Thursday, December 30, 2010

Alpine Township Fire Stations

Alpine Township officials took advantage of the offer by the Alpine Township Fire Department to tour the three Township Fire Stations to get better acquainted with the premises, vehicles, and equipment, and to help identify some much needed repairs.  Because the majority of the Board of Trustees would be present, the event was noticed out as a meeting.  Special attention was paid to cooling and heating, parking lot repair, general appearance, and utilization of space.  "On call" Alpine Township firefighters respond to nearly a thousand medical emergency and fire calls a year.

From left to right, Clerk Jean Wahlfield, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Lasko, Trustee Ted Wallace, Treasurer Jim Townsend, Trustee Jim May, Fire Chief Ron Christian, and Trustee Bill Schweitzer.  Taking this picture was Supervisor Alex Arends.  Trustee Ron Cordes was out of town.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Breakfast at the Township

Alpine Township Employees coming to work this morning were treated to breakfast thanks to the generosity and cooking skills of Alpine Township Assessor Betty Keeling.  Betty must have arrived well before dawn, as employees arriving at work were welcomed by the wonderful aroma of eggs with sausage and other ingredients made on a skillet, baked oats, and coffee. The food tasted absolutely fantastic and everyone was happy with the oppportunity of fellowship.  Thanks, Betty!

Betty Keeling prepared and provided breakfast for the entire staff.


Those who appreciated Betty's Christmas gesture were from left to right:  Gary Campbell, Pat Kolkman, Alex Arends, Beth Alt, Sue Thomas, Jim Townsend, Ron Christian, Jean Wahlfield, and Julie Burelski.  Betty is in the foreront.  Missing in the picture are Bob Devereaux and Erin Randall.

Touring Reindeer Make Stop at Alpine Township Library

About forty children were on hand at the Alpine Township  Branch of the Kent District Library as several reindeer arrived tonight.  It was all part of a tour sponsored by the library.  The children enjoyed not only seeing the reindeer but also being able  to touch and pet them.  Several of Santa's helpers were on hand to answer questions from the audience.  Those present learned that the reindeer are generally found in Scandinavia.  Also interesting to learn was that the average life span of a reindeer is approximately 14 years, although it is 10 years in Scandinavia, due to worse weather conditions..  One of the children asked if these reindeer coud fly, and was informed that in order for the reindeer to fly, they need special sprinkling dust that only Santa can provide.  The reindeer were provided by Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farms in Clare, Michigan.  Kids who stopped in the library were treated to a candy cane

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Comstock Park Rotarians Help Santa Girls

Tom and Eleanore Bereza

Alpine Township Hall was full of activity Saturday morning as hundreds of presents were sorted and distributed to Santa's helpers as part of the Santa Girls projects sponsored in part by the Grand Rapids Press.  Distribution and delivery of the several hundred packages was spearheaded by Nancy Mulder, Manager of the Comstock Park Branch of the Kent District Library and an active Rotarian.  Dozens of Comstock Park Rotarians, their families and friends volunteered to deliver the packages going to local recipients.

Committee Chairperson Nancy Muder with husband Steve and grandaughter
Looking over the map.  At left Bernie Spuit, at right, Ed Hood

Thursday, December 16, 2010

YMCA Offers Programs in Comstock Park Area

The Wolverine World Wide YMCA offers programs and classes in the Alpine Township and Comstock Park area and to participate, you don't have to be a YMCA Member. This includes pre-school and youth swimmig lessons at the Alpine Slopes Swiming Pool, 4285 Alpenhorn Dr. NW,  Baby Sitting Classes at Mill Creek Middle School, 100 Betty St. NE,   and Personal Safety classes  ("Safe on my Own" at Pine Island Elementary School, 6101 Pine Island Dri. NE.  There is a charge for these programs and classes but scholarships are available for those experiencing financial hardships.  Call The YMCA at 363-3000 or download the registration form by clicking here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shop with the Sheriff

Shop with the Sheriff is just another program that demonstrates the high level of dedication offered by the officers and staff of the Kent County Sheriff Department. 65 local children were selected by local schools and community service agencies to join deputies and other officers from the Sheriff Department to do some serious shopping.  The kids shared a ride with the officers from Sam's Club's parking lot and were dropped off at the doorstep of the Walmart store,  40 police vehicles were counted with sirens and lights on, creating a parade type atmosphere.  On their way in, the kids received a $100 gift card for them to use with the stipulation that 75% or more be spent on clothes, shoes, and sundries. Once inside the store, they were met by Santa and his elfs.  Santa also had plenty of helpers, in fact there were enough deputies on hand to assist all of the young shoppers.

Alpine Township commends the Kent County Sheriff's Department,  the deputies who patrol our Township, our community policing officer Nate Ertle, the generous donors from the community, and Walmart for their contribution and participation.

 40 Sheriff vehicles lined up by Sam's Club at 7:30 am.

 Deputies awaiting the arrival of the 65 kids

 Sheriff vehicles almost surround Walmart

 Some of the kids and deputies surrounding Santa

 Santa picked up a few things as well; things he forgot to take when he left the North Pole
 Outerware was in big demand

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Alpine Firefighters Association Breakfast with Santa

The Alpine Firefighters Association hosted their first Breakfast with Santa at the Family Center of Holy Trinity Church.  Breakfast was from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM, with guest appearances by Santa Claus.

The Association thanks everyone who attended and who undoubtedly will see this as an annual event.

 Just a few of the firefighters  and two future firefighters who cooked up a teriffic breakfast

 From left to right, Joe Schweitzer, Jon Jenkins and Chief Ron Christians were pleased with the attendance
She offered to play Santa but her mom, Erin Bueschel would not let her

Alpine Township Treasurer Jim Townsend and wife Maureen being attended by firefighter  Jon Jenkins 

Steady streams of supporters showed up for five hours

Santa Arriving by Santa Express!

It was just as expected. 9:30 AM rolled around as did Engine 2635 of the Marquette Rail.. It stopped at the old train depot in the back of Dwight Lydell Park much to the delight of the several hundred spectators. Sure enough, Santa and Mrs Claus took the time to get off the train and aided by a large group of elves, passed our candy canes to all the youngsters in the crowd. Wayne, the Marquette Rail conductor for the day even passed out several Christmas trees to deserving families, courtesy of Jim Nickelson's Christmas Tree Farms. Then it was on to Sparta, to greet more kids, and then numerous other stops on the way to Manistee to make other kids happy. The smiles on the faces of the children more than expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to see Santa and his entourage.

This was also a well deserved break for Santa's reindeer, which are on tour themselves and are expected to visit the Alpine Township KDL Library at 5255 Alpine NW in Comstock Park on Wednesday December 22 2010 at 5:00 PM. All are welcome there as well.
 Right on time, and all decked out for Christmas

 Off the train and right to work
 Everyone was happy

 Not only happy but all were good too

 Santa's helpers came in all sizes
 Wayne the conductor was pleased with the large turn out.

 The elves were very busy.

 Time to go

Time to go, must stay on schedule. Thank you, Marquette Rail!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

… 'we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and our Nation'.
…'let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God'.

Excerpts from President Obama's Thanksgivings Day Proclamation, November 23, 2010.

"Give Thanks unto the Lord for He is Good"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Santa Arriving by Santa Express!

Santa and Mrs Claus
It was just leaked that on Saturday, December 11, 2010 Santa will once again be touring West Michigan Communities in search of good boys and girls .  Santa and Mrs. Claus  will be using the Santa Express to visit fifteen communites, beginning  his tour at Comstock Park and ending in Manistee. His itinerary has the train stop for 20 minutes at 9:30 am at the Comstock Park Depot at the rear of Dwight Lydell Park, off West River Road.

To commemorate this milestone occasion, Marquette Rail has partnered with Jim Nickelson’s Christmas Trees and will be distributing trees at each stop to lucky drawing winners who have been pre selected.  Marquette Rail will operate its fifth annual Santa Express on Saturday, December 11th, between Grand Rapids and Manistee. Other locally scheduled stops include Sparta, at 10:15, at Division and Crossing, Kent City 10:40 am till 10:50 am at Main St. Crossing,  Casnovia 11:00 am till 11:10 am Main St. /Kenowa Ave Crossing,  Grant 11:30 am till 11:50 am at the  Grant Depot, and Newaygo 12:15 till2:25 at the River Street Crossing.

 The famous Santa Express operated by Marquette Rail
Santa and Mrs Claus love stoppng at Comstock Park

Alpine Firefighters Association Host Pancake Breakfast with Santa

The Alpine Firefighters Association is having its first annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa December 11th, from 8AM to 1PM, at the Holy Trinity Church Gymnasium, 1200 Alpine Church Rd NW.  Come eat pancakes, sausage, eggs, served up by your local hero's. The money raised will help the association purchase equipment to help the Fire Department in Alpine Twp, as well as help provide fire prevention education, and to help fellow Fire, Police and EMS professionals in times of need. Donations will be accepted at the door, and there will be fire trucks, an ambulance, and a police car on display.

The Alpine Firefighters Association is committed to the promotion of fire safety and education, and community involvement.
From: Brian Stalsonburg

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Ash Basketry and Birch Canoes

Kevin Finney

It was as informative as it was entertaining.  Kevin Finney, education and research director of Ancient Pathways, a cultural resource group, presented a program at the Alpine Township Community Room on Indian Trails and how to make black ash baskets and birch canoes.  Part of the program was the viewing of a locally produced movie produced with the help of Kevin called: "Black Ash Basketry: A Story of Cultural Resilience  The movie acquainted the audience with the Pigeon family, a family that has done basket weaving for generations.  It talks about the family bonds that  continue to be established  by everybody in their family participating in this activity, which is not just about the weaving but also the selection of the trees and the stripping of the layers or wood.  A significant amount of time was spent discussing the emerald ash borer, a beetle that is threatening to extinguish black ash tree.  Members if the Pigeon family suggest that nature be allowed to take its course, rather than interfere with chemicals

Kevin Finney   is a cultural historian and educator who specializes in the life and history of Great Lakes region Native Americans. He is part scholar -- hired by schools, museums and historical sites all over the country for his expertise -- and part woodsman who tans his own deer hides. 

Kevin Finney also assisted 5th grade students to build a birch bark canoe using only primitive tools.  The canoe was entered in the 2010 Art Prize Festival in Grand Rapids.

Members of the Historical Commission as well as all in attendance were pleased to have Kevin present a terrific program. 

 Young and old enjoyed the presentation

 Kevin answering some of the questions for the audience

Kevin Finney

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Comstock Park Foundation Holiday Tree Silent Auction and Spaghetti Dinner

The Comstock Park School Foundation hosted its annual Holiday Tree Silent Auction and Spaghetti Dinner tonight.  Forty trees, decorated by area businesses and organizations were on display, some of them raising well over $100.00 each.  The Alpine Township entry raised $60 this year, and was recognized as the "Most Traditional Tree".  The theme for the Township entry this year was "Let it Snow".

Music was provided by the voices of the kindergartners through second graders. Art from students through high school was also on display.  Attendance was perhaps a little higher than anticipated, but there was enough pasta, spaghetti sauce, bread sticks, and salad to feed everybody.

 Alpine Township's entry,"Let is Snow" prepared by our staff, raised $60 and was awarded recognition for "Most Traditional Entry"

 The event was well attended

 The Pasta wad great!

 Alpine Township Fire Chief Ron Christians and his wife Betty in the serving line

Some attribute the large attendance to the marketing of the world  famous Spaghetti Sauce from the kitchen of Janine Fidler.

Missy McPherson

McKenzie Kibbe, a Senior, and President of the Comstock Park Student Volunteers was one of a number of students who helped clear the tables
Superintendent Ethan Ebenstein  after being relieved from kitchen duty.

Manufactured in Alpine Township

There is a lot of buzz about the Chevrolet VOLT as earlier this month it was named  Motor Trend's "Car of the Year".  Some anoint the VOLT as the first fully electric powered car in the world, but it is more likely that such was built right here in Alpine Township!

Tim Kidder at K & K Manufacturing, 951 9 Mile Road NW,  a leading supplier of parts for 107, 111, 113, and 190 chassis Mercedes Benz cars, last year created the first fully electric powered Mercedes 190 for a client in California.

The car weighs a little over 2,000 lbs despite containing over 200 battery cells which can be found under the hood, in the trunk, and behind the seats.  It runs without a charge for up to around a hundred miles. 

While the vehicle may not be running off the assembly line soon, it is still great to be able to claim that one of the first fully electric powered automobiles was manufactured right here in Alpine Township. More information and videos can be viewed at the company website.

Tim Kidder and son recently stopped by the Township office to demonstrate their electric car which was back home for maintenance. It is definitely a vehicle intended for a sunny California climate as it has no roof or side windows. 
 A look inside the trunk

 A peek under the hood