May 29, 2020

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

The People & The Olive Charts Traverse City’s New Global Focus

Bravo to Aaron Dennis, Jacob Wheeler, and all the rest of the Run Across Palestine crew for producing an event and a piece of courageous journalism that matters to the world. In The People & The Olive, a 70-minute documentary that received its premiere Monday night in Traverse City’s downtown State Theatre, Aaron and Jacob join camera, reporting, and story-making skills to explore the dangerous irony of a native people, Palestinian olive farmers, walled off …

Read More

Benzie County’s Gorgeous Leaves of Fall

The anguish of fall is upon us in northern Michigan. The astonishing colors, temporary as they are, are brushed onto this magnificent place I’ve called home for two decades. Yesterday, on one of the last road bike rides of the year, I took this gallery of shots with my iPhone. Every corner on our two-lanes, virtually empty of traffic these days, a billboard of reds and oranges and yellows unfolds, the colors deepening with the …

Read More

On Beautiful Fall Day Central Lake Is Shuttered For Business

CENTRAL LAKE, MI – There is no sprawl in Central Lake, a northern village of 942 residents in magnificent  Antrim County. At this time of year rows of feed corn await harvest and the green white pine and multi-colored hardwood forests pour down the hillsides to the deep blue waters of the lake that gives the village its name. (see pix above and below) Central Lakes possesses an asset all-too rare in American communities – …

Read More

The Temptations in Northern Michigan

Though Detroit’s become a signpost for where the rest of America is heading unless we change our ways right quick, there was a time when it was vital. So vital, in fact, that Detroit produced music so blazingly good that it became a sound track of the American empire at its height. That, of course, was the sound of Motown. Last night The Temptations performed here in northern Michigan.  One of the premier groups that …

Read More

Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion at Interlochen

In 2004, as “Prairie Home Companion” neared its 30th anniversary, the New York Times said Garrison Keillor, the live Saturday night radio show’s host, was “stapled to something bigger than he is.” That’s about as apt a description of Keillor’s contribution as I’ve read. Last night, Keillor and all of the Prairie Home Companion crew broadcast the show from Kresge Auditorium at the Interlochen Center for the  Arts here in northwestern Michigan. It was a …

Read More