web analytics

Archive | Voices and Views

We, too!

 

Women across America have stood together to say, “Me, too.” We will not be violated by those in power.

Now all Americans should rise up and say, “We, too, will not allow our public lands to be violated.” Those in power should not be allowed to rape our National Monuments with strip mining and rip down trees with chains.

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah is a beautiful land where my family has hiked and camped for 39 years. It has incredible rock formations, awe -nspiring plateaus, and unique wildlife.

While hiking out to a waterfall we have seen eagles soaring and mule deer grazing. We camped next to hoo doos, watching jackrabbits and red fox. We witnessed dozens of cottontails and big horn sheep while driving at dawn. We keep going back to one special spot to try to spot that badger again.

This is our heritage, land protected for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. We, too will not be violated by those in power.

Karen Mueller,

Courtland Township

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (0)

Ted Sabinas resignation letter

 

I have served on this board of education for 12 months and had hoped that my 34 years of teaching experiences in Cedar Springs could help guide this district to the high levels of education that it once had 5 or 6 years ago when our district was considered a leader in the county and state. Unfortunately this has not happened. I learned that if it is my idea, concern or issue it is quickly dismissed.

During the past 12 months I have listened to many lies and misleading statements and poor judgment by the Supt. Stating that we should spend upwards of $100,000 on training the staff to be happy and when many classrooms exceed 30 or more students is poor judgment, and not what is best for kids.

The Supt. stated lies during a board meeting about my decision to attend a transportation meeting discussing privatization. No Supt. in public education should have been allowed to lie about one of her employers. Apparently it is OK with most of the members of this board.   

With the direction of the Supt. the board continues to approve tremendous costs of consultants at rates as high as $10,000 for one day.

 These examples are just a few of the many that I could have discussed about poor leadership.

I have witnessed some members of this board applauding a speaker during public comments and the Supt. praising speakers also during public comments. Both examples clearly violate board policy and yet were allowed.

The Michigan Association of School Boards provided a training session for the board and asked us to fill out a survey prior to the training. Six of seven board members completed the survey with one choosing to not submit their answers. I’m guessing that most of the board thought that I was the one who did not complete the survey. I submitted my survey and wonder who chose not to and why they did not speak up. 

My core values, ethics and honesty will not allow me to continue the patterns of this board and Supt. I am therefore submitting my resignation from the Cedar Springs Board of Education effective upon the adjournment of this meeting dated Dec. 11, 2017.

Mr. Ted Sabinas

Cedar Springs Board of Education

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (0)

Secure Act is destructive

 

Earlier in November, the US House Committee on Natural Resources passed an energy bill to remove public input for management of public land energy management. H.R. Bill 4239, the bill “SECURE Act,” prioritizes fracking above all other energy sources, decimates rules that regulate drilling, guts public involvement and input on development through the National Environmental Policy Act. It gives the states permitting and oversight authority over energy development on federal lands. I think this applies to Manistee National Forest, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Seney National Wildlife Refuge and other lands the public owns.

You own federal public lands throughout the US but the committee bill limits management decisions to the state where they are located even though most owners do not live there. A goal is to prevent public involvement in energy policy. You might be aware the President has expressed a desire to open National Parks to mining as well as other lands designated for other purposes.

The bill weakens protections for marine mammals, expands offshore drilling in America’s oceans, undoes protections in the Arctic, and eliminates the ability for a president to withdraw and protect areas from drilling off the coasts. It’s destructive for protection of wild areas, ground water protection, and forest management.

The SECURE act could come to a vote on the House floor at any time. I encourage you to protect citizen rights to have continued management input for your shared property ownership. Contact your member of the US House of Representatives to request no vote when the bill comes to the full house. For many of us it is Justin Amash. 

Steven J. Mueller, Courtland Twp

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (0)

From the Publisher’s desk…

They say the best things in life are free. A sunny day, a child’s smile, the smell of leaves burning in the fall, kittens and also The Cedar Springs Post are a few.

However, many things free are actually paid by and with advertising. Television programming, radio, junk mail, brochures, flyers, and much more are free to us but have a cost to produce.

The Cedar Springs Post is one of those things. Free to the public, it survives on advertisers who say, “Yes, we want to keep the local paper here in Cedar Springs.”

Without them, The Post would not exist. With so many advertising choices available, I am grateful there are still businesses that say “yes.” Their advertising dollars pay our bills and the cost of production and printing.

Their advertising also helps to bring the community of Cedar Springs together with pride in our children, our accomplishments and provide a service that is invaluable to the people who live here… for free.

But there is no guarantee that it will always be so. It’s totally a business decision… an advertising choice.

I truly believe The Post is the greatest little paper I’ve seen. And with just a small staff of five! For nearly 30 years we’ve never missed an issue.

We thank our advertisers for their participation in free community news and for their checks that help make it happen. Thank you!

This week, for Veteran’s Day, we recognize and honor our service men and women. The Cedar Springs Post has compiled, printed and published the faces and names of our local veterans to publically recognize their service to our country and commitment to our freedom by putting their lives on the line to do so. Thank you to each of you!

This was made possible by our area businesses on those pages. Our advertisers are the best! We recognize them as heroes as well.

Thank you all for your support,
Lois Allen, Publisher of The Cedar Springs Post

Hug a Veteran today!

Posted in From the Publisher, Voices and ViewsComments (0)

Election reform is about more than simply fraud

Lee Hamilton

By Lee Hamilton

A dozen years ago, the preface to a report on federal election reform began with these words: “Polls indicate that many Americans lack confidence in the electoral system, but the political parties are so divided that serious electoral reform is unlikely without a strong bipartisan voice.”

I can find no part of that sentence that’s not still true. Americans still lack confidence in the electoral system. The political parties are still divided. Serious electoral reform remains unlikely. Perhaps the only change is that the commission issuing the report was co-chaired by a Democrat and a Republican—former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker — who genuinely tried to find a bipartisan approach to our election system’s problems.

Since then, we’ve careened into a pitched political battle on the issue.

At one level, I’m baffled by the lack of progress. I sat on that commission, and what seemed obvious to us then seems even more obvious today. Voting is the most basic step a representative democracy asks of us. We do three things when we vote: we select the officials we want running the government; we suggest the direction of government policy; and we reaffirm our belief and our stake in representative democracy. You can’t get more important than that. So why do we remain in an endless national standoff on how to fix our elections?

The answer, of course, is that in politically divided times, changes to elections are seen through partisan eyes.

This is disappointing, because right now there should be plenty of room for agreement. We face genuine challenges to our electoral system that even the most partisan of Democrats and Republicans could come together on: aging machines, long lines at the polls, cyber attacks by hostile entities, foreign interference, inadequately trained voting officials, voter lists that are not up to date… It’s a long list.

But where the two sides fall apart is on the most basic of questions: how readily do we give access to the voting booth? I’ll lay my cards on the table. I believe in wider access. Creating a Congress and an overall government that are more representative of the American people rests on expanding the electorate and beating back the barriers to voting.

The more people who vote, the better the chance to strengthen the political center formed by moderates and pragmatists. The lower voter turnout becomes, the more sway held by the most ideologically intense voters, who reward the most polarizing candidates, and the more likely deep resentments are created among those citizens denied the right to vote.

This is not to dismiss concerns about voter fraud. We do need to make sure that the person arriving to vote at a polling site is the same one who’s named on the voter list. And we’re headed in that direction. The number of states requiring a voter ID has increased dramatically over the last couple of decades—today about 50 percent of American voters live in states that require a voter to produce an ID before casting his or her ballot.

Yet the ambivalence many of us feel about this is understandable. We want to ensure there’s no fraud, but at the same time we are aware that stringent ID requirements disenfranchise a lot of people who may have trouble acquiring an ID: they don’t have a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate. So the requirements can be an effective way to block minority groups or others from voting. And there’s this political reality: many of those who call the loudest for restrictive ID laws are targeting groups that they think will vote against them.

Though we want to ensure that only those people eligible to vote are actually voting, we also want to ensure that all those who are eligible to vote find it convenient to do so. There’s a lot of work to be done on that front, at every level of government. The entire system needs top-to-bottom review and strengthening. And so far, I see no evidence that we as a nation are taking this need seriously.

Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government.  He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

.

Posted in Voices and ViewsComments (0)

Early school start takes bite out of Michigan’s tourism industry

 

Seventy-five percent of voters think local voters should decide school start date

From the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association

The Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association released the results of a new survey this week finding that 75 percent of Michigan voters believe voters should get to decide if their schools start before Labor Day.

“As a record number of schools start before Labor Day, both the tourism industry and families are feeling the pinch,” Deanna Richeson, president/CEO of the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association (MLTA) said. “The landslide results of this survey show both a steady support for post-Labor Day school start and a clear indication that voters want to have a say in the decision-making process.”

Recognizing the importance of July and August to the tourism industry, the Michigan Legislature passed a law requiring schools to start after the Labor Day weekend beginning in the 2000-2001 school year. A report issued by the Anderson Economic Group found that in just two short years, hotel revenue levels had increased over $20 million. The tourism industry has benefited significantly as families seized the opportunity to vacation in the warmer August weather.

Since 2006, the Michigan Department of Education has issued an increasing number of waivers allowing schools to start before Labor Day. This year 99 school districts plus 24 intermediate school districts—each of which encompasses multiple school districts—were granted waivers, with many schools back in session by mid-August.

“Voters deserve to have a voice on something that impacts both our children and families and the tourism industry—a vital segment of Michigan’s economy,” Richeson said. “The tourism economy is hit hard as families are forced to cut their summer vacations short, and families miss the opportunity to build lasting memories.”

Kent Wood, director of government relations for the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance, supports starting schools after Labor Day because of the positive economic impact for tourism-centered industries in Northern Michigan and across the state.

“As a region, we have seen an increase in thousands of additional room nights, and millions of dollars in additional room revenues. One area noticed a 116 percent increase over a ten-year period since the law’s enactment—a period of time which includes the challenging recession years,” Wood said.

The survey conducted in August of likely Michigan voters clearly shows that Michigan voters support a post Labor Day school start, and they want to have a voice in that decision-making process.

Seventy percent support the law requiring that all public-school districts start after Labor Day; and seventy five percent support giving the voter, not the school board, local control over when their schools should start.

“Parents are the true local control when it comes to their kids’ education, and whether to start before or after Labor Day,” Richeson said. “It is clear voters want and deserve to have their voices heard on this issue.”

Posted in Voices and ViewsComments (0)

Standing up to protect those with lung disease

 

On behalf of the American Lung Association in Michigan, I thank Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters for standing up and protecting healthcare for the Michiganders living with lung disease.

The Senate’s healthcare bill would have harmed the millions of Americans who need healthcare as part of their daily battle against lung diseases, including asthma, COPD and lung cancer, and Senators Stabenow and Peters were right to vote against it.

We are hopeful that now the Senate can work together in a bipartisan way to improve our nation’s healthcare system and ensure that all Americans have quality and affordable healthcare.

Mistie Bowser, Courtland Township

Chair of West Michigan Regional Leadership Board

American Lung Association in Michigan

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (0)

Pull together for our kids

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. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.


 

Pull together for our kids

So I went to the school board meeting last week and have to say, I left there deeply saddened. What happened to a community that pulls together to help each other? Not a single one of us can say that we have never done anything wrong or made a poor choice. That’s why God gives us forgiveness and compassion. We need to put aside whatever wrongs we each think happened and pull together as a community for our kids! We need to move forward with caring hearts instead of tearing each other down. It was so sad to sit there through that meeting and hear everyone talking against each other. You could literally feel the line of tension between each side. There should not be any sides—only all of us working together for the betterment of our children!

Sue Norton, Cedar Springs

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (0)

Response to “Reader disappointed in story choice”

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. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.


I too was at the last board of education meeting. I admire your dedication to family in supporting the position of a relative on the board, however there are a few statements you made that I don’t believe are accurate. One only needs to look through recent issues of the Post to see several articles about our students’ accomplishments. One article in the last 7 months bringing awareness to our community that our teachers are STILL working under fear and intimidation does not constitute a pattern. I would also argue that the ‘slanted viewpoint from the vocal minority’ is not accurate. The board meeting I attended was standing room only, and ended with a standing ovation from an overwhelming majority when Trustee Sabinas filed a formal complaint against Dr. VanDuyn. The Cedar Springs Post has a responsibility to this community to report ALL news, even if it’s something you don’t want to see. I don’t want to see our teachers publicly beg for help from the board of education month after month for over two years, yet here we are and it is STILL happening. So while we ALL would like to see news full of sunshine and rainbows, it’s difficult to admire the drapes when the house is on fire.

Tami Elliston, Cedar Springs

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (0)

Bill Schuette: Treat, don’t punish, causes of opioid addiction

 

In 2015, we lost 963 Michigan residents to car accidents. And we lost 1,981 to overdoses.

Heroin is available in every town in Michigan and can be purchased for less than the price of a few snacks at the gas station.

I’ve sat down with the victims in this crisis. I’ve looked them in the eye and heard their stories. I’ve heard the pain in their voices and recognized their guilty and broken spirits. For many in the grips of this addiction, it’s not even about feeling good anymore, it’s about not feeling bad.

What will it take for us to provide help, and not punishment, for those struggling with addiction? Our children are dying and government isn’t paying enough attention to what really needs to be done.

We need an attack from all angles.

In April, the State of Michigan received $16 million from the Trump administration to combat opioid addiction. Eighty-percent of the funds will go toward treatment, and 20% will go toward preventative measures. I have also asked the Legislature to direct the nearly $1 million from a settlement with a pharmaceutical company I recently negotiated to proven high-quality education and awareness programs about opioid addiction.

These dollars need to go toward:

A multi-faceted public awareness campaign: We can’t stop addiction just through treatment, we need education programs in place from elementary school to high school and in our health care facilities to make sure that there is no question on how damaging opioids are to the human body and mind.

Resources for addicts and families: Michigan has a piecemeal approach that spans across various state departments and doesn’t give those struggling or their families a central place to turn for help and resources. This doesn’t work. The State of Michigan needs a resource for families on how to get help for addiction available 24-7 online and by phone with a toll-free 1-800 number.

Aggressive law enforcement efforts: I announced this week that my new Opioid Trafficking and Interdiction Unit, designed to catch those moving heroin and other opioid-based drugs across our state, is up and running. My team is working with local, state and federal law enforcement to go after both the heroin traffickers and the overprescribing doctors that are flooding our cities and towns with readily available, deadly drugs.

This isn’t about catching those with a single dose of heroin struggling in the grips of addiction, it’s about getting the high-dollar distributor that supplies hundreds of people with a quick and potentially deadly high.

Strong treatment plans: We need to combat opioid addiction with intensive inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that follow regimented and proven techniques to rid a person of addiction.

Sending addicts to jail without a program to help them overcome their addiction doesn’t end the cycle, it makes the pull that much stronger when they leave. Whether it’s the proven results of Narcotics Anonymous, or another recognized program, we need to refocus our efforts to reach those incarcerated to make sure they can re-enter our communities without their addiction and with a plan for the future.

We can’t arrest our way out of this problem. We need to take a hard, but compassionate look at what we are doing to prevent and treat addiction before it can hurt more of us.

Bill Schuette is attorney general of Michigan.

This column originally ran in the Detroit Free Press on June 1, 2017. Reprinted with permission. http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/06/02/bill-schuette-treat-dont-punish-causes-opioid-addiction/363204001/

Posted in Voices and ViewsComments (0)

advert
Kent Theatre
Advertising Rates Brochure

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