Author Archives: editor

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“The people of Michigan and Secretary of State staff deserve better than the out-of-date computer system we have,” Johnson said.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.

First Annual Halloween at the Hall

by Heidi Tice

This year Fruitport Township, with the help of Fruitport Lions Leo Club held a Halloween at the Hall party. Finding safe places to Trick – or – Treat is a challenge in today’s society, so The township employees with the elected official came together to give back to the kids in our community with Trick – or – Treating and crafts at the township hall.

Fruitport Leos wanted to help out so they provided face painting, tattoos, and crafts for the children that came. The weather outside was gloomy, cold and damp; however inside the smiles were ear to ear and laughter was heard throughout the hall. Thanks to the Fruitport Leo Club and all the kids that came in there awesome costume. Halloween at the hall was a great success.

The Grand Ravines Suspension Bridge is Now Open

The Grand Ravines Suspension Bridge

The Grand Ravines Suspension Bridge spans 275′ across a 70′ ravine in Jenison, MI

Ottawa County Parks is pleased to announce the Grand Ravines Suspension Bridge is open to the public as of this morning.

Until recently, a suspension bridge in the Ottawa County Parks system seemed like a pipe dream. “When the master plan was created for Grand Ravines, those beautiful, deep ravines made it challenging to design a viable hiking trail system. We were fortunate to get a permanent trail easement donated by neighboring landowners, which helped in navigating the steep terrain. For a full loop, crossing a major ravine with a trail was unavoidable and a suspension bridge was added into the plan, knowing it was an amenity that may never be financially feasible,” said David VanGinhoven, President of the Parks Commission.

Thanks to a generous individual, with great interest in the Parks’ “pie in the sky” idea, that dream has become reality. “Beatrice Aldrink Idema, known by most as Bea, has very generously donated the funds needed to construct a suspension bridge, allowing a trail connection between the north and south sides of the park,” said VanGinhoven at an event this spring.

Bea was in attendance at a small unveiling event on September 14 and was the first person to cross the officially completed bridge. She will be honored at the Grand Ravines Dedication Event on October 5, 2017 (see below for details).

The Grand Ravines Suspension Bridge is 275′ feet long and 70′ in the air; it’s believed to be the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Michigan, and, the greater midwest region. It is fully ADA accessible, with paved, accessible paths leading to the bridge on both sides (both segments of pathway that connect to the bridge were covered by yet another donor).

The bridge was constructed by Anlaan Corporation, based out of Grand Haven. “We were incredibly impressed with their work and their timeline. They completed the bridge in three months, right on schedule. It will be a great spot to see fall color,” said Parks Director, John Scholtz. “Grand Ravines is already such a beautiful place and this bridge makes it a true Michigan destination. We are confident that this bridge, and the Grand River Explorers Trail that will run through the park, will bring visitors from near and far, eager to enjoy everything this area of the county has to offer.”


The Parks Commission has received many donations, both large and small, from the community throughout the years. Many parties are to thank for making Grand Ravines the special park it is today. The ravine overlook was built with a gift from the Aldrink family. The dog park has received support from park users, Chow Hound Pet Supplies, the Hudsonville-Jenison Community Foundation, local veterinarians and businesses, most recently WorkSmart Database Masters, LLC and many others.

Masko Family enjoying overlook

Pictured: Masko Family enjoying overlook

 

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 11/27/17 – 12/04/17

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


Festival of Trees
November 22 – December 3

The Muskegon Museum of Art’s 13th annual Festival of Trees community holiday celebration runs November 22 through December 3.  The Festival will be open daily 10:00am to 5:00pm, noon to 5:00pm on Sundays, and closed on Thanksgiving.  International Holiday traditions inspire this year’s festival theme.  Professionally designed themed trees and décor will set a festive holiday mood and will be available for purchase through silent auction over the 11 days of the Festival. Raffles, music and holiday gift shopping will add to the fun.  Special events include the popular Teddy Bear Breakfast, Senior Day, Family Day, Deck Your Halls holiday design workshop and performances of A Christmas Carol!  Call 231-720-2580 to purchase tickets or for more information.


Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
November 17 @ 7:00 pm – December 3 @ 7:00 pm

November 17 – December 3, come to the Beardsley Theater for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” presented by Muskegon Civic Theatre!

Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is the story of  Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia who share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives.  Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike.  Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Also on the scene are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress named Nina, whose prettiness somewhat worries the imperious Masha. For tickets or more information, call 231-727-8001.


Evening by Candlelight
November 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Monday, November 27 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, you’re invited to the beautiful Muskegon Woman’s Club to start the Christmas season off by enjoying beautiful tablescapes, good food, fun, and great entertainment at “Evening by Candlelight!”  Tickets are $15 per person.  Tables of 8 are available.  R.S.V.P by calling Nancy at 231-730-0887 or e-mail Nancy@HousesByNancy.com.


Charles Hackley Look-a-like Contest
November 28 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Think you look like Charles Hackley? Come to Hackley Public Library on November 28 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm and see how you stack up!  Noshemberers (No-Shave November participants) will be judged by how closely they resemble Charles Hackley. They’ll have awards in a variety of categories.  Come out to see the fun and vote for the People’s Choice!  www.hackleylibrary.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.


Holiday Painting Class
November 29 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Wednesday, November 29 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, come to First Presbyterian Church to paint a Christmas tree on canvas with teacher Robin Civis.  $20 covers materials and instruction.  For more information, call 231-759-1275.


“Boiling Point! Water, Politics and Power”
November 29 @ 7:30 pm – December 2 @ 7:30 pm

A living newspaper production, “Boiling Point! Water, Politics, and Power,” will be presented nightly at 7:30pm on the Overbrook Theater stage from November 29 through December 2.  Tickets go on sale Monday, November 27 at the Overbrook Theater Box Office on the Muskegon Community College campus.  Tickets are $10 for the public and $5 for MCC students, staff and faculty.  To reserve tickets, call 231-777-0324.


America’s Tallest Singing Christmas Tree
November 30 @ 7:00 pm – December 2 @ 7:00 pm

2017 marks the 33rd anniversary of the Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree which has been featured on both the Travel Channel and the Learning Channel!  With its 25,000 colored lights that coordinate to the beautiful singing, 15 tiers that reach 67 feet up into the majestic Frauenthal Center, over 280 singers, and accompaniment by the 50 piece Mona Shores High School Orchestra, the Singing Christmas Tree must be seen to be believed. For more information, visit www.monashoressingingchristmastree.com.


Open House Reception at The Red Lotus Gallery
December 1 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

You are invited to the Artists’ Open House Reception at the Muskegon Center for the Arts every first Friday night of the month from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, at the Red Lotus Fine Art Gallery located in downtown Muskegon in the Century Building’s basement.  Every month there is a different display and art themed event. Come meet and talk with the artists and view their creations.  Refreshments will be provided.  For more information, find them on Facebook.


Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
December 1 @ 7:00 pm

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 1 at 7:15pm as the Jacks take on the Waterloo Black Hawks at the L.C. Walker Arena. Purchase tickets by calling 231-724-5225.


Holidays in the City
December 2

Come to Downtown Muskegon this winter to celebrate the holidays with us.  “Holidays in the City” kicks off with Small Business Saturday on November 25 and continues on weekends through the Saturday before Christmas!  Shop local to support our community’s businesses.  The Muskegon Farmer’s Market, Western Market Chalets, Century Club Retail Center and multiple local retail outlets on Western Ave., in Midtown and along Pine St. will offer plenty of holiday shopping opportunities.  A community Christmas tree lighting the evening of November 25 in Hackley Park and many other holiday activities are planned.  For more information, find “Holidays in the City” on Facebook.


Santa at the Library
December 2 – 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.

Saturday, December 2
10:30am North Muskegon Branch: 231-744-6080
10:30am Holton Branch: 231-821-0268
1:00pm   Egelston Branch: 231-788-6477

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.


Holidays in Lakeside
December 2 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Get in the spirit of the season with “Holidays in Lakeside”, a family-friendly event featuring carolers, a community bake sale, a basket raffle, ice sculpting demos, visits with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, merchant specials and a free screening of the holiday movie “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell at the Harbor Cinema.  It’s happening Saturday, December 2 from 10:00am – 5:00pm in the Lakeside District.  For more information, visit www.lakesidedistrict.com.


Holiday Cookie Baking with Chef Char
December 2 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The holidays are a time for baking and gift giving.  Saturday, December 2 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, come to Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market to learn some of Chef Char’s favorite holiday cookie recipes.  Make, bake and decorate your cookies in class to take home to enjoy eating or to give as gifts.  Kids and adults are welcome.  The cost is $30 per person.


White Lake Christmas Parade
December 2 @ 2:00 pm

On Saturday, December 2, over 80 participants will line up and follow the parade route from Whitehall to Montague along Business 31/Colby Street for the White Lake Christmas Parade!  The American Legion and VFW will lead the event along with the proud Christmas Parade Title Sponsor, Miller & Shepherd Law, dressed in their finest holiday apparel. The parade begins at 2:00pm in the afternoon.

The 65th annual parade promises to be even more exciting with floats from area churches, civic organizations, businesses and area neighbors. Cartoon characters, clowns, parading fire trucks and animals of all shapes and sizes are just a few of the local favorites who will be handing out candy and goodies.  Both Montague and Whitehall High School’s marching bands will be stepping out joined by area Brownie and Girl Scout Troops along with various Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.  As the Grand Finale, Santa will make his entrance with a horse drawn carriage.  He will be eager to see children of all ages following the parade at his house outside Montague City Hall located on Ferry Street.  Children can visit Santa at his Montague house for regular hours on Fridays and Saturdays in December. For more information, visit www.whitelake.org.


Ugly Christmas Sweater Murder Mystery
December 2 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

October through May, Bygone Basics Cooking School and Amanda’s Bequest B & B offer a Murder Mystery Dinner on occasional Saturdays.  Participants act out the roles with scripts and as much hilarity as they wish!  “Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party” is the murder mystery Saturday, December 2.  The mystery activities and dinner last from 5:00pm until around 8:00pm.  Registered attendees will be assigned their roles in advance so they can arrive in character.  You do not have to be a lodging guest at Amanda’s Bequest to participate, but why not!  It will enhance the fun and remove night time driving.

Hurry, seating is limited!  To register, click the “Book Now” link on the website, e-mail relax@amandasbequest.com or call 231-740-4065.

B&B Guest – $38
Non-Lodging – $48
Adult themed.  No one under 18 years old please.

Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
The Snowflake Lodge is hosting the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater party again this year.  The townspeople of Snow Falls are excited about the holiday celebration, as the lodge is where the who’s who of society will flock to show off their not-so fashionable holiday attire.  Unfortunately, sparks have flown between some of the guests lately with rumors of blackmail, greed, and revenge!


West Michigan Lake Hawks Home Game
December 2 @ 5:00 pm

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 next home game Saturday, December 2 at 5:00pm as they take on the Libertyville Vipers!


The BIGGEST Little Holiday Party
December 2 @ 6:00 pm – 11:30 pm

Have a small staff or manager group?  Are you tired of planning holiday parties?  SE4SONS has the answer!  They will do all the work for you!  Simply reserve a table or a certain amount of seats and they’ll decorate, cook and schedule the DJ!  Join them Saturday, December 2 from 6:00pm – 11:30pm with your staff or maybe just a group of friends!  The cost is $30 per person and includes appetizers, buffet dinner, DJ and a cash bar.  It’s going to be the most popular party in town!  Reserve your space early as it is limited by calling 231-755-3737.


Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
December 2 @ 7:00 pm

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, Saturday, December 2 at 7:15pm as the Jacks take on the Bloomington Thunder at the L.C. Walker Arena. Purchase tickets by calling 231-724-5225.


Circle of Trees
December 3

The Circle of Trees is held on the first Sunday in December.  Trees are decorated in Walker Park, the annual “Dog Parade” is held on Ruddiman Ave. and the tree lighting ceremony, refreshments and visits with Santa follow immediately after.  If you wish to participate or for more information, contact City Clerk Marcia Jeske at 231-744-1621, e-mail mjeske@cityofnorthmuskegon.com or visit www.cityofnorthmuskegon.com.


Handel’s Messiah
December 3 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Join Robert Swan on December 3, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Whitehall United Methodist Church as he offers to you his insights and thoughts on “Handel’s Messiah,” one of the most beloved pieces of music ever!  Come and hear (and sing along, if you like) the great music from the inspiring “Hallelujah Chorus” to the wonderfully intimate “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”.  Learn more about Handel, the background of the music, and gleanings borne of years of Bob’s personal experience and reflection.

Mr. Swan is retired from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra after 36 years of devoted inspiration and practice in the viola section.  He has performed the Messiah close to 100 times in his career, playing it with some of the greatest conductors, singers, choruses, and instrumentalists in the world.  He held the post of Professor of Viola at Northwestern University from 1972-1980.

There is no cost to attend and refreshments will be provided by Cichetti.  For more information, please call Sondra Cross, director, at 232-329-3056.


West Michigan Lake Hawks Home Game
December 3 @ 5:00 pm

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 next home game Sunday, December 3 at 5:00pm as they take on the LaCrosse Showtime!

Earlier Flights and More Connections

The Muskegon County Airport is now offering earlier morning flight schedules. The weekday morning flight schedule has been modified from an 11:35 AM departure to a 10:05 AM departure which will allow the business community better opportunities to make connecting flights earlier in the day.

“The Airport and United Express are constantly working to provide a flight schedule conducive to business passengers with connecting flights through Chicago O’Hare,” says Airport Manager, Jeffrey Tripp.

In addition, the new schedule will provide improved opportunities for same day business trips to East and West Coast destinations and to the Muskegon Lakeshore. “United Express is going to add a Saturday PM flight adding over 400 seats per month starting in February giving Muskegon 4 trips a day to and from Chicago”, says Tripp.

The Muskegon County Airport continues to work with United Airlines to provide flights at competitive rates, with quality terminal facilities and customer service, and schedule modifications to maximize flight connection opportunities. Determine if Muskegon provides your best option for flight connectivity and price by visiting www.united.com.

2017 Ramp Build

by Heidi Tice, Fruitport Leo liaison

Fruitport Leo Club and members of the Fruitport Congregational UCC, joined together to build a ramp for a Fruitport Village resident October 7, 2017.

Iva Snow, an elderly member of Fruitport Congregational church was in need of a way to get in and out of her home without stairs impeding her. Her daughter Cheryl Snow put in a “Handy Andy” request at their church and the project jumped into action.

buildingSteve Wilson, retired football coach for Fruitport High School, was approached by Trustee member Ron Stroup. Steve helped build ramps with the Fruitport football team while he coached. Since his retirement he has helped the Fruitport Leo Club launch a ramp project for community service. Steve enjoys working with kids and the Leos enjoy the knowledge and respect Coach Wilson displays towards them throughout the build.

With old backs and young backs lined up, the team of 8 adults and 6 kids measured, cut, dug, screwed down decking and built a beautiful ramp for Iva. The church group, the day before the ramp build, removed a window and put in a new back door so Iva’s exit from her home could happen without the use of any stairs.

This is the second ramp project the Fruitport Leos have done with Coach Wilson and his son-in-law Bruce Gaultney Jr., and they were just as excited on this build as they were on their first.

happy ladyThank you to all those that worked on the ramp: Ron Stroup, Steve Wilson, Gil Hegedus, Bruce Gaultney Jr., Ron Donahue, Rick Tice, Cheryls son Jason, brother-in-law, and Fruitport Leos; Rachel Weiland, Amber Split, Audrey Split, Ellie Herrick, Mackenzie Wahr, Becca Hunt. A special thank you to Seth Middlecamp with Sethco Lumber who gives a discount of supplies for the ramp build projects, after all it takes a village.

Muskegon Student Graduates from Fort Hays State University

HAYS, Kan. – William Jermain Springstead, Muskegon (49442), graduated from Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kan., in the summer 2017 term with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice.

FHSU does not release the lists of undergraduate and graduate degrees until transcripts have been verified as having met all requirements for graduation.

Fort Hays State is one of six public universities in the Kansas Board of Regents system.

GVSU Spring/Summer Graduates

Students who graduated at the conclusion of the Spring/Summer 2017 semester in August include:

Fruitport: Matthew Escalante, BS

Muskegon (49441): Jessica Adams, MED; Erica Adcox, BBA; Devon Bamfield, BS; Anna Carmean, BS; Lisabeth Smith, MED; Jordan Tejchma, BSN; Danielle Wilcox, BS

Muskegon (49444): Julie Pratt, BBA; Thomas Valachovics, BS

Spring Lake: Holly Barnett, MED; Nicole Cron, DPT; Hannah Eldred, BBA; Elizabeth Galloway, BS; Curtiss Haaksma, BSN; Faye McLemore, BS; Hayley Schram, BS; Alec Strahl, BBA; Marshall Warners, BSE

The Human Cost of Roe and Doe

We often talk about just how bad Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are as judicial decisions. Even many people who support abortion won’t pretend that Roe and Doe made any coherent judicial sense.

What sometimes gets lost in discussions about these U.S. Supreme Court cases is the actual human cost of them. Abortion is not just an abstract debate; abortion results in the death of real individuals at an unimaginable rate.

Our best guess is more than 56 million people have died since 1973 because of Roe and Doe overturning the abortion laws of all 50 states. How can we make sense of such an extreme loss of life?

56 million lives lost is the equivalent of erasing the people living in 25 states. Another way to imagine it is our entire Midwest disappearing overnight instead of disappearing daily in non-descript clinics down the street in our towns.

If we observed a 15-second moment of silence for each child killed by abortion since Roe and Doe, our silence would last 26 years. That doesn’t include the nearly one million abortions a year that continue to happen.

Though the annual abortion numbers have been declining for many years now, the loss of nearly one million lives a year is beyond tragic. Abortion takes more lives every year than cancer or heart disease, making it the number one cause of death—if it counted.

There are more American lives taken by abortion in a single year than American lives we’ve lost in combat in all of our wars combined from 1775 to 2017.

There are no words strong enough to describe the utter devastation abortion has wrought in Black community. Since 1973 abortion has ended more Black lives than every single other cause of death combined. Did you know that?

For those unmoved by the human cost of abortion, what about the practical costs? Those 56 million children lost to abortion would be alive today and contributing an additional $3 trillion in annual productivity to our economy. They would be generally young and healthy, shoring up our looming aging crisis when it comes to health insurance costs, Medicare and Social Security.

Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton aren’t just legal injustices. They are more than the grave personal injustices to the unborn children whose lives have been taken so brutally. They are an ongoing national disaster of incomparable proportions.

Ask Dr. Universe – Ocean Water Movement

Dear Dr. Universe:
HOW DOES WATER IN THE OCEAN MOVE? I THINK IT’S BECAUSE OF THE WIND.
–Case, 5, Yakima

Dear Case,
You know, most cats like to stay a comfortable distance from water.

But when I got your science question about our big ocean, I was ready to jump right in.

Ocean water moves in all kinds of ways. Waves curl and crash on the shore. Big conveyer belts of water, currents, flow for thousands of miles around our planet. The tides go out and come back in.

And yes, the wind plays a big part in all of it. That’s what I found out when I went to visit my friend Jeff Vervoort, a geologist and professor of oceanography at Washington State University.

If you stand on the shore, you can often hear and feel the ocean breeze. On windy days, waves start stirring. The smallest waves, called capillaries, start growing as the wind blows across their surfaces.

The stronger the wind blows, the bigger the waves can get. They can reach great heights—some as tall as six-story buildings. When the wave reaches shallower waters, it will start to curl, then break.

If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering where the wind comes from, too. Vervoort explained that our planet is rotating around on its tilted axis. The sun heats the Earth unevenly as it turns. These conditions actually affect the air and wind patterns on the planet surface. All of this moving air pushes the water in the ocean around.

Vervoort pulled down an Earth-shaped beach ball from the shelf in his office. He explained that winds blow in different directions. If Earth wasn’t rotating on a tilted axis, winds would blow very differently.

But, because of the Earth’s spin, wind belts in the northern hemisphere bend to the right. It also makes the winds in the southern hemisphere go to the left. Ocean currents bend in the same way, caused by the Coriolis effect.

The moving water can sometimes also act like a food delivery system. Some currents deliver important sources of nutrients and oxygen down to animals that live in the deep ocean.

Other currents bring up nutrients for animals that live near the surface. These nutrients allow tiny organisms—plankton—to live and grow to great numbers. These very tiny plankton get eaten by bigger animals like krill. Krill are an important food source for even bigger animals such as whales.

Meanwhile, back up on the surface tides go in and out. While wind impacts the tides a little bit, they mostly happen because gravity from the moon, and a little less from the sun’s gravity, pull water on Earth.

For the most part when it comes to water moving in the ocean, your hypothesis is correct, Case. It’s wind that mostly keeps our ocean surface in motion.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

Find this article printed in Washington State Magazine!

Wanted – Fruitport Memorabilia

Photos, Post Cards, Year Books, etc… Anything Fruitport related.

The Fruitport Historical Society is collecting all things Fruitport history.
If you can help, please bring your donation to the Fruitport Library. Scans or copies
can be made, or original documents and photographs can be donated
and preserved for future generations.

If possible, please label photos; see example below:

Fruitport Memorabilia example

Click for larger image.

We Art Excited!

mikekrausartAbout Mike Kraus
Mike Kraus was born on the industrial shoreline of Muskegon, Michigan. After earning his Fine Arts Degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he attended Grand Valley State University for his graduate degree. From there, he gained varied experiences from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, Hauenstein Center For Presidential Studies, Lollypop Farm Humane Society, and the Children’s Memorial Foundation. And every place he worked, he had his sketchbook with him and found ways to be actively creative. In 2014, Kraus became a full-time artist by establishing Mike Kraus Art. Since then, he has sold hundreds of paintings that are displayed in nearly every state and dozens of countries. Currently, Kraus lives in Rochester, New York with his beautiful wife and goofy dog.mrskraus
giftsSee my work online at:
MikeKrausArt.etsy.com

Shop with a Hero

by Heidi Tice

For several years now Detective Sergeant Bryan Rypstra has organized a program to give kids with financial needs a time to shop for Christmas gift for their whole family. The principal of each elementary school provides Det. Rypstra with names of children that families are struggling for Christmas. Meijer and Walmart organize sponsors that donate $100.00 gift cards for this event. The Fruitport Police and Fruitport Fire Department employees donate their time to take these kids through the stores and purchase gifts for their family members and of course 1 gift for them. After shopping they help the kids wrap the gifts so everything is ready to go under their tree.

Last year the amount collected for the program was $3,500.00 and their where 15 kids that participated. With any leftover gift cards, Det. Rypstra and his wife purchase hams, turkeys and can good to deliver to the homes for a help toward Christmas dinner.

The entire event is enjoyed by all. The kids get to give to their family this they are proud of and the Police & Fire guys get to soak up all the smiles and admiration. When a child looks up, smiles and says “thank you”; you know they really mean it.

“Hometown Boy” Thankful For Business Ownership Opportunity

by Alex Rogalla

new ownerNever in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that one day, after 31 years in the retail grocery business, I would become the owner of not one but two grocery stores. And not just any grocery stores but the very ones which I have spent my entire working career learning about the crazy yet exciting retail business. Talk about a true blessing.

It was a little more than three decades ago, when I was a junior at FHS, that I turned in an application at what was then Fruitport Foods in pursuit of my first real job; yep you guessed it a customer service bag boy/carryout. I wasn’t really sure why I wanted to work at the local grocery store but I had a ton of memories of shopping there with my mom and it seemed like a pretty cool job. So after calling and bugging the management staff for weeks on end, I finally must have drove Al Wilson crazy enough to have him ask me to come in for an interview. I did, must have went well, (or he didn’t want me calling anymore), and he hired me…..May 6, 1986.

My gut was right, I loved working there. Every day offered so much variety and so much to learn and the staff I worked with was a great bunch of people who taught me a lot about the grocery business. But my favorite part of the job was and still is my favorite part of my job; getting to know and serve the amazing customers from the surrounding communities and forming lasting, meaningful relationships with them. The saying goes “it takes all types” and believe me I think I have met all types over the years but that’s what makes each day so enjoyable. It’s the people.

Over the years, my knowledge of the grocery business grew as I gained experience working in just about every department within the store. You see, in the grocery world, if you show a solid work ethic and the desire to take on new challenges, it is almost certain that you will advance your way around the store until you have gained wisdom in most all of the departments, many times taking on more than one at a time. But what’s next? Well, when the time is right, like it was for me back in 1992, it was time to graduate to the next level of learning; what it meant to be part of the store management team. And for that, I can thank my longtime manager and mentor Wayne Ferrier. Wayne told me that the company was planning on building a brand new store right next to the current one, and that they wanted me to train to become an assistant store manager, ready to go when the doors opened on the new facility.

So, when the new store opened up in the summer of 1993, I was officially a part of the store management team, along with Wayne, Jack Stevens, and then owner Brian Punches. It was at this time that the real learning started at a whole new level, overseeing the entire store was a much different responsibility altogether. Once again, I gained valuable experience and knowledge from this group of guys who took me in under their wings, taught me what it takes to be a store manager, some through conversations, some by hands on, and some by trial and error. I can honestly say most of what I learned from Brian Punches wasn’t by what he did say but what he didn’t say; his calmness, his approach to situations, his view on taking care of the customer, and how he treated his management team and staff. Character and integrity, he had it and I was drawn to it.

Summer, 1996, the Punches family along with several other individual local investors built a new grocery store in Spring Lake, very similar to the Fruitport location layout and slightly larger. With both stores now under the same banner of Orchard Markets, these changes were about to bring about more opportunity.

August 30, 2004, a couple of years after being bought out by Roundy’s, a corporation out of Milwaukee, WI, Gary Gerlach, then of Hudsonville, MI stepped forward and purchased the two stores from the corporation, once again bringing them back to the community as “family owned and operated stores”. In 2006, we made some changes within the company structure that changed my role going from the store manager at Fruitport to the general manager of both store locations. This was an incredible challenge and blessing at the same time. Like I said earlier, it’s all about people; and getting to really know the staff at Spring Lake and the amazing customers who shop and live around there has been awesome to say the least.

Over the next 11 years, I split my time between Fruitport and Spring Lake, overseeing the operations, daily conditions, staffing needs, and human resources. Gary and I had a great working relationship; he allowed me the freedom to do my job while always providing guidance and support through his many, many years of experience in the grocery business but we also had a special friendship as well. In a lot of ways, we shared many similarities in the career path we chose and the direction the path took along the way. We shared high standards, high expectations, and a commitment to customer service and our communities.

In the early spring of 2015, Gary approached me about my interest in owning the stores one day, after he had decided that he was nearing the end of his career path and felt that he was ready to pass the baton on, not to just anyone, but he specifically said that he wanted to sell the stores to me. Talk about being humbled and blown away at the same time. Over the past 13 years of working for Gary, as his store manager first then as the general manager of both locations, I can honestly say not only did he teach me a wealth of knowledge but that he treated me as if I was part of his family, which I will forever be grateful for.

So, on July 11, 2017, I officially became the new owner of Orchard Markets Fruitport and Spring Lake. My wife Julie and I along with our children Erin and Evan feel so incredibly blessed as we take on this new endeavor. We look so forward to continuing our service to the wonderful people and families that make up the communities of Fruitport, Spring Lake, and the surrounding area. When we look back at this journey that started some 31 years ago and reflect on the life path that weaved, twisted, and turned along the way, we can only say thank you, thank you, thank you for your ongoing continued support throughout the years.

No, I could not have imagined this in my wildest dreams but His ways are higher than mine and for that I am forever thankful.

Calvary Christian Schools – “Crunch Day”

cruchdayOn Wednesday, October 25th over 200 Calvary Christian School students and staff joined 400,000 other Michiganders crunching apples together. The Apple Crunch movement is now in the 5th year of connecting communities and families eating their favorite crisp Michigan apple varieties. CCS was excited to be a part of the “crunch heard round the Great Lakes.”

Ottawa County Awarded $600,000 for Water Quality Improvements

The Ottawa County Water Resource Commissioner’s Office has been awarded $600,000 from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grants Program. The funding will reduce Nonpoint source pollution within the upper Sand Creek watershed, located in Wright and Chester Townships in northeast Ottawa County. Sand Creek flows into the lower Grand River and ultimately Lake Michigan.

Nonpoint source pollution is caused when rain, snowmelt or wind carry pollutants off the land and into lakes, streams, wetlands, and other water bodies. Officials will reduce this polluted sediment reaching the Sand Creek by stabilizing the unnaturally eroding stream banks, restoring the filtering wetlands and promoting the farm bill pollution prevention practices. The improvements along the creek will reduce sediment by an estimated 1,250 tons per year, improving water quality throughout the watershed.

The Sand Creek has been identified among the top ten priority Grand River sub‐watersheds for restoration.  The creek is a coldwater and designated trout stream.  Unfortunately, the coldwater fishery is no longer supported due to excessive sedimentation, siltation, nutrients, temperature and flow regime alterations. 

Ottawa County Water Resources Commissioner, Joe Bush, oversaw the Upper Sand Creek Restoration Assessment Study conducted in 2014-2015 by GEI Consultants. The assessment was funded by a $260,919 grant from the MDEQ. The study laid the groundwork for the work that will be completed with the assessment, planning, and design of best practices to improve the health of Sand Creek.

The grant is funded under the federal Clean Water Act – Section 319 and the Clean Michigan Initiative – Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grants Program.

The Giving Continues: More Than 60 Percent Of Michigan Adults Are Now Registered Organ Donors

Since 2011, 2.6 million more people have signed up to give the gift of life

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced that the number of Michigan adults registered as organ, tissue and eye donors has topped 60 percent.

Johnson recently joined Gift of Life Michigan’s CEO Dorrie Dils to film a message for SOS staff, thanking them for their hard work reaching this goal on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. The video message coincides with National DMV/SOS Appreciation Week, Sept. 25-29, when donation advocates across the country will thank SOS and DMV staff for their help in saving and improving lives.

“About 85 percent of people who sign up do so through our Secretary of State offices,” Johnson said. “Our partnerships with Gift of Life Michigan and Eversight have produced hope for nearly 3,400 people awaiting a life-changing transplant, yet we continue to advocate for signing up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry because the need will continue to grow.”

When she took office in 2011, Johnson learned that only 27 percent of eligible Michigan residents had signed up. She made expanding the organ donor rolls a priority but insisted that it be done at little to no cost to taxpayers. She directed her staff to start asking customers if they wanted to sign up, created a task force of leading experts and began promoting organ donor registration throughout her branch offices.

“Achieving this milestone reflects the generosity of Michigan residents and the dedication of Secretary of State Johnson and all of the SOS staff,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “Together, we are giving hope to the thousands of people who could benefit from an organ, tissue or cornea transplant.”

“Eversight is thrilled 60 percent of Michigan residents have made their wishes known in support of the gifts of sight, life and mobility,” said Alison Claerhout Wright, Eversight Director of Philanthropy in Michigan. “We applaud Secretary Johnson and her staff on their admirable work to make this exciting milestone a reality.”

More than 4,660,000 people are on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Every donor has the ability to save up to eight lives through organ donation and improve up to 75 more through cornea and tissue donation.

Anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, regardless of age or medical history. Go to www.ExpressSOS.com, call 866-500-5801 or visit any Secretary of State office.

For more information on organ, eye and tissue donation, visit www.giftoflifemichigan.org or www.eversightvision.org. To sign up to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry and to access some of the Secretary of State’s most popular services, visit www.ExpressSOS.com.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 11/20/17 – 11/27/17

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


Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
November 17 @ 7:00 pm – December 3 @ 7:00 pm

November 17 – December 3, come to the Beardsley Theater for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” presented by Muskegon Civic Theatre!

Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is the story of  Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia who share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives.  Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike.  Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Also on the scene are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress named Nina, whose prettiness somewhat worries the imperious Masha.

For tickets or more information, call 231-727-8001.


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.


Festival of Trees
November 22 – December 3

The Muskegon Museum of Art’s 13th annual Festival of Trees community holiday celebration runs November 22 through December 3.  The Festival will be open daily 10:00am to 5:00pm, noon to 5:00pm on Sundays, and closed on Thanksgiving.  International Holiday traditions inspire this year’s festival theme.  Professionally designed themed trees and décor will set a festive holiday mood and will be available for purchase through silent auction over the 11 days of the Festival. Raffles, music and holiday gift shopping will add to the fun.  Special events include the popular Teddy Bear Breakfast, Senior Day, Family Day, Deck Your Halls holiday design workshop and performances of A Christmas Carol!  Call 231-720-2580 to purchase tickets or for more information.


Holidays in the City
November 25

Come to Downtown Muskegon this winter to celebrate the holidays with us.  “Holidays in the City” kicks off with Small Business Saturday on November 25 and continues on weekends through the Saturday before Christmas!  Shop local to support our community’s businesses.  The Muskegon Farmer’s Market, Western Market Chalets, Century Club Retail Center and multiple local retail outlets on Western Ave., in Midtown and along Pine St. will offer plenty of holiday shopping opportunities.  A community Christmas tree lighting the evening of November 25 in Hackley Park and many other holiday activities are planned.  For more information, find “Holidays in the City” on Facebook.


Hackley & Hume Historic Site Holiday Tours
November 25 – November 26

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:

Saturday, November 25 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Sunday, November 26 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm
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.


Holiday Artisan Market
November 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Saturday, November 25 from 10:00am – 3:00pm, you’re invited to do some holiday shopping at the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club during their Holiday Artisan Market!  They’ll be offering an eclectic variety of items created by local artists and artisans.  For more information, call (231) 725-9220.


Pizza & Polka Festival
November 25 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Saturday, November 25 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm, come to the Fricano Event Center for the Pizza & Polka Festival featuring the Duane Malinowski Polka Band!  Enjoy four hours of polka music and all the pizza you can eat for only $15 per person!  Ice cream dessert will also be available for purchase.  For tickets, call 231-780-5406.  Table reservations will be accepted with a minimum purchase of 10 tickets.  Presented by the Muskegon Polish Festival.


Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
November 25 @ 7:00 pm

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, Saturday, November 25 at 7:15pm as the Jacks take on the Lincoln Stars at the L.C. Walker Arena. Purchase tickets by calling 231-724-5225.


Evening by Candlelight
November 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Monday, November 27 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, you’re invited to the beautiful Muskegon Woman’s Club to start the Christmas season off by enjoying beautiful tablescapes, good food, fun, and great entertainment at “Evening by Candlelight!”  Tickets are $15 per person.  Tables of 8 are available.  R.S.V.P by calling Nancy at 231-730-0887 or e-mail Nancy@HousesByNancy.com.

 

News From Fruitport Charter Township

by Rose Dillon

Keep the Flag Flying
Fruitport Township is responsible for keeping the flag flying at I96 and US 31 intersection and it is an expensive task. Since its inception we have relyed on your donations to purchase the flags. We would like to thank those that donated toward the flag fund. Fruitport Conservation Club was the largest donor with $1,500, Port City Diesel at $750 and many others came along side with support to help keep the flag flying. You may not be aware that Fruitport’s own Tim McFarland donates hours of his time to switch out the flags and repair them so the life of a flag can last longer. Thank you Tim!


Fruitport Lions Club
Thank you to the Fruitport Lions Club for the donation to the fire department for the purchase of much needed emergency equipment.


Winter 2017 Tax Bills
We would not want to disappoint those of you excited to receive your winter tax bill. Be watching your mail box around December 1st.

United Airlines New Earlier Morning Flight

The Muskegon County Airport has received great news from United Airlines. Starting October 2, the weekday morning flight schedule (Monday through Friday) changed to provide an earlier departure time of 10:05 AM rather than 11:35 AM. This allows customers better opportunities to make connecting flights earlier in the day.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this weekday schedule change. The Airport has worked with United Airlines for years to offer an earlier flight.” said Jeffrey Tripp, Airport Manager. “Travelers to and from the West Michigan Shoreline region rely on Muskegon County Airport for dependable transportation; flight connectivity and price are a crucial part of these efforts. The more customers fly Muskegon, the better able we are to leverage our passenger numbers for additional flight options and service with the airline.”

The new schedule provides improved opportunities for same day business trips to East and West Coast destinations and to the lakeshore. The Airport continues to work with United Airlines to provide flights at competitive rates, with quality terminal facilities, outstanding customer service, and schedule modifications to maximize flight connection opportunities.

We encourage all West Michigan Shoreline region travelers to always “Check MKG First” at www.united.com to determine if Muskegon provides your best option for flight connectivity and price. Please consider the total cost of travel (rate, schedule, parking, drive time, etc.) when booking. The Airport provides an on-line total flight cost calculator at www.flymkg.com.

Village of Fruitport – Council Meeting Minutes – 10/24/17

VILLAGE OF FRUITPORT
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
OCTOBER 24, 2017

1. Call to Order
President Roger Vanderstelt called the meeting to order at 7:02pm

2. Pledge

3. Prayer

4. Roll Call
Present: Roger Vanderstelt, Donna Pope, Amy Haack and Carl Russell
Absent: Carl Rothenberger, Will Overkamp and Bill Stone
Also Present: Dave Bossenbroek, Village attorney and Jeremy Statler DPW Supervisor

5. Approval of previous meeting minutes
Roger requested that a change be made to Item #13 in the September 26, 2017 meeting minutes. He requested that S. Brooks be changed to Brooks. Motion made by Amy Haack, supported by Donna to approve the meeting minutes with the removal of the S in S. Brooks, with a unanimous vote the motion carried.

6. Approve the agenda for the October 24th Council Meeting
Motion made by Amy Haack, supported by Donna Pope to approve the agenda. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

7. Public Comments
None

8. Correspondence
None

9. Reports from Officers
Donna gave an update on the library.
Amy advised that the next Friends of the Park meeting will be on November 7th at 7pm.
A request has been submitted to the Community Foundation Wish List for 4 flag poles for 3rd Avenue.
Muskegon County Recreational Authority has determined that they want to be an advisory type committee not an authority.
Carl nothing to report.
Roger reminded everyone about the Pumpkin Contest. He advised that the bathrooms at the park will be closed for the season this Friday. Jeremy showed everyone the new DPW jacket and bibs. Roger advised that the old snow blower will be auctioned on November 14th. The Village welcome sign on Bridge has been raised to eliminate the vision concern. Roger also advised we will be issuing payments to the businesses that sold our annual boat permits.

10. Follow up on Brooks’ Road resurfacing
The Brooks’ road resurfacing will be done next spring.

11. 2020 3rd Avenue P&N Proposal
Jeremy talked about possible funding options with a more detailed report to come in November.

12. Discussion on Future Projects
Roger advised that not all future projects will need to be discussed by the Friends of the Park group. They can be discussed at council meetings as well.

13. Discussion on property line at 270 Pine St.
Roger referred to a diagram for 270 Pine St. The house encroaches on the road right of way. Dave gave an overview of the process that could take place if the new owner decides to pursue the issue.

14. Request from Sue Halter for 2018 “Dancing in the Park” Agreement
Roger discussed Sue’s request. Donna Pope made a motion to approve the “Dancing in the Park” agreement, supported by Carl Russell. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

15. Walk behind or ride on blower
Roger explained that the current blower is running poorly. Three new units were discussed. Two were on display for the council. Motion made by Carl Russell to purchase the Hurricane Blower and not to exceed $9000.00 and that $1000.00 be from the Equipment Rental Fund and the remaining balance from the General Fund, supported by Amy Haack. Roll Call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack and Russell. NAYES: None

16. Proposal for Drain Review from P&N
Roger discussed the P&N proposal for the drain. Amy would like to hire P&N to do the proposal and then the Village would work with the Township and developer. Carl Russell made a motion to hire P&N to do the proposal and not to exceed $2500.00, supported by Amy Haack. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack and Russell. NAYES: None

17. Master Plan Review Group
Roger advised that the Master Plan was developed in 2011. It needs to be revised every 5 years. A committee needs to be formed to review the plan and present to the council. Dave advised that the Planning Commission can review the Master Plan.

18. Ordinance Review Group
Roger would like a group to review the ordinances. He would like Jeff Jacobs and 2 other people to review them.

19. Public Comment
Jay Bolt, 294 8th shared items from the Township meeting with the council.

20. Closed session to consider the possible purchase of real property
Motion made by Donna Pope to move to a closed session, supported by Carl Russell. Roll call to proceed with closed session at 8:05pm AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack and Carl Russell.
Motion made by Carl Russell to end closed session at 8:30pm supported by Donna Pope. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

Motion made by Amy Haack to allow Roger, Jeremy and Dave to enter back into negotiations regarding the purchase of property pending council approval, supported by Carl Russell. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

21. Warrants
Motion made by Carl Russell to approve the warrants, supported by Donna Pope. Roll call: AYES Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack and Carl Russell. NAYES: None

22. Adjourn
Motion made by Donna Pope to adjourn, supported by Carl Russell. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by,

Ann LaCroix
Clerk

FCS – Personnel Committee Meeting Minutes – 11/14/17

Personnel Committee
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
7:30 a.m., Superintendent’s Office
Meeting Minutes

Attendance: Dave Hazekamp, Steve Kelly, Tim Burgess, Mark Mesbergen, and Bob Szymoniak

1. Budget
Bob presented information on the budget and Fruitport’s student enrollment.

2. Tentative Agreements
Mark presented information on the five Letters of Agreement that were part of the wage openers based on Fruitport’s Fall count. There will be action items at the next regular meeting.

3. Operations Director
Bob gave an update on the Operations Director position.

Meeting adjourned at 8: 15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted by Mark Mesbergen