Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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Monday, May 10, 2010

Tom Brokaw

Features Rick Coates Tom Brokaw: The Greatest Broadcast Journalist Speaks
By Rick Coates
Broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw needs little introduction.
For 28 years Brokaw found his way into our living rooms via his work
as Today Show host (1976-1982) and then as anchor of the NBC Nightly
News from 1982 – 2004.
 
Monday, May 10, 2010

Cigar politics

Features Rick Coates Cigar Politics: Despite smoking ban, 15th Annual Cigar Dinner is a go
By Rick Coates
The Michigan smoking ban has been law for less than two weeks, yet a
provision in the law that allows for cigar bar exemption will be
tested this week as the Ancient Order of Hibernians play host to the
15th Annual Father Fred Foundation Cigar Dinner.
 
Monday, May 3, 2010

Michael Lee Seiler

Music Rick Coates Michael Lee Seiler seeks spirituality through music
By Rick Coates
Boyne City singer/songwriter Michael Lee Seiler sandwiched a career as a manufacturing supervisor between what his heart and soul called him to do.
“Play the guitar,” said Seiler. “I felt the calling as a kid and at first it was about the girls -- the guitarists always got the girls. But then it became more of a spiritual thing.”
Seiler will perform this weekend at the Concord Academy in Mancelona on Friday for the Relay For Life event; Saturday night at Lil Bo’s in Traverse City; and then at the Mother’s Day Gospel Blues Brunch at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon.
 
Monday, May 3, 2010

Tastemakers: Detroit ( Urban Farming Capital)

Dining Rick Coates Detroit (Urban Farming Capital)
This past April, the Michigan Wine Industry celebrated its 35th Michigan Wine Month. While many sectors of the economy continue to struggle, the wine industry has been “bubbly.” In 2009 sales of Michigan wine increased 10 percent from 2008, and for the past 10 years the percentage of sales growth of Michigan wines has outpaced the total percentage of growth for wines from outside the state.
“Michigan’s grape and wine industry continues to grow with seven new wineries slated to open this year,” said Governor Granholm. “Not only is our wine industry a vital component of the state’s agricultural sector, it’s also an important part of our tourism industry as hundreds of thousands of people visit ‘Michigan’s Wine Country’ each year.”
 
Monday, April 26, 2010

Tastemakers: American Spoon Foods Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce/Mackinaw Trail Winery Petoskey Tasting Room

Dining Rick Coates American Spoon Foods Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce
It was 30 years ago while picking morels in Northern Michigan that Justin Rashid starting dreaming of creating a specialty store to market the bounty of Northern Michigan. A few years later American Spoon Foods was born in Petoskey.
American Spoon Foods has enjoyed much success over the years. They ship their products all over the world and many a visitor and local alike visit their stores in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix and Traverse City.
 
Monday, April 26, 2010

Chef Tommy

Dining Rick Coates Meet Chef Tommy Making his mark in Petoskey at an early age
By Rick Coates
Chef Tommy Kaszubowski corporate chef with Symons General Store (including Chandler’s, Cava, and Pierson’s dining spots) learned his culinary craft spending hours in the kitchen as a young boy. Not from any certified master chef but from his two Polish grandmothers. Despite having a few chefs “chew his ass” and throw a few pots and pans his way, Chef Tommy has loved every moment of his 16-year culinary career.
Not quite 30, Chef Tommy has trained under some of the best chefs in the country while working at some of the best restaurants in the Midwest. He worked under the legendary Chef Takashi Yagihashi at Tribute in Farmington Hills. Chef Takashi was so impressed with Chef Tommy’s skills that he asked the young chef to go to Chicago and open his famed Takashi restaurant.
Pete Peterson recruited Chef Tommy back to Michigan to be his executive chef at Tapawingo. A year after Chef Tommy started, Peterson decided to retire and closed Tapawingo. He quickly landed at Symon’s in Petoskey and he took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to share some thoughts.
 
Monday, April 19, 2010

Tastemakers: Traverse City America‘s number one food city/Short‘s Bananas & Blow

Dining Rick Coates Finally, some outside the area validation to what this column has been boasting about for the past several years; Traverse City (Northern Michigan) is one of the best food locales in the country.
Just last week the editors of Livability.com, an online resource that points to the most livable cities in America, selected Traverse City number one in the best food towns category. That recognition comes on the heels of The Huffington Post naming Traverse City “the best new foodie haven” in the country and Midwest Living Magazine recently named Traverse City the second best food town in the Midwest next to Madison, WI.
At the heart of Livability.com’s decision was the “farm-to-table” philosophy that so many restaurants in the area have adopted. They singled out Trattoria Stella as being at the forefront of the movement. Another factor is all of the farm markets in the region. Toss in all the farms, dairies, wineries, microbreweries and all the locally-owned restaurants and the editors of Livability.com have taken notice of what we have known for years.
 
Monday, April 19, 2010

Green guy Bill Queen

Features Rick Coates Bill Queen has been on the forefront of the “going green” and renewable
energy movement in Northern Michigan for the past 15 years. The Cedar
resident is the program coordinator with Extended Educational Services at
Northwestern Michigan College, where he oversees offerings including
energy efficiency and renewable energy.
 
Monday, April 12, 2010

TASTEMAKERS: TASTE OF GRAND TRAVERSE? TREASURE HUNTER WINES

Dining Rick Coates Taste of Grand Traverse
The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in Traverse City has for years hosted an annual “Extravaganza” as their major fundraiser (raising $50,000). The event was quite the social affair, attracting a who’s who of the business and social community. The evening was all about “dressing to the nines,” enjoying great food and drink, and kicking up one’s heels on the dance floor to some pretty impressive national musical talent.
But in keeping with the current trend in the country of “toning down” fundraisers, the WRC has restructured their annual event in what will now be The Taste of Grand Traverse. The event will take place Sunday April 18 at the Great Wolf Lodge.
While tuxes and evening gowns may not be a part of the fundraising focus at the WRC’s annual fundraiser anymore, great food will be. At press time, 19 restaurants from the region have agreed to participate along with some beverage producers (coffee, tea and soda) from the area to create a family friendly event. Organizers decided to make the event more affordable and wide-reaching and allow for family participation. Tickets are $15 in advance and include three tasting tickets; children ages five to 12 are just $1 and kids four and under, no charge. Additional tasting tickets are available for $1 each and tasting items will require one to three tickets.
 
Monday, April 12, 2010

LaCrosse

Features Rick Coates Lacrosse: America’s New Craze?
By Rick Coates
This week, hundreds of kids from around Northern Michigan are taking to the fields for what is quickly becoming America’s fastest growing team sport. No, not baseball: lacrosse -- a sport which involves whipping a ball up and down the playing field with hand-held racquets.
That’s bringing smiles to lacrosse enthusiasts such as Wally Kidd of Petoskey. Kidd was a high school All-American at Townson High School in Maryland and went on to be a part of two national championship teams at Johns Hopkins University. He developed the lacrosse program six years ago in Petoskey and he has seen interest in the sport grow rapidly.
“Give a kid who has been playing baseball one year at lacrosse and he won’t go back to baseball,” said Kidd. “Lacrosse is gaining momentum around the country and in particular here in Northern Michigan.”
Pete Jones, who coaches in Traverse City through the Grand Traverse Youth Lacrosse Association (the group partners with the YMCA for leagues and instruction), agrees.
“We have had a record turnout of players this year and we need more coaches as we have to create more teams,” said Jones, who is coaching a group of 6th to 8th graders. “We are still getting calls from kids and parents wanting to sign up kids for the season.”
The Grand Traverse Youth Lacrosse program is for players from first through eighth grade and focuses on the fundamentals of the sport. In addition to teaching lacrosse basics, the program also has a competitive component with games and leagues.
 
Monday, April 5, 2010

Tastemakers: No Salt? Bell‘s Oberon Ale

Dining Rick Coates No Salt
Okay, here it comes; the floodgates are opening as legislators continue to justify their importance by constantly coming up with legislation that they feel will better society. A shockwave went through the New York City culinary community a couple of weeks ago when assemblyman Felix Ortiz introduced laws that would ban the use of salt in New York eateries. While shakers would remain on the tables, sodium/salt based seasonings would no longer be used in the kitchen. The fine would be $1,000 for each violation.
Ortiz’s logic for introducing the legislation is a call by the American Heart Association and other health organizations for Americans to decrease the amount of their daily sodium intact. Six grams of salt is the recommended daily allowance for an adult, but most Americans have no idea of their actual intake because most processed foods are loaded with sodium, while salt is a staple in the kitchen for chefs. Experts agree that too much salt may lead to high blood pressure and heart disease but one should not eliminate salt completely. Sodium helps your body maintain its water balance and pH and it also enables your cell walls to draw in nutrients.
 
Monday, April 5, 2010

Winning Plan? Four Winds

Features Rick Coates If you are looking for signs that the economy may be on the road to
recovery, look no further than the Four Winns operation in Cadillac.
Literally on life support just two months ago, as the recreational
boat manufacturer was in bankruptcy, they now find themselves in the
throes of becoming one of the largest employers in Northern Michigan
and possibly one of the catalysts to reviving the region’s economy.
In February of this year, California-based Platinum Equity purchased
Four Winns and several other leading boat brands previously under the
Genmar boat manufacturing umbrella.
 
Monday, March 29, 2010

Best New Band: FunDubMentals

Music Rick Coates “Best New Band” the FunDubMentals
By Rick Coates
Sometimes great bands come together when its members are not looking
to form a band. That was the case with the FunDubMentals, the Traverse
City based Reggae/Ska /Dub band that took home our Readers Poll honors
for “Best New Band.” While this was good news in the FunDubMentals
camp, the better news came a week earlier when band member Marc
Alderman was told he would be able to return home.
 
Monday, March 29, 2010

Best Solo Performer: Levi Britton

Music Rick Coates Best Solo Performer: Levi Britton
By Rick Coates
If you ask singer/songwriter/guitarist Levi Britton about his life, he
will tell you that he has the best of “three worlds” and soon plans to
have the best of four worlds. Britton took home the Best Solo honor in
this year’s Readers Poll, but despite his win in the solo category
Britton is known for his band work as well. In fact, last week he was
in Chicago rehearsing with his band mates Down The Line for their much
anticipated new release Open The Door. They held a CD release party at
Chicago’s Lincoln Hall and the group is putting the final touches of a
major summer tour.
 
Monday, March 29, 2010

Tastemakers: Northern MichiganThe Best for Food & Drink

Dining Rick Coates Northern Michigan The Best for Food & Drink
Since launching the column Tastemakers/Bottoms Up columns almost seven
years ago, I have had the pleasure of traversing around Northern
Michigan in search of the “Best Of” what our region has to offer in
the way of Food & Drink. In all, I have written over 800 columns, most
of them focused on Northern Michigan with an occasional look at items
of interest from outside our area. In no way does this make me an
expert, rather a person who simply has been very lucky to be afforded
such an opportunity.
 
 
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