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Archive | December, 2011

Let’s add civility and civic skills to our goals for the year

By Lee H. Hamilton

This is a season of giving, good cheer, and forbearance. Too bad that, with the turn of the year, all those fine sentiments will become just a memory as election season begins in earnest.
Too often in recent decades our politics have been strident, polarized, coarse, even mean.
Incivility directly affects both the quality and the quantity of the hard work of governance. Along with the outright rudeness that often marks our public discourse, it makes it virtually impossible to reconcile opposing views and, therefore, to meet our civic challenges.
So I’d like to suggest that we all, ordinary voter and politician alike, resolve this year to be more civil. Because everyone in this country has a responsibility to foster a civic dialogue that respects the people with whom we disagree, and that advances the interests of the nation.
Knowing how to disagree without obstructing progress is a basic civic skill. The more that ordinary citizens state their case and their principles cogently, in a manner that is substantive, factual, and does not attack the motivation or patriotism of those with whom they disagree, the better our political system will work and the stronger our nation will be. If we know how to do this ourselves and to accept no less from our leaders, then we can change our politics.
In a democracy, it is not enough just to let politicians set the rules of engagement. We all need to know the values that underlie productive civic dialogue: mutual respect and tolerance; the humility to know that sometimes we’re wrong; the honesty to keep deliberations open and straightforward; the resolve to surmount challenges whatever the obstacles; and, of course, the civility that allows us to find common ground despite our disagreements. If we come to value all this, then the politicians who spring from our midst will have to, as well.
It seems a small thing, resolving to be more civil. But it’s not small if we put it into practice — if we get off the sidelines, engage with the issues in front of us both large and small, and learn firsthand a basic appreciation for the hard work of democracy: how to understand many different points of view and forge a consensus behind a course of action that leads towards a solution. It is the actions of many ordinary people rolling up their sleeves and digging into the issues they confront in their neighborhoods and communities that keep this great democratic experiment of ours vital.
This is because every one of us who hones the civic skills needed to renew our politics makes it that much more likely that our nation will thrive. That’s not a bad goal, as we finish out one year and turn toward the future.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

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Happy New Year!
I intend that to mean for the whole year, not just January 1. May 2012 be a year of blessings for all of us.
Our first day of the year is related to the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory. If you don’t like this one, the Julian calendar places New Year’s Day on Jan. 14. Throughout the world, people observe other dates, mostly related to religion. Pope Gregory picked this date based on Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25 and baptism on Jan. 1. It could get complicated.
I think Adam and Eve celebrated because they saw the days getting longer and the sun coming back.

Antique story
A little boy opened the big family Bible with fascination, looking at the old pages, one after another. As he turned them, something fell out. He picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old tree leaf that had been pressed between the pages.
“Mom, look what I found!” he called out.
“What do you have there, dear?” his mother asked. With excitement the boy exclaimed, “It’s Adam’s suit!”

Church story
Six-year old Angie and her four-year old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud.
Finally his big sister had had enough and gave him the elbow. “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church!”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?’ Joel answered.
Angie pointed to the back of the church. “See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers!”

Sew-sew story
A pretty girl stepped up to the fabric counter and said, “I’d like to buy this material for a new dress. How much does it cost?”
“Only one kiss per yard,” replied the young male clerk.
“Fine,” replied the girl. “I’ll take ten yards.”
Smirking, the clerk measured out the cloth and wrapped it. Then he held it out teasingly.
The girl smiled, took the package, pointed to a little old man standing beside her, and said, “Grandpa, pay the man.”

Deer Tick Warning
I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, but this one is real, and it’s important. So, please send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list:
If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting a survey on deer ticks and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, Do not do it! It is a scam. They only want to see you naked.
I wish I’d gotten this information yesterday. I feel so stupid now.

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Two arrested on armed robbery and assault charges

Ryan Nagle

Joshua Monroe

Two men were arrested last weekend for attempting an armed robbery on a Cedar Springs couple.
According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, Officer Chad Tucker responded to a call of an armed robbery, about 8:20 p.m. Friday, which occurred in a home on Sarah Street, located within the Cedar Springs Mobile Estates Mobile Home Park.
The victims, a 42 year old man and 41 year old female, told Officer Chad Tucker that they responded to a knock at their door saying, “Come on in,” only to have two young men enter, one with a shotgun. Once inside the men demanded money and prescription medication. At one point a struggle occurred, with the male victim receiving injuries to his face and nose. Eventually the two men fled back outside without obtaining anything.
One of the suspects was known by the victims, which helped in locating them at their homes in Montcalm County early Saturday morning. The firearm was also recovered.
The two suspects, Joshua Steven Monroe, 19, and Ryan Lee Nagle, 20, both once residents in Cedar Springs, were arraigned Monday, December 19, on charges of assault with intent to commit armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Monroe, who appeared remorseful during his appearance before Judge Servaas via video camera, said he attends an alternative high school in Montcalm, and was due to graduate in a week.
Monroe’s bond was set at $50,000 cash or surety. He made bond this week. Court records show he also owes $661 in fines for a probation violation.
Nagle’s bond was also set at $50,000 on the armed robbery charge, but he is still in jail, serving time for driving on a suspended license. Records show he owes $984 in fines on that charge.
The investigation continues with officers interviewing three additional subjects who were waiting outside in a vehicle.

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Movies at Kent Theatre in jeopardy

By Judy Reed

A $3 Saturday matinee with friends or family, the smell of fresh popcorn, a bag of candy, a fountain pop—it’s the stuff memories are made of.  But a year from now, families in the greater Cedar Springs area may not have the chance to make those memories at the historic Kent Theatre.
The theatre was built as the Hubbard Opera House in 1880, and over the years was used for all types of entertainment and gatherings, including movies (both silent and talkie). It closed as a theater in 1975. The current CSTA bought it in 1998, and the volunteers have worked non-stop, despite financial difficulty, to fundraise and make improvements to this historic landmark. A dedicated group of volunteers brought the theatre back to showing low-cost, first run 35mm movies two years ago, but with the advancements in technology, that is now in jeopardy.
According to Wanda Holst, film buyer for Goodrich Theaters, 35mm films are being phased out in favor of digital downloads, which uses a digital projector—something the Kent Theatre doesn’t have. And it costs between $50,000 and $60,000.“The experts are saying that by the end of 2012, or sometime in 2013, 35mm is going away,” explained Holst.
The Kent has already felt the pinch, with not enough 35mm prints available to go around. They had to delay the showing of “Courageous” about a week in November, and turned away about 50 people expecting to see it the week it was originally scheduled.
And it’s expected to only get worse in 2012.
That’s a problem for the nonprofit, a 501-3c, who makes most of their money for operations from the films (about 50 percent of ticket sales) and concessions.
There are only a handful of theaters left in West Michigan without digital projectors, and the Kent is one of them. While projectors are costly to purchase, savings in volunteer time and quality of the movies is immense. “We could download a clean, undamaged copy,” explained Len Allington, president of the Cedar Springs Theatre Association. He said that currently it takes many hours for volunteers, such as theater manager Dan Randall, to put the film together and then watch it to make sure there are no bad spots.
“Although film projectionists love what they do and love to hear the click-click-click of the rolling film, by switching to the digital we will get a more consistent high quality movie and be able to show it almost immediately instead of putting it together and then tearing it down,” he said.
Allington trusts what Goodrich is telling them about the future of film. “They have been one of our most generous and longtime supporters,” he explained. “They helped set up our original sound system, and donated thousands of dollars worth of equipment. They’ve been invaluable in showing us how to get movies.”
Raising money for the projector will need to come through grants or donations.  “We don’t often ask for money, but we really need donations from those that can do it,” said Len Allington. “We really don’t want to raise ticket prices,” he added.
If you’d like to donate to the Kent for a new digital projector, you can take a tax deduction if you donate by the end of the year. Make the check out to the Cedar Springs Theatre Association, and designate it for the new digital projector fund. Mail it to the CSTA, PO 237K, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Chinook pilot and crew heads to Afghanistan

CW3 Timothy Alan Miller’s family celebrated an early Christmas last week before his deployment to Afghanistan.
Miller was the Chinook helicopter pilot that flew in to Sjinner Field to celebrate Veteran’s Day here in Cedar Springs. He can be seen in the photo below frolicking with his sons, while wearing the Red Flannels his family received as a gift. The second photo shows him and his son before his departure.
Miller’s unit’s six Chinook helicopters left early last week for Texas to receive training before heading to Afghanistan.
Thanks to Wayne and June Price for passing along the photos.


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Operation Christmas

Cedar View teacher Mrs. Poll’s son, First Sergeant Mike Poll, is serving in the 236th transportation unit in Afghanistan.  He helps lead over 160 troops.  Many of these soldiers will not be home for Christmas.
Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Poll’s classes decided to help these soldiers during the holidays and send some holiday cheer. They called this project Operation Christmas. First Sergeant Mike Poll mentioned the soldiers would appreciate goodies of any kind.
Ten boxes of cookies, gum, crackers, jerky, stickers, and other goodies were sent to these soldiers. The ten boxes totaled over 90 pounds.
Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Poll’s classes also incorporated writing skills as each class wrote letters and Christmas cards to the soldiers.

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American Legion Auxiliary Juniors host event

On November 19, the American Legion Auxiliary, Glen Hill Unit 287 Auxiliary Juniors hosted an overnight event, where Juniors from around the state gathered for fun activities and worked on Americanism projects. Some of the projects were flag etiquette and making things to send to the troops. Our honorary state Junior President Chelsie Kovacs was in attendance and was given $67.00 towards her Elmobility Project. They were also honored to have the state Department President Carrie Bowerman, along with other Department members, join them for the activities and fellowship.

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Raffle winner

The Cedar Springs American Legion, Glen Hill Post 287, held a raffle for a 46-inch Samsung LCD television. The lucky winner was Dave Mazurek from Grand Rapids.
Shown in the picture is Gene Kutchinski, Clubroom Manager, along with Dave Mazurek and his wife Chris.
Congratulation, Dave!  Looks like Christmas came a little early for you!

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Church celebrates 65 years

before

The Church of the Full Gospel, at 180 E. Lake Street, Sand Lake, is celebrating 65 years in its present location. They will be celebrating this milestone on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31, from 7 p.m. to midnight. There will be a special speaker, music, and photos taken through the years. Refreshments will be served during intermission. What follows is a condensed version of the church’s history submitted by the members.
How it all began
A group of young people, in a local church, was hungry for the things of God. Our spiritual needs were not being met. We cried unto the Lord to bring us someone to help us, someone who would be more interested in service than in money.
Meanwhile, Mr. Frank Allen, who lived nearby, had become a widower, and asked his sister, Harriet Eaton, who lived in Washington state, to come back to Sand Lake to help him. It just so happened she was a home missionary.

after remodel

Shortly after her arrival in Sand Lake, in the summer of 1942, Frank and Harriet attended the Old Settlers picnic in town. When the time came for regulars and visitors to say a few words, Sister Eaton arose and openly proclaimed, “I left t his place a sinner and have returned a child of God!” Afterward, the first one to seek her out was her old-time friend, Vita Giddings Davies. The two were close friends from then on.
Some young people asked Harriet if she would come and speak for the youth group. She said she would and also bring her guitar. We were delighted and told her so. She said, “Come and see me.” We agreed to do so. This is the way Tuesday evening meetings began in Frank Allen’s home. She started us off studying the book of Genesis. The blessed word of God began to open to us. We learned how to pray. She ministered to us the whole counsel of God.
She told us to bring our friends and we did. A good number of teenagers and older women made their way to the Allen home that snowy winter. We were still attending the other church, and did so for quite some time. Meetings were held in various homes in the area, and we were teaching Sunday School in the church we had been attending. Finally the pastor told us to make a choice and the break with the church came. The new gathering then drew more people together.
The group eventually rented the local Grange Hall for Sunday night meetings, and began to search for their own building. Finally, 1-1/2 lots were purchased from Charles and Maude Williams on E. Lake Street in Sand Lake. The group then found an old schoolhouse, the Cherry Dell School, near Entican, about 30 miles northeast of Sand Lake. Built in 1882, the school was still in sound condition. They purchased it and moved it to their new property on E Lake St. It was a welcome sight to all to see the building moving south on old US131 and into the Village of Sand Lake. The building was replastered and a new chimney built. The first service was held in the building on December 31, 1946.
Sister Eaton had gone back to Washington to live with her son and grandson. Evelyn Rush, who had come for a two-week visit with Harriet in 1944, stayed on to help and became the pastor of the Sand Lake church group. Verta Kibbe was her assistant.
Through the years, there have been different improvements made to the building—a basement dug, a furnace, bathrooms and west wing installed, entry changed from the front to the side, classrooms added, etc.
Many of the original group of believers have died or moved away. New ones have come in and taken their place. But the message preached when the group started has not changed.
The Church of the Full Gospel has several meetings every week. J-O-Y children’s meetings during the school year, daily Vacation Bible School and a youth camp during the summer, three-day Labor Day fellowship meetings, and end-of-year anniversary gatherings on New Year’s eve. They also have gospel meetings at Metron twice weekly.
Verta (Kibbe) Giddings and Gary Giddings pastor the meetings. There are also capable elders, deacons, worship leaders and teachers.
The regular schedule is Sunday school at 10 a.m., followed by a worship service at 11 a.m., and Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. On Wednesdays Bible study at 7 p.m.

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