Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday Evening Activities

With the possibility of rain in the forecast, the Alpine Township Library Pet Show was held in the Township Hall.  The room was filled to capacity as parents and their children came to either show off their pets or to see the show.  There were cats and dogs, a ferret and other pets that fortunately were house broken.

Meanwhile there was a woman  soccer game in progress at the Alpine Township Sports Complex, with Barcelona (yellow and red)  easily defeating the Latinas this evening.


Community Celebration - Join us at the Comstock Park Library and Dwight Lydell Park Friday August 9 2013

Wedgwood Christian Services and KDL-Comstock Park will be hosting a FREE, Community Celebration on Friday, August 9 at KDL-Comstock Park Library and Dwight Lydell Park.  Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about community resources, participate in activities (including a Photo booth and Zumba!), win prizes, and end the evening with a FREE showing of “Madagascar 3” (Rated G, 90 minutes) at Dwight Lydell Park at dusk.  Bring a friend and a chair or blanket to sit on.  Popcorn will be free, with other concessions available for purchase.   Questions? Contact Meghan Aupperlee at 831-5668.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

State Legislators Meet with Local Officials

State Representatives Rob VerHeulen and Pete McGregor met with Township, City and  Public Safety Officials Tuesday morning to receive public input on recently proposed state legislation that would increase or establish new fees for the licensing of emergency medical services operations and education providers.  House Bill 4785 would significantly impact the budget of fire or public safety departments, particularly those with on-call staffing and could actually punish those departments that offer increased training or have Emergency Medical Technicians on their staff.  Both representatives serve on the House Ways and Means Committee and both have backgrounds in local government.  They listened attentively to  comments from the audience. While most felt the need for increased funding for maintaining the current licensing and regulation of emergency medical services, responders, and vehicles was real, they felt that the fees suggested by the House Bill  were far too excessive and should perhaps be appropriated from a source different than local government that is providing a service to the public and may already be financially strapped.  For those interested, the bill can be accessed here.

Rob VerHeulen (74th District) and Pete McGregor (73th District)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Alpine Township Library Craft Sale for Kids and Teens

The Alpine Township Branch of the Kent District Library held a Craft Sale for Kids and Teens, and there were numerous items on display and offered for sale.  Participants had the opportunity to earn a few dollars, while one of the participants committed all her profits to Amazima Ministries to help the children of Uganda, after being inspired by the book Kisses from Katie, written by Katie Davis, (with Betty Clark) and available at the Alpine Township Library. Most of the tables were set inside the Townshop Hall while at least one participant chose a shady spot outside.  Sales went well enough so that all want to do it again next year.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Jim Keech Memorial Race for Huntington's Disease

For 11 years, the Mikula family (Four Seasons Lawn and Sports Equipment on Alpine Ave.)has brought Lawnmower Races to Sparta in an effort to draw attention to and raise money for Huntington's Disease.  It is a disease that the Mikulas are well familiar with as it has shortened the lives of six of Jim's siblings.
This year the annual event was named after Jim Keech, a great ambassador for Huntington's Disease and the race which draws drivers from across the country and Canada.
Huntington Disease is inherited and causes certain nerve cells in the brain and central nervous system to degenerate. Loss of these nerve cells causes symptoms such as behavior changes, unusual, snake-like movements (chorea), uncontrolled movement, difficulty walking, loss of memory, speech and cognitive functions and difficulty in swallowing. Treatment aims to limit the course of the disease. There is an adult-onset Huntington’s Disease (HD), which is most common and usually develops when a person is in the 30’s and 40’s. There is also an early-onset form which begins in childhood. HD is an autosomal dominant disorder, meaning that if one parent has HD, you have a 50 percent chance of having the disease—and if you inherited the gene, you will develop the disease and can pass it on to your own children.
Lawnmower racing is not a sport for sissies and drivers as was demonstrated at the race at Sparta Airport Saturday evening.  The "souped up" engines with the mower blades removed can attain speeds as high as 60 miles an hour. 
Funds raised by the Mikulas over the past 11 years exceed $100,000 with the hope that the disease will be eradicated through proper research and treatment. Don't miss out on this event next year on Saturday July 19, 2014.

There are different classifications for different mowers and age groups
A beautiful evening


Some of the spectators who did not bring their own chair

An occasional smoker

Alpine Township Fire Chief Dave Klomparens,  (He's everywhere)

Sparta Village President Skip Meyer (left) and Jim Mikula


Even the very young in attendance got to participate

Sparta Town and Country Days Days Parade

Sparta hosted its Town and Country Days last week and it has to be one of the best small town celebrations anywhere.  Not only does it give a flavor of the Sparta community, there was a presence of  neighboring communities, including Alpine Township.  Saturday featured  many activities including a parade held under blue skies for lots of spectators.

Alpine Township Fire Department Honor Guard

The Alpine Township Fire Department Honor Guard

Alpine Township Fire Department Rescue Engine 5

The Kent County Sheriff's Mounted Posse

Alpine Firefighters Association Promoting their September 7 Fallen Hero's Car Show 

The United States Army had a strong presence

Kent County Road Commissioner Fritz Wahlfield Sr. and family members

Parade Grand Marshall James Zwarensteyn

Edward Jones' Dana Quick with Wizard of Oz characters in background

Goodfellow's Orchards
Promoting Sparta's Celtic Festival on August 10 
Harold Thome and daughter

Sparta Township Supervisor Dale Bergsma

Jim Mikula, Four Seasons Yard and Sports Equipment

Jayson Mikula, Four Seasons Yard and Sports Equipment

Kent County Road Commission showing off equipment

Michigan  House Representative Rob VerHeulen

Sparta High School Band

United States Representative Justin Amash

Cedar Springs promoting Red Flannel Festival

Pastor Julie Schneider,,Zion Lutheran Church and daughter

...and loads of fun