April 1 2009

The Tax Attic

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

Answers to two more frequently asked questions I had some good comments on last week’s article concerning the most common questions that tax professionals ask of the research company I deal with the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). It doesn’t matter how experienced the tax professional is, how long he or she has been preparing tax returns, or how many tax returns he or she completes. Our tax system is just too darned complicated for any one person to know all of the answers. NATP has several retired and currently practicing tax professionals manning the telephones when guys like me call with questions. The reasons I call come from two different types of scenarios. In the first situation, I am pretty sure I have the correct answer but want an independent third party, such as NATP, to back me up. They can provide me with that warm fuzzy feeling that my thought process was correct. In the second type of situation, I need help with a scenario that has me stumped. I usually have a potential answer, but am unwilling to prepare a return based on a potential answer. In these second situations, I am just slightly disappointed when I call and the researcher knows the answer without having to look anything up. That usually means I called with a question that the answer was right in front of me in one of my reference books and I just didn’t recognize the answer or look hard enough. Of course, sometimes the researcher shares with me that a recent caller had asked that same question and that is the reason the answer flowed so smoothly. The comments I received on last week’s article encouraged me to bring up another common situation that tax professionals are asked about. I will also add a Michigan situation that I am commonly asked to explain. Since we are closing in on April 15, a common question that is asked concerns extensions or the lack thereof. An extension is granted automatically by filing Form 4868 and simply asking for the extension. That delays the filing of the return until October 15 with no questions asked. The catch 22 in the system is that there are still penalties and interest that […]

Rockford Register – April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

Tuesdays -Now through April 21 Free Health Program-6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Sparta Health Center, 475 S. State St., Sparta. The Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) workshop provides knowledge and skills to adults with chronic health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, bronchitis, asthma and depression. Registration is necessary; enrollment limited. For more information or to register, call (616) 685-1300. Thursday, April 2 Auditions for “Paris on the Brain” Original Musical-6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (and Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to noon) at Kent Theatre, 7 N. Main St., Cedar Springs. Performances will be August 7, 8, 14, 15 and 16. Four adult males and four adult females are needed. Some roles require only minimal singing. Be prepared to sing at audition (may bring your own sheet music). For further details, call Scott Phillips at (616) 696-3746 after 5 p.m. Rockford Area Historical Society Meeting-7:00 p.m. at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Sue Osgood, writer for the new Grand Rapids Food magazine, will present “Small Farms in the 21st Century.” Open and free to the public. Saturday, April 4 Old-Fashioned Pancake Breakfast-8 to 11 a.m. at Courtland Township Fire Station, 7480 Fourteen Mile Road. Breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, coffee, orange juice, and milk. Cost is $4 for adults, $2 for children 6-12, free for children 5 and under, or $12 for families (2 adults, 3+ children). Proceeds to benefit Courtland Fire Department. Sponsored by Courtland Fire Auxiliary. For more information, call (616) 866-3511. Free Concert Series-noon to 4 p.m. at Mancino’s Pizza, 218 S. Lafayette, Greenville, the first Saturday of every month. Performing this month are Zachary Graft and Roosevelt Diggs, presented by the Greenville Area Community Center. Preparing for a Prescribed Burn-10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center. Learn about the benefits of prescribed burning along with the legal considerations, contractor information, and if weather permits, a demonstration burn. Cost is $10 for members; $15 for non-members. Register at www.stewardshipnetwork.org, or call the nature center at (616) 675-3158 by March 30. Tuesday, April 7 Mended Hearts Meeting-7 p.m. at Spectrum Health Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, in Room 8815 on the […]

Rockford teachers employ differentiation

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

by MAGGIE THELEN Principal, Cannonsburg Elementary Gifted & Talented Coordinator “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”-Henry David Thoreau By nature, every student who crosses the classroom threshold requires a distinct and diverse educational plan. While our state sets the outcomes for our children, it’s the teachers alone who create the plan to help students meet those outcomes. Or, for the student who has already learned the content, the onus rests on the teacher to present new opportunities. This process is termed differentiation, and it’s how every teacher, coach and mentor meets the individual needs of pupils. What is differentiation? It’s a new term for a tried and true educational method. Differentiation is simply meeting the student at their readiness level; in other words, teaching students, not teaching content. “One size fits all” has never been a philosophy to which Rockford teachers have subscribed. Imagine a piano teacher who planned the same lessons for all first-year piano students, neglecting to acknowledge or plan for those students who have natural talents, previous musical training, or difficulties. It’s not hard to see how ineffective those lessons would be for the majority of the students, because readiness was not considered. While anecdotal evidence abounds regarding the effectiveness of differentiation, research is confirming this premise, as well. A noted expert in the area of differentiation, Carol Ann Tomlinson, writes:  From a very young age, children understand some of us are good with kicking a ball, some with telling funny stories, some with manipulating numbers, and some with making people feel happy. They understand that some of us struggle with reading words from the page, others with keeping tempers in check, still others with arms or legs that are weak. Children seem to accept a world in which we are not alike. They do not quest for sameness, but they search for the sense of triumph that comes when they are respected, valued, nurtured, and even cajoled into accomplishing things they believed beyond their grasp. The immensity of this task for teachers is considerable. To meet the needs of all Rockford students, teachers meet weekly before school hours in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to examine teaching practices and […]

Local students named to Dean’s Lists

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

Calvin College has announced its winter 2008 Dean’s List, requiring that a student maintains at least a 3.5 grade-point average for the semester and has at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average. The following Rockford High School graduates were named to the list:  Sarah Robinson of Belmont, a sophomore majoring in speech pathology and audiology, is the daughter of Daniel and Burnetta Robinson; Cassaundra Bell of Rockford, a freshman majoring in English, is the daughter of Hal and Karen Bell; Denise Britton of Rockford, a senior majoring in Spanish, is the daughter of Daryl and Dorothy Britton; Jennifer Erickson of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in Spanish, is the daughter of Timothy and Carole Erickson; Rachelle Grandia of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in business/math group, is the daughter of Roger and Diane Grandia; Paul Haverkamp of Rockford, a senior majoring in biology, is the son of Phyllis Haverkamp; Lauren Kelley of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, is the daughter of Michael and Kathleen Kelley; Jessica Roodvoets of Grand Rapids, a junior majoring in art, is the daughter of Diane Roodvoets. Also named to the list are the following Northpointe Christian High School graduates: Lindsay Bailey of Rockford, a senior majoring in elementary education (three minors), is the daughter of Michael and Sue Bailey; Sarah Bratt of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in nursing, is the daughter of David and Ruth Ann Bratt; Deborah Gray of Rockford, a senior majoring in English, is the daughter of Charles and Jeanette Gray; Samuel Lefurge-Mcleod of Rockford, a freshman majoring in communications A&S, is the son of David and Tamalette Lefurge-Mcleod; Luke Pettinga of Rockford, a senior majoring in geology, is the son of Ross and Jonell Pettinga; Andrea Waldo of Rockford, a junior majoring in music, is the daughter of Carl and Gerdina Waldo. Spring Arbor University is pleased to announce the Jessica Hughey of Rockford has been named to the fall 2008 Dean’s List. Hughey is a freshman majoring in WOR-Leadership/Broadcast.

WMU announces graduates

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

Western Michigan University recently announced its graduates for the 2008 winter semester. The following Rockford students graduated during WMU’s December 13 commencement:  Benjamin Arendt, Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in educational leadership-higher education; Mallory Good, Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, major in mechanical engineering, cum laude honors; Stacey Gordon, Bachelor of Science degree, major in elementary group minors, magna cum laude honors; Richard Herrick, Master of Business Administration; Kendra Kargenian, Bachelor of Arts degree, major in theatre-performance, cum laude honors; Timothy Mullen, Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in interdiscipinary health studies; Russell Platte, Bachelor of Science, major in geology; Catherine Raney, Bachelor of Science, major in psychology; Molly Rodriguez, Bachelor of Science; major in geography-environmental analysis and resource management; Andrew Rosenberg, Bachelor of Business Administration, major in general business; Joseph Rozelle, Bachelor of Business Administration, major in food and consumer package goods/marketing; Frederick Skallow, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, major in computer engineering; Nicole Trim, Bachelor of Arts degree, major in political science-international and comparative politics/French; Ryan Walker, Bachelor of Business Administration, major in marketing; Carrieanne Winter, Bachelor of Music degree, major in music education-choral/general secondary, magna cum laude honors. The following Belmont students also graduated from WMU on Dec. 13:  Christopher Fridsma, Master of Arts, major in human resources development; Kevin Kindig, Bachelor of Business Administration, major in food and consumer package goods/marketing; Joshua Mikrut, Master of Development Administration.

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