May 10 2012

MacGregor states concerns over kindergarten funding

May 10, 2012 // 0 Comments

State Rep. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, issued the following statement recently in response to his vote against the House Fiscal Year 2013 School Aid Budget: “Although there were many positive reforms in this budget, I have serious concerns with the change in how kindergarten is funded. The budget takes away half of the funding for kindergarten programs that operate half-day programs, though no savings to the state are shown.” “I support the vast majority of reforms and programs in the education budget, but I will not support a plan that will cost our local schools more of their limited funding without providing any financial savings to the state. We should not be essentially mandating full-day kindergarten, which is why I voted against this budget as currently written.”

It’s official – Bostwick Lake Inn open for business

May 10, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Under the banner of the Gilmore Collection of restaurants, the Bostwick Lake Inn (BLI) opened its doors for business this week Tuesday. Your reporters had the good fortune to be invited as guests to one of three days of an invitation only soft-opening. Soft-openings are meant to hone the skills and menu of a new restaurant’s management and staff. They’re kind of like shake down cruises or breaking in a new car if you will. Soft-openings are oftentimes like train wrecks but such was not the case during our visit last Saturday evening. What was not to like? Gone is the decades old monochromatic white exterior along with an interior needing a little tender loving care. Now sparkling clean inside and out, you’ll love the vibrant new color schemes. History was not forgotten. The walls of the dining room displayed newly framed black and white antique photographs of the lake and the restaurant’s past that were freely provided by lakeside and area residents. We loved the eclectic menu offerings. Variety is the spice of life and with an extensive menu, in part, of fourteen starter appetizer plates it was difficult to narrow it down to one or two so why not order three? Cliff ordered Applewood Smoked Harrietta Hills Trout over baked herbed cheese with fried tarro chips. Nancy went with the Grilled Wild Gulf Shrimp with local asparagus 2 ways, both grilled and salad with candied ginger vinaigrette. Our attentive and knowledgeable server Rebecca suggested the third, Olive Oil-Spice Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with roasted pepper puree and golden raisins. Bursting with flavor and freshness, we could not fault any one of the three. On to the main course. Cliff ordered the BLI Mac ‘N Cheese composed of rigatoni pasta, baby spinach, roasted garlic, slow roasted tomatoes, house cheese sauce, crispy asiago cheese, and crispy leeks to which he added perfectly grilled and sliced flank steak. Cliff was in “seventh heaven” stating it was the best Mac ‘N Cheese he had ever had, the mélange of flavors of the combined ingredients was that good! Nancy, a seafood lover, chose Potato Chip-Sweet Corn Crusted Walleye. The generous filet was served with house remoulade and lemon on the side with grilled local […]

Group turns scraps into hope, help for hundreds

May 10, 2012 // 0 Comments

‘This lets them know someone cares’ by BETH ALTENA  Estelle Fessenden doesn’t know exactly how many people have received quilts stitched by a group she set in place. Pieces of the Heart was an idea she had and a group she started in 2001, sewing a little love into quilts given to those in need. Organized from her home not far from Rockford Ambulance offices on Ten Mile and Shaner Avenue, last year alone the group gave out over 600 quilts. The 15 members of the quilting group were gathered together Wednesday, April 25 for a thank-you luncheon offered by Rockford Ambulance staff in appreciation for their donations. Since members of the group mostly work from their own homes, it was a special treat to get together all in once place. Ambulance staff, including Roger Morgan, were thrilled to praise the efforts of the members and thank them for their generosity. “It started out with the Women’s Resource Center and branched out,” Fessenden said. While working at a fabric store, which has since closed, Fessenden said she thought to put an excess of scrap fabric to good use. At the resource center, the small quilts went to kids who are at a tough time in their lives and who may have arrived at the shelter with nothing but the clothes on their backs. More than a decade later, the group has donated quilts to medical first responders such as Rockford Ambulance, to veterans, to the elderly, to neonatal units and to dialysis patients. Over the years they have provided comfort, caring and something to hang on to for thousands of men, women and children. Rockford Ambulance Paramedic Brent Jones was there to thank the volunteer group, and said following the luncheon he was going to take one of the quilts to an elderly woman who had suffered from a brain tumor. “We like to keep an eye on her and check in with her,” he said. He described how much such a simple gesture can mean to someone. “You should see the looks on the faces of the people we give them to,” he said. “We like to take them to people in nursing homes. Sometimes they are put in there and no one comes […]

Affordable family fun available for special needs children

May 10, 2012 // 0 Comments

Low-cost, low-stress events, activities designed for families of children with special needs Every family needs opportunities to relax and have fun together, and that’s especially true for families of children with special needs. Finding venues and activities that are suitable can be challenging and expensive. Family Hope Foundation has created a calendar of low-cost, low-stress activities and events perfect for families of children with special needs. From movies to family days at various venues, each is designed to provide families of individuals with special needs with affordable, disability-friendly, low-stress, fun activities that they can participate in as a whole family. One of the events is movies at Celebration! Cinema North, 2121 Celebration Dr. NE, 
Grand Rapids, the last Saturday of every month. Families often give up on seeing movies in a theater, but Family Hope Foundation has partnered with Celebration! Cinema North to offer a movie showing specifically for families of individuals with special needs. Movies are at 10 a.m. and are $5 per ticket. The next few movie dates coming up are Saturday, May 26, “Pirates! Band of Misfits”; June 30, “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”; July 28, “Ice Age: Continental Drift”; August 25, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.” On Saturday, August 18, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Visser Family YMCA, 3540 Fairlanes SW, Grandville, will host a free Family Night including dinner, swimming, basketball, rock-climbing and more. Please RSVP at (616) 530-9199 by August 14. Events and activities for the upcoming summer and fall are being added to the calendar. The best way for families to stay informed about what’s on tap is to sign up to receive e-mails about upcoming events and community resources at or follow Family Hope Foundation on Facebook. Family Hope Foundation is composed of 16 board members from the West Michigan community who are committed to providing support to children with special needs and their families. Family Hope Foundation invests in children with special needs through family support, engaging community experts, advocacy through collaboration, and financial assistance to provide access to therapies. More information is available by visiting Family Hope Foundation’s website

1 3 4 5 6 7 10