Monthly Archives: November 2015

Ask Dr. Universe – Greenhouse Gases

What exactly are greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect? -Andres, 10, Bolivia

Dear Andres,

If it weren’t for greenhouse gases, Earth would be an extremely cold, deserted planet. Plants couldn’t grow and animals like us wouldn’t be able to survive.

Greenhouse gases, like all gases, are made up of molecules. Air, for example, is a gas made of mostly nitrogen and oxygen molecules. We breathe those molecules all the time. They fill up our lungs and help us burp.

When I visited my friend Brian Lamb, an engineer at Washington State University, he told me there are a few things that set greenhouse gases apart from other kinds of gases.

Greenhouse gases are named after greenhouses, the glass buildings where humans often grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers when it’s too cold to plant them outside. Greenhouses can trap a lot of heat.

Our planet is kind of like a greenhouse, too. Just as light from the Sun travels through the glass of a greenhouse, light also travels through Earth’s atmosphere, the mass of air that surrounds the planet.

When gas molecules absorb light or energy, they warm up and can also re-emit this energy back to the earth’s surface. Greenhouse gases trap heat, or energy, and keep it in the Earth system so that the Earth and atmosphere become warmer.

Greenhouse gases absorb what scientists call infrared radiation. That’s the fancy word for the same kind of heat we feel coming from a kitchen stovetop. It’s also what makes pavement feel hot enough to fry an egg on a hot summer day.

Lamb explained that greenhouse gases are also different from other gases because they stay in the atmosphere for hundreds, even thousands of years. Some greenhouse gases will even heat up the Earth for up to 25,000 years. But how long they stay also depends on which greenhouse gas you’re talking about.

The main greenhouse gases we know about in our atmosphere include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

While some greenhouse gases form naturally, humans are adding extra greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the big one. It comes from sources like cars, trucks, and factories that are burning fossil fuels.

Greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, are also being added to the Earth faster than the planet has typically been able to process them. There are simple things humans can do every day to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They can use less electricity, turn lights and computers off, and walk or ride bikes instead of driving cars whenever possible.

“We know that carbon dioxide levels are increasing. We know that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation,” Lamb says. “That tells us we should be looking for a greenhouse effect.”

The greenhouse effect is the overall warming up of the planet as these greenhouse gases trap heat.

No matter where greenhouse gases are released, they’ll mix in with other molecules throughout the atmosphere. In this way, greenhouse gases impact the whole planet.

Dr. Universe

As Washington State University’s resident science cat and writer, nothing gives my nine lives more meaning than answering kids’ questions.

Karson Kriger Overcomes Limb Difference Through Sports And Family

By Jim Goorman
Local Sports Journal


Karson Kriger play basketball on the Fruitport freshman team. He also plays football, baseball and enjoys out door sports like fishing and hunting.

Karson Kriger has the will and the desire to succeed.

Karson Kriger plays basketball on the Fruitport freshman team. He also plays football, baseball and enjoys out door sports like fishing and hunting.

The freshman on the Fruitport High School freshman basketball team has had a challenge his whole life.

Kriger was born with no circulation in his upper arm. The lower part had to be amputated shortly after he was born. But yet he makes the catches, dribbles with his right hand and tosses in 3-pointers one-handed.

Despite some limitations, feeling sorry for himself has never been a part of the 14-year-old’s vocabulary. He has shown the desire to attempt every single activity any young person could undertake.

He plays baseball, football, skis, hunts for deer and turkey, fishes, weight trains and plays basketball for coach Dale Grimm’s team.

“Karson should be lifting more to make himself stronger,” Ken Kriger, Karson’s father, said.
And the only limitation Karson sees in that statement has nothing to do with his arm.
“But I tell my Dad, I just do not have enough time for lifting,” Karson said.
Karson also has been involved with wrestling. From ages 9-11, he wrestled for the Fruitport Youth Wrestling Club and for the Michigan Youth Wrestling Athletic Association.
So what drives this tough kid from a solid family to want to succeed at all of these activities? The biggest factor is his family, which includes Dad, his mom (Kristi) and his younger sister, Katlyn.
Following his adoption from Bethany Christian Services, Karson was always treated like any other son from any other family.

Karson Kriger sports a prosthetic arm which enables him to bat in baseball. The Fruitport freshman anticipates being a consistent contributor for his Trojans this Spring.


Karson Kriger sports a prosthetic arm which enables to him to bat in baseball. The Fruitport freshman anticipates being a consistent contributor for his trojans this Spring.

“My mom and dad never babied me,” he said. “They kept me going to try harder. I usually can hear my dad encouraging me in the stands, but I try to tune him out. That’s because my coach says stay focused so I do what he says.”

Kristi is always supportive, but like a true mother, she is concerned about protecting her son. She especially is concerned about his right shoulder since injuring that shoulder would affect his pitching.

“As a parent of a limb different child, we have had some ups and downs,” she said. “Karson has rarely had days where he feels sorry for himself, and those days were from frustration with struggling to figure out how to do things ‘his way.’ Other kids have been supportive of Karson as well, but still, his one arm is out of the ordinary,” Kristi said.There was one incident she recalls from when Karson was three years old.

“He fell off a stool and broke his ‘nub’ arm,” Kristi said. “Because it was a hair-line fracture, his arm was in only a soft cast. While at a local park, another child asked Karson what had happened to his arm. Karson nonchalantly told the boy that he had broken his arm. The boy’s eyes became as big saucers. I realized, he thought Karson had completely broken his arm off.”
Karson is quick to state that his coaches also have helped him to succeed.

“My coaches, Grimm in basketball and (Dean) Six and Coach (Greg) Vargas in football have really been big encouragers for me in sports,” Karson said.

One of his more rewarding experiences came from attending a three-day Nubability Camp in DuQuion, Ill., last summer.


Karson Kriger attended Nubabilty camp in Delaney, Ill. and is pictured with coaches Eddie Delany (L) and Kevin Crafton.

They taught all the sports for grades 4-11. But for Karson, he quickly realized something really important.

“I found out at the camp that there were not only many like me, but also found that there were many who had worse conditions and limb differences than me,” he said.The camp’s creed is “to encourage, inspire, and instruct congenital and traumatic amputee kids who want to get out of the stands, off the bench, and into the game.

“I think the camp was great because it encouraged everybody to give your best shot. The older counselors really helped me,” Karson said.

Being confident beyond his 14 years, Karson quickly found he can be a huge encouragement to others.At Mary Free Bed Hospital, where he has received medical assistance, he met a family who asked for his advice.

“The family had a daughter with a limb difference, like me, and wondered if she should play sports. The parents had reservations, but I said, basically, to keep your daughter in sports and she will have friends and it will teach her to never give up and she will have coaches that she can trust,” Karson said.

Baseball is his biggest love and Karson, like most boys, wants to play major-league baseball. He smiles as he relates one of his favorite baseball experiences.

“I struck out a friend of mine three times in one game,” he said. But then he was quick to point out that he also “struck out the side, but walked four batters.”

Nick Reed, Fruitport’s baseball coach, is excited about Karson joining the high school baseball program this spring.


Kriger wields back to throw a strike. The Fruitport freshman has a first love for baseball and looks to former MLB pitcher Jim Abbott for inspiration.

“He has a prosthetic for batting and it is quite remarkable watching him,” Reed said. “He is going to be a main contributor on the freshman baseball team. He is really accepted by his teammates and his parents push him and do not put restrictions on him. He is a great kid.”
Karson also is signed up to play for West Michigan Riptide, an elite travel team, this summer.

He’s had the unique experience of meeting former major-league pitcher Jim Abbott, who also is limb different. Abbott was a left handed pitcher who played for the University of Michigan and then for four major-league teams including the California Angels and the New York Yankees.

Abbott overcame his condition with hard work and then wrote a book entitled, “Imperfect. An Improbable Life.” At a book signing in Grand Rapids 2 years ago, Karson was able to meet him and was granted 5 minutes of Abbott’s time.

“He encouraged me and that has meant a lot to me and my parents,” said Karson. He also had his picture taken with Abbott. And, he received advice about being careful about batters who like to gain an advantage by lay down bunts.

“I am ready for bunters because I have my glove off already when fielding a bunt,” he said. “If opponents try harder against me I do not care.”

Karson also relies on prayers and faith to encourage him through his sports experiences.
“I believe in God and other people and that helps me to do the job,” Karson said. “I know God is watching over me, and if it is a close game, the fans help as well.”

He is presently going through confirmation at his church, Fruitport Congregational United Church of Christ.


Former MLB pitcher Jim Abbott signs Karson Kriger’s book.

For others in similar circumstances, check out the Nubability Camp and the “Lucky Fin Project.”

It is a good resource for individuals with limb differences. Their motto is “Ten Fingers are Overrated” and it is run by Molly Stapelman in Royal Oak.

Secretary of State Combats No. 1 Cause of Teen Deaths: Traffic Crashes

Johnson encourages parent participation during National Teen Driver Safety Week

LANSING, Mich. – Parents need to know that the greatest risk to teenagers is a traffic crash and what they teach their young driver can help avoid a tragedy, says Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

As part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Johnson is encouraging parents to be more involved in teaching their kids safe driving behaviors.

Johnson also announced winning high schools in the Distraction-Free Detroit contest that was part of her department’s campaign with The Sam Bernstein Law Firm to educate teens about the dangers of distracted driving.

The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office and The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program are promoting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “5 to Drive” campaign as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs Oct. 18-24.

“Even though your teen might be gaining independence and getting older, protecting them from harm shouldn’t stop,” said Johnson, herself a mother of a teenager. “The ‘5 to Drive’ campaign and The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program give parents the tools they need to keep their children driver safe.”

The campaign encourages parents to talk to their young drivers about five critical safe driving recommendations:

No cell phones while driving
No extra passengers who cause distractions
No speeding
No alcohol
No driving or riding without a seat belt

Crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-to-18-year-olds in the United States, according to NHTSA. In 2013, 2,614 teen (15-to-19-year-old) drivers were involved in fatal crashes and an estimated 130,000 were injured. In nearly 6 out of 10 incidents, driver distraction was involved, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. A recent NHTSA survey showed that only 25 percent of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving.

Johnson has partnered with the national nonprofit group Safe Roads Alliance since 2013 to offer The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, a comprehensive instructional tool aimed at helping parents coach their teens. Program guidebooks are given to parents of teens who receive a Level 1 Learner’s License. A free mobile app, RoadReady®, is also available to log the required minimum 50 hours of supervised driving time including 10 hours at night.

“The first six months of independent driving are the most dangerous that a driver will face in his or her lifetime,” said Safe Roads Alliance President Jeff Larason.

More information for parents is available at and at

In the Distraction-Free Detroit contest that concluded Oct. 12, high-schoolers in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties had the opportunity to take a stand against distracted driving and win $2,500 for their school provided by The Sam Bernstein Law Firm.

About 5,000 students at participating schools went to to take a pledge against distracted driving. More than 2,500 parents, school faculty, staff and supporters also went to the site to take a quiz. Total points earned were divided by school population and winners were selected in the four enrollment-based classifications.

The schools, ranked by participation rate:

Class A – Marion HS (Bloomfield Hills), Riverview HS, Utica HS, St. Mary Preparatory HS (Orchard Lake), Franklin HS (Livonia), Southfield HS, Warren Mott HS, Carlson HS (Gibraltar), Romeo HS, Groves HS (Beverly Hills), Troy HS, Stevenson HS (Sterling Heights), Seaholm HS (Birmingham), Novi HS, Utica Eisenhower HS (Shelby Township), Athens HS (Troy)

Class B – South Lake HS (St. Clair Shores), Advanced Technology Academy (Dearborn), Lamphere HS (Madison Heights), César Chávez Academy HS (Detroit), Clarenceville HS (Livonia), University Prep Science & Math HS (Detroit), Regina HS (Warren)

Class C – Memphis HS, Shrine Catholic HS (Royal Oak), West Side Academy (Detroit)

Class D – Universal Academy (Detroit), Westside Christian Academy (Detroit), Auburn Hills Christian School

Johnson commended all schools and students for participating and gave special mention to Utica High School, which didn’t have the highest participation rate but led all schools with 883 pledges taken by students against distracted driving.

“We are honored to work together with Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to raise awareness about this critically important issue,” said Mark Bernstein, president and managing partner of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “We are thrilled that this program has educated teens about the risks related to distracted driving. This is just the beginning of our work. There is much to be done.”

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).

Circle Michigan Announces Bill Shepler Volunteer of the Year

Detroit, MI – Circle Michigan awarded Kristin Knop the 11th Annual Bill Shepler Volunteer of the Year Award at its recent Annual Meeting held in Detroit. Each year the Circle Michigan board of directors presents the award to a Circle Michigan member who volunteers selflessly on behalf of the organization and its members. Katie Wiley made the presentation on behalf of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry.

sheplerKnop is a Tourism Coordinator for the Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Circle Michigan members who nominated Knop for the award recognized her as a valuable asset to Circle Michigan who has served on the board and several committees.

“Kristin has wonderful ideas and handles difficult situations with grace and professionalism. Her extensive knowledge of the group-tour industry is apparent,” said Anne Phillips with Motor City Casino in Detroit.

Circle Michigan was established in 1981 to promote group travel to Michigan; its members are packaged-travel suppliers including attractions, hotels, restaurants, destination-marketing organizations, casinos, transportation companies, receptive operators and allied partners. The annual award is named for Bill Shepler, owner of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry and one of the founders of Circle Michigan. For more information, contact Janet Kasic, executive director of Circle Michigan, at (800) 513.6424.


Ask Dr. Universe – Animal Bones and Muscles

Dear Dr. Universe, Do animals have the same types of bones and muscles as humans? -Lydia, 8

Dear Lydia,
The short answer is yes, said my friend Leslie Sprunger, a veterinarian and professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University. But, as always, there’s a catch.
When I visited Sprunger in the anatomy lab, she explained that no matter the species, bones and muscles are all very much alive.

When we look closely at bones and muscles, they are similar across species. You’d need a microscope to see this, but it would show the tiny living cells that make up animals’ bones and muscles.

Without these cells that form muscles and bones, we’d all just be piles on the floor.
Some of these cells break down bone, form new bone, sense damage, or bring in calcium to keep bones strong. Some cells will bundle up together to form muscles that help your body pump blood, lift things, breathe, and move around.

Looking at animals without a microscope, you may have noticed they are different from one another.

“One thing you can say is the reason a human looks different than a dog, a cat, a horse, or an elephant is really about the differences in the shapes of the bones and muscles,” Sprunger said. “They form the structure of the body.”

Humans have 206 bones, while the average cat has about 244 bones. Sometimes, it’s the number of bones and muscles that makes a difference in how an animal moves around.
We cats, for example, have more bones in our spine than humans do. It helps keep us nimble.
“How animals are put together has a lot to do with what they are doing on a daily basis,” Sprunger said. “Does the animal walk on two feet and use it’s hands like we do? Or does it walk on all four feet? Does it run fast to catch dinner, or stand around and graze? Or does it climb trees to catch dinner?”

Giraffes reach their long necks up to get dinner from trees. They actually have the same number of neck bones as humans do, but humans don’t need to reach up into trees to get their dinner, so their neck bones are smaller. So, sometimes it’s the size and shape of the bone makes all the difference.

Actually, some animals don’t have bones at all. Shark skeletons, for example, are made up of a substance called cartilage. Humans have cartilage in their ears. In sharks, the cartilage connects to their muscles.

“It’s pretty much the same thing with muscles. When we look at whole muscles, many of them are the same from one species to another, but they might be a little different shape or size depending on what the animal does for a living,” Sprunger explains.

Veterinarians can use what they learn about little differences in animal bones, muscles, and cells to find out what kinds of diseases or problems an animal might develop in their life. What they learn about animal anatomy can also help treat humans, too, and help us all get well soon.

Dr. Universe

Michigan Sues HP After Company Fails to Deliver on Delayed Project

Project was to replace aging Secretary of State computer system

LANSING, Mich. – The state of Michigan today sued Hewlett-Packard Co. in Kent County Circuit Court after it failed to deliver on a $49 million contract despite having 10 years to complete the project to replace aging computer systems at Secretary of State offices around the state.

“I inherited a stalled project when I came into office in 2011 and, despite our aggressive approach to hold HP accountable and ensure they delivered, they failed,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said. “We have no choice but to take HP to court to protect Michigan taxpayers.”

The suit comes after months of negotiations which culminated in the state issuing a termination for cause letter on Aug. 28. Despite requirements in the contract that – even if terminated – HP still must provide support to ensure services to Michigan are not affected, HP staff has failed to report to work since Aug. 31.

Since 2005, global information technology company HP has been the contractor for the Business Application Modernization project, which was supposed to replace the Secretary of State’s mainframe-based computer system used by all 131 offices and many internal work areas. The legacy system, which was largely built in the late 1960s with now-outdated programming languages, is costly to maintain and update. The 2010 deadline for HP to deliver the system replacement was not met and the department continues to use legacy systems.

For now, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget and SOS staff will work to continue to provide the best customer service possible.

Shortly after taking office in 2011, Johnson publicly addressed the project’s lack of progress after the state had already paid out $27.5 million for a system that, at the time she took office, had not delivered a single function to the state.

In partnership with DTMB, Johnson successfully demanded HP reset the terms of the contract to put in place clear timelines for delivery and penalties if HP was unable to deliver. HP agreed to the renegotiated contract.

Based on media reports, Michigan joins the motor-vehicle agencies in five other states – California, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico and Vermont – who have also parted with HP after attempting similar computer modernization projects.

“Our DTMB partners and I are gravely disappointed that this action to sue is necessary, but HP simply failed the state of Michigan,” Johnson said. “Our focus now will be on looking for options that allow us to continue to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost to our customers.”

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).

10 Tips to have Sexual Health Conversations


10 Tips for Parents:
let's talk month
Be open.
Be the expert.
Be accessible.
Be trusting.
Stay calm.
Ask open-ended questions.
Listen to your teen.
Put yourself in their shoes.
Appeal to common goals.
Show your interest.

The national public education campaign is celebrated in October and coordinated by Advocates for Youth. Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) encourages parents and care givers to continue talking with youth about how to make good decisions about sex, contraception and pregnancy.

Parents are the best sexuality educators for their children.
Teens consistently say that parents most influence their decisions about sex.
Parents want to be good sex educators, but may not always know how.
It is possible to be an ask able adult.
According to the 2013 Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey, the average age of students who first had oral sex or sexual intercourse was 15 ½. By 12th grade, 47% of students had engaged in oral sex, 40% in sexual intercourse and 37% in sexting.

In 2013, Ottawa County had 243 teen pregnancies, with only 68% being live births (166 babies born). Of these, 37 were repeat teen pregnancies (26 live births).

The high rate of chlamydia cases
in Ottawa County is also a health issue.
In 2014, there were 704 positive cases of chlamydia.

“We know it can be difficult to have conversations about sensitive topics,
but it is important for parents to talk with their children about abstinence
and sexuality.” Heather Alberda, OCDPH
Sexuality Educator

For more information, please contact Heather Alberda, Sexuality Educator
at or 616-393-5774.

Keep talking! @advocates4youth Parent & youth sexual health talks @miOCDPH

OCDPH Parent’s Guide to Engaging in a Sexual Health Conversation

Let’s Talk Resources

House Approves Legislation Protecting Pregnant Women From Assault

LANSING – The House approved legislation authored by Rep. Amanda Price to charge individuals with prior assault convictions with a felony for assaulting a pregnant woman.

“Assault on a known pregnant woman has the potential to cause injuries that affect two lives forever,” said Rep. Price, R-Park Township, of House Bill 4479. “This is a matter of great importance. We need to protect both lives from this behavior.”

HB 4788, working with its partner legislation in HB 4479, will carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison for anyone with two or more assault convictions. An initial conviction remains classified as a misdemeanor with potential imprisonment up to 93 days.

Current law does not specifically list pregnant women in the categories of domestic assault and battery victims, and penalties are only included in an assault that leads to death or specific injury to the fetus.

The two bills were key portions of a bipartisan domestic violence protections package involving six House bills approved Thursday.

The bills now advance to the Senate for consideration.

Ask Dr. Universe – Cars

Dear Dr. Universe: I want to know how my family car works. How does the gas reach the engine and go? How does the steering wheel make the car turn and how do the brakes help us to stop? -Jordan, 6, Queens, New York
Dear Jordan,

As a cat, car rides can sometimes make me feisty. But as a scientist, it’s fascinating to learn about the mechanics, engineering, and chemistry fueling the cars humans drive every day.

First, the gas: Gas is stored in a tank. When a driver pushes down the gas pedal, gasoline flows through a long tube about as wide as a drinking straw, called a fuel line. It works with the fuel pump.

“With more gas running through the fuel line, the engine gets stronger and goes faster,” said my friend Aaron Crandall, an engineer at Washington State University.

A fuel pump can suck a bunch of gas into the line. It’s like what happens when you drink water through a straw. The fuel pump can also push a bunch of gas into a part called the carburetor.

In the carburetor, air mixes with the fuel. It makes a kind of mist, or vapor.

The vapor moves from the carburetor into the cylinders that help the engine create power. Then, spark plugs create a fiery spark in the vapor, which explodes. This reaction makes parts called pistons move up and down, similar to the way our legs do when they pedal a bike. When the piston moves, a crankshaft gets cranking, and the engine starts to work.

Then there’s the steering wheel. How it works depends on how the car is built. In old cars, the steering wheel connects from a pole down to levers. The levers would push rods connected to the wheels. While this made it possible for the car to move in different directions, it was still pretty hard for the driver to turn the steering wheel.

So engineers developed power steering. This kind of steering uses a pump to push fluid around, which helps give the driver extra strength as they turn the wheel, said Crandall.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly: the brakes.

“Without brakes, driving would be a very scary ordeal,” Crandall said.

He explained most brakes work with friction, like handle brakes on bikes. If you grab the handle on a bike brake, you can see the little brake pads grab the rim of the wheel.

When you push down the brake pedal in a car, it pushes fluid into a piston. This piston forces the brake pad against a brake disk. The disk is connected to the rod between your wheels and when the disk is squeezed, the wheels stop turning. It’s a powerful machine to control with just one foot.

There are thousands of parts that help cars run, Jordan. In ten years, when you get your license, humans will probably have come up with even more creative ways to make cars and zoom around.

Sincerely, Dr. Universe
As Washington State University’s resident science cat and writer, nothing gives my nine lives more meaning than answering kids’ questions.

Kiwanis Club Receives Impact Award through Boys & Girls Club of America

When it comes to serving children, Kiwanis International (KI) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) have enjoyed long and successful histories of serving those youth most in need. For the past nine years, the national leadership of the two organizations have worked collaboratively by promoting and supporting local Kiwanis Clubs and Boys & Girls Club partnerships at the grassroots, local community level, with the stated objective being simply to improve the lives of children.kiwanis

To that end, each year KI and BGCA continue to explore how the two organizations might best expand their joint efforts and achieve an even greater impact on kids and communities nationwide. In doing this local Kiwanis and Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation team up to submit applications to share with others, their best practices for collaboration. Each year hundreds of applications are submitted, with only 5 receiving recognition. This year the Kiwanis Club of Muskegon was recognized at the Kiwanis National level on August 29th, 2015 in Detroit, MI as a recipient for 1 of only 5 Club Impact Awards Internationally.

The leading factor that won the award was the testimony by Jack Kennedy, lead Kiwanian and Boys & Girls Club of Muskegon Board Member in the initiative to bring the Boys & Girls Club to Muskegon. Jack expressed to BGCA and KI that the biggest thing Kiwanis Clubs can do across the nation is recognize Kiwanis Clubs often have greater reach than local Boys & Girls Clubs. The best thing Kiwanis Clubs, and all civic organizations can do is serve as a conduit for opening doors to opportunities for local clubs across the country.

Being a conduit for The Boys & Girls Club is the exact capacity Kiwanis Club of Muskegon served in and helped them win the award. As The Boys & Girls Club became a reality for Muskegon, local Kiwanis Club of Muskegon assisted in creating new opportunities for potential future sites for the Boys & Girls Club. Throughout the process those involved were steadfast and continued to keep the end goal in mind; bringing a club to Muskegon that would serve Muskegon youth for decades to come.

The local Muskegon Kiwanis Club however is not only interested in the startup of the club, but also the sustainability of the club. Local Kiwanis members have assisted The Boys & Girls Club of Muskegon in several grant opportunities, one of which is offered by Kiwanis International Foundation and can only be submitted by individual Kiwanis Clubs. The awards for these grants are to be determined in late 2015.

For Further information regarding Boys & Girls Club please contact Dakota Crow at 231-798-5048 or For further information regarding Kiwanis please contact Kenneth J. Adamski at 231-739-0276 or



Become a Muskegon STAR!

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the Muskegon STAR! Community Specialist Training. Click here to learn more about this program’s launch.

Get certified at an upcoming session!
November 18, 2015
January 20, 2016
February 17, 2016
March 16, 2016

When: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Where: West Michigan Works Office inside Terrace Plaza
316 Morris Avenue, Suite 300
Lakeshore Chamber Logo Color
West Michigan Works

The Muskegon STAR! Program provides individuals the tools to excel at customer interaction and enhance the overall experience for tourists, guests, friends and fellow employees.

BE THE REASON someone moves to, invests in, or visits the Muskegon Lakeshore.
Create your Muskegon STAR! Greeting
Become a customer service STAR!
Discover Muskegon’s STAR! Attractions

Upon class completion, participants will receive an official STAR! pin, certificate of completion and “Experience Pass” allowing free admission to several area attractions.


Celebrating a Decade of Caring at the Poppen Hospice Residence


hospiceTen years ago this month, with the support of a generous community, Harbor Hospice opened the Leila and Cyrus Poppen Hospice Residence in Fruitport township to serve patients who could no longer be cared for at home or in an alternate setting. The vision to provide patients with the opportunity to live out their journey – on their terms – with the expertise of the hospice team has been realized by over 2,000 patients and families cared for at the residence.

“The staff at the Poppen Hospice Residence was absolutely amazing. They were respectful, caring, loving and phenomenal at providing care. Not only did they care for our family member but also for the entire family. They truly have a passion for treating their patients from their whole heart.”

“The sense of peace and comfort that our patients and families express to us on a daily basis validate our belief that this is a needed resource for the communities we serve. We are so grateful for the philanthropic support we receive, which is broad and heartfelt. Our board and leadership focuses on being good stewards of community resources. We like to say that we’re planning for the care that we will want someday, says Mary Anne Gorman, executive director.

For additional information, or to tour the Poppen Hospice Residence, please contact Harbor Hospice at 231.728.3442 or 800.497.9559, email or visit our website

About Harbor Hospice

Harbor Hospice is a community based, nonprofit organization that cared for its first patient in 1983. Serving a 5-county area in west Michigan, its administrative offices and 14-bed hospice residence are located in Muskegon, Michigan. Governed by a community board of directors, Harbor Hospice employs 90 staff providing hospice care to patients at home, in facilities and in the Poppen Hospice Residence. Eighty trained hospice volunteers provide patient and family support such as respite care, grief support, community education and fundraising. In 2014, Harbor Hospice served 790 patients throughout the lakeshore area. Reflecting its commitment to high quality care, Harbor Hospice has maintained accreditation from the Joint Commission since 1997.

Car Trunk Abortion Investigation Shows Abortion Industry Scrutiny Necessary

On October 13, it was reported that long-time Michigan abortionist Michael Roth is under investigation for human tissue and medical equipment found in his vehicle in West Bloomfield.

Right to Life of Michigan applauds authorities for investigating any potential violations. The abortion industry’s long history of contempt for women’s health, standards of care and state regulations shows that they cannot be trusted to regulate themselves.

Roth has a long history of violations, including two previous at-home abortions he performed in 1998 and 1999.

Right to Life of Michigan released a report in 2012, Abortion Abuses and State Regulatory Agency Failure, featuring several of Roth’s violations. In addition to his at-home abortions, Roth was disciplined in 2002 for drug-related violations, including prescribing drugs without a license. He was disciplined in 2004 for violating patient consent laws and was accused of falsifying medical records by a former employee.

Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet said, “Abortionists frequently violate our laws with extreme disregard for women’s health and safety. Roth should have his license revoked, just like Dr. Robert Alexander who ran a house of horrors abortion clinic in Muskegon until 2014.”

Roth’s most recent abortion business, the Novi Laser and Aesthetic Center, was closed in 2014.

Since passage of the Michigan Prolife Omnibus Act in 2012, which significantly strengthened the oversight of the abortion industry, 16 abortion businesses in the state have closed, many due to substandard practices.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “We’re glad we’ve been able to provide more tools for authorities to deal with health and safety violations in the abortion industry, and we’ll continue to provide them with even more. If abortionists and their businesses can’t abide by laws and regulations that others follow, they shouldn’t be allowed practice on vulnerable women.”

Abortion Abuses and State Regulatory Agency Failure report

Right to Life of Michigan | 616-532-2300 | |
2340 Porter St SW | Grand Rapids, MI 49509

The Time is Now to Act on Abortion Coercion

On September 29, in a 5-3 vote, two bills that would address the injustice of coerced abortions passed the Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee and are under consideration on the House floor. Right to Life of Michigan expects the full Michigan House and the Michigan Senate to finally pass the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA) this term.

CAPA would add to Michigan’s current anti-extortion/coercion provisions by including coercion to abort as a specific crime. A portion of CAPA was passed in 2012, and other versions of the legislation have been considered in past legislative sessions.

The three Democratic state representatives (Rep. Stephanie Chang, Rep. Vanessa Guerra and Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright) on the committee voted against these bills despite calling themselves “pro-choice.” Forcing a woman to have an abortion is plainly wrong, women have a right to be free from coercion, and everyone ought to be willing to be the first to jump up and do something about it when faced with evidence that it’s happening.

During the years this legislation has been debated in Lansing, vulnerable women have faced threats of physical violence, withdrawal of financial support, loss of housing and violation of legal agreements in attempts to coerce them into ending the life of their child.

Tammy Holly, a victim of abortion coercion, has testified three times now before the Michigan Legislature during work on these bills over the years.

“Year after year you hope and pray they finally get something accomplished,” she said.

Through her work with the Justice Foundation, Holly has presented numerous legal affidavits of other Michigan women who have been coerced into having abortions. In her case, she received zero counseling or screening and was pressured by her boyfriend, her parent, and the abortionist. She said it was critical that women understand it’s illegal to coerce them into having abortions, and that isn’t happening now.

“My parent said, ‘this is how we’re going to do it.’ The abortion doctor said, ‘you don’t have any other options,” Holly said.

The abortion industry financially gains from abortions and has been silent in the face of this repeated evidence. Since they refuse to do anything for these women, we must act and protect women in those situations.

Learn more about prolife legislation by visiting

Candidate Workshop to Prepare Residents to Run

You are the Future!

MUSKEGON, MI – Can you influence the future of your community? The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and is hosting a Candidate Information Workshop for individuals interested in running for public office. The workshop is open to the general public to introduce citizens to, and gain a working knowledge of, the local political process.

“The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce encourages citizens who are concerned about the progress of our community to become involved,” says Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

This non-partisan program will provide a general overview of campaign rules, marketing, fundraising, policymaking review and understanding local issues. Join experts and community leaders for informative presentations and interactive discussions. Anyone who may be interested in running for a public office now or in the future should attend. This includes interest in school board, village, township, city, county and state level positions.

“This in an exciting time for Muskegon,” says Wes Eklund, President of Fleet Engineers and Chair of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee. “Participation in the political arena from all citizens in the community is essential for dynamic and innovative growth and development.”

Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2015

Time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Place: Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Training Center, 380 W. Western Avenue, Suite 202 in Downtown Muskegon

Cost: $15 per person/pre-registration is required.

Call 231-722-3751 for more information or visit

Op Ed from John C. Kennedy

As a Michigan business leader, I see the direct effect of illiteracy in the workplace and our talent pool and it is a roadblock to Michigan becoming a leading state economy.

I was a member of the Governor’s bi-partisan 3rd grade reading workgroup this spring. The workgroup proposed a series of recommendations to improve literacy and the report was widely hailed for its recommendations.

The solutions proposed in House Bill 4822 have been carefully selected from best practices through extensive 3rd grade literacy research. And, I believe this bill will improve literacy in Michigan.

This summer, Grand Rapids Public Schools piloted a 5-week program in three of their lowest performing elementary schools. The program put into practice the bill’s intervention proposals that reflect our workgroup’s findings.

The pilot program attacked two key success influencers: curriculum and teacher training. The students all scored one grade level or more behind reading proficiency on Michigan’s standardized test. Curriculum today assumes students obtain some basic literacy skills at home, but in many cases they haven’t. The pilot curriculum measured each child’s literacy through diagnostic instruments and performed targeted, individualized interventions to master the five basic building blocks of reading (phonics, phonemics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension).

Elementary teachers today are not prepared to teach diagnostically-informed interventions. We provided teacher training and reading specialists to coach teachers throughout the 5-weeks on how to use diagnostic instruments and how to perform individualized interventions for teachers to take back into their classrooms in the same schools this year.

68% of the pilot program students who attended all five weeks showed progress on the NWEA MAP assessment test. In contrast, 53% of a control group of like-performing students who did not participate in the program declined over the summer. The teacher feedback has been extremely positive. It’s not a question of intelligence or capability. When children have the basic building blocks of reading, the information necessary to move forward in learning, they can achieve like anyone else.

If we pass this bill, GRPS’s success can be scaled across the state.

Rep. Price’s Third-grade Reading Proficiency Legislation Approved by House

LANSING – Landmark third-grade reading proficiency legislation to help strengthen the educational development of all Michigan children was approved by the full House recently.

House Bill 4822, written by Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, creates a proactive literacy system that is designed to help K-3 students become proficient in English Language Arts on their third grade assessment before entering fourth grade.

“The ability to read by third grade opens doors and broadens horizons more than any other academic skill,” said Rep. Price, chair of the House Committee on Education. “That’s the emphasis of this legislation – to give children and educators the tools to develop a stronger educational foundation beyond third-grade. I’m pleased to see this important bill pass with bi-partisan support.”

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Michigan currently ranks 38th in fourth grade reading and is one of six states that have seen their fourth grade reading scores decline. Currently, 15 states have similar policies aimed at improving third-grade reading proficiency.

The bill now advances to the Senate for consideration.

Rep. Price Announces Reading Proficiency Legislation Has Passed Committee, Set for House

HB 4822 intended to help assess students in third grade

LANSING – State Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, announced that House Bill 4822 has been approved by the House Committee of Education, moving the bill to the House floor for review.

HB 4822 creates a proactive literacy system that is designed to help K-3 students become proficient in English Language Arts before entering fourth grade.

“This bill is all about helping kids, making sure a strong foundation has been set for their early education before expanding their learning to other curriculums,” said Rep. Price, who serves as chair of the House Committee on Education. “In discussion with my colleagues on the committee, and extensive testimony from parents, teachers and administrators, we’ve found strong support for this legislation.”

The bill collected bi-partisan support, advancing on a 13-3 vote with one abstention.

Professional Arena Football Returns to West Michigan Spring 2016; Community to Name the Team.

MUSKEGON, MI – Professional arena football is coming to the Lakeshore this spring, and the community is being given the opportunity to name the team. West Michigan native, current Los Angeles based sports & entertainment attorney and Muskegon All-Star Classic Founder, Terrence (TJ) Williams has secured the rights to bring a team to West Michigan as a member of the American Indoor Football League (AIF). The AIF is the largest, and longest continuously running, arena football league in the country. The league is comprised of 21 teams, with a national geographic footprint.

The West Michigan team will kick off in the spring of 2016 with a name given to it by the community. Williams, who will act as team owner and President of Operations, has launched a Name-the-team contest allowing the public to vote on their favorite idea for the team name, saying, “It is important for the community to name their team. It’s theirs, they own it, the staff is simply here to keep the wheels turning.” Voters will have the ability to select from 5 previously nominated names and be entered for a chance to win 2 season tickets. The 5 nominations are West Michigan: Ironmen; River Rats; Melee; Marauders; or Breakers. Fans can log on to the website ( to vote and may vote as many times as they would like. Voting ends at midnight on Nov. 1

The team will announce the winning name at a team launch party in November. Coaches and staff will be introduced at the launch party as well.

Muskegon Museum of Art NOVEMBER 2015 Calendar of Events & Exhibitions

The Art of the Snowboard, public art by Richard Hunt, and the annual Festival of Trees make for an active month at the MMA.

Thursday November 5 & 12, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Open Public Tours
The Public Life of Richard Hunt: 21st Century Projects
Drop in for docent-led tours of the exhibition. MMA admission: $8 adult, $5 adult student with I.D., free for ages 3-17 and for MMA Members.

Thursday, November 5
Exhibition Opening
The Public Life of Richard Hunt: 21st Century Projects
5:30 pm Reception/7:00 pm Lecture by Tami Miller
Tami Miller is the Curator of Art and Education, at the Krasl Art Center, Saint Joseph, Michigan and Exhibition Curator for The Public Life of Richard Hunt: 21st Century Projects. She will discuss the exhibition and Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt, who will attend as a special guest. Hunt is nationally recognized for his shaped and welded steel and bronze sculptures of fluid and vibrant organic forms. One of the most prolific artists working in public art today, he is well-known to Muskegonites as the creator of the iconic stainless steel sculpture, Muskegon Together Rising. To celebrate Muskegon’s intimate bond with Hunt, the MMA is pleased to present The Public Life of Richard Hunt: 21st Century Projects, an exhibition organized by the Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, Michigan. The exhibition opening is free and open to the public. Cash bar.

Thursday, November 12, 12:15 pm
Brown Bag Film
Richard Hunt Documentary by Charlie Ahearn
(44 mins.) This documentary follows internationally renowned sculpture artist Richard Hunt as he leads a tour through Chicago, exploring his monumental outdoor sculptures that reflect his use of abstract forms made of bronze and steel. Viewers will also get a glimpse into Hunt’s steel fabrication studio where his creative process culminates. Brown Bag film admission is free. Complimentary coffee and cookies are provided. You are welcome to bring your lunch. Auditorium doors open at noon. Paid admission is required for exhibition entrance. Underwritten by MMA Education Partner Alcoa Foundation/Howmet.

Thursday, November 12, 6:00 pm
Quick Art Crash Course: Hanging Artwork
Ever wonder how to hang artwork? What is the perfect height? What is the safest hanging hardware? The MMA staff will cover the bases, answering these questions and more. Join the MMA staff once per month, during one of the MMA’s weekly Art and a Glass happy hours, for a quick art Crash Course—subject matter varies but know that you will walk away with something new: something you didn’t know about the MMA’s collection, new ways to look at art, and so much more. This program and Thursday night Museum admission are free.

November 14, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Snowboard Super Saturday
Free Family Fun Day
WANTED Snowboard Designers! Join our youngest Festival of Trees design team. Ms. Ronace will lead young designers to create their own snowboard ornaments for our fourth Super Saturday Christmas Tree, which will be part of the Festival of Trees event that starts November 19. Each youth participant will get a free FOT admission ticket. Underwritten by MMA Education Partner, Alcoa Foundation/Whitehall Operations.
11:00 am & 1:00 pm Film
Davey and Goliath’s Snowboard Christmas
(45 mins.) Follow the intrepid young adventurer and his faithful canine sidekick as they take to the slopes for a snowboarding session. Life lessons, balanced with Christmas cheer, are in store for young Davey as the adventures unravel.
11:00 am – 1:00 pm Guided Exhibition Tours
Discover Freestyle: The Art of the Snowboard with a Museum docent.
11:00 am – 2:00 pm Make & Take
Design your own snowboard ornament to adorn our awesome Super Saturday FOT tree!

Wednesday, November 18, 10:15 am
Friends of Art Program
Evolution of an Artist
Guest speaker Larry Blovits has amassed a national reputation for excellence in painting oil and pastel portraits, landscapes, and teaching. Program is free and open to the public. Paid admission is required for exhibition entrance.

November 19–29
Festival of Trees
Help us celebrate our 11th year of this community holiday celebration. The MMA will present beautiful and whimsical professionally designed themed trees and décor to set a festive holiday mood. These items will be available for purchase through silent auction over the Festival’s 10 days. Raffles, live music, the gingerbread village and train, gift shopping, and special events will add to the fun.
Presenting Festival Sponsor is Alcoa Foundation/Howmet.
$8 Adult | $5 MMA Member | $3 child 3-17 yrs. (under 3 free)
$14 All Festival Pass

Friday, November 20, 6:00-9:00 pm
Shake Your Sugarplums Dance Party
Rock around the Christmas trees! Enjoy craft brews, wines, and mixed drinks from our cash bar, along with hearty appetizers and music. Tickets: $25 per person/$20 MMA member. Includes Festival admission. Call 231.720.2580 to purchase.

Tuesday, November 24, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Festival Senior Day
$1 off Festival admission for ages 65 and older. Enjoy free coffee and cookies, raffles, and entertainment throughout the day. Call 231.720.2571 for group bookings. Calling ahead to reserve an arrival time for your group will help us plan welcoming assistance and easier traffic flow.

Wednesday, November 25, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Festival Family Day
Get out of the house for holiday fun the day before Thanksgiving! Discounted family rate and kids’ activities will add to the fun. Call 231.720.2571 for group bookings.

Thursday, November 27
Happy Thanksgiving!
Museum closed.

Saturday, November 28, 8:30-10:30 am
Teddy Bear Breakfast
Grab your teddy bears and get ready for another Teddy Bear Breakfast—great fun for ages 3-8 (and their adults). Includes full breakfast, visit with Santa, craft activity, and teddy bear checkup. Note: The event is longer this year and one extra seating has been added to make more room during each breakfast time slot. Tickets: $12 for adults/$7 ages 1-17. Includes Festival admission Tickets are limited, and always sell out. Plan to purchase early. Call 231.720.2580 for tickets.

Sunday, November 29, 1:00-3:00 pm
Deck Your Halls
Enjoy wine, coffee, and snacks while Festival designers demonstrate how you can make creative and affordable décor for gifts or for your own home, using new ideas inspired by Pinterest and other DIY sites. The many items crafted during the program will be given away to one-dollar raffle winning audience members. Tickets: $20 per person/$15 MMA member/$25 at the door. Includes Festival admission. Cash bar. Call 231.720.2580 to purchase tickets.

Thursday, December 10, 5:30-8:00 pm
Opening Reception and Distinguished Lecture
Common Ground: African American Art from the Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art
Following a public reception from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, eminent African American studies scholar and National Humanities Medal recipient Professor David Driskell will give a lecture entitled “African American Art in Review” Driskell will focus on art selections from the collections of the MMA, KIA, and FIA that show a historical profession of stylistic principals in painting and sculpture by artists of color that have added measurably to the canon of American art. Audience Q&A will follow, with an opportunity to meet and mingle with Dr. Driskell during the reception. Event is free and open to the public. Cash bar.

Through November 1, 2015
EXTREME FIBERS: Textile Icons and the New Edge
Extreme Fiber: Textile Icons and the New Edge examines the state of fibers and textiles in the fine art world today. The artworks on display will reveal the diversity of this fine craft movement, and its transformation into a multi-media and discipline-spanning phenomenon. Participating artists are well-known visionaries in the field.
Joining the works of these masters will be a group of artworks selected from juried submissions received from artists around the world. Works from new and established artists will thus be seen alongside the contemporary art of the artists that helped to define the movement. The exhibition will include tapestries, quilts, weavings, sculpture, basketry, and a host of other forms, from the functional to the fully-abstracted.
This exhibition has been organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art with guest curator Geary Jones. Underwritten by Bayer CropScience.

October 29, 2015 – January 10, 2016
December 25, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Sherm Poppen’s iconic invention—the original snurfer is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution—and its contribution to the world of sports. The MMA will celebrate this historic occasion with Freestyle: The Art of the Snowboard, featuring Grandville, Michigan-made Marhar Snowboards. Freestyle will feature more than 30 Marhar Snowboards, which are still fabricated entirely by hand. From design to ready-to-ride finish, Morse and Stiles engineer and produce their own cores, shapes, flex patterns, and graphics. The exhibition will demonstrate the creative inspiration and skill that make these West Michigan boards a true art form.

November 5, 2015 – January 24, 2016
Sculptor Richard Hunt is nationally known for his bent, shaped, and welded steel or bronze sculptures of fluid and vibrant organic forms. Hunt is one of the most prolific artists working in public art today and created Muskegon Together Rising, the monumental stainless steel sculpture at the center of the Patricia B. Johnson Circle in downtown Muskegon. Because of Muskegon’s relationship with Hunt, and in honor of his 80th birthday this year, the MMA present the exhibition, The Public Life of Richard Hunt: 21st Century Projects, organized by the Krasl Art Center, Saint Joseph, Michigan. Muskegon Together Rising will be a key component of the exhibition, its history and development represented by two stainless steel models from the MMA collection, and a group of preliminary drawings and installation photographs lent by Fleis & Vandenbrink. Visitors discover how large scale public works develop and the many subtle changes inherent in the creative and collaborative process before a final project is realized. Underwritten by PNC.

December 10, 2015 – March 20, 2016
COMMON GROUND: African American Art from the Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art
Common Ground is a collaboration between three Michigan art museums showcasing the best of each institution’s renowned collections of African American artwork combined in one exhibition, including some of the most important African American artists from the nineteenth century to present day. Common Ground is divided into five thematic areas that will give a broad overview of the history of African American art, showing its diversity as well as its commonality. The exhibition includes more than 60 top-rated works in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, and works on paper. Eminent African American studies scholar David Driskell will give a lecture at the MMA’s opening event on December 10. National Humanities Medal recipient Professor Driskell’s lecture is entitled “African American Art in Review.” He will focus on art selections from the collections of the MMA, KIA, and FIA that show a historical profession of stylistic principals in painting and sculpture by artists of color that have added measurably to the canon of American art. Audience Q&A will follow with an opportunity to meet and mingle with Dr. Driskell during the reception. Underwritten by DTE Foundation with additional support from Fifth Third Bank and the Waters Foundation.

Frauenthal Follies – Coming November 7, 2015


The Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce the second annual Frauenthal Follies! The profits from “The Frauenthal Follies Take 2!” will be shared with The Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon!

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Muskegon Boys and Girls Club this year”, says Linda Medema, Sales and Marketing Manager for the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts. “For the second year, community leaders, groups and citizens will come together to perform on our beautiful stage. This is a wonderful opportunity to show support, not only for the Frauenthal, but for the Muskegon Boys and Girls Club. I am thrilled that the kids from the Club will not only be performing, but will be helping backstage and their artwork will be on display and for sale in the lobby. Add that to all of the other wonderful performers and this guarantees a great night of entertainment in downtown Muskegon.”

Muskegon County Commissioner Bob Scolnik will be the emcee for the night! The star studded line-up includes The Boys and Girls Club kids; the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office; Muskegon Civic Theatre; Diane Reeths; Legal Rehab; Michigan Youth Ballet Theatre performing a Star Wars Ballet preview; Jim Fles on the mighty Barton Organ; Beth Adkins and Tom Clarke; Miss Teen Michigan; West Michigan Youth Symphony & Choir; The Muskegon Community Foundation for Muskegon County Staff; Bill Iddings, Bonnie Bierma & Company performing “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”; Mary Switzer; Hon. Greg Pittman; Joycelyn Shaw, Thom Peterson & Dancers; Dave Kennedy & Donna Welch; Soli Clarke; Roy Cowdrey & Cynthia Novak and a few surprises!

We will be also doing a School Supply Drive for the Muskegon Boys and Girls Club. Please bring pencils, highlighters, notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, folders, etc. to donate to this worthy cause. Music supplies are also needed: guitars, drum sets, piano keyboards, music stands, speaker and amps.

Reserve November 7 now for a great night of entertainment! Tickets for “The Frauenthal Follies Take 2!” on November 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm are on sale now! $12 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!

Register Now for the Ottawa County Water Quality Forum

Ottawa County, MI— Twenty-five miles of Lake Michigan shoreline; 475,000 feet of prominent rivers and streams; 3,600 acres of major inland lakes. These are just a few of the natural and unique characteristics of the lakeshore’s Ottawa County—and they are worth protecting. On Friday, November 13, researchers, practitioners, policy makers and citizens are invited to the Tenth Annual Water Quality Forum. The forum brings together area experts to share and discuss ways to safeguard and preserve one of West Michigan’s most valuable resources—its water. Register now at

A distinguished group of researchers and professionals from Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Michigan Farm Bureau and many more will share results and updates on water quality projects. A diverse program will offer an overview of the Grand River water quality, drain and landfill construction, updates on Project Clarity in Lake Macatawa, phase two of the Water Resources Study, groundwater sustainability evaluation and more. The complete agenda is available at along with registration details.

The forum is held at the Ottawa County Administrative Complex at 12220 Fillmore in West Olive from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. The fee to attend is $10 and registration is limited to the first 150 participants. Registrations must be received no later than November 6. Questions about the forum should be directed to the Administrator’s Office at 616-738-4898.

View the Agenda Register Now


Travel by Dawn – Upcoming Bus Tours

Here are some upcoming trips that we still have availability on

1. Wine Tour – October 24 & 25-$179, includes, 7 wineries & tastings, hotel, breakfast and a casino option! Fun! Fun!

2. Blue Chip & Four Winds Casino- November 15 (Sunday)-$50/Up to $52 back

3. Woodfield & IKEA Mall- November 21 – Shopping $55, includes shopping bags, coupons books and more

4. Chicago Shopping, Woodfield/IKEA, Downtown & Aurora Outlets-November 27- $199/2 Nights /3 days, breakfast, shuttle to malls, coupon books! (Triple and Quad Rates available)

5. Detroit Red Wings vs Nashville Pedrators – $129

6. Kewadin Casino Run-April 15-17, 2016- $209 – Up to $181 back/includes 2 nights, 2 breakfast and a whole lot of fun!
7. Washington DC- April 27-May 3, 2016 $1129-an awesome trip-Call for Details!

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