Real story Last week on TV, I saw a Harrison Ford movie—the one where he’s on a perilous quest for a mysterious crystal skull. That reminded me of the day many years ago when I, personally, stumbled into the world of the crystal skull. This is true. I’d driven my mother to Kitchener, Ontario, so she could visit a friend of hers. Her friend, it turned out, had an interesting past. Stashed in the woman’s closet was a case containing… yes… a crystal skull. The woman’s father supposedly was a British explorer. She claimed she had accompanied him on an expedition to Central America in the 1920s, where he (they) discovered the artifact. The details of how they found it were murky, but the “thing” did look like a human skull made of clear crystal. The details of the supernatural powers of the skull were also a bit murky. I held it in my hands. It was heavy and perfectly done, with no tool marks. I must not be susceptible to magic. As far as I know, my close encounter didn’t affect me one way or the other. Horse story The Lone Ranger and Tonto walked into a bar and sat down for a beer. A few minutes later a tall cowboy came in and said, “Who owns the big white horse outside?” The Lone Ranger stood, hitched up his gun belt, and said, “I do. Why?” “I thought you’d like to know that your horse is just about dead out there,” said the cowboy. The Lone Ranger and Tonto rushed out and, sure enough, Silver had nearly expired from heat exhaustion. The Lone Ranger got him some water and made him drink it. Soon Silver seemed to feel a little better. “Tonto,” said the Lone Ranger, “I want you to run around Silver and see if you can create enough breeze to cool him off a little more.” Tonto took off, running circles around Silver while the Lone Ranger went back inside to finish his drink. A few minutes later, another cowboy walked into the bar and asked, “Who owns that big white horse outside?” “I do,” said the Lone Ranger. “What’s wrong with him this time?” “Nothing much,” said the cowboy. “I just wanted […]
December 1 2011
Supreme Court rules pensions taxable The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday, Nov. 18, upheld the constitutionality of the controversial Michigan pension tax changes made by our legislature last spring. Public Act 38, as signed by Governor Snyder, proposed taxing public pensions beginning on January 1, 2012. Private pensions have always been taxed, but public pensions paid to retired school, federal and state workers have not previously been taxed. The Act placed public and private pensions in the same pot and proposed taxing all of them at the same rate. However, there was some question as to whether the legislature had the power to levy a tax on those public pensions. Hence, the Michigan Supreme Court became involved in this sticky matter. It was asked to decide five issues. 1. Does or does not taxing public pensions “impair accrued financial benefits of a pension plan retirement system of the state…”? The pension recipients were promised a certain level of financial benefit upon retirement. Does taxing those pensions now reduce or impair that financial benefit? 2. Does or does not taxing public pensions “impair a contractual obligation in violation of the Michigan Constitution…”? Did the state have a Constitutional contract with the pension recipients to provide a promised level of pension benefit that would be reduced by the amount of tax incurred? 3. Does or does not taxing all pensions differently based on the date of birth “violate the equal protection of the law under the Constitution…”? People born before 1946 would pay no additional tax, so they were held harmless by the Legislature. People born between 1946 and 1952 would be impacted somewhat, while those born after 1952 would be extremely impacted by the bill. Is this legal? 4. Does or does not taxing all pensions differently based on the taxpayer’s total household resources “create a graduated income tax in violation of the Constitution…”? Michigan is a flat-tax state. Everyone pays at the same tax rate on their Michigan taxable income. The proposed law said taxpayers with total household resources in excess of $75,000 single and $150,000 joint were not entitled to a $20,000 single or $40,000 joint pension income exemption. Was this legal? 5. If the Supreme Court holds any part of the act as […]
3 Jack Bartish, Sarah Barton, Stephanie Barton, Taylor Hone, Amy McGough, Houston Moyer, Franklin Wegel 4 Esther Haynes, Winnie Knight, Rick Sivins, Michael Thompson 5 Carole Beckman, Hannah Ferguson, Isabella Grace Karrip, David Mawby, Bud Oppenneer 7 Mary Babcock, Dawn Hone, Janeen Maurer, Rose Schnipke, Joslyn TenBrink 8 Tom Pugh, Teresa Rietsema 9 Hazel Bond, Stacey Caylen, Joan Doyle, Julia Gould, Maxine Gould, Brenda Sagraves
Blossom Mr. Gordon Blossom, age 83, of Rockford passed away on Friday, November 25, 2011. For 44 years and five months, Godon worked as a heavy equipment operator for the Kent County Road Commission, retiring in 1992. Gordon loved to garden, including flowers and vegetables. He also enjoyed riding his Honda 1100 Gold Wing motorcycle, which he won. After his first wife, Dolores, was killed in an automobile accident, Gordon was left to raise six children. After a while he married Martha, who helped with the children. Gordon was a well-respected gentleman with integrity who taught his children to garden, plant (especially Christmas trees), and be respectful of others. He was a former member of Rockford Sportsman Club. Gordon is survived by his children, Kenneth and Laurel Blossom, Janet and Dick Weber, Tim and Becky Blossom, Steve and Teresa Blossom, Cindy Blossom and Steve, Michael Blossom, Mrs. Evelyn Thomas; 23 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Mrs. Dorise Blossom and Mrs. Muriel (Edna) Casterline; many nieces and nephews; in-laws. Gordon was preceded in death by his first wife, Dolores; his second wife, Martha; his brother, Robert Blossom; his sisters, Mrs. Mary Jane Gravelyn, and Mrs. Sally Bennett; his brother, Ron Blossom. The service for Mr. Blossom was held on Wednesday morning at 11:00 at the Pederson Funeral Home. Interment was in Blythefield Memory Gardens. Those planning and expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Alzheimer Association, 2844 Fuller Ave. NE, Suite 101, Grand Rapids. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.
Hair Taylors opens doors to other stylists Dawn Roberts, of Hair Taylors, 4633 14 Mile Road in the Cedar Rock business district, doesn’t consider others stylists competition, instead she opened her doors to stylists from another salon to offer their customers the most experience under one roof. After Roberts closed her salon in the Alpine area, she chose the Cedar Rock area to re-open because of the population and growth in the area. In her new location, she invited stylists and owner Donna Livingston, from M.J. Dalton—another salon that had closed—to join her. Livingston has been licensed since 1981 and owned M.J. Dalton for 13 years. She closed the salon on November 1 of this year to focus on clients and family. She joined the team at Hair Taylors and kept the same business phone so her clients could still reach her for specials such as $10 Tuesday. Now the staff includes stylists with a combined 125 years of experience and diverse skills and specialties. All are board certified. Sharing the space are Roberts, Tara Witt, Nicole Cooper, Karen Scheidel, Kelly Deyman, Roxy Sherwin, Cheryl George, Komila Pate, Susan Reason and Donna Livingston. “The salon atmosphere is sometimes full of laughter and is relaxed and enjoyable,” said Roberts. She said the stylists there are eager to please each customer. Their clientele range from children to the mature client. “Merging with each other allows us to promote our skills and services,” Roberts said. “Instead of being competitive we have come together.” Roberts invites residents to watch for their ads for specials during the holidays. “We are here to serve the community the best we know how.” Hair Taylors is open Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached by telephone at (616) 696-2096 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.