web analytics

Archive | September, 2009

Local artist enters ArtPrize

Over the last few weeks we’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about ArtPrize, billed as part arts festival, part social experiment. It’s giving away the world’s largest art prize—$250,000—and a 1995 Cedar Springs High School grad has the chance to win it.

Lisa Spielmaker entered this painting, called “Essence” in the ArtPrize contest in Grand Rapids.

Lisa Spielmaker entered this painting, called “Essence” in the ArtPrize contest in Grand Rapids.

Lisa Spielmaker, now of Lakeview, is a bookkeeper by day at White Creek Lumber in Cedar Springs, but she loves art and paints in her spare time. She took her first art class between 5th and 6th grade, and while in high school, two of her pieces were chosen for a show at Calvin College, for which she received an award. She earned a degree in 1998 from Grand Rapids Community College, where she focused on art and art history. Two of her pieces are still in GRCC’s collection.

When she heard about ArtPrize, she was intrigued.

“It’s exciting. I think it’s cool to be part of something that brings people together,” said Lisa.

Lisa Spielmaker often does portraits for people, like this one of a young friend.

Lisa Spielmaker often does portraits for people, like this one of a young friend.

ArtPrize is a radical new art contest based in Grand Rapids. Over 1,260 artists will display their work in 159 different venues in Grand Rapids. The boundaries are Leonard to the north, Wealthy to the south, College Ave. to the east, and Straight/Alpine Ave. to the west. The international contest will be decided solely on a public vote.

For her entry, Lisa created a piece of art titled “Essence” that is being displayed at the Ledyard building, 125 Ottawa, in Grand Rapids. According to her work statement about the painting, ESSENCE is “the inward nature, the true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory. To me nature is one of the greatest inspirations. It brings us an inner peace. It is the essence of everything.”

N-ArtPrize2-artist-Lisa-SpiLisa said that to her, the greatest pleasure in being an artist is to have a meaningful effect on other people. “Art is something that should inspire others. Art is the perfect way to communicate with people. I want people to see my work and take it for what it is. I don’t create to be picked apart or critiqued. I create to create. I believe that is what art is, the love of creating something and no matter what it is, it is beautiful. Out of that blank white canvas, or board, or paper was nothing, and it became something.”

Voting began yesterday for artist’s works. Those who want to vote can pre-register online at www.artprize.org, then go to one of the various locations in Grand Rapids to register in person, and then start to vote. During the first week, artists will check out and vote on individual works of art, giving them a thumbs up or thumbs down. Voting can be done online at home, through texting on your cell phone, through your mobile browser, or iPhone app. Live results can be viewed online, and the first week of voting ends September 30. The top ten finalists will be announced the evening of October 1, and then you can only vote once, for one of the top ten pieces of art. Voting then ends Oct. 7. Winners will be announced in a celebration at Rosa Parks Circle, October 8, at 7 p.m.

For more info please visit www.artprize.org.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on Local artist enters ArtPrize

Red Flannel fun starts this weekend

Soaring at 70 and beyond

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Fire Department are always fun to watch in the yearly bed races. For a complete listing of events for this weekend and next, turn to page 10.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department are always fun to watch in the yearly bed races. For a complete listing of events for this weekend and next, turn to page 10.

Red Flannel festival-goers will celebrate the 70th anniversary this year of the first Red Flannel Festival, held in Cedar Springs on November 11, 1939.

That first festival was full of fun and exciting lumberjack-themed events, including a Red Flannel clothesline race, a wood piling contest, and a horse-shoe pitching contest. There was even a spittin’ contest. The spittin’ contest was for the regional championship, and the world-championship was at East Jordan the following spring. The Cedar Springs Story recorded that Herbert Whiteside, of Sand Lake, won the title with a total of 153 points for expectorating his cud of tobacco into a can on the sidewalk.

The first Red Flannel Queen, Maxine Smith, had been chosen in a pageant at the Kent Theatre days earlier, and was crowned on Red Flannel Day during half-time of the football game between the Red Flanneled Hawks of Cedar Springs, and the Wildcats of Sand Lake.

An account in the Grand Rapids Press of that first event said, “Grandpa’s drawers may have blushed unseen, but Red Flannels faced the world in all of their flaming glory today. It was Cedar Springs first Red Flannel festival, celebrating the fame of the town that New York neither had nor knew everything.”

The festival ran for three years—1939-1941—and then took a break during World War II. The festivals resumed in 1948.

While this year’s Red Flannel Festival won’t include a spitting contest, some of the events are the same as the first year—including a horse shoe contest, getting thrown in jail for not wearing red, and holding the Red Flannel Queen contest in the historic Kent Theatre. Others, such as the Lumberjack dinner, came along later, but have stood the test of time. And new events have continued to be added over the years, finally culminating in a festival that spans two weekends—the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October.

According to Festival president Michele Andres, the board has added 18 new events in the last few years. A new children’s fun run has been added to the 5K this year, and the car show has a new larger area. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Soaring at 70 and beyond,” also new this year is a remote control airplane demonstration, on Saturday, October 3, from 10 am until 2 pm. at North Park. At 1:30 pm the same day the Allegan Skydiving demonstration team will soar over the festivities and land at North Park to join the Remote Control Airplane Show. The skydivers will be available to sign autographs. Also new this year is the 70th Anniversary Fireworks Show, to begin at dusk on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the corner of White Creek Avenue and Solon Road. In case of rain, the show will be held Sunday evening.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on Red Flannel fun starts this weekend

Sand Lake weighs election date change

By Judy Reed

Only a handful of voters in Sand Lake trickled into the village offices on Tuesday, September 15 to exercise their right to vote. And that, along with budget cuts, is causing Sand Lake to look at the possibility of changing their election date to November in future years.

According to Beth Miller, Sand Lake village clerk, 16 people made it to the polls, and six more voted through absentee ballot. That’s out of 322 registered voters.

But Miller wasn’t that surprised. “It was an uncontested election,” she noted.

Board president Kirk Thielke received 22 votes, trustees Carol Simpson 18, Billi Jo Thielke 20, and newcomer Celena Rosset 15.

Two years ago 48 voters turned out, in a contested election.

Miller estimated that this year’s election cost the village about $1,200.

“We’re considering moving the election to November to consolidate it with Nelson Township elections to save on costs,” explained Miller.

Sand Lake is one of approximately 90 villages in Michigan to exercise a special option that permits them to hold elections on the first Tuesday, after the second Monday in September, in odd-numbered years.

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land urges villages to make the change to November. “In these tight budget times, I strongly encourage cities and villages holding their elections in September to consider changing them to the even-numbered year November election,” said Land. “It’s more convenient for the voter and saves cities and villages taxpayer dollars.”

Miller noted that if they did decide to change the date, that they would have to do it by resolution, and that terms of currently elected officials would need to be extended.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Sand Lake weighs election date change

Hometown hero

Air Force Airman Kimberlyn Dickerson graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

N-Hometown-Hero-DickersonThe airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

She is the daughter of Steven Dickerson of Cedar Springs, Michigan.

Dickerson is a 2009 graduate of Cedar Springs High School.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on Hometown hero

Woman attacked in Sparta park

The Sparta Police Department is investigating an assault at Roger’s Park last  Friday.

According to Sparta Chief Andrew Milanowski, a woman was walking through the park in the wee hours of the morning, when she was approached from behind by three Hispanic males. The woman was able to fight off her attackers and give police a description of at least two of them.

One is reportedly short and stocky, about 5-feet 4-inches, 160 pounds; and the other is about the same height, but slender in build.

Both were wearing soccer-type shirts, one solid purple, and the other possibly black with green stripes. One was wearing a “Texas” type hat, and one of them had a scar on the right side of his face.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sparta Police Department at 887-8716 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345 or toll-free at 1-866-774-2345.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Woman attacked in Sparta park

Smile—you’re on candid camera!


Pictured are Donna Webster- Foster Grandparents, Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt, Mike Haefner-Assoc. Pastor First Congregational Church of Greenville, and Doris Case- Montcalm County EMS Supervisor.

Underage drinkers, drunk drivers and other criminals in Montcalm County had better beware—police have a new tool in their arsenal to investigate and prosecute crime.

The Montcalm Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking and Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause recently donated funds to purchase and distribute 24 “Scorpion” personal video cameras that officers wear on their duty uniforms.

“The cameras are about the size of a thumb and record in High Definition video. Incidents of criminal investigations such as drunken driving arrests and underage drinking can all be recorded,” explained Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt.

The portable devices are then easily transferred to computers for courtroom presentations and evidence.

The 24 devices will equip approximately a third of the police officers in Montcalm County. Additional funding is being sought to continue to equip all of the Officers. If you are interested in funding additional camera units, please contact Chief DeWitt of the Howard City Police Department at 231 937-4311.

The Montcalm Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking is very active in the education of the public and students. They actively take steps to prevent the ready access of alcohol to minors and the adults who supply it. According to them, 28 percent of Montcalm County 11th graders have participated in binge drinking in the past 30 days. For more information, please visit www.mcpud.org.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Smile—you’re on candid camera!

Class of 1959 holds 50th reunion

N-Reunion-Class-of-59-50thThe Cedar Springs High School Class of 1959 celebrated its 50th Reunion on Sunday afternoon, September 13, 2009, at Boulder Creek Golf Course. Twenty-six of the 53 graduates attended, along with one of their class advisors, Mrs. Helen McLaughlin.

There was a total of 46 in attendance. Nine classmates are deceased.

After many group pictures were taken, the classmates had dinner and cake, watched a DVD of slides of their school years put to music, spoke about their families, and reminisced about their past adventures. After an enjoyable evening, all left with souvenir coffee mugs and booklets of classmate information.

The Class of ’59 was the last Cedar Springs High School class to attend all 13 grades in the school on the hill, now known as Hilltop Administration/New Beginnings. Since the “new” high school (now Red Hawk Elementary) was built and finished in the spring of 1959, the 53 graduates of the Class of ’59 were the first to hold their graduation ceremony in the “new” high school gymnasium.

Members of the Reunion committee were Sue (Grannis) Harrison, Joanne (Ballard) Cahoon, and Judy (Winter) Rowland.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on Class of 1959 holds 50th reunion

Mobile home parks not high crime areas

When people think about crime in the city of Cedar Springs, there are certain neighborhoods that spring to mind as “high crime areas.” But when Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent took a look at the statistics for July 2009, he found something many might find surprising.

“My goal was to see how many calls are related to the two mobile home parks—Cedar Springs Mobil Estates and Northland Estates, and on calls related to our two apartment complexes, Red Flannel Apartments and Meadow Creek Apartments,” explained Chief Parent. None showed crime disproportionate to the number of residents.

They had a total of 273 calls or incidents in July. Fifty-six (20 percent) were at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates; seven (2 percent) were at Northland Estates; and 18 (6 percent) at the two apartment complexes on E. Oak Street.

Cedar Springs Mobile Estates has 216 lots with 190 filled. “Averaging four per household, 760 residents would be very close to 24 percent of our city population, and they had about one-quarter of the calls. That makes sense,” said Parent.

“I also found it interesting that five of the 18 calls at the apartment complexes were fireworks,” noted Parent. Northland Estates had one fireworks complaint while Cedar Springs Mobile Estates had two.

Posted in NewsComments (26)

Church to give back to community

The city of Cedar Springs and its residents will get a helping hand with yard chores this Sunday.

According to Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns, members of The Springs Free Methodist Church in Cedar Springs will forego a traditional church service on Sunday, September 27, 2009, and will instead disperse into the community to perform a city-wide clean-up.

“Congregation members will be trimming hedges, washing windows and pulling weeds in public areas along with a host of other tasks,” said Burns. “Pastor Barry Briggs approached the City several weeks ago, requesting a list of items that needed to be accomplished before the Red Flannel Festival on October 3rd. Pastor Briggs tied the concept of community service to a recent sermon, hoping to spark others to give back.”

Burns said the congregation also plans to assist homeowners at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates with basic home repair and maintenance. It is estimated that 200 worshipers will spend 2 hours canvassing Cedar Springs.

“If you see them, please extend a warm ‘thank you’ for their contribution to make Cedar Springs a great place to live, work and play,” she remarked.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Church to give back to community

Read to ride for Red Flannel day

The 2nd annual “Read to Ride” program is a great way to get kids excited about both Reading and Red Flannel Day. This program allows students in preK-6th grades to earn 2 FREE coupons to “cash in” for carnival rides, popcorn or a hotdog on Red Flannel Day.

To qualify, children read books with “red” in the title or “red” on the jacket cover or “red” as a word in the book. Celebrate red!

If children read three books, they get one free coupon, if they read six, they get two free coupons to use as they choose. They must read the books, have their logs initialed by an adult, and “cash it in” at  the Cedar Springs Public Library by 6pm, Friday, October 2, to receive their free coupons.

Need a reading log? Download it from www.redflannelfestival.org.

Posted in Arts & EntertainmentComments Off on Read to ride for Red Flannel day

Pierson Church plans lifesaving drive on September 30

Pierson Bible Church will host its very first community blood drive on Wednesday, September 30, and blood drive organizer Michigan Community Blood Centers hopes everyone in the community will take part in this lifesaving effort.

The blood drive will take place at the church, 101 W. Grand St, Pierson, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Donors who prefer an appointment can call the church at (616) 636-5542 to schedule a time to donate. However, walk-ins are also welcome throughout the drive.

Any healthy person 17 or older who weighs at least 110 pounds may be eligible to give blood every 56 days. On average, one out of every seven people entering the hospital will need blood, and each pint of donated blood can help as many as three people. Everyone who attempts to donate will receive a free t-shirt.

The blood drive at Pierson Bible Church will be conducted by staff from Michigan Community Blood Centers, an independent nonprofit blood bank that provides blood to hospitals in four regions of the state.

“By donating blood at Pierson Bible Church’s drive, people will be giving the gift of life to directly benefit patients in West Michigan hospitals,” said Heidi McDaniel, Director of Mobile Recruitment for West Michigan. “These hospitals care for people from a very large portion of the state.”

Michigan Community Blood Centers collects more than 100,000 pints of blood each year to provide the blood supply for hospitals in four major regions of the state with a combined population of 1.5 million. After meeting local hospitals’ needs, Michigan Community Blood Centers also regularly responds to blood needs beyond the local community, including military and disaster-related calls for blood. More information about Michigan Community Blood Centers can be found at www.miblood.org.

Posted in Arts & EntertainmentComments Off on Pierson Church plans lifesaving drive on September 30

Health care

Take a closer look at issues with

Canadian health care

By Janet Neilson

By now, Americans are familiar with the stories of Canadians who would have died because of their government’s health care rationing had they not been able to get care in the United States. Perhaps just as troubling, however, are the less dramatic but much more common instances of minor indignities, inequities and inconveniences imposed by the Canadian health care system.

Nearly every Canadian has such stories. Even the experiences of those satisfied with the country’s health care system show that residents have resigned themselves to accepting as “normal” the systemic dysfunctions that would deeply trouble most U.S. citizens.

A typical story comes from Tim Hodges of London, Ontario, who has been taking Ibuprofen for nine months to deal with pain in his arms. He made an appointment to see his primary care physician, who said that Ibuprofen should not be used consecutively for more than two weeks. When X-rays revealed no obvious problems, the doctor asked whether the pain was unbearable. Tim said no and was told to make a new appointment if it worsened — and meanwhile keep taking the Ibuprofen he’d been scolded for relying on!

A minor gripe, but vaguely disquieting given that the doctor is essentially a government functionary. Actually, Tim is fortunate even to have a primary care physician, because the inability to obtain one is among the system’s most glaring shortcomings. These doctors act as “gatekeepers,” and finding one is a critical first step for obtaining any care outside of emergency rooms or specialized clinics targeted at certain populations.

I’m from Windsor and am lucky not to be among the ranks of the 4.1 million Canadians (about 12 percent) who don’t have a primary care physician. The reason I have a doctor and they don’t, frankly, is because I have connections.

When my mother began working with a woman whose husband works in the same building as a large medical clinic, this colleague (via her husband) was able to get my mother an appointment with a doctor there. After about a year, my mom managed to get me a spot in the practice, too.

My doctor is a wonderful physician, but she’s terribly overburdened. Like most Canadian doctors, she must limit patients to one problem per visit, in part to cope with the sheer volume, and in part because the Ontario Health Insurance Plan only reimburses her on a per-visit basis. This is an example of how government price controls that limit the compensation to health care professionals can create shortages among providers.

So even though I’m one of the lucky ones who has a primary care physician, except for emergencies I still can expect to wait two months or more to get an appointment.

What’s troubling is that situations like mine are accepted as “normal” under Canada’s single-payer health care system. Even as they defend their system, many middle-class Canadians recount similar tales of using social networks to secure access to timely care, while resigning themselves to long waits for “non-necessary” medical care and diagnostic medicine.

Even more disturbing is the impact of this system on people who lack the ability to use social connections to get around the queues – typically the disadvantaged members of Canadian society.

For years the United States has served as a relief valve for the overburdened Canadian health care system. If a patient’s wait time is longer than the legislated maximum, then Canadians are allowed to seek care at American facilities — but only ones that government bureaucrats deem appropriate. This means that a person from Windsor might have to travel to Buffalo for a surgery that could be done in Detroit.

Backers of a single-payer system in the United States should never forget that “coverage” under a government plan is not the same thing as “access to health care.” This leads to a disturbing thought. When the Canadians’ system fails them, they come to the United States for health care. If a “public option” leads to a single-payer, government-run health care system in the United States, where will Americans go?

Janet Neilson is a health policy communications associate for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich. Neilson writes a daily blog with the latest developments on health care. Her blog can be found at www.MIHealthFacts.com.

Posted in Voices and ViewsComments Off on Health care



Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!