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Letters 04-21-2014

An Exercise of Power

Many brave men and women have worn and do wear the military uniform of the United States of America. They put their lives at risk and have lost their lives to protect our freedom, our loved ones and our right to vote...


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Monday, August 8, 2011

Burlesque is back

Features Rick Coates Burlesque troupes are making a comeback all over the United States and
Northern Michigan appears to be next. The Bayside Bombshells Burlesque
troupe formed a couple of months ago and have made a few publicity
appearances in advance of their debut.
This Saturday, August 13, they will debut a mini version of their act at
Sidetraxx in Traverse City with their “Saving Ta-Ta’s With Tassels” event
to benefit the Munson Healthcare Breast Cancer Foundation. They will debut
their full burlesque act on Saturday, August 20 at the InsideOut Gallery
in the Warehouse District.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

School Daze

Features Rick Coates One has to wonder if school districts need to bring back corporal
punishment. This time, not for the students as they seem to be getting
punished enough by Lansing and Washington D.C., instead, perhaps, school
superintendents need to get out those old wooden paddles (the ones with
the holes in them) and deliver some corporal punishment on the legislature
and governor.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Dunegrass

Music Rick Coates Since its formation 18 years ago the Dunegrass Music Festival has changed
its name (formally the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival) twice; is
now on its third promoter (a former promoter is spending seven years in
federal prison); has moved to its fourth location; and is now in a totally
different county. 
For current organizer Ryan Lake he chuckles and says the roots of the past
have made Dunegrass stronger and wiser.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Dunegrass

Music Rick Coates Since its formation 18 years ago the Dunegrass Music Festival has changed
its name (formally the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival) twice; is
now on its third promoter (a former promoter is spending seven years in
federal prison); has moved to its fourth location; and is now in a totally
different county. 
For current organizer Ryan Lake he chuckles and says the roots of the past
have made Dunegrass stronger and wiser.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Cherry Poppin‘ Daddies

Music Rick Coates Paella in the Park sold out last year in its debut with John Popper and
Blues Traveler headlining an evening that featured local wines, paellas
and West Bay as a strong supporting cast. The event this year returns
Friday, August 5 at the former Clinch Park Zoo site in TC, and with
vocalist Steve Perry taking the stage, it is certain to be a sell-out
again. 
Now this particular Steve Perry is with the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the
best-selling swing band, whose smash hit album “Zoot Suit Riot” sold over
two million copies in the U.S. and spent 53 weeks on the Billboard charts,
helping to usher in the swing dance craze to a new generation.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

RFD Boys

Music Rick Coates With another successful Traverse City Film Festival now in the rearview
mirror, movie enthusiasts will look to the Frankfort Film Festival at the
end of October to get their film fix. The Third Annual Frankfort Film
Festival will take place at the recently renovated Garden Theater which
has been offering first-run films in Frankfort for the first time in
years.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Tastemakers: Hor D‘Oeuvres On The Porch Chef Jim Voltz/ Black Star Farms Leorie Vineyard Merlot/Cabernet Franc

Dining Rick Coates The cottages and cabins that line the shorelines of the lakes of Northern Michigan have many stories to tell. These summer homes often host some of the best social events of the summer, where people from all over gather to enjoy great food and drink. I grew up in that environment with my grandparents having a place at the end of the Old Mission Peninsula and each night around 5 pm was “cocktail hour,” My grandmother would prepare hors d’oeuvres and we would nibble and talk about the happenings around the world. Often those from neighboring cottages would wander the beach with empty cocktail glasses and make their way to our porch to fill their glasses, enjoy a few nibblers in exchange for contributing to the conversation.
When I stumbled onto the cookbook “Hors d’oeuvres on the Porch” published this year by Chef Jim Voltz I was immediately transported to my Old Mission days. Voltz lives on Crystal Lake near Frankfort, a former petro-chemistry industry executive, Voltz now has a second career as a chef and more importantly, plays host to the best cocktail and dinner parties on Crystal Lake. He has captured the recipes and stories of these parties in a collection of cookbooks from “Sunny Shores,” the name of his cottage. “Dinner on the Porch” and “Brunch on the Porch” were released in 2009 and 2010 respectively and both are in at least a second printing.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Imported From Detroit Motor City rockers make their way north

Music Rick Coates A new wave of Detroit rock and roll is making its way onto the music scene and three of those bands helping to revitalize the Motor City’s claim to being the “home of rock and roll” will make their way to Northern Michigan Friday, July 29 at the Ground Zero Nightclub inside the Streeters Center in TC.
Detroit has a long history of producing great rock and roll and two of the industry’s hottest artists Kid Rock and Eminem are currently carrying on the Motor City Music Torch. But that Detroit rock reputation is a big one and requires more players at the table so here comes The Dirty Americans, JTX and Jocaine.
JTX (JT Harding) is certainly making a name for himself of late. His current single “Love In America” spent a few weeks at the top of the charts on Sirrus Radio and remains in the top 10. Helping the cause are the commercials currently running for the new Justin Timberlake movie “Friends With Benefits” that features “Love In America” throughout the promotional spots. The song is his second single and a follow up to his smash hit “Party Like A Rock Star.”
JTX has been on a radio station blitz of the country to promote his song.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Rap and Repair: Eminem?s partner, Royce da 5? 9?, brings it to the Streeter?s Stage

Music Rick Coates Bad met Evil back in 1997 when two Detroit rappers, Eminem (Marshall
Mathers) and Royce da 5‘9“ (Ryan Montgomery) met at an Usher Concert. The
two hit it off and “success seemed certain” as they formed the rapping duo
Bad Meets Evil. But success was short lived and for the past 10 years
Royce and Eminem went their separate ways. A lot was said during the
divorce between Bad and Evil that had most in the rap community believing
it would take more than hell freezing over for the two to reunite. But a
reconciliation took place late last year and Bad Meets Evil is back.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Imported From Detroit Motor City rockers make their way north

Music Rick Coates A new wave of Detroit rock and roll is making its way onto the music scene and three of those bands helping to revitalize the Motor City’s claim to being the “home of rock and roll” will make their way to Northern Michigan Friday, July 29 at the Ground Zero Nightclub inside the Streeters Center in TC.
Detroit has a long history of producing great rock and roll and two of the industry’s hottest artists Kid Rock and Eminem are currently carrying on the Motor City Music Torch. But that Detroit rock reputation is a big one and requires more players at the table so here comes The Dirty Americans, JTX and Jocaine.
JTX (JT Harding) is certainly making a name for himself of late. His current single “Love In America” spent a few weeks at the top of the charts on Sirrus Radio and remains in the top 10. Helping the cause are the commercials currently running for the new Justin Timberlake movie “Friends With Benefits” that features “Love In America” throughout the promotional spots. The song is his second single and a follow up to his smash hit “Party Like A Rock Star.”
JTX has been on a radio station blitz of the country to promote his song.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Tastemakers:Siren Hall Oysters/Michigan Mojito

Dining Rick Coates Selecting oysters is a lot like selecting a great bottle of wine. As with wine, point of origin is equally important for oysters as the marine plants they feed on determine appearance, texture and flavor. For the oyster novice, tasting oysters from some of the best harvesting areas of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is best accomplished at Siren Hall in Elk Rapids. Even the connoisseur will be impressed with selection of fresh oysters on the menu.
Freshness is probably the most important quality to an exceptional oyster. Seawater is the magic ingredient so the longer an oyster has been out of the ocean (usually after two weeks) the less flavorful. Good thing that Siren Hall proprietors Michael and Rebecca Peterson have East and West Coast connections and get fresh oysters flown in regularly.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Traverse City Film Festival Tips

Features Rick Coates The Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF), now in its seventh year, at times
might seem a bit overwhelming with 150-plus screenings, all the parties,
panel discussions and pomp and circumstance the week brings.
No need to fret as the hundreds of volunteers along with TCFF founder
Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore and co-founders New York
Times best selling author Doug Stanton and Traverse City based
photographer John Robert Williams have planned a navigable week for the
casual and diehard film buff.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Evershine

Music Rick Coates It’s Time for Evershine
By Rick Coates
When Evershine lead singer Ida Reed learned that Anthony Steele passed away unexpectedly last month, a flood of emotions came over her.
“Anthony was a friend of mine, we went to school together. I was a troubled soul in those days and he befriended me and showed me random acts of kindness and it impacted my life,” said Reed. “He worked hard to get me into a club in Manistee where he was living; unfortunately he passed before we got to play the show on July 16 so we turned it into a fundraiser for his family.”
Now Reed and her bandmates are organizing “Rock Like Steele” this Friday, July 22, at Ground Zero Nightclub inside the Streeters Center in TC. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Anthony Steele’s family.
“Doug Street jumped on board right away. He also went to school with us,” said Reed. “We are real fortunate that several great bands agreed to play, from Alter Ego, Machine Gun Rodeo and the Jackson Swan Band. Plus we have DJ Dominate spinning dance music in the room next door.”
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Tastemakers: The Fusion Spicy 3-Way/The Fusion Sake 3-Way

Dining Rick Coates The Fusion Spicy 3-Way
There are several reasons to visit Frankfort, the obvious being the beach in the summer time. If you’re lucky enough to score a tee time at Crystal Downs, consistently rated among the top 10 golf courses in the U.S. that would be another. Charter boat fishing opportunities are plentiful as well. The recently renovated Garden Theater might be another.
Making a day or weekend excursion to the Frankfort/Elberta area has lots in store, and certainly a stop at The Fusion should be a part of that journey. This restaurant makes my very short list of restaurants in the region that. have dined at least a couple of dozen times and not once have I or my guests had a bad meal or bad service.
During a recent visit my family and I had the good fortune to have Flipz (his nickname -- he is the agile one -- his brother not so is nicknamed Slipz) as our server, he was exceptional in every aspect of his service, guiding us through the menu. This was important as my family decided to be adventurous and try some new dishes.
Soup is included with your entree and I opted for the Hot & Sour which was exceptional. For my entree I went with the Spicy 3-Way which features the General’s Chicken, a dish that is listed on the menu as the “staff’s favorite” (the menu is loaded with recommendations including the UPS driver’s favorite). General’s Chicken is found on most Asian restaurant menus though common belief is it was developed in New York in the ‘70s. The sauce is the secret to the success of this dish along with the lightly breaded chicken.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Angel ambassadors

Features Rick Coates Angel Ambassadors get in the swing for veterans in need
By Rick Coates
Many people believe angels live among us. If that is true, two of them
have to be Marcie Newton and Margie Krussell of Petoskey.
Last year they formed Angel Ambassadors to assist veterans in Northern
Michigan with a variety of financial and personal needs. This weekend they
will host their first BBQ/Blues Golf Scramble at Dunmaglas Golf Course
near Charlevoix, featuring the Red, White & Blues Band. 
 
 
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