Studying homeless students

The number of homeless students in Michigan has increased 66 percent in the past four years.
Krystle Wagner
Apr 6, 2013


The number of homeless students has also increased in Northwest Ottawa County, though not as dramatically, said Cindy Benson, information services specialist and homeless liaison for Grand Haven Area Public Schools.

There were 103 students in the Grand Haven school district classified as "homeless" in the fall of 2010. That number has grown to 153 this past fall, Benson said.

Being classified as "homeless" doesn’t necessarily mean living on park benches. Families fall into that category if they lack a regular and adequate nightly residence; live in an emergency or transitional center, car, public space, motel, hotel or campground; or share a home because of economic hardship, Benson said.

Schools aren't the only ones seeing an increased need in services for homeless students. Todd Krygsheld, associate director of the Holland Rescue Mission, said more Ottawa County residents are using their emergency shelter services, along with the women and children's shelter.

"We've seen a little increase with the economy and loss of jobs," he said.

Although Benson said she thinks the homeless issue is driven by the economy, she believes shelters are helping more people because the community and schools are doing a better job of identifying people in need.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Oh please,....Officially, the U.S. corporate tax rate stands at 35 percent, but in practice it’s far lower. Corporations have lots of tricks in their box of tax-avoidance tools.

In the 1950s, corporations paid nearly a third of the federal government’s bills. Last year, thanks to the antics of Pfizer and other examples of overly creative accounting, corporate income taxes accounted for less than a tenth of Uncle Sam’s total revenue.

Consider Pfizer’s track record. The drugmaker increased its offshore profits by $10 billion in 2012, boosting its offshore stash to $73 billion — all of it untaxed by Uncle Sam. Like most pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer registers its patents in a low-tax offshore haven, and then charges a high price for the use of this “intellectual property.” Doing so, it shifts all of its U.S. profits offshore, avoiding U.S. taxes and bloating its overseas bank account.

Pfizer’s tax dodging prowess has earned it a gold medal in the sport, but it has also drawn unwanted attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC wrote to Pfizer last year asking them to explain four years of large losses in their U.S. operations despite reporting about 40 percent of their sales on American soil. Undeterred by the SEC investigation, Pfizer added a fifth year of U.S. losses to the string in 2012.


And then there's this.... The SEIU referred us to the rules changes for foreign profits to back up its claim, the same charge that Obama made last year. Multinational companies are sending jobs overseas, and Republicans opposed tightening the tax rules on those multinationals, said Jennifer Farmer, SEIU's deputy communications director.

"We continue to stand by our earlier comments: In the midst of tough economic times, when lawmakers should be working together to create quality jobs and find a way out of our country’s deepening recession, Republicans in Congress have focused on the wrong priorities. They have focused on protecting big oil and tax breaks for the rich. This was true when we included the message on our mail piece. It remains true today," Farmer said.

*We went back and reviewed the vote on tightening tax rules on foreign profits. At the time, Democrats controlled the Congress, and the measure passed with the support of two moderate Republican senators, Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins, both of Maine*.


Forget the smoke and mirrors:

Did Pfizer pay NO taxes, as alleged by BD, or did they pay 2.94 BILLION in U.S. taxes, as I said? So, if you get a letter from the SEC or IRS asking you to explain your taxes, do you simply roll over and say "How High> What Color? Sir?"


Check it out, where there are parentheses, it means the our gubmint owes them for their creative accounting. It means they got millions without paying taxes, yup.
Here is a left leaning link for you ...


Excuse me if I was wrong - I thought you said Pfizer paid NO income taxes - Oh wait - that's exactly what you said. I quote one Bigdeal " These corporations pay NOTHING but make millions, SEEMS like you are smart enough to read this (or did you do a knee jerk without reading the link provided?). NOTHING, NO TAXES PAID by Pfizer, Microsoft, Citibank, over 60 of the largest US (multinational) corporations. . . ."

Sorry pal, when you're wrong you're wrong, in this case by an order of billions - do you work for Obama by any chance?


Slow news day, eh? This is asinine. Clearly, multiple, objective indienews sources have for years shown that US major corporations have found multiple, non-objective ways to dodge paying taxes. Let's not quibble about whether the total was $0, $1.82 billion, or $2.94 billion. It's moot. The take-away is that major corporations have creative legal counsel second to none that scrounges around so that they are able to hold onto unprecedented profits to the tune of an unprecedented $1.6+ TRILLION in capital, and pay astonishingly little to no taxes. Some of it is legal, some of it is not. Why you choose to argue this escapes me, unless you yourself are a major corporate entity earning hundreds of billions. If this does happen to describe you, then please overlook everything I just said, and have a nice day, sir.

Meanwhile, the number of homeless children is growing in West Michigan, and folks are all phissy about it, throwing hissy fits and squirming over the horrifying prospect of actually doing something about it. No - let's bring up right-wing statistics that show...blah, blah, blah. Sometimes maturity and compassion are so, so slow in coming.


Your so right about the maturity thing Lan, and we are patiently waiting for you to get there.


Thank you for doing such a good job of proving my point.


Hmmm, that must have pushed your Lib, ah I mean centrist buttons. No more fun entertaining replys. Oh well, back to the music. "Point of no return" - Kansas


A good tune. So appropriate. All I can muster at the moment after reading Vlad's downer depiction of life as we know it is...The Theme Song to Clockwork Orange :(......

Oh well, I guess I'll go sew up my Mother Teresa costume for this year's Halloween Party while waiting for the game to start.....hope this will suffice, it's all I got....


Errrr no edit button... No reply (ies) at all - Genesis


Of course, it's moot, Hillary - At this point, what difference does it make that someone lied, that people died, there's a bigger liberal point to be made.

The real takeaway - to liberals, all money in circulation belongs to the government that will of right decide how much taxpayers, individual or corporate, will be able to keep after satisfying the government's voracious appetite for spending.

The reason I argue is the principle of FREEDOM, something increasingly viewed as a useless anachronism by the left, unless it refers to legal discrimination, homosexual marriage, abortion, and any number of other social degradations that diminish us as a people and as a nation.

Oh, children in Michigan are growing homeless under Obama, and the only answer is to steal more money to redistribute. I'm so tired of this liberal crap I could puke - why not just take all guns, take all money, turn us into the vast wastelands of societies who have tried socialism and failed, or into the Darwin's Waiting Rooms of Detroit, Chicago, and other urban garden spots.

Libspeak- blah!


Speaking of hissy fits, there he goes....I do try to understand your extreme "leave me alone" philosophy. If that philosophy serves you well, fine, go and be alone to revel in your well-deserved freedom to be whatever makes you happy. There is a problem, tho. You have a propensity to label any opinion or definition of freedom that is not your own as "liberal crap".

You seem to be driven to denigrate other individual's right to freedom that doesn't conform to your definition. I don't necessary disagree with you about things that diminish us as a people, but I also understand that by saying I believe in freedom, but only my definition of it, diminishes me as a person. Your labeling of everything unsavory to you as "LC" has got to make you quite miserable, as it seems to encompass nearly everything. I fear for the day when the realization that not all problems in this country are the direct result of liberals, or perhaps I should say everyone who doesn't believe what you do, confronts you.

Perhaps you were born in the wrong century. I do wish you peace, although I feel it's as pointless and desolate a wish as your depiction of society.


Well, first, thank you for your concerns about my well being - I will strive to make myself less miserable in future days. Of course not all problems in this country are the direct result of liberals - it has been a joint effort.

I think this is the first time I ever used the phrase "liberal crap" in a post - it resulted from my frustration about the idea that only government, through the taxing power, can heal the ills of society - at least that's what I took from your and other's comments.

I actually have a soaring depiction of what society could, and should be - it's one where people are judged, not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character; one where every American citizen can aspire to achieve, and actually achieve, success based on the proven elements of a two parent family, faith, a liberal (in the true sense of the word) education, personal effort, and freedom from government intrusions into what should be the private lives of citizens; one where compromise of basic principles is not a virtue, and where attempting to please others to assuage some personal guilt is not a way to live one's life; one where self-reliance as opposed to becoming a ward of the state is to be applauded and a goal for all, and where our particular society should understand the blessings that the Constitution, our geography, and our heritage have bestowed on us instead of feeling a need to deconstruct all that we have achieved. In short, I wish for us a society where free men and women can thrive and be nourished rather than be crushed by the needs, requirements, and regulations of the State.

Well, first you pushed me to "liberal crap" and now to this - at any rate, the expression of differing opinions on a variety of matters is energizing - for an "old coot." I do thank you for that opportunity.


You had me worried. Perhaps it's the Irish dark side of the spirit. We have to have some poetry in the soul, and you have revealed a bit of yours here. Can I look forward to less misery and more energy, a freer, more dimensional Vlad? Not too much, tho.

Did you have time to read my comment (to Rainbowjoe and Wing) below, posted earlier today? Does anything about it surprise you? Although I've come to expect the labels you give me, seeing them as bait or even funny at times, they tell me you don't really read what I write, just as you might not really read other people. Not every poor woman is but a ward of the state, for example.

Anyway, you've been interesting today, bringing me from annoyance, anger, peals of laughter, melancholy, and now reflection. Thanks for the ride...Va Va


Too bad Michigan did not have it's best game, but Louisville had eaten a lot of lunches with its pressing defense. Yes I read your posts and no, I wasn't particularly surprised that you abhor waste, fraud and abuse and that you want to help the poor. We differ where you believe it is the government's role to "o plan, create, and manage an economic environment...." which sounds just like the old Soviet Union, where I believe the federal government should get out of the way for the most part and let the states monitor improper business behavior through their police powers. I also disagree that we should not discriminate between people who are in need because of special circumstances, and those who would rather take from their fellow citizens rather than subjecting themselves to the rigors and rewards of work. I think Rainbowjoe nailed it on the disability angle, and when generations of families have lived off the taxpayers, I object to that. Like Wing, I blame both political parties, but from experience know that if there are votes to be gained by throwing more gold into the trough, the liberals are going to be the ones robbing the taxpayers to a greater extent, and filling the trough more expertly.


Mitch and Co is young - there's time. I think the difference between me and *you* (wing, rj, etc) is a matter of balance, degree, life experience, and personality. It's not in my nature to label, categorize, or hold extreme viewpoints - not saying I don't sometime do all of the above, but it isn't an immediate response.

You would think, after all those years spent in an entrepreneurial, capitalist environment, where nothing was ever certain and everything happened only through sheer force of spirit, my view of government would align closer to the far right. But perhaps it doesn't because of it. After experiencing firsthand the constant presence of forces that can derail - at any given moment! -, I find the idea of a steady ship of state, government, comforting.

Of course, I'm too much a cynic to wax lyrical, knowing there will always be waste, fraud, corruption, and abuse, but I also know those things can be found everywhere, if you look hard and long enough. I believe that government's only purpose is to do those things that are done more efficiently, with the greatest productivity, and for the greatest common good, that, if done fragmented among the states, piece meal, willy nilly, if you will, would weaken and stifle in the long run. I guess this is why I am attracted to the Civil War, Lincoln, that whole time frame when this country was in such peril of splintering, wasting all the effort of the Fathers that came before.

As to homeless children and the poor, my paradigm is so different. My life experience is to marvel at the resilience of the human spirit that works hard every day, in suffering and for very little. I have relatives who stubbornly will not apply for disability even when they actually deserve to do so; I've known many people - some very close to me - who were on welfare in the early years, who now hold multiple degrees, make tons of money, pay lots of taxes, and devote their extracurricular time to giving back in a variety of ways. This is the human spirit I think about, not the always present "generations of takers". It goes back to my work - when something becomes a sticky wicket, you can't just dismiss it as a sticky wicket and still expect to draw a paycheck. You have to assess, go to plan B, problem solve, tweak, or schmoose to make it right, because it won't just go away, it will still be there tomorrow.

As for homeless children, I will be forever haunted by the sweet faces and voices of the 6-7 year old at-risk children I have mentored, going way back to my high school years. Most of them had to get themselves ready for school by themselves - no adult supervision. Their eagerness to learn, to please, to fit in, to grow.....sound emotional? You bet. If only a nickel of my tax dollar filters down to them somewhere down the pike, I will be grateful. I will never write them off, even though I'm tempted at times when I read that it's nothing but liberalism robbing the taxpayer. Someday I'll look back and I will tell you now that what I hope I'll see is the strength of the human spirit, not wasted tax dollars.


I agree that our life experiences account for much of the difference in how we view things, but I vehemently disagree with your ideas regarding the role of the federal government. Since we are a nation of laws,and I assume you agree we are governed by laws, then the role of the federal government is limited by the powers provided to it, and denied to it, in the Constitution - no more and no less. If folks disagree with the limited powers that are provided to the federal government (and Barack Obama has stated as much) then the proper course of action is to follow the law and amend the Constitution, not to usurp legislative branch and state authorities through unilateral executive action, banking on your political party not holding you to the law and not banking on an unelected judicial branch to rubber stamp your assumed powers. Taking the unprincipled (constitutionally speaking) path will not end well for any of us - for the next president may use the newly usurped powers in ways unimaginable to us.

I can understand your empathy with the sweet faces of at risk children, having taught them. I would have to indulge in a Hillary "willing suspension of belief" moment to ignore how the liberal welfare philosophy has impacted the inner cities, and how many of those sweet faces are gunned down by other sweet faces or police in the course of committing a felony, and being told about each one that he or she was "just starting to turn their life around" or in the process of becoming a rap star or a social worker. . . . That dog just don't hunt anymore.


That last thought should light'm up. You mean, uncaring right winger!

I bet many others that lurk here are strongly in favor of limited government as well. Many don't voice it, many don't realize how its happening until it suddenly hits home.

I think everyone should be required to right a check for their taxes next Monday. This auto deduct of payroll taxes keeps everyone blissfully unaware of how much is coming out of their checks. Make four of those payments a year and suddenly four times a year you realize how much expanded gubment cost!


...dang spell check "write a check"


You mean.."dang lib spell check", don't you?....


"You go to war with the army you have, not the war you wish you had". I know, I know, I just can't resist...those guys just continue to offer so much. I've loathed Rummy for so long, but now find myself seeing vast wisdom in his iconic statement, spoken during his finest hour. You're about 50 years too late to be pining for limited government. My concerns are more pragmatic, like hanging onto a democracy that is becoming more and more a corporatocracy. At least with a democracy, you can vote the bums out, but when government is controlled by corporate wealth and power, it's a bit harder to change back. We all have our boogey-men.

Your statement castigating Obama for his "limited power rebellion" is puzzling. If you are referring to signing statements, why not bellyache about Boosh, who challenged about 1,200 provisions over 8 years - a world record (see what I mean? my promise is now officially broken). You lose all credibility when you constantly harp on Obama, when Reagan was the instigator, reaching it's zenith under W. Oh well, you have to earn your MCPP stipend somehow..(confession: I can't believe I write this stuff).

Constitutional absolutism seems to me to be a way of shutting down, not problem solving. I think the concept of amendments was a cruel joke to play on a country full of rebels, patriots, Quakers, frontiersmen, convicts, etc. How can you expect a meeting of minds that can carry an amendment to fruition? I guess that was the point. Change was meant to be made with vast amounts of blood, sweat, and tears, and not to blow in the wind with every generation. But the corporations are so impatient.

My limited exposure to the inner cities certainly shapes my welfare philosophy. I'm sure if we had shared experiences I would feel differently. We can rail about how things are going to heII in a hen basket, it's all the fault of (fill in the blanks), but then what? Welfare for Fed Bud 2013 was 10%, edu 13%, def 14%, pensions 18% (?), health care 19%. I suppose it could be worse. So the dog not only don't hunt anymore, it demands the foxes stand against the wall....


Hey wait a minute, you left out one if your favorite boogie men, Cheney.

Now give me five hail Obamas and you must dress in Hillary pants suits until we get the transparent gubment candidate Obama talked about. Your other option would be to take the 3 o'clock in the morning phone call for Mr. Lead-from-behind and talk to the little pot bell young-one-over the cuckoos nest in North Korea. Your chatter would for sure help us avoid World War III as he would fall asleep at the trigger listening to you;)


As per your request, I wish to extend to you the same sentiments former Vice President Dick Cheney gave to his pal, Patrick Leahy in 2004.

Have a wonderful evening.


Oh my, Lanny is taking civility lessons from Darth Vader - the neighborhood is starting to resemble South Chicago (Hyde Park, ya know) - good thing we know Wing is armed.


I simply graciously acquiesed to Wingmaster's request, capturing a great conservative patriot's finest hour of civility.


Why me, Lord?

1. We do not have a democracy - we have a Constitutional Republic, with the original sovereigns (the States) ceding certain powers to a central government and denying it others. See, e.g. the enumerated powers granted the federal executive, legislature, and judiciary and the 10th amendment (Reserved Powers).

2. I was not referring to signing statements or dissing Obama - I was referring to his stated philosophy lamenting the failures of the Constitution. I was also referring to other non-constitutional actions he has taken, such as appointing a plethora of Czars (ironic term, no?) to avoid the Advice and Consent function of the Senate, and piling on to limiting the powers of the States in our federal system (Constitutional Republic). Signing statements, regardless of Obama's hypocrisy condemning them and then issuing them, are pimples on the butt of what he has been doing to our system overall.

What you so cavalierly refer to as a cruel joke (the Bill of Rights) was the only thing that convinced a number of States, and the anti-federalists, to agree to give up the State sovereignty to the extent they did by agreeing to ratify the Constitution at all. The cruel joke is that the anti-federalists were right, and the central government is well on its way to over-running the states that created it in the first place, and the citizens to which powers were reserved.

Constitutional absolutism? I guess enforcing the laws against murder is homicide absolutism (or Pro Life); of course, enforcing the immigration laws is national absolutism; protecting Freedom of Speech and the Press is First Amendment absolutism. I have it now Lanny, laws are only to be followed at the convenience of the current ruling class. Like I said, you and your liberal friends will live to regret this attitude.

Rule No. 101 - Read the Constitution and the history of the country before commenting on it.


"The instrument by which it [government] must act are either the AUTHORITY of the laws or FORCE. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government there is an end to liberty!"

--Alexander Hamilton, Tully, No. 3, 1794


Naturally, he chooses another victim of gun violence :/.....


Aaron Burr was never tried for the illegal duel with Alexander Hamilton, and all charges against him were eventually dropped. Even back then we were not effectively dealing with crime and murder with guns...Check Mate!



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