ON A ROLL: Members of TART (Traverse Area Recreation Trails) celebrated a new trail extension along the railroad right-of-way between Lautner Road and M-72 East in Acme last week. Combined with roadside improvments along Bunker Hill Road, the new trail will link the Grand Traverse Resort, Vasa Trailhead, and Williamsburg areas to the trail network in Traverse City. Work is also well underway on a new trail along the east side of Boardman Lake, running south from the district library.
HOMEGROWN TALENT Liz Ahrens has been named Executive Director of the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey after being determined as best choice for the position out of candidates from all over the Midwest. Liz replaces retiring director Dale Hull.
Crooked Tree‘s search committee said Ahren‘s leadership and communication skills, drive and passion for the arts in her role as PR Director made her the best choice to guide the arts center.
HATS OFF to local musicians Mike Moran and Brian Whitscell, who won top honors in the 2005 Michigan Songwriters Contest.
Mike Moran won second place with I Cant Make Everybody Happy, and Brian Whitscell won third for All Ill Ever Ask, which he co-wrote with David Runyan of Bellaire. Kelly Shively of Petoskey also won an honorable mention for And the People Danced.
Moran has performed throughout the Midwest, opening for Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. He was named Best New Artist by Northern Express readers in 2004. His winning song was also named Best Song of the Month in November 2004 by Songwriters Universe of Los Angeles.
Runyan and Whitscell started writing songs together about seven years ago. Their songs have been featured on Northern Michigan Rocks, Vol. 1-3,“ produced by WKLT-FM. Both Dave and Brian are professional sound engineers.The contest drew about 500 entries from across the state, competing for 13 prizes.
A group of adventurers in the Upper Peninsula are making a trek by kayak, canoe and on foot from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan‘s Green Bay to raise awareness of the threat that metallic sulfide mining poses to Great Lakes Waters.
Here, Rob Cadmus explains the headwaters route within the McCormick Wilderness of the Ottawa National Forest.
Plans for sulfide mining could flush the region‘s watersheds with sulfuric acid, say members of Northwoods Wilderness Recovery and the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition. In addition to damaging the region‘s rivers, streams and wetlands, the flow of acid could impact the Great Lakes.
But the infusion of mining jobs is an incentive to many in the U.P., even if they last only a predicted seven years.
Activists claim the jobs incentive is a “boom & bust“ gambit that will harm the U.P. in the long run by damaging the environment and tourism.