Leelanau County businesses have found an innovative solution to the region’s vexing affordable housing and workforce recruitment crisis. County government, chambers of commerce, and local businesses will team up to build a vast tent encampment at the vacant and abandoned Sugar Loaf property, which was once a cherished ski resort and Leelanau’s biggest year-round employer before gangsters, con-men and real estate tycoons closed it for good nearly 25 years ago. “We had the same housing and workforce crisis in the metropolis of Traverse City,” said Rikardo Liko, former Traverse City chancellor and Leelanau’s current interim county administrator. “But the tent encampment in the pines in the Grand Traverse Commons solved all that. We found that hardworking people who can’t afford to pay $3,000 per month for rent in northern Michigan, and can’t afford a $1 million home on the water, could instead live in tents in the woods and keep our tourism and service economics afloat.”

Big Glen Lake resident Chip Hoagland — dubbed the “Warren Buffet of food” in a recent Traverse Magazine feature story — will be honored with the Milliken Leadership Award by the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the nonprofit’s annual Harvest at the Commons celebration. Tickets to the event, including dinner and entertainment, cost $45 and are available at

Grab your friends and attend the seventh annual Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, August 22-23 at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Over 200 beers will be on tap. Enjoy great music all evening long, shake your tailfeather in the Silent Disco tent, delight in delicious local food, and visit with thousands of other craft brew and music lovers. With the incredible Brandi Carlile and Nahko and Medicine for the People headlining, the weekend tickets are worth their weight in solid gold memories.

The Bee-nefit is an event to promote awareness of bees, their importance in the world, and the threats they face with Colony Collapse Disorder. It is a part of the Senior Glen Lake School Envirothon team’s community outreach project and Molly Flerlage’s senior project.

The 2011 Traverse City Wine & Art Festival takes place Saturday, Aug. 20, from 3-10 p.m. on the beautiful front lawn at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, rain or shine. This is Michigan’s premier celebration of wine, art, food and music, offering an incredible opportunity to taste wines from 24 wineries as you dance, dine, and see extraordinary performers, art and artists.

Great Lakes Friends of Safe Passage will sponsor the second annual Esperanza 5K run on Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. (registration at 9) at the Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City. “Esperanza” is the Spanish word for “hope”. Safe Passage is an internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to bringing hope and opportunity to children of the Guatemala City garbage dump community.