Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher

January 28, 2010 // 0 Comments

0 for 2 Democrats struck out last week. Another nay-saying Republican to replace Ted Kennedy isn’t what they wanted. Sixty Senators can vote to allow debate; 59 isn’t enough. Now 41 Senate Republicans can say “NO” to everything and make it stick. So much for the people of this nation who want healthcare reform and better international relations. The Supreme Court, in another 5-4 decision, capped off the week by allowing corporations to pour unlimited money into election campaigns. Experts all along the political spectrum say we’ll see the down side to this. The only winners (besides the already mega-rich corporation executives) will be the political advertising industry. Good news So far the President has not been blamed for the earthquake in Haiti. Gene pool rejects Continued from last week: 1. A man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Mich., at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because, he said, he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The would-be robber, frustrated, walked away. 2. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer was $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, has a crime been committed?] Moral of the story The teacher gave her fifth-grade class an assignment: get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories. They related all the regular type of stuff: spilled milk and pennies saved. Then the teacher realized that Vernon hadn’t yet participated. “Vernon, do you have a story to share?” “Yes ma’am. My daddy told me a story about my Aunt Rhonda. She was a pilot in Desert Storm and her plane got hit. She had […]

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher — January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Payback Wall Street screwed up and we had (have?) a recession. Now it looks like things in the financial industry are getting better. The President wants the banks—that we the people bailed out of trouble—to pay back the money. If taxpayers are the insurance company of last resort, it’s only right that the banks pay the premium on that insurance. We won’t soon forget those multi-million dollar bonuses paid out by the banks we kept out of bankruptcy. Seems like managers that lead their companies into near-bankruptcy should be fired, not rewarded. If those guys deserve a bonus because of all the profits they’ve made, where are the profits? Right here in town we have managers who made do during the business slowdown crunch with lots less income than the big banks. Give them a few $billion of business and I’ll bet they wouldn’t need to be bailed out. Darwin Awards! A Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek honor named after Charles Darwin, given to people who “do a service to humanity by removing themselves from the gene pool.” According to Wendy Northcutt, author of the Darwin Awards books, the awardees must accomplish that in a “sublimely idiotic fashion.” Northcutt’s Darwin Awards website tries to verify all stories it receives about the least evolved among us. But if they are fiction, I don’t mind. It’s the laugh that counts. For example: “When his 38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.” Here’s one I like, although it doesn’t involve total self-destruction: “The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company, expecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine. He also lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.” And here’s one that displays both idiocy and ingenuity. I don’t think it qualifies for a Darwin Award: “After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed […]

OPINIONS — January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Michigan a dysfunctional State of being by CLIFF & NANCY HILL What follows is another example of how Michigan—in spite of rhetoric from the governor’s office and the state legislature to reform the state—is still finding ways to not deliver services more efficiently and in a timely manner. In 2008, the Michigan state legislature created a new type of on-premises liquor licenses, namely Redevelopment Project Area and Development District or Area Liquor Licenses. Rockford’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is one such qualified district or area. The legislation stipulates the availability of one new liquor license within the redevelopment project area for every $200,000 of public and private investment in real and personal property over a preceding five-year period. Rockford’s DDA has met and exceeded that financial hurdle—in spades—qualifying for a goodly number of the new class of liquor licenses. This is all well and good. It was hoped that the new licenses would enhance the quality of life for a city’s residents along with visitors to their community. More importantly, it is felt by many that the new licenses would stimulate economic growth, create jobs and encourage the opening of new businesses. Now here’s the rub. In the spring of 2009, the owner of the newly rebuilt and vacant downtown Rockford storefront at 123 E. Courtland Street secured a tenant, the Mexican cuisine restaurant Cinco de Mayo. Acquiring one of the new liquor licenses was critical to the venture’s future financial success. Achieving unanimous Rockford City Council approval for license application to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC), the principals moved forward and initiated the application process on June 3, 2009. At the same time, they commenced with the extremely expensive build-out of the restaurant’s interior. They were aiming for a Harvest Festival 2009 grand opening date and hopeful their new liquor license would be in hand at the same time. Were they ever wrong. Still without a liquor license on October 5, 2009, Cinco de Mayo opened their doors for business, promising in advertisements in the local newspapers a “full bar coming soon.” To this day, almost eight months after they initially made application to the MLCC, Cinco de Mayo has yet to receive their liquor license and no one at the state level […]

Main Street by Roger Allen publisher

August 20, 2009 // 0 Comments

  LUST Not as interesting as it sounds when it comes to the state budget. It stands for Leaking Underground Storage Tanks. In decades past, it seemed as though a small gas station stood on nearly every corner, sometimes just a pump or two in front of a neighborhood grocery store. The stations are mostly gone, but the big tanks buried beneath them remain. Over the years these tanks spring leaks and the gas or kerosene seeps into the ground. Michigan is third in the nation for LUST. Unused industrial sites add to our total. Time to dig up those leaky tanks. Contamination of ground water is the big concern. We can’t move to Mars, so we better take care of this planet. Federal stimulus money is helping fund the clean-up, but Michigan is responsible for a portion of the cost. And new LUST sites in the state are discovered every year. Disgust The $860 billion military spending bill contains 1,100 earmarks—laws that wouldn’t pass separately but can ride along on the main one. Congressmen trade their votes for the main bill for votes for their pet earmarks. Some earmarks attached to the military bill are for things the military doesn’t even want. Sometimes it seems like our elected lawmakers work for their own good, not ours. Congress gets to vote on its own salaries, benefits, health care, and ethics. But, at this writing, the U.S. is still the only developed western country without universal health insurance. It’s downright disgusting. Job Joke #1 The local sheriff was looking for a deputy. An applicant showed up. “Okay,” said the sheriff, “You’ll have to take our test. What’s one and one?” “Eleven,” replied the man. The sheriff figured that, in a way, the guy was right. “Next question,” said the sheriff. “What two days of the week start with the letter T?” “Today and tomorrow.” Again the sheriff was surprised that the applicant had supplied a creative answer that he himself hadn’t thought of. “Now, listen carefully. Last question: Who killed Abraham Lincoln?” The man thought really hard for a minute and finally admitted, “I don’t know.” “Well, why don’t you go home and work on that one for a while?” said the sheriff. So the guy […]

Letters to the Editor – July 23, 2009

July 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Tragedy averted at crosswalk  Dear Editor, I doubt these young teens will read this, but perhaps their parents will. I saw two kids walking south to the corner of Fremont and Division streets. I waited for the traffic light to turn green, and then started to turn. These kids abruptly started walking right in front of my vehicle. They didn’t even look to see if there was oncoming traffic. There are crosswalk signals at this corner, but obviously “DO NOT WALK” was ignored. If I hadn’t braked, I would have hit at least one of these children! And if the driver behind me wasn’t alert, I would have been rear-ended for the sudden stop. I thank my lucky stars that a tragedy was averted. I did yell out my window, “Watch where you’re going,” but they didn’t even look back. I’m writing in hopes that kids “look before they leap,” to use a cliché. If, heaven forbid, a toddler ventured out into the street, it would be bad enough. But 13- and 14-year-olds know better!  Sincerely,  Mary Beth Eggleston, Rockford resident   Alpha Family Center, Independent Bank, Save-A-Lot partner together Dear Editor, Alpha Family Center, Independent Bank and Save-A-Lot in Cedar Springs are partnering together to raise support for life—the life of the unborn child. Today, I had a chance to partner with them. I stopped in to Save-A-Lot to make a purchase and donated money along with my purchase. I placed my name on the little baby name tag that will be displayed on the window, along with many others. Let’s raise support together. Stop into Alpha, Save-A-Lot and Independent Bank today to make your donations. Let’s fill up the windows together. Let’s support an organization that cares about the needs of others! Lifewalk is a celebration of the lives saved and cared for through Alpha Family Center. The yearly Lifewalk took place on Saturday, June 20. The walk began at Morley Park and then wound down through the heart of Cedar Springs, stopping to pray at four key locations within the community. Over 200 faithful supporters were in attendance, pledging $17,000 in support! Everyone who participated received a t-shirt and fellowship as they rejoiced once again in God’s provision for another year. Three women […]

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