Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

Home · Articles · News · Features · They?re Honored: Raising a...
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They?re Honored: Raising a village ? one sidewalk at a time

Danielle Horvath - June 13th, 2011
They’re Honored: Raising a village – one sidewalk at a time
By Danielle Horvath
They say it takes a village to raise a child. So what does it take to
raise a village? That’s the question being asked in Honor, a hamlet of
less than 300 people just a stone’s throw from Platte River in Benzie
County. Long-known as a sportsmen’s paradise – in 1999, it was voted
Michigan’s top outdoor sports town by Sports Afield Magazine – Honor has
fallen a victim of the economy and is suffering from rural blight, with
empty storefronts, closed businesses, and abandoned buildings.
Doing something about it is Shantel Sellers, who grew up in Honor and
returned “home” last year to the house once owned by her family after
serving in the military, getting married and having three children.
“I have the best memories of growing up in Honor and we decided we wanted
to raise our family here,” she says. “We have travelled through many small
towns that are doing well and they all face challenges like we have here.
If we can bring people together and provide a place for them to voice
their concerns, their ideas, where we can work together on common goals,
real change can and does happen.”

TAKING ACTION
Last year, a grass roots effort started when Sellers and a small group of
residents went to the village council with concerns and ideas for
improvements. Within a few months, they formed the non-profit group HARP
(Honor Area Restoration Project.) They were able to secure a grant from
Rotary Charities to begin the process of bringing the community together
to consider some long and short term goals to help restore Honor to the
bustling, vibrant village it once was, while protecting the natural area
that surrounds it.
In April, the HARP group and the Village of Honor held the first of a
series of “Envision Honor” Community Vision Workshops which brought
together over 160 people who spent time brainstorming ideas, sharing
concerns and thoughts that could help to revitalize the town. From
preserving the history of the area, to encouraging informed growth and
development to improving streetscapes and organizing paint blitzes, there
was no lack of ideas.
Sellers says the support for their first community workshop “surpassed all
our expectations, and it was overwhelmingly positive.”

BIG HURDLES
Sellers admits to the many challenges involved in any revitalization
effort and many feel a sense of being overwhelmed and many people are
concerned that their taxes will be raised to pay for the efforts.
“That is an absolute detriment to any revitalization effort,” she says.
“We are in a very fragile economy that is service-based and seasonal; the
last thing anyone wants is higher taxes.
“We are working to coordinate benefits, fund-raisers, volunteers, grants,
etc., and increase the tax base through attracting new residents and more
businesses,” she adds. “We have a USDA grant to extend the sidewalk from
downtown to the shopping plaza, which is a great starting point to make
Honor a walking community, MDOT will be working on US 31 this summer with
highway improvements. Last summer, the township donated space for a skate
park that was built with all donated materials and a small army of
volunteers. It’s all about small steps that add up to big improvements.”

The HARP group meetings are the first Thursday of every month and open to
anyone interested. For more information, check them out online:
www.RestoreHonor.org.

 
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