Monthly Archives: December 2017

West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic – Precious Patient Portraits

puppyhug

The staff can’t resist doting upon our patients every day, and some of them stop wiggling long enough to take pretty cute pictures! Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the patients of WMSNC.

 

kitty

Spay It Forward

Would you like to make a lasting difference in the lives of a pet, their owner, and the community? Consider Spaying It Forward by sponsoring another animal’s surgery costs with a donation of $90. Simply call or stop in to arrange your donation.

Donations are tax-refundable, and receipts will be provided. 

 

petcokitties

We would like to thank Petco Foundation for recently awarding us with a generous grant. This money will allow us to reach more pets in need, and provide the gift that keeps on giving- spay and neuter!

SOS Starts Ignition on CARS Project

New effort begins to modernize computer system for customers

 Secretary of State staff are celebrating the recent launch of the new effort to modernize the office’s computer system that will bring more efficient, convenient service to customers across Michigan, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today.

The new effort, called Customer and Automotive Records System (CARS), will create a modern computer system, replacing the antiquated legacy mainframe-based system that dates to the late 1960s. The legacy system is programmed with a computer language that is no longer taught, and is costly to maintain and update.

“The people of Michigan and Secretary of State staff deserve better than the out-of-date computer system we have,” Johnson said. “Now we are moving forward with our partner FAST Enterprises to make a much-improved system a reality. FAST has a proven record of success launching similar projects on time and on budget for many other state motor-vehicle agencies.”

The CARS Project will combine Michigan’s millions of driver and vehicle records into one integrated customer record system that updates in real time, replacing multiple, separate systems that don’t effectively transfer customer-record updates among themselves.

All of the information in the new system will be quickly accessible by an office staff member with a single search. Even correspondence that has been sent to each customer will be part of their record.

The improvement in technology will pave the way for more self-service options for customers, such as ordering license plates online, and for faster, less resource-intensive programming when there are legislative changes that affect the department. CARS will also help the department move to electronic records and to eliminate paperwork for customers.

FAST Enterprises, the vendor for the project, has launched 10 motor-vehicle systems in eight states and is the only company nationally that has successfully completed legacy modernization projects for motor-vehicle agencies in more than one state. In each of those states, the company delivered on time and on budget. The company is taking its existing software package and tailoring it to Michigan’s needs.

CARS is expected to be implemented fully within five years. The first half of the project will involve converting vehicle records over to the new system and implementing it. Then, the same will be done for driver records.

Ottawa County Road Commission – Snowplow Roadeo

Road Commission Employees Prepare for Winter at The 2017 Snowplow Roadeo

roadeoRoad Commission employees participated in the Annual Snowplow Roadeo on October 11th. The event is hosted by the Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Public Works Association and representatives from Road Commissions, MDOT, and Public Works Departments from around the state participated. The event included contests for “Pride of the Fleet”, “Innovative Ideas”, and a snowplow driving course. The Roadeo also provided seminars on best practices for supervisors and drivers, as well as presentations from leaders in the industry on current trends and innovations for tackling the snow season.

The event is a great way for public organizations to collaborate, compete, and learn from each other in preparation for winter. It is one of the many ways in which the OCRC prepares for the snowplowing season.The snowplow truck, with fabrications from Road Commission staff, and the plow blade painted by local high school students won Pride of the Fleet. The Innovative Idea was an invention that helps make loading and unloading trucks more efficient through modifications to the tailgate, which will help Road Commission workers year-round.

Events, like the Snowplow Roadeo, are a great way to demonstrate the hard work and innovation of Ottawa County Road Commission staff, as well as learn from other agencies.

Preparing for Winter at 2017 Snowplow Roadeo!

roadeoprepDrivers from Road Commissions and Public Works Departments from across the state practiced and competed in a snow plow driving course.

 

 

 


guyandplowOCRC Equipment Supervisor, Randy Nagelkirk, stands next to the Road Commission’s winning entry for “Innovative Idea”.

 

 

 

 


plowpicsOCRC’s winning entry for “Pride of the Fleet”

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 12/11/17- 01/04/2018

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau
www.visitmuskegon.org

Planetarium Christmas Show:
Mystery of the Christmas Star
Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:00 pm – 7:35 pm *FREE
November 2 – December 14, come to Carr-Fless Planetarium at Muskegon Community College for the Christmas show, “Mystery of the Christmas Star!”  This modern look at the Christmas story is an annual favorite.  As we look at significant astronomical events visible in the sky in the time of Jesus’ birth, we’ll see which of the “sky signs” was remarkable enough to have caused the Wise Men to travel over 600 miles through the desert from Babylon to Bethlehem, and investigate possible dates for the sighting of the “star” which lead them to Jesus.  This is a 35-minute presentation. For more information, call (231) 777-0289.

KWANZAA
Through December 30, 2:30pm-5:30pm
James Jackson African American Museum *FREE
This is FREE for everyone at the James Jackson African American Museum across from the Muskegon Heights City Hall. 7 East Center St. For more information call 231-739-9500

Santa at the Library
December 11 – December 14 *FREE
Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit all nine branches of Muskegon Area District Library to meet boys and girls of all ages!  Bring the whole family and start your holiday season with stories, crafts and, of course, Santa!  Don’t forget your camera.  You won’t want to miss this free photo opportunity.
Monday, December 11
10:30am Muskegon Township Branch: 231-760-4329
6:00pm   Montague Branch: 231-893-2675
Thursday, December 14
4:00pm   Dalton Branch: 231-828-4188

The Muskegon Area District Library is a public library system with ten branch locations.  It serves 105,000 residents of 20 municipalities, comprising most of Muskegon County.  Serving the community six days a week, the Muskegon Area District Library offers programs, library services and life-long learning for county residents.  For more information about events at any branch library please contact the branch library directly.  For more information contact pr.info@madl.org, or 231 737-6248.

Indoor Farmers’ Market
Dec-April @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Muskegon Farmers Market, 242 W. Western Ave.
The Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to come inside their warm barn and shop this winter!  They’re open every Saturday from 9:00am – 2:00pm through April.  They will be closed Saturday, December 30.  For more information, call (231) 722-3251.

Music at the Library: Folias Duo
December 11 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hackley Library, 316 W. Webster Ave. *FREE
Come to Hackley Library for FREE live music from Folias Duo!  American Record Guide calls the Folias Flute and Guitar Duo “daring in self written music.”  Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this unique performer/composer duo was founded in 2003 by husband and wife Carmen Maret and Andrew Bergeron.  In performance, Folias combines their classical music training, their experience as tango dancers and bandleaders, their love of Astor Piazzolla and their knowledge of the jazz idiom.  They have performed in concert halls, clubs and for tango events across the United States, in Europe and in Argentina.  Folias’ four critically acclaimed albums on the Blue Griffin Recording label feature their work together as collaborative composers and arrangers. For more information, visit www.hackleylibrary.org.

Movies at the Library: La La Land
December 12 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave. *FREE
Join Hackley library to see a free showing of the film “La La Land” (PG-13)!  Bring your own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.  This original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing dreams. The movie runs 128 minutes.  Brought to you through the generosity of the Friends of Hackley Library.  For more information, visit www.hackleylibrary.org.

Minecraft at the Museum
December 12 @ 4:30 pm – December 13 @ 7:00 pm
Lakeshore Museum Center
Minecraft at the Museum is back!  December 12 and 13, the Lakeshore Museum Center challenges all Minecraft players to come to the museum and test their discovering and crafting skills.  Players will search the museum to find as many resources as they can, then craft them to get all the supplies they need to navigate their way through the nether!  Whether you are new to Minecraft at the Museum, or have tested your skills with them in the past, there is something for everyone! Choose either the 4:30pm or 6:00pm session.  You can register online using PayPal or call the museum at 231-722-0278 to pay over the phone.  The cost is $7 for the general public, or $5 for museum members.  This is recommended for ages 6 and older.  There is no cost for an accompanying adult.

It’s Gonna Get “Ugly” at the Norton Shores Library!
December 13 @ 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Norton Shores Library, 705 Seminole Rd. *FREE
It’s gonna get “ugly” at the Norton Shores Library as they host their annual ugly holiday sweater contest. In a fun-spirited holiday tradition, voting for the ugliest Christmas sweater worn by a Norton Shores Library staff member could win you a surprise. Stop by and choose your favorite or vote on the Muskegon Area District Library’s Facebook page. 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 just for fun! This program, funded by the Friends of the Norton Shores Library, is free and open to the public with no registration required.  For additional information, contact Alison Purgiel, lead librarian, at 231-780-8844 or apurgiel@madl.org.

Make Quill Paper Snowflakes
December 13 @ 6:30 pm
Norton Shores Library, 705 Seminole Rd. *FREE
You’re invited to the Norton Shores Library to create Quilled Paper Snowflakes!  Quilling, also called paper filigree, originated in Europe more than five hundred years ago.  It involves rolling and combining strips of paper into highly detailed designs. Create a few beautiful quilled snowflakes that can work as ornaments, gift tags or simple but delicate seasonal decorations.  This program, funded by the Friends of the Norton Shores Library, is free and open to the public ages 18 and up, with registration required.  For additional information or to register, contact Alison Purgiel, lead librarian, at 231-780-8844 or apurgiel@madl.org

Opening Reception and Lecture: Sarah Wagner
December 14 @ 5:30pm-7:30pm
Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 West Webster Avenue
You’re invited to the Muskegon Museum of Art for the opening reception of “Vegetable Lamb of America: The Art of Sarah Wagner!” Sarah sculpts in wood and fabric, creating animals and environments that address the fragility and resilience of Nature and humanity’s impact on its surroundings. Support for Sarah Wagner: Vegetable Lamb of America has been provided by MMA Michigan Artist Series Media Sponsor Blue Lake Public Radio.  This event is free and open to the public with the reception beginning at 5:30pm, followed by a lecture by Sarah Wagner at 7:00pm.  For more information, call 231-720-2570

West Michigan Symphony Presents: Celtic Christmas
December 15 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Admission ranges from $10 – $57
Come to the Frauenthal Center as the West Michigan Symphony presents Celtic Christmas! Scott Speck, conductor Guest Artist – Cathie Ryan, vocals WMS Children‘s Choir Irish vocalist Cathie Ryan and her band return to the West Michigan Symphony with a program she has created us, reflecting her Celtic roots in a wide array of holiday works.  Ring in the holidays with Ryan, the West Michigan Symphony orchestra and the West Michigan Symphony Children’s Choir as they bring traditional, popular and Irish-themed music of the season to West Michigan.  For more information, call 231-726-3231.

Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
December 15 & 16 @ 7:00 pm
955 Fourth St., downtown Muskegon
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud and dedicated members of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States, for five years running! Catch a home game, Friday, December 15 and Saturday December 16 at 7:15pm as the Jacks take on Chicago Steel at the L.C. Walker Arena. Purchase tickets by calling 231-724-5225.

Movies at the Library: Polar Express
December 16 @ 12:30 pm
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave.*FREE
Hop on “The Polar Express” and discover the magic of the season at Hackley Public Library!  The kids will love this animated holiday favorite starring Tom Hanks while keeping warm with hot chocolate and plenty of festive activities!  For more information, call (231) 722-8000.

Reindeer!
December 16 @ 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Lawn of Hackley Administration Building *FREE
Hackley Public Library invites you to meet them on the lawn of the Hackley Administration Building to learn all about reindeer!  Does Rudolph really have a red nose?  Can reindeer actually fly?  The only way you’ll find out is if you meet these visiting reindeer in person! For more information, call 231-722-8000. This is a FREE event for everyone!

Muskegon Center for the Arts
Red Lotus Gallery: Open Mic Night
December 16 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Red Lotus Gallery, 356 W. Western Ave. *FREE
The Muskegon Center for the Arts presents Open Mic Night at the Red Lotus Gallery every third Saturday of the month from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.  If you have a love for the stage and can perform an activity such as music, theater, 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.  For more information, find them on Facebook.

The Block: Cathie Ryan – Irish Folk Music
December 16 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
The Block, 360 W. Western Ave. 2nd Floor
Come to The Block for Irish folk music from Cathie Ryan!  Cathie and her band follow a Friday evening holiday concert with the West Michigan Symphony with an evening of Irish folk music. Admission is $10-$25. Join Cathie as she warms up West Michigan with heartfelt lyrics, beloved ballads and traditional tunes of the Emerald Isle.  Call 231-726-3231 x223 for tickets and more information.  Doors and bar open at 6:15pm and the concert begins at 7:00 pm.

West Michigan Lake Hawks Home Game
December 16 @ 5:00 pm
Reeths-Puffer HS Rocket Centre 1545 N. Roberts Rd.
The West Michigan Lake Hawks strive to provide a professional level of sports entertainment and to enrich the lives of student athletes.  Home games are played at Reeths-Puffer High School.  Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and season passes are $90 which saves you 25%.  Ages 4 and under are free.  Call 231-769-9617 for group sales. Catch their game Saturday, December 16 at 5:00pm as they take on the Chicago Fury!

Holiday Brunch with Santa at SE4SONS
December 17 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
SE4SONS Banquet Center, 2801 Lakeshore Drive
Sunday, December 17 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, bring the family to SE4SONS for a holiday brunch with Santa!  It will be a fun filled day of great food, holiday crafts and family!  This is a fun event for all involved and the public is welcome!  The cost is $27 for adults, kids 5-12 are $1 and 4 & under are free!  Please make your reservations ahead of time by calling 231-755-3737.  Spaces will fill up fast!

Lessons and Carols
December 17 @ 5:00 pm
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1006 3rd St. Muskegon
Everyone is welcome to attend the free concert by the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, “Lessons and Carols” at the beautiful St Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Muskegon.  For more information, call (231) 722-2112.

The Nutcracker
December 17 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Frauenthal Center, 425 W Western Ave # 200
Bring the family to the Frauenthal Theater for the “Nutcracker!”  Join Clara and her magical friends as the West Michigan Youth Ballet brings performs this timeless classic.  Want to meet Clara and the Prince?  Join them for the Nutcracker Pre-Party! The pre-Party includes a Meet & Greet with Clara and the Prince, kid’s activities and refreshments.  This event starts at 12:30pm with early admission at 1:15pm.  Tickets for the Pre-Party are only $7 and must be purchased by December 12 at the Frauenthal Center Box Office in person or by calling 231-727-8001.  Tickets for the show are $11 for youths, $21 for adults, and family tickets are $60.

West Michigan Lake Hawks Home Game
December 17 @ 5:00 pm
Reeths-Puffer HS Rocket Centre 1545 N. Roberts Rd.
The West Michigan Lake Hawks strive to provide a professional level of sports entertainment and to enrich the lives of student athletes.  Home games are played at Reeths-Puffer High School.  Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and season passes are $90 which saves you 25%.  Ages 4 and under are free.  Call 231-769-9617 for group ticket sales. Catch their game December 17 at 5:00pm as they take on the Chicago Nights!

Hackley & Hume Holiday Tours
December 26 – December 27
Hackley & Hume Historic Site, 484 W. Webster Ave.
Enjoy holiday tours of the Hackley & Hume Historic Site!  These amazing late 1890’s homes from Muskegon’s lumbering days have been decorated for the holidays with period appropriate artifacts, ornaments and more.  Special Holiday Tours will be offered on the following dates: Tuesday, December 26 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm. Wednesday, December 27 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. The cost is $5 – $7.  For more information, visit www.lakeshoremuseum.org.

Free Family Movie Day: The Princess Bride
December  27 @ 3:00 pm
Frauenthal Center, 425 W Western Ave. *FREE
Get out of the house over the holiday break for some free family fun!  Wednesday, December 27 at 3:00pm, the historic Frauenthal Center will be showing the classic fairytale, “The Princess Bride” (PG). This beloved classic fairytale begins with a grandfather reading his favorite book to his hard-to-impress grandson.  This book, he promises, has everything – “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles.” – and all that he promised comes to life before the boy’s enchanted eyes as his grandfather reads him the adventures of Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in the world, and Westley, the man she loves. This film is free and no tickets are required.  Concessions will be available for purchase.  For more information, call 231-727-8001. Have extra coats, mittens, hats or scarves you would like to donate?  The Frauenthal Center will be running their annual coat drive and donating them to a local charity!  The donation box is in the Frauenthal Center lobby now through December 22.

Pomander Make and Take
December 28 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Lakeshore Museum Center
Stop by the Lakeshore Museum Center for a Make & Take Open House between 11:00am – 2:00pm to create your own Pomander (also known as cloved orange) to add the smell of the holidays to your home or share with a friend!  There is a $2 cost per craft for supplies. The pomander is a traditional Christmas ornament and New Year’s gift.  The word pomander comes from French pomme (which means apple, also the root of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits, and pommel, the decorative hilt of a word or dagger) and ambre.  Ambre derives from either ambergris, an early perfume ingredient or another one of its meanings: golden in color.  For more information, call 231-722-0278.

Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
December 29 @ 7:00 pm
955 Fourth St., downtown Muskegon
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud and dedicated members of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States, for five years running! Catch the home game tonight at 7:15pm as the Jacks take on Team USA at the L.C. Walker Arena. Purchase tickets by calling 231-724-5225. It’s also Youth Hockey Camp night!!

Best New Year’s Eve Family Party in Muskegon!
December 31
Northway Lanes, 1751 Evanston Ave. Muskegon
If your family is looking for fun things to do in Muskegon New Years’ Eve 2017, come to Northway Lanes to enjoy a two hour Ultra Cosmic bowling experience, prize giveaways, and party favors while you feast on a taco and pizza buffet with soda. It’s great family interaction featuring music, food, bowling, party favors, and prizes. $74.95 per family with all you can eat pizza. There is an early bird evening beginning at 5:00pm. Call now to sign up 231-767-BOWL

New Year’s Eve Celebration
December 31 9:00pm – 1:00am
Shoreline Inn & Conference Center
750 Terrace Point Dr.
Make plans to spend your New Year’s Eve at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center!  There’ll be live music from Pop Fiction, an open bar from 9:00pm – 1:00am, a midnight toast and balloon drop.  Their special New Year’s Eve packages also include overnight accommodations for two, champagne upon arrival, a gourmet dinner buffet and breakfast, as well as midnight snacks and appetizers.  Packages start at $339 + tax.  For reservations, call 231-727-8483.

Magic of Motown New Year’s Eve
December 31 @ 6:00 pm
513 W. Pontaluna
Relive the Magic of Motown on New Year’s Eve at Bella Maria’s beginning at 6:00pm, December 31!  The awesome buffet will include Prime Rib, Shrimp, Chicken, Cod Florentine and so much more!  There will also be an extensive dessert buffet, Champagne toast at midnight and one of the best review shows in Michigan, Danielle Cosby and the Motown Review!  Tickets are $75.00 per person.  For tickets or more information, call 231-563-6914.

New Year’s Eve Ballroom Bash
December 31
Holiday Inn & Conference Center Downtown Muskegon, 939 Third St., Muskegon
Ring in the New Year at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center in Downtown Muskegon! Ballroom packages include: Overnight accommodations Champagne upon arrival Dinner Buffet Open Bar from 9:00pm – 1:00am Balloon Drop Champagne Toast and Midnight Snacks Breakfast Buffet New Year’s Day Late Check-out of 1:00pm Live Entertainment:  Westside Soul Surfers. Photo Booth with Props. Packages start at $279.99 + tax.  Make your reservations today by calling 231-722-0100.

Planetarium Show: Faster than Light!
The Dream of Interstellar Flight
January 1, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 7:35 pm *FREE
January 1 – March 29 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, come to Carr-Fles Planetarium for “Faster than Light!  The Dream of Interestellar Flight!”  The impulse to strike out into the unknown, to see what’s over the horizon is as old as humanity. Scientists now believe that our galaxy is filled with solar systems, including up to 9 billion Sun-like stars with planets similar to Earth.  Astronomers are racing to find habitable worlds, including any that might exist in the neighborhood of our Sun.  But if we find one, how will we ever get there?  How long will it take?  What rocket designs might one day conquer the voids of space?  Faster Than Light! The Dream of Interstellar Flight will dazzle audiences with virtual rides aboard spacecraft of the future.  This is a 35-minute presentation. (The campus will be closed March 6 and March 8 for College Spring Break)  For more information, call (231) 777-0289.

Please check our website www.visitmuskegon.org for a complete listing of events!

Six-Month Passport Rule

Six-month passport rule may prevent people from traveling internationally
contributed by Executive Travel (executivetravel.com)

Many people I talk to are not aware that a lot of foreign countries do not let you into their country if you have less than six months left before your passport expires. This is called the six-month rule and is quite common in many countries around the world. Please take the time if you are traveling in the next 12 months to check your passport to see that it does not expire within six months of your expected travel, otherwise you might be faced with the unfortunate circumstances of missing your flight. This is another great reason to use a professional travel advisor who will keep your passport information and advise you when it needs to be renewed.

Identifying HWA – Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

You can identify Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) by looking for a white woolly substance found on the base of the needles. This woolly substance is actually a mass of eggs.

HWA close up

These small adelgid insects suck on the sap of hemlock trees causing a tree to slowly lose its vigor over time. As the insect continues to feed and spread throughout a tree, the needles will turn gray and begin to shed. From a distance, a tree will look very stressed and unhealthy as its foliage thins out and bare branches are exposed. Over time, severely infested trees will die.

Close-up photo from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

 

Michigan’s Safe Delivery Law Continues to Save Babies’ Lives

On Monday the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that the 200th infant has been surrendered under Michigan’s Safe Delivery of Newborns Act since 2001.

Michigan’s Safe Delivery law allows mothers to legally and confidentially surrender unharmed newborns to emergency service providers up to 72 hours after birth. An emergency service provider is defined as an on-duty employee of a fire department, hospital or police station.

The law was passed in response to a disturbing trend of young mothers abandoning their newborn babies in a number of dangerous places, leading to their tragic death.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Some of these 200 infants would have ended up facing tragic fates. This prolife law has given them a chance at life along with the beautiful opportunity to be adopted into loving families.”

The Act was originally championed by State Representative Patty Birkholz and passed the Michigan Legislature by unanimous votes. It was signed into law in 2000 by Governor John Engler. In 2006 the act was updated to include responding emergency medical technicians and paramedics as emergency service providers.

Listing said, “Continuing to publicly talk about this law is critical to make sure the abandonment trend doesn’t happen again. We need to help our young women and teens be better informed about this law.”

Additional educational and promotional materials about the Safe Delivery law can be found on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website.

Ask Dr. Universe – Ant Headaches

Dear Dr. Universe: I have a question for you about ants. From what I searched on Google, an ant has a nervous system, blood, open circular system, muscles, and a brain. So, Dr. Universe, the question is, do ants or other insects get headaches? Cause they work hard.
–Joseph, 14, Singapore

Dear Joseph,
If you’ve ever had a headache, it might have felt like pain was radiating right out of your brain.

Curious about how exactly headaches happen, I visited my friend Samantha Gizerian. She’s a brain scientist at Washington State University.

It turns out the brain doesn’t have sensors or receptor cells for pain. It’s the reason a lot of patients can be awake and even talk during brain surgery.

Headaches most often happen when sensors or receptor cells in your skin, head or neck, send a message to the brain. There, the brain helps you translate the message into a feeling of pain.
It happens with the help of the central nervous system, the network of your brain, spinal cord, and a whole lot of nerves in your body. It’s all part of what allows you to sense your world.

You’ve done some great research in finding out that the humans and insects have some similar anatomy. Of course, there’s also quite a lot of differences. Insects do not have pain receptors like we do.

Even though they don’t have these same receptors, there’s still the question of whether they experience pain or some kind of headache. Good science takes collaboration, so I also visited fellow scientist Jenny Glass. She’s a scientist at WSU who studies insects.

She explained that while insects don’t have these particular kinds of pain receptors, they do respond to things in their environment with touch, smell, taste, vision, and chemical signals.

Some insects scurry or roll away from whatever might be harming them. It’s often an automatic response that helps them survive.

Many studies have shown that insects are capable of learning from their experiences. They know to avoid certain situations that might be harmful.

Glass explained that there are still a lot of questions when it comes to whether or not this response or learning translates to feeling pain, effort, or injury. The research doesn’t yet have a clear answer.

“But Joseph is onto something as many scientists are looking into the consciousness, or awareness, of insects and other animals,” Glass said.

Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be a scientist who helps us investigate big questions like this one. In fact, continuing to explore this question might just change the way some of us think about ants and other animals. Either way, we can all agree, you ask a very compassionate question.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

Fruitport Township Board Meeting Agenda – 12/11/17

AGENDA
FRUITPORT CHARTER TOWNSHIP BOARD OF TRUSTEES
FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP HALL
5865 AIRLINE ROAD, FRUITPORT, MI 49415

DECEMBER 11, 2017

6:30 P.M. WORK SESSION
7:00 P.M. BOARD MEETING

01. Pledge of Allegiance
02. Roll call
03. Approval of board minutes: 11/13/2017
04. Approve / amend agenda
05. Correspondence / reports
06. Public comments regarding agenda items

07. Unfinished Business
none

08. New Business
A. Re-appointment of Fruitport District Library Board trustees

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

Ottawa County Road Commission – Snowplow Safety

Seven Snowplow Safety Tips

plowingWinter in Ottawa County usually means lots of snow, and that means snowplows on the road to help keep them clear of snow and ice. The Road Commission wants to keep everyone safe on the road, and so here are seven tips for this winter:

1. Always give snowplows plenty of room on the road. It’s best not to drive next to a plow, or too close behind it. Visibility is limited for snowplow drivers.

2. Don’t park your car on the side of the road or on the shoulder. This can limit the snowplow driver’s ability to clear the road.

3. Make sure your children don’t wait too close to the edge of the road for the school bus. In the mornings, especially during a snowstorm, snowplow driver’s sight is limited and small children in the road can be hard to see. Also, snowplows push up a lot of snow, so make sure your children stay back from the edge of the road.

4. Never play in or leave items in roadside piles of snow.

5. Since snowplows push snow to the right, pile snow on the right-hand side of your driveway (looking towards the road). This will help reduce the amount of snow that can be pushed back into your driveway.

6. When placing your garbage can, don’t place it on the street. When shoveling out your driveway, dig out a spot for your garbage can that is clear from the road.

7. Remember to be patient and drive safely during winter storms. The Road Commission clears the highest volume roads first. Consequently, during major snow events some local roads can take longer to be plowed. Drive cautiously on all roads with ice or snow.

If you follow these tips, you can help keep the roads clear and safe for everyone.

Watch For Green Lights!

greenlightsChanges to Michigan law in 2016 allowed for municipalities and Road Commissions to use green lights on their maintenance vehicles. OCRC has been transitioning its trucks to have green flashing lights. Green lights on the road, especially during the winter, are a signal to slow down and be careful of snow plows. You can read more about the decision to switch to green lights HERE.

Fruitport Conservation Club

The Fruitport Conservation Club(FCC), located at 5373 E. Sternberg Rd, continues to grow amidst the community.  Boasting a healthy 2017 membership of nearly 800 members. FCC offers two trap fields, a 100 yard rifle and pistol range, and a 3-D archery course. The trap fields are open every Thursday night and the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. Wednesday night Pistol meets weekly from April through October and on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month in January through March. The archery course is open from July through September offering thirty 3-D targets. These events are open to the public.

FCC is much more than just a gun range. We offer CPL classes as well as advanced gun safety courses. We are home to the 4H youth shooting events. February 24th will be our annual youth rabbit and squirrel derby, which gets our local youth involved with hunting and teaches them Hunter ethics and  safety.

Our annual fundraiser banquet was held in September, and as always, was a huge success. Thank you to all of our volunteers who make this yearly event possible. Planning for next year‘s banquet has already begun. If you are interested in volunteering please contact us.

As FCC continues to grow and thrive as a nonprofit organization, we feel it necessary to give back to our community. This year to date, we have given six scholarships to local, college-bound students totaling $5000. In addition, $5000 was donated to the Village of Fruitport, towards the renovation project at Pomona Park. FCC also purchased new American flags to be flown at the Fruitport  public safety building(Airline Rd) and the US 31 and I-96 intersections. Donations were also made for the Make-A-Wish foundation and for two chartered boat trips for our local veterans.

With 2018 just around the corner, FCC will continue to grow and improve.. If you have an interest in becoming a member of our organization or would like to attend any of the scheduled events, visit www.fruitportcc.com or find us on Facebook.

Wishing everyone a safe and successful hunting season and a blessed holiday season, your friends at the Fruitport Conservation Club.

Conferences & Meetings at the Frauenthal

Whether you need to host an event for hundreds or only require enough space for a modest business meeting, the Frauenthal Center can provide excellent accommodations for ALL!

Frauenthal Theater- This beautiful historic theater provides a unique and memorable venue for your business meeting. It may be used for full size-conferences, intimate on-stage events, receptions or meetings of all sizes. Capacity: 150 seated on stage, 1,708 theater seating.

Beardsley Theater – An intimate theater with comfortable seating for your presentation or meeting. It may be used for conferences, break-out sessions or seminars. Capacity: 30 seated on stage, 169 theater seating.

The Ballroom – An ideal space for receptions, conferences, meetings, break-out sessions or celebration parties. Capacity: 275, Half Ballroom: 150

Reception Gallery – Features monthly art exhibits showcasing West Michigan professional artists. This inviting space is perfect for special events, meetings, break-out sessions or trade shows. Capacity: 225, May be divided into separate meeting spaces or conference rooms.

The Boardroom – Perfect for offsite retreats, meetings, break-out sessions or presentations. Capacity: 25

For more information or to set up a tour please contact Heather Hansen, Event Manager, heather@frauenthal.org or 231.332.4114

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant Awarded to Help Eradicate Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in West Michigan

In October, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) a $600,000 grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

WMSRDC will partner with its West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) partners, which includes Ottawa County Parks, to launch efforts to control and eradicate Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), a devastating invasive species now established in Michigan that has damaged forests along the east coast over the past decade.

Distribution data from Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) will be used to begin treatments, but grant funds will be used to survey and record other infestations throughout Lake Michigan’s coastal zone. The project also includes outreach and education for public and private landowners; effective data management; early detection, rapid response and treatment of infested sites.

“The Eastern Hemlock tree plays a crucial role in the forests in Michigan. Hemlock trees are long-lived and provide habitat for a large variety of birds and animals, offering both shelter and forage. The heavy shade given by hemlock trees keep the forest temperatures lower and rivers and streams cooler, which allows for more robust fisheries,” said Kathy Evans an Environmental Program Manager at WMSRDC.

Stand of hemlocks at Port Sheldon Natural Area in Holland, MI

Stand of hemlocks at Port Sheldon Natural Area in Holland, MI

In 2016, eradication efforts led by CISMA and Ottawa County Parks transitioned from a few contained escapes from nursery stock to a more widespread problem. “After speaking with biologists from the east coast, there are many factors that lead us to believe that early efforts can contain the infestation and prevent the major loss of forest, but immediate action must occur if we are to remain optimistic,” said Melanie Manion, Ottawa County Parks.

See video of Allison Kanoti, a forest entomologist with Maine’s Forest Service presented at the Ottawa County Parks Nature Education Center at a public meeting in March. 

The effort to slow the spread of the HWA and protect stands of hemlock trees will strengthen Michigan’s natural forest ecosystem. The loss of the hemlock tree would increase the effects of climate change by allowing the forest temperatures to rise, which would be detrimental to wildlife, as well as the beauty of our natural forests. It would also adversely affect the outdoor recreation economy, especially in northern Michigan. Source: MSU Extension

Public outreach and education will be conducted in Oceana, Muskegon, Ottawa, and Allegan Counties in an attempt to obtain information on additional infested trees. New sites that are discovered through outreach efforts will be recorded and inspected. The outreach campaign will also educate the public about the spread of HWA by birds at bird feeders and infested yard waste; best practices will be taught to mitigate these modes of spread.

This grant will allow for the treatment and protection of 65,405 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline and coastal zone from the effects of HWA. It will also help to cover treatment costs for private landowners.

“Funding at this critical point, in which HWA is not yet widespread, is crucial to start the outreach and treatment,” said Evans. “In order to keep management costs low and the possibility of eradication high, the immediate initiation of control efforts is of the utmost importance. We are grateful for the support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to help contain this forest pest before it spreads across the state.”

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 12/04/17- 01/04/2018

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau
www.visitmuskegon.org

 

Planetarium Christmas Show:
Mystery of the Christmas Star
Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:00 pm – 7:35 pm

November 2 – December 14, come to Carr-Fless Planetarium at Muskegon Community College for the Christmas show, “Mystery of the Christmas Star!”  This modern look at the Christmas story is an annual favorite.  As we look at significant astronomical events visible in the sky in the time of Jesus’ birth, we’ll see which of the “sky signs” was remarkable enough to have caused the Wise Men to travel over 600 miles through the desert from Babylon to Bethlehem, and investigate possible dates for the sighting of the “star” which lead them to Jesus.  This is a 35-minute presentation. (No show on Thanksgiving Day, November 23).  For more information, call (231) 777-0289.


KWANZAA
Through December 30, 2:30pm-5:30pm
James Jackson African American Museum

This is FREE for everyone at the James Jackson African American Museum across from the Muskegon Heights City Hall. 7 East Center St. For more information call 231-739-9500


Santa at the Library
December 5 – December 14

Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit all nine branches of Muskegon Area District Library to meet boys and girls of all ages!  Bring the whole family and start your holiday season with stories, crafts and, of course, Santa!  Don’t forget your camera.  You won’t want to miss this free photo opportunity.

Tuesday, December 5
4:30pm   Muskegon Heights Branch: 231-739-6075

Saturday, December 9
10:30am Ravenna Branch: 231-853-6975
2:00pm   Norton Shores Branch: 231-780-8844

Monday, December 11
10:30am Muskegon Township Branch: 231-760-4329
6:00pm   Montague Branch: 231-893-2675

Thursday, December 14
4:00pm   Dalton Branch: 231-828-4188

The Muskegon Area District Library is a public library system with ten branch locations.  It serves 105,000 residents of 20 municipalities, comprising most of Muskegon County.  Serving the community six days a week, the Muskegon Area District Library offers programs, library services and life-long learning for county residents.  For more information about events at any branch library please contact the branch library directly.  For more information contact pr.info@madl.org, or 231 737-6248.


Last Man in Merrinsville
December 5 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hackley Library

Visit the Hackley Public Library to welcome Ray Goodwin (author of Sawdusted) with his one man play, “Last Man in Merrinsville.” It tells the story of the 30 year courtship between the station agent at a small town railroad depot and the local schoolteacher. The play is approximately 55 minutes long and admission is FREE. For more information, visit www.hackleylibrary.org.


A Celtic Christmas: Peat in the Creel
December 7 @ 7:00 pm
Norton Shores Library

Come to the Norton Shores Library for “A Celtic Christmas” featuring live music from Peat in the Creel! Enjoy traditional Irish carols along with all your holiday favorites delivered via the warm, green-hued tones of Celtic instrumentation and vocals! Peat in the Creel draws from Irish traditional music roots, at times nourished by the heritage of Scotland and broader world influences. The group’s namesake, a phrase inspired by a popular Scottish song lyric which literally wishes a basket laden with peat for fuel, metaphorically toasts to a bountiful future. Founded in 2011, the band is cut from the turf of West Michigan and enjoys performing throughout the region. Peat in the Creel features Alison Myers on flute, whistle, and vocals; Aidan Carry on fiddle; Toby Bresnahan on bouzouki, guitar, and vocals; and Mike Mulder on bodhrán. This performance is part of the MADL Thursday Night Music Club concert series, where you can join your fellow music lovers at the Norton Shores Library for free live music events. For additional information, contact Alison Purgiel, lead librarian, at 231-780-8844 or apurgiel@madl.org .


Muskegon Center for the Arts Jewelry WorkshopDecember 8 – Open Jewelry Workshop
5:30pm – 7:00pm
356 W. Western Ave., downtown Muskegon

This workshop is designed for students to gather and work on projects together. Students will bring their own materials to create jewelry with the assistance of the instructor, if needed. There will be “extra pieces” available for anyone needing that final touch or that might be missing a piece to complete their work. Students must pre-register for workshops by contacting Sabryna at registration@muskegonca.org. Tools will be available for use for all workshops, however you may bring your own if you have them. All workshops are ages 10+. Students 10-12 must be accompanied by an adult. $10 ($8 for MCA Members) Location: 356 W. Western Ave.


Friday Family Fun Night: ‘Tis the Season
December 8 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Explore the Lakeshore Museum Center located at 430 W. Clay as you celebrate the season with winter and holiday-themed crafts and science experiments! There will be activities for all age levels, so families can enjoy the museum together! This event is free for Muskegon County families and non-residents cost just $3! For more information, call (231) 722-0278.


West Michigan Concert Winds: A Disney Christmas
December 8 @ 7:00 pm

Bring the family to the Frauenthal Center for “A Disney Christmas,” presented by West Michigan Concert Winds! The winds invite you to sing along to Disney and other Christmas favorites, featuring the Leffring Sisters! Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for seniors 55 and older and free for students with an ID. Children under 18 are free with a ticketed adult. For more information, call 231-727-8001.


Follow the Star – A Live Outdoor Nativity
December 8, 9 & 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

You and yours are invited to the Central Assembly of God’s Central Youth Center for “Follow the Star,” a live outdoor Nativity located at 2620 McLaughlin. This tour to Bethlehem includes live animals, angels, shepherds, wisemen and the holy family. Guests will become part of the events surrounding the first Christmas. Tours depart every 20 minutes from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. This event is completely free to the public and no tickets or reservations are required. For more information, call 231-777-3938.


Muskegon Center for the Arts Jewelry Workshop
December 9 – Wire Wrapping II
2:30pm – 4:00pm

During this workshop, students will learn the basic skills, tools, and materials used for wrapping stones with holes in them. Each student will make one wire wrapped pendant and one ring during this session. Students must pre-register at registration@muskegonca.org. Tools will be available for use for all workshops, however you may bring your own if you have them. All workshops are ages 10+. Students 10-12 must be accompanied by an adult. $15, materials included. ($13 for MCA Members) Location of event is 356 W. Western Ave.


Heritage Home Tour
December 9 12:00-5:00
446 W. Webster Ave. (Emery House)

There are a variety of 8 homes for you to tour and enjoy the elegant beauty of the Christmas season. Tickets are $10.00 each and can be purchased at the Emery House or City Hub Cyclery at the time of the tours. Maps and locations of home will be given out at the time of purchase also. This is a fundraiser for the Nelson Neighborhood Improvement Association.


Breakfast with Santa
December 9 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Visit Santa Claus and enjoy a delicious and free pancake meal at Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 9 at the Whitehall United Methodist Church located at 117 S. Division,Whitehall. 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.


Indoor Farmers’ Market
Dec-April @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Muskegon Farmers Market, 242 W. Western Ave.

The Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to come inside their warm barn and shop this winter! They’re open every Saturday from 9:00am – 2:00pm through April. They will be closed Saturday, December 30. For more information, call (231) 722-3251.


Click Clack Ho Ho Ho
December 9 @ 10:00 am @ The Block
360 W. Western Ave., downtown Muskegon

It’s the night before Christmas and all through the farm, not a creature is stirring, not even a…duck? Farmer Brown is busy decorating his home in preparation for Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve! All seems calm in the barnyard, but Farmer Brown isn’t the only one who is getting ready! Based on the book “Click Clack Ho Ho Ho” by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, families will enjoy a live narration of this fun holiday story with graphics displayed on a 20 foot screen! The story is accompanied by original music played by professional musicians, and children will have an opportunity to help compose their own music and hear it performed. This holiday celebration has your favorite Click Clack Moosic barnyard pals, cookies and milk, and maybe even a visit by the man in the red suit! Pre-sale tickets are $5 each; families of 4 or more (same household) can get a family pass for $15. At the door on the day of the concert, single tickets are $7 and family packs are $20. Call 231-726-3231 to get your tickets today!


Local Artisans Holiday Shop
December 9 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
The Coffee Factory @ 930 Washington Ave.

Come to The Coffee Factory as they host a Local Artisan Holiday Shop! This is a chance to shop, enjoy a coffee and a treat. The holidays will be arriving soon and this will give you the opportunity to find that unique one of a kind gift for someone special. For more information, call (231) 747-9896.


Holiday Party Planning with Chef Char
December 9 @ 11:00 pm – 1:00 pm
242 Kitchen, Muskegon Farmers’ Market

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. We will construct cheese and charcuterie platters and enjoy the taste when finished!  Easy alcoholic and non-alcoholic holiday cocktail recipes will be shared as well.  The cost is $35.  For more information, call (231) 722-3251.


Visit Santa and Photo Contest
December 9 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Hot Rod Harley, 149 Shoreline Dr.

Bring your own camera to take pictures with Santa. 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. This is a FREE event. 149 Shoreline Dr., downtown Muskegon is the Harley Davidson location.


Santa Claus is Coming to Pigeon Hill Brewing
December 9 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Pigeon Hill Brewing, 500 W. Western Ave.

Santa Claus is Coming to the Pigeon Hill Brewing taproom! Bring the young ones in for a chance to meet Santa and fill him in on their Christmas wish list! There will be a photographer on site, and all photos will be emailed to you free of charge. In the spirit of giving, they are asking you to bring a bag of canned food items or a Toys-For-Tots donation to help them spread cheer throughout the community this Holiday Season. For more info., call (231) 375-5184.


The Back Alley Comedy Club Presents – Murder Mystery Night
December 9 @ 7:00 pm
Back Alley Comedy Club, 1531 W. Sherman Blvd.

Enjoy Clue style goodness that happens right in front of your table. The moment you walk through the door you will be immersed in a thrilling murder mystery experience, mingling with crazy characters and shady suspects in a game of murder you get to play! As the night continues you will get to interrogate the suspects, gather the clues, and work with your team to help our mystery experts crack the case before the killer gets away! Tickets are $40 tickets when purchased at the center or $42 online. The price includes a delicious dinner catered by Ryke’s! Pre-Show drinks and mingling starts at 7:00pm and the show begins at 8:00pm. For more information, call (231) 755-1258.


Muskegon Community College Holiday Concert
December 9 @ 7:30 pm
Frauenthal Center, 425 W Western Ave # 200

Saturday, December 9 at 7:30pm, come to the Frauenthal Center for the annual Muskegon Community College Holiday Concert featuring performances by the MCC Wind Ensemble, MCC Jazz Ensemble, College Singers, and small ensembles. Pre-concert music will be performed by the Collegiates, directed by Richard Rischar. Tickets are $7 per adult and $2 per student and may be purchased at the door or online at http://startickets.com/events/item/mcc-holiday-concert.   For more information, call 231-727-8001.


Music at the Library: Folias Duo
December 11 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hackley Library, 316 W. Webster Ave.

Come to Hackley Library for FREE live music from Folias Duo! American Record Guide calls the Folias Flute and Guitar Duo “daring in self written music.” Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this unique performer/composer duo was founded in 2003 by husband and wife Carmen Maret and Andrew Bergeron. In performance, Folias combines their classical music training, their experience as tango dancers and bandleaders, their love of Astor Piazzolla and their knowledge of the jazz idiom. They have performed in concert halls, clubs and for tango events across the United States, in Europe and in Argentina. Folias’ four critically acclaimed albums on the Blue Griffin Recording label feature their work together as collaborative composers and arrangers. For more information, visit www.hackleylibrary.org.


Movies at the Library: La La Land
December 12 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave.

Join Hackley library to see a free showing of the film “La La Land” (PG-13)! Bring your own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. This original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing dreams. The movie runs 128 minutes. Brought to you through the generosity of the Friends of Hackley Library. For more information, visit www.hackleylibrary.org.


Minecraft at the Museum
December 12 @ 4:30 pm – December 13 @ 7:00 pm
Lakeshore Museum Center

Minecraft at the Museum is back! December 12 and 13, the Lakeshore Museum Center challenges all Minecraft players to come to the museum and test their discovering and crafting skills. Players will search the museum to find as many resources as they can, then craft them to get all the supplies they need to navigate their way through the nether! Whether you are new to Minecraft at the Museum, or have tested your skills with them in the past, there is something for everyone! Choose either the 4:30pm or 6:00pm session. You can register online using PayPal or call the museum at 231-722-0278 to pay over the phone. The cost is $7 for the general public, or $5 for museum members. This is recommended for ages 6 and older. There is no cost for an accompanying adult.


It’s Gonna Get “Ugly” at the Norton Shores Library!
December 13 @ 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Norton Shores Library, 705 Seminole Rd.

It’s gonna get “ugly” at the Norton Shores Library as they host their annual ugly holiday sweater contest. In a fun-spirited holiday tradition, voting for the ugliest Christmas sweater worn by a Norton Shores Library staff member could win you a surprise. Stop by and choose your favorite or vote on the Muskegon Area District Library’s Facebook page. 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 just for fun! This program, funded by the Friends of the Norton Shores Library, is free and open to the public with no registration required. For additional information, contact Alison Purgiel, lead librarian, at 231-780-8844 or apurgiel@madl.org.


Make Quill Paper Snowflakes
December 13 @ 6:30 pm
Norton Shores Library, 705 Seminole Rd.

You’re invited to the Norton Shores Library to create Quilled Paper Snowflakes! Quilling, also called paper filigree, originated in Europe more than five hundred years ago. It involves rolling and combining strips of paper into highly detailed designs. Create a few beautiful quilled snowflakes that can work as ornaments, gift tags or simple but delicate seasonal decorations. This program, funded by the Friends of the Norton Shores Library, is free and open to the public ages 18 and up, with registration required. For additional information or to register, contact Alison Purgiel, lead librarian, at 231-780-8844 or apurgiel@madl.org .


West Michigan Symphony Presents: Celtic Christmas
December 15 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Admission ranges from $10 – $57

Come to the Frauenthal Center as the West Michigan Symphony presents Celtic Christmas! Scott Speck, conductor Guest Artist – Cathie Ryan, vocals WMS Children‘s Choir Irish vocalist Cathie Ryan and her band return to the West Michigan Symphony with a program she has created us, reflecting her Celtic roots in a wide array of holiday works. Ring in the holidays with Ryan, the West Michigan Symphony orchestra and the West Michigan Symphony Children’s Choir as they bring traditional, popular and Irish-themed music of the season to West Michigan. For more information, call 231-726-3231.


Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
December 15 & 16 @ 7:00 pm
955 Fourth St., downtown Muskegon

The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud and dedicated members of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States, for five years running! Catch a home game, Friday, December 15 and Saturday December 16 at 7:15pm as the Jacks take on Chicago Steel at the L.C. Walker Arena. Purchase tickets by calling 231-724-5225.


Movies at the Library: Polar Express
December 16 @ 12:30 pm
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave.

Hop on “The Polar Express” and discover the magic of the season at Hackley Public Library! The kids will love this animated holiday favorite starring Tom Hanks while keeping warm with hot chocolate and plenty of festive activities! For more information, call (231) 722-8000.


Reindeer!
December 16 @ 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Lawn of Hackley Administration Building

Hackley Public Library invites you to meet them on the lawn of the Hackley Administration Building to learn all about reindeer! Does Rudolph really have a red nose? Can reindeer actually fly? The only way you’ll find out is if you meet these visiting reindeer in person! For more information, call 231-722-8000. This is a FREE event for everyone!


Muskegon Center for the Arts
Red Lotus Gallery: Open Mic Night
December 16 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Red Lotus Gallery, 356 W. Western Ave.

The Muskegon Center for the Arts presents Open Mic Night at the Red Lotus Gallery every third Saturday of the month from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. If you have a love for the stage and can perform an activity such as music, theater, 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. For more information, find them on Facebook.


The Block: Cathie Ryan – Irish Folk Music
December 16 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
The Block, 360 W. Western Ave. 2nd Floor

Come to The Block for Irish folk music from Cathie Ryan! Cathie and her band follow a Friday evening holiday concert with the West Michigan Symphony with an evening of Irish folk music. Admission is $10-$25. Join Cathie as she warms up West Michigan with heartfelt lyrics, beloved ballads and traditional tunes of the Emerald Isle. Call 231-726-3231 x223 for tickets and more information. Doors and bar open at 6:15pm and the concert begins at 7:00 pm.


West Michigan Lake Hawks Home Game
December 16 @ 5:00 pm
Reeths-Puffer HS Rocket Centre 1545 N. Roberts Rd.

The West Michigan Lake Hawks strive to provide a professional level of sports entertainment and to enrich the lives of student athletes.  Home games are played at Reeths-Puffer High School.  Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and season passes are $90 which saves you 25%.  Ages 4 and under are free.  Call 231-769-9617 for group sales. Catch their game Saturday, December 16 at 5:00pm as they take on the Chicago Fury!


Holiday Brunch with Santa at SE4SONS
December 17 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
SE4SONS Banquet Center, 2801 Lakeshore Drive

Sunday, December 17 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, bring the family to SE4SONS for a holiday brunch with Santa! It will be a fun filled day of great food, holiday crafts and family! This is a fun event for all involved and the public is welcome! The cost is $27 for adults, kids 5-12 are $1 and 4 & under are free! Please make your reservations ahead of time by calling 231-755-3737. Spaces will fill up fast!


The Nutcracker
December 17 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Frauenthal Center, 425 W Western Ave # 200

Bring the family to the Frauenthal Theater for the “Nutcracker!” Join Clara and her magical friends as the West Michigan Youth Ballet brings performs this timeless classic. Want to meet Clara and the Prince? Join them for the Nutcracker Pre-Party! The pre-Party includes a Meet & Greet with Clara and the Prince, kid’s activities and refreshments. This event starts at 12:30pm with early admission at 1:15pm. Tickets for the Pre-Party are only $7 and must be purchased by December 12 at the Frauenthal Center Box Office in person or by calling 231-727-8001. Tickets for the show are $11 for youths, $21 for adults, and family tickets are $60.


West Michigan Lake Hawks Home Game
December 17 @ 5:00 pm
Reeths-Puffer HS Rocket Centre 1545 N. Roberts Rd.

The West Michigan Lake Hawks strive to provide a professional level of sports entertainment and to enrich the lives of student athletes.  Home games are played at Reeths-Puffer High School.  Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and season passes are $90 which saves you 25%.  Ages 4 and under are free.  Call 231-769-9617 for group ticket sales. Catch their game December 17 at 5:00pm as they take on the Chicago Nights!


Hackley & Hume Holiday Tours
December 26 – December 27
Hackley & Hume Historic Site, 484 W. Webster Ave.

Enjoy holiday tours of the Hackley & Hume Historic Site! These amazing late 1890’s homes from Muskegon’s lumbering days have been decorated for the holidays with period appropriate artifacts, ornaments and more. Special Holiday Tours will be offered on the following dates: Tuesday, December 26 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm. Wednesday, December 27 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. The cost is $5 – $7. For more information, visit www.lakeshoremuseum.org.


Free Family Movie Day: The Princess Bride December 27 @ 3:00 pm
Frauenthal Center, 425 W Western Ave # 200

Get out of the house over the holiday break for some free family fun!  Wednesday, December 27 at 3:00pm, the historic Frauenthal Center will be showing the classic fairytale, “The Princess Bride” (PG). This beloved classic fairytale begins with a grandfather reading his favorite book to his hard-to-impress grandson.  This book, he promises, has everything – “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles.” – and all that he promised comes to life before the boy’s enchanted eyes as his grandfather reads him the adventures of Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in the world, and Westley, the man she loves. This film is free and no tickets are required.  Concessions will be available for purchase.  For more information, call 231-727-8001. Have extra coats, mittens, hats or scarves you would like to donate?  The Frauenthal Center will be running their annual coat drive and donating them to a local charity!  The donation box is in the Frauenthal Center lobby now through December 22.


Pomander Make and Take
December 28 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Lakeshore Museum Center

Stop by the Lakeshore Museum Center for a Make & Take Open House between 11:00am – 2:00pm to create your own Pomander (also known as cloved orange) to add the smell of the holidays to your home or share with a friend! There is a $2 cost per craft for supplies. The pomander is a traditional Christmas ornament and New Year’s gift. The word pomander comes from French pomme (which means apple, also the root of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits, and pommel, the decorative hilt of a word or dagger) and ambre. Ambre derives from either ambergris, an early perfume ingredient or another one of its meanings: golden in color. For more information, call 231-722-0278.


Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
December 29 @ 7:00 pm
955 Fourth St., downtown Muskegon

The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud and dedicated members of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States, for five years running! Catch the home game tonight at 7:15pm as the Jacks take on Team USA at the L.C. Walker Arena. Purchase tickets by calling 231-724-5225. It’s also Youth Hockey Camp night!!


New Year’s Eve Celebration
December 31 9:00pm – 1:00am
Shoreline Inn & Conference Center
750 Terrace Point Dr.

Make plans to spend your New Year’s Eve at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center! There’ll be live music from Pop Fiction, an open bar from 9:00pm – 1:00am, a midnight toast and balloon drop. Their special New Year’s Eve packages also include overnight accommodations for two, champagne upon arrival, a gourmet dinner buffet and breakfast, as well as midnight snacks and appetizers. Packages start at $339 + tax. For reservations, call 231-727-8483.


Magic of Motown New Year’s Eve
December 31 @ 6:00 pm
513 W. Pontaluna

Relive the Magic of Motown on New Year’s Eve at Bella Maria’s beginning at 6:00pm, December 31! The awesome buffet will include Prime Rib, Shrimp, Chicken, Cod Florentine and so much more! There will also be an extensive dessert buffet, Champagne toast at midnight and one of the best review shows in Michigan, Danielle Cosby and the Motown Review! Tickets are $75.00 per person. For tickets or more information, call 231-563-6914.


Planetarium Show: Faster than Light!
The Dream of Interstellar Flight
January 1, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 7:35 pm

January 1 – March 29 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, come to Carr-Fles Planetarium for “Faster than Light! The Dream of Interestellar Flight!” The impulse to strike out into the unknown, to see what’s over the horizon is as old as humanity. Scientists now believe that our galaxy is filled with solar systems, including up to 9 billion Sun-like stars with planets similar to Earth. Astronomers are racing to find habitable worlds, including any that might exist in the neighborhood of our Sun. But if we find one, how will we ever get there? How long will it take? What rocket designs might one day conquer the voids of space? Faster Than Light! The Dream of Interstellar Flight will dazzle audiences with virtual rides aboard spacecraft of the future. This is a 35-minute presentation. (The campus will be closed March 6 and March 8 for College Spring Break) For more information, call (231) 777-0289.

 

Please check our website www.visitmuskegon.org for a complete listing of events!

‘Nearly 200’ Houston Area Police Officers Lost Homes to Harvey

rescueIn an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that despite horrible tragedy in the Houston area, police officers in the region are continuing to put their duties first:

“The collective heart of the Houston Police Department (HPD), the Houston Fire Department, all of our municipal co-workers, (and) just the entire first-responder community in this city is second to none, and I am very proud of that,” the chief said. Despite more than 200 officers having their own homes damaged or destroyed “They’re putting their duty first.” The chief praised not only the commissioned officers who wear the dark blue uniform but the entire support staff and dispatchers.

rescuebabyBreitbart Texas spoke with several HPD staff members in the lobby. They expressed they have been living at their posts since the Hurricane began, nearly a week ago now.

“I don’t think anyone could have imagined just how significant a challenge this was going to be,” the chief explained. “It’s historical.”

“The (officers) who came in for 12-on, 12-off (shifts), if they were still here Saturday, they didn’t get to leave,” he expressed. “We made them all stay, it was required. They’ve been very highly motivated. And, as you can imagine, when you have close to 200 of them that their own homes have been damaged or lost, they haven’t abandoned their post.”rescuecar

In Harvey’s aftermath, roughly 30 individuals were killed during the hurricane and hundreds of thousands were left with flooded homes and residences.

For full details, view this message on the web.

Statement From Secretary Johnson On Driver Responsibility Fee Bills

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today released the following statement regarding the introduction of legislation that would address long-term Driver Responsibility Fee debt:

“I look forward to working with lawmakers to close this painful chapter from Michigan’s lost decade. Driver Responsibility Fees are over and above traffic tickets and fines imposed by a court. The fees are a costly, double penalty on working families added automatically, without the opportunity for a court to review the circumstances as with normal tickets. Too many Michigan residents now can’t drive because of these automatic fees, limiting their ability to find work, and it’s starting to hurt local businesses who can’t find enough qualified employees.  We have to acknowledge that much of the money owed to the state is simply uncollectible, and we must find a solution that allows hard-working, law-abiding Michigan residents living paycheck to paycheck get their driver’s license back.”

Johnson voted against Driver Responsibility Fees in 2003 as a state representative. As secretary of state, she has advocated for repealing the Driver Responsibility Fee law, successfully pushing lawmakers to eliminate the most common fees in 2011, create a community service option for certain fees in 2015 and begin phasing out all fees.

Rapid Response Team Chaplains’ Work in Las Vagas; Texas; Florida

rttchaplainsBilly Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains offer hope to those affected by the Las Vegas shooting and recent hurricanes

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed chaplains to Las Vegas following the horrific mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. The attack, which took place at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, is now the deadliest mass shooting on American soil in modern history.

“We mourn for the families that lost loved ones, especially in such an evil and violent manner. We grieve for the survivors who will carry the emotional and physical scars the rest of their lives. The terror that took place last night in Las Vegas will forever be etched in the minds of those who were present,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “We will be there to talk with and pray with the hurting, offering the hope, and comfort of Jesus Christ in these dark days.”

Along with the new deployment to Las Vegas, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team continues to work in the hurricane-devastated areas of Texas and Florida. As of this morning, more than 310 chaplains from across the country have worked in eight different regions around the two states, as well as in evacuation shelters. They’ve ministered to more than 18,000 people affected by the storms. Additionally, the team has a plan in place to send chaplains to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria as soon as the situation stabilizes to the point that they can respond. 

In natural disasters such as the spate of recent hurricanes, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team deploys in coordination with Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian disaster relief organization also headed by Franklin Graham. Together the two ministries address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those who have been affected.

For more information on the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, including an interactive map of current deployments, visit www.billygraham.org/rrt and www.facebook.com/rrtchaplains.

Ask Dr. Universe – Weeds

Dr. Universe:
Why do weeds grow sooo fast? 
– Leah, 9, British Columbia

Dear Leah,

If you’re like me, you’ve picked up a little dandelion fluff ball and blown the seeds around. Weeds like these make a lot of seeds. They get picked up by the wind and planted far and wide. And as you observe, they grow pretty fast, too.

My friend Tim Miller is a researcher at Washington State University working to help stop weeds from making life difficult for plants we would rather have. Sometimes, weeds are bullies to other plants.

“Weeds are simply plants that are able to compete well with the plants we want to grow,” Miller said. “Imagine two plants growing side by side. Let’s say one is a squash and one is a weed.”

He explained that these plants compete for resources both of them need to grow: sunlight, water, nutrients, and space.

“The weed is able to grab those resources before the vegetable plant can get them, so they tend to grow a little faster and a little better than the vegetable does,” Miller explained.

The weed seeds are already in the garden soil. They wait for just the right temperature and moisture conditions. So, when you plant your seeds, the weeds race out of the ground before whatever you planted can even get started.

Sometimes gardeners help their vegetables by growing them in pots and then transplanting them into the garden. That gives the veggie a head start against the weed.

Miller said some weeds grow from a root that has been alive for many years. These kinds of plants are called perennials. The grasses in your lawn are also perennials. Perennial weeds grow especially fast and are much harder to kill than annuals, which have to grow from seed every year.

Perennial roots have lots of energy in them from previous years of growth. Miller explained that energy helps the shoots grow very quickly. This makes perennial weeds particularly hard to control.

Dandelions are one kind of perennial. Each dandelion fuzz ball has as many as 100 seeds that travel in the wind. If a dandelion plant makes 10 flower heads, that’s 1,000 seeds waiting to sprout wherever they land. How many dandelions do you think you have in your lawn? If there are 50 plants, just think of those 50,000 new dandelions that can sprout from all those seeds. It’s no wonder weeds are so hard to control.

While they may be bullies to plants, weeds have also inspired some interesting ideas. The engineer who invented Velcro was inspired by those prickly weed burrs that stuck to his clothes and his dog’s fur. You never know what might inspire a great idea or when that idea will strike.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic Celebrates 20,000 Safe Surgeries

Celebrating 20,000 Surgeries!wmsnccelebrates

Last month, WMSNC celebrated its 20,000th safe surgery. This means that since we opened seven years ago, thousands of responsible owners have decided to say, “my pets don’t litter!”. Between cats and dogs, this has potentially prevented up to half a million puppies and kittens being displaced in the West Michigan area in only seven years.

Spay and neuter is one of the biggest reasons Muskegon County became “no-kill” in 2016. This means that healthy, adoptable animals were not euthanized simply due to overcrowding. Every owner that loves their pet enough to get them spayed/neutered makes a difference in the lives of countless other animals!

 

West Michigan Wishlist

We are always in need of the following items (priority items are bolded):
• Distilled water (Gallon size)
Cat carriers
• Bleach
70% Isopropyl alcohol
Wet and dry cat food
• Paper towels
• Printer paper
• Live traps (cat size)

kidswatching

llamas

Pictures from WMSNC’s annual open house in September.