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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Presque Isle District Library Offers Educational Classes

Press Release from PIDL Program Director Anne Belanger:


Discover & learn the old traditional arts and “re-new” the traditions.

Students attending the LEGECI classes this season were introduced to the traditional crafts of flute-making, bead-working, primitive pottery, and porcupine quill medallions. This life-enrichment series was rewarding for the students who discovered new talents within themselves through the professional instructors, and were able to share these experiences with others in the class.

Classes for the Fall 2010 and Winter 2011 will be coming soon! Check out www.pidl.org for more information.
End of Press Release
Ann and the rest of the great staff at PIDL are awesome!  We have one of the best small libraries in Michigan!

Michigan's Early Canada Goose Season Opens Sept. 1

The following Press Release is from DNRE:

For more information go to:

Contact: Barbara Avers 517-373-1263

Agency: Natural Resources and Environment

August 19, 2010

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment reminds hunters that the early Canada goose hunting season opens statewide Wednesday, Sept. 1.
Early goose season, designed to target resident giant Canada geese, runs through Sept. 10 in the Upper Peninsula and in Huron, Tuscola and Saginaw counties, and through Sept. 15 elsewhere in Michigan.

Prospects for the upcoming goose season are excellent; the resident Canada goose population is estimated at 300,000 birds, the second highest population ever recorded. Hunters may take five Canada geese daily during the early season.

Wildlife officials remind hunters that a number of Canada geese in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties within the Kalamazoo River watershed were covered with crude oil following the Enbridge pipeline rupture in late July. Hunters who observe oil-covered geese or other oiled wildlife should report them to 800-306-6837, the Enbridge wildlife response hotline.

Geese that were rescued, cleaned, and released sport double leg bands, one of which reads: "Oil Spill Bird Contact Michigan DNRE 1-517-336-5030." Hunters who harvest the birds can call the phone number to get more information. The Michigan Department of Community Health suggests that adverse health effects from consuming these birds are unlikely.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to the conservation, protection, management, and accessible use and enjoyment of the state's environment, natural resources, and related economic interests for current and future generations. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/dnre.

Good hunting!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Safe Routes 2 School is an international movement to encourage walking and biking as a healthy, safe, and community-minded alternative to going to school by privately owned vehicles (POVs).  POV's are great, especially for longer trips or in very bad weather.  However, the health benefits from walking or biking to and from school are substantial.  There are many other benefits as well. 

In Rogers City, all three schools, city government, and several dynamic citizens are work steadily to encourage our your people to walk or bike to school.  We want to envourage parents, teacher, and students to join us!

We are planning a "walk-to-school" day for September 15, 2010.  Starting at designated points, responsible adults will lead a "walking school bus" to get everyone to school--and make it fun too! 

If you care about our kids and about our community, let one of our champions (Jim Hopp, Art Ross, Melissa Stieger), your school officials (Jamie Huber, Linda Schalk, or Amy Rabeau), or city staff (myself, Matt Quaine, or Toby Kuznicki) know that you are interested and want to join us to create a more walkable and bikeable community for our children anf for everyone!

You will be glad you became part of Safe Routes 2 School (SR2S).  Thank you. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sharrow Symbol

A talented student at the UMBS Sustainable Urbanism Course donated the image above to Rogers City--thank you!

  Don't be suprised if you see the Sharrow (Shared Right of Way) symbol showing up on streets in town.  City staff members are investigating the use of these symbols to encouage safe biking in our community. 

As more bikes are seem on streets in Rogers City the community will become more sustainable. 

You will save money if you use your bicycle instead of your car.  You will be helping the environment.  You will be healthier. You will have more fun!

Thanks to Doug Farr and Associates for the inspiration!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Construction Started on Water and Sewer Projects

Construction is well under way on all three contracts.  The area at the base of the new water tower is being cleared, the wastewater treatment facility construction has begun, and Cedar Street work has also been started.  This set of projects will take more than two years to complete and will effectively modernize much of Rogers City's sewer and water infrastructure.  Please visit this blog for future posts as the projects progress. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

UMBS Course Offers Great Urban Design Ideas

Here is a sketch of sustainable street design provided at no cost to Rogers City from a University of Michigan (UM) student who participated in the UM Biological Station Course on Sustainable Urbanism.  The course was lead by Doug Farr of Farr and Associates--a pioneer in sustainable urbanism.  The student wished to remain unnamed, but I am grateful for his gracious gift. 
The sketch shows a tree-lined boulevard with a 100 foot right of way (ROW).  This is an idealyllic streetscape of a pedestrian-friendly residential street or a great shopping/dinning venue.  Notice how the street "bumps out" at the intersection, to make street crossing easier for pedestrians.  Having more streets that look like this in Rogers City would enhance the character and sustainability of our community.
There will be more of these UMBS urban design ideas coming to this blog soon.  Thanks for this image goes to the artist, to Doug Farr who inspired us, and Christina Anderson who took time to send this and other images to Rogers City.  You all are the best!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Merit Network Fiber Optic Cable Coming to Rogers City

The Federal Department of Communications has awarded Merit Network approximately

$69.6 million to build affordable middle-mile broadband service in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

and Lower Northern Peninsula, with additional connections to research and educational networks

in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  The project plans to directly connect 61 community institutions

to broadband. As many as 1.8 million people stand to benefit as do 49,000 businesses.  In addition

to the jobs this project will create, it will provide a foundation for economic growth and job

creation for decades to come.  Merit's plan includes cable to Rogers City along with Posen,

Hawks, and Onaway.  The cost of Merit's cable service is unknown at this time.

Rogers City to Rise to New High

A new monopole cell tower will be built in Rogers City to the South of Cedar Street and West of Bradley Highway in an area zoned for light industrial development.  On August 23, 2010, the Planning Commission approved the cell tower site plan.  The tower will be 195 feet above ground, making it the tallest structure in Rogers City.  The tower site will be fenced and closed to the public.  The new tower should help cell phone reception in this area.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

With Nature in Rogers City

As seen from our Huron Sunrise Trail.  Blue sky with a freighter at the horizon.  Blue on blue on blue!  In the foreground note the amazingly clear, pristine water of Lake Huron.  "Heaven and earth declare the glory of God."

Friday, August 20, 2010

More Nature Series Continues with American Eagle

Roger Wenzel took this fantastic photo of an American Eagle at Seagull Point Park.

NEMCOG Sustainable Communities Regional Project

On August 19, 2010, the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) held a meeting in Gaylord.  In addition to the normal business (budget, policy, grant review, etc) activity, Executive Director Diane Rekowski announced that NEMCOG is moving ahead on a regional planning grant through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), called the "Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Program."  This program will focus on six principles:

1.  More transportation choices
2.  Equitable, affordable housing
3.  Enhanced economic competitiveness
4.  Support for existing communities
5.  Coordinating policies and leverage investment
6.  Value communities and neighborhoods

On August 17, 2010, the City Council passed a resolution to participate in this NEMCOG project, and a formal coalition agreement is expected in 120 days.  If you are interested in this project, please contact me.


The following  Press Release came in from Randy L. Neumann of Michigan Works:


The Northern Michigan Employer Forum Committee invites you to its Annual Forum Event: “Business Basics for Today’s Economy,” on Thursday, September 23, 2010 from 11:00 AM to 5 PM. This affordable event will be held at the Otsego Club in Gaylord and welcomes the speakers Denise Hansen – Small Business Technical & Development Center, Business Consultant, Michelle Walk, Community Development Educator, and Tom Zernick, Small Business Administration Services with Citizens Bank
This $20 event includes lunch, and three compelling sessions designed to strengthen our region’s businesses. These include:

• Increase your Sales by becoming a… “Destination Store”

• E-Commerce/Social Media

• “Borrowing Money in Today’s Credit Jungle”

These workshops are designed to give you practical tips and techniques to become more competitive with new marketing and financial tools as well as a top-notch staff! All types of businesses and organizations can gain knowledge from this low-cost training. For additional information or to request a brochure and registration form, contact your local Michigan WORKS! Business Liaison, Randy L. Neumann 989-733-8548 or neumannr@nemcworks.org , Laura Hoyt at 989-733-3886 or hoytl@nemcworks.org you may also download a registration form from our website www.employerforum.org. Deadline to register is Thursday, September 13, 2010.

Forum sponsors include: the Department of Labor and Economic Growth-BWP Veterans Services and Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Michigan WORKS! of Northeast Northwest, and Region 7B, Northeast Michigan Consortium, North Central Michigan College’s Institute for Business & Industry Training, Otsego County Economic Alliance.

Anyone from Rogers City who wants to attend and share travel costs, please contact Mark Slown.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Nature

A local fox, photo courtesy Roger Wenzel

Local Economic Activity

The economic impact of buying, making, and doing things locally is important to the vitality of any community.  Many studies have shown financial gains for a local economy that can increase its local activities, even a little.  The significant benefits of local production or processing are obvious, but often ignored in favor of getting the best cash price from a distant source with real but hidden costs.  In a global economy, it is easy to be “penny wise, and pound foolish.” Alternatively, sturdy independence fits Rogers City's cultural heritage and already has significant support among residents.  Doing things locally is a time-tested path to:

• Job creation

• A healthier community

• Increased profits to local business owners (not a bad thing!)

• Stimulating downtown development and renewal

• More local services such as shopping

• Easing transportation demands

While these reasons alone are sufficient to encourage local activity, the long term benefits of becoming more resilient and community focused are pure gold.

Below are examples of some low-cost action to increase local activity:

o Buy local campaign

o Improved farmers market

o Increased back-yard gardening, home beautification, and home energy efficiency

o Expansion of biking and walking activity/infrastructure

o Development of community gardens for children and senior citizens.

Other initiatives that may require significant cost and investigation include:

 Comprehensive review of City regulatory policy to encourage business and entrepreneurship

 A local public transit system (expansion of Council on Aging Bus Service)

 Increased local "clean" energy production

 Incentive program(s) for business (such as facade improvements)

 Local production development (using recycled material or agriculture)

Local production development projects may take years to study and implement; however, sometimes grant funds are available for private/public partnerships to create, for example, a recycling process project or biodiesel production from local wood products.

Large and small scale local economic activity will benefit Rogers City.  We are open for business.

Monday, August 16, 2010

City Closes on Water and Sewer Loans

On August 11, 2010, Rogers City closed on two loans from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) to make improvements to City water and sewer systems.  The water system loan is for $3,098,000.  These funds will pay for the work to replace 12% of the water main system, build a new water tower, and drill a replacement well.  The sewer system loan is for $3,771,000.  It will pay to rebuild the Wastewater Treatment Facility, install a new sewer lift station, and replace 4% of the sewer main system.  The loans are actually municipal revenue bonds.  Due to USDA-RD's low interest rate and due to provisions of the Build America Bonds Legislation, the effective interest rate for Rogers City's bonds is 1.55% for 40 years.  The bonds will be repaid from water and sewer fees to system customers.  A grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in the amount of $750,000 will also be used to pay for sewer system work. 

While no one wants to pay increased water and sewer rates, the rate increase was necessary to keep the water and sewer systems working safely.  The new rate went into effect in April 2010.  The work will begin over the next two weeks and will last for over a year.

Along with the rate increase, there was a change in the billing practice.  Customers are now charged a base rate, regardless of the on/off status of their service or metered consumption.  This base rate ($38.25 per month) reflects the cost to be able to turn on/off your water service and dispose of your wastewater.  The largest part of the cost to operate the water and sewer systems is the infrastructure to deliver the water and sewer and safely process it.  There is now no charge to turn on or turn off service. 

The rate increase makes the average customer's bill (for water and sewer) approximately the same as the average customer in Cities throughout the State of Michigan. 

If you have questions about infrastructure, water and sewer service, rates, or the Revenue Bonds, please contact me.  

With Nature in Rogers City

Here is one of several pictures taken by Roger Wenzel in our City Park.

Return to Blog

Dear Visitors, Friends, and Fans of Rogers City:  Due to my ignorance of modern technology, I have not been able to blog on behalf of Rogers City for sometime.  It is a long and painful story and one that I know only in part, but perhaps someday, I will be able to tell you about it.  This story is certainly a modern cautionary tale.

In the now, I have more important things to say.  Specifically, to those who have been checking in on the Rogers City website and this blog--only to find an old entry from March, please accept my sincere apology. 

Now that I have the technology--thanks to John Addis--to go at this blog regularly again,  I hope that you will visit Rogers City's website and this blog, find something new and interesting, and visit often.  This blog is open for business!

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