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Northern Michigan activists march in historic NYC rally

Climate Change | September 22, 2014 | By MLUI

MLUI staff members were among 56 climate activists to travel from northern Michigan to New York City this weekend for the largest climate rally in history. ...

Northwest Michigan’s Farm to School Program Thrives

Farm to School | September 19, 2014 | By Diane Conners

In Northern Michigan Kids news, schools across northwest Michigan have been serving up local food experiences in cafeterias, classrooms, and school gardens, and we’ll be sharing some of those stories each month. It’s a concerted effort to get kids excited about eating healthy food. And, wow, does it show. ...

‘MILE’ Act Helps Businesses Access Capital from the Masses

Local Economy | September 19, 2014 | By Shauna Treter

Did you know that Michigan recently passed new legislation making it much, much easier for state residents of any financial background to invest in Michigan-based businesses?
...

Northern Michigan Climate Activists Headed to NY for Historic Rally

Climate | September 18, 2014 | By MLUI

Fifty-six northern Michigan climate activists will hop on a bus this weekend for a whirlwind trip to New York City to take part in a historic climate change rally. The Sierra Club, national climate advocacy group 350.org, and several national environmental organizations are organizing this weekend’s march in New York City to coincide with United Nations summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution....

Ag Forum: In a digital world, is agriculture still relevant?

Ag Forum | September 18, 2014 | By Bill Palladino

Yet despite technology’s advancements, the last time I checked food isn’t grown by the judicious application of ones and zeros. Websites don’t plant seeds, and microchips don’t worry about organic certification audits. I’ve never known a software company to bring a handful of loam to its nose and smile at its richness, or let slip a tear of joy at the birth of a calf. With technology taking over our lives, is agriculture still relevant in a world racing to leave old ways behind? Solidly I say the answer is yes....

Staying on Track

Rail | September 18, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

Since MLUI released a report that described what it would take to get some kind of train running on the 11-mile stretch of railroad tracks between Traverse City and Williamsburg, I’ve presented the idea to local community groups, state transportation agencies, and to an eager audience at the Michigan Rail Conference in Metro Detroit. The more I investigate this idea, the more realistic it becomes....

Traverse City Solar Conference Aims to Boost Michigan Jobs

Solar | September 10, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

The Solar Powering Michigan conference on Sept. 12 in Traverse City could be arriving at just the right time, as more lawmakers and advocates are exploring ways to make sure solar is part of Michigan's clean energy future. Organizers say the conference is the first of its kind in Michigan and is all about creating new jobs. ...

Win tickets for Harvest@theCommons

Harvest | September 8, 2014 | By MLUI

On October 11, MLUI will present Harvest@theCommons, a community farm-to-table event that will feature the best ingredients northern Michigan has to offer. You are invited! Not only to the event, but to help generate a buzz about all the good work this community is doing. The task is simple:...

Straits Pipeline Critics Ready Their Clipboards for Big Bridge Walk

August 27, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Members of citizen groups from around the state will be in Mackinaw City on Labor Day, but they won’t be on vacation. Instead, they will be at the south end of the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk, collecting signatures for a letter aimed at the most prominent of the event’s predicted 50,000 striders, Gov. Rick Snyder.
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Easy Loan Brings Clean Energy to Prominent Southfield Building

PACE | August 25, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Ari Kresch, CEO of 1-800-LAW-FIRM, likes to brag that his Southfield company is the first in the country to use its phone number as its actual name. Perhaps more significantly, though, he may be the first attorney in the country to use an innovative, new financing mechanism called PACE, which stands for property assessed clean energy, to make major, money-saving, clean-energy upgrades to his building....

Transportation Plan Stuck in Reverse

TC-TALUS | August 20, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

The Michigan Land Use Institute is pleased to submit the following comments to the TC-TALUS Board regarding the TC-TALUS Long-Range Plan....

Rebuilding 'foodshed' and community resilience

Bob Russell | August 7, 2014 | By Diane Conners

“Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems,” by farmer and university professor Philip Ackerman-Leist, is the third book in the Bob Russell Resilience Reading Project. He discusses how we came to the largely industrial food system that we have today, where it’s often easier for a school in our region to purchase lettuce from California, for example, rather than from farmers right down the road....

TC-TALUS Seeks Comments on Long-Range Plan

TALUS | August 7, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

The Traverse City Area Transportation and Land Use Study (TC-TALUS), the regional transportation planning agency, wants feedback on their draft long-range plan, which recommends how local agencies should spend scarce transportation dollars. While there are many bright spots in the plan, it assumes we can build our way out of traffic problems with new and wider roads. It fails to recognize the role that demand-side strategies—like parking management, reliable transit and safe bike networks—play in reducing traffic at the busiest times of the day....

‘Energy Freedom’ Bills: Time to Unlock Homemade Power in Michigan

Clean Energy | July 29, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

A bipartisan group of state representatives has introduced four bills, known as the Energy Freedom package that would allow Michiganders to invest more in solar, wind, or methane-powered generation; reap a better return; and share credit for the electricity they produce. Different combinations of 12 Democrats and five Republicans are sponsoring different parts of the package, marking a shift in the Michigan Legislature. ...

Special Report: Putting Solar Power to Work in Michigan

Solar power | July 25, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Michigan is far behind other states in generating solar power. But it’s hardly a cloud-cover problem: After all, solar is soaring in states no sunnier than ours. What Michigan has is a solar policy problem. A “solar work group,” composed of MPSC staff, utility representatives, and solar business advocates, is working to find next steps for the utilities’ fledging solar initiatives. MLUI is part of the group, and is reporting on these meetings—which might create a significant, even historic turning point for the rise of solar power in Michigan....

Master Gardener Scholarship Application Deadline Aug 6th

Gardening | July 25, 2014

We’re two weeks away from the deadline to apply for a scholarship for the Fall 2014 Master Gardener Training Program. Applications must be received by August 6th. Follow this link to download the application.*...

Pick of the Week: Zucchini

Fresh to TC | July 25, 2014 | By Rebecca Fisher

One of the things that struck me about northern Michigan is the high quality of life. Part of that characteristic is the access to fresh and high quality produce. I have immensely enjoyed the opportunity to go the farmers market and to get to cook my own food....

Ag Forum: Too many accolades — no way!

Local food | July 24, 2014 | By Bill Palladino

If you’re anything like I used to be, your eyes roll every time you hear of yet another “best of” accolade for the Grand Traverse region. I’ve long been a bit cynical about community self-aggrandizement. But last week, while taking a trip to the East Coast with my wife and kid, my cranky world-view received a great big blow. So now I must say, “Mea culpa, Traverse City!”...

DTE and Consumers: Time to Let the Sun Shine In

Solar power | July 23, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

What if a profitable monopoly with an unshakable grip on its customers refused all pleas to establish a program that, cost free, would create lots of good jobs in Michigan and aid the rise of a crucial global industry here? That’s Michigan’s situation, thanks to DTE Energy and Consumers Energy’s regrettable reluctance to renew and expand their rooftop solar programs....

No Consensus on Pay Rates for Rooftop Solar Electricity

Solar power | July 23, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Four months of meetings have failed to produce an agreement among state regulators, solar energy advocates, and the state’s top two utilities about expanding the companies’ highly popular customer-owned rooftop solar programs....

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