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Archive | August, 2013

Principal rounds

It was the first day of school. As the principal made his rounds, he heard a terrible commotion coming from one of the classrooms. He rushed in and spotted one boy, taller than the others, who seemed to be making the most noise. He seized the lad, dragged him to the hall, and told him to wait there until he was excused.

Returning to the classroom, the principal restored order and lectured the class for half an hour about the importance of good behavior. “Now,” he said,” are there any questions?

One girl raised her hand. “Please sir, may we have our teacher back?” she asked.

“Where exactly is your teacher?”

The girl smiled. “He’s in the hall, sir.”

 

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Golf outing fundraiser for library

The Friends of the Cedar Springs Library are hosting a golf outing (18-hole scramble) to help raise funds for a new library.

The golf outing will be held Saturday, September 14, at Cedar Chase, and will include a sizzler steak dinner. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and golf starts at 9 a.m. The cost is $75.

Hole sponsorship is $50 and includes a sign with your company name on a hole.

For more info, call the library at 696-1910 or Chris at (616) 293-5131.

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Turning pine cones into profit: helping to reforest state land

These jack pines cones will provide the seed needed to produce seedlings for state forests. DNR offices in Cadillac, Gaylord, Manistique and Marquette will be accepting cones from the public this fall.

These jack pines cones will provide the seed needed to produce seedlings for state forests. DNR offices in Cadillac, Gaylord, Manistique and Marquette will be accepting cones from the public this fall.

Want to play a part in the Department of Natural Resources’ mission of keeping state forests healthy and sustainable and maybe even make a few bucks in the process? Here’s your opportunity!

This fall, as cones are ripening, people can collect red and jack pine cones and sell them to the DNR by visiting offices in Cadillac, Gaylord, Manistique and Marquette. The seeds are placed in cold storage at the DNR-operated Wyman State Nursery until needed.
Each bushel of pine cones can net between $30 and $35 for the person willing to put in some sweat equity.

“The annual pine cone buying program provides an opportunity for residents to contribute to the DNR’s rejuvenation efforts and help produce millions of seedlings that will help sustain Michigan’s state forest land,” said Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division (FRD). “The DNR’s regeneration efforts have been successful for more than 30 years. With help from folks collecting pine cones, the outcomes of this program can be enjoyed for years to come.”

Michigan’s forests are known for their breathtaking beauty, sheer size and inviting spaces. These forest lands are carefully managed for timber, wildlife, recreation, aesthetic and ecological values – all of which play an important role in the state’s economy through forest-based industry and tourism.
Collaboration is important when it comes to successfully managing Michigan’s state forest land to meet these needs.

“It is no small job,” added O’Neill, who also serves as Michigan’s state forester. “Last spring alone, FRD staff planted more than 7 million seedlings on state forest land, reforesting around 7,500 acres.”
Many of the seedlings used in the DNR’s planting efforts come from Wyman. The Manistique-based facility produces 5 million to 7.5 million seedlings annually to help replenish Michigan’s forest land. If pine cones aren’t collected yearly, those seedlings won’t be produced.

The pine cones sold to the DNR can help produce seed and seedlings that will reforest habitats crucial to the survival of many species like deer, turkey and many other game and non-game species, including the federally endangered Kirtland’s warbler.

In addition to the Kirtland’s warbler habitat, the DNR also focuses its reforestation efforts on sites that have been harmed by natural disasters like wildfire.

“When natural circumstances—like last year’s Duck Lake Fire—destroy large areas of forest land, the DNR works to plant seedlings that will help areas regenerate faster than they would on their own,” explained David Neumann, FRD silviculturist. “Last spring, we planted about 1,200 acres in Newberry at the Duck Lake site; we have plans to plant an additional 3,000 acres over the next three to five years to help the area recover from the fire. “We leave some of the regeneration to nature, but will continue monitoring the site for the next few years,” he added.

While the pine cones collected have traditionally come from the eastern Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, the DNR is looking to push cone collection in the western U.P. this fall.
“The western U.P. has some of the highest-quality jack pine stands in the state,” said Tom Seablom, FRD timber management specialist in Marquette. “The DNR would like to start an annual collection program from this area so other areas can benefit.”

September and October are generally the best months to collect pine cones. For residents who are new to collecting pine cones in Michigan’s beautiful forests, the DNR offers the following tips to get started:

Look for squirrel caches.

Pick cones off the tops of trees from recent timber sales.

Remember that only cones that are tight (unopened) and clean (free of sticks, debris, rot, decay and fungus) will be accepted.

Keep the cones cool to ensure that they do not begin to compost; the seeds will die at high temperatures.

After the DNR purchases the pine cones, they are dried and the seeds are extracted and cleaned.
“Collected seeds can be stored several years, so your contribution will help the DNR grow jack and red pine seedlings now and well into the future,” O’Neill said. People interested in picking and selling cones to the DNR this fall can contact the FRD staff person in their area for more information and to find out the dates each office will buy cones from the public.

Cadillac: Sue Sobieski, 231-775-9727, ext. 6904

Gaylord: Tim Greco, 989-732-3541, ext. 5041

Manistique: Richard Mergener, 906-341-2518

Marquette: Tom Seablom 906-228-6561

For more information about the DNR’s reforestation efforts and state forest planning, visit www.michigan.gov/forestplan.

 

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Catch of the Week

*OUT-Catch jocelyn fish 004Jocelyn Rose, 6, the daughter of Eugene and Jackie Rose, of Kent City, caught her very first fish this summer at Myers Lake, in Courtland Township. And it was a beauty—a 24-1/4-inch pike! Way to go, Jocelyn—you made the Post Catch of the Week!

 

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No Child Left Inside Part 1

OUT-RangerSteveMuellerBy Ranger Steve Mueller

 

No child left inside is locally important for all things start at home. I emphasize what people can do to promote healthy nature niches on their property for families and wildlife. Our children are among those that live in our home nature niches.

An organized No Child Left Inside movement has been around for over a century in many forms by different names and sponsors. Field and Stream Clubs across the country have programs where youth get immersed in the outdoors. The emphasis focuses around hunting and fishing with a goal to help youth understand the natural world they depend on for life. They gave me a scholarship to wildlife camp for a week in 1964 where I learned about birds, mammals, fish, outdoor skills, and habitat management.

The National Audubon Society Junior Audubon program takes kids outdoors to experience birds, plants, insects, and all ecology our lives depend upon. The local Junior Audubon is the longest running program in North America according to Grand Rapids Audubon leader Wendy Tatar. My parents subscribed me to Junior Audubon booklets monthly for years that taught about soil, worms, insects, birds, mammals, amphibians, plant communities and the list goes on and on.

4H programs focus primarily on animal husbandry and plant propagation for making ones livelihood but it leads to understanding how all nature’s creatures like soil bacteria and mycorhiza fungus are essential for maintaining a healthy world. Paige Gebhardt, 4H student, graduated salutatorian this year from Cedar Springs High School and will attend Michigan State University studying wildlife programs. She told me this spring she would love to work with wolves and become a wildlife biologist to enhance healthy nature niches essential for the health of our community.

Boy and Girl Scout programs have been among the most influential for my personal development. Boy Scouts got me outside canoeing, camping, hiking, observing with focused activities where I could study the natural world. The leaders often did not have the best nature knowledge but they loved it. By the time I was in high school, scout leaders and other scouts often turned to me with nature questions because I immersed myself in outdoor study. The first nature book I bought with my own money was A Field to the Butterflies, by Alexander Klots. I had been chasing winged jewels for years and wanted better understanding.

The Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) is an organization of outdoor leaders and teachers focused on experiential outdoor recreational activities and for responsible environmental stewardship that is not environmentally destructive. I was president of MAEOE working to lead local communities in Michigan to help return environmental and outdoor education as a priority again in 2007. In 1986, Dale Elshoff and I both moved to Michigan and we were already trained Project WILD facilitators. Together we led the first statewide teacher training in Project WILD to establish it in Michigan. It is a form of no child left inside that teachers and organization leaders use with youth.

It was the beginning of June 2005 when I was called to the Kent ISD office and told to lay off the staff at the Howard Christensen Nature Center on the last day of school. The superintendent told me they were closing HCNC because environmental education was no longer a priority in America. I objected and he commented that he was not saying it was not important but it was no longer a priority in America, Michigan, or our community. There were several people throughout the county that contacted the ISD and even the Grand Rapids Press but environmental education had become a political football instead of a community value so it was closed. The Kent County Soil Conservation District reopened it a year later for two years and then a nonprofit organization called Lily’s Frog Pad assumed management. Their programs and community involvement are growing at HCNC to promote No Child Left Inside.

Next week’s nature niche will focus on the current No Child Left Inside movement.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net or Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433.

 

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DNR launches online ORV safety course

Operators of off-road vehicles (ORVs) in Michigan are now able to obtain their required Safety Training Certificate by taking a Michigan-endorsed and approved course at www.ATVcourse.com.

“The online ORV safety education course offered by ATVcourse.com is another option for students to obtain their ORV safety certificate,” said Cpl. John Morey of the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Law Enforcement Division. “The online content is modeled after our existing program and specifically tailored to Michigan.”

In Michigan, operators of ORVs under the age of 16 are required to have a Safety Training Certificate and be under the supervision of an adult to legally operate an ORV. While the training is not required for those 16 years of age and older, the DNR recommends all riders get the safety training.

Students who are unable to attend a traditional ORV classroom course may take this course as an option. The Michigan online ORV course will allow students to obtain the required safety certification on their own time, which will mean more young riders obtaining safety education in time to enjoy riding with their families.

To register for the online course (which is free to sign up and study for, and costs $29.95 upon completion), go to www.atvcourse.com/usa/michigan/.
For more information on ORV riding in Michigan—including trail maps, laws and regulations—go to www.michigan.gov/orvtrails.

 

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Fresh Market—Broccoli

BLOOM-broccoli‘’I do not like broccoli, and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it.  And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!’’ George Bush Sr., defending his edict to ban broccoli from the White House and Air Force One.

Within a week, broccoli growers in California, outraged by the comment, shipped ten tons of the vegetable to Washington D.C. where it was donated to local homeless shelters  to feed the hungry.

Bush may have done broccoli a favor in the long run as the ensuing firestorm brought broccoli into the public eye as never before! This manmade member of the cabbage family has had a love-hate relationship with humankind since its conception as early as the first century BCE.  The Romans were enamored with the crop and served it with herbs and wine as well as in cream sauces. Drusius, the son of Roman Emperor Tiberius, loved broccoli so much that he gorged on it (excluding all other foods) for an entire month.  It was only after his father chided him for “living precariously,” that he was induced to give it up.  It was during the Roman Empire that broccoli became a staple of their warriors who believed that it enabled them to gain strength for battles.

Despite its early success, its introduction into England and France in the early 18th century did not fare well.  And although broccoli received its debut in the United States over 200 years ago, it did not obtain favor with the general public until the D’Arrigo brothers, Stephano and Andrea, immigrants from Italy, established The D’Arrigo Brothers Company and created “the brand name Andy Boy, named after Stephano’s two-year-old son, Andrew. They advertised by sponsoring a radio program and featured ads for broccoli on the station. By the 1930s the country was having a love affair with broccoli. People were convinced that broccoli was a newly developed plant”(Wikipedia).

Broccoli is another powerhouse vegetable, rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant which has been found to help protect against cancer and aging.  Because beta-carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin, pairing foods rich in it with fats such as nuts or olive oil can help the body absorb it more readily. A cup of cooked broccoli provides as much calcium as 4 oz. of milk and as much Vitamin C as an orange while weighing in at only 44 calories. Eaten raw, one cup chopped comes in at only 24 calories! Looking to boost your potassium? Need iron? Adding fiber to your diet? All are reasons to put broccoli on the table.

 

Ham and Broccoli Roll-ups

1 Bunch fresh broccoli or 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen broccoli spears, cooked and drained

5 thin slices cooked Ham

½ cup Mayonnaise

3 T. Flour

½ tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

1 ½ cups Milk

1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Cheddar Cheese

Fine dry Bread Crumbs

Wrap ham around broccoli spears.  Place rolls in shallow casserole.  In small saucepan, stir together mayonnaise, flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add cheese, stirring until blended.  Pour sauce over rolls.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Broil 4 or 5 inches from source of heat 2 minutes or until bubbly.  Serves  5.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

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Prep your home and lawn checklist for fall

BLOOM-Prep-lawn(NewsUSA) – As autumn colors set in this season, make sure your all-important home and garden upkeep checklist is ready.

Although the lawn is often overlooked during the fall, it’s actually the perfect time to make sure everything is organized before the harsher winter elements take hold. Paul James, host of HGTV’s Gardening by the Yard, advises homeowners to start early—approximately six weeks before the first good freeze.

Here is a list of some of the tasks and items you should add to your fall checklist this year:

*Maintain the landscape. Tidy up the lawn, flowerbeds, bushes, gardens, etc. Remove unsightly foliage, dead stems, piles of leaves and other debris. Fluff your mulch with a rake so water can seep into the subsoil.

*Plant fall vegetables. Cool-season vegetable gardens can flourish with the right plants—lettuce, greens, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, potatoes and loads more. Imagine all the hearty stews and delicious soups you could make from scratch.

*Keep muscles relaxed, and stay hydrated. Don’t underestimate the fall sun. Summer may be over, but hours of gardening in the sun can still leave you exhausted, strained and parched. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, take breaks and stretch your muscles. If you suffer from backaches and muscle strains, keep some relief like Absorbine Jr. (www.absorbinejr.com) on hand. The natural menthol in Absorbine Jr. helps relieve muscle and back pain to make it a must-have for yardwork. Its herbal ingredients also help provide relief from sunburn and gnat and other insect bites.

*Make room for indoor plants. Your potted or container plants won’t survive the winter outside, so it’s time to make room indoors for tropical plants, herbs and succulents. Potted perennials can be transplanted into a garden after trimming the roots and some top growth.

*Clean garage, shed or outbuildings. Once you organize your storage space, you can neatly put away all of your summer tools or patio furniture. Plus, your newly emptied planters will have a home next to all the other stuff families accumulate.

 

 

 

 

 

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Top tips for avoiding injury and strain while gardening

BLOOM-Tips-to-avoid-injury-while-gardening

(BPT) – There are so many reasons it’s rewarding to tend a garden throughout an entire season. Every month offers new plant growth and well into autumn you get to enjoy nature’s bounty as well as mental and physical health benefits. And enthusiasm for gardening is high: Nearly half (49 percent) of American homeowners have gardened in the last 12 months, or 164 million people, as stated in a 2012 report on GreenhouseManagement.com. But one unwelcome part of taking up gardening as a hobby is the potential for strain and injury.

To get the most out of your time gardening, consider these tips for avoiding physical discomfort:

1. Start with a few stretches

You wouldn’t go for a jog or attend a workout class without warming up, so why would you garden without taking a few moments to stretch first? Before grabbing your tools and heading to your yard, spend five or 10 minutes doing stretches focusing on your arms, legs, back and neck. You’ll be moving and turning a lot, so be sure to stretch and loosen muscles to avoid strain when you’re out tending your garden.

2. Avoid bending and lifting the wrong way

Chronic back pain is an issue for many Americans both young and old. Just because you have back issues doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy gardening. Consider installing raised garden beds, which allow you to garden without having to bend over. Additionally, container gardens can be placed on tables or deck railings for easy access. If you don’t suffer from back pain, avoid back injury by bending and lifting the right way. Remember to maintain good posture, minimize quick twisting motions, bend at the hips and knees only, lift items in a slow and controlled manner, and enlist help if necessary.

3. Protect hands and wrists

Gardening can be physically demanding, and the repetitive motions of weeding, hoeing, raking or shoveling can be problematic for the hands and wrists, particularly if you suffer from arthritis. Minimize irritation by wearing a supportive glove, like Imak arthritis gloves, commended by the Arthritis Foundation for Ease-of-Use. These specially designed gloves provide mild compression that helps increase circulation, which ultimately reduces pain and promotes healing. Washable and made from breathable cotton, the gloves are great for the garden enthusiast. Plus the extra protection helps gardeners avoid painful blisters.

4. Protect the skin from the sun

One of the best parts of gardening is you get to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, but that can mean extended time in the sun so it’s important to protect your skin. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and light cotton clothing that covers exposed skin are good first steps. Always apply a water-resistant, broad-spectrum lotion that is SPF 30 or higher at least 15 minutes prior to going outside, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.

These simple tips will help position you for a full season of gardening delights. Without injury or other physical irritations, you’ll be able to savor the fruits of your labor in the beauty of Mother Nature.

 

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Police seek robbery suspect

This was the scene when the Admiral Gas Station at the corner of Main and Muskegon when it was robbed in October. It was robbed again Saturday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

This was the scene when the Admiral Gas Station at the corner of Main and Muskegon when it was robbed in October. It was robbed again Saturday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Admiral Gas Station in Cedar Springs was robbed early Saturday morning, August 17, and police are asking for info from the public to help track down the suspect.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, the suspect entered the store at 194 S. Main St. about 12:40 a.m. with something in his hand. He demanded money from the cash register and then fled on foot. A female clerk was alone in the store at the time.

A K-9 Unit from Grand Rapids Police Department assisted with a short track to the area of Beech Street and 1st Street, just to the northeast of the gas station. Other area police agencies also responded and assisted.

The suspect did not wear a mask or try to cover his face. He was described as a white male in his twenties, 5 feet 9 inches and around 190 pounds. He had side burns and a pierced tongue. He wore a navy blue baseball style cap, blue shirt, and black shorts with a white stripe down the side. A photo from the surveillance camera is not yet available.

This is the third time in 10 months that Admiral was robbed. It was last robbed on December 22, 2012, during a string of other robberies in the city at Christmas time.

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