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A suggestion about Red Flannel expenses

Dear Editor,

The Grand Rapids Press, Thursday, April 12, on page A6, in an article about a Cinco de Mayo event, states the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority is allowing designated streets to be blocked off, and also the Downtown Development Authority approved $7,000 in assistance.

I wonder if the Cedar Springs Downtown Development Authority might provide assistance to help finance Red Flannel expenses?

Very truly yours,

Lyle Perry Jr.

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An Open Letter To The Cedar Springs City Counci

 

Dear Mayor Charlie Watson & City Council,

I attended the budget workshop on Saturday, at which you reviewed your budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It’s no secret that times are tight economically, and so tough decisions regarding the City’s budget have to be made. Throughout the meeting I heard words like “depressing” and “discouraging” several times. But I would like to offer a different take. I see four great things about the current budget situation in Cedar Springs:

1. It’s an opportunity to learn new ways of doing old things. I think this poem from Robert Browning Hamilton says it best:

I walked a mile with Pleasure –

She chattered all the way

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow

And ne’er a word said she,

But, oh, the things I learned from her

When Sorrow walked with me.

There are some things we learn in difficult times that we simply wouldn’t learn at any other time.

2. You have the opportunity to involve new partners. Just like the B2B group stepped in to help run the Spooktacular, and Calvary Assembly of God and the Community Action Network organized the Mingle With Kris Kringle event, and business partners jumped into to help with the Red Flannel Festival, I know others will step in to help as well. We are a community of citizens that love Cedar Springs, so we are willing to help, if you will give us the chance.

3.  You can increase community awareness. As many of you remarked, there were more concerned citizens at this year’s budget workshop than in previous years. When times are tough, it gets our attention. We want to know what you are doing, and our involvement now will probably translate into our continued involvement when Cedar Springs comes out of this economic downturn.

4. You are building our trust. It’s been said that trust is built on difficult ground. Anyone can make smart decisions when times are good and the City coffers are abundantly filled. But as you are making wise decisions during these tough times, you are building our trust in your fiscal responsibilities.

We’re all in this together. We elected you to help lead us through good times and bad times. So we’re behind you. We will come out of this time stronger, more unified, and more committed to making Cedar Springs the best place to live and work in West Michigan!

Sincerely Yours,

Craig T. Owens

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Morels and bells

Dear Post,

I’ve hunted morel mushrooms all my life—at least as long as I could walk. I am 62 and have never found them in March, until now! Not too sure how this will affect the late ones. If we don’t have a killing frost, as all the farmers are not wanting, this could be a year for the record!

To change the subject, the old Union School bell sits outside of Hilltop. Why not move it to Red Hawk Field and let it ring again! Very few people even know it’s there. We are proud of our school and teams, let’s let history ring.

Doug Gordon, Cedar Springs

 

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Red Flannel Festival Facts

*The Red Flannel Festival incorporated in 1978. It has been an independent, non-profit corporation for 34 years.

*The Red Flannel Festival Corporation and the City of Cedar Springs are two completely separate entities.

*The Red Flannel Festival first trademarked its logos in the 1970s. The Festival holds state trademarks on 10 different phrases and logos. There is also Federal protection on a main, generic logo.

*The Festival Board has a duty to protect its logo/trademark from infringement of state and federal law from any entity, as it would with any other Festival asset.

*The Festival and City Ad Hoc Committees met for the first time on Jan. 23, 2012 to discuss the Festival’s trademark and continue to work positively and collaboratively together toward an agreement that will benefit both parties. We consider these negotiations in the very beginning stages, and no final decisions have been made.

*Taxpayers of Cedar Springs have paid $5,400 (as per City budget line item) for Festival services for 71 years.

*In May 2011, Festival paid City $5,224.65 for the 2011 Festival. City Council accepted an agreement that is valid until 2015 for a “not to exceed” amount of $8,000.

*The Festival received a final bill after the 2011 Festival for $8,064.30. Taxpayers covered $2,839.65. A copy of the bill is on the Festival website, www.redflannelfestival.org.

*The City of Cedar Springs (per their website) enjoys a budget of approx. $6.9 million, and $1.9 million in the general fund. The Festival has a budget of approx. $90,000. The proposed $8,000 is a nominal amount in budget comparisons.

*The Festival has spent $393,000 since 2006 at local or state businesses for goods and services. The policy of the Festival Board is to buy locally first in Cedar Springs, then in the immediate surrounding area, unless items are unavailable.

*The Festival does not employ any paid staff. Planning for the Festival begins in January each year and all work is done solely by volunteers.

*The Festival Board implemented the community share program, whereby non-profit organizations provide volunteers and the Festival shares event profits. The Festival has donated $25,748.05 to area non-profits the past few years.

*The Festival donated $2,024.69 to the City of Cedar Springs the past 2 years for Veterans Park for the Timmy Brown Family Fund from the Flapjack Breakfast.

*The Festival has always paid for security at the Grand Lodge. Since 2005, the Festival has paid $3,495.21 to the CS Police Department for security at the Grand Lodge.

*The recent newspaper article makes it appear we made $18,092 in 2010 for the Grand Lodge. This is because expenses of $1,126 in Sales Tax, $3,180 in contract labor and $2,250 in donations associated with the event are reported in other areas of the tax return.

*Net income for the 2010 Grand Lodge was $12,536.29. In 2011, net income for the Grand Lodge was $8,915.08.

*The Festival draws 35,000+ visitors into the City of Cedar Springs annually for the events, which in turn, boosts local businesses.

Red Flannel Board of Directors

 

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An idea to raise funds for Red Flannel Day

From the editor

We’ve been getting comments on the story we ran last week “Festival proposed city pay to use trademark.” Below we are printing a letter we received, and a few samples of comments from our website and our Facebook page. Please visit those sites at www.cedarspringspost.com and www.facebook.com/cedarspringspost to read all the comments, or post some of your own. You can also email us at news@cedarspringspost.com.

 

An idea to raise funds for Red Flannel Day

 

Dear Editor,

One idea about gaining money  to support Red Flannel Day could be a Booster Club. The Cedar Springs Red Flannel Day Boosters Club, an independent club composed of our citizens, and one ex-officio member from the City Council and one ex-officio member from the RFF.

We have many public-spirited folks in the Cedar Springs community. A concerned, dedicated leader of the Boosters, with the help of the Boosters committee, could create programs to earn money specifically for Red Flannel Day expenses.

Very truly yours, 

Lyle Perry, Jr

 

Some online comments 

I was intrigued by Ms. Andres’ statement, “is it the city or the festival?” This is not an either-or, but a both-and. Without the City’s support, there would be no Red Flannel Festival; without the Red Flannel Festival, the City wouldn’t have a signature event.

The City made a decision based on budgetary constraints, and donors stepped up to cover the RFF’s deficit. This is probably what should continue. A true win-win for everyone.

Craig Owens, Cedar Springs

 

I’m pretty sure that Red Flannel weekend brings the most business in one weekend than any other weekend of the year.

Benjamin Knapp

 

This has everything to do with the relationship between the committee and the City Manager. As the article says…it’s been a cooperation in the past. The only reason it isn’t is because the CM sprang on the RFF charging them for city services.

I do think the RFF needs to be knocked down a peg or 2. They think they run the town. I think it’s time for “Cedar-fest,” move it up a month for nicer weather and tell the RFF we’re no longer interested. It will be hard to protect that precious logo without income.

William Wheeler

 

I think this is very irritating of the RFF to do. Amazing how the amount is exactly the same as the cuts last year. As a society we’ve all had to endure cuts. They should not be immune, and the residents should own the TM not the committee. I as a resident would not want to profit off of history. The TM is synonymous with the city of Cedar Springs. Let’s keep politics out of the underwear!!

Katie Griffard Kangas

 

I am fine paying a little more in taxes to support our festival. Every year it brings in revenue to our local business, and that is worth supporting. The festival really just needs the city to cover the police and DPW workers, they are not trying to make a profit off any of us.

Molly Nixon

 

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Please visit the Kent Theatre

On Sunday, November 13th, I went to the  Kent theater. They have some good movies. I wish they had more people so they would make more money to help them out. If they don’t have any people they would close, I do not want them to close cause I love to go there. Plus if  you get there first like I did, you might get a  tour of the projector room. You will be amazed!  And the service was great! The popcorn was delicious! Thank you Kent Theater!

Sincerely
Bailey Rose Robydek, 10 yrs old
Nelson Township

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Solon Township should consult architect for site design

Dear Editor,
I would like to take this opportunity to inform the residents of Solon Township that the Township Board is pushing to vote at the monthly meeting next Tuesday evening to finalize the plans for the new township hall/community building.  This action would pave the way to start construction this coming spring.
My concerns are these:  The original site plan did not include the future use of the entire parcel, only the immediate site of the new township hall.  The board has stated in the past that there are plans to use the property in the future as a site for a new fire station, a park with picnic pavilion, baseball and soccer fields and other amenities. These future plans were not taken into consideration when it came to the site location of the new hall.
Secondly, the board picked a group of Solon residents to come up with the building design and did not consult an architect.
I understand the that the Board would like to begin this project as soon as possible, but I think that they should proceed in a more prudent way, and make sure that if they are going to spend nearly a three quarters of a million dollars of taxpayer money ($200,000 borrowed), that the design of the entire parcel should be considered, and that an architect be consulted to make sure that the new hall and future buildings are designed in a way that is cohesive, the designs are inspired, and the finished product is something that the residents of Solon Township are truly proud of.
I encourage any Solon residents to come to the meeting at the Solon Township Hall next Tuesday evening (Dec. 13) at 7:30 and voice your opinions. If you have any questions you can call me at 231-750-2337.
Thanks,
Len Allington/Solon Township resident

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Loved Veterans Day events

Dear Editor,
I want to thank all those responsible for the Veteran’s Day Memorial Remembrance events that took place last Friday in Cedar Springs. It was amazing to see that Chinook helicopter land at Skinner Field and wonderful to see the hundreds of people who turned out to honor our veterans.
I know how much time Wayne Price and wife June spent to make this event a reality to honor Wayne’s brother Jack, and the six other men, who died in Viet Nam in a Chinook helicopter crash in 1969. Jack Price was a classmate of mine at Cedar Springs High School so I was glad to be there to remember his service to our country and all the other veterans who have served and are currently serving in the military.
The day’s events, including a special military display at the Cedar Springs Museum, as well as a memorial remembrance service at Veteran’s Memorial Park, were organized by The Cedar Springs Veteran’s Memorial Remembrance Committee.
We all should especially thank those four young crew members of the Chinook who gave up their day off to bring that helicopter here and who will be heading off to Afghanistan in December. We wish them God speed and a safe trip home.

A proud American citizen,
Sue Harrison, Nelson Township

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Gusts enjoyed stint as Grand Marshal

Dear Editor,
Lolly and I have been vacationing in Zimbabwe the past two weeks. We have been reflecting on what a fantastic time we had representing the Red Flannel Festival as Grand Marshal. We would like to thank the Red Flannel board for such a wonderful experience.
We started with the Prince and Princess pageant. The pageant committee did a great job organizing everything, plus controlling 55 kindergarteners. The Saturday before Red Flannel Day, we spent a lot of time attending functions with Tinsley, Kayla and Samantha. They did an outstanding job of handling themselves under all situations. Their time with the kids in the Prince and Princess pageant and children’s parade was especially rewarding. The 5K run had perfect weather, cool and little wind. In the afternoon it warmed up for the bed races and children’s parade. Way to go Choice One! We stopped by Cedar Pub to smell the chili and watch the horseshoe contest.
We had a wonderful meal at the Lion’s Club lumberjack supper and visited with many friends. At the queen pageant we sat directly behind Tranaya’s family. What a wonderful moment for her and her family. Good luck to Tranaya, Kaitlyn, and Esther in the upcoming year.
Red Flannel Day started early with flag raising. We had a nice flapjack breakfast, followed by arts and crafts fair, car show Celtic highlander games, marketplace, and marching band competition. We never would have completed everything without the golf cart. Finally the parade itself. The weather was perfect. What an amazing experience seeing so many familiar faces. As we turned the corner under the traffic light, all we could see was red! We want to give a special thanks to Jim and Linda Babylon for providing us a ride in their yellow 1969 Camaro convertible.
Thank you, people of Cedar Springs, for providing two weekends we will never forget.

Gary and Lolly Gust, Nelson Township

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Brown water stains woman’s laundry

Dear Editor,
This is in regards to the brown water that flowed through our lines Monday, October 10. I did a load of all white clothes about 10:30 a.m. and when I went to add fabric softener, the water was running dark brown.
After the cycle, I washed them again two more times with Rust Out, and once with bleach. It did nothing to help them.
I called City Hall and they sent up Al Kensil with an insurance paper to fill out. But he said once the paper was filled out and sent to insurance, it was out of their hands. So I called the City Manager. She said if you let the water run a couple of minutes it clears up. My wash cycle is 25 minutes. I also flushed my toilet and it was dark brown.
All I asked for was to take some off my water bill.

Thank you,
Opal Waller, Cedar Springs

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