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Businesses backing away from bee-killing pesticides

BLOOM-Businesses-backing-away

By Mary Kuhlman, Michigan News Connection

New tests found significant decreases in the use of bee-killing pesticides on “bee-friendly” plants. That’s good news for bees.

Friends of the Earth and the Pesticide Research Institute took samples of plants in 13 U.S. cities, including Ann Arbor and Detroit, and compared them to samples taken in 2013 and 2014. They were looking for neonicotinoid insecticides in plants sold to gardeners and home owners.

In the previous tests, half of the plants tested positive for the toxins. This time, only 23 percent did. Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said retailers are starting to sell “bee-friendly” plants.

“Almost 70 retailers across the U.S. have made commitments to stop selling plants—and in some cases, products—that contain bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides,” Finck-Haynes said. “And so that’s what’s really shifting the entire garden industry.”

The Bee Informed Partnership at the University of Maryland said beekeepers across the U.S. lost 44 percent of their honeybee colonies between April 2015 and April 2016. Researchers blame the varroa mite, pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use.
Bee losses have to stop, Finck-Haynes said. But some retailers are still selling plants pre-treated with pesticides. She said she hopes consumers will put pressure on those companies.

“Over 50 percent of Americans are more likely to shop at a Lowe’s or a Home Depot because they’ve made that commitment to stop selling these bee-killing pesticides,” Finck-Haynes said. “So, this really demonstrates to Walmart, Ace and True Value that they could potentially lose their customers if they don’t make these formal commitments.”

More than 100 businesses, cities, universities, states and countries have restricted use of pesticides that are lethal to bees. According to a survey by Greenhouse Grower magazine, nearly three-quarters of growers who supply mass merchants and home-improvement chains said they will not use neonicotinoids this year.

A list of retailer’s and grower’s policies on pesticide use is available http://www.foe.org/beeaction/retailers.

Find a list of companies selling pollinator-friendly seeds and plants at this link: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/bee-protective-pollinators-and-pesticides/what-can-you-do/pollinator-friendly-seed-directory.

Get a copy of the new study here: http://webiva-downton.s3.amazonaws.com/877/a1/5/8972/GardenersBewareFollowupReport_4.pdf

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Stay cool pool without chlorine 

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Saltwater pool is a healthy alternative

(BPT) – As summer temperatures rise, backyard and neighborhood pools become more attractive for old and young alike. The one thing most folks don’t like, however, is the smell of the chlorine or how it burns your eyes or feels on your skin once you get out of the water. The chlorine is there to help keep the water clean and clear, and most pools require a lot of regular maintenance to maintain the proper levels.

Saltwater pools, however, offer a better way to enjoy a dip without the smell or feeling of chlorine. They work by converting salt to chlorine using an electrolytic converter. This produces the same type of bacteria-killing chlorine found in a traditional pool, but in a radically different fashion.

How saltwater pools work

Instead of dumping a bunch of chemical chlorine all at one time and letting it dissipate until more is needed, a saltwater pool adds chlorine to the water at a constant rate. This displaces the bad smell and burning irritation we normally associate with chlorine, while maintaining the right amount at all times.

As the water exits the converter and enters the pool, the sanitizing chlorine eventually reverts back to salt, and the process repeats itself, conserving salt and keeping sanitizer levels balanced. However new salt does need to be added occasionally as salt levels can drop due to splash-out, rain, and filter back-washing. Pool owners still should test weekly for pH and chlorine, and monthly for other water balance factors.

Lower maintenance, less expensive

The other good news for home owners and pool managers is that saltwater pools require far less maintenance than traditional pools and are much less expensive to maintain as pool salt is far cheaper than traditional chlorine. This is a big reason why so many hotels and water parks in the United States have already made the switch. The initial construction and installation of an electrolytic converter is very small and easily made up in maintenance savings. Even converting an existing chlorine pool to saltwater can pay off quickly.

The technology for a saltwater pool was first developed in Australia in the 1960s, and today, more than 80 percent of all pools Down Under use this system. In the United States, saltwater pools first began to see use in the 1980s and have grown exponentially in popularity. According to data published in Pool & Spa News, today there are more than 1.4 million saltwater pools in operation nationwide and an estimated 75 percent of all new in-ground pools are salt water, compared with only 15 percent in 2002.

Some may be concerned about the effect of salt on pool equipment, construction materials, decks and surrounding structures. However, the actual amount of salt used is very low, less than .01 as salty as sea water. You may be able to barely taste the salt in the pool, but much less so than you can taste and feel the chlorine in a standard pool. When pools are properly constructed and normal maintenance is followed, saltwater has no effect on pool finishes, equipment and decks.

To learn more about saltwater pools and other uses for salt, visit saltinstitute.org.

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Eight human cases of Influenza A H3N2 variant confirmed in Michigan 

 

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture and Rural Development today announced that there have been eight human cases of influenza A variant viruses reported in Michigan. They have tested positive for influenza A H3N2 variant (H3N2v) and one person has been hospitalized and since released. All of the confirmed cases had exposure to swine at county fairs in Muskegon, Cass, and Ingham counties during July and August where sick pigs had also been identified.

MDHHS and MDARD are working closely with local health departments, the healthcare community, and fairs to protect swine exhibitors and the public and identify any additional cases.

Fair exhibitors and animal caretakers should be following proper biosecurity processes such as regular hand-washing with soap and water, disinfecting wash areas at least once each day and making sure it has time to dry thoroughly after being disinfected. Additionally, weight scales and sorting boards should also be disinfected. Use a 10 percent bleach/water mixture in combination with a detergent (dish or laundry soap) to increase effectiveness.

In 2012, there were six H3N2v cases in Michigan and in 2013 two cases were confirmed. Human infection is thought to happen when an infected pig coughs or sneezes and droplets with influenza virus land in someone’s nose or mouth, or are inhaled. There also is some evidence that the virus might spread by someone touching something that has virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Symptoms of H3N2v infection in people are usually mild and similar to those of seasonal flu viruses, but as with seasonal flu, complications can lead to hospitalization and death. Symptoms include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, as well as body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some populations are at higher risk of developing complications if they get influenza, including children younger than five years of age, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions.

The incubation period (the time it takes from exposure to illness) for this influenza is typically similar to seasonal influenza at about two days, but may be up to 10 days. Currently, there is no vaccine for H3N2v and the seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against H3N2v. Antiviral drugs are effective in treating H3N2v virus infections. Early treatment works best and may be especially important for people with a high-risk condition.

Below are some steps that you can take to protect yourself and prevent the spread of any illness:

• Anyone who is at high risk of serious flu complications and planning to attend a fair should avoid pigs and swine barns.

• Do not eat or drink in livestock barns or show rings

• Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into pig areas.

• Avoid contact with pigs if you have flu-like symptoms. Wait seven days after your illness started or until you have been without fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, whichever is longer.

• Avoid close contact with sick people.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

• If you are sick, stay home from work or school until your illness is over.

While it does not protect against H3N2v, MDHHS recommends annual season influenza vaccination for everyone six months of age and older to reduce the risk of infection from other influenza viruses.

For more information about H3N2v, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-basics.htm.

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Building Faith

Pilgrim-BibleRev. Mike Shiery

Pilgrim Bible Church

West Pine St. • Cedar Springs

616.696.1021

 

“Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the people praise You. Then shall the earth yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.” (Psalm 67:5-6) (NKJV)

Perhaps you are like a lot of people who struggle to develop a life of deep-rooted faith. Having faith in God can be difficult when we tend to look at everything in our life from an earthly perspective. We are surrounded by chaotic events, a crumbling culture, and people who often (whether they mean to or not) tend to let us down.

However, I would remind you that God is steadfast, He is above our problems, and unlike people, He is perfect in every way. Scripture teaches that He is worthy of praise, and there is a natural progression from praise to a deepening faith.

Psalm 22:3 tells us, “But You [God] are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” (NKJV). The word “enthroned” can also be translated “inhabits.”  If you invest in praising God, you will find God to be present help in your life. Wherever the praises of God abound, God’s Presence abounds — and joy and victory.

Praise is a lifestyle, demonstrating your continual trust in Your Heavenly Father. Because you trust God, you believe that what He promised you, He is also able to perform, and you praise Him for it.

Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful.” (NKJV). 

The more we focus on God, the more we praise Him for who He is, the more our faith and confidence in Him grows. The bigger God becomes in our sight, the smaller our problems seem. Praise recognizes and gives God the credit and glory even before the answer is manifested in the natural realm. Praising God for the answer to our problems and prayers before we see it is faith in action.

So spend some time choosing to praise God regardless of the situation you are facing. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what it will do to build your faith. When we pour in to God, He pours into us! Let’s praise Him on purpose.

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METZGER – PRAHL

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Best wishes go out to Andrea Metzger and Jacob Prahl with their upcoming wedding on October 1st at the Candlestone Golf & Resort in Belding, Michigan. Parents of the bride are Tim Metzger and Tammy Metzger. Parents of the groom are Charlie and Wendy Prahl.

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THANK YOU

A special thank you to our Children, Family and Friends who attended and sent cards with special wishes for our 60th Anniversary party.

We love you all.

Carl and Esther Flynn

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CHARLES BLOWER

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The heavenly gates were opened one year ago on August 22, 2015, farewells were left unspoken as you drifted away. Wonderful memories of you, we cried a million tears, how we wished that God had spared you just a few more years.  Thank you for all the great times we shared, we only can hope that when you left, you know how much we truly cared. Your memory is our keepsake, with which we’ll never part. God has you in His arms, we have you in our heart.

Still loving and missing you, my brother, my friend.

Love, Linda

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WALTER KILTS

 

C-obit-KiltsWalter Kilts, 89 of Cedar Springs, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at his home. Walter was born March 2, 1927 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the son of Howard and Emma (Fisk) Kilts. Walter served his country during World War II in the U.S. Army stationed in Darmstead, Germany. On May 18, 1951 he married Dorothy Fries, living in Solon Township for 55 years. Walter then moved to the Cedarfield Community. He worked for 37 years at Michigan Plating and Stamping “The Bumper”. He enjoyed life on the farm with his family and his vegetable and flower gardens. Surviving are his children, Deborah (Duane) Stendel, Terri (Wayne) Fifield, Allen (Barb) Kilts, Rita (Kevin) Dines; 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; one great great-grandson; several step grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sister, Barbara Jean Wainright; sisters-in-law, Betty Kilts, Lois Kilts, and Marilyn Sidlauskus; brothers-in-law, Donald (Carol) Fries, Alvin (Carol) Fries; many nieces and nephews; special friend, Lucille Middleton. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Dorothy in 2000; brothers, Norman Kilts, LaVern Kilts; sister, Maxine Powell; brothers-in-law, Russell Powell, Jack Wainright, Raymond Fries, Bob Sidlauskus; sister-in-law, Marcia Fries. The family will greet friends Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Friday 11:00 a.m. Chaplain Dan Pflug officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery with military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice.

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

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WILLIAM TETZLAFF

 

C-obit-tetzlaffWilliam Frederick Tetzlaff, age 75 passed away, Saturday, August 20, 2016, from lung cancer, in his home at the lake surrounded by loved ones. Bill was one of seven children born to William and Marion Tetzlaff on March 14, 1941 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As the eldest son he was expected to work in the family grocery store where he learned his butchering skills and developed a strong work ethic – it’s where he also developed hands of steel and the superman strength that took Belding’s football team to the Championships and ultimately the Hall of Fame. After graduating from Creston High School, he entered the US Navy and worked on a supply ship during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He came home to West Michigan and began his civilian life as a butcher at D & W and finally found his calling as a fireman for the city of East Grand Rapids retiring as a public safety officer. This was not his only job; on days off he was a Jack of all Trades including butcher, window washer, tree cutter, house painter, chicken slayer, and the list continues. The man could fix anything with duct tape & wire – he was the original MacGyver. Along with working hard, he played hard; hunting for sport and to provide “mystery meat” for his family as well as fishing, camping, playing cards, and whatever adventure resulted from having five kids. What we all most appreciated about our dad is he accepted us for who we are and we could count on his unconditional love, loyalty & support. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Deborah; grandson, Kyle; his parents and brother-in-law, Geary Rummler. He is survived by his five children, whom he shared with his former wife, Sandy (Wiersum) Lyon (now deceased); Dawn Wolfe (Mark), Amber Toews (Kirk), Amy Wiersema (Ray), Billy Tetzlaff (Colette) and Jennifer Dunleavy (Jim). His grandchildren who he loved to throw high into the sky – missing only occasionally; Ashley (Joel), Brittany (David), Owen (Rosey), Justin (Angelina), Morgan (Tim), Nick, Paige, Mikey, Beth(John), Kymber (Aaron). He also leaves behind 12 great-grandchildren; Anthony, Ava, Molly, Hendrix, Reese, Sadie, Elianna, Tyler, Adalynn, Zaden, Melaina, Ryker, and another due in October. His Magnificent 6 siblings, Margaret, Richard (Jane), Charles (Karen), Sue (Chris), Christine (Dave), Connie (Gary), stepsisters, Bonnie, Shari (Tim), and stepmother, Sally. Bill loved his place on the lake and the friends he had there were like family. Their support during his illness is appreciated beyond words. A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 26, 5:00 p.m. at the Wabasis Lake Park Shelterhouse, 11220 Springhill Dr, Greenville. Cremation has taken place. The family will be available for visitation two hours prior to the service, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., with dinner to follow. In lieu of flowers, and in the spirit of his unending generosity to others, please perform a random act of kindness or pay it forward in his memory.

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

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HUGH D. MABIE

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Hugh D. Mabie, age 80 of Cedar Springs, went to be with his Lord on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Hugh was born in Cedar Springs, Michigan on March 12, 1936, the son of Roy and Margaret (Pierson) Mabie. He was a veteran of the United States Army. Hugh retired from Keeler Brass as a Master Die Maker after 43 years of service. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Genevieve Imanse; and his brother, Roy Mabie. Hugh is survived by his wife of 47 years, Janet (Posthumus); his children, Timothy Vander Heide, Mary Jean Mabie, Jill (Nick) Landers, Beth (Craig) Brown, Matthew (Shannon) Vander Heide Mabie, and Samantha (Michael) Mabie-Tuinstra; his thirteen grandchildren; his five great-grandchildren and one on the way; his sister-in-law, Beverly Covell and his brother-in-law, Jerry (Janet) Posthumus; and many nieces and nephews. At Hugh’s request, his family will be holding private services.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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