Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Cherryfest On

Music Rick Coates get your CherryFest On
three shows you don’t want to miss

By Rick Coates 7/6/09
The Bay Side Entertainment Stage at the National Cherry Festival has long
been the best musical entertainment value in Northern Michigan. For years
festival goers were granted access to all concerts for the week for the
price of the $1 Cherry Festival Pin. A few years back they raised the
price to $3 for the week. Last year they introduced the V-Pass for $15 as
the Festival faced a tougher operating budget needed to help subsidize the
national acts they bring to the Open Space.
Monday, July 6, 2009

Tastemakers: Sleeping Bear gourmet Cherry Festival open space/National Cherry Festival wine pavilion

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 7/6/09
Sleeping Bear Gourmet Cherry Festival Open Space
There are many highlights at the National Cherry Festival, and certainly the local restaurants offering their specialties at TC’s Open Space is one of them. This year, look for a unique offering of “organic” foods from a brand new collaborative, Sleeping Bear Gourmet. The brainchild of Melissa Ewing (Yotta Bars) of Maple City, Sleeping Bear Gourmet is comprised of: Food For Thought (preserves, salsas, and mustards), Higher Grounds Trading (coffee), Light of Day Organics (loose leaf teas), Naturally Nutty Nut Butters, and Stone House Bread.
Monday, July 6, 2009

Need a laugh/ Paula Poundstone

Features Rick Coates Need a Laugh?
Paula Poundstone Delivers

By Rick Coates 7/6/09

Comedy always seems to make a comeback in economically challenging times. It is not that comedy has disappeared, but the circuit of standup comics seems to go up and down with the economy and in tough times a good night of laughter seems to be the best medicine.
Certainly Interlochen Center for the Arts thinks so, as they welcome Paula Poundstone to Corson Auditorium this Friday. Poundstone is currently touring in support of her first ever comedy CD release I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them In Maine, and her book There Is Nothing In This Book I Meant To Say. She burst onto the comedy scene in the mid ‘80s after dropping out of high school.
Monday, July 6, 2009

Need a laugh/ Paula Poundstone

Features Rick Coates Need a Laugh?
Paula Poundstone Delivers

By Rick Coates 7/6/09

Comedy always seems to make a comeback in economically challenging times. It is not that comedy has disappeared, but the circuit of standup comics seems to go up and down with the economy and in tough times a good night of laughter seems to be the best medicine.
Certainly Interlochen Center for the Arts thinks so, as they welcome Paula Poundstone to Corson Auditorium this Friday. Poundstone is currently touring in support of her first ever comedy CD release I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them In Maine, and her book There Is Nothing In This Book I Meant To Say. She burst onto the comedy scene in the mid ‘80s after dropping out of high school.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Squier

Music Rick Coates The Rebirth of
Billy Squier
By Rick Coates 6/29/09

Rocker Billy Squier dominated the arena rock scene in the early ‘80s, with a string of hits including “The Stroke,” In the Dark,” “My Kinda’ Lover,” “Emotions in Motion” “Everybody Wants You,” “The Big Beat,” “Lonely Is The Night,” “Fast Times (The Best Years of Our Lives)” and “Rock Me Tonite.” After spending a few summers touring as part of Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band, as well as taking a break from the music business, Squier is back, headlining his own tour that includes a stop in Traverse City.
He will take to the National Cherry Festival Bay Side Entertainment Stage on Tuesday, July 7. Squier last performed at the National Cherry Festival in 2001 as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame summer tour featuring Styx and Bad Company.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Kenny Wayne Sheperd

Music Rick Coates Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kicks Off the Cherry Festival
By Rick Coates 6/29/09

Kenny Wayne Shepherd was just a kid when he got his musical start. As a teenager in the early ‘90s, he and Jonny Lang were billed as “the boys who were going to save the blues.” The two guitar gunslingers were credited with introducing “America’s music” to a younger generation.
Shepherd is now a young man. At 32 he is married (his wife is Mel Gibson’s youngest daughter) and has two kids and a different perspective on life and music from his wild teenage years. He will kick off the National Cherry Festival’s week long concert series on the Bayside Entertainment Stage, this Saturday, July 4. Shepherd will be joined by the Bihlman Bros., the boys from Benzie County who will soon have their first national album release and will be making their first Northern Michigan concert appearance in five years.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Tastemakers: Cousin Jenny‘s Cornish Pasties/Leinenkugel‘s summer shandy

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 6/29/09
Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties
Cornish pasties were developed in Cornwall, England as a hearty meal for tin miners. They were easy to carry and easy to eat. When the tin mines stopped producing, the Cornish people migrated to Canada and the Upper Peninsula to mine copper and iron ore and they brought their Cornish pasties recipes with them.
Jerliyn DeBoer brought the tradition with her to Traverse City when she moved from the Upper Peninsula and opened Cousin Jenny’s on May 26, 1984 on Front Street (where Good Harbor Coffee is today). After 25 years, she has sold 1.8 million of the popular homemade pasties and has employed 150 mostly college and high school students.
Her secret to success: “Making everything fresh. I arrive every morning at 3 a.m. to make the pastry dough from scratch,” said DeBoer. “I also have listened to my customers over the years and given them what they wanted.”
Monday, June 22, 2009

Like father, like son/ Elmore & Peter Leonard

Books Rick Coates Like Father,
Like Son
Elmore & Peter Leonard share a passion for writing

By Rick Coates 6/22/09

At the age of 83, crime novelist and pulp fiction master Elmore Leonard remains at the top of his game. Last month he released his 43rd novel, Road Dogs, that is currently on the New York Times Best Seller list. Leonard has built his 56-year writing career around his ability to let his characters “tell the story.”
Elmore Leonard will come to Northern Michigan on Sunday, June 28 as part of the new “Traverse City National Writers Series” created by author Doug Stanton and Traverse City attorney Grant Parsons. Leonard will be joined by his son Peter, who is following in his father’s footsteps. Both authors are currently touring in support of their latest novels. The evening of conversation will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the City Opera House. Proceeds will benefit the college-bound writing students in the Traverse City Area Public Schools and the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools.
Monday, June 15, 2009

Pop Evil

Music Rick Coates Pop Evil Lives its Music

By Rick Coates 6/15/09

Pop Evil lead singer Leigh Kakaty likes to joke that at first glance the members of Pop Evil don’t look like a group of guys who would hang out together.
“We are made up of all different ethnic backgrounds and maybe we don’t look like we belong together,” said Kakaty. “But put us on stage together and we become one. Pop Evil is more than a band -- it is a lifestyle.”
The Grand Rapids based rockers are riding high (and fast as the video for their hit song “100 in 55” was filmed as they performed on a flatbed truck as it traveled 100 miles an hour). They will perform at The Terminal in Traverse City this Friday.
Monday, June 15, 2009

Tastemakers: Organic wines/Trattoria Stella Father‘s Day Stellar Picnic

Dining Rick Coates Organic Wines 6/15/09
During a recent visit to By the Light of Day Organics on the Leelanau Peninsula I struck up a conversation with proprietor Angela Macke about consumer confusion over “organic” labeling. She said it is equally “frustrating for the organic farmer who goes to great lengths to become certified organic.”
Macke, who has built a reputation across the country for her collection of certified organic teas made with ingredients she grows on her Leelanau Peninsula organic farm, says the key for the consumer is to “look beyond the certified claim and look on the label and see who actually certified it.”
Monday, June 15, 2009

Father‘s Day at Wuerful Park

Features Rick Coates Father’s Day at Wuerfel Park
Beach Bums team up with Little League

By Rick Coates 6/15/09

When the Wuerfel family decided to bring professional baseball to Northern Michigan, they wanted to have the team and their stadium to become an asset for the region. They have succeeded. Now in their fourth season, the Traverse City Beach Bums and Wuerfel Park have become a summertime destination for local and visiting families.
Going to a Beach Bums game has become part of the summertime culture in Northern Michigan. The Bums play a full schedule of games in the Frontier League, made up of some of the best professional players under the age of 25 hoping to make it to the big leagues someday.
Monday, June 8, 2009

Jack O‘Malley‘s Milestones

Music Rick Coates Jack O’Malley’s Milestones
25 & 50 are DJs lucky numbers this year

By Rick Coates 6/8/09

You can’t see the smile on his face in the morning, but you certainly here it in his voice. After 25 years WTCM morning man Jack O’Malley is still “smiling,” and for his legions of listeners that is a good thing.
When O’Malley took to the airwaves in May of 1984 in Northern Michigan, he just assumed the stop was just another lily pad as he leaped his way to a larger radio market.
“When I got into the business I was bouncing around, living the life of a gypsy, and when I came to WTCM I figured I would stay a little while because we were expecting our first child,” said O’Malley. “But when you work for a great company and live in a great place like Northern Michigan and you have great listeners, I realized there was no reason to leave. Sure, at one time I thought about a larger market such as Detroit, my hometown, but the job expectancy in major markets is about six months.”
Monday, June 8, 2009

Tastemakers: 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers: 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival
Rick Coates 6/8/09

After much speculation and a lot of last-minute negotiations, the 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival will be held this Saturday in its traditional location at the Leland Harbor next to historic Fishtown. All the fun starts at noon (the lines start forming around 10 a.m.) and continues till 6 p.m.
The Leland Harbor is undergoing a much needed multi-million dollar renovation and government red tape has delayed the project. But the great thing about the community of Leland is they have always found a way to work together to make things happen and so festival organizers and constructions crews got together and figured out how to make this year’s festival happen, as planned.
The Festival got its start 24 years ago with two goals in mind: promote the emerging wine industry in Northern Michigan and to kick off the summer season in Leland. Proceeds from the festival have been used to beautify the community.
Monday, June 8, 2009

Duals Fest

Features Rick Coates Duals Fest
Get Your Motor Runnin’ at the Duals Fest

By Rick Coates 6/8/09

Don “Duals” Watkins had a lifelong passion for the skilled trades. He built a reputation for his craft of customizing cars and motorcycles, not only in Northern Michigan, but around the country.
Don passed away four years ago on June 12, but his son Kip and others decided to keep “Duals” legacy alive by creating the Duals Fest in 2007, a one-day festival of music, bikes, a hot-bod contest, pig roast and more to raise funds for The Don Watkins Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Monday, June 1, 2009

Willie Nelson‘s Long Ride

Music Rick Coates Willie Nelson‘s Long Ride
Rick Coates 6/1/09

In a recent survey of Europeans, Willie Nelson topped the list of people who most reflect a sense of Americana in the United States.
Nelson, known simply as Willie to his legions of fans, has a worldwide following. He has recorded more than 80 studio and live solo albums in a career that spans 50 years. He has appeared on more than 250 albums as a guest of other performers, all while writing more than 2,500 songs.
Willie rolls into Northern Michigan on his Honeysuckle Rose (#3) tour bus this Sunday to kick off the Interlochen Summer Arts Festival concert series.
Willie’s success in the world of country music has been well documented. While he loves to talk music, he is equally passionate about food and family farms. He has been a long-time advocate of healthy eating, and practices what he preaches.
In the concert industry, contracts are known as “riders” and they detail every aspect of the concert from performance fees to stage set up to what the band will be provided for meals and drinks. These riders are often several pages (sometimes 100 or more) and the “catering” section is as important as the sound and stage sections.