By Megan Wirts
Ahhh…sweet, sweet summertime.
Summer is here and I have been doing my best to relax and enjoy the sunshine. The small people are finished with school and the long lazy days have begun. Gone are the rushed mornings and the nights spent doing homework or going to soccer practice. Now we spend our mornings sleeping in and our nights catching fireflies and looking at the stars. I love summertime.
Out of the four seasons that we are so lucky to have here in Michigan, this is my second favorite. Fall has always held the top spot for me, but summer is a very close second. Honestly, when I’m in the middle of summer it is my favorite and then once the crisp weather and sweater season arrives I’m ready for it and welcome it. Right now though, I’m loving this warm weather and these slow sleepy days.
I love being able to roll out of bed to the sounds of the birds singing and the sunshine warming my face. I also love that my kids are self-sufficient and old enough to pour their own cereal. Sometimes one of them will even start my coffee for me before I get up. It really makes me feel like I have done this parenting thing right so far. It also makes me realize how good I have it. I’m ridiculously spoiled around here.
Not only do they make me coffee now, but they have been getting along lately! Hold on while I go and knock on some wood. *knock, knock* One of my greatest hopes for my children is that they love each other and are friends when they are older. I want them to be close and to share their lives with each other. When I see them being silly or snuggled up together reading books it makes my heart sing. I soak those moments in and hold on to them so that the next time one of them is looking at the other the wrong way or breathing so loudly that the other one “can’t even!”, I will remember that they do actually love one another deep down.
Summer is also beach season here in Michigan. How lucky are we to be surrounded by some of the most stunning beaches on this entire planet? My children ask every single day if we can go to Lake Michigan. Every. Single. Day. If I could, I would take them but life and obligations get in the way of all the beach fun sometimes. That’s why when we do make it out to that gorgeous freshwater shoreline, we make the most of it. We will spend hours sitting in the sand watching the waves break on the shore, making sand castles, running up and down the dunes, or splashing and swimming in the water. We found that if you head to any popular Lake Michigan beach in the late afternoon on a weeknight, you can have the entire beach almost to yourselves. It’s kind of the best.
I hope you find yourself soaking in some summer sun at the beach and enjoying these lazy days as well. I also hope that this hasn’t been some kind of a fluke and my kids keep getting along more often than not.
Let me go find more wood to knock on…
A Cannabis Conundrum
What’s your take?
By N3 Editorial Team
Or as the state of Michigan refers to it ‘Marihuana’.
Because…. well….because that’s how they spell it as do about 4 other states and no one else in the universe.
And now there is new medical marijuana legislation passed ;last year in Lansing due to take effect in December. Laws that will alter the economic landscape of our state.
Headway Coalition, the collection of folks from all over the community who work together to prevent substance abuse held a workshop last week attended by law enforcement, city and township officials, human service agency people and members of the community on the issue.
Mark Guzniczak of NCEDO/The Right Place broached the subject during the most recent county commission meeting when asked by a board member and our reporting of it set the pages of Near North Now on fire with interest in the subject.
The laws have many twists and turns and can be confusing, but after all they came from our sage and sagacious solons in our capital city where clarity clearly occupies a back seat to obfuscation when it comes to legislative language.
By Ken DeLaat
It’s been more than a couple of decades since I’ve wished my Dad a Happy Father’s Day. He was my lifetime idol and a true mentor in many ways and I miss him every day.
It’s been close to four decades since my LSC Lil gave birth to our first child an event that bestowed the title of Dad onto me and allowed for inclusion into the expansive group honored on the third Sunday each June.
14 years ago our son became a Dad on the eve of Father’s Day and a few years later they had their third child on the day itself.
Father’s Day. A day when Dads get honored with a whole gamut of gifts from bad ties to golf dates with their kids to phone calls and visits from their progeny.
Ok, it doesn’t have the same pizazz as Mother’s Day and believe me floral shops don’t do near the business done during the Mid May Mom celebration. In fact it wasn’t even officially recognized until 1972 as a national holiday nearly 60 years after Mother’s Day was so named.
But being Dad is something special indeed because though there may be many out there who claim the title because of genetics, being a Dad is more than one’s presence during the creation of the child.
It’s being around for school activities, sports, band concerts and the slew of stuff that come with the role. It’s hanging in when things get crazy, providing guidance when necessary and silent listening when you want to give advice. It’s honoring the child’s mother whether you’re still in the relationship or not. It;’s turning off sports and tuning in Curious George or Mickey Mouse.
It’s changing diapers, missing work when they’re ill and being resourceful when there’s a runny nose and no handkerchief available.
It’s messy and time consuming and yes even expensive.
But it is so worth it.
And of all the things I might have done differently in my life given the infinite wisdom the present gives us over our past decisions?
Having children never registers as one of them.
So to honor Dads here are a series of quotes by those whose words far outshine any I might provide on this day.
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” -Jim Valvano
“The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to respect the woman that gave birth to his children. It is because of her that you have the greatest treasures in your life. You may have moved on, but your children have not. If you can’t be her soulmate, then at least be thoughtful.”- Shannon Adler
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” Umberto Eco
“There is nothing that moves a loving father's soul quite like his child's cry.”-Jodi Eareckson Tada
“My Father used to play with my brother and I in the yard. Mother would come out and say ‘You’re tearing up the grass’. ‘We’re not raising grass,’ my father would reply. We’re raising boys.”- Harmon Killebrew
“He didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”-Clarence Buddington Kelland
“It is much easier to become a father than to be one.”-Kent Nerburn
“Being a good father is like shaving. No matter how well you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow.”-Reed Markham
"There are three stages in a man’s life,. He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.”-Unknown
“Be a Dad. Don’t be ‘Mom's Assistant’....Be a man….Fathers have skills that they never use at home. You run a landscaping business and you can’t feed and dress a four year old? Take it on. Spend time with your kids...It doesn’t take away your manhood, it will give it to you.” - Louis C.K.
And my personal favorite:
“When I was a boy of fourteen my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty one I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”-Mark Twain
Here’s to all the Father’s out there who know what it’s like to be a Dad.
Keep up the good work.
There has been some confusion during the transition of recycling services from the organization Recycling for Newaygo County (RNC) to Newaygo County under the Board of Public Works. The county and the Fremont Area Community Foundation have partnered to continue the service for the coming year. During that time efforts will be focused on finding a sustainable solution for an issue that communities throughout the country have grappled with as the value of recovered waste products has plummeted over the past five years, and the amount of effort required to extract them has risen. N3 caught up with NC Drain Commissioner Dale Twing who chairs the Board of Public Works and posed a few questions.
Why is recycling important?
Recycling is important as it is a way to divert waste that can be made into something else. If paper, plastic, cardboard, glass and tin can be left out of a landfill and made into something else we should help facilitate that. The residents of Newaygo County recycled 796 tons of recyclables in 2016 using the Single Stream bins that RNC provided.
What makes it so costly?
The process of recycling can be expensive. The closest facility to process these items is the Kent County Materials Recovery Facility on Wealthy street in Grand Rapids. Newaygo County is a rural county and we do not have a landfill to offset any tipping fees. Kent County issues our hauler a tonnage fee to tip the recyclables at their facility. These tonnage fees have steadily increased in the last two years. Some of the materials have more value than others. Cardboard for example has some value while glass has little to no value at all. Plastics also are not valuable in the commodity market. Cardboard cannot be separated at the drop sites because that would violate the agreement our hauler has with Kent County and its against the rules. All recyclables collected at the single stream bins have to go to the Material Recovery Facility.
How does one know what can be recycled?
We are working on a new educational process to help alleviate some of the confusion about what is recyclable. Not all plastics are created equally. We have been getting a lot of things that contain plastic; vacuums, coffee makers, pools, siding, etc but none of those plastics are recyclable or accepted in our program. Styrofoam, aka, polystyrene is not accepted in any of the single stream containers (There is a styrofoam collection area at the Brooks Township site). When you put items into the containers that are not recyclable, our hauler tries to remove them and then they need to be thrown away. The best way to know if something is recyclable is to look for the recycling symbol on the bottom of your item. If it has one then it most likely is accepted. If it is a large plastic bike we can't take it. A good rule of thumb is that your items in your kitchen and office are usually always accepted, milk jugs, newspaper, margarine tubs, pickle jars, cereal boxes, and the like are accepted and welcome. New signage is being made along with recycling guides for the sites as well.
What about curbside services?
The city of Fremont does have a curbside recycling program that has been in place for around 20 years. Grant and Newaygo also have some options available within their city limits and their local hauler. Curbside recycling may become a feasible option if enough users are interested in it.
How can people get involved?
Volunteers are always needed. You can call the County Administrative office at 231.689.7200 for information on how to help.
The View From Here: The Best Role Of All
By Ken DeLaat
I missed Free Fishing Day.
It is, as I have opined endlessly, a personally much favored event in our area and if you have ever been to it you’re crystal clear on what we mean.
But this year for the first time in a decade or so…
I missed it.
Also missed the Hazardous Waste drop off and capturing the action as praiseworthy volunteers take on the tires and toxic trash that make their way through the Road Commission garage and gather it all for a transport away from our local environment.
Relay for Life? Run Forrest Run? Missed them both.
Managed to catch a little late action at the...
The View From Here: Making A Run For It
By Ken DeLaat
Running has never exactly been my forte to say the least. Even as a child I could be circling the group of seated kids for hours while playing Duck Duck Goose trying desperately to find one who might be nearly as slow as me or perhaps clumsy enough to hope for a stumble.
Playing baseball during early years and softball until well into my 40’s I became known for hitting some of the longest singles ever witnessed on the playing field. During a softball game a friend playing the outfield...
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