Monthly Archives: May 2016

Ask Dr. Universe – Iron

Why is there iron in my cereal? Is there iron in other food? –Phillip, 11, Pullman, WA

Dear Phillip,

Iron is found in buildings and skyscrapers. It makes up most of the Earth’s core. It’s even found in the Sun and stars. And yes, it’s also in a bowl of cereal.

In nature, we might find iron in a black and steely mineral form buried deep in the earth. But right in our bodies, we also find iron in blood.

That’s what I found out from my friend Brennan Smith when we set out to investigate why there’s iron in cereal and other foods.

Smith is a professor of food science who teaches students at Washington State University and the University of Idaho. He explained that iron is in cereal and other foods for our nutrition. I wondered exactly what it does for us.

Smith explained that in your blood you have something called hemoglobin, which gives your blood its red color. Hemoglobin also helps carry oxygen through your body. But it can’t do this without the help of iron.

Iron helps bind the oxygen you breathe to the hemoglobin. The hemoglobin holds onto the oxygen and carries it through your body to help you stay strong.

“That’s one of the most important reasons why we have iron,” Smith said.

Without iron, you might start feeling weak and tired because your body isn’t getting enough oxygen. But eating foods with the right amount of iron helps you grow, think, and play.

My friend Jen Hey, another expert in nutrition here at WSU, said good sources of iron are eggs, beans, some kinds of shellfish, and meat. Mmm, I was starting to get hungry. There’s also iron in tofu, dried fruit, and dark, leafy green vegetables.

The plants farmers grow to make cereal grains also need iron, too. These plants use iron to help carry oxygen, just like in people. And without iron, they wouldn’t be able to make their green colors.

A lot of plants and animals naturally have a lot of iron. Sometimes there are foods that are fortified, and iron is added to give it a boost.

It depends on what kind of cereal you are eating, but usually there is a small amount of iron combined with other ingredients. Just read the label and you’ll find out about things like zinc, calcium, and vitamins.

From the stars in outer space to plants in a field to the cereal in your bowl, iron is an important element in our universe. Iron is a kind of metal. Metals can also be magnetic. Iron is magnetic, too. That’s why you can grind up some cereals and get the iron out with a magnet.

There might even be some iron in the metal spoon you use to eat your cereal in the morning.

If you like food and science, perhaps you might want to be a food scientist one day, Phillip. In fact, with a question like this one, you are well on your way.

“Keep asking lots of questions,” Smith said. “Always be asking questions.”

Dr. Universe

Tell us about the science in your breakfast! Vote in our new weekly reader poll at

Ask Dr. Universe – Water

Do we drink the same water dinosaurs drank? –Sophia, 7

Dear Sophia,

Yes. The water on our Earth today is the same water that’s been here for nearly 5 billion years. Only a tiny bit of it has escaped out into space. As far as we know, new water hasn’t formed either.

That means there’s a very high chance the water in your glass is what thirsty dinosaurs were gulping about 65 million years ago.

It’s possible that you could drink the same water as a stegosaurus or a T-Rex because of the way water circulates around our planet. A dinosaur, you and I are actually part of this water cycle, too.

As water on the surface of lakes, oceans, and rivers warms up, it travels into the sky as very tiny droplets, or vapor. When the water vapor gets colder, it turns back to liquid to help form clouds.

When the liquid gets so heavy it can’t stay in the atmosphere anymore, it falls, or “precipitates,” as rain, snow, sleet, hail, or, my favorite, graupel. Once the precipitation reaches the ground or lands in lakes, oceans, and rivers, the cycle continues.

You, a dinosaur, and I drink water, and eat foods that contain this water, too. It’s so refreshing to lap it up from my bowl. We get rid of some water as fluids or gases, such as the ones we let out when we breathe.

That’s what I found out from my friend Kent Keller who investigates the water beneath Earth’s surface. He’s a geologist with Washington State University’s School of the Environment.

He said water also moves in ways we don’t always think about. Scientists have found water trapped in minerals deep within the Earth’s mantle and crust, he explained. This water is even older than dinosaurs. It doesn’t look like liquid water that’s in your glass, but it still made of the same stuff.

“We’ve realized there is a lot of water down there,” Keller said. “There’s as much water chemically speaking, more or less, as there is in the oceans. It’s just in a different form.”

Another place we find water from dinosaur days is in organic matter. When the dinosaurs died, their bodies broke down to become part of the Earth. Over time, some of this organic matter became shale, coal, and oil we use for fuel.

The water dinosaurs drank is in more than just the water we drink, minerals, and organic matter. It’s also what we use to shower, cook, and water plants for food.

Right now, Keller is visiting with fellow scientists at the Global Institute for Water Security in Saskatchewan, Canada. They are curious about how we’ll take care of our water for the future.

“Life as we know it – every cell in every plant and animal — is mostly water. To say it requires water is an understatement,” Keller said.

The water in your glass may be the same water dinosaurs drank, but it’s also the same water that’s going to keep life on our planet in the years to come.

Dr. Universe

Got a science question? E-mail Dr. Wendy Sue Universe at Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University.

Muskegon Bike Time 2016 Musical Acts and Ticket Sales

MUSKEGON, Mich., May 13, 2016 – Muskegon Bike Time has announced this year’s lineup of concerts on the main stage scheduled to take place July 14 – 17, 2016 at Bike Time at the Rez at 4800 S. Harvey Street, Muskegon, MI.

“This year, Muskegon Bike Time’s concert line up will provide a little something for everyone”, said Bike Time spokesperson Tim Lipan, “and provide some of the most outstanding live shows the area has seen in years.”

Thursday, July 14, 2016
The fun begins on Thursday night, July 14, 2016 with Bike Times’s Tribute to Rock featuring some of the best tribute bands in the state of Michigan, who will be showcasing the music of legendary bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Journey.

Dancin’ Daze is a West Michigan a tribute band honoring the music and spirit of Led Zeppelin, the world’s all-time best-selling hard rock band.

Dancin’ Daze features musicians who all who grew up in the 70’s diligently studying not just the songs, but the lyrical mystery, aura, and magic of Led Zeppelin. The band showcases celebrated mandolin player – bassist – keyboard player Scott Nesbit, a student and disciple of Led Zeppelin’s great John Paul Jones. Along with drummer Gary Scott Babcock’s crunching John Bonham fills, lead guitarist Bob Hoppa’s channeling of Jimmy Page , and lead singer Pete Amrhein’s upper register evoking a young Robert Plant, Dancin” Daze presents a musical journey back to the Golden Era of hard rock.

In an era now where “musicians who look good but can’t play” is an all-too-familiar refrain, Dancin’ Daze foregoes the “look” of Led Zeppelin in favor of SOUNDING JUST LIKE THEM.

A crowd favorite at Bike Time over the last several years – Let there Be Rock- A Tribute to Early AC/DC will storm the stage during Bike Time’s Tribute to Rock.  “Let There Be Rock” emulates the pure essence, power, and electricity of what an AC/DC show is all about by incorporating the three key elements of a live AC/DC show.

Bon Scott’s hauntingly classic and highly recognized lead vocal style performed by Greg Mason, Angus Young’s raw guitar style and high energy stage presence channeled by Ian Dodge, and a rock solid rhythm section consisting of Brian Bennett on drums, Dan Greve on bass and Bryan Walker on guitar – Let there Be Rock creates the ultimate AC/DC tribute band experience.

Let There Be Rock gets its name from the 1977 AC/DC hit song and performs the band’s music of late-lead singer Bon Scott’s era (1974-80). The era includes many of the band’s most famous songs, including “Highway to Hell,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll),” among many others.

Closing the show Thursday night will be The Rock Show – The Ultimate Tribute to Journey.

The RockShow: The Ultimate Tribute to Journey must be seen and heard to be believed.  The RockShow will take you back to the days when Journey topped the charts playing all your favorite hits. When the band takes the stage you will see and hear why fans all over the nation are raving about their Journey experience as Tommy K’s remarkable ‘perryesque’ vocal performance will leave you amazed that it is not Steve Perry himself.

There really is no greater satisfaction for a musical performer; playing a tribute to another band that sounds as close to the original artist as one can get; or as a fan . . . sounds and looks just like the real thing! This IS the unique experience you will get from The ROCKSHOW!

Created by accomplished singer, songwriter and nimble-fingered keyboardist, Tommy K and gifted virtuoso guitarist Michael Hawkes, both are founding members with an extensive musical pedigree in the mid-west and northeast regions of the United States. They provide an all-ages musical voyage – an ultimate tribute event which sounds, looks, feels and smells just like the real deal.

Friday, July 15, 2016
LAV Summertime Blues at Bike Time, featuring the electrified and electrifying Wayne Baker Brooks and the incredible Scotty Bratcher, will be held on Friday, July 15th.

Wayne Baker Brooks is considered one of today’s top guitarists and a leading force in the latest generation of contemporary blues luminaries.  Wayne Baker Brooks serves notice of a new powerful force at play in the music world. Combining outstanding song craft, passionate vocals, and a liquid fire guitar style, this talented artist manages to honor his rich blues heritage while effortlessly expanding the boundaries of the genre.

Born and raised in Chicago, IL amongst the most prolific blues legends and blues masters in the world, Wayne Baker Brook’s blues roots may run deeper and wider than the Great Lakes themselves.

The youngest son of blues master Lonnie Brooks – Wayne Brooks was literally born into the blues!  Growing up, Brooks was a regular visitor to  blues landmarks around Chicago at which he witnessed many live performances by blues masters like Buddy Guy, Jr. Wells, KoKo Taylor, the great Muddy Waters, & of course his father.

Wayne Baker Brooks and this Band continue to play the world over showcasing that signature top shelf brand of guitar playing and a live show that should not be missed.

Scotty Bratcher born October 31, 1987, began playing guitar at an age that it became second nature to him, he was 2. It was the moment Scotty Bratcher caught guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan on television show “Austin City Limits” that he knew music was going to consume him for the rest of his life.

Bratcher received his first guitar at the age of 1. With time and effort, he was playing the instrument on a more professional level, jamming and sitting in with bands at age 10 and considering himself a full time musician when he was 12 years old.

Bratcher blends elements from funk, rock, the blues, and gospel into an alchemist’s brew of pure rock power and has been leaving crows all over the country speechless at his live shows.

Every song exudes the era of rock, but that’s not to say Bratcher isn’t innovative. Instead, his music contains a contemporary edge, recreating at once the raw power of Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa, or Jimi Hendrix while capturing the explosive youth and vitality of a new generation of rock musicians forging new paths in rock and roll.

Saturday, July 16, 2016
Wayland is a four piece rock n’ roll band consisting of Mitch Arnold on vocals, Phillip Vilenski on guitar, Dean Pizzazz on bass, and Tyler Coburn on drums.  All four members have deep roots in the midwest, and the band is named after Phillip Vilenski’s hometown of Wayland, MI.

Managed by Jesse James Dupree, (Jackyl, Full Throttle Saloon) the band has released a four-song EP, “Welcome To My Head.” The title track had a successful run on Active Rock Radio.  The bands 2nd single Reno won many “best of” radio awards in 2013 all across the country. Wayland’s current single “Get A Little” peaked at #6 on the iTunes rock chart and was labeled the “Friday Song” on radio stations nationwide.

Staying true to their Midwest work ethic, Wayland has a reputation for high energy live shows.  “Always on tour,” the band averages 200-300 shows a year. They have shared bills with some of rock’s biggest acts such as Alice in Chains, Rob Zombie, Brett Michaels, Sammy Hagar, Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry, Seether, Hinder, Shinedown, Buckcherry, Jackyl, Slash, Alice Cooper and many more.

The guys from Wayland have found national success on the radio but still owe not just their name but a lot of their initial splash to their homegrown fans in Michigan.  Perfect harmonies, riveting guitar solos, and lyrics that connect to working class America, keeps this band in high demand.

Tickets for the Bike Time concert series will go on sale on Friday, May 13, 2016 at  A Weekend Pass is available for only $20. People purchasing the weekend pass before June 30, 2016 will be eligible for a drawing to win a get a-way weekend at the Little River Casino and Resort.  Daily ticket prices will be $10 for Thursday, $10 for Friday and $15 for Saturday.

“Muskegon Bike Time and the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County have been meeting regularly to coordinate activities and events at the Rez, downtown and all along the lakeshore, said Lipan. We are planning all of the amazing things visitors have become accustomed to, as well as, lots of new activities and rides designed especially for the Biker.

For more information on Muskegon Bike Time 2016, please visit our website at  or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

The mission of Muskegon Bike Time is to produce entertainment opportunities in Muskegon aimed at attracting a broad spectrum of motorcycle enthusiasts for a vacation experience on Michigan’s West Coast. It is a 4 day annual celebration of motorcycles and the community held the third weekend in July.  The festival attracts motorcyclists and the general public for its spectacle, attractions, entertainment and food. Muskegon Bike Time is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has supported over 20 different charities and provides a $30 million boon to the local economy.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 05/16/16-05/22/16

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Kaletastic Smoothies!
May 17 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Event Navigation
Tuesday, May 17 from 6:30-8:00pm, come to Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market to learn how to make “Kaletastic Smoothies!”
When the summer heat strikes, nothing refreshes like a sweet and fruity smoothie.  Add super-food kale to the mix and you go from ordinary to extraordinary!  Come learn how to ramp up your health drinks with kale from the farm and recipes from the heart.  For more information or to sign up, call 231-728-3117 or register at

Cruise-Ins at Fricano Place
May 18 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Cruise-Ins at Fricano Place are back every Wednesday starting May 4 (weather permitting) from 5:00-8:30pm.  Antiques, customs, classics and novelty vehicles are all welcome.  Enjoy oldies music and door prizes, too!  Come on down and check out some unique cars and enjoy some Fricano’s pizza and Sweet Treats from Fricano’s Sweet Shoppe!  All Cruise-In participants will be given a coupon for $3 off a dine-in or take-out Fricano’s Pizza purchase.  For more information, call 231-722-7775.

Art & a Glass: Thursday Happy Hour at the MMA
May 19 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Every Thursday from 4:00-8:00pm you’re invited to the Muskegon Museum of Art for “Art & a Glass!” Bring your friends to a museum-style happy hour! Take a break and enjoy the art with a glass of wine or a great craft brew. General admission is free Thursday evenings from 4:00 to 8:00 pm so take advantage of the opportunity to discover your Museum at no cost. There will be a cash bar. You must be 21 or older to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. For more information call 231-720-2570.

History On Tap
May 19 @ 5:30 pm

Event Navigation
Support the Lakeshore Museum Center’s free summer day camp, Enviroworks, while drinking great Muskegon beer and learning about local brewing history during “History on Tap”! Thursday, May 19 at 5:30pm, sample beers at Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. and Unruly Brewing Co. and receive a behind-the-scenes tour of Pigeon Hill Brewing’s production facilities. Museum staff will share their rich history in the brewing industry as they lead you on a Muskegon walking tour like no other!  The event begins Thursday, May 19th at 5:30 pm in Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.’s tap room at 500 W. Western Ave.  The cost is $20 for Museum members and $25 for non-members and includes 6 beer samples!  You must be 21 or older and have your ID with you during the tour.  For more information, call 231-722-0278.

53rd Annual White Elephant Sale
May 20 – May 21

Event Navigation
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!” The Muskegon Y’s Club will hold its 53rd Annual White Elephant Sale at Folkert Community Hub, Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21.  Beat the crowd and take advantage of the Early Bird Special on Friday at 8:00am with a $5 donation!  Past sale items have included building/construction supplies, office supplies, books, clothing, carpet, exercise equipment, paper products, antiques, cutlery, dishware, kayaks, bicycles, indoor and outdoor furniture, artwork, plumbing supplies and more!  For more information, call 231-727-9900.

The Y’s Club is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 service club, affiliated with the YMCA movement world-wide, and supports both the Muskegon Community YMCA and Camp Pendalouan.

Veterans’ Job Fair
May 20

Event Navigation
The 5th Annual Veterans Job Fair aboard USS LST 393 Veteran’s Museum is happening Friday, May 20. Many employers with jobs available will be on board to help veterans find work. This Job Fair is open to Veterans, friends, family and the public. For more information or to reserve an employer table, call 231-740-5610.

Roosevelt Diggs wsg Brother Adams
May 20 @ 6:30 pm

Friday, May 20 at 7:00pm, Watermark Live and Red House Concert Series are joining forces to present a live music show featuring Roosevelt Diggs with special guest Brother Adams.  Roosevelt Diggs is a high-energy, vintage-sounding quartet that channels the ghosts of mythic figures from U.S. folklore with an upright bass, guitars, mandolin, banjo, melodica and drums.  Brother Adams offers a unique combination of acoustic and electric instrumentation that brings the idea of folk-rock to a new, almost experimental level.  Donation to Kids Food Basket is suggested but not required to attend this all ages concert.  Doors open at 6:30pm. Come in and grab a sandwich from Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack or a drink from the bar featuring Michigan wine and beer, as well as a fully stocked bar.  For more information, call 231-727-0805.

West Michigan Symphony Presents: A Study of Contrasts
May 20 @ 7:30 pm

The West Michigan Symphony Presents “A Study of Contrasts” Friday May 20 at 7:30pm on the Frauenthal stage! Two composers two extremely contrasting visions. Peter Tchaikovsky obsessed with fate pours out his soul in searing passionate and triumphant expression. George Gershwin obsessed with jazz creates a combustive fusion of popular and classical idioms. The dynamic expressiveness of each is intensified by combining the two works in one concert. Hailed as “the genius of the modern piano” Marcus Roberts brings real-time improvisation to his special arrangement of Gershwin’s work. For more information or tickets call 231-726-3231 x223.

Foreshore Adventure Race
May 21

Event Navigation
Registration for the 2016 ForeShore Adventure Run is now open and event organizers say the second-annual event will feature more climbing, more water obstacles, and tons of fun. Mark your calendars for May 21, 2016, at Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon. Be sure and bring your kids so they can run the “Kids Zone”, which is free to kids of race participants!  The event benefits the Muskegon Rescue Mission’s food pantry and homeless shelters.  For more information, visit

Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown!
May 21 & May 28

Muskegon’s 13 aMazing Museums are excited to announce their ‘BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN HOMETOWN” days, running on Saturdays, May 21 and May 28. On these days, Muskegon County residents will be welcome to visit the participating museums for FREE, with proof of their Muskegon local ID over those dates. 

On Saturday, May 21, admission is free at Michigan’s Heritage Park in Whitehall, Muskegon Heritage Museum, Muskegon Museum of Art, USS LST 393 Veterans Museum, USS Silversides Submarine Museum, and White River Lighthouse.  Tours will continue on Saturday, May 28 with the following museums offering free admission: C&C Railroad Caboose Museum, Dr. Meinhardi’s Apothecary Shop, Hackley & Hume Historic Site, James Jackson Museum of African American History, Montague Museum, Muskegon South Pierhead Light, and SS Milwaukee Clipper.

Armed Forces Salmon Assault
May 21

Event Navigation
The Muskegon Charter Boat Association is proud to present the 5th annual charity veterans fishing event, the Armed Forces Salmon Assault, to honor our servicemen and women. This year’s annual event will take place on May 21 on Lake Michigan with a half day of fishing and return to Bluffton Bay Marina/Bayside Centre for a luncheon and awards ceremony. Their goal is to have 30 boats participate and host around 120 West Michigan area veterans. All charity proceeds from this event will benefit West Michigan area veterans.  The Salmon Assault features 2 fishing tournaments, a big fish contest and an award ceremony and luncheon. For all the details, visit

D-Day Plus 72 “A Living History”
May 21 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Event Navigation
On Saturday, May 21, Rolling Thunder and the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum will present “D-Day Plus 72 – A Living History” in celebration of Armed Forces Day!  Festivities are from 11:00am-10:00pm and include:

All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast (8:00-11:00am) $5

Opening Ceremony (11:00am)
• Marine Corps League Detachment #763
  • National Anthem performed by the Leffring Sisters

Food Vendors
Texas Roadhouse
  • Fatty Lumpkins

Blood Drive

Free Ship Tours

National Guard Encampment

WWII Re-enactors/Encampment

Static Military Displays

Veterans’ Organizations
Informational Booths
  • Displays
  • Activities

Poker Run (9:30am – 2:00pm)
Ride at your own pace with stops at veterans’ memorials & organizations
  • Prizes awarded / $10 per hand and patches
  • 1/2 off admission to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum for riders

1940’s Pin-Up Contest (3:00-4:00pm)

Car/Motorcycle/Military Vehicle Show
Awards for 1st & 2nd Place (5:00pm)
  • Cars & Motorcycles – 1949 and older
  • Military – any year

USO Style Show (7:00-10:00pm)

Warbirds Flyover – Hooligan Flight Team (time TBA)

Free Kids’ Zone Area

Movies on Deck (dusk)
News Reels & WWII Cartons
  • All proceeds benefit the LST 393 Veterans Museum.  For complete information, visit

Girls on the Run
May 21 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Event Navigation

Saturday, May 21, come to Heritage Landing for the Girls on the Run event for girls in 3rd – 8th grade. This is a 5K to benefit Every Woman’s Place. For more information, call Sue Gifford at 231-759-7909 x 256.

Everything Asparagus with Chef Char
May 21 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Event Navigation
Chef Char’s first job was picking asparagus in Oceana County at a local farm and she knows and loves asparagus! Saturday May 21 from 9:00-11:00am join Chef Char at Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market as she presents the class “Everything Asparagus”! This class we will work with asparagus to prepare it and try it several different ways. Recipe packets will include ideas for asparagus steamed with homemade cheese sauce beer battered asparagus pureed asparagus in a low-fat guacamole asparagus kielbasa soup asparagus puff pastry casserole plus a lesson on how to pickle and can fresh local asparagus. This class is for adults and older teens and the cost is $35.

National Safe Boat Week
May 21, 27 & 28 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

National Safe Boat Week is May 21 – May 27!  Get your FREE Vessel Safety Inspection Saturday, May 21 from 9:00am-2:00m at West Marine, located at the corner of Sherman Blvd. and Henry St.  Saturday, May 28 from 9:00am-2:00pm, get your free inspection at Pigeon Key Marina, located at 3545 Marina View Point Near Docker’s Fish House.

Also on May 28 at 10:00am, the Muskegon United States Coast Guard Station will offer a free inspections and an Open House to tour the Coast Guard boats, meet with active duty Coast Guard members and local auxiliary as they perform water rescue demonstrations and more.  For more information, call Stephen Bowyer, Flotilla Commander at 231-683-3169.

Spring Into Lakeside!
May 21 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Event Navigation
This an annual tradition in Lakeside and everyone in the family is invited to spend the day on Saturday May 21 from 10:00-5:00pm and enjoy shopping while listening to music. There will be a dog parade, face painting and much more! Shop unique, shop local, shop Lakeside!

Cooking with Local Herbs with Chef Char
May 21 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Event Navigation
Saturday May 21 from 1:00-3:00pm come to Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market for the class “Cooking with Local Herbs with Chef Char!” Herbs can add flavor and nutrients to many dishes. Learn the basics of using basil rosemary thyme oregano cilantro parsley and mint. Chef Char will discuss best growing conditions to consider when planting herbs how to select fresh herbs for use with your favorite ingredients how to store fresh picked herbs and various ways to preserve them for later. You will make a basil pesto and an herb coulis to try with various food items available and in-season at the market. The recipe packet will offer many ideas to try at home with your favorite herbs. This class is for adults and older teens. The cost is $30.

Free Family Movie Night
May 21 @ 7:00 pm

Event Navigation
Carmichael Heating & Air Conditioning proudly presents a new series at the Howmet Playhouse “Free Family Movie Nights” with free popcorn and drinks too! One night a month at 7:00pm in March, April, May, September, October and November. Saturday May 21 at 7:00pm it’s “Mary Poppins!”  For more information call 231-894-4048.

Concert @The Block: Marcus Roberts Jazz Piano
May 21 @ 7:30 pm

Event Navigation
Saturday May 21 at 7:30pm you’re invited to The Block for “Marcus Roberts Jazz Piano.” Marcus Roberts is one of the top pianists of his generation. A prodigious talent Roberts landed his first recording contract at age 15 and then went on to perform with renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis who calls him “the genius of modern piano.” Roberts will present a solo concert of jazz piano on the spectacular Steinway B at The Block. Call Rita at 231-726-3231 x223 for tickets and more information. Doors and bar open at 6:30pm the concert begins at 7:30pm.

Vox Vidorra & The Edukators
May 21 @ 7:30 pm

Event Navigation
Read Muskegon presents Vox Vidorra & The Edukators in support of literacy in Muskegon County, Saturday, May 21 at 7:30pm in the Frauenthal Theater.  Tickets are $10 general admission or  $12.75 reserved.  This will be a lively night of music by two talented West Michigan bands. All event proceeds will support Read Muskegon’s mission of providing free literacy programs to the over 21,000 low literacy adults in our county.

Vox Vidorra is a four person indie/soul quartet from Grand Rapids whose name means “the voice of the life you were meant to live.”   Their recent song, Promise Land, was selected as the featured song of Art Prize 2015.  The Edukators spend their spare time as teachers and administrators in Muskegon County schools.  Playing a blend of old and new favorites, they’ve filled venues like the Howmet Playhouse in support of great causes and a good time. There’s nothing better than discovering your biology teacher leads a secret life as a rock star!  

Full Moon Float
May 21 @ 11:55 pm

Event Navigation
Guy’s Ultimate Kayak Service is offering “Full Moon Floats” down the Muskegon River at midnight during each full moon from May thru September 2016. They begin at the Creston Rd. launch and end at Veterans’ Memorial Park. Only $10 per person includes a kayak paddle life jacket and a glow stick. The dates are May 21, June 18, July 16, August 19 and September 16. Call Guy to reserve a kayak today at 231-740-0227. All the floats depend on clear skies and take about an hour. As each date sells out he will add another float on the night before or after the dates listed above. Call 231-740-0227 for details.

Farm Tour
May 22

Event Navigation
The Muskegon Farmers’ Market is launching an agri-tourism program!  The first farm tour will be May 22 and will take you to Oceana County where you will visit:
  • Maple Moon Farm, a small family-owned farm where we will feature organic farming and growing in a hoop house
  • Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery where their pastries and breads are baked in their hand-built wood-fired ovens with organic and local Michigan grains. Their commercial kitchen is powered by a solar electric system. Their bakery is adjacent to their home which allows them to have a home-based business while raising their children.
  • Golden Hart Fruit Farms who not only grows a variety of fruit but also asparagus which is one of our main features for this trip! Golden Hart Farms spans a huge 750 acres from Hart Township to Golden Township. With 150 acres of asparagus, 300 of sour cherries, 200 of apples and the rest “odds and ends.” They are one of the best established farmers at the Muskegon Farmers Market, and have been selling their fresh snapped asparagus, apples, pears, and rhubarb for 89 years.

For more information, call the Muskegon Farmers Market (231) 722-3251.

S.S. Milwaukee Clipper Fundraiser
May 22 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Muskegon Country Club is hosting the annual S.S. Milwaukee Clipper “Queen of the Great Lakes” benefit on Sunday May 22 from 11:00-3:00pm.  The Country Club is located at 2801 Lakeshore Dr. There will be door prizes, raffles, cash bar and great people! Brunch is served from 11:00 – 1:00pm. Tickets can be purchased by calling 231-722-2375 or 231-744-5101

Ask Dr. Universe – Oceans

Why is the ocean salty? –Alysin, 10, Ruston, La.

Dear Alysin,

At first, I thought the answer to your question might take us deep into the ocean. But it turns out the source of our salty seas is actually on land.

My friend Professor Steve Katz and I took a walk along the shore of a nearby river to investigate.

Katz is an environmental scientist here at Washington State University. He pointed out some big rocks along the river. That’s where the salt comes from, he explained. Yep, it all starts with rocks and dirt.

Rocks contain minerals, such as salts. A lot of it is the same kind of salt you might sprinkle on food: sodium chloride. As you might guess from its name, the salt is made up of sodium and chloride atoms. There are other kinds of salts made up of different atoms, too. And water is really great at dissolving them.

You can actually watch this happen just by adding a little salt to a cup of water and mixing it with a spoon.

As the salt’s sodium and chloride atoms break apart from each other in the water, the grains of salt disappear. The chemical reaction in the water has pulled the different parts of salt away from each other.

Likewise, the water in streams and rivers is really good at helping dissolve the salts from rocks, too. The salt travels through the streams and rivers into the oceans. When the water from our ocean evaporates to become clouds, the salt is left behind. There’s literally tons of it, too.

According to the National Ocean Service, if we took all the salt from the oceans and spread it around the Earth’s surface, it would form a pile nearly 500 feet high.

Katz explained that oceans weren’t quite as salty in their early days as they are today. But once the oceans got saltier they stayed that way, more or less, for nearly 4 billion years.

Not all the salt stays in the ocean. And the faster salt enters the ocean, the faster it leaves.

Salt comes in from places like rivers and streams, and once it reaches the ocean it goes into other places besides the water.

“The salt goes into a bunch of places,” Katz said. “It goes back into the soils. It gets taken up by critters.”

Ocean animals are well equipped for their saltwater home. Fish can pump out extra salt through their kidneys and special cells in their gills. Even birds that live near the ocean, like albatrosses or seagulls, can drink seawater and process the salt using special glands behind their eye sockets.

Salt also ends up at bottom of the sea. Salt that sinks to the bottom can form into rocks made out of sodium chloride or sodium sulfates.

But no matter where the salt goes, one thing is for sure: We can count on the ocean to be just about as salty tomorrow as it was today.

Dr. Universe

Got a science question? E-mail Dr. Wendy Sue Universe at Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University.

Ottawa County Featured in Book “The Disney Way”

Has your encounter with an Ottawa County employee been magical? Could it be that Ottawa County offices are the happiest places on earth? While that may be an exaggeration, three years ago Ottawa County did embark on something unheard of in government. They sought to improve citizen service in a big way: “The Disney Way”. Today, the organization is living and growing as a customer-centric establishment.



Because of Ottawa County’s successful transformation, an entire chapter of the just released third edition of “The Disney Way” (McGraw-Hill: April 2016) is dedicated to its endeavor. Authors Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson guided Ottawa County throughout the philosophical revolution. During 2013 and 2014, nearly all of Ottawa County’s 1100 employees were led through an intense development program creating a culture committed to outstanding customer service.

“All too often local government employees do not equate their role with customer service because residents are required to access services provided from the specific city, township, village or county within which they reside, work or recreate. Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson worked with Ottawa County to instill new expectations, motivation and drive to provide outstanding customer service to all Ottawa County stakeholders. The results have been amazing!” said Al Vanderberg, Ottawa County Administrator.

Along with the shift in culture and employee expectations, practical tools have emerged to improve service including customer service awards, customer feedback surveys, signage, online services, leadership development and an employee-to-employee ambassador program. Every employee is encouraged to creatively solve problems, improve processes and even have some fun at work. The County has dubbed its new ethos the The Ottawa Way.

“We want our customers to have positive experiences accessing Ottawa County services. Whether a citizen is traversing the halls of a building or navigating paperwork, it’s our pleasure to serve,” said Shannon Felgner, Communications Manager for Ottawa County.

Access county services and learn more at, or @miOttawa on twitter.

Muskegon Bike Time Donates to Habitat for Humanity Veterans Build Program

“Proceeds from the 2015 Bike Time Calendar Contest Made Donation Possible”

MUSKEGON, Mich., April 12, 2016 – Muskegon Bike Time, a four day annual celebration of motorcycles and the people who ride them, has announced another charitable donation – this time to Habitat for Humanity. The $1000 donation will be used to support the mission of Habitat for Humanity, which is to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope.

The Bike Time donation comes as part of a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, to use the proceeds from selling of 2016 Bike Time calendars. The calendars feature 12 different winners of a competition held at Bike Time 2015. Winners of the contest were selected by a panel of judges. The contestants ranged in age from 18 -57 and include men and women who were photographed with their bikes, in unique locations connected to Bike Time and the surrounding area.

The calendar contest was the brain child of Bike Time volunteer, Cari Draft from Eco Trek Fitness in Muskegon, MI. Cari had been involved in organizing past Miss Bike Time contests and wanted to take the concept to a new level, while creating an opportunity to raise funds for charity.

“We are so pleased with our relationship with Bike Time and happy to accept their donation on behalf of the good work we do in the community,” said Ashley Fleser, Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity.

bike time

Pictured from left to right are: Tim Lipan, Bike Time Board of Directors, Ashley Fleser, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity and Clyde Whitehouse, Bike Time Board of Directors and owner Hot Rod Harley Davidson in Muskegon and finally Cari Draft, EcoTrek Fitness.

Muskegon Bike Time is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has supported over 20 different charities and provides a $30 million boon to the local economy.

For more information on Muskegon Bike Time, please visit our website at

The mission of Muskegon Bike Time is to produce entertainment opportunities in Muskegon aimed at attracting a broad spectrum of motorcycle enthusiasts for a vacation experience on Michigan’s West Coast. It is a 4 day annual celebration of motorcycles and the community held the third weekend in July. The festival attracts motorcyclists and the general public for its spectacle, attractions, entertainment and food. Muskegon Bike Time is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has supported over 20 different charities and provides a $30 million boon to the local economy.

FDA Relaxes Chemical Abortion Rules to Match Desires of Abortion Providers

On March 30, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) altered its guidelines for using the drug Mifeprex (also known as mifepristone or RU-486) for an abortion. Mifeprex was first approved for abortions in 2000 and now approximately a quarter of abortions in the United States are done using Mifeprex.

The FDA’s previous guidelines called for the drug to be used in the first 49 days of pregnancy and for women to take three trips to the abortionist. The new guidelines extend the time the drug can be used to the first 70 days of pregnancy, reduce the number of visits to the abortionist to two and reduce the dosage.

The FDA’s previous web page on Mifeprex also mentioned how several women had died from sepsis caused by the bacteria Clostridium sordellii after undergoing chemical abortions. The updated web page no longer has this important information on it.

The new guidelines also allow for non-physicians (such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives) to provide chemical abortions, dropping the physician requirement.

For years, abortion providers have been ignoring the FDA guidelines because giving women pills and sending them off to abort at home is less time-consuming and more profitable for the abortionist. In response to the actions of these abortionists, some states have passed legislation requiring abortionists to follow the FDA guidelines. Now the FDA has altered their guidelines to match how those abortionists have been using Mifeprex.

According to the FDA’s 2011 adverse events report, at least 14 women have died after taking the chemical abortion drugs between 2000 and 2011. There are also 2,207 reported cases of an adverse event after using the chemical abortion drugs, including 612 women being hospitalized, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 women experiencing so much blood loss they required transfusions, and 256 infections.

The number of physicians willing to perform surgical abortions is dwindling, and in Michigan many of the current abortionists are reaching the age of retirement. The abortion industry is being forced to come up with new ways to increase the number of abortion providers and the ease with which abortions can be performed. How many more women and unborn children will lose their lives so that abortion becomes easier and more profitable for the abortionists?

Learn more about chemical abortions by visiting

Ask Dr. Universe – Brain Freeze

Why do we get brain freezes? –Hannah, 9, Monroe Elementary

Dear Hannah,

You’re enjoying some ice cream, when suddenly you feel a pain in your head that hurts a whole lot. It’s like it came out of nowhere, and in a matter of seconds, it’s gone.

These instant headaches, or brain freezes, often strike when we eat or drink something cold. And like you, some scientists are curious about why brain freezes happen. So they’re testing out some different ideas.

That’s what I found out from my friend Bill Griesar, a brain scientist at Washington State University.

One theory is that when you eat or drink something cold, it triggers a change in the blood vessels lining your mouth and throat.

Blood vessels are like little tubes carrying blood to the brain. A change in temperature can make these blood vessels grow wider.

“So you get this super painful rise and intense headache-y kind of feeling,” Griesar said. “The nice thing about ice cream headaches, is, very quickly, the vessels constrict. They go back to their normal size.”

As you experience a change in your blood vessels, it may set off other events in in your brain and body.

Griesar said brain freezes might be connected to an important nerve in your face. Our nerves help us move, think, and feel in all kinds of ways.

It just so happens Griesar and his students are learning about one nerve that helps the brain and face communicate: the trigeminal nerve.

The nerve stretches out across your face in three branches.

“One goes to a part of your mouth, one goes below your mouth, one goes around your eyes,” Griesar said.

Along these branches there are clumps of neurons called ganglia that help carry information from your face to your central nervous system.

Nerves and ganglia can help different parts of your head and body communicate. Because it stretches across your face, the trigeminal nerve might be why you can feel an ice cream headache in your eyes or nose, too.

The narrowing and widening blood vessels appear to put a lot of pressure on ganglia near the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve sends a message to the brain that you are in pain.

It may feel like the brain freeze is inside the brain, but it’s likely being experienced as pain in the face, and the meninges, which are layers of tissue, with pain-sensing neurons, surrounding the brain.

Nerves often communicate pain to warn us of something dangerous. But the pain from brain freezes doesn’t appear to be harmful.

We’ve still got more investigating to do when it comes to why exactly we get brain freezes. I think I’ll go do an experiment of my own at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe. Here at Washington State University, they make my favorite ice cream. I’ll have to eat a bunch of it—in the name of research of course.

Dr. Universe

Got a science question? E-mail Dr. Wendy Sue Universe at Tell her about your favorite ice cream. Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University.

Ottawa County is the Healthiest County in Michigan, According to New National Rankings.

Ottawa County ranks 1st out of 83 counties in Michigan for health outcomes, according to the 2016 County Health Rankings (CHR), released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Annual rankings show where counties do well and where there are opportunities for improvement. Since 2014, Ottawa County improved or maintained in 85% of the 35 indicators that make up the ranking. While Ottawa County is the healthiest county in Michigan, the state ranks 35th out of 50 states, according to the 2015 America’s Health Rankings

Ottawa County’s overall rank and sub-rankings have not changed
much from the 2015 CHR study, with the exception of:

• Health Behaviors went from 3 to 4,
• Clinical Care went from 3 to 7 (typically ranked 7 or 8),
• Social and Economic Factors are a 1 from a 3,
• and Physical Environment is a 39 from a 40
(Ottawa County’s best score ever in this sub-ranking,
which has been as low as 78 in 2012).

Other Ottawa County results to note are:

• maintained or improved in 69% of the 35 measures,
• met or exceeded 34% of the target values for the 35 measures,
• and did as well or better than the State of Michigan in 80% of the 35 measures.

• low overall mortality
• low numbers of low birth weight babies
• low adult smoking and low unemployment

Opportunities for Improvement

• highest score in excessive drinking
(worse than both MI and the target value for excessive drinking)
• population to healthcare provider ratios have improved,
but are still worse than both MI and the target values
• highest score in the average number of poor mental health days in the past month
• Physical Environment continues to be the lowest sub-ranking
(due to air quality and higher housing costs)

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 05/02/16-05/08/16

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Historic Sites Open for the Season TODAY!
May 2
The Lakeshore Museum Center is pleased to announce that its historic sites are now open for the season! Enjoy the Hackley & Hume homes, the Fire Barn Museum, Scolnik House of the Depression Era and Michigan’s Heritage Park!  Regular hours for all sites are Thursday through Monday from 10:00am-4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00-4:00pm.  For the month of May, Michigan’s Heritage Park will only be open weekdays from 10:00am-4:00pm.  Learn more about them at

Cruise-Ins at Fricano Place
May 4 @ 5:00pm – 8:30pm
Cruise-Ins at Fricano Place are back every Wednesday starting May 4 (weather permitting) from 5:00-8:30pm.  Antiques, customs, classics and novelty vehicles are all welcome.  Enjoy oldies music and door prizes, too!  Come on down and check out some unique cars and enjoy some Fricano’s pizza and Sweet Treats from Fricano’s Sweet Shoppe!  All Cruise-In participants will be given a coupon for $3 off a dine-in or take-out Fricano’s Pizza purchase.  For more information, call 231-722-7775.    

Marsh Field Celebrates 100 Years
May 4 @ 6:30pm
Event Navigation
On May 4, 1916 the Muskegon Reds of the professional Central League played the first baseball game at brand-new Marsh Field and lost 4-0 to visiting Terre Haute.  Although the Muskegon Reds lost the home opener over 5000 eager fans jammed the new field to welcome the home team. A huge parade from the Muskegon Hotel to the ballpark was staged with automobiles and open trucks.  100 years later Marsh Field continues to be the principal home for Muskegon baseball and is by far the oldest minor league ballpark still in use in the state of Michigan.

On Tuesday, May 4, 2016 – 100 years to the day – another baseball game will be played on historic Marsh Field between Muskegon High School and Muskegon Catholic Central High School.  The community is invited to attend as these two storied high school baseball teams do battle and also participate in special ceremonies celebrating the 100th anniversary. The festivities begin at 6:30pm.

Many events will be held throughout the year at Marsh Field to commemorate its 100th anniversary.   For more information call Pete Gawkowski at 231-638-7696 or

Art & a Glass: Thursday Happy Hour at the MMA
May 5 @ 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Every Thursday from 4:00-8:00pm you’re invited to the Muskegon Museum of Art for “Art & a Glass!” Bring your friends to a museum-style happy hour! Take a break and enjoy the art with a glass of wine or a great craft brew. General admission is free Thursday evenings from 4:00 to 8:00 pm so take advantage of the opportunity to discover your Museum at no cost. There will be a cash bar. You must be 21 or older to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. For more information call 231-720-2570.

Fashion & Frolic
May 5 @ 4:30pm
Event Navigation
The Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce presents their 12th Annual Fashion & Frolic Thursday, May 5 at 4:30pm at the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor!  This year’s theme is “Run for the Roses” with a silent auction, style show, light dinner, vendors and a cash bar.  Doors open at 4:30pm, dinner starts at 6:15pm and tickets are $35.  Get yours by calling 616-550-6084.

Artist Reception: Candace Law
May 5 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Event Navigation
The Arts Council of White Lake is proud to introduce Candace Law as one of the selected 2016 emerging artists. Her unique body of work will be on display at the Nuveen Center, 106 E. Colby, Whitehall, from May 3 to June 25 in the exhibit In the Abstract. Her work explores the world of non-objective through the use of rust, natural materials, and the encaustic process. A public reception will be held on May 5 from 5:00 to 7:00pm where you can meet and talk with the artist.  For more information, call 231-893-2524.

Into the Woods – Muskegon Civic Theatre
May 5 @ 7:30pm – May 8 @ 7:30pm
Event Navigation
Into the Woods based on the book by James Lapine with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim will be performed at the Frauenthal Theater May 5, 6, 7 and 8, 2016. Thursday Friday and Saturday performances 7:30pm. Sunday performances are at 3:00pm.Season Tickets on Sale Now through the MCT office 231-722-3852 or Single Tickets go on Sale September 8 2015. The story follows a Baker and his wife who wish to have a child Cinderella who wishes to attend the King’s Festival and Jack who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

Norton Shores Library Used Book Sale
May 6 – May 7 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Event Navigation
Thousands of good condition used books will be on sale for this annual book sale Friday May 6 from 9:00am -4:00pm and Saturday, May 7 from 9:00am-2:30pm in the Norton Shores Library Community Room located at 705 Seminole Rd. On Saturday from 1:30pm-2:30pm there will be a $5 bag sale. This is a great way to stock up on summer reading! For more information, call 231-981-5625.

First Fridays
May 6 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
First Fridays events happen every first Friday of the month year round in Downtown Muskegon. All events are kid friendly and mom approved such as street performers concerts acoustic strolls snowman building and more. Events happen from 6:00-8:00pm. This week, it’s a Downtown Dance Party at the Muskegon Farmers’ Market! For more information call Ellen at 231-724-3173.

First Friday Fan Fun-Raiser
May 6 @ 7:00 pm
Event Navigation
The first Friday of the month, The Book Nook & Java Shop features a celebrity bartender and encourage their fans to show up and raise money.  Tips and 20% of all proceeds will benefit the charity of their choice.  May 6, the Celebrity Bartender is Mitch Coleman!  This month’s charity is Hope Scarves whose mission is to share scarves, stories and hope with women facing cancer.  There’ll be live music from Legal Rehab and the dinner special is Bourbon-Glazed Pork Ribs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Seasoned Green Beans with Toasted Pecans.  There’ll be a $5 cover at the door.  Dinner is $9.25.  For more information, call 231-894-5333.

March for Babies
May 7
Saturday, May 7, come to Heritage Landing to “March for Babies”!  This fundraiser for the March of Dimes gives hope to the families of the nearly half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies.  For more information, call Melissa at 616-247-6861.

Hero Mud Run
May 7 @ 8:00 am
HERO_Mud Run is not your ordinary Mud Run. It is an insane 3-8 mile obstacle run. It is equipped with 40+ unique and crazy obstacles with mud fire and barbed wire. The best part is you can choose the day of the event to run the 3 mile 6 mile or 8 mile course all for the same price. To complete a HERO Mud Run requires teamwork, courage and determination to push your body further than you ever have before. Attempt it individually if you’re up for it or have a blast with your team! To sign up or for more information visit

Kids Introduction to Fruit Carving: Edible Bouquets for Mom with Chef Char
May 7 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Event Navigation
Saturday May 7 at 9:00am come to Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market for the class “Kids Introduction to Fruit Carving: Edible Bouquets for Mom with Chef Char!” Make a special edible treat to take home for mom! You will be using various fruits and vegetables to put together a completely edible fruit basket that will surely make mom smile. Warning: the carved creations may be just too cute to eat! This class is for ages 7-13. The cost is $25 and you can register at the website below.

Earth, Wind & Tired 5K Dune Dash
May 7 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Event Navigation
Saturday, May 7 from 11:00am-1:00pm, you’re invited to participate in the “Earth, Wind & Tired 5K Dune Dash” featuring a course 10,000 years in the making!  This 5k will bring you back to nature with some “tough mud” and a few man-made obstacles. If you want a real challenge try Mother Nature’s course, built over thousands of years, with sand dunes, rocks, fallen trees and forest terrain.  While you’re dodging prehistoric woolly mammoths, giant beavers and the dune devil, you’ll have a view of the Lake Michigan shoreline that is unmatched.

This race is designed to be a fun challenge for the whole family. Register as a team of 4 and receive a discount. Age divisions for males and females are: 13 and under, 14-19, 20-24, 25-29,30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79 and 80+.

Immediately following the race, come enjoy a replenishing meal, beverages and live music from Julia and the Greensides at the Sports Complex lodge. Registration fees cover the cost of your meal. Complimentary libation tickets are available to racers.  Register now at Registration cost goes up after April 18 and again the week of the race.  For more information, call 231-744-9629.

Victorian Tea
May 7 @ 1:00 pm
Event Navigation
The Historic Sites will host a pre-Mother’s Day Victorian Tea in the Hackley & Hume courtyard on May 7 from 1:00-3:00pm. The color theme of the tea party is pink and yellow and you are encouraged to wear those colors. _Experience a lesson in tea etiquette finger foods and lawn games. There is limited space so please RSVP by calling Erin at 231-724-5535.

West Michigan Ironmen Professional Football Game
May 7 @ 7:05 pm
Event Navigation
West Michigan’s only professional football team is coming to Muskegon LC Walker Arena. This is your team West Michigan! General admission upper bowl tickets are just $8 each or you can get the VIP hottest tickets in town for $25.00 each. These tickets will put you in the action every week! This Saturday, it’s the Ironmen VS the Marion Blue Racers at 7:05pm. For more information, visit

9th Annual White Lake Blues Fest
May 7 @ 7:30 pm
The 9th Annual White Lake Blues Fest is happening Saturday May 7 at 7:30pm at Howmet Playhouse. This fundraiser features awesome blues music and benefits the Killer Blues Headstone Project which exists to provide headstones for blues musicians lying in unmarked graves. The doors open at 6:30pm and the cost is $20. For more information call 231-894-4048.

YMCA Camp Pendalouan Preview Day
May 8 @ 1:00pm
Event Navigation
Sunday May 8 from 1:00-4:00pm come to the Camp Pendalouan Preview Day! Rain or shine this is a great chance for_kids and parents to sit on a bunk hike the trails and canoe on the lake. They’ll have_activities (archery canoeing and a climbing wall) open for campers and families to enjoy as well as staff on hand to answer any questions you may have about Summer Camp at Pendalouan. Returning campers will want to show friends their lake and camp too! Staff will provide tours of the facility and assistance in registering. They will also be offering a chance to win $100 off of the Summer Programs! Come see what Summer Camp YMCA Camp Pendalouan is all about! For more information call 231-894-4538.

Free Tours for Moms at the Hackley & Hume Historic Site
May 8 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Mother’s Day, May 8 from 1:00-4:00pm, mothers can enjoy a free tour of the Hackley & Hue Historic Site!   For other visitors, admission is $7 for adults and teens, $5 for 65 and older and free for visitors 12 and younger.  For more information, call 231-722-7578.

State Investment Needed to Ensure Sustainable Disaster Relief

BY: Christine Robere, President and CEO of United Way of the Lakeshore

The Flint Water Crisis has cast a light on the necessity to be prepared when disaster strikes. One service that has unwaveringly shone tremendous value throughout this situation, and which has proven worthy of state support, is Michigan 2-1-1.
2-1-1 is a confidential service that is free of charge to users and provides referral agency assistance. It helps those in need of assistance in our lakeshore communities of Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties, as well as throughout the state, to connect to thousands of different programs and services. The program has been instrumental in providing the Flint Water Task Force with timely information in Flint. This has allowed the group to make informed decisions day-in and day-out, all while keeping residents safe by providing the latest information and updates.

It’s far from the first time 2-1-1 has engaged in disaster relief in Michigan. Amidst flooding in Grand Rapids and Detroit, the recent tornado in Wyoming, and wildfires in the Upper Peninsula, 2-1-1 has been at the helm 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to help residents connect to – necessary resources and information.

Yet the program receives only $500,000 of its nearly $7 million in operational costs from the state. The rest is contributed by local United Ways, including the United Way of the Lakeshore. This funding inequity is an unsustainable model for the future, with some communities already unable to support 2-1-1 and the critical services it provides due to funding constraints.

Therefore, Michigan 2-1-1 is requesting a total of $3.5 million from the state to ensure the organization’s sustainability and to improve its infrastructure. This will allow the 2-1-1 network to meet the state’s demands for real-time information about the needs and questions residents have on a local level. This funding request includes a $500,000 fund for disaster and emergency relief that could roll over in years where it is underutilized. This will help ensure that Michigan residents in the midst of a crisis receive support immediately, when it is most needed. To chart a course for the future under this increased investment, the organization would develop a planning committee of state stakeholders and 2-1-1 leadership responsible for stewardship of the emergency funds.

Given their continued commitment to their lakeshore constituents, I urge Senator Goeff Hansen and Representatives Marcia Hovey-Wright, Holly Hughes, and Jon Bumstead to support the efforts to bolster the Michigan 2-1-1 network.

The sustainable funding will help 2-1-1 meet demands that have become evident in recent months, as well as achieve long-term goals to best serve Michigan residents. 2-1-1 currently supports 97 percent of the state, but the first priority under additional state support would be to provide statewide quality assurance, embracing a true statewide model for the organization.
Crisis support requires quality staff members, and ongoing training to arm them with the necessary skills needed to provide relief. The funding increase would support training sessions, including Veteran and Military Cultural Competency training, to AmeriCorps and other 2-1-1 staff.

As our culture continues to evolve and modes of communication change, 2-1-1 needs to be able to meet local residents where they are located and with current technology. For that reason, testing and deploying a mobile app, expanding online chat, and testing text-based assistance are top priorities for the organization in coming years.

In the event of a disaster, residents of our lakeshore communities need to know that they have somewhere to turn for critical information and resources. 2-1-1 will be that resource, but only if Michigan invests in its sustainable future.
2-1-1 is a program that connects citizens in need of assistance to the appropriate community resources. Locally, It is partially funded by United Way of Lakeshore. For more information on 211, visit United Way of the Lakeshore is uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities. Our Bold Goal – 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025. For more information, contact United Way of the Lakeshore at 231-332-4047 or visit



Jodi Nichols

Fruitport Charter Township Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of April 25, 2016

A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township Board began at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2016, in the township board room.

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

Also Present: 6- residents; 2-County guests; Public Safety Director, Michelli and DPW Director, Farrar

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

The meeting minutes of March 28, 2016, regular meeting, were approved as presented.

The motion by Rose Dillon, seconded by Marjorie Nash, was Carried Unanimously, to approve the meeting agenda of April 25, 2016, with the following addition to the Agenda, under New Business, Item D:
“Recreational Partnership”

1) Michigan Townships Association legislative updates
2) 3) Notice of a second prehearing for customers of Michigan Gas Utilities (Case No. U-17940)
concerning requesting a gas cost recovery.

Tim Burgess, 6336 Walker Road and Jon Meeuwenberg, 6908 Anita Court, who are both on the Fruitport Schools Citizens Committee, told about the upcoming November millage request to renovate the Fruitport High School.



The Township Board made a recommendation to adopt a cemetery ordinance which will establish regulations relating to the operation, control, and management of cemeteries owned by Fruitport Charter Township.

This constitutes the first reading.  Final action will take place at the next regular scheduled meeting on May 9, 2016.

16-047  Catalina Shores Street Lights
The motion by Ron Becklin, supported by Rose Dillon, was Carried Unanimously, to authorize five street lights be added into the street lighting contract, per the site plan presented, with Consumers Energy for the Catalina Shores Condominiums development and authorize the Supervisor and Clerk to sign the necessary paper work. The motion is contingent upon the developer installing and paying for the street lights.

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

16-048  Public Safety Sale of Fixed Asset / Capital Purchase
Ron Becklin moved,  supported by Rose Dillon, MOTION CARRIED, to sell or trade a Suburban police vehicle and combine that money with the $16,500 from the totaled police vehicle that was damaged beyond repair in an accident on Airline Road and purchase an all-wheel drive / 4 wheel drive SUV for the Police Department. The purchase price of the SUV shall not exceed the combined price of the trade in for the Suburban and the $16,500 from the totaled police vehicle.

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

16-049  Recreation Partnership
County Administrator, Mark Eisenbarth and Jonathan Wilson, Economic Development Coordinator, gave an overview of a Comprehensive Community Development plan: Recreational Partnership.  Twenty-seven municipalities are included.  Local investment priorities/improvements are submitted.  Grants will be utilized.  County-wide planning developed by local public input.

The motion by Dave Markgraf, supported by Rose Dillon, Carried Unanimously, to complete a letter of interest/support and to appoint Trustee Ron Becklin as liaison to the steering committee for the Recreation Partnership.

16-050   Payment of Bills
Dave Margrave  moved, Carol Hulka seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills for payment in the following amounts:  General Fund & Parks $48,794.74;  Public Safety $198,186.53; Water $129,983.77;  Sewer $37,127.14
Totaling:  $414,092.18

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

Township clean-up days—May 6 and 7th behind the Fruitport Township Hall
County-wide (FREE) tire clean-up on Saturday, May 14th behind the Fruitport Township Hall. No tractor tires accepted.

Nelda Hornyak, 2317 Judson Road, will have a culvert put in because of water problems.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.


ASSE Expanding Exchange Student Program in West Michigan

ASSE International is one of the oldest and most successful student exchange programs in the United States, and it is cooperating with local high schools to find host families willing to invite extraordinarily bright and talented students from Europe, Asia, South and Central America and even countries that used to make up the Soviet Union, to name a few to become a part of their own families for the academic year 2016-2017. It is certainly not too soon to begin the process.

These intelligent and enthusiastic ASSE International students – all between the ages of 15 and 18 – are especially excited about having a chance to experience American culture as we experience it ourselves, within our own families, living here in resource rich northern Michigan.

Each host family will invite a student to join their own family from a group of several dozen young people represented by their ASSE Area Representative, Nikol Bennett of Muskegon. ASSE exchange students have their own pocket money for personal expenses and health insurance provided. ASSE students are selected for participation in this program based on academics and personality, and host families can choose their student from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries, and personal interests.

To become an ASSE host family or to find out more about the program, please call Nikol Bennett at 231-670-3089 or email her at These delightful young people are all very eager to learn about their new American host families. Begin the process of welcoming your new “adopted” son or daughter today!

To find out more, click here, and go to the ASSE website:

View The ASSE certificate here.



Could It Really Be $1 BILLION??

For the first time in recent history, the Muskegon Lakeshore could experience upwards of $1 billion in new economic investments. A recently compiled list shows nearly $550 million in projects that are currently under construction and another $710 million in proposed projects in the preliminary planning phase.

This development list was compiled by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Muskegon Area First, Muskegon County and Downtown Muskegon Now.

 A Seventh Letter to America

America continues to deny God and The Word of God.  These haters of God continue to deny the historical fact that America was founded by people who believed in the Living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The God who said that in the beginning He created the Heavens and the Earth and later created everything in them and that He did it for his pleasure.

Each colony was founded by a different Christian denomination.  Generally, a whole church congregation left their home country and shipped to what is now our America, as a church/unit.   Each colony established its church denomination as that colony’s church, and taxed the residents to support it.   This practice continued even after the colonies became states.

When the U.S. Constitution was approved the colonies believed in the sovereignty of God Almighty over all.  Because of that, most colonies specified, in their approval, that all those appointed or voted to serve in America’s three branches of government be professed Christians who knew God, and God’s Word contained in the Holy Bible, both the Old and the New Testament.

Unfortunately, we now send some people to all three branches of our government who have no idea about God or what His Commandments to Man are.  They have twisted God’s Word, the Constitution, and the Bill of  Rights, and its subsequent amendments, so that everything goes.

So Yes, history does show that America was founded as a Christian Nation Under God.  And Yes, one of the founding fathers was a Deist (one who believes God created Heaven and Earth but then left it entirely up to Man).  But Benjamin Franklin’s mistake only shows how smart educated people can be ignorant of God’s Biblical History which clearly shows God had an active hand and is still playing a part in this world.

But the important thing to know is that God will punish and destroy the wicked, most of Mankind, because they rejected His plan of salvation, which He offered, through the blood of Christ.  How soon, only God knows!

Manuel Ybarra, Jr.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Coalgate, OK