n To Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department firefighters who responded to an intense fire July 8 at 3:30 a.m. after a lightning strike ignited a 150-year-old restored homestead barn off North Long Lake Road. They were unable to save the barn, which burned in 30 minutes, but did save nearby storage structures.
n To Traverse City Light & Power and Consumers Energy utility workers who restored power to about 4,700 homes in Traverse City and Old Mission Peninsula on July 8 after lightning struck and downed a 46,000-volt Consumers power line, which fell on a distribution line shared by both electricity providers.
n To all the people and business owners who donated to the $50,000 reward offered to find the hit-and-run driver who killed bicyclist Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, on July 5.
n To SEEDS School of Rock campers and Earthwork Music Collective for a July 11 tribute concert for activist Bob Russell at the City Opera House. Russell suffers from stage four cancer and recently entered hospice. Cheers also to him and wife Sally Van Vleck for all their environmental and peace education work and advocacy for more than 30 years. The concert theme was resilience, which Russell defined as “being flexible when life drastically changes,” in his local public access television show, “Investigating Community Resilience.”
n To Interlochen Public Radio, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary on July 20 from 2 to 6 p.m. At the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. The event is free.
n To area cherry growers and processers who received good news last week from the state’s Cherry Industry Board. The estimated statewide cherry crop is expected to be about 208.5 million pounds, with 125 million in northwest Michigan alone. The state lost 90 percent of its crop last year because of late March freezing followed by an unusually warm spring.
n To Margaret Kelly, her sister Patty Kelly, and 25 other grandchildren and great grandchildren of South Manitou Island lighthouse keepers who will have a “worker bee” reunion on July 25. The Kelly sisters have visited the island several times a summer for about 30 years to mow farms and cemeteries, clean historical buildings and spiff up the lighthouse.
n To Grand Traverse County officials for voting to give a three-year vehicle maintenance contract to current contractor D&W Auto, even though their bid came in after the deadline in violation of the county’s procurement policy. The county committee backtracked and ordered the bids redone after another bidder questioned the fairness of the vote. County officials need to live by the rules they set if they want the public to trust local government.