Friday, November 19, 2010

Complete Education For Complete Streets

Via the StateNews: Bill could increase bike education if passed
The bill, which passed by a 74-30 margin, would amend the Driver Education Provider and Instructor Act to require more education about laws pertaining to bicycles during the classroom instruction of segment 1 driver’s education. Emphasis also would have to be placed on bicycle awareness.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Go Sailing On Novemer 10th

The Storm seemed a lot like a November witch except in came in October.

Wunderground lists five storms that were true witches: Nov. 10th: A Day of Weather Infamy for the Great Lake States and the Upper Midwest
Kansas City's temperature dropped from a record high 76° at noon on Nov. 11th to a record low of 11° by midnight. Springfield, Missouri dropped from a record 80° at 3pm to 13° by midnight. Oklahoma City fell from a record 83° at 1pm to 17° by midnight. Chicago dropped from 74° at 1pm to 13° by midnight, and the Monthly Weather Review stated "one man was overcome by heat and two others frozen to death in the short space of 24 hours".

Raise The Roof

"It's like a grocery store in your backyard."

I love this. So simple and elegant and obvious.

Via Grist: Even city chickens want rooftop gardens on their coops

Photo and official site: Traci Fontyn - Kippen House

Build It And They Will Come

Surfers are known as people who will chase waves - going to where they need to be for the experience.

The recent October wind storm brought people to the Great Lakes for the surfing experience. See: High winds bring surfers to city

And a Canadian writer describes their trip to Lake Michigan for some late season surfing. See: Chill thrill: November is the best month for surfing on Lake Michigan

People are obviously willing to travel for the experience of good waves. Imagine what an always available Traverse City Whitewater park would do for tourism!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Great Wolf Lodge Is Struggling

The Wall Street Journal reports that if Great Wolf Resorts cannot modify the current loans for properties in Traverse City and Kansas City then it is considering walking away and letting the lender take over ownership.

For more details see: Wolf at Resorts' Doors

So in addition to abandoned elementary schools, one mall on its last gasps, and some noticeable vacancies downtown (like the hole next to the Record-Eagle), there could be another significant closing if that is what happens to Great Wolf Lodge. Yikes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Michigan's Food-Friendly Wines

I originally posted this at CulinarianCapital and re-posting here as it points how wonderful northern Michigan is. Good to be reminded of it once awhile.

We know northern Michigan wines are good, but wow, some incredible praise at PalatePress: Something is Going on in Michigan

Even better is to read the writer's blog entries in getting ready to write this article. They are collected at Grape Sense - Glass Half Full

First Taste of Michigan Wine Impressive
Two Lads, a Schoolhouse, and One Sharp Young Man
The Beauty of the Traverse Bay Area

Some of my favorite quotes from the blog are:
-I tasted two memorable wines there [Left Foot Charley], a very dry Pinot Blanc that has been honored time and again in numerous competitions. And a reserve Riesling that was simply the best American-made Riesling I’ve ever tasted

-Coe [Black Star Farms] has one of the most impressive destination wineries you’ll ever come across in the U.S.

-This Rose’ [from 2Lads] rivaled, if not surpassed, many I’ve enjoyed from France and Spain made from Grenache

-...they [Chateau Grand Traverse] grow Gamay – the Beaujolais grape. You can’t call it Gamay in this country so they call it Gamay Noir. They have a regular bottle ($12) and a reserve ($19). I liked the reserve a lot. It was not as earthy as the French versions but very nicely made wine with true Gamay flavor with good acidity and tannins on the finish. (Gamay Noir is my personal favorite "go-to" wine)

I guess it can all be summed with "The secret of Michigan wine, and particularly Northern Michigan, isn’t going to last long once people get a taste"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Crazy Ideas Department - Paying For Red Lights To Go Green

This does sound crazy but the prevalence of smartphones and their coming ability to pay for transactions makes this a real possibility. In-depth discussion is at 3quarksdaily: Free-Market Moloch? Paying to Make Red Lights Turn Green

Interesting concept...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Transportation Surprises

Some good news.

Grist interviews Ray LaHood: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood talks about livable communities
LaHood has proven to be much more than a roads-and-bridges secretary. He's been an outspoken and articulate proponent of high-speed rail. He's mounted an aggressive campaign against distracted driving. He's jumped up on a table to address the National Bike Summit, saying that, "I really came here just to say thank you to all of you for hanging in there with us. You all have made a big difference."

And perhaps most significantly, he has emerged as a defender of the "livable communities" concept, advocating for the construction of a transportation infrastructure that would make walking, biking, and modern public transit available -- and attractive -- options for every American.

And in Michigan, complete streets get legal backing as reported by GetOffTheCouch: Michigan AG Rules Highways Open to All Modes of Travel"
A pedestrian and bicycle pathway may be established within the right-of-way of a county road built on an easement granted for highway purposes, without first obtaining the consent of each owner of property abutting the highway."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

PigStockTC - Where Prosciutto Flies

Via R-E: Rare pig provides tasty prosciutto

Flickr: PigstockTC

Official site at blogger.

Black Star Farms will have their chefs there.

The pig making this possible is the Mangalitsa. Read about it at wikipedia.

PigstockTC shows the value of boutique agriculture, whether hops, chestnuts, or heritage turkeys; the farmer who mixes this low volume/high reward method guarantees themselves a mixed income stream. When Michigan realizes that its future is tied to agriculture I hope to see more events like this where chefs and farmers have fun with these new and unique ingredients.

Tip of my hat to you PigstockTC!