For Here or Forever?
By Carmen Faulkner
From nothing, became something. The stringing together of a few hundred thousand polypropylene molecules takes hold. The result is poured into molds, given form. They are cooled and hardened and slid into boxes with thousands of others. They are taped, stamped, addressed, and shipped. For days there is movement on trucks or in trains or on planes. Landscapes fly by them; grasses and trees, whole cities. They arrive in other facilities and are unwrapped, placed on shelves, put behind bars or on tables.
That’s where I am now: behind a bar. I’m mixing a cocktail and because it’s top-shelf liquor the consumer is paying at least $9 for it. I want to make sure it is perfect. I measure my liquor, muddle with gusto, stir instead of shake. But still, I want to be certain. So I pluck one of my friends from its box, set it down in the drink amongst the ice. I place my finger at one end, trapping a minute amount of the cocktail inside, lift it out, and taste. Success. I turn around and throw my friend, the skinny black straw who traveled across the country to be here, in the trash.
This moment, it is a blip of time. It is nothing, though perhaps it is everything. It happens every day, in every state, in almost every country around the world. This nothing moment though, this use of straw does not turn into nothing. That tiny piece of plastic will last until my kids have kids who have kids who have kids, who eventually die (if we are so fortunate to carry on that long). It will go on for generations after that. It will actually never go away, not in the span of time we are able to understand in any tangible manner.
I hate politics. I hate the polarity of them. ‘Pick a side!’ they yell. ‘Red or blue! Or green, I guess… Though that doesn’t really count’.' Yes or no. Black or white. Ban or lobby behind. No one benefits from these conversations. We are human. We dig in our heels, we fight. Rarely do we change our minds.
So I hate the straw conversation. I hate the way people laugh and say, ‘we have bigger problems,’ when I ask them to consider going to strawless. I use that word, consider, on purpose. We do have bigger problems, certainly. But why not start small, tackling one problem after another, picking away at parts of the whole?
Straw or no straw. Paper or plastic. For here or to go. I think of those moments, those blips of time often, and how they add up to something. It is easy to ignore because I can’t see it. I live in a place rich in natural resources, where a truck with smiling men and women haul my forever garbage away. The problem is me then, and my lack of awareness, lack of consideration. It’s about my ironlike need for convenience; I cling to it, convenience, and snarl at any person who tries to take it away. It’s about wanting to taste that cocktail I made, instead of reading the instructions properly. Or buying a bottle of water, when perfectly clean water flows from my tap. Or asking for a hard plastic to-go box, when I could have remembered my own.
Maybe there is no right answer. But what I do know is millions of blips of time will write the story of my life. I have been and will continue to leave forever stamps wherever I go. I can decide to take control of my moments and not write a forever buoyed by plastic. I can try to avoid those moments driven by convenience and keep plastics out of noses of turtles, out of the stomachs of birds, off beaches, out of the fish that will be forked into the mouths of my children’s children. I will start small. I will say it. No straw please.
Note: My fight is against convenience, never necessity. This blog is written with understanding and respect for those whose health, well-being, or livelihoods depend on plastics, including straws.
A Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T Please
By Ken DeLaat
The Queen is gone.
And no ascension to the throne looks to ever be forthcoming
Ms. Aretha Franklin passed away Thursday morning and though many of the music makers of my time have departed in recent years this one leaves a emptiness in my heart for the undisputed and never even close to challenged Queen of Soul.
In the mid 60’s as a teenage kid I was totally knocked out when I heard her music for the first time. The airwaves in GR were filled with pop song singers who either tried to emulate the Beatles or Beach Boys, an occasional one hit wonder group and some solo singers that oozed out benign ballads of love and romance conducive to my age group.
There was also quite a bit of hard driving rock and roll around and about but it was hard to come by on the AM stations and FM was just getting its sea legs when it came to offering some alternatives to the bubblegum stuff (Thank you LAV-FM). And we had no soul stations that I knew of back then.
When I first heard Ms. Franklin I was mesmerized. She didn’t sing her songs she owned them. Respect, I’ve Never Loved A Man, Think, etc. tore at your very being with a gritty graphic sound and delivered the unidealized version of love and life. She sang about pain in a way that could make you feel it and she sang about pride in a way that made you feel empowered.
She epitomized soul music because this remarkable woman could bring it like no other.
LSC Lil and I saw her at Pine Knob (remember Pine Knob?) one summer evening driving down with anticipation and heading home with her music blaring from a cassette (remember cassettes?) in our 75 Chevy Van.
She was all we thought she’d be on stage and more.
But it was later on when her music found a forever place in my heart.
We had been married a few years before having our first child. Nearly seven years I believe. When my father-in-law found out we were expecting he said to me “You guys waited so long I wondered if you had it in you.” since most in his generation started working on increasing the family size soon after the nuptials.
Truthfully it felt like a pretty big change was about to occur and while 100% (or so) in favor of the idea it was nonetheless pretty frightening. After the birth, there we were with this little being and the weight of responsibility made me question how on Earth I was going to handle it having always been one who approached life in a pretty carefree, nonchalant manner.
Would I have to change? Could I handle the changes? What would happen if I didn’t? How was this going to alter things in our relationship? Could I possibly measure up to the rigors of parenthood?
This was indeed unexplored territory.
Then one day while rocking our newborn and listening to music (Motown, of course) Aretha pulled out the pipes for her version of the Carole King ballad “Natural Woman”.
I had heard the song a few thousand times and though not feeling at all like a natural woman the lyrics suddenly had new meaning.
Looking out on the morning rain
I used to feel so uninspired
And when I knew I had to face another day
Lord it made me feel so tired
Before the day I met you
My life was so unkind
But you’re the key to my peace of mind.
She sang what I felt when I held the little person Lil and I had created. There was a different sense of meaning and purpose. A peace of mind in knowing that no matter what was in store in the coming years it would be faced with a new strength. The song proved transformational because it put a stamp on what it felt like to become a parent and how the experience stretches and enhances your ability to love all those who are close to you.
Many years have passed and our two kids are long since grown. Lil and I have been empty nesters for awhile with 4 grandchildren we love to dote on.
And I hadn’t really thought about “Natural Woman” in the same way for awhile.
Then a couple years back (possibly 6-7 since my memory hasn’t the rapier like accuracy I pretend it once had) when Carole King was honored in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center various artists came out to perform her songs.
And while each executed outstanding versions, toward the end of the show the curtains opened and out walked Aretha with a regal air and a fur coat so substantial it must have had its own zip code.
She sat down at the piano and absolutely crushed the song with a trio of talented background singers supporting her pure artistry. It was a version sung for that moment alone and toward the end she stood up and shook off the coat to deliver a lengthy closure that left the entire auditorium in utter awe.
Sure she was in her 70’s and her health was beginning to take its toll but on that stage she was most definitely the Queen and anyone who heard her that night could not in any stretch of the imagination deny it.
And the song resonated with me once again with the message that it is in those we love where we find our strength. The people who make our lives meaningful and connected in so many ways that they are inseparably part of us and essential to our well being.
“Now I’m no longer doubtful
Of what I’m living for
‘Cos if I make you happy I don’t need to do more”
Thank you for a half century of your sweet inspiration Ms. Franklin.
Or perhaps more fittingly, “Your Highness”.
Catching Coffee With A Candidate
ER doc running for Congress to hold Fremont coffee hour Monday, invites citizens to share concerns
Rob Davidson, an emergency physician running for Congress, will hold a coffee hour to hear concerns and ideas from local citizens, at Koffee Kuppe in Fremont on Monday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 10a.m. Everyone is invited to drop by and talk with Davidson, no appointment necessary, about any topic. Koffee Kuppe is located at 46 W. Main, downtown Fremont.
“I’m excited to meet folks in communities across West Michigan and listen to them,” Davidson said. “These coffee hours are a way for people to drop in, no appointments needed, and share their ideas and concerns so I can better understand the issues that are foremost on their minds. I’d like to help be part of the solutions that can move our community forward. I want folks to know that as their representative in Congress, I’ll always be accessible and the door is always open to them.”
Davidson is holding the informal hour-long coffee hours in communities across West Michigan starting this Friday. Davidson has also held two town halls, in Zeeland and Wyoming. A third town hall is scheduled for Aug. 23 at Muskegon Community College.
Davidson’s other upcoming coffee hour is Wednesday Aug. 22, at Marge’s Donut Den, 1751 28th St. SW, Wyoming, 9 a.m. He is also holding a coffee hour in Grand Haven on Friday, Aug. 17, at Jumpin’ Java, 215 Washington, Grand Haven.
Megan Again: Slowing It Down
By Megan Wirts
I don’t want to rush it.
That’s what I was thinking this morning as I sat on my front porch admiring my gladiolus, (or is it gladioli?), drinking my cup of much needed coffee. I don’t want to rush it. This summer, this day, this life. Any of it. I want to soak it all in and live fully in each moment.
My oldest is starting high school in just a few weeks and my baby isn’t a baby at all anymore, he’s a full fledged pre-teen. There is nothing like children to remind you how fleeting time is. l look through old photos and see their round baby faces staring up at me and look over at them now and see them looking practically adultish. I have a vivid memory of my son when he was just 6 months old at Christmas time. It was 3am, I was exhausted and had been up with him 2 other times that night. I was nursing him in our rocking chair next to our lit Christmas tree. I remember looking at his sleepy little face with his chubby fingers intertwined with mine, the glow of the tree shining on his sweet smelling skin, and thinking to myself, “Remember this. This won’t happen much longer. Remember this.” I can still feel the weight of him in my arms when I think about that memory. That was over 11 years ago.
I read somewhere that we only have 18 summers with our children, but that’s not enough for me. I want more and I want to slow it down. I want them to want to come home and visit after those 18 summers are over and I want 18 more after that. I don’t want to screw this parenting thing up. I know that I have and will make mistakes, but I do my best to own up to them. Like that time I was certain my child was faking sick and trying to get out of going to school and I was really grumpy and not so nice about it. So, I made them go to school and they ended up vomiting all over the bus. I apologized to everyone involved and I probably should have sent the bus driver a gift basket. I apologize to my kids often, maybe too much. Maybe I am selfish, but I hope that when my children turn 18 they come back. I want them to want their dad and me in their lives when they are adults.
The only way I know how to hopefully make this happen is to slow it down and listen to them. Listen to them talk on and on, in great detail, about the epic battle they had on Fort Nite, when all you want to do is pop in your earbuds and listen to that new book on Audible that you just downloaded. Listen to them prattle on about the new band that they love and how their crush likes the same band. Don’t freak out about the crush that they just mentioned, smile, nod and listen. Listen now because you want them to tell you when they fall in love for the first time. Listen to them now because you want them to tell you all the important things when they are grown. Listen to them. Slow down, put your phone down, turn off Netflix and look them in the eyes and listen.
I’m not perfect and I sometimes don’t put my phone down. I get sucked into to the social media vortex or down a Youtube rabbit hole. Sometimes I tell them that I love them, but please stop talking right now so that I can think. I am trying though and I hope that they see that I am always trying. Sometimes I fear that I don’t appreciate all the time I have with them enough. Sometimes I worry that I will have not paid enough attention or maybe I was/am too overbearing and helicoptery. Then I stop, take a deep breath and remind myself that I am doing my best. Sometimes I look over and see my kids snuggled up together laughing at Snapchat filters. Other times one of them is putting their stinky feet in the others face and all I hear is “STOP, STOP, STOP….MOOOMMM!”, over and over and over. That’s when it’s ok to put the earbuds in and not listen.
Even with all the noise and the “I’m bored” and “he/she is annoying me” moments, I still want to slow it down. Well, I might want to fast forward through those moments. Sometimes parenting sucks. Since I cannot control or manipulate time, (not yet anyway, c’mon science!) I will settle for slowing myself down when the moments are important or seem important anyhow. I will continue to stop and tell myself, “Remember this.”, when I feel like I need to.
I don’t want to rush it.
$16 million in federal grants available to public and nonprofit groups to provide crime victim services
Sexual Assault Victim Services Programs RFP due Sept. 12
LANSING – Local organizations across the state will be able to apply for $16 million in federal grants to provide services for sexual assault victims, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced today.
The MDHHS Division of Victim Services has posted its fifth Request for Proposals (RFPs) for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding. The division is accepting proposals from organizations to provide comprehensive sexual assault services such as 24-hour crisis intervention, supportive counseling or culturally specific needs. Organizations can also provide enhanced sexual assault services including OB/GYN care, legal assistance, therapy and advocacy.
A Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is another option organizations can propose. SARTs coordinate and improve local response to sexual assault through multidisciplinary collaboration with advocates; health care providers; law enforcement officials; prosecutors; forensic scientists; sex offender management professionals; and probation, corrections and parole officers. SARTs typically provide specialized and comprehensive services, continuity of care for victims, enhanced evidence collection and increased public safety.
MDHHS will award three-year U.S. Department of Justice grants ranging from $50,000 to $1.5 million. Questions about the RFP can be emailed to MDHHS-CVSC-VOCA-GRANTS@michigan.gov and must be submitted by Aug. 20 by 5 p.m. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 12 by 3 p.m.
Applicant agencies must be public or nonprofit organizations – including faith-based entities and American Indian tribes – that provide direct services to crime victims. The purpose of the funding is to respond to the immediate needs of crime victims, reduce psychological consequences of victimization and help restore victims’ sense of dignity and self-esteem.
For more information or to apply, visit the MI E-Grams website and select the “About EGrAMS” link on the left panel to access the Crime Victims Agreement training manual. The RFP is located under “Legal and Policy Affairs” in the Current Grants section.
For more information about Michigan’s Division of Victim Services, visit Michigan.gov/crimevictims.
Bumstead Defeats Hughes, Public Safety Vote Falls Short
Newaygo County Election results with 100% of precincts reporting.
All information from:
Bill Schuette posted a sizable lead over the remaining 3 Republican candidates for Governor with 3793 votes on his way to doubling his closest opponent statewide.
Gretchen Whitmer far outpaced her opposition gathering 1754 votes in the county while polling 52% to 30% for Abdul El-Sayed overall.
Sandy Pensler posted 227 more votes than John James in Newaygo but James was declared winner statewide gathering 55% of the vote with 96% of precincts reporting.
John Bumstead can thank Newaygo County for his win over Holly Hughes in the Republican State Senator race. He finished with a 1910 ballot advantage enroute to an 887 vote victory overall..
The Democratic race for State Senator was a close one with Collene Lamonte earning 1428 votes and Poppy Sias-Hernandez finishing with 1450. Sias-Hernandez will be moving on to the November race after capturing 55% of the vote overall.
Ken DeLaat finished ahead of Lavern Willett by a margin of 73 votes in the County Commissioner race for the 5th District.
In the race for the 6th District County Commissioner seat, Brenda Bird polled 699 votes to Christian P. Ortwein's 464.
The Public Safety proposal was defeated 5298 -4279 while the Veterans Renewal Millage passed by a 6236-3370 margin.
Other results can be found at the link provided at the beginning of the article.
Letter to the Editor:
I have read the Letter to the Editor posted by Mike Hikade, the responses provided by Sheriff Mendham, and then the addendum by Mr. Hikade. This letter is meant to provide an additional viewpoint to the concerns presented about the upcoming Sheriff’s Department Road Patrol Millage.
Mike, thank you for participating in the process. I wish it were for altruistic reasons rather than a result of the years long feud between the Newaygo Police Department and the Sheriff's Office. The intensity of your swipes at Sheriff Mendham leave little doubt in my mind.
I am not going to match you stat for stat, but I will say the City of Newaygo TIFA district captures revenue from the current Road Patrol Millage and it will capture more should the issue pass on the ballot.
Mutual aid between all police agencies in Newaygo County takes place on a daily basis. During my years with the Sheriff's Office I do not recall anyone keeping score for who crossed a line to help who. We can bicker all we want, but thankfully the cops on patrol in this county and its cities never hesitate to come to each others' aid.
Mike, equating Newaygo's walkability project to training that may save someone's life is ridiculous. What I find frustrating about your tactics is that it is easy to raise doubt and suspicion and you have done well. What is much harder is to manage the services that provide safety and security to a community that appreciates, but does not understand all the moving parts that make for a good and peaceful place to live.
Sheriff Mendham is a good man and an experienced law enforcement administrator. My support for him is no secret. I walked away from a job I loved during the last administration to prove a point for much needed change and that change occured. Let's now move forward and continue to build on a community that people and businesses will be proud to call home.
Letter: Thoughts And Questions
Politics is confusing at the Washington DC level - no wonder us regular people are scratching our heads trying to understand it.
I thought the United States favored Democracy and democratic leadership over dictatorship? If so, then why is our administration bashing NATO and the EU leaders, and praising autocratic leaders who have some of the worst human rights abuses in our world today, including meddling in our democratic elections? Is this the message the American People really want our leaders to give to us and the rest of the world? Diplomacy is a good thing; putting demigods on a pedestal is another.
I thought tax reforms were meant to help all working and middle class Americans? If so, then why do the top 1% of the wealthy get a tax cut of 3.4%, while the middle class get a tax break of only half that at 1.7% (plus 10% of our middle income people have taxes that stay the same or even go UP). And why is the 14% tax break for corporations permanent, while our 1.7% tax break rolls back in 2025, causing our taxes to rise? Is this how the American People want our leaders to treat us?
I thought that tariffs were preferred as a negotiated compromise between countries so there is a more level playing field for locally produced goods. If so, then why is our administration forcing trade wars not only with our competitors, but also with our ALLIES, causing our own Michigan farmers and auto industries to suffer economic consequences (which is what is happening right here & right now)? Is this how the American People want our leaders to work with other Nations in the global economy?
I thought “American Family Values” included the safety of children, all children. If so, then why did our administration take thousands of children from their mothers and fathers who are trying to leave dangerous conditions in their own countries, using them as leverage and threats, causing unspeakable suffering to them and their families, and costing us taxpayers billions of dollars in the process? And why are there hundreds of children still without their parents in our detention? Is this how the American People want to treat children and resolve our own immigration issues?
I thought that the United States, amidst its imperfections and mistakes, had ideals of free democratic elections, global diplomacy, generosity for our workers and taxpayers, respect for the press, protection for the environment, support for the underdog, safety nets for the less privileged. I thought the United States was admired for its values and not feared for its unsupported threats. I thought the United States was respected because of dignified leadership, not through spouting questionable opinions at rock concert-like revivals. I know which country the American People want to be proud to live in. It’s up to us to vote those leaders in.
Letter To The Editor: Road Patrol Millage
In a previous posting Newaygo City Council member Mike Hikade posed questions regarding the road patrol millage on the ballot for the August 7th vote via a letter and a few days later Sheriff Bob Mendham responded.
We received this from Mr. Hikade today.
With the balloting coming up Tuesday Near North Now will be closing election related letters Saturday.
The previous letters in their entirety can be found at:
1. This money will only support the Sheriff’s Department. No cities, villages or townships will receive these dollars.
Sheriff Mendham - This millage will only go towards adding deputies, equipment, and training to the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office is the largest police agency in the county. We are responsible for 864 sq. miles and almost 50,000 residents. The Sheriff’s Office obviously handles calls for service throughout the county and routinely responds to calls within the cities and village. It is our belief that no police agency in Newaygo County is completely self-sufficient. We rely on personnel and equipment from the local police departments and likewise they rely on us. A well manned and equipped Sheriff’s Office will be able to assist and respond promptly to all calls for service.
It should also be noted that the City of Newaygo’s TIFA district captures approximately $60,000 of our current 1.0 Road Patrol Millage.
Let’s clarify, one mil for the City of Newaygo is $53,000 dollars, of which we keep only $24,500 for city projects under the TIFA. The balance is sent to the sheriff department Two: you state that you routinely answer calls in the cities. If that being said is true, why did Newaygo Police Department answer more calls in outlying areas at night than you answered in our city? This comes from data from Central Dispatch by way of the Fremont Indicator for 2016 to 2017? I feel that this is unfair taxation to residents when we have to pay your agency, plus cover your calls without compensation. Also, on the Road Patrol section of your website, where you state that you are the principal road patrol agency for the county, why is the City of Newaygo not listed?? You have all other cities and villages listed, not us. But yet you expect us to pay your tax you want to impose. How fair is that?
2. Since the Newaygo area is doing economic development to attract more employers for the region, and keep more of our residents working here, how will this tax increase benefit job creation or the Promise Zone?
Sheriff Mendham - We believe that a safe community with a pro-active Sheriff’s Office will only bring value to the Newaygo County area. People want to live in safe communities with safe schools. Businesses want to operate in areas where they can depend on the law enforcement community to protect their investments and assets.
What ways will your department enhance the business climate to further attract jobs and employers? Please be specific. Many local departments have officers certified in CPTED and advise local merchants and business owners in crime prevention. Also city police offer self defense classes to women and children, Do you offer anything like that to enrich the community, or is it business as usual? Newaygo Police Department now has a School Resource Officer in place for our children. We also have our own K9 Bella now. How will your tax enrich our residents safety?
3. We have a need for housing stock to have affordable homes/apartments for people to live in, how will this tax increase affect housing starts and future development, when we have one of the highest taxes in the area?
Sheriff Mendham - A community with a well trained and equipped law enforcement presence is very attractive to families looking to build or buy the home where they plan to raise their family.
Since the majority of this activity will occur within city limits, city police will be handling those tasks, while your department should be covering the outlying areas.
4. One piece of the proposal is that deputy medical training will be done. With most fire depts in the county already having medical capability, why duplicate services? Put medical back where it belongs: with the fire departments.
Sheriff Mendham - Unfortunately there is a shortage of medical first responders in our county. The entire northern half of Newaygo County has very limited access to immediate medical care. We also understand that those first responders are volunteers working full time jobs elsewhere. Their response times may be slowed because they are at work or must first respond to their station for equipment. We believe that our deputies may potentially have a quicker response time or be the only response when an ambulance may be 20 – 30 minutes away. We are not trying to duplicate services we are hoping to enhance them. Kent and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Offices have had medically trained first responders for many years and they work closely with the fire departments in their areas and we believe we can as well.
This would be another value added and reason for families and businesses to move to Newaygo County.
Why is the proposed tax burden being placed on the populated region of the county to finance first responders for the north? That would be just like if we asked them to help us to finance our walkability projects. It doesn’t add up. Besides, If you train your deputies in EMS, and they answer a call, what happens if a crime occurs in a different area of the county, and they are committed to treating the patient? Per Med Legal, they can’t abandon the patient to go. What then? Basic first aid/CPR/AED training should be sufficient for them to have, in fact all officers should have that training. In fact, the first aid training is more reasonable and cost effective then EMS training. If more EMS coverage is needed in the northern part of the county, contract with Life EMS to station a rig there. Law Enforcement needs to concentrate on their mission,
5. Under the 2016 Medical Marijuana law, the sheriff department has been receiving tax revenue from the licensing of facilities in our county, as well as a secondary road patrol fund. Why is the millage needed?
Sheriff Mendham - The money we currently receive from the Medical Marijuana law is a grant, not a tax revenue, and is approximately $16,000, it goes directly to the Central Michigan Enforcement Team because they are tasked with doing the facility inspections.
Our Secondary Road Patrol money has been cut nearly in half over the past five years. That money used to pay for a patrol car and one deputy, it now covers less than half of the total cost for that position.
We are asking for the .5 Public Safety Millage because we have fewer deputies on the road now than we did in 1998. We have fewer detectives now than we did in 1998. We are taking more calls for service now than ever. We have fewer MSP Troopers working our county since the Post closed in Newaygo. Fewer deputies and troopers means slower response times and less pro-active policing which means more crimes and accidents.
Medical marijuana is already leading to changes in our county that will require more police involvement and if the Recreational Marijuana Law passes in November the tax dollars for Sheriff’s Offices stops.
Again, for clarification: Wasn’t the jail administrator position not eliminated by you, but a previous official? Also, aren’t secretaries and other office personnel paid out of different parts of the budget? And, wasn’t a road patrol specific millage renewed in 2016? And isn’t a road patrol millage only meant to cover road patrol costs, and nothing else? Sheriff, what cost savings programs have been done in road patrol since you have been in office, and what cost savings have been realized because of those? I notice you did not mention the 2016 medical marijuana law that provides for allocated tax revenue specifically to a County Sheriff that has licensed facilities in his county. This will help finance your budget without your sheriff tax.
Speaking to deputy coverage, given you have a contract with the US Marshal Service to transport prisoners to and from court during the week, you have stated that a deputy and a corrections officer perform this task. My question is this: Does the US Marshal Service contract state that a deputy has to be along with the corrections officer? Why couldn’t two corrections officers handle this job, thereby freeing up another deputy for road patrol, and investigations without raising taxes? I am aware of this, since I have read a copy of the agreement. Another item that I have a question concerning is this: Why do each of the 4 new proposed deputies have to have their own patrol vehicle? Sheriff, please show me a cost benefit analysis of a smaller fleet of vehicles with deputies sharing cars. The taxpayers would appreciate this information.
Sheriff Mendham: will this tax go away after the ten years? Also an item that needs an answer is this: since Muskegon County disbanded their ERT (Emergency Response Team) due to high costs and lack of use, shouldn’t our ERT be considered for disbanding due to lack of use? How many times have they been utilized in the past 5 years? If special details are needed, contact MSP. Another factor that needs to be addressed, since you have the highest budget of any department in the county, why don’t you have more people?
In conclusion: I feel that there are a lot of unanswered questions and due diligence that need to be done before a new tax is added by Sheriff Mendham on the people of this county. A new tax instituted by him is an unfair and unjust burden to place on the residents of this county just to maintain the status quo. Until transparency and prudence with your budget is done, I still maintain that the voters of this county vote NO on this request.
Newaygo City Council Member
The View From Here: August Angst
By Ken DeLaat
Can’t be can it? Why just the other day we were putting the boat in, planting flowers, and taking down the bikes that inevitably go unridden until the day I put them back on their racks.
And now it’s August?
I see where school registration schedules have been posted and the fall sports season for our area student athletes will begin to see coverage in these pages any day now.
July has been a blur with summer fun chewing up the days as we hurtled past a couple of heat waves, welcomed a bit of wet weather and generally embraced the meteorological magic we bi-peninsular people savor so unreservedly.
And now we enter the third month of the quarter year that requires no layering whatsoever. A prelude to another spellbinding season we are so privileged to enjoy to be sure, but a month when we need to ramp up the reveling.
Been down the river in a tube yet? Gone for a dip in an inland lake? Visited the beach at one of our epic freshwater giants? Hiked the myriad of wonderful trails that abound in our region? Kayaked? Paddleboarded? Camped? Canoed? Fished?
Remember last February? Of course not since we tend to block unpleasant memories and February isn’t easily embraceable but there were promises made to yourself during that enduring four week run of wretched weather.
And time is running out to make good on those vows.
So put down the phone, turn off the tube and get thee outside friends and neighbors.
It is summer’s last hurrah and all too soon we’ll be inundated with pumpkin spice, football and all the other accouterments of autumn.
Then once fall arrives it’s only a matter of time before the Old Man begins his Machiavellian machinations designed to outwit wooly bears, acorn producing oaks, and thick-tailed raccoons.
And soon you find yourself back in February, making plans for the distant dream known as summer.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”- Henry David Thoreau
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