Author Archive

Read a Good Local Indie Title Lately?

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Mind Your Own BusinessKDL’s Local Indie collection highlights independently published works by local authors & artists. It’s a great way to discover new writers, musicians & filmmakers right in your own back yard.

I recently read Mind Your Own Business by local restaurateur Tommy Brann. He shares anecdotes and advice from more than 40 years in the business. Co-author Brian Van Ochten offers a “side dish” of personal insights in between each chapter.

Brann started out in his father’s restaurant & worked his way up the ladder from dishwasher to busboy to bartender. At age 19 he borrowed money from his dad & purchased his own restaurant, which eventually became a locally renowned chain. Now run by Tommy’s sons, the restaurants continue to be popular with Grand Rapids-area residents.

This book should resonate with anyone who has lived in West Michigan for any length of time. The anecdotes are interesting (and often amusing) and the advice provides basic, down-to-earth guidance and encouragement for anyone starting, or wanting to start, their own business.

Currently the Local Indie collection is housed at the Cascade Township and Kentwood Branches, but all of the items may be borrowed system-wide. Try it — you’ll like it!!


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Cooperative Parenting Pilot Project

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

mi-divorce-book.jpgEffective February 2, 2009, all newly-filed divorce cases with minor children filed with the Kent County Circuit Court (17th Circuit Court) will be part of a pilot project that will continue for a minimum of 6 months.  The purpose of the pilot project is to study the effectiveness of using of non-adversarial language in pleadings, judgments, and orders, and the effectiveness of a proposed provision for inclusion of parenting time plans, particularly in relation to the just, speedy, and economical determination of the actions involved in the pilot project and the reduction of post-judgment litigation.  For the duration of the pilot project the forms and procedures printed in Michael Maran’s Michigan Divorce Book – with minor children are not valid for use in Kent County

Information about the project — including tips for navigating the pilot project and answers to frequently asked questions — is available online at  There is also a list of downloadable court forms in PDF format which can be printed from the internet.  According to the Legal Assistance Center this is only a partial list of the necessary forms.  Packets containing the additional forms needed (but not available online) are available for a cost of $7.50 from the Legal Assistance center; the complete packet of approved forms is available for $15.  More information and assistance is available from the Legal Assistance Center (  phone 616-632-6000).  Financially eligible persons may also be able to get help from  Legal Aid of West Michigan (  phone 616-774-0672; toll free 800-442-2777.)

The pilot project affects only Dissolutions of Marriage within Kent County.  Residents of other counties will still be able to use the forms and procedures as printed in the most recent edition of the book.

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