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Happy New Year

Review & Observer

with best wishes to our readers for a happy and healthy year ahead.


Your very own newspaper serving the “City of Two Rivers” since 1867

Vol. 144 - No. 1

© 2010 Lansing Community Newspapers

December 26, 2010

Bids for treatment plant higher than expected By TOM THELEN

Pucker up

Photos by Tom Thelen


Portland Middle School assistant principal Bill Martin (from left), Portland superintendent Charles Dumas, and Portland Middle School principal Todd Marsh pose with the pig that each of them kissed during the school’s holiday assembly on Dec. 17. Each of them agree to kiss the pig if the students reached certain goals in their Pennies for Patients fundraiser. Left: Dumas takes his turn kissing the pig during the assembly. For story, see page 3.



PORTLAND — Portland city residents will not see an increase in their water service rates. However, an increase in the sewer service rates was approved, and a second increase could be in the near future. The Portland City Council approved the new rates at its Dec. 20 meeting. For water service, the commodity charge will go from $2.38 per 1,000 gallons to $2.62 per 1,000 gallons. Meanwhile, the readiness to serve charge for the average residential customer with a 5/8” meter will go from $11.20 to $10.12. For sewer service, the commodity charge will increase from $3.56 per 1,000 gallons to $4.20 per 1,000 gallons. Also, the readiness to serve charge will increase from $7 to $14.64. The rate increase came after the council discussed the bids that the city had received for upgrades to its wastewater treatment facility. Based on estimates from the engineering firm, city officials were expecting bids for the improvements to not exceed $2.9 million. But when the 11 bids were opened, the lowest bid for the renovation was just over $3.1 million.

With engineering costs, the total cost was just over $3.7 million. ‘We were shocked with the bids that we had received,” said Tom Dempsey, city manager. “The engineers are taking the bids and going through the schedule of values to see what costs are different between their estimates and the bids.” Dempsey said the higher than expected bids creates a problem as the city had hoped to close on its loan through the USDA Rural Development program by the end of the year to take advantage of a lower interest rate. “We have already spoken with the Rural Development staff and they informed us that their rate is going up,” said Dempsey. “If we had closed by the end of this month the rate would be between 3 percent and 3.25 percent. In 2011, their rate will be between 3.5 percent and 3.75 percent.” Dempsey said the engineers and city staff are discussing the city’s options. Among those options include: • Taking out a loan for $2.9 million at the lower rate and taking out a second loan for the remaining amount at the higher rate. • Doing the project in


two phases with the $2.9 million loan covering the first phase. • Putting the project on hold and rebidding the project in the near future. • Do nothing. “There are already signs that prices are starting to come up so I do not know if I would wait to rebid the project,” said Dempsey. “And doing nothing is not advisable. The equipment is wearing out. If we have a spill that gets into the Grand River, the city would have to pay the clean-up costs as well as any fines and penalties.” Dempsey suggested that the council adopt the increased rates that were set based on a loan of $2.9 million. “In the meantime, we will start discussions with the engineers, Rural Development staff, and bidders to come up with some options,” said Dempsey. “We may have to schedule a special meeting for next Monday (Dec. 27) in order to take action if we want to close on a loan by the end of the year.” Dempsey said that another rate adjustment could be made in 2011 after the council has made a decision on the plant renovations and funding. See

Sewer/page 3

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News in brief Euchre party benefit set for Jan. 15

pointment for Saturday, Jan. 1

Road Riders for Jesus meets on Jan. 3

Van Houten’s Victory Realy For Life team holds its second annual progressive euchre party on Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Grand River Conservation Club. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and games begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person at the door, or $10 if purchased before Jan. 14. The price includes sloppy joe, chips, pickle, and punch or iced tea. A dish to pass is welcomed. For tickets contact Kathy Van Houten at (517) 256-8835.

The nextmonthly meeting of the Ionia County chapter of the Road Riders for Jesus motorcycle group takes place on Jan. 3 at the Corner Landing Restaurant, located at the intersection of M-66 and Grand River Avenue. Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the group’s website at or call Ben Quinn at (517) 526-0122.

Portland Civic Players to hold tryouts Jan. 4

Legislative luncheon meets on Jan. 10

The Portland Civic Players will be helding tryouts for the spring play “Send Me No Flowers”co-directed by Roger Miller and Ruth Ann Peake. Tryouts will tkae place on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Portland Playhouse. Roles are available for men and women age 20+. For more information contact Ruth Ann Peake at (517) 647-6211.

The Portland Area Chamber of Commerce holds its next monthly legislative luncheon on Monday, Jan. 10, at noon at Jerry’s Restaurant on Kent Street in downtown Portland. Residents are invited to stop by and discuss items with local and stateelected officials.

Historical society offering 2011 calendars

Courtesy photo

The Portland Area Historical Society has come out with a new calendar for 2011. They are $15 and are available at the Rivertown Bookstore inside Raffaeles’ Marketplace, the China Star Restaurant, and fromthe group’s website:

Belly Flop and Bowl event scheduled

The Portland Parks and Recreation Department holds its annual Belly Flop and Bowl on Monday, Dec. 27. Participants will enjoy bowling and a pizza at Meadow Bowl followed by a bus trip to the Ionia YMCA for swimming. This program is available to all youth ages 6 through 12. Registration forms are available at Portland City Hall and also online at For more information, contact Neil at (517) 647-3207.

Special gifts from home The Edward J. Werner VFW Post 3733 and its Ladie’s and Men’s Auxiliaries sent care packages to 10 local soldiers stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea. The organization packed 148 pounds of food and other items into 22 boxes for the local soldiers. Local students and scout troops assisted with the effort as did Dewey’s Trading Post and Becker’s Furniture. Pictured with the care packages are (left to right) Post Commander Jim Simon, Marian Craig, John Smith, Penny Craig and Agnes Moore. deadlines for the edition of Jan. 2. Church Rectory, and online at Submitted editorial items for the Jan. 2 edition must be submitted by MonThe deadline to submit appliday, Dec. 27, at 5 p.m. cations is Jan. 15.For more information contact Bill Kavanagh at (517) Portland Habitat 647-1972.

accepting applications

Portland Habitat for Humanity has begun the family selection process Newspaper announces for its 11th house which begins construction in the spring. early deadlines Applications along with income Due to the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, the Portland guid elines are available at the PortReview & Observer will have early land District Library, St. Patrick’s


PAGEby PAGE editions


ONLINEextras breakingNEWS


Blood drives to take place in area


Epic offers monthly food assistance Jan. 1

Epic-a community church will be offering monthly food assistance to families in need on the first Saturday of each month by appointment only. Families in need should contact (517) 647-7750 to set-up an ap-


The American Red Cross has scheduled blood drives for the following dates: • Monday, Dec. 27, at St. Anthony Church, 3927 Jackson Road, Saranac, from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. • Tuesday, Dec. 28, at the Sunfield United Brethren Church, 8436 W. Grand Ledge Hwy., Sunfield, from 1 to 6:45 p.m. • Wednesday, Dec. 29, at the old Ionia Knights of Columbus Hall, 115 S. Steele St., Ionia, from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. • Monday, Jan. 3, at St. Mary Church Hall, 201 N. Westphalia St., Westphalia, from 1 to 6:45 p.m. • Tuesday, Jan. 4, at Lyons-Muir Church, 1074 Olmstead Road, Muir, from 12:30 to 6:15 p.m. • Tuesday, Jan. 11, at Saranac High School 150 S. Pleasant St., Saranac, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health. To schedule an appointment at one of the above blood drives or for information on a blood drive, call 1-800-GIVE LIFE or visit




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PORTLAND — Students at the Portland Middle School received a special reward to begin the holiday break. The students held a holiday assembly on Dec. 17 during which time three school administrators, Principal Todd Marsh, Assistant Principal Bill Martin, and Superintendent Charles Dumas, all took turns kissing a pig. The pig kissing was held due to the success of the students in the middle school’s annual Pennies for Patients fundraiser, sponsored by the middle school student council. The students raised approximately $3,300 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “For these students to raise $3,300 in about a month is just an incredible effort,” said Dumas. The fundraising effort began on Nov. 29 at which time Marsh agreed to kiss a pig if the students raised their initial goal

$1,000. By the end of the first week, the students had raised $1,200. “Since the students reached the goal so quickly, Bill Martin, the assistant principal, said he would also kiss a pig if the students raised a total of $2,000,” said Amber Fogarty, Portland Middle School counselor. The $2,000 goal was soon reached. At which time, the students approached Dumas to see if he would kiss a pig if they raised another $1,000 on top of the $2,000 that they had already raised. Dumas agreed to the proposal. “I had checked yesterday (Dec. 16) and they will still short,” said Dumas. “I thought maybe I was off the hook. However, they reached the $3,000 mark on the last day.” All three administrators made good on their promise at the start of the Dec. 17 assembly. And they agreed that it was for a good cause. “It’s really amazing how much they raised, and it’s for a good cause,” said Marsh.

3 Portland Review & Observer

Big bucks from area students leads to kissed pig

Sewer: City discusses options

for treatment plant upgrades Continued from page 1

Managing costs

Dempsey said the new method of setting rates for both the water and sewer services takes into consideration the current expenses and future plans. “We want to have our rates match up with the costs for operating the system,” said Dempsey. “At the same time, the loan agreement with Rural Development requires us to put funds away for maintenance and future projects. I took the method that the engineers set up for establishing the new sewer rates and just applied it to the water service as well.” Among the anticipated projects for the water system include the replacement of meters that

Photo by Tom Thelen

Portland Middle School principal leans in to kiss a pig during the school’s assembly on Dec. 17. Marsh, assistant principal Bill Martin and superintendent are no longer being supported by the manufacturer as well as maintenance and repairs Charles Dumas agreed to kiss a pig after the students reached certain fundraising goals for their Pennies for Patients drive. to the city water tower on Hill Street. “The last inspection of that tower showed that it was not as bad as we were initially told,” said Dempsey. “So we may been able to put off replacing it a little while longer. And we could get more life out of it if we paint it.” Dempsey said the Water Fund has $300,000 set aside. Plus the Water Fund is to receive funds from the General Fund, which had borrowed $800,000 for other projects. “We figured that $400,000 will be paid back in eight years,” said Dempsey. “But we also set up the water rates to no only cover the costs of operation, but also put money aside for future projects, such as the water tower or the new meters.”

December 26, 2010

December 26, 2010

Portland Review & Observer


Businesses should not discount social media Facebook. Twitter. MySpace. Blogger. FourSquare. WordPress. You have undoubtedly heard of a number of these social media devices. Many of them have seemingly taken over the world like Facebook - while some seem to have grown passé, like MySpace. The similarity between all of them is that each can be used to promote and build your business. While we often think of Main Street Facebook as simply a way for our kids to talk to their moment friends, many adults use this service as well. By Patrick Reagan Facebook’s power as a marketing tool correlates directly to its popularity - according to Facebook’s product page, “500 million people” utilize this social networking service, with each person having an average of 130 “friends.” Furthermore, these 500 million users spend “700 billion minutes per month” on Facebook. That is a lot of people. More importantly, that’s a lot of potential customers. But what does this all mean for the private business owner? A business that has a “fan page” has the ability to draw new customers - from the city, the region, the state, or the nation. Social media is the new “word-ofmouth” advertising. Your fans tell their friends, their friends tell their friends, and those friends in turn tell their friends about your business, products, sales, or great service, thus adding to your potential customer base and overall sales. And the best part about most social media outlets? They’re free! Unlike even the most modest website, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace pages cost nothing to start. All you have to have is a computer, an Internet connection, and some time and you can present your products to the world. While websites often take a little bit of computer savvy, a Facebook page can be created in minutes by even the most novice computer user. And if you are still worried about your skills, there is even a “Facebook for Dummies” book that can help you from start to finish. But how does a business owner gain all of these fans after completing their new fan page? Advertise in your business on business cards, websites, newsletters, newspaper ads, radio ads, or on table tents on the counter by your register. Searching out friends on Facebook from around the community will also build up your fan base. So now you’ve built a top-notch Facebook page and have your average of 130 fans, now what? Keep it updated with your latest sales and specials. Each day, after unlocking your doors, turning on the light, flipping the “Closed” sign to “Open,” and checking your e-mails, log onto your Facebook page and let your fans know that you have a sale or special today or coming soon. Or let them know about that band that is playing tonight. Whatever you have to offer let your fans know about it! Trust me; if a florist that I am a fan of posts “A dozen roses for $15 today,” I’m going to think about bringing a dozen home for my wife, guaranteed.

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses and organizations make is not updating their status everyday. Make sure to keep it updated - nothing says “unimportant” to your fans like a Facebook page that has the same status as last week. Update your status at least once per day - this will keep your business in the forefront of your customers minds and they will think of you first when they decide to spend their hard-earned money on products or services. Finally, one fear that many business owners have is criticism of their business appearing on their Facebook

page. Don’t fear it, learn from it! Facebook will not only build your customer base but it can strengthen your business as well. If criticism does appear, send that fan a message asking specifically what was wrong with their last visit and work to correct it - this will demonstrate to this customer that you value their business and their input. Patrick Reagan is the DDA director/Main Street manager for the City of Portland. For more information, visit the Portland Main Street website at or call the Portland Main Street offices at (517) 647-5027.

Think back a few years – or a few months. What were some of the words most commonly used when we talked about politics and government in Lansing? Budget deficits. Taxes. Squabbling – between and among Gov. Jennifer Granholm, House Speaker Andy Dillon and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop. Fighting between Democrats and Republicans. Most of all, frustration and gridlock. Now fast forward to these waning days of 2010. What words are you hearing now? How about … Reform. Anticipation. Even … a few faint glimmers of tentative Hope. To me, the big change is that the noun “reform” is now at the top of the policy agenda. By “reform,” I mean the acceptance of the idea that Michigan needs to make

done during that period has changed that one bit. Dismayingly, our two political parties have done little to get together and actually govern, even though they were facing a state and a people in increasingly desperate shape. Time and again, they demonstrated that their habits of hyper-partisanship were too strong to break. Meanwhile, our political culture continued to be rooted in conflict. Between labor and management. Between Southeast Michigan and the west side of the state. Between Detroit and the suburbs. Between the races. And, of course, between and within the two political parties themselves – as the Tea Party movement attests. So why do I feel that suddenly a ‘sea change’ in tone has developed in the last few weeks of this year? For one thing, the unexpected election of moderate Republican Rick Snyder as Michigan’s next governor. He ignored and confounded the conventional wisdom that GOP candidates for high office must run to the right. or to an election. Instead, Snyder ran deterLetters may be sent to: minedly in the center. While Letters to the Editor his four opponents split the Portland Review & Ob- conservative vote, Snyder server drew support from Repub239 S. Cochran Charlotte, MI 48813 E-mail: Fax: (517) 543-3677 Letters of thanks are not published on this page. Thank-you announcements are considered display advertising and may be published by contacting our advertising department.

all kinds of serious changes in the structure and workings of our government and politics. We have to do this, to prepare the ground for a way forward to renewed prosperity. The ceaseless quarrels that preoccupied and stalled Lansing during the eight years of Granholm’s tenure as governor seem, for the moment at least, to be in the past. I’m encouraged after listening to what many participants at last week’s summit on Common Sense Reforms for a New Michigan had to say. If their talk is to be believed, most people recognize that the piecemeal and episodic thinking that so characterized our politics for nearly a decade has been fundamentally pointless. Michigan has faced a billion-dollar plus structural deficit in the state’s budget for the past decade. Nothing our politicians have

R&O letters policy

The Portland Review & Observer welcomes letters to the editor that are of general interest to our readers. Writers are asked to limit submissions to 400 words. We may edit for clarity, space, and content. Please include name, address and telephone number for verification. In order to be fair to everyone, this newspaper will not publish election-related letters to the editor that raise new issues in the edition pri-

Phil Power

lican moderates, (yes, they still exist) independents, and even a few Democrats to win the primary election in August. Then he kept all those groups and added to them to pile up a landslide victory in November. But beyond that is the recognition by everybody with eyes to see and ears to hear that a decade of half measures and denial has done nothing whatsoever to get Michigan out of the jam we’ve been in. Here’s the situation in a nutshell. As economists would put it, our problems used to be cyclical, meaning they were caused by oscillations in the business cycle and could and would be cured by an upswing of the economy. But today they are structural -fundamentally rooted in our hemorrhaging economy, rigid governmental structures and our long-term political paralysis. Even worse, for years, our political leaders choose the easy path of “kicking the

can down the road,” instead of making the tough decisions required to get us out of the ditch. They put the day of reckoning off till tomorrow -and tomorrow has arrived. Reality has a funny way of intruding into fantasy, and Michigan’s remorselessly enduring reality has arrived. But happily, some people are trying to do something about it. As I mentioned the other day, the English nuclear physicist, Ernest Rutherford, once said: “We’re out of money; therefore we must think.” Lately, a lot of thinking has come from the more than 10,000 people who participated in the 580 community conversations held by The Center for Michigan over the past two and a half years. The “citizen’s agenda for Michigan’s transformation” that emerged had as its centerpiece a bunch of commonsense reforms. They address the structure, workings and cost of government; come out for clearing away long-standing barriers against collaboration between local government units and school districts; and changing a tax system most businesses find an un-

fair job killer. Though it may not have been used much lately, calling forth and amplifying the voices of ordinary people into the precincts of power is an age-old way to achieve reform. And there were signs, when I listened to GovernorElect Snyder and our new team of legislative leaders at the reform summit last Monday, that at long last, citizen voices have begun to be heard. *** Editor’s Note: Former newspaper publisher and University of Michigan Regent Phil Power is a longtime observer of Michigan politics and economics and a former chairman of the Michigan chapter of the Nature Conservancy. He is also the founder and president of The Center for Michigan, a bipartisan centrist think-and-do tank which is sponsoring Michigan’s Defining Moment, a public engagement outreach campaign for citizens. The opinions expressed here are Power’s own and do not represent the official views of The Center. He welcomes your comments at

5 Portland Review & Observer

Voices of Michigan citizens starting to be heard

Wagon Wheel American Grill Meadow Bowl Lanes


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December 26, 2010

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Fabiano named president of fire chiefs association

Portland Review & Observer


LANSING — Steve Fabiano, Fire Chief of the Looking Glass Regional Fire Authority, was sworn in as president of the Western Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs on Wednesday Dec. 1, at the Royal Scot Conference Center. Fabiano will be the executive officer and will preside over all meetings of the association. He will be expected to appoint active committees and to act as an ex-officio member of each one. In his speech at the installation, Fabiano stated that, “If the fire service is to move forward and continue to be successful, it can not operate as business as usual. Tax payers are becoming more involved in how their tax money is spent.

Courtesy photo

December 26, 2010

Steve Fabiano (right) is presented with the presidential plaque by Victor Hilbert, fire chief of the Delta Township fire department, after Fabiano was sworn in as the president of the West Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs on Dec. 1. Fabiano is the fire chief for the Looking Glass Regional Fire Authority.

They expect efficient and effective operations with out a decrease in the level of service.” Fabiano also stated that, “Consolidation, regionalism and merger can not continue to be evil words.” Fabiano has been in the fire service for 31 years and has been the chief of the Looking Glass Regional Fire Authority for six years. He holds a bachelor degree in business administration and a general associates degree. He also sits on the Lansing Area Safety Council Board, the State of Michigan Emergency Services Coordination Committee and the Lansing Community College Fire Science Curriculum Board.


Police report tured a loose dog. The officer was able to determine the dog’s address and the dog was taken home. The dog’s owner was warned. Friday, Dec. 17 6:20 a.m.- officer observed a tagged vehicle in the MDOT parking lot on Grand River Avenue. The vehicle was impounded. 4:45 p.m.- officer on patrol observed a vehicle that had been parked in a lot for weeks still sitting in the lot. The vehicle was covered with snow and a 48-hour notice had been ripped off. The vehicle was impounded. Saturday, Dec. 18 4 p.m.- assist to a subject on Parker’s Drive who was locked out of a vehicle. Sunday, Dec. 19

10:25 a.m.- assist to a subject on Grand River Avenue who was locked out of a vehicle. 4 p.m.- report of a found cell phone on Kent Street. The phone was taken to the station and officers were able to determine the phone’s owner. 11 p.m.- officers learned a subject on Lyons Road was wanted on an outstanding warrant. Officers were joined by a member of the Michigan State Police and went to the subject’s residence. The subject was arrested and transported to the Ionia County Jail. 8:40 p.m.- assist the Portland Fire Department at the scene of a house fire on Smith Street. Monday, Dec. 20 3:30 p.m.- report of a missing child from a residence on Hill Street. The child was later located.

Portland Review & Observer December 26, 2010

This report was compiled from 43 entries in the log books of the Portland Police Department from Dec. 8-20. Sevenaccidents took place during this time Area police officers want to remind residents that if they see something that appears to be suspicious to contact the police immediately by calling 9-1-1 or (517) 647-7521 in that event that a crime is in progress or has taken place. Both numbers will connect the caller with Ionia County Central Dispatch who will advise officers on duty. Tuesday, Dec. 7 6:04 p.m.- report of an injured deer on Looking Glass Avenue. The deer was put down. Wednesday, Dec. 8 10:20 a.m.- report of a no-account check being received at a business on Grand River Avenue. Officer took information from the check and was able to contact the suspect. The officer advised the subject to make payment within 10 days or a warrant would be sought. The subject contacted the business to make arrangements for payment. Also, the business reported receiving a non-sufficient funds check. The subject was contacted and advised to make payment. Thursday, Dec. 9 1:01 a.m.- assist to the Portland Ambulance Department on a report of a sick individual on Bishop Street. 10:05 p.m.- report of a possible intoxicated driver on westbound I-96. The vehicle was located and a traffic stop was made near the Kent Street exit. The driver was not intoxicated, but reported to be fatigued. 10:59 p.m.- report of a one-car accident in the area of I-96 and Kent Street. Friday, Dec. 10 8 p.m.- report of a subject who walked in a business on Grand River Avenue and reported being assaulted. Officers spoke with the subject, who had no recollection of where the assault had taken place. The subject was transported to a hospital by EMS personnel. 8:37 p.m.- assist to the Michigan State Police on a report of a 9-1-1 hang-up on Looking Glass Avenue. Officers arrived and learned that there was no emergency. Saturday, Dec. 11 11:10 p.m.- assist to the Ionia County Sheriff Department on a report of a 9-1-1 hang-up on Grand River Avenue. Officers arrived and learned that there was no need for action. Sunday, Dec. 12 12:18 a.m.- officer on patrol observed a vehicle cross the lane lines in the area of Grand River Avenue and East Street. During a traffic stop, the officer discovered that the vehicle had expired registration and expired insurance. The driver was cited for no insurance and for the expired registration. The vehicle was impounded. 9:07 a.m.- report of a subject on Grand River Avenue hearing shots being fired. Officer arrived at the scene and also heard shots in the distance. The officer discovered that the shots were being fired by goose hunters in a field outside the city limits. 6:45 p.m.- assist to a subject on Grand River Avenue who was locked out of a vehicle. Tuesday, Dec. 14 11:30 a.m.- report of a vehicle spinning off the road and striking a light pole on Charlotte Highway near the I-96 overpass. 7:05 p.m.- report of a 9-1-1 hang-up on Maple Street. Officers arrived to find two persons inside a vehicle. One subject had an outstanding warrant from Ionia County as well as an outstanding warrant out of Lansing. The subject was arrested and transported to the Ionia County Jail. The second subject was released at the scene. Thursday, Dec. 16 7:55 p.m.- responded to a two-vehicle accident at Grand River Avenue and Bridge Street. 9:40 p.m.- a subject on Coleta Drive reported to have cap-

Portland Review & Observer


16-year-olds approved to donate blood LANSING — Thanks to a new bill that passed in the House recently, the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region will soon be able to accept blood donations from 16-year-olds who have written parental/guardian consent. This means that now even more high school students can help save lives by donating blood. The American Red Cross is excited to spread awareness that blood donation is something a 16-year-old student can do to make a difference in their community. “Many of our committed donors began donating blood while they were in high school. As our donor base continues to age, it is important to educate a group of young

donors about the importance of a safe and stable blood supply,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO of the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. Any 16-year-old who would like to donate blood should visit or call the eligibility hotline at 866-236-3276 to find out more information. Before donating, 16-year-olds must review a few materials and have a parent or guardian sign a written consent form. This written consent form must be brought with the 16-year-old to the blood drive or donor center. “We have always viewed the requirements of parental consent for 16-year-old donors as an opportunity to educate parents on the importance of blood donation,” Jaksa

said. “We are excited to have the ability to recruit 16 yearolds and educate their parents at the same time.” Much like voting and driving a car, the opportunity to donate blood and save a life has become a right of passage for thousands of high school students. Until now, high school students under the age of 17 have been denied that right of passage. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm next week and put into effect immediately following the Governor’s signature. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800RED-CROSS (733-2767) or visit — From the American Red Cross

Public invited to library celebration on Dec. 28

December 26, 2010

Book discussion group The Friends of the Library are sponsoring a book discussion for Jan. 18; we will be discussing the book “The Choice” by Nicholas Sparks. What would you do for love? Travis meets Gabby his Library next door neighbor. They fall in love and the typical scelines nario happens. After a blissful few years of marriage Jan Mosser tragedy strikes. A choice and Kristie Reynolds needs to be made: will a promise be kept or broken? What would you choose? There are several copies available for check out at the circulation desk. Library closed We will be closed on Friday, Dec. 31, and Saturday, Jan. 1, due to the New Year holiday. We will be open Monday

through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. the week of Dec. 27. Come Home to Your Library Please join the Friends of the Library in a celebration at the library on Tuesday, Dec. 28, from 4 to 7 p.m. This is called “Come Home to the Library for the Holidays” and is a time to enjoy and appreciate your library. This celebration is for our regular patrons and friends but also for folks who are visiting in Portland and want to stop in and see the library decorated for Christmas. Refreshments will be served, a “Find It” game will be available for children and their families, and the Portland orchestra will play at 6 p.m. Bird contest Attention junior bird watchers! The Michigan Audubon, a bird conservation organization, is sponsoring a contest at the library. Visit the lower level of the library and look at the display case they have decorated with birds of Michigan. At the bottom of the

display there are pictures of 10 different birds commonly found in Michigan. Kids 12 and under are invited to try and identify the birds in these pictures. Answer sheets, pencils, and bird watching books are available on the table by the display case. Hand in your answer sheet to the children’s reference desk librarian and receive a prize. If you have at least six of the 10 birds identified correctly your name will be entered into a drawing to win the book “Wild about Michigan Birds” by Adele Porter. The contest ends on Thursday, Dec. 30. (Please, only one entry per child.) Christmas books available There are plenty of Christmas cookbooks, gift making suggestions, poems, stories, and magazines for check outboth in the adult and children’s areas. Writers club The writing club will start up again on Jan. 7 from 9 to 11 a.m. Jan Mosser is the director of the Portland District Library and Kristie Reynolds is the youth librarian.


PORTLAND — Medical marihuana regulations and massage establishment licenses were among the items discussed by the Portland City Council at its Dec. 20 meeting. First, the council honored two part-time members of the Portland Police Department who were retiring. Denise Barnes is retiring after nearly 20 years on the department. She had also served with the Mackinac Island Police Department, Eaton County Sheriff Department and Ionia County Sheriff Department prior to joining the Portland department. Also, Duane Gaddy was honored after serving with the

department for over five years. Gaddy had worked with the Michigan State Police for 23 years prior to joining the Portland police force. “The part-time officers are required to do everything that the full-time officers do,” said Bob Bauer, Portland police chief. “They work primarily on weekends and holidays and fill in during the week when needed. They have performed a real service to the community.”

Marihuana ordinance

The council also had the first reading of an ordinance amendment to meet the state’s medical marihuana law. Under the amendment, medical marihuana would only be dispensed as a home occupation by a caregiver. The caregiver must be registered and cannot have more than five qualifying patients. No more than two patients can be See

Council/page 12

Portland Review & Observer

City Council honors retiring police officers


Senior report


December 26, 2010

Here are the current and upcoming events at the Portland Area Services Group. MONDAY • Food Bank - 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. • Set Back starting at 12:30 p.m. • Bingo - doors open at 5 p.m. and early birds start at 6 p.m. It is all paper. We offer a light supper. Smoke free. TUESDAY • Monthly commodities may be picked up after 1 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Quarterly commodities may be picked up after 1 p.m. on the third Tuesday of February, May, August and November. • Weekly Euchre - individual — no partner required - 1 p.m.; must sign up, please call early. (Smoke free.) • Lunch at noon, $2 suggested donation. You must sign up in advance. • Our monthly board meeting is on the fourth Tuesday of each month. The public is welcome to attend. • Miracle Ear will be at the center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To make an appointment, call the telephone number that is shown in their ad. WEDNESDAY • Will be playing “65” around 1 p.m. THURSDAY • Weekly Euchre - individual — no partner required - 1 p.m.; must sign up, please call early. (Smoke free.) • Craig Stevens from the Ionia County Commission on Aging will be here the third Thursday of each month from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. to do blood pressure checkups. • Lunch at noon, $2 suggested donation. You must sign up in advance. FRIDAY • Bingo - doors open at 8 a.m., early birds start at 9:30 a.m. It is all paper. *** Below is the meal schedule for the week of Dec. 26. Suggested donation is $2. Must sign up in advance at the senior center. (Menu subject to change.) Tuesday, Dec. 28: Chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, dinner roll, pear halves. Thursday, Dec. 30: Beef teriyaki, oriental blend, zucchini, apples. *** The Portland Area Senior Center at 144 Kent Street is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Friday until noon. You do not need to be a senior citizen to enjoy the center’s meals or activities. The senior center is also available to rent for parties or family gatherings. For more information about rental of the center facility or the center’s activities please call (517) 647-4004.

Drunk driving patrols increase for holidays deaths declined last year, crashes involving alcohol are eight times more likely to be fatal. In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer feels they are impaired. As of Oct. 31, motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested with a .17 BAC or higher. A motorist convicted of drunk driving can expect to face serious consequences including: • Up to 93 days in jail • Up to a $500 fine • Up to 360 hours of community service • 180 days driving suspension • Six points on a driver’s licenses If convicted under Michigan’s new high BAC law, in addition to points on their driver’s license and community service, enhanced penalties for first-time drivers include: • Up to 180 days in jail • Up to a $700 fine • One year license suspension with restrictions permitted after 45 days • One year mandatory alcohol treatment program or self-help program Motorists who wish to have limited driving privi-

leges following a 45-day license suspension may do so only after a breath alcohol ignition interlock device is installed on their vehicle. Installation and monthly fees are the responsibility of the driver. An ignition interlock requires a driver to blow into the device and prevents a vehicle from starting if it measures a BAC of .025 or above. The device also requires periodic retests when driving longer periods. In addition, all convicted drunk drivers are subject to a $1,000 fee for two consecutive years, for a total of $2,000 in additional costs. Anyone who refuses a breath test the first time is given an automatic oneyear driver’s license suspension. For a listing of planned enforcement times, dates, and locations, visit — From the Office of Highway Safety Planning

Portland Review & Observer

LANSING — Motorists who want to stay off the naughty list - and out of jail - this festive season need to find a sober ride home after holiday gatherings. More than 200 law enforcement agencies are putting extra officers out on the road to look for and arrest drunk drivers Dec. 16 Jan. 2. Law enforcement officers in 35 counties, including Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Jackson, will be conducting drunk driving enforcement paid for through federal traffic safety funds administered by the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “The holidays are a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Help keep this festive season safe by not drinking and driving or planning ahead by designating a sober driver.” During last year’s Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods, 10 people died in traffic crashes. Four of those deaths were alcohol-related. In 2009, there were 299 alcohol-related traffic deaths, a decrease of 5.7 percent from 2008. Although the number of alcohol-related traffic


Courtesy photo

Outstanding efforts Students at Westwood Elementary were busy collecting supplies for Portland soldiers stationed overseas during the holiday season. The children in Mr. Wesche’s and Mr. Nowak’s third grade classes, as well as Mr. Thelen’s fourth grade class, collected 30 boxes of supplies for the soldiers. This is the second year that Westwood students have teamed with the Portland VFW to collect supplies for our local heroes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Wesche and Thelen have been collecting supplies for our military members since 2003.

Find it on the

Student of the Month

Courtesy photo

December 26, 2010

St. Joseph School in Pewamo has selected Emily Kramer as the school’s Student of the Month for November. Emily is an eighthgrade student and is the daughter of Ron and Jackie Kramer of Pewamo.

Portland Review & Observer


Photos by Tom Thelen

Duane Gaddy (center) was honored for his service as a Portland police officer at the Dec. 20 meeting of the Portland City Council. Gaddy has served as a parttime officer for the city department for five years after a 23-year career with the Michigan State Police. Making presentations to Gaddy are Portland police chief Bob Bauer (left) and Portland city manager Tom Dempsey.

Council: Retiring police

officers saluted for service

Continued from page 9

on the premises at any one time. Medical marihuana cooperatives or dispensaries would not be permitted within the city limits. “This ordinance does not allow marihuana to be sold as a commodity,” said Tom Dempsey, Portland city manager. “A care giver can only regain the cost to grow the marihuana. Plus, this ordinance does not allow stores anywhere in the city.” A second reading and a vote on the ordinance could take place at the next council meeting on Jan. 3.

December 26, 2010

Massage licenses

The council also approved application fees for obtaining a license for a massage establishment or massage school. The cost for the initial license will be $75 per premise and $50 per massage therapist. The licenses must be renewed every year and have a renewal fee of $45 per premise and $25 per massage therapist. “The fee covers the cost of checking to see that the therapists have the education and associations that we require as well as for the inspection of the premises,” said

Denise Barnes (center) was honored for her service as a Portland police officer at the Dec. 20 meeting of the Portland City Council. Barnes has served as a parttime officer for the city department for nearly 20 years. Making presentations to Barnes are Portland police chief Bob Bauer (left) and Portland city manager Tom Dempsey.

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Dempsey. “The renewal fee is not as high as the amount of work to recheck everything would not be as much.”

Zoning district

Council members also had the first reading of an ordinance amendment that would establish a office/research form based district for the city property at intersection of Cutler Road and Grand River Avenue. The amendment states what uses are allowed in the area and divides the property into a Cutler Road Character Area, Grand River Avenue Character Area and Central Campus Character Area. Dempsey said a form-based district was chosen as a way to speed any development along. “The difference between a form-based district and traditional zoning district is that if the developer meets the requirements of the district they can get their permits and move forward,” said Dempsey. “Normally they would have to prepare a site plan and go before the planning commission for a review.” Dempsey said the planning commission had approved of the district and that the uses stated are consistent with the city’s master plan for the site.

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PORTLAND — If Carson City-Crystal was supposed to be the supporting cast in a coronation, they didn’t get the memo. Portland St. Patrick girls basketball coach Al Schrauben earned his 500th career win, but it wasn’t easy, as the Eagles gave the Shamrocks everything they could handle before a late run gave St. Pats a 47-44 victory on Dec. 16. Schrauben is just the seventh coach to reach the 500-win plateau since the MHSAA began sponsoring girls basketball in 1973, and the first in the Lansing area. Just as the fans there to share and celebrate felt relief after the late comeback, Schrauben himself seemed relieved to have put the anticipation of achieving the milestone behind him. “I’ve been blessed,” Schrauben said. “I’ve just had great kids to work with, the parents have been great, and it’s just been a very enjoyable experience.” Adrienne Thelen scored 16 points and Nicole Schneider and Allison Werner added 12 points each for the Shamrocks, who trailed for most of the second half. “It means a lot,” Schneider said. “My sisters played basketball, so I’ve always been around. It’s very exciting to be a part of.” Sara Schneider scored 16 for the Eagles, who held a 41-37 lead halfway through the fourth quarter, creating no small measure of anxiety among the Shamrock faithful. Werner put back one of her team-high 10 rebounds with 3:53 left to start the comeback, one that was hampered by St. Pats’ free-throw shooting. The Shamrocks missed 11 attempts from the charity stripe in the second half, including the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2:09 left in the game. St. Pats opened up a five-point lead when Nicole Schneider took a Stephanie Miros steal coast-to-coast with 1:51 left and was fouled, but Schneider missed the resulting free throw. Carson center McKenzie Churchill then drained a

Portland Review & Observer

St Pat girls down Eagles, give coach 500th win


Photo by Scott Yoshonis

Portland St. Patrick head coach Al Schrauben is congratulated by his players for the 500th win of his career on Dec. 16. three, the last of her 12 points in the contest, to keep the Shamrocks within reach. After yet another missed free throw by St. Pats with 36 seconds left kept it a one-possession game, Sara Schneider had an open look for three to tie the game with six seconds left, but it rimmed out, and the game ended 47-44. After the game, a large group of present and former

players and students under Schrauben celebrated long after the game itself was forgotten. One of those former players and students, current Shamrock athletic director Pat Russman, said that the record was not Schrauben’s most important achievement. See

Shamrocks/page 14

December 26, 2010

Shamrocks: Schrauben earns 500th win of coaching career Continued from page 13

“What Al has done through the years as a teacher and a coach, and what he continues to do for the school, is huge,” Russman said. “500 is a number, and it’s one that only six or seven people in the state

have been able to get to, but the people he’s been around who are here tell you that he’s a great person as well as a great basketball coach.” St. Pats’ current boys varsity head coach, Mark Scheurer, gives Schrauben credit for getting his started in coaching. “He called me up one night when I was

doing my student teaching at P-W and said, ‘You owe me, and so therefore you are my JV coach for girls,’” Scheurer said. “I said, ‘Are you sure?’ He said, ‘Yep and you have a game tonight against Lansing Catholic, be there at 5:30.’” Scheurer was the Shamrock JV girls coach from 1994 until 1997.

Sports briefs P-W boys roll Potterville, 80-39


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Kristy Droste scored 14 ponts and had nine rebounds to lead Pewamo-Wesphalia to a 59-21 victory over Potterville on Dec. 16. Madison Smith added 10 points for P-W (5-0 overall, 5-0 CMAC) and Elizabeth Kramer had nine. Droste also grabbed nine rebounds.





Lady Pirates shell Vikings, 59-21


Shamrock boys stay undefeated

Ryan Wilcox led Portland St. Patrick with 17 points Landon Spitzley scored 17 points and led Pewamo-Westin their 66-50 CMAC boys basketball victory over Carson phalia to an 80-39 victory over Potterville on Dec. 17. City-Crystal on Dec. 17. Nick Spitzley added another 16 for the Pirates (3-1 overCollin Lay scored 14 points for the Shamrocks, Paul all, 2-1 CMAC). Pung had 13 and Jerrid Smith added 11 in the contest. Darrian Pitcher and Derek Hoggard each scored 17 The win improved St. Pats to 3-0 both overall and in points in the loss for Potterville. league play.

December 26, 2010

“What a ride he let me tag along for,” Scheurer said. “Three state championships in four years. It is unbelievable the influence this man has had on the people of Portland and St. Patrick School and Parish. I am just one example. His was my teacher, my coach, my mentor and most of all, he is my friend.”


Portland Review & Observer



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Portland Review & Observer


Raider girls defeat Hornets in key league contest By BILL McLEOD

PORTLAND — Juniors Taylor Roe and Sarah Trierweiler combined for 31 points to lead Portland to a 38-28 win over Williamston in a CAAC White contest. “It was a good win in the league for us,” Roe, who scored 16 points, said. “We came out with a pretty good first quarter defense to stop their best players.” Portland held a 7-2 advantage in a lowscoring first quarter and pulled out to a 21-8 halftime lead. Trierweiler, a 6-foot, 4-inch forward, scored 15 points and pulled down six rebounds.

“We had a pretty good height advantage on them tonight,” Trierweiler said. Portland coach Ray Kimball was satisfied with the Raiders’ defensive effort. He pointed out that Trierweiler held Lauren Epple, the Hornets top scorer, to a pair of three-pointers. “Defensively we did a very nice job in the first half, we held a pretty darn good team to eight points,” he said. “In the second half, I think fatigue crept up on us. I didn’t do a good enough job at rotating kids in to keep some fresh bodies in there.” Williamston came into the game with a 5-0 record. Portland improves to 3-2. “We got to figure out a way to score

Portland boys defeated by Williamston, 48-40


December 26, 2010

PORTLAND — Portland let an eightpoint, second-quarter lead slip away, falling to Williamston 48-40 in their CAAC White boys basketball opener Dec. 17. “We battled, we stuck to our game plan and the kids played hard, but we had a few key turnovers down the stretch,” Portland coach Dave Pettit said. “Against a team like Williamston you have to take care of the ball on every possession because their game plan is to get it and go. Give them easy baskets and you’re in trouble.” After battling to a 10-10 tie in the first quarter, Portland pulled out to a 21-13 lead at halftime. Dylan Monette scored Williamston’s only basket in the second quarter, hitting a three pointer. Jared Krausz scored five points in the Portland run. Hunter VanRiper scored six points for Portland in the second quarter. The Hornets started to come back early in the third quarter. Monette cut the Portland lead to five points when he deflected a Raider pass. Ethan Wirth grabbed the loose ball and flipped it to Monette for an uncontested layup. John Westphal cut the Raider lead to one point when he hit a jumper from the top of the key, followed by a layup with an assist from Monette. Dylan Schultz gave the Hornets a 27-26 lead when he tipped a Raider pass that was grabbed by Westphal, who flipped it to Schultz for an easy layup. After baskets by each team, VanRiper scored with an assist from Adam Goodman to give the Raiders a 30-29 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Tyler Watters hit a pair of free throws to put the Hornets up 35-34. A Monette three-point shot gave Williamston a four-point lead. Connor Roe’s long two-pointer cut the Williamston lead to 40-39 with less than two minutes left. Williamston scored six unanswered points, capped off with a long inbound pass from Justin Cane to Schultz for an uncontested layup. VanRiper had 10 rebounds to go with his eight points. Krausz led Portland with 13 points. Zach Goodman scored 10 points. “I was really impressed with Portland, they are well coached, they played hard, they are really gritty,” Williamston coach Rod Palmer said. “But give a lot of credit to our kids, they battled back. They just gritted it out.” Several of the top players for Williamston were on the football team that made it to the state final, minimizing the amount of time they had to practice before the hoops season. Pettit said that he had hoped to use it to his team’s advantage. “We tried to run on them in the first half because we knew they were in football shape,” he said. “So we tried to set the tempo, and that worked for us in the first half, we got some easy baskets. We didn’t do a good enough job at that in the second half.” Portland pulled down 33 rebounds against Williamston. “We have some size and we have really been stressing that in practice about attacking both the offensive and defensive glass. We keep a lot of balls alive. They have done a nice job in the last couple of games.”

some more points,” Kimball said. “We had a slow start out of the blocks going 0-2, but we got beat by two quality teams (DeWitt and Grand Ledge). We are slowly finding our identity and slowly finding our way. Every game’s a learning experience. We just want to keep moving forward.” Williamston cut the lead to nine points midway through the third quarter before Roe drove to the hoop on back-to-back Portland possessions. Later in the quarter Trierweiler scored, was fouled and made the free throw to put the Raiders up by 15. “It’s back to the drawing board,” Williamston coach Pete Cool said. “We are

going to get after it, (learning) to be patient on offense. We’re not going to win too many games scoring 28 points. We need to hunker down and make a couple of extra passes. It will come.” Portland will play what will likely be their toughest game of the year over the winter break, when they travel to Detroit Country Day as part of the Detroit Roundball Classic on Wednesday, Dec. 29. The Yellowjackets are the 2010 state Class B runners-up, having won the state Class B title nine times and finished second three more times since 1995. Portland Review & Observer sports writer Scott Yoshonis also contributed to this story.

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