April 23, 2024

Patrick Sullivan | Author

Dreaming of Foreign Lands

Feb. 20, 2021

In this time of a shut-down world with borders closed and travel brought to a halt, Kama Ross has been thinking a lot about the Peace Corps, and she said she believes that the institution — which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year ‚ has perhaps never been more vital.Read More >>

The Battle over Michigan’s Water

Feb. 6, 2021

After two years and more than $200,000 in litigation spent to stop Nestlé Waters from ratcheting up the amount of spring water it pumps from a well in central Michigan, water advocates are flummoxed; the state’s environmental regulator shot down their objections.

In l...

Saved from Despair ... by Worms?

Jan. 30, 2021

A couple of years ago, with another child on the way, Elana Warsen said she had a sort of miniature existential crisis — she wanted to do something to make the world a better place, but she wasn’t sure what to do.

Warsen, who lives with her husband and three children i... Read More >>

The fine line between saving a tourism-based economy and saving lives

Jan. 23, 2021

After a year-long hiatus, the state’s Pure Michigan campaign re-launched late last month with a $1.2 million effort showcasing Michigan’s winter playgrounds. Its intent: to reinvigorate the state’s moribund tourism economy by luring visitors in and outside the state to v... Read More >>

Are Co-Op Customers Subsidizing Dirty Energy?

Jan. 16, 2021

Michigan environmental groups and clean energy advocates say a deal that Wolverine Power Cooperative entered into a decade ago forces today's Michigan residents to unknowingly pay millions more in electricity bills to subsidize two inefficient 1950s-era coal power plants in Ohio and India... Read More >>

The Age of Flying Fortresses Over Northern Michigan

Jan. 2, 2021

 There was a time when the roar of a B-52 in the skies around Little Traverse Bay was a regular occurrence. Suddenly, a flying fortress designed to carry nuclear warheads would pass overhead with a rumble that stirred people to their bones.

The massive warplanes routinely fle...

A Stitch in Time

Dec. 12, 2020

When Glenna Gattle’s family store reopened last year in Harbor Springs, it was as if a family tradition had come back to life. It was also an historic homecoming with a connection to the very early days of Petoskey.

The first Gattle’s store opened in 1919, in Petoskey,... Read More >>

An Uncertain Christmas

Dec. 5, 2020

Like small businesses everywhere, shop owners in downtown Petoskey want to see just as many customers this year as they do any other year. They’d just prefer if they didn’t all come at once.

“If they could come in shifts that would be so wonderful,” said Be... Read More >>

Transforming Manistee

Nov. 28, 2020

The entrance to downtown Manistee, as it stands today, is drab. On each side of River Street for the first block, buildings are crumbling and vacant or else look like they should be. Trash blows into empty, unkempt lots, and a House of Flavors restaurant, vacant since the business shutter... Read More >>

Leland Noir

Nov. 21, 2020

Rebecca Reynolds and Jim Carpenter didn’t listen much to podcasts when, four years ago, they decided to use their own money to produce one.

The Leland couple knew a lot about film, television, and theater — they’ve produced plays, television shows, and movies, in... Read More >>

New Season for Safe Harbor

Nov. 14, 2020

At the end of March, as the pandemic descended and uncertainty raged, residents of Safe Harbor spent their last night of the season in Traverse City’s homeless shelter, which closed early out of concern that the new virus could gain a foothold and spread among the guests.

Th...

A Long and Winding [and Beautiful] Road

Nov. 7, 2020

Kathleen Stocking’s name might sound familiar to anyone who’s lived in northern Michigan for a while. She’s written books of essays about the region that have won nationwide acclaim, notably the well-reviewed “Letters from the Leelanau.”

Her last name...

But What About the Animals?

Oct. 31, 2020

When the pandemic struck last March, Kim Skarritt and others in the dog rescue world, expected the number of instances of unwanted dogs would skyrocket. Instead, calls for new cases stopped.

“I think everybody in the rescue world was shocked,” Skarritt said. &ldquo... Read More >>

The Ancient Wine Wizardry of Nathaniel Rose's Reds

Oct. 17, 2020

There is a paradox that confronts you when you turn into the dirt driveway of Nathaniel Rose Wines, north of Suttons Bay.

Rose, a 35-year-old winemaker who grew up in Leland and three years ago won a double gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition fo... Read More >>

For Sale: The Headwaters of the Boardman River

Oct. 10, 2020


Two decades ago, Susan Morely and Donald Russell followed a calling that brought them from Maryland to Northern Michigan, a place where they’d never lived, and a place they didn’t know.

They were looking for land that would connect them to the earth, phy... Read More >>

A Pandemic Reckoning

Oct. 3, 2020

In one case, a man was accused of molesting a girl under the age of 13. At his preliminary hearing, the girl testified, and the evidence against the man was presented in court. Instead of awaiting trial in jail, however, the man was put on a GPS tether and allowed to await trial under hou... Read More >>

"I Want To Move The Needle"

Sept. 26, 2020

There is likely no business leader in northern Michigan more outspoken about clean energy than Jim MacInnes, CEO and Co-Owner of Crystal Mountain.

Yet when you visit the 1,500-acre ski and golf resort near Thompsonville, very little evidence of that is in sight. Roofs are not fest... Read More >>

The Democracy Lottery

Sept. 19, 2020

Mary Burget, a retired Northwest Michigan College math instructor, thought her math skills might be useful in redrawing Michigan’s gerrymandered electoral districts.

She was among the 9,000-plus Michigan residents who applied for a seat on the Michigan Redistricting Commissi... Read More >>

Listen In: Two Global Health Experts — one in TC — to Talk Pandemic

Sept. 12, 2020

This week, the Traverse City International Affairs Forum at Northwestern Michigan College opens its 27th season with a topic on everyone’s mind: global health crises.

The Wednesday, Sept. 16 event, “Grappling with Pandemics: Global Health Policy in the 21st C... Read More >>

NMEAC at 40

Aug. 22, 2020

Sally Van Vleck remembers the day, 40 years ago, when she and three other women sat around a kitchen table in Traverse City and decided to become environmental activists.

They were concerned about the storage of spent fuel rods at the Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant located jus... Read More >>