December 17 2009

Thefts, dumping plague Service Center

December 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Despite security cameras and surrounding fencing installed to stop people from dumping garbage items and stealing donated items, the North Kent Service Center, 10075 Northland Drive, continues to use precious dollars and staff time cleaning up. According to John Leale, warehouse manager at the center, 99 percent of the items dumped at the center on the weekends are trash. Security cameras are in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but have not proven a deterrent to the behavior. Director Sandy Waite said there are plenty of open hours, but people continue to show up on weekends when the center is closed. They leave items and pick through donated items to take things they like. The center is open for donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the last Saturday of every month—with the exception of December—and is always closed on Sundays. If it rains or items get wet, even nice donations are ruined. “We do get many generous donations, but if they are wet and could mildew, we can’t bring them into the building. We have food in here and have no facility for drying them out. Waite said the staff spends 45 minutes every Monday removing items left while the center is closed on Saturday or Sunday. The center is open for business 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and donations are welcome. Waite said she pulled into the center recently and found a woman packing items into her vehicle. “You aren’t taking that are you?” She asked the woman, who said she was. Waite told her that was stealing and the woman said a person who had just dropped the items said the center throws things out anyway so she might as well take what she wanted. “I told her that wasn’t true,” said Waite. Waite said these days there is a lot going on at NKSC.  On Thanksgiving we provided food baskets for 246 families totaling 1,347 individuals. In the holiday season, Thankgiving and Christmas, the center provided food baskets for 5,136 individuals. The center has a Christmas store which allows people to chose items, and donations needed for Christmas and throughout the year, include the following items: Books, toys, underwear, socks, mittens, hats, scarves and stocking […]

New members inducted into Cub Scout Pack 3285

December 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

“A salute to our troops” was the theme for the night as Cub Scout Pack 3285 welcomed six new members to the Pack at their November meeting. In keeping with the tradition, the new members and their families were greeted by Chief Who-Ha. He led the new members through a ceremonial initiation for achieving their first advancement along the Cub Scout trail, the Bobcat award. Upon confirmation that the new boys understood the Cub Scout oath and law, they received the sign of the Bobcat by their parents. Two blue stripes were placed on their left cheek which stood for truth, loyalty and the sky above. Streaks of yellow were placed on the right cheek to represent warm sunlight, happiness and good cheer. They also were pinned with their Bobcat award. Each member of the Pack also offered a “salute” to their heroes. For many, this was a time for them to recognize their parents and grandparents for their love and support and also others whom they admire. The boys were challenged to think of the choices that they are making now and how they may be seen as a hero to someone else for their choices. The Pack also sent a soft message to our military troops by participating in the West Michigan Military Family Support Group’s Operation Pillow Talk. The boys decorated the covers of travel pillows and created cards to be sent to the troops currently deployed. The group is affiliated with the Salvation Army and strives to provide comfort for the men and women serving in our armed forces. In addition to the care packages they send to deployed troops, they also provide a support group for family and friends of those who are serving in our military. To learn more about this program, visit

Education funding changes discussed at forum

December 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JUDY REED West Michigan wants changes in the way education is funded. And West Michigan residents weren’t shy about telling that to a panel of legislators and educators on Monday evening, Dec. 7, at an education forum at Cedar Springs High School. On hand to discuss the issues were Senator Mark Jansma (28th District), Representative Tom Pearce (73rd District), Senator Ron Jelinek (21st District), legislative liaison and former representative Mike Pumford, Forest Hills teacher Jim Ward (Political Action Committee chair of the Kent County Education Association), and Dr. Michael Shibler, Superintendent of Rockford Public Schools. Cedar Springs School Superintendent Ron McDermed moderated the forum. School districts across the state took another cut this year of $167 per student, then another $127 per student. “The system is broken, it’s not working, and needs to be fixed,” remarked Shibler. “We’re counting on you folks, who are the grassroots [to make sure it gets changed]. It’s going to take a lot of work.” Shibler said Rockford’s budget is $74 million, and they are cutting $4.8 million. The panel discussed issues such as how Proposal A was intended to work, the disparity in funding across districts, the Headlee Amendment, consolidation of schools and services, federal regulations, taxing services, health insurance premiums, and the difference between when the school must have its budget in and when the state fiscal year starts. “Proposal A worked in a robust economy,” said Pearce. “Returning the state to a robust economy is key. We need to change the formula and enact cost reforms.” Pumford explained that under the Headlee Amendment, the state could not collect more than 9.5 percent of disposable income from taxpayers. “In 2001 we hit that, and then started cutting taxes. It’s now 7.3 percent—that’s $8 billion in tax cuts. In some point in time, they will need to ask you to pay more. Over 50 percent of disposable income was spent on commodities before 1994, and now we spend that on services. We’ve cut too many taxes, period.” The audience heartily applauded Pumford’s remarks. Jelinek commented that the state has reduced all budgets much more than the K-12 budget, including eliminating the arts and libraries budget. “I support the need for strong police and fire, those are necessary services,” […]

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisherRoger

December 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Dinner, anyone? It seems unlikely that the experts can stop the Asian carp from getting into Lake Michigan. All of us should be looking for carp recipes. In the old days, carp was a trash fish that got thrown away. If things go the way we can expect, they may be the only fish left to eat. I figure if we can eat sushi, we can enjoy carp. While the getting is good The President suggested trying to leave Afghanistan in 18 months if Hamid Karzai can pull things together. Fat chance. The tribal leaders and clans and warlords have run their parts of the country for hundreds of years and won’t be changing to please a corrupt government. The most optimistic thing I’ve read on the subject is, “We can’t win in Afghanistan, but while we’re there, neither can the Taliban.” I served in Korea 60 years ago and U.S. troops are still there. Someday we’re going to have to bite the bullet and get out of Korea. And Afghanistan. Happy ending I was in the hospital overnight for minor stuff. They took away my glasses and then my watch. My cell phone was next; then my wallet with money and credit cards. Finally they took my clothes and left my bare butt exposed. Talk about helpless. But they gave it all back the next day. I immediately hooked up my computer. Ahhh… connected to the world again! Christmas Cookies 1 cup water 1 tsp. baking soda 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 cup brown sugar 4 large eggs 1 cup nuts 2 cups dried fruit 1 bottle Jose Cuervo tequila Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again to be sure it’s the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it’s best to make sure the Cuervo is still okay, so try another cup just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the dried fruit. Pick the fruit off the floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets […]

Birthdays, December 19-25

December 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

19th Lucille Stotz 20th Michael Klinger, Mike Krupp, Carol Pratt, Bea Scrote, Bill Thornton 21st Chris Ackerman, Bernard May 22nd Meagan Bandemer, James Christopher, Lori Sivins 23rd Craig Ackerman, Clarence Allen, Holly Cavner, Carole Knox, Mike TenBrink 24th Randy Reeds 25th Chris Broyles, Tom Combs, Nancee DeVogel, Myrtle Jacobson, Steve Karloske, Sean Priebe, Dick Ziomkowski

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