September 6 2012

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

Armageddon Don’t know why, but the political convention season always makes me think about Armageddon. And, speaking of that… Time after time, various folks have predicted the end of the world. The Millennium was one of the biggies, prediction-wise. Oops… not even the world’s computer programs came to an end. (Remember all those so-called “millennium bugs”?) So far, every day has gone by with a tomorrow to follow. The latest prediction I’ve personally heard about is for December 21, 2012. Give credit for this one to the ancient Mayans and some imaginative moderns. It goes like this: Events of 2012 are based on the ending date of the ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar. This is thought to end on December 21, 2012, signaling, of course, the end of days for real. Predictions of devastation and destruction abound. Some believe it wise to prepare for doomsday. Considering the record of past predictions, I suggest planning on a cup of coffee and a good TV rerun show on December 21. If we’re wrong, all of us will be in the same boat, anyway. In my opinion, it’s likely to be just another ho-hum. Just to make sure we don’t get too bored, the Mayan calendar worked in another end-of-times possibility 25,000 years from now. Cure story A man goes into a drug store and asks the pharmacist if he can give him something for the hiccups. The pharmacist promptly reaches out and slaps the man’s face. “What the heck did you do that for?” yells the man. “Well, you don’t have the hiccups anymore do you?” answers the pharmacist. The man says, “No, I don’t, you dummy… But my wife out in the car still does!” Taste story When the store manager returned from lunch, he noticed his clerk’s hand was bandaged, but before he could ask about the bandage, the clerk had some very good news for him. “Guess what, sir?” said the clerk. “I finally sold that terrible, ugly suit we’ve had so long!” “Do you mean that repulsive pink-and-blue double-breasted thing?” asked the manager. “That’s the one!” “ Well, great!” said the manager. “I thought we’d never get rid of that monstrosity. It had to be the ugliest suit we’ve ever had. But tell […]

BIRTHDAYS — September 8–14

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

8 Christine Dionne 9 Billie Stout 10 Bernie Danielski, Brandon Didion, Peggy Fowle, Pearl Roberts, M. TenHave-Chapman 11 Tom Fowle, Macie Kunkle 12 Joyce Blakeslee, Chad English, Glenn Knox, Al Pedley 13 Florence Cooley, Barbara Gardiner, Morgan Longberg, Matt Palmer, Sandy Wybranowski 14 Mickey Brasure, Linda Dearth, Goldie Ellenwood, Brook Figger, Joe Gardiner, Lindsey Ray

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan officially became the Republican candidates for the offices of president and vice president last week. Now the fun can really begin as President Obama and Joe Biden will do their best to make those two guys look bad, and Romney and Ryan will equally reciprocate. We may look at Romney and Ryan as the conservatives and Obama and Biden as the liberals, but I think the Internal Revenue Service looks at all four of them as belonging to the “wealthy” class of taxpayers. It’s interesting that these four multi-millionaires all want to downplay their wealth. This is just my opinion, but since each of them worked hard for their money, shouldn’t they be somewhat proud of their accomplishments? Obama has written several books that have earned him millions. You would swear he paid someone to author and publish those books instead of him getting paid. Romney has run several businesses that have earned him millions. You would think he was an assistant to the CEO instead of the CEO. Biden and Ryan both have regular backgrounds but today have nice portfolios at their disposal. However, it’s almost like not one of them can afford the taxi ride home. We know that’s not true. It’s just fashionable to behave like they are “regular” people. They are not but let’s get back to the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of the wealthy. The IRS does give special treatment to wealthier taxpayers. Approximately 30% of all taxpayers with earnings of 10 million dollars or more are audited on an annual basis. I would say that when Mitt Romney says he paid 15% in tax, there would probably be a good chance that he could produce an IRS audit that confirms that figure. Comparing that 30% figure to the 1.1% of taxpayers overall that are audited gives you an indication of just how special the IRS figures the wealthy are. Taxpayers with incomes of between 5 and 10 million dollars are audited less frequently; 20.75% are audited on an annual basis. Taxpayers with earnings between 1 and 5 million dollars are audited 11.8% of the time. That is still substantially more than the 1.1% overall audit figure. All of these audits take place because two […]

Remodeled, expanded gym a first-class facility

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

“It’s wonderful to be part of a community that is always trying to grow and improve, expand,” said Tim Chesla, owner of NorthStar Gymnastics Inc., now in its 18th year at 723 Byrne Industrial Drive. In fitting with a town that is always updating, remodeling and celebrating growth, NorthStar is wrapping up a months-long remodeling project in the 8,500-square-foot facility. Chesla said the ache in his back is proof of the major work begun on Friday, July 20, is almost complete. The spacious, airy building has had a wall removed, doors taken out, and the apparatus areas reconfigured to provide a safer, more productive gymnastics facility. Now parents can sit in a relaxed and comfortable viewing area without students crowding through as they move from one section of equipment to another. Old-time Byrne employees likely wouldn’t recognize the former tool and die building, located in the heart of what the Squire jokingly refers to as the “Byrne Kingdom.” Chesla describes how he came to set up shop in the location. He had a thriving gymnastics business located in Riverview Raquetball Club, but that company needed the space to expand. “Many of our customers were from Rockford and the surrounding areas, so it made sense to move up this way,” Chesla explained. He met Norm Byrne and the two began talking about possibilities. In the matter of a few months a new tool and die building was attached to Byrne Electric Building, the old tool and die shop was remodeled, an addition was put on, gymnastic equipment was moved in, and NorthStar Gymnastics Inc. was up and jumping. Things have been hurdling right along ever since. “The whole northern Kent County area seems to be really into their kids, into a well-rounded growing up,” said Chesla. He said when the doors at NorthStar opened, the gym was immediately at capacity. “We opened and we outgrew. The facility expanded into an unused room and in June 1995 we added on again.” Today NorthStar is using every inch of square space and with the reconfigured work stations, better than ever able to meet the needs of clients with a top-of-the-line facility right here in the heart of the area. “You don’t have to leave the Rockford area to […]

Rockford woman a repeat offender in random acts of kindness

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA At age 64, Vern Criner is “the baby here” at Richter Place Apartments, a fair housing complex for residents age 62 and older. Julie Carr, 74, is his senior by 10 years. When she heard that the relative newcomer to the complex wished he had a bedspread, she sprang into action. With arthritis gloves to keep her hands warm and ward off cramping, Carr spent two months and used 22 skeins of yarn to create a bedcover fit for royalty. In the effort she spent in making and giving this huge cover—it measures nine feet two inches by six feet ten inches—Carr didn’t do anything she hasn’t done a thousand times before. Carr began crocheting about 47 years ago when she picked up a pin lace project of her sister, Mary. Carr was intrigued by the piece and tried her hand at it, lacing a row or two. “When I heard my sister coming I put it right down,” Carr described. She said her sister looked at her work and asked her what she thought she had been doing. “I said, ‘Nothing, I didn’t touch it,’ but she knew and pulled all my work out,” Carr said. Now her sister has since passed away, but after that introduction Carr took up the hobby herself and has been crocheting nearly five decades. “She gives to everyone,” said Carr’s best friend, referring not just to crocheted works but also of friendship and time. Seventy-six-year-old Shirley Heiman has been at Richter Place going on seven years. She said many of the residents at Richter Place have mementos of Carr’s generosity—towels, blankets, afghans, sweaters, pot holders, bottle holders, throws and covers. Residents give her the yarn or she buys her own. Heiman and Carr both say they enjoy their new friendship with Criner. Like other residents at the facility, he brings a surprising mix of talents. Criner’s floral designs grace the dining area at Richter Place. Some of his paintings have been purchased by a local hospital which displays them in reception areas. “He is just the sweetest man and we enjoy his company,” Heiman said. It isn’t only to people she knows that Carr extends her gifts of crochet. Carr heard from her church, Lake […]

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