2014-07-17 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The week of June 23 provided a wonderful opportunity for approximately 90 of the best football players from all across the Upper Peninsula to showcase their talents culminating with the All-Star football game on Saturday at the Superior Dome. The dedication of these players is evident. They truly have strived repeatedly in practice sessions during football season, as well as, for many, year round.

The highlight for many individually is the trip to Bay Cliff Health Camp located in Big Bay. The unique visit to the camp features both active participation as well as observing All-Stars amongst children ages 3 to 17 who are attending a special summer camp that provides therapy for a range of conditions including physical, occupational, speech and music, according to the camp’s website, baycliff.org.

As the football players come from all around the U.P., so do the approximately 160 campers at Bay Cliff. The dedication for these campers is a lifetime of seeking to accomplish the more mundane, simple things in life such as walking, doing your own hygiene, and being noticed by your peers other than being different.

There is no preseason, you do not have practice prior to a competitive game to be part of a highlight reel. The dedication is similar. The stress to excel may be more difficult. It comes with little or no recognition other than incredible self satisfaction.

To be amongst your peers is essential to all of us. To be accepted is sought. To be a standout performer is seldom part of the world of Bay Cliff campers. To have heroes from your home town know you, cheer you on as you “team” up with them will be remembered for life!

No surprise for the football All- Stars to be humbled to tears of joy at the sight of sheer determination in body and mind accomplishing tasks they easily take for granted!

We congratulate the athletes and coaches of the All-Star football classic for their accomplishments. We appreciate being included on an annual basis in this summer classic. May life continue to bring gratification for simple accomplishments, as well as extraordinary accomplishments.

We encourage a trip to Bay Cliff by you and your family to witness the miracles occurring at Bay Cliff all summer long. For more information on Bay Cliff or a list of volunteers in your county call me at (906) 250-0623 or email wkhetrick@gmail.com.

Bill Hetrick

Bay Cliff Health Camp

Dear Editor:

“Community support makes things happen.”

I read the above phrase this weekend and it seemed appropriate to what is going on in Manistique of recent. A volunteer is a person or persons who performs or offers to perform a service of his/her own free will. A community is a group of people who live in the same environ with similar interests. We live in a community of great natural resources. To quote a statement I read recently, “There is no natural resource like community.” Therefore, a community of volunteers is a very valuable commodity. It is quite amazing what volunteers may accomplish in a community. I would like to highlight several accomplishments of several volunteer groups in our area, beginning with the Schoolcraft County Sport Fishing Association.

They have built many fish cleaning stations in the area: Camp 7, Manistique River, Manistique Marina. They have been instrumental in fish planting, either paying for it or encouraging the DNR to increase numbers and kinds of fish in the river and the quarry. They have built several piers and help in maintaining the piers and fishing stations as well as the areas around these places. They have successfully run the Salmon Derby for many years, bringing much to our community in the form of people, adventure and dollars. This is just a few of the highlights that the Schoolcraft Sport Fishing Association have done.

The Project Petunia has added beauty to our area for 25 years. This organization is funded and worked totally by volunteers. They spend many hours planting, weeding, and watering the beds and planters. They utilize donated plants: perennials, and annuals. The volunteers raise the money needed to buy supplies to enhance the soil and feed the flowers. The volunteers plant and weed the beds. Volunteers water them. Several years ago a radio station in Chicago broadcast the fact that one of their people had been through Manistique and saw the beautiful flowers along roads. A good word about our community and this was all created by volunteers. These volunteers spend their time and their hearts making beauty for us.

The GFWC Manistique Women’s Club has been doing volunteer work in our community for over 110 years! They’ve done such things as put in drinking fountains, plant trees throughout the community – many of which are large and beautiful lining Oak and Main Streets – and supplied child restraint seats for those in need.

They have donated time and money to give birthday parties and entertain the people at the Schoolcraft County Medical Care Facility. The women’s club has supplied books to the library. They have given out many scholarships to high school graduates and also sent young people to leadership seminars.

Under the guidance of Dorothy Hoholik, the women taught music to those at Manistique Manor and won state and national awards for their efforts. Under Marie Grover- Barr’s leadership, the women’s club planted over 20,000 trees in the area. They won state and national awards.

Now they have accomplished a huge feat by building the “Living Waters Memorial Fountain”, which remains to be finished. But the volunteer efforts are mighty and community support makes things happen. Thank you to our community and our volunteers. More to come as space is limited.

Sherri Krause


Dear Editor,

My family owns a home on the Garden Peninsula. We bought our home in the fall of 2007 but I have been spending my summers in the U.P. my whole life as my family has owned a home up here since the 1940s. My parents, siblings and extended family still spend the summers in the U.P.

We bought our home in this area because there are people who have lived in Garden their whole lives and give a solid base to the community. We bought because there were those who found this hidden gem and decided to retire here. We bought because there were people like ourselves who spend their summers up here to get away from it all and enjoy the peaceful and beautiful peninsula. All the lifelong, recently retired and part time residents add to the overall value of this community.

However, how many of these people will be here in a few years? There are at least 25 for sale signs along Route 183 from the school to Portage Bay campground road. What does this mean for the long term health of the community? What about the decreased value of all the homes near the turbines and, like mine, not so close? Would you buy a house near a turbine knowing you couldn’t sleep with your windows open in the summer, camp in your back yard or have coffee on your front porch in the morning without the constant drone of the turbine or feel vibrations against your chest?

Even if you couldn’t hear them, would you rather buy a home with a view of pristine forests and lakes, or one with a view of a 400-foot wind turbine? If we were looking for a summer home now and drove down the peninsula, saw the turbines and knew more were in the works, we would turn right around and look elsewhere. This is happening now. Ask a local realtor and he or she will tell you no one will even look at a home near a turbine.

Furthermore, ask someone in construction and they will tell you people won’t build, or regret building in the last few years because of the turbines.

My husband attended a meeting Heritage held on the peninsula before the turbines were built and Heritage assured those in attendance they would be a great asset to the community. They wouldn’t be noisy and that having them in the area wouldn’t cause any problems. These statements could not be any further from the truth.

Drive down Route 183 on any windy day, stop your car and roll down your window. You can hear them loud and clear. Read the letters to the editors of all the local papers and see how it has affected so many people on the peninsula. Yes, a few have benefited financially but at what cost to the community as a whole.

We are extremely concerned about a continued downward spiral of the property values and quality of life not only for those that live near the turbines but anyone else on the peninsula. We are concerned about the viability of the small businesses in the area which are crucial to the full time and part time residents of the area. We are so disappointed in how Heritage snuck into town, assured the residents all would be fine, built the turbines and then hightailed it out of town to leave the residents to deal with the aftermath.

Tracy Sommer


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