In A Governance Jam
The founder and head of The Center for
Power will be one of three panelists in a wide-ranging discussion on "Governance" at the 2008 West Michigan Regional Policy Conference at
"It’s our judgment (at The Center for Michigan) that the political and policy systems in the state are not going to reform themselves left to their own devices, and therefore we have to mount a citizen movement to push them to do it," adds Power.
Power is a natural for the governance panel because he's been in government and business and he knows how to communicate. A 1960 U-M grad, he went on to get a master’s in philosophy, politics and economics from
Power was the founder and owner of HomeTown Communications Network Inc., a community publishing company with publications in Southeast Michigan plus
Michigan needs "a common ground vision" for the future, and a set of steps to implement that vision — "and that gets squarely to governance," said Powers, "because if you do not have a shared vision about the kind of state you want or where you are trying to go, you have no coherent basis for forming policy, no ability to assign priorities to one thing or another, no way to allocate spending between important things and unimportant things. All of these go back to governance."
There aren't any scripts for any of the conference panelists to follow, or any pre-ordained conclusions, but there will be some suggestions aimed at
"What comes out of these panel discussions is true and real-time," said
- Local philanthropist Peter Cook took a grilling Wednesday evening, all for the sake of the sustainability of
parks. The “Something’s Grilling Kent County III” event held at was emceed by former Grand Rapids Police Chief Harry Dolan. The event was a sellout, raising $183,000 for the Kent County Parks Foundation. Millennium Park
“You have pledged so much to this community that you’re going to have to live another 25 years just to meet those pledges,” Carol Van Andel chided the 94-year-old Cook. She said Amway probably has some health and nutrition products that could boost his longevity.
In tongue-in-cheek fashion, Don Maine noted that Cook has the unique distinction of being a major supporter of police and fireman’s balls.
“First we honored Peter Wege, then Peter Secchia and now Peter Cook – “three of the biggest peters in town,”
Cook was also teased about his penchant for fast cars and his taste for vodka in his younger years.
Bob Hooker, Cook’s former partner in the Mazda Great Lakes auto dealership, said
“There we were, two Dutch boys from
Waxing more emotional, Hooker said Cook learned at a very early age the importance of tithing and “giving back”: His Christian faith taught him to give even when he had very little. Hooker went on to talk about Cook’s generosity to the community and the lives he has touched.
Cook also enjoyed some friendly skewering by John Canepa, J.C. Huizenga, Ralph Hauenstein, Birgit Klohs, Steve Heacock, Arend Lubbers, Dick Young and Secchia.
Cook has always attributed his good fortune to “God’s grace” and “the good people” around him.
- When The Bullshead Tavern, a popular downtown establishment, received the initial call from a set director for the upcoming film “The Steam Experiment,” they were not quite sure what to think.
“We didn’t even know what the movie was going to be at first,” explained KarenScherpenisse, general manager of Bullshead. “But we talked about it and agreed to it. They asked to use our name and that’s really exciting.”
“Business has been incredibly busy with people that heard about the movie,” Scherpenisse said. “People come in and ask, ‘Is this where they’re doing the movie?’”
Besides the immediate increase in tavern traffic, it is hoped that the film will put Bullshead Tavern, as well as other local businesses, on the map of