December 30 2010

Winterfest celebrates Michigan’s outdoors

December 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

Public invited for a day of family fun The Izaak Walton League of America (the “Ikes”) has had another busy year with many activities at the local Dwight Lydell chapter. The nonprofit conservation club has stayed active in environmental issues at the state and local levels, following their interests in water quality, energy, fishing, hunting, and their love of nature. Some of their members also participate in other groups concerned with Great Lakes fisheries, Asian carp, and the Rogue River watershed. With the Ikes you can be as involved as you want to be, from simply attending dinners, to volunteering, to activist. This past year, 2010, started with an annual event that is just around the corner again: Winterfest! Last year’s was a lot of fun, with ice-fishing and skating at their pond, archery, making candles over an outdoor fire, cross-country skiing, snow castles, and exploring the beauty of nature in the wintertime, plus a free lunch. On Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, the Ikes will open their gate to the public again, at 5641 Myers Lake Rd., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Ikes hold many events that spread their message to the public. Each year they give two $1,000 scholarships to area seniors pursuing careers in an environmental field. A Conservationist of the Year award is given every year at their annual fundraising banquet. An interesting speaker is found, and many great items are collected for a silent auction, which is their main fundraiser for the year. This year’s banquet will be in March, with a program about salmon in Lake Michigan. Fishing is dear to the heart of the group, and they have many days devoted to getting children involved. Every Saturday morning in May they open their pond, supplying gear, bait and advice to those who want to give it a try. On Wednesday evenings from mid-June to mid-July, volunteers bring fishing equipment to the dock at Versluis Lake, helping any kids that meet them there. During the spring and fall, Ikes president Georgia Donovan and vice president Barb McGuirl have an after-school “Kids’ Nature Club,” where kids play and explore outdoors in an unstructured way. The idea is to allow them to feel at home in nature, become familiar with […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher — December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

Happy New Year!   Seems to me that the beginning of spring is a logical time to start a year. Green is a hopeful color but January has no agricultural significance. On the other hand, our New Year observance day occurs close to the winter solstice when we begin to notice a few more minutes of sunlight each day. Makes sense. Whatever the official date, we can all use a fresh start on our ambitions and projects. It’s useful to look back on the previous year of our lives to remember the good times and, perhaps, mourn friends gone forever. Coach joke A football coach walked into the locker room before a game, looked over to his star player and said, “I’m not supposed to let you play because you failed math, but we need you in there. So, what I propose to do is ask you a math question and if you get it right you can play.” The player agreed, so Coach looked into his eyes intently and said, “Okay, now concentrate hard and tell me the answer to this: What is two plus two?” The player thought for a moment and answered, “four.” “Did you say four?” the coach exclaimed, excited that he’d got it right. Suddenly all the other players on the team began yelling, “Come on, Coach, give him another chance!” Parson joke The young couple invited their aged parson for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having. “Goat,” the little boy replied. “Goat?” asked the startled reverend. “Are you sure about that?” “I’m sure,” said the youngster. “I heard Pa say to Ma, ‘Might as well have the old goat for dinner today as any other day.’”  Bar joke A guy walks into a bar and orders a beer. “Listen,” he says to the bartender, “if I show you the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, is my beer on the house?” “We’ll see,” says the bartender. So the guy pulls a hamster and a tiny piano out of a bag, puts them on the bar, and the hamster begins to play. “Impressive,” says the bartender, “but I’ll need to see more.” “Hold on,” says the […]

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon — December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

Consider 10 items before 2011 Leave it to the Internal Revenue Service to assume the role of the “Grinch who stole Christmas” one more time. They announced last Thursday that due to late changes made by Congress, the IRS will require some extra time to revise their processing software. The extra time means that approximately 16 million taxpayers will see their refunds delayed by up to one full month. Said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, “The majority of taxpayers will be able to fill out their tax returns and file them as they normally do.” However, the 16 million taxpayers who want to claim one of the deductions that Congress added with the passing of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 are not included in this “majority.” For those taxpayers, it may mean they will have to wait until mid- to late-February to have their return processed. If the taxpayer has a balance due, this is no big thing. It is only those taxpayers expecting a refund in late-January that the one-month wait will seem to be interminable. The taxpayers affected include those who claim the $250 teacher’s classroom supplies deduction, the $4,000 tuition deduction, the mortgage insurance premium deduction, and those claiming state sales tax and certain charitable deductions. I’m surprised there are only 16 million affected taxpayers. Spending a refund before it actually is in the bank this year is not a good idea. There are many good ideas available, however. Some will make a refund larger or a balance due smaller, and some will take advantage of an expiring tax provision. The most common strategy available is to accelerate deductions into the current year. By accelerating deductions into December 2010 and then filing the tax return in 2011, the tax benefit is realized quickly. By waiting to make the deduction in 2011 and filing the return in 2012, a whole year elapses before the tax benefit is realized. If you believe in the time value of money, making the deduction in December makes perfect sense. Here are 10 items to consider before the stroke of midnight on December 31: 1. Make a charitable contribution in December that you were going to make in January. Remember that Michigan […]

BIRTHDAYS — January 1–7, 2011

December 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

1st Georgia Beardsley, EJ Boss, Darleene Crysler, Lana Hackbardt, Emily Sagraves 2nd Vivian Anderson,  Neil Blakeslee, Jane Bogart, Tyler Didion 3rd Roger Mawby Jr., Amy Williams  5th Gary Cavner,, Greg Eckert, Kelly Orr, Aaron Sagraves 6th Karen Jean Alkema, Polly Bomers, Zack Palmer  7th Marge Noordyke, Lindsay Pranger

ROCKFORD REGISTER — December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

Saturday, January 1 Annual Kent County Christmas Bird Count—hosted by the Grand Rapids Audubon Club. Birders of all skill levels are invited to participate. For details, please visit For inquiries, contact Ranger Steve at or by calling (616) 696-1753. Monday, January 3 Blood Drive—noon to 7 p.m. at Rockford Area Donor Site, Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street, Rockford. Tuesday, January 4 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.  Country Music—9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.  Wednesday, January 5 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., to schedule an appointment.  Max and Ruby Party—10 a.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. This party, based on these lovable characters, will have bunny games, bunny crafts and other book-related bunny fun! For more information, call (616) 784-2007.  Thursday, January 6 Rockford Area Historical Society Meeting—1:30 p.m. at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford, hosted by Madge Bolt and Kathy Christensen. Bobbie Schirado will present “Write It or Lose It.” For more information, call (616) 866-2235.  Friday, January 7 Spectacular Book Sale—10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Plainfield Township Branch Library, 2650 Five Mile Road NE, Grand Rapids. Hardcovers for $1, softcovers for 50¢, and paperbacks and children’s for 25¢. Sponsored by Friends of the Plainfield Library. For more information, call (616) 784-2007.  Saturday, January 8 Spectacular Book […]

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