Hi, my name is Obi and I am a long-haired black male, about 1 year old. My buddy is Leo, and he is a short-hair tiger, about 5 years old. We lived together and surely would like to stay that way. We are almost perfect cats – we are already neutered, litter-trained, declawed in the front, are current with our shots and have lived with children. Leo is a little more of a scaredy cat (that’s a pun, son) but he is friendly once he gets to know you a little. Please come and see us and take us home with you. My docket # is 11745, and Leo’s is #11744, at the St. Joseph County Animal Control Shelter located at 652 E. Main St., Centreville, MI. Animal Control is open Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The first Saturday of each month AC is open for adoptions from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Their phone number is 269-467-6475. Please visit the Animal Rescue Fund website at www.arfund.org to see more adoptable pets. ARF will pay for the spay/neuter of an adopted Pet of the Week, at the Humane Society in Kalamazoo. If the owner wants to go to a local vet, the same amount will be given to that vet. Up-Cycled Pets needs reliable foster homes so some pets can learn more about living in a safe home before adoption. Go to www.upcycledpets.com for more information about how to help this group.
A longtime Three Rivers city employee and community icon has passed away.
Ken Baker, who served in a variety of roles for the municipality, died Tuesday evening following a long battle with kidney cancer. He was 71.
Baker started his career with the city as a patrol officer for the Three Rivers Police Department. He was later promoted to sergeant and spent the last three years of his 24-year law-enforcement career as chief.
He would then serve as acting city manager before his peer from the police department, Joe Bippus, took over the post full-time.
Baker subsequently spent six years as a city commissioner and in 2011, was appointed mayor for the year after Allen Balog left to serve as a county commissioner.
Funeral arrangements for Baker, who was the grand marshal of the 2013 Three Rivers Water Festival parade, are pending.
Welcome to November and the holiday season. There are already Christmas decorations out, but they’ve been out for a week or so, so this isn’t any real news. We still have Thanksgiving to look forward to, and I have plenty to be thankful for this year.
This past weekend you should have set your clocks back one hour. If you have a computer, it set itself back automatically. You should also have replaced the batteries in your smoke detectors. If you failed to do so, you might want to do it now. It’s a little late if the fire trucks arrive and you’re still in bed.
There’s an exhibit at the Carnegie Center for the Arts/W.R. Monroe Museum that you should check out. The River Country Quilters and The West Michigan Woodturners are exhibiting their works from now through Thursday, December 19. If you’re interested in quilting or woodturning, this exhibit is well worth your time to visit. The Carnegie Center is located at 107 North Main Street, in historic downtown Three Rivers. Their hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM, and they are open from 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturdays. The admission is FREE, and the experience is priceless.
The Christmas holidays wouldn’t be the same without the “Lights of Love”. This annual fundraiser, sponsored by TR Health Auxiliary, makes it possible for the hospital to purchase much needed medical equipment. Started years ago by Ron and Diane Reece, it has become a very popular event from which everyone benefits. Diane Reece has turned over the chairing of this event to Karen and Gary Armstrong. Together, they will work to insure that this fundraiser is successful again this year. By purchasing a light for the Christmas tree, you will be contributing to this success. The tree lighting ceremony will be Saturday, December 14, at 6:30 PM at TR Health, 701 South Health Parkway, in Three Rivers. For more information, please phone 269-278-1145, or visit their website at www.threerivershealth.org.
With the upcoming holidays, comes holiday shopping. Here are a few hints that you might seriously consider when getting Out and About to shop:
Buy from stores you know. Buying from reputable retailers improves the odds that you’ll be able to return or exchange a purchase if needed.
Learn about refund and return policies. Stores aren’t required by law to accept returned merchandise, so ask about their policies before you buy.
Consider paying by credit card. If you order a gift that never arrives, you may be able to dispute the charge.
Shop locally first.
I’ll have a couple more hints next week. Please feel free to share these with your friends.
This past Friday evening, my wife and I attended a different kind of event held at the Richland/Gull Lake Country Club near Richland. The Richland-Gull Lake Area Lions Club sponsored a “Dinner in the Dark”. To fully appreciate what someone without sight experiences, we had the opportunity to eat a very nice meal blindfolded and without lights. After everyone was seated, we were given the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the table settings and the salads that had been placed in front of us. We then donned our blindfolds, and they turned off the lights. Eating the salad was difficult enough, and passing and adding the salad dressings, made it a real challenge. You had to depend on the people sitting next to you, to make sure you didn’t spill anything on you, or on them. After the salad course, we had the option of finishing the meal with or without the blindfold. There was also a silent auction, which was very popular with the large group of supporters. The speaker for the program was Lion Linda McClane of Niles. Her words were meaningful and memorable. If you ever have the opportunity to dine blindfolded, please do so. You’ll appreciate your sense of sight and have a higher respect for those without it.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
In last week’s column, I told about a trip that we made up north to the West Branch area, and I mentioned specifically about visiting the small town of Fairview, which was where many of my aunts, uncles, grandmother, and cousins lived during my childhood years. This trip back affected me in a way that I’ve never been affected before. I wanted everything to be the way it was the last time I was there with my family, and as we all know, that is impossible, because we are mortal, and things happen, sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the not so good. I guess that’s progress.
I have many memories about those visits, but I would like to share one specific event that occurred every time we made the trip to Fairview. When we visited Fairview, our family would sleep in the homes of various aunts and uncles. I usually stayed with Uncle Omer and Aunt Arla, as did my parents. I really liked Uncle Boney, a nickname that didn’t really suit him, because he wasn’t boney at all. Anyway, the two of us got along great. Upon our late-night arrival, Uncle Boney would promise me that the next day, he’d take me to the local cafe and buy me a hamburger. It would be just the two of us, which made the trip even more special. We’d arrive at the Fairview Cafe, and we’d always sit on stools at the lunch counter. He’d always brag to the other patrons about how I came all the way to Fairview for that special hamburger, and that he was paying for that hamburger and his cup of coffee. That burger was the best. Some ketchup, a pickle, a little mustard, and of course a nice slice of sweet onion made it very tasty. I’d wash it down with a cold glass of milk. Uncle Omer loved to laugh, and I loved to watch him laugh after I burped, after eating that burger. I think it was the onion. I can’t remember what I enjoyed more. Was it the burger, or was it just spending time with my Uncle Boney? I’m pretty sure it was the latter.
Meanwhile, back in Three Rivers, and reality, life goes on, and memories continue to be made, to be treasured later. I keep a journal so that reflecting on these years will be easier as I age.
Next Saturday, November 3, from 10 AM until 5 PM, there will be a mattress sale at Three Rivers High School, on Sixth Avenue, in Three Rivers. You will probably read that sentence over again, but believe me, it’s true. It’s the Third Annual TRHS DECA/BPA Mattress Sale. I’d better explain a little further about DECA and BPA. DECA is the Future Young Entrepreneurs of America, and BPA stands for Business Professionals of America. Anyway, there will be a large selection of mattresses in many different sizes on hand, from which to make a selection. Free layaway and delivery is also available, and you may pay for your purchase with cash, check, or credit card. This sounds like a perfect deal, and the money goes for a great cause. All profits go directly to DECA and BPA to assist in their competition expenses. Any questions may be directed to Mr. Scott Muffley, Marketing Teacher at Three Rivers High School. The phone number for the high school is 269-279-1120.
Next Sunday, November 3, is the time to set our clocks back one hour. Remember, spring ahead and fall behind? The actual time to set your clocks back is Sunday at 2 AM, but usually everyone sets their clocks before going to bed Saturday night. Another thing to remember, is to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and other battery-operated devices. It’s inexpensive insurance and just plain common sense.
You still have time to check your snow blower before we receive any real snow accumulation. With a foot of snow to remove, you don’t want to find out that your spark plug needs replacing, or your wheels are not securely attached to your machine. If you don’t own a snow blower, all you need to do is remember where you put the snow shovel.
You’re probably finished with the lawn mower. I usually run it out of gas, sharpen the blade, and thoroughly clean under the deck. A nice coating of WD-40 under the deck might prevent rust from forming. I usually place a plastic cover over the mower to keep the dust away, but that’s just me.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
The Jim Leyland era has officially ended in Detroit. As you have most likely heard, the gruff but emotional manager resigned from his position just two days after the Boston Red Sox ended the Tigers hopes of a World Series berth.
I am pretty bummed by the news. But at the same time, I am glad that he made the decision to walk away rather than being fired. Even with the Tigers failure to make it to the World Series this year, I was pretty sure that he was going to be back next season.
Many people have been calling for his ouster for years, but I was not in that camp. I respected him and I liked him as manager of the Tigers. Growing up in the Sparky Anderson era, he kind of reminded me of Sparky.
There are many obvious differences between the two, but to me, both men just seemed like they belonged in a Tiger uniform.
Leyland didn’t always make what many people thought were the right calls. People complained that he kept players like Ryan Rayburn, Brandon Inge, Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago because they were his favorites, but not good ball players. People did not like how he handled the pitchers or the bullpen. Still other complained that he didn’t make them run enough or play aggressive enough.
To me, it seemed like the Leyland haters, and there were many, who were always looking for something to use against him no matter what he did.
The problem with Leyland, in my eyes, was that he cared too much. The man was emotional and while on the outside he always seemed like a man who was mad or beside himself because people dared to talk to him, he really was a caring man who respected the hell out of his players. One would only have to watch him talk about his players after a big game, or a Verlander no-hitter and they would see that he truly cared for those guys that he managed. I did not get the feeling that he was just there to win and collect a paycheck. I could be wrong. It would not be the first time.
People like to mock people, especially men, who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Leyland was a crier. He cried at the drop of a hat it seemed, but his emotions showed more about who he is as a person and not as the gruff manager that he portrayed in press conferences.
I liked that.
I like the fact that regardless of his age, position, gender or whatever the case may be that he cares enough about those that he manages to show his emotions. There is nothing wrong with that.
His appreciation for the fans, the city of Detroit and the State of Michigan, was something he talked about anytime he could. His devotion and respect for the fans of the Tigers was never in question. Leyland was obviously aware that he was not liked and even loathed by many. That didn’t matter. He still thanked the fans, all fans, every chance he could.
The Tigers did not win a World Series under his reign, but they made it to the title game twice. They won three division titles, too. The Tigers have been fun to watch since he took over. Sure, it helps to have an owner who wants to win so bad that he stocked the lineup with heavy hitters and pitchers who drive the batters crazy. But you still have to be able to manage. Leyland did that, even if you do not agree with every decision he made. I do not agree with every decision I make half the time.
Show message history
I have been biting my tongue, really, really hard over the past few months as it related to our government, the two parties, Obamacare and all that goes with it, including the shutdown that we just endured.
I love talking politics and I really believe, even though it is hard at times, VERY hard, that most of our elected representatives are not as evil as we perceive them to be. It is not as easy to convince myself of that these days, but I do have hope that one day that feeling will return…someday.
While I tend to lean one way in my beliefs that does not mean that I always agree with “my side”. And I am most certainly not someone who only finds fault with one side or the other. I hate to say this, but if you are one of those people, you are part of the problem. Big time.
I did not want the government to “shutdown” and I was pretty disturbed by the actions of ALL lawmakers and the President during the last few weeks.
Here are a few of my observations and feelings that resulted from this latest mess.
A law is a law, but bad laws can and SHOULD be fixed.
I felt bad for the thousands of federal workers who were without a paycheck for the past 16 days, and I was glad to see they were going to be paid one way or another once the two sides reached an agreement. However, I wondered where all the outrage was/is in the media regarding the millions, including myself, who were or are still unemployed due to a lousy economy.
I am not a fan of some areas of Obamacare and I wish, instead of voting to defund it or repeal it over and over, that the Republicans would have grabbed on to a few of the most “hated” sections of the law and worked to fix them instead of trying to do the impossible. Look how much of it has been delayed already and what is going forward now is sort of a messy nightmare.
On the flip side, I find it rather arrogant of the President to refuse to negotiate and only want a vote on HIS (and his parties) terms. That is why we have the two party system, right? Even if you disagree with the other side, you work together and sort it out? I am as fed up with Congress as everyone else, but I also lay blame with the “non-negotiator in chief. Ronald Reagan worked with Tip O’Neill; Bill Clinton worked with Newt Gingrich and President Bush worked with Ted Kennedy. It can and SHOULD be done more often. Those men, all of them, were leaders, whether you liked them or not.
On a much lighter note, my faith in humanity was restored a bit this past weekend. My wife offered to help a friend at church set up a “mom to mom” sale. As they worked to set up tables and whatever else one does when setting up for such an event, my wife noticed a rocking chair that one lady brought in to sell. A real rocking chair! My wife has always talked about how she would love to have one.
Casually mentioning to the woman who was trying to sell the chair that she liked it and always wished she had one when rocking her newborns, Heather went on about her work before heading home.
The next day we had a voicemail from the church. The chair didn’t sell and the lady left it for Heather to have. Not to buy, but to have. I do not even think my wife knew her name. Instead of keeping it or trying to make money off it at another sale she just gave it to Heather, no strings attached. The kindness of strangers is so inspiring. It is too bad that we live in such a self-centered world today that these kinds of actions are few and far between!