Send Us Your Stories, Photos, Ideas, Etc.
We are in some peculiar times to be sure. Accustomed to getting out and going where we want when we want and visiting who we want, our world has turned a bit upside down.
But we are the resilient, adaptable and irrepressible people of this bipeninsular paradise we thrive in.
With the news coming at us quickly and in forms that further our collective cloistering it has become essential to maintain our sense of humor as well as our indomitable spirit.
N3 is inviting our readers to send us their stories and photos that represent the ways we are rising above this intrusion into our way of life.
Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will select some of our favorites for inclusion in our pulse section.
The first comes from our friend and neighbor Mary Spicer.
When visits with their great grandparents Charlie and Mary Wyman (who live ever so conveniently across the street from them) were halted by the current need for social distancing the Spicer girls, Liberty and Kennedy, decided to show them how much they were missed with a little messaging.
And Mom got into the spirit when she heard about the plan hatched via facebook to have everyone sing the Journey classic ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ at 7pm tonight, preferably outside and loud. The flowers were inspired by Liberty who poses in the center of the sun.
So for those who either forgot or were never at a Minnesota Twins baseball game we’ll get you started
“Just a small town girl
Livin in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin’ anywhere…”
By Ken DeLaat
In the midst of this pandemic global outbreak that has shuttered schools, restricted access to our favorite local eateries, slammed the door on indoor workout options, created chaos in our stores, and (sob!) cancelled the much awaited trip Lifetime Spousal Companion Lil and I have had planned for over a year...
A trip, mind you, that would have seen me lounging in a beach chair outside of our oceanfront condo, catching up on some recreational reading, sipping on a chilled beverage and quite possibly nodding off on occasion while listening to the sounds of the surf….
There is still a ray of sunshine.
Spring announced it’s arrival with the dock making its annual appearance at N3 World Headquarters & ”Hunker Down” Facility.
The kayak rack is in place and can it be long before the beloved pontoon makes its grand entrance?
Thank you JNR Waterfront.
In light of opting to spend the next 2 weeks somewhat differently than originally planned (by about 30-40 degrees or so) and the emotional readjustment this onerous alteration requires, your timely efforts remind us that there will be indeed better days ahead with afternoons spent lounging aboard a watercraft under a Michigan sun and no one, save the much beloved ship’s nurse, within the required 6 feet of proximity.
We are living in unprecedented times in regards to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The information available and the actions being taken are changing by the hour. In the coming days, I encourage you to seek accurate and reliable information about this public health crisis. I will do my part to provide as much information as possible as it becomes available to me.
What we do know as of the time of this writing is that 53 Michigan residents have tested positive for the disease and there have thankfully not been any fatalities to date in our state. Furthermore, none of the individuals live in Newaygo, Lake or Oceana counties. While the actions being taken may seem extreme, especially for such a small number to date, I assure you they are based on science and from lessons learned from countries such as Italy, South Korea, and China who are several weeks ahead of us in this outbreak. The virus is expected to spread rapidly and will overwhelm our medical system as it has done in these countries if we do not take proactive steps to slow it’s spread.
I encourage you not to panic as we have experts actively monitoring the situation and also have the most advanced health care system in the world. Where we can all be of help in this situation is to follow the recommendations and rules directed by the governor in recent days. This includes avoiding large gatherings of people, making physical contact such as shaking hands, and following the orders to close gyms, dine-in restaurants, bars, and casinos. What will not be helpful is spreading false or misleading information on social media and hoarding supplies such as hand sanitizer or toilet paper.
We will get through this event as we have all other challenges our country has faced in the past. For reliable and up to date information please visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/. For any health related questions about COVID-19, Michigan residents can call 1-888-535-6136. The hotline is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thank you for your cooperation as we work through these coming days.
Representative Scott VanSingel
Let Us Help!
Do you and/or your organization have information you need to provide the community during the current COVID-19 crisis?
During any given week, Near North Now reaches over 10,000 readers throughout the greater Newaygo County region with the capability to post articles and info same day and often upon arrival.
If your organization has information you need to get the word out about, send it to us at email@example.com and we will get it out to our readers in a timely fashion.
We’re all in this one together folks and we are prepared to do our part to help.
N3 will also strive to relay any new info from the state, the health department and the county, cities and townships.
So tune in often, let us know how we can help, and as we have repeated and will continue to do so….wash your hands frequently.
COVID-19 disruption runs deep
Got a meeting? How about a conference you were planning on attending? Concert? Play? Perhaps even family reunion?
Or just want to watch a little sports on TV?
Well you can likely forget about it because it is cancelled, postponed or suspended for what we would guess at least the next 30 days.
We are in a state of emergency folks.
The intrusion of COVID-19 from the schools being shut down as of Monday to the toilet paper crisis that has produced an outpouring of amusing memes and given those intrepid social media shamers a bit of a platform to express their disdain at the run(?) on tp, this phenomena is reaching deep into everyone’s personal lives.
NC RESA Superintendent Dr. Lori Tubergen Clark shared this regarding the closure of our schools:
“Closing our PK-12 school buildings and suspending NC RESA services and programs is the responsible decision that will minimize the risk of exposure for children, educators, and families. We are taking all possible steps to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in our communities.”
The county offices have taken action to respond to the outbreak with meetings being cancelled, the courts reducing services,the elimination of work related travel and encouraging the observation of behaviors aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.The Commission on Aging has shut down activities while continuing at this time to provide needed medical transportation as well as the meals program.
As we are in a state of emergency the Newaygo County Emergency Operations Center is coordinating local response to the crisis and asking folks to access the Nixle website for alerts due to the ever changing nature of the situation:
Anyone can view information through the Nixle Website without registering to receive alerts at https://local.nixle.com/newaygo-county-emergency-services/
You can also register for FREE text and email alerts by registering for a Nixle account by:
So, naysayers, conspiracy theorists and those people who just refuse to trust nearly anything aside, this is serious business and as all involved have been saying, it is ‘fluid’ ( a most popular word these days) meaning things are constantly changing at a rate somewhere near the speed of light.
And here is our plea.
Despite the despairing divisiveness that has dominated the landscape of late there has never been a better time to pull together than now.
We know the inclination is to ensure you have all the Purell you can find and a corner on the tp market but let’s take a little lesson from our citizenry during WWII when hoarding was considered right up there with high misdemeanors at the very least and in many circles worse. We were a nation working as one to defeat an enemy who threatened our way of life and though it’s a virus this time around it is still an enemy to our way of life.
So maybe let’s be a bit rational when it comes to our purchases.
And hopefully may we all choose to embrace the instructions delivered by those who are tasked with setting the guidelines to ensure our safety.
As to social media?
While humor directed at the crisis isn’t a bad thing, denial of the obvious is irresponsible. And though the ridiculing of the issue on various sites won’t be stopped (because there are so many ‘experts’ out there as well as those who are easily influenced by the preposterous points proffered by poorly informed peeps crying “Hoax!”) we can help combat the mountains of misinformation by keeping informed. Getting the skinny from genuine sources such as the site listed above provided by the Emergency Services folks,our District 10 Health Department, Spectrum Gerber, and the state Department of Health and Human Services.
In an email to parents and the community Newaygo Superintendent Peg Mathis wrote this as part of the details she delivered to families affected by the shutdown.
“Information is changing at a rapid rate. There is a possibility that we may offer some brown bag lunches for our kids during this shut down. None of those details have been made available to us yet and we won't have plans ready for that until sometime next week if this allowable, so please stay tuned."
Then she followed it up with this statement:
“Perhaps most importantly, love your kids, take care of each other, and remain calm and positive. We got this!”
Dr. Mathis is right. We got this if we work together, observe the recommendations we’re given and choose to believe that the folks delivering those recommendations are acting in our best interests.
Knowledge is power and accurate information builds on that knowledge.
And for pity’s sake, keep washing those hands.
The Great Decisions Speaker Series brings national experts to West Michigan for thought-provoking discussions on eight critical and important global issues. The series, which kicked off on February 11, includes a list of experts on topics the whole world is talking about. The Great Decisions Global Discussion speaker series is put together by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan and is live-streamed at the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts on Tuesdays, through March 31, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. on the main stage.
The goal of the series is to discuss eight critical issues that are facing the world today, and features diplomats, policy makers, practitioners, think tank specialists and journalists using their diverse expertise to lead conversations. Climate change, human trafficking, the Philippines and the U.S., and artificial intelligence are a few of the global issues in the series.
“Our organization’s perspective on this series is that to change the world — or to even begin to understand global issues — one first must know about the world, and that’s what we attempt to do with Great Decisions,” Michael Van Denend, executive director of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.
The March 3 speaker topic will be “'Green Peacebuilding': Justice in the Face of Climate Change" and on March 10, "Human Trafficking: Global and Local Perspectives".
The Great Decisions Speaker Series will be video streamed live at the Dogwood Center, 4734 S. Campus Court, Fremont, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Tuesday's through March 31. The lectures are free and open to the public. View the speaker schedule at www.dogwoodcenter.com. or www.worldmichigan.org.
An Open Letter to the Honorable Jon Bumstead in Support of George Heartwell, Natural Resources Commission Chair Appointee:
Thank you, Senator Bumstead, for supporting George Heartwell’s appointment as Natural Resources Commission Chair. I know you stand alone among fellow Republican Senators on this, as you did with Michigan Republican Senators who voted to reject Ann Mitterling’s NRC appointment.
As Newaygo County residents, we know that Mr. Heartwell’s passion and tireless work for the environment would be the driving forces of any decisions he would make as an NRC Commissioner. He also has expressed his respect for the 2nd Amendment, seeking only to assure the safety of our community members in the past as Mayor of Grand Rapids, NOT in pursuit of taking anyone’s right to bear arms in a responsible manner. The fact that members of the NRA and Republican Senators are mixing these two issues in his appointment is not only moot, but is distasteful heavy handed partisanship as well.
I urge all Michigan residents to contact their State Senators NOW to support Mr. Heartwell’s appointment. In particular, we need to voice strongly this support to our Republican Senators who would consider voting against his appointment for fear of losing financial support from the NRA, or loss of votes from Great Lakes Gun Rights citizens who are swallowing erroneous statements about Mr. Heartwell taking away people’s guns. (Note: loss of financial support and votes can go the other way as well, and elections are on the near horizon).
As Mr. Heartwell stated in a recent mlive interview, he grew up hunting and is comfortable around guns. Plus, as he said, the board isn't in charge of guns. “So, for those who think that I’m going to somehow have the authority here on this board to do something about firearms, I really don’t. This is about hunting and fishing regulations and has little or nothing to do with firearms, other than in the use of taking species.”
George Heartwell is known for reaching across political aisles and community divides to find common ground. His passion for outdoor recreation enjoyed by us Michiganders, as well as support for hunting and fishing habitat conservation, makes him an ideal NRC community representative.
Creating division among partisan lines with regards to his appointment will only weaken the important work that the NRC must do. And perhaps even more damaging, will continue to reinforce and widen the political divide that is turning citizens and their representatives against each other, instead of respecting and working with each other.
Again, thank you Senator Bumstead for following the truth in your support of George Heartwell.
By Tim McGrath
“Why would anyone actually want to spend a weekend sitting in the dirt?” – Anonymous (But you know who you are…)
Camping was a part of life growing up. Our family wandered from Ludington State Park to the National Forest campgrounds secreted across the UP and many points in between. Those were the golden days of childhood spent fishing, swimming, bike riding, and sneaking Dad’s cigars. We cooked up our own ridiculous versions of outdoor games, some of which involved trying not to get skewered with the newly acquired Jarts. There were hobo dinners enjoyed around the campfire, while Dad plucked out old timey country ballads on his battered Gretsch. Sadly, those days ended with graduations, colleges, jobs, and other responsible adult things.
Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of those long-ago campfires, though, we had the good sense to resurrect camping when our own kids came along. The best news is we found other friends who decided to also begin this tradition with their families. The stage was now set for new adventures in the great outdoors.
For those who’ve camped with kids, it’s always a hoot to watch how their creative juices begin to flow when they finally realize there’s no TV, internet, or impossibly boring adult-oriented stuff they have to do. It’s infinitely entertaining to watch and listen as group-think-kid-style comes to life and the crazy ideas start to bubble up and unfold. Mind you, the adults in question had one eye (and ear) on the shenanigans unfolding, but as long as there wasn’t an overabundance of blood, vomiting, or serious injury involved, the kids could get on fine by themselves.
“Hey, Uncle Tim. Want to watch us try and catch Beach Chickens?” Joel and Karl asked one sultry August afternoon.
“Beach Chickens? OK, now I need to know. What in the heck are Beach Chickens, and how do you catch them?” I innocently asked. Knowing grins, looks, and winks from the boys.
“Come on, follow us to the beach, we’ll show you. You’re going to love this.” Joel said. Carefully scanning the campsite to see if their mom was watching, they popped into the camper and returned with what they called “The Stuff”: a large bed sheet and half-eaten bag of Cheetos.
“That’s it?” I asked. I almost asked if they’d cleared the bed sheet idea with their mom, but decided against it. I was now in on the scheme, and to even consider squealing on them would be heresy.
“Yup, that’s it. Are you ready?” They were getting impatient with my piffling around.
“OK, you two get in the van, and I’ll let the others know we’re going to the beach for a while,” I said.
Muskegon State Park beach was hopping this scorching August afternoon. Families encamped in little huddles close to the water, young guys with no shirts tossing footballs hoping to catch the eye of one of the bikini-clad girls, kite fliers, little kids with droopy water-logged diapers building drip castles next to the water, crying when a rogue wave obliterated their creations. And, everywhere were the flocks of gulls, some floating effortlessly in the breeze, some screeching their irritation at one another, some picking up garbage from the beach for a light afternoon snack. Suddenly, a little light went on.
“Gulls are Beach Chickens, right?” I said to the boys. “And you two are going to try and catch one.” Duh.
“We are. Almost got one yesterday, but just missed it. Hey, there’s a spot over there by the dune, nobody’s there. Come on, let’s go!” They raced to the perfect place, and immediately set to work. I gathered all my responsible-dad-beach-gear and waded across the volcanic sand toward them. As soon as I came within about 25 yards of the project they immediately stopped, held up a hand, and motioned for me to stay where I was.
They were digging what looked like a shallow trench in the sand. When the trench was just the right dimensions, they carefully spread the dug sand around the area so it would look as natural as possible. Karl then lay down on his back in the trench, and Joel covered him with the sheet. Taking the bag of Cheetos, he tossed several on the sheet about where Karl’s stomach was, then put a few enticers on the sand around the Beach Chicken trap. Looking at the scene, I had to admit it was ingenious. Had to wonder, though, if the boys had considered what might happen if they actually snared one. Gulls have long sharp beaks, and those wings are big, strong and bony. I don’t imagine a trapped one would take kindly to being caught. Ah well, live and learn. Plus, what are the chances…?
Joel surveyed the scene and satisfied with their engineering walked over and sat down by me. “OK, Joel, how does this whole thing work?” I asked.
“Just watch, it won’t be long!” he chuckled.
As if on cue, gulls lured in by the tasty looking iridescent orange Cheetos started hovering over the area. Several of the braver ones landed a few feet from the trap eyeing it carefully, on the lookout for any funny business.
One by one the gulls walked closer, plucked a Cheeto lying on the ground and gobbled it down.
Then it happened. “Karl, there’s one getting set to hop on the sheet, get ready,” Joel quietly called. The gull walked onto the sheet. “OK, he’s on you. Go!”
Instantly, Karl sat straight up throwing the sheet over the gull trying to trap it in the folds.
“Got it!” he screamed. His aim was slightly off kilter, and he had only part of the gull. As predicted, the gull wasn’t having it. Finding its mark on his hands and arms, its beak pecking like a jackhammer, the one free wing beat Karl soundly about the head and shoulders. “Help, help, it’s eating me alive! I don’t want it to peck my eyes out!”
“Let go, Karl, let go!” we hollered. He fell back in the pit, and the gull sprang up, flew away, screeching its annoyance at the interruption to a perfectly good snack time.
The ride back to the campground was a quiet one. Surprisingly, there were only a few red marks on Karl’s face from the wing, and a couple scratches on his arms and hands. The upside was he still had both eyes. He’d also kept his good humor about the whole thing.
“Well, that was sort of fun, too bad it got away,” he said. As we pulled back into the campsite, Karl called out. “Hey, Joel, I’ve been thinking, and I got this really great idea. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could catch squirrels using our fishing poles? All we have to do is take off the hook, and then tie a peanut onto the line. Cast it out by one of them, and let them take the bait. They wouldn’t get hurt, but I can just imagine playing a big squirrel as he runs around trying to get the peanut off the line.
Could be way more fun than real fishing. Squirrels don’t bite, do they?”
Kids and camping… good times, good times.
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