December 16 2010

Woman robbed in Plainfield Township

December 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

Sheriff’s Department asks for help identifying suspect On October 26, a 23-year-old Grand Rapids woman had her wallet stolen while she was frequenting a business in Plainfield Township. Several hours after the theft, the suspect used the victim’s debit card at a local bank and withdrew money from her account. The suspect’s picture was captured during the transaction. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who could potentially identify this suspect to please call (616) 632-6434 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

MAIN STREET—December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

Forever war   Have you noticed that our wars just seem to go on and on? So have I, so I looked it up. Since 1675, we have been in 26 wars. Several early ones were against Indians while we were still colonies. Then came the Revolutionary War against the British. Then, more war against the Barbary Pirates. We had the War of 1812, Texas’s fight for independence from Mexico, and the Civil War. We returned to battle in the Spanish American War. (My great uncle fought in that one.) In 1918, we entered World War I and fought Germany. That was a particularly nasty one, but we were on the winning team. In World War II we went up against the Germans, Italians and Japanese. Dec. 7, 1941: the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I’m old enough to remember the day. It was a Sunday, I recall, and our family was stunned with the news. The whole country was stunned. It took about four years but, again, our team won. Korea split into North and South, and America went to war to support the South. Fresh out of high school, I was there with the U.S. Army. We still have troops there. We lost in Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs. We managed to win in Granada and Panama. Then—remember Bosnia? Afghanistan and Iraq are still in progress. Will it ever end? There must be a better solution to conflict than blowing up cities, resources and human beings.  The good season In the really old days, what we call “Christmas” was a celebration of the winter solstice (the sun is coming back, the sun is coming back!). The birth of Christ gave us a focus for renewal; the time of year was retained. Eventually, of course, Santa came down the chimney and Hallmark took over. There’s something for everyone in this joyous celebration of the good things of life. Have a wonderful holiday, everyone. And peace on earth.  Gas Sister Mary Ann, who served at a home health agency, was out making rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. Fortunately, a station was just a block away. She walked down the road to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. […]

BIRTHDAYS — December 18–24

December 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

18th Susan Bedor, Charlie Johnson, Marie Norman, Marguerite Sweat, Chuck VanOeffelen  19th Lucille Stotz 20th Michael Klinger, Mike Krupp, Carol Pratt, Bea Scrote, Bill Thornton  21st Chris Ackerman, Bernard May  22nd Meagan Bandemer, Jackson Cávner, James Christopher, Lori Sivins  23rd Craig Ackerman, Clarence Allen, Holly Cavner, Carole Steinke, Carole Knox, Mike TenBrink  24th Randy Reeds

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon — December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

Negotiations to benefit economy Chicago is a great place to spend a weekend. Our daughter, Kim, is working on her master’s degree at DePaul University, so visiting her provides the perfect excuse to go to Chicago and take in some of the sights. On Friday night, we went to the Christkindlmarkt in downtown Chicago. The Christkindlmarkt is an outdoor bazaar that originated in Germany. Knowing the Germans, it most likely was really just a great reason to get together and drink some beer. It has evolved and now has many merchants from many European countries displaying their Christmas wares. Beautiful handcrafted ornaments, Christmas decorations and gifts were available from a variety of countries. We sampled and bought some made-on-the-spot chocolate. Hot, spiced wine was available as well as German beer. It was a clear, cold perfect night for strolling around Daley Plaza. Of course, that changed on Saturday. It was still cold, but the clear went away. It rained all day Saturday so we went inside to the Museum of Science and Industry. Among the attractions we looked at were the Christmas trees on display from around the world. The museum has more trees than Meijer Gardens, but all of us agreed that the Meijer trees are better. When we left, we were greeted by much windier, much colder, and thicker rain that eventually did freeze and then turned to snow. Sunday was brutal and it took us about twice the normal time to get home, but we did get home safely. Friday, on the way down, we did stop at the Cabalas in Hammond. Too bad the Cabalas in Walker was never built. That could have been a destination-type of attraction for Walker. Rockford could use a large destination-type of attraction. Chicago has several attractions to bring people into the area such as the Ferris wheel on Navy Pier, the U-505 German submarine within the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Goose Island Brew Pub. I had to throw in the brew pub because we aren’t going to match Chicago on those other attractions, but I believe our city would support a Brew Pub. Sometime in the future, I hope to not have to travel to Chicago, Holland or even […]

Words on Weather and Climate — December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

Forecasting Climate  by CRAIG JAMES  When it comes to forecasting the climate, many people say that since forecasters can’t get the weather forecast right for the next couple of days, how can they get the climate forecast right for the next 100 years? (They surely weren’t talking about my forecasts, were they?) The response given by the climate alarmists is that they don’t have to forecast each day’s weather correctly. Over time, the weather averages out and just predicting the long-term trend of warmer or colder is not as difficult as predicting how much snow will fall from the next snowstorm. Therefore, we can have confidence in the climate forecasts out to the year 2100 and beyond. I don’t buy into that response and here’s why. We pretty much know and understand all of the physics behind the atmospheric processes that control the short-term weather forecast. We can even construct computer models that do a fairly good job of representing how the atmosphere works over short time periods using the seven basic mathematical equations of motion for fluids. There are some approximations that have to be made when using these equations, but they work fairly well out to a couple of days. However, they do start to break down as they are run forward in time due to a lack of sufficient data and the inherent chaos of the atmosphere. Once we get out beyond a couple of days, there are additional complicated forces that begin to have an impact on the forecasts, and it is these forces we don’t understand very well and can’t even begin to adequately model in our computers. These natural forces include such things as whether the Atlantic or Pacific oceans are in their cold or warm phase, whether there is an El Niño or La Niña in progress, how temperature changes affect cloud cover, cooling or warming from aerosols, solar influences, and many others. An example of a natural force that over a long period of time affects the motion of fluids but has no effect in the short term is the Coriolis effect. The Coriolis effect is what causes our winds to rotate counter-clockwise around a low-pressure system in the northern hemisphere and just the opposite, or clockwise, in […]

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