May 7 2009

Rockford elementaries earn Green School awards

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

Roguewood and Valley View may soon have other Rockford elementaries going green with envy. Both have been honored with an award by Green School awards program hosted by Kent County and Kent ISD. The ceremony took place at the LEED certified Fine Arts Center in Forest Hills Public Schools. According to Principal Hiblen, the students had 20 “green” project options and were to complete ten of them before Earth Day on April 22. “We did a bunch of different things,” Hiblen said of his Roguewood Green Team. The students set a goal for the school to recycle all paper, implemented a battery recycling program, all as part of a district-wide comprehensive energy-savings program that has saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars.   Both schools sent their Green Team students for a ceremony recognizing their successful efforts.   Brad Davison, fifth grade teacher at Valley View and  Nancy Berg, fourth grade teacher, were co-sponsors of the student-run Green Team at Valley View.  Students decided on their ten state green school projects and have worked on these all yearlong. They include designing and planting a native Michigan rain garden, recycling paper and plastic, being involved in a plastic bag county project (they recycled over 22,000 plastic bags), designing environmental teaching lessons and teaching to lower elementary grade levels, hosting environmental speakers, and starting a composting center for lunch food scraps.  “We are very proud of the efforts all the students at Valley View and especially the Green Team,” said Berg.   Hiblen said of the students at both schools, “I am extremely proud, really it’s an example of documenting things kids do every day and I celebrate the chance of giving them credit for that.” “The Green Schools program supports the county’s continued effort to strengthen conservation, encourage energy reduction and build ‘green buildings’ like our new Department of Human Services and District Court buildings,” noted Roger C. Morgan, chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners.  “We are excited to partner with Kent County in presenting these awards to our schools,” said Kent ISD Superintendent Kevin A. Konarska, and have been told we are the only ISD-County partnership in Michigan Green Schools. The students and educators here today are great examples of the energy and […]

Rockford senior honored

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRISTINE BIGNEY Lena Sims looks like the-girl-next-door, a senior at Rockford High School. She’s articulate, pleasant to talk to, and occasionally humorous. Any parent would be proud to have Lena as their daughter, just on that basis alone. But Lena is something special. Not only does she thrive on “lots of AP (advanced placement) classes,” such as AP English, AP calculus, AP physics, and AP Spanish, Lena has won an award that many students would find elusive. This past January, Lena won 1st place at the State Competition in Fundamental Accounting, an award sponsored by the Business Professionals of America. Mr. Noel Fike, Lena’s BPA chapter advisor, and teacher of business management courses at Rockford High School, asked his business students if any of them would be interested in competing for this award. “This is something new for Rockford this year. We get extra funding from the state if we have this available to the students. We had 27 members this year,” Fike said. Fike went on to say that there were many competitions to compete in at Davenport University. Five students from Rockford were able to go to Regionals, Lena being the only one scoring 100 percent. Was the test hard? “Not really,” Lena said, smiling. “There were a few things I didn’t know, but we were allowed to use the manual, so as long as you had an idea, you were ok.” The awards ceremony was held at the Amway JW Marriott, where 2000 people gathered in anticipation of the announcement of the awards. “I really hoped I would just make nationals, but I couldn’t believe I was number one in the state!” Lena exclaimed. Lena hopes to pursue international accounting, “So I can use my Spanish,” she said. Ohio State or the University of Michigan is her college choices. “Hopefully over Spring break I can make a decision.” Mr. and Mrs. Fike along with Lena’s mom Connie, will be accompanying Lena to the nationals in Dallas, Texas May 6 through May 10. Lena’s dad, Leslie Sims, is currently in Iraq, working as an electrician government contractor. He has been there since last October. When asked if she participates in any sports, Lena replied that she was in Crew for three years, […]

Birthdays—May 9-15

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

May 9 – 15 May 10th Bill Antor Jack Cook Jodi Hay Linda Martinson Gary Pratt Delores Quinn Gerry Riemersma May 11th Stan Hone May 12th Paul Des Noyers Ralph R. Smith Bill Troy May 13th Harold Martinson Michael Richard Tyler TenBrink Esther Waller May 14th David Dingman Chuck Pearson Connie Potter Lynda Ringelberg May 15th Steve Douthett Curt Hazlewood Cyndy Len Linda Richard Darlene Thorington

Main Street—May 7, 2009

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

Don’t blame the pigs Apparently it was the pork chop producers lobby that got the name “swine flu” changed to “H1N1 flu.”  I’m glad.  I had flu myself last winter and I never kissed a pig. Anyway, pigs never had this particular strain of influenza. These intelligent animals got the bad rap because it’s related to a disease they sometimes get. What an injustice – encouraged, no doubt, by the fact that pigs aren’t beautiful. Human beings are so shallow. Looking east, I understand in Egypt they are killing all the pigs just to be on the safe side.  If we have to blame the disease on an innocent animal, let’s call it “mole flu.”  Nobody is fond of moles and they’re not part of a food industry. Maybe the Egyptians should kill all their moles. The pork lobby would appreciate having the world’s attention diverted from its product. Looking south, I think we should just feel sorry for the Mexicans. Between swine flu-oops, H1N1-and the drug wars, they’re living dangerous lives. They have plenty of reasons for sneaking into the U.S. TO:  GOD FROM: DOG Dear God:  Is it on purpose our names are the same, only reversed? Dear God:  Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another? Dear God:  When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it still the same old story? Dear God:  If a Dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad Dog? Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID’s, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand? Dear God:  More meatballs, less spaghetti, please. Dear God:  Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize? Dear God:  Let me give you a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good Dog:  1. I will not eat the cats’ food before they eat it or after they throw it up.   2. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.  3. The Litter Box is not a cookie […]

The Tax Attic—May 7, 2009

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

Seminars help to improve client service As I have gotten older, I enjoy listening to more different types of music than I did when I was much younger. For instance, my future son-in-law Devon Cunningham and I just happened to end up at Founders Brew Pub in Grand Rapids last weekend. I have written before about the variety of craft beers available in West Michigan and the fact that I do enjoy drinking a good craft beer now and then. Founders happens to brew some of the best so we happened to be sampling some of those best beers. After a while, some musicians started setting up for some live music. The band setting up was a collection of musicians called the Grand Rapids Jazz Band. When I was 20 years old, I might not have enjoyed the jazz they played. However, at this stage of my life, I enjoyed it tremendously, as did the rest of the crowd at Founders. The jazz music played was very lively and, from what I saw and heard, the Grand Rapids Jazz Band has quite a few very talented musicians who really know how to play jazz. They play at Founders on the first Sunday of every month. I might just happen to end up at Founders sampling one of their craft brews on one of these future first Sundays of the month. I am also going to end up attending a few more tax seminars than normal this coming summer. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has guaranteed more education is required for all tax professionals in the coming few months. The tax business, like most businesses, is a client service business and the more knowledge we have of the tax laws, the better we can serve our clients. On May 14 and 15, the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Tax Professionals (MI-NATP) will hold a two-day conference in Grand Rapids. Among various topics, the ARRA has top billing. I am a long-time member of MI-NATP, and their specialty is bringing taxes down to my level of client service. The instructors are tax professionals, such as me, who are practicing tax professionals. They know where the rubber hits the road, so to speak, and […]

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