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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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Features Mike Terrell Looking for a quick summer getaway that involves a boat ride on Lake Michigan? Consider Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Via the Ludington/ Manitowoc car ferry, the lake crossing is fewer than 200 miles and takes less than five hours to complete. Once you’re off the ferry, it’s only a 45-minute trip to your destination.
Monday, May 18, 2015

Michigan's Kirtland's Warbler

Features Mike Terrell “They come from all over the world to just catch a glimpse of the Kirtland’s warbler, considered one of the rarest birds in the world,” explained U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Chris Mensing, as he prepared to lead me and a small group of others in search of the elusive bird in Grayling a few years ago.
Monday, April 27, 2015

Helping one of The Earth’s Oldest Species

Features Mike Terrell Instead of roaming the Great Lakes, Black Lake sturgeon are now confined to their namesake lake behind the Alverno Dam, limiting their gene pool even further with only a small number left in that body of water. Fish can go downstream to Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, but can’t come back up.
Monday, April 6, 2015

Linda Heller Thrives in a Male Dominated Sport

Features Mike Terrell “Nationwide, the percentage of female anglers is growing. Statistics suggest that women who fish tend to prefer fly-fishing at a higher proportion than men,” said the longtime fly-fishing proponent. “There’s nothing masculine about it.
Monday, April 6, 2015

The Reversible Golf Course

Features Mike Terrell Forest Dunes Golf Club recently hired Traverse City’s Tom Doak, one of the world’s top golf course designers, to create a new course next to the Roscommon club’s existing U.S. top 100-ranked Tom Weiskopf course. As with many of Doak’s designs, this one is destined to generate worldwide attention.
Monday, February 16, 2015

Gaylord: Cross-Country Skiing Paradise

Features Mike Terrell Gaylord is arguably one of the best cross-country towns in the lower peninsula. The village has a charming alpine motif with mansard roofs, textured stucco and shake shingles alongside balconies, painted flower boxes and A-frames that bring a bit of Switzerland to northern Michigan.
Monday, January 5, 2015

Want To Become A Campground Host?

Features Mike Terrell Each year, hundreds of people volunteer as campground hosts, spending a month or more camping for free. The only catch is that they must spend 30 hours per week directing visitors to campsites, planning campground activities, answering questions about the park and surrounding area, and performing light park maintenance.
Monday, December 8, 2014

Sled Mania!

Features Mike Terrell Snowmobilers from all around the Great Lakes come to ride thousands of miles of groomed trails crisscrossing the Wolverine State, and in turn support many small businesses that depend on that infusion of cash during the slower winter months to survive.
Monday, September 29, 2014

The Boyne River

A Little Jekyll, a Little Hyde, a Lot of Fun

Features Mike Terrell “The river isn’t deep, and if you do spill, just climb back in and keep going. It’s a warm day and the scenery is beautiful,” Conner added. “The first half is quick with bends, stringers and downed trees you have to maneuver around, but the last half is mellow as the river widens and dumps into the lake.
Monday, September 22, 2014

Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis

A Boyne City Business SUCCESS STORY

Features Mike Terrell

Like most kids, Jeff and Jonathon Thompson loved taking things apart and putting them back together. But they never thought that inquisitiveness would lead to a successful family business. In 2005, having cut apart a pair of Dynastar skis the winter before to make a ski bike, they decided to try building a pair of skis. It wasn’t a very successful start.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ocqueoc River's Camping Jackpot

- The Lower Peninsula’s Only Waterfall -

Features Mike Terrell Nearby is the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway, a state forest four loop hiking trail adjacent to a small state forest campground. The waterfall is the primary thing that most visitors come to see, but don’t ignore the six-mile scenic trail, which is also open to mountain biking, according to Curtis.
Monday, July 14, 2014

New Biking Book

For Road And Rail-to-Trail Cyclists

Features Mike Terrell Robert Downes’ new book, Biking Northern Michigan, details 30 well researched rides across the northern Lower Peninsula that accommodates a variety of bikes. Each ride recommends the type of bike best suited for the ride. Some of the rail-to-trail rides are best suited for hybrids, cruisers and mountain bikes.
Monday, June 16, 2014

The Most Luxury $13 Can Buy

Some of the best rooms in the world are going for $13 a night – if you don’t mind one that you have to pitch yourself.

Features Mike Terrell in Oscoda. Campsites accommodate tents and small and large trailers. It’s near Tuttle Marsh Wildlife Area which has yearround wildlife viewing, and is not far from the Au Sable River and Lake Huron. Van Etten Lake offers good angling for panfish..
Monday, June 16, 2014

Going Camping Whithout Roughing It

Features Mike Terrell Those looking for the “softer side” of camping will appreciate the newest trend: “glamping,” shorthand for glamorous camping. Take a load off and enjoy the outdoors without all the work, the theory goes. Here in northern Michigan, you’ll find plenty of examples of glamping the area’s luxury campgrounds and upscale RV parks.
Monday, June 9, 2014


The Old West is alive and well in Traverse City’s southeast corner.

Features Mike Terrell Its Western-themed main lodge features beamed, vaulted ceilings and hosts a restaurant and bar. There’s a guesthouse styled like an old bunkhouse, 16 motel units, 25 campsites, and a low-slung, wood frame building that has a general store and rental equipment for outdoor activities.