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Archive | July, 2018

DNR seizes record amount of illegal crayfish

Michigan DNR conservation officers seized more than 2,000 pounds of live, illegal red swamp crayfish in 55 bags, the largest aquatic invasive species seizure by the DNR.

More than 2,000 pounds of live, illegal red swamp crayfish recently were seized by Department of Natural Resources conservation officers on July 13—the largest aquatic invasive species seizure by the Michigan DNR.

Growing from 4 to 7 inches in length, red swamp crayfish are dark red with bright red, raised spots on their claws and a black wedge-shaped tail that is a black or dark blue color underneath.

Red swamp crayfish are prohibited in both Michigan and Canada. They burrow and create shoreline erosion, creating instability. Additionally, they compete with native crayfish, reducing the amount of food and habitat available for amphibians, invertebrates and juvenile fish.

Conservation officers in St. Clair County were notified Friday, July 13, by U.S. Customs and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when a commercial hauler transporting red swamp crayfish was denied entry into Canada and would be returning to Michigan. The commercial hauler was stopped by Canadian officials at the Sarnia, Canada, border crossing in an attempt to leave the United States.

“Our officers have great working relationships with professional law enforcement partners across the U.S. and Canada. This is a fine example of how important those relationships are in protecting Michigan’s natural resources,” said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division.

Assisted by customs officials, DNR conservation officers stopped the truck and obtained 55 bags of live crayfish. After interviewing the driver, the officers learned the truck originated from Canada and made stops in Maryland and Arkansas to pick up cargo prior to attempting its return to Canada. The driver did not have appropriate records, other than a few purchase receipts. DNR Law Enforcement Division’s Great Lakes Enforcement Unit is conducting further investigation. It currently is unknown if any stops or sales were made in Michigan.

The first concern regarding red swamp crayfish in Michigan was in 2013, when conservation officers learned the illegal crayfish was being used as bait in southwest Michigan. The first live infestations in Michigan were detected and reported in 2017. Confirmed infestations include locations in southeast Michigan.

Native in southeast states of the U.S., red swamp crayfish are the most widespread invasive crayfish in the world, and often are used in classrooms as teaching tools and at food festivities such as crayfish boils. Any possession of live red swamp crayfish in Michigan is illegal. The DNR is working to increase awareness and reporting of the illegal crayfish, in addition to removing infestations from confirmed locations.


Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)

Genes and inheritance

By Ranger Steve Mueller


Some male and female organisms look nearly identical. It is not easy to recognize a male and female robin apart. Is it a boy or girl cottontail hopping through the yard? Plants like wild strawberries have both sexes in one flower while others like willows are either male or female plants.

Male and female American Goldfinches look very different in summer but by winter look quite similar. It is the outward appearance we notice. What is hidden from view is the genetics. We can observe the results but the secrets for how genes and inheritance help species survive in nature niches is an ongoing discovery process. 

DNA sequencing has become popular for tracing personal family origins and is a tool for solving cold case crimes. As an ecological tool, molecular analysis aids understanding the evolution of species. 

DNA and RNA analysis has provided great advances toward understanding origins of species. It has also revealed new difficulties to decipher. When I first encountered the Northern Blue butterfly in Michigan, I confused it with Karner Blue butterfly. The two are nearly identical twins in appearance. 

Mo Nielsen immediately told me I did not make a Karner Blue discovery in the Upper Peninsula when I reported one. He said there is no wild blue lupine there that the Karner Blue requires. He instructed me to look closely at the wing pattern to see if it was a Northern Blue. I was unfamiliar with the Northern Blue but that is what I found. It was a breeding colony that confirmed the species as a Michigan resident. The Michigan DNR nongame program provided a grant for me to conduct life history research for this new Michigan species. 

I was not involved with the molecular analysis, but it was found the Northern Blue showed a closer relationship with the Karner Blues genetically than with the Northern Blues of western North America. Outwardly, Michigan Northern Blues look more like Karner Blues than they look like western Northern Blues. 

As scientific abilities become more advanced, we find separation between species is more difficult to assess. We like to think species are distinct entities that are clearly separated. They are not. A key feature that helps define species separations is ecological nature niche adaptations. Species adapt to utilize different food plants and micro-habitats that result to speciation. 

Many species are cryptic. Physically they look alike but are ecologically and reproductively separated. They share habitat but have developed isolating survival strategies that are different from the parent species. Specific isolating adaptations create new species but interbreeding during the process complicates analysis. 

Yellow-shafted and Red-shafted Flickers (woodpeckers) were considered separate species. We planted trees across the Great Plains and the two got together. They mate and produce fertile offspring. The two are now lumped as one species called the Northern Flicker. Interestingly where they live together, the yellow and red do not readily interbreed. This has caused some ecologists to think they should be considered separate sibling species. Others think they are one species with two color forms that reduces interbreeding based on appearance. 

We experience the same difficulty among humans where Danes, Germans, French, Hispanics, and other races live together. Our genes are fully compatible. There was a time when people thought each race was a separate species but DNA sequencing indicates our genetic differences are superficial and too minor to separate humans as different species. The differences are primarily cultural. We are one species that developed different physical adaptations that helped us survive in various climatic conditions. Cultural isolation helped define our races.

Science is supported by physical evidence. It often conflicts with what we want or choose to believe. Our cultural background helps define our behavior. Like flickers, some people like Karen (Norwegian) and me (German) intermixed our genes while others choose to limit relationships to their race and cultural history. 

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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Larry Gould, 68, of Grand Rapids, died Saturday, July 21, 2018 at his home. Larry was born October 24, 1949 in Greenville, Michigan, the son of John Edward and Marian (Wulff) Gould. He had worked for Earl Phelps Heating and Cooling for 20 years and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Larry was on the Sand Lake Police Department for 12 years, an EMT for 15 years and Fire Chief for Sand Lake for 20 years. He was a member of the Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce and volunteered at the car shows and parade and was an avid coin collector. Surviving are his fiancée and loving caretaker, Mary Husar; children, Clinton (Gwen) Gould, Jesse (Kristin) Gould, Paul Gould, Spencer (Jennifer) Gould, Josh (Krystal) Bialik, Matthew (Jennifer) Husar, Joshua (Zorayda) Husar; 15 grandchildren; brothers, John (Martin) Gould, Bill (Donna) Gould, Steve Gould; sister, Sue (Jim) Pike; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and two grandchildren. The family greeted friends Tuesday, July 24 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where the service was held Wednesday, July 25. Pastor Jorge Ballivian officiating. Interment Crandall Cemetery, Ensley Township. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sand Lake Fire Department.

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

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Unnoticed latticework

Rev. Bill Johnson

Cedar Springs United Methodist

140 S. Main St.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319


There is a passage of scripture that seldom makes its way into the pulpit, as far as I know. Perhaps this is because it includes intricate details that some would find tedious–a description of work done by a bronze artisan whom Solomon contracted to help complete the Temple. Solomon is given credit for being the construction engineer and the builder of much of the Temple, but he recognized that Hiram from Tyre had special skills and knowledge in bronze that Solomon needed in order to cap off his building project. 

1 Kings 7 tells the story, and in between the lines there is something of real importance. Hiram’s work was magnificent and beautiful, yet much of his best work was on the tops of pillars, eighteen cubits (thirty feet) off the ground. Without aerial photography, no one would see the splendid contribution of this artist to this architectural masterpiece of its day; that is, no one but God.

In his devotional book, 200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One, Shawn Wood uses this story to remind readers that we can make a difference in the world sometimes for the lasting enjoyment of others, but also sometimes for God’s eyes only. It is a message of hope, that even if our contribution seems to go unnoticed by others, God sees and values our work.

There is power in unnoticed contributions…the small acts of kindness like caring notes written to homebound members, phone calls or emails to speak a word of encouragement or thanks, or even to hold someone accountable to a promise. Atop the visible pillars of life rest many generous acts of faith that will never be known. Like sparkling bronze latticework seen only from above, God values this work.

Recognition is wonderful; human reward has its place. Just ask anyone who has ever earned an award or medal in competition. But never doubt the value of less notable acts done with love; they are not wasted. God, who knows our hearts, our acts, is finally the one whose recognition matters most. 

In a culture that celebrates the glitter and flash of show-stopping worship and ministries drawing headlines and praise, it is not what we receive from them that matters as much as what is given without fanfare. I’m betting that Hiram knew this as he crafted his pomegranates of bronze. On the tops of shiny pillars that earn our respect and honor, are hidden some of the most splendid gifts. Know that God sees them. 

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What constitutes a letter to the editor?

By Judy Reed


People love to express their opinion. And folks love to read it—and respond to it. It’s what makes our country great—the right to free speech and exchange of ideas. That’s why the Post offers our letters to the editor section called PostScripts. There has been some confusion over what constitutes a letter to the editor, or what we’ll allow. What follows is a more in depth look at what we allow and don’t allow, and what guidelines readers should follow.

First, please limit your length to 350 words. Once in awhile we might allow a longer one. But that should be the exception rather than the rule. 

We try to verify letters. Please include a phone number, and your name and address. We do not print anonymous letters. Your phone and address will not be printed, just your name and city or township. If you have some special connection to the issue you are writing about, please include that relationship. For example, a village trustee writing about a village issue should be identified that way.

Stick to public issues. Letters should concern public issues or those that come before a public body. Compliments and criticism of businesses and private organizations do not belong in letters to the editor. Neither do press releases or news stories. 

No thank you letters. Once in awhile we might print a letter from an out of town visitor that was impressed by some kindness they received while here. But other than that, thank you letters are printed on our church page, and there is a charge. Most of the time, people would rather have a handwritten note expressing your appreciation.

No mass-produced or out-of-town letters. Local opinions and issues count the most. 

We will edit—sometimes aggressively. Letters may be edited for length, repeating themes, clarity, accuracy, punctuation, grammar, etc. Keep it short and to the point.

No more than two letters on an issue. You get one letter and one rebuttal. We want everyone to have a chance to express their opinion.

Candidates should publish an ad for campaign purposes. Sorry, no free letters from candidates. And responses to published campaign ads should also be paid ads.

No negative comments in campaign letters in the week before an election. That’s because there would no chance for a rebuttal letter. Just tell people why they should vote for a candidate without tearing the other one down.

Questions? Give us a call at 696-3655, or email your questions or letters to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Vote for Robyn Britton


To the residents of Nelson Township,

As you know there is a primary election coming up August 7. Robyn Britton, who is our present township supervisor, is running for re-election. Having worked with Robyn in the political arena, I’ve found her to be a person of integrity, honesty, and forward thinking.

I also worked with her opponent and I must say the choice is easy.

Not if you vote, but when you vote, in my opinion there is only one person for the job. Vote for Robyn Britton for township supervisor. Believe me, you want to elect Robyn. 

Come join my wife and I as we vote to elect Robyn to run in the November election.

Roger and Betty Towsley, Village of Sand Lake

Past President and Village Council

The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election. 

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How to get involved

Lee Hamilton

By Lee Hamilton

Back in 1883, Teddy Roosevelt wrote an essay on what it takes to be a true American citizen. He did not mince words. “The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community,” he wrote. “Their place is under a despotism.” He went on: “The first duty of an American citizen, then, is that he shall work in politics.”

I hope you’ll forgive his gender-specific language. He wrote at a time when women didn’t even have the vote. But his essay has been on my mind lately, because his sentiment—that living in a representative democracy demands work from all of us—is as timely now as it was then. A lot of people these days intuitively grasp that our system needs our involvement if we’re to safeguard it. So what should we do—especially if politics has to share space in our lives with family and jobs?

The first step is easy: look around your community and ask yourself what needs fixing or what can be done better. I don’t care where you live: ten minutes’ thought and you’ll come up with a healthy list of issues to tackle. This is how a lot of people get started: they see an issue they want to do something about. So they enter the fray, and often come to recognize they have more political power than they thought.

Of course, your chances of effecting change grow as you learn. You have to inform yourself about the issue: listen carefully as you talk to your neighbors and friends, and pay attention to what politicians, commentators, and those involved with the issue say. Participate, if you will, in the dialogue of democracy. It’s perfectly fine to personalize the issue as you seek to persuade others, but to be effective you’ve got to know what others think, too.

The same, really, goes for voting. It should be informed not just by what your gut tells you but also by what you’ve learned. Our system depends on citizens making discriminating choices on politicians and issues. So you want to educate yourself, which includes talking with people whose opinions differ from yours. The world is complex, even at the neighborhood level, and to be effective we need to understand it.

When it comes time to act, you want to join with a like-minded group of believers. That’s how you amplify your strength. Numbers count. And both within that group and among the others you’ll encounter, you try to build consensus. There’s an old saying that if you want to go fast you go alone, if you want to go far you join together. That’s very true in politics.

Next, you have to communicate—with each other, with the media, and at the local, state, and national levels. You have to communicate with your representatives. You have to go to public meetings and speak up. Focus your message so it’s clear, concise, and specific. Be polite but persistent.

There’s another way of participating that’s a bit more arms’ length, but also important: contribute money to a party or politician of your choice. Doing it is as important as the amount, because money talks in politics, and it helps you expand your influence. For good or ill, it’s an important part of politics.

Finally, run for office yourself. If you are so inclined, get a circle of friends to support you. Start locally. Develop the issues you’re interested in, pick the office that will help you affect them, organize and build support, focus your message, raise money. If this isn’t to your taste, then support candidates of your choice.

All of these are ways of participating—and if you want more, search out The New York Times’ guide, “How to Participate in Politics.” The key thing is to show up. There are all kinds of ways to have an impact, but they start with one thing: Showing up. It’s the least we should do.

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.

Posted in Voices and ViewsComments (0)

Library community forum and focus group


The Cedar Springs Library Board is ready to develop another 3-5 year strategic plan, with a focus on the new library now that it has been open for an entire year. Please accept this invitation to participate in a Community Forum and Focus Group. The purpose of the focus groups is to identify areas of need in our community, including technology, library programming for all ages, library resources, security/safety, operations and public relations. Please RSVP by August 7 if you would like to participate. 

WHAT: Cedar Springs Public Library Strategic Planning Focus Group

WHEN: Thursday, August 16th at 6:00pm -7:30pm

WHERE: Cedar Springs Public Library Community Room

RSVP:  By August 7th to Donna Clark at ced@llcoop.org or (616) 901-7173

Your participation is needed and greatly appreciated! We look forward to working with you, envisioning together a great future of meaningful Library services for the families of Cedar Springs.

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It’s fairy-tale time again


“Daddy,” a little girl asked her father, “do all fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time…’?”

“No, sweetheart,” he answered. “Some begin with, ‘If I am elected.’”

Posted in Joke of the WeekComments (0)

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.

Yard Sale Fundraiser

Aug. 2,3: Resurrection Lutheran Preschool’s fundraiser Yard Sale, 48 West Lake St., Sand Lake is Thursday, August 2nd & Friday, August 3rd from 9 am – 5 pm. **Now enrolling 3 & 4 year olds for our 2018/2019 school year.** #30

Sand Lake Community Picnic

Aug. 5: The Sand Lake Community Picnic will be held on Sunday, August 5th from 1 to 3 pm at Salisbury Park on Lake St. Come join us for this free event that includes food, games, music and fun for all. Lets take a day and mingle with our neighbors and have some fun. Back to School supplies for the kids will also be passed out during the picnic. Can’t wait too see you all there. #30

VBS at Huggard Bible Church

Aug. 5-8: Please come join us for Vacation Bible School for ages 3 thru end of 6th Grade starting Sunday evening August 5 from 6:30 – 8 pm and going thru Wednesday, August 8th. Time Lab: Discovering Jesus from Eternity Past to Eternity Future. Huggard Bible Church, 8860 – 21 Mile Rd., Sand Lake, 616-636-5561. #30,31b

Draw some AWESOME!

Aug. 6: Comic Book Illustrating with Wade Gugino. Participants will do a very simple single-page graphic novel/comic book type layout. We’ll draw together, learning layout, character development, proportion, expression, gesture, action, shot choice and light and dark. We will draw with pencil, but teens will leave with a template to ink the drawing in at home later. Paper and pencils provided. Monday, August 6, 2:00 pm, Nelson Township /Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #30

Register Now For Free Hunter Education

Aug. 7: To register for firearm Hunter Safety Classes  at the Red Flannel Rod & Gun Club, call Jim Pope at 231-834-5545 after 6 pm. Classes at the Club, 7463 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, will be Tuesday, August 7th from 6-9 pm,  Thursday, August 9th from 6-9pm,  Saturday, August 11th from 8 am-3:30 pm. #29,30b

You Want Me to Read What? @ HCNC

Aug. 16: Introducing Think Spell Write: a reading program for students who are still struggling to read and write fluently despite having had reading instruction. Think Spell Write can be used with upper elementary through high school students, adults and English Language learners. It is a user friendly program designed for educators and other professionals who wish to teach struggling readers and is based on extensive, effective and successful implementation of the program with struggling readers of various ages. Join us August 16, from 9 am to 2 pm, for a one day in-service on this new reading program presented by the author: Ellen M. Murray, M.Ed. Fee is $40 which includes lunch. Printed materials for Think Spell Write will be available for purchase. Howard Christensen Nature Center’s Camp Lily’s Retreat Center, 530 – 20 Mile Rd., Kent City. Register at www.howardchristensen.org. #30

Vietnam Veterans Thank You Dinner

Aug. 17: Vietnam Veterans are invited to the 4th Annual Vietnam Veterans Thank You Dinner hosted by the Sophie de Marsac Campau Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The dinner will be held Friday, August 17, from 5-7 pm at the Boat and Canoe Club, 401 North Park St NE, Grand Rapids, 49525. Vietnam Veterans and their spouses are free; all other guests are $5. No RSVP needed. DAR is a commemorative partner with the The United States of America Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration, established by Congress, to “thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW) or listed as missing in action (MIA), for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.” For more info about our Grand Rapids-area DAR chapter, visit our website at www.sophiedemarsaccampauchapter.org. #30

Class of 1973 Reunion

Aug. 18: The Class of 1973 Reunion will be held on Saturday, August 18 at 7 pm. Cost is $15 per person. RSVP required. Call Gail Armstrong for more information. 616-799-2410. #30

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