TRAVERSE CITY —
Last week's heavy snowfall was a start.
But Jack McKaig is taking nothing for granted.
McKaig is the race director for the White Pine Stampede, a cross country ski race that starts in Mancelona and ends at Shanty Creek near Bellaire.
In February, after unseasonably warm weather moved in and wiped out the snow pack, McKaig had to cancel the event for the first time since starting it in 1977.
A month later, summer-like temperatures in the 70s and 80s spread across the region for several days, causing havoc for the downhill ski resorts. Most closed down weeks earlier than normal. The snowmobile season also had an abrupt ending.
The weather, and its impact, is our No. 8 story of the year.
McKaig waited as long as he could, finally pulling the plug on the White Pine the Tuesday before the Saturday race date.
He had hoped to keep the 20K and 10K and scrap the 40K. But that Tuesday turned into a sunny 51-degree day and what snow there was about vanished.
"We had a glimmer of hope," McKaig said. "But when it went up to 50-something, whatever (snow) was there left."
Those skiers who had already registered will receive a $10 refund for the 2013 race.
McKaig said not many skiers registered in advance for last February's race given the weather.
"Cross country skiers are notoriously intelligent," he said. "They saw (weather) what was coming."
Given how the weather can change — and change quickly — McKaig is not getting too excited about last week's snowfall.
"It's something to work with," he said. "But we have to hope that in the next five weeks we can build on this and have a nice trail."
The Vasa, held a week later, was able to go off as planned in 2012, although the longer 50K race was shortened to 48K. Unlike the White Pine, a lot of the Vasa trail system is in the woods, which offers some protection from the elements.
Even at that, Vasa officials waited until four days prior to the race before making a final call.
In making the announcement last February, Vasa president Pete LaPlaca said, "I was checking the Record-Eagle and we've had 33.4 inches of snow all winter — and we're skiing on it. That's phenomenal. It's really a miracle."
McKaig, meanwhile, was in Arizona last March when the temperatures here soared into the 70s and 80s.
And in Tucson?
"We had snow," he said. "Then we come back home and we get the blizzard."
TRAVERSE CITY —
Last week's heavy snowfall was a start.
Film Fest Kicks Off With the Bite
Carrie and Don Sattler watched "Jaws" as lovestruck teens on a first date. Now 35 years into their marriage they hunkered into lawn chairs and windbreakers for another first — their first Traverse City Film Festival flick at the Open Space.Continued ...
Election Letters to the Editor: 07/30/2014
What experience?; Voice for N. Michigan; Only primary counts. (Plus more)Continued ...
Grand Traverse County board to meet
Grand Traverse County board members will hold their monthly board meeting Wednesday night.Continued ...
Forum: Chinese students; another view
There have been three recent headlines in the Record-Eagle about Traverse City Area Public Schools and the need for paid host families for their Chinese students. I understand the need and the value of the program; however the articles fail to explain the difference between the Chinese students and traditional exchange programs that have been placing exchange students in area schools for years.Continued ...
Fred Goldenberg: Getting teed off at high golf prices
I love to play golf. Come March I’m chomping at the bit to get out and hit the links.Continued ...
Deputies' union rep leaves loaded gun in bathroom
A loaded handgun left behind in a Grand Traverse County governmental center bathroom belonged to a union official who represents sheriff’s deputies in contract negotiations.Continued ...
Business in Brief: 07/30/2014
Chateau Chantal recognized; ACA webinars; Performance Chiropractic events. (Plus more)Continued ...
Film Festival Schedule: 07/30/2014
What's happening Wednesday at the Traverse City Film Festival:Continued ...
Film Festival Outtakes: 07/30/2014
Six Chicago-based Greenpeace workers are in Traverse City for Film Fest week to promote the organization's campaigns on honeybees, the rainforest, the Arctic and other environmental issues. (Plus more)Continued ...
Business Memoranda: 07/30/2014
Charlynn McBee replaced Peggy Kusina, who recently stepped down, as tour director at Castle Farms in Charlevoix. (Plus more)Continued ...
Old city manager signed off on splash pad changes
Former City Manager Ben Bifoss approved a change order that led to several current problems with the city's splash pad at Clinch Park, city documents show.Continued ...
City clerk: I made a mistake
A city official acknowledged the city violated state law when he denied an open records request for a draft report on the city's problem-plagued splash pad.Continued ...
Moore donates $250,000 to launch international movie program
TRAVERSE CITY — Michael Moore wants to broadcast Traverse City's love of independent, documentary and foreign films to the world. The Traverse City Film Festival co-founder signed a $250,000 check today in a quiet corner of the festival's box office.Continued ...
104th race attracts youthful contenders
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ten people — eight Republicans and two Democrats — are vying to earn their party's nomination for the 104th District state House seat, which covers Grand Traverse County. The Aug. 5 primary will determine party finalists for the November general election. This is the first in a series of candidate profiles.Continued ...
Elmwood Township man faces child pornography charges
An Elmwood Township man is accused of distributing child pornography. A investigation involving Leelanau County sheriff's detectives and FBI agents led them to Michael Edward Burr Jr., 22, who will appear Wednesday morning in 86th District Court for a video arraignment.Continued ...
1st-time candidate knocking on doors; ex-board member offers experience
Carol Crawford spends a lot of time walking long, dusty dirt roads and driveways as part of her campaign to join the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners.Continued ...
Director comes home for film festival
The Traverse City Film Festival will provide the ideal backdrop for Layne Austin Simescu’s return from college.Continued ...
Spartans show their film shorts
Cinematic Spartans will help celebrate the Traverse City Film Festival’s 10th anniversary with a showing of student films. This marks the first year Michigan State University students have been invited to the festival arena.Continued ...
Rain possible this afternoon, but likely dry for 'Jaws' tonight
Thunderstorms are expected to roll through downtown Traverse City this afternoon, a potentially frightening proposition for Film Festival goers -- even before they head to the Open Space to see the thriller “Jaws” at dusk.Continued ...
Foundation business anchors in Traverse
A rapidly growing business that fixes foundations is hiring about 20 employees for its new outlet in Traverse City.Continued ...
Glenn Puit: Farmers market, good credit and cool temps
It’s a cool, cool summer. Sounds like a bad song from the '80s band Bananarama. Yikes. Just when you thought you’d never hear the word Bananarama again some bald guy raises those big hair memories.Continued ...
Trails lead to economic growth
Martha Ryan guesses bikers riding along the Leelanau Trail between Traverse City and Suttons Bay boost her restaurant’s business by a hefty 10 percent. It doesn’t just bring more people into her restaurant. It brings hungry people.Continued ...
Study shows economic impact of Vasa Pathway
Businesses can track revenue, profits and stock prices to determine their economic impact. That's a tough task for recreation experts like Julie Clark, executive director of Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails.Continued ...
Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak celebrates decade in business
Beryl Skrocki saw a downtown in need of a little action when she looked over the Village of Empire in 2004.Continued ...
- July 23, 2014
Forum: Boat launch editorial overly simplistic
The July 17 editorial portraying the dispute over a proposed boat launch in Old Mission as being about open access is overly simplistic and inaccurate.Continued ...
- July 22, 2014
Mike Petty carded an ace on The Crown. He used a 7-iron on No. 16 for his second hole-in-one in 20 years of playing golf.Continued ...
- Film Fest Kicks Off With the Bite