Category Archives: Lifestyle

Kick-off, beer’s big month

Photo credit: Therese Padgham
Photo credit: Therese Padgham

Wolverine’s market Oktoberfest festival returns
Therese Padgham
Guest Writer

Sept. 27, 2014 was a pitcher-perfect-day for the second craft beer Oktoberfest at Kiefer Park in Port Huron. Hundreds joined at the park on scenic St. Clair River to celebrate the beer tasting festival. A dozen Michigan brew houses presented both keg and bottled products from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Oktoberfest included more than 60 national and international brands, ranging from traditional ale to exotic stout.
Port Huron’s Thumb Coast Brewing Co. served Lake Pilot Cream Ale, while Detroit’s Atwater Brewery served Vanilla Java Porter. Many local breweries including, Roho Red by Griffin Claw, offered color, taste, aroma and body.
Attractions included more than just beer; the crafters infused their hopped-up recipes with complexities from coffee, chocolate, fruit and spices.
Many local restaurants, including Fuel Wood Fire Grill presented themselves at the event, offering their signature specialties. Dave Peters of Mountain Babies performed their Freak Folk sound and their ambient vocals. But it was the ice-cold samples of that naturally fermented bitter brew with the frothy head that starred the event.
“Brew Bold, Pour Proud,” is the motto and practice of his team year-round.
In addition, Oktoberfest’s event sponsor Wolverine Market hosted the international wine and beer tasting events. Wolverine’s Certified Sommelier, Andy Bakko, shared: “Next year we will add wine and bring more music.” He went on to say, “this event was cosponsored by Citizens for a Vibrant Community – Art on the River.” CVC is a nonprofit group that uses proceeds to promote art and music.
Wolverine Market enjoys promoting their products at special events. Oktoberfest organizer Nate Bakko finds this year’s attendance a positive sign for future events. He has plans to promote in 2015 using radio. This year, the WSAQ/WBTI truck was on-site providing live broadcast to the community.
To ensure greater pre-sales, Bakko wants to advertise events to the west side of the state and Canada. “The north-end of Port Huron enjoys the Canadian customers,” said Bakko. “We want those customers to discover what downtown has to offer.”
Wolverine Market has extensive wine and beer selections with locations in Port Huron and Marysville.

The end of an era

Photo Credit: Greg Garofalo
Photo Credit: Greg Garofalo

Manifest the Machine goes out with a bang
Gregory Garofalo
Lifestyle Editor

The Schwonk Sound Stead, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. The infamous music venue has long been a popular hangout for the college students of SC4, no matter the genre of the band, the grand brick house on 7th and Griswold always draws a crowd.
However, on Sunday Sept. 28, it wasn’t the appearance of a new band that drew the hefty crowds, but the passing of a legend: Manifest the Machine.
Manifest the Machine is a local Post-Rock genre. The band consists of Travis Boone on the keyboard, Chris Strobbe on guitar, Zach Nye on bass guitar, and Corey Strobbe on the drums. They started as a three piece Blues Rock band and gradually progressed into what most would call Post-Rock, Experimental, or Ambient.
“I just can’t put into words how much you guys mean to us,” said an emotional Boone to his fans, “We decided that we need to take some time, we are not sure we are coming back, so just thank you.”
Upon asking him how his last show felt, Bonne remarked: “It feels good to say goodbye to everyone who supported us.”
It wasn’t only fans that were sad to see the local band go, but other musicians as well. Nick Ranger, co-singer and bass player of The Tiny Ugly Germs commented, “I’ll just say the scene is losing a really good band, but at least they are going out at Port Huron’s flagship venue. It’s really sad to see this band go.”
Ally Evenson, a local singer who performs with the band on and off, said the entire event was an odd bittersweet.
“I’ve been singing with them since January and it’s been amazing. It’s one of those feelings where I can just be myself. I can just express myself,” said Evenson.
Manisfest the Machine was not the only talent at the venue that evening, The Tiny Ugly Germs also made an appearance, as well as a new group who was new to not only to Port Huron, but to The States as well.
“We sold all of our stuff in Australia and bought a one way ticket to Europe,” said Raj Siva-Rajah, lead singer of the Australian band Sunpilots, “We just said: ‘let’s go for it.’ We make just enough money to get us to the next place, and we’ve been doing that for four years. Music is just in our blood and none of us can see ourselves doing anything else.”
To find out more about The Shchwonk and its upcoming shows, check out their Facebook page at:

Five things to do this fall

Photo Credit: Shelby Castillo
Photo Credit: Shelby Castillo

Because pumpkin spiced lattes aren’t for everyone
Lily Petit
Staff Writer

Sweater weather, fall flavors, and seeking spooky experiences are all part of enjoying autumn. But what’s to be done if you aren’t thrilled about the typical fall experiences?
1. Try Dairy Queen’s new pumpkin pie blizzard:
The only thing I like more than pie is ice cream. Dairy Queen combined the two, stealing my heart in the process. Dairy Queen’s website describes the pumpkin pie blizzard as, “Pumpkin pie pieces blended in creamy vanilla soft serve crowned with whipped topping and nutmeg.” Don’t like pumpkin? They also have an apple pie option.
2. Attend ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ at McMorran Theatre:
This cult classic is as entertaining as it is interactive. Follow the antics of sweet transvestite, Frank-N-Furter and his friends from Transsexual Transylvania. And don’t be afraid to join in on their fun. Show dates and times, as well as ticket prices, can be found at
3. Go for a walk:
Shades of reds and yellows will soon be dappling the trees. Whether you choose to wander the new Blue Water River Walk, the Wadhams to Avoca trail, or even explore the paths of the Pine River Nature Center, just make sure you soak up as much of the crisp fall air before the (dare I say it) bitter cold of winter sets it.
4. Watch some Skipper sports:
If you’re looking to observe while being outside, the softball and golf teams have games until the end of September. Rather be indoors? Volleyball goes until the end of November and home games can be found in the SC4 gymnasium. Additionally, men’s and women’s basketball season reaches up to mid-March. Sport specific schedules can be found at
5. Go clearance shopping:
Letting go of summer is hard. Sweaters, jeans, and scarves are filling the racks of clothing stores everywhere, but all the shorts and tank tops that weren’t sold aren’t just going to magically disappear. Hit up your favorite department store, boutique, or resale shop for some serious deals. Take this chance to stock up on flip flops and fedoras for next summer.
Michigan autumn is here and gone in a wisp of apple cider steam. It’s time to make the most of the harvest season.

The thigh gap; is it attainable?

Fitness trend that hits below the belt

Liz Whittemore
Photo Editor

If “thinspiration” wasn’t scary enough, just when you thought there’s no other way the female body can be picked apart, along comes another fitness obsession.
Having a thigh gap has become a fitness trend that idolizes women having a gap or clear space between the inner-thighs underneath their vagina when they stand with their legs together.
But is it attainable? Yes and no.
Thigh gapless, plus size model Robyn Lawley was attacked on social media after modeling lingerie. The 6-foot-2 inch, 180 pound woman was called “too fat” and a “pig” because she did not have a thigh gap.
Bone structure plays a huge role. According to Fitness Blender, women with larger set hips are likelier to have a natural thigh gap because of their bone structure. Their femoral bones are set further apart than women with a narrow frame.
“I think if it’s natural or attained through healthy activities, it’s attractive. It depends on your body type. If I was really fit, there’s no way I would have a thigh gap,” said Jeanne Palmateer, a Blue Water Middle College student.
Michelle Moran, co-manager of Algonac Health and Fitness, has seen many women come in intending on achieving a thigh gap.
“I know of one girl who starved herself trying to get it. She was already a small girl, but carried her weight in her butt and thighs. Her goal was unreachable; as far as I’m concerned it’s all genetics,” said Michelle Moran, co-manager at Algonac Health and Fitness. “It’s like trying to grow bigger boobs.”
Adopting a crazy diet will not help and many websites that give a how-to on achieving a thigh gap stress the importance of being realistic and knowing your body’s limits. Doing exercises that focus on the inner-thighs may help tone the muscles and help pronounce a thigh gap.

Contact Liz at

A little like playing dress up

A real look at the life of nerds in costumes

Jenelle Kalaf
Staff Writer

Cosplay3The old idea of geek is someone who spends their lives reading about science fiction, watching Star Trek and over reacting about the latest video game that came out.
While all this may still be true, when it comes to comic book and anime conventions, geeks bloom into artists.
Most people don’t really think art when the term ‘comic book convention’ rears its head, but once someone experiences a convention, most see the art walking through the halls in the form of cosplay.
Cosplay, short for costume play, consists of creating a costume and wearing said costume while staying in character.
These aren’t just Halloween costumes either. Cosplayers spend months planning out a single costume. Weeks of work, days of tweaking and three days to show it off at conventions, just to start all over.
Just like any good super hero, all cosplayers have an origin.
“I went to Youmacon one year and fell in love with all the different costumes,” cosplayer Shelby Gulette, 20, said about her first convention. “They were beautiful and every one of them is different.”
“My love for certain characters drives who I end up picking,” Samantha Garcia, 20, said when asked how she picks her characters. “Like for Shuto Con 2014, I picked America from the anime, ‘Axis Powers: Hetalia’. I love him, and America just screams me.”
“I cosplay characters that I love. Jack Skellington is one of my favorite characters.” Gulette commented. “Another factor for my decision is if I can act in character. It makes the cosplay more entertaining for everyone.”
Such an expansive hobby affects every cosplayer in some way.
“I nearly spent $200 on a single costume. At first my mom was mad, but when she saw it on me she understood why and fell in love with it,” Garcia said with a half laugh.
“Cosplay affected my life in a lot of ways, but the biggest change was that I’ve become more confident,” Gulette said.
“I feel like I’ve become more social at conventions in cosplay,” Garcia said. “You really bond with everyone, almost instantly.”

Converse or Crocs?

Trends to be a 10

Kimberley Dunkin
Staff Writer

Whether you prefer your old ripped blue jeans and shabby Nickelback t-shirt or your pair of Uggs and fleece Northface, there will always be what society considers, “in style.”
Whether or not you decide to be a part of the fashion trend is your choice.
Though everyone may have different taste in clothing, when it comes to style you may find yourself following the crowd.
Of course, clothing trends change all the time, but some things will always be hot.
The Northface jackets, for example, have been a hit for the past few years in the trendy world; along with UGG boots and Nike tennis shoes.
A few new articles of clothing have recently been considered “in.”
When it comes to shoes, Timberland boots, also known as “Timbos,” have become a popular choice for mostly men this season. And much like the “Timbos,” combat boots have made it to the top for women’s stylish shoes.
Another shoe trend that has been seen before are All-Star Converse. First produced in 1917, Converse are back in style for both men and women and are highly fashionable.
It also seems that crew necks for men have become very popular and are being chosen over zip-ups and hoodies for the guys.
A new article of clothing that seems to be important in a guy’s sense of style is their socks. “The sock game is everything,” said SC4 student Garrett Corry.
As for the ladies, jean jackets are back. The jean jacket trend was over a few years back but has recently returned and is at the top of the charts.
Style trends will always be controversial. After all everyone will always have their own opinion. SC4 student, Erich Elliott feels “It’s important to wear what is in style for you. Wear what you want and flaunt it.”

While stylish clothes may not always at the top of everybody’s priority list, here are a few fashion disasters to stay away from:

IMG_0011IMG_0006• Denim on denim, although jean jackets are back in style, wearing jean on jean is a mega style nightmare.
• Graphic tees, unless your graphic t-shirt is a brand name designer, this trend went out a few years ago and is NOT coming back.
• Camouflage, unless you plan on hunting deer on the streets of Port Huron, don’t wear your camouflage hunting boots and coat.
• Crocs, these shoes have never and will never be in.

Supreme Court over rules local ordinances

Medical marijuana allowed throughout Michigan

Angie Stoecklin
Copy Editor

As marijuana related bills make their way through the senate, the Supreme Court took on a case ruling in favor of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
Before the ruling, a few local ordinances in cities such as Livonia, Birmingham, and Bloomfield hills were put into effect to ban the use of medical marijuana in their respective communities.
The ordinance itself states that anything prohibited by federal or state law is forbidden.
For example, if a brothel existed in Livonia, because federal law prohibits that, it is not legal to operate. In the case of marijuana, since it is illegal federally, it was included in the ordinance.
However, the court ruled that because the ordinance directly conflicts with Michigan’s state law, which allows patients with debilitating medical conditions to use marijuana through their registered caregiver, the part of the ordinance pertaining to medical marijuana cannot remain in effect.
Donald Knapp, city attorney of Livonia said, “Local ordinances can’t overturn state law, but the prime question for the court was, ‘does the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which makes marijuana use and possession illegal, preempt state law?’”
Although marijuana is still illegal on a federal basis, it is not enough ground to stand on for cities who wish to ban marijuana’s medical use.
“Effectively what the court said was, ‘well if the federal government wants to go after these people they certainly can, but there’s nothing requiring municipalities to enforce federal law,” Knapp said.
With the court’s ruling, medical marijuana is allowed throughout the entire state. As long as a person has obtained their card and has established a registered caregiver (a person who grows and cultivates marijuana) there are no longer city ordinances to prohibit such actions.

Contact Angie at

Alternative technology

New mobile hotspot can save money

Reachelle Kocis
Staff Writer

It is no secret that when you want cable TV or internet the choices are scarce. But if you live in an apartment building you may have even fewer choices. Some lease agreements do not allow dish installation. And many college students cannot afford another monthly bill.
Here to bridge the gap of the digital divide is a pay as you go mobile hotspot from Straight Talk. This little device can provide internet for up to five devices. But because you are actually paying for gigabytes of data you may want to keep the unnecessary cat videos for your phone and use your data for homework.
Straight Talk’s mobile hotspot is available only at Wal-Mart for about $80. It also comes with one gigabyte of data for free. One gigabyte costs $15, and five gigabytes for $50.
Best Buy has a similar but more expensive version. So therefore it may be a good idea to shop around.
If you are like many college students then you probably watch TV and news on your computer or phone. If your cell service is truly unlimited, you may not need cable TV at all.
According to, you can watch internet content on your TV from your smartphone or tablet via HDMI cord or MHL to HDMI adapter for a direct hook up to any HDMI-ready TV.

Yelling about Comics

Let’s start at the beginning

Zack Penzien
Production editor

Superheroes are in the zeitgeist right now. But if you are interested in starting to read comics, it can be hard to know where to begin.
Unfortunately, comics as a medium rely mostly on knowing what came before it and in some cases, what have gone on in other books. In early 2014, Marvel is releasing new issue one’s as part of the “All-New Marvel NOW!” line.
So, if you are considering hopping on the comic train, these are my recommendations:

Miss Marvel #1
Written by G. Willow Wilson with art by Adrian Alphona
When Carol Danvers leaves the title of Miss Marvel behind, it inspires a young girl, Camilla Kahn. She is a high school kid from New Jersey who is to take up the mantle as Miss Marvel. The book is getting a lot of press because Camilla comes from a conservative Muslim household and will explore that side of the characters life.

Loki: agent of Asgard #1
Written by Al Ewing with art by Lee Garbett
Kid Loki, hot off his run with the “Young Avengers” (another good book you should pick up) is playing secret agent for his home realm of Asguard, starting with a heist on the Avengers tower. If you liked Loki in “The Avengers” and want to see him do his best good-guy impression, give it a shot.

Wolverine #1
Written by Paul Cornell with art by Ryan Stegman
Hey Wolverine got another book! Currently, our boy Logan is running around without his trademark healing factor. So if you’re interested to see Wolverine trying to figure out how to fight without being able to shrug off a bullet, look into it.

From Star Trek to Modern Family

Has the world lost sight of what to say?

Gregory Garofalo
Managing Editor

In today’s entertainment media there has always been one constant that has traveled from print to television: boundaries must be pushed.
This can clearly be seen in early American works such as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” or Thomas Payne’s “Common Sense;” works of literature going against the status quo. As the decades and centuries’ progress and sensitive buttons continue to be pressed, the question is raised: has the point been lost?
Rewind the clocks back to the 1950’s. A breakthrough in mass media is marketed to the public, the television. With only about five to ten years of a quaint “Howdy Doody” world, it wasn’t long before television would start challenging the way the world worked. And in 1963, “Star Trek” was born.
The cult classic had a short three year run, but in that time it stirred up thought about religion, sex, and racism. In 1968, “Star Trek” gave the world its first on screen interracial kiss between black and white.
While science fiction held the record for first interracial kiss on television, it would be comedy that took the award for the first interracial couple. “The Jeffersons” famous spin off series of “All in the Family” picked up where its predecessor left off and spoke on controversial issues such as diversity and equality.
As the years went on, boundaries were continuously pushed with sexuality and language. The original drive for pushing the boundaries of racial equality and civil rights seemed to be getting lost in the consumer demand for vulgarity.
Even the controversial homosexual rights in the 1990s seem to get swept up in an odd mix between raunchy lesbian sex scenes and actual statement gay and lesbian characters.
Today there is a slew of controversial content just as there always has been. But what kind of a statement is a naked Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball? Is the world out of things to say, or has it just lost sight of voicing opinion in a vulgarity battle to outdo previous generations.