2017-09-21 / Views

Thumbs up and down on Leelanau discussion topics

Swimming on a color tour?

That’s what will occur this weekend as tourism picks up in anticipation of the changing of the guard in Leelanau’s hillsides. We expect the color season to be spectacular — OK, that’s not news — but it will have to offer a dazzling show to compete with accolades directed at the weather.

In fact, we offer the weather a hearty “thumbs up” heading into Friday, the official start of fall. With daily temperatures expected to reach into the 80s through Sunday, summer has finally arrived.

Those are two stories, but there’s plenty to opine about throughout the Leelanau Peninsula. We offer offer hearty “thumbs up” to some, and shine a spotlight on others.

 Thumbs up for the legacy of Vina Mikesell, whose courage we always admired. Ms. Mikesell, whose opinions we disagreed with on occasion, was a leading spokesperson for the Leelanau Unit of the League of Women Voters. Her voice was at the forefront of social issues; earlier this summer she was elected vice president of programs for the statewide organization.

Her funeral service was held Saturday at Trinity Church of Christ in Northport.

 Thumbs down to Elmwood Township winemaker Frank Noverr for filing a civil suit seeking to prevent his organized neighbors from protesting at a wedding planned for Saturday. As it turns out, no protest was planned.

Mr. Noverr comes off as vindictive and a bully as he continues to ignore pleas from his rural neighborhood to turn down the music at his wedding venue. Conflicts are bound to crop up as vineyards and wood-plank barns grow in popularity for wedding parties. Unfortunately, Mr. Noverr offers a classic lesson in escalation as opposed to compromise.

 Thumbs up to Indigenous Peoples Day, which the County Board on Tuesday evening declared on a day other than Columbus Day. Contrary to reservations expressed last week by commissioner Debra Rushton, the designation won’t affect attempts by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians to be paid for past transgressions of state and federal governments. On the surface, recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day states the obvious: Native Americans were here first. But the message is much deeper, shining a light on a culture overtaken by Western expansion.

This editorial was written prior to Tuesday’s vote, so we find ourselves having to update. We had written that our preference is to hold Indigenous Peoples Day without conflicting with Columbus Day because it should be considered a celebration as opposed to protest. We understand the controversy that revolves around Columbus Day as Americans continue to revisit their values. The two should be separated, and we agree with the County Board in doing just that.

 Thumbs down to the Northport Village Council for its handling of the last trustee appointment in August, when Jane Gale was voted in by a 3-2 vote without mention or interview of four other applicants. Now another trustee, Fred Budd, has stepped down, providing a chance to select his replacement with less orchestration.

 Thumbs up to Wayne Kalchik and Mark Steimel, who held up the ideals of sportsmanship in becoming the first statelicensed bear hunters to harvest animals on the Leelanau Peninsula since at least the 1960s. Both hunters, who are lifelong residents, decided to stay in the county rather than hunt in neighboring counties where bear are more prevalent.

The number of bears has increased in Leelanau, making the hunt possible with little effect on the overall population. And thumbs up to the overall Leelanau community for understanding that a few bears need to be taken each year to keep them in check.

 And thumbs up to the Leelanau County artisan community, including the fledgling Northport Community Arts Association. The group embraced Suttons Bay digital artist Kat Dakota’s concept of inviting community members to join in painting a mural for the Northport Marina. Ms. Dakota handdrew the design, then had outlines of the design digitally transferred to 8-foot paint-by-numbers planks. The result was a beautiful addition to the marina and community involvement.

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