Continued from last week…
Gettin’ out of Dodge: Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns was chosen for the top job in Spring Lake. She served our community for five years, and was saddened at the thought of leaving her coworkers, but excited for new opportunities. During Burns’ time here, we started the annual Cedar Creek cleanup, saw the creation of the new staging area on the White Pine trail, and the creation of Veterans Park. She also was active in the Library matching fund drive. Burns ended her tenure in Cedar Springs at the end of July.
DPW Director Roger Belknap also tendered his resignation and was done at the end of June.
Cease and desist: Talks broke down between the City of Cedar Springs and the Red Flannel Festival, and the RFF sent a letter to the city that ordered them to stop using the Festival’s trademarked logos. Festival First Vice President Nick Andres said the board voted to do this as a last resort. “We firmly believe, as the trademarks are the only real asset of the Festival, it is our fiduciary responsibility, as officers of the corporation, to protect the Festival from this infringement.”
The City of Cedar Springs did not agree that they should have to give up the Red Flannel town logos, however, due to the fact that they have used the term “Red Flannel Town” to describe themselves since the late 1930s, early 1940s. It is shown on City letterhead as early as 1941.
The City sent back a counter proposal to the Festival that stated that the city would use the trademarks, logos, etc. for identification purposes only, and they would agree not to use them for commercial purposes without payment to the Festival. They said they would also cease use of all logos except the Red Flannel Town USA and round Red Flannel Town, Cedar Springs, Michigan logos. The original $4,000 offer, however, was no longer on the table. “Services have been cut, our people aren’t getting raises. We just don’t have any money to contribute,” explained then Mayor pro-tem Christine Fahl. “The ironic thing is, if they had jumped on that $4,000 right away, we’d be done with this,” she said.
A new home for the brave: A monument built sometime after World War II and dedicated to veterans of both World War I and World War II was moved to a new home. It was relocated from Morley Park, on Cedar Street, to Veteran’s Park, on Oak Street, in Cedar Springs. Stonemasons Terry Merlington, Jim Phillips, and Joel VanVeldhuizen, all of Spencer Township, worked on removing and rebuilding the structure.
Chamber is reborn: Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, 16 businesses in the Cedar Springs area banded together to found a new Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. “This rebirth is an exciting time for the business community, as they look ahead to what Cedar Springs could become,” said president Shawn Kiphart, owner of Take Two Game Shop, LLC. The Chamber has since hosted several community-wide events, is planning monthly business mixers, is working with city government, and is planning a founders day event this spring. For more info visit their website at http://cedarspringsareachamber.org or on facebook www.facebook.com/CedarSpringsAreaChamberOfCommercecsacoc
Rockin’ the park: About 3,500 kids and families turned out for free food and fun at the Maranda Park Party, held on the Cedar Springs Public Schools campus, June 21. This is the third time that Maranda, of WOOD-TV 8, has kicked off her park party summer season here in Cedar Springs. Families enjoyed a free picnic lunch, the stage rocked all afternoon with great entertainment, and an array of activities was provided by local non-profit groups along with big attractions like the climbing wall, Country Fresh Bounce House and an inflatable obstacle course. Amanda Gerhardt with the Cedar Springs Area Parks and Rec coordinated the event with Maranda.
Burned out: Nelson’s Speed Shop in Greenville suffered an estimated $5 million in damages when their store caught fire on June 22. It was reported at about 1:30 a.m. and approximately 75 firefighters from the surrounding area fought the blaze. The National Response Team of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was called in to help investigate the blaze. Nelson’s didn’t let it keep them down, however, and they were soon back up and running.
Construction accident: A 38-year-old construction worker from Howard City died July 2, when he fell through a roof he was working on. Brian Tarachanowicz, 38, an employee of Black River Builders, a company contracted to repair the roof of Federal Mogul, in Sparta, reportedly stepped on a weak part of the structure, which gave way beneath him. He fell 30 feet to the concrete below, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Riding for vets: A group of motorcyclists honored Purple Heart veterans and gold star families in Grand Rapids, Sparta, Newaygo, Croton, Morley, Howard City, and Cedar Springs on July 14, during the first Giving Back Memorial Run. Riders took off from the Grand Rapids Home of the Veterans and made stops in all across the area. Here in Cedar Springs, they honored the family of our own fallen soldier, Timothy Brown, killed in Iraq.
New City Manager: A former Cedar Springs City Manager, Frank Walsh, conducted the search process for a new City Manager to replace the outgoing Christine Burns. The City Council held public interviews, and ultimately chose Thad Taylor, former City Manager in Alpena. Taylor has family in the Greenville area, and he also worked in Greenville for 26 years, some of that with the Department of Public Safety. All the Cedar Springs City Council members had Taylor as one of their top two candidates, and then agreed unanimously to make him their top choice.
Celebrating Cedar Springs: The newly-formed Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held their first Community Celebration event. People came from around the area to shop the sidewalk sales, visit the farmer and flea market, take a shot at the dunk tank, and experience good food, fun, and entertainment. About 30 businesses and non-profits participated in what they hope will be an annual event.
No more Red Flannel logo for city: The City of Cedar Springs voted to terminate the use of the Red Flannel logos and initiate the development of a new logo after the Red Flannel Festival sent a letter to the City on August 8 with a notice to file claim for trademark infringement. The RFF reiterated their offer to accept $4,000 for use of two trademarks. If the City did not agree to their proposal, the letter said that the City was to remove and destroy all logos in question from City property within 45 days. The vote passed 6-1, to stop using the logo, with trustee Pamela Conley being the one dissenting vote. The city began removing the logo the next day, and destroying items with the logo that said “City of Cedar Springs.” Items with the logo that did not say “City of Cedar Springs” were offered to the Red Flannel Festival. The actions of the Council then prompted one citizen, Molly Nixon to file a recall petition against then Mayor Charlie Watson.
Fatal accident: A fatal car accident involving three Cedar Springs teens sent shockwaves through the community. Sixteen-year-old Wyatt Phillips was killed and two other teens were injured on August 23, when the car they were riding in ran off the road and hit a tree. Phillips, who was driving, was pronounced dead at the scene. Sean Thompson, 16, suffered critical injuries, and Johnny Klaasen, suffered minor injuries.
United in worship: The several hundred community members came together to worship together in an outdoor service at Morley Park. At least 11 churches in the area participated.
See more Year in Review in next week’s POST!