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Archive | October, 2009

Marching Red Hawks take fourth at invitational

The Cedar Springs High School Marching Band competed at the Jenison Invitational on Saturday, October, 17. The band, made up of 104 students, took fourth place honors. This was the first competition for the band in the Michigan Competing Band Association format.

“I am so proud of the band. They exceeded my expectations on their first outing,” said Band Director Adam Borst.

Each band is judged by seven adjudicators and utilizes a scoring system that totals 100 points. At the Jenison competition, Cedar Springs received a score of 72.4. The band must compete in a minimum of two MCBA contests to be eligible for the state finals. The top two scores from MCBA competition are averaged to determine the overall score. The top ten scoring schools in each of the four flights will compete at the state finals.

Cedar Springs is currently ranked fourth in its flight out of 17 schools. Last week’s score at Jenison will be part of the equation along with the next two competitions. This week the band travels to Allegan, and on October 31, they will be at Reeths-Puffer in Muskegon.

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How does your pumpkin grow?

The hunt is on for the Great Pumpkin in Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, and anywhere this little local paper travels.
Send in, email or bring in a photo of your biggest pumpkin gourd along with something (or someone) that can give a scale view of the orange fruit. We also invite you, both young and old, to decorate, carve or create your own pumpkin art photo and send it in!
Entries will be displayed on our new-and-improved web site at www.cedarspringspost.com. We invite you to take a look. See you and your gourd in the newspaper!
Send all entries to postnews@charter.net, or Pumpkins, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Roger on the Road


Most men in this country shave their face every day, all their lives. We use that foamy white stuff that’s intended to make it easier. What it really does is tell you where you are in the process and if you’ve missed a spot. Boring!

Women concentrate on the hair on their heads: washing, drying, coloring, curling, bleaching, lord knows what else. Expensive!

This kind of philosophical musing goes through my mind while I’m shaving.)

Down to the wire

Shaving also gives me time to think about the health care debate. Seems like it’s been going on forever. Looks like pretty soon Congress will vote on it and we’ll see what came out of the battles. Any improvement over the present inefficient system will be welcome.

Those with no insurance at all are especially eager. If Republican Olympia Snow votes “yes” for health care reform, let’s make the Maine lobster the national bird.

Family feeling #1

An armed and hooded robber bursts into the Texas Bank and forces the tellers to load a sack full of cash. As the bad guy is on his way out the door, a brave customer grabs the hood and pulls it off, revealing the robber’s face. The robber shoots this brave Texan without hesitation.

He then looks around the bank to see if anyone else has seen him. One of the tellers is looking straight at him and the robber shoots him, too. By now, everyone is very scared and looking at the floor. The robber snarls, “Did anyone else see my face?”

After a few moments of silence, an old man, still looking down, tentatively raises his hand and says, “I think my wife may have caught a glimpse of you.”

Family feeling #2

The newlywed wife says to her husband when he returns from work, “I have great news for you. Pretty soon we’re going to have three in this house instead of two.”

With a smile on his face and delight in his eyes, the husband runs to her. He’s glowing with happiness and kissing his wife when she says, “I’m so glad you feel this way. My mother moves in with us tomorrow.”

Almost last words

I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad I take something for it.

Last words

My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my short-term memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.

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Need prompt passage of Economic Recovery Act Payment for 2010

Law does not provide for a social security cost-of-living adjustment for 2010

From Vonda VanTil, Social Security Administration

VondaWith consumer prices down over the past year, monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for more than 57 million Americans will not automatically increase in 2010.  This will be the first year without an automatic Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) since they went into effect in 1975.

“Social Security is doing its job helping Americans maintain their standard of living,” Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security said.  “Last year when consumer prices spiked, largely as a result of higher gas prices, beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent COLA, the largest increase since 1982.  This year, in light of the human need, we need to support President Obama’s call for us to make another $250 recovery payment for 57 million Americans.”

The Social Security Act provides that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits increase automatically each year if there is an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year to the third quarter of the current year. This year there was no increase in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2009.  In addition, because there was no increase in the CPI-W this year, under the law the starting point for determinations regarding a possible 2011 COLA will remain the third quarter of 2008.

Some other changes that would normally take effect in January 2010 based on the increase in average wages also will not take effect, even though average wages did increase. Since there is no COLA, the statute prohibits an increase in the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax as well as the retirement earnings test exempt amounts. These amounts will remain unchanged in 2010.
Information about Medicare changes for 2010, when available, will be found at www.medicare.gov. The Department of Health and Human Services has not yet announced if there will be any Medicare premium changes for 2010.  Should there be an increase in the Medicare Part B premium, the law contains a “hold harmless” provision that protects about 93 percent of Social Security beneficiaries from paying a higher Part B premium, in order to avoid reducing their net Social Security benefit. Those not protected include higher income beneficiaries subject to an income-adjusted Part B premium and beneficiaries newly entitled to Part B in 2010.

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Tips to avoid the flu this season

(StatePoint)  Do you cough without covering your mouth while standing in the lunch line? Or sneeze loudly into the air when squeezed onto the morning bus?

Nearly all Americans (96 percent) have seen people do things like this, and a shocking three quarters say they are guilty themselves.

Even with heightened concerns during this year’s flu season, Americans admit that sleeves are a fine substitute for tissues: one in four wipes his or her nose on them. One in ten is even more gross: skipping sleeves altogether in favor of hands to wipe his nose and then extending for a handshake or reaching for a door handle.

So, what are we doing about it? In a recent survey by the Water Quality and Health Council, Americans come clean; we’re not doing much.

Despite constant warnings from health officials and a recent “Risk Analysis” study showing a 31 percent chance of infection through hand contact with contaminated surfaces, few Americans frequently clean the public surfaces they use.

In fact, as opposed to wiping down the surfaces they come in contact with, a whopping 42 percent of Americans are opting to avoid public spaces.

But staying home isn’t the answer. Taking control of your environment is.

“Knowing that flu viruses can live on inanimate surfaces for hours or even days should motivate people to take personal responsibility to protect themselves,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality and Health Council. “This means disinfecting surfaces, when feasible, using disinfecting wipes or chlorine bleach, especially at home and at work, as well as washing your hands and practicing good personal hygiene habits.”

“Contacting school administrators, office managers and even health club managers will help you understand their cleaning and disinfecting protocol and how you can better safeguard against the flu,” he added.

To help people prevent the spread of H1N1, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends keeping surfaces clean by wiping them down with a disinfectant according to the directions on the product label.

In addition to cleaning surfaces, the CDC advises:
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after use. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
* If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick.

For more information on how to prevent the spread of H1N1 through surface disinfection, visit www.fluandhealth.com.

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Flu shots available at City Hall and school

Residents in the area will be able to get a seasonal flu shot next week at flu clinics being held at both Cedar Springs City Hall and Cedar Springs Public Schools.

Spectrum Health Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) will hold a flu clinic at Cedar Springs City Hall on October 27 from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. The cost of the shot is $30. VNA will bill participants of Priority Health and will vaccinate anyone over 9 years of age.

Cedar Springs Public Schools, in a partnership with Spectrum Health, will be offering a flu shot clinic for staff and members of the Cedar Springs Community (ages 5 years and older).  The clinic will be held at the District Service Center on Tuesday, October 27 from 7:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. and Thursday, October 29 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.  No appointment is necessary. The cost is $30.00/shot. You may pay with cash, check, or Medicare card (must have card with you).

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Think of breast health in October

HEA-pink-ribbonFear of developing breast cancer—the second most common cause of all cancer deaths in women— tops the list of health concerns for many women. This is a legitimate worry considering that in 2009 more than 192,000 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 women will die because of it.

Being a woman and getting older are the two main risk factors for breast cancer. Family history, personal history of certain cancers, no pregnancies or first pregnancy later in life, starting your period before age 12, menopause at age 55 or after, obesity, alcohol intake, and use of some types of hormone therapy (HT) can also increase a woman’s risk. You can learn more about your risk of developing breast cancer and other cancers at www.ProtectAndDetect.org.

Breast cancer is often related to prolonged exposure to the hormone estrogen, and excess fat tissue promotes estrogen production. Maintain a healthy weight or shed extra pounds to help control estrogen levels.

Women who drink two or more alcoholic beverages a day are more likely to develop breast cancer than women who drink less. Limiting your consumption can help lower your risk.

The use of combined estrogen-progestin hormone therapy can increase the risk of breast cancer. ACOG recommends that women use the lowest dose necessary to relieve menopausal symptoms for the shortest amount of time possible.

Women with breast cancer have up to a 98% survival rate when it is caught at an early stage. Earlier detection and advances in treatment have led to the gradual decrease in breast cancer deaths. Regular mammograms are crucial to identifying tumors when they are most treatable, but unfortunately, the number of women being screened has declined. Women ages 40–49 should have a mammogram every 1–2 years. Women age 50 and older should have a mammogram annually.

If you have certain risk factors, such as being a carrier of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, your doctor may suggest mam-mography screening at a younger age. High-risk women should discuss their prevention options with their doctors.

All women should have their breasts examined by their doctor annually. Performing breast self-exams are also a good way to get to know your breasts and understand what’s normal for you.

As a national sponsor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, ACOG encourages women to focus on breast health. For more information about breast cancer, treatment options, and how to get free screenings and low- or no-cost prescription medication, go to www.nbcam.org.

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Red Hawks beat Belding in close game

Photo by A. Brumleve

Photo by A. Brumleve

A winning streak! That is what the Red Hawk varsity football team accomplished with last Friday’s 14-12 thrilling victory over Belding. This team seems to have a penchant for close, down to the wire contests, as this game was not over until Belding missed a potential game winning field goal with 30 seconds left in the game. If the people of Cedar Springs notice the additional grey hairs on the parents and coaches heads, you know why.

Belding got the scoring started with a lengthy drive that took most of the first quarter, with a 32-yard scamper by Chris Daller. The extra point was blocked, however, by A.J. Olszewski. The Red Hawks countered with a fine return of the ensuing kickoff, by Zack Carpentier, that gave them possession deep in Belding’s side of the field. Cedar capitalized on the drive on a 3-yard TD run by James Putnam and the extra point by Ryan Austin. Belding took the halftime lead of 12-7 on a QB keeper by Daller. They missed the extra point again; this would come back the haunt Belding in the end.

From left to right Shane Bratt #30, Scott Vodry #12, Tyler Baker #46, Andrew Klompstra #68.

From left to right Shane Bratt #30, Scott Vodry #12, Tyler Baker #46, Andrew Klompstra #68.

The Red Hawks took the opening second half kick off and drove down and scored on a 5 yard TD pass from Tyler Covell to Olszewski followed by the Austin extra point. Cedar took a 14-12 lead into the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Belding held the Red Hawks deep in their end and took possession with just 2 minutes remaining. They drove the field and were set up for a 24-yard field goal. The snap was good, hold was good, but the kick was wide right. Jubilation exploded on the Red Hawk sideline and stands.

Cedar, (3-3 in OK Blue and 4-4 overall) will go into their final game this coming week at league leading West Catholic (6-0 in OK Blue and 8-0 overall) with a chance to finish the season with a winning record.

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Winning week for varsity soccer

The coach of the Cedar Springs varsity soccer team, Coach Avink, was thrilled with the team’s performance last week. “This was a great week for the guys to end their regular season! They had two awesome wins! We’re going into districts with an overall record of 11-7.”

S-Soccer1Tuesday, October 13, 2009 was a special night for the team as they honored their senior players prior to the event. The senior players honored were Steven King, Cody Cook, Gabe Martins, Austin Mora, Jake Prahl, and Matt Gravelin. The Red Hawks hosted the Belding Redskins, ending the game early due to the mercy rule, with a score of 8-0. The offensive players maneuvered the ball skillfully during the game and defense protected their end of the field well, not allowing the Redskins many opportunities to score. The Cedar scoring began when senior Steven King dropped the ball over the goalie and landed it into the back of the net. (Assist: Jake Prahl). Cody Cook added a second goal as he ran through the Belding defense allowing a close shot into the net. With less than three minutes before the half, Zach Hawkins shot one into the net (Assist: Cody Cook) and Austin Mora connected with the ball for a fourth goal. (Assist: Tyler Hinton). The Red Hawks continued the scoring after the half, with two goals being credited to Robert Klein (Assists: Cody Cook and Aaron Dault). Kyle Szirovecz also contributed two goals, with the final goal being assisted by Austin Mora.

S-Soccer2On October 14, the fans enjoyed the final game of the season at Red Hawk stadium, as they watched an aggressive match-up between the Cedar Springs Red Hawks and the West Catholic Falcons. The Red Hawks scored the first goal at the minute marker of 31:03, when Austin Mora finished off a well-placed corner kick that he received in front of the net from Jake Rickner. As the game continued both teams battled for the ball, yet the scored remained 1-0 at the half. Eight minutes into the second half, the Cedar momentum continued when Ryan Austin crossed the ball over in front of the net, allowing Kyle Szirovecz an open back door angle into the Falcon’s net. The win was truly a team effort. Cedar defense; consisting of a combination of Ron Fisk, Tyler Hinton, Aaron Dault, and Steven King; managed to shut down the Falcon’s offensive. Midfielders consisting of Austin Mora, Zach Hawkins, Robert Klein, and Jake Rickner held a strong position against the Falcon charge. Cedar goalie Kyle Coutchie had an outstanding game, as he made multiple saves during the event, allowing the Falcons only one goal from a break away late in the game. At the final buzzer, Cedar claimed victory over the Falcons with a final score of 2-1.
This team has shown dedication and teamwork as they consistently played their hearts out all season. Each one has improved their soccer skills over the season. They are truly an example of Red Hawk spirit and pride. The team has made us all proud of our Red Hawk Boys Varsity Soccer program.

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Girls golf team enjoys best season ever

The Cedar Springs Varsity Golf team finished up its best season in school history. The lady Red Hawks ended up 12th at the very competitive D3 state finals at the Meadows at  GVSU. Nikki Bouwens (80, 91 – 171); Kaylee Costello (108, 107 – 215); Zarah Smith (108, 113 -221); Jackie Champion (122, 116 – 238); Chaya Coxon (107, 133 – 240) were the five scorers for Cedar Springs.  Nikki’s 171 placed her 11th overall.

“We had a very solid day one,” said Coach Glen London. “We were only 10 strokes out of 4th place. Day two just took its toll.”

Regardless of the poor day two, the girls had a great season. They won the Chippewa Hills tournament, finished 2nd in the Ok-Blue, finished 2nd at Regional, and qualified as a team for the state tournament.  Congratulations, ladies.

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