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'Taste the Local Difference' connects consumers with local food

Taste the Local Difference | March 6, 2014 | By Bill Palladino

When the snow melts (and yes it will all go away one of these days,) farmers in northwest Michigan will be in their fields sowing the crops that many of us will eventually buy. But unless you have a personal relationship with a farmer, or regularly visit a farmers market, it’s unlikely you have a ready source for local food to put on your family’s dinner table. Our Taste the Local Difference guide is trying to change that. ...

Work Group, Meet ‘Value of Solar’

Clean Energy, Solar | March 4, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

About 40 energy experts gathered in Lansing last week for their second discussion about ways the state’s top utilities can spur more solar power development in Michigan, which is now well behind many other states in deploying the booming clean-energy technology....

‘Buses Without Borders’ explores ways to expand transit connections

Choices | February 28, 2014 | By James Russell

Traffic congestion is one of northwest Michigan’s most contentious issues, and transportation officials continue to seek ways to alleviate congestion. On Feb. 24, MLUI’s “Buses Without Borders” forum laid out a strategy to make public transportation part of the solution. But a few obstacles remain before transit becomes a truly viable alternative for many workers in the region. For nearly 16,000 people who work in a different county than their home, the county lines make it difficult for them to use buses to commute....

State, Top Utilities, Energy Groups Eye Next Steps for Solar

Solar | February 25, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

A specially assembled “solar work group” of state regulators, officials from the state’s two largest utilities, and clean-energy business advocates is considering ways to deploy more solar energy in Michigan that help, not hurt the firms’ bottom lines; protect ratepayers’ wallets while offering them an entrepreneurial opportunity; and boost the state’s solar manufacturers and installers....

‘Cooked’: We all need to get back in the kitchen

Resilience | February 21, 2014 | By Diane Conners

If you read "Cooked," you’ll salivate. You’ll learn interesting history and science and anthropology and philosophy. Cooked, in many regards, is about getting back to the enjoyment inherent in preparing our own meals, and the sense of self-sufficiency that comes when we know how. It’s about realizing how important cooking has been in our evolution as humans, and what we might lose as a culture if we continue our trend of “outsourcing” our cooking to industrial food companies....

Extension staff member receives leadership award

Food and Farming | February 20, 2014 | By MLUI

Michigan State University Extension program instructor and MSU Product Center innovation counselor Wendy Wieland received the Food and Farming Network Chapman Award for leadership in building a robust community food system in northwestern Michigan. ...

Are Buses Better Without Borders?

Local Motion | February 19, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

The only way agencies will capture everyday commuters and tourists is by offering an efficient express bus service that connects the region’s cities and villages to Traverse City regardless of county lines....

Enbridge’s Straits Pipeline Forum: More Questions than Answers

Pipeline, Enbridge | February 12, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Hundreds of people turned out last week to pepper local officials and employees of Enbridge, Inc. about the 60-year-old oil pipeline running under the Mackinac Straits. They wanted to know what's being done to prevent underwater leaks, and how a rupture would be contained before it gravely damaged one of Michigan's most beautiful places. By the end of the meeting it was clear that opponents had more questions than Enbridge managed to answer. ...

MLUI launches Traverse City train study

Choices | February 12, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

It’s been nearly 10 years since the “Grand Traverse Dinner Train” picked up passengers in Traverse City and led them through a three-hour tour of scenic northern Michigan. But a new study by the Michigan Land Use Institute is looking at a possible return of train service Up North....

Our View: While not perfect, Farm Bill is a step in the right direction

Farm Bill | February 6, 2014 | By Diane Conners

While there are measures we wish would have made it into the just-passed Farm Bill, we're pleased that it includes renewal of funding for programs that only started to see serious funding in the 2008 Farm Bill—renewable energy, beginning farmers, organic farming, local food economies, and support for farmers who grow the food we really need to eat, fruit and vegetables. While still a small slice of the Farm Bill spending, it is a positive direction. ...

Holland Working on Community Energy Plan

Power to Change | February 4, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Officials and dozens of residents in Holland, Mich., are working to implement a Community Energy Plan after the city began approving work groups for the effort in August 2012. The CEP, would, among many other things, expand the snowmelt district and channel waste heat to nearby commercial buildings. The 40-year strategy calls for cutting the community’s energy consumption by up to 60 percent and moving HBPW to cheaper, cleaner natural gas and non-polluting wind and solar power....

Five Ways to Beat Traffic in TC: Upgrade Keystone and Beitner Roads

Local Motion | January 30, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

There’s a way for many summer travelers and busy delivery trucks to bypass Traverse City if they want to avoid the area’s busiest roads like Division, Grandview Parkway, and S. Airport Road. It’s a bypass that connects Chums Corner with the east side of Traverse City using Keystone and Beitner Roads. ...

Gov. Snyder’s Missed Opportunity

Power to Change | January 17, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Clean energy advocates weren’t expecting a whole lot from Gov. Snyder on energy issues during his State of the State address. But we were at least hopeful, given the pre-speech scuttlebutt, that he would say something substantive and positive about them. That didn't happen. Snyder literally spent six seconds on energy. His address was a missed opportunity for a very positive shout-out about the energy work done over the past year. ...

A Letter to Governor Rick Snyder

Power to Change | January 15, 2014 | By MLUI

MLUI and a number of community leaders in northern Michigan penned this letter to Gov. Rick Snyder to thank him for his work on energy over the past year and urge action in 2014 on a clean energy future for the state. ...

Five Ways To Beat Traffic in TC: Manage the Demand

Choices | January 15, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

Traffic is a hot issue in Traverse City, yet much of the debate focuses on how to move traffic from one area to another, rather than ways to actually reduce it. Unless we give visitors and workers more options for getting around, congestion will increase....

Gov. Snyder's State of the State Viewing and Letter

Clean Energy | January 9, 2014 | By Brian Beauchamp

Gov. Rick Snyder will be presenting his annual State of the State Address on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. The three major topics he plans to focus on are mental health, seniors, and ENERGY! The speech offers us an opportunity, given our interest in having a positive impact on state policy that supports the good work we are engaged with in northwest Michigan, to publicly acknowledge this landmark event and provide collective feedback both before and after the address....

Five Ways to Beat Traffic in TC: Improve South Airport Road

Local Motion | January 6, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

South Airport Road, the region’s main east-west route, is choked with industrial parks, strip-malls, fast food joints—and lots of cars. It’s a busy road for motorists, and dangerous for people who bus, bike or walk. But a series of small changes, like improving those inefficient traffic lights, could keep you moving....

Five Ways to Beat Traffic in TC: Improve Grandview Parkway

Local Motion | December 20, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

There are a few ways to improve flow so the parkway can better handle traffic and, at the same time, become safer for those who want to cross between downtown and the lake....

Money for Division Street Study Announced Today

Great Towns, Local Motion | December 19, 2013 | By james

Some major fixes to our local roads are on the way thanks to a state general fund surplus found earlier this year. The projects includes $500,000 for a Division Street study, $1 million to replace the aging Front Street bridge in downtown Traverse City, and money for street repairs in the villages of Kingsley and Fife Lake....

Rogers City: Goodbye to Coal, Hello to Opportunity?

Power to Change | December 18, 2013 | By Jim Dulzo

The problem that supporters of the proposed 600-megawatt plant never recognized was this: Planet Earth is not a perfect place to build a coal plant. Coal is too dirty; it has become too expensive to mine, ship, and burn; and it is the number-one source of climate-changing carbon emissions. If the world hopes to escape the worst effects of airborne toxins and global warming, it must stop burning the stuff—the quicker the better. So Wolverine’s cancellation of its so-called “Clean Energy Venture” puts the firm in step with the rest of the country and the world....

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