Letters

Letters 09-29-2014

Benishek Doesn’t Understand

Congressman Benishek claims to understand the needs of families, yet he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would cause about 10 million people to lose their health insurance. He must think as long as families can hold fundraisers they don’t need insurance...

(Un)Truth In Advertising

Constant political candidate ads on TV are getting to be too much to bear 45 days before the election...

Rare Tuttle Rebuttal

Finally, I disagree with Stephen Tuttle. His “Cherry Bomb” column in the 8/4/14 issue totally dismayed me. I always love his wit and the slamming of the 1 percent. His use of fact and hyperbole highlights the truth; until “Cherry Bomb.” Oh man, Stephen...

Say No To Fluoride

Do you or your child’s teeth have white, yellow, orange, brown, stains, spots, streaks, cloudy splotches or pitting? If so, you may be among millions of Americans who now have a condition called dental fluorosis...

Questions Of Freedom

The administration’s “Affordable Health Care Act” has ordered religious orders to provide contraception and chemical abortions against the church’s God given beliefs and teachings … an interesting order, considering the First Amendment’s clear prohibitions...

Stop The Insults & Talk

I found it interesting that Ms. Minervini used the Northern Express to push the Safe Harbor agenda for a 90-bed homeless shelter in Traverse City with a tactic that is also being utilized by members of the city commission. Those of us who oppose the project are being labeled as uncompassionate citizens...

Roads and Republicans

Each time you hit a road crater while driving, thank the “nerd” and the Tea Party controlled Republican legislature.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Tastemakers: Community supportd agriculture/ Grand Traverse Distillery Wheat Vodka

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 9/14/09
Community Supported Agriculture
During my visits to area farmers markets this summer I have noticed more and more Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. It seems that CSA are popping up all over, with more than 24 in Northern Michigan and others in the planning stages.
 
Monday, September 14, 2009

Big bucks at the box office

Features Rick Coates Big Bucks
at the Box Office
Michael Moore’s new documentary film Capitalism:
A Love Story makes its North American debut in Bellaire

By Rick Coates 9/14/09

The much-anticipated film by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore will make its North American debut in Bellaire on Saturday, September 19. The Bellaire premier of Capitalism: A Love Story will serve as a benefit for the Antrim County Democratic Party with a 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. showing at the Bellaire Theater on Bridge Street.
In his new film, which will be released nationally on October 2, Moore focuses on “the disastrous impact that corporate dominance and out-of-control profit motives have on the lives of Americans and citizens of the world,” according to a release from the film’s distributor Overture Films.
 
Monday, September 7, 2009

Tastemakers: Two weekends, two great feastivals

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 9/7/09
Two Weekends
Two Great Festivals
There were skeptics that back-to-back weekends featuring a major wine festival and a beer festival with music and food both weekends would not work in Northern Michigan. After all, these weekends have always been a challenge in the tourism industry as college students are gone, families are preparing for the start of school, and several fall school sports and activities are well underway. Throw in a lagging economy and these events surely were doomed. But organizers of the Traverse City Wine and Art Festival and the Traverse City Microbrew and Music Festival proved all doubters wrong. Both weekends were “home runs” as thousands came out for both festivals.
 
Monday, September 7, 2009

Setting sail with the Michigan Schooner Festival

Features Rick Coates Setting Sail with the
Michigan Schooner Festival

By Rick Coates 9/7/09

The first ever Michigan Schooner Festival sets sail this weekend along the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. The three-day celebration of the Great Lakes maritime legacy is hosted by the Maritime Heritage Alliance and will feature at least eight schooners, tours, sailing excursions, food, music, races and even a tall ship parade.
For festival organizers this event has been a long time in the making. It epitomizes the work that the Maritime Heritage Alliance has been doing since its inception in 1982 to promote and preserve the history of wooden boats in the Great Lakes.
 
Monday, August 31, 2009

Dr. Duke Tumatoe

Music Rick Coates Dr. Duke Tumatoe
Finds the Funny Side of the Blues

By Rick Coates 8/31/09

If you think blues songs are all about being down and out, just spend some time with Bill Fiorio, a.k.a. Dr. Duke Tumatoe, and he will convince you otherwise. Duke Tumatoe has enjoyed a 40-year career performing the blues, in particular humorous and raunchy blues tunes throughout the Midwest. His audience has expanded over the years after making regular appearances on the Bob and Tom radio show.
He will make a return visit to Northern Michigan this Labor Day weekend with three performances (Friday-Sunday) at the Little River Casino in Manistee.
“If you dig into the songbooks of blues legends, you will find that most of their songs are funny,” said Tumatoe. “I think that there is this big misconception out there as to what blues is all about, primarily by people who do not listen, but at the end of the day this music is about looking at life’s hardships with a sense of humor. This music is all about relieving the stresses of life.
With song titles like “It’s Christmas (Let’s Have Sex)” and numerous others such as the “NFL Song” and “Lord Help Our Colts” airing on the Bob & Tom Show, Tumatoe has built his career on humorous songs.
 
Monday, August 31, 2009

Rockin‘ for a reason

Music Rick Coates Rockin’
For A Reason
14 bands stage a charity jam at The Terminal

By Rick Coates 8/31/09
Ida Reed, lead singer of Northern Michigan based rockers Callous, is “Rockin’ For A Reason” this weekend. Actually, Rose has several reasons to rock.
“We are raising money for two worthwhile charities with an all-day music event featuring 14 bands at The Terminal,” said Reed. “But I want this to go beyond the charities; I want to help put rock and roll back into the live music scene in Northern Michigan.”
Rockin’ For A Reason takes place Sunday, September 6 at The Terminal in Traverse City. Doors open at Noon and the $10 ticket price will go to benefit The American Red Cross of Northwest Michigan and The Veterans of Foreign Wars of Traverse City.
“When I was looking at charities for this first event I wanted to be sure that the money raised would stay here in Northern Michigan,” said Reed. “My goal with my production company R.I.P.-Rhoda Inc. Productions is to host six events of this nature a year. I have a three-event deal with The Terminal and I am looking at other venues for the other events. Each event we will designate two charities.”
 
Monday, August 31, 2009

Tastemakers: Michigan potatoes/ New Holland Artisan Spirits Knickerbocker Gin

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 8/31/09
Michigan Potatoes
In part due to several diet fades in recent years, the potato has received a bad rap. But that has not kept the Michigan potato industry from thriving. In fact, in volume and sales dollars potatoes are Michigan’s leading produce commodity. Michigan leads the nation in potatoes raised for potato chip production.
Despite the negative publicity, potatoes remain popular and are a staple item at all three meals a day. The Michigan Department of Agriculture reports that potatoes are a great source of nutrition too. A medium potato, weighing between 5 and 10 ounces, has 76 calories—no more than an apple. Potatoes are fat-free, rich in potassium and an excellent source of fiber. A potato contains one-half the daily requirement of vitamin C, 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6, and 10 percent of the niacin requirements.
Worldwide, potatoes are the fourth most important agricultural crop and are grown in 130 countries. The average American eats about 124 pounds of potatoes per year while Germans eat about twice as much. Thomas Jefferson gets the credit for introducing “french fries” to America when he served them at a White House dinner. Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on American television and is now 60 years old, (he made a cameo in the Toy Story movies).
 
Monday, August 24, 2009

Let it flow

Music Rick Coates Let it Flow
TC’s new Microbrew & Music Festival
By Rick Coates 8/24/09

Okay, now that summer weather has finally arrived, it is time to crack a cold one. This weekend marks the first of what organizers hope will be an annual celebration of craftbrews and music. The Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival will take place Saturday on the front lawn of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.
The evening will feature more than 30 craftbrewers; food from local farms, chefs and restaurants; and an eclectic line-up of music featuring Grammy winner Buckwheat Zydeco Band, Clumsy Lovers, Caravan of Thieves, Mike Moran & Levi Britton, Delilah DeWylde & The Lost Boys, Luke Winslow-King and GT Scottish Bagpipe and Drums.
“Our goal is to establish a long-standing tradition that celebrates great beer, music, culture, local food and sustainable practices with Northern Michigan patrons and vendors,” said festival creator and owner of Porterhouse Productions, Sam Porter. “The long-term vision is to create a nationally recognized craft beer festival as well as an anchor event with the Microbrew and Music Festival to support a community non-profit week-long annual Epicurean Harvest Festival celebrating food and craft beverage as well as arts and culture for all ages. We also aim to raise funds to support local youth empowerment programs through the Good Work Collective (GWC) and Little Artshram.”
 
Monday, August 24, 2009

Tastemakers: You don‘t have to be a diabetic to love this cookbook/Wild Pony Saloon Battle of the Bartenders

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 8/24/09
You Don’t Have to
Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook

Chef and New York restaurateur Tom Valenti will be in Northern Michigan this week at several locations signing copies of his new book “You Don’t Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook.” Valenti was diagnosed with diabetes over 15 years ago and started creating diabetic cuisine that doesn’t skimp on flavor and he has been showcasing those recipes at his acclaimed restaurant, Ouest, and the recently opened West Branch both, in New York City. His new book features 250 of his favorite recipes and as the title suggests you don’t have to be diabetic to appreciate this cookbook.
“People with diabetes and anyone looking for a healthy lifestyle will rejoice in Valenti’s signature cuisine,” said Mario Batali. “This book he has written and the recipes have made me one of his biggest fans.”
While this cookbook is a blessing for the more than 23 million Americans with diabetes, Valenti also intended it for everyone. “You know that a simple lifestyle intervention can reduce the development of diabetes in high-risk cases 58 percent of the time,” said Valenti. “When I was first diagnosed I thought my good-eating days were over, what I found out was they were just beginning.”
 
Monday, August 17, 2009

Hoxeyville Music Fest

Music Rick Coates Hoxeyville Music Festival
Takes a Giant Leap Forward
By Rick Coates 8/17/09

In a year that has seen a record number of music festivals in Northern Michigan, the Hoxeyville Music Festival, located near Wellston (between Cadillac and Ludington), hopes to stand out by blending international superstars with regional favorites to attract a couple of thousand festival goers.
The growing music festival scene in Northern Michigan has become very competitive over the years since Blissfest paved the way 30 years ago. From Memorial Day to Labor Day more than 40 music festivals will take place. Attendance has been light at some, as many festivals offer the same musicians and bands.
“I looked at a lot of these music festivals and my wife and I usually go to one every weekend, but I noticed they were all having the same bands,” said Paul Caruthers of Honor. “I like a lot of these local bands, but I do not need to see the same bands every weekend.”
 
Monday, August 17, 2009

It‘s The B-52s

Music Rick Coates Calling all Rock Lobsters
It’s The B-52s
By Rick Coates 8/17/09

Okay, it is time to bust out the poodle skirts, cat-eyeglasses, saddle shoes and beehive hairdos to “jump in a car as big as a whale,” and “Roam” to the “Love Shack” on “Planet Claire” (Odawa Casino) for your own “Private Idaho” and a little “Rock Lobster.” Yes, after riding the New Wave music scene of the late ‘70s and ‘80s, The B-52s are still going strong and are on the second leg of their two-year tour in support of a new CD and a resurgence of their music.
Bursting on the scene 33 years ago, The B-52s will take the stage this Saturday night at the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey.
They have mysteriously dropped the apostrophe with the release of their new album; according to band member Fred Schneider “there are more important things for us to concern ourselves about than whether or not we have an apostrophe, to put it simply we are going forward from this point without one.”
 
Monday, August 17, 2009

Raise a glass to TC‘s new Art & Wine Fair

Dining Rick Coates Raise a Glass
to TC’s New Art & Wine Festival

By Rick Coates 8/17/09

After a five-year stint in Traverse City, the popular Epicurean Classic has moved to St. Joseph, Michigan (90 miles east of Chicago) along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Festival organizers were wooed by sponsors who wanted the event closer to a major metropolitan area. The departure of the Epicurean Classic has opened the door for others to try and fill the void.
The first “replacement” event will take place this Saturday in the form of the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival. It will take place on the spacious grounds of the Grand Traverse Commons in front of Building 50 under a large tent from 5 to 10 p.m.
 
Monday, August 17, 2009

Tastemakers: Trattoria Stella/ Right Brain Brewery: Tall Ship Manitou Cruise

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 8/17/09
Trattoria Stella
Trattoria Stella opened their doors five years ago in the lower level of Building 50 at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. They have built their success and reputation on using local products, keeping their menu fresh and putting an emphasis on service. Founded by Paul and Amanda Danielson, the couple entrusted their future on Chef Myles Anton and he has not let them down. Anton remains at the helm of the culinary team that continues to knock out amazing wine and beer dinners as well as a top notch menu of Italian inspired entrees and appetizers.
Despite tough economic times, the Danielsons are reporting their best year yet. They attribute their success to not only fresh and local products but, “seeking out like-minded, dedicated passionate people” to work with them.
 
Monday, August 10, 2009

Judy Harrison

Music Rick Coates Judy Harrison gets Theatrical
Singer helms Williamsburg Dinner Theater

By Rick Coates 8/10/09

Dominic Fortuna has been the host of The Williamsburg Dinner Theater since its inception, but last fall Northern Michigan’s “Showman” landed the role of Vince Fontaine for the Broadway version of Grease. The show did so well on Broadway that the producers decided to take the road, so Fortuna remains busy touring the country, leaving some to wonder about the future of the dinner theater.
As they say, the show must go on.
“It is the same format, with a great dinner from Chef Dan Kelly and his staff,” said Judy Harrison. “It is a song and dance review type show with songs from the ‘40s to the ‘90s. It is called ‘Encore’ and we perform two sets with dessert served during the break.”
 
Monday, August 10, 2009

Styx Trix

Music Rick Coates Styx Trix
Hitmakers bring arena rock to Interlochen

By Rick Coates 8/10/09

Interlochen Center for the Arts has been enjoying a very successful concert season. For all practical purposes their concert season ends this Saturday with Styx (next week there is the Interlochen Guitar Festival to officially close things out) taking the stage at Kresge Auditorium. The band that dominated the rock music world in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s has their work cut out for them as Willie Nelson, Steve Miller and Kenny Loggins all blew the roof this summer.
But if any band can raise the roof to close out a concert season Styx is up to the task. Loaded with rock ballads and anthems “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “Lady,” “Renegade,” “The Best of Times,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Show Me The Way,” and “Mr. Roboto,” these classic rockers strung together eight consecutive albums that went platinum and have sold close to 60 million copies.
The band’s roots go back to 1961 in Chicago with founding members evolving the Tradewinds (TW4) into Styx in 1972. While the group was enjoying success in the Midwest, it was when guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Shaw joined the band in 1975 that the band finally became an international sensation.
 
 
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