By Ken DeLaat
It all started when discussing an upcoming N3 series with our editor Alexis Mercer about local options for getting fit, becoming healthier, all that stuff folks think about when embarking on a new year.
The idea is to explore the local options toward attaining those lofty goals including asking various folks we know to try out any venues that express an interest in doing a story.
“I’ve been going to Tamarac about 2-3 times a week for awhile now,” came out of my mouth. “We can begin with a piece on my next visit, probably tomorrow, and start getting ideas about other local places.”
It sounded reasonable and we agreed on the plan.
Today as I type this it is nearly two weeks later and that trip to the gym I was certain would be occurring the following day finally came to fruition .
And thus, this became more of a story of how difficult it can be to get to your health driven destination. Particularly when your enthusiasm for working out isn’t always at peak levels.
I don’t know what happened the first day but I am aware that while I really actually truly, on most days, enjoy the gym when I get there, my priorities can be easily skewed in any number of directions to keep me from actually arriving. The next day was filled with obligations and then came the weekend a time when physical activity focused on carrying dozens of totes up and down stairs as N3 World Headquarters completed the process of de-Christmasing.
The next week appeared to be busy but I knew there would be some time on a Tuesday and with a little forethought I took my gym bag out of the car for the night to prevent a locker room outbreak of goosebumps from changing into frigid gear.
The next day after completing a few tasks I prepped for the trip. I brought the camera for a couple of shots of the place to go with the story, packed up the laptop for a meeting to be had afterwards and set out for Fremont.
On arrival I opened my back door and at that moment realized the folly of my removing the bag from the car. It was still by the door and I mean the one I walk out of and past to leave the house.
I pondered the sporting goods store next door where I could get some clothing but didn’t have shoes and having lousy feet usually means you need to be picky about shoes.
I’ve known Chad from Fremont Shoe Shop and Repair a long time. A couple years ago I asked him about replacing the shoes I was working out in, These are the same shoes I was still workin out in when I stopped there to see if I could nab a quick pair then head back for a half workout perhaps. In fact they were the same pair I bought the first time I joined Tamarac soon after they opened or about a decade ago. While there I also asked advice about one of the shoes I’d been wearing the past few months that developed and later enhanced a very audible and significantly annoying squeak.
Three or four pair were tried on, walked about in, and tried on again several times until finally I had my shoes.
But no time for a workout.
The following day was again too busy to consider the trip but Thursday loomed as a possibility. It turned out to be the day I was in heavy correspondence via email with a shoe company about a 6 month old perpetually squeaky shoe (resolved and received new pair, thanks for the advice Chad) as well as a billing matter with a retail outfit (resolved and received an apology), each punctuated by some obligatory writing assignments and soon the day disappeared.
The next day was Friday. I clean my house on Fridays but I figured to maybe manage to shoot over later in the morning but it became one of those days when everything seemed more important than getting there.
The weekend came and to be honest I don’t go to the gym on weekends. Never really have so I didn’t.
Monday? Well yesterday was ripe for a trip but by now I have developed a plethora of excuses as to why not to go with the only real reason being the temperatures outside. Besides there were birds to feed.
Now it is Tuesday and the way to ensure my visit was to make a date with LSC Lil to pick her up from work and take her to lunch. It forced my hand a bit.
The workout? Splendid. The hot tub and a little swim? Revitalizing. The steam bath? Epic.
Lunch combined good company, easy conversation and a ravenous appetite.
Now I can do the opening story of our health initiative series and even better I feel back on the track when it comes to working out. I might even go tomorrow.
Well, except I have a meeting in the morning and that’s when I like to go and I could go in the afternoon but I told myself I’d start on reorganizing my office and besides the weather looks to be a little dicey and…..
Look for our Local Fitness series beginning next week and contact us if you have a suggestion at email@example.com
...No How, Not Even a Chance
By Ken DeLaat
What? The Who? In GR? At the Van? In May?
They were one of the bands I missed during a rather successful run of seeing some of the top performers during an significantly earlier era.
Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, Mountain, James Gang, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Aretha, the Dead,Jethro Tull, BB King, Clapton, Chicago, The Guess Who,Seals and Croft, Joni Mitchell, Temptations, Ten Years After, Faces, Grand Funk, James Brown,Sha Na Na, Bette Midler, Commander Cody, the Beach Boys (during their very first comeback tour in Grand Haven of all places) the list can go on and on, but I never saw the Who.
My (older and only) sister Sue was there when they came to the Silverdome in December of 1975. It was the first concert held at the dome and set a record for largest attendance for a one act performance at an indoor concert until Led Zep eclipsed them in April of 77 also at the Silverdome.
Sue said it was “ loud, crazy, packed and one helluva show”.
She would kow, having begun her concert-going career by twice joining the screaming hordes at Beatle concerts in Detroit and Chicago circa mid 60’s (I was way too young to go). Yes, my big sis was pretty familiar with loud, crazy, and packed venues and this one certainly fit the bill.
And now what remains of the band is coming to GR on May 7th.
Things have changed since those earlier concert cruising days. I no longer stand the whole time among the rabble with lighter in hand for the encore since everyone seems to use phones anyway and standing for hours isn’t among my favorite things to do. Also, I don’t want to be planted in some nosebleed section or off to the side because ‘I can (no longer) see for miles’ (Lyrical reference for those unfamiliar with their music).
No, if I’m seeing The Who I would want to be as up front as I could. Perhaps the floor seating right at the center of the stage. After all I’m older and all so I should indulge myself with some prime seating right?
So I checked and there were tickets available right where I wanted to be. I could have the seat of my dreams to watch the two septuagenarians (Daltry, 75 and Townsend, 74 in May) left from the original four members rocking it out in my home city and quite possibly, to coin an appropriate phrase, ‘talkin bout my generation’.
A mere $2786 per ticket was what I saw posted but it said if I didn’t act early the price might be going up.
Unfortunately the Tigers are taking on the Angels that night and I will be tied up watching the game.
No not at the ballpark, at home.
As the band put it so well in 1971.
"Don’t get fooled again”.
By Karissa Niehoff, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations
and Mark Uyl, Executive Director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association
If you are the mother or father of a high school athlete here in Michigan, this message is primarily for you.
When you attend an athletic event that involves your son or daughter, cheer to your heart’s content, enjoy the camaraderie that high school sports offer and have fun. But when it comes to verbally criticizing game officials or coaches, cool it.
Make no mistake about it. Your passion is admired, and your support of the hometown team is needed. But so is your self-control. Yelling, screaming and berating the officials humiliates your child, annoys those sitting around you, embarrasses your child’s school and is the primary reason Michigan has an alarming shortage of high school officials.
It’s true. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Sports Officials, more than 75 percent of all high school officials say “adult behavior” is the primary reason they quit. And 80 percent of all young officials hang up their stripes after just two years of whistle blowing. Why? They don’t need your abuse.
Plus, there’s a ripple effect. There are more officials over 60 than under 30 in many areas. And as older, experienced officials retire, there aren’t enough younger ones to replace them. If there are no officials, there are no games. The shortage of registered high school officials is severe enough in some areas that athletic events are being postponed or cancelled—especially at the freshman and junior varsity levels.
Research confirms that participation in high school sports and activities instills a sense of pride in school and community, teaches lifelong lessons like the value of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitates the physical and emotional development of those who participate. So, if the games go away because there aren’t enough men and women to officiate them, the loss will be infinitely greater than just an “L” on the scoreboard. It will be putting a dent in your community’s future.
If you would like to be a part of the solution to the shortage of high school officials, you can sign up to become an MHSAA-registered official on the “Officials” page at www.mhsaa.com. Otherwise, adult role models at high school athletic events here in Michigan are always welcome.
The Series Continues: Good News On Cancer, Music As A Message, Barbara Bush Steps In For Her Sister, And...
This week the January Series, the consistently enlightening talk fest continues its remote site run at the Dogwood Center. The free presentations start at 12:30pm and end promptly at 1:30pm and with a 24 hour notice you can enjoy a satisfying lunch (a mere five bucks, just call 231.924.8885 ) as you listen and perhaps even learn a bit.
We asked our friend Sherrie Harris, a veteran of this annual exercise of education in edification, to share her thoughts about the first two folks who took to the lectern last week.
“I'm hooked - AGAIN. Been enjoying the Calvin Series at the Dogwood from the first year Fremont was added as a remote webcast site. And the first two sessions were just as thought provoking and enjoyable as sessions of previous years.
“The Calvin Prison Initiative was eye opening and amazing - the accomplishments and testimonials of the men at Handlon prison in Ionia that are a part of the program and were shared during the presentation will stay with me for a very long time.
“The words of Arthur Brooks on Friday remind me that "civility" and "tolerance" are not a high enough standard to bring America together - we need and deserve love. We need to stand up to people who agree with us on behalf of those who disagree with us - hard to do. We need to break the bad habit of talking contemptuously of people by practicing warm-heartedness - answer with kindness and love. Thirteen more sessions for this year and looking forward to everyone of them!”
FINALLY, SOME GOOD NEWS ABOUT CANCER
Dr. Cheng-Ho Jimmy Lin is the Chief Scientific Officer of Oncology, at Natera. Most recently, he led the clinical genomics program at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. He was part of one of the first clinical genomics labs in academia at Washington University in St. Louis and led the computational analyses of the first ever exome sequencing studies in cancer, including breast, colorectal, pancreatic, glioblastoma, medulloblastoma, and melanoma at Johns Hopkins. He has published in top academic journals, such as Science, Nature, and Cell, and has been an expert in national and international media outlets, such as The New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Washington Post.
GROWING YOUNG: HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE DISCOVER AND LOVE THE CHURCH
In the midst of the discouraging reports about the aging and decline of churches today, what steps do savvy churches take that help them best love and serve teenagers and young adults? Kara Powell is the executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute and associate professor of youth and family ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary who will be addressing this question and many like it in her talk. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch,” she is the author or coauthor of several books, including Growing Young and Sticky Faith, and a regular speaker at national leadership and youth ministry conferences across the country.
FINDING REFUGE ON THE STAGE
Mariela Shaker is an accomplished Syrian violinist and award winning refugee advocate who survived the war in Syria and the University of Aleppo attack in January 2013. During her time at the university, she was the youngest violin teacher at the Arabic Institute of Music, where she risked death every day commuting between home and the Institute to create beauty through her violin and inspire children to pursue their dreams. Having received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she fled to the United States to further study music with a full scholarship to Monmouth College. Unable to return home, Mariela was granted refugee status in the US. She was named a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama and appointed a UNHCR High Profile Supporter in 2015. Since then she has received a number of additional awards including the Points of Light Award in 2017 and the Anne Frank Honorary Award in 2018. She has performed at prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, United Nations, among others and has traveled to Hong Kong, Netherlands, UK, Geneva, UAE and all over the US using her music to build bridges, promote peace, and raise awareness of the plights of refugees.
NOTE: Due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts with NBC, Jenna Bush Hager is unable to fulfill her commitment to speak at the January Series. Her sister, Barbara Pierce Bush, has graciously agreed to fill in.
A MODERATED CONVERSATION WITH BARBARA PIERCE BUSH
Barbara Bush co-founded Global Health Corps (GHC) in 2009 to mobilize a global community of young leaders to build the movement for health equity. To-date, GHC has fostered over 900 young leaders who believe health is a human right and who take an innovative approach to solving some of the world’s biggest global health challenges. In 2015, Barbara was recognized as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Previously, she worked at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Red Cross Children’s Hospital in South Africa, UNICEF in Botswana, and the UN World Food Program. Barbara is a member of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee and on the Board of Directors of Covenant House International, PSI, and the UN’s Social Entrepreneurship Council.
SEARCHING FOR THE IMAGE OF GOD IN A DIGITAL AGE
Craig Detweiler is an author, filmmaker, theologian, and cultural commentator recently named the third president of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. Previously he was professor of Communication and creative director of the Institute for Entertainment, Media and Culture at Pepperdine University. He is the author of several books on technology and culture including iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives and most recently Selfies: Searching for the Image of God in a Digital Age. Craig’s cultural commentary has been featured on ABC’s Nightline, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
There you go, folks. A great way to take an early afternoon break from a winter’s day while gathering some interesting information along the way.
And be sure to peruse the selection of books on display in the lobby courtesy of the Friends of the Fremont Library.
The Newaygo County Democratic Party (NCDP) invites all interested people to its first general meeting of 2019 on Monday, January 14, from 6pm to 7pm. It will be held at Spanky’s Pizza, 1042 W Main Street, Fremont. A social “meet & greet” will be held prior to the meeting at 5:30pm.
“Last year our Newaygo County community members expressed loud and clear what their concerns are: affordable health care without precondition restrictions, funding our public schools so all of our children receive quality education, keeping Michigan’s environment free from contamination, and assuring livable wages that will support families are just a few,” states Teresa Kpachavi, Vice Chair of NCDP.
“Our schools, healthcare and environment are being weakened through new laws passed by our current administration. These changes are happening at both the state and national levels and will negatively impact the quality of life for ourselves and our children for decades to come. Education and action are the keys to keeping changes in check and to assure multi-partisan input that speaks to the concerns of all people,” added Sally Wagoner of the Communications Committee.
“We invite community members to tell us how the Democratic Party can support their needs and concerns in our political system, both locally and nationally. We will work together to hold our representatives accountable to the people, and not put personal or corporate interests above the needs of our communities,” added Teresa. “Newaygo County had one of the biggest voter turn outs in recent history last November. Keeping up that momentum through education and action is needed to making sure our voices are heard and our votes counted.”
The Newaygo County Democratic Party holds monthly meetings on the 2nd Monday of every month. For more information visit the website at www.newaygocodems.org; call 231.709.9007; or sign up for e-news, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Friends of Fremont Area District Library are pleased to be hosting book sales during the Calvin College January 2019 Series. Fifteen speakers will be presenting live at Calvin College on selected weekdays during the month of January and aired at the The Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts, located at 4734 S. Campus Court in Fremont. The college offers a remote broadcast of these varied and informative speakers. Musician, oncologist, astronaut, advocate, costume designer, professor, theologian, social scientist – just a few of the hats worn by the presenters.
Here is just a small sampling of the books that will be available for sale at the Dogwood during the January series.
Sisters First: Stories from our Wild and Wonderful Life, by educator, author, contributing correspondent on NBC's Today show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine, Jenna Bush Hager. She co- authored this book with her fraternal twin sister, Barbara Pierce Bush. She also collaborated on two children’s books with her mother, former First Lady, Laura Bush, which will be available for purchase at the series.
A Path Appears by award winning author/storyteller/columnist, Nicholas Kristof, is a discussion of his past 30 years of covering the world as a journalist, most recently for the New York Times. Other books that he has written or collaborated on will be for sale as well including, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Thunder from the East and China Rising.
Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances, by former Detroit Lion wide receiver, now engineer and NASA astronaut, Leland D. Melvin will be available during the series. This is his moving memoir of overcoming obstacles and going from being a star to going to the stars.
Please look for The Friends of the FADL at their sales table during the events at the Dogwood if you would like to purchase a book. Payment for books by cash and check only. The series is FREE of charge and open to the public. Brown bag it or reserve a lunch by calling the Dogwood . Complete listing of the series speakers and more information on times and lunch purchase can be found at www.dogwoodcenter.com.
Ok, the holidays are over and the new year is upon us. We are about to enter the segment of winter that resembles a meteorological abyss when gray skies reign and layering dominates any clothing decision.
A little mind stimulation seems in order.
One of the best deals around is starting at the Dogwood Center tomorrow (Thursday) when the rather remarkable and thought provoking January Series comes to town via a live webcast. If part of your resolution package included things such as developing a more open mind, expanding one’s world views, exploring new ideas and reflecting on issues heretofore not considered here’s an opportunity to jump start your year of personal growth.
And it’s free.
There are 15 lectures on the docket and while you may not agree with some of the concepts and material brought forth, the presentations delivered by this diverse group will rarely leave you thinking “meh”.
Over the years I have been moved, angered, charmed, inspired, entertained and enlightened by the series. I’ve attended some with great anticipation, being familiar with the speaker, and have not once been disappointed. I’ve taken a chance and shown up at others where it didn’t seem likely that I would relate much to the subject matter and come away with a new perspective.
AND...because it’s a big and…
For a mere five bucks, one flimsy fin, you get lunch.
Well, not tomorrow (Thursday) because you need to give them 24 hour notice (call 231.924.8885) but my experience is that it is consistently a good lunch and well worth the price (did I mention it’s just a fiver?). The source generally varies from local eateries but as I said, unfailingly enjoyable.
The Series kicks off Thursday (Jan 3) with Todd Cioffi speaking to “The Transformative And Redemptive Power Of (A Christian) Education”
No, it’s not about whether to send your kids to a parochial school, this guy is the director of the Calvin Prison Initiative a program bringing a Christian Liberal Arts Education to inmates at Handlon Prison in Ionia.
I recall taking a Criminal Justice class from George Zeeff a professor at GRCC. Those who may have been fortunate enough to have taken one of his classes would likely verify as to his depth of knowledge when it came to the CJ system. Mr Zeeff maintained that education was the primary weapon against recidivism and that lack of education was a critical element among the factors that led people to be incarcerated. His arguent was compelling and few could disagree with his logic or his statistics.
Well, this program, CPI, enables inmates to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in 5 years.
Definitely worth a listen.
Friday (and you have time to reserve a lunch) check out Arthur Brooks who spent nearly a decade heading upma conservative think tank and will speak to the polarization we have been experiencing in our country, some of its roots and what we can do about it. His talk is titled “Bringing America Together” a topic we could sorely use these days of divisiveness.
The talks start at 12:30pm and end promptly at 1:30pm. A great way to give the brain a bit of a workout over your lunch hour.
And did I mention the lunch deal?
Time to close the door on fast-moving home fires
By: Travis Kroll, Captain, Newaygo Fire Department
In today’s world, consumers expect everything to happen fast. A hot meal at the door in 30 minutes or less. Groceries delivered in a matter of hours. Coffee order ready for pickup at the push of a button. In many cases, speed makes our lives a little bit easier. But when it comes to fire, speed is killing people in their homes.
The pace at which a fire races through a home has increased at a dramatic and deadly rate. About 40 years ago, people had an average of 17 minutes to escape a burning home after the activation of a smoke alarm. Today, that window has shrunk to about three minutes or less. Natural furnishings and building materials have given way to synthetics, which burn much faster. Combine that with the popularity of open floor plans and it becomes the perfect habitat for an escalating fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 379,000 residential structure fires in the US in 2017. As a result, they saw 10,600 civilian injuries and 2,630 civilian deaths.
What if a simple act – one that takes under 10 seconds to complete – could have a potentially life-saving impact during a fire? Would you do it?
In the event of a fire, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) found that rooms with closed doors had average temperatures of less than 100 degrees and 100 ppm of carbon monoxide, compared to 1000+ degrees and over 10,000ppm of carbon monoxide in the rooms with open doors.
Lexi King survived a house fire by closing her door. Her family, however, wasn’t as lucky.
Lexi liked to sleep with her bedroom door closed, but her brother’s was always open. When an overnight fire destroyed their Texas home, she was the only one to survive. Both her brother and parents died in the fire.
“What I had was a closed door. I had oxygen. I had time to collect my thoughts. I had time to prepare myself,” said King. “There literally is not a day that has gone by that I haven't thought of them and their beauty that they brought.”
Each day our department responds to a variety of calls, some more easily controlled than others. This is why we are leading a campaign across the community to encourage a simple behavioral change – “Close Before You Doze.”
In partnership with UL FSRI, we want every family to make sure they close all of their doors – bedrooms, bathrooms and basement – at night in order to starve any potential fire of the oxygen it requires to grow. It will give you much more time to escape.
To increase your chances of survival during a fast-moving house fire, we suggest the following:
After a fire starts, there's very little time to act. Take these fire safety and prevention steps today and you'll sleep easier at night.
By Holly Moon, Newaygo County Treasurer
As a county treasurer, my focus every day is to advocate for the taxpayers I serve. That means being prudent with your money, investing in our local economies, and making our voices heard when it can make a difference in the lives of our families, neighbors and communities. That’s why I’m speaking out now — because we have a real opportunity to protect taxpayers and free up funds for investing in our communities.
During this lame duck session, Congress has an opportunity to protect our communities and taxpayers from the negative impact of rising interest rates. There is bipartisan legislation ready to be voted on that would protect our local governments from higher interest rates and borrowing costs by restoring money market funds as an important source of low-cost capital.
H.R. 2319 in the House and S. 1117 in the Senate would effectively reverse a harmful Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation adopted a few years ago that increased borrowing costs for local governments, making infrastructure projects and other investments more expensive. This legislation has the support of more than 300 national, state and local organizations, including the Michigan Association of County Treasurers, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Association of State Universities, Michigan Association of Counties, and the Michigan Municipal League.
As of result of the SEC regulation, investors shifted $1.2 trillion in assets from money market funds that support local economies to funds that invest strictly in U.S. government debt. According to a recent study by Treasury Strategies, state and local government entities in Michigan lost over $2 billion in funding from tax-exempt money market funds between January 2016 and April 2018.
State and local governments, and the citizens they represent, have in recent years taken the brunt of Washington policy decisions that only seem to benefit the largest and most politically-connected Wall Street firms. Reversing the SEC’s money fund rule is one thing Congress can do to benefit our local communities in Michigan and throughout the country.
That’s why a broad coalition of elected leaders, public- and private-sector finance officers, trade unions and local chambers of commerce are calling on Michigan’s congressional delegation to support H.R. 2319 and S. 1117. This legislation will allow our state and local governments to utilize lower-cost borrowing options, increase investments in infrastructure projects that benefit our communities, and provide increased economic opportunities for our citizens.
As I’m sure you know, there is a group of individuals who have asked for the 3 Wisemen to be removed. I have started a petition to show that OUR community wants has a voice and we want them to stay put. Here is the link!! They have been displayed since 1941 I believe. This tradition needs to continue.
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