Letters

Letters 09-15-2014

Stop The Games On Campus

Four head coaches – two at U of M and two at MSU – get a total of $13 million of your taxpayer dollars each year. Their staffs get another $11 million...

The Truth About Fatbikes

While we appreciate the fatbike trail coverage, the quote from the article below is exactly what we demonstrated not to be true in most cases last season...

Man Has Environmental Responsibility

I tend to agree with Thomas Kachadurian (“Playing God,” Sept. 8) that we should not interfere with the power of nature by deciding what is “native” and what is not. Man usually does what is better for man (or so we believe), hence the survival and population growth of our species...

The Bush & Obama Facts

Don Turner’s letter to the editor on 8/25/14 stated that there has never been a more corrupt, dishonest, etc. set of politicians in the White House. He states no facts, but here are a few...

Ban Pesticides

I grew up downstate in a neighborhood without pesticides. I was always very healthy. Living here, I have become ill. So I did my research and found out a lot about these poison agents called pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, etc) that are being spread throughout this community, accumulating in our air, water and soil...

Respect for Presidents?

Recently we read the Letter to the Editor that encouraged us to stop characterizing President Obama as anything other than an upstanding, moral, inspiring “first Black President”. The author would have us think that the rancor in the press, media and public is misguided. And, believe it or not, this rancor is a “glaring exception to … unwritten patriotic rule” of historically supporting all previous presidents...


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Rick Coates

 
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Elvis Costello

Music Rick Coates When Elvis Costello takes the stage at Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium on
Tuesday June 21 to kick off the music portion of their Summer Arts
Celebration, his eclectic approach will be a fitting tribute to
Interlochen’s summer concert series.
The 2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee has extended his popular
“Revolver Tour” to include Interlochen and other dates this summer and for
the first time in 25 years he is bringing along his “Spectacular Spinning
Songbook.” This carnival-like atmosphere will feature a gigantic game-show
wheel with 40 song titles on it ranging from hits to rarities to covers.
Concertgoers will be invited up on stage to spin the wheel to help create
the setlist for the evening and then after spinning the wheel they have
the option to hear their song while hanging out in the “Hostage to Fortune
Go-Go Cage,” or taking a seat at the “Society Lounge,” where light
refreshments are served.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Motley‘s Crue pays Tribute to Bad Boys of rock

Music Rick Coates The “Original Bad Boy’s of Rock-n-Roll,” Mtley Cre are currently out headlining a major summer concert tour. Following right behind them is Motley’s Crue -- the newest entry in the Mtley Cre tribute scene.
“Our booking agency, A Plus Entertainment, located in Northern Michigan, had been getting a lot of requests for a Mtley Cre tribute band the past couple of years,” said Sarah Adkins. “We started looking for musicians in Northern Michigan and found the right mix of guys to look and sound the part of all the members of Mtley Cre.”
Calling themselves Motley’s Crue, they will perform Saturday June 18 at Ground Zero inside The Streeters Center in Traverse City. They will be joined by In The Name Of: the Ultimate Black Sabbath Tribute Band.
“What we have booked are shows near and around the actual Mtley Cre tour and we will be giving away tickets at Ground Zero for their Grand Rapids show,” said Adkins.

BIG HAIR SCENE
The real Mtley Cre formed in 1981 by bassist Nikki Six and drummer Tommy Lee and recruited lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil to join them. The Cre helped to usher in the hair metal scene of the ’80s with such hits as “Shout At The Devil,” “Looks That Kill,” and “Girls, Girls,Girls.”
Now faux Mtley Cre is just coming off their second show but the demand for them is already there. Taking a page out the KISS playbook band members are remaining anonymous and even wearing costumes on stage.
“We go into character an hour or so before the show,” said Jim (plays the Vince Neil part). “We are still working everything out. our Tommy Lee guy got too into his character and was a little too intoxicated at our last show.”
The popularity of tribute bands continues and the economy is a big factor.
“We are charging $8 in advance to see two great tribute bands,” said Jim. “Mtley Cre tickets are going for $65 to $100 apiece for this tour and if you were to add Black Sabbath to the mix it would easily be $150 a ticket. People are tight with their dollars right now so this is very affordable entertainment.”
Early reviews have been positive with attendees at their last show commenting on how closely they resemble the real Mtley Cre. Lead singer Jim has been a part of several successful tribute bands and says he finds it easy to emulate the actual singers.
“I liken it to my martial arts training. In martial arts you go to great lengths to study your opponent,” said Jim. “I master their mannerism and then get their vocal sounds down it is actually easier than it looks.”
Jim’s success as tribute band singer has led to the actual acts to call upon him. He was runner up in the search for Journey’s new lead singer a few years ago. Now, Black Sabbath is reforming and he is the front runner to take lead singer role originally held by Ozzy Osbourne and also Ronnie James Dio who recently passed away.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Tastemakers:Palette Bistro Seafood and Sausage Paella/Copa di Vino

Dining Rick Coates Last summer’s Paella (pie-AY-ya) in the Park was a major hit; not only did it sell out days in advance, it was also the talk of the town. Certainly the Porterhouse Productions event will be one of the most sought-after tickets this summer as well (August 5 at the former Clinch Park Zoo and tickets go on sale soon at www.porterhouseproductions.com), but must we wait once a year to enjoy paella? 
Thankfully this Spanish/Mediterranean inspired dish is available daily at the Palette Bistro in Petoskey. Prepared in a “personal sized” paella pan the Palette Bistro Seafood and Sausage Paella is an exceptional dish reflective of its Spanish origins. Perfectly seasoned shrimp, scallops and andouille sausage blended with rice and peppers this paella has a hint of zip to it and pairs nicely with a Gewurtztraminer or summer wheat style beer (it was nearly 90 degrees so beer was the best pairing on this particular day and I dined outside on their street-level patio) 
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

Tastemakers: The Cook‘s House; Circa Estate Winery

Dining Rick Coates When chefs Eric Patterson and Jennifer Blakeslee opened The Cooks’ House in downtown Traverse City four years ago they did so under the premise that their patrons would be able to BYOB (bring their own bottle of wine or beer). The formula worked at first, with an 18-seat eatery The Cooks’ House was too small to obtain a liquor license under Michigan law. 

The Cooks’ House quickly climbed to the ranks of one of the best restaurants in the region and reservations were often needed a month out. Their success was built around a menu that features local ingredients along with the BYOB advantage. 

Everything seemed to be perfect until someone complained about the BYOB. Now Michigan laws are cloudy when it comes to BYOB and events that have complimentary alcohol at them (last fall the Express ran a three part series on the issue). Just over a year ago The Cooks’ House was told by the Traverse City Police they could no longer offer the BYOB despite the fact that other local businesses were actually giving away free beer and wine at various events during the year. The decision hurt their business and they lost nearly 50 percent of their reservations over the past year. 
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

Room for a thousand

Features Rick Coates Does Northern Michigan need another entertainment venue?  Three forward-thinking partners think so and are planning a venue in Traverse City’s Old Town that will accommodate up to 1,000 patrons.
Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell, owners of Blue Tractor, North Peak, Mission Table, Jolly Pumpkin have partnered with Sam Porter of Porterhouse Productions. The three are collaborating on a state-of-the-art entertainment complex on Union Street between 7th and 8th streets. 
The nearly 18,000-square-foot venue will incorporate the existing Blue Tractor along with The Shed and The Good Works Collective Buildng (recently acquired by Porter for concerts, art events and  gatherings). In addition, the project will expand into the current Blue Tractor parking lot.
The end result will be a two story complex with a roof-top patio and a concert venue that will hold up to 1,000 patrons for shows. The venue (currently nameless) will have 50-plus tap handles featuring Michigan craftbrews and the menu and wine list will also have a local flavor.
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

Oosterhouse brothers plan anew winery

Features Rick Coates What do Dan Aykroyd, Mario Batali, Antonio Banderas, Tommy Smothers and
Carter Oosterhouse have in common? They all own wineries. At least that
will be the case soon for HGTV hunk and heartthrob Carter Oosterhouse.
Last week Oosterhouse hosted an open house for close friends to show off
his new vineyard and winery location on the Old Mission Peninsula as well
as introduce his fiancee, actress Amy Smart, to family and friends.
Oosterhouse joins the growing ranks of celebrities worldwide venturing
into the wine industry. Last year celebrity-owned wineries saw a 25%
increase in wine sales from the previous year. While their celebrity may
be a factor, many of those wineries do not even have the stars’ names on
the labels. Ask any celebrity why they opened or purchased a winery and
making money off of gimmick wines will not be on that list -- and that is
also the case for Oosterhouse.
 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gene Jenneman

Art Rick Coates One of the first stories the Northern Express covered in 1991 was the opening of the Dennos Museum Center on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College. Gene Jenneman has served as executive director ever since, and he took time via Skype to be interviewed while at a museum conference in South Korea. Jenneman reflected on the past 20 years of the museum and the Milliken Auditorium, its importance to the region and some thoughts on the future.

Northern Express:  Why are you in South Korea?
Gene Jenneman: I was invited to speak at the first Yeongwol Yonsei Forum: A World of Museums in Yeongwol, South Korea (near Seoul).
Yeongwol is a community seeking to revitalize its economy through the development of an extensive number of museums on various subjects, becoming Korea’s Museum City. This project was begun in 2005. The purpose of this forum is, in part, to assess the project to date. The focus in Yeongwol has been to develop museums with single collections. 
When the Dennos was created there was a need to address the integration of the college’s unique collection of Inuit art into the overall program of the museum. I have  been invited to speak on the development of the Dennos as a community museum that serves the purpose of being a specialized museum of Inuit art, while offering a much broader range of programming. This trip and my visit to China points to how the Dennos has become a global institution. 
 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tastemakers: 20 years of Northern Michigan‘s culinary scene/ A toast to our beverage industry

Dining Rick Coates The culinary scene in the region has really blossomed over the past 20 years. It is really hard to pinpoint exactly when and who was responsible for it taking off. I like to think that the agricultural community essentially the farmers and producers from 150 years ago were responsible. Whoever planted that first cherry tree and the others who saw this region as an agricultural goldmine really deserve the credit.
When the Northern Express launched in 1991 the emergence of a new restaurant scene was underway. Places like Tapawingo and Rowe Inn in Ellsworth were two restaurants at the center of moving the Northern Michigan palette away from oversized Midwest meat and potatoes portions
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Taylor Hicks

Music Rick Coates America continues its fascination with American Idol as it continues week
in and week out to be the number one watched show on television. This
season’s finale will take place Wednesday, May 25 with the 10th winner
being selected. Past finale shows have brought back previous winners, but
producers are remaining silent as to who might be coming back this year. 
There is no secret, however, that season five winner (2006) Taylor Hicks
will be coming to Northern Michigan this weekend to perform at the Little
River Casino in Manistee on Sunday night. With a clear schedule for
Wednesday night and a tour that currently has him on the West Coast, the
speculation is that Hicks will make an Idol appearance Wednesday night.
“I will keep that a surprise for now; the show producers like to keep
things a secret so I guess people will just have to tune in and watch,”
said Hicks. “I will give you this bit of information: I am coming to
Northern Michigan and looking forward to that.”
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Echos of Pink Floyd

Music Rick Coates Take a quick glance at the concert scene in Northern Michigan and it seems
like half the shows are tribute bands. But it is not just here, the
tribute band craze is literally all over the world.
That’s in part because the legendary rock bands are either rarely touring
or not touring at all and partly because of the economy. Tribute bands
typically are $20 to $25 a ticket versus $75 to $150 or more for the real
thing.
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Mickey Gilley

Features Rick Coates Country music legend Mickey Gilley is lucky to be living, let alone
performing. Two years ago while helping a friend move a piece of
furniture, he fell down a flight of stairs leaving himself paralyzed from
the neck down. Through a little luck and hard work Gilley is back on the
road and will kick off his first tour since his near fatal fall, this
Friday, May 27 at the Leelanau Sands Showroom. 
“I have been back performing at my theater in Branson, Missouri for a few
months now. I am excited and ready to get back out on the road,” said
Mickey Gilley. “It has been a tough road back but I have a sense of humor
about it. In fact I tell people at my show don’t call me if they want
something moved -- call Two Men and a Truck.”
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Mickey Gilley

Features Rick Coates Country music legend Mickey Gilley is lucky to be living, let alone
performing. Two years ago while helping a friend move a piece of
furniture, he fell down a flight of stairs leaving himself paralyzed from
the neck down. Through a little luck and hard work Gilley is back on the
road and will kick off his first tour since his near fatal fall, this
Friday, May 27 at the Leelanau Sands Showroom. 
“I have been back performing at my theater in Branson, Missouri for a few
months now. I am excited and ready to get back out on the road,” said
Mickey Gilley. “It has been a tough road back but I have a sense of humor
about it. In fact I tell people at my show don’t call me if they want
something moved -- call Two Men and a Truck.”
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Rock steady

Music Rick Coates If you’re looking to get your summer off to a flying start, two headbanging events will get you there this week, with a run-up to Memorial Day Weekend:

Rock and Roll Circus
“The circus is coming, the circus is coming to town!” -- the four-ring Rock and Roll Circus that is. Ground Zero Nightclub in TC is hosting four nights of rock over the course of six days featuring 13 bands. 
Owner Doug Street came up with idea of packaging four concerts together with one ticket. For $67 and a $3 handling fee hardcore rockers will be able to see over $100 worth concerts. Individual tickets for all shows are available.
Saving Abel kicks it off on Friday, May 20. The Mississippi-based modern rockers roll into town with their number one hit “The Sex Is Good,” off their current “Miss America” CD. Saving Abel took their name from a Bible passage that said “there is no saving Abel.” They burst onto the scene in 2008 with their self-title debut CD that featured three top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Charts, “Addicted,” “18 Days,” and “Drowning (Face Down).”
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Tastemakers: Lochenheath Classic Wedge/ Chateau Fontaine 2010 Gewurztraminer

Dining Rick Coates The restaurant at LochenHeath Golf Club (just north of the Grand Traverse
Resort) might just be the the region’s best kept secret. The golf course
closed its doors a few years ago as a result of financial difficulties and
since reopened just last week. Returning to the fold is Chef Joseph George
who was the chef at the time LochenHeath closed. George eventually took
over the executive chef responsibilities at the Grand Traverse Resort a
year ago but jumped at the chance to return to LochenHeath. With George at
the helm, guests can expect a first class dining experience. 
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Seal 6 Situation: Chuck Pfarrer weighs in on the bin Laden mission

Features Rick Coates Judging by a confusing barrage of news reports over the last two weeks,
exactly what happened during the 40-minute mission carried out by an elite
team of Navy SEALs that ultimately resulted in the death of Osama bin
Laden may never be known.
Conflicting reports of the operation’s details began leaking just after
President Barrack Obama announced bin Laden’s demise on the evening of May
1. But for SEALs Team 6, the details are not important.It is all about
“mission accomplished.” 
 
 
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