Monthly Archives: December 2016

Ask Dr. Universe – Trees

How long can trees live? – Jessy, 8, Seattle, WA

Dear Jessy,

As I was hiking through the bristlecone pine forests of the Sierra Nevada recently, I stumbled upon a tree barely six inches tall.

It was growing—slowly, but surely. I was surprised to find this tiny pine tree was already about 40 years old.

Some trees will stop growing once they reach that age. But others live much longer. In fact bristlecone pine trees aren’t just the oldest trees, they are some of the oldest living things on our planet. They can live for about 5,000 years.

“These trees were growing when the Egyptians were building the pyramids,” said my friend Kevin Zobrist, a forester at Washington State University.

Zobrist knows a lot about different trees and told me a bit about bristlecone pine trees.

By the time the pines are about 5,000 years old, they will stand 60 feet tall with a trunk that is nearly five feet around. If we were to cut into the trunk, we could look at its growth rings. Each ring would signify a year of its life. We would have a lot of counting to do.

On my hike, I noticed some of the trees’ young pinecones were purplish-pink. Eventually they would turn brown and fall to the ground. I spotted a few old cones by the tree. They had that fresh pine scent.

I looked up at the branches that twisted and stretched like arms up to the sky. I wondered how on earth these trees were able to live such long lives.

Zobrist explained that bristlecone pine trees are tough and have adapted to their environment. They are equipped to deal with drought, extreme climates, and insects that might cause serious damage if they attack.

For example, the tree can actually shut down or go dormant for a while, if conditions are too harsh. This helps the tree survive for thousands of years.

“They teach us that nature is resilient,” Zobrist said. “They teach us that nature can carry on.”

Of course, not all trees live quite as long as these pines. But many live longer than humans and us cats.

The redwood trees of California are about six times taller than the bristlecone pines. Some of them have been around for nearly 2,000 years.

Even when a tree dies, it finds a new life. Creatures and plants on the forest floor are counting on the trees to get old, die, and fall. They can use the fallen trees as their home or for food.

It’s been said that trees are our planet’s lungs. They help make the oxygen we breathe and keep life thriving on our planet. I took a deep breath of the mountain air and said a quick thank you to the trees before heading down the trail, on to the next adventure.

Dr. Universe

Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Send in your own question at

Pigeon Creek Lodge is Open

skiers at Pigeon Creek

The facility offers ski and snowshoe rentals, refreshments, and warm hospitality by the fieldstone fireplace. There are no entry fees or trail fees, however those wishing to rent skis or snowshoes will pay between $5 and $8 for two hours of fun in the snow.

Pigeon Creek County Park offers over ten miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails which meander through deep-rooted pine plantations, hardwood forests and peaceful wetlands along the Pigeon River. A large, lit sledding hill is also available at the park.

“As Ottawa County residents, we have some of the best ski trails right in our backyard. Once the snow begins to fall, our trail groomers keep the classic and skate ski lanes in peak condition for as long as the weather will allow,” said Jessica VanGinhoven, Parks spokesperson.

While dependent on snow conditions, the ski lodge is generally open:

  • Monday through Thursday from 4-8 pm
  • Friday from 1-10 pm
  • Saturday from 9 am-10 pm
  • Sunday from 9 am-8 pm

During satisfactory snow conditions, the park is open from 7 am until 10 pm, with trails lit after dusk. Because Mother Nature dictates the hours, it can be tricky. Skiers should keep the Pigeon Creek hotline handy to stay informed on the ski conditions and lodge hours: 616-738-9531, option one.

pigeon creek lodge

Pigeon Creek Lodge

Ski Lessons

“Cross-country skiing is an excellent way to stay in shape through the winter months,” said VanGinhoven. “All skill levels are welcome at Pigeon Creek, but if you want to brush up on your technique we offer lessons beginning in January.”

Whether you are new to cross-country skiing or a seasoned skier wishing to hone your skills, a ski clinic is for you! Space is limited and the cost is $8. Skis are not provided, but can be rented from the lodge for an additional fee. Register online:

Beginner: Learn about equipment and basic ski techniques. Those ten and older welcome. Every two children must be accompanied by an adult.

Intermediate: For experienced adult skiers wishing to refine their technique and ski more efficiently.

Ski Skating: For experienced adult skiers who want to learn several skate techniques. Skate skis are required and limited numbers are available to rent in the lodge.


Pigeon Creek Park is located at 12524 Stanton Street in West Olive.  From US-31, take Stanton and travel three miles east to the park entrance. From 120th Avenue, travel west on Stanton about a half mile. Learn more at

 As a reminder to park visitors, dog walking and hiking are not allowed once the trails have been groomed. Snowboarding is not allowed on the sledding hill or anywhere at the park.


Joint Professional Development Meeting – January 11, 2017

     Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Joint Professional Development Meeting with
APICS Grand Rapids, ISM-Greater Grand Rapids, CSCMP Western Michigan Roundtable, and The Right Place/MMTC-West Supply Chain Management Council

GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN – Looking to Grow Professionally in 2017? One of the best investments you can make is by joining one of the four professional supply chain organizations. West Michigan is home to thriving chapters of APICS, CSCMP, and ISM; as well as the Supply Chain Management Council supported by The Right Place / MMTC-West.

Learn about each organization in this casual, professional evening of networking.
This event is open to all current members and fellow supply chain management colleagues who would benefit joining an organization.

This FREE Event is brought to you by: APICS Grand Rapids, ISM Greater Grand Rapids Inc, CSCMP Western Michigan Roundtable, The Right Place/MMTC-West Supply Chain Management Council.

Reservations can be made:

Ottawa County Parks – Expansion of North Ottawa Dunes

Park News

Expansion of North Ottawa Dunes

NOD expansionThe Ottawa County Board of Commissioners and the Spring Lake Township Board approved
a revised agreement to acquire 80 acres of property for North Ottawa Dunes in 2016.

The land will be acquired by way of a property exchange between Spring Lake Township and David C. Bos of Spring Lake Development LLC, a negotiation spearheaded by the township. Ottawa County Parks will contribute $400,000 from the Parks millage for the 80-acre parcel, which has an estimated value of $1.3 million. We are especially grateful to the Spring Lake Township Board and John Nash, Spring Lake Township Supervisor, who have led the efforts to secure this land for North Ottawa Dunes.

Currently, the parcel is privately owned. It is located on the eastern edge of the park and surrounded on three sides by park property. Because of the parcel’s geography and natural features, it has been considered a key segment for the park by both Ottawa County Parks and Spring Lake Township for a decade. The additional land will increase the total acreage of North Ottawa Dunes to 593 acres and allow for expansion of the trail system.

View a pdf of the newsletter by clicking here

My Hope 2016 Film “Decisions”

decisionsOver the last 12 years, millions around the world have heard the Gospel through My Hope, a ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic AssociationMy Hope has launched an all-new 30-minute program entitled “Decisions” which is accessible—free of charge—via DVD within the United States, or globally via internet streaming.

“Decisions” features a Gospel message from Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and looks at the lives of people of different ages and backgrounds who have heard the Gospel through Graham’s 2016 Decision America Tour and made life-changing decisions to follow Christ.

The DVD version of “Decisions” also includes “A Time for Decision: Pray, Vote, Engage,” a special 30-minute program that goes behind the scenes of Franklin Graham’s Decision America Tour. For more information on My Hope, including tips on how the available free resources can be used, visit You can participate by ordering your free copy of “Decisions” and beginning to pray for your community.

Ask Dr. Universe – Space Volcanoes

Dear Dr. Universe: I was just wondering if there are any volcanoes on any other planets? -Danny, 10, Kenmore, WA

Dear Danny,

The answer to your question takes us out into our solar system and deep below the surfaces of other moons and planets.

It also takes us to the tallest building here at Washington State University. That’s where I met up with my friend Katie Cooper, a geologist who studies Earth and objects beyond its atmosphere.

“The largest volcano in our solar system we’ve found so far is actually not on Earth. It’s on Mars,” she said. “It’s called Olympus Mons and it’s much, much larger than any volcano we have on the Earth.”

We tend to think of the tallest feature on Earth as Mt. Everest. But it’s actually Mauna Kea, one of the five volcanoes that make up the Big Island of Hawaii. If you measure from its base on the seafloor to the peak, it’s actually taller than Mt. Everest.

“But on Mars, the Olympus Mons is almost three times as high as Mt. Everest,” Cooper said. “So, it’s a whopping large volcano.”

Olympus Mons and volcanoes here on Earth erupt molten rock, or lava. But there are also volcanoes in the solar system that erupt ice.

As a scientist, Katie is sometimes a kind of ice detective. She’s helping the people at NASA study frozen water on one of the moons of Jupiter, a big gas planet.

“Well you know, NASA is like the head of curious people, I would say and so they have sent tons of satellites out circling these planetary bodies,” Cooper said.

In fact, we’ve found that Venus has more than a thousand volcanoes. Neptune and Jupiter’s moons eject water and other gases like geysers do. On one of Jupiter’s moons, large plumes of gas can eject so high that spacecraft can see them as they pass by.

“We look for things that are tell-tale similar to what we see on Earth or might be incredibly different from what’s here on Earth, like ice volcanoes, which we don’t have necessarily here on the Earth,” Cooper adds.

Some of the ice volcanoes are on moons of giant gas planets. But it looks like Pluto has a volcano that might be erupting ice, too.

We still have lots more to explore when it comes to volcanoes on other planets. In the future, we will need scientists to help us understand more about the planets and our Earth.

Cooper explained that when looking for volcanoes on other planets, it’s almost like you have to use your imagination – a very well informed imagination.

“Always continue to remain curious,” Cooper said. “That’s what drives science. It can even be very simple questions, how do we even have volcanoes? How big can they get? Those questions aren’t completely answered yet.”

So keep asking smart and baffling questions about our universe. Maybe one day you can even help us find some more answers about volcanoes on other planets.

Dr. Universe

Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Send in your own question at

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 12/19/16-01/02/17

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Beatrix Potter’s 150th Birthday

The Muskegon Community College Hendrik Meijer Library is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of world famous English author Beatrix Potter, with a display of her books and a personal collection of 50 miniature Warne animal characters.  An iconic author, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist, Potter is best known for her children’s books featuring animals, such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  She was a trailblazer for women of her time.  This informative exhibit can be viewed now through Sunday, January 22.  For more information on the exhibit, contact Darlene DeHudy at (231)-777-0268 or (231) 777-0269 for library hours.


Ornament Extravaganza

Now through Christmas, you are invited to the Red Lotus Gallery/Muskegon Center for the Arts for their Ornament Extravaganza!  Christmas ornaments have been created by local artists and will be available during the months of November and December.  They make wonderful Christmas gifts.  For more information, call 231-206-0426.


Big Band Christmas Party

December 20 @ 6:00 pm
The fourth annual Big Band Christmas Party with the Truth in Jazz Orchestra is happening at Watermark 920, December 20!  Enjoy holiday and big band favorites along with food by Fatty Lumpkins and a cash bar.  Led by Muskegon legend, drummer Tim Froncek, the Truth in Jazz Orchestra has been a Muskegon institution for the past 12 years.  Doors open at 6:00pm.  The cost is $5 for adults and $2 for students with ID.  For more information, visit


Western Michigan Christian High School’s Christmas Collage

December 20 @ 7:00 pm
Tuesday, December 20 at 7:00pm, come to the beautiful Frauenthal Center for the Western Michigan Christian High School’s Christmas Collage!  Tickets are only $10 for this lovely holiday show.  For more information, call  231-722-9750.


Open Mic Night

December 21 @ 6:00 pm
Wednesday, December 21 at 6:00pm, come to the Book Nook & Java Shop for Open Mic Night!  Bring a song, poem or reading to share.  For more information, call 231-894-5333.


Open Public Tours at the Muskegon Museum of Art

Enjoy free docent-led guided tours at the Muskegon Museum of Art on Thursdays, December 1 – February 16 from 5:00-7:00pm!


First Edition Jazz Band

December 22 @ 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 22 at 7:00pm, come to the Book Nook & Java Shop for live music from the First Edition Jazz Band!  For more information, call 231-894-5333.


Holiday Tours – Hackley & Hume Site

December 26 & 27
Visitors will have an opportunity to tour the homes of Muskegon’s most well-known lumber barons decorated to celebrate the holiday season!  Holiday tours of the Hackley & Hume Historic Site will happen December 26 from 4:00 – 8:00pm, and December 27 from 1:00 – 4:00pm.

Tours begin in the Hackley house where a tree in the bay window of the Reception Hall greets visitors as they embark on their journey through the homes built in the late 1800s. The holidays are also being celebrated across the courtyard in the Hume family home. A tree decorated using a family photo as a guide is always popular with visitors. The tours are walk-through style with guides placed throughout the houses to answer questions.

The groups decorating the two houses this year include Delta Kappa Gamma, Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce, Muskegon’s Woman’s Club, Shoreline Victorian Ladies Society, Muskegon County Medical Society Alliance, Helen and Elizabeth Sherman, Minerva Dill Questers, Lakeshore Animal Hospital, Barb Lloyd and Jane Arndt, and the Interpretive Staff of the Historic Sites.


Family Movie Day

December 27 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Christmas is over and the kids are off from school, so what are you going to do for fun?  Bring them to the Frauenthal for “Family Movie Day!”  December 27 from 1:00pm – 5:00pm, enjoy Toy Story (1:00pm) and the Sandlot (2:45pm) absolutely free!

This event is sponsored by the generous donations of businesses and individuals:  Airport Tour & Travel, Century Club Retail Center, Kay Ostrom, McDonald’s Candies, Lakeshore Employee Benefits, Mike & Kay Olthoff, Dr. Richard and Nancy Peters, Michael and Corina Soimar, Mart Dock, GVSU Annis Water Resources Institute and Drs. Gundersen and Zuker.

For more information, call 231-727-8001.


Lakeshore Museum Center Winter Open House

December 28 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
December 28 from 1:30 – 3:30pm, bring the kids to the Lakeshore Museum Center for their Winter Open House!  They’ll have craft and science activities during this free open-house style program.  For more information visit


Muskegon Lumberjack Home Game

December 29 @ 7:15 pm
Thursday, December 29 at 7:15pm, come to the L.C. Walker Arena as the Muskegon Lumberjacks take on the Waterloo Black Hawks!  The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud members of the United States Hockey League, the nations only Tier I junior hockey league and the leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The Lumberjacks’organization prides itself on developing not just premier hockey talent, but also exceptional young men outside the arena of sports. For more information, visit


Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game

December 30 @ 7:15 pm
Friday, December 30 at 7:15pm, come to the L.C. Walker Arena as the Muskegon Lumberjacks take on the USNTDP U-17!  The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud members of the United States Hockey League, the nations only Tier I junior hockey league and the leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The Lumberjacks’organization prides itself on developing not just premier hockey talent, but also exceptional young men outside the arena of sports. For more information, visit


Rockin’ Oldies New Year’s Bash

December 31
Mona Lake Productions presents the Rockin’ Oldies New Year’s Bash, an elegant and fun affair that will give you a chance to indulge in great food and drink and fantastic entertainment!  Come to Verdoni’s Event Center for a two entree  dinner from The Harris Group.  There’ll also be hors d’oeuvres and a DJ to warm up the show, featuring 50’s and 60’s singer Quentin Flagg and The Whatabouts from Detroit.  Mr. Flagg is a performer who’s taken his act all over the world and The Whatabouts concentrate on “girl group” songs of the 60’s!  Get out the poodle skirt for this great evening of fun to usher in 2017!  For more information, call 231-206-4873 or visit


Downtown Muskegon New Year’s Eve Ballroom Package

December 31, 2016 @ 1:00 pm – January 1, 2017 @ 1:00 pm
The Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor is offering a wonderful New Year’s Eve Ballroom Package!  There are a limited number of packages available, so make your reservation today by calling the front desk at 231-722-0100.

This All-Inclusive Overnight Package for 2 Includes:
• Overnight Accommodation
• Champagne Upon Arrival
• Dinner Buffet
• Open Bar 9:00pm – 1:00am
• Champagne Toast & Snacks at Midnight
• Breakfast Buffet on New Year’s Day
• Late checkout of 1:00pm
• Featuring Live Entertainment by: Westside Soul Surfers

Packages start at $269.99 + tax


Dueling Pianos: New Year’s Eve Edition

December 31, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – January 1, 2017 @ 12:30 am
December 31 at 6:00pm, come to SE4SONS Banquet Center for the best New Year’s Eve Party in Muskegon featuring the Dueling Pianos!  Tickets are $60 and include party favors, hors d’ oeuvres, a station-style dinner, a late night snack, a 3 hour Dueling Pianos Show and champagne toast at midnight!  To purchase your tickets, please call 231-755-3737 or buy them in person at SE4SONS.  All ticket sales are final.


New Year’s Eve Ballroom Package 2016

December 31, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – January 1, 2017 @ 1:00 pm
The Shoreline Inn & Conference Center is offering a New Year’s Eve all inclusive package for two that includes overnight accommodation, champagne upon arrival, a dinner buffet, open bar from 9:00pm – 1:00am, live entertainment by the band Pop Fiction , a midnight toast/snacks, a midnight balloon drop, a breakfast buffet New Year’s Day and late check out of 1:00pm.  Make your reservations by calling 231-727-8483.


Do You Remember the 70’s? New Year’s Eve Bash

December 31 @ 6:00 pm
This New Year’s Eve, come out to Bella Maria’s for the “Do You Remember the 70’s? New Year’s Eve Bash!”  Enjoy an unlimited appetizer buffet from 6:00pm-7:00pm, a tremendous entree buffet starting at 7:00pm, a dessert buffet unlike any you’ve seen before and late night appetizers after midnight.  Don’t worry, you’ll work it all off doing the “Hustle” to a light and sound show by Orpheus Light & Sound Experience.  Don’t remember how?  That’s O.K., there’ll be dancers and instructors from Arthur Murray Dance Studio on hand to show you all the moves!  Tickets are $60 per person and are limited to 200.  Call 231-563-6914 for reservations.


Sgt. Preston Yukon King New Year’s Day Run

January 1, 2017 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Touted as the oldest outdoor running event in the Midwest, visit the West Michigan Lakeshore for 5K and traditional 6-mile races. Families are encouraged to participate. All proceeds support North Muskegon High School Athletics. Chip timed and medals for top age-group categories. For more information, call 231-288-6011.

Thank You to Fruitport Volunteers!

A big shout out to thank those library lovers who volunteered to help us clean the library:

Ron Becklin
Linda Corinti
Rebecca Morrow and two hard working, sweet daughters
Chuck Koon
Andrea Anderson
Chris Anderson
Paxton Anderson
Baby Girl Anderson
Lela Miller
Bethany Nettleton

If I have forgotten anyone, please let me know  🙂

Rose Dillon, CPFA, MiCPT, MCAT
Fruitport Township Treasurer

Become a Muskegon STAR!

New STAR Training Sessions Now Open2017 Training Sessions Now Open!

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.


With the popularity of the Muskegon STAR! Program growing, many companies are opting to have the training in-house. Call the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber at 231-722-3751 to schedule a corporate training for your staff or organization.

STAR! Sessions fill quickly – Reserve your space early! 

Click here to Register!

Event Details:
January 19, 2017
Click here to register

February 16, 2017
Click here to register

March 16, 2017
Click here to register

 1:00 – 5:00 pm
$25 per person
West Michigan Works! Office

Ottawa County Parks – Winter Programs

Winter Programs

Our program schedule does not slow down in the winter months! This season we are offering winter walks and snowshoe hikes, cross-country and skate ski lessons, Wildlife Encounters, Coffee with the Birds, art and astronomy classes, birding field trips and more!

See the full program calendar by clicking here.

As always, we are committed to keeping our programs free or affordable. You’ll find programs for children, adults, and families.

Featured Event


Feb 4, 9 am-1 pm • Location TBA

(Alternate date is Feb 11)

Registration encouraged

This free event is geared for children of all ages, accompanied by an adult. More details will follow. Registration is not required but is encouraged in case the event is moved to the alternate date.

This event is generously hosted by the Friends of Ottawa County Parks. Friends invites you to join the all volunteer organization! Through a multitude of activities and outreach events, they promote and assist the Parks. Join in their endeavor, enjoy the fellowship, and make new friends while helping support the Parks. 

Winter Wonderland

Popular destinations, equipment to rent

Pigeon Creek County Park offers groomed, lit cross-country ski trails, ski and snowshoe rentals, ski lessons, and sledding. The lodge opens for the season once a good base of snow has fallen. Visitors can rent skis and snowshoes as well as warm up with hot chocolate, hot dogs, or chili by the fire. Hours rely on the weather, so keep the hotline number handy. Visit our website for more information: Please remember that once snow falls, hiking, dog walking, and horseback riding are not allowed in the park.

pigeon creek

Hemlock Crossing County Park offers snowshoe rentals for adults and children (4+) at the Nature Education Center. Guided walks are available throughout the winter; take a look at our program calendar for dates. Visitors are invited to warm up in front of a fire in the Great Room after their snowy outing!

Where to explore

Pigeon Creek and Hemlock Crossing are excellent winter destinations, especially if you need equipment, but there are many other beautiful places to enjoy and explore. Below are some of our favorites.

Infrequently, we pack and roll trails at parks other than Pigeon Creek. Keep an eye on Facebook for these announcements. 

other places to explore

>> Crockery Creek Natural Area in Nunica is a hidden gem, offering gorgeous winterscapes. Photo by Ed Post

>> Riley Trails in Holland is popular for cross-country skiing. The mountain bike trails are often used for fat tire biking. Photo by Instagrammer @bwcycling

>> In the Grand Haven area, North Ottawa Dunes has many miles of trail frequented by cross-country skiers.

>> Upper Macatawa Natural Area in Zeeland is a great place for a ski or snowshoe outing, or a winter hike!

View a pdf of the newsletter by clicking here

Holiday Tips For Dealing With Alzheimer’s

For those who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the thought of holiday get-togethers with family and friends may leave you feeling exhausted, anxious, or just plain overwhelmed. And while it can be a challenging time of year, with some planning and adjusted expectations, your celebrations can still be happy, memorable occasions.

According to data just released in the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, in Michigan, one in eight of those aged 45 and over report they are experiencing confusion or memory loss that is happening more often or is getting worse. For those with worsening memory problems, 45.5 percent say it created functional difficulties, such as causing them to give up day-to-day, work or social activities. With Alzheimer’s disease becoming more common, it is more likely that someone with Alzheimer’s disease will be in attendance at your holiday gathering and it is important to be prepared.

Here are our top tips for surviving the holiday season with loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia:

1. Let guests know what to expect before they arrive. Sending a letter or email in advance, letting people know about what to expect and how they can help will ease some of the burden when guests arrive. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, family can help with communication by being patient, not interrupting or correcting, and giving the person time to finish his or her thoughts. In the middle or late stages, make sure visitors understand that changes in behavior and memory are caused by the disease and not the person. For ideas on how to let others know about changes in your loved one, join ALZConnected, our online support community, where caregivers share tips on what has worked for them.

2. Pare down your responsibilities. The stress of caregiving layered with holiday traditions can take a toll. Give yourself permission to do only what you can reasonably manage. If you’ve always invited 15 to 20 people to your home, consider paring it down to a few guests for a simple meal. Let others contribute. Have a potluck dinner or ask them to host at their home. You also may want to consider breaking large gatherings up into smaller visits of two or three people at a time to keep the person with Alzheimer’s and yourself from getting overtired. Make sure everyone understands your situation and has realistic expectations about what you can do.

3. Avoid triggers. If evening confusion and agitation are a problem, consider changing a holiday dinner into a holiday lunch. If you do keep the celebration at night, keep the room well-lit. Make sure that you’re careful with decoration choices — blinking lights may confuse or scare a person with dementia, and decorations that look like food could be mistaken as edible. Sticking to the person’s normal routine will also help keep the holidays from becoming disruptive or confusing. Plan time for breaks and rest.

4. Keep the person involved. Focus on activities that are meaningful to the person with dementia. They may find comfort in singing old holiday songs or looking through old photo albums. As the person’s abilities allow, invite them to help you prepare food, wrap packages, help decorate or set the table. This could be as simple as having the person measure an ingredient or hand decorations to you as you put them up.

5. Look for helpful gifts. Diminishing capacity may make some gifts unusable or even dangerous to a person with dementia. If someone asks for gift ideas, suggest items the person with dementia needs or can easily enjoy. Ideas include: an identification bracelet, comfortable clothing, their favorite music, videos and photo albums.

6. Bring the celebration to a care facility. A holiday is still a holiday whether it is celebrated at home or at a care facility. If your loved one isn’t able to celebrate at home, consider joining your loved one in any facility-planned holiday activities. Bring a favorite holiday food to share. Sing holiday songs and ask if other residents can join in, or read a favorite holiday story or poem out loud.

To learn more ways to make the holidays peaceful and joyous with a loved one with dementia, visit, or call our 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900.

About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

A 13th Letter to America

The Presidential Election is finally over!

However, the demonstrations that are occurring shows how poorly a job our school systems and our news media is doing.  Acceptance, after the people have spoken, has always been the norm, and should still be the norm.

Another norm, is respect for other people, their rights, and their property.

All that is violated when crowds take over streets and highways and start destroying government or personal property.  That is criminal conduct punishable by law.

Some demonstrators, and news media people, claim they are afraid of Trump. But if they supported his opponent, they should instead fear God.  She stood for some things God calls abomination.

You see, His Laws are just, but the penalty for disobeying Him, will be eternal damnation. First in Hell and later in the Lake of Fire forever.

The Word of God, rightfully claims, that all of us have sinned.  That we are condemned already.  But because of His great love for us he sent Jesus Christ, his only begotten son, to die for us on the cross.  His precious blood is enough to cover all the sins of the world.

Unfortunately, too many in America, and too many in the world, refuse to believe in God and The Word of God (Jesus).  Jesus said few will go to Heaven.  Seek God, believe and repent. Why reject God!

President Trump’s first official act should be to order all flags be flown at half-mast until this country stops the ungodly killing of the innocent unborn.

Manuel Ybarra, Jr.
Coalgate, Ok 74538

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Chaplains Deploy to North and South Carolina Following Hurricane Matthew

In early October, Hurricane Matthew – once a Category 5 storm – made landfall in South Carolina, bringing devastating flooding, toppled trees, and extensive property damage up and down the East Coast. With an eye on the looming impact, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of crisis-trained chaplains pre-positioned staff and resources in key areas. “Hurricane Matthew struck with ferocious power, and we still don’t know the full extent to which it has damaged areas of impact,” Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, said at the time. “Our team is prepared to offer hope and comfort to the people affected by this storm in the midst of their pain.”

As the storm cleared, the ministry was ready to respond as soon as the roads opened and assessments revealed the worst-hit areas. Ultimately, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team – along with disaster relief ministry Samaritan’s Purse – deployed to three areas; two in South Carolina (the Low Country region and Horry County) and one in eastern North Carolina(Edgecombe County).

Franklin Graham called for prayer on his Facebook page, “Hurricane Matthew has wreaked havoc along its deadly path. A number have died, and tens of thousands of people have no electricity even on the coast here in my home state of NC. … Join me in praying not only for those here in the U.S. who are hurting, but also for our neighbors in Haiti.”

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team also continues to minister in Louisiana in the wake of severe flooding that struck that state in August.

For more information about the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, including current deployments and how to get involved, visit

Ask Dr. Universe – Digestion

Dear Dr. Universe: How does digestion work? –Abi, 12, U.S.; Megha R., 11, Dubai

Dear Abi and Megha,

All around the world, animals are eating all kinds of different foods. Our foods might be different, but one thing is true for all of us: We have to digest.

I decided to visit my friend Bob Ritter to find out how this works. He’s a researcher here at Washington State University who is really curious about the connections between our brain and stomach.

“What we eat at lunch is almost completely digested by the time we are ready to eat dinner,” he said. “It is digested, absorbed, and the food has totally changed.”

The molecules that make up a piece of meat or a vegetable on your plate are too big for your body to use, at least at first. The body breaks down the food using a nearly 30-foot-long digestive tract that runs from your head to your rear end.

And while we may all digest, different animals have different kinds of tracts. Ritter explained that a python could go for about six months without food. When it comes time to eat a meal, usually in a single gulp, the python’s digestive system will suddenly grow bigger.

Unlike pythons, humans need to eat much more often. The human digestive system can help you digest a meal in just a few hours or less.

Muscles in your stomach squeeze and occasionally grumble to tell your brain that you’re hungry. When you smell or even see food, your mouth starts to water. Even the sound of food going into my bowl makes my mouth water. This saliva helps us soften and break down food so we can swallow it.

The muscles in the esophagus, a long tube in your throat, help push food down into your stomach. There, your stomach acids and enzymes help you break down the food. Most of the food is now about the size of a grain of salt.

These little pieces move onto the small intestine, which is pretty big, despite it’s name. It’s here where the big chemicals in food are broken down to small ones that the body can absorb into your blood, like sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids.

There is a lot of surface area that makes it possible for your body to absorb these helpful nutrients, too. If you unfolded your small intestine on a flat surface, it would likely cover a tennis court, Ritter said.

Once the nutrients are absorbed, the large intestine absorbs water from the digested mix and helps give it back to your body. Some harder parts are left behind and get ready to leave the body. Pretty soon, nature calls.

Whether you are a cat, a python, or a human, the digestive system not only fuels your body, but also protects it. Humans even have a special lining in their stomach that gets replaced every few days to protect them from invaders like toxins or bacteria. It’s something to chew on the next time you sit down for dinner.

Dr. Universe

Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Send your own question to Dr. Universe at

World Peace Conference Coming to Michigan in 2017

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams to Speak

Ann Arbor, MI – The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor in conjunction with other Rotary clubs in the Midwest and Rotary International will convene the World Peace Conference 2017 on March 31 and April 1 at the University of Michigan’s Michigan League. The conference will empower its participants to actively practice peace and reduce violence locally, nationally and globally.

Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and two dozen other respected experts on peace and conflict resolution will explore ways people can contribute to building a peaceful world. The conference is open to the public.

Keynoters, panelists and breakout sessions will cover seven tracks:
• Peace and conflict resolution;
• Poverty, hunger and health;
• The role of faith-based organizations in peacemaking;
• The role of media in peacemaking;
• Preserving basic human rights;
• Violence prevention;
• Youth in peace and conflict resolution.

“Promoting peace is about more than ending conflicts,” said Ashish Sarkar, convener of the conference and immediate past president of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club. “It’s about bringing people together to work on solutions to the underlying issues and causes of those conflicts.”

Rotary International President John Germ will keynote the conference.

In 1921, Rotary adopted as one of its objectives the advancement of international understanding, good will and peace. Today, the Rotarian Action Group for Peace supports the peace work of Rotarians worldwide. The Peace Conference 2017 is part of this effort.

Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her successful work toward the banning and clearing of anti-personnel landmines, which inspired an international treaty to ban the mines.

Williams subsequently took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women’s Initiative, which brings together six of the female peace laureates alive today to promote the efforts of women working to promote peace with justice and equality.

Other speakers include Jeffrey Sachs, UN advisor and Columbia University professor, economist and author; Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Peace Corps director; and Owen Greene, a professor at the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England, and a widely published expert on conflict resolution. Greene has served as a consultant to the United Nations, European Union and the United Kingdom.

For more information or to reserve tickets, go to

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 12/12/16-12/19/16

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Beatrix Potter’s 150th Birthday
December 12 – January 22 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
The Muskegon Community College Hendrik Meijer Library is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of world famous English author Beatrix Potter, with a display of her books and a personal collection of 50 miniature Warne animal characters.  An iconic author, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist, Potter is best known for her children’s books featuring animals, such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  She was a trailblazer for women of her time.  This informative exhibit can be viewed now through Sunday, January 22.  For more information on the exhibit, contact Darlene DeHudy at (231)-777-0268 or (231) 777-0269 for library hours.

Ornament Extravaganza
December 12 – 24 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Now through Christmas, you are invited to the Red Lotus Gallery/Muskegon Center for the Arts for their Ornament Extravaganza!  Christmas ornaments have been created by local artists and will be available during the months of November and December.  They make wonderful Christmas gifts.  For more information, call 231-206-0426.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 12 @ 6:30 pm
The city of Muskegon Heights is welcoming everyone to a Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony 6:30pm, Monday, December 12 outside City Hall.  The Muskegon Heights Alumni Band will play and a choir will lead Christmas Carols.  A community bonfire with smores and cocoa will be offered along with a holiday address from Mayor Kimberley Sims.  The Christmas tree was donated by Marty Hulka of Marty’s Christmas trees in Fruitport Township.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 231-733-8999.

Feeding the Soul of the City: Christmas at the Organ
December 13 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
December 13 from 12:15pm – 12:45pm, everyone is invited to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Downtown Muskegon for a Feeding the Soul of the City lunchtime concert.  Caron Farmer, a member of the American Guild of Organists and current organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, will perform this year’s traditional program of solo organ music devoted to the Christmas season.  For more information, call (231) 722-2112.

West Michigan Junior Strings Winter Recital
December 13 @ 7:00 pm
The West Michigan Junior Strings will present their Winter Recital on Tuesday, December 13, at 7:00pm at United Methodist Church of Montague.  String students of all ages, from Muskegon to Mason County, will come together to share their progress and love for music with family, friends, and the community.

Since 2009, the West Michigan Junior Strings, a program of the Arts Council of White Lake, has offered violin and cello instruction to students ages 3 to 18, using a creative blend of the Suzuki Method and traditional string pedagogy.  It has grown into a program serving students in over three counties with highly-skilled and committed faculty who are dedicated to fostering Suzuki’s vision that “every child can.”  Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy embraces the idea that all children are born with musical ability which can be nurtured at an early age through their environment, listening, imitation, and by working closely with a parent at home.

The public is invited to come and support wonderful developing talent in young people and stay for the reception that follows the concert.  For more information, visit

Book Nook and Java Shop Holiday Party
December 13 @ 7:00 pm
Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00pm, come to the Book Nook & Java Shop for their Holiday Party featuring the Choral Belles Singalong.  Enjoy Christmas treats, martinis and more!  For more information, call 231-894-5333.

3rd Annual Ugly Sweater Contest
December 14 @ 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
The Norton Shores Library presents the 3rd Annual Ugly Sweater Contest , Wednesday, December 14 from 9:00am – 8:00pm!  In a fun-spirited holiday tradition, voting for the ugliest Christmas sweater worn by a Norton Shores Library staff member could win you a $25 Meijer gift card!  Stop by anytime all day long and choose your favorite.  Voting is open to ages 12 and up.  Wearing your own holiday sweater, ugly or not, could get your picture on the Library’s Facebook page!

For additional information, contact Alison Purgiel, branch manager, at 231-780-8844 or .

Open Public Tours at the Muskegon Museum of Art
December 15 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Enjoy free docent-led guided tours at the Muskegon Museum of Art on Thursdays, December 1 – February 16 from 5:00-7:00pm!

Quick Art Crash Course
December 15 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
December 15 from 6:00-7:30pm, come to the Muskegon Museum of Art for the Quick Art Crash Course “Impressions: Printmakers take on Expressions of Faith” with Lee Ann Frame and Andy Jagniecki.  Printmaking can take on many forms, from woodblock cuts to etching; each print is unique in its creation.  Join contemporary printmakers, Lee Ann Frame and Andy Jagniecki as they walk through Expressions of Faith and talk about their favorite prints, technique, and overall impression of the prints on display.  Q & A will follow the half-hour program.  There’s a cash bar and admission is free!

West Michigan Symphony Presents: Classical Christmas
December 16 @ 7:30 pm
Friday, December 16 at 7:30pm, come to the Frauenthal Theater as the West Michigan Symphony Presents “Classical Christmas!”  Enjoy the majesty of Christmas with Scott Speck and special guest, soprano Martha Guth. This spectacular soprano joins the symphony and the Muskegon and Grand Rapids Chamber Choirs for an evening of classical holiday works, inspiring the true meaning of Christmas. Single ticket prices are $23-$54.  Student tickets are $10.  Call Rita at 231-726-3231 x223 for tickets and more information.

Clifton Johnson Children’s Christmas
December 17 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The city of Muskegon Heights will host the annual Clifton Johnson Children’s Christmas, 9:00am – Noon, Saturday, December 17 in City Hall Council Chambers.  Candy, gifts and snacks will be offered to children up to age 16.  Santa will be on hand, possibly with Muskegon Heights firefighters and police officers to talk to the children.  The Clifton Johnson Memorial Christmas Party is named for former Muskegon Heights Police Chief Clifton D. Johnson Sr., who passed away unexpectedly at age 47 in 2009.  For more information, call 231-733-8999.

Creative Saturday
December 17 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Join Muskegon Center for the Arts members in creative idea exchanges, inspiration and camaraderie as you work on your own project the 3rd Saturday of every month from 10:00am-1:00pm at the Red Lotus Gallery.  “Creative Saturdays” are for ages 12 and up and are free to the public, but donations are always welcomed. Bring a new or current working project and your own supplies for your artwork; whether it be sewing, drawing or painting projects.  Artists’ trading cards are also available.  For more information visit

Santa at the Library
December 17 @ 2:00 pm
Saturday, December 17 at 2:00pm, Santa Claus will be stopping by Hackley Public Library to see who’s been naughty and who’s been nice!  Drop off your wish list and snap a picture with the big man (please bring your camera).  You can also create a “make and take” ornament to hang on your own tree.  The library will supply the materials.  For more information, call 231-722-8014.

West Michigan Lake Hawks
December 17 @ 6:00 pm
Back to Back North Central Division Champions! Catch their home games at Reeths-Puffer High School located north of Muskegon at 1545 N. Roberts Rd. Today they play Detroit Fast Forward at 6:00pm. All tickets are just $8 each. Ages four and under are FREE! Purchase Lake Hawks tickets at the Frauenthal Center or at the door.

The MCA – Red Lotus Gallery Open Mic Night
December 17 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Muskegon Center for the Arts presents Open Mic Night at the Red Lotus Gallery, located in the Century Building, from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.  If you have a love for the stage and can perform an activity such as music, anything theatrical, poetry or readings, you may want to express it here or just show up to watch the show.  There is always something new and unique to enjoy.  This event happens on the third Saturday of every month and is for persons 18 years and older.  This is a free event.  For more information, call (231) 206-0426.

Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
December 17 @ 7:15 pm
Saturday, December 17 at 7:15pm, come to the L.C. Walker Arena as the Muskegon Lumberjacks take on the Chicago Steel!  The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud members of the United States Hockey League, the nations only Tier I junior hockey league and the leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The Lumberjacks’organization prides itself on developing not just premier hockey talent, but also exceptional young men outside the arena of sports. For more information, visit

Performances @The Block: Martha Guth
December 17 @ 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25-$35, $10 Student tickets with ID

Saturday, December 17 at 7:30pm, Soprano Martha Guth brings consummate musicianship, intelligence and a distinctive tonal palette to a wide range of musical styles.  Guth presents a follow up to the Friday night holiday concert with the West Michigan Symphony with an evening of classical song at The Block. Call Rita at 231-726-3231 x223 for tickets and more information. Doors and bar open at 6:45pm, concert begins at 7:30pm.

Joshua Davis in Concert
December 17 @ 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 17 at 7:30pm, the Howmet Playhouse is pleased to welcome Joshua Davis for an evening of American roots music.  Joshua writes songs that blend the roots of American music with gritty rock n’ roll and vintage soul.  Performing Songwriter Magazine called the result, “Some of the liveliest and most rocking roots music around.” There will be a VIP meet and greet one hour before showtime that includes an acoustic song performed by Joshua, Q&A time, a photo op, and signing.  These packages are limited and are a separate fee from ticket prices.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase courtesy of the Friends of the Playhouse.

Tickets in advance are $25/adult, $20/students

VIP Packages (includes show ticket price) $65/adults $60/students. Ticket prices will rise at the door. 

Back Alley Comedy Club
December 17 @ 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 17, come to the Back Alley Comedy Club inside Sherman Bowling Center for fantastic stand-up comedy from Ben Wilke and special guest, Carl Johnson.  Tickets are only $5!  Doors open at 7:00pm and the show begins at 8:00pm.  For more information, call 231-755-1258.

Holiday Brunch with Santa at SE4SONS
December 18 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Bring the whole family for a delicious brunch with Santa at SE4SONS!  Kick off the holidays with fun for the whole family including great food, kids holiday crafts and Santa!  Reservations will fill up fast, so reserve your spot from 11:00am to 2:00pm on Sunday, December 18 by calling 231-755-3737.  The cost is $27 for adults and $12 for kids 5-12.  Kids 4 and under eat free!

The Nutcracker
December 18 @ 2:00 pm
Sunday, December 18 at 2:00pm, come to the Frauenthal Center for the West Michigan Youth Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker!”  The Nutcracker comes to life in this wonderful ballet for the entire family!  Want to meet Clara and the Prince?  Add the Family Activities to your experience for just $6.00 (Show not included).  This also includes early entry, pizza slice, drink and popcorn.  Tickets for the show are  $11 & $21.  For more information, call 231-727-8001.

Holiday Open House
December 18 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 18 from 2:00-5:00pm, everyone is welcome to the annual celebration of three local artists at Terrestrial Forming Pottery Studio.  Pottery, jewelry, ornaments, cards, and more by Peter “the Potter” Johnson, Cara O’Brien, and Missy Morrow will be featured.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information, call 231-894-2341.

Feeding the Soul of the City – Grand Rapids Choir of Men & Boys
December 18 @ 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Sunday, December 18 from 5:00-5:30pm, everyone is invited to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Downtown Muskegon for the Feeding the Soul of the City concert featuring the Grand Rapids Choir of Men & Boys.  The traditional “Festival of Lessons and Carols” will return to St. Paul’s to highlight the holiday season with carols and readings of the Christmas story from both Old and New Testaments.  For more information, call (231) 722-2112.

West Michigan Lake Hawks Basketball Game
December 18 @ 6:00 pm
Back to Back North Central Division Champions! Catch their home games at Reeths-Puffer High School located north of Muskegon at 1545 N. Roberts Rd. This is an exciting weekend with back to back nights of basketball!  Tonight the Hawks play Northern Indiana Monarchs at 6:00pm. All tickets are just $8 each. Ages four and under are FREE! Purchase Lake Hawks tickets at the Frauenthal Center or at the door.

Lakeshore Art Festival Leaves $1.5 Million Economic Impact

According to recently compiled data from the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau, it is estimated that over the past four years the Lakeshore Art Festival has left a $1.5 million economic impact on the greater Muskegon area.

In addition to this economic impact, the festival has made great strides in the event’s quality along with the quantity of recycling. In conjunction with the DTE Energy Foundation, the festival’s “Keepin’ It Green” program is working towards producing a zero waste event. Beyond general paper and plastic recycling, Lakeshore Art Festival encourages all food vendors to use biodegradable serving products and compost all of their organic waste.

In the last three years, the festival has:

• Welcomed more than 1,000 artists and exhibitors

• Had the help of more than 500 volunteers

• More than 100,000 visitors who have attended the festival

• Economic impact of $1.5 Million on the Greater Muskegon area

• Recycled
· 1,783 pounds of cardboard
· 535 pounds of plastic and aluminum
· 935 pounds of organic waste
· 206 pounds of paper
· 13,980 total pounds diverted from the landfill

The environmental impact equates to 140 gallons of gas saved, 2,701 kilowatt hours of energy saved and 15 cubic yards of landfill space diverted. With the amount of energy saved from recycling over the last three years, an iPhone 6 could retain a full day charge for the next 710 years! Click here for a full report or visit

In 2017, the Lakeshore Art Festival is working towards enhancing the quality of the event and has recently opened registration for its fine art, craft and Children’s Lane. The event will take place July 7 and 8 in downtown Muskegon, Michigan. Registration for fine art and craft exhibitors will be processed through the web-based Zapplications. A link to the online application can be accessed through The application deadline is February 1, 2017. There is a $35 registration fee for fine art and craft exhibitors and all entries are juried. Discounts are available for Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and Muskegon Museum of Art members.

“The show has grown in so many ways, commented Event Director, Carla Flanders. We’re thrilled with the response from the exhibitors and guests who have recognized the positive changes, enhanced product quality and overall festive atmosphere. Our show is being recognized on a national scale and exhibitors are coming from across the country to be in the Lakeshore Art Festival!”

“The event far exceeded my expectations! Not only has the event turned around, but the downtown area as well. I’ve been doing craft events for nineteen years and usually as many as forty a year (twenty states so far). I say that to make this point. Never have I seen an event make such a dramatic turn for the positive. What a credit to you, your staff, and the community. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.” – Dan Lary, Candle Creations

More event details will be released in 2017 including registration for food vendors and volunteers. Look for more information as it becomes available on the Lakeshore Art Festival website: and Facebook page: For exhibitor and sponsorship inquires, please contact Carla Flanders at or 231-724-3176.

PHONE: 231-724-3176

Fruitport Township Board Meeting Agenda – 12/12/16


DECEMBER 12, 2016


01. Pledge of Allegiance
02. Roll call
03. Approval of board minutes: 11/28/16 regular meeting
04. Approve / amend agenda
05. Correspondence / reports
06. Public comments regarding agenda items

07. Unfinished Business
A. Appointments to committees and boards
B. Approval of Vandenberg/Summit water main project
C. Recreational Authority information
D. Library agreement review

08. New Business
A. Reappointment of Board of Review members
B. Approval of Carol Hulka’s compensation

09. Approval of Bills
10. Reports
11. Public Comments
12. Adjournment

The Township will provide necessary reasonable aids and services for this meeting to individuals with disabilities by writing or telephoning the following Township Clerk: Andrea Anderson, Fruitport Township Hall, 5865 Airline Road, Fruitport, MI 49415 (231) 865-3151

Community Leaders Recognized as Local Agents of Change

The business community gathered to celebrate eight community leaders and initiatives that were recognized as the 2016 Agents of Change. Those recognized range from business reinventions to unique festivals and events, education initiatives and art installations.


(from left to right) Allen Serio, Toni Seyferth, Ellen Berends, Hoby Thrasher, John Hermanson, Barb Hermanson, RandiLynn Talsma, Jason Talsma, Megan Byard-Karaba, John Severson and Erin Kuhn

“The Muskegon Lakeshore is quickly evolving,” says Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “These passionate individuals are dramatically changing the landscape of our community, and deserve recognition for their efforts.”

Each year, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce recognizes individuals or projects that have made a positive contribution to the Muskegon Lakeshore and awards them as Agents of Change.

This year’s Agents of Change were recognized at the Ninth Annual Agents of Change Business After Hours celebration on November 3, 2016 at Bella Maria’s Ristorante & Event Center.  This event was produced by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with WGVU Public Media.

Here are the 2016 projects and businesses recognized as 2016 Agents of Change:

Hoby Thrasher, Bear Lake Tavern
Thanks to Hoby Thrasher, the historic Bear Lake Tavern has been reinvented for the next generation. This building and business turnaround is an outstanding example of how an entrepreneur can preserve local history while modernizing and rebranding a locally-owned business.

Jason & RandiLynn Talsma, Blended Furniture Market
Turning a closed drug store into a destination furniture retail center takes vision, creativity and a lot of hard work.  Jason and RandiLynn Talsma moved their business from Holland to Norton Shores creating a furniture store that caters to area residents with style and taste.

Lakeshore Brewer’s Guild, Burning Foot Beer Festival
The Lakeshore Brewer’s Guild turned their one-of-a-kind festival at Pere Marquette Beach into a Midwest craft beer celebration! Allen Serio’s brainchild is an event showcasing our community’s greatest asset, the beach, and shines a light on local craft beer businesses.

Ellen Berends, First Fridays
Ellen’s “First Fridays” concept is bringing thousands of people to Downtown Muskegon on the first Friday of every month.  This family-friendly event series has included street performers, a “Touch the Trucks,” parade, bonfires and more.  First Fridays energizes Western Avenue with vibrancy and fun for new and returning visitors.

John Severson & Megan Byard-Karaba, Muskegon Area Promise
The Muskegon Area Promise came to fruition under the fresh direction and determination of John Severson and Megan Byard-Karaba. This program offers graduating high school students access to two-year college degrees, tuition free in Muskegon County. John and Megan worked closely with a volunteer board and state officials to capture final approval on this critical education program.

Toni Seyferth, Muskegon STAR! Student Program
Educator Toni Seyferth brought the popular Muskegon STAR! Program to our community’s youth. Toni created the first Muskegon STAR! Student Program at North Muskegon High School.  This first STAR! Student class equipped teenage participants with soft-skills, facts and information needed to effectively promote the area’s assets.  This class is now being modeled in other school districts across Muskegon County.

Erin Kuhn, Port Day Celebration
Muskegon’s first ever “Port Day” was the vision and coordination of Erin Kuhn.  Business and community leaders from across the state, and beyond, came to the shores of Muskegon Lake to learn about and celebrate the Port of Muskegon.  The event highlighted the capabilities of the deep-water port in an effort to attract and expand business. Hopefully, many of you were able to see Erin earlier this evening before she needed to leave early for a previous commitment.

John & Barb Hermanson, Sails Ablaze Art Installation
A passion for Muskegon Lake and creative vision lead John and Barb Hermanson to raise over $144,000 for the art installation Sails Ablaze.  The sculpture, by artist Steven Anderson, honors the story of the Lyman Davis, the fastest and last commercial sailing ship on the Great Lakes whose journey tragically ended in an intentional fire.  The drama of this time period will be remembered by all thanks to John and Barb.

Decision America Tour Comes To an End

speakingA total of 236,950 joined Franklin Graham at the 2016 Decision America Tour. Add to that more than 150,000 live views online collectively and over 287,000 from his Facebook Live feed during his last stop in North Carolina.

Franklin Graham’s three-fold message has been simple and steady throughout all 50 states: Pray. Vote. Engage. Finishing the tour with a massive crowd of about 14,000 in his home state, he reflected on when it began. “They didn’t come to hear me,” Franklin said. “They came to pray.”

In addition to calling Christians to action, Franklin shared the Gospel message at every stop. As a result, more than 8,000 people nationwide responded to make a decision for Jesus Christ. The tour ended with Franklin imploring everyone to keep praying for America, to get involved in local politics and to engage in their communities. MORE…

For more information on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, visit

Ask Dr. Universe – Cats

Hi Dr. Universe! I’m Bree and I just wanted to ask, how do cats land on their feet?  -Bree, 10, Williamsburg, VA 

Dear Bree,

Curiosity can lead us cats to some pretty great heights. We like to climb trees and sneak along tall bookshelves. Sometimes we might have a bumpy landing, but more often our amazing cat reflexes help us land on our feet.

Like my fellow felines, I’ve been using my reflexes to fall on my feet ever since I was about three weeks old. But even I wasn’t sure exactly how this worked or why it doesn’t work all the time. I decided to visit my friend Matt McCluskey, a physicist at Washington State University, to find out more about it.

At first I thought the answer to your question might have to do with our tail. I suspected that as cats fall through the air, the tail helps us find balance. But it turns out cats without tails can land on their feet, too. There’s a little more to it.

McCluskey and I came across this fact in a study from a scientist in London who investigated your very question more than half a century ago. The scientist slowed down pictures of falling cats and observed their movements. He found that the cats landed in a very particular way. He published an article about it in New Scientist called, “How does a cat fall on its feet?”

Looking at the pictures of falling cats, he found that we first use our sharp ears and eyes to help us figure out which way is up. Our head, the lighter end of our body, twists one way. Then the heavier end of our body, the rear, follows. We use this movement to try to maneuver our bodies back to normal and brace for landing. Scientists call it the air-righting reflex. It’s what helps us go from free falling to feet on the floor, often in less than a second.

Our flexible spine and lack of a collarbone also make it possible for us to arch our backs in mid-air. We can arch our backs when we feel threatened, when we stretch, or to help us land after our body twists. Our arched backs help stabilize our bodies, preventing them from rotating, just before landing. McCluskey explained that even though our tails aren’t fully responsible for helping us land on our feet, they do help us be more stable upon landing.

There are actually so many cases of cats falling out of windows that veterinarians have a name for it: high-rise syndrome. Some researchers have found that cats who fall from greater heights have a better chance of landing on their feet than cats who fall shorter distances. It might be because they don’t have enough time to go through all the different movements that help them stick the landing. Sometimes we stumble. Sometimes we land in style. It’s all feline physics.

Dr. Universe

Ask Dr. Universe is a science education project from Washington State University. Send your own question in at

PTACs of MI, Inc. Welcomes New President, Pamela Vanderlaan-Poort

Pamela Vanderlaan-Poort, Muskegon Area First PTAC Director, named to President of PTACs of MI, Inc.

Muskegon, MI. – Muskegon Area First Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Director Pamela Vanderlaan-Poort was recently elected as PTAC of MI, Inc. President. PTAC of MI, Inc. is a non-profit organization, consisting of ten (10) regional Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) across all of Michigan’s 83 counties, assisting businesses in selling their products and/or services to government markets. Its members are comprised of procurement professionals with varied degrees in government contracting, and members of a national organization, Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC).

Vanderlaan-Poort has over 27 years of service with the PTAC, has received her Master’s Certificate in Government Contracting from The George Washington University School of Business, received the Defense Logistics Agency 20-Year Service Award from the Director ‘s Office of Small Business Programs, and has been a member of APTAC and the PTACs of MI, Inc. since 1989. PTAC is a program under the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA’s) Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), in existence since 1985, designed to assist businesses with selling to Department of Defense, other federal, state and local government markets. The PTAC program was established to increase competition among the federal government suppliers, and is supported by the State of Michigan MEDC since the inception of the program.

Muskegon Area First PTAC is located at 380 West Western Avenue, Suite #202, in downtown Muskegon, and assists businesses in a 13-county regional area, to include the counties of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 12/05/16-12/12/16

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Ornament Extravaganza
Through December 24 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Now through Christmas, you are invited to the Red Lotus Gallery/Muskegon Center for the Arts for their Ornament Extravaganza!  Christmas ornaments have been created by local artists and will be available during the months of November and December.  They make wonderful Christmas gifts.  For more information, call 231-206-0426.

White Lake Classical Series
December 6 @ 7:00 pm

Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00pm, you’re invited to the Book Nook & Java Shop for the “White Lake Classical Series” featuring Swedish Violinist Gregory Maytan performing the music of Bach, Beethoven, & Röntgen!  Maytan has performed virtually all the major violin concertos with orchestra, and regularly performs in recitals and concerts in Europe and the US.  The cover at the door is $5.

Come early for dinner at 6:15pm and enjoy Roasted Cranberry-Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin with Apple Syrup, Rice Pilaf, Roasted Veggies, Glass of House Wine and Caramel Pear Crisp for $17.  Please RSVP to The Book Nook & Java Shop by calling (231) 894-5333.

Jilly’s Trunk Sale
December 8 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Thursday, December 8 from 3:00-6:00pm, visit the Museum Store in the Lakeshore Museum Center for an opportunity to see and purchase some unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of art, fused glass, and dichroic jewelry from glass artist Jilly Barnes!  Jilly, the owner of Jilly’s Gallery in Pentwater, will donate a portion of her sales that day to the Museum and shoppers may enter a drawing to win a special gift basket.  In addition, shoppers will enjoy a 15% discount on store merchandise excluding books, consignment, and sale items.  For more information, call 231-722-0278.

Open Public Tours at the Muskegon Museum of Art
December 8 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Enjoy free docent-led guided tours at the Muskegon Museum of Art on Thursdays, December 1 – February 16 from 5:00-7:00pm!

Opening Reception: Expressions of Faith
December 8 @ 5:30 pm

The Muskegon Museum of Art will present Expressions of Faith: Religious Works from the Permanent Collection with Rare Manuscripts from the Van Kampen Collection as its main winter exhibition.  Expressions of Faith features faith-based artwork from the Museum’s collection, hand-copied Bibles and rare manuscripts from the Van Kampen collection.  Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and African and Japanese spiritual traditions are illustrated in artifacts and artwork.

The public is invited to an opening reception and lecture by Calvin College Professor of Art and Art History Henry Luttikhuizen on on Thursday, December 8. The reception will start at 5:30pm and the lecture will start at 7:00pm. The event is free.  The exhibition will run through February 12, 2017.

Girls Night Out: Holiday Entertaining with Chef Char
December 8 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday, December 8th – Girls Night Out: Holiday Entertaining with Chef Char. 6:00-8:00 pm. If feeding and entertaining a small crowd is in your future, this class will equip you with the recipes and ideas to be donned as “the hostess with the mostest” by all of your friends. Party Platters are a great way to display hor d’oeuvres and appetizers to feed a small crowd. Even though the serving size of the food is small, each dish can really bring big flavor. Easy alcoholic and non-alcoholic holiday cocktail recipes will be shared and enjoyed during class. You must be 21 to sign up for this class.  Cost is $45

Go to and search on Muskegon Farmers Market and all currently scheduled classes will pop up. Also subscribe to our Kitchen 242 Facebook Events Page to receive notification when new culinary events are added.

Thursday Night Music Club: West Michigan Symphony Children’s Choir
December 8 @ 7:00 pm

The Norton Shores Library hosts the West Michigan Symphony Children’s Choir, Thursday, December 8 at 7:00pm in the library’s conference room.  Celebrate the joy of the season with the MADL Thursday Night Music Club’s traditional holiday concert.  This year’s performance features the West Michigan Symphony Children’s Choir, a high-quality choral group for children ages 8 – 11.  This free concert starts at 7:00pm.  For additional information, contact Alison Purgiel, branch manager, at 231-780-8844 or .

“Follow the Star” Live Nativity
December 9 @ 6:00 pm – December 11 @ 9:00 pm

Friday through Sunday, December 9 – 11 from 6:00-9:00pm, come to the Central Youth Center for “Follow the Star”, a live Nativity Outdoor Presentation, featuring live actors and animals!  Tours to “Bethlehem” will depart every twenty minutes.  For more information, call 231-777-3938 or visit

Gingerbread House Baking and Decoration with Chef Char
December 10

Saturday, December 10th – Gingerbread House Baking and Decoration with Chef Char – Let’s build a house together! Learn the secrets to making and baking successful gingerbread cookies. Using the best recipe for Royal Icing, learn to make the walls stand tall and a roof that won’t fall. Decorate your house with assorted candies and your imagination for a fun holiday display to take home. Kids, Teens & Adults are welcome to join this class. Cost is $35.

Go to and search on Muskegon Farmers Market and all currently scheduled classes will pop up. Also subscribe to our Kitchen 242 Facebook Events Page to receive notification when new culinary events are added.

Breakfast With Santa
December 10 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Visit Santa Claus and enjoy a delicious and free pancake meal at Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 10 at the Whitehall United Methodist Church.  The breakfast event will be held 9:00am to 11:00am. Bring the children in for pancakes with sausage and a visit with Santa.  The Whitehall High School choir will be singing Christmas carols.  For more information, call 231-329-3056.

Visit with Santa at Hot Rod Harley-Davidson
December 10 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Santa will make is annual visit to Hot Rod Harley-Davidson on Saturday, December 10 from 11:00am-2:00pm!  There is no charge to visit with Santa.  Bring your own camera to take pictures.  Post your pics on the Hot Rod Facebook page and the photo that gets the most likes will win a $100 Hot Rod gift certificate.  For more information, call  231-722-0000.

From Page to Screen: Nobody’s Fool
December 10 @ 1:30 pm

December 10 at 1:30pm, come to the Norton Shores Library for “From Page to Screen:  Nobody’s Fool!”  Is the book always better than the movie?  If you love to read and watch movies, combine your passion for both!  December’s book is Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo, the story of Sully, the unluckiest man in an unlucky town.  He’s broke, out of a job, and the owner of a dead pickup truck.  The good news? Sully has the dumbest man in North Bath as his devoted friend, a forgiving eighty-year-old landlady who converses with her late husband, a spastic Doberman as a watchdog, and the finest one-legged drunken lawyer this side of Albany. Now, if Sully could only banish his father’s grinning ghost and earn his own son’s respect, he might just turn the whole darn thing around.  The movie was released in 1994, directed by Robert Benton and starred Paul Newman, Bruce Willis and Jessica Tandy.  There will be an an informal discussion of both formats, plus popcorn.  Copies of the book are available at the Library while supplies last.  This program is free and open to the public ages 18 and up.  For additional information, contact Alison Purgiel, branch manager, at 231-780-8844 or .

Melvin Elijah Presents: A Spectacular Tribute to Motown Live
December 10 @ 7:00 pm

Saturday, December 10 at 7:00pm, come to the Frauenthal Center for “Melvin Elijah Presents: A Spectacular Tribute to Motown Live!”  This high energy production show captivates audiences from its opening act to its exhilarating finale!

At a very young age, Melvin Elijah was inspired by some of the most phenomenal singers in the entertainment industry: Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and Eddie Kendrick’s to name a few.  Melvin has performed for the past ten years in production shows as a tribute act featuring The Temptations and produced a tribute act for The Four Tops.  As a tribute act, Melvin has been featured as a headliner for Costa, Diamond Princess, and Norwegian Cruise lines. He has also made special appearances on Good Morning Arizona, 12 News, NASCAR and the Phoenix Suns Half Time Show.  Melvin’s most notable accomplishments are opening acts for some of the most legendary artist of all times; James Brown, Natalie Cole, Roy Ayers, Bobby Blue Bland and the one and only Whispers.  Melvin’s electrifying vocal skills, dynamic stage presence and production skills, captivates audiences of all joinder of music from R&B, Pop, Rock, Jazz and Contemporary listeners.  Tickets are $30, or $50 for VIP tickets which include a meet and greet with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  Doors Open at 6:15pm. For more information, call 231-722-9750.

Howling Harbor! Muskegon Artists’ Market
December 11 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Harbor Cinema hosts an indoor Artists’ Market every second Sunday of the month from 2:00-4:00pm.  The market features live performances by a variety of talented Muskegon performers as well as local artists and crafters.  For more information, call 231-375-5228.

Howl ‘n Blues Concert Series: Sam Cockrell Christmas Show
December 11 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The 5th annual Howl n’ Blues Concert Series for this winter is titled “HOT BLUES”!  December 11, enjoy R & B, soul, funk and blues from the Sam Cockrell Band from Chicago, a smokin’ hot six piece band featuring trumpet, sax, drums, guitar, piano and bass and singer/bass player, Sam Cockrell!  Concerts take place at the Watermark 920 the second Sunday of each month from 2:00-5:00pm to raise awareness and donations for the PoundBuddies animal shelter.  There’ll be a cash bar, food, 50/50 raffles, dancing, and good times…guaranteed!  Tickets are only $15 and include a raffle ticket.  For more information find “Howl n’ Blues” on Facebook.

West Michigan Lake Hawks
December 11 @ 6:00 pm

Back to Back North Central Division Champions! Catch their home games at Reeths-Puffer High School located north of Muskegon at 1545 N. Roberts Rd. Today they play Steel City Yellow Jackets at 6:00pm. All tickets are just $8 each. Ages four and under are FREE! Purchase Lake Hawks tickets at the Frauenthal Center or at the door.

Lisa McMichael Appointed Executive Director of Harbor Hospice

(Muskegon, Michigan) – The Harbor Hospice Board of Directors have announced that Lisa McMichael will be the new Executive Director of Harbor Hospice, succeeding Mary Anne Gorman, who is retiring after a 32 year- tenure with Harbor Hospice. McMichael has begun her new role effective November 14, 2016.

lmcmichaelLisa McMichael has more than 20 years of healthcare management and administration experience. She most recently served as the Executive Director of Marywood Health Corporation, a Grand Rapids short- term rehabilitation and assisted living facility, and a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids in partnership with Porter Hills. In her previous roles, she was the Administrator for Metron Integrated Health Systems, Inc. and the Executive Director for Atrium Center, LLC.; both skilled nursing facilities. She possesses a MBA from Cornerstone University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Sienna Heights University. Her background in occupational therapy has been coupled with a strong interest in elder care focusing on sustaining and maintaining residents’ quality of life while aging in place.

Lisa McMichael said, “I am eager and excited to start this new journey as the Executive Director of Harbor Hospice and leader of their outstanding team. My vision is to deliver our service to each patient and family in a manner that matches our care to their unique needs and preferences. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the community in this role and look forward to engaging with and getting to know our staff, volunteers, board members and donors.”

Heather Brolick, Chair of the Harbor Hospice Board of Directors, said, “Harbor Hospice has an excellent reputation for delivering exceptional hospice and palliative care. Our growth along the lakeshore has been on a foundation of quality balanced with strong stewardship of community resources. Lisa shares our commitment to sustain and enhance that reputation and the board is confident that she will build upon Mary Anne’s successful leadership and accomplishments.”

Dr. Jerry Harriman, Harbor Hospice Medical Director, said “The leadership team welcomes Lisa to Harbor Hospice and is eager to work with her in this executive role. She has both the personal and professional qualities and experience to lead our organization forward during this critical time of healthcare transformation.”

Harbor Hospice is a community based, nonprofit hospice organization that served 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-eight active, trained volunteers provide patient support such as respite care and errands; grief and spiritual care; fundraising, community education and advocacy. In 2015, Harbor Hospice served 798 patients providing 32,000 days of patient care.

Michigan Department of State Employee Charged With 11 Felonies, Including Identity Theft, After Joint Investigation with Michigan State Police

LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced that a six-year employee of the Michigan Department of State was charged with 11 felonies, including identity theft.

“The vast majority of our employees are hardworking and honest, so when one person tries to cheat the system putting people at risk for their own gain, we take decisive action,” Johnson said. “I’m particularly grateful to the Michigan State Police for their partnership in this investigation.”

Lisa Brown-Quinn, 38, was suspended from her job at a Westland branch office during the investigation. She was arraigned today in the 18th District Court in Westland with:

• One count of using computers to commit a crime
• Two counts of conspiracy to commit identity theft
• Two counts of conspiracy to commit motor vehicle code offenses
• Three counts of identity theft
• Three counts of falsifying applications for a driver’s license

The charges come after Johnson’s Office of Investigative Services learned that an employee was alleged to have assisted a customer in obtaining a driver’s license in someone else’s name.

The investigation was referred to the Michigan State Police who built a case and worked with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to bring charges. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17 with a preliminary exam scheduled for Nov. 22. Bond was set at $5,000.

Since 2011, Johnson has made consumer protection a top priority, launching the Office of Investigative Services in 2014 to inspect and regulate automotive-related businesses, and investigate potential fraud involving Department of State programs. Just last week, one of its investigations led to charges against a salvage vehicle inspector accused of pocketing $170,100 in vehicle fees and forging documentation needed to qualify a vehicle for a Michigan rebuilt salvage title. The office has heightened the department’s protection of the public with the closing of 30 unlicensed or shady repair facilities and 18 dishonest car dealers. In addition, cooperative efforts between OIS and Michigan law enforcement over the past 10 months have led to 113 investigations being turned over to law enforcement for criminal review and potential prosecution.

Residents may contact the OIS to report suspected fraud involving the Michigan Department of State at 517-335-0991.

Ask Dr. Universe – Planet Earth

Why does the Earth spin?
–Morven, 8, Dundee, Scotland; Judith, 9, Sabah, Malaysia; Mara, 11, USA

Dear Morven, Judith, and Mara:

No matter how still we stand, or if we’re in Scotland, Malaysia, or the United States, we are always spinning. Our Earth spins at a constant, very fast speed as we make a trip around the sun.

But it’s not just the Earth that spins, said my friend Guy Worthey, an astronomy professor at Washington State University. The moon, the sun, and almost all the other planets spin, too.

Your question actually has a lot to do with our early solar system. Scientists think the solar system started out as a kind of giant pancake, Worthey said.

Not like a pancake you’d eat for breakfast, of course. It was more like a giant pancake-shaped cloud of gas and dust. The pancake was a unit, with all parts of it spinning in the same direction, Worthey explained.

“When the planets started to form out of this big mass of gas, they shared not only the same mix of material, but also a sense of spin,” he said. “Like little whirlpools in a bigger whirlpool.”

The Earth has been spinning for billions of years, but it’s also been slowing down ever so slightly. Some scientists are interested in tracking this, too. They’ve found that the spin slows just a fraction of a second each year. If the Earth keeps this up, it would take trillions of years before it ever stopped spinning,

The length of a year, 365.24219 days, which is how long it takes the earth to travel in a huge circle around the sun, is not changing very much. The length of a year is different depending on how a planet orbits in a huge circle around the sun.

Our Earth spins around on its axis, a kind of imaginary pole that runs through the planet from north to south. The Earth spins all the way around its pole to make one complete turn each day, or 24 hours.

But if you were to visit Venus, one day would last as long as 243 Earth days. Venus spins much slower than Earth. Scientists think that an object might have hit Venus and knocked it around a bit after the solar system formed, slowing its rotation. Uranus is another planet that spins in its own unique way. It’s got an unusual tilt that makes it spin on its side.

Our Earth also has a tilt. As it spins, it doesn’t sit upright on its axis. The imaginary pole that runs through the middle sits at an angle of 23.5 degrees compared to solar system north. This tilt makes it so that some parts of the planet get different seasons.

It’s exciting to know curious cats from all around our world are stopping to wonder about our Earth’s spin. Now, let me spin a question back to you. No matter how still we stand, we are spinning. But perhaps you’ve noticed you aren’t getting dizzy or flying off the planet. Why might that be? Send me your thoughts at

Dr. Universe

Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Submit your own question at

New Race Director

Meet the New Mercy Health Seaway Run/Lake Michigan Half Marathon Race Director!

MUSKEGON — The Mercy Health Seaway Run/Lake Michigan Half Marathon, one of Michigan’s most scenic and most popular runs, has a new Race Director for 2017! Andrew Buikema will be replacing Joe Doyle, who has resigned after helping to grow the event over the past four years.

“We will miss Joe, who has played a key role in the rapid and successful growth of this historical community event, but are excited to have Andrew join us this year.” said event co-chairs, Chris Burnaw and Mike Workman. “Andrew’s involvement in the running community, including participation in local running groups and working with regional races, will help us continue to make our event a great experience for all of our participants, from beginners to elite.”

andrewBuikema has been a volunteer and a participant with the Mercy Health Seaway Run/Lake Michigan Half Marathon for several years. He speaks proudly of his wife and two children also being involved in the running community – all are enthusiastic runners. Buikema has completed 20 half marathons and 5 marathons to date, serving as a pacer in the 5/3 River Bank Run, Rivertown Half Marathon, Chicago Spring Half Marathon and Grand Rapids Full and Half Marathons. He has coordinated the pacers for the Charleviox Half/Full Marathon and Rivertown Half Marathon, and will be working with Gazelle Sports to coordinate pacers for the 5/3 Riverbank Run in 2017.

With courses that take advantage of the beautiful shorelines of Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake, the Mercy Health Seaway Run has been a favorite of runners from across Michigan and beyond for over three decades. By creating a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, the Mercy Health Seaway Run celebrates healthy living and a healthy community with events for all ages and abilities, with thousands of participants running and walking! The Lake Michigan Half Marathon is now an established part of the event, with a unique name for this course that showcases our beautiful Lake Michigan.

“The community has supported the Seaway Run for over three decades,” said race organizers. “We hope to see more people than ever join us for this healthy and fun community event in 2017 – with three distances and the option to run or walk, there really is something for everyone.”

Participants in all events will be able to register online quickly and easily at Watch for online registration to open on November 28 with a special Cyber Monday deal! Proceeds from the event benefit the 1 in 21 Healthy Muskegon County initiative and Muskegon Family YMCA healthy community programs. Connect with the event on Facebook at and on Twitter @seawayrun.

About 1 in 21:
Launched by the Muskegon Rotary Club in 2011, the vision of 1 in 21 is that Muskegon County will be the healthiest County in Michigan by 2021, because a healthy community is the foundation for academic achievement and economic prosperity. To learn more, visit

About the Muskegon Family YMCA:
The mission of the Muskegon Family YMCA is to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. To learn more, visit

About Mercy Health
Mercy Health is a regional multi-campus health care system serving West Michigan and the lakeshore with five hospital campuses, more than 60 physician offices, more than 1,300 medical staff physicians, more than 800 hospital beds and 7,200 colleagues, and hospice, home health and long-term care service offerings. Mercy Health Physician Partners, our multi-specialty physician network, employs more than 500 physicians and advanced practice professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and the lakeshore. Mercy Health, part of Trinity Health – the nation’s second-largest Catholic Health System – is committed to being a trusted health partner for life, transforming the communities we serve, by providing high-quality care that is the most accessible, compassionate and personalized in West Michigan. Visit us at, Facebook, Twitter at @MercyHealthWM and LinkedIn.

Fruitport Charter Township Board Meeting Agenda – 11/28/16



  1. Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Board Minutes: 10/24/16 Regular Meeting
  4. Approve / Amend Agenda
  5. Correspondence / Reports
  6. Public Comments Regarding Agenda Items
  1. Unfinished Business
  2. New Business
    A. Presentation by Attorney Nolan- Elected District Court Judge
    B. Resolution for Trustee Nash
    C. Resolution for Clerk Hulka
    D. Consider Appointments to Committees and Boards
    E. Consider Wastewater Appointments
    F. Consider West Michigan Regional Water Authority Board
    G. Informational Meeting 12-10-16
    H. Consider Asset Management Plan
    I. District Library Agreement
    J. Budget Amendments
    K. Approval of Requirements for Director of Public Utilities
    L. Vandenberg/Summit Water Main
    M. Approval of Sale of Space Heaters from Fire Department
    N. Closed Session to consider Township attorney’s written opinion, exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act
  1. Approval of Bills
  2. Reports
  3. Public Comments
  4. Adjournment

The Township will provide necessary reasonable aids and services for this meeting to individuals with disabilities by writing or telephoning the following Township Clerk: Andrea Anderson, Fruitport Township Hall, 5865 Airline Road, Fruitport, MI 49415 (231) 865-3151