To the Special Olympics of Michigan, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort and Howe Ice Arena at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center for making the 2014 Special Olympics possible. An area that includes Leelanau, Antrim, Grand Traverse, Benzie, and Kalkaska counties sent 22 delegates to the games this year.
n To Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes and city commissioner Ross Richardson for raising a red flag about holding a city goal-setting session early on a Saturday morning in a non-traditional location and not televising it. They objected to submitting a list of priorities anonymously to a paid consultant. They also said there’s little public awareness of the meeting. To not holdi a goal-setting meeting in the most transparent way is a step backwards.
n To Leelanau County officials for performing an interior inspection of the long-vacant Sugar Loaf Resort looking for building and safety code violations in response to complaints from neighbors who worry about fire hazards. Steven Haugen of the Leelanau County Construction Code Authority and county administrator Chet Janik spent nearly four hours Wednesday doing the inspection.
n To the Committee to Restore Michigan’s Part-time Legislature, which got the go-ahead to circulate petitions in an effort to let voters decide in November if Michigan’s Legislature should be reduced to a part-time body. The constitutional amendment would limit lawmakers to meeting in a regular session for 60 days starting in early January, thought they could be called back for special sessions. Michigan is one of just four states with a full-time Legislature.
n To Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for seeking to spend $14 million over the next two years to step up the fight to head off more invasions by exotic species that spread disease and threaten Michigan’s native plants and wildlife. The proposal calls for adding about 16 positions in three state departments to strengthen early detection capabilities and work more closely with local governments and organizations.
n To Jim Evola of Evola Music stores in metro Detroit and Traverse City for paying to restore a 7-foot Baldwin Artist Grand piano once used by classical pianist Karl Haas on his long-running radio show “Adventures in Good Music” and ship the instrument to Haas’ son Jeff Haas, a local jazz pianist. The program ran on WJR radio in Detroit from 1959 to 1974.
n To George Lisle Thayer IV, a Central Lake High School student who has accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. As grades now stand Thayer is Central Lake High’s valedictorian. He’s a straight-A student, is the student body president, was a captain of the school’s football team and a member of the National Honor Society.