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..

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Monday, May 23, 2011

The frog listeners

Features Mike Terrell The frog and toad listeners that partake in the DNR’s annual Frog and Toad
Survey are a little like the “horse whisperers.”  Both tend to the health
and well-being of a species. 
The “listeners,” who cover over 500 routes statewide throughout every
Michigan county, listen to the calls of the frogs and toads at 10 sites
three times each spring and early summer.  They identify the species
present and make an estimate of their abundance.  Reports are sent to the
state which correlates the findings and the health of our state’s
amphibian population.
“This is our 16th year doing the annual survey,” said Lori Sargent, the
DNR’s longtime survey coordinator.  “We’ve been collecting valuable data
to help evaluate Michigan’s frog and toad population.  It’s way too early
to tell much about long-term trends, but this is a good start.”
Monday, April 4, 2011

Pedal & paddle 4/4/11

Features Mike Terrell Pedal & Paddle: The Boardman River offers the best of both
By Mike Terrell
 It seemed like a long winter this year, and I’m looking forward to some
warm weather outdoor activity.  Paddling Northern Michigan rivers and
cycling -- especially mountain biking -- are a couple of my favorite
springtime activities. 
Monday, December 27, 2010

Black Mountain

Features Mike Terrell Refreshing, remote Black Mountain: 30 miles of trail on the wild side south of Cheboygan
By Mike Terrell
Thoreau said, “The mere existence of wilderness refreshes us.”
Take a trip to Black Mountain Forest Recreation Area – located
southeast of Cheboygan – and you instantly understand what he meant.
As I pulled away from the area after a couple days of midweek
cross-country skiing last year, my body felt tired, but my soul was
refreshed and uplifted for the time spent there.
Monday, December 6, 2010

Drummond Island

Features Mike Terrell Drummond Island: a Snowmobiling Paradise
by Mike Terrell
My companions and I had been following a snake-like trail that hugged
Drummond Island’s rocky shoreline.  At times we would dart back into
the snow-covered cedars, maneuver around a few boulders, and bust back
out along the shoreline.
Monday, August 30, 2010

Beaver Island

Features Mike Terrell You’re on Island Time:Step into the past with a trip to Beaver Island
By Mike Terrell
The Emerald Isle calls me every few years. It‘s my favorite of the various islands we can access from the Lower Peninsula. No fudge shops and grand hotels, just a timeless, rustic quality that I find appealing. Camping, mom and pop motels and family-run lodges are your choice of lodging.
Monday, July 26, 2010

Shingle Mill Pathway

Features Mike Terrell Shingle Mill Pathway: As close as you can get to wilderness in the lower peninsula
By Mike Terrell
One of the great wilderness tracts in the Lower Peninsula is the
97,000-acre Pigeon River Country State Forest.  Located east of I-75
and Vanderbilt, it is host to a wide variety of outdoor activities;
hiking, mountain biking, trout fishing, hunting, horseback riding,
and, in the winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and
Monday, July 12, 2010

The River Wild

Features Mike Terrell The River Wild: The Sturgeon runs fast & feisty
By Mike Terrell
With a whoop and shout, one-by-one, six paddlers took turns easing
over a two-foot drop on the Sturgeon River.  It was an old dam site
that had been removed years ago.  Sizeable standing waves, which you
had to negotiate, waited at the bottom of the drop.
Monday, June 14, 2010

Betsie Valley Trail

Features Mike Terrell Betsie Valley Trail: Scenic ride captures the essence of Northern Michigan
By Mike Terrell
The Betsie Valley Trail, which meanders for 23-miles through Benzie
County from Thompsonville to Frankfort, could be called the “gem” of
Northern Michigan’s rail/trail conversions. Connecting several rural
communities, it also passes through Beulah, Elberta and even a ghost
Monday, May 24, 2010

Its camping season

Features Mike Terrell Let‘s Go: It‘s the camping season
By Mike Terrell
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off to the camping season, and northwest lower Michigan is one of the top camping draws in the state, according to the DNR. It’s no wonder when you consider what a bargain camping on state land offers.
“State forest campgrounds in this region are located along lakes, rivers and floodings,” said DNR Recreational Specialist Todd Neiss, located in the Cadillac office. “It’s a great source for area residents, and a real bargain. I don’t know of a cheaper way to spend a night along a Northern Michigan body of water.”
A state forest camp site is just $15 per night. A few newer campgrounds, large enough to accommodate campers and motor homes, are $20 per night, making up about a sixth of the state forest campgrounds available in northwest Lower Michigan. There are 60 state forest campgrounds located in the 16-county region, ranging in size from as few as five sites to more than 50. All offer vault toilets and water.
Monday, April 5, 2010

Lake Dubonnet

Features Mike Terrell Lake Dubonet offers a great pedal-paddle combo
By Mike Terrell
Last spring in early April it was one of those picture-perfect days for outdoor activities: warm and sunny. The only decision to be made was would I go mountain biking with my labs or opt for a paddle in my kayak minus the dogs.
Fortunately, there was a solution that would satisfy both – a trip to Lake Dubonet where I was able to ride the seven mile Lost Lake Pathway and paddle the scenic lake afterwards. Both my dogs and I were happy. The pathway runs by the boat launch and shaded parking area, which is located within the state campground. You bike and paddle from the same spot. What could be easier?
Monday, March 22, 2010

Bat Cave

Features Mike Terrell Visiting Lower Michigan’s Only Bat “Cave”
By Mike Terrell
It may not be your typical “caped crusader” bat cave -- in fact, it’s
not a cave at all, but Northern Michigan bats don’t seem to care. Up
to 20,000 bats hibernate every winter in the cavernous insides of
Tippy Dam’s spillway, located on the Manistee River between the
villages of Brethren and Wellston.
Monday, February 8, 2010

Romance, skiing and the Northwoods

Features Mike Terrell By Mike Terrell
A few years ago I ran into friends the day after Valentine’s Day who
were doing a snowshoe hike along the Pyramid Point Trail in Sleeping
Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They had spent the weekend combining a
little romance with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Monday, January 11, 2010

Strap on some snowshoes

Features Mike Terrell Strap on Some Snowshoes...... and embrace your inner snowperson to get fit this winter
By Mike Terrell
Maybe this is the year you want to try snowshoeing? It’s healthy and a great way to prevent that dreaded winter ailment known as cabin fever.
There’s no easier way to get out into the woodlands and the scenic, silent beauty of a Northern Michigan winter. That’s probably why snowshoeing is literally the fastest growing snow sport today. Over six million people across the nation will strap on a pair of snowshoes and take a hike this winter.
Monday, January 4, 2010

My Top Five Outdoor Adventures

Features Mike Terrell My Top Five Outdoor Adventures
By Mike Terrell
I look at the New Year as an adventure with lots of opportunity to
revisit many of my favorite outdoor activities and places; but it’s
also a time to plan ahead with some new outdoor adventures. There are
always outings left that I’d hoped to get in this past year that carry
over, and there are those adventures that I’ve been putting off for
years. Maybe this is the year to get some of those on my list.
Here are my five top outdoor things that I would like to accomplish in 2010.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Easy glider

Features Mike Terrell Easy Glider
Snowmobile trail busting
in the Boardman River Valley
By Mike Terrell
George VanKersen, one of the volunteer snowmobilers who regularly
helps groom the Boardman Valley Trail, said “it’s time to do a little
trail busting.”