Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Elvyn Lea
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Elvyn Lea

Unique Up North Lodging

Kristi Kates - August 11th, 2014  

A rustic retreat that’s been off the radar for years is getting an extreme makeover by an ambitious local couple with an eye for potential. Say farewell to the Boyne Valley Lodge, and hello to Elvyn Lea, a fanciful property meant for summer brides, family getaways, and corporate retreats.


Originally called The Village Inn, the main building was built in the 1950s in Boyne City to house ski groups, and was operated successfully later for many years as the Boyne Valley Lodge.

Set on 44 acres, the lodge features rural craftsmanship, separate wings and lounge areas, and an abundance of knotty pine walls and log-beamed ceilings.

Rocking chairs surround the fireplace, and a stone foundation provides heft, while big windows allow light to pour in year-round.

Some of the décor of the lodge has been redesigned since 2013 by its new owners, Monica and Michael Farrier, but the facility will keep its primary focus on what was its initial function: a haven for planned group visits for guests who arrive with a “shared purpose,” as Monica Farrier puts it.

The European-style floor plan allows for one group of people to utilize the entire lodge, whether as a corporate retreat, an art or writers’ event, or simply to establish a sense of communication and community.

“We do coordinate some groups around a common theme on specified dates, and that provides opportunities for smaller groups and even couples and individuals to visit here,” she said.

In the winter, there is a five-room minimum, with more flexibility in the summer, said Monica Farrier. “But we operate more like a retreat center than a hotel or B&B,” she said.


Farrier and her husband were initially looking for a large house with some land where they could start a business together.

Both entrepreneurial by nature – Michael Farrier is an inventor, engineer, and artist, and Petoskey native Monica Farrier is a massage therapist who also worked in the hospitality industry – the couple understood what travelers Up North sought.

So after finding the property itself, they decided to rename it.

“Elvyn Lea,” Monica Farrier said, roughly translates to “meadow of elf friends.”

After researching the origins of their purchase, they decided to retain as much of the natural beauty of the wood, stone, and land as possible.

“We appreciated the thought that went into the design, and the trails and spectacular event lawn,” she said.

“We saw so much potential, and so many possibilities.”

The Farriers are keeping the ambiance of an earlier time, but have added modern comforts.

There may be no television (the Farriers feel that their guests don’t need the distraction from the peace and quiet) but they have installed high-speed Internet and AV and PA equipment to accommodate special events and meetings.

We like it this way,” Monica Farrier said, “and we hope it will appeal to guests wanting to get away from the stressful aspects of modern life.”


When the Farriers arrived, all of the rooms only had bunk beds, so they added in queen and king sized mattresses with fleece and flannel linens to keep the lodge feel.

Electrical and plumbing work, updated kitchen equipment, and an exterior paint change to deep brown gave the renovation a boost.

The new décor keeps a focus on themes of nature and Michigan in the ‘50s, with artwork from Gwen Frostic, Norman Brumm, and Stanley Kellogg.

“It was a romantic time in terms of nature art, and what better place to display it than in an authentic Michigan lodge of the period,” Monica Farrier said.

As more people find out about the new Lodge, the Farriers say they plan on expanding.

“Every day we look around us and feel so grateful to have this extraordinary place to share,” Monica Farrier said. “A project of this size requires a leap of faith, but we can’t imagine that people won’t want to come here and experience it.”

For more information, or to book Elvyn Lea Lodge, visit elvynlea.com or telephone (231) 535-2475.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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