Merry Christmas! How many dozen people have you heard that from lately? It comes in handy this time of year when you can’t think of anything else to say. Robo calls I get several every day, so I don’t answer until seven rings. And now there’s talk of allowing robo calls to cell phones. I may have to stop answering that one, too. You can get in touch with me by knocking on my front door. “Completed,” finally The President has withdrawn our troops from Iraq, although we’ll still be spending money there. Nine years is way too long, especially for an optional war with inadequate planning ahead of time. And we’re still at war in Afghanistan. And while Pakistan purports to be our ally, we seem to be at war there, too. I think it’s time to let them settle their own affairs. It’s obvious we can’t do it, and it only makes us poorer. Just think of all the other things we could have bought with that $1trillion+ spent on the Iraq war. Yes, that’s $1,000,000,000,000. Plus. Cat story A friend writes: Last Saturday night we were dressed and ready to go out to a Christmas party. We turned on a nightlight, turned the answering machine on, covered our pet parakeet and put the cat in the backyard. Because we knew we’d be having a few drinks, we phoned a cab company and requested a taxi. The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house. As we walked out the door, the cat we had put out in the yard scooted back into the house. We didn’t want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to eat the bird. My wife went on out to the taxi, while I went back inside to get the cat. The cat ran upstairs, with me in hot pursuit. Waiting in the cab, my wife didn’t want the driver to know that the house would be empty for the night. So she explained to the taxi driver that I’d be out soon. “He’s just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother.” A few minutes later I got into the cab. “Sorry I took so long,” I said as we […]
December 22 2011
Band to accompany Mark Randisi, the ‘Sound of Sinatra’ Johnny Trudell is regarded as one of today’s finest trumpet players and is the respected director of the Johnny Trudell Orchestra/Big Band. He has performed with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby, Tex Beneke, and Quincy Jones. He has also served as lead trumpet player for Motown Records, recording with such greats as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Four Tops. Trudell is the music director for Detroit’s Fox Theater and his famed orchestra has backed the legendary Bob Hope, Wayne Newton, Tony Bennett, Johnny Carson, Red Skelton, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., and Bill Cosby. They have also played for various Broadway shows including Evita, Gypsy, The King and I, Fiddler On The Roof, Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, and many others. Trudell also serves as music director of The Gem Theatre and the Meadow Brook Music Festival, and now… he is bringing his band to Rockford! This event is a rare Rockford opportunity for an evening of vocal and instrumental music that you won’t want to miss. Close your eyes or turn your head. You’ll hear a great band and a familiar voice, but it won’t be “Old Blue Eyes.” It will be Mark Randisi, presenting Sinatra classics naturally, authentically, respectfully and reminiscent of the originals, just the way you want to hear them. Author, radio and television host Mitch Album has been to Randisi’s shows, and proclaimed, “Mark’s show is a must-attend!” Lee Thomas of Detroit’s Fox 2 Entertainment stated, “Mark Randisi is a first rate act all the way.” The Saturday, Feb. 18 performance is a fundraising event for the Rockford Area Historical Society. Tickets, starting at just $35, make a great gift and are available in time for Christmas. For more information, visit the show’s website at www.ramshow2012.com. Tickets can be bought there with a debit or credit card. Tickets are also available by cash or check at these area locations: The Rockford Squire, Antor Travel, Double Take, Creative Concepts, Rockford Ambulance, Courtland Township Offices, Algoma Township Offices, and Dish Network (Plainfield, south of 5 Mile). Limited handicapped and limited-mobility seats are available by calling (616) 350-3959.
Top 10 Tax Planning Strategies It’s nearing December 31. For most tax-planning strategies, December 31 is a hard deadline. I’m going to borrow from David Letterman and give you my Top 10 Action Tax Service Tax Planning Strategies. Since Herman Cain dropped out of the presidential race, I think it’s a fair bet that our current tax system is going to stay in place for the foreseeable future. Since our country is drowning in debt, I also think it’s a fair bet that after the presidential election, there will be major tax changes within that system. I believe those changes will result in tax increases. Our federal government will come to the same conclusion that was reached in the State of Michigan. In Michigan, Governor Snyder determined that balancing the budget with smoke and mirrors wouldn’t work anymore. Changes were made. Some of them are painful. At the federal level, continuing to print money isn’t the answer. It won’t work anymore and changes have to be made. Some of them will be painful. In the meantime, there are items we might consider between now and December 31. Here are my Top 10 planning considerations. 1. Make contributions to your favorite charities. Write the check by December 31 or go online and use a credit card to make the contribution. In order to ensure you get the deduction, get a receipt. As I stated in last week’s article, the great credits available on the Michigan return for homeless shelters/food banks, public TV/radio, museums/libraries, and community foundations are all eliminated as of January 1, 2012. Make those contributions before the stroke of midnight on the 31st to get the credit on this year’s tax return. 2. Consider paying real estate property taxes in 2011. If you itemize, paying them in this year may prove beneficial. If you make the payment on December 27, 2011 and you file your return on February 27, 2012, you realize a tax benefit 60 days after spending the money. However, if you make the payment on February 12, 2012 and your 2012 tax return is not filed until February 27, 2013, you will wait for an entire year to pass before you receive a tax benefit. Of course, if you don’t itemize […]
24 Randy Reeds 25 Chris Broyles, Tom Combs, Nancee DeVogel, Myrtle Jacobson, Steve Karloski, Sean Priebe, Dick Ziomkowski 26 Conor Reed, Stephanie Varady 27 Leo Burke, Kaylee Hackbardt, Joan Harding, Shirley Martin, Rachel Sargent 28 Kevin Bartlett, Tina Brockman, Kelly Schluckebier, Navey Van Horn 30 Jonathan Spahn
Thursday, December 22 Rockford Lions Club Meeting—6 p.m. social, 6:30 dinner and 7 p.m. meeting at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Meetings held every second and fourth Thursday of each month. Free Meal for Northern Kent County Families—6 to 7 p.m. at the Our Lady of Consolation Family Center, 4865 Eleven Mile Rd., Rockford, every Thursday. No charge; no registration required. Provided by a partnership between Our Lady of Consolation Parish and God’s Kitchen, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan. Sunday, December 25 Merry Christmas! Tuesday, December 27 Rockford Rotary Club Meetings—7 a.m. at Rockford High School, and 12:10 p.m. at Rockford Community Cabin. For more information, call Mark Bivins at (616) 866-1470. Country & Gospel Music—9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, 8540 Shaner Ave., Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. For more information, call Keth at (616) 866-2459. Thursday, December 29 Free Meal for Northern Kent County Families—6 to 7 p.m. at the Our Lady of Consolation Family Center, 4865 Eleven Mile Rd., Rockford, every Thursday. No charge; no registration required. Provided by a partnership between Our Lady of Consolation Parish and God’s Kitchen, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan. Saturday, December 31 Kent County Christmas Bird Count—hosted by Grand Rapids Audubon Club. Birders of all skill levels welcome. For details, please visit www.glsga.org/grac. For more information, call Ranger Steve at (616) 696-1753.