Sunday, January 27, 2013

Alpine Firefighters Assocation Awards Banquet

The Alpine Firefighters Association held it's annual awards banquet Saturday evening at the English Hills Banquet Facility at 1200 4 Mile Rd.
Members and guests of the association enjoyed an evening of fun and fellowship.  The program included a slide presentation of photos taken over the past several years by Association President Jon Jenkins. 
Alpine Township Fire Chief David Klomparens presented special awards recognition to fire fighters Dan Olney and Jeremy Kelly for their special contributions, as well as to the fire department secretary Diane Post. He also recognized Firefighter of the Year Brian Stalsonburg who received his award last year.   Firefighters also received awards and pins for years of service.  Tim Schweitzer  handed out some special awards for what could be categorized as "Most Unmemorable Moments" 
The mission of the Alpine Firefighters Association is to provide the Alpine Township community with fire and life safety information and support.  The Association raised funds last year by sponsoring an Antique Car Show in September and Breakfast with Santa in December.
The Alpine Township Fire Department responded to over 1,000  dispatched calls in 2012.

Vice President Jeremy Kelly (left) and President Jon Jenkins going over some last minute details


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Feeding America West Michigan - Fighting Hunger

Did you know that a $10.00 donation to "Feeding America" will provide as much food for the hungry than if you donated $100.00 in groceries in a food drive? That was one of many points made by Ken Estelle, Executive Director of Feeding America, located in Comstock Park. Ken addressed the members of the Comstock Park Rotary Thursday at their noon meeting at the Swan Inn.
Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank exists to ensure good food is available to the hungry in our community. They do this by saving good surplus food from going to landfills. Last year, they saved 22.3 million pounds of high-quality food from going to waste.
They distribute that reclaimed food to pantries, shelters, and other local anti-hunger organizations in 40 West Michigan counties
Some of their largest contributors are Walmart/Sam's Club. Meijer, Gordon Foods, Spartan Stores, ConAgra, Pepsi, Gordon Food Service. General Mills and Coca Cola. We are very fortunate to have so many food retailers in the area with nearby distribution points.
Feeding America services the west side of the State as well as the Upper Peninsula.
More information and volunteer opportunities can be found at Feeding America's website located at
Ken Estelle

Rotarian Brent Beuschel with Ken Estelle, Executive Director of  Feeding America West Michigan 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Comstock Park Community Outreach Planning Session

Members of the Comstock Park Community Outreach Committee spent  Tuesday morning learning about issues facing our community.  Representatives from Comstock Park School, Alpine Township, York Creek Apartments and numerous churches and community non profit organizations were briefed by Comstock Park Schools Superintendent Ethan Ebensten.  Based on some of the  statistics Ethan provided, 3 issues surfaced to the forefront that the committee wishes to focus on this year:

  • At risk youth
  • Growing number of senior citizens
  • Embracing our growing Hispanic population
The committee set some short range and long range goals regarding these concerns that will be published in the near future.  Comstock Park Community Outreach is a coalition of local community organizations whose purpose is to improve the quality of lives in the community with a mission of matching local community needs with available resources.  More information is available at their website

Some of the findings will also be presented at the Comstock Park Rotary's Leadership Breakfast that is scheduled for Alpine Township on March 16th.

The meeting was held at Little Pine Island Camp on Pine Island Drive, and hosted by the Salvation Army staff, which also provided breakfast for the participants.

Aaron Spratling, Story Community Church, 6 Mile Rd NW

Some of the members present at Tuesday's work session

Focused on improving the quality of lives

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tintype Photography

Roxanne and Gregg Bliss
Greg Bliss from Kent City Michigan was the guest of the Alpine Township Historical Committee Sunday.  He provided his audience with a brief history of Tintype Photography and then demonstrated how photos were captured and developed around the 1850's.  The program was presented at the Alpine Township Historical Museum.  Accompanying Gregg Bliss was his daughter Roxanne, a student at Kent City High School.

George McGuire and Mary Alt

Directors on the Historical Committee appreciate the opportunity to have their picture taken  as it would have been done 150 years ago.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Together We Will Win

Comstock Park High School hosted its annual Cancer Classic Friday night.  Festivities began with an Italian Dinner with some lethal Culver's Ice Cream for desert, and there were many other opportunities to help raise funds for cancer awareness.  It was all part of Comstock Park's Relay for Life.  Dozens of volunteers, many of them cancer survivors themselves were on hand to assist in this program.  

After the dinner, the Comstock Park Boys Varsity Basketball Team dressed themselves in their best  pink basketball uniform and beat guests Coopersville 47-35.  The game was much closer than the final score indicated. After the boys game, the girls team took the floor.  They lost toCoopersville in overtime 49-43.

Tanya Henry with son Elbert and daughter Janelle., both CP students

For many community events Culvers is always there to help 

Emily and Debbie Benjamin and Denise Clement

Victoria Klummp, American Cancer Society (right) with supporters

Kayla Foley, Tracie Egeler and Emily VanOost

Comstock Park Student Section was a sea of yellow

The boys won  47-35

The girls's game followed the boys. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Governor Snyder's State of the State Address

Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends was invited by House Representative Rob VerHeulen to attend Governor Snyder's 2013 State of the State Address at the State Capitol Building in Lansing Wednesday evening.  Alex described the experience as an honor and an opportunity.  "A foreign dignitary could not be treated any better than I was by our State Representative"  Arends quipped.  "I am very much looking forward to a good relationship with Representative VerHeulen", he said.  "As former Mayor of Walker, Rob understands local government."  The two had the opportunity to discuss a number of topics that are sure to be discussed by the legislature this year. 
In his State of the State address, Governor Snyder affirmed that the hottest burning issue on the agenda is Transportation and fixing Michigan Roads.  The Governor made it very clear that by repairing roads before they fall in disarray will save tax payers millions of dollars compared to waiting until they crumble.  The Governor promised to continue the path to economic recovery and making Michigan one of the strongest economic powers in the United States.

Governor Snyder had plenty to smile about

Representative Rob VerHeulen and State Senator Mark Jansen both represent Alpine Township in our State Capitol

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Teppanyaki now open in Comstock Park

Local residents have been patiently waiting for the opening of the Teppanyaki  Grill & Buffet   located in the former Fire Mountain building, 3725 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park. 
They have to wait no longer.  While a "grand opening" advertising campaign may be in the works for a future date, the company has officially opened its doors to customers.  The entire inside looks new and clean, the staff is friendly, the food plentiful and tasty and the price very reasonable.  Teppanyaki's menu has a sushi, seafood and steak buffet with over 250 items, along with a la carte sushi, salads, soups, Asian favorites and dessert. Teppanyaki is a great addition to the restaurants in our neighborhood.
Area manager  Jimmy Cheng and some of the friendly staff


Friday, January 11, 2013

Academy of Awards of Relay for Life Comstock Park

 Cancer. If you’re lucky, this word doesn't bring the face or name of a loved one immediately to mind, but for most of us it brings a barrage of faces to mind.  Now I know that we’re all busy, the economy is tough, and there are so many wonderful causes out there. Why bother with Relay? Because an estimated 562,340 Americans will die of cancer this year! Because Relay For Life raises funds so that the American Cancer Society (ACS) can not only continue the research they are famous for, but also can help locally by providing patient housing, chauffeuring to medical appointments, financial assistance, and emotional & educational support! Because 1.800.227.2345 may be the number most needed by you or your loved one this year. Your community needs your help to eradicate this disease. The first step is simple, join us! 

Join us of this year’s Academy of Awards of Relay for Life Comstock Park:

Date: Wednesday January 16, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Comstock Park High School Cafeteria
Who: Team Captains, Team Members Survivors, Caregivers, Sponsors: Anyone and Everyone who wants to help us put an end to cancer!
Theme: Movies (Come dressed in your best or as your celebrity look-alike & enjoy an evening of VIP treatment! Prizes & Refreshments)

LIGHTS! CAMERA! RELAY! Join us as we kick off our Relay Season at the Relay Premiere Party on January 16, 2013. We are encouraging you to invite everyone on your team to come share in this year’s kick-off! Also, please invite people that you think would be interested in knowing more about Relay! We are excited to start off 2013 Relay year celebrating our Big Relay Accomplishments in Comstock Park. The theme this year is movies, let’s have some fun and we want to know what movie you have picked. Come dressed up in your best and share a wonderful night of V.I.P. treatment! 

Need More Information:
Please contact Kari Kippen at 616.262.5124 or

Interested in starting a team?
Please contact Tana Hasman at 616.581.1256

Fifth Annual Cancer Basketball Classic

Comstock Park vs Coopersville
Friday January 18 2013
5:00 PM at Comstock Park

Support the Fight Against Cancer! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Health Coverage - The Basics

About 50 local residents showed up at the Alpine Township Library on Wednesday evening to learn the basics about Health Coverage, and the facts on what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is all about.  Presenting the program were Lisa Ross, Consumer Outreach Coordinator and Karin Giger, Ombudswoman.  Both work for the State of Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, a self funded State agency.

The two have been doing presentations across the state of Michigan since August and were impressed by the interest shown by local residents.  Wednesday was the first of seven presentations being held at Kent District Libraries.  To see when the program will be represented, visit

Lisa Ross
Karin Giger

Monday, January 7, 2013

Moose on the Loose

Hang on to your antlers!  Kent District Library is celebrating the Michigan Reads picture book selection, Moose on the Loose by Kathy-Jo Wargin.  Hear great moose stories, make your own antlers and more......all at the Alpine Township Branch of the KDL library. Two programs scheduled; Tuesday January 15 at 10:00 AM, and again Wednesday January 16 at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stepping Back In Time - Tintype Photography

Photos Courtesy of Rob Gibson

Before the Digital Camera, the Polaroid, the 35 mm camera, the Brownie or other  box cameras, going back all the way to the Civil War there was Tintype photography. 
On Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM , the Alpine Township Historical Committee is hosting a program on Tintype photography at it's Museum located at 2408 7 Mile Rd NW.
The presentation will be given by Greg Bliss from Coopersville. Admission is open to the public and free. Refreshments will be served. Donations accepted.

Greg Bliss started learning photography 45 years ago when his parents bought him a camera and it has been an inspiration ever since. His creativity and challenges continue. Most of his art is black and white and film based. He still uses large format wooden cameras to produce his best work. Three years ago he developed an interest in the history of photography and where it all started, he began to learn the process of tintype/wet plate photography. It continues to be a learning process. His work has been displayed at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (during festival), Reeds Lake Art Festival, Art on the Grand, The former GVA Art Gallery and at many more smaller venues from coffee shops to a church.

Come and learn and view a demonstration  on Sunday, January 20 at the Museum.  Check for inclimate weather.

Greg Bliss

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fosters Forward - Helping Those in Transition

Tom Sweeney
So what happens to that young man or woman who reaches the age of 18 and leaves the Foster Care system?   The best thing that could possibly happen is that he or she is reunited with their natural family but that is not always the case.  The worst case is that he or she is  put out on the street with a few dollars  and nothing more, maybe not even a mattress to sleep on, and that is very often the case.
It did not take Tom Sweeney a long time to see what bad plight awaits a large number of teens once released from foster care.  Tom,  an former engineer whose earlier life consisted of numbers and best practices  switched careers once he saw that former foster children were in need of direction and help.  As a volunteer and advocate for countless children in foster care, he saw how the system frequently failed to address the need to help those released from the foster care system.  Today Tom is founder and  chairman of Fosters Forward,  an organization he formed  to assist those aging out of a Foster Care programs  who are moving towards Independent Living. 
From helping to procure basic furniture to helping service organizations such as Bethany Christian Services find volunteers to help mentor those in transition, Fosters Forward is a faith based ministry for which there is a definite need.
Tom Sweeney presented a program to the Comstock Park Rotary Thursday which resulted in the commitment of several club members in supporting this cause. 
The Comstock Park Rotary meets every Thursday at 12:10 at the Swan Inn Restaurant on Alpine Ave.  Some of the most recent local projects include the renovation of Grotto Park at the Michigan Veterans Facility, and the building of playgrounds at Wahlfield County Park and York Creek Apartments.  International Projects include the raising of $1,200 for Thirsting to Serve, A District Rotary Project that provides water filters to poor countries, and donating $8,000 with the help of Sparta and Cedar Springs to send a team to El Salvador in February to install a well in order to bring clean water closer to the people of a village.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New in Alpine Township in 2013 - Comstock Nails

Opening up in Alpine Township just in time for the new year is Comstock Nails 4089 Alpine Ave NW, Suite B.  The shop is nestled between Little Caesars Pizza and The Attic in the Outlet Mall in front of the Alpine Walmart.  This is the fourth Nail Salon opened by owner David Luu, who also owns MI Nails, Wyoming Nails and Lovely Nails and has been in business for 5 years.  Comstock Nails is a welcome addition to the Outlet Mall.  The only remaining vacant property in the outlet mall vacated by Teriyaki  and Sushi will soon be occupied by Biggby Coffee.
Grand Opening Week

David Luu has 10 stations to offer

Coming to Alpine Township Soon:  Biggby Coffee!!!!