Shut them down to cars
Long ago, when I was a regular columnist for this publication, I wrote a long piece on how impossible it was for me to enjoy our beautiful bay on a stunning summer evening.
Why? Because behind me I heard, whizzing by countless noisy monsters: whoosh, zoom, roar, whoosh. Just today (Aug. 12) I sat outside our justly famous bookstore on Front Street reading my newspaper.
What a wonderful place to watch people, countless people, all sorts of people, but suddenly I become aware of them again. They don't whoosh, they just lumber loudly (occasionally a roar). A sea of noise and pollution — visual pollution, nasal pollution, pollution of what should be public space. They take up so much space. They are so loud.
I am a very mild man, but my emotions were welling up: I wanted to smash windshields. Ours is a gorgeous town, an unbelievably beautiful town (see "TC I Love Thee").
Cannot wise men prevail? Can they not salvage a small space for human habitation?
For two months, July and August — the same streets we shut down for Friday Night Live — shut them down to car traffic from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
So proud of community
Regarding the recent and tragic death of Marine Sgt. Justin Hansen, I would like to take a moment to say how awesome the people in my community are.
I am so glad I live in the Kingsley area.
So many people stepped up, from the people who set up the high school, made signs, waved flags and just showed up along the route from Traverse City into Kingsley.
I was hoping for a large turnout but it far exceeded my expectations.
I am also so proud of my grandson and his wife, who generously housed 37 plus Marines who arrived for Justin's funeral. They showed the Marines hospitality and allowed the Marines to meet Justin's high school friends, who provided and grilled a fabulous meal for the Marines.
Thanks also for all the people and businesses who donated food to feed the visiting Marines. It was greatly appreciated!
The Marines were an awesome group of young men, who were wise beyond their years. The Marines could not believe the show of patriotism, support, and love for Justin, his family and them.
The Marines said they now understood why Justin loved this area so much and always called it "home"!