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The Post visits Arizona

N-Post-travels-Arizona-Prokopy-webKathy Prokopy, of Cedar Springs, visited Prescott, Arizona with her Mom on a girls’ overnight and took the Post with her. Kathy’s Mom lives in the Phoenix area. “Prescott is a quaint old western town that is a 2 hour drive north of Phoenix,” explained Kathy. “It is a place of colorful history and cute main street shops and eateries.”

Thanks, Kathy, for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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Should you move turtle eggs?

*N-Turtle question Snapping turtle_2_mdWe had a question recently from a reader about a turtle nest he felt was in danger. Here is his email:

There is what I believe is a snapping turtle nest up against a hot top road that I walk on a daily basis. I only noticed it because an animal dug up and destroyed all the eggs the first year, which made me aware it was there. The second year the baby turtles hatched but the vegetation adjacent to the nest was so thick they stayed on the road and were all killed by cars. This year I know where the nest is and was wondering if it would be wise to carefully dig up the eggs and bring them home buried in a small pail of the same dirt they were in by the edge of the road? If I leave them where they are, I know with certainty that none of them will survive. If this is feasible then I could release them in a much safer environment once hatched. Please advise.

Thank you, Paul

We went to Ranger Steve and asked his advice. Here is his response.

“It will be dangerous to move them. Turning an egg will usually cause them to die. For some reason they are very fragile. I do not have a good solution but have a couple ideas.

1. Fence the road for a short distance to force the turtles to go a different direction.

2. Make a pathway the baby turtles can access away from the road.

Turtles like loose bare soil away from water to lay eggs. Near water they are even more vulnerable to raccoons, skunks, and other egg predators. Roadsides and trails are often selected for egg laying.

Raccoons and skunks have become over abundant and have made turtle survival difficult.”

We hope Ranger Steve’s suggestions help you protect these baby turtles!

 

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White-tailed squirrel

N-White-tailed-squirrelJennifer Tomodachi posted on our Facebook page that she saw this white-tailed squirrel near the corner of Church and 3rd Street. She asked if anybody knew anything about this type of squirrel, because she’d never seen one like it before.

We asked our wildlife expert, Ranger Steve Mueller, and he said he thought it was probably just a genetic variation.

We did a Google search, and saw that there are white-tailed squirrels seen in other states, from time to time. Has anyone else out there seen a white-tailed squirrel? Where? Let us know, by emailing us at news@cedarspringspost.com.

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New library moving ahead

N-Library-front-South-elevation-web

If you noticed stakes on the property just northeast of the firebarn, it’s because the Cedar Springs Public Library board recently voted to put the new library on the east side of the property. Board Chair Earla Alber gave an update to the City Council on the new library Thursday evening.

The building will be 10,000 square feet.

Alber explained that she was the lone nay vote, because she thought the library would be better served on the rear (west) portion of the property. She said the board had been “bullied” into the decision.

Council member Bob Truesdale noted that the property was bought and donated to the city (where houses used to be along Main Street) for the library to be put on.

However, at the time, it was thought that the fire barn would be moved, and that has not yet happened.

Mayor Mark Fankhauser pointed out that the west side would not require as much work to prepare, and Alber said that the east side would require a lot of a fill, being so near the creek.

Alber said she thought the east property should be put back on the market and bring money back to the city.

Truesdale then asked her, “What would you tell the people who bought and donated the property for a library?” Alber commented that only the corner was bought privately (where the parking lot is going to be), and it would fit about four cars.

The library building committee was interviewing architects for the project this week.

 

 

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City Council clips

By Judy Reed

 

Various Red Flannel Festival fees waived

The Cedar Springs City Council approved the Red Flannel Festival as a community event, and waived various fees for the event, as it does every year. Those fees included parade fees, peddler’s fees, and any other fees applicable. The only fees that will be charged to the Festival is the one for police protection, which they pay each year.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company

The City Council approved an additional 60 day extension for the Cedar Springs Brewing Company to purchase the property at 95 N. Main, on the southwest corner of  Main and Maple Streets. The extension will allow them time to provide the site plan information required by the planning and engineering consultants to do the required review and provide a recommendation to the Planning Commission. According to David Ringler, of Cedar Springs Brewing Company, they plan to tear down the existing building, and build a new one, where they will serve their own variety of craft beers, and will include a full menu and full service kitchen. Visit them on Facebook for updates, and watch the Post for more info.

 

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Two more tornadoes confirmed by NWS

N-Tornadoes-webLast week The Post reported on two tornadoes spawned by the storms West Michigan experienced the evening and early morning of July 6-7. One was in Kent County and the other in Ionia County. This week the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids confirmed two more tornadoes touched down during the storm—another one in Ionia County and one in Clinton County.

The one in Ionia County was an EF-0, and touched down near Pewamo about 12:34 a.m. July 7, and stayed on the ground for four minutes. It traveled ¾ of a mile, and had was 150 yard wide. Top wind speed was 80 mph. At least two structures were damaged and two trees were blown down.

The second tornado was in Clinton County, about 5 miles WNW of Saint Johns. The EF-0 tornado touched down about 1 a.m. July 7, and stayed on the ground for 8 minutes. It traveled 1.6 miles and had a width of 880 yards. Top wind speed was estimated at 85 mph. One structure was reported damage and several trees were blown down.

The NWS said these storms were very brief and lasted only a few minutes. Radar did show circulation with the Pewamo storm.

The NWS upgraded their Doppler Radar last week to help them better predict short-lived tornadoes that form near the base of the cloud. The weak, short-lived tornadoes are the most difficult for them to predict, and the NWS said that additional low-level radar scans would be crucial in seeing tornado formation.

All four tornadoes that West Michigan experienced July 6-7 were this type of tornado, and no warnings were issued.

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Wireless emergency alerts enabled on mobile phones

During the severe weather West Michigan experienced the evening of July 6-7, many people received a warning from their cell phone that they weren’t expecting.

According to the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD), newer mobile phones are automatically enabled to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

“Many people have been asking questions about Wireless Emergency Alerts,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “This is a life-saving technology that helps inform the public about a potential life-threatening situation. When these alerts are received at the right time, they can help direct you to safety during an emergency or disaster.”

Known as WEA for short, these alerts are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities—such as the National Weather Service and state and local emergency response officials—through a user’s mobile carrier. If an imminent threat does occur and an alert is sent, a WEA-capable mobile phone will emit a special emergency tone or vibration with a text-like instructional message.

There are three different kinds of alerts:

Imminent threats, such as extreme weather and other life-threating emergencies in your area

AMBER Alerts

Presidential Alerts during a national emergency

Mobile phone users are not charged for receiving these notifications and are automatically enrolled to receive them. Users may opt out of receiving imminent threat warnings and AMBER Alerts; however, they may not opt out from receiving Presidential Alerts.

For more information about WEA, go to www.ready.gov/alerts. To learn more about being prepared before, during and after an emergency or disaster, visit the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or go to www.michigan.gov/beprepared.

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Something worth writing on our hearts

HolySpiritEpiscopalThe Rev. David Meyers

Holy Spirit 

Episcopal Church

1200 Post Dr., Belmont, MI  49306

 

 

 

Stephanie Paulsell wrote  in the Christian Century, “We need places to pray as if someone were listening, to study as if we might learn something worth writing on our hearts, to join with others in service as if the world might be transformed.  Churches are places to learn to practice, with others, a continual conversion of life, a permanent openness to change.” I love this quote for all the powerful verbs Ms. Paulsell includes:  pray, listen, study, join, practice, converse, change, and transform. As a result, of those actions, there should be something life-changing in our faith communities, something worth writing on our hearts.

If that is not being experienced, those of us who have been given some kind of responsibility in the church need to assess what is happening. The Northern Kent County/Montcalm Yellow Pages lists over 175 churches. But those listings are only places—places needed to stage the real action of the Christian life. That action is ministry. In the Bible lessons for the first weeks after Pentecost, Jesus is continually giving his disciples his last minute instructions. He told them to do what he had told them to do, go into the world, teach as he had taught them, invite all people into the Kingdom of God, be one with the Father as He was with the Father. He did not tell them to go and erect buildings.

That concept came much later when groups needed more space to gather for their ministries. Recognition of that fact is a very important revelation. The church is not a place; it is a bunch of people doing what Jesus told them to do. Some people get confused on this point. They see their ministry to other people as a means of growing and supporting their individual church buildings. That type of effort leaves people hollow and spiritually starving. In reality, the buildings we call churches are only refueling stations. Their purpose is to support the workers for ministry.

The Communion of Believers must maintain its purpose as a mission and not a place. When that occurs, all sorts of good things happen. People understand the authenticity of faith, they are attracted to the God who wants all good things for them, and lives are transformed.

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Hitting the Road

Ronnie McBrayer

Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

 

Summer: Vacation days are being redeemed and picnic baskets are being packed. Barbecues are firing, pools are splashing, and ice cream trucks are rolling. Meanwhile, millions are taking to the great American highway.

We love to feel the breeze on our faces and the road beneath our wheels. We can’t stop ourselves from being a traveling people. We always have been. We keep moving, rolling, and running, so that the theme song of human history might well be Willie Nelson’s, “On the Road Again.”

True to form, Christianity is a fluid faith for a pilgrim people. It is a spirituality of movement. But we don’t always understand faith this way. Look at how we have structured it, however, and it is easy to see why we most often view Christianity as an incorrigible, fixated fortress rather than a living, dynamic journey.

Our doctrines, constructed and accumulated over thousands of years, stack up like immovable stones. The buildings that contain our worship services are almost always built of rock, granite, or the hardest and heaviest material we can find. Or try being an idealistic reformer who seeks to change a church’s policy or its strategy to meet the world where it now is. If you’re not taken out behind the vestry and quietly crucified, you will find that change in the church usually moves with all the terrifying speed of a melting glacier.

This betrays our roots and the trajectory set for our faith from its beginning. Before his death, Jesus described himself and faith in him like this: “I am the true and living way.” This had such a profound effect on the first followers of Jesus that the earliest self-description of Christianity was “The Way.” It was the Path. The Road. It was the constantly evolving, winding, opening arc that took this “band of gypsies down the highway.”

So it doesn’t appear that Jesus came to establish an inflexible, competitive religion that would be pitted against other belief systems. No, he came to show us how to live the life of redeeming love, love for God and for others. There’s nothing about love that should be turned into coldblooded institutionalism or be used to exclude, marginalize, or separate. This Way can only take us further down the road and deeper into the heart of God. And while love is often “a road less traveled,” it is the worthiest of journeys.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

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Create an outdoor resort in your backyard 

34_6008_WH.tifBLOOM-BackyardResortC(NewsUSA) This year, many people will spend vacations at home instead of traveling. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), with a few updates to your outside lighting, you can enjoy a mini vacation at home. Believe it or not, it’s easier and less expensive than you might think to transform your existing patio, deck or pool area into a lovely retreat. Rather than buying a costly designer patio set or lounge chairs that will lose their luster by next season, invest in a new lighting scheme that will enhance your existing outdoor furniture and amenities.

“Creating a beautiful landscape doesn’t have to be expensive,” says Rick Wiedemer of Hinkley Lighting. “A few well-placed, low-voltage path or accent lights can make a huge impact on a well-manicured landscape.” No lawn is too small. “Even modest homes or those with limited yards or gardens can benefit,” he says.

All that is needed are some basic tools, a transformer (which reduces standard 120-volt household current to the safe 12-volt level), outdoor low-voltage copper cable and low-voltage lighting fixtures—all of which you can find at your local ALA-member lighting showroom.

“The best thing about using low-voltage lighting outdoors is you don’t have to do everything at once. I recommend purchasing a transformer that is larger than you immediately need,” says Lew Waltz of Philips Hadco. That way, when you are ready to install additional lighting, the larger transformer will already be in place and ready to handle the task. “You only pay for the energy consumed by the fixtures,” says Waltz. “In other words, a 600-watt transformer that only has 200 watts of fixtures on it, uses 200 watts of energy, not 600.”

When laying out your project, remember that a little light goes a long way outdoors. Consulting with a lighting professional at your local ALA-member lighting showroom can help you avoid making the common mistake of too many fixtures in one area. To find more information about lighting all areas of your home, go to www.AmericanLightingAssoc.com.

 

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