Showing posts from March, 2019

Fix The Roads in Lowell: Do We Cut Services or Raise Funds?

Lowell has roads that need work. It is a fact; 63% of our local streets are in poor condition. Another fact is that the City, like most other municipalities in Michigan, has no funds to fix the roads. We have two options – cut back on services and put the cost savings into the streets or raise funds. There is going to be a proposal on the November ballot asking Lowell voters to approve a City income tax with the monies collected to be dedicated to improving our roads. The tax will be 1% for residents and ½% for non-residents and it will be packaged with a 5 mill reduction for property owners in Lowell. Before we dive into the income tax, I want to address two popular methods suggested by folks to lower expenditures. The first one is to eliminate our police department which represents about $860,000.00 of our three million dollar annual budget. It is the single biggest expenditure.  The wisdom on the street is that if we eliminate the LPD, then our policing needs will be made up by the Ke…

Green (renewable) Energy For Lowell Light & Power Customers

I just spent an informative hour with Steve Donkersloot, the General Manager of Lowell Light & Power.  (Steve is the tallest person in the picture of LLP people above. ) We got together because I had lots of questions about Green Energy in Lowell, so Steve invited me over. Let me share some of the high lights with you of all the things I learned.

First, let me brag a little. The State of Michigan has mandated that all electric utilities acquire 15% of their total energy from renewable sources by 2021. Steve told me this morning that as of right now, LLP is on track to be at 20% or slightly more by 2020. Fantastic, they are on course now to go above and beyond the State requirements by exceeding the target number SOONER. Win - win.

Another great part of the above equation is that all of LLP customers who are so inclined can help that number get higher faster. There are about 2,300 residential and 500 commercial customers of LLP. Any or all of us can designate how much green energy…

A Love Letter to Cast & Crew of Mary Poppins & Public Education

In spite of the glowing reviews and the buzz around Lowell, I was NOT prepared for the fantastic performances that blew me away last night when Mary Poppins hit the stage at the Lowell Performing Arts Center.

A bit of background - I was lucky enough to be a part of the Hope College Summer Repertory Theater when I was in high school. They let something like 15 or 20 high school kids from around the state participate as Theater Apprentices. I was exposed to professional actors, directors, and tech people as well as talented Hope College musicians and actors. For a couple of years after that I was a lighting tech for the Civic Theater, Spectrum Theater, and Circle In The Park (when it was in John Ball park and the lights/sound were done in a booth we climbed up a ladder to get in). I once owned a jingle studio up north and partnered with a coloratura soprano who had toured the country. Lastly, I ran sound for the WITL-O-Meters, the house band from WITL-FM in Lansing and we opened for th…