3rd Loretta Berg, Mary Dodds, Seth Hodges, Peyton James, Hannah Oostdyk-Howard 4th Walter Baranowski, Vic Palmer, Shirley Sherwood 5th Sandy Dryer, Jean Moore 6th Emily Blakeslee, Jenna Fowle, Tom Fusee, Robert Gulliver, Sharon Havemeier 7th Charlie Mawby, Marianne Montgomery, Mindy Peterson, Margie Woods 8th Charles Breihof, Todd Des Noyers, Thelma Golaher, Rich Hull 9th Nathan Harr, Ben Kogelschatz, Graham TenBrink, Bruce Ward
April 1 2010
Big government is expensive Let’s talk about tax rates this week. According to the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit organization that studies such things as tax rates, taking into account all of our phase-outs, deductions and credits, the highest tax rate any United States individual could pay today would be 39.76%. That puts us at number 21 on the worldwide tax rate list and places us below the average worldwide highest rate of 42.95%. Currently, there are eight countries with a highest tax rate at or above 50%. This dubious list is led by Denmark at 59.74%, followed by Sweden at 56.60%, France at 55.85%, Belgium at 53.50%, the Netherlands at 52.00%, Finland at 50.90%, Austria at 50% and Japan at 50%. What most of these countries have in common is that, for the most part, they practice what is called a European brand of socialism. They have socialized medicine from the cradle to the grave. Their business environment is highly regulated by the government, making it more difficult to start a business. The government has entitlement programs in place to help citizens in need. These are all good things. The government is charged with taking care of the populace and it takes its role seriously. To argue against having medical coverage in place that will take care of a person from the cradle to the grave makes the arguer sound like a lunatic. The government has regulations in place to make sure people starting a business have the best chance for success while simultaneously protecting those people already in business. Who can think that is a bad thing? When people get beat up by the economy like we are getting beat up in Michigan today, why shouldn’t the government have safety net programs in place to protect people? Today, that sounds pretty good to most of us. And therein is the problem. The government doing more for us sounds pretty darned good to most of us. It is very enticing. The government will do more for us and it will take its role seriously. However, it comes at a cost and that cost is called higher tax rates. I’m not prepared to argue that one of those costs could also be a loss of some […]
Rockford High School entered two teams in this year’s Grand Rapids Community College’s 9th/10th Grade Math Challenge, and both teams came home with hardware for their efforts by finishing in first and second place in their division. Rockford’s orange team, coached by junior Beccie Manshaem, won the division with a total of 83.5 points. Team members were Kendra Bilardello, Nikki Farmer, Julia Ceglowski, Marcus Powers, Nick Willison and Jordan Vermeer. Rockford’s black team, coached by senior Kyle Peterson, finished second in the division with 74.25 points. Team members were Emily Prus, Mark Pearson, Tyler Ingersoll, Andrew Ingersoll, Mary Gipson and Drew Woznick. The competition consisted of four events. The Team Theme—a group effort where the six team members combine efforts on a math-related real life type of project—was the first event of the day. Another group effort, the Pony Express, which is a six-problem quiz to be completed in 20 minutes, followed. After a short break, the Multiple Choice individual test was administered. Finally, after lunch, the teams competed in the Relay, a pressure cooker of an event requiring accuracy and efficiency. Rockford’s teams performed well in all events, and distanced themselves from Caledonia and West Ottawa, the other schools in their division, by earning the top two scores in three of the four events. In addition to the domination within their division, the teams placed second and fourth overall in the competition. South Christian placed first overall and Unity Christian had a team place third overall. Rockford sophomore Julia Ceglowksi also won the Sudoku contest, given to all the students involved. She was the first to turn in the correct solution to the puzzle out of more than 110 students.
Ignite the reading spark by SHARON WELLS, Principal Parkside Elementary School Do you have kids who compare having to read to getting shots at the doctor’s office? Sometimes we have to “band aid” this attitude with some creativity, providing motivation for our kids to read. As parents we are responsible for assisting our kids with tasks they don’t necessarily find desirable, such as regularly brushing their teeth, dressing properly for the weather, healthy eating, and many other things they may not always choose to do without our guidance. Motivating kids to read should be right at the top of that list. Research shouts from the rooftops that early literacy is critical to developing lifelong readers. There are a variety of ways to bring reading to life for your children on a daily basis and especially when you see a lack of interest from them when it comes to reading. Consider trying some of these opportunities: • Remember that reading doesn’t have to be a chapter book! It can be anything you have available in your house—newspapers, magazines, journals, joke books, cook books, coffee table books, etc. • Model, model, model! If your kids see you reading, they are being influenced to read. • Focus book choices around the interests of your children. If they love riding dirt bikes, find a dirt bike magazine or visit the outdoor sports section of your library. Your kids love animals? Find interesting animal tales or encourage them to read articles online about their favorite pets. • Make finding the reading material half the fun! Take a family field trip to your public library. Buy a book to put under the Christmas tree. Have them earn books to buy from our local bookstores. Buy a magazine subscription for a birthday gift. • Read aloud to your child. Find a regular time each day to read an adventurous story to your child that will hold their interest. They will soon be begging you for “just a little more!” • Tie reading to technology. Discover literacy rich websites. Read up on your favorite authors online. Encourage your children to participate in literacy blogs with other kids their age on trusted sites. • Let reading serve a purpose. Look up recipes that you […]
Thursday, April 1 Rockford Historical Society—7 p.m. at Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., with Ann Byl presenting “History of Plainfield Township.” Janette Konkle will host. Sunday, April 2 Kent Conservation District Tree Sale Deadline—Catalog is available online at www.kentconservation.org, under the “tree sale” tab at the top of the page. Saturday, April 3 Easter Egg Hunt—10 to 11:30 a.m. a Blythefield Christian Reformed Church, 6350 Kuttshill Dr. NE, Rockford. Children ages 3-10 are invited to hunt for eggs, participate in games, make a craft and listen to the Easter story. Bring a basket and dress to go outside for the egg hunt! For more information call (616) 866-2962 or visit www.blythefieldcrc. Breakfast with the Bunny—9:30 a.m. Enjoy the country setting of a horse farm, with activities indoors and out, at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, 3777 Rector NE, Rockford (just off Summit, between 12 Mile and 13 Mile roads). Enjoy a petting zoo, live music, Easter egg hunt, arts and crafts for kids, horse-drawn wagon rides, Equest’s equine bunny “Challenger,” photos with the bunny, and a catered breakfast. Advance tickets are $8.50 for adults and $5.50 for kids 10 and under; at the door, tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for kids 10 and under. For tickets or more information, call (616) 866-3066 or visit www.equestcenter.org. All proceeds go to help Equest Center’s kids. Sunday, April 4 Swiss Steak Dinner—noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Rockford Masonic Lodge. Cost is $8 for adults; $3 for children under age 10. Dinner includes Swiss steak, vegetable, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad, dinner roll, dessert and beverage. Blood Drive—3 to 7 p.m. at Bostwick Lake Congregational Church UCC, 7979 Belding Road, Rockford. Monday, April 5 “What a Wonderful World” Day at the Library—2 p.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Louis Armstrong’s song will come to life with crafts, activities and fun designed around the beautifully illustrated book by Ashley Bryan. This program is for children 6 and under. For more information, visit www.kdl.org or call the library (616) 647-3940. Spring Break Scavenger Hunt—10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Dr., Kent City. Come to the Red Pine Interpretive Center to get your Scavenger Hunt form, and […]