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Archive | July, 2010

“Cow plop” to fund scholarships

If you’d like a chance to win $1,000, have some fun, and support a good cause at the same time, buy a $5 ticket from the Cedar Springs Rotary and let the chips fall where they may.

The Rotary Club will be hosting its first ever “Cow Plop” on Saturday, August 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This free family event will be held in the vacant lot next to White Creek Lumber on White Creek Avenue.

The event will focus around the excitement of where the live cow will drop its plop with the drawing at 2 p.m. Carefully marked and numbered squares will be created on the vacant lot prior to the cow arriving. Lottery tickets can be purchased prior to the day’s event for just $5.00 each with no limit to the number of tickets that can be purchased. The grand prize is $1,000. (If less than 400 tickets are sold, the drawing will revert to a 50/50.)

Other live events for the day include an MC from a local radio station, a wood carver, basketball shooting contests, live petting zoo, ice cream, and grilled hot dogs by the Boy Scouts.

Lottery tickets must be purchased prior to August 7 and can be found at all three local banks (Independent Bank, Choice One Bank, and Chase Bank), White Creek Lumber, Gebhardt Insurance, or any other local Rotarian. The event is free and open to all.

All of the proceeds will go to Rotary which in turn funds local scholarships and opportunities for our community’s youth and others in need.

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The band marches on

By Judy Reed

We could have told you it was going to be hot and humid this week; we knew it without even looking at the calendar. Why? Because it is band camp week at Cedar Springs High School!

The Marching Red Hawks have braved the heat and humidity all week as they work hard on their upcoming fall show, “Celtic Celebration.” They will be performing the songs “Irish Celebration,” “Celtic Production,” “Loch Lomond,” and the “Galway Piper.” They will give a sneak preview of their show at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 30, at Red Hawk Stadium.

There have been some changes in leadership this year for the band. Adam Borst is still director, but longtime director James Greene retired at the end of last year, and former director Robert Robuck will now only be directing the Jazz Band. To fill the void, they have hired a new assistant band director, Ryan Shaw. He comes to Cedar Springs from Berkley High School (near Detroit), and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

The Red Hawks competed last year for the first time in the Michigan Competitive Band Association, and made it the state finals, where they took 9th out 10 places in Flight III. Upcoming competitions will be at Rockford Sept. 18; Red Flannel Day Oct. 2; the MCBA Competition here on Oct. 9; Jenison Oct. 23; Rockford Oct. 30; and the finals at Ford Field on Nov. 6 if they make the top 11 bands in Flight III. They will also perform during halftime of the home football games.

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Wildlife up close

Rebecca Emmorey, of Solon Township, sent us a couple of beautiful photos of wildlife in the area earlier this week.

“These Sand Hill cranes were grazing in a field on Cedar Springs Avenue,” she explained. “They are making quite a racket behind our house this morning.”

The young buck was also a neat find. “The buck in velvet was sharing the White Pine Trail with us the other night. He moved toward Northland Drive and finally made a safe crossing,” she said.

Thanks, Rebecca, for some great photos! If you have plant or wildlife photos you’d like to send us, please email them to postnews@charter.net.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off

EarthTalk®

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What are the most important foods to buy organic?

– Rachel Klepping, Bronxville, NY

Given the usual higher prices of organic versus conventionally-grown foods, it can be a challenge to get the biggest bang for our buck while eating healthy and avoiding the ingestion of synthetic chemicals along with our nutrients. One approach, say some experts, is to only buy organic when the actual edible parts of a non-organically grown food might come into direct contact with toxic fertilizers and pesticides.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that consumers can reduce their chemical exposure, by some 80 percent, by either avoiding the most contaminated conventionally grown fruits and vegetables altogether, or by eating only the organic varieties. To help us sort through what and what not to buy, the group offers a handy Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, which fits on a small piece of paper that you can keep in your pocket and have handy on grocery trips. You can print it out for free from EWG’s FoodNews.org website, or you can download it as a free App for your iPhone.

To make it easy to use, EWG has distilled its analysis into two lists. The first, “Dirty Dozen: Buy These Organic,” lists foods that, when grown conventionally, contain the largest amounts of pesticide and fertilizer residues. These include peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, kale/collard, greens, potatoes, and (imported) grapes. Consumers should definitely spend the extra money for organic versions of these foods.

On the other side of the coin, EWG’s “Clean 15” list includes foods that contain the least amount of chemical residues when grown conventionally. These include onions, avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, mangos, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes and honeydew. It’s OK to eat conventionally grown varieties of these foods.

EWG analysts developed the “Clean 15” guide using data from some 89,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce conducted between 2000 and 2008 and collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What’s the difference, you may ask? EWG found that by eating five conventionally grown fruits and vegetables a day from the Dirty Dozen list, a consumer on average ingests 10 different pesticides; those who stick to the Clean 15 list ingest less than two.

Other foods you and your family eat, such as meats, cereals, breads and dairy products, might also be exposing you to unwanted chemicals. According to EWG, the direct health benefits of organic meat, eggs and milk are less clear, but you should play it safe by sticking with all-natural, free-range, grass-fed meats that are not fed antibiotics or growth hormones, and by choosing only organic dairy products.

Thanks to increasing demand, more and more food purveyors are putting extra emphasis on organics. This will ultimately result in both lower prices and larger selections. Natural foods market aisles are already teeming with organic choices—and chances are your local supermarket or big box store has introduced organic versions of many popular items. Consequently, there has never been a better time to take stock of what you are feeding yourself and your family, and to make changes for better health.

To get the free booklet Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides visit www.foodnews.org.

Send your environmental questions to: EarthTalk®, c/o E – The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; earthtalk@emagazine.com. E is a nonprofit publication. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe; Request a Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial

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Roger on Main St.

Yea! Arizona!

Arizona is enforcing the law. It is illegal to enter this country except with a visa, or as a citizen. Sneaking in across any border is against the law. Arizona is enforcing this law to the distress of the criminals. We’ve had a problem for years. Congress ignored the problem. No wonder Arizona is taking action.

Profile me!

If they start profiling elderly Caucasian men, I’ll start carrying my passport. If you see a man in a mask with a gun, you don’t assume he’s a high school kid on his way home. You check him out. We profile all the time. That’s the way the law is enforced. The fuss about profiling is misplaced. We need to profile kids with cans of spray paint, for example. Let’s let law enforcement to do their job!

Elect me

I’m surprised that all the candidates trash their opposition. I’d like to see one say, “I want to be elected to Congress and try to work with the other party to pass good legislation for the good of the country.” Instead they brag that they opposed laws and “Just say No,” or they claim they supported the same laws. A little co-operation between the parties would be a wonderful change and we might get better laws to benefit all of us.

Pricey

As I was admitted the hospital for a procedure, the clerk asked for my wrist,saying, “I’m going to give you a bracelet. “

“Has it got Rubies and Diamonds ?” I ask coyly.

“No,” he said. “But it costs just as much.”

Love these kids

*A little boy: “Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it. I’m having a real good time like I am.”

*After the dedication of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally Jason replied, “That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys.”

*A mother had been teaching her three-year old daughter the Lord’s Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after her mom the lines from the prayer. Finally she decided to go solo. Mommy listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some E-mail. Amen.”

*A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?” “I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

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

Vote for Peter MacGregor

Dear Editor:

I encourage your vote for Peter MacGregor, Republican, for the 73rd House District in the Primary Election.  Knowing Peter for many years, I am absolutely convinced that he will make an excellent legislator.

As a former small business owner, Peter has knowledge of the issues facing businesses in Michigan. He will work to develop legislation that will foster the growth of businesses in this state.

Peter shows community involvement by being an active member in organizations such as the Lion’s Club, heading up local fundraising events such as Volley for Mitchell, and coaching Little League sports. He has direct knowledge of the issues facing education since his wife works for the Rockford system and his children attend there.

MacGregor currently holds the office of Cannon Township Supervisor. Under his leadership, we have adopted a balanced budget and worked to cut expenses while continuing to provide services to the community. I believe that his experience at the local level will enable him to bring these skills to the state legislature.

Your vote in the Primary Election on August 3rd will have a tremendous impact on the future of the state and Peter MacGregor is the obvious choice!

Sincerely,
Bonnie Shupe Blackledge
Cannon Township

Posted in Post Scripts, Voices and ViewsComments Off

What will disincorporation really mean to us?

Dear Editor,

The Villagers of Sand Lake are in a situation that could have been avoided had petitioners brought their concerns to the Village Council first. Because the petitioners failed to do this, we have to decide to remain incorporated or to disincorporate, without having a chance to find out what it will truly mean to us.

Many people who signed the petition were deceived and wanted to have their signatures taken off the petition. Some people who signed have grievances over their assessments, taxes, sewer, water, police, ordinances, or don’t want to be told what to do by anyone.

If we disincorporate, the Nelson Township Board will represent us, and they won’t advocate for us. I’ve heard they don’t want to take us on. We need to preserve our local government, our “voice”, and community. Information about what will happen is speculative, confusing, misleading, and has been “spun” to support petitioners’ personal agendas.

I want true and accurate information. Some things we don’t and won’t know unless we enter into disincorporation, including how long it will take – maybe two years? It will mean that many valued services to Villagers will be changed to reflect Nelson Township’s plan for us. Nelson Township will become our governing body, and the taxes we pay will be spent according to the priorities set by the township – not our Village.

If we’re disincorporated, there will no longer be a council or committees to plan specifically for Sand Lake Village’s future. Legal fees for the disincorporation will have to be paid  for directly to the township. The road debt of 3.95 mills will have to be paid through a special assessment or debt retirement millage, if the township decides to pay it off sooner. The same applies to our water well debt.

Operation of our sewer and water system will be more expensive. Response time to sewer/water emergencies and storm damage clean up will be slower. Availability and access to police, fire, and rescue services will change. Kent County Sheriff’s Deputies will provide all police coverage with no time to patrol regularly, watch speeding, or handle other problems and crimes that occur here. There’s no plan as to how fire and rescue coverage would work or whether our fire station will even be occupied and operating.

Our Village Cemetery, Salisbury Park, the White Pine Trail Park, summer mowing, brush and leaf pick up, plowing and snow removal, and any other services our current DPW provides will be discontinued, scaled back, contracted out, or we’ll have to pay for these services ourselves instead.

I think that our Incorporated Village of Sand Lake gives us all a greater “voice” in getting our local needs, wants, and concerns met. Petitioners never gave the Villagers the opportunity to find out what disincorporation will truly mean to us all in the future. Once we disincorporate, it will be virtually impossible to go back.

Janice Dewey
Long-time Village Resident

Posted in Post Scripts, Voices and ViewsComments Off

Response to Ridgeway letter

Dear Editor,

I don’t think the Ridgeways get it. It isn’t just about the money they claim the Village residents will save, but I can see why they would jump on that issue. Because it helps them the most! Look at the size of the brand new house and pool they built. It’s one of the nicest houses in the Village, but if they are suddenly shocked at how high their taxes are then that’s bad planning on their part. Why should the rest of the Village give up vital services that they depend on? Don’t be a minion of the Ridgeways and help them get lower taxes. And please don’t be selfish and vote yes just because you are against the police department, or the Village made you clean up your yard. Ask yourself if you would be gaining anything and how many things you would be losing if you voted yes. If you don’t get the small town mentality, move out of the village. You’d be getting exactly what you wanted, lower taxes and fewer services.

First, the petition itself was full of inaccurate statements (services would go to the Township; taxes would go away). Mrs. Ridgeway’s own statement that people were practically ripping the petition out of her hand is just as questionable. Going by the number of “Vote NO!” signs in the Village, I am not sure how much support she really had. Why would people go on record in the Post (December 24, 2009) saying they wished they hadn’t signed once they learned the truth?

Another idea to save money is to get rid of the DPW. By their logic, if the water system needed repairs, then they would hire someone. Why should we do away with the current DPW and hope everything runs smoothly? Who would take care of the pump system, the fire hydrants, and make sure the water tower was full during power outages so the village had water? Do you think Kent County would go door to door to let people know about a contamination in the water tower and then handing out free water?

Do you want to shovel the sidewalk in front of your house, have to plow your own street or hire someone who is going to charge more? Those who support eliminating the Village want you to. Kent County Road Commission has already said they won’t plow the side streets.

Budget cuts for the fire department, no more police department, and the loss of a rich history of the smallest and proudest towns in Kent County can’t be justified by people with selfish reasons for getting rid of the government. Why would we ruin what we already have and hope that life will be better? Once the village and the services are gone, it would be near impossible to get them back. Put aside any petty complaints you might have and think about the bigger picture. Please make sure you get out and vote NO on August 3rd!

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To the Voters of Sand Lake Village

As former Nelson Township Supervisor, I can truthfully tell you that if you dissolve the Village, it is an impossibility that the township can fund the village maintenance services that you now possess. More funding is required for additional village services.

If you subtract the millage you approved for paving (3.9500), your total homestead millage is not that much more than the villages of Kent City or Casnovia, and not as much as Sparta Village or the City of Cedar Springs.

2000 Census
Cedar Springs: Population – 3,230, Millage – 41.0931
Sparta: Population – 4,159, Millage – 39.3810
Sand Lake: Population – 515, Millage – 38.3384  (not including paving)
Casnovia: Population – 2,652, Millage – 36.3758
Kent City:  Population – 1,061, Millage – 35.8758
Nelson Twp.: Population –  4,192, Millage –  26.6290

Cuts in State Revenue Sharing have placed a burden on all state municipalities and has caused considerable belt-tightening. Many cities, townships and villages are making drastic cuts and certainly cannot fund any new projects. Your general maintenance, sewer and water, park and cemetery, are all budget centers for which the township does not have funding. And you can’t expect the township to pass a millage to provide those services.

How many of you have attended village council meetings and are aware of how your money is spent?  Did you or did you not vote on the paving millage? Disincorporation is not the answer. Being aware of, and involved in, your government actions is the answer.

If you choose to disincorporate, one thing is certain—there will be major attorney fees for both the village and the township and, to tell the truth, not even the lawyers can be certain what will take place.

Sincerely,
Dorothy Bishop, Nelson Township

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Potatoes

By Judy Reed

It’s now the end of July, and that means it’s time to begin digging up those red potatoes! We harvested a batch a few days ago here in Cedar Springs, and my son fried them with polish kielbasa, onions and bell pepper. It tasted delicious! And it tasted even better knowing that the potatoes were from our own garden.

The potato is the most popular vegetable in America. It’s easy to understand their popularity. They’re fat-free, low in calories, high in vitamin C and potassium, and provide a good source of vitamin B6 and fiber. In addition to being nutritious and great tasting, potatoes can be prepared in a variety of ways and are loved by adults and kids, alike.

Potatoes were cultivated over 4,500 years ago in ancient Peru, in areas too cold to grow wheat or corn. Today, potatoes are grown in 130 countries around the world.

“French fries” were reportedly first introduced to America when Thomas Jefferson served “french fries” at the White House.

Looking for a new recipe for those newly harvested potatoes? Below is a summertime recipe from the Michigan Potato Commission.

Grilled Potato Salad

Ingredients
8 medium red potatoes
2 large red onions
3⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dill seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Cut potatoes in half and microwave for about 2 minutes or until they just start to cook. Cut onions into 1⁄2 inch slices ad place on hot grill with potatoes. Grill potatoes and onions until tender. Chop into small pieces (about 1⁄4 inch). Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, parsley, mustard and dill seeds. Toss together with potatoes and onions until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve cold.

PotatoesBy Judy Reed
It’s now the end of July, and that means it’s time to begin digging up those red potatoes! We harvested a batch a few days ago here in Cedar Springs, and my son fried them with polish kielbasa, onions and bell pepper. It tasted delicious! And it tasted even better knowing that the potatoes were from our own garden.The potato is the most popular vegetable in America. It’s easy to understand their popularity. They’re fat-free, low in calories, high in vitamin C and potassium, and provide a good source of vitamin B6 and fiber. In addition to being nutritious and great tasting, potatoes can be prepared in a variety of ways and are loved by adults and kids, alike.Potatoes were cultivated over 4,500 years ago in ancient Peru, in areas too cold to grow wheat or corn. Today, potatoes are grown in 130 countries around the world.“French fries” were reportedly first introduced to America when Thomas Jefferson served “french fries” at the White House. Looking for a new recipe for those newly harvested potatoes? Below is a summertime recipe from the Michigan Potato Commission.Grilled Potato Salad
Ingredients8 medium red potatoes2 large red onions3⁄4 cup olive oil1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped2 tablespoons dijon mustard1 tablespoon dill seedssalt and pepper to taste
Cut potatoes in half and microwave for about 2 minutes or until they just start to cook. Cut onions into 1⁄2 inch slices ad place on hot grill with potatoes. Grill potatoes and onions until tender. Chop into small pieces (about 1⁄4 inch). Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, parsley, mustard and dill seeds. Toss together with potatoes and onions until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve cold.

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