Public Service Announcements
We announced last week that we're partnering with Muskegon County to help get the word out about the importance of the 2020 Census for all of us here in the county. It's as simple as answering 9 questions, it will take you no more than 10 minutes and the impact it will have on your municipality as well as our community as a whole is $18,000.00 for the services we need, the programs we love and the people who need to be taken care of. It can't be explained easier than that. Everything that comes this way from federal dollars over the next 10 years depends on this information as does how we are represented in Washington. Your role in it is 10 minutes.
The Muskegon free COVID testing weekend story, in under 1000 words.
So there is a clear thought on the COVID testing offered in Muskegon Heights this weekend, I’d like to share as briefly as I can how it all came together and why. There are plenty of differing views on the virus, and in all honesty, yours, mine or anyone else’s are not needed. This is what happened and why.
Attorney Shon Cook in Whitehall supports the work we do at the Muskegon Channel and our other publications and for that, we're very thankful. In this time where sometimes answers are hard to find about just about anything, finding out what's happening in the legal system now is paramount. Things are beginning to even out a little, however there are still a lot of changes happening week to week, day to day, and ever hour to hour and having knowledgeable and qualified help is essential right now more than ever.
Today, Eric Stevens who specializes in criminal law for Shon's practice, visits with Andy again. He's here today to speak on what happens if someone is arrested in today's day and age or incarcerated. The process is still moving, however there are some things you need to be aware of. From arraignment to court dates and the use of Zoom and even into the use of YouTube to make sure that courtroom proceedings are still available under the Freedom of Information Act. For those incarcerated. The process is the same, however there are no jury trials allowed until mid June at the earliest. Can bond be reviewed? What are the options to try and move priority trials up and around? It's a huge list of moving pieces as work goes on to try and find ways to make things happen while things are kind of working, and kind of not working. Adaptation isn't easy.
Specific needs for an attorney client relationship can't be addressed in this discussion. This is general information for those who need it and as you'll hear Eric reference a few times, if you are in need, make the call to an Attorney. A missed Zoom meeting or phone call, a failed attempt to show up at the court house because you didn't get your mail or hear about what you are expected to do in the process can lead to even bigger headaches for everyone involved and no one wants that.
Take a listen to our talk today with Attorney Eric Stevens of the Shon Cook Law Firm.
Eric is a very knowledgeable attorney and works hard to serve his clients with dignity and respect as an individual. If charged with a crime, you have the same rights now as you do any other time and proper representation now is more crucial than ever to help avoid making a bad situation worse by not understanding what's going on in the world of the court system. We highly recommend a call to Shon or Eric for your legal needs at 231-894-0909 for all matters Family Law or Criminal Law. You can also contact Shon and Eric via the website lined in the photo below. We'd like to once again thank Eric for his very gracious gift of time to help explain all of this for the audience of The Muskegon Channel.
We're very excited for the opportunity to help spread the word in Muskegon County about the importance of the 2020 Census for all of us. It's a partnership that was proposed by Muskegon County because of one thing. Our reach and growth has grown because of you, our audience and we could not be more thankful. From day one, our goal has been very simple. We're here to provide a reliable and relevant resource for Muskegon with news, entertainment and to feature the people of our community in a different way than we usually see. We're a little non traditional in our approach, we don't rely on the "click bait" that seems to permeate "news" today and we do our best to steer away from issues that only cause one reaction. Not to say that if something important that needs to be discussed isn't, but we'll take a little lower key approach and let both sides tell their story, and let the viewer decide. We've also seen some pretty dramatic growth in who's watching as we've spread out to things like Roku, Amazon Fire TV and more. The internal question stands. "How do we show our community for the greatness we know, and how do we extend that message out to the rest of the world"? That's what we operate on.
Kathy Moore is the Director of Public Health - Muskegon County and joins us for her weekly update. Mask Up Muskegon is on! Can you help make some masks for those in need? Details are here. The Memorial Day Holiday Weekend approaches. Please, celebrate with the proper social distancing and avoid having a block party this year. We talk about the reopening of Muskegon Area Business and the recommendations of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce for best practices. Some thoughts on the importance of contact tracing, testing and helping Public Health in their need to collect data. A recap on numbers including recovery rates and we wish you all a great and safe weekend.
Like everything today isn't enough, Muskegon is once again seeing record high water levels and it's effecting more than just the Lake Michigan Shoreline. There is widespread flooding in a lot of areas of the county and there has been an emergency declared by Muskegon County Officials to try and help get some aid in from the Government.
Muskegon is up on the wheel and making things happen. For some, it's a new thing and for others, it's kind of what they do day in and day out. Do us one favor, and remember where The Muskegon Channel got it's start...a little blog called Positively Muskegon where we found folks who were doing pretty remarkable things and making life better in their own way, day by day for all of us here in town. It's the premise that what we do as individuals all contributes to us as a community and that our greatness is defined by all of us. We've carried that notion over to The Muskegon Channel as well.
We're thankful for a hand on a couple of fronts. One, Attorney Shon Cook of Whitehall and her staff for being a sponsor of the work we do on the Muskegon Channel, Positively Muskegon and Channel 96 Muskegon and 2, the fact that they are willing to go above and beyond for us as well as our viewers when it come to their areas of expertise, the law! While things are certainly not what they were when we first came in to the times we are living in now, not everything is easy and no matter the circumstances, the average person doesn't have any idea of the in's and out's of the legal system and it takes highly qualified professionals like Shon and her staff to help.
Snappy headline right? Nothing better than hearing news that's not only helpful, it won't cost you a penny to make best use of it and it's a service that's available 24/7 and it's available in parts of Muskegon that you couldn't get it any other way! The Muskegon Area District Library has high speed free Wi-Fi available for use at all 10 of their countywide locations and you can access it from your car, maybe a nice bench on the outside of the building or in some cases, the signal is so strong, you can pick it up down the street!
Shon Cook is a sponsor of The Muskegon Channel and our other publications. She's a compassionate attorney who strives for her clients on every level and was out front when it came to adapting to the changes that had to be made when it comes to serving clients in the legal system when the COVID safety measures started coming in, Utilizing technology to not only keep her clients taken care of and advised of all the current situations, but also pushing the legal system to help keep moving things along so when things do open back up, the "log jam" was as minimal as it could be.
The Lakeshore Fitness Center announced a couple of weeks ago that it was no longer able to stay open sue to the unforeseen future with everything surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic. Parts of Muskegon were shocked and others were not surprised as for quite some time, the financial struggles of the facility had been a heated topic among all of the "experts" on social media. Our story here today, like anything else we publish isn't to point fingers, or assume we know the whole story of the intricacies of running a huge facility like that, because, we don't. There is however plenty of impact for people in Muskegon here, and a facility that could most likely be put to good use in some way shape or form for what it's intended to do, so we asked.
Formerly the Muskegon YMCA, Muskegon Community College purchased the building in 2015 and reopened the building under the MCC umbrella in 2016. It's been a place for all of the kinds of activities you'd find in a health care facility of it's size. Everything from swim lessons to spin classes and amenities offered to a wide range of community members. There were associative programs through other organizations in the community, including the former owner of the building the YMCA, as well as The Boys and Girls Club, area schools and more. It couldn't have been an easy decision to make on anyone's end to close the facility, nothing like this ever is.
Upon the notice given though, there was an immediate urgency on social media as well as among some of the members and staff to start thinking about the "what if's". What if another owner was found? What if the center was taken over by a newly formed organization to run it, as well as help develop some of the surrounding areas in an booming area of Muskegon? What if there are programs elsewhere in the state or country that have worked and been put in place to help keep a community resource open like this and how do we all come together to keep it open. For a very tough decision to be made in a time of uncertainty, they are some equally tough questions that are being asked to help assure a community asset can find a new way and those served by it can continue, and hopefully...the Lakeshore Fitness Center can continue it's path of growth that they had seen in the recent months.
It's one of those situations were there's really no "right or wrong". No one is to blame, economics sometimes force things that no one wants. Muskegon however is truly remarkable in the fact that our greatest asset is our people and when things that are important to us, we find a way to keep them.
Jeff Lohman was the director of the Lakeshore Fitness Center. While the future is uncertain to Jeff and the staff of the facility, we reached out to him to ask about what he's heard from those community members who've started some gears turning. We also talk about some programs that have worked in other areas of the state to protect assets like this and we hope, that with this discussion, a bit of a spark is made that will spread...not only to help those who enjoyed and made use of the club for the health and wellness, but the communal gathering spot, the resources it provides and the jobs it created. Take a listen.
"Times, are uncertain." if we could all get a nickle for every time we've heard that in the last few months, we could fund the Lakeshore Fitness Center till the end of time. Unfortunately, lie so many other painful decisions that have been made in the last few months, figuring it out is going to take a couple things. Patience. Perseverance. Understanding and most of all us. There's an answer out there for the Lakeshore Fitness Center, and Muskegon finds it's answers....always. We'll do our best to follow the developments and keep you updated. What we hope most of all, is that the thoughts shared today are yet another great example of how resilient this community is and that with all of us working together, nothing is being taken away from us.
To learn more about the 5 Healthy Towns program Jeff talked about, click on the image below.
With a sponsor offering to spend a little time with the audience to help with some pretty savvy legal advice, you say "absolutely" and get the camera rolling! Shon Cook is an Attorney practicing in Whitehall and she's in the thick of it like we all are and offering some pretty sage advice for people in a time when we're all kind of focused on anything but what the legal system is doing. Some adaptations have been made, but legal processes continue and people need the help of judges, lawyers, mediators, arbitrators and more.
Last week, Shon spent some time explaining child support in the time of COVID. There was a LOT of information about what's happening with everything going on. Especially when it comes to income adjustments due to job loss or furlough and how the courts are handling things. If you missed last weeks episode, CLICK HERE to visit that page and learn what she has to offer.
This week, we're on to parenting time. For some, it's already a struggle. For others, it's a matter of sharing their child between their respective residences and there's not much more to it. For those who do have a hard time, the troubles run deep. Right down to what socks the kid is wearing at who's house. Add in the invisible threat of COVID-19 and you can see in no short order that things can get heated, really quick making an already tense situation even harder on everyone, especially the child. The courts are clear on parenting time with few exceptions. Shon shares the knowledge she's got and explains the in's and out's of parenting time on Saturday's With Shon, on The Muskegon Channel.
Always a delicate situation and never easy. Shon's advice and knowledge is given on general terms and specific needs of people needing legal help should be addresses on an individual basis. Shon and her staff are experts in Family and Criminal Law and offer representation for real people, The are also incredible at alternative dispute resolution, offering mediation, arbitration and collaborative law services that can help you settle the issue and maybe avoid courts all together. Shon and her staff are working remotely at this time but were among the very first in the State of Michigan to start working with their clients on digital platforms and making sure that their clients not only had the up to the minute information they needed, but that they had the easiest time of getting their situations resolved when the courts do begin working at full speed, the time it takes for resolution will be much shorter. Do you need legal help? Shon is only a click away! You can visit her website by clicking below or call 231-894-0909. Next week, Shon will talk about divorce.
It's a trying time for all and we're all noticing more and more of our "essential workers". For those of us who have been around for a while though, our first lesson in "essential" was when the USA was attacked on September 11th in 2001. It's a day that no one alive at the time will ever forget, and it's a day too that we all stopped for a minute and thought about just what goes on in the life of our Police, Fire and EMT workers and how they run in to the emergency, when all of us run away from it.
We're all sharing a little more today. We've got our areas of expertise and we can apply them as needed be it in the form of helping one way or another. Some are helping in delivery of food for kids and seniors, others are working to help maintain the most essential services like grocery's, medicine and information. In some way or another, we've all become "essential workers" and while we're inching our way back to "normal" we're seeing more in ourselves than we ever imagined.
In the middle of a storm in life, you want assured safety. It's all anyone really wants really and in what we're facing now, safety is paramount on every level. We're flooded with all of the messaging about COVID, but it's essential too, to remember that the overall safety of our communities and our homes are important too and our first responders need the support to do their jobs on a daily basis. We can all stand around and applaud first responders at the end of their shift, or we can make sure that through our votes we give them the essentials they need to do the jobs they do for us.
It was something no one saw coming. A pandemic the scale we are seeing and the shut down that even took away the bowling alleys. I mean, the bowling alleys? Close down the bottle and can returns. Close down the bingo halls....but the bowling alleys? We're only human!! Come on!! All kidding aside, all the measures being taken are more than any ever imagined, but to stop the spread and save lives...desperate times call for desperate measures. But...the world has not stopped turning, and the need to help great organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore Continues.
We've been working with the Disability Network West Michigan for a while now. Located in Muskegon, the Disability Network West Michigan is an awesome organization who's mission is to advocate, educate, empower and provide resources for people with disabilities. The are also out front when it comes to promoting accessible communities and assuring that accessibility is an accepted civil right. They are an organization that you might not hear a lot about unless you are in direct need of their help, but for so many who might live with a disability, they are a resource that goes so far beyond what's easily seen, they are a friend, they are fighters and they are a source for compassion and acceptance.
On May 5th voters in the Muskegon are going to be asked to vote on essential maintenance and upgrades for their buildings as well as their academics. It's a two part bond proposal. Proposal 1 if passed will generate $93 million for the schools with no tax increase. Proposal 2 if passed will increase the average homeowners tax an average of $20-$60 bucks and focus on arts, athletics and infrastructure. Proposal 2 is a 1 mil increase and will generate $11 million. The state has made it possible for all voters to vote absentee due to current conditions. There has never been an easier way to help support the schools.
It's a situation no one really ever imagined we'd see ourselves in, but it's not the first time. 2018 was a celebratory year for the United Way of the Lakeshore being that it was their 100th Anniversary, but 1918 was also the year that the "Spanish Flu" or H1N1 Pandemic swept the world along with WW1 coming to a conclusion in November of that year. The United Way of the Lakeshore first came in to service in 1918 and yes, the memories of what was going on in that first, vital year, are still alive with Christine Robere who is now the Executive Director of the organization and knew some of the original donors who she met when she began her time with the United Way 27 years ago,
We're incredibly thankful for our partnership with Attorney Shon Cook in Whitehall and her support of our work here and on Positively Muskegon and the other properties we publish. She's been with us since almost the beginning and today, she's dropping by to share some thoughts on the legal world as well as what's happening with the courts in the jurisdictions she practices in.
We have shared several posts about our work and how it gets to you through Comcast/Xfinity. We are an all digital based media company and without the ability to get our message to you without using the infrastructure that they have in place, we've got nothing. We've always been treated like a top priority when it comes to making sure what we need is as good as it gets, especially when it comes to some of the growth we've gone through like the world wide broadcast of the Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree and our live shows.
Xfinity is on the forefront of making sure that in a time when communication is essential, their customers and those who might need some connection via mobile hot spots have what they need. Mobile Hot Spots from Xfinity are free to anyone at the time and no one is going to be shut off from service for a while until all of this blows over and we're back to what's normal.
Comcast/Xfinity has also gone where others have not even dreamed in the wake of everything going on. Setting up a HALF A BILLION dollar fund to help their employees who are effected by the virus. Other media companies are furloughing people but those under the umbrella of this media giant have some relief coming. What a refreshing way to do business. Putting their people and communities first.
Friday, we invited Rob Ponto from Comcast/Xfinity to come on and talk about not only what Comcast/Xfinity is doing for customers and communities, but some of the staggering statistics they are finding in usage. Everything from peak times when people are online, what they are looking for, how the system is holding up and what you can find FREE right now is you are a subscriber to the Comcast/Xfinity platforms. There are some pretty interesting statistics here. Take a listen.
So much info and so many ways you can stay connected and entertained with Comcast/Xfinity. We are paying customers too with Comcast/Xfinity. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, we have found nothing but stellar service from Comcast/Xfinity and they have helped us grow to what we've become. We're thankful for their help in getting us to where we are! To find out what you can watch free on Xfinity right now, click below!
We're all living day to day at the moment for the most part and our immediate needs...ya, they are pretty much all we're thinking about. It's a time when there are no a whole lot of answers and there are more questions piling up than can even be addressed. Nothing seems "normal", but, there are some things that are very stable, there are people who are steadfast in their commitment to what they do and there are ways they can reach out to you and help even though you can't stop in for a visit.
Back in February, on our blog, Positively Muskegon we introduced you to Gavin and Kamden Cross who were out to help our area pet shelters out with some of the things that newly adopted pets need when they finally find their forever home. Things like a nice new collar, a new leash, maybe some toys and treats to make that transition from the shelter to their forever home a little easier for their new start.
As I was scrolling through Facebook one night as many of us do. I came across a post from Shannon Glass about her amazingly thoughtful daughter Danica. you see this year Danica started the sixth grade this year. Most girls around this age start their cycle, Shannon wanted her daughter to be prepared, confidant and know how to handle it when it happens.
As we hear over and over, "we're in this together". Yes, it's a snappy slug line and probably something we outta be better at anyway. We've all got our areas that we can add to the relief of our current times and we also too could do a little better job of following instructions on staying home and letting the worst of all this pass without helping to spread the virus.
Virus or no virus, our aging population is a point of concern as we get a little older ourselves and start to see the first signs of the "golden years" start to show in our parents. Very fortunately, for me, mine are both still quite healthy, agile, social and able to manage the day to day. But, like anyone who's approaching 50 the relentless march of time has taken its toll on those who I once saw as invincible.
Hackley Public Library wants to show us what they are up to during the temporarily closure and sends their regards. The library is temporarily closed due to Executive Order 2020-09 to minimize transmission of the COVID-19 and it's scheduled to re-open April 6th . See bottom of article on how to to apply for a temporarily library card online.
Muskegon Restaurants improvise during COVID-19 outbreak. Many of them begin to Offer curbside, walk-up, take-out and delivery services during Governor Gretchen Whitmer shut down of dine-in services at all bars and restaurants in Michigan amid the COVID-19 outbreak to slow down transmission of the virus.
Do You know if you have a Muskegon Area District Library card, you can access to Multiple online services for free ebooks, movies and music through services such as CloudLibrary, Freegal, Hoopla, Kanopy, OverDrive, Libby, rb Digital and Scola?