Sunday, March 20, 2011

eightWest Art Van Pajama Party

It was a pajama party at Art Van Furniture, 4273 Alpine Ave, hosted by Terri  and Rachel from WOOD TV Channel 8's eightWest.  Hundreds of women attended for fun, advise, a bit of pampering and much more.  All who attended had a great time.  


Pots by Rita

Members and guests of the Alpine Township Historical Commission were treated so something special Sunday.  Local Alpine Township pottery artist Rita Shields shared her passion for pottery and gave a demonstration of her ability and creativity. Rita prides herself in creating "unusual, functional and fine art  pottery.  Some of her work is on display at Khnemu Studio, 6122 113th Ave in Fennville, Michigan. Some of her pottery is decorated with a lizard, mostly because of the shape, she said. Rita is a member of the Potter's Guide, and also teaches pottery at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids.
Some of Rita Shield's pottery
Rita Shields explaining what influenced her pottery

Rita talking with local author Dean Cumings

Rita Displaying her Talents

Who says pottery can't be fun?

A Safari to Western Kenya

The Comstock Park Rotary is very pleased to have teamed up with "Computers for Kenya" whose goal it is to raise $20,000 for the purchase of computers and support equipment for the Islander Tech Center (ITC) in Mbita, Kenya. The building has been completed so funds are needed to equip it, in order to provide computer training in a region where none exists today.
Saturday night "Computers for Kenya" held a fundraiser at the SS Peter & Paul Church School gym, which included Kenyan food, dancing, a blind auction for genuine Kenyan artifacts and art, and a skit about life in Kenya.
Anyone wishing to donate to "Computers for Kenya" can write a check to the Comstock Park Rotary Foundation and mail it to the Comstock Park Rotary Foundation, re: ITC Project,
PO Box 280. Comstock Park, MI 49321
Food included roasted leg of goat, being carved here by Chef Kevin (Kinta) VanderMeer

Sandals manufactured in Kenya

The bid on this Kenyan shirt was more than some could pay

 Wife #2  in humorous skit

The evening included a surprise visit by "President Obama" who was presented with a birth certificate.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Leap into Japan

Tim and Jessica Blanch

On Saturday March 19th, the Alpine Township branch of the Kent District Library (KDL) hosted a special program with displays and craft tables about the customs and people of Japan.  There was sushi and other other tasty food items to sample, a chance for kids to do calligraphy, paint, and learn much more.  Over 45 visitors stopped by and expressed an interest in Japan, particularly in light of the current events that are taking place there now. 

Long time area  resident Tim Blanch and his wife Jessica recently returned from Japan where they were employed as attorneys.  The University of Michigan graduates were living in Tokyo and recently moved back into the area.

Tim and Jessica Blanch with son , niece and nephew
Adults as well as children enjoyed the displays

Librarian Sarah Hartung and Manager Laura Wells felt right at home in their kimonos (着物)
Some of the many books about Japan that were on display
Nate Gillespie's son enjoyed painting

Some  Japanese knicknacks on display

Deb Szczceibinski (left) and Sandra Wisniewski looking at the food display

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ridge Economic Agricultural Partners (REAP)

Wednesday evening Alpine Township  hosted a meeting of  the Ridge Economic Agricultural Partners (REAP).  In 1998, a committee of farmers, local government officials, agri-business and representatives of the Michigan Cooperative Extension Service worked together to develop solutions to what was a depressed local economy,  REAP was born and is now governed by its own Board of Directors as a charitable, educational organization.  
Guest speaker at today's meeting was Janet Korn, Vice President of Marketing for Experience Grand Rapids,  our local convention and visitors bureau.  Janet talked about how Experience GR as well as social networks can help promote locally grown products and events.

To learn more about REAP and the Fruitridge Markets, please  click here.

Some of the REAP members present at the meeting

Leap into Japan

The Alpine Township branch of the Kent District Library is hosting a program about Japan and Japanese culture this Saturday, March 19, 2011.  The program begins at 10:00 A.M.  The Alpine Township Library is located at 5255 Alpine Ave. NW.  This program is for children of all ages and for parents.  Learn about the Japanese people and their culture, and find out about the many resources available at your library to learn even more.  Everyone is welcome.

Children admiring cherry blossoms in Japan

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thank You Erin Randall

Erin Randall
The staff at Alpine Township said goodbye  on Friday to Deputy Clerk Erin Randall who is leaving  her job for a full time position with the Ionia County Friend of the Court.  Erin has been the Township's Deputy Clerk for the past 18 months.  She will be greatly missed by the entire staff  and in particular by the Township Clerk.  Erin was honored with a small luncheon provided by her fellow employees and a gift certificate to one of her favorite stores.  Erin's commute to work will be much shortened,  There is also a wedding planned for later this year.  The Board of Trustees and staff at Alpine Township wish Erin a happy future and thank her for the terrific job she did for the Township during her tenure.

Erin Randall with Clerk Jean Wahlfield

Comstock Park:Lions Participate in Chili Cook Off

The Rockford Lions invited other area clubs to participate in their annual Chili Cook-Off at the Rockford American Legion Club, and the Comstock Park Lions were well represented.  Chefs (Comstock Park Postmaster) Terri and Mike Vanden Bos prepared one of the fourteen entries that were offered for tasting and their chili took second place in one of the categories.  A number of Comstock Park Lions and spouses enjoyed the event.  Every one was entertained by Tiki O'Reilly, a local music and dance group which put everyone in the mood for St. Patrick's Day. 
As part of the program, several Rockford area students from the Rockford School District were recognized for their winning entry in a poster contest.

Rockford's Diane VanAntwerp came in second over all while Comstock Park's Terri Vanden Bos (next to her husband Mike) came is second in one of the categories. There were about 80 judges.

Comstock Park Lion andPostmaster swings a mean ladle but makes an awesome chili
One of the entertainers
Tiki O'Reilly, A group of local musicians and dancers
A few of the 14 chefs

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Comstock Park Post Office Sponsors and Promotes Document Shredding

The Comstock Park Post Office is inviting all Comstock Park residents to bring their sensitive douments and records to the local Post Office at 3913 Leland Ave NE, Comstock Park. Your documents will be shredded while you watch, courtesy of the United States Postal Service and West Michigan Document Shredding of Jenison.

Friday, March 11, 2011, 11:00 am - 2:00 PM.

The Post Office will also offer tips on identity theft.  More information from the Postal Inspector  on Identity theft can be found at or  at this site at

Deputy Clerk Erin Randall Moving on to New Challenges

Alpine Township Deputy Clerk Erin Randall is leaving Alpine Township after about a year and a half of service. Living in St. Johns Michigan, part time employee Erin was offered a full time position by Ionia County at the Ionia Court House. The Alpine Township Board of Trustees and the staff wish Erin success in her new position and they will truly miss her. Alpine Township Clerk Jean Wahlfield has posted the position.


Alpine Township is looking for an individual to perform a variety of office tasks. Main job responsibilities are working with voter files and accounts payable.
Candidates to possess general office skills as well as adapt to a variety of software programs including but not limited to spreadsheets, word processing, and accounting software. The candidate will need to interact with the public. The job includes working two nights per month and extra hours during election time. Additional job responsibilities may be assigned.
Submit resume and contact information to:
Jean Wahlfield, Clerk
Alpine Township
5255 Alpine Avenue NW
Comstock Park, MI. 49321
(616) 784-1262
(616) 784-1234

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Reporting Potholes in Alpine Township

The above illustrations provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) explain how potholes are created.   As temperatures are returning to above freezing, we can anticipate potholes in many of our roads. The severity of the potholes vary with the winter weather.  

You can report potholes found on Alpine Township roads directly to the Kent County Road Commission at 616-242-6950 or to Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends at 616-784-1262, or e-mail him at a.arends@alpinetwp.orgFor potholes on interstates and state highways, you can fill out a form on MDOT's website or call 888-296-4546

 Last year, the Road Commission did an effective job in repairing potholes, particularly those that caused serious danger. Please keep in mind that Alpine Township is not the only community served by the Road Commission.   Many of the potholes receive only a temporary fix because the cost of  hot asphalt is prohibitive until later in the year.

If you wish to blow off some steam, you also have the option to report the pothole on line to an organization called DriveMI.  Potholes can be reported right from this site but it is unsure if this site is monitored by the road commission.  But at least you can feel better.  WZZM reported earlier that since Valentines Day, over 650 potholes have been reported to this site, with 40 from Kent County alone. 

The Michigan Transportation Team (MTT) recently announced an online petition drive for citizens who are tired of driving on pothole-riddled streets. Although the petition is non-binding and will not change the law, the names of petition signers will be presented to state policymakers to demonstrate the level of support in Michigan for investing in our state’s infrastructure.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Computers for Kenya

One of the projects the Comstock Park Rotary Club has supported for the past few years is  the"Island Tech Center in Mbita Kenya.  The center will serve to bring computer technology to villages and over 300,000 people in rural Western Kenya. Today, Dan Orao, a native of Kenya, and Mark Cebula visited the Comstock Park club to talk about recent efforts.  A 4;600 square foot facility was recently completed thanks to earlier generous supporters.  Another $20,000 is needed to equip the center with computers, printers, ceiling fans and office furniture.

Mark Cebula, Dan Orao and Rotary Club President Sharon Steffens

Dan Orao grew up on nearby Mfangano Island in Lake Victoria.  He earned a scholarship and was able to leave the island when he was 16 years old.  For the past 38 years Dan has provided educational and financial resources for his village.  Three years ago Dan was able to go home for the first time.  A lifetime quest for Dan is to bring the computer age to his birth region.  His dream is nearing reality. Below are some pictures


An anonymous benefactor is willing to match all donations up to $5,000.  Tax deductable funds can be send to the Comstock Park Rotary Foundation, re:  ITC Project, PO Box 280. Comstock Park, MI 49321

As part of the fund raising efforts, A Safari to Rural Western Kenya is planned on the evening of Saturday March 19th from 6:30 - 9:30 PM.  Attendees will be treated to real Kenyan dishes prepared by Chef Kevin Kinte.    Those wishing to attend will need to make their own travel arrangements, actually only to SS Peter and Paul Church School Gym at 1433 Hamilton  NW in Grand Rapids.  RSVP at or phone 616-698-7272.  The deadline for reservations is now.

Nyama Choma

Sukuma Wiki