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Archive | February, 2013

Staging area restroom installed

By Judy Reed

-N-Staging-area1-restroomOne of the last pieces of the White Pine Trail Staging area in Cedar Springs fell into place last week when the restroom was finally installed.

DPW Director Tom Stressman was happy with how well the installation went. “My guys did an excellent job,” he said.

The White Pine Trail staging area was made possible by a matching grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund. The land was donated by the Gust family. It includes a gazebo, dedicated to Clara Gust, new picnic tables, benches and a bike rack, and now a new unisex bathroom.

However, because there is no heat, the bathroom has been winterized. “It will not be used in the wintertime unless something changes,” explained Stressman. “As soon as we know it’s not going to freeze again, we’ll make it fully functional.”


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Best lips winner!

-N-Best-lips-winner-Leah-AlmyLeah Almy, the winner of our “Best Lips” contest, collected her prizes from the Post this week. She won a multitude of prizes, including a dinner for two at Big Boy, two movie tickets for the Kent Theatre, a free coffee from Alpha and Omega Coffee and Games, and candy, flowers and a stuffed animal, from the Post. A big thank you to our sponsors, and to all who entered!

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Hometown hero

-N-Hero-Kelley,-KyleArmy Spec. Kyle B. Kelley has returned to the U.S. after being deployed overseas at a forward operating base to serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Operation Enduring Freedom is the official name given to anti-terrorism military operations involving U.S. troops and allied coalition partners. Active duty and reserve component members from all branches of the U.S. armed forces have been deployed to support the war against global terrorism outside the borders of the United States. U.S. troops serve in South, Southwest and Central Asia, the Arabian peninsula, the Horn of Africa, islands in the Pacific, and Europe.

Kelley is a motor transport operator assigned to the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He has served in the military for two years.

He is the son of Bob and Joyce Kelley, of Cedar Springs.

The specialist is a 2005 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2009 from Ferris State University, Big Rapids.


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American Legion hosts junior sleepover

By LoraLee Nauta


This year we hosted our annual junior sleepover on Feb 9, 2013. The juniors were taught a leadership class and earned their certification in leadership, as well as receiving a pin.

The evening was filled with food, games and lots of visiting. Sons of The American Legion members Dominic Merlington and Skip Townes prepared the hamburgers and hot dogs.

Department President Mary Anne Yuncker and 5th District President Mary Tyler were there as honorary guests. Honorary Junior President Alexis Champlain also spoke to the girls on her year so far and all the fun events she has attended. Approximately 25 juniors and 10-12 senior Auxiliary members were present. The juniors came from places such as the Chief Pontiac Post to as far north as Cedar Springs.

The sleepover ended Sunday morning with a breakfast of muffins, yogurt and fruit. As everyone was leaving, they all stated that they were walking away with new friends and a better understanding of the purposes of the American Legion Junior Programs and its goals.


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Goller-Kilts named Grand Marshal for Red Flannel Festival

By Judy Reed


As a young newlywed whose husband worked for the Clipper girls, Mary Goller-Kilts could not have imagined that she would one day be Grand Marshal for the festival they made possible. She will be 81 in six weeks.

“I was initially very surprised,” she said, about finding out she had been voted in as the 2013 Grand Marshal. “I didn’t think I was deserving.”

-N-Grand-marshal-Mary-Goller-KiltsBut she couldn’t be more wrong. “The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Mary’s outstanding dedication to the entire Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival. “Her outstanding community service in several organizations is very impressive and exactly what we look for in a Red Flannel Festival Grand Marshal. It’s very obvious Mary loves Cedar Springs and especially the Red Flannel Festival! Her connection to Festival Founders, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock is very special to us. The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of her involvement.”

Mary grew up in Grand Rapids. When she was 8 years old her father passed away, and when she was 12, in 1945, her mother died. She had an older sister who was 16 and stayed with relatives, and Mary went to St. John’s Catholic orphanage and attended Catholic Central High School. She graduated from cosmetology school in 1949.

She met her future husband, Oscar Goller, a veteran, when he took some girls dancing in Grand Rapids in 1951. She was 18 years old. “It was a whirlwind romance,” she recalled. She moved here to Cedar Springs in February 1951, turned 19 in April, and was married by June. Oscar worked for the Clipper Girls—Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock—as a linotypist, and the couple rented an apartment from them for a time. Grace, who was also a real estate agent, soon found the couple a house—the one Mary still lives in—near Cedar Springs High School, for $2,800. “We were very close to Grace and Nina,” remarked Mary. “They were very affectionate people.” Mary said she would go into the office and help clean up, and would help out the festival by handing out flyers to the merchants. She also got to meet Jerry Ford, our future president, who used to attend the Festivals. “That was exciting,” she said.

Professionally, Mary worked for both Modern Cleaners here in Cedar Springs and Uptown Cleaners in Grand Rapids. When Tom Cooper, her former manager at Uptown, bought Modern Cleaners, he asked her to return here and manage it. She retired at age 73 after 52 years in the dry cleaning business.

In 1973, she also found a love for volunteering with the American Legion Auxiliary. “I joined for the vets and for the children,” she explained. Mary has served in several different roles in the Auxiliary, including state president. She is currently Unit 287 Chaplain and Membership Chairman, Girls State Chairman, Education Chairman, and Funeral Luncheon Chairman. But her heart is in the Salon of the 8/40 in northern Kent County, an auxiliary organization she founded that is committed to fundraising and scholarships for respiratory diseases in children. The money raised goes to National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

“I went and visited and saw the great work they do there,” she noted. Mary said their Salon has grown to 44 partners that also make ditty bags for the kids at DeVos Children’s Hospital. “I feel this work for children is the most important thing in my life,” she said.

Mary and Oscar adopted two children, Addie and Oscar Alan. Mary now has three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She and Oscar were married for 45 years.

Two years after Oscar died, Mary met Don Kilts, also a veteran and a widower. They married in 1998, and were married just under 10 years, when he passed away. Since then, she’s kept very busy in her volunteer work.

Throughout her life, Mary has always promoted Red Flannels, both personally and through the American Legion, and finally has the opportunity to do it in a highly visible way—as Grand Marshal of the 2013 Festival this fall.

“It is with a humble heart I accept to serve as Grand Marshal for this coming year 2013,” she said. “Rest assured that I will continue to promote our town, flannels and its great people in memory of the founders of our Red Flannel Town, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock.”


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Deadline is approaching for dog licenses!

Michigan law requires that all dogs four months of age or older must be licensed. Licenses purchased after March 1 will cost you twice as much! It’s quick, easy, and a tag will help your dog get home safely if lost. Tags also reduce the chance of theft, show your dog is vaccinated against rabies, AND spare you from an expensive citation.

Fee Schedule through March 1:

Regular Fees:

Spayed/ Neutered $12.00

Not Sterilized $26.00

Senior Citizens’ Discounted Fees:

Spayed/Neutered $6.00

Not Sterilized $13.00

After March 1, the fees double:

Regular Fees:

Spayed/ Neutered $24.00

Not Sterilized $52.00

Senior Citizens’ Fees:

Spayed/Neutered $12.00

Not Sterilized $26.00

You must present a valid certificate of rabies vaccination and proof of spay/neuter (in order to receive spay/neuter discount) for your dog in order to receive a license. If you purchase a new dog after March 1, you have 30 days to get a license without paying a penalty, but you must show a dated proof-of-purchase.

The Kent County Animal Shelter is located at 740 Fuller NE, in Grand Rapids. Licenses can be obtained Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon. Online renewal is fast and easy at https://www.accesskent.com/DogLicense/. Call the Kent County Animal Shelter for more information at 616.632.7300. The Kent County Treasurer’s Office, the Humane Society of West Michigan, Vicky’s Pet Connection, “Critter Cottage,” C-SNIP, and numerous city and township offices also sell licenses.

Pet adoptions are also available at the Kent County Animal Shelter. Springtime is when the shelter sees a huge influx of pets, especially puppies and kittens. When you adopt from the shelter, we spay or neuter the pet, helping alleviate the issues of overpopulation. Check out www.icpawz.com for information on adopting a pet.

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City to resume discussions with RFF on logo

By Judy Reed


After a lengthy discussion at the Cedar Springs City Council meeting last Thursday, February 14, the Council gave City Manager Thad Taylor two directives: one, proceed with the new logo of a cedar tree and a spring by giving it to students at Cedar Springs High School to flesh out, and two, meet with the Red Flannel Festival on use of the old logo.

“They’ve asked me to meet with Red Flannel representatives to review the situation with use of the logo to see if there’s any room for discussion,” explained Taylor. The Red Flannel Festival seemed open to the idea.

“The Red Flannel Festival Board has always been open to discussion and we are encouraged that the City would like to participate in collaborative dialogue,” said an official statement from the Festival.

A committee was formed last fall to choose a new logo and tagline after the Cedar Springs City Council voted to no longer use the Red Flannel logo, after the Red Flannel Festival ordered them to stop using it without compensation to the Festival or face a lawsuit.

The committee received 16 entries for a new logo/tagline, and unanimously selected the tagline “Cherishing our Heritage, Embracing our Future,” with a logo of a cedar tree and a spring. Some members of the council had hoped to have more entries to choose from, and others were reluctant to make the decision themselves. Mayor Bob Truesdale liked the new logo, but also championed the possibility of a return to using the old logo. “We don’t appreciate something until it’s gone,” he said.

There was some heated discussion on the issue from both the council and audience members, but in the end, cool heads reigned, and it was decided to proceed with both the new logo, and discussions with the Festival on the old one.

Taylor said no meeting has been set up yet, but he was hoping for later this week.



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Putting the Pieces Together

Englishman N.T. Wright uses a pow-erful example of how our lives fit into the big picture of what God is doing in the world: It is that of a stonemason working on a great cathedral. When these architectural wonders were built during medieval times, the construction pro-cess lasted for decades, even centuries. The masons had little knowledge of how their work would fit into the big scheme. Most of them would not live to see the building completed. They had to trust that the architect would make their work count. Wright concludes his example saying, “The work we do in the present only gains its full significance somewhere in the future.” Nowhere is this illustration more apt than when it comes to our families. We carve the stones that are our children. We chip away at those strained relationships with our siblings or parents. We sand and cut the stones that make our marriage. We don’t know what it is all going to look like in the end. But we do the work put before us, and we trust God to put the pieces together. Certainly, we know the work of “fam-ily construction” is hardly ever easy, even though we preacher-types don’t always ac-knowledge this fact. We are swift to give the impression that if your family is not con-structed of a strong, spiritual bring-home-the-bacon father, a faithful, loving stay-at-home mother, and two and a half obedient, always compliant children, then your family isn’t “biblical” and your work is defective in some way. This is absolutely preposterous. If ineptness at home were a disqualifier, no family would have the construction ma-terials for a future, because every family is dysfunctional in one way or another; it is simply a matter of degree. This proves true especially with the “biblical” families found in the Scriptures. You will be hard pressed to find a family in the Bible – not even Jesus’ own family that once tried to hide him in a padded room – that is not seriously flawed. “Biblical” families, with all their murder, adultery, polygamy, sexism, violence, and envy are far less operational than most of our families, and I think that’s the point. If God can build his glorious cathedral with them, then he ought to be able to use, bless, and preserve our families too. God’s grace will be enough to beautifully construct what we cannot build on our own. Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated colum-nist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and rece

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Waiting in Line

My family and I just got back from the most magical place on Earth. No, not Cedar Springs—Disney! It is a wonderful place. They have gone to great lengths to ensure that you never see construction, they pick up every scrap of paper on the cement, and they don’t sell any gum (though I stepped on some in line). They have spent millions of dollars to ensure that you and your kids have the most wonderful experience, and it feels sometimes like you have spent millions, too! When you arrive back at your hotel, you are met by a smiling face that tells you, “Welcome home.” They have got it down to a science, and it’s a little slice of heaven.

There is, however, a down side to all of this—lines. And lots of them! Our family waited in line for over 2 hours for a ride that seemed like it lasted 30 seconds. It was exciting and exhilarating, but I’m not sure it was worth a two-hour wait. Then you wait in line for food (that costs a family of 5 over $50.00), and we shared drinks. Then you wait in line for the bus, you wait in line for a picture with Mickey Mouse, and you wait in line for airline security (then they take your water that you paid $5 for). Waiting in line is not one of the things that God has gifted me with. I’m guessing you are not either?

In fact, at one of the more memorable events of our short vacation, we witnessed the real downside of waiting. A bus to one of the parks was run-ning late, and apparently there was a missing bus, and so the bus was jam-packed. To top it off we made another stop and tried to fit more people on the already cramped bus, and two ladies got on the bus and they were really going at each other. At issue was who was in line first, and who had cut in line. It got really heated and I thought it would come to blows but thank-fully it didn’t. After it was all over, I was talking to my daughter about this situation and it struck us that around 30 percent of the world’s population lives on less than $1 a day, and here people are complaining about having to wait another 15 minutes for a bus to take them to Disney World. I am no better; I complain about tedious things all the time.

The reality is that we all have a place in line whether we want to be in line or not. Most of the time we don’t want to be in a line because we don’t like being in line, but we are all continually comparing ourselves to one an-other and determining our place in line. This is explained to us in a parable that Jesus tells in Matthew 20. It’s called the parable of the workers in the vineyard, and you can read it on your own, but basically this is the story. An owner of a vineyard goes early in the morning and hires some workers for a set fee to work until dark, then three hours later the landowner goes back to hire some more (for the same fee), and then he does the same thing again and again until there is only one hour of daylight left and he hires some men for the same pay.

When it’s time for the workers to be paid, they all get the same amount of money, and you can guess where this is going. The ones hired first feel like they got shafted because they have worked longer. Especially since the ones that were hired at the last minute got the same reward. Jesus tells those that listen that this is a picture of Heaven. Some will come to Him early, and some late, and some at the last second. The reward is the same for all. We serve a generous God that takes us as we are, and His love for us isn’t graded on a scale. He loves us all the same. It is His desire is that we all come to Him. Because His love for us is so generous, our love for others should be the same.

The next time you’re tempted to be upset or to judge who’s in front of you in line, remember what Jesus has done for you! Then you can spend eternity in the most magical place—heaven!

Rev. Tom Holloway
Solon CenTeRWeSleyan CHuRCH
15671 algoma ave, Cedar Spring

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Fast-tracked disability process now has 200 medical conditions

By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist


With the addition of 35 new Compassionate Allowances conditions involving cancers and rare diseases, there are now a total of 200 disabling conditions that qualify for Social Security’s expedited disability process. The Compassionate Allowances initiative fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.

In addition to increasing the list of eligible conditions, the agency has achieved another milestone. Since October 2008, nearly 200,000 people with severe disabilities nationwide have been quickly approved using the expedited process.

Compassionate Allowances allow us to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children.

Compassionate Allowances permit Social Security to target the most clearly disabled individuals for medical approvals based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Using the Compassionate Allowances criteria, most cases can be medically approved in less than two weeks. Compassionate Allowances conditions are added as a result of information received at public outreach hearings, comments from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, input from medical and scientific experts, and research from the National Institutes of Health. We also consider which conditions are most likely to meet our current definition of disability.

For more information about Compassionate Allowances, including a full list of qualifying conditions, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov


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