March 24 2011

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

“Rockford is the Humor Capital of the World” Well-aged Here’s a part of aging I like: For people my age, a good-sized chunk of history is within our living memory. I personally remember some of the Great Depression and all of WWII, including war bonds, ration stamps, VE Day and VJ Day. Although not around for the Wright brothers’ first airplane flight, I was already approaching middle age by the time Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon. I remember walking to first grade. The newest cars that passed me that day were 1934 models. Looking back, it seems like a scene from a period movie. Famous people, now passed on, were alive and working during the lifetimes of us old folks. Robert B. Parker and Dick Francis, two of my favorite authors, are gone now. I remember a young Joe DiMaggio, as well as Fess Parker, Peter Graves, Art Linkletter, Ernie Harwell, Jimmy Dean, Mitch Miller, Eddie Fisher, and Bob Feller. Local people I knew for decades remain alive in my memory. Clarence Blakeslee is a treasured example. People my age have a seasoned view of the world. I’m happy with my memories and recommend old age for everybody. The blonde is back “How come you’re late?” asks the bartender when the blonde waitress comes through the door. “It was awful,” she explains. “I was walking down Elm Street and saw a terrible accident. A man got thrown from his car. He was lying in the street with a broken leg and a fractured skull and there was blood everywhere. Thank God I took that first-aid course.” “What did you do?” asks the bartender. “I sat right down,” says the blonde, “and put my head between my knees to keep from fainting.” Personnel management The CIA had an opening for an assassin. After the background checks and testing, three candidates remained: two men and one woman. For the final hurdle, the CIA agents took one of the men to a metal door and handed him a gun. “We must know that you will follow your instructions, no matter what. Inside this room you’ll find your wife sitting in a chair. You have to kill her.” “You can’t be serious,” said the man. “I could never […]

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Obscure Code Sections It seems that we have a slight problem in our tax system. This problem shouldn’t be a surprise to most of us. Prisoners are filing fraudulent tax returns, claiming various credits, and getting the refunds. On top of that, they are then arguing with the Internal Revenue Service about the validity of the claims once they are caught. The National Association of Tax Professionals’ Research Department passed on to us a Tax Court case that recently was decided in favor of the IRS. A Michigan prisoner, interred in one of our maximum security prisons since 1997, filed a 2007 tax return reporting wages earned of $15,640. This amount of wages resulted in him receiving Earned Income Tax Credit of $4,667. He was audited and the IRS disallowed the credit. There is a special Code Section, 32(c)(2)(B), that says “no amount received for services provided by an individual while the individual is an inmate at a penal institution shall be taken into account” when calculating credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). I’m not amazed that the prisoner in question didn’t know about this Code Section. Heck, there are plenty of unique little Code Sections that most of us don’t know about. I am amazed, though, that the prisoner chose to appeal the original auditor’s ruling. I’m quite sure the auditor pointed out and backed it up in writing that this Code Section existed. There really was nothing to appeal. Of course, the prisoner really had nothing to lose and it probably gave him something to do. The Tax Court was not amused. They ruled that 32(c)(2)(B) does apply, as it should, and the prisoner not only wasn’t allowed to keep the EITC amount of $4,667 but he also owed an additional accuracy-related penalty assessed under Section 6662 in the amount of $933. At least common sense did apply in this situation. The other credit that prisoners have claimed en masse has been the first-time homebuyer credit. That credit was either $8,000 for a first-time homebuyer or $6,500 for a long-time resident homebuyer. Evidently, $8,000 or $6,500 was enough money for prisoners to cheat to get. The IRS indicates they believe that overall there was a few billion dollars of fraudulent […]

BIRTHDAYS — March 26–April 1

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

26th Karen Harig, Lynn Lobbezoo 27th Marv Bunn, Dorothy Czerney, Lars Nelson, Scott Oostdyk, Mike Quinn, John Thorington 28th Ross Des Noyers, Sarah Kogelschatz, Kelsey Lewis, Dottie Robinson 29th Maria Chipman, Sue Coleman, Chris Cross, Joey Deacon, Robert Eddy, Lillian Irish, Sharon Meyers, Martin Donker 30th Gary Fowle, Ruth Johnson, Mike Mengyan 31st G. Ten-Have Chapman APRIL 1st Amy Douthett, Katelyn Kruer, Jennifer Rich    

River Valley Academy Benjamin Andrew Enter, an Example in Excellence

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Friendly nature and helpful attitude evident in motivated student Benjaman Andrew Enter led the River Valley Academy effort in the “Year of the Ram” by participating in painting the school’s Ram. He maintained an excellent attitude of cooperation while under a strict time schedule, helping to incorporate various design schemes into the final project. Ben’s friendly nature and helpful approach make him a great fit at River Valley Academy. The school demands an adult-like attitude and intrinsic motivation, both of which Ben has shown daily as he continues to earn credit toward graduation. He appeared in a number of plays in school and community theater, including Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Les Miserables, Dreaming of Emerald Isle, Dead Man Walking, and Robin of the Long Bow. Ben is interested in a variety of outside activities including cooking, singing, reading, listening to all kinds of music—yes, even opera—and community service projects at North Kent Community Services and Our Lady of Consolation Church. Ben is planning on an internship during his final high school year. After high school, Ben plans on completing the prestigious culinary program at Grand Rapids Community College. He also aspires to continue acting and would like to appear in the Addams Family Musical and other professional productions.  


March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Thursday, March 24 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. Bunco Party Fundraiser—6 p.m. at Rockford Masonic Lodge, 1430 Northland Dr., Rockford, held by the Order of the Eastern Stars. Cost is $10 per person with proceeds to benefit North Kent Community Services’ Easter program. For more information, contact Patty at (616) 340-6012 or Dixie at (616) 437-7445. Saturday, March 26 Pancake Breakfast—8 to 11 a.m. at Courtland Township Fire Department, 7480 Fourteen Mile Road. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children 6-12, free for children 5 and under, and $15 per family. Enjoy pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and coffee, orange juice or milk. Proceeds to benefit Courtland Fire Dept., sponsored by Courtland Fire Auxiliary Benefit for Caitlyn Bilkovsky—5 to 9 p.m. at Kuzzins Lounge, 741 Leonard, Grand Rapids. Caitlyn was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation in November 2010, and underwent surgery on December 13, with many complications since. This benefit is to help the family with their more-than-$50,000 debt in medical expenses. The benefit will include a 50/50 raffle, silent auction and music by a DJ. If you cannot attend, donations are accepted through Paypal at or through Lake Michigan Credit Union. Sunday, March 27 Bridges Event & Dinner—1 p.m. at Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA, 6555 Jupiter Ave. NE, Belmont, co-hosted by Rockford Public Schools. Enjoy a potluck lunch at 1 p.m. (bring a dish to pass that represents the heritage of your family), a resource fair from 1 to 3 p.m., entertainment from 2 to 4 p.m., and free “open” recreation from 4 to 6 p.m., including swimming and gym time. Entertainment includes children’s crafts, Voices of GVSU, and dancers with participation encouraged. Please pre-register by calling (616) 363-3000, although “at the door” registrants will be taken as well. Free admission. Monday, March 28 Wonderful World of Chocolate—6 p.m. at Krause Memorial Library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. Chocolatier Patty Christopher of Patricia’s Chocolate will discuss the art, tools and process of making artisan chocolates. Learn about cacao beans, couverture chocolate and what the percentages mean. Sample some of Patty’s individually crafted chocolate creations. For adults. Space […]

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