Wednesday, February 29, 2012


For a second and final time, Alpine Township is saying "thank you and good bye" to former Alpine Township Supervisor George Schweitzer.  George passed away on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at the age of 93.  George is survived by his wife Marie, 4 daughters, 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
The first time Alpine Township said good bye to George was in 1980 when he retired as Township Supervisor after serving Alpine Township for 23 years in various capacities.  He was first elected clerk nearly 55 years ago in 1957, when Alpine Township had a population of of less then 2,500 residents.  In 1958 the Township passed a millage to build it's first fire station.  Until then, we shared a station (Comstock Park) with Plainfield Township.  That same year, building began in the Westgate subdivision, almost doubling the Township's population by 1960.  Building of our first fire station was completed in 1961 and by 1963 a Township office and hall were attached. In 1965 a contract was signed with Plainfield Township to supply water to the Township.  In 1968 the North Kent Sewage System was organized with Rockford and Plainfield Township through the Kent County Department of Public Works, and sewer lines were constructed over the next several years. By 1969 construction of the Westgate sub division was completed, and a decision was made to add a second fire station on 7 Mile Rd. near Fruitridge NW.. 
In 1970 George was elected Alpine Township Supervisor, and Alpine Township's population had grown to over 8,000 residents.  In 1974  the Township purchased a garage located on the corner of Vinton and 9 Mile Road and converted it into Fire Station #3.    Also during George's tenure, federal dollars played a large roll in bringing a 3-million dollar sewer project to the largest residential area of the Township.  George retired in 1980 but his legacy continued because of the planning and financing that was done under his leadership that led to the building of Westgate Park, the Alpine Community Recreation Complex, and the Alpine Township Library.

Alpine Township is  thankful for the contributions and achievements made by George Schweitzer, and says "Good Bye, George" with a grateful heart.
Source:  Alpine Township News, Volume 6  #3, October 1980
Military Photo from Alpine Township Historical Committee records

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pink Panthers Host Fourth Annual Cancer Classic

There was a sea of pink as Comstock Park High School hosted its fourth annual Cancer Classic, sponsored in part by Relay for Life, and the American Cancer Society.  Other sponsors included Advantage Sign Supply, Alpine Floral, Alpine Hair and Day Spa, Best Buy, Fazoli's, Fox Honda, Florentine.s Grand Rapids Popcorn, I-Hop, Jet's Pizza, Jack's Auto Service, Jimmy Johns, Mad Dogz, Mill Creek Tavern, Papa John's, Silver Bullet, Subway, Southland Auto Wash, Target, Vitale's and Westgate Bowling.  All proceeds from the event went  to the American Cancer Society and there were numerous ways for those in attendance to contribute.  This included a Silent Auction, bids on various sports memorabilia, a 50/50 raffle and sale of pink "Cancer Classic" T-shirts and bandannas. 
The Sparta girls varsity baskertball team took on the Comstock Park team and won 36-31.  Comstock Park boys' varsity team beat Sparta 66-58. The Comstock Park boys team, with no graduating seniors on its team, earned a piece of this year's OK Blue Division Title for the fourth year in a row.
After the boys' game, the names of loved ones who lost their fight with cancer, those fighting cancer, and those who survived their battle with cancer were read.
The event took many volunteers

Relay for Life Coordinator Victoria Klumpp (left) with Sparta's Jaime Counterman

Comstock Park's starting five

Both Comstock Park and Sparta fans wore pink

Sparta Boys Basketball.  Facing the camera is #12 Matt Dykstra who is currenty facing a personal battle against cancer.

Comstock Park Rotary Briefed on Kent County Road Commission

David Groenleer
Members of the Comstock Park Rotary Club were briefed today by David Groenleer, vice chair of the Kent County Road Commission  about its functions, and concerns about state wide efforts to abolish Road Commissions.  The five person Board of Road Commissioners is appointed by the Kent County Board of Commissioners and provides the organizational direction and policy guidance for the Road Commission.  David is well known for his  past involvement in Township and County Government.  His passion for kayaking also became obvious during his presentation.

Also at the meeting, Aaron Dood, tenant relations manager at York Creek Apartments was sworn in as the Rotary's Club newest member.
Kent County Road Commissioner David Groenleer

New member Aaron Dood receiving Rotary Pin from member Dana Quick

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kent County Solid Waste Management Plan Amendment

Doug Wood, Director of Kent County
Department of Public Works at recent meeting
of  Kent County Township Supervisors
The Kent County Department of Public Works is committed to a fully integrated solid waste management system. This system includes: waste reduction, reuse, recycling, expanded education in resource recovery, incineration with energy recovery, composting and landfilling, as outlined in the Kent County Solid Waste Management Plan and proposed 2011 amendments. The public comment period began on December 19, 2011. The Public Hearing will be held on March 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm in the Road Commission building located at 1500 Scribner Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.
The current recycling system for refuse disposal in Kent County aims to reduce the amount of solid waste sent for final disposal by volume reduction techniques and by various resource conservation and resource recovery programs. It also addresses collection processes and transportation needs that provide the most cost effective, efficient service.
A  presentation of the proposal (in PDF format) can be found here .

Inside the Kent County Material Recovery Facility at 977 Wealthy NW in Grand Rapids.  The facility offers tours and educational progams

The Materials Recovery Facility at  977 Wealthy SW, Grand Rapids is a sorting facility designed to accept residential recyclable materials. Recyclables are sorted according to type, then prepared for shipping to the next processor by pressing the recyclables into bales. Tours are approximately one hour in length and include a classroom discussion about recycling as well as a facility overview on the catwalk overlooking the functioning equipment. Kent County's new single-stream recycling facility began tours in September 2010. The facility offers a safe, clean environment to learn about recycling.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Alpine Township Hosts Training Session for Election Workers

It was a full house at the Alpine Township Hall Wednesday as about 70 election workers from Algoma, Alpine, Grand Rapids and Sparta Townships as well as from the city of Walker received a briefing on the upcoming presidential primary election and some of the changes they may have to contend with.  The meeting was conducted by Kent County Election Director Susan deSteiguer. The County Clerk's Office Elections Division oversees all elections conducted in Kent County with respect to Michigan Election Law and Federal Election Law. The Primary Presidential Election will take place in Michigan on Tuesday, February 28, 2012.

Election workers from several North Kent County communities attended the meeting

Kent County Elections Director Susan deSteiguer (left) and Alpine Township Clerk Jean Wahlfield

Friday, February 10, 2012

Alpine Township Supervisor Addresses Comstock Park Rotary

Guest speaker at the Comstock Park Rotary meeting Thursday was Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends.  Alex presented the audience with an overview of Alpine Township, its financial condition, highlights of 2011, and future trends.  He also shared photos of many of the community events that occurred last year.  Many of these photos as well as  information about the Township's financial condition (dashboard) can be accessed via the Township's  blog

The Comstock Park Rotary Club meets every Thursday at 12:15 P.M. at the Swan Inn Restaurant.
Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Remember Mill Creek Days?

Dawn Swafford
Remember Mill Creek Days?  Many local residents remember the parade along West River Road and the festivities and booths at Dwight Lydell Park.  The event was sponsored by the Comstock Park Jaycees and the entire community participated in one form or another.  Mill Creek Days stopped over a decade ago and the Jaycee organization disbanded.

Wouldn't it be nice if a community event of that nature was revived in the Alpine Township/Comstock Park community?  Dawn Swafford happens to think so.  Dawn is a long time resident of Alpine Township and is employed at Edward Jones.  Both her and Financial Advisor Dana Quick would love to once again see a community celebration celebrated in the Comstock Park area and they are taking steps to make it happen.

On Tuesday they met with leaders from Comstock Park and Kenowa Hills Schools, Alpine Township Officials, leaders from Comstock Park Service Organizations, and representatives from the business community to explore options.  Based on the enthusiasm expressed by everyone, we will be hearing more from this group.  Anyone with ideas or suggestions is encouraged to contact Dawn at (616) 784-9622

Dawn Swafford

Some of the meeting participants

Free Health Care Clinic for Teddy Bears

The Alpine Township Branch of the KDL Library hosted a clinic for teddy bears Tuesday morning and dozens of preschoolers took advantage of it by bringing in their teddy bears for a free check up.  Teddy bears were treated on the spot for various ailments ranging from headaches to  more serious ailments and injuries.  Library assistants were on hand to teach the children ways to keep Teddy healthy and happy. Most teddies received a clean bill of health before the program was over. The program was brought to the children in partnership with Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

There were several Pooh bears treated for a variety of ailments

There were crafts too

Future medical professionals Winnie ready for this??

A warm pad for that migrane

Searching for that heartbeat

Plenty of good bear stories available

Another great pre-school program brought to us by the library

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's Like Coming Home!

Those were the words of Theresa Eastman her first day as librarian at the Alpine Township branch of the Kent District Library.  Theresa is a long time resident of Alpine Township and before transfering to the Alpine Township library, she worked at the Kent City Branch.  Theresa's favority color is blue, and she loves chocolate and hot tea. She is excited to work with Donna Meyering and Library Manager Laura Weld and be closer to home.

Alpine Applebee's Fundraiser for Special Olympics

The Alpine Ave Applebee's in Comstock Park is hosting a fundraiser on behalf of Special Olympics on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 from 11:00 a.m until 11:30 p.m.  20% of your bill will be donated to Special Olympics if you present the attached flyer on that date. (percent donated excludes tax, tips, and alcohol sales)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Think Green

Golf professional Rick Krampe, the course superintendent, (or greens keeper as he prefers to be known as) at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Belmont, gave a very interesting presentation at the Comstock Park Rotary Club meeting Thursday about the past, present and future of golf course management.  The Comstock Park Rotary Club meets every Thursday at 12:15 P.M.  at the Swan Inn Restaurant.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kenowa Hills Public School Hosts Business Forum

What does career ready mean to you as a business owner?

How is the Kenowa Hills Public School System preparing students for life after school?

Those were some of the questions posed by Kenowa Hills Superintendent Gerald Hopkins  to community  business leaders at Wednesday's business forum held at Kenowa  Hills Junior High School.  The forum gave school administrators and board members the opportunity to hear directly from those people that interview and hire new employees, and what it is they look for in  prospective employees.  It also gave the guests the opportunity to learn about Kenowa Hills Public Schools, its recent successes, and future objectives and focus.  Kenowa Hills already has a good track record of seeing it's graduates sign up for college, and is committed to make its graduates as college ready or career ready as possible.  More dialogue with the business community is expected in the near future.

Superintendent Gerald Hopkins (left) talks about quality education

School Board Member  Melissa Courtade

Kenowa Hills School Board member Jon DeWys, Middle School Principal Ruth Posthumus and Walker Chief of Police Catherine Garcia Lindstrom