Sen. Mike Kowall available for comments following 2018 State of the State address

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall will be available for comments following the governor’s 2018 State of the State address on Tuesday.

Who:
Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake.

What:
Reaction and comments following the governor’s State of the State address.

When:
After the address, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Where:
By phone or in:
House Appropriations Room
Third floor
State Capitol
Lansing

Brief:
Kowall will be available following the State of the State address for comments on state issues mentioned by the governor in the address.

He also will be available by phone. Please call Kowall’s office at 1-517-373-1758 to schedule an interview time with the senator.

Audio remarks will be available for broadcast from the senator’s website at www.SenatorMikeKowall.com/audio.

Oakland Press: Wintertime is time to explore Michigan’s Great Outdoors

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Winter is here, and for adventurers young and old, that means it’s time to get out and explore Michigan’s Great Outdoors!

Michigan families this winter can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, skating, snowmobiling, ice fishing and more. With more than 3,000 miles of cross country ski trails, some of the best downhill skiing in the Midwest and 6,400 miles of snowmobile trails, Michigan offers fantastic cold weather recreation opportunities.

Michigan State Parks
A good place to start is our state parks. Many residents only think of visiting our parks during warmer weather, but the parks are wonderful places to explore in the winter as well.

Most state parks and recreation areas are open to winter hiking, and many open up their trails for cross country skiers. Snowshoers can walk next to the groomed trails or use single-track hiking trails. The heartier among us can even enjoy winter camping at select parks.

Dozens of parks also provide a designated snowmobile area. Four inches of snow or more is required to operate a snowmobile within a state park, and any trail riding must take place on trails designated for such use.

To find the perfect park for your favorite cold weather activity, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on Camping & Recreation on the left sidebar. Remember: A state recreation passport is needed for park entry; campsite fees are extra.

Skiing and Snowboarding
Michigan ranks second in the nation for the total number of skiing and snowboarding areas across the state. With a combined total of 51 ski areas, boasting over 260 lifts and nearly 1,000 runs, there’s lots of room for beginner and intermediate skiers. If you’re new to skiing and snowboarding, many ski areas offer lessons and instruction.

The state is also home to three world-renowned ski jumps that have held dozens of ski jump records throughout the years. The jumps are located in Negaunee, Iron Mountain and Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula.

Snowmobiling
Michigan’s natural beauty, combined with a network of 6,400 miles of groomed, interconnected trails, make it a leading snowmobile destination. Michigan’s interconnected snowmobile trail network is one of the best in the country. While snowmobilers may have favorite trails to ride, there are countless new trails to explore.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides snowmobile maps in a variety of formats for the state’s designated snowmobile trails. Find information on trail maps and permits, regulations, registration and more at www.michigan.gov/snowmobiling.

Winter Fishing
A popular sport you may not have tried is ice fishing. Michigan anglers can enjoy great fishing opportunities over the next few months. Popular winter species include bluegill, pike, smelt, walleye and yellow perch.

Like any outdoor activity during the colder months, winter fishing has its own set of safety rules. Use the buddy system and wear a life jacket. When fishing on the ice, the DNR urges anglers to test ice thickness and quality with a spud and avoid ice around docks and pilings and inlets or outlets.

Michigan offers a bounty of natural beauty. No matter what your preferred activity, you can find it here.

So let’s all get outside and enjoy our Michigan winter!

This column appeared in the Oakland Press. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Wintertime is time to explore Michigan’s Great Outdoors

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Winter is here, and for adventurers young and old, that means it’s time to get out and explore Michigan’s Great Outdoors!

Michigan families this winter can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, skating, snowmobiling, ice fishing and more. With more than 3,000 miles of cross country ski trails, some of the best downhill skiing in the Midwest and 6,400 miles of snowmobile trails, Michigan offers fantastic cold weather recreation opportunities.

Michigan State Parks
A good place to start is our state parks. Many residents only think of visiting our parks during warmer weather, but the parks are wonderful places to explore in the winter as well.

Most state parks and recreation areas are open to winter hiking, and many open up their trails for cross country skiers. Snowshoers can walk next to the groomed trails or use single-track hiking trails. The heartier among us can even enjoy winter camping at select parks.

Dozens of parks also provide a designated snowmobile area. Four inches of snow or more is required to operate a snowmobile within a state park, and any trail riding must take place on trails designated for such use.

To find the perfect park for your favorite cold weather activity, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on Camping & Recreation on the left sidebar. Remember: A state recreation passport is needed for park entry; campsite fees are extra.

Skiing and Snowboarding
Michigan ranks second in the nation for the total number of skiing and snowboarding areas across the state. With a combined total of 51 ski areas, boasting over 260 lifts and nearly 1,000 runs, there’s lots of room for beginner and intermediate skiers. If you’re new to skiing and snowboarding, many ski areas offer lessons and instruction.

The state is also home to three world-renowned ski jumps that have held dozens of ski jump records throughout the years. The jumps are located in Negaunee, Iron Mountain and Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula.

Snowmobiling
Michigan’s natural beauty, combined with a network of 6,400 miles of groomed, interconnected trails, make it a leading snowmobile destination. Michigan’s interconnected snowmobile trail network is one of the best in the country. While snowmobilers may have favorite trails to ride, there are countless new trails to explore.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides snowmobile maps in a variety of formats for the state’s designated snowmobile trails. Find information on trail maps and permits, regulations, registration and more at www.michigan.gov/snowmobiling.

Winter Fishing
A popular sport you may not have tried is ice fishing. Michigan anglers can enjoy great fishing opportunities over the next few months. Popular winter species include bluegill, pike, smelt, walleye and yellow perch.

Like any outdoor activity during the colder months, winter fishing has its own set of safety rules. Use the buddy system and wear a life jacket. When fishing on the ice, the DNR urges anglers to test ice thickness and quality with a spud and avoid ice around docks and pilings and inlets or outlets.

Michigan offers a bounty of natural beauty. No matter what your preferred activity, you can find it here.

So let’s all get outside and enjoy our Michigan winter!

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Oakland Press: Shop local on Small Business Saturday

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Next week, residents across Oakland County, the state of Michigan, and the entire nation will celebrate one of America’s great holidays: Thanksgiving. I cherish the time that Thanksgiving affords us to step back from our hectic lives, to slow down, and to express thankfulness as we reflect upon the many blessings we have in our families, our state and our nation.

Thanksgiving Day itself is one of these blessings as it enables us to spend some quiet time with friends and family and enjoy a fine meal together.

In recent memory, that time of quiet and peaceful thanksgiving has been cut increasingly short with the intrusion of the holiday shopping season, which begins in earnest the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday.

Black Friday — now somewhat of a misnomer as more and more stores begin the event during the early evening hours of Thanksgiving Day — is when retailers open early and offer promotional sales. Three days after Black Friday comes Cyber Monday, in which companies offer deals to entice people to shop online.

Technology has made our lives easier in many ways, and online shopping certainly is one of them. Many people are finding, however, that we lose something when we shop online. As we sit in front of our computer screens four days after Thanksgiving Day, making purchase after purchase, many of us long for the sense of family and community that Thanksgiving provided.

We realize that in most instances, shopping online means our money heads to large corporations out of state. Some of that business ends up hurting local businesses and our own neighbors.

So what can do about this? Thankfully, there is a shopping event designed to counteract some of the negative effects cybershopping can have on a community.

Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a day designated Small Business Saturday, and it occurs every year two days after Thanksgiving. This year it falls on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Small Business Saturday recognizes that small businesses are the backbone of our national and state economies and the engine of job creation.

Because of the vital importance of small businesses, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.

Local shopping supports the businesses that help our economy thrive. It also helps keep more dollars in the community and increases the number and quality of jobs in the area.

This year, I encourage you to shop in your community over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend: Buy local on Saturday, Nov. 25 — Small Business Saturday!

This column appeared in the Oakland Press. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Spinal Column: Shop local on Small Business Saturday

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Next week, residents across Oakland County, the state of Michigan, and the entire nation will celebrate one of America’s great holidays: Thanksgiving. I cherish the time that Thanksgiving affords us to step back from our hectic lives, to slow down, and to express thankfulness as we reflect upon the many blessings we have in our families, our state and our nation.

Thanksgiving Day itself is one of these blessings as it enables us to spend some quiet time with friends and family and enjoy a fine meal together.

In recent memory, that time of quiet and peaceful thanksgiving has been cut increasingly short with the intrusion of the holiday shopping season, which begins in earnest the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday.

Black Friday, now somewhat of a misnomer as more and more stores begin the event during the early evening hours of Thanksgiving Day, is when retailers open early and offer promotional sales. Three days after Black Friday comes Cyber Monday, in which companies offer deals to entice people to shop online.

Technology has made our lives easier in many ways, and online shopping certainly is one of them. Many people are finding, however, that we lose something when we shop online. As we sit in front of our computer screens four days after Thanksgiving Day, making purchase after purchase, many of us long for the sense of family and community that Thanksgiving provided.

We realize that in most instances, shopping online means our money heads to large corporations out of state. Some of that business ends up hurting local businesses and our own neighbors.

So what can do about this? Thankfully, there is a shopping event designed to counteract some of the negative effects cybershopping can have on a community.

Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a day designated Small Business Saturday, and it occurs every year two days after Thanksgiving. This year it falls on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Small Business Saturday recognizes that small businesses are the backbone of our national and state economies and the engine of job creation.

Because of the vital importance of small businesses, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.

Local shopping supports the businesses that help our economy thrive. It also helps keep more dollars in the community and increases the number and quality of jobs in the area.

This year, I encourage you to shop in your community over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend: Buy local on Saturday, Nov. 25 — Small Business Saturday!

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Reminder: Kowall and Nofs honoring Vietnam era veterans at Battle Creek event

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Mike Nofs on Friday reminded interested parties of a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony on Friday, Oct. 27 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, and Nofs, R-Battle Creek, are hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Battle Creek in conjunction with the 110th Attack Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.

The ceremony will give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. The lawmakers encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Kowall said the event, made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, at the 110th Attack Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, 3367 W. Dickman Road, Battle Creek.

RSVP to Sherry Swann, U.S. Army veteran, at 269-274-8890 (email gordonrosberg@comcast.net) or to Kowall’s Director of District Affairs Lynn O’Brien at 517-373-0563 (email lobrien@senate.michigan.gov).

Kowall and Nofs will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

The master of ceremonies at the event will be retired Army National Guard Col. Frank Walker. South Haven native, Vietnam veteran, and Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Spc. 5 James C. McCloughan and retired Army Brig. Gen. Robert Secrist will be the guest speakers, and McCloughan will perform the national anthem.

To begin the formal ceremony, American Legion Post 298, Patriot Guard Riders and the Blue Star Mothers will form a flag cordon line inside the hangar for a Vietnam veteran procession.

Additional event highlights:
• Cereal City Concert Band will perform a selection of patriotic music under the direction of Conductor Dr. Stephen White, and they will also end the ceremony with echo taps performed by Susan Owen and Derrick Anthony;
• The Hooligans Flight Team will perform a flyover in the Missing Man Formation;
• A variety of veterans service organizations will be on hand to provide Vietnam veterans and their families with current information on benefits;
• Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 313 will host a Vietnam memorabilia table; and
• Firekeepers Casino Hotel of Battle Creek has generously offered to donate sandwiches for the event.

Guests should be aware that all vehicles entering Battle Creek Air National Guard Base are subject to inspection. For security, no bags or purses will be authorized in the event area, and individuals may be subject to metal detector inspection. Handicapped parking will be limited, although a shuttle service will be provided from the on-base parking area to the event.

The lapel pinning ceremony is not an official military function of the 110th Attack Wing.

Kowall has held numerous events, in both Lansing and throughout the state. The ceremonies are held in a variety of locations, including VFW/American Legion posts, veteran memorial parks and banquet halls. Kowall often partners with the senator of the district where the event is being held.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com.

Kowall welcomes Chaplain Lawrence Michael Girard to Capitol to give Senate invocation

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, welcomed Chaplain Lawrence Michael Girard of American Legion Post 49 in South Haven to the Michigan Capitol on Thursday. Girard gave the invocation before the start of the Senate session.

Note: For a print-quality version of this or other Kowall photos, click the image or select Photowire under the Media Center tab, above.

Oakland Press: Senate resolution honors vital contributions of Michigan manufacturers

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Michigan has long been a global manufacturing leader, and we remain the national leader in the creation of manufacturing jobs, outpacing all other states.

In recognition of the importance of Michigan manufacturing to the state, the nation and the world, I recently co-sponsored Senate Resolution 101, which honors Michigan manufacturers and their essential work.

That work encompasses the industries of machinery fabrication, construction, computer and electrical products, furniture, transportation, alternative energy, food and beverage, bioscience, defense-related manufacturing, and many others.

Manufacturing is central to our economy not only for the production of necessary goods, but for several other reasons as well:

• Manufacturing is vital to other industries because it yields constant innovations and produces ever-evolving technologies;

• Manufacturing is one of the most critical components in the creation of a strong national security and defense; and

• Manufacturing is the greatest wealth builder for our economy and our nation — for all levels of wage earners.

The numbers surrounding this industry in our state are impressive.

Manufacturing represents one-fifth of Michigan’s gross state product; total manufacturing output in the state exceeds $92.55 billion annually.

One out of every seven nonfarm jobs in Michigan is in manufacturing, employing 608,500 men and women.

Michigan has created more than 156,500 new manufacturing jobs in the last eight years — an increase of 34.6 percent.

And more growth is still possible in the industry as new, skilled talent enters the workforce to claim the more than 3.5 million high-paying, high-tech and innovative advanced manufacturing careers expected to be needed over the next decade.

The passage of SR 101 corresponded with Michigan Manufacturing Week — which ran from Sunday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Oct. 7 — as well as Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 6.

Manufacturing Day celebrates modern manufacturing and is designed to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Every year on this day, manufacturers invite people in their communities — students, educators, businesspeople, media, and politicians — to their facilities to inform them of manufacturing career opportunities and to educate them about their work.

This year, Michigan Manufacturing Week and SR 101 highlighted the positive careers in manufacturing and applauded the entrepreneurial spirit of Michigan’s manufacturers, as well as their role in making Michigan the Comeback State it is today.

This column appeared in the Oakland Press. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Spinal Column: Senate resolution honors contributions of Michigan manufacturers

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Michigan has long been a global manufacturing leader, and we remain the national leader in the creation of manufacturing jobs, outpacing all other states.

In recognition of the importance of Michigan manufacturing to the state, the nation and the world, I recently co-sponsored Senate Resolution 101, which honors Michigan manufacturers and their essential work.

That work encompasses the industries of machinery fabrication, construction, computer and electrical products, furniture, transportation, alternative energy, food and beverage, bioscience, defense-related manufacturing, and many others.

Manufacturing is central to our economy not only for the production of necessary goods, but for several other reasons as well:

• Manufacturing is vital to other industries because it yields constant innovations and produces ever-evolving technologies;

• Manufacturing is one of the most critical components in the creation of a strong national security and defense; and

• Manufacturing is the greatest wealth builder for our economy and our nation — for all levels of wage earners.

The numbers surrounding this industry in our state are impressive.

Manufacturing represents one-fifth of Michigan’s gross state product; total manufacturing output in the state exceeds $92.55 billion annually.

One out of every seven nonfarm jobs in Michigan is in manufacturing, employing 608,500 men and women.

Michigan has created more than 156,500 new manufacturing jobs in the last eight years — an increase of 34.6 percent.

And more growth is still possible in the industry as new, skilled talent enters the workforce to claim the more than 3.5 million high-paying, high-tech and innovative advanced manufacturing careers expected to be needed over the next decade.

The passage of SR 101 corresponded with Michigan Manufacturing Week — which ran from Sunday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Oct. 7 — as well as Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 6.

Manufacturing Day celebrates modern manufacturing and is designed to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Every year on this day, manufacturers invite people in their communities — students, educators, businesspeople, media, and politicians — to their facilities to inform them of manufacturing career opportunities and to educate them about their work.

This year, Michigan Manufacturing Week and SR 101 highlighted the positive careers in manufacturing and applauded the entrepreneurial spirit of Michigan’s manufacturers, as well as their role in making Michigan the Comeback State it is today.

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Kowall and Robertson welcome guests from Malawi

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, (right) and Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, (left) on Tuesday honored special Senate guests Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Malawi Mbuya Isaac G. Munlo (second from right) and Fai Majamanda of Malawi.

Note: For a print-quality version of this or other Kowall photos, click the image or select Photowire under the Media Center tab, above.