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Fruitport Charter Township Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of October 8, 2018


A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township Board began at 6:30pm on Monday, October 8, 2018, in the township board room.

Members Present: Heidi Tice, Supervisor; Andrea Anderson, Clerk; Rose Dillon, Treasurer; Trustees Todd Dunham, Jeff Jacobs, and Greg Hulka
Members Absent: Denise Winebarger, excused

At 7:03pm, Heidi Tice opened the regular meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer.

Also Present: 3- residents; 3- employees; 3- guests; Director of Public Safety, Brian Michelli; Director of Public Utilities.

The motion by Andrea Anderson, supported by Heidi Tice, was carried unanimously, to approve the minutes of September 24 & September 28, 2018 as presented.

The motion by Rose Dillon, supported by Greg Hulka, was carried unanimously, to approve the agenda as presented with the following additions:

Item 7-C: Officer Robert Norris to full-time
Item 8-D: Culvert repair at Cloverville Rd. & Jensen Rd.


  1. Brian Michelli shared that Tuesday, October 9, 2018 through Friday, October 12, 2018, the Police Department will be accepting sealed bids on unclaimed bicycles; the Public Safety agreement between Fruitport Township and Sullivan Township was approved effective April 2019, in which Sullivan Township will provide $120,000 annually for services and $10,000 annually for equipment; the School Resource Officer is doing very well; a large fight occurred at the Haunted Hall at the Lakes Mall; the 911 surcharge proposal will be on the November 6th ballot and in part will provide new, up-to-date radios and MCT’s for Police and Fire Departments across the County.
  2. Ron Langlois reported the Broadway water main and street reconstruction are complete and the road is now open.
  3. Other correspondences shared: Muskegon County Recycling event that will be happening October 20, 2018; Roadway Safety Law for bicycles; Snow Plow Rodeo will be October 10, 2018, Park’s Board Minutes; Muskegon County Drain Commission project totals; Safe Routes to School will be on the next agenda.

1. Ron Cooper: shared a question as to if the Township is responsible for making a contribution to road projects and suggested that Farr Rd. be made wider for pedestrians.


18-124 Motion Dynamics IFT request
Motion Dynamics has requested an IFT for 12 years for an expansion to its existing facility. Darryl Todd from Muskegon Area First shared that the expansion would produce 80 new jobs.

Rose Dillon moved, Heidi Tice seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to adopt the resolution approving Motion Dynamics for a 5 year IFT for the expansion.

Ayes: Dunham, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Hulka
Nays: none

18-125 OPEB discussion
Heidi Tice made a motion to put $85,000 into OPEB. The motion went unsupported.

Greg Hulka moved, Andrea Anderson seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to put $50,000 into OPEB.

Ayes: Dunham, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Hulka
Nays: none

18-126 Officer Robert Norris
Brian Michelli shared that the Police Department interviewed two of the Department’s current part-time officers who would be eligible for full-time placement. Officer Norris was selected to fill the position.

Heidi Tice moved, Greg Hulka seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to move Officer Robert Norris into a full time position with Fruitport Police Department, effective September 24, 2018.

Ayes: Dunham, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Hulka
Nays: none


18-127 Health insurance discussion
Discussion surrounding employee health insurance took place. The topic was TABLED until the next meeting.

18-128 MCCR of Muskegon request for Charitable Gaming License
Jeff Jacobs moved, Rose Dillon seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve resolution that the request be considered for approval.

Ayes: Dunham, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Hulka
Nays: none

18-129 Yard sale discussion
Discussion occurred regarding the nuisance of ongoing yard sales. The Board directed the Supervisor to request the Planning Commission to build an ordinance to address the issue, not making it restrictive, but solving the problem.

18-130 Culvert repair at Cloverville Rd. & Jensen Rd.
Greg Hulka brought to the Board’s attention a culvert that has failed at Cloverville Rd. and Jensen Rd. The repair is due to cost approximately $7,818 and the Township’s portion would be $1409.00.

Greg Hulka moved, Todd Dunham seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to give the Supervisor permission to move forward with the repair at a cost of approximately $1,400.00; the project must come back before the Board if changes are made.

18-131 Payment of bills
Todd Dunham moved, Jeff Jacobs seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills as presented for payment in the following amounts: General Fund $10,568.71; Public Safety $21,642.29; Water $39,039.97; Sewer $18,080.49; T&A $2,016.00
Totaling: $91,347.46

Ayes: Dunham, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Hulka
Nays: none


  1. Halloween at the Hall: Trick-or-treating will be at Town Hall October 31, 2018 from 3:30pm-4:30pm.
  2. The MTA meeting will be held on Monday, October 29th at Muskegon Township Hall @ 7:00pm.

The motion by Greg Hulka, supported by Heidi Tice was carried unanimously, to adjourn the meeting at 8:42pm.


Fruitport Township Board of Trustees Meeting – Agenda – 10/22/18


OCTOBER 22, 2018


01. Pledge of Allegiance
02. Roll call
03. Approval of board minutes: 10/8/18
04. Approve / amend agenda
05. Correspondence / reports
06. Public comments regarding agenda items

07. Unfinished Business
A. Employee health insurance
B. Administer Oath to Officer Robert Norris

08. New Business
A. Public Hearing: Police Special Assessment roll
B. Safe Routes to School
C. Part-time Fire contract
D. Vig Drive case
E. Calendar fundraiser
F. YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program classes
G. November 12th meeting cancelation

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

Muskegon County Clerk’s Full Service Saturday – 03/10/18

Muskegon County Clerk’s Full Service Saturday on Saturday, March 10th. Doors open at 9:30 for service between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

We know everyone is busy and it is difficult to get away during the week.
We will provide all services provided during the week:
· certified vital records including births, deaths, marriage, and divorce records;
· apply for a marriage license and/or schedule to be married by County Clerk Waters;
· register your business name;
· apply for a CPL,
· get documents notarized,
· and do genealogy research.

When do you need a Certified Birth Certificate? A few reasons are:
· New REAL ID now requires a certified copy of your birth certificate and any other document changing your name.
· Kids starting school
· Kids playing sports
· Driver’s education

Come prepared, check our website:
Nancy A. Waters
Muskegon County Clerk
Michael E. Kobza Hall of Justice
990 Terrace Street, 1st Floor
Muskegon, MI 49442

Phone: 231-724-6221
Fax: 231-724-6262
Most services require photo ID.


Full Service Saturday

Click on image to view the PDF version.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 03/05/18 – 03/12/18

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
March 5 @ 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.

Live Celtic Music: Uneven Ground
March 6 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 6 at 6:00pm, come to Hackley Public Library for live Celtic music from “Uneven Ground!”  This is a four-piece traditional Celtic band blends vocals with instrumentals to bring their listeners on a unique musical journey.  They play Celtic, Irish, English, Scottish music.  The members are Courtney Hutson, fiddle,vocals; Dave Closz, guitar,vocals; Tim Staudacher, mandolin,guitar; and Larry Halverson, whistle, flute.

Southern Classic Shrimp and Grits with Chef Jamie
March 6 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tuesday, March 6 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to the culinary class, “Southern Classic Shrimp and Grits with Chef Jamie!”  Chef Jamie grew up in Louisiana, so who better to teach you the classic southern dish of Shrimp & Grits? Shrimp and Grits can be used as an appetizer or main course.  Learn what to pair with it to create a well-balanced meal.  Bring your appetite and a container to go.  This class is for older teens and adults and is limited to 12.  The cost is $40.  For more information, call (231) 769-2202.

White Lake Classical Series: Dr. Michelle Vallier
March 6 @ 7:00 pm
The White Lake Classical Series at the Book Nook & Java Shop continues Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00pm with Dr. Michelle Vallier performing music of Bach and Brahms on violin.  The cover charge is $5.  Dr. Vallier has performed throughout the country, including recital tours across the Midwest, Florida and Arizona.  In spring 2012, she gave a series of lecture recitals on Carl Nielsen’s two works for solo violin at Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University and Wichita State University.  She is an active solo performer in the greater Muskegon area.

Dinner will be at 6:15pm, featuring Hawaiian Pork Stir-Fry, Brown Rice, Glass of House Wine, Mango Crisp with Raspberries and Almonds for $17.  RSVP to The Book Nook & Java Shop by calling (231) 894-5333.

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.

Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY Show
March 9 – March 10
The popular Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY Show is returning to Fricano’s Event Center March 9 and 10!  The 2018 Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY show will feature over 50 exhibitors including everything from windows, siding, gutters, and painting to home décor, furniture, landscaping and much more!  Back by popular demand, the Do It Yourself and Educational seminars will highlight floral design, furniture refurbishing, backsplash tiling, gardening and more!

In addition to exhibitors and seminars, the home show will provide fun kids activities, thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes and discounted Fricano’s Pizza with purchase of $5 home show admission ticket. Kids 12 and under are free.  Tickets will go on sale February 1, 2018.  For more information, call contact Carla Flanders at 231-724-3176.

The Alley Door Club
March 9 @ 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 9:  Brena – rock
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  Tables may be reserved:  $65.00 for a 4-top (included 4 admission tickets) / $100.00 for an 8-top (includes 8 admission tickets).

Louie Anderson
March 9 @ 7:30 pm
March 9 at 7:30pm, come to the Frauenthal Theater to enjoy iconic comedian, Louie Anderson!  Louie is a three-time Emmy Award® winner and one of the country’s most recognized and adored comics; named by Comedy Central as “One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time!”  His career has spanned more than 30 years.  He is a best-selling author, star of his own stand-up specials and sitcoms and he continues to tour the country performing to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.

Tickets are $49, $39 and $29.  Call 231-727-8001 for more information.

White Lake Business Expo
March 10 @ 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Saturday, March 10 from 8:00am – 12:30pm, come to the 6th White Lake Business Expo and take a first-hand look at the diverse products and services offered by White Lake Area businesses at Whitehall High School.  There’ll be an emcee and give-aways every hour, a grand-prize drawing, and other business freebies, discounts and give-aways!

The Expo, presented by the Chamber and free to the public, is held in conjunction with the popular Rotary Pancake Breakfast.  More than 50 businesses are anticipated to participate!  For additional information, contact the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at or 231-893-4585.  Sponsorships at varying levels are still available!

Gold Sponsor: Scheid Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc.
Silver Sponsors: Boardwell Mechanical Services Inc. & Redi Rental
Bronze Sponsors: Muskegon Co-Op Federal Credit Union, White Lake Assisted Living, & White Lake Beacon

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.

Cast Iron Cookies with Chef Char
March 10 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, March 10 from 10:00am – 12:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to the culinary class, “Cast Iron Cookies with Chef Char!”  What a sweet way to use a cast iron skillet!  Make your own “giant cookie” and decorate with homemade piped frosting to leave an extra sweet message for someone special or just to decorate for your own enjoyment.  This is a great class for all ages and tailored toward beginners in the kitchen.  The cost is $35.  For more information, call (231) 769-2202.

Illustration Super Saturday
March 10 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
March 10 from 10:00am – 3:00pm, it’s an Illustration Super Saturday at the Muskegon Museum of Art!  This free family fun day celebrates all of those great artists that make portable art for little people, especially Yuyi Morales and her illustrations for Thunder Boy Jr.  Admission and activities are free!

• 10:00am & 1:00pm – Film: Wind in the Willows: A Tale of Two Toads (90 mins.) This award winning animated film brings a classic children’s book to life. Follow an unlikely crew of creatures as they outsmart the sneaky weasel.
• 11:00 am – 1:00 pm – Guided Tours: Explore Thunder Boy Jr: The Illustrations of Yuyi Morales with a Museum docent.
• 11:00am – 2:00pm – Make & Take: Taking inspiration from the various textures that Yuyi uses in her illustrations, you will layer your artwork with a variety of textures.

Full Service Saturday
March 10 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Muskegon County Clerk’s “Full Service Saturday” is Saturday, March 10 from 10:00am – 2:00pm!  Do you have a hard time getting away during the week?  The Clerk’s Office will be open on this special Saturday with all of their regular services:

• certified vital records including births, deaths, marriage, and divorce records
• apply for a marriage license and/or schedule to be married by County Clerk Waters
• register your business name
• apply for a CPL
• get documents notarized
• genealogy research

When do you need a Certified Birth Certificate? A few reasons are:

• New REAL ID now requires a certified copy of your birth certificate and any other document changing your name.
• Kids starting school
• Kids playing sports
• Driver’s education

For more information, call (231) 724-6221.

The Ride
March 10 @ 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm
The Ride is Muskegon’s premier indoor cycling event!  This gathering of like-minded people focuses on living heart-healthy lifestyles and inspires others to do the same.  To date, The Ride has raised over $480,000 benefitting cardiac patients in need, including:

• The development and enhancement of the Mercy Health High School Heart Screening Program
• Specialized equipment for patients receiving rehabilitation services at the Mercy Health Heart Center
• Scholarships for those in need of cardiac rehabilitation but whose financial or insurance-coverage status precludes them from receiving services

Anyone may form a team of eight members. Your team of eight cyclists will ride bikes mounted on trainers for 25-minute intervals and compete for team trophies and individual medals. Prizes are awarded for various categories, ranging from most mileage ridden to most spirited team.

Whether you are a serious cyclist or a casual biker, The Ride has a spot for you and your team. All participants will receive a commemorative gift and refreshments. The entry fee is $400 per team, or $50 per rider. The entry fee for a Youth Team is $200 per team or $25 per rider. Some teams ask area businesses to help sponsor their teams.

Register your team before Wednesday, January 31, 2018 and receive $50.00 off registration fee.
NOTE: Teams must provide one bike to be mounted on a trainer.

Don’t want to work up a sweat? The Ride needs many volunteers as team hosts (timing the riders and assisting the teams during competition), set-up and tear down. Training for team hosts will be provided. For more information, please call the Office of Philanthropy at 231-672-6976.

Lakeshore Museum Center Saturday Program: Native Americans
Saturday, March 10 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, come to the Lakeshore Museum Center to learn about Michigan’s Native Americans with a hands-on examination of museum artifacts.  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.

Black Tie for the Y Annual Gala
March 10 @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 10 at 7:00pm, come to the beautiful Century Club Ballroom for the “Black Tie for the Y” annual gala and auction to benefit the Muskegon YMCA!  Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a live auction, raffles, a cash bar and dessert.  Black tie is optional.  Corporate sponsorships are available.  For more information, call 231-722-9622 ext. 240 or e-mail

Spring Film Fest
March 11 @ 2:00 pm
Every Sunday at 2:00pm, February 11 – March 25, come to the Harbor Theater for the Spring Film Fest to benefit Muskegon’s historic military vessels!  Tickets are only $6.  For more information, call (231) 375-5228.

The Line-Up
• 3/11 The Quiet Man
• 3/18 The Manchurian Candidate
• 3/25 Dunkirk

Crostoli E Frittelle with Sofia
March 12 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Monday, March 12 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Kitchen 242 inside the Muskegon Farmers’ Market invites you to the culinary class, “Crostoli E Frittelle with Sofia!”  Crostoli E Frittelle are fried sweets, a traditional must on every Carnival Italian’s table.  Carnival or “Carnevale” is one of the biggest celebrations in Italy.  Famous for its masks (Venice Carnival), it starts on January 7 until the Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday.  You guessed it, you will be making Italian fried sweets in this class and learning about Carnevale from Sofia who was born, raised and lived in Italy until coming to Muskegon four years ago.

Masks are welcome although you may need to remove them while cooking!  The cost is $35.  For more information, call (231) 769-2202.

LMC Speaker Series: The Sojourners and the Single Girl
March 12 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Monday, March 12 from 6:30pm – 7:30pm, come to Michigan’s Heritage Park at Hilt’s Landing for the Lakeshore Museum Center Speaker Series featuring “The Sojourners and the Single Girl!”  Local historian Marjorie Viveen will be sharing a presentation about West Michigan fur trader, Rix Robinson, and his fur trade crew of 1830.  The license he secured for his trading granted him rights on the Grand River and Vicinity and he employed one woman and 21 men at posts scattered from Little Traverse Bay to St. Joseph.  This event takes a close look at one of our local fur trading outfits and promises to be very informative.  RSVP by calling 231-894-0342.  The cost is $6 for members and $8 for non-members.

Marjorie Viveen, Ed.S. is a retired School Psychologist and lifelong resident of Grand Haven.  She chaired committees to preserve the Ottawa County Poor Farm Cemetery, the Grand Haven Central Park Fountain, their Town Clock, and led a year-long celebration of the Grand River Greenway in celebration of Ottawa County Parks’ Silver Anniversary.  Viveen founded the Dusty Dozens History Group and was named TCHM’s 2010 “Historian of the Year.”  In 2012 she authored “Historic River Road: A Self-Guided Auto Tour for All Seasons, co-authored Our People, Their Stories with Wallace Ewing, Ph. D., and has written numerous articles.  A second book on Grand River fur trade is in the works.  She currently serves on the Ottawa County Parks Foundation Board, the Tri-Cities Historical Museum’s Editorial Board, and is the chairperson of the Ottawa County Poor Farm Sesquicentennial Committee.

Ask Dr. Universe – How Vaccines Work

Hi Doc Universe, I was wondering how vaccines work because I would really like to make a better way to get a shot that doesn’t hurt so much. Thanks.
–Jacob, 10, Cayman Islands 

Dear Jacob,

The quick, little sting of a vaccine shot can provide us with some big protection from germs that cause disease.

One kind of germ is a virus. Viruses are so small that you can’t see them even with a normal microscope. But if you use a more powerful electron microscope, you’d see each one wears a kind of coat with bits and knobs that stick out in different directions.

“Just like every person’s face looks different, every virus coat looks different,” said my friend Felix Lankester, a veterinarian at Washington State University.

He knows a lot about viruses, especially one that causes a serious disease called rabies. His team helps set up clinics in Africa to deliver life-saving rabies vaccines to animals. He offered to help us investigate how vaccines work.

Vaccines help kick your body’s big defense network, or immune system, into gear. When you get a flu vaccine, for example, you get a little bit of the flu virus. The virus doesn’t hurt you, though.

It’s in a really weak form but your white blood cells still notice something unusual is going on. They react by making Y-shaped parts called antibodies that attach to the virus’s coat.

“The bits that stick out of the coat of the virus are what antibodies recognize,” Lankester said. “It stimulates an immune response.”

The antibodies attack and tag the invading germs so your body knows to recognize and destroy them.

Your immune system doesn’t just fight off the germ, though. It actually memorizes it.

Particular kinds of cells in your body remember the different viruses that enter your system. It helps you build up what we call immunity. That way, if the virus returns, your body knows how to respond. It can fight off the invader before it makes you sick.

Memory cells are part of the reason we only get sick from some viruses once. When you get the chicken pox virus, your cells are able to remember. Then, if you get exposed to chicken pox virus again, your body knows to get rid of it quick and how.

Vaccines have helped eliminate serious diseases like smallpox and polio in many parts of the world. Rabies is a horrible disease that still affects people and our fellow animal friends. There is a vaccine for it, but some people live too far from hospitals and veterinary clinics to get it.

So delivering rabies vaccines to people who need it is really important. Lankester and friends at WSU are working toward a vision of a world without rabies, saving the lives of both people and their pets.

Dr. Universe

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

Ottawa County Parks – Parks PSA

Parks PSA: Avoid bittersweet in your holiday wreaths

It’s festive, but it’s a “gift” that keeps growingbittersweet

Wouldn’t it be great if all of the invasive plants we work to eradicate were terribly unattractive? It certainly would make the job easier.

One of the most popular plants for holiday decor is the very lovely, but very invasive, Oriental bittersweet.

Birds will eat the berries, but they can’t fully digest them. When they dispose of the partially digested berries, it spreads the plant to other places.

Eastmanville Bayou is one of our properties where Oriental bittersweet has flourished. It grows rapidly, wrapping itself around trees, girdling them. It is so strong it can choke out and bring down a full grown tree.

The plant is so prolific there, it inspired our Prescribed Browsing Project. Luckily, the goats think it’s delicious.

There is a native bittersweet, but it can be difficult to find and identify. There is only one American bittersweet recorded in our park system, and it has only flowered once in five years.

Below is a photo of Allendale Middle School students attempting to remove bittersweet at Eastmanville Bayou and a guide to identify bittersweet berries.

bittersweet taking over eastmanville bayou


On the left is the invasive plant; on the right is the native, which is uncommon in the area.

Is there hope in fighting invasive plants?

Yes, only because of our volunteers!edrr

Our volunteers and school groups help us fight the worst infestations in the county. Without volunteers, treatment of these larger infestations would be incredibly expensive and time consuming. Sometimes it may feel as though the battle against invasive plants is hopeless, but invasive species are a threat that all individuals can do something about.

What is EDRR?

Early detection, rapid response is a nationally-recognized strategy used to manage and treat invasive plants. Detecting invasive plants early significantly decreases the time and cost of treatment.

We employ a dedicated staff, the Stewardship Crew, who focus on early detection and treatment. One of their most important tools is a GPS unit they use to constantly survey and map-out where invasives pop up. They then turn to volunteers to start pulling.

Success storiesstew crew
Over the summer our Stewardship Crew detected a small patch of buckthorn at Hiawatha Forest. Buckthorn is one of the worst invasives in the state, but through monitoring and removal of small infestations, we have been successful at keeping it in the early detection stage in Ottawa County

Before: Honeysuckle taking over Olive Shores


After: Olives Shores has been managed by volunteers from Harbor Industries and Consumers Energy for three years, nearly all of the honeysuckle has been removed.


View a pdf of the newsletter by clicking here

Ask Dr. Universe – Color of Stars

What color are our stars?
-Mira, 8, Ontario 

Dear Mira,

Just the other night, I grabbed my binoculars and looked up to the starry sky. At first the stars looked white, but when I looked closer I noticed some appeared more blue and red.

I was curious to find out exactly what color they were, so I visited my friend George Newman. He’s a physics and astronomy instructor at Washington State University.

He said that a star mostly emits the kinds of light that our eyes see as red or blue.

“The thing that determines which color they give off most is their temperature,” he said.

You may have seen the connection between color and temperature if you’ve ever made toast. The little wires inside the toaster glow red and you can feel the heat coming off them.

“We think of red as hot, but blue is actually hotter,” Newman adds.

Look closely at a flame and you’ll notice it’s made up of different colors, too. The bluish part is hotter than the reddish-orange part of the flame. It’s similar with stars.

The hottest stars are bluer. The cooler ones are redder. Of course, the cooler ones are still super hot.

And while stars may be hot at their surface, they are even hotter in their middles. Stars burn because of nuclear reactions that are continuously happening at their core. The reactions create a lot of heat and pressure.

Stars actually maintain their heat for most of their lives. But sometimes their temperatures change, as do their colors.

Young clusters of stars in the galaxy contain some of the most massive stars, which are super bright and very blue.

“There are plenty of these big hot blue stars being born in the galaxy and universe, but they burn out a lot faster, so there are a lot less of them around,” Newman said.

Stars gradually grow brighter over most of their lives. Then most puff up and cool off right near the end. They become even brighter, but redder. Older clusters will contain more stars like red giants.

One blue supergiant in our galaxy is called Rigel. While Rigel is a blue star now, it will likely puff up and get redder like another star in our galaxy, Betelgeuse.

Betelgeuse is an old, red giant. It will eventually explode in an event we call a nova, and probably become a black hole.

In fact, our sun will also become a red giant one day, too. But probably not for 5 billion years or so. The life of a star is really long and it can involve lots of different changes. The next time you look up to the night sky, remember that there’s more there than at first meets the eye.

Dr. Universe

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

Ottawa County Parks – Winter 2016-2017 Announcements


Calling all artists & park lovers!

Ottawa County Parks is having a t-shirt design contest! Up to five designs from eligible entries will be chosen to print on shirts and sold at the Nature Education Center. One Grand Prize will be awarded. Read the official rules online:

Pigeon River Public Hearing

Slow-no wake speed zones are established by local governments working through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Port Sheldon Township passed a resolution requesting a slow-no wake speed zone on the Pigeon River east of Lakeshore Drive and in the channel to Lake Michigan. As part of their investigation, MDNR has scheduled a meeting to hear public comment on the proposal for December 15 at 7:00 pm at the Port Sheldon Township Office: 16201 Port Sheldon St, West Olive, 49460. Following their investigation, MDNR will make a determination as to whether a slow-no wake speed zone is warranted.

We are hiring!

Have you ever considered working for Ottawa County Parks? We are currently searching for candidates interested in working outside over the summer. The opportunities would be perfect for students (18+) who are home on break, retirees who want to spend more time outside, or anyone interested in the parks and looking to make some extra money during the summer months.

The Parks Department will be hiring over 60 seasonal employees for the 2017 season. There are many lakeshore jobs available, but opportunities exist at parks throughout the County. Because of the large number of seasonal hires, the Parks Department will be hosting a job fair on:

Tuesday, January 3 from 9 am-12 pm at the Nature Education Center at Hemlock Crossing County Park. 

Interested candidates can expect immediate interviews with Parks Management. There is a potential for on-the-spot hires. Computers will be available for on-site online application, but candidates may review available positions and apply online before the job fair event. They will be posted online by Monday, December 12:

We encourage anyone who may not be able to attend, such as a high school senior who would be in school that day, to apply online in December.

View a pdf of the newsletter by clicking here

Ottawa County Parks – Grand River Greenway Update

Park News

Grand River Greenway Update

Completion of the Robinson Township trail, a key component to the Grand River Greenway Explorers Trail, is expected this spring. The trail is a 3.9-mile paved path along the north side of North Cedar Drive, connecting Connor Bayou to Riverside Park. The path serves as the southern connection to the new M-231 bridge non-motorized trail crossing.

Grand River Greenway

Ottawa County Parks is seeking a $1.24 million grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) to help fund the $1.85 million project. The grant proposal would potentially include funds for a parking area near the access point for the M-231 Grand River Bridge trail. The local match for the TAP grant would be provided through a $50,000 contribution by Robinson Township as well as $560,000 in funding from the Parks millage.

Grand River Explorers Trail

The Robinson Township trail will be one of the first completed segments of the Grand River Explorers Trail, an endeavor we anticipate completing in 2021. The trail will be 30 miles long and will connect Grand Haven to Grand Rapids, and a dozen parks along the way!

We are looking for community members who are interested in this project to be part of an outreach committee. The committee would speak on behalf of the trail at regional non-motorized trail meetings and other public events, as well as help guide us in our efforts. If you have interest in regional trails and the Grand River Greenway and would like to be part of this committee, please contact us:

Check out the most recent news about the Explorers Trail!

View a pdf of the newsletter by clicking here

Abortions Down 5% Nationally In Latest CDC Report

Encouraging news came the day after Thanksgiving: the Centers for Disease Control released their annual report on abortion numbers, showing a 5% decrease.

Before getting into the details, it’s important to note that three states refuse to collect and report abortion statistics: California, Maryland, and New Hampshire. While the overall abortion numbers are therefore much higher than reported by the CDC, we can see clearly the trends of the 47 states showing abortions continue to decline.

A total of 664,435 abortions were reported to the CDC in 2013. The reported abortion rate was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years. The reported abortion ratio was 200 abortions per 1,000 live births. All three measures were 5% decreases from 2012, so there were fewer abortions and a higher percentage of women chose life for their children.

The latest national estimate by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute was 1,085,800 abortions in 2011. Both the Guttmacher and CDC numbers continue to show a long-term decline in abortion.

In the report there are 40 reporting areas that collected information on how old the child is at the time he or she is aborted. The report showed 5,770 late-term abortions after 20 weeks, or 1.3% of all abortions. A good estimate for the entire nation is about 10,000 abortions every year given the roughly 1 million total abortions. While made out to be an irrelevant amount, 10,000 late-term abortions is a lot; it’s roughly the same amount of murders using firearms nationally.

Abortion ratios dropped in every racial and ethnic category in 2013, but the abortion ratio is much higher in the Black community and it’s not dropping as quickly as it is in other groups. The 2013 abortion ratio per 1,000 live births was 121 for non-Hispanic White women, 178 for Hispanic women of any race and 420 for non-Hispanic Black women.

Contrary to popular thought, abortion is not a one-time occurrence for most women. Of women who had abortions in 2013, 45% were having their second abortion or more. If there are 1 million abortions in the U.S., then the statistics from the report indicate that 90,000 women every year are having at least the fourth abortion in their lifetime.

What should our conclusion be about this news? We should celebrate that more lives were saved, but we must recognize that much more prolife effort is still needed!

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
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Pigeon Creek Lodge is Open

skiers at Pigeon Creek

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

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

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

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

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

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

pigeon creek lodge

Pigeon Creek Lodge

Ski Lessons

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Joint Professional Development Meeting – January 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

Reservations can be made:

Ottawa County Parks – Expansion of North Ottawa Dunes

Park News

Expansion of North Ottawa Dunes

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

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

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

View a pdf of the newsletter by clicking here

Thank You to Fruitport Volunteers!

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

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

If I have forgotten anyone, please let me know  🙂

Rose Dillon, CPFA, MiCPT, MCAT
Fruitport Township Treasurer

Become a Muskegon STAR!

New STAR Training Sessions Now Open2017 Training Sessions Now Open!

The Muskegon STAR! Program provides individuals the tools to excel at customer interaction and enhance the overall experience for tourists, guests, friends and fellow employees. BE THE REASON someone moves to, invests in, or visits the Muskegon Lakeshore.


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

STAR! Sessions fill quickly – Reserve your space early! 

Click here to Register!

Event Details:
January 19, 2017
Click here to register

February 16, 2017
Click here to register

March 16, 2017
Click here to register

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

Ottawa County Parks – Winter Programs

Winter Programs

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

See the full program calendar by clicking here.

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

Featured Event


Feb 4, 9 am-1 pm • Location TBA

(Alternate date is Feb 11)

Registration encouraged

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

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

Winter Wonderland

Popular destinations, equipment to rent

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

pigeon creek

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

Where to explore

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

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

other places to explore

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

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

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

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

View a pdf of the newsletter by clicking here

Holiday Tips For Dealing With Alzheimer’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 13th Letter to America

The Presidential Election is finally over!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manuel Ybarra, Jr.
Coalgate, Ok 74538

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 11/28/16-12/05/16

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Hands on a Hardbody
Through December 4
November 18 – December 4, Muskegon Civic Theatre invites you to the Beardsley Theater for “Hands on a Hardbody!”  Inspired by true events, and infused with a “fresh roots-rock vibe,” this is the hilarious musical about a hard-fought contest in which only one winner can drive away with the American Dream.  Ten contestants are determined to endure four sleepless days in the Texas heat for a chance to win a brand-new Nissan hardbody truck.  All they have to do is fight to keep at least one hand on the truck and they will drive it away.  Last one standing wins!

Tickets are $20 & $22.  For more information, visit

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

USS Silversides November Lecture Series
November 28 @ 6:00 pm
Monday evenings, November 14 – 21 at 6:00pm, you’re invited to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum’s November Lecture Series!  The cost is $5, or free for museum members.
–November 28:  WWII Through the Eyes of a Tank Commander presented by Clyde Rinsema
Retrace the steps of Clyde’s father Sgt. George Rinsema through the European Theater of the war from D-Day through the many battles and ending at the Elbe River in Germany in 1945.  The presentation will include quotes from letters sent home, video and photographs from WWII as well as anecdotes and comments made by Germans 50 years after the war when George & Clyde revisited the combat route taken during his time in the war.

Mystery of the Christmas Star
Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 7:00 pm
Investigate the signs that led the Wise Men to travel to Bethlehem in “Mystery of the Christmas Star” at Muskegon Community College’s Carr-Fles Planetarium!  No reservations are needed for this free, 35-minute program, which includes a brief lecture on the current sky conditions,as projected on the planetarium dome.  Runs every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00pm November 1-December 1.  The doors open at 6:45pm.  There will be no show on Thanksgiving.  Call (231) 777-0289 for more information.

Jilly’s Jewelry Workshop
November 30 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
November 30 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm, you’re invited to the Lakeshore Museum Center for Jilly’s Jewelry Workshop!  Learn the steps to making your own piece of glass art jewelry from glass artist, Jilly Barnes. Design and put together your piece and then Jilly will fire it in her oven and return it to the museum for you to pick-up. Jilly is the owner of Jilly’s Gallery in Pentwater and the 2014 2nd Place Winner of 3D Category for public voting at Art Prize.  The cost is $40 and is due prior to the workshop. Call 231-722-0278 to register.

“Once Upon a Time…Stories of the Season”
November 30 @ 7:30 pm – December 3 @ 9:00 pm
“Once Upon a Time…Stories of the Season” will be presented by Muskegon Community College’s Center for Theater with 7:30pm performances Wednesday- Saturday, November 30-December 3 in the Overbrook Theater.  Tickets go on sale Monday, November 21 at the Overbrook Theater Box Office.  Tickets are $10 for the public and $5 for MCC students, staff, and faculty.  For more information or to reserve tickets, call (231) 777-0234.
Featured stories include:
• “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg;
• “The Origin of the Candy Cane” by Lori Walburg and adapted by Kendra Irvine;
• “Hanukkah v. Christmas” by Adrianne Lewis and adapted from Dr. Steve Sultanoff:
• “A Christmas Apart” by Leona Perigard; “The Little Match Girl” by Hans Christian Andersen;
• “How Maui Snared the Sun,” a traditional story as told by Carolyn McVickar Edwards and adapted by Tom Harryman and ensemble;
• “Der Belznickel.” a traditional story as told by S.E. Schlosser and adapted by Sylvia DeBruyn; and
• “Angels in Cincinnati,” “Black Friday Blitz,” and “Mistletoe” written by MCC students Mark Lewis, Aaron Ponce, and Shayne Miller.

“Visit Muskegon” Logo Contest
December 1, 2016 – January 6, 2017
The Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau is rebranding as “Visit Muskegon.”  We are looking for a new visual identity and need your help!   We are seeking anyone who can design a creative, innovative, and professional logo design. See this link for details:

Visit Muskegon Logo Contest



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

Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree
December 1 @ 7:00 pm – December 3 @ 7:00 pm
This Muskegon area event has become a rich tradition for families near and far as a way of kicking off their holiday and getting into the spirit of the season. With their debuts on THE TRAVEL CHANNEL and THE LEARNING CHANNEL, as well as their 2013 Excellence in Education Award, sponsored by the Michigan Association of School Boards, their popularity has spread and large crowds are again expected at the Frauenthal Center December 1-3 at 7:00pm each night with a 3:00pm matinee Saturday as well.

With its 25,000 colored lights that coordinate to the beautiful singing, 15 tiers that reach 67 feet up into the majestic Frauenthal Center, over 280 singers, and accompanied by the 50 piece Mona Shores High School Orchestra, the Singing Christmas Tree must be seen to be believed.  For more information, visit

First Friday Fan Fundraiser
December 2 @ 7:00 pm
Friday, December 2 at 7:00pm, come to the Book Nook & Java Shop for the First Friday Fan Fundraiser!  The first Friday of the month, they feature a celebrity bartender and encourage their fans to show up and raise money.  Tips and 20% of all proceeds will benefit the charity of their choice.  This month’s celebrity bartenders are Rich Houtteman & Bob Carter.  Proceeds will support United Way of the Lakeshore, specifially the education programs in White Lake, including Lights On After School and The Dolly Parton Imagination Library.  There’ll be live music by Sherri Casey and the dinner special will be beef stew for only $6.50.  For more information call 231-894-5333.

Holidays in Lakeside
December 3 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Get in the spirit of the season with “Holidays in Lakeside”, a fun family event featuring visits with Santa, sleigh rides, a gift basket raffle, ice sculpting demonstrations, merchant sales & specials and a free movie at the Harbor Cinema.  It’s happening December 3 from 11:00am-5:00pm in the Lakeside District, with the lighting of the Pocket Park tree on Friday, December 2 at 6:30pm.  For more information, visit
–Santa Claus at Harbor Cinema 11:00am-2:00pm
–Community Bake Sale at Lakeside Center 11:00am-3:00pm
–Sleigh Rids 11:00am-2:00pm
–Holiday Movie “Home Alone” at Harbor Theater 3:00pm

64th Annual White Lake Christmas Parade
December 3 @ 12:00 am
Saturday December 3 over 80 participants will line up and follow the parade route from Whitehall to Montague along Business 31/Colby Street._ The American Legion and VFW will lead the event along with the proud Christmas Parade sponsor. The parade begins at two o’clock in the afternoon. Both Montague and Whitehall High School’s marching bands will be stepping out joined by area scout troops!_ As the Grand Finale Santa will make his entrance with a horse drawn carriage. He will be eager to see children of all ages following the parade at his house outside Montague City Hall located on Ferry St. For more information visit

Beginning Baking for Kids: Christmas Cookies and Candies with Chef Char
December 3 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Saturday, December 3rd – Beginning Baking for Kids: Christmas Cookies and Candies with Chef Char 9:00 – 11:00 am. The holidays are a time for baking and gift giving. Learn some of Chef Char’s favorite holiday recipes, including impressive homemade cookies, fudge and chocolate candies. Make, bake and decorate your treats in class to take home or to give as gifts.

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

Holiday Tours of the Hackley and Hume Historic Site
December 3 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Visitors will have an opportunity to tour the homes of Muskegon’s most well-known lumber barons decorated to celebrate the holiday season!  Holiday tours of the Hackley & Hume Historic Site will begin on Saturday, November 26, with special activities including horse drawn-wagon rides from the Site to Hackley Park for the city’s lighting of the Christmas tree.  A tent will fill the courtyard between the two houses where visitors can listen to Christmas carolers, sip hot chocolate, and decorate cookies.

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

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

Tours will continue November 27 from 1:00 – 4:00pm, December 3 from Noon to 5:00pm, Monday, December 26 from 4:00 – 8:00pm and Tuesday, December 27 from 1:00 – 4:00pm.  Tours are $7 for adults and teens, $5 for age 65 and older, and free for visitors 12 and younger.

Humane Society Fundraiser
December 3 @ 4:00 pm
Saturday, December 3, Hitching Post Events is hosting a night of dinner, comedy, music and auctions where all the proceeds will benefit The Muskegon Humane Society!  This will be perfect for your company Christmas party or a fun date night!  Adoptable animals will be on site from 4:00pm-5:30pm, then it’s a Dinner buffet at 6:30pm and Comedians start at 8:00pm.  There’ll also be live auctions and a cash bar.  Tickets are available now and can be purchased at The Hitching post or The Muskegon Humane Society.

Single Tickets: $35
Reserve an entire table for your family or business (8 seats): $240

For ticket sales or general questions please contact:
The Muskegon Humane Society
2640 Marquette Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442

Circle of Trees
December 4
The Circle of Trees is held on the first Sunday in December.  Trees are decorated in Walker Park, the annual “Dog Parade” is held on Ruddiman Ave. and the tree lighting ceremony, refreshments and visits with Santa follow immediately after.  If you wish to participate or for more information, contact City Clerk Marcia Jeske at 231-744-1621 or by e-mail



Non-Profit Organization Looking for Community Members to Join our International Team

Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

ASSE International Student Exchange Program (ASSE) is seeking representatives to work with volunteer host families and international exchange students in your community. ASSE provides academic year and semester exchange programs in the United States for high school students from around the world. Students are 15 to 18 years of age, have passed a series of academic and character requirements and are awaiting an opportunity to embark on their American adventure. Local Representatives also have the opportunity to support American high school students in their journey abroad.

Area Representatives recruit and screen prospective host families, supervise the exchange students in their community throughout the year, and interview American students who wish to live and learn abroad. Area Representatives are compensated based on the number of students they are supervising.

ASSE’s primary goal is to contribute to international understanding by enabling students to learn about other languages and cultures through active participation in family, school and community life. Through sharing their home, host families and communities also gain new knowledge and appreciation of other cultures and languages. ASSE’s Area Representatives are the cornerstone of the organization, making all of this possible!

For more information about ASSE or becoming an Area Representative, please call the Eastern Regional Office at 1-800-677-2773, email us at or go to to learn more. We look forward to welcoming you to the ranks of Area Representatives nationwide – striving towards a world of understanding, one child at a time!

Thanks from the Mission for Area People

Thank You!!
Thanks to all who support Mission for Area People in many different ways!

Special Thanks to Senator Hansen for his annual pig donation for our food pantry. For the past few years Senator Hansen has been helping the MAP food pantry by purchasing a pig and having it packaged for our pantry. Thank you Senator Geoff Hansen for thinking of Mission for Area People as we continued to provide for community neighbors in need.

Thank you to the Sister Simone Courtade Fund for the generous gift for our Medical Support as well as our Healthy Choice Food Pantry. The support from these gifts will help provide necessary emergency medical needs as well as healthy food choices for our pantry.

Thank you United Way of the Lakeshore Day of Caring for orchestrating hundreds of volunteers from all over who give their time and talents to 10 local non‐profits in our community, Mission for Area People being one of them. Thank you team leader Corey Watson for all your hard work.

Thank you Chris from CC Carpet for donating the carpet for our lobby and stairway.

Thank you Roy from Port City for donating 5 gallons of paint for our lobby.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made the Day of Caring a special event. Your support of Mission for Area People is very much appreciated.


Candidate Bio: Paula Baker Mathes

Candidate for Muskegon District Court Judge

Paula-Baker-MathesPaula Baker Mathes has been a lawyer for more than 22 years.   She graduated from Tulane University in 1990 and Cooley Law School with honors in 1993.  Most of her career has been as a trial lawyer.  She has been in private practice, a prosecutor, and a defense attorney.  She currently works in Muskegon County’s Public Defender Office.

“Having represented clients from both sides of the courtroom, I understand the issues and the lasting impact the decisions by the Court have on people and their families.  As a judge, I would ensure fair, impartial and just consideration to all those who would come before me on the bench.”

Candidate Bio: Holly Hughes

Candidate for State Rep. – 91st District                          

I am running for re-election because our hometown and hard-working taxpayers deserve an effective Representative that gets things done. I will stay focused on jobs and the economy.  As the author of over 15 new laws, I have helped people all across our county to cut through bureaucratic red tape and advocate for common sense West Michigan solutions. I have worked closely with our county’s educators to make sure they have the resources to provide a world-class education to our kids, and I have fought for our veterans because they have always fought for our freedoms. I ask for your support so that our hometown values continue to have a voice in Lansing!

Family: My husband Rick and I have two daughters, Morgan and Taylor and Son-in-law Jonah.

Education: Michigan State University – 1981 B.A. Business

Offices Held:
State Rep. – 91st District 2011-2012 & 2015 to Present (2 terms)
– White River Twp. Trustee – 1996-2008 (3 terms)
– American Hometown Leadership Award – 1999 Received from National Assn. of Towns and Townships Association. Nominated by my fellow White River Twp. board members for channel restoration project and development of life ring alarm system (first in the nation.)
– Montague Area Public School Board
– MUSTFA Board – Appointed by Gov. John Engler
– Muskegon Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC) – Former Board Member

For more information go to:

Candidate Bio: Justice David F. Viviano

Candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court

justice-david-vivianoDavid Viviano was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in 2013 and elected to complete his term in 2014. He is the Supreme Court’s point person for judicial training and e-filing.

Justice Viviano previously served as Chief Judge of Macomb County, where he led one of the largest trial courts in Michigan. He was elected to the Circuit Court in 2006 and again in 2012.

Justice Viviano has worked to reform Michigan’s jury system and implement new technologies – such as e-filing and videoconferencing – to help courts operate more safely and efficiently.

Before becoming a judge, Justice Viviano worked at two nationally-recognized law firms before starting his own firm.

Justice Viviano graduated from Hillsdale College and the University of Michigan Law School.

He and his wife live in Sterling Heights with their four children.

Candidate Bio: Brooke Slagle-Moore

Democratic Candidate Fruitport Township Clerk



“Dear Neighbors, First and foremost, I adore where I live and the Fruitport Community. I know I would love being your clerk. It is my passion; I have been working with West Michigan’s Clerks for over 12 years. You can be confident of my knowledge, fiscal-mindedness and belief that government is best run by the people it serves. I believe in working hard and am eager to be involved in the improvement of the quality of life for my Fruitport Neighbors. Let’s work together!”

Please Vote November 8! Brooke Slagle-Moore, Democratic Candidate Fruitport Township Clerk.  The candidate with CLERK experience.



• Endorsed by Carol Hulka, current Fruitport Township Clerk of 24 years.
• Over 12 years Clerk experience with Ottawa County Clerk’s Office and currently Deputy Clerk at Moorland Township, Muskegon County.
• Accredited with all state-required training for election administration.
• Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Associate’s in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Baker College of Muskegon.

Visit for more information.

Michigan’s New Laws regarding Abortion

In a newsletter from Right to Life of Michigan, President Barbara Listing explains one of the hurdles involved in promoting the truth of the abortion issue. “Those who provide, perform and/or promote  abortion-on-demand…spend all their time and energy ‘whitewashing’ the truth. I see it happen every single day. For 43 years now, we have been eyewitnesses to a massive cover-up deliberately designed to mislead our fellow citizens.”

She mentions “the role that compassion plays in the abortion debate,” and that “proponents of abortion are always talking about their love and concern for women. With their bucket of whitewash in hand, they paint the abortion issue with meaningless words and expressions of compassion. Words like ‘protection,’ ‘rights,’ ‘respect,’ ‘health care,’ and ‘choice.’ All whitewash!”

She sites a contemporary example, from right here in Michigan, that prove the point that these people have an ulterior motive: the recent “Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA).” Listing believes that this bill “should have the support of anyone who is concerned with the health and well being of women.”

According to the Right to Life of Michigan website, the law is described as follows:

Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA)
“Research confirms that a substantial number of women feel forced by boyfriends, spouses, parents and others to have an abortion against their will. Women are coerced through threats of physical violence, withdrawal of financial support, loss of housing and violation of employment contracts or other legal agreements. Furthermore, numerous studies have confirmed that women presenting for their second or more abortion are substantially more likely to be suffering domestic violence.” 

“H.B. 4787 adds to Michigan’s current anti-extortion/coercion provisions by including coercion to abort as a specific crime. It will be illegal to coerce a woman to abort by threatening or actually committing the following actions: physical assault, withdrawing financial support, or terminating or otherwise violating a legal contract, destroying or concealing a passport or other identification, and threats to deport or arrest.” 

“H.B. 4830 establishes penalties commensurate with the seriousness of the prohibited action. Physical assault and stalking carry more severe penalties, while withdrawal of financial support or violation of a legal contract will be punishable by stiff fines.”

According to Listing, this law faced opposition from people in the “pro-choice” community. She addressed their opposition in the newsletter:

“Who in the world would ever oppose a bill that would provide legal protection to a woman who is being forced to abort? Forced! Where are all the people who support ‘choice’? What choice does a woman have when she’s being threatened? What choice does a woman have when all her options are being stripped away? So where are all these ‘compassionate’ advocates for women? Are they co-sponsoring the bill? No, they’re too busy whitewashing to show up in Lansing in support of women at risk.”

Listing asserts that there are “dozens of well-funded pro-abortion organizations, federal and state agencies, health care organizations, academia and elected officials from both parties. There are even denominations, theologians and pastors who will whitewash to protect abortion-on-demand.” She believes, “that’s why you and I are so important. We are like turpentine to a whitewashed argument. Through prayer and hard work, we are able to cut through the lies and deceptions to expose the truth.”

Another recent law, the “Rape Survivor Child Custody Act”, seemed to receive much wider support in Michigan. This law is described on the Right to Life of Michigan website as:

Rape Survivor Child Custody Act
“This bill would allow a rape survivor who becomes pregnant from assault to petition the family court to terminate the parental custody and parenting time (aka ‘visitation’) of her assailant under a ‘clear and convincing’ evidence standard and without the necessity of a criminal conviction. Current law provides for the termination of parental rights of a man who impregnates a woman via sexual assault if he is convicted of felony rape. Unfortunately, felony rape convictions are difficult to obtain and require a legal standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ This bill would make the standard for termination of custody and parenting time the same as for those who abuse or neglect their child.”

Nationally, there was legislation originally introduced in 2013 in the House of Representatives as H.R. 2772, reintroduced recently as H. R. 1257, to provide funding incentives “to States that have in place laws that terminate the parental rights of men who father children through rape.”

According to the website, this “Rape Survivor Child Custody Act”:
“Directs the Attorney General to make grants to states that have in place a law that allows the mother of any child that was conceived through rape to seek court-ordered termination of the parental rights of her rapist with regard to that child, which the court shall grant upon clear and convincing evidence of rape.”

“Limits such a grant to: (1) an amount that is not greater than 10% of the average of the total funding of the three most recent awards a state received under the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program and the Sexual Assault Services Program; and (2) a one-year term, subject to renewal for not more than three additional years.”

“Requires a state that receives such a grant to use: (1) 25% of grant funds for permissible uses under the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, and (2) 75% of funds for permissible uses under the Sexual Assault Services Program.”

You can find out more information about these Michigan laws, and download PDF versions of the documents through the Michigan Legislature website,, and Right to Life of Michigan at:


Ask Dr. Universe – Why We Feel Pain

Why do we feel pain? -Sara, 11, Moscow, Idaho
Dear Sara,

Pain is unpleasant, but we need it for survival. Just the other day I was out exploring when I stubbed my paw and let out a big meow. My nervous system was doing its job.

Part of the reason we feel pain is because our bodies have tons of nerves that help us move, think, and feel in all kinds of ways.

When you stub your paw or toe, for example, the nerves in the skin of your toe will send a message to your brain that you are in pain. These messages are what scientists call impulses. They start in your toe, move to your spinal cord, then your brainstem, and onto your brain.

It’s actually your brain that tells you that you’re in pain. And if you’ve ever stubbed your toe, you know this message gets delivered pretty fast. In fact, when you feel pain, sometimes the impulse, or message, will travel at 250 mph. That’s the speed of a very fast racecar.

It’s important for the message to move fast because you have to make a quick decision about what to do. Sometimes your decision might be a matter of survival—but other times it might be as simple as deciding if you need a bandage, ice pack, or even a trip to the doctor.

Pain is actually the number one reason people see a doctor, said my friend Raymond Quock. He’s a scientist here at Washington State University who is really curious about pain.

“Pain in many aspects is good,” Quock said. “It’s a warning that your body is in danger.”
Most humans can feel pain, but not all humans, he said. Because of genetics or nerve injury, some people can’t feel pain.

Imagine touching a hot pan and not realizing it just came out of the oven. Or imagine if you broke your leg, but didn’t know it. And while that might sound pretty nice, it can also be quite dangerous.

If you didn’t feel pain, you might end up with even more damage to your body. Pain helps tell us when to take extra care of ourselves.
People have different kinds of pain, too. There’s physical pain, emotional pain—even growing pains. The kind of pain Quock studies is called chronic pain. Unlike acute pain, like stubbing your toe, chronic pain is pain that hurts and aches for months or longer.

This kind of pain doesn’t appear to have a very useful purpose. It doesn’t help much with survival. Quock and his team of WSU researchers are investigating why it happens and how to treat it. They are working on some great ideas about how to help patients feel better.

While some pain doesn’t seem to have a purpose, pain definitely does keep us safe in a lot of other potentially dangerous situations. Our nerves help us sense the world around us so we can explore. They can also help remind us to watch where we step next time.

Dr. Universe

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

Ask Dr. Universe – Why Onions Cause Us to Cry

Why does onion cause you to cry? –Kera, 5, Lawrenceville, GA

Dear Kera,

Try as we might, it’s hard to hold back tears while chopping up onions.

My friend Lindsey du Toit knows the feeling. She’s a scientist at Washington State University and works with lots of onions. Her research helps farmers grow good vegetables for us to eat.

“It’s not the onion itself that makes us cry,” she explained, “but a chemical reaction that starts when you cut into it.”

I wondered how exactly this chemical reaction worked. To find out, we set up a microscope in her lab and chopped up a Walla Walla sweet onion. I wiped a few tears from my cheek and slid a tiny piece of onion under the lens.

Under the microscope’s light, we could see rows of onion cells next to each other. Just like you and me, onions are made up of cells.

An onion sitting on the kitchen counter is pretty harmless because its cells are still together. But when we cut up an onion, we also cut up a bunch of the cells. This is where the chemical reaction begins.

Cutting the onion breaks open different parts in the cell and releases chemicals into the air. Some of these important chemicals contain sulfur.

“As the plants grow, they take up sulfur from the soil,” du Toit said. “It’s good for growing onions.”

This sulfur is important for the flavor, too. But some of the chemicals in onions that contain the sulfur also have the side effect of making us cry.

“It’s a sacrifice we pay for good-flavored onions,” du Toit adds.

The onion cells also contain parts called enzymes. It is the job of these enzymes to help chemical reactions happen. In the onion, the enzymes help convert the sulfur into a kind of acid.

This acid rearranges itself to form a new kind of chemical: syn-propanethial-S-oxide. It’s a bit of a tongue twister. It’s also a tearjerker.

When the chemical drifts up and meets the moisture in our eyeballs, it turns to sulfuric acid. Our eyes have many nerves and can sense that something unusual is happening—and that something is stinging.

Tear-producing glands in our eyes, called lachrymal glands, receive the message.

du Toit explained that an onion with more sulfur is often likely to produce more tears. For example, Walla Walla sweets are sweeter and don’t take up as much sulfur from the soil. They likely won’t provoke as many tears as some other onions might.

People have tried quite a few techniques to try to avoid crying when they chop onions. Some put onions in the fridge before cutting them to slow the chemical reaction. Others cut their onions under cold water to slow the chemical reactions with the sulfur compounds.

Chemical reactions often happen more slowly in cold conditions. So the idea is that cooling onions in the fridge before cutting them means that the sulfur chemicals are converted more slowly into the acid that reacts with your eyes —helping you chop more onions and slowing the waterworks.

Dr. Universe

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

Who’s Life Matters?

Earlier this year, a tragic event occurred at the Cincinnati Zoo. A 3-year old boy somehow managed to wander into the gorilla exhibit, past the protective perimeter that separates visitors from the exhibit, as well as other protective measures. He fell 10 to 15 feet into the enclosure’s protective moat.

Of  the 3 gorillas in the exhibit, 2 responded to the calls of zoo officials and retreated, while the large male gorilla, “Harambe”, advanced toward the child, eventually grabbed him, and dragged him around the enclosure.

A special team at the zoo responded to the situation by shooting the gorilla and killing it. The little boy was rushed to the hospital and found to have only received a concussion and minor injuries.

The media response to this event seemed to focus more on the killing of the gorilla than the saving of this young boy’s life. In the July 2016 issue of the Right to Life of Michigan newsletter, President Barbara Listing discussed how the reaction to this tragic story troubles her, “One news account even insinuated that Harambe was “murdered.”  I may be old school, but I didn’t  know that you could “murder” an animal.  I thought that term was reserved for humans only.”

“In addition,” Listing states, “this story completely upstaged Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. The story also overshadowed the fact that 69  people were shot in Chicago over the same weekend ending the deadliest  May in that city in 21 years!”

“There were candlelight vigils. No, not for veterans. No, not for the children shot in Chicago – for Harambe. There were memorial services. Flowers and cards left at a gorilla statue. Protests. Even an online petition that collected more than 400,000 signatures.  But it didn’t  stop there.”

“A surprising number of people actually thought it was worth risking the little boy’s life in order to save the gorilla.” Listing goes on to give some graphic examples of people’s responses on social media, then wraps up her reaction, summarizing, “Social media was on fire! Many people were very blunt, if not crude. This incident should have been settled by “survival of the fittest.” If the kid got torn apart limb from limb, so be it.”

Where are our priorities in 21st century America?

Listing believes that this story clearly illustrates why the work of Right to Life is so vitally important, “Every day we must remain steadfast as we promote the sanctity of human life. The value of the human person, young and old, is under relentless assault. We need to stand tall and hold the line no matter the circumstance.”

She concludes, “I’m sad that this gorilla had to be shot. But I’m even more thankful that the little boy is okay. I urge the Cincinnati Zoo to fix the inadequate fence. My heart goes out to this mother and her family. I am especially praying for this three-year-old little boy. God, please get a hold of his life. With this level of determination, he could be a real world changer!”

Above all else, She’s more committed than ever to “promote the value and the sanctity of every human life,” and is very thankful to have likeminded friends and supporters by her side!

Please visit for more information.

Muskegon Rotary Club’s 13Th Annual Grape Escape

September 21 Event Helps Fund Muskegon Area Promise and local Rotary Projects

MUSKEGON, MI – The Muskegon Rotary Club’s 13th Annual Grape Escape – the region’s premier wine, craft beer, and food tasting event – is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. and is returning to the Bella Maria’s Ristorante and Event Center, 513 W. Pontaluna Road in Norton Shores, Michigan. This newly remodeled facility, located at the Oak Ridge Golf Club, offers an expanded location for the Muskegon Rotary Club’s largest annual event.

This year’s non-profit partner is Muskegon Area Promise, and proceeds from the event will support the Promise. The Muskegon Area Promise unprecedented commitment to the young people of our community, guaranteeing that if they work hard they will be able to earn at least a two-year college degree tuition-free. Scholarships fund an Associate’s Degree or Certificate program at Muskegon Community College or Baker College of Muskegon. Eligible students are those who live in and graduate from a high school located within MAISD boundaries and have a high school graduation GPA of 3.5 or higher. Additional proceeds from the Grape Escape will help fund other Muskegon-area Rotary projects.

The annual Grape Escape tasting event features wines from over a dozen Michigan wineries, along with microbrews crafted in Michigan and local Muskegon County breweries including Pigeon Hill, Unruly and Fetch. Guests will also enjoy delicious food from hometown restaurants. Unique Silent Auction items donated by local merchants will go to the highest bidders.

“The Grape Escape is an enjoyable, relaxing evening for guests to mix and mingle as they sip wine and microbrews and sample the area’s finest foods, while helping to provide and promote programs that are beneficial to our community,” said Deni Hunter, event co-chair.

Tickets for Grape Escape are $40.00 per person. For your convenience, tickets may be purchased online through the Muskegon Rotary Club’s Facebook page (, Muskegon Rotary Grape Escape Facebook page (, or on the club’s website at (click on the Grape Escape Link and then the Order Now button). Tickets may also be purchased in person at Rotary Club regular meetings.


Muskegon Rotary: Rotary began as an idea more than 100 years ago. Today, Rotary flourishes worldwide with 1.2 million members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. The Muskegon Rotary Club was chartered on May 1, 1916 as Rotary International’s 216th Club. We are in District 6290, our club number is 2806. The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.

Muskegon Area Promise: Why do YOU need to further YOUR education? In days past, the West Michigan job market offered a good living without college or even a full high school education. Today we live in a globally-oriented, knowledge-driven world where 53% of Job postings require a certificate, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. By 2025, this number is projected to rise to 64% of Muskegon’s current workforce, only 31% have these types of post high school degrees. Megan Byard-Karaba, College Access Specialist Muskegon Area Intermediate School District 231-767-3601,,

For additional information about the Muskegon Rotary Club’s Grape Escape event on September 21, please contact: Deni Hunter ( or Mary Beth Ramos (

Shoreline Vision Welcome’s Their Newest Provider

Continuing in its goal to be the premier, fully integrated regional eye care provider with the mission to preserve and improve vision, Shoreline Vision announces the addition of Dr. David Rawlinson to its medical staff.

Dr. David Rawlinson is a native of Michigan where he graduated from Hope College and went on to earn his doctorate in medicine from Michigan State University.  Dr. Rawlinson completed his internship and ophthalmology residency at St. John Health System in Detroit.  Dr. Rawlinson was honored for scoring in the top 1% of all physicians on his Medical Board Examination.

Dr. Rawlinson relocated with his family from Florida where he worked as a comprehensive ophthalmologist with special interests in family eye care, advanced cataract care, and LASIK.  Dr. Rawlinson selected ophthalmology as a profession because he “believes that excellent vision is essential for functioning and enjoying the world in which we live.”  Dr. Rawlinson is currently accepting new patients.  To schedule your exam, visit or call 888.739.9009.

Shoreline Vision is a comprehensive medical practice that provides eye care services from eyeglasses and comprehensive eye exams to retina care and cataract surgery at the only surgical center dedicated solely to eyes.  With 16 providers and over 150 employees, Shoreline Vision is the leading eye care practice along the lakeshore and is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to every patient, using the best technology, research, and continuing education for their doctors and staff.

In addition to Muskegon, Shoreline Vision has offices in North Muskegon, Norton Shores, Spring Lake, Grand Haven, and Fremont.  For more information call Jennifer Scofield, Shoreline Vision Marketing Manager at 231.737.4717.

Customers Should be Wary of ‘Phishy’ Phone Calls

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson cautions customers to be wary of ‘phishy’ phone calls. 
Callers claiming to be state employees asking for credit card info

LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson urges customers to take care when giving out information over the phone to anyone they do not know personally.

The Secretary of State’s Office is aware of instances in which a person claiming to be a state employee has called asking for credit card and Social Security information. Callers may use a technique known as “caller ID spoofing” so a phone’s caller ID displays a valid number of a Secretary of State office or another state agency. Scammers pretending to be a legitimate business or government agency is often referred to as “phishing.”

Johnson emphasized that the Secretary of State’s Office does not make unsolicited calls to customers asking for personal or financial information.

“Although alarming as this activity is, there are steps Michigan residents can take to protect themselves,” Johnson said. “Any legitimate agency welcomes the chance to verify whether a contact, either in person or by phone, was appropriate.”

In one case, a customer received a call from someone purporting to be an employee of the Alpena Secretary of State office. The caller ID showed a valid state number. The customer correctly hung up the phone and called to verify whether the call was legitimate.

Johnson offered the following tips to help prevent fraud and protect personal information:

  • If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of the caller’s claim to be a Secretary of State employee, hang up and call the Department of State Information Center at 888-767-6424.

The Secretary of State’s Office will not:

  • Call and ask for PINs, passwords or access to your bank account or credit card numbers
  • Threaten to suspend your driver’s license or vehicle registration if you refuse to divulge personal or financial information
  • Demand immediate payment to resolve a problem

If you suspect that the caller ID information displayed on your phone has been falsified, or you think the rules for protecting the privacy of your telephone number have been violated, you can file a complaint with the FCC. You have multiple options for filing a complaint with the FCC:

  • File a complaint online
  • By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (835-5322); ASL Videophone: 1-844-432-2275
  • By mail (please include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible) to the Federal Communications Commission; Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau; Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division; 445 12th Street, S.W.; Washington, DC 20554

For more about the Secretary of State’s Office:

To find Secretary of State office locations and services, visit Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at and Facebook updates at Online services are available at

Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 08/29/16 – 09/05/16

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Muskegon Dog Park Kick Off
August 30 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
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This is for pups and their families to raise money for Muskegon’s new Dog Park! Join the Coffee Factory on Tuesday, August 30 from 4:00-8:00pm at 930 Washington Ave. There will be Watch Us Go items for sale, hot dogs and yummy treats for the friendly canines present! Also a photo booth to get that special photo. Proceeds benefit the new Dog Park in downtown Muskegon. Dogs must be kept on leash at this event.

We Are Stars
Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 7:00 pm
There’s a new show at the Carr-Fles Planetarium!  “We Are Stars” is a 35-minute, family-friendly adventure that that spans the billions of years between the Big Bang and modern day, and follows the thread that connects us all to those early times through the atoms from which our bodies are formed.  Where did they come from?  How did they get here?  And is it true that we really are all made of stars?  The science content is most appropriate for ages 11 and up; however, the entrancing animation and award-winning soundtrack will draw all ages into the magical universe created within this incredible show.  No reservations are needed for this FREE program, which runs August 23 – October 27 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm (doors open by 6:45), and includes a brief demonstration of the current night sky.  The planetarium is in room 135 of Muskegon Community College (221 S. Quarterline Rd, Muskegon).  For more information, or to schedule a private show for groups of 15-44, please call (231) 777-0289 or email

“As She Is” – Film & Discussion
August 30 @ 7:00 pm
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Tuesday, August 30 at 7:00pm, come to the Book Nook & Java Shop for a screening and discussion of “As She Is” with director Megan McFeely.  The film teaches that reclaiming our instinctive way of knowing, our insight, our native certainty is not beyond reach.  With lush imagery, a moving soundtrack and candid interviews, this timely documentary explores the radical and undeniable truth that our individual happiness and our very chances at human survival depend upon receptive, connective, life-giving feminine strengths.

Come early for dinner, featuring Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Chicken, Side Salad and Dinner Roll with Herb Butter for only $7.95.  For more information, call 231-894-5333.

Cruise-Ins at Fricano Place
August 31 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Cruise-Ins at Fricano Place are back every Wednesday starting May 4 (weather permitting) from 5:00-8:30pm.  Antiques, customs, classics and novelty vehicles are all welcome.  Enjoy oldies music and door prizes, too!  Come on down and check out some unique cars and enjoy some Fricano’s pizza and Sweet Treats from Fricano’s Sweet Shoppe!  All Cruise-In participants will be given a coupon for $3 off a dine-in or take-out Fricano’s Pizza purchase.  For more information, call 231-722-7775.

Art & a Glass: Thursday Happy Hour at the MMA
September 1 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Every Thursday from 4:00-8:00pm you’re invited to the Muskegon Museum of Art for “Art & a Glass!” Bring your friends to a museum-style happy hour! Take a break and enjoy the art with a glass of wine or a great craft brew. General admission is free Thursday evenings from 4:00 to 8:00 pm so take advantage of the opportunity to discover your Museum at no cost. There will be a cash bar. You must be 21 or older to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. For more information call 231-720-2570.

Tales Untold
September 1 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
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Featured as an Emerging Artist August 30 to October 15 at the Arts Council of White Lake’s Nuveen Center is Kat VanderWeele of East Grand Rapids.  “Tales Untold” underlies the limner’s stage of life and foretells plans for the art work on display.  An opening reception will be 5:00 to 7:00pm, September 1.

VanderWeele began making art as a child, inventing characters, creatures and complementary stories.  Her passion led to a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, with a major in Illustration, from Kendall College of Art and Design.  Media that bring her characters to life include acrylics, watercolor, colored pencils, pen and ink, graphite and gouache. Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues in Grand Rapids, including ArtPrize, and she has won several art scholarships and awards.

The Arts Council of White Lake is a 30-year old Non-Profit.  We provide numerous opportunities for the White Lake community and surrounding cities to view, listen to, create and learn from the arts, and we give support and encouragement to artists and arts organizations. The Nuveen Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information call 231-893-2524 or find us online at and on Facebook.

Sailor Salute!
September 1 @ 7:00 pm
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Thursday, September 1 at Mona Shores High School during the football game with Zeeland West High School, there will be a community-wide salute to pay tribute to those who serve our country and community.  The event honors active duty military, veterans and first responders including police, fire and emergency personnel.  Anyone dressed in military, police, fire and first responders will be admitted free.  Veterans should have their veteran identification card. Family members will be charged the regular admission fee of $5 for adults and $3 for students.

With area police, fire, emergency responders and Veterans present to be honored, the aim is for thousands of Muskegon area residents to lift their voices as one  singing “God Bless America” and our “National Anthem,” accompanied by the Mona Shores Marching Band.  Festivities and static displays of military and first responder vehicles will happen prior to the game.  The pre-game patriotic sing-along, a military fly-over, a parade of motorcyclists surrounding the field and plenty of other activities are planned.

Donations will be collected for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.  For more information, call 231-780-4711, ext. 8312.

Polish Festival
September 2 – September 4
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The first annual Muskegon Polish Festival will take place over Labor Day weekend September 2-4 at historic Hackley Park in Downtown Muskegon! This 3-day festival will offer Polish food polka music dancing cultural activities a children’s tent a Catholic mass and much more. Everyone is invited for an authentic Polish experience at a unique venue in the heart of Muskegon. For more information call Ellen at 231-750-4970.

Friday, September 2

  • Stan Mroz Polka Band 12:00-4:00pm
  • Box On Polka Band 5:00-9:00pm

Saturday, September 3

  • Dyna Brass Polka Band and The New Brass Express 12:00-4:00pm
  • Box On Polka Band 5:00-9:00pm

Scenic Cruises
September 2 & 3 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Friday, September 2 and Saturday, September 3 from 2:00-3:30pm, spend an hour and a half aboard the Port City Princess experiencing a water’s view of Muskegon while learning about our county’s history in the process.  The cost is $25 per person.  Call 231-728-8387 for reservations or more information.

First Fridays Street Performer Series
September 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Muskegon’s new Street Performer Series will take over the sidewalks, street corners and stages of downtown Muskegon on the First Friday of every month!  On each night, dozens of performers will be positioned along Western Avenue from 6:00-8:00pm. Performers include puppeteers, magicians, face-painters, fire-performers, chalk artists, belly dancers, barbershop quartets and more. Guests can also enjoy ice cream, shaved ice and balloon animals.  For more information, “Like” the First Friday and Street Performer Series Facebook pages.

Dinner/Dance Aboard the Port City Princess
September 2 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Friday, September 2 from 7:00-9:30pm, unwind after a busy week with a Dinner/Dance aboard the Port City Princess!  The cost is $55 and there will be a cash bar. For reservations or more information, call 231-728-8387.

11th Annual Run for Sight
September 3 @ 7:00 am – 10:00 am
Event Navigation
Saturday, September 3, you’re invited to participate in the 11th Annual Run for Sight!  100% of the proceeds from this 5K Run and 5K Walk will be donated to the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  Run For Sight is a 5K Run/Walk along beautiful Lake Michigan at Pere Marquette Park.  There’ll be first, second and third place medals in 14 different age categories for 9 years old and up in the 5K Run.  This visually stunning race path will be shared with friends who are visually impaired, who will walk the route after the runners begin.  Run For Sight 5K Run/Walk begins at with registration at 7:00am in the parking lot between the Coast Guard Festival and Margaret Drake Elliot Park.  The 5K Run is competitive and the 5K Walk is family, stroller and dog friendly, but remember; dogs must be on a leash and picked up after.  The 5K Run starts at 8:30am with the 5K Walk starting just a few minutes after.  5K Run awards will take place around 9:30am. For more information, visit

Artisan Market
September 3 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
The Arts Council of White Lake is hosting an Artisan Market, on the first Saturday of the summer months, right across the street from the Farmers Market in Montague. On July 2, August 6, and September 3 from 9:00am- 1:00pm, a variety of vendors will be selling their handmade items., including soap, jewelry, and other art items. Come support local artists and find unique gifts for yourself or a loved one. For more information call 231-893-2524 or visit

End of Summer Sunset Smorgasbord
September 3 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Saturday, September 3 from 7:00-9:00pm, come aboard the Port City Princess for the “End of Summer Sunset Smorgasbord!”  Don’t miss out on one of the final opportunities to enjoy dinner and dancing while enjoying a breathtaking sunset on Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan.  The cost is $55 per person.  Call 231-728-8387 for more information or reservations.

Maranatha Summer Concert Series: Captivating Keyboards
September 3 @ 9:00 pm
In conjunction with Kids Alive International, Alan Tripp and Scott Griffin perform as the Captivating Keyboards duo, striving to serve the Lord through their music. Their fun, creative interactive musical production will engage and inspire audiences as they perform at the Tabernacle on the grounds of Maranatha Bible & Missionary Conference on Saturday, September 3 at 7 p.m. ET.

Admission is FREE and open to the public; however, priority seating may be purchased with a meal ticket. The meal will start at 5 p.m. ET.

Dinner Buffet Pricing:

Adults 14+: $ 16.30 + tax
10-14yr olds: $ 10.30 + tax
5-9yr olds: $ 8.30 + tax
4 and Under: Free
To reserve your dinner tickets, please call the front desk at 231-798-2161.

12th Annual Labor Day Cars For Cancer
September 4 @ 7:00 am – September 5 @ 4:00 pm
Event Navigation
Sunday and Monday, September 4-5, come to the Mercy Health Lakes Village as the Different Strokes Car Club presents the 12th Annual Labor Day Cars for Cancer event!  100% of the proceeds go to Mercy Health Johnsons Family Cancer Care.  In the first 11 years of this car show and cruise, they have raised over $ 150,000 for this worthy cause.  Enter to win a 1963 Serro Scotty Gaucho 13 ft. trailer!  Search on Facebook for Muskegon’s Labor Day Cars For Cancer or e-mail for more information.

10th Annual Labor Day Walk/ Fun Run
September 5 @ 8:00 am
Event Navigation
This annual Muskegon County community event is to celebrate the beauty of our environment and promote the health of our community. Check in / onsite registration is at 8:00am. Event is not a chip-timed, but a start/end clock will be on site. Commemorate your day with a t-shirt!

Annual Labor Day Breakfast
September 5 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Event Navigation
Monday, September 5 from 8:00am-12:00pm, come to the Margaret Drake Elliott Park at beautiful Pere Marquette Beach for the Muskegon Lions’ Annual Labor Day Breakfast!  The cost is $7 for people 13 and over, $3 for kids 3-12 and kids under 3 are free.  Enjoy a great pancake breakfast on Lake Michigan while helping to support the Lions in their effort to make a brighter day for someone else.  For more information, call 231-744-1904.

West Michigan United Labor Day Parade
September 5 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Labor Day is the holiday in which we recognize and celebrate the contribution of all America’s workers to the growth and continued vitality of our Nation. Everybody loves a parade! This is an all-inclusive community parade through the streets of downtown Muskegon. The parade will start 11:00am on Monday September 5 and will end approximately around 12:30pm. They are planning a fun filled FREE post parade celebration following the parade that will go until 4:00pm. They will have food by Greek Tony’s, refreshments, cotton candy, games, prizes, face painting, bounce houses, arts n’ crafts and much more! For more information or an application to be in the Labor Day Parade, please contact Jana at 231-638-2741 or

The parade starts at the intersection of 4th street and Western Avenue. It will progress down Western Avenue to Jefferson Street (turning right) and heading towards Clay Avenue. The march will continue down Clay Avenue and end at Hackley Park for a post parade celebration!

ISM Greater Grand Rapids Affiliate Dinner Meeting

ISM Greater Grand Rapids
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Affiliate Dinner Meeting

GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN – ISM the Greater Grand Rapids Affiliate is pleased to announce their first 2016-17 affiliate dinner meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at the GVSU Eberhard Center, 301 West Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. Mr. Tony J. Conant, Chief Operating Officer at the Institute for Supply Management® will present ISM Business Update and 21st Century Supply Management Organization.

The deadline for registration is Thursday, September 8, 2016 at Noon. Reservations can be made online by email at or by credit card at The non-member cost for the dinner meeting is $35.00.

Board of Trustees_ 11-10-14


A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township board began at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, November 10, 2014, in the township board room.

Members Present: Brian Werschem, Supervisor; Carol Hulka, Clerk; Rose Dillon, Treasurer; Trustees Ron Becklin, Dave Markgraf, and Marjorie Nash.     Member Absent: Trustee Chuck Whitlow–excused

Also Present:  0–employees; 0-residents; and Director of Public Works, Farrar

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

The meeting minutes of October 27, 2014, regular meeting, were approved as presented.

The board meeting agenda for November 10, 2014, was approved as presented.

Water main at the Bridge Street & Brooks Road intersection.

No comments received.

14-115 Adoption of Zoning Text Amendment Ordinance
Dave Markgraf moved, Ron Becklin seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to adopt the zoning chapter of the Code of Ordinances concerning the restatement of Division 8, 9 and 10 of Article VI of Chapter 42, concerning the B-1, B-2 and B-3 General Business Districts, as recommended by the Planning Commission. The zone change is effective eight days after publication in the Muskegon Chronicle. This constitutes the second and final reading. The new Ordinance Number is 785.

Ayes: Markgraf, Becklin, Nash, Dillon, Hulka, Werschem  Nays: none

14-116 Lieutenant Morningstar Contract Amendment
Ron Becklin moved, Marjorie Nash seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to add wording to Lieutenant Morningstar’s contract agreement regarding opting out of medical insurance by adding the following wording- the employee may elect to take a monthly stipend in cash payment.

Ayes: Becklin, Nash, Hulka, Markgraf, Dillon, Werschem   Nays: none

14-117 Assessing Contract with Muskegon County Board
Ron Becklin moved, Marjorie Nash seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to enter into an agreement with the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners to provide assessment services on a short term basis to be administered by the County Equalization Director, or designated representative, while Fruitport Charter Township’s assessor is incapacitated.

Ayes: Becklin, Nash, Dillon, Hulka, Markgraf, Werschem   Nays: none

14-118  Amendment to Insurance Appendix of SEIU, POLC and IAFF Union Contracts
Dave Markgraf moved, seconded by Carol Hulka, MOTION CARRIED, to adopt the insurance appendix to SEIU, POLC and IAFF Union contracts, as presented, in order to make necessary changes to the health insurance plans.

Ayes: Markgraf, Hulka, Dillon, Nash, Becklin, Werschem     Nays: none

14-119 Payment of Bills
Dave Markgeraf moved, seconded by Carol Hulka, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills for payment in the following amounts: General Fund & Parks $4,521.87; Public Safety$14,578.85   Water $64,586.26;   Sewer $560.64.       Totaling:$ 84,247.62

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

Public Comments: Part II   —   None received

The motion by Ron Becklin, seconded by Dave Markgrf, was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY, to adjourn the meeting at 7:37 p.m.

_______________________________            ______________________________

Board of Trustees_ 10-13-14


The regular meeting of the Fruitport Charter Township Board was called to order by Supervisor Brian Werschem at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 13, 2014, in the township board room.

Supervisor Werschem open the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

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

Also Present: DPW Director, Farrar and Public Safety Director, Doctor

The motion by Rose Dillon, seconded by Dave Markgraf, was carried unanimously, to correct the board meeting minutes dated September 22, 2014—regular meeting—as follows:

Item 14-093 Township Hall Project Update
Was: The total cost of the new township hall is $1,180.00
Corrected: The total cost of the new township hall is $1,180,000

The board meeting agenda for October 13, 2014, was approved as presented.

PUBLIC COMMENTS – None received
Michigan Township Association (MTA) Legislative Updates
MTA Participating Plan News (Property & Casualty)
Township Utilities Department- Water Sanitary Survey
Muskegon County Road Commission annual roadkill banquet for Muskegon County municipality officials is October 30th.

OLD BUSINESS – None Received

14-102 Retirement Plan Document Amendments
The motion by Dave Markgraf, seconded by Ron Becklin, was carried unanimously, to amend the Townships’ retirement plan to recognize the term “marriage” to include a marriage between same-sex individuals recognized under state law and the terms “spouse”, husband and wife, “husband” and “wife” to include a same-sex spouse.

14-103 Transferring Assets from Cemetery to Utility Department
Ron Becklin moved, Rose Dillon seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to sell the 2003 cemetery vehicle with snowplow to the Utility Department at the cost of $4,500.

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

14-104 Community Service Worker Agreement—Voluntary Status
The motion by Dave Markgraf, seconded by Marjorie Nash, was carried unanimously, to adopt the Community Service Worker Agreement as prepared by the township attorney dated October 2, 2014, as modified.

14-105 Pontaluna Sidewalk
At the corner of Pontaluna and Cottonwood there is no sidewalk for children to walk on when going to school.

Chuck Whitlow moved, Dave Markgraf seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to split the cost—not to exceed $2,500—with Fruitport Schools for a sidewalk at the corner of Pontaluna and Cottonwood. Fruitport Schools will maintain and snowplow the sidewalk.

Ayes: Whitlow, Markgraf, Hulka, Dillon, Nash, Werschem     Nays: Becklin

14-016 Payment of Bills
Dave Markgraf moved, Ron Becklin seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills for payment in the following amounts: General Fund & Parks $15,117.28; Public Safety $74,693.50; Water $35,297.08   Sewer $ 47,163.06                     Totaling: 172,270.92$

PUBLIC COMMENTS — None received

ADDITIONAL REPORTS—Bridge Street project—two water main breaks in last several years—400 ft. will be replaced.

The motion by Ron Becklin, seconded by Chuck Whitlow, was carried unanimously, to adjourn the meeting at 7:14 p.m.

___________________________           ________________________________

Board of Trustees_ 09-22-14

A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township board began at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, September 22, 2014, in the township board room.

 Members Present: Brian Werschem, Supervisor; Carol Hulka, Clerk; Rose Dillon, Treasurer; Trustees Ron Becklin, Dave Markgraf, and Marjorie Nash     Members Absent: Trustee Chuck Whitlow–excused

Also Present:  0–employees; 2-residents; Director of Public Works, Farrar; Public Safety Director, Doctor; and Ron Bultje, township attorney;

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

The meeting minutes of August 25, 2014, regular meeting, were approved as presented.

The board meeting agenda for September 22, 2014, was approved as presented.


  1. Michigan Townships Association legislative updates
  2. Revenue and Expenditure Report for period ending 8-31-2014
  3. Parks & Recreation meeting minutes of 07-29-2014
  4. Planning Commission meeting minutes of 09-16-2014
  5. A Community Mixer, sponsored by the Muskegon Rotary & Muskegon Heights, on October 1, 2014 at Mona Lake Park, 4 – 7 p.m.
  6. A notice of hearing for customers of Michigan Gas Utilities Corp: A request to consider an application which seeks Commission approval of its proposed tariff revisions relating to Operational Flow Orders and Centrally Metered Installations.
  7. Notice of the quarterly meeting of the Muskegon County Chapter of Michigan Townships Association to be held on September 29, 2014, at the Fruitport Township Hall at 7:00 p.m.

No comments received

14-093 Township Hall Project Update
The total cost of the new township hall is $1,180.00. The cost is approximately $70,000 under budget.

14-094 Capital Fund Budget Adjustments from Carry-over
Dave Markgraf moved, seconded by Rose Dillon, MOTION CARRIED, to carry forward $49,000 left over from last year’s bond proceeds and add to budgeted Capital Improvement for 2014-15.

Ayes: Markgraf, Dillon, Becklin, Hulka, Nash, Werschem     Nays: none

14-095 Part-time Police Wages
Public Safety Director, Doctor, explained the wage structure for the part- time police secretary, part-time desk officer/office manager, and part-time police officers. The following are proposed salary increases to begin on October 1, 2014:

Part-time Office Clerk- new wage proposed is $12.00 per hour     (Last increase was 4/30/12)

Part-time Office Manager /Certified Officer- new wage proposed is $13.50 per hour (Last increase was 7/1/13)
Part-time police officers- new wage proposed is $12.75 per hour     (Last increase was 10/1/11)

Marjorie Nash moved, Ron Becklin seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to increase part-time wages to take place on October 1, 2014, for the police secretary, office manager/certified police officer, and part-time police officers. Part-time wages for police are to be reviewed annually in September for October implementation. The Public Safety committee made the recommendation.

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

14-096 Police Department- Full Time Vacancy
Public Safety Director, Doctor, explained the need to replace a full-time police officer who resigned in March of this year.

The motion by Ron Becklin, seconded by Dave Markgraf was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY, to hire part-time police officer, James Hodges, to a full-time position starting September 29, 2014. The recommendation was made by the Public Safety committee.

14-097 Demolition Bids for 6543 Airline Road
Dave Markgraf moved, seconded by Ron Becklin, MOTION CARRIED, to accept the low bid for demolition and dismantling of the former Fruitport Township Hall from Melching, Inc. of Nunica.   The low bid is $10,750 plus $3,000 for asbestos testing and removal totaling $13,750. The recommendation was made by the Facilities committee.

Ayes: Markgraf, Becklin, Hulka, Dillon, Nash, Werschem   Nays: none

14-098 Cemetery / Maintenance / Plow Vehicle
Carol Hulka moved, Rose Dillon seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to purchase a 2015 cemetery/maintenance truck with snow plow package at the price of $29,656.00.

Ayes: Hulka, Dillon, Nash, Becklin, Werschem        Nays: Markgraf

14-099 Adjustments to Capital Outlay Budget
Ron Becklin moved, Rose Dillon seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to make the following adjustments to the capital outlay budget, as recommended by Supervisor Werschem:

$340,000.00 to the town hall project
$ 14,000.00 to the demolition of the former township hall
$ 30,000.00 to acquire a new cemetery/maintenance truck

Ayes: Bucklin, Dillon, Nash, Hulka, Margrave, and Werschem   Nays: none

14-100 Ordinance Overhaul
The township zoning ordinances are in need of being up-dated. Township attorney, Ron Bultje and his firm of Scholten Fant will assist in this project.

 14-101 Payment of Bills
Dave Margrave moved, Marjorie Nash seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills for payment in the following amounts: General Fund & Parks $64,602.96; Public Safety$28,056.59;   Water $207,595.57;   Sewer $714,612.29.       Totaling: $1,014,867.41

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

A formal presentation will be done at an up-coming meeting concerning the Class 4 ISO rating the fire department received.

PUBLIC COMMENTS – Part II   —   None received

The motion by Dave Markgraf, seconded by Ron Becklin, was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY, to adjourn the meeting at 8:08 p.m.

_______________________________           ______________________________

Planning Commission Regular Meeting_09-16-14

Fruitport Charter Township, 6543 Airline Road, Fruitport, MI 49415
Date: September 16, 2014

Planning Commissioner Michelli brought the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

01. Roll Call:
–        Members Present: Jeff Jacobs, Morrie Dadd, Mike Michelli Jr., Chuck Whitlow, Randy Lee, Geoff Newmyer , Kyle Osterhart.
–        Members Absent: None.

02. Approval of Planning Commission Minutes: July 15, 2014
A.   Under Agenda #9, Letter F, Letter G, Letter C; revise to, “The parking spots shall be 9’-6-1/2” x 20’-0”.
B.   Under Agenda #9a, Comment 2, Sub-Comment 1; revise to, “42-606(B): if you expand or extend your residence, you must comply with the regulations. When a driveway or a residence is expanded the driveway must be updated.”
C.   Lee motioned to approve the minutes as presented, Newmyer supported
a. Ayes: All in Favor.
b.Nays: None.

03. Approve / Amend Agenda:
A.   The agenda is approved as presented.

04. Correspondence / Reports:
A.   Lakes Mall Shed.
a. Supervisor Werschem & Chairman Jacobs mentioned this is for salt storage. The structure is 4’-0” x 5’-0”. The planning commission didn’t have any further comment.

05. Public Comments pertaining to agenda topics:
A.   None.

Administrative Matters:
06. B-2 & B-3 Business District.
A.   This has been reviewed by the township attorney & now the Planning Commission needs to review it.  There will be a public hearing considering the changes next month. Lee suggested the lot requirements and setback requirements should be set as a “minimum” to minimize confusion. Supervisor Werschem also suggested we should look at how the new ordinance would affect existing businesses.

07. Driveway Ordinance.
A.   Brian Michelli, from the Fruitport Fire Department, is present to represent the Fire Department. He explained there are conflicts with the fire code & the township ordinance. This year, there has been (3) instances with the terminology “existing”. The fire department would like the “existing” portion taken out or revised in the ordinance.
B.   The other issue is that the width of the driveway varies from the ordinance & the fire code. The planning commission / township needs to find a way to revise the ordinance so that the ordinance & fire code do not contradict each other.
a. The width issue becomes unclear when a driveways is over 150’-0”, not under 150’-0”.
C.   Jacobs suggested that driveways should be reviewed by the fire department if there is an increase to the square footage of the primary dwelling or an accessory building.
D.   The planning commission needs to address both issues.
E.   Werschem said he is going to have a conversation with the township attorney about both issues & get his interpretation/suggestions & report back to the Planning Commission next month.

Unfinished Business:
08. None.

New Business:
09. None.

10. Public Comments:
A.   Werschem handed out the sign ordinance. He asked that the Planning Commission review it because there have been conflicts & issues that aren’t addressed properly.
a. One issue being, it does not address monument signs & whether or not where & how they are allowed.
b.There is also a problem with a church on Pontaluna Road that wants to change their sign but cannot because of the ordinances restrictions. The planning commission needs to review institutional uses in residential areas. Home occupations would need to be excluded.

11. Adjournment: There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kyle D. Osterhart, Secretary

Parkinson’s Power Support Group meeting

All persons with Parkinson’s Disease, their families and caregivers are invited to attend the Parkinson’s Power Support Group meeting on Wednesday, December 3, 11 a.m., at the Norton Shores Library Community Room, 705 Seminole Rd. Participant Ed Thomas will give a brief talk on his experience with deep brain stimulation. After his talk, members will enjoy a holiday party. The event is free. For more information, call 231-737-4374.