Monday, November 22, 2010

11.22.10 Heroes of the Week: The Young Family

Names: Rick, Kevin and Kelly Young
Ages: 6x, 36 and 3x
Occupation: owners, Village Market Food Centers
Last Seen: Elk Rapids, MI
Awarded For: making Elk Rapids a better place 

Please note that because of the Thanksgiving holiday, this will be my sole blogging on this site this week.
Instead of reaming somebody a new one in my daily feature Bee-otch of the Day, I'm going to honor some people who have made my old hometown of Elk Rapids, MI a more-special place. It might also explain why I've decided to eliminate my banner ad for on the top of the page if you're reading this on my Blogspot site. Plus, I've decided to make this post SFW so anybody can read this.

Last Thursday, I was driving home when I decided to listen to a little bit of The Mike Malloy Show on my Sirius. During a segment, Mr. Malloy was talking about how the government should lower taxes for small businesses since they're not the ones who have corrupted the government. Yet, they're giving tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of the country, which is doing nothing but adding on to the deficit.

Later on that night, I was making my rounds on the web, and one of the sites I visit on Thursdays is that of the Elk Rapids News, the village of 1,700's paper of record. One of the articles online was a letter written by a man named Ben Swift, the owner of Swift Audio. Several weeks ago, the village was stunned when his car audio business burned to the ground. It might have been the most-major fire the town has had in a very long time. Arson has been suspected since there was a fire to an abandoned house just down the street.

But, just weeks after that devastating fire, Swift's back in business installing car stereos and car starters. The Young family, the owners of the sole supermarket in Elk Rapids, the Village Market, offered Swift their pole barn on the store's parking lot while he rebuilds. If I'm not mistaken, Swift is related to the family patriarch, Rick's wife, Loretta. Nonetheless, I think that this is a move you'll rarely see in many towns these days, especially in towns the size of Elk Rapids.

Further down the page, there's a picture of Rick accepting a $500 check from the secretary of the Elk Rapids Masonic Lodge for their Christmas Giving Tree. The tree is designed to help less-fortunate children in the area have a better holiday season by asking customers to donate toys to them. 

Just imagine if Elk Rapids didn't have the Village Market or even the Youngs. Antrim County's second and third-largest towns, Mancelona and Bellaire haven't had a local grocer in years. Bellaire had Dingman's for decades, which was sold to Prevo's which sold to Spartan Stores and is now Glen's. Mancelona has had Glen's since maybe the 70's or 80's, but had an IGA which became a Dollar General some years back. Central Lake still has Central Food Center, although Ellsworth has struggled to keep even a party store open in town for at least a decade. Of course, there's Eastport Market, which does well despite their remote location.

When Rick Young bought what had been Don's Super Market in 1974, Elk Rapids was going through some changes. The A&P downtown was shuttered and struggled to stay afloat as an IGA until closing that year. It's now several smaller shops, including "The Place", which makes promotional items. ER also had Ed and Son's Market - also an IGA - which became Zagers' in the 1990's. Zagers became known for their Zagolli's feta cheese dips which they sold at other various locales and would eventually outsell everything else in the store. Today, the building that housed Zagers is now a swimsuit store on one side and a Chinese restaurant on the other. Zagers' factory is still in the building. 

Also in 1974, Meijer didn't have a store in nearby Traverse City and Walmart was limited to the southern part of the U.S. Today, Fred Meijer is the richest man in Michigan with a fortune of $4.9 billion, the Waltons are worth $90 billion and Rick Young is happy.

Yeah, their flagship store in Elk Rapids and has been around since the 1950's and has been grandfathered multiple times, but Rick Young has no intention - as far as I know - to sell or even move to a bigger location like the Dingman's did in the 1980's. Instead, he's given a lot of his day-to-day operations to his kids, Kevin and Kelly (not to be confused with the ex-WWE announcer). As a matter of fact, Kevin now owns his Alden location, lock, stock and barrel. Instead of putting a burden on the community, he's keeping it local.

But aside from making lots of money, the Youngs do give a lot of time and money to various causes and charities. They're heavy sponsors of Elk Rapids Schools, the yearly Harbor Days festival and other events. Just imagine if the Youngs sold out to Spartan years ago; chances are, the dollars that would go to any charity event wouldn't all go to Elk Rapids. Heck, they would have torn down the pole barn in the parking lot since they would have viewed it as useless and Ben Swift and his employees would be jobless for Christmas. Yes, a bigger parking lot's nice, but the Youngs have put it to good use.

And, to add insult to injury to Spartan, Village Market dropped them as their distributor earlier this year. In a statement released on their website, Rick Young claimed that Spartan's focus on being a distributor to family-owned stores to being a store owner themselves prompted the move. They're now with Affiliated Foods, which distributes the Shurfine brand to stores in the midwest.

If you come to Elk Rapids, there's not a whole lot, but a lot to love. One of the things I like about ER is the fact that virtually every business in town is locally-owned, even the supermarket. Heck, I'd rather take the Village Market over Meijer any day since at least the store's cleaner. Plus, you come home with all your items since everything's carried to your car by a porter instead of getting lost in a scan and bag carousel. Not to forget that since your stuff's bagged and delivered to your car by a porter, there's no runaway shopping carts in the parking lot.

I once worked at their party store in Torch River, which they've since sold off (especially since their Alden store's just down the road). Even though I moved away from the Elk Rapids area ten years ago after graduating high school, there's still a huge place in my heart for . When I heard about Short's Brewery building their bottling plant, I felt excited for them. But, when I heard about their $1.4 million expansion, it made me appreciate them even more. I've talked to many beer lovers and bartenders about the fact that I grew up in 'ol ER and they listen. Their ears even perk up when I tell them that I've even met Joe Short. It's people like Short and even Rick Young that make me love Elk Rapids even more, although I have no plans of moving back (but I do visit a few times a year).

I think the moral of the story is simple: shop local. If you shop smaller businesses instead of big box stores, you're giving back to the community. In many cases, their prices might be less than big box stores. You just gotta look. Their stores might be smaller, but since there's less cooks in the kitchen, they tend to be better-run.

I could write more, but I have a ton of empties to deposit at Walmart (since small stores HATE deposits) so I can go to a family-owned liquor store to get some Huma-Lupa-Licious for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

11.18.10 Bee-otch of the Day: people against alcoholic energy drinks

Name: various
Age: various
Occupation: various
Last Seen: everywhere
Bee-otched For: trying to bring back prohibition   


Over the past few decades, politicians like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have done their damndest to bring back the Great Depression.Thanks to their tax breaks for the wealthy and not the middle class, the economic blowout of 2008 was just waiting to happen, and it did.

But now, one of the leading factors to the Depression might be making a great big comeback: prohibition.
Thanks to some old ladies who never smiled and were holier-than-thou Jebus freaks, prohibition was the law. End result, many breweries either shut down or did something else, like make ice cream or near beer. But the Great Depression began, and jobs HAD to be created. So in 1933, as part of the New Deal, President Roosevelt threw out prohibition and the fine folks at Anheuser-Busch gave him a case of Budweiser as a thank you.

Yes, I hate to say it, but prohibition's making somewhat of a comeback. Case in point: Four.

Four is an alcoholic energy drink made by former Ohio State University students in Chicago. It comes in two varieties: Maxed (10% ABV) and Loko (6% or 12%, depending on the state it's sold). However, it's under a lot of scrutiny because of an incident at Ramapo College in New Jersey where several people got sick drinking the beverage at a party. As a result, many colleges and universities have warned their students about the drink and even some states - including my state of Michigan - are going to ban the sale of alcoholic energy drinks. As a result, Four has announced that they are going to exclude caffeine from their drinks.

The reason for the uproar over alcoholic energy drinks is simple: mixing alcohol and caffeine is almost like mixing heroin and cocaine. heroin is a relaxant while cocaine speeds you up. Look at John Belushi: he died from a speedball, which is a mixture of the two. In the case of caffeine and alcohol, it's almost the same. When one drinks a alcoholic energy drink, the caffeine will allow one to drink more and more drinks, but the thing is, caffeine leaves the system quicker than alcohol, and you'll end up with the world's worst hangover.

OK, so it's now not OK here in Michigan to buy alcoholic energy drinks. So, is it OK to go to the bar and order a Jagerbomb (a shot of Jagermeister and a Red Bull or Monster, depending on the bar)? How a vodka and Red Bull? Say! How 'bout a good 'ol fashioned Long Island Iced Tea?

My point is, this is once again Big Brother telling us that we can and can't put in your body. Yes, I think people need to be careful about what they put inside them, but I think what will happen is that people will go to the store and actually buy these drinks just to check 'em out. Same thing with marijuana; it's illegal, but people smoke doobies anyway.

It's my body, not the government's.  


Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!

Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11.17.10 Bee-otch of the Day: the five million people who watched Sarah Palin's America

Name: 5 million suckers
Age: various
Occupation: various
Last Seen: everywhere
Bee-otched For: wasting their time for Sarah Palin  


Last Sunday, five million Americans could have watched good TV.
They would have watched the football game on NBC, Desperate Housewives whoring it up on ABC, Lois Griffin getting the shit kicked out of her on Fox or even the CEO of Lucky Strike Lanes bawling his eyes out over his parents' passing on CBS.

But tragically, no. Instead, they wasted their time watching that piece of shit known as Sarah Palin on TLC touring Alaska.

That's right! Five million suckers watched the inaugural episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC. The program is currently the most-watched offering in TLC's 38-year history. In the program, Sarah and her family trek the state in what is called part documentary and part travelogue.

And that, my friends, is all I care about personally.

It's sad that we didn't even know her three years ago and then suddenly, John McCain dragged her out of nowhere to be his running mate. Honestly, I thought he had a chance of winning if her politics weren't so far to the right.

Tragically, Sarah's the biggest media whore out there. Her book has sold millions and she makes millions offering her BS views on Fox News Channel. Even worse, people are still interested in her. Who knows? Maybe she'll run for president in 2012 only to get her ass handed to her by Obama again.

No wonder why somebody wanted to blow up the building TLC's located.


Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!
Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

11.16.10 Bee-otch of the Day: the Republicans

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on

Name: The Republican Party
Age: 156
Occupation: conservative party
Last Seen: Washington, DC
Bee-otched For: trying to screw Americans over 


Man, was Bill Clinton a great president.

When he left the White House in 2001, America was in the black. He actually left with a surplus! His plan was to use that surplus to help fund everything from Social Security to Medicare, and even fund the national debt.

Then came Bush.

Almost the second he became the president of the United States of America, Dubya decided to squander Clinton's surplus by giving tax breaks to the wealthy. In his fear-filled eight years in office, Bush gave that money back to the wealthy, and used more money than we could have ever used on two unnecessary wars, AND gave even more money back to the wealthy by bailing out Wall Street just before the big elections in 2008.

But, hallelujah, Bush's tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. And thankfully, it's just before John Boehner and his gang start to head the House come January.

The Repukes are trying to convince President Obama to renew Bush's tax cuts, claiming that it benefits all Americans. However, the problem is that the system is flawed, since it basically means that the more money you earn, the less you pay in taxes percentage-wise. As a matter of fact, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, aka the 'Deficit Commission' - Erskine Bowles, former White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton and former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson (R) - claim that instead of cutting Bush's tax cuts, that the government should cut other programs instead. Case in point? Social Security, Medicare, the National Park Service and (GASP!) PBS. That's right! Under their plan, old people will have to work until they're 69 and pay higher costs on their medicine, our parks will have more cigarette butts on the ground and Sesame Street would have to be reduced to finger puppets.

But Bill Gates will be able to put that 10,000 square foot addition on one of his homes.

Look, folks, the Republicans LOVE to make up excuses about Obama than anything. They love to lie out of their ass that he's there to higher taxes and give the funds to crackheads in Detroit. Thing is, during the Great Depression, FDR raised taxes through the roof for the wealthy, and it saved our country! A middle class was established and everybody on all tax brackets were happy. Then people like Reagan came and started switching the tables. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

Ya know, I hate to say this, but America's eating its own shit again. Tragically, once the Repukes take over the House come January, this will become a do-nothing government for at least two years. Yeah, a few non-partisan bills might be passed here and there, but the Tea Party will try to cave in to anger even the most moderate Republicans by claiming that they're Democrats in sheep's clothing.

In the end, the Democrats will always be the party of the people. Remember, folks, they got us out of the Great Depression, and if World War II didn't happen and if FDR didn't die, we'd all have homes, decent jobs and even the best healthcare on the planet.

And guess where that went? Don't forget, too, who owns a chunk of our debt.


Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!

Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!

Monday, November 15, 2010

11.15.10 Bee-otch of the Day: Kevin Metheny

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on

Name: Kevin Metheny
Age: ??
Occupation: former radio programmer
Last Seen: Chicago
Bee-otched For: getting the boot AGAIN!


Tribune seems to be a company that does good things, but also does good ones by fixing their mistakes.
In 2007, the company was in bankruptcy when it was purchased by billionaire Sam Zell. The company did some rearranging, such as shutting down their TV syndication division and even selling the Chicago Cubs baseball team to notorious teabagger Joe Ricketts.

Tribune has done some good things and some bad ones as well. IMO, I thought it was awesome when their right-leaning Chicago Tribune endorsed President Obama in 2008, the first-ever Democrat that paper ever endorsed in its then-161-year history. However, I think that their cable network, WGN America is a lame joke. It's nothing more than a lot of the same shows your local TV station shows, save for what very little WGN-TV allows nationally, like news and Cubs baseball and WWE Superstars, which is nothing more than unimportant wrestling matches. Damn do I miss Bozo the Clown and old school Empire Carpet ads (sniff, sniff)....

Of course, at least the folks at Tribune did some things good for WGN America. For one thing, they got rid of the 'woman's eyes' logo, which was sexy, yet pointless. But the biggest thing that was a great move for that channel was eliminating Bob and Tom's awful Stern clone show for good.
Now, Tribune has fixed another mistake: Pig Virus.

That's right! Kevin Metheny, Howard Stern's boss at Dubya-Ennnnnn-BC in New York, and the man who helped destroy NBC's radio division has been fired from WGN 720 Chicago, where he had been its programming director. Under his direction, the station's attitude and morale fell through the ground. The station also canned Jim Laski, a former Chicago city clerk who was convicted and sent to jail on bribery charges; he was a Metheny hire.

In the 23 months he ran WGN, the Virus did lots of hiring and firing and schedule shuffling that did nothing but anger its listeners. If there's a good thing about the station, at least it's still the top talker in Chicago, although according to Arbitron, it's lost almost a share since August.
Just three weeks after the company fired head Randy Michaels, also went Metheny, whom he was instrumental in hiring. It should be noted that Michaels firing was both bad and good news for Stern; the good, of course being Metheny's firing, but the bad being Bubba the Love Sponge's syndicated TV pilot dying.

Ya see, folks, Pig Virus is just another PD who makes bad moves and doesn't deserve to work in a big market. It reminds me of a certain PD in northern Michigan (who will remain nameless) who was put in charge of running a certain classic rock station in northern Michigan a number of years ago. He was made boss around the same time as the Jack/Bob/Sam/Max/Laraine-FM craze started, so he thought it would be cool to dump in such groups as A Flock of Seagulls, Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails on the same channel that also airs Bob Segar, Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. End result: ratings went through the basement and their main competition went almost straight forward classic rock and took over their #2 position in the Arbitron ratings. The PD's bosses showed him the door, and today works as the morning host of a small, 1,000-watt FM country station in BFE, Indiana.

The point is, if you're a PD, you MUST know your audience and what they want. Assumption's not allowed. Yes, it's OK to experiment once in a blue moon, but for God's sake, get out there and ask what your listeners want. If you don't, you're gonna get stuck working for a station whose signal doesn't even make it to Indy.
Now, Tribune's gonna have to do a little more than just call 588-2300.   


Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!

Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

11.11.10 Bee-otch of the Day: Meijer

Name: Meijer
Age: 76
Occupation: retailer giant
Last Seen: Grand Rapids, MI
Bee-otched For: apparently kissing Glenn Beck's ass


As us Grand Rapidians know by now, WOOD 1300 has fired radio legends Scott Winters and Michelle McKormick in favor of another former zookeeper, the syndied Glenn Beck.

Clear Channel station management has told the media that Mouth 2 Mouth's cancelation was because of Beck's rising popularity, plus the fact that they wanted to give him a better signal (WOOD broadcasts at 25,000 watts, 25 times more power than that of their low-rent sis, WTKG 1230 which is still airing the show as I'm typing this).

But we here at can be quite the conspiracy theorists. You see, guess who is one of WOOD's biggest sponsors? Yep, none other than Meijer. I'll admit, my love for the hypermart has wained over the years. I don't like the that they screwed over the community of Acme (near Traverse City) regarding building a store there, I don't like the fact that they've bowed to the decency groups regarding putting blinders over Cosmo at the checkout and now, I don't like the fact that their book department's one big, fat, right-winged joke.

On Saturday, my mouse died, and since Meijer was the only store open, it was there I went. I walked by the book dept. and I swear to god, I seemed that every other book there was Glenn Beck's latest pile of steaming shit, Broke .

I looked everywhere throughout the book section for Gary Dell'Abate's book, Mah Liff Wurkin' Fo' Boff - er, They Call Me Baba Booey to no avail. Then again, I've never seen Artie Lange's Too Fat to Fish there, either. They did sell DVD copies of his Beer League ... For $5.

Yeah, I know. Books from Michael Savage and Bill O'Reilly are also on the New York Times bestseller list. That's life. But something tells me that Meijer is as anti-Stern as it gets. Hey! Maybe they played a role in getting Stern off the air in Grand Rapids, or at least demoted to the AM band.

Maybe, just maybe Scott and Michelle were a wee bit too liberal for the ultra-conservative WOOD, so they had to go so the drunk zookeeper could reach more masses of morons in the Grand Rapids area. Even though WTKG's stick is just a stone's throw from downtown GR off of 131 next to the Ramada Inn, 1,000 watts just wasn't enough for him. 

Honestly, I look at Meijer and frown. Hell, it's even sadder that Fred Meijer's now the richest man of all of Michigan! In just a few short years, he's made billions and within a few years, he'll be as rich as the Waltons. Yeah, he does give back a lot to charity and other causes, I think it's sad that they use their power to pimp such idiotic hatred like Broke , which I'll betcha is about how Obama screwed the economy.
Thanks, but Aldi's cheaper. 


Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!

Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

11.10.10 Bee-otch of the Day: WOOD-AM Grand Rapids (for adding Glenn Beck)

Name: WOOD Newsradio 1300
Age: 86
Occupation: AM talk station
Last Seen: Grand Rapids, MI
Bee-otched For: telling fans of local talk radio "fuck you"


In the great words of the 1980's hair metal band Cinderella, "don't know what you got 'til it's gone".

Last Friday, Clear Channel-owned news/talk radio station WOOD-AM 1300 told early midday hosts Scott Winters and Michelle McKormick that they heard their last show and it was their last show. The hosts of the daily local call-in show Mouth 2 Mouth were let go in favor of Glenn Beck, whose show began airing on 1300 on Monday.

Previously, the morning zookeeper was heard on sister WTKG 1230, which - oddly enough - still airs the show. Both WOOD and WTKG also air The Dave Ramsey Show , albeit at different times.
Clear Channel Radio GM Tim Feagen told The Grand Rapids Press that Winters and McCormick's canning was solely a business decision and that Beck's exploding popularity made it so that they had to move him over to WOOD.

Winters joined WOOD in 2003 alongside long-time partner Rick Beckett. The two enjoyed massive success at WKLQ and WGRD throughout the 1980's until they were fired from GRD in 2003. However, Beckett - who was notorious for his drug problems which led to his poor health, namely diabetes - died in February 2009 from a heart attack. McKormick - best known for her stints at I96 (now ESPN 96.1) here in GR and Howard Stern outlet 97.1 FM Talk (now 97.1 The Ticket) Detroit - joined the show shortly after Beckett's death.

WOOD-AM was in 4th place in the Summer Arbitron ratings with a 6.3, down from a 7.0 last Summer.
Many in the Grand Rapids area are undoubtedly angry over Winters and McCormick's dismissal. Some even claim that Mouth 2 Mouth was the only show worth listening to on WOOD. With Beck now taking over early middays, it leaves the morning show, hosted by Gary Allen and Steve Kelly as the only program on the station that's live and local. The rest of WOOD's broadcast day is comprised of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dave Ramsey, Michael Savage and George Noory. Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity and Noory are syndicated by Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks while Ramsey and Savage are self-syndicated and through Talk Radio Network respectively.

Plus, there's even a Facebook page protesting WOOD's decision to can the show. As of 4 a.m. this morning, there's 263 members of the forum, me being one of them.

Ya know, folks, this is the reason why I hate terrestrial radio. Since Howard Stern signed with Sirius, I almost never looked back at local radio, which tends to be friendlier to syndication than that of localism. Hell, I came from northern Michigan, and I was pissed the last time I drove up and was flipping through the dial, listening to the SAME EXACT COMMERCIAL on maybe five different stations. Why? It's because the programming on many of the stations up north come from Dial Global in an effort to save money and basically tell those wanting to work in the business "fuck you".

OK, I'll admit. The only time I listened to Mouth 2 Mouth was Scott Winters' first broadcast after Beckett died. I was never a huge fan of theirs. However, they were the lesser of two evils. Glenn Beck is nothing but a pathetic, racist jerk whose BS has brainwashed millions of people into thinking that President Obama is evil. Even worse, his shit's profitable since advertisers love him.

Ya know, I hope Cheap Channel's happy. They're saving several thousand bucks per year by airing bullshit instead of something closed-circuited for Grand Rapids that brings the community together. To make things more tragic, this is good news for Citadel's ailing WJRW 1340 since they actually have (GASP!) local talk. It's beyond boring, but at least it's local.

Local honest-to-goodness radio, we'll miss you.


Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!

Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!