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Archive | December, 2016

Year in Review: School board takes heat

Heidi Reed is one of two new faces on the Cedar Springs Board of Education this year.

Heidi Reed is one of two new faces on the Cedar Springs Board of Education this year.

Ted Sabinas is one of two new faces on the Cedar Springs Board of Education this year.

Ted Sabinas is one of two new faces on the Cedar Springs Board of Education this year.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education was under fire this year as many school staff members and residents took to the podium at school board meetings and wrote letters to the Post asking why four administrators had left since Supt. VanDuyn took over and expressing displeasure at the way certain matters were being handled by the board and administration. Many other residents and school staff took the opposite view, and said that they were supportive of the changes happening in the district.

Overflowing attendance at board meetings became the norm, as people on both sides of the issue yearned to have their voice heard.

The administrators in question had all resigned. Then two more administrators—elementary principals Andy Secor and Ken See—left last summer.

Later in the summer, the board released the Rehmann Report, a forensic audit that appeared to be targeted mainly at the athletic department. The forensic audit into record keeping in the athletic department at Cedar Springs Public Schools did not show any intentional misuse of funds or fraud, but did show that the district needs to have stricter policies and procedures on procurement cards and ensuring employees have the guidelines on how to use them. The report stated that they did not note any purchases under former Athletic Director Autumn Mattson that were inherently inappropriate.

“The investigation was a reflection of concerns brought to us about athletic accounts,” explained Dr. Laura VanDuyn, Superintendent at Cedar Springs Public Schools. “When several concerns mounted, the board decided to go ahead with the investigation. We are accountable to the community, staff, and parents. We are stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

Things got even more heated as the school board election campaign got underway. Incumbent Jeff Gust decided not to run again. Challengers Ted Sabinas (a former teacher and track coach) and Mistie Bowser campaigned together for two seats, and while challenger Heidi Reed and incumbent Joe Marckini campaigned separately, they were often promoted together by those writing letters to the editor. So it appeared there were two camps—Sabinas and Bowser (who questioned changes), and Reed and Marckini (who supported current administration). (A fifth candidate, Rita Reimbold, dropped out, saying she didn’t want to run against Marckini.) The election results showed, however, that it wasn’t quite so simple. Sabinas won his seat with 3,789 votes, and Reed won the second seat, with 3,602 votes. Bowser came in third with 2,789, and Marckini fourth, with 2,366.

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Year in Review: Cedar Spring Brewing wins awards

Cedar Springs brewing staff includes (from L to R): Director of Happiness, David Ringler; Benevolent Overlord of Brewing, Matt Peterson; and Fräulein Brewster, Manda Geiger.

Cedar Springs brewing staff includes (from L to R): Director of Happiness, David Ringler; Benevolent Overlord of Brewing, Matt Peterson; and Fräulein Brewster, Manda Geiger.

It’s been a banner year for the Cedar Springs Brewing Company, the restaurant and brewery that opened in November 2015 and continues to win accolades from loyal customers and critics alike. In May, customers voted it the best brewery in West Michigan. In June/July, customers nominated them for their fried chicken and MLive visited and named them as one of the best (#11 out of 52) in their search for Michigan’s best fried chicken, calling it absolutely delicious.

In May, they came in at number five out of MLive’s top 10 new breweries in Michigan. Customers nominated their favorite new breweries all across the state (from 2012 til now), and then MLive reporters Amy Sherman and John Gonzalez visited 30 finalists before making their decision on the top 10. When writing about Cedar Springs Brewing Company, they talked about how owner David Ringler learned to brew in Germany, and how his love for their country, traditions and traditional beers is infectious. They called his German beers excellent examples of classic styles, and called the Cedar Springs beer, CSIPA, a subtle, clean, quality beer. “The beers have nothing to hide behind, and don’t need to,” they wrote. “Their taste speaks volumes.”

In October, the brewery’s Küsterer Original Weissbier was the recipient of the bronze medal in the “South German Wheat Ale” category at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, held in Denver, Colorado.

“We are immensely proud to have brought home this award to Cedar Springs and Beer City, USA in our first competition,” stated owner David Ringler. “We are passionate about this style, along with Bavarian brewing traditions, and we continue to strive to get better every day. We thank everyone who has supported us along the way as this wouldn’t be possible without them.”

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Year in Review: Local grad in Hollywood film

Joshua Burge, a 1998 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, played Stubby Bill in several scenes of “The Revenant.”

Joshua Burge, a 1998 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, played Stubby Bill in several scenes of “The Revenant.”

Early last year, the Post featured 1998 Cedar Springs graduate Joshua Burge for his role in the movie “The Revenant,” a film that was up for 12 Academy Awards. Burge landed the role of Stubby Bill in the period drama about a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s, who fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy were just two of the seasoned actors that Burge got to work with. DiCaprio ended up winning an Oscar for best actor in the film.

In honor of Burge being in the film, the Kent Theatre made an exception to its normal PG-13 and lower rule and later showed the movie, which is rated R.

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The Year in thanks

Pastor Darryl Miller  

Sand Lake UMC 

65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC 

13600 Cypress, Ensley Township

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (KJV)

As a Methodist, the end of the year brings me to a time of filling out year-end forms. Although a job that is not at all enjoyed, it does bring a time of reflection. As we look back at the past year, we are able to see how God has revealed Himself to us and how He has been in the midst of so many things, not only in our church life but in our lives in general. Many of us have begun to do an inventory of our personal lives over the past year to see how many “God sightings” that we recognize. So many times God reveals Himself to us without our recognizing what is happening. A cold that doesn’t last as long as it should have, a near miss in the car that could have been an accident, or a feeling of peace in a tense situation.

Of course many of us have had tragedies in the past year and we may not have seen God at work. And yet, He is always there. It may seem hard to “give thanks in all things” but remembering this, even in turmoil, reminds us that God draws us nearer to Himself and he is always there for us.

As the New Year begins, why don’t you see if you can remember the times that God has been there for you. And give thanks for these times because God is reminding us that He is a living God who truly cares for and loves us all.

I hope that you have all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas and that your New Year is one of blessings and grace. Remember that there is a God that loves you very much and that He wants to be a part of your life. Want to know more? Check out a church near you! Blessings to you all!

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MARGARET G. ELDRED

c-obit-eldred-1

c-obit-eldred-2Margaret G. Eldred 98 of Cedar Springs, passed safely into Jesus’ arms Monday, December 26, 2016 at Metro Health Hospital. Mrs. Eldred was born March 19, 1918 in Cedar Springs, Michigan the daughter of Howard and Muriel (Ferguson) French. During her life she had enjoyed horseback riding, hunting, ice fishing, gardening, mushroom hunting and agate picking. She was a lifelong member of the Free Methodist Church and was a loving and caring mother and grandmother. Surviving are her daughters, Tanya Eldred and Terri Matz; grandchildren and the light of her life, Riley Keith and Lucina Margaret; brother, Merlyn (SangKi) French; sister-in-law, Wilma Eldred; many nieces and nephews; special friends, Patricia Patin and Leah Sims Battle. She was preceded in death by her husband, Keith in 1997 and a brother, Kenneth French. A private family service will take place at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Pastor Wayne Cash officiating. A memorial service will be announced in the summer. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Indian School or Cedar Christian Academy.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

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Thank you

Thank you to my wonderful friends, family, and church for your love, prayers, support, gifts, and visits through my time of illness. A special thanks goes out to my great-granddaughter, 4 year old Sophia, who frequently came to check on me and cheer me up with her sweet songs. Also for my dear neighbor, Alice, who came often to sit with me when my family members needed a break. Thank you to my caroling TOPS club members from Sand Lake that paid a special visit. I plan to be with you soon.

Love, 

Verta Giddings

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Meaningful New Year’s resolution

Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

When making a New Year’s Resolution, make it fun and emotionally meaningful for you and family members.

I have been reading research studies on how informal learning spaces like your yard provide the opportunity to make life experience connections. They have long-term impact for family understanding about the environment that support a healthy and sustainable future. Create a pesticide free butterfly garden with native plants to entice insects, birds, neighbors, and friends. Let’s get everyone outside.

Creating a pesticide-free butterfly garden helps children learn about nature, while helping the insects and birds in your own backyard.

Creating a pesticide-free butterfly garden helps children learn about nature, while helping the insects and birds in your own backyard.

To develop an interest in nature and natural history research suggests a need for frequent and recurring experiences over many years. Last week’s nature niche was about our family’s Christmas tree experiences that continued throughout the kids’ entire growing up adventure.

Involvement with local fauna and flora instill emotional feelings that create responsibility for the local natural and human community. It is an experiential place-based education. When local plants and animals like insects are discovered and valued, conservation and re-wilding our neighborhoods becomes feasible. One research paper focused on the ecological importance of insects for our own healthy living.

When considering a New Year’s Resolution, select activities where the family explores outdoors on trails at county parks, nature centers, or has excursions in the yard. I recall one family experience when Jenny Jo saw dots high in the sky when she was about three. She asked what birds were flying. I looked and said I missed them. She asked again and I looked more intently. I was looking too close. The birds were very high in the sky.

We went outside and saw about 250 Broad-wing Hawks soaring in a heat thermal as they migrated south one October. It was an amazing experience that took about five minutes. It provided an emotional connection with the natural world. Reading and showing pictures of hawks riding thermals in books or on the Internet does not create an emotional connection that effectively builds appreciation for the natural world.

Perhaps your childhood experiences did not include similar events but it is I time to create new meaningful family traditions with emotional nature connections. Walking in natural areas, exploring wild things in your yard, or growing a butterfly garden will persist in the mind and heart of child for a lifetime.

Outdoor experiences help organize knowledge in the brain by what I call “hook” placement. It provides a hook in the mind to place experience knowledge in your own mental file cabinet. Once sorted and stored in a meaningful manner, book knowledge has a good place to be combined for rapid recall. It prevents searching unsuccessfully for things that get misplaced somewhere deep in memory recesses. Classroom book knowledge becomes more effective when connected with real world experiences like field trips to nature centers.

We learn best when we connect emotional outdoor experiences with new knowledge gained from what we hear, read, or see when surfing the Internet. We can compare a multitude of misinformation we are bombarded with from other people or see on the Internet. Nature exposure helps us make better sense of our surroundings.

Make the best New Year’s resolution ever. Explore outdoors with the family to build connections with each other and with the nature world during the coming year. It is more fun than resolving to lose weight.

The research paper concluded that intellectual messages detached from direct real world experiences in the outdoors are often impotent.

My friend Bob Pyle, a nature writer and butterfly field guide author, states that the butterfly net is perhaps the cheapest, simplest and most effective environmental tool ever invented.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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State parks help kick off 2017 resolutions with Shoe Year’s Day hikes

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Click to enlarge

Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to kick their New Year’s resolutions into high gear at a number of “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes taking place in Michigan state parks and recreation areas Dec. 31-Jan. 8.

Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to kick their New Year’s resolutions into high gear at a number of “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes taking place in Michigan state parks and recreation areas Dec. 31-Jan. 8.

For many people, a new year is the time for making resolutions. Frequently, those resolutions involve making a pledge to become healthier. With that sentiment in mind, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages residents to kick off 2017 by bringing Michigan’s great outdoors into the mix.

The DNR, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Recreation and Park Association are joining together to encourage residents to shift their New Year’s resolutions into high gear at “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes taking place Dec. 31-Jan. 8 at several Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

“There are countless benefits to using Michigan’s great outdoors as your gym,” said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. “People tend to work out longer, enjoy their workout more, and burn more calories by exercising outside, while enjoying the beauty of our state.”

All “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes are free; however, a Recreation Passport is required for any vehicle entering a Michigan state park or recreation areas. Snowshoes will be available to rent at most locations.

According to Olson, the Recreation Passport is a great value and may be the most affordable gym membership available. The annual pass costs residents $11 for vehicle access to 103 state parks and 138 state forest campgrounds, as well as parking for hundreds of trails and staffed boat launches.

The following Shoe Year’s guided hikes are scheduled:

Maybury State Park (Wayne County) Dec. 31 at 10 a.m.

Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County) Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.

Waterloo Recreation Area (Jackson County) Jan. 1 at 11 a.m.

Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Barry County) Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.

Ludington State Park (Mason County) Jan. 7 at 6 p.m.

Rockport Recreation Area (Alpena County) Jan. 7 at noon

Sleeper State Park (Huron County) Jan. 7 at 6 p.m.

Straits State Park (Cheboygan County) Jan. 7  at 5 p.m.

Mitchell State Park (Wexford County) Jan. 8 at 1 p.m.

If you can’t make it to one of the fun events going on across the state, you can still take advantage of Michigan’s parks, trails and waterways on your own time by visiting a Michigan state park or recreation area, the Iron Belle Trail or the more than 12,500 miles of state-designated trails.

Michigan is part of the nationwide First Day Hikes program coordinated by the National Association of State Park Directors. They were inspired by the First Day Hikes that originated more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. Last year, more than 55,000 people participated on guided hikes that covered over 133,000 miles on 1,100 hikes across the country.

Visit www.michigan.gov/shoeyearhikes to view the calendar of events.

Share your resolution on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using #MiShoeYear.

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Fishing tip: Targeting northern pike at first ice

First ice of the season is a good time to catch northern pike. Photo from the Michigan DNR.

First ice of the season is a good time to catch northern pike. Photo from the Michigan DNR.

From the Michigan DNR

Many anglers will agree the first ice of the winter season often produces some of the best northern pike fishing you can find.

There could be a couple of reasons why this is so. Perhaps it’s because there is plenty of baitfish for them to target thanks to a decrease in weed cover, or perhaps it’s because first ice is often clear and allows the sight-feeding fish to target their prey more easily because of the penetration of sunlight. Regardless, the coming weeks (weather permitting) are a great time to target this species.

You’ll want to use a tip-up for this type of fishing, with a minnow or small panfish on the end of your line. Keep in mind you can catch small panfish in the lake you’re fishing and legally use them as bait in the same water body.

Target similar areas that you may have fished for northern pike when there was still open water and you might see some success!

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Red Hawk bowling results

Red Hawk Bowlers Breanna Feikema, Josh Hamilton, Trevor Ruark, and Dugan Conely were among the top 10 bowlers at their own invite at the Westgate bowling alley December 17.

Red Hawk Bowlers Breanna Feikema, Josh Hamilton, Trevor Ruark, and Dugan Conely were among the top 10 bowlers at their own invite at the Westgate bowling alley December 17.

On Wednesday December 14, the boys and girls Red Hawk bowling teams had a conference match against Forest Hills Central. The boys secured a win 18 to 12. The girls won 22 to 8, with freshman Omani Morales bowling her high school high game of 246.

On Saturday, December 17, Cedar Springs held an invite at Westgate. The boys placed second in the top 8 to qualify for tournament play out of 13 teams, but fell short in the semi- finals to Caledonia, with a 2 baker total of 381 to 387.

The girls placed third in the top 8 to qualify for tournament play out of 10 teams, but fell short in the semi-finals to Caledonia with a 2 baker total of 328 to 338.

Three boys bowlers and one girl bowler made the top 10 bowlers of the day. Breanna Feikema placed 10th; junior Josh Hamilton placed first, bowling his highest game ever—a 279; Trevor Ruark placed third; and Dugan Conely 8th.

On Wednesday, December 21, the Red Hawks had a conference match against Ottawa Hills, with the boys securing a win 26-4. Sophomore Dane Conely scored his high school high game of 213.

The girls won 29-1, with 3 Cedar Springs girls bowling their high school highs. Sophomore Sarah Galloway had a 181; freshman Katelyn Paige had a 175; and sophomore Michayla Paige had a 154.

Aliya Linson secured the one point for Ottawa Hills by bowling a 143.

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