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 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 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!



  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 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'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'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 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, 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


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
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 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 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'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!




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!



  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

Tomatoes are falling off the vines around here now a days, and it's up to Chef Char to show you what to do with them right?  Well, lucky for all of us she's got the keys to Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market and she's got the secret to the freshest salsa, or Pico de Gallo, or Salsa Fresca you've ever heard of!

This one, is a piece of cake!  Some chopping, some gloves and a few "secret" ingredients which you'll see to round out the over all flavor and taste and you are in for a game day treat or a healthy snack with a little zip!  You'll get the entire recipe right at the bottom, but for Chef Char work her magic down at Kitchen 242!

 There it is!  Quick and easy right?  This one is for sure, but if you'd really like to learn how to cook like a pro, Chef Char has all kinds of ways for you to enjoy a night out at Kitchen 242 while she teaches you the tricks of the trade!  Impress your your next date... be the hit of the next family party!  Have some fun while learning a new skill with Chef Char!  You can find a link to Chef Char's website by clicking on the photo below!  Join her or maybe bring your kids to one of her youth oriented classes, you'll really enjoy the experience.

chef char eb

Pico de Gallo/Salsa Fresca/Fresh Salsa
1 large sweet white onion, diced (about 2 cups)
8 cups diced fresh garden tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, small dice
3 serrano or hot chili peppers, small dice
juice of 1 lime
½ cup fresh cilantro, minced or whole leaves removed from stems
salt and pepper to taste
Clean vegetables and cut according to directions. Use gloves when working with the hot peppers. In a large mixing bowl, add each ingredient and lightly stir. Refrigerate before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

The Power of Peace.  We could all use a little right?  What's the definition of peace to you though?  Is it a quiet lake?  Maybe a nice book to read on a weekend morning?  Well for some, peace like that seems absolutely unattainable. Life circumstances, addiction, crime, desperation feelings of abandonment and the end result of ending up with the wrong people in your life can lead to a life that no one ever imagined.  I don't know of anyone born with the dream of one day becoming part of the prison system and being part of the revolving door that seems to hold so many, for so long and give them little or no chance to find their way out, let alone correctional measures to reshape their lives and turn into the problem.  But, day after day....people end up there.  If you know my story, you know it could easily have been me through my years of drinking and it's only by an act of grace I didn't end up part of it.  Today, I try to be a small part of the solution for those who are behind bars.  It's not much going to the county jail once a week to tutor reading, but if I can connect with one person during the time I have there to help, it will be a success. kit headshotFollow Kit on Facebook

There are those however, who can reach people who are incarcerated on a much bigger level.  I mean agents of change who've been down a bumpy road for a while themselves and then found their way to recover from their haunts and take that message to those who most desperately need to hear it in the prisons.  Meet Kit Cummings.  Kit is an author, a teacher and visionary who's founded the Power of Peace Project and he's bringing his message to Muskegon October 14th.  His first speaking engagement is open to the public and will be help at the New Life Christian Center at 10a.  The location is 1624 Hoyt Street.  From there, he heads off to Brooks Correctional for a discussion with the inmates there to talk about working to establish what he has in some of the countries most difficult prisons.....peace among the inmates which hopefully can lead to actual change while they are in doing time and keep them from having to go back.  This isn't just a story about a guy coming to speak to prisoners though.  How about we reach people BEFORE they get into trouble?  

On Monday October 15th the message will be brought to Fruitport High School and Muskegon Middle School.  The Power of Peace begins in the formative years.  The years when we start to see our groups defined, our personalities formed and the entire "who's cool" mentality gets set.  What if our young people had the chance to think differently?  What if they were given the tools they need to understand the power of building each other up instead of finding ways to tease or bully?  What if the kid who's buried in the back of the room doing his art was celebrated as much as the star quarterback of the school football team?  What if the understanding that our true power lies in the diversity we all share was known to the next generation earlier and we could lay to rest what sets people off to a life of problems which could lead to prison?  Well, all those "what if's" lead to true change and to help that happen even for a few is a remarkable thing. 

Kit spent a few minutes with me this morning from his home in Atlanta to talk about his work and his passion, and yes...we sure found some common ground in our pasts.  Take a listen to his message here.


I remember back in the day.  The guest speaker would come to school and tell us all the horror stories of their drinking and drugging.  We even got the biggest and loudest one year, Toma!  He came right to school and told us that junkies would actually shoot up in their eye.  Hopefully, it grabbed a kid or two, but it sure didn't me.  I was going to be the alcoholic and that was that.  Today, Kit is offering a better message and one based not on "scared straight" but one more on binding all of us together to see the best in all of us. How do we find the "least of our brothers" and lift them up?  What does it take from all of us to forgive?  How do we all grow from extending peace instead of judgement?  It's a message that should carry far and wide, and we're very fortunate to have Kit coming back to Muskegon to bring his thoughts on all of it.  If you'd like to learn more about Kit, please, visit his website below.


Kit Cummings

  Andy shared a few insight of being a pig farmer at Lewis Farm, and you can also see all the fun activities they offer, Pig Race, Dog Show, Corney Barn, Bird Aviary,  Duck Race and many more, also all the farm animals including Jeffrey the Camel. Be sure not to miss the big finale of the infamous candy canon at the end.

 Video - Fun at Lewis Farms (2:27)


Visit Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo's website here. Or stop by at 4180 West M-20 New Era, Michigan 49446

 Lewis Candy Cannon

  Be honest, when's the last time you stopped at your local library? Do you know Muskegon Area District Library (MADL) has 10 branches throughout the county? From Holton to Ravenna, and Montague to Norton Shores, even a branch for the blind and physically handicapped on Airline Road. I have to admit I am one of them that don't stop by the library enough. But my "losing streak" ended last Thursday when the Norton Shore Branch was having their Thursday night music club featuring Shout! - a premier Michigan Beatles cover band. Due to the weather they moved the event from the Library to Mona Shore High School's auditorium, let's take a look at that rocking place.

 Video - Shout! at Thursday Night Music Club (1:09)


  The library business sure has evolved with time. Besides books, movies, and CD you can physically check out, they also provide downloadable books and music. Aside from that, they also host many different events at all the different branch for all different ages. From Story Time for toddlers, Lego club, after school movie, family fun night, Bow Wow Readers (a children read aloud program with certified therapy dogs and handler), Create on Canvas, to Stretch and More with certified trainer with the Arthritis Foundation. Everything I have mentioned is just a fraction all the events and programs MADL offers in their 10 different branches. Let's take a look at some of the highlight from their news letter.

madl events

  Sounds pretty exciting right? You really should stop at your local library, get a news letter and check out what's happening. Fine, I'll save you some running around even though I strongly recommend the aforementioned, you can also visit to learn more, or here is a direct link to their falls newsletter in PDF.

 Derek Wong - The Muskegon Channel 2018

I've never been very anonymous when it comes to the whole "anonymity" part of my alcoholism.  It's been 15 years since I have had a drink and I understand that while some may need to remain anonymous in their recovery, a huge part of keeping sobriety is being willing to give it away to others who are still stuck in addiction.  I am a firm believer that addiction is a multi level issue and that the substance is only part of the overall problem.  Self medication to treat an underlying issue is what addiction is all about, and once that "easier path" is found with self medication it's progressive and can lead to the end and to blame the addict is like yelling at a child for spilling milk.

In Muskegon.  We don't have an inpatient care center for those who suffer from addiction, even though we are number 1 in the state for the problem.  We also don't have a lot of doctors that are able, or willing for that matter to treat people who are addicted medically for a number of reasons.  One, because of the specialized training it takes to use medications like Suboxone and quite sadly, some shy away from treating addiction because of the stigma of the whole thing.  On a very personal level....even though I was "just an alcoholic", I wouldn't be alive today had I not had an inpatient detox when my days were done.  I could have never quit without the inability to go get more.  I needed to be isolated for a few days, monitored for a heart attack because of the volume I drank and had I not had all that, I wouldn't have made it through the first night.  I would have drank myself to death, end of the story.  Alcohol is hard to break, and opiates are even harder, and that is today's issue. anchor of hopeClick Here for Tickets To Anchor Of Hope

There is hope though.  The Salvation Army of Muskegon introduced their Turning Point program here a while ago.  It's a multi level approach to treating those addicted to opiates, prescription or otherwise that does include a doctor who can treat with Suboxone, inpatient care as needed at the beginning in Grand Rapids and then, comprehensive outpatient recovery and monitoring after the initial detox to help those suffering from their addiction make the turn to a life beyond their greatest imagination free of the chains they found themselves in.  The program based in Grand Rapids had so many people from Muskegon going there, they decided to get it going here and they currently have 40 people in recovery and working toward a new life, post addiction.  

This all takes some funding of course.  There will be an event on board the LST 393 on September 25th to help raise some money to go toward the treatment and recovery of these folks.  Ryke's will cater, there will be personal stories of those who have "been there" when it comes to addiction and you'll get to understand a little better the work that's going on and how the needs are being met.  This is a great opportunity to help out and take a step in the right direction to end this slavery for someone.

I met with Captain Chris Karlin of the Salvation Army and Robin Henshaw also of the Salvation Army to learn a little more about the program and the event.  I should add, that I don't pull many punches when it comes to addiction, recovery, resources and instances I have been a part of.  Take a listen.

Folks, I am no saint.  Never claimed to be and don't think that I am better than anyone for a second.  My addiction began when I was 12 and progressed until I was 33.  I know first hand how utterly devastating addiction is not only to the person suffering it, but to everyone around them.  You can't buy your way out of it, you can't hope it goes away, you can't shun those who are wrapped up in the never ending insanity of trying to reach that higher high because they can't find their way out.  There is NO reason I am alive today other than to be able to try and grab a soul or two when I can and pull them out of their addiction and on top of that, there is NOTHING that hurts more than when you try to make that happen and fail.  We need better treatment options.  We need better understanding of the root cause of addictions and we need to be willing to end the shame and stigma surrounding those who suffer.  If the Salvation Army is willing to help people take that first step, we'll be right here helping them spread that word.  To learn more about the Salvation Army of Muskegon, you can click on the image below to visit their website.




  Love Lives Here!  We work to show you that day in and day out!  Muskegon is a great place filled with good people who strive to make a difference.  It came to be last year that a level of hate was sweeping across the country and Rotary of Muskegon decided that it was time to add another voice saying that here in Muskegon, we wouldn't take it.  It was a local incident that sparked the need for a gathering as you may recall, or, you may not...and honestly, that's fine.  Why should a cowardly act of hate be brought back out into the light?  Carry that positive vibe forward and let those who try to tread on it wallow in their own misery. rotary muskegon logoVisit Muskegon Rotary Online

This year, Love Lives Here was celebrated once again at Hackley Park on Monday September 17th and the gathering attracted a key note speaker in Molly Barker who is the founder of Girls on the Run and went on to found The Red Boot Way working on teaching intentional communication where self awareness, connections and trust grow.  Molly shared some thoughts with the attendees, and our Derek Wong was on hand to catch her message....take a listen.

 VIDEO - Molly Barker


Love does live here!  Work to be a part of it.  This is our community after all and we are stewards of it. We have a new day dawning in Muskegon and a clean slate in front of us. Let love grow.  


Love Lives Here Reflection 1920

Time to get the blood pumping!  Yes, for a weekend after Labor Day, it sure still felt like Summer out there.  Needless to say, you might have been out living it up and are reading this thinking..... "Do I have to?". Ya, you kinda Do.  Hey!  It's the investment in you we're talking about so let's get you movin'!

We're back at The Gym located on the 4 corners in North Muskegon after a few glorious weeks at Ross Park.  This is our home facility and it should be yours too!  It's got everything you need.  It's got a grown up feel and you'll be treated like a friend and neighbor, not some card holder who signed up for a membership online.  

Let's get to it!  It's Episode 66 of Fit and Healthy With Becky on the Muskegon Channel!

Boom!  JUst like that!  Do it again, share it with friends get the most out of it and....if you want more, get it!  Becky is a Certified Personal Trainer and has openings in both group settings and one on one focused training.  You can click on the photo below to visit Becky's website!  Here's to your health!


You hide behind a mask for a number of reasons.  Sometimes it's for fun, others it's to add some mystery and others, the mask might not be visible, but it's silently there.  These are the kind of masks that everyone wears sometimes.  We all have elements of life we hide behind.  Maybe it's something we're not quite as good at as everyone else.  Maybe it's a family issue.  It could be something we can control or something we have not control over at all.  Our masks are part of who we are, even if it's just a mask you put on to grind it out during hard times until things clear up...we all know what it is to "grin and bear it."  There are however those who's masks hide much deeper scars that no one ever planned on getting in life.  Situations of unimaginable anguish and things so difficult to talk about, it's a mask that may never be able to come off.  behindthemask postcard final 2018 1Click Here to Get Tickets to Behind The Mask

We're talking about human trafficking.  Specifically sex trafficking and it's more prevalent than you might ever imagine.  Sex Trafficking is defined as an adult that is being exploited for commercial sex through Force, Fraud or Coercion, or anyone under the age of 18 that is being exploited for commercial sex.  It's happening right here, and right now.  It's happening in neighborhoods like yours and it's happening to kids you'd least imagine likely to ever encounter such a problem.  We're not talking about some creeper hanging around the local super center trying to throw a burlap bag over some kids head and run off with them in a van.  More often than not, trafficking victims are coerced by a friend or relative.  Maybe an older person that seems trustworthy at first, but in the long run their intentions are to win favor with the victim by "grooming" them and then, when the victim feels that they "owe" the person grooming them something, they are stuck.  That's where the mask comes in.  How can they live with the shame they face now that they are being used for a for profit sex operation?  They don't have to, breaking the taboo and ending the cycle is what The Hope Project USA is all about.

Based in Muskegon, The Hope Project USA is a resource and recovery operation for female victims of sex trafficking.  A woman, or a girl, can come to them for help and know that they will find caring, compassion, rehabilitation protection and more as they try to bring themselves back from the devastation of being trafficked.  Founded in 2006 The Hope Project not only works to help the victims, it works to educate the public of how trafficking works and what to look for.  It's a multi-faceted approach to the crisis and they are boots on the ground here in Muskegon to help end the problem.

hope usa

It takes some money to provide for these women and the outreach to educate others, so like we always do in Muskegon, we roll up our sleeves and get to work on drumming up a few bucks.  November 3rd there will be a gala affair at the Watermark 920.  There will be glitz and glamour.  There will be a LIVE red carpet walk up on The Muskegon Channel for the attendees and the evening will be filled with great food from Ryke's, entertainment, silent auction, 50/50's and more.  There will be presentations, dancing, the list goes on and on.  While it's a fun night, it's with purpose, and that's to protect the vulnerable among us and find those that prey on them and put an end to it. 

Mary Suarez is the Lead Ambassador for The Hope Project and we sat down to talk about the event and some of the fun to be found at the Watermark on November 3rd.  Take a listen.



 Let's be honest.  Who wouldn't love to sweep this under the rug and never talk about it again?  Who wouldn't love to forget about all of the "bad things" like addiction, poverty, homelessness, strife, greed and evil.  We've made great strides in so many of these areas.  We can openly discuss them and face the problems head on.  Why should we think of those pulled into the sex trade industry against their will any differently?  The Hope Project USA helps their survivors come out from Behind the Mask and go on to a live a life of freedom and self worth and that is something an entire community can get behind.  We'll see you November 3rd at the Watermark.  To learn more about The Hope Project click below to  visit their website.

hope project 3

They say, that the first person that will live to be 150 has already been born.  Can you imagine that?  Think of what they will have seen in that span of time.  The amount of history that is held in a span of even 100 years is monumental.  The amount of change, innovation, invention, process' and everything.  Even the people who will come and go over the course of a century.  It's a really long long time.  Well, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce has a little celebrating to fact, they are sandwiched right in the middle of that 100 and 150 year mark as 2018 commemorates 125 years of advocating and assisting the Muskegon Area business community. chamber 125Visit the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber Online

Making sure the climate is good for business is the main goal of the Chamber.  If you are not in business, think about things like advocacy for the area...if a business is going to consider coming to town, they are going to check out the chamber.  Think about best practices.  What are business in need of to make their business better for their employees and our community?  Where is a good place to network and meet other who are looking to build and grow business to help provide for the next 125 years?  It's at the Chamber.  Keep in mind too...the Chamber hosts some pretty incredible events like The Muskegon Art Festival, The Lakeshore Home Expo, Business for Breakfast and more!  It's an active part of the community and made up of people who eat, sleep and breathe Muskegon!

So, let's party!! Thursday September 20th there will be a members only reception at the Muskegon Heritage Museum.  One of those networking opportunities for the membership.  For the non members, the celebration spills over to Saturday September 22nd when the Muskegon Heritage Museum will be open to the public, free of charge courtesy of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber Of Commerce.  You are welcome to come down and see the industry that has moved Muskegon over the years, the industry that continues to drive us and gain a little more appreacition for this wonderful place we call home.  I had a chance to sit down with Cindy Larson from the Chamber today to talk a little about the history, the mission and the events.  Take a listen.

A former broadcaster herself!  (I never knew that till today).  Cindy is always great to catch up with and find out a little more about what's going on at the Chamber and around town.  If you're a member of the Chamber, don't miss the event Thursday at the Muskegon Heritage Museum.  If you are up for a tour and would like the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber to treat you and the family, their give back to you as a thanks for 125 years of success is Saturday September 22nd.  Please, show your support by attending those events.  To get an idea of what you'll find at the Muskegon Heritage Museum, click on the logo below and visit their website.  

mkg htg muslead


We've taken you on a visit or two in the past to the Muskegon Heritage Museum.  It's located on Western Avenue in Downtown Muskegon, nestled between The 557 Cafe and The Health Project, the Muskegon Heritage Museum centers on the industry that has thrived in Muskegon over the years.  From the celery fields to the corner store, the industry large and small is all in focus and it's an absolutely tremendous salute to what's made us the community we are.  It's curated by an incredible staff who take such amazing pride in what they have on hand.  They lovingly tell the story about every display from The Cobb Plant to Continental Motors, our Lumbering Era, name it.  Even Raggdy Ann gets a nod for her time here in Muskegon. heritage museumFind the Muskegon Heritage Museum on Facebook

Well, as Muskeogn grows, so does the need for display space in the Museum and over the last couple of years, they have expanded to add the second floor of the beautiful building.  Great for the exhibits, but...problematic if you have a hard time with steps and want to see what's been added.  Well, like anything in Muskegon that needs doing, The Heritage Museum along with some pretty amazing folks from town rolled up their sleeves to find the funds it took to make building renovations happen and an elevator being added a reality so now, anyone can truly enjoy the rich heritage of the industry that's made Muskegon move over the years.

Ann Dake invited us down to bring you the ceremonies at the Heritage Museum and we just let the cameras roll to capture the event in in entireity.  Have a look!





 All this and, on September 20th, there will be a 125th Anniversary Celebration for the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce at the museum!!  Stay tuned to the Muskegon Channel for details coming soon!  

It's an amazing visit in Muskegon.  It's a part of our story and if you've never taken the time to visit, it's time.  If you're bringing frineds in from out of town or would just like your kids to see the rich heritage we have here, an hour or two in the Muskegon Heritage Museum is time well spent.  Our thanks to The Dake family for the invite!  To visit the museum website, click on the image below.mkg htg muslead



It's one of those diseases.....sooner or later, like cancer, diabetes or maybe high blood pressure, you are going to know someone or someone effected by Alzheimer's Disease.  It's an incredibly devastating and incurable disease that effects over 5 MILLION Americans, 200,000 of which are under the age of 65.  It's not just a matter of "Grandpa being forgetful".  It's a matter of this progressive disease starting to effect memory and working it's way to other parts of your brain's functions like remembering to eat, or remembering to breathe or even remembering to keep your heart beating.  If you've ever seen it's effects, you basically watch a life erased while a person is still there.  Hard to watch, but imagine being in the mind that is going through that?  All of the sudden, loved ones are strangers?  The home you lived in your whole life seems like a strange place?  You can't remember how to get places....what you like to's a horror story playing out in the windmills of your mind and there's only one way out, the end. alzleadFollow Alzheimer's Assoc of Greater Michigan on Facebook

The work continues.  The Alzheimer's Association continues to do all they can to research, advocate, advise, lobby and more.  The struggle continues too as there is no known cure although there have been some signs of promise when it comes to treating the symptoms of this dreadful disease.  It's a global battle with the greatest minds available trying to unlock the mystery of what triggers the onset of Alzheimer's, what causes the spread and what can hold off the effects as long as possible so people can make the most of their life while trying to hang on to hope.  That's where the communities and families effected by this disease come together to battle it head on.  Sure, it's a David and Goliath story, but I don't know a soul who's not willing to fight to hang on and beat the odds.  It's also a magnificent opportunity to see that in the coming together for a cause, that you're not alone in the struggle.  No, in fact, you have friends and neighbors that are facing the same thing you are and that isolation is the last thing anyone needs in a challenging time like this.

Get involved!  The Walk to End Alzheimer's is coming up at Heritage Landing September 22nd.  This is an opportunity to help those effected by this disease as well as those who support them.  It's a chance to learn a little more about some of what's going on in and around ALzheimer's and on top of that, it's a chance to network with others who are going through the same thins you are.  It's a short walk and a beautiful setting at Heritage Landing in Muskegon and the impact you can have, can be monumental.  I had a chance to talk with Tim Breed and Erin Murphy from The Alzheimer's Association a little about the walk at Tanglewood, take a listen.

It's hard to believe that we have another disease that has to be a "sooner or later".  We do.  It's great to pitch in to help with what you can by raising some funds, this is true.....every penny helps, but over all, it's knowing that the work is going's knowing that others are sharing the experience, it's knowing that for all you do to help those close to you who suffered or are suffering, that you did just a little more to help them.  Make sure you're at the Walk to End Alzheimer's on September 22nd at Heritage Landing in Muskegon.  For more on the event and to get registered, you can click on the image below to visit the Alzheimer's Association website.

walk fb page


  On September 7th 2017 was United Way of The Lakeshore's Day of Caring 2018 (previously mentioned in this article). Quickly rewind, Day of Caring is an event where volunteers will be assisting 19 local families with minor home repairs. We have followed them along all day, from start to finish. Here's the story about Day of Caring: OPERATION UNITED with one of our local veteran in need.

Video - Day of Caring Muskegon 2018


  Thank you to United Way Of the Lakeshore and All of the Volunteers to make Muskegon a better place. Special thanks to Ssgt Furst and the Arconic's team to make this video possible. Learn more about United Way of the Lakeshore website or facebook and join them next year.

 Derek Wong 2018 - The Muskegon Channel

Well it’s that time of year again. You know when the air starts to get that crisp bite in the mornings, the kids go back to school, and the craving for pumpkin spice and apple cider start to set in. It’s also the same time that the Sportsmen for Youth bring back the Youth day.
This year on September 8th from 9am-3pm Youth Day will be held out at the Muskegon County Fairgrounds. You are going to want to come early and line up for this awesome FREE family event. People starting lining up as early as 8am because kids who are 17 and younger will receive a free T-shirt as well as a free lunch. There will also be many raffles that your child may enter for a chance win amazing prizes that will be available throughout the day. trout pondFind Sportsmen for Youth On Facebook
When you come and visit the firemen at their booth you will be able to experience them tear into a car with the jaws of life, learn how to get out of a house that is full of smoke (the smoke will be fake and totally ok for you to be in), and that is just some of the fun that will be going on with them. There is also a chance to be able to see an army helicopter and some of our brave soldiers.
There is so many hands-on activities for your children to do from Cabela's at booth #48, the Muskegon 4-H petting zoo booth #77, Nature Discovery- Reptile Exhibit booth #29, the Boy Scouts, a see through tank the size of a semi trailer, shooting areas off all kinds and so so much more we also have to take time and remember all of the people that are no longer with us. September 11th is right around the corner and at noon there will be a tribute to honor all of the people whose lives were lost and those who help in the minutes, days and years to follow. Posting of the colors with the Norton Shores Police/Fire Honor Guard will begin at 12 followed by the National Anthem being sung by the Leffring sisters and Amazing Grace will be performed by Muskegon Regional Police Pipes and Drums. All of this can be seen at booth #23.
To visiti the Sportsmen For Youth websitte, click on the photo below.  Here you can find a couple more short clips on things you may see throughout the day. You will also find the event program and map that has a photo of booths, events and times you will find all of these activates going on. Its time to get our kids outdoors again, see you there.
sports for youthlead

We're proud to have the United Way of The Lakeshore as a sponsor and partner in the work we do.  We're also proud to support the work that goes on with the United Way to help SO many in our community.  The 100th Anniversary celebration continues this year and as we get closer to the kick off of their campaign, so too approaches the Day of Caring.  It's a remarkable day where individuals and groups come together to get some jobs done around town that might otherwise not get taken care of for people who could use a hand, but might not otherwise ask.  It's community building at it's finest and it's been going on for 25 years in Muskegon.  uwlsLearn More About the Day of Caring

First off, let's talk about groups.  Area business will dedicate the day as a community service day.  Yes, it's a break from the desk or the work station for employees to change things up a bit.  They get to take a break from the "norm" and do something for the greater good.  You may find some civic groups participating as well.  It's a team building endeavor as much as it is a chance to let employees see that their actions can make a difference in the lives of their neighbors.  It's not always a big check or a giant sacrifice that makes a difference, it's a chance to help around the house or the yard.  Maybe tackle a painting job that needs to be done or some small home repairs that have been put off far too long.  Some business will send the entire team, some will send what they can spare, but...their collective efforts will impact the lives of those who need a hand and have been selected by the United Way for the chance to get one.  Individuals are also encouraged to participate.  You don't need anything more than the willingness to show up, put some elbow grease in on a project and do your part to help better the life of someone.

That someone?  This year, area veterans have been chosen the beneficiaries of the program.  Those who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us will be getting the hand.  The United Way worked hand in hand with The Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs to find a list of candidates.  The day kicks off with breakfast at the United Way, the work assignments begin and then there's a wrap up lunch for those who helped to follow.  It all leads right into the seasonal campaign for the United Way.  It's a great kick off!

I met up with Christine Robere and Dominique Bunker at the United Way to talk about the event and how you can be involved.  Take a listen.

Hundreds of people coming together to help.  A day spent "out of the box" and doing something for someone who may never be able to repay the deed.  Those are the kind of days that are truly rewarding.  The United Way's Day of Caring is a great way to participate, but it doesn't have to end there.  If you know of a neighbor that needs a hand, offer it.  If you see an area that needs to be picked up, do it.  It's the small things that add up to what the United Way works for every building.  Stay tuned to the Muskegon Channel for a full recap of the events of the Day of Caring.  Our Derek Wong will be out following along and we'll show ya what got done!

We're up to episode 64 of Fit and Healthy with Becky on The Muskegon Channel!  Becky is breaking out the dumbells and putting a little extra weight on the work out to help you tone up and look great!  We're in Ross Park still since the weather is so wonderful and we're blessed with such an amazing area to play in!

As always, plenty of water...warm up...stretch out and consult a physician before you start this or any work out program!  We're off to the park for episode 64!

Look at you!  You look better already!!  We can see through the web.  :)  If you dig it, get a hold of Becky for a little more!  Your choice!  Maybe a group setting at The Gym or possibly a one on one training opportunity.  She does it all!  You can visit her website by clicking below!


MUSKEGON, MI - Thousands of people gathered on Pere Marquette Beach for the annual Burning Foot Beer Festival. The event featured breweries that is located in the great lakes region. The festival also featured local art and food from four local restaurants, with the flaming "Hop Tower" as the center piece. Live music features local and national acts, for this year it included EVE6, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Mustard Plug, Flexadecible and Brother James on a waterfront stage as well as a smaller acoustic area. Many of the visitors camped on the three different temporary camp sites specifically created for the event, while the tent site being right on the beach with the incredible view of Lake Michigan and the Muskegon light houses.

Video - Burning Foot Beer Festival 2018



Burning Foot   Derek Wong / The Muskegon Channel 2018

It was a somewhat rainy Friday in Norton Shores, and that made for some last minute changes in plans for Andrew and Sarah Conklin who opened the doors of the Dirty Dog Self Serve Pet Wash & Supplies 4 months ago.  But a little rain wasn't going to stop the fun, after all there were 500 hot dogs that needed to be eaten and 10 contestants waiting to get into action to see who'd come out on top in the first hot dog eating contest at the newly formed business.  So, they just moved it all inside and got things underway. dirty dogGive The Dirty Dog a Like on Facebook

The inspiration for the business came up when the couple decided to do something they were passionate about.  A great step in any life, and it doesn't hurt either that they have a great dane that's the size if a small horse.  They saw a need and a growing love for all things pet in our world and said that they were going all in on bringing a much needed business to the Lakeshore and located it where people from Grand Haven to Montague could have easy access to an affordable option to care for their pets at a price that's not going to break the bank.  Some time put in and some investment into the wash tubs...and voila...The Dirty Dog opened for business.  They gave it the "soft opening" for a couple months and then, figured it was time to get put on the map with a fun event to plant their flag.

They spread the word on social media. They had friends and family buzzing about it, they even got an invite from Fox 17 to stop by and talk about the fun.  The contestants entered "the ring" and met the crowd like pro wrestlers.  We met them all and found out a little about them.  The hot dogs were planted, the water was there and the countdown began.  10 minutes to eat as many as they could!  Take a look at the video to see how it all went down.

Video - Hot Dog Eating Contest


What's not to celebrate about a new business....a business we didn't really have till it came along as well and a fun way to have a grand opening.  Prizes were won, fun was had and anyone in attendance was welcomed to enjoy a hot dog dinner after the contest was over.  All in all, a great event and a great welcome to Norton Shores for The Dirty Dog Pet Wash & Supplies.  Who's in for next years contest?  They are already planning it and we'll see if this years champ can retain the title!

 Dirty Dog

The Dirty Dog Self-Serve Pet Wash
1036 E Sternberg Rd, Muskegon, MI 49444

 The Muskegon Channel 2018



It's a great day for us at The Muskegon Channel.  We're welcoming a new sponsor to the work we do in Shoreline Vision and we've got a little history with this great practice.  

Going back to my radio career, I have been able to work with Shoreline Vision on a few things.  I have even been there for eye care, repairs on my glasses a visit to, "Sis" who is the first face you'll see when you walk in, and who is truly like a second mom to me, or just to take the Mrs. in for her eyes to be checked.  It's an efficient, friendly and professional environment and it's staffed with some of the most top notch doctors and staff you'll find anywhere.  It's a very exciting day for us to have them see the work we do as a value to sponsor.  All that being said, they are also a very community minded business and that goes well beyond just tending to the patients they have.  They work very hard to not only provide the best care, they work to build community and do it by putting on events like Run For Sight which is coming up September 1st at Pere Marquette.  run for sight 18Click Here To Sign Up for the Run for Sight

It's 13 years strong now and 100% of the proceeds go to help The Association For the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI).  They operate out of Grand Rapids and serve all of West Michigan when it comes to helping those who can't see be able to function.  The ABVI offers things like low vision clinics, support groups, daily living skills, counselling, youth programs, aids and appliances, free vision screenings and more.  It's a wonderful outreach and helps so many who have come to a point where their life will truly be changed by reduced vision.  They are an outreach that helps adapt to a new world.  The support they get from Shoreline Vision is a direct testament to the care and concern that the staff shows for their patients and community. 

shoreline visionVisit Shoreline Vision Online

The setting for the run, Pere Marquette.  Ya, it's an everyday place for us, however, to guests in from out of town, it's breathtaking majesty.  This run brings people in from all over the country to compete in either the run or the walk.  There are medals for 1st-3rd in all the divisions, shirts if you get your entry form in early enough and if you choose to make the 5k a walk-able event for you, your 4 legged furry friends are welcome as are your strollers.  It's as inclusive of an event as it can be.  

Jennifer Scofield is with Shoreline Vision and we met up today to talk about the run, the ABVI and how Shoreline Vision works to help beyond their practice in so many ways around Muskegon and West Michigan.  Take a listen.

An amazing chance to do something good and be a part of something awesome.  If you are the running, or walking type, help Shoreline Vision out and help show off Muskegon to our visitiors in from out of town.  The thought of vision loss is frightening.  The ability of humans to use empathy and understanding to help others is what sets us apart and when the door is opened by a company so a large group can do something monumental, take it.  Click on the link above to get signed up for the Run for Sight and if you'd like to know more about The ABVI you can watch their video below.



It's been another great Summer at Shoreline Recycling.  We've done what we can to show you how you can not only help Muskegon stay clean and continue to rebound like it is, but we're also showing you how to make a buck along the way by getting top dollar for your recyclable materials from scrap metal to appliances, old computers to car parts that have outlived their livelihood.

Shoreline Recycling has been in the business if not only keeping the communities they serve beautiful for generations, they have also been stewards of our limited natural resources.  We have finite amounts of things like metal so we have to recycle and reuse them.  You can recycle for a living or you can just recycle on occasion, but after our Summer series, it's pretty apparent, you should not just take anything you can get a few bucks for to the landfill.  Hey, something is better than nothing right? jamie and kurtFollow Shoreline Recycling on Facebook

Shoreline Recycling pays top dollar for all of your recyclable metal, electronics, plastics and more.  You can work with them on a corporate level as well if your industry generates a lot of scrap.  They are an outstanding partner to the community and business world!

Our last visit this season...The Bailer.  This is the end of the line for everything at Shoreline Recycling.  From here, Kurt Alderink explains that it's back on a truck and back to the plant where it will find new life, and start all over again.  Let's take one more visit to Shoreline Recycling and see where it all ends up!

We're thankful for Shoreline Recycling's sponsorship of The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  If you are cleaning up before Fall or maybe you're looking to clean out a barn or a garage, take that recycleable stuff to them on Ottawa Street in Muskegon and not only get a few bucks for what you're cleaning up, help do your part to keep Muskegon beautiful!  To visit their website, click on the image below.



The MuskegonChannel visited Norton Shores Arts and Drafts 2018 at Ross Park. This year's festival also coincide with the city's 50th anniversary with a picnic on the opening night. The second day of the event featured Arts and Dash 5K, a large arts and crafts area with over 100 vendors, car show, bounce houses food, beverage tent featuring live music from local bands. The year marks the 42nd year of the art fair.

Video - Norton Shores Arts and Drafts 2018

Derek Wong - The MuskegonChannel 2018


We've preached and we've been proud of our relationship with the Muskegon County Airport for the simple fact that we really have a jewel here when it comes to travel.  We've also eluded to some great things happening at the airport and some with the potential to come, and they have. It's a very exciting announcement and one that will make traveling for business much easier for anyone in West Michigan with new flight times to Chicago beginning October 5th at 6a and 2:30p with returns at 2p and 9:15p. Now, there is no longer a need to head to one of the "big city's" for a flight.  You can jump on a United flight right here in Muskegon and be pretty much anywhere in the country in half a day and get the work done you need without the need for an overnight or long layover.  It's a great new option for travelers and it comes from an airport that's known for convenience, affordability and passenger friendly amenities like no other.   sns casinoLearn More About S&S Casino Tours

The word also came that the level of occupancy for flights into and out of Muskegon has increased substantially and that's good news too, because like any business with growth, comes opportunity for more, and more means that options will expand if people continue to use the Muskegon County Airport on a more consistent basis compared to the long and aggravating drive to Detroit or Chicago. Like many of the other things we are "Watching Go" in Muskegon, the Muskegon County Airport's growth is in lock step with the times and things here are looking up in more ways than one!

Add to the exciting news for business travelers the increased flights with S&S Casino Tours to Laughlin Nevada and Atlantic City New Jersey, which are just exceptional values for a quick get away, and the ease for a leisure traveler to not have to hassle with the headaches of a major airport when it comes to kids and crowds and everything else.  The Muskegon County Airport is firing on all cylinders and there is much to be proud of when it comes to the hard work of so many people.

I met up with the airport Executive Director Jeffery Tripp to catch up on all the details and...well maybe even get our next round of hints as to what's to come for our hidden treasure in the travel world. Take a listen.

It's a great time to be in Muskegon period. But, if you have to travel, now is the time to make a statement and #FlyMkg!  Use this to your advantage and save time, money and hassle when it comes to your ventures!  If you are a business traveler it will protect your bottom line, if you are a leisure traveler it will protect your sanity. The Muskegon County Airport is not only a great sponsor of our work, they are a huge asset to our community and all of West Michigan. Fly Muskegon! To visit their website, click on the image below!


mkg biz friendly


Ready to run?  Well, The Muskegon Channel's Becky Biesiada is ready for you in Norton Shores in August 18th as she is the race director of the Arts and Dash 5k happening in conjunction with Arts and Drafts at Ross Park.  

It's a full day of fun for the whole family.  There will be plenty of music, food and fun.  Arts and crafts of all kinds.  A beverage tent to replenish the carbs you burn off if you go on the run and of course, the surroundings of one of the Muskegon areas must beautiful parks.  ad5kSign Up for the Arts and Dash 5K

Now, on to the race details!  There is a $150 prize involved here!!  Both the top male and female finisher cash in on the loot and, there's a purpose behind the entire race as well.  Proceeds from the race go to No More Sidelines which also calls Norton Shores Home.  If you're not familiar with No More Sidelines, they are an organization of families of special needs young people who work together to make sure that the activities everyone else gets to do...are available for kids with different circumstances.  One thing about the race, there will be no race day registrations.  You need to sign up in advance and get your packet the night before the race at the home of No More Sidelines on Seminole Road in Norton Shores on Friday August 17th from 5:30-7p. 

Becky and I had a few minutes to sit down and talk about the race after we taped a new batch of Fit and Healthy With Becky episodes this week.  Take a listen to what's going on and how you can be a part of the run and the entire event.


It's a lot of activity to pack into a short window, but Norton Shores Arts and Drafts has a little something for everyone.  If you're a runner, or a walker, help Becky help No More Sidelines out a little by getting in on the Arts and Dash 5K.  You can register for the race by clicking the image above.  If you'd like a complete schedule of events for all things Arts and Drafts, click on the image below to visit their site!



  On every second weekend of August, the City of North Muskegon celebrates with their "Northside Family Fun Fest". This year the festival was kicked off with a Parade on Thursday Night on Ruddiman Drive, hundreds of people lined up alongside the road between Fleming Street and Charlest Street. The parade lasted for 45 minutes.

Video - 2018 North Muskegon Parade


  The Northside Family Fun Fest is a three days event. Other than the parade that already happened, The Taste of Northside will be taking place in Walker park Friday 8/10/18 at 6:00 pm until sunset. The Taste of the Northside consisits of local food vendors showcasing their specialties,  a beverage tent, inflatables, and live music featuring The Refurbrished. On Saturday 8/11/18 9:00am - 4:00pm hosts the 45th annual art fair. Walker park will be filled with local and traveling vendors with original crafters, art and homemade items.

Walker Park - 1512 Ruddiman Dr, Muskegon, MI 49445


City Of North Muskegon Facebook

City of North Muskegon Website

 North Muskegon Parade 2018


Derek Wong / The MuskegonChannel 2018

So we took the show on the road for one.  What's a drive over to beautiful Newaygo ever hurt anyone?  The rolling hills, the farm land, the "back roads" if you know them to keep from having to go all the way out Apple...or all the way up through Fremont.  Ya, I am pretty much that good.  Throw in the fact we can do a story for a guy who needs a hand, and ya...I'll take the drive over to Newaygo. jimmys roadhouseVisit Jimmy's Roadhouse on Facebook

Got a call from Officer Justin Visser, friend of a friend thing, and he told me about his friend Rocky Wildfong.  Rocky got the business end of a motorcycle accident not too long ago and Aeromed had to be called in on him.  It was pretty rough.  He lost a leg, he lost a lot of blood and he has lost a pretty good portion of his vision field.  It's going to be a long row to hoe to get him back up on he feet and back to it at as a corrections officer in Newaygo County.  Terrible situation for everyone, but as we all seem to do in any corner of West Michigan, Rocky's friends, neighbors and relatives are all pitching in to do what they can to make sure nothing slips through the cracks while Rocky is on the mend...and ya....they do it in Newaygo just like we do here.  With a biker party.  :)

Jimmy's Roadhouse is the place to be August 18th.  There will be music, food and plenty of fun.  Bikers will be coming in from all over the state to participate.  HUGE silent auction with all kind of cool stuff to bid on.  There'll probably be a raffle or two.  Plenty of horse shoes and corn hole.  It's like the stole a page out of the Muskegon benefit playbook, but we won't hold it against them this time.

I caught up with Justin and Amy Stuck who's the General Manager of Jimmy's Roadhouse over in Newaygo for the details on the shin-dig.  Take a listen.

Hey, you might be itching for a ride, or maybe you have just heard about the great food and fun over at Jimmy's.  I've been really is a great place to eat.  Or, maybe you want to do a good turn for Officer Wildfong and his family.  That's what neighbors are for.  Nice little drive over to Newaygo for a great cause, why not take it on August 18th and help a bunch of cops trying to help another cop out.  Personally, I am just kind of thankful they thought we were a big enough deal to share the story for them!  For more on Rock Wildfong and #RockyStrong click on the photo below for the event Facebook page. 



It's 5 years strong and bigger and better than ever.  Chef Prize makes it's triumphant return to the gorgeous surroundings of Hampton Green Farm in Fruitport September 9th and you are invited out to enjoy culinary delights, delicious libation, fantastic cooking demonstrations and music to play to the heavens all day.  The finest chef's from all over West Michigan and further will be testing their skills in all areas of taste bud delights to see who goes home with the awards from the expert panel, the peoples choice and more!  It's become an event of the grandest scale and not only does it give area foodies a chance to try something unique and fun, the proceeds go to a unique and very worthy beneficiary every year, and this year it's Kids Food Basket of West Michigan. chef prizeChef Prize Event on Facebook

The purpose of the event is what it's really about.  Every night, in West Michigan Kids Food Basket provides thousands of meals to kids who go home to food insecure houses.  It might be an economic issue, it might be the fact parents are working more than one job.  No matter the reason, Kids Food Basket makes sure that no kid goes home to no dinner.  They are provided a "sack supper" which includes a protein....such as a sandwich, a piece of fresh fruit and a healthy snack.  This provides the nutrition that a young brain needs to develop and a young body the energy it needs to grow.  You'd also be surprised to find out that the need, well, it isn't exactly "someone else's" problem.  This is an issue that effects people silently.  No one really talks about food insecurity.  It's not easy to admit that you're struggling when it comes to providing the basics, could be your neighbor, or maybe even a relative who relies on the services of Kids Food Basket. 

The event itself, come ready to eat!  At the time of publishing this, there are 24 restaurants and chef's lined up to compete.  There will be everything from BBQ to beef and cupcakes to brews.  Great sampling opportunities will be in abundance and don't be shy.  You will probably find some pretty exotic dishes to try as well as some favorite standards that will bring you right back to center after your adventure when it comes to palate pleasers.   Breweries, distillers and wineries will be represented as will plenty of dessert places so if you need to wet your whistle or have a sweet tooth that needs to be taken care of, you'll find all you need.

cp chefClick Here for Tickets to Chef Prize

Entertainment will be provided by Ruth and Max Bloomquist as well as a return of Natchez Trace for an afternoon filled with acoustic folk and classic rock favorites and as a guest of Hampton Green Farm, you'll be able to see some of the worlds most beautiful champion PRE horses that have competed in the Olympics and more!  It's an actual working farm for these amazing animals, so take a chance to see them while you can.

Stephanie Kerr Cathey is the Executive Director of the Kids Food Basket in Muskegon and we met up at Hampton Green Farm to talk about this years Chef Prize event, take a listen.

It's a world class culinary affair set in a championship setting that most people don't even know is here in Muskegon County.  Take a Sunday afternoon off to enjoy the best of the best in everything to help Kids Food Basket assure that our young people don't go to bed hungry at night.  It's an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to what you normally eat and it's a chance to be a part of the greater good.  You can click on the image below to visit the Chef Prize website to see all of the participating chef's and restaurants!  We'll see you at Hampton Green Farm September 9th!


chefprize 2018


Are you looking for a clothing line that is not only comfortable to wear but looks good and doesn't cost an arm and leg to purchase. Sounds like something that is only in your dreams right. Well I have found a clothing company that is just that and so much more. due peopleDUE Apparel
Today I had the pleasure of meeting with DeMarrio (the owner and CEO) and Adonis (the COO) of Due Custome Apparel. Due Custom Apparel is an urban athletic clothing line with a purpose and meaning. Due is actually an acronym for Diligence Uncovers Everything. In the words of the owner DeMarrio “DUE Custom Apparel isn’t just a brand or just a dove on clothing. It’s stands for something deeper, something meaningful. Diligence Uncovers Everything aka “DUE” speaks of the that thing you have in your heart that brings on a pursuit of achieving your dreams. Accomplishing a goal like graduating from college receiving that degree you worked hard for. Like playing a sport you have a passion for, pushing yourself to get better in becoming the best player you can be. Anything you pursue takes faith, takes *Diligence*, takes time, takes patience. In that process you get a sense of ” I can do this” even when the future is unknown you still push through every obstacle that comes your way which *Uncovers* something within you… A confidence you didn’t know you had in you. In knowing of that confidence to achieve anything with the opportunity of unlocking *Everything*. Bringing about a Peace which the Dove with an olive branch is symbolic of, while being content and grateful in the process. In all, DUE Custom Apparel isn’t just a brand but the brand with purpose.”
DeMarrio and Adonis are working hard to get ready for their fall line that is going to be coming out really soon. They also have just opened their Etsy store as well as the Facebook page and they will be launching a website really soon as well. Right now, you if you visit their site you will be able to purchase men and women's T-shirts and tanks and long-sleeved shirts. I have also seen Ball caps, purses, bomber jackets. Leggings, sweatpants and bags.
If your not looking for something to add to your wardrobe you can still help these two wonderful men take Muskegon global by sharing their page, this video and just spreading the word. Thank you for taking time to learn about this awesome company. 
due custom apparellead

The Muskegon Farmers Market has done just what it was supposed to do.  It's become a focal point for all things Downtown.  If you're shopping for fresh food and want an atmosphere of community and fun, it's there.  If you're in the market for a flea market type setting and want to buy and sell something's right there.  Attached, you'll find Kitchen 242 which is a great spot for how to cooking gatherings and and incubator for upstart culinary endeavors.  There is an awful lot going on here already, so....let's add some more. WDCClogoWomen's Division Chamber of Commerce Online

Wednesday August 1st will be another great edition of Downtown Dancing with The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce and since everyone will be working up an appetite...let's throw in 22-25 food trucks around the property to make sure every culinary delight is met.  Sounds like a party right?  It is!  It's an all ages hang out and it's a very family friendly atmosphere, so even the kids can come out and enjoy the music and atmosphere.  This Wednesday, the music will be provided by the West Side Soul Surfers and the food...anything from cannolis to pizza's, taco's to burgers and dogs will be found.  Plenty of desserts as well for those with a sweet tooth!

It all came about as a collaboration with The City of Muskegon and The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce.  The events were on different nights, but then a light bulb went off and the idea came about to combine them!  BOOM!  It's amazing when people find ways to mutually benefit each other's organizations and make 2 events 1 big one that everyone can enjoy!  What better place to do that than the Farmers Market?

Let's get all the players on camera!!  Perfect!  Ann Meisch joins from the City of Muskegon as well as Danielle Medacco and Lori Johnson from the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce.  We're talking about how all of this came together and how you can come down and enjoy it Wednesday night as the Summer slowly starts to slip by.  Take a listen.

Come down, fill up and enjoy a great night out in the community and be a part of the fun!  The food will be magnificent, the entertainment will be divine and we will all be able to enjoy the company of friends and neighbors!  Hey, you can't beat the price either!  You and your lawn chair for the dancing part is all it's going to take!  If you'd like to know more about the Muskegon Farmers Market and events that happen there, click on their logo below to learn more!

food truck rally



Let's go back a bit.  For 68 years, there has been a pageant for young women here in Muskegon.  It's had a few different names, but the overall approach has been the same.  Giving young women a chance to compete for scholarships while showcasing some talent and learning some soft skills that will benefit them in the long run no matter what career path they pick.  They learn public speaking, one on one engagement, self confidence and more.  It also gives them a chance to get a good chunk of their education paid for and a pretty amazing once in a lifetime experience of the possibility of becoming Miss America.  To many young women and families, it's a builder of confidence while working to attain goals and develop as an adult.  

christen the princessGet Your VIP Tickets to Cruise With Miss Michigan

This year, Miss Shoreline Emily Sioma went on to become Miss Michigan and will be heading off to compete in the Miss America Pageant, but not before she spends an evening out on the lake with friends and fans.  You have a chance to be a part of this great event too.  August 3rd you'll be able to be a part of the reemergence of what was the Port City Princess.  You'll be there for the new name, the christening and the first ride.  The cruise itself is 21 and older.  There will be food, drink and entertainment.   The event on shore will be free, but the VIP cruise is a $50 donation to the Scholarship Program.  It will be well worth the help you give to the organization.

Morgan Buck is a former participant in the pageant as well as part of the board who's working to revitalize this great program for young women.  I have also had the pleasure of knowing Morgan since she was a kid.  To watch her grow into the confident young woman she's become has been incredible.  We caught up in front of the LST 393 at the Mart Dock in Muskegon, as the ship formerly known as the Port City Princess is getting a makeover in a secret location.  We talk about the event as well as what the pageant experience has meant to her.  Take a listen.

If you're all about the pageant or just want a chance to be a part of the inagural cruise on the timeless ship here in Muskegon, August 3rd is a great chance.  Miss Shoreline has a new outlook and focus and the young women who compete in it, we hope go on to do amazing things and represent us well.  It's a time of great new things happening in Muskegon and some of the old standards are getting a new start as well!  It's good to know that people who had such a positive experience with the Scholarship Program in the past are pointing it in a new direction.  To learn more, click below to visit their website.

miss shoreline


It's a storied history Muskegon's love of everything motorcycle, and it goes back nearly 100 years now.  August 5th we'll gather as a community to enjoy the fun and fellowship of Mt. Garfield in Norton Shores as high flying dare devils from all over the country face one of the toughest spots anywhere to launch a motorcycle from a stand still up a 55 degree bank in seconds.  It's not a sport for the faint of heart and it's built on serious technology and competitive advantage that the racers work every angle to maximize their performance under!  

Let's go back a few though.  We're rapidly approaching the century mark for the Muskegon Motorcycle Club.  It's easily in the top 10 of oldest active motorcycle clubs in the United States.  Their work is done to promote motorcycling, motorcycle safety and rights, community needs and fellowship among riders and non riders.  It's not what you'd expect from the traditional "biker gang".  The do an awful lot of good work for great causes and do it without a lot of pomp and circumstance or fanfare.  They do their work because it's the right thing to do.  So, take the 60's "B Movie" image out of your head and realize that this is a dedicated group to Muskegon and our community who's been at it for nearly a century...and we really have something to be proud of.  mmc logoFollow The Muskegon Motorcycle Club on Facebook

They promote events like the Spring Run early every riding season.   Of course, there are plenty of activities for club members at Mt. Garfield or Dan Raymond Park during the year but on the even numbered years, the big one comes and that tiny little patch of land, with that monsterous hill on it comes to life in Norton Shores and we all get to see motorcycles think they are rockets as they hit the gas, or the methanol, and haul ass almost vertically for the points, payout and thrill of it all.

Attendance wise, it's usually a draw of about 3000 people.  Some will come and camp all weekend and enjoy the party atmosphere with the primitive camping and camaraderie, others will be in line early Sunday morning to get their seat as close to the starting gate as they can to be part of the action.  On site you'll find vendors, music and fun.   It's an all inclusive ticket, so if you're coming to camp, get ther early Friday and get your spot.  If you're arriving Sunday...get there early and avoid the traffic jam.

Rick Perreault of the Muskegon Motorcycle Club and I met up over at his place to talk a little about the rich history of the Muskegon Motorcycle Club, some of the common misconceptions of what they are all about and what to expect at the 98th running of the Muskegon Hill Climb August 5th.  Take a listen!


 Proud to be from Muskegon yet?  You should be!  Almost 100 years of community service, advocating for motorcycles and fellowship among it's members.  We have much to brag about when it comes to the Muskegon Motorcycle Club and to support some of their events is the least we can do!  Rick outlined the costs in the video, so pack up the camper and make a weekend out of it at Mt. Garfield and think of it as a warm up for the century mark in 2 years!  Our many thanks to the MMC for all they do for our community and those who love riding on two wheels!  To learn more about the Muskegon Motorcycle Club, click on their logo below to visit their website!

98th mmc

  Every third Friday in July mark the Dog Daze N’ Cruise-In in Ravenna, Michigan, an annual summer celebration of the town. About a thousand people showed up this year for the car show, food, raffles, beverages tent, free eye exams, kids games, bounces houses, kid tractor pull, face paint and many more with most of the vendors who represent different groups withinin the community. July 20th 2018 marked the 8th year of the event, let’s take a look.

 Video - Ravenna Dog Daze N Cruise-In 2018


  The Ravenna Lions Club is the organization that started Dog Daze, it begun as a “party in the park” style event, today it occupies several streets in town. The event is also supported by a variety of local groups and businesses to make it possible. While the Lions club oversees the event and hosted a 50/50 raffle this year, they’ve invited different groups in area to do raffles and food as a way to raise additional funds they needed for the year. Five local churches were involved in several areas, the variety and youth sports were doing raffle and foods, the FFA were doing a craft area with 22+ plus booths, the Ravenna Leos were in charge of the kid’s area with 10+ free kids games, 4 inflatables, kids tractor pull and two selfie booths. At the same time, The Leos were also collecting canned food for M.A.R.S (their local food bank), the Lions of Michigan brought their Kid’s Sight Trailer with provided free eye exams, while local firefighters were selling pork dinner for fund raising. Amanda Vandermolen - president of the Ravenna MI Lions club added “While this event does not net the Lions Club a lot of money, we view it as a way to give back to the community and bring them together.”



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 Derek Wong / The Muskegon Channel 2018

It's been a long time coming.  A long, long time.  Actually...a really long, long time and a lot of effort put in by lots and lots of people but it's finally done and the time to celebrate came July 20th 2018 at the official ribbon cutting ceremony happened.  Dignitaries spoke, applause was given and a major piece of the puzzle was put together in the bike path and trail system in West Michigan that connects miles and miles of bike trails in Muskegon and beyond! trail map of berry junctionMap of the Fred Meijer Berry Junction Trail

The trail itself site between the shores of Lake Michigan and The Manistee National Forest and it's mostly peaceful forests, meadows and you do get a stretch of it that swings by a little place called Michigan's Adventure where you'll enjoy screams of delight as people enjoy time on the Shivering Timbers Roller Coaster.

To reach the southern trail-head from the south, take US 31 northbound, exiting left to North Muskegon (Exit 116). Keep right on State Route 120 north for 1.4 miles. Continue straight on Whitehall Road for 3.3 miles to McMillan Road. Turn right on McMillan Road and continue 0.3 miles to parking and the trail-head.

To reach the northern trail-head from the north, take US 31 southbound to White Lake Drive (Exit 126). Turn right (west) onto White Lake Drive and continue 2.1 miles to the trail crossing.

We brought the camera to the ribbon cutting and taped the whole thing. We thought maybe with all the work that went into it, you might enjoy hearing from those who helped make it happen so let's let the event play out as it happened live.  Take a listen below.

That's how it all got done!  Congratulations to everyone who helped and mad this happen!  If you'd like to know more about the Fred Meijer Berry Junction Trail, click on the image below to visit their site and learn more!  Now, go hit the trails!


berry junction


It's a cross between the "good old days" and our future.  It's also a step into a world that some of us are getting further and further out of touch with and I am not sure that's necessarily a good thing.  Yes, there are still things going on like kids raising animals, making preserves, doing needlepoint, quilting, training horses and more.  It's not a time warp and it's not any reason to be's a chance to get out and support some kids who are doing more than staring at Ipads and spending time on Snapchat.  It's the Muskegon County Fair and it's been going strong for generations and is about to get underway for 2018. 

The site set up was happening on Thursday night and it was all hands on deck to get the fairgrounds ready for the show.  After all, there are plenty of things to see and do coming up and you certainly want the setting to be pristine back among the trees and barns at the fairgrounds.  Soon, the place will be alive with every thing from rabbits to horses, calves to chickens and young people who participate in agricultural endeavors will have the chance to show off their hard work and compete to see how they have done.  Who's going to get the blue ribbon?  Yes a blue ribbon is still a thing.  farmFollow the Muskegon County Fair on Facebook

There will be plenty of attractions.  Sheep judging, swine judging, cat shows, goats, a talent show, antique tractor pulls, mini horse pulls, a livestock auction, youth rodeo, a vendor and craft show...they will have an SJO Supercross one night, a beer tent for the grown up's and more!  This is a chance to get out of the every day hustle and bustle of the noise of life and enjoy a little feeling of days gone by that are really, not all that far gone.  It's also a chance to give young people a chance to see what other young people do that might spark an interest in something like canning....or maybe pie baking....or maybe quilting.  All wonderful arts and crafts that I for one don't think we should be in such a rush to let slip away.  Slow down a little and stroll the fair!

All this came about because I was invited out by Kristien Moyer and Veronica Villalobos to come to the livestock auction and bid on their calves and pigs. They are in the 8th and 9th grade in Ravenna. I reached out to their 4-H leader and asked if they could come on to talk about the fair and what it means to them. The graciously agreed and they took a break from set up night to talk about their fair experience. Take a listen.

This event is free to attend, there might be a cost for some of the special events and of course, if you are out bidding on a prized pig or will cost you a little, but you'll fill your freezer and you'll support some great kids.  This too might be a great chance to let your kids get a little dirty and dusty out at the fairgrounds and see up close and personal what it is to raise a cow or some chickens!  It's wonderful thing for all of us, so take some time and head out to the County Fair!  You can visit their site and calendar of events by clicking below.

county fair 2018

Monday night, July 16th Muskegon Community College hosted a candidate forum for Democratic candidates who are running for the Michigan Senate as well as the Michigan House of Representatives.  The candidates were given the chance to speak on a number of topics and share their thoughts on them. 

Kimon Kotos is a local video journalist and he captured the discussion.  We have put it on Youtube and have left all branding off of it, to give both candidates equal chance to share their views with you. 

We've tried to share this direct to social media, however we've experienced some difficulty we believe due to the length.  We thought we'd run it here for you to view so you can make your best decision on August 7th when you vote.

Here is what Tanya Cabala and Andy O'Riley had to say during their forum.

We ask that you vote August 7th.  Thanks for watching. 

It's our third visit to Shoreline Recycling in Muskegon this Summer and today we're heading inside.  So far, we've shown you some heavy metal...we've given you a glimpse at what comes of used appliances and how you can make a few bucks off what others throw out.  Today, we're going to show you just how some less dense metal things get taken care of and how they get prepped for shipping and recycling. scrap manFollow Shoreline Recycling on Facebook

Enter "The Baler".'s something you might see right out of the movies.  It might look a little scary but this is where materials you bring in like aluminum siding, castings, extrusions, stampings, turnings etc.  It might be that olive green house wrap you had in 1970 that needed a refresh or maybe it's waste from your shop where you're making the parts for future use in any number of applications.  Shoreline Recycling will pay you top dollar for what's left over and they will make sure our finite amount of resources on planet earth are reused to make sure that we have plenty for generations! 

Kurt Alderink joins me again from the gigantic property at Shoreline Recycling to talk a little about the lighter weight metals like aluminum and how they are spun around and put back in the game after YOU make a few bucks for bringing them down!  Take a listen and learn!

Recycle - Re-purpose - Reuse!  Simple enough and let Shoreline Recycling be your partner in all of it!  If you are a DIY type and are looking for a better way to unload the leftovers, or you want a partner in business to make sure that you are maximizing profits on the leftovers get in touch with Shoreline Recycling and let them show you what it's all about!  You can click on the image below to learn more about their services and get in touch with their team.

shoreline recycling 

  Lakeshore Art Festival was held in Downtown Muskegon July 6th & 7th 2018. Out of the 350 fine art and craft exhibitor booths, about half of those were local artists and the rest were from all over the country. The festival is completed with street performers, live entertainments, activities such as chalk the walk and food vendors. The emerging authors tent and the kayak sculpture project were among the several special features for this year.


Lakeshore art festival 2017 18

  This year the Lakeshore Art Festival was expanded by two streets in comparison to last year's, they expanded into to Clay Avenue between Second and Third streets and Second Street between Clay and West Western avenues. This year's festival also coincided with the docking of the cruise ship Peal Mist at Heritage Landing, which boosted the number of visitors to the festival at the welcoming and beautiful downtown Muskegon.



Take a look at this year's festival



Lakshore Art Festival Website
Lakshore Art Festival Facebook

lakeshore art festival 2018


Derek Wong 2018 / The Muskegonchannel

   July 7th, 2018 marked the 4th annual Standup For The Cure Muskegon that took place at the Harbor Towne Beach via Muskegon Lake in Muskegon, Michigan. Since 2012, Standup for the Cure has been providing free breast cancer screenings while uniting paddlers, fitness enthusiasts, yoga practitioners, medical professionals and the breast cancer community from California to Florida and Michigan to Washington in an effort to save lives. This year's Muskegon Edition, a festival style event, includes instructor-led paddle board demos and clinics, mobile mammography from Betty Ford breast care services, information from leading regional health care providers, live music, happy hour and lunch. All proceeds from the Muskegon event benefited Susan G Komen Michigan, every $125 raised will cover the cost of mammogram for someone in-need. Upwards of 700 people packed the beach and water from all over the state including Steven Gawron, Mayor of Muskegon and our very own Justin Abdelkader with the Detroit Red Wings. Hundreds of paddle boarders set sail by 10am resulting in a sea (lake) of pink, check out these videos we made for the events.


 The Event At A Glance



Interview with Dan Vandyk - Director of Standup For The Cure


Interview with Dr. LeRoux and Dr. Wright of Spectrum Health Cancer Center


Interview with Tanya Horan on Breast Cancer





Standup For The Cure Muskegon Website
Standup For The Cure Facebook
Susan G Komen Foundation



Derek Wong 2018 / The MuskegonChannel

It's a remarkable thing to see a group of bikers come together for a cause.  Quite often, they come together for a cause you'd least expect too.  Here in Muskegon, we're used to seeing bikers doing remarkable things.  Benefiting cancer centers, making sure kids have toys at Christmas, food banks are filled and more.  The big, rough and tumble, leather clad bikers are truly good hearted people who want to make a difference in the lives of others and use their collective power to make a statement while helping out some of the more needful areas where things are sometimes forgotten.  patriot rideVisit the Patriot Ride Event on Facebook

Every Woman's Place of Muskegon is a center that provides shelter, crisis intervention, counseling, support groups, children's services and education and prevention when it comes to domestic violence.  Founded in 1975 and growing ever since Every Woman's place has come to be a safe haven for those who are most vulnerable in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties.  They offer the services mentioned and so much more.  Their work is endless, and they are at the ready anytime domestic violence or sexual assault occurs with caring and kind people who begin to help the healing process and do what they can to stop the cycle.  They rely on community to help fund the work and this is where you come in if you are one of those bikers we were talking about in the previous paragraph!

The Patriot Ride kicks off from Muskegon's Bike Time Event Sunday July 22nd at 10am.  It's an escorted, non stop ride where you'll get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of West Michigan with a couple hundred of your closest biker friends.  The registration begins at 10, the ride rolls off at 11 and you're back to Biketime at 12n to enjoy the rest of the days events knowing you've done a good turn for someone who you'll probably never meet, and realistically, you don't need to meet.  You helped a fellow human who needed you in their most desperate hour with your suggested donation of $10 for the great ride. 

I was able to catch up with Lori Rasmussen of Every Woman's Place to talk a little about the work that goes on as well as the fun of the ride to help benefit their work, take a listen.

The hope is domestic violence has never touched your life.  The reality is, it probably has and you might not even know it.  It's a control issue.  It's a dominance issue it's a matter of who's powerful and how they prove it and it's got to come to a stop.  We could go on to give you statistics upon statistics, but instead we'll recommend action.  Get out and be a part of the Patriot Ride July 22nd at Muskegon Bike Time.  Even if you are not a rider, it's a great chance to stop by and throw a small donation toward Every Woman's Place to help them in their crusade to help treat the victims of domestic violence and prevent it from happening again.  If you'd like to know more about the agency, you can click on the logo below to visit their website.


  Thousands of people attended Muskegon Rockstock 2018 at Heritage Landing over the fourth of July weekend. This year marked their 10th year anniversary as a whole and their 4th year being held at Heritage Landing. Rockstock is a family friendly event consists of live music, food and beverages, kids activities (with their very own Kidstock) and fireworks to celebrate independence day, with all proceed goes to charitable organizations such as No More Side Line and the Special Olympic. This year's live music line up were The Mega 80s, Electric Red, Flexa Decibel and Yard Sale Underwear. We've prepared a video clip to show you around. And in case you missed it, we have broadcasted the fireworks Live on Facebook.




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Derek Wong 2018 / The MuskegonChannel

We introduced you to Natasha Heykoop last year on Positively Muskegon.  She lost her brother to suicide on Thanksgiving Day in 2015.  He had served in the military and the battle never left his mind.  It's a story that's sadly all too familiar and all too often not spoken of because of the stigma attached to it.  In 2012 the VA issued a report on veteran suicides that said between 18 and 22 veterans commit suicide daily and that sparked a lot of different awareness efforts all based on the number 22.  But for Natasha, things hit a little closer to home and she saw a much greater need, more over she wanted to do something locally. lighthouseFollow Lighthouse for Veterans on Facebook

2017 saw the beginning for the Heykoop Veteran Memorial Car Show and Benefit.  It was a first year event, being held on a day when nothing was ever really tried on a piece of land that was never really thought of as a "hot spot" for events and it turned out to be a pretty big success.  For a first year event to raise nearly $5000 to help any cause, let alone one that's considered "taboo" like veteran suicide is a pretty clear message that a hole needed to be filled and the time for awareness and action is here and now and people are ready for more than words on the subject.

Cars came, bands played, vets were honored and gears were turning.  How could the event grow?  What could be improved?  What could be added to bring in a few more and how could the funds raised be utilized locally?  Well, after the first event Natasha and her team went full on and formed their own non profit to work locally to benefit our local veteran community.  Once the paperwork got out of the way, Lighthouse for Veterans got to work on this years car show to continue their work to help with things like awareness for those not directly effected by life with a veteran, peer retreats for those who do live with the issues that veterans face and even funeral expenses for veterans families.  Anything to help offer a little respite for those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice or those who love them.

This year, cars will come once again to the corner of Getty and Airline, bands will play, vets will be honored, motorcycles will be added people will stroll and we'll see yet another incredible event built just like Muskegon does it.  We are incredibly blessed in our neck of the woods to be able to take a tragedy and turn it into a lasting and powerful triumph to make sure that no one faces this kind of nightmare again. 

I met up with Natasha to talk about year two for the Heykoop Veteran Memorial Car Show and Benefit, take a listen.

 What makes a hero?  You just saw.  The incredible grief that one family has to endure is turned into hope for others to never have to deal with the same.  It's become a community gathering to remember, reflect and hopefully help with the fight when it comes to the struggles faced by those who are still fighting a battle in their mind.  Got a show car?  Get out the Turtle Wax.  Want a destination for the biker group?  July 7th right by Babbitt's.  Be a part of this incredible endeavor and help Lighthouse for Veterans grow as only Muskegon and the Lakeshore can.  This is how we do it!  This is what sets our community a part and these are the seedlings of lasting and important events that take subjects out of the shadows and begin to truly heal, both individuals and communities.  To learn more, click on the photo below and visit the Lighthouse for Veterans website.


    June 16, 2018 marked the 7th annual Ride United charity cycling event hosted by the United Way of the Lakeshore. The ride begins at downtown Muskegon, MI followed by four different return points and returns to Muskegon. A rider can pick any of the four routes - 6 Miles (North Muskegon), 25 miles (Pioneer Park, North Muskegon), 50 miles (Whitehall, MI), or 100 miles (Silverlake, MI). Its proceeds help support programs that promote health, education and financial stability for residents of Muskegon, Oceana and Newaygo counties.

united way lakeshoreClick to visit their website

  About 150 cyclist signed up for the event while 25 of them signed up for the 100 mile ride. It was a rainy morning, and raining hard at times, but that did not stop participants from showing up. Sign up began at 7am in the morning and there were quite a few people there waiting already. The official start time for the 100 miles ride was 8am but some of them left shortly after their registration. By 9am all the groups has left and we followed along to give you a peek of what it's like.





Thank you for all the participants and volunteers who made it a memorable event.

United Way Of The Lakeshore on Facebook
Ride United on Facebook
Ride United 2018 photo gallery on Facebook

2018 Ride United 044 DerekWong SMALL 


Derek Wong 2018 / The MuskegonChannel

This Summer we're working with our sponsor Shoreline Recycling to show you the benefits form more than just one angle about just how beneficial recycling is for not only the community, but for your bottom line as well.  We were given full access and a guided tour through the entire facility to show you just what goes into the operation and how they work to not only keep Muskegon clean but take our precious resources and reuse them.  Believe it or not, we have a finite supply of things like metal on this planet.  We also have a duty to protect our big blue marble from the mounds and mounds of garbage we generate and if something can be recycled and reused why wouldn't you wan to take Shoreline Recycling up on their offer to PAY YOU for your stuff?  The landfill is one thing but...your junk is cash as Shoreline Recycling and we're showing you how to earn it this summer.  padnosVisit Shoreline Recycling on Facebook

Today, Kurt Alderink is taking us out into the yard to talk about recycling things from around your home.  Washer or dryer give up?  Couple of dead computers sitting there?  Is your garage fridge about to die?  Maybe you've got something around the house like an old water heater or parts from cars you worked on etc.  Hey...all of that stuff is money in the bank.  There is hidden value in all of that stuff and there are those too who can actually get out and make a living by picking up these kind of things in bulk to bring down a few loads a day to Shoreline Recycling to take the money and run.  That line of work might not be for everyone, but, everyone does have stuff they need to get rid of so instead of just taking it to the dump...bring it to Shoreline Recycling on Ottawa Street in Muskegon and let them throw you a few bucks for doing the right thing.

Kurt and I are out by the appliance pile and talking about the process and pay off... take a listen.


Shoreline Recycling is not just a scrap yard.  I'll tell ya.  They are a customer service company first and foremost.  They take amazing care of their customers if they are occasional visitors or there daily.  There are special customer days, they do give away's for their clients and they even have specialists who can help your business if you generate a lot of scrap.  Think about that if you run a car repair shop or an industrial production outfit.  Get paid for your waste!!  Shoreline Recycling makes it happen.  They are great stewards of community and their work protects generations in the future by taking what was an making it new again.  Our thanks to Shoreline Recycling for their sponsorship of The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  To learn more, click on their logo below to visit their website.


shoreline recycling

We're in full swing Summer mode in Muskegon now, that means that Hackley Park finds itself more busy than not and that's a great thing.  From food festivals to Party in the Park and events that combine a little of everything, Downtown Muskegon's continual growth and engagement continues to grow.  Coming hot off the heels of Taste of Muskegon, we're pretty sure everyone knows the way to Downtown,  so let's get the park sun around and ready for another great day of entertainment, fun and togetherness with a little twist focusing on some area business you might not even know about. craft fair leadFollow the West Michigan Business and Craft Fair on Facebook

We've got a pretty good thing going with our small business incubator places in town, they continue to give opportunities to those who have an idea but need a spot to get it kicked off.  There are the chalets on Western.  If you are a've got Kitchen 242 to use to help you grow.  The Farmers Market not only provides a place for agriculture, but it's also a spot for flea market type events and outdoor fun.  Where do you find out about the home based business?  The jewelers....the artists....the makes of pet treats, kids clothes, urban art area non profits who are looking for some awareness and more?  Well you head to the West Michigan Small Business and Craft Fair.

We first met Tony and Vanessa Davis last year. They are the organizers of this great event.  Vanessa had a family emergency, so we were unable to tape a segment with the couple, but with any growing event we try to cover what we can to help people grow and help them help others.  The festival will run from 9a-3:30p at Hackley Park.  It's family friendly.  There will be plenty of food and drink  with everything from ribs to tacos, shaved ice to soul food, baked goods smoothies and more.  Entertainment will abound with music, dancing and more.  There will be 60 or more booths to see and plenty of opportunities for you to register to win cool stuff from the supporting sponsors and vendors!  The newly crowned Ms. Shoreline is even expected to be on hand to meet and greet visitors.  There is also an incredible twist this year, a portion of all the booth registration fees will go to support Kids Food Basket in Muskegon.  That will make everyone feel good.

It's an effort to help support small business here in town.  It's an effort to spend some time together in a relaxed setting where you can stroll and enjoy the goings on and maybe get an idea or two for yourself. never know what's around the next corner.  It could be you next year in the West Michigan Business and craft Fair showing off your awesome creations.  Stop down and be a part of this fun event and help some of our area small business entrepreneurs grow!!  You can click on the photo below to visit their official website.

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It's a WIN WIN.... Support West Michigan Families.... Support our local Police.... AND have a great time with family and friends all at the same time!   The 3rd Annual MUSKEGON COUNTY COMMUNITY RUN is coming up on Saturday, June 23rd from Noon - 5pm at the Folkert Community Hub located on Seminole Road in Norton Shores.
This event will be raising funds and awareness for NO MORE SIDELINES which is an organization that helps kids and young adults in our community with special them the opportunity to play sports and enjoy community activities.    This event is also helping to raise funds for the Muskegon County Sheriffs Motorcycle Unit that helps serve and protect during large community events....  this event is also hoping to bring awareness to the dedication and safety of our West Michigan Towing Companies who's drivers put themselves in harms way every day to help others.  community runFind the Muskegon County Community Run on Facebook
On Saturday, June 23rd from noon- 5pm this event will feature a motorcycle AND vehicle Poker Run... leaving the Hub at promptly Noon (preregistration starting at 11am with a $10 donation per person)... The Poker Run is very family friendly stopping at scenic Muskegon stops and favored Ice Cream places (no bars) along the route...and of course there will be prizes for winning hands.  
There will also be live music ....a silent auction... The "Dunk a Cop" dunk tank.... A car & bike show....a motorcycle stunt show...  And the TOW TRUCK RODEO, which has become a fan favorite...all taking place at the Folkert Community Hub...   The Tow Truck Rodeo will feature all of the best drivers from our areas Tow Truck companies competing for trophies (and bragging rights) while completing really fast, fun, exciting-to-watch tow truck timed events.
I have absolutely loved hanging out with the incredible group of people who put together this awesome event... I sat down with John Frederick and Jeremy Dykstra to chat about all the super fun stuff they've got planned for your whole family on the 23rd.... and more importantly, the incredible groups that they are doing this all for.
Please come join me on Saturday, June 23rd at the Folkert Community Hub from noon- 5pm.... I just may have to be dunked in the dunk tank a time or two....  It will be an absolute blast for the whole family!  For more details, click on the photo below to visit the Muskegon County Community Run Website!
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There is plenty of evidence out there that hiring a veteran is a smart move.  They come with the training, the skills, the drive and discipline that only come from the training they receive in the military and what they learned there, applied in the civilian world is irreplaceable in the work force.  In today's world too, finding the right candidate for the job isn't always the easiest task.  There seem to be about a million websites all promising you the best of everything.  The best jobs, the best employers, candidates and on and on.  Resume's, applications, interviews over the phone....what happened to the good old day's where you walked in, shook someones hand, talked a while and walked out feeling a little ahead of the game?  Well, Friday June 15th you'll have that chance in Muskegon. veterans affairs logoVisit The Muskegon Veterans Online

The Veterans Job Fair is happening again this year at the LC Walker Arena.  Employers form all over the lake shore will be on hand to meet with those looking for jobs.  This job fair is being put on by the Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs but it is open to all and if you are in the market for a job, or maybe an improvement in your working situation, this is the place to be.  There will be 72 companies on hand looking to hire and one of them is looking to fill 92 positions.  That's an awful lot of hiring going on.

The event is free to attend and gets under way at 10am on Friday morning.  Mike Baauw joined me at his office for a few minutes to talk about the job fair and some of the opportunities presented.  Take a listen. 



 Opportunity awaits!  They say the jobless rate is at an all time low.  Now's the time to get in and get yourself a job on great terms or improve your working situation.  Stop into the LC Walker Arena Friday between 10 and 2 and see who's looking.  If you're a veteran, thank you for your service.  We wish you the very best in your job hunt Friday!

Come hungry.  That's the word when it comes to Taste of Muskegon that's happening June 15th and 16th at Hackley Park and surrounding areas in Downtown Muskegon.  Probably wouldn't hurt you to come thirsty and looking for a good time too.  Taste of Muskegon is another rapidly growing event in Muskegon where the best of the best in culinary creators come together to showcase their goods and compete for your growling stomachs attentions while the air is filled with wonderful smells, laughter and great music provided by some of the areas best bands.  Sounds like a typical Summer weekend in Muskegon right?  It's what we're best at!

Taste of Muskegon has been around a while, and like many other "foodie" type events in recent years, it's seen a growth spurt.  Tastes from around the world and around the corner will be represented.  Want to try something from Ghana?  They have it!  How about a trip to the Mediterranean for your taste buds?  You can do it!  Want to stick to a hot dog or a hamburger?  Ok, you can do that too.  Not everyone is a world traveler when it comes to grub...and that's ok.  There will be Cole's Breads inspired brews...after all, Cole's is the presenting sponsor of Taste of Muskegon this year in Celebration of their 75th Anniversary!  You can enjoy a tequila sampling area, wine and other craft beers, sweet treats, frozen concoctions and a feeling of community togetherness you won't find just anywhere. taste logoVisit the Taste of Muskegon Facebook Page

Entertainment?  They have entertainment coming out the wazoo.  Friday night kicks off at 4:30 with a powerboat street show.  Giant offshore racers line the streets for an up close look and lots of picture opportunities.  There will be face painting for kids, bounce houses,  a chance to meet the Muskegon Risers Soccer Team, music from Merchant and Corbin followed up by the Accidentals.  Saturday gets underway at 8a with Ride United and some other great Downtown Muskegon events.  The food and beverage gets served at 11 in Hackely Park.  It's another full day of activity with chances to meet The Ironmen, The Clippers and The Lakehawks.  A Kids Saftey Saturday with the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department, the Sports complex is bringing a 200 foot luge down for the dare devil in you, there will be a petting zoo award show for the vendors and then The Electric Red and Let There Be Rock take the stage to keep the party going into the night!

It's going to be an awesome weekend to celebrate community and there's an open invite to anyone to come and see just how fun Muskegon up the family truckster and come on out!  Ann Meisch is the Clerk in the City of Muskegon.  She is also the event planner, the doer of all things and the glue that keeps is all together.  We met up to talk Taste at the Chalet's on Western to get the 4-1-1 on what's going on.  Take a listen!!

Since you're probably drooling already, we'll just say get it on the calendar and get down to Hackley Park.  It's going to be one for the record books as Muskegon continues to rise and our traditions continue to grow and flourish.  Bringing in new people and your friends and neighbors for a great time in beautiful surroundings sampling some of the best in food and drink you'll find!  We'll look forward to seeing you at Taste of Muskegon June 15th and 16th!  For the events official website, click on the photo below!

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How about an alternative way to get yourself to work?  Day in and day get get head to the car, you might stop for a cup of coffee, you make the same drive with the same atmosphere and the same people around's called the "routine" and once in a while, it might be a good thing to break up.  smart commutersVisit the Muskegon Area Smart Commute Facebook Page

Kind of the idea behind the Muskegon Area Smart Commute Week happening June 11th-15th.  Think of your morning commute on your bike as a way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Muskegon we are so lucky to have.  Think of using the MATS system to see how our public transit system operates efficiently and on time.  Taken a walk lately?  Can you walk to work or a meeting?  Maybe call some friends and car pool....catch up on the gossip and news.  It's all an effort to do a few things.  Reduce the amount of pollution in the air, help you be a little healthier if you choose to walk or bike and it's a great effort to showcase Muskegon instead of going through it at 75 miles an hour on 31 as you try and do your hair and get in that last cup of coffee on your way in.

Sounds fun, but what's in it for me?  You might ask.  Well, area business and organizations have teamed up to provide some pretty cool prizes and gifts for those who participate.  You could find yourself dining out at one of our great area restaurants.  You could get your hands on some Lakeshore Community Cash that can be spent at any number of participating retailers and it's all based on the honor system.  You do the work, you enter your points and a the end of the week, they will be tallied up and you could be the big winner.  Of course, it's really not about the's about a different way to do things, if only for a week and a chance to make a little difference in your life and the community.

Scott Blease is with the Muskegon Area Smart Commute and we met up at his office Access Health to talk about the event, the incentives and how you can participate in all of it.  Take a listen.

 Give it a shot!  Spend a day doing something different or spend a week trying different ways of doing the daily grind!  Get out of the "rut" and enjoy a little Muskegon Summer with the Muskegon Area Smart Commute Week.  To visit their website and get signed up, click on the photo below!

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