Once upon a time, the news wasn't all frightening headlines...slanted reporting and teases to get you to tune back in at the next newscast to hear the end of the story. No, there was a time when a news reporter took their time to get you to know your friends and neighbors. Helped you understand what made a community unique or what made the local flavor unique to it's own. In our house, those were the news stories that mattered, and those were the ones that kind of helped shape the way I approached the work I did in my broadcasting career.
As I carried my work over from the airwaves to the digital world, I wanted to preserve that feeling and try. Some have said the videos are too long, others just read the articles...and I have heard more than once that they were surprised there was a website....they thought it was just a Facebook page. We live in a high speed world...I get it.
A big part of the story telling though, is the guy behind the camera, and one of the all time best is Dan Salas. Dan was in television for decades. If you're old like me, Dan was the photojournalist for Dick Evans - On the Michigan Road on WOOD TV until Dick passed away in 1991. It was Dan's eye that brought the stories to life and Dicks ability to bring the best out in anyone and get them to open up that made the segment such a destination for viewing.
Dan runs PositivelyMichigan.net now. To say his work was in inspiration to us is an understatement, I mean, even the name...but what works, works. Dan called the other day and asked if we had some time to talk about why we do what we do and how it all began. When the best of the best calls, you make time. Dan's story is right here. Take a listen.
As we filmed and reminisced....we talked about our skills sets, where we could help each other and how we could rely on each other to help spread the better news.....so....I grabbed my camera and told Dan, I am interviewing you...and we're putting your Positively Michigan stories on the Muskegon Channel if you like that idea. Dan agreed quickly and so began the partnership. We'll stay focused on Muskegon and Dan...he's going to cover the rest of the state the way he does it best. Take a listen to my chat with Dan!
A symbiotic relationship has been born. We're proud to bring you Dan's work on Positively Michigan. Make sure you check that link right at the top of the Muskegon Channel when you visit to see the who, what and where going on around Michigan and if you have story ideas, get ahold of Dan. He's a great friend, an amazing story teller and works daily to continue the legacy he started way back in 1976 when he first picked up the camera to go On The Michigan Road. Welcome to Dan. Thanks for your years of wisdom and kind story telling. You can visit The Positively Michigan site by clicking below.
Well, we got our first good dusting of snow this year, followed by some slide-off's and fender benders, because after all, who remembers how to drive in this stuff after a Summer full of Muskegon fun right? As some sighed that the blanket of white fell, others were licking their chops a little bit, and one of us got in the car quick and headed out to get the scoop on what's to come at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex this season as preparation is underway for the ever growing and ever evolving treasure housed at the Muskegon State Park on the North side of town.
We've long been friends and partners with the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex. They have been helping us along since the earliest days of Positively Muskegon and in turn, we've been there to help them start to show that there is so much more than just Winter activities there. The Winter Sports Complex is home to one of only 15 luge tracks in the world. There is an expansive area for outdoor winter recreation from ice skating to snow-shoeing, cross country skiing and more and the spectacular setting for all of it can't be matched anywhere. It's cared for by people who's life long passion is everything Winter Sports Complex and the future is coming so fast. Soon, there will be zip lines, canopy tours, archery and more. What was once the "best kept secret" in Muskegon is becoming a regional destination for all of the Midwest and Muskegon is reaping the benefits of the wonderful curation of the sacred grounds.
Things are not quite ready to roll yet for the season at the Winter Sports Complex. The smell of Pine-Sol and Mr. Clean fill the air at the moment at the lodge for the moment. Soon, it will be the warm fire and the smell of hot chocolate, not to worry. I met up with Bill Bailey to talk about the upcoming season and more. Take a listen.
It's a comin! Be ready for the awesome season of Winter fun at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex and keep in mind, that a season pass out there makes a great gift! Make sure too, that you don't just use the place as a weekend destination. We talked a little about how more and more are coming to share the Complex....let's make it "ours" Monday-Friday when the visitors are all stil back home and we have our treasured sports park all to ourselves. You can visit the Muskegon Winster Sports Complex website by clicking below!
To get tickets for the show, click on the image below to visit the Muskegon Civic Theatre's website. Don't miss your chance to support the arts in Muskegon and to be a part of the intimate experience in the Beardsley Theater inside the Frauentahal Center. There's a full season ahead so enjoy the shows!
We saved Lauren the written portion of her first interview on The Muskegon Channel. After all, as the "trainee" you don't want to see anyone "overcome" on day one right? (Har har har)
But like anyone, we have a story to tell as well, and since Lauren has come along, and we've been at it a while with the Positively Muskegon Blog, which grew into The Muskegon Channel website and our recent addition of the Muskegon Channel Radio site, it might be time to let you know how and why this is all here.
In a nutshell, it's been a building process. There's a purpose to media in a community. Media should be a relevant and active engine for sharing news, helping business advertise at a fair price and providing a value for the money spent and it should be a place in town that can be a focal point for good things, and things that can be addressed with actionable solutions. The idea that "if it bleeds it leads" might be good for some, but it's that one sided story that can really harm a community both internally and on a bigger level, if that's all surrounding communities see about one area, well...the damage can be long lasting and very hard to reverse.
When the Positively Muskegon Blog began back in October of 2015, there wasn't really even a true direction in mind. But as we grew and shaped what we do and why, it became pretty clear that the our contribution to all that is good in Muskegon was to be on the street telling the stories of those who do things large and small to make Muskegon home. If there is something that needs to be addressed, we bring in solution based stories as opposed to "that's what happened" and leave yet another scuff on our image.
Lauren talked with Andy and Britta about how it's all come to be. Take a listen.
So that's kinda how it all began. Muskegon is not your cookie cutter kind of town. We are our own entity with our own identity and what works somewhere, might not adapt here. Our people, our pride and our community are ours. We are unique in our thoughts our approach and our overall way of life. We're kind, fun loving and we band together like no other when it comes to taking care of our own. We have our own "flavor" and we kind of see our "micro media" enterprise as adding to just that. We want our stories to reflect our people....we want our scenery to reflect our beauty and we want our radio station to sound better than anyone else's anywhere and we'll fight to make it happen. We have a new story to tell...as so many things happen to re-define Muskegon, we're proud to be able to help shape the story the way it needs to be told. With value, purpose and with the best interests of all of us at heart.
It's a friendship that goes back a few years. Lauren Stanton and Muskegon that is. Over her years of being the morning reporter at WZZM in Grand Rapids there were the occasions that she'd make her way out here for a concert or the air show or maybe a hockey game or something. But, there was always something that set Lauren a part from the other visitors that came in with their respective stations for an event. The other stations would always sit in their designated spot and give away bumper stickers or promo pictures or can koozies....or worse yet, they would find a spot back stage and wait for their 2 minutes on stage to greet the masses and accept their glory. Well, with Lauren...she'd be the first one out of the booth, into a beer line and right out in the crowd to meet people and be Lauren! She's all about grabbing every ounce of life she can get and she'd blend right in in her cut off's and tank top out there in the thick of the party and that's what she loved about it. She could just hang loose. She fit right in.
As her broadcasting career continued she met her future husband and they began to dream a little. Their life in Saugatuck together was great but they are both very energetic people and saw an opportunity to go into business for themselves on a little corner on the river down there with a unique idea called Retro Boat Rentals. The spit shined up some vintage boats, revamped the motors in them to be high efficiency electric motors and started a seasonal rental attraction. Well, they struck a nerve and found a niche... the business took off and the were both able to walk away from their careers and focus solely on Retro Boat Rentals.
Back to Lauren and Muskegon. She was one of the key factors in getting Positively Muskegon on My West Michigan once a month, a relationship that continues, and as word got out that she was "retiring", well, I said almost jokingly... "Well, if you get bored, I know a guy in Muskegon with a few cameras who's trying to tell a better story about the town....." there wasn't even time to take a breath and Lauren said "I'm in...when do I start?" Today it happened.
I sat down to catch up with Lauren a little and welcome her on board... take a listen.
Yes, she's been a friend to Muskegon for a long time, but she's also been a remarkable personal friend too. Lauren is one of those friends who's right in the trenches with ya and doesn't run away when things are looking tough. In fact, looking back on my last short run on the radio in Grand Rapids a few years ago....she was one to run in to the burning building more than once help dig. Didn't think that job would last as long as it did...but who cares. We're here now... and Muskegon is coming out the winner! We welcome Lauren with open arms and can't wait to see her perspective on our community and our people. If you'd like to know more about Lauren's "real job" click on the photo below to visit the Retro Boat Rentals site!
It's another "break" if you will. Well, it's not really a break but more of a way to work around a problem. What to do when you're not overly motivated to get up and get moving. Hey, it happens to everyone. We all have bursts of energy, we all have times when we are less than on a hustle to keep going.
Well, Becky is back with some advise on how to keep it fresh, find ways to dig a little deeper and get your keister in the swing of things. Yes, it's another pep talk...it's a motivational speech.....it's a gentle kick in the pants to stay motivated as the cold weather sets in. It's also a major part of staying Fit and Healthy on a holistic level. Here comes episode 74 of Fit and Healthy With Becky on the Muskegon Channel.
There you have it! New ways to keep in the game! You know, you've also got options like one of Becky's swing dance lessons! They are a lot of fun, a great way to learn something new and meet some new people. She's already into January so take a look at the photo below and give her a call to save yourself a spot!
On Saturday November 10, 2018 at 2:00 PM, the Boogie Woogie Bugler Memorial Statue was unveiled at the LST 393 Veteran's Museum. The life-size bronze sculpture of Clearance Zylman was sculpted by local artist Ari Norris. Clarence Zylman was the inspiration behind the classic WWII era song, "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B". For more information on the sculpture, check out our previous interview with sculptor Ari Norris.
Born in Muskegon and trained on the streets of Chicago, he toured the country as a professional trumpeter helping to lead a musical revolution, featuring a new boogie-woogie sound. Clarence Zylman served his country as a bugler, playing reveille in his own boogie-woogie style. He became a military legend as the bugler who got the troops up with a jitterbug in their step. He was an ordinary man who led a remarkable life, and, thanks to an extraordinary song, will forever be known as Muskegon’s Own Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
The sculpture is installed prominently along Lakeshore Drive next to the USS LST 393 Veteran's Museum, Zylman faces east towards the rising sun, forever playing reveille to wake Muskegon.
It's been a fairly tiring season of politics. All the he said, she said. All the half truths and intentional misleading information. So many polarized thoughts on every issue, even dipping in to cussing candidates down over issues that they have no control over. Case in point, just as I was beginning to write this, I was following a discussion on social media about a candidate for a State seat and how people shouldn't vote for them because of their stance on the Second Amendment. I asked if the author of the comment could explain how someone in Lansing would have any bearing on the US Constitution. They couldn't or chose not to answer.
So, like I did with the 911 surcharge request, I get a hold of Egelston Grows Green to see if they would like to share their straight talk one more time about the medical marijuana growth operation and dispensary they are asking the community to vote on Tuesday. To me, all the homework has been done and the desire to grow a crop for an ever growing list of medical uses might be a pretty good idea. The security will be stringent. The economic impact can be huge. The intention is to help people with their medical needs and the investment is willing to be made in our community.
It might not be for everyone. No one is trying to force anything on you. Changing the minds of some who have had a lifetime of fear mongering behind them regarding marijuana might never happen and that's ok. There really can be no argument though that the emerging uses of CBD and even some for THC in medical ways are effective. 50% of the crop that will be grown in Egelston will not even have the psycho active THC compound in it. This is in no way an endorsement to say anyone should drive under the influence of medical marijuana or any other substance and it's not to say that minors should access it. This is however a chance for Egelston Grows Green to clear up some of the smear that has come their way over the whole situation.
I met up with Jack Page again, we were also joined by Attorney Hal Hermanson to help explain some of the in's and out's of the township laws and how they have been met and grower Adam Mendes who will be growing the plants inside the secured facility. Take a listen.
They are even offering you a ride to the polls Tuesday if you are for or against the cause. As they said at the end, this is not about the recreational marijuana vote also happening Tuesday. This is about an emerging medical marijuana production that will bring jobs, revenue and relief to those who elect to use it. You can visit their website by clicking on the image below.
Egelston Grows Green has been a paid sponsor in the past of The Muskegon Channel. This was not a sponsored article.
It was a grand affair for one of the most important causes. The Hope Project USA welcomed hundreds in for an evening of Hollywood glamour in an effort to raise some funds for their work against sex trafficking. The food was amazing, the entertainment was superb and the masks were so much fun to see.
The Muskegon Channel was there with cameras rolling to add the "Red Carpet Live" feel for the guests coming in. It was a way for the guests to show their support and The Hope Project to say thanks, and the spotlight is on you.
We are happy to support the work of The Hope Project USA and invite you to The Red Carpet from Saturday night at the Watermark 920 in Muskegon.
If you were unable to get in to this sold out event and want to be a part of the work The Hope Project USA does to help the victims of sex trafficking, you can click on their logo below to visit their website. Make a donation, give some needed supplies or maybe volunteer some time. It's a social plague that anyone can agree should be fought from every angle.
The election is right around the corner and on the ballot this year in Muskegon county, there is a surcharge request for voters to approve regarding the Muskegon County 9-1-1 Service and some essential upgrades that are truly needed for our police, fire and EMT workers.
Like any money request, no one is excited about the idea of having to pay more, and it always seems to be amplified in Muskegon through social media and other grumblings among those who think that there is some shell game or bait and switch going on for a frivolous money grab so that some governmental body can line their pockets etc.
It's understandable to a degree, but the facts are simple. Muskegon Central Dispatch is a stand alone authority overseen by the State and the funding they are requesting is spent only on needs for the communications system they need as what we currently have now is so outdated it's even becoming hard to get parts to repair what we have, let alone stay in communication with other safety agencies throughout the state. These are essential tools for men and women who work to save the lives of all of us and the request is not coming because of the joy of a cash grab. No other bills past or future can be paid with this and it's not a quick and easy task to get this project moving or completed.
With all the misinformation that's been sent out over social media, I asked Shawn Grabinski from MKG 9-1-1 and Chief Dave Glotzbach from Muskegon Township Fire to meet with me again to discuss what I have heard, what they have heard and what the simple facts really are surrounding the 9-1-1 surcharge request you'll find on the ballot November 6th. Take a listen.
Hey, look. I don't want to pay more either, but I would really hate to see the worst happen. I'd hate to see any of our front line responders without the tools they need. I'd hate to see a citizen suffer because of lack of the proper tools for the authorities and what's more, I'd hate to see something so important fail because some of the nay-sayers and those who thrive on making sure we don't get what we need because they thrive on chaos or being a thorn in the side of something. This is not being asked for for anything other than necessity, please get out and vote November 6th. For more on the surcharge request, click on the image below.
It's Monday morning...(maybe, that's when this publishes) and Becky is back to help you tone up those arms and your upper body with another episode of Fit and Healthy With Becky from The Gym in North Muskegon. She's a dedicated professional personal trainer and spends a few minutes a week here with us to give you a chance to get going on a healthier life style through exercise that's easy to do and doesn't require a whole lot on your end.
You can improvise with things you might find around the house or if you'd like you can pick up some of the tools show shows you. You can work out by yourself, you can gather some friends, or you can use these as a starter to maybe join up in one of her multiple weekly classes or, you can also get in touch with her if you think some one on one training might be needed. No matter your path, Becky is simply amazing in her care, passion and desire to help anyone improve their personal best through fitness.
With any exercise program, you should always consult a physician before you start. Always remember to warm up, stretch out and drink plenty of water!
Episode 72 is all about "the gun show" so let's get those chicken wings of yours in better shape! Here comes Becky on The Muskegon Channel.
A new and better you in 3:23! Well, maybe not that quick but it's a step in the right direction. Becky is devoted to you! She's got the skills and desire to help ya become more fit, eat better and help you be in better shape than you ever figured! We'll be back next week with another episode here, but if you can't wait...you can get a hold of her by clicking on the picture below! If you'd like to know more about The Gym in North Muskegon CLICK HERE to visit their Facebook page and learn more about their facility and how you'll fit right in.