Robert Sweetgall has walked across America seven times. On Tuesday, May 2, hell drive to Traverse City to help kick off what has become the king of community fitness events the annual Lets Get Moving Northern Michigan-Grand Traverse program.
Sweetgall author of 17 books on walking, wellness, and active living will pump up participants with a humorous account of his transformation from an overweight Brooklyn boy dubbed Butterball to a healthy, fit adult who walks 30 to 40 miles each week.
Motivated by the death of his father from a heart attack, Sweetgall gave up cheesecake and his $50,000 a year DuPont chemical engineering job to take his health message on the road literally, by walking across America. He is the only person to walk through all 50 states in 365 days. He also holds a Guinness World Record for his 10,608-mile trek along the U.S. perimeter in 1982-83.
Sweetgall will be the featured speaker at the kick-off event for Lets Get Moving, beginning at 5 p.m., May 2 at the Hagerty Center on the Great Lakes Campus of Northwestern Michigan College. At 5:30 p.m., Sweetgall will lead a one-mile walk for those who want to log their first mile in the fitness program.
Lets Get Moving participants record the number of miles they walk during a 100-day period. Those not interested in walking can accumulate points for other activities, including swimming, dancing, gardening, golf and more. Credit can also be earned by participants who eat healthy foods or quit smoking.
Lets Get Moving is designed to reduce the incidence of sedentary related diseases in the area under the sponsorship of Munson Medical Center and Priority Health.
Last year, 1,716 participants logged 274,422 miles an average of 159 miles per person. Winner of the grand prize, a new road bike, was 70-year-old Jim Hintz of TC, who logged almost 4,000 miles on his bike.
At registration, participants will receive a training booklet to log miles walked. They can also log miles online. Weekly random drawings for prizes from area businesses will be held for those who turn in their mileage.
For info on Lets Get Moving call
(231) 935-2909, or visit www.lgmnm.org
Ever see a sturgeon out in the wild? Now‘s your chance with a guided tour offered by the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.
Each spring, the famed lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) head up select rivers to spawn along the rocky riverbanks, oblivious to nearby human activity, making these rare fish susceptible to illegal harvest. The lake sturgeon is a rare, threatened species in Michigan. Thats why a group of conservation officers, volunteer off-duty national guards, and other volunteers concentrate in these areas 24-hours a day during spawning season to safeguard these fish from poaching.
On Friday, May 12, from 1-3 p.m., Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Sturgeon for Tomorrow will host a Sturgeon Viewing Guided Tour.
Experts will be on hand to talk about lake sturgeon, poaching enforcement, netting and tagging, recent Black Lake Watershed research, and the Watershed Councils restoration work to improve sturgeon habitat.
The Black River Watershed is special because it contains the largest self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon in Michigan. We will walk along the banks of the Upper Black River and not only learn about threats to the lake sturgeon, but also how we can all play a role to keep this fish in our lakes, said Valerie Olinik-Damstra, Watershed coordinator.
Participants can pre-register by calling (231)347-1181, ext. 100. Also, check out
Super license urged
State Senators Jason Allen and Jud Gilbert have sent resolutions to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urging the creation of new “super drivers licenses“ for those who make frequent trips over the Canadian border.
Residents in border towns go back and forth for work and recreation, said Allen, R-TC, in a release. We dont need a burden to commerce, yet we understand the need for greater security measures. There must be cooperation between state and federal government. The best way to begin is with a pilot program to use a super drivers license‘ that meets the requirements and is easy for residents of the area to use.
The U.S. Congress passed legislation last year mandating that by 2008 state drivers licenses will no longer be used for any federal purpose -- such as crossing the border or boarding an airplane -- unless the license meets federal requirements.
In 2008 the federal government will require a digital image of an individuals face, proof of legal status, mandatory information and card security features on I.D.s.
More than 300,000 business people, truck drivers, tourists and regular commuters travel across the Canadian-U.S. border each day.