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SO EXCITING!!!!... a new MISS SHORELINE 2019 has been crowned!!!

 This past Saturday evening I joined a packed Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor Ballroom crowd....anxiously waiting and watching to see who would be crowned the new MISS SHORELINE 2019.... To proudly represent our Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa Counties in the coming year....as well as in this coming June's Miss Michigan competition at the Frauenthal Theater in Downtown Muskegon.  miss shoreline girlsFollow Miss Shoreline on Facebook
 
I was completely blown away by the beauty, talent and intelligence displayed by the contestants.  The Miss Shoreline pageant is the first step in the MISS AMERICA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM....  Miss Shoreline will go on to compete for the Miss Michigan title this June....   Then, if crowned as Miss Michigan (as was last year's Miss Shoreline, Emily Sioma) she will then compete at this year's Miss America pageant.
 
These pageants aren't as what previously has been assumed.... These pageants are specifically designed to promote and encourage women in today's age to be brave, kind, conscientious, smart achievers in our community.   They are competing for very valuable scholarship money that will assist them in their educational and career goals.
 
This year's newly crowned Miss Shoreline 2019 is an incredibly smart, well-spoken, beautiful and talented young woman.... A perfect representative for our West Michigan community!  Congratulations to EMILY KREJCI....  She's 18...and she one day aspires to work in Political Management. ...hoping to recruit other brilliant, caring women into office.    She performed a beautiful vocal piece during competition ....proving she's incredibly talented as well as beautiful and smart.   We truly look forward to cheering her on this coming June ....as she competes in the Miss Michigan Pageant. ....taking place at the Frauenthal Theater.
 

 

If you would like to find out more about our beautiful MISS SHORELINE, Emily Krejci....or any other information about involvement in the upcoming competitions.....please check out the links and contact numbers below.

miss shoreline

"A Miss America Local Organization"

 

Muskegon, is booming.  We all know that.  Muskegon is also not exactly all about things changing in a flash.  We like to take our time with things changing and spend a little time warming up to things.  The good thing is, while our pace of change is speeding way up so has our ability to adapt and accept new things, ideas and experiences.  It's a combination of things.  We're seeing a huge uptick in things to do and see in town combined with a renewed outlook and our embracing what's to come.  Watch Us Go seems to have some teeth to it.  

Well, with the renewal we have an opportunity to do things in ways that will assure that some of what was won't be again.  Our eras in Muskegon left a mess or two.  Not that it was really intentional of the lumber of industrial years to do some of the damage that was done, but the clean up efforts have been monumental.  Pollution, debris, poorly regulated practices all led to some tough jobs cleaning up lakes, streams and communities.  We learned from past mistakes and as we go forward, there are plenty of great ways to pitch in on so many levels to avoid "the bad stuff".  It's called sustainability.  recycle boxFollow the WMSBF on Facebook

But, sustainability is a word that some, including myself, don't really have a handle on.  Is it recycling?  Is it re-purpose/  re-use?  Do we all have to have a compost pile out behind the house?  Are they taking away straws?  Well, slow down a little.  Before you get all in a kerfuffle over things, it's a little more simple than that.  Can you get by without something?  Can you use a little less energy?  Can you recycle a few more things that don't have a deposit attached to them?  If you answered yes to any of the previous questions - YOU my friend are on your way to sustainability!  You get a gold star today!

If that made you feel good, there's a way you can learn more!!  The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum works to explain sustainability on many levels.  How can business make less of an environmental impact with how they work.  How can new construction put things in place to minimize energy use or water use?  The research has all been done and the flood of info is huge so to unpack it all The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum comes to Muskegon to help people understand how to get involved. 

There are a series of lunch and learn events coming up.  I met with Daniel Schoonmaker who is the Executive Director of the organization.  We open the conversation with some explanation of the whole thing and then knuckle down on some of the nuts and bolts of it and tell you how you can join some of the informational events coming up right here in Muskegon.  Take a listen.   

 

See, it's not as big and scary as it seems and it's sure not how some picture it. Hugging a tree is great, but that idea has given way to sensible and practical ways to protect the environment, business and community.  Make plans to head to one of the lunch events.  Take a look at the WMSBF website, linked below and learn a little more.  If "sustainability" seems huge...think of one small step at a time...it makes it a lot easier and it's the collective small steps of all of us that make the impact.

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I recently sat down with one of Muskegon's favorite people...Max McKee, proud owner - operator of Mart Dock located on Downtown Muskegon's beautiful waterfront.    Not only is Mart Dock a huge part of Muskegon's history as the largest indoor and outdoor marine vessel and land vehicle storage facility.... But it is also the proud home of some Muskegon's most cherished, historic vessels that all of our community can enjoy year after year. aquastar leadVisit Aquastar Online
 
Max and his brother Patrick McKee recently purchased the much beloved Port City Princess cruise ship....  They renamed her the AQUASTAR.  Max and Patrick have also been very busy renovating her interior, as well as her exterior....giving the vessel a complete beauty makeover.  It's very exciting to here all of the fun plans they have in store for the AQUASTAR...   In the Spring the AQUASTAR will be ready for many fun cruises...   Many of which will be open to the public to purchase tickets....   And also the AQUASTAR is available for private parties, weddings, reunions and much more! 
 
 
 
 lstThe LST 393 Online
The other amazing vessel that can't be overlooked as you drive through Downtown Muskegon's is the historic World War II USS LST 393.   This beautiful restored vessel proudly served our country as part of the D - Day battle 75 years ago.   It now serves as one of Muskegon's most cherished and respected land marks....   From April through September each year the LST is open for public tours....as she is also a full WWII historical landmark and museum....but also an incredible place to hold parties, fundraisers, movies on the upper deck, historical reenactments and much more!  This coming June 1st, 2019 the LST will be the sight for the huge 75th anniversary of the D - Day battle reenactment celebration.
 
 
So many wonderful ways to celebrate our beautiful Muskegon's waterfront with the help of all the hard work and dedication from our friends at Mart Dock.    Thanks again to our friend Max McKee for taking time to sit down with me.   Please, I encourage everyone to click on any of the links posted below to find out more information.... We'll see you on the water! 
 
mart dockVisit The Mart Dock Online

Always a pleasure sitting down with my dear friend Mary Suarez of the Muskegon County HOPE PROJECT.    She updated me on all the wonderful success HOPE PROJECT had raising very important funds ( even more importantly) and awareness for their cause in 2018.
 
HOPE PROJECT is a Christian faith based non-profit organization whose goal is to help rescue girls and women in our community from the horrific crime of human sex trafficking....    And YES...human sex trafficking is happening right here in Muskegon and our surrounding communities. hope project 4The Hope Project on Facebook
 
HOPE PPROJECT offers the victims safe housing, much needed counseling, financial assistance with transportation to and from school, counseling and work....     As well as offering kind, supportive mentors to help each women through her ordeal with compassion and understanding.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Through the month of February HOPE PROJECT is encouraging those who would like to help to please donate as part of their HEARTS OF HOPE campaign.     Every dollar counts in efforts towards raising the vital funds needed to house, council and assist the victims.   For those interested in donating or simply learning more please click on the link below.
 
There are so many ways we all can help in the fight to end human sex trafficking....and to assist the victims.    Please use any of the following contacts below to find out more.
 
hope project 3
 
 

We're no strangers to Girls on the Run!  Girls on the Run is a program for girls ages 8-13 years old.  It's focused on life skills through conversational learning lessons and running.  It's all based on showing the participants know, and activate their limitless potential and gives them the freedom to pursue their dreams!  It's simply a fantastic thing to be a part of and their commitment to the young women of Muskegon is hard to beat.  LUNAFESTpostergraphicClick Here for Lunafest Tickets

Being a part of the run itself for a couple years now, and seeing first hand the sense of accomplishment of the girls as the event ramps up and the start takes off, and the first to the last complete the 5k has been an amazing experience.  The race is the "reward" for completing the program leading up to the day and to have an idea of what's taught along with the dedicated people who help guide the students celebrate a victory in more ways than one.  Steps have been taken to show these young people their value beyond what they see or hear in the "mainstream" and when they cross that finish line, they know first hand that they can accomplish something as difficult as a 5k run!  

One of the benefits held to help support the program is called Lunafest.  It's a short film festival of, by and for women.  This year, it will be held at The Block in Downtown Muskegon on March 7th at 5:30.  It's recommended for high school age and older and along with the film, you'll find some great food from The Hearthstone, a cash bar, plenty of information about Girls on the Run and chances are, you'll find more people just like you who believe in the future of our youth.  

We've welcomed Molly Barker, the founder of Girls on the Run in to Muskegon.  We've talked plenty with Sue Gifford locally too about the events happening here in town.  Today, meet Beth McEwen with Girls on the Run who's going to talk about Lunafest a little more and how you can be a part of the film festival and help benefit such a terrific program.  Take a listen.

 

It's a great program. If you have a daughter or granddaughter between 8 and 13, it's worth exploring what Girls on the Run is all about.  If you'd like to know more click on the photo below.  It's a pretty great thing and my thanks to GOTR for having us out again to help spread the word!

gotr

It's hard to believe, but what was once a grocery store in Norton Shores has become a vibrant center for so many incredible things for our senior citizen community.  The site that was D&W is now known as Tanglewood Park and within the walls you'll find Senior Resources, who help older folks navigate their way through the vast amounts of benefits that are there for them and resources they might not even know about.  You'll find AgeWell Services who handle things like Meals on Wheels, nutrition education, fitness, yoga and more.  You'll find a delicious cafe that's open to the public and, you'll find Life Circles PACE, who are the focus of our story today.

Life Circles PACE is a comprehensive medical program for senior citizens designed to help keep people in their home as long as possible.  The offer primary medical care, day center activities, in home care, medical transportation ans so much more.  A visit to Life Circle PACE and the first thing you see that they truly offer is a place where people don't have to feel alone.  To suffer the isolation that so often comes with aging, and the rest of the world carrying on at a bullets speed when it's time for the elderly person to slow down a little.  With isolation quite often comes fear.  What if I fall?  What if I am forgotten?  What if I run out of food?  All of those "what if's" are answered by fellowship and caring and truly good people who devote themselves to the care of our older generation. life circles fbFollow Life Circles PACE on Facebook

Is it a sad sack of a place?  Not in the least!  People are interacting, talking, playing games, doing some physical activity and really, making the most of what they have.  The care is top notch and as mentioned, the staff takes a great deal of pride in knowing that they are fulfilling to the best of their ability the days of those in their advanced years.  

It's a milestone for Life Circles PACE this year aw well!  It's the 10 year anniversary of their service in Muskegon and to celebrate, they are working to bridge the gap a little between ages and, some people that might share a touch of the same things the senior citizens face, the "what if's".  The focus will be on building bags for kids who for one reason or another have to go into foster care.  Sometimes, when the situation comes up, the child has only a short time to grab their belongings and put them in a garbage bag to head to their foster home.  It's a sad a scary reality, but...Life Circles PACE has a plan to help it easier.  They are building backpacks to provide to the kids to take with them and have as their own.  

I met with Barb Dekker and Pam O'Brien from Life Circles Pace to talk a little more about their program as well as the incredible give back for the foster kids.  Take a listen.

 

It's an amazing program, and an amazing give back. It crosses some generations and the fact that a little love is coming from someone, to someone they will never meet...that's a pretty great thing too.  After our visit, Barb took me out on a tour of the campus and I was able to meet and talk with a lot of really remarkable people who were just grateful to have someone to talk with.  Smiles, handshakes, kindness....I'm here to tell ya, the world needs more places like Life Circles PACE, and it's right here!  To learn more click on the photo below to visit their website.

life circles

 

Ready for something delicious?  Chef Char is at it in Kitchen 242 and rockin' some awesome home made ravioli.  Let's start with an editorial note.  Someone has to be there at the completion of the dish to make sure it's good right?  Not being overly exposed to ravioli growing up, outside of the occasional canned Chef Boy Ar Dee, this post shoot sampling REALLY hit the spot. chef char ebFollow Chef Char on Facebook

This recipe is as much of an art as it is a cooking class.  The care that went in to the hand made noodles and the patience involved was meticulous.  The good thing about this...practice makes perfect, so as you hone your culinary arts, those involved in the end result will be happy with your bew found dedication.

You're going to see the entire process minus the gluttony at the end.  From the home made noodles to the gentle frying and then topped off with the sauce... SO good!  Let's get down to Kitchen 242 and watch Chef Char work her magic!

 

 

 

 

 

Delicious!  We should be filming with Chef Char every day!  Want to learn how to learn how to cook like Char?  She'll teach ya!  She's got all kinds of fun and informative cooking classes for adults, and kids at Kitchen 242!  You can visit her website for a list of times and class themes!  Click on Chef Char's photo to visit her website and the recipe for the ravioli...right below that!

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Cheese and Herb Stuffed Tomato Ravioli with Chef Char
Tomato Pasta Recipe
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup semolina flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
Pinch of sea salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pasta directions: Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using a dough hook on an electric mixer, combine the pasta ingredients until a large ball of dough forms. Remove the ball of pasta dough from the bowl, cover the dough and allow it to rest about 10 minutes before rolling into pasta sheets. Note: If pasta comes out sticky, add small amounts of all-purpose flour until the pasta dough forms a tight ball. If the pasta feels a little dry, it is okay to add a small amount of water.

Cheese Herb Filling Recipe
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Greek yogurt
6 ounces feta cheese
2 eggs
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Herb Cheese Filling Directions:
Add all cheese filling ingredients in a bowl and stir until well-combined.
To Assemble Ravioli:
Place two freshly rolled pasta sheets on a lightly floured surface. Using a small scoop, form small piles of filling along one of the sheets of pasta. Coat the edges of the pasta sheets with egg wash. Place the second pasta sheet over the cheese piles and press the dough onto the areas where there is egg wash and seal ravioli.

Dip sealed ravioli pillows into egg wash, then into Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Fry in a 350 degree pot of vegetable oil for 5 minutes or bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve with roasted tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.

We're trying something new.  Normally, The Muskegon Channel is more about the people and places in and around our area that are doing great things and making a positive impact on the community.  We have certainly talked about things that are not "flowery" in the past, but we also believe that when something of importance comes up, it should be discussed with a solution based approach and both sides of the argument should get a chance to state their case in a fashion that isn't all sound bytes and shortened clips for a 30 second clip on the news.

Today, we're bringing you "Both Sides" of an important issue going on in Muskegon County.  There is a group of people who have formed to recall County Drain Commissioner Brenda Moore.  It's become a heated battle at times and it's understandable from both points of view.

The Drain Commissioner has pretty broad powers given by the State.  The job in Michigan is to plan, maintain and develop surface water drainage systems.  This includes the ability to levy fees associated with these duties.  In Muskegon, we have plenty to protect when it comes to what gets drained and where.  We are the access point to Lake Michigan, our rivers and lakes are for the most part all tied into it and we've fought so hard for so long to clean up and protect our beautiful natural resources. 

As you can imagine, "levy fees", is the trigger in the last paragraph.  In Muskegon, some drain work is underway or has been proposed that area residents have been hit with.  Some to the degree of $12,000-$20,000.  It's a lot of money.  It's enough to cause those effected by it to start looking for answers from independent engineers, reaching out to their County Commissioners, State Representatives and more!

I spent a couple days talking to the involved parties. I met with Brenda Moore and heard from her about the job and how it came to be for her.  Then I met with Jeremy Hooker and Tammy Barnhard of the Kuis Drain Neighbors in Fruitport Township.  We're offering you the chance to hear both sides of the story.  To pretend that we have any understanding of the intricacies of Brenda's office is the last thing we're trying to do likewise the independent engineers that have been brought in and the angry people involved....we're not trying to fan the flames.  We're not traditional investigative reporters and we're not trying to sensationalize anything.  Take a few minutes and listen to the conversation as we present "Both Sides of the Story". 

Some weeks, it's a few simple exercises with a mat and dumbbell.  Others, it might be some sound advise. Once in a while Becky goes all out with the TRX equipment and balance balls and everything.  Point is, some work out's are simple and some are complicated and designed to push you to your limit.  This is one of those weeks where you're gonna get pushed to your limits.  becky armsFollow Becky on Facebook

She's breaking out the "Dirty Dozen".  12 exercises designed to tour that body of yours and make it a machine.  Can't say this is one for the beginner, but...if you're joining us for the first time, nothing wrong with jumpin' off the high dive. :)

Like any other exercise program, please consult a doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise.  Make sure you warm up and stretch out and drink plenty of water!

Here comes the "Dirty Dozen" on episode 84 of Fit and Healthy With Becky on The Muskegon Channel.

 

 

Becky is a Certified Personal Trainer and works in both one on one and group settings.  We film at The Gym in North Muskegon and if you'd like to go a little further with a healthy lifestyle, a quick stop into The Gym or a call to Becky is a great first step.  At The Gym, you'll find a great atmosphere designed for adults and a friendly staff committed to helping you in your fitness quest!  You can learn more about The Gym by visiting their Facebook page, click on the link below to go there!

gym

Bring your family and friends out to the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex this Tuesday January 29th from 4pm-10pm and help raise funds for the Watch Muskegon campaign.  For a special discounted Watch Muskegon Family night pass of $15 per person, or $40 for a family, you can enjoy everything the Muskegon Sports Complex has to offer.  If you buy the pass ahead of time, the Sports Complex will give 30% of sales to the Watch Muskegon campaign, while 20% will be donated when purchased at the Sports Complex (so buy in advance!).  mwsc logoGet Tickets to the Watch Us Go Fundraiser

With the pass, participants can enjoy ice skating on the 1/4 mile ice skating trail through the woods, cross country ski or snowshoe through the trails at the state park.  All rental equipment comes with the purchase of the pass.  For an additional $15, you can try out the luge track.

As many of you know, the Watch Muskegon campaign has been a successful marketing and promotional tool for all of Muskegon County.  Donations to Watch Muskegon not only pay for marketing and promotions, but also beautification efforts and community educational training.

Besides the Winter Sports complex fundraiser, Watch Muskegon has other fundraising efforts going on.  You can purchase Watch Muskegon gear at www.watchmuskegon.com

Lauren Stanton also had the chance to sit down with Carla Flanders, the VP of Marketing for the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, to talk about other ways you can get involved and donate to the Watch Muskegon campaign.  Here is their interview.

If you'd like to know more about getting involved with Watch Muskegon or maybe the Muskegon Star program, click on the logo below to visit their site for more info!

watch muskegon go

So, it's cold out.  Time to turn the oven on and add some warmth and some delicious smells to the house with all the favorite baked goods everyone loves!   There's a thought today too, that people should be using more natural ingredients in their cooking and that the chemical additives we find in a lot of store bought items might not be the best for us.  Well, Chef Char not only has the answer for that, she's got a way to help make your recipes a little tastier and add in some local flavor as well!  

Did you know?  You can make your own vanilla out of locally sourced products?  It's true!  You need some vanilla beans and for our recipe today, Chef Char went straight to the 18th Amendment Spirits Company Downtown Muskegon to gather the other ingredients!  Yes...it's booze!

Find out how Chef Char makes her own vanilla for all of her finer recipes right here, on the Muskegon Channel!

This one goes a little further too.  Chef Char wants you to read this part.  There is some theory along with this recipe so please, read carefully and follow along.  She's going to make the best out of ya yet!  If you'd like to visit Chef Char online to attend one of her classes at Kitchen 242 or learn more about what she offers, click on her photo!

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Chef Char’s Homemade Vanilla Experiment:
Starting with really good ingredients in a recipe gives a chef a better chance of producing food that looks and tastes great.  Using pure vanilla really does make a difference in the final recipe when it comes to making baked goods, sweets and snacks.  Sometimes pure vanilla can be found at the store, other times a friend can bring some good vanilla back after a trip for Mexico but all the time one can make their own pure vanilla and be sure it is the best ingredient for favorite recipes.
 
Why bother making vanilla if it can be found at the store?
It is all about quality. Using premium grade vanilla beans with a good alcohol for extraction will provide superior flavor and aroma than commercially produced extracts.  Look at the ingredients of any store-bought vanilla.  Pure vanilla should be alcohol and vanilla beans, nothing else.  Other things on the ingredient list, such as caramel color, corn syrup or vanillin, indicates the vanilla is not pure.  Caramel color and corn syrup are cheap for a food company and, when added to vanilla extract, helps the food company to stretch the production of their vanilla and drive the cost of the product down.  Vanillin is a synthetic vanilla extract alternative made from wood pulp and is the main ingredient in artificial vanilla flavoring, again a cheap added ingredient that is technically not vanilla.  
 
Pure vanilla is easy to make and affordable.  Vanilla beans can be purchased at the store or online.  Buying vanilla beans in bulk typically comes with a price break when compared to buying individual beans.  Chef Char uses Madagascar vanilla beans from www.beanilla.com for best results.  The choice of alcohol can be any rum, vodka, whiskey or bourbon.  However, avoid using the cheapest brands of alcohol, as some brands can negatively alter the taste of the final product by making it bitter.
 
In this experiment, Chef Char wanted to see what would result from infusing premium Madagascar vanilla beans with the fine liquors produced in Muskegon.  For this culinary experiment, she obtained a bottle each of vodka, rum, whiskey and bourbon from 18th Amendment Spirits Company located at 350 W. Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon, Michigan.
 
Ingredients:
750 mL each of 18th Amendment’s vodka, rum, Michigan rye and bourbon whiskey
24 vanilla beans (6 beans each bottle)
Directions:  
1. Slice each vanilla bean lengthwise, down the center.  
2. Place sliced vanilla beans in bottles, making sure beans are completely submerged under the alcohol.
3. Place corks or caps on bottles and shake.  
4. Place bottles in a cool, dry place and visit the bottles once or twice a week to shake.
5. After about 6 to 8 weeks, all of the alcohol should appear deep brown and can be used in recipes.  However, the vanilla will continue to extract past this time and the flavor will be better the longer it sets.
6. Store vanilla at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.  
7. As vanilla is used and before the bottle is empty, add more sliced vanilla beans and choice of alcohol for extraction.  The old beans are preserved in the booze and still have a little flavor in them, while the new beans will boost the vanilla flavor.  
 
day 1 boozeDay 1 Vanilla
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
week 6 liquorVanilla Week 6
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chef Char’s notes after 6 weeks infusing the vanilla in different types of alcohol from 18th Amendment:  
So hard to pick a favorite.  I think, at only six weeks, these vanilla infusions lean heavy on the flavor of the liquor and a little light yet on the vanilla.  My favorite of the liquors is the Michigan Rye and that is my favorite vanilla of the group right now.  The bourbon vanilla is my very close second favorite but it already adds a delightful flavor kick to my caramel sauce for pies.  The vodka vanilla is very clean and distinctly “vanilla.”  I think the vodka vanilla would be great in baking recipes and some fun mixed drinks after it has had a little more time to extract.  The rum vanilla needs more time.  I can see the vanilla has darkened the contents of the bottle but all I taste right now is rum.  I have made a lot of vanilla with rum, so I know it will turn out, eventually.  I am surprised at how much slower the flavor develops in rum than in the others.  
 
Chef Char’s notes after 6 months infusing the vanilla in different types of alcohol from 18th Amendment:
All of the vanilla extracts, regardless of the alcohol used, are now more vanilla forward and the booze notes are secondary.  I have been using the vanilla made from Michigan Rye and the vanilla made with the bourbon whiskey the most in my recipes because these two made the best extractions when comparing all the vanillas in a side-by-side taste test.  The vodka-based and the rum-based vanilla are better extracts than any store-bought vanilla but neither have the complexity and flavor found in the whiskey and bourbon.  All of the extracts from this experiment taste amazing when I use them for baking or in my homemade caramel sauce.  
 

We're under a week away from one of Muskegon's signature winter events!  Polar Plunge 2019 is already a record breaking year for attendance when it comes to plungers...over 300 are registered to make a splash in the arctic waters of Muskegon Lake to benefit Special Olympics.  We've grown to be one of the biggest events for the Polar Plunge in the state with good reason.  Muskegon loves a good time, we desperately need a reason to get out of the house in the mid winter and the chance for all of us to do a good turn for some remarkable kids and families.  2019 pp2019 Polar Plunge on Facebook

The teams, the individuals, the costumes, the merry making and the purpose all provide perfect combination for a party.  Of course, we could focus on the party, but it's really about the purpose.  The Special Olympic of Michigan is what it's all about.  Athletes with unique abilities get to compete and take the stage through Special Olympics.  They host games all year long, and all over the state for athletes to compete in.  Their reach and purpose is legendary and to know as a community, Muskegon rallies around the cause is just another reason to be proud of who we are.  

The fun gets under way on Friday night with the Pre-Splash Bash at Fricano's.  It's a chance to get your team checked in early, and with a record amount of people to take the plunge...it's a good idea.  After the early check in, the band Northbound will play throughout the evening.  Enjoy the live music, some fun raffles and great Fricano's pizza!  Saturday, the fun begins with some tail gating.....yes....it's said they will have a tali gate party.  Plungers will resume check in, great music inside Fricano's again, raffles, 50/50's, great prizes, costumes and at 2:30....the plunging begins!  

Todd Dunham is back to recap all that is to come and update us on all that is Polar Plunge 2019.  Take a listen.

 

Still time to register!  It's going to be a record year and you need to be a part of it.  Plunge or not, be at Fricano's Friday for the Pre Splash Bash and come on back Saturday for the Plunge!!  It's all for some truly remarkable people and a cause anyone can rally around.  We'll see you at the Polar Plunge 2019 January 25th and 26th.  To visit the Special Olympics of Michigan website, click on the photo below.  

somi

How about a break from the regular news?  Yes, we try and provide that most of the time here at the Muskegon Channel, but today is a special pass and a super feel good story because it involves a company going above and beyond for some local kids and teachers who really needed a hand.  

I got word the Genius Phone Repair was heading out to Marquette School to visit the classrooms of Amy Bufka and Hope Kavos.  Amy and Hope teach Autistic kids at the school.  Autistic kids learn a little differently than "normal kids" and adapting the educational environment for them is a matter of finding the tools and methods that work, especially in a setting that is sometimes non verbal on part of the student.  It can be a very challenging endeavor, but also a very rewarding process when that little light goes off and the kid actually learns!  geniusphonerepair com o4eRVisit Genius Phone Repair Online

Technology helps.  Where some traditional methods of reaching a student or gauging how they are doing might be difficult, with an IPad there are programs designed to stimulate the student and retain their attention.  They even have ways to track eye movement and see how much time has been spent distracted vs. watching the screen absorbing the information presented.  The teachers had been using iPads in the classroom, however the ones they had were getting quite old, first generation and becoming outdated.  Not to mention, there were only a couple of them so...iPads were not the primary tool anymore.

Genius got word of the need and responded.  On Friday, Devon Sparks and crew from Genius Phone Repair by The Lakes Mall showed up at Marquette with 10 iPads in hand, complete with protective Otter Box cases for the teachers.  They were a donation to help their work in the classroom as well as provide an updated method for kids who struggle with traditional learning methods.  It was a pretty exciting thing to be a part of.  We sat and talked a little about the presentation.  Take a listen.

 

What a joy to find a local company willing to pitch in and help!  Teachers struggle to make ends meet in the classroom every day already and the idea of a single iPad is out of reach for many, let alone 10.  This is a gift that will impact these kids and their learning for years to come.  Our thanks to the tipster who sent us the word about the gift and to the great people at Marquette Elementary for welcoming us in to share the story.  This is Muskegon.  This is what our community is about and we're so proud to be able to cover stories like this!

Last year, at the very last minute, I got a call that something pretty spectacular was going on over in Muskegon Heights and I had best double time it over to that side of town and be a part of it.  It was a cold and snowy day.  It happened to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day and many had the day off in observance of the occasion.  The gathering was happening at Johnny O. Harris Memorial Park on the corner of Broadway and Jarman and as I pulled up, the words on the signs around town never rang more true.  Muskegon Heights - A City of Friendly People.  mhfb idMuskegon Heights Facebook Page

There were friends of mine there.  There were people I had not met.  There was a smell in the air of hot dogs roasting, shrimp and grits being cooked, some had brought huge pots of chili to warm up with and there was hot chocolate and drinks for the kids.  Laughter rang out everywhere and fully grown adults were sliding down the hill as if they were all 10 again.  It was one of the greatest flashbacks to days gone by that I have ever been a part of and I walked away feeling much fuller from the experience.  

It turns out, that there was a little more pre planning than met the eye last year for this fun day, and this year even more has gone in to the Second Annual Councilmen Walter Watt MLK Sled Fun Day Event.  Yes, there will be the smell of chili in the air again, yes there will be some sledding going on....provided the dusting of snow we have sticks around and yes, that laughter and warmth will be free for the taking for anyone in the area!  They are adding in a warm clothes drive.  Hats, gloves, mittens and coats are needed for area kids who might not have what they need for the cold temperatures.  They will have a culinary specialist on for professional judging of the chili and a peoples choice award as well.  It's going to be a great day from 12-4 at Johnny O. Harris Park.

I met up with Walter Watt and my dear friend Eddie Sanders Jr. to reminisce a little about last years wild day of merry making and maybe some lying about our sledding adventures take a listen.  This is fun!

 

Sunday Noon-4!  Be there!  Great food, fun times and a fantastic purpose in helping the kids out who might need some warmth this winter!  It's not been the best winter for sledding for sure, but the togetherness and the ability for all of us to hang out and enjoy some fun in the park.  Weather doesn't dictate our community and every gathering doesn't have to be 80 degrees and sunny!  Stop out Sunday for a while and see for yourself.  Muskegon Heights really is a City of Friendly People!  Thanks to Walter and Eddie for inviting me back again, a little earlier this year to help get the word out!  Visit the City of Muskegon Heights website by clicking on the photo below.

Musk Heights Logo 200x200 green

Did you know that in 2017 every 24 seconds a fire department responded to a call somewhere in the U.S. That was 1,319,500 fires that were responded to in 2017. Today I am back at the Norton Shores Fire Department talking to the Fire Marshal about how they are trying to help bring those statistics down.  nsfd patchFollow the Norton Shores Fire Department on Facebook
 
The Norton Shores Fire Department have started a program that uses the Supra Key Lock Box system. This system looks a lot like a realtor's lock box however this system is meant for our elder community. If the Fire department gets dispatched to a home with a lock box like this there will be a faster entry time without the need for breaking down to door. Just think about your parent on the floor having a heart attack unable to let them in, with the lock box only the Fire department have the code to your parents will get the help that they need faster. With this system the Fire Department has a code to type in to be able to get the key out. Only one fireman as the code per shift. If you think that someone has gained access to your home with the key the fire department is able to look in their system to see who has access and what it the reason for opening. If you are interested and you live in Norton Shores or Roosevelt park you can call the fire prevention office at 231-799-6809.
 
Not to be confused with Co2 (if you watch the video below you can see what I mean) the silent killer otherwise known as Carbon Monoxide is dangerous for you and your health. Having a Co detector in your home is so important. Some of the symptoms of carbon Monoxide poisoning could include dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision and loss of consciousness. Co has no sound, no taste, or smell and people and animals are unable to tell when they have been breathing it and that could be fatal. This is why you should put these detectors in your home at about the same level as your thermostat or lower because Co hangs in and moves with the air. Some of the appliances in your home that can give off Co are gas fires, portable generators, charcoal grills, oil-burning furnaces and don’t forget about your running car in a closed garage. If you hear your alarm you should get out of your home and contact the gas company.
 
Another alarm/ detector that is life saving and should be in your home is a smoke alarm. You should place these in every room that you sleep in. You should place them in the living/family room, nears stairways and in the basement if you have one.
 
Along with alarms and detectors you also have to option to add residential sprinklers in your home. The sprinkler systems main objective is to make a safe exit for you. You would place then outside of the bedroom to the door and from main living spaces to the door.
 
If you are interested in more information on any of the safety systems you should click on the link to the video and watch my chat with the Fire Marshal. 
 
 

Since 1974 Muskegon has been blessed to have one of the absolute best breakfast and lunch eateries around...of course I'm referring to a West Michigan staple, Mr. B's Pancake House.  Back in 2006 the son of the original owners of Mr. B's, Dave Barham and his wife Lisa  took over the much beloved eatery... now located in the Quarter Apple Strip Mall at 1910 East Apple Avenue, Muskegon.    Mr. B's serves a full, delicious breakfast entree menu and also a full (equally delicious) lunch menu from 6am to 3pm Monday thru Saturday... 7am to 3pm on Sundays.  mrb logoFollow Mr. B's on Facebook
 
I sat down with Mr. B himself to chat about (yet another) reason to adore Mr. B's restaurant and staff....    This coming Tuesday, January 15th from 6am to 3pm Mr. B's will donate 15% to several wonderful West Michigan charities.  Find out who in our chat!  So if you've never experienced the "awesomeness" of Mr. B's Tuesday the 15th would be a great time to stop in for a bite....or two.     ....and if you know and love Mr. B's already then it's a really great day to stop in again.
 
 
 
 
 
It's always a special treat to visit Mr. B's...   Yummy food... Incredible service... and they always support our Muskegon community... so please stop in this coming Tuesday the 15th.....   It's a win win for everybody!  Since 1974 Mr. B's has been filling bellies... and giving back to our community... we'll see you this Tuesday!  To see Mr B's full menu, click on their logo below.  
 
mr bs

We're known for a party in Muskegon.  We're also known for celebrating some of our great cultural diversity and enjoying what people of different heritage bring to our community.  We've seen some pretty amazing festivals pop up over the last few years and watched them grow into BIG festivals and some, some have gone on to become regional attractions drawing people in from all over the country and world!   latino festivalFollow The Muskegon County Latino Festival On Facebook

We've seen Irish Festivals....along came the Polish Festival...well, in 2019 get ready for a little spice and a little salsa...because on September 7th the Muskegon County Latino Festival Makes it's debut.  Be ready for great food, great music a lot of culture, color and fun.  Activities for kids are planned and I am sure that you'll find some beverages on hand as well.  

The new festival came about as an idea by Elizabeth Briseno. We have a vibrant and very active Latino community here in Muskegon County and to share some of the people, culture and heritage is what this festival is all about!  Make some new friends, bring down some neighbors and spend an afternoon and evening in the comfort of Hackley Park and see what Muskegon's Latino Community has to offer! 

Elizabeth and her group are working hard to secure vendors, sponsors, musical acts and more and like any festival, it seems like a long ways off, but September is going to get here QUICK and we caught up with Elizabeth early to not only help spread the news about the new chance to have some fun, but to maybe lend a hand in getting a few more hands on deck to pitch in an make it happen!  We met up at Los Amigos' to talk a little about the launch!  Take a listen!

 

It's going to be a great new addition to our already exciting line up of Summer fun!  Make sure you save the date for the inaugural Muskegon County Latino Festival and if you'd like to be a part of making it happen, you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Elizabeth for vendor spots, sponsorship opportunities, chances to have your band play and more!  Thanks to Elizabeth for taking the time to talk about this exciting and fun new festival coming to Muskegon.  

Who's ready to get out of the house and have a little fun for an awesome cause?  It's here, and to be honest, this is probably THE Winter to do the plunge to benefit the Special Olympics of Michigan if you've ever thought about it.  It's been a pretty mild Winter and even though the lake is cold, it's not looking like they are going to have to cut through 6 inches of ice to cut a hole for people to make the jump to benefit some incredible kids who could really use a hand.  2019 ppFollow The Polar Plunge on Facebook

It's a great weekend of cabin fever relief that starts off on Friday night with early registration for the nearly 300 expected plungers this year.  After all, why wouldn't we have a near record amount?  Who's got a better plunge location that Muskegon Lake?  After you get checked in Friday night, the Pre Splash Bash will be going on with Northbound playing some great live music, some cool raffles, maybe a drink special or two and of course the delicious Fricano's Pizza!  Saturday, they actually tailgate in the morning....yes...why not tailgate for an event of this magnitude? Then the party gets underway at about 12 so you can see all the costumes, themes and friends ready to take the plunge....with the plunging starting at 2:30.  After everyone is dried off and warm...awards, gift bags, raffle prizes, pizza, pizza and more pizza and a party atmosphere you'll find nowhere else all Winter long!  

The Muskegon Polar Plunge is inching closer and closer to the $1,000,000 mark of money raised and the 2019 event is on pace to be the biggest yet!  Todd Dunham has been a part of this great event for 12 years or so now, and we got together at Fricano's to talk about this years plunge....take a listen.

 

 

The challenge is on!!  Let's make it the biggest and best Polar Plunge yet!  2019 is off on a great foot and if everyone chips in a little on something as awesome as the Polar Plunge, the athletes of the Special Olympics of Michigan will be assured the support they need for the great work the organization does for them and their games!  If you can't bear the frigid waters, come to the Pre Splash Bash on the 25th or just hit Fricano's for a while on the 26th to be a part of all the fun!  To get your team registered...and yes...there is still time....click on the photo below!

2019 polar plunge

It's been a couple years now that we've been covering the MARS 4004 Robotics Team in Muskegon.  They are just one of many area teams that compete in the FIRST Robotics competitions that are rapidly becoming high powered and high energy events not only for the teams to compete in, but for crowds to watch.  It's not exactly "Battle Bots" or anything, but the drive and determination it takes for these young people to build and compete in this field is nearly unmatched, and it pushes young people to excel in the STEM areas which all employers are looking more and more for. "STEM" is Science, Technology Engineering and Math....all in high demand as our students prepare to head into their futures and with FIRST Robotics, they get hands on training and a chance to apply skills and learn from experts in their fields who come in to mentor the teams.  FIRST Vertical RGBFIRST Robotics Online

We've followed the Mars Rovers 4004 but they are by far and away not the only team in the area, and they are very quick to point out that so many other schools in the area participate and share in the projects.  It's a competitive, but collaborative environment that encourages the fun and team work.  In a couple short months, all of our area teams from Fruitport to White Lake will converge on Orchard View High School for their competition to see who's been able to find "Deep Space" in 2019 and move on to the next round.  With some good luck, great skills and hard work...the teams can work their way to the World Competition and go up against others from all over the globe, and it all started at the Muskegon Community College Strurrus Center on January 5th when they got their mission.

About 200 area young people were on hand for the unveil this years project.  Also oh hand were some of the mentors and coaches and it was a great honor to welcome President of Combat Propulsion Systems, Maria Hedden and Vice President of Human Resources, Patti Tebelman from L3 Technologies in Muskegon who have taken the title sponsorship role for this years local competition.  L3 is firmly committed to making Muskegon better by investing in programs like this to not only help young people, but to help sustain our community by fueling these kind of minds so that they can not only grow up here, they can stay and put down roots as they transition into their careers.  

We talked to the Rovers...Maria and Patti, and have the footage of what this years "Deep Space" mission is all about.  Take a look!

 

The game is set.  The teams are preparing and we are gearing up to bring you the show live!  You'll be able to watch the competition live from Orchard View High School as The Muskegon Channel will be on hand to show off the town, the teams and the competition on March 16th.  They have a lot of work to do and so do we to get ready for the show!  Best of luck to all our teams competing and showing the rest of the world just what Muskegon is made of!  We'll see you at OV in the Spring!  To learn more about title sponsor L3 click on their logo below.

l3

The holidays have passed and the winter doldrums could be setting in... BUT you don't have to suffer the cabin fever!  One of the hottest names in stand up comedy is in town this weekend at The Back Alley Comedy Club inside the Sherman Lanes Complex.. Brad Williams.  

He has done all the big shows... The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Attel, Mencia and more.  Showtime specials Adam Carolla's podcast, his own podcast called "About Last Night" and more and this weekend, he's in Muskegon for the delight of comedy fans!  Great observations, quick wit and and views on anything from disability to sex have helped make Brad a fan favorite all over the country! 

brad wVisit Brad Williams Website

 

Brad Williams is a big name to bring to Muskegon and it's part of The Back Alley's commitment to making sure the top headliners in the country get some mic time on the West Coast.

There are still tickets available for the shows Friday and Saturday night and you can click on the image below to get your seats before they are gone.  This is a big deal, and you don't want to miss it.

Andy O had a chance to catch up with Brad for a few minutes this morning.  It's a "PG-13" rated conversation, so, if you work with someone who's easily offended, might want to put some headphones on ...

 

 

  A great guy and a hell of a lot of fun.  If you are a fan, or if you just need a night out, this is your weekend.  Tickets are still available for shows tonight and tomorrow at The Back Alley Comedy Club!  Click on the photo of Brad below and get 'em while they last.  Our many thanks for The Back Alley and Brad for a few minutes today to join us on The Muskegon Channel.

 

Brad Williams

  If you have not noticed, thing seem to be chugging along nicely in Muskegon and that includes a growing amount of entertainment options.  Now, from this authors standpoint, it was only a few years ago that having more than one thing going on in town any given night meant that you really had to think twice about what you did as far as bringing in anything "more" because the audience size was kind of hard to draw people from.  If there were two or three big events going on, all of them seemed to suffer a little because of the amount of people they could draw in.  More often than not, we were left to leave town for certain kind of entertainment...especially stand up comedy.  A trip to Grand Rapids or as far away as Cascade was the "norm" since the early part of the Y2K years when those who were trying to do comedy shows on a regular basis gave up on the idea. back alleyFollow The Back Alley Comedy Club on Facebook for Shows and Tickets

  Today, as our desire to get out and have some fun has grown, so has the comedy scene.  Both locally and on a regional and national level.  Will we ever get back to the days when comedy was the hottest ticket in town?  That remains to be seen, but with the ability of comics to use the internet to spread their humor as well as come to towns the size of Muskegon to play a decent size room with a great crowd who they have not been to see before, it's pretty easy to see why The Back Alley Comedy Club is showing some real success.

  Located inside the Sherman Lanes complex, The Back Alley Comedy Club started off as an occasional spot to bring in a decent named comic once in a while.  Current owner of the club Don Veltman saw that there was plenty of room for more to go along with the "big names" and went ahead to make it a destination club giving audiences a reason to laugh as well as local and regional comics a chance to gain some much needed exposure and stage time.  Stand up comedy is a very difficult brand of entertainment and those who perform it need the stage time and audience interaction to improve and grow.  Luckily for us, we get to be there for the laughs and the practice.

  Recently names like Tom Green, Mitch Fatel, Kevin Farley and Pauley Shore have been on the stage and heading into 2019 you'll be able to see Brad Williams, Donnell Rawlings and a return of "The Weasel" himself toward the end of the year.  They are adding open mic nights for anyone who's ever thought of giving the spotlight a shot and they have some great trivia events happening as well called "Tipsy Trivia" where everyone can be funny.  All the growth and added fun comes from manager Ricarlo Williams-Winston who is a stand up himself and runs the day to day operations of The Back Alley Club! 

We all had a chance to sit down and talk about the club and the events, take a listen. 

 

  As the long cold winter settles in, mark your calendar for some warmth and laughter inside the Back Alley Comedy Club.  Top names, attention to the customer experience and a sincere value when it comes to your entertainment dollar!  You'll get a full night or entertainment and plenty of time to get out and enjoy the rest of what Muskegon has to offer.  Meet some big names, a chance to see up and coming stars of the comedy circuit and keep things moving along on Muskegon.  More great surprises are coming from the Back Alley Comedy Club soon, we thank them for their sponsorship of our page and we look forward to lots of fun in the future.  Click on the photo below to get your tickets for the Brad Williams show coming up January 4-5.  

Back Alley Brad Williams

The Muskegon Holiday Displays application is designed as a crowd-source application where property owners with outdoor holiday displays or public facilities with indoor or outdoor displays can add their display to the map with a photo and users can view the map and displays to know where to visit. The application works on desktop, tablet and mobile phones or devices.

Time for another visit to the famed Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market!  This time, Lauren and Char are working on a delicious treat that involves some classic cookware that was around long before we had things like microwaves, Instant Pots and more.  It's time to break out the cast iron!  Heavy, durable and meant to last a lifetime, using cast iron cookware is as much of an art as it is a great way to make some savory dishes that fill you up and keep you warm over the long cold Winter months in Michigan.
 
Of course, in our "heat and eat, ready to serve" world today, not everyone knows the in's and out's of using cast iron cookware or, how to properly care for it, so... there's a little bit of everything in today's show for you, including how to best preserve your cast iron pots and pans at the bottom.  
 
Let's head down to the Kitchen and watch Char work her magic!
 

Chef Char makes the most delicious stuff you're going to find!  If you'd like to grab the recipe you'll find it below along with some helpful hints on how to best care for your cast iron cookware.  If you need hands on help, maybe consider a cooking class at Kitchen 242 with Chef Char!  She's got a varitety of different topics she teaches and the classes are fun, informative and a great way to see what a treasure we have here in town with Kitchen 242.  You can click on Chef Char's pic to visit her site and see what's coming up at Kitchen 242 that might interest you!!

cc mkg channel

 
Dutch Baby Pancake
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk, heated 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
 
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the butter in a large cast iron skillet and place in the oven.
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the eggs, flour, warm milk, sugar, vanilla extract and pinch of salt, and blend on medium-high speed until uniform. (If mixing by hand, combine the eggs with the milk until the mixture is light yellow and no longer stringy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt, and whisk vigorously to remove the lumps, about 30 seconds.)
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. The butter should be melted. Swirl the butter around the pan to coat completely, and then pour the remaining butter into the batter and pulse to blend. Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven. Cook until the pancake is puffed in the center and golden brown along the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
Using a spatula, remove the entire Dutch baby from the pan and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes to allow the steam to escape without condensing along the bottom and rendering the pancake soggy. Dust with confectioners' sugar when cooled slightly. Slice the pancake into 8 wedges on a serving platter or cutting board.
 
ADutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is a sweet popover that is normally served for breakfast.  It is derived from the German Pfannkuchen.  It is made with eggs, flour, sugar and milk, and usually seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon, although occasionally fruit or another flavoring is also added.  It is baked in a cast iron or metal pan and falls soon after being removed from the oven.  It is generally served with fresh squeezed lemon, butter, and powdered sugar, fruit toppings or syrup. 
Fried Apples
Ingredients:
4 cups peeled, cored, thinly sliced apples 
¼ cup flour 
½ cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
½ teaspoon cinnamon 
dash of nutmeg 
2 tablespoons butter 
1 cup apple juice or cider 
 
Directions:
In a bowl, mix apples, flour, sugar, vanilla and spices. Mix until all apples are coated with sugar and spices.  Using a skillet or a sauté pan, melt 2 Tablespoons butter over low heat. When butter is melted, add apple mixture and stir. Add apple juice and stir. Cover and stir mixture occasionally. Sauce is ready when apples are soft and a thick sauce develops. It should look like pie filling when done. 
 
 
 
How To Season A Cast Iron Skillet According to Lodge 
What You Need
Materials
Cast iron skillet
Dish soap 
Sponge or stiff brush
Clean, dry cloth or paper towels
Vegetable oil or shortening (or other oil of your choice)
Equipment
Oven
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Wash the skillet with warm, soapy water and a sponge or stiff brush. Cast iron should not normally be washed with soap, but it's fine here since the pan is about to be seasoned.
3. Rinse and thoroughly dry the skillet.
4. Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil or melted shortening to the inside and outside of the skillet. Vegetable oil and shortening are the most commonly recommended oils used for seasoning, but according to Lodge, you can use any oil of your choice.
5. Place the skillet upside down on the oven's center rack.
6. Place a sheet of aluminum foil below the rack to catch any drips.
7. Bake for an hour.
8. Turn off heat and allow to the skillet to cool completely before removing from oven.
Additional Notes: A seasoned skillet is smooth, shiny, and non-stick. You'll know it's time to re-season if food sticks to the surface or if the skillet appears dull or rusted
 

A press conference was held Monday Dec. 10th at the East Apple Avenue McDonald’s to announce $95,000 in donations to 3 Muskegon area charities. 
 
Ronald McDonald House Charities is giving $60,000 to Kids Food Basket Muskegon, $25,000 to the West Michigan Symphony, and $10,000 to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore.
 
Lauren Stanton had a chance to talk with McDonald’s owners Matthew and Lori Schulz, as well as Kids Food Basket Founding CEO, Bridgett Clark Whitney.  Take a listen to the chats and watch it all unfold today!
 

 

  Great things happen every day in Muskegon.  They happen from the people and business here and the Ronald McDonald Childrens Charities reach goes so far beyond their primary purpose of helping give rest to parents of kids who need treatment.  If you'd like to know more about Ronald McDonald Childrens Charities, click on their logo below.  

RMHC logo

Just sat down with Muskegon native, Tammy Griswold who is putting together an incredible New Years Eve party to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan...."Beyond NYE For NKFM" 2019 kidney leadFind the New Years Eve Event on Facebook
 
This event will take place at the Watermark 920 Event Center in Downtown Muskegon on Monday evening, December 31st..... 6:30 the doors open....   Live music...dancing...heavy hours d'oeuvres....prizes....cash bar and so much more!!!!
 
Tickets are only $45 each....or $80 per couple.     Join Tammy and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan crew this Sunday Afternoon 12/9 at Pigeon Hill Brewing Company on Western Avenue in Downtown Muskegon for the pre-sale ticket party.    Hey, have a blast just picking up your tickets!!!
 
Ring in the new year....it's the New Years Eve party to NOT miss!!!!.... And raise important funds and awareness for healthier kidneys.... Important life saving treatments.....and the importance of kidney donation....it's a win win event!
 
Hurry and get your tickets now!!!.... They're going fast!
 
 
National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
BEYOND NYE FOR NKFM New Years Eve Party
Watermark 920 Event Center
Washington Street, Muskegon
6:30 to 12:30 December 31, 2018
Click on the photo below for tickets!!
 
new year 3727341 960 720

A couple of years ago, Muskegon County voters passed a millage to help our senior citizens out.  It's taken a while to get the finding moving like it does with any millage, but the process is up and running and the services offered to the older generation are wide.  Everything from transportation to food, activities to assistance understanding the in's and out's of complicated things like Medicare..or maybe even a hand with essentials like bills, home needs and more.  It's all there waiting for you, but how do you even begin to understand how it works or where to begin? senior resourcesFollow Senior Resources on Faceook

It can be a very confusing, and honestly, intimidating process and with all due respect, some older people are not as tech savvy as younger folks and some too, are just used to getting by with what they have been able to do themselves, even though they have earned and are entitled to some of the benefits that are out there.  So a big part of the millage was to help find some people who could help those who need a hand finding their way through the red tape.

The Health Project of Muskegon County with Mercy Health has set up a program where those in need of a hand with the overwhelming amount of information out there and how to find it.  They are the Senior Navigators and the good news is, that they are going to deploy all over the county so those in need don't have to struggle to find a hand.  They can visit where they are comfortable goin and find a setting that is private, familiar and work with a person one on one to see what's out there and how they can benefit from all the assistance offered.  

I had a chance to meet up with Judith Kell, Tay Jones and Julie Wilde who are all part of the program.  They will explain in detail just how easy it is for those who need a hand to figure out the nuts and bolts of everything available if they plan a visit with a Senior Navigator.  Take a listen.

 

Difficult and kind of intimidating, but the resources are there for anyone who needs a hand.  This is community helping community and none of it is "freeloading" or taking a "hand out".  These are all programs set up to help senior citizens out with what they have already given in.  Take a few minutes and visit the Senior Services website by clicking on the picture below.  Make an appointment to visit your Senior Services Navigator and get started on what's available.  Our many thanks to Tay, Julie and Judy for coming on to introduce the program!  Our thanks to to the senior citizen community... it's our turn to pay you back a little.  Click below and let's go!

sr large

If you’re like me, you’ve driven by the majestic Hackley and Hume homes dozens of times (if you live in Muskegon, maybe HUNDREDS of times), yet I’ve never been inside. When I heard they do holiday home tours, I thought, “now’s my chance!”
 
I stopped by and got a fun history lesson and tour from Erin Schmitz with the Lakeshore Museum Center. It was cool to hear about Charles H. Hackley, his lumber business in Muskegon in the late 1800’s, and his eventual business partnership with his friend, Thomas Hume. Nothing like being one of the richest men in town, but why not have your best friend and his family build a mansion next door! I also got to see some of the most intricate woodwork and stencil artistry I’ve ever seen in a historic home, it really is something to see.
 
The homes are decorated thanks to dozens of designers, volunteers, and museum staff. Take a minute this holiday season, bring the kids (they’re more than welcome) and see this gorgeous Muskegon treasure when they’re all decked out for the holidays.
 
 
Tour dates and times are Dec. 8th, 15th and 27th from 4-8pm, and Dec. 28th from 1-4pm. The homes are located at 484 W Western Ave. in Muskegon.  Click on the Lakeshore Museum Center logo below to visit the museum website!
 
LakeshoreMuseumCenterLogoWebTag
 
 

From day one, No More Sidelines has been all about what it's new campaign is saying, "Building Belonging".  We know, because we've been there almost form the start.  No More Sidelines first came to Andy and Dave and asked if they would be interested in being emcees for their "Set the Stage" Gala.  Not really sure how two guys who kick each other in the rear all day would fit in to the suit and tie crowd of a swanky fundraiser, Andy and Dave first asked if they were sure that they wanted them...and almost 15 years later, they are still the event emcee's and the relationship continues to grow.  nmsVisit No More Sidelines On Facebook

No More Sidelines was founded when Alivia Blair asked her mom why she didn't have friends like the rest of her brothers and sisters.  Alivia has CP and Autism and was about 12 at the time.  Like any mom, Cyndi Blair wanted her daughter to have a normal life experience, with friends, hang outs, events and more, but there was an invisible wall there....one that needed to come down so others could see just how little difference there was between "those kids" and the "normal kids"

A small group of families who had kids with "unique abilities" first started hanging out together for some fellowship and as the group grew, the began integrating the group with other teams, mostly centered around sports and the result has been that young people who were once thought different, are now seen in an entirely new way and some of those barriers are now gone.  Loneliness became a bridge and a solution to the fear people have over differences.

They have called the Folkert Community Hub home for a while now, on Seminole Road in Muskegon.  They have plenty of space, and some of it needs a little more TLC yet.  They are in the final stages of the fundraising for the Building Belonging Campaign and they had an announcement on December 4th about the project and what's to come.  The Muskegon Channel was on hand to catch the presentation for you.  Take a listen. 

 

  "The Hub" has been a place for community gathering since the doors first opened.  They have world class banquet and meeting space.  They have areas for the No Moresidlines group and the building also houses some special educational opporunities for kind who need a little more one on one attention.  It's an amazing gift to all of us to have an organization like No More Sidelines here in Muskegon.  If you're thinking about a place for an event or meeting, keep in mind, renting their building helps fund the group and everyone is included....they stick to the mission. 

nms community run

Welcome back to the Muskegon Channel. Today I am proud to announce that I am going to help bring you safety segments with our first responders here in Muskegon county. Today I started things off with the Deputy Chief and the Fire Marshal with the Norton Shores Fire Department #3.
 
Did you know that the U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 840 home fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2011-2015 according to the NFPA. The Deputy Chief helped to explain that candles start more the one-third or (36%) of those fires. Some of the ways that you can prevent from having a fire, not using real candles, never leaving an open flame unattended, Keep candles on an open counter (without cupboards overhead) and at least 12 inches away. nsfd patchFollow the NSFD on Facebook
 
Everyone loves to show their Christmas spirit and sometimes even try to outdo their neighbors but when you are putting up said Christmas Lights and decorations should never place more than 3 strands of lights together before plugging it into the outlet. It is also important to know that you should only use an extension cord for the momentary uses NEVER long term and certainly NEVER covering the plugs or cords with blankets, carpets or even tape. Instead you should plug the decorations into a power strip in case you accidentally overload it. That way it will trip the strip instead of your breakers. It’s also important because you could even melt the cord
 
Have you ever experienced the moment when you placed your tree in the most perfect spot in your home only to realize you now have to squeeze your furniture around it and have very little room to walk? Yeah, I had this very thing happen to my family and I this year after setting up our tree. Talking to the Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal they explained that you should have a clear rough in and out of all areas of your home. This way if you do have a fire you will not trip on any of your furniture on your exit out of your home nor will the firemen that are coming into the home to help. Back to the perfect spot for your perfect tree... remember that it should not be placed next to a fireplace, portable heater or a heat source of any kind. There is an age-old debate on whether you go real or fake and which is better, if you have a real tree make sure that you keep it hydrated, watering it at least once a day. However, if you choose to fall on the other side and go with a fake tree you also need to remember not to connect more than three strands of lights together. You should also make sure that your connections are tight not to allow any room in-between the connections for something to get there. When you have the light connections inside the tree you should make sure that they are connected to a power strip placed inside the tree or one that may be provided with the tree.
 
 
If you would like to learn more you can watch our short clip or you can always find information om the Norton Shores FD Facebook Page.  Click on the Image below for more.
 
nsfd
 
 
 

  We recently caught up with the Co-Chair Woman of the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce of West Michigan. ....Mary Kendall .....to chat about the 11th Annual Dancing with the Local Stars taking place in late February of 2019 at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center in downtown Muskegon.   This incredibly exciting, fun event has raised $923,000.00 over the last 10 years.... And they are hoping to surpass the 1 million dollar mark in February!  
2019DWTLS LogoVisit the WDCC on Facebook
 
  The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce has donated the money raised from this annual event to over 30 West Michigan food pantries located in North Ottawa, Lower Oceana and Muskegon Counties each year.    In 2018 this event raised over $170,000.00.
 
  This past Friday evening we attended the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce big "Reveal" party at the Holiday Inn.... Officially announcing the lineup of local community Stars and which professional dancer they will be paired up with.   There will be groups performing and pairs as well.   There will be 4 identical performances over the course of three days.... And each performance winners in several different categories will be named.... Plus bragging rights.
 
  This fun event features pairs and groups of dancers that start rehearsing this month and continue to increase the number of rehearsals leading up to the big show dates of February 21st, 22nd and 23rd of 2019.    All styles of music and dance will be represented...plus incredible themes and costumes.   Truly a complete blast to attend for anyone of any age.   The 2019 Dancing with the Local Stars theme is "Winter Wonderland".
 
 
The following are the selected DWTLS 2019 Local Community Star Dancers:
 
Christian Achterhoff: Laketon Township Clerk 
Christopher Anderson:  Fruitport Firefighter 
Bonnie Adamczyk-Brown:  Senior VIPof Investments at Norden/Adamczyk Group of Raymond James
Morgan Buck:  Director of Sales & Marketing for Schuitema Moving & Storage
Dakota Crow:  CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Muskegon
Bob Garretson:  Owner of Grand Shore Solutions
Joe Gorbach:  Owner of Firehouse Subs
Jenny Hart Locke:  Owner of Village Inn Restaurant in Fruitport
Dennis Luce:   Ottawa County Sheriff Deputy
Lacy Bridges-Mosher:  Owner Create.A.Frame Studio
Bill Noordhoff:  Manager at Bill Noordhoff Plumbing, LLC
Kristine Patterson:  Behavior Health Therapist with Catholic Charities of West MI
Larry Pellet:  Physical Therapist Assistant at Select Rehabilitation
Rob Riegler:  Owner of Lakeside Surfaces Inc.
Michele Ringelberg:  Owner of Thrive POP
Dr. Michael Ryske:  Owner of AlignLife Chiropractic & Natural Health Center
Jennifer Schultz:  Health Coach/Educator with Team Live Inspired
Mary Suarez:  Lead Ambassador & Event Coordinator at Hope Project
Emma Torresen:  Community Foundation for Muskegon County Donor Relationship Man.
Lisa Wright:  Day Spring Administrator
Jami Young:  Winter Sun Schoolhouse Founder 
 
2019 Professional Dancers:
 
Dr. David Armbrecht, Francine Calandro, Lisa Jirikovic, Patrick Johnson, Chris Kuhn, Sandy Nolan, 
Michael Page, Honorable Brenda E. Sprader, Mary Switzer, Andrea VanBeek
 
For more information:
2019 Dancing with the Local Stars
Women's Division Chamber of Commerce 
Thursday, February 21st evening....Friday, February 22nd evening.... Saturday, February 23rd afternoon.....Saturday, February 23rd evening
Tickets: $45 each evening....$35 afternoon show
Holiday Inn & Conference Center Downtown Muskegon
Call Mary Kendall (231)798-4244
 
Click on the Photo Below to Visit their Website!
 
2018Cast

We're very thankful for the support of the Muskegon County Airport for our work and, we're also very much all about making sure that the use of our airport continues to grow!  

If you travel, you know that there's a giant push to get everyone to the "giant airports" to get their flight.  How is that different than people in Muskegon being asked to only get their media from the "giant city"?  It's not right.  We have a magnificent airport that is easy, convenient and it's ours.  Use it or lose it!  

There are great deals to all kinds of destinations.  There are new and improved flight times for business travelers so you can make a connection in Chicago and be anywhere in the country...and generally home the same day and if you want to get your toes in the sand and somewhere warm...Cancun....Jamaica....Florida and more are all calling.

Jeff Tripp is the Executive Director of the Muskegon County Airport.  We got together and got caught up on all things airborne in Muskegon, take a listen!

 

Fly Muskegon!!  Imagine the ease of not having to go to Detroit or Chicago to get where you gotta be!  No hassle parking, 50 passenger planes for easy boarding and security check in's.  Friendly, low pressure staff and if you saw the video.. FREE COFFEE.  Always check Muskegon first if you are going to fly!  Click on the picture below to visit the Muskegon County Airport's website!

check mkg first

  Are you hoping Santa brings you an Instant Pot this Christmas, or maybe you got one last Christmas and haven’t taken it out of the box!  Cue Chef Char Morse at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market.   Char has you covered with one of several Instant Pot cooking classes planned for the new year, with the first being held January 26th.  cc mkg channelFollow Chef Char on Facebook
 
  They’re a convenient tool in the kitchen, but Instant Pots can be intimidating to some people.  Maybe you’ve mastered some key meals, but are looking for new ideas.  Char shows Lauren Stanton how to make a delicious breakfast recipe we’ve included below.  In the class, you’ll also learn how to make several other recipes.  Char says one of her favorite things to cook in an Instant Pot are RIBS!  But she also shows how you can use them to make a cheesecake and other fun ideas!
 
  There’s a whole lot more happening this month at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market.  Many of Char’s classes are already full, but look ahead to some of her upcoming classes or consider a gift certificate for a really fun experience to give someone you love this holiday season!!
 
 
 

 

  There are lots of great things happening at Kitchen 242!  If you'd like to know more about Chef Char's classes or other events there, click on their logo below to visit their site and learn more!  

Kitchen 242 Logo png

Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats in the InstantPot with Chef Char
Ingredients
1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups milk 
1 cup water
¼ cup dried fruit (tart cherries, cranberries, raisins, apricots – your choice)
3 large apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup or brown sugar (your choice)
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt (optional)
Directions
Add all ingredients to the metal bowl of any electric pressure cooker and stir.  Set the pressure cooker to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.  On the InstantPot Duo, use the “Multigrain” setting and adjust time to four minutes.  Wait about two minutes before releasing pressure.
Garnish with additional milk, sweetener of choice and nuts for a hearty breakfast.
 

Recently I met up with Maggie Vincent of MAGGIE'S GOURMET FOOD & GIFTS and Colly Frederick of the MUSKEGON COUNTY COMMUNITY RUN...    They are so excited to present their "Sampling Saturday" Fundraising event on Saturday, December 8th from 10am - 5pm at Maggie's Gourmet Food & Gifts located on Harvey Street in Muskegon.
 
It's truly a Win Win for everybody!.... Not only can you get all your holiday shopping done in one place...but 10% of every item sold will go directly to benefit the important fundraising efforts of the 2019 Muskegon County Community Run.    The MC Community Run will take place on June 29th, 2019 to raise important funds for NO MORE SIDELINES and the Muskegon County Sheriffs Department Motorcycle Unit. commuinty run fbFind the Muskegon Community Run on Facebook
 
Please grab your friends and join us on Saturday, December 8 between 10am - 5pm.... MAGGIE'S carries a very wide range of unique items.... Literally something for everyone on your gift giving list.    MAGGIE'S specializes in creating personalized gift baskets, customized apparel, customized etched mugs...beverage glasses, a complete selection of Made in Michigan gifts...foods....wines and a large variety of specialty gifts for everyone.
 
On "Sampling Saturday" you'll be able to shop and taste test all MAGGIE'S yummy items... And sample MAGGIE'S special bath and body products as well.  DON'T FORGET.... 10% of every item sold on that Saturday will benefit the important efforts of the Muskegon County Community Run.  I know I'll be there helping out AND SHOPPING!    Please join us!
 

Click on the picture below to visit Maggies Gourmet Food and Gifts online.  We'll plan on seeing you at Maggies on December 8th from 10a-5p for this fun event for such a great cause!  We'll see you there!!

maggies

  It's time to get in the holiday spirit, and whether you're headed out to cut down that Christmas Tree or pull the artificial one out of the attic, we all love setting the scene for the season.  What if you could have a professionally designed Christmas tree for that special area of your house or office that you could treasure for years to come?  You might want to think about stopping by the Muskegon Museum of Art! art museum 2Muskegon Museum of Art on Facebook
 
  The 14th annual Muskegon Museum of Art's Festival of Trees kicks off November 21st and runs through December 2nd (closed on Thanksgiving).  It's the public's chance to bid on beautifully decorated trees that have been professionally designed with the help of community donations.  The museum's assistant director Cathy Mott encourages everyone to stop by the museum during the 11 days of the festival as special programming, raffles, music and gift items will be available for guests.  Then, feel free to bid on the trees at anytime during the 11 days!  If you're the winning bid, the museum will help carefully wrap the tree for you so it's ready to be placed at your home or business. 
 

 
 
For more details, check out the Museum's website below!
 
trees 18

  Once upon a time, the news wasn't all frightening headlines...slanted reporting and teases to get you to tune back in at the next newscast to hear the end of the story.  No, there was a time when a news reporter took their time to get you to know your friends and neighbors.  Helped you understand what made a community unique or what made the local flavor unique to it's own.  In our house, those were the news stories that mattered, and those were the ones that kind of helped shape the way I approached the work I did in my broadcasting career.  

  As I carried my work over from the airwaves to the digital world, I wanted to preserve that feeling and try.  Some have said the videos are too long, others just read the articles...and I have heard more than once that they were surprised there was a website....they thought it was just a Facebook page.  We live in a high speed world...I get it.  dan pmichFollow Positively Michigan.net on Facebook

  A big part of the story telling though, is the guy behind the camera, and one of the all time best is Dan Salas.  Dan was in television for decades.  If you're old like me, Dan was the photojournalist for Dick Evans - On the Michigan Road on WOOD TV until Dick passed away in 1991.  It was Dan's eye that brought the stories to life and Dicks ability to bring the best out in anyone and get them to open up that made the segment such a destination for viewing. 

  Dan runs PositivelyMichigan.net now.  To say his work was in inspiration to us is an understatement, I mean, even the name...but what works, works.  Dan called the other day and asked if we had some time to talk about why we do what we do and how it all began.  When the best of the best calls, you make time.  Dan's story is right here.  Take a listen.

 

 

  As we filmed and reminisced....we talked about our skills sets, where we could help each other and how we could rely on each other to help spread the better news.....so....I grabbed my camera and told Dan, I am interviewing you...and we're putting your Positively Michigan stories on the Muskegon Channel if you like that idea.  Dan agreed quickly and so began the partnership.  We'll stay focused on Muskegon and Dan...he's going to cover the rest of the state the way he does it best.  Take a listen to my chat with Dan!

 

 

  A symbiotic relationship has been born.  We're proud to bring you Dan's work on Positively Michigan.  Make sure you check that link right at the top of the Muskegon Channel when you visit to see the who, what and where going on around Michigan and if you have story ideas, get ahold of Dan.  He's a great friend, an amazing story teller and works daily to continue the legacy he started way back in 1976 when he first picked up the camera to go On The Michigan Road.  Welcome to Dan.  Thanks for your years of wisdom and kind story telling.  You can visit The Positively Michigan site by clicking below.  

positively michigan resize

 

  Well, we got our first good dusting of snow this year, followed by some slide-off's and fender benders, because after all, who remembers how to drive in this stuff after a Summer full of Muskegon fun right?  As some sighed that the blanket of white fell, others were licking their chops a little bit, and one of us got in the car quick and headed out to get the scoop on what's to come at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex this season as preparation is underway for the ever growing and ever evolving treasure housed at the Muskegon State Park on the North side of town. lugeFollow The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex on Facebook

  We've long been friends and partners with the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex.  They have been helping us along since the earliest days of Positively Muskegon and in turn, we've been there to help them start to show that there is so much more than just Winter activities there.  The Winter Sports Complex is home to one of only 15 luge tracks in the world.  There is an expansive area for outdoor winter recreation from ice skating to snow-shoeing, cross country skiing and more and the spectacular setting for all of it can't be matched anywhere.  It's cared for by people who's life long passion is everything Winter Sports Complex and the future is coming so fast.  Soon, there will be zip lines, canopy tours, archery and more.  What was once the "best kept secret" in Muskegon is becoming a regional destination for all of the Midwest and Muskegon is reaping the benefits of the wonderful curation of the sacred grounds.

  Things are not quite ready to roll yet for the season at the Winter Sports Complex.  The smell of Pine-Sol and Mr. Clean fill the air at the moment at the lodge for the moment.  Soon, it will be the warm fire and the smell of hot chocolate, not to worry.  I met up with Bill Bailey to talk about the upcoming season and more.  Take a listen.

 

  It's a comin!  Be ready for the awesome season of Winter fun at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex and keep in mind, that a season pass out there makes a great gift!  Make sure too, that you don't just use the place as a weekend destination.  We talked a little about how more and more are coming to share the Complex....let's make it "ours" Monday-Friday when the visitors are all stil back home and we have our treasured sports park all to ourselves.  You can visit the Muskegon Winster Sports Complex website by clicking below!

winter sports pass

  We saved Lauren the written portion of her first interview on The Muskegon Channel.  After all, as the "trainee" you don't want to see anyone "overcome" on day one right?  (Har har har)

  But like anyone, we have a story to tell as well, and since Lauren has come along, and we've been at it a while with the Positively Muskegon Blog, which grew into The Muskegon Channel website and our recent addition of the Muskegon Channel Radio site, it might be time to let you know how and why this is all here.

  In a nutshell, it's been a building process.  There's a purpose to media in a community.  Media should be a relevant and active engine for sharing news, helping business advertise at a fair price and providing a value for the money spent and it should be a place in town that can be a focal point for good things, and things that can be addressed with actionable solutions.  The idea that "if it bleeds it leads" might be good for some, but it's that one sided story that can really harm a community both internally and on a bigger level, if that's all surrounding communities see about one area, well...the damage can be long lasting and very hard to reverse. 

  When the Positively Muskegon Blog began back in October of 2015, there wasn't really even a true direction in mind.  But as we grew and shaped what we do and why, it became pretty clear that the our contribution to all that is good in Muskegon was to be on the street telling the stories of those who do things large and small to make Muskegon home.  If there is something that needs to be addressed, we bring in solution based stories as opposed to "that's what happened" and leave yet another scuff on our image.

  Lauren talked with Andy and Britta about how it's all come to be.  Take a listen.

 

  So that's kinda how it all began.  Muskegon is not your cookie cutter kind of town.  We are our own entity with our own identity and what works somewhere, might not adapt here.  Our people, our pride and our community are ours.  We are unique in our thoughts our approach and our overall way of life.  We're kind, fun loving and we band together like no other when it comes to taking care of our own.  We have our own "flavor" and we kind of see our "micro media" enterprise as adding to just that.  We want our stories to reflect our people....we want our scenery to reflect our beauty and we want our radio station to sound better than anyone else's anywhere and we'll fight to make it happen.  We have a new story to tell...as so many things happen to re-define Muskegon, we're proud to be able to help shape the story the way it needs to be told.  With value, purpose and with the best interests of all of us at heart.  

  It's a friendship that goes back a few years.  Lauren Stanton and Muskegon that is.  Over her years of being the morning reporter at WZZM in Grand Rapids there were the occasions that she'd make her way out here for a concert or the air show or maybe a hockey game or something.  But, there was always something that set Lauren a part from the other visitors that came in with their respective stations for an event.  The other stations would always sit in their designated spot and give away bumper stickers or promo pictures or can koozies....or worse yet, they would find a spot back stage and wait for their 2 minutes on stage to greet the masses and accept their glory.  Well, with Lauren...she'd be the first one out of the booth, into a beer line and right out in the crowd to meet people and be Lauren!  She's all about grabbing every ounce of life she can get and she'd blend right in in her cut off's and tank top out there in the thick of the party and that's what she loved about it.  She could just hang loose.  She fit right in. lauren hubsClick here to follow Lauren on Facebook

  As her broadcasting career continued she met her future husband and they began to dream a little.  Their life in Saugatuck together was great but they are both very energetic people and saw an opportunity to go into business for themselves on a little corner on the river down there with a unique idea called Retro Boat Rentals.  The spit shined up some vintage boats, revamped the motors in them to be high efficiency electric motors and started a seasonal rental attraction.  Well, they struck a nerve and found a niche... the business took off and the were both able to walk away from their careers and focus solely on Retro Boat Rentals.

  Back to Lauren and Muskegon.  She was one of the key factors in getting Positively Muskegon on My West Michigan once a month, a relationship that continues, and as word got out that she was "retiring", well, I said almost jokingly... "Well, if you get bored, I know a guy in Muskegon with a few cameras who's trying to tell a better story about the town....."  there wasn't even time to take a breath and Lauren said "I'm in...when do I start?"  Today it happened.

  I sat down to catch up with Lauren a little and welcome her on board... take a listen.  

 

 

  Yes, she's been a friend to Muskegon for a long time, but she's also been a remarkable personal friend too.  Lauren is one of those friends who's right in the trenches with ya and doesn't run away when things are looking tough.  In fact, looking back on my last short run on the radio in Grand Rapids a few years ago....she was one to run in to the burning building more than once help dig.  Didn't think that job would last as long as it did...but who cares.  We're here now... and Muskegon is coming out the winner!  We welcome Lauren with open arms and can't wait to see her perspective on our community and our people.  If you'd like to know more about Lauren's "real job" click on the photo below to visit the Retro Boat Rentals site!

retro boat rentalsRetro Boat Rentals

 

 

 

  On Saturday November 10, 2018 at 2:00 PM, the Boogie Woogie Bugler Memorial Statue was unveiled at the LST 393 Veteran's Museum. The life-size bronze sculpture of Clearance Zylman was sculpted by local artist Ari Norris. Clarence Zylman was the inspiration behind the classic WWII era song, "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B". For more information on the sculpture, check out our previous interview with sculptor Ari Norris.

  Born in Muskegon and trained on the streets of Chicago, he toured the country as a professional trumpeter helping to lead a musical revolution, featuring a new boogie-woogie sound. Clarence Zylman served his country as a bugler, playing reveille in his own boogie-woogie style. He became a military legend as the bugler who got the troops up with a jitterbug in their step. He was an ordinary man who led a remarkable life, and, thanks to an extraordinary song, will forever be known as Muskegon’s Own Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

 Video (01:54)

 

  The sculpture is installed prominently along Lakeshore Drive next to the USS LST 393 Veteran's Museum, Zylman faces east towards the rising sun, forever playing reveille to wake Muskegon.

  It's been a fairly tiring season of politics.  All the he said, she said.  All the half truths and intentional misleading information.  So many polarized thoughts on every issue, even dipping in to cussing candidates down over issues that they have no control over.  Case in point, just as I was beginning to write this, I was following a discussion on social media about a candidate for a State seat and how people shouldn't vote for them because of their stance on the Second Amendment.  I asked if the author of the comment could explain how someone in Lansing would have any bearing on the US Constitution.  They couldn't or chose not to answer.  eEgelston Grows Green on Facebook

  So, like I did with the 911 surcharge request, I get a hold of Egelston Grows Green to see if they would like to share their straight talk one more time about the medical marijuana growth operation and dispensary they are asking the community to vote on Tuesday.  To me, all the homework has been done and the desire to grow a crop for an ever growing list of medical uses might be a pretty good idea.  The security will be stringent.  The economic impact can be huge.  The intention is to help people with their medical needs and the investment is willing to be made in our community. 

  It might not be for everyone.  No one is trying to force anything on you.  Changing the minds of some who have had a lifetime of fear mongering behind them regarding marijuana might never happen and that's ok.  There really can be no argument though that the emerging uses of CBD and even some for THC in medical ways are effective. 50% of the crop that will be grown in Egelston will not even have the psycho active THC compound in it.  This is in no way an endorsement to say anyone should drive under the influence of medical marijuana or any other substance and it's not to say that minors should access it.  This is however a chance for Egelston Grows Green to clear up some of the smear that has come their way over the whole situation.

  I met up with Jack Page again, we were also joined by Attorney Hal Hermanson to help explain some of the in's and out's of the township laws and how they have been met and grower Adam Mendes who will be growing the plants inside the secured facility.  Take a listen.

 

  They are even offering you a ride to the polls Tuesday if you are for or against the cause.  As they said at the end, this is not about the recreational marijuana vote also happening Tuesday.  This is about an emerging medical marijuana production that will bring jobs, revenue and relief to those who elect to use it.  You can visit their website by clicking on the image below. 

egelston grows green

 

Egelston Grows Green has been a paid sponsor in the past of The Muskegon Channel.  This was not a sponsored article. 

  It was a grand affair for one of the most important causes.  The Hope Project USA welcomed hundreds in for an evening of Hollywood glamour in an effort to raise some funds for their work against sex trafficking.  The food was amazing, the entertainment was superb and the masks were so much fun to see.  

  The Muskegon Channel was there with cameras rolling to add the "Red Carpet Live" feel for the guests coming in.  It was a way for the guests to show their support and The Hope Project to say thanks, and the spotlight is on you. 

  We are happy to support the work of The Hope Project USA and invite you to The Red Carpet from Saturday night at the Watermark 920 in Muskegon.

 

  If you were unable to get in to this sold out event and want to be a part of the work The Hope Project USA does to help the victims of sex trafficking, you can click on their logo below to visit their website.  Make a donation, give some needed supplies or maybe volunteer some time.  It's a social plague that anyone can agree should be fought from every angle. 

hope project 3 

 

  The election is right around the corner and on the ballot this year in Muskegon  county, there is a surcharge request for voters to approve regarding the Muskegon County 9-1-1 Service and some essential upgrades that are truly needed for our police, fire and EMT workers.  

  Like any money request, no one is excited about the idea of having to pay more, and it always seems to be amplified in Muskegon through social media and other grumblings among those who think that there is some shell game or bait and switch going on for a frivolous money grab so that some governmental body can line their pockets etc.  

  It's understandable to a degree, but the facts are simple.  Muskegon Central Dispatch is a stand alone authority overseen by the State and the funding they are requesting is spent only on needs for the communications system they need as what we currently have now is so outdated it's even becoming hard to get parts to repair what we have, let alone stay in communication with other safety agencies throughout the state.  These are essential tools for men and women who work to save the lives of all of us and the request is not coming because of the joy of a cash grab.  No other bills past or future can be paid with this and it's not a quick and easy task to get this project moving or completed.  

  With all the misinformation that's been sent out over social media, I asked Shawn Grabinski from MKG 9-1-1 and Chief Dave Glotzbach from Muskegon Township Fire to meet with me again to discuss what I have heard, what they have heard and what the simple facts really are surrounding the 9-1-1 surcharge request you'll find on the ballot November 6th.  Take a listen.

 

  Hey, look.  I don't want to pay more either, but I would really hate to see the worst happen.  I'd hate to see any of our front line responders without the tools they need.  I'd hate to see a citizen suffer because of lack of the proper tools for the authorities and what's more, I'd hate to see something so important fail because some of the nay-sayers and those who thrive on making sure we don't get what we need because they thrive on chaos or being a thorn in the side of something.  This is not being asked for for anything other than necessity, please get out and vote November 6th.  For more on the surcharge request, click on the image below.

mcd logo

  Unbelievable to imagine that the horrific crime of Human Trafficking takes place in our own West Michigan communities, but it does....    thanks to the tireless efforts of Hope Project of Muskegon County those crimes are now dwindling. ....and the victims are receiving the help, safety and the support they need. behindthemaskleadGet the Last Few Tickets for Behind the Mask While You Can
 
  Hope Project of Muskegon County is hosting its 3rd Annual "Behind the Mask" Masquerade Ball this Saturday, November 3rd at the beautiful Watermark Event Center....located Downtown Muskegon from 6pm to midnight.
 
  This year's theme is Hollywood Glamour...so come dressed to impress....walk the Red Carpet, dine on amazing cuisine by Ryke's Catering, a DJ for dancing, cash bar, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, photo booth, best mask competition and much more.... All to raise funds and awareness for this serious cause.... But all in a fun, glamorous way.
 
  All the proceeds raised will go to the victim support efforts.... For safe accommodations, counseling sessions, transportation to and from counseling and much more to help the victims.
 
There are a handful of tickets still left....but going fast! 
 
Mary Suarez and I sat down to talk about the event, take a listen!!
 
 
To learn more about The Hope Project USA - click on the photo below.
 
hope usa
 
 
 
Behind the Mask Masquerade Ball
To benefit the Hope Project of Muskegon County
Saturday, November 3, 2018
6pm - midnight
Watermark Event Center
930 Washington Avenue, Muskegon
$45 per ticket (must be 18 or over to attend)

  We're very lucky in the fact that we work with some incredible companies that are great stewards of the communities they serve.  Kurt Alderink from Shoreline Recycling called up and asked if we knew of a way that they could help do something nice for veterans since Veterans Day was coming up and if I knew anyone to help put him in touch with.  Luckily, not only do I know "a guy", I know "the guy" so a couple of quick emails and we had the ball rolling.

  We spent this summer showing you what and how Shoreline Recycling does.  Every aspect of their operation from the intake to the baler at the end and all of the products they recycle to not only keep Muskegon clean, they are finite resources they deal with so, the reuse of metals not only helps the environment it sustains what we have to work with.  They also pay top dollar for what you bring in.  If you are a daily scrapper, an occasional user or maybe an organization out to raise a few bucks with a scrap drive they are your first and only call.  They also work one on one with industrial customers who have scrap on a large level.  veterans affairs logoMuskegon County Veterans Affairs

  The Muskegon County Veterans Center has made an appearance or two here and on Positively Muskegon.  They work to help our vets navigate the system to get the care they need.  They also provide necessities for them like a food pantry, some assistance with utility bills or rent from time to time.  They also help with programming like mental health support, groups and services that some of us might not even think of who have not served.  It's a place of humble surroundings, but the work they do for those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice is essential and any and all help they can get is greatly appreciated.  

  So, now we have a connection, let's get it to work!  Kurt and Mike talked about what needs were the most important and how Shoreline Recycling could do something, so it was resolved that in November, if you bring non perishable food items or toiletry products to Shoreline Recycling with your scrap, they will give you $1 per ton extra up to $10 bucks per item.  Shoreline will also set up an account that if you just want to donate your scrap to help the Veterans Center out you can drop it off and 100% of the proceeds will go to the purpose.  Shoreline also donated 4 Lumberjacks tickets, a $50 gift card to The Station Grill and a swag bag of goodies to go to a vet for a night out with their family.  Kindness and stewardship.  Amazing.

  I got Kurt and Mike together.  Mike showed Kurt around the Vet's Center and we talked a little about the whole project.  Take a listen 

 

 

  Contagious isn't it?  Shoreline leads the way, now follow.  Organize a scrap drive at your work, church or school and bring it to Shoreline Recycling.  Think about that food pantry at the Veterans Center the next time you're out shopping and have a little extra.  Maybe even just pick up a gift card to a food store that the Vets Center could use to help the cause.  Many hands make light work and as we pull together as a community, taking care of our vets is an easy way to say thank you for their service.  To learn more about Padnos click on the photo below and visit their website.

IMG 3552

We're on a roll!  New buildings are popping up, old buildings are being rehabbed and renewed, a sense of belief is here and that has carried over into the desire to launch new business, brands and endeavors.  It's a time of great excitement here in Muskegon and we're pretty dang proud to be part of it.  It's been our thought since Positively Muskegon started back in 2015 that a big piece of the puzzle was talking about who we are, and what we do in a better light than the one sided story we had been given for so long.  So, just like any of the other "new faces" we're all about celebrating those who are taking a chance and wanting to make a difference.  We've featured plenty of people taking the plunge, and of taking the plunge...you need a clean spot for that right?  Well, we've got that too thanks to start up Gr8LKS Apparel. gr8lks logoFolllow Gr8LKS on Facebook

Gr8LKS Apparel was founded by Pete Gawkowski Jr and Andrew Mann here in Muskegon.  It's a cool line of clothing that sources it's materials from organic cotton...recycled materials and no negative impact on the environment.  Even to the dye's they use...safe and eco friendly.  Also, a snappy logo.  Something to generate a little conversation along with a nice look.  Let's get people talking about what Gr8LKS means and why it's on your shirt, hoodie or hat.  Then, on to the action part.  

Our lakes are our greatest asset.  Gr8LKS Apparel spends a minute of boots on the ground clean up of the lakes for ever $1 spent.  The dirty work.  Cleaning up the rubbish left behind at the beaches and waterways in the area and beyond.  It's Gr8LKS for a reason...this is a movement that can spread far beyond Muskegon and should.  Any state touching a Great Lake can have a role in this movement and we can all take pride that it started in Muskegon.  So far, over 33 hours have been spent in the actual "dirty work" of cleaning up beaches and as the company grows, so will that number of service hours.  A great way to not only promote a brand, but the importance of a company's stewardship of it's community and it's customers.   While some companies might be able to write a big check to build a hospital or an arena, the start up's have to rely on elbow grease and blood sweat and tears...just what GR8LKS is doing.

I had a chance to catch up with Pete and Andrew to learn more about the endeavor.  Take a listen.

Dreams become concepts and concepts become reality.  It's all part of our amazing times here in Muskegon.  As new styles, trends and brands emerge, to remember what we truly have by way of natural asstets is so important and Gr8LKS has their finger on the pulse.  Think about grabbing a hoodie for the cooler weather, maybe one of the awesome looking trucker hats or, get a hold of Pete and Andrew and tell them you'd like to pitch in on the next beach clean up.  Help celebrate those who take the plunge....great things are happening in every corner of Muskegon and it's such an exciting time to be here!  To visit Gr8LKS website, click on the photo below.

gr8lks

 

  We like to keep you up to date on events that can help you keep your home and loved ones safe.  This is the case when the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program hosts an event here in town that will help you get rid of unused or outdated medications, sharps or even controlled substances with no questions asked.  It's a program hosted by Mercy Health and it's designed to help you dispose of medications properly and remove the temptation from your home of taking something that was not prescribed or...if it was prescribed and it's past it's date.   med takebackMedication Disposal Event on Facebook

  The idea of flushing old meds down the toilet or drain, is pretty well understood that there is a negative impact on the environment with that.  Throwing your old meds out is not recommended either...but you can't just stock pile them.  What about the loss of a loved one and having to clean out their belongings?  What if you find something the kids shouldn't have and don't know how to get rid of it properly or would be afraid of turning it in to the authorities?  There's an answer and it's simple and easy. 

  Over the past 8 years the Muskegon Medication Disposal Program has safely disposed of over 16 TONS of medications.  16 TONS!!  Imagine the pill count in 16 tons of medications?  Astronomical!  Imagine the risk imposed of those medications sitting around the house and prying eyes looking in your medicine cabinet.  Think if the risk of one of your kids friends coming over and finding some muscle relaxers or narcotic pain pills.  You should think about adding to that tonnage this Saturday and you'll get a cool trip through the fire department for your participation.

  It's a simple process, you drive up, fill out a small questionnaire, mostly about where you heard about the event, and your unwanted meds, sharps and controlled substances are taken away....no questions asked.  You drive off with a safer home, less worry and with no negative impact on the environment.  Simple stuff. 

  I met up with Chief Jeffery Lewis of The Muskegon Police Department and Rachel McCoy of The Health Project to talk about this Saturday's event and how easy it is for you to make it happen.  Take a listen.   

 

  Simple, quick and best of all...firetrucks!!  If you're heading down to the Farmers Market or out running some errands this Saturday.  Bring the kids.  Show them by example that there is a proper way to do things and that they really don't have anything to fear when it comes to the police.  What a great first step this would be for them to not only see that, but get to see the MFD up close and personal as you drive through.  There is no cost to participate in this and again, no matter what you're dumping, there will be no questions asked and your medications will be properly disposed of.  Ou thanks to the The Health Project for their sponsorship of The Muskegon Channel.  You can learn more about The Health Project by clicking on their logo below!

health project

  Almost a year ago, we stopped into a new restaurant in a familiar spot.  The old West Side Inn sat empty for quite a while on Beidler street in Muskegon after 65 years of being the neighborhood watering hole.  Three years or so passed and some eyes took another look at the location and the opportunity and rethought what the building could be inspired by his passion for unique food and a taste that couldn't be found anywhere else in Muskegon...or anywhere near for that matter!  Gouleese was born serving specialized goulash dishes from all over the world!  Mexican, Hungarian, Czech, Italian American...served as a platter or in some sample plates or maybe a cone...it was a culinary experience unique to the quaint setting and renewed decor in the neighborhood.  gouleeseFollow Gouleese on Facebook

  Now, what made Gouleese special to us was what happened when we published the story.  We can't really explain how or why, but the story took off like an Atlas Rocket.  To date, it's the most viewed story on The Muskegon Channel other than the Andy and Dave Daily which gets an update 5 days a week.  We sat and watched the view count grow and were just amazed!  We were very thankful for the hand in gaining some exposure for the new site and as we helped spread the word about the new restaurant, those who were excited about a new dining experience helped share the fact that we were here ready to share the news how we saw it.  To us, that's what a local media company should do.

  In the past "almost year" The Muskegon Channel has grown as has Gouleese.  They have new menu options, they have added beer and wine to the menu for those who'd like to enjoy a local brew or fine win along with their meal.  They dropped in a pool table as well as some games.  They have kept the family setting and have even put in some $6 specials for lunch!  All supported by groups who come in together, families who are looking to try something unique or maybe just the individual who's looking for a quick bite and wants to support a local business.  

  We stopped back in to see Tim Painter.  He's the managing partner behind it all to catch up on the "almost year" and find out how it's gone!  Take a listen!

 

  New menu options....same delicious goulash to try from all over the world, unique and quaint location and a re-imagined and reborn step in the right direction for a Muskegon neighborhood.  If you've not tried Gouleese yet....do it....if you've not been there in a while, head back. Exciting times for everyone at the restaurant as their 1 year anniversary approaches.  For a complete look at the menu, business hours and more, visit Gouleese website below!

gouleese2lead

 

  So, one day you're at work and you meet the new hire.  Nicety's are exchanged and you go to your respective job and do it, not to see the new recruit for a while.  As time goes on, assignments change and up pops the coworker again, and now, you get to have lunch together where you get a chance to talk a little, dream a little and find the commonality that makes up a pretty potent idea IF you're willing to roll up the sleeves and give it a try!  Such is the story of Brittany Meloche and Bethany Bauer.  only cannoli logoFollow The Only Cannoli on Facebook

  They met up at Shape Corp.  Time rolled on and their friendship grew.  No doubt Shape is a great place to work, but that burning ember inside them told them to take a chance on a little something that they both held dear their entire lives and that's the experience of bonding over food.  How it brings families and friends together.  How there are so many unique ways to take the "family recipe" to new levels and how it's fun to bring a product to life, from the pipe dream to reality.  They decided to start seeing what it took to get in to the cannoil business, where to make them, where to sell them....how would an area used to glazed donuts and blueberry muffins take on to an "old world" treat like a cannoli?  What is a cannoli anyway?  It's a cheese filled pastry....yes cheese.

  A little snooping around on the internet and the pair found Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market.  It's an open source kitchen for business development in the culinary world.  It's also a learning kitchen where classes are held in culinary arts and you may have seen it's a back drop for Chef Char and her wonderful segments here on The Muskegon Channel!  A little more investigating, into where to sell, how to develop a little catering clientele and then to spread the word....you've got a great start to a business that can grow past all expectations.  About the only thing that they couldn't get was "Grandma's secret recipe" as mom wouldn't just let that go, rather she told the gals to work on memory and do what you love. 

  I sat down with two of my newest favorite people of all time ever to hear their story and throw a little light on their endeavors.... take a listen! 

 

  I loved everything about this interview.  What a treat to see young people just go for it and to see them take the steps needed to build for themselves.  The food is delicious, their future is very bright and as you can tell....they put as much love into their business as they do their food, and more over, each other.  You can get yourself a taste of The Only Cannoli at the Muskegon Farmers Market or, if you'd like to consider them for your next occasion, you can visit their website by clicking on the photo below.  Our very best wishes to these emerging rock stars of the culinary world!  There will be a day when you will say "I saw them when they were on The Muskegon Channel"

cannoli gals

  Ok, I am going to start right off with some honesty.  I got a message from Brooks Wheeler who owns and operates Muskegon Monument and Stone on Pine Street across from Evergreen Cemetery after we ran the story on The City of the Dead historical event coming up.  I thought.... "Great...a tour of a bunch of computer programmed cutters, a topic people hate...death....and a place they would rather not have to spend a dime, this will be fun."  Yes, even the most positive of us grumble sometimes....but I am here to tell you....what I walked into was breathtaking to say the very least.  I mean truly jaw dropping history of who we are and how things have been done for over 100 years in Muskegon and everything included from the paperwork to the tools it took to do it.  I walked into a living working time capsule and I was just floored at every turn.

  Let's start off with Brooks.  An unassuming cat.  An artisan of the highest order who still does all of his engraving by hand on every stone, minus a little sand blasting.  He painstakingly hand draws ever single carving on the monuments and has hundreds and hundreds of sheets of his work he's done.  If it was something someone loved in life, from NASCAR to the outdoors to their favorite tattoo....Brooks has turned it into a forever engraving.  He's kind, he deals with people who come to him in the hardest times of their lives and, there are those too who come to him well in advance of the inevitable and plan something cool to mark there spot in the forever after.  He's figured out how to handle the emotional state of just about anyone, at any time and that's got to be an essential part of his success.  brooks air compressorFollow Muskegon Monument and Stone On Facebook

  Now, on to the business and building.  Living.  Working.  History.  I have had the good fortune to be in the catacombs of more than one place here in town.  I mean some deep spots where who we are and what we are about is held.  I have also been given the privilege of talking to some of the keepers of our history and of all that, you would be remarkably hard pressed to find a spot in town that has more than Muskegon Monument and Stone.  Every hand written record of their sales back to 1901.  Machinery that still thrives and functions that has been there since the beginning or nearly the beginning and if it has been retired, it's tucked away upstairs or in the back.  Old hand tools, the stove they use to heat the place is #25 in production from the Kalamazoo Stove Company which has been extinct since 1952, and only opened a year after Muskegon Monument and Stone.  The air compressor they use I believe he said is from the 30's and it's still chugging along as solid as a rock.  The floor boards creek....the safe is unbreakable and has an internal surprise in case anyone does try and the over all feeling of nostalgia is overwhelming.  A walk through the unseen at Muskegon Monument and Stone is as exciting as a museum tour anywhere and you'll get an exclusive look in the video below. 

  I don't recall ever meeting Brooks in the past, but we do share some pretty cool mutual friends, so we could have bumped into each other somewhere in the past.  Probably a race track.  His daughter is quite a popular National Anthem singer which he's quick to boast about as anyone would be.  Take a listen to our chat and enjoy the tour.  This is one of the most fun things I have ever been able to see.

 

 

  For every time I am standing there shaking my head thinking that what I do and why is hard work.... and how much easier it would be to just go find some job and punch a clock....along comes a guy like Brooks and says.... "Hey, come see this!"  Don't get me wrong... a flood of advertisers wouldn't get turned away, but what a gift it is to be Muskegon's story teller!  Who else gets invited in to see the un-seeable and given the all access pass to the people and places who make us who we are?  Brooks, thanks man!  What a great day!  If you'd like to know more about Muskegon Monument and Stone, click below to visit their website.

mkg monument

 

  October 5th was the day!  It's what the Muskegon Airport has worked for behind the scenes for years and it's a step to make our airport more viable for the business or leisure traveler looking for the easiest and most hassle free flight experience they can find.  The 6a early flight to Chicago was launched giving people travelling the most convenient connection options in Chicago to any destination they choose.  Up and on your way from one of the best kept secrets in travel, which we're proud to try and help change a little.  After all, who wants to add things like a long drive, and overnight in a hotel, one of those big city park and shuttle services....the crowds...the prices...everything people dread about air travel....all MIA at the Muskegon County Airport.  

  You pull up to a parking lot that's not even 50 yards from the terminal.  You are surrounded by a wonderfully manicured landscape and you enter a low stress environment to board your United flight with no more than 50 other passengers.  Check in is a breeze, security is as solid as you'll find anywhere but the pressure is WAY lower than what you'll find anywhere else and after a very brief wait, you're up and on your way to Chicago to connect with the flight to take you where ever you are heading.  Doesn't that sound much better than the rig a ma roll you find everywhere else?  Add in to that the affordable pricing and the pop up specials you can find if you take a look in advance and are a little flexible with your schedule...it's a value that can't be beat.  What?  You are banking up frequent flyer miles on some other airline?  You might want to look in to United's Mileage Plus Status Match Challenge.  (Hint Hint)  check mkg firstFollow the MKG Airport on Facebook for Up To the Minute Deals

  All of the chat about how great the Muskegon County Airport is, is one thing...but, there is also a need here.  We need to use it or lose it.  Like anything, the competition for this flight schedule is tough.  There are only so many flights and they will go to where they are utilized the best, so if you are planning a flight or taking a business trip, ALWAYS check Muskegon first to see about flights, prices and schedules and specials....we don't want to lose this great option!  There are also plenty of fun options as well at the airport.  Casino get away's are doing great and more are planned and if you need a Winter vacation, you can leave Muskegon at 6a and be in Cancun by 11.  Umbrella drink by 11:05!  Nice!

  Jeff Tripp is the Executive Director of the Muskegon County Airport and he invited me out to talk about the new schedule now that it's up and running.  Take a listen!

 

  The Muskegon County Airport is a great sponsor of The Muskegon Channel and we appreciate their support.  We also appreciate the hard work it took to bring this vaulable travel option to Muskegon!  If you're travelling....check Muskegon first.  Simple as that.  Protect our own resources and keep our airport alive and well.  To visit the Muskegon County Airport's website and check that schedule and price info, click on the photo below!

Fly Muskegon MKG United

We've enjoyed covering the work that goes on by the M.A.R.S. 4004 Robotics team in Muskeogn for a while now.  They are a group of students from multiple area schools and their advisors who come together to compete in the FIRST robotics competitions that are held all over the country.  They are intensive projects that focus on science, technology, math and team work.  They meet up and work out of the back of local business Pribusin.  Pribusin manufactures quality process controls and instrumentation not far from the Our Lady of Grace Church.  They employ a shop cat to keep an eye out for the occasional mouse.  The family dog is also a regular on the premises as you'll see in our chat here in a little bit.  It's a humble place is what I am getting at, but the truly amazing things that are coming out of it will blow your mind.  More over, the amazingly intelligent young people who are working on the FIRST Robotics projects will make your jaw drop.

When we last visited, they were just past their World Finals appearance back in April in Detroit.  The group was putting their skills to practical use outfitting motorized toy cars for kids with mobility issues.  Yes, "geeks" have heart.  It was a great story where families who never thought their kids would do what "normal" kids do, but the MARS Team made it happen.  There were not many dry eyes when the technology made the kids smile and laugh as the cars zoomed all over the floor at Pribusin. mars rovers robotFollow The MARS 4004 Rovers on Facebook

Well, technology marches on as do the FIRST Robotics teams.  That was last year and this year, their project is called "Destination Deep Space" inspired but the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  The teams have the title but not the specifics on what needs to be designed just yet and they also have something that will peak the interest of the Muskegon.  They have a destination "West Coast" where the regional teams will converge on Muskegon for the competition at Orchard View High School.  March 14th-16 the eyes of the tech world will be on OV as the competition gets underway with these brilliant young people.  L3 is the first to jump up and want a role in this, truth be told...they are keeping an eye on the competitors as a recruiting tool.  Good for these kids.  

Now it's up to us!  Let's roll out the red carpet.  We're going to have hundreds, maybe even thousands of people in town.  They will be here to brag up their kids.  Boast about their schools.  Take in some of the great dining opportunities, fill the hotels, see the sites and enjoy Spring in Muskegon as nature reflects what we're seeing in the changes of our town.  We're busting at the seams in everything from how we're perceived to the young people we're putting out with smarts...drive and no question in their mind that they can do it.

I got out to the shop to get the details.  I met up with Michael Gerstweiler who is one of the groups advisers along with team members Andrew Uriarte and Harrison McIntyre to talk about the event.  There is a need for some people to help out when it's going on.  They are also interested in hearing from area business and people who might want a sponsorship role.  This is a BIG deal to welcome to Muskegon and something we all need to rally around.  Take a listen to what this program does for our students and out area.

 

 

We're ready to rock!!  Deep Space here we come and welcome to Muskegon!  For every story you hear on the news about some kid doing some dimwit thing at school, trust me when I tell you that there are 10 kids doing something great.  So great in fact that they go out and impress the world enough to bring their competition right back home to their own field!  We're going to build toward March with the MARS Rovers and our other area teams who compete in FIRST Robtics.  The countdown is on and we're excited to follow the action leading up to launch at Orchard View on March 14th!!  To be a part of the action, click on the image below to visit their site. 

 

mars deep space

  We're heading back to the polls pretty soon and no matter where you stand on the entire voting process, making your voice heard is important and your vote is especially important when it comes to making sure our local municipalities have the needed equipment to make sure the services they offer are the most efficient and effective.  Quite often, especially when it comes to a request for money, there will be a lot of voices heard, and some of them get quite loud as to why people shouldn't vote to pay a little extra for essential services.  Let's be honest, no one wants to pay more for anything, but...what if one of those essential services is desperately in need of modernizing on a number of levels, and it's literally a life or death matter we're talking about? Such is the case with the Muskegon Central Dispatch 911 Service.  mcd repsFollow Muskegon Central Dispatch on Facebook

  The need is real and the costs of the old radio technology being used by the Central Dispatch Service are getting to the point that it's actually going to cost people in Muskegon County more to try and maintain the old system and repair the outdated equipment, some of which parts are no longer even available for in the long term.  Combine that with the fact that 74 out of 83 counties in Michigan have already migrated to this newer more functional 800mhz band for communications between all departments, we can see pretty easily that Muskegon County is behind on this needed upgrade.  It's said that the technology in place is the equivalent of "having a cassette tape in a world of streaming music" it's that far behind.  This is also an essential upgrade to give the first responder services of Muskegon County the ability to talk to other teams of responders from around the state.  Currently, if our county services need to communicate to ask for assistance from another agency, all they have is a cell phone.  Imagine trying to place a phone call in the middle of a disaster?  No thanks.  Let's make sure that the bare essentials are covered for those who protect us. 

  The costs?  Well, let's just explain it to ya.  Right now, for 911 service anyone with a cell phone or land line is paying .42 cents a month.  If approved, beginning in July of 2019 that rate will increase and can go no higher than $2.75 per month.  It's an equal share for anyone who might need to dial 911.  It also should be known that Muskegon Central Dispatch is a stand alone service.  They are an independent authority who reports to the state and none of this money being asked for can be diverted to pay for anything else.  It's not a ploy to get a bunch of money into one fund or another so something else can be paid for...this is essential life saving technology that has long been waiting for an upgrade.

  I was invited down to Muskegon Central Dispatch by Shawn Grabinski and she asked Fire Chief Dave Glotzbach of Muskegon Township and Whitehall Chief of Police Roger Squires to join us to talk about the necessity and urgency for this surcharge ballot request.  Take a listen for yourself and learn.... 

 

 

  In a time where disaster can happen anywhere, and seems to more and more...this kind of technology is essential.  It's never anything anyone is all fired up about having to pay a little more for essential services, but as a community our safety and the safety of those who are the front line for all of us is paramount.  There's no bait and switch going on.  There's no governmental "bloat".  This is a bare bones essential need for the safety of all of us.  You can read the complete list of nuts and bolts of this needed equipment in the link below.  We have it set to take you directly to the info page at MCD-911's site.  Learn what's needed and please, vote to help pass this for everyone in Muskegon County.

mcd logo

 

Maybe you're getting pumped up for the game or possibly, you are out for a new taste to wow your family or friends at the next dinner party?  Well, there's one gal in town who's got the answers to life's riddles like this...Chef Char!  She rules the roost down at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market and specializes in showing YOU how to make the good stuff in ways that are easily understandable, fun and efficient on time!

Today, we're back to the garden.  There is a lot of food coming out of back yards and if not, the local farmers market...so, let's eat it while it's fresh!  How about if we chop it up, mix it up and add a little zip and make a finger food like bruschetta?   It's amazingly simple and the taste is out of this world!  We'll quit wasting time on words and get right to it!!  Here's Chef Char from Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market!

Just as easy as that!!  Doesn't she make it simple and who knew what that amazing brown sauce was that set's off the dish like it does!  When we wrapped shooting, Andy pigged out on what was made, it was all he got to eat that day!  :)  Thank heavens for Chef Char!  If you'd like to join Chef Char at Kitchen 242 for one of her classes, you really should!  They are fun, informative and you'll walk away with skills you never dreamed possible!  You can click on Chef Char's pic below to visit her website and find a schedule of classes she offers!  She's even got cooking classes tailor made for kids!  Help those youngin's out early on with their ability to cook!  The recipe for the bruchetta is at the bottom!!

chef char eb

 

Bruschetta
Tomato mixture:
4 cups fresh diced tomatoes (Roma or plum tomatoes if you have them!)
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup fresh basil, cut chiffonade 
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Other Ingredients:
1 loaf French bread, cut at an angle in 1/2” to ¾” slices
olive oil or pan spray, as needed for brushing lightly on bread
Shredded Parmesan cheese and extra chiffonade basil for garnish, optional
 
Directions:
Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, add fresh diced tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and basil.  Mix and add salt and pepper to taste.  Lightly coat sliced French bread with olive oil or pan spray.  For oven toasting, line the oiled French bread on a prepared cookie sheet before placing into a preheated oven and toast until a light brown, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, flip all of the bread slices and then top with 1-2 Tablespoons bruschetta.  Place pan back in oven for another 5 minutes.  For grilling, place a sheet of aluminum foil over top of grill grates and line the foil with the oiled French bread.  Toast the bread on one side for about 3 minutes, or until grate marks appear, and flip each slice of bread.  Top with the tomato mixture, about 1-2 Tablespoons and allow to toast an additional 2 or 3 minutes.   Place bruschetta onto a large serving platter.  If desired, garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and additional fresh basil.  Serve immediately.
 

Crisp air, leaves starting to turn...all the closed up stores are now fly by night Halloween specialty shops and you've probably already bought a bag or two of "trick or treat" candy that hasn't lasted.  It's October, it's Michigan and it's how it goes.  We all get it.  The haunted attractions will be open soon, there's plenty of "scary" stuff on your Facebook feed as dead deer are hanging there beginning with the youth hunt a couple weeks ago and now that bow season is here....they are hanging in garages all over town.  But, it's also a great time to take that haunted vibe and maybe put a little educational spin on it in a setting like no other... the cemetery! city of dead posterCity of the Dead on Facebook

Not everything surrounding Halloween needs to be a heart attack around every corner.  In fact, in Muskegon you have a chance to come out to a very unique and very educational event focusing on our history....the people who made it and hear them tell it in real life...next to their grave site in the Evergreen Cemetery.  It's the 9th City of the Dead Muskegon and it's happening October 13th and 14th.  You'll find the entry to this event at 400 Irwin Street in Muskegon and tickets are only $5.  This is an event geared toward the whole family, there won't be anyone jumping out at you and there won't be any Zombie Apocalypse happening. There will be actors lovingly appearing in period costumes by the graves of the real history makers in Muskegon talking about the lives they lived, including some of the potentially scandalous events you might not know about, and how Muskegon became the town it is because of their contributions over the years.

This is the 9th year for the event and it brings together people for a number of reasons.  Some like the history, some enjoy the acting and theater part of their role while others, just like the costumes and the chance to represent our forefathers in a way that most will never get a chance to hear about.  It's a living history tour of those who made Muskegon and it happens only 2 days a year.

Jackie Engel got a hold of me again to invite me out to talk about this years event.  We were joined by Bruce Froelich, Ellen Pallasch and and Jessica Sheldon.  We talk about the characters they play and their reason to be so passionate about City of the Dead.  Take a listen!

 

Take the kids out for a little education that they won't even know hit them!  Then, carry on with the rest of the Halloween fun!  This is an incredible way to learn more about our home and those who made it happen!  Real history speaks to you from where real history was laid to rest.  This is part of our heritage and it's an incredible way to get your learn on before you head out to your cavorting and monster mashing!  We're proud to support this great event in Muskegon.

city of the dead lead

 

  A week or so ago, a message popped up on my computer wondering if I'd be interested in seeing what Eagle Alloy of Muskegon was all about.  Sure!  I have never seen anything like that up close and I am always kind of fascinated by things I am not really cut out to do.  Believe it or not...I am not one for the attention span it takes to focus on the job at hand at Eagle Alloy.  It's a job of focus, precision and strength.  I am more of an easily distracted artist as you've probably figured over the years, so to be able to see how folks get big jobs like these done is absolutely amazing to me.  I will say however, that over the course of my career, it's always been my great honor to be right next to workers like the folks at Eagle Alloy as their companion on the radio or in some form of media, so when they can grab a few minutes away from the task at hand, I am there to give them something to laugh about...at least that's always been the goal for me. eagle alloyEagle Alloy on Facebook

Eagle Alloy is an employee owned company and in 2015 they very proudly won the Metal Caster of the Year Award from Modern Casting,  The level of pride that you feel from the workers there is amazing and it is felt from the moment you walk in the door till you leave.  On my way out, I even met a woman, who needed a kidney transplant, found a match who also worked at Eagle Alloy and the company backed them BOTH to let the miracle happen of a kidney transplant.  Amazing solidarity among coworkers.  Their first customer came along in 1979 and they have retained them and added over 200 more in the meantime.  They service dozens of industries from agriculture to construction and if you see a Harley-Davidson trike rolling around, you're seeing parts from Eagle Alloy at work!

As the tour got under way, I was joined by a group of students from the Muskegon Career Tech Center.  One of my favorite places in Muskegon.  It's a hands on learning experience for the young people that attend there.  Eagle Alloy extends the opportunity for the students to see in practice what they are learning in books and getting the beginnings of at the CTC.  It's a great way to show young people the opportunities that await them here in Muskegon post education and that they can be part of some pretty amazing endeavors right here hat home.  

The first contact I got was from Mark Hollenbeck who is a Senior Sales Engineer at Eagle Alloy inviting me out and Mark handed me off to Scott Merz who I sat down with to talk a little about what we were to see on the tour.  It's kind of loud in the plant, so...we left the audio out and added a little soundtrack under the process parts.  You'll see the steps from design, to 3-D modeling, the incredible view of the "pour", some finishing, some robotics, some of the applications of their work and then we head into Eagle Precision to see another process they do with wax.  It's a fun and fascinating process, I'd recommend the biggest screen you can find to watch this on!

 

 

  Rockin huh?  Just amazing to see how it gets done!!  It's hard work, it's hot work but if you stop and think of just how much won't be possible without the products that Eagle Alloy supplies to industry...we'd be nowhere without them.  Add to that the amount of good, high paying jobs they provide right here in Muskegon and it's pretty easy to see why Eagle Alloy and all of it's associated companies are a true asset to our area!  Can't thank these guys enough for such an amazing experience seeing inside what goes on there.  I give my most sincere tip of the cap to the workers and staff there for the hard work they do!  Amazed!  To learn more about the company, click on the photo below to visit their site!  Word on the street is that they are in serious hiring mode too!!  Need a job.... here's your sign!

 

eagle group lead

A few years ago, I was scrolling across Facebook and I saw a group of friends up to some shenanigans, I know...surprise...right?  Well, this particular group of people was working on a podcast and they were calling themselves the "COJ"  The Circle of Jerks.  The went out of their way to be cut up's.  The joked about all things Muskegon, they hammered on each other pretty hard and they really pushed the envelope when it came to subject matter.  Hey, it's the internet and it was their thing, so I would watch occasionally but kinda figured it might burn out quick so I didn't think much more about it.  Well, as time went on, that "circle" expanded and contracted some when it came to the original cast and from the podcast thing was born the idea of a Circle of Jerks movie.  Who's to stop anyone from making a movie right?  Well, the COJ movie led to another film project called "You Mad Bro?" and as production was ramping up on that, some one in the group says..."Hey!  You know who would make a great actor to play our dad?  Andy O!!"  Now, here I am appearing in one of their films.  I mean, I kind of see myself as more their age, but I guess since it's the movies we can cast aside any preconceived notions about age. harborVisit Harbor Cinema Online

Through the entire process, I have gotten to know Hank Hawkins a little better and to have watched him grow and develop in his art and his continued desire to write, produce and direct films...I gotta admit...it's pretty contagious.  He's gone from the podcast idea to using what he's got at hand for equipment as well as who he's got at hand for acting to work on projects from inspiration to completion and to be honest, he's kind of mirrored me along the way.  Like we've grown things from the one GoPro we had to start Positively Muskegon with to the truck load of equipment it takes to run what we've got now, Hank and company have upgraded bit by bit, learned by mistakes, reinvested in what they do and worked to grow an audience with both live and recorded events here in town.  All this while maintaining a full time job and being a parent to a 15 year old daughter.  It's one of those growth stories in Muskegon you might not hear about anywhere else.

The production company he's founded is called Red Chunk Productions and their latest film will make it's debut at the Harbor Cinema on October 13th.  "LDR" is short for "Long Distance Relationship" and it's a story of how people try to make things work today with relationships in the middle of all of the technology and social media we are immersed in.  I was able to catch up with Hank and Kyle at Harbor Cinema to talk about the history of their company as well as the premiere coming up, take a listen to our chat below.

Details and tickets are not on Harbor Cinema's page just yet, but keep an eye out for it and buy yourself a ticket!!  You know....I applaud these guys and their efforts.  From the concept to writing and producing and all that entails making a motion picture, they are grinding it out.  It was a fun experience to be in one of their films and as they work on more, we'll keep you up to date on what's next and where you can see it.  It's small films like "LDR" that quite often get picked up by bigger movie production companies and then make their way out to Hollywood, so...I guess we keep our fingers crossed for Hank, Kyle and the rest of the crew at Red Chunk Productions.  Who Knows, maybe someday there will be an "actors colony walk" for the work Hank and friends are doing.  To visit Red Chunk Productions on Facebook, click on their image below, follow along for up to the minute productions, casting calls and more!

rcp

 

 

ldr red chunk

 

I got a call from Egelston Grows Green and asked if we'd help spread the news with a little sponsored content.  It has to do with medical marijuana and the production and processing of it in Muskegon, specifically in the Egelston area.  There is a great deal of information both pro and con about the subject and there are many people both for and against the use of marijuana medically and as a recreational substance.  From our perspective, there is plenty of evidence for the medical properties of marijuana and in November, we'll find out what the voters think about the recreational use of marijuana in the state of Michigan.  Knowledge is power however, so we went to visit Egelston Grows Green to share with you the story of their operation and what they will be presenting October 8th at the VFW on Apple Avenue.  eEgelston Grows Green on Facebook

Jack Page is a man of many hats and was the guy who asked me out for the talk.  I didn't know that he had anything to do with the MMJ  industry.  He's got some personal ties to it which you'll hear about in the video and he was also very careful in explaining that what's being built out on Apple Avenue is being followed to the strictest of state guidelines and that they are going to be growing strains of medical marijuana that both include and omit the THC element which seems to be the part that has everyone concerned due to it's hypnotic side effects.  There is mounting research however that the CBD end of the plant has some pretty wide ranging positives for those who suffer anything from arthritis to cancer, seizures to neuropathy and with the mounting opiate problem in the United States, more and more people are seeking different ways to relieve their symptoms or treat the source of the ailment.  

Egelston Grows Green will consist of a grow area, a product production facility where the plants will be turned into the usable products and tested as well as a dispensary that will be on the corner of Apple and Maple Island.  They are currently working with local contractors and builders to get things underway, and when the operation is in full swing, the thought is that the job creation will be well over 100 new jobs.  Plus, there are the other benefits like taxes to the local economy and more.  

As mentioned, Jack Page and I got together to talk about the operation, the upcoming informational seminar and how you can be a part of it Monday October 8th at the VFW on Apple Ave.  6285 Apple Ave specifically.  The event is from 4-7 and there will be food served to those who come to learn more.  Take a listen to our chat below.

 

 

Pros and cons are coming from every direction.  The best way to know is to be informed. If you are curious, go.  If you are leery, listen to hear both sides of the story and you are welcome to still think that it's no good for anyone.  As we face the potential for the legalization or recreational marijuana, our stance will be that if used in that manner, the same rules apply as alcohol.  No one under 21 and never drive under the influence.  Our stance is too, that there is enough evidence out there that there are some pretty reasonable arguments to be made for the effectiveness of medical marijuana, and that knowledge is power.  Learn more October 8th.  To visit the Egelston Grows Green website, click on the image below.

egelston grows green

There was a time for me where the Guinness Book of World Records was one of the most important books in the house.  I don't recall how I came to know about the publication, maybe it was in a library or possibly it was the endless stream of shows like "That's Incredible" or "Real People" the managed to have some sort of world record attempt on every week.  I remember being obsessed.  Who had the longest mustache?  Remember the guy with the world longest fingernails?  (Gross) and of course there was the worlds tallest man, world fattest lady, oldest man alive...most to ride on one motorcycle...Siamese twins were always a hit.... it was hours of fascination and it was always a conversation starter with your neighborhood buddies and an easy way to make fifty cents over a bet if they questioned your trivial knowledge on the who, what and where of the world.  Guinness has been going strong since the 50's and attempts continue at all of the above and more.

We've even had a recent attempt.  Meet Adrianne Lewis.  She's a student who's out to be an acting teacher.  Acting seems to run in the family.  Her brother Luke lands starring roles in The Penguin Project here in town.  He was "Daddy Warbucks" in last years production of Annie Jr. and this year, he'll be taking the stage as "Aladdin" when the Penguin Project plays at the Frauenthal October 20th and 21st.  Adrianne herself appeared this past summer on "The Gong Show" with Mike Meyers who's disguised as a character "Tommy Maitland" and there was serious question if it really was Mike at first he goes so deep in to character.  adri lukeAdrianne and Her Brother Actor Luke Lewis

I saw the first part of her record attempt on a Facebook video, and since I am pretty good friends with her dad I shot her a message and asked if she'd be willing to come by and show us her record attempt and talk a little about what it takes to even try to get in the famed book.  We met up out at Muskegon Community College to talk about what's entailed and how it went....take a listen.

 

 

 

 

 

A nice Sunday morning story!  Something fun and a local gal willing to take a shot at a world record!  Many thanks to Adrianne for coming by for a few minutes.  As we left, she wanted to make sure that you knew the invite is open to all to come check her brother out in The Penguin Project - Aladdin Jr at the Frauenthal.  It's an amazing performance with the No More Sidelines kids and The Muskegon Civic Theater.  You can get details and tickets below!

alladin

 

  The Buster Keaton Film Festival 2018 will be held at the Frauenthal Center Saturday, October 6 at 8:00 pm. Here at The Muskegon Channel we've interviewed Ron Pesch at the Muskegon County CVB. Ron is a local historian and a member of the International Buster Keaton Society. In the video we talked about the festival, a little bit about Buster Keaton for those who might not be familiar with him, the connection between Buster and Muskegon, and what it means to have a event like this in town. In the video you will also find out why Buster Keaton calls Muskegon his home featuring his early childhood drawing.

 Video (10:56)

 

  This year there is a special early screening of a documentary "The Great Buster - A Celebration" by Peter Bogdanovich, and also a Keaton short film The Love Nest (1923) accompanied by the mighty Barton Organ at the Frauenthal Center (Video History Tour Of The Frauenthal Center can be Found Here). Tickets are $8 per person or $20 for a family pass available at the box office.

The Andrews Sisters made the song famous and the entire country was dancing to the beat of the "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" way back when.  It was an inspirational war time song deigned to keep spirits up and help the USA trudge through some pretty tough times.  Recorded on January 2nd 1941 the attack on Pearl Harbor was almost a year away and D-Day wouldn't come until 1944 but the national mindset was already thinking that there probably wasn't much of a way around what was to come.  WWII would divide the world and define the "Greatest Generation".  Every part of history has had some pretty incredible moments where we've been tested and through those tests we've defined ourselves, and we've had some that have stood out.  ariFollow Ari on Facebook

While not the original "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" Muskegon's connection to the legend was a man named Clarence Zylman.  Clarence Zylman served his country as a bugler, playing reveille in his own boogie-woogie style. He became a military legend as the bugler who got the troops up with a jitterbug in their step. He was an ordinary man who led a remarkable life, and, thanks to an extraordinary song, will forever be known as Muskegon’s Own Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.  Born in Muskegon and trained on the streets of Chicago, he toured the country as a professional trumpeter helping to lead a musical revolution, featuring a new boogie-woogie sound.  He joined the Army in his 40's and took on the famed role.  

November 10th, 2018, near the LST 393 Veterans Museum, a public event will be held to dedicate a life-size bronze sculpture of Clarence Zylman. Installed prominently along Lakeshore Drive, Zylman faces east towards the rising sun, forever playing reveille to wake Muskegon. But the story gets even more local.  The sculptor is a Reeths-Puffer grad!

boogieEvent Information on The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Unveiling

Meet Ari Norris!  The son of a local teacher and avid fan of history and art, Ari took the path less traveled and took off for a sculptors apprenticeship for years to learn his art.  Meticulous work, dedication to perfection and the honoring of centuries of the craft Ari is now beginning to have his work placed around the country.  Recently, his bronze dedication to Doris Rucks at Muskegon Community College was unveiled and as you can probably guess, November 10th Ari's work will be celebrated once again Downtown Muskegon by the LST 393 when the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy is dedicated.

I caught up with Ari at Muskegon Community College near the Doris Rucks piece to talk about his life path and career decisions.  What it takes to become a sculptor and how it feels to have such important work pop up around his home town.  Take a listen.

Remarkable to see a local guy take off on a road less traveled and willing to make a dream become a reality.  The blending of art and passion is never an easy thing and the effort and determination it takes to enter a world like Ari has...that takes some guts.  We have much to celebrate in this young man and as his career unfolds on a world stage, maybe someday it will be the artist himself we're celebrating here in town with an unveiling.  We can only hope.  Thanks to Ari for a few minutes and if you'd like to visit his website, click on the image below!

ari art

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