Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Alpine Township Staff Recognized

The Alpine Township Office was closed for a brief period of time today so that staff could have a luncheon meeting held in one of the private dining rooms of  Fire Mountain Restaurant.

Employees were presented with a photo frame that boasted a photo of a huge billboard that rendered appreciation for the Alpine Township staff.  Since a search of the community did not uncover the actual location of the billboard, it is assumed that the billboard is only virtual, but was appreciated none the less.

Also invited to the luncheon were township officials and committee chair persons.

Alphabet Safari

Over 30 preschoolers took a trip on the wild side Tuesday morning at the Alpine Township branch of the Kent District Library  and hunted for their favorite letters — safari style! This virtual journey to the savannah and jungle allowed the children to experience the alphabet in a new and exciting way through interactive and creative activities. Safari activities included creating a “crocodile” using old jewel cases and fishing for letters at the watering hole, then making one's own binoculars and using them to find the letters needed to spell the names of jungle creatures.


More Government Assistance for Qualified Families

Click on brochures to enlarge

Monday, January 30, 2012

Your Taxes as Easy as 211 - and it Is Free!

Getting your tax return prepared can be as easy as 123 211.  According to Brenda Brame,  Program Manager for the Kent County Tax Credit Coalition at the Heart of West Michigan United Way,  United Way is providing tax preparation and e-Filing services, free to anyone whose income is $55,000 or less, thanks in part to community volunteers.

This past season they served over 7,500 taxpayers, bringing over $10.8 million back into the community. You may be one of many more under-served taxpayers that may need their help. Help is available by calling 211 for an appointment. And you don't have to go far for your appointment.   The Comstock Park Branch of the Kent District Library at 3943 West River Drive NE is conveniently accessible just to serve the residents of Alpine Township and it's surrounding area.
Did you know?
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a Federal tax credit that low income, working families and individuals are eligible to claim on their income tax return. However, every year about 25% of families nation-wide fail to claim this credit. It is our organization's goal to ensure that every eligible family in the Kent County area claims this credit through our Free Income Tax Preparation Sites.

The Kent County Tax Credit Coalition is comprised of community organizations including the Heart of West Michigan United Way, Kent County Department of Human Services, Baxter Community Center, the Internal Revenue Service and various financial institutions working cooperatively to utilize the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and other various tax credits as a means to improve financial independence for working, low and moderate income individuals and families. The Kent County Tax Credit Coalition aims to provide additional dollars to our families and thus, the businesses and the local community. The Coalition works to achieve the above goal through the provision of information and the development of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, which have the capability to assist eligible wage earners to access EITC dollars and other credits in their income tax returns.

Contact person: Brenda Brame, Program Manager, (phone), (email)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kent County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Conducts Fund Raiser

The Kent County Volunteer Emergency Response Team, (C.E.R.T.) held a Spaghetti Dinner fund raiser Saturday night at Peter and Paul School Gym in Grand Rapids.  The spaghetti was awesome and so were the meatballs.  There were auctions of all types, with many donations from generous businesses. The fundraiser was organized by J's Journey, a Comstock Park business.

The Kent County Volunteer Citizens Emergency Response Team  was created in January 2011.  Since then it has offered over 30 classes and graduated over 500 citizens in disaster preparedness.  
Following a tornado, major gas leak, act of terrorism, chemical accident, airplane cars, or other  major disaster, residents may be on their own for a period of time because of the size of the area affected, lost communications, and impassable roads.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program supports local response capability by training volunteers to organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers at the disaster site, to provide immediate assistance to victims, and to collect disaster intelligence to support responders’ efforts when they arrive.
By becoming a CERT volunteer and completing the training, you can be better prepared for the unexpected. Whether it is an act of terrorism, a natural or a man-made disaster, you can be directly involved in saving and sustaining lives and property.
The Kent County CERT Program holds classes for the following groups:
  • General public / Open classes
  • Specific neighborhood groups
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Teens / Youth
Contact person is David Everts
Kent County CERT
Kent County Volunteer Community Emergency Response Team
701 Ball St
Grand Rapids, MI 49505

(616) 632-6100

Alpine Township has been participating in CERT through its fire department.

Westgate Park in Winter

Westgate Park may be closed for the winter but that hasn't stopped it from inviting you to enjoy its serenity in the winter.

Westgate Park, Alpine Township

Amore Trattoria Italiana Sponsors Fundraiser for Employees's Mom

Amore Trattoria Italiana is holding a fundraiser for Bonnie Nelson - their bartender's mom who is having 2 major cancer surgeries in a weeks time. They are getting great donations from local businesses. They are having a 5 course wine/beer dinner for $50 all proceeds go to Bonnie! Event is on Wednesday February 1st, 2012 at 6:30. Tim Doty will be the auctioneer!

5080 Alpine Ave Comstock Park, MI 49321 (616) 785-5344

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy 60th Birthday, Comstock Park Rotary!

The State of Michigan is not the only institution that celebrated a birthday today. (their 175th)  The Comstock Park Rotary celebrated their 60th birthday, and was honored to have the 94 year old only surviving charter member Martin Buth participate in the celebration.  Special speaker for the program was Martin's nephew Paul Buth, who in 2008 participated in "From Sea to Sea" a Bike Tour from Seattle to Jersey City.  Paul shared a slide show with highlights of the tour which covered 3,881 miles (6,246 kms).   Paul  was one of about 120 cyclists who completed the trip.  Between them, they raised over a million dollars for  hunger fighting causes. 

Marty Buth and President Dick Woodward

All in all, 10 past presidents and the current president attended today's meeting

Guest Jarred Sper (left) looks on with Rotarian Ed Hood

Brent Beuschel, Paul Buth and Marty Buth

Ed Hood, Doug Gordon and Bernie Spruit

  The Comstock Park Rotary Club and Foundation has paid for or contributed to a multitude of projects since 1952. 
·         Support for the eradication of Polio throughout the world through the RI PolioPlus Campaign.
Funding for Katrina relief through Rotary Clubs in South.  Replacement of library books for Erath High School, Vermillion, Louisiana.   $2,000

Comstock Park Rotary has joined other Clubs in District 6290 in contributing funds to build and install bio-sand filters to provide safe, clean water in depressed countries such as the Dominican Republic.   This is a continuing project since the need is so great.  Also relief to Haiti and Japan.

Support of Kenya ,ITC, providing computer training on an island  near Kenya

Restoration & ADA improvements to Grotto Park at the Grand Rapids Veteran’s Facility – 2008

      Cost  $500,000. Ongoing maintenance;  future enhancements planned
A community-build project with York Creek Apartments, Amway and KaBoom, Inc.
This Centennial project in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Rotary International, was completed in June, 2005 and dedicated on June 1, 2006.  Comstock Park Rotary raised $100,000, which was matched by $50,000 from Kent County Parks.  Wahlfield Park (250 acres) is located on the northwest corner of M-37 and 8 Mile Rd.
Each year, four scholarships of $750 each are granted to two students from Kenowa Hills High School and two from Comstock Park High School.  Scholarships have been offered since 1984.  In addition, four students are offered the opportunity to attend Life Leadership Training each June. $1,400 Annually.

The 4-Way Test is the standard of how we treat people and want to be treated.  We have installed 120  4-Way Test Plaques in all the classrooms, grades 5-12 at Comstock Park High School.  The test is as follows: 1. Is it the TRUTH?  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?   3. Will it build GOOD WILL AND BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL TO ALL CONCERNED?

Community Nature Trail & Educational Environmental Center – Comstock Park High, $25,000
Hospice of Grand Rapids – 1992-1995 Bowl-A-Thons - $15,829.
Enclosed Band Trailer, Veterans Memorial & Flag Pole – Comstock Park High  $24,600

Northwestern Little League - $42,800                    -Dwight Lydell Park- $43,000
-Rotary Field – Varsity Ball Field                                -Tennis Courts & Lights
-Concession & Storage Building                                 -Water Wheel in Mill Creek
-All Backstops & Foul Line Fences                             - Benches in Park & at Bus Stop
-P/A System                                                               -Flag Pole & Flag
    -Team Sponsor Since 1952                                        -50/50 with Kent County Parks Depts.,           Restrooms                                                                                                     Pavilion, Playground Equip., Fish Pond
Santa Claus Girls Delivery, Since 2002
  • For many years, CP Rotary has held 3 Chicken Barbeques in Dwight Lydell Park in May , June  & July.
  • Sponsored Bingo at Westgate Bowl in 70’s and 80’s
  • Whitecap Games Fundraisers – Promoted by Pat Delaney
  • Texas Holdem’ at Westgate since 2009.  (We handle the money and sell poker chips.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Comstock Park Relay for Life Kicks Off

Organizers and supporters of Comstock Park's Relay for Life celebrated their New Year this evening. The program in support of the American Cancer Society is scheduled to be held beginning Friday. May 18 at Comstock Park High School,and tonight was kick-off night at the American Legion, Post47 Louis Teistler. Supporters enjoyed delicious homemade food, stories from cancer survivors and cancer patients care takers,and shared comradery. The team is hoping to have 20 teams participate and raise about $40,000.

Muriel Crowe telling the audience some of the reasons she  volunteers for Relay for Life

American Cancer Society Organizer Victoria Klumpp (left) with Comstock Park's Tana Harman

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Local Business Officials Encouraged to Provide Imput on Education

Governor Snyder, in his 2012 State of the State Address said that Michigan needs to do a better job of making  our graduating high school students college or career ready.

What does career-ready mean to a business owner?
How is the Kenowa Hills Public School District preparing students for life after high school?

Kenowa Hills School officials are looking for input from local business officials to advise them on how we can better prepare our children to enter the job market.  They are sponsoring a business forum and inviting local business officials to attend.  The event will take place at Kenowa Hills Middle School, 3950 Hendershot NW (North of 4 Mile Rd.) in Alpine Township on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.

Lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP Gayle at 616-784-2511 x208 or e-mail gsims@khps.org by  January 27, 2012.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Public Is Invited - Kick Off Party

The public is invited to the American Cancer Society's kickoff party scheduled for Wednesday January 25th 2012 from 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM at the American Legion, 3811 West River Drive NE in Comstock Park.  Discover what your community is doing to combat the never sleeping threat of cancer and how you can help.   Almost every family is affected by this disease.  Please stop in anytime during the aforementioned time.  Bring your family, neighbors, friends, or drop in alone.
Winter Time

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Day

On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation making the third Monday of January a United States federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday of January 15.


On a hot summer day nearly half a century ago, an African American preacher with no official title or rank gave voice to our Nation's deepest aspirations, sharing his dream of an America that ensured the true equality of all our people. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a movement that would push our country toward a more perfect Union.
At a time when our Nation was sharply divided, Dr. King called on a generation of Americans to be "voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion." His example stirred men and women of all backgrounds to become foot soldiers for justice, and his leadership gave them the courage to refuse the limitations of the day and fight for the prospect of tomorrow. Because these individuals showed the resilience to stand firm in the face of the fiercest resistance, we are the benefactors of an extraordinary legacy of progress.
Today, Dr. King is memorialized on the National Mall where he once spoke, a symbol of how far our Nation has come and a testament to the quiet heroes whose names may never appear in history books, but whose selflessness brought about change few thought possible. Dr. King's memorial reminds us that while the work of realizing his remarkable dream is unending, with persistence, progress is within our reach.
On the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, we celebrate the man who fought for the America he knew was possible. Dr. King's faith in a God who loves all His children and a Nation grounded in the promise of equality would not let him rest until victory was won. As we work to meet the challenges of our time from fixing our schools so every child gets a world class education to ensuring all Americans have access to strong and secure economic opportunity let us draw strength from Dr. King's stirring affirmation that "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." In his memory, let us continue climbing toward that Promised Land, one more fair and more just for all people.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2012, as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday. I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate civic, community, and service
projects in honor of Dr. King, and to visit www.MLKDay.gov to find Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service projects across our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of January, 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.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Alpine Township Historical Committee Program Features Supervisor

Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends will be the guest speaker at the Alpine Township Historical Committee's January program scheduled for Sunday January 15 at 2:00 P.M. at the Township's Community Building, 2115 7 Mile Road NW in Comstock Park.
Alex will give a brief "State of the Township" and share many of the pictures he took over the past year of  Alpine Township people and events.  Many of these have been featured on the Township's blog, "The Alpine Township Website Companion".  Please check for cancellation in the event of inclement weather.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Midwest Properties of Michigan Host Appreciation Night

Midwest Properties of Michigan invited friends and clients to an evening at  Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, where Christmas Trees around the World were still on display.  The event was held to thank clients for both their past and future business.  Several local realtors participated in the event.

Local Realtor and Alpine Township resident  Sue Timmer (right) with Marilyn Arends

Local Realtor and Alpine Township Resident Doug Gordon
Local Realtor and Alpine Township resident Jennifer Lavallee
Local Realtor Ed Hood (left) with Dan and Cathy Perrin

Meijer Gardens was still in the holiday mode

Home Repair Services the Topic at the Comstock Park Rotary Meeting

How can you get major repairs such as a new roof for at as little as 10% of the actual costs?  At Home Repair Services, that's where, provided your family income is below the Kent County medium income.  And where can you rent tools, or attend free fix-it training?  The same place you can get financial counseling  on home foreclosure.  That place is Home Repair Services.  At Home Repair Services, they are deeply concerned about the impact of foreclosure on individual families and our entire community. But concern isn’t enough. They’re also taking action. Their Financial Counseling programs helps about 1,600 families each year – one of the largest such non-profit programs in Michigan. They work directly with families and lenders to prevent foreclosure whenever possible. 

These are some of the services offered to Kent County residents, many who, like the Rotarians at Thursday's meeting, are not aware of the depth of services offered.  They were fully explained by Stan Greene, Resource Development Manager for Home Repair Services, and guest speaker at the Rotary meeting.  Stan was accompanied by Coleen Downey, Events Coordinator.  Home Repair Services has its origins with Catholic Social Services but has been a self supporting organization for over 20 years.  Initially their services were focused on needy elderly, but their focus changed over the years and they offer assistance to all homeowners who are trying to maintain their home while experiencing financial restraints.  More information is available at their website at http://www.homerepairservices.org.

Stan Greene and Coleen Downey, Home Repair Services

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Alpine Township Culver's Hosts Fund Raisers for Vietnam Veterans of America

The Vietnam Veterans of America Michael J. Bost Chapter 18 held a fundraiser on Tuesday evening at the Alpine Township Culver's, 4280 Alpine Ave., Comstock Park, Michigan. The local Culver's donated a certain percentage of purchases made to the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans.
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the only national Vietnam veterans organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families.

Chapter 18 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, received its VVA charter on April 9, 1982. From its beginnings nearly 30 years ago, Chapter 18 has been involved in a wide array of community-service activities. That includes taking part in a local MS Walk, sponsoring the appearance of the Moving Wall, doing school presentations, supporting Special Olympics, working with the local VA clinic, supporting Gold Star Mothers, and donating holiday food baskets to the needy. Members live up the VVA motto, 'In Service to America'. President of the local chapter is Jim Pike.
Jim Pike
Volunteer Vietnam Veterans and Bettt Pike