Tag: Traverse City

PR: Morsels Partners with FLOW in Continuation of Monthly Community Giving Partnership

 

Contact: Misha Neidorfler                                                321 E Front Street
Morsels, LLC                                                                    Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: 231.421.1353                                                      www.morselsbakery.com
Mobile: 231.715.6281

For immediate release:

Traverse City, MI, March 29, 2017: For the month of April 2017, Morsels
Espresso + Edibles, a specialty bakery, featuring unique, bite-sized baked goods,
will be partnering with FLOW (For Love of Water), continuing an effort to support
the Traverse City community through unique, partnering arrangements. Morsels
has created a custom morsel (their bite-sized bakery goods) for FLOW called,
“for love of rosewater,” which is pistachio-cardamom cake with rosewater
frosting. For each of these morsels sold, Morsels will donate $.25 to FLOW at the
end of the month. The morsels will be available for purchase in the store as well
as on Morsels’ website for shipping from April 1-30.

 
FLOW is a water law and policy center working to protect the common waters of
the Great Lakes Basin through public trust solutions. We educate, engage, and
empower citizens to protect the Great Lakes now and forever. To learn more
about the systemic threats facing our Great Lakes water and how you can help,
we invite you to visit our web site at www.flowforwater.org.

 
Morsels Espresso + Edibles, owned and operated by local couple, Jeff and Misha
Neidorfler, offers a selection of specialty, hand-crafted, bite-sized desserts and
savory treats, along with a Michigan-sourced breakfast and lunch menu, and
features specialty coffee and tea from Intelligentsia Coffee and Kilogram Tea.
Morsels has been in business in Downtown Traverse City since 2008.
FLOW’s unique morsel flavor called, “for love of rosewater.” Morsels creates
specialty, bite-sized baked goods and will donate $.25 of each of these morsels
sold in the month of April to FLOW.


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Some Thoughts for the New Year: Common Home and Common Principles – Living and Working for the Common Good

 

Jim Olson FLOW Founder

 

 

By Jim Olson

President, FLOW For Love of Water, Traverse City

Attorney, Olson, Bzdok & Howard, P.C., Traverse City

 

 

 

 

When I look back over the past year, I can’t help but feel hope in the common goodness of people and communities.

I say this not without heart felt and serious concern about events in the world that point in the opposite direction – despair: increasing violence from guns, war, and sweeping droughts and floods, causing death and dislocation of millions of people and children, global warming and the push-back from unprecedented storms and extreme weather that compound drought, floods, landslides, which in turn destabilize countries like Syria fomenting conflict and conditions for ISIS. To paraphrase Circle of Blue senior journalist Keith Schneider, “The earth is angry and she’s fighting back.”

Closer to home, Detroit water shut-offs continue despite the devastating impact on the poor who can’t afford to pay a normal water bill, let alone the $100 a month or more claimed by the Detroit Water Board. State leaders finally stop denying the Flint water-crisis more than a year after residents demanded help, that its children and residents were exposed to high levels of lead from the city’s public water system. The problem is more endemic than Detroit or Flint, since both crises grew out of the unbridled power of Governor Snyder’s emergency manager law to usurp the power of city assets and revenues to pay debts regardless of the impacts to citizens. Flint’s emergency manager thought only of economic expediency in turning off water supplied from Detroit, and tapping into the filthy, polluted Flint River. Then there is the continual threat from the flow of oil in the aging, nearly 63-year old Line 5 pipeline under the Straits; the harm from a release or leak would be so catastrophic, the risk is unacceptable to everyone; yet the flow of oil continues without immediate temporary measures while state officials continue to study it as if it was an “issue,” and not the clear and imminent endangerment of the Great Lakes and the Straits of Mackinac – the fact is there is enough capacity within the pipeline system in the Great Lakes without Line 5 endangering the Straits.

So why the hope? Other events have happened this past year that point to a new way of understanding and, perhaps, solving many of the threats that we face in the world and our communities.

First, Pope Francis issued his encyclical on climate change and the environment, connecting the reality of our excessive consumptive materialism, global inequality, poverty, ecological and community devastation, and violence that follows. He carefully documented that our way of seeing and doing, our post-modern god of the law of free markets and legally justified greed, our fragmented attempts at dishing out money to help the poor are not working. He says this because we are living a material, market place illusion, and not in harmony with the reality that the earth is our “common home,” and that if we do not share its gifts and respect its inherent natural limits, earth’s water, weather, soil, and the biological diversity on which all life depends will continue to worsen to even greater extremes. He points to a new paradigm, a framework in which we work and live with the understanding that a body of water, whether ocean, Grand Traverse Bay, or Lake Chad, are a commons, part of the gift of earth as commons to all. If we do this, not only with water, but the ridge lines and forests, the beauty and land that are home to our relationships, our cities, the neighborhoods within our towns, the soils beneath our feet, the air we breathe, then we will begin to reshape our life around truth and the given limits of nature, and this will guide our living, our way of life, or economy, full and rich with newly directed creative and sustainable opportunities and entrepreneur ship.

Second, amidst a world of conflicts, from Syria to the Ukraine, from our own cities, to Nigeria, Sudan, and Afghanistan, and in the aftermath of the mass murders from extreme terrorists in Parrs, the nations of the world cooperated: leaders of large and small, developed and developing, or undeveloped countries, recognized the responsibility to each other, agreed to something, the world temperature will not rise more 2 degrees, and maybe less. While it is not law yet, if taken implemented, it will help stave off global calamity greater than two world wars last century, by reducing the irreparable damage we face from climate change and global warming. There is hope in the agreement that we stop denying and see the mounting harm and set a goal that through hard-work and common sacrifice offers a way out of an unthinkable alternative for people everywhere.

Third, we witnessed the bridging of differences by our Supreme Court in precedent setting cases that demand human dignity for marriage between two people, human rights to housing and water for the poor without access, as wells as the genuine search for a common goal to address wasteful and harmful water rights in the middle of the historical California droughts.

Fourth, our political debate heating up even before the 2016 presidential election has pointed to something more than the old, increasingly polarized beliefs in market economy, through money at wars and problems, rather than considering the root of the problem might be the way we are looking at them. Regardless of my own or others’ political persuasion, there is a fresh voice in Bernie Sanders, laying out the case for a community based on sharing of wealth, taking care of neighbors, and our neighborhood, what Pope Francis calls our “common home,” and at the same time helping with services to the poor, respecting and honoring diversity, and encouraging new business innovation. We have been trapped in this country in a red and blue, right and left, straight-jacket of false ideology, rather than identifying those things that are essential to every one of us and providing for them as principle of our country—the common good.

Fifth, then Michael Moore comes out with his latest film Where to Invade Next? Good God, here we have the message that we here in the USA had the idea, come up with the ideas, of common good, yet go in the opposite direction of individualized competition based on a law of the jungle called free markets. Everything is about profit and money and bottom line. The world is not a corporation, it is a commons in which corporations organizations are simply a means, not an end.

Do we really have a choice? Our common home and communities are simultaneously local and global. It’s not just act locally, think globally, or act globally, think locally. It’s all of this and more. If we don’t act, for example, on climate change, or understand that climate change is not just an energy issue but about water and food, if we don’t move toward a renewable economy within a few years, small island countries will literally disappear, rainforests and biodiversity will disappear, coastal cities and other areas will increasingly flood and fail from even more extreme storm events or the day-to-day failure to change, adapt and embrace resilient cooperation—the common good. All one has to do is read through “4 Degrees Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience,” a report published by renown scientists and even sponsored by the more conservative World Bank. The picture is not pretty, and it would it is ignorant, even immoral, at this time in history not to act, even out of self-interest, for this common good.

So I end this year and start the next with hope. At FLOW, the Great Lakes and Water Policy Center, here in Traverse City, and other organizations throughout the region, we have chosen as a mission and goal to protect the waters of the Great Lakes basin as a commons with principles, known as the public trust doctrine, that require government as trustee and people as beneficiaries, to work together to respect and protect water and community that depend on it from impairment. Private control of public waters and other public commons has always been prohibited; this is because some things essential to all of us are common to all of us. If we don’t protect the commons, we undermine the air, water, community and neighborhoods where we live. To work and live toward the common good is to work for the commons and at the same time work for yourself, family and friends. To not work for the common good, is to continue the long, slow, or perhaps not so slow, disintegration that leads to destruction of the earth, water, air, community, people, and leads to a world violent and unsafe.

It is hopeful and reassuring to see positive events pointing toward this new way of seeing, understanding and doing – living and working for the protection and sustainability of our common home and the common good. They are one and the same. Here’s to another hopeful New Year.

 

 

 

Mayors of Traverse City and Mackinac Island Urge Gov. Snyder to Regulate 61-Year-Old Oil Pipelines in Straits

 

Traverse City’s Mayor Michael Estes urged Gov. Snyder in a letter this week to take action as the state’s primary trustee and to regulate twin 61-year-old pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac that transport about 23 million gallons of oil every day.

Traverse City’s letter follows a similar letter that Mayor Doud of the City of Mackinac Island sent to the governor’s office just last month.  A catastrophic oil spill in the Straits would surround Mackinac Island and affect an 85-mile stretch from Lake Michigan’s Beaver Island to Rogers City in Lake Huron, according to University of Michigan’s recent dispersion model.

“Due to our proximity to the pipelines, a spill of almost any size would surround the Island in oil, shut down all ferry service, and leave residents without a viable drinking water supply for an indefinite period of time,” stated Mayor Doud in her letter to the Governor. “As Mayor of this unique community, I cannot stand by and simply hope that the pipelines pose no threat.”

Mayor Estes heralded the importance of water to Traverse City’s economy and way of life in his letter to the governor: “Lake Michigan’s clean water and magnificent shores are the backbone of Traverse City…  In 2013, tourism alone generated more than $1.23 billion in economic activity and was responsible for maintaining nearly 12,000 jobs in the Traverse City area.  Allowing the integrity of these waters to fall by the wayside would thus have dire consequences for the economy of the Traverse City area and subsequently the State of Michigan.”

This issue is a high priority for Mayor Estes who is a U.S. Michigan Advisor to the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, which issued a resolution in the spring for the replacement of Enbridge’s pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.

The State of Michigan issued an easement to pipeline owner and operator, Enbridge, in 1953 to place two twenty-inch-diameter oil pipelines on the state-owned bottomlands and waters of Lake Michigan.  As owner and trustee, the state has a perpetual duty to the public to protect these waters and public uses of drinking, swimming, fishing, navigation, and recreation.  This means the state must ensure that that these private oil pipelines never harm or impair the state public waters.

Liz Kirkwood, executive director of FLOW, commended both Mayors Estes and Doud saying, “Mayor Estes and Mayor Doud are serving their cities well by taking this leadership role and raising this important Great Lakes issue before the Governor who is our primary state trustee and steward of our waters.”

FLOW is a lead partner in the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign – comprised of over 17 environmental organizations, businesses, and tribes – that authored a letter to the Governor, Attorney General, and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director in July, calling on state leaders to ensure Enbridge is in full compliance with the State’s 1953 easement.  The letter requested the state to require Enbridge to file an application under the Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act and conclude that these oil pipelines will not impair or substantially harm the public trust waters or bottomlands in Lake Michigan.

 

 

Intern Adventures: Courtney Hammer

Hello! My name is Courtney Hammer, and I am thrilled to be spending twelve weeks this summer up in the beautiful Traverse City, Michigan interning with FLOW (For Love of Water). I was raised down south in Roswell, Georgia, but Traverse City is home away from home for me, as I have vacationed up here every summer visiting my grandparents, relatives, and friends.

courtney hammer flow internI will be a senior at Michigan State University this fall. My family bleeds green and white, so I have been a Spartan since birth. I am in the James Madison College at MSU majoring in Comparative Cultures and Politics. I am also working towards a minor in Spanish and a Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy Specialization. Throughout my time at MSU, I have been a member of the varsity women’s soccer team.

Over the next few months I will be applying to law schools, and the plan is to start that next chapter of my life in the fall of 2015. I am passionate about both the environment and human rights, so I want to do something that involves an intersection of those two areas.

At FLOW, I am helping out with research and writing projects for our variety of programs, especially concerning nutrient pollution, and I am assisting Jim Olson with the curriculum development for the Water Policy and Sustainability (for the 21st Century) course he will teach at Northwestern Michigan College this fall. I have already learned a tremendous amount about the endless applicability of the public trust doctrine and just how vital of an overarching legal tool it is for the Great Lakes and environmental policies at large. For instance, I have specifically seen how it should impact local government capabilities with fracking and the State’s regulation of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. Additionally, with nutrient pollution, I have learned just how crucial it is in terms of enforcing best management practices to mitigate both agricultural and stormwater runoff.

That is just a snippet of who I am and what I have been doing at FLOW. I am excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store for me!

BAYLIFE North: For Love of Water FLOW

Frankfort Lighthouse with Surfer - John Russell

Click here to read the article in BAYLIFE North Magazine (page 40)

By Allison Voglesong

The vast Great Lakes contain 20 percent of the whole world’s fresh surface water, but they are not infinite. That’s one reason why James Olson helped found FLOW, a Traverse City-based nonprofit. FLOW’s acronym means “For Love of Water,” and FLOW’s policy and education programs protect the Great Lakes.

It started when veteran attorney Olson represented a community group battling a Nestle water bottling plant lowering a nearby stream. Since the beginning, FLOW has worked to protect this limited fresh water supply.

How did FLOW go from protecting one stream in Michigan to protecting 90 percent of the nation’s freshwater supply? “The water cycle connects it all,” explains Olson, “whether it’s your backyard creek or rain watering your garden. And it needs to be protected at every point in this water cycle.”

The water cycle doesn’t just connect the Great Lakes to the pond at the park; it connects the people who use it. Fresh water for drinking and sanitation is a human right, and Executive Director Liz Kirkwood points out that FLOW’s programs safeguarding certain public protected uses that rely on clean and abundant Great Lakes water, like fishing, swimming, boating, navigation, and commerce.

FLOW Staff Allison Voglesong Eric Olson Jim Olson Liz Kirkwood

FLOW Team: Allison Voglesong, Communications Designer, Eric Olson, Communications Director, Jim Olson, Founder, President and Advisor, Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director

“These protected uses are all special for health, for happiness, for our jobs and economy. And because water is a common resource that is shared, we have to make sure that what we do with the water protects it for everyone,” says Kirkwood.

That’s a lot to think about when watching the sun’s opalescent reflection across the lake horizon. It’s also a tough pill to swallow realizing that your neighbor’s loud motorboat has the same right to use the waters as the quietude of your fly rod.

Above all, Olson and Kirkwood hope that the idea of protecting our common waters empowers citizens who live, play, and visit in the Great Lakes. “Once you realize these uses are legally protected, you’ve got a starting point for taking action,” says Kirkwood. That’s why FLOW’s offer legal strategies for people to address the issues that hit close to home. Between climate change, invasive species, algal blooms, pollution, and thirsty communities looking to tap our water, there has never been a better time to act than now.

As the tourist season in the Grand Traverse area simmers through spring and summer boils it to a fever pitch, we might forget that we should want to share our common waters when all we really want is a place to unfurl our beach towel, undisturbed. Yet our capacity and willingness to share our beautiful waters is what defines the culture of Grand Traverse just as much as the contour of the bay shores defines our remarkable landscape. The mission of FLOW’s Great Lakes Society citizen contingency captures this trait in four words: “Common waters, common purpose.”

Frankfort Lighthouse with Surfer - John Russell

For more about FLOW’s programs, the Great Lakes Society, and to follow their updates, please visit www.flowforwater.org.

Signs Now Traverse City 2013 Recycling Program Recipient: FLOW

Click here to view the press release as a PDF

For Immediate Release
Media Inquiries:
Sarah Malpeli
PR Manager
(941) 993-5037
sarahm@allegranetwork.com

Signs Now Traverse City Announces 2013 Recycling Program Recipient

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Aug. 9, 2013)
Andrew and Amy Kohlmann, owners of Signs Now Traverse City, recently selected FLOW (For Love of Water) as the recipient of their 2013 recycling program proceeds. The team at Signs Now Traverse City, located at 1702 Barlow St., recycles returned signage materials throughout the year and will donate a percentage of the original product sale to the non-profit. FLOW is a Great Lakes water policy and education non-profit based in Traverse City. FLOW works to ensure that the waters of the Great Lakes are protected now and for future generations by recognizing the Great Lakes as a commons, building deep public awareness, engaging decision-makers about the threats and abuses facing the Great Lakes, and advancing public trust solutions to protect the rights of the people and waters of the Great Lakes Basin.

“After running our recycling program for several years, we have donated over $2,400 to local organizations dedicated to preserving and improving our region’s natural habitats,” explains Kohlmann.

The Signs Now Traverse City service base includes business solutions for outdoor and indoor signage, banners, window and vehicle graphics, exhibit and trade show graphics, ADA signage, dimensional letters, directional systems and other visual communications tools.

For more information on Signs Now, call (231) 933-7446 or visit the company’s website at <a href=”http://www.signsnowtc.com” target=”_blank”>http://www.signsnowtc.com</a>.
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Name the Five Great Lakes: Summer Internship

My name is Eliza Somsel and I am currently an intern here at FLOW. I am from Grand Rapids, MI originally, but after I graduated high school in 2011, my parents moved to Traverse City. While I have not lived here long, I have always enjoyed Crystal Lake, Lake Michigan and the rest of Northern Michigan at my grandparent’s home in Beulah. I am a rising junior at the College of Wooster in Ohio, studying Communication and Environmental Studies.

As FLOW’s summer Grassroots Outreach Intern, I wear numerous hats. I write press releases, assist in event planning and advertising, and work on expanding our Great Lakes Society. My favorite work, however, is finding new ways to expand FLOW’s presence in the greater Grand Traverse community and Great Lakes Basin.

Here I am (left), with Allison Voglesong (center), and Justin Sterk (right), showing off our "Wheel of Water" at Green Day

Here I am (left), with Allison Voglesong (center), and Justin Sterk (right), showing off our “Wheel of Water” at Green Day

On Friday, July 5th, FLOW participated in the National Cherry Festival’s DTE Energy Green Day with our newly invented “Wheel of Water.” Along with FLOW staff and volunteers, I developed a Great Lakes trivia game and constructed a spinning game wheel to draw the attention of festivalgoers. My goal was to get people thinking about the importance of the Great Lakes and the work that FLOW does to protect the waters both now and for future generations. The wheel was divided into four colors that aligned with a category of questions: science, geography, people/economy, and history/politics. The process of creating the game was enjoyable itself, but I was absolutely in my element when interacting with kids and adults alike who share my passion and interest in the Great Lakes. I even got my picture in the Record Eagle!

For the kids, I asked a preliminary question before playing the game. “Can you name the five Great Lakes?” I was fortunate enough to have a variety of entertaining answers throughout the day. Some kids blew me away by naming them off without a blink of an eye, while others could only name one or two at best. I often heard that Crystal Lake, Torch Lake, Silver Lake, or whichever lake they loved was considered to be a Great Lake in their opinion. While by definition this may not be true, I must agree that any lake is a pretty “great” lake and worth protecting.

This is me showing a boy from Missouri what the Great Lakes are!

This is me showing a boy from Missouri what the Great Lakes are!

Like many of you, I have always loved the Great Lakes and want my future (way in the future) children and grandchildren to get to experience them as I have. FLOW strives to ensure this through the public trust. While a seemingly complex concept at first, I have come to understand the public trust as the best way to protect our waters. The public trust doctrine essentially says that water is shared and owned by the public and therefore cannot be privately owned. Uses of the waters have to be balanced in such a way that protected uses, like swimming and fishing, are maintained. FLOW works to ensure these rights are not forgotten or ignored. Activities or projects such as the Enbridge pipeline expansion across the Straits of Mackinac—which will transport tar sands through the Great Lakes—is a violation of the public trust. Using this principle is, to me, the most obvious solution to many similar threats to the Great Lakes. For this issue in particular, I am attending Oil and Water Don’t Mix: A Rally for the Great Lakes this Sunday, July 14th.

Also, join me on Friday, August 9th in downtown Traverse City during Friday Night Live to test your knowledge of the Great Lakes and spin the “Wheel of Water!”

FLOW Featured on UpNorth TV’s Volunteer Northwest Michigan Program in July

Click here to view and download the full press release PDF

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 27, 2013

Flow Featured on UpNorth TV’s Volunteer Northwest Michigan Program in July

Volunteer NW MITRAVERSE CITY, MI – FLOW, the Great Lakes Basin’s only public trust policy and education center, will be featured on UpNorth TV, channel 2, throughout the month of July, every Sunday and Wednesday evening from 8pm-9pm, and every Friday morning from 9am-10am. Hosted by United Way of Northwest Michigan, the Volunteer Northwest Michigan show highlights FLOW’s innovative programs to ensure the waters of the Great Lakes are protected now and for future generations. UpNorth TV’s feature on FLOW will also be available online.

Steven Wade, United Way’s Executive Director of Northwest Michigan, interviews FLOW’s Chair and President, Jim Olson, Executive Director, Liz Kirkwood, and Communications Designer, Allison Voglesong, about how locals can volunteer with FLOW and take part in protecting our beloved Great Lakes.

FLOW has several upcoming volunteer opportunities. On July 5th, FLOW will participate in DTE Energy’s Green Day during Cherry Festival. Volunteers will assist members of the FLOW staff educate the community about threats to the Great Lakes with a fun and interactive game. Additionally, volunteer positions are available for Blissfest on July 12, 13, and 14; Friday Night Live on August 9; and our Annual Celebration on August 17. Sign up here to volunteer.

Additionally, this TV segment discusses FLOW’s programs, including the public trust education program, water levels program, local government “fracking” ordinance program, and water-energy-food-climate change nexus program. Additionally, Jim Olson, environmental attorney, who has been practicing environmental and water law for more than 40 years, gives an in depth history of water law in Michigan and tells the story of how FLOW evolved from a coalition to a policy and education center.

FLOW’s approach to policy and education for preserving and protecting the Great Lakes centers on the ancient principle of the public trust. The public trust is a key principle that enables citizens and governments to protect our waters as a commons, owned and shared by the public for the use and enjoyment of all. The public trust doctrine is the legal foundation for protecting and maintaining resources such as beaches, navigable waterways and harbors, wetlands and wildlife, tributary streams, and groundwater. Additionally, it protects public uses including navigation, commerce, fishing, boating, swimming, other recreational purposes, and drinking water.

Fishers, boaters, swimmers, beach-goers, and other water-lovers of all ages should tune in to UpNorth TV in July to learn more about how they can work with FLOW to ensure that the Great Lakes are protected for our favorite activities now and for future generations.

The segment will air on Charter Cable’s analog channel, 97, and digital channels, 2 and 992, throughout Northwestern Lower Michigan from Manistee to Cheboygan.

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FLOW is the Great Lakes Basin’s only 501(c)(3) nonprofit public trust policy and education center. Our mission is to deeply educate communities and leaders about the public trust as a solution for sharing and preserving our common waters.