Sometime between Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 5:20 p.m. and Thursday, February 3 at 8:00 a.m. the offices of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 598 Byrne Industrial Dr., Rockford, were broken into. Chamber Executive Director Brenda Davis reported that her laptop and a variety of other items were stolen. “It wasn’t the main office that was hit, it was my office,” Davis said. She said the Chamber has always been very security conscious, but will be even more so from now on. Officers believe the person or persons gained access to the building through the warehouse located in the southeast end of the property. Davis said a bolt was broken, but with the heavy snowfall there were no footprints or vehicle tracks by the time the break-in was discovered. “Police believe something spooked them and they stopped,” Davis said of the extent of the damage in the office. Davis said vandalism took place in addition to the thefts. She said her laptop was password-protected and files were secure and backed up. “I think the police are trying to be very kind and reassuring to us at this point.” Davis said the break-in is strange, given the Chamber office is not a place likely to have cash on hand. “I don’t have any idea why they would break in,” she said. Davis has not yet replaced her laptop and said those who need to communicate with the Chamber should call the office at (616) 866-2000. A desktop computer and other areas of the Chamber’s offices were left undamaged. Davis said the incident remains under investigation so she is limited to the information she can share. She did say officers gave her no reason to think any other thefts or break-ins occurred during the same time frame. “Unnerving is a good way to describe it,” Davis said. “It’s just creepy.” If anyone has information regarding the break-in, the investigating officer is Dave Robinson of the Rockford Police Department. Call (616) 866-9557.
February 10 2011
Planning for this year’s Relay for Life, slated for Friday through Saturday, May 20 to 21, begins with a kick-off meeting Thursday, February 10 at 6 p.m. at Wolverine World Wide headquarters. Teams are encouraged to sign up now. The 24-hour fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is held at North Rockford Middle School beginning with a 3 p.m. first lap. This year’s theme is Relaying for More Birthdays. For more information about Relay for Life call Kelly Lipe at (616) 866-2936.
February 2 and Phil Here in Michigan we were enjoying the snowstorm on the day of the ground hog. I saw Punxatawney Phil on TV but can’t recall if his handlers mentioned that he’d seen his shadow or not. Phil probably doesn’t remember me. We were never close, although I have been to Punxatawney. The town is in the mountains of Pennsylvania and has not much going for it, except Phil, their only celebrity. They have a city park and a town library. That’s where Phil lives. He has a comfy window with a little house to hide in. He was sleeping in it when I was there. It’s probably an exaggeration to say I “met” Phil. The park, complete with bandstand, is where officials hold their annual event with Phil. The rest of the time, he just hangs out at the library. We’re more evolved than woodchucks and we pay the price. THEY figured out that sleeping all winter beats shoveling snow. Phil has a good life, with free room and board. PETA and Phil Some beg to differ on Phil’s “good life.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced this year that they’d like Phil to retire. They’re saying it’s time to take Phil “to a sanctuary and replacing him with an electronic groundhog.” They cite the stress Phil must feel, what with gawkers and handlers and once a year the bright lights of TV cameras. A groundhog robot instead of the real Phil?? Technology has gone too far. Departure “This is your captain speaking. On behalf of my crew, I’d like to welcome you aboard flight 602 from New York to London. We are currently flying at a height of 35,000 feet over the Atlantic. “If you look out of the windows on the starboard side of the aircraft, you will observe that both starboard engines are on fire. “If you look out of the windows on the port side, you will observe that the port wing has fallen off. “If you look down toward the Atlantic Ocean, you will see a little yellow life raft with three people in it waving at you. “That’s me, the copilot, and one of the air stewardesses. This is a recording.” Men and […]
12th Betty Cantile, Dolly Kronemeyer, Shanna Smallegan 13th Angie Mainville 14th Beth Altena, Riley James, Mike Mervenne, Lucille Tasma, Jeannette Weiland 15th John Abshire, Ruthe Graves, Mara Knochs, Peggy Rogell, Rick Rozelle 16th Bill Altena, Bob Douglas, Jim Drenton, Brett Western 17th Gerri Aley, George Keller, Pat Muth 18th Georgia Boezwinkle, Grace Englehart, Billy Mull, Eleanor Palmer, Aunt Leora Petersen, Jacob Reeds Trudy Verkade, Laura Weiden, Betty Wolven
From an income tax professional’s point of view, I am very interested in hearing what our new governor, Rick Snyder, has to say about balancing Michigan’s budget. The previous governor and legislature apparently used up all of the smoke and mirrors that were available and might become available for the next several years. Most likely, there will be no more stimulus money coming from the federal government to balance the budget. There will be no more shifting of funds from one account to the other in a sleight-of-hand maneuver to balance the budget. Bottom line: Governor Snyder has his work cut out for him. The state of Michigan continues to be in poor financial condition and when the state government is in trouble, that tends to put the various municipalities and quasi-governmental organizations operating in Michigan also in trouble. If, as expected, the governor calls for elimination of the Michigan Business Tax (MBT), he also has to replace almost $2,000,000,000 in revenue. How he replaces that $2,000,000,000 is the $64,000 question. He has suggested that cutting all state employee pay by an average of 5% while also making all state employees pay 25% of their health insurance costs will cover a chunk of the deficit. Instituting a 6% corporation income tax based on federal taxable income would raise about $1,000,000,000. Dropping the 20% Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on the Michigan tax return would keep the Michigan Treasury from paying out approximately $280,000,000. Cutting waste and inefficiencies in the various departments could cover the rest of the shortfall. It all sounds easy sitting here in Rockford, but I’m quite sure Mr. Snyder won’t find it quite so easy or painless. The $280,000,000 that Michigan pays out on the EITC pales in comparison to the billions and billions of dollars the federal government spends on the EITC. Last week I discussed the EITC in general. The EITC has become an entitlement of sorts and, on the federal level, the EITC is not going away unless our entire tax system is reformed. For the most part, taxpayers must have a qualifying child in order to get their share of the pot. Let’s discuss what defines a qualifying child. There are four tests that must be met in […]