Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Healthcare Law, What Everybody Should Know

There is so much for people to learn about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and understanding health coverage and how the new laws affect you and your family.

The Kent District Library is presenting a special program on these topics for adults on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Alpine Township Hall, 5255 Alpine Ave, NW. 

Please notice time change to 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sled Dogs and the Iditarod at Alpine Twp Library

Mr. Dan
Here are some of the facts absorbed by about 80 people who came to the Alpine Township Library Saturday to learn about sled dogs, Alaska, and the famous Iditarod Dog Sled race that is held in Alaska every March. It is believed the word "Iditarod" comes from the name of an Alaskan River and could mean either "clear water" or a "distant place".
The first Iditarod Race was in 1973. Although the race is over 1150 miles long, the race is officially 1,049 miles, since Alaska is the 49th state in the USA . The Iditarod trail goes from Anchorage to Nome. There is a northern route and a southern route; these are used on alternate years (north in even-numbered years). The race starts on the first Saturday in March and takes about 10 days to complete. The winning musher (dog sled racer) takes home a large cash prize; the last musher to finish the race extinguishes (and wins) a red lantern at the finish line. More can be learned at
To teach eager students young and old more about the race at the library was Mr. Dan (Anderson) who talked about sled dogs and also about the mushers (the drivers of the sled dogs.  Mr. Dan was a great hit and very knowledgeable.  He was accompanied by six sled dogs and at the end of the program he showed how the dogs were hooked up to the sleds.  Mr. Dan said that the team that took best care of their dogs were usually the ones that won the race.  The dogs who accompanied Mr. Dan were descendants of Balto, a Siberian Husky who was the lead dog in a mercy expedition to Nome Alaska where dying children were in need of medicine.  Balto remains famous.  If you missed this program and are interested it it, it is scheduled to be repeated at the Byron Center Library on Saturday February 2nd at 10:30 am. 



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heeren Produce Breaks Ground

Heeren Brothers Produce officially broke ground Tuesday afternoon at 2:30  at 1055 7 Mile Rd. NW, home of their future packing and distribution center. Participating in the ceremonies were members of the Heeren family, company officials, employees, and representatives from  real estate, construction company, architectural firm, the bank, and Alpine Township.


Members of the Heeren family moving the first shovels of dirt  The lone shovel and hard hat are in memory of Tom Heeren who died tragically in 2011.

Alpine Planner Sue Thomas and Supervisor Alex Arends get in on the act.
Company Chief Executive Officer Hal Roy (left) looking on with pride 

Some help for the shovels

Saturday, December 15, 2012

False Santa Sightings

There was an alarm at the Alpine Township Hall early Saturday morning.  The report came in as a possible burglary but this was then quickly changed to Santa possibly being stuck in the chimney. Upon further investigation neither turned out to be true.  The Sheriff's department now believes that the Santa Girls dropped off some presents to be distributed to nearby families in the community and that Rotarians and friends who volunteered to deliver the presents inadvertently set off the alarm.  The confusion arose when one of the volunteers was dressed like Santa but he was quickly identified as an impersonator by doing a beard check.

Helping Santa Girls

More Santa Girls helpers

There were also reports Saturday of Santa being seen at  the Christmas Cookies sale at Zion Lutheran Church on Lamoreaux Ave but that report could not be confirmed.
Volunteers at the Zion Lotheran Church Christmas Cookie Sale


Santa Sighting - Little Pine Island Camp

After Santa and Mrs. Claus were seen leaving by train at Dwight Lydell Park, he was spotted  next  having breakfast and greeting  boys and girls at the Salvation Army's Little Pine Island Camp on Pine Island Drive just east of Hayes.  This camp must be one of the best kept secrets in the world although this year far more kids showed up to see Santa, eat a pancake breakfast, or did crafts that showed up past year. The camp and the program are sponsored by the Salvation Army and an entire family was able to eat breakfast for $10.00.  In addition to having a Thrift Store and Donation Center in Alpine Township, the organization provides our community with numerous services.
Next time you are in Pine Island Drive and you see the sign for the camp, drive on in and see what opportunity awaits youngsters from our community.


Santa Sighting - Marquette Rail - Comstock Park

Like clockwork, the Marquette Santa Train arrived at exactly 9:30  at the Old Depot behind Dwight Lydell Park Saturday morning.  Young children were excited to see Santa and Mrs. Claus get off the train and greet them, wish them a Merry Christmas, and hand out candy canes.  The crowd was larger than usual, helped out by dry weather.  Kids not only got to see Santa but also had the opportunity to get on board.  Hopefully everybody got off before the train headed for Sparta, Kent City, and eventually Manistee.  Santa and Mrs. Claus were assisted by a host of elves.  Train Conductor Wayne was pleased to see all his friends in Alpine Township and Comstock Park once again.

Train Conductor Wayne assisting Mrs. Claus step off the train

A chance to get a view from the front

Time to move on to cities further north where other kids were waiting.


Monday, December 10, 2012


Per Wikopedia:

Teppanyaki (鉄板焼き teppan-yaki) is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan (鉄板), which means iron plate, and yaki (焼き), which means grilled, broiled or pan-fried. In Japan, teppanyaki refers to dishes cooked using an iron plate, including steak, shrimp, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and monjayaki. Modern teppanyaki grills are typically propane-heated flat surface grills, and are widely used to cook food in front of guests at restaurants. Teppanyaki grills are commonly confused with the hibachi barbecue grill, which has a charcoal or gas flame and is made with an open grate design.[1] With a solid griddle type cook surface, the teppanyaki is more suitable for smaller ingredients, such as rice, egg, and finely chopped vegetables.

TEPPANYAKI is also the name of the new restaurant that is moving into the building last occupied by FIRE MOUNTAIN at 3725 Alpine Ave. NW. According to area manager Jimmy Zhengh, you will find TEPPANYAKI  to offer a wonderful and warm milieu, a family environment, offering great food and great service and very reasonable prices. The restaurant has a sushi bar, a steak station, a kids ice cream bar and much more.  Unfortunately we will all have to wait until sometime in February for a Grand Opening.  Until then, THINK TEPPANYAKI!


Kent County Jail Dedication

A dedication ceremony for the Renovation Project of the Kent County Correctional Facility took place at 2:00 PM.  As part of the celebration, Sheriff Larry Stelma gifted original jail keys to Kent County Board of Commission Chair Sandi Frost Parrish and Kent County Administrator/Controller Daryl Delabbio.  Visitors were offered a tour of the facilities.
Kent Couinty Sheriff Larry Stelma and County Administrator Daryl Delabbio

Short tours provided- Extended visits discouraged


More Opportunities to see Santa

Things to do this Saturday

See Santa and his Elves stop by on the Marquette Train at the Old Depot behind Dwight Lydell Park
from  9:30  to 9:50 am  Mrs. Claus plans to be there too.

Visit Santa and have breakfast at Little Pine Island Park from 9:30 am - 12:00 noon

Stop at Zion Lutheran Church for some Christmas Cookies 9:00 am - 5:00 PM

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Santa Sighting - Shop with the Sheriff

It was that day of the year again where many local youngsters had the opportunity to purchase gifts and apparel for family members,  a day where Sheriffs deputies and staff became fashion experts, and a day filled with good will and good cheer for all.
Shop with the Sheriff is a program made possible through the generosity of the public, the planning of the Kent County Sheriff's Department, the support of dozens of Sheriff personnel, and the assistance of Walmart management and staff.
At 7:30 am Sunday morning, over 50 boys and girls were picked up by deputies driving sheriff vehicles from squad cars to mobile command units at the Sam's Club, and chauffeured to the adjacent Walmart store, sirens screaming and lights flashing.  The youngsters were assigned a deputy who assisted in purchasing apparel as gifts for members in their family.  Some deputies and officers proved wise by bringing their spouse of other family members along who were a bit more fashion conscious, but for the most part, the kids made the purchases. 
There were treats and Walmart's staff provided free gift wrapping.  Even the store director was in the act and applied bows to the wrapped presents.
Needless to say, the program has drawn the attention of many.  Not only does  Sheriff Larry Stelma himself show up for this program, but even Santa Claus empties his busy schedule on this day in order to attend this wonderful event.
Santa's intinerary includes a scheduled stop next Saturday December 15 at 9:30 am at the old train Depot in Dwight Lydel Park. He will be coming in by train. He also plans to be at the Salvation Army's  Little Pine Island Camp for breakfast that morning. From 9:30 – 12:00 PM, participants will join Santa himself for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.
Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.
Cost: $2.50 per person / $10 per family.
To order tickets or if you have any questions call Les at (616) 784-1404 ext. 211.