Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank you to all who said "Yes, I'll Go"

On Memorial Day 2012, we paused an hour in Alpine Township to recognize the men and women who answered the call in response to their Nation's call for service.  We recognized by name all deceased Veterans buried in Alpine Township cemeteries. These include the Alpine Township maintained cemeteries Alpine Center, Englishville, and Pine Grove as well as the cemetery at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.  The ceremony took place at Pine Grove Cemetery.  Pastor Mark Bowditch reminded us all that Memorial Day was not meant to take the place of Veteran's Day and that we should especially recognize those who gave their lives for their country.  Thank you to our heroes of the past, thank you to those who participated in the ceremony, and thank you to all who attended today.

Members  and former members of Boy Scout Troop #223 who participated in this year's ceremony. Special thanks to troop leader Tim Pickard (second from the left)

Past Commander of American Legion Furniture City Post #258 Cliff Bartrum (left) with Chaplain Major Mark Bowditch, Pastor of Family of Christ Lutheran Church on Henze Drive (behind Walmart)

Flag Ceremony
Reading the Presidential Memorial Day Proclamation and call to prayer

Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends

Members of Honor Guard of the American Legion Furniture City Post #258

Pastor Bowditch and family member
Alpine Township Trustee Bill Schweitzer

Sunday, May 27, 2012

2012 Memorial Day, Presidential Proclamation

Our Nation endures and thrives because of the devotion of our men and women in uniform, who, from generation to generation, carry a burden heavier than any we may ever know. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have borne conflict's greatest cost, mourn where the wounds of war are fresh, and pray for a just, lasting peace.
The American fabric is stitched with the stories of sons and daughters who gave their lives in service to the country they loved. They were patriots who overthrew an empire and sparked revolution. They were courageous men and women who strained to hold a young Union together. They were ordinary citizens who rolled back the creeping tide of tyranny, who stood post through a long twilight struggle, who saw terror and extremism threaten our world's security and said, "I'll go." And though their stories are unique to the challenges they faced, our fallen service members are forever bound by a legacy of valor older than the Republic itself. Now they lay at rest in quiet corners of our country and the world, but they live on in the families who loved them and in the soul of a Nation that is safer for their service.
Today, we join together in prayer for the fallen. We remember all who have borne the battle, whose devotion to duty has sustained our country and kept safe our heritage as a free people in a free society. Though our hearts ache in their absence, we find comfort in knowing that their legacy lives on in all of us -- in the security that lets us live in peace, the prosperity that allows us to pursue our dreams, and the love that still beats in those who knew them. May God bless the souls of the venerable warriors we have lost, and may He watch over the men and women who serve us now. Today, tomorrow, and in perpetuity, let us give thanks to them by remaining true to the values and virtues for which they fight.
In honor of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.
I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alpine Township Board to Meet at PARCC Side Clean Water Plant

There will be a special meeting of the Alpine Township Board of Trustees at 7:00 AM on Monday morning, June 4th at the PARCC Side Clean Water Plant, 4775 Coit N.E.

At the time on construction in 2008  this was the  largest plant of its kind in Michigan and 8th largest plant in the US and was designed to serve municipalities that make up the North Kent Sewer Authority: Plainfield Charter Township, Alpine Township, City of Rockford, Cannon Township and Courtland Township.    All public sewers from these 5 communities are being treated by PARCC Side.

The main purpose of the meeting is to see what the North Kent Sewer Authority has to offer Alpine Township in terms of maintaining and repairing Alpine Township sewers.  Maintenance is currently performed by the Kent County Department of Public Works but they will be discontinuing this service later this year.  Options for Alpine Township will be to bid out sewer maintenace to a local contractor, or have the maintenance performed by the North Kent Sewer Authority, which will already be performing maintenance on joint systems shared with all or several of the five communities.

This meeting is open to the public.  It is expected that the meeting will begin with a brief tour of the premises. 

For more information about the North Kent Sewer Authority please visit their website.

Slow Traffic Along Alpine Ave. M-37

Traffic was a little slow along Alpine Ave M-37 this morning as a convoy of trucks with propellers and other wind turbine parts passed along Alpine Ave to an  unknown destination north of here.

Welcome Twisted RC, Michigan's Hobby Shop

Twisted RC is an actual retail  Hobby Store that just opened for business at 4790 Alpine Avenue in Alpine Township.  The management claims it is the largest hobby shop in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area dedicated to Remote Control parts and accessories with over 200,000 parts in stock.  Alpine  welcomes Twisted RC and all remote controlled toy enthusiasts to our Township.

Larry Williams, one of the owners, and Nathan Franklin, Manager, in front of their new retail outlet

Larry Williams in front of a wall with vehicles you can take for a test drive.

Alpine Township Memorial Day Service Reminder

This year’s ceremony will take place on Monday May 28 at Pine Grove Cemetery beginning at 11:00 a.m. and is open to the general public. This year’s speaker will be Mark Bowditch, Senior Pastor of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Alpine Township. Pastor Mark is also Chaplain Major Bowditch serving his country in the United States Naval Reserves. We hope that you can spare a few minutes Memorial Day and join Chaplain Mark, Township officials, families and friends of veterans and other patriotic residents to honor those who served in the military.  BOC (Bring your own Chair)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

They're not just CHICKEN anymore

Comstock Park Rotary to offer Sausage and Ribs along with their world famous chicken to their menu at the park

Alpine Township Memorial Day Service 2012

There will be a short Memorial Day ceremony at Pine Grove Cemetery, 6200 Vinton N.W. on Memorial Day, Monday May 30 at 11:00 a.m.
For decades, Alpine Township has recognized those departed veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces and are buried in Alpine Township maintained cemeteries. Also included in this ceremony are those veterans buried in Holy Trinity Cemetery.
This year’s ceremony will take place on Monday May 28 at Pine Grove Cemetery beginning at 11:00 a.m. and is open to the general public. This year’s speaker will be Mark Bowditch, Senior Pastor of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Alpine Township. Pastor Mark is also Chaplain Major Bowditch serving his country in the United States Naval Reserves. We hope that you can spare a few minutes Memorial Day and join Chaplain Mark, Township officials, families and friends of veterans and other patriotic residents to honor those who served in the military.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Alpine Township Selects New Fire Chief

The Alpine Township Board of Trustees selected a member of its own Fire Department to replace retiring Fire Chief Ron Christians.  Monday night the recommendation by the Search Committee to hire Dave Klomparens was unanimously approved by the board.  Klomparens is an 11 year veteran of the on-call Fire Department and currently serves as a Lieutenant at Station 2. 
Dave Klomparens

Road Closing - Stony Creek Ave

Road Closing - Stony Creek Ave

K and R Construction is planning on closing Stony Creek Ave between Lantern and Brookgate Drive starting next Tuesday May   29 for approximately one week so they can install the new sewer. The KCRC will be putting out message boards sometime this week giving the neighbors advance warning of the closure. We hope to have the Bekinshire and Lamoreaux intersection open prior to this closing. Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Alpine Township Historical Committee's 2d Annual Antique Tractor Show

Alpine Township Historical Committee hosted its second Annual Antique Tractor show at the Harold Thome Farm adjacent to the Township Community Building on 7 Mile Road NW.  About 35 tractors were on display this beautiful Sunday.

A mile down the street at the Township Sports  Complex children were enjoying the playground and youth were playing soccer.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yes in My Backyard

"Not in my backyard, you won't" is often the public outcry when homeowners are approached about utility work inside of near their property lines.  In Alpine Township, residents living near Strawberry and York Creeks have been nothing short of cooperative and helpful  as aging sewer trunk lines along those creeks are being replaced with new ones.  We appreciate all the cooperation that is being received despite the inconvenience that it is causing many of our home owners.  When the dust settles and the work is complete we should be good for a long time.  One of the reasons some of the trunk lines were in terrible shape is that the sewers have been inaccessible to man and machinery due to heavy tree and brush growth on top of the easements.  The Township hopes to keep the easements clear for easier accessibility in the future.  Thank you, good neighbors!
Work on Strawberry Creek by Westshire Ave

This looks more like a storage facility than a backyard
Literally in a good neighbor's back yard
Westgate Park remains closed and looks more like a staging area.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Relay for Life, Tyler Kremer Benefit, Antique Tractor Show Offer Local Things to Do this Upcoming Weekend

Friday, May 18 - Saturday May 19 2012  Comstock Park Relay for Life

Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.  At the Comstock Park Relay, teams of people camp out at Comstock Park High School, 150 6 Mile Rd. N.E. and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length. The event begins at 3:00 PM on Friday May 18th through 3:00 PM Saturday May 19th.
All Relay For Life events have an Opening Ceremony, a Survivor Celebration, a Luminaria Ceremony, a Fight Back Ceremony, and a Closing Ceremony. Beyond that, our Relay For Life event reflects the personality of the Comstock Park community.

Some of last year's supporters

Saturday, May 19 2012 - Tyler Kremer Benefit

The Tyler Kremer’s benefit is scheduled for Saturday evening May 19th at Holy Trinity Parish Center

Tyler Kremer is a very brave seven year old boy and a 2nd grader at Holy Trinity School who was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL) when he was 4 years old. Mid April of this year, Tyler underwent a bone marrow transplant and is recuperating. Holy Trinity parish is organizing a benefit for the Kremer family on May 19th, 2012, from 6-10 p.m. in the parish family center, 1304 Alpine Church Road. The evening will includes a taco bar, silent auction, mini-raffle, kid’s carnival, 50/50, and concession stand food for sale and the opportunity to make a free will donation. Please come and enjoy a fun-filled evening while supporting the Kremer family. Call Judi Mason (784-5597) or Deb Wysocki (784-7309) if you have any questions about this benefit.

Leukemia Awareness
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that the body uses to fight infections. In ALL, the bone marrow makes lots of unformed cells called blasts that normally would develop into lymphocytes. However, the blasts are abnormal. They do not develop and cannot fight infections. The number of abnormal cells (or leukemia cells) grows quickly. They crowd out the normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets the body needs.

Each year, there about 2,900 new cases of children and adolescents diagnosed with ALL in the United States alone. Its signs and symptoms resemble other common illnesses, leading to other treatments before diagnosis.

Sunday May 20 2012 - Antique Tractor Show

The Alpine Township Historical Committee will host its second annual Antique Tractor Show on Sunday May 20, 2012.  Last year proved this to be a good time to renew old friendships, make new acquaintances, or just have a good old time.  Perhaps there may not be any remaining apple blossoms to drive under but it should not dampen the camaraderie. The Alpine Township Historical Committee wishes to thank all the participants and in particular Harold and Jo Ann Thome for their gracious hospitality and assistance. The Thome farm is located adjacent to the Alpine Township Community Building, 2015 7 Mile Rd, west of M-37 on the corner of Baumhoff Ave. Admission is free, refreshments will be served from 2:00 PM - 4:00 P.M.

Some of the tractors on display at last year's show

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Move over, Milwaukee, Make Way for Alpine Township

Milwaukee has long been known as the beer capital of the world.   According to good sources, Milwaukee's beer had no special  ingredients but the men behind the breweries did.  "They were savvy, aggressive business men, and much of their success was achieved through vision, hard work and sound business sense." These same ingredients can be found in the men behind Perrin Brewing Company, Jarred Sper and Randy Perrin. Coupled with their passion and enthusiasm, and boasting to have one of the best brewmasters in the world should soon make Alpine Township famous for its beer.  Jarred Sper was the guest speaker at Thursday's Comstock Park Rotary meeting.   Perrin Brewing is a micro brewing company located at 5910 Comstock Park Drive that will begin bottling and canning it's specialty beers  later this summer.  

The Comstock Park Rotary meets (almost) every Thursday at 12:10 at the Swan Inn Restaurant.  It welcomes new members.  More information can be found on their web page at

There will be no meeting on Thursday May 31 as Rotarians will be found at Dwight Lydell Park selling their world famous BBQ chicken.  This year. they  plan to add BBQ Ribs and Sausage to their menu.

Jarred Sper (left) being introduced by Rotarian Ed Hood

Four new beers to be introduced, and already in demand
World's most useful tool making a comeback

Architectural rendering

A few familiar faces at Rotary Thursday

Plans for Median Closings along M-37 Shared with Public

Staff members from the Michigan Department of Transportation were on hand at the Alpine Township Hall Wednesday night with laid out plans for closing the M-37 median at 8 Mile and 9 Mile Roads. This will force all traffic coming from 8 Mile  and 9 Mile Roads to have to turn right.  Those vehicles wishing to continue on those streets would have to then make a "Michigan U Turn" and then turn a right again.  Similar median closings occurred recently along Lake Michigan Drive in Allendale, Chicago Drive in Georgetown Township, and the East Beltline in Grand Rapids.  There is not enough justification for stop lights at these locatons, yet trucks with long trailers and farm equipment can end up stopped in the middle of the intersection leaving portions of the trailer or equipment exposed to oncoming traffic.  It is believed that although the number of accidents may not be affected, the severity of accidents could be greatly reduced.

About a handful of concerned residents showed up to learn more about the plans.  Not everybody was is support of the changes but all had the opportunity to share their thoughts with MDOT and suggest some modifications for consideration.  The project is slated for completion by the end of June and should have little affect on inbound and outbound M-37 traffic during busy commuting hours.

MDOT Staff

County Road Commissioner Fritz Wahlfield and Alpine Township Trustee Bill Schweitzer dropped by

It was a good opportunity for one on one discussion

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Big Brothers Big Sisters Program Needs Volunteers

Paul Miller, executive Director of  D.A. Blodgett's Big Brothers Big Sisters program was the special speaker at Tuesday's meeting of  Comstock Park Community Outreach.  D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s started the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program in 1965 serving all of Kent County and the eastern region of Ottawa County.

Locally, there are currently roughly 350 children waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister mentor.

According to its website, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nationally recognized mentoring program, matching children from the ages of 5 to 17, usually living in a single-parent home. These children are normal kids, but may experience some difficulty in school, some inadequate social skills, and limited opportunity to develop their interests.

Big Brothers Big Sisters recruits, assesses, screens, and trains Big Brother and Big Sister applicants. Little Brother and Little Sister applicants and their families are assessed as well. Approved Big Brothers and Big Sisters are matched to waiting, assessed Little Brothers and Little Sisters with the goal of maintaining each match for at least one year.

As a Big Brother or Big Sister, you:
• need to be are least 18 years old

• need to spend 1-3 hours a week with a child

• are supported by the social worker and parent

• might be single, married, a parent, employed or retired

• get to have a positive impact on a child

• get a fun break from a busy schedule

For more information or to become a Big Brother or Big Sister, please call 616-451-2021 or to email click here.

Comstock Park Community Outreach is a coalition of over local 30 business, government, church and service organizations collaborating with each other in an effort to match available resources with the needs of our local community. Visit their website here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Liga de Futbol de Inmegrantes De Michigan

The "Liga de Futbol de Inmegrantes De Michigan" is back on Sundays.  Check out its Facebook page.