Sunday, June 30, 2013

Safety on the Farm - Farm Rescue


Not many people realize the high risks involved with farming. They envision a peaceful process of planting and harvesting, much like how it was done generations ago. Nowadays, however, the process is much more complex and involves lots of machinery, chemicals, and moving parts.
 The United States Department of Agriculture reports that:
  Tractor accidents on farms cause the highest number of fatalities with tractor overturns accounting for 44 percent of all tractor fatalities.
  Fruit farms have the highest work injury rate among various specified agricultural operations
First response is critical in farm-related injuries. Such injuries often occur in isolated areas and may involve entrapment by farm machinery or in structures that are difficult to enter.

Alpine, Sparta and other local firefighters spent this weekend learning about farm rescue at a Farm Rescue class offered at Alpine Fire Station #3 on 9 Mile Road and at the May Farm on Fruitridge Ave by Michigan Agricultural Accident Rescue Systems which is headquartered in Montague, Michigan.   The session was  mostly hands on and was thought to be extremely helpful responding to agricultural related accidents and even those on golf courses.  Sunday was spent on exercises using real farm equipment.  According to Jim May, an Alpine Township farmer and Township Trustee, a similar program was conducted 6 years ago and thought to be invaluable.  More information about the training can be found on the MAARS website.

a farm model was used to lay out several scenarios

Friday evening was lecture and discussion time and Saturday was spent  at Fire Station 3 for hands on training
Farm machinery can be very complex

Calmly setting up a plan and making assignments in a rescue attempt

Assessing the situation as a victim's arm is crushed and pinned under a piece of farm equipment

Rescuing the victim often has to be a slow and tedious process where first responders not only have to worry about the victim but their own safety a well

Names Worth Dropping

Sheryl Budnik

Entering ART PRIZE for the third year in a row will be local artist Sheryl Budnik.  Sheryl's artwork has been featured on this blog several times and her paintings of scenes in and around Alpine Township has been on display at the Township Offices as well as a number of prestigious art studios.

According to the Artprize Website, this year's entry, 'Lumen Naturae — Ocean at Night" covers two canvases, each 48 x 30", for a total width of 96". Painted with oil and palette knives, the painting image evokes the experience of floating mid-ocean at night, with stars overhead. 'Lumen Naturae' refers to a mystical term for 'The Light Within the Darkness of Nature'.

More Information is available on Sheryl Budnik's website.

. 'Lumen Naturae'

Photo from You Tube presentation
There was a story in the Grand Rapids Press this week about the first woman astronaut from Michigan Christina Hammock having roots here in Alpine Township.  Christina is the daughter of Barbara Johnson,and granddaughter of Walt and Delores Homrich. Walt and Delores are well known farmers in the Township and have operated "Under the Pines" Farm Market for many years.  Christina was one of six new astronauts chosen out of thousands of applicants.  She joins the  ranks of fellow Grand Rapids born astronauts Roger B. Chaffee, who died on Apollo 1, and Jack Lousma.  Christina gives much of the credit for her work ethic to her grand parents and parents.  She still makes frequent visits to the area to visit her relatives.
For the complete story by MLIVE contributor Kyle Moroney go to:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

LIFE EMS Camp 911

In tribute to John English
LIFE EMS offered a day long program that focused on safety and prevention techniques for children ages 9-11.  They  partnered with the Alpine Township Fire Department, Kent County Sheriff's Department, Consumers Energy, and Safe Kids Coalition to bring a variety of experiences. Camp 911 provided a fun, hands-on learning environment giving about 20 children the knowledge, skills and confidence to protect themselves and react safely in emergency situations. Lunch and snacks were provided. The event was held at Alpine Township Fire Station #3 at 610 9 Mile Rd. N.W.
Camp Director John English and his assistant Jan Mosson

Kids had the opportunity to get a taste of fire fighting
Deputy Fire Chief Jeremy Kelly helps demonstrate use of Jaws of Life

 Kent County Deputy Tim Erhardt providing safety tips

Alpine Township Firefighter Mark Nawara offering some firefighting techniques

Who hasn't ever wanted to play firefighter with real boots and helmets?

Alpine Firefighter Jason Szotko demonstrating car extrication in 80 degree weather

Saturday, June 22, 2013

York Creek Drive Make Over

One of two road repair projects scheduled in Alpine Township is the repaving of York Creek Drive.  Construction was scheduled to begin Monday but with the good weather and less anticipated traffic issues, the project was completed today by Superior Asphalt. 
Another project expected to be completed this summer but by a different contractor is the resurfacing of Yorkland Drive.  Costs for the repaving projects were set aside in the budgets of the current and next fiscal year are split between Alpine Township and the Kent County Road Commission.


Fresh Strawberries in Season

Whether you want to pick your own or buy them already picked, there is nothing more scrumptious than fresh Michigan strawberries.   Now is a great time to purchase them. It has been rumored that eating 140 strawberries equals eating one cheeseburger.  (We do not recommend you eat that many at one sitting.)
To find out where you can purchase fresh Michigan strawberries right at the farm, check the link to any of the farm markets listed in the column on the right side of this page and contact them for availability and hours available.  To get some ideas on what you can do with strawberries, here is one of many links on the internet.

Strawberries at the Ed Dunneback and Girls Farm Market, 3025 6 Mile Road in Comstock Park

Picking your own at the Morse Brothers Farm, 2925 6 Mile Road in Comstock Park.  The patch is located off 6 Mile on Peachridge. 


Friday, June 21, 2013

Comstock Park Students Experience Life Leadership Conference

Amongst the 150 or so students invited to attend this year's Rotary District 6290's Life Leadership Conference were two incoming seniors from Comstock Park High School.  This is the 65th year of this program that brings some of the best and brightest students from around the Rotary District  together. Joining in the conference were students from Canada as well as exchange students from Brazil, Denmark, Lithuania and other countries. Sponsored by the Comstock Park Rotary were Ethan Carpenter and Noah Kibbe.  The two will be attending a future Rotary meeting to share their experiences at the conference.

Ethan Carpenter (left) and Noah Kibbe at the Life Leadership Institute

Some of the 150 students in attendance at Friday night dinner

Mariah Gregurek and McKenna Inglis from Shelby Michigan were two of the students who shared the dinner table with Comstock Park Rotary President Alex Arends and his wife Marilyn

Local motivational speaker and author Johnnie Tuitel captured the audience with his presentation Friday night.  After his presentation there was a musical presentation and talent show

Enjoying the week were Aaron Geyer from Traverse City and Carl Rasch (right) from Boyne City, who believes his ancestors originally settled on the Ridge in Alpine Township

Be SummerWise - Save on Energy Costs

With the arrival of summer, the MPSC highlighted its Be SummerWise website, where utility customers can learn about ways to reduce energy bills.
"Summertime means rising temperatures, and that can mean high electric bills," said MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush. "The MPSC's Be SummerWise website has many useful tips to help customers cut energy bills. The good news is many tips can be implemented at no or low cost."
The Be SummerWise website features information on using energy wisely, planning ahead by using budget billing plans offered by utilities, shut-off prevention programs, energy efficiency tips and more.
The U.S. Department of Energy provides the following easy low-cost and no-cost tips to cut energy usage:
·         Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
·         Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
·         Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.
·         Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power  strips off when the equipment is not in use. TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
·         Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
·         Take short showers instead of baths, and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.
·         Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
·         Air dry clothes.
·         Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
·         Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
For more tips, see our Be SummerWise website at:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

45 Years of Maranatha Day Camp

What started out 45 years ago has blossomed into a program that saw 340 registered campers and dozens of volunteers participate.   Maranatha Day Camp is a staple of the community that is now seeing a third generation of participants.

Thursday night was graduation and with both campers and parent present there may well have been over 700 people in attendance, probably one of the largest gathering of people at one time in the Township.

The Theme this year was "Spur one another on" and the setting was Western. Most of the program ran successful but at least one hitch was reported. It appears campers panned for and found a significant amount of gold in Strawberry Creek. It did not take long for the word to get out and a gang believed to be headed by an outlaw known as Crossfire arrived on horseback and raided the day camp and escaped with all the gold. Wanted posters have been distributed and Neighborhood Watch groups have been alerted.  Reports indicate that the gang is still in the area and Crossfire was seen infiltrating the crowd. 
  This one incident was not enough however to ruin the fun and fellowship experienced by the campers.
Below are some pictures for your enjoyment. More at


Crossfire spotted in the crowd?