Northern Express - Features http://www.northernexpress.com/michigan/articles.sec-143-1-features.html <![CDATA[Five Gifts for the Artsy Type - ]]> Long hours spent creating masterpieces require lots of coffee (or tea or chai, if you prefer). Yet, artists need something a little more inspiring than the average coffee cup. Sturgeon Bay Pottery, a place chock-full of artists, including founders and potters Steve and Karen Andrews, is the ideal location to fi nd a mug as unique as your giftee.]]> <![CDATA[Vinyl Resurgence - ]]> “I never was attached to any of my CDs, really. I mean, you kind of got it in the plastic case and you slid it open, and your throw it in there. You threw them in the car; you threw ‘em in the boat. I took care of them, but there wasn’t really a lot of love,” Walton said.]]> <![CDATA[A Guide to Christmas: Northern Michigan's Holiday Festivities 2014 - ]]> NORTHERN MICHIGAN’S HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Five Gifts That Give Back - ]]> Loved ones can enjoy a second cup of morning Joe guilt-free with Higher Grounds Trading Company’s Coffees for Change program. A portion of the proceeds from each one or fi ve-pound bag in this specialty line of hand-crafted coffees benefi ts a mission-based nonprofi t.]]> <![CDATA[Five Gifts for the Food Enthusiast - ]]> Maine-based Stonewall Kitchen produces a boatload of food products and kitchen accessories. Tops among them are a sextet of sauces, perfect for the chocoholic on your list: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Bittersweet Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, Dark Chocolate Coconut, Dark Chocolate Toffee and Spicy Mexican Chocolate.]]> <![CDATA[Five Gifts for the Music Fan - ]]> Box sets are a classic holiday gift that also make for a pretty spectacular presentation to the music aficionado, especially if you can pinpoint his favorite band or musician, and this year has plenty of standout offerings. MTV and influential Athens, Georgia indie-rockers R.]]> <![CDATA[Five Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast - ]]> The coated cotton provides water resistance and can be cleaned simply by wiping with a wet cloth. There’s a large compartment for your stuff and an outside loop with a toggle that can hold anything from a water bottle to a hockey stick. The Stewart tartan is one of seven patterns available.]]> <![CDATA[One Man Takes on a Classic - ]]> Charlie Ross loves Star Wars. So much so that he’s actually turned it into a career.  Ross’ one-man show - the aptly-named One Man Star Wars Trilogy - is a nerd-actor’s tour de force.

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<![CDATA[Adrenaline - The Iceman Use fall for winter fun plan]]> The Iceman Cometh Challenge is large beyond the numbers. It’s impossible to quantify the race’s effect on its host town of Traverse City, but to qualify it, simply talk to nearly any mountain biker in the Midwest.]]> <![CDATA[The Diplomat Next Door - Retired and active foreign service workers love northern Michigan]]>

The US ambassador to Oman might live just up the road on the Old Mission Peninsula. Other foreign service retirees have traded Moscow, Kabul or Karachi for Benzie, Grand Traverse or Leelanau.

There are even a handful of former or current CIA operatives in the region, though those folks are especially shy about details -- and interviews for stories like this.

Not only are the foreign service alumni fascinating in their own right, the burgeoning group is also delivering more international opportunities for Northwestern Michigan College students, as well as an impressive lineup of speakers at Traverse City’s International Affairs Forum.

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<![CDATA[Beyond Bake Sales - Organizations Count on Creativity to Earn Much-Needed Dollars]]> Want to buy some popcorn? How about some cookie dough or wrapping paper? What about the chance to own a new car? School and charity fundraisers have morphed considerably over the years, but at no time is this more apparent than during the holidays.]]> <![CDATA[Going Back to Oz with P45 - ]]>

In 1978’s The Wiz, Diana Ross was Dorothy Gale, Michael Jackson was the Scarecrow, and a snowstorm swept Gale out of her Harlem, NY apartment.

In the 2007 TV series Tin Man, big-eyed Zooey Deschanel turned Dorothy into “D.G.” and Oz became “The Outer Zone” in a more surrealistic, dark approach to the story.

In the stage musical Wicked, the focus has been twisted around to the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, and her good sister, Glinda.

And now, a new Parallel 45 version of The Wizard of Oz is coming to Traverse City to take Dorothy and her friends down yet another road in The Oz Project.


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<![CDATA[VA on the Verge of Change - National Scandal Leads to Changes in Healthcare for Northern Michigan Veterans]]> Outrage following reports of excessive healthcare delays at the VA hospital in Phoenix led Congress to pass the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 in August, a law that provides billions in funding for better veteran care and also demands reform at the VA.]]> <![CDATA[Crossed - ]]> A Local Pastor and a Local Atheist Debate

Jesus: God Man or Good Man?

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<![CDATA[Tom Daldin’s Under the Radar Success - ]]>

“Here we were, two longtime friends, up the financial creek without a paddle,” Daldin said.

Yet, along with adversity, can come innovation. According to Daldin, he and Edelman had to reinvent themselves to survive and that’s exactly what they did with a PBS show they dubbed “Under the Radar Michigan.”

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<![CDATA[Something Rare Brewing at Rare Bird - ]]>

Rare Bird, indeed. At most brew pubs, women are found behind the bar, taking orders or cooking. Not many women are brewers in the burgeoning world of craft beer, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t—or shouldn’t—be more. An early pioneer on the Traverse City brewing scene was Kim Schneider, head brewer at North Peak several years ago. Schneider moved on and currently crafts beer at a downstate brewpub.

Now, brewer Tina Schuett has taken the beer-making baton and run with it.

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<![CDATA[Mary Ellen Hughes: Keeping the ‘50s Alive - ]]> Hughes loved the 1950s look of the soda fountain in Linehan’s, which she’s meticulously kept intact, including the red padded counter stools, the working gooseneck spigots (one for still water, one for soda water) and the blenders, on which Mary Ellen’s staff of soda jerks receive plenty of training.]]> <![CDATA[Women Behind the Scenes - ]]> There’s certainly no shortage of the arts in northern Michigan. And behind the artists themselves, a host of teachers, administrators, curators, choreographers and others work to make it all happen, often out of sight of the audience. Here we profile five women who stand just outside the spotlight, helping the region’s arts scene thrive.]]> <![CDATA[The Picture of a Leader - ]]> Liz Ahrens, 52, is executive director of Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center, soon to merge with Artcenter Traverse City (see sidebar). Once the merger is complete, she’ll lead the new merged organization.]]> <![CDATA[Girls With Guns and Bows - ]]> Perched in a tree stand in northern Ontario, Gaylord teen Jada Johnson sits patiently as a black bear lumbers toward a fragrant bait pile 50 yards away. The burly bruin sniffs the air cautiously, and then swipes a large paw, rattling the logs. It’s dusk and this bear is looking for his dinner.]]>