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Grand River (MI) no-wake zones and noise issues at public hearings.

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Old 10-28-2005, 01:50 PM
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Default Grand River (MI) no-wake zones and noise issues at public hearings.

Looks like the "older" liberals are at it here in West Michigan. Watch out all of you who like to venture upstream from Grand Haven. Looks like there could be trouble in your future.


Public hearings focus on river no-wake zones

http://www.grandhaventribune.com/pa...37516482739.bsp

BY MARIE HAVENGA
[email protected]

Residents of Crockery and Robinson townships participated in discussions of Grand River "no wake" zones at two Michigan Department of Natural Resources public hearings over the last two nights.

About a dozen residents were in attendance for Robinson Township's DNR hearing Tuesday night and eight showed up for Crockery's Wednesday hearing to comment on "no wake/slow" zones for a 3,500-foot strip of Indian Channel water near 144th Avenue and a portion of river downstream.

The no-wake zones were established in 1973 after a similar public hearing, according to DNR Sgt. Al Bavarskas.

Crockery Township Supervisor Leon Stille said the township "took no official position on this."

But on a personal level, with in-laws who live on the Grand River, Stille agreed with many boaters who consider the long, narrow racing boats known as cigarette boats "annoying."

Stille said he has no problem with the speed of boats traveling the river, but he objects to the un-mufflered noise of high-performance boats that travel upstream. Even at slow, no-wake speeds, such motors cause disruptive noise to residents, according to Stille.

"Cigarette boats fly up there and they bellow," Stille said. "These are much more disruptive than anything else. Fishing boats don't bother anybody."

Most in attendance at Wednesday's public hearing agreed.

Clay Boatman, who deemed his surname appropriate before speaking at Wednesday's hearing, has lived on the river since 1982. He wrote a letter to former Spring Lake Township Supervisor Jim Jeske in August of 2001 and read it in part to DNR officials.

"I would not want to see the recreational area of the river limited," said Boatman, a former commander of the Grand Rapids Power Squadron who taught many boating safety classes.

"The majority of the problem and what's irritating people are the big muscle boats," Boatman said. "If you have two 454s (engines), no matter how slow they go they'll rattle your windows."

Other residents spoke about the proliferation of "muscle boats" and called that the bulk of the problem in areas of the river that are becoming narrow due to low water depth and eroding banks.

Ora Richert was the lone supporter Wednesday of no-wake zones.

"I'd hate to see them take that off of there," Richert said. "There's 20 feet of bank they've already lost. The Coast Guard keeps bringing the buoys closer to shore on the north side of the river. I used to think wake didn't do any harm, but it does. There was a piling that was down 16 feet and four years ago it caved in. That slow/no wake doesn't hurt. It should be expanded another 200 to 300 feet."

Robinson Township resident Dale Cooper, who attended both Tuesday and Wednesday DNR public hearings, described himself as a "novice boater" and noted the current no-wake zone signage is confusing in where it starts and stops, and from which direction.

"I think the no-wake zone is too long, actually," Cooper said.

Robinson Township resident Dick VanRaalte agreed.

"I've lived on the river for 50 years," VanRaalte said, pronouncing a memory of no no-wake zones and water skiing past the Grand Haven Musical Fountain.

VanRaalte said he understands watercraft enforcement in "pinch points" such as near the U.S. 31 bascule bridge, the railroad bridge and narrow portions of the river.

"But if everyone used common sense, we wouldn't even need no-wake zones."

DNR Sgt. Bavarskas smiled after VanRaalte's comment.

"Yes, if everyone used common sense, we wouldn't need these laws," he said.

The sergeant reminded boaters that nautical rules exist with or without markers. Captains are responsible for maintaining no-wake speeds within 100 feet of any shoreline or vessel. There are many more rules regarding diver flags and vessel wake damage.

Interested parties have 10 days to send written comments to the DNR for consideration of the Indian Channel no-wake zone. Write to: Sgt. Al Bavarskas, State of Michigan, DNR Law Enforcement Division, 28980 Seven Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48152.




Again, what's "annoying" to some is music to others. Live and let live may have just died here in West Michigan.
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Old 10-28-2005, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Grand River (MI) no-wake zones and noise issues at public hearings.

thats just great.
todd
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Grand River (MI) no-wake zones and noise issues at public hearings.

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Originally Posted by baronmarine
thats just great.
todd
Yeah, thought you'd like it. Wonder what this kind of thinking is doing for Steve with the 36 Apache? He lives up that way and keeps his boat on a lift in the river. And it aint quiet!!!
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Grand River (MI) no-wake zones and noise issues at public hearings.

It's like buying a house on the railroad tracks and b!tching about the trains.
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Grand River (MI) no-wake zones and noise issues at public hearings.

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It's like buying a house on the railroad tracks and b!tching about the trains.
EXACTLY!!
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Grand River (MI) no-wake zones and noise issues at public hearings.

I haven't been that far back up the river in years so need a refresher... Is there that many "Big Muscle boats" with "twin 454's" up on plane that far back ? Am I looking at the map wrong ? 144th seems like a long way back.

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Old 10-28-2005, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Grand River (MI) no-wake zones and noise issues at public hearings.

144th really isn't that far upstream. 5-7 minutes on plane. It's the first no-wake zone you come to.... and the no-wake zone really isn't that long, especially when you compare it to the Grand Haven channel.
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