Plans for LEED-certified retail store will fund job-training programs The Plainfield Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve a Planned Unit Development change to allow a Goodwill store on property previously approved for either a restaurant or a hotel. The store will be built behind the BP gas station on the corner of Ten Mile Road and Belmont Avenue. Ken Watkins, president of Architectural Concepts, presented the project to the board on Monday, October 4, and said traffic studies and visibility lead Goodwill officials to believe it will be one of the most successful stores. Watkins said there will be about 12 people working in the store at any one time with a total of about 25 hired by the company for employment there. The Goodwill Board of Directors unanimously approved building the LEED-certified retail store on the corner of US-131 (exit 97) and 10 Mile Road in Algoma Township. The property sits adjacent to BP and across the street from Meijer. Pinnacle Construction Group Inc. will break ground in mid-November. The construction of the 14,000-square-foot store will open in late spring 2011. Blueprints will be very similar to the Standale store on Lake Michigan Drive, which opened last November. The store’s interior will feature bright vibrant colors along with natural lighting and other LEED elements. This store will service not only the Rockford community, but also Algoma, Cedar Springs and Sparta areas. “This is a great opportunity for our shoppers to experience the ‘new Goodwill.’” stated Jill Wallace, chief marketing and communications officer. “As our second LEED-certified store, Goodwill is making great strides in the green movement of greater Grand Rapids. Additionally, our presence in the growing Rockford community will further support our mission of putting people with barriers to employment back to work. Although the change was met with approval from all board members, Vic Matthews said he was disapponted. “There is a real need for a decent restaurant in that area. I can’t hold it against Goodwill that we couldn’t get a restaurant there. We need to change it.” Clerk Scott Harvey said the store will be an asset to the township. The board asked if another Goodwill store would be closed because of opening the new one and were assured this […]
Rockford Rotary is currently hosting a student from Germany, but is also looking for an outbound student. As a Rotary Youth Exchange student, you’ll spend up to a year living with a few host families and attending school in a different country. In Rotary’s long-term Youth Exchange program, you’ll learn a new way of living, a great deal about yourself, and maybe even a new language. You’ll also be an ambassador, teaching people you meet about your country, culture, and ideas. You can help bring the world closer – and make some good friends in the process. More than 8,000 young people each year have experiences like these through Rotary Youth Exchange. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Are you ready for it? Did you know that our locally based Wolverine World Wide did business in approximately 180 countries and territories around the world in 2009? Rotary has exchange programs in over 40 countries. Germany is one that is available, or perhaps you would like a Spanish-speaking country, or Japan, Taiwan or something more exotic like Zaire. Rockford Rotary, along with Rockford High School led by Dr. Ryan Kelley, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, will be hosting an informational meeting Monday, October 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Rockford High School in the main office. The meeting is for any students, with their parents, who are interested in becoming an Outbound Student to a foreign country. Application deadlines are October 25 for the full completed application. What is Rotary Youth Exchange…? One of our returned students call it “The best year of my life.” Have you met Julius Loebbecke, our inbound exchange student from Germany yet? He’s been participating in the band and with the soccer team. Come to the meeting. He will be glad to share his experience with you. Do you want to add a new cultural dimension to your family life? Host Julius for the third trimester. Call Rotarians Tony Astras 866-4283 or Jim Tol 696-2259 for more information or visit Rockford Rotary’s website www.rockfordmirotary.org, click on the Activities to take you to the Youth Student Exchange site.
They’re BACK! (FYI) Bedbugs are everywhere in the news, because, it seems, they’re everywhere. The good news: They’re not scary-looking; they’re tiny and hard to see. They aren’t poisonous and they don’t carry disease. The bad news: They’re hard to get rid of. Their bites itch. They’ve expanded their territories, even hanging out in some clothing stores. (A Victoria’s Secret store closed down this summer because of bugs in its underwear.) What do bedbugs eat? Ready for this? HUMAN BLOOD. When I was a kid, the idea of bedbugs was associated with the kind of people who didn’t wash. I thought bedbugs were sort of rare. The 2010 bedbug isn’t fussy. It will gladly set up housekeeping in fine hotels and exclusive boarding schools. If you get bedbugs, call an exterminator. It’s not a do-it-yourself project. It may take more than one treatment. Bedbugs aren’t completely harmless. The guy who heads Ohio’s bedbug eradication program warns, “The emotional toll it can take on people when you can’t get [them] under control is quite severe.” He should know. His own house was infested with bedbugs. Good Samaritan A husband and wife were driving down a country lane on their way to visit friends. They came to a muddy patch in the road and the car got stuck. After a few minutes a young farmer came down the lane in a big tractor. He stopped when he saw the couple in trouble and offered to pull the car out of the mud for $50. The couple accepted, and minutes later the car was free. “You know,” said the farmer, “yours is the tenth car I’ve helped out of the mud today.” “Good heavens,” the husband replied. “When do you have time to plough your land? At night?” “No,” the young farmer replied. “Night is when I put the water in the hole.” The redneck test You’re one if: • your family tree don’t fork. • the Salvation Army declines your mattress. • you mow your lawn and find a car. • you can amuse yourself for more than an hour with a fly swatter. A few last words • Corduroy pillows are making headlines! • I like cats, too. Let’s exchange recipes. • I love cooking […]
Three new provisions to help small businesses In a previous article, I stated that our present Congress is not a “do nothing” Congress. They have shown that they are not afraid to pass bills and make laws. Not everyone agrees with the bills they have passed and laws they have instituted, but they do keep trying. For example, just last Thursday Congress passed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. This bill has some provisions that will help many small businesses such as self-employed sole proprietors, partnerships and small corporations. Of course, it also has a myriad of provisions that seem to be written to affect about one person or entity in the entire United States. I will highlight the provisions that affect many of my tax clients. First, and perhaps best, there is a provision that will allow self-employed taxpayers to deduct premiums paid for health insurance for the owner and owner’s family when calculating the taxpayers’ self-employment tax. In light of the cost of health insurance today and where those costs are heading, this is huge. This provision only affects the 2010 tax year, but one year is better than no years. Making this change is perceived as leveling the playing field between employees and self-employed taxpayers. Currently, if a taxpayer works for a company and the company supplies health insurance for the taxpayer, this is a totally tax-free fringe benefit. The company deducts the premiums paid and the taxpayer does not have to claim the premium as a taxable benefit. However, up until now that has not been the case for self-employed taxpayers. The self-employed taxpayer has always been allowed to deduct the premium as an adjustment to income so they don’t pay any regular tax on the premium. But they have never been able to deduct the premium when calculating the amount of Social Security tax due on their profit. Social Security tax is calculated at 15.3% of the taxpayer’s profit. So while the employees of the world don’t tax regular tax or Social Security tax on their tax-free fringe, the self-employed taxpayers of the world have been forced to pay a 15.3% tax on their almost tax-free fringe. That has always been perceived as not being fair and […]