web analytics

Call Miss Dig before digging—it’s the law

At least three business days prior to conducting excavation on your property, contact MISS DIG at 1-800-482-7171 or 8-1-1 or by using E-Locate at missdig.net.

MISS DIG will notify the public utilities in your area so that they can locate and mark the approximate location of underground lines they own and operate within your proposed work area. For the purpose of clarification, it is not MISS DIG who marks the lines.

You will be required to answer some questions when you contact the
MISS DIG System, including:

Your name and phone number.

The contractor or person doing the work.

The geographical location (county, city, village, or township) of the work area.

The address where the work will be done.

Nearest cross streets to the work site

The type of work being done; for example, installing a fence or building a deck.

Information about the project area that identifies the boundaries for the utility representatives; for example, locate underground utility lines 100 feet from the north side of the house; locate underground utility lines in the entire yard; or locate underground utility lines in the front yard.

When do you plan to dig.

Utility personnel or their contracted locators will arrive on site and mark the approximate location of the underground lines. It is likely that more than one locator will mark lines prior to the dig-start date specified on your MISS DIG ticket.

As reminder: Utility companies will not mark private utility lines that run from the property to appliances such as; gas and electric lines to yard lights, grill, pool and spa heaters, detached garages, workshops or other similar areas. In addition, customers with irrigation/sprinkler systems or low lighting should also mark their own lines

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MISS DIG at 1-800-482-7171 or by dialing 8-1-1 and refer to the ticket number you received during your initial contact.

 

Posted in Spring Spruce UpComments (0)

Bringing life back into your yard and garden

SPR-Bring-life-back-webReturn of the green: Get your grass and garden growing again

(BPT) – Spring season is a time of regeneration and renewal as you prepare to bring life back to your lawn and garden. Taking the proper steps after seasonal changes or severe weather conditions can prove to be the difference between creating a breathtaking landscape or an outdoor space with unsightly mishaps. By following a few simple steps, you can take pride in your backyard year after year.

Inspect and replace your tools of the trade

The first step to creating an outdoor masterpiece begins with the proper equipment. You can’t very well dig, rake or mow with broken or dull materials, so now is the time to inspect each of your tools. Check your lawnmower and other garden essentials for signs of damage or rust. Making sure that your garden tools are in good condition at the start of the season will help establish the right foundation for a successful planting and growing season. “The right tools can make all the difference in creating a lawn that leaves a lasting impression,” says Alan Luxmore, host of A&E’s hit television show Fix This Yard. “Arm yourself with tools that are not only durable, but easy to use. Complete watering systems such as LeakFree by Nelson, offer a turn-key watering experience from start to finish, allowing gardeners more time to revel in their landscaping successes.”

Bring new life into the garden

Once your soil is permeable, it should be prepped for the upcoming planting season by removing dead leaves and plants that may have been left over from the previous season. Use a rotary tiller to break up and aerate hard soil. Once the old material has been removed from the work area and your soil is ready, begin planting your new plants, flowers, vegetables and grass. You can also help your trees, bushes and even certain plants have a more robust look by trimming them back to encourage new bud growth.

Establish a regular watering regimen

One of the most important steps to maintaining a healthy lawn and garden is providing it with the proper nutrients. Using a hose for daily irrigation seems simple but without the proper watering set up, your efforts could be futile. A proper watering guide and the following tips from the watering experts at Nelson can increase efficiency and bring you one step closer to creating a yard with envious curb appeal.

* Give your greens a thorough soaking once in a while to produce extended and robust roots.

* The best time to water is in the morning, when the air is cool and moist. The warmth of the sun and the rising temperature gently dries the grass and the leaves on the plants. And since morning air is damp, you don’t waste water through evaporation.

* Follow a regular watering schedule to discourage bugs by providing them with an inhospitable environment. Insects, with the possible exception of the water bug, aren’t terribly fond of water.

* To be certain your lawn is hydrated adequately when it has failed to rain, the standard rule of thumb is to sprinkle one inch of water per week.

* Use a complete guaranteed leak-free system such as LeakFree by Nelson in order to conserve water in drought conditions, save money and stay dry.

For additional watering and gardening tips, and to learn more about LeakFree technology, visit www.facebook.com/NelsonWateringAndGardening.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Spring Spruce UpComments (0)

Black bear education program for grades 6-8

OUT-black-bearThe Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Wildlife Division is offering a fun way for educators to integrate Michigan’s unique flora and fauna into their curriculum while still meeting the required educational standards. Teachers and their students now have an opportunity to experience A Year in the Life of a Michigan Black Bear.

Throughout the school year, students will learn about the life cycle of the Michigan black bear, general black bear biology and behavior, and how the DNR manages and maintains a healthy black bear population. An educator guide with activities and video lessons will be provided.
Classes also will have the chance to “follow” a black bear by using actual data points from a radio-collared bear to track it through its seasonal movements and see what a year in a bear’s life is really like.

This program is free of charge and open to all interested educators of grades 6, 7 and 8. Classes will need access to a computer lab and the Internet in order to use the mapping application to follow the bear. Educators also will need access to the Internet (YouTube) in their classrooms as well as a projector to make it easier for all students to see the video lessons.

Classrooms that participate in the program will be eligible to enter the Year in the Life of a Bear contest, where students can use what they learned to tell the story of a year in the life of a Michigan black bear. Students can choose to retell the actual journey of the bear they followed or get creative and use the information to interpret a typical bear’s yearly activities. Contest winners will be awarded prizes, provided by the Michigan Bear Hunters Association and the DNR, for their classrooms. Prizes are limited to one per school.

For more information and to sign up, please visit www.michigan.gov/wildlife and click on the “Education” button. Applications are due by Aug. 1 in order to receive the materials for the upcoming school year.

Posted in OutdoorsComments (0)

Seventeen and Twelve

 

Spring-cleaning time has arrived. Seventeen bird nest boxes contained last year’s nesting material at Ody Brook. The backyard supported an Eastern Bluebird family. House wrens arrived later in the spring and raised a family in the same box. We were concerned the wren might kill young bluebirds to gain nest box access but it did not.

This year I checked 29 nest boxes. Seventeen had nesting material and twelve were empty. Empty ones probably were not used to raise young but likely provided winter shelter. Boxes are in the field, shrub thickets, woods, and at pond’s edge in hopes of attracting a variety of 30 plus cavity nesting species.

Chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and even the Great-crested Flycatchers nest in hollow living or dead trees. Lack of tree cavities could be a limiting factor that prevents bird reproductive success when hollow trees are removed from neighborhoods or are in short supply. Unless a tree poses a danger to the house or people, let them stand. Woodpeckers excavate cavities that other birds use in succeeding years. Fortunately dead trees stand for many years. People remove many for firewood and that makes nesting success difficult.

About 20 years ago a cherry tree died at the edge of the yard and it still stands through gale force winds. An Eastern Phoebe selected it as a favorite perch from which to hunt insects. The Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker considers it a great drumming tree. The dead wood resonates sound creating a loud territorial announcement. The barren tree provides great views of perching birds.

Install nest boxes to assist bird survival. Avoid placing them close to trails or where people regularly frequent. Most should be obscure of easy view to provide nesting privacy from predators and people. I have placed nest boxes in the woods to reduce nest cavity shortage. Boxes in the field serve Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds where they vie for the nesting space. Two boxes are placed within 15 feet of each other. Tree Swallows claim one and prevent other swallows from using the second box. Swallows do not object to bluebird neighbors but draw the line at other tree swallows. In effect the swallow helps bluebirds by protecting the second box from swallow use.

Wrens prefer shrubbery nearby. When shrubs grew too close for bluebirds, I cleared more area and bluebirds returned to use the box.

The Eastern Screech Owl nest box was not checked to make sure it is empty. We can see the nest box opening as we enter the carport and sometimes the owl peers out at us. The box is the same style used for Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, and Buffleheads. We have suitable habitat for Wood Ducks that are present each summer.

I clean nest boxes but let the birds do their own spring-cleaning in natural cavities. Hopefully nest cavities are not in short supply at Ody Brook. To help bird populations install nest boxes where you live. Our expanding human population is crowding birds out of neighborhoods so help by providing nest boxes. Hopefully clean water and food are abundant if pesticide and herbicide use is limited. Provide nest boxes and maybe you will have 17 occupied boxes and 12 empty ones. If water and food are plentiful, empty boxes might indicate adequate nesting space is present in nature niches.

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

 

Posted in Ranger Steve's Nature NicheComments (0)

Portions of White Pine Trail Closed

 

Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) officials today announced that portions of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park are closed due to unsafe conditions. Wind storms and spring run-off have left the trail with downed trees, flooding and debris. Portions of trail in Mecosta and Montcalm counties have the worst damage; however, caution should be used while on any part of the 92-mile trail.
DNR crews and the Friends of the White Pine Trail are actively working to reopen the closed areas. However, the extent of the damage is still being reviewed, and at this time, there is no estimated date for the reopening. For more information, contact Josh Pellow at 231-775-7911.

Posted in OutdoorsComments (0)

Warning: What to do about the “Heartbleed” bug

BUS-Warning-Heartbleed-web

By Katherine Hutt, BBB

Unless you’ve been vacationing on a tropical island for the past few days, you’ve likely heard of the “Heartbleed” bug, a computer security vulnerability that can reveal the contents of a server’s memory and expose private data such as user names, passwords and even credit card information.

The Heartbleed bug exploits a flaw in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) of popular open source software called OpenSSL. SSL is the standard security technology that establishes an encrypted link between a user’s web browser and the server where a website is hosted. It is used to secure numerous kinds of data transfers, including email, instant messaging, social media, and business transactions. Encryption is essential to Internet security.

The flaw, discovered on April 7 but apparently in existence for two years, means that attackers can copy a server’s digital keys and use them to impersonate servers to decode communications from the past (and, potentially, the future).

For businesses:

BBB recommends that businesses immediately check to see if their website(s) use Open SSL or have been vulnerable. One way to check, recommended by tech/media website CNET, is a tool at https://filippo.io/Heartbleed/ developed by a cryptography consultant. If vulnerability exists, businesses should work with their IT department or computer professional to install a more secure SSL on their websites.

For systems administrators:

Systems administrators should follow the advice of US-CERT, the Computer Emergency Response Team. Although this information comes from the U.S. government, it is applicable to systems in other countries.

For consumers:

CNET has also published a list of the top 100 websites, which it is updating regularly as it checks for vulnerabilities and repairs. Consumers can check this list or use the tool mentioned above to see if websites they regularly use are free of problems, or have fixed vulnerabilities.

It’s also imperative that consumers change passwords on all sites, particularly those that retain personal identifying information. Change your password after confirming that the site is not vulnerable or has fixed its SSL.

The “Stop. Think. Connect.” campaign offers the following suggestions to protect your identity:

Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.

Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.

Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.

Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.

Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information.

BBB also suggests choosing passwords that are phrases (for instance, ilovetofish) and making each letter O into a zero to make the password more complex. Look into password management software to help you keep track of really “long and strong” passwords.

BBB’s servers do not use Open Source SSL. All of its websites have been checked and found to be free of vulnerabilities.

- See more at: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2014/04/warning-heres-what-to-do-about-heartbleed-bug/#sthash.5DtW50Dn.dpuf

Posted in BusinessComments (0)

Easter Coloring Contest Winners

Age Group: 3-4 yrs

 

Morgan Sanders age 3 of Cedar Springs

Morgan Sanders
age 3 of Cedar Springs

 

Age Group: 5-7 yrs

Hannah Rae Dempsey age 6 of Cedar Springs

Hannah Rae Dempsey
age 6 of Cedar Springs

 

Age Group: 8-10 yrs

Ryan Hebert age 9 of Cedar Springs

Ryan Hebert
age 9 of Cedar Springs

 

Winners may pick up their prize Easter Baskets at The POST, 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs 10 am to 5pm Mon.-Fri. Or call The POST at 616-696-3655 to make pick up arrangements.

 

 

 

 

Posted in EasterComments (0)

Winning treats to please kids and adults this Easter

EAS-Winning-Easter-treats-1-webFamily Features

 

When you think of Easter goodies there’s a good chance the flavorful jelly bean comes to mind – a big hit with kids young and old. But, because flavor preferences change with age, it stands to reason that not all Easter gifts are created equal.

So, how do you navigate the taste bud temperament of loved ones so everyone will receive special Easter treats they love? With more than 100 flavors of jelly beans under their belts, Jelly Belly Candy Company has an idea of what types of flavors will be more popular with both kids and grownups.

“When we talked to kids, we learned that the more complex or exotic the flavor, the less likely they were to enjoy it,” said Lisa Brasher, executive vice chairman and a fifth generation candy maker for company.

As a renowned candy expert and author of “Candy: The Sweet History,” Beth Kimmerle added, “Classic flavors like apples and berries are typically the most popular with the younger crowd. Adults crave the more adventurous flavors.”

Understanding age and preferences

Flavor innovation keeps a company like Jelly Belly on its toes. As people age, their taste buds mature and become more open to those complex flavor profiles children shy away from. The coconut flavor is a great example of this.

“Although our panel of kids gave coconut low scores, when you look at adults who purchase our jelly beans, it’s is a very popular one,” explained Brasher.

EAS-Winning-Easter-treats-2-webFlavors for everyone

By taking the feedback from children of all ages into consideration, the jelly bean company assembled its youthful Kids Mix, a collection of 20 flavors kids love. The mix makes it easier for anyone to pick winning flavors like cotton candy, berry blue and watermelon for Easter treats. More adult-friendly flavors like licorice, cinnamon and buttered popcorn are purposefully absent from the mix.

According to Brasher, there was one surprise among the company’s findings, “We were shocked when caramel corn didn’t crack the top twenty flavors with the kids,” she said.

One sweet agreement

Despite their palate differences, kids and adults can agree on one thing—very cherry is their top pick. It’s the most popular Jelly Belly bean flavor in America, placing among the top two since its debut almost 40 years ago. For a brief period, it was upset by buttered popcorn and fell to the number two position, but it’s been consistently the winning flavor since.

“I don’t see that changing any time soon,” said Brasher.

Treat tips

When it comes to giving the best Easter treats, keep these tips in mind:

For the little ones: Give them what they want. Stick to tried and true fruity flavors and other kid-friendly tastes like cotton candy and toasted marshmallow.

For the grownups: Go with complex flavors and new flavor experiences, such as the unique offerings of chili mango, draft beer and cappuccino.

Save and celebrate: Be sure to hold onto your favorite jelly bean flavors to enjoy on National Jelly Bean Day. This year, it’s just two days after Easter on April 22nd.

Use these gift tips and you’ll see many smiles on Easter morning. For other flavorful ideas, visit www.jellybelly.com.

 

Posted in Easter, FeaturedComments (0)

The wonders of hair spray

A man was driving along the highway, when he saw the Easter Bunny hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid hitting the Bunny, but he was not in time. The basket of eggs and candy went flying all over the place. The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled over to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become of the Bunny carrying the basket.

Much to his dismay, the colorful Bunny was very still. The driver felt guilty and began to cry. A woman driving down the same highway saw the man crying on the side of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the
man what was wrong.

“I feel terrible,” he explained, “I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny   and I think I killed it. What should I do?”

The woman told the man not to worry. She knew exactly what to do. She went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the limp, dead Bunny, and sprayed the entire contents of the can onto the little furry animal.
Miraculously the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at the two humans and hopped on down the road. Fifty yards away the Easter Bunny stopped, turned around, waved and hopped on down the road another 50 yards, turned,  waved, hopped  another 50 yards and waved again.

The man was astonished. He said to the woman, “What in heaven’s name is in your spray can?”

The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label.  It said: “Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave.”

 

Posted in Joke of the WeekComments (0)

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.

 

Easter Services at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

Apr. 18-20: Celebrate Easter with us at the United Methodist Church on the corner of Main St. and Church in Cedar Springs.  Good Friday Prayer stations in the sanctuary until 10pm. Easter Sunday at 7:30 am the Sunrise service on the front lawn, Breakfast in Fellowship Hall (free-will offering will be received) from 8 to 8:45 am. Worship services at 9 and 11am. Christian Education for all ages at 10:15 am. Come join us. #16

 

Community Good Friday Service 

April 18: You are invited to join together in worship with the churches of Cedar Springs for our community Good Friday service at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 18, at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant Street, Cedar Springs. Childcare will be provided. This program is being sponsored by the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association. #16

 

CS Lions Club Pancake Breakfast

Apr. 19: The Cedar Springs Lions Club will host a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 19th, from 7-11 am at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church on the corner of Main and Church St. Adults are $7, Seniors $6, Family $20, and under 12 are free. All you can eat – pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, juice and coffee. Proceeds assist sight conservation. #16f

 

Resurrection Celebration

April 19: Would you like a new way to celebrate Easter this year? Or, are you wondering how Easter is even relevant to life today? Either way, you won’t want to miss Resurrection Celebration, coming to Cedar Springs High School on Saturday, April 19 at 2 and 7 p.m. This community production is a musical drama highlighting the birth, life, death and struggles of Jesus Christ. Bring your friends and family to see this exciting event. Admission is free, tickets available at the door. #16

 

Easter Egg-Stravaganza

Apr. 19: An Easter Egg-Stravaganza, a celebration for children will be held on Saturday, April 19th from 1:00-2:30 PM at the Solon Center Wesleyan Church. All children 10 years and under are invited to attend. There’ll be games, candy, prizes, snacks and a special Easter presentation. Two bicycles will be given away as grand prizes. For more information go to: scwchurch.org or call the church office at 696-3229. The church is located at 15671 Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Road. All welcome! #14-16p

 

Blue Star Mothers Spring Fling

Apr. 19: Come check us out this Saturday at the Greenville American Legion on M-57. Our fund raiser this time will support the Mid-Michigan Hub of Honor Flights! Admission is free but we’re asking that your bring a donation of a personal hygiene product so we can send them over seas at our Monday care package packing party. The mid-Michigan Hub of Honor Flights are planning a flight on June 24th. They will send WWII Veterans to Washington D.C. to see the memorials that honor their service. The flight is free to the veterans, on a first come first serve basis. For more information come by on Saturday, April 19 from 9 am to 3 pm or call Tricia Donegan at 231-803-4255. #16p

 

Easter Worship Celebration at The Springs

Apr. 20: This Easter, when the eggs are found and the baskets are unwrapped, will you feel satisfied or still searching? Join us at The Springs Church for a celebration full of joy and meaning, not empty ritual. Your whole family will enjoy the great music, fun for the kids, and a message that will bring direction and encouragement to your faith journey. Come find what’s missing in your Easter! We’ll be looking for you. Easter Worship Celebration on Sunday, April 20th at 9:40 and 11:15 am. We are located at 135 N. Grant St. in Cedar Springs. We hope to see you at The Springs this Easter! #15,16p

 

Dinner at the Legion

Apr.21: American Legion, 80 Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Swiss steak dinner on Monday, April 21st, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes & gravy, baked beans, veggies, salad, dessert and drinks. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.50. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160. #16p

 

TOPS weight loss support group

Apr. 22: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weigh loss goals! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. In case of inclement weather, meetings are cancelled if Tri-County or Cedar Springs schools are closed. Call Martha at 696-1039 for more information. #16

 

Meet the Author: Gail Marie Snow

Apr. 26: Gail will speak about her recently published book, “Remarkable Ramona Park,” sharing details of the history of the park located on Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids.  This is part of “Our Community Reads” program. She will be at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. on Saturday, April 26 at 1:30 pm. Books will be available for purchase. #16

 

Arbor Day – in Partnership with National Wildlife

Apr. 26: Come get your Free Trees (each volunteer that helps plan will receive a tree or more) Join Howard Christensen Nature Center and National Wildlife Federation for planting 500 Black Walnuts and Sugar Maple trees! The event is for ages 7 -108, please bring your parents, grandparents and others to help! This will be an environmental learning time; all about Michigan native trees along with a wonderful time beautifying HCNC – the paradise we have come to know! You’ll even receive a free tree! Saturday, April 26 from 10 am to 1 pm. 16190 Red Pine Dr., Kent City. #16

 

Early-Stage Dementia Discussion/Support Group

Apr. 24: A series of seven meetings for individuals with early-stage dementia and their care partner will be held on Thursdays starting May 1st. Designed to provide opportunities to gain support from others living with dementia. Learn more about the diagnosis and how to plan for the future. Complimentary respite may be available for you to attend this series. A 30 minute phone screening and one hour office interview is required to register for this program. Registration deadline is April 24th. Call the Alzheimer’s Association to set up a screening appointment: 616-459-4558 or 800-272-3900. The meetings will be held at East Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 1005 Giddings SE, Grand Rapids. #16

 

Posted in Hometown HappeningsComments (0)

advert

LOCAL Advertisers

The POST
Bryne Electrical

Get the Cedar Springs Post in your mailbox for only $35.00 a year!