Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore superintendent Scott Tucker recently announced the issuance of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Platte River Mouth Restoration and Access Plan/Environmental Assessment (EA). The National Park Service (NPS) has selected the Preferred Alternative (Alternative 2) presented in the EA.

While the English often name their houses, here in the United States we typically do so only for our seasonal cottages. And the roads of northern Michigan are dotted with endearing cottage names painted and carved into roadside signs. Some signs seem homemade, others look professionally produced. Some are simple; others have elaborate scenic images and distinct fonts. They may refer to family name, the setting, the structure itself, values or preferences. A few declare that this is paradise.

Another sort of rebirth took place down the road in Benzie County last month—the rebirth of a community newspaper. The Betsie Current returned in April after an eight-year hibernation to chronicle Benzie’s news and events, businesses, characters and culture.

Come on over to Frankfort’s Stormcloud Brewing Company on Friday, April 11, from 8-10 p.m. for a spelling bee and kickoff party for the Betsie Current, a full-color newspaper that will re-launch on April 17. Enjoy a few locally made craft brews while you’re at it. The top teams will win prizes from the Stormcloud Brewery, Frankfort Community Federal Credit Union, The Garden Theater, Kilwins of Frankfort, and the Oliver Art Center. You’ll also get the inside scoop on the Betsie Current’s re-launch and be given the opportunity to suggest story ideas for this summer’s editions.

This spring, Northern Michigan natives Jordan Bates and Jacob Wheeler (founding editor and publisher of the Glen Arbor Sun newspaper in Leelanau County) will relaunch the Betsie Current a community newspaper that will cover the dynamic, tight-knit communities of Benzie County. The Betsie Current will be your go-to source for local news and events, and coverage of arts, culture and entertainment, particularly in the vibrant communities surrounding Crystal Lake — Frankfort, Beulah and Benzonia.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore wilderness bill passed the House of Representatives yesterday on a voice vote and will head to President Obama’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. Congressman Dan Benishek (a Republican representing Northern Michigan) championed the legislation in the House and expects it to be signed within the next couple weeks. Democratic Senator Carl Levin co-sponsored companion legislation that passed the Senate last year.

At the close of its second decade, the Dunegrass Music Festival now has a new home. The popular northern Michigan folk and bluegrass festival is leaving Leelanau County, where it was born to the late Mike Vanderberg in Empire in 1993 and exploded last decade to feature nationally known acts.

Center Gallery at Lake Street Studios in Glen Arbor begins its summer of weekly exhibitions July 1 with metal sculpture by Rod Bearup. The exhibition opens with a public reception at 6 p.m., and runs through July 7.

Visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (the local branch of the National Park Service) on Saturday, June 18, at 9 p.m. for an evening with the stars. Join a Park Ranger and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at the mouth of the Platte River on Lake Michigan Drive in Benzie County to learn about and celebrate the night sky. Watch the sun set into Lake Michigan, view the starry constellations, and spot the rings of Saturn through huge telescopes. If you are lucky, you may even get to see the elusive green flash as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Renowned local author Anne-Marie Oomen (American Map, Uncoded Woman) and theatrical dance director Gretchen Eichberger (American Document) will team up to develop a theatrical dance production with text inspired by late Benzie County naturalist Gwen Frostic’s meditations — in honor of the tenth anniversary of her death, (and in celebration of her life).