May 13 2010

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher

May 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

Deep doo-doo Problems, problems everywhere. • The oil spill in the Gulf may be coming under control, but the damage is tremendous. BP, the oil company that owns the rig (and the problem), may end up broke. Maybe better them than all the people depending on the Gulf for food and a living. • The Greeks spent themselves into serious debt, and many Greeks want the country to go bankrupt instead of using the grit-your-teeth and pay-up approach. Could somebody foreclose on the Acropolis? Be a great spot for McDonald’s. (If the U.S. went bankrupt, the Chinese might foreclose on the Grand Canyon or the Washington Monument. Maybe they’d settle for a state. I suggest Texas.) • Iceland’s volcano is pumping out ash again, disrupting more European flights. At least this one is a “natural” disaster, not caused by human beings, whose silly behavior just goes on and on. Deep thoughts Four-year-old Tim came in from playing in the yard one day and asked, “Mommy, where do babies come from?” “From God, dear,” his mother replied. “Mommy, who keeps bad people from robbing our house?” Tim asked next. His mother answered, “God and the police, dear.” “Mommy, if our house was on fire, who would save us?” “God would, probably working through the fire department.” “Mommy, where does food come from?” “God gives us food, working through the farmers.” “Mommy?” “Yes, dear?” “What do we need Daddy for?” Deep freeze Our correspondent Michelle sent in this one: Scientists at Rolls Royce built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent collisions with airborne fowl in order to test the strength of the windshields. American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high-speed trains. Arrangements were made, and Rolls Royce sent a gun to the Americans. When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof windshield, smashing it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped an engineer’s backrest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like an arrow shot […]

Birthdays — May 15-21, 2010

May 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

15th Steve Douthett, Curt Hazlewood, Cyndy Len, Linda Richard, Darlene Thorington 16th Kristi Anderson, Marjorie Brooks, Terry Guinnup, Patte Carter Hevia 17th Evelyn Hoekwater, Roger Stotz 18th Mary Jane Kohls, Randy Sivins 19th Dorothy Conran, Janice Quinn, Phyllis Tpma 20th Bruce Caylen, Jim Eadie 21st Erwin Bylsma, Vena Devin, Deb Dittmer, Ashley Havemeier Fran Kazmierski, Bea Laible

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon

May 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

One of the reasons I love baseball left us last week. Ernie Harwell passed away last Tuesday from cancer. Ernie and his partner, George Kell, were the voices of baseball when I was growing up in Coopersville in the 1950s and 1960s. Ernie had a special way of bringing the game alive for me and George was among the best third basemen ever. Back then, there was no ESPN, no Fox Sports, and no cable TV. The Tigers were on Channel 3 and the picture was fuzzy, at best. Few games other than Saturday day games were on TV and, since I wasn’t about to stay inside to watch baseball on TV in the summer, radio was my connection to baseball. It’s still my preferred way to take in a ballgame. In the 1970s, Ernie teamed up with Paul Carey. Ernie was still Ernie and Paul had that deep voice that I imagined was what God must sound like. They were even better to listen to than Ernie and George. Too bad the teams, for the most part, were so bad. Paul retired in 1991, but Ernie hung in there until 2002, when the Tigers requested his retirement. I am one of those who do believe there will be baseball in heaven. I might actually be able to hit a curveball and maybe will get a chance to do some announcing. Who knows, maybe Ernie will be able to hit a curveball, too, and instead of always announcing, he will get to play, too. Imagine that, me announcing a game and Ernie playing. That could only happen in heaven, but how much fun that would be. Before some of us get to heaven, we are going to go through some bad times down here. Those bad times may include home health care, assisted living, or nursing home care. Those bad times can be very expensive. So expensive, in fact, that many of us will spend every cent we have accumulated and will be forced to go on Medicaid. An alternative available to cover some of that expense is to buy long-term care insurance. Deb and I were given a quote from three popular carriers, John Hancock, MetLife and Genworth. The basic quote covered $230 per […]

Lewis new face on Rockford Board of Education

May 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

Incumbent David Keller remains on the Rockford Board of Education after earning a total of 1,484 votes in the Tuesday, May 4 election. In a close second seat bid, Jason C. Clauser failed to earn a seat on the board with a total of 1,008 votes and Timothy James Lewis will be the new board member with his 1,111 votes. Lewis said he appreciates the confidence in him that the votes represent. “I look forward to working with the board and getting to know more about the issues. I am happy for the opportunity to serve the community and our students.” Lewis will be sworn in at the regular Monday Board of Education meeting on May 24.

Former sports columnist joins race for office

May 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

For more than 30 years, as sports editor and main sports columnist at the Grand Rapids Press, Bob Becker reached out daily to households throughout West Michigan. Now he is reaching out to those same households again, this time as a Republican candidate for the 73rd District State House seat currently held by Tom Pearce. “When I retired two years ago, I thought I was going to be concentrating on golf and my seven grandkids,” Becker said. “But both the nation and the state have become disasters, and I decided that I needed to do more than sit around and complain. One vote isn’t going to produce a legislative miracle, but one voice, a loud voice from someone who has spent his entire life dealing with people of wealth, position and ego without being intimidated, can help make sure business is no longer done as usual.” “I covered a lot of football and basketball games in those three decades,” he said. “But I also wrote about personal things. A lot of people grew up vicariously with my kids, because I used our experiences as a family to talk about schools, family, honor and faith. And it is because of my family… all of our families… that I have decided to make this run for the 73rd District seat.” The problems facing the state are immense. “I will be the first person to admit that I don’t have all the answers,” Becker said. “Which is why I have established action committees to help me work through the details. I have school superintendents and school board members who will be my sounding board on school issues, city managers or township supervisors who will tell me if proposed legislation can actually work, or is just another unfunded mandate.” Becker’s positions reflect normal conservative principles. Government should not overburden businesses with taxes or regulations. Schools must be fully funded. The Constitution is not a suggestion, it is a blueprint on how government exists to help, not control, citizens. Becker is a veteran, and active in veterans’ affairs. He is adjutant for American Legion Post 311 in Grand Rapids, a member of the Kent County Veterans’ Honor Guard, and a representative on the United Veterans Council of West Michigan.

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