Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Scotty McCreery is Pure Country

Music Kristie Kates “I knew I wanted to finish high school, go to college, and then move to Nashville and try to make it as a country music singer,” he said. “That was always the plan and the dream. I just decided to take a chance in Milwaukee [at the “Idol” tryouts] and see if I could possibly make the dream happen a little faster.
Monday, April 14, 2014

Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson to Return to Interlochen

Music Kristie Kates Another favorite is preeminent banjo player Bela Fleck. Fleck has performed with a wide range of musicians, from contemporary bluegrass pioneers New Grass Revival to jazz pianist Chick Corea. He’s touring with Corea through the end of this month before heading out on dates with fellow banjoist Abigail Washburn.
Monday, April 15, 2013

The Rowe Inn

Dining Kristie Kates “There has been a long-standing myth that The Rowe is an old cottage,” Webb says, “but it has always been a restaurant, and the name comes from the Rowes. Wes Westhoven bought the building in 1972, and brought the idea of ‘farm to table’ to Northern Michigan at that time.
Monday, December 17, 2012

The Spooky Sounds of Saldaje

Hot Dates Kristie Kates Meet "The darkest ukulele band in Northern Michigan." 
   Saldaje - aka Melonie Steffes and Shaun Anchak, along with their lineup of assorted ukuleles, violin, mandolin, guitar, harmonicas
Monday, September 7, 2009


Music Kristie Kates Wheatland a 2009 preview

By Kristi Kates 9/7/09

Wheatland associate Pamela Peach Burke calls the Wheatland Music Festival “the last hurrah of the warm summer months” - perhaps an understated description of the much-touted event that draws around 12,000 people each year.
With this year’s event happening September 11-13, Wheatland, as it’s commonly shortened to, is now in its 36th incarnation, and rain or shine, it’ll take place once again near Remus, Michigan, at the eastern edge of Mecosta County.
Monday, August 31, 2009

Lollapalooza 2009

Music Kristie Kates Crowds and Clouds: Lollapalooza 2009
By Kristi Kates 8/31/09

100 degree temperatures, persistent humidity, and overcrowding were the hallmarks of the 2009 Lollapalooza festival, in a year that saw the weather actually being bigger news than the bands themselves.
The park - all decked out with eclectic art installations and interesting diversions ranging from food to beverages to videogaming stations to hammocks - was well-designed; but just like last year, the Lolla gurus can’t seem to comprehend that too many people do not make a fun festival.
Add to that the high heat index and the rain, and it became a battle just to see the bands you wanted to see. We soon found that we weren’t the only journalists who retreated frequently to the protected (and somewhat drier) media area instead of fighting our way to the other side of the park through the downpours and the phalanxes of people who were far more interested in staying dry than in being polite. That said - at least there was music.
Monday, August 31, 2009

4Play: Friendly Fires, Noah & The Whale, Maximo Park, Portico Quartet

Music Kristie Kates 4Play
Kristi Kates 8/31/09
Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires - XL
With such diverse influences as The Thompson Twins, M83, and Prince, electro-popsters Friendly Fires snagged the production skills of Bloc Party/Maximo Park producer Paul Epworth for their first single, “Jump in the Pool,” a catchy and near-calypso tune, producing the rest of the album themselves. This isn’t a bad thing, although Epworth did give the band a narrower focus - a few of the other songs seem a bit wayward in their arrangements - but ‘80s-inflected tunes like the synth-y “Lovesick” and the multi-grooved “On Board” will still get plenty of attention.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Math-Rockers Mute Math offer up Armistice

Modern Rock Kristie Kates Modern Rock
Kristi Kates 8/31/09
Math-Rockers Mute Math Offer Up Armistice
New Orleans math-rockers MuteMath have completed work on their new album, and it’s available this week via Teleprompt/Warner Bros. Records. Produced by Elvis Costello/Hives/Modest Mouse collaborator Dennis Herring, the set was recorded both in the band’s hometown and in Mississippi, and is said to showcase the band’s “lyrical development” as well as a dozen new MuteMath songs. The tracklisting includes tunes “Backfire,” “Pins and Needles,” and “The Lost Year,” and the set has been titled Armistice...
Monday, August 31, 2009

At Stafford‘s Pier

Dining Kristie Kates At Stafford’s Pier:
The Pointer Boat Offers a Taste of Harbor Springs History

By Kristi Kates 8/31/09

The image of the Pointer Boat is one that is iconic to Harbor Springs residents and visitors alike. Most often seen either docked next to Stafford’s Pier restaurant on Little Traverse Bay, or puttering around in the town’s natural harbor, the Pointer Boat is both a little piece of town history... and also the subject of plenty of misconceptions.
“People have a hard time understanding that the boat is not for rent or does not charge,” Stafford’s Dudley Marvin says, “I tell many folks that we operate much like a hotel shuttle that might take folks to area attractions, area transportation hubs or do a complimentary city tour.”
Monday, June 15, 2009

Three months of music

Music Kristie Kates Three Months of Music
Annual Summer Concerts Preview

By Kristi Kates 6/15/09

It’s June, music fans, which means we’ve got your yearly roundup of the summer concert and festival events taking place around the country and around the world, so wherever you are, you’ll be able to catch the best live shows of summer 2009.
We’re halfway through the first month of summer, so let’s get right to it - we’ll start things off Stateside, and then show you what’s going on overseas, too.
Monday, June 15, 2009

4Play/ R.E.M., James Apollo, The Smiths, Landy

Music Kristie Kates R.E.M. - Reckoning: Deluxe Edition - IRS/A&M
Kristi Kates 6/15/09
R.E.M. continue their series of reissues with a great 25th anniversary deluxe version of their 1984 album, Reckoning, which arrives via IRS. Another two-disc set (like last year’s reissue of the band’s Murmur), the first disc includes the remastered album, with super-clear sound on such tracks as “So. Central Rain” and “Pretty Persuasion,” while the second disc is a live show recorded in Chicago in 1984 at the Aragon Ballroom; that disc features live renditions of eight songs from Reckoning as well as “Driver 8” and “Hyena,” which were new at the time.
Monday, April 20, 2009


Music Kristie Kates Doves - Kingdom of Rust - Astralwerks
Returning with their first album in four years (has it been that long?) Doves spent a year and a half tracking this set in a farmhouse in the English countryside, with Dan Austin on board again for co-production duties. This album harkens back to the days of Doves’ Lost Souls album, as it’s more moody and ambient than their last set, Some Cities, which did less well on the charts stateside than such an accomplished band might expect. It’s a well-balanced set on which they still rock a bit, too - “Jetstream” is one of those rockers, with a Euro-club heavy beat, while the title track wraps the whole thing up nicely with its atmospheric SFX and prettily shuffled melody lines.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Artistic Found ations... Rich Branstrom

Art Kristie Kates Artistic “Found“ ations... Rich Branstrom
Kristie Kates

If you live in or visit Northern Michigan, chances are you’ve seen the work of Rapid River ‘found object’ artist Ritch Branstrom. In addition to the traditional artist venues, such as galleries and festivals, Branstrom’s creations are also a big part of Emmet County’s Recycling Program.
Does “Emmet the Recycling Robot” ring a bell? That’s right - Branstrom is the talent behind the distinctive “Ashcan Aliens” - all named Emmet, although they each have a different appearance - that are poised next to five of the county’s recycling centers. The sculptures draw attention to the informative recycling signs at the drop-off sites. But the “Emmets” are only the tip of the artwork where Branstrom’s work is concerned.
Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple Minds wrap up their Graffiti Soul

Modern Rock Kristie Kates Scottish retro-pop-rockers Simple Minds have wrapped work on their next album, which they’ve titled Graffiti Soul. The album, according to Simple Minds’ frontman Jim Kerr, is “truly vibrant rock n’ roll and pop,” and follows up the band’s 30th anniversary tour, at which they played complete run-throughs of their classic albums and also performed a live set at the birthday party of none other than a 90-year-old Nelson Mandela. Graffiti Soul hits stores on May 25 on Universal Records, and a supporting tour is in the planning stages...
Wilco have been working hard on mixing their latest album with Cali producer Jim Scott, and have also collaborated with Feist on the track “You and I,” to which Feist lends vocals. Ten or so songs have been completed for the album; the band will now complete the mixing process and decide on the final song sequence. The album itself is due for a late June release on Nonesuch Records, while in the meantime, fans can snag Wilco’s live DVD, Ashes of American Flags, which is in stores now...
Monday, April 20, 2009

Go Solar

Features Kristie Kates Go Solar
Kristie Kates 4/20/09

Germany and Japan may be the biggest current users of solar energy, but with the advent of a new presidential administration - and the quickly-growing popularity in America of high-tech, green gear - solar as a power source is becoming more popular stateside as well, whether it’s solar panels on a house or an office building.
One of the coolest ways to get started exploring what solar power has to offer is on a smaller level, with consumer-level items - so we’ve spent some time checking out this year’s best solar gadget offerings in person. And these are our picks for those who want to go solar for summer 2009.