Pickleball continues its Manifest Destiny as Henning Park becomes the latest to refurbish a pair of seldom used tennis courts into a Pickleball Palace, boasting a half dozen brand spanking new courts.
The new play area will help promote a sport that has continued to spawn new waves of local enthusiasts each season.
Now toss in the collaborative effort between Parks and the city of Newaygo that has brought a new and innovative disc golf course to the area.
Yes, the abundant recreational opportunities our corner of this bipeninsular paradise offers continue to grow in leaps, bounds and tomahawk tosses.
All the while a partially constructed, yet immensely popular, Dragon Trail draws bikers and hikers from near and far to its pathways and county campgrounds continue to benefit from their improvements by seeing site reservations in demand throughout the summer and well into fall.
Kudos to those who have the vision to see the economic impact of these initiatives.
And even more praise to those who recognize the obvious health benefits to be had from making recreation both fun and easily obtainable.
Speaking of health, DHD#10 Director Kevin Hughes delivered his annual report to the NC Board of Commissioners last week and cited the challenges of increasing the % of vaccinated citizens.
The current national surge in cases is primarily occurring in areas where vax rates are even lower than those in our fair county (under 50%? Seriously, folks?) and it is hoped the same fate doesn’t follow here since misinformation surrounding vaccinations seems to have found itself a bit of a niche in NC.
For an interesting take on the influence of some segments of the media on anti-vax sentiment in our area check out this recent article from Dr. Rob Davidson, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Healthcare.
The ravenous moths that invaded our woodlands and traumatized our trees as caterpillars are a painful memory to be sure, but if one takes notice, the once dead looking branches on our oaks have begun to sprout new growth in an impressive showing of resiliency.
Here are some guidelines we’ll repeat from the Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development regarding those brownish, furry looking remnants known as egg masses:
Egg masses will persist until next spring when the hatch begins. To lessen impacts next year, it is important to look for, remove and destroy egg masses.
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”-Isaac Asimov
Ken DeLaat, N3 Publisher
On Tuesday, July 6 a very hot and humid afternoon the Hess Lake community suffered a huge loss. Richard M. Bosowski left this world due to an accident on Hess Lake. With a very saddened heart we must first offer our deepest condolences to his immediate family. His loss will be felt by many here in the Hess Lake community, but his legacy will live on for a long time. He was simply known to most as Rich, Rick, and to some as “Buzz” a break off from his last name. He was a “never sit down “ type guy who was focused to complete all the tasks placed before him. Growing up on Hess Lake, Rich had a love for the Lake that was almost unmatched. So he served as President for both the HLIA and HLB organizations. In both of these roles he sought to improve life for all here on Hess Lake. His conviction to serve in these roles will be remembered by many for a long time and will undoubtedly be missed. God’s peace to you my friend!
So many times we hear their sirens and see their lights flashing and yet we just take it for granted the job they do. On Tuesday, July 6th multiple emergency agencies came together to offer the services that we take for granted with one goal in mind. Rescue or find the person who was in Hess Lake. And when that mission turned to a recovery effort, their professionalism went up multiple notches. Many examples of their humbleness shone like the sun. From the unnamed EMT who led a small group in prayer, to the grief counselor who was relentless in providing consolation to those in need, and of course to the divers who were not going to give up with the dismal task put before them even with a thunderstorm fast approaching. To all of these heroes who came to our Lake that day to answer the cry for help......We Salute you and thank you ! We should never take them and the job they do for granted. Thank you heroes !
Newaygo County Sheriff’s dept., State Police, DNR officers, Grant Police, Newaygo Fire Dept., Grant / Ashland Fire Dept., Life EMT’s
To all of those who made this 4th of July a family affair on the river this home owner thanks you. I'm thinking this is primarily a thank you to the sheriff patrol but I'm really not sure. I was almost dreading a family reunion down at the river, thinking obnoxious people, foul language, etc. Much to my surprise the river was quite full of tubers and kayakers that were quietly enjoying themselves. I frankly don't remember a weekend like this. It was heavenly. Thank you all, may it continue, and may the beauty of our shared river continued to be enjoyed in a peaceful manner.
Family, friends and community members are working together to raise money to help people with mobility issues. We are committed to funding new pathways and patios at the Cottages at Martin Lake, an Assisted Living and Memory Care Facility. There are two buildings with a total capacity for 12 residents. Information about the Cottages is available at thecottagesatmartinlake.com.
The Cottages at Martin Lake is a story about a girl and her dad. Anna Hunt’s father bought a home and property on Martin Lake after his wife passed away. He saw it as a place to keep on living since he could fish, duck hunt or sit on the deck and watch the birds. He enjoyed boating on the lake and it was a great place for family picnics! As the years passed, he felt the house was too big and he needed to sell it. Anna decided to buy it and keep it in the family. Knowing how much her dad enjoyed living on Martin Lake, she thought other active seniors would too. She decided to build a home on the property for seniors to enjoy; a place they would want to live and their families would want to visit – just like her family did. Anna designed the home for optimal enjoyment and provide services to create an environment that is fulfilling and enjoyable.
Many of the residents need the help of wheelchairs or walkers to get around. There was an immediate need to pave a large patio area and be able to evacuate quickly and safely. The paved pathways will provide mobility opportunities for the residents, allowing them and their visitors to be outside and to enjoy the beautiful areas surrounding the Cottages.
The estimated cost of the Pathways Project is $16,000 and we have raised $9,000 (as of July 4, 2021). If you have any questions or would like to contribute, please contact Pat Durham, 231-349-5460 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also donate via GoFundMe to the “Pathways With A Purpose” project at gofund.me/f4856aed.
Thanks for your support!
A lakeside look at a better 4th
By Ken De Laat
Well, that was fun.
Not sure about how the holiday went from where you spent it but if our observations regarding the revelry taking place on and around the lake at N3 World Headquarters is any indication we’d be willing to bet most folks had a pretty good time.
Spending a good part of the day parked at a sandbar with a flotilla of other watercraft one saw all the traditional trappings of a holiday summer weekend as tubes, toys and float pads filled the area and were constantly circled by jet skis and boats pulling tubers skiers, and wave boarders. Being a big believer in sunscreen it was intriguing to watch some revelers as their once pale white skin transformed into a pinkish glow before igniting into a rather rosy red. Generally this occurred after a few denials about the need for a shirt and more than a few adult beverages thus creating the perfect storm for a classic dual dilemma the next morning. That magic combination of the searing pain associated with a bad sunburn and a ‘where in the name of all things decent is the coffee and why are we out of aspirin?' kind of hangover.
But beyond the crimson cavaliers, people were out in force filling the waters and lakefronts and ready to have a good time. Last summer the pandemic had eased a bit but still loomed heavily and the brief respite we enjoyed for a time came crashing down with cases surging in the fall. This year it feels different as the vaccine numbers keep rising and the cases continue falling, creating an optimism (albeit somewhat cautious) that the worst of this viral intrusion into our lives is past us.
LSC Lil and I had friends and family over (another scene put on sabbatical last summer)to enjoy food, drink and pyrotechnics and I had forgotten how truly enjoyable such gatherings were.
And as if celebrating this welcome return to the lives we’ve missed, the fireworks on Hess, framed by the imposing ‘ring of fire’, were perhaps the most impressive witnessed in over 2 decades of observation. The ‘works came from a variety of sites providing a panoramic viewing as the action shifted continually from one sector to another and another and another.
They proved to be the perfect nightcap for a weekend of merrymaking.
And a hopeful sign that perhaps at long last…
We’re coming back.
And coming back strong.
“Good times are a reminder and a reward for dealing with the difficult and challenging times we all go through.”- James A Murphy
By Tim McGrath
We all need people in our corner, our own personal cheerleaders. Take Weiner, for example. As the story goes, Weiner was in the outfield. He was having a rough time shagging fly balls, high pop-ups, and those sneaky bouncing grounders that go every which way. As one who played his share of right field in my earlier years, I could relate to Weiner’s plight. It all just seems to compound the more you play. One flub leads to another, then three more. Confidence flies out the window, knees go wobbly, mouth dries, time stands still. Just you and that stinking little ball.
According to the storyteller, a high fly was headed Weiner’s way. I imagine as the reality of what was happening dawned on Weiner, the sight of the little white orb hurtling in a high arc his way created some performance anxiety, given the past issues. As the ball headed in Weiner’s direction, a collective gasp rose from the crowd, each holding their breath. All seated in the bleachers knew the chances of a botched effort were a stark possibility. In silence they watched the ball heading toward Weiner, hoping against hope. Just then, as the ball reached its zenith, a clarion call rang out loud and true, “Weiner, catch the ball!” It was Weiner’s mom.
I’d like to think this had a wonderfully happy ending: Weiner snagging the ball for the final out, his teammates swarming him, lifting him high in the air, the beginning of a new and wonderful chapter in his life. Truth is, the storyteller couldn’t remember what happened. The shock of Weiner’s mom yelling in support of the little fella was all that remained. A little disappointing, I know. We all want those happily-ever-afters.
The happy ending isn’t the point of the whole thing, of course. The very act of someone in Weiner’s corner encouraging him, cheering him on, in spite of the outcome- that’s the point. Many of us have lived these moments of high drama that mirror little Weiner’s. Maybe it was a parent, coach, teacher, or friend that stood behind us, yelling encouragement in our direction just when it was needed most. I’d also wager those moments are quite unforgettable.
Perhaps, even life changing….
“He’s definitely college material,” Mrs. Koets, my second-grade teacher, told Mom at parent teacher conferences one spring afternoon. This was big stuff for her, as I heard it repeatedly throughout the next ten years of schooling. I didn’t give it much thought, really. I wanted to be a cigar chomping Marine like Sgt. Rock, my comic book hero. That is, until the Vietnam War came along, and the glory of battle looked a lot different than the comic book version. I thought being a scientist would be kind of cool; perhaps a marine biologist, or forest ranger. At any rate, being college material wasn’t much I dwelt on. By late high school, though, a little bell tinkled in my head asking, “just what are you going to do once this whole high school thing is finished?”
I was no student, in spite of what Mrs. Koets told Mom all that long time ago. I don’t remember taking books home to study for the big test, or writing those important term papers. Guess I got most of what I needed to do finished in class or study hall. At any rate, I graduated somewhere in the middle of my high school class. Good enough.
My college career at Calvin College commenced that fall. Didn’t take long to figure out I was in the deep end, with absolutely no understanding of what I was doing. I wondered what Mrs. Koets would think of her little “college material” kid now? Even registering for classes was a nightmare. Back then, you were assigned a time to go to the fieldhouse where tables were set up and professors of the various courses were located. You’d go up to the table, ask to register for such-and-such a class. They’d OK it, or not, depending on whether it was full. If you lucked out, all your classes were still available, and they’d fit nice and tidy-like into a workable schedule. I had no knowledge of such things. And, I was the very last group to register on the last day of registration. By the time I got to register, many classes were full. By some bit of good fortune, though, an upperclassman saw me wandering aimlessly from one table in the fieldhouse to the next. It was painfully obvious I needed some help. I was trying to sign up for all the wrong classes only to be told they were for upperclassmen; what’s wrong with you? He took me aside and showed how to block out classes that were 100 – level core classes, the ones all freshmen take. Even escorted me to the various tables and got me signed up so I had a workable schedule.
That’s when he said,” Uh, oh. You’ve got Tiemersma for English 100. Good luck, man. You’re going to need it. I’ve got to go. See you around, maybe…”. Well, I just might need good luck, but at that point having a jigsaw puzzle schedule of classes that actually fit together was all I cared about. Tiemersma will just have to wait until…, let’s see…, next Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9:00 until 9:50.
English 100. Composition and grammar. A strict core requirement for all students, usually taken in the freshman year. Pass this class and you’re handed the keys to the kingdom. Failure is not an option, there’s no remedial English, this is it. Trouble was, I really didn’t know much about either composition or grammar. What composition and grammar I did know came from elementary school days and eighth grade English class – a lifetime ago. I suppose I’d had some kind of composition and grammar in high school, yet most of what I remember about high school English involved finding “the deeper meaning” in literature. Always about “the deeper meaning”.
Monday morning, first day of classes. I’d just come from my eight o’clock, Chemistry 151, where we were told make sure you’ve got a slide rule for lab this Thursday. Slide rule? Isn’t that one of those weird little ruler things? Bet they might have them at Kmart; guess I’ll have to check it out. Now it was nine o’clock, the time of reckoning – English 100, and the dreaded Tiemersma. I finally found the room, wandered in, settled into my seat, front and center of the lectern – the only seat left in the place. Seemingly from out of nowhere, in swooped Dr. Richard Tiemersma. Tall, gangly, bespectacled. Rumpled suit, battered brown leather briefcase, deep intimidating voice. Not one to be trifled with.
“Your first composition will be due one week from today; late work will not be accepted. Three to five pages. In addition, please read chapters one through three in your Composition and Grammar text for next class. Be ready to discuss – participation is required.” OK, got it.
My graded composition was the last in the pile he passed out during class the following week. Red marks everywhere. More red marks than writing. Question marks, arrows pointing every which way, insert marks, cross outs. Then, at the bottom, double circled in red, “D”. Scrawled underneath: “lack of idea development, organization, poor grammatical structures. College-level papers must always be typed – double-spaced, NOT handwritten and torn from spiral bound notebook. Very poor work!”
This scene repeated itself the next two papers, except I did type them: double-spaced, of course. The third paper received a “D+”, so there’s that. In addition to the blazing critique, the words ``please see me” were written in a somewhat gentler hand under the rest of the vitriol. After class I cautiously approached the feared man, and handed him my latest failed effort. “Come with me,” was all he said.
I didn’t realize it at the time but it was the beginning of something quite remarkable. Each week, I’d wander into Dr. Tiemersma’s office for several hours of intensive work developing my composition and grammar skills. He carefully coached, tutored, cajoled, and ranted, all the while chain smoking Alpine cigarettes. And, never once, did he question my ability or intelligence. That’s when the turnaround began.
Slowly, oh so slowly, the “D” became a “C-“, then “C+”. By the time the semester came to an end, I got a “B-“on the final paper. All it said at the bottom was “Better”. The whole composition and grammar thing was finally beginning to make sense. I don’t remember what my final grade in English 100 was, yet I passed. I’ll take it.
As the next few years raced by, I’d become a confident, mostly successful college student – a far cry from those initial disasters. From time to time I’d see Dr. Tiemersma still swooping from one place to another, battered leather briefcase swinging jauntily at his side. I think it was my senior year when I saw him stopped outside a classroom admiring some recently added artwork. I had to tell him.
“Hi, Dr. Tiemersma, good afternoon; do you remember me?” He turned, eyeing me carefully.
“Why, of course, Mr. McGrath. How are things faring for you in our hallowed halls?”
“Very well, sir. I’m in my senior year now. Believe it or not, I’m going to be a teacher! I just have my student teaching to finish. When I saw you standing here, I knew I needed to stop and thank you for your help when I was a freshman in English 100. If it hadn’t been for you, I don’t know what I would have done. So, thank you for your patience and encouragement. It was exactly what I needed. What I’d like to know, though, is why did you spend so much time with me when it was obvious from the start I was far below the rest of the class?”
“I do remember our sessions that semester. I also recall the extraordinary progress you made in those weeks. It was a delight for me to witness. So, the simple answer, Mr. McGrath, is you are college material, and you just needed someone to illuminate the way.”
By Ken De Laat
“The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.” -Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses
OK Mom Nature. We get the message. Be careful what we ask for.
Following a spring drought that fostered a gypsy moth population explosion, lowered lake and river levels and demanded a daily hose handled soaking of the gardens at N3 World Headquarters the citizenry began clamoring for an urgent delivery of the wet stuff.
Pleas went generally unheeded through much of April, all of May and a good hunk of June.
Then this week the appeals seemed to get heard and so, came the rains.
For the past few days we have done a pretty good impression of Seattle in winter. It’s not been the occasional shower. No no, we’re talking monsoonish type torrents pummeling the landscape with a (granted, much needed) soaking.
But enough already. The forecast calls for a pretty good chance of rain each day for at least the next week or so and while we were desperate in our need for some county wide hydration it is after all, summertime in the Mitten. A state, mind you, not known for lengthy months of warm weather. So each day the rain continues throughout the daylight hours it takes out one of the precious few days when outdoor frolicking is at its peak.
So can we modify those requests a bit? Maybe a few less daytime deluges and a shift to more pre-dawn precipitation? Perhaps a steady 11pm-4am shower every third day or so?
C'mon Mom. It’s summertime and we want to play outside.
By Doug Harmon
As the spring days fade away and summer proceeds to take over, most people are sharing stories of the mushrooms they recently found or the deer sheds they discovered on their spring hikes. Talk is of planting flowers or their upcoming gardening chores ahead of them. Not for my wife Holly. One of her exciting times of the year is the snapping turtle's egg laying season. For about a month, two weeks pre-Memorial day to two weeks post Memorial Day snapping turtles lay their eggs.
For twenty five years my wife Holly and I have been the owners and caretakers of a parcel of land on the White River. This land has been in the family for fifty years and every year the turtles make their way up a 20' embankment to lay their eggs.
Semi-retirement is allowing us to spend more time observing the exciting movement of the snapping turtle. With the enthusiasm and excitement of an opening morning deer hunt, my wife awakens at 6 a.m. to start her morning turtle watch. Sipping on her coffee from the porch, binoculars in hand, she watches at first from a distance, giving the graceful turtles their privacy. Then the excitement overwhelms her and she has to get a little closer to observe this circle of life.
Routinely there will be 4-6 turtles each morning. Some days only one lonely turtle has the area to herself, some mornings the number will be as high as 12.
All of the turtle egg laying activity takes place in a 20' x 20' area. Most egg laying activity is done by late morning. The heat of the day takes over and the turtles rush to the 20' bank they had conquered to lay their eggs and they simply enjoy a tumbling slide back into the river.
In the fifty years of family ownership only once, my wife's grandpa Anderson, has someone witnessed this mythological hatching of an entire nest of turtle eggs.
On my wife's bucket list is to witness this phenomenon. We do see hatchlings from time to time but have never witnessed the entire nest at one time.
Her vigil includes keeping pesky critters of all fashion away from the eggs to allow the eggs to hatch, which takes about 30 days. Her enthusiasm has drifted over to some of our family and friends, who are also enjoying the simplicity and ceremonial task momma turtle goes through to complete the circle of life.
It has to be said that sometimes Mother Nature provides us with the most simple forms of satisfaction if we slow down long enough to look!
Reader takes issue with State Senator's stance on elections
To The Editor:
This Memorial Day I remembered the American heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice to help protect America’s democracy. Unfortunately, I also had to wonder why our Michigan State Senator, Jon Bumstead, is working so hard to undermine that same hard-fought democracy by parroting completely baseless claims about election fraud.
The week before Memorial Day, I, like everyone else in the area, received a postcard flyer from Jon’s office touting his support of various unnecessary election “reforms.” His postcard said that Michigan’s election integrity is in question and that confidence needs to be restored. However, given the outrageous lies upon which this “election integrity package” is built, the only thing missing integrity is Senator Bumstead.
Senator Bumstead is using his position of power and possibly tax dollars to spread propaganda that directly undermines our democracy by creating fear and distrust in our election process. He is not working for Michigan residents when he alleges impropriety in our election without evidence. He is working for himself and serving his political party, endorsing completely false claims of voter fraud all in an effort to stay in power.
Senator Bumstead’s flier speaks of voter integrity, implying that the voting process in Michigan is corrupt. This is the same voting system that got him and many of his GOP members re-elected. Let's be clear, Mr. Bumstead and the GOP legislature are intent on making voting more difficult for Michigan voters by limiting the amount of time to count ballots, making it more difficult to vote absentee which makes it more difficult for veterans, working women and men, and elderly to vote, and limiting the availability of ballot drop-off boxes.
If you want to improve voter integrity, Senator, introduce a measure to allow more time to count absentee ballots. Currently Michigan only allows one extra day to count absentee ballots, which turns out to be a monumental task during a disruption like a pandemic. Allow online voting, it's safe enough to pay my taxes and renew my drivers license online. Auto-register voters when they renew their driver's license. Expand early voting to reduce lines, thus expanding access for those who are unable to get to the polls on a Tuesday in November.
There is no issue more important than the defense of American democracy. It is unacceptable to have members of our state legislature prop up the Big Lie because their chosen candidate did not win.
Your efforts, Senator Bumstead, are a gross distortion and misrepresentation of facts around the 2020 election. The propaganda that you spread is a danger to the state of Michigan by sowing distrust and fear that destroy confidence in our elections system. There is nothing more Un-American than that.
An update on this years version of Detroit baseball
By Ken De Laat
After 55 games the Tigers are one game better than last year and possess the same record as they did in 2019.
In ‘19, the last regular length season, they proceeded to take that 23-32 record into June where they ended up going 5-20 before following it up with an identical 5-20 July.
But this year will be different. You can write (type) it down.
My previous ‘Take on the Tig’s’ earlier this season expressed my long nurtured pessimism forged by decades of disappointment in Detroit sports. It seems in those years when the Tigers have already cashed it in (generally mid August or so) here comes the Lions and we all know what they do to a sports loving soul. And don’t get me started on the more recent versions of the Pistons and Wings.
And yet despite hovering near the cellar, if not residing in it, since the season onset there exists a glimmer of hope taking shape at Michigan and Trumb...oops... I mean whatever streets CoPa is on.
They’re getting some nasty pitching from their young starters, a few guys that are supposed to hit are starting to and they don’t seem to be rolling over once they get behind. There’s a bit of spark to this collection of players who might not be starting on some of the better teams, but seem to be finding where they fit and taking advantage of it.
And waiting in the wings are more live arms and a few unproven but singing with potential bats polishing their skills down on the farm.
This year? Nope. No pennant race. The Sox (hate ‘em but not nearly at the loathing level of the Yankees) are likely going to walk away with the division and there are way too many teams the Bengals would have to overtake to get even a whiff of a wildcard race.
But they're finally a bit fun to watch, especially Akil Baddoo who possesses the best baseball name for a Tiger since Coot Veal. Even the beloved Miggy, with his seemingly sempiternal contract, while still struggling to reach Mendoza is getting some key knocks from time to time.
Yep, a glimmer of hope.
I was just turning 17 when they won it all in ‘68 and in my mid 30’s during the magic of ‘84.
And while those 16 years seemed like an eternity...
Now it’s been 37.
At least for awhile.
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