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Home » Community Resources » News


State approves West Michigan Economic Partnership

Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 4:15 PM    

Dave Alexander | 
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The Muskegon Chronicle

MUSKEGON, MI – West Michigan communities have received the fifth and final
Next Michigan Development Corp. designation in the state, which will allow for a
new slate of economic development tools.

altKen Stevens |
Muskegon ChronicleThe HHL Amur, a 452-foot
ocean-going cargo ship arrived in Muskegon in June to pick up a load of West
Michigan wind turbine blade molds headed for Spain.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Strategic
Fund Board on Wednesday unanimously approved the West Michigan Economic
Partnership, which combines Muskegon and Kent counties
and five other
municipalities, including the city of Muskegon.

The Next Michigan agreement for West Michigan was put together by two
economic development organizations in the region, Grand Rapids-based The Right
Place and Muskegon Area First. Muskegon economic developers hope the new
partnership and state incentives will kick start port developments on Muskegon
Lake and potentially other key properties.

“The increased level of intergovernmental collaboration between the counties
and municipalities in West Michigan is the first of its kind in the region,”
said Ed Garner, president of Muskegon Area First. “This new partnership between
Muskegon and Kent counties will open new doors for investment, jobs and growth
throughout the region.”

The participating communities and eligible companies may be able to use
additional property and investment incentives offered by the state to the West
Michigan Economic Partnership and four other regional groups across the

West Michigan might have been the last of five Next Michigan partnerships to
be approved, but Garner said that the work done by economic developers in
establishing the regional collaborative will allow the new organization to
quickly begin the real work of identifying properties and marketing them to
private companies.

A local representative from each participating unit of government will be
appointed by each governing body to serve on a newly created regional board.
Besides the two counties and city of Muskegon, initial partnership members
include the cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming and Cascade Charter

The board’s next step will be to establish a funding model and identify
specific properties that provide the two or more modes of transportation
required to be eligible, such as air services, highway access, rail spurs and
port facilities, organizers said.

The West Michigan Economic Partnership organizers have identified properties
such as Wyoming’s Site36, areas near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport
and waterfront sites on Muskegon Lake with access to Muskegon’s deep-water

“As one of only five sanctioned Next Michigan (partnerships) allowed under
the current legislation, these seven municipalities now have a unique set of
marketing and incentive tools to support new investment and the creation of jobs
in their communities,” said Rick Chapla, vice president of business development
for The Right Place.


Unruly Brewing Co. to launch 'community brewery' while Russell Block Market seeks food outlets

Published: Monday, August 20, 2012, 4:59 PM    

MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon business attorney Jeff Jacobson said he and his partner Mark Gongalski must have looked at every available commercial building in Muskegon County seeking a home for their “community brewery” business.

Unruly Russell Block

Unruly Brewing Co. partners, Jeff Jacobson, left, and Mark Gongalski will be opening their microbrew in the Russell Block Market. Unruly Brewing selects Russell Block Market

In the end, Jacobson said they found the perfect location in downtown Muskegon at the Russell Block Market, 360 W. Western. The retail incubator being developed by Gary Post is expected to be open by the Christmas holiday season.

The Unruly Brewing Co. will take up nearly half of the 5,000 square feet of space on the Russell Block Market’s first level. Operated by the nonprofit Muskegon Retail Incubator Inc., the Russell Block Market board is now looking for tenants to fill the remainder of the retail space, especially with food outlets that would complement the new microbrewery.

“We are about to create another exciting destination location for downtown Muskegon,” according to Terry MacAllister, president of the MRI board. “Unruly and the other food businesses we are lining up will offer customers and patrons something different – a place to come hang out, drink some microbrews, choose among different food offerings, browse related shops and enjoy an all-around fun experience.

“This will be one hopping place,” MacAllister said.

Unruly Brewing Co. was announced in February as the two home brewers and business partners began looking for a location and secure investors.

“We are extremely excited to be having this building after a six- or seven-month search,” Gongalski said. “We were looking for a location to provide us a beer garden atmosphere and at an economical rate. It was tough to find but this is awesome news. We are glad to be going downtown.”

Muskegon downtown promoters and economic developers said they are thrilled to have Muskegon County’s first microbrewery in the heart of the central business district. Muskegon is one of the untapped markets in West Michigan for the craft brewing boom that is going on around the region, said Andrew Haan, head of Downtown Muskegon Now – a downtown development and marketing organization.

“We are ecstatic to hear the news that we are bringing into our downtown a use into the mix that we have been seeking for years,” Haan said of craft beer and culinary tourism being the largest growth areas in the travel market. “We are an unserved community but West Michigan is a hot bed of microbrewing and the region is known throughout the national. Now we join that industry.”

As a “community brewery,” Unruly Brewing Co. will open with a four-barrel brewing system and a taproom for tasting, the owners said. Another business partner is Eric Hoffman, who will be Unruly’s head brewer, they said.

To create the “beer-garden” atmosphere, Unruly Brewing will have an outside seating area in the space between the Russell Block building and the Hines Building to the east, the owners said. The company hopes to have its liquor license good for the entire building and outdoor beer garden, the owners said.

The concept of a community-based beer-making business is to cater to the large home-brewing movement in the Muskegon-area, Gongalski said. Unruly will offer up to eight taps for different kinds of beers. Of those, three or four will be Unruly house brands that will always be available, while the brewing company will have specialty beers that rotate.

Also being offered will be beers created by home brewers on the Unruly equipment. Gongalski said that Unruly will announce the community aspects of its business as its opening date approaches.

“The sky’s the limit on what we are going to be able to offer from this location,” Gongalski said.

Jacobson said the business will be licensed as a microbrewery, which will allow production up to 30,000 barrels of beer a year. However, Unruly will begin at a much more modest level of production, he said.

The brewing company will sell its beers on site by the pint and in “growlers” – half gallon containers to go. The company hopes to bottle its most popular brews for sale in six-packs in the Muskegon area, Gongalski said.

Gongalski and Jacobson were both raised in Muskegon. Gongalski is a 1997 graduate of Whitehall High School and has a home remodeling business, MG Modern. Jacobson is a business attorney with the Parmenter O’Toole law firm and is a 1990 graduate of Mona Shores High School.

Post, who also has developed the next door Century Club Center of retail shops and the nearby Heritage Square Townhouses, now must complete the Russell Block Market construction and MRI fill the rest of the space. The incubator organizers said finding tenants wanting to join Unruly Brewing isn’t going to be a problem.

“Ideally, we would like to see specialty burgers, homemade sausages and brats, artisan breads and rolls, specialty coffees, desserts, herbs and spices, kitchen gear -- anything that has to do with eating and preparing food,” said Eileen McCormick, MRI executive director.

Jacobson and Gongalski said talk of other brewing businesses in the Muskegon area is exciting.

“The more microbrewers we can have in Muskegon the better. That would be awesome,” Gongalski said. “The craft beer industry is a big community. It’s like a family.”


Muskegon Makes it to Mars!!!


Bearings From Muskegon At Work On Mars — For The Third Time

Reporting Matt Roush   CBS 62-Detroit

August 12, 2012 1:20 PM

NASA photoNASA photo

, , , , , , ,

MUSKEGON — The Curiosity rover that landed on Mars Aug. 6 features the largest, most advanced scientific payload of any Mars mission yet — and, as usual, Reali-Slim thin section bearings.

The five pairs of duplexed bearings from Kaydon Bearings Division in Muskegon save space and weight in two important areas: preparing rock material samples for analysis and supporting the steering actuators for the rover’s wheels.

The one-ton Curiosity, about the size of a small SUV, will analyze samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground to assess whether the environment near its landing site might once have been able to support life. The rover was designed, developed and assembled by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

One pair of duplexed Reali-Slim bearings is in the CHIMRA (Collection and Handling for In-Situ Rock Analysis), one of a number of devices mounted on a turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. These angular contact bearings with a three-inch outside diameter are a key part of the “thwack” mechanism that must keep the primary sieve from clogging so that samples can reach the analytical instruments. The screens in the sieves have tiny holes — 150-micron and 1mm — to produce particles of the appropriate size. JPL engineers decided early on that thin section bearings were the best way to handle the load in the small space available, and built the design around them.

The other four sets of Kaydon bearings (7-inch outside diameter, 6-inch bore) support the steering actuators on Curiosity’s four corners and relieve some of the load on them, which was critical during the landing. These bearings, like those in the CHIMRA, are angular contact in duplex pairs, with races and balls of 440C stainless steel and a built-in preload. JPL requested that all be shipped dry, including the phenolic separators, so they could add a space-rated lubricant that would not turn viscous in the extreme cold or evaporate in the thin atmosphere.

With a typical speed of about one inch per second, this latest rover is expected to cover about 660 feet of Martian terrain per day when it begins collecting samples in September. For the next 23 months it will send data, images and a variety of scientific observations back to Earth, where scientists hope the $2.5 billion mission will shed light on the question of whether there is — or has ever been — life on Mars.

Kaydon Bearings Division (www.kaydonbearings.com) is a leading global manufacturer of standard and custom thin section bearings, high-level bearing assemblies, and slewing ring bearings for a wide range of manufacturing and process applications. The division is also a major supplier of remanufactured and new replacement bearings.

Kaydon Corp. (www.kaydon.com) is a leading designer and manufacturer of custom-engineered, performance-critical products, supplying a broad and diverse group of alternative-energy, industrial, aerospace, medical, and electronic equipment, and aftermarket customers.












Made in Muskegon: Rey Trucks

August 6, 2012     Written by: WZZM 13 ONLINE

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - Re-Source Industries in Muskegon is jumping into the fast-growing recreational activity of longboarding, manufacturing trucks that hold skateboard wheels under longboard decks.

The company sells Rey Trucks online. Re-Source Industries President Paul Kuyt says sales are good even with little conventional advertising, "It is word of mouth, and social media."

Kuyt's company already makes parts for cars, slot machines, compound bows, and hand dryers for restroom. Manufacturing parts for longboards wasn't a consideration until he and his two children took up the activity several years.

Kuyt says, "I purchased a set of trucks from another manufacturer and I just was not impressed with the quality for the price. It seemed like it was too much money and I could do a better job."

That lead to a challenge for employees at Re-Source Industries. Now the Rey Trucks line is in full productions. From a small shipping room on Getty Street the trucks are sent all over the world, "One out of every trucks we sell goes to Australia."

Longboards are especially popular on college campuses and in large cities. Unlike bicycles the boards can be stored under a desk or in a locker.

Re-Source Industries has just under 50 employees. Rey Trucks start at $139 per set.


Discovery Channel to feature GVSU's Annis Water Resources Institute

Published: Sunday, August 05, 2012, 2:37 PM    

Brian McVicar | 
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The Grand Rapids

MUSKEGON, MI -- Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources
Institute in Muskegon is about to get a moment in the national spotlight.

The institute, which is primarily focused on
freshwater research, will be featured in a six-minute segment on the Discovery
Channel’s The Profile Series.

The segment will focus on the efforts of the institute’s director, Alan
Steinman, and his team of researchers to protect the long-term health of the
Great Lakes.

In addition to Steinman, the show will also air interviews with Muskegon
business leaders and former GVSU President Mark Murray, who now serves as
president of Meijer, Inc.

Related: GVSU
receives $1 million donation for Annis Water Resources Institute

The show will document how researchers at the institute have undertaken
projects to restore threatened fish species, provide clean drinking water for
impoverished regions of the world and control the spread of invasive species in
the Great Lakes.

Also highlighted will be the institute’s outreach efforts, including two
vessels that take K-12 and college students on research trips throughout Lake
Michigan, Muskegon Lake and Spring Lake.

Related: Water
Resources Institute expansion plays into Muskegon's 'blue' strateg

The program will air on Aug. 15 at 7 a.m., according to GVSU.

Brian McVicar and follow him on Twitter


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