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April 22, 2014

Federal Government files $5 million suit against Sugar Loaf owner Remo Polselli

Filed under: government,Leelanau,michigan,news,skiing,sugar loaf — Andrew McFarlane @ 6:01 am

Lift 3 at Sugar LoafIn Feds Sue Sugar Loaf's Polselli for $5.1M in Taxes, the TC Ticker reports:

The federal government is pursuing more than $5.1 million in alleged unpaid taxes from hotelier and purported Sugar Loaf Resort owner Remo Polselli, according to a civil lawsuit filed this month in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

According to the April 3 complaint submitted by the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, Polselli neglected to pay required taxes on withheld employee wages under 26 separate corporate holdings or entities in multiple locations across the U.S., including Dallas, Palm Beach, South Bend and Tempe. The lawsuit covers time periods ranging from the tax year ending in 1992 up through the tax year ending in 2001.

In the complaint, the government requests the court "enter judgment...against Polselli in the total amount of $5,156,184.91 plus statutory additions from and after that date, including interest." The lawsuit also alleges in that many of the described instances of unpaid taxes, Polselli was notified of owed assessments and ordered to make payments, but that he "failed, neglected or refused to pay in full the amount of liabilities."

Read on for more including what Leelanau County officials are waiting for from Polselli.

Discuss over at Friends of Sugar Loaf on Facebook and look for an in-depth article in this week's Leelanau Enterprise.

April 13, 2014

Watch the Lunar Eclipse in the Sleeping Bear Dunes!

Filed under: glen arbor,Leelanau,michigan,news,outdoors,photo,sleepingbeardunes — Andrew McFarlane @ 8:00 am

Lunar-EclipseIn the early morning of Tuesday, April 15th, there will be a Star Party at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Via the Glen Arbor Sun:

As darkness falls on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the glorious night sky becomes visible. A four-hour lunar eclipse is the feature for the National Lakeshore’s first Star Party of the year. This unique program will take place during the early morning of Tuesday, April 15, from 1:30-5:30 a.m., at the Dune Climb. Participants are asked to park in the row furthest from the dunes facing M-109. This Star Party could be cancelled during inclement weather; the decision is usually made a few hours in advance. Please call Park Rangers at 231-326-4700, ext. 5005, for a voicemail message with the decision.

All Star Parties are free. Participants need only purchase the Park Entrance Pass or have an Annual Pass displayed in their vehicle to join in the fun. Kids of all ages can participate in the Night Sky Junior Ranger Program

And from Michigan in Pictures, this eclipse kicks off a a four eclipse tetrad - four straight total eclipses (last one on September 28, 2015) with no partial eclipses in between! The four eclipses are this one, October 8 2014 and April 4 & September 28, 2015. Here’s the eclipse viewing times for Michigan – times for other time zones can be found on EarthSky.

The April 15th eclipse begins at 2 AM Eastern time when the edge of the moon first enters the amber core of Earth’s shadow. Totality occurs during a 78 minute interval beginning around 3 o’clock in the morning on the east coast, midnight on the west coast. Weather permitting, the red moon will be easy to see across the entirety of North America.

Eastern Daylight Time (April 15, 2014)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 1:58 a.m. EDT on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 3:07 a.m. EDT
Greatest eclipse: 3:46 a.m. EDT
Total eclipse ends: 4:25 a.m. EDT
Partial eclipse ends: 5:33 a.m. EDT

April 11, 2014

Profile of Chef Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms

Filed under: food,Leelanau,michigan,suttons bay — Andrew McFarlane @ 7:17 am

The latest chef profile from eatdrinkTC features chef Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay and includes news of a new restaurant for Leelanau County!

Chef Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms

Chef Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms

His Start in Cooking

Jonathan said that as with many of us, his mother was the first cook he worked with. "My mom was always in the kitchen, and I always right there beside her. She was a fun, crafty kind of chef who didn't cook too much out of boxes or cans, and we were always going to the store and picking out fresh ingredients.

"My first job was at Schweitzer's By the Bay as a dishwasher at 16 years old. As soon as I got in a kitchen, I fell in love with the atmosphere and restaurant life pretty quickly - the camaraderie and teamwork and how there was always something that kept you interested and busy." (more...)

April 8, 2014

Talk About Art with Ken Scott and the Glen Arbor Art Association

Filed under: art,glen arbor,Leelanau,michigan,news,outdoors,photo — Andrew McFarlane @ 1:25 pm

Lake Michigan ... Earth Hour
Lake Michigan ... Earth Hour by Ken Scott

The Glen Arbor Art Association's Talk About Art continues with the words and iconic images of Leelanau County photographer Ken Scott this Thursday, April 10, 7:30 p.m. at the GAAA in Glen Arbor.

In addition to regular appearances on Leelanau.com, Ken’s work is seen weekly in The Leelanau Enterprise “Back Page" and on his own Ken Scott Photography Facebook. Ken is a self-taught photographer who has practiced his craft for 20-plus years and published five collections of images depicting Leelanau County and other northern Michigan places.

“Talk About Art” is a project of the GAAA. Presentations are open to the public without charge. No reservations required.

April 1, 2014

A new spin for Pure Michigan!

Filed under: fun,michigan,news,winter — Andrew McFarlane @ 9:31 am

via today's Michigan in Pictures...


APRIL 1, 2014 - LANSING, MI Governor Rick Snyder traveled to Ishpeming in the Upper Peninsula to announce to a crowd of media, dignitaries and frozen-to-death Michiganders that effective immediately, the “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign will be re-branded as “Pure Snow”.

“Who are we kidding?” Gov. Snyder explained. “Winter 2014 was like something out of the latest Thor movie (which coincidentally cost less to make than this year’s snow plowing bill). Pure Michigan has served the state well for years, but although it looks like we’re in the clear now - in another six months, it’s back to winter again!”

The state’s $8.4 million dollar re-branding effort will seek to market travel by snowmobilers, skiers and “people without a brain in their head.” The State rock will now be “ice”, the State capital will now be Pellston, the “Ice Box of the North”, the State motto will be “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, what the hell are you doing here?” and the State animal will now be “frozen in a snowdrift”.

f you enjoyed this...

Tim Allen declares for Governor!

Foretold Pole Switch a Boon for Leelanau - a rare bonus for those "left behind" on Spring Break

Great Lakes Submarine Photo Validated - what lurks under Lake Michigan?

Sheriff's Department Announces New "Sky Eye" Program - via the Leland Report.

Stunning Cherry Discovery - Researchers find startling new health benefit for cherries.

Sleeping Bear Awakes tells the story of what happened when the legendary Mishe-Mokwa, the sleeping bear of Sleeping Bear Dunes, woke up.

Fishtown Theme Park - Michigan's newest theme park opens in Leland!

Pyramids Unearthed tells of a dramatic discovery made by a kindergarten class at Pyramid Point.

Strange Tourist is a dramatic account of a "tourist" who came from a looong way!

Leelanau County isn't the only part of Michigan to experience odd events. Click for Jeff Daniels to star in Chrysler Emigrated from Escanaba commercialsBank bailout "tweak" to spur auto industry and Canadian Freeze Ray Wreaks Havok on Michigan!

March 28, 2014

Root Cellar Revival Harvest Dinner at Black Star Farms

Filed under: farms,food,Food & Dining,Leelanau,michigan,photo,suttons bay — Andrew McFarlane @ 9:21 am

A little Leelanau deliciousness via our eatdrinkTC sister site...

Root Cellar Revival by Black Star Farms

eatdrinkTC is a culinary guide to Traverse City and the surrounding area. Every month we do our free eatdrinkTC Photo Contest that features a food/drink related prize. You can amazing wine & food pairing dinner, Bowers Harbor Vineyards' 2896 Vertical Dinner on Saturday May 17! It's a $200 value and totally free & easy to enter your photo on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

Chef Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms snapped this photo for their upcoming Harvest Dinner on Wednesday, April 9th. The dinner is themed "Root Cellar Revival" and while the menu for these always depends on availability, here's what Jon is thinking...

  • Beet – roasted red and yellow beets, almond tuile, fromage blanc mousse, beet verjus vinaigrette, pea shoots
  • Celeriac – celeriac gnocchi, arugula cream, pancetta lardons, celeriac crumble
  • Parsnip – vanilla bean parsnip puree, pan seared breast of duck, parsley oil, parsnip crisps, swiss chard
  • Potato – potato sage mousseline, sweet potato gratin, grilled lamb tenderloin, fingerling confit, demi
  • Carrot – carrot ice cream, candied ginger, pine nut brittle, carrot caramel

I had a chance to attend their last dinner. The theme was "Goose & Turnip" and Jon, Stephanie and the crew did a spectacular job - photos right here!

March 13, 2014

Leelanau Hosts DN Ice Boating Championship March 15-16!

Filed under: boats,fun,lake michigan,Leelanau,michigan,news,suttons bay,traverse city,winter — Andrew McFarlane @ 6:45 am

Lake Michigan ... ice boating contemplation
Lake Michigan ... ice boating contemplation by Ken Scott

Last night I learned that the 2014 Central Regional DN Iceboating Championship will be held this Saturday & Sunday (March 15-16, 2014) on West Grand Traverse Bay. The primary launch site will be the DNR launch at Hilltop Rd. and M-22, approximately 9 miles north of Traverse City and 5 miles south of Suttons Bay on the Leelanau Peninsula.

More details about the event at DNA America and learn more about the International DN ice boat (a Michigan original) at Michigan in Pictures!

This should be a great event for spectators and ice boating on Grand Traverse Bay is pretty rare!

February 28, 2014

Sugar Loaf's Downhill Run

Filed under: cedar,Leelanau,michigan,news,Real Estate,skiing,sugar loaf,winter — Andrew McFarlane @ 9:16 am
Skiers navigate the moguls at Sugar Loaf ski resort in happier, and more solvent, days. (Flickr photo by Don Harrison; used under Creative Commons license)

Skiers navigate the moguls at Sugar Loaf ski resort in happier, and more solvent, days. (Flickr photo by Don Harrison; used under Creative Commons license)

Jacob Wheeler has three articles on Sugar Loaf in this week's Bridge Magazine. Downhill Run for Sugar Loaf begins:

Sugar Loaf’s chairlifts sit idle, their wooden seats and red paint chipping away as the seasons pass. The only skiers and snowboarders here are thrill-seeking trespassers who scale the mountain on foot. The warming huts at the top of Sugar Loaf are boarded up, with broken beer bottles and bonfire pits decorating their interior.

Elsewhere in Leelanau County, tourism and business are booming. “Good Morning America” dubbed the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as “the most beautiful place in America” in 2011, leading to record tourism the following summer and record profits for area restaurants and shops. Nearby Traverse City draws visitors from around the world to its film and comedy festivals, and its wineries and unique restaurants.

Against this backdrop, Sugar Loaf, listed by a local realtor at $8.7 million, remains the (white) elephant in the room. The resort once supported hundreds of local jobs during the cold months of the ski season, when warm-weather tourists stayed away. Like the abandoned Packard Plant in Detroit or the Hiawatha Iron Ore Mine in the Upper Peninsula, Sugar Loaf’s remains are now a blight on the landscape, a missed economic opportunity for the region and an embarrassment to its community.

Closed since 2000 following a string of light winters, Sugar Loaf has been courted and abandoned by a revolving cast of mysterious owners and suitors with backstories that read like a crime novel. The resort’s would-be saviors have included a convicted felon, a Las Vegas tax cheat and his new wife, a teenage lounge singer from New Zealand, the owner of an addiction treatment center and religious squatters. None have been able to reopen the place and, even today, nobody is precisely sure who owns the resort.

Making Sugar Loaf’s revival even more remote is a disastrous business deal that divorced the ski hill and lodge from the nearby townhouses, golf course and wastewater treatment plant, lessening the ability of any would-be owner to earn warm weather income from the resort.

“Everybody’s just sick of the dog and pony show,” says Karl Kitchen, who runs the “Friends of Sugar Loaf” Facebook page, which boasts 1,825 members. “They’re sick of the circus that has surrounded who owns it, and what’s gonna happen to it. Sugar Loaf Resort, as far as Leelanau County is concerned, is a fruit rotting on the vine, and people are getting sick of watching it rot.”

Read on for much more and also check out a look at what it takes to have a successful resort in northern Michigan (think summer) and his recounting of tried and failed efforts to re-open this fallen Leelanau angel.

February 15, 2014

Ice Caves of Leelanau

Filed under: lake michigan,Leelanau,leland,michigan,news,outdoors,video,winter — Andrew McFarlane @ 8:43 am

IMPORTANT SAFETY UPDATE! The Leelanau County Sheriff's Department has declared the ice caves on Lake Michigan unsafe!! The winds have moved the ice and there is now open water within feet of the caves, and the strong winds expected today and tomorrow will continue to push water and ice inland. There are also large cracks in the arches and they are expected to start collapsing soon.

mLive called out this incredible video by Tom Auch and George Meredith of the massive ice caves off the western shore of Leelanau County.

Getting to the formations is no easy task, he (Meredith) warned. Observers need to be careful about jagged terrain and ice alterations that could be dangerous. He suggested that some type of walking cleats are needed.

"You have to go out pretty far. That's the rub," he said. "You have ridges that you have to go around."

Since news stations began reporting on the ice formations a couple of days ago, large numbers of people have come to see them.

"This is a once-in-a-decade natural beauty," Meredith said. "Some of the caves literally have loft formations in them."

They are located off Gills Pier about 7 miles north of Leelanau and the article includes a map. I feel compelled to add that Lake Michigan is deep, cold and dangerous so please use some common sense and buddy up!

February 12, 2014

Snowshoe Stompede to benefit Parenting Communities of Leelanau County

Filed under: family,fitness,Leelanau,news,nonprofit,winter — Andrew McFarlane @ 5:56 pm

Snowshoeing at Silver LeafParenting Communities of Leelanau County is hosting their first annual Snowshoe Stompede on February 23, 2014 at 45 North Winery on Horn Road.

The Stompede benefits Parenting Communities of Leelanau County, and organization that promotes healthy children living in stable, nurturing families, supported by strong communities that provide comprehensive, supportive services.

Events will begin at 1pm with a 5k snowshoe race, and at 1:30pm with a kids’ 1/2 mile race. Families not interested in competing are welcome to come and watch the races and enjoy the trails at their own pace. Trails will be open to non-competitive users at 1:45. Child and adult snowshoes available for the public on a first come first serve basis. Enjoy post race fun around a fire, with hot chocolate and homemade goodies!

Race tickets are $20 per person for the 5k and $5 per person for the 1/2 mile, and non-racers are asked for a donations instead of fees for non-racers.

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