Letters 11-30-2015

“Snapshots” of Islam Offensive  In his latest effort (Northern Express Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015,) David Kachadurian provides a jumble of FYI disclosures pertaining to Islam and Muslim societies, and posing as if providing a public service announcement, he advises the readers to ponder their import and to “make of them what you will.”

Not Another War To these people who believe we need to be at war in the Middle East all the time: try thinking about getting the countries that are in the area to take care of these bad guys instead of us. We are almost in constant war and have been as long as most can remember...

The Unvaccinated Are Punished Pulling healthy children from school due to a so called “outbreak” of a mild childhood illness isn’t for the safety of the community, as we’re being led to believe. It’s to prove a point that the health department will follow through on their threats to exclude the unvaccinated from all school related events, whenever they see fit...

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Heroin's Popularity

Pushes Drug Dealing to A New Level in the Region

Features Patrick Sullivan A drive-thru drug store in an East Bay Township motel parking lot? That’s what police thought their subjects’ activities looked like during a surveillance operation last February. Detectives turned up evidence against the man and woman they were observing that led them up the supply chain to a bigger fish: Ronald Norfleet, one of the most significant drug dealers ever captured in Grand Traverse County.
Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nine Stories of Conflict

Features Patrick Sullivan Debate over two nine-story buildings proposed at the corner of Front and Pine streets in Traverse City has become about something bigger than whether developers should be able to build a large mixed-used apartment complex — it’s become a debate about the future of Traverse City.
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Licensed to Carry, Reason to Worry?

Features Patrick Sullivan County gun boards, the gatekeepers who decide whether a person should be given a concealed pistol permit, will disappear at the end of the month. Beginning in December, state police will conduct background checks and county clerks will process the paperwork to issue licenses to carry handguns.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

What Happens to the Ones Who Serve When They Come Home?

Features Patrick Sullivan A surge of veterans — that’s what Northwestern Michigan College expected when the Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect in 2008. In 2012, NMC established a Veteran Services Office and, since then, the aim of its leader Scott Herzberg has been to make the school a more welcoming place for students who come from the military — and it’s working.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Snapshots: Three NMC Vets

Features Patrick Sullivan In January 2014, Frederick rejoined civilian life in Traverse City after his wife found a job as a social worker at Bethany Christian Services. They are expecting their first child in April. Frederick is in his third semester at NMC and holds a work-study job in Scott Herzberg’s Veteran Services Office.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

First Lady of Yoga

Features Patrick Sullivan Yoga is many things to many people: a workout, a spiritual discipline, a mental and physical challenge and — for some — a legacy. No one has been teaching yoga in northern Michigan, or perhaps even the entire state, for as long as Sandra Carden.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Meet Northern Michigan's Climate Change Activists

Features Patrick Sullivan A never-aired television show changed Bill Latka’s life. The producer and director worked on a Discovery Channel program in the early 2000s called The Final Hour, a show intended to chronicle how scientists would confront climate change. He said he was not an activist before that show, but he became one after.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Traverse Bay Blues

Features Patrick Sullivan Here’s a notable fact. One of the biggest sporting events in the world — the Rugby World Cup — is happening right now in England and two players from Traverse City made the Team USA roster. One of them, Phillip Thiel, has played in World Cup matches watched by millions.
Friday, October 2, 2015

A Red Wine Odyssey

Features Patrick Sullivan Marty Lagina is on a lifelong treasure hunt. He made a fortune discovering natural gas in the ’90s, turned wind into electricity with large-scale turbine development, and his search for actual buried treasure on Canada’s Oak Island is the subject of a History Channel television show.
Saturday, September 26, 2015

Northern Michigan’s Woodstock

Two Decades After The Party’s End, Nostalgia for Castle Farms’ Wild Years Still Grows

Features Patrick Sullivan It’s been 20 years since armies of halter top- and mullet-clad heavy metal kids took over Charlevoix on summer weekends, jamming up roads and leaving beer cans, whiskey bottles and cigarette butts in their wake. For most locals, the era was a bad dream they hope will never return. For the revelers, it was a beautiful time; thousands of people follow a Facebook page dedicated to those long-gone days.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Have Food, Will Travel

Catering Industry Thrives in Northern Michigan’s Destination Wedding and Event Boom

Features Patrick Sullivan Labor Day used to mean the return of a more relaxed pace for almost every business in northern Michigan, but this is no longer the case in many of our region’s industries – especially when it comes to food...
Friday, September 11, 2015

Traverse City’s Tobacco Stalwart

If You Happen To Smoke Cigars, Thank Mike Nolan For Being Able To Do It Inside

Features Patrick Sullivan Walking into a smoke-filled bar with ash trays on every table feels like stepping back in time, but that’s what you’ll find at Nolan’s Cigar Bar on Front Street in Traverse City.
Friday, September 4, 2015

Mindless Senseless Destruction

Reward In Cadillac Vandalism Case Is Raised To $1,000

Features Patrick Sullivan

It was a frigid Tuesday morning in January when Rick and Tammy Grant arrived at the back of a building in downtown Cadillac they’d entered a thousand times before – and something wasn’t right.

A burgundy and white cap sat at the top of the stairs leading to the basement; it was a foreign object. They didn’t know immediately, but that hat signaled their lives were about to change.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Thinking About Killing Yourself? Read This.

Features Patrick Sullivan

People who work in suicide counseling say the biggest factor contributing to someone’s life or death is whether that person is able to overcome the stigma associated with mental illness and ask for help.

If you live in northern Michigan and you’re thinking about killing yourself, call one of these numbers: (231) 922-4800 or (800) 442-7315. They connect to the Third Level Crisis Intervention Center suicide hotline.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sun Frog

Fast Growing New Company Could Turn Gaylord into the T-Shirt Capital of the World

Features Patrick Sullivan

In a nondescript industrial park on the outskirts of Gaylord, young workers have their fingers on the Internet’s pulse. For instance, take their approach to March 14, 2015.

“I didn’t think anything of Pi Day, but when Pi Day hit, we sold tens of thousands. I’m going to guess we sold 50,000 Pi Day T- shirts, and that just came out of left field,” said Josh Kent, founder and CEO of Sun Frog Shirts, an online T-shirt store. “I was like, ‘Wait, what’s Pi Day? Oh yeah, the day of Pi, 3.14.’ I love it when they go viral.”