How did you get started as a server?
What draws you to this line of work?
How does Newaygo County do with tipping?
What advice would you give customers?
Tough work, serving.
My admiration for those who do it well knows no bounds. Possessing a thought pattern that leans toward being somewhat organizationally challenged and watching a corps of servers get slammed only to escalate an already demanding pace to handle the onslaught is considerably impressive. All this while likely doing battle with an overworked kitchen crew and juggling a minimum of one table of THOSE kind of customers and trying to get drinks from a bartender who on her own is holding off the crowd of antsy folks waiting for their tables.
During a get together of N3 contributors we discussed serving in general as folks were sharing some restaurant work experiences and the dialogue moved to what the work might be like in our area?
Are we generally pleasant to wait on? Do we tip well? Is harassment a problem? Is the tip system fair?
N3 has posed a series of questions like the ones in our opening to servers both past and present who have walked the boards in our area. We will be sharing their responses as well perhaps other feedback from our readers who have ‘served’. Our hope to shine a light on what it might be like to be the non customer in this ritualistic exchange of service for compensation.
N3 welcomes any servers past or present who might be interested in sharing an anecdote or two about their experiences in the field or possibly be willing to participate in our survey.
All responses would be anonymous unless otherwise requested and we reserve the right to edit any material submitted.
Subject: Serving It Up
“I have been a waitress, and I was a damn fine waitress too, let me tell you.”-Jessica Lange, two- time Academy Award winning actress
“We are called to be Jesus-with-skin-on”… “always remember WHO you are and WHOSE you are”… “we agree to disagree and are united to serve…” Perhaps more than any other, those three very familiar and very motivating phrases have spearheaded and shaped the ministry that the Reverend Barbara A. Boss has provided as the founding pastor of Family of God Community Church.
On Sunday, June 24, 2018, from noon-2:00, the friends and community who have been touched by Pastor Barb’s ministry are invited to an open house at the Family of God Community Church at 90 Quarterline, Newaygo, MI, to celebrate her official retirement from her formal ministry role as the lead pastor of Family of God.
During the past 10 years under Pastor Barb’s leadership, she and Family of God Community Church have made a dynamic and wide-ranging impact in the life of people in the community of Newaygo. These outreach ministries have included: the Wonderful Wacky Wednesday Program (a children’s afterschool program); weekly community dinners; the Hope 101 Transitional Housing Program (two remodeled homes that serve homeless families); concerts-in-the-park and summer worship-in-the-park; an annual mission team to serve in Matamoros, Mexico (to build homes for the poorest-of-the-poor); children’s activities at the Downtown Christmas Walk; and the annual Trunk or Treat night at Halloween.
Under Pastor Barb’s tenure, the church also serves as the host and/or collaborator for programs that include: Bible Release Time (for 70 elementary children); Women in the Word (a community-wide Bible study); an addictions/recovery group that meets in the church; participation in Kids Hope at the park; and past community education events during 30 Days of Peace. In conjunction with the Newaygo Ministerial Association, Pastor Barb also organizes and directs the annual Community Christmas Concert Choir and the Community Children’s Choir.
Pastor Barb graduated from Hope College with a BA in elementary education. She earned her Masters in Religious Education in 1992 and her Master of Divinity in 2005 both from Western Theological Seminary. She was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church of America in 2005. Dating back to 1992, Barb has served in ministry roles at the Church of the Living Christ in Fremont and the Newaygo Congregational United Church of Christ. In the summer of 2008, she was invited by a fledgling group of believers in Newaygo to lead them in worship activities, which soon resulted in the legal formation of the church in 2009 and the acquisition of the former First Baptist Church building in downtown Newaygo in 2010.
Most recently, Pastor Barb assisted the church with continuity and succession planning to identify and select her replacement at Family of God. She has now successfully transferred her ministerial duties over to the Reverend Chelsea Reynhout thus freeing herself to now join her husband, Dr. Rick Boss, as together they plan and explore what their shared ministry will look like in “retirement.”
Please join us in thanking Pastor Barb for helping us understand what it means to be, in her words: “Jesus-with-skin-on!”
Will you be 18 by August 7? Are you registered to vote?
The future is yours! Don’t leave it up to us older generations to decide for you! We’ve already made a ton of mistakes that you will have to pay for.
Our government and its systems can be very complicated. If you want to have a voice but don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions:
Registered and Active Voter
By Ken DeLaat
I love this team, the current members of the club whose players don the Olde English ‘D’. They’re my favorite kind of competitors. They’re scrappy, fearless and undaunted by defeat. A radical change from the past few glory years when expectations far outweighed performance and there seemed to be a tightening about the neck during crucial games. Those years saw a cavalcade of superstars parading through the locker room, few Hall of Famers to be sure (exceptions being JV and Max I’d say) but All Stars. Guys who were (and are) some of the best in the league. Now scattered to LA, Boston,Houston and D.C. or retired ala Prince, Shef,and the huge signing mistake known as Joe Nathan. These were all (for the most part) fine players but in many ways the team had kind of stopped being fun. The disappointment of ‘almost’ and ‘what might have been’ collapsed into ‘way not close’ and ‘what will never be’ last season culminating more than a decade of close calls with those teams.
They did the right thing, abandoned hope and slashed payroll while trying to build a foundering minor league system. Be patient they said, this will take awhile.
“We’re going to rebuild”
I knew what that meant. It meant a repeat of the Trammel years when the poor guy was given a ragtag group of someday’s, never were’s and incredibly futile moundmen. Bobby Higginson another contractual disaster, was still around and Dmitri Young was their lone All Star, a guy they liked so much they cut him a month before they captured the pennant in the redemption season of ‘06. Their ace? Mike Maroth who fashioned a 5.73 earned run average into 21 of the 119 Tiger losses that year. Jeremy Bonderman came in a close second losing 19.
So we entered this season a bit cautiously. Throughout spring training attention was paid to the lineups and the jockeying for position that was going on. Then came the opener.
The lineup was pretty unfamiliar and they dropped their first 3 in close and entertaining contests with the Pirates. Then they won 4 of 5 before losing 5 straight. Since then it’s been that kind of season. A few wins combined with an equal amount of losses as they attempt to catch up to that elusive .500 mark.
But, man, they are fun to watch. They run, they hustle, they’re slashers at the plate and the pitching has ranged from outstanding to awful but mostly a tad above average. Their third sacker Candelario is a personal favorite and came here in a trade made by the Tiger GM who swapped his son to the Cubs to bring him here. Yep. His son.
Their young players are going through a learning curve but have shown some flashes of brilliance while players who have kicked around the fringe of the Bigs have come through far more consistently than expected by nearly everyone but themselves. There is the uplifting return of Miguel Cabrera and the blue collar approach of Victor Martinez, leftovers from the purge because of their bloated untradeable contracts. They’re adding just enough firepower to this youthful lineup and their veteran presence certainly doesn’t hurt either though they each hit some of the longest singles imaginable..
Then there is Gardy, the best manager in baseball for such a team. He spun miracles out of the Twin Cities with limited talent and has not only kept this team believing, he also provides a welcome presence in the post game interviews with a sense of humor to go with a vast baseball knowledge.
This team works hard, plays every out and makes much stronger lineups earn any victories they get. They win games with a fun kind of flair and lose them with a sense of aplomb that tomorrow will be another day.
They aren’t going anywhere. It’s still a rebuilding year and year one at that.The starting pitching won’t hold up over a whole season and the bullpen while effective from time to time still lacks consistency particularly in the closer role.. The young hitters will likely encounter lengthy slumps and a 6 month season can weigh on anyone’s enthusiasm.
Then there are the teams ahead of them. The Red Sox, Indians, Astros and the ever hated Yanks as well as a few other teams in the West with plausibly more postseason promise than this squad. So, no World Series nor even a good chance to be playing beyond their last day of September season finale in Milwaukee with the Brewers. However, they are more than likely to escape the cellar (of course the White Sox are terrible the Royals not much better) and will give opponents all they can handle most nights.
So grab a scorecard and root for Leonys, Niko, Dixon, Viktor (Reyes not Martinez) and former Whitecap Artie Lewicki.
Follow them as they begin to sort out who will be in their future plans and as they aspire to defy those who had them hovering near the bottom. Catch Gardy’s post game chats. Like I said this isn’t a great team, but its not a horrible one either.
And believe me the Tigers of this year bear no resemblance to that bleak rebuild season 15 years prior. While the present day Tig’s have won 31 games (as of June 9th) the ‘03 squad won their 31st on August 12th. It was the lone win in a 16 game stretch that ended 12 days later with a 10-9 win (#32) on a walk off homer by Brandon Inge.
Yep. Brandon Inge.
By Megan Wirts
I should not be a homeowner.
There are so many things that need constant care and upkeep and so many things that can and will go wrong. Being the home owner means you are the one that has to fix the things and I’m the kind of home owner that doesn’t know how to fix any of the things! It’s similar to parenting in the whole, “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!!!” vein. I don’t know if anyone tried to show me important grown up stuff and I was just a distracted teenager that didn’t pay attention to things like how to properly clean an oven or change the filter on a furnace, but I didn’t know how to do either of those things until recently.
My husband and I bought our first home over 16 years ago. We were newly engaged and this was going to be where we began our life together. It was a brand new double wide on about 2 acres with a pond in the backyard. It was close to our jobs and not too far from our families. It was perfect. We thought we were doing an awesome job taking care of our house, until the heater stopped working and I thought a pilot light was something a person that flies airplanes uses to see at night time. Then it got really cold and our pipes froze and we had a small baby with no water and no heat. When we realized one of us needed to go under the house into the crawl space filled with creepy crawly things, like spiders, mice and probably a large black pit that will suck you in and steal your soul, we did what any mature couple does, we played rock-paper-scissors to the death. I won and my dear husband who is literally terrified of even the teeniest tiniest spider went into the cold dark underbelly of our home. When he reemerged covered in cobwebs and dust, we still had no idea what to do. We finally swallowed our pride and called my mom and we realized that being a grown up is filled with all kinds of things that you will just have to learn as you go.
You would think that after the pilot light confusion we would try to become the most knowledgeable home owners in the world. Wrong. We went on with our life, had another baby, I started going to college and the busyness of life ran away with us. Then one day I was doing laundry, my most loathed and hated chore of all household chores, and my house burned down. MY HOUSE BURNED DOWN BECAUSE OF DOING LAUNDRY!! Laundry is the worst. Seriously though, this is a good lesson for all of us that do laundry and hate laundry, but don’t want our houses to burn down. Clean the lint! ALL THE LINT! Don’t just clean out the lint trap in the front, you need to take that machine apart and suck and blow out all the crap that is stuck in there. Then you need clean that tube thing that connects to the outside and suck all the junk out of that. You need to clean everything!!
So our house burned down and it was messy, sad, and stressful and we made it through it. Then we had a new home built and we were like, “WE WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS HOUSE!!!”, and we really are trying. But then one day you notice that every time you walk into your house you start to sneeze, your eyes water and you mention it to your friends. So your friends asks you, “When was the last time you changed the filter on your furnace?” and you look at them like they have two heads because you are thinking, “My furnace has a filter?” That’s right friends, we did not know that our furnace had a filter. For 6 years, we lived in a house and not one time did we change the filter. I know, I know. When we pulled it out, it was covered in the thickest, clumpiest dust, pet hair and debris, including a granola bar wrapper, and we were shocked. We had no idea this was something we were supposed to do.
We have now learned that so many things in our house have filters!! The only filters I was familiar with were coffee filters, because I care more about coffee than I do the air I breathe, and the filter I lack that goes from my brain to my mouth. Just last night my husband texted me that I needed to “drain the new filter for 15 minutes in the morning”. I responded, “Ok”. Then this morning I am looking at this text and I literally have no idea what filter he is talking about or how to drain it! WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FILTERS!!!
Here’s to hoping my lack of homeowner knowledge doesn’t cause another house fire and that I figure out what this filter is I’m supposed to be draining right now.
Girl scouts bearing cookies visit road commission
Editor's Note: It came to our attention that our crew at our Road Commission came into a treasure trove of trefoils, a pile of peanut butter patties and a throng of thin mints of late so we asked N3 friend and NCRC Manager Kelly Smith to deliver the skinny on a (caramel) delite-ful day for all involved.
Troop #4581 chose Newaygo county road commission as their “hometown hero” for this seasons cookie sales. The prize for being “the Chosen one” is a supply of girl scout cookies as well as a visit from the troop members themselves.
We were very pleased to hear that the troop had chosen us, and when cookies became part of the reward it made it all the more special. While making the delivery, a tour of the facility was arranged for the scouts and the office staff had a great time with the troop showing them around the facility and equipment, they also took time to hand paint one of the snow plows. The staff of the road commission greatly appreciates the recognition from troop 4581, and of course the cookies, but most importantly the opportunity to spend some time with such a great group of fine young ladies and their awesome troop leaders and we look forward to many more encounters with groups such as them. Please come see us at some of future events we have planned for this summer listed below, and as always, Have a safe summer.
Newaygo County Kids Day Sat. June 9th 12pm-3pm Brooks Park, Newaygo
White Cloud Library Thu June 14th 11am-12:30pm WC Library
Hesperia 4th of July Wed July 4th Noon Hesperia
Croton Summer Rec Tue July 10th 9:30am Croton
Baby Food Fest Kids Expo Wed July 18th 10:30am-2pm Fremont
Baby Food Fest Parade Sat July 21st 10:30am Fremont
Photos By Kerry Hewitt and Melissa Homrich
Tuesday deadline looms
Back in April State canvassers approved a ballot proposal to decriminalize recreational use of marijuana in Michigan.
The proposal, backed by a committee called the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, likely is headed for the November ballot and polling has suggested a strong likelihood of its passage.
As of the April decision date the legislature was given 40 days to come up with their own recreational use proposal or see the current ballot initiative be decided upon in November.
That deadline is tomorrow night (June 5th) and while there seems to be some willingness on the part of the Senate to move forward (and quickly) on this, the House looks to provide more of a challenge to those who support the action.
The ballot initiative aims at allowing adults aged 21 years or older to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes and permits growing up to 12 marijuana plants.
Retail businesses would be subject to a 10% excise sales tax and the revenue from the taxes would be directed to local governments, K-12 education, and the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges.
Municipalities could choose to ban or limit marijuana establishments within their boundaries.
The effort to carve out a piece of legislation allowing recreational use would give the state the ability to exercise more control over the legalization process likely using some of the same procedures put in place for the recent medical marijuana law.
Polls conducted by EPIC-MRA show a growing trend among voters toward approval. A December 2014 poll showed a 50-46% margin in favor. By March of 2016 the gap had grown to 53-45% and in February of 2017 results came in at 57-40%.
The latest poll taken this past February shows a 61-35% margin in favoring recreational use.
Opposition remains strong, particularly in the House. and yet there seems to be recognition among many in Lansing that legalization is a war that has been lost. That perhaps the times call for alternative action and while both are bad choices, taking action legislatively is the least bad choice.
So here we are.
Will the voting citizens of our great state be given the opportunity to decide on the issue of recreational use of marijuana or will the Sens and Reps in Lansing move with an uncommon swiftness to circumvent its appearance on the ballot come November?
We’ll know soon.
By Mark Mathis
Recent events caused me to ponder just how much Facebook knows about me. My journey to find out has been rather informative, and disturbing.
If you are like me you’ve enjoyed Facebook’s brilliance. How else can I keep up on Aunt Judy’s travels and all the goings on at my Dad’s church? The Newaygo Watercolor and Croton Crawlers groups makes the behemoth corporation feel like a buddy hanging out in my own back yard. Plus, I get the priceless benefit of letting the world know my dog doesn’t like sailboats. And those Facebook likes, who among us doesn’t enjoy a couple of those?
Where else can I hang out at the digital watering hole? Instagram? WhatsApp? Messenger? All are owned by Facebook. I’m a tad too wordy, and like free speech too much, for Twitter. Everything else is basically a niche product that maybe 500 people in Newaygo County may have heard of.
If you’ve used Facebook for long the platform will give you the creeps at times. I’ve gone to events far from home and stood by a random collection of people I hadn’t seen in a year — only to find Facebook recommend each one as a possible friend later in the day. Yuck.
Who hasn’t been amazed by the wisdom of Facebook’s ad targeting? In a weaker moment of late night infomercial viewing I made the mistake of looking at the $79 “My Pillow” on the web. Somehow “My Pillow” became my best FB friend ever, jamming my feed full of offers for weeks. My new best friend even offered to sell me two pillows for $120 if I acted in the next twenty-four hours!
The sad reality I’ve found is that If you are one of Facebook’s 2.2 billion users you are the product that produces the profit. That’s right, you are little more than a “widget” that is monetized at every opportunity. All of your likes, check-ins, clicks, and posts have value to others well beyond your 2nd cousin. Your contacts, locations, and interests also have value. The more FB knows about you, the more valuable you are.
Facebook was recently in the news after Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of 87 million Facebook users. They eventually used some of that information to target digital ads for the Trump campaign. This is far from the first time that Facebook data has been harvested, sold, and used on campaigns.
Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was coyly testifying in front of Congress about this data breach. It was at that moment I decided to look and see what exactly Facebook knows about me. Facebook doesn’t make it easy, but they will share all the details they keep on you.
I’m far from a power user, and only joined the platform two years ago. I don’t share location. I don’t accept people I don’t know as friends. I’m careful with what I post and what photos I share. In general, I’d categorize myself as someone who values security and privacy. I imagined my file was going to be pretty small.
In a mere hour I found the one link hidden deep inside of Facebook that would allow me to peer into the data that was kept about me. Soon I had a downloaded zip file that contained all the goodies FB had on me:
Facebook had the entire contents of my phone contacts. Hundreds of numbers and addresses for people that I’m not even FB friends with.
Apparently I’ve clicked on ads for “Why toilet seats are U-shaped” and “This is what happens when you ask the wrong guy for photoshop help.” Ad clicks stay forever. (So does anything you choose to upload onto Facebook. I already assumed that my family photos and videos were circulating around the Zuckerberg home.)
The list of advertisers that have uploaded my info is very long. This is where the real money is. Fitbit Ireland, Dairy Queen, Miranda Lambert, AmeriGas, Yahoo Sports, and Gun Dog Supply all care about me. So do hundreds more. Dozens of companies and people I don’t even recognize.
My information has been “shared” (which apparently sounds nicer than sold) with 39 politicians or political action committees that I recognize. Facebook now tells me that everyone from Barbara Boxer to Mike Pence has uploaded a “contact list with your information.” I’d think how much of my giant Facebook file is being shared has to do with how much is being paid.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Facebook keeps the device and IP information from wherever I log into Facebook. They then use this to figure out my location. When I’ve been in Florida, Vegas, or North Carolina I wasn’t alone. Facebook knows just about where we all are at any given time. They also keep it as a history. Whenever you log on to your phone, tablet, or desktop Facebook enjoys your “secret” shout out from Newaygo County. It doesn’t matter if you don’t share location data, they know.
In all the FaceBook file on Mark Mathis was fairly complete. I think I know myself even better after looking at it. I know after a career of investigating criminal complaints that all this information would be an investigator’s dream. The information Facebook has on you is hundreds of times more complete than what is available to your local police department. We should all be concerned if a government agency maintained this kind of file on it’s citizens.
Should we be equally concerned when a private company holds this much information about each of it’s 2.2 billion users? That’s a question for each user, and perhaps Congress, to ponder. With Facebook being the only game in town individual users get one real choice, to participate or not.
I’ll keep logging in, but I am under no illusion that Facebook is my friend. I also understand that the politics and culture of the company certainly will influence its product, and ultimately my online experience. I’m a commodity that FaceBook gladly sells, and perhaps tries to influence.
Facebook is like a furry, toothy, cute monster that shows up at your doorstep. It can be fun, entertaining, and great for conversation. It also takes some time to feed and water, and has the potential to grow into a one of those ugly horror movie beasts.
In a true display of irony, I can’t wait for this article to get uploaded to Facebook. Don’t forget to like this and shoot me a friend request. If you really love me make sure you validate my existence and share it. Just kidding.
Always remember - “If it’s Facebook, it’s forever.”
Site misuse could lead to closure if unchecked
By Ken DeLaat
We all like the idea of recycling correct? You minimize your trash while maybe reducing your carbon footprint for those out there who believe that such things are part of our stewardship of old Mother Earth.
The Newaygo area recycling site exists due to the generosity of Brooks Township for providing the space, the county of Newaygo for funding the program and the kindness and patience of neighbors who live near the site and endure the times when irresponsibility reigns in the name of misguided environmentalism.
Unfortunately this ongoing irresponsibility is placing the site at risk of falling to the same fate as the Fremont site that closed a year ago.
“If the bins are full and you throw your stuff on the ground that is literally a littering violation,” said Brooks Township Supervisor Corey Nelson. “ It not only hurts the cause but it hurts the city that we operate in. No one wants to have floating recyclables in their yard or street.”
“This has also become a issue with commercial business using it and leaving the bins so full that it has been almost impossible to keep it clean. It was never intended for commercial for profit business, it was provided for our constituents.”
Recycling is expensive and does not pay for itself. Not even close. It is a service provided by the county and supported by funding from the county and the Fremont Area Community Foundation. While every very effort is made to maintain the bins and keep the site in some sense of order there are times when the input overwhelms these efforts.
This site is also operated on the honor system with the hope that citizens will use a little common sense when it comes to recycling.
The responsibility for your material does not end when arriving at the site so if there is no place to put it in a way that does not involve cramming styrofoam into the shed when the bags are full or stacking material outside the bins, then the option is to take it back and return later, not leave it for someone else to deal with.
Cardboard was once was placed in a separate bin, but now GOES IN THE DUMPSTERS!
STYROFOAM is removed as a courtesy. There are no other styrofoam drop offs in the county.
See the guide at
“The county has busted their butts trying to keep this important service here,” added Nelson. “We feel the however if things don't change it will go away. We cannot have something meant for good violate simple city ordinance (law) because people abuse the site.”
And there you have it folks. With a little effort we can continue to enjoy this valuable service.
“We understand people want it,” said Nelson. “The question I would ask is, will the actions of few ruin it for the rest of us?”
To The Editor:
Poppy Sias-Hernandez, candidate for State Senate 34th District, will be hosted by Flying Bear Books at a Meet and Greet on Thursday, May 31 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Flying Bear Books is located at 79 State Road in downtown Newaygo. The event is open to the public.
Ms. Hernandez has been a community leader throughout her professional career, serving in non profit youth oriented organizations as well as Muskegon Public Schools. Her campaign platforms include supporting public education, improving access to general and mental health care, protecting natural resources and supporting small businesses, among others. "I want to strengthen the connections between people in the community and the policy makers in Lansing."
John Reeves, owner of Flying Bear Books, was inspired by Ms. Hernandez, stating, "After hearing Poppy at another meet and greet I was impressed with her message and desire to represent her constituents." Mr. Reeves expressed a need to become more involved in our political system than just voting. "Flying Bear Books is a friendly place to ask questions and get to know Ms. Hernandez. I hope many community members will take this opportunity to come and meet her."
Ms. Hernandez will be vying for the Democratic win in the August primary against Collene Lamonte.
Information about the meet and greet can be obtained from Flying Bear Books at 231.414.4056.
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