Ladas Hoopes McNeill

Ladas Hoopes McNeill
Reliable and Effective Attorneys

Muskegon Polish Festival

Muskegon Polish Festival
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Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Happy Sunday To You!

A very happy Sunday to you!  Thought I'd just take a moment to say thank you!  Thank you for taking the time to read the blog, share the stories on your social media and the occasional pat on the back when I see you in person!

Gratitude is a big part of the blog!  It's important to remember that media, should be a reflection of the community and the members in it who work to make home a batter place.  We simply couldn't do it without the amazing people here in Muskegon.

Taking a look back over the last week.....we grew.... A LOT!  That's good news.  We met a Angie Murar who beat cancer and now helps others going thru chemo!  The Salvation Army of Muskegon came to us to announce their amazing Kettle Campaign results and we met a veterinarian who puts pets before profits and keeps Muskegon's furry friends happy and healthy.  We talked to Sarah Sass who's ready to open The Coffee Factory next week, and we found that people are really taking notice of Muskegon and investing in homes and business and opening a Lighthouse Property Management here in town soon.  Of course we can't forget "Watch Us Go Pink" coming up all through February!

Have a look back on some of our talks with the remarkable group of people who we talked to last week.  People who believe in what we have, right here in Muskegon!












Friday, January 29, 2016

The Coffee Factory in The Watermark Center Opens Feb 3rd!

Follow The Coffee Factory on Facebook
The stage is set the moment you walk through the door.  The most incredible sensation is smell.  Think of a warm kitchen with the smell of fresh coffee brewing and a hint of cinnamon raisin.  The Coffee Factory invites you in beginning February 3rd!

 The smell is quickly followed up by the historic pictures, sound by Big Round Sound and the incredible re purposing of a lot of material that was left when Shaw Walker closed up.  Today, it's part of the ever growing and remarkable asset to Muskegon, The Watermark Center.



There's a stage back there!  
 It should come as little surprise to those who know Sarah Sass and her undying commitment to Muskegon and her attention to detail to make sure anything with the Watermark name is an outstanding experience from start to finish.  Plans got under way a couple years ago to bring The Coffee Factory to life and with the work completed it's time to open yet another delicious destination in Muskegon and some jobs as well to make sure the local economy keeps moving!




I had a chance to talk a stroll through The Coffee Factory today and talked with Sarah about the project.  We also had a chat about Muskegon as a whole and the momentum we've got going here in town!  Of course, I made the effort to find out what the plans are for the remainder of the massive old building in Muskegon!  Take a listen to the interview below!



As you can see, it's another great addition to Muskegon and a new place to gather to catch up with friends.  Enjoy some of the great food from Rebel Pies and you are even welcome to "pick up a fatty" from Fattty Lumpkins and come in and enjoy the warm and inviting surroundings of The Coffee Factory.  It's located at 930 Washington Ave Suite 1-B.

The Coffee Factory's Website


Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Pay it Forward Animal Outreach of Muskegon

Click to visit Pay It Forward's website
Sometimes, people find themselves in a bit of a pinch living life on life's terms.  Money for housing, food, clothes - the basics really, it can get tight at times.  Then you have to factor in the pets.

Great things happen in Muskegon every day.  We talked about the HUGE donation from Petco to the Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue.  $25,000 doesn't come in every day, but the work has to continue.



The Pay it Forward Animal Outreach of Muskegon has a mission to make caring for your pet as affordable as they can make it to maintain the health and care for pets in Muskegon.  There are a few income guidelines, but as you'll  hear from Dr. Sandi Stranberg and her staff the health of pets is truly what the Pay it Forward Animal Outreach is all about.

Shots, tests etc are all offered, but the Pay it Forward also has an animal food bank called The Black Cat Food Bank!  Yes, Muskegon is filled with enough good people that even our pets don't have to go hungry.

All the details are in my chat with Dr. Sandi!



You can see, it's more about pets than profits and Dr. Sandi and her staff invite you to come see the clinic and if you need a hand, stop in and see them off Seaway Drive.  You can also find Pay it Forward on Facebook.  Click on the photo below to connect with Pay it Forward on Facebook.

Follow Pay it Forward on Facebook!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Meet Angie Murar and Operation Donation Chemo Survival Kits



And then one day...you find out you have cancer.

So was the story of Angie Murar from Muskegon who was diagnosed at 34 and faces months of chemo, radiation and surgery including a double mastectomy.  At 34. Imagine that.

Angie Murar



Like so many others, Angie found out that the struggle was just going to begin, but early on in her treatment she took a stance.  She made up her mind that an important part of treatment is attitude along with the hospital stuff.  Angie's journey was not on her own but she did see some who had to face the long days of treatment with no one to lean on and she took action!

Operation Donation - Donation Driven Chemo Survival Kits was born so that no matter who's facing treatment will know a couple of things.  One, they are not alone.  An entire group of people whi are fighting, have fought and understand what they are going thru and what they really need to get by on those treatments.  It's also the beginnings of a new cancer support group that welcomes anyone with all forms of cancer to gather and lean on each other.  Angie is building community through common experience and a "You Got This" attitude.  She is a little softly spoken, so you might need a little volume but the message is so worth it.



Truly an inspiration Angie invites you to her Facebook pages.  Be part of the solution!

Operation Donation Cancer Survival Kits



Angie and her CEO!  Click Here for the West Mi Warriors Chemo Support Group 



Muskegon - It's Positively Worth Investing In

     
  
We see and hear all the good things about Muskegon all the time.  We're here and we know that despite a few things, Muskegon is a great place to call home.  We've got good people, we've got beautiful attractions and we've got a groundswell of great things happening!

We also have a lot of really great housing and business opportunities.  Yes, some of that housing needs a little TLC but the value, the timing and opportunities are very real and the time to buy is here!


This blog has been seen outside Muskegon.  One of the key points of doing this blog is to show the rest of the world that the whole picture is not often told about Muskegon. We have character, we have honesty, integrity and we need to show more of it.

Lighthouse Property Management got a hold of me last week and wanted to meet.  I agreed and met up with them at the Cherokee for lunch.  I was immediately impressed by their commitment to making sure that the homes they buy and neighborhoods they move into take a turn in the right direction.  They work with tenants to help them find the path to home ownership and they will only rent a house that they would personally live in.
Kathy Adrinase

They are putting down stakes and they are setting up in Muskegon as you'll hear from Kathy Andrianse who heads up Lighthouse Property Management.  They are looking for opportunities to find the houses and the workers to get those houses ready for the next family to call home.  They are also in the market to find good, honest workers to get the work going!  Have a listen to our interview!




Here's the link to their site!  If you are a contractor looking for work or maybe you are looking for a good group of people to rent your home from....I honestly believe their commitment is real and they will be right here....with all of us to make Muskegon a better place to call home.  Click on their logo below for more information and to contact them.


Monday, January 25, 2016

You Know Those Bells You Heard?

You heard the bells!  Outside the malls and stores.  You heard them in the LC Walker Arena a time or two and when you could....you dropped in some change in and made the clinking in answer to those bells! 

All those pennies nickels and dimes well, the kinda added up pretty quick this year and since we talked about the Kettle Campaign in Muskegon this year first....we got the invite to the the super exclusive scoop on just how quick it all added up!

Captain Dan Sawka has the good news in this short video below.  Go ahead....click on it and watch it.....it's gonna make you feel gooood about being from Muskegon.




Watch Muskegon Go PINK in February!!

Follow Watch Muskegon Go Pink on Facebook!

It's a remarkable thing to watch, Muskegon coming together to help a friend, a neighbor, a church function or just the greater good!  In February when things are usually a little more quiet than normal, Muskegon is going to come alive in just about every way possible to accomplish one task!  To help Susan G. Komen and their tireless work for women's health, breast cancer awareness and treatment and the measure it takes to educate everyone about the need for proper care!



We've all been effected by cancer in some way.  We've all had to struggle to cope, we've felt the loss and we all still wonder why.  Until there is an answer, we'll have to keep education and early detection forefront and when treatment is in order, we'll have to be there for our friends and loved ones the best we can.
Click to Visit Komen Michigan


February of 2016 will be FILLED with events designed to support Susan G Komen as well as get you out of the house for some fun, some food, and some learning.   I stopped in to see Diana DeJong at the Shoreline Inn and Confrence Center today.  Diana has taken a leading role in the Watch Muskegon Go Pink activities in February.  Click on the video to learn a little more!




You might be all about Watch Muskegon Go and to Watch Muskegon Go Pink is a tremendous cause and something to be very proud of being a part of because even if it's just a dinner out or a day at the Muskegon Luge and Winter Sports Complex....you did your part for the greater good!

Click below to go to the official page of Watch Muskegon Go Pink!





Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Picture Post Card From Muskegon!


Muskegon....all dressed in white.  It's a spectacular thing to see and it's even better to get out and enjoy it!  Winter can be harsh here too, but when the stars line up and you are on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan in January, you're in for a treat!  Party in Your Parka!






Friends....family, snow lovers and just about anyone can enjoy the Muskegon Luge and Winter Sports Complex.  With a variety of activities for any age or skill level.


The 2016 Party in Your Parka event at the Muskegon Luge and Winter Sports Complex was held Saturday January 23rd and our friends and sponsors at Eagle Eye Photography of Muskegon were on hand to give you the "birds eye view" of the splendor and beauty of Muskegon.  Take a look!




Ya, you probably won't see that side of Muskegon on the news....but it's true!  We live in an amazing community with good people, nature and activity!  Be proud to be from Muskegon!

Visit Eagle Eye Photography's Facebook Page
There is a LOT of Winter left. Come out and enjoy!!  Click here!

And Now...A Word From Our Sponsor... Ladas Hoopes and McNeill

 One of the best things about the Positively Muskegon blog is that is gives everyone a chance to contribute.  Are you passionate about our lakes?  Great!  Do you like to care for animals?  Important!  Are you just looking for something other than stories about all the "bad stuff"?  Well, we're here!

To say that a sponsor or two isn't important....well, that would be wrong.  We're very fortunate to have a sponsor like Ladas Hoopes and McNeill!



Ladas Hoopes and McNeill's law firm is on Whitehall Road in North Muskegon.  Right at the top of the hill by Brooklyn Bagels.  They specialize in family law, personal injury, estate planning, social security and disability.  What sets Ladas Hoopes and McNeil a part?  They genuinely care about their clients and use their expertise to make sure that you are well represented in legal matters and you understand all the angles of your case.  Often times, people find that they need a lawyer when things are not going right in their lives....and Ladas Hoopes and McNeill understands that compassion, understanding and advocacy is what you need, along with experience and determination to make sure you case is the most important one.

Click to visit Ladas Hoopes and McNeill's Website

The good news is....Ladad Hoopes and McNeill know that legal matters are sometimes intimidating and they have offered to come by here form time to time to help take the "scary stuff" out of seeing a lawyer.


Jenny McNeill is our guest today and she's here to talk a little about family law and the basics of working with a lawyer.  When's a good time to find a lawyer?  Who needs a lawyer?  You can find out in 5 minutes hearing from Jenny.  Take a listen!!



We're thankful for the sponsorship from Ladas Hoopes and McNeill but more over, we're glad to have found a partner in Muskegon that believes in making sure their clients are the best represented in their time of need.  Please take a minute to say thanks to Ladas Hoopes and McNeill for helping bring the "good news" to Muskegon on Positively Muskegon!


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Rebel Road's Winter Burnout Downtown Muskegon February 4th-7th



Ok, it gets a little quiet around town this time of year.  Not quite as quiet as it once was, as Muskegon seems to be experiencing some pretty remarkable things happening both behind the scenes and on the scene!  If you can't feel it, well, take my word for it.  There is a LOT to do in Muskegon even in the dead of winter.  Say for example a big 'ole biker party....right in the middle of Downtown Muskegon on what was claimed last year as Rebel Road!



The Rebel Road Winter Burn out is coming up February 4th-7th Downtown Muskegon and since we know that bikers are really just big burly over stuffed teddy bears....it's all to benefit the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County!

There will be games for all ages, live music, a chili cook off, bonfires in barrels in the streets, corn hole tournaments, disc golf, vendors, friends neighbors and more!  Plenty of libation available and you might even find out Downtown is just as much fun in February as it is in July!



Kyleen Gee is the Executive Director of the Child Abuse Council and we got together at Racquets to talk a little about the event and invite you on down!  Take a listen!





Here's the radio spot you'll be hearing soon.  All of the details are in the spot....it says "this weekend" at the end, but the dates are February 4th-6th in Downtown Muskegon!!  We'll see you at the Rebel Road Winter Burnout!





Friday, January 22, 2016

Meet The Man Behind Skeetown Stereo - Muskegon's New Online Local Radio Station

Initiative!  Drive and an attitude toward a good time while getting your feet planted in something you'd like to do is a really great way to decide that you want to try something.  If that something happens to be building a radio station.... GO FOR IT!

Stormy Weathers owns and operates Custom Computer on Getty near Apple and in his ventures around town working on computers, computer systems and security systems he spent a little time helping a radio station out and got "the bug".  It's an easy bug to catch.

In learning how to help the station, Stormy found himself called to do a radio station his way and I think you'll find....his way is pretty good.  If you think back to the days when radio was at it's peak...you heard a wide variety of songs, you didn't hear the same old stuff over and over and if you were lucky, you found an identifiable voice who was right there in town with you keeping you up to date on the goings on.  Thus the inspiration for Skeetown Stereo! 

Click Here to Listen to Skeetown Stereo
Like the oldies?  Like the 80's?  You a little bit country or a little bit rock and roll?  Well you're in luck.  You'll find all of it right here on Skeetown Stereo!

I stopped by to talk a little with Stormy about the station, his inspiration and hopes for the future!  Take a listen to the interview to hear more!





Great people doing great things!  If you don't like the way something is going....do it yourself!  Seems to be a theme catching on around Muskegon!  Feels pretty good don't it?  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Muskegon Unites to Help the Flint Water Crisis


No matter where you stand on the political battle over the Flint water crisis, the simplest of thoughts is this.  The people of Flint need the entire state to rally around them and we all need to come together to make sure the people in Flint have the water they need for the most basic ability to survive.  We are all water based organisms...and we are all part of the brotherhood of man. 



Muskegon Heights fire fighter Terry Sabo and Marianne Darnell who is the President of the Black Women's Political Caucus have teamed up to put together an opportunity for you to do what you can to help.  A bottle of water, a case....totally up to you.  Just do SOMETHING so we can show the people of Flint that they are not standing alone and that the West Coast sees that they are important and we're here for them.


Flint's Water

Photo courtesy neogaf

The water can be dropped off Saturday January 30th beginning at 9 am at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church Located at 2435 Riordan Street.







Take a listen to the interview.  You'll see that this isn't a competition but a request to help any water drive you can.


We share a lot in common with Flint in the eyes of many.  It's always bothered me that these two cities seem to be the butt of jokes or something to be ashamed of.  They are not.  There are good people in both and there is much to be proud of.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Changing Face of Muskegon's Veterans


It's kind of hard to stop and think about how our US Veterans are changing in Muskegon these days.  We've only a few left of the "Greatest Generation" who went toe to toe with a world gone mad at the hands of Adolph Hitler.  Most of our parents that saw combat came after with Vietnam and as difficult as it is to be able to admit...the Vietnam generation isn't far behind them when it comes to an aging population.  They are getting older and time continues to march on for all of us!

With that thought, Chapter 31 of the Vietnam Veterans of America is extending an invitation to all Vietnam Veterans as well as Afghanistan and Iraq era veterans to join them at the V.F.W. Hall on Old Grand Haven Road and Porter out by the Muskegon County Airport for their monthly meeting.  The meeting begins with a pot luck at 6:30 and some time for fellowship and then the meeting commences and wraps up by 8.  The meetings are held the last Thursday of every month.

Final Approach Memorial

I had a chance today to sit down and talk with Michael Sutton who served in the Air Force and some other duties in the Vietnam Era.  Mike stays busy now with the Final Approach Memorial as well as spending some time down on the USS Silversides doing what he can to keep the memory alive for soldiers of every conflict you can think of.  Mike talked a little about the generations passing....why you don't hear very much from Vets when it comes to the job they have done as well as the need for some younger Veterans to find a group, a purpose and something even more important.  The fact that they are not alone.  Take a listen to the interview for the story!




Sliversides Memorial


We're proud of our military in Muskegon.  Our gratitude will always be there for those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and if you are a younger Veteran, here's your invitation to be a part of something bigger as well as maybe find someone who you can identify with who have walked the same path as you.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Muskegon's Memory Lane - Our Digital Archive


Positively Muskegon is the new kid in town.  The goal is simple, to provide a side of the news and the people who don't expect thanks, don't think what they do is anything extraordinary but are the fiber that keep us together with their quiet work, steadfast approach and their belief in a better way... and better image of Muskegon.



A big part of everything that makes Muskegon what it is is the rich history this city has.  We have seen change.  From the lumber years to the industrial years and now, a time of transition as we look to the next 100 years.  All of that history is what one site is out to showcase in a way that really kind of gives everyone a chance to tell their story of what makes Muskegon so special!  What stood out from one persons memories, how did another see their neighborhood and what made growing up here in Muskegon so awesome. 



Muskegon's Memory Lane is a Facebook group run by Gayle Weesies and as time has gone on she's picked up quite a following of nostalgia fans, people who want to remember the "good old days" or just those who find some pictures in a box in an attic and want to share them to let everyone see.







The memories are great, but if you stop and think about it, Gayle has created an open source to all to build an online museum of memories.  Muskegon's Memory Lane is a living record of everything in Muskegon and it's updated in real time, all the time with things you may or may not remember.  There are photos and stories there that show the good times, and the bad.  You can see everything from thousands gathered to welcome home the 1954 Class A basketball champs, to coins that were redeemable for merchandise at L.H. Fink's Cigar Stores.


Our history in Muskegon....is something to be proud of.  To hold your head high about and if you are so inclined....be a part of it with Muskegon's Memory Lane.  Take a minute and find Muskegon's Memory Lane on Facebook and follow the page.  Join the group and let your memories of Muskegon be heard.  Thanks to Gayle for taking the time to remember and give everyone a chance to share their memories of our great home. Click on the picture below to find Muskegon's Memory Lane on Facebook!





Friday, January 15, 2016

Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven of Muskegon Gets $25,000 from Petco!

It's a daily struggle to take care of the animals that find themselves homeless or maybe they find their way in to a shelter because a family just can't take care of them either financially or personally.  These pets either end up on the street, out in a barn or worse yet....destroyed because no one could take care of them.

In Muskegon, the Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven works to make sure that the life of an animal is respected and a home is found for them where they can be part of a grateful family who may have missed out on the opportunity to know how much fun a cat can be as a pet.  Sparked by Diane Valk who had been to the Animal Control Center in her youth on a day they were putting down animals, the memory stuck with her and she's taken the steps necessary to do her part to stop the destruction of pets through her foster work.

Follow Heaven Can Wait on Facebook

Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven will find a foster home for a cat, or cats and in those foster homes they take care of everything that cat needs until an adoptive family is found.  It's a huge commitment, a huge cost and was recognized in a HUGE way from the Petco Foundation recently.

Petco Online!



The Petco Foundation recognized the work being done by Diane and her volunteers, and for their commitment to making sure animals have a fair chance, they awarded Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven $25,000 for their work in saving the lives of so many cats!

I had a chance to meet up with Diane at The Brew House to learn a little more about Heaven Can Wait and how that $25k grant will help them continue their work.  Take a listen to the story.



Petco has adoptions every weekend and you'll find Diane there, doing what she can to make sure that no lives are destroyed, people can find out just how wonderful a pet a cat can be.  Stop in and see her and say congrats on the grant, and if you've got a pet, remember Petco and their genuine commitment to making sure our pets have the best lives possible.   You can follow the link above to find Heaven Can Wait on Facebook and if you'd like to donate, you'll find a link there to do so.  If you'd like to volunteer 231-737-5644

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Another Welcome! Eagle Eye Photography of Muskegon

It's shaping up to be quite a week!  We'd very much like to welcome Randy and Tina Claypool of Eagle Eye Photography as a sponsor of Positively Muskegon!  Having worked personally on more than one occasion with Randy and Tina, I can assure you....you are in for a remarkable experience with them and the fine work they do!  Eagle Eye Photography also shares the Positively Muskegon vision of showing the better side of things in Muskegon.  You'll find great beauty in what you see and hear from Eagle Eye!

Drone photography has become all the rage and Eagle Eye Photography of Muskegon is a step ahead of everyone with their stunning 4k video capabilities and artistic touch to achieve perfection in their work.  They have made serious investments in equipment and talent and have a wide range of territory to cover.  Muskegon is home, but as you'll see their work has taken them to points all over the state.  Here are a few of their videos from 2015.


  




Eagle Eye Photography is now accepting bookings for 2016.  You can contact them through Facebook at the link below or call 231-740-5113

Professional Premium Areal Photography from Eagle Eye Photography

Party In Your Parka At The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex January 23rd!!

Click for the Party in Your Parks Facebook Page

January 23rd is the date and the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is the place to be for an all day celebration of all things Michigan as Michigan celebrates it's 179th birthday!!  The biggest celebration of all is held right here in Muskegon!  Well, actually the official date of Michigan's induction into the United States is January 26th.....but who wants to party on a Tuesday? 


It's an all day affair and a great chance to get out and enjoy the beauty and splendor of Muskegon Michigan in the winter!  They have every winter activity you can imagine from ice skating to snow shoeing, cross country skiing and don't forget the luge!  There will be great live music food and refreshments available all day.  Watermark 920 has done an outstanding job lining up great musical entertainment and they too have been a staple in making Party In Your Parka a success since the beginning!


Click here to visit the Winter Sports Complex Website



Jim Rudicil is the Director of the WSC and he spent a couple minutes talking a little about the party and the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex which is now open for the season and ready for you to join them for some great family fun!! 






If you've ever wondered what the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex looks like from above?  Take a look at the footage Eagle Eye Photography got a couple weeks ago!  Beautiful view of one of our most prized possessions in Muskegon!

 



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Welcome! The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex!

We were out tonight covering the story of Party in your Parka coming up January 23rd at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex when Director Jim Rudicil said "Who do I make the check out to" to which my reply was "Oh, no....you don't have to pay for a story with us"  Jim replied...."No we want a sponsorship on the blog" and I replied...."Um...Wow!  Really" and that was that.

Welcome to the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex who are the latest in line to say yes to Positively Muskegon!!  We are proud to have you with us!


You can find their page in the link above and so you know...they are open and ready to roll for the season!!  Stay tuned for the Party in Your Parka story tomorrow!

Here's a peek at some areal footage taken a couple short weeks ago by Eagle Eye Photography.  Enjoy!




Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Sunday Special Report From Positively Muskegon.


Our first report was on October 19th of 2015.  Since then, we've gathered a bit of a following and for that, THANK YOU!

Simply put, Positively Muskegon is a grass roots effort to tell the story of Muskegon a little differently.  We certainly don't live in a "perfect" community, no one does...but the majority of what we hear is "the bad news".  Sure "bad news" draws people in, gets people to click to see the next level of shock to a story, but in the long run, without a little balance between the "good" and "bad" things tend to get a little lopsided, and unfortunately....some start to believe the bad.

Do you picture yourself living in a crime ridden part of the world?  Is your area controlled by violence?  Do you have neighbors that look out for you?  Do  you believe the power of good in people trumps the never ending stream of stories about robbery, death and blight?  I don't.


I live in a remarkable community with people in it that are willing to go to the mat for what they think is right, how they can be a part of the solution and share the same pride I do in a city that tends to get the brunt of the "bad news" most of the time.

Is it an idealistic outlook?  Ya...probably, but change begins with belief and is followed up with commitment and hard work and in a short amount of time, the truly great things that happen in Muskegon....well, they start to come your way!  Have a look at our story today!