Tag Archives: July 26 2012

Reading Rocks receives national recognition at Library of Congress

Kids enjoy mascots at the Reading Rocks reading festival.

The Reading Rocks in Rockford reading festival is just entering its fourth year, but this toddler has already gained many accolades for helping spread the message of how important reading is. The Rockford Rotary Club, Rockford Public Schools and the Kent District Library (KDL) have joined impressive forces to promote the joy of reading for all ages during this annual event. Sue Bodenner, along with Ryan Kelley, fellow Rotarians, co-organize the event.

The one-day annual literacy event is a wonderful way for families to share the joy of reading with fun activities, published authors, a parade, entertainment and writing workshops. But the event also carries a deeper goal: to enable those less fortunate to receive the building blocks to a better education through reading.

Children read with dogs at Krause Memorial Library during the Reading Rocks reading festival in Rockford.

Reading Rocks has accomplished that goal in a big way. It has been designated as one of two recipients of a $2,500 award from the Pearson Foundation for the wonderful project. Reading Rocks competed against hundreds of programs for this prestigious recognition. They will also receive 1,000 books from We Give Books to a nonprofit organization of Reading Rocks’ choosing.

“The Pearson Foundation award is an unexpected blessing that comes from one good thing after another happening between the Rockford Rotary and members of the Rockford Public Schools who are also connected to the Kent Reading Council, a local chapter of the International Reading Association,” said Kathy Munger, member of the Reading Rocks steering committee.

“The application focused on the description of the Reading Rocks in Rockford reading festival and included a literacy vision for the future,” said Kelley. “Promoting the joy of reading is the mission statement of the festival, and we’re grateful to the Foundation for realizing the benefits in motivating children and adults to read for enjoyment.”

Bodenner and Munger, received a congratulatory letter in July. Representatives of the Pearson Foundation congratulated them and stated, “Literacy transforms the lives of individuals and strengthens the health of a community. Your work to promote literacy is invaluable, and Rotary International and IRA are honored that you have shared your hard work and dedication.”

The award will be presented September 7 in Washington, D.C. at the Library of Congress by Pearson Foundation for National Literacy Day.

Please watch for next week’s Squire, which will include a special insert and more information about all the activities during the upcoming Reading Rocks in Rockford reading festival.

BIRTHDAYS — July 21–August 3

21

Scott Bell, Janet Young

22
Ronna Lynn Fleming, Richard Tolley, David Zimmer

23
Helen Brinkman, Ron Denhof, Georgia Donovan, Frank D Hamlin, Elden Hunsberger, Brian Meester, Charlie Robinson

25
DariAnne Draugalis, Joann Spitler, Heidi Stasiukinas, Lucille Vickers

26
Gabriel Reed, Ashley Rinbelt, Marge Spears, Marie Spendow

27
Dan Callender, Marilyn DeKruif

28
Joe Sharpe

29
Faith Figger, Tammy Hills, Barb Palazzolo, Ron Priebe

30
Stuart Cavner

31
Gail Des Noyers, Jim Shripka, Oma Werner

AUGUST

1
Katharine Laage, Jackie Phillips, Millie Post, Daniel Young

2
Gail Butterfield, Jackie Cook, Aaron Dionne, Mary Eadie, Andrew Gauss, Vera Paepke

3
Sally Waite

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

Roger Allen, publisher. “Rockford is the Humor Capital of the World”

Everybody talks about it

We sure got weather from Mother Nature last week. A week ago our shoes were melting and grass was burned to a crisp. Then, believe it or not, we got rain off and on for a few days. The farmers in Iowa would sell their kids for rain.

After a nice day in the 50s, we were back into the 90s. We’re not out of the woods yet. We still have more summer ahead of us, and, according to climate experts, a warm fall. We’re still very short of rain. It may come, but may not.

Drinking lots of water and staying inside with A/C fends off personal discomfort but doesn’t stop worries about the nation’s crops. Come fall, those tall house plants people set in living room corners may be the only corn left alive.

Smart

If lawyers can be debarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that laundry workers could decrease, eventually even becoming depressed and depleted? Bed makers could be debunked, baseball players debased, landscapers deflowered, bulldozer operators degraded. Software engineers, of course, could be detested, and even music composers eventually decompose.

Pretty smart

Selling at an auction was halted when the auctioneer announced, “Someone in the room has lost his wallet containing $2,000. He is offering a reward of $500 for its immediate return.”

After a moment of silence, there was a call from the back of the room, “$550.”

Not so smart

A friend reports: I saw a lady at work today inserting a credit card into her PC disk slot and pulling it out quickly. I asked what she was doing. She said she was shopping on the Internet and they asked for a credit card number, so she was using her computer’s ATM thingy.

Blonde

A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs. One night he’s doing a show in a small town in Arkansas. With his dummy on his knee, he’s going through his usual dumb blonde jokes when a blonde woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and starts shouting:

“I’ve heard enough of your stupid blonde jokes. What does the color of a person’s hair have to do with her worth as a human being? It’s guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community. You and your kind perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes but women in general, and all in the name of so-called humor!”

The ventriloquist is embarrassed and begins to apologize when the blonde yells, ”You stay out of this, mister! I’m talking to that little jerk on your knee!”

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

A nonpartisan solution

Jerry Coon

I recently attended a conference for Money Concepts, the broker dealer firm that I am associated with for the financial planning portion of my business. One of the speakers was Dan Greenwell, a very successful and longtime associate in the Money Concepts system from Money Concept’s Kentucky Bluegrass Region. Dan titled his talk “What’s Next?” It centered on what we need to do to succeed in the future not only in the financial planning business but also in life in general.

The first portion of the speech involved Dan’s advice that we must be prepared to embrace change. He also gave his recommendations on the actions to take to benefit from those changes.

The second portion of the speech was a little more emotional. Dan gave us the four life principles that he learned from his father. His father was a successful businessman who died of a heart attack at age 63. He ran his business, the largest tire dealership in the five-state Kentucky area, and also his life, using the following four principles as his guide. These four were the principal reasons for his success.

First, always do what is best for the client. Ultimately, what is best for the client will be best for you.

Second, always tell the truth. It’s the only way you won’t forget what you told to someone in the first place. Truer words were never spoken.

Third, if you borrow money, pay it back. Dave Ramsey would have loved Dan’s dad.

Fourth, integrity is the only thing you take with you to the grave. Your money stays here. Your cars, your business, your house, your boat, your motorcycle, your friends, and your relatives all stay. Your reputation and your integrity, however, do live on in the sense of how people remember your life and time spent here. Those won’t help you either as you approach the pearly gates for that day of reckoning. However, on this earth, I believe one of the finest tributes that can be given to someone is to say he or she is and was a person of integrity. I didn’t know Dan’s dad, but I do know Dan, and he has the type of reputation that we all hope to have and be known for.

We can all control our actions in regards to how we live our life. However, a subject we have no control over is the fixing of the Social Security system. Congress and only Congress can make those decisions. Yes, we do elect the men and women in Congress but after that, the decision-making process is in their hands. It’s up to us to choose our Congressmen and women wisely because this is a problem that will require a nonpartisan solution.

That’s a sobering thought.

Our current Congress doesn’t elicit confidence that they will be able to solve any type of problem, especially if it requires a nonpartisan solution. That’s sad but that appears to be the way it is.

As I stated in an earlier article, if Congress does nothing, at some point somewhere from 2030 to 2035, every check written by the Social Security Administration (SSA) will simply be cut to approximately 70%-75%. All reserves will be gone and the SSA system will be operated as a pay-as-you-go system. The SSA will pay out in benefits what they collect, after operating expenses, of course.

What actions can be taken in the next few years to change this outcome? I am going to presume that Congress does want to change the system and they aren’t going to just wait until the reserves are gone and the pay-as-you-go happens when it happens. It’s a sobering thought, but it is a nonpartisan solution.

Here are the most common, most talked-about solutions that can be made to keep the pay-as-you-go solution from occurring. According to a Department of Treasury 2007 report, immediately increasing the FICA tax by 1.95% to a total of 14.35%, up from the current 12.4%, will provide a 100% fix to the system for at least the next 75 years. The report states that over the next 75 years, the system will endure, in present value terms, a $5.1 trillion shortfall. That $5.1 trillion equates to 1.95% of the present value of taxable payrolls over that 75-year time frame. Therefore, increasing the tax on the payrolls by 1.95% will solve the problem for 75 years.

As an alternate solution, the report works out the math that reducing benefits immediately by 13% will also provide 100% liquidity for the next 75 years.

Another solution would be to increase the tax rate to 14.4% gradually over the next 20 years. That will provide 63% liquidity. Of course, that leaves 37% to be dealt with by cutting benefits or using one of the other solutions such as increasing the full retirement age.

Eliminating the top-end cap on earned income subject to tax has become a very popular solution. That will provide some relief, but it will not cover all the previously mentioned shortfall of 37%. Evidently, there are not as many people as we think that earn more than $110,100, as it stands under current law as the maximum for 2012.

The key to a solution is for Congress to work together. To reach a solution that is going to last 75 years is going to take all of Congress. I think the last time that happened was back when Ronald Reagan was president, so I’m not expecting much. But a little bit here and a little bit there could add up to a lasting solution. Let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed. This is Jerry Coon signing off.

Jerry Coon is an Enrolled Agent. He owns Action Tax Service on Northland Drive in Rockford. Contact Jerry through his website, www.actiontaxservice.com.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Honest commitment to Cannon Township

 

Honest commitment to Cannon township

Dear Editor,

There are over 100 volunteers who serve Cannon Township. They serve on the road, sewer, law enforcement, cemetery and recreation committees. Some serve on the Bear Creek Watershed Council, participate in our biannual stream study, or help with Waterfest. Many volunteer to help keep the Cannon Trail clean. Some serve as precinct inspectors (election workers).

If you wish to be involved in Cannon Township, there are many ways to help. In my opinion, these residents who give of their time to make things better in Cannon Township are the ones who are truly committed to Cannon.

Bonnie Shupe Blackledge
Cannon Township Clerk

Reader supports Carozza for Cannon Township Board

Dear Editor,

My comments regard printed comments in last week’s Squire, which ended with “that’s integrity?” in regards to Ken Carozza and another candidate.

I have known Ken for many years as a neighbor and been in a small group from church with him and his wife, where he served as group leader. I’ve known him to give wise council and conduct himself with integrity.

It was said: “only a few [of his] endorsers live in Cannon Township.” His list of 123 campaign endorsers includes 83 from Cannon Township. He also brings a wide variety of business experience, including Instructor in Organizational Behavior, Leadership and Business Ethics at Cornerstone University, besides being a pastor.

Ron Jacobson
Cannon Township resident

Carozza responds to reader letter

Dear Editor,

In response to Mr. Jon Coretti’s critique of July19, I would like to say that I am honored by the endorsements of U.S. Senate candidate Randy Hekman, Grand Rapids Community College trustees Dick Stewart and Rich Ryskamp, M.D., as well as former State Rep. Jack Horton. It appears Mr. Coretti fails to grasp the nature of endorsements. It is not necessary for an endorser to be in the same voting district in order to confer approbation. This is common practice in local, state and national races. But more revealing is Mr. Corretti’s charge that my commit2cannon.org website endorsement list includes “only a few” that live in Cannon Township. Over 80 Cannon Township residents are listed as endorsers on my webpage, which is more than “a few” and easily verified. Thank you for publishing this correction.

Ken Carozza
Candidate for Cannon Township Clerk

Cannon Township Board: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’

Dear Editor,

We have all heard and used the phrases: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” and, “Leave well enough alone!” to suggest that any attempt to correct or modify what is already working well should be avoided.

These phrases are particularly apt when applied to the majority of the Cannon Township Board. During their recent terms, Steve Grimm, Bonnie Blackledge, Deb Diepenhorst, Diane Jones and Dick Davies have consistently demonstrated devoted and competent attention to the needs and wishes of the township’s residents. Their accomplishments, too numerous to catalogue here, can be reviewed on the township’s website, www.cannontwp.org, by clicking “Township Board” under the “Home” tab. I would encourage you to do so, and then to vote for these incumbents, as well as for Mike Warmbier, who shares their goals and governmental philosophies.

Change, simply for the sake of change, is always a mistake.

 Mark H. Verwys

LaPeer endorses Alles for treasurer

Dear Editor,

As retiring Treasurer of Cannon Township, I am pleased to endorse Mr. Jim Alles to be the new township treasurer for the next four years. His opponent, Mr. Dick Davies, is a fine gentleman whom I have known for years. But today’s treasurer’s office has become a highly complex operation with extensive use of electronic spreadsheets, ACH transfers, wire transfers, and other computerized state-of-the-art EFT techniques. I believe Mr. Alles to be much better prepared to handle the daily hands-on requirements of today’s 21st century office. I would also add that Mr. Alles has recently received the endorsements of four other township treasurers: Jim Townsend (Alpine) and Jerry Davis (Courtland) along with Jim Stover (former Plainfield) and Mary Carpenter (retired-Cascade)—a sure indication that experienced treasurers consider Mr. Alles to be well qualified.

Additionally in this election, I would strongly recommend to voters that it is time to elect new leadership to the township board. In my opinion, over the last 18 months the board has regressed into one where five of seven board members almost always vote together as a block with little or no discussion on the issues. This has resulted in some rather peculiar board votes, such as “eliminating noise limits will provide better control of noise” and, “play-now, pay-later for sewer construction is good fiscal stewardship.” Frankly, I think the township deserves better than this. Please cast your votes wisely.

James A. LaPeer

Past actions speak volumes

Dear Editor,

The Lake Bella Vista Improvement Association (LBVIA) is rightfully proud of its water system, which we have paid for with non-tax funds. It is recognized as one of the finest small water systems in the state. In 1999, using township tax dollars and without prior approval of the Cannon Township Board, the township supervisor, Jim Alles, presented to a shocked and surprised community an extensive engineering plan to form a Cannon Township Community Water System; the main basis of which was to be our LBVIA water system. I know, because I was the president of the LBVIA board of directors that led an effort to stop Mr. Alles short of his self-proclaimed legacy for the future. We successfully stopped this takeover, first with a LBVIA resolution (99-29) and secondly with a combined effort to vote Mr. Alles out of office.

Township boards are not run like businesses. The duties of each member are prescribed by statutory law. Our incumbent township board, under the leadership of Steve Grimm, follows the letter of the law. All projects are researched and voted on before the fact. Their accomplishments are many and they have stated that they have no interest in taking our water system.

Today we have seven candidates (including Alles) wanting to displace six members of the present board. I am concerned, as all Cannon Township residents should be, that only two of the candidates have township board experience. I received a brochure that touted how their “family values” slate would run things differently. Hmm… Seems like things have been going very smoothly so far with the present board. Experience is important, and I would not like so many challengers to be learning on the job.

On August 7, 2012, please support the candidacies of Cannon Township Supervisor Steve Grimm, Clerk Bonnie Shupe Blackledge, Treasurer Dick Davies, and trustees Deb Diebenhorst, Diane Jones and Mike Warmbier. These are people with proven integrity and a real commitment to the people of Cannon Township.

Dr. Paul JorgensenFormer president of Lake Bella Vista Improvement Association
Rockford resident

Cannon challengers try to create controversy where there is none

Dear Editor,

My name is Don Kurylowicz and I come to this election with very unique perspective. As a business owner in Cannonsburg, I have interacted with every township board since 1983.

Not taking away from any of the good individuals that served in the past 30 years, I must speak out and say as a whole the present is the best township board our community has seen. This board is made up of individuals that represent every aspect of Cannon Township. They challenge each other to arrive at the best solution for the whole community. They may not always agree, and that is a good point. It shows they are looking at each item brought before them as individuals, who thoroughly and deliberately review the item to reach the best conclusion. They have no hidden agenda; they do their discussions in the public eye.

I’ve watched over the past few months a few individuals trying to throw a red herring to create a controversy where there is no real controversy. Steve Grimm and the rest of the board have done a very good job in balancing the budget, by first cutting their wages before services. Although state funds have been short, the present board has strived to improve our community and quality of life. Bonnie Blackledge has looked to federal and other grants to maintain the environment and to construct our nature trails. Dick Davies as chair of the road committee has overseen the upgrade and resurfacing of many of the roads in Cannon. Cannon Township is a well-run government. We do not need nor can afford to have a wholesale change.

The slate opposing is comprised of a few individuals who have very little experience in township government. In fact, several of the candidates have not participated in any aspect of township government. Voters should question why seven individuals all march to the same tune, all market themselves as one. Their campaign speaks to a George Orwell quote. Orwell said that political prose was formed “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

When you go to the polls on August 7, let us show this board that they have your vote of confidence.

Finally, something that myself and a few others have stated for the 30 years. No matter how the election turns out, let us remember, “We must agree to disagree and still be friends.” With that thought in our hearts we will have the best community. Thank you for your time.

Don Kurylowicz
Owner of Honey Creek Inn, Cannonsburg Bottle, Cannonsburg Grist Mill

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