The restaurant space on the corner of West Third Street and State Street in Harbor Springs has seen several owners in its past, but Steve McDiarmid and his new cocktail lounge One Thirty Eight are looking to stick around.
“I think the community is excited,” said McDiarmid. “Our goal is to be here to stay, to be here as long as they let us.”
McDiarmid, who is originally from Metro Detroit, has over 20 years in the food and hospitality management business. When it came to figuring out One Thirty Eight, McDiarmid said it was all about the space. “I look at the space and I figure it out from there,” said McDiarmid. “This was a really beautiful build out, I didn’t feel the need to change a lot of it, but I thought we needed to put our touches on it.”
The space which previously belonged to Colin’s Corner Cafe, then Sprout, did undergo some minor renovations to complete McDiarmid’s vision including installing a new bar and changes in the outdoor seating areas.
City staff and members of the Harbor Springs community announced the Ted Swarthout Memorial Skatepark Project during the city council meeting on August 2, 2021.
The fundraising project, which was brought to the city by Sunny Wagner, aims to revamp the Harbor Springs SK8 Park to honor the vision of Swarthout, Sunny’s brother, who passed away earlier this year while awaiting an organ transplant.
Parks Director Rachel Roon and Harbor Springs SK8 Park coordinator Nate Jacques led the presentation outlining Swarthout’s vision for the new park and the issues with the current park.
Among other issues, Jacques said he believes the current state of the park is unsafe and financially challenging to maintain over time.
The park, which is largely made up of wooden skate structures, has to be moved and reorganized every season and Jacques says that only contributes more to its wear and tear and lack of safety. “It is the biggest jigsaw puzzle of my life,” said Jacques.
Not only are the structures difficult to maintain, but the asphalt surface they sit on can lead to even more challenges. “Over time the surface has deteriorated so much that massive cracks, gaps, bumps and weathering issues have made safe skating next to impossible,” said Jacques.
According to the presentation at the meeting, fixing the surface and replacing the wooden structures would require approximately $150,000, but the same issues would eventually come back.
“Skatepark usage has increased over the years,” said Roon. “The locals are using it, the visitors are using it, so it’s something we really need to look at.”
The solution, according to the project, is to transform the park to be made entirely from concrete. This will cut costs in staffing, maintenance and equipment while also eliminating many of the current safety issues.
Evergreen Skateparks is a skatepark company from Portland, Oregon, who have made several parks across the country as well as several already in Michigan.
Coddiwompling isn’t a word you might hear too often, but at TOPOnexus in Harbor Springs, it’s a way of life and learning. Unofficially, coddiwompling is the act of traveling with purpose but with no clear destination. It’s about exploring and being curious, and TOPOnexus believes it’s the most powerful way to learn.
The educational nonprofit organization founded by Molly Ames Baker develops education tools, makes them accessible to the community, and uses those tools to deliver dynamic, place-based and educational experiences.
“We’ve only had a space in Harbor Springs for about a year and a half now,” said Baker. “We started as a traditional LLC, and quickly realized the nonprofit model worked better for us.”
Baker, who has a background in adventure learning and experiential education, said TOPOnexus has been a long-term project.
“TOPOnexus as a concept has been evolving for almost 30 years,” said Baker. “The idea definitely involved my time as an experiential and adventure educator and I began to realize how it could fit in the traditional classroom and through life.”
TOPOnexus currently operates out of Harbor Springs, but they offer opportunities and educational experiences on a national scale for anyone who’s interested in connecting with their communities.
“Our name is our mission,” said TOPOnexus project manager Kate Cohen.
The annual summer series Street Musique returned for its third week in downtown Harbor Springs on July 15.
Hosted by the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce, Street Musique allows a weekly variety of Michigan-based artists to perform on the streets of downtown Harbor Springs every Thursday throughout the summer. All of the artists and performances are curated and managed by Blissfest, an organization from Petoskey that hosts its annual music festival of the same name in Harbor Springs. For fans and viewers, Street Musique offers a great way to enjoy an evening and explore new artists, but for Caroline Barlow, the volunteer and outreach manager at Blissfest, it’s all about building a stronger community. “It’s really community driven,” said Barlow. “We’re here doing work for the community year-round, not just the festival and we want to show the community that.
Shay Elementary School and the Harbor Springs Public School District offices in Harbor Springs. Online learning is coming to an end for students and staff of Harbor Springs Public Schools.
HSPS Superintendent Michael Behrmann said in an email there will not be any virtual learning opportunities offered by any of the schools in the district for the 2021-2022 school year. The district offered online and in-person classes through the 2020-2021 school year during the brunt of the pandemic. According to a graph on the district’s website, Harbor Springs Public Schools recorded a varying amount of positive cases since September of last year with a peak of 34 positive cases in April and a significant decrease to three positive cases in May.
To some Harbor Springs parents and students, the decline in cases isn’t enough to ease their worries.
Ally Warner, who’s son Cristyan and daughter Carrigan will be heading to 10th grade and eighth grade respectively, said she has concerns. Carrigan struggles with heart and lung disease, and Dysautonomia, a group of diseases that affects the nervous system.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Northern Michigan is not a very diverse region, which is reflected in the extremely small percentage of different ethnicities in Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS). Shown here are the total numbers of students of each ethnicity via Mary Beth Stein, a student services coordinator at TCAPS. Below are the numbers from the 2010 census year. Gina McPherson, a preschool teacher at TCAPS, has a lot of experience with this.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City in northwestern Michigan is home to many entrepreneurs. The town has a supportive food scene, excellent tourism, a strong Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens with amazing stories to tell. If you walk through Downtown Traverse City, you may come across Ben Phillips, owner and founder of Ben’s Boards, a company that rents paddle boards on Grand Traverse Bay. Scroll through social media and it’s likely you’ll see Sean Murray, founder of Green Light Podcast.
By BRIDGET BUSH
Capital News Service
LANSING – Emmet County’s recycling program has been recognized as one of four model programs in the state for having a high quality service that matches the needs of the community. The Michigan Profile of Recycling Programs and Potential Recycling studied recycling programs across the state, concluding that the level of participation among residents and businesses is a strong social cue to encourage others to recycle. The study was done by the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments with a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality. Under a recent law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, beginning October 1, establishments that recycle 100 tons or more per year must collect data and report their activities to the state. The law requires the Department of Environmental Quality to operate a statewide database of recycling efforts, exclusive of food waste, by the facilities, which will be published annually online.
By JESSICA BATANIAN AND EVAN KREAGER
Capital News Service
LANSING – While the state recently lost its bid for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone test site in northern Michigan, aviation officials insist they’ll be able to advance the new industry. The FAA recently designated sites in six other states, none in the Great Lakes region. Those now have federal support for civil and commercial exploration of what are known as unmanned aerial systems.
The competition received 25 applications from 24 states. The winners are Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia. Michigan remains committed to advancing the fledgling industry, said Rick Carlson, transport and safety manager for the Department of Transportation (MDOT) Office of Aeronautics.
By JUSTINE McGUIRE
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan’s anti-bullying law is only a year old, but some northern Michigan districts such as Alpena and St. Ignace have much more experience with anti-bullying policy and prevention. Alpena Public Schools has had an anti-bullying policy for at least 15 years, said Michelle Cornish, the district’s bullying prevention coordinator and Thunder Bay Junior High assistant principal. The program teaches students how to recognize, react to and report bullying, including cyberbullying. “We encourage students to report all incidents of bullying so that we can establish patterns and identify who the bullies really are,” Cornish said.