The following op-eds by Bob Sutherland and Julie Zapoli—both Little Traverse Lake residents and Glen Arbor business owners—were written in response to the Sun’s coverage of Little Traverse Lake Association opposition to an expansion of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, a portion of which would run near the north shore of the lake. Sutherland writes, “It is unfortunate that we are going to lose more trees in the development of this trail, but in the big picture, this four-mile extension completes an infinitely positive recreational trail and a key transportation alternative for residents and vacationers in Leelanau County. The recent study that opposition used to stir up doubt in this final section should not take away from the decade of environmentally sensitive planning the National Park Service, Michigan Department of Transportation, Leelanau County Road Commission, and Army Corp of Engineers executed to meet all the federal wetlands, dune and endangered species regulations.”

“In Michigan’s primary election tomorrow, Democratic-leaning voters can either vote for President Biden or they can vote ‘Uncommitted’—with the goal of urging his administration to change course on the unfolding genocide that is occurring in Gaza with the ongoing complicity of the U.S. government toward Israel’s military,” writes Leelanau County resident and co-founder of MidEast:JustPeace Gina Aranki in this op-ed for the Glen Arbor Sun. Based on her personal experiences and trips to the Middle East, Aranki, a first-generation American of Palestinian parents, offers “The Palestinian side of the story.” Tomorrow’s vote has no bearing on how one votes in the November general election.

I admit it: I tried hard to not become a Michigan football fan. As a freshman in Ann Arbor in the fall of 1996 I found myself turned off by the manic, even cultish obsession with the team and the worship that transpired each autumnal Saturday. This wasn’t what attracted me to choose U of M for college. No, I wanted the great university, the vibrant college town, the oasis for radical politics. Then a funny thing happened. The following season Michigan ran the table and won every single game. What I experienced during the Rose Bowl-bound team’s 20-14 victory over Ohio State on a cold late November day at the Big House wasn’t about football, or even sports. It was the power of unity, of euphoria among strangers, of a trance as thousands of us move together in the same rhythm, with the same objective. I felt it again, albeit this time as an adult, when the Wolverines won the national championship last week. We are in our mid-40s now—adults with responsibilities—but we still need that youthful kinship, that unity.

Michigan remains at the bottom of the bottom for government openness among the 50 states. The Center for Public Integrity gave the Great Lakes State an “F” grade in 2015. In 2020 Michigan ranked 47th out of 50 for anti-corruption measures for public officials according to the Coalition for Integrity. Leaders from the Michigan Press Association have recently reached out to legislative leaders and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer requesting action with specific amendments to improve the open government climate in our state. This op-ed was written by the Michigan Press Association, of which the Glen Arbor Sun is a member.

On Memorial Day, my wife persuaded me to accompany her to County Road 651 Beach on Good Harbor Bay for a few hours of rest and relaxation in the afternoon, writes Tim Mulherin in this opinion essay we published in our June 29 edition. There we were. Along with perhaps 150 other folks who wanted to recreate at one of the most publicized scenic destinations in the United States. While we dismantled our sun tent, I observed two large dogs running off their leashes, owned by two unassociated dog lovers. That’s not only breaking National Park Service rules, it’s also downright rude. Not everyone loves dogs, including some people and all wild animals protected by the park.

As we approach Independence Day, I wonder at the concepts of “freedom” and “equality.” At the ways our governing bodies have historically made laws that only represent a portion of our population, writes Mae Stier in our Fourth of July weekend edition of the Glen Arbor Sun. From the inception of our country, wealthy white men have been protected by the laws they created for themselves, but people of color, women, children, and impoverished people have not received the same protections. As a woman born in the late 1980s, it feels difficult to see Roe v. Wade overturned. Women now have less autonomy than they did when I was born, and I fear what comes next. I now see abortion access as a necessary step toward equity, especially in a society that does little for parents and their children once they have left the womb.

As a local health officer serving six counties in northern Michigan, I see the profound impact of prevention and direct services delivered through public health professionals and innovative community partnerships on the health of people and environments. Successes of public health have contributed in a vital way to a 30-year increase in life expectancy since 1900 in the United States. Thanks to vaccinations for children and adults, there is decreased illness and mortality. However, I write this out of concern as a citizen for the future of our health and well-being.

I’m ashamed of the neglect for one of Glen Arbor’s most impressive landmarks. A historic monument to the areas pioneer past that stands in quiet solitude and stark decay. The lack of concern and care for the Glen Arbor Mill now appears to only welcome vandalism and fire, rather than an opportunity to preserve the old for the new. The Glen Arbor mill, once the heart of a community, deserves better.

The news media has suffered in recent years. Corporate consolidations have forced mass layoffs; the Internet and social media have redrawn the map; and demagogues at podiums malign us as convenient scapegoats. The latest blow to local news is the current administration’s shortsighted, illogical tariffs on newsprint from Canada.

Vote “Yes” on the Senior Millage on the Aug. 7 county wide ballot. The continuation of prevention services, as well as ongoing services are essential for an age friendly Leelanau. The last .275 millage in 2014 received overwhelming approval by the voters.