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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Meet Lee Grasmeyer - Candidate for Sheriff of Muskegon County

One of the keys to Positively Muskegon is to give a fair chance to anyone who's seeking office to introduce themselves and let you know what's important to them and why they are seeking office.  It's an open invite to candidates and if they choose to come on and share their viewpoints.

Lee Grasmeyer is in the hunt for the Sheriff's office in Muskegon County.  Lee runs Grasmeyer Guns up on 120 near Twin Lake and is the second candidate to take us up on the offer.  Lee is a retired US Marine!

Candidate for Sheriff Lee Grasmeyer

Grasmeyer Guns has a great selection of guns, offers classes in gun safety, archery and has certified instructors for all things that shoot!  You'll also find Grasmeyer Motorsports with a nice selection of off road vehicles.  But we're not here to sell guns or toys... let's meet Lee and see where his views are on our community and what needs to be done to improve life for all of us!  Have a listen to the chat below!

The stakes are high and it's going to be a tough run for all 6 candidates for the office of Sheriff in Muskegon this year.  If you'd like to keep up with Lee's campaign, you can click on the link below and follow the campaign as it progresses.  Many thanks to Lee for taking a few minutes out of his day to talk about what he is running on!  Our best to all of the candidates!

Grasmeyer Campaign on Facebook

They have a pretty cool gun shop too!  Take a look at the Grasmeyer Guns page!

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Lakeshore Museum Center Opens for the 2016 Season

The Lakeshore Museum Center.  It's a lot more than just one location here in town!  You'll find plenty of destinations to visit, opportunities to learn and places that hold the heritage and treasures from over the years right here in Muskegon.

Some are big and bold and right in the middle of town and some, are off the beaten path and considered a hidden gem!

Lakeshore Museum Center on Facebook
The Hackley and Hume Homes are part of the Museum, as is the Scolnick House and the Fire Barn Museum. Michigan's Heritage Park makes the list too as do the numerous permanent exhibits in the museum building and some of the exhibits that come and go are right there in the Lakeshore Museum Center located 430 W. Clay.  It's well worth a visit and important to show kids today that life wasn't always ipods, on demand and Snap Chats.

The Lakeshore Museum Center's Website

You can learn so much by a quick glance to the past.  Take a longer look and you can learn even more.  Muskegon is an ever evolving community and has gone from lumber, to manufacturing to an emerging location for tourism and destination travel.  It's not an overnight process, but it's moving in the right direction and an eye to the past is equally important as the future.  Be proud of where we've been and where we're going.

The 2016 season of the Lakeshore Museum Center is about to get underway and Joni Dorsett invited me down to the Hume Home to talk about this season and everything coming up during it.  Have a listen to the chat below.

It's a rich heritage we have here in Muskegon.  Make sure that you take the time to visit, or, maybe revisit some of the truly remarkable places we have and make sure too, your kids get a first hand look at Muskegon through the eyes of people who are passionate and devoted to believing our past is as much a part of our future.  We are very fortunate to have such people, preserving such places right here in Muskegon Michigan!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Muskegon Heritage Museum

Our past.  How did we get to where we are today and what were some of the things that were made in Muskegon?

It's a pretty good question?  As things have been changing over the last few years from a manufacturing community to what should be a pretty happening tourism town it's important to know just what did happen in Muskegon.  What kept people working?  How did they do what they did?  The Muskegon Heritage Museum has all the answers!

Visit the Muskegon Heritage Museum Online

From the lumber years to the foundry era, the Muskegon Heritage Museum is filled with interesting and inspiring things that can be studied, or just admired by everyone.  Historic business as well as historic homes are showcased.  You'll even find out what Raggedy Ann has to do with Muskegon.  Yes, there is a very strong tie!

Tucked away on Western Avenue the Muskegon Heritage Museum highlights everything from pinsetters made by Brunswick to Bennett Pumps, Continental airplane motors and more....it's in the Muskegon Heritage Museum.  They are getting set to open for the 2016 season and Adam Winters  invited me down to talk about the museum and some of the special exhibits you'll find if you stop in and see them.  Take a listen to the chat below!

We are a city on the go.  Some are all about Watching Us Go and with good reason.  But we simply can't forget what got us here and how we flourished for years and years.  The Muskegon Heritage Museum keeps us all informed, entertained and is a great source of pride for many.  Make it a point to stop in and pay a visit to them this season!  It's a remarkable journey, the story of Muskegon.  Be proud as we look to write the next chapter!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Muskegon Channelcats Baseball Home Run Derby May 1st

Springtime and baseball go hand in hand!  Young people have taken to the local fields and everyone from the very first t-ball players to the seasoned pros is glad to see the Spring and looking forward to a long summer on the field.

In Muskegon, The Muskegon Channel Cats have been plugging along since 1998 as one of the premiere travel teams for young players.  Kids from Muskegon to Fremont have a chance to learn the game, improve skills and become part of the history of the American Pastime.

Follow the Channelcats on Facebook

Jason Piasecki stopped by today to talk a little about the Channel Cats and how they have expanded their roaster over the years.  We talk about the teams, the growth of the brand and the upcoming Home Run Derby to be held at DelMar Play-field in Roosevelt Park this Sunday May 1st.

Take a listen below to our chat and see if you can be part of the great time or find a player to get a ball from to help raise a few bucks to help the teams cover costs.  It's a great community effort and a great way to support local kids who wan to play ball!

The Channelcats are recognized statewide as a premiere travel team for young players enjoy the rich tradition of baseball as well as the chance to develop into young adults and who knows....maybe the next face you see wearing the "Olde English D" someday down the line.  To learn more about the Channelcats organization click on the logo below!

Channelcats Online

Final Approach Memorial of Muskegon Observes Memorial Day May 29th

If you come in to Muskegon from the East, the first thing you probably will notice just off to the left is a helicopter mounted on a pole, tucked away in a small area dedicated to reflection, remembrance and our community's sincere devotion to military, past...present and future.

Final Approach is just one of the many spot honoring those from Muskegon who have, or have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we all enjoy and they will be having a program beginning at 2 on Sunday May 29th to honor Memorial Day.

Final Approach on Facebook

There will be everything you expect form such an observance.  Invocation followed by presentations, music, a special guest speaker Lt. Col. Ronald Janowski sho's retired from the US Army and now id the Junior ROTC instructor at Muskegon High School and a community activist of military history.  It all wraps up with a 21 gun salute and is followed by a nice picnic put on for those who attend.

I caught up with Michael Sutton, MSgt Ret from the USAF who works countless hours on behalf of our service men and women and to keep Muskegon's memorials in great shape and active for those who wish to know more, revisit a time in their lives and to show future generations that the cost of freedom isn't free.  Take a listen below to learn more from Mike.

It's an important message and something we all need to make sure younger people understand when it comes to the life we live and those who have gone before us to protect that life.  Please, take a few minutes from the Memorial Day activities to remember what the day is all about.  If you served, thank you!!  If you are serving....come home safe and soon and if you are considering serving...thank you in advance from a grateful commuinty.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Center in North Muskegon - New Location New Services - Same Mission

When we first got going with the Positively Muskegon blog, I stopped by The Center to meet Rev. Robert Teszlewicz at his location in Muskegon Heights.  The Center offers a safe environment for people for a number of groups that may have no other place to turn for support.

Since then, The Center has moved it's location to North Muskegon, right by the 4 Corners and they have also increased their footprint when it comes to being a great place to meet for all kinds of groups.

You'll find support for alcoholism and addiction.  Maybe a group for pregnant teens and parents.  grief and loss support, LGBT support groups and more!  I am a very big proponent of groups who share the same issues.  It's important for anyone who struggles with what some would consider a "social taboo".  The reality is just this...as humans, we're all pretty much wired the same and if you can hear first hand from those who share your struggles, it makes life much easier and give you the ability to accept the circumstances and go about your life.

Recently, The Center has taken a leading in the role in the crusade against bullying and sadly, teen suicide.  Rev Robert Teszlewicz invited us back to talk about the new location.  The urgent need to get more people in the fight to combat bullying and some of the services offered both at The Center and services offered as an outreach to schools, churches and organizations.  Take a listen to the interview below!

A safe place!  Away from the stress of today where people fee accepted and part of something greater than "self".  It's also a great place to see that the power of people can be the best part of recovery, acceptance and a better community.  To learn more you can stop in to The Center or click on the link below to follow The Center on Facebook!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The USS Silversides Begins The Season

Muskegon has a rich history as well as long standing respect for our veterans and active military people.  In just about every corner of town you'll find a reminder.  Maybe it's the "Final Approach" memorial as you come in to town from Seaway Drive, or maybe it's the Sherman Tank out on Apple at the VFW,  The Memorial Park on the Causeway...the LST Downtown and of course the grand daddy off all the USS Silversides!

The USS Silversides is a WWII submarine moored in the Muskegon Channel and has a record nearly unmatched for performance and effectiveness when it came to the work of war!  Today, it's a cherished national landmark and part of an ever expanding museum which has taken meticulous steps to preserve her heritage and offer more and more to people who come from all over the country and world to visit.
USS Silversides on Facebook

There are a great many events coming up for the Silversides this Spring and Summer and Peggy Maniates was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her day as curator of the Silversides Museum to talk about some of the exhibits that are currently displayed and coming in the next few months to Muskegon!  Take a listen to our chat and learn a little more!  There is also a video I did a few years ago about the Silversides talking about her history a little more in-depth at the bottom of the page.

The USS Silversides is truly an amazing thing to see and feel.  If you've never been, you simply cannot find a truer experience as to what it is like aboard a submarine.  If you have been, come back!  Visit again!  Bring your kids and let them see just what life was like aboard the Silversides!

Visit the Silversides Web Page

This is a much older video I produced and hosted for the Silversides.  It's a nice little tour and informational enough to peak your interest.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

D-Day Plus 72 Event Happening May 21st at the LST 393 with Rolling Thunder

It's hard to believe that it's been 72 years since D-Day.  The day Allied Forces hit the beach head to take Europe back from The Third Reich.  It was a day that defined the "Greatest Generation" to say the very least.  Today, most will only experience the feeling of what it was like to land on those beaches or behind the enemy lines with an air drop by seeing a movie of it.  If you have not seen "Saving Private Ryan", the first 27 minutes is pretty telling.

Muskegon D-Day on Facebook

Flash forward 72 years now and while warfare isn't exactly what it was then, people today still need to understand the sacrifices made and need to make sure the world never faces a tyrant like we fought all those years ago.  D-Day Plus 72 aims to offer an observance of the occasion at one of the ships that actually participated in the D-Day Landing the LST 393 presented by Rolling Thunder Chapter 4.

You'll find WWII reenactments, free tours of the LST 393, a car and motorcycle show and more.  It's a living history presentation and free to the public on May 21st from 11am-10pm

Chris Johnson and David Johnson stopped by today to talk a little about the event and how they had the idea to honor such an occasion and why it's important to them.  Take a listen to our chat below.

The importance of remembering such an event as D-Day cannot be forgotten.  The horror or it, the reason it happened and more.  People coming together to remember an occasion and the sacrifices from a generation the magnitude of which we may never see again.  Make sure your kids have the chance to see D-Day Plus 72 first hand.  You can link to their Facebook Event Page below.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Thurgood Marshall Job Fair Happening in Muskegon April 26th

The day you get the job!  There is no feeling better in the world than to know that you have the value and skills a company needs to help get the job done!  It's a morale booster, it's an economic booster.  It's a chance to grab ahold of an opportunity and make the most of it, while learning a skill and perfecting it!

The Thurgood Marshall Job Fair on April 26th is hoping to give that feeling to 500 people who are looking for jobs, and employers the workers they need to make sure they thrive!

Sponsored by local radio stations 103.7 The Beat and M-106.1 FM this is a free event being held at the Bishop William L Burrell Multiplex Center located at 412 E. Sherman Blvd on April 26th.  The event goes from 12n-4p and everyone is invited to come and see what's available by way of work from a great many local business that need a hand.  You'll find just about every field of work from beginner to expert and you'll also have a chance to make a great first impression meeting potential employers....face to face and not just being some other online applicant.  It's your chance to show up and shine!

Paul Billings runs both 103.7 The Beat and M-106.1 FM and has organized the Thurgood Marshall Job Fair for a number of years.  I had a chance to catch up with Paul to talk about some of the business that will be on hand looking for great employees like you.  Take a listen below.

It's your call!  It's your move!  Get yourself a stack of resume's, show up looking sharp and ready to face the challenge of a new job, or even a career shift.  The Thurgood Marshall Job Fair is free and can be your step to freedom financially with a bright future and a chance to make the most of tha skills you have!  Don't miss this opportunity.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mercy Health to Open a $271 Million Dollar Health Care Campus to Muskegon

Our health.  It's essential to Muskegon, or any community for that matter and with Mercy Health's news today of their upcoming project to begin construction on a new $271 million dollar campus in Muskegon, our healthcare will be going up a notch!

Ground breaking will be in September of 2016 on the new center, which will result in a central location for inpatient services, a state of the art emergency room, optimized patient flows and improve the patient care experience for both patients and families!

Greg Loomis is the President of Mercy Health Muskegon and says "Our new medical center and renovations to the existing Mercy Campus have been designed around the way health care should be delivered to our patients, now and in the future."  Greg goes on to say "It will offer state-of-the-art technology and treatment within a patient centered place of resting and healing, one that embraces our mission to be a transforming, healing presence within our communities"

Some of the main features include single occupancy rooms with plenty of space for family, one campus location for all hospital service needs, strategically located emergency room services and surgery departments to handle trauma and critical patients, and ways to help patients find their way faster and reduce waiting times.

The new center is the largest single construction project in the history of Mercy Health Muskegon and when complete will see the rise of a new, 9 story building attached to the existing Mercy Campus.  Mercy Health Muskegon will spend $266 million to build the facility.  The new medical center will $144 million in added value to the regions economic performance, provide nearly 1500 short term jobs during construction and other industries and provide $70 million in earnings through short term increase in demands for goods and services. 

Mercy Health Online

To say that Muskegon never gets anything new is becoming more and more irrelevant.  The future is bright for the community when it comes to improved health care and who can resist the pleasure of watching a new, 9 story building going up.  They saw Watch Muskegon Go.....well, Muskegon is about to go a little higher in a number of ways.  What an exciting time!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Take Back Your Meds! Free Medication Disposal April 30th in Muskegon

So, you've completed your need for medications and there are some left.  Maybe your prescription has changed?  Maybe it's just been a while since you cleaned out the medicine chest and there are all kinds of outdated and unneeded pills in there?  Well, it's best to make sure they are disposed of properly and April 30th you'll have the chance to do just that.

Keeping medications around the house that have expired or are no longer needed isn't the best of ideas.  The traditional method of flushing them has become frowned upon by any number of groups for what the meds can do to the eco-system as well, so to take a few minutes to root around thru your cupboards and medicine cabinet to find what's no longer needed is a great idea!

MAMDP online
In a partnership with the DEA and Muskegon area public safety agencies National Take Back Day is happening at the Norton Shores Fire Department on Pontaluna road from 9a-1p on April 30th.  A reminder, it's easiest accessed by Grand Haven Road due to construction on Pontaluna.  They will be collecting expired or unused pills, both prescription and over the counter, ointments, sprays, inhalers and creams, pet meds and sharps.

I had a chance to catch up with Carrie Uthe from Affinia Health Network and Joe Graftma, the Mercy Health in patient Pharmacy Manager today to talk a little about the event and give you the details.  Take a listen to the chat below!

If you've got a house full meds that need to go....make it a point on Saturday April 30th to dispose of them properly.  Our thanks to the agencies involved for doing what they can to help keep our area safe!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Opening Weekend at the Getty 4 Drive In!!

I'll freely admit that I have been here long enough to start to take a few things for granted!  Beaches, events, people, business....we all know what Muskegon holds and we all have our favorites but last week I was served a very big reminder about just how much the Getty 4 Drive In is loved in Muskegon!

I stuck my camera out the window as I was sitting at the intersection of Getty and Summit.  I always look over that way to see the old radio station site, and I snapped a picture of the marquee at the Getty 4.  It said Opening April 15th, so I posted it to Positively Muskegon's Facebook page and thought some people would get a kick out of it!  Well, that happened!!

Getty 4 on Facebook
From the snapshot, 807 people hit "like" on it, 1,147 people shared it and 33 took the time to comment on a great memory or two they had over the years going to the Getty 4.  On average, a Facebook friends list has about 390 friends.  With 1,147 people sharing that post....that's got the potential to reach 447,330 people.  HOLY COW!  People love the Getty 4!!

I figured since such an auspicious occasion was happening it might be a great time to get together with Tom Bitson and talk about opening weekend, what's playing and what to expect from what appears to be one of Muskegon's greatest treasures....the good old All American Drive In!!  Take a listen to the chat below!

The times have changed, the technology has changed but the atmosphere and excitement of heading out to the drive in is still very much alive in Muskegon.  If you are within driving distance, we'd like to invite you out for a great time, just like you remember it and enjoy a night out at the Getty 4 this Spring and Summer!  We know you're in for a treat!!  For shows, show times and prices, click below for the Celebration Cinema website!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Clean and Camp at the Muskegon State Park!

The Muskegon State Park has been making memories for YEARS for both residents and visitors alike! Having such an incredible park in town is one thing, but to have that park attached to the remarkable splendor of Lake Michigan and the best beaches anywhere...now we're really talking about a community treasure that requires a little TLC in the Spring and it's a great opportunity for you to be a part of it!

Clean and Camp is coming up! Going on it's third year, Clean and Camp is your chance to get in a little early season action at the State Park and if you can take the time to do a little raking and clean up around a camp site or two....you'll get a nice little something back for the effort and you'll know that you've done your part to help the greater good!  It's also an outstanding chance to get your kids up off the couch, away from the video games and social media sites and instill in them the importance of taking an active role in making the community a better place!

It's about a little pride in community, a chance to get outside a while and to protect our natural resources so that others can enjoy them too.

I had a chance to catch up with Matt Schwemin who's with the Michigan DNR out at the State Park to talk a little more about the program and how you can take advantage of the early season offer!  Take a listen to our chat below!

It's up to us!  We all know what we have at the State Parks in Muskegon and to be able to get a weekend away and say you did your part?  Take advantage of it.  Grab a rake, pitch in and help make Muskegon a better place for everyone!  Visit the Muskegon State Park site by clicking on the image below!

First Friday's In Muskegon - Getting Closer and Closer!

We need more to do in Muskegon!  How many times have you heard that?  Well, it's on you now to get out and participate in them as "First Fridays" are closer and closer to getting kicked off Downtown Muskegon!

The first event coming up?  Why we'd be happy to tell you!  It's a Downtown Muskegon dance!  The hop will be held at the Muskegon Farmers Market and the music will be provided by Modern Entertainment!

Downtown Muskegon Now Online

There should be a little something for every taste, age and enjoyment level over the course of the Summer!  What better way to get out, enjoy something fun and not have to break the bank on the cost of entertainment for you and the family!

Ellen Berrends is a returning guest to Positively Muskegon and she has been working hard on this Summers events very diligently and would like to talk a little more about the fun to be had Downtown Muskegon. Also meet Rachel Dody who helped make the street performers a reality!  You'll find plenty of friends there, great food and of course a great chance to get out of the house and enjoy a community function!  Not to mention, show off your wicked cool dance moves!  Let's hear a little more from Ellen about the first "First Friday" and what the rest of the Summer entails!

First Fridays are a step in the right direction.  We need more time together as a community to just hang out and be "From Muskegon".  It's also a great opportunity to invite people in to see that what they see and hear on the news isn't the whole story of our great community!  There are friendly and fun people here and if we sprinkle a little something on it once in a while that will give others a chance to be her....let's do it!  You can click on the First Fridays logo below and follow them on Facebook to keep up with events all Summer long!  We'll see ya Downtown!!

Follow First Fridays on Facebook

To follow the Muskegon Street Performers on Facebook click on their image below!

Muskegon Street Performers Series on Facebook

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Career Day At the Muskegon Career Tech Center!

One of the key things about Muskegon's future has to be a focus on the future....our kids!  I have always found time to take a shot at career day.  It's a really great way to spend a little time getting to know younger people, share some of the knowledge that's been packed away a while and hopefully, ignite a spark in someone who thinks what you do and why you do it is worth following in your steps!

Visit the CTC Online

In the past, I would bring a recording devise and a 30 second commercial to record with the kids, walking them through the process of what it takes to create a message that will be effective advertising for a client and show them the art that goes into the production of a commercial.  From sound effects to music beds and creative copy, we went over it all!

Today, we've shifted gears a little and since digital media seems to be what occupies most of my day, they get a first hand view of the blog, the video and how to develop a story that people will want to read and hopefully share.

We even managed to shoot a little video in the classes today and have the students share some thoughts about Muskegon and what they think the future holds for them and the rest of us!

The Career Center is an advanced learning setting for skilled trades, professional jobs and business minded young people who'd like the experience of hands on learning, from people who are professionals in their field and love to share their practical experience with young people who've got a pretty good mindset about what the future holds for them!  Thanks to the and staff for a great day out and being a part of Positively Muskegon!!

Meet Nicole Kary - Living Life Past Limits

I got to know Nicole Kary a while ago thru No More Sidelines in Muskegon.  She was much younger and participating with all the other kids in the events they hold.  She likes music, sports, and everything else kids like and she was always glad to see me, which is always a welcome feeling.  Time passed and she grew.  I always stayed in touch with her and her parents on social media and would see them around town at different events.  

As Nicole went from being one of the No More Sidelines kid to a young woman it was apparent that she was becoming quite a force.  Nicole has a hard time speaking, she's got Cerebral Palsy but she's not one to let her limitations keep her from doing amazing things.  She communicates thru a device and now works for the Muskegon Area ISD to help others learn about her communication device.  She's even gone as far as to find bugs in the program she works with to communicate with and get the programmers in line to fix it!  She's been awarded by Health West for her willingness to achieve goals way past anyone's limit.  She speaks to college age kids who are in in the process of learning ho to help people with disabilities like hers and she's even gone as far as Florida to compete in a beauty and talent competition as the representative from Muskegon!  Her CP makes it a little difficult for her to talk, so I sent her them and she's answered thru her device.  Here's our chat!

Nicole, thanks for taking a few minutes to be on Positively Muskegon to talk about some of the things you have done and plan on doing!

"It's my pleasure Andy!"

Let's talk a little about you.  You do some great work with the ISD and have spoken to many groups about how you communicate with your device.  Tell us a little about the device and how it helps you out when it comes to talking to folks.

"The device I'm using with the MAISD uses a sequence of symbols whereas my old device primarily uses spelling for communication.   The new device really does seem faster than my old device."

You've also got a pretty wonderful family who help you out with a lot of things.  I imagine support from them and your friends is pretty important.  Would you like to talk about that a little?

"I truly have the best support system and family.  They'll literally do anything for me!"

I've known you since you were a teeny bopper and now that you are 21 and an adult, can you talk a little bit about what you hope people will see in you?

"I just hope people see me as an inspiration.  Like "if she can do it, why can't I?"

Talk about your work!  I know that you are really good with your communication device, are you still teaching others the proper use of it and how they too can be more free to communicate with one?

"The device I'm using is called Unity.  The lesson book that came with it is for the sixty button page set and once I'm done with that, there's a 84 and a 144 page set with their own lesson book."

 Recently, you were awarded  by Health West for your achievements.  Tell us a little about the award and what it means to you. 

"The award was such a surprise; I literally had no idea.  It's just so nice when all your hard work is recognized and appreciated, you know?"

Tell us about your beauty pageant visit to Florida a couple years ago.  Was it the dream come true you expected?

"Omg Florida was amazing!  Disney World is truly the happiest place in the world!"

What's next?  What kind of plans do you have for helping others with their device or learning to manage life with CP?

"Well hopefully I'll go back to Muskegon Community College in the fall and finish my two years there and go to GVSU to get my degree in either social work or psychology.  I'm not sure which."

Is there anything you'd like to share with the readers of Positively Muskegon about your outlook on life?  Is there anything that drive you kinda nuts or anything you REALLY like doing?

"I would just like to say to the people who'll read this to just treat people with disabilities normal unless told otherwise.  You don't know whether the person's disability is physical or mental."

What advise would you give young people who may have a limitation and their families?

"My advice to people with disabilities; DON'T GIVE UP!  YOU DO MATTER! "