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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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Look for what’s right

Dear Editor:

 

It’s a simple fact: You find what you’re looking for. If you are looking for bad news, you will find something to criticize; if you are looking for good news, you will find something to compliment.

In this election cycle, I hear and read far too many candidates that are looking for the things that are wrong. Electing those candidates perpetuates bad news. Is everything perfect in Cedar Springs? In Michigan? In the United States? Of course not. But there is a lot that is right. I’m much more interested in focusing on those things.

The way to move our city, our state, and our country forward is to support those candidates that are focused on our strengths—on what’s right in our communities—and electing them into positions where they can help our strengths overcome our weaknesses.

Send a message this election cycle: Vote for the candidates that are looking for what’s good and right and strong.

 

Sincerely,

Craig T. Owens, City of Cedar Springs

 

 

Post Scripts Notice: 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. No letters against a candidate will be published the week before an election. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

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National Radon action week

 

National Radon Action Week is October 20-26, 2014, and occurs the 3rd week of October every year. Radon gas is becoming more of a widespread problem in the United States. In the U.S., one in fifteen homes are affected by elevated radon levels. Radon cannot be seen, it has no scent, and is colorless. Radon invades homes and buildings through foundation cracks and openings and even directly through concrete.

Radon gas is considered a carcinogen that comes from decayed radium and uranium in the soil. It is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and causes people that do smoke greater chance of being diagnosed with lung cancer when exposed to this deadly gas. The EPA suggests levels of 4 (pCi/L) picocuries and above be addressed. Levels of 4 pCi/L is equivalent to 8 cigarettes a day or 250 chest x-rays per year. World Health Organization (WHO) states that 3% and 14% of lung cancer cases are caused by Radon, and suggests people take action against levels higher than 2.7 pCi/L.

The purpose of National Radon Action Week is to educate people about the health risks of radon, learning about radon gas itself, and also inform everyone how to test their homes for radon and what actions need to be taken if there are high levels of radon present. Radon is a problem that affects millions of homes, daycares, schools, and buildings across the country. This is the time to get informed in order to stay safe and healthy in the place you spend most of your time. Check with your local health department and home improvement store for radon test kits. Visit www.RadonWeek.org for more information.

 

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Protect against carbon monoxide poisoning 

Last week was Carbon Monoxide Safety and Awareness Week in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is reminding everyone to keep their families safe from being poisoned by carbon monoxide this winter.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that kills more than 500 Americans each year and up to 50 a year in Michigan. It is produced by all forms of combustion. Warning signs include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. The good news is carbon monoxide poisoning is completely preventable.

“Now is the time to ensure that gas-fired furnaces, hot water heaters and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive at the MDCH. “Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect so it’s important to evacuate the area of contamination immediately and seek medical attention if you suspect you have been exposed to carbon monoxide.”

Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or near a window because these appliances give off carbon monoxide. Running a car in an enclosed garage can create lethal levels of carbon monoxide in minutes.

Michigan’s carbon monoxide poisoning tracking system counted 22 unintentional deaths and 765 non-fatal unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings in Michigan in 2012 alone, the most recent year of complete data. More than 60 percent occurred during the winter months and happened most frequently at home.

Michigan’s December 2013 ice storm, which caused power outages in about 400,000 Michigan households, resulted in one carbon monoxide death and 300 percent increase in emergency department visits for carbon monoxide poisoning. Proper use and placement of alternate power sources would have prevented many of these poisonings.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning and poisoning prevention, visit www.michigan.gov/carbonmonoxide.

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MDCH launches website to address prescription drug abuse

 

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has developed a website to increase public awareness of the risks and potential harm associated with misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and to provide everyday steps individuals can take to address the issue in their families and communities. Do Your Part: Be the Solution is a multifaceted approach to addressing prescription drug misuse and abuse across Michigan.

“Everyone has a role to play in the solution as we address prescription drug misuse and abuse in Michigan. This website offers practical steps that everyone can take right now,” said Lyon. “We can all do our part by monitoring the medications in our homes, understanding the risks of sharing prescription medications, and properly disposing of medications when they are no longer needed.”

The non-medical use or abuse of prescription drugs is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, and prescription medication is the second most commonly abused category of drugs. Opiate overdoses, once almost always due to heroin use, are now increasingly due to the abuse of prescription painkillers. In 2012, 941 Michigan residents died due to unintentional drug poisoning.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, every day an average of 2,000 teenagers nationwide use a prescription drug for the first time without a doctor’s guidance. Oftentimes, teens are accessing these drugs in their own homes. It can be as easy as opening a cupboard, drawer or medicine cabinet.

In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sites prescription opioid abuse may be “the first step” to heroin use. Recent research by NIDA indicated that almost half of the young heroin users who injected heroin reported they used opioid pain relievers before the started using heroin.

Do Your Part: Be the Solution addresses the issue of prescription drug misuse and abuse using a multi-pronged approach including educating communities and the general public, providing guidance and resources to the medical community and other professionals, and linking to information on proper disposal to reduce the impact on the environment.

For more information on the Do Your Part: Be the Solution campaign visit the website at www.michigan.gov/doyourpart.

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Grand Rapids angler catches state-record quillback carpsucker  

Benjamin Frey and his state record quillback carpsucker.

Benjamin Frey and his state record quillback carpsucker.

A Grand Rapids fisherman fishing in Newaygo brought home the fifth state-record fish this year.

The Department of Natural Resources confirmed the new state record last month for quillback carpsucker. The state record for quillback carpsucker was beat by a fish caught by Benjamin Frey of Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Hardy Dam Pond in Newaygo County Friday, Aug. 29, at 1:45 a.m. Frey was bow fishing. The fish weighed 8.25 pounds and measured 22.62 inches. The record was verified by Rich O’Neal, a DNR fisheries biologist in Muskegon.

The previous state-record quillback carpsucker was caught by Randy Bonter, Jr., of Grant, also on Hardy Dam Pond June 17, 2012. That fish weighed 8.12 pounds and measured 23 inches.

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.
“2014 is shaping up to be quite a year for state-record catches, as this fish is the fifth one we’ve confirmed,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “These records continue to show just how phenomenal Michigan’s fishing is, and there’s still plenty of time left in the season for other anglers to catch their own potential state record.”
For more information on fishing in Michigan, including other state-record catches, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

 

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Passenger Pigeon Extinction

 

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

It has been 100 years since the last Passenger Pigeon on Earth died and joined the dinosaurs in extinction. It was on September 1, 1914, that the last remaining individual of its kind died, in the Cincinnati Zoo. We mourn the death of the last individual. Society experienced greater sorrow with loss of an entire species on that day. Gone were its contributions toward sustaining biodiversity in ecosystems.

The pigeon was the most abundant bird species, with a population that might have exceeded the number of all ducks combined. Its feeding activities likely controlled diseases like Lyme disease. Pigeon populations in the millions moved through the eastern deciduous forest feeding on acorns, American chestnuts, seeds and nuts. More than a billion total pigeons thrived. Their abundance removed food that would have supported deer and mice. This limited excessive deer and mice reproduction and resulted in fewer fleas. That reduced the spread of Lyme disease. Nature niche connections are often not obvious.

No Passenger Pigeons were left to pass on their genetic legacy into the coming millennia. An important thread in the fabric of life was stripped from ecosystems. It may seem the death of a species 100 years ago has no or little impact on people in the present. The increase in Lyme disease is just one impact that might have caused disability or even death for some people. Making absolute connections is not likely. Other connections relate to forest reproduction, abundance and composition of tree species. Pigeon feeding activity directed forest developed and numbers of other plants. In turn, it impacted the abundance and composition of animal populations present today.

Current scientific evidence suggests human activities are pushing many species toward extinction. The monarch butterfly population has declined due to land use practices. It numbered in the billions but last year’s winter population was only about 37 million. The Passenger Pigeon dropped below a threshold for survival and disappeared. There is concern the same might occur with the migratory monarch population. Several things limit monarch survival but one is human use of genetically modified crops that can tolerate herbicides so we can support an ever-growing human population. Crops growers increase the amount of chemicals on crops to eliminate wild plants like milkweed that are in or near croplands. With only a few milkweeds, monarchs cannot find food plants to lay their eggs as they migrate from Texas to Michigan.

All species strive to increase their kind but limiting factors keep them from continuous population growth. That is the case with the introduced exotic emerald ash borer that has largely eliminated ash trees in the landscape. In regions where they kill ashes, the beetles run out of food and their populations’ crash. It is a boom and bust population. People have found ways to delay human starvation for some regions. We have not responded by working to keep our population at or below the environment’s carrying capacity that would sustain our population for the centuries. Instead we are moving toward a boom number that will bust and crash. A continuous growing population will result in massive human death at some point. Human behavior today is not maintaining sustainable conditions to support future generations. Instead we focus on immediate personal interests and desires with boom and bust lifestyles.

Extinctions caused by human misuse of the Earth’s natural resources threaten other life forms but also threatens our own species long-term survival. Our population can sustain itself for millennia if we live within Earth’s carrying capacity. If not, we create a boom and bust that will cause massive deaths. Our behavior in the present is critically important for future human generations.

Many people choose to ignore evidence supporting the human influence on climate change or our impacts on species survival. Society’s behavior acted toward the Passenger Pigeon like society behaves toward climate change and species extinction threats. If we were interested in creation care and our offspring 20 generations hence, we would strive for sustainable lifestyles that do not squeeze other species off the planet. It depends on personal choices we make at home.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433. 616-696-1753.

 

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Read to Ride 

Left to right: Deb Elliott, Cedar Springs Librarian Donna Clark, and Lolita Johnson with her Read-to-Ride ticket.

Left to right: Deb Elliott, Cedar Springs Librarian Donna Clark, and Lolita Johnson with her Read-to-Ride ticket.

The Red-Reading Challenge—the Read-to-Ride Program, got off to a great start with the beginning of the new school year and climaxed with carnival rides on Red Flannel Day. 131 students, K-8th grades, turned in their Red Reading Logs, down about half from last year due to the chilly, wet weather.

Elliott’s Amusements has been Cedar Springs’ valued reading partner for 9 years now.  The Festival pitched the idea to Deb Elliott and the Cedar Springs Library in 2006 and it has been going strong ever since. In fact, it has been such a success, that this year we are having to rethink how we can reward our Red Readers in a way that Elliott’s Amusements benefits as much as our community readers do.

Next year we have agreed to print 150 free ride tickets to be given out to the first 150 students who request one at cash in. There will also be a second choice of a snow cone or bag of popcorn for another 200 students who prefer a concession. The Reading Challenge will continue to be 6 hours.

All reading logs would be traded in at the Cedar Springs Library on or before September 30 or until the 350 tickets were claimed.

 

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John Ball Zoo goes Boo

 

See Hannah Ringler as a singing mermaid at John Ball Zoo this weekend.

See Hannah Ringler as a singing mermaid at John Ball Zoo this weekend.

Cedar Springs’ very own Miss Great Lakes State teen 2014, Hannah Ringler, 18, is volunteering as a singing mermaid at the John Ball Zoo goes Boo event this weekend, October 25 and 26.

Hannah has been giving her time to this event for the past three years. “Seeing the kids smile as I serenade them makes it all worth it,” she said.

Hannah, a wonderful vocalist, can be found in the zoo aquarium from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., where she will be enchanting children of all ages with songs of the sea. “I love to perform the songs that are familiar to children and asking them to help me by singing along. It’s a great time.”

Hannah has been mentoring children for a number of years and this event is a perfect example of giving something special to kids. Hannah is looking for sponsors so that she can attend the National Miss American Coed pageant in November, in Florida. She hopes to promote her platform “Mentor a Child Today, Improve the World of Tomorrow,” as well as foster care and open adoption awareness. Hannah is a happy product of an open adoption and a spokesperson for this cause.

Hannah hopes to take a piece of Cedar Springs with her to Florida and represent the great state of Michigan. If you are interested in supporting this young woman, please email hannahringler.dreamer@gmail.com. 

 

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