Monthly Archives: December 2014

Correcting Errors in the Language of Life

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

My word processor is set up to deal with the errors I make when writing. The programmers who wrote the computer program knew I’d screw things up, so they built in corrective functions like spellcheck and the ability to simply backspace to delete typos. Those of us old enough to remember manual typewriters still sometimes marvel at the ease with which corrections in documents can now be made.

Mother Nature also has a built-in corrective function, one at work in organisms as simple as yeast and as complex as people.

“Each human cell experiences 10,000 to 100,000 injuries or lesions in its DNA per day,” Professor Michael Smerdon of Washington State University told me. “And there are about 30 trillion cells in an adult human, which makes a lot of errors to correct in each of us.”

To cope with all that error in the language of life, complex repair processes are at work within us every microsecond. Our cells have repair proteins that can correct errors in the genetic code. In other words, DNA is a fragile molecule, prone to problems, but nature copes by having repair capabilities in every cell in your body.

Unfortunately, damaged DNA can block the activity of proteins, called RNA polymerases, that “read” the content of genes in DNA for making proteins.

“Even small problems in repair can lead to major diseases,” Smerdon said. “There are regions in DNA that, if they get damaged and are not repaired quickly, cause more problems than other regions.”

Diseases like leukemia, breast cancer, and colon cancer can result from faulty repairs. More rare maladies like Cockayne Syndrome and xeroderma pigmentosum are created by some of the same fundamental processes.

Smerdon is nearing retirement. In recent years he’s worked with a young man from China, Peng Mao, a post-doctoral researcher in Smerdon’s laboratory.

In a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Mao, Rithy Meas, Kathy Dorgan and Smerdon described how RNA polymerase can be helped to perform its corrective function. That is an important result in part because someday ill people may be given agents that will increase the effectiveness of repair proteins in the cell.

“Repair will never be perfect,” Smerdon said. “If it were, there would be no mutations and therefore no evolutionary change. We wouldn’t be here if all repairs were perfectly carried out. But it’s got to be pretty close to perfect to avoid disease.”

For Smerdon, the recent publication in PNAS has been an extension of work he began 40 years ago when he was a post-doc.

“I’ve been fortunate to live through major changes in molecular biology,” Smerdon said. “It’s been an exciting time in my field.”

Improvements in laboratory techniques have been one factor leading to the advancement of molecular biosciences. Mao, the young post-doc, expects that there will be many new techniques available to researchers when he is Smerdon’s age.

“By the time I retire, more techniques will have led to new theories and a deeper understanding of DNA repair systems,” Mao said. “And there will be applications to human medicine.”

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.

In Michigan, the Silence is Deafening

In reflecting on this sad fact I googled the term, “The silence is deafening”, and came across some good definitions:

Deafening Silence:

1. A silence or lack of response that reveals something significant, such as disapproval or a lack of enthusiasm. In other words, not saying something can reveal something so shocking that you feel like you can’t hear anything else above the silence.

2. Deafening silence in simple terms is silence that tells you something no one wanted to say. For example, say you thought your spouse cheated on you, so you asked about it. you: “Did you cheat on me?” spouse: says nothing . You automatically know there is a reason for the silence, and you can conclude the answer yourself. Many times this is because a person may think not saying anything will prevent hurting the other person, when in actuality it says just as much, maybe more.

From where I stand, these two definitions sums up what I see has been happening in our fair State for far too long, namely, most citizens are silent when it comes to the incompetence and corruption that is very prevalent among those in public office. This issue crosses party lines and should no longer be tolerated.

If the majority of Michigan’s citizens would come together and say with one voice, “We will no longer be silent; we will not go quietly into the night”, our collective voices will shatter the silence, and bring about a second American Revolution. Only this time not with bombs and bullets, but with hearts and minds united in a just and noble cause. I propose that this just and noble cause be to restore the greatness of the Great Lake State. (I really miss that slogan). One person, which is each and every one us can make a difference, many of united in a just and noble cause, will make a miracle.

We must also not allow our collective voices to be weakened by the voices that choose to overly focus on socially divisive issues, while important to many, such as abortion and same sex marriage. The sad truth is that many politicians use these and other divisive social issues to drown out the voices from being heard on such issues as transparency in government, which will lead to accountability for the corruption and incompetence in government, as well as the disenfranchisement of many people in the Democratic process.

It is also a sad truth that too many citizens do not demand better from candidates for public office, and from those currently serving in public office. As the old saying goes, “We get the kind of government we want by the choices that we make, or fail to make”.

As Ronald Reagan so eloquently put it in his “Time for choosing speech”:

“You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well, I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism”.

It is my well thought out conclusion that we are losing our individual freedoms at an ever increasing pace due to those in public office hearing the deafening silence from the majority of the citizens of Michigan.

Robin Sanders
2636 Bernice St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Triggering the Ice Age

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

From time to time I give public talks on climate change — those large scale changes geologists have been studying since the 1830s. At those talks I’m often asked a basic question about climate that, until now, has stumped scientists. Here’s the background.

In the 1830s a Swiss naturalist named Louis Agassiz started promoting the idea that Europe had once been enveloped in a cold time in which large areas had been covered in glacial ice. He called that interval “the Ice Age.”

Working in this country in later decades, geologists studying glacial debris and soil layers came up with the idea that there had really been multiple episodes of extreme glacial advances. By 1900 most geologists agreed there had been at least four bitter intervals during which massive glaciers had covered Canada, with a sheet of ice extending down into the upper Midwest and New England.

Today, geologists believe there have been numerous cold times during the past 2.5 million years. Those long, bitter intervals have been separated by milder times like the present. The current warm interval has now lasted about 10,000 years. It’s really no different from the previous warm times except that human civilization has grown up within it.

But what triggered the start of the Ice Age? That’s the question I’m often asked by members of the public. After all, most of Earth’s history has been much warmer than the present and not marked by periodic advances of giant glaciers.

A team of researchers recently put forward a hypothesis that addresses the question of what may have started the Ice Age. They studied wind-blown dust in north central China, near the Tibetan plateau. That dust reflects changes in temperature and monsoons.

The idea coming out of the research is that the salinity of the Pacific Ocean was changed when North and South America were joined by the creation of the land bridge that now links them. The salinity change created more sea ice, which, in turn, led to changes in wind patterns, with intensified monsoons. Finally, the new wind and rain regime led to increased snowfall at high latitudes — and thus were born the massive glaciers geologists have longed believed in.

Thomas Stevens of the University of London was one of the researchers who recently put forth the new work.

“Until now, the cause of [the Ice Age] had been a hotly debated topic,” Stevens told ScienceDaily. “Our findings suggest a significant link between ice sheet growth, the monsoon, and the closing of the Panama Seaway, as North and South America drifted closer together.”

Once the Panama region took its present shape, a feedback cycle in climate was established. More sea ice promoted more precipitation of snow, creating the conditions for the growth of massive glaciers in the northern parts of our hemisphere.

If the new hypothesis holds up, it will address one question about geologically recent climate change on Earth. And it’s another example of how numerous factors influence climate. In this case, a dash of plate tectonics moving land masses closer together led to climate changes half a world away. Or so some now think.

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.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events December 17, 2014 – January 5, 2015

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Wednesday, December 24:
Christmas Eve Polar Express Pajama Party
You’re invited to the 2nd Annual Christmas Eve Polar Express Pajama Party at Harbor Cinema! Santa will be in the lobby from 3:pm-5:00pm followed by the movie, “Polar Express”. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and candy canes! Tickets are only $5 and going fast! Call 231-755-2821 for more information.

Friday, December 26:
Muskegon Recreational Club Fish Fry
It’s Muskegon Recreation Club’s Fish Fry Time again! Every other Friday from September 19 through Good Friday, April 3, you’re invited to take part in their popular fish dinner. Take out is from 5:00pm – 7:30pm. Dine in from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. The cost is $9 for 1 lb. of lake perch, your choice of potato, cole slaw and bread. Onion rings are available for $3.00. The club is located at 1763 Lakeshore Dr. For more information, visit

HDOE Promotion: Interstate 96 Tour
The L.C. Walker Arena and Event Center is pleased to announce the addition of two homegrown hip-hop artists in Jodi Dro (Jose Loera) and Pape (Jaron Loera), also known as HDOE, to perform in the Annex following the Christmas holiday on Friday, December 26th at 8:00pm as part of their statewide “Interstate 96 Tour.” This one night event supports Michigan-based artists who take pride in the state by sharing it from the stage and bringing the urban and business communities together for an eventful night of celebrating Muskegon’s finest live hip-hop music and entertaining performances.   General admission tickets for the event are on sale for $20 with limited VIP tickets also available for $35. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the L.C. Walker Arena and Event Center Box Office during the normal business hours of 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Monday – Friday or calling (231) 724-5225. Doors for the event to open beginning at 7:30pm and features an intimate setting of limited seating, handicap accessibility, plenty of room for dancing, and a full service bar featuring an ample amount of Michigan beers and wines.

Hackley & Hume Historic Site Holiday Tours
The Hackley & Hume Historic Holiday Tours are offered December 26 & 27 – 5:00pm-8:00pm and December 28 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm Admission at the Hackley & Hume Historic Site, 484 W. Webster Ave., is $5 for adults, guests 12 and younger are free. Admission is FREE at the Scolnik House of the Depression Era, 504 W. Clay Avenue and the Fire Barn Museum, 510 W. Clay Ave.

Saturday, December 27:
Hoffmaster Park Snowshoe Hike
Weather permitting; Snowshoe hikes begin at the Visitor Center at 10:30am. They are located at 6585 Lake Harbor Rd. Norton Shores. Snowshoes for these programs may be reserved from the Gillette Nature Association for a $5 fee per pair. Snowshoes must be reserved in advance and paid for when hike reservation is made. Reservations may be made by calling 231-798-3573. Reservations are required. State Park passport required for entry into the state park.

Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
Come to the L.C. Walker Arena Saturday, December 27 at 7:15pm as the Muskegon Lumberjacks take on the Youngstown Phantoms. $40 car load night

Sunday, December 28:
Hackley & Hume Historic Site Holiday Tours
The Hackley & Hume Historic Holiday Tours are offered December 26 & 27 – 5:00pm-8:00pm and December 28 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm Admission at the Hackley & Hume Historic Site, 484 W. Webster Ave., is $5 for adults, guests 12 and younger are free. Admission is FREE at the Scolnik House of the Depression Era, 504 W. Clay Avenue and the Fire Barn Museum, 510 W. Clay Ave.

Tuesday, December 30:
Winter Open House
The Lakeshore Museum Center will offer a Winter Open House from 2:00pm-3:30pm on Tuesday, December 30. Participants will make a clothespin sheep during the open house and you will be able to explore the other exhibits and hands-on-rooms.

Wednesday, December 31:
New Year’s Eve Bash
You’re invited to Pigeon Hill Brewing Company to ring in the new year with great friends, phenomenal music and exceptional craft beer at their New Year’s Eve Bash, December 31! There’ll be live music from the Scott Pellegrom Trio, otherwise known at SP3, playing funk, soul and jazz. There is no cover charge!

Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
Come to the L.C. Walker Arena Friday, Wednesday, December 31 at 5:15pm as the Muskegon Lumberjacks take on the Chicago Steel.

Bella Marias New Year’s Eve Party
Your evening can begin at 6:30 with social hour, dinner at 7:30 and dancing until 2:00am. There will be live entertainment, with a 5 course meal dinner. There will only be 200 tickets sold, and tickets can be purchase at Teddy Spaghettis beginning November 1. Ticket price is $90

New Year’s Even Through the Decades
The Shoreline Inn & Lake House Waterfront Grille present “New Year’s Eve Through the Decades”, December 31 from 9:00pm to 1:00am. There’ll be live music from Yard Sale Underwear, dancing, midnight hors d’oeuvres, a photo booth, cash bar, party favors and more. New Year’s Eve Packages are available starting at $159 + tax. All inclusive packages are also available. For more information or reservations, call 231-727-8483.

Monday, January 5:
Hackley Handicrafts
Learn a new craft with Nancy Hartman! This month she will introduce you to needle felting. Brought to you through the generosity of the Friends of Hackley Library.

Ongoing Events:

Japanese Warriors Robots Exhibit
‎The Muskegon Museum of Art showcases selected robots from Schwartz’s collection of over 2,000 pieces produced from 1972-1982, during the peak of these action figures’ popularity. This show will thrill audiences of all ages!

Visit Santa
‎You can visit with Santa at the Lakes Mall, November 15 through Christmas Eve, near Bed, Bath & Beyond!  Monday through Saturday, hours are 11:00am-9:00pm.  Visit Santa Sundays from 11:00am-6:00pm and Christmas Eve from 10:00am-6:00pm.

Armchair Archeology: From Hobby to History
‎”Armchair Archaeology: From Hobby to History” is on display at the Lakeshore Museum Center!  The exhibit explores early archaeology practices and philosophies that would be considered controversial today and showcases the local men who did it right.  The exhibit features ten Muskegon residents from the late 1800s to early 1940s who were working in the area to learn about who and what was living here before them.  Artifacts on display from the local digs include pottery shards, arrowheads, projectile points, and tools.  Visitors will have an opportunity to take a seat and spend some time reading books and journal articles written by and about the men featured in the exhibit.

Collector’s Corner: Hat Pins
‎The Collector’s Corner exhibit at the Lakeshore Museum Center features the Hat Pin collection of Martha Giacobassi. Hatpins, the decorative yet functional objects that held women’s hats in place, have been popular since the 1800s. Styles range from plain and utilitarian to highly decorative and ornate. Hatpins grew in length as women’s hat styles grew in size, which meant that some hatpins were well over a foot in length. After injuries and attacks with hat pins began to receive news coverage in the 1910s, laws and ordinances were passed in many states limiting the length of hatpins and requiring that they have covered tips.  The collection features 263 hatpins as well as hat pin holders, photos, and hats. Her collection will be on display through early March in 2015.

Fall Into the Arts Exhibit
Open your eyes and let your mind wander as you enter the Nuveen Community Center for the Arts during the Fall into the Arts exhibit of 2014. Students from area schools have been given an upcycling challenge and what they are able to create with ordinary objects will blow your mind!  Artwork from over a hundred students at ten area schools covers the Nuveen walls, reflecting the theme “Innovations:  Making the Ordinary Extraordinary”.  The exhibit will be on display beginning on November 13 through December 21, 2014.  Community members are invited to view the artwork, donate to the school of their choice, and cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award.  An artist reception will be held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 in our NEW location at 106 E. Colby St. in Whitehall.  The Nuveen Community Center for the Arts, the educational branch of the Arts Council of White Lake, is located at 106 E. Colby Street in downtown Whitehall. Exhibit hours are Tuesday-Friday, 12:00-5:00pm. There is no charge for admission. Call 231-894-2787 for information about holiday hours.

Mystery of the Christmas Star
Mark your calendars for Carr-Fles Planetarium’s traditional holiday show, “Mystery of the Christmas Star,” at Muskegon Community College (room 135, 221 S. Quarterline Rd.). This film investigates the “star” and “sky signs” that declared the birth of Jesus Christ and caused the Wise Men to travel over 600 miles through the desert from Babylon to Bethlehem. Free public shows are 7:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, November 4 – December 11 (closed for Thanksgiving). This 35-minute program will be followed by a brief tour of the current night sky, using the planetarium dome. Reservations are not taken, but doors open for seating by 6:45pm, and the show will begin as soon as the auditorium is full. To schedule a private show of your choice for groups of 15-44, please call the Math and Physical Sciences Department, (231) 777-0289.

12/11/2014 – Thursdays are FREE at the Muskegon Museum of Art
‎Drop in for a free tour of the Muskegon Museum of Art every Thursday.  If you prefer a guided tour, docents will lead you through the Museum’s new Centennial Collection every Thursday between 1:00pm and 3:00pm.  No reservations needed!  Call the museum for more information at 231-720-2574 or visit them online at   Located at 296 W. Webster Ave. in downtown Muskegon.

The Essential Elijah Pierce Exhibit
The Muskegon Museum of Art is pleased to present The Essential Elijah Pierce, an exhibition of more than 40 woodcarvings by barber, carver, and lay preacher Elijah Pierce! “Your life is a book and every day is a page,” Pierce believed. This is an exhibit you don’t want to miss!

Muskegon Recreational Club Fish Fry
‎It’s Muskegon Recreation Club’s Fish Fry Time again!  Every other Friday from September 19 – through Good Friday, April 3, you’re invited to take part in their popular fish dinner.  Take out is from 5:00pm – 7:30pm.  Dine in from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.  The cost is $9 for 1 lb. of Lake Perch, your choice of potato, coleslaw and bread.  Onion rings are available for $3.00.  The club is located at 1763 Lakeshore Dr.  For more information, visit

Sweetwater Local Foods Market
Organically grown locally grown foods at the Sweetwater Food Market. They are open Saturday 9:00am- Noon. They pledge that the animal and vegetable products sold in this market were grown and raised locally- within the State of West Michigan! They are located at 6401 Prairie St. Norton Shores.

12/13/2014 – Indoor Ice Skating
Saturdays and Sundays, enjoy the change of the season with friends and family at LC Walker Arena for their public indoor ice skating! Listen to some “cool” music and enjoy the atmosphere from 1:00-2:30 for just $5.00 each. Skate rental is available and this is a great idea for birthdays and scouting events!

David and Unholy Mackerel

By Emily Guiles

Yet again coffee drinkers at Jumpin’ Java in Grand Haven, Michigan are given a show by David Lampman and fellow performer, Unholy Mackerel. Prior to the show Lampman let slip that Unholy Mackerel and himself have a unique connection, but until now would not let go what the connection was. Mackerel had been the guitarist in Lampman’s old band, Chelicera. Not only were they bandmates but Mackerel also taught Lampman to skate.

Before Chelicera Mackerel and Lampman were also involved in a band together called James and the Giant Peach. Which was later transformed into Chelicera. It has been about six years since the two had seen each other before running into each other a few times in 2014; and now they find themselves performing together again for a joyful audience at Jumpin’ Java.

This performance at Jumpin’ Java was dedicated to Compassion International. It is through this organization that Lampman sponsors a seven year old girl named Vicki, from Ecuador. Lampman can be seen sporting an “ask me about Vicki,” sticker.

Compassion International’s mission statement is to “advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults,” according to their website.

The goal for the performance this night was to get at least three children sponsored. These three children include: Muneza Jemmy, five years old, Jemmy is considered high priority because he has been waiting for a sponsor for six months and lives in an Aids affected area. Another child is Pablo Sebastian Jimenez Lopez, four years old, who lives in Ecuador, and Patricia Paskalia Gulo, 13 years old, from Indonesia. Although the performance is dedicated to this organization Lampman chooses not to view this as a charity performance. Instead Lampman hopes that this performance will be an eye opener for all involved, and everyone who participated.

Unfortunately none of the children received sponsors that night but there is always hope for the future. For more information on how you can assist or sponsor a child through Compassion International, go to their website at

A Baby Dies Every Three Days in Michigan

SIDS is the leading cause of deaths for babies less than one year of age.

Ottawa County –According to the Michigan Department of Human Services, a baby dies every three days in Michigan and these deaths are 100% preventable. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of deaths for babies less than one year of age. Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, proclaimed September as Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan. 

“We are raising awareness about how we can keep our babies safe and healthy; because losing one baby to unsafe sleep is one baby too many!”
 Dawn Dotson, MIHP Supervisor at Ottawa County Department of Public Health

The Michigan Department of Community Health, Education and Human Services and local agencies, such as the Ottawa County Department of Public Health Maternal & Infant Health & Prenatal Education (MIHP) program and Pathways, MI are working together to raise awareness and educate parents about safe sleep practices. “Infants do not have enough strength to pull themselves out of places where they might get wedged,” said Leigh Moerdyke, Community Youth Development Program Director at Pathways, MI. She said when babies are placed on their stomachs to sleep it tips their chin and neck, closing off the airway and potentially causing asphyxiation.

Safe Babies
1. Always place your baby on his or her back for naps and at night.
2. Babies should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or in a chair with anyone.
3. Use a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib with a fitted sheet.
4. Keep soft objects, toys, crib bumpers and loose bedding out of sleeping environments.
5. Babies need tummy time when he or she is awake with someone watching.

Healthy Babies
1. Women should receive regular healthcare during their pregnancy.
2. Do not smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs during pregnancy or after your baby is born.
3. Breast-feed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.
4. Do not let your baby get too warm during sleep.
5. Follow your doctor’s recommendations on child immunizations.

Dawn Dotson, Community Health Supervisor
Maternal & Infant Health & Prenatal Education
Ottawa County Department of Public Health




Bones Can Tell Quite a Story

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

His teeth had no cavities, but they were heavily worn. He was about my height — some 5 feet, 7 inches tall. He wasn’t petite, likely weighing around 160 pounds. Well before his death, he broke six of his ribs. Five of them never healed, but he kept going nevertheless.

A recent article in “The Smithsonian Magazine” details all this and more about Kennewick Man, an ancient skeleton found on the banks of the Columbia River in south-central Washington State in 1996. The occasion for the article is the publication of a 680-page book on Kennewick Man being released this fall by Texas A&M University Press.

Carbon-14 dating indicates Kennewick Man lived about 9000 years ago. His ancient bones have told researchers an interesting tale about the route the first people to reach North America may have taken in their journey to reach our part of the world.

But first, some specifics about the man himself. People who study bones closely can tell which muscles were well developed when a person was alive because of the marks that muscle attachments leave behind. According to the piece in “The Smithsonian,” Kennewick Man’s right shoulder was very well developed. That indicates he likely made a living throwing a spear with his right arm. His right shoulder even has a fracture in its socket, perhaps because he once threw something a little too hard, like baseball pitchers do today.

It may have been because he threw right-handed that the five ribs on his right side never properly healed after they were broken. As the article says, “This man was one tough dude.”

A stone spear-point was embedded in Kennewick Man’s hip. It had a downward arc, perhaps meaning it was thrown from a distance. Looking at bone growth around the point, scientists believe he encountered that spear when he was 15-20 years old (Kennewick Man is believed to have been around 40 when he died.) The injury to his hip from the 2-inch long point was significant. Researchers think he must have been helped by other people to survive and regain his health. So although he was a tough dude, he wasn’t a lone wolf.

Kennewick Man’s skull reveals still more injuries. He had two small skull fractures, one on his forehead. Possibly he was in a serious fight. Another thing that might explain the injuries could be a bola. That weapon involves whirling a couple of rocks connected by a rope above the head. A miscalculation with a bola could have injured Kennewick man’s skull.

The bonus question in anthropology is where Kennewick Man came from. The features of the famous specimen can be seen as an indicator that North America was originally peopled by coastal Asians who worked their way around what’s now Japan and Kamchatka to Alaska and then points south. That’s a hypothesis that will no doubt be tested over time as other ancient bones are discovered and analyzed.

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.

Statement from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

Common-sense option to those with Driver’s Responsibility Fees

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today issued the following statement after Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation today giving drivers the option to use community service as a way to pay for Driver Responsibility Fees starting in January:

“I support giving hardworking Michigan families the option to invest in their communities through volunteering as a way of addressing costly Driver Responsibility Fees.

“This is a common-sense option that addresses a double penalty for drivers who already have to pay fines, court costs and, often, higher insurance rates for violations.”

Johnson voted against the creation of the fees in 2003 when she served in the Michigan House. She has worked to see them reduced and in 2011supported the repeal of $150 and $200 Driver Responsibility Fees for minor violations.

For media questions, please call Gisgie Dávila Gendreau at 517-373-2520.

For more about the Secretary of State’s Office:
To find Secretary of State office locations and services, visit Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at and Facebook updates at Online services are available at

Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).

A Better Way to Shine Light in a Dark World

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Years ago I purchased a headlamp — a small flashlight that straps around your head to light your way. It’s really useful because it leaves both your hands free as you work or walk. I used my headlamp during the dark half of the year to exercise my dog in dark pastures and an undeveloped No Man’s Land on a steep hill near my house.

My headlamp used an old fashioned light bulb and a fairly heavy battery to run it. I used it for years but it finally stopped working, so I recently purchased a new headlamp. Technology has changed, and for the better — the new light uses a light emitting diode, or LED, and much smaller batteries. I’ve tested it, and I think it puts out more light than my older, heavier model used to do. One thing is for sure, it’s easier on my head because it weighs a good deal less than my old model.

Recently the Nobel committee in Sweden announced that three scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their role in creating the LED light, such as the one that powers my new headlamp. Two of the scientists, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, are in Japan, at Nagoya University. A third, Shuji Nakamura, is at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The three will receive a total of 8 million Swedish kronor, which is worth about $1.2 million according to a CNN report. They received the award for their work creating the blue LED in the 1990s.

For more than a generation, scientists labored to create a blue LED. Green and red LEDs had existed for years, but a blue LED remained elusive. When the trio of researchers created the blue LED, white light from LEDs became possible.

“They succeeded where everyone else had failed,” said the Nobel committee as quoted by the CNN report.

It’s rare that a Nobel Prize in physics directly touches our lives. But the new LED technology is important to all of us because LEDs are more efficient than old light bulbs and even compact fluorescents. In addition, fluorescent bulbs often contain mercury, something not found in LEDs. To top it all off, LEDs last a long time. People like my brother are putting LED lights into new buildings because of their advantages over old technology. And LEDs are found in more and more of our gadgets and devices.

It’s getting darker earlier each evening here in the Northern Tier state where I live. I will soon be relying on my LED headlamp as I walk the dog after work. I’ll remember the three scientists who made my new headlamp possible and celebrate their Nobel Prize in Physics.

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.

Fruitport’s Got Talent

By Emily Guiles

Sponsored by the Fruitport DECA program, the sixth annual Fruitport’s Got Talent was sure to be a show stopper. But a horrific accident made this show all the more memorable.

Sep., 29th new Fruitport High School student Cameron Smallegan was hit by a car while walking with her friends; and received severe injuries. Smallegan spent time in DeVos Children’s hospital and has had two surgeries so far, she is still unable to talk. Smallegan is now housed at Mary Freebed to recover. In honor of Smallegan and her family 50% of the proceeds made at the show will go to her and her family.

To make the night even more special, Smallegan’s friends, some of whom were with her when the accident occurred, performed “Hallelujah” as written by Leonard Cohen. The performance was heartfelt and captivated the audience. The group included, Steven Strait, Sierra Helms, Brandon Watkins, Elizabeth Nelson, and Ja’von Collins; all Fruitport High School students. Helms delivered a short speech to kick off their performance dedicated to Smellegan.

There were three faculty judges, along with two student judges: Superintendent Bob Szymoniak, Ms. Briggs, and Mrs. Vanderberg were the faculty judges; and Jeff Campbell and Joleen Cejmer were the student judges.

There were several performers who had participated in Fruitport’s Got Talent the previous year. Performers like: Cain Burling, Keeley Rose, Antonio Stong, Mikel Vaandering, Tyler West and Gabrielle Puente have all performed on the Fruitport Middle School stage before. There were also several newcomers to the stage this year; Kano Rivera, Caia Dibble, the new members of Fruitport’s poetry and writing club Imagery, and senior Miranda Wilson. This was Wilson’s first time performing in front of a live audience, and she delivered a beautiful solo, singing “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way” by Leann Rimes. Although her nerves understandably got the better of her, the performance was a good one overall.

It was the second time that guitarist Cain Burling, or playfully refered to as El Guapo, had graced the Fruitport’s Got Talent stage. This time around Burling showed his skills not only for playing the guitar, but also for writing his own music as he performed an original composition; and won the trophy for Best Solo Act.

Awards were also given out for Best Dance: which went to Tyler West, who did a dance rendition of “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, complete with moonwalk and end pelvic thrusts; Best Group: went to Fruitport Imagery Club for their reading of the original poem called, “Poetic Confessions”; and Show Stopper: which went to dancer Caia Dibble for her contemporary piece performed to “Love the Way You Lie” by Skylar Grey. Long-time friends Andrew Netzler and Tom Crotty hosted the event, adding some comic relief to the show as they try to fill the shoes that Sam Cerniglia left behind after hosting the previous years Fruitport’s Got Talent.

Reported Abortions Increase for 2013

One Dynamic: Clinic Law Increases Accountability

Data released by the Michigan Department of Community Health showed a 12.4 percent increase in the number of reported abortions performed in 2013. The total number of abortions performed rose from 23,230, to 26,120. While the increased numbers are tragic, they are not unexpected and have predicted explanations. A law passed in 2012 requiring abortion clinics to be licensed caused 5 abortion clinics to close in the early months of 2013. The location of those closed clinics corresponds with the four counties (Muskegon, Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland) that showed substantial increases in abortions, accounting for the increase in the number of reported abortions.

Those closed abortion businesses were suspected of violating the state reporting law. As those abortion businesses closed, their clients went to other abortion businesses; previously unreported abortions may be reported now. There was also a shocking 44.4 percent increase in late-term abortions (after 20 weeks), which may be attributed to better reporting and an influx of women from Ohio after abortion businesses in Toledo closed.

In Muskegon, Right to Life of Michigan identified anomalies in past abortion data. The sole abortion business in Muskegon was not reporting abortions for two years prior to being shut down for dangerous conditions. It is suspected that women from Muskegon County are now traveling to other abortion businesses that follow state reporting laws. Metro Detroit may be experiencing something similar, four clinics from that area closed in 2013 following passage of the Prolife Omnibus Act (PA 499).

The numbers could reflect an actual increase in abortions, possibly due to the especially difficult economic times Detroit is facing as the city undergoes bankruptcy. About 29 percent of the 2013 increase was reported in Detroit, despite the city having only 7 percent of the state’s population. Abortion continues to disproportionately devastate the black community, with more than 50 percent of all abortions being performed on black women, even though they are only 16 percent of the female population. Recent media coverage showing Detroit’s maternal death rate at triple the national rate proves that abortion fails to improve women’s health.

The trend of declining abortions committed on girls under the age of 18 continued. That number dropped to under 1,000 for the first time ever. In 2012, 1,035 minor abortions were reported. The reported figure of 971 in 2013 represents another 6 percent decrease. Since 1990, abortions among minors has fallen 75 percent.

Whether it is real increases or better tracking, we are deeply saddened by the loss of those additional 2,900 precious lives. While the overall trend of decreasing abortions is encouraging, this year’s increase and the annual overall numbers serves as a reminder that our prolife efforts must continue, because lives depend on us.

Your help is needed. Learn how you can be part of saving lives by visiting Right to Life of Michigan at

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson Announces Expanded Plan to Protect Consumers

Better technology, best practices will stop scams, catch criminals

LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced a new plan to thwart scammers trying to take advantage of law-abiding citizens by selling fake insurance or through other tricks. The move is part of her ongoing efforts to protect consumers and fight auto insurance fraud.

The new efforts use cutting-edge technology, expand best practices and maximize resources. They include:
• A comprehensive review of her department’s processes, technology and structure to determine how best to detect and deter fraud.
• Data analysis to identify signs in transactions that may indicate fraud.
• Expanding the verification of the thousands of insurance certificates the department receives from customers daily.
• An upgrade in case management software to give department investigators the best tools for tracking down fraudulent activity.
• A roundtable discussion with business leaders about fraud to seek their advice and ensure the department is following best practices.

“These new measures will strengthen consumer protection and root out fraud,” Johnson said. “Using cutting-edge technology and through our continued use of best practices, we’ll dig deeper into the millions of transactions we process each year to catch criminals running their scams and stop them from taking advantage of law-abiding citizens.”

The Secretary of State’s Office has contracted with a business consulting firm to complete a full review of the department’s business processes, technology and organizational structure as it relates to fraud. The effort will include review of the systems associated with the management and disposition of fraud cases handled within the department. The project’s goal is to maximize resources to supplement existing investigative principles, to handle issues that are discovered and to add additional steps to deter fraud.

In another initiative, Johnson’s office is looking to use data analysis to compare elements of transactions with those of previous fraudulent ones. Similarities can be used as an alert that a fraud investigation may be needed.

The department has received funding to add staff to a new unit that will verify the validity of the 10,000 to 20,000 insurance certificates that come in through the mail each day from customers renewing their vehicle registration in addition to the reviews already being done in Secretary of State offices. Johnson’s team is also planning to upgrade its case management software so department investigators are best equipped for tracking down fraud.

Plans also call for a roundtable discussion about fraud with a group of leaders from her Business Roundtable that Johnson convened earlier in her term. The discussion would include lessons learned and best practices to keep the department at the forefront of protecting consumers from fraudulent activity.

“We highly value the insights of Michigan’s business leaders, who have solutions from the private sector that can help us in state government,” Johnson said. “We are united in purpose to stop the scam artists who cost the rest of us money.”

Some of the new initiatives are the result of recent recommendations by the Fighting Auto Insurance Rip-Offs (FAIR) Task Force. Others reflect Johnson’s intent to crack down on any type of fraud that targets the department and its customers.

For media questions, please call
Gisgie Dávila Gendreau at 517-373-2520.

To find Secretary of State office locations and services, visit Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at and Facebook updates at Online services are available at

Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).

Muskegon County Calendar of Events

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

12/11/2014 – Karen Cameron Trio
Thursday, December 11 at 7:00pm, come to the Book Nook & Java Shop for live music from the Karen Cameron Trio.  There is a $5 cover charge.  For more information, call 231-894-5333.

12/12/2014 – 12/28/14 Hackley & Hume Historic Site Holiday Tours
‎The Hackley & Hume Historic Holiday Tours are offered on December 12-13- 5:00pm to 8:00pm, December 14 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm and December 26 & 27 – 5:00pm-8:00pm and December 28 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm Admission at the Hackley & Hume Historic Site, 484 W. Webster Ave., is $5 for adults, guests 12 and younger are free. Admission is FREE at the Scolnik House of the Depression Era, 504 W. Clay Avenue and the Fire Barn Museum, 510 W. Clay Ave.

12/12/2014 – 12/13/14 Live Christmas and Holiday Music
You’re invited to the Lakes Mall Friday, December 12 and Saturday, December 13 for live seasonal music performed by a variety of bands and choirs!

Friday, December 12

1pm – 3pm: Lakeshore Music Lessons – Music by staff and students of Cohea Academy of Music

3pm – 5pm: Fruitport High School Choir & Wind Ensemble

5pm – 6pm: Whitehall Jazz Band

7pm – 7:45pm: Life Change Church

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Hot Jobs Promoted in Muskegon!

Attention college graduates, Muskegon has “Hot Jobs” available! To send a message out to the young people that will be home visiting during the holidays, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Michigan Works! Muskegon-Oceana and Downtown Muskegon Now to promote Muskegon County’s Hot Jobs List.

“Even though we’ve made great economic strides over the last few years, there’s still a belief out there that there aren’t jobs in Muskegon,” said Brittany Lenertz, Community Relations Manager for Michigan Works! Muskegon-Oceana. “The truth is that there are a lot of great skilled jobs that employers are looking to fill.”

hot jobs in Muskegon
The Hot Jobs publication is published every six months so the community can see the types of positions employers are hiring for. “Hot Jobs” table top tents are being delivered to area bars and restaurants in time for one of busiest weekends of the year. The table tents have a QR code on them directing people to download the Hob Jobs list published on the Michigan Works! Muskegon/Oceana website.

During this same time, the Muskegon Lakeshore’s quality of life video will be shown at the Frauenthal Theater prior to the Warren Miller film Saturday night. The Warren Miller debut is one of the popular activity’s during the Annual Holiday’s in the City celebration where thousands flock to the Downtown and Lakeside area’s for small business Saturday shopping, entertainment and the annual lighting of Hackley Park.

“It’s all about building awareness and spreading the message that people can find jobs in their own hometown,” adds Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “We need to get people to take a second look at Muskegon and see that there are great things happening along the lakeshore.”


The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing approximately 1,150 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 120 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is a three-time award winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2006, 2010, and 2012 by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.


Carol A. Hulka, Fruitport Charter Township, awarded Certified Michigan Municipal Clerk (CMMC) designation

Fruitport Charter Township – Carol A. Hulka, Clerk, was recently awarded the Certified Michigan Municipal Clerk {CMMC) designation by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks (MAMC). The CMMC program was launched in January 2014 to encourage City, Township, and Village Clerks to seek continuing education specifically related to the duties of Michigan Clerks. MAMC believes a focus on education is essential for municipal Clerks to provide informed, quality leadership for their communities in the face of constant legislative change and increased demands on Michigan’s public servants.

A Clerk must invest in a minimum of 120 hours of educational programming over three years to qualify for certification, and must continue to obtain education points to maintain the certification. Whether elected or appointed, municipal Clerks serve a powerful role in coordinating public programs and influencing legislative initiatives. Clerk Hulka is to be commended for the hard work, perseverance, and commitment expended to attain CMMC certification and the dedication to providing quality service to the public and the municipality they serve.

Christmastime in Ireland


A very special holiday show, Tony Kenny’s “Christmastime in Ireland” will take place at the Frauenthal Theater on Saturday, December 13th, 2014 at 7:30 PM. Tony Kenny is an icon in the world of Irish music receiving dozens of awards for his stage and television appearances. He has entertained over 2 million people across the United States on countless tours to packed theaters.

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A New Community Program That Keeps Cash Local

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is partnering with local businesses throughout the Muskegon Lakeshore community to launch a new currency called Lakeshore Community Cash. This program provides Muskegon residents and businesses an easy platform for gift-giving that keeps cash circulating throughout the community.

The program launched last week with 45 participating merchants throughout the Muskegon Lakeshore and nearly $1,000 in Community Cash Certificates have already been purchased. “This new gift certificate program really showcases the quality of merchants we have located throughout our community,” says Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

The community gift certificate program is being launched just before the holidays so those who want to give local gifts this year have an easy way in which to do so. “Hundreds of companies recognize their employees and/or clients’ during the holiday season and this program provides them with an easy platform in which the recipient chooses the actual gift and the money stays local,” Larsen adds.

If all of the 178,000 residents in Muskegon County spend $100 at locally owned businesses, $10.5 million would circulate back in to the local economy. This is because every time a dollar is spent at a local business it circulates quickly throughout the community creating jobs that contribute to the tax revenue and benefit us all.

Lakeshore Community Cash certificates can be purchased in denominations of $5, $10, $20 or $25 and are available online at Once purchased, the certificates can be printed or emailed to a recipient and are then valid at any participating local business. Businesses interested in participating in the program are encouraged to call the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce at 231-722-3751 or

For more, please go to and also to watch the video:



The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing approximately 1,150 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 120 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is a three-time award winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2006, 2010, and 2012 by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.

Media Links

To find dates and details for these organization’s events, please visit the web site listed here.

Right to Life of Michigan:

Muskegon Museum of Art:

Muskegon Winter Sports Complex:

Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts:

Community Foundation for Muskegon County:

Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau
– Muskegon County Calendar of Events:

Four Pointes – Center for Successful Aging


Read an article from Reader’s Digest about heart attack prevention here:

Right to Life of Michigan: Infographic contest challenges prolife youth to boldly stand for life

Are you a student, creative, prolife and looking for a way to showcase your talent? Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund is sponsoring the 2015 Sanctity of Human Life Youth Infographic Contest for high school and college-aged Michigan youth.

Contenders who create and submit an original prolife infographic by Friday, January 2, 2015, can participate in the contest. Contestants compete in two divisions based on age, 13 to 17 and 18 to 22. The winner of the 13 to 17 division will win $300, and the winner of the 18 to 22 division will win $500.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “I want to encourage prolife youth to use their creative talent to promote the sanctity of human life. This contest is an incentive for Michigan students to boldly take a stand for life. At the same time, the infographic submissions will be used to educate others on the precious gift of human life.”

An infographic is a graphic or visual representation of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. All submissions for this contest must feature a theme which reflects “the reality of 42 years of legalized abortion.”

Learn about the 2015 Sanctity of Human Life Infographic Contest from Right to Life of Michigan’s web site,

Direct Link: 2015 Sanctity of Human Life Youth Infographic Contest

Forgotten Man Ministries Announces Retirement Of Executive Director

Grand Rapids, MI, November 18, 2014

John Fehler 2014
Forgotten Man Ministries (FMM) announces the retirement of John Fehler, Executive Director effective December 31, 2014.  Under his 25-year leadership, the number of jail missions doubled to 36, the number of dedicated workers in the jails increased 300%, and the base of loyal supporters grew substantially.  In his farewell remarks, Fehler said “I thank the Lord for the privilege to lead the army of nearly 2,000 dedicated chaplains and volunteers armed with the message of Jesus Christ into Michigan county jails.”

Fehler‘s tenure with FMM began 35 years ago as a jail chaplain in Alcona and Iosco county jails.  He had served two years as the chaplain at Muskegon county jail prior to joining the staff of FMM’s home office in Grand Rapids. In 1988, Fehler was appointed to be the organization’s second Executive Director.  In retirement he plans to devote more time to his hobbies of fishing, hunting and cooking and looks forward to new adventures with his wife of 44 years, Leah.  The Christian ministry, too, will continue as an important part of his life with time devoted to leading bible studies or occasionally preaching at worship services.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, Forgotten Man Ministries was founded in 1961 to be the hand of the Lord into 36 Michigan county jails by providing chaplains and a comprehensive spiritual program. The non-profit organization is faith-based, multi-denominational and works to restore the spiritual and physical lives of inmates through the support of  volunteers serving inside and outside the jails. The ministry is available to all residents of the county jails served without regard to the inmate’s creed, color, sex or reason for incarceration, and is led by the knowledge that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can and will change lives.

Bill Cariano, currently Assistant Executive Director, has been appointed Executive Director effective 1/1/15.

Forgotten Man Ministries is a 501 C-3 non-profit organization.
For additional information, contact Marilyn Terpstra at:  (
3940 Fruit Ridge NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544 / 616.784.4620 /

Free Veterans Identification Cards Now Available

Muskegon County Clerk’s Office now issues Veteran ID Cards.

Veterans may get a card by visiting the county clerk’s office at 990 Terrace Street, on the first floor, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and bringing:
·   Military Discharge Papers (DD214)
·   Photo identification (such as Michigan driver’s license, or Michigan ID card)

The Muskegon County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a motion to allow County Clerk Waters to begin issuing Veterans ID at their meeting on Tuesday, October 28th.
Many businesses offer veterans a discount as a way to express gratitude for their service to our country.  However, the veteran must be able to show proof.  Veterans often do not carry proof of their service.

Clerk staff will take the veteran’s photograph and obtain their electronic signature.  The veterans photo ID card is only available to Muskegon County residents.

Veterans who do not have their discharge papers may get them from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at:

Jeanne Pezet
(231) 724-6316

Plants Respond to Sounds of Insects Eating Leaves

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Plants are not as dumb as they look.

At least to me, plants have never seemed like the brightest bulb in the box. They stand around, looking green, hoping for a sunny day but not able to walk, talk or turn on the TV. However, due to a recent university press release, I’ve got to rethink my attitudes about vegetation.

Two scientists at the University of Missouri, Heidi Appel and Rex Cocroft, studied a plant called Arabidopsis. That’s a common experimental plant, used by researchers because it’s fast growing and a great deal is known about it. Arabidopsis is a flowering plant that you can think of as a cousin to mustard and cabbage.

The researchers let caterpillars feed on a group of Arabidopsis plants. Using special devices, they recorded the sounds or vibrations made by the insects chewing on the leaves.

Next Appel and Cocroft and their team took two new sets of plants and separated them. To one set, they played back recordings of the sounds and vibrations the insects had made as they fed on the Arabidopsis leaves. To the second set of plants, they played back a silent tape – in other words, this second set of plants was the “control” in their experiment.

Then the team let caterpillars feed on both sets of plants. Results showed that the Arabidopsis that had been exposed to the sounds of the insects feeding on leaves had more mustard oils in their leaves than did the control group. Mustard oils are chemicals many insects don’t like and will avoid.

“What is remarkable is that the plants exposed to different vibrations, including those made by a gentle wind or different insect sounds…did not increase their chemical defenses,” Cocroft said in a press release. “This indicates that the plants are able to distinguish feeding vibrations from other common sources of environmental vibration.”

Plants really are not dim bulbs.

“Plants have many ways to detect insect attack,” Cocroft said in the press release. “But [insect] feeding vibrations are likely the fastest way for distant parts of the plant to perceive the attack and begin to increase their defenses.”

Next steps for the researchers include learning more about exactly how vibrations are sensed by the plants and what parts of the complex sounds may be the most important. The results of this type of work are not just academic. A long way down the road, such research may be able to improve crop plants, giving them a natural way to boost their own defenses against insect pests.

“Caterpillars react to this chemical defense by crawling away, so using vibrations to enhance plant defenses could be useful to agriculture,” Appel said. “This research opens the window of plant behavior a little wider, showing that plants have many of the same responses to outside influences that animals do, even though the responses look different.”

I’ve got a new respect for plants — and the researchers who are learning surprising things about them.

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.

Personal Care Product Giveaway

personal-care-productsOn Sunday December 28th, 2014, The Gateway Church will be having its 5th Annual Personal Care Product Giveaway! We are proud to announce that last year we were able to serve over 300 families and individuals in need, with more than 5,000 items!

This year we hope to meet and exceed the number of families and individuals served in previous years! If you or someone you know is in need or could benefit from receiving items such as: shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, laundry detergent, baby products, feminine hygiene products, and or household cleaners, please come or let them know about this event!

Our goal is to help fill in the gap that government assistance does not, and offset costs right after the Holiday season, filling people with hope and removing a financial burden. All items are given away with absolutely no obligation or questions asked.

The distribution of products will begin at 2:30 p.m. on a first come, first served basis, inside the church which is located at 1641 Pontaluna Rd. on the corner of Pontaluna and Harvey, just south of the Lakes Mall. For more information please call 231-799-2141.