Friday, April 30, 2010

Thank You, Jerry Roersma

Veteran Alpine Township firefighter Jerry Roersma Jr. has retired after serving with the department for 30 years.Roersma began serving as an Alpine Township firefighter in 1980. He was soon placed in charge of the Rescue Squad, and in March 1999 he was promoted to deputy chief.He served as deputy chief until December 2003, when he resigned that post to devote more time to his church activities. He continued as a firefighter for another seven years. Even though he is now retired from the department, he will continue to serve with a new title, as a volunteer chaplain.“Jerry has served our community well as a professional firefighter,” said Alpine Fire Chief Ron Christians. In his new position as chaplain, Christians said, “Jerry will be available to provide help and assistance to department members as well as the general public. Everyone’s life passes through some type of crisis zone, and Jerry can bring guided assistance.”Roersma continues to be employed at Walker Tool and Die. He and his wife, Sue, plan to spend more time visiting with their family. (From Advance Newspapers)
Fire Chief Ron Christians (left) presents an award to Jerry Roersma as Ass't Chief Mike Lasko obsterves.
One of the many barns in Alpine Township

Apple Blossoms

Fire Department Scenes

The Alpine Township Fire Department took some pictures that reflect some of the life threatening situations they get involved in. Alpine Township has over thirty (30) dedicated on call firefighters, often unheralded heroes of our township.

This driver must have thought she was at a drive through but it was actually a Seven/Eleven store.
Please ignore the dates on these pictures, they're as goofy as this scene

This Corvette was taking a shortcut through the woods but you can't go through trees and expect to keep going.
A Path of Destruction, caused .........
.......not a Tornado, but a Corvette
On Monday April 26 2010 at about 4:00 PM, firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire on 9 Mile NW. Upon arrival they immediately began calling for mutual aid based on the amount of fire at a cement block structure. There were multiple propane tanks exposed to the flames and the fire spread to grass and woods. Nine Mile road was temporarily closed. There were no reported injuries and as of this date cause of the fire has not yet been determined,
Remnants of the structure after the fire

A few more pictures of the flash-over simulator training attended by some of our fire fighters.

You dont have to see their faces to recognize how exhausted they are

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. Supervisor!

Alpine Township supervisor Alex Arends crossed a significant milestone Tuesday as he celebrated his 65th birthday. He was surprised with a birthday cake courtesy of former County Commissioner Fritz Wahlfield and his wife Marlene.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday at Alpine Baptist Church

There are a number of soccer fields adjacent to Alpine Baptist Church which the church allows to be used by the community for youth. The program is run by former Alpine Township Soccer Director Greg Stavros,

Soccer practice for neighbourhood kids
Parents watching their kids and taking in the good weather

The weather could not have been better

Greg Stavros runs the program

Meantime, inside the church, at an Alpine Township Town Hall Meeting, residents and concerned citizens had the opportunity to give their opinion on a proposal to create a special assessment district for York Creek Apartments. The Board of Trustees appreciated hearing the many opinions expressed. About a hundred people attended.

From left to right, Trustee Ron Cordes, Supervisor Alex Arends, Treasurer Jim Townsend, Trustee Bill Schweitzer, and Clerk Jean Wahlfield

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday April 25 2010

A cold Sunday did not deter soccer enthusiasts at the Recreational Complex

Another save by the goalie

And a save by the goalie of the other side of the field

Spring Landscape looking south from 6 Mile Rd near Bristol

One more view on a cold and cloudy day

Saturday, April 24, 2010

May in April

US: Early spring warmth threatens Michigan fruit crops. The unseasonably warm weather is already waking up the buds on West Michigan fruit trees."I'd say we are about two weeks ahead of normal," says apple farmer Ed Robinette.And if we get another hard freeze, the tender buds would die. Robinette says the buds on the trees are what turn into the cherries, apples and apricots. No buds, no fruit."Freezing the buds will take the fruit off the tree," he says.According to weather data, there is the danger of a hard frost in West Michigan until April 25."There is no use getting nervous about it because whatever is going to happen is going to happen," says Robinette. "We haven't frozen yet."Robinette says last year's fruit crop was enormous in Michigan."One of the biggest Michigan has had in years," he says.He was already expecting a smaller yield this season. A frost could reduce expectations even more."I'd say its pretty likely we will freeze again," he says. "You just take what comes. That's all you can do."Looking ahead to next week, Robinette says he knows it's going to be cooler but there is no freeze in the forecast."It would be a good thing if we don't get cold again," he says. "But what are the chances we aren't going to go below freezng again?" (Source:

Apple trees are in full bloom

Who can't take delight in beautiful colors?

Warming up for a scrimmage game today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Around the Township

Shelly Zolinski is another new business owner in Alpine Township, She recently opened Shelly's Hair Studio which is located in front of Westgate Bowling Alley at 4500 Alpine N.W.

Shelly Zolinski

It was a beautiful day for soccer practice. Below is a travelling soccer team of eleven year old boys who often practice at the Alpine Township Sports Complex.

This is when the coach is in control

This is when the coach turns his back. Not really, these are great kids. they were asked to pose.)
What a beautiful day to walk the trail at the Sports Complex. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Keena from Alpine Church Road walk the trail at the park frequently.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome to Alpine Township

The i Thai Basil Restaurant at 4022 Alpine Ave. NW is under new ownership and now open to the public. New manager is Vang Hang. Vang and his wife Pahoua Lee's family also operates a Chinese Restaurant in Lake Odessa. They will be offering both Thai Cuisine as well as Chinese Cuisine. Vang says they have reduced many of the prices. In addition to ample seating, they offer a Take Out Menu. Please stop by and welcome them to Alpine Township or call 784-1117.

Pahoua Lee (l) and Manager Vang Hang

The Bear Basics

Bears, bears everywhere at the pre-school story time program of the Alpine Township KDL Library. Not only did the kids listen to bear stories, (and there are many of them), there were plenty of teddy bears to hug and play with and every one got to create their very own teddy bear with paper and craft items. .

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boy Scouts from Troop 304 Earn Merit Badge

In attendance at the Alpine Township Board Meeting tonight were six boyscouts wanting to earn a merit badge. Visiting were Alex Gardner, Kenny Hull, Izaak Smith, Alec VanderSloot, Paul Ross, and Brandon Neider. All are members of Troup 304 in Comstock Park.

The board was honored with their presence and that of their leaders Pam Hall, Joe Ross and Laura Gardner

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Best on the Ridge Maple Syrup Contest

The Alpine Township Historical Commission hosted its First Annual Maple Syrup Contest "Best on the Ridge" today. Nine local partcipants brought samples that were judged by six local judges. The winning syrup came from the farm of Bob and Sally Deems from Conklin.Second place went to Wayne , Ryan and Joy Umlor and Joe Dietrich. 87 maple syrup lovers came to witness this event and many stayed until the end for a chance to do some tasting themselves on some waffles that had been prepared. Many thanks go to the organizer of the successful event, Alpine Township Historical Commission Member Don Doyle.

Six judges were on hand to taste nine different productions of maple syrup. Fortunately. no sugar highs were reported.

Some of the samples tested

Bob and Sally Deems - Conklin -First Place Winners

Ryan and Joy Umlor - Conklin - Second Place Winners

About 87 people enjoyed the festivities

Bill Steffen (R) in discussion with Pat McGuire

Two battling contestants making peace with each other and already waiting for next year's contest.

Don Doyle (standing right) and Par Cederholm, (standing left) passing out instructions to the judges.

Others who entered the contest were Rob and Nick Cordes, Alpine Twp; Bob Dufort, Sparta, Mark Finkler, Conklin, Warren Guiles, Sparta; Don Rasch, John Paul and Doug Umlor, Alpine Township; Jeff and Linda Rueble, Alpine Township; and Keith and Dave Scheidel, Alpine Township.
In addition to the contest, the audience enjoyed a slide show as well as movie about Michigan produced Maple Syrup.
Long before the earl settlers, native Americans already produced maple syrup to flavor their food.

Here are some facts and figures concerning Michigan Maple Syrup...

•Michigan ranks 6th in maple syrup production in the United States.
•Average maple syrup production in Michigan is about 90,000 gallons per year.
•Economic contributions of the pure maple syrup industry to Michigan are nearly $2.5 million annually.
•Maple syrup is a Michigan tourist benefit. It is a "thing" to buy.
•Maple syrup, as an agricultural commodity, benefits Michigan farm markets.
•There are an estimated 500 commercial maple syrup producers in Michigan with some 2,000 additional hobby or home use producers.
•Michigan law requires that processor of maple syrup must be licensed.
•The production of pure maple syrup is the oldest agricultural enterprise in the United States.
•Maple syrup is one of the few agricultural crops in which demand exceeds supply.
•Only about 1 percent of Michigan’s maple forest resource is used in maple syrup production.
•In an average year, each tap-hole will produce about 10 gallons of maple sap, enough for about a quart of pure Michigan maple syrup.
•Maple sap is a slightly sweet, colorless liquid.
•It takes approximately 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.
•A gallon of standard maple syrup weighs 11 pounds and has a sugar content of 66 percent.
•Maple syrup is the first farm crop to be harvested in Michigan each year.
•Maple syrup is not the recipient of any crop support or subsidy programs.
•A maple tree needs to be about 40 years old and have a diameter of 10 inches before tapping is recommended.
•The maple season in Michigan starts in February in the southern counties and runs well into April in the Upper Peninsula.
•Warm sunny days and freezing nights determine the length of the maple season.
•The budding of maple trees makes the maple syrup taste bitter. Thus, production ceases.
•Freezing and thawing temperatures create pressure and force the sap out of the tree.
•A very rapid rise in temperature (25 to 45 degrees) will enhance the sap flow.
•While the sugaring season may last 6 to 10 weeks, but during this period, the heavy sap may run only 10-20 days.
•Average sugar concentration of maple sap is about 2.5 percent.
•Maple sap is boiled to remove the water and concentrate the sugars in a process called evaporation.
•In a conventional evaporator one cord of hard wood is required for every 25 gallons of syrup produced.
•Tubing collection systems with vacuum can increase average sap yields approximately 50 percent.
•Maple sap becomes maple syrup when boiled to 219 degrees Fahrenheit, or 7 degrees above the boiling point of water.
•Pure Michigan maple syrup has 50 calories per tablespoon and is fat-free. It has no additives, no added coloring and no preservatives.
•Maple syrup has may minerals per tablespoon: 20 milligrams of calcium, 2 milligrams of phosphorus, 0.2 milligrams of iron, 2 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium.
•Maple syrup is classified as one of nature's most healthful foods.
•Michigan has a Maple Queen, who is selected each January, statewide.
•Michigan has a Maple Syrup Week held in March of each year.
•Michigan is noted for having two maple syrup festivals.

Facts from the Michigan Maple Syrup Association

Saturday, April 17, 2010

At the Alpine Township Recreational Complex

Alpine Township Recreation Complex was the site of a Boys Baseball Tournament sponsored by Diamond Baseball. Teams from several Michigan cities braved the cold winds to compete with each other.

Grounds keeper Linda Dunneback received some welcome assistance from GRABL officials Jay Bufton and League President Chad Kryska on a cold Friday night.
Braving the cold and the wind early Saturday morning