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Archive | April, 2016

SUSAN E. ODREN

Susan E. Odren

Susan E. Odren

Susan E. Odren, 59, of Sand Lake, died Friday, April 22, 2016 at her home. Susan was born July 4, 1956 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the daughter of George and Esther (Pacewiecz) Chmurynski. She retired from the Cedar Springs office of AT&T after 30 years of service. She loved animals, enjoyed gardening and was a very generous and God fearing woman. Surviving are her husband, Phillip; children, Melissa (Matthew) Moyer, Andrew (Heather) Odren, Corene Rodriquez, Megan (Wade) VanDyke; grandchildren, Elizabeth, Brandon, Brandon, Lauren, Sally, Evan and Nickolas; mother, Esther Chmurynski; sisters, Terri (Jeffrey) Rees, Robin (David) Chmurynski-Mattman; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, George Chmurynski. A Rite of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 10:00 am at Mary Queen of Apostles. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to the Montcalm County Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 368, Stanton, MI 48888.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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Louise Marie (Brunnenkant) Bassett

Louise marie Bassett

Louise marie Bassett

Louise Marie (Brunnenkant) Bassett, age 86, of Gowen, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was born March 25, 1930 in Mt. Pleasant, the daughter of Otto and Margaret (Hein) Brunnenkant. She was a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church in Howard City, loved gardening, motorcycle riding, cooking, family gatherings, family Doctor receptionist, bookkeeper of husband’s business, mother, grandma great-grandma and a homemaker. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 65 years Ramon Bassett and her four children, Renae & (Stanley) Kimes of Belding, Debra & (Norman) Chee of New Mexico, Judy & (William) Fish of Rockford and Jeffrey (Debbie) Bassett of Sparta; 10 grandchildren, Matthew Kimes of Belding, Michelle Kimes Schreiner of Cedar Springs, Peter & (Brandilyn) Fish of Cedar Springs, Kathryn Fish & (Brooks Hobson) of East Grand Rapids, Emily & (Kevin) Ritzema of Cedar Springs, Abigail Bassett of Howard City, Whitney Bassett of Sparta and Hannah, Brian & Ben Chee of New Mexico; 6 great-grandchildren, Colten, Dakota and Shalynn of Cedar Springs, Mason and Madison Hobson of East Grand Rapids and Aiden Ritzema of Cedar Springs. She is preceded in death by her parents Margaret and Otto Brunnenkant. Funeral Services were held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Howard City, with Pastor Steven Frentz officiating. Visitation was Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville and on Monday from 10 a.m. at the church till the services on Monday. Burial took place at Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs following the luncheon at the church. In Lieu of flowers those wishing to make a contribution in Louise’s name are asked by the family to contribute to Lacks Cancer Center of St. Mary’s or the Bethel Lutheran Church.Arrangements are by the Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville, with complete obituary online at www.marshallfuneralhomeinc.com where you can leave a message of condolence for the family.

Arrangements by Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville

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It’s getting harder to govern, and it’s not just politicians’ fault

Lee Hamilton

Lee Hamilton

By Lee H. Hamilton

We may not know who our next President is going to be, but here’s one thing that’s almost certain: he or she will take office with roughly half of the electorate unhappy and mistrustful. The notion that the President speaks for a broad coalition of Americans who are willing to set aside their differences on behalf of a compelling new vision for the country? It’s vanished.

I’ve spent a lot of time pondering where it went, and though I still haven’t found an answer, I do know this: it’s not only Washington’s—or even the political class’s—fault.

Let’s start with a lament I hear frequently about this year’s crop of presidential candidates: “Is this the best we can do?” I used to believe that the popular argument that the best among us do not seek political office was wrong—that there were plenty of standout Americans who went into politics. And there are. But there are also a lot of talented people—the kind who could lead us beyond our tired political discourse—who take a look at politics and turn the other way these days.

I’ve known a lot of very good people in politics, who were motivated by a true interest in improving the country and saw politics as a competition of ideas, not a mean-spirited clash of ideologies. I see less of this today. Many politicians seem genuinely not to like one another. They see a victory by the other party as a threat to the well-being of the nation.

This is a departure from the past, and it’s not a healthy one. There was a time when the parties and other organizations that brought disparate voters together—charitable institutions, unions—helped build a unity of effort in the government. But groups like that are weaker now.

Which is a shame in a year like this, when voters are angry and distrustful and worried by economic insecurity. They don’t have much appetite for the substance and complexity of policy, seem to relish the clashes that this year’s campaigning has produced, and are uninterested in talk of finding common ground.

It’s a campaign year, of course, so a certain amount of this is to be expected. But if the voters’ surly mood and mistrust carry over after November, it’s going to be very hard for the next President—and politicians in general—to govern effectively.

Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

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“King Klong” at the Kent Theatre

Big King Klong.

Big King Klong.

Actors del Arte Ensemble of West Michigan of Rockford Mi. is presenting a 10-ft ape on stage this weekend at The Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs.

The oversized primate with an attitude is hard to dismiss—he is the star attraction of the upcoming 2-act play.

The great ape and ensemble of 28 actors recreates the classic 1933 black and white film King Kong with a few modifications.

Great costumes, stage sets, and giant ape all add up to one legendary show,” said Play Director Patricia Rose, “one the whole family can enjoy.”

Rather than New York, the giant ape’s debut takes place in Chicago—so no Empire State Building take down. He ends up on Carnagie Towers instead, battling the bi-planes of the era.

It’s a love story between Klong and May Raye, and the efforts of a rich showman to exploit him. “He’s a money-maker and I’m doing all I can to capitalize on that, whether the ape likes it or not,” said Randy Galaszewski, who plays John King of Gold Star Productions. Galaszewski, who has appeared in scores of plays, locally produced movies, and television commercials, has the lead role, which he calls one of his favorites in his 30-year career. “How often do you get to fall in love with a starlet, only to have a knuckle-dragging primate get in the way?” he chuckled.

The audience will marvel at the ingenuity it took Brian Thomas to create this creature we call Klong. Hours of work—a labor of love actually on Brian’s part. There are a wide range of costumes created by Jenny Chertos and a beautiful back drop she has created for the story. So much talent we have invested in this production .

King Klong is really a laugh filled romp through the jungles of South America,

a true parody of the original,” said Patricia Rose director with over 50 years of theatre experience.

It takes you back to the Chicago of the Great Depression era, where the common man could sit in a darkened theater and for 20 cents escape the cold reality of the times and be transported to another world,” she said.

Ticket prices are Adults $10, Students $5 and Seniors $8. Tickets at the door.

Showtimes are Friday April 29 at 8 p.m., and Saturday at April 30 at 2 and 8 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre 8 N. Main St, Cedar Springs. For more info call 616-874-5264.

To see a video about the show go to : https://vimeo.com/162131441

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Sen. MacGregor to hold office hours

Senator Peter MacGregor will be holding office hours on Friday, April 29th from 7:30-9:00 am at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.

I will be available to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of the district may have.  Office hours are a one-on-one meeting with constituents, and in order to see as many people as possible please keep the conversation to ten to fifteen minutes. If your question requires additional time, please contact my office to set up an appointment.”

For more information or to contact his office, please visit SenatorPeterMacGregor.com or call 1-855-347-8028.

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Cedar Springs Museum open this weekend

The Cedar Springs Historical Museum at Morley Park will be open on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., as part of the Tri-River Historical Museum network’s event “Spring into the Past.” The event is to help residents discover the small local museums in over 20 communities. Located in quaint buildings, each museum is unique and displays the history of their community. Besides the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, other area museums that will be open include the Rockford Area Museum, Oakfield Township Museum, and Plainfield Township’s Hyser Rivers Museum in Belmont. These and 20 other member museums will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. those two days. You can download a guide at http://www.addorio.com/TriRiver/springintopast2016.pdf or pick one up at any member museum. Ask about the new Tri-River Quilt trail, too.

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Ease into gardening with a raised bed 

Raised bed gardens with benches make it easier to plant, maintain and harvest. Photo credit: Bonnie Plants  

Raised bed gardens with benches make it easier to plant, maintain and harvest. Photo credit: Bonnie Plants

By Melinda Myers  

Raise your garden to new heights for easier access and greater productivity. Raised beds allow you to overcome poor soil by creating the ideal growing mix, plus make gardening time more comfortable thanks to less bending and kneeling.

Whether you purchase a kit or build your own, there are a few things to consider when creating a raised bed garden.

Locate the garden in a sunny area if possible. Most plants require at least six hours of sun, and vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and melons produce best with a full day of sunlight.

Select a long-lasting material such as interlocking block, fieldstone, plastic lumber or naturally long lasting wood like cedar. The material selected will influence the shape and size of your garden. Some materials allow for curved beds while others are limited to squares, rectangles and other angular shapes.

Design your raised bed to fit your space and your needs. A three- or four-feet width makes it easy to reach all parts of the garden for planting, weeding and harvesting. Raising your planting bed at least 8 to 12 inches improves drainage and provides an adequate space for most plants to root and grow. If you want to minimize bending, go higher. Add benches to increase your gardening comfort and ease. Bonnie Plants has free downloadable plans (bonnieplants.com/library) for building a raised bed garden with benches in just one afternoon.

Roughen or loosen the existing soil surface if your bed is built on compact, slow-draining soil. This will allow water to readily move from the raised bed into the soil below. Cover the bottom of the bed with newspaper or cardboard, if needed, to suffocate existing weeds and grass.

Line the bottom of your raised bed with hardware cloth to reduce the risk of animals burrowing into your garden. Lay the hardware cloth over the ground and bend it up along the inside of the raised bed walls.

Fill the bed with a quality growing mix that is well drained but also able to retain moisture and nutrients. This may be a mixture of quality topsoil and compost, a high quality potting mix, or a planting mix designed specifically for raised bed gardens.

Grow any plants that you normally would grow in ground. Just make sure the plants are suited to the growing conditions (such as sunlight, heat and wind) in your area. Since the soil mix and drainage is ideal in a raised garden, you will be able to grow more plants per square foot. Just be sure to leave sufficient room for plants to reach their mature size.

Keep your plants healthy and productive with proper watering. This is critical for growing any garden, but even more crucial in a fast-draining raised bed. The simple act of raising the garden height increases drainage, and a raised bed filled with planting mix means more frequent watering. Consider using drip irrigation or soaker hoses for watering ease. Always water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry.

Add some mulch to help reduce watering and the need for other garden maintenance. Spread a layer of evergreen needles, pine straw, shredded leaves or other organic matter over the soil surface. This helps conserve moisture, suppresses weeds and adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. You’ll spend less time watering and weeding throughout the season.

Add an organic fertilizer at planting if your planting mix does not already contain one. Apply again mid-season if the plants need a nutrient boost. Always follow the label directions on the fertilizer container.

The time and effort invested in creating raised beds will be returned many times over with years of healthy and productive gardens.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Bonnie Plants for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ website is www.melindamyers.com

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Know what’s below before you dig this spring

It’s important to find out where utility lines are before you begin a yard renovation project.

It’s important to find out where utility lines are before you begin a yard renovation project.

(BPT) – With the snow gone and the ground thawed, many eager homeowners and landscape professionals across the country are rolling up their sleeves and reaching for their shovels to start projects that require digging this spring.

During the transition into “digging season,” Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the association dedicated to protecting underground utilities and the people who dig near them, reminds homeowners and professional diggers that calling 811 is the first step towards protecting you and your community from the risk of unintentionally damaging an underground line.

Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a free call to 811. Installing a mailbox or fence, building a deck and landscaping are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after making a call to 811. Calling this number connects you to your local one call utility notification center.

According to data collected by CGA in a phone survey in late February, more than half (46 percent) of American homeowners said they plan to do DIY projects involving digging this year, but 40 percent of them do not plan to make a free call to 811 before digging. Extrapolated to the full population of U.S. homeowners, approximately 51.8 million people will dig this year without first calling 811.

A utility line is damaged every six minutes in America because someone decided to dig without making a call to 811 to learn the approximate location of buried utilities in their area. Unintentionally striking one of these lines can result in inconvenient outages for entire neighborhoods, harm to yourself or your neighbors and repair costs.

As a result, CGA offers the following tips to make sure you complete your project safely and without any utility service interruptions, so you don’t become a statistic.

Here’s how the 811 process works:

1. One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for your local one call center to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Call a few days prior to digging to ensure enough time for the approximate location of utility lines to be marked with flags or paint.

2. When you call 811, a representative from your local one call center will ask for the location and description of your digging project.

3. Your local one-call center will notify affected utility companies, which will then send professional locators to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines.

4. Only once all lines have been accurately marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.

There are nearly 19 million miles of underground utility lines in the United States that your family depends on for everyday needs including electric, gas, water and sewer, cable TV, high-speed Internet and landline telephone. That equals more than a football field’s length of utilities for every person in the United States. With that much critical infrastructure underground, it’s important to know what’s below and call 811 before digging.

To find out more information about 811 or the one call utility notification center in your area, visit call811.com.

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Simple seasonal tips to keep plumbing operating smoothly

PHOTO CREDIT: (c) corbis_fancy - Fotolia.com

PHOTO CREDIT: (c) corbis_fancy – Fotolia.com

(StatePoint) – Proper seasonal maintenance can keep your plumbing running smoothly. Experts say that even those with no experience can inspect for issues and perform simple tasks to prevent costly repairs.

“You don’t have to be a crackerjack plumber to handle basics and protect your home,” says Jeff Devlin, host on HGTV and DIY Networks.

Devlin offers homeowners some key plumbing tips:

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Ensure drains have strainers to prevent debris from clogging drain lines. Check faucets for drips and leaks.

Inspect the toilet tank and bowl for visible cracks. Check for hidden leaks by adding six drops of food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.

Ensure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down to flush, or jiggled to stop water from running, you may need to replace parts.

Clean mineral deposits from the shower head. Unscrew it and soak in vinegar overnight. Then gently scrub with an old toothbrush.

Water Heater

Carefully drain several gallons from the tank to flush out corrosion-causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater. Consider replacing those older than 15 years with a new, energy-efficient model.

Appliances

Check your dishwasher, washing machine and ice maker’s supply hoses for bulges or leaks. Replace hoses showing signs of weakness or those older than ten years. Use stainless steel hoses, which are more reliable and less prone to bursting.

Clean your washing machine lint trap, and place a wire trap or a piece of pantyhose over the end of the hose that drains the washer.

General

Pour water into infrequently used drains to fill traps and prevent odors. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they’ll carry water away during flooding.

Take a reading on your water meter before bedtime. The next morning, without using any water overnight, take another reading. If it’s changed, you have a leak that should be repaired.

Outside

Free yard drains, gutters and downspouts of debris. Check for bird nests in plumbing vent pipes. Check faucets and hose bibs to ensure water flows freely. If an outdoor faucet drips, or if there is leakage inside your home the first time the hose is turned on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.

Be Equipped

Look for commercial-quality products designed with average consumers in mind. For example, Roto-Rooter, the number one brand in plumbing, with 80 years of experience, now offers a complete line of consumer products that contain 25 percent more active ingredients and clear clogs 50 percent faster than the competition.

“It’s stronger and faster which means you can get the job done right the first time,” says Devlin.

Devlin, who lives in an historic farmhouse, recommends the brand’s Septic Treatment, which contains twice the amount of enzymes to keep septic tanks in balance. More information about the product line can be found at rotorooter-products.com.

“Be proactive,” says Devlin. “A few minutes of prevention could save you tens of thousands of dollars in costly repairs.”

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The 10-Step Sugar Detox Plan: For you and your children

Healthy drink.

Healthy drink.

For adults who crave candy and ice cream almost as much as their children, the bad news on sugar continues to pour in.

Earlier this year, research into sugar’s deleterious effects showed a connection to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. More recently, the American Dental Association reminded parents just how bad sugar is for their children’s teeth.

(http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2016-04-01/health-tip-limit-your-childs-sugar-consumption)

“We think we’re so advanced in 2016, yet when it comes to health and a nutritious diet, many of us have a long way to go,” says nutritionist and juicing pioneer Cherie Calbom, who is known as “The Juice Lady.”

The good news for parents is they can ferret out the sugar-laden products that may be hidden in their and their children’s diets, and dedicate themselves to a healthy, sugar-free lifestyle, says Calbom, author of “The Juice Lady’s Sugar Knockout.” She offers her Sugar Addiction Quiz at www.juiceladycherie.com/Juice/the,sugar,knockout.

Below is Calbom’s solution: a 10-step detox plan that parents can work on with their children to eliminate sugar in both their diets.

1. Avoid all sugar. If you can do it for 30 days, you can change your lifestyle. During this time, avoid even healthy sweeteners like honey, and substitutes, which overwhelm the taste buds.

2. Cut caffeine intake. There are multiple benefits to cutting back on your caffeine, including the temptation to use sugary creamers and accompanying sweets along with actually causing sugar cravings.

3. Skip foods that turn to sugar easily. This includes wheat and other grains, alcohol and starchy foods like white potatoes.

4. Enjoy healthy smoothies. Healthy smoothies that include dark leafy greens like kale or chard make you feel good in the long term and can help eliminate the urge for sugary snacks and excessive caffeine.

5. Power up with protein. Eggs, nuts, fish and other meats balance blood sugar and insulin.

6. Eat your veggies. Non-starchy vegetables provide your body with much-needed vitamins that also will cut your urge for unhealthy, sugary snacks.

7. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Sufficient pure water keeps you hydrated, reduces headaches and constipation, and flushes out toxins.

8. Supplement your diet. GTF chromium, L-Glutamine, B vitamins, Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin C assist your body in various ways to overcome sugar cravings.

9. Sleep well; sleep enough. Lack of sleep messes with your hormonal balance and contribute to feelings of hunger.

10. Fight sugar cravings with fat. Healthy fats like avocados and fish make you feel full and satisfied.

“Beware of sugar in places you might not have expected, like tomato sauces, salad dressing and marinades,” Calbom says. “Make a habit of studying labels.”

Cherie Calbom holds a Master of Science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Known as “The Juice Lady” www.juiceladycherie.com for her work with juicing and health, she is author of 31 books, with millions of copies sold worldwide. No stranger to healthy diet trends, Cherie joined George Foreman as nutritional spokesperson in the Knockout the Fat phenomena that forever changed grilling in America.

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