February 28, 2020


The Gravel Pit Next Door?

If S.B. 431 goes through, what's happening in Benzie Township could happen to you.
By Patrick Sullivan | Feb. 22, 2020

Little did Jim Brouwer know when he opened his mail one day last August that a legal notice he held in his hand would virtually take over his life in the coming months, sending him door to door to warn neighbors and to enlist others to join his cause. When Brouwer and his wife, Carol, retired to 25 acres of rolling, wildlife-filled forest off of a dirt road in the middle of ... Read More >>

Billy Strings is Coming Home

And he’s bringing the musician who made him a bluegrass prodigy: his dad.
By Craig Manning | Feb. 22, 2020

Five months ago, Billy Strings was standing on the stage of Colorado’s legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, playing to nearly 10,000 bluegrass fans. On Friday, Feb. 28, he’ll stroll onto the stage at the City Opera House in Traverse City to play to a slightly smaller sold-out (within two hours) crowd of 710 people. But where the Red Rocks show was a career highlight for Strings due to the sheer scope of the ... Read More >>

Wild Rivers, Wildfires & Disappearing Wives

The wild imagination of author Peter Heller
By Clark Miller | Feb. 22, 2020

Author and world traveler Peter Heller, who comes to the National Writers Series on March 5, has the singular ability to turn what he’s seen and heard into bestselling novels. “The River,” his fourth work of fiction, tells the tale of two college friends, both seasoned outdoorsmen who canoe through a series of lakes and river rapids north, toward Hudson Bay. The setting is based on a real-life trip Heller took years ... Read More >>

Dangerous Legal Drug? Or Nature's Answer to Opioid Addiction?

Investigating the potent green powder that's illegal in six states — but not in Michigan.
By Todd VanSickle | Feb. 22, 2020

In January 2017, Ron Porritt remembers waking up with a sheriff’s deputy standing over him. He had overdosed on heroin, and a friend had called the police. It was at that moment he realized his life needed to change. Porritt’s addiction to opiates began after a series of back surgeries. He was prescribed Percocet and various versions of Hydrocodone. Throughout most of the 1990s and 2000s he was constantly on opiate medications, ... Read More >>

Red + Blue = An Unlikely Pair Lobbying for a 28th Amendment

TC pals and political opposites join forces to undo the aftermath of "Citizens United"
By Craig Manning | Feb. 22, 2020

Hal Gurian and John DeSpelder have a lot in common. They’re both Traverse City locals who share a deep love for the northern Michigan area. They are both civically minded individuals who are passionate about politics. And they’re good friends who have worked together to build American Promise Grand Traverse, a local branch of the national organization that is seeking to create nationwide change in the area of political campaign finance.  Yet, ... Read More >>

Gold Baby Biscuits

By Alex Tank | Feb. 15, 2020

Where was your last great biscuit moment? Somewhere south of here would be a reasonable guess. Now you can simply head to Suttons Bay to have a memorable, potentially addictive biscuit experience close to home. Next door to Mundo’s coffee shop, Alicia Manson & Lyndsey Egli of Gold Baby Biscuits are taking a modern tack on the Southern classic with satisfying flavor and delicate texture. Each biscuit is fluffy, miraculously moist, and, ... Read More >>

Struggles of a Mom and Pop Pot-shop Owner

A veteran marijuana dispensary owner talks about how the business has changed over the years and the challenges he faces today.
By Patrick Sullivan | Feb. 15, 2020

Stephen Ezell has been in the legal pot business as long as than just about anyone in northern Michigan. He’s lived through the awkward, clumsy legalization of first medical and the recreational marijuana.Ezell said that his business, Interlochen Alternative Health — a medical marijuana dispensary Ezell hopes to one day be licensed to sell recreational marijuana — survives a regulatory system that favors big business over mom and pop stores like his, ... Read More >>

The Tale of TC's Taste of India

One family making other families happy with their food.
By Janice Binkert | Feb. 15, 2020

While its cuisine is exotic by Northern Michigan standards, Taste of India’s location — namely, the food court at Grand Traverse Mall — is quite the opposite. However, judging by the number of customers who line up daily at the ordering counter to feast on everything from Tikka Masala to Aloo Gobi, those seemingly contradictory factors have not hurt business at all.   This is a story about a restaurant, but it is ... Read More >>

Where to Eat Now

A roundup of our most recently featured restaurants
By Kristi Kates | Feb. 15, 2020

Please be seated for these abbreviated versions of the restaurant reviews we’ve featured since our last RestauranTour issue. Bon Appetit! TUCKER’S – NorthportTucker’s of Northport is a big, friendly restaurant first, and a lively entertainment center second. Its namesake was a friendly, beloved golden doodle — and servers even provide special water dishes outdoors for their four-footed guests. But the original concept of Tucker’s was to offer something to do and somewhere ... Read More >>

Retired Interlochen Instructor Launches Debut Album

Crispin Campbell, Celloist
By Ross Boissoneau | Feb. 15, 2020

Crispin Campbell plays well with others. His cello repertoire is outside the normal realm of orchestra and chamber music groups, including rock, jazz, Gypsy and classical. In fact, his debut album, About Time, features three exemplary jazz musicians: pianist Steve Stargardt, drummer Randy Marsh and bassist Jack Dryden. The title refers to the fact he’s long considered recording an album, but between teaching at Interlochen and performing with musicians in a variety of settings around ... Read More >>

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