Community Treasure Stolen
A 125-year-old wrought iron gate on the grounds of the Village of Grand Traverse Commons was so beautiful, photographers often used it as a backdrop for graduation and wedding photos.
But the massive gate was stolen on August 18 with the use of bolt cutters to cut a security chain and most likely heisted in broad daylight.
It was right across from the K parking lot of Munson Medical Center, but people see trucks there all the time and might have assumed we were having it refurbished. It would have taken four men to carry it, and theyd have to have a flat bed or huge moving truck to carry it, said developer Ray Minervini, who is renovating the former Traverse City State Hospital into a village of shops, offices, clinics, condos, and restaurants.
We had intended to restore the gate and the hidden garden behind it, said Minervini, who said he was devastated by the theft. Its terrible. It belongs to the whole community. Its not Rays gate, its the communitys gate.
He called the theft unconscionable and plans to contact area salvage yards and architectural resale stores in case someone tries to sell the gate.
Minervini said theres a reward for information leading to its return: Ill buy them dinner, give them a tour of the site, take them to the underground tunnels. If, whoever stole it comes to their senses, we wont prosecute them.
We implore anyone who may have witnessed this to provide any information, and beseech those responsible to simply return it to its rightful place in history, he said.
If you have any information, call Ray Minervini at 941-1900 or go to www.thevillagetc.com.
Hey Matey... Volunteers
needed for Schooner Fest
Over 100 volunteers are needed to assist the Maritime Heritage Alliance during the Michigan Schooner Festival September 11-13 in Traverse City.
The festival will bring together six tall ships in West Grand Traverse Bay. The festival will offer rides aboard the ships, evening cruises, a Pancakes with Pirates breakfast, and fun for kids. Song of the Lakes will headline the entertainment with a performance on Saturday evening during the progressive-style party on the ships.
Volunteers are needed for registration, kids games, cleanup and recycling, passenger/deck assistants, and ticket sales.
Call the volunteer center at 947-3200 Ext. 205 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Calling all Christian rednecks:
A board member‘s threat to unleash “redneck Christian Conservatives“ and “raise a stink“ had the Petoskey School Board scuttling for cover last month.
As a result, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, based in Madison, WI, is objecting to what it calls “unconstitutional wording“ in Petoskey‘s school calendar.
On August 10, school board treasurer and Emmet County Republican Party Chair Jack Waldvogel reportedly sent an email to the district‘s staff and board members demanding that the calendar be changed from “winter holiday break“ to “Christmas break.“ If not, he said, “I will make a motion to change it at the NEXT Board meeting and raise such a stink, and bring out every redneck Christian Conservative north of Clare, to compel the District to do so.“ He added that: “Our children need to know we are a Christian nation and taking all reference to a higher being out of our educational vocabulary is wrong.“
Waldvogel told the Petoskey News-Review that he meant his email as tongue-in-cheek; however, he reportedly ended his message with: “Don‘t assume this is a joke. I‘m being as serious as I possibly can here.“
In a closed session on Aug. 18, the Petoskey School Board voted unanimously to change the wording of the school calendar to “Christmas break.“
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which includes 400 members in Michigan, claims that the change in wording violates the U.S. Constitution, which “requires government action to have a secular purpose.“
In a letter to the school district, the Foundation states that “the board‘s action illegally advances religion over nonreligion and prefers Christianity over other faiths.“
Road whales sighted in Empire
Leelanau County will get its first motorcoach resort on Sept. 9 when Indigo Bluffs opens on the highway between Empire and Glen Arbor.
Formerly the Sleepy Bear Campground, the new RV retreat is offering 40 sites for sale to owners of high-end motorhomes.
A clubhouse, pool, spa, fitness center, gated entry, shower & laundry facility and sewer system are among the amenities. The resort is hosting three rallies for motorhome owners this fall to showcase the site.