Pulling Rank

May 31, 2005
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There were honors for the Jacobice family, accepted by John Jacoboice, and for Peter Wege, and of course the honor of hosting former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell. Wege addressed the sold-out, black-tie Economic Club annual dinner last week and in all his familiar candor commented while at the podium, “Get out of Iraqi, by cracky.”

No offense taken by the General, who sat with Wege at the head table. Then it seemed, to those who know Wege, the General liberally (sorry) sprinkled his speech with everything he apparently learned from Wege in those 20 minutes of dining.

Powell’s speech was apolitical, regarding the issues of service and leadership, except of course when Dick DeVos introduced him. Acknowledging Powell’s popularity, DeVos quipped he was lucky Powell was not running for governor of the state of Michigan, and he, DeVos, would have to run against Powell. The General responded by indicating he might yet consider it.

  • More running: Who wants to wait when it’s an open run in the Second Ward? City Commissioner Lynn Rabaut gave ample warning of her decision not to seek re-election. Planning Commission member Shaula Johnston jumped in, and so, too, did an anticipated rival Rosalynn Bliss, a medical social worker given backing by former Commish Mary Alice Williams, among others. This is shaping up as the city’s premier left vs. right ward, or blue vs. red precinct. And then Arthur J. Kroon filed, providing an opt out.

Over in the First Ward, JimJendrasiak’s unfortunate choice on housing code violations, coincidentally leaked to WOOD TV8, is but one item creating vulnerability for the incumbent. But everything is not always as it seems on Target 8, especially during sweeps months.

It’s a race that puts Mary Milanowski back in the pits, as well as Hal Froot, John Clark and (some say) the one to watch: Dave Shaffer. It’s a case of who will siphon whom. And whether that leaves J.J. with a win.

Third Ward? Is there anyone other than the currently appointed Commish Jim White? Dan Tietema and Evvia Marshall would like to think so.

  • They’re b-a-a-ck: the Voorhees are coming.

Hearts are aflutter at Jones & Gavan, the public relations firm providing support for Republicans of any stripe, because recent polls show commanding name recognition for Eagle Forum member Joanne Voorhees, as she eyes a possible run at the State Senate. And hubby Harold Voorhees is back on the stump for mayor of the city of Wyoming. (Some look at it this way: If he wins, he won’t be back for a shot at the ’06 GOP primary ballot. If he loses, it’s another nail in the Voorhees “dynasty” coffin, given first whack by State Rep. Kevin Green, who last year dusted the Voorhees-backed candidate. Who was that guy…?

  • Back with a blast: Marsha Vander Woude, the former, long-time Merril Lynch and Paine Webber advisor who was among the first to target market women. VanderWoude has co-authored (with California author DeniseMcGregor), “Savvy Women, Smart Choices: 42 Smart Choices Women Can Make in Financial & Estate Planning.” She is given a thumbs-up in pre-press publicity by none other than Ron Blue, president of the Christian Financial Professionals Network and noted columnist.

The book is made especially interesting for the first-person stories told by a variety of women, and brief “makeover” advice or kudos in the form of advice from Vander Woude.

She’s planning a Lake Michigan book release party in July, hosting some of the women profiled, and perhaps Ron Blue.

  • Speaking of books, many may be purchased with funds raised by this month’s Concert for Literacy (on Friday the 13th, no less), which took in more than $10,000 in total ticket sales and CD sales.

All proceeds were used to benefit the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Literacy Campaign.

“The atmosphere was festive and supportive, and a number of teachers and students came up to me and expressed their sincere thanks for helping GRPS in its efforts to move forward,” said PhilBiggs, who along with MichaelCrittenden and the Mid-Life Crisis band all performed about a two-hour set. “And there was a terrific tribute by (Forest Hills superintendent) MikeWashburn and (Grand Rapids superintendent) BertBleke to honor BenEmdin, retiring GRPS COO.”

Biggs put the crowd at nearly 500 people for what was another unqualified success in a string of creative events designed to help the public school system.    

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