Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February YP Blog, Updates, Stories, and Highlights.

            Happy February from the YP Blog and Blogger Adam Rhoades.  This is the first official blog I have ever written.  The blogs will have a fun new format with a slew of information and updates from TCAPS, Grand Traverse County, Garfield Township, and City of Traverse City.  We will also have guest bloggers, new business highlights as well as a ton of other random, funny, intriguing, and grasping information. 

            Here is a small tidbit about myself.  I grew up in Ottawa Lake, Michigan, which is 5 minutes from Toledo, Ohio.  I majored in Marketing and Professional Golf Management at Ferris State University.  I met my wife Kaitlin at Ferris State who grew up in Suttons Bay.  We spent 4 years away from Michigan in Austin, Texas but then moved back to Traverse City a few years ago.  I currently work at Traverse City State Bank and Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.  I still try to grow the game of golf teaching golf lessons at The Crown Golf Club when the ground is not snow covered.  I became involved in the Traverse City Young Professionals late summer last year, and it has been very rewarding meeting some amazing people.  To everyone who reads this, I highly recommend you get involved as much as you can especially if you plan on living in the area the rest of your life.  The network you grow personally and professionally is priceless. 

            I am not sure if there is a correct format for blogs, but I have decided that each week I will share something with you that is relevant to what is going on in the community.  And of course I would love feedback.  This month I wanted to focus on the importance and lack of affordable housing.

We all know that the big talk in the past 6 months or so has been the housing market in this area and the lack of affordable housing available especially to young professionals who are new to the area, have been here a while or even want to move back “home.”  This topic of conversation has affected my wife and me since we moved back to the area in 2012.  We were used to living in Austin, where you could find a great place to live at an affordable price that was not far from downtown.
When we first moved back we had to move in with her mom for 6 months then move in with her dad for another 5 months before we became very lucky and found a top floor of a triplex next to the airport.  We searched high and low for any housing options even living in Northport after fixing up an old farmhouse that her grandparents own and commuting to Traverse City to work.  After renting our small little place for over 2 years, we were needing a house with the hopes of expanding our family.  We searched and found a few places, made a few offers, but they all needed so much work that we would not be able to afford them.  We even placed an offer on a condo before that fell through the floor.  The whole process that should be a great step in life became deflating and hopeless. 

After looking through what must have been hundreds of listings and emails, my wife and I found a great place in a great location, which would put us closer to her parents.  The process to get the house that we are in was crazy.  We looked at the house at 7:00am, put in an offer 30 minutes later, and quickly found out there was another offer.  We were bummed of course because the house had not even been on the market for 24 hours.  We offered more than listing price knowing the place needed a good amount of work, but we were ready for the renovation project.  We wrote a letter, we emailed the listing agent, and even starting talking to the seller begging him to take our offer telling him our story and how his house fit us perfectly.  After putting in an offer beginning of August, we finally closed on the house October 5th. 

We had high hopes of moving in after doing some small renovations to our new house, which was built in the mid 40’s, but that quickly changed when we started taking up the carpet and taking down the wall paper and walls.  We ended up renovating for 3 months nonstop with a ton of help from friends and family to officially move in December 31.  Needless to say, we have continued working on the inside of the house since we have moved in finishing projects and other cosmetic items.

I wanted to share my story with you to stress how important affordable housing is in any growing city.  There have been several instances in the past few years where we had intentions of leaving the area due to the lack of housing.  I believe the success to a strong economy, you need to offer affordable housing to professionals who are new to area and to also attract new professionals and potential business owners. 

There are several developments occurring in the area, but the one that has the most impact on the YP’s is the Pine Street building.  The huge benefit of the new Pine Street development is the amount of money it will bring to local businesses especially during the winter and spring months.  It also gives us the answer to the question of where is all the affordable housing the area so badly needs.  

Dr. Brandon Larabee

I would like to introduce to you Dr. Brandon Larabee, who is opening a brand new chiropractic practice here in Traverse City.  Here is a small write up about Dr. Brandon and his practice.  He is one of our new Young Professionals of Traverse City. 


Pathways Chiropractic is opening with a mission to empower others to achieve their optimal potential through chiropractic care. Owner Dr. Brandon Larabee believes that a well-functioning nervous system is necessary for living a happy, healthy life. He explains, “Chiropractic adjustments reduce stress in the spine. As a result, clear pathways of communication are restored between the body and the brain.”

A focus at Pathways Chiropractic is to make regular adjustments easily accessible. He says you can expect most visits to last about 10 minutes from door to door. What makes care here so quick? “We work with intent and efficiency, so that seeing a chiropractor fits easily into people’s lives rather than being a destination,” says Dr. Brandon. One aspect of Pathways Chiropractic’s system that makes it so efficient is an open adjusting area. Dr. Brandon chose this design so he can provide adjustments quickly without compromising the quality of his care. He says, “An open adjusting area also reduces anxiety for those receiving a first time adjustment, allows parents to keep a close eye on their children, and promotes camaraderie among members.” Dr. Brandon is confident that his office will foster a wellness-oriented community where people can find natural solutions for living better. 


The office is located in Suite C at 1001 Bay Street in Traverse City. The building is parallel to West Grandview Parkway about halfway between North Division Street and Tom’s Food Market, facing the base of West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. Pathways Chiropractic will be opening on February 15, 2016. Until then, check them out at www.pathwaysofmi.com or call (231) 714-4112 to learn more and schedule an appointment.

Traverse City Area Public Schools Update

TCAPS Recommendation to Board of Education about Possible Building Closures —January 25th On Monday, January 25, 2016, TCAPS will make a recommendation to the Board of Education about three elementary school buildings with K-5 enrollment of less than 200 students. TCAPS has been exploring redirecting the overhead expenses of maintaining these buildings as a potential option to help preserve TCAPS’ comprehensive and award-winning academic and extracurricular student programming, while keeping class sizes in check, providing adequate compensation for staff, and remaining financially responsible with the community’s investment in its schools. After the recommendation is presented, there will be opportunities for the Board to discuss the recommendation at committee and full board meetings during the month of February. The Board of Education is then expected to take action on the recommendation at their meeting on March 7, 2016. Learn more about the effort to examine buildings with less than 200 K-5 students here: www.tcaps.net/strategic-financial-planning.
Board of Education Coffee Conversation—January 28th
On Thursday, January 28, 2016, the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education will host its monthly Coffee Conversation from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Horizon Books (243 E. Front Street). The January Coffee Conversation topic is “Low Enrollment Buildings.” Time will also be allotted at the meeting for attendees wishing to discuss other topics of interest with board members. The next Coffee Conversation will be held on Thursday, February 25th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Traverse City Central High School Presents Footloose
Traverse City Central High School will present Footloose the Musical beginning Thursday, January 28, 2016 and running through Sunday, February 7, 2016. Thursday-Saturday evening performances start at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances begin at 3:00 p.m. at the newly renovated Central High School auditorium (1150 Milliken Dr.). General admission is $17, $12 for students, and $12 for seniors over 60. Tickets are available at: www.mynorthtickets.com.

2016 TCAPS Preschool Enrollment Fair – February 13, 2016 – 10 AM – 12:30 PM: Families wishing to enroll their child in preschool next year are invited to attend TCAPS’ preschool enrollment fair to learn more about TCAPS preschool programs, tour a classroom and/or complete the registration process. The fair will be held at Eastern Elementary School (1600 Eastern Ave.). For more information, please call 231.933.1759 or visit: http://www.tcaps.net/programs/preschool. 
Traverse City Central High School Hall of Fame Seeks Nominations for 2016 Induction Class
Nominations are being accepted for the Traverse City Central High School Hall of Fame’s 2016 induction class. The nominator is required to provide a completed nomination form, photo of the candidate, and three letters of support for the candidate. Nominations must be received at the TC Central principal’s office by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. Hall of Fame application: http://tinyurl.com/CHSHallofFame.

Grand Traverse County Update

January 2016

Easling Pool Open

Easling Pool at the Civic Center Park is open under Grand Traverse Bay YMCA’s management. “Y Central” at the Civic Center will feature a fitness facility in the former meeting room. For more information, contact the YMCA at 231-486-6357. 

Camping Reservations

Reservations for camping on Power Island-Bassett Island this summer are being taken by the Parks and Recreation Department. The number of campsites have increased from four to ten, with five sites on Bassett Island and five on Power Island. Call 231-922-4818 or visit http://www.grandtraverse.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Power-Island-Bassett-Island-8.

Winter Parking Ordinance

The Winter Parking Ordinance prohibiting the parking of motor vehicles on public roadways and shoulders of roads in Grand Traverse County from December 1 to March 31 between the hours of 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and 8:00 a.m. and during snow emergencies is in effect. Violators are subject to fine plus prosecution costs.
Garfield Township Update

·         Personal Property Exemption affidavits are due February 10, 2016 for any business with less than $80,000 true cash value of personal property. You can find the form 5076 at your local Assessing Department.

·         Planet Fitness has begun the necessary steps to ensure a March 2016 opening. You can obtain a membership starting February 3rd right next to Aldi's.

·         Jimmy Johns has begun the process to open in part of the building that now houses Family Video on South Airport.

·         Lucky's will be submitting plans to the Planning Department, but we have no time frame on their opening.

·         Dick's Sporting Goods are in the process of getting building and zoning permits but have not been approved yet.

·         Fit Body Boot Camp will be going into the old Bedroom Company building on Division within the next three months.

·         Boardman Lake revamp is complete as well as the new Brookside Commons. There will be a Grand Opening on 1/29/16 starting at 11am at Boardman Lake and 12:30 at Brookside Commons. These are affordable, energy efficient, workforce housing close to town! Go take a look and refer new TC residents!

·         We just closed on additional parkland on Keystone Road to become part of the BVNP, and provide access to the land we own on the east side of the river. We just finished a conceptual park plan on how to develop this land, and will implement pieces of that as budget allows. Planned improvements include covered picnic pavilions, more nature trails, playgrounds, dog park, a bridge to connect both sides of the park across the river, and maybe  a ropes course, zip line and/or 4-season toboggan run.

·         Also in the BVNP, we just received another Trust Fund grant to revamp the area near the Boardman YMCA (which we own), including additional parking, a small boat (kayak/canoe) turnaround, float-on kayak launch, vault toilets and changing area and reconstruction of the pickleball courts.

·         We completed a concept park plan for the trailhead area to the Miller Creek Nature Preserve near Aldi. Not a lot of people know about this so the plan is intended to improve awareness and draw people in. This one includes seating areas, berming and landscaping to buffer South Airport traffic, maybe a hill slide and a fishing pond.

·         Buffalo Ridge Trail should (finally) be under construction in the spring. Bids are due on Thursday (we rebid it due to high bid responses to the first bid).

·         Tree cutting at the Commons has started and the park will be closed while they are in there. We are implementing a hazardous tree removal plan to get rid of fall hazards. Unfortunately nearly 500 trees have to go.

If you are interested in being appointed to a Garfield Township Board Committee please send a letter of interest to Judy at jbattle@garfield-twp.com

City of Traverse City Update

The City is continuing recruitment for various Traverse City Boards and Committees! Currently, the Election Commission and the Local Officers Compensation Commission have vacancies waiting to be filled. The Traverse City Light and Power Board and Joint Planning Commission have expiring terms, giving interested individuals a chance to interview for the positions.   Individuals who would like to learn more about these boards, or would like to apply should visit www.traversecitymi.gov/boards.asp or contact the City Clerk’s Office at 231-922-4480.

Elections Inspectors Needed! If you are interested in being a part of the Election process and working in a precinct on Election Day, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 231-922-4480. Election Inspectors typically work from 5:45 a.m. until roughly 10:00 p.m. on Election Day and are paid for their time.

Employment Opportunities with the City! The City of Traverse City has the following employment opportunities available: Traverse City Police Patrol and Vehicle Equipment Technician (Mechanic). Visit the City’s website at www.traversecitymi.gov/employment.asp for more details.

Input Needed – Parks & Recreation Master Plan – The Parks and Recreation Commission and staff has completed the draft Recreation Plan for 2016 – 2021.  This plan will be the basis for possible improvements to parks and programs and for grant applications during the five year time period.  The plan will be available for viewing until February 4, 2016.  Comments can be directed to the Parks and Recreation Office at 625 Woodmere Avenue during the comment period.  A copy of the plan can be found at www.traversecitymi.gov/parksplan.asp.

Overnight Parking in Traverse City – As a reminder, folks should not park overnight on the streets of Traverse City during the winter months, through April 14. Those who do park on the streets overnight may be towed at their own expense. 

TC Chamber Happenings

February 3 – YP Lunch & Learn (West Bay Beach) 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

February 17 – Business After Hours (Visions at CenterPointe) 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

February 18 – YP Morning Brew (Chamber of Commerce) 8-9 a.m.

February 23 – YP Volunteering at the State Theatre 5:15-7:15 p.m.

March 10 – Leadership at the Movie

For more fun and detailed information visit the chamber website:  tcchamber.org