Author Archives: editor

2017 Newsmaker of the Year

Muskegon, MI – Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, accepted the Grand Rapids Business Journal 2017 Newsmaker of the Year award this morning at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. This award recognized Muskegon’s redevelopment over the year which includes over $1 billion in investments.

Over 600 West Michigan business and community leaders were on hand to witness the award recognition. “It is great to see Muskegon being recognized for its economic success,” says Larsen. “The Watch Muskegon campaign was launched at the perfect time to capture the amazing story of Muskegon’s evolution.”

The community engagement strategy formulated by the Watch Muskegon Campaign has tapped the energy of over 100 community stakeholders and thousands of area residents. “From large businesses and small business start-ups to investments by education and government, Muskegon’s resurgence is now unstoppable,” according to the Chamber President.

Also recognized at this event was GE Aviation/Norton Shores facility. They are one of many growing manufacturing companies located along the Muskegon Lakeshore.

newsmakerawardsIn addition to winning the 2017 Newsmaker of the Year award, Larsen and the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber won the Newsmaker award in the economic development category.

Each year, Grand Rapids Business Journal reporters and editors meet to discuss nominees for the upcoming Newsmaker of the Year honors. This year, more than 225 choices were considered before determining the top three nominees in 16 different categories. The top selection from each category was recognized with an industry Newsmaker award, and the 2017 Newsmaker of the Year was selected from among the winners of those 16 categories. The top Newsmaker in each category and the overall Newsmaker of the Year were announced during the event.

About the Chamber – The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing over 1,200 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 125 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is an award winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2015 by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events April 2-9, 2018

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

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
Monday, April 2 @ 6:00 pm
Come to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum for The Vietnam War by Ken Burns! Each episode will be followed by a discussion.  Admission is free with the purchase of museum admission.  Members are free.  For more information, call 231-755-1230.

Super Spring Break Days
April 2 – 5 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Monday – Thursday, April 2 – 5 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, come to the Muskegon Museum of Art for “Super Spring Break Days!”  Take an adventure and explore the museum’s awesome art collection.  There is free admission for one adult accompanying a child.

Instructor: Ronace Hogan

•  11:00am – 1:00pm  Docent in the gallery
•  11:00am – 2:00pm  Arts and crafts in the classroom
•  11:30am –  Film in the auditorium

Monday:  Pastels (permanent collection)
Tuesday:  Beading and Weaving (Thunder Boy, Jr.)
Wednesday:  Tooling (The Poetry of Metal)
Thursday:  Paint! (Expressions Student Art Exhibition)

Roll On Muskegon
Mondays @ 6:30 pm
“Roll on Muskegon” is a fun, community, bicycle ride through the neighborhoods of Muskegon.  Bikers meet every Monday at the downtown Muskegon Farmers’ Market.  This easy 8 mph, family friendly ride begins at 6:30pm.  For more information, find them on Facebook.

Lakeshore Museum Center: Spring Break Open House
April 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
It’s a Spring Break Open House at the Lakeshore Museum Center!  Enjoy crafts, wind tunnel science, and more hands-on fun.  For more information, call 231-722-0278.

Planetarium Show: Incoming!
Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 7:00 pm – 7:35 pm
Visit the Carr-Fles Planetarium at Muskegon Community College for the planetarium show, “Incoming!”  Tag along with robot explorers zooming past rocky asteroids and icy comets, all the way to Pluto, and discover how asteroids and comets have collided with our planet throughout history, changing the course of life on Earth.  Narrated by George Takei, this 2016 program gives audiences a closer look at the scientific advances that may allow us to find and track cosmic threats before they reach planet Earth.  This is a 35-minute presentation.  (The campus will be closed May 8-17 for break between semesters).  For more information, call (231) 777-0289.

Free Family Movie Day:  Where the Wild Things Are
April 4 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wednesday, April 4 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, come to the historic Frauenthal Theater for a free family movie day featuring “Where the Wild Things Are!” A young boy named Max has an active imagination, and he will throw fits if others don’t go along with what he wants.  Max, following an incident with his sister and her friends, and following a tantrum which he throws as a result of his Mother paying more attention to her boyfriend than to him, runs away from home.  Wearing his wolf costume at the time, Max not only runs away physically, but runs toward a world in his imagination.  This world, an ocean away, is inhabited by large wild beasts, including one named Carol who is much like Max himself in temperament.  Instead of eating Max like they normally would with creatures of his type, the wild things befriend Max after he proclaims himself a king who can magically solve all their problems. The film is free and no tickets are required.  For more information, call 231-722-9750.

A Taste from the Mountain Regions of Italy with Sofia
April 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market is offering the culinary class, “A Taste from the Mountain Regions of Italy with Sofia!” The Menu: Polenta e Frico (fried cheese and potatoes), Canederli (bread gnocchi), Polpette (meatballs), Gelato with warm blueberries Bring your appetite!  Learn from Sofia Occhialini who moved here four years ago from Italy where she spent her entire life.  The cost is $35.  For more information call 231-769-2202.

Pajama Party at the Art Museum
April 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
We will see you at the Muskegon Museum of Art for a “Pajama Party at the Museum!”  Wear your jammies (slippers optional) and have some fun as you enjoy an activity with their friends from the Lakeshore Museum Center, story time with their friends from Hackley Public Library, a hot cocoa station, art activity and a movie.  Admission is FREE!  For more information, call 231-720-2570.

Muskegon Museum of Art: Free Tours
Thursdays @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Every Thursday from 4:00pm – 8:00pm, you’re invited to the Muskegon Museum of Art for a free tour guided by MMA docents, compliments of Meijer!  For more information, call 231-720-2570.

Lakeshore Museum Center: Robot Open House
Saturday, April 7 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Come to the Lakeshore Museum Center for a Robot Open House!  Try out many of the newer robots in the Museum’s Science Center.  Program and learn with the Cubelets, Code-a-pillar, Little Bits and more. Lakeshore Museum Center Saturday Programs are open-house style and run from 1:00 – 3:00pm in the main museum building.  Programs and museum admission are free of charge for Muskegon County Residents.  Non-residents are just $3.  www.lakeshoremuseum.org

Indoor Farmers’ Market
Saturdays @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
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, November – April.  They will be closed Saturday, December 30.  For more information, call (231) 722-3251.

Sweetwater Local Foods Market
Saturdays @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sweetwater Local Foods Market is open year-round, every Saturday from 9:00am-Noon!  Healthy! Humane! Homegrown is their pledge to use NO synthetic fertilizers, NO synthetic chemical pesticides or herbicides, no growth promoting antibiotics and NO GMO’s!  You can find them in the lobby and parking lot of Mercy Health Lakes Village.  For more information, visit www.sweetwaterlocalfoodsmarket.org.

West Michigan Ironmen Home Game
Saturday, April 7 @ 7:00 pm
The West Michigan Ironmen is West Michigan’s only professional football team!  They strive to provide the highest level of competition and entertainment at an affordable price for the whole family.  You can catch their home games at 7:15pm at the L.C. Walker Arena.  Tickets start at under $10 and are available through www.startickets.com or at the L.C. Walker Box Office.   Saturday, April 7, they take on the Midway Marauders.  For more information, call (231) 457-4288.

The Swan Series
Sunday, April 8 @ 2:00 pm
Join host Robert Swan in a new lecture series entitled “The Swan Series.”  Bob will share many of his insights, experiences, and expertise gleaned from 34 years of performing in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under such famed conductors as George Solti, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Leopoldo Stowkowski, Claudio Abbado, and many others.  Lectures will be held at the United Methodist Church in Whitehall.

On April 8 at 2:00pm, The Swan Series continues with “OUTSIDE AGAIN!”  Aaron Copland’s APPALACHIAN SPRING is one of the first uniquely American compositions both in concept and sound.  Bob Swan will explain why it is so “American” and so loved by people everywhere.  Quite selfishly, he hopes that by focusing on this masterpiece, winter’s grip on us will loosen.  The suggested donation is $7 at the door.

The Swan Series is a new program of the White Lake Music Society which produces world-class chamber music concerts, promotes and supports classical music learning opportunities for all ages, and creates awareness of the value and significance of fine music.  More information may be found at www.whitelakemusic.org.

Vegetarian Doesn’t Mean Flavorless with Sofia
Monday, April 9 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market is offering the culinary class, “Vegetarian Doesn’t Mean Flavorless with Sofia!” The Menu: Minestrone, Baked leek and asiago frittata, Vegetable pie Learn from Sofia Occhialini who moved her four years ago after spending her entire life in Italy and be sure to bring your appetite!  The cost is $35.  For more information call 231-769-2202.

Live Jazz with Checkers Morton
Monday, April 9 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
April is Jazz Month!  April 9 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Hackley Public Library will celebrate by welcoming Checkers Morton and his band of friends who have been playing together for 40 years, offer amazing, original compositions like “Dan’s Lighthearted Padge” and “Little Raga.”  Their music comes from their heart & soul and features wood, reeds, brass, ivory and primal drums.  This concert is free and open to the public.  For more information, call  231-722-8000.

Muskegon Community College: Wind and Jazz Ensembles Concert
Monday, April 9 @ 7:30 pm
Monday, April 9 at 7:30pm, come to the Frauenthal Theater for the Muskegon Community College Wind and Jazz Ensembles Concert, featuring traditional wind and jazz ensemble music of all styles.  Tickets are $6 or free for students.  For more information, call 231-727-8001.

Grand Valley State University – Fall 2017 Dean’s List

Grand Valley State University announces the names of students who were placed on the dean’s list for the Fall 2017 semester concluding in December. The list includes those students who have maintained a 3.5 grade point average and been enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits. The honor is noted on the students’ official records.

Students honored for the fall semester include:

Fruitport: Kendra Bringedahl; Jade Johnson; Rebeka Johnson; Alyson Rosema; Brianna Routt; Caitlyn Sutton; Courtney Wagasky

Muskegon (49444): Montoya Briggs; Jared Cloutier; Brandy Cumbee; Stephanie Eslick; Alyssa Keith; James Little; Christopher Parisian; Cade Snuffer; Michael Valachovics; Carl Wilson

Nunica: Nickolas Carrier; Catherine Cushway; Lydia Engelsma; Alexandra Gemmen; Noah Strasler

Ravenna: Marissa Aney; Weston Bernath; Lillian Lieffers; Shaina McKinnon; Haley Pearson; Justin Pelham; Nicole Townsend; Brooke VanDonkelaar

Spring Lake: Brandon Aho; Cameron Amaya; Zachary Anderson; Stefanos Apostle; Kevin Boyer; Alexander Brower; Daniel Brower; Lauren Brown; Lance Burt; Hannah Cabala; Arden Clark; Benton Conrad; Haylee Coon; Jacob Drelles; Laurie English; Edgardo Fernandez; Megan Galligan; Margaret Ginocchio; Karlee Hale; Madison Harloff; Alyssa Hartley; Lauren Homolka; Rachel Howard; Anna Huizenga; Jillian Huizenga; Alec Kieft; Zachary Mahan; Emily Marine; Christian Pelke; Joseph Rohloff; Alicia Ryke; Heather Schmitt; Tirzah Schmuker; Dylan Styburski; Victoria Tober; Joshua Tull; Emily Turbett; Kyle VanDenHeuvel; Abby VanOtteren; Samuel Ventocilla; Travis Ward; Jacob Weesies; Leah Wilcox; Natalie Wilson

Ottawa County Honors Employees for Customer Service

Join us in congratulating Amy Brown and Kara Bostrom-Young from the 58th District Court and Jocelyn Garris from the Human Resources Office, who have been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the fourth quarter of 2017. You can read the nominations which earned each recipient an award plus learn more about them at miOttawa.org.

Crisis-Trained Chaplains Minister to Suffering Communities After Recent Shootings

bgeachaplainsThe Billy Graham Rapid Response team deployed crisis-trained chaplains to South Carolina and Kentucky following fatal shootings in January. On Jan. 16, four law enforcement officers in York County, S.C., were shot while searching for a suspect after responding to a domestic violence call. While three of the four officers survived, the attack claimed the life of Det. Mike Doty. One week later, a 15-year-old student opened fire at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., killing two and injuring 14.

In both locations, the chaplains were requested by the community to provide emotional and spiritual care. They have had the opportunity to pray with families, local pastors, law enforcement, and many of the survivors.

“Sudden, tragic deaths like we’ve seen in South Carolina and Kentucky are heart-wrenching,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “They affect not only the survivors and the families of the victims, but the entire community. Lives are forever changed. Join us in praying for those who are broken and mourning, and those who will carry the physical and emotional scars for years to come.”

It’s So Easy: Apply for an Ottawa County Job

February 19, Ottawa County launched a new online job application system that will make applying for Ottawa County employment even easier. Job seekers visiting miOttawa.org will be able to complete user profiles, search for available positions, apply for multiple openings at once and sign-up for notifications about new employment opportunities.

“This is an exciting time as we move towards providing job applicants with a system that is seamless, user-friendly, and creates greater efficiencies across Ottawa County,” said Marcie Ver Beek, HR Director with Ottawa County. “We believe this transition will help us continue to be competitive in terms of talent acquisition and marketing Ottawa County as a great place to work.”

Internally, the technology will allow hiring managers to quickly and strategically assess skill sets, reduce bias and expedite hiring.

Currently, over 20 positions are posted at miOttawa.org and interested applicants can apply online—easily.

Smash Wine Bar & Bistro Expands To Serve Lunch

smashlogoMUSKEGON, MI- Contemporary downtown restaurant, Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, will open for lunch beginning March 1, 2018. The two-story restaurant located in the Historic Frauenthal Center will serve lunch 11:00 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with normal dinner service still starting at 4:00pm daily.

Diners may call ahead to order from a special carry out menu for a quick bite, or order from the full menu when dining in at the restaurant. For those that need an on the go option, Smash will feature a $10 Lunch Box Special.

Smash Phone: (231) 246-7910
Email: Annah@SmashWineBar.com

Missing History During Black History Month

submitted by Chris Gast

Black History Month has a long and venerable tradition. It began with a press release in 1926 celebrating a week to showcase the advancement of the Black community from bondage to freedom. It was set in February to coincide with the birthdays of two great men: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. These men sacrificed much for the principle that every member of the human race enjoys the same inalienable rights.

While the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution have done much to protect the inalienable rights of every American, abortion is a gaping hole in the foundation of our inalienable right to life. Millions of lives have disappeared into this hole, and no community has been more affected by abortion than the Black community.

Since 1973 there have been more than an estimated 19 million abortions in the Black community. Today in America there are 43 million Americans who are Black. A third of Black History Month is missing because a third of the people whose stories make up that history are gone.

There are many problems facing the Black community today, but abortion is frequently overlooked. Since 1973 abortion has taken more Black lives than every other cause of death combined. Let’s repeat it, and reflect on this: if you add up every death for every reason for every member of the Black community since 1973, it doesn’t equal the amount of Black abortions.

That’s the bad news. The good news is abortion rates in minority communities are declining, though very slowly. In Michigan additional effort by the prolife movement is being focused on reaching out to communities with high abortion rates, particularly Detroit. Though they don’t get much media attention, many prolife people serve in organizations whose mission is to help women and men in crisis pregnancies.

What more can be done? This is a complex issue. Women have abortions for many reasons, including diverse issues like economics, relationships, and futures. There are many complicated reasons for high Black abortion rates, and these reasons can’t be addressed overnight.

The most important roadblock to addressing this problem is not its complicated nature; it’s the failure of many to even identify there’s a huge problem here.

Facing complex problems is difficult, especially one touching issues that already generate controversy. Yet Black History Month remains a living testament that America has the resolve to face down difficult challenges.

www.RTL.org

Village of Fruitport – Council Meeting Minutes – 03/19/18

VILLAGE OF FRUITPORT
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
MARCH 19th, 2018

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, Carl Rothenberger and Will Overkamp
Absent: Bill Stone
Also present: Jeremy Statler, DPW Supervisor and Village attorney Dave Bossenbroek

5. Approval of previous meeting minutes from February 19.
Motion made by Donna to approve the minutes, supported by Amy. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

6. Approve the agenda for the March 19, 2018 Council meeting
Motion made by Amy to approve the agenda, supported by Will. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

7. Public Comment
Mark Oldenburg, 270 Pine, distributed copies of his property showing portions of his home are in the road right of way. A discussion took place about the situation. Dave Bossenbroek, Village attorney, suggested an easement for the encroachment. Mark will provide a survey of the property. Mark is asking for a compromise that works for him and the Village.

8. Correspondence (Ann – 2017-2018 Budget)
Distributed a copy of the “Dancing into the Sunset” schedule to council members.
Carl made a motion to transfer $8,500.00 from the General Fund to Local Streets to cover Equipment Rent and Signs and to amend the 2017-2018 General Fund budget and Local Streets budget accordingly, supported by Amy. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp. NAYES: None

9. Reports from Officers (Each Council Member)
Donna had nothing to report.
Amy will give an update about the Friends of the Park Group meeting under item #14.
Will had nothing to report.
Carl advised that there will be a Personnel Committee meeting on 3-20-18. Carl discussed updating our phone/fax system. Now Connect will provide us with information on it for review.
Carl also discussed a new docking station and 3 screen monitors for the clerk. Motion made by Carl to purchase a docking station and 3 screen monitors for the clerk and not to exceed $1,000.00, supported by Amy. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None
Roger had nothing to report.

10. Compensatory Time Off
Carl advised that the Personnel Committee will not be implementing a CTO policy and that the Village will continue to pay overtime instead of CTO time. Motion made by Carl to abolish the CTO policy, supported by Amy. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

11. Lions Club Old Fashioned Days Fireworks permit, Street Closure and Traffic Order
Motion made by Donna to approve the Lions Club requests for Old Fashioned Days Fireworks permit, Street Closure and Traffic Order, supported by Carl. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

12. Garbage fee rate for 2018-2019
Motion made by Carl to set the garbage/recycling rate at $126.27 per year per single family resident and a fee of $157.84 for delinquent accounts, supported by Donna. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

13. Liquor license Local Government Approval for James Pancy
James Pancy addressed the council and requested the council approval to apply for a liquor license.
Motion made by Donna to approve the Liquor License Local Government Approval for James Pancy, supported by Carl. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None

14. Park Reservation Modification Proposal
Amy discussed a new park reservations proposal. Previous reservations will be grandfathered. New rates were discussed. Motion made by Amy to approve the Proposal of two time blocks for park rental on Saturday and Sunday allowing for more people to utilize Pomona Park facilities. Established times block will be 8am to 2:30pm and 3:30pm and 9:00pm and the new fees as presented.

15. Budget Hearing
Motion made by Donna to close the regular meeting at 7:50pm, supported by Carl. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.
Motion made by Donna to open the budget hearing at 7:51pm, supported by Carl. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

16. 2018-2019 Budget Adoption
Motion made by Donna to adopt the 2018-2019 budget as presented, supported by Amy. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None
Roger Vanderstelt read the Budget Resolution and made a motion to authorize Ann LaCroix to pay bills, supported by Carl. (See attachment) Roll call vote: AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp. NAYES: None
Motion made by Donna to close the budget hearing at 7:56pm, supported by Carl. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.
Motion made by Donna to reopen the regular meeting at 7:57pm, supported by Carl. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

17. Public Comments
Jay Bolt, 294 8th Street, questioned the last time we had a millage increase. Roger advised that we had a decrease approximately in 2008. Jay questioned the Village attorney about the difference between rental or permits for the use of the park. Dave advised rental is pay for use. Permit is to give permission to use the park.

18. Closed session to consider possible purchase of real property
Motion made by Carl to close regular meeting at 8:03pm, supported by Will. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None
Motion made by Will to open closed session at 8:04pm, supported by Amy. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None
Motion made by Carl to close the closed session at 8:18pm, supported by Will. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None
Motion made by Carl to open regular meeting at 8:19pm, supported by Donna. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None

Motion made by Amy to approve the Purchase Agreement and authorization for Roger to sign it, supported by Carl. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None
Motion made by Amy to approve sale of securities when they are received from the donor, supported by Carl. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None
Motion made by Carl for Jeremy to have a survey done of the property, supported by Will. Roll Call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None

19. Warrants
Motion made by Carl to approve warrants, supported by Donna. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None

20. Adjourn
Motion made by Donna to adjourn at 8:26pm, supported by Carl. With a unanimous vote the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by,

Ann LaCroix, Clerk

Village of Fruitport – Budget Meeting Minutes – 03/19/18

VILLAGE OF FRUITPORT
BUDGET MEETING
MARCH 19th, 2018

1. Call to Order
President Roger Vanderstelt called the meeting to order at 6:05pm

2. Pledge

3. Prayer

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

5. Approval of previous meeting minutes (March 12th)
Motion made by Donna to approve the previous meeting minutes, supported by Amy. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

6. Approve the agenda for March 19th Budget Meeting
Motion made by Amy to approve the agenda for the meeting, supported by Donna. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

7. Public Comment
None

8. 2018-2019 Budget Discussion
Ann distributed a copy of discussion items for the 2018-2019 budget. A review of all items took place and a determination was made of which items to include in the 2018-2019 budget. Motion made by Donna to approve the items on the list that the council agreed upon for the 2018-2019 budget, supported by Carl. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack and Rothenberger. NAYES: None

9. Public Comment
Jay Bolt, 294 8th Street, questioned the council about the 2020 3rd street project and ditch maintenance in the Village. Roger and Amy both gave explanations on the subject. Jay also suggested having a community marquee to post any community items. He was advised that we are considering a new marquee in the future. It is currently not in our budget.

10. Adjourn
Motion made by Donna to adjourn at 6:48pm, supported by Carl. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by,
Ann LaCroix, Clerk

Village of Fruitport – Budget Meeting Minutes – 03/12/18

VILLAGE OF FRUITPORT
BUDGET MEETING
MARCH 12, 2018

1. Call to Order
President Roger Vanderstelt called the meeting to order at 7:00pm

2. Pledge

3. Prayer

4. Roll Call
Present: Roger Vanderstelt, Donna Pope, Amy Haack, Carl Rothenberger and Bill Overkamp who arrived at 7:03pm
Absent: Bill Stone
Also Present: Jeremy Statler, DPW Supervisor

5. Approval of previous meeting minutes (February 26th)
Motion made by Amy to approve the February 26th meeting minutes, supported by Bill. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

6. Approve the agenda for March 12th Budget Meeting
Motion made by Amy to approve the agenda for the meeting, supported by Bill. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

7. Public Comment
None

8. Correspondence
None

9. Reports from Officers
Donna reported that the library has hired a new director.
Amy had nothing to report.
Will questioned the paving on Brooks Rd, one side of the street is the Village and the other side the Township. It was explained that the Village is required to take care of both sides of the road.
Carl advised that the Personnel Committee had a meeting and they abolished the current possible employee increase raise process of 0-5%. The Committee will meet again to discuss wages and benefits based on the budget and other factors. They will present their suggestions to council for approval.
Roger advised of a lunch and learn training session for MIOSHA. The cost is $15.00 for the DPW Supervisor to attend. Motion made by Roger to approve the $15.00 fee for Jeremy to attend the lunch and learn on March 20, 2018, supported by Donna. With a unanimous vote,
the motion carried.

10. 2018-2019 Budget Discussion
Ann distributed a revised copy of discussion items for the 2018-2019 budget. A review of all items took place. Ann will add the approved items to the budget for final review at the next meeting.

11. Street Name Sign Discussion
Jeremy presented a quote for new street name signs and available choices.
A discussion took place about the costs and signs. Carl made a motion to meet federal government regulation of replacing all street signs with reflective signs that are white and green in color and first letter of street is capitalized not to exceed $4,500.00, supported by Bill. Roll call AYES: Vanderstelt, Pope, Haack, Rothenberger and Overkamp NAYES: None
Amy suggested selling the old signs to raise money for projects.

12. Adjourn
Motion made by Donna to adjourn the meeting at 8:33pm, supported by Amy. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by,

Ann LaCroix
Clerk

Fruitport Board of Education Regular Monthly Meeting – Minutes – 03/26/18

Fruitport Board of Education
Regular Monthly Meeting
March 26, 2018 7:00 p.m.
Shettler Media Center

I. The Regular meeting of the Board of Education was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Board President, Dave Hazekamp.

II. The PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE was recited.

III. ROLL CALL: Present – Jill Brott, Elroy Buckner, Tim Burgess, Kris Cole, Susan Franklin, Dave Hazekamp, and Steve Kelly.

IV. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Item 18-036. MOTION by Cole, SECOND by Brott to approve the agenda with the addition of Chelly Brown, Dispatcher on the Personnel Report (attachment IX-7)
MOTION CARRIED 7-0

V. PRESENTATIONS
Principal, Janelle Duffey welcomed the Board, staff, and audience to Shettler School. She introduced School Counselor, Kelly Hoekenga.

Under the leadership and direction of Kelly Hoekenga, ten Shettler students presented information on Mindfulness. They took turns describing the brain, how it works, and calming strategies such as: take a short walk, positive self-talk, pressure points, and belly breathing. Mindful kids = happy kids!

Dr. John Severson and Randy Lindquist from the MAISD reviewed their strategic goals, key areas of collaborative focus, and programs specific to the MAISD. They spoke about Project Best, Math Recovery, Early Literacy and Muskegon Made among other things. Their presentation was very insightful highlighting multiple successes over the past few years.

VI. COMMUNICATIONS
Board Secretary, Steve Kelly read aloud a thank you note from the family of Shelley Taylor, Ken Taylor’s mother.

VII. REMARKS FROM THE PUBLIC
None.

VIII. SUPERINTENDENT/ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Mr. Szymoniak addressed the MAISD Budget Review date conflict. He suggested that Mark Mesbergen attend on the Board’s behalf.

IX. CONSENT AGENDA
Item 18-037. MOTION by Cole, SECOND by Brott to approve the Consent Agenda with the addition of Chelly Brown, Dispatcher on the Personnel Report.
1. Approval of Special Meeting Minutes of March 1, 2018
2. Acceptance of Bills, Monthly Financial Report, and ACH Transactions
3. Acceptance of Student Activity Summary Report
4. Acceptance of Credit Card and Utilities Report
5. Approval of Capital Projects Progress Report
6. Approval of Personnel Report
MOTION CARRIED 7-0

X. GENERAL BOARD BUSINESS
1. Approval of the First Reading of Board Policies 5610 and 5611.
Item 18-038. MOTION by Franklin, SECOND by Brott to approve the first reading of board policies 5610 and 5611 as presented.
MOTION CARRIED 7-0

2. Approval of Rescinding Pool Repair Bidding.
Item 18-039. MOTION by Brott, SECOND by Kelly to rescind the original directive to put the pool repair out to bid in October 2017 as presented. Roll Call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Kelly, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes.
MOTION CARRIED 7-0

3. Ratification of Bond Resolution.
Item 18-040. MOTION by Kelly, SECOND by Brott to adopt the resolution authorizing issuance of bonds, payment schedule, and other matters relating thereto as presented. Roll Call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Kelly, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes.
MOTION CARRIED 7-0

XI. BUSINESS AND FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Report of committee meeting held March 10, 2018.
Elroy Buckner reported on a Business and Finance Committee meeting held March 10, 2018. Dave Hazekamp, Elroy Buckner, Kris Cole, Mark Mesbergen, and Bob Szymoniak were present. The committee discussed: vehicles and a potential property exchange with Spring Lake. They received updates on: the bond, a lawsuit, and a grievance.

XII. PERSONNEL COMMITTEE REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Report of committee meeting held March 14, 2018.
Steve Kelly reported on a Personnel Committee meeting held March 14, 2018. Dave Hazekamp, Steve Kelly, Tim Burgess, and Bob Szymoniak were present. The committee discussed: staffing, rescinding the pool bid, virtual programming and a potential property exchange with Spring Lake. They received updates on: the bond, a lawsuit, and a grievance.

XIII. STUDENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Report of committee meeting held March 14, 2018.
Jill Brott reported on a Student Affairs Committee meeting held March 14, 2018. Jill Brott, Dave Hazekamp, Allison Camp, Susan Franklin, Rob Rogers and Bob Szymoniak were present. The committee discussed: transitional kindergarten, rescinding the pool bid, and a potential property exchange with Spring Lake. They received updates on: the bond, a lawsuit, virtual programming, and a grievance.

2. Approval of the Overnight Trip Requests.
Item 18-041. MOTION by Brott, SECOND by Cole to approve DECA’s National Conference, April 20 -25, 2018 in Atlanta, GA ~ BPA’s National Conference, May 9 -13, 2018 in Dallas, TX as presented.
MOTION CARRIED 7-0

XIV. BOARD MEMBER REPORTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Jill Brott spoke about Black History Month and Quiz Bowl at Shettler. Both were very successful programs that ended with a pizza party. Jill also mentioned a postcard she received from Prosecutor, DJ Hilson inviting the community to a panel discussion on the effects of marijuana.

Steve Kelly commended the Fruitport Competitive Cheer coaches and team who received their highest score at Districts recently. He highlighted many of their accomplishments this year including various sportsmanship acknowledgements. He also mentioned that Winterguard placed 2nd.

Kris Cole gave a ROBOTICS update and mentioned the Team Spirit award they recently won. He was also very proud of GREASE, the musical, performed by students on March 23rd and 24th .

Bob Szymoniak reminded board members of the upcoming MCSBA Spring Dinner on May 3rd.

Dave Hazekamp spoke about a recent Community Business Breakfast. He was pleased with the positive updates happening in our area. Dave complimented Ken Erny and the Fruitport Athletic Hall of Fame committee for another spectacular event!

XV. AGENDA ITEMS for FUTURE MEETINGS & SCHEDULING OF ANY SPECIAL MEETINGS
1. Business and Finance Committee will meet April 9, 2018 at 11:30 a.m.
2. Personnel Committee will meet April 11, 2018 at 7:00 a.m.
3. Student Affairs Committee will meet April 11, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
4. A Board Workshop has been scheduled on April 25, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room.

XVI. REMARKS FROM THE PUBLIC
None.

XVII. ADJOURNMENT
Item 18-042. MOTION by Buckner, SECOND by Brott to adjourn.
MOTION CARRIED 7-0

The meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Kelly
Board Secretary

Maribeth Clarke
Recording Secretary

FCS – Student Affairs Committee Meeting Minutes – 03/14/18

Student Affairs Committee
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
4:00 p.m. ~ Superintendent’s Office
MEETING MINUTES

Attendance: Jill Brott, Susan Franklin, Dave Hazekamp, Rob Rogers, Allison Camp, Bob Szymoniak

1. An update on virtual programming was given citing two high school students that needed a virtual option. More on this as it develops.

2. A brief discussion was held concerning a law suit that had been filed the previous week against the district.

3. The committee was informed that a spreadsheet updating bond expenditures would be part of the monthly Board packet moving forward.

4. An update on progress toward offering a Transitional Kindergarten program for the fall of 2018 was given.

5. A property transfer concerning a lot that was divided between Fruitport Community Schools and Spring Lake Public Schools was discussed.

6. The committee was informed that there would be a Board Action Request on the Board’s upcoming agenda that would request rescinding a directive to put pool repairs out for bid last October.

Adjournment at 5:17 p.m.

FCS – Personnel Committee Meeting Minutes – 03/14/18

PERSONNEL COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
7:00 a.m. ~ Superintendent’s Office
MEETING MINUTES

Attendance: Steve Kelly, Dave Hazekamp, Tim Burgess, Bob Szymoniak

1. A brief update on a pending lawsuit was presented.

2. A brief update on a pending grievance was presented.

3. Committee members were informed that an updated bond spreadsheet will be part of the financials in every Board packet as we move forward with the bond project.

4. It was discussed that in order to staff the new Transitional Kindergarten program the district would need to hire a paraprofessional, but a hiring a new teacher at this time was not necessary. That said, to staff this position there may be involuntary transfers among elementary teachers.

5. It was discussed that the Board would be asked to rescind an action they approved last summer to go out for bid regarding repairs to the pool. Currently our construction manager is working with our new operations director to get a more comprehensive and accurate picture of the repairs needed and associated cost of bringing the pool back online.

6. A property exchange with Spring Lake was discussed regarding a lot in the Hathaway Lakes subdivision that is part in the Spring Lake school district and part in Fruitport. In order to make the lot completely part of the Spring Lake district, they are willing to give a small parcel of property to Fruitport in exchange.

7. Virtual programming for students unable to attend day school was briefly discussed.

Adjourned at 8:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted by Bob Szymoniak

FCS – Business and Finance Committee Meeting Minutes – 03/12/18

Business and Finance Committee
Monday, March 12, 2018
11:30 a.m., Superintendent’s Office
Meeting Minutes

Attendance: Dave Hazekamp, Elroy Buckner, Kris Cole, Mark Mesbergen, and Bob Szymoniak

1. Truck/Van Replacement Schedule
Mark discussed a potential replacement schedule that would start this fiscal year and continue from there on.

2. Bond Update
Mark presented options for board reports related to the bond.

3. Law Suit Update
Bob presented an update on the law suit.

4. Grievance Update
Bob presented an update on a grievance.

5. Spring Lake Property Exchange
Bob presented an update on a potential property exchange with Spring Lake.

Meeting adjourned at 12:31 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Mark Mesbergen

Announcing the Idema Explorers Trail

Now announcing the Idema Explorers Trail!
The Ottawa Parks Foundation is pleased to announce a landmark $2 million gift from the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation for the development of the Grand River Greenway.

idemalogoThe Ottawa County Parks Foundation appreciates the great passion and support of Bea Idema for nature, education and for the preservation of the environment for future generations. In recognition of this gift and support, the central feature of the Grand River Greenway – the Explorers Trail – will be named in honor of Bill and Bea Idema.

“Bea Idema is a dear friend of mine. She’s a special person with a generous heart,” said Greenway Campaign Co-Chair Peter Secchia. “Through this gift, the Greenway Campaign has turned a corner – we are now much closer to achieving our goal of raising $7.2 million to expand access to the thousands of acres of land along the Grand River, protect additional land, and complete a trail connection between Millennium Park and the Grand Haven beach.”

beaidema“Bea’s spirit – her love of nature, of sharing nature with others, and educating young people – match the spirit and experience we hope to create with the Idema Explorers Trail,” said Greenway Campaign Co-Chair Monica Verplank.

“We are proud to re-name the trail the Idema Explorers Trail. Bea and her family have done so much for the West Michigan community, for Grand Valley State University, and for Ottawa County Parks. The Idema family also has deep ties to the Greenway lands. That is why we feel the name is a perfect fit,” added Greenway Campaign Co-Chair Samantha Verplank.

Bill and Bea Idema provided support for the development of one of the premier Greenway parks: Grand Ravines. This includes providing funding for the Aldrink Ravines Overlook and $350,000 for a 275’ Suspension Bridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the state. Bea’s sister, Joyce Versluis played a strong support role and is especially excited about the Greenway connecting the campuses of Grand Valley State University. “It is wonderful that GVSU students will be able to hike, bike, and kayak between the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses and enjoy the beautiful nature and environment of the Grand River Valley.”

The Greenway Campaign is the culmination of the 30-year vision to create a vast natural space along the Grand River and connect people to it. Thousands of acres of high quality natural and recreational lands have been protected to-date, but to complete the vision and make needed connections Ottawa County Parks plans to acquire 700 acres of additional land and construct 27 miles of new trail (with 13 miles of the trail along or near the river or other water features) over the next five years. This will require $21 million in funding, with the Parks Foundation seeking $7.2 million in philanthropic gifts to leverage anticipated public funding.

In addition to land acquisition and trail construction, an important component of the Greenway plan is to create a distinctive trail “experience” through wayfinding, interpretive displays, and possibly even artwork in appropriate locations.

“It is really important that there is a strong identity on the Idema Explorers Trail and that the Greenway has sense of place. We want users to be confident of where they are going and know what amenities are available along the way,” said Ottawa County Parks Director John Scholtz. As part of this effort to create an identity, Spring Lake design firm Concept A was hired to develop a logo for the trail.

The planned interpretive experience was an important factor for the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation supporting the Greenway project. “The Grand River is not only important to West Michigan ecologically, but is one of the West Michigan’s defining features historical and culturally. Therefore, everyone feels it is important that we use the Greenway to tell the story of the Grand River from pre-European settlement, through the logging era, and to the current time,” said Myron Aldrink, Greenway Campaign committee member. Ottawa County Parks plans to establish a team to assist with the design and development of the interpretive displays throughout the Greenway.

overlook

Aldrink Ravines Overlook on the Idema Explorers Trail through Grand Ravines

The Times They Are A Changing

by Mike Simcik

There seems to be a lot of talk lately about Senior Centers in the area and most of it not very flattering.

For example; Sometime before the presidential election a notice was sent out in the monthly news bulletin from a local senior center that their computer system database and membership files were hacked into and stolen. I received one of these notices in the mail.

If anyone had a curious or suspicious mind one would wonder what happened to that very private and personal information and how was it illegally used. Of course, everyone knows senior centers are state and federally funded which is enough to make anyone’s eyebrows raise.

Just suppose that information was used in favor of one candidate or the other. It’s just a guess on my part but it is more than possible that a lot of senior citizens in this area voted for someone they did not want to.

For that matter, in these disturbing times, we live in today, our seniors could have voted several times without knowing it. Since hacking never happened before at these places, why now, and just before election time?

Another issue has taken shape and in no way are any conclusions being drawn. But it has been noticed and talked about by many seniors that there is an appalling lack of ethnicity in those same Senior Centers. We know there is a considerable population of retired African Americans and Hispanic in Grand Haven and Muskegon areas that do not go to or are a member of a senior center. Perhaps they feel there is not much offered for them at these centers.

The one thing that sticks in my mind because of recent events is some practical advice for all senior citizens and that is; keep your private life information private and watch your back. These are very disturbing and socially unfriendly times we live in dividing our nation.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 03/26/18 – 04/09/18

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


The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
Mondays @ 6:00 pm
Monday evenings at 6:00pm, January 29 – April 2, come to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum for The Vietnam War by Ken Burns!  Each episode will be followed by a discussion.  Admission is free with the purchase of museum admission.  Members are free.  For more information, call 231-755-1230.

Authentic Italian Lasagna with Sofia
March 26 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Monday, March 26 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to the culinary class, “Authentic Italian Lasagna with Sofia!”  Come learn how to make the genuine lasagna famous all over the world.  You will make it from scratch just like mom used to make it!  Learn from Sofia Occhialini who moved to Muskegon four years ago from Italy.  Bring your appetite!  The cost is $35.  For more information, call (231) 769-2202.

Feeding the Soul of the City Free Concert
March 27 @ 12:00 pm
Tuesday, March 27 at 12:15pm, you’re invited to the historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Muskegon for the “Feeding the Soul of the City” free lunch time concert featuring excellent classical pianist, Solee Lee-Clark.  Coffee, tea and cookies will be served for free starting at 11:30am.  Attendees may bring a bag lunch to enjoy before or during the concert.  For any questions or more information, feel free to contact the St. Paul’s office at 231-722-2112.

Planetarium Show: Faster than Light! The Dream of Interstellar Flight
March 27 @ 7:00 pm – 7:35 pm
January 16 – March 29 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, come to Carr-Fles Planetarium for “Faster than Light!  The Dream of Interstellar Flight!”  The impulse to strike out into the unknown, to see what’s over the horizon is as old as humanity.  Today, a whole new horizon beckons.  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.

White Lake Winter Lecture Series: The Art of Taste
March 27 @ 7:00 pm

The White Lake Winter Lecture Series, presented by the White Lake Music Society, comes to a close with a presentation by Chef Jill Hansen on March 27, at 7:00pm.  Ms. Hansen will share on “The Art of Taste” from her many years of experience as a master chef at Cichetti Culinary Studio.  This will take place at the Book Nook and Java Shop.

Join Chef Jill Hansen as the art of food is explored.  Food’s history is as complex as some of the finest French dishes.  Ingredients, preparation, social implications, and a look into the future as our planet faces real challenges.  Take home a new recipe and enjoy some samples.

Admission is $5 at the door.  For more information, please contact Director Sondra Cross at 231-329-3056 or visit us online at www.musicwhitelake.org.

Launch Lecture Series
March 28 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Wednesday, March 28 from 9:00am – 10:00am, come to the Muskegon Innovation Hub to hear Dr. Timothy Syfert speak on “The Importance of Creating Value for Your Customers.”  This lecture will provide insights and ideas to help you grow your business.  Breakfast is provided.  For more information, call  616-331-6900.

Page to Screen Noir: Rear Window
March 28 @ 1:30 pm
Wednesday, March 28 at 1:30pm, the Norton Shores Library hosts Page to Screen Noir, where you can read a classic noir mystery each month and then watch the film it inspired.  For March, participants will read “Rear Window” by Cornell Woolrich and then watch the 1944 movie!

Are hard-boiled detectives and mysterious women among your favorite fictional characters in a book or a movie?  Combine your passion for both with March’s book, Rear Window, which is actually a short story by Cornell Woolrich.  A laid-up magazine photographer witnesses a possible murder from his apartment window and decides to solve the crime himself.  The movie was released in 1954, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starred Grace Kelly and James Stewart.

Page to Screen Noir includes an informal discussion of both formats, plus popcorn!  You’ll need to bring your own soft drinks!  Copies of the book are available at the Library while supplies last.  This program, funded by the Friends of the Norton Shores Library, is free and open to the public ages 18 and up.  For additional information, contact Alison Purgiel, lead librarian, at 231-780-8844 or apurgiel@madl.org.

Student Reception:  Expressions
March 28 @ 5:30 pm – March 29 @ 7:00 pm
Wednesday, March 28, from 5:30pm – 7:00pm, you’re invited to the Muskegon Museum of Art for the opening reception of “Expressions 2018: 36th Annual Muskegon County Student Art Exhibition!”  This is the annual collaboration between the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and the MMA that showcases the artistic talents of Muskegon County K-12 students.  Artworks in a variety of media, selected by art specialists from each of the public, charter, and private schools in the county, will be in the show.  Visit the exhibition and attend student receptions to celebrate and support our county’s young student artists and their creative vision.  Refreshments will be served and event admission is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 231-720-2570.

Muskegon Museum of Art: Free Thursday Evening Tours
Thursdays @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Every Thursday from 4:00pm – 8:00pm, you’re invited to the Muskegon Museum of Art for a free tour guided by MMA docents, compliments of Meijer!  For more information, call 231-720-2570.

Swing Dance Lessons at SE4SONS
March 29 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Join Swing Dance Instructor, Becky Biesiada, at SE4SONS for a series of 3 classes in March!  This is a fun opportunity to learn something new! Don’t forget to check out SE4SONS Gastropub after class for great Happy Hour Deals!  This is limited to the first 30 participants. Everyone is welcome and you do not need to be a Muskegon CC Member to participate.  Call 231-755-3737 for reservations today.

East & West Coast Swing
Class Dates: March 15, 22, 29
Class Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Cost: $80 per couple/ $55 per single

Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
March 30 @ 7:00 pm – March 31 @ 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 two home games, Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31 at 7:15pm as the Jacks take on the Omaha Lancers at the L.C. Walker Arena. Purchase tickets by calling 231-724-5225.

Hamlet
March 30 @ 7:30 pm
March 30 at 7:30pm, come to the Beardsley Theater as the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company presents, “Hamlet!”  Shakespeare’s masterpiece comes to life in this new production directed by Scott Lange.  Hamlet, prince of Denmark, returns home to mourn his father’s death, and finds that his mother has married his uncle, and his uncle has become the king.  When the old king’s ghost demands revenge for his murder, Hamlet must decide what course he will take in this compelling tragedy.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens.  For more information, call 231-722-9750.

Indoor Farmers’ Market
Saturdays @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
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, November – April.  They will be closed Saturday, December 30.  For more information, call (231) 722-3251.

Sweetwater Local Foods Market
Saturdays @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sweetwater Local Foods Market is open year-round, every Saturday from 9:00am-Noon!  Healthy! Humane! Homegrown is their pledge to use NO synthetic fertilizers, NO synthetic chemical pesticides or herbicides, no growth promoting antibiotics and NO GMO’s!  You can find them in the lobby and parking lot of Mercy Health Lakes Village.  For more information, visit www.sweetwaterlocalfoodsmarket.org.

Easter Egg Hunt: Glenside
March 31 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Plan now to attend Glenside’s sixth annual Easter Egg Hunt at McGraft Park on Saturday, March 31 from 10:00am – 11:30am!  Enjoy free juice and donuts, meet the Easter Bunny, and enter the free raffle drawing for lots of prizes including two kids’ bicycles!  The hunts are divided into 3 age groups (3 and under, 4-7, and 8-12), so everyone comes away a winner!  For more information, call the Glenside Neighborhood Association at 231-855-8228.

Thanks to the very generous sponsors for contributing to this event, including Coldwell Banker Woodland-Schmidt, The Lube Shop, Great Lakes Fresh Market, Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, Skeetown Tavern, Positively Muskegon and The Camera Shop.

Easter Egg Hunt: Sheldon Park
March 31 @ 10:00 am
Saturday, March 31 at 10:00am, you’re invited to bring your kids ages 4 – 12 to Sheldon Park for an Easter Egg Hunt!  Enjoy a visit with the Easter Bunny and enter a raffle for an adult Easter basket.  The rain location will be Evanston Ave. Baptist Church.  For more information, call Gordon Peterman at 231-724-6646 or 231- 773-0868.

LMC Saturday Program: Easter Craft
March 31 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Saturday, March 31 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, come to the Lakeshore Museum Center for “Easter Craft.”  Create your very own origami bunny bookmark to take home.

LMC Saturday Programs are open-house style and run from 1:00pm – 3:00pm in the main museum building.  Programs are free of charge and museum admission is free for Muskegon County Residents.  Non-residents are just $3. For more information, call 231-722-0278.

Easter Egg Hunt: L.C. Walker Arena
March 31 @ 1:00 pm
Saturday, March 31 at 1:00pm, RAD DADS’, the City of Muskegon, the Muskegon Lumberjacks, the Ironmen, and the Risers, invite you to the L.C. Walker Arena for the world’s greatest Easter egg hunt!  Come have fun with the family and search for over 5,000 Easter eggs with hunts for three age groups.  There will also be a few Golden Eggs with special surprises!  The event is free, but they will be taking donations for the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon at the door.  For more information, call (231) 327-5290.

Easter Brunch at the Lake House
April 1 @ 10:30 am – 3:30 pm
Sunday, April 1 from 10:30am – 3:30pm, the Lake House is excited to host their Annual Easter Brunch Buffet with Chef Jaime Knudsen!  The brunch will feature Chef Carved Prime Rib, Maple & Bourbon Glazed Ham, Fried Lake Perch, a Fresh Seafood Bar, a Build Your Own Omelet Bar and much more.  Reservations are required by calling 231-722-4461 or e-mail bill@thelakehousemi.com.  The cost is $34.95 for adults.  Kids 4 – 12 are $9.95.

Easter Brunch at SE4SONS
April 1 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Join SE4SONS for their Annual Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 1 from 11:00am – 2:00pm!  They’ve got something for the whole family!  Whether its delicious food for the adults or the Easter Bunny for the kids, SE4SONS has it all.  Please call 231-755-3737 and save your spot soon, as this event fills up quickly.  Please have your party size, preferred time, number of adults & children, and a contact phone number ready when calling.

Adults $29
Kids (7-12) $14
Kids (4-6) $8
3 and under are free.

Easter Brunch at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center
April 1 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
It’s not too early to reserve your table for the Easter Brunch at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center, happening Sunday, April 1 from 11:00am – 3:00pm!  Hop to it and make your reservation to enjoy their slow roasted Prime Rib and Rosemary Ham at their carving station, as well as gourmet sides and desserts!  There is something for everyone!  For reservations, please call 231-720-7105 or email Sarah@himuskegon.com.

Super Spring Break Days
April 2 – 5 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Monday – Thursday, April 2 – 5 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, come to the Muskegon Museum of Art for “Super Spring Break Days!”  Take an adventure and explore the museum’s awesome art collection.  There is free admission for one adult accompanying a child.

Instructor: Ronace Hogan
• 11:00am – 1:00pm  Docent in the gallery
• 11:00am – 2:00pm  Arts and crafts in the classroom
• 11:30am –  Film in the auditorium

Monday:  Pastels (permanent collection)
Tuesday:  Beading and Weaving (Thunder Boy, Jr.)
Wednesday:  Tooling (The Poetry of Metal)
Thursday:  Paint! (Expressions Student Art Exhibition)

Roll On Muskegon
Mondays @ 6:30 pm
“Roll on Muskegon” is a fun, community, bicycle ride through the neighborhoods of Muskegon.  Bikers meet every Monday at the downtown Muskegon Farmers’ Market.  This easy 8 mph, family friendly ride begins at 6:30pm.  For more information, find them on Facebook.

Lakeshore Museum Center: Spring Break Open House
April 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Tuesday, April 3 from 10:30am – 12:30pm, it’s a Spring Break Open House at the Lakeshore Museum Center!  Enjoy crafts, wind tunnel science, and more hands-on fun. For more information, call 231-722-0278.

Planetarium Show: Incoming!
Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 7:00 pm – 7:35 pm
Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 3 – June 7, come to Carr-Fles Planetarium at Muskegon Community College for the planetarium show, “Incoming!”  Tag along with robot explorers zooming past rocky asteroids and icy comets, all the way to Pluto, and discover how asteroids and comets have collided with our planet throughout history, changing the course of life on Earth.  Narrated by George Takei, this 2016 program gives audiences a closer look at the scientific advances that may allow us to find and track cosmic threats before they reach planet Earth.  This is a 35-minute presentation.  (The campus will be closed May 8-17 for break between semesters).  For more information, call (231) 777-0289.

Free Family Movie Day:  Where the Wild Things Are
April 4 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wednesday, April 4 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, come to the historic Frauenthal Theater for a free family movie day featuring “Where the Wild Things Are!”

A young boy named Max has an active imagination, and he will throw fits if others don’t go along with what he wants.  Max, following an incident with his sister and her friends, and following a tantrum which he throws as a result of his Mother paying more attention to her boyfriend than to him, runs away from home.  Wearing his wolf costume at the time, Max not only runs away physically, but runs toward a world in his imagination.  This world, an ocean away, is inhabited by large wild beasts, including one named Carol who is much like Max himself in temperament.  Instead of eating Max like they normally would with creatures of his type, the wild things befriend Max after he proclaims himself a king who can magically solve all their problems.

The film is free and no tickets are required.  For more information, call 231-722-9750.

A Taste from the Mountain Regions of Italy with Sofia
April 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday, April 5 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market is offering the culinary class, “A Taste from the Mountain Regions of Italy with Sofia!”

The Menu:
• Polenta e Frico (fried cheese and potatoes)
• Canederli (bread gnocchi)
• Polpette (meatballs)
• Gelato with warm blueberries

Bring your appetite!  Learn from Sofia Occhialini who moved here four years ago from Italy where she spent her entire life.  The cost is $35.  For more information call 231-769-2202.

Pajama Party at the Art Museum
April 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday, April 5 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, come to the Muskegon Museum of Art for a “Pajama Party at the Museum!”  Wear your jammies (slippers optional) and have some fun as you enjoy an activity with their friends from the Lakeshore Museum Center, story time with their friends from Hackley Public Library, a hot cocoa station, art activity and a movie.  Admission is FREE!  For more information, call 231-720-2570.

Lakeshore Museum Center Saturday Program: Robot Open House
April 7 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Saturday, April 7 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, come to the Lakeshore Museum Center for a Robot Open House!  Try out many of the newer robots in the Museum’s Science Center.  Program and learn with the Cubelets, Code-a-pillar, Little Bits and more.

LMC Saturday Programs are open-house style and run from 1:00 – 3:00pm in the main museum building.  Programs and museum admission are free of charge for Muskegon County Residents.  Non-residents are just $3.  www.lakeshoremuseum.org

The Swan Series
April 8 @ 2:00 pm
Join host Robert Swan in a new lecture series entitled “The Swan Series.”  Bob will share many of his insights, experiences, and expertise gleaned from 34 years of performing in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under such famed conductors as George Solti, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Leopoldo Stowkowski, Claudio Abbado, and many others.  Lectures will be held at the United Methodist Church in Whitehall.

On April 8 at 2:00pm, The Swan Series continues with “OUTSIDE AGAIN!”  Aaron Copland’s APPALACHIAN SPRING is one of the first uniquely American compositions both in concept and sound.  Bob Swan will explain why it is so “American” and so loved by people everywhere.  Quite selfishly, he hopes that by focusing on this masterpiece, winter’s grip on us will loosen.  The suggested donation is $7 at the door.

The Swan Series is a new program of the White Lake Music Society which produces world-class chamber music concerts, promotes and supports classical music learning opportunities for all ages, and creates awareness of the value and significance of fine music.  More information may be found at www.whitelakemusic.org.

Vegetarian Doesn’t Mean Flavorless with Sofia
April 9 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Monday, April 9 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market is offering the culinary class, “Vegetarian Doesn’t Mean Flavorless with Sofia!”

The Menu:
• Minestrone
• Baked leek and asiago frittata
• Vegetable pie

Learn from Sofia Occhialini who moved her four years ago after spending her entire life in Italy and be sure to bring your appetite!  The cost is $35.  For more information call 231-769-2202.

Live Jazz with Checkers Morton
April 9 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
April is Jazz Month!  April 9 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Hackley Public Library will celebrate by welcoming Checkers Morton and his band of friends who have been playing together for 40 years, offer amazing, original compositions like “Dan’s Lighthearted Padge” and “Little Raga.”  Their music comes from their heart & soul and features wood, reeds, brass, ivory and primal drums.  This concert is free and open to the public.  For more information, call  231-722-8000.

Muskegon Community College Wind and Jazz Ensembles Concert
April 9 @ 7:30 pm
Monday, April 9 at 7:30pm, come to the Frauenthal Theater for the Muskegon Community College Wind and Jazz Ensembles Concert, featuring traditional wind and jazz ensemble music of all styles.  Tickets are $6 or free for students.  For more information, call 231-727-8001.

A 27th Letter to America

America was again shocked, as it should be, by the latest tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

What has become of respect of God and respect for precious human life and suffering?

One contributing factor is, God was thrown out of our schools and all public places by some Supreme Court Judges.  Judges who found, “posting of God’s Ten Commandments in schools, and even county government public places, unconstitutional.” Judges who also ruled prayer and teaching God ‘s Word in public schools unconstitutional.

Judges who are prohibited from interfering in religious matters by the First Constitutional Amendment!

That Amendment, which ensures freedom of religion, speech, the press, and the right to peaceably assemble, was intended to keep the federal government off these matters.

But now the federal government tentacles reach way down to the toilet places, better known as “restrooms.”

The overreach of the Supreme Court has gone uncontested by our legally elected government public officials.  It is their duty to hold the judges accountable when they violate the Constitution and laws.

It was not just and humane when they ruled in Roe v. Wade and approved the killing of innocent human beings.  The seven judges who voted for, on that tragic decision, should have been impeached.

Our Constitution assigns the making of the laws of the land to our Legislators, not to the non-elected Judges.

The Laws of God, which our forefathers held so dearly, have been replaced by Man’s Law. Now some Americans want us to celebrate what God calls abomination.

The loudest outcry about the latest school shooting of innocent children will come from political hypocrites who support the daily mass killing of thousands of innocent unborn human babies.

REPENT AMERICA, REPENT.

Manuel Ybarra, Jr.
Coalgate, OK
mybarrajr77@outlook.com

Fruitport Township Board Meeting Agenda – March 26, 2018

A G E N D A
FRUITPORT CHARTER TOWNSHIP BOARD OF TRUSTEES
FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP HALL

5865 AIRLINE ROAD, FRUITPORT, MI 49415

MARCH 26, 2018

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

01. Pledge of Allegiance
02. Roll call
03. Approval of board minutes: 3/12/2018
04. Approve / amend agenda
05. Correspondence / reports
06. Public comments regarding agenda items

07. Unfinished Business

A. 2018-2019 budget discussion
B. DPW Director evaluation and contract renewal
C. Public Safety Director evaluation and contract renewal
D. Approval of Fire Department union labor agreement
E. Approval of SEIU labor agreement
F. Parks Dept. suggestions for improvements
G. Adopt Employee Handbook

08. New Business

A. Approve purchase of traffic speed sign
B. Adopt public meeting schedule for FY 2018-2019
C. Property & Liability insurance
D. Approval of computerized tax roll
E. Budget public hearing
F. Adopt 2018-2019 budget
G. FY 2018-2019 Budget amendments
H. Banking and Investing resolution

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

Wendy’s of Michigan Raises Over $130,000 for Annual Campaign at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

GRAND RAPIDS, MI— Meritage Hospitality Group’s Wendy’s of Michigan completed their Change a Child’s Life campaign, raising $130,000 for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and other local children’s charities. The campaign took place from November 13 to December 31 in 50 west and northern Michigan locations.

“This has been our most successful campaign to date,” said Mike Baldwin, North Director of Operations for Meritage Hospitality Group. “Our managers and teammates are the driving force behind this philanthropic cause and each team’s hard work to assure awareness is what makes this program so successful each year. The generosity of over one hundred thousand local community members and guests is not overlooked either. By selecting to round up their orders and purchase in-store pin-ups at our restaurants, they are also to thank for this program’s success.”

Brain Ellison’s Arm The Homeless Campaign

Michigan US Senate candidate Brian Ellison, launches voluntary campaign to Arm The Homeless
March 13, 2018

Madison Heights, MI – On March 9, 2018, Michigan Libertarian Candidate for US Senate Brian Ellison launched a new initiative to help protect the downtrodden, through his voluntarily funded campaign to Arm The Homeless..

About The Campaign
America’s homeless population is one of the most marginalized and victimized groups in this country. Not only are they constantly under threat from would be criminals, but they are also under threat from governments at various levels that criminalize activities that homeless people rely on for survival.

According to a report published by Springer Publishing Company, LLC entitled Violence and Victims, Volume 29, Number 1, 2014, “Individuals who are homeless have an increased risk of experiencing myriad social problems including victimization and violence.”

The report goes on to explain that “The prevalence of violence victimization in the homeless population has been estimated to range from 14% to 21% and approximately one-third report having witnessed a physical attack on another person who was homeless. This rate of violence is highly disparate when compared to the general population in which only 2% report experiencing a violent crime.”

How long can we as a society sit back and allow peaceful citizens of this great country to be targets for those that view them as weak targets? According to case law in the decision of Warren v. District of Columbia, the police do not owe a specific duty to provide police services to citizens. What this means is that as individuals we can not count on the police to protect us, as they are under no obligation to do so. We saw this recently in the Parkland shooting, when Broward County Sheriff Deputies stood outside while a gunman killed 17 students and teachers. I believe it is time we take a stand against the injustice and victimization of the homeless.

We will start the campaign by fundraising to purchase 20 pump style shotguns. All recipients will be required to pass a background check, be of legal age to own a firearm, and receive proper training on safety and operation of the firearm.

The announcement was made via his facebook page “Brian Ellison for US Senate” (@EllisonforSenate) and linked to a donation site where supporters could help fund the cause. On Sunday morning, the initial donation site was taken down, but was later replaced with another that links through the Candidate website at www.ellison4senate.com/arm-the-homeless

Will You Consider Running For Office?

from Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s Action Alert

We need people with business experience running for elected positions. This year, Muskegon County Commission seats are available.

Now is the time to start preparing! Below are resources to help you begin your journey into public office.

The Chamber’s government affairs committee is here to help!

Click here for more resources and ways to get started.

mlcoc

Fruitport Township Board Meeting – Agenda – 02/26/18

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

FEBRUARY 26, 2018

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

01. Pledge of Allegiance
02. Roll call
03. Approval of board minutes: 2/12/2018
04. Approve / amend agenda
05. Correspondence / reports
06. Public comments regarding agenda items

07. Unfinished Business
A. Land use fees resolution
B. 2018-2019 budget discussion

08. New Business
A. Spring clean up
B. Office vacancy

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

Active Shooter & Emergency Trainings Available for Citizens & Churches

In just six months, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office has trained approximately 375 residents on how to respond during an active shooter event. The popular Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training is a thought-provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance and a plan for surviving an active shooter event. In addition to the training for individuals, an Emergency and Security Worksop for Places of Worship is being offered to prepare church leaders for a variety of crisis situations, such as violence, disruptive visitors, plus medical and weather emergencies. The full agenda is online.

“Our hearts are broken for those who have been touched by the recent widely publicized tragedy in Florida and to those who have ever been victim to similar, senseless violence. It’s unfortunate that these types of educational sessions are even necessary, but they absolutely are and are in high demand among our community members,” said Captain Derek Christensen.

The trainings are free, but the Sheriff’s Office asks that you pre-register to reserve your space due to the popularity of the courses. To attend, you must be at least 18 years of age and bring picture ID such as a driver’s license or state-issued identification. Both CRASE sessions will be held at the Ottawa County Administrative Building in West Olive. The session for Places of Worship will be held at Beechwood Church in Holland.

More Details Registration:

CRASE: April 20, 2018 | 7-10PM | REGISTER

Hats and Horses Fundraiser

hatsandhorsesMuskegon, MI: Pioneer Resources is pleased to announce the “Hats and Horses” fundraiser to be held May 5, 2018, as part of a funding campaign to complete a new group home being built by Pioneer Resources Inc. in Muskegon. We encourage you to get your tickets early and dress in your derby attire for this Kentucky Derby themed party held at the Lake House. The event starts at 5:00 pm with raffles, drinks, and food. After the race, the Westside Soul Surfers will entertain you until 10:00 pm.

Currently under construction, the new group home will be home to six individuals with developmental disabilities and is fully wheelchair accessible. The home is located in a beautiful setting on the east side of Muskegon.

Pioneer Resources began as an unincorporated association of parents and educators in the late 1940s, operating as Pioneer School and providing special education and therapy. 63 years later the agency offers a diverse array of individualized supports and services for persons with disabilities as well as seniors.

For more information or tickets visit: www.pioneerresources.org/events/hats-and-horses/

Spring Lake Public Schools Child Find-Preschool Screening

The Spring Lake School District is conducting its annual Child Find-Preschool Screening on April 27. The purpose of the screening is to assure parents that their preschool child is developing normally and to identify children who have learning needs. All children from the Spring Lake School District who are three years old or who turned four after September 1, 2017  are eligible to be screened.

Parents who live in the Spring Lake School District and would like to set up an appointment for their child can contact Pam Massucci at 846-9240

The Libertarian Party of Michigan Opposes Donald Trump’s Renewed War on Marijuana

Lansing, MI – On January 4, 2018, Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he is rescinding the current Department of Justice policy which places a low priority on enforcing marijuana prohibition in States with laws that have legalized the growing, possession and use of marijuana. The current policy, now rescinded, led to an explosion in the growth of the medical marijuana sector and legalization for medical purposes here in Michigan. Over half of the States now have legalized medicinal marijuana and eight states allow recreational use.

The Libertarian Party of Michigan strongly opposes this action by the Donald Trump administration. Federal prohibition of marijuana use violates both individual rights and States’ rights.

Libertarians believe that individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. We also believe that laws should be limited to protecting individuals from the initiation of force and fraud. Therefore we support the repeal of laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as Federal and State laws limiting or prohibiting the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.

The “war on drugs” has been a spectacular failure. Though billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent, usage remains almost unchanged. What has changed is that an enormous number of individuals have been imprisoned, ruining their lives and the lives of their families. Marijuana prohibition has resulted in increased crime, official corruption and deaths. Drug cartels and related criminal activity are a direct result of prohibition. The Libertarian Party supports initiatives in Michigan that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults.

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that the powers not granted to the Federal government or prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States, or to the people. Nowhere does the Constitution grant the Federal government the power to prohibit the growing, distribution and use of marijuana. Thus, decisions regarding marijuana are clearly reserved to the States and the people. The Libertarian Party supports Federal legislation that would implement the Constitution by repealing Federal marijuana prohibition laws.

To contact President Trump concerning this issue, go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/. To learn more about the Libertarian Party of Michigan, visit www.michiganlp.org.

Pathfinders “Dare to Dream Gala” Recognizing Heroes and Sheroes in the Community

Muskegon, Michigan – The community is invited to celebrate Pathfinders 21st year: “Dare to Dream Gala”, at Bella Maria’s Ristorante & Event Center 513 W. Pontaluna Road Norton Shores, MI on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. The program will feature guest vocalist Kaylen Wheeler, dinner and a Silent Auction.

Pathfinders is proud to celebrate 21 years of serving youth in the greater Muskegon area. Established in 1997, the program began at Muskegon Heights Middle School. Pathfinders is located at Temple United Methodist Church (TUMC) 2500 Jefferson.

The event will recognize Teacher, Community Leader, Volunteer, Service Organization, Family and Corporation of the year. Additionally, Outstanding Pathfinders in two age groups (7 to 12 and 13 to 17) will be announced, the is selection based on youth leadership and community service.

Since its inception, thousands of children and teens (age 7 to 17) have come of age at Pathfinders where they enjoy recreational activities, tutoring, homework assistance and field trips (in and out of state). Today Pathfinders offers many programs, the Lakeshore Community Youth Choir for Unity, the Lights on Afterschool Program, the SAFE Summer Program and Summer Evening REC at Muskegon High School in partnership with the YMCA of Muskegon to name a few. Thanks to the United Way of the Lakeshore (Muskegon), the Community Foundation of Muskegon, the Gerber Foundation and Baker College the youth in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights have a safe haven and “fun” place to go and thrive. West Michigan Methodist Conference, as well as many other local organizations and individuals give generously to Pathfinders.

An off-site school program, youth come to Pathfinders from every school district across the county, Muskegon Public, Muskegon Heights Academy, Timberland Academy, Three Oaks Academy, Mona Shores, Fruitport, North Muskegon and Reeths Puffer. Thanks to special programs such as WINGS (MCC & MAISD), Camp Pendalouan (YMCA) and Spartan $$ Financial Literacy Program (Michigan State Extension), youth develop skills and grow in every aspect of their lives. The money raised will ensure that youth will continue to benefit from the “free” programming provided by Pathfinders.

Many parents and grandparents, who attended Pathfinders in their day, are happy that they can send their children to the same afterschool program they attended. Dr. Pamela Smith, Executive Director says, “The services provided by Pathfinders is more important than ever” and we look forward to thanking all of the partners and families who support the program year in and year out.

This year’s sponsors are Hackley Community Care, Muskegon Community College, Media Pathways and Webb Chemical; Tickets to this “dressy affair” are $50.00 (single); $90.00 (couple); $225.00 for ½ table of 4 and $450.00 for table of 8. The deadline for purchasing tickets is Friday, March 30, 2018. Tickets can be purchased at Urban Apparel 2713 Peck Street in Muskegon Heights and at Pathfinders 2500 Jefferson Street in Muskegon Heights, call 231.733.1065 and ask for Pamela Smith or Shauna Hunter.

Step It Up! Program Begins April 9, 2018

Parks & Public Health team up to offer Step it Up! program for a third year
Register online by April 2: https://www.miottawa.org/parks/stepitup.htm

Step it Up! is free, 8-week program is designed by Ottawa County Parks & the Department of Public Health to help participants get active and visit new parks. All levels of fitness welcome!

Step it Up! participants will have access to a free online step and activity tracker where they can record their progress throughout the challenge. Each week, participants who track their activity are eligible for incentive prizes, including 2018 Ottawa County Parks passes and gift cards to local farmers markets and outdoors stores, Meijer, and the Outdoor Discovery Center.

In order to help participants stay active throughout the program there are weekly guided walks, with varying pace groups, offered for free in both Ottawa and Allegan County Parks. To encourage participants to try other types of exercise, Step it Up! has expanded to include new activities including kayaking, biking, trail running, navigation, and disc golf. These activities are free-of-charge to registered participants who are recording their activity.

stepitup“Step it Up! has helped participants get more active, achieve fitness goals, meet people, and discover parks for three years. We hope that the new activities we are offering this spring motivate more people to sign up and participate,” said Ottawa County Parks spokesperson, Jessica VanGinhoven. “Beginners are welcomed and encouraged- this is the time to try something new!”

Participants can also see their progress along a virtual trail. “The Ottawa County GIS Department creates a virtual map for each season of Step it Up! to show participants how many miles they can travel in just two months. This spring, participants will be able to see how far they have traveled along the Appalachian Trail when they record their activity,” said VanGinhoven.  “It’s fun to see how much your progress adds up over time.”

It can also motivate participants to travel to and explore new places. “The season after our virtual walk followed the North Country Trail, participants emailed to tell us that they had traveled to hike the actual NCT because the photos were so beautiful,” said VanGinhoven.

The challenge begins on April 9.
Commit to fit & register by April 2: https://www.miottawa.org/parks/stepitup.htm

Allegan & Ottawa County Group Walk Schedule

April 11: Grand Ravines (South), 6:00 pm 
April 19: Paw Paw (East) , 6:00 pm 
April 21: New Richmond Park, 10:00 am – Celebrate Earth Day with a walk in the park!
April 28: Pigeon Creek Park, 10:00 am 
May 5: Bysterveld Park, 10:00 am
May 8: Kirk Park, 6:00 pm 
May 14: Allegan Sports Complex, 6:00 pm 
May 16: Grand River Park, 6:00 pm 
May 22: Crockery Creek Natural Area, 6:00 pm 
June 2: Hemlock Crossing, 10:00 am – National Trails Day! Following the walk, we’ll have the wrap up party. 

Live Downtown Muskegon With Its Urban Lakeshore Lifestyle

MUSKEGON, MI — A host of residential developments have been completed, are under construction or in the planning stages for downtown Muskegon. With the transformation of downtown Muskegon from the Muskegon Mall era, now is the time to celebrate “Live Downtown Muskegon, an urban Lakeshore lifestyle.”

Downtown Muskegon Now with the support of five groups excited about the explosion of downtown residential options launched the Live Downtown Muskegon initiative at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s Home, Garden + DIY Show at Fricano Place Friday and Saturday March 9 and 10. The same reasons that it is exciting to work and play in downtown Muskegon, it is now just as dynamic to live here as well, according to DMN Executive Director Dave Alexander.

“From affordable senior apartments to luxury homes on Muskegon Lake, 2018 will see all sorts of living options open up in downtown Muskegon,” Alexander said. “Among the $50 million-plus in downtown construction now underway are more than 150 apartment units that will open this year that are desperately being sought by the West Michigan market.”

Live Downtown Muskegon had a table at the Home, Garden + DIY Show to provide information on all of the downtown housing options – those existing, under construction and in the planning stages. There are also a host of reasons that living downtown is truly joining the “urban lakeshore lifestyle.”

Among the reasons to Live Downtown Muskegon:

• Walk to restaurants, breweries and distilleries.

• Be a part of more than 1.1 million people who visited downtown Muskegon last year for events and institutions

• Join the 10,000 of your friends and neighbors at the Saturday Muskegon Farmers Market

• Celebrate motorcycles, Irish music, Fridays in Hackley Park, arts and crafts, Christian music, Polish culture, jazz music and much more at annual festivals.

• Cheer on the home teams Muskegon Lumberjacks, the Muskegon Risers and West Michigan Ironmen at L.C. Walker Arena.

• Continue your education at the Muskegon Community College Sturrus Center, the Baker College of Muskegon Culinary Institute of Michigan and Hackley Library.

• Shop local, specialty retailers at the Century Club Center, Western Market, Cheese Lady, Front Porch and Vintage Redefined.

• Live in the dynamic and diverse urban Nelson Neighborhood.

• Experience art, history and culture at the Muskegon Museum of Art, Lakeshore Museum Center, Muskegon Heritage Museum and the Hackley & Hume houses.

• Take in Muskegon Lake sunsets at Muskegon County’s Heritage Landing.

• Bike, run or walk on the Lakeshore Trail along Muskegon Lake.

The Live Downtown Muskegon table was at the home show Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alexander provided a seminar at the home show on downtown living Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. The Event Center at Fricano Place is at 1050 W. Western in downtown Muskegon’s Western Waterfront district.

Live Downtown Muskegon is being launched by Downtown Muskegon Now, Watermark Place, Lakeview Lofts, Port City Construction/Heritage Square Townhomes, Hinman Group/Terrace Flats and downtown’s Core Realty Partners.

Morea Chiropractic Celebrating 16 Years in Fruitport

Morea Chiropractic Wellness Center of Fruitport would like to announce that the practice is celebrating its 16th anniversary this month. Led by chiropractor Mike Morea, Morea Chiropractic provides non-invasive, drug-free pain management and injury rehabilitation, and complete wellness care to patients of all ages. The office also boasts state of the art technology, a supplement room and massage therapy.

drmike“Dr. Mike”, as his patients affectionately call him, graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Biology. From there he went on to Life University to receive his doctor of chiropractic degree. Dr. Mike is an active participant in the Michigan Association of Chiropractors. He is using the anniversary of his practice as an opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of chiropractic care and to encourage families to learn more about how chiropractic care would enhance their loved ones lives. Morea Chiropractic will host a “Sweet 16” Anniversary celebration on March 24th, 2018 from 12pm-3pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Our mission is to help as many families in our lifetime by loving, giving, and serving.

Following our mission we are extending a special invitation to all families to come in and meet with Dr. Mike, receive a thorough chiropractic exam and consult for only $16.

To learn more about MCWC visit: www.moreachiro.com or call the office at 231-865-7474.

Chamber of Commerce March Breakfast Panel

from the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce eVENTS Newsletter, March 2018

Business for Breakfast

State of the South County
Friday, March 23
7:15 AM – 7:30 Networking | 7:30 – 9:00 Program
Folkert Community Hub

South Muskegon County is growing in population, businesses, and attractions! Find out what’s happening in South Muskegon County from these community leaders.

Sponsored by: Rehmann, Little River Casino Resort


Community Health Needs Assessment Results

The results are in…

Did you miss the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) reveal last week? No problem! Here’s the summary miOttawa.org/2017CHNA and the full report miOttawa.org/2017CHNAFullReport. Additional studies that were a part of the CHNA and previous years can be found at miOttawa.org/healthdata. See the infographic below for some of the report’s highlights. The CHNA is a:

•   LOOK at the people’s health of Ottawa County.
•   METHOD to find key health problems and resources.
•   TOOL to develop strategies to address health needs.
•   WAY for community engagement and collaboration.

But wait – there’s more!

Come be a part of the 2018 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) starting this month. While Ottawa County ranks high in numerous health outcomes, we still have much more work to do! The 2018 CHIP will build on the work of the 2015 CHIP that created plans to address three health areas of concern:

   Access to Health Care
   Mental Health
   Healthy Behaviors

We will also take into account new data from the 2017 CHNA on Adverse Childhood Experiences and much more. There have been so many wonderful happenings since the 2015 CHIP. For one, numerous organizations in Ottawa County developed the Pathways to Better Health program. This program addresses all three health areas of concern by enabling community health workers to help people achieve healthier outcomes. Find out more about the 2015 CHIP progress here.

Register Here.

Community Health Improvement Planning Dates:
March 22 • April 19 • May 31
8:30-10:30 a.m.

We encourage people in health care, public health, business, government, nonprofit organizations, faith-based communities and schools to get engaged. Register today!

Ottawa County Accepting Applications for Farmland Preservation

farmOttawa County is a leader in agricultural production.  It is the most agriculturally diverse county in Michigan and consistently ranked in the top 100 counties in the nation for its value of agricultural products sold.  Our strength in agriculture, however, is also combined with an exceptional quality of life that attracts new residents and businesses to our communities.  This population growth places added pressure on farmers to retain the land needed to produce fresh, locally grown food.

“In order for our agriculture industry to continue to thrive, it’s imperative that we work collectively to protect our productive farmland from development,” stated Cliff Meeuwsen, Chair of the Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board and President of Zeeland Farm Services.  The County’s Farmland Preservation Program is in place to help safeguard farm operations from continued development pressure.

Interested landowners can apply to preserve their farms through the Farmland Preservation Program.  Applications can be downloaded from the County’s website at www.miottawa.org and are due by March 30, 2018.

More information regarding Ottawa County’s Farmland Preservation Program can be found online at www.miottawa.org/departments/planning/PDR_program.htm.  To make a tax-deductible donation to the Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Fund, please visit the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland Area at www.cfhz.org.  All donations are used to preserve our local farms.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 03/19/18 – 03/26/18

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

Author Meet and Greet:  Mark Farina “Casey and the Flying Fortress”
March 19 @ 11:00 am & 6:00 pm
Monday, March 19 at 11:00am, come to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum for the Author Meet and Greet:  Mark Farina “Casey and the Flying Fortress!”

Imagine rummaging through your dead mother-in-law’s closet and encountering a box full of postcards, letters, photos and diaries which are from your father-in-law’s time in the service during the Second World War.  This box of materials will trigger a quest by Mark Farina, a Chicago area sports announcer and a reporter, who will try to unlock the military exploits of his father-in-law, Casey Paulinski.  His quest will bring him across the United States and the Netherlands as he will retrace his service as a B-17 pilot and crew member.

In the all too familiar situation in which many veteran families find themselves in, Casey offered little about his military service while alive.  Mark will share his techniques, tips, and ways; he uncovered his father-in-law’s service history.  Come and listen to this riveting story.  There will be two free presentations of Casey and the Flying Fortress offered:

11:00am – USS Silversides Submarine Museum
6:00pm – Muskegon Community College’s Sturrus Technology Center
Admission is free and open to all.  Mr. Farina will be signing and selling his book at each event.
www.silversidesmuseum.org

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
March 19 @ 6:00 pm
Monday evenings at 6:00pm, January 29 – April 2, come to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum for The Vietnam War by Ken Burns!  Each episode will be followed by a discussion.  Admission is free with the purchase of museum admission.  Members are free.  For more information, call 231-755-1230.

Pet Painting
March 19 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
March 19 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, the Arts Council of White Lake invites you to Pub One Eleven for the “Pet Painting” event to benefit the Muskegon Humane Society!   Enjoy drinks and friends while you paint a custom piece of your pet.  When you register, you will be asked to email a picture of your pet. This will be pre-drawn onto a canvas ready for finishing touches the day of the event.  Images may be cropped to best fit the canvas.  The cost is $40 and is for ages 16+.  Space is limited, so register today by calling 231-893-2524 or visit the website below.

Drip Cakes with Kathy DeHoag
March 20 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Tuesday, March 20 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to the culinary class, “Drip Cakes with Kathy DeHoag!”  Learn to frost, make the drip for the cake, also different kinds of drops to use and learn difference decorating techniques.  You will go home with a decorated cake!  The cost is $35.  For more information, call (231) 769-2202.

Vernal Equinox EcoTrek Fitness Adventure
March 20 @ 6:00 pm
Join Cari Draft and Lisa VanDonkelaar, Tuesday, March 20 at 6:00pm at the Muskegon County Wastewater Management System’s John J. Helstrom Nature Trail to celebrate the first day of SPRING with an adventure!  $10 drop-in includes an EcoTrek Fitness outdoor adventure workout at MCWW where you choose your pace: a little faster with more intensity with Cari leading, or stick to the back with Lisa!  You’ll get a great workout at your own fitness level while enjoying the natural beauty of this facility.  Please RSVP so they can have a parking pass reserved for you.  Bring a friend and you’ll each pay $5 instead of $10!  For more information, e-mail info@ecotrekfitness.com .

Address for your GPS: 698 N Maple Island Rd, Muskegon

Planetarium Show: Faster than Light! The Dream of Interstellar Flight
Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 7:00 pm – 7:35 pm
January 16 – March 29 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, come to Carr-Fles Planetarium for “Faster than Light!  The Dream of Interstellar Flight!”  The impulse to strike out into the unknown, to see what’s over the horizon is as old as humanity.  Today, a whole new horizon beckons.  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.

Opening Reception: Works by Southwest Michigan Printmakers
March 21 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
“Exquisite Corpse Project: Head-to Toe & In-between,” featuring artwork by 24 members of the Southwest Michigan Printmakers (SWMP), opens March 19 in Muskegon Community College’s Overbrook Gallery and will be on display through April 20. This exhibit is free and open to the public.  Overbrook Gallery hours are from 9:00am – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday, with special weekend and evening hours during performances and concerts in the adjacent Overbrook Theater.  Call (231) 777-0324 for more information.  An opening reception and talk by the artists will take place on Wednesday, March 21, from 3:30-5:00pm in the Overbrook Theater Lobby.  For more information on the exhibit, contact Erin Hoffman, MCC art instructor and Overbrook Gallery coordinator at (231) 777-0399.

Narnia the Musical
March 22 – March 24
March 22 – 23 at 7:00pm, and March 24 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm, you’re invited to the Beardsley Theatre for “Narnia the Musical,” presented by Artios Academies of Grand Haven.  The famous story from the Chronicles of Narnia has become a musical presentation.  Entering Narnia are four siblings plucked from our world in unexpected ways to help Narnia and learn lessons of courage, unselfishness and wisdom throughout the whirlwind adventure.

Tickets are $10 general admission.  For more information, call 231-722-9750.

Muskegon Museum of Art: Free Thursday Evening Tours
March 22 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm|
Every Thursday from 4:00pm – 8:00pm, you’re invited to the Muskegon Museum of Art for a free tour guided by MMA docents, compliments of Meijer!  For more information, call 231-720-2570.

Swing Dance Lessons at SE4SONS
March 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Join Swing Dance Instructor, Becky Biesiada, at SE4SONS for a series of 3 classes in March!  This is a fun opportunity to learn something new! Don’t forget to check out SE4SONS Gastropub after class for great Happy Hour Deals!  This is limited to the first 30 participants. Everyone is welcome and you do not need to be a Muskegon CC Member to participate.  Call 231-755-3737 for reservations today.

East & West Coast Swing
Class Dates: March 15, 22, and 29
Class Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Cost: $80 per couple/ $55 per single

Back Alley Comedy Club: Pauly Shore
March 23 – March 24
March 23 and 24, come to the Back Alley Comedy Club inside Sherman Bowling Center for live stand-up from comedian Pauly Shore!

Pauly tasted super-stardom in 1990 when his precedent-setting MTV show “Totally Pauly” hit the airwaves to major fan approval.  The show ran for six years, leading him to numerous television and film roles including the one-hour HBO television special, “Pauly Does Dallas” and starring in the films “Encino Man,” “Son In Law”, “Jury Duty,” “In the Army Now,” and “Bio Dome.”  Pauly then went on to star and produce in his own projects including “Pauly Shore is Dead” for 20th Century Fox, which is now available on Amazon Prime.  He also produced and starred in two comedy specials, “Vegas is My Oyster,” and “Pauly-Tics,” which are both now available on Crackle.  In 2014, Pauly released “Pauly Shore Stands Alone,” a true-life road documentary that follows him as he performs in obscure towns throughout Wisconsin while dealing with his personal life back home, which is now on Amazon Prime.  He is currently producing a six-part documentary series based off of the original documentary “Pauly Shore Stands Alone.”  Additionally, Pauly recently debuted the video portion of his podcast “Pauly Shore Podcast Show,” on Crackle.  Pauly remains hard at work on a historical documentary of his life spanning the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s about his life growing up at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood.  He recently played Stephen Miller in a viral Funny or Die video and stars in an upcoming Funny or Die sketch with Bobby Lee, Jay Mohr and Richard Schiff from “Ballers” entitled “Silver Lake Vice Squad.”

Shows are at 6:30pm and 9:00pm and tickets are $27.  For more information, call (231) 755-1258.

Pigeon Hill’s Totally Majestic 4th Anniversary Party
March 23 – March 24
Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24, Pigeon Hill Brewing Company in downtown Muskegon is celebrating four years in business!  They’ll have great entertainment from Flexadecibel, Jesse Ray & the Carolina Catfish & The Crane Wives!  More details will be announced soon, so keep an eye on their Facebook page or call (231) 375-5184.

The Secrets of Bees Exhibit Opening & Family Fun Night
March 23 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Friday, March 23 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm, bring the family to the Lakeshore Museum Center for “The Secrets of Bees Exhibit Opening & Family Fun Night!”  Help celebrate the opening of their newest exhibit, The Secrets of Bees, with a special evening for families!  This hands-on exhibit examines the ways bees affect us, and our impact on them.  During their exhibit opening and Family Fun night, they will feature a bee related craft, as well as light refreshments.  The Muskegon Conservation District will have a station exploring how families can create bee habitats in their own yards and the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology at Muskegon Community College will have a station about their beekeeping program.  The program is free with regular paid admission. For more information, call 231-722-0278.

The Alley Door Club
March 23 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Celebrating its’ 13th season, The Alley Door Club at the Frauenthal Center  kicks off January 12, 2018 with live performances from an array of local bands!  Performing on select Friday nights through April, The Alley Door Club features live music from popular West Michigan bands in a fun environment which includes cash bar and dancing.  Featured in the Ballroom located on the 3rd Floor of the Hilt Building the doors open at 6:00pm for Happy Hour ($1 off all drinks), with live music from 7:00pm – 10:00pm.

The 2018 Alley Door Club performance schedule is as follows:
• Friday, March 23:  Group Therapy Band – rock
• Friday, April 13: Pop Fiction – pop & rock
• Friday, April 27: Yard Sale Underwear – self-proclaimed kings of polyester pop & soul

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Frauenthal Box Office via phone at 231-727-8001 or in person Monday – Friday from 11:00am to 5:30pm or by calling Star Tickets at 1-800-585-3737.   Tickets can also be purchased at startickets.com.  Tables may be reserved:  $65.00 for a 4-top (included 4 admission tickets) / $100.00 for an 8-top (includes 8 admission tickets).  Limit of 2 4-tops and 2 8-tops reserved for each performance, available on a first come basis.  The Alley Door Club is sponsored by Bayer Crop Science and Hooker DeJonge.

Performances @The Block: Frances Luke Accord – Modern Folk
March 23 @ 7:30 pm
Friday, March 23 at 7:30pm, come to The Block for Frances Luke Accord.  Independent Chicago-based duo, multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers head this modern folk band that draws copious inspiration from Americana, jazz, soul and rock.  Call 231-726-3231 x223 for tickets and more information.  Doors and bar open at 6:45pm and the concert begins at 7:30pm.

Food as Art. Food is Art
March 24
Saturday, March 24, Chef Jill Hansen will prepare a fun and informative evening with famed Cichetti food on March 24 at Cichetti Culinary Studio!  This 4-course dinner and lecture/discussion will revolve around the topic, “Food as Art. Food is Art.”  The cost is $35 per person with proceeds benefitting the 9th annual White Lake Chamber Music Festival (August 3-13).  A cash bar will be available.  Dress is casual and you are encouraged to bring a paper copy of one of your favorite recipes to share and discuss.  RSVP by March 14 to Jill Hansen at 231-855-4118.  For more information, please visit www.whitelakemusic.org.

Indoor Farmers’ Market
March 24 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
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, November – April.  They will be closed Saturday, December 30.  For more information, call (231) 722-3251.

Sweetwater Local Foods Market
March 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sweetwater Local Foods Market is open year-round, every Saturday from 9:00am-Noon!  Healthy! Humane! Homegrown is their pledge to use NO synthetic fertilizers, NO synthetic chemical pesticides or herbicides, no growth promoting antibiotics and NO GMO’s!  You can find them in the lobby and parking lot of Mercy Health Lakes Village.  For more information, visit www.sweetwaterlocalfoodsmarket.org.

Green Eggs and Ham: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
March 24 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, March 24 from 10:00am – 12:00pm, join the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club for a breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham!  Your child will visit with a Dr. Seuss character and also receive a Dr. Seuss book to take home.  The requested donation is $15 for an adult and one child and an extra $5 for each additional person.   For more information, call 231-788-3050.

Note:  The venue for this year is First Lutheran Church at 1206 Whitehall Rd. due to a boiler problem at the Woman’s Club.

Italian Easter Classic with Sofia
March 24 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Saturday, March 24 from 11:00am – 1:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to the culinary class, “Italian Easter Classic with Sofia!”  Create a classic Easter menu from the Italian tradition.

The Menu:
• Insalata russa
• gnocchi alla romana
• baked bread and parmesan stuffed tomatoes
• baked salmon with cherry tomatoes, cappers and olives

Come to this class hungry!  Learn from Sofia Occhialini who just moved to Muskegon from Italy four years ago.  The cost is $40.  For more information, call (231) 769-2202.

Lakeshore Museum Center Saturday Program: Michigan Fossils
March 24 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Saturday, March 24 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, come to the Lakeshore Museum Center to learn about millions of years of Michigan history with a hands-on examination of fossils.  LMC Saturday Programs are open-house style and run from 1:00 – 3:00pm in the main museum building.  Programs and museum admission are free of charge for Muskegon County Residents.  Non-residents are just $3.  www.lakeshoremuseum.org

Craft Crawl
March 25 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
March 25, Girls Pint Out is hosting the first-ever “Craft Crawl” in downtown Muskegon, a bar crawl to raise money for a good cause!  Everyone over 21-years-old is invited to sample craft beer and cocktails from five different breweries in downtown Muskegon from 12:00pm – 5:00pm.  Participants start at Racquets Downtown Grill, where they give a donation then receive a punch card to take with them to each brewery they visit.  Other breweries taking part in the fundraiser include Unruly Brewing, Pigeon Hill, Mike’s Inn, and 18th Amendment Spirits.  Each of these locations will have a special drink specifically designed for this event.  Once the punch card is complete, they return to Racquets where they turn in the card and are entered in a drawing to win prizes.

All the money donated through this event will benefit MomsBloom, an organization that sends volunteers to help new parents with their babies.  They provide help with things like household tasks and infant care, along with emotional support.  Learn more at facebook.com/momsbloom.

Spring Film Fest
March 25 @ 2:00 pm
Every Sunday at 2:00pm, through March 25, come to the Harbor Theater for the Spring Film Fest to benefit Muskegon’s historic military vessels!  Tickets are only $6.  March 25th’s movie is “Dunkirk.” For more information, call (231) 375-5228.

Authentic Italian Lasagna with Sofia
March 26 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Monday, March 26 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to the culinary class, “Authentic Italian Lasagna with Sofia!”  Come learn how to make the genuine lasagna famous all over the world.  You will make it from scratch just like mom used to make it!  Learn from Sofia Occhialini who moved to Muskegon four years ago from Italy.  Bring your appetite!  The cost is $35.  For more information, call (231) 769-2202.

Twenty Muskegon County Businesses Receive More than $700,000 in State Grants to Train Employees

Muskegon, MI – In an effort to support Michigan employers, the Talent Investment Agency – Workforce Development (TIA-WD) awarded more than $700,000 million in Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) grants to twenty businesses in Muskegon County. This annually awarded, competitive grant provides funding assistance for customized, short-term, in-demand training programs and apprenticeships that enhances talent, productivity and employment retention while increasing the quality and competitiveness of Michigan’s employers.

Muskegon Area First, the county-wide economic development agency, in collaboration with West Michigan Works!, the exclusive administrator for the program, identified and met with several local businesses interested in pursuing STTF grants. Muskegon County companies receiving awards for 2017-18 are:
chartThe number of companies awarded in Muskegon increased by over 100% from the 2016-17 program year, when nine companies were awarded. Darryl Todd, Interim President & CEO for Muskegon Area First said, “We are pleased that more local and smaller companies were awarded this year.” He added that, “Many [smaller companies] forego employee training due to budgeting and/or time constraints and access to funding that will enhance employee skill level can have a particularly significant impact on a smaller company’s ability to grow.”

Businesses such as Norton Shores based Seabrook Plastics, Inc. a first-time recipient of the STTF, which recently completed a 12,000 sq. ft. building expansion in November, will use the funding to further growth plans by addressing employee capabilities and becoming more efficient. Bill Veldboom, General Manager & COO of Seabrook Plastics said, “With our recent expansion and internal promotion of several long-term Seabrook employees, the STTF represents an ideal vehicle for growing the skills and potential of employees that have been hired over recent months”. Veldboom added, “We believe that the training included in the upcoming curriculum will accelerate employee’s learning while concurrently reducing cost in our manufacturing and assembly processes.”

Similarly, Challenge Machinery Company also of Norton Shores will use the grant to address workforce needs, specifically to stabilize its talent base. “[Challenge] competes globally and has a long history in West Michigan with many experienced, highly skilled personnel that will retire and leave a considerable gap”, said Tom Zant, President of Challenge Machinery. “This grant allows us to affordably increase the skills of 16 employees in mechanical print reading, electrical schematics and hydraulic and pneumatic principles to develop the next generation of long term employees”.

On a regional basis, Michigan Prosperity Region 4, which is comprised of 13 West Michigan Counties, had 212 businesses awarded over $8.4 million. Overall, West Michigan employers received 29% of the total amount of STTF funds available. Muskegon area companies received 8.4% of the amount awarded to West Michigan.

The STTF was created 5 years ago by the Michigan State Legislature and has become highly sought after with funding dollars increasing nearly every year. The statewide amount awarded for 2018 nearly reached $30 million. For 2017, the amount awarded topped $14 million. The STTF is on track to train over 50,000 workers with more than 1,400 employers taking advantage of the program.

To learn more about the Skilled Trades Training Fund, please visit, http://www.michigan.gov/wda.

First-of-its-Kind Prize Aims to Propel Careers of Women Artists

$50,000 Bennett Prize recognizes women figurative realist painters

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Bennett Prize, the largest ever offered solely to women painters, was announced today by art collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt, who are endowing the $50,000 biennial prize at The Pittsburgh Foundation.

The Prize will spotlight women artists who paint in the figurative realist style, and who have not yet reached full professional recognition – both new artists and those who have painted for many years. It will allow the winner to create her own solo exhibition of figurative realist paintings, which will first be shown at the Muskegon (Michigan) Museum of Art and then travel the country. The Prize is designed for women artists who are, or seek to become, full-time professional painters.

The Bennett Prize also aims to expand opportunities for the public to learn more about the creative vision of talented women painters in the increasingly popular style of figurative realism.

“We are excited to announce The Bennett Prize at a time when women are creating important figurative realist paintings that should be seen by a wider audience,” Bennett said. “Figurative realist painting features the human form in all of its diversity. It has an important role to play in a society struggling to understand human differences and commonalities, including race, gender and social status.”

A four-member jury, including renowned realist artists Maria Tomasula and Andrea Kowch, will select 10 painters from among the entrants. The 10 finalists will each receive $1,000 to participate in an exhibition opening May 2, 2019 at the Muskegon Museum of Art where the winner will be announced.

“The beauty of this prize is in the extended significance of its effects: not only will it recognize recipients’ past achievement, it will also help foster their future accomplishment,” said artist and juror Maria Tomasula, “I know how important both of these things are to the life of an artist.”

The Bennetts, along with The Pittsburgh Foundation, consider the Muskegon Museum of Art one of the great hidden gems among American museums. It was chosen as the inaugural venue for The Bennett Prize due it its commitment to both women and realism, as evidenced by the art on its walls and the exhibitions it sponsors.

“The Muskegon Museum of Art has built a reputation over the past decade for redefining what a small city art museum can accomplish,” said Kirk Hallman, executive director of the museum. “Serving as inaugural host of The Bennett Prize is a wonderful opportunity for the museum to continue showcasing innovative programs.”

The winner will receive $25,000 annually for two years, so she can devote the time necessary to mount a solo exhibition, which will open in Muskegon in 2021 and then travel the country.

The call for entries runs from April 13 – Sept. 28, 2018. Full details are available here: www.thebennettprize.org

The Bennett Prize is not open to hobbyists, students or artists who have been paid, or received an award of $25,000 or more for any single work of art.

Bennett and Schmidt are among the country’s top collectors of figurative realist art and are committed to seeing that talented women painters receive long overdue recognition for their superb artistry.

 

Muskegon Museum of Art Exhibits:

•  Through March 18, 2018 | Southern Roots: The Paintings of Winfred Rembert
•  Through March 18, 2018 | Sarah Wagner: Vegetable Lamb of America
•  Through May 20, 2018 | Thunder Boy, Jr.: Illustrations by Yuyi Morales
•  March 1 through June 10, 2018 | The Poetry of Metal: David Barnhill and David Huang

Shoreline Symphony Performs “What Dreams May Come” Concert

The Shoreline Symphony will present a concert entitled “What Dreams May Come” on Sunday, March 18, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. at the Frauenthal Center, 425 West Western Ave., Muskegon, MI.  This is the second performance in Shoreline Symphony’s 2017-2018 season Magic and Mystery.

If your dreams had soundtracks, what would they sound like?  What about your nightmares?

Composers have written music about dreams of every kind: waking and sleeping, peaceful and creepy, lucid and murky.  The Shoreline Symphony invites you to hear some of these imaginative pieces in its upcoming concert.

Featured music includes:
•  portions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (versions by both Mendelssohn and Purcell)
•  tone poems by Elgar and Nielsen
•  short selections from operas by Humperdinck (Hansel and Gretel) and Arensky (Dream of the Volga)
•  film music from Requiem for a Dream and The Secret of NIMH

Admission is $8 for adults.  Students and those under 18 are welcome to attend for free.

Tickets are only available through the Frauenthal Center.  To purchase them:
•  Call the Frauenthal box office at 231-727-8001
•  Visit www.frauenthal.org
•  Go to the Frauenthal box office at 425 West Western Ave., Muskegon, Michigan

Preceding the concert, Shoreline Symphony Director Annette Jurcevic will talk about the music, the composers who wrote it, and their ideas about dreams.  Don’t miss her energetic, humorous discussion, which starts at 3:30 p.m.

Established in September 2012, the Shoreline Symphony Community Orchestra is celebrating its sixth season of creating quality classical music for Muskegon area audiences. Led by founding director Annette Jurcevic, the Shoreline Symphony Community Orchestra brings together professional and amateur musicians who play alongside students and faculty from several area colleges and universities.  The non-profit organization is the only all-volunteer orchestra in the Muskegon area to include woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings.

For more event information, contact Annette Jurcevic at 512-914-8628 or sajurcevic@gmail.com.