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Candidates for Cedar Springs City Council

 

There are seven people running for four seats on the Cedar Springs City Council. This year’s ballot will look a little different, however. It is the first election under the new law dealing with recalls. There will be three people vying for two seats, and then the two candidates facing recall, Patricia Troost and Ashley Bremmer, are each running against another opponent. The voter simply votes for one or the other.

Running for two seats:

Mark Fankhauser

Mark Fankhauser

Mark Fankhauser was appointed to finish out another councilor’s term in 2012, and is now up for election. He has served as mayor for the last year, and is seeking reelection to continue serving the people of Cedar Springs. Fankhauser has lived in the district 33 years, and is a Captain-EMS Coordinator for the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

The Post asked, what previous experience/skills do you have that you could use in this office? He said he has attended multiple Michigan Municipal League Conferences, which are designed to educate public officials. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Rockford Community Credit Union for the last 14 years. He has also been active with the Labor movement, holding several officer positions within the organizations he has worked for.

Fankhauser feels the most important issue facing the City of Cedar Springs is proactive improvement of the infrastructure, which protects the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Cedar Springs.

The accomplishments he is most proud of in his term on the Council are: First, seeing a dynamic re-purpose of the property at 95 N. Main Street, now the future home of the Cedar Springs Brewing Company. This was once a vacated building/lot in need; now a unique business that will complement the other businesses within Cedar Springs. Second, would be the recent transition to the Kent County Sheriff Department providing police service. Albeit unique changes, yes; these changes were based on facts, not opinions or emotions.

Perry Hopkins

Perry Hopkins

Perry Hopkins has lived in Cedar Springs since 2010. He is a naturopath, therapeutic body work practitioner, Dr of Metaphysics, and owner/operator of Kin of Hope Natural Health & Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more…!

The Post asked what previous experience or skills could he use in office? He is involved with multiple boards/ committees in the Cedar Springs community, including a trustee on the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, a trustee on the Kent Theatre Board, the Community Action Network Board, Cedar Springs Planning Commission, and Chairman of the Cedar Springs DDA. He also serves on various event committees in Cedar Springs. He said he is most proud of being a part of the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and bringing more events and happenings to the Cedar Spring Community.

Hopkins said he was prompted to run for office when he noticed there was a shortage of nonbiased citizens running for city council.

Hopkins feels the most important issue facing our district is being divided. “As a community we need to work together and help the community as one entity grow and become strongly united. The only way to make this happen is to work with every person, business, committee, board, group, or organization that has the community’s best interest in mind,” he said.

Pamela Conley

Pamela Conley

Pamela Conley has lived in Cedar Springs 15 years. She is a teacher and coach at  Forest Hills Central High School. The previous skills and experience she brings include one term on the City Council, as well as terms on the Cedar Springs Board of Education, Cedar Springs Library board, PTO Board of directors, and the Cedar Springs Garden Club.

Conley said she is running for office again because she feels a strong responsibility that citizens need to participate in local government, and she was asked by a large number of neighbors and fellow citizens to seek another seat.

What does she think is the most important issue facing the community? “We have the perception that the local citizens are not being including in the decision-making process in our community. Decisions about the image of the community as well as the control of and management of Skinner Field have been made with little or no opportunity for input from the citizens.”

What was she most proud of accomplishing while on council previously? “During my term on the council we established Veteran’s Memorial Park and made substantive improvements to the water/sewer system,” she said.

Running for one seat:

Ashley Bremmer

Ashley Bremmer

Ashley Bremmer, one of the council members named in the recall, is running for her seat. She has lived in Cedar Springs 9-1/2 years. Previous experience/skills include serving on the Council since 2011, and serving on the planning commission prior to that.

Bremmer said she initially decided to serve on council because a member resigned and there was a seat that needed to be filled for the remainder of that term. “I decided to apply and I was the only applicant. That November I ran, unopposed, for the election. I decided to be on city council because I wanted to see the direction of where the city was going, be a part of the positive changes for the city, and make sure that the city was a good and safe place to raise my family. I had no, and still have no hidden agenda to be on city council. I take each issue as it comes, and try to make the best decision at the time, for the city.”

Bremmer says there are many important issues facing the city. “We have a tight budget, the streets and sidewalks need work, we have a new contract with Kent County Sheriffs Department that are all important. I think the really important issues that are facing the city are being sidetracked by personal agendas, hidden motives, hurt feelings, and people that are making a mockery of our council and city.”

There are several things Bremmer is proud of accomplishing while serving, including the bathrooms at the staging area, the Cedar Springs Brewery coming to town, and the sidewalks that did get replaced. What she is personally proud of is “representing my city and the council in a respectful and dignified manner. I have not lashed out when lies were spread, the council became divided and even took part in recalling me. I have been present for council meetings when there were tough decisions to be made. And most importantly, I respected the diversity of our council, without trying to influence them or use outside sources to get my way.”

Molly Nixon

Molly Nixon

Molly Nixon is running against Ashley Bremmer. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2001, and moved back to Cedar Springs in 2008. She is living in a home her family built in the 1800s, and that she grew up in. She is a Central Station Dispatcher at EPS Security, and a nursing student at Grand Rapids Community College. She says that her interactions with the general public through her employers for the last 15 years have given her skills she can use on the council. “I have learned to keep my professionalism and hear what is being said in the face of anger, fear, and character attacks. I bring a civility that the council has lacked at times. In the event that I do not persuade other council members to see things my way we are still neighbors, and we will leave the meeting respecting each other. I believe that facts, not people, are up for discussion.”

What prompted Nixon to run for Council? “I have been in support of coming to an arrangement with the Red Flannel Festival since it was first an issue. In the time that I have been engaged with the political process, I have noticed that the council operated on pride and secrecy. Calling closed meetings in situations that are questionable at best. They also rely too heavily on attorney client privilege. In sorting through the council documents I found property bought by the city for no reason other than it was a good deal, decisions against the express wishes of residents, placing restrictions on parking vehicles on private property, and property that was bought with the purpose of building a new library left vacant for reasons that I still do not fully understand. Some of these issues have been resolved, but that is only because the public has been voting in council members who are accountable.”

Nixon thinks the most pressing problem is that City Hall is “a place of secret meetings and make it up as you go rules.” But she sees another problem as well. “I also seek to reclaim Cedar Springs as my home. It always was, and always will be Red Flannel Town, USA. I want to put that back on every street corner of this town. The personal pride of a few people alone erased that. Feelings were hurt and the discussion was ended prematurely to suit the personal comfort of the city officials involved.”

Running for one seat:

Patricia Troost

Patricia Troost

Patricia Troost one of the council members named in the recall, is running for her seat. She is currently serving as Mayor Pro-Tem. She has lived in Cedar Springs for five years, and is a Paralegal, at Reisinger Law Firm, PLLC . She said that skills and experience she brings to council include, “Research knowledge and being able to look at both sides of an issue and not holding a grudge if I don’t agree or if there are different of opinions.”

What prompted her to run for office? “The code ordinance officer came to my home and told me I couldn’t park in my driveway- front of my garage as my drive-way was gravel at the time with weeds/grass growing and according to the ordinance that was considered my lawn. I asked who made up this stupid rule and was told the planning commission and then City Council made the final ruling and I stated that I needed to run for city council then.”

What does she believe is the most important issue facing the community? “A lot of our residents are still trying to recover from the recession and meeting basic needs.  I believe that we as a community can come together and help each other where we can and not just me it’s an US. There are resources that residents may not know about and we as leaders can assist in getting them.” She is working with The City of Cedar Springs Area Chamber and North Kent Community Services with their Seats and Feet’s Campaign (and personal items). They are collecting underwear, pajamas, socks and items you cannot get with a food stamps card with drop offs of donated items at various businesses. “The Chamber and business owners care about Cedar Springs and are here 365 days a year and I think it is great how they have agreed wholeheartedly to help me promote this campaign, as well as with North Kent Community Services…they are a great resource.”

Troost said she is most proud of when a young Eagle Scout came to City Council with a plan and idea for a new pavilion at Morley Park and asked if the City would partner with him. “It was amazing to see this young man wanting to give back to his community at such a young age and I believe that my fellow council members and I encouraged young Kevin to look outwards at others and see a need and that if we all work together we can make a difference and that he carries that with him as he grows up and continues it as well and passes it on.”

Rose Powell

Rose Powell

Rose Powell is running against Patricia Troost. Powell has lived in the City of Cedar Springs since November 1970, and has been a registered voter since 1971. She is recently retired. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School, as did her husband Chris, and their children, Gina, Brynadette, and Christopher. Powell said that previous experience includes serving on the Cedar Springs board of elections, DDA, planning commission, Chamber of commerce, and being a Rotarian. She was also a downtown business owner, and also employed as an office manager/sales person for 2 other Cedar Springs businesses.

Powell is running for council because: “I decided to get involved again, when I realized our City council voted to take down our Cedar Springs City flag and destroy it. I trusted our councilors to do what was right for the citizens, tax payers, and voters of Cedar Springs and surrounding community. The destruction of $4000.00+ of our people’s property, paying a law firm $11,000 to defend those actions, while telling us it was for the good of our city was appalling. After spending many…many hours studying CS. city Budget, I came to one conclusion. There’s something rotten in Red Flannel Town.”

Powell says her goal is, with the help of fellow citizens, to “guide our CS City policies, finances, and reputation in a positive direction. There will always be problems to solve. Together our community can do it, and do it well.”

 

 

 

 

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The Trick to the Treats

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

That faint noise you hear is the sound of pint-sized spooks gathering on your lawn. They will soon be knocking at the door, plastic pumpkins outstretched. Spare yourself the tricks and give up the treats – the unhealthy, sweet, nougat-filled goodies in your cupboard. Keep your stinking apples, raisins, toothbrushes, and granola bars. In a few short years the tykes will have to turn in their costumes, so don’t deprive them of this rite of childhood passage.

This doesn’t mean adults don’t get in on the fun. Americans spend nearly $3 billion each Halloween, not on adorning their children for the festivities, but on themselves. Adults love to play dress-up, it would appear, and not just in October.

We all hide behind masks, masks we have worn for so long, we forget the real person who lurks beneath. We so over-identify with our dress-up characters, that is the roles we play in life, that when the roles change—and they will change—we experience miserable frustration.

One Halloween my son dressed as the cartoon spaceman Buzz Lightyear for Halloween. It was fun—“To infinity and beyond!”—and that’s how long I thought the boy would wear the costume. In his mind, this wasn’t a temporary role he was playing. Buzz Lightyear was who he really was. Every time he had to lay aside his costume, it was the proverbial end of the world with weeping and gnashing of teeth. It was as if he was losing himself, as if he couldn’t live apart from that imaginary facade. Of course the real him was beneath that rayon spacesuit—everybody knew it—except him.

This is a common affliction. We build dramatic images of ourselves, who we think we are, who we should be, what we should accomplish, and once constructed, these have to be maintained and protected. We never let a tear or a crack show in our veneer, and the mask to which we cling slowly becomes a prison. We go through life kicking and screaming every time a perceived threat begins to pull at the hem of our make-believe cape.

Here’s a better way: Fulfill the roles that God, fate, or life has assigned to you. Fulfill them with gusto. But never accept the masks you must wear as a substitute for the person you really are; that’s the trick to a sweet life.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

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JOHN J. GOLLER

C-obit-GollerMr. John J. Goller, aged 89, formerly of Rockford passed away Friday October 17, 2014. He was born June 16, 1925 in Solon Township, attended the former Briggs School and Cedar Springs High School. During WW II he served with the 35th Division, US Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church, V.F.W. Post 3946 and Glenn Hill American Legion Post 287. Surviving are his wife Peggy; his sons and their wives John M. (Debra) Goller and David (Deborah) Goller; his grandchildren Andrea (Erich) Staman, Lynee’ (Pete) Buhl, Aelise Goller, Amy (Steve) VanBeekom, John D. Goller, Kathleen Goller; he was preceded in death by two brothers and one sister. Funeral services for Mr. Goller were held on Tuesday October 21, 2014 at 11:00 am in the Rockford United Methodist Church. Visitation was held on Monday, October 20th from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Pederson Funeral Home. Those desiring an expression of sympathy are asked to consider with the Rockford United Methodist Church or the Michigan Home for Veteran’s, 3000 Monroe N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home

www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

 

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Thank You

I want to thank all my friends, neighbors and loved ones for all the acts of kindness shown me since my surgery and the complications caused by it; for all the calls, cards, food, visits, etc. I especially thank Helene for caring for my flowers and my family for their loving care. It meant everything to me.

God bless you all!

Joan Wainright

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Red Hawks improve to 7 and 1 with a win over Greenville

 

The stingy Red Hawk defense kept the Greenville offense at bay last Friday night. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The stingy Red Hawk defense kept the Greenville offense at bay last Friday night. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The varsity football team wins 48-16

 

On Friday, October 17, the rain began as the national anthem was sung and just after the Cedar Springs Red Hawks honored so many brave people that have been affected by cancer in the third annual Hawks against Cancer pink game.

Greenville kicked off in the steady rain to start the first quarter, which ended with the Red Hawks leading 14 to 0. Collin Alvesteffer ran the ball for one touchdown and passed 34 yards to Kaden Myers for the second score. Zach Wamser added the two-point conversion on the second touchdown.

Red Hawks celebrate in the endzone after a touchdown by MavRick Cotten.

Red Hawks celebrate in the endzone after a touchdown by MavRick Cotten.

In the second quarter, the Red Hawks continued to pound on the Yellow Jacket defense by adding another touchdown to the first half tally, when Red Hawk fullback MavRick Cotton busted through the middle of the Greenville defense and scored on an 18-yard run. The Red Hawks did not capitalize on the two-point conversion, which left the score at 20 to 0, going into a rainy and windy half time.

After an excellent performance by the Red Hawk Marching Band, the third quarter began the way the second quarter ended, with MavRick Cotten breaking through the heart of the Yellow Jacket defense to score a 34-yard touchdown. The beginning of the end came when the Greenville offense fumbled the ball at midfield and Red Hawk Kaden Myers recovered the ball and ran it 52 yards for the score!

The Yellow Jackets continued to challenge the stingy, run-stopping and quarterback-sacking Red Hawk defense, with a score in the third quarter and one in the fourth, but the Red Hawks answered both times. Zach Wamser scored on a 41-yard dash with 48 seconds left in the third quarter, and Collin Alvesteffer answered again in the middle of the fourth.

In the end, it was second year head Coach Gus Kapolka’s Red Hawks that prevailed, 48-16.

This Friday, October 25, the Red Hawks will finish the regular season with a homecoming match up against conference foe Forest Hills Eastern, at 7 p.m. in Red Hawk Stadium. Get your Red Flannel on, load up the car and come out to support your 7 and 1 Red Hawks! Don’t forget the cowbell.

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Dan George inducted into GBC athletic hall of fame

Dan George was inducted into the Grace Bible College athletic hall of fame last weekend. Courtesy photo.

Dan George was inducted into the Grace Bible College athletic hall of fame last weekend. Courtesy photo.

Grace Bible College announces the selection of Dan George, Associate Head Coach for Men’s Basketball, to the Grace Bible College Athletic Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies took place on Saturday, October 18, in the Aldrich Center on campus.

“I am humbled and extremely appreciative of this honor,” said Coach George.

George, a Cedar Springs resident, begins his 10th season with the Tigers in 2014-15. Coach George has a unique connection to the program as he was head coach at Jordan College, and recruited, signed, and coached the Tigers’ Head Coach Gary Bailey in 1978-82. The two have remained friends over the years and Bailey knew who to turn to for assistance, when he took over the helm of the Tigers in 2005. In the nine years the two have been together at Grace, the Tigers have won seven regional championships and five national championships.

“When Gary took the head coaching position at Grace in 2005, I was flattered that he asked me to come help him,” said Coach George. “I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it for a year.’ And then we won a regional and national championship that first year, and I was hooked on working with this team and being a part of the Grace atmosphere. I told Coach Bailey I would stay as long as he wanted me.”

Coach George has served in several capacities over the last nine years. He assisted Coach Bailey with game management and he has always had a passion for teaching and developing defensive skills. He has also teamed with supporting Coach Kent Karnemaat in the team’s “Champions to the Core” initiative. He will continue to assist in all those areas but his focus this year is to pursue a long time passion and team need to develop and implement a new program for game preparation and analysis.

“Dan brings strong leadership skills and great basketball knowledge to our program,” said Coach Bailey, “but it is his passion for assisting young men in the development of character and life skills that we value most.”

Dan played high school ball at Walton Central School (class of 1970) in Walton, New York and college basketball at Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York. He served as athletic director and head basketball coach at Jordan College where his teams were nationally ranked. An avid sportsman and conservationist, Dan enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping and he owns an outdoor adventure consulting/booking business, Quest Expeditions, offering worldwide hunting and fishing adventures. Dan received a B.A. in History from Hartwick College in 1974 and a M.A. in Education from Michigan State University in 1980. He currently serves as the Superintendent/School Leader at Creative Technologies Academy in Cedar Springs, where he lives with his wife, Debi, and son, Hunter, a senior at Creative Technologies Academy. Daughter Dani, is in her freshman year at Indiana Wesleyan University.

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Charger Cross Country team goes to state 

*S-Cross Country CTA Les Miner State ChampionIt may have been a cold, damp Saturday morning, but it did not slow down the Chargers of Creative Technologies Academy at their Cross Country Class D State Championship meet. Head Coach Gerry Verwey challenged every one of his runners to set a new lifetime personal record during the race, and many of them did just that.

The boys’ team finished in an overall place of 14th out of 34 teams, which was quite an accomplishment. They were once again led by freshman Les Miner (17:10), who received all state honors. Not far behind was Sophomore Ethan Lehman, who finished with a lifetime PR of 18:31. Freshman James Hofstra (19:40) finished third for the Chargers, while Sophomore Logan Colter (20:24) and Freshman Dawson Armstrong (lifetime PR 21:28) rounded out the top five.

While the girls team did not have enough participants required to be scored in the team results, two Charger ladies still had great meets. Senior Olivia Wortz finished with a lifetime PR of 27:56, and Junior Kaleigh Keech continued her impressive improvement by posting a time of 36:22.

The Chargers have one week left of practice, followed by the Michigan Independent High School Championships next Saturday in Allendale. It is the final race of the season, and the Chargers will look to close out the season strong.

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Tennis ends with conference tournament and regionals

The Cedar Springs varsity boy’s tennis team completed their season the week of October 5th with an OK Bronze conference tournament at Forest Hills Northern and a Division 3 Regional tournament at Gainey Athletic Complex. The OK Bronze tournament was successfully completed on Tuesday evening, October 7th after several postponements and delays due to the weather. When all the matches were complete, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks ended up with a 4th place finish. The Red Hawk players awarded at the end of the tournament were Drew French, who took a second place finish in #3 singles, and Blake Fisk was named all conference for being #1 singles on the Cedar Springs team.

On Thursday, October 9, the team headed to their Regional tournament at Gainey Athletic Complex. The Red Hawks boys did their best to stay alive in the tough single elimination tournament. #2 singles Nick Fennessey, the only senior on the team, was the last to be eliminated in the tournament, which seemed very fitting, since it would be his last tennis match as a Red Hawk.

The Red Hawks finished their season with 8 wins and 6 losses.

Coach Katie Unsworth remarked, “2014 was a fantastic year for our team and I only see us becoming stronger and even more competitive! We are a young team and I am very excited about the next few years!

 

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Named your car? Then treat it like a good friend with these tips

CAR-NamedYourCar

(BPT) – When cousins Bo and Luke Duke from the television series The Dukes of Hazzard named their car “The General Lee,” they had the famous General Robert E. Lee in mind. Why? The show was set in the South, so perhaps it was to capture the Southern vibe of the Duke lifestyle. Maybe it symbolized rebellion against authority. Who knows? There are as many reasons for naming a car as there are drivers, and the Dukes were in good company when they named theirs.

Thirty-five (35) percent of Americans have named their car in the past, proving that our cars can have a deeper emotional hold on us than just a way to get from point A to point B, according to Hankook Tire’s quarterly Spring Gauge Index.

Gender influences choices. The Gauge showed that women are more likely to consider the car they drive a female, and men are more likely to consider their car male. On the other hand, approximately half of those surveyed stay gender-neutral when it comes to cars, considering their vehicle neither male nor female. Some of the most popular names were “Betsy,” “Bessie,” and “Baby.” On the other end were the more unconventional, exotic titles including “The Accordion,” “Petunia” and “NellyBelly.”

Whether or not you name your car, treat it like a friend and it will take better care of you. This season, treating your car right includes:

Anticipating slick surfaces – Stopping on a wet road can take up to four times the normal distance on a dry road. During wet weather conditions, drive slowly and keep in mind that stopping distances will be longer. Tires like the Hankook Ventus V12 evo2 have circumferential and Aqua Jet lateral grooves that promote efficient water evacuation from the center of the tire’s contact patch to enhance hydroplaning resistance and wet traction.

Learning to change a tire – Whether it’s from a class, a friend, or dear ol’ dad, take a few pointers on changing a tire. And always make sure you pack a spare tire in your trunk. You never know when you’ll find yourself in an unfortunate situation on the road.

Rotating your tires – Tire rotation extends the life of your tires and ensures optimal performance. Many don’t do this routinely, but when done correctly, tire rotation promotes even wear and improved tread life giving you the maximum life out of your tires. A professional tire dealer can get the job done for you in a quick visit.

 

 

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Simple Tips to Be More Efficient  in Your Garage

Visit http://bit.ly/GarageHacks for inspiration and use the hashtag #GarageHacks to share your own creative tips. PHOTO SOURCE: (c) JR Motorsports

Visit http://bit.ly/GarageHacks for inspiration and use the hashtag #GarageHacks to share your own creative tips. PHOTO SOURCE: (c) JR Motorsports

(StatePoint) Most everyone has a couple of tricks up their sleeve that make chores and tasks simpler. You likely have a few of your own — and once you develop a superior method of ticking off a to-do list item, it can be difficult to remember what your life was like before.

Here are a few such “lifehacks” straight from automotive experts, that you may not have thought of yourself, that can make your time in your garage more efficient and effective.

• Better organization: A well-maintained garage is a more pleasant place to work and can boost your efficiency. If your shovels, spades and other yard tools are stacked in a precarious pile, it’s time to create a better system.

Freelance automotive writer and photographer Maxwell Matthewson suggests screwing a ripped sheet of plywood to the studs of your shop or garage to hold yard and auto tools vertically and out of the way.

• Spark plugs in a snap: It can be tricky to remove spark plugs from hard to reach or extreme heat locations. The experts at JR Motorsports suggest attaching a vacuum to a length of rubber hose. With the proper size hose, this same method also works for nuts and bolts.

• Play favorites: Working on your vehicle? Don’t dig to find your favorite tools, says Tom Gerrald of Tripp Gerrald Motorsports. Save time when looking for the right wrench by using tape to color code the tools you reach for first.

• Stay in place: The professionals at JR Motorsports mark their nuts and bolts with a paint pen to ensure they haven’t moved or become loose.

• Share: Have your own DIY tips for the garage? Don’t keep them to yourself. Valvoline, the producer of automotive products, is spotlighting the creative “hacks” DIYers around the country are using to make life easier in the garage.

Submit your best ideas, tips and tricks that demonstrate how to improvise and boost efficiency, using the #GarageHacks hashtag at www.Facebook.com/Valvoline, www.Twitter.com/Valvoline and www.Instagram.com/Valvoline.

Check out the full album of Garage Hacks at http://bit.ly/GarageHacks for inspiration.

Is your time in the garage well-spent? With the right tricks, you can innovate the way you restore your ride, make home upgrades and maintain your yard.

 

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