June 17 2010
Having a great time with lots of law enforcement officers is just one benefit of signing up for this year’s Triathlon to be held at Rockford High School Saturday, July 10 starting at 9 a.m. Kids who participate—with or without their parents—will enjoy a well deserved sense of accomplishment when they have completed the three-part race and earn their medal. “They have a blast,” said Sgt. Kevin Sweeney, a Michigan State Police trooper who helps organize the annual event. “We have had kids as young as two, with their parents.” Kids ages 17 on down are invited to challenge themselves on foot, in the high school pool and in a bike section of the triathlon. Lengths of the race are adjusted for age, and every child who completes the race will receive an engraved medal. T-shirts are covered in the $20 cost to participate if registration is done prior to race day. After-race refreshments will be provided. Registration early guarantees a shirt while 8 a.m. day-of sign ups will not include a shirt. Sweeney said the event is designed to promote physical fitness but also serves as a community outreach for law enforcement. “It is important for them to see us in a positive way, not just out writing tickets or things like that,” he stated. In addition to officers, troopers and deputies, there will be volunteers from the Explorers, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services, Medical Reserve Corps, D.A.R.E. officers and the Civil Emergency Response Team. To find out more visit www.rockktri.com or call Sweeney on the race hotline at (616) 863-0669.
How can the Social Security system be fixed? Why does it need to be fixed? Without some adjustments or fixes, the system will be totally bankrupt in about 2037, even though it has a two trillion dollar surplus at this moment in time. If no adjustments are made, when the system goes bankrupt, it will be run on a money-in, money-out basis. According to projections, there will only be enough money coming in to support benefits going out at a 75% level, i.e. benefits will be immediately reduced by 25%. There have been a number of reports issued with ideas of what can be done to put off reaching this 2037 bankruptcy date. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s paper titled “Social Security Reform: The Nature of the Problem,” “Social Security can be made permanently solvent only by reducing the present value of scheduled benefits and/or to increasing the present value of scheduled tax benefits… only these changes can restore solvency permanently.” Translation: Cut benefits and/or raise taxes. The present value of scheduled benefits is calculated to be $13.6 trillion dollars. This figure can be reduced in a number of ways. The bottom line is you and I would draw less in benefits over our retirement years or will pay more in taxes. First, benefits can be cut by 20%. According to the experts, cutting benefits by 20% immediately would put the system on a firm footing for at least the next 75 years and perhaps permanently. No other changes would have to be made. Second, barring this major change, the age at which retirement benefits can be accessed can be raised. Currently, the maximum full retirement age is 65 for those born in 1937 or earlier, increasing to age 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Most everyone, however, can begin drawing at age 62, albeit with up to a 30% reduction in benefits. When President Roosevelt initiated Social Security, benefits could be accessed only when reaching age 65. Back then, coincidentally, the life expectancy was 65 so the system was stacked to not pay out many benefits. There was no drawing at age 62, even with a reduced benefit. Theoretically, if the age 65 life expectancy had been […]
Choose your weapon! Want satisfaction for your grievance? In Michigan, now’s the time. Apparently it was once necessary to classify dueling specifically as a crime; a Michigan legislature in the distant past made such a law. But that ages-old law will soon be no more. The current legislature has passed a bill getting rid of it. The governor is expected to sign the new bill. (Explanation: Lawmakers are approving bills to get rid of archaic legislation.) So, choose your weapon and seconds. Meet me at dawn down by the river! A bit of history: In the olden days, “sword play” could be serious, but not necessarily fatal. With swords, a bad cut would make you the loser of the duel, but not actually dead. Guns, however, made dueling a deadly game. Yes, you might survive a gunshot, but not as often. If we’re going to decriminalize dueling, why don’t we at least limit it to something like flinging Frisbees? (Hey! You win! Let’s go have coffee!) Choose your weapon #2 Two teenage sisters were arguing in the driveway. The younger scooped up a handful of small branches and threw them at her sister’s car, causing minor, but visible, damage to the paint. The dad ordered them inside and said, “No one is going anywhere until you two say something nice to each other.” The older girl glared but then said, “I think you’re good at making people laugh.” The younger returned, “I like your smile and I think you’re smart.” Then, in all seriousness, she added, “I’m sorry about your car. I was aiming for you.” School’s out, school’s out… Exam answers (not from OUR schools): • What does “varicose” mean? Nearby. • What is a fibula? A small lie. • How can you delay milk from turning sour? Keep it in the cow. • Name the four seasons. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar. Grumpy season On a hot day when the sweat’s running into your eyes, all sorts of minor complaints come to mind: • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Rats!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the […]