From the Newaygo County Democratic Party:
The Michigan Democratic Party’s 2nd Congressional District will have an Ice Cream Social fundraiser on Saturday, May 13 from 11am – 12:30pm. It will be held at the Wheatland Township Hall, 201 S. Sheridan, Remus, MI, 49340. The Democratic 2nd Congressional District meeting will take place before the event, from 10am – 11am. Guests are welcomed to attend the meeting prior to the Ice Cream Social.
Guest speakers will include actor Hill Harper. Mr. Harper has announced his candidacy for the Michigan Senate seat that will be vacant when Senator Debbie Stabenow steps down after this term.
Known for his roles in The Good Doctor and CSI:NY, Harper hails from the Detroit area. In addition to being an award winning actor, Harper is also a best-selling author, health and wellness ambassador, philanthropist and humanitarian, and Detroit business owner. Harper is the founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship, scholarships, and grant programs.
Hill Harper holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, and graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Cancer Panel in 2011.
Michael Lynch, Michigan 2nd Congressional Candidate, will also be a featured speaker at the fundraiser. Lynch is a resident of Alma in Gratiot County. He holds degrees in Economics and Finance, as well as a PhD in Hospitality Management. He has a history of professorship at DePaul University, Driehaus College of Business, West Virginia University, Georgetown University and Louisiana State University. He was in management with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan, as well as held chair positions with the Boy Scouts of America, Midland Michigan.
The whole of Newaygo County is in Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District. The District encompasses all or parts 18 counties in West Michigan, extending north from Manistee and Wexford down to Barry County south.
Tickets for the Ice Cream Social Fundraiser can be obtained online under “Events” at https://www.michigan2nddemocrats.com/. Checks can also be made out to 2nd CD (memo “Ice Cream Social") and mailed to 2nd CD, 2531 W. 140th St, Grant, MI 49237. Tickets are $20 each, $30 for couples and $40 for family.
By Ken DeLaat
“No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference.”-Tommy Lasorda
Tampa Bay is off to a great start. They’re getting a lot of hype and are blasting past most teams. In fact their record is a startling 22-5 going into Saturday’s games.
To match the First 40 record-setting start of my beloved all-time favorite team the ‘84 Tigers, the Rays would simply need to win another 13 games in a row.
Not saying it's impossible but if any Tampa Bay folks would like to make a small wager on it…
Speaking of the Tigers, the present squad is an interesting study.
It would be easy to look at their record and discount the level of talent on the roster but there are a few bright spots and some definite lowlights as well.
Well you might be saying “What offense?”.
They have mostly been prime examples of failure to execute scoring opportunities with a dearth of clutch hitting and the paltry averages and OBP’s means there just aren’t that many opportunities to begin with. I like Vierling and McKinstry and Maton will hit better than he has thus far. Greene and Tork are young and have been given a pass thus far based on their potential but fans are losing patience to have that potential realized a bit more. Baez has begun to hit and even Baddoo whose breakout 2021 season failed to reboot in 22 has looked better.
For all the love I have for Miggy, his presence is virtually one less weapon in the arsenal these days but no way he will be leaving before season’s end. I mean, seriously, who is going to cut Miguel Cabrera? Everyone adores him, he’s in the middle of a farewell tour and will depart at season’s end as he awaits induction into the Hall of Fame. Anything they get from him will be a bonus but don’t kid yourself, if he carried the stats he has been putting up for a few years now as a 30 year old instead of a 40 year old with a history of being who Miguel Cabrera was, he’d have been cut a long time ago.
Schoop looks as overwhelmed and bewildered as he was last season but he’s owed $7.5 million, the team isn’t likely to be competing for a playoff spot and maybe the thinking is that he could possibly be some help going forward… if he remembers how to hit. If he doesn’t at some point they will likely cut their losses and let him go.
The bullpen is a work in progress but there are some nice young arms there and Mize and Skubal might help the starting squad if they ever get (and stay) healthy. Lorenzo has to be better than he’s shown, one would hope, but there hasn’t been much evidence of that thus far. Rodriguez is likely the ace and Boyd will fare fairly well but there are a lot of high ERA’s right now and they don’t have the luxury of seeing the offense put up many crooked numbers on any given night.
My hunch is a few more arrivals from Toledo will be coming on board to see what they can do and maybe a thrower or two will come off the DL and perform as we have hoped they can.
However, the bottom line, as said before, is that they likely aren’t going anywhere barring more things falling in place than even the most optimistic among us rabid Tiger fans can imagine.
But they will be better in May and June than they were in April and they should cause a lot of contending teams some trouble throughout the summer.
As for the Rays? Of their sparkling 22 wins only 2 have come against teams with a winning record. Those same teams accounted for 4 of their 5 losses. So, after finishing April with 2 more against the withering White Sox they face all winning teams throughout May.
Granted they are off to a good start.
But they ain’t the 84 Tigers. Not by a long shot.
Re the recent article “Protecting the Watershed”
To The Editor:
This situation is shocking and disappointing. To begin, the water originally belonged to the people until local officials sold out to Ice Mountain who continues to sell OUR water back to us. How unjust. As with many situations these days money speaks.
If they are able to donate 2 million to “the cause”, how much are they raking in by taking advantage of resources that belong to all of us while attempting to convince the public that they are “Helping Us All''.
As a native Michigander, water is in my blood. As the world races to head off numerous environmental crises we have the opportunity to make a better long range decision regarding resources. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM! I am fearful that this is a slippery slope and as our water resources dwindle, what will we do when the world begins to set its sights on our water?
Will we choose profit over humanity?
Democrats Meet May 1
The Newaygo County Democratic Party will have their monthly gathering on Monday, May 1, with a 6pm social time and 6:30pm business meeting. The new location for this meeting is at the Newaygo County Heritage Museum at 12 Quarterline St in Newaygo. Parking and entrance is at the rear of the building.
The monthly meetings welcome newcomers. Discussions include upcoming 2nd District Democratic events, future guest speakers, current legislative issues, and the August 5th fundraiser at John Graves Lodge.
For more information, visit www.NewaygCoDems.org; sign up for enews at NewaygoCountyDemocrats@gmail.com; or follow on Facebook @Newaygo County Democratic Party.
by Tim McGrath
“The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other; and a life may appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing so a long time. Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique: and that was the dilemma of being human.” from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
It's the both/and, not the either/or….
He was the kid in second grade who wore his sister’s pajama bottoms to school; the ones with little pink flowers. He was also the kid whose sour smelling little body made him the outcast; the one to surely be avoided. He was the kid who followed me home after school one day. For some reason we had named him “Good ‘ol Charlie”. Truth was, I didn’t know his name. He knew mine.
“Tim, can I come to play at your house? My mom says it’ll be OK.”
“Uh, sure,” was all I said. What was I thinking? Good ‘ol Charlie: pants wetter, paste eater; the one who put dirt on his bologna sandwich pretending it was pepper. Playing at my house. I hope nobody finds out.
“Hi, mom. This is good ‘ol Charlie. He’s going to play here for a while.”
“Well, hello, Charlie, nice to meet you. Would you two boys like a snack? There’s a new can of Charlie’s Chips that came today.”
“My name’s not Good ‘ol Charlie, it’s Danny,” he said. “I don’t like it when people call me Good ‘ol Charlie.” We grabbed the can of chips and headed to my room.
I’d been spending time organizing my penny collection in those blue cardboard trifold holders that have the little holes you push the pennies into. They were organized by the type: Indian head cent, the early “wheat pennies”, and later Lincoln head cents. I had collected a lot of the wheat pennies, and had just got one for 1955, the year I was born.
“Hey that’s cool,” Danny said. “We were both born in 1955. What day were you born?”
“September 4,” I replied.
“Sunday,” he softly said. “I was born on June 18, Saturday.”
“How did you know I was born on Sunday?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s just something I do. You can ask me any date, and I can tell you what day it was. I can just see it in my head. It’s weird.”
It was weird. And also quite remarkable. Of course, I had to test it out. So, as we played, I’d ask him random dates, and he instantly replied with the day of the week. He even knew the days of the week for dates in the distant future.
We ended up spending a lot of after schools together at my house that year. I thought it was odd, though, that whenever I asked if we could play at his house, he said his mom didn’t feel good, and so he didn’t want to today. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe the tomorrow after that. He didn’t want to talk about it.
Fall became winter, then melted into spring. June came, and finally with it, the last day of school. I was excited to think we could spend our summer days together.
“Danny, what’s your phone number? I can call you and we can play. You can ride your bike to my house, and we can play forts, army, cops and robbers, eenie-ienie over. We’ve got all summer to have fun!”
“Uh, our phone isn’t working, but yeah, OK,” he said.
“See you next week?” I asked.
He nodded, then headed for wherever it was he lived. That was the last I ever saw or heard from him.
When summer finally came to its sorrowful end, I headed back to Boulevard Elementary as a newly minted third grader. I thought maybe I’d see him in class, the hall, out on the playground. After a couple days it dawned on me that Danny was really and truly gone.
I missed him. From time to time, I still think about those days when my assumptions about the way he looked, dressed, and smelled were so wrong. The reality was he was smart, funny, kind; just sort of different. I realized in spite of our differences that we were a lot alike.
Then there was junior high and high school….
I loved dodgeball. I was good at it, too. The dodgeballs of choice in junior high gym class were the dusky red rubber kickballs like we had used back in elementary school when out for recess. None of the foam jobs used today. That meant if you really wound up and let one fly, they could take somebody out, leaving large red welts. That, of course, was the point. When I’d show up for gym, and see the red balls in the center of the gym, I knew I was in for some fun. There were others who were less than enthusiastic. In fact, they were probably terrified thinking of the humiliation they’d soon face.
One of them was Roger. He was painfully shy, slightly built, had thin, wispy brown hair, thick glasses, white, almost translucent skin, and delicate hands. The kind of kid we didn’t want to be like. He was always the last chosen for a team.
The outcome of these contests was predictable. As the game progressed, each of the teams were winnowed down to the last surviving member. More often than not, Roger would be one of the last standing. During the game, he would find a corner to hide in, arms folded in front of him, hoping he would somehow be taken out early by a stray shot. Usually, however, he’d make it to the bitter end, and be the last one on the team still standing. It was just a matter of time before whomever was left on the other team would put him out of his misery. In reality, it was painful to see his suffering. Most of us hoped some jerky kid on the other team wouldn’t think it the height of hilarity to whip the ball at him intending to knock him down. I think the gym teacher was hoping for a merciful end, as well.
I had to believe that as junior high wound down, Roger was breathing a sigh of relief knowing we wouldn’t be playing dodgeball in high school gym class.
One day early in my high school career, I was strolling down the hall, using the excuse of needing the bathroom in an attempt to escape the drudgery of a mindless stint in study hall. As I got to the door of the choir room, I stopped because coming from the interior of that mysterious place was the sound of someone playing the piano. But they weren’t just plinking out some simple tune, it was a beautifully thrilling rendition of some classical piece. I thought perhaps it was the choir teacher practicing for an upcoming concert. I stepped in the door to get a closer look, and there was Roger. His back was to me, but I saw those delicate fingers racing over the keyboard, coaxing beautiful music from the clunky school piano. Roger, the kid who had been lost and terrified in a junior high gym, was now completely mastering this lovely piece of music. But that wasn’t all.
On my way home after track practice one spring afternoon, I wandered through the school cafeteria. As I stepped from the gloom of the hallway into the bright late afternoon sun streaming into the cafeteria, I noticed there were people dressed in unusual uniforms and wearing some sort of helmet. It looked like they were chasing each other up and down some sort of long mat, and they had what looked like skinny little swords. That’s when it dawned on me, they were fencing! I’d never realized we even had such a thing at school. The two combatants finally finished their contest, and with a practiced hand swooped off their helmets. There, red-faced, sweating and breathing hard was Roger. His vanquished opponent congratulated him on his victory. The coach agreed, giving him a hearty clump on the back.
I was dumbfounded to see this kid who just a couple years earlier stood trembling in gym class now finding his way in things I didn’t have a clue about. Masterful came to mind. Embarrassing, too, to think we had written him off as a misfit, nerd, weirdo. He had just chosen a different way. Like Danny from those long-ago days of elementary school, I realized Roger wasn’t just that trembling kid in junior high gym class, but also talented and smart. Probably interesting, caring, funny, charming. Just putting one foot in front of the other, trying to make it through those tumultuous years as best he could. Like the rest of us.
Fast forward a few years….
I was doing one of my student teaching experiences in special education when I met Glenn at the Lincoln Activity Center, an adult workshop for developmentally disabled adults. When I laid eyes on him that first day, I stood and gaped. He was huge. Probably six-five, two-hundred-fifty pounds. Hands like baseball mitts. He grabbed my hand, engulfing it in his own gigantic paw. I thought he might shake my arm clean off my body in his enthusiasm at meeting me.
The Activity Center was a place where the adult clients, the developmentally disabled adults, did small repetitive jobs such as assembling clips on clothing hangers as part of the daily routine. They were learning to follow instructions, learning to stick with a task, produce something useful, being successful. Glenn had a hard time. He’d struggle with how to put the clips in the right way, then when he had to redo them, would get frustrated. He just wasn’t interested in putting clips in hangers.
He was interested in telling jokes. Two jokes, to be exact. He would tell and retell them frequently throughout our days together, laughing uproariously each time, as if it was the first time he’d heard them. Then there was the music.
A couple days a week, before the end of the day, we’d have a time for music. Most times, it was a sing along. That’s when I experienced something completely unexpected about Glenn; what it was he really wanted to do. Marty, one of the teachers, would invite Glenn to sing and play for the group. Knowing how Glenn struggled in many ways, I thought perhaps he knew a couple notes, and maybe a few simple children’s tunes. Nope. Glenn loved old timey country western music. He started out by playing and singing The Yellow Rose of Texas; expertly riffing out the chords and complicated bridges, all the while belting out the words in a beautiful baritone. That transitioned into ballads by Marty Robbins and Patsy Cline. I must have looked shell shocked, because Marty explained to me that Glenn had this uncanny ability to sing and play almost anything he heard. Marty also explained Glenn was completely self-taught. This man who had trouble putting metal clips in plastic clothes hangers, was playing and singing songs that brought him and others great joy. Another example of someone showing me that we really are all unique and complex. Alike in so many ways.
In this day when many things have become needlessly polarized, and we fall into the ugly trap of seeing each other through the lens of us vs them, who’s in, who’s out, and what tribe we belong to; the words of the character Brian in the 1985 film The Breakfast Club bring a timely reminder:
“You can see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, and a criminal…”
The dilemma of being human.
And to the young guy in the new Camaro in front of me at the intersection who thought it would be a great idea to burn out, slinging stones and gravel all over my truck, you are still an idiot.
What A Week!
By Ken DeLaat
“Today has been a day dropped out of June into April.”- L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars
Wow, that was one great Spring this past week. 70’s and even 80’s with people walking around displaying a good mood and some seriously pale skin.
It’s why we live here. Months of mostly crappy days are forgotten when the Mitten tosses out those spectacular days of sun and blue sky and ice cream shops opening.
LSC Lily and I hit the deck at the Driftwood Friday afternoon sharing space with what seemed to be a convention of bikers who arrived in groups of 4 or 5 to connect, tell stories of past trips and make plans on the day's next destination. Scott Faulkner was setting up for later on when he and daughter Carmen (aka The Faulkners) would be treating deck goers to some tunes and a group of kayakers dressed in tutus embarked from the shoreline below to head across the pond.
It was like summer had never left.
Soon the outside dining at Hit the Road Joe will be opening, patrons will be sitting in the courtyard at the Moon Dance and Brew Works will see their patio drawing folks to watch the occasional golfer take their hacks. Newaygo Brewery’s cozy little alley will see action and across the street awaits the return of the Newaygo social district that had a short term debut last year.
All part of the outdoor fun, food and frolicking to be had here in the Near North.
Of course now it’s Sunday night, the temp has cratered by more than 30 degrees and tomorrow has that post-March 4 letter word beginning with s on tap.
Like I said, it’s why we live here right? The variety of meteorological mayhem that can turn April from June to early November in just 24 hours or less.
So maybe it was just a tortuous tease. A glimpse of what should be followed by a body slam of reality. But what a delightful tease it was. A spate of April at its very best. The mid-Spring days one always hopes for and yet seldom see come to fruition.
But it is also the harbinger of what is yet to come. Days of epic weather bringing people outdoors in droves to celebrate in ways only those of us who spend most of the previous months fighting off the chill can truly appreciate.
Revel on, citizens. OUR time is drawing near.
Wait! Now we’re doing woke beer?
Robert Ritchie aka Kid Rock must feel the need for some p.r.these days as he shot up cases of Bud Light in a video as punishment toward Anheuser Busch for their partnership with a transgender influencer.
Of course social media being what it is, detractors apparently found a ten year old photo of old KR having a beer (Coors) with a drag queen. The same Coors that sponsors the Pride Parade and Pridefest in Denver.
Current days being what they are, I am certain that other celebrities who pander to the folks enmeshed in the ever expanding culture wars will jump in with their attempts at climbing on the bandwagon of trying to cancel the brewing giant.
Well good luck.
Of the top ten best selling beers in the U.S.of A. A/B owns 6 of them.
Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Busch Light, Natural Light, and Busch
Add in Stella, Bud Ice and Natural Ice and now toss in the Coors/Miller brand and you are looking at 14 0f the top 20.
Heineken? Sorry. Also supporters so that makes at least 15.
Look, I get the whole cancel culture thing. It makes a personal statement, the kind that so many folks seem to have become increasingly intent on sharing with the world.
But it’s beer, for pity’s sake. Now we’re going to place beer smack dab in the middle of it all? After all, shouldn't beer be kind of a refuge from such shenanigans?
Will there be no product unturned in the quest to root out perceived wokeability?
Is chocolate next? Or maybe ice cream?
Can’t we just leave food and drink out of the argument?
Once again we recall the wise words of Walt Kelly’s Pogo.
“We have met the enemy and he is us!”
Former State Speaker, Marijuana Chair Accepted Bribes
In our ongoing and all too frequent mentions of politicians and corruption, at a press conference in Lansing last week, U.S. Attorney for the Western District Mark Totten announced that former Republican Speaker of the House Rick Johnson was charged with accepting bribes for taking more than $100,000 in cash payments and other benefits from multiple sources while chairing the state’s now-defunct medical marijuana licensing board.
Johnson was charged alongside three defendants: John Dalaly, a business owner charged with paying bribes; and Brian Pierce and Vincent Brown, lobbyists charged with conspiracy to commit bribery.
All four defendants signed plea deals admitting guilt to the charges.
Johnson was “at the heart of this corrupt scheme,” Totten said, outlining cash payments and other perks like private chartered flights through Dalaly’s companies.
Johnson served as a state representative from 1999 to 2004, including three years as House speaker. After leaving office, he ran a lobbying firm in Lansing, before serving as the chair of the Michigan marijuana licensing board from 2017 to 2019, according to court documents.
MDHHS issues statement on Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA
From an MDHHS press release:
LANSING, Mich. – Despite a ruling last Friday by a Texas judge attempting to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to withdraw its decades-long approval of a safe and effective medication used in millions of medication abortions annually; abortion, including medication abortion, remains legal and accessible in Michigan.
Michigan families still have access to abortion care, and we urge them to talk with their health care provider about medication abortion and in-clinic procedures that are available.
Despite claims to the contrary in this lawsuit, medication management of abortion is safe and effective, and is used to provide more than half of all abortion care nationwide.
In Michigan, we will continue to do all we can to protect and expand access to reproductive freedom, including abortion care. We will work together to ensure nurses and doctors can do their jobs and support anyone as they make decisions about health care and their own bodies.
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