June 14 2012

BIRTHDAYS — June 16–22

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

16 Paula Kruer, Dave Ruehs, Bill Throckmorton, Sharon Zapf 17 Mary Liz Chipman, Alma Madges, Sue Morrow, Shirley Richardson, Judy Wilson 18 Gen Waid, Tom Wybranowski 19 Marquita Campbell, Cathy Fusee, Timothy J. Lewis, Phyllis VanderKolk, Ann Ziel 20 Yvonne Alber, Roger Allen, Zaccary Bennett, Mary Anne Burns, Edith Post, Nancy Wood 21 Jeremiah Briggs, John DeVogel, Jim McDonald, Jim McIntyre, ChiChi Rogers, Julie Springsteen 22 Nathan Briggs, Rachael Laage, Margaret Traxler

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

Giving up a rental to foreclosure “Be well… Do good things… Keep in touch.” This is one of Garrison Keillor’s more famous, if not the most famous, quotes from “The Writer’s Almanac.” It’s short, but it sure does say a mouthful. I have a nephew, Andrew Veenstra, who graduated from Sparta High School last week. One of the speakers used this quote as the central point of her speech. The three points of the quote should apply to us all year long and are timeless, but they can be especially applied to those graduates who are just starting on their life’s journey. While it’s true that getting through high school is a big step, in reality it is just a step in the right direction. There are bigger steps to be taken down the road, such as perhaps graduating from college, getting married and perhaps raising a family, and hopefully finding an occupational field that you enjoy working in. High school can definitely set the tone. Doing what Mr. Keillor suggests over the long term can also set the tone of a lifestyle. Think of the words as you say them to yourself: “Be well… Do good things… Keep in touch.” That’s timeless advice to give to someone and for each of us to follow. You are wishing them good health and well-being. You are advising them to do good because the human spirit and psyche is positively empowered by doing good things. By keeping in touch with loved ones, friends and acquaintances, we let them know they are important to us. Thank you, Garrison Keillor for your genius in putting these eight words together in a quote that we can all use to live by. The final situation I would like to discuss in our ongoing series on the topic of foreclosures involves having rental property. Giving a rental up to foreclosure is one of the more complicated tax situations that we as tax professionals get to deal with. Let’s go through an example: Joe buys a rental in 1990 for $110,000. In 2005, it was appraised at $205,000 without Joe having made any appreciable improvements to the property. Joe needed a car and his two daughters were in college, so he was in […]

City passes regulations regarding carriages and hayrides

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA When a carriage company began doing business in downtown Rockford, the City realized they had no regulation in place regarding such operations. Traditional carriage and hayrides included in City celebrations have always fallen under the permitting process of special events applications. On Monday, May 14 during the regular City Council meeting, regulation for carriage services, hayrides and other horse-drawn services was approved unanimously. City Councilman Jerry Coon questioned whether the new regulations would have any effect on services offered during Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Start of Summer Celebration and was assured the new regulation—along with a $200 season application fee—would not apply to or affect the Chamber or any other festival organization that goes through the City permit process for special events. The regulations cover how hard horses can be worked, where they have to be during rest periods (on private, not public property) and other specifics regarding safety, sanitary concerns and hours of operation. The regulations also established violation policy. “This allows the public to enjoy these types of services without violating public space,” said City Manager Michael Young.


June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

Reader thanks Good Samaritan Dear Editor, My sincere gratitude goes to the person who turned in my purse to Family Fare on Northland Drive the afternoon of May 22. I’m not aware of your identity but will always remember your integrity. Thank you! Lorraine Dice Belmont resident Kindergarten Program Change to All Day, Every Day Dear Kindergarten Parents: The House and Senate recently passed school aid bills which require school districts to provide all-day every day kindergarten in order to receive full funding. Therefore, it will be my recommendation to the Board of Education that we implement all-day every day kindergarten and developmental kindergarten beginning the fall of 2012. As you may know, we have worked over the past two years to keep the decision regarding kindergarten at the local level for several reasons, including the financial impact of all-day every day kindergarten. (For information on how all-day every day kindergarten will financially impact Rockford Public Schools, please see my previous letters on the district website.) Thank you for your patience throughout that process. I have advocated that this decision be delayed until the financial condition of public school funding has improved. Mandating an all-day every day schedule during a financial crisis is not in the best interest of all students, developmental kindergarten through 12th grade. Teachers and administrators will now finalize plans for the new kindergarten program, including staffing, professional development, curriculum, transportation, classroom materials and supplies, and communication. Additional information about your child’s program will be provided by your elementary school. If you have any questions on this topic, feel free to contact your child’s principal. Thank you. Dr. Michael S. Shibler Superintendent of Schools Rockford Public Schools Family extends thanks Dear Editor, Arlo Elkins’ passing has left a huge hole in our family. His personality was big and his loyalty to his family and loved ones was fierce. His laugh was infectious and one of a kind. He was dearly loved and will be tremendously missed. Thanks to everyone that has prayed, called and written. We are touched and so grateful. The Elkins family Column brings many fond memories Dear Editor, I couldn’t help but smile when I read Terry Konkle’s column of May 3, regarding Zell Gill. Not having seen his […]

City of Rockford extends moratorium on electronic billboards

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Among other votes, the Rockford City Council unanimously passed an extension on electronic billboards Monday, May 14 at the regular meeting. According to City Manager Michael Young, the nine-month extension of an original nine-month moratorium on the roadside digital advertising is, in part, waiting for the results of a federal study on whether digital billboards are a distraction to drivers. “The result is three years late. Given the federal government, we aren’t surprised,” said Young. The extension has nothing to do with a current lawsuit against the City by CBS Outdoor Signs, an electronic billboard company that wanted to put one within City limits near Shaw Creek Estates on Northland Drive. The City is in the midst of the suit brought against them by a refusal to allow the billboard by CBS. The company is suing Rockford, and other communities who have refused to allow the billboards, on the grounds that the refusal is hampering the right to free speech. According to Young, Rockford felt it was in the best position to take on the suit as the City’s ordinances specifically forbid the digital signage. Young also noted that the suit includes mandatory mediation, and joked that, given the electronic billboards are prohibited by City ordinance, the City has very little room to mediate. Young said that if the federal study comes back with a ruling that the billboards are not a distraction to drivers, the City will still refuse to allow them. “We will fight it all the way and I have no doubt we will win,” said Young.

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