January 26 2012

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

IRS needs bigger budget? I might have made a slight mistake last week in putting in writing that I thought we were becoming weather-wise close to Indiana. Evidently, the weather gods were just waiting for me to write that article, because it has been winter since that time. However, some people are happy with the cold and the snow. The ice fishermen are happy. The downhill and cross-country skiers are happy. All of the people involved in the Rockford Ice Festival are happy. The tubers are happy. The golfers of Michigan, however, are disappointed. Let me clarify. The Michigan golfers who are stuck here in Michigan are disappointed. The Michigan golfers who are happy are those spending the winter months in states closer to the equator. However, those golfers still here have to accept the reality they have to wait until April to get back out on the course. I’m a golfer. As such, as with all golfers, shots go awry, so I’m used to being disappointed and I think I accept that reality rather well. I’m also a Detroit Tiger, Lions, Pistons and Red Wings fan. That also means I’m used to being routinely disappointed and most of the time accepting of a rather ugly reality. Of course, just like in golf, there is always next year and, since I’m an optimistic person, it’s going to be a great year coming up for me as a golfer as well as the Tigers, Lions and Red Wings. However, even an optimistic person can’t see the Pistons having a good year. In a previous article, I also discussed the difficult situation of the Internal Revenue Service. I believe it’s called “Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Come down too hard on people and they are chastised by most everyone. Go too easy on people and no one chastises them, but compliance with the tax laws suffers. Currently, the IRS has a budget of 11.8 billion dollars. That may sound like a lot, but according to a recent study by the national taxpayer advocate’s office, it’s not enough. The amount of taxpayer fraud and identity theft cases grew by 20% last year alone, and there were over one million returns that could have used […]

BIRTHDAYS — January 28–February 3

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

JANUARY 28 Linda Berris, Tom Hone, Daniel Nash, Carly Olson, Jack Palazzolo, Bernice Terry 29 Maggie Huber, Julie Zalud-Huston 31 Andy Fowle, Zachary Grant, Marie Heyboer, Kim Van Dorp, Mason Van Dorp FEBRUARY 1 Joe Deering, Ayriel Mawby, Luella Wallen 2 Joyce Brown, AJ Jesswani, Scott Purcey, Dano Richard 3 Betty Basel, Noah Carriere, Denise Davidson, Frieda Gulliver, Eli Thompson


January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Sacrifices of City employees appreciated Dear Editor, I was driving thru the city a few days ago after a snowstorm and saw a familiar sight: our city plows clearing my subdivision. It got me to thinking… all too often in the news we hear stories and complaints about city employees throughout the country. Overpaid. Lazy. (Insert stereotype here.) What rarely makes the headlines are the vast majority of public employees that thanklessly do their job, day in and day out, with little fanfare. As a citizen of Rockford, I think I can speak for the majority of us that quite often take our public employees for granted. The City of Rockford has had financial hardships just like every other municipality throughout the area. While I don’t know the exact number, I’m quite sure there are far fewer public employees than even a few years ago. Yet… our streets are plowed. Police patrol just as before. Our parks are well maintained. Even our lights in downtown were put up and taken down during the Christmas season (quicker that even some of my neighbors!). I’ve had to e-mail Rockford city staff several times in the past few months. I have always had a prompt, courteous e-mail reply within a day. Impressive. I read in the paper a few months back the Rockford Police Officers voluntarily gave up their pay increase for this year. So, not only are the officers patrolling the streets (same as before), they’re doing it while willingly giving part of their pay back to the City of Rockford to help balance the budget. I would also guess nearly every other public department has been “doing more with less,” whether it be less manpower or less in their paycheck. I think this says a lot about not only city staff but each and every city employee we have in Rockford. As I said when I started this letter, when public employees do their job, and do it well, it often goes unnoticed. So, the next time you come home from a snowstorm and see the street plowed and a police officer driving around that same plowed area, realize the sacrifices they have made to make the city the wonderful place it is to live today. […]


January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Thursday, January 26 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. 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.  Rockford Rotary Club Meetings—7 to 8 a.m. at the Rams Den in Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes St., unless school is delayed or canceled. For more information, call Mark Bivins at (616) 866-1470. Saturday, January 28 Movie Night—5:30 p.m. at Bostwick Lake Church, 7979 Belding Rd., Rockford. Enjoy free pizza and pop while watching “Dolphin Tale.” Everyone welcome. Monday, January 30 Babytime—11 a.m. every Monday through February 27 at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Delight and stimulate your baby with songs, a story and playtime. Get to know other families and help your baby develop listening and language skills. For babies from birth to 18 months with a caregiver. For more information, call (616) 647-3940 or visit www.kdl.org. Project Sleuth—An Art History Mystery—6:30 p.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. An international art scandal, a haunted architectural masterpiece and a world-renowned sculpture that suddenly disappears! Popular author Blue Balliett’s “Chasing Vermeer” series of artful mysteries are the basis for this program filled with games, crafts and activities for school-aged children ages 6 and up. For more information, call (616) 647-3940 or visit www.kdl.org. Grand Rapids Audubon Club Meeting—7 p.m. at Orchard View Church, 2777 Leffingwell NE, Grand Rapids. Dr. Chuck Nelson will present the film “Restoring Wetlands,” followed by answering questions. Guests welcome to attend this free event. For more information, visit www.glsga.org/grac or call Bea at (616) 676-2446. Tuesday, January 31 Evening Storytime—6:30 p.m. every Tuesday through February 28 at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. For families who can’t come to the library during the day, Evening Storytime offers an evening of stories and fun. Bring your teddy bear or other snuggly friend; pajamas optional. For children ages 6 and under […]

A Message for You

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Forgetting the past, looking forward by PASTOR DICK RILEY Rockford United Methodist Church A pastor from Atlanta once said that it always bothered him in a track meet when the runners were running the hurdles and would knock one or two of the hurdles down. He said that he felt as if they should go back and straighten up the hurdles they had knocked over. He said that if his mother were coaching the team, she would certainly make the runners go back and straighten up the knocked-over hurdles! It was important to her, you see, that the runners leave things “neat and in order” for the next runners. “But,” said the pastor, “hurdlers who win the gold medals don’t look back. They ignore the fallen hurdles and just keep on running to the finish line.” I don’t know if the Apostle Paul ever ran the hurdles in a race, but I do know that he understood one of the basic principles of Christian living. He wrote: “I am still not all that I should be, but I am focusing all of my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us,” (Phil. 3:13-14). As Christians, we are called to continually grow in our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and the only way that that is possible is for us to accept the grace of God’s holy forgiveness which He offers us through our faith in Christ our Lord. This will set us free from all of our failures of the past. As we begin this new year of 2011, my prayer for all of us is that we will accept the grace that Christ provides so that we can quit worrying about our mistakes and failures, and, instead, focus on our growing and personal relationship with Him. You see, when grace and growth are the driving forces of our lives, we can be sure that we will truly have a happy new year!

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