September 15 2011

MacGregor joins House colleagues in ceremony to honor first responders, victims of 9/11 attacks

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Lawmaker attends with local first responder as guest  The Michigan House of Representatives hosted a ceremony on September 8, honoring first responders and Michigan natives lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. State Rep. Peter MacGregor attended the event with Cannon Township Fire Chief Jim Morris. “It was a privilege to have Chief Morris on the House floor with me today as we honored first responders and remembered the tragedy that struck our nation on September 11, 2001,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “On the 10th anniversary of this attack on our nation, we must continue to remember those who gave their lives to protect us and who risk their lives for our safety and security every day.” Following the presentation of the colors by a Michigan State Police Honor Guard, World Trade Center survivor Patrick Anderson gave the keynote address. Representatives of districts that lost residents in the attacks read the names of those victims. The Michigan House plans to hold an annual event to honor first responders and the victims of September 11.

Speaking of Bridge Walks, Governors, and statues

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL For the ninth year in a row your locally owned and original hometown newspaper, The Rockford Squire, was present Labor Day morning to participate in the 54th annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. Wanting to be in the first wave of walkers on Labor Day morning, we awoke at 4 a.m. in the middle of the night to drag ourselves out of bed, shower, down ½ a bagel (Herman’s Boy, of course) with ½ cup of bad motel coffee and head off to the bus staging area to grab a seat on the first group of 5 buses to transport walkers across the Mighty Mac to the walk’s origin in St. Ignace in the U.P., eh. A throng of 36,000 people was on hand to walk the bridge that morning, down from 42,000 in 2010. The lesser number perhaps, was the result of the poor economy, high gas prices, unseasonably cool and windy weather, or a combination of all three. Never the less, the traditional bridge walk faithful always show up, some year after year, to participate in what for many is an event on their “bucket list”. So promptly at 7 a.m., following a select group of Michigan runners, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, along with an entourage of 100+ staff and supporters, headed off over the bridge towards the finish line in Mackinaw City aided by a strong wind at their backs. This wasn’t a political event, but never the less, the Governor and his party all sported lime green t-shirts with a sprinting dog and the words, “We work in dog years.” For the uninitiated the analogy was meant to convey that the Governor and his party had accomplished more in one year than previous administrations had accomplished in seven. You know the old expression; “a dog lives the equivalent of seven human years in one year of its life”. Shortly after the start of the walk, your reporters overtook and worked their way through the governor’s party. Being very competitive, we found ourselves with a select few people striving to reach the walk’s finish line in their personal best time. Toward that goal, we achieved admirably, finishing the 5-mile walk in 59 minutes, 36 seconds. Our bridge […]

Plainfield Township to increase lighting assessment across the board

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Move is to match real costs ‘It really is minimal,’ says assistant manager by BETH ALTENA Because Consumers Energy rates now rise so regularly and by larger amounts than in years past, Plainfield Township has been unable to match residential payment for street lighting to the residential districts who should be paying for their own lights. The difference, about $50,000 a year, has been coming out of the township’s General Fund, a luxury the township can no longer afford, according to Plainfield Township Manager Robert Homan. He spoke to the board and additional township staff at a special meeting held Monday, August 29. In response to the difference between costs and collections, the township has restructured lighting assessment districts from over 200 down to 13 and will increase lighting assessment rates by 35 percent across the board to catch up residential payment to real costs of paying for residential street lighting. “There is no more equitable way to do this,” said Homan. Homan said in past years the cost of operating a streetlight rose about every 10 years, and by not very much. It was then pretty easy to adjust what residents paid for the lighting in their neighborhood. Around 2005 increases had risen to about every year and it became very difficult to adjust the many districts according to cost increases. According to Homan, residents pay for street lighting in their neighborhoods according to districts scattered throughout the township. Some of the districts were created in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s for which there are no computer records and sometimes are recorded in language that is inconsistent with wording used in lighting assessment documents the township uses today. The township response was to recreate the districts into larger sections and to make all wording in assessment language consistent. Not all residents will be affected. Those with no residential streetlights should not be and won’t be paying the assessment. The township identified 6,100 parcels that are paying for street lighting. In addition, the research turned up about 300 parcels that should have been paying but have not, possibly due to lot splits. They also identified some landlocked parcels with no lighting that should not have been paying the assessment but have been. All parcels currently being […]

Bond refunding will save township $55,000

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Low interest rates are a pain to investors but a chance to save badly needed money for those borrowing. Plainfield Township voted Monday, August 29 at a special meeting, to refund (refinance) 2001 water bonds at a lower interest rate, which will save the township $55,000 over the remaining three years of the bonds. Currently the bonds are at interest rates of 4.25 percent to 4.45 percent. With interest rates at 1.7 percent, the savings are significant enough to undergo the costs associated with refinancing. Warren Smith said the township’s financial advisor Tom Traciak brought the proposed money-saving opportunity to his attention. He said a significant source of savings would be in using a Debt Service Reserve, required at the original time of issuing the bonds to pay off the principal. He proposed using $412,000 of the original $561,000 to pay off the principal. The lower rate and saving paying four percent interest on the bonds would result in saving $55,000 over the remaining three years. It will cost $27,500 in fees and bond underwriting to refinance the bonds. “It’s going to save money and it’s worth doing,” said Trustee Vic Matthews. The refunding was approved by unanimous vote, but will need to be approved by the board at the regular Monday, Sept. 6 meeting.

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Going Postal I love the Post Office. Too bad e-mail is ruining its business. Now it may have to lay off 120,000 postal workers and close down maybe 3,700 post offices to save money. There’s something about the existence of a post office, always flying its American flag, that adds a sense of community to a town or neighborhood. You don’t get that feeling from a Fed Ex or UPS building. The U.S. Postal Service has been in hard financial straits for a long time. Congress has been too busy being entertained by lobbyists to give it enough serious thought. My own serious thought about it is that our Postal Service should be funded the way the military is funded. “The postal presence” is worth preserving. It says something about the strength and cohesiveness of our country. Nobody expects the army to turn a profit. The way we think All older grown-ups need this information now. For you very young ones, cut this out and keep it in your wallet until needed: • If you’re open-minded, that doesn’t mean your brains will fall out. • Age is a very high price to pay for maturity, but worth it. • Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. • For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program. • If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip. • Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks. • Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it. Emergency care When the rich businessman choked on a fish bone at a restaurant, he was lucky that a doctor was seated at a nearby table. Springing up, the doctor skillfully removed the bone and saved his life. As soon as the businessman had calmed down and could talk again, he thanked the surgeon enthusiastically and offered to pay him for his services. “Just name the fee,” he croaked gratefully. “Okay,” replied the doctor. “How about half of what you’d have offered when the bone was still stuck in your throat?” This week’s blonde A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, “Please come over here and help me. I […]

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