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NORTHERN MICHIGAN’S WEEKLY • january 18 - january 24, 2021 • Vol. 31 No. 03 Northern Express Weekly • jan 18, 2021 • 1


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letters Love what we’re doing here? Disagree with something you’ve read on these pages? Share your views with a quick letter to the editor by shooting us an email.

Our simple rules: Keep your letter to 300 words or less, send no more than one per month, include your name/address/phone number, and agree to allow us to edit. That’s it. Email info@northernexpress.com and hit send!

Calling All Conservatives If ever there was an opportune time for the Republican Party to rid itself of Trumpism and get back to being the responsible GOP that it once was, this is it. Whether by a hasty second impeachment and trial, a 25th Amendment removal, or just by a public condemnation, the party must rid itself of even the possibility of allowing President Trump from ever running for public office again — at least as a Republican. Let’s admit that Trump was a huge mistake and move on. The only chance that the GOP will ever again have viability will be to assure that future candidates are honest, responsible, respectable, have prior experience in government, and are true to the conservative principles of the Party. We must, as individuals, communicate our beliefs, validate our facts, and love each other. The whole world depends on it. Yes, we can. Fred Curow, Traverse City Freedom of Speech & Death of America “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.” This is a quote often attributed to Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda. Psychologists refer to it as the “illusion of truth” effect: the tendency of some people to believe things they’ve heard before, regardless of whether they are true, for the sole reason that they’ve heard it before. How does your go-to news source rate for factual, unbiased reporting? Take a look at these: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/top5-world-news-websites-guaranteed-freecensorship/

https://bigthink.com/politics-currentaffairs/media-bias-chart https://www.allsides.com/unbiasedbalanced-news And before regurgitating what you heard from your favorite propaganda source, see if it passes a fact check here: https://researchguides.ben.edu/c. php?g=608230&p=4352564 Trump and his supporters have shown that a good lie spreads faster than COVID19. A brief internet search provides support for any belief, regardless of how outlandish it may be. Is the Earth flat? Was Obama born in Kenya? Are aliens from space living among us? Did Hunter Biden get busted for having child porn on his laptop? Is Snopes owned/run by Democrats? No claim is so outrageous that the faithful won’t lap it up then post it on a social site as fact. While there is fraud in every election in a population of over 330 million, there is no objective evidence of voter fraud in this election that is substantial enough to change the outcome. If you believe the election was stolen, then you have to believe that judges in state and federal courts throughout the country, top national security advisors and even the Supreme Court are in cahoots with the Democrats, a seriously unlikely event, given that the majority of the SCOTUS justices were nominated by Republicans. Twenty dozen people claiming they’ve been abducted by aliens is not proof of imminent invasion. Without evidence, voter fraud claims have similar credibility. Using Trump’s standard of 2016, he lost. Not by a wee little bit, by a landslide. Get over it, move on. Veritas lux mea (Truth is my light) … and it should be yours. Mike Neumann, Traverse City Bergman Must Go Congressman Jack Bergman must resign. Jack Bergman, northern Michigan’s U.S. congressman, voted to overturn the U.S. 2020 election by refusing to certify ballots on Jan. 6, 2021, after being trapped for hours and hunted by the violent, seditious “Trump Army” rampaging through the Capitol building. Previously, Congressman Bergman “signed on” to the lawsuit filed by the State of Texas and taken to the U.S. Supreme Court that sought to invalidate the election results of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Having thus participated in a treasonous attempted coup, Rep. Bergman owes it to the citizens of Michigan to resign. His years of service in the U.S. Marines make this a tragic and disheartening development. Michigan needs and deserves legislators who believe in democracy, who will adhere to the truth, and will support the U.S. Constitution. Resign, General Bergman. Walt Cherry, Boyne City Seriously, Bergman Must Go Congressman Jack Bergman was one of the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election, even after Trump’s mob stormed the Capitol and killed a Capitol police officer. His was an act of sedition, and his refusal to acknowledge Joseph R. Biden as president-elect helped to stoke the

mob frenzy over Trump’s Big Lie of massive voter fraud — a frenzy that is ongoing and continues to pose an existential threat to our democracy. He must resign. Anne Serafin Harbor Springs Ostriches of a Feather If anyone believes the election was fair, then you are sticking your head in the sand. And then please tell me why Pelosi is trying to take election regulations away from our state elected officials, which I believe is constitutionally mandated. Wake up, people! We are facing unprecedented actions to demolish our country, our rights, and our freedoms. Please don’t let this happen. Let true democracy return. Linda McDonald, Central Lake Buh-Bye Bergman and More Humans are not adept at selfgovernment. Therefore, we have the Constitution. As a young nation we did not go to battle in the revolutionary war to be able to live in a hapless, unstructured society. The Founding Fathers created the Constitution to provide a framework where every family, every individual could live and prosper. Not everyone likes rules and regulation, and some of us can live with more rules than others. But to have a civilized society, we must have a form of government and order. If rules need to be changed or tweaked, we have a process of checks and balances. Capitalism is not a form of government. Anarchy and mayhem are not a form of government. What we all watched on Jan. 6, 2021, will be forever burned in our memories, or hopefully, at least long enough for the next elections. You need to remember those who did something, those who incited, those who did nothing, and those who are self-serving. This picture also applies to how we vote locally. When you next vote, remember those who did something. Only two Grand Traverse County commissioners — Betsy Coffia and Bryce Hundley — voted against raises for the top tier of county administrators and themselves. Also remember those who incited, did nothing, and are self-serving — three of the 15 state legislators who signed the Amicus brief in support of Texas’ lawsuit trying to overturn Michigan’s certified election results: representative Jack O’Malley of Lake Ann, Daire Rendon of Lake City, Michelle Hoitenga of Manton, and the top do-nothing U.S. Representative, Jack Bergman. Stacy Slater, Traverse City Join Me, Vets I am one of the 50 Leelanau County veterans who wrote to Jacki Bergman a few days ago. Our letter was discussed in the media. Here is what I just sent to him this morning: “As a veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard Reserves, I took the oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign Letters continues on page 6

CONTENTS features Author Alan Lightman....................................9

Wolverine Power Cooperative.........................10 Little Traverse Inn.......................................12 Frankfort’s Garden Theater Sold..................14

columns & stuff

Top Ten.......................................................5 Spectator/Stephen Tuttle...............................6 High Notes (Sponsored Content).....................7 Opinion..........................................................8 Weird............................................................8 Dates........................................................15 Crossword.................................................17 Advice.....................................................17 Astrology.....................................................18 Classifieds...............................................18

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: info@northernexpress.com www.northernexpress.com Executive Editor: Lynda Twardowski Wheatley Finance & Distribution Manager: Brian Crouch Sales: Kathleen Johnson, Lisa Gillespie, Kaitlyn Nance, Michele Young, Randy Sills, Todd Norris, Jill Hayes For ad sales in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne & Charlevoix, call (231) 838-6948 Creative Director: Kyra Poehlman Distribution: Dave Anderson, Dave Courtad Kimberly Sills, Randy Sills, Roger Racine Matt Ritter, Gary Twardowski Listings Editor: Jamie Kauffold Reporter: Patrick Sullivan Contributors: Amy Alkon, Rob Brezsny Ross Boissoneau, Jennifer Hodges, Michael Phillips, Steve Tuttle, Janice Binkert, Anna Faller Copyright 2020, all rights reserved. Distribution: 36,000 copies at 600+ locations weekly. Northern Express Weekly is free of charge, but no person may take more than one copy of each weekly issue without written permission of Northern Express Weekly. Reproduction of all content without permission of the publisher is prohibited.

SUBMIT A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Keep your letter to 300 words or less, send no more than one per month, include your name/address/phone number, and agree to allow us to edit. That’s it. Email info@northernexpress.com and hit send!

Northern Express Weekly • jan 18, 2021 • 3

this week’s

top ten

Photo by Todd Hargraves, Mackinaw City Winter Fest

CHARLEVOIX’S “BOULDERS” BOOK RECOGNIZED A view into the mushroom houses of Charlevoix and the man who built them was recognized as a Library of Michigan Notable Book of 2020. “Boulders: The Life and Creations of Earl A. Young in Charlevoix, Michigan” by David L. Miles, the director of the Charlevoix Historical Society, and photographer Mike Barton, combines vintage shots, contemporary photography and historical research into Young’s life. “To say I am thrilled beyond belief is, well — to be so honored by one’s state is just about as good as it gets,” Miles said. The renovation of one Earl Young house and the resulting calls for historical protection for the structures throughout Charlevoix was chronicled in “National Treasures,” an article in the March 1, 2015, edition of Northern Express. Photo by Nena Hilbert

A Real Live Winter Fest The 28th annual Mackinaw City Winter Fest is on for Jan. 23 (though organizers ask that attendees check for updates at www.mackinawcity.com, just in case). Assuming the best, you can expect the infamous Outhouse Races at Shepler’s Dock, kids sled races (strong kids pull a weighted sled!), a BIG Freeze obstacle course (three age categories, from kids to adults), an appearance by Ice Queen Elsa, and more. Have Outhouse Race dreams? Enter at www.mackinawouthouserace.com for a shot at $500 grand prize and “the best case of ‘the runs’ you’ll ever have.” All events are free.


Hey, read it! Where the Wild Ladies Are

Freedom is the name of the game in Aoko Matsuda’s newest narrative, and we are here for it. A “spirited” selection of connected short-stories, “Where the Wild Ladies Are” comprises sixteen original tales, each inspired by forms of Japanese folklore. The twist? The overall flavor is distinctly feminine. A fresh take on early “yokai” lore — ancient Japanese ghost stories, wherein spirits often shape-shift — Matsuda’s feral femmes simply can’t be contained … by subservience, society, or even their skin. From the supernatural scolding of “Smartening Up” to the multi-form mystique of “A Fox’s Life,” these ghosts of girls past trace back to each other, linking classical tropes with contemporary culture. A modern besting of fiction’s most frightening beasts, this insta-classic collection wields a magic all its own.

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tastemaker Hilbert’s Honey Co.’s Maple Syrup

March might be maple syrup-making season, but if you ask us, winter is maple syrup-gorging season. We pour it on our weekend waffles and pancakes, we mix it in our Friday night cocktails (try a spoonful in a glass of bourbon on ice with a splash of ginger ale and two fresh sprigs of slightly smashed rosemary), and we drizzle it on our weekday morning yogurt and berries. And why not? Loads richer and more nutritious than refined sugar, pure maple syrup is purported to help fight inflammatory diseases thanks to a load of polyphenol antioxidants, high amounts of zinc and manganese, plus potassium and calcium. One of our very favorites comes ever so sweetly from Hilbert’s Honey Co., a business born in 1887, when James Hilbert Sr. decided keeping bees could not only encourage the pollination of his own Elmwood Township fruit farms but also those of his Leelanau County neighbors. His work is carried on — and product line slightly expanded with maple syrup, beeswax candles and all-purpose bars, and (coming soon) moisturizing balm — by grandson Larry Hilbert; his wife, Geana; their sons, James and Keith; and more Hilbert family members. Order an 8-ounce premium bottle (shown) for $7.99 or 12 ounces for $11.99, online, at www.hilbertshoneyco.com or enjoy free curbside pickup at their Traverse City facility, 3555 Five Mile Rd.

4 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly

Meet Alan Lightman, the international bestselling author of Einstein’s Dreams who also teaches physics and humanities at MIT.

Alan will talk about his newest novel — Three Flames, which portrays the struggles of a Cambodian farming family. The tale is set in a rural village where the daughters of a cruel father seek to escape poverty, but are held back by long-held cultural strictures. “Three Flames shows us humans working through big and serious changes in traditional beliefs and practices. Today, we need such knowledge.” ~ Annie Proulx, author of Barkskins Guest host KALYANEE MAM is an award winning documentary filmmaker of A River Changes Course. Literary Sponsors: Northwestern Michigan College; Red Dirt Road

Register for this FREE Zoom event at NationalWritersSeries.org


NEW LEADERSHIP FOR writers series

There’s a changing of the guard ahead for Traverse City’s National Writer’s Series. Long-time executive director (and former Northern Express reporter) Anne Stanton is stepping down to get back to her own writing while Jillian Manning (a frequent Northern Express contributor) will take the reins. Stanton has been executive director of NWS for over five years, after she and her husband, bestselling author Doug Stanton, teamed up with attorney Grant Parsons in 2010 to start the nonprofit as a way to bring authors to northern Michigan. Manning, who takes over Feb. 1, will leave her position of public relations manager for Traverse City Tourism. Manning is a Traverse City native who previously worked in publishing as an editor for HarperCollins and Sourcebooks, Inc. She also has written multiple children’s books with Sesame Street.

Photo by Libby Henderson for Little Traverse Conservancy

Stuff we love Sufjan is Back

Petoskey-born and raised musician Sufjan Stevens released his eighth studio album, The Ascension, last September, but for those of you who (like us) can’t get enough of his poetic lyrics and ethereal sound, you can enjoy a bit of both on a new tune, “Song of Trouble,” which dropped last week Wednesday. The first single from the first solo album trumpeter CJ Camerieri released under his CARM moniker, the song was co-written with Stevens. And if it alone is any indication, the album in its entirety will be an audio escape more than worth your time. Our hunch is helped by the fact that it also features contributions from Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. CARM won’t be available until Jan. 22, but you can hear (and read) “Song of Trouble” by searching it on YouTube now.

Howl at the (almost) Full Wolf Moon Take a snowshoe hike with Star Lore Historian Mary Stewart Adams and Little Traverse Conservancy at the spectacular Offield Family Viewlands in Harbor Springs on Jan. 23, and you’ll be led by the light of the waxing gibbous moon as it meets the star Aldebaran, the Bull’s Eye in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Adams says this gathering will occur as Mercury sweeps as far west of the sun as it can get, while Mars stands guard over the night and the moon waxes toward its “Full Wolf ” phase. Formerly home to the Little Traverse Bay Golf Club, the 280-acre property is full of beautiful old trees, winding paths, and breathtaking views of Little Traverse Bay (shown here), and it’s also proving to be a primo spot for stargazing. Register for the Snowshoe Hike by the Waxing Moon (and check out more events, like the Snowshoe Lantern Walk Jan. 30) under the Explore tab’s Events section at landtrust.org. The Offield Family Viewlands are located at 995 Hideaway Valley Dr.



bottoms up Mi Coffee’s Snickerdoodle Lattes Consider it kismet: Just steps from BATA’s Route 12 bus stop at Blue Vase Book Exchange in Interlochen — home to thousands of used books and, just recently, a fab new section featuring vinyl from Traverse City’s RPM Records — a new drive-thru coffee hut has opened. Sure, you could drive on through MI Coffee to get your caffeine fix, but if you’re looking (read: desperate) for a fun winter-weekend outing for your kids since the snow isn’t cooperating much for sledding, skiing, or skating, might we suggest making the most of this weather-proof trifecta? From a point you designate on one of BATA’s many village and city loops (maps and schedules at www.bata.net), challenge your children to figure out the route to Interlochen Corners, then mask up and ride to Blue Vase Books Exchange, where the brainwork continues in search of tunes and books they’ll treasure. Goods purchased, trek over to the MI Coffee and treat your sleuths to some bagels, muffins, or smoothies. As for you? You deserve a Snickerdoodle latte (both shown here, available hot or cold, $4.50+) so you can toast yourself to surviving yet another weekend of parenting during a pandemic. Blue Vase Book Exchange, located at 2048 M-37, is open 10am–6pm Fridays through Sundays. MI Coffee, located at the corner of US-31 and M-37, is open 6am–6pm Monday through Friday, Saturdays and Sundays 7am–6pm.

Northern Express Weekly • jan 18, 2021 • 5

letters Continued from page 3

and domestic ... “ You did the same, as both a Marine and a representative in Congress. So please tell me: When shall you resign to atone for your reprehensible conduct in signing the “Amicus brief, No. 155, State of Texas vs Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al,” and your efforts supporting Donald J Trump’s absurd lies and blatant falsehoods about “voter fraud? Your constituents deserve a better representative than you have been.” I invite all readers of Northern Express — especially veterans, to contact Mr. Bergman and tell him how you feel about the riot at the nation’s Capital. You know my view. Robert B Carroll, Northport

DEAR TRUMP SUPPORTER truth about this virus and the actions we need to take to protect each other. We don’t need lies and misinformation that put us all at risk. There are many Americans who believe the lies shared by our trusted and elected officials and refuse to wear a mask or socially distance. We need the truth about the election. As witnessed by the world many Americans have very strong beliefs that this election was stolen and rigged. These beliefs are based on false and inaccurate information about the election. These lies have had terrible consequences! They have led to division, violence, bloodshed, and death. I have confidence that Americans can deal with the truth. The truth will unify us and help us move forward as a democratic nation with the ideals set forth by our Founding Fathers. Hold our elected officials accountable for telling the truth! Chuck Mueller, Traverse City

Salud, Small Business! Thank you, gracias, danke, mesi, vielen dank, and more … to the businesses of northern Michigan who have been so creative in finding ways to continue to serve the community. We realize it hasn’t been easy to find ways to safely run your business, follow changing regulations, and still make money. From online menus, to shanties and firepits in your yards; from books in the entryway to pick-up grocery orders, you guys are doing it! You are trying to serve our wants and needs in amazing ways, and we appreciate all your efforts. We will support you with our business and our friendship. Marcia Meyer, Petoskey Foreshadowing We had ample warning. From the moment he stepped off his escalator, disenfranchising entire cultures, religions and ethnic groups, we had an idea of what he was capable of. He set the stage during the 2016 presidential debates and when he stated any election he lost was because of some undefined fraud and would be unacceptable to him and his followers. In 2016, he said he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. Many of us took him at his word. On Jan. 6, 2021, he effectively shot our constitutional federal republic in plain sight in Washington, D.C., while his crowds begged for another helping of this insanity. There are now 370,000-plus dead, due to his inept bungling regarding COVID19, record-breaking unemployment, and business closures. Yet neither this nor anything else is ever his fault. His enemies are always to blame. Not a single word of consolation to this beleaguered nation during his term, only encouragement to those supporting his insurrection, sedition, and dysfunction. At every opportunity he has used a divideand-conquer strategy to separate family, friends, and neighbors into angry groups for his and his family’s own financial benefit. We knew he was a snake when you took him in. John Hunter, Traverse City How About Accountability & Truth? We need to hear the truth from our elected officials! Our lives depend on the

Cowards & Bullies There is nothing patriotic about being a traitor to Democracy and your Country. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, never forget the names of Jack Bergman, Jack O’Malley and Curt VanderWall. These men should be impeached from office, let alone never be voted into, or allowed to hold elective office again. These men sought to tear up and burn the votes of their fellow citizens in order to slavishly follow the lies of their cult leader Donald Trump. While Bergman and O’Malley of curse accepted the outcomes of their elections, they wanted to destroy the more than 154,000 votes by which Joe Biden carried our State of Michigan in the very same election process that they participated in and recognized, as long as it benefited them and was in their interest. You can draw a clear line from Bergman, O’Malley and VanderWall’s actions in parroting the lies and false allegations of election fraud of Trump to yesterday’s attack on our nation’s Capital. Like the true coward and bully he is Trump has always encouraged violence by others against those who disagreed or questioned him. All three of these cowardly acting men sought to overturn an election vote in which multiple bi-partisan counts had repeatedly confirmed the election results and our Courts, with Judges appointed from both parties presiding, had thrown out their fabricated so-called “legal” claims. These are men who have no conscience, who were actively willing to install their leader Trump, as a Dictator in our country, knowing that Trump had not won the election, had lost the electoral college vote 306 to 232 and lost the popular vote by more than 7 million votes. Men like Jack Bergman, Jack O’Malley and Curt VanderWall are how fascism could come to America, people blindly following the lies of and following their leader without question to the point that they would discount and steal the votes of their fellow citizens. Henceforth when you see the name of Bergman, O’Malley and VanderWall in print or hopefully never again on a ballot, remember you see the name of a traitor to our Democracy.

6 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly

Steven Lee, Empire

spectator by Stephen Tuttle It is tempting to be sympathetic to your angst since you, like many before you, have been scammed by Donald Trump. But unlike those taken in by Trump casinos, Trump Air, Trump University, Trump suits, and all the rest, you haven't yet become aware of your own delusions. Now some of you have become downright dangerous. It's past time you did a little reflection and self-evaluation. You believed Donald Trump was on your side, but he never has been, not even for a second. His only objective was to channel your anger and then give you somebody to blame so he could benefit at the polls. You went along with it when he started his campaign calling illegal immigrants “rapists and murderers.” You went along with it when he denigrated

We know he lied to you about the COVID-19 virus because he admitted it; he knew exactly how big a threat the bug was in early February and intentionally downplayed it so as not to “panic” us. He believed wearing a face-covering was a sign of weakness, and you followed right along, ignoring the simplest and most effective way to stop the spread. You let him convince you it was all a matter of individual freedom. As we approach 400,000 dead and a year of economic disruption, it's pretty clear you were wrong. Now we've come to an election about which Trump has been claiming fraud for years. This is an old Trump trick; claim nefarious forces are conspiring in advance so there's an excuse if things don't work out. You went right along with his greatest scam of all.

You ignored more 25,000 of his lies while he stoked your fears, gave voice to your rage and most bigoted instincts, and gave you nothing in return. Muslims, generals, and Gold Star families. You went along with it when he called the white supremacists in Charlottesville “very fine people.” Apparently, you agreed with him, which is a shame. What he didn't do is make your life any better. Yes, there was a tax cut that gave most of you a few extra bucks but little else changed. Corporations got a huge break, the biggest in history, but not much of that trickled down to you. You ignored more 25,000 of his lies while he stoked your fears, gave voice to your rage and most bigoted instincts, and gave you nothing in return. In the process, you allowed him to ignore and insult every level of government. If you were a supporter because of his policies, how'd that work out for you? You did get your promised tax cut but not much else. We still have massive trade deficits with China, they keep stealing our intellectual property, and the tariffs — paid by American importers, not Chinese exporters — have cost us nearly $50 billion. North Korea is testing missiles again and likely working on its nuclear program, and Iran is increasing its production of enriched uranium. There has been no surge of American manufacturing jobs, no wall on our southern border paid for by Mexico, and the federal government didn't shrink. As a bonus, he attacked our allies and trading partners while cozying up to oppressive dictators, including Vladimir Putin. Was that OK? He declared the media “the enemy of the people” and steered you to outlets spewing propaganda instead of information. You abandoned your own abilities to think critically and believed whatever you were told to believe.

Please, sit down, take a deep breath, and try to use some logic and common sense while you think this through. Start by acknowledging the 2020 presidential election was the most scrutinized, recounted, and audited in our history. There is no factual basis for the claims of it being rigged or of any widespread fraud. None. Really, you should read some of the court filings for yourself, all of which are public record. The complaints from the Trump team include hearsay, innuendo, speculation, and ignorance but no real evidence of wrongdoing anywhere. The constitutional issues raised — that state legislatures did not approve some pre-election changes made by secretaries of state — were easily dismissed because those legislatures had ample time to reverse the changes had they chosen to do so. Finally, he demanded Georgia officials and Vice President Mike Pence violate their oaths, the Constitution, and the law to overturn the election. And, still, you said nothing. Your “conspiracy” required the involvement of China, Iran, a dead Venezuelan dictator, a U.S. military base in Germany, two votetabulation companies, Republican and Democratic poll workers, Republican and Democratic county clerks, Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, Republican and Democratic governors, the Departments of Justice, including the FBI and Homeland Security, and the courts — all the way up to and including the Supreme Court, which including many Trump appointees — literally tens of thousands of co-conspirators. And all that makes sense to you? Please step away from the darkness and back into the light; reality misses you.



A challenge to the regulated marijuana market has always been its high pricing (pun intended). At one point, an ounce bought from a licensed facility could cost more than twice as much as a similar product purchased on the black market. Things are changing in 2021. According to Marijuana Business Daily, the State of Michigan licensed 333 new grow licenses between Jan. and Nov. 2020. Only Oklahoma and California have licensed more. With 290+ active Class C grow licenses currently authorized by the state, up to 580,000 plants can be grown! That works out to nearly 2 ounces of new product for each 7 million legal users. As supply outstrips demand, prices naturally come down. Even better for consumers: The industry's annual fall harvest brought in a lot of high quality, low-price marijuana. This surge can be processed into goods that have a longer shelf life than flower — e.g., vape carts and edibles like cookies and gummies. Edibles, easily the trendiest category in the market, have outpaced the industry as a whole since the start of the pandemic. Whatever your pleasure, long-term trends indicate prices for legal THC products will stay well below 2020’s high-water mark and continue its steady decline. Interested in taking advantage of better prices, legally? Visit Dunegrass, northern Michigan's own adult-use retailer, at our new location in Big Rapids, in Manistee, or the always-open www.dunegrass.co. Delivery to Traverse City coming soon!

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Are you an attorney but not a GTLA Bar member? Join Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim Bar Association to be in the Attorney Directory and for other benefits.

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Noverr Farms noverrfarms.com Northern Express Weekly • jan 18, 2021 • 7


opinion Home of Your Dreams The house for sale at 43 Courthouse Drive in Guildhall, Vermont, has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an updated kitchen and seven jail cells, complete with barred windows, toilets and cots. United Press International reported that the property, listed for $149,000, used to serve as the Essex County jail, with the jailer's quarters attached to the back of the house. Out of use since 1969, the cells are now covered in dust and, according to the listing, just waiting for a creative buyer to "bring ... ideas on what this 28-foot-by-40-foot wing could be!" Names in the News When the car Jethro Geneus, 30, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was riding in was pulled over by police in the early morning of Jan. 4, he told the officer the bags of brown and white substances found in his backpack were baking supplies -- "sugar and a bag of cornstarch to bake a cake," according to police. Geneus, who had an outstanding warrant, was taken into custody, WPEC reported, and the contents of both bags tested positive for molly or ecstasy. At the jail, Geneus dropped another bag of white powder, which tested positive for meth. He was charged with trafficking phenethylamines. Unsocial Media Caleb Burczyk, 29, of Williston, North Dakota, was arrested and charged with burglary and terrorizing on Dec. 26 for kicking in the front door of a former coworker's home after the man apparently failed to answer Burczyk's Facebook friend requests, according to court documents. "Accept my friend request or I'm going to murder you," read one message, according to the affidavit, and another message said Burczyk would "come at" Thomas if he didn't accept. The Smoking Gun reported Burczyk pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for an April appearance in District Court. Compelling Explanations Holly Venderley, 20, of Bloomington, Indiana, told park rangers that she knew Mount Rushmore National Memorial was closed, and she knew she wasn't allowed to climb the South Dakota monument -- which is why she did it at night. The Rapid City Journal reported that a ranger monitoring security cameras saw a flashlight's beam moving along the slope of broken rocks just beneath George Washington on Jan. 3 and ran to the area, where he saw Venderley climbing to the base of Washington's lapel, about 200 feet up. The ranger demanded she get down, which she did. Venderley was sober and cooperative, and the next day she was fined $1,250 after pleading guilty to climbing the monument in federal court. Government in Action Massachusetts already has an official fossil, reported NECN-TV, and now state Rep. Jack Lewis, of Framingham, is proposing the selection of a state dinosaur as well. "With so much uncertainty in our world today, can you think of a better way to help kids (and those young at heart) learn about the legislative process than (by) naming an official Massachusetts State Dinosaur?" he wrote on Twitter on Jan. 4. Lewis posted links to an online survey where citizens can choose the

species they'd like to represent them and said it got 150 votes in the first two hours.

BY Isiah Smith Jr.

Questionable Judgment Cam Faust and Kevin Joiner weren't sure at first how to react when, during a fishing trip on Jan. 3 near Darwin, Australia, they "heard this faint like 'ahhh ahhh,'" Faust told 9News, and found a naked man clinging to branches in the mangrove forest, filthy and covered with bug bites. Luke Voskresensky, 40, told them he'd gotten lost on his way to a New Year's Eve party a few days earlier and had been eating snails to stay alive. Faust and Joiner offered him a cold beer and a ride back to town where they found out the real reason Voskresensky was stranded in the croc-infested waters: He had been arrested for armed robbery and fitted with an ankle monitor, which he had broken before escaping bail. "I was going to go visit him in hospital," Faust said, but a paramedic said "'he's in hospital with handcuffs on, two cops babysitting him' so ... maybe we'll leave it."

Whew! Glad that’s over. It looks like we have survived the worst!

Creme de la Weird Ending a dispute that began in 2014, Judge Luo Shengli of the Beijing Xicheng District People's Court ruled in late December that a man identified only as Tian and his family must leave the hospital room they had been squatting in for six years. Tian had undergone a medical procedure at the hospital and spent a few days recovering there, accompanied by his family, but at discharge, Tian disputed the hospital's bill and refused to leave, Oddity Central reported. Tian's parents settled in with him, bringing pots and pans, groceries and other personal items from home. Over the years, the hospital took the family to court on multiple occasions and in 2019 even waived its fees in an effort to expel them, but the family countersued. In his ruling, the judge found the family was entitled to compensation of about $73,000, which they accepted, and they were taken home in a hospital ambulance.

What now? For starters, let's not pretend that it's a surprise that a corrupt leader such as Trump wound up in the Oval Office; a cursory review of history reveals many cautionary tales about protecting the nation from tyrants. James Madison, who seems to have written everything worth reading about forming a just government, predicted it when he wrote in the Federalist Papers that "good men will not always lead us."

Bright Idea Thomas Dodd, 30, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, England, got into his cups over the Christmas holiday and was watching Celine Dion concerts on YouTube when he had a brainstorm: He would pay the 89 pounds to officially change his name to Celine Dion. Dodd forgot all about it until the papers arrived in the mail on Dec. 30, Metro News reported. "I wish I knew what happened, but it was a hazy night," Dodd/ Dion said. He admits being concerned about the reaction he'll get at work, and says his mother isn't too pleased, but "if it gives people a laugh this year, then I don't care. I think we could all do with a laugh after the year we've just had." Ironies Twitter users were quick to point out the irony after a picture was posted of an unidentified man arrested in Peshawar, Pakistan, on New Year's Eve for wearing a mask during the pandemic. The man had been terrorizing people by riding through the city on his motorcycle while wearing a werewolf mask and roaring, The Independent reported. At least one commenter saw the silver lining: "People get scared of the dude and don't come out on new year during COVID times, everyone stays safe. Isn't this a good thing?"

8 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly

As America's annus horribilis limps to a merciful close, we must resist the impulse to celebrate, assuming the worse is over. While it is true that we somehow managed to avoid a total American apocalypse, we came alarmingly close. Our pestilential president nearly brought the nation to its knees with his fanatical and incomparable incompetence. However, despite his obsessive-compulsive efforts, it seems he has failed. Nonetheless, Trump's authoritarian overreach revealed the inherent weaknesses in our Constitution that are vulnerable to exploitation by a future dishonorable leader. America’s founding documents have within them the seeds of our Nation's destruction.

Because it invests so much power in one person’s hand, the Constitution practically invites tyrannical leaders to take control of our government. Next time, a smarter, more disciplined tyrant might improve on Trump's playbook and succeed where he failed. So, consider this a trial run. Way back in the dark days of 1963, the great American essayist James Baldwin warned us that there might be fire next time. This time, that fire might consume us. Every first-year law student learns that courts do not accept cases that fail to allege present harm. An exception may exist where the injury alleged is “capable of repetition, yet evading review.” The most notable example of this are abortion cases (think Roe v. Wade), because gestation lasts, at most, nine months, and an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding reproduction rights will always take longer than nine months. Otherwise, the court cannot adjudicate the case. Likewise, Trump may be gone, but another corrupt leader could easily repeat the damage he has inflicted on our government. We do not have the luxury of waiting for this foreseeable repetition. In the shadows, other miscreants reviewing Trump's playbook could already be devising plans of their own and waiting for an opportunity to go full Mussolini on us. Each of us can imagine smarter, more disciplined Republican aspirants dreaming tyrannical and authoritarian dreams, making plans to take Trump’s place in the pantheon of political depravity. Political commentators are now falling all over themselves proclaiming “This is not who we are.” Please don't believe them; this is

precisely who we are! The most extraordinary thing about American exceptionalism is how exceptionally duplicative and deceptive that jaundiced notion is. Any serious American history student knows that damaged and deranged leaders like Trump are not only foreseeable but also practically inevitable. When the ground began to shift under the feet of white supremacy, producing America’s first black president, one who dared to appoint a Puerto Rican (gasp!) woman to the Supreme Court, the fear and loathing that ensued practically guaranteed the spectacle on display last week at the U.S. Capitol. Author Adam Gopnik, an American essayist and New Yorker staff writer, recently filed an essay that challenges our democratic delusions and exposed our myopic misconceptions. Gopnik writes in “A Thousand Small Sanities,” the latest New Yorker issue, that the descent into authoritarianism is not what we need to explain: “… it always happens. Humankind's default condition is not to thrive in broadly egalitarian and stable democratic arrangements that get unsettled only when something happens to unsettle them. The default condition of humankind, traced across thousands of years of history, is some autocracy.” Gopnik argued persuasively that “America … has never had a particularly settled commitment to democratic, rational government.” Those who refuse to acknowledge the soundness of Gopnik's argument are doomed to repeat the same errors that brought us Trump in the first place and allowed us to turn a blind eye to our recent history: 1) The desire to keep FDR in office in perpetuity, 2) the myth of the inevitability of a ruling Kennedy dynasty, 3) the discussions of repealing the 22nd Amendment to permit Reagan unlimited terms in office, 4) the nascent Bush dynasty, with George P. Bush, Jed Bush’s boy, prepping for a future White House run, 5) the inexplicable, silent acceptance of Trump's assumption of monarchial powers, and 6) the hilarious notion that Ivanka and/or her brothers might one day be president. Seriously? Mr. Gopnik wrote that he, a middle-aged essayist, purveyor of epigrams, lack aphoristic subtleties to explain why “the specter of an oafish, predatory authoritarian” was allowed to “annihilate the system of values that [we] had been brought up to respect.” Isiah Smith, Jr. is a retired government attorney.

Read Part 2: Solutions Part 2 of this column, which you can read now at www.northernexpress.com, explores what we can do to explain and prevent a recurrence of this depravity.

Author AlAn lightmAn tAlks Progress & PAtriArchy By Anna Faller Author Alan Lightman isn’t the type to take inspiration lightly. “Sometimes I’ll come up with an idea,” he said, “and I’ll let six months or a year go by before I decide to write about it. If I’m still interested six months later, then I know it’s deep inside of me.” With nearly 12 years of research contained in its pages, Lightman’s newest novel, “Three Flames,” cuts straight to that core. Lightman’s first work of fiction in nearly six years, “Three Flames” was first kindled in 2005, while working on a project in rural Cambodia. “I met a very inspiring young woman who told me about the lack of educational opportunities for women,” he said, “and that the main obstacle was that women didn’t have a place to live while they were attending university.” Throughout the next five years, Lightman and the Harpswell Foundation, the nonprofit organization of which he is both co-founder and chairman, would oversee the construction of several female dormitories. “And, I slowly started absorbing Cambodian culture,” said Lightman. Since 2003, Lightman has made twiceyearly trips to Cambodia, but he’s quick to point out his own privileged perspective as a Westerner. “Of course, a white American will never understand a culture like Cambodia fully,” said Lightman, “but that’s why I waited 10 years before writing any fiction about the country.” But fiction is a fickle thing; and what started as a single chapter eventually grew into Lightman’s eighth novel. “I thought of [Ryna’s chapter] as a standalone short story,” he said. “I didn’t know it was going to be the first chapter of a book.” Still, a full year after the story was published,

Lightman found himself fixed on the rest of the family. “I began being haunted by those characters and what their backstories were like,” he says, “and so I began writing chapters about each of the family members.” From there, a full-fledged novel emerged. Set in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime, “Three Flames” follows the plight of one farming family and their struggle for survival in an extremist society. In advance of his upcoming appearance with the National Writers Series — a free, virtual event happening Jan. 21 — Lightman joined us from Virginia for a socially distanced discussion of progress, perspective, and smashing the patriarchy.

Northern Express: The story of “Three Flames” is a rather significant departure from your other writing, much of which is scientifically driven. What encouraged the concept of the book? Alan Lightman: The thing is, a writer is always looking for new experiences to inspire and fuel their writing. After I had begun going to Cambodia, I was acutely aware that I was having a lot of very rich experiences in a culture that was very foreign to my own. I also think that every novel [an author] writes is about themselves. So, writing this novel was not only an expression of the rich experiences that I had been having, but it was also an expression of my own artistic sensibility — my own way of looking at the world. I think that when a writer writes a novel, they’re combining two things: their inner world, which is the sum of all the experiences that they’ve had in their life, and the new experiences that are coming in from the outside. “Three Flames” followed that trajectory.

Express: One of the most prominent themes in “Three Flames” is that of female resistance of patriarchal tradition. In your opinion, how does that resonate with modern society? Lightman: [Standing] up against society is one of the themes of the book. We still live in a male-dominated world. I mean every country in the world, even the most liberal and democratic are still male-dominated to some extent. But I think that, in Asian culture, and certainly in the Middle East, with few exceptions, that there’s much more male chauvinism than there is in the West. One of the things we’re trying to do with the Harpswell Foundation is to teach these women to question authority. And of course, questioning the concept of male domination is at the top of the list of questioning authority. But at the same time, we don’t want to intrude on indigenous culture too much. I’m very aware of imperialism and projection of power — especially American power around the world — so we’re walking a fine line. Express: In your opinion, what is “Three Flames’” greatest achievement? Lightman: The book was recently translated into the Cambodian language, which is called Khmer. It’s now being distributed in Cambodia, and [from] the few comments I’ve had so far, the Cambodian people are telling me that I understand what’s going on in their culture — their families, their relationships and so on — so that’s been very gratifying to me. Other writers have been criticized for writing about cultures very different from their own, so the greatest worry that I had in writing the book was that I would either make mistakes in [my] cultural nuances, or that American

critics would dismiss the book. But what I’ve heard so far is that I got it right in terms of culture, and that’s more important to me than any review.


Award-winning author and physicist Alan Lightman will join the National Writers Series for a free, virtual event at 7pm Thursday, Jan. 21, to discuss “Three Flames.” The book, originally published on Sept. 3, 2019, is available at Horizon Books with a 20 percent NWS discount. Guest host for the event is Kalyanee Mam, a celebrated film director and cinematographer, and native of Cambodia. Register at nationalwritersseries. org/2021-spring-season-registration.


Mam is a filmmaker and cinematographer born in the Battambang province of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime. After fleeing to the United States with her family in 1981, Mam graduated from both Yale University and the UCLA School of Law, where her experience with families displaced by war and development lead her to pursue film. Mam is the awardwinning director and producer of the 2013 Sundance documentary, A River Changes Course, and has also been recognized for her cinematographic work on the 2011 Academy Award-winning film, Inside Job. Mam currently lives in Northern California with partner, David Mendez.

Northern Express Weekly • jan 18, 2021 • 9

Are Co-Op Customers Subsidizing Dirty Energy? Environmentalists and clean energy advocates are worried about a contract for coal-fired energy that Wolverine Power Cooperative entered into a decade ago.

Wolverine’s 6.65 percent share in Ohio Valley Electric Corporation’s (OVEC) two coal-fired power plants includes Kyger Creek Generating Station, a 1.1-GW generating facility located in Cheshire, Ohio.

By Patrick Sullivan Michigan environmental groups and clean energy advocates say a deal that Wolverine Power Cooperative entered into a decade ago forces many Michigan residents to unknowingly pay millions more in electricity bills to subsidize two inefficient 1950s-era coal power plants in Ohio and Indiana. They’d like Wolverine and its members — including Great Lakes Energy, Cherryland Power Cooperative in northwest Lower Michigan, and three other Michigan-based co-ops — to find a way to break the contract or to work together to force the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) to operate more efficiently. “The costs of OVEC are very high, and there’s really no way to justify paying those high costs in the market that exists today,” said Chris Bzdok, a Traverse City environmental attorney who has represented the Sierra Club in legal battles with OVEC. “They are two of the oldest, least efficient generating plants in the Upper Midwest region. … Many customers would rather that their power not come from these relics.”

MONEY FROM RATEPAYERS POCKETS The power plants in question were constructed in 1953, during the Cold War, to help enrich uranium for the Atomic Energy Commission. After the Cold War, the plants needed new customers. In 2004, Wolverine and OVEC entered into a power-sharing agreement that was to run through 2020; in 2011, the contract was

essentially buys power credits, and OVEC sells the power it generates into a larger market. The problem, Fisher said, is that Wolverine pays more for the power than it can be sold for in the marketplace, so Wolverine has to eat the loss. For example, in 2019, Wolverine paid OVEC $55.28 per megawatt per hour and sold the energy at market price for $35.33

And now, he said, ratepayers have to live with a contract that subsidizes dirty energy, meaning that people pay more for electricity that is worse for the environment. revised to extend through 2040, said Jeremy Fisher, senior advisor for strategic research and development for the Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program. Wolverine has only a 6.65 percent ownership stake in OVEC for energy and capacity. That energy doesn’t flow directly into Wolverine power lines; rather, Wolverine

10 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly

per megawatt hour, netting a loss of $15.7 million, Fisher said. What drives this, Fisher said, is that the OVEC plants even operate at times when they can’t produce power anywhere near the market rate. That would make sense in some circumstances. Utilities like Wolverine enter into contracts like this to buy “capacity,”

or the ability to offer power when demand exceeds their ability to produce it with their own generating power. While Wolverine apparently entered into the OVEC contract as a backup so that the utility would have enough power during periods of peak demands, Fisher said the OVEC plants routinely produce power in periods of low demand that last for weeks or months, much longer than would be necessary to offer stopgap power on extremely hot days or frigid cold snaps, when power demand surges. “Basically, what this boils down to is that Wolverine and its co-owners are overpaying for both the capacity and energy of the OVEC power plants,” Fisher wrote in an email to a group of northern Michigan observers who are worried about the contract. “Some of this should be relatively straightforward to deal with from OVEC’s standpoint: the plants shouldn’t be committing to operate out of merit and shouldn’t be sustaining energysystem losses. That’s just uncompetitive behavior that pulls money from ratepayers' pockets. … [The] conversation about not sustaining these losses through 2040 has to start somewhere and start soon.”

HOW IT ALL STARTED … MAYBE How did Wolverine get tangled up in such a seemingly bad deal? Steve Smiley, a clean energy advocate from Leelanau County, believes it was fallout from the proposed coal-fired power plant in Rogers City that was blocked in 2011, after opponents objected on environmental grounds. “This is my opinion — it was a dirty deal, and [Wolverine] did it because they were pissed that the Roger City coal plant, which they spent tens of millions of dollars trying to build, got shut down by the environmental community. And they were just pissed and said, ‘Well, you know, screw you. We’re going to go buy some dirty coal,’” Smiley said. “It was a stupid idea from the beginning.” Smiley said he doesn’t actually know the motivation behind Wolverine getting into the contract with OVEC in 2011, but that’s his guess. And now, he said, ratepayers have to live with a contract that subsidizes dirty energy, meaning that people pay more for electricity that is worse for the environment. All of the critics of the OVEC contract agree that there is no easy way for Wolverine, were it so inclined, to get out of the contract today. But they argue that since it is locked in for almost two more decades, they should do something about it now. “I think they can get out of it, but they've got to do something dramatic,” Smiley said. “First of all, I think they need to shut [the OVEC plants] down as soon as possible. And how do you do that? I think that if our community put enough pressure on Great Lakes Energy to pass a resolution to make a plan to buy out, sell out, cancel, or walk away from the contract with OVEC, if they said we want to get out of this deal, we’re going sell out or walk away, they could put pressure on the whole thing.” A request for comment to a spokesperson for Great Lakes Energy from Northern Express was not returned. “The biggest problem is knowledge and the members not knowing about this dirty deal,” Smiley said. “You know, our co-ops do a lot of good things. They bought some wind power and all that, and it keeps the lights on, and the service and maintenance is great, but the boards and management really have screwed this up.” Smiley, who is a partner at Leelanau Solar, a business that sells solar panels to homeowners, believes Wolverine’s subsidization of coal is the reason why some co-ops have policies that disincentivize consumer-level renewable energy, like rooftop solar panels, through policies like minimum fix-rate energy charges that appear on each customer’s monthly bill no matter how much — or little — energy they use. “That’s one of my main irritations, that they’re punishing solar,” Smiley said. WOLVERINE’S RESPONSE A Wolverine Power spokeswoman would not answer questions or arrange an interview when contacted by Northern Express, but she offered to pass along emailed questions to an attorney who works for the power company. Northern Express sent nine questions that delved into the details of the OVEC contract, requested responses to criticisms of the contract’s terms, and asked whether Wolverine leadership has considered challenging or somehow breaking the contract. One of the questions was: “Does the contract, as it stands today, make sense for Wolverine’s customers? Is it in the best interest of ratepayers?” The emailed response from Wolverine did not address the questions directly, except one that asked how much OVEC represented in Wolverine’s power portfolio. The following is a response from Joseph Baumann, Wolverine vice president:

“Wolverine Power Cooperative aims to balance its members’ objectives of price competitiveness, price stability, and environmental stewardship. Wolverine is proud that through the relentless pursuit of this balance it has achieved: (1) the highest carbon-free power portfolio in Michigan, (2) standing as the state’s leader in modern renewable energy, and (3) competitive prices compared to all other utilities in Michigan. "Wolverine already exceeds all State mandates for renewable energy with nearly 20% renewable supply. In addition, Wolverine owns a fleet of flexible, efficient, and competitively priced Michigan-based natural gas peaking assets. Wolverine’s fractional ownership in the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC), with its two coal-fired power plants, supplements Wolverine’s broad power portfolio. OVEC will provide approximately 10% of Wolverine’s power supply obligations in 2021.” OPERATING OUT OF SIGHT Electric cooperatives exist in a kind of netherworld. They are not municipal utilities, they are not nonprofits, and yet, they are not exactly for-profit businesses, either. They are owned by their users, but what that means is unclear. One result is that they do not operate with a high level of transparency. Smiley has recently been at odds with Wolverine in his attempt to get a copy of the co-op’s 2019 annual report: As a customer of Cherryland, he reasons that he should be entitled to the document. (Annual reports for DTE Energy Co., a public corporation, for example, are available online.) The director of business origination for Wolverine refused and responded to Smiley’s request in an email: “Our annual report is for our owners’ (Cherryland, etc.) and lenders’ consumption. What they pass through in their report to their owners (you) is their discretion, but I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about Cherryland’s generation.” Transparency is a problem for electrical cooperatives, Fisher said. “It’s a pretty opaque book. It’s really hard to look into Wolverine’s record, what they knew, and how it affects the ratepayers,” he said. Bzdok, who was one of the attorneys who fought against the Rogers City coal plant, agrees. Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy, and the other member cooperatives are not very transparent, and Wolverine exists one level beyond that. When the OVEC contract was signed in 2011, Bzdok said it happened with almost no oversight. “It’s like a double layer of nonresponsiveness and non-transparency,” Bzdok said. Should the executives and the board of Wolverine have known, in 2011, that renewable energy would become so competitive so fast? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Back when the deal was first inked, some thought coal was the best option, said Douglas Jester, a partner at 5 Lakes Energy, a Lansing-based clean-energy consultant. “Since then, the comparative costs of coal and other forms of generations have shifted and, for the most part, coal plants are not economically viable in the long run,” Jester said. “It has been quite a transition in the last decade. Some people, including me, thought the writing was on the wall in 2010.” However, now that wind and solar have gotten so comparatively cheap, coal-fired energy is only likely to get more expensive. “In order to keep running, plants will only get more expensive as costs keep up with regulations; those costs will be passed on to consumers,” Bzdok said. “The only thing honestly that’s keeping them remotely in the game is that coal costs have been softening.”



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LITTLE TRAVERSE INN AND GASTRO PUB How often, especially in northwest Michigan, do you have the chance to sample both classic English pub fare and an array of authentic dishes from India — all in one place? Now picture yourself doing just that in a quaint, custombuilt, private (and heated) dining “shanty” surrounded by the splendor of a rural winter wonderland … By Janice Binkert Graeme Leask, an accomplished chef and engaging raconteur, is originally from Scotland. He and his business and life partner, Michelle Schulte, are the proprietors and gracious hosts of the Little Traverse Inn and Gastro Pub in the heart of Leelanau County, housed in a charming structure dating back to 1890. As with everyone else in the hospitality business, the past several months have been difficult for the couple, but the spirit of community has kept them going. “We’re all suffering challenges,” said Leask. “COVID is a reality, and we’re having to live through it and evolve with it. I’m a social animal — I miss having people in here, in the bar and at the dining tables, and I miss being able to meet and talk and chat and enjoy each other’s company. This is a place to gather, and right now, the only way we can gather is separately, which is a very strange sentence to have to say.” When Leask and Schulte heard the forecast that COVID-19 would see a new surge by late fall and winter, they decided to be proactive in preparing for that inevitability. They were already doing takeout, but to accommodate on-site dining, they set about

building five “ice shanties,” as they call them (though that description hardly does them justice) on the large patio that is the restaurant’s beer garden in summer. “We built them ourselves, from scratch, with the help of friends and neighbors who volunteered their time,” said Leask. Their exteriors have since been adorned with colorful artwork from local artists.

the shanties are limited to 1½ hours, but there’s no charge to use them. Although a deposit is required, 100 percent of it goes toward the guests’ dinner costs. As Leask explained, “We only do the deposit because the last thing you need when you’ve only got five tables is somebody not showing up.” Leask said he has always loved to cook. “I started working in restaurants as a 17-year-

“We love Leelanau County, and we can’t wait to be the community’s ‘living room’ again.” The shanties are outfitted with tables for six — one family, household, or social bubble. Leask and his staff have a very strict sanitation policy for them, wiping down every surface in each one before and after use, and running an ozonator between seatings to sanitize the air as well as the surfaces, all of which takes about 30 minutes. To allow time for that cleaning process and accommodate more guests, reservations for

12 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly

old, washing dishes at an Indian place in Scotland. But the chef there, a fellow from Kashmir named Mohammed Bashir, realized that I had a passion for cooking, and within a couple of weeks, he had me helping him do all the prep, and then moved me up to the line. He taught me so much — he was a great chef and a great mentor.” Later, after other restaurant stints, Leask got the opportunity to train in Bologna, Italy, and Lyon, France.

Clockwise from left: Little Traverse Inn’s answer to COVID-19 restrictions: Private dining in shanties built with the help of neighbors and friends. The inn’s incomparable Scotch Eggs Beef Wellington Scotland-born and Leelelanau-adopted Graeme Leask, coowner of the inn and pub with partner Michelle Schulte A hearty Mac & Cheese

Yet as much as cooking appealed to him, he ended up doing something completely different in his first career, which had him traveling and living internationally as a market researcher for a British textile firm. Grand Rapids was one of his markets, and he eventually ended up moving there and staying for about 20 years, switching gears back to the culinary field to open a catering business. He also started (and still operates, though it is currently on hold) a travel company specializing in “destination immersion” tours for small groups to the United Kingdom and other destinations. Annual personal vacations from his Grand Rapids base had him staying much closer to home, however. He was drawn to the lure of northern Michigan, especially the Leelanau Peninsula. “I fell in love with the area — it reminds me a lot of my home


Little Traverse Inn and Gastro Pub is located at 149 East Harbor Hwy in Maple City. To order carryout or reserve a shanty, call (231) 228-2560, visit littletraverseinn.com, or check out their Facebook page. Winter Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 3pm – 9pm, Saturday 12pm – 9pm, Sunday 12pm – 8:30pm, closed Tuesday.

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on the menu are the Salmon Bridie (salmon baked in a filo crust with cream dill sauce) and Grilled Salmon Salad (with seasonal vegetables, goat cheese and tomatoes, drizzled with citrus vinaigrette]. The restaurant’s dessert menu offerings are, in a word, decadent. At the top of the list: Sticky Toffee Pudding (warm sponge cake with finely chopped dates, toffee sauce and house-made custard). Occasionally, Leask also prepares a favorite Scottish dessert called Cranachan (heavy whipping cream blended with honey and whisky, layered with house-made granola and raspberry puree, and topped with fresh raspberries shaved dark chocolate). The entire beverage menu is also available to diners in the shanties. It goes without saying that good whisky (the preferred spelling in Scotland) is to be had here, considering Leask’s Scottish heritage. He also proudly announces that his private collection of scotch numbers nearly 40 different brands. His daughter Gemma, the restaurant’s bartender, boasts her own personal collection of an equal number of different gins. “She’s a real aficionado,” said Leask. “There are unique botanicals in so many gins nowadays, and she has created several specialty cocktails to highlight that.” And it seems that expertise in the realm of beverages runs in the family: Leask’s other daughter, Ciaran, is a brewer at Pike 51 in Hudsonville. Among its own beer selections, the Gastro Pub offers cask-conditioned ales — an old traditional method of serving beer on tap via a special vacuum pump. “What makes it different from a regular tap is that there is no nitrogen or CO2 infused into the beer,” said Leask. “That gives it a much creamier, smoother texture, and the flavor profiles of cask-conditioned beer are more well-rounded.” The focus is on local breweries for those three tap handles, but the featured beers change often. The only tap handles that never change, Leask said, are those serving cider from Suttons Bay’s Tandem Ciders, or Guinness. “We love Leelanau County, and we can’t wait to be the community’s ‘living room’ again,” said Leask. “But for the time being, we’ll be the community’s fire pit and shanty garden, and look forward to when we can be together with our friends and neighbors again the way we used to.”


Cranachan, a favorite Scottish dessert featuring heavy whipping cream blended with honey and whisky, plus house-made granola, pureed and whole raspberries, and dark chocolate shavings.


in Scotland, although maybe not quite so rugged,” said Leask. “And I love the culture of the county — the people are phenomenal, and there’s a great sense of community, which is very important to me. Eventually, I began looking for the right place to open a restaurant here.” Then, on Christmas Eve in 2010, he got a call from his good friend Guillaume Hazaël-Massieux (chef-owner of French restaurant La Becasse in nearby Burdickville), telling him that the Little Traverse Inn was on the market. “I came up here the first weekend in January to check it out, signed the papers, and we remodeled and opened up in June 2011.” Despite the logistics involved with service, the Gastro Pub’s full menu is offered in the outdoor shanties. And that menu, which Leask dubs “an amalgamation of comfort foods from around the world,” is delightfully diverse, although the main influences come from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and India. Popular classics from the U.K. include Scotch Eggs (house-made bulk “banger” sausage wrapped around a hard-boiled, farm-fresh egg, panko-crusted, flash-fried and served on a bed of greens with house-made whiskymustard sauce on the side), Shepherd’s Pie (tender lamb and hearty vegetables topped with roasted garlic and leek mashed potatoes), and Beef Wellington (prime-cut tenderloin coated with mushroom duxelles, wrapped in filo pastry, roasted to perfection and served with complementary sides). A few of Leask’s Indian specialties include Onion Bhaji (spicy, crispy onion fritters], Lamb Vindaloo (tender lamb cooked in a zesty potato stew made with eighteen different spices, served with naan bread and pickled vegetables), and Byriani (a savory Kashmiri stew of spinach, onion and tomatoes, a fusion of aromatic spices and dried Kashmiri chile, with the option of adding chicken or shrimp). “It’s just so much fun cooking Indian food,” said Leask. And guests obviously enjoy eating it, too — the best-selling dish on the whole menu is Chicken Tikka Masala (a creamy, smoky, onion, garlic, ginger and tomatobased dish with coconut milk). Beyond British and Indian fare, the Gastro Pub also does takes on American fare, such as Fried Chicken (served with mashed potatoes and scalloped corn), Mac & Cheese (housemade cheese sauce, ham, pickled jalapeños and panko bread crumbs, served with minted peas), and prize-winning burgers, the customer favorite of which is the Chutney Burger (stuffed with jalapeños, cheddar and bacon, topped with Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese and jalapeño mayo, and served with and Leask’s legendary apple and tomato chutney). “We get all of our produce locally in the summer — I work with a lot of area farmers,” said Leask. “The variety and quality of what you can get here is awesome. We try to source as much local fish as possible, too. But I only buy Scottish salmon – I’m a wee bit particular there.” Two dishes featuring it


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FRANKFORT’S GARDEN THEATER SOLD Nonprofit takes over, raising money to ready it for its next century

By Ross Boissoneau An innovative, eco-friendly move to include solar energy at the Garden Theater instead led to it being sold to a local nonprofit. Owners Rick and Jenni Schmitt and Blake and Marci Brooks signed it over to the Friends of the Garden Theater just before the turn of the new year, and the nonprofit is quickly raising funds to refurbish the iconic 96-year-old theater and bring it up to code. The handover stemmed from when the owners were looking into the possibility of mounting solar panels on the roof of the theater three years ago. They were horrified to discover that the roof was so compromised that it needed to be replaced. Not only did the engineer they hired say they could not put solar panels on the roof but also, “We shouldn’t put snow on it,” said Rick Schmitt with a laugh. That led the four partners to investigate how they might fix the vulnerable roof without compromising the historic theater’s architectural value. “The initial number two and a half years ago was $650,000,” Schmitt said. “It’s not just the roof, it’s the infrastructure that supports it. “The estimate was a number we had to figure out. Once we got the information and digested it, we knew we couldn’t sell enough popcorn [to pay for it.] The company was a for-profit, but that was a misnomer — because there were no profits,” Schmitt said, noting the theater typically broke even. They decided it would be more practical for a nonprofit to take ownership since a nonprofit could more readily apply for grants, and donations would be taxdeductible for donors. So the owners began working with local parties interested in saving the theater. The sale to the Friends

of the Garden Theater became official when the papers were signed Dec. 30. Amy Schindler is one of the members of the Friends and is enthused about the theater’s future. “The Garden Theater is such a cornerstone in our community. It has been and will be more than movies,” she said, noting that it’s successfully been used by schools and community organizations as well as for private events. “It brings business to downtown when the summer winds down.” She said it’s important to undertake repairs and necessary improvements now, before age makes it even more difficult and more expensive. Schindler noted the Vista Theater in Negaunee in the Upper Peninsula had its roof collapse this summer after a heavy rain caused its drains to fail. She said the Vista is very similar in style and age to the Garden. It opened in 1926, just two years after the Garden. “We want to prevent that,” Schindler said. As if the price tag for a new roof wasn’t hefty enough, any construction meant the theater would also need to be brought up to code in other areas, such as installing a firesuppression system and making the restrooms ADA compliant. The seven-member board is looking to raise a total of $2 million for the project. “It’s crazy how expensive it is. The goal is to raise $2 million and put $250,000 in a capital fund,” said Schindler. This will not be the first time the Garden has seen major renovations. When Schmitt and his partners purchased the theater in 2008, its heating system had failed, and it was only open in the summer. In addition to replacing the entire HVAC system, they installed a state-of-the-art sound system. Local artists repainted and refurbished the art deco ceiling tiles, and a drive by

14 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly

The Garden has been used as an event space for weddings.

community members enabled them to replace all the seats. Schmitt is still involved as the chair of the nonprofit. He said many of the upcoming improvements will never be seen by the public. “It’s not sexy. When the theater was opened, it had a coal boiler [for heat]. Now we have to shore up the foundation where the coal chute was.” Suzy Voltz was in attendance the last night the theater was open before the Schmitt and Brooks families bought it in 2008 (coincidentally, she was also in the audience for the last showing at the nowclosed theater in Beulah, located where the Hungry Tummy restaurant is today). Voltz said she’s attended numerous events at the Garden, from Kentucky Derby parties to the annual football game between Michigan and

Michigan State. “We don’t have a community center in Benzie County, and they’ve allowed a lot of things. It’s wonderful,” she said. Schmitt said he has hope the construction can begin by March, allowing the theater to open again as soon as July. That depends on a host of factors: acquiring enough in donations and grants, good weather for construction, and control of the pandemic allowing for the easing of restrictions. He believes the community interest in preserving the theater is evidence of the area’s generosity and vision. “It’s a tribute to everybody. Let’s save it for the next hundred years,” he said. Anyone interested in contributing to the project can go to www. frankfortgardentheater.com and click on the Donate button.

jan 16


MODEL RAILROAD ZOOM MEETING: National Model Railroad Association North Central Region Division 2 Monthly Zoom Meeting. Featuring a presentation on model railroading & a show & tell. For login & password contact: superintendent. nmra.ncr.div2@gmail.com.



---------------------DOG SLED RIDES: Shanty Creek Resort, Schuss Mountain, Nordic Center, Bellaire. Second Hand Mushers Rescue will give dog sled rides. They are offered every 30 minutes from 11am - 1:30pm. Face masks required. Reserve your spot: 866-695-5010. $65 per ride. secondchancemushersrescue.com/dog-sled-rides.html


NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED UP NORTH: Purchase a virtual ticket on Anywhere Seat to stream directly to your home devices. You can stream the performance for $25 for the whole family. crookedtreeartscenter.anywhereseat.com/channel.php

send your dates to: events@traverseticker.com

---------------------GOPHERWOOD CONCERTS PRESENTS CRYS MATTHEWS: 7pm. This award-winning singer-songwriter will present a virtual performance of “Songs on Why We Can’t Wait” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. $20. gopherwoodconcerts.org

jan 17


WORLD SNOW DAY: Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville is offering free presentations to introduce “first timers” to the world of snow. Cross-Country Presentation: 1pm. Meet at Kinlochen (Otter Trailhead). Snowshoeing Presentation: 2pm. Meet at Park at Water’s Edge. Adults & Kids Ski & Snowboard Presentation: 3pm. Meet at Totem Park. Fees for rentals. There will also be a scavenger hunt from 12-4pm. Pick up clues at the Park at Water’s Edge. crystalmountain. com/event/world-snow-day

---------------------DOG SLED RIDES: (See Sat., Jan. 16) ---------------------FLOW (FOR LOVE OF WATER) PRESENTS: “A FINE CANOPY” WITH ALISON SWAN: 5pm. FLOW’s Dave Dempsey is joined by poet Alison Swan, who will read from “A Fine Canopy” with Q&A to follow. Free. eventbrite.com/e/ flow-presents-a-fine-canopy-with-alison-swantickets-132594695303

---------------------NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED NORTH: (See Sat., Jan. 16)


---------------------CREATE A 2021 VISION BOARD VIA ZOOM: 1pm. What does your 2021 look like? Scrapbooking meets Pinterest. Pick up your free kit at the Traverse Area District Library from curbside services beginning the week of January 4. Create your board before & share, or work on it with others in the group Zoom chat. Free. tadl.org/ event/create-a-2021-vision-board-via-zoom

jan 18


MINI-HUMAN MARCH FOR MARTIN: 11am. The Great Lakes Children’s Museum is offering an opportunity for mini-humans & their adults to participate in a march to honor the vision & dream of Martin Luther King. Meet at the main Norte Building at 1213 Civic Center Dr., TC (south side of Civic Park). Also, create a simple sign showing something from MLK’s dream that you would like to see happen in your lifetime, & bring it to the march. RSVP’s appreciated: info@glcm.org. greatlakeskids.org

---------------------DOG SLED RIDES: (See Sat., Jan. 16)

Hop on the TC Brew Bus every Sunday through March 7 at 10:50am at Jolly Pumpkin, TC to take part in Old Mission Snowshoe, Wine & Brew! The bus will transport you to Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery. From there, you will follow a flagged snowshoe trail across the Old Mission Peninsula to Bowers Harbor Vineyards, and then snowshoe back to where you parked at Jolly Pumpkin. $28/person. Bring your own snowshoes or book online and rent a pair for the day. Rentals are sold out on Jan. 17 and 24. tcbrewbus.com/events/ NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED NORTH: (See Sat., Jan. 16)

jan 19




LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS GTA PRESENT FORUM ON PFAS: Noon. The League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area present a forum on PFAS by Dave Dempsey who will discuss the topic of toxic chemicals in our ground water. Mr. Dempsey is an advisor to For The Love of Water (FLOW). LWVGTA broadcast can be viewed on the TC Area Community Media Facebook page on Zoom at: www.Zoom. us//j/85060681156. Also a recording will be available at the TACM website: www.TACM.tv or on channel 189 with Spectrum cable. Free. lwvgta.org

---------------------BATH SCHOOL DISASTER: 7pm. Online via Zoom. This session will feature George Robson, whose mother & father were students at the new Bath Consolidated School when an explosion rocked the building 92 years ago, making it Michigan’s first site of domestic terrorism. Register. Free. ncmclifelonglearning. com/event-4088998

---------------------NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED NORTH: (See Sat., Jan. 16)

jan 20


House. A one hour live show followed by a question & answer period. $20/person; $30 families. crowdcast.io/e/jeffdanielscheboyganjan20/register


JEFF DANIELS ONLINE CONCERT: 8pm. “Alive & Well ENOUGH.” Presented by the Cheboygan Opera

PETOSKEY CHAMBER HOSTS VIRTUAL BUSINESS AFTER HOURS: 5:30-7pm. Held on Remo, which provides face to face networking opportunities at tables seating up to six. People can “jump” from table to table to stop in & say hi just like moving from table to table at a normal business after hours. Pre-register. Free. petoskeychamber.com

---------------------NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED NORTH: (See Sat., Jan. 16)

jan 21



NATIONAL WRITERS SERIES: TALKS WITH MASTERFUL STORYTELLERS: 7pm. Featuring Alan Lightman, a novelist, essayist, physicist & educator. The stories of one Cambodian family are intricately braided together in Lightman’s first work of fiction in seven years: “Three Flames.” nationalwritersseries.org/anevening-with-alan-lightman

---------------------THE WAY OF LIFE OF THE ANISHINAABEK: HISTORY, CULTURE, & TRADITIONS W/ JOANNE COOK: 6:30pm. Join via Zoom & learn about the Anishinaabek in the greater Grand Traverse area. Free. tadl.org/event/theway-of-life-of-the-anishinaabek-history-cultureand-traditions-with-joanne-cook-via-zoom

---------------------NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED NORTH: (See Sat., Jan. 16)


jan 22


LUNCHEON LECTURE: BREAKING THE ICE: Noon. Held online. Featuring Mark Gill, who leads Operation Taconite, the nation’s largest icebreaking operation based in Sault Ste. Marie. Free. ncmclifelonglearning.com/ event-4086035

---------------------NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED NORTH: (See Sat., Jan. 16)

jan 23



SNO-GO HOT COCOA HUSTLE RELAY RACE: 3:30pm, Boyne Highlands Resort, Harbor Springs. Starting at the top of Upper Camelot, you will get a sprinting start to your skis. Once you’ve clipped it in, it’s time to gather your team’s relay baton so to speak - your tray of hot cocoa. This will be your ticket to the end of the finish line as you pass it from teammate to teammate. Your team will compete for prizes valued at $2k, including a brand new Sno-Go bike. $25. shop. boynehighlands.com/s/events/racing-events/p/ the-2021-hot-cocoa-hustle


28TH ANNUAL WINTER FEST: 11am, Mackinaw City. Featuring Outhouse Races, kids’ sled races, BIG Freeze obstacle course, & Ice Queen Elsa. There will also be a before, during & after party at Dixie Saloon. mackinawcity. com/events/28th-annual-winter-fest

---------------------DOG SLED RIDES: (See Sat., Jan. 16)

Northern Express Weekly • jan 18, 2021 • 15

OTSEGO RESORT’S ANNUAL WINTER WINE WALK: Otsego Resort, Gaylord. Check in at noon outside the River Cabin. A winter walk on the snowshoe path from the River Cabin to the Beaver Dam where a bonfire awaits. Enjoy three wine tasting stations paired with light food fare. Walk or snowshoe. Rentals available, but must be reserved ahead of time: 989-732-5181. $35. otsegoclub.com

---------------------WOMEN’S MARCH TC 2021: Noon. Due to COVID-19 & public health concerns, this year’s Women’s March is cancelled. Instead, there will be a community food drive to benefit local food pantries & the Jubilee House, which shelters homeless neighbors. Asking for donations of food & warm clothing. Financial donations will also be accepted. Take to Grace Episcopal’s parking lot in back of church. Call Monica at 231-325-6812 or see Facebook page for more info.

---------------------NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED NORTH: (See Sat., Jan. 16)

jan 24


---------------------SNOWSHOES, VINES & WINES!: 12-5pm, Black Star Farms, Suttons Bay. Explore easy to moderate trails, & then warm up with a glass of mulled wine on the Terrace Patio. The Hearth & Vine Café will also offer hot food. Held on Saturdays through winter, plus Jan. 17 & Feb. 14. Snowshoes available to rent from 12-4pm; $20; must be returned by 5pm. No reservations needed. blackstarfarms.com/snowshoes-vines-wines

---------------------VIRTUAL 2021 BAYSHORE MARATHON REGISTRATION: Featuring a marathon, half marathon & 10K. Register. Event held on May 29. bayshoremarathon.org



FAT CHANCE FAT TIRE BIKE PRE-RIDE: Meet at Iron Fish Distillery, Thompsonville at 10am & ride to Crystal Mountain to complete a few laps on the Fat Chance race course. After, ride back to Iron Fish Distillery for food & drink specials. A 2-hour Fat Tire bike rental is $25. crystalmountain.com/event/fat-chance-pre-ride

---------------------“NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG”: 10am. Available for home viewing from Jan. 24-30. Adapted from the acclaimed novel of the same name by Kent Nerburn, “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” follows a white author who is drawn into the heart of contemporary Native American life in the sparse lands of the Dakotas by a 95 year old Lakota elder & his side-kick. Contact the Glen Lake Library for the streaming link. The number of viewers will be limited to 100. On Thurs., Feb. 4 at 1:30pm join the conversation with film director Steven Lewis Simpson via Zoom (meeting link to be posted). glenlakelibrary.net/events

---------------------DOG SLED RIDES: (See Sat., Jan. 16) ---------------------NUTCRACKER 2020: REIMAGINED NORTH: (See Sat., Jan. 16)

the day (rentals sold out on Jan. 17 & 24) - & enjoy wine & beer from the Old Mission Peninsula. Park at Jolly Pumpkin, TC to board the TC Brew Bus & start your trek. The TC Brew Bus will transport you to Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery. From there, you will follow a flagged snowshoe trail across the Old Mission Peninsula to Bowers Harbor Vineyards, & then snowshoe back to where you parked at Jolly Pumpkin. Tickets, $28. tcbrewbus.com/events



THE ENCHANTED TRAIL: Open on Saturdays, Sundays & holidays from 5:30-8:30pm through winter at Boyne Highlands Resort, Harbor Springs. The trail totals two miles roundtrip, & features the twinkling of hundreds of lights strewn throughout the path. Guests can walk or snowshoe the trail with snowshoes available for rent. Tickets are $15 per person. Hot chocolate & s’mores are included. A cash bar is available & beverage tickets can be purchased in advance. Reserve your spot. boynehighlands.com

---------------------OLD MISSION SNOWSHOE, WINE & BREW: Sundays, 10:50am-3pm through March 7. Grab your showshoes - or book online & rent a pair for

NATIONAL WRITERS SERIES SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION: Calling 11th & 12th graders! Submit your best writing through March 1 at the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation website. Four scholarships are awarded each year in fiction, nonfiction, poetry & journalism with $1,000 awarded for each category. Eligible writers must have a permanent address in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, or Leelanau counties & be an 11th or 12th grader during the 2020/21 school year. gtrcf.org/scholarships/national-writersseries-scholarship-application.html

---------------------DISABILITY NETWORK MEN’S GROUP: ZOOM MEETINGS: Mondays, 10-11am through Jan. 25. A group for men in the community seeking support, an opportunity to learn new skills, & a chance to connect with other men with disabilities. Register. disabilitynetwork.org/events

---------------------NORTHERN HOME & COTTAGE 2020 VIRTUAL TOUR: Explore 8 of Up North’s most stunning residences from the comfort of your own home through virtual video documentaries by Eagle Eye Video Production. This donationonly event benefits the Child and Family Services of Northwest Michigan. Suggested donation is $15. Runs through Jan.

---------------------DISABILITY NETWORK WOMEN’S GROUP, SHARING HERSTORY: ZOOM MEETINGS: Mondays, 11am-noon through Jan. 25. For women in the community with disabilities. Will address concerns with social distancing & sheltering in place. disabilitynetwork.org/events


DISABILITY NETWORK PEER ADVOCACY GROUP: ZOOM MEETINGS: Thursdays, 2-3pm through Jan. 28. Learn how to advocate for your needs & the needs of others. disabilitynetwork.org/events

---------------------NORTE’S RUN SABADOS: GT Civic Center, TC. A weekly walk or run held on Saturdays. Meet outside the Wheelhouse at 10am, & then split up & hit the track.


WEEKLY ZOOM STORY HOUR: Wednesdays, 11am, with Miss Ann. Presented by In-

terlochen Public Library. Meeting ID 876 3279 3456. Pass Code 364283.

---------------------BELLAIRE WINTER FARMERS MARKET: Held on Fridays from 10am-2pm. Located at both Bee Well & Terrain in downtown Bellaire.

---------------------BOYNE CITY INDOOR FARMERS MARKET: Saturdays, 9am-noon through May 15. City Hall Lobby, Boyne City. petoskeyarea.com/eventdetail/boyne-city-indoor-farmers-market-1

---------------------INDOOR FARMERS MARKET: The Village at GT Commons, The Mercato, TC. Saturdays through April, 10am-2pm. thevillagetc.com/ indoor-farmers-market-7-2-2-2-2-2


CALL FOR ARTISTS: ‘LOVE IS’ FEBRUARY ONLINE EXHIBIT: Artists are invited to submit artwork of all media to be posted & for sale on the Northport Arts Association website through Feb. The theme is ‘Love Is.’ Love is your art & what your art means to you & others. Calling for artists through Jan. 24. northportartsassociation.org

---------------------“DON’T MISS THE BOAT”: Harbor Springs History Museum. Presented by the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society. This exhibit highlights the historic ferries of Little Traverse Bay & features original watercolors & giclees by local artist William Talmadge Hall. Runs through the summer of 2021. Hours: Tues.Sat., 11am-3pm. harborspringshistory.org/history-museum-exhibits

---------------------“PERSONAL MYTH, TALES AND ICONS”: Featuring the work of Ann Willey, TJ Schwartz & Mary Fortuna. Runs through Feb. 5 at Higher Art Gallery, TC. higherartgallery.com

---------------------“JUST GREAT ART”: Presented by Plein Air Painters of Northwest Michigan. An online exhibit & sale of over 50 works by regional artists. 20% of the proceeds benefit City Opera House. Runs through Jan. crookedtree.smugmug.com/ Traverse-City/Exhibitions-TC/Just-Great-ART/ Just-Great-ART/i-fNDV67s

---------------------TOYOTA DREAM CAR USA ART CONTEST: Runs through Jan. Presented by Great Lakes Children’s Museum, Ann Arbor Hands-On, CauseConnect, & Toyota USA. This contest is designed to inspire creativity in youth, ages 4-15, & help them imagine the future of mobility. A total of nine U.S. winners will be announced during March 2021. These winners will receive cash prizes, ready-to-frame digital scans of their drawings, & award certificates. Also, their artwork will be submitted to Japan for consideration in the World Contest, along with the nine top entries from nearly 90 countries. For rules & details, visit www.greatlakeskids.org/toyotadreamcarusa or www. ToyotaDreamCarUSA.com.

---------------------CALL TO ARTISTS: JORDAN ART WALK: Submit a sculpture for placement in a new sculpture walk exhibit in East Jordan. The exhibit theme is our relationship to our abundant natural resource of water. This may include but is not limited to water activities, cycles, quality, wildlife, cultural concepts. Submit up to 3 entries digitally by March 31: info@ejchamber.org.

Deadline for Dates information is Tuesday for the following week. 16 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly

THE COVID 19 WREATH COLLECTION: Dec. 5 - Feb. 21. Presented by Art Rapids. Bring an old or new wreath to the Walk of Art Park, Elk Rapids & attach it to the fence on S. Bayshore Dr. Give some festive bling to a “Pandemic” fence that goes on & on. Take a photo & tag on Instagram or Facebook: #artrapids.

---------------------“KIDS ON COMMUNITY”: Youth artists were invited to submit artwork in response to the theme of “Community.” Fun, thoughtful & creative interpretations by Michigan youth (grades 3 - 12) are included in this online image gallery. Runs through June 30, 2021. crookedtree.org/event/ctac-petoskey-ctac-online/kids-community-online-exhibit


DENNOS MUSEUM CENTER, NMC, TC: - MATHIAS J. ALTEN: AN AMERICAN ARTIST AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY: The German-born American Impressionist Mathias Joseph Alten, often referred to as the Dean of Michigan painters, is regarded as one of the most celebrated regionalist artists to have worked in the United States. Runs through Jan. 31. dennosmuseum.org/art/upcoming-exhibitions/index.html - MICHIGAN MODERN: AN ARCHITECTURAL LEGACY: This exhibit celebrates Michigan’s modern architectural design history from 19282012. It is comprised of over 50 photographs by James Haefner primarily for the State Historic Preservation Office as part of their Michigan Modern Project, & featured in the book by State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway, titled “Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy.” Runs through Jan. 31. dennosmuseum.org/ art/upcoming-exhibitions/index.html

---------------------GLEN ARBOR ARTS CENTER, GLEN ARBOR - EXHIBIT: JOAN RICHMOND | PAPER + SCISSORS + GLUE = NEW COLLAGES: Held in Lobby Gallery. An exhibition of 12 new works is on display, Jan. 15 – April 22. Richmond is more widely known for her distinctive, spare gouache paintings depicting land- & waterscapes. This exhibit includes more than 60 pieces she created during COVID-19 isolation. The GAAC is open Mon. through Sat., 11am– 2pm. GlenArborArt.org - GAAC OUTDOOR GALLERY: CALL FOR ENTRIES: The Glen Arbor Arts Center is ac-

cepting submissions for its 2021 Outdoor Gallery. The exhibition space is the south & west exterior walls of the GAAC’s building at 6031 S. Lake St., Glen Arbor. Original work by a single artist will be selected by a jury, & exhibited from May 2021 to April 2022. Deadline for submissions is February 25, 2021. Open to all media, the selected work will be eye-catching, compelling, colorful & communicate the spirit of the Glen Arbor Arts Center with fresh originality. The selected exhibitor’s original work will be enlarged & reproduced on five, separate, 5 foot x 5 foot square outdoor panels for one year. A $500 prize will be awarded to the selected artist. Submissions are online only. To apply visit GlenArborArt.org & click on ARTIST/Calls For Entry. glenarborart.org/ exhibits/current-exhibits - YOU ARE T/HERE: An exhibition that asks exhibitors to visually explore & describe what their own, personal “here” or “there” looks like. Runs Jan. 15 – March 25. In addition, an online version of the exhibition may be viewed at GlenArborArt.org.

the ADViCE GOddESS daddy Issues


: I’m a woman in my early 20s. My friends say I have “daddy issues,” because I tend to date men in their 30s. (I do have a decent relationship with my dad). I find men in their 20s generally immature, slobby, and inconsiderate, with limited communication skills (and no desire to improve them). I can’t see how being frustrated with that means there’s something wrong with me, but I hear “daddy issues” so much I’m starting to wonder. — Annoyed


: Live with a 20-something manchild and you get the idea that guppies are on to something in how they sometimes eat their young — long before their gupp-ettes start spending their days smoking weed, playing Mortal Kombat 11, and waiting for the trash to grow legs, waddle out back, and throw itself in the dumpster. Your friends join countless people with zero background in the therapy game who are quick to “diagnose” others with various insulting psychological issues. Luckily, few have the medical hubris to give your forehead a squint across the hors d’oeuvres and announce, “Excuse me, but I think you have a small tumor named Max pressing on your frontal lobe.” Clinical psychologist Darren Fowler and his student, Sara Skentelbery, investigated the rather common belief that a woman who dates older men (by 10 or more years) has “daddy issues”: an unhealthy relationship with her father. Comparing elder-dating women with women dating more age-matched men, they found no support for the notion that they were using these men as psychological grout, a la, “I love how you fill the void from my pops never coming to my violin recitals.” Evolutionary psychology research on female mate preferences suggests you might not be drawn to older men, per se, but men who are more mature, more willing to commit, and more able to support any children you might have together. In a few years, as guys closer to your age meet these benchmarks better, you might start dating men just slightly older (as research finds women tend to do). This only changes when women hit their 70s, when many become willing to give (somewhat younger) young bucks a shot. At this point, their friends in assisted living probably tell them they have “cradle issues,” but probably just because they’re jealous from eavesdropping on them through the walls: “Shout dirty to me, Chad!”

BY Amy Alkon

Tender Mercenaries


: I’m a 30-year-old woman. My ex is an extremely wealthy and successful Wall Streeter I found to be a charming sociopath: lying, manipulative, and willing to do anything to win. I was curious about the woman he was with before me, so I Googled her. Like him, she’s in her 40s and very good-looking. She’s really accomplished: an Ivy grad and founder and CEO of a successful company. I was surprised to see she’s dating a guy who’s a construction manager. With all she has going for her, why would she move from my ex to this man? — Curious


: Dating a sociopath lets you experience what it’s like to go temporarily insane. You scratch their back; they’ll stab yours and then somehow get you apologizing for how rude you were to leave those big blood stains all over their rug. It’s not surprising that you and this other woman were drawn to Darth Trader. Research finds that women (from the Amazon to the, uh, Amazon. com) are driven to try to land high-status, highearning men. But evolutionary psychologist Norman Li observed that, in some studies, this priority sometimes ranked surprisingly low on research participants’ wish lists. Li attributed this to how a good deal of mating research gave participants “sky’s the limit” options that don’t reflect the real-world constraints on people’s choices; for example, the “trade-offs normally made when people select mates, whose traits come in bundles.” (“Good earner” is packaged with “looks vaguely Neanderthal.”) Context also matters, like whether a person’s own mate value, on a scale from 1 to 10, is “Little Engine That Could”-ing its way to 6. Research by sociologist Yue Qian, among others, does find that high-earning, highly educated women tend to go for higher-earning, more highly educated men. However, it’s possible that, for this woman, feeling burned by a “great on paper” guy who treats others as vending machines for his needs provided powerful “context,” motivating her subsequent choice of boyfriend. I see that women in their 30s and 40s who previously snubbed men who weren’t power brokers often start putting more weight on finding a loving man with good character. For this particular woman, a manly-man urban cowboy on a bucking earth mover might be just the change she needs -- even temporarily — from a selfish, sociopathic Wall Street pretty boy. Ideally, if a woman describes the man she’s with as “amazing,” it shouldn’t be because he’s living proof that a human being can survive for decades without a heart.

“Jonesin” Crosswords "Goodbye, Mr. Trebek" --a retrospective. by Matt Jones

ACROSS 1 Make like a cricket's legs 4 Talk like Cindy Brady 8 Georgia senator-elect Jon 14 H in Greek 15 Peruvian ancestor 16 Flat, geometrically 17 Canadian equivalent of "American Bandstand" hosted by Alex Trebek in 1963-64 19 ___-weensie 20 Biblical boats 21 1976 trivia show (not the Nickelodeon kids' show) hosted by Trebek 23 Bent down 25 Place to order a round 26 Kilmer of "MacGruber" 27 Aromatic compounds 29 Reykjavik's country 33 Aloe vera yield 34 Had some haggis 35 Some Spanish titles, for short 36 Dallas cager, informally 39 1981 game show (not the classic Atari game) hosted by Trebek 42 Armani competitor, briefly 43 "'Tis a shame" 45 Part of TGIF 46 Meme response 48 Harden, in a way 50 "Battleship Potemkin" locale 54 "Star Wars" character Solo 55 Honey Graham ___ (cereal brand) 58 Go in 59 Canadian series hosted by Trebek from 19761980, featuring professional skaters alongside B-list celebs 63 "Aw, heck!" 64 Roll in mud 65 Emmy-winning game show hosted by Trebek starting in 1984 67 Genetic variant 68 Tennis player Kournikova 69 Abbr. on remotes 70 Prepped for serving

71 "It's for the ___" 72 Ethyl or methyl ending DOWN 1 New version of an old film 2 Reversals on the road 3 Vessel for thematic gifts 4 Permit to drive (abbr.) 5 How most TV is broadcast these days 6 2020 CGI movie that featured the origin story of a cartoon canine 7 ___ New Guinea 8 German car name 9 Something a vest lacks 10 Casual footwear 11 Not paid by the hour 12 Not rainy 13 Duty-___ shop 18 "Survivor" locales 22 Water filter brand 24 Golfing hazard 28 Smarten (up) 30 String quartet instrument 31 "Cherry Wine" rapper 32 High-speed internet initials 34 "Sing the Sorrow" band 36 ___ and cheese 37 Start for carte or king 38 Wagnerian opera setting 40 Test the fit of 41 Major vein 44 Blood-red 47 ___ hand (give help) 49 Shoe padding 51 "Feed a cold, ___ a fever" 52 Forward, as mail 53 Sock pattern 56 Burqini headpiece 57 Segment of a play 59 Trade 60 Like some tales 61 Due 62 Seemingly forever 66 Butter square

Northern Express Weekly • jan 18, 2021 • 17


JAN 18- JAN 24


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “My business is circumference,”

wrote poet Emily Dickinson in a letter to her mentor. What did she mean by that? “Circumference” was an important word for her. It appeared in 17 of her poems. Critic Rochelle Cecil writes that for Dickinson, circumference referred to a sense of boundlessness radiating out from a center—a place where “one feels completely free, where one can express anything and everything.” According to critic Donna M. Campbell, circumference was Dickinson’s metaphor for ecstasy. When she said, “My business is circumference,” she meant that her calling was to be eternally in quest of awe and sublimity. I propose that you make good use of Dickinson’s circumference in the coming weeks, Aquarius. It’s time to get your mind and heart and soul thoroughly expanded and elevated.

ScORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Nature cannot

be ordered about, except by obeying her,” wrote philosopher Francis Bacon (1561–1626). That paradoxical observation could prove to be highly useful for you in the coming weeks. Here are some other variants on the theme: Surrendering will lead to power. Expressing vulnerability will generate strength. A willingness to transform yourself will transform the world around you. The more you’re willing to acknowledge that you have a lot to learn, the smarter you’ll be.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): One morning,

famous French army general Hubert Lyautey (1854–1934) instructed his gardener to spend the next day planting a row of saplings on his property. The gardener agreed, but advised Lyautey that this particular species of tree required 100 years to fully mature. “In that case,” Lyautey said, “plant them now.” I recommend that you, too, expedite your long-term plans, Taurus. Astrologically speaking, the time is ripe for you to take crisp action to fulfill your big dreams.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Someone asked

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) In his book The Lover’s Dictionary, David Levithan advises lovers and would-be lovers to tell each other their very best stories. “Not the day’s petty injustices,” he writes. “Not the glimmer of a seveneighths-forgotten moment from your past. Not something that somebody said to somebody, who then told it to you.” No, to foster the vibrant health of a love relationship—or any close alliance for that matter—you should consistently exchange your deepest, richest tales. This is always true, of course, but it’s especially true for you right now.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): On October 18, 1867, the United States government completed its purchase of Alaska from Russia. How much did this 586,000-acre kingdom cost? Two cents per acre, which in today’s money would be about 37 cents. It was a tremendous bargain! I propose that we regard this transaction as a metaphor for what’s possible for you in 2021: the addition of a valuable resource at a reasonable price. (PS: American public opinion about the Alaskan purchase was mostly favorable back then, but a few influential newspapers described it as foolish. Don’t let naysayers like them dissuade you from your smart action.)

PISCES (Feb 19-March 20): Should I quote

the wisdom of people who have engaged in behavior I consider unethical or immoral? Should I draw inspiration from teachers who at some times in their lives treated others badly? For instance, Pisces-born Ted Geisel, better known as beloved author Dr. Seuss, cheated on his wife while she was sick, ultimately leading to her suicide. Should I therefore banish him from my memory and never mention the good he did in the world? Or should I forgive him of his sins and continue to appreciate him? I don’t have a fixed set of rules about how to decide questions like these. How about you? The coming weeks will be a good time to redefine your relationship with complicated people.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): On May 4, 2019,

my Aries friend Leah woke up in a state of amazement. During the night, she felt she had miraculously become completely enlightened. Over the next 16 hours, she understood her life perfectly. Everything made sense to her. She was in love with every person and animal she knew. But by the next morning, the exalted serenity had faded, and she realized that her enlightenment had been temporary. She wasn’t mad or sad, however. The experience shook her up so delightfully that she vowed to forevermore seek to recreate the condition she had enjoyed. Recently she told me that on virtually every day since May 4, 2019, she has spent at least a few minutes, and sometimes much longer, exulting in the same ecstatic peace that visited her back then. That’s the Aries way: turning a surprise, spontaneous blessing into a permanent breakthrough. I trust you will do that soon.

poet E. E. Cummings what home was for him. He responded poetically, talking about his lover. Home was “the stars on the tip of your tongue, the flowers sprouting from your mouth, the roots entwined in the gaps between your fingers, the ocean echoing inside your ribcage.” What about you, Gemini? If you were asked to give a description of what makes you feel glad to be alive and helps give you the strength to be yourself, what would you say? Now would be a good time to identify and honor the influences that inspire you to create your inner sense of home.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Be sweet to

me, world,” pleads Cancerian poet Stephen Dunn in one of his poems. In the coming weeks, I invite you to address the world in a similar way. And since I expect the world will be unusually receptive and responsive to your requests, I’ll encourage you to add even more entreaties. For example, you could say, “Be revelatory and educational with me, world,” or “Help me deepen my sense that life is meaningful, world,” or “Feed my soul with experiences that will make me smarter and wilder and kinder, world.” Can you think of other appeals and supplications you’d like to express to the world?


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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Throughout his many

rough travels in the deserts of the Middle East, the Leo diplomat and army officer known as Lawrence of Arabia (1888–1935) didn’t give up his love of reading. While riding on the backs of camels, he managed to study numerous tomes, including the works of ancient Greek writers Aeschylus and Aristophanes. I’d love to see you perform comparable balancing acts in the coming weeks, Leo. The astrological omens suggest you’ll be skilled at coordinating seemingly uncoordinatable projects and tasks—and that you’ll thrive by doing so. (PS: Your efforts may be more metaphorical and less literal than Lawrence’s.)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Sculptor Stefan

Saal testifies that one of his central questions as a creator of art is to know when a piece is done. “When making a thing I need to decide when is it thoroughly made, when is it dare-we-say ‘perfected.’” He has tried to become a master of knowing where and when to stop. I recommend this practice to you in the next two weeks, Virgo. You’ve been doing good work, and will continue to do good work, but it’s crucial that you don’t get overly fussy and fastidious as you refine and perhaps even finish your project.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You’re entering the

potentially most playful and frisky and whimsical phase of your astrological cycle. To honor and encourage a full invocation of gleeful fun, I offer you the following thoughts from Tumblr blogger Sparkledog. “I am so tired of being told that I am too old for the things I like. No cartoons. No toys. No fantasy animals. No bright colors. Are adults supposed to live monotonous, bleak lives ? I can be an adult and still love childish things. I can be intelligent and educated and informed and I can love stuffed animals and unicorns. Please stop making me feel bad for loving the things that make me happy.”

18 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly


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Northern Express Weekly • jan 18, 2021 • 19

20 • jan 18, 2021 • Northern Express Weekly

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