Quality Tool and Stamping

Pointes in Norton Shores

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Taste and See Tour With Community enCompass in Muskegon September 24th

We've worked for a while to show you the work that goes on at Community enCompass.  They are Downtown Muskegon and as they define themselves, "Community enCompass partners with neighbors in Muskegon's core city to build community together.  As we walk along side neighbors we seek justice and a better quality of life for all through long term sustainable changes." 





To say they are an organization of action is certainly an understatement and their work was showcased Monday night.

Over the years, we've told you about Community enCompass, The YEP Program, McLaughlin Grows Community Garden, Sacred Suds and some of the home rehabs that Community enCompass has done along with neighborhood beatifications, art murals and more but we've never really had the chance to jump on the "big one" and take you on the tour where all their work is showcased in one night to hundreds who board buses to learn just what happens when Community enCompass extends their arms into the city.
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Part of the entire tour is not only to show the people on the ride the amount of work that's been done, but it's a plan to reconnect people to neighborhoods they might not frequent anymore.  Today's world isn't like it was not so very long ago.  We tend to travel to designated commerce areas instead of that one little corner store that had that specialty product.  If something breaks, we just go get a new one as opposed to heading to the repair shop that was nestled down that street in the unsuspecting location.  Easy and convenient?  Maybe, but it's also brought a disconnect to a degree because instead of heading into those neighborhoods, we now go to Harvey, Henry or Sherman and don't get a look at where and how people live.  It's an un-thought of consequence.

On the Taste and See tour, we were treated to great food at all the stops donated by some of Muskegon's finest eateries, but in between them the size and scope of the revitalization was very apparent.  Pride is coming back to neighborhoods through the efforts of young and old.  Those who have lived there for decades and the next generation are coming together to say "This is my home".  We got to visit locations where those with nothing have a chance to get a moment of respite, and we got to see first hand the restoration of beautiful homes ready for new owners and better futures.  We got to see urban farming which is growing tons of healthy food in the middle of what's considered a "food desert" and meet young people who are being taught skills that will last a life time.

We let the cameras roll on the tour which kicked off at the 18th Amendment.  It's a longer presentation, but well worth watching.  Take a look.


It's an awesome organization and their reach is really making a difference.  As the tour went, one of the thoughts that crossed my mind popped up when I saw the folks in the neighborhoods we visited looking out their windows, or maybe out in their yard watching the buses go by and curiously waving or smiling.  When I was younger, it wasn't an anomaly to see people in your neighborhood, a bus load at 7:30 maybe a little but have we grown to the point where we're all in our own little worlds so much that seeing someone other than who's right next door is an event?  Man....it's time for all of us to follow the lead of Community enCompass and get to know our neighbors better.  Across the street, across town or where ever.  Our strength lies within all of us, and Community enComapss helps facilitate that.  To learn more, click on their logo below.





Friday, September 14, 2018

Meet "Walter the Waver" on Pontaluna Road - Walter Strickler

Once in a while, from time to time and then and again, a character pops up in town that makes an impact on lives every day without much effort at all.  We all do what we can for the betterment of our community.  Some write, some buy buildings, others help feed the hungry while others rescue animals.  It's our collective efforts that add up to make Muskegon the remarkable place it is.  Sometimes it might just be a friendly wave, or in the case of Walter Strickler, maybe a couple hundred a day.


Walter takes his place out on Pontaluna Road in Norton Shores next to the Little Black Creek Baptist Church from about 3:30 till 6 or so every day to do nothing more than wave to passers by.  He's built up quite a good amount of goodwill too!  People honk, people wave...people stop in with things like cupcakes and goodies.  Certainly wasn't Walter's idea to drum up a bunch of attention to himself, but rather to add a little joy back in the world.  Walter is a devout Christian and when I first pulled up, I asked "What drives you to be out here every day?"  I got a one word answer... "Jesus."

Visit the Little Black Creek Baptist Church Online

Walter was in the armed forces and spent his time as an airplane mechanic.  He then came back here to work and in his retirement life, he's known to take care of the grass at the Little Black Creek Baptist Church next door to his house.  He's also very quick to invite you back to visit the church if you're looking for a place to profess your faith.

We could go on and on, but as I explained to Walter when I pulled up....there's a world of people who'd like to get to know the guy behind the wave, so...without further fanfare ladies and gentlemen...meet Walter Strickler.  I will say in advance, he's a little soft spoken, so you may need to turn the volume up a touch.




Just spreading a little joy, one wave at a time.  If you're out on Pontaluna some afternoon, get in in the fun with a honk and a wave yourself!  Make the world a little better place.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Help Fill the Boot for MDA At G&L With the Muskegon Twp and Norton Shores FD on 9/14 and 9/21

I love telling stories about fire fighters.  Why?  Well, who didn't want to be a fire fighter when they were a kid right?  There's that, and there's also the fact that there is a very unique and very special bond among fire fighters no matter where they work there is an unbreakable bond among all of them and once they latch on to someone who needs a hand....you have an entire brotherhood behind you ready to do what it takes to make sure needs are met. 
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Another thing about fire fighters...they are all pretty competitive.  Sure, when the time comes and they have to get to work, all that gets put aside, but they compete.  They train physically, they try to out prank each other, they practice their craft and see who can top who's time on things....hey, when you deal with the kind of situations they do, there has to be a way to blow off some steam right?  It gets especially competitive when one department takes on another, and that...that can be a great thing.  Especially when it comes to the time honored tradition of "Fill the Boot".   In the past, you'd find the fire fighters right in the middle of an intersection, boot in hand looking for the spare change at a light, but like most anything, when lawyers get involved...sometimes what was has to be refined a little for safety and liability sake.  Nothing against lawyers or anything, they are doing their job too, but...reshaping things to accomplish a task requires getting the word out a little. 


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Back to the "competition" between departments.  This year, in an effort to raise a few bucks for the Muscular Dystrophy Association  The Muskegon Township FD and the Norton Shores FD have a couple of special Friday's planned at area G&L Restaurants!  You'll get to enjoy some delicious food that is ALL Muskegon and, you'll get a chance to meet some of the fire fighters who are out there day in and day out as our first responders doing all they can to keep us safe.  You will find them at the locations in Muskegon Township on Apple  and Holton Road on Sternberg and Sherman in Norton Shores on September 14th and September 21st.  It's not only a great chance to do your part to help the effort, but you can also get a chance to meet and thank the men and women of these departments in a setting that's not the normal situation you may meet them in. 




It's TBD as to what the "wager" is between the two departments, BUT.... Brad Walters of the Muskegon Township FD got a hold of me to talk about the "friendly" competition and how it's going to make an impact locally.  Let's just say, the competition might be "friendly" and all, but we're naming names and it's game on to help the MDA!  Take a listen! 


A lot of fun and some tremendous people involved in doing what they can to help out.  Hey, I know it's not too much to ask to get you to stop into G&L for one of their famous Greek chili dogs or maybe you'd like one of their awesome burgers...and of course....there's the fries.  While you're there, take a minute to help the Muskegon Township or Norton Shores FD out with their quest to do a good turn for the MDA!  A fun fall event for sure and a great way to connect with some community hero's who truly give back in every way they can.  Click on the image below to visit the MDA website.