December 3, 2022

Platte Lake Sets National Example For Solving Toxic Algae

HONOR – On a bright autumn afternoon Platte Lake is a stirring statement about the excellent condition of Benzie County’s natural resources. Its broad waters are stunning alpine blue. Its shoreline brims with the splendor of maple leaves, a fluttering hoard of yellow, orange, and red.  But more than the fortunate convergence of thick forest and fresh water is at play on and around the 2,500-acre lake. The commanding beauty also is the result of …

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Benzie County’s Summer and Fall COVID Tourist Economy – Surprise! – Was Very Strong

BENZONIA — On May 15, persuaded that COVID-19 infections and deaths were convincingly low, Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) lifted the executive order that for eight weeks had closed most businesses in Benzie and neighboring Northern Michigan counties. Six months later, as COVID-19 infections and deaths mounted as never before in Benzie and the rest of the state, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reinstated parts of the shutdown—calling for a three-week “pause”—from November …

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Benzie County Roads Bridge Political Fractures

In Benzie County, there are 180 miles of primary roads—those with the signature signs that designate route numbers, like County Road 669. There are 138 additional miles of paved local roads, which are the two-lane thoroughfares outside the county’s seven towns that wind by lakes, over hills, past orchards, and through forests.  It is easy to describe nearly every mile of these roads as scenic. They also are the county’s signature public asset.  Aside from …

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Benzie County — Jumpy About Virus and Summer Visitors

BENZONIA, MI – Tucked away on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, the residents of Benzie County spent the final days of winter and the early weeks of spring confident they were safe, but agitated about what was coming. A scenic region of thick forests, clean lakes, and tiny villages, Benzie County lies 30 miles southwest of Traverse City, the nearest sizable city, 80 miles distant from the closest thruway, and 220 miles northwest of …

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Lessons From The Garden

BENZONIA — The tiger lilies are fading. But the pink blossoms of the rose of Sharon began to bloom this week. So did the blue blossoms of the butterfly bush. It’s mid-August. Just as in every month since early May when I raked the leaves out of the gardens, taking care not to injure the yellow daffodils, flowers are coming into view while others slip away. Odes to gardens and gardening almost always are exuberant …

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Showing Off Circle of Blue Colleagues and Reporting in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, MI — On Wednesday evening October 8, 2014 Circle of Blue, the Traverse City-based global news organization, is inviting colleagues and friends to meet our talented staff and learn about the state-of-the-art multimedia work we are doing that is changing the world. This is no exaggeration. And while Circle of Blue has developed expertise and new digital tools to report on the consequences of the fierce global contest for natural resources, the successes …

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The Michigan Land Use Institute Considers Changing Its Name — For What?

BENZONIA, MI — On April 16, 1995, in one of my last articles as a staff correspondent with the New York Times, I wrote this assessment of American environmentalism’s evolving challenges. “The movement that changed the nation’s environmental ethic a generation ago is reshaping itself, and the most important aspect of that effort is a new openness to what works and what doesn’t in environmental protection.” Six days later, on the 25th anniversary of Earth …

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Lake Michigan Ice Caves, Evidence of a Mighty Scheme

LELAND, Mi — The northern Michigan winter this year, with its Arctic cold and persistent snow, has locked Lake Michigan’s shoreline in towering walls of ice. It’s a frozen grip. The gales of January and the calmer winds of February, shifting from stout to steady, pulled the water and pushed the ice until it careened upward and outward, forming pregnant walls and bridges that birthed big caves. Yesterday, gloriously cold and sunny, hundreds of people …

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Frankfort, Michigan’s July 4: Fireworks and A Legacy of Jewish Discrimination

FRANKFORT, MI – The public event of the year in Benzie County, Michigan occurs here on July 4. The day begins with a parade on Main Street, continues with an art fair, a carnival, and this year a sand castle design contest on the Lake Michigan beachfront. Thousands of people roll into town while the sun is high. And as it sets thousands more come for the meteoric spectacle – the fireworks show that lights …

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Traverse City’s Next Generation Brand

Young people, raised in northwest Michigan, are returning from college to begin their careers and raise their own families in a region that provides a range of fresh opportunities. Photo/Keith Schneider BENZONIA — Bridge Magazine this week noted Traverse City’s new brand as a place of opportunity for educated and talented young entrepeneurs. The article by Jeff Alexander, a veteran environmental journalist who spent much of his career at the Muskegon Chronicle, notes the demographic …

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