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Archive | January, 2018

Birding tour of Ottawa County set for Jan. 31

Participants in the Jan. 31 birding tour might get a rare opportunity to see a harlequin duck that has been spotted on Lake Macatawa since December.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Ottawa County Parks and Recreation will lead a guided caravan birding tour of coastal Ottawa County Wednesday, Jan. 31, beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding at approximately 2 p.m.

No signup is necessary. The tour will begin from Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center, located at 8115 West Olive Road in West Olive. After a brief introduction, the tour will proceed to Holland State Park, Port Sheldon and Grand Haven State Park, with the itinerary adjusting for preferred open-water areas and bird concentrations.

Michigan bird conservation coordinator Caleb Putnam of Audubon Great Lakes and the DNR, other DNR staff members and Ottawa County Parks naturalist Curtis Dykstra will be on hand to answer questions about wildlife management, habitat projects under way at state and county parks, and hunting opportunities.

The tour will focus on open-water pockets with concentrations of waterfowl and gulls. Participants should expect to see thousands of waterfowl, including common and red-breasted mergansers, common goldeneyes, several species of gulls, and with luck, a rarity such as a black-legged kittiwake or harlequin duck (one of each has been present at Lake Macatawa since December).

Participants should dress for very cold temperatures, snow/rain and high winds, and should bring binoculars and spotting scopes if possible. The trip leaders will have a small number of scopes available for those who do not have them.

The Recreation Passport ($11 for Michigan vehicles, $5 for Michigan motorcycles) is required for vehicle entry to all 103 Michigan state parks. Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport by checking “YES” when renewing license plates at a Secretary of State branch office, self service station or online.

Those who didn’t check “YES,” or are visiting in a nonresident vehicle, can purchase a window sticker at the park’s visitor contact station. Please note that when purchased on-site, a $5 processing fee is added, bringing the cost to $16. Nonresidents pay $32 for an annual pass or $9 for a day pass. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next vehicle plate renewal date. For details, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

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Old Books

 

By Ranger Steve Mueller

My bookshelves are filled with old books. Authors shared riveting human connections with animals. I grew up at the edge of a city and ventured to wild country two blocks away. That countryside had scattered fallow farm fields nestled among active croplands in a flat open landscape that stretched for miles. 

I read fiction stories about dogs, a boy, and their adventures in the wild but my experience was hunting quarry in the fallow farm fields. The quarry was butterflies, frogs, and a lone big tree that could be climbed. I resorted to fictional books for connections with large wild creatures that did not live in my neighborhood.

This duck is known as a surf scoter. The male’s strong head pattern earns the species the hunters’ nickname of “skunk-head coot.” Photo from audubon.org.

By middle school age, I was reading non-fiction about animals and developed a sense of purpose to share the world with them rather than usurp it from them. I had yet to become a naturalist or spend time in truly wild places. By age 15, I was working during the summer at a Boy Scout camp, living in a tent, and exploring wild woodlands at the scout camp. 

The world of discovery unfolded as I followed animal trails, stumbled upon deer bedded in bracken ferns, and found a skeleton that challenged me to determine what caused the animal’s death. I still have that deer skull and bones I found in a bog in 1962. I determined it got mired in the muck and could not free itself. It is a prized possession I often show visitors. 

Early connections with nature developed mostly through exploratory adventures. As my curiosity expanded, I needed help. Books became important. I bought my first nature field guide when I was 15. It was a late start. My exploration was limited to places I could reach by walking or biking. I had an opportunity that many kids did not. Our family took a trip to western national parks when I was eight and again when I was twelve. 

It was on one of those trips I decided to become a park ranger. I needed to absorb as much nature niche knowledge as possible. I did not know how to study wildlife. New books have the latest information and field guides have improved in many ways. The newest books are concise with great photographs but many do not retain the flavor of old books that have detailed observational descriptions written by early authors. 

I was told recently that books are a thing of the past because technology has made the information available electronically. I disagree; books are not a thing of the past. Most old books by nature writers are not available like popular novels for MP3 players or other electronic means. Old natural history works that can be held in hand contribute a foundation for present day books. They can often be found inexpensively for sale online.  

I just read a great new engaging book titled “American Wolf” about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, but old books like Adolph Murie’s about wolves are indispensable and not available electronically. Old books give us perspective for how our current knowledge developed. They offer extensive descriptions of animal behavior and the author’s personal relationships with their surroundings. 

Perhaps authors had long hours by campfire light to write details of the day’s events. Today, we have daylight 24-hours a day in lighted rooms if we want. We can lodge in motels and seek entertainment after dark. We do not need to spend hours by firelight writing. Motels, TV and internet were not available to Lewis and Clark as they worked their way west describing species and recording detailed descriptions of the landscape. 

Edmond Way Teale, Sigurd Olson, Ann Zwinger, Henry Beston, John Muir, John Burroughs, Ernest Thompson Seton, are some authors that will take you on journeys like you have never experienced. Old books take you into historic wild places. Henry Beston’s wrote about the skunk coot in The Outermost House. I could not find the old name in recent books. I have an old 1904 bird guide that pictures them. They are now known as surf scoters. Old books are not a thing of the past. They are a connection to the past and are a wonderful read. Let their stories take you into the wild country.

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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Ice Fishing with Chip Lear 

Dave Slager, pro staff member of Stopper Lures.

by Jack Payne

Chip Lear, of Leech Lake in Minnesota, spends considerable time on the ice. Often Chip will be on the ice in November and continue thru March. In addition, he has his own web site newsletter (Fishing the wild side.net).

“Each lake is different and unique from another lake, thus one must adapt to the changes and that is what makes fishing fun,” said Lear. Chip further stated that when panfish are the target he looks for vegetation. 

Vegetation must be alive and healthy. Dead vegetation has limited drawing power. “Electronics are a must and I really don’t care what type of unit you have, just be able to read weeds, sand and fish,” said Lear.

Walleye and pike anglers should look for the edges of good vegetation, humps, islands, points and turns. Panfish anglers will need to search out deep water haunts once the vegetation dies or when the pressure pushes the fish outward. Keep in mind that the fish have a tendency to move to the good flats at low light conditions and drift out over open water that is adjacent to the food shelf during the midday hours.

 “I firmly believe in being mobile, fish fast, and fish hard and that the angler who cuts the most holes will often land the most fish”, said Lear. His daily game plan is hitting the ice and cutting a series of holes across a good looking weed flat all the way out, perhaps 30 feet from the deep edge of the weeds.

In addition, Lear loves to fish with a few friends. One group starts shallower than the other, a few anglers can scope out the deep points, humps, mud flats and such, while the other anglers work a good looking weed flat. With 2 to 4 anglers working as a team, locating the fish is much easier.

Another major part of his fishing is carrying at least two rods, three is better. He wants a rod rigged with a fast falling drop decent such as a Tungsten Skandia Pelkie, Tapiola or the Moon series teardrops. Another rod rigged with a lead teardrop such as a Moon Shad, Moon Glow, Slim Glitter and such.

Also, carry a few body styles in horizontal or vertical or round shapes. Different figurations and shapes will change the fall rate and the motion of your bait. Chip is on the plastic scented bandwagon. Any scented plastic bait that is super thin and vibrates in the water is his first choice. His reason is that he can control the action of the lure much easier this way than when using just livebait. Stopper Lures has the Whip R Snap and the Whip R Knocker plastics that I enjoyed good success with. I add some Pro Cure Ice scent to the plastics. Now, this does not mean that you can’t add a spike or a wax worm. Tough conditions always pulls me towards the real deal, most likely a confidence and past experience thing.

Some days the lead teardrops tipped with a spike will seal the deal. Imagine a piece of cake stuffed in front of your nose and you tell the hostess that you are full. If they leave it within an eye smell distance you most likely will snatch a sample. This is what you are trying to do on inactive fish with lead.

One other bait that should be a must carry is some type of neutral or near neutral lure. A lure that you can dangle and dance ever so slowly will trigger the most stubbornness of fish. Try a Hackle Jig, an Ice Spider or the Ice Ant from Stopper Lures. Lay that bait on their nose and let it flutter and stop. Entice hem enough times and you should get a response. 

Just remember to continue trying something different every 5 or 10 minutes if what you are doing is not producing. Early hours fish the flats, midday hit the edges or suspended fish, mix in fast drop baits with a slower drop lead bait. Try both plastics and live bait side by side. Last, try to fish with a partner and be mobile.

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Non-profit student exchange program seeks representatives

 

World Heritage International Student Exchange Program is seeking representatives to work with volunteer host families and international exchange students in our community. World Heritage provides academic year and semester exchange programs in the United States for high school students from around the world. Students are 15 to 18 years of age, have passed a series of academic and character requirements, and are awaiting an opportunity to embark on their American adventure. World Heritage representatives have the opportunity to support American high school students during this transformative year abroad.

Area representatives recruit and screen prospective host families, supervise the exchange students in their community throughout the year, and interview American students who wish to spend a semester, year or summer abroad. Area representatives are compensated based on the number of students they are supervising, including opportunities to earn bonuses.

World Heritage says their primary goal is to contribute to international understanding by enabling students to learn about other languages and cultures through active participation in family, school and community life. World Heritage area representatives are the cornerstone of the organization, making all of this possible.

For more information about World Heritage or becoming an area representative, call the World Heritage office at 1-800-888-9040, email them at info@world-heritage.org or go to www.world-heritage.org to learn more.

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Incoming freshmen orientation

 

The class of 2022 will step into the world of high school and experience freshmen orientation next Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., at Cedar Springs High School.

Incoming Freshmen Orientation is the only corporate opportunity for students and their parents to learn about the Michigan Merit Curriculum and receive the CSHS Course Curriculum Guide, walk through the PowerSchool enrollment process, and get general questions about high school answered. 

This meeting is designed to provide parents with information they will need to ensure their child’s success in high school and beyond. 

Highlights include:

  • Review Graduation Requirements 
  • Gain an understanding of course offerings/sequence/credit requirements 
  • Develop a 4-Year Course Plan 
  • Outline PowerSchool Enrollment Process 
  • Discuss World Language Requirement 
  • Advanced Placement Course Information 
  • Dual Enrollment Requirements 
  • Tech 21 Academy Opportunity 
  • Kent Career Technical Center (KCTC) & Kent Transition Center (KTC) 
  • College Board Information 
  • Highlight Athletic Requirements and Sports offered 
  • Identify Student Organizations and Clubs 

The event will take place in the Cedar Springs High School auditorium, 204 E. Muskegon, at 7 p.m.

Questions? Call 616-696-1200 or email: rebecca.kooi@csredhawks.org (Student Last Name A-K) orshelley.pero@csredhawks.org (Student Last Name L-Z). 

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Laundry comments

 

A young couple moved into a new neighborhood.

The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

“That laundry is not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” 

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband, “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder how that happened?”

The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Jan 28: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, January 28th at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). Music and ministry will be shared by the group, North Country Band, who will share their musical talent. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #4

The Family Experience

Feb. 3: Join us for a family fun event full of games, ice cream, skits that teach and lots of laughter! Oh, and did we mention that this is completely FREE for everyone! Check us out on Facebook “FX-The Family Experience”@rockfordres. Resurrection Life Church, 3233 – 10 Mile Rd., Saturday, February 3rd from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. #4

Make your own Valentine Cards

Feb. 5: Make your own valentine cards and other items on February 5th with Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation. Classes are $20 and include the supplies to make the card other than adhesives. Pre-registration is required by Friday, February 2nd and can be done online at www.csaparksandrec.com or at the office in CSPS Hilltop Monday-Wednesday. For more information visit the website or call 696-7320. #3,4

The Art of Papermaking

Feb. 6: Back by popular demand! Create unique handcrafted paper with artistic flair and style. Learn techniques to create decorative sheets of paper using various fibers and pulp, a mold and a deckle. Pre-registration required. For adults. Tuesday, February 6th at 6 pm at Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. Visit www.kdl.org for more information, 616-784-2007. #4

Auditions for Actors del Arte

Feb. 8: Actors del Arte Ensemble will be holding auditions and casting calls for the upcoming show “Saw Dust and Magic” a comedy/drama about the early circus life of the 1900’s. Casting call runs through February 8th. Looking for all ages, men women, teens and children. Interested parties please contact the director Patricia Rose at 616-874-5264. #4

Valentine’s Snowshoeing at HCNC

Feb. 10: Bundle up this February for a candle lit snow shoe walk! You will make your way on a guided walk to our bonfire, where you will enjoy refreshments and S’mores, before heading back out on your walk. If the snow decides not to show, this will be a trail walk. Remember to get goodies for your sweetheart at our bake sale. All ages welcome. Snow shoe equipment provided. Saturday, February 10th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Final walk leaves promptly at 8 pm. Non-members $5/ members $3. Pre-registration requested, www.howardchristensen.org. 616-675-3158, Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16160 Red Pine Drive, Kent City. #4

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Hawks Nest moves to semifinals in Battle of the Fans

Cedar Springs is one of nine schools across the state competing to win the “Battle of the Fans.” Courtesy photo.

Every athlete knows that there is a member of the team that doesn’t play on the field or court with them, but they are part of the team just the same—and that’s the fans that cheer them on. Anyone who has been to a Cedar Springs Red Hawks sporting event knows that the student section—the Hawks Nest—is one of the best around. And now the student section has a chance to prove it.

Teacher and Coach Justin Harnden has been working with the Athletic Leadership Council at the school to create a culture that’s positive and supportive to all fans and teams—including the opposing ones. And Tuesday morning he saw some of the fruits of that labor when it was announced by the MHSAA that Cedar Springs was one of nine schools chosen to continue on to the semifinals in the “Battle of the Fans VII” contest.

The Battle of the Fans was organized by the MHSAA staff and its 16-member Student Advisory Council. Schools were invited throughout the fall to submit short videos, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action, with the deadline Jan. 13. Nine semifinalists were announced on Tuesday, January 16: Cedar Springs, Petoskey and Traverse City West from Class A; Boyne City, Buchanan and Charlotte from Class B; and Munising, Negaunee and Pellston from Class C/D. 

Instead of choosing five finalists as in past years, the Advisory Council selected nine semifinalists to accomplish a list of tasks showing off their sections over the next 12 days–and the Council will then select three finalists for MHSAA visits.

This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 23 and recognized March 23 at the Breslin Center.

Semifinalists are required to complete 10 challenges via their social media channels by 11 p.m. Jan. 27. Five mandatory challenges focus on contest criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership and overall fun.

Five elective challenges (taken from a list of 15 opportunities) will allow semifinalists more opportunities to show the unique characteristics that make their sections elite. 

“Our Student Advisory Council wanted to keep more of these great student sections involved in Battle of the Fans longer, and also make sure our best sections were showing their best on more than just the days they applied and we visited,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “The ‘Challenge Round’ sets up a true competition as these nine schools watch and try to outdo each other’s best work over the next 12 days. We’re excited to watch them step up their games to answer the competition.”

Harnden was pleased that they had been chosen to head on to the semifinals. “We have a lot of work to do, but we are up for it,” he said.

A total of 19 schools applied for this year’s contest – seven from Class A schools, six from Class B, four from Class C and two from Class D. Three semifinalists each were selected from the Class A, Class B and Class C/D applicants.

The Student Advisory Council will select the finalists for announcement Jan. 29 on Second Half. MHSAA staff and Student Advisory Council members will visit all three finalists for home basketball games during the second half of this regular season, with coverage and video from those visits and the announcement of the winner all to be published on Second Half.

The winner will be selected by another Advisory Council vote based in part on activity on the MHSAA’s social media sites. All social media postings regarding Battle of the Fans VII should include the hashtag #BOTF. The MHSAA will share semifinalists’ challenge posts over the next two weeks on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites and Snapchat feed. The MHSAA also will post from the three finalists visits on those channels.

Cedar Springs will be using their social media sites on Facebook (CSHS Athletic Leadership Council) and Twitter (@CedarALC). Don’t forget to check them out and share their content!

To see the application video they put together, go to YouTube and search for CedarSpringsTV. Click on it, and then you will see their “Battle of the Fans” video listed.

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School board member resigns

by Judy Reed

Patricia Eary resigned from the Cedar Springs Board of Education Monday evening. Post file photo.

The Cedar Springs Board of Education is looking to fill another seat after another board member resigned Monday evening.

Patricia Eary, who served on the board for five years, resigned early in the meeting on Monday, January 15. After reading her resignation letter to the board and spectators, she then took a seat in the audience. “We have sold our home and moved out of the district due to location of employment so I must resign my position on the board of education,” Eary said.

She told the Post that she has been commuting to and from Lansing for work and that she and her husband would be moving closer to her job.

Eary also noted in her resignation letter that this will be the first time in more than 60 years that there will not be a member of the Eary family as either a teacher, a student, or a volunteer in Cedar Springs Public Schools. Eary dedicated countless hours to Marching Band and the Red Hawk band boosters over the last 16 years. She started when her son Sam was a sixth-grader in band, and continued until this past fall, even though her son had graduated in 2008.

Eary was elected to the school board in 2012 and held various positions, including secretary and board president.

“I appreciate the elected and appointed members of the current CSPS Board of Education who will advocate for the students of the district in every decision they make,” she said in her statement. “This Board will work well together as a cohesive unit.” She also thanked Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn for her guidance and leadership. You can read Eary’s entire resignation here.

Anyone interested in being appointed to fill Eary’s position must submit a letter expressing interest in a board position and their qualifications for the position to the superintendent no later than 4 p.m. on January 22, 2018. Those selected to be interviewed should plan to attend a special Board of Education meeting on January 23, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. to be interviewed.

The person chosen at the board meeting to fill Eary’s seat will serve out this year’s term. The seat will then be one of four seats up for election this fall.

Two other board members, Ted Sabinas and Michelle Bayink, resigned last month. Tim Bauer and Traci Slager were chosen to fill those seats.

 

 

 

 

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The Post travels to Empire snowmobile races

Charlie and Kathy Prahl and daughter, Katia Corwin, recently took the Cedar Springs Post to the Empire Airport Roy Taghon Memorial Snowmobile Races. It was a cold 15-degree day but they enjoyed watching the sleds race, visiting family and friends, and celebrating many memories of Roy (Kathy’s brother) who went to be with the Lord on January 20, 2008. 

Thank you to the Prahl family for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

 

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