Articles by Squire News

About Squire News
The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

Local musician teaches local residents music, releases CD

May 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRISTINE BIGNEY Joe Kelly is an amazing man. No, he probably could not lift 1000 pounds, nor could he perform amazing acrobatics. But he sure can play a mean guitar. Kelly, who has been teaching music in the Rockford area through various stringed instruments for 40 years, has a passion for the art. “You’re going to get a musical education. But you’re also going to have fun,” Kelly said. Kelly teaches approximately 40 students weekly on the guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin, viola, dobro, and pedal steel guitar. Kelly instructs students between the ages of nine to 70 years of age. “I have some students that I call ‘The Grasshopper Project’ after the protégé in the series Kung Fu. These kids really want to learn something,” Kelly said. Kelly notes that some kids come in to “show me what they’ve got” by showing off a little bit. “It’s hard to teach them the basics when they want to go right into the hard stuff.” Kelly believes that his students have to have the knowledge of the chords and the scales. “Notes teach you structure. But the kids want to learn the lics, sound cool in front of their girlfriends,” Kelly said with a smile. Kelly says the easiest person to teach is one that is grounded: has good parental guidance, and has the physical abilities to play the instrument. “Talent means nothing without hard work.” said Kelly. Kelly had a life altering experience in 1985. While driving home at 2:00 a.m. after playing a bar gig, a “drunk” woman crossed the center-line and hit Kelly. After waking up in a hospital room, Kelly said, “the music kept pouring out of me. It’s really exciting! I wake up now, it’s a new day.” One way Kelly gives hope to people is through his new self-titled CD “Joe Kelly, Child of the Mountains.” The difference in my music is the feeling of it. There is so much cynicism nowadays. My music of hope comes from a different place. Kelly became a born-again Christian, and began writing inspirational songs, songs of hope. “I worked at Roger’s Department Store for 15 years before it shut down. I recognize the darkness and the bad economic times. I want people to […]

Main Street – May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

Fixing the glitch     We are a capitalist country. If a family opens a little shop and invests all their money in it, hoping to make a living, what happens if it fails?  The owners go broke and out of business, right?  That’s the way it’s always been, and still is, around here. A different system applies to Wall Street and the credit industry. If they go out on a limb hoping to make $millions, and they don’t do it right, we give them a few $billion to stay in business. Why the difference? It’s because they are “too big to fail,” meaning if they go down they take the rest of us with them. That glitch in capitalism is fixable by adopting the right regulations so Big Business can’t risk the financial health of the whole nation. Those big tax-funded bonuses for failed executives should light a fire under all of us taxpayers, whatever our politics. We need to demand that Congress reinstate the regulations that will keep this financial meltdown from happening again. Notice: will tell jokes for food. Call the Squire. Fixing the flu Our H1N1 flu pandemic seems to have fizzled. At least, for the time being. But let’s not get too comfortable about it: keep washing your hands and don’t skip your flu shot this fall. Even though the “pandemic” seems below average, we should follow the Boy Scout motto and “Be Prepared.” This is a Public Service announcement, brought to you FREE, no taxpayer money needed. Fixing the urge If you ever get the sudden urge to run around naked, you should sniff some Windex.      It’ll keep you from streaking. Free joke A young woman brings her potential fiancé to meet the parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. The father invites him to the study for a drink. “So what are your plans?” the father asks. “I am a Torah scholar,” says the young man. “A Torah scholar. Hmm,” says the father. “Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter?” “I will study,” the young man replies, “and God will provide for us.” “And how will you buy her a beautiful […]

The Tax Attic – May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

Tax treatment of loss in Ponzi schemes Commissioner Douglas Shulman of the Internal Revenue Service recently testified before a senate finance committee. Commissioner Shulman gave testimony concerning the tax treatment of Ponzi schemes and also how the IRS is dealing with off-shore tax avoidance schemes. There probably aren’t too many people in Rockford who are involved in off-shore tax avoidance schemes. West Michigan, in the past, however, has had a few Ponzi schemes, with the latest being the infamous Pupler Distributing debacle, and there may be one or two out there that we don’t know about yet. These schemes just seem to come out of nowhere. The IRS recently published Revenue Ruling 2009-09 and Revenue Procedure 2009-20 that clarify the tax treatment of losses in Ponzi schemes, the computation of the loss, and when the loss is deemed to have occurred. These two publications are meant to help taxpayers take advantage of the tax laws in these very difficult situations. Revenue Ruling 2009-09 states that investors in Ponzi schemes may treat their losses as theft losses. In the past, the IRS has repeatedly ruled that these types of losses are deductible as investment losses. Investment losses are limited to $3,000 per year of capital loss in excess of capital gains. Theft losses are totally deductible in one year. This is a great ruling in favor of the taxpayers. Revenue Ruling 2009-09 clarifies that Ponzi scheme losses are not subject to the 10 percent of Adjusted Gross Income reduction nor the automatic $100 per incident reduction. The loss is still deductible as an itemized deduction, but the normal reductions in the loss do not apply. This is another great ruling in favor of the taxpayers. The Revenue Ruling further states that the loss is deductible when the Ponzi loss is discovered. The loss must be reduced by any amount that the taxpayers may have a reasonable chance of recovering through any and all means, such as SIPC insurance or partial recoveries from the courts. Revenue Ruling 2009-09 further states that taxpayers are allowed a theft loss deduction for the net amount the taxpayers have invested. In addition to the invested amounts, taxpayers will be allowed a loss for any investment income the taxpayers reported on their […]

A Message for You – May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

Up with love, down with fear by PASTOR JON HUIZENGA River Rock Church “Up with love, down with fear” sounds like something my brother might have chanted in bellbottoms and sandals. I myself am not quite old enough to be a ’60s flower child. However, I’m still groovy with that phrase. In fact, I dig it. It is in the Bible. (OK, enough with the ’60s speak). Here is how God says it in the Bible: “There is no fear in love. But, perfect love drives out fear…” (I John 4:18). The love the Bible is talking about is the love that originates from God and is demonstrated when God sent his Son for you. He sent his Son, Jesus, to clear away your sin and the damage it causes to your relationship with God and others. If God loves you that much, you can trust that his love surrounds you completely. His love surrounds your good and bad, your past and future. And, it can drive out fear. I just spent a few days with my aging mom. She is beginning to have some memory issues and that scares her. She is intelligent, sensitive and wise, and she likes being so. She likes to call you by name and to remember your story. So, if she could choose how to age, she’d choose anything but an iffy memory. Please, not that! That’s a good test case. How does God’s love drive out that fear? Finally, it must be a trust thing. If God is crazy in love with her, she can trust that her future will be in his loving hands, even if it involves choices she would not make herself. If she is secure in God’s love, that security has potential to drive fear out. As trust goes up, fear comes down. I am not implying that I have that kind of trust. I would prefer that my superior strength could drive out fear. But my mom and I are trying. We are learning to trust his love. It is a love that surprisingly successfully drives out fear. Want some of that love? If I can help you search for or find it, I’d be happy to. E-mail me at or call […]

Rockford Register – May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

Thursday, May 14 Rockford Lions Club Meeting– 6 p.m. at the Community Cabin. Program by Rockford Area Community Foundation. Saturday, May 16 Community Garage Sale-9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Resurrection Life Church, 3233 Ten Mile Road, RockfordProceeds go to a Christmas outreach program organized by Lean On Me Outreach Center of Rockford. For more infor-mation, e-mail Annual Rockford Garden Club Plant Sale-9 a.m. open sale; 11:30 a.m. live auction of remaining plants at the Rotary Pavilion on Squires Street, downtown Rockford. Funds from the sale will go to community enhancement projects and student scholarships. Open to the public. For more information, call Karen Chickering at (616) 874-0186. Auction-10 a.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church on Myers Lake Ave., Rockford. Food and beverages available at 11 a.m. For more information, call (616) 866-4298 or visit Bottle & Can Drive-10 a.m. to noon, fundraiser for Dream Riders 4-H Club. Members will collect door-to-door in Rockford. To arrange for pick-up or for more information, call Helen at (616) 755-0105. Proceeds will help send 4-H members and their project animals to the Kent County Youth Fair in August. National Breakfast Festival– 8 a.m. to noon at the foothills of Cannonsburg Ski Lodge, 6800 Cannonsburg Rd., hosted by the Cannonsburg Breakfast Club. Local caterers and chefs will prepare their specialties. Cannonsburg Grist Mill butchers will attempt to break the Guiness World Record for longest breakfast sausage. All proceeds to benefit Kids Food Basket ( and other local charities. Sunday, May 17 Roast Beef Dinner-11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rockford Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, 4195 Thirteen Mile Road, Rockford. Cost is $8 for adults, and $3.50 for children under age 12. Enjoy  all-you-can-eat roast beef, potatoes, corn, beans, roll, dessert and beverage, prepared by Chef Fred Chambers. Bring your papers for recycling! “Best dinner in town… Bring the whole family!” Visit Spring Concert-3 p.m. at Rockford High School Fine Arts Auditorium, sponsored by Rockford Area Arts Commission, featuring the Concert Band, the Chamber Orchestra, and the Community Choir. Free-will offering will be taken. “North Meets West” Fine Art Sale-10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the new American Legion Hall, 330 Rockford Park Dr.  (off Northland Dr.). Outstanding northern Michigan artists are coming to West Michigan for […]

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