Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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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