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Airport Commission Meeting Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The second of Tuesday’s Northwestern Regional Airport Commission meetings was held on the second floor of Cherry Capital Airport (CCA). It began with two representatives from the National Cherry Festival thanking the board for their continued support during the first public comment segment. It was noted that there is a strong relationship between the Airport Commission (NRAC) and the Cherry Festival board. NRAC Chairman Doug DeYoung, and Grand Traverse Rep. Mike Coco were absent from the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Vice Chairman Tom Kern and Airport Director Kevin Klein. The meeting lasted just under an hour with a few key takeaways. One of the first orders of business was the stat

O'Malley Coffee Hour Monday, June 24, 2019

A group of Benzie Watchers and other Benzie Co. Dems filed into Rep. Jack O'Malley's Coffee Hour at the Almira Twp. Fire Station on Mon, June 24th. We spent our time focused on the Benzie Bus proposed 8 % cutbacks and the GOP's proposed transportation budget cuts. O'Malley, as you know, is the Chair of the Transportation Committee in the MI House. While he said that he voted for the amendment to keep the current levels of spending for Public Transportation and the Benzie Bus, he also said he voted FOR the proposed GOP Budget which includes a nearly 80% cut to Gov. Whitmer's proposed $2.5 billion budget fix for MI roads. The GOP's elimination of the 6% sales tax on gas at the pump, would defu

Chasten Buttigieg Event Friday, June 21, 2019

Hopeful is the word that describes the hour and a half spent in the presence of a young man who grew up in Traverse City and has been thrust into the limelight of a presidential campaign. Chasten Buttigieg is the husband of Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Chasten struggled with his identity having come out the other side with a great appreciation of his life and current happiness. He expresses deep empathy with all marginalized groups such as women, people of color, the homeless and veterans. He is not bitter but hopeful. He is ready to work hard to meet their challenges. Chasten was introduced by his drama tea

Pride Parade and Visibility March Saturday, June 22nd, Traverse City, MI, USA

The scene at Traverse City’s F&M Park on Saturday afternoon’s Pride Picnic before the Visibility March was fun filled and colorful with thousands of people and their kids dressed in costumes and flags, sporting Pride’s signature rainbow colors, while their dogs' hats, bows and kerchiefs sent the same message, all supporting our LGBTQ community. Traverse City’s mayor, Jim Carruthers’s, himself an out gay man, spoke of the evolution in thinking that this area has seen since he first moved here some thirty years ago. He talked about how it wasn’t safe to be an out LGBTQ person back then, and that while we still have a ways to go, it is much improved today. Jim stressed how amazing it is to th

GT Board of Commissioners Meeting June 19, 2019

The June 19th Grand Traverse Board of Commissioners Meeting started, unsurprisingly, with urges to move the meeting back to its original time of 5:30 pm. During the first public comment period, Carol Schukra, from East Bay Township, pointed out that 8 am meetings (later echoed by Ann Rogers, Traverse City) exclude the 9-5 workers and those who must get their children off to school. While the morning meetings have had decent turnout, as previously pointed out by Commissioner Clous, Carol said that the concern citizens have over the time change is that the majority of people attending the meetings are by and large retired citizens. This sentiment was echoed in later public comments, as well. A

"Governing Today: Exploring Partisan Polarization"

On June 12, 2019 Dr. Phil Mikesell taught a class at NMC entitled “Governing Today: Exploring Partisan Polarization.” The class was an excellent overview of the history of partisanship in the US, how we got to where we are today, and some thoughts and discussion about what can be done. I won’t summarize the whole class, but here are some of the high points: While today’s climate of polarization is quite bad, it’s not unique; America’s history is rife with partisanship. Dr. Mikesell pointed out that of all of the US presidents, only George Washington was not affiliated with a political party. In his farewell address, Washington warned that “One of the expedients of party to acquire influence,

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