December 29 2011

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

December 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Happy New Year! I intend that to mean for the whole year, not just January 1. May 2012 be a year of blessings for all of us. Our first day of the year is related to the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory. If you don’t like this one, the Julian calendar places New Year’s Day on January 14. Throughout the world people observe other dates, mostly related to religion. Pope Gregory picked this date based on Jesus’ birth on December 25 and baptism on January 1. It could get complicated. I think Adam and Eve celebrated because they saw the days getting longer and the sun coming back. Antique story A little boy opened the big family Bible with fascination, looking at the old pages, one after another. As he turned them, something fell out. He picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old tree leaf that had been pressed between the pages. “Mom, look what I found!” he called out. “What do you have there, dear?” his mother asked. With excitement the boy exclaimed, “It’s Adam’s suit!” Church story Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud. Finally his big sister had had enough and gave him the elbow. “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church!” “Why? Who’s going to stop me?’ Joel answered. Angie pointed to the back of the church. “See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers!” Sew-sew story A pretty girl stepped up to the fabric counter and said, “I’d like to buy this material for a new dress. How much does it cost?” “Only one kiss per yard,” replied the young male clerk. “Fine,” replied the girl. “I’ll take ten yards.” Smirking, the clerk measured out the cloth and wrapped it. Then he held it out teasingly. The girl smiled, took the package, pointed to a little old man standing beside her, and said, “Grandpa, pay the man.” Deer Tick Warning I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, but this one is real, and it’s important. So, please send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list: If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting […]

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

December 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Changes that affect tax returns The passing of The Independent a few weeks ago prompted me to go back and review those initial articles I wrote for The Rockford Squire. It’s a little known trivia fact, but I wrote my first Tax Attic on October 3, 1996, replacing a business column written by Hal Babcock. Interestingly enough, The Independent also published its first edition the week of October 3, 1996. Roger Allen and I wrote columns for the Squire for virtually every week of the existence of The Independent, and we both are continuing to write columns today. I believe that’s called perseverance and longevity. This year, the Squire is celebrating its 140th year of publishing a weekly newspaper. I can’t vouch for exactly how many of those 140 years Roger has been penning his column, but I’m celebrating my 15th year of writing the Tax Attic. Congratulations to both of us and hopefully we can keep up the good work for many more years! I wanted to re-read a few of those 1996 articles to see what in the world of taxation I was writing about back then. My intent then, as it is now, was to write an article that would educate the public about taxes but also entertain those readers while reading an article about taxes. I have always felt it couldn’t hurt to mix in a little humor with a pretty dry subject. Have you ever heard the statement: “There’s nothing new under the sun”? It definitely applies to taxes. In those first few articles I wrote about the 1996 Tax Freedom Day and our federal tax burden. That’s still a pretty popular subject. If all of our pay went to taxes, on what day would we get to keep some of our own money? In 1996, Tax Freedom Day was May 7. In 2011, Tax Freedom Day was April 12. On the face of it, we gained quite a number of days. However, the Tax Foundation makes an important clarification when comparing 2011 and 1996. In 1996, there was a budget surplus, so when they declared May 7 as Tax Freedom Day, they meant May 7. In 2011, however, there is a budget deficit in the amount of a few trillion dollars. […]

BIRTHDAYS—December 31–January 6

December 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

DECEMBER 31 Devinie DeZeeuw, Retha Karasiewicz JANUARY 1 Georgia Beardsley, EJ Boss, Darlene Crysler, Lana Hackbardt, Mark Kettelhut, Emily Sagraves 2 Vivian Anderson, Neil Blakeslee, Jane Bogart, Tyler Didion, Al Schuhman 3 Marilyn Carey, Roger Mawby Jr., Amy Williams 4 Russ Dombrowski 5 Gary Cavner, Greg Eckert, Kelly Orr, Aaron Sagraves 6 Karen Jean Alkema, Polly Bomers, Zack Palmer


December 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

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 For more information, call Ranger Steve at (616) 696-1753. Sunday, January 1 Happy New Year! Monday, January 2 Snowpalooza: Snowman-Building Family Fun—through January 31, 2012 at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Have some winter fun and build a snowman on the library grounds. Pick up your “Build a Snowman” kit from the circulation desk and have fun creating snow people outside the library. Participation stickers for everyone. Patrons will vote for their favorite! Sponsored by Friends of the Krause Memorial Library. For more information, visit Tuesday, January 3 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 Keith at (616) 866-2459. Mended Hearts Meeting—7 p.m. at Spectrum Health Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, 100 Michigan St., Grand Rapids, room 8815 on eighth floor. This nonprofit support group—affiliated with American Heart Association—offers hope, information and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers through those who have experienced heart disease. For more information, contact Jim Oldfield at (616) 891-9395. Wednesday, January 4 Business Counseling—Starting a new business or have questions about your existing business? The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) would like to help. SCORE is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is dedicated to helping the small-business community through no-fee mentoring, business counseling and low-cost workshops. A SCORE counselor will be at the Chamber starting at 9 a.m. Please call the Chamber at (616) 866-2000, Mon.–Fri. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., […]

A Message for You

December 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Give Yourself a Little Rest by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS North Kent Presbyterian Church It’s the week after Christmas. Soon it will be time to take down the tree, pack away the ornaments and other decorations. My mom always set out all the Christmas cards we received on every flat surface in the dining room and living room and it was a sign that the holidays were done when she took down the display. At this point there will still be some family get-togethers as we ring in the New Year, and we won’t do our “undecorating” party at church until after worship on January 8, but for the most part, by the time you read this, Christmas will be over. I like to send and receive Christmas cards, although I frequently run out of time before the holidays to get them in the mail. I try to find the card that will carry not only my love and greetings, but something of the true meaning of the holiday. Several years ago I found the one that so far has been the most unforgettable. It opened accordion style with five panels. On the front of the card was a full Christmas tree with lights and ornaments. The second panel showed the tree having lost a few of its needles—the way your “real” tree might look a few days after Christmas, especially if you forgot to water it. The third and fourth panels showed the tree as it progressively lost more and more of its needles and as ornaments, with nothing to hang on to, fell to the floor. And in the last panel, the cross became visible as all the trappings, the needles, lights and ornaments were gone. The message was clear that underneath the biggest and best holiday we celebrate each year, underneath the love, the carols and Christmas specials, underneath the family time, the presents and parties, when all is said and done, when everything else is gone, the cross of the One whose birth we proclaim, the giver of God’s immeasurable love is still there. We’ve been doing some landscaping around our church in the last year or so. If you drive down Kuttshill before the snow flies, you’ll be able to […]

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