The Week That Was

May 2, 2002
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Every once in a while, something really significant happens. George Washington tells a lie, the Titanic completes her maiden voyage … and the Wall Street Journal uses spot color on its front page.

Last Tuesday, the patriarch of business publications put on a colorful new suit after more than 110 years of tuxedo wear, and Grandville’s X-Rite Inc. was one of its new fashion designers.

“The April 9 issue will be remarkable in many ways and X-Rite is playing an important role in its production. We’re proud that The Wall Street Journal uses X-Rite systems to manage its printing quality,” said company spokesman Duane Kluting.

Tuesday also marked the first time the paper had redesigned its front page since World War II.

The Wall Street Journal isn’t X-Rite’s only big-name customer (Ford, General Electric and Ace Hardware come to mind), but being part of WSJ’s new rollout certainly is a feather in the Grandville company’s cap.

Incidentally, check out the (full-color) X-Rite ad on B11 in the April 9 WSJ. Pretty spiffy.

  • Change apparently is occurring closer to home, too. SteveHeacock has resigned his executive vice presidency at Priority Health, as well as his chairmanship of the Kent County Board of Commissioners and his seat on the Convention and Arena Authority.

What’s the Business Journal’s 2002 Newsmaker of the Year up to now? Well, according to a daily newspaper in town, he was to announce his candidacy for one of the two new 17th Circuit Court judgeship seats at Thursday’s Downtown Rotary meeting.

Except he didn’t.

Business Journal Publisher and longtime Rotarian JohnZwarensteyn was there, and, despite the printed word that hit the streets at 10 a.m., fully two hours before the scheduled candidacy kickoff, nothing was said. Nope. No how. Nada.

In fact, the speech was simply a rerun of Heacock’s State of the County address first offered two months ago. Except it’s not his county anymore. OK, that’s splitting hairs, but the (non-) timing of the announcement leaves room for some head-scratching.

Is he or isn’t he?

If Heacock runs, he will join a crowded field of maybe a dozen people looking to land one of the two additional judgeships created by redistricting and new census information. First, however, he would need to collect 2,000 signatures by April 30 to get himself on the ballot.

The clock is ticking.

  • Another longtime Kent County icon looks like its packing its bags and heading to the (Ottawa County) suburbs.

Word has it that the Cadence newspaper, a fixture on Bagley SE in East Grand Rapids for years, is being pulled back to parent company Advance Newspapers’ headquarters in Jenison. The paper that was the voice of East Grand Rapids for so many years, and sat right across the street from East High, will continue publishing, but from Georgetown Township and not EGR.

On The Town magazine, which is housed in the same building, also will be pulled back to Jenison. No word yet on when the move will take place, but staffers were said to be boxing their belongings last week.

Taking Cadence out of East certainly won’t sit well with SusanLovell and MaryAbbotCumming, who turned the community newspaper into the talk of the town during its heyday 15 years ago. When they eventually sold to MattDanielson, then regained control only to turn around and sell it to the Advance a day later, their one wish was to “keep the paper as it is.”

That might still be possible, but not from downtown East.

  • The political movers and shakers are converging on West Michigan. Attorney General JohnAshcroft spoke here Thursday, and Secretary of Education PaulO’Neill had a lunch date today at Calvin College.

But they were scheduled to be topped by an appearance this evening by Vice President DickCheney, who planned (Middle East permitting) to pop in on PeterSecchia’s “birthday party.” Secchia’s soirees are actually GOP fundraisers, but it really is the former Ambassador’s birthday this month.

One guest who will be ready to let off a little steam is the Journal’s favorite accountant and small business columnist PaulHense. Not only is today Tax Day, but Hense said a party with the Veep and always is a welcome diversion.

“Of course it’s not because he wanted to know my tax thoughts or my theories on world peace. The Coffee Dunkers or America are entertaining and I’m a member of that organization, unfortunately,” Hense said.

His last visit to Washington also brought Hense to the attention of the VP, but that was in his role of small business advocate. They’re apparently still talking about his fiery appearance on Capitol Hill.

Hense hopes Cheney has some recollection of him, and he’s angling to get in a quick chat with the nation’s No. 2 lawmaker.

“He’s going to remember me as a fool,” Hense said, laughing. “So I’m not sure that’s going to do me any good.”

  • Ashcroft’s visit here actually completes a circle started on one of the nation’s darkest days.

He recalled that on Sept. 11 he was on a plane heading toward Milwaukee, with the intention of stopping in Grand Rapids on his way back that afternoon, when he got the call notifying him of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

“So it’s with some sense of achievement and completion that I make the trip to Grand Rapids that started seven months ago,” he said. “During the intervening seven months both the citizens and public servants of those citizens in western Michigan have distinguished themselves by cooperating in ways that have made American substantially safer.” 

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