5/3 Ballpark Hosts LZ Michigan, a welcome home for Vietnam vets By Matt Marn A parade of motorcycle riders cruised into 5/3 Ballpark on a hot and sunny July 3 to kick off LZ Michigan, a reunion and welcome home for Vietnam veterans. LZ Michigan was also a chance for the community to show their gratitude for all the veterans went through and sacrificed for their country. LZ, a military slang term for “Landing Zone,” refers to a safe place for helicopters to land. That day, it meant a safe place to return to; a safe place to get the hero’s welcome they earned so long ago. The Michigan Traveling Memorial wall outside the stadium displayed and paid respects to all those killed and missing in Vietnam from the state of Michigan. Nearby tables, draped in black tablecloths and littered with tissue boxes, offered dozens of binders with names, ranks, pictures and stories of soldiers who paid the ultimate price. Ken McKay of Grand Rapids came to LZ Michigan with his wife, Joan, to remember the sacrifices made by soldiers in Vietnam. McKay is one such soldier, who spent his 21st birthday calling in F-4 Phantom airstrikes on military targets. “At the time, we hadn’t heard about all the demonstrations, we were just fighting,” McKay said. “We came back, and were called baby-killers.” The American people were, at times, unwelcoming upon the return of our soldiers after Vietnam, sometimes downright hostile. But LZ Michigan, McKay said, is a start to the healing process. “This is the best day that has ever happened to me.” McKay went through grade school, high school, even Boy Scouts, with his good friend Rod VanOeveren. They enlisted together, went through basic training and boot camp together, and were deployed into separate areas of combat. Later, when he was in the room calling in airstrikes at 21, McKay heard his name called across the room. He looked over to the man who was calling for him. It was VanOeveren, calling in naval targets himself. And when VanOeveren found McKay at LZ Michigan, the men shook hands and embraced, friends reunited once more. Stefanie Leiter brought her father-in-law, Lester Amburgey, a Vietnam veteran, to LZ Michigan to help show her gratitude. Having […]
July 15 2010
Putting the blame What’s wrong with the government anyway, getting our seasons all mixed up? Why didn’t Mr. Obama give us global warming last January when we wanted it? If the President were doing his job right, we’d get 15 or 20 degrees higher in the winter and maybe 10 lower in the summer. Governor Granholm deserves her share of the blame. I don’t think these expectations are unreasonable. Picnic Don’t want to drive a long way for a picnic? Right here in Rockford and Cedar Springs, we have plenty of places close to home. Rockford has picnic facilities in Sowerby Park, Rotary Park, Trestle Park, and right downtown by the river. Cedar has Morley Park with picnic facilities. Gordon Park is just up the road to Sand Lake. There’s Riggle Park and North Park and the new Veteran’s Memorial Park on Main Street. You could buy a take-out lunch and walk to some of these picnic spots. Perfect! A woman was reporting her car as stolen and mentioned that there was a car phone in it. The policeman taking the report called the phone number and told the guy who answered that he had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet. The thief was arrested. Don’t you love it? (Thanks, Michelle) Adult education The minister was passing a group of young teens sitting on the church lawn and stopped to ask what they were doing. “Nothing much, Pastor,” replied one boy. “We were just seeing who can tell the biggest lie about their love life.” “Boys, boys, boys!” scolded the pastor. “I am shocked. When I was your age, I never even thought about sex.” In unison they all replied, “You win!” Pet care If you want your doggie to have a clean coat that’s conditioned and smells good, you may try “Buddy Wash.” It’s a product to make your pet’s coat as nice as your own skin. And, best of all, “All Cloud Star products are never tested on animals.” Gee, that’s great! Are they tested on humans? Wouldn’t this be a good time to just give it a try on a dog? Thanks to Consumer Reports for bringing this to our attention. Career path […]
17th Christopher Moore, Kirsten Rice, Nancy Rodriguez 18th Alice Allen, Jackie Davies, Terri Douthett, Bud Herrington 19th Bev Belluomini, Tom Nyenhuis, Deb Trendt, Nicole VanderWerff 20th Mike Gulliver, Rita Wilcox 21st Scott Bell 22nd Richard Tolley, David Zimmer 23rd Helen Brinkman, Ron Denhof, Elden Hunsberger, Brian Meester, Charlie Robinson
“We certainly want the parents to talk to their children, ask questions, talk to them about internet safety,” said Michigan State Police Detective Curt Schram after a Rockford man and Sparta Little League baseball coach was arrested for Child Sexually Abusive Activity. Schram said the MSP Computer Crimes team received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about Aaron Daniel Mull, 30, of Rockford. Schram said the tip was investigated and search warrant for Mull’s home lead to seizure of material by the Kent County Prosecutor’s office and Mull’s arrest July 8. Mull faces seven years each on two counts: Using a computer to Commit a Crime and Distributing and Promoting Child Sexually Abusive Activity. Both are felonies. “That was obviously our concern,” Schram said of whether any children had been targeted by Mull. He said Mull had no prior incidents which would have placed him on the Sex Offender Registry. “The Little League people didn’t do anything wrong. He was checked out like he was supposed to have been.” Schram also said there is no reason at this time to believe Mull had inappropriate contact with any of the Little League players. “We don’t want everyone to get worried.” Schram said. Mull was released on bond and will face a court date or preliminary hearing within 14 days. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Rockford Post at (616) 866-4411. Parents with questions or concerns are also welcome to call to talk about the arrest.
Regulating tax return preparers Congress and the Internal Revenue Service are both extremely interested in regulating all tax return preparers. In fact, they are downright serious. Apparently, there are return preparers out there who don’t follow the rules, don’t know the rules or don’t choose to follow the rules. Either way, it’s a problem for not only the IRS but also for the overwhelming majority of return preparers who do follow the rules, who do know the rules, and who choose to follow the rules. A three step process is being put into place that will give the IRS information about preparers; will require preparers to show certain levels of competency in order to prepare returns; and will require preparers to obtain continuing education credit hours each year. The whole idea, in the end, is to get a better class of preparers. As of this coming September, all tax preparers must register and obtain a Preparer Taxpayer Identification Number (PTIN). There will also be a fee to be paid, of course. This fee is expected to be in the $75-$300 range and will have to be paid every three years. This is the first step in finding out exactly who is preparing tax returns. Evidently, the IRS doesn’t have a good data base of return preparers. Many preparers, such as Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and Attorneys, already have PTINs but they will still have to go through the registration process. They will be re-assigned their current number, but the information collected in the registration process is not necessarily information the IRS has right now. The IRS wants a complete data base of return preparers and, rest assured, they will get it. The hammer the IRS has in this process is that a preparer who does not register and obtain a PTIN by January 1, 2011 will not be allowed to prepare tax returns. That’s a big hammer. Accenture, the world-wide consulting firm who quickly dumped Tiger Woods, has contracted to develop the registration system. The second step in the process of getting return preparers is to make them show they are competent. As of January 1, 2011, all preparers will have to pass tests in order to prepare returns. There are expected to be three tests. […]