the new procedures to “sexual groping”. According to the TSA, “screeners are to use the back of the hand when screening sensitive body areas, which include the breasts (females only), genitals, and buttocks.”
Thursday, November 25, 2004

Fire in the Forest: Suspected Arsonist‘s Trial Underscores a Trend that‘s all too Human

Region Watch Robert Downes After a number of suspicious fires were set in the Huron-Manistee National Forests over the past four years, a task force of forestry and law enforcement officials received tips from the public leading to suspected arsonist James Earl Sherwood of Mio.
Sherwood, 33, was arrested on June 2, and released on an electronic tether with a $75,000 bond. Last week, he was charged by a federal grand jury in Bay City with setting fires in the forest on a number of occasions from 2001-2004. Sherwood will face trial in U.S. District Court South on arson charges of “creating a risk of death or serious injury to others and causing damages” to the national forests.
The trial underscores the fact that most forest fires in Michigan are set by humans, either intentionally or by accident, rather than Mother Nature.
“We don’t have as many forest fires in Michigan as out west where there can be several thousand in a day from lightning starts,” says Kenneth Arbogast, public affairs officer for the Huron-Manistee National Forests. “Most of the fires in Michigan are started by people, either by burning garbage or campfires that get out of control, or in a few instances because they are set on purpose.”
By contrast, only 2% of Michigan forest fires are started by lightning, according to state records.
Thursday, October 28, 2004

New air terminal at Cherry Capital Airport

Region Watch Staff Reports New air terminal has cherry flavor
The new $45 million terminal at Cherry Capital Airport got its wings this week, opening to the public on Wednesday with a 115,000-square-foot complex that incorporates the flavors of Northern Michigan in its design and landscaping. Close-in parking, electronic check-in computers, advanced baggage screening and an outdoor garden for ticketed passengers are among the perks of the new terminal. And check out the 14 new cherry-wood check-in counters for a touch of local class.
Designed by Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida, the terminal is Arts and Crafts/Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired and encompasses the openness and natural setting of the Grand Traverse region.
Thursday, October 14, 2004

Alternative Energy Tech Conference

Region Watch Express Staff Conference Call
New ideas for restoring the earth and alternative energy are the focus of two conferences in Traverse City this week:
The Alternative Energy Technology Conference takes place Thursday, Oct. 14 at the Great Lakes Campus of NMC. A forum on renewable energy is open to the public in the morning. The conference will discuss green building and energy efficiency for your home, and alternative energy entrepreneurship among other topics. For info, call 1-800-748-0566, ext. 1700.
The popular Third Annual Great Lakes Bioneers Conference has its most ambitious program yet at NMC, presenting visionary ideas for using nature to heal nature. The conference includes a live telecast from sessions of the national Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California, as well as many local programs and speakers.
Thursday, October 7, 2004

The Youngest Candidate

Region Watch Express Staff The Youngest Candidate
At a time when many young adults can‘t get it together to vote, Jason Glover, 21, is doing the unexpected: running for a post on the Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) Board of Trustees.
An NMC graduate last spring with an associate‘s degree in visual communications, Glover has been a political activist for several years. He‘s helped organized local “Buy Nothing Day” protests over the past few Thanksgivings, was involved in a Green Party “TV Turnoff Week” fundraiser, and has been active in Rock the Vote concerts to register young voters. He‘s also the editor and publisher of Third Eye, a youth-oriented monthly which has published its fourth issue.
Thursday, September 23, 2004

Border Blues

Region Watch Express Staff Rep. Camp probes flood
of uninvited visitors
U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland) says he was outraged to learn recently that more than 4,000 illegal aliens cross into the United States unlawfully in a single day -- most of whom arrive via the Mexican border.
Camp, who serves as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Infrastructure Security, was stunned by a Time Magazine article entitled “Who Left the Door Open.“ The article notes that in addition to many Mexican citizens fleeing their country for opportunities in the U.S., there have also been border crossers from from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Russia, China, Egypt, Iran and Iraq.
“There is some evidence that the crossings are not just people from Mexico,“ Camp noted in a phone interview. “There are people from some countries who are finding that the Mexican border is the back door to the United States.“
Thursday, September 2, 2004

Friends of Chris Timm

Region Watch Express Staff Friends indeed
Friends and family of Chris Timm are rallying to his side with a series of benefits to support the Traverse City musician and chef who suffered a paralyzing injury during a canoe trip on August 8.
Chris, 28, was paddling with about 50 friends on the Manistee River when he decided to cool off with a quick swim. But the river was shallower than it looked and he suffered a crushed vertebra when his head struck an underwater obstruction.
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Cool cities

Region Watch Express Staff Ain’t it cool news:
Traverse City found out that it pays to be cool last week when the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) presented a $100,000 grant to the city as part of the state’s Cool Cities program.
The program, designed to “foster the development of vibrant, attractive cities and urban centers,” is part of Governor Granholm’s economic development strategy for Michigan.