Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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Brews, Dogs, and Two-Steppin’ on the Shores of Torch

Dancing on Torch Lake’s shoreline with a Shorts beer and Coney Island dog in hand is certainly one way to have a perfect Northern Michigan day.

Kristi Kates - June 23rd, 2014  

It’s the kind of day dreamed up by the Grass River Natural Area’s new executive director as a fundraiser for the nonprofit preserve and its operating expenses.

IMMEDIATE NEEDS

Haley Breniser, an MSU grad and Michigan native, took the helm at Grass River last fall.

A mosaic of habitats that lie within the GRNA’s 1,443 acres: Deciduous and mixed forest, upland meadow, cedar swamp, and riverine habitat are all represented.

“The plant and animal species associated with this mosaic play an important role in the integrity of the greater Grand Traverse Bay Watershed,” Breniser said.

In order to keep that special aura, the area’s $200,000 annual budget needed a boost to help pay for “immediate needs” like a new trail and interpretive signage, plus equipment for the preserve’s stewardship practices, like water quality testing, invasive species control, and trail maintenance.

“The GRNA really needs support from both individuals and foundations in order to function at our full potential,” she said.

And that’s where the dance on the shores of Torch Lake comes in.

DANCING SHOES

The concert fundraiser is one of the highlights of GRNA’s summer.

Officially called The Annual Grass River Natural Area Benefit Dance, the event will take place at the Alden Depot Park.

Five-piece Lansing band Steppin’ In It will provide what Breniser called “an awesome mix” of blues, bluegrass, funk, zydeco, and jazz.

“I remember seeing them in concert while going to school,” she said. “They have incredible talent and energy.”

The Up North Brass Quintet will serve as opening act. Coney Island style hotdogs and beverages from Short’s Brewery will also be available.

Just make sure you don’t forget your dancing shoes.

“Events like this give me the opportunity to get to know the people who have made the preserve what it is today,” Breniser said. “This is a very fun way to support the GRNA.”

The GRNA holds other fundraising events throughout the year, too. The Flower Fundraiser, Spring Fling Dinner, and the thoughtful Tribute Stone Fund are the most popular, the latter giving people the opportunity to donate an engraved garden path stone in memory of someone special.

SPECIAL HABITATS

Seven miles of trails in all, including boardwalks, are available to those who want to explore the GRNA’s lands. And a new education center was built in 2011 to help educate visitors about the natural world.

It’s all part of the GRNA’s ultimate goal: to protect those 1,443 acres through land management and education.

“We are essentially guarding an important place for the ecological health of our community,” Breniser said.

The Annual Grass River Natural Area Benefit Dance will take place June 28. Tickets are $15 in advance/$18 at the door, available online at grassriver.org. You can also donate to the preserve any time on their website, or by mailing a donation to their office at Grass River Natural Area, Inc., P.O. Box 231, Bellaire, MI, 49615.

 
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