August 25 2011

A Message for You

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

Give yourself a little rest  by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS North Kent Presbyterian Church Most mornings as I get ready to go out, I listen to the national news programs. One of the stories recently included mention of the fact that our President is going on vacation. Some are critical of him for doing that because, of course, we have a lot of national problems; lots of work to be done. One commentator mentioned that the President will still be doing some work, and of course will be available if something drastic happens. My thought was I’m glad he’s taking vacation. The pressures of his job are huge. The responsibilities are incalculable. Democrat, Republican or Independent, everyone needs to rest, renew and refresh to do their best. There is a story told of a wagon train on its way from St. Louis to Oregon. Its members were devout Christians, so the whole group observed the habit of stopping for the Sabbath day. Winter was approaching quickly, however, and some among the group began to panic in fear that they wouldn’t reach their destination before the heavy snows. Consequently, several members proposed to the rest of the group that they should quit their practice of stopping for the Sabbath and continue driving onward seven days a week. This proposal triggered a lot of contention in the community, so finally it was suggested that the wagon train should split into two groups: those who wanted to observe the Sabbath and those who preferred to travel on that day. The proposal was accepted, and both groups set out and traveled together until the next Sabbath day, when one group continued while the other remained at rest. Guess which group got to Oregon first? You’re right. The ones who kept the Sabbath reached their destination first. Both the people and the horses were so rested by their Sabbath observance that they could travel much more vigorously and effectively the other six days of the week. My congregation recently supported me in taking a three-month Sabbatical—a time of refreshment and renewal that allowed me to spend time with family and reflect on our ministry together. For their encouragement  and care, I thank and commend them. I returned to work the […]


August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

SCHOOL BEAT Gender Equity: ‘Another One of Our Successful Programs’  by JAMIE HOSFORD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Rockford Public Schools Rockford Public Schools (RPS) has been a leader in West Michigan for more than 15 years in the areas of Gender Equity, Title IX and exceeding compliance benchmarks. RPS’ administration was on the initial Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) committee, beginning in the mid-1990s, to establish guidelines, procedures and reporting formats, and to hold local districts accountable for accurate annual data to assure Gender Equity was being followed.  KISD local school districts were the first schools to establish such a system in the State of Michigan and have been models for the Midwest. In the early 2000s, I was appointed to an oversight committee to develop a comprehensive reporting policy and to train local districts on how to report required Title IX data. Essentially, the committee developed a system that would become engrained in the culture of local districts, regardless of who was responsible for submitting data. The model that was created has three aspects of reporting, as follows: 1. By August 15 of each year, districts electronically submit a Title IX Compliance Report to the KISD. Included in the annual report is the athletic participation and budget information. Documents to be submitted are: •            Participation and Coaching Data Worksheet •            Title IX Annual Compliance Report •            Athletic Opportunities and three-part Title IX Compliance Worksheet 2.  Every three years, beginning June 1, 2007, a student interest survey will be completed by students in grades 9 through 11. The purpose of the student interest survey is to assure districts continue to monitor Title IX and Gender Equity and have equal opportunities for both male and female students. 3.  All collected data is shared with parents of athletes at each team’s beginning-of-the-season meeting. We report the annual data to our Board of Education each spring as well. In addition, parents are notified in the first newsletter of each school year that I am the Title IX compliance officer for the district. Included in that notification are the district’s grievance notification form and policy. Part of the compliance data looks at male/female enrollment, male/female total participants and total athletic contests by gender. It also looks at whether […]


August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

Marv and Joan Bunn celebrate 60th anniversary                 Marv and Joan Bunn of Rockford are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on August 25 with family and friends aboard the Grand Lady River Boat. The Bunns are the parents of Marcia and Jeff Brewer of Hudsonville and Bruce and Barbara Bunn of Holland. They are grandparents to Hillery, John, Russ and Katy Brewer and Stf. Sergeant David B. and Heather Bunn of San Diego, Calif. They have two great-grandchildren, Brennen and Seth Bunn.

Mitchell’s Run amazing—again

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

Photos by TOM SCOTT It was another phenomenal year for Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford held Saturday, Aug. 20. More than an amazing fundraiser in the fight to find a cure for Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy, the event is in honor of Mitchell Peterson and other boys with Duchennes and a way to raise awareness of the need to find a cure. Over $61,000 was raised for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. Top racers in the 5K walk/run were Alex Wilson with a time of 15:14 in the men’s division, and in women’s Jennifer Adams finished at 17:31. Close behind in the men’s division were Drake Veitenheimer (15:20), Spencer Gerber (15:33), Drew Woznick (15:36), and Josh Miller (15:43). In the women’s division were Devon John (18:17), Taylor Manett (18:24), Kaitlin Diemer (18:41), and Holliann Willekes (19:31).                                        

Patent attorney offers advice about keeping ‘secret sauce’

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

Inventors need more than good idea  by BETH ALTENA Dan Girdwood, Grand Rapids patent attorney, was a speaker before Rockford Rotary Club members, offering good advice on how to plan and promote an invention without giving up the “secret sauce.” Girdwood said he specializes in the field of intellectual property issues, a field of endeavor just as open to the “little people” as big corporations. He is affiliated with the Grand Rapids Inventors Network (GRIN), a nonprofit organization that helps inventors, marketers and creative people further their ideas. At the Rotary Club meeting, he described how GRIN could help would-be inventors move forward with their idea and hopefully make money in the process. “It’s not about a patent. It’s about your business plan,” he said. “The point is to support your business plan.” A patent gives the owner credibility in negotiation and finance, Girdwood said. It also gives owners control over employees and a stepping stone toward an exit strategy. A first step in deciding whether your invention is a good one is to do a good search and see what is out there, and good research to see if your idea is saleable. A good idea is one with broad potential use, not a narrow field of use. Once a patent is filed, vigilance is required to make sure it isn’t being violated. “You have to take it upon yourself to do something about it if your patent is being violated,” Girdwood advised. “A patent is not a panacea. Usually a patent that is violated is a profitable one.” Laws are in place should a patent prove to be violated, and those in violation have to pay triple the damages to the holder plus court fees—a deterrent with some teeth in it. Timing is also of the essence, Girdwood stated. He used the example of the Sequay. Girdwood said the inventor of the single-person device now common among police for crowd control came out about 12 years ago. He said it took that long for it to be realized that police use was the prime market for the device. Provisional applications for patents last only one year and would have been long expired in that case. He said patents themselves are good for 20 […]

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