Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Passing the Bay Bucks: Local...
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Passing the Bay Bucks: Local Currency could Hit the Streets this Summer

Michael E. Marotta - June 10th, 2004
The Grand Traverse region will soon have its own currency called “Bay Bucks” to be used by participating businesses. The Traverse Area Community Currency Initiative (TACCI) has been at work for over a year to create the consensus that will make this local money a viable economic medium of exchange. The final product may hit the streets before the end of the summer.
About 30 community activists also have participated in the planning stages of the Bay Bucks project. Among the leaders in this campaign are environmental consultant Chris Grobbel of Ball Environmental Associates, Bob Russell and Sally van Vleck of Neah-tah-wanta, and Bob Struthers, the general manager of Oryana Natural Food Co-op.
“Our hopes are to see Bay Bucks flowing throughout the community by the fall,” says Natasha Lapinski of the Leelanau Conservancy. “We still have a lot of work to do before then. Most importantly, we are putting together a business information packet with instructions on exactly how a business would incorporate using the local scrip into their daily routine. This packet will also be an educational tool to outreach to businesses who have never even heard of the currency and to encourage participation.”

Speaking to Northern Express for a November 13, 2003 story, “Homegrown Money,” Grobbel explained that a local currency is the “missing piece” that will tie together our region’s agricultural, service, craft and retail sectors, along with environmental efforts such as the land conservancies.
Grobbel and Lapinksi co-hosted a seminar on local currencies at the October 16, 2003, Bioneers Conference at Northwestern Michigan College. Rounding out the tandem presentations was Rob McClure, who had experience creating a local currency in Madison, Wisconsin, one of 30 communities in America that has its own homegrown money.
The TACCI group identified over 100 Traverse area businesses that could benefit from using a regional currency. About a third of them were considered “early adopters” with a high level of community and political awareness.
“We shop with conscience,” said Sean Burns of Green Island, a Traverse City retailer. Burns feels that Bay Bucks will encourage people to support the regional economy, instead of exporting wealth. “We as a family will use them to get services from local alternative healthcare, spirituality providers, and outfitters.”
Burns’ store now gives discounts to members of Oryana and to shoppers whose credit cards reflect socially responsible investing. Burns said that Green Island will offer a discount to patrons who spend Bay Bucks.

Oryana’s Bob Struthers is also enthusiastic. “We can’t wait!” he said. “A local currency will create an awareness of the local economy and become a symbol of the possibilities in local ties.” Their newsletter has already announced that the store accepts Bay Bucks, even though none has been printed yet.
A team of students from Northwestern Michigan College designed the new money. This was a project for a class in visual communication taught by Caroline Schaefer. The design team, Brendan O’Brien, Pauline Viall, and Thomas Loomis, researched the history of paper money and the currencies of small nations. They developed a thematic presentation blending agricultural, wildlife, and eco-systems.
Each of the four Bay Bucks notes (BB1, BB5, BB10, and BB20) features a local ecology landscape along with one plant and one animal representative of that environment. They also recommended printing techniques, security features, and elements to aid the visually impaired.
Patty Fabian, a designer with Peninsula Partners in Traverse City, developed a set of proposed logos to support the imaging and branding of Bay Bucks in store windows, on bumper stickers, and on the notes themselves.

LEGALIZE IT The next challenge for the TACCI group is to formalize their legal structure. According to Chris Grobbel, a not-for-profit corporation will oversee Bay Bucks. The board of directors will come from the local business community. Bob Russell is spearheading that aspect of the project, approaching accountants, attorneys, and other business leaders. Grobbel expects the first board of directors of this corporation to be in place by August. It is also expected that this first board will be replaced in staggered terms of office. However, most of the details are still undefined. “We need to work out the features by consensus,” Grobbel said.
To aid that process, Grobbel is attending a three-day workshop later this month, “Local Currencies in the 21st Century,” sponsored by the E. F. Schumacher Society. Also to help build consensus, TACCI is sponsoring area speaking engagements by Susan Witt, executive director of the E. F. Schumacher Society, later this summer. Between now and then, according to Lapinski, the TACCI group will add a part-time staffer, the “Outreach and Project Coordinator.”
The TACCI group expects Bay Bucks to circulate within the region from Petoskey south to Manistee and westward from Kalkaska. At a recent TACCI meeting, Sarna Salzman of SEEDS identified two parallel systems within that geography: the watersheds also outline the economic flows of labor and capital. She suggested “Bread for Your Watershed” as a motto for the Bay Bucks notes.

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