Saturday, December 31, 2011

In Memory of Barbara Jean Erhart

Barbara Jean Erhart
Barbara Jean Erhart passed away on Tuesday, December 27th, at her home in Plainfield Township at the age of 84.  Barb grew up in Alpine Township and was a graduate of Sparta High School.  After her retirement from Muskegon Piston Ring, she devoted much of her time to the Alpine Township Historical Commission to which she was appointed as an officer.  Barb also served on several other Historical Commissions including Sparta.  She made genealogy her life work and in addition to her devotion to historical commissions, she was always eager to help anyone who requested assistance. 

In addition to her sister in law, nephews, niece and great nieces and nephews, she will be greatly missed by her Alpine Township Historical Committee family, and friends far and near.


Wishing everybody happiness, good health, and prosperity this coming year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Scholarship Recipients Address Comstock Park Rotary

Stephens and Piccard at graduation
Two former Kenowa Hills High School students who were recipients of scholarships last year visited the Comstock Park Rotary Club Thursday and talked a little about their life as college students and the career paths they are travelling.

Attending the meeting were Andrew Stephens, now a freshman student at University of Michigan, and and Jillian Piccard, a freshman student at Michigan State University.

As part of vocation month, speaker was Brent Beuschel, a Rotarian and owner of the new Beuschel Funeral Home.  Brent touched upon a number of things, stressing good customer service was as important a part of funeral directors as it is for any other business.  The club members present enjoyed the presentation, which included a few bloopers.  This was the last meeting of the year for the club, which meets almost every Thursday at 12:15 PM at the Swan Inn Restaurant on the corner of Alpine Ave. and 6 Mile Rd. NW.

Andrew Stephens

Jillian Piccard

Brent Beuschel

Construction of Perrin Brewing Co. is on its way

Construction of the Perrin Brewing Company began in earnest this week, with lumber going up for a building addition and the foundation being poured. The Alpine Township Board of Trustees approved a micro brewer liquor license for Perrin Brewing Company LLC this week, which, if approved, by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, will allow the company to open the  micro brewery next spring.
The brewery is being built at 5910 Comstock Park Drive NE and should be ready for business bt May 2012.  The company intends to open a microbrewery, wholesale beer distributorship, and tasting room.  It would have the capacity to be able to produce 2,500 to 3,500 barrels of beer the first year, according to the owners, and the company has room to expand if the brewery becomes successful. Distribution will initially be limited to Michigan.

The intent is to make the brewery a public facility and public tours will be available.  The owners indicated theyalso hope to hold some outdoor events and participate in community events.
One of the owners is Jarred Sper, a West Michigan native and former Marine Sergeant. Another principal is Randy Perrin, owner of Perrin Properties LLC. Contractor for the construction is Randy's brother Dan Perrin. 
Dan Perrin (left) with Jarred Sper 

Construction is on the way

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Alpine Township Library Staff Says Good Bye to Sarah Hartung,

Friday will be the last day for Alpine Township Librarian Sarah Hartung.  Sarah has taken advantage of a great career opportunity that will offer her full time employment.

The library staff ordered cake and offered Alpine Township employees the chance to share in the event celebration.  Those on the Township staff pass along their best wishes for Sarah.  She will be greatly missed.

Sarah Hartung

Best Wishes, Sarah!

Santa's Reindeer Make a Stop at the Alpine Township Library

Dozens of kids were entertained at the Alpine Township Library this Wednesday evening by two of Santa's reindeer.  The two took a well deserved rest from their travels around the globe.  Unfortunately, Santa and the other reindeer were unable to attend due to the heavy workload they have this time of the year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread House Clinic at the Alpine Township KDL Library

Nearly a hundred children and parents showed up at the Alpine Township Hall Tuesday afternoon to construct gingerbread homes.  The program was sponsored by the local KDL library and the response was far greater than expected,  Some of the houses ended up being consumed, some were taken home to show off to family members, and others were made for Santa to enjoy on Christmas Eve.

Hot Tip!!!
Wednesday, traveling all the way from the North Pole (via the Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farms),  will be live reindeer visiting the library. Stop by at 5:30 PM, dress warmly and don't forget the camera!

Work on Sewer Main Trunk Has Started

The weather has been assisting workers in getting a head start  on replacing main sewer trunks along both York and Strawberry Creeks in Alpine Township. Some of the areas where the current sewer trunks are buried have been difficult to reach for proper maintenance.  The pipes are about fourty years old and being replaced thanks to being awarded a low interest loan via the Michigan State Revolving Fund.  In addition to the replacement of the trunk lines along Strawberry and York Creek, there are plans to repair or reline the Mill Creek trunk line late fall of 2012 or Spring 2013 pending approval of an additional low interest loan.  The Township has also received a grant to cover 90% design engineering of the project, and is anticipating a similar grant for the Mill Creek project.   Completion day for the York and Strawberry Creeks projects is Labor Day 2012 but as long as the weather cooperates, completion could be much earlier.  

With leaves gone, you can see a new trunk line being installed along the middle of the picture.  York Creek runs in the forefront

York Creek Sewer Trunk Easement at 4 Mile Rd near Yorkview

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Really Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Salvation Army Breakfast
Only one week left before Christmas.  This Saturday, Alpine Township Hall became a temporary distribution point for the Santa Claus Girls.  The Santa Claus Girls ( is a 100% volunteer organization that serves as a distribution network for gifts during the holidays. All donations stay within Kent County and over 12,000 families were served by the Santa Clause Girls organization. 

Frank Vietze (center) and Roger Kropf organizing packages by neighborhoods

Cheerful volunteers

Rotarians Phil Obets and Dog Gordon are everywhere!

Bob VanderMale family getting instructions from local coordinator Nancy Mulder
While some volunteers were busy delivering presents for the Santa Claus Girls, other area residents and youth took advantage of the Salvation Army's Santa Claus Breakfast held at their retreat center at Little Pine Island.  The breakfast was open to any member in the community and families enjoyed a  good breakfast, met with Santa, had their picture taken, or participated in arts and crafts. A number of volunteers from our local community were also on hand assisting Salvation Army staff.

Salvation Army Little Pine Island Campgrounds

Santa Claus with some fans

Looking over the beautiful lodge

Some of the kids wore adorable outfits

It wasn't just Santa who was celebrated

Even the John Ball Zoo got into the act

Some of the young local volunteers

Arts and crafts were very popular

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Thanksgiving Project

For many years now, certain members and friends of the Comstock Park Rotary get together around Thanksgiving and volunteer for a specific project:  Find a family that has a member with physical disabilities that is in need of a wheelchair ramp, and construct it for them.

Like almost every year, neither finding a family or building the ramp posed a problem for this group of dedicated people.

A single mom and her teenage daughter had recently moved into a modular home.  The daughter has spinabifida and is confined to wheelchair.  Since they moved in, the mother had been "bouncing" her daughter down a regular set of steps, or sometimes she would lay a sheet of plywood on the steps and roll her up and down the sheet of plywood. This was very steep and therefore unsafe.

Had the family paid for the lumber and hired a contractor, the cost would have been about $3,500.  Thanks to the expertise and generosity of this group of well-doers and financial support of the Comstock Park Rotary, this family has something to be very thankful for this Christmas.  The appreciation shown by the members of the family is all the reward that was necessary to convince the group to do another wheelchair ramp project next year.

Pictured, left to right, front row: Mike Matlosz, Phil Obetts, Doug Gordon, Steve Ayres. Back row: Perry Beachum, Roger Kropf. Missing from the picture (because he was taking the picture: Denny Coin

A task done with love

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Comstock Park Graduate Jenica Moore - Building Leadership in Nigeria

Guest speaker at the Comstock Park Rotary today was Jenica Moore, a Comstock Park graduate, currently attending Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.  Jenica has been the recipient of a number of Rotary awards and has also served as a Rotary ambassador to a number of countries.  This year she had the opportunity to spend several months in Nigeria and she was anxious to tell the members of the Comstock Park Rotary about her experiences.  She talked about the Christian and Muslim factions that often result in creating violence.  She also talked about how many people do not begin their education until much later in life, often the result of enlightenment.

In addition to the presentation, Jeremy Kelley, a local resident and father, presented a plaque to the Rotary chapter in appreciation for their sponsorship of a North West Little League Baseball team.

The club also elected a new member to the board, Melissa Graveling, an accountant with Willis and Jurasek.

Jenica Moore speaking on “Building Leadership in Nigeria”

Members listened attentively

Jeremy Kelly presenting plaque for NW Little League Team  Sponsorship to President Dick Woodward

Jenica Moore with President Dick Woodward.  The dress Jenica is wearing was tailored in Nigeria and was considered conservative attire there

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Zion Lutheran Woman's Guild Cookie Sale

The Zion Lutheran Church Woman's Guild hosted a Christmas cookie sale at the church, 582 Lamoreaux Dr. Comstock Park this Saturday. Funds raised will go to support the mission of the church

Ryk Baker (left) and John Childs Jr. assisting the ladies guild

Enough to make your mouth water

Santa Makes Quick Stop by Railroad

Once again Santa gave his reindeer a rest as he travelled from Comstock Park to Manistee via the Marquette Railroad this Saturday.  Beginning in Comstock Park, where over a hundred children and parents greeted Santa at 9:30 this morning, the train left for a stop in Sparta and beyond, with Manistee as its final destination.  Santa was accompanied by Mrs. Claus as well as a half a dozen elves who passed on candy canes to all the good children in attendance.  The train arrived on time and left on time, thanks to a schedule adhered to by conductor Wayne who coordinated the entire event.  Our thanks go to the Marquette Railroad for sponsoring this event each year, and the Kent County Sheriff's Department for keeping everybody safe.

Anxiously waiting

Keeping warm
You can hear the whistle blowing

I can see it coming!

A fully decorated tree in one of the box cars

Some took the opportunity to go up on the engine

Merry Christmas!

Thanks, conductor Wayne and Community Policing Deputy Nate!