MWAC&V Show opens Friday a.m.
It is time.
A far too lengthy winter, a stop and sputter spring (with enough rain to hopefully diminish the nasty little leaf munching larvae) a teaser day here and there and here we are at last. On the very cusp of the weekend where it all begins to amp up in this patch of peninsular paradise.
Yes the first holiday weekend of the summer has arrived and from all reports it looks to be a beaut. Sunshine, warm temps, maybe a bit of a breeze here and there.
Just the way for summer to make a grand entrance with the promise of good times to come.
Boating, swimming, tubing, kayaking and all the many recreational opportunities we have at hand.
And festivals. Summer also means festivals will be popping up all over the landscape in our fair state.
And Brooks Park will start the area's festival season off with the Memorial Weekend Arts, Crafts & Vendor Show. Yes we mean that annual extravaganza that brings waves of folks from near and far to wander the park, purchase a few treasures, check out some extremely cool classic autos and bikes and drink in the easygoing vibe of the downtown area.
And there are food trucks. Some local favorites and, of course. that warm, cinnamon flavored hunk of happiness known as an Elephant Ear.
And while you're downtown check out the metamorphosis occurring at the museum across from the park. They may not be finished as yet but my glimpse awhile back left me considerably impressed with the museum and the leadership of its Director Steven Radtke who has navigated the transition process artfully.
And don’t forget the downtown stores. They generally have some sidewalk sales happening and we hear the alley at Newaygo Brewery is open in case you like your craft draft al fresco.
The River Country Chamber of Commerce and a slew of volunteers make this event happen every year and our RCCC friend Rachael Porter assures us that there will be good times to be had for festival goers. She also encourages folks to stop by the Chamber booth if they have any questions, want community information or maybe just to say hi.
Friday, May 27th from 11am - 7pm and May 28th & 29th from 10am-5pm
Brooks Park- Downtown Newaygo.
Old Paint, New Eatery, and A Corned Beef Omelet
By Ken DeLaat
I had the opportunity once again to work the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day at the Road Commission this past Saturday.
While I am convinced each year that any and all rusted paint cans have been purged from our fair county they tend to reappear in droves each year to the point of drawing a fishes and loaves comparison for their perpetual continuity.
It’s always a good crew recruited by Drain Commish Dale Twing and his office assistants. We empty trunks, pickup beds, back seats and trailers of some of the most intriguing sets of solvents, baskets of batteries, plenty of propane tanks, gas cans, fluorescent bulbs, containers of oil, sharps, outdated meds and almost anything one could imagine.
And paint. Enough paint to channel the Cover The Earth ads by Sherwin Williams.
In return volunteers get coffee donuts and pizza at lunchtime.
And the knowledge of our part in ridding our piece of this peninsular paradise of some nasty stuff.
It’s always a good trade.
It looks like there will be a lakeside eatery arising from the ashes (literally) in the not too distant future.
I gotta say, there is something about a lakeside dining experience, particularly when one can motor up to the locale in a watercraft, pull into an available docking area, and enjoy a dinner with a boat ride home.
Dining experiences on water, while not plentiful, can be found along most of the coastline area that surrounds our state.Dockers in Muskegon delivers that Key North vibe during the more pleasant months with a mixture of boaters and land arrivals.
Inland lake sites are a bit more scarce. Particularly those that are equipped for boat traffic.
Ever since the fire that took away the restaurant along the north shore of Hess there has been a buzz about the possibility of a rebuild. A buzz that extended far beyond lake residents.
Now the folks from “Smuggler’s At North Shore” have put up signs that not only indicate their intent to build, but included on the signage is a design of what is yet to come on the site.
It looks pretty cool from the image and once they open their doors (and docks) I am certain they will enjoy the kind of popularity a lakeside establishment of epicurean excellence deserves.
And perhaps the planes that once landed on ice or water will return to grab a quick bite before returning to flight.
Speaking of pleasant places to dine we met friend and occasional N3 scribe Charles Chandler at Hit The Road Joe for breakfast on Monday. They have adjusted their hours to coincide with summertime and now will be serving up their wonderful eats Thursday- Monday from 8am-2pm with Friday Night BBQ from 5-7pm and of course Saturday night Pizza from 4-8pm. With the weather taking a turn for the better the deck is open, the gardens are becoming radiant and the critters will be doing their wandering about in their domicile.
And if they happen to have the corned beef omelet on special?
Go for it.
Trust me on this.
Student/Poets prove impressive in performances
Story and photos by Ken DeLaat
Settle down with the one who sees how far you’ve come
The one who makes his own instrumental in your heart and makes it beat like a drum
Settle down with the one who will water the garden of flowers planted inside of you
The one who treats you with kindness when your days appear blue
Settle down with the one who lets you soar in the sky not knowing where you’re going
The one who chooses to keep that unconditional love flowing
Real love will come when it is least expected- Taylor Pasch
When I first heard about the project known as Spotlight Poetry I was admittedly intrigued.
A county wide search for talent within our schools to come up with a quintet of finalists who would ultimately perform their work in front of a live audience at the Grant Fine Arts Center.
An ambitious initiative? Absolutely.
But armed with a cadre of instructors from our 5 area high schools who served as Poetry Champions and worked with the student/poets, the process unfolded with practice presentations that gave participants confidence not only in the works they had produced, but also in the art of communicating their words to an audience.
I attended a ‘slam session’ at Flying Bear Books where I came away impressed by the aspiring versifiers who got up in front of their peers to share their art and receive feedback to help them prepare for the competition.
Then came the night of the Slam. An electrifying evening where 5 young people selected as the finalists, one from each school, brought their best to the readings. The performances that would decide who would emerge as the winner in this creative competition.
One by one the finalists took to the stage with a backdrop of images on the screen above them. They expressed not only the words they had written but the accompanying emotions associated with those words.
Their works were powerful, potent, persuasive and poignant and they performed them to perfection.
In the end it was Taylor Pasch who walked away with the win with a stirring delivery of her work entitled ‘Love”. Ms. Pasch also went home with the $1000 top prize. The other four finalists received $100,
In an interview after the event she expressed her appreciation for the help she received from her instructor Sara Gorman as well as giving a shout out to “Uncle Rich” (Wheater) who she said helped inspire her love of performing when she was involved in the Newaygo County PRIDE program.
Stephanie Dood who was instrumental in securing the grant for the project: “The poetry slam is the beginning step toward encouraging youth poets to add rhythm to their lyrics and power to their experiences. Without a student's voice, the community can’t grasp where it’s headed. It is possible for adults to meet youth at their barriers and successes to pave a supportive path toward an impactful future.”
Sara Gorman, White Cloud ‘Poetry Champion’: “I’m thrilled to see programs that support the arts, becoming available to our rural community schools. This initiative provided a wonderful opportunity for our students to explore their creative writing and speaking skills, along with a couple of nice little incentives at the end, including cash prizes, coaching opportunities, and print recognition as well! I’m looking forward to seeing how this program continues to grow and am hopeful for a bright future, supporting our developing creative writers and poets!
Donna Grodus who served as Project Coordinator: “I was extremely proud of the five poets! As I watched the audience, I noticed smiles, tears, and pride as each poet performed. These poets stepped on stage and commanded the audience's attention with words and themes that were so powerful! I walked away with a better understanding of their struggles and triumphs in this challenging world. It was an amazing evening, and I look forward to next year when more poets can harness their creativity and step on that stage!
“I am grateful for the support from the Fremont Area Community Foundation, The Grant Fine Arts Center, Flying Bear Books, and the five Newaygo County High Schools for the support they have given all the poets!”
From our perspective each of the contestants are to be applauded for not only reaching the finals of what we hope is an annual competition, but also for showing the courage to share their words, their creative expressions, in a setting that hopes to inspire others toward taking the risk of putting their artistry on display
Here are links to the works of our five finalists,
Taylor Pasch-White Cloud-Winner
Local resident with ties to the Bol-anon community organizes fundraiser
N3- Typhoon Rai, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Odette, was a powerful and catastrophic tropical cyclone that struck the Philippines in December 2021. The storm devastated the central Visayan Islands including the island where Spectrum Gerber Physical Therapist Ethel Lobrigas was born and where her family still resides.
Ms. Lobrigas is well known throughout the Newaygo County area for being an instructor in the art of Qigong/Tai Chi and has often volunteered her services for community events.
Though months have passed, the residual effects of the disaster continue to impact the lives of the Bol-anon community.
In an effort to provide much needed assistance to the people of the Bohol province Ms. Lobrigas has organized a benefit concert to be held at the Dogwood Center on June 10th. Proceeds will go to a Non Government Organization with expertise in survivor community led response for the rehabilitation phase of rebuilding and livelihood.
We caught up with Ms Lobrigas to inquire about the event.
Tell us a little about the island where you grew up.
Bohol is the 10th largest island of 7,000 islands in the Philippines. It lies in the heart of the Central Visayan islands. It is composed of 47 municipalities and 75 outlying islands surrounding the mainland. Thirty of these municipalities (62.5%) are situated along the coast. The rest are interior towns. Majority of the Boholanos are directly dependent on the coastal resources for food and livelihood. Tourism also plays a role in the island's economy. Bohol is famous for its Chocolate Hills. 1,200 uniformly cone-shaped hills named for the grass growing on the hills that turn brown in the summer, making the landscape look like chocolate mounds. They are hills made of limestone left over from coral reefs during the Ice Age when the island was submerged.
How did the typhoon affect the lives of the people who live there?
Supertyphoon Rai packed maximum sustained winds of 150 kph (93 mph) near the center with gustiness of up to 205 kph (127 mph). It made landfall in Bohol at 6:30 pm on Dec 16th 2021.
12 municipalities mostly in the northern part of Bohol were 90% affected where the center of the typhoon passed.
6 interior towns were between 75 to 90% affected.
12 towns including my hometown, Maribojoc was in the 50 to 75% affected.
17 towns in the southern part of Bohol were below 50% affected.
Everyone was a survivor except for over 100 lives lost.
Estimated families in the hardest hit area were 175 thousand. 87,583 houses were totally washed out and damaged especially among Bohol's 75 or so outlying islands either from storm surge, high winds and massive flooding.
My friends from elementary and high school who experienced the wrath of the typhoon, felt traumatized having to listen to the strong howling winds and take cover from the heavy rain for over 7 hours in the darkness of the night.
Next to shelter, livelihoods of the people are heavily devastated. Agricultural crops and livestock were lost including family vegetable gardens that were products of the previous year's Covid lockdowns and limited mobility.
You have family there. How has this impacted their day to day lives?
First we are grateful that the house our grandparents built in the 1940s is still standing and is serving a purpose of shelter from the elements. For a while there, work and hybrid school were suspended due to no power and school buildings were used as evacuation centers. Power was not fully restored until March 2022. So they were dependent on candles, oil lamps and generators. The line to get fuel from the pump took up to 3 hours until it was their turn. Water was delivered via scheduled water trucks.
I have 3 brothers who live there. One of them is a priest and this is his response:
“Growth and resilience. People are moving on with new challenges each day. And to think we survived a typhoon as strong as Typhoon Rai (Odette) and the earthquake in 2013, we are getting used to natural disasters. We have accepted the course of nature. We fall, we stand and move on. Learn lessons from the experience. Try to see it as an opportunity to become better persons.”
My niece said: “It brought back the sense of community because of no power and less screen time, it resurrected in-person sharing of experiences, hope and strength.”
How will the funds be used?
Funds will be forwarded to ECOWEB and Bangon Bohol 2 to benefit typhoon survivors in an outlying island community in the northern part of Bohol for shelter repair/reconstruction and livelihood recovery (fishing boats).
Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (ECOWEB) is a Non-government and Non-Profit organization with expertise on community-based disaster risk reduction and management. ECOWEB’s programs and projects are focused in the marginalized and vulnerable communities to natural and human-induced hazards which also promotes integrated risk management through localized actions while doing national platforming. It works to localize response on climate change adaptation and to decrease the community’s vulnerability from both natural and human-induced hazards.
Bangon Bohol 2 is a consortium of Bohol-based civil society groups organized to undertake relief and rehabilitation in areas ravaged by super typhoon Odette (Rai).
What gave you the idea of a benefit concert?
My heart gave me the idea of the benefit concert. Because I am not able to physically be in Bohol to do volunteer humanitarian work at the moment, I was inspired to search for different campaign ideas to increase awareness and raise funds on this side of the world and support the boots on the ground crew who have the expertise. I came across an organization, Human Aid who coached me with this project and got blessed by musicians who volunteered to perform.
What do you want people to know about the event?
Come listen to great music and enjoy! Tickets are $20 at the door.
Featured main artist is Bob Wallis. Bob is a singer/songwriter and keyboard player based in Michigan. He has two independently released albums, one with a song featured on NPR's "Car Talk". He plays keyboards and sings backups for Kaitlin Rose and The Band of Thorns. Bob is my husband's nephew.
The opening act is Madeline Kraemer, an 18 year old solo artist from Southfield, Michigan. She is currently studying at Oakland University in Rochester. Maddie hails from a family who inspired her love for music. Maddie is Bob's niece. She has been making music for over 7 years.
There will also be a cameo of my niece and her partner covering the song Peace Train.
How can people donate if they can’t make it to the concert?
People can go to the URL link below and donate if they can't make it to the concert
Click here to support Benefit Concert at the Dogwood Performing Arts Center Fremont, Michigan USA by Mary Ethel Lobrigas
The Swingtooth Quartet will perform in the Dogwood Center's Black Box on Saturday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. Join us and you will experience great live music at the Dogwood!
Local guitar duo, Lee and David Middleman, known for their hand-built instruments, Swingtooth Guitars, and featured in past West Michigan Luthier concerts, make up a portion of the quartet. They are joined by Chris Cudworth on bass, and Pat Eickenroth on percussion, both sought after participants in several eclectic groups across Michigan. The synergy among the four is part of their own enjoyment in crafting new ways to express their favorite timeless material of early swing, bebop, sultry ballads and lively bossa nova.
Tickets are $12.50 and are available online at www.dogwoodcenter.com, at the Dogwood Box Office, or at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or just click here!
The Dogwood Center Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For information, phone 231.924.8885.
Expanded Tuesday Evening Series Spotlights Local and Regional Talent in West Michigan's Most Beautiful Outdoor Venue
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is pleased to announce the lineup for the newly expanded Tuesday Evening Music Club, with a diverse schedule of live bands and programming ranging from jazz to indie, rock to folk, ballet and more. Now including concerts in June due to the growing popularity of the series, Tuesday Evening Music Club brings talented local and regional musicians to the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater stage starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings—free to Meijer Gardens members and included with admission for other guests—throughout June, July and August. With beautiful, terraced lawn seating and spectacular views of gardens and sculpture, the 1,900-seat amphitheater is Michigan’s most unique and intimate outdoor concert venue.
Amphitheater plaza gates open at 5 p.m. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
2022 Tuesday Evening Music Club Lineup:
June 7: Jordan Hamilton + The Elijah Russ Collective
Jordan Hamilton: This cellist and poetic lyricist overlays his live instrumentals with samples and loops to formulate a distinct spin on hip-hop.
The Elijah Russ Collective: Primarily a fusion of soul and rock ‘n’ roll, with forays into blues, classical, funk, modern rock, country, and world music.
June 14: Kaitlin Rose & The Band of Thorns + Seth Bernard
Kaitlin Rose & The Band of Thorns: A singer-songwriter-storyteller, fronting a refined and versatile band and offering Americana with a fresh sensibility.
Seth Bernard: A legend of the Great Lakes music scene, this pop-folk artist and producer continues to win over audiences with his contagious spirit and master musicianship.
June 21: MOLLY
MOLLY: A singer songwriter with a smooth, emotive style, playing originals and covers that span rock, R&B, and soul.
June 28: Melophobix + Soul Syndicate
Melophobix: Horn-infused harmonic funk, with roots in reggae, ska, rock ‘n’ roll and soul.
Soul Syndicate: Pays high-energy, pinpoint homage to R&B and soul classics from various eras.
July 5: The Last Gasp Collective + Myron Elkins and the Dying Breed
The Last Gasp Collective: Reminiscent of The Roots and Hiates Kaiyote, thought-provoking rap and warm R&B vocals intertwine with jazzy melodies.
Myron Elkins and the Dying Breed: A mixture of hillbilly, bluegrass, rock, country-western and even metal, led by fiercely commanding vocals.
July 12: Whorled + CrossBow
Whorled: A contemporary twist on Celtic, jazz, Brazilian, and American folk, featuring violin, accordion, guitar, banjo, whistles, and didgeridoo.
CrossBow: A favorite of Celtic festivals throughout the Midwest, they interweave the traditional sound with a highly infectious modern flourish you have to move to.
July 19: The 6 Pak
The 6 Pak: A legendary all-girl band, originally formed in 1967, performing the grooviest hits from that era.
July 26: The Samuel Nalangira Trio featuring Sharon Katz
The Samuel Nalangira Trio featuring Sharon Katz: A native of Uganda, Samuel is a folk/world master of multiple traditional instruments, accompanied by percussionist Carolyn Koebel, bassist Nathan Durham, and special guest guitarist Sharon Katz, a former cultural ambassador for Nelson Mandela who uses her music to promote peace and social justice throughout the world.
August 2: Lana Chalfoun + King Possum
Lana Chalfoun: An award-winning, 17-year-old singer-songwriter often compared to Adele and Taylor Swift, performing pop ballads and breakup anthems as well as songs that explore relevant modern topics.
King Possum: Led by Michigan musical fixture and multi-instrumentalist Mark Lavengood, this band serves up a stew of rock and soul evocative of old-time jukebox music.
August 9: The Accidentals with Kaboom Collective Studio Orchestra
The nationally renowned, Michigan roots, multi-instrumental songwriting power trio The Accidentals teams up with Kaboom Orchestra, a one-of-a kind orchestra comprising some of the most talented young people in the country, for a tour to promote their collaborative album REIMAGINE.
August 16: Franklin Park
Franklin Park: Classmates from 1969 perform spot-on renditions of The Beatles, The Byrds, The Rascals and many more ‘60s hits. If you’re a fan of The 6 Pak’s Tuesday evening performances, you’ll love this throwback band!
August 23: Ralston & Friends
Ralston & Friends: Local music icon Ralston Bowles shares the stage with friends and collaborators, from the community and beyond.
August 30: Grand Rapids Ballet
Michigan’s only professional ballet company presents an evening of classical and contemporary ballet, designed to be enjoyed by all ages. The program will feature the full company of 26 dancers in George Balanchine’s ethereal classic work Serenade, with music by Tchaikovsky; Off the Canvas, a contemporary ballet from choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetowska; an excerpt of Artistic Director James Sofranko’s Romeo and Juliet; and more.
Visit MeijerGardens.org/involved/membership to become a member or renew a membership.
Tuesday Evening Music Club is generously sponsored by Meyer Music, WYCE and Corporate Live.
NHS Students spruce up their city
This past Friday (the 13th of course) while wandering about the River City downtown area we noticed a veritable sea of green...as in the shirts worn by waves of high school students from NHS who were busy beautifying the area.
Having spotted Coach Nate Thomasma crewing a group we asked him for a bit of info on the cleanup crew.
“It was our Lions United Day at the school where our kids do community service for the city. My group put up the 20+ no parking signs behind the Post Office in Newaygo. The kids did amazing work. Dug holes 24-30 inches deep. Wasn’t easy. We only had 7 to start and a few of us (mostly me!) were running out of gas.
"Thankfully we had other kids that came over from different groups to help get us past the finish line. Their attitudes and effort were great. I took them all to WESCO for slushies because they work their tails off.
"Very proud of our kids from Newaygo."
As are we, Coach T, as are we.
“When we all lend a hand in helping in the community we improve everyone's quality of life.”- Germany Kent
Raion Taiko Japanese Drumming at the Dogwood Center on May 15
Raion Taiko Japanese Drumming will perform on the Dogwood Center Main Stage on Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 p.m. The drumming ensemble will get your heart racing with an exciting and unforgettable performance of deep thunderous sounds.
Raion Taiko is an ensemble of performers sponsored by the Great Lakes Taiko Center. Their programs are a variety of authentic, modern and traditional taiko, performed on authentic taiko drums imported from Japan’s Asano Taiko, the world’s most famous taiko maker.
The Great Lakes Taiko Center is located in Novi and offers taiko drumming classes, educational presentations, workshops and performances for all ages. Learn more about the Taiko Center at www.michigantaiko.net.
“Taiko” in general is often used to mean the relatively modern art of Japanese drum ensembles (kumi-daiko), but the word actually refers to the taiko drums themselves. Literally, taiko means “fat drum”, although there is a vast array of shapes and sizes of taiko. Within the last fifty years since kumi-daiko was created, it has seen phenomenal growth to the point where there are over 8,000 taiko groups in Japan by some counts. Borrowing on thousands of years of traditional, taiko groups are now taking the style worldwide.
Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $5 for children 18 and under. They are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com or just click here! For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
NBFF Parade to feature generational honorees
The National Baby Food Festival is seeking nominations for the Grand Marshal of the National Baby Food Festival Grand Parade, themed Celebrating Family!!!
The nominees must be Newaygo County residents.
Four or Five Family Generations preferred, with family members that live in the area.
Nominees can be current or life-long residents.
If you would like to nominate a four or five generation family please provide the Nominees name and address and why the family should be nominated to be Grand Marshal and submit entries to :
Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce
7 E Main St, Fremont MI 49412
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dogwood Summer Youth Theater Auditions – May 5 and 7
The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater will be holding auditions on Thursday, May 5 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. or Saturday, May 7 from 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts for their summer production “The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The Musical” for youth ages 12 years and up. Please have prepared a 1-2 minute song to sing acapella.
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" has a sweeping score and powerful story makes it an instant classic. The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater will be directed again this summer by Casey Webb. The performance dates will be July 28, 29 and 30. This program is funded in part by the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
For more information please contact the Dogwood Center at 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
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