Tanya Cabala For State Rep

Tanya Cabala For State Rep
Michigan's 91st District

Muskegon Central Dispatch 9-1-1 Ballot Proposal

Muskegon Central Dispatch 9-1-1 Ballot Proposal
Get the Facts and Vote November 6th

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Second Annual Fatherhood Summit October 27th at the Career Tech Center in Muskegon With Dads on Deck

It's the biggest step a guy can take, and for some it can be one of the scariest.  The idea of fatherhood is enormous.  So much so, that in my "child rearing" years, I was so afraid that I would do more harm than good due to my own life circumstances, I never even tried.  I could barely take care of myself and who was I to think that bringing in someone else would be a fair or good option.  I didn't want my mess at the time to go any further.

As daunting a task as it can be, it's an essential role in the lives of kids.  Even at the moment of birth some say that a baby can recognize a fathers voice.  A fathers role helps in the health of a pregnancy, fathers help keep kids from living a life in poverty and kids who live in a fatherless home are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school.  Fathers add so much to lives from parenting styles which are a little more spontaneous and physical giving kids the ability to be a little more rambunctious and adventurous and fathers also teach by example, showing kids by experience how things are done and why.  I think back to sitting in the garage with my dad changing the oil in the cars or maybe working on the lawnmower or something.  Not only were they lessons....but they were bonding times.  It seemed like an exclusive club out there, especially in the Winter when he'd turn the heater on and use the hot water to wash the cars.  Fathers tend too, to let their kids work through frustrations and figure out things for themselves a little bit and of course there's the discipline factor.  A mom tends to discipline behavior and emotional relationships while a father leans more toward what needs to be taught to be successful in society and in an every day world.  It's truly a role that is essential in the development of young people.
Dads on Deck Summit on Facebook

But wait...where's the instruction manual?   Bad news.  There isn't one.  BUT!  There is an opportunity to get some knowledge on the subject, free of charge and they will eve feed you for coming out!  On October 27th the MAISD will be hosting The Second Annual Fatherhood Summit from 10a-2p at the Career Tech Center.  It's an opportunity first and foremost to see that you're not alone in thinking being a dad is overwhelming.  It's also a great chance to hear from some top speakers in the field as to what being a father is all about and what it means to the development of the child.  Even if things were not able to work out with you and the Mrs., there are guys here who have walked the walk and can help you better understand the importance of your role in these young peoples lives.  We're all about rebuilding community, and all of the slogans, and billboards and social media groups are great....but the power...truly lies in you and how you help build the future with our children!  Advance registration is requested you can CLICK HERE to email your request.

I met up with Norman Young who's with the Muskegon ISD to talk a little about this event and how fathers can learn the importance of their roles and how they can join this summit to see that they are not alone in wondering and that there truly is strength in numbers when it comes to spreading knowledge when it comes to tough questions.  Take a listen.

Tell ya what.  I for see a future leader in Norman.  Keep your eye on this guy.  But, we're here to talk parenting and get you a few new tools for the trade!  Get out to the Second Annual Dads on Deck Fatherhood Summit if you think you need a hand, or better yet...if you think you can offer one.  If you've been down the path, remember what it was like and mentor a younger guy.  If you don't know where square one is, the summit is a great start!  The invite is there, it's up to you to take advantage of it.  4 hours on a Saturday can make a big impact on you, and more over, a big impact on the future.  To visit the Dads on Deck Facebook Page, please click on their logo below.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Talk Sooner - A Hand From The Health Project on How to Discuss Drugs With Your Kids

It's one of those awkward conversations that parents have to have.  How do you bring up the dangers of substance use and abuse to your kids?  How do you address topics that you yourself might have been guilty of at one point or another?  Don't the schools have programs for that kind of thing?  Aren't they learning all they need to know on the internet?  Um....it's not that easy....but...it's not as difficult as you think either.

First off, if you're a regular reader you know that I am a very thankfully recovering alcoholic.  What began for me at 12 because I couldn't sleep ran it's course until I was 33 and completely bottomed out.  In that time, I went from half a beer to get me drowsy enough to sleep to a couple gallons of whiskey a week.  Back then, they relied on the "scare tactics" to try and keep young people away from things, and as I sat and listened to talk after talk, it was always with the mindset "that will never be me."  Well, guess what, it didn't work.  Hindsight being 20/20 in my case, there probably wasn't much anyone could have done and that's a really hard part of addiction.  The helplessness that those who love the addict feel because there's literally nothing they can do or say to change things.

Learn More About The Health Project

It doesn't mean though that parents shouldn't try.  But how?  Do you just sit down one day and say "Look kid....this that or the other thing is bad and you shouldn't do it!"  or do you sit and spill your guts about all the stupid stuff you survived in your younger days?  Probably not a great idea to tell the young people your're trying to mold into someone that you barely avoided jail a couple hundred times.  Too bad no one wrote a book on this kind of thing.  Well, there might not be a book, (although I am sure there are plenty), but there is an app for that.

Talk Sooner is an app developed for parents to give them the essential tools they need as to how to communicate the dangers and pitfalls possible when it comes to substance use and abuse.  Research has show that young people and teens want this kind of information to come from their parents.  So as difficult as it might be to reveal some of yourself to them YOU are the most important person to communicate effectively what can happen both in the short and long term of substance use and abuse.  When is the time to start the talk?  How do you approach the subject?  What kind of drugs are kids exposed to today and what are their effects?  Trust me... a look at the app and you'll see some things we never even thought of back in our day that kids are facing today.  It's a free app and it's designed to empower you to begin to shape their young minds as early as birth to develop a relationship that can be more comfortable when it comes time to talk about the tough stuff.

I met up with Missy Gallegos and Rachel McCoy of The Health Project of Mercy Health in Muskegon to talk about this app and how it can benefit your family.  You can even catch the PSA that Muskegon's own "Isabelle" did to help spread the word.  Take a listen.

It's not an easy chat for anyone, but...let me tell you from experience.  21 years of addiction is no picnic either.  I look back and as I said at the beginning, the hardship and anguish I put myself and family through was probably unavoidable, but I am just one case.  Parents... I implore you to know the facts....know what your kids are facing and know how best to talk to them in a manner that isn't confrontational, demeaning or makes them feel like somehow they are the only kid who's ever faced this kind of thing.  There's a link to the website in the photo below.  Click on that and get the app and the know how.  They are our most precious commodity.  Know how to talk sooner to your kids.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Muskegon Lakeshore Figure Skating Club Presents a Free Halloween Ice Show October 28th

Brace yourself for a world of cute complimented by some athleticism and future stars of the figure skating world!  You'll have a chance to see some of our areas budding young figure skaters strut their stuff in a fun, Halloween themed event October 28th at the Lakeshore Sports Centre and best of all, it's free to attend so you can cheer on these young people and help build their pride for the sport they love.

Around here, we all know that ice time is a commodity as valuable as gold.  Most of that ice time is used by the hockey world....well, let's just say that when we say most...it's only about 99.99% of the available ice time in Michigan is used by hockey.  Youth hockey, developmental hockey, high school hockey, men's pick up leagues...we're over run by hockey.  Not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, after all, Muskegon has led the way in hockey in West Michigan forever but there are plenty of other sports that deserve attention too and I am not sure about what goes on at your house, but here....we watch figure skating quite often.
Follow the MLFSC on Facebook

It's a balance of beauty and athletics combined with art and motion and it's all gotta start somewhere.  For every "Hockey Mom" who's up at 5:30 to get to some of that invaluable ice time, there's another mom who's getting another kid up to go practice spins, jumps, axles and all of the other seemingly impossible moves that figure skaters make look so easy.  It takes commitment, drive and the willingness to try, try again to make up through the ranks in the figure skating world.  The hours are long and the stories are often not heard until the world stage is attained.

In our area, The Muskegon Lakeshore Figure Skating Club is there for the first steps of your skaters who'd like to get into the world of figure skating.  From "Learn to Skate" all the way up to video coaching, the coaches and staff of the MLFSC work to provide a "Fun and friendly atmosphere for our members in which to learn ice skating skills" according to their mission statement.  They are associated with US Figure Skating and Learn to Skate USA and have instructors who know multiple disciplines of the art.  If you've got a youngster interested in trying, or maybe you're looking for some fun people to hang with on the ice, this might be the group for you.

Well, the club decided that it might be a great idea to give their members a chance to show off their talents with a fun theme and let their members imagination dictate the theme.  You'll see "11" from "Stranger Things"....speaking of "Things"...."Thing 1 and Thing 2" will be making an appearance and more as the skaters dress up for Halloween and hit the ice!  Kids 10 and under in attendance will be given spooktacular treat bags courtesy of Fortino's in Grand Haven.  It's free for anyone to attend and a great way to show some support to some remarkable young athletes.

I was invited by September Yancone to learn a little more about the club.  We also met Lucci Nelson and some of the skaters, Isabella Bankard, Emma VanSlyke and MaryBess Yancone who just might steal the show in our chat.  Take a listen.

It's a great way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon and if you have kids, bring them out.  You might spark some interest in them to get up and try for themselves!  If nothing else, you have the chance to maybe say "I saw them when" someday when you're watching the World Championships or Olympics.  These are incredible and passionate young athletes and their drive and determination deserves and audience.  So, head out and cheer them on on October 28th at 3:45 at Lakeshore Sports Centre on Airline Road in Muskegon.  For more on the club, click on the photo below to visit their website.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Lakeshore Garden Masters Keeping Muskegon Beautiful at the Monet Gardens

We hunt high and low to find the people and groups who add a little something in their own way to make Muskegon what it is.  Everyone's contributions add up to making our home a pretty wonderful place.  We sure don't claim perfection or anything, but it's pretty darn good and every day, it seems to be getting better.  It's the collective effort of everyone that's making it happen....sometimes right before our eyes in ways we might not even know.

Take for instance, a stroll up Western Avenue.  Sure, there are amazing restaurants and breweries now.  Yes, there are plenty of new buildings going up with beautiful new homes in them and shiny fronts that glisten in the sun and give us all something to admire the work going into them.  We have stoic standby's like the post office and the LC Walker Arena as well as projects as new as the Chalet's and the Muskegon Farmers Market.  They are all adding up to some pretty exciting times in Downtown Muskegon and for those who have been here a while, a chance to exhale and see the progress that just seemed to come to a halt when the old mall came down and no one really knew what was next for the core of our area.
Follow the Lakeshore Garden Masters on Facebook

Well, for quite some time among-st all that "what's next" wondering, there has been a tiny little pocket park just up around the corner from Western Avenue on the corner of Clay and 5th streets which has been lovingly curated by the Lakeshore Garden Masters.  It was a bare lot at one point and like anything, Florence Bright Stahl took a glance and said "That can be better", so the work began.  A theme was chosen, and if you're going to do floral art, you might as well go with Monet right?  So became the Monet Gardens of Muskegon.

Today, the Lakeshore Garden Masters spend hours and days a year maintaining this beautiful Downtown landmark.  They also meet regularly to discuss gardening, hot topics in the field, they take field trips to learn more about their passion and they share their love for all things plants and dirt.  They meet and share some fellowship, I do believe I heard the words "pot luck" brought up too so there's always a chance you'll walk away with something good to eat as well.

The Monet Garden Go Fund Me Page

The Monet Gardens are looking for a little help if you can.  As the years have gone by, like anything, some work needs to be done in the park.  They are upgrading the walkways to make it more accessible for everyone.  They are also of course in need of general improvements in their "20 for 20" campaign which will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the park in just a couple short years!  It's a true destination for Muskegon and something we all should take some pride in.  It's a tourist destination, it's a wedding spot, it's an oasis that's stood the test of time and it's a spot of beauty where you can just pause and catch your breath in the every day hustle and bustle of life.

Speaking of pride, no one is more proud of the Monet Garden than Jean Baker.  She got a hold of me to ask if we'd help tell the story.  So, we met up and talked about the club, her passion for gardening and how you can help with the project.  Take a listen.

How's that for a little background on something you knew about and probably wondered how it happened?  The people of the Lakeshore Garden Masters are hard at work quietly contributing their part to make home, "home".  As the construction happens now at the end of the season and the Fall and Winter settle in, know that the work will be going on and the opportunity for you to be a part of it is there.  If you'd like to learn a little more about the Lakeshore Garden Masters, click on their logo below to visit their website!  Many thanks to Jean Baker for the chance to learn a little more.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Know Smoke Zombie Walk Coming Up at Heritage Landing October 6th

Anyone who's ever tried to quit smoking knows the struggle.  Quitting smoking is said to be harder than breaking a heroin habit.  The ease of access to cigarette's and the somewhat "acceptable" stance still on smoking combined with the addictive properties of nicotine and habitual developments that go along with smoking make it nearly impossible to quit for most.  What's the answer?  To get people to not start in the first place.

It's said that the average age of first use of cigarette's is about 15 and with the onset of vaping...it could be younger.  This is the time when the message needs to be the loudest to people to try and get them to not start in the first place.  Have you ever tried to convince a teenager that you might know better?  Ya, not the easiest task.  So...let's find a way to communicate to them that reaches past those "know it all grown up's" and speak to them on a level that's fun, interactive, purpose driven and provides them a social outlet while they learn a little about the dangers of what could become a life long, and life ending habit.
Follow the Know Smoke Zombie Walk on Facebook

The Muskegon County Tobacco Reduction Coalition works through the Muskegon County Health Project to put on the Know Smoke Zombie Walk every Fall.  It's a teen centered day focused on education and cessation.  They stress teens and the power of saying no if tempted to try smoking by their peers.  Selecting friends who also don't smoke, offering some thoughts to those who might try to tempt teens into smoking like "You don't mind smelling like that?"

This years walk will be held Saturday October 6th at Heritage Landing Downtown Muskegon.  There are currently over 100 students signed up and there will be plenty for them to see and do.  There will be a walk of course....a costume contest themed around the dangers of smoking, refreshments, a dance where you are welcome to do the "Monster Mash" or any other zombie type move you might know.  Registration gets underway at 12n and the entire event will wrap up at about 3:30.

I was joined by Cyndi Powers and Logan Jensen who are helping organize this event.  We tried for a nice shoot at Heritage Landing to show you how beautiful it is before a "Somking Zombie Apocalypse" but the wind got the better of us, so we were welcomed in by The Coffee Factory right around the corner to talk about this great event.  Take a listen.

Fun, informative and a chance to get a message across in a way that won't feel like a threat....a "condescending adult" talking down to a teen and put on by a group of people who truly care about the youth and bringing that next generation of non smokers about.  This event is free and registration in advance is encouraged.  You can visit the Eventbrite page by clicking on the photo below to get signed up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Power of the Purse To Benefit Every Woman's Place October 11th at Fricano's in Muskegon

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  It's hard to believe that even a day is needed to talk about domestic violence, but the reality is that domestic abuse and violence comes in all shapes and sizes and happens more often than you think.  Quite often, it's a silent problem, one that no one dares talk about and it's always swept under the rug until it's too late.  In Muskegon, it's Every Woman's Place that offers the refuge and care when domestic violence occurs.

Since 1975 Every Woman's Place has served those women and children who have found themselves with nowhere else to turn when a relationship has become abusive.  It's often a long process, after all, who gets into a relationship with the thought that one day, it will become more about control than it will be a symbiotic partnership of mutual benefit and care?  It's the control factor that leads to the abuse and the abuse is often multi layered.  Physical, emotional and as I read this morning, even financial abuse happens when someone says "Hey, just give me the paycheck and I'll make sure everything is taken care of."  It's almost unthinkable how much plays in to the level of manipulation that can go on leading up to the physical end of an abusive relationship.

Every Woman's Place provides shelter, clothing, basic needs, counseling, crisis intervention, support groups, children's services and educational programs throughout the community to help prevent the abuse before it starts.  Their work is never ending.  Their mission statement reads - "The Mission of Every Woman’s Place is to improve and enhance the lives of women, youth, children and families in crisis in our community by providing and advocating for services which lead to their safety, their emotional and economic self-sufficiency, their productivity, and their ability to participate fully in our society."  There are many ways you can help by volunteering, making a donation of needed items like personal care or financial gifts or, if you choose...you can be a part of a fun event designed to raise the money and awareness in style.
Click Here for Tickets to Power of the Purse

Power of the Purse is happening at Fricano's Event Center on October 11th from 5:30-8:30 and tickets are $35 in advance.  You'll have a chance to bid on designer purses modeled by some of Muskegon's most dashing men who tote their bags, and what's in them proudly to show their support.  Trips, great tickets to events, incredible items and more will be up for bid so come ready to buy!  There will also be a silent auction table with fun items and other way's to help support the work of Every Woman's Place.  So get your tickets while you can!

Last year, a little unexpected event took place when Norton Shores Mayor Gary Nelund and myself squared off in a bidding war over football tickets to see a Michigan State of Michigan game....I won.  But, being the wonderful sport I am, I gave Nelund the chance to redeem himself and we sweetened the bet a little....this year...the loser has to sport the winners face on their Facebook profile for a week.  We met up in front of Gary Nelund's State Farm insurance agency to talk about how it feels to be second place and what fun this year will be, Lori Rasmussen of Every Woman's Place joined us.  Take a listen.

Have a great time at a really cool event and be a part of the solution to help end domestic abuse.  Power of the Purse is open to all and it's an educational and fun way to do your part.  If you'd like to know more about Every Woman's Place, click on the photo of those stunning male models below to visit their website.  We'll see you October 11th at Fricano's.

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.
Follow Community enCompass on Facebook

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.