Downtown Traverse City

Two floods, two weeks and too much water

Jun 11, 2020
Dan Wanschura

The second extreme rain event in two weeks has led to yet another sewage spill in the Boardman River in Traverse City.

 

A public health advisory has gone into effect, and the Grand Traverse County Health Department has advised the public to stay out of the water at beaches including Clinch Park, Sunset Park, Bryant Park and the Grand Traverse Senior Center. 

 

Aaron Selbig / Interlochen Public Radio

Update: Sources confirm that the "Open Carry" rally has been cancelled after a request from the Traverse City Police Chief. A protest over George Floyd's killing will still be held in Traverse City Saturday.

 

Randy Bishop, a radio host in Cheboygan, has called for an “Open Carry” rally in Traverse City this weekend amid planned protests over the killing of George Floyd.

As of Thursday night, one protest over Floyd’s death was planned for 12-2 p.m. at the Open Space in Traverse City on Saturday.

Dan Wanschura

The public health advisory for Grand Traverse County has been lifted today.

 

E. coli levels in the Boardman River have now returned to a safe level for full body contact with the water.

 

After heavy rains caused 54,000 gallons of sewage to leak from a manhole cover into the Boardman River last Thursday, several beaches and locations along the Boardman River were closed.  All of those locations are open and safe for use again.

 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Parts of Traverse City's Front Street will be closed to vehicles to make more room for pedestrian foot traffic this summer. The City Commission approved the proposal at a virtual meeting Monday night.

Heavy rains flood Traverse City

May 28, 2020
Gretchen Carr

  

Heavy rains Thursday afternoon left parts of Traverse City underwater.

During the height of the storm, about 2.5 inches of rain were recorded in less than an hour, according to Grand Traverse County’s emergency management supervisor Gregg Bird.

Today on Stateside, restaurants in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula were allowed to open for sit down dining. We spoke with two restaurateurs; one who opened and one who stuck to take-out orders. Plus, how one high school senior is preparing for his future amid uncertainty.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Some businesses in northern Michigan reopened Friday, with restrictions, under an executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

While many welcomed the news, some businesses are playing it safe.

Voters will decide the next public art display in Traverse City.

Tonight, five local artists will pitch ideas for a public art display downtown near the Boardman River, and audience members will vote to decide the winner. The Traverse City Arts Commission is hosting the event.

Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Dams hurt native fish by blocking their access to rivers — but removing dams to let the fish through would open the way for invasive species.

A first-of-its-kind barrier designed to deal with this problem by sorting fish will be tested on the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City. If it’s successful, it could be a model for rivers all over the world.

What to do with dams

Earlier this week, the owners of Horizon Books in Traverse City, announced the store would be closing sometime this year.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Horizon Books in Traverse City is closing. The iconic bookstore has been a popular gathering place on Front Street for almost 60 years.

 

New public art in Traverse City's Clinch Park Tunnel honors Anishinaabe heritage. The murals were painted by artist Bobby Magee Lopez from Denver, Colorado.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

New public art is now on display in Traverse City at the Clinch Park Tunnel, and it once again features art murals honoring the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

After a run of 11 years at the State Theatre in Traverse City, broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera performances will no longer be streamed live at the theatre.


TCL&P approves fiber-optic internet plan

Jun 12, 2019
Creative Commons

On Tuesday, the Traverse City Light and Power board voted to finance a new fiber-optic internet plan. 

One of the concept paintings submitted by Colorado-based artist Bobby Lopez. He was selected by the Traverse City Arts Commission to honor Anishinabek culture in the Clinch Park tunnel mural.
Bobby Lopez

There used to be Anishinabek art in the Clinch Park Tunnel in downtown Traverse City. But in 2013, the tunnel was remodeled and the art was painted over. Now, the Traverse City Arts Commission is returning native American art to the tunnel. 

 


Governor Gretchen Whitmer visits Traverse City
Taylor Wizner

Governor Gretchen Whitmer met with employees, local business leaders and community members at TentCraft shipping facility in Traverse City on Monday.

Max Johnston

Homeless shelters and nonprofits are getting headcounts of the homeless across the country this month. The data goes to the federal government for homelessness prevention. But this year's count in northern Michigan happened to fall on one of the coldest nights of the year.

Dave Mertz reaches for a spoonful of chili during The Downtown Chili Cook-Off at the Park Place Hotel.
Dan Wanschura

Last Saturday, nearly 1,600 hungry people stopped by the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City. It was the 28th annual Downtown Chili Cook-Off and this year visitors tasted 20 different varieties from local restaurants. 

Max Johnston

Incumbent Republican Jack Bergman and Democrat Matt Morgan debated local and national issues, including the Line 5 pipeline under the straits of Mackinac.

 

 

Bergman said he supports building a tunnel in the straits. That plan is also supported by Governor Snyder.

 

Morgan says Line 5 should be decommissioned, and instead he wants more natural gas in the Upper Peninsula.

 

Tech incubator opens in downtown TC

Jul 25, 2018
20 Fathoms

A new tech incubator opens its doors in downtown Traverse City this week. 20 Fathoms will provide workspace and business coaching for eight small tech companies in fields like satellite communications and cryptocurrency mining.

Executive Director Andy Cole says local investors are eager to help new businesses get off the ground.

"Traverse City's a really small town, but it is incredibly dense with entrepreneurial and technology talent,” says Cole. “And then also has a really untapped, but important investment community."

Spencer McQueen paints in his studio in downtown Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Spencer McQueen says looking at his art isn’t enough. He wants you to feel his paintings.

“It’s just this little extra ability that you can give someone to connect with you and the things that you created,” he says.

Artist Diane Hawkey created "Peaceable Kingdom: A Global History of Man" for Michigan Artists Gallery in Traverse City. The piece is based off Edward Hick's paintings and is displayed at Michigan Artists Gallery.
Dan Wanschura

In the early 1800’s, American painter Edward Hicks began painting “Peaceable Kingdom," a series of 62 paintings inspired by a verse in the book of Isaiah.

The verse says, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” 

In Traverse City, two different art galleries are bringing that concept to the art world.

 

Chris Andrews walked across the country pushing this cart in an effort to spark face to face conversations.
Chris Andrews

A couple years ago, Chris Andrews, a senior at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, realized he was addicted to his smartphone.

“It was something I was using as a crutch,” he explains. “Something that I was using in moments of boredom, moments of anxiety, or a moment of silence in a group of friends – we’d all reach for our phones.”


Matt Shepler prepares to blend some Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate in his kitchen in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate is a brand new, gourmet hot chocolate that’s made in Traverse City. It hits the market on April 15th.

“It’s literally like you’re drinking chocolate bars because that’s exactly what it is,” says co-owner Matt Shepler.


TC partners with LGBT group to plant 'wishing tree'

Apr 3, 2018
Nobuhiro Suhara

Traverse City officials are teaming up with an LGBT organization to build a piece of public art downtown.

The city Arts Commission plans to erect a “wishing tree” in the Warehouse District during the annual Up North Pride week in June. The tree is meant to hold handwritten wishes tied to its branches.

The City Commission approved the project Monday night and approved spending up to $2,000 on the tree.

Traverse City resident Rick Buckhalter opposed the project. He said the Arts Commission is overstepping its bounds.

Google Maps

Traverse City will not write Proposal 3 into its zoning laws. Prop 3 was passed by voters in 2016; it forces a public vote on any building over 60 feet tall. The law became part of the city charter but not part of its zoning code.

Mayor Jim Carruthers said at a meeting last Monday night that writing the law into both places would clear up confusion. But most city commissioners – including Richard Lewis – disagreed.

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