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Social Security honors our military heroes

By Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist 

On Memorial Day, our nation honors military service members who have given their lives for our country.  Families, friends, and communities pause to remember the many great sacrifices of our military and ensure their legacy lives on in the freedoms we all enjoy.  We recognize these heroes who, in President Lincoln’s words, “gave the last full measure of devotion.”  

The benefits we provide can help the families of military service members.  For example, widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivor’s benefits.  You can learn more about those benefits at www.ssa.gov/survivors.  

We also offer support to our wounded warriors.  Social Security benefits protect veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty or performing other work.  Wounded military service members can receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims.  Are you a veteran with a 100 percent Permanent & Total compensation rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs?  We will expedite your disability claim.  Both the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Social Security Administration have disability programs.  You may qualify for disability benefits through one program but not the other, or you may qualify for both.  Depending on your situation, some of your family members, including your dependent children or spouse, may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits.  

Want more information?  Visit www.ssa.gov/woundedwarriors for answers to commonly asked questions or to find information about the application process. 

Thinking about retirement?  Military service members can receive Social Security benefits in addition to their military retirement benefits.  For details, read the Military Service page of our Retirement Planner, available at www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/veterans.html.

Please share this information with the military families in your community.  To the veterans who bravely served and died for our country, and to the military service members who serve today, we honor and thank you.

Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.  

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Nature and Love and Nature

Pastor Dallas Burgeson 

The Springs Church 

135 N. Grant St., Cedar Springs

Before the world ground to a halt in March with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, my wife and I had the chance to fly to California to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. It was during the flight there that the love started to ignite. Joy and I lived for a brief time in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and while we loved it there, it was over Utah that I saw the American West sprawl out before me at 30,000 feet, and I was hooked in a way that felt fresh, overwhelming, and new. 

Once we landed in Sacramento, Joy and I spent the next week on the best road trip I’ve ever been on:

San Francisco–its unique culture and its magnificent bridges, then Highway 1.

Santa Cruz–its unique culture and its gnarled redwoods, then more Highway 1.

A little seaside place called Mt. Carmel, a bed-and-breakfast, and morning coffee by the bay.

Then… along a stretch of Highway 1 that the previous stretches simply couldn’t have prepared us for: sheer, greened cliffs and waters without end. The navigation of curve after curve as rocks jutted one after another out into the Pacific; 360-degree vistas like I’ve never experienced. I felt torn for hours on end, loving getting to drive these amazing roads, and yet aching to spend longer soaking in the landscape at the same time.

We eventually hit our southern-most destination: the mansion of early 20th century newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst. And while the buildings were truly impressive, the hilltop view Hearst chose for his world-famous social gatherings eclipsed his incessant, spare-no-expense construction project in every possible way. We were standing on top of the world.

Nature somehow drags a love out of us we cannot explain. Our awestruck-ness at it all becomes so repetitive it begins to feel almost routine, while Nature itself appears inexhaustible. 

The heartbeat of this Nature that makes our own hearts burn has a Source, and it’s found in its Creator’s nature. The mystery is in recognizing that this nature we all love… and His personal nature revealed in Scripture… are somehow held within the same Being: “Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork. One day gushes the news to the next, and one night informs another what needs to be known.” (Psalm 19:1-2, CEB)

This summer as you take off and behold this nature God has created, don’t be drawn away from the aspects of His nature revealed only in His Word: His love, mercy, patience and faithfulness. Even if you’re still social distancing, don’t give up the mundane magic that happens when even two or three gather in His name, let alone the vibrancy of a weekly congregation. God’s nature outshines even what we experience in His Creation. Come drink at the wells of who He is by exploring every possible stream of revelation He has given us.

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Loren W. Frey age 102 of Ensley Township, Sand Lake, went to be with his Lord and Saviour on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at his beloved family farm with his family by his side. Loren was born August 31, 1917 in Ensley Township, MI the son of Harold and Dora (Borton) Frey. He attended Frey Country School and graduated from Sand Lake High School. He was a member of South Ensley United Methodist Church where he had been church superintendent. He was a member of the 4-H, Sons of the American Revolution and the Ensley School Board. He was a farmer all of his life and had been a die maker at General Motors for 30 years retiring in 1980. He had cared for his grandparents and wife and was a loving husband and father. Surviving are his children, Norman Frey and Hilda, Jack and Holly Frey, Janet and Gary Rogers, Joy and John Alex, Kay Deacey, Karna and Joe Montambo, Paul and Val Frey; son-law, Richard Morris; 33 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Violet and a daughter, Nancy Morris. A private visitation and family service was held at Crandall Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice or South Ensley United Methodist Church. 

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

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René Marie Bravata age 62 died Saturday, May 16, 2020 at Valley View Care Center, Grand Rapids, MI. René was born November 23, 1957 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Ernest Brancheau and Joycelyn (Allen) Brancheau. René was very independent. She loved being with her family, especially her grandchildren. She enjoyed gardening, cooking and sweets. René also enjoyed doing volunteer work in the Rockford community. She is survived by her children, Heidi (Jeff) Carter, Jason Bravata, and Trisha (Jacob) Schmidt; grandchildren, Gavin and Jakson Bravata, Logan and Brenna Schmidt, Kimberly and Kyle Carter; brothers, Troy (Tammy) Brancheau, Chad (Jessica) Brancheau; sister, Jenna (Troy) Peters; former husband, Joseph J. Bravata, Jr.; several nieces and nephews and her fur companion, Callie. She was preceded in death by her parents. A graveside service will be held at Solon Township Cemetery 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Pastor Rob Schmidt officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund, PO Box 33099, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303. 

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

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James P. See age 80 of Rockford, died Saturday, May 16, 2020 at his home. Jim was born in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Isaac and Ione (Clifford) See. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1960-65. He was a member of the Cedar Springs American Legion where he ran the bingo for 22 years. He enjoyed fishing and hunting and retired from Steelcase. Surviving are his children, Debi (Garrett) Hanson, Patrick (Kathy) See, Gerald See, Dawn and Edward Smith, David Smith, Eric See; grandchildren, Nicole Miller, Jessica Krueger, Breanna Smith, Brayden Smith, Christa See, Kristen See, James See; 10 great-grandchildren; siblings, Bob, George, Ron, Jack, Tom and Betty. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Nancy in 2018; grandchildren, Brendan Smith and Katie Grace Smith; siblings, Don, Roger and Shirley. A visitation will be held Thursday, May 21 from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The family will not be present. A private family graveside will be held Friday at Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Rev. Fr. Lam Le officiating. Memorials may be made to the Cedar Springs American Legion. 

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

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Cedar Springs Dental to build new office

This is the rendition of what the new Cedar Springs Dental building will look like.

Dental practice incorporates cutting edge technology to prioritize patient health and safety

Business has been good for a local dentist here—so much so that they are building a new office to accommodate their patients.

Cedar Springs Dental broke ground on a new building last week. Photo by L. Allen.

Cedar Springs Dental broke ground on Monday, May 11, on its new 3,000 square foot office to replace the current 1,000 square foot facility located at 20 East Church Street NE in Cedar Springs, Michigan. The new facility will utilize negative pressure isolation technology for staff and patient safety and is being built adjacent to the current practice. It is expected to open after the turn of the new year.

Through the leadership of Dr. Andy Setaputri, Cedar Springs Dental is implementing cutting-edge technology to ensure patient health and safety. Each operatory will include Grade-A, water filtration systems as well as a single point of entry by way of a limited-touch door. Additionally, each operatory will function as a negative pressure isolation room and will include air purification systems that offer surgical-quality air and limit patient exposure to harmful aerosols. Through these means, Dr. Setaputri will be able to treat his patients in a safer, cleaner environment. The office will also include nine operatories, a surgical suite, and a waiting area.

The project has been in the works since the day Dr. Setaputri purchased the practice from Dr. Danette Martin in 2018. Tripling the size of his current facility will allow Dr. Setaputri to see more patients, as well as bring on his business partner and brother, Zane Setaputri, DDS, without compromising the level of care and service each patient receives.

“We have experienced incredible growth over the past 2 years and are seeing over 60 new patients a month!” commented Dr. Andy Setaputri. “Our current facility is simply too small and outdated to meet our current needs. Building from the ground-up allows us to create the perfect space that prioritizes patient health and safety, as well as prepares us well for future growth. The design and layout of the new office supports the culture we’ve worked hard to establish and allows us to add three full-time positions to the team.” 

“This project would not be possible without the overwhelming support of our patients who continue to trust us for their dental care,” he added. “We are very proud to be a part of the Cedar Springs Community and are confident this new space will allow us to continue to provide the best in dental care for many years to come.”

An Open House for all current patients and the Cedar Springs community will be held at the beginning of the new year. The date has not yet been set.

Grand Rapids-based First Companies will manage construction. Grand Rapids-based Dixon Architecture is the architect. 

Dr. Setaputri studied at the University of Michigan and has been practicing dentistry since 2014. In 2018, Dr. Andy Setaputri purchased the practice from Dr. Danette Martin and rebranded it to Cedar Springs Dental. Dr. Setaputri is devoted to staying up to date with the latest dental technologies and techniques through continuing education courses. He is well-trained in providing quality dental care in all aspects of dentistry, ranging from cosmetic dentistry, endodontics, and oral surgery to crown and bridge work. 

For more information, call the office at 616.696.9420.

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Invasive, self-cloning marbled crayfish now a prohibited species in Michigan

Marbled crayfish are named for the streaked or marbled appearance of the shell and claws. Photo courtesy of Ranja Adriantsoa.

Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger approved the addition of marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) to Michigan’s list of prohibited species at a recent meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. Invasive Species Order Amendment No. 1 of 2020 was presented to the NRC at its April 16 meeting.

Marbled crayfish, also known as marmorkrebs and virgin crayfish, are increasing in popularity in the aquarium trade due to their unique ability to reproduce by cloning. All known specimens are genetically identical females that can produce up to 700 eggs per reproductive cycle without the need for fertilization.

In captivity, marbled crayfish can exhibit a range of colors including blue or red. Most specimens found in the wild are olive to brown in color. Photo courtesy of Mari-Liis Komets.

Adding marbled crayfish to the state’s list of prohibited invasive species aligns Michigan with the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers list of “least wanted” aquatic invasive species, those that pose a serious threat to the environment and economy in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River region.

What is prohibited status?

Species that are prohibited in Michigan cannot be possessed, introduced, imported, sold or offered for sale as a live organism, except under certain circumstances. Michigan’s Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act (Part 413 of Act 451) established the list of prohibited and restricted species, which can be amended by invasive species orders from the DNR or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The term “prohibited” is used for species that are not widely distributed in the state.

Why are marbled crayfish prohibited?

According to NREPA Part 413, a species can be listed as prohibited if it is not native or naturalized in the state and either can cause human or environmental harm or lacks effective management controls. Marbled crayfish have not been detected in the wild in Michigan. However, if a single marbled crayfish escaped captivity or was released into open water, it could have the potential of initiating an entire population because it can individually reproduce in large numbers.

“Marbled crayfish are believed to originate in the aquarium trade, and as such, they have no documented native range,” said Lucas Nathan, DNR aquatic invasive species coordinator. “In some areas where they have been released in Madagascar and several European countries, they have become established and spread rapidly.”

Their reproductive capacity and aggressive nature may allow them to dominate lakes, ponds, streams and rivers in a short period of time. They feed on algae, plants, snails and amphibians, limiting food sources for fish and other aquatic species.

“Invasions in Europe indicate that these crayfish can likely survive in Michigan’s climate,” said Nathan. “Marbled crayfish are being listed as prohibited to prevent their future potential introduction, establishment and detrimental impacts in Michigan.”

What do they look like?

Marbled crayfish are considered medium-sized, ranging from 4 to 5 inches in length, with slender or narrow claws. Their distinguishing feature is a streaked or marbled coloration pattern, which is most visible on the back, or carapace. In the wild, most range in color from olive to brown, but in captivity, colors can include tan, red or blue.

What if I own marbled crayfish?

In order to comply with the new invasive species order, owners of marbled crayfish should humanely dispose of any specimens in their possession and clean tanks thoroughly to assure no eggs or young remain. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s Guidelines for Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition provides recommendations for humane disposal of aquatic invertebrates including crayfish. Note that flushing an aquatic animal down a drain or toilet is not considered humane and does not necessarily kill the animal but can introduce it into a water system.

“Disposing of marbled crayfish by releasing them into the wild should not be considered,” said Nathan. “Marbled crayfish have an extremely high potential for becoming invasive due to their reproductive capacity. Their ability to move across land also increases their risk of spread.”

Now that these crayfish are prohibited under NREPA Part 413, knowingly releasing them into the wild is considered a felony offense.

Can I quickly sell my marbled crayfish?

As prohibited species, marbled crayfish no longer can be sold or traded in the state. Over the next year, the DNR Law Enforcement Division will be working to educate traders and sellers, including online retailers offering to ship from other states and countries, about the new status of marbled crayfish in Michigan.

Because selling the species from any location in Michigan, even to locations out of state, is prohibited, sellers of aquatic species in Michigan should immediately stop sales of marbled crayfish and humanely dispose of any remaining stock.

What if I find a marbled crayfish?

Those who suspect they have found a marbled crayfish in the wild should photograph it, record the location and time, and report the find to Lucas Nathan, DNR aquatic invasive species coordinator, at 517-284-6235 or NathanL@Michigan.gov. If it is possible to capture the crayfish, place it in a container in the freezer until it can be analyzed.

Native white river crayfish and calico crayfish are somewhat similar in appearance to marbled crayfish. To find information on identifying the marbled crayfish and distinguishing it from native species, visit Michigan.gov/Invasives.

Michigan’s Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.

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Fall’s rival

Ranger Steve

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Early May colors compete with October colors. Plants do not try to outdo themselves at different times of the year. It is us that takes notice of the brilliant shades of green. In fall we anticipate reds and yellows mixed with greens and plan travel during cool dry air temperatures suited for wearing jackets. 

During the first half of May, the long-awaited call to get outdoors begs us to notice changes we have been longing to witness during the first weeks of spring when the sun crossed the equator and daylight hours increased. Longer sun hours warm the soil and start plants shipping stored sugars and water through stems beginning in February. Maple sugar enthusiasts tap trees in the final weeks of winter so they do not miss the surge of concentrated sugars feeding buds. 

It is not until after the spring equinox that most ephemerals bloom to provide us with the first flash of greens and flower colors. Under bare tree branches, the forest floor brightens our days with hepaticas, spring beauties, trout lilies, spring cress, and an array of other early blooms. They are followed by large-flowered trilliums, jack-in-the-pulpits, marsh marigolds, and wood anemones. 

Small trees like serviceberry are covered with white blossoms in late April and they lose petals as choke cherry white flowers open in May. The rapid change is enticing. More subtly, a mid-May color pageant progresses with greater splendor than the showy bright end of the color spectrum evident in fall. 

Leaves pop from buds but remain small and unnoticed during frosty spring weather. When warmth finally arrives, leaves expand faster than they can grow. They fill like water balloons in a few short days and work vigorously to build leaf tissues inside by filling them with structural substance. Feel newly expanded leaves to notice how delicate they remain during their first days. Spring winds tear some from branches but most cling to branches as they ready for summer’s work of photosynthesis and tree growth. 

Fresh from the bud, leaves vary across the color spectrum. Tiny leaf cells that rested under protective bud scales all winter were ready for their spring work once conditions became suitable. Nearly empty of water, the embryonic leaves were free of damage from freezing temperatures in cold winter months. Once they are freed from buds and fill with water, they become vulnerable to late frost damage. The frail cells full of water easily burst when water freezes in them. When massive damage occurs the plant must use vital stored resources to produce a new set of leaves. When flowers are frozen they are not regenerated for this year’s fruit production. They must wait another year to produce seeds. During a tree’s decades of life, it needs to only produce one offspring that will mature and reproduce to replace it in order to maintain a stable population. Usually tens of thousands of little trees start life but most do not survive. When many do an expanding forest ensues. 

The spring forest rivals fall colors with greatness unequalled. Tiny new leaves arrive with red anthocyanin pigment that serves as a sunscreen protecting tissues from sunburn. Notice new leaf color as buds open to release new growth. It does not take long before they green to uncountable shades. Lime green on aspens equals their joyful fall yellow. Deep dark green pines stand near aspens contrasting with spring’s fresh shades. Wild cherries hold a lingering maroon in leaves as they gain full size to produce a fuller deep green. 

Sassafras grows in open sunlight clusters to create a green unlike other trees. In nearby open areas, new aspen seedlings that do not thrive in shade start clones that spread underground and produce new shoots. One can recognize different genetic clones by seeing annual leaf out times for separate clones and different fall color change times. Trees in each clone are genetically identical and leaf out at the same time. It is not when leaves appear from buds that amazes us most. Their color among the green backdrop of other trees rivals the best fall colors. Trees like sugar maples, hickories, and oaks follow in sequences with their initial reds followed by green mosaics creating a spotted countryside. Each species contributes to the variety of green shades and individual trees have unique nature niche adaptations that are special to them in the same manner each of us is special. 

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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Remember the Alamo!

Texas makes me think of the old slogan “Remember the Alamo.”

 It seems that during that battle, the guy in charge of the whole thing put his wife, of all people, on the battle line. She was shot by the enemy, shattered her patella, and had to be removed from the front line. 

After the fighting was over, she divorced her husband, and sued for Alamo-knee.

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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.

Red Flannel Scholarship Pageant

May 31: Attention all young ladies attending Cedar Springs High School, Creative Technologies Academy, or that live in the Cedar Springs school district, (including homeschool) who will be in the 11th grade in the 2020-2021 school year, and have a GPA of 3.0 at the end of the 10th grade. There will be a mandatory parent meeting for any young lady who would like to participate in the 2020 Red Flannel Pageant and her parent(s). The meeting will be Sunday, May 31st at 2 pm. Due to the changing restrictions on group gatherings the location of the meeting will be determined closer to the date. The meeting will take place either on line via Zoom or in person at the Springs Church at the set date and time. If you are interested in participating in the pageant and would like to attend the meeting please contact pageant director Kaleigh Goehler directly at redflannelpageant@gmail.com so that you can be updated on the location of the meeting. If you are unable to attend the meeting but would still like to participate please email the pageant director directly. #19-22b

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