To the Michigan Land Use Institute and Glen Arbor-based Cherry Republic for launching 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms. The aim is to reimburse local school districts 10 cents for every 20 cents they spend on local fruits and vegetables. It started this fall in Suttons Bay Public Schools, Glen Lake Community Schools and Traverse City Area Public Schools elementary buildings, funded by nearly $28,000 from Cherry Republic.
n To Fred Sitkins, who has been named the new executive director of the Inland Seas Education Association. He takes over from Tom Kelly, who founded the program and was director for 25 years. Inland Seas operates the schoolship Inland Seas. Sitkins first crewed as a volunteer in the 1990s when he was in his early 20s. He later became the youngest principal in Michigan; he became Boyne City Elementary School’s principal at age 30.
n To the Grand Traverse Commons, which was to hold a “Walk in the Park” event over the weekend to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the redevelopment of the former Traverse City State Hospital into a 56-acre, multi-use public park. Visitors were to get a sneak peak at the extensive remodeling of a former farm granary into the new Visitor Center, which officially opens next spring.
n To Grand Traverse County commissioners who saved taxpayers money by reopening the bidding process for a Sheriff’s Department vehicle maintenance contract when it was discovered that the previous low bid was submitted to the county after a deadline for accepting bids. When the county reopened the process, the winning bid was less than the first low bid. The sheriff’s department spent nearly $79,000 on vehicle maintenance in 2012.
n To members of Progress Village, a grassroots advocacy group that helps area folks climb out of poverty, for hosting a “basic training” workshop on how to clean, cook, maintain a car, and have fun on the cheap. Members will teach women how to whip up their own lipsticks, lip glosses and facials, teach basic sewing skills and how to cook inexpensive, healthy meals. For information call the Area Agency on Aging at (800) 422-1713 or (231) 590-0100.
n To the MIDWEST Space Fest, organized by Magnetic North Nonprofit, that was to be held over the weekend in and around Traverse City. The event was to feature music, movies, talks and stars. Magnetic North founder Carolyn McKellar gathered fellow astronomy enthusiasts a year go to discuss the space festival idea. For more information on the group, visit www.magnorth.org.
n To the Michigan Department of Community Health which, beginning in April, will screen every Michigan newborn for critical congenital heart disease. Newborns are currently screened for 54 different disorders.