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Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Final Note Before the Election Tuesday

It's been a long few months.  The finish line is about to be crossed by all of our area candidates after a long and exhausting race.  Yard signs are everywhere and hopefully, voters in Muskegon have a little more knowledge about who's running for what.
I have had an incredible front row seat to all of our candidates and I would just like to take a moment to say thank you to all of them for seeing Positively Muskegon as a great way to get the word out.  It worked!

This humble little blog saw 54,034 views since our first candidate interview back on March 31st.  It might look like peanuts to some, but to me....that's an awful lot of people who wanted to know more about Muskegon and those who have raised their hand to say that they wanted to make a difference in it.  Yes, there were some other stories sprinkled in that time as well, but we've talked to everyone from people running for US Congress all the way to Drain Commissioner and I was honestly honored to be able to give them a little more time to get their points across.

Every single one of them had valid points.  I honestly walked away from every single chat impressed.  The willingness to talk about what drives them....the desire to be part of a better future and most of all, their love for Muskegon.  Some were more polished....some a little camera shy and most stuck to the idea of just having a neighborly chat to get to know you and tell you what they hope to accomplish should you vote be the one who puts it over the top for them.

I am not here to tell you to vote for a particular candidate today, but I am here to tell you to vote.  I personally hope that voters of Muskegon make 2 things happen.  The Senior Millage and the Muskegon Area District Library millage's.  We owe it to our older generation and we owe it to future generations.  To me, those who will benefit from the Senior Millage made sure that we had what we needed growing up and it's up to us to return the favor.    The Muskegon Area District Library millage....well, if you use a library or not....it's an essential piece of our community for some.  The kid trying to get thru college....people who need a spot for understanding or just a getaway to read, we just can't let the library go.

In closing, no matter if you are disillusioned by the campaign trail on the national level or you're up to your elbows in the hoopla....Tuesday is an important day.  It's a day to get out and make your voice heard and hopefully, the best person for the job gets the nod to keep the momentum in Muskegon going just like it is!  I'd like to thank you for giving the candidates an honest and open listen and thank you too for reading this blog....it really has been a great opportunity to be able to take the lead to tell Muskegon's story better.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

The Muskegon County Youth Fair is Going on NOW!! What's to See and Do?

It's a tale as old as time.  The county fair in any area is a big deal, but the Muskegon County Youth Fair is all ours and it's happening now through Saturday!

Like any county fair, there's plenty of attractions like a mini horse pull, livestock judging and auctions, music, food, a craft show...they are having a 5k, SJO Supercross and a whole lot more!

McKenna Morton and Elvis Pigsley
A big part of the county fair is celebrating the agriculture of an area, and if you have not looked lately, there is a LOT of agriculture in Muskegon County.  Farm animals...orchards, corn fields, soybeans, BLUEBERRIES and more!  We are rich in both our outlying areas and in our city with emerging community gardens and back yard gardens filled with goodies that are not only good for you...they are fun to plant and watch grow!

I kind of wanted to get the inside scoop....after all, this is the Muskegon County Youth Fair and who better to talk to than a young person who's a part of the fair?  I was able to catch up with Mckenna Morton who's pig "Elvis Pigsley" took 5th place in the swine competition.  Mckenna jumped in at the last second to tell you about the youth fair and what she loves about raising animals, the fair, farming and more.  It's a fun look at life through the eyes of a 12 year old and I am very thankful she jumped in at the last minute.  I think our original guest had a little stage fright, but hey...it happens.  Take a listen to our chat.

There's always a lot going on at the Muskegon County Fairgrounds.  They have events all year long and you'll find too...that they are more than the "county fair".  The Hero Mud Run happens at the county fairgrounds, plenty of visits from SJO Supercross and the Renaissance Fair too!  Click on the logo below and check out the full schedule of events at the Muskegon County Fairgrounds!

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Meet Duane Buckner - Drain Commissioner Candidate for Muskegon County

August 2nd is looming close!!  We've done all we can to help you get to know the candidates running in Muskegon County....it's important to know who's running, what they are running for and WHY they are out for the job.  As we get closer to the big day....we're winding down our candidate visits with a ton of gratitude for all who have joined us here!

We're not quite done yet though!

Drain Commissioner is the office we're talking about.  As we learned earlier, it's about water management and making sure that the drains we have in the area are maintained and keep us from being sunk!  Let's face it....living as close to one of the worlds largest fresh water oceans and all the rivers and streams that empty into it....it's an important job.
Follow Duane on Facebook

Duane Buckner is in the hunt for the Drain Commissioner position.

Duane is relying on the personal touch to get his message across.  30 plus years of meeting people and finding solutions for them.  He's looking to expand on that and help Muskegon with it's water as the next drain commissioner.

He runs the family business called Barnes Hardware out on Apple Avenue so you know he certainly has the customer service experience.

I had a chance to catch up with Duane at his place on the beautiful Muskegon River.  Take a listen to our interview below.

Like all of our stories about local candidates...the idea is to get you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.  Our local leaders have more to offer than a one line quote in the paper or a 3 second video clip.  Many thanks to Duane for taking a few minutes out to chat about what he sees in the job of Drain Commissioner.  Please....make your vote count on August 2nd.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Muskegon Volunteer Dental Care - Trade Some Time For a Dentist Visit

Growing up, my mom wouldn't let a few things go.  Most of all....teeth.  I don't know if she had in inherent fear of "summer teeth" - you know...where summer straight and summer crooked...or maybe it was the fact that she had such a large family and food and clothes came before the dentist...as some have to do, even today, but one thing was for sure....us kids were going to brush, floss, get fluoride treatments, braces, retainers, wisdom teeth taken out...you name it.

I mean I literally had the same dentist for his entire career in Sparta....40 years he worked on my teeth.

Follow Muskegon Volunteer Dental Care on Facebook 
Now, of course, I am not complaining, and hindsight being 20/20 it was her job as a mom to make all that happen...but...what if we were unable to have all that care put into our teeth?  Times are tight and people need dental care, and unfortunately, insurance doesn't cover it all, and for those with no insurance...they have to pay cash out of pocket....and that's where the budget cuts kick in.

Oh, to have perfect teeth!

In Muskegon though, there's a program that can help.  If you need a dentist, you can work to earn credit by volunteering.  This is an awesome program because it meets a few needs.  One, you'll get your choppers taken care of... Two, you'll be a part of something bigger than yourself.  You'll get to pitch in around town and make a difference to someone who could use the hand.  Three..most of all....you're helping build our community.  You'll meet new people by volunteering, you'll maybe learn a new skill and you'll add to the over all well being of everyone...and you'll have a "Close Up" Smile :)

Suzanne Tanis is the program coordinator of this remarkable project in Muskegon.  I had a chance to catch up with her to find out a little more and to help you get the facts you need to get those pearly whites polished up, fixed up and brighten your smile a little!  Take a listen to our chat below!

Proper dental care is important.  I understand it's expensive and other things have to come first sometimes, but...if you need it, the resource is available to you right here in Muskegon.  We take care of our own.  We try anyway, and part of Positively Muskegon is making you aware of what you have available to you if you need it.  Thanks to Suzanne for taking a few minutes out of her time to share the concept with me.  If you need to know more, or find the links to get started click on the logo below!

Click Here for Muskegon Volunteer Dental

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Muskegon - We Have a 2 Time Olympian! Meet Grandioso From Hampton Green Farm in Fruitport

Like any true athlete coming up on a competition, our very own Olympian Grandioso is currently in training in Spain, but Kim Boyer of the Hampton Green Farm was happy to spend a few minutes talking about the work and detail that goes into championship horses.

You've never heard of Hampton Green Farm?  Well, sit on back a spell and let me tell you a little more.

Hampton Green Farm Fruitport
Hampton Green Farm is out in Fruitport and they breed championship PRE Horses for dressage!  You don't know what a PRE horse is?  Or dressage?  Ok.  Crash course.  PRE Horses are pure bloodline horses from Spain.  Their lineage goes back thousands of years.  Dressage is considered the highest expression of horse training where the horse and rider are expected to perform a series of predetermined movements from memory.


Locally the Hampton Green Farm operates an outreach to are non profits all Summer long giving them a place to host fundraisers as well as treat their guests to a small show, and some history of the sport and a show for their guests.  I was first a guest at the farm to emcee one of the benefits and then, was invited back for the first Chef Prize event which will be returning this fall.  Stay tuned for details on that.

Right now, meet Kim Boyer and learn a little more about our own Olympian Grandioso and when the world focuses it's eyes on Rio...you can feel a little more close to the action knowing one of our own is there competing.  Have a listen to out chat below!

What an amazing place.  What an amazing team and what an amazing chance to cover a story like this. To know that we've got a tie to the Olympics is cool in my honest opinion.  To know that a place like Hampton Green Farm is here...giving us a presence on a world stage...all while making sure the area is given an outstanding place to be proud of and you know..help raise a buck or two in the process...we're pretty lucky to have Hampton Green Farm.  To follow the forum Kim spoke of please, click on the logo below and follow our Olympian Grandioso

Follow the Hampton Green Forum On Facebook

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Muskegon Heights Band - Time for a Return

When schools have to make cut backs for whatever reason...important things sometimes pay the price.  At Muskegon Heights their legendary marching band had to take a year off...and the sweet sounds of their music...as well as their amazing high stepping presentation was silenced.

Imagine life without music?  Imagine a game without the fight song?  Imagine the future of talented young musicians not being able to showcase their ability?  Well, if all goes to plan...Muskegon Heights musicians will be silenced no more.

It's been an all hands on deck effort too!  Those who know how to present a color guard came out to teach...those who know to handle a percussion line jumped in....instruments are being donated, inspected and refreshed to once again bring the joy to players and listeners!

Donate to the Tigers Band

It's a reboot from the beginning basically.  The famous high step march has to be retaught, new band director Brandon Cooper is up for the challenge and Superintendent Alena Zachary-Ross and Principal Jennifer Bouwman are doing their part to spread the word, engage the community and help make the Muskegon Heights Tigers Marching Band a vibrant part of all things MH Tigers once again.  Take a listen to our chat below!

It's true, I wasn't here during the "heyday" of the Heights....I don't share all the memories of a lot of people around here...but I do know this.  Our kids are our future.  It's up to all of us to make sure that they have the same opportunities we had, if not better and...it's up to all of us to make sure that we help to instill the pride in the Tigers Marching Band.  I hear Tiger pride is pretty hard to beat...grab some for yourself....it will make you feel good!

Alena Zachary-Ross can be reached by E-Mail by CLICKING HERE.  If you have the time and talent to help these kids....jump on in!

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ramp It Up For Love in Muskegon With Love INC!

Love INC!  Who doesn't immediately feel good when they hear something like that?

Since 1982 Love INC of Muskegon has been doing their part to make sure that if there's a need...all hands are on deck to do all they can to meet it!  The connect people, places and most of all churches, pantries and agencies to help get the needs met.  It's a never ending job and they are setting out this year to do some pretty awesome things.

Ramp it Up For Love Go Fund Me

Ramp it up!  Yes...they are looking to help people who have mobility issues with a fundraising campaign to help build ramps at the homes of those in need.  What's it take to get a ramp?  Well, usually a phone call and about 6-8 weeks, but of course...there is a cost involved for the materials.  Once everything is in place....a group of volunteers come to the scene and in 2 days.... a ramp!

I got a call from Tammy Woodring who works at Love INC and she asked if I could come by and help get you up to speed on the need, the fund drive and the ways you can help Love INC do the work they do all over Muskegon.  While we were at it...might as well learn a little more about their work.  Take a listen to out chat below.

Love INC does amazing work all over town for a LOT of people!  A financial contribution to Ramp It Up for Love is great, but...if you have the time and talent...that's a gift bigger than money can buy!  Get involved....help out, make a new friend, meet a neighbor and contribute to the greater good here in Muskegon.  You'll be glad you did!  Click on the logo below for more information about Love INC Muskegon!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Muskegon Area District Library Millage - What You Need to Know...

Am I a journalist?  I dunno.  I write a blog...and I am able to state an opinion from time to time and possibly share a few thoughts with you when something's on my mind, so...I guess this might be one of those times.  Consider me less of a journalist if you must....but I have a few words for you.

I literally cannot believe we're at the point where people are out there thinking that the Muskegon Area District Library System is an "option" for the area.

An "option" we have to vote on to sustain the LIBRARY.  Look, I am not the brightest bear in the woods or anything, but let me explain to you how this works.  You see, you're not voting to pass the library millage because of you.  You are voting to pass the library millage so the guy down the street can rely on it when he needs it.  You're voting to pass the library millage to pass so the kid who needs the space to study things and learn more can make it thru college.  You're voting to assure that there is a summertime reading program, story time...an archive.

More on the Millage
You're voting for your community.  That's how community building works... you make sure there are enough shared resources like parks, library's, the occasional town beer tent....these are the things that add to the quality of life, and in a world of never ending belt tightening, well...I get it, but we have to build communities not continue to to pick them a part by not wanting to spend $25 bucks a year on it.
With that being said...I was able to catch up with a guy who knows a lot about library's.  He's the Head Librarian for the State of Michigan, Randy Riley.  He was at the Norton Shores branch of the MADL today and spoke to what libraries do for a community and why we can't let it go.  Have a listen to our chat below.

I'd like to thank Randy for coming on and sharing some thoughts.  Hey, like I confessed...I don't use the library much, but that doesn't mean that others need it.  It's essential to any city.  It's important to protect our own history and have a central place to share information.  Get out and vote in the primary please, and please vote to pass the MADL millage.

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Meet Joe Ferrier - Candidate for Drain Commissioner in Muskegon County

I am going to be the very first to admit....I have NO idea what a Drain Commissioner does....why they do what they do....or anything about the position.  I know this though...it's an elected position, and with all of our candidates in Muskegon this year, we've opened the floor to them to share what drives them to want to take a role in the community to make it better for all.  It's important that you get more than a couple words or newspaper clipping about candidates....so let's meet another one.

Follow the Ferrier Campaign on Facebook
Joe Ferrier is seen around town a lot and...he's an affable gent who goes out of his way to come over and say hi when he can.  For 15+ years he's been with All Star Flood Control and from a quick glance at his campaign website...he's passionate about all things Muskegon when it comes to rivers, streams and water management.  He's promising to use local labor to improve infrastructure, save tax payers money.  His approach seems to be one of engagement and community action.  He's also planning on making his office do more should he be elected.  Optimizing software to quickly identify flood areas, produce a master map of all drains and locate watershed districts that may qualify for state or federal money!

Joe took a couple minutes out off the campaign trail to talk with me, and introduce himself to you so when August 2nd comes around, hopefully...he'll have earned your vote.  Take a listen to our chat below.

VOTE!  It's been the theme leading up to the August 2nd primary coming up.  Be an informed voter and known the candidates!  Thanks so very much to Joe for coming by to not only talk about why he's seeking the Drain Commissioner job...but what a Drain Commissioner does!  If you'd like to know more about Joe, click on his campaign billboard below!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bust a Move Downtown Muskegon With The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce

It's coming together...the events, the opportunity and the community are doing just what was expected when it comes to the Downtown Muskegon area with an amazing anchor like the Muskegon Farmers Market!

Yes, the Farmers Market is a great place to shop for fresh veggies and things, but it's also rapidly becoming a focal point for events of all kinda things!  Expo's, sales...and why not throw in a great spot to have a dance too?

The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce is your host for an evening of fun Downtown Muskegon with the Downtown Dancing event!  It's an all ages event and it's geared to get you out...get you active and above all...get you together with everyone else in the community!

Bring a chair, enjoy the food vendors on site and some great music, this week provided by The Bermuda Triangle Band!  I was able to catch up with Jackie Engel to talk about the event and the work the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce does around town to make life better for all!  Take a listen to out interview below!

Hey...get out of the house....chase around some Pokemon's or something Downtown Muskegon and take a few minutes to cut a rug with Downtown Dancing!  Events like this are vital to our community and they are vital to the well being of all of us because we can connect....talk and bring about more great things!  Here's a link to the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce to learn more!  Go ahead and click.....it's cleverly disguised as an event flyer!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Macker Weekend Comes to Muskegon July 23rd-24th

The Gus Macker name is synonymous with West Michigan.

The "all inclusive" basketball tournament got it's start in Lowell of all places..started way back in 1974 and the popularity of the 3 on 3 format soon proved to be something that could be packed up...moved around and really, take over the streets in any city for teams and friends to compete and breathe a little life into neighborhoods with a fun, family event.

Muskegon Macker on Facebook
Today...Gus Macker tournaments are found all over Michigan of course.  You'll find them in Texas...you'll find them in South Dakota and this weekend you'll find them in Muskegon!  Downtown will be filled with dribbling....dunking....bricks and picks...and you're invited to come back downtown again and enjoy all that Muskegon has to offer.

I was able to catch up with Ellen Berrends of Downtown Muskegon and David Fox of Dream Lucid to talk a little about the tournament and what we can expect Downtown Muskegon this weekend when the streets become the hard court and we are treated to a great weekend of hoops and fun!  Take a listen to our chat below!

It's a great time and it's a great way to keep our kids off the streets and if that's not enough...it's a great way to welcome more people to Muskegon to see all that we have to offer, see and do!  If you're looking for a way to be a part of the action, come on Downtown Muskegon for the Macker tournament.  You can click on the photo below to learn more about Gus Macker Basketball!  Stay tuned as well to learn more about Dream Lucid

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Psssst! Hey!! Muskegon!! Get a load of this!

Psst....hey...guess what?!?  We did it!  We really did it!

In a world of question marks, tension and doubting your common man.... we did it!
We all got along...we walked the streets, we talked....we welcomed people in from out of town and you know...they had a good time.  There were kids, teens and every color and creed getting along.  Kids were buzzing around on Power Wheels Choppers....that kid will remember that for the rest of his life...and guess what?  He formed that memory HERE!

Judging from the non stop and I mean NON STOP traffic I saw coming out of Muskegon last night about 10:30....I am guessing they were going away impressed....they sure stuck around long enough!

I can't draw comparison between which festival did what when it comes to whatever,,,,,I couldn't get to both of them honestly, with my work schedule this weekend....but, you know?  Who really cares where they were.  The important thing is they were HERE!

I am proud of the efforts of many who truly gave of their time talent and treasure to help make something this completely this transformation....the complete opposite of what the world sees and hears about us....I feel GOOD!  I feel ALIVE.....this is how town outta feel!  Imagine flexing this muscle a little more often!  Think of the jobs it would create...think of the people who might come for the soup de jour of a street party!  Think of the yards that can get parked in for $5 a car....think of it!  Those who put the effort in should be applauded publicly!

We did it Muskegon.  Hold your head high tomorrow!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Meet Candidate Dennis Murphy Who's Running for US House of Representatives for the 2nd District

We opened the floor to our local candidates so they can share their thoughts with you on why they are seeking office.  We've talked to a LOT of candidates..every office from Sheriff to State Rep's, judges...and now... we're happy to report...even those in the federal races have taken notice of the little blog here and they'd like your attention too for a moment!

We live in Michigan's 2nd district for the US Congress.  It's made up of Muskegon, Ottawa, Oceana, Newaygo and Lake counties and Dennis Murphy grew up in Muskegon and is now from Grandville would like to take a minute to get to know you and let you know where he stands when it comes to the future of the "West Coast" of Michigan.

Find Dennis Murphy's Campaign on Facebook

Dennis Graduated from Muskegon High School and attended WMU to get a bachelors degree in education.  he's taught music at both the high school and college levels and now works as a quality engineer in automotive manufacturing.  He's passionate about the people and natural resources our area offers.  He and his family are avid cyclists, hikers and outdoors people.  He's promising to work for educational as well as employment opportunities for the younger generation to assure that the middle class is growing.  He's also an advocate for seniors working to improve Social Security as well as Medicare.

Dennis took a couple minutes out of his busy schedule to come on to Positively Muskegon to talk about his platform and his desire to make the Lakeshore a better place for all!  Take a listen to our chat below.

Wow.  To say that I thought Positively Muskegon would catch the attention of candidates running for US Congress is...well, it's almost unimaginable.  One little blog going to so many people who believe in better and now, they have taken notice all the way to DC.  I am honored to say the least that Dennis Murphy thought of us to get in touch with you and ask for your vote!  Learn more about Dennis at his website which you will find linked below!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Another Visit to 70x7 - This Time - It's Basketball

Not long ago, we introduced you to 70x7 here in Muskegon.  70x7 is a reference from the Bible about forgiveness and the organization with that title in Muskegon works to help re-acclimate prisoners back into society so once their time is up...they are able to assimilate back into society and leave behind the ways they once knew and go on to happy and productive lives.   It's a program based on forgiveness.

Well, as the program continues...the program grows.  70x7 is happy to introduce the "I Am Basketball League"

70x7 Muskegon
Kids will be able to participate in the league...and there are some big guns coming to help.  Names like Dale Osbourne from the Portland Trail Blazers, and Chris Kamen of the Trail Blazers as well.   It's a big schedule.  It's a great way to give kids some guidance and fun in the meantime.

Yosef Johnson and Joe Kelm had the idea for the camp and I invited Nate Johnson back as well as 70X7 will be hosting a great event pitting law enforcement against former inmates in a benefit game of hoops!  It all gets underway July 30th with a 3 point shoot out, dunk contest and then the Police vs. Parolees game at 7 followed by the Grand Rapids All Stars taking on the I Am Basketball League All Stars!  That's a lot of hoops for a great cause.  Take a listen to our chat below.

It's awesome to see more people doing what they can to help our youth.  Let's keep them fit, busy and focused!  If want to participate see the full schedule of events and people you can click on the photo below to learn more!