March 6, 2023 Northern Express

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march 06, 2023 NORTHERN MICHIGAN’S WEEKLY • march 06 - march 12, 2023 • Vol. 33 No. 09
2 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly In the Mercato at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons 800 Cottageview Dr • Traverse City • 2022-2023 Season Where community comes together March 10 - 18, 2023 @ Grand Traverse Event Center 738 S. Garfield Ave, Traverse CIty tickets: 231.947.2210

Clear Profits

Line 5, America’s most dangerous pipeline, endangers 20 percent of Earth’s fresh water. Its legal issues are very complex. Lawsuits against shutting down Line 5 will take years, while Enbridge oil and profits continue to flow.

But a few things about Line 5 are simple: It has carried Canadian oil through the Great Lakes to Sarnia since 1953. Michigan uses little but bears the risk.

Oil should not be in the Great Lakes. Using the Enbridge pipeline around the lakes, rebuilt larger after the 2010 Kalamazoo spill, would be safer than boring a massive tunnel under the stilloperating Line 5 in the Great Lakes.

A Feb. 16, 2022, Canadian report from Environmental Defence details how the seven-year-old line around the lakes could accommodate most of Line 5’s oil. But Enbridge chooses the clear profits of 70-yearold Line 5—almost $2 million a day.

Editor: Jillian Manning

Finance Manager: Libby Shutler

Manager: Roger Racine

: Lisa Gillespie, Kaitlyn Nance, Michele Young, Todd Norris, Abby Walton Porter, Caroline Bloemer

in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne & Charlevoix, call (231) 838-6948

Creative Director: Kyra Cross Poehlman

Contributors: Ren Brabenec, Ross Boissoneau, Anna Faller, Kierstin Gunsberg, Laurel Manke, Al Parker, and Sarahbeth Ramsey, Stephen Tuttle

Distribution: Joe Evancho, Sarah Rodery

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 3 Onsite bird expert on use of bird houses, feeders & seed Nature products, gifts & books Guided bird walks 2072 J. Maddy Parkway, Interlochen 231-276-3145 Open 7 days SATURDAY, APRIL 22 Opening Early! 9am-6pm • Limited Special Record Store Day Releases • Additional New Vinyl Collections • Deals on Equipment, Speakers, and Merch 1015 Hannah Ave. Traverse City 231-947-3169
The Devil’s Element........................................ 7 Playing for a Community.... 8 Fascinating People of 2023..... 10 10 Years of Fascinating People... 17 The Spice of Life 22 columns &
Top Ten..... 4 Spectator/Stephen Tuttle............ 6 Guest Opinion.......................................... 6 Weird 24 Dates.. 25 Nitelife....................................... 28 Crossword.................................. 29 Astrology................................... 29 Classifieds 30 Northern Express Weekly is published by Eyes Only Media, LLC. Publisher: Luke Haase PO Box 4020 Traverse City, Michigan 49685 Phone: (231) 947-8787 Fax: 947-2425 email:
CONTENTS feature
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Cover photo by Michael Poehlman with cover illustrations by Brianne Farley.

top ten

Throwback Saturday

On March 11, Treetops Resort in Gaylord is taking us back in time. In the 1950s, the ski hill was named Sylvan Knob Ski Area, and Treetops’ Sylvan Daze celebrates the resort’s history with a full day of fun in the snow. Lift tickets cost what they did 70 years ago—just $3 apiece—and a snow volleyball tournament will rage from 10am to 1pm. (Register by March 9; $50 for a team of four to six.) The Treetops Slush Cup follows with all its wild, messy glory, and a DJ and live entertainment will keep the party hopping throughout the afternoon. For more Treetops fun, wrap up on the slopes by 6pm and head over to their convention center for the 12th annual Michigan Beer & Wine Festival ($45 per person, ages 21+), which features dozens of local beer, wine, and cider makers. Get the details on both events at

Sun in Ya Hands

Detroit-based theater artist and University of Michigan playwriting instructor Emilio Rodriguez brings a modern spin of the classic fairy tale “The Frog Prince” with Sun in Ya Hands, set in the Caribbean with production design inspired by Disney’s Pocahontas and Moana. The show is presented by the Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Division on Friday and Saturday March 10-11 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, March 12, at 2pm. $22 adults; $17 children through college.

Hey, Read It! Maureen

Maureen Fry isn’t easy to like—in fact, she even says so herself. A difficult child turned rigid and surly adult, Maureen has shut herself off from the world, trapped inside a cage of grief after her son David’s sudden passing. Since then, she’s survived on the simple routines she shares with compliant husband, Harold, until she gets wind that Queenie Hennessy (a suspiciously-close female friend of Harold’s) has the audacity to have built a tribute to David in her Northumberland garden. Fueled by a mother’s incredulous rage, Maureen embarks on a solo trip to see the sculpture for herself, only to discover that she’s no longer the person she was when she left. The third and final installment in bestselling author Rachel Joyce’s Harold Fry series (though the novel also stands alone), Maureen is a vividly-rendered exploration of one woman’s path to self-acceptance. It’s also blessedly brief and oh-so-gently witty; we dare you not to finish this read all at once.

2 tastemaker

Cellar 152’s Jamaican Jerk Crispy

Chicken Sandwich

Most of our stops to Cellar 152 in Elk Rapids involve grabbing a bottle from their impressive wine selection, but when time allows, we like to sit down and take it slow for lunch or dinner. And when we do, the Jamaican Jerk Crispy Chicken sandwich is always on the tab ($16). This sandwich favors flavor over spice; the buttery brioche and Swiss cheese balance the heat from the chicken and the jerk aioli, and pickled onion and bacon elevate the classic lettuce and tomato accompaniments. It’s a must-have for anyone who peruses menus for fried chicken. (Guilty as charged.) Chips or coleslaw come standard, but we recommend leveling up with a side of the Bacon Cheddar Tater Kegs ($3 with the sandwich), a specialty at the pub. Find Cellar 152 at—you guessed it—152 River Street in Elk Rapids. (231) 2649000,

4 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
this week’s

The Traverse City Figure Skating Club is bridging Disney generations with their 2023 ice show, Enchantment on Ice. From Cinderella (1950) to Beauty and the Beast (1991) to Tangled (2010) to Encanto (2021), there will be something for Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zers all in one arena. (Just remember: We don’t talk about Bruno.) Students of all ages—from age five to adults—in the skating program will perform programs inspired by the films while you sing along to your favorite tunes. Tickets are $20 per person, or you can opt for “on-ice seating” for $160, a four-top table with complimentary hors d’oeuvres plus beverages for the 21+ crowd. The show runs at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City on Friday, March 10, at 7pm and Saturday, March 11, at 11:30am and 4:30pm. For more information and tickets, head to organizations/traverse-city-figure-skating-club.

Marijuana Money Is Rolling In

This month, the Michigan Department of Treasury will be distributing adult-use marijuana payments to Michigan municipalities and counties (where adult-use is legal) totalling more than $59.5 million. According to a Department of Treasury press release, “each eligible municipality and county will receive more than $51,800 for every licensed retail store and microbusiness located within its jurisdiction.” Of note around NoMi, Kalkaska County will see $414,729, Manistee and Otsego counties will see $311,047, and Benzie and Cheboygan counties will see $207,364. The payments are distributed from the 2022 taxes and fees on marijuana sales. Those sales added up to over $1.8 billion last year, with $198.4 million in distribution taxes. In addition to the dollars headed back to local governments, $69.4 million was sent to the School Aid Fund for K-12 education and another $69.4 million to the Michigan Transportation Fund. Learn more at


The National Writers Series welcomes two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Dan Egan

He will discuss his new book, The Devil’s Element, which charts the history of phosphorus—an element in fertilizer that escalated our ability to feed the planet. But along the way, it created vast dead zones in our lakes and oceans. Egan offers strategies to stave off its depletion and overuse before it ends our way of life

Join NWS at the City Opera House on March 10 at 7p.m. (+ livestream option) for a conversation with Egan and guest host Patrick Shea, environmental reporter at IPR. In partnership with the International Affairs Forum.

For tickets, visit

Stuff We Love: National Reading Month

March is National Reading Month, and Blue Vase Books of Interlochen is going the extra mile to make sure northern Michigan kids can be part of the bookish celebration. Earlier this year, the used books store distributed thousands of bookmarks to local students in kindergarten through middle school, and that bookmark does more than just save their page. Kids can bring their bookmarks into the store all month long and receive one free book of their choice from the thousands of stories in stock. If all bookmarks are redeemed, as many as 6,000 local kids will be reading a new book. As a bonus for National Reading Month, Blue Vase is also hosting an exclusive educators event (teachers, homeschool families, daycare providers, etc.) on March 8 with great prices, giveaways, and prizes. One lucky classroom will be sponsored by Blue Vase with a $100 credit to spend in store. Head to to find out more.

bottoms up Grand Traverse Distillery’s TC Roy

According to legend, the classic Rob Roy cocktail is named for Scottish outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. Though we don’t condone thievery, we do encourage a round or two at Grand Traverse Distillery’s Tasting Room, where the gorgeously-balanced TC Roy has just arrived on the winter menu. A local take on the barroom original, the distillery’s script blends sweet vermouth (Piccolo Ditto from Brengman Brothers) with house-made orange bitters and their limited release Single Malt Whiskey, which distillers have smoked with cherry wood before aging in oak barrels for six years. Served atop a giant ice cube and topped with amaretto-soaked cherries, this sipper has a gently-smoked palette and fruity finish that meld so seamlessly it ought to be, well, illegal. Find the TC Roy ($14) at the Grand Traverse Distillery Tasting Room at 215 E. Front Street in Traverse City. (231) 9461259,

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 5
Enchantment on Ice



guest opinion

On the morning of December 14th, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza took a gun from the safe in his home and murdered his mother before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary, where he shot and killed 20 children and six staff members before taking his own life.

Medical reports would later reveal that Lanza “showed signs of severe and deteriorating internalized mental health problems,” which had gone untreated for years.

Later that day, Lisa Long of Boise, Idaho, published a controversial blog post titled “I Am Adam Lanza's Mother.” In the article, Long shared her experience of living with a son who had an undiagnosed mental illness. She chronicled instances of having to call the police because her son was threatening her with a knife. She recalled the thousands of dollars spent on ambulance rides and hospital stays that did not amount to any functional solutions beyond safety plans that her other children already knew by heart and prescriptions that either didn’t help or merely intensified her son’s symptoms.

“I live with a son who is mentally ill,” Long said. “I love my son. But he terrifies me.”

Although it’s been over a decade since Long shared her experience of trying and failing to find help for her son, it would seem that little has changed when it comes to the helplessness and judgment parents feel when they’re faced with this situation. Onlookers who are fortunate enough to have no experience parenting a child with a mental illness are quick to place blame squarely on the parent’s shoulders.

I’m not denying that mental health conditions and subsequent behaviors can be exacerbated by a child’s environment. But in situations with non-abusive parents, where childhood trauma has no place in the equation, just where are we supposed to place the blame, if not with the parents?

In recent years, we as a society have begun an about-face when it comes to stigmatizing mental illness. That said, it’s hard to erase the belief we’ve held for centuries that mental illness is a character flaw and/or the result of a lack of morality. This notion still persists, though perhaps more often on a subconscious level, making it easy to place blame on parents for failing to instill proper values in their children.

Surely, we still often think, if a child has a mental illness, the parent must have had some role in causing it.

Our desperation to make sense of things, to know the “why” behind a certain behavior, is human nature. Because if you know why something happens, you’re more likely to be able to avoid it, to control it. We take comfort in the idea that mental illness is

the result of poor parenting, if only because it gives us the reassurance that the situation is within our control.

If poor parenting is the cause, we think, then by default the opposite must be true. We can rest easy in the knowledge that because we are good parents, our children will not be at risk of developing schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, or any other serious mental illness.

This belief is pervasive enough to cause even those parents who are doing everything in their power to get treatment for their children to feel inadequate and ashamed. Not only that, it allows the rest of us to wash our hands of the problem facing the 49 percent of teens in the U.S. who have or have had a mental health disorder.

And it is a problem. In 2022, firearm fatalities became a leading cause of death among youth in the U.S., 30 percent of which were suicides.

After Lisa Long published her article, she was contacted by a child psychiatrist in New York who expressed interest in her son’s case. He diagnosed him with bipolar disorder and prescribed him medication. Finally, Long’s son was able to get the care he needed, but not without a hefty price tag. “My sweet boy,” Long said in a 2016 interview. “He’s received amazing treatment. But it cost an entire paycheck to visit that doctor, who didn’t take insurance. What about people who can’t afford that?”

What about them, indeed? What happens to the children whose parents can’t afford quality psychiatric care?

If mental health disorders are addressed and treated at the first sign of a problem, we can prevent these outcomes for children. But in order to do that, we have to start supporting their parents by advocating for more accessible mental health services.

That looks like more funding for school counselors and social workers; more beds and trained professionals at youth inpatient facilities; more implementation and training of evidence-based treatment interventions; more accessible homebased prevention programs; and more support groups for parents. It looks like a partnership with parents who are overwhelmed, exhausted, and terrified of what will happen to their child if they don’t get help soon.

It looks like learning more by listening instead of making assumptions about where the blame lies.

Emma Smith is a Leelanau County native who now lives in Traverse City. She works on the development team at Child and Family Services and is also a clinical mental health therapist.

Sometimes censorship is well earned. Other times, it’s appalling.

A good example of the first, deserved version is Scott Adams and his comic strip Dilbert The strip, a sometimes wicked and often accurate satire on the corporate world, was syndicated to 2,000 newspapers that were read in 65 countries. The cartoon was often funny, but Mr. Adams never was.

Dilbert is now being canceled by hundreds and hundreds of papers after Adams went on an unpleasant racial rant on his podcast. He said Black people—all of them—are a “hate group” and that white people “should get the

of speech business yet again. The First Amendment prohibits the government from abridging our speech, which should be obvious from the very first words of that amendment: “Congress shall make no law…” It does not now, nor has it ever, applied to the private sector. Adams might have some legitimate contractual beefs with the publications that no longer run his strip, but there are no constitutional grounds on which he can stand.

Which brings us to the appalling version of censorship which feeds a full meal of “wokeness” to all of this. We are now changing the language in long-existing

Scott Adams earned his banishment with his intentional intolerance. Rewriting the works of long-dead authors to appease someone’s current hyper-sensitivity is neither earned nor justified.

hell away from Black people.” Regrettably, it was not Adams’ first foray into what can very charitably be called racial insensitivity.

Adams had previously said you can determine the quality of a residential neighborhood by the “racial mixture” of who lives there. He claimed that an animated version of Dilbert for television was canceled “...because I’m white” and the network running the cartoon wanted to “go more Black.” It was the third time, he said, he’d lost work because he’s white.

Adams hasn’t always traded in racial nonsense; sometimes his ignorance is directed at women. Here’s his take on discussing pay equity with women in one of his internet posts in 2011: “The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. You don’t argue with a four-year-old about why he shouldn’t eat candy before dinner…And you don't argue when a woman tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar…” Yikes.

He also said Republicans would be “hunted” if Biden was elected and that the Holocaust has been turned into a left-wing talking point. Well, yes, the hunt apparently continues unabated, though it would seem unsuccessful thus far. And, yes, the left and other thoughtful groups do use the Holocaust as a talking point, and we should be thankful they continue reminding us.

Of course Adams and some right-wing supporters are now yammering away about the “woke cancel culture” and wondering aloud what happened to the First Amendment and freedom of speech. The answer is that Adams’ cartoon is being canceled by papers whose editorial departments represent both liberal and conservative opinions. He earned this result long ago.

It’s a little depressing we have to go over this entire First Amendment and freedom

literary works lest they offend anyone.

Roald Dahl was a popular children’s book author. His two most-read works still are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Enormous Crocodile. According to The Guardian, Puffin, the current publisher of Dahl’s work, hired “sensitivity readers” to examine the books so they can “continue to be enjoyed by all today.” So, words like “ugly” and “crazy” have been removed. The character Augustus Gloop, described by Dahl as “enormously fat” is now just “enormous” which, by the way, is not the same thing at all.

In The Enormous Crocodile, the title character says of his friends, “…we eat little boys and little girls…” That has been changed to “…we eat children…” which the sensitivity readers believe is somehow better.

This is sensitivity run amok, and the same treatment is now being used on Ian Fleming’s James Bond books and has been at least discussed for Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, among other works the busybodies have decided to sanitize. (Twain does use the “n word” regularly as part of a character’s name. But the critics always ignore it’s one of the first times in American literature a Black and a white character have had a true friendship.)

The changes being made eliminate ripe teachable moments we can now just ignore. Why did the author choose that language? Why is it considered offensive today? What was different when the work was written that made people accept those words and that language? Why are those words considered offensive or even banned today? What words should we use that convey the same meaning in place of those that are unacceptable?

Scott Adams earned his banishment with his intentional intolerance. Rewriting the works of long-dead authors to appease someone’s current hyper-sensitivity is neither earned nor justified.

6 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly


the most perilous environmental issues of our time

Dan Egan, a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the author of New York Times bestseller The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, will take the stage at the City Opera House in Traverse City March 10 for an event in partnership with the National Writers Series and the International Affairs Forum.

The topic of discussion? What Egan calls the “devil’s element:” phosphorus.

Food and Fertilizer

Phosphorus is commonly used in fertilizers to help plants grow, and our agricultural practices have come to rely on phosphorus-based fertilizers to produce more food to feed our growing population.

“Phosphorus sustains half our food production,” says Egan. “Under our current system, we can’t live without it.”

Unfortunately, Egan says current practices regarding phosphorus fertilizers have proven entirely irresponsible, environmentally speaking. To make matters worse, we’ll likely run out of phosphorus within half a century. Much like fossil fuels, phosphorus has its own harmful side effects and is a limited-time solution to a long-term human challenge.

“When I was working on The Death and Life of the Great Lakes in the mid-2010s, I dedicated a chapter to phosphorus,” Egan says, describing the genesis of his latest book. “Back then, phosphorus seemed like the looming environmental crisis of our time, and no one was talking about it. Today the problem is even worse, and still no one’s

talking about it.”

No one but Egan, that is. “[The problem is] very simple and very obvious,” he continues. “Overuse of phosphorus in fertilizers leads to phosphorus-inundated water run-off from farms. Those minerals wind up in our waterways, which then leads to toxic algae blooms. Virtually everyone I talk to has heard about algae blooms. But almost no one knows what’s causing them. It’s phosphorus. It’s phosphorus in the water.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “The overgrowth of algae consumes oxygen and blocks sunlight from underwater plants. The lack of oxygen makes it impossible for aquatic life to survive.” Toxic algae blooms caused by phosphorus in the Great Lakes have led to massive die-offs of fish, mammals, and birds and have even posed a risk to humans and caused numerous beach closures.

Conversations and Change

Egan’s latest book, The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance, raises the alarm over something well documented but not broadly publicized. He’s no stranger to reporting on environmental issues; Egan was a reporter first with Idaho Mountain Express and then with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, covering the Great Lakes from 2002 until 2021, and has received multiple awards for his journalism.

“The book is not a prescription; it’s a conversation,” says Egan. “The first step for folks in the Great Lakes region is to get informed, and that’s the book’s goal.” He says there’s no easy fix to the phosphorus

dilemma because “it’s one thing to cap a smokestack or plug a polluting pipe, but how do you sponge a cornfield of phosphorusinundated water-runoff?”

As Egan explains in his book, America’s over-reliance on this vital crop nutrient is causing toxic algae blooms and EPAidentified “dead zones” in the Great Lakes and beyond. Further, Egan explores the alarming reality that diminishing access to phosphorus threatens the food system worldwide—which could create conflict among nation-states.

Yet despite the looming, multi-faceted crisis, Egan shows considerable faith in his fellow Americans, insisting that history shows when folks are made aware of a pending environmental crisis, they take action. He points to the Cuyahoga River as a perfect example.

“The Cuyahoga River was so polluted it caught on fire in 1969,” he says. “That led to public outrage over the indiscriminate dumping of sewage and industrial chemicals into the Great Lakes. Then we got the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.”

Words and Actions

When he speaks in Traverse City, Egan will be hosted by Patrick Shea, Interlochen Public Radio’s environmental reporter and producer of the podcast Points North

“The Devil’s Element digests the science and translates it for a general audience,” says Shea. “It’s gripping, interesting, and relatable. Egan approaches the issue like a true journalist, understanding the agricultural needs of Americans but also pointing out the

environmental emergency our over-reliance on phosphorus has created. Finally, Egan inspires us to act. It’s a book that makes you want to finish it, put it down, and get to work.”

Shea says he’s thrilled about the opportunity to host the March 10 event. “Helping folks understand the problem is the first step,” he says. “My goal with the event will be to do that and get the community further engaged in the issue. We all live near the Great Lakes and have a deep love for them. But we have to do our part to protect them.”

Egan concurs. “People will take action when they know the harm that’s occurring around them. But they have to know what’s happening in their backyards, or in this case, in the lakes and rivers that they live around. It’s easy to see these bodies of water everyday and sort of take them for granted. But if we’re not careful, our need to feed our population could result in environmental devastation in the Great Lakes. My hope is that this book will inspire people to act.”

About the Event

This event is jointly presented by the National Writers Series and the International Affairs Forum at City Opera House at 7pm on Friday, March 10, and can be attended in person or live-streamed. In-person tickets are $15.50 to $25.50 (plus fees). Virtual tickets are $14 per household and can be purchased, along with copies of The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance, through the National Writers Series website. To purchase or for more information, visit or

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 7
Author Dan Egan shares one of

Playing for a Community

Traverse Symphony Orchestra looks toward a new Community Music School, summer concerts, and more education opportunities

Aaron Stander is all about that bass—the upright bass, that is.

“My entanglement with an upright bass started about 10 years ago when I was entering my seventies,” recalls Stander. “One fall afternoon, as my wife and I were walking through the Interlochen State Park, we encountered another hiker wearing an Interlochen badge. I asked him what he did at the academy. He said that he was the bass instructor. I asked if an old person could learn how to play the bass, and he said, ‘No problem.’ But, in truth, it was more complicated than that.”

Stander is known for writing crime novels set in northern Michigan, but he was mystified about how to relaunch a musical education had gone dormant decades ago. He had played violin in an eighth-grade orchestra back in the 1950s…and it had not gone well. But the upright bass had always held something of a fascination.

Instruments aren’t cheap, so Stander asked the Interlochen bass instructor if he knew anyone who would trade a bass for a sea kayak. The instructor said he knew just the person, and a few weeks later, Stander had a student bass, a teacher, and one less kayak.

Taking the Stage

Fast-forward through several years of lessons, and Stander’s teacher, Derek Weller, encouraged him to play with a string ensemble.

“That had never really occurred to me,” Stander says. “I thought I would always continue playing the instrument in the safety of my living room.”

Stander soon joined the Traverse Symphony Orchestra (TSO) Prelude program. There, he found Lynne Tobin, who directs the Civic String Orchestras, and her then-colleague, Stephen K. Leonard, “extraordinarily welcoming.” Stander was the oldest person in the entry-level group, and one of the least experienced or skilled, so his return to the concert stage came with much apprehension.

“I managed to get beyond that and soon enjoyed the experience of playing in a group,” he says. “Lynne Tobin is an enormously skilled music educator. She has that special magic to pull people from diverse age groups and ability levels together to make music. Those of us who participate in Civic groups have the joy of producing something beautiful.”

The TSO Civic program is unique among community orchestra programs because it is a multi-generational experience.

“Many cities have youth orchestras and adult community bands, but having a musical ensemble that places a 10-year-old next to a 60-year-old is highly unusual,” says Tobin. “It’s such a wonderful mix of age and experience. The students bring energy and sort of a fearless approach to making music. They just jump right in and do it! The adults can be more nervous and hesitant to make mistakes, but they demonstrate commitment, attentive behavior in rehearsal, and a lifelong love of learning. No one is ‘making’ them participate; they are doing it because they want to play music. What better role model for the younger players?”

Tobin, who graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and earned

degrees in cello performance from both the University of Michigan and Northern Illinois University, always enjoyed playing in groups, especially the Michigan Youth Symphony, summer camp orchestras, and university ensembles.

“That love of orchestral playing is what ultimately led me to conducting youth orchestra programs. There is nothing more exciting and satisfying than playing in a big orchestra,” she says.

The Civic Strings—with two subsets, Sinfonia for more advanced musicians and Prelude for the newcomers—hold their concerts at the First Congregational Church.

“And we always play to large, appreciative audiences,” notes Stander. “Over the last many years, I have benefited from playing in both Civic ensembles. In addition, an increasing body of cognitive science points

to the benefits of playing music across a lifetime, including in one’s later years. … Playing in the Civic has provided me with much pleasure and the opportunity to continue to grow my skills.”

Finding New Sounds

If you don’t have a kayak to trade like Stander did but want to explore your musical side, never fear. There soon will be another TSO offering devoted to helping instrumentalists of all ages interested in resurrecting—or honing—their musical chops with little to no cost to families across the five-county region.

TSO is launching a Community Music School to make it more convenient for music lovers of every generation to learn to play the instrument of their choice. Tobin is enthusiastic about a Community Music

8 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
Aaron Stander Lynne Tobin

School, saying it would be a “fabulous asset.”

“It would provide a place for people to find a music teacher, join an ensemble, take a music history class, or attend a rehearsal, all under one organized umbrella,” she says. “TSO Civic Orchestra rehearsals have been generously hosted by Central United Methodist Church for many years, but space is limited and requires significant set-up each week. It will be amazing to have a large, dedicated rehearsal space with chairs and music stands available.”

This past fall, the nonprofit received a $50,000 grant from Rotary Charities to support the endeavor.

“The grant really makes the first year possible,” says TSO Executive Director Dr. Kedrik Merwin. “We really need a space.”

The search is currently underway for a home location for the Community Music School. While that goes on, TSO operates a number of other educational programs for budding musicians. “The commitment from TSO has always been there,” says Merwin. “In fact, education is listed first in our mission statement.”

(The TSO mission statement reads: “A professional orchestra serving northern Michigan creating educational opportunities and community enrichment through excellence in symphonic and other music experiences.”)

Expanding the Audience

For example, TSO currently partners with the Traverse Area District Library for the TSO Tots@TADL program. It’s an hour-long session where youngsters five and under explore rhythm and instruments of the orchestra for hands-on musical fun. It’s sort of an instrument petting zoo, story reading, movement class, and crafts

program all in one. Upcoming sessions are April 1 and May 6.

“We have the Tots and we have the Civic Strings, but we’re missing a chunk in the middle,” says Dr. Angela Lickiss Aleo, director of education and music librarian for TSO. “That’s where the Community Music School can come in. We’re also expanding our reach to Manistee, Leland, and Frankfort. We’d like to work out an arrangement with Petoskey and Kalkaska also.”

Other programs include TSO in the Schools—where one-day instrument workshops are held in local middle and high schools—and the Suzuki School, which is

essentially a semester-long commitment that includes weekly private lessons and group classes for children. TSO has also been giving away hundreds of tickets through their new Students at the Symphony outreach to help local band and orchestra students experience professional orchestra concerts for free.

In addition to their education programs, TSO will put on multiple concerts this spring, with Appalachian Spring, part of their Symphonic Series, up next on March 19, 2023. Our sister publication in Traverse City, The Ticker, also recently reported on the planned launch of TSO’s summer

concert series in downtown Traverse City’s new civic square at the corner of State and Union Streets.

Merwin told The Ticker that walk-up and lawn seating will be free at the summer concerts, all in the name of the “public good” and the organization’s mission to offer community enrichment. “Anyone who wants to come to see the symphony can do it for free,” Merwin said. “You can go get a meal nearby or go to Seven Monks for a beer and then come watch the show. It integrates us more directly into the community.”

To learn more, visit


FRI, APR 7, 2023 - 8PM

As a top rising comic, Dave’s laid-back demeanor and dark style of comedy landed him on Comedy Central’s “This is Not Happening” and AXS.TV’s “Live at Gotham” 5 times. He was also a finalist on season 8 of “Last Comic Standing” on NBC.


WED, APR 19, 2023 - 7:30PM

The 2B1 vibe will spread through any crowd — bringing a unique take on classic songs, rhythmic feels of many cultures, and an energy like no other.


FRI, APR 21, 2023 - 8PM

The Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience is a rare newcomer to traditional pop...fusing a big band spirit with an inventive once more risky than Buble, more modern than Sinatra. Shaun, an Emmy award-winning crooner (and lead singer of the internationally known vocal group, Tonic Sol-fa) indelibly stamps vocal jazz and swing with a contemporary punch.

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 9 NATIONAL WRITER
A Conversation with Ross Gay April 12 • 7:30 p.m. Corson Auditorium


Activists and artists. Beekeepers and bird-watchers. Chefs and coaches. Welcome to the 10th anniversary of the Northern Express Fascinating People issue! Here, you’ll find 20 inspiring individuals whose jobs and passion projects have not only taken them all over northern Michigan, but across the world. (And, for one individual, to outer space…at least via sound waves.) With the help of writers Ross Boissoneau, Kierstin Gunsberg, Laurel Manke, Al Parker, and Sarahbeth Ramsey, we bring you the stories of the 2023 Fascinating People.

Jannan Cornstalk The Water Rights Activist

Jannan Cornstalk, a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians and founder of Mackinaw City’s Water Is Life Festival, does meaningful work every day to protect our waters.

“People take water for granted,” Cornstalk says. “I always say water is our relative. Treat it with the respect you would have for someone you love. It is not a commodity to be controlled or sold; it is something we need to survive.”

Five years ago, Cornstalk revived the Water Is Life Festival, a free event held in September in Mackinaw City. The festival celebrates water and our connection to

Mark Goethel

The Extreme


Mark Goethel has had a camera in his hand for most of his life. Despite plans to become a physical therapist, reaching professional skier status at the X Games qualifiers, and even participating in the U.S. Freeskiing Open, Goethel was born to be a videographer. He knows this, he says, because each time a new opportunity arose, he would naturally fall back into film.

His latest milestone: At the beginning of this year, he took a leap of faith to start his own business.

Brianne Farley The Book Inventor

Like a lot of kids, little Brianne Farley couldn’t give a straight answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Author, illustrator, inventor. Unlike most of us though, Farley actually did fulfill that childhood dream when she published Ike’s Incredible Ink in 2013, followed three years later by Secret Tree Fort. As for the aspiration of being an inventor she says, “In a funny way, I think making books is pretty similar to that, too.”

While she started her career working for Random House in NYC, Farley eventually migrated back to her hometown of Traverse City to focus on illustration full time, away from the big city hustle and

bustle. Here, she’s found herself enjoying an enthusiastic community of creatives and opportunities to contribute her art through mural work at local mainstays like Dennos Museum Center and the Traverse Area District Library.

Wherever her art appears and whatever form her characters take, they’re immediately notable for their diversity and attention to representation, something Farley says is especially important in storytelling.

“A story might be about an experience very familiar to the reader, but happening to someone living a very unfamiliar life,” she says. “It might start out familiar—a story just like the reader’s—and wind up somewhere extraordinary. Then, they might start to imagine themselves winding up somewhere extraordinary, too.”

Goethel’s favorite project to date has been a film series he started at Mt. Holiday in Traverse City, where he also launched the program BaseCamp, a year-round camp that creates a safe environment to learn stunt-type skills on snowboards, skis, or bikes.

From an early age, Goethel’s mom, Kristi, worked at Mt. Holiday alongside other families who raised their kids at the community-centric ski hill. Goethel’s series features those families and their stories. “Kristi’s Story” is the first in the series, a passion project that lends to his full creative direction and skill.

“If you’re good at something, find a nonprofit or a person or organization that you support and donate your craft,” Goethel says. “Try new things and experiment. When you donate your time, you can be more explorative and try things without money at stake. That’s how I learned at Mt. Holiday.”

it through music, food, and education. Cornstalk’s goal is to connect people through the festival and to engage with youth, tribes, agencies, and communities. She wants to inspire people to talk with neighbors and friends about the issues impacting our waters.

“The youth will inherit what we leave for them, so it is important to get them involved and raise awareness,” Cornstalk says.

When asked what the average person can do to protect the Great Lakes and beyond, she encourages everyday action.

“Act through your lifestyle. Do not pollute our land and water. Do not buy bottled water. We can make choices in our everyday life as consumers,” Cornstalk says.

10 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
20 cool, creative, and community-changing people of northern Michigan

Allen Telgenhof The Lawyer Coach

For the past decade, Allen Telgenhof has served as Charlevoix’s prosecuting attorney. Recently, he stepped down to return to regular law practice and get more involved in another passion of his: coaching baseball.

Telgenhof says it was rewarding to seek justice for victims and help them through the court system as a prosecuting attorney. However, he acknowledges that it was a demanding, 24/7 job. His transition to a new chapter started when the Alpena Community College baseball coach reached out last June to ask if he would be interested in assistant coaching.

“Originally, I said no—it was two hours away. But after meeting him in person, I was fired up and inspired to help when I could,” Telgenhof explains.

He started by driving to Alpena on Fridays and spending the night in a hotel to catch Friday and Saturday practices as a volunteer assistant coach. “I had coached t-ball, travel, and high school, but college was not a level I had ever coached at. I loved it. I wanted more time to do that,” Telgenhof says.

Now Telgenhof can be in Alpena more often and was hired to help with the college’s athletic program. He works from Alpena a few days a week.

“I just turned 59, and I’m focused on things I love doing.” he says. “I love baseball and being around the guys. It is a new challenge.”

The Community Leader

Marshall Collins is inspiring others to do the work he’s made his life mission: to change minds and hearts. His why? “It’s always for the kids and the community.” He envisions a Traverse City community where everyone feels that they belong.

Collins is a former K-12 teacher and is now the health coordinator at Northwest Education Services, where he also serves as a Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Consultant. Part of his job is having those hard conversations surrounding race and inclusion, and he strives to give educators the strength and confidence to teach more about DEIB. Collins is also part of Northern Michigan E3, a volunteer-run anti-racism task force.

“I recently ran into a new friend, and he said ‘thank you for giving me the courage to start doing the work too,’” Collins says. “You think people don’t hear you or aren’t listening, but speaking out against racism and hate and celebrating who you are takes a special moment. It made me feel good that I’m doing the right stuff because I’m impacting people who will impact others.”

While the work is rewarding, it is often challenging. To de-stress, Marshall calls on his creative side. Growing up, Collins’ father had a Petoskey stone shop, and Collins often spent upwards of eight hours per day in the summertime helping hunt for stones. Now that the stores have closed and his parents have passed, he still uses the stones to ease his mind. His treasures are found at local art fairs.

JoAnne Cook The Cultural Champion

Growing up in the 1960s in Peshawbestown, JoAnne Cook faced a lot of challenges…and has seen a lot of changes. Today, as the mother of three adult sons, much of her life is focused on being an active member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB).

After graduating from Suttons Bay High School and earning a business administration degree from Ferris State University, Cook went to the University of Wisconsin Law School where she earned her juris doctorate. She’s served on the Tribal Council, later as a tribal court judge, and is currently the GTB’s chief appellate judge.

Her day-to-day work finds her involved in working with crime victims under a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services grant. She’s been on several local nonprofit boards and is also involved in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) project.

So what does she do in her down time?

“I do cultural activities,” Cook explains. “I’m learning to make quill boxes and learning the language, along with one of my sons.” And when she’s not working on her quill boxes, you might catch her at a tribal event performing as a jingle dress dancer or teaching a class on Anishinaabe history.

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 11 20 FASCINATING PEOPLE
Marshall Collins

Jamie Kramer

The Afterlife Thinker (and Politician)

Jamie Kramer had no real calling to enter the political arena, but she was “super upset” about the early childhood millage that had been passed by the voters and then zeroed out by Leelanau County Commissioners.

“My daughter told me if I didn’t like it, that I should run. So I did,” says Kramer, who spent about two decades working in journalism and broadcast media. In November she was elected to represent Leelanau’s District 1.

But her main job is operating Beyond Forests, a natural alternative to cemeteries that helps clients and their loved ones find their final resting place in the beauty of nature, sometimes in national parks. Kramer has never felt comfortable with traditional funeral practices ever since she was a child. It all came to a head when a dear friend’s mother died and the crematorium packaged up the remains and sent them home.

“An entire life reduced to ashes in a cardboard box?” asks Kramer. “This could not be the ending. I wanted loved ones to celebrate their loved ones in the places they loved most—national parks and beauty—and that’s what we’ve created.”

She’s also started a nonprofit called Saving Wild Spaces that will allow people to leave a legacy of conservation.

Rosie May The Storyteller

If you’ve ever been or had a kid in Traverse City, then you’ve probably munched through every delicious page of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar with Miss Rosie at one of your local library storytimes.

Miss Rosie, who goes by Rosie May when she’s not singing, playing, and reading with her littlest fans, first established the Wigglers Storytime programming at the East Bay Branch library decades ago. Though she can now be found in youth services at the Traverse Area District Library’s Woodmere location, she’s still hosting storytimes every Monday morning. In addition to creating an atmosphere that fosters learning through play, inclusivity and representation are a top priority for May. She incorporates ASL as well as a diverse catalog of stories and celebrations into her programming.

With an estimated 3,000 programs behind her, she’s something of a local celebrity to the five-and-under crowd, getting recognized outside of library hours for her years of community engagement with TC’s young families.

“The first time it happened I was a little taken aback, but I realized pretty quickly what an awesome responsibility it is to be so loved by children,” she says. So beloved, in fact, that over the years she’s found that many former “storytimers” return with their own children.

“Funny, I don’t feel that old until I see the kids all grown up with kids of their own. It’s a pretty special feeling.”

Tony Vu The Culinary Mentor

Tony Vu grew up with a mom who ran a Vietnamese restaurant, so of course he became…a professional drummer.

“I grew up in a restaurant household, but I did not come from a food background. I was a musician in Canada,” he says. When his band folded, he decided to travel the world. “It was a soul-searching journey— Peru, mountain climbing, Vietnam. What I found was the power of food.” Add that to the inspiration from way back when, and he finally gave in. “If I didn’t learn Mom’s recipes, they’d disappear.”

He started with a beat-up food truck, then moved on to the Flint Farmers Market. He was on Guy’s Grocery Games on The Food Network, and that and the Flint water crisis sparked his desire to advocate for food justice. Then came a food/entrepreneurial incubator, the Flint Social Club. “There [was] an immense amount of talent and passion, but not opportunity,” Vu says of the inspiration behind the incubator.

Up North, Vu opened the Good Bowl with Soon Hagerty, and the restaurant’s dollar per bowl giving program has raised over $133,000 for local charities. He’s just acquired Flint Coney Island, and next up is Nobo Mrkt, another food incubator program, in the new Commongrounds building in TC. “I wanted to make a difference,” says Vu, who enjoys splitting his time between Flint and Traverse City.

12 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly 20 FASCINATING PEOPLE

Jessie Zevalkink The Adventurous Photographer

Northport native Jessie Zevalkink has two captivating pursuits—photography and sailing. She has spent the past five winters on a sailboat navigating epic adventures, including a transatlantic trip in 2017 from her dad’s house in Northport to her husband’s hometown in England and back. Last winter, she cruised from San Francisco to Mexico with her husband and one-year-old. This year, Zevalkink is bringing the adventurous spirit home to the Great Lakes by starting a Northport-based sailing charter business.

“We secured a commercial slip at the Northport Marina after many presentations proposing how our sailing charter business would benefit the village,” Zevalkink says. Summer 2023 will begin as an experiment with sunset sails and nights aboard the boat. Her long-term vision is planned itineraries for sails to destinations like Beaver Island and Mackinac Island. When Zevalkink isn’t sailing, she is taking photos of families, weddings, and women through her unique take on boudoir photos, “BodyBrave.” Her effervescent photo style evokes fun, simplicity, and freedom—much like her approach to life in general.

“BodyBrave sessions take the boudoir out of boudoir. They are all about nature, girl time, and celebrating the complicated relationship women have with their body or their heart,” Zevalkink explains.

John Shepherd

The Extraterrestrial Composer

Featured in an award-winning 2020 Netflix documentary, John Shepherd gained some notoriety for his decades-long effort to contact alien life forms by transmitting music and sounds from his Central Lake home.

The film, John Was Trying to Contact Aliens, examined Shepherd’s space-age research and his life in rural Antrim County. “That was a lot of fun and I was glad to be part of it,” he says. “The director [Matthew Killip] was great. He had a wonderful vision.”

Project S.T.R.A.T (Special Telemetry Research And Tracking) ended more than 20 years ago after failing to connect with extraterrestrials, and Shepherd now focuses on music. From his residence on two acres in Kewadin, the 71-year-old plays, composes, and records in his elaborate home recording studio. “It’s fun,” says the soft-spoken Shepherd. “Recently, I’ve composed for an independent film.”

He’s been heard on radio broadcasts across the world and recorded albums for several record companies. He’s also collaborated with several musicians and poets in recent years. So what’s next on his to-do list?

“I’m always looking ahead,” he says with a laugh. “Always looking one step ahead.”

John Roberts The Local Librarian

Even though there’s an impressive stint at Yale University on his resume, Kalkaska librarian John Roberts insists he’s not one of those “smarty pants” Ivy League guys.

He’s quick to point out that he was raised in Kalamazoo and studied English and history at Western Michigan University before spending three years as a cataloguer at the Yale Library. He spent a few years at the New Haven Public Library and moved back to Michigan to be close to family. He looked at jobs in Detroit and Muskegon before taking the Kalkaska post in 2017.

Since then, he’s been instrumental in expanding the aging village library’s offerings. There are programs for infants and toddlers, a bike library in partnership with Norte, and walk-in tech help for folks struggling with smartphones, laptops, and the internet.

One of the most impressive new ventures is Blazer Libraries, which has seen libraries re-established at the school district’s three elementary schools, the middle school, and the high school. “It’s been really rewarding partnering with the schools,” says Roberts.

So what are his favorite books, poets, and playwrights? “I’d have to go with Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Philip Larkin for poetry, and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Those are all great.”

Nevaeh Wharton The Voice of the Future

“I constantly have a list of books I want to read,” says Traverse City Central High School senior Nevaeh Wharton. Self-described as shy, she can often be found retreating into both required reading and new classics. Wharton doesn’t just read books though—she’s been writing one, too, ever since the idea for a fantasy fiction story ignited in her imagination a few years ago.

Like many writers, she’d rather sort her thoughts through written prose, but the introspective teen was thrown into the spotlight in the spring of 2021 when she hesitantly gave several interviews to local and national news outlets after finding out she was being “traded” in a racist virtual slave trade created by other students at her school. It’s an experience she describes as both tough and eyeopening, “It shaped the reality around me more, and despite how hard it was, in the end, I’m grateful for it.”

On the cusp of her high school graduation, she’s channeling the momentum of these last two years into her future with plans to pursue an education in clinical psychology. Before that though, she’s going to spend this summer buckling down on her novel, which she’s hoping to self-publish before fall semester starts. With so much behind her and still so much ahead of her in this next phase of life, Wharton says she’s most looking forward to “the freedom I will have to grow, and the new opportunities and experiences I will have.”

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 13


Kay Charter The Bird Lady

“I’m dedicated to birds.”

So says Kay Charter, who says her self-described “obsession” began when she and her late husband Jim left San Diego and traveled the U.S. and Canada for three years, often heading to places just to observe the birds there. But her epiphany came after moving into the home they built on Grand Traverse Bay, when she began to watch a family of rarely-seen winter wrens.

The Charters decided to sell the home and bought 47 acres outside Omena where she could more readily watch and help her feathered friends. That led to teaching others about birds and eventually to the nonprofit Saving Birds Thru Habitat. Charter serves as its executive director.

“I’m 84 and still doing exactly what I’ve done,” she says, including leading discussions and presentations locally and throughout the U.S. She has been a featured speaker at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, the Cox Arboretum in Dayton, Morton Arboretum near Chicago, and the 2006 Rivers and Wildlife Festival in Kearney, Nebraska. Her awards and accolades include the first birder being named “Exceptional Outdoorswoman of 2006” by Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

Today, the Omena sanctuary is protected by conservation easements and serves as a haven for thousands of birds, both resident and migratory. The organization offers birding hikes in May with qualified leaders.

Geoff Burns The Ultra-Marathoner

A 2008 grad of TC West, Geoff Burns is a man on the run—literally. He’s a nationally ranked ultra-marathoner, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, and a physiologist for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee at its Colorado training center.

“In parasport, every athlete is a hyper-unique case study, so I’m constantly learning new subject matter— from thermoregulation in athletes with spinal cord injuries to circadian patterns of individuals with visual impairments to the biomechanics of prosthetics and their influence on performance—which is all like a drug to

me,” he says. “I get to then creatively synthesize it all with those traditional sport science tools for the athletes and coaches. It’s a total dream.”

The veteran runner says his toughest race was the 2018 100km World Championship in Croatia.

“I ran most of the race really well and rolled the dice to put myself in a medal position,” he recalls. “I started to really crash with the heat in the last 30 kilometers, but was desperately trying to hold on to a top-five placing. Despite seeing a big pack of guys closing in on me, I went really deep to hold them off. It was a torturous last two hours trying to fight them off step by step, meter by meter. I ended up having to sprint at the finish against the current world record holder in the event and the former world champion. I held both of them off for fifth place.”

Tioloman Traore

The Aspiring Nurse

Tioloman Traore’s entire life was uprooted in 2019 when she came to Traverse City as a refugee student. “The biggest thing that I learned was the way people here interact with each other. Everything was different, the language, the food, the culture, the little things,” says Traore.

She was initially excited to come to the United States but ultimately felt mixed emotions. “I was happy because I was coming to this country for a new life, new opportunities, to go to school, and have family in my life. But I had to leave my friends and the people I knew and spent time with behind. There was a lot of emotion.” Not to mention the cold. Citing “too much snow” as the reason she was unsure about Michigan at first, she now says she’s embraced it by learning to ski, ice skate, and sled.

Despite the initial hurdles, Traore excelled in her new home, and in 2022 she received Michigan’s Outstanding Student Award from the office of Governor Whitmer. Traore believes a combination of personal achievements and extracurriculars helped garner this award, but she speaks most excitedly of the Traverse City Track Club and her love of running.

As for the future, she’s applying to the nursing program at Western Michigan University and is open to the opportunities that career path provides for her. She would love to be near her foster family and replies with, “why not Michigan?” when asked if she would want to stay. Why not, indeed.

14 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
Charter (right) with Judy Gass, a friend and member of Saving Birds Through Habitat, at the prairie on property.

Willard Kitchen

The Restless Advocate

Advocate for what, you might ask. Well, there’s learning, as Kitchen—Will to friends—was a lobbyist for education in Washington D.C. Or technology, as he served as head of learning and development for IBM Asia. Shakespeare too—he and his late wife Maggy founded a

Shakespeare festival in Minnesota.

Don’t forget cinema, since he started the Frozen River Film Festival. Music? Yep, he ran a concert series too. And obviously traveling as well, as he’s lived in Minnesota, Washington, Belgium, New York, and India, among other places, before moving to Traverse City.

“I started as a K-12 teacher, was a librarian. I had my own telecom company and owned radio stations. I have an entrepreneurial spirit. And I’m still a work in prog-

ress,” Kitchen says, even though he’ll hit 70 this year.

Next, he’s probably embarking on another project as co-director of the Office of Possibilities at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC). He calls it an idea incubator and active connector of entrepreneurs that works with NMC staff, students, and faculty members along with community partners.

“We want to develop ideas into something tangible,” Kitchen says.

Sharon Jones

The Bee Whisperer

On a trip out West almost a half-century ago, Sharon Jones had a close encounter with a swarm of honeybees while waiting for her car to be repaired.

“A swarm landed in the parking lot. I didn’t know what they were doing. For over an hour I was fascinated, from a foot and a half away,” she says.

That fascination persisted, and three years later, she and her husband, Kirk, got their first hives. By the third year, they had 100 hives and began to diversify their product line, sometimes by accident. A batch of lemon honey cream was mixed with too much water, so Jones suggested making it into mead. “It was wonderful,” she says.

Today, their St. Ambrose Cellars is home to numerous meads, wine, beer, and food, while their other venture, Sleeping Bear Farms, produces a boatload of different honeys and honey-infused products. But wait, there’s more: Jones’ side hustle, BeeDazzled, features a line of beeswax products, including candles, lotions, and lip balms.

Jones continues to pursue her passion through studies and travels around the world (Delphi, Crete, Rome, and England) seeking out the stories and sites regarding the order of Melissa, the Greek goddess of bees. And she passes on her knowledge through her work with Grow Benzie’s Bee Guild.

“This love affair with bees … started 43 years ago,” she says. “Who would have thought?”

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 15 20 FASCINATING PEOPLE


Shanny Brooke

The Storied Artist

What do an artist, opera singer, and private chef have in common? They are all jobs held by one person: Shanny Brooke.

Brooke owns Higher Art Gallery, a studio art gallery in Traverse City. Just like the unique art on display, her life has been a beautiful assortment of experiences that have led her to find and pursue her true passion.

Overwhelming. That’s the first thought upon entering Steve Loveless’s home.

Posters of the Beatles, The Who, The James Gang, Traffic, and more line the walls. One might expect the home of a professional photographer who owned a gallery and framing shop for years to display images of his work, but instead it’s an homage to a lifetime of collecting. And they all have a story.

“I have tons of Who stuff: a signed performance contract, a Magic Bus poster. I met John Entwhistle after a concert,” Loveless says while a live AC/DC concert is blaring from the TV.

Ask him his favorite artists and again he’s off and running. “My favorites today are probably the Beatles, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Andy Partridge, John Mayall, Conrad Schnitzler, Kraftwerk. The Stones, Pere Ubu, Gang of Four, XTC, the Sex Pistols …”

It’s more than just the music, however, even though he has thousands of CDs, records, cassettes, and even a few remaining 8-track tapes. It’s all about the memorabilia adorning the walls of his living room, kitchen, hall, bathroom, and bedroom. They tell the story of his passion for music and artists, and they all come with stories Loveless is more than happy to share.

Brooke’s love of music and opera led her to pursue a degree at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. However, thanks to crippling stage fright, she soon realized she could not perform without becoming sick. Once her first act ended, another curtain rose as a private chef, a role that led her back to northern Michigan, where she and her father opened a restaurant in Elk Rapids.

She returned to square one after a mutual decision to close the restaurant. Then, as fate would have it, Brooke met her current partner, a dog trainer, and she began painting some of the dogs her partner trained. Now, though she no longer paints pups, she has found her true calling: artist and entrepreneur, which brought her to Higher Art Gallery.

“Throughout my life, I have struggled with imposter syndrome,” Brooke says. “Sometimes we put so much emphasis on having to have a degree in something to make a living. I’ve never subscribed to that. If you put in the work and the effort and continue to try to be good at something and feel passionate about it, you’ll be successful.”

16 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly 20
Steve Loveless The Memorabilia Collector


A look back at nearly 200 northerners doing amazing things

2023 marks the tenth year of the Northern Express Fascinating People list, and as we looked back through the archives, we were blown away by the 180 people we had featured over the years. (Plus 20 more in this issue!) While we can’t go back and interview each of them all over again, we connected with a few Fascinating People from each year to see how life has changed and what new endeavors they are chasing now.


JACKIE KASCHEL: Executive Director and Cofounder of Peace Ranch, an equine therapy nonprofit

What are you up to these days?

Peace Ranch has grown considerably. In addition to trauma therapy, we now offer training for professionals, parents, and clinical internships statewide and consultation for new programs nationwide. My time is divided. Part executive (my work), part service provision (my passion), and part equine rehabilitation (my love).

How have your goals grown or changed?

From a founder’s perspective, it became clear Peace Ranch will outlive us, so in 2021 we proposed a 10-year succession plan. Our succession goals to date are met and we are moving confidently toward the future. Our focus is sharing our knowledge and our experience and building our team.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

Peace Ranch has positively impacted the lives of thousands of men, women, and children needing hope and healing. We have a great team and a solid plan for this amazing work to carry on. I am humbled by the magnitude of this outreach and proud to be part of it.

CARTER SCHMIDT: Creator of Carter’s Compost, a neighborhood compost collection service

What are you up to these days?

I am currently a Rotary Youth Exchange student living in Thailand. I’ve been living with a host family and attending a local high school in Chiang Mai for the past six months.

How have your goals grown or changed?

Before I went on exchange, I had planned on going to college in Michigan and staying close to home once I got my degree, but this experience has opened my eyes to the possibility of studying and working abroad. I’m currently looking at options to study abroad for college.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

My biggest personal achievement is applying and going through with Youth Exchange. This past year has pushed me out of my comfort zone more than anything has in my life, but I’m so glad that I stuck with it so that I am able to experience all the amazing things Youth Exchange has to offer.

The 2014 Fascinating People List:

1. Jan Price

2. Jessica Pociask

3. Kevin Rhodes

4. Erik Afton

5. Christopher Wright

6. John Mull

7. Chuck Pfarrer

8. Carter Schmidt

9. Stephen Brede

10. Kevin McDonough

11. Kerri Finlayson

12. Gustav Uhlich

13. Jim Gillespie

14. Bill “Bear” Fowler

15. Melissa Saleh

16. Lou Kasischke

17. Terrie Taylor

18. Jackie Kaschel

19. Charles Eisendrath

20. Chava Bahle

MATT MEYERS: Co-founder of M22, a lifestyle brand

What are you up to these days?

This past month (February) marks 11 years since my life-saving brain surgery to remove a Clival Chordoma tumor, and with immense gratitude I can say I’m as healthy as I’ve ever been. I am still active in working at M22 with an unbelievably talented and dedicated team, and continue to follow my true passion of kiteboarding the earth’s best conditions.

How have your goals grown or changed?

Overall, my life goals have not changed much: maintain physical and mental health, build a loving family, create and nurture genuine friendships, grow and strengthen M22, and live in an inspiring environment. Raising young children has opened my eyes to how quickly time passes and has helped me to continue to make thoughtful, intentional life choices that support my life goals.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

A professional achievement I am proud of was purchasing the M22 building and the one next to it and doubling our store size. This move has really allowed us to establish permanent roots in our hometown, and to confidently reinvest in the brand we believe in so much. Personally, our family has been vegan for over five years now. It is the most positive life change I have ever made.

SUE KURTA: Founder of Boss Mouse Cheese, an artisan cheese shop

What are you up to these days?

Boss Mouse is now in its 11th year in business. We have a small part-time staff and participate in several of our area’s excellent farmers markets. The smoked butter continues to have a cult following. I still love making cheese and living on my farm in Kingsley.

How have your goals grown or changed?

When Boss Mouse was new, I was trying to grow it and get bigger; now I am happy to stay right where I am, working smarter, not harder and continuing to produce the highest quality products I can.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

I am proud that I turned one of my hobbies into a livelihood. I teach for the MSU Dairy Division, and despite the economy or pandemic, we have never raised our prices. Over the past decade I have traveled the world and spent quality time with friends, family, and a menagerie of beautiful rescue animals.

The 2015 Fascinating People List:

10. George Golubovskis

11. Maureen Abood

12. Zoe Marshall-Rashid

13. Leo Gillis

14. Brad Bensinger

15. Rebecca Lessard

16. Vicky Long

17. Christopher Morey

18. Lou Mettler

19. Matt Myers

20. Eddy Walda

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 17
1. Sally Van Vleck 2. Bill Bustance 3. Jim McDivitt 4. Mardi Jo Link 5. Sue Kurta 6. Al Bakker 7. Jada Johnson 8. Bernie Rink 9. Nik Carman


MATT CASSIDY: Professional Sailor

What are you up to these days?

My family and I now live in Newport, Rhode Island. We moved here four years ago when I joined American Magic for the 36th America’s Cup. I’m still a professional sailor competing around the world at the Grand Prix level. Currently, I’m racing TP52s and M32 catamarans in Europe and the U.S.

How have your goals grown or changed?

My goals are the same as they’ve always been: be the best professional I can be to my teammates and at my position. Learn from each race and be better for the next one. With so much traveling required for work, I now make a big effort to limit my days away so I can spend time with my wife and two boys.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

My professional achievements include two America’s Cups, the 35th America’s Cup with Oracle Team USA in Bermuda 2017 and then the 36th America’s Cup with American Magic in New Zealand 2021, and two more TP52 World Championship wins in 2018 and 2022 with Quantum Racing.

XAVIER VERNA: Major Gifts Officer for Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

What are you up to these days?

I am the first major gifts officer for Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. I will be working with the development team to raise funds that help protect the environment in Michigan. On the side, I teach percussion and drumline at West Shore Community College. On occasion, I get to play in the orchestra pit for WSCC’s musical productions.

How have your goals grown or changed?

Development was something that was born out of the work I did at the historic Ramsdell Theatre. It is an area I invested myself in, trained, got educated, and am still pursuing. I’m currently enrolled at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis taking online classes.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

I led a performing arts venue through a treacherous time. The pandemic hit many industries hard. Performing arts venues were among the worst hit because they thrive on bringing people together. We adapted, and the Manistee community came together beautifully to support it. We were resilient as a community, and I couldn’t be more proud.



Founder, CEO, and Program Officer of Raven Hill Discovery Center, a hands-on learning center

What are you up to these days?

I am still at Raven Hill helping visitors make connections between science, history, and the arts, and 2023 is turning out to be especially busy! This summer, we will be hosting a second Smithsonian Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibition and Summer Classes for Kids will replace Discovery Camps in 2023. Classes are subject-specific and can better meet the interests of young Raven Hill participants.

How have your goals grown or changed?

Raven Hill Discovery Center continues to grow and is busy preparing itself for the future. The Center is just beginning to work on plans for a Winter Center at the bottom of the hill, which will be more accessible and visible, with the goal of increasing attendance numbers, especially during the fall and winter months.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

I am proud that the Center continues to expand, providing new ways for visitors to learn, create, grow, and play. I am delighted at the community’s partnerships with Raven Hill for the past 31 years. Northern Michigan residents continually demonstrate their belief in Raven Hill and the informal learning opportunities we provide. As the saying goes, it takes a village.

LYNN EVANS: Curator of Archaeology for Mackinac State Historic Parks

What are you up to these days?

I’m still working at Michilimackinac, leading a team excavating a trader’s house inside the fort walls.

How have your goals grown or changed?

We’re still trying to figure out who lived here during the 1770s. One of our unusual discoveries has been a sleeve button with Masonic symbols, which may be a clue to the occupant. We’ve discovered a second cellar and other deep architectural features which extended the duration of the project.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

Despite the pandemic, we have kept the project going every summer since the original story!


The 2016 Fascinating People List:

1. Brittany Brubaker













18 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
Erika Hayden Tanya Whitley 4. Marty Lagina 5. Jane Fortune 6. Elnora Milliken 7. Matt Cassidy 8. Samantha Harris 9. Jake Slater 10. J.B. Collings 11. Billy Strings 12. Mike Winters 13. Cheri Leach 14. Tommy Tropic 15. Owen Chesnut 16. Craig Webb 17. Therese Renis 18. Thomas Renkes 19. Elise Hayes
20. David Johnson The 2017 Fascinating People List: 1. Ben Whiting 2. Gregg Schumaker 3. Laurie Sears 4. Xavier Verna 5. Rebecca Childs 6. Brian and Piper Edwards 7. Harold Kranick 8. Dr. Lynn L.M. Evans 9. Shannon McWaters Don Cunkle Bob Downes Joshua Jordan Anthony Mikula Rick Neumann Patty Steele Larry Warbasse Tom Moran Lisa Flahive John Curtis Stephen MacNeil


MAYA TISDALE: Fun-loving kid and author who is living with cerebral palsy

What are you up to these days?

Maya is now in the third grade [her mom, Ann, tells us]. She’s walking independently, playing wheelchair tennis, skiing, singing in the choir, and traveling with her family all over the country to National Parks. Basically living her best life. We are currently in California for two months to participate in a clinical trial for a device that shows a lot of promise for cerebral palsy.

How have your goals grown or changed?

Her goal before was to walk and run. She’s smashed those goals and is now on to conquering all sorts of sports and activities. Her new goal is to participate on a swim team and try gymnastics.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

We wrote a book about Maya’s adventures—Mighty Miss Maya: See It, Then Be It—and it has been on a few bestseller lists and has been sold all over the world. Our second book will be back from the printer soon, called Mighty Miss Maya: Say Hello. We will be doing a book launch at Horizon Books on May 13.

BRIAN CONFER: Co-owner of Stormcloud Brewing Company

What are you up to these days?

In 2018, we transitioned brewing operations out of the original pub location and into a newly built production facility on the edge of Frankfort. The old pub system moved 10 miles away and started a new life at Five Shores Brewing in Buelah, while we fired up a brand-new, 20-barrel brew system in the new building. We’ve slowly added fermentation capacity and continue to open new distribution territories in Michigan.

How have your goals grown or changed?

The goal remains the same: produce the best quality beer we can. We continue to educate ourselves and expand our ability to meet quality standards as we add capacity and launch new brands. The craft brewing landscape has changed considerably in the 10 years since we started, but we still have fun, get excited about new recipes, and look forward to a shift beer with the crew at the end of the day.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

It would be easy to say I’m proud of the awards we’ve received over the past several years, but the biggest reward has been part of developing such an outstanding brew team who are passionate about beer and show daily dedication for brewing to Stormcloud’s high standards. It’s an honor to work side by side with this crew, and I raise my glass to them.

SETH BEAUDRY: Entrepreneur who was paralyzed from the waist down after a 2017 car accident

What are you up to these days?

I have moved on from my previous ARêTe clothing brand and am now building a Web3 company as the founder and artist of ERA.

How have your goals grown or changed?

I am continuing entrepreneurship in hopes of creating a brand that can scale. Whatever that is, I hope my efforts provide something of value to humanity in my lifetime with creativity remaining forever infinite, innovation, and progressing onward.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

I think my greatest personal achievement since my original fascinating person was surviving 2020. I almost died multiple times and I underwent six major surgeries. Having to go through things most humans won’t ever have to endure has changed me a lot. It has illuminated the resiliency my body has and how driven I am to want to thrive. I am just getting started: paralyzed and grateful to be alive.

The 2018 Fascinating People List:

What are you up to these days?

I have been invited to more DNR and Trout Unlimited meetings about the conditions of the rivers around here.

How have your goals grown or changed?

My goals haven’t changed that much, but I have been able to achieve more than before because people read your article and more people know me when I call them for help.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

I have gotten some more awards, which really should have gone to our volunteers, more cooperation from local governments, more volunteers signing up to help us do river cleanups, and more conservation districts in other counties taking on river cleanups of their own.





14. Inanna Hauger

15. Tabatha Watkins

16. Nadia Daniels-Moehle

17. Bernie Friedrich

18. Daniel Cote

19. Norm Fred

20. Ruth Adamus

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 19
1. Maya Tisdale 2. George Colburn 3. Rod Cortright 4. B Kareem 5. Bill Koucky 6. Nate Rook 7. Kim Diment 8. Dave Caroffino 9. Karin Reid Offield 10. Mitch Roman 11. Shane Bagwell 12. Stan Otto 13. Brian Confer 14. Jerome Rand 15. Anabel Dwyer 16. Rick Clark 17. Zander Cabinaw 18. Nancy Vogl 19. Karl Crawford
20. Sarah Shoemaker NORM FRED: Chairman of Boardman River Clean Sweep, a nonprofit focused on protecting northern Michigan waterways (pictured: center) The 2019 Fascinating People List: 1. Eric Stanfield 2. Lindsey Anderson 3. Seth Beaudry 4. Al Anderson 5. Lori Spielman 6. Mica Scotti Kole 7. Garth Ward 8. Kennith Scott 9. Mary Scholl Paul Stebleton Jason Kasdorf Rebecca Russell Scot Little Bihlman


PIPER SHUMAR: Creator of Piper’s Project, a program that collects cans to buy bikes for kids

What are you up to these days?

I am still returning cans! Also we are getting ready to start the new season and return more cans.

How have your goals grown or changed?

Well my goals changed because I planned on this being a small project, but it’s so big now. So we’ve had to make a few adjustments.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

My biggest achievement is becoming a Toys for Tots Youth Ambassador.

TRAVIS SYNDER: Veteran’s champion and speaker who has walked around Lake Michigan twice to raise money and awareness for vets

What are you up to these days?

I’m currently wrapping up my B.A. Communications at Grand Valley State University. I still continue to speak and share with different organizations, schools, and media outlets about veteran mental health needs. I completed my second lap around Lake Michigan in 2022, walking 900 miles in eight weeks. We’ve raised almost $15,000 for the Mission 22 organization and walked almost 2,300 miles for the cause.

How have your goals grown or changed?

When I took off on the first trip in 2019, I didn’t anticipate the magnitude of the effect of the suicide epidemic and what it means to our communities. I’ve now made it my mission to advocate for this cause full time and am grateful for the opportunities that have come with advocating.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

I was recently blessed to be awarded the 2022 Veteran of the Year award for the state of Michigan for my efforts in amplifying a message for so many of our veteran brothers and sisters. Giving a platform to those who haven’t felt encouraged to speak up before has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.

COURTNEY WIGGINS: Co-founder of Northern Michigan E3, a nonprofit and anti-racism task force

What are you up to these days?

I am organizing grief work events in the community as it relates to racial healing, community healing, and self-reflection, continuing my vibrational sound therapy practice, and still pressing for equity and inclusion within the community.

How have your goals grown or changed?

Community grief work has become a high priority to me. In order to find healing and move forward, I find it very important to acknowledge the everyday grief we each carry and find ways to sit with it, hold it, process it, and release it—if we can.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

I was honored to be the 2022 Sara Hardy Humanitarian of the Year, but truly it was an award that goes to all of Northern Michigan E3 and the community for the hard work we did together to make Traverse City a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive place.

HEATHER SPOONER: Owner of Ampersand Lettering Lab, an art and hand lettering business

What are you up to these days?

I am currently working with a brilliant film crew out of Los Angeles on a documentary about The Letter League, the adult pen pal program I created during the pandemic. The film will feature stories of connection and community that was created through the art of letter writing. Fingers crossed that we will be able to preview the film in Traverse City and celebrate this giant accomplishment alongside friends and supporters in this community.

How have your goals grown or changed?

The goals of my business have shifted away from my personal growth and focused more on what my community needs. When I began my business, I thought the only story I would share about the ampersand would be about it being a secret “I love you” between my wife and me. Now, I am able to see very clearly that my story of the ampersand also tells the story of connection and community.

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

In addition to work, my “airplane friend” and wife, Christy, and I recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary and are planning to jump on a plane together again in the spring to explore Portugal.

The 2020 Fascinating People List:

1. Wayne Richard “Dick” Smith

2. Cindy Hull

3. Jennifer Drake

4. Piper Shumar

5. Wayne Wissner

6. Travis Snyder

7. George Armstrong

8. Francisca Stig-Nielsen

9. Gene Lagerquist

10. Kevin LaRose

11. Harry Goldson

12. Jessica Dennis

13. Bill Siegmund

14. Brittany Adams

15. Andrew Farron

16. Hiro Miura

17. Michael Long

18. Karl Manke

19. Chayse LaJoie

20. Goldie Beebe

10. Ben Scripps

11. Brad Dohm

12. Deanne Bennett Criswell

13. Liam Dreyer

14. Matthew Elliott

15. Ian Murphy

16. Jamie Chapman

17. Sheryl Guy

18. Heather Spooner

19. Richard Rossman

20. Ken Taylor

20 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
The 2021 Fascinating People List: 1. Abra Berens 2. Gus Schmidt 3. Ean Guenthardt 4. Mark Fisher 5. Fred Falting 6. Carolynn Taylor 7. Jon Sangeorzan, MD 8. Shiloh Slomsky 9. Courtney Wiggins

EMILY UMBARGER: Director of Sustainability at Interlochen Center for the Arts

What are you up to these days?

I’m excited to share that we are nearing the completion of our institution’s first ever Climate Action Plan 2028. Interlochen’s 100-year anniversary is in 2028, and as a part of that celebration we are rolling out huge campuswide sustainability initiatives that will also be put into place in my classroom.

How have your goals grown or changed?

Interlochen recently committed to purchasing 30 percent green energy from Consumers Energy. This will help us think more about clean energy and green technology. We continue to expand our free programs for the community in the Summer Garden Lecture series, and I’m teaching a new class in Regenerative Ag Biology!

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

Leading ICA toward our first ever Climate Action Plan has been incredible. Working with a passionate, dedicated campus team of over 25 people to put this plan together has been a labor of love and commitment. I’m so proud to be a part of this community at Interlochen.

MIKE KING: Skier and filmmaker who recently released his first film, Lake Effect

What are you up to these days?

I’m in the middle of a premiere tour for my two-year Michigan ski documentary, Lake Effect. We are about to have our sixth show throughout the state. The response has been unbelievable—I am so thankful the community has shown such support.

How have your goals grown or changed?

My goals have changed as I have seen how many people have been supporting this film and coming. It just shows if you put your all into something, people will support it! I am not sure what those next goals are, but I am excited!

What’s your biggest win or achievement since your Fascinating People profile?

Just finishing the film is a pretty big achievement. The fact it won Best Feature Film at Fresh Coast Film Festival is cool too. But regardless of the success of the film, I am just proud I went for it. Doing something that I have never done took me way out of my comfort zone. I was in over my head, but I believed in the project. I learned a lot and am grateful for the experience.

The 2022 Fascinating People List:

1. Paxton Robinson

2. Al Laaksonen

3. Carol Greenaway

4. Mike King

5. Liz Saile

6. Mickey Cannon

7. Kaila Kuhn

8. Winter Vinecki

9. Michael Lehnert

10. Dr. Rachel Sytsma-Reed

11. Mark Wilson

12. Emily Umbarger

13. Alex Sanderson

14. Tawny Hammond

15. Duane Brandt

16. Katherine Corden

17. Kyle Evans

18. Joe Van Alstine

19. Molly Ames Baker

20. Nancy Bordine


Tickets $10 Adults / Students Free First Congregational Church 6105 Center Road, Traverse City

Music for Band

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 21 2022

The Spice of Life

New Szechuan restaurant brings the heat in Traverse City

Patrick and Michael Evans are not your typical brothers.

Both graduates of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute (GLCI), the two have been cooking for most of their lives and share a background in haute cuisine. Their Michelin Star-studded resumes include experience in world-class kitchens, from local hot spots like Trattoria Stella to San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn and the iconic Restaurant Gary Danko.

For these two Michiganders, though, accessibility is a primary factor in creating exceptional cuisine. “The main thing we’ve always wanted to do is offer good food for everyone,” says Patrick Evans. And that’s exactly what the pair aim to achieve with their new Szechuan restaurant, Crocodile Palace, in Traverse City.

Conifers and Crocodiles

The concept was born before the pandemic in collaboration with Ryan Corbin—then sous chef at The Cook’s House and the third member of the Crocodile Palace team. “It all started with us talking about Chinese food and how we really enjoyed the spiciness and full, warming flavors it offers,” says Evans.

From there, they began to experiment,

poring over cookbooks and sampling each other’s plates. Meanwhile, the Evans brothers were pursuing a permanent space for Conifer, their debut dining concept that was originally slated to take over The Dish’s storefront on South Union Street. But when The Little Fleet approached them about a fine-dining pop-up last winter, they felt the Conifer format didn’t fit.

“So, we came up with a new concept,” says Evans, “where we would just cook Chinese food for a night and have lots of fun with it.”

That concept, of course, was Crocodile Palace. Named in homage to several of the pair’s go-to San Francisco spots, the menu was—and is—largely inspired by dishes they loved enough to replicate while also offering a style of cooking not easily found in northern Michigan. The event, according to Evans, was a roaring success. “[It] was the catalyst to our understanding that the concept could be an actual space.”

This, he says, is where running a kitchen with his brother comes in especially handy. For starters, Michael did much of the legwork involved in organizing the restaurant’s buildout. The two also have contrasting palettes, allowing each cook to play off of the other.

“He’s the first person I [ask] to taste [a dish] if I’m doubting something,” and vice versa, says Evans. And while he does admit

that working with a sibling naturally comes with some frustration, he credits their open communication as the key to keeping the workplace peace.

That balancing act came straight to the fore when the Conifer deal fell through last spring, which left the brothers looking to find an alternative spot for a kitchen.

“We were driving by that empty unit [left vacant by Café Habibi] one day,” says Evans, “and I half-jokingly pointed out that it would be a cool spot to do Crocodile Palace.”

Within an hour, Michael had contacted the landlords for numbers and building specifications. “It turned into reality quickly,” Evans says. “We had a conversation, and I said, ‘let’s go.’”

Tradition and Innovation

Opened in late January, Crocodile Palace now occupies the Cochlin Street unit adjacent to the Super 7. The building is quite small—just a few hundred square feet, Evans estimates—including a bathroom, prep space, and order counter. Consequently, the brothers have had to adjust their design from table-service to a carry-out model (this includes online ordering options, as well as in-person and via phone), though they do plan to implement limited outdoor seating when the weather allows.

The menu, says Evans, features a selection

of Chinese and Szechuan-inspired fare— cuisine from China’s Sichuan Province, known for its use of garlic and chilis—and is largely based on traditional street food in order to make each dish more approachable.

“I think it became important to us that our food be [within reach] for a wide range of people,” Evans says. “When people come in, they can see us cooking their order and [smell] the flavors coming off the wok. I think that’s exciting.”

The team has pared down their menu to a handful of elevated plates, which incorporate seasonally-rotating options in addition to a couple of staples. Of these, the Dan Dan Noodles ($15) are a fan favorite: a deliciouslytingly ramen dish featuring numbing bark spices and rich ground pork, topped with pickled vegetables and tahini. “People specialize in them [in China]” says Evans. “[They’re] like chocolate chip cookies in the U.S., where everyone has a different version.”

Evans, however, maintains that the unsung hero of the menu is the Beef Tendon Salad ($10). A riff on a similar dish he discovered at Shanghai Dumpling King in California, Crocodile Palace’s iteration features braised and paper-thin beef tendon slices accompanied by shaved celery with sesame, cilantro, peanut, and plenty of seasoning.

“I can’t think of anywhere else in Michigan that has something like that on the

22 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
Boiled Pork Wontons with Sichuan chili oil, black vinegar, scallion, and cilantro. Smashed Cucumber Salad with Sichuan vinaigrette, sesame, and peanuts.

menu,” he says. “It makes me really happy that people are responsive and willing to try something new.”

Other menu standouts include the Salted Cod and Chicken Fried Rice ($12), which Evans calls a “sleeper,” as it’s one of few selections that isn’t spicy. “It’s inspired by two fried rice [dishes] in San Francisco that I absolutely loved,” he says, and incorporates a Cantonese recipe with salted cod and Lap Cheong sausage, with flavor straight from the wok.

He also highlights the Boiled Pork Wontons ($12), each of which is crimped by hand. Stuffed with pork and napa cabbage, and served with black vinegar and chili oil, the wontons are surprisingly simple. “But once you top [them] with the scallions and cilantro, it becomes this whole different

thing,” Evans adds.

As for the future of Conifer, Evans tells Northern Express that the concept is still on the backburner, though he doesn’t discount it as something he and his brother might revive down the line. For now, though, Crocodile Palace is more than enough potential to play with.

“There’s a lot [we] still love about the Conifer idea, but I also love eating Szechuan food,” he explains. “[Crocodile Palace] is something we’re doing because it makes us happy, and it’s been really nice knowing that people are enjoying [it].”

Crocodile Palace is open WednesdaySunday, 3-9pm. Find them at 124 Cochlin Street, Traverse City. (231) 421-3555,

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 23
Crocodile Palace's take on Dan Dan Noodles with ground pork, sesame chili sauce, bok choy, and picked veggies.
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Can't Possibly Be True

A newly released report from the U.K.'s Air Accidents Investigation Branch has determined that an inflight incident on June 29, 2022, could have turned out "very different," CNN reported. On that day, a flying instructor slumped over on a pilot's shoulder as they flew a small plane above Lancashire, England. The pilot, who had asked the instructor to accompany him because of wind conditions that day, thought his cohort was "just pretending to take a nap" as a joke, but after landing the plane, he realized the instructor had died. The report noted that the instructor likely "suffered a cardiac arrest as the aircraft took off."

Unclear on the Concept

Neurosurgeon Charlie Teo, 65, appeared before Australia's Health Care Complaints Commission in February to defend himself against charges relating to a brain tumor surgery he performed on a woman, ABC News reported. "I took out too much. I took out the wrong bit of the frontal lobe," Teo said. "I actually didn't know at the time. I'm learning from this case. It wasn't negligence. Maybe some ignorance on my behalf." The woman was left in a vegetative state and died several weeks later. Teo said one of the complainants against him had been "hoodwinked" and "coerced" into filing the charge by Teo's "enemies." "I did the wrong thing. Was that my intention? Absolutely not," he said.

Least Competent Criminal

Quanisha Manago, 28, of Kershaw, South Carolina, got a special delivery on Feb. 13, but it wasn't from Amazon. WHNS-TV reported that Lancaster County Sheriff's officers were tipped off about a package coming Manago's way with valuable contents: two large bricks of cocaine, weighing over 6 pounds. Working with other agencies, an undercover agent delivered the box to Manago's home, then watched as she stored it in her car and started to drive away. That's when she was arrested. Sheriff Barry Faile said the cocaine had a street value of more than $180,000. "Thanks to all who participated, it will never hit the street," he said, adding the packaged was shipped from outside the United States.

Government in Action

On Jan. 19 in Austin, Texas, Chris Newby was sleeping when "the whole house shook," he said. "It sounds like a plane hit the house." Instead, according to KXAN-TV, it was a car -an impaired driver barreled through Newby's spare bedroom wall. "The entire room was just crunched," he said. Ten days later, Newby received a letter from the city informing him that he was in violation of two codes: "One for having a hole in my house and one for having no window," Newby said. The letter was dated the day of the crash and stipulated that he had 30 days to get repairs completed or face fines of up to $4,000 per day. "It felt tone-deaf to me," he said. "I'm in violation for being a victim." But Matthew Noriega, a division manager at the code department, said Newby has time: "If an extension is needed, we will give them that extension," he clarified. Still, Newby said Austin "feels a little less like home every day." Sad emoji.

In Florida, the state senate Democratic leader and canine fun-ruiner Lauren Book

filed a piece of legislation that would make it illegal to let a dog "extend its head or any other body part outside" a moving car window, WTSP-TV reported on Feb. 21. The bill has other pet-related provisions relating to animal safety, including prohibiting pets riding in the open beds of pickups and drivers holding a dog in their lap. If passed, the bill will become law on July 1.

Weird Science

Just looking for a few minutes of peace and quiet? You might be tempted to step inside the anechoic chamber at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, Oddity Central reported. However, even if you were allowed to try it, you might find it unbearable -- it is the world's quietest place, at -20.3 decibels. (Calm breathing clocks in at 10 decibels.) "As soon as one enters the room, one immediately feels a strange and unique sensation which is hard to describe," said Hundraj Gopal, a speech and hearing scientist who helped design the chamber. "When you turn your head, you can hear that motion. The longest continuous time anyone has spent inside the chamber is 55 minutes," Gopal said. Microsoft uses the room to test microphones, receivers, headphones and speakers.


When friends presented tattoo artist Karen Green with a brand-new iPhone in 2007, she never even opened the box, CNN reported. She had recently upgraded her unsmart phone and didn't want to switch carriers, "and I figured it's an iPhone, so it'll never go out of date," Green said. On Feb. 19, Green's still-shrink-wrapped first-edition iPhone sold for more than $63,000 through an online auction with Louisiana-based LCG Auctions. Featuring a 2-megapixel camera and "sharp corners front and back," the phone sold originally for $599. Green will use the funds to support her tattoo business.

(Not a) Fetish

Don't call Aakash Majumdar's attraction to balloons a fetish. The 28-year-old resident of Mumbai, India, identifies as "objectum sexual," meaning he's attracted to inanimate objects -- but not just sexually. au reported on Feb. 16 that Majumdar wakes up every morning and "makes out" with his balloons, which he sleeps beside. "I like their presence and warmth, and share intimate feelings with my balloons and vice versa," he said. "When you're in love, you spend a lot of time together and accept all kinds of flaws." Of course, being balloons, they're vulnerable: "One day while inflating a few balloons with a pump, a balloon got popped," he said. "I cried for the loss and after that, I became more careful."

Great Art!

Nick Stoeberl, 33, was awarded a Guinness world record in 2012 for the male with the longest tongue (3.97 inches), United Press International reported, and now he's putting it to good use. Stoeberl, who's been dubbed Lickasso, is making paintings with his organ, selling them for up to $1,200 each. The California man said he wraps his tongue in plastic wrap first, then plies his art on canvas. "Why not express myself through that medium?" he asked.

24 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
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MACKINAW CITY’S 30TH ANNUAL WINTERFEST: (Postponed to today.) Featuring Outhouse Races, Big Freeze Obstacle Course, party at the Dixie Saloon, & much more.


WEEK: Feb. 24 - March 5. Enjoy special menus at each participating restaurant, designed just for these 10 days.

TOOL SHARPENING CLASS: 9am-noon, Maritime Heritage Alliance, TC. Learn how to sharpen hand tools, planers, chisels & knives in this hands on experience. You are welcome to bring your own tools, or to practice on some at the class. This class is limited to 12 people, taught by Captain Rod Jones, Schooner Madeline’s chief carpenter. The class is located in building 1. Please email or call 946.2647 to reserve your spot. Suggested donation: $20. ----------------------

FAMILY STEAM DAY: 10am-noon, Interlochen Public Library. Participate in a variety of activities that showcase the different foundations of STEAM; Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Mathematics. 231-276-6767.

GAYLORD RV SHOW: 10am-6pm, The Ellison Place, Gaylord. Cherry Capital RV is showcasing some of their most popular units. Includes motorhomes, teardrops, travel trailers, 5th wheels & more.

MAPLE SUGARING DAYS: 10am-3pm, Dechow & Olsen Farms, Port Oneida Rural Historic District, Empire. Hosted by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Learn the history of maple sugaring & the process of making maple syrup from start to finish. There will be a guided hike, demonstrations, kid’s activities, maple syrup sampling, & goodies to take home. Free with a park pass.

OPEN STUDIO: 10am-1pm, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Visual Arts Room, Petoskey. Drop-in free arts & crafts for the whole family.

TRI 45 WINTER TRIATHLON: 10am, Treetops Resort, Gaylord. 5K Cross Country Ski: 3.12 mile classic ski only, groomed trail. 10K Fat Tire: 6 mile fat tire mountain bike, off road in the snow. 5K Run: 3.12 mile mixed road & trail.

MARDI GRAS AT THE MOUNTAIN: 11am11pm, Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville. Enjoy slope side BBQ on the Lodge Deck, live music, find the Crystal Mountain Court Jester skiing on the mountain, enjoy the OnSlope Scavenger Hunt, take part in Mardi Gras mask making, & much more.



Feb. 26 - March 4. Participating restaurants will have either a $25, $35, or $45 3 course meal. Call & make your reservations online at the restaurant(s) of your choice.


WALK + TALK THE EXHIBITIONS: 11am, Glen Arbor Arts Center. A guided walk-andtalk through the Glen Arbor Arts Center’s Telling Stories & A Feral Housewife exhibitions. Sarah Bearup-Neal, GAAC gallery manager, leads a conversational tour of these exhibits about visual storytelling. Free.

16TH ANNUAL SUDS & SNOW: 1-6pm, Timber Ridge Resort, TC. “The Ultimate Party in the Woods.” This event starts with a half-mile hike to the backwoods where the event takes place. This year’s theme is Mardi Gras & will feature live music by Botala, the Daylites, Funky Uncle & 2BaysDJs. There will be over 24 beverage vendors & two food vendors. Tickets are $40 in advance.


THE VILLAGE JIGSAW PUZZLE COMPETITION: 1-5:30pm, The Village at GT Commons, Kirkbride Hall, TC. Teams of 2-4 people. Snack & NA beverages provided. BYO adult beverages. Register. the-village-jigsaw-puzzle-competition ----------------------

BELLAIRE ART IS SWEET: 2-5pm, Downtown Bellaire. Bake Off: Taste samples from each participating business’s sweet treats & vote. Art Stroll: View & purchase local arts & crafts. Student artwork also on display.

INLAND SEAS: ROV PRESENTATION: 2pm, Traverse Area District Library, McGuire Community Room, TC. Join Inland Seas to learn about their remotely operated vehicles (ROV) & how they are used in the Great Lakes. After the overview, participants will have the opportunity to build a ROV & get more info about the Inland Seas program. This event is intended for adults & families with youth in 6th-12th grades. Free. event/inland-seas-rov-presentation

FLY FISHING FILM TOUR: 7pm, City Opera House, TC. Brought to you by The Northern Angler Fly Shop in TC. Featuring locations from Cuba to Patagonia, Mexico to Australia, Alaska, Wyoming, the Deep South, Massachusetts & beyond. $25. cityoperahouse. org/node/497?mc_cid=9e2873a71f&mc_ eid=36a666ea46

“GRIMM’S ALTERNATIVE FAIRY TALES”: 7:30pm, The Alluvion, TC. Tickets: $28 GA; $38 VIP Reserved Front Row. Mashup Rock & Roll Musical is reviving their 2014 show “Grimm’s Alternative Fairy Tales.” The story is a twisted romp through magical woods, where creatures, royalty, & lost children are mashed up with New Wave & Rock stars from the 1980s. mashuprockandrollmusical. com/upcoming-shows-tickets ----------------------


WITH THE CRANE WIVES (DUO): 7:309:30pm, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Theater, Petoskey. Gina Chavez refuses to fit into a box. From her Mexican & Swiss-German raices to her life as a queer, married Catholic in Texas, to her bilingual music, the Latin Grammy nominee is unapologetically herself. The Crane Wives will open for her. $25 Blissfest members; $30 GA. event/blissfest-presents-gina-chavez-/listing

COMEDY W/ JOSH ADAMS: 7:30-9pm, Traverse City Comedy Club, TC. BET Apollo Live winner, Fox Laughs, Thrillist Top 50 undiscovered comedians, HBO NFL HardKnocks. $30-$35. events/comedy-wjosh-adams-3-4-2023



GAYLORD RV SHOW: (See Sat., March 4, except today’s time is 10am-4pm.)

MAPLE SUGARING DAYS: (See Sat., March 4)


6:30pm, The Alluvion, TC. In partnership with Up North Pride, this special performance of Mashup Rock & Roll Musical’s “Grimm’s Alternative Fairy Tales” will be shown with a minimum $5 ticket price. Half of the proceeds will be donated to Up North Pride. Mashup Rock & Roll Musical is reviving their 2014 show, “Grimm’s Alternative Fairy Tales.” The story is a twisted romp through magical woods, where creatures, royalty, & lost children are mashed up with New Wave & Rock stars from the 1980s.

THE ACCIDENTALS - TIME OUT 3: EP RELEASE CONCERT: 7pm, City Opera House, TC. This night of stories & songs will be hosted by The Accidentals, & will feature musical guests Mary Bragg, Gary Burr, & Georgia Middleman. VIP Seating Package includes early admission for a pre-show meet & greet, premier seating, exclusive merchandise & one entry per ticket to win a Fender guitar. $30, $20; VIP: $100. node/495


ANIME CLUB: 5:30-7:30pm, Traverse Area District Library, McGuire Community Room, TC. Enjoy talking about anime & manga, & do an anime related activity. At 6:15pm you will preview the first few episodes of an anime. This program is intended for ages 13+. Free.

PRESCHOOL ADVENTURES IN ART: 9:30-10:15am, Crooked Tree Arts Center, TC. Drop in for hands-on fun for preschoolers & their grown-ups. Register early. $5. preschool-adventures-art-march-6

KID’S CRAFT LAB: PULL SOME STRINGS: 1pm & 3:30pm, Great Lakes Children’s Museum, TC. Make a great picture with watercolor paint & string! Sign up when you reserve your attendance at the Museum.


COFFEE & CONVERSATION AT THE CHAMBER: 8-10am, Harbor Springs Police Station. Enjoy conversation & connections with chamber staff & other members. Have a donut with your local officers courtesy of Johan’s Pastries. Free.

PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10:30am, Suttons Bay Bingham District Library, lower level Community Meeting Room. Free.

STORYTIME ADVENTURES: 10:30am, 1pm & 3:30pm, Great Lakes Children’s Museum, TC. Featuring “The Little Blue Truck” by Alice Schertle. Sign up when you reserve your attendance at the Museum. ----------------------

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: 11:30am-1pm, Treetops Resort, Gaylord. Gaylord Area Chamber of Commerce presents “Keeping Up with the Growth of Your Business.” Register. $20 members; $25 non-members.


EVENT: City Opera House, TC. Select startups will be allowed 5 minutes to present their pitch & 5 minutes of questions & answers from the audience. The audience is made up of technology-minded people. Cash bar & networking at 5:30pm; investor pitches at 6pm; & winners announced at 7pm. eid=36a666ea46

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 25
send your dates to: march 04-12 mar 04 mar 05 mar 06 mar 07
Artists Jennifer Carroll, Mary Duggan, Shayla Johnson, Kathie Libert, Ruby Smith and Sharon Smithem, artists who meet weekly to draw, paint, do fiber arts, photography, graphic design, fused glass, stained glass, writing and book publishing, combine their work in “Creatives Collective – Tools of Creativity,” an exhibit at Charlevoix Circle of Arts, March 10 – April 8.


WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: 1-5pm, Traverse Area District Library, Study Room D, TC. If you need health resources/referrals, have immediate housing or food needs, &/or need crisis assistance or parenting/family support, the Traverse Health Clinic’s outreach team is available for free, walk-up, confidential consultations each Weds. afternoon. You can find their vehicle in the parking lot & team members will also be available inside the library. Additional services include blood pressure checks, vaccinations, & take-home COVID test kits.

TEEN LEADERSHIP GROUP: 4:30pm, Traverse Area District Library, Teen Services, TC. Volunteer at the library! The Teen Leadership Group helps plan library programs for teens, advises the library on trends & hot topics, assists various departments with their volunteer needs, & learns a lot. And if you finish your work early, you socialize & play games.

GAYLORD BUSINESS AFTER HOURS: 5pm, Big Buck Brewery, Gaylord. Co-sponsored by Otsego-Antrim Habitat for Humanity, Big Buck Brewery, & Habitat for Humanity Ambassador Katie McPartlin. $5 members; $10 non-members.


KID’S CRAFT LAB: PULL SOME STRINGS: 10:30am, 1pm & 3:30pm, Great Lakes Children’s Museum, TC. Make a great picture with watercolor paint & string! Sign up when you reserve your attendance at the Museum.

STATE OF THE COMMUNITY LUNCHEON: 11:30am-1pm, Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, Harbor Springs. Featuring Harbor Springs Chamber Board Chair Elaine Warner, HS Chamber Foundation Board President Gregg Garver, Harbor Springs Public Schools Superintendent Brad Plackemeier, PetoskeyHarbor Springs Area Community Foundation Executive Director David Jones, & Harbor Springs City Manager Victor Sinadinoski. $25 chamber members; $30 non-members. state-of-the-community-2023-12347

“SMELT: THE FISH THAT MADE BEULAH FAMOUS”: 4pm, The Mills Community House, Benzonia. Presented by the Benzie Area Historical Society. Local historian Jerry Heiman will explain that one of the main reasons for the fame of Beulah as a tourist destination in the 1920’s-1930’s was a sixinch silvery fish, the Atlantic Rainbow Smelt. Donation.

BEN TRAVERSE: TRADITIONAL FOLK FROM THE MITTEN LAND: 5:30pm, Kingsley Branch Library. Northern Michigan musician Ben Traverse is bringing his best folk music & sea shanties to Kingsley. Enjoy an interactive good time, & get ready to stomp & clap. Free. ----------------------


“MARIE ANTOINETTE”: 6pm, The Alluvion, TC. A theatrical & stylistic retelling of the life & final days of Marie Antoinette. $0-$50.

ELK RAPIDS HIGH SCHOOL PRESENTS THE MUSICAL GREASE!: 7pm, Elk Rapids High School, Peterman Auditorium. Buy tickets online. $5 students; $10 adults.


W/ PORTER FOX: 7pm, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Government Complex, Harbor Springs. Book Discussion Group for “The Last Winter: The Scientists, Adventurers, Journeymen, and Mavericks Trying to Save the World” by Porter Fox. Free; tickets required. events/hsfotb/830861

CHEBOYGAN HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S “CINDERELLA”: 7:30pm, The Cheboygan Opera House. This Enchanted Edition is inspired by the 1997 teleplay. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door.


MORE TO EXPLORE: MAKIN’ MUSIC!: 9:30am, noon & 2:30pm, Great Lakes Children’s Museum, TC. Experiment with an incredible collection of rhythm band instruments.


STORYTIME AT LELAND TOWNSHIP LIBRARY: 10:30am, Leland Township Library. Stories & more for children aged 0-6 & their caregivers. Free.

THE WHOLE WOMAN COLLECTIVE PROVIDER & COMMUNITY NETWORKING NIGHT: Each networking night will be hosted by a different wellness provider in the Collective. This month’s host is Better Balance Wellness at Jovia Wellness, located at: 226 E Sixteenth St., TC. Stop in between 5:30-7:30pm. Free. provider-community-networking-night-tickets-559608362677


“ENCHANTMENT ON ICE”: 7pm, Centre Ice Arena, TC. Presented by the Traverse City Figure Skating Club. Featuring the classic tales of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Tangled & Encanto. $20.

30 NEO-FUTURIST PLAYS FROM “TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND”: 7pm, Charming North, Downtown Cadillac. Thirty plays in 60 minutes. Presented by Cadillac Footliters. A madcap collection of mini-plays where the audience picks the order each night. Stay tuned for ticket prices.


HARBOR SPRINGS FESTIVAL OF THE BOOK PRESENTS ONE BAY ONE BOOK W/ PORTER FOX: 7pm, Nub’s Nob, Harbor Springs. In Conversation with guest host, Ann Baughman, associate director, Freshwater Future. Free; tickets required.

NWS: DAN EGAN: City Opera House, TC. This bestselling author will discuss “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and the World Out of Balance.” Guest host is Patrick Shea of IPR. Doors open at 6pm with live music & a cash bar. The event starts at 7pm, followed by a book signing. $5-$25.


“SUN IN YA HANDS”: 7:30pm, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Phoenix Theatre.

Detroit-based theatre artist & University of Michigan playwriting instructor Emilio Rodriguez brings a modern spin of the Brothers Grimm’s classic fairy tale “The Frog Prince” with “Sun in Ya Hands,” set in the Caribbean with production design inspired by Disney films “Pocahontas” & “Moana.” Presented by the Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Division. $22 adults; $17 children through college.


MITTEN SMITTEN: ANNIE CAPPS & A BADASS BAND OF WOMEN: 7:309:30pm, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Theater, Petoskey. An all-women supported project spanning the U.S. & into Canada, “HOW CAN I SAY THIS” came to life with contributions from over 40 artists whose talents came together in an emotionally charged production. Opening act Keynote Sisters perform Americana music with storytelling lyrics that give you a glimpse into their lives. GA: $15. ----------------------


OUT”: 7:30pm, Grand Traverse Event Center, TC. Two moms meet for coffee during naptime in their adjoining yards & a fast friendship is born. When a stranger who lives in the mansion up on the cliff appears in the yard, asking if they would include his wife, the duo tries to become a trio, but with very mixed & surprising results in this comedy with dark edges. $18 (plus fees). pop-up-studio-theatre/cry-it-out.html


HBA GRAND TRAVERSE AREA HOME EXPO: 9am5pm, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Acme. One of the largest building industry events in northern Michigan, drawing residential construction industry professionals to showcase their products &/or services in just one weekend. $10 Pre-Expo; $12 at the door; $25 family passes.

BEE WELL CHILI COOK-OFF: 5pm, Bee Well, Bellaire. Set up at 4:30pm. Cost is $8 to enter your chili & $8 tastings (or whatever you feel comfortable with, donation wise). Money goes to the winners. Traditional chili only; no soups. To register or any questions, call 248755-4164.

COMMUNITY RESOURCE FAIR TO SUPPORT TEEN WELLNESS & INCLUSION WITH POLESTAR: 10am-4pm, Traverse Area District Library, Atrium, TC. Join Polestar, in partnership with the Traverse Area District Library, & a variety of community organizations for a Community Resource Fair in support of LGBT+ youth & families. There will be info, resources, & giveaways for all attendees. Free.

SPRING CARNIVAL: 9am-11pm, Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville. Enjoy snow-filled fun! Fun-in-the-sun costumes are encouraged. Includes the Cardboard Classic Race, Creative Sled Contest, On-Slope Scavenger Hunt, Slush Cup, live music & more. ----------------------

FREE DROP-IN FAMILY ART: 10am-noon, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Cornwell Gallery, TC. Stop by for a fun, free art activity for all ages.


pointe Marina, Visions Banquet Center, TC. Participants brave the cold & plunge into Grand Traverse Bay. A Frozen 5K Walk will also be part of the festivities. Plunge, walk or watch the fun. Proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. 10am: Pre-Plunge Party & Check In; Noon: Plunge.

LITTLE WAVES: 10:30am, Petoskey District Library; 1pm, Charlevoix Public Library. “Musical Adventures”: Aimed at children 4-10 years of age & their families, this program features a multimedia storybook time with Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (GLCO) percussionist & program director Tim Mocny, an opportunity to hear one or more GLCO musicians demonstrate & explain how their instruments work, & fun music-related activities for kids. Free.

M-22 CHILI CHALLENGE: 1-5pm, Leelanau Sands Casino, Peshawbestown. With local participating restaurants including Big Dex’s Restaurant, Bogeys at The Leland Lodge, Lylahs, & more. Enjoy tastings, outdoor yard games, bonfire, & live entertainment with the Broom Closet Boys. $20 adult ticket ages 18+ includes 8 tastings, 3 voting tickets, one e-credit voucher, & one beverage (alcoholic beverage choice for ages 21+). $10 guests up to age 18 includes 8 tastings & 3 voting tickets.

MEET THE AUTHORS OF “BIGFOOT AND THE MITTEN”: 1pm, Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts, Petoskey. Karen Bell-Brege & Darrin Brege are award-winning husband & wife bestselling children’s book authors, voiceover artists & comedians. They will share art & writing secrets & some voice impersonations.

“GRIMM’S ALTERNATIVE FAIRY TALES”: (See Sat., March 4, except today’s times are 2pm & 7:30pm.)

“SCENES FROM A PARK”: 2pm & 7pm, Dennos Museum Center, Milliken Auditorium, NMC, TC. Presented by the Northwest Michigan Youth Ballet Company, featuring 19 dancers, ages 11-22, along with professional mime Tom Johnson, & other performers. This Ballet meets Broadway production features costumes of stylish dresses & suits, knickers & vests, military uniforms & even the rags of a bag lady. It tells the story of the characters & everyday occurrences in a city park over the course of a year during the 1940’s. $15-$20. events/scenes-from-a-park-3-11-2023 ----------------------


THE MUSICAL GREASE!: (See Thurs., March 9, except today’s times are 2pm & 7pm.) ----------------------

“PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION”: 3pm, City Opera House, TC. Join the musicians of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra & IPR Kids Commute’s Kate Botello as they tell the story of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Free. node/500

“ENCHANTMENT ON ICE”: (See Fri., March 10, except today’s times are 11:30am & 4:30pm.)


BAYSIDE TRAVELLERS CONTRA DANCE: Solon Township Hall, Cedar. Family friendly dance event. 7pm: Learning Workshop; 7:30pm: Contra Dancing. The live band will be Woodland Celtic & the caller will be Pat Reeser. No partner or experience neces-

26 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
mar 09 mar 11 mar 08 mar 10

sary. Masks required when dancing. Info: 231-313-2596. Donations only.


WILLY PORTER: 7-10:30pm, Cadillac Elks Lodge. Willy’s musical career has spanned over two decades, 11 albums, & multiple continents. He plays contemporary American rock & his songs weave a universal perspective about the questions, struggles, & triumphs of human existence. $10-$20. mynorthtickets. com/events/willy-porter-3-11-2023

“SUN IN YA HANDS”: (See Fri., March 10)

CHEBOYGAN HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S “CINDERELLA”: 7:30pm, The Cheboygan Opera House. This Enchanted Edition is inspired by the 1997 teleplay. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door.

OTP POP UP THEATRE PRESENTS “CRY IT OUT”: 7:30pm, Grand Traverse Event Center, TC. Two moms meet for coffee during naptime in their adjoining yards & a fast friendship is born. When a stranger who lives in the mansion up on the cliff appears in the yard, asking if they would include his wife, the duo tries to become a trio, but with very mixed & surprising results in this comedy with dark edges. $18 (plus fees).


AREA HOME EXPO: 11am3pm, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Acme. One of the largest building industry events in northern Michigan, drawing residential construction industry professionals to showcase their products &/or services in just one weekend. $10 Pre-Expo; $12 at the door; $25 family passes.

“SUN IN YA HANDS”: 2pm, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Phoenix Theatre. Detroitbased theatre artist & University of Michigan playwriting instructor Emilio Rodriguez brings a modern spin of the Brothers Grimm’s classic fairy tale “The Frog Prince” with “Sun in Ya Hands,” set in the Caribbean with production design inspired by Disney films “Pocahontas” & “Moana.” Presented by the Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Division. $22 adults; $17 children through college. events/sun-in-ya-hands-2023-03-10

CHEBOYGAN HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S “CINDERELLA”: (See Thurs., March 9, except today’s time is 2pm.)


OTP POP UP THEATRE PRESENTS “CRY IT OUT”: (See Sat., March 11, except today’s time is 2pm.)


ENCORE WINDS SYMPHONIC BAND CONCERT: 3pm, First Congregational Church, TC. Winds of Spring: Featuring works by E. Strauss, R. Vaughan Williams, Giannini, Elgar, Percy Grainger, & a flute feature by Leroy Anderson. Tickets at the door: $5-$15; kids 12 & under, free.

FRESHWATER CONCERTS PRESENTS: WILLY PORTER: 7pm, Freshwater Art Gallery & Concert Venue, Boyne City. Willy’s musical career has spanned over two decades, 11 albums, & multiple continents. He plays contemporary American rock & his songs weave a universal perspective about the questions, struggles, & triumphs of human existence. $40. events/freshwater-concerts-willy-porter



GROUP: Tuesdays through March, 1:30pm, Leelanau Township Library, Northport. 2023 Great Decisions with the Foreign Policy Association. Pick up a briefing book at the library & join for a deep dive into foreign affairs.

SNOWSHOES, VINES & WINES: 12-4pm, Black Star Farms, Suttons Bay. On Saturdays through the winter, explore easy to moderate trails & then warm up on the heated Terrace Patio & Hearth & Vine Café with wine & snacks. Onsite snowshoe rentals are available from noon - 4pm. blackstarfarms. com/snowshoes-vines-wines


RANGER-LED SNOWSHOE HIKES: Saturdays through March 11 at 1pm, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Philip A. Hart Visitor Center, Empire. Rangers will first provide an introduction & basic snowshoeing instructions, & then everyone will travel by car to the trailhead or area of the National Lakeshore pre-selected for that day. Once there, the ranger will help participants learn about the park’s features & winter’s effect on them by exploring & discovering clues on site. Plan to be outside for about two hours.

VINE TO WINE SNOWSHOE TOUR: Saturdays, noon-4pm. Enjoy a snowshoe adventure through the vineyards & orchards to three wineries. The private vineyard trail connects Suttons Bay Ciders, Ciccone Vineyards, & Big Little Wines. The tour includes your snowshoe

& pole rental, a catered warm lunch of chili & soups overlooking the bay, & a wine purchase pick up service. vine-to-wine-snowshoe-tour.html


ANNUAL YOUTH ART EXHIBIT 2023: March 7 – April 15, Crooked Tree Arts Center, TC. Celebrating the work of K-12 art students & educators from throughout the Grand Traverse region. event/ctac-traverse-city/youth-art-exhibit2023-traverse-city

“CHARLEVOIX CREATIVES COLLECTIVE – TOOLS OF CREATIVITY”: Featuring artwork by six local artists who are members of the Charlevoix Creatives Collective, an artist group that meets weekly at Charlevoix Circle of Arts. Member artists include Jennifer Carroll, Mary Duggan, Shayla Johnson, Kathie Libert, Ruby Smith & Sharon Smithem. Runs March 10 - April 8. An opening reception will be held on March 10 from 5-7pm to meet the artists & enjoy appetizers from Grey Gables & craft beer from Beards Brewery. Charlevoix Circle of Arts is open Mon. - Fri., 11am-4pm; & Sat., 11am-3pm.


REVERBERATIONS: WORK BY NIK BURKHART AND MARTI LIDDLE-LAMETI: Oliver Art Center, Frankfort. This exhibition runs through March. The Oliver Art Center’s hours are Mon. - Sat., 10am-4pm.


A TOAST TO ARTIST JERRY GATES: Mari Vineyards, TC. Twisted Fish Gallery & Mari Vineyards present the abstracted landscapes of artist Jerry Gates. The Jerry Gates exhibit will be on display for two months.

PHANTASMAGORIA ART EXHIBITION FOR THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL: Right Brain Brewery, TC. Featuring a huge display of the work of local artists. Special reception date of March 4 will include live performances, music, dancing & more. Exhibit runs through March 4.



- SPECIAL NEEDS ARTISTIC MOVEMENT: Held in the Dance Studio, this class provides the special needs community a chance to expand their artistry & movement creativity while giving the example that the arts are for everyone. This dance & movement class is designed for teens & adults. It includes basic to interme-

diate dance education, & is held on Mondays & Fridays from 1-2:30pm through May 12. Register. special-needs-artistic-movement

- GUILD MEMBER SALON SHOW: Hundreds of original works of art by Crooked Tree Arts Center’s artists fill the galleries, including painting, photography, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, new media & more. Runs through March 4. ctac-petoskey/guild-member-salon-show2023-opens-january-14


- “A RICH HISTORY: AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS FROM THE MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART”: This exhibit highlights the growing legacy of important African American artists from the Muskegon Museum of Art’s permanent art collection & features over 75 years of artistic excellence. Runs through April 2. Open Tues. through Sun., 11am-4pm.

- “US”: Teresa Dunn’s solo exhibition is a collection of her recent narrative painting series that brings voice to stories that people of color, individuals with complex cultural identities, & immigrants shared with her about their daily experience in America. Runs through May 28. Open Tues. through Sun., 11am-4pm.

- “VITALITY AND CONTINUITY: ART IN THE EXPERIENCES OF ANISHINAABE, INUIT, AND PUEBLO WOMEN”: This exhibit celebrates some of the critical roles Anishinaabe, Inuit, & Pueblo women fulfill in their families, their communities, the art world, & beyond. Runs through May 19. Open Tues. through Sun., 11am-4pm.


- A FERAL HOUSEWIFE: Held in the Lobby Gallery. An exhibition of collages by Leelanau County artist Mary Beth Acosta. Runs through April 21. Acosta uses simple, familiar tools & a range of recycled, vintage papers to create collages about mid-century housewives, bigfinned cars, & labor-saving appliances that were promoted as drudgery-busting machines that would revolutionize the modern home. A video interview with Acosta about her materials & methods can be seen as part of the online version of this exhibition: events/exhibit-a-feral-housewife

- TELLING STORIES EXHIBIT: Held in the Main Gallery. This juried exhibition about the power of visual storytelling runs through March 23. The GAAC’s exhibitors tell their own stories in the media of photography, fiber, clay, paint, wood, collage & more. The themes behind the Telling Stories exhibit are explored in two video interviews with three northern Michigan residents. Winter hours are Mon. through Fri., 9am-3pm, & Sat., noon-4pm.

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 27
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PISCES (Feb 19-March 20): A financial advisor once told me I could adopt one of three approaches to running my business: 1. Ignore change; 2. always struggle with change, half-immobilized by mixed feelings about whether to change or stay pat; 3. learn to love and thrive on change. The advisor said that if I chose either of the first two options, I would always be forced to change by circumstances beyond my control. The third approach is ultimately the only one that works. Now is an excellent time for you Pisceans to commit yourself fully to number three—for both your business and your life.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): ): My favorite Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, wrote the following: "In us, there is a river of feelings, in which every drop of water is a different feeling, and each feeling relies on all the others for its existence. To observe it, we just sit on the bank of the river and identify each feeling as it surfaces, flows by, and disappears." I bring this meditation to your attention, Virgo, because I hope you will do it daily during the next two weeks. Now is an excellent time to cultivate an intense awareness of your feelings—to exult in their rich meanings, to value their spiritual power, to feel gratitude for educating and entertaining you.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): How might your life come into clearer focus when you uncover secrets that inspire your initiative and ingenuity? What happens when resources that had been inaccessible become available for your enjoyment and use? How will you respond if neglected truths spring into view and point the way toward improvements in your job situation? I suspect you will soon be able to tell me stories about all this good stuff. PS: Don't waste time feeling doubtful about whether the magic is real. Just welcome it and make it work for you!

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It’s not the best time to tattoo a lover's likeness on your abdomen. Maybe in May, but not now. On the other hand, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to see if your paramour might be willing to tattoo your name on their thigh. Similarly, this is a favorable period to investigate which of your allies would wake up at 5 am to drive you to the airport, and which of your acquaintances and friends would stop others from spreading malicious gossip about you, and which authorities would reward you if you spoke up with constructive critiques.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. They may grow as high as 350 feet. Their roots are shallow, though, reaching down just six to 12 feet before spreading out 60 to 100 feet horizontally. And yet the trees are sturdy, rarely susceptible to being toppled by high winds and floods. What's their secret? Their root systems are interwoven with those of other nearby redwoods. Together, they form networks of allies, supporting each other and literally sharing nutrients. I endorse this model for you to emulate in your efforts to create additional stability and security in your life, Sagittarius.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): What's the best way to be fulfilled? Hard work and discipline? Are we most likely to flourish if we indulge only moderately in life's sweet pleasures and mostly focus on the difficult tasks that build our skills and clout? Or is it more accurate to say that 90 percent of success is just showing up: being patient and persistent as we carry out the small day-to-day sacrifices and devotions that incrementally make us indispensable? Mythologist Joseph Campbell described a third variation: to "follow our bliss." We find out what activities give us the greatest joy and install those activities at the center of our lives. As a Capricorn, you are naturally skilled at the first two approaches. In the coming months, I encourage you to increase your proficiency at the third.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Mackerels are unusual fish in that they must keep swimming nonstop. If they don't, they die. Do they ever sleep? Scientists haven't found any evidence that they do. I bring them up now because many of you Aquarians have resemblances to mackerels—and I think it’s especially crucial that you not act like them in the coming weeks. I promise you that nothing bad will

happen if you slow way down and indulge in prolonged periods of relaxing stillness. Just the opposite in fact: Your mental and physical health will thrive as you give your internal batteries time and space to recharge.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Repressed feelings and dormant passions are rising to the surface. I bet they will soon be rattling your brain and illuminating your heart, unleashing a soothing turbulence of uncanny glee. Will you get crazy and wise enough to coax the Great Mystery into blessing you with an inspirational revelation or two? believe you will. I hope you will! The more skillful you are at generating rowdy breakthroughs, the less likely you are to experience a breakdown. Be as unruly as you need to be to liberate the very best healings.

“Jonesin” Crosswords

"Sports Roundtable" IT RINGS TRUE. by Matt Jones


1. Cherished ones

6. Suspicious

11. Biopsy processor

14. Plumed bird

15. Suffix similar to "-ish"

16. "And now, without further ___"


20. "We're on!"

21. Jazz Masters org.

22. Check deposit spots, for short

23. Video doorbell brand

25. "And ___ Davis as Alice" (end of "The Brady Bunch" opening credits)


34. "Cloud Shepherd" sculptor Jean

35. Senator Klobuchar

3. "A Farewell to ___"

4. Gain anew, as trust

5. Cigar, in slang

6. "30 Rock" creator Tina

7. "This one ___ me"

8. Mouse sound

9. Earthlings

10. Confirming vote

11. ___ person standing

12. Driver around Hollywood

13. Word after Backstreet, Pet Shop, or Beastie

18. French-Italian cheese that's milder than its similarly named relative

19. Part of Fred Flintstone's catchphrase

24. Like pheasant or venison

26. "Traffic" agent?

27. Mother-of-pearl

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The philosophical principle known as Occam's razor asserts that when trying to understand a problem or enigma, we should favor the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions. While that's often a useful approach, I don't recommend it in the coming weeks. For you, nuances and subtleties will abound in every situation. Mere simplicity is unlikely to lead to a valid understanding. You will be wise to relish the complications and thrive on the paradoxes. Try to see at least three sides of every story. Further tips:

36. Reggae proponent

37. 151 in Roman numerals


41. Pugilistic wordsmith

42. "47 ___" (2013 Keanu Reeves film)

44. Dark-hued juice brand

45. "Kenan & ___"

28. Russian count who lent his name to a veal dish

29. State your views

30. Kind of node or gland

31. Japanese city home to Panasonic

32. Former Phillies great Chase

33. Call at a coin toss

38. "Hold ___ your hats"

1. Mysteries may be truer than mere facts.

2. If you’re willing to honor your confusion, the full, rich story will eventually emerge.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "There are no unsacred places," wrote Leo poet Wendell Berry. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." Poet Allen Ginsberg agreed. “Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!” he wrote. “Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeteria! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets! Holy the sea, holy the desert, holy the railroad.” With Berry's and Ginsberg's prompts as your inspiration, and in accordance with current astrological imperatives, I invite you to invigorate your relationship with sacredness. If nothing is sacred for you, do what it takes to find and commune with sacred things, places, animals, humans, and phenomena. If you are already a lover of sacred wonders, give them extra love and care. To expand your thinking and tenderize your mood, give your adoration to these related themes: consecration, sublimity, veneration, devotion, reverence, awe, and splendor.


51. Express mail carrier?

52. Heavy book

53. Dull pain

56. Round figure?

58. "I can't hear you!" sound


65. Org. that lets you e-file

66. Like some mouthwash

67. First name in late-night TV

68. Relieved sigh

69. Got in the game

70. Cause of slick roads


1. Half of an early TV couple

2. 2023 achievement for Viola Davis

39. Frost or Dove

40. "You got my approval"

43. How checks are signed

47. Strand, as a winter storm

48. Despot

49. Spam, for example

50. "Sunny" 1990s Honda

53. Setting of Shanghai and Chennai

54. "Iron Chef America" chef Cat

55. Meat-and-potatoes concoction

57. Computer data unit

59. Real estate measurement

60. Debussy's "Clair de ___"

61. "Second prize is ___ of steak knives" ("Glengarry Glen Ross" quote)

63. 1950s singer Sumac

64. Former Pink Floyd guitarist Barrett

Northern Express Weekly • march 06, 2023 • 29
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Our sun is an average star in a galaxy of 100 billion stars. In comparison to some of its flamboyant compatriots, it's mediocre. Over 860 light years away is a blue-white supergiant star called Rigel, which is twice as hot as our sun and 40,000 times brighter. The red supergiant Antares, over 600 light years away, has 12 times more mass. Yet if those two show-offs had human attitudes, they might be jealous of our star, which is the source of energy for a planet teeming with 8.7 million forms of life. propose we make the sun your role model for now, Gemini. It’s an excellent time to glory in your unique strengths and to exuberantly avoid comparing yourself to anyone else. 06 - MAR 12



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HIRING FALL INSTRUCTORS NMC is seeking a full-time Art/Philosophy Instructor and a Computer Information Tech. Instructor to join our faculty, as well as fill several parttime Adjunct Faculty positions. Apply today at NMC is EOE

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30 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
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32 • march 06, 2023 • Northern Express Weekly
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