Monthly Archives: November 2014

West Michigan’s First Outpatient Total Knee Replacement Takes Place at Muskegon Surgery Center

Muskegon, Michigan – The first outpatient total knee replacement procedure at an ambulatory surgery center in West Michigan was performed at Muskegon Surgery Center on Monday, October 13.  Orthopaedic Associates of Muskegon surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Recknagel successfully performed the procedure, also known as total knee arthroplasty, on two patients early Monday morning.  The first patient, Mr. Richard Homan of Spring Lake, was able to walk with assistance before leaving the center at approximately 11:30 a.m., just hours after his surgery took place. “We’ve been researching our pain management protocol for several months in preparation for today’s procedures,” said Dr. Recknagel. “We’re really pleased with how well our first two patients are doing.”

Upon discharge from the surgery center, Mr. Homan went immediately to Shoreline Inn & Suites in downtown Muskegon where a special suite with 24/7 nursing and physical therapy services awaited him and his family. A contractual agreement between Muskegon Surgery Center and the hotel gives knee replacement patients the option to stay at Shoreline Inn in a designated recovery suite with a family member for one or two nights before returning home. Nurses administer to patients hourly, and physical therapy takes place in the patient’s suite overlooking Muskegon Lake, which also includes an ADA bathroom, a recliner, and a separate bed and TV for the accompanying family member.

“This is my fourth joint replacement surgery, and I’m amazed at how well I’m doing just one day after my procedure,” said Mr. Homan.  “I have had absolutely zero pain, and I’m already bending my knee at a 90⁰ angle.  I believe this is due, at least in part, to my being able to recover in such a comfortable, quiet environment.  It’s different than a hospital where the staff is working at a very fast pace.  Here, my wife is my roommate, not another patient.  It’s an ideal arrangement for both of us, and I have no doubt that these surroundings are having a positive impact on my mental outlook, which is allowing me to heal faster.”

muskegon-surgery-centerAccording to CEO Julie Greene, preparations to perform total knee replacements on an outpatient basis at Muskegon Surgery Center have been in the works for almost two years. “The first thing we had to do was get approval from insurance companies to pay for the procedure,” she said.  “We now have agreements with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network, Priority Health and United Healthcare. The cost for inpatient knee replacement varies. However, we are confident that when the same procedure is done on an outpatient basis, the cost savings for the insurance company and the patient can be significant. We are also willing to negotiate rates with companies with self-funded healthcare plans so their employees can have access to this program. This is now a viable option for anyone from West Michigan who is leading a healthy, active lifestyle.”

An article in the October/November issue of AARP Magazine reported that the average cost for knee replacement surgery in the U.S. is approximately $34,000.  Muskegon Surgery Center’s cost is less than half that amount. Historically, surgery centers have also reported lower infection rates, higher patient satisfaction, and lower co-pays than inpatient facilities.

“The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce also played an important role in bringing Muskegon Surgery Center and the Shoreline Inn together for this agreement,” added Greene.  “We anticipate that this will be a draw for people from outside our area who want to have their surgery done on an outpatient basis.  It’s a great example of how two seemingly very different businesses can work together to positively impact the community.”

How ‘bout Them Apples?

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Do you have a good gut feeling about apples? Your body may — and that could be important to your overall health.

Some of the components of apples survive their trip through the upper part of the human digestive tract. Non-digestible compounds, including fiber and substances called polyphenols, stand up to chewing and the effects of enzymes in spit. They even remain intact after a bath in stomach acid. These compounds move all the way to the colon, where they undergo a transformation that can be quite beneficial to you.

The non-digestible compounds are fermented in the colon. That’s right, you could say you have a little brewery at work in your body. The fermentation allows for the growth of certain bacteria in the gut.

Which bacteria flourish in your colon really matters. Studies have shown that obese mice have different bacterial families and diversity of bacteria in their gut than do lean mice.

Now researchers at Washington State University have concluded that apples — especially Granny Smith apples — may lead to healthy bacteria in the colon and this, in turn, may help prevent a variety of medical disorders.

“Apples are a good source of non-digestible compounds,” Professor Giuliana Noratto told me. “We have now studied the differences in apple varieties to look for the most useful types.”

Results of the study were recently published in the journal Food Chemistry by Noratto and her co-researchers Luis Condezo-Hoyos and Indira P. Mohanty.

The new research indicates that Granny Smiths contain more non-digestible compounds than many other apples including Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious.

As a first step toward understanding the gut processes better, Noratto’s team simulated colon fermentation in test tubes. Fecal bacteria were cultured in apple compounds that survived gastrointestinal enzyme digestion.

“The non-digestible substances in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportion of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to what you find with lean mice,” Noratto told me.

Now Noratto is feeding Granny Smiths directly to rats. This takes the ideas suggested by the test tube experiments and tries them out in the real-world condition of flesh-and-blood guts. Noratto expects results from the animal trials sometime in the New Year.

One thing about the rats interested me as an aside. The obese and lean rats are fed the same number of calories each day. But a high fat diet produces overweight rats, while a lower fat diet leads to lean rats. I’ll try to remember that the next time a bowl of ice cream is calling to me.

Down the road, Noratto’s work with apples could be important in the battle of the bulge that so many of us face. Beyond that, it could be useful in combatting diabetes. From Noratto’s perspective, obese people have an unfortunate community of bacteria in their gut. The bad bacteria make for byproducts that can lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with being overweight.

It would be interesting if modern science can show that “an apple a day” really is a helpful addition to the human diet. Stay tuned!

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

Year Round Mobile Farmers Market

VeggieVanOTTAWA COUNTY – The YMCA Veggie Vans are West Michigan’s first and only mobile farmers markets. The vans run year round, making daily stops in urban neighborhoods throughout Ottawa, Kent and Muskegon counties. The purpose of the program is to ensure fruits and vegetables are available to people who otherwise may have limited access to fresh produce. Foods are primarily purchased from local farmers and supplemented by local grocery store partners, to provide customers with quality produce at reduced prices.

“The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of fresh produce from local farmers,” said health educator Lisa Uganski, RD with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.

Cash, credit/debit cards, Bridge cards, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC and Senior Project Fresh/Market FRESH benefits are accepted at the Veggie Van. For a list of food assistance programs, visit The Veggie Van is made possible through the generosity of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Herman Miller Cares and the Muskegon Community Foundation.

A Second Letter to America

By watching the daily news one can clearly see that America is getting farther away from God and still headed straight towards God’s judgment and ultimate destruction.  Too many in America have said “there is no God.”
One of the many reasons Americans have  reached such a high point of unbelief, is because they were brought up in school systems which teaches man’s false idea that every living being started from a single cell and evolved into millions, or even billions, of species, including humans.  Some have theorized humans evolved from ape like beings.
But how a person, who is composed of 200, or 300 trillion highly specialized interrelated cells, can believe that it all started from a single cell, should be beyond belief.  Actually, the single cell theory of evolution only proves Man’s folly.
First, Man totally dismissed God’s legitimate claims that he, God, created Heaven and Earth and everything in them including the first man, Adam.  Second, Man refused to believe the documented biblical history of God dealing with mankind on Earth, where God again and again, demonstrated and proved his awesome supernatural powers.
Among these demonstrations of power, were turning the rivers and waters in Egypt into blood, parting the Red Sea while millions of Israelites crossed on dry ground, and then drowning the very large pursuing Egyptian Army.  After that God proved himself again and again by providing food and water for forty years while His chosen people wandered in the desert.
In the Word of God, the Holy Bible, God showed his chosen people that he had complete control over Earth and the Heavens, because, he wanted them to be witnesses to the rest of the world.  He wanted the people of the world to believe in Him so they would not perish.
This world would be a much better place if people believed in the Living God and followed his just commandments.  We would love each other like the brothers and sisters that we are, because, we are all His children.
God gets no pleasure in his children going to hell.  It is a great tragedy that so many in America are rejecting God and his Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins on the cross.  Accepting Jesus and his sacrifice is a must to go to Heaven.
America must return to God.

Manuel Ybarra, Jr.
RR 5 Box 1550
Coalgate, OK 74538
Ph. # (580) 428-3242

Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold

UPDATE: Discount Offer! Mention 7 times 7 and receive $7 off!
Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold

By Maripat Donovan with Jane Morris & Marc Silvia

image002It’s “CSI: Bethlehem” in this holiday mystery extravaganza, from the author of Late Nite Catchism, as Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages – whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? (“We know that Mary used the frankincense and myrrh as a sort of potpourri – they were in a barn after all.”) Retelling the story of the nativity, as only Sister can, this hilarious holiday production is bound to become a yearly classic. Employing her own scientific tools, assisted by a local choir as well as a gaggle of audience members, Sister creates a living nativity unlike any you’ve ever seen. With gifts galore and bundles of laughs, Sister’s Christmas Catechism is sure to become the newest addition to your holiday traditions.

“Christmas Catechism is a nostalgic hoot!”
(Springfield News-Sun)
“A gift-wrapped holiday treat, this Catechism should be opened early!” (LA Times)
“Two hours of solid laughs.” (FCCJ Artist Series Review)
“A habit you don’t want to break!” (C&G Newspaper)

Presenter Testimonials
“Having presented all of the shows in EEI’s Catechism series, I believe that Sister’s Christmas Catechism is as good if not better than the others (which are all great). The audience participation that provides the basis for the whole second act keeps it fresh and full of surprises from start to finish. Our patrons loved the show – and it fits wonderfully into the mix of holiday programming.”
Bruce C. MacPherson, Managing Director
Charles W. Eisemann Center, Richardson, Texas

Board of Trustees_ 11-10-14


A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township board began at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, November 10, 2014, in the township board room.

Members Present: Brian Werschem, Supervisor; Carol Hulka, Clerk; Rose Dillon, Treasurer; Trustees Ron Becklin, Dave Markgraf, and Marjorie Nash.     Member Absent: Trustee Chuck Whitlow–excused

Also Present:  0–employees; 0-residents; and Director of Public Works, Farrar

At 7:00 p.m., Supervisor Werschem opened the regular meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

The meeting minutes of October 27, 2014, regular meeting, were approved as presented.

The board meeting agenda for November 10, 2014, was approved as presented.

Water main at the Bridge Street & Brooks Road intersection.

No comments received.

14-115 Adoption of Zoning Text Amendment Ordinance
Dave Markgraf moved, Ron Becklin seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to adopt the zoning chapter of the Code of Ordinances concerning the restatement of Division 8, 9 and 10 of Article VI of Chapter 42, concerning the B-1, B-2 and B-3 General Business Districts, as recommended by the Planning Commission. The zone change is effective eight days after publication in the Muskegon Chronicle. This constitutes the second and final reading. The new Ordinance Number is 785.

Ayes: Markgraf, Becklin, Nash, Dillon, Hulka, Werschem  Nays: none

14-116 Lieutenant Morningstar Contract Amendment
Ron Becklin moved, Marjorie Nash seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to add wording to Lieutenant Morningstar’s contract agreement regarding opting out of medical insurance by adding the following wording- the employee may elect to take a monthly stipend in cash payment.

Ayes: Becklin, Nash, Hulka, Markgraf, Dillon, Werschem   Nays: none

14-117 Assessing Contract with Muskegon County Board
Ron Becklin moved, Marjorie Nash seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to enter into an agreement with the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners to provide assessment services on a short term basis to be administered by the County Equalization Director, or designated representative, while Fruitport Charter Township’s assessor is incapacitated.

Ayes: Becklin, Nash, Dillon, Hulka, Markgraf, Werschem   Nays: none

14-118  Amendment to Insurance Appendix of SEIU, POLC and IAFF Union Contracts
Dave Markgraf moved, seconded by Carol Hulka, MOTION CARRIED, to adopt the insurance appendix to SEIU, POLC and IAFF Union contracts, as presented, in order to make necessary changes to the health insurance plans.

Ayes: Markgraf, Hulka, Dillon, Nash, Becklin, Werschem     Nays: none

14-119 Payment of Bills
Dave Markgeraf moved, seconded by Carol Hulka, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills for payment in the following amounts: General Fund & Parks $4,521.87; Public Safety$14,578.85   Water $64,586.26;   Sewer $560.64.       Totaling:$ 84,247.62

Ayes: Markgraf, Hulka, Nash, Becklin, Dillon, Werschem      Nays: None

Public Comments: Part II   —   None received

The motion by Ron Becklin, seconded by Dave Markgrf, was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY, to adjourn the meeting at 7:37 p.m.

_______________________________            ______________________________

Board of Trustees_ 10-13-14


The regular meeting of the Fruitport Charter Township Board was called to order by Supervisor Brian Werschem at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 13, 2014, in the township board room.

Supervisor Werschem open the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

Members Present: Brian Werschem, Supervisor; Rose Dillon, Treasurer; Carol Hulka, Clerk; Trustees:   Ron Becklin, Dave Markgraf, Marjorie Nash, and Chuck Whitlow. Member Absent: None

Also Present: DPW Director, Farrar and Public Safety Director, Doctor

The motion by Rose Dillon, seconded by Dave Markgraf, was carried unanimously, to correct the board meeting minutes dated September 22, 2014—regular meeting—as follows:

Item 14-093 Township Hall Project Update
Was: The total cost of the new township hall is $1,180.00
Corrected: The total cost of the new township hall is $1,180,000

The board meeting agenda for October 13, 2014, was approved as presented.

PUBLIC COMMENTS – None received
Michigan Township Association (MTA) Legislative Updates
MTA Participating Plan News (Property & Casualty)
Township Utilities Department- Water Sanitary Survey
Muskegon County Road Commission annual roadkill banquet for Muskegon County municipality officials is October 30th.

OLD BUSINESS – None Received

14-102 Retirement Plan Document Amendments
The motion by Dave Markgraf, seconded by Ron Becklin, was carried unanimously, to amend the Townships’ retirement plan to recognize the term “marriage” to include a marriage between same-sex individuals recognized under state law and the terms “spouse”, husband and wife, “husband” and “wife” to include a same-sex spouse.

14-103 Transferring Assets from Cemetery to Utility Department
Ron Becklin moved, Rose Dillon seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to sell the 2003 cemetery vehicle with snowplow to the Utility Department at the cost of $4,500.

Ayes: Becklin, Dillon, Hulka, Markgraf, Whitlow, Nash, Werschem   Nays: None

14-104 Community Service Worker Agreement—Voluntary Status
The motion by Dave Markgraf, seconded by Marjorie Nash, was carried unanimously, to adopt the Community Service Worker Agreement as prepared by the township attorney dated October 2, 2014, as modified.

14-105 Pontaluna Sidewalk
At the corner of Pontaluna and Cottonwood there is no sidewalk for children to walk on when going to school.

Chuck Whitlow moved, Dave Markgraf seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to split the cost—not to exceed $2,500—with Fruitport Schools for a sidewalk at the corner of Pontaluna and Cottonwood. Fruitport Schools will maintain and snowplow the sidewalk.

Ayes: Whitlow, Markgraf, Hulka, Dillon, Nash, Werschem     Nays: Becklin

14-016 Payment of Bills
Dave Markgraf moved, Ron Becklin seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills for payment in the following amounts: General Fund & Parks $15,117.28; Public Safety $74,693.50; Water $35,297.08   Sewer $ 47,163.06                     Totaling: 172,270.92$

PUBLIC COMMENTS — None received

ADDITIONAL REPORTS—Bridge Street project—two water main breaks in last several years—400 ft. will be replaced.

The motion by Ron Becklin, seconded by Chuck Whitlow, was carried unanimously, to adjourn the meeting at 7:14 p.m.

___________________________           ________________________________

Board of Trustees_ 09-22-14

A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township board began at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, September 22, 2014, in the township board room.

 Members Present: Brian Werschem, Supervisor; Carol Hulka, Clerk; Rose Dillon, Treasurer; Trustees Ron Becklin, Dave Markgraf, and Marjorie Nash     Members Absent: Trustee Chuck Whitlow–excused

Also Present:  0–employees; 2-residents; Director of Public Works, Farrar; Public Safety Director, Doctor; and Ron Bultje, township attorney;

At 7:00 p.m., Supervisor Werschem opened the regular meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

The meeting minutes of August 25, 2014, regular meeting, were approved as presented.

The board meeting agenda for September 22, 2014, was approved as presented.


  1. Michigan Townships Association legislative updates
  2. Revenue and Expenditure Report for period ending 8-31-2014
  3. Parks & Recreation meeting minutes of 07-29-2014
  4. Planning Commission meeting minutes of 09-16-2014
  5. A Community Mixer, sponsored by the Muskegon Rotary & Muskegon Heights, on October 1, 2014 at Mona Lake Park, 4 – 7 p.m.
  6. A notice of hearing for customers of Michigan Gas Utilities Corp: A request to consider an application which seeks Commission approval of its proposed tariff revisions relating to Operational Flow Orders and Centrally Metered Installations.
  7. Notice of the quarterly meeting of the Muskegon County Chapter of Michigan Townships Association to be held on September 29, 2014, at the Fruitport Township Hall at 7:00 p.m.

No comments received

14-093 Township Hall Project Update
The total cost of the new township hall is $1,180.00. The cost is approximately $70,000 under budget.

14-094 Capital Fund Budget Adjustments from Carry-over
Dave Markgraf moved, seconded by Rose Dillon, MOTION CARRIED, to carry forward $49,000 left over from last year’s bond proceeds and add to budgeted Capital Improvement for 2014-15.

Ayes: Markgraf, Dillon, Becklin, Hulka, Nash, Werschem     Nays: none

14-095 Part-time Police Wages
Public Safety Director, Doctor, explained the wage structure for the part- time police secretary, part-time desk officer/office manager, and part-time police officers. The following are proposed salary increases to begin on October 1, 2014:

Part-time Office Clerk- new wage proposed is $12.00 per hour     (Last increase was 4/30/12)

Part-time Office Manager /Certified Officer- new wage proposed is $13.50 per hour (Last increase was 7/1/13)
Part-time police officers- new wage proposed is $12.75 per hour     (Last increase was 10/1/11)

Marjorie Nash moved, Ron Becklin seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to increase part-time wages to take place on October 1, 2014, for the police secretary, office manager/certified police officer, and part-time police officers. Part-time wages for police are to be reviewed annually in September for October implementation. The Public Safety committee made the recommendation.

Ayes: Nash, Becklin, Hulka, Markgraf, Dillon, Werschem    Nays: None

14-096 Police Department- Full Time Vacancy
Public Safety Director, Doctor, explained the need to replace a full-time police officer who resigned in March of this year.

The motion by Ron Becklin, seconded by Dave Markgraf was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY, to hire part-time police officer, James Hodges, to a full-time position starting September 29, 2014. The recommendation was made by the Public Safety committee.

14-097 Demolition Bids for 6543 Airline Road
Dave Markgraf moved, seconded by Ron Becklin, MOTION CARRIED, to accept the low bid for demolition and dismantling of the former Fruitport Township Hall from Melching, Inc. of Nunica.   The low bid is $10,750 plus $3,000 for asbestos testing and removal totaling $13,750. The recommendation was made by the Facilities committee.

Ayes: Markgraf, Becklin, Hulka, Dillon, Nash, Werschem   Nays: none

14-098 Cemetery / Maintenance / Plow Vehicle
Carol Hulka moved, Rose Dillon seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to purchase a 2015 cemetery/maintenance truck with snow plow package at the price of $29,656.00.

Ayes: Hulka, Dillon, Nash, Becklin, Werschem        Nays: Markgraf

14-099 Adjustments to Capital Outlay Budget
Ron Becklin moved, Rose Dillon seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to make the following adjustments to the capital outlay budget, as recommended by Supervisor Werschem:

$340,000.00 to the town hall project
$ 14,000.00 to the demolition of the former township hall
$ 30,000.00 to acquire a new cemetery/maintenance truck

Ayes: Bucklin, Dillon, Nash, Hulka, Margrave, and Werschem   Nays: none

14-100 Ordinance Overhaul
The township zoning ordinances are in need of being up-dated. Township attorney, Ron Bultje and his firm of Scholten Fant will assist in this project.

 14-101 Payment of Bills
Dave Margrave moved, Marjorie Nash seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills for payment in the following amounts: General Fund & Parks $64,602.96; Public Safety$28,056.59;   Water $207,595.57;   Sewer $714,612.29.       Totaling: $1,014,867.41

Ayes: Markgraf, Nash, Hulka, Becklin, Dillon, Werschem      Nays: None

A formal presentation will be done at an up-coming meeting concerning the Class 4 ISO rating the fire department received.

PUBLIC COMMENTS – Part II   —   None received

The motion by Dave Markgraf, seconded by Ron Becklin, was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY, to adjourn the meeting at 8:08 p.m.

_______________________________           ______________________________

Planning Commission Regular Meeting_09-16-14

Fruitport Charter Township, 6543 Airline Road, Fruitport, MI 49415
Date: September 16, 2014

Planning Commissioner Michelli brought the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

01. Roll Call:
–        Members Present: Jeff Jacobs, Morrie Dadd, Mike Michelli Jr., Chuck Whitlow, Randy Lee, Geoff Newmyer , Kyle Osterhart.
–        Members Absent: None.

02. Approval of Planning Commission Minutes: July 15, 2014
A.   Under Agenda #9, Letter F, Letter G, Letter C; revise to, “The parking spots shall be 9’-6-1/2” x 20’-0”.
B.   Under Agenda #9a, Comment 2, Sub-Comment 1; revise to, “42-606(B): if you expand or extend your residence, you must comply with the regulations. When a driveway or a residence is expanded the driveway must be updated.”
C.   Lee motioned to approve the minutes as presented, Newmyer supported
a. Ayes: All in Favor.
b.Nays: None.

03. Approve / Amend Agenda:
A.   The agenda is approved as presented.

04. Correspondence / Reports:
A.   Lakes Mall Shed.
a. Supervisor Werschem & Chairman Jacobs mentioned this is for salt storage. The structure is 4’-0” x 5’-0”. The planning commission didn’t have any further comment.

05. Public Comments pertaining to agenda topics:
A.   None.

Administrative Matters:
06. B-2 & B-3 Business District.
A.   This has been reviewed by the township attorney & now the Planning Commission needs to review it.  There will be a public hearing considering the changes next month. Lee suggested the lot requirements and setback requirements should be set as a “minimum” to minimize confusion. Supervisor Werschem also suggested we should look at how the new ordinance would affect existing businesses.

07. Driveway Ordinance.
A.   Brian Michelli, from the Fruitport Fire Department, is present to represent the Fire Department. He explained there are conflicts with the fire code & the township ordinance. This year, there has been (3) instances with the terminology “existing”. The fire department would like the “existing” portion taken out or revised in the ordinance.
B.   The other issue is that the width of the driveway varies from the ordinance & the fire code. The planning commission / township needs to find a way to revise the ordinance so that the ordinance & fire code do not contradict each other.
a. The width issue becomes unclear when a driveways is over 150’-0”, not under 150’-0”.
C.   Jacobs suggested that driveways should be reviewed by the fire department if there is an increase to the square footage of the primary dwelling or an accessory building.
D.   The planning commission needs to address both issues.
E.   Werschem said he is going to have a conversation with the township attorney about both issues & get his interpretation/suggestions & report back to the Planning Commission next month.

Unfinished Business:
08. None.

New Business:
09. None.

10. Public Comments:
A.   Werschem handed out the sign ordinance. He asked that the Planning Commission review it because there have been conflicts & issues that aren’t addressed properly.
a. One issue being, it does not address monument signs & whether or not where & how they are allowed.
b.There is also a problem with a church on Pontaluna Road that wants to change their sign but cannot because of the ordinances restrictions. The planning commission needs to review institutional uses in residential areas. Home occupations would need to be excluded.

11. Adjournment: There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kyle D. Osterhart, Secretary

Parkinson’s Power Support Group meeting

All persons with Parkinson’s Disease, their families and caregivers are invited to attend the Parkinson’s Power Support Group meeting on Wednesday, December 3, 11 a.m., at the Norton Shores Library Community Room, 705 Seminole Rd. Participant Ed Thomas will give a brief talk on his experience with deep brain stimulation. After his talk, members will enjoy a holiday party. The event is free. For more information, call 231-737-4374.

First- Annual Lakeshore Adventure Race set for 2015

May 16 at Pere Marquette Beach
Event to Benefit Muskegon Rescue Mission

 The Muskegon Rescue Mission, one of the first charitable organizations established in West Michigan over 100 years ago, is organizing an inaugural adventure race to support its homeless shelters, food pantry and other outreach services.

The ForeShore Adventure Race will be held at Pere Marquette Beach on May 16, 2015, and will feature over 10 obstacles on a wet and sandy 5k course. Participants can enter as teams or individuals and register for the competitive flight or non-timed flights. There will also be a kid’s zone to make this a truly family friendly event.FS_logo

Kevin Newton, Executive Director of Muskegon Rescue Mission, said “This event is all about racing to overcome life’s obstacles. What sets this event apart from others, beyond its beautiful location, is that all the proceeds benefit the mission.   Every dollar is used to help families in need right here in our community.”

Adventure racing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and this event is expected to draw thousands from across the state and the Midwest. Tourism officials are excited to introduce visitors to all that Muskegon County’s shoreline and surrounding area has to offer.

“We are excited to host this unique event.  Pere Marquette Park is the perfect venue for an adventure run that marries health and wellness with West Michigan’s greatest natural resource.  We hope this event soon becomes one of the cornerstones that kick off the beach season at Pere Marquette Park for many years to come” said Stephen Gawron, Mayor of Muskegon.

“With the increasing popularity of challenge, mud, and obstacle races, the ForeShore Adventure Race will be an event that will introduce new family audiences to Muskegon County and the lakeshore,” said Bob Lukens, director of the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Bob continued “I’m certain the ForeShore Adventure Race will become a great early-season event to promote the many activities we have available for visitors to the region.”

When it comes to the event, challenges will abound. As if running on sand wasn’t difficult enough participants will climb over, under and through ominous obstacles, all for a good time and a worthy cause. “Plan on getting wet”, commented Newton, “after all, it’s a day at the beach!”

Muskegon Rescue Mission has provided food, shelter, clothing and spiritual direction for those in need since 1907. In 2013 alone 23,908 nights of lodging were provided for homeless men, women and children; 120,856 meals were provided or served.

Sponsors are an integral part of this event, we are pleased to have a foundation of support already in place.

ForeShore volunteers are sponsored by Mercy Health along with First Aid services provided by Pro Med.

Additional committed partners are Kyser Design Werks, Sagestone Media, Digi Marketing, Weber Lumber, and Eagle Eye Photography.

Sponsorship opportunities are available in multiple categories. Contact Jim Boes at for more details.

Learn More:


2nd Annual – Holiday Book Bash

Features Local Authors in Spring Lake – Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Spring Lake, MI Eight local authors are collaborating to provide a stress-free holiday book event at Seven Steps Up in downtown Spring Lake. Meet and greet local authors, purchase books at special pricing, and get your books signed for unique holiday gifts. A cash bar will feature wine, craft beer and cocktails while patrons shop/browse books from: Mystery, pet stories, young adult, novels, memoir, children’s, travel and more. Over 25 titles will be available from eight authors. Local and award winning authors participating at the Holiday Book Bash include:

Roberta F. King (He Plays a Harp – a family memoir)
Tricia L. McDonald (Life with Sally pet series, Quit Whining & Start Writing)
Sue Merrell (Full Moon Friday, One Shoe Off and more – mystery series)
Laura R. Holmes (I’ve Gotta Pack – Travel collection)
John Otterbacher (Sailing Grace – Adventure/memoir)
Margaret Willey (Beetle Boy, Four Secrets, Clever Beatrice series – young adult/children’s)
Janet Vormittag (Dog 281)
Stephen Nauta (Sitting At the Wrong Dinner Table & Help There’s a Dragon in My Head –   Fiction/children’s book on battling anxiety)

The open house style event will take place on Friday, November 21st, from 5- 8 pm. Complimentary edibles and hors d’oeuvres will be featured. Also, shop fair-trade clothing and jewelry from Utopian Marketplace and handmade holiday gifts from the Sisters Crone. Pin Drop concert gift certificates will be available and free gift-wrapping on-site. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.

The Holiday Book Bash is sponsored by FineLine Creative, Splattered Ink Press, The Bookman and Seven Steps Up. Seven Steps up is located at 116 S. Jackson Street in downtown Spring Lake. 


Foundation Scholarship Program Currently Accepting Applications

The Community Foundation for Muskegon County announces that the Foundation Scholarship Program currently accepting applications for the 2015/2016 school year. This application serves the scholarship programs of Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, and Manistee Counties and is administered by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. Applications are available to be submitted electronically at the Community Foundation website, The application process has been streamlined to three easy steps for students and families.


The Community Foundation for Muskegon County administers over 280 scholarship funds and grants hundreds of awards each year to both graduating high school seniors and current college students. The Foundation’s “General Scholarship Application” is used to support scholarship applications for students in Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, and Manistee Counties.

The Community Foundation does not make awards solely on the basis of need. Academic achievement, community involvement, extra curricular activities and financial need are all taken into consideration. All Community Foundation scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.

Nurses Exhibit to open at USS Silversides Submarine Museum

So said the many nurses who served in WWII

WWII Nurses exhibit posterNurses are so often invisible, but so essential to medical care.  This need was no less important in WWII when nurses cared for wounded American soldiers all over the world.  Seventy-nine women from Muskegon went to war as nurses and served all over the world.  The USS Silversides Submarine Museum will honor the memory of these women with an exhibit that will open 17 November 2014 at 6:00 p.m.  The exhibit features film from the era, descriptions of nursing activities, and a variety of recruiting posters.  Admission is $5.00  for the exhibit opening and allows access to all  exhibits in the museum. The exhibit will continue through February 22nd, 2015.

Come spend a morning or afternoon commemorating women whom WWII veterans called “angels.”   Also coming in January and February:  Theatrical Synergy Productions will perform a play depicting the nurses of Vietnam.  The play is entitled, “A Piece of My Heart.”  More information will be available on the museum website:

The Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts Announces its new Marketing Campaign!

image001The Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts is excited to announce its new marketing campaign, “Love Muskegon – Every Ticket Counts”.  To celebrate the kick off, we will be presenting a local star-studded lineup of talent for “The Frauenthal Follies” Show on November 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm.  The lineup includes: Chris McGuigan and Patrick Johnson, Bob Lukens, Sheila Wahamaki, Steve Gawron, Andrew Zahrt, Emma & Lily Tilden, RC Productions Staff, Big Daddy Fox, Judy Hayner, Connie & Dale Nesbary, Carla Hill, Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Co., Miss Michigan, Miss Teen Michigan, Muskegon Civic Theatre, Blanche Smith, Little Miss Michigan, Kim Sorenson & Kendyl White!  Muskegon County Commissioner Bob Scolnik will be the emcee!

“We are thrilled and honored that so many community leaders and citizens have come together to give us their support,” says Linda Medema, Sales and Marketing Manager for the FCPA.  “To have all these people perform on our beautiful stage guarantees a great night of entertainment in downtown Muskegon!”

“The Frauenthal Follies” is the launch for a new campaign for the Frauenthal Center called “Love Muskegon – Every Ticket Counts”.   Tickets are only $10!  “Our goal is to fill the house, gaining the support of everyone in the community.   Bring your families; buy a ticket for a friend; business owners, be an example of community leadership and buy tickets for your employees! We want everyone to come down and celebrate our campaign kick off!” Medema says.

This is a unique opportunity for the people of Muskegon County to renew their efforts of the “Love Muskegon” campaign.  “The people of Muskegon are embracing and supporting all the wonderful things we have right here in our hometown and we want to draw attention to the arts and all the amazing performances that happen in our facility.  Put the Frauenthal on your radar – start checking out what we have HERE!  We are home to The West Michigan Symphony, Muskegon Civic Theatre, the Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant, The Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree, Red Cross and Muskegon Rescue Mission fund-raisers, Mona Lake Productions, Sika School of Dance, and many others.  As the community begins to understand that“Every Ticket Counts”, every organization holding an event here will benefit,” says Ms. Medema.

The Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts is an important part of the social and economic benefits to the downtown by providing a gathering place for individuals within their community and increasing foot traffic to local businesses. The ticket dollars will help ensure and protect the Frauenthal’s anchor spot in our downtown, and will also help contribute to a stable community where residents and businesses thrive.

Reserve November 14 now for a great night of entertainment!  Tickets for “The Frauenthal Follies” on November 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm are on sale now!  $10 each, all seats reserved.  Call the Frauenthal Box Office, 231-727-8001 M-F 11am – 5:30 pm / StarTickets 800-585-3737 or online at or

Love Muskegon, Every Ticket Counts!

How Hard Is That?

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

A good friend of mine checks each morning on the web for the final “Jeopardy” question. It’s the last question on the taped “Jeopardy” program to be broadcast later that day. I don’t go to movies or follow sports, so I’m often at a loss when it comes to many quiz show questions. But recently I was in a position to answer the “Jeopardy” question because of my early training in geology.

The category of the question I got right was “to ‘dum’ it up.” That means, in Jeopardy-speak, that the answer will have the syllable “dum” in it. The clue mentioned that there is a substance a chemist would call aluminum oxide that’s sometimes used as an abrasive. How could it be named with “dum” in the word?

Aluminum oxide, or Al2O3, is well known to geologists. You likely know aluminum oxide with certain impurities in it as the gemstone sapphire. With somewhat different impurities, the gem is ruby. So if you find a deposit of the right kind of aluminum oxide in the back of beyond, your financial problems could be over.

But most aluminum oxide in the world isn’t gem quality. Instead it’s the mineral corundum. That was the answer to the “Jeopardy” question. I knew the answer because like all geology students and many a rock hound, I learned the names and properties of scores and scores of minerals (and a few gems) when I was young. Call it my misspent youth.

Like sapphire and ruby, corundum is very hard. On the scale geologists use to measure such things, it has a hardness value of nine. Some gemstones are eight on the hardness scale. Diamond – the hardest natural substance in the world – has a hardness value of ten.

Most sandpaper is made of small quartz grains. Quartz has a hardness of seven. That’s generally hard enough for smoothing down a bit of wood. Depending on its exact chemical composition, garnet is a bit harder than quartz, and in a good hardware store you’ll find garnet sandpaper. Corundum is harder still, making it an abrasive for tough jobs.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple is investing $700 million to give its new iPhone and smartwatches what are termed “sapphire screens.” The idea is that the screen of the phone won’t be scratched as it rattles around in your pocket or purse with your car keys, and the watch face won’t be scratched if you scape it against a wall – even a brick wall.

Mineralogy to the rescue. But don’t ask what proportion of “Jeopardy” clues I can usually solve.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard Universities. This column is provided as a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.  See more columns or listen to the Rock Doc’s broadcasts of them at


Inaugural Lakeshore Restaurant Week Begins November 7th –16th

Muskegon, MI — The inaugural Lakeshore Restaurant Week, organized by the five Muskegon Cumulus Radio Stations of Muskegon, begins Friday, November 7th and lasts through Sunday, November 16th.

Lakeshore Restaurant Week features 15 Muskegon area restaurants offering discounted deals and specials to their customers to promote the variety and quality of area eateries.

Restaurant menus and specials can be found at, according to Rich Berry, Market Manager for the Cumulus-Muskegon radio stations who are putting on the event in conjunction with the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Muskegon Now and the Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Participating Lakeshore Restaurant Week restaurants include Mia & Grace; Handsome Hobos; the Holiday Inn Third Street Grille; Glenside Pub; CF Prime; Lakeside Café; Verdonis; Pints & Quarts; Northside Pub; Dog House Saloon; Fatty Lumpkins; Mr. B’s Pancake House; and Mangos.


Price bills create STEM endorsement option for high school students

Diploma certification would be first-of-its-kind

Michigan students pursuing an advanced degree or a highly skilled career would have a leg up on their competition thanks to legislation sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price and state Sen. John Proos.

House Bills 5904 and 5905 – and the accompanying Senate Bills 1109 and 1110 – allow students to earn a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) certification on their high school diploma. The STEM endorsement would also be included on student transcripts as the graduates seek technical training and college admittance.

“Equipping our high school students with the right skills and training to be competitive will help them take the next step in their educational careers,” said Price, R-Park Township. “Whether that next step is college or trade school or any other form of technical training, we need to encourage them to pursue their own brighter futures, and these bills will go a long way in setting our Michigan graduates apart from the crowd.”

Gov. Rick Snyder has called for an increased focus on STEM education in Michigan schools. If enacted, the measures would the first of their kind in the United States.

“This initiative is the next step in ensuring that we are doing all we can to help prepare all Michigan students for success and also meet the skilled workforce needs of a growing economy,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Putting this certification on a student’s diploma and transcript will help improve their college resume and their chances to land a well-paying job.”

HBs 5904 and 5905 and SBs 1109 and 1110 will be formally introduced when the Legislature returns to session.

Secretary Johnson: We Must Remember Veterans Day, Sacrifices Made By Veterans

Secretary of State offices will close for the Nov. 11 holiday

LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds residents that, in honor of Veterans Day, all Secretary of State offices and the Office of the Great Seal will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 11. She also encouraged people to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice.

“I had a rare opportunity to visit our troops in the Middle East in 2012 to study how to make overseas voting easier for those in the military,” Johnson said. “I will never forget the sense of honor, duty and patriotism that those young men and women displayed in spite of the terrible conditions. We owe everyone who has ever served this country a great debt for their service and sacrifice.”

Michigan is home to more than 680,000 veterans, the 11th largest population nationally. “Patriotism and service run deep in Michigan,” Johnson added. “This Veterans Day, take a moment to thank a vet for his or her service.”

Originally known as Armistice Day, this special Nov. 11 holiday was first celebrated in 1919 to recognize the men and women who died during World War 1. In 1938, it became an official federal holiday. The name was changed to Veterans Day in the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War to commemorate veterans of all wars.

Most people renewing license plates and driver’s licenses and ID cards can do business online at www.ExpressSOS.comLicense plate tabs also can be renewed at Self-Service Stations, many of which are available around the clock. Visit the Branch Office Locator at to find a Self-Service Station near you.


Armstrong Named National Defensive POW

Submitted by: Rog Garner — Head Women’s Soccer Coach

Lindsay Armstrong of Aquinas College was named the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Players of the Week. Armstrong were selected for her play during the week of October 6-12 and was chosen out of the conference and independent award winners.


The junior goalkeeper from Fruitport manned the net for Aquinas in a pair of 1-0 victories, including a match against then-No. 14 Davenport. In 180 minutes of game action last week, Armstrong lowered her goals against average to 0.38 this season.
In her 13 matches, she has allowed five scores, recorded nine shutouts and currently holds a .906 save percentage.

The Start of a Better Trend for Diabetes 

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

“Eat right and exercise.”

It’s good advice. But millions of us Americans struggle every day to live up to our hopes regarding diet and activity. Some of us are pretty good at one thing (for me, it’s exercise) but not good at the other (starch and sweets make up too much of my diet). It just ain’t easy to both eat right and exercise, and do so every day.

But maybe we have been making some progress on our personal goals regarding diet and activity. It looks like our collective efforts to address obesity — and associated diseases like diabetes — may be starting to have some results.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Although the devil is in the details, the publication argues that if you look at Americans as a group, obesity and diabetes are no longer increasing as they had been in recent decades.

As the Los Angeles Times reported recently, the rate at which Americans are being newly diagnosed with diabetes has now actually fallen. The statistic reflects how many new cases doctors found per thousand people. In 1990, for Americans between 20 to 79 years old, the number of new diabetes cases was 3.2. That figure shot up to 8.8 in 2008. The good news is that for 2012, the figure was 7.1, a downward trend worth celebrating.

But three groups are not participating in that improvement. They are Latinos, African Americans, and people with only a high school education or less. For a variety of reasons, people in those groups are still experiencing a rising rate of diabetes.

“It’s not good news for everybody,” Shakira Suglia told the Los Angeles Times. Suglia is an epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

And that bad news really matters because diabetes is such a debilitating disease. People with diabetes are more likely than the general population to suffer heart attacks and strokes, to name only two maladies that crop up in the medical statistics. Beyond that there’s blindness and kidney failure to fear, and problems in feet and legs that, in the worst case, can lead to amputation.

The overall problem posed by diabetes in the U.S. remains enormous. Nearly 1 in 10 Americans have the disease. There is the human dimension of the suffering that diabetes brings to people, and there is also the financial cost associated with treating the disease. Our national health care bill is significantly impacted by the cost of diabetes, which was estimated at $245 billion in 2012.

But even if it’s fragmentary, let’s be thankful for at least a bit of good news in the fight against obesity and diabetes. Let’s keep up the good work and encourage one another to eat right and exercise. Everyone needs to get on board this wagon, and that includes me.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

Disability Connection — New Board Members

Renica Minott of Muskegon, Sandra Baker of North Muskegon and Andy Stone of Muskegon have been elected new members of the board of directors for Disability Connection/West Michigan. They join present board members John Wahlberg, President, of Muskegon; Mike Hamm, Vice President, of White Cloud; Tom Grein, Treasurer, of Whitehall and Joe Doyle, Secretary, of Muskegon. Susan Cloutier-Myers is the Executive Director.

Minott is a Counselor at Muskegon Community College in the Counseling and Advising Center.  She is pursuing her EdD in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University, and has a MA in Counselor Education from Western Michigan University and a BS in Sociology from Grand Valley State University.

Baker is is a retired Special Education Teacher and the Executive Director of Gracious Grounds, a faith based community offering housing to people with unique abilities. She has an MA in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University and a BA in Special Education from Michigan State University.

Stone has been the Deputy Director of Michigan Works! Muskegon-Oceana since 2010. He was an integral part in bringing Muskegon’s Michigan Works offices under one employer in one location to have a greater impact on the Muskegon area. He is excited to be a part of the revitalization of the community’s economy through partnerships with many organizations, such as Muskegon Community College, Thrive, Muskegon Opportunity, Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, and Baker College.

Disability Connection, with main offices at 27 E. Clay Ave., Muskegon, provides services to people with disabilities and their families with offices in Muskegon, Fremont and Hart.

Some of the programs offered by Disability Connection include information and referrals, transportation assistance, nursing home transition, peer support, accessibility consultation, disability sensitivity training, help for veterans, and peer support, among several others.

The organization’s mission is to advocate, educate, empower, and provide resources for persons with disabilities and to promote accessible communities, with the vision that accessibility will be an accepted civil right.

Contact the Muskegon office at (231) 722-0088, the Hart office at (231) 301-0014, and the Fremont office at (231) 538-0738, or visit the web site

Forensic Science Meets Nuclear Chemistry

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

As a kid, I read the Sherlock Holmes stories and the mysteries of Agatha Christie. As an adult, I wrote four mysteries that focused on a Quaker heroine solving crimes she happened across in her religious community. (I published them using my grandmother’s name — Irene Allen — as a pseudonym.) And, as a geologist, I’ve read about real-life criminal investigations that involved samples of sand and soil.

But it wasn’t until I talked with Dr. Nathalie Wall of the chemistry department at Washington State University that I got my head around forensic science that relates to radioactive materials.

“The basic definition of forensics is that it gives you information about the past,” Wall said to me. “The best known type of forensics is the criminal kind.”

Nuclear forensics is the study of radioactive materials found on places like a suspect’s hand. The goal is to develop information about such things as the source of the nuclear material. One part of the research Wall does is to help develop techniques that can be used for prosecution of people linked to illegally transporting or trafficking in radioactive substances.

“A fingerprint belongs to just one person, so it has real importance as evidence,” Wall said. “But you can’t arrest someone just for having a trace amount of uranium on their hands. There is uranium in granite, so a person can pick up trace amounts of it just from handling rocks.”

That’s part of the reason why it can be much more complicated to make a legal case against a person for dealing in radioactive materials than it can be to prove other kinds of criminal cases.

“The cool thing about nuclear chemistry is that radioactive elements come in sets or suites,” Wall told me. “If you find a specific suite of elements of different proportions, you can potentially tell where the material came from and what it’s been used for. So this is the ‘fingerprint’ we look for.”

Wall’s work is in the chemistry of various radioactive elements. She collaborates with people who make sophisticated devices for testing trace samples of materials.

“Just as the TSA may swipe your hand to see if you’ve touched conventional explosives, our goal is to develop tests for trace amounts of radioactive isotopes,” Wall said. “Part of the challenge is to make the tests both accurate and fast.”

Wall got a start in the research world working on nuclear repositories and contaminated sites. Nuclear forensics has been a recent addition to her work.

“From a chemist’s point of view, it’s all the same story,” Wall said.

Wall’s work is part of a broader who-done-it effort that’s important to all of us. I’m glad she and others like her are at work on real-life investigatory techniques that can stop terrorists.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.


My Hope to reach people with Gospel across the US, Canada and the UK

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has just released a trailer for Heaven, the next installment of evangelistic films available for use – free of charge – through the My Hope with Billy Graham ministry. You can watch the trailer forHeaven online at

Available on Nov. 7 in the United States and Canada, the full film features a never-before-seen message from Billy Graham, alongside compelling stories of hope and faith, much like The Cross and the other impactful programs previously produced.

To get involved, or to learn more about getting your church involved, visit

Simultaneously, My Hope UK with Billy Graham is partnering with churches across the UK to help them reach out in love and bring a message of hope to their communities. This November, the My Hope program The Cross will debut in the UK, as it will be shown in churches and venues throughout the country. To learn more about My Hope UK,

If you would like more information about these, or other, updates from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, please contact Complete press releases from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are available at


Muskegon Area Transit System to Move to Temporary Transfer Terminal Monday, November 10

MUSKEGON, MI (November 4, 2014) – Muskegon Area Transit System will close the Herman Ivory Terminal at 351 Morris Avenue in Downtown Muskegon on Monday, November 10, 2014, and open a temporary terminal location in the former Masonic Lodge location at 396 W Clay Avenue. This relocation is in preparation for construction to begin on renovations to the transfer station at the current Herman Ivory Terminal Location.

“The Masonic Lodge building will make a great location for our passenger transfer activities for the next seven to eight months,” said Jim Koens, Transit Systems Manager for Muskegon Area Transit System. “This facility has a large indoor waiting area and has been used as a community gathering space for many years. Outside, there is plenty of space for buses to pull up and for passengers to transfer,” said Koens.

The temporary location will also house the local Greyhound ticketing functions during the renovations. The Morris Avenue closure will also affect parking around the current terminal, closing the gravel lot on Second Street on November 10 and eventually closing the lot at the corner of First Street and Morris. Permanent closure of that lot will be announced as construction progresses.

Construction documents were put out for bid earlier this month and a contractor has been selected, pending County Board approval. Construction on the new terminal is expected to be completed by summer of 2015. Follow the construction at and on the MATS Facebook page.

Muskegon Area Regional Connections (MARC)

MUSKEGON, MI – The Muskegon Area Transit System is pleased to announce that its new MARC initiative began Monday, November 3, 2014. The first MARC bus was scheduled to leave the downtown Muskegon Herman Ivory Terminal at 7:15 am and head north, traveling through North Muskegon, Lakewood Club, south Whitehall and end its first route cycle at Water and Church Street in Montague.

In addition to staff being available opening morning, MATS continues to schedule “How to Ride the Bus” seminars to further aid new riders. Riders are also encouraged to frequent for additional upcoming seminar times and locations.

MARC route and schedule information is available from several locations in these communities and also on Keep up with route and MATS information by liking Muskegon Area Transit System on Facebook.

Visit the Muskegon Museum of Art in November

The fall calendar includes films, family days, its annual Appraisal Fair, the opening of a Japanese Toy Robot exhibition and Festival of Trees and holiday events. Go to for details and listings of more events.

Thursday, November 6
Opening Event
Japanese Warriors: Robots from the Warren Schwartz Collection
5:30-7:00 pm Reception

Saturday, November 8, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
(Robot) Ornament Designer Super Saturday
Family Fun Day
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Guided Tours
Tour Japanese Warriors with an MMA docent.
10:00 am & 1:00 pm
Castle in the Sky
(125 mins) Join us for this children’s anime film adventure, young miner Pazu and mysterious girl Sheeta team up to find the long-lost island of Laputa, which is rumored to have great riches and gems.
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Make & Take
Design robot ornaments using recycled items, including garland and more, to adorn our awesome Super Saturday FOT holiday tree!

Thursday, November 13, 12:15 pm
Brown Bag Film
The Hidden Fortress
(139 mins.) Director Akira Kurosawa’s classic adventure depicts the travails of two scheming peasants drafted by a defeated general to escort an imperious princess and her clan’s royal treasure through enemy terrain.

Thursdays, November 13 and December 4, 11, 18
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Open Public Tours
Drop in for guided tours of Japanese Warriors. Reservations are not required.


For more details, find the Muskegon Museum of Art on Facebook and Twitter, and at The museum is located in Muskegon at 296 W. Webster Ave., next to Hackley Public Library.