We dodged it as long as we could this year, but Winter has taken a firm grip now and we're all back to heating our homes.  There are a multitude of ways people heat places, but all come with some risk.  Yes, there is a risk of fire from anything that generates heat, but if there is combustion involved, there is a chance there could be carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer.  It's an odorless, tasteless gas that is produced anytime you burn fuels and it can build up in homes and poison humans and animals that breathe it.  According to the CDC, every year 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning, 20,000 visit the emergency room and 4000 are hospitalized.  CLICK HERE to visit the CDC website for more statistics and information about carbon monoxide. skwmLearn More About Safe Kids West Michigan on Facebook

In Muskegon, the statistics are staggering as to how many homes are not protected by the proper smoke detectors, let alone the proper devices for carbon monoxide detection, but.. it's as simple as a phone call to make sure your home is taken care of properly.  Safe Kids is part of Mercy Health and they have just received a grant and along with Kidde and a joint mission of area fire departments, they want to make sure your family is safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide and the best part is, it won't cost you a penny.  This program is open to owner occupied homes and all it takes is a non emergency call to your local fire department to get the process started.

Once you get a time, trained fire fighters will visit your home, they will take a look at what you have currently and help you out with what you need.  They can also help with an evacuation plan, maybe show you an area or two that could be a problem if a fire occurs and most of all, they can check and make sure your equipment is up to date, and able to perform at it's best to save you and your family.

Holly Alway is the injury prevention coordinator at Mercy Health and she is also the grant writer who's helped bring this opportunity to Muskegon for Safe Kids West Michigan along with Kidde to help make your home safer.  Ted Karnitz is the Fire Marshall of Norton Shores and Scott Hemmelsbach is the acting Fire Marshall of Muskegon.  We all met up at the Muskegon Central Fire Department to talk about the dangers, and the ways you can get a hand from any of the county's fire departments to help protect your home and family.  Take a listen.

 

Time to take advantage of this great opportunity.  Don't wait!  It's a free service as long as the equipment is available and there is nothing to lose by setting up an appointment to have your home checked over.  In Norton Shores cal 231-799-6809, in Muskegon call 231-724-6793.  

 

 

It's hard to believe, but it's been 10 years since Dancing With the Local Stars come on the scene in Muskegon and in those 10 years, the amount of money raised for area food banks is staggering.  Dancing With the Local Stars is an event put on by the Womens Division Chamber of Commerce in Muskegon and in the 9 years they have been going on, over $755,000 dollars have been raised to help supply area food banks.  Over 3/4 of a million dollars going to help those who suffer food insecurity in the Muskegon area is a monumental endeavor in itself, but Dancing With the Local Stars has gone on to do so much more.  WDCClogoVisit the WDCC Online

For one, it's been a catalyst for a lot of new relationships in town.  People who would have otherwise never met are coming together to share skills and ideas.  Professional dancers and pared with local "celebrities" who learn a little about dancing, and they also use their connections to help raise some money and awareness about just how much need there is in Muskegon for those who go without the staples in their lives.  Second, the event itself is held in February and if you've been around Muskegon long enough, you know that by the time February rolls around, pretty much everyone in town is dying for a chance to get out of the house and do something fun.  Cabin fever sets in pretty hard by that time.  Finally, to put a fun spin on such a serious need...that's a great thing.  We have a true need for food here in Muskegon.  We can ask, we can do canned food drives, we can take collections up at work or church, all of which are great efforts, or we can innovate and turn out an incredible event that focuses on the need but provides an outlet for some fun while doing it.

The Womens Division Chamber of Commerce is behind a number of great events.  Downtown Dancing, Trinkets and Treasures, Fashion and Frolic, they all keep us busy, but Dancing With the Local Stars has become a marquee event in Muskegon and it's looked forward to every year by many.  Mary Kendall founded the Dancing event all those years ago.  I caught up with her Friday night as the cast of the 10 year celebration was about to be announced.  Take a listen to our chat, which leads into a couple of the professional dancers, which leads into a visit from one of the original local celebrity's and another pro!

Dancing with the Local Stars is a 2 weekend extravaganza this year!!  To be held at the Holiday Inn Downtown Muskegon on February 16th and 17th and the 22nd through the 24th.  Tickets go on sale January 2nd and you can call Mary Kendall at 231-798-4244 to purchase yours!  It's a great time and a great cause, so save the dates and be a part of the 10 year anniversary celebration of Dancing With the Local Stars!!

2018DWTLScolorConnect With The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce on Facebook

 

How bout a good old fashion chili cook off to warm up a cold winters weekend?  You'll have the chance to stop in to one December 9th at Tiffany Woods Apartments in Roosevelt Park.  Everett Hawkins is part of the staff over at Tiffany Woods now, but he's got quite a past in the area working with local bands, bars and booking gigs for different places and he and the staff at the complex thought it was high time to throw open the doors and invite friends and neighbors over for some fun, food and a chance for chili masters to win some pretty cool prizes. tiffany woodsFind Tiffany Woods on Facebook

The event will be going on from 12-3 in the club house of the apartments.  If you've ever been there for on of the safety days they host, or maybe you've been over there to take a swim in the indoor pool as a guest of a resident, or you live there and frequent the place...they like to be active with the community and this is a chance for you to stop in and check out the goings on.  There will be a blue ribbon panel of judges who will be sampling the chili... Matt Dirito of Pop Evil will be there, so will Mike Kotecki of Two Heded Chan.  Tony Laskowicsz of 1st Assured Bail Bonds will be judging as well.

If you'd like to register, you can stop by the leasing office at Tiffany Woods or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., but do it before December 8th at 12pm.  Everett found a few minutes to talk about the event with me today, take a listen to what's planned and then plan on coming out for a while next Saturday!

 

 

It will be a fun time and a chance to get out of the house and away from the holiday hustle and bustle for a while!  Stop on out to the Tiffany Woods Chili Cook Off.  Tiffany Woods is also a Toys for Tots drop off location so you can bring your donation for that too!!  We'll plan on seeing you next Saturday at Tiffany Woods!!  Come on out for the fun!

It's not everyday that Muskegon get's a "Social Entrepreneur" in town.  Just what is a "Social Entrepreneur" you might ask?  Well, it's a title that someone gets when they see something that needs to be fixed and takes a grass roots idea and turns it into a national platform to help others see more in themselves. They also take their experience, strength and hope and put it to work so that others might be able to avoid some of the pitfalls in life that have been experienced and that the next generation can be stronger, bolder and ahead of the game when it comes to their life.  gotrVisit Girls on the Run of Grand Rapids and Muskegon

Molly Barker came to Muskegon today.  Molly is the founder of the Girls on the Run program.  It began with 13 girls in her neighborhood and has grown to empower girls across the nation to believe in themselves.  The mission is to "inspire young girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun experience based curriculum which creatively integrates running."  Girls on the Run's vision is to "create a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams."  I personally got involved with Girls on the Run a few years ago when I was asked to be the emcee at their event in Muskegon and saw immediately that it was something I wanted to be a bigger part of.  Our young people are our future...they are our greatest investment and it's up to all of us to do what we can.  seeing the faces of these girls on race day, crossing the finish line...it's an experience beyond any price point.

After founding Girls on the Run, Molly has gone on to other social platforms working in Washington DC for a while on the Bipartisan Policy Center and now, she's founded The Red Boot Way.  The Red Boot Way "creates compassionate communities by teaching a practice of intentional communication where self awareness, connections and trust grow."  Molly was in town to speak to the Rotary lunch and I was invited down a little early to meet this inspiring woman and talk a little about Girls on the Run and her new Red Boot Way.  Something all of us could use a little more insight on.  Take a listen.

It was a great pleasure and honor to meet Molly.  Thanks too to Susan Gifford and Lori Burgess for the local arm of Girls on the Run for the opportunity to sit down and talk with such an icon when it comes to strengthening  others and leading by example.  Miracles happen every day.  They happen in every town, and they happen by the work of people who see a reason to make a difference in the lives of those around them.  Some are big, some are small....but one thing is for certain, they all impact someone.  Molly's miracle grew to touch thousands of girls and their families...don't think that what you've got stirring in the back of your mind can't do the same thing.  To learn more about The Red Boot Way, and maybe watch another miracle unfold....click on the photo below.  My thanks to Molly for her time today and her inspiration to so many.

redbootway

Muskegon, we're in for a treat.  We love our food and restaurants that offer a great value and unique tastes are starting to pop up more and more in the area.  Foodies can rejoice on December 1st as we're set for the opening of a very unique and very good new endeavor called Gouleese.  Yes, it's a goulash restaurant!  Now, before you go thinking "a goulash restaurant?!?" let me tell you a little something.

Goulash is a dish that's got many different definitions around the world.  Growing up, goulash to us was always macaroni, ground beef and some other magic my mom would throw in a pan...honestly, I have yet to figure it out and since Mrs. O isn't much of a fan, I only get that once in a while now....but....my education on goulash from a global perspective is going to be growing quickly.  There are versions like Hungarian, Mexican, Italian and more.  Gouleese will also be offering chicken dishes, I heard burgers mentioned a couple of times and I saw a picture of a meatball dish that kids are going to go wild over.  gouleeseInterior Shot of Gouleese

Let me tell you about the setting too.  It's quaint.  It's casual and it's in a neighborhood setting.  Biedler street right off Laketon in Muskegon.  As you pull up to the place, you can see in short order that, as we've watch 3rd Street re-emerge Downtown Muskegon, Biedler could very well be the next pocket neighborhood to open up thanks to a delicious restaurant and in time, hopefully some more new places of interest that will come along to accentuate the resurgence.  It's the slow but steady progress of Muskegon redefining itself.  

The Grand Opening is December 1st.  That's this Friday!!  11am-9pm are the hours for you to take a few minutes out to enjoy the new place.  We'll talk about the menu and prices in the interview below!

Tim Painter is the principal behind the whole thing.  He dreamed of owning a restaurant at one point and worked to make it a reality and thought that a unique twist with a fun menu and one of a kind atmosphere would be the route.  He along with Emilio Trejo and team put all the work into the building, the menu and the dream...take a listen to our chat below. 

 

 

 

 

 

I am excited!!  I am full too,  Delicious sample of the goulash and I was just delighted with the charm of the insides of the newest restaurant here in Muskegon.  I am telling you...as we were wrapping up today, we were talking about Muskegon and how nice it would be to see more neighborhood places like this.  Small stores that sell essentials...unique restaurants.....shops that cater to specialized items and shoppers.....kinda like the old days.   We've been through a lot in Muskegon that's for sure, but we're seeing more and more that people are saying enough of waht was and they are building toward a future of what will be.  I am so excited to see it.  Click on the photo below and follow Gouleese on Facebook!  Make sure you check out their Grand Opening this Friday!

gouleese2lead

There are a multitude of benefits to having one of West Michigan's most famous chef's on board at your online TV station.  Not only do you get her sage advise on how to masterfully handle anything in the kitchen.  You also get her commanding presence, her friendly and fun personality and if that's not enough at the end of the segment, someone has to make sure the final product is of the highest quality...so you can imagine where the pie ended up.  cc mkg channelVisit Chef Char's Website

This week, we visit Chef Char in Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market for a lesson on how to make the perfect apple pie!  There are some tricks you know.   Char has been busy helping a local restaurant get going and keeping her classes full at Kitchen 242, so it's been way too long since we've had a visit from here here.  She's got classes of all kinds at Kitchen 242.  Everything from kids healthy cooking classes to evenings set aside for grown up's to come out and enjoy some of the finer touches on making the most delectable dishes!

Kitchen 242 is an outstanding addition to Muskegon.  It gives anyone with a desire to work in the food industry a chance to operate in an "incubator" setting while trying to establish their business.  It's also a place for classes like Char offers and an outstanding back drop for segments like this!  Let's get on to the workings of that perfect apple pie!

 

 

 

 

Easy as pie right?  Give it a shot yourself or click on Chars picture above to visit her website to learn more about the awesome classes she hosts at Kitchen 242 Downtown Muskegon.  You'll be baking pie perfection in no time thanks to Chef Char!  Here's the recipe for all you just saw!

 

Pies at Kitchen 242 with Chef Char Morse

Flaky Pie Crust:

8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up into Tablespoon-size chunks and frozen

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

½ cup buttermilk

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, add frozen butter, flour, salt and sugar.  Next, add the buttermilk and vanilla. Using a dough hook on an electric mixer, mix the dough ingredients until it forms a ball and butter chunks are about the size of nickels and dimes. Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap or place in a sealable plastic bag before placing in refrigerator until ready to roll out dough.  When ready to roll pie crust, split the ball of dough in half.  Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and roll half of the dough into a circle to cover a 9 inch pie pan.  Place bottom crust in pan.  Fill with fruit filling of choice (mixed berry filling recipe below) and roll other half of dough ball on a lightly floured surface into a circle big enough to cover a filled pie.  Place crust over pie filling, pinch edges of crust, brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Slice small holes into the top crust before placing pie into a 375 degree preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove pie from oven and allow pie to cool slightly before serving.

Apple Pie Filling:

4 cups local apples, peeled, cored and sliced (Char likes honey crisp and golden delicious mix)

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

Mix pie filling ingredients until apples are completely coated.  Scoop filling into the bottom crust in a 9 inch pie pan.

Holiday travels coming up?  If you are heading out always check the Muskegon Airport for your travel plans.  First off, let's just talk about the simplicity and convenience of it.  It's right here.  There's no long drive, there are no long lines, there are no exorbitant parking fees and the overall pressure of flying drops by about 80% with the ease and friendly approach of the staff at the Muskegon County Airport. 

It's no secret that the Muskegon County Airport is a great sponsor of the Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  We're proud to have them on board because flying out of Muskegon is really the way to go.  When we personally travel, the thought of adding on a hotel stay in some other town or the idea of having to get up at 3 am to drive to catch an early flight is enough to ruin day one of any vacation.  The added expense, the stress then, when you get back....the drive home from where ever.....we'll check Muskegon first. mkg thanksgivingFollow the Muskegon Airport on Facebook

The Muskegon airport is offering some expanded service over the holidays.  They have also moved their early flight in the am to a much more conducive time to catch connecting flights in Chicago. They are also expanding their tour flights.  We've seen the tour packages going to Laughlin Nevada for a couple years now, they are always a sell out and always a great time.  Now, they have added Atlantic City flights with S&S Casino Tours.  We've done the Atlantic City flights a few times and you can't beat it.  You get on the plane, and in about an hour or so...you're on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, and for me personally, 10 minutes after that, I am either down on a cheese steak or sausage and peppers from one of the great Boardwalk restaurants.

I stopped out to the Muskegon County Airport to talk with Marketing Director Dianne Hoffman and Jeff Tripp who is the General Manager of the airport to talk about the newer schedule, the fun flights and the over all ease and simplicity of flying Muskegon.  Take a listen.

Make your travel as simple as you can.  Cut out the long drive, the added expenses and the stress of the big cities when it comes to heading out.  The Muskegon County Airport offers lower fares, easier access and an environment that's much friendlier.  If you are heading out, click on the Muskegon County Airport logo below to see flights, times and fares!  Thanks to Dianne and Jeff for taking a few minutes to join me!

mkg earlier 

 

Time for a little history lesson as well as some holiday fun!  The Greater Muskegon Women's Club has been operating continuously since 1890!  Over 100 years of work toward a better community, empowerment for women, education, philanthropy, and social functions right in the heart of Muskegon.  Like any club, there have been high points and some where there has been a bit of a struggle, but it's stayed alive and intact all these years and preserved a piece of history in Muskegon that all should be proud of. 

Today, they still thrive at the corner of 2nd and Webster.  They still work on the social pleasantries like tea parties, luncheons, book discussions, dances and other special events.  The still host special events like artisan markets, a fine arts scholarship, honor women of accomplishment and host fun community based events like a gingerbread house building weekend which is coming up November 17th-19th. gingerbread house flyerGingerbread House Building Event on Facebook

It's open to the public and you're encouraged to bring the kids out on Saturday and Sunday for the Fun.  The Friday evening event is set aside for a grown up's only night out.  Hey, if people are willing to go out for a night of painting as a group, why not make it a date night and build a gingerbread house?  It's said that a certain special visitor who's famous for his sleigh and red attire will be in attendance and the cost which is minimal will help fund the work done by the Greater Women's Club of Muskegon. 

Nancy Bierenga invited me down to the "inner sanctum".  :)  I took the chance to pay a visit, not only to see the historic and beautiful insides of the building, but in all honesty, to learn a little more about the club, the history and what they do today.  Take a listen to our chat below.

 

 

 

 

 Some social fun, some community activisim, some empowerment and some deep history in Muskegon.  As Nancy said, the Greater Muskegon Women's Club may be the oldest in existance in the state.  That's much to be proud of.  If nothing else, take a look at their website.  Click on the picture below to visit.

woman clubjpg 98faec08ce55b20f medium

Did you know that there is only six weeks which is forty-seven days and only seven Fridays until Christmas. If your anything like my husband you like to wait the day before but if you're like me you like to have it all done weeks if not at least a month before hand. Today I am here to tell you how you can get a little more of that holiday shopping done while helping out a very deserving family.

While trolling Facebook looking for fun events around town like many of us do, I seen an event that immediately touched my heart. Ricco Adoption Fundraiser Open House is being held on Sunday November 12 at 11AM-1:30PM. (Please click on the event page link to get the address.) This Adoption fundraiser is going to be like an open house so you can come and check it out when it fits into what you have going on. A portion of all the sales the day of the Adoption Fundraiser will go to Erin and her husband Michael and be put into a fund to help with the costs that occurred from their loss in their most recent adoption attempts and for a future attempt to add to their loving family.

At this event you will find some wonderful vendors who have offered to their services to assist in the Ricco's journey. Kate the owner of Word for being Free will be here with her beautiful headbands. You will also find jewelry, bags, tops, and accessories brought to you by Stella and Dot. Wines for Humanity are choosing the wines today that they will be bringing and lastly for all you foodie lovers out there Tastefully Simple will be joining them with some delicious food products.

I met up with Erin today at the Shoreline Inn to chat with her about the journey her and her family have been on as well as their upcoming Adoption Fundraiser. Please click on the link and listen in on our conversation. 

If you'd like to know more, please click on the image below.  It's a great time and a great cause. Thanks to Erin for taking a few minutes to chat.

stella and dot

It's a sincere problem and the reality is, not many people even come close to understanding how deep it goes.  

On Monday October 30th, a panel of experts joined forces at Muskegon Community College to discuss human trafficking in the sports industry and the lengths that people go to protect the rings that operate this modern day slave trade.  The Muskegon Channel carried the discussion live as it happened on Facebook live, but the topic is vital and one in need of much more discussion, so we've saved the video and are putting it in a feature story so if there are those who missed it, or...as time goes by, the Facebook post kind of slips off the radar, you can always come back to hear the message again or, you are welcome to share this story with anyone you think would benefit from the discussion.

The panel included Anny Donewald who escaped the trafficking industry and wrote a book called "Dancing for the Devil" and also founded Eve's Angels who rescue other women from trafficking.  Connie Nesbary who is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Michigan Senator Judy Emmons who's been a leader in the fight against human trafficking and Professor David Manville who teaches at EMU and might have the only class on trafficking in the State of Michigan.

It's a lengthy discussion, but so vital.  Take a listen. 

 

Our thanks to the panelists and guests of the discussion.  Thanks too to Muskegon Community College for hosting this event and helping shine a light on such an awful subject.   As discussed repeatedly, the only way this is going to stop is when it's confronted...we need to stand together and say no more.  Anny is a pioneer in the fight, and we're honored to partner with her in spreading her message. 

If you're not familiar with the topic, let me tell you this....if we forget history, we're doomed to repeat it. 

With that being said, I Never Saw Another Butterfly is a collection of poetry and are of young Jewish children who were held at the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in World War 2.  The title comes from a poem by a boy named Pavel Friedman who was incarcerated there and later, killed at Auschwitz.  Most of the contributors of the book were killed before the camp was liberated.

A quote from Wikipedia - "During World War II the Gestapo used Terezin, better known by the German name Theresienstadt, as a ghetto. The majority of the Jews sent were scholars, professionals, artists and musicians. Inmates were encouraged to lead creative lives, and concerts were even held. Within the camp, parks, grassy areas and flower beds, concert venues and statues were installed to hide the truth; that most of the inmates were going to be killed. This was all part of a Nazi plot to deceive International Red Cross inspectors into believing that Jews were being treated humanely."   ButterflyPosterI Never Saw Another Butterfly on Facebook

The play centers around "Raja" who is a survivor of the concentration camp, her family and four classmates and centers around life in the camp while retaining a world filled with flowers and butterflies with other children in the camp. 

The play is being performed twice on Saturday November 4th at The Overbrook Theater at Muskegon Community College and the proceeds benefit Gilana's Fund.  It's a local non profit that celebrates and encourages educational programming promoting acceptance and understanding of our communities, each other and ourselves.  Tickets are only $10 bucks, and you can get them at the door.  I was able to catch up with Lynn Frisinger and Anna Alpert who are directing the performance in memory of Anna's daughter Gilana and want you to know a little more about the play, their cause and why they are working so hard to keep Gilana's name and work alive.  Take a listen.

If you're in it for a history lesson or maybe you'd just like the inspiration of being part of this remarkable cause that's turned the tragedy of the loss of Gilana into a lasting way to remember someone who shared a valuable lesson with all of us in her time here, head on out to see the play this weekend.  I can't thank Lynn and Anna enough for taking a few minutes to talk about this today, and if you'd like to know more about Gilana's Fund, click on the logo below.

gil fund

Dog N Suds is a classic, iconic brand of Americana.  At one point, every small town near and far it seemed had a Dog N Suds in it where families could enjoy a nice night out with car hop service, one of the world famous window hanger trays with the food and the delicious root beer served up after you pulled up in the car and pushed the button on the back lit menu under the awning with the glow of the neon close by and the sound of music filling the air from the overhead speakers!  It's a memory that believe it or not, still manages to survive in Muskegon and Montague much to the thanks of a guy who grew up in drive in life, David Hosticka.

I have known Dave for a while and helped him on a few projects here and there and when he told me about an upcoming event he was heading to Miami for, well, I figured it was time to stop in for a visit and find out a little more about this event and why he's heading down to sunny South Florida.  ds coneysFind Dog N Suds on Facebook

The event is "Burger Beast's Wiener Bash" with Burger Beast being Sef Gonzales and his undying love of all things burger and sausages.  The event is November 4th and will be headlined by rockers Vince Neil and Great White and the competitors include -  Arbetter's Hot Dogs, Babe Froman Sausages, Da Burger Shack, Doce Provisions, Dog 'n Suds, Doggi's Arepa Bar, El Rey de las Fritas, Gilbert's 17th Street Grill, Killer Melts, King of Racks BBQ, Mac & Chess, Meat Eatery & Taproom, Monster Burgers, Orange Bear Grill, Pincho Factory, Proper Sausages, Sweet Dogs, and Twisted Fork Kitchen.  Stiff competition for sure, but the hopes are that the classic taste and nostalgic brand are a home run with those at the festival.  One thing is for sure, South Florida foodies will not be let down!

As Dave get's ready to roll, let's catch up with him on the event and the business, and see what's in store for the Dog N Suds right here in Muskegon over the next couple months.

It's a step back in time preserved right here in Muskegon.  It's exciting too that our little "best kept secret" is on the way to Florida to compete in such a gastronomic delight!  Best wishes to Dave and his staff and make sure you whip in to Dog N Suds before January hits and the much deserved Winter break comes along!  We'll keep you posted on how Dog N Suds does in the competition!

We're in a very exciting time for change in Muskegon.  Things are coming quick and it's a lot more than just a lot of talk around town.  The evidence is everywhere, and the proof is in the cranes in the sky, the hammers being swung and the overall mindset of Muskegon people who are just sick of the status quo.  I have said on more than one occasion that Muskegon is about to boom, some have argued it already is but my gut tells me it's just the beginning.

One thing that's going to be a HUGE change for Muskegon, is out lake front.  I the past, we've relied on the lake front for industry.  Places like Sappi, Consumers Energy and other industrial giants held the property and while the lake front was practical use and kept a lot of people employed, it sure didn't leave much use for our beloved Muskegon Lake in areas.  Well, as those business have moved on, and they are being taken over by Windward Pointe (the former Sappi site) and the other areas on the lake, it's time for some public discussion and input on what the future will look like.

Monday, October 30th, you're invited to stop into the GVSU Annis Water Resource Institute at 740 W. Shoreline Drive and take a look at what's planned and offer your thoughts on what might be valuable to add.  What amenities are needed?  What would make good great?  What can the city do to make the water more connected to our Downtown area and other areas in and around Muskegon and the Lakeshore?  What's great about this?  It's a drop in.  Meaning from 10a-6p you can stop in at your convenience and have a look at what's planned and offer your thoughts.  It's also an unprecedented opportunity for a community to offer input on what they would like to see in the future. 

I had a chance to meet Mike Franzak who is the City Planner for Muskegon to talk a little about his work and this chance for community input coming up Monday.  Take a listen to our chat below and get the 4-1-1 on what's going on.

 Well, I couldn't get him to crack on any upcoming surprises, but it's good to know that I am not the only one here who things that Muskegon is evolving at a break neck pace.  It's truly an exciting time to be in Muskegon.  Watch Us Go could easily be switched to Watch Us GROW and I for one am very proud of the efforts put in by so many who refuse to give up and continue to believe!  We have much to be proud of here, so stop in Monday and be heard!  Add to the solutions and take ownership of our great community.  You'll be glad you did. 

imagine muskegon lake 

 

It's one of the biggest topics of conversation anywhere today, the over prescribing of meds in America.  It's said that there are enough opioid  prescriptions in Michigan that every single resident could have one.  That's just the opiates.  The really dangerous stuff.  We seem to have pills for just about everything now a days, and in as much as it's a great thing for some of what ales us, sometimes we have medications that we can't use.  You know the ones that have a laundry list of side effects that rival a near death experience?  Hey, look..we're not here to scare you off from needed medications but sometimes there are things prescribed you can't take, don't need anymore or they have just been sitting around and the expiration date has past and you have to get rid of them.  Same goes for over the counter medications.  When the time is up, the proper disposal of them is essential. meds and sharpsMeds and Sharps Collection Online

Believe it or not, flushing them down the toilet is not the recommended procedure.  Nor is down the drain or in the trash.  There are plenty of station around town that you can drop them off.  They are lock boxes in police and fire stations and it's recommended that is you do clean out the cupboard or medicine chest you take them there.  If you'd like a little more focus on a date and time to get rid of them, may we suggest October 28th?  There will be a medication disposal event at the Muskegon Fire Department from 9a-1p.

It's being put on by The Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program and their belief is that proper disposal of unused medications promotes a healthy community bu reducing the risk of burglary and medication misuse.  Over the past 7 years, get this... the MAMDP has collected 12.5 TONS of unused medications.  TONS! 

There will be no questions asked, so if you're dropping off a bunch of grandma's old pills you've been wondering what to do with, you're safe.  It will be a cool experience, because you'll get to drive right through the fire truck bay and drop off your meds and properly contained sharps and at the end, you'll have one less thing to worry about in your home.  It's a smart thing to do.

Carrie Uthe joined me out in front of the Muskegon Fire Department to talk about the statistics and the event, take a listen.

It's a simple way to secure your home and make sure that meds that could be dangerous don't get into the wrong hands.  If you watched the video, you heard personal testimony that if there's a will, there's a way, so please...take the time to properly dispose of the medications in your home that are no longer being used.  My thanks to Carrie for taking a few minutes to talk about the event, and thanks too to The Health Project of Mercy Health for their support of our work and Muskegon as a whole.

 

It's a big deal, and it's a bigger deal because it's a peer to peer award in the communities that are served by the Celebration Cinema family of theaters in West Michigan.  Celebration Cinema strives to make sure that your move going experience it second to none.  It's reflected in everything from the moment you walk in the door, to the great concessions, the premium seating...state of the art sound and projection and recently added things like D-Box, 3-D and more.  You are immersed in the experience of "the movies" the entire time you are there.  I have been going to Celebration Cinema almost exclusively my entire life and to have watch them grow and thrive and to have maintained the working relationship I have with them all these years, well, it tells me that I am doing something right, because I am meeting their standards for a business partnership, and I am very thankful. cinema carouselVisit Cinema Carousel Online For Shows and Show Times

They decided years ago, that they would encourage other business in the communities they serve to set the standards equally high for customers service and they offered the Celebrated Service Award as an incentive.  The idea being, you don't know who it might be, but someone from the theater could leave a tag for a business, a nomination, and from there they could advance on to become a finalist where there is a cash prize involved and more importantly, there is a years worth of exposure to the vast audience that comes to the theater for a movie.  Yes, every show begins with a recognition for the Celebrated Service Award winner in their city!  The amount of promotional value is staggering and in a time where advertising companies are demanding more and more....Celebration Cinema has turned the tables and said "how can we help".  That speaks volumes of their company culture. 

The voting begins soon, and in Muskegon the list on nominees is a who's who of awesome places to visit.  Wonder who they are?  Well, that's what Tom Bitson is here for!  We teamed up at Cinema Carousel to talk about this year nominees and we even chat up some of the big new releases coming this Fall and holiday season.  Take a listen and see if your favorite spot in town is in the running for the Celebrated Service Award.

There they are!!  Voting begins soon!!  November 8th is the date you can begin voting!!  Make sure you take a minute to vote for these incredible business that have been nominated.  I have had the chance to talk to some of the winners in the past, like this years current champ the Getty Street Grill and it's so much more than the generous cash award, it's the recognition of a job well done in a world where the "little guy" is having a harder and harder time being seen and heard.  It's truly a one of a kind give back from the Celebration Cinema family of theaters and we're very proud to have been able to bring you this years nominees!!  Right below, you'll find the link!  Make sure you take the time to vote November 8th!!

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It's a topic that is very prominent at the moment, sex trafficking and sexual abuse.  Harvey Weinstein and his years of misbehavior in Hollywood have not only gotten him banished from his company and industry, it's brought new attention to the entire issue of our national outlook on what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to harassment and actions.

Years ago, I met Anny Donewald when I was still on the radio.  She had started out as a dancer in college to keep the bills paid and in a short time, she found herself in the trafficking industry.  She has gone on from there to form an organization called Eve's Angels.  They are a nationally know organization who help women who find themselves in the same spot Anny once did to escape from being trafficked and then to get away from those who held them captive while they heal in a safe environment.  She's written a best selling book called "Dancing for the Devil" telling her tale of what it was like being in what is modern day slavery and she speaks regularly to groups about trafficking and advocates for women who are trapped in the business.  daning for the devil
Dancing for the Devil on Amazon

Only a couple months ago we had Connie Nesbary on The Muskegon Channel to discuss her radio documentary "Criminal Sexual Conduct - What Needs to Change". A radio documentary that was produced in Muskegon and is now going to nationwide release.  It's a 4 hour documentary that explores the different dynamics of CSC, who offenders are and what the effects are short and long term.  Connie is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Limited Licensed Psychologist in Michigan and speaks and consults with organizations on best practices in post trauma recovery.  When I met Connie to do the story about her radio documentary, I said "you really should meet my friend Anny".....and that was the beginning of this.

Connie Nesbary Biz photo 2014 retouched small
Connie Nesbary Online

The two got together and immediately found common ground both in cause and purpose and in no time flat, along came the subject at hand, a panel discussion to happen Monday October 30th at Muskegon Community College about sex trafficking called "The Real Face of Sex Trafficking - Athletics, Law Enforcement and the Hidden Agenda".  Joining these women will be Senator Judy Emmons who's an advocate to stop sex trafficking, Professor David Manville from Eastern Michigan University who teaches the only course on sex trafficking in Michigan and myself as the panel moderator.  It's going to be an open and honest discussion about trafficking in the sports industry and more.  It will be free and open to the public to attend at Collegiate Hall and it begins at 7pm

 I met up with Anny and Connie at MCC to talk a little about the upcoming panel and learn a little more in advance.  Take a listen to our talk below.

It's a tough subject.  It's taboo to many, but it's important too to get to the root of this trafficking issue and end it.  Slavery...it's alive and well and it's being practiced on women right here in our area and all over the country.  We had the good fortune of putting two very powerful advocates together here on The Muskegon Channel and you are welcome to hear them speak at Muskegon Community College on October 30th at 7pm at Collegiate Hall.

real face  

It's something that touches everyone sooner or later, cancer of some form or another.  Commonly it seems that it's breast cancer and it's one of those scourges we all wish there was an answer for but yet it eludes us.  We hear the reminders.  We see the TV talk shows on the subject.  We see the magazine ads, the posters on the wall in the doctors office....the list goes on and on.  The problem isn't going away and quite often, people just throw their hands up in the air and say "what are we going to do".  Then, you have the other side of the story, those who have seen everything we all have, some who have been touched personally and said "it's time to do something".  Well, that group of "do-er's" has been at it here in Muskegon since 1996.  tt plateFind Tempting Tables on Facebook

Originally started in the Torrent House, Tempting Tables is an artistic and exquisite display of elaborate table settings that is put on bi-annually by a group of over 300 volunteers in Muskegon.  Every table has a theme and if you are a fan of fine art, maybe Art Prize suits your fancy, or maybe you'd just like to stroll thru the gallery of artistic designs and know that your donation will go to fund breast cancer research... 100% of it.....well, this is an event you just can't miss.

There are a few different ways you can be a part of this great event.  There is the Patron Celebration on October 18th from 3p-7p.   You'll be one of the first to see the dazzling display and your admission will also get you in for the rest of the weekend as well.  You can also enjoy the gallery from 10a-7p Thursday October 19th and Friday October 20th and from 10a-6p on Saturday October 21st. 

This is a very grass roots effort.  Everyone involved not only lends their skills and talents to the show, they also contribute financially as a show of solidarity to the mission to help fund the research that the proceeds go to, and over the 21 years this event has been going on, those proceeds have totaled over half a million dollars.  It's a big contribution from a group of very determined people. 

Marlene Delong joined me at the Holiday Inn Downtown Muskegon to talk about this event, which she has been a part of since day one, take a listen to our chat below. 

 If you want to be a part of the grand affair on Wednesday night, or you'd like to just stroll the scene and see what kind of beautiful inspirations have come around this year to help fund the research being done, please, be a part of Tempting Tables.  This is one of the truly unique events that makes Muskegon so special and the people who put it on take nothing from it other than the satisfaction of knowing that they did something great for someone who they might never get to meet.  To learn more or, to get tickets, you can visit the Tempting Tables website below.  My many thanks to Marlene and her 300 plus who help put this great event on!

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We all would love to see a generation of non smokers.  Most of us too are old enough to remember when smoking was glorified by actors in glamorous ways in commercials or in their movie roles and we know now too, that for a long long time, the dangers of smoking were downplayed and that today, one in every five deaths in America comes from a smoking related health issue.  Here's the thing though, every day, people as young as 13 grab that first cigarette and get started. 

Is it a way to fit in?  Is it a stress reliever?  Is it a way to rebel against "the man"?  For whatever the reason, young people still pick up on it and the fight continues to try and get them to quit.  They fight from every angle too.  Tough talk, the photo's of lungs all blackened by tar, parents putting the clamps on it, peer groups trying their best to discourage it.... it continues on.  

In Muskegon The Health Project part of Mercy Health works with the Knowsmoke Muskegon County Tobacco Reduction Coalition to get that message out anyway they can.  One of the biggest events they hold annually is the Knowsmoke Zombie Walk in Downtown Muskegon.  It's an event designed with youth in mind and to help them understand the dangers while providing a place that they can have some fun and get the facts about tobacco and the dangers of it.  There is an entire website dedicated to it in fact you'll find that linked below! knowsmokeKnowsmoke Muskegon on Facebook

Last year, there were a seris of videos done to help you get in the spirit of things.  They are still some great advise and if you take a look at the Knowsmoke Muskegon Facebook page, you'll be able to see how to make a fun and affordable costume to participate in the walk this coming Saturday.  You can click on the Knowsmoke Muskegon Link to the right to access the videos and while you're there, give their page a like.  

One of the driving forces behind the Knowsmoke Zombie Walk in Muskegon has been Rachel McCoy from The Health Project at Mercy Health.  We met up at Hackley Park to talk about the event, the cause and the reason that kids should be participating and learning about the dangers of early tobacco use.  Take a listen to our chat below.

 

 

 

 

 This is a free event and it's open to all young people.  If you'd like to be a part of it, please, click on the image below to visit the Knowsmoke Eventbrite Page and get registered!

ks zombie

 

 If you'd like to know more abou the Knowsmoke Muskegon Organization and mission, please, click on the image below for more details!

 

ks muskegon

It's getting to be that time of year again, people are in the mood for a little spooky fun and with the crisp Fall air and the leaves rustling about the haunted attractions are all ramping up for your attention.  How about adding a little more history and a little less haunt to the journey this year?  Not to say that you should skip the super scary destinations, but add in a visit to something very unique and a great way to get in touch with a little more of Muskegon that what you can pick up by reading a brochure.

City of the Dead Muskegon is back for it's 8th annual performance and it's a family friendly way for you to learn a little more about the people who've made our town what it is today.  From those who were captains of industry to those who barely have a record of their lives here in town, the Evergreen Cemetery is where you'll find the characters of our past "coming to life" next to their grave sites to tell the tale of their life and times here in Muskegon.  What life was like for them in their time here, how they impacted this community and what their contributions added to our lives today.  city of the deadMuskegon City of the Dead on Facebook

The roles have been carefully researched and the actors portrayals are done with excitement and enthusiasm for our history and the people who made it.  You'll find some facts, you'll find some intrigue...you'll know more about names like Hackley, Hume, Walker and Lee.  You'll see true to time period costumes and you won't find anyone jumping out of the bushes to startle you. 

This years event will be held October 14th beginning at 5p and 15th  beginning at 2.  It's a $5 admission and kids under 6 are free.  Do plan to dress warm and there could be a line as the guided tour wants to assure everyone gets a chance to hear and see the information at every stop.

I had a chance to catch up with some of the cast members.  Carolyn Holmes is Maggie Frasier who was laid to rest in "Potters Field", Tim Hamlin who makes his return as Captain Jonathan Walker who freed slaves and, Jackie Engel who plays Kitty Lee who's got quite a story of her own while her husband was out sailing the Great Lakes.  Take a listen to our chat for more!

Take a chance to learn a little more about where you're from.  We are so much more than here and now.  What we have today is great, but the storied history if Muskegon is one of our greatest treasures and as we move forward, knowing where we came from is essential.  Take your family out to Muskegon City of the Dead not only to support a great cause, but to enrich their life with some knowledge as to where we came from.  It's an event you won't regret attending and you'll walk away a little wiser from for being there.  You can click on the photo below to visit the Muskegon City of the Dead website.

 

cityofthedeadlead

 

Have you ever heard of Preferred Employment and Living Supports?  I had not until I got an invitation from Amanda Tague to learn a little more about the company and the services they offer.  Add to that, they have a new location and they are celebrating a 4 year anniversary so I loaded up the camera and went for a visit.  preferredFind Preferred Employment and Living on Facebook

Preferred Employment and Living Supports mission is simple, "To empower individuals faced with employment and life barriers to live higher quality and more independent lives through customized, relationship based and goal centered supports."  What that boils down to is they are there to help individuals who might need a hand keeping their home safe and clean, making medical appointments, time management, behavioral therapy, resume and job assistance, mobility and transportation, nursing services, relationship building and more.  A lot of the things that people take for granted in the day to day of life, others might find remarkably overwhelming and might cause them to isolate themselves.  

Preferred Employment and Living Supports also partners with some pretty big organizations like the Michigan Department of Community Health, The Brain Injury Association of Michigan and the National Rehabilitation Association to find the people who can best use their services and expertise.  I was able to sit down with Deb Tober, Dave Betlejewski and Samantha Scott who are partners in the company to learn a little more, and find out a little about the open house coming up.  Take a listen

If you'd care to join them for the open house, their new location is 1205 Peck Street in Muskegon.  The event is happening October 2nd from 4p-6p with a ribbon cutting at 4:30.  Some light refreshment will be served and you'll have an opportunity to meet the staff and learn more for yourself about what they do.  If it's a way for people in Muskegon to live better lives, we're glad to help share the story.  Our best wishes to Preferred Employment and Living Services!  You can visit their website by clicking below. 

preferred

This is a little new for the Muskegon Channel, I am here sharing some information and some opinion with you as I have seen a LOT of social media commentary that is very negative about the proposed millage that will be on the ballot coming up this November about the Youth Family and Community.  I was invited down to a meeting held by former Sheriff Bob Carter with a panel of people to speak on the millage and what it's really requesting.  yes for fam fbYes for Families on Facebook

For me, the key as in this is about our young people who get into trouble.  Currently, they are sent out of state to take corrective measures and while they are often taken care of for the short term, upon their return home, they come back to the same environment they left and become repeat and even more troublesome offenders.  It's a vicious cycle and one that needs to be taken care of here within our own community.  If we have the ability to not only help the offender, but to help the family so that when the time is served, we can truly begin to fix the issues we face.  If we can't get to the root of the problem, we'll continue to repeat what isn't working, expecting different results.  

I know it seems like a lot to ask.  I know too that there are those out there who'd like you to think that this is some kind of diversion for the jail to get paid for.  It's not.  The jail will have to be paid for one way or another should this millage pass or not.  I am asking that you listen to this panel of speakers with an open mind and consider what this can do for our kids....and our community

I encourage you to learn more.  I encourage you to get out and vote.  If your house is worth $100k it will cost you $6.25 per month.  I know from personal experience, that when life changes drastically, returning to what was is a wide open door to repeat behavior.  We need to focus on making sure that when we take the time and resources to invest in a young person to correct something that it's a change that will last a lifetime and that they can in turn be the provider of that kind of guidance for future generations here in Muskegon.  To visit the website for more information. click below.

yes for families

 

Time for some girl power!  And acoustic music and art, and poetry and more.  It's a day long festival designed to celebrate and empower "femms" from the Lakeshore area and give them a chance to showcase their art and everyone else a chance to see and hear what they are doing.  

It all got underway last year in Grand Haven and went well enough to bring year two about with a change to Muskegon for location and the addition of more than one venue for the event.  This year, things get underway at 2p on Saturday September 30th at Jackson Hill and carry on through out the evening to the Pigeon Hill Brewing Company and then to Unruly Brewing in Downtown Muskegon.  This event is free for people to attend, but there will be donations accepted and the proceeds will go to help Planned Parenthood.   ladyfest 2Ladyfest at the Lakeshore on Facebook

What will you see?  Well, there will be lots of performances! 18 of them if my count is correct and they will vary in their artistic styling's, so if one's not quite your cup of tea...stick around for the next, they might be right up your alley.  They also have a pretty defined statement, from their Facebook page - "We believe that the voices of women need to be heard, empowered, and connected. Ladyfest at the Lakeshore is our way of creating this catalyst in our very own community."  Strength in words!  

The schedule is as follows: 

Venue: Jackson House

2:00 PM - Opening words / PP & Committee
2:30 PM - Maggie May (Olivia Tatreau) 
3:00 PM - Brianne Ross 
3:30 PM - Molly Schaub
4:00 PM - Sand

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Venue: Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
500 W Western Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440

5:00 PM - Doors Open
5:30 PM - Maddie Jackson
6:00 PM - Lady Ace Boogie 
6:30 PM - Speaker from PP 
6:40 PM - Ana Elle
7:20 PM - Jessica in The Rainbow
8:00 PM - Libby DeCamp
8:45 PM - Speaker from PP

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Venue: Unruly Brewing
360 W Western Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440

9:00 PM - Doors Open
9:30 PM - Leah Kristene
10:00 PM - reggie
10:40 PM - Van Lente
11:20 PM - Bermudas

I was able to catch a few minutes with Leah Kristene at the Coffee Factory in Muskegon to talk about this event, the inspiration behind it and some of what you can expect to see this Saturday if you attend.  I can tell you this too, she's a spark.  It's awesome to have some one with so much passion behind her cause come on to talk about a fledgling event that has the potential to grow and has found the right place to grow in... Muskegon!  Take a listen to our chat below.

Many thanks to Leah for finding a few minutes in the final week of preparations before the festival to talk with us.  We're big on the idea of finding ways to help great festivals and organizations put down roots in Muskegon and given them a place to flourish.  After all, we work to be inclusive...everyone's contributions add up to make Muskegon a town that is heading in the right direction and able to attract more in the future.  Saturday... stop out to any of the locations listed above and enjoy some great music and more at Ladyfest on the Lakeshore!  

 

ladyfest1lead

It was a grand affair.  The Muskegon Channel was invited to broadcast live at the Frauenthal Center on Wednesday September 20th for their season premiere open house.  Hundreds from Muskegon and beyond were in attendance as some of the upcoming shows and presentations were on hand to talk about their upcoming events and all were invited to drop in on the live broadcast to join Andy O to talk about their show. 

We had guests on to talk about everything from Shakespeare to the Symphony and spiritual services to historic presentations.  I can tell you this..it's going to be a season FULL of things to do and see at the Frauenthal Center. 

We'll let the video do the talking on this one, and hey... if you were one of the guests, please...by all means, share this article and let it help spread the word about what you've got coming up at Muskegon's historic theater!  

Our Many thanks to the staff of the Frauenthal Center for having us out to talk about the upcoming season and if anything in the video sounded like something you'd be interested in, use the link below to head to the Frauenthal's site and learn a little more!

Frauenthal Center Logo

 

For me, it's hard to imagine that 38 years ago was 1980.  Yes... I was 10 and that's about the time that things start popping into memory for me.  When I was 21 and a camp counselor, the kids told me that they were born in 1980 and I just about fell off my chair because I had to face the fact that I remembered vividly what the world was they were born into.  1980 was also the first year that Muskegon jumped on board with the CROP walk to help end hunger and it's gone on ever since. 2015 crop walk POSTER 190x284aCROP Walk on Facebook

This year, the CROP Walk will be held October 1st and it kicks off at the Central United Methodist Church on Second Street in Downtown Muskegon.  Over the 38 years, Muskegon has raised over a million dollars to help beat out hunger both at home and on a global level.  Imagine the money raised here in our little corner of the world spreading out to over 40 countries all over the planet....all doing something for someone who will most likely never have the chance to pay us back, but..that's beside the point.  The point is, that we're a good and giving community and our outreach doesn't need payback.  That's not to say that a good portion of the proceeds don't go to work right here at home too, there are 4 local beneficiaries as well as some of the money going to help victims of this years hurricanes and the subsequent flooding that has occurred.  It's a pretty remarkable way for you to have an impact without a ton of effort.   

Dianna Wright Stubbs is the Executive Director of Mission for Area People, they are one of the local beneficiaries of the CROP Walk in Muskegon this year.  I was at MAP filming a story with her about the 50th anniversary they are celebrating and we figured we'd get in a talk about the CROP Walk too, take a listen.

 

 

38 years...they must be doing something right!  Get yourself in on the action and get your sneakers shined up and ready for the walk October 1st.  It's a great way to raise a few bucks and a great way to know your time and dedication went a little further.  If you'd like to know more, you can click on the image below to go to the CROP Walk page and learn more about the Muskegon CROP walk.

crop logo

 

 

We do our best to keep you up to date on the goings on in Muskegon, especially when it comes to the things that sooner or later will most likely effect our lives one way or another, and sadly, Alzheimer's Disease is one of those facts that we all will most likely have some interaction with in our time here.  It's a frightening thing to think that a friend or relative, or worse yet...a parent or ourselves will face the day that our physical memory will begin to just let go and with the loss of that memory will certainly follow the loss of other brain functions due to a dreaded disease called Alzheimer's.  

Personally, watching my dad having to deal with it in my grandfather was horrible.  Grandpa said to my dad, "I'm looking for Bill and Pete", Bill being my uncle and Pete being my dad, and my dad said "I'm Pete...I am right here" and grandpa said "No...Pete's just a little guy...have you seen him?"  I asked my dad what he did...and he said that he sat there and cried.  On one hand, I wished I was there for him, on the other...I just don't know if I could have bared it.  Grant it, my grandfather was 98 at the time....so it was a pretty dang good run before things started going wrong...but it happens all too often, and in some much earlier in life.  I'll just go ahead and say it... it sucks. walk fb pageWalk to End Alzheimer's Muskegon on Facebook

As the work continues, so does the hope.  We all do what we can and we all hope for a break through and continue to support the efforts of the Alzheimer's Association with events that they put on to help in the research and treatment of this awful disease.  They have brought speakers in to town to talk about the advancements in detection and treatment, and coming up this Saturday, they are having their big Walk to End Alzheimer's in Muskegon at Heritage Landing with the pre walk activities getting underway at 9 and the walk itself happening at 10:30.  They have a goal of raising $56,000 dollars this year for the Muskegon walk.  Kayla Myers is the point person for the Muskegon event...and a few more for that matter, and we met up outside Tanglewood to talk a little about the walk, the latest on Alzheimer's and if there is still room for you to participate this year if you'd like.  Take a listen!

 

It's tough to think that something like Alzheimer's Disease has had to become part of our daily language.  But like cancer, or obesity, diabetes, it's one of the diseases that we'll have to contend with until they find a cure.  As time goes on too, more and more will have to come to grips with it.  Scary and frustrating for sure, but the work will continue and so will the hope.  If you're in need of something to do Saturday morning, Heritage Landing is a great location to be to support those who are out to walk to end Alzheimer's.   

walk to end alz

 

It's a great event!  Imagine the Frauenthal Center wide open and filled with entertainment of all kinds.  Great food, plenty to drink and a chance to stroll the entire place to collect some stamps to grab a great prize of a night on the town in Muskegon.  Well, it's happening again September 20th and the entire community is invited.  

Last year it was a first time event, and people came from near and far to see what was to come in the new season, and this year, there are even more shows and events planned than last, so, your Wednesday evening will be filled with sample sized performances of all kinds of entertianment.  The best part of it is... it's absolutley free to come take a look around and you'll get to see every inch of the building, including a limited amount of "behind the scenes" tours if you get the passes the night of.  You'll be amazed at the back stage...under the stage, the dressing rooms, and more.  It's truly a historic landmark and the normally "off limits" stuff is not to be missed. Launch Party JPEGFull Schedule of Events for Frauenthal Open House

Back out front though, the list of things to see is so long....I am going to refer you to the Frauenthal Center's website, you'll find that linked in the photo to the right.  Everything gets underway at 5:30 and continues till 8:30.  Some of the highlights include the Barton Organ and all it's power played by Jim Fles, musical numbers from the Muskegon Civic Theater's production of "My Way", Big Daddy Fox and Friends playing in the Ballroom, The Lafayette Woodwind Quintet and more!  Again, please check the image to the right for the complete rundown of acts and times.

Linda Medema from the Frauenthal Center joined me to talk about this incredible night of fun and  gathering.  Not only do we talk about the evening's to do list, but we dip our toe into the entire upcoming season highlighting a few shows... including An Evening With Dr. Martin Luther King on October 5th, Annie Jr on October 14th and 15th, Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks on November 4th, and all the way into 2018 comedian Louie Anderson will be making a one night only stop at the Frau on March 9th!  How's that for fun?  Least we forget the Alley Door Club, the expos and of course the other special events.  It's quite a list.  Take a listen to our talk below.

 

 

 

 

Sitting around with nothing to do on a Wednesday?  Well, you're not anymore!  Let's all get together Downtown Muskegon and enjoy the fun of the open house and see what you might dig for the upcoming season!  Hey, for a few minutes of your time, you will enjoy a great night out at the right price and you'll get to see first hand just how expansive and versatile our theater complex is.  There is truly something for everyone.  We'll see you at the Frau September 20th!

 

Fall is in the air and the Salvation Army of Muskegon is ramping up for the holiday season which includes the annual Turkey Run on Thanksgiving and of course, you'll be hearing the bells soon outside your favorite retail spots.  The work never ends for the Salvation Army but I'd be willing to bet that you might not know that the Salvation Army has a very special group within the ranks called the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary.  sa expoWomen of Business Expo on Facebook

The women are the boots on the ground when it's time for the Salvation Army to get to work on things like the Turkey Run, Christmas gift distribution at the holidays.  They help contribute life skills, aid in humanitarian endeavors and build community relationships.  In the past, they have relied on things like rummage sales...featuring all kinds of items along with baked goods, hand made crafts, artisan items that are made by home based entrepreneurs and maybe some one off things donated by area companies that they just couldn't find a place for.  This year, they have taken a new twist to the fundraising event however... they are hosting an expo of all women owned, home based business and giving them an opportunity to show off what they make or sell.

September 23rd, you'll find over 20 booths, all owned and operated by women who'd like you to stop in and see what they offer.  Everything from self defense to high fashion, you can even find some Tupperware if you're in the market...and plenty more.  The expo is being held in the gymnasium at the Salvation Army's  location on Shonat in Muskegon.  Here's another thought... just because this is an all women owned business expo....doesn't mean men can't go shop there.  The do have a Tastefully Simple representative spot there, so if you're a guy and you're sick of eating Budget Gourmet and frozen pizza....you'll want to stop.

Robin Henshaw is with the Salvation Army and is much better at hiding behind the camera, but this time I lured her in front of it to talk about this years event, get the details here!

 A great day with a little girl power behind it, for a fantastic cause.  Make sure you stip in for a few and support the business owners as well as the work the Women's Auxillary of the Salvation Army of Muskegon does to help so many over the course of the year here in town.  If you'd like to know more about the Salvation Army of Muskegon, click on the image below to go to their website.

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Allow me to preface this story by saying that the subject matter might be a little scary for some.  We're talking about a radio documentary that discusses criminal sexual conduct.  There's nothing in the discussion that's out to sensationalize or titillate, but to some it might be an uncomfortable subject. Connie Nesbary Biz photo 2014 retouched smallVisit Connie Nesbary's Website

Connie Nesbary is a licensed professional counselor and a limited licensed psychologist who has worked with hundreds of clients over the past two decades recovering from post trauma stress in a wide range of circumstances.  She is also an avid speaker in conferences, college classes, radio and television interviews and now, has stepped into the long form documentary world producing a documentary called "Criminal Sexual Conduct - What Needs to Change".  Locally, it can be heard on WUVS - 103.7 The Beat and  M-106 Fm.  

Topics that are discussed in this 4 part, 4 hour documentary are - "Survivor Healing Journeys" -  "Changing Our Language and Culture" - " "Human Trafficking: Raising Awareness and Changing Perspectives" - and "Law Enforcement and Legislation".  When the documentary finishes it's run here in Muskegon it will be made available to radio stations nationally, yes, we have an export, and the message will carry to those who need the help across the country.  

Connie joined me at the Norton Branch of the Muskegon Area District Library to talk about this project that was over a year in the making.  She's an engaging speaker and her message is a great one.  Click on the video link below to hear the discussion.

                         

 

It's a tough subject to say the least.  It's shamed by some, swept under the rug by others and a taboo subject too long.  Connie is tackling the issues head on from every angle and this documentary.  If you'd like to know more, click on the link below to head to the 103.7 The Beat website.  

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Trinkets and Treasures is back for another year and ready for you to find that perfect little something that you have been looking for. I headed over to the Folkert Community Hub to chat with Jo Anne Hoekenga one of the members of the Women's Division Chamber of Commers. This is the 12th annual event that will be held on Friday September 15th from 9am-5pm and Saturday September 16th from 9am-3pm at the Folkert Community Hub which is located at 640 Seminole Rd. In Norton Shores. TT 2017 PosterTrinkets and Treasures 2017 on Facebook

This year the Women's Division has some new non-profit partners this year for the 2017 season. The kids Food Basket, North Muskegon Fire Department and the Muskegon Fire Fighters Local 370 will receive equal shares of the net proceeds from this sale. Each of these organizations will be present at the sale both days volunteering their time to help as it is one of the requirements to receive the money. Last year the three organizations that were partnered with each received a check for $7415.17.

I would also like to mention the sponsors that are going to be helping out this year. Redi Rental of Muskegon has lent all of the tables for use during the sale, Schuitema Moving & Storage graciously brought all of the items from storage to the warehouse for the sale (to truckloads full), JC Penny has lent their sale signs and some of the racks and holders to display items on and lastly Meijers of Norton Shores has provided shopping carts for you to use during the sale. 

There will be something new this year called the Early Bird Sale which will be on Friday starting for just a $5 donation. While I was at the Hub I was able to see some of the work that was being done to get ready for all of you lovely people to attend. The ladies that have been working on setting up for this event have done an amazing job at making your shopping experience as easy as possible. This warehouse is set up like a store so you will be able to know exactly where to go to find what you're looking for. Stop by and check it out, take it from me you don’t want to miss these deals.

 

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The crisp fall feeling air is a sure sign that hocky season isn't far off in Muskegon, and if you've been down to the LC Walker Arena lately, you'll see too, the ice is down and the Muskegon Lumberjacks are gearing up for the 2017-18 season!  It's an exciting time for the town as some of the favorites from last year return and a few new faces from all over the world make their way to the shores of Lake Michigan to be part of a team whos number one goal is to be "The best junior hockey team in the world."  It's a commitment we hear daily at the arena from the very top down and it's on every level.  From the play on the ice to the fan experience and the community involvement, being the best is what's asked.  Muskegon LumberjacksMuskegon Lumberjacks Online

The community involvement is deep too.  Being with the Jacks for a number of years, I have personally seen the level of engagement continue to go up through programs like the Jacks Reading Caravan.  The Jacks offer incentives to kids all over Muskegon County to encourage reading.  In turn for their commitment to reading, prizes and tickets are had!  The also host the annual education day game and help with the cost of busing the students to the game.  The head to assisted living centers to spend time with residents as well.  It's pretty touching to see some exercising done and some games played between a bunch of hockey hopefuls and some senior's who certainly enjoy the company.

You can help all this, and what's being asked?  Well, how bout 18 holes of golf at the Muskegon Country Club?  If they added in breakfast, lunch and dinner would it help?  How about prizes, raffles, meet and greets with players and staff?  It's going to be a great day for a great cause.  I caught up with John Vanbiesbrouck, who we all affectionately call "Beezer" at the rink to talk about the upcoming season and the Jacks Classic.... take a listen.

A great time for a great cause!  The link to get in the game is below!!  Join the Jacks for a great day on the links and know that your part of the team and community.  Hey, if nothing else...it's a day out of work and on the course!  The registration page is linked below!!  Get your foursome together and head out for a great time.

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The Muskegon Area Transit System (MATS) is happy to announce an new route in town called the Marquette Express.  Snappy name and all, but what is it?  Well, it's a giant step in the right direction.  It's a nimble and efficient way to connect two areas of town that are both moving and shaking and it's going to begin to help bring Muskegon closer and closer together with efficient and eco friendly transportation service.  mats marquette expressVisit MATS Online

Great selling points and all, but what is the Marquette Express?  Well, it's a bus line that's running a dedicated route between Downtown Muskegon and Muskegon Community College and Baker College.  Starting to see the awesome here?  It's a route for commuting students and it's open to the public as well.  It will make getting back and forth between the traditional campuses easier and it wil also make it easier for people who live in Downtown to get out to the Apple area to do things like go shopping at Great Lakes Fresh Market or to one of the many doctors offices out that way too.  This route has limited stops with expedited travel in mind and it runs every half an hour.  MATS is moving people like never before!  

The pricing is next to nothing, it's $1.25 for a ride.  If you're a senior or disabled, 60 cents....and you are on the go and heading where you need to be.  MATS has expanded service all over the county and this express service is one of their newer offerings being put in to play with time efficency in mind as well as an understanding of the impact we're seeing with the expansion of the colleges into Downtown Muskegon.

Karen Kacynski is with MATS and we sat down to talk about this new route and how it will help move MATS one step closer to making our public transportation system in Muskegon better for everyone.  Take a listen.

Making transportation affordable and easy for everyone is what MATS is all about.  The addition of the rural routes over the last couple of years was a big thing for the county, and now... with the Marquette Express coming into the city, it's going to save those who had to ride the older route a LOT of time and it's going to connect Downtown Muskegon to the campus area like never before.  Our many thanks to MATS for not only being a great sponsor of the Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskgon, but for also never quitting to find ways to help keep Muskegon on the move!  Watch Us Go on MATS!

 

It's not an easy conversation.  How do you approach your kids and have the talk about any of life's bigger issues?  When do you bring up the subject of drugs and alcohol and how they can effect everything from the development of their minds to the choices they make.  It's not an easy area do spark up a conversation for any parent, and if you'll allow me, I'll share a little personal experience. ts carTalk Sooner on Facebook

I was young....12 seems to be the age I remember and I had insomnia from the Ritalin I was taking.  It led me to sneak down to the garage after my parents went to bed and I'd drink about a half a beer to make me drowsy enough to get to sleep.  They didn't know, and I in no way "blame" them for what eventually became the biggest hurdle I had to overcome in life, but there were also not the kind of resources out there like Talk Early, Talk Often back in those days which could have helped.  I will also say too that in my case, you could have talked till you were blue in the face and it probably wouldn't have done much good.  I was among those who had to fight my own way through addiction, but educational offerings like Talk Sooner are awesome for those who can be caught before they head down that dark tunnel...and saving one from what I went through....worth every effort.

Talk Sooner is a website, and a phone app.  You can find information on the different drugs that are on the streets today.  You can also find ways to make the conversation a little easier with your children and answers to questions like when is a good time to begin the talk?  Honestly, as young as 9 or 10 is probably a decent time to get it on the radar so when the defenses start going up in the early teen years...it will already feel like common place and kids might not be as defensive.  They also encourage you to make time for family meals which give you time to talk...put away the digital devices and talk.  There are a host of events coming up that can help you out and they are offering some pretty cool incentives for you to get the app, including free appetizers at Brann's soon!  Stay tuned for the date on that!  

There will be a big focus on the app, the program and people on hand to help as the Muskegon Big Reds take on Fruitport September 8th. Rachel McCoy and Missy Gallegos joined me to talk about all of this on the beautiful campus at Muskegon High School.  Take a listen. 

Stories like this are important to me.  Not everyone has to endure what I did.  Some can't avoid it, addiction is an awful thing but education and awareness are better than ever before.  As a parent, I implore you to get past the hang up's.  Put aside the fears of the tough conversations and get yourself educated on the dangers, the most effective communications techinques and most of all, your past.  We were all kids once....we did things that we all learned from and it's on us to help the younger generation avoid the pitfalls.  I make a sincere effort to do that by going to schools and talking about my past in the hopes that one or two kids get it.  Be honest with your kids...let them know how much they mean to you and why you're bringing up the "tough stuff'.  In the long run, it will be priceless.  Click on the photo below to visit the Talk Sooner website.

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Have you ever thought about how public space is being used and how it could be used better? Have you ever heard of a Park(ing) event before? With Muskegon becoming the place to be these are things that we should be thinking about. Today I had a chance to talk with John Klayko about an awesome event that he is putting on to get us thinking about just this.

Park(ing) Day in Muskegon was inspired by Johns brother Branden. Branden found his love of old building and architecture when he went back home after finishing school. Branden had a passion for urbanism in his home town of Louisville Kentucky and so introduced the Park(ing) day event. Branden has since passed which brings us back to why this is so important to John. He would like to honor his brother and his memory by bringing you one of the thing that his brother loved so much. p dayPark(ing) Day Muskegon On Facebook

PARK(ing) Day all started in San Francisco through a group of architects who envisioned the parking meter as short-term lease on a piece of public property. The group created the first park with a piece sod, a bench, and a tree. PARK(ing) Day has since become celebrated as a global event. The meaning behind PARK(ing) Day is to generate conversation about how public space is being used, to bring attention to the need for more green space in an urban setting, and to improve the quality of life in the city as a whole.

 

How do you become involved you're asking.... well let me tell you. The Park(ing) Day is being held on September 15th from 9-6pm in Muskegon's down town parking spots. You will need to head over to the Park(ing) Day event page on Facebook and fill out an application. After that you are free to start the design process for your space. If you are unsure of what you want to do you can find some inspiration from Park(ing) Day event page from others who have joined in from around the globe. If you don’t want to build a park but still would like to support this awesome cause, you will be able to find and print out a map of all the awesome parks that will be popping up around town.

 

 

Becky must be good!  She's even gotten her hooks into the most impossible case in all of Muskegon to try a little fitness and wellness out...Andy O.  If you've been following along here on the Muskegon Channel, you are now on week 17!  These workouts are designed to be quick, done at your own pace and you can repeat them more than once daily if you are so moved!  We tape at The Gym in North Muskegon.  It's an awesome place centered around a club feel with all the amenities you'd expect from a much more expensive membership.  Becky is there as a group guru or you can inquire about a one on one plan if you like!  For now!  Get warmed up, get ready to go... here comes week 17!

 

 Anontherone in the books! Congrats!!  You look marvelous!  Hope you feel even better!!  If you'd care to teke it to the next level, stop into The Gym in North Muskegon and learn more!  If Andy can do it...so can you!  You can learn more about The Gym by visiting their website, click on the link below.

gym

It's been a busy summer at the Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore.  Lot's or programs have been implemented, lot's of kids are being impacted by the work that countless volunteers from our community and around the country have all been pitching in on and better futures are in store for these kids as well as Muskegon. bg muskegon 1Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon Lakeshore Online

It's been a summer of recreation, education, experiences and understanding.  We should throw in some life skills, sports, health, arts, character and leadership skills.  All foundations of what the Boys and Girls Club is all about.  Some have even called it... The Best Summer Ever.  But, it is back to school time and like any grand summer, it's got to come to an end and as the kids prepare to head back to the books the Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore didn't want it to go out without a bang.

Friday August 18th the kids were treated to a bass like no other.  Burgers and dogs prepared by Chef Jack Page who also took the summer to make sure daily lunch was prepared for the kids, there were dunk tanks, arts and crafts, back to school kits field activities and a host of partner agencies on hand that help the Boys and Girls Club out on a number of different levels.  As I was setting up to tape the story, the grill was just getting going, the kids were gathering and beginning to get rowdy and the party was just about to kick off!

I grabbed Molly Kristofferson and Brian Rivera just as it was about to pop for a quick chat... take a listen. 

It's a quick switch over into after school mode from the summer programs into the after school mode and what a way to go out of the summer of 2017.  Our thanks to the Boys and Girls for their tireless work and building the futures of our young people to be brighter and better tomorrow.  

 

We're always happy to hear about a new spot in town.  It's also nice to see something pop up on Main Street in Muskegon Heights and see that growth is not exclusive to one neighborhood or another here in town.  Mayor Kim Simms declared "The New Normal" a year or so ago and part of that includes making the effort to revitalize the Broadway Avenue portion of Muskegon Heights.  The Muskegon Heights Farmers Market is a great attraction, Read Muskegon has recently moved their center to the block, Rowan Park is home to movies in the park and what was promised is becoming reality.   sisters fbSisters Gifts and More on Facebook

I got a message from Eve Zwolinski not long ago asking me if I had heard of the shop and what they did, which I hadn't and since it's been a bit since we've ventured into the Heights for a story, I headed down to see what's going on.  Located at 46 E. Broadway this unique boutique shop offers hand made gifts, custom one of a kind jewelry they carry the Eve's Organic Essentials line of products and they also offer an aray of classes on lots of skills that might be getting lost in the shuffle of modern life.   Crochet, sewing, painting are all valuable skills and at risk of being lost to video games, snap chats twitters and more.  They teach all of them in the back.

One thing they didn't get into in the video.. the compassion offered.  They have things like a prayer bear, they have a small ministry, they have a wish jar.... they have a gentle approach to togetherness and healing and they strive to bring settlement to peoples minds.  It's a slice of small town America right in the "inner city" which in reality, is just that...small town America.

Take a listen to our talk below!

 

 

 

It's a new day dawning, all over the area.  What a pleasure to see a one of a kind shop, with locally made items putting down roots in a once "forgotten" area.  Take a few minutes out and stop in.  Better yet, if you'd like to learn some of the skills they teach or possibliy consign some items you make, talk to the gals at Sisters Gifts and More and help be part of the revitalization of Downtown Muskegon Heights!  All of our neighborhoods are better off in good health.  

The Summer of 2017 has been spectacular and it's not even close to being over!  September 2nd marks 12 years that Shoreline Vision has been putting on the Run for Sight which is a 5k run or walk, however you choose and the focus of the event is to benefit those who need a hand when it comes to the car of their eyes.  Shoreline Vision is a remarkable group of physicians.  As they have grown and the services they offer expanded, they have also kept sight on the fact that being a good community steward is important and that lending a hand to an organization like the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) is not only the right thing to do, it's good business and a caring approach to help others in the profession of eye care.  abviVisit the AVBI of Michigan Online

100% of the proceeds of the Run for Sight go to benefit the ABVI.  ABVI goes beyond just vision care too.  They help people who are learning to cope with vision loss with support groups, clinics, daily living skills, vision aids and appliances, youth programs and counselling.  It's got to be quite a frightening thing to be in the beginning stages of vision loss and ABVI is there to support those who need the helping hand.  It's a remarkable outreach and Shoreline Vision is proud to support their work.

Back to the run.  Are you up for a competitive chipped 5k?  Maybe you'd like to enjoy the scenic beauty of Pere Marquette?  Maybe it's a first or maybe it's the run you wrap up the Summer with.  No matter what you like, be a part of a fun day with a great purpose and an amazing way to ease into Fall on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Shawn Cook joined me to talk about the event from the Shoreline Vision Surgical Center.  Take a listen to our talk about the event!

It's an affordale run/walk and it's something everyone can get behind to support those who are experiencing vision loss.  It's also a chance to invite friends and family out from all over the area to come and enjoy a cool September morninig on the shores of our beautiful lake!  If you'd like to reserve your spot, please do before the August 14th deadline and save yourself a few bucks!  Click on the photo below and you'll go direct to the Run for Sight registration page.  Hats off to Shoreline Vision for their commitment to Muskegon and all of our vision!

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Earlier this Spring, Positively Muskegon visited Dan Gentz as Great Lakes Fresh Market was just taking hold in Muskegon in the former Plumbs locations.  We spent a little time getting to know Dan and learning his philosophy about being a local grocer in a world of giants, and so far, from the looks of things, Great Lakes Fresh Markets have been doing a pretty good job holding their own while keeping an eye on what the area needs and wants when it comes to quality, affordability and customer service.  glfm shermanFollow Great Lakes Fresh Market on Facebook

On our first visit, the future of the Norton Shores location was still up in the air.  The new company wasn't sure if they were going to re-open the old store at 1663 W. Sherman and the comments from readers of the Positively Muskegon Blog were all hopeful that they would someday return.  Well, the news broke today that in fact Great Lakes Fresh Market would be re-opening the store on Sherman and in time, their offices would be moving there too from their current location at the Colby Road location in Whitehall.   

I owed Dan Gentz another visit anyway to see how things were settling in for him here in Muskegon and like anyone else, he and his family are loving it.  The sunsets, the people, the community and the opportunities are all amazing.  They have found a great way to give back by partnering with Kids Food Basket and you'll begin seeing them more and more in the community in a number of ways in the days to come.  Dan and I sat down for a quick talk, hear from him directly about the timeline for the Sherman store and believe it or not...what's being thought of even past that..I promise you this, there is no moss growing under the feet of The Gentz family or Great Lakes Fresh Market...take a listen.

 

 

 

EVEN HIS PARENTS are moving here!  Ladies and gents.....can you say boom town?  I love it!  We'll continue to follow the success and growth of Great Lakes Fresh Market here in Muskegon.  To be honest, to know that we're not the only one's that don't mind taking on the "big guys" when it comes to local stuff...kind of makes us feel pretty good.  Work will be getting underway at the Sherman location soon and if all goes to plan, by November you'll see a great shopping option in Norton Shores run by a local family with your friends and neighbors working there to make your shopping experience that comfortable neighborhood feeling you love.  To visit Great Lakes Fresh Market online click on the photo below.

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We're honored to welcome The Muskegon Polish Festival to the Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon as a sponsor.  We like to celebrate all of our new partners with a welcome honestly as our work is a reflection of the work of so many others here in town who make things happen.  The Muskegon Polish Festival Happened for the first time last year and boy, did it ever happen.  Almost too much happening....but let's take a step back a second. mpf fb leadMuskegon Polish Festival on Facebook

First off, you may or may not know this, but Muskegon is truly a hot spot for polka music.  Tom Sanocki has kept his Polka Melodies show going for 21 years now on the radio and trust me when I tell you this, his audience is fiercely loyal.  You may remember, I have some previous experience in the field and know what it's like to have an audience like his.  His fans drop everything when the show comes on and that's what's going to be the entertainment.  Second, we've got some great Polish halls.  Never been to an area hall?  Cheap drinks, friendly people, affordable rental space and a comfortable atmosphere.  Hard to top.  Finally, Muskegon is all about festivals...right about now...you should be starting to see why the first Muskegon Polish Festival was such a hit.  A perfect storm was brewing for a party.  7000 people showed up.  :)

Year two, well they have had a chance to plan a little better, add a few things and get ready to go on Labor Day weekend.  It kicks off with a lunch time free admission.  Yes, head to Hackley Park for a great lunch with a Polish flare and you'll get a wrist band good to get you back in for later that night.  They have polka bands lined up to go all day, they have food, imported Polish beer, kielbasa, kapusta...(do keep in mind...a good part of my youth was spent on the west side of Grand Rapids...I am slobbering all over the keyboard).  That's day 1.

Tom Sanocki joined me at the corner of 4th and Western to talk about the event a little and we'll continue to keep you updated as it draws near.  We're excited and honored to be a part of the fun and to watch yet another new, fun festival get off the ground is a great thing for all of Muskegon.  Take a listen.

Here we go!  Mark the calendar for Labor Day weekend and make sure you stop in to Hackley Park to roll out the barrel!  It's a dream come true to watch so many things continue to grow here and more over, it's amazing to watch how an idea can explode like it did last year with the Polish Festival.  To me, it tells me that Muskegon's rebound is strong and true. It tells me too that our belief in ourselves is getting stronger every day and our sustainability...it's growing!  If you'd like to know more about the Muskegon Polish Festival, click on their image below.

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A couple of weeks ago, we visited the Dalton Township Fire Department to talk about a much needed millage vote coming up and while we were there, they gave me a sneak peek at a new apparatus they were just about to complete for training of fire fighters in a number of scenarios.  As promised, we headed back for the dedication of the structure as well as a demonstration of some of the techniques they will practice on this device. IMG 8185

Inspired by the loss of two fire fighters, sadly this is how most innovation happens, what now stands in Dalton Township will be open to for departments all over the area to work with.  In fact, they are already getting requests from fire departments state wide for the blueprints for the Saving Our Own prop.  Imagine that?  Dalton Township is taking the lead state wide in innovation and protection of our first responders. 

It took some work to get this done.  There were plenty of donations as well as volunteer hours spent to build the structure and of course some planning and consideration to be done by the Dalton Township board, but in the end it all came together to provide a much needed way to add some training options for our local fire departments.  On top, the floor has a removable panel to simulate a second floor collapse.  It also has a window for fire fighters to practice rescuing people from a structure on a ladder.  You'll see it in practice in the video.  The lower level, you'll find a very narrow couple of hallway simulations as well as a breach wall where fire fighters practice going right through the wall.  Did you ever imagine that they would have to not only punch their way through the wall, but also avoid getting tangled up in all the wires hidden in the wall?  Crazy and remarkably dangerous.  

Fire Chief Alan Styles was my guest this time to talk about the structure in more detail  Take a listen to our talk about this really cool "prop" as he calls it.

As mentioned a week or so ago, we focus an awful lot on the immediate Muskegon area, but Fruitport to Montague is what "Muskegon" is to us.  We're proud to help showcase the great things in all of our communities and the Dalton Township FD is really doing what they can to not only improve their department, but offer others the chance too.  Their outreach continues to area schools grows, their commitment to protecting the area residents is resolute and their excitement and pride over the Saving Our Own Devise is contagious.  Our thanks to the Dalton Township FD for letting us debut this awesome tool!! 

It's been a busy few weeks, but we're getting back on pace with programming here and that includes another visit with Chef Char at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market!

Since it's blueberry season, and Char knows that I have a sweet tooth, she brought up the idea of doing a strudel.  Little did I know that she cut her teeth cooking making strudels up at the Cherry Pointe Market in Sliver Lake!  Not a bad first job huh?  Without further adieu let's get cooking!

Chef Char is a rock star in the kitchen and she's also got an awesome website you outta take a look at, if you click on her photo below, it will take you directly there and you can learn more about her, the classes she offers and her other media appearances!  Our most sincere thanks to Char for making time for the Muskegon Channel.  The recipe for the strudel is below!

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The Recipe - 

Chef Char’s Blueberry Pie Filling

Ingredients:

 

5 pound bag

IQF blueberries, thawed and drained (reserve juices)

3/4 cup

corn starch

2 cups

reserved juices from fruit

3 cups

granulated sugar

1/2 cup

lemon juice

1 tsp

salt

2 Tbls

almond extract

(makes 10 cups)

Directions:

 

Dissolve corn starch in reserved juices in pan before heating.

When most of the corn starch is dissolved into the juice, start to cook the slurry over medium heat while stirring.

Add sugar, lemon juice, salt and extract and stir until all ingredients are dissolved.

Bring sauce to a boil and shut off heat.  Pour sauce over drained fruit in a large bowl.

Stir so that all fruit is coated in sauce.  Allow sauce to cool before adding to crusts.

To make a strudel, thaw four puff pastry sheets.  Once thawed, roll pastry sheets a few times to stretch the dough slightly.  Cut slices on each side, one third of the way across the pastry sheet.  Place about 2 cups of filling down the center of the pastry sheet.  Braid the strudel with the cut pieces of pastry dough by weaving each side over and under.  Fold the bottom braid and bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until crust is flaky and brown with filling boiling out slightly. 

Allow to cool and coat with a lemon glaze (2 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup water, 2 Tbls fresh squeezed lemon juice) and garnish with toasted almonds.

This recipe makes enough filling for two 9” fruit pies or four strudel pastries.  The blueberry filling is also delicious served over pancakes, waffles or ice cream.  

The Muskegon Chapter of The American Red Cross is looking for a few good men or women who can help!  It's a simple request and it doesn't involve needles this time, although do keep in mind that The Red Cross is always in need of blood to maintain the supply here in town.  No, this time they are asking for outgoing people who have a good driving record and the willingness to grab the wheel of a Red Cross vehicle and take patients who need medical treatment to their appointments.  Simple as that. red crossRed Cross Online

It's a matter of a few hours once or twice a week, or if you can spare more, that's fine too.  You go through a simple background check and driving record check then...you hit the streets.  One day, you may be picking someone up who needs a trip to dialysis, the next...chemo therapy.  It might be a routine doctor visit or maybe a check up at the clinic, but the important part is you're taking an active role in helping someone out who otherwise wouldn't be able to make it to their appointments.  

In all honesty too, what harm can come of being able to provide a ride to someone?  You give them some time out of the house, a little company they might not otherwise have and the important thing you're helping make sure that the treatment they need is fulfilled.  You may find that the rewards are greater than anything by establishing a connection with someone who you would have otherwise probably never met.  

I met up with Mark Evans of the American Red Cross of Muskegon to talk about the need for some more hands on deck when it comes to drivers.  They actually have a waiting list of people who are in need of transportation, so take a listen to our chat and see if you can carve an hour or two out a week to help.

Not much to it, but the impact you can have is enormus. Mark even gave me a direct line for you to call if you are interested in helping out.  231-720-4254.  It's a community building thing, taking care of those who can't take care of themselves is essential.  We show our compassion by assiting those in need.  Consider a few hours a week or a month to help and think about how cool you'll look hot roddin' around town in one of those awesome Red Cross vehicles.

 

To get me to head in to the air conditioned comfort of the Muskegon Area District Library was not much of a fight. They asked if we'd come talk about some of the fantastic programming they had going on over the summer months to not only keep young minds working during a little downtime from school, but to also give area families a little something to do that doesn't involve snap chats and video games and you tubes and on and on and on.  Yes, you hear me saying it now...the importance of stimulating little minds..and your own is second to none.  Today's offerings in the world of digital entertainment are beyond anything I could have ever imagined growing up, but, the basics...like reading...writing, arts, crafts and inspiration all need to be fostered in young peoples minds. MADL 061517MADL on Facebook

The summer is when the Muskegon Area District Library kicks everything into high gear.  The events calendar on their website is a staggering collection of things to do, see and learn across all of their 10 branches located all across Muskegon county.  Recently, the MADL had asked voters to approve a millage request and from the looks of the amount of work that's going on to engage and enlighten, that millage passing was put to incredible use.  Everything from family story times to movie showings, t-shirt paintings to country music shows, flower and botany contests, computer training, used book sales...it doesn't end.  There is literally a flurry of activity every day, all summer long.  The best part it...it all focuses on making sure that minds stay active and don't lose the edge over the vacation break.

If all of that isn't enough...let's talk about the entire online arm of the MADL.  Foreign language learning services, Hoopla, which is all your favorite entertainment options like movies, albums, TV episodes and more, Databases (because who doesn't love a good database), foreign television programming, English as a second language courses...you could literally get lost in the digital end of things alone.  It's a pretty remarkable library system we're sporting here in Muskegon.

I met up with Alison Purgiel who is the Librarian of the Norton Shores branch of the MADL to talk about the goings on, she's really got her finger on the pulse of it all.  Take a listen to our chat below.

 

 

Our community might not be the richest, but..let's be honest here.  we can get just as much out of what we have as any other.  We have got an amazing library system that we all agreed by vote should be preserved and used for generations to come.  It's always a great pleasure to stop in to any of our area library branches.  It's equally a pleasure to talk to Alison.  She's so passionate about her job and her community.  To have the MADL on as a sponsor here and Positively Muskegon is truly a nod to us too saying that we're getting it right.  It's a great partnership.  If you'd like to know more about all that's going on at the Muskegon Area District Library, click on the photo below to go to their website!

 

10 branches

We spend an awful lot of time right in town with stories, but as I have said a million times, Muskegon to me is from about Fruitport to Montague...it's our area.  So, I was happy to get an invite up to the Dalton Fire Department to learn a little about their staff and some things coming up in that neck of the woods.  

First off, I got a peek at something you'll see in a couple of weeks.  It's not quite ready for the big unveiling yet, but right up there in little old Dalton, they have an incredible training apparatus that is already being talked about statewide to be used or duplicated for other fire departments to train their staff on.  Imagine that?  They are coming from all over Michigan to train in Dalton!  More on that in a couple of weeks. dfdDalton Fire Department on Facebook

As we sat down today, it was more about a millage vote coming up.  Ya, a millage vote.  Dalton needs a new fire truck as their current one is about to turn 20.  Its in perfectly good shape, but here's the rub.  There's this thing called an "ISO" rating.  I don't know a whole lot about them but, in order to maintain insurance rates on peoples homes the ISO rating has to be a certain score and part of that is how current the equipment of the local municipalities is. In a nut shell, Dalton is asking it's residents for about $37 bucks a year for the new truck as opposed to a little more than double that in increased insurance costs should their ISO rating change.  About as simple as I can put it.

I had a chance to sit down with Fire Chief Al Styles and Dalton Township Supervisor Tony Barnes to discuss this millage request and learn a little more about the Dalton FD.  It's truly a remarkable team of dedicated people, most of which not only balance the rigors of being on the fire department, but also keep full time jobs in other fields too.  It's a fire department as modern as any other, but it's also got a very small town home grown feel to it and yes, every fantasy you ever had about being a fireman as a kid comes bursting back into mind.  Take a listen to our chat below.

 

Like we said in the video, not asking you to vote one way or another, but the need is real, and the cost is pretty low to maintain the effectiveness that the Dalton Fire Department prides themselves on so very much.  We all tend to focus on what goes on right in Muskegon, I know I am one of them,  but our county is vast and the Dalton area sees an awful lot of activity year round and is home to a lot of our residents.  The thing I took away from Al and Tony was they are out to save their residents a few bucks and make sure the essential equipment is on hand.  Thanks to Al and Tony for the visit and check back in a couple weeks when we show you that new piece of training gear.  It's pretty awesome to have right here in Muskegon.

 

Stand Up for the Cure.  What an event in Muskegon!  Can you imagine anywhere else that such an amazing event can take place for such a tremendous cause?  Wait....what?  You need to know more?  Ok.

Stand Up for the Cure is an event centered around the water that benefits Susan G. Komen of Michigan.  From their website - "Komen Michigan is an independent, local non-profit organization that is dedicated to combating breast cancer, saving lives and reducing breast cancer mortality in Michigan. There are barriers that prevent women from getting screened and receiving treatment including financial, cultural and language barriers, transportation issues and a lack of knowledge. With the help of our patient-centered network of nonprofits and community support, we are overcoming these barriers through innovative education programs, screenings, diagnostics, transportation, survivor programs and cutting-edge research.Through Komen Michigan, money raised here stays here to fund life-saving programs and research. Komen Michigan has funded more than $12 million in local breast health programs over the last 20 years, filling the gap for much-needed services across the region." suftc1 origStand Up For the Cure on Facebook

Last year, Stand Up For the Cure of Muskegon Raised over $75,000.  That's a big chunk of money for such a great cause and in 2017 they hope to do just a little better.  Well, ok, a lot better.  You'll find a chance to try the stand up paddle boards, great food with your lunch provided, music, free breast cancer and melanoma screenings, a happy hour, fun events for beginners experts and fun for the whole family. 

I was joined by Dianne Hoofman and Shawn Taylor at Harbor Towne Beach where this years event will happen on July 8th.  Take a listen to our talk about all things SUFTC and Komen.  Betten Baker and the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce, Spectrum Health Cancer Center, Mercy Health, Shape, Arconic, KL Outdoor, The Muskegon Airport, The Lighthouse Group, Quality Tool and Stamping, Century Foundry, Tyler Sales, Meijer, Port City Group, Restoration Services, Devoursney LLC and West Wind Construction are the great sponsors behind this event.

You can't miss out on the fun!  You can't miss out on the cause and more importantly, you can't miss out on the rest of your life.  Early detection is the key and the ability for all women to receive equal treatment is vital.  Susan G Komen works to make sure that access is provided for all women and all women come together to make this a remarkable organization.  Men, let's be honest...we'd be lost without the women, so we're equally indebted to help the cause.  Mom's, grandma's, wives, daughters...the women in our lives are so very important.  Help Komen assure that they all have access to the same care that will keep them here with us for a long time to come.  For registration info, click on the image below.

stand uplead

 

It's time Muskegon goes to the dogs. The dog park that is, with the help of many contributors Muskegon is getting its first public dog park. You will be able to bring your four-legged family member to the downtown Muskegon PetSafe Bark Park at the end of summer or beginning of fall. dogsgo1Pet Safe Bark Park on Facebook
 
This amazing off leash dog park will be located on the corner of West Western Avenue and Shoreline Drive. The Michigan Economic Development Corp is leading the funding groups along with PetSafe, the Muskegon Kennel Club, Community Foundation for Muskegon County and Downtown Muskegon Now. All of the help of these businesses along with dog enthusiasts throughout the community have helped raise money totaling $110,000 through the crowdfunding campaign last year. 
 
I caught up with Dave Alexander and Sara Sass right out in front of the entrance where construction is just underway to talk more about the park.  Take a listen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whether you have a small dog or a large dog each will have their own area at the Bark Park. There will be a large fence around the whole area and a fence in between for small and large dogs to be separated. You will find a watering hole for the pets and their humans along with picnic tables and other fun activities for the whole family. I can't wait to see you and all of your four-legged furry family members at the dog park!

Like most anyone, I have had to roll with the punches when it comes to my working life.  I started off in radio, and would have been very content in doing just that for a few hours a day, along with helping find ways to help others out with the proper use of it.  Creativity, inspiration, drive, passion and yes, a few minutes in the spotlight all played into the career I built and was taught by so many good and truly talented people.  It's evolved some, and the internet is the main platform now, and I can't hide behind the microphone anymore....sorry....I wish the host of this show was better looking, but at the end of the day, way deep down I am still a radio geek.  I scan the AM dial in the night...I have a CB I take on out of state trips...I long for the days when that companion voice was there to keep you company.

Now, let's change the conversation a little.  Today, it's all online.  We get our music, info, entertainment all from a stream for the most part and in as much as the choices are vast, there are still some things to consider when it comes to the web.  What if the internet crashes?  What if there is false information?  What if the power is out?  What if what it what if???  There is still a whole lot of "wild west" when it comes to the internet.  Luckily, in Muskegon, we have a group of dedicated radio operators that can handle information in any emergency situation, and they would like to meet you. mkg am radioMuskegon Amateur Radio Council On Facebook

The Muskegon Area Amateur Radio Council is a group of radio operators who communicate with others across the area, the state, nation and world on different bands of radio called short wave.  We're used to AM and FM for the most part, but the radio frequency spectrum is wide...and it's always getting wider....wait....radio geek coming out....I'll slow down some.  To simplify, they operate 2 way communications and have been since long before cell phones came along.  The are weather spotters, they are emergency contacts, disaster reporters and they operate radio for reasons far more important than getting back stage passes to all the concerts.  

Amateur radio is something I have always wanted to get in to.  I am sincerely going to someday.  But for now, there are people like Ron Minzey here in town who handle the job and are not only dedicated to the passion of radio operation, but the safety of all of us with their love of the craft.  The Muskegon Area Amateur Radio Council will be hosting their annual field day June 24th-25th at Margret Drake Elliot Park down by the Muskegon Channel and you're invited to come an meet them and learn a little more about thier endeavors.  Take a listen to our chat below.

 

 

 

 

 

As my career has gone....it's always remained rooted in the fascination of that voice coming out of that little speaker.  Sure, some times the speakers were huge and sometimes, they fit right in your ear...but the ability to be that voice....you never lose the need for it once you have the bug.  If fact, today most of the things you hear from me are written, but they are written in the hopes that you hear me speaking in the tone you are used to.  I hope to be among the Muskegon Amateur Radio Operators some day soon.  I hope too that you appreciate them for the work they do and the safety they provide all of us.  Stop down and see them near the channel this weekend, and rest well knowing they are tuned in for you. 

radio listener

 

 

 

It's time once again to get out and enjoy the festival like atmosphere at the Muskegon Farmers Market as the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce presents Downtown Dancing this summer!  It's a give back to Muskegon as a thanks for all the being part of all the other great events they do, and let's be honest.  There ar some big events over the course of the year.  There is Trinkets and Treasures, They have Fashion and Frolic and of course the big one, Dancing with the Local Stars. WDCC logoWDCC Online

All of their work is done for the benefit of Muskegon and places in need.  Local food pantries get filled, a good time is had by many and Muskeogn is better off thanks to the hard work of the WDCC.  They also provide scholarships, they do an adopt a senior program, they make hats mittens and scarves for Every Woman's Place, and they create civic consciousnesses through unity and coordination of activities.  

This year, you'll see bands like Yard Sale Underwear, Sliverado, Carl Webb Band, and Lakeshore Big Band.  You'll enjoy free admission and plenty of great food form local vendors.  I was joined by Sue Lumley and Jackie Engel at the Muskegon Farmers Market to find out all the details, take a listen below.

 

 

Fun for the whole family and the price it right!  Spend some time out enjoying Downtown Muskegon.  Keep in mind, it's growing by leaps and bounds.  There are the new Shops on Western, plenty pf great restaurants, brewereies and a great sense of community to be enjoyed.  You'll hear top notch acts and you'll see first hand the awesome things happening.  Many thanks to the WDCC for the work they do around town, show your appreciation by grabbing the lawn chairs and heading down for a night or tow of fun.  The full schedule is listen below!

Downtown Dancing 2017

Do you remember Bike to Work Week? Are you wondering why you didn’t hear anything about it this year? Well, it has evolved into Smart Commute to Work Week and encompasses all forms of transportation including; walking, running, ride sharing, and utilizing public transportation via the MATS bus. smart commute mkgSmart Commute Muskegon on Facebook

This is the first year for Smart Commute to Work Week and it has seen a healthy interest from those in Muskegon County. Some of the organizers joined the Muskegon Channel to discuss the week long initiative, the really cool events and incentives, and how people can adopt the Smart Commute to Work Week concepts all year long.

Tom Lindrup and Scott Blease met me at the Muskegon Farmers Market to talk about the week long event, take a listen to our talk below.

 

 

 

 

It's a new day in Muskegon.  Get out and enjoy it.  Oil up that bike chain.  Buddy up for a ride to work, try MATS.  Take just a littl bit away from your carbon foot print and add a little bit back to your over all good health.  You'll be glad you did!  For more info, click on the logo below for the Muskegon Smart Commute Week website.

mkg smart commute week

In Muskegon, if someone sees a need, generally it gets filled.  We're fortunate enough to have people passionate about pretty much everything...and you know, there are plenty of people here passionate about motorcycles!  Ya...we've got a vibrant and active biker community and they do a LOT for local charity and causes.  

Everything from cancer centers to kids benefit from the work bikers do and the events they put on.  We draw huge groups of tourists, we get top named entertainment.  We grab the spotlight on television we see glamour bikes, celebrity appearances, dare devils and more.  If you have not stopped and looked lately, bikers have been a huge part of making Muskegon go! Sheriff's Motor Patrol

At the end of the day though, it's a genuine willingness to help a cause and use their collective skills to accomplish something that matters.  Last year, an issue popped up that put the Muskegon County Sheriff's Motor Patrol Unit in jeopardy and once again, it was bikers to the rescue.  The Motor Patrol is the biker division of the Sheriff's office.  They use their bikes to escort parades, motorcades and manage traffic in places.  They also use the low profile of the motorcycles to patrol for speeders and make sure everyone is following the rules.  The funding for the Motor Patrol isn't in the budget so it has to come from donors, and that's where the bikers come in.  

John Fredrick and Scott Smith caught wind of the possible closure and decided to take action.  A quick call to Lt. Shane Brown and the "wheels" were in motion and The Community Run was born.  As an added bonus, No More Sidelines was a partner beneficiary in the endeavor, which gave the run a place to call home and a chance for No More Sidelines to show off their beautiful Folkert Community Hub to an entire new group of people.  

 

nmsLearn More About No More Sidelines

 

Year two will see a bigger event.  It's happening June 24th at the Folkert Community Hub located at 640 Seminole Road in Muskegon.  There will be the poker run, a car and bike show, an awesome stunt show, plenty of vendors on hand a silent auction and plenty for kids to do.  You don't have to feel restricted to a motorcycle to be on the run either!  Take your car, van, pick up truck...whatever...at No More Sidelines...everyone gets to play!

I met up with John and Scott along with Lt. Shane Brown and Sheriff Mike Poulin at the Muskegon County Emergency Command Center to talk about this years event, take a listen to the details below.

 

 

 

 An amazing endeavor...a fantastic partnership and more proof that Muskegon finds a way to fill a hole and have a good time doing it!  Be a part of the Community Run June 24th in whatever you like.  Take your motor home if you want!  It's all for a great cause, or two in this case...and you'll be glad you did.  For the official event page, click on the photo below!

nms community run

 

 

What is your favorite candy from childhood? I would have to say mine would be butterscotch lifesaver or root beer barrels. I love to be able to get a piece and have it bring me back to my childhood days. If you are anything like me you may have developed quite a sweet tooth as the years go on. That is where the Lakeside Emporium comes into play, It's My “Willy Wonka Candy Factory”. LakesideEmp2Lakeside Emporium Online

The Lakeside Emporium has everything you're looking for from that nostalgic treat to delectable chocolates, gummies and oh so much more. The Lakeside Emporium is having their 14th annual LEAP (Lakeside Emporium Anniversary Party) on June 17th.

This awesome event starts at 9:30 a.m. and runs till 4 p.m. on Saturday. Just like years past the Lakeside Emporium is bringing us some amazing activities to fill the day. Gary's Grill N Smoke will be cooking on site, there will be tons of children's activities including face painting by Jen. Don't forget to stop at the MI Photo Booth to strike a pose. You will also be able to have a chance to win a prize every half hour.

Both young and old will love this event where there will be something for everybody. If you have never been I definitely recommend you going to try it out even if you don't go all day. Check out the video that was taken of my conversation with the owner of the Lakeside Emporium. Join us as we talked about this amazing event to get a better insight on all the fun that is about to happen.

Make sure you head down to Lakeside for a great time at the LEAP party!  The Samples are truly a great couple who show the best side of Muskegon to all who visit thier store.  It's an authentic old time feel and a level of service not often found anymore. 

Connections!  One of the best things about being in the "media" is the ability to make connections.  Like say a couple weeks ago when Chef Char was taping the now world famous rhubarb episode, as we finished taping, in walks the next guy to have some time reserved in Kitchen 242.  Kenneth McCallum was next up to work on his amazing home made pastas.  

As we're finishing and eating the amazing rhubarb crisp, we figured we'd bribe Ken with some of the deliciousness, it was his kitchen time after all, and as we talked and ate a light went off in my head.  (I know, I'm amazed too).  "Hey, what if we have Ken here on the next episode and we'll cook something with his pasta?!?"  Enter Fresco Mercato Pasta. fresco mercatoFresco Mercato on Facebook

Fresco Mercato is an artisan locally made pasta.  Gourmet in every sense of the word with flavors like tomato basil, lemon pepper, and garlic Parmesan.  They are all produced without preservatives and hand made right here in Muskegon. Years of work have gone into the perfection of the ingredients and I promise you...they are delicious.  You can find them at the Muskegon Farmers Market and a few more places Ken will mention.  Char shares the camera time and together they whip up a lemon pepper shrimp dish that was absolutely to die for.  All yours for the viewing right here on The Muskegon Channel.

 

 

 

 

Allow me to share a thought?  Earlier in the article here, I said a little something about connections.  THIS is what media is supposed to be doing in a town like Muskegon.  I take my ability to get the word out.  Char takes her ability to cook, together we find Ken and we give his business a little boost in a place that ANYONE can use to go get going for themselves.  We're making the best out of what we have to work with and guess what?  It's working!!  :)  This is greatness unfolding and pride growing!  #ThisIsMuskegon.  

Here's the recipe for the dish from the awesome Chef Char!  

Shrimp Lemon Pepper Pasta
Ingredients:
1 package lemon pepper pasta from Fresco Mercado
½ onion, small dice
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 ½ pounds raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
3 Tablespoons butter
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine (Brower’s Harbor Pinot Grigio was used in the recipe in the video)
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, minced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
(plus parsley, basil and Parmesan for garnish, if desired)
Directions:
Add pasta to a boiling pan of salted water, cover and allow to cook for seven minutes. Remove pasta from boiling water and allow to drain slightly.

In a separate pan, cook the onion in butter until the onion pieces are translucent and just starting to turn brown. In another pan, boil the asparagus for about 5 minutes and drain. In a large skillet, saute the shrimp in butter. Once the shrimp is completely cooked, add the wine, lemon juice and minced garlic to the pan of shrimp and stir. Add the cooked pasta, cooked asparagus and cooked onion to the pan while stirring. Add the herbs, Parmesan cheese and any desired salt and pepper just before serving.

We're more than used to biker events in Muskegon....we're even getting used to biker events that don't involve chrome, leather and burn out pits.  We're biker friendly and that includes all bikers because we love to share our scenic routes, our beautiful neighborhoods, friendly people and great community gatherings.  So when you think biker event in Muskegon keep in mind the pedal power bikers are here for an equally good time and when you add in the equally important cause they are here for, well, it's a win for everyone.  Ride United is coming up this Saturday June 17th and it all kicks off Downtown Muskegon bright and early with registration at 7am. uwlsUnited Way of the Lakeshore

From the Ride United Facebook Page - Ride United is "A ride for all to support our community! Any level of rider is welcome, and there is wonderful support on this spectacularly breathtaking course. This is NOT a race. Grab your friends, pick your distance, and finish in beautiful downtown Muskegon. Pick your distance, 6 miles, 25 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles. All riders will receive 10 Taste of Muskegon tickets to enjoy after your ride. Help our community thrive. Help our community be healthy. Ride United."  Couldn't have said it better myself.

What I can say is this.  The routes are magnificent.  You will see some of the most picturesque areas Muskegon has to offer.  You'll be among rolling hills, views of Lake Michigan, welcoming cities, plenty of aid stations to keep you fueled up and hydrated along the way as well.  The 100 mile riders take off at 8 am...yes...people ride bikes 100 miles, and the rest of the group rolls out about 9.  You can actually start just about any time you like, but you do have to be back by 5.  You'll want to be anyway so you can replenish your carbs at Taste of Muskegon.

Jana Routt and Donielle Routt Joined me in front of the CIM of Muskegon where Ride United will be kicking off on June 17th.  This is also the location you can pick up your event packet on the 16th if you are registered to participate.  Give a listen to our interview and know in advance we were all very thankful that the guy on the end shared the bench with us.

Let's get ready to ride!  Tell your friends...tell your family!  Oil up the chain and make sure that you can shift through the gears of your Schwinn 10 speed....or whatever you peadl around on.  It's about good health, it's about a great ride, it's about a great cause and a great community event.  The United Way of the Lakeshore does so very much to help the people of Muskegon and the surrounding areas out, join The Ride and help them continue the work they do to help keep us all United!  You can click on the image below to go directly to the registration page for Ride United!

ride united

 

 

 

 

It's a full body work out this time with Becky Biesieada from The Gym in North Muskegon.  She's a personal trainer and she's sharing a 4 minute workout with us to help you be in better health mentally and physically!  Becky reminds you, before starting this, or any excercise program, consult your doctor and remember to warm up and stretch out!  Staying hydrated is important too especially in the hot Summer months.  Let's get to it!  Here's week 8 of Fit and Healthy With Becky!

Good job!  Pat on the back and a hearty congrats on the accomplishment!  Feel the burn?  Do you like what you're feeling?  Stop into The Gym on the 4 Corners in North Muskegon for a tour.  Consider a membership or maybe a personal plan set up by Becky!  You can learn more about The Gym by clicking below!

gymlead

 

I first got to know Roger Zuidema back a few years ago, and I will tell you this.  Tenacious is putting it lightly when it comes to wanting to promote everything Muskegon and you can put an exclamation point after that if you're talking about the water in and around Muskegon.  He loves the town and he loves our greatest asset, our incredible shoreline, lakes, inlets, rivers, ponds...fountains....swimming pools...you're getting the idea, he loves the water! thunderboat rowMuskegon Powerboat Weekend on Facebook

Back when we first met, if was just over an idea.  He saw what other festivals were doing specific to interests, like say Muskegon Biketime and had the idea of trying to duplicate that on the water...and as it's grown, it's even extended to more than just a week.  Roger has managed to stretch the events out across pretty much the entire season beginning with a "Blessing of the Boats" in the Spring and  carrying on all the way through Fall.  We might as well make the most out of our warm months...use every last minute of them.

This years Blessing of the Boats has come and gone, but the next big event kicks off with a street party accompanying Friday night at Taste of Muskegon at Hackley Park.   June 16th-18th is the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend.  They have a welcoming meet and greet on the streets surrounding Hackley park where they will line up million dollar plus power boats for you to stroll past and take a look.  You can meet the drivers and crews and get ready for the weekend of event surrounding the "big boys" being in town.

I met up with Roger at Great Lakes Marina to talk about this years Muskegon Powerboat Weekend and the rest of the events lined up for the Summer into fall, all of which are immersed in water!  Take a listen.

 

It's always awesome to watch an idea grow.  To have met Roger way back when I did and to have watched him keep digging, growing, finding partners, helping promote events and Muskegon itself for that matter, well, it tells me that there is more than one person who's not giving up and who sees the fact that Muskegon really is an awesome place for just about anything... and is the perfect place for anything to do with water!!  For more information on Lake Effect Boating, you can click on the image below.

lake effect logo 1 orig

 

Is a great honor to have Chef Char on the Muskegon Channel.  You've seen her on WZZM 13 for a few years sharing her love for great food, great times and her willingness to share..second to none.  She's got a pretty big role here in town at Kitchen 242 as well, she host classes on just about anything.  Kids cooking and healthy snacks to some more exotic dishes and best use of locally grown food that you can find week in and week out at the Muskegon Farmers Market.

This time around, it's all about the rhubarb!  I grew up with rhubarb, I still am hard pressed to find a better pie than a rhubarb pie...and trust me when I tell you...I am ALWAYS on the hunt for better pie.  Today, Chef Char shows us how to make a pies equally delectable cousin rhubarb crisp!  You'll find the complete recipe below, but for now... let's watch the master work he magic from Kitchen 242 in Muskegon.

Voila!  (If you don't know French...that's wah-lah).  The rhubarb crisp is ready and boy, is it delicious!  Here's the complete recipe from Chef Char.  Give it a try for yourself, or if you think you could use a little more time and attention as you learn to make some of the yummy stuff...check out the list of classes offered at Kitchen 242.  You'll find them in the link just below the recipe!  Many thanks to Chef Char for the eats, and to Kitchen 242 to give us the space to tape!  Here's the recipe -

Chef Char’s Favorite Rhubarb Crisp

Since rhubarb is considered a vegetable, this is one of my favorite vegetable desserts outside of carrot cake and zucchini bread!

Crisp Crust:

2 sticks (8 oz.) butter (softened)

2 cups flour

1 ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups old fashioned oats (do not use instant oatmeal)

Soften butter at room temperature.  In a large mixing bowl, add softened butter and brown sugar then cream ingredients together using the mixer’s paddle attachment on a low setting.  While still mixing, slowly add flour, cinnamon and salt.  Last, add the oats and continue stirring until ingredients appear evenly distributed.

Rhubarb Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

6-8 cups diced rhubarb

Filling Directions: 

In a medium mixing bowl, add sugar, flour, salt, egg and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are dissolved. 

Mix in cut up rhubarb and stir until all pieces are coated with filling mixture.

Rhubarb Crisp Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 9X13 baking dish by coating with nonstick spray or butter, then add diced rhubarb and filling mixture and distribute evenly in pan.  Place about 2 cups of crisp crust ingredients over top of rhubarb and filling mixture (any remaining crust mix can be placed in a sealable plastic bag, frozen, and used within 6 months).  Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. 

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream and enjoy.

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In Muskegon....our museum....well, it's kind of spread out all over town.  What better way to get people coming to see some sites than to get them to a few different location.  There's the Hackley and Hume Homes, The Fire Barn Museum, The Scolnik House and of course, the actual museum itself.  But there is another piece of this museum tucked away in a beautiful setting just off the Whitehall exit of US 31 and if you've never been there....well, it's time. Civil War Event PHP 2015 1 e1489414174119Visit Michigan's Heritage Park on Facebook

Michigan's Heritage Park at Hilts Landing will take you on a walking tour of 10,000 years of Michigan history through a natural woodland setting.  It's an interactive museum with a make and take approach to their displays.  You actually interact with the exhibits and might just walk away with a vintage craft or two.  It's truly a magnificent place for anyone and as mentioned....if you say you've never been there...hop to it.

A great time to visit would be this coming weekend!  June 10th and 11th there will be a Civil War encampment happening! To quote their website - "Members of the Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry Co. F will be at the park in Whitehall on June 10 and 11 for a Civil War Encampment. The men and women of the Michigan Third are as authentic as possible in their dress and manner as they portray what life was like during the Civil War for the military and civilians. They will set up camp for the weekend which visitors may tour to meet the reenactors. This year, they will be joined by members of the 9th Kentucky Co. C, a volunteer Confederate Infantry Unit. Each day, a drill and battle will be held in Activity Field at the center of the park."

You'll also hear the music of The Doddworth Duo.  You'll hear from the author of "Though a War Shall Rise Against Me" and you'll be able to enjoy food from Bone Ends Tex Mex BBQ.  

Wendy VanWoerkom is the program manager at the park and she invited me out to the Civil War set at Michigan's Heritage Park to talk a little more about the event.  Take a listen!

 

 

To me, it's kind of important that we take a look at history once in a while.  Especially parts of history that we really need to learn from.  The Civil War...it divided America more than anything has ever before.  Ya... it was an awful long time ago, but sadly....we're still plagued by the issues it was fought over.  Make sure you, and future generations know and understand that our future depends on lessons from the past.  We'll never be a perfect utopia, but hopefully with a little better understanding of what was, and why...we can see a better side of The American Experience in the future.  You can click on the Lakeshore Museum Center's logo below to visit their website!

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Muskegon likes to eat!  I mean who doesn't right?  Muskegon folks are remarkably loyal to their favorite restaurants and other eateries.  If you're in for a swanky night out, there are places for that with settings beyond compare.  Need a quick burger and fries...we got em.  Exotic tastes?  Maybe a first time creating being offered by one of our culinary students at the CIM!  You could literally spend three months eating out every night and still not make it to all the restaurants in Muskegon!  So, let's save you some time and get you to the one spot where most of them will be.  tasteTaste of Muskegon on Facebook

Taste of Muskegon comes to Hackley Park June 16th and 17th.  The who's who of restaurateurs will be represented as well as some surprises you may or may not have heard about!  You'll find menu items with names like "Polynesian Farmer"  "Green Dragon" "Irish Quesadilla" and "G55 Gumbo".  Not that adventurous?  There are some standards like "Meatloaf Onion Bomb" "KC's Kickin' Chicken" and if your kids are still sitting there complaining about the menu... there are delicious options like "Hot Dog" and "Taco's".  There is literally something for everyone by way of food, and it's all in one beautiful location where friends and family come together. 

Not enough?  Ok, let's add in the Burning Foot Beer where you'll have a chance to try up to 65 craft beers.  On the streets?  A powerboat street party put on by West Michigan Offshore.  Music?  Group Therapy, Chunk of Funk, Plain Jane Glory and Palomino Blonde!  Kids activities?  Bounce houses, "Meet the Animals" with Can't Reign Us in 4H" the Kids Zone Construction Corner will be a hit as well.  Car show?  Sure...why not.  Sweetwater Local Food Market?  Bring them on!  Cap it off with a good old fashioned Downtown Muskegon Pub Crawl....boom!  We've got a party! 

It all comes together under the direction of Ellen Berrends.  She and her board of directors as well as the throngs of volunteers who all pitch in to handle everything from checking ID's to cleaning up after the fun is done.  It's been a growing event for the last couple of years, and to see more added this year by way of attractions entertainment and partnerships tells me that in a town where people are more used to things going away...a new day is dawning with what comes next.  I had a chance to catch up with Ellen at Hackley Park before it all gets underway.  Take a listen. 

 

 

Sure, it's all about food, beverage and entertainment, but look a little closer.  Events like Taste of Muskegon, First Friday's, Burning Foot Beer Festival, Roosevelt Park's Taste of the Trucks coming up, Party in the Park, Rockstock and more.... they are bringing us all together more.  What was was great, but what's to come is even better.  There are people working tirelss hours to make it happen because they share the vision that Muskegon is on the move!  It's so true...we're all embracing our community, each other and what makes us unique a little more.  Taste of Muskegon has not only been an amazing event to watch grow, they have been a great sponsor of both The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  We thank them for their partnership and belief in our work.

Get your crackers down to Hackely Park in Downtown Muskegon for Taste of Muskegon June 16th and 17th.  For more information about the festival, click on the logo below.  Bonus points if you look around their website for the menu items mentioned above!  Bon Appetite!

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D Day Plus 73 is coming up at the LST 393 this weekend.  As Andy talked with Chris Johnson about the event as a whole not long ago, I thought it would be interesting to learn a little more about some of the different things that will be going on at the event. There will be plenty to see and do with everything from WWII re-enactments and static military vehicles, to a simulated attack on the beautiful historic ship itself.  Did you know?  The LST 393 was actually there the day the allies invaded Normandy?  This remarkable national treasure made 30 round trips to deliver troops, tanks and other things to begin the battle to stop Hitler and she is only one of two ships like her left in the world still with it's original configuration.  We have a living monument or world history right in our lake!

As the LST is used as a museum today as well as a growing spot for events like the D-Day Plus 73 as the events come and go, so should a little history about some of the things you see.  One thing you'll see this weekend... pin up girls!  The pin up girls will be on hand in a very classy presentation, yes...family friendly too, to show the style of the era and talk a little about how pin up girls did what they could to boos morale, give the soldiers something to think about other than war and some..some of them even rolled up their sleeves and got to work in the factories left behind as men went to fight. pinupPin Up's For Patriots on Facebook

Today, the memory of the pin up is kept alive by women of all shapes and sizes.  The love the clothes, the image and the original message the women of the era carried.  There will be plenty on hand if you stop down to the event.  You'll also find them at the Swing Dance the night before and you can learn a little more about their group.  I sat down with Karen Kacynski who's passion is pin up's to learn a little more, and maybe even dispel the rumors about the pin up culture.  Take a listen!

 

 

 

 

If you're looking for some history, maybe some nostalgia, or possible you'd like to mark D-Day this year with some reverence, the LST 393 located at the Mart Dock in Muskegon is the place to be.  Now, you know a little more about pin up girls and the culture, so make sure you say hello, stop for a photo or two and really, immerse yourself in the occasion.  It's a magnificent event in Muskegon and something to be proud of as a community.  You can click on the link below for the original story from Andy about this years D-Day Plus 73 event.

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If you are a history buff, a "tin can tourist" was at one point a transient person or family that would hitch the "tin can" to the car and head where the work was.  A village would pop up until the time the work was done and then, they'd fold up the outdoor rug and head to the next spot.  It was the reality for many, and as time and work situations have settled over the years the camps of yesteryear have given way to modern day RV parks that can accommodate million dollar motor coaches that come equipped with room to store your golf cart so you can get around the resort.  I mean, let's be honest...it's 2017...you really should have a golf cart to run up to the camp store for a bag of ice and some fresh towels for the pool right?  After your dip....you can head back to the theater quality comfort and sound of the RV and start a fire in your gas log fireplace.

TCT Gainesville2 1920sTin Can Tourist Park Circa 1920 (courtesy Florida History)

 Or.....You could do like the Tin Can Tourists do now a days.  You can find an older camper or trailer and get it restored into, or close to the condition it was in.  Yes...you can enjoy the company of others who also enjoy the camping experience with a bit of a retro twist and a flair for nostalgia.  I think back to the earliest memories I can muster, and it was a pick up truck camper my grandma and grandpa had, they had a parking spot in a corner of a field just outside Mecosta.  There was a hand pump for water, an outhouse and a "mush pot" in case you had to go at night.  We played in the field, used to beg to go to School Section Lake for a swim, drank their crappy unsweetened orange juice and the real thrill of it all... we got a grapefruit for breakfast....with sugar sprinkled on the top.  Grandma always cut the little sections up so it was easy to dig out and we got to use the cool little grapefruit spoons.

 

 

Camping is about meeting people. It's about sharing stories, fires, maybe a beer if you choose...and what better way to do that than in a living memory like what you'll see this weekend!  The Tin Can Tourists will be at Hoffmaster Park this weekend.  They are coming from all over the Midwest and Michigan to enjoy the scenic beauty and comfortable shores of Lake Michigan.  Saturday, if you'd like...you are welcome to see what it's all about by heading to the state park...yes...you'll need the rec pass, but after that, stroll the park and enjoy the sites.  Some campers may even be willing to let you have a peek inside so maybe you too can enjoy a memories from the "good old days".  

Brandon Morrison invited me out for a quick preview of what to expect this weekend if you're coming to camp or, maybe you just want to see the TLC the TCT put into their passion...take a listen to our chat below.

Cool huh?  What an awesome thing to have coming to Muskegon and my hope of hopes is... it grows!  Take some time out on Saturday to head to Hoffmaster to see the sites.  While you're there.  Thank people for coming ot Muskegon.  Let them see first hand that we're thankful as a community they came.  Suggest your favorite place for a burger and beer or maybe your favorite breakfast spot.  We have so very much to offer a traveller...let's keep them coming back.  If you'd like to know a little more about the Tin Can Tourists, you can click on their logo below to visit their website!

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