September 20 2012

Hate standing in line?

September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

Consider voting absentee in the November election by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL “We, the people” (the electorate) of the United States are so polarized by partisan politics and rhetoric that voter turnout in the General November 2012 Presidential election is expected to be huge. In Rockford, both sides of a full ballot will decide elective offices that will offer up choices from the Presidency of the United States right down to Rockford City Council. Topping it all off, voters will be asked to consider six separate proposed amendments to the Michigan Constitution. With all of this on our plates in the polling booth, is it any wonder on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, that long lines will be evident at polling places across the country. If your time is valuable and you are one who does not like to stand in line, even in an election of this magnitude, there is an easier alternative. Consider casting an absentee ballot. One does not have to be a senior citizen to request an absentee ballot. A number of valid excuses allow any registered voter to receive and vote, at their leisure, an absentee ballot in the privacy of their own home. Receiving an absentee ballot is a simple process. First off, either in person or on the phone, contact your local Clerk and request an application form for an absentee ballot. When received, check an appropriate box, sign your name and return it to your Clerk. Upon receipt, the Clerk will mail an absentee ballot to your home address. How simple and easy! No standing in long lines, no need to fit election day into your hectic and busy life, no need to be late for work, and you can even have a cup of coffee while you ponder and exercise your civic duty. Your reporters have voted via absentee ballot for many years. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Heck, in the not-to-distant future it’s envisioned that everyone will cast their votes electronically from anywhere they choose on Election Day. For those of you who live in the City of Rockford, City Clerk Chris Bedford and the office staff at Rockford City Hall would be more than happy to service your request for an absentee […]

Treasure hunter will win $1000 in free gasoline

September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

Copper coin hidden somewhere in township The hunt begins on Tuesday, September 25 and the best hunter will win a grand in gas. Legend has it that back in the 1800’s, a cannon was hidden in Cannon Township and has never been found to this day. The legend will be re-created in 2012. A custom coin with a cannon stamped on it has been specially designed and minted for the treasure hunt. The coin has been hidden somewhere in Cannon Township. The coin in no more than 4 feet off the ground, and is not on privately owned property. A big change for this year is that there will be 4 parts to a clue released each week on Tuesday after 8 am. You will need all 4 parts to the clue to make up a whole clue. Participating businesses will each have available part of the new clue per week; it will be up to the treasure hunter to visit enough businesses to get the entire clue until the coin is found. The person that finds the coin will receive $1000.00 in free gasoline. We are asking for canned food donations to support the North Kent Community Service Center this year from the treasure hunters when they pick up the clues. Each participating business will have a donation box available at their locations. Gasoline Cards generously provided by The Topp Stop and Cannonsburg Grist Mill. Pick up clues on Tuesday at these participating Cannon Township locations Cannonsburg Grist Mill The Topp Stop ChoiceOne Bank Williamson Family Medicine S & H Greenhouse Gallery Interiors Euro Autowerks Advanced Rental Bailey’s Quick Lube Pizzeria Grande Bella Vista Family Eye Care Ric’s Food Center Cannon Family Dentistry Directions Hair Co Bostwick Bakery Dave’s Transmission Acme Tire & Auto Lakeside Car Co The Vagabond Stites Eye Care Cannon Township Believe

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

Main Street comedy Good taste is largely a matter of opinion. The humor in this (mostly) light-hearted column has quite a lot of wiggle room. I keep “good taste” in mind, but that doesn’t stop me from using blonde jokes, lawyer jokes, or little kid jokes. Blondes, lawyers, and little kids seldom write me letters of complaint, so my “good taste” regarding those topics must be pretty close to that of our readers. But I can’t rely on my own taste when politics enters the column. Something I consider hilarious can yank the annoyance chain of too many people. Sometimes I do it anyway, but I always know what’s likely to show up in the mailbox later. There’s a good reason that professional humorist Al Franken hasn’t cracked a joke since being confirmed as the junior Senator from Minnesota. But one of America’s greatest writers never held back. I’m talking about a personal hero of mine, Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, 1835-1910. He didn’t think highly of politicians in general. So, since his stuff is out of copyright, I’m free to quote him left and right. Mark said—“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning—politics, a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.” “The new political gospel: public office is private graft.” “An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.” “All large political doctrines are rich in difficult problems—problems that are quite above the average citizen’s reach. And that is not strange, since they are also above the reach of the ablest minds in the country; after all the fuss and all the talk, not one of those doctrines has been conclusively proven to be the right one and the best.” Mark also said—“In politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.” “I shall not often meddle with politics, because we have a political Editor who is already excellent and only needs to serve a term or two in the penitentiary to be perfect.” Three blondes Three blondes […]

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

Municipal bonds, yea or nay? The Coon family made a trip to Nashville, Indiana recently. Nashville is a larger version of Rockford with lots of shops that is located in Brown County, about 75 miles south of Indianapolis. They have an Ace Hardware that looked like it sells everything; just like Pete’s Ace does for us. They have the Big Woods Brewery located downtown with several nice brews; just like Rockford Brewing Company will provide when it opens next month. They have many, many shops just like Aunt Candy’s, Kimberly’s Boutique, and Great Northern. They had a festival going on just like our Harvest Festival and the town was packed. What Nashville has that Rockford doesn’t is a log cabin on the side of a mountain with a wonderful view of the surrounding valley. What a view it was, too. It’s very hilly around Nashville. We toured the Brown County State Park that contains over 15,000 acres. It has a few places with such steep grades that the signs warn bike riders to get off their bikes and walk them down the slope. That doesn’t quite jive with my thoughts of Indiana. I have spent most of my time visiting the relatively flat northern and central Indiana counties. However, after spending the weekend in the Nashville area, I have adjusted my thinking. It’s a beautiful area. It’s still Indiana, but it is beautiful. There have been many articles published recently about the fiscal state of municipalities. Across the United States, here and there, municipalities have either declared bankruptcy or have defaulted on municipal obligations. Earlier this year, Stockton, California initially defaulted and then declared bankruptcy. According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, up to 341 million dollars of investor money could be lost in the process. In 2011, Jefferson County, Alabama filed for bankruptcy. It is thought likely that up to 3.47 billion dollars could be lost. Before these poor economic times, it was almost unheard of for a municipality to not pay its debts. The instances of default could be counted on one hand. It’s a different world now it seems. When times were good, some cities over-spent on capital assets. Stockton sold millions of bonds to finance a marina, a stadium, a sports arena, […]

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