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Archive | Voices and Views

City Council takes a gamble

 

Sometimes governing bodies risk public money in the hope of benefitting the public.  And sometimes city governments use their power to take actions where their authority is questionable. Last Thursday I sat on the council trying to persuade my fellow council members to delay using  public time and resources for what I considered a questionable purpose; an investigation into last July’s alleged Open Meetings Act violations.  Admittedly, the intent of the council was not thoughtless foolishness nor has the amount spent so far been large.  But, depending on the course of the investigation and decisions of the state prosecutor, spent public funds could grow significantly. Secondly, and of even greater concern, these uses of public resources may infringe on voting process integrity. Three members of council were willing to at least put off the investigation to allow time to better understand the City’s position.

We are currently gambling at the one-dollar table, where public resources are concerned. The voting process issues cannot be valued. They are connected to the recall petition. Many readers are aware of the current recall petition seeking to replace two of our current council members. The council is using public money to conduct an investigation to demonstrate innocence. This use of public money may be illegal. Rather than show restraint until we can be legally clear, the council is pushing ahead risking our integrity, the very item they say they are trying to protect.

Here are the three numbers on which the council can still gamble:

1.  Delay  investigation (low risk)

2.  Continue  investigation  (high risk)

3.  Cancel investigation (no risk)

My number is (3).  I do not feel the investigation will lead to public confidence or satisfy all of the council members. However, if the council chooses (2), then I believe they must show responsibility by insuring the investigation is in no way violating the voting process. Would this additional time and information gathering cost more money? No, if the council will consult the attorney generals office for their opinion, yes if we go through our city attorney. Costs will also increase if the state prosecutor decides to proceed with the recall-connected investigation, number (2.)

I encourage council members and citizens to consider the most responsible course, not what might make us feel justified or avenged.

Please contact council member Dan Clark at 616-263-7172 if you want to receive more information about this issue:

a) Open Meetings Act quotes

b) Attorney General Kelley’s opinions on public money spent on recall-related activities

These comments and opinions do not represent the City of Cedar Springs nor the majority of council.

 

Dan Clark, Cedar Springs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Washington, the need for compromise is greater than ever

_V-Levin

By Sen. Carl Levin

March 21, 2014

 

Not long ago, Northern Michigan University invited me to address students there as part of a series of addresses on public policy. The subject I chose for my address is, in many places, a scandalous subject: compromise.

Almost all of us in Congress have strong opinions on public policy, strong values that guide us. And on rare occasions, all of us agree on what is the right thing to do.

But we live in a large, complex nation. The interests of our state or region are different than those of others. And aside from local interests, sometimes the answer to a problem just isn’t easy or clear. Sometimes we honestly disagree about what’s best for the country.

The challenge for the Founding Fathers was designing a system that could accommodate the widely varying opinions of a nation that needed at least some unity to survive. The solution to that puzzle was our Constitution, which ensures that, while everyone has some voice in our government, no single voice dominates. The whole system forces us to accommodate the views of others, even those who disagree strongly with us, in order to accomplish our goals. It forces us to compromise.

But that system breaks down when compromise is in short supply. And it is a rare commodity these days. Leaders in Washington are influenced by constituents back home who believe “compromise” is a dirty word.

Six months ago, that attitude got us a government shutdown. Some of my colleagues in Congress refused to approve funding to keep the government running. They demanded that any legislation to keep the government open also repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Now I can respect a strongly held opinion, even if I disagree with it. But when you refuse to allow basic government functions to continue unless you get your way – your whole way – our system breaks down.

After all, I have strong opinions of my own. I feel strongly that the tax burden in this country has shifted so that working families bear more of the load, and wealthy people less. Suppose that I, as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told my colleagues, “I will not allow our annual defense authorization act to come before the committee unless Congress passes a bill that closes unjustified tax loopholes used by corporations and the wealthiest individuals.” What if every member of Congress adopted such an attitude? Each of us would refuse to allow government to function unless we won total victory – and nothing would get done.

And we have so much to do. We have to deal with immigration – with the millions of people who now live in the shadows as undocumented immigrants – and with the economic costs of maintaining the status quo. We have to continue building our economy. We have to discover new worlds and new cures for deadly diseases.

We can’t do any of that if we’re not willing to compromise.

There have been some signs that the wave of hostility to compromise is cresting. Early this year, Congress passed a two-year budget agreement. There were provisions that many of us disliked. But partial agreement meant we avoided the cycle of budget crisis after crisis that has done our economy so much harm.

And just last month, Congress passed a farm bill that had been delayed for almost two years by a variety of disputes. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, did a remarkable job getting this bill passed. Nobody agreed with every part of that bill. But we were willing to compromise. We knew that settling for half a loaf, so to speak, was important to the farmers who put the bread on our tables.

These compromises are not so remarkable when you compare them to the scope of the challenges before us. But I hope they are a start. I don’t want to spend my remaining months in the Senate fighting over who can be tougher and more uncompromising. I’d rather spend that time working together on the challenges our country faces – challenges that will affect the lives of the NMU students I spoke to long after I am gone from Washington.

It is time for us all to recognize that if we are to be remembered in a positive light, it will not be for political opponents we hold down, but for the future generations we come together to lift up.

Carl Levin is the senior U.S. senator from Michigan.

 

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Access to information should be a common goal

sw-iconFor better government, better lives

By Charles Hill, Michigan Coalition for open government

If you’ve been watching what goes on in Washington and some statehouses across the country, you might wonder if there’s any issue that everyone should be able to agree on whether they are conservative or liberal or libertarian, Democrat or Republican, pro-this or anti-that.

There is: It’s the need for transparency in all levels of government.

As we observe Sunshine Week in Michigan and around the country to encourage openness in government, the Michigan Coalition for Open Government (MiCOG) is urging citizens and public officials to seek transparency in the operations of their local and state governments, their schools and universities, their federal government and their courts.

You can do this by supporting Michigan legislation that would amend the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to make government information more accessible by limiting fees and discouraging delays.

Or by supporting a bill that a Republican lawmaker proposed to create an Open Government Commission to hear FOIA appeals. Or by supporting a bill that two Democratic lawmakers proposed to expand FOIA coverage for the legislative branch so it is more in line with the broader coverage that applies to the executive branch.

MiCOG—a non-profit, tax-exempt organization open to citizens, journalists and associations concerned with open government and freedom of information – urges passage of that pending legislation.

You also can make a difference by letting your local officials — from the mayor to school board members — know that it’s important to you to know how your tax dollars are being spent and how they are making decisions about classrooms or parks or roads or snow removal or trash collection.

It’s important for you to know this so you can independently judge the soundness of those decisions, so you can suggest your ideas for improvements in programs or government actions, so you can evaluate government officials’ performance, and so you can guard against corruption and conflicts of interest.

You can help by asking questions of your government officials and by encouraging openness. Politicians and government officials are more likely to take the trouble to create open systems and practices if they know it is important to their constituents.

Tell them that your assessment of their performance includes their record on open government.

Let them know this should not be a partisan issue, and that you want information regardless of which party or group is in power. If you’re in New Jersey, you don’t have to be a Democrat to want to know more about a big bridge closure in that state. In Michigan and Louisiana, you don’t have to be a Republican to want information surrounding the corruption charges that resulted in convictions of mayors in New Orleans and Detroit.

Michigan has plenty of tough transparency and accountability challenges ahead, including how courts handle public access and fees for electronic records, whether juvenile criminal records should be public or secret, and how much secrecy should be allowed in new mental health courts, including convict records and data revealing rates of recidivism for the program.

Remember that you have a stake in Michigan’s freedom of information laws. How much you are permitted to know about your government directly affects the quality of your government, your schools, your courts, your job, your freedom and your life.

Charles Hill is a member of the board of directors of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government and a former Michigan bureau chief for The Associated Press. To join or find out more about MiCOG, go to http://www.miopengov.org or follow MiCOG on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MIOpenGov or Twitter @miopengov.

 

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Where Congress falls short … and where it doesn’t

V-Lee-Hamilton-web

By Lee H. Hamilton

 

At a public gathering the other day, someone asked me how I’d sum up my views on Congress. It was a good question, because it forced me to step back from worrying about the current politics of Capitol Hill and take a longer view.

Congress, I said, does some things fairly well. Its members for the most part are people of integrity who want to serve their constituents and the country. They also strive to reflect their constituents’ views, though they tend to under-appreciate voters’ pragmatism and over-estimate their ideological purity. Still, they’re politicians: their success rests on being accessible to their constituents, understanding what they want, and aligning themselves with that interest.

Yet for all the attractive individual qualities that members of Congress display, their institutional performance falls short. They argue endlessly, pander to contributors and powerful interests, posture both in the media and in countless public meetings, and in the end it amounts to very little. They discuss and debate a lot of problems, but don’t produce effective results.

This may be because many members of our national legislature have a constricted view of what it means to be a legislator. They’re satisfied with making a political statement by giving a speech, casting a vote, or getting a bill through the chamber they serve in, rather than writing legislation that will make it through both houses of Congress, get signed by the President, and become law. The days appear to be over when members of Congress strove to be masters of their subject matter and legislators in fact as well as in name.

Perhaps because they’re forced to spend so much time raising money and listening to well-heeled people and groups, they also seem to have trouble seeing current affairs from the perspective of ordinary people. They fall captive to the politics of any given issue, rather than thinking about the much harder question of how you govern a country with all its residents in mind. They don’t see the necessity, in a divided Congress and a divided country, of negotiation and compromise.

Plenty of forces are responsible for this state of affairs, from the outsized role of money in the political process to today’s hyper-partisanship to TV-driven sound-bite debates. But in the end, it’s still a source of great frustration to the American people, me included, that well-meaning, talented individuals cannot make the institution work better.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

 

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Medicare is the best care if you are age 65 or older

 

Vonda VanTil

Vonda VanTil

By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

If you are age 65 or older and haven’t signed up for Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), now is the time to consider doing so. The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B runs from January 1 through March 31 each year. Before you make a decision about general enrollment, we want to share some important information.

Remember: Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B when they become eligible. If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you first become eligible, you may have to wait until the general enrollment period, which is January 1 through March 31 of each year. At that time, you may have to pay a higher Medicare Part B premium.

Most people first become eligible at age 65, and there is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. In 2014, the premium for most people is $104.90, the same as it was in 2013. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Medicare Part B premium can be higher if you do not enroll when you are first eligible, also known as your initial enrollment period. There is a Medicare Part B deductible of $147 in 2014.

You can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without having to pay higher premiums if you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member. You can sign up for Medicare Part B without paying higher premiums.

For more information about Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, visit www.medicare.gov or read our publication on Medicare at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

Information about Medicare changes for 2014 is available at www.medicare.gov.

Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov

 

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There’s an alternative to the Imperial Presidency

V-Lee-Hamilton-webBy Lee H. Hamilton

 

In his State of the Union speech to Congress last month, President Obama drew widespread attention for pledging to use his executive authority to advance his priorities. He insisted he intends to act with or without Congress, and listed well over a dozen actions he plans to take by executive order.

Plenty of people were happy about this. The speech was applauded by pundits who have given up on Congress, and believe the only way to move forward is by strengthening the presidency. The present government is paralyzed, they argue. A stronger presidency would get Washington moving again.

Others are alarmed by this approach. The President, they say, is trampling on the constitutional separation of powers, and grabbing powers for himself that were meant to be shared with Congress.

The problem with this debate is that it’s missing a key part of the equation. Yes, our system needs a strong presidency. But it also needs a strong Congress. We are best off as a nation when the two consult, interact, and work together as powerful branches.

Every president in recent memory has expanded the power of his office and been accused of a power grab. They’ve had plenty of motivation to do so. The modern world demands decisive action. Americans tend to support presidents who act forcefully. Congress is complex and hard to work with.

Yet there are limits to this approach, because in the end there is no substitute for legislation. Executive orders lack the permanence and force of law, so they can be hard to implement and can be cancelled by a later president. They don’t benefit from consensus-building and consultation with voices independent of the President’s.

Consensus-building can’t happen in a vacuum, however. Without a strong Congress able to find its way effectively through the thickets of lawmaking, this President and his successors will surely continue to address the nation’s challenges on their own. The question is, how far down that road can we go before Congress becomes irrelevant, with too much power and too much potential for the abuse of power in presidential hands?

The march toward presidential unilateralism dangerously undercuts our constitutional system. Before we give up on the separation of powers, let’s try strengthening Congress. This may not be the easy route, but if we don’t take it, representative democracy itself is in doubt.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

 

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RF Festival threatens Chamber

We have received numerous responses to our article last week: RF Festival threatens Chamber with legal action. Below is just a sampling of comments we received through the mail, on our website, and on our Facebook page.

 

Keep Cedar Springs Red Flannel Town, USA

My sentiments are tangled in memories of living where we are in Cedar Springs for over 50 years.

The new generations didn’t know us when the Clipper Girls were with us; and when Gerald R. Ford, a future president of the United States, walked the parade with us year after year; or Emory Monroe on Red Flannel Day policed the sidewalks and traffic; or Tom Anderson in his bear skin coat, in all kinds of weather, called the names of parade participants; or we viewed 10 or more area high school bands playing and marching in the parade.

Just recalling these few events fills me with nostalgia of Red Flannel Town.

And, generations later, youth who have grown to adulthood, do not have these experiences to remember. They have their own, newer experiences, and rightly so.

I vote to keep Cedar Springs, Michigan, Red Flannel Town, U.S.A.

Very truly yours,

Lyle Perry Jr., City of Cedar Springs

 

What a joke

Please move the weekly articles regarding the childish underwear antics and aberrations between the City Council and the Red Flannel Festival Committee from the front page news. Please enter these as “Joke of the Week”!

Thank you,

Bob Robinson, City of Cedar Springs

 

From the editor: The current news articles are actually of a situation between the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and The Red Flannel Festival. The City of Cedar Springs is not involved, other than two of their members being under recall for voting on a new logo to replace the old Red Flannel logo.

From George Follett (website) Cedar Springs always has been and always will be the Red Flannel Town. If the so called board seems to think otherwise then I suggest they take their festival to the new Solon Township hall. They have enough room. I was proud to say and brag I was from the Red Flannel Town. My how things change when they think they can be somebody. Myself and family missed last year and will not bother to attend another. I hope everyone is proud that they ruined a good thing!

 

From Trisha Dart (website) There are so many wonderful comments in support of the Chamber of Commerce. I am another who supports them. We are and will always be The Red Flannel Town. The RFF need to understand the perspective of the citizens of Cedar Springs. We are tired of the fighting. We want our community back with our slogan without questions. I grew up here and I want to raise a family here but I also want community. Stand tall Chamber in your decision. I support you.

 

From Cindy K. (website) Most people in the town know that the Red Flannel Festival is run by volunteers. What they don’t realize is that they have by laws that they must adhere to which state office terms. If the town does not like what the president of the Festival is doing and the board of directors they should get a copy of their by laws and see what can be done to remove them and to get some volunteers in there to ensure the well being of the towns legacy of being the “Red Flannel Town” and bring back harmony to our town regarding the City, the Chamber, the Library, and the Festival.
All of these organizations should be working together in the best interest of the town as a whole, thus enhancing all the organizations in Cedar Springs instead of giving us a Black Eye to the rest of the world!

 

From Nicole Snyder-Brinley (Facebook) So my 4 year old daughter and I are sitting at the table this morning eating breakfast. I was using the butter. She also wanted to use it. She said, “Let’s just share it. It makes more sense.” If my 4 year old gets the concept why can’t the Red flannel festival get it? Yes it comes down to what we all learned in preschool “SHARING IS CARING.”

 

From Kathy Bullen  (Facebook) Way to keep it classy Cedar. How embarrassing. If there were ever an example of how not to do things, the relationship between the Red Flannel Festival, Inc. and nearly everyone else would be it.

 

From Kelly Stewart (Facebook) Cedar Springs is the Red Flannel Town!! This needs to stop. Stop bringing such negativity to our Community. Sounds like it’s time for a new Red Flannel Festival Board and time to VOID that stupid trademark! It’s doing nothing but causing problems. This is not why Red Flannel was created!!!

 

From James Cheevy (Facebook) How embarassing that the city can’t even support the only thing the city has going for it. Keep bullying the festival, why would the volunteers want to continue to try to fight these people? I know I wouldn’t. Shawn, if its the city’s identity, then why did the Chamber file paperwork with the state? You knew what you were doing, and you knew what you were doing was wrong.

 

From Michelle Milzarski (Facebook) Legally “right”… Morally WRONG!

 

From: Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) (Facebook) Your Cedar Springs Area Chamber would like to make it very clear that, to date, we have spent nothing on attorney fees and we truly hope that it is not ever necessary.

 

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Chamber’s response letter to Red Flannel Festival board

Feb 3rd, 2014

 

RE: Response to January 28th, 2014 Correspondence

 

Dear Red Flannel Festival board,

I have received your letter dated January 28th, 2014 and it has been reviewed by our board members and to which we have prepared this 2 part response.

It is the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce’s position that the true identity and rightful owner of “The Red Flannel Town” is the community of Cedar Springs and has been since as early as 1938 many decades prior to the formation of Red Flannel Festival Inc. and certainly before any trade or service mark request could have been filed by them. Further, it is our position that when the request was filed to register “The Red Flannel Town” by the Red Flannel Festival Inc. that said application misrepresented to the licensing agency that their organization was its originating body and rightful owner. The Red Flannel Festival Inc.’s application for the service mark submitted to the State of Michigan on June 3, 2005 states that “The Red Flannel Town” was first used in commerce in Michigan on October 1, 1950. However, the CSACOC has obtained a copy of official Village of Cedar Springs Regular Meeting Of Village Council minutes dated December 1941 where “The Red Flannel Town” is clearly used in the title line as part of the Village’s identity. The CSACOC has also obtained photo evidence from “Life” archives of photos taken in 1942 depicting the use of “The Red Flannel Town” in commerce and on Village entry way signs.

The Red Flannel festival Inc. is a very important and essential part of Cedar Springs but the organization is exactly that, a part of the much larger community known now and forever as “The Red Flannel Town” and has no right to claim exclusive ownership of that identity.

The CSACOC would also like to make it clear that the title for the Christmas event ‘A Red Flannel Town Christmas, Come Mingle with Kris Kringle’ was so titled to accomplish two goals. These goals were to inform people where the event was, ‘Red Flannel Town’, and that Santa Claus would be there. It was never our intent to offend the Red Flannel Festival Inc. The CSACOC did register the event titles with the State of Michigan and only used the titles that were granted to us. While this is the official position of the CSACOC we would like to avoid legal action if at all possible and work with the Red Flannel Festival Inc.’s Board to resolve this matter. It has been stated by members of the Red Flannel Festival board that they want us to submit a request to their board for approval. In the interest of a quick resolution and to demonstrate our willingness to work with the Red Flannel Festival Board the CSACOC Board would like to submit the following request for their board’s consideration.

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce would like to respectfully request that The Red Flannel Festival Inc. grant permission for all organizations, businesses, government agencies and private citizens to use the term “The Red Flannel Town” to positively promote, preserve and identify the Cedar Springs area as “The Red Flannel Town” with the understanding that no other business or organization shall claim or represent that they are exclusively “The Red Flannel Town” just that they are from, part of or promoting the community as such.

After attending the Red Flannel Festival Inc.’s Board meeting last Thursday, January 30 it is our understanding that submitting the above request will eliminate the possibility of legal action and that the Red Flannel Festival Inc.’s board will make a decision on this request collectively and respond. The CSACOC hopes that this matter can be resolved as soon as possible so that both organizations can put our efforts and energy back to our intended missions which are quite similar and could only be better accomplished but the CSACOC and the RFF working hand in hand toward them. We anxiously await your response and look forward to a long, prosperous and most of all positive working relationship going forward.

 

Sincerely, 

Shawn Kiphart

President

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Investing in roads

An investment we cannot afford to ignore 

 

Rob VerHeulen

Rob VerHeulen

By state Rep. Rob VerHeulen, 74th Distrtict

In his 2014 State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder laid out an impressive list of accomplishments made over the last three years. I share his enthusiasm and have supported many of his measures since I took office just over a year ago. However, one of his priorities remains unfinished and must be addressed: the condition of our roads.

A national transportation research group, TRIP, recently released a new study which placed the cost of deficient roads at $7.7 billion annually. The costs result from higher operating costs, traffic crashes, congestion and safety issues. The study also noted nearly 27 percent of Michigan bridges show significant deterioration or are currently not meeting safety standards.

According to the study, the average driver in Grand Rapids pays $327 per year in additional maintenance costs from tire alignments, flat tires, bent wheels or auto crashes. Virtually every expert agrees that failure to preserve our roads will lead to much higher costs in the future. Gov. Snyder uses the example of oil; you might be able to skip an occasional oil change without damage, but if you fail to perform routine maintenance on your vehicle the ultimate cost will be much higher.

The condition of our roads will also impact our ability to attract and retain jobs in Michigan. A recent survey of Michigan businesses suggest that employers look at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to grow their business. If we fail to address this problem soon, we may see Michigan’s best in the nation job growth rate drop as employers look elsewhere.

Michigan invests less per capita in its roads than its neighbors. The per capita investment in our roads is $174 per person compared to $187 in Indiana, $231 in Wisconsin, and $235 in Ohio and Illinois. Part of the lack of funding is that our 19 cent per gallon gas tax does not provide the revenue that it did historically. This tax is an excise tax based on each gallon of gas sold and is not based on the price of gas. Revenue from the gas tax peaked in 2001-2002 and has declined

each year thereafter. While it is a good thing that we are consuming less fuel due to increased fuel efficiency, increased use of public transit and other factors, this has created a funding issue for our roads.

In the current fiscal year, the Legislature was able to identify more than $250 million in increased investment from the General Fund. Last month the Michigan Department of Transportation announced road projects across the state. With the economy recovering and a “surplus” predicted for the next fiscal year, I am hopeful that we will be able to invest an even greater amount in our roads. However, it is estimated that we need to invest an excess of $1 billion to maintain our roads.

Michigan has many competing interests for its limited funds. Education, human services, community health, corrections, and natural resources are all important and compete for state appropriations. All benefit from making road funding a priority and one that returns value. Moody’s recently suggested that every additional dollar spent on infrastructure generates a $1.44 increase in gross domestic product.

When I met with groups of constituents I took a poll on how many believe we need to invest more in roads. The overwhelming majority say invest more. The challenge comes in finding the best method to fund our roads over the next decade and beyond. I will continue to advocate for making road funding a top priority and encourage all Michiganders to remind me and my colleagues that roads impact everyone in Michigan and are critical to our future success.

The 74th District encompasses the cities of Walker, Grandville, Rockford and Cedar Springs, as well as Solon, Tyrone, Sparta, Algoma and Alpine townships.

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The kindness of strangers

When I describe what it’s like growing up in Cedar Springs, I always mention the small town feel and how people seem to be looking out for each other. If you grow up in Grand Rapids, it’s a hard thing to understand and even describing it can be a challenge. However, if you have lived in Cedar Springs you know just what I’m talking about.

I have never had a serious situation where I truly required someone to look out for me but there is always a time when it is going to happen. This winter has been one of the toughest and coldest we have had here in Michigan and sometimes the elements can get the best of us. This year, those same elements got to me.

The snow drifts and ice combination on Sunday, January 19, had me sliding off the road and into the ditch. I was pretty shook up; after all it was my first time ever sliding off the road. I was in once piece and so was my car. The thing that surprised me the most was the amount of people who stopped to make sure I was okay. I realize this probably happens a lot but I can’t imagine anything like this occurring in Grand Rapids.

Many of the people who stopped offered to stay with me until my neighbor arrived to pull me out of the ditch. I sent them on their way but two gentlemen offered to get their tow rope and to come back to make sure I was out. They arrived soon after my neighbor did and quickly hooked everything up and had me out in no time.

I want to personally thank everyone who stopped to make sure I was okay. I also want to thank the two gentlemen who helped not only get me hooked up to get out of the ditch but also on helping me drive out. I also want to thank my neighbor who was quick on the moment to come and help me. A big thank you to everyone who stopped to check on me and those who helped get me out. If it wasn’t for you all, I would probably still be in that ditch!

 

Tanya Giaimo, Courtland Township

 

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