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Archive | September, 2009

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.

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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.

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Roger on the Road

Some words on words

rogerheader“Teen-agers” is becoming a passé term. More and more I hear this age group referred to as “young adults.” Doesn’t seem like a good substitute to me. Shouldn’t  “young adults” be out making a living? I can remember when “young adults” held down serious jobs, got married, and began raising families.

I’m not grumbling about this. It’s the nature of language to change with changes in society’s perception. It wasn’t so long ago when being “gay” meant you were cheerful and friendly.

However, I’m not so happy with the term “senior citizen.” I stuck with describing myself as “middle-aged” for a long time. When people began laughing about it openly I finally stopped. Since then I’ve been looking for something a little more complimentary, something that recognizes not just the creaky movements and the white hair, but the wisdom acquired in a lifetime. The best I’ve come up with so far is “experienced citizen.”  On the other hand, it would probably be contracted to “ex-cit.” And that sounds too much like “exit.”

I’m open to suggestions.

Hang in there!

A group of senior citizens were sitting around talking about their ailments. “My arms are so weak I can hardly hold this cup of coffee,” said one. “Yes, I know,” said another. “My cataracts are so fuzzy I can’t even see the coffee.”

“I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said a third, to which several nodded in agreement.

“My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,” another went on.

“I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” observed an old man. There was a short moment of silence.

“Well, it’s not totally bad,” said one woman cheerfully. “At least we can still drive!”

Warning

A burglar broke into a house one night. He pointed his flashlight around, looking for valuables. When he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from out of the dark: “Jesus is watching you,” it said.

The burglar nearly jumped out of his skin. He clicked his flashlight off and froze. After a bit, when he heard nothing more, he shook his head and continued. Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, he heard again, clear as a bell, “Jesus is watching you.”

Totally freaked out, the burglar frantically aimed his light around the room, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his beam came to rest on a parrot. “Did you say that?” he hissed at the parrot.

“Yes,” the parrot squawked, “ but I’m just trying to warn you.”

The burglar relaxed. “Hah. Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?”

“Moses,” replied the bird.

“Moses?” the burglar laughed. “What kind of people would name their bird Moses?”

“The same kind of people who would name their pit bull Jesus.”

Posted in Roger on Main St., Voices and ViewsComments Off

Defunding of ACORN

VEhlersheadshotFrom Rep. Vernon Ehlers 3rd District

Last week, I co-sponsored a bill, which the House passed, to stop sending federal funds to the organization “Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now” (ACORN). The group is accused of, and has been captured on audio and videotapes engaging in several unethical and illegal activities.

I became concerned about the organization’s activities after allegations and media reports of voter fraud against ACORN during the 2008 Presidential Election. I joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives in urging the Department of Justice to investigate this issue, and for the House to hold hearings to find out more.

You may be aware that more recently, additional evidence of fraud and unethical dealings involving ACORN has surfaced. I knew it was time to act to remove the federal government from dealing financially with this questionable organization, so I cosponsored and voted for H.R. 3571, a bill defunding ACORN of all its federal funding. The bill passed in the U.S. House last week. The U.S. Senate has also voted to defund the group of federal housing and transportation money.

Voter registration organizations are very important to promoting participation in the democratic process, and I support efforts to do so ethically and legally. I also know that efforts to improve access to housing are critical, and I know of several ethical and effective organizations that operate with this mission in West Michigan. ACORN has made it clear that they have little regard for either of these standards, which their peer organizations make great efforts to follow.

You can be sure that I will continue to advocate for responsible use of taxpayer funds through all my work in Washington.
Best Wishes,
Vernon J. Ehlers
Member of Congress

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What is this?

Has anyone ever given you something and the very first thing out of your mouth was, “What is this?” This happed to the children of Israel. You may be familiar with this story. The Israelites had just been brought out of Egypt; it was a time of slavery, a very difficult season in their lives. They found themselves in the wilderness in need of food, when out of nowhere comes this white substance.  Exodus 16:31 says, “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.” They called the bread “Manna.”  The Hebrew word used here for “manna” was a compound word established from two words. The first was the word “man” meaning “what.” In fact, it is known as a interrogative what, implying a question. The second was the word “huw” which is used for the word “this.” So, when you combine the two words together, it is literally translated “what is this?”  The reason they said this was because they had never seen it before. This was the first time they had seen this “white stuff.”  Deuteronomy 8:3 says,  “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”  Notice it says that God fed them with manna, which they, nor their fathers had ever known. They never knew it, because they had never seen it before. But what was this stuff called “Manna?” It was the provision of God! It was God meeting their need. It was God’s answer to their problem. Yet, their reply was, “What is this?”  Why?  Could it be it was because it came in a way and form unfamiliar to them?  Could it be they just did not see it for what it was? I remain intrigued by the fact that the Israelites called it manna, not God. They name it, “what is it?, God didn’t. How many times do we name something for God? Have you ever rejected something from God because it didn’t come the way you envisioned?  The Israelites did just that.  In fact, after a while what God had provided was not even good enough, so they complained and asked for something different.

You may ask, what is so important about this? It is important, because the lesson for them remains true for us today. God’s provision often comes in ways and forms you may not understand, nor have you seen or experienced before, but will you receive it. You may have lost your job, struggling with your health, depressed and wondering if anyone cares. But He does!  He sees your need in your “wilderness” experience, just like he did the Israelites and He will provide. He will just probably do it in a way you do not understand. In fact, your current situation, as difficult as it may seem, may just be what is needed for you to trust Him and not yourself.  It is no secret, we as a people and nation are facing some challenging financial times, but God is still our provider.  We must not put God in a box, nor complain about what he has provided. We must continue to look to Him as our provider.

Notice the end of verse 3 in Deuteronomy!  God did this to “teach you that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. In essence, He did this so that they would trust God not only for their food, but for every area of their lives.  How about you, will you do that today?  Will you give him every area of your live.  Will trust Him  with your money, your marriage, your children, your worries?  The test is to trust Him with everything we are and everything we possess. We must learn not rely on own thoughts or ideas about how He provides for or every need.  May I leave you with one more set of verses that encourage and also challenge us all in this principle.
Prov 3:5-10

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.  – NIV

In His Love and Service,
Pastor Craig

Pastor Craig Carter
North Kent Community Church
1480 Indian Lakes Rd., Sparta, MI
Church Office #887-2478
Service Time: Sunday’s @ 10:00am –
Nursery & Children’s Ministry provided.

Posted in Church Connection, From the PulpitComments Off

Randal Honeysette

C-Obit-HoneysetteRandal Jon Honeysette 48 of Pierson, this Christian man went to be with his Lord on Saturday, September 19, 2009 in North Carolina. Randy was born August 27, 1961 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Darcey and Mary Lou (Call) Honeysette. He was a truck driver and had worked for Acme Insulation for 26 years. He was an elder and very involved in Northview Church of Christ and was a member of Madison Square Sportsman’s Club. Randy loved to hunt, loved people, and always put a smile on your face. He charged full speed ahead in all he did and would do anything for you. Surviving are his wife, Beverly whom he married on October 5, 1979, 2 children, Cathleen Honeysette of Garden City, Christen & Christopher Chapin of Pierson; 1 grandson, Reece James; mother, Mary Lou Honeysette; 3 brothers, Rick & Esther Honeysette, Brian & Elizabeth Honeysette, Mark & Nicole Honeysette; 1 sister, Cheryl Hanby; parents-in-law, Jerry & Shirley Cadaret; sister-in-law, Brenda & Tom Voisin; brother-in-law, Jeremy & Jennifer Cadaret; grandmother, Edith Tisdel; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father. The family will receive friends Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, http://www.blisswitterspike.com where services will be held Saturday 1:00 pm. Pastor Lee Groendal officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center.
Arrangemetns by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs,
www.blisswitterspike.com

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Larry Rosenberger

C-Obit-RosenbergerLarry L. Rosenberger, 63 of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, September 20, 2009 at his home. Larry was born April 22, 1946 in Solon Township, MI the son of Jacob and Dorothy (Call) Rosenberger. He retired from General Motors on Alpine Avenue after 30 years of service and was a member of the Cedar Springs American Legion. He was a loving father and grandfather and lived for his family. Surviving are 5 children, Hope Rosenberger, Rebecca Rosenberger, Bill Allen, Larry Rosenberger, Charlie (Lacey) Rosenberger; 6 grandchildren; 2 sisters, Beatrice Singleton, Nancy Snyder; 3 brothers, Melvin, Bob and Ellsworth; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and 3 brothers, Jack, Richard and Roy. The family greeted friends Tuesday from 1:00 pm until time of memorial service at 2:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, www.blisswitterspike.com Pastor Jay Johnson officiating. A luncheon will followed at the Cedar Springs American Legion.

Arrangemetns by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs,

www.blisswitterspike.com

Posted in Church Connection, ObituaryComments Off

Dennis Secor

Dennis Duane Secor, 61 of Cedar Springs, went to be with the Lord on Friday, September 18, 2009 at Metron of Cedar Springs after a courageous battle with myeloma cancer. Dennis was born April 2, 1948 in Warsaw, Indiana, the son of Orval and Lois (Estlick) Secor. He was preceded in death by his father, Orval Secor on December 3, 1953 and his stepfather, Kenneth Blanding on July 3, 1996. Surviving are his mother, Lois Blanding; brothers, David (Jenny) Secor with 4 children, Thomas (Allie), Kathleen, Mary, Anna of Ohio; Douglas (Lois) Secor with 3 children, Dawn (Dave) VerMulm, Heather, Emily of Cedar Springs; stepbrothers, Keith (Terese) Blanding with 2 children, Nathan (Kristin), Leslie (Seth) Johnson of Oregon; Karl (Ruth) Blanding with 2 children, Alan (Marie), Adam (Kim) of Ohio. Great nieces and nephews, Daniel VerMulm, Melissa and Morgan VerMulm, Lily and Brayden Secor, Fernando, Wren, Sache, Sonja, Maryanna, Jocelyn and Ily Blanding. Dennis graduated with honors from Michigan State University. He had a career in the food sales and brokerage business for more than 25 years. He was interested in helping people by being a Big Brother, a volunteer tutor, and an avid reader. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 11:00 am at the Cedar  Springs United Methodist Church with Pastor Mary Ivanov officiating. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the church. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, www.blisswitterspike.com

Arrangemetns by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs,

www.blisswitterspike.com

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Fall into good car maintenance habits

CAR-Fall-into-good-car-main(NAPS)—While your vehicle might have cruised through warmer weather, cold weather can set in before you realize the leaves have fallen. It’s important to remember that vehicles need seasonal adjusting—if you don’t want to get caught out in the cold.

“Autumn is a great time for automotive maintenance and repair,” says Jim MacPherson, car care expert and automotive radio host for WTIC-AM in Connecticut. “It gives us time to repair the wear and tear and allows us to prepare for those colder days ahead. Following a simple maintenance checklist will save drivers time and money by extending the life of their vehicle and ensuring safer operation.”

To keep your car in top shape and running smoothly as we transition into cooler months, here are four big tips to keep in mind:

Tires: Good pressure, little wear and rotation

Tires lose pressure every month, and more when the temperatures drop. To maintain proper pressure, check your tires monthly and make sure they’re filled up to their recommended psi rating (which can be found on the driver’s side door paneling, in the owner’s manual or sometimes on the tires themselves).

Drivers should also check the tread on the tires regularly for wear; replace excessively worn tires. If it has been over 5,000 miles since your tires have last been rotated, it is important to do so because there’s a risk of having one tire wear more significantly than the others.

Finally, if you live in a region where the temperature consistently rests around freezing during the winter months, it’s a good time to start looking around for winter tires.

Oil: Switch to synthetic

Lower temperatures can add stress on your engine. To prevent engine wear, change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual. A switch to synthetic oil, if you’re not using it already, will help your car operate more efficiently.

Synthetic motor oils, such as Mobil 1, are specifically designed to protect your engine in wide temperature ranges. For example, Mobil 1’s synthetic 5W-30 flows rapidly to critical engine parts during cold start-ups, provides outstanding wear protection and keeps engines clean and running smoothly.

Cooling system: Flush and refill

The cooling system (radiator) should be checked for leaks and low levels. Additionally, it should be flushed and refilled as recommended in the owner’s manual. When checking, remember to never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled.

While coolant may mostly be associated with warmer weather, a vehicle’s coolant (or antifreeze) is equally important in the colder months to make sure the vehicle can withstand the temperatures. A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and distilled water is the usual recommendation.

Full engine tune-up: Systems and fluid levels

If you haven’t had your yearly-recommended basic tune-up, now’s the time to have that done. Cooler weather will only make existing problems worse. A tune-up will correct engine problems such as stalling and diminished power, and will also ensure that fluid levels (for brakes, transmission, windshield washer, etc.) are topped off or replaced if needed.

Following a simple maintenance checklist can help extend the life of your car.

Posted in Auto LifeComments Off

Replacing your child safety seat after a crash

CAR-ChildSafetySeatC(NewsUSA) – The Automotive Service Association (ASA) reminds motorists that just as a collision can cause hidden structural damage to a vehicle, it can also cause invisible structural damage to car seats—making them less able to protect your child in the event of another crash.

ASA encourages readers to learn more about the guidelines for replacing child safety seats after a crash by visiting www.nhtsa.gov. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) outlines the following:

If an auto accident is moderate to severe, the car seat needs to be replaced. However, car seats do not need to be replaced if the damage to the vehicle is minimal. But how can you tell a minor accident from a moderate one? Child safety seats probably do not need to be replaced if all of these conditions are met:

1. The vehicle was able to be driven away from the scene of the accident.
2. The door nearest the safety seat was undamaged.
3. No vehicle occupant was injured in the accident.
4. The airbags did not deploy.
5. There is no visible damage to the safety seat.

When in doubt, ask your auto technician about the extent of the damage to your vehicle to better assess whether or not it means your child safety seat needs replacement. You should be able to trust your technician, so look for someone with high qualifications. Automotive service businesses that belong to ASA must agree to follow a strict code of ethics. To find an ASA shop near you, visit the ASA Web site at www.ASAshop.org or call (800) ASA-SHOP.

To keep your child safe, you need to use your child safety seat correctly. Infants under 20 pounds should face the rear of the car. Never put a child safety seat in the front passenger seat. If the airbag deploys, it could cause serious injury to a young child. Infant seats should stay at a 45-degree angle.

You should check that the belts are routed correctly, using either the vehicle owner’s manual or stickers on the seat. The seat belt should not give or move when the seat is pulled or rocked.

More information about child safety seat requirements is available at the NHTSA website, www.nhtsa.gov. Additional tips for motorists are available at www.ASAshop.org.

Posted in Auto LifeComments Off

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