May 31 2012

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

Wisdom from Winston Sir Winston Churchill is almost as quotable as his fellow Brit William Shakespeare. An example from Churchill: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” Currently, Egypt is trying to put that idea to the test. Countless lives were lost in Egypt’s public uprising and struggle toward democracy, but the run-off election is coming up soon. The fear is that the grim fanaticism left over from the deposed Hosni Mubarak will win. Let’s hope the Egyptian voters get it right. Another favorite Churchill quote: “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Speaking of Brits… An American visiting in England asked at the hotel for the elevator. The desk clerk looked a bit confused but smiled when he realized what the man wanted. “You must mean the lift,” he said. “No,” the American responded, “if I ask for the elevator, I mean the elevator.” “Well,” said the desk clerk, “over here we call them lifts.” “Well,” said the visitor, “it was an American who invented the elevator.” “Oh, right you are, sir,” the desk clerk said politely, “but someone here in England invented the language.” Internet wisdom I feel much more secure these days due to the many cautionary chain letters arriving in my mailbox. As a result, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains and it eats the paint off cars. I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper, since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put “Under God” on their cans. I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer. I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants, even though I smell like a wet dog on a hot day. And I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me. Keep them coming. Diet Rules for Cheaters 1. If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories. 2. If you drink diet pop with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are cancelled out by the diet pop. 3. Foods used for […]

BIRTHDAYS — June 2–8

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

2 Jason Corstange, Michael Douglas, Lynsey Maharry, Sherry Palmer, Renae Venman 3 Esther Carpenter, Barb Smith, Robert Tryon 4 Allie Hickox, Rosemary Jeruzal, Susan Laage, Irene Ryba, Anna Truman 5 Jared Gauss, June Hulsebus, Jay Shaddeau, Lorraine Smith, Dorothy Stocks 6 Sandi Franklin 7 Lois Knoor 8 Pete Brucki, Bill Cutler, Mark A. Mackie, Caroline Rowley, Debra Smitter, J. TenHave-Chapman, L. TenHave-Chapman

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

What is debt forgiveness, COD income? Debt forgiveness that may result in Cancellation of Debt (COD) income to taxpayers has been a hot topic on the tax circuit for a while, but it seems to be getting more attention today. The reasons are varied and include the fact that more taxpayers are filing for bankruptcy; credit card companies seem to be more willing to settle a debt and take what they can get; and taxpayers are still letting substantial amounts of houses go through the foreclosure process. Each of these examples creates debt forgiveness and possibly COD income. For example, a taxpayer files for bankruptcy with $200,000 of debt from all sources including house mortgage, credit cards, automobile loans, and personal loans. Total assets equal $130,000. He is insolvent by $70,000. The taxpayer has debt forgiveness equal to that difference. Another example is the taxpayer has an outstanding balance on a credit card debt of $15,000. He negotiates the pay-off down to $10,000. The $5,000 difference between the original debt and the negotiated pay-off amount is debt forgiveness. A third example is the pay-off on an auto is $20,000. The car is repossessed and then auctioned off for $12,000. The $8,000 difference would be considered debt forgiveness. The tricky part comes in applying the correct rules to determine whether the debt forgiveness creates COD income to the taxpayer. Let’s go through the three examples above. In the first example, the taxpayer files for bankruptcy. His debts are remanded to the bankruptcy trustee and an agreed-upon payment plan is set up. The taxpayer pays into the plan over a number of years. At the end of the period, any remaining outstanding debts are forgiven. There are a tremendous number of exceptions and intricate rules that must be followed, but the bottom line is at the end of the payment period, outstanding debt is forgiven. Because this occurred within the framework of a bankruptcy, the debt forgiveness will not create COD income to the taxpayer. Bankruptcy is the trump card in these instances that doesn’t allow the debt forgiveness to become COD income. In the second example, credit card debt of $15,000 is settled with a $10,000 payment. The $5,000 of debt forgiveness, in almost every instance […]


May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

Thursday, May 31 Free Meal for Northern Kent County Families—6 to 7 p.m. at the Our Lady of Consolation Family Center, 4865 Eleven Mile Rd., Rockford, every Thursday. No charge; no registration required. Provided by a partnership between Our Lady of Consolation Parish and God’s Kitchen, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan.  Rockford Rotary Club Meetings—7 to 8 a.m. at the Rams Den in Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes St., unless school is delayed or canceled. For more information, call Mark Bivins at (616) 866-1470. Saturday, June 2 Euchre Club—6:30 p.m. at the Peppermill Grill, 8 S. Squires St., Rockford. New players welcome. Donations will be accepted for North Kent Community Services. For more information, call (616) 884-0757. Sunday, June 3 Ooey Gooey Day—1 to 3 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Dr., Kent City. Learn to craft/make fun slimy playdough silly-putty creatures and fun items that your children can make and take home. Best suited for children ages 3 to 8 years old (all ages welcomed); wear play clothing for messes to be made. For allergy concerns: flour, starch, salts, oils, coloring and Elmer’s glue will be used. Cost is a donation of $6 per child. For more information, call (616) 675-3158 or visit Tuesday, June 5 Rockford Rotary Club Meetings— 7 a.m. at Rockford High School. For more information, call Mark Bivins at (616) 866-1470. North Kent Toastmasters Club Meeting—7 p.m. at Prudential Preferred Realtors, 502 Northland Dr. NE, next to Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, Rockford. Club members enhance valuable leadership and public speaking skills through practice and encouragement, progressing through manuals at their own pace. Guests welcome. For directions, call Sue at (616) 866-3509 or visit Volunteer Tutors Needed—6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Literacy Center of West Michigan, 1120 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 240, Grand Rapids, for an information session for prospective volunteer tutors. Find out more about the center and its programs. At the end of the hour-long session, there will be an opportunity to sign up for tutor training. To register, please call (616) 459-5151 ext. 10. For more information, visit Country & Gospel Music—9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, 8540 Shaner Ave., Rockford. Music by […]

A Message for You

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

Gifts by REV. DAVID MEYERS Holy Spirit Episcopal Church As spring has unfolded around us, the church has walked the Great Fifty Days of the Easter Season, gave a passing nod to Ascension Day, and now, as of last Sunday, has entered the season of Pentecost. The Day of Pentecost is remembered as the time in which the Holy Spirit came upon the gathered Apostles with great wind and fire. The outpouring of the Spirit gave them greater understanding, inspired preaching, and gifts they never knew they had in bringing the Good News to the world. The Mystery of the Holy Spirit is the indwelling Presence of God in our lives and in our world. The Spirit sustains all things, encourages all goodness, is in all, is over all, and is doing more in us than we can ask and imagine. Just like the Apostles, the Spirit continues to enter each person with all-consuming love that is manifested in gifts and skills. The Bible refers to seven spiritual gifts, but there are as many gifts as there are people. Each person is endowed with spiritual gifts at baptism. As Thomas Merton wrote, “We get a name in baptism. That is because the depths of our soul are stamped, by that holy sacrament, with a supernatural identification, which will eternally tell us who we were meant to be. Our baptism, which drowns us in the death of Christ, summons upon us all the sufferings of our life: their mission is to help us work out the pattern of our identity received in the sacrament.” It becomes, then, the mission of all of us to not only discover ourselves but live into our gifts. For some, gifts are easy to recognize. For others, the search is more elusive. Sometimes we know our own gifts. Oftentimes, however, gifts must be identified and named by others. This is the value of the worshiping community. When gathering in the name of Christ, we enter a fellowship in which gifts are honored, nurtured, respected, and celebrated. Realizing all are different, may hold different beliefs, may even entertain opposing viewpoints, the inclusive church becomes stronger. The Christian community creates a marvelous tapestry that can overcome the world in furthering the Kingdom of […]

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