Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Art · Welcome to SOBO
. . . .

Welcome to SOBO

Kristi Kates - August 9th, 2010
Welcome to SOBO: Northern Michigan’s hip new destination
By Kristi Kates
Barrios, quarters, districts, arrondissements, neighborhoods. No
matter what you call them or what geographic location you’re in,
chances are if you’re reading this, you’re part of a neighborhood in
your own community.
While some neighborhoods are planned far in advance and others simply
evolve, others are crafted as an answer to a community’s need. Such is
the new SoBo locale in Boyne City.

SOUTH BOYNE
Lake Street Market’s Liz Glass and Cindi Malin of CindiFranco’s Cool
Stuff are considered the founders of SoBo, which at first was
conceived as a marketing idea to put focus on the south end of Boyne’s
downtown area and give the area its own identity.
“The original concept was SoBo Transition (a play on the word
“Transit”),” Cindi Malin explains, “helping people to make the
transition from Water Street onto Lake Street in downtown Boyne, to
show that there is more to Boyne City than previously thought.”
As the region quickly grew, Freshwater Studio, Lake Street Market, 220
Lake Street, a range of new galleries that sprung up in 2009, and the
BAC (Boyne Arts Collective) helped SoBo grow, too, as Freshwater
Studio’s Robin Lee Berry points out.
“We officially became ‘SoBo The Arts District’,” says Berry, who runs
Freshwater Studio with her husband, artist Anthony Williams.
All that remained was a logo for the new neighborhood - which ended up
being an adaptation of the New York subway station logo, perhaps
befitting the additional “borrowing” of New York’s SoHo neighborhood
name. Malin - who briefly lived in New York - says that the SoBo name
is also partially cribbed from a West Coast community.
“It was Liz (Glass) who conceptualized the logo,” she explains, “but
it can also be a takeoff of SoDo in Seattle, which stands for ‘south
of downtown.’ Boyne has a great downtown, and SoBo has successfully
expanded it - as for the logo itself - well, it just worked, and gave
us more of an urban feeling. The colors are great too.”

SOBO FOR EVERYONE
While the concept of SoBo may at first sound exclusive or cliquey,
Malin and Berry say that it’s precisely the opposite. They - along
with Glass - explain that there’s no “official membership” to SoBo;
instead, they want the artsy SoBo region to be just as much a part of
Boyne City as any other part, a blending of neighborhoods as opposed
to a segregation.
“We aren’t trying to segregate anyone,” Malin emphasizes, “Boyne’s
downtown is bigger than most people realize. SoBo exists to bring
attention to the off-the-beaten-path part of downtown Boyne. For
years, there was a long, dark stretch of empty facades on Lake Street,
but with the opening of Freshwater Studios and the BAC, we have seen
increased traffic in this area. Again this year, I have had dozens of
people through my shop asking how long we had been open - and they
were surprised when I answered eleven years!”
“Our hope,” Berry adds, “is to highlight a district of focused art,
entertainment, dining, and shopping that has historically not gained
attention - but we do not wish to separate this area from our friendly
town.”
“People have been really supportive,” Malin says, “if we grow
downtown, then everyone benefits - it’s the ‘if you build it, they
will come’ concept.”

NEW AND IMPROVED
As Boyne City continues to enjoy an upswing, the SoBo strategy is
being credited for helping revitalize the town as more shops and
artistic ventures fill up the previously empty spaces.
“We have gotten a lot of media coverage throughout the state,” Malin
says, “so people are excited to visit. We have several new businesses
in town this year, too; the B.B.Q. (formerly Lester’s) re-opened,
Imagine Music and Art Supply has joined Sweetgrass Framing, the BAC
has expanded their hours, and Freshwater Studios filled a formerly
vacant building after 30 years and brought over 95 local artists’
works into the mix. CindiFranco’s and Lake Street Market freshened
their exteriors, and we even have a Pocket Park.”
Music is part of the SoBo mix, too, most notably via the first SoBo
Arts Festival (July 25-26 2010) which featured the likes of Chris
Bickley’s Bay Area Big Band alongside an art fair, author signings,
mimes, and even more music on the streets. SoBo plans to continue that
momentum this winter with more live music events.
“The addition of a concert venue at Freshwater was particularly
enjoyed during the winter months last year as an edifying experience,”
Berry says. “And it also created a comfortable social gathering in
SoBo. The plan is to feature six concerts in the winter of 2010-2011.”

FUTURE SOBO
Things are looking good for both Boyne City and SoBo as 2010 passes
the halfway mark and SoBo itself heads towards the end of its first
year. The combined enthusiasms of Malin, Glass, Berry, and Williams -
along with the many other people that have been working towards
publicizing and sharing the word about SoBo - are perhaps the biggest
part of SoBo’s success, and their dedication ensures that SoBo will
continue to grow and support the rest of downtown Boyne City.
“The press that Sobo has gained in it’s first year of promotions has
turned the lights on for businesses in other communities that Boyne is
a very desirable and lucrative business opportunity,” Berry says. “We
offer extended shopping hours, small town appeal, a shoreline that’s
available to the public for comfortable walking and sunset viewing,
plus great hiking and biking and camping as well as the largest inner
city park in the whole state of Michigan.”
A plethora of restaurants and the new One Water complex also add to
downtown Boyne’s appeal, as do SoBo’s own plans for the rest of the
year, which will kick off by saying goodbye to summer.
“We have our Dancin’ in the Streets event scheduled for the last
Thursday of August,” Malin says, “The SunDogs are a popular crowd
favorite and will be playing a wide range of dancing tunes; we’ll
grill corn, and some shops will set up tents to bring their shop into
the party.”
Freshwater Studios, as mentioned above, plans to expand their concert
offerings as well, and many of the other participating businesses have
their own artsy agendas - but for the most part, Berry explains, the
residents of SoBo plan to focus mostly on one specific factor of what
the SoBo revitalization has brought to the downtown area.
“We’ll just be here enjoying the traffic!” Berry says

The SoBo Arts District is located in downtown Boyne City near Lake
Charlevoix on the south end of town on South Lake Street between Water
and Pine Streets. For more info, visit www.soboartsdistrict.org

 
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