Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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Carina Hume

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Monday, June 2, 2008

What‘s cooking at Crooked Lake

Dining Carina Hume Crooked Lake Grill, a quaint 40-seat restaurant owned by Jamey and Liz Wittenberg, sits across from the picturesque lake in Conway, just north of Petoskey. Offering hand-prepared, homemade food in a family friendly atmosphere, it’s no surprise the business notched wins for Best Breakfast and Best Restaurant Staff in the Petoskey area in the Northern Express 2008 reader’s choice poll.
Welcoming regulars, who made the restaurant popular in years past, as well as new visitors and year-round residents alike, the Wittenbergs hope to keep people coming back with delicious homemade offerings, well-priced daily specials, and small-town charm.
Monday, June 2, 2008

Let there be lilacs

Features Carina Hume If you’re looking for a reason to celebrate summer, head to Mackinac Island and join in the official kickoff to its season, the Lilac Festival.
“The festival celebrates [the island’s] most recognized botanical symbol, the lilac, while emphasizing its international, cultural and historic appeal,” says Mary McGuire Slevin, executive director of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau.
What began in 1949 as a one-day lilac celebration called the Mackinac Island Lilac Day, is now a 10-day event, with an array of family activities.
Monday, May 19, 2008

Libby‘s Pies

Dining Carina Hume Libby Reeves knows about second chances. Owner of Libby’s restaurant in Cheboygan, and a multiple winner in the Northern Express reader’s choice poll for the Mackinaw/Cheboygan area – Best Bakery, Best Bread, Best Cup of Tea, Best Desserts, Best New Restaurant – Reeves never imagined she would be where she is today after ending up on her mother’s doorstep last summer with just her clothes in hand. With help from her family and friends, Reeves opened her own restaurant last fall and truly believes that no matter how bad life is, it always manages to turn around.
Monday, April 21, 2008

Kim Krumrey

Art Carina Hume Fun, funky and colorful is how Petoskey potter Kim Krumrey describes her art – a nearly accurate description of the artist herself. With her hair in ponytails, a cap on her head and a colorful, patterned self-made scarf around her neck, Krumrey appears to be the epitome of her work.
A Traverse City native since she was 10 years old, Krumrey still considers the area home. She attended Western Michigan University – with a stint at Northwestern Michigan College her sophomore year with classes in graphic design. Back at Western in her junior year, she realized commercial art wasn’t for her.
“I don’t really like to compromise when it comes to my artwork,” Krumrey says with a laugh. Her focus shifted to ceramics, and in 1993 she completed her Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in art, and settled in Petoskey, unsure of what to do with her life.
Monday, April 21, 2008

The Art Of Austin

Art Carina Hume When David K. Austin left Marquette in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Northern Michigan University in hand, he was searching for snow. An avid cross country skier, he wanted to live where he could pursue both of his passions. Petoskey was his compromise, and he’s built a career in art along the way.
“At the time, I was skiing heavily – cross country skiing,” says Austin, who ran the Boyne Highlands Cross Country Ski Program for five seasons. “It was the closest I could get to the sculptures I was doing in southern Michigan, but still ski.”
Monday, March 31, 2008

Tribal Dance

Features Carina Hume High school students in Petoskey are planning to bust a few dance moves to help the “Invisible Children” of war-torn Africa.
Taking education beyond the classroom, the high school students of Concord Academy in Petoskey will be performing a benefit dance concert called “Continuum” to aid the children of northern Uganda. Performances are April 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cheboygan Opera House and all proceeds will benefit Invisible Children, Inc. (www.invisiblechildren.com), a non-profit organization which helps provide health care, education and safety to African children who are being abducted from their homes and forced to fight as soldiers in their country’s 20-year civil war.
Monday, March 24, 2008

Best Solo Performer: Michelle Chenard

Music Carina Hume Popular Northern Michigan musician Michelle Chenard – Best Solo Performer in this year’s reader survey – almost missed her calling. “I actually had thoughts of being a veterinarian when I was in school,” says this former “Yooper,” who graduated from Newberry High School in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “My guidance counselor steered me away from it – he told me that it was hard to get a job as a vet.”
After graduation, Chenard attended one semester at Central Michigan University before discovering college life wasn’t for her. Luckily, Chenard’s years of growing up in a musical family provided the basis for her future.
She took off for Florida to be in a band and music has been her life ever since.
Monday, March 10, 2008

In The Swing/ Bay Tennis & Fitness

Features Carina Hume When Tom Behan and his family purchased the former Polar Bear Ice Arena, located between Petoskey and Harbor Springs, their intent was to turn it into a professional building. Once local tennis buffs found out, the pressure to bring back a tennis facility to Northern Michigan was overwhelming. In November 2006, Bay Tennis and Fitness opened its doors.
With input from wife, Mary Jo, and children, Tom II and Julie, Behan led the building’s remodeling effort, in which no expense was spared.
Monday, December 31, 2007

Living off local foods

Dining Carina Hume Imagine living off of food grown only in Northern Michigan. In late summer, the abundance of Michigan produce and local 4-H Livestock sales would provide the major necessities. But in November? Options definitely become more limited. For 12 students in Kate Fairman’s Visionary Thinkers class through Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU’s) Liberal Studies program located in Traverse City, a week spent during November, living off of only Northern Michigan-based food products was an eye-opener.
Monday, December 3, 2007

Thai Orchard

Dining Carina Hume  Give your taste buds a new sensation! Check out the new family-owned Thai Orchid Cuisine located in downtown Petoskey. Open since October 17th, this 46-seat restaurant offers Thai fare with plenty of spice for those who crave it and milder dishes for those who don’t.
Thai Orchid owner Thomas Vangyi thought Petoskey was a perfect place to open a new restaurant.
“I liked this town and I traveled many times through here,” he says. “It had beautiful scenery, back like in Thailand in the mountains, and a lake.”
The experienced restaurateur and married father of five has co-owned a Thai restaurant in Mt. Clemens with his brother-in-law for the last six years, but moved his family north in September.
“We have another restaurant in Detroit – in Mt. Clemens,” says Vangyi. “Our family, we do restaurants, and…we came here and we felt like we can’t let this thing go, we have to put another restaurant here.”
“I’ve worked in the restaurant business for a little over 10 years now,” he continues. “It’s not new to us.”
Tastefully decorated with pale lavender walls, multicolored tapestries under glass for tabletops and plenty of orchid pictures – in homage to the restaurant’s name – Thai Orchid Cuisine offers an extensive menu at reasonable prices.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Schooner Sails Again

Art Carina Hume In 2004, Petoskey’s Little Traverse Civic Theatre (LTCT) first presented The Christmas Schooner, a turn–of–the–century story of the Stossels, who sailed Lake Michigan in November to bring Christmas trees to families in fire–ravaged Chicago. The musical is based on a book by John Reeger, with music and lyrics by Julie Shannon.
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Getting Personal

Features Carina Hume Walk into Monarch Garden & Floral Design in downtown Petoskey and you’re likely to see a designer at work. With a walk-in glass flower cooler and an interactive work station, customers can even participate in the process. But this colorful indoor oasis is more than just a flower store.
“It’s full retail home and garden accessories – 2,000 square feet of retail space,” says Brian Babbitt, who co-owns the shop along with partner William Santos. Customers will enjoy meandering through abundant displays showcasing items perfect for gift-giving or accessorizing. Nature lovers will appreciate organic potting soil and lotions as well as herbal bug repellents, soap and soy candles. Women especially appreciate the delicate flower arrangements and those aforementioned scented products.
And if you’re looking for a finishing touch to your living space, you can choose from a wide selection of silk flowers, vases and more, sure to complement any type of environment.
Thursday, October 25, 2007

Capluna‘s Cactus

Features Carina Hume When Marilyn Stockwell Colestock’s Christmas cactus started blooming on April 15 this year, she knew it was a sign. A gift from her sister-in-law nearly 20 years ago, the cactus had religiously bloomed only once a year at Thanksgiving. But last October, before her sister-in-law passed away, Colestock asked her for some reassurance.
“She was going to send me a sign after she died that she was OK,” says Colestock, “and I know that was it.”
Are there really signs around us sending messages from loved ones who have passed on? Or is life just full of meaningful coincidences?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The latitude of lavender

Features Carina Hume Ham radios and beehives were in the plans when Linda and Roy Longworth bought their Boyne City farm four years ago. But how quickly plans can change - today, with 4,000 plants and 15 varieties, Lavender Hill Farms offers visitors an opportunity to experience the beauty and the bounty of local lavender products.
“At the time, we had no idea we’d be doing lavender or anything else,” says Linda Longworth, who planted lavender for its easy-to-care-for and deer-repelling properties. After keeping her first beehive, which produced an impressive amount of honey, Longworth realized that the lavender was doing more than just existing as landscaping.
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Queen of the stage

Features Carina Hume First performing onstage in the second grade, well-known Petoskey thespian Betsy Willis always knew that theater would be a part of her life. After 30 years of involvement with the Little Traverse Civic Theater, she’s making good use of her business degree and her longtime love of the stage as LTCT’s new managing director.