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Wednesday, April 23,2014

New In Town

THE POWER OF WATER

by ALLAN I. ROSS
A new Lansing business opens this week dedicated to the city’s central natural feature: The Grand River. Trey Rouss, owner of The Power of Water, opened the watercraft sales/rental/ education shop within throwing distance of the river. He thinks the waterway gets a bad rap.
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Wednesday, April 16,2014

The Blake effect

Williamston native steps into new role at Peppermint Creek

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Blake Bowen realized Hollywood wasn’t for him at an audition for a fast food commercial in 2010. The Williamston native had been living in Los Angeles pursuing an acting career when he had an epiphany.
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Wednesday, April 16,2014

New In Town

Grand Art Supply/Hack´s Key Shop

by ALLAN I. ROSS
A longtime Lansing business recently had a change of ownership while another will be quietly hanging up its paintbrushes later this year. Diane Engman has some big plans for Hack’s Key Shop, which she bought from retiring owner Gordon Sparks in December. Greg Limmer, owner/operator of Grand Art Supply, announced this week he’ll close his store on Nov. 30.
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Wednesday, April 9,2014

Digital healing

4th Annual Capital City Film Festival demonstrates mass media’s therapeutic power

by ALLAN I. ROSS
When people talk about the effects of entertainment on society, it’s usually not in high regard. Movies and video games are blamed for desensitizing people to violence, while each new wave of pop music is summarily dismissed as mindless dreck. Decades before people were dissing the wup-wup-wup-WHOMP of dubstep, they were scandalized by anything with an accentuated back-beat. Today’s old guard is always yesterday’s vanguard, where controversy plus time equals quaint.
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Wednesday, April 9,2014

Girl, uninterrupted

Q&A with Sandra Collins, star of Capital City Film Festival documentary 'Girl'

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Wednesday, April 9 — On Thursday, electronic dance music DJ Sandra Collins will take the stage at the Loft for a free show, kicking off the 4th annual Capital City Film Festival. Collins is the featured performer in the documentary, “Girl,” directed by Kandeyce Collins. The film will have its North American premiere at the festival earlier that evening.
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Wednesday, April 9,2014

New In Town

RED CEDAR SPIRITS/SLEEPWALKER ALE AND SPIRITS/SOUP SPOON CAFE

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Last week I told you about two new Lansing area micro-distilleries: Sanctuary Spirits in Grand Ledge and American Fifth Spirits, which will open in downtown Lansing sometime this summer. But that’s not all the notable potable news in the area.
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Wednesday, April 2,2014

Five-star ‘Hotel’

Ralph Fiennes leads all-star cast in quirky, comedic ‘Grand Budapest’

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Over the last 18 years, writer/director Wes Anderson has refined a whimsical cinematic style that has the lushness of a Merchant Ivory weepie and the whirligig wackiness of a “Peewee’s Playhouse” episode. His films are stocked with offbeat characters, frequently featuring big name actors rendered unrecognizable by deliberately horrible makeup, who converse in bouncy Seussian rhythms and crackling Wildean wit. Stop-motion animation, elegant set design and sideways tracking shots abound.
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Wednesday, April 2,2014

New In Town

SANCTUARY SPIRITS/AMERICAN FIFTH SPIRITS

by ALLAN I. ROSS
In the last two years, the Lansing area has welcomed two microbreweries to the growing craft beer scene: BAD Brewing Co. in Mason and EagleMonk Pub and Brewery in Delta Township. Two more have been announced, but while we’re waiting for Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale and Music Street Brewing Co. to start cranking out suds, another trend in mid- Michigan alcohol production has arisen: micro-distilleries.
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Wednesday, March 26,2014

New In Town

CURVACEOUS LINGERIE/AUGGIE'S PUB/GUS'S BAR

by ALLAN I. ROSS
After closing in 2012, Auggie’s Pub and Grill on Lansing’s south side reopened earlier this month under new management. Manjit Singh owns the strip mall that Auggie’s is in, which is also home to the Sav More II party store he operates next door. His brother, Karpal Singh, owns Auggie’s and holds the liquor license, but Singh runs the day-to-day operations.
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Wednesday, March 19,2014

‘Wrong side of the war’

Exploring the culture of the Hmong, forgotten ally to France, America

by ALLAN I. ROSS
In 2005, French journalist Cyril Payen’s provocative documentary “Guerre Secrète Au Laos” (“The Secret War of Laos”) debuted on French television. The film focused on the plight of the Hmong people who have lived in hiding in the jungles of Laos for over 60 years. The Hmong, an Asian ethnic group, continue to be oppressed by the native Lao tians for collaborating with French forces in the Indochinese War in the 1940s and ‘50s, and with Americans in the Vietnam War in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
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