Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Read our March interview with Gretchen Eichberger here.
Dress, an original theatrical dance production created and directed by Northern Michigan folk culture maven Gretchen Eichberger, brings together amateur and professional dancers, musicians, poets, and activists to explore a woman’s experience of rebellion, sensuality, ecology, and piety. Cast members reside in Michigan, and the work of Michigan writers Jennifer Sperry Steinorth and Stephanie Mills are featured.
Conceived almost two years ago, the show takes on special relevance in light of recent world and national events that seem to threaten women’s quest for political, social, and economic liberation.
Two parts of the Dress cycle were previewed March 15 at the Oliver Art Center, followed by a thoughtful, provocative, multi-gender discussion between the performers and audience. The movement is by turns unsettlingly dramatic, intimate, and beautifully evocative of the everyday, natural gestures.
The preview’s opening piece, “Unfurl,” was accompanied by a reading from Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, as Eichberger, wearing a black dress and “freakout” hair, frantically absorbs the literature of women’s liberation, then attempts to distribute it among the audience. In “Their Common Universe,” two young women, played by Amy Jo Jordan and Lena Wilson, movingly revisit the act of playing dress-up.
Eichberger began work on this project in 2011 after an encounter with author and bioregionalist Stephanie Mills. Mills, a resident of Leelanau County, gained nation-wide attention with her 1969 college commencement address in which she vowed never to have children. Her declaration was made in response to the lack of “a rosy future” for generations to come and the problem of overpopulation. Since then Mills has been speaking, editing, writing, and organizing for ecology and social change.
Shortly before encountering Mills’s work, Eichberger became aware of the poetry of Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, whose poignant observations of toil, love, childbirth, and the black dress she says “set her hair on fire.”
Along with the written texts, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, and Arvo Pärt will be performed by the Grand Rapids area mezzo soprano Melinda Smalley, Traverse City pianist Laurence C. Smith, and internationally acclaimed violinist, Yuri Namkung.
Dance ensemble members include Sally Neal, Denise Sica, Laura Cavender, Lena M. Wilson, Cindy Toranzo, Amy Jo Jordan, Kris Brown, Kima Kramer, and Yarrow Wolfe.
Inside Out Gallery is located in the Warehouse District of Downtown Traverse City. Tickets for Dress are $12.00 and are available at Inside Out and Oryana. Doors open at 7:00 pm; performance begins at 8:00 pm.
By Emily Votruba
Next Tuesday, April 16, beginning at 7 pm, the Elberta Planning Commission will hold two public hearings at the Elberta Library (704 Frankfort Avenue).
The public is asked to consider the Commission’s proposed definition of “apartments.” If approved by the commission and the village council, this definition will be added to the zoning ordinance. The commission also proposes to make “apartments” permissible as a special use in the C-1 Commercial District.
The proposed definition: “A unit with one or more rooms having a private bath(s), and private kitchen facilities. An independent, self-contained unit used for residential purposes in a building containing three (3) or more said units.”
The C-1 Commercial District is roughly contiguous with the former Bay Valley Inn property. The map below appeared in the 2008-13 Park and Recreation Plan, which was compiled with the help of the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. The official zoning map of the Village is being updated and was not available at post time.
The second hearing concerns Loy Putney’s special use permit application to create “apartments” in the C-1 Commercial District at the old Bay Valley Inn property, which he purchased in March 2012.
Mr. Putney’s site plan review application, special use permit application, and site plan appear below. The application was obtained today from Ken Bonney, Village Zoning Administrator. You’ll see that Mr. Putney applied for “apartments,” as a special use in the C-1 District.
Mr. Putney’s site plan drawings for what he proposes to call the Elberta School Apartments can be viewed here: Site Plan for Elberta School Apartments.
Loy Putney brought a lawsuit against the Village board of trustees last year alleging racial bias in the denial of the land use and special use permits he submitted to create agricultural labor housing in the Bay Valley Inn Property.
On January 9, Judge James Batzer dismissed the racial bias claim and upheld the Elberta Zoning Board of Appeals’ June decision to deny Putney’s initial land-use permit application, as labor housing is not a use covered by our zoning. The Judge also found that the zoning ordinance has to be made available immediately, either printed off the computer or in hard copy for a reasonable photocopying fee, to whomever requests it.
Judge Batzer indicated that if Putney went on to apply for “apartments,” any conditions imposed on that subsequent permit application should be reasonable, and that the Village should strictly follow the timeframe for response outlined in the ordinance.
After the ruling, Village attorney Ed Roy, reached by phone, made the following comment: “The Village is pleased that the Judge agreed with the Village’s position, that both the zoning administrator and the ZBA did their job correctly. The Village is saddened by the fact that Village residents incurred tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees in what should have been a simple matter.” Ψ
By James Ward
March 12, 2013
ELBERTA LIBRARY—Present: Carl Noffsinger, Doug Holmes, Ron Beyette, Sharyn Bower, and Linda Manville. Guest: James Ward
The treasurer’s report and minutes were approved from the meeting in February 2013.
A motion was seconded to close the regular meeting and go into a public hearing on the new township budget for 2013–2014.
The new budget was approved and public hearing closed. The budget discussion included maintenance, spring cleanup, and fire protection concerns. A budget of $840,615 was approved. Copies of the Gilmore budget are available from township treasurer Laura Manville.
The clerk’s report followed up on the Axtell request concerning a possible tree removal at the Gilmore Township Cemetery. She said the Board of Review would meet this week. Bower said that repairs and maintenance had been completed on the tabulator.
Old business included further discussion of the request from the Township Assessor to collect allowed fees for late submissions of Property Transfer Affidavits and the responsibility of the Township Treasurer to collect those fees. The issue was tabled until further information is gathered concerning the Township enforcement responsibilities.
New Business noted scheduled Township Meetings for the year at the Library Building, 704 Frankfort Ave, Elberta for 2013/2014 (see dates below).
Motion to adjourn and approved. Ψ
By James Ward
February 12, 2013
ELBERTA LIBRARY—Present: Laura Manville, Carl Noffsinger, Doug Holmes, and Ron Beyette. Guest: James Ward
The treasurer’s report was accepted.
New business included the approval of Charlie Hendershott, Ken Holmes, and Bob Delanoy to the Board of Review.
Further New Business included the following: The Axtells had submitted a request to take down a tree in the Gilmore Township Cemetery that could possibly damage to their lot. Motion was made to table the issue until more information was available.
A motion was made and passed not to provide financial assistance to the Snowmobile Safety Program as requested by the Benzie County Sheriff’s Office.
Marvin Blackford, the Gilmore Township Assessor, requested by letter for the Board to incur allowed fees charged by the Assessor if a Property Transfer Affidavit was not filed within 45 days of sale. A Property Transfer Affidavit is required by law. In addition the request noted that the Township Treasurer would be responsible to collect the fees. The Board decided there were many questions concerning this request and more information was needed from Mr. Blackford.
Meeting adjourned. Ψ
By Emily Votruba
At the February 19 County Commissioners meeting, the commissioners voted 6 to 1 to adopt the International Property Maintenance Code (see link below). The vote occurred during the department head reports portion of the meeting and was not on the agenda. After a presentation by Robert Theobald and Richard Fast about the so-called “question mark” building in Honor, Homestead Township commissioner Frank Walterhouse made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-001. The lone nay vote was from Elberta’s own Don Tanner, chair of the County Commission.
According to county administrator Chris Olson, Olson and a committee consisting of Frank Walterhouse (Homestead), Glen Rineer (Benzonia), county attorney Richard Figura, and building official Bert Gale recommended adoption of the code. This committee also “tailored” the ordinance at the time the code was adopted at the meeting, by filling in blanks in the code dealing with the maximum height for grass, the range of fines for noncompliance ($100 to $500 a day), the enforcement officer (building official Bert Gale), and the dates for seasonal rules such as grass height (May 1 to November 1) and the period during which a dwelling must be heated to 68 degrees (October 1–May 1).
According to a letter from Figura, violation of the ordinance was to be considered a civil infraction. The fines will be levied as a lien Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks to the Joyfield Residents group on Facebook for making the pdf of the new county property maintenance code available. We haven’t actually read it yet, but you can! We’ve heard it’s pretty strict, which should please lovers of neatly trimmed grass, but cause some headaches (and pocketbook aches) for those with “working” yards, and even those who just don’t always pick up after their dog in their own yard. One provision prohibits homes from being left vacant for more than a month. Fines can be over $500 a day. The code was adopted with a vote of 6 for, 1 against—that one no being Elberta’s own Don Tanner, chair of the County Commission.
The commissioners will likely discuss the code again at the March 26 meeting at 9 am.
Stay tuned for a report later today on why Tanner voted against, why he’s got an unlikely ally in Joyfield Twp trustee Mark Evans, and why Roger Griner and Frank Walterhouse voted yes.—Emily Votruba
Please take a moment to consider donating to this important local Elberta cause. Help the Stapleton family pay for their daughter’s continued care in an autism treatment program.
You can donate on the dedicated Alert page here.