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G-Sync: Viget is a Verb

G-Sync: Viget is a Verb

Tommy Allen, Lifestyle Editor

This past March, I was asked to play former Red Hot Mama Tootsie Van Kelly for LaughFest 2012's Live from Grand Rapids opener. I searched in the MLive archives and called area TV stations, but I discovered nothing about this much-beloved performer who entertained locals, travelers, and even presidents.

It was a note on my Facebook that opened the floodgates. People shared stories, photos, and offered to make introductions. Since I was not making a bio-pic, I settled on their insights. Searching Civic Theatre’s closet provided a quick change from manly to womanly garb. I became Tootsie Van Kelly.  

Fast-forward six months: Viget.org is emerging as another resource. If successful, this Grand Rapids wiki will provide our city with a viewpoint of people who know it best: you and me.

Gilda's LaughFest holds volunteer meetings

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Gilda's LaughFest is holding two informational meetings on volunteer opportunities during next year's festival of laughter.

Volunteer opportunities include event promotion, logistics, ushering, and support during all LaughFest ticketed and non-ticketed events.

The first meeting will be held Saturday, December 15th at 10:30 a.m. The second will be on Monday the 17th at 6:30 p.m.

The meetings are at Gilda's Club Grand Rapids at 1806 Bridge Street NW.

You can find out more information on the meetings on the festival website.

Brinks Schedules Community Conversation

GRAND RAPIDS – Democratic Representative-elect Winnie Brinks will hold a community conversation on Friday, Dec. 14, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Arnie's Bakery, 815 Leonard St. NW in Grand Rapids.  Brinks encourages residents to join her for a conversation on state and legislative issues that are important to Grand Rapids residents. Brinks will take office on Jan. 1, 2013.

And the color of the Blue Bridge will be...

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) --  Grand Rapids asked the community and the community responded -- "Keep the Blue Bridge BLUE!"

On Tuesday, the Downtown Development Authority held two public meetings for input on the color.

Next spring, crews will add new lighting on and under the bridge, install benches, and make improvements to expand opportunities for events. During the beautification process, they will also repaint the bridge.

The majority of the people at Tuesday's meetings were in favor of keeping the bridge blue. The DDA will look at different shades of blue that will work well with new evening lighting.

It will take two months for crews to finish the work.





Teen makes Christmas cards for hospital kids

ROCKFORD, Mich (WZZM) -- Some children can't be home for Christmas and a West Michigan teenager wants to make their holidays a little brighter.

Mariah Bouwkamp, 17, is making Christmas cards to give to children at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

Tuesday night she hosted an event at Rockford ambulance to make the homemade cards. Bouwkamp came up with the idea after a child living near her grandmother was treated at the children's hospital.

Union activists protest in Grand Rapids

Union activists protest in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Right-to-Work protests are popping up around the state.  Monday, a silent protest was held in downtown Grand Rapids.

Union members and activists met at noon on the Calder Plaza to protest the Right-to-Work legislation passed last week.  Protesters are taping their mouths shut since they feel their voices were not heard by the governor and legislators.

"Under right to work, there are no rights, and no work," said Terry Hoogerhyde of the Grand Rapids Community Action Team. He want others to join the group of 50 protesters, by protesting on the steps of the Capitol Tuesday.

President of the West Michigan Policy Forum Jared Rodriguez expects the law to pass whether this group attends the big rally or not. "We see this as a sign to Michigan businesses that are looking to invest or expand their operations, but more importantly, to those outside Michigan looking to locate or relocate."

Tour of new GVSU Seidman Center

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) --On Monday, Grand Valley State University gave media tours of the newest addition to their campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

The new William Seidman Center is located at the site of the old A&P Warehouse across from Fulton Street. It will house the university's expanding business school. In its 40 year history, the Seidman College of Business has grown from 145 students to more than 3,000.

H. James Williams, the Dean of the Seidman College of Business says, "We'll be able to put all our outreach centers in here together, but in terms of academic programs, the students will now have special spaces that are designed specifically to facilitate education in the 21st century.

The Seidman Center is scheduled to open to students next year.