Turns out maybe “Murphy’s Law” isn’t such a bad thing after all. After a high school industrial arts class and a new local animal and pet assistance group came together, they’re changing the way people might think about the old rule of bad luck. Rockford High School Industrial Arts teacher Ryan Whitmore needed a project. New local non-profit organization Murphy’s Pet Project needed some doghouses. And thanks to a mutual acquaintance bringing the two together, Whitmore filled his need for a building project, and Murphy’s Pet Project is about to be on the receiving end of 26 custom built windproof doghouses for donation to needy Grand Rapids area residents. Due to Rockford’s new trimester student schedule, Whitmore needed a small scale construction project for his Woods classes. “Because of various time constraints this particular trimester, we needed a project that would in some way simulate house construction with framing and angles. In the past we’ve built storage sheds, but time didn’t allow us to build the sheds.” Enter Murphy’s Pet Project. Murphy’s Pet Project is a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy families meet the sometimes substantial financial burdens pet ownership can bring. According to co-founder Melissa Muir, Murphy’s can help families and their pets in a variety of ways. “Murphy’s was developed out of a combination of love for animals and the desire to help loving families keep their pets and keep them safe and healthy. Especially in an economy like this one, families are faced with difficult decisions. We didn’t want financial issues to be a factor in families deciding whether they could continue to keep a pet.” Muir also stated that Murphy’s fills a void in the area, as other advocacy groups do not offer the type of assistance Murphy’s Pet Project does. Among others, she cited costly and sometimes unaffordable surgery, medications, food, and sometimes even dog houses. “While no dog should be an ‘outdoor pet,’ if people see an outdoor dog without proper shelter, Murphy’s Pet Project will provide the dog a quality shelter, hay for further insulation, and often a bag of food as well,” she added. The group also assists families with cats and other domesticated pets in the West Michigan area. From Whitmore’s perspective, the […]
Articles by Squire News
by BETH ALTENA Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on last week’s April Fool issue, featuring a fake front page. There are no wind turbines at the tannery, no State Police trooper cars in potholes, under trees or damaged by rockslides. Thanks to our new State Police Post Commander Chris McIntire (see story above) who brought in his remote control vehicle for our photos of the spring driving hazards. It was fun driving around with the toy car thinking of things to do to it. It almost experienced a flood, but I wondered if water would damage the toy and didn’t want to make the post commander mad at me this soon after our first meeting. As always, our graphic designer, Melanie Ragsdale, did the “high tech” entertainment on her computer. Cliff Hill took the original tannery picture from in a tree.
“Where’s my paper?” It isn’t just mortgages and General Motors; the newspaper industry has its own crisis. Long-established papers everywhere are cutting staff, curtailing delivery, or even going out of business. Your hometown weekly newspaper (that’s us) is NOT going broke or cutting publication. Sure, the rotten economy presents us with the same kind of problems as everyone else, but we’re solvent and determined. Over the years, newspapers have faced big changes. Mark Twain once set type for a paper. It was done by hand, one letter at a time, backwards. This process was replaced in the late nineteenth century by the faster linotype – a machine that cast a whole line at a time in hot lead. Manual typesetters, of course, were out of work. A more efficient photographic system then became standard. When computerized printing came along, linotype operators and hot lead became history. Now, the changes affecting newspapers are radio, television, and the Internet. Advertisers have more choices and the Internet is economical. We who remain in print will have to live with reality. In recent years, advertisers have paid for free-distribution papers, such as this one. We may have to start charging readers again. That’s the way it worked for this paper for more than 100 years. The local weekly paper is still an advertising bargain for local merchants. It’s also the only source of much of our local news. We think our paper helps hold the community together. That’s what we do. And we’re going to keep on doing it. Market section Helium was up. Feathers were down. Paper was stationery. Knives were up sharply. Pencils lost a few points. Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline. Light switches were off. The market for raisins dried up. Mining equipment hit rock bottom. Diapers remained unchanged. Balloon prices were inflated. Caterpillars inched up. Scott Tissue touched a new bottom. Education section Teacher: Maria, please go to the map and point to North America. Maria: Here it is. Teacher: Correct. Now, class, who discovered America? Class: Maria! Teacher: Glenn, how do you spell “crocodile”? Glenn: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L Teacher: No, that’s wrong. Glenn: Maybe it’s wrong, but you asked me how I spell it. Teacher: Winnie, name one important […]
Reasons to file The end of the 2009 tax filing season is coming up quickly. The majority of all tax returns are completed and either mailed in or e-filed. However, there are still several million, perhaps up to 20 million, taxpayers who are going to file an extension. There are actually some very legitimate reasons for filing an extension. One of the most common reasons is a retirement-planning reason. Taxpayers with an SEP retirement plan are allowed to make contributions until they file their return. By filing an extension, it effectively extends the time the taxpayer has to accumulate the money to fund the SEP. That is a huge difference between an SEP and a traditional or Roth IRA. The traditional or Roth IRA must be funded by April 15, whether the return is extended or not. If the money is not in the account on April 15, it’s a contribution that counts for the next year. A second reason to file an extension is the paperwork is just not available to complete the return. Many taxpayers today are invested in limited partnerships. Some of those limited partnerships invest exclusively in other limited partnerships. It’s their special form of diversifying. However, if just one of those other limited partnerships is late in getting their information out, it’s the domino effect, with the net effect that whoever is invested in the original limited partnership has to file an extension. A third reason to file an extension is some particular piece of information is not available for the cost basis of property that was sold such as a stock, mutual fund, or land. In today’s investing environment, many taxpayers have liquidated investments. The brokerage company involved always reports the gross sales price to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has one side of the story: the selling price. The part that is left to the taxpayer is to determine and report the cost of the item that was sold. If the taxpayers have purchased everything that was sold through the same brokerage company, usually they are provided with a cost basis statement. However, switching brokerage companies is a fine art today. Every time there is a switch, the new company usually has no idea of the cost […]