Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Snakes Come Alive at the Alpine KDL Library

Alpine Township Hall was not the place to be this morning if you are afraid of snakes. Yet over a dozen pre-schoolers braved the dangers and enjoyed a library program featuring some not so live snakes. The kids did not seem fazed in any way, but parents and grandparents stayed in the rear of the building.

Laura Weld, Library Manager with make believe friend

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring is in the Air

It is as if Winter never even happened. Activities at the Alpine Township Sports Complex today included practices for the FC Alliance U14 Soccer Teams, and the Elite Baseball Team of the Grand Rapids Area Baseball League

It didn't take long for players to get their wind back.

Coach Zsolt Bertalan (center) leading drills. Zsolt is one of the most experienced soccer coaches in Michgan

Practicing their skill sets

Anticipating the ball

This team is almost ready to travel to Virginia for a tournament

Waiting for the boys to finish practice so the young ladies can take their turn.

Spring Training

Not Lakeland FL, but Alpine Twp MI

Covering the outfield

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Captain Underpants, REAP

Alpine Township library offered crafts and games at Alpine Township Hall Wednesday featuring Captain Underpants.

Captain Underpants is a series of American children's books written by Dav Pilkey about two fourth graders, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, and the aptly-named superhero they accidentally create by hypnotizing their principal, Mr. Benny Krupp. The book series won a Disney Adventures Kids Choice Award in 2007.

The kids created capes, comix, and much more. All who attended had their names deciphered and given new names.

Live from Alpine Township Hall, this is Stinky Diaper Nose reporting.

Visiting the Purple Potty People

Once the attendees created and put on their own cape, they becamse invincible

Kids could create their own comix books


Members of REAP (Ridge Economic Agricultural Partners) met at the Alpine Township Community Center and discussed achievements and developed and set goals and priorities for the upcoming year. The meeting was facilitated by Betty Blase, Kent County Extension Director.

Many of the attendees were from Alpine Township including current president, Sharon Steffens (Standing)

Betty Blase (right) from MSU Extension Services facilitated the planning process.
In 1998, REAP was established to counter the depressed agricultural economy on the "Ridge." The economic situation was due to the greatly increased import of apple juice concentrate from China and the loss of markets for Michigan apple juice concentrate. In addition, a May, 1998 windstorm did multi-millions of dollars damage to trees, homes, and farm buildings on the "Ridge."

A Steering Committee made up of farmers, local government officials, agri-business and representatives of the Michigan Cooperative Extension Service worked together to develop solutions to the local economy. A value-added economic agent of the Cooperative Extension Service was hired with grant funding from Project Greeen, the Frey Foundation and the Urban Cooperation Board for a period of three years. Value-added Extension Agent, Dianne Novak, was effective in developing programming particularly in the value-added area, fresh apple slice research, and in creating the Fruit Ridge Country Market Guide and this website.

At the end of the grant cycle, the Steering Committee took over the organization, developed bylaws and Articles of Incorporation and elected a Board of Directors. REAP is now a 501 (c ) (3) charitable, educational organization enabling it to apply for and receive grants. REAP is now licensed under Michigan State law and assigned the number MICS/CT 30647.

Click here to download the Fruit Ridge Country Market Guide in Adobe PDF format. Continued education programming is planned. Membership dues are $15 per year. Persons wishing to contact REAP can write Sharon Steffens, President, 6690 Walker Ave. N. W., Grand Rapids, MI 49544, call by phone at 616-784-2821616-784-2821 , or email info@fruitridgemarket.com.

Monday, March 22, 2010

One of the several businesses slated for Alpine Township this year is Bueschel,s Funeral Home scheduled to be built upon the removal or demolition of the home currently occupying the property.

Brent Bueschel is anxious to get his business off the ground. Brent has many ties to North West Kent County. He looks foeward to serving the community.

For Those in Peril

While competing with Michigan State Men's Basketball, 45 community members still showed up at the Alpine Township Community Room to enjoy a program by Craig Rich on Shipwrecks of Ottawa County. The audience was captivated by the audio/visual presentation that transformed the wrecks on the bottom of Lake Michigan into the spirits of those who died in the tragedies.
Some of the members in the audience

The audience was totally captivated

Author and shipwreck enthusiast Craig Rich autographing a copy of his book "For those in Peril" for Kit Post, Treasurer of the Alpine Township Historical Commission

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Those in Peril - Shipwrecks of Ottawa County

Craig Rich, author of "Those in Peril, Shipwrecks of Ottawa County" will be the featured speaker at the Sunday, March 21 Alpine Historical Open House at the Alpine Township Community Room, 2015 Seven Mile Road. Doors open at 2 p.m. Free admission and refreshments are served.

Searching for sunken ships off the Lakeshore in West Michigan has been Craig 's passion for almost two decades. He is a founding member of Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates, His book chronicles more than 100 ships — from early wooden sailing vessels to giant Great Lakes freighters — that have sunk beneath the waves of Lake Michigan.
at 2:05 PM

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans

On Thursday, the Comstock Park Rotary Club met at the Swann Inn on Alpine Ave. Guests were Timothy Eernisse, Development and Marketing Manager for WGVU Television, and Jeff Meulendyk, with Sons for the American Legion Detachment. The topic was an upcoming event at the the Fifth Third Ball Park for Vietnam Veterans on July 3rd called "LZ (Landing Zone) MICHIGAN". It is a Welcome Home event for Vietnam Veterans. The plan is to have a proper but non-intrusive "Thank You" for all Vietnam Veterans, particularly those who never received a proper "Welcome Home". With this state wide event being held in our own back yard, we encourage Alpine Township's participation.

Tim Eernessy (left) Jeff Meulendyk and Comstock Park Rotary President Tom Bereza

Identity Theft Prevention

On Friday the Comstock Park Post Office offered free shredding to all Comstock Park residents. In addition to the shredding, the Post Office offered several Identity Theft Prevention Tips to all who participated. Many residents took advantage of this event and brought in old tax papers, check books and other financial records to see them shredded before their very eyes. Post Office patrons also enjoyed complimentary coffee and cookies for the day. The event was co=sponsored by West Michigan Document Shredding of Jenison.

Comstock Park Postmaster Terri Vanden Bos (right) assisting with shredding.

West Michigan Document Shredding Staff Member with Comstock Park Postmaster
Terry Vannen Bos on his right (your left) and Kathy Hansen, Consumer Affairs Manager for the Umited States Postal Service.

New Fire Alpine Township Engine

Last week,some of the Alpine Township Fire Department staff visited Spartan Chassis, Inc. a US manufacturer of chassis for military vehicles, ambulances, rescue vehicles and fire trucks to check on the status of the new Fire Truck that is scheduled for delivery aounf the first of Juy. The chassis is near completion and the truck will then go to Spencer Manufacturing in South Haven Michigan for customization. The truck is expected to be delived as scheduled.

While the date stamps on the photos indicate several years the future, the new truck is scheduled for delivery in July of 2010.

So far the truck meets all the Fire Deoartment's expectations.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Alpine Township Firefighters met at Cranberry Lake this morning hoping to train in cold water rescue operations. Unfortunately the ice was too thick to penetrate safely so the rescue operation had to be postponed for another day.

Everyone was a little disappointed that the rescue training operation had to be called off.

Looks like firefighters are coming back from an exhaustive operation

Cranberry Lake this morning. In addition to the firefighters, there were a few ice fishermen on the lake.
Bringing back the gear
Captain Jim Kremer from Fire Station #1 demonstrating one of the water rescue suits that would have been worn by rescue personnel during the excercise.

Hunger in America

Last Thursday the Comstock Park Rotary, which normally meets at the Swan Inn on Alpine Ave, met at the corporate office of Feeding America, formally known as West Michigan Gleamers. The warehouse and offices are located in Comstock Park just across from Alpine Township.

Feeding America is a network of individuals, local food banks, national offices, as well as corporate and government partners. Together, they are bigger, better, stronger and more efficient than the sum of their parts. They feel that working as a cohesive system is the only way they can truly solve the hunger crisis.
Feeding America works with large corporate donors to secure food and grocery products on a national level to distribute, as needed, to local food banks. The relationship that the Feeding America organization builds with larger corporations also helps facilitate a relationship between your local food bank and your local grocery store, for example.
To view a copy of their current newsletter, The Full Plate Press, click here .

Through a grant process, Feeding America provides national funding to local food banks. It’s easier and more efficient for a single, larger charity to procure grants, than it would be for many local food banks to compete for a limited amount of funds. The grants that the organization receives are most often created to fund innovation at the local level, so that food banks can test new and better ways to secure and distribute food.

Because they’re a national organization, they can work toward ensuring that all food bank members across the country are equally and properly trained. They also help set standards for food safety, financial systems and record keeping as well as transportation and donor relations.

Because they are a national group, it’s easier for them to give a voice to those who aren’t heard. Because of their strong relationship with the U.S. government, Feeding America is the primary recipient of government commodities, such as those from the Emergency Food Assistance Program. As a charity with national reach, they can engage the public and raise awareness of this critical issue on a national and local level.

At times of natural disaster, or simply in everyday business, working as a national organization helps them to see where needs are strongest. One local food bank may receive an excess of a certain commodity, while another is feeling a need for that product. Moving food and employees where they are needed most is a strategic advantage in the fight against hunger.
For a copy of the current newsletter, please click

Rotarians grab a quick meal

Staff/volunteers selectiong products

Executive Director John Arnold (Right) , and Rotarian Bob VanderMale

As many as one in eight people in West Michigan haven't enough to eat. Feeding America believes ending hunger is achievable by making it affordable and by supporting optimal use of readily available resources.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Take 10

“Take 10” and Help Alpine Township Get what it Needs for the Next 10 Years

In March 2010, more than 130 million addresses will receive a 2010 Census form by mail or hand delivery. The 2010 Census will document the changes in our nation since the last decennial census in 2000, and tell us how we’ve evolved as a country. Because census data affect how more than $400 billion in federal funding is distributed to tribal, state and local governments, the census also will frame the future of our country and our community for the next 10 years.

During Census 2000, the mail participation rate was 72 percent as of the April 2000 cut-off. About $85 million is saved for every one percent increase in mail participation. For these and many other reasons, we must work to encourage everyone’s participation in the census.

Here’s what you should know about the 2010 Census:

It’s easy. One of the shortest census forms in history, the 2010 Census form asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete. The individual in whose name the housing unit is rented or owned should complete the form on behalf of every person living there, both relatives and nonrelatives.

It’s important. Census data are used to reapportion seats in Congress and ensure proper district representation in state and local governments. Information from the census helps determine locations for child-care and senior centers, new roads, hospitals, schools and community centers.

It’s safe. By law, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. All Census Bureau employees take an oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

Finally, the most efficient way to respond to the 2010 Census is to complete the form as soon as it arrives and return it in the postage-paid return envelope. Census workers will visit households that do not return forms to take the count in person.

We at Alpine Township are willing to challenge any neighboring Kent County community to increase the mail participation rate and help ensure a complete and accurate count in 2010.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Haiti Foundation Against Poverty

Alpine Township's Applebee's at 3851 Alpine Ave. N.W. will be doing another benefit. This one will be for the Haiti Foundation Against Poverty. Applebee's will be donating 20% of the bill to the organization. All you are required to do is copy this page and present the attached flyers to your server on March 14th, 2010.