Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Very big bike 4/4/11

Features Rick Coates Ridin’ High with the Very Big Bike
By Rick Coates
Joseph VanLoozen of Levering has always been fascinated with bicycles.
While growing up in Redford Township outside of Detroit he was always
riding and fiddling around mechanically with bikes. While in high school
shop class in 1978, he began experimenting and developed what would become
the prototype for the Very Big Bike. 
Monday, March 28, 2011

Disco Inferno 3/28/11

Music Rick Coates Disco Inferno: ‘Best Band’ winners change name to Ella R!ot
By Rick Coates
For the past couple of years Ann Arbor based My Dear Disco has been making regular stops in Northern Michigan. The band recently headlined the Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival and just last week they performed to a packed house at the Loading Dock in Traverse City.
Voted “Best Band” in Northern Michigan, the players are getting ready to embark on a national tour. Guitarist and band co-leader Robert Lester sat down to give an update:
Monday, March 28, 2011

Miriam Pico 3/28/11

Music Rick Coates Miriam Pico : Best Solo Performer
By Rick Coates
Singer/songwriter Miriam Pico has been on the Northern Express radar for the past six years; in our recent survey, readers of the paper selected her as Best Solo Performer in Northern Michigan.
Releasing three CDs since she launched her professional singing career at the age of 21, Pico is now 27 and performs at several venues in the region, most notably Phil’s on Front. Her 2009 release “S’bout Time” with pianist David Chown has sold well and when the duo gets together to perform it is a big draw for area venues.
Monday, March 28, 2011

Tastemakers: Cafe Sante New Holland Brewing Spirit & Beer Dinner/ Avery Brewing The Reverend Belgian Quadruple Ale 3.28/11

Dining Rick Coates Café Santé New Holland Brewing Spirit and Beer Dinner
At some point Michigan is going to have to address several of its archaic alcohol laws if it wants to be competitive with other states. One example is the inability to sample products at retail outlets, especially high end spirits and wines. Several states allow retailers to have sampling events or a tasting bar aiding in the decision making process which makes investing in $50 bottles of wine or $80 bottles of spirits easier.
In Michigan, consumers either have to take the word of the retailer or go to a tasting dinner at a restaurant like the one Café Santé in Boyne City is hosting on Tuesday April 5. The New Holland Brewing Spirit and Beer Dinner will feature a seven course tasting that will include a combination of their beers and spirits line.
Monday, March 28, 2011

Christos Piliafras 3/28/11

Features Rick Coates Christos Piliafas: Best Fitness Trainer
By Rick Coates
Mess with Christos Piliafas and you’re asking for a whoopin’ -- either
that or some good advice on how to get in shape: Christos was voted “Best
Fitness Instructor” by Express readers in a recent poll.
Monday, March 21, 2011

Bill Staines 3/21/11

Music Rick Coates The Long Road of Bill Staines: Folkie cult favorite logs 65,000 miles each year 3/21/11
By Rick Coates
Sleder’s Family Tavern has been offering their On The Porch Concert for
several years and one of the favorites has been singer/songwriter folkie
Bill Staines. He will return this Sunday, March 27 after just making a
swing through Michigan 10 days ago.
Monday, March 21, 2011

Chris Smither 3/21/11

Music Rick Coates Time Stands Still for Chris Smither
By Rick Coates
At 67, singer/songwriter Chris Smither has not lost his passion for
performing. He plans to cut his tour schedule from 120 shows to 80 shows a
year, but it has nothing to do with his age.
“I have a six-year-old daughter and I don’t want to miss out on her
growing up,” said Smither. “I love performing, I just don’t like getting
Monday, March 21, 2011

Tastemakers: Great Lakes Whitefish Cookbook/ Bell‘s Oberon Ale 3/21/11

Dining Rick Coates Great Lakes Whitefish Cookbook
The Michigan Sea Grant program has released a new cookbook, Wild Caught
and Close to Home: Selecting and Preparing Great Lakes Whitefish. The book
celebrates the Great Lakes whitefish with recipes, cooking techniques and
chef insights. It was edited by Chef Chris Kibit, a professor at the
Northern Michigan University hospitality and culinary management program,
along with his colleague Chef Deborah Pearce.
Monday, March 21, 2011

The strange case of Jacob Cabinaw 3/21/11

Features Rick Coates The Strange Case of Jacob Cabinaw: Missing a year, his disappearance remains a mystery 3/21/11
By Rick Coates
People sometimes just disappear; often with adults it is by their own
choosing. But typically that disappearance is attached to some reason:
crimes committed, financial pressures, mental illness or stress. There is
usually some sort of indicator that points to a person choosing to
disappear. But what happens when not one of the indicators exists? That
seems to be the case with Jacob Cabinaw of Traverse City.
March 31, 2011 will mark the one year anniversary of Cabinaw’s
Monday, March 14, 2011

Tastemakers: North Peak Brewing Irish Stout Stew/ Arbor Brewing Company Michael Faricy‘s Stout

Dining Rick Coates North Peak Brewing Irish Stout Stew
North Peak Brewing Company is celebrating their 15th Annual Irish Fest in
grand style. Fresh off hosting the 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Parade and
the Lucky Leprechaun Ball this past weekend and with a full day of
celebrating planned on Thursday in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, North Peak
plans to keep honoring Irish traditions through the weekend with a special
menu and beer offerings. 
Monday, March 14, 2011

Something‘s brewing: Scott Graham

Features Rick Coates Something’s Brewing: Scott Graham heads-up Michigan’s craft brew industry
By Rick Coates 
Currently, Michigan ranks fifth in the United States for the number of
craft breweries, and when the new totals come out next month it is
expected to be fourth in the country. 
Driving that figurative beer truck with a full load in fifth gear and with
the pedal to the metal is Scott Graham, who was named the first executive
director of the Michigan Brewers Guild in 2007. 
Monday, March 7, 2011

St. Patrick‘s Day celebrations

Music Rick Coates St. Patrick’s Celebrations Sweep the North
By Rick Coates
You don’t have to go far to ‘get your Irish on’ this coming week: St.
Patrick’s themed events will take place across the region. Here are some
of the highlights:

31st Annual Traverse City Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick’s Parade
Saturday, March 12

The festivities kick off with pre-parade activities at North Peak Brewery
starting at noon with the announcement of the Irish Queen, Grand Marshall,
Irish Prince and Princesses and the Irish Lord Mayor.
The parade will commence at 1:30 p.m. with pre-staging starting at 1 p.m.
on North Hall Street. The parade route goes down Front Street to Pine to
State, Park  and Front streets and ending on North Hall.
Post parade activities will include dancing and Irish music by the Wild
Sullys at North Peak Brewery starting at 2:30 p.m. All activities are open
to the public. Anyone interested in participating in the parade should
contact Hibernian president Todd McCall at 231-715-6265.
Monday, March 7, 2011

Tastemakers: Alpine Tavern & Eatery Corned Beef Hash Skillet/Bell‘s Two Hearted Ale

Dining Rick Coates Alpine Tavern & Eatery Corned Beef Hash Skillet
This is the season when corned beef enjoys much popularity on Irish themed menus here in America. Despite the fact that corned beef has no connection to the roots of St. Patrick’s Day and has never been considered a national dish in Ireland, its popularity with Irish Americans dates back to the 1800s when Irish immigrants in the northeast substituted corned beef for the traditional bacon (thick cut ham similar to Canadian bacon) in their boiled dinner.
There is no historical evidence that corned beef was even “invented” in Ireland; the practice of brining meats has been found throughout many European cultures. Even in America early settlers brined meats in the fall and so corned beef found its way on several kitchen tables regardless of one’s cultural heritage. In fact in 1861 President Abraham Lincoln served corned beef at his inaugural dinner, which at that time was always in early March. Corned beef was also popular at many springtime formal dinners during that era including the Easter table.
Monday, March 7, 2011

The Luck of the Irish/ comedy tour

Features Rick Coates The Luck of the Irish: Gets a Workout with Comedy Tour
By Rick Coates
According to folklore, the long tradition of Irish humor is rooted in the
tragedy, despair and tough times the Irish have faced through the years.
It is believed that comedy and prayer is what got many an Irish through
the bleakest hours of their history. Comedian Derek Richards of the Irish
Comedy Tour believes there is a simpler theory.
Monday, February 28, 2011

St. Patrick‘s Day

Music Rick Coates St. Practice Day:: Raise a toast with The Young Dubliners, Shrub and 12 Year Reunion
By Rick Coates 
Almost 20 years ago Guinness started The Great Guinness Toast, nicknamed 
“St. Practice Day,” where on the third Friday of February Guinness
drinkers gather at pubs to raise a toast to set a Guinness Book of World
Records for the largest simultaneous toast. Each year a new record has
been set. The St. Practice Day concept has expanded beyond what Guinness
originally intended with clubs putting their own spin on it.
Ground Zero Nightclub in Traverse City will launch its first-ever St.
Practice Day on Friday March 4 with three bands, The Young Dubliners,
Shrub and 12-Year Reunion. Tickets are only $10 in advance and doors open
at 8 p.m.