Category: Three Rivers

Classic Three Rivers Pictures #1

I cannot remember where I got these early pictures of Three Rivers but they are interesting and I thought I would pass them along. I have more and will post them in batches of 10. This is the first batch. Check out the rest here Batch #2 and Batch #3.



Early Three Rivers Post Card

I know the above is from an automotive plant but I can’t remember the name. Anybody?


White Pigeon Train Station

post office

Three Rivers Post Office


Three River Train Station


Three Rivers Chamber’s Candidate Forum

Don’t forget that the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce is hosting a forum at Glen Oaks Community College tonight that will give residents one last chance to see the candidates before the primary next week. Check WLKM’s site for time and details.

In the case of Cody Sharpe and incumbent Allen Balog this may not be the last time you seem them together because they are not impacted by the primary. I haven’t heard if there are going to be any other events where those two will square off before the November election but I would suspect that there would have to be at least one more. 

Please let me know in comments if you know or hear of anything about another event.


Three Rivers Area Sports Complex

I have some questions about the Sports Complex but first I need to add a short amount of context because when I say I don’t know anything about it, I mean I don’t know anything about it. In fact I think the first time I ever heard about it was a month or so ago and I didn’t give it another thought about it until Mike Tilbury brought it up in another post.


Sports Complex

So here is the context.

Recently, in a private conversation, I admitted to being fairly out of touch with local politics, which stems from the latter days of the Liberty 1st forum. Near the end of the forum it became clear to me that getting people engaged in political discourse was challenging enough but keeping them engaged is next to impossible. Anyway at then end I was burnt out on local politics and felt that developing my technical skills was a better way to spend my “extra” time so I spent the years up to now working on that and ignoring most of what was going on locally. Having said that I was recently reminded of the importance of local politics so I am back. At least through this election cycle. And depending on the response to my efforts maybe  longer.

And here are the questions

So now here are my questions.

  1. Where did the idea come from? I mean who in the community is the force behind it?
  2. What is the major controversy surrounding it?
  3. What is the next event that is going to happen in the community where it will be discussed publicly?

Candidate Cody Sharpe said this on his Face Book page.

The issues that I have are the amount money spent on the property, the fact taxpayer dollars are being spent for court hearings, and the majority of the residents living need the proposed site don’t want it close to their homes.

So I (think) I know where he stands but I am interested in what others think. Oh and I did read the mission statement from their site, which reads…

We envision a complex designed for our youth that can be used by the entire community. Our youth sports programs will be moving from school sports fields and parking lots to a complex designed for each sport. We will alleviate chaos between games and draw people to the area for a financial impact to the community;and demonstrate an  investment in our youth.

In general I tend to be against anything that is going to raise my tax bill but I know that is not practical for all things in life. In closing if you don’t know the answers to the questions above I would still love to know what you think about this project (pro or against). Please add your thoughts to the comment section below.

Meet the Candidates Night

The Three Rivers and Sturgis Area Chambers of Commerce are collaboratively offering a “Meet the Candidates Night” for the County. The event will be held on Tuesday, July 26th at the Dresser Business Center at Glen Oaks Community College. This event will offer you the opportunity to introduce yourselves to the community and educate the voters.

The evening agenda be as follows:
5:30 – County Treasurer
6:00 – County Clerk/Register of Deeds
6:30 – 15 minute intermission
6:45 – County Commission Districts 1, 2 & 3

The program will offer each candidate a 2 minute introduction then several rounds of questions which will be garnered by the local media and Chamber’s Public Policy Committees. Each candidate will be allowed 1 minute per question. We will also allow members of the audience to pose questions in writing that evening prior to the start of the event. The session will end with a 2 minute closing from each candidate.

Source here. I am really interested in this one. I can’t wait until Tuesday,

The Maple Street Soap Opera

This week on the Maple Street Soap Opera Cody Sharpe responds to my recent Face Book post.


Okay if you find yourself at this post and you are not interested in the neighborhood soap opera that has taken place between Cody Sharpe and I you can skip right past this post. However if you are hanging on to the edge of your seat wondering what happened after the Face Book fracas. This is it.

Shortly after our last post on Face Book he posted this on his political site. Sorry I couldn’t find a perma-link to the post but right now it is the second post on the page. Scroll and you should be able to find it complete and uncut. Below is my response to his post cut up into blocks of text. Other then cutting it up I did not edit, remove or change his words in any way. At least not intentionally.

So here it goes…..

It has come to my attention today that an ongoing dispute with several area residents has reached social media.

Several?. Are there more? I thought I was it.

While I will not attempt to suppress the right to speak

The beauty of the internet is that it is next to impossible for any one person or organization to suppress speech for any length of time. People who yearn to be free will always find ways to get their words out.

While I don’t claim to be any great freedom fighter I do now how to get my words on the internet. So to whoever went to the trouble (probably really wasn’t all that much trouble but…) of having my post removed from Face Book for violating its standards I would like to thank you.

Admittedly, at first, I was a little taken aback. It is my belief that I didn’t do anything wrong and that all I was doing is saying words that I believe to be true about a man running for a political office that will have impact on my life.

At the point it happened I was reminded that this was the second time that someone thought they could use the “power to suppress” to shut me down. The first time it happened it was the City Commission of Three Rivers who thought that removing the TR Forum would quiet the opposition to their Bill Gothard inspired governmental propaganda they were trying to push on our schools, our workplaces and our places of worship.

If you weren’t around at the time, which was somewhere around 2001/2002 that was the original spark that started Liberty 1st.

And now a new spark has given life to the site again.

I will address certain rumors that are being propagated and perpetuated by these voices. In addressing these falsehoods, it is my hope that we can put an end to the continuous discrepancies and lapses in communication once and for all.

I am not sure if you have multiple people calling you out or not but I don’t what you mean by continuous discrepancies and lapses in communication. I didn’t even know your name until last week. And the first time I said anything about on Social Media about you was yesterday.

Admittedly when I did the flood gates opened and multiple people told us many things about you. However, even with that information, I don’t think you will find one instance of me talking about any of the rumors or allegations online. I think I have been very clear both on Face Book and with the follow up conversation you and I had on Messenger today about what my issues are with you.

And before you say it, yes, Ronda did mention a few of the allegations but I will tell you this about Ronda. She is a fierce woman and the fact that she only mentioned those and didn’t go into more detail is truly a testament of her relatively new found self control because just 10 years ago the outcome would have been much different then it was today.

The question of whether those “rumors” and “allegations” are relevant today really depends a lot on one’s perspective. And I am of two minds on this. On the one had it may show patterns of behaviors that could predict how you would behave in office. And on the other hand I am very aware that context matters and that I wouldn’t want the entirety of my life to be judged by any 15 minute segment contained in it.

For now I think (and I only speak for myself) I am going to stay focused on current events and leave the rest in the past. However this is not any kind of promise from me. You are running for a political office and the context of any of those situations could be relevant.

And to be clear, just in case, anybody is wondering I am not talking about what people do in their personal life. I am only concerned about actions carried out in public settings.

I will say I do appreciate your offer and willingness to sit down and talk to me (or anyone) about these rumors and allegations. In my experience that is an effective method for dealing with these kind of matters.

I have attempted to resolve this dispute through civil discussion to no avail and, when this discussion did not work

So on this one I am going to take issue with you. There was not one attempt that I know about until I called you out on Face Book. In fact I am pretty confident that you admitted this in one of your posts there earlier today.

I have involved the police on several attempts to put an end to the whole misunderstanding, and again I would like to be clear that this is what we are seeing: a misunderstanding.

Again, maybe a nitpick, but this was not a misunderstanding. This was you using the power of the police to get back at me because my son had exchanged some non pleasantries over the use of fireworks on the Fourth of July.

When I was made aware of my sons actions I made it clear to him that this is not how we expect him to act while he is at our house.

And to be completely frank I cannot say how serious he took me at that time but I will tell you now he takes me very serious on this matter and if he ever says anything to you or your wife again I want you to make me aware of it immediately.

I have not incessantly involved law enforcement, simply when I perceived the situation to be beyond the point of my own conflict resolution skill set.

Once again I am going to take issue with you here. You HAVE incessantly involved law enforcement and one only needs to check with the police to confirm what I am saying here. And I have to wonder about the conflict resolution skill set you mention because you never attempted to talk to me once before today. And lets be honest. I kind of forced your hand on that one.

The rumors which are being circulated are nothing more than that; rumors which have been twisted beyond fact into a sort of character assassination attempt that finds no basis in fact or logic.

Again I am confused because it is not really clear to me what you are referring to. If you are talking about what Ronda said a FOIA request will clear that up so if it is a rumor you have nothing to worry about.

If it is old and out of context, again you have nothing to worry about. It could be your best opportunity to clear it off your plate once and for all.

If it is something else you are referring to or someone else you are talking about you are going to have to clarify specifically what the character assassination attempt was or I can’t really address this.

Much of what has been spread is hearsay with no grounding in reality, and therefore I will not directly address it.

Then why bring it up? If someone was saying something about me that had no grounding in reality I would relish the attempt to clear the record. Having said that I will repeat that I have no interest in discussing anything that is not relevant to your run for office.

For my part, I welcome discussion about where I have come from, who I am, and where I am going.

Good because with my very limited Googling Skills I didn’t find all that much about you. Where do you come from? Who are you? Where are you going? I am genuinely interested.

Any misjudgments in my past remain there, while I remain firmly committed to serving the residents of St. Joseph county with transparency and honesty.

I hope so but at this point I don’t think we are off to a good start.

I have faith that in the coming weeks and months ahead, we can continue to work together to achieve the sort of partnerships that best lend themselves to this transparency– partnerships of character, of understanding, and of truth in the face of vitriol and cruelty.

Am I really the face of vitriol and cruelty? I had no idea.

In the meantime, I invite your earnest correspondence at any time and look forward to speaking again with you.

At this point I am not sure if there is anybody following along with this anymore because much of this is just a rehash of what was said on Face Book. But if you are still here you may be interested to know that after Cody had posted this on his site we had a private conversation via Messenger where we have both agreed to settle the neighborhood dispute between us and that anything going forward will be in the context of his political ambitions toward the District 1 county seat and nothing else.

Concealed Pistol License applications rose sharply in St Joseph County for 2013

Concealed Pistol License (CPL) applications in St. Joseph County have risen sharply in 2013, according to the Michigan State Police.


Last year, MSP received an average of 481 applications for permits and approved 463 of those for licensure. So far this year, there have been an average of 626 applications received and 523 approved, according to MSP.


“Within the past year, records have been broken as far as the number of background checks done for the purchase of firearms,” said Debra Smith, manager for the Michigan State Police firearms records unit. “We have also seen an increase in the number of people that apply for or receive concealed pistol licenses.”

No surprises here. I think this just says that St Joseph County is keeping pace with the rest of the country where conceal carry is legal.

The article in the Three Rivers Commercial also mentions that the Three Rivers Police Dept. offers a CCW (CPL) class but it doesn’t provide any additional information about it. If you know any specifics please post them to the comments and I will update this article later. See the entire article here.

As a side note: If you have even wondered which states allow concealed carry and more specifically which states honor Michigan’s CPL I have included a graphic from the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners below.

CPL Reciprocity

At present, States shaded in blue will not honor the Michigan CPL.

Check out their site for more Gun Related News.

Michigan Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by City, 2009

The F.B.I. has posted the 2009 Crime Statistics broken down by city for Michigan here. Three Rivers makes the top 25 in percentage of total crimes divided by population. In other words I added up all the columns and then divided by the population and then sorted them by the percentage. Three Rivers ranked 30 of 393 cities in violent crimes as a percentage of the population, which makes me wonder how the people on the city commission can claim that Three Rivers doesn’t have a crime problem.

Note: This chart and post was edited after I originally posted it because I was lumping in all crimes together, which didn’t represent the data the way I had intended it to. For the most part the cities and their order stayed the same but there were obviously some differences in ranking and I think this reflects more accurately the point I was trying to make in the original post.