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To the Editor – Where are the benches?

On Saturday, August 11, 2012 my family attended your sidewalk sales. We parked at one end of town and walked to the other. The problem – no benches to rest. My daughter is on crutches with no place to sit. This seems to be a problem with elderly and handicapped people. The American Legion is the only spot that has a bench. Please consider everyone, and bring back the benches.

Thank you,
Vickie Totten
Solon Township

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To the Editor – RFF and City

The City needs to keep the logo. It was the logo well before there was a RFF committee. The RFF has a new logo/theme every year, that is theirs. But the red flannels hanging from the light posts belong to the City. The City is known far and wide for the red flannels, not lumberjacks or the Kent Theatre. The RFF is being greedy. Lets make some cut backs and make it more affordable to all. We don’t need helicopter rides, professional lumberjacks, wine tasting, etc… Lets get back to basics, parade, cotton candy, small carnival rides for the little ones. The festival doesn’t need to span over multiple weeks. We don’t need to keep up with the Jones’ (Rockford and surrounding areas). Red Flannel Day used to be about family, friends, and neighbors coming together for a friendly visit and fun before the winter set in.

I’m a life long resident of Cedar Springs and so disappointed.

Chris Mullenix
Nelson Township

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To the Editor – Open letter to Cedar Springs concerning the logo of Red Flannels

After being in Cedar Springs since 1951, and my husband, Oscar Goller, who was working for the Clipper girls I feel I must ask all of you that live in the City and those that are residents of Cedar Springs how do you feel about the problems that face our town now? Do we as citizens of this community, have the right or the say as if the logo is used to promote Cedar Springs? We elect persons to fill the offices of the City and we select those that serve on the Festival Committee. If you feel that we should have our City use the logo then make it known.

We have the right to change permission for the use if we so wish. We don’t need to sue anyone, we need to compromise.

It’s going to be on the ballot in November if you want to fund the special events, so it’s up to you to make the decision.

I think that I can hear Grace and Nina saying that they just wanted to put Cedar Springs on the map, and with everyone’s help, and it takes everyone’s help to make it happen, we can work together as we have in the past. The only reason for this problem is the money is tight for all of us, but will we have the will to make Red Flannel Day our very own special day?

Mary Goller-Kilts
Cedar Springs

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To the Editor – Our undies are showing

Dear Editor,

I am a life-long resident of the Cedar Springs area. I have volunteered for many school, church and community projects including announcing the Red Flannel Parade for nearly 20 years and was Grand Marshal of the Red Flannel Day celebration in 2008. I also co-authored a book about Cedar Springs called The Cedar Springs Story. I’m proud to live here.

However, that being said, the recent dispute between the City of Cedar Springs and the Red Flannel Festival regarding the Red Flannel “image” has disappointed, angered, discouraged, embarrassed, and most of all, saddened me. I’m not alone in trying to understand this frustrating situation. When did Red Flannel Town and Cedar Springs become two different entities?

Since its inception, Cedar Springs has had many town celebrations. Before Red Flannel Day, there was Farmer’s Day and Beucus Days before that. Those “Days” (weekends) celebrated the town and the people who lived, worked, farmed, worshipped, owned businesses and raised their families here. Volunteers organized and ran the events (as they do now), bands marched with the help of school personnel and parades happened with the help of townspeople and the assistance of the village/town/city of Cedar Springs. People came into town to shop and celebrate the arrival of farm equipment on the railroad and crops and animals. It was Nina Babcock and Grace Hamilton, the Clipper newspaper editors, who, in the midst of a cold winter, told the world we had red flannel underwear on our merchant’s shelves, and with the help of several businessmen, they originated Red Flannel Day. The symbol of that celebration has been red flannel underwear and Cedar Springs has been the Red Flannel Town since 1939!

Now that symbol is being removed from everything Cedar Springs. It’s a sad state of affairs! Our flaps are undone (and it is not a pretty sight)!

Before this situation becomes irrevocable, everyone just needs to step back, breathe, swallow their individual prides and sensibly come to a consensus about what can be done monetarily, fairly, and justly for everyone.

We need to button our flaps and get back the Red Flannel Town we’re proud of!

Sincerely,
Sue Harrison
Nelson Township

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To the Editor – Recall Mayor Watson

Dear Cedar Springs Residents,

Mayor Watson said of the disagreement with Red Flannel that “This is about fiscal responsibility to the tax paying citizens of Cedar Springs.” This is untrue.

In regard to taking down the old logos, Mayor pro-tem Christine Fahl was quoted on mlive.com as saying, “In my opinion, it’s not going to cost that much. We’re talking man hours” (http://www.mlive.com). So let’s talk about man hours. According to the 2012/2013 budget posted on the City’s website, an average DPW laborer makes $17.03 per hour. We are paying a city employee, not to do their job, but to scrub Red Flannels off all of the street signs and anywhere else that it is located. At $17.03 per hour, it is not a good use of time or money for our city employees to change each and every one of them. This is the leadership and example that Mayor Watson has provided.

Apparently it is no big deal to just throw away $17.03 per hour times many, many street signs.

There have been multiple offers to allow the city to continue to use these logos. Again, quoting from the article by Angie Jackson:

“In the Facebook note, the festival claims ‘…In April, Mayor Charlie Watson …offered the Festival a $4,000 donation of in-kind services for the use of two trademarks…The Festival agreed. That has never happened” (www.mlive.com).

This is not the only offer, and when you combine it with the fact that the Red Flannel Festival has a contract with the city to pay for services not to exceed $8000 each year through 2015, $2300 over what the city estimated it to cost in the past, there is no reason why there could not have been an agreement. The Festival would have still paid $4,000, 70% of what past estimated costs have been. In effect, the city would only be “donating” $1,700. Because of Mayor Watson’s brand of “fiscal responsibility,” the cost to the taxpayer will be considerably higher.

Recall efforts can be followed at www.facebook.com/recallcharliewatson

Molly Nixon
Cedar Springs

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An open letter to political candidates

I remember, when I was a child, situations would arise, when I wasn’t the perfect kid (understatement). When confronted with my behavior, I was quick to point out that my siblings were far bigger mess-ups than I was. By the time I was done diverting my parents’ attention from what I had done and on to what my siblings had done with their short lives, I was sure my parents were sorry they had ever dared to pick on me.
As I was growing, so were my parents. Eventually they went from being distracted by my attempts to place blame on others, to being more focused. When I said, “What about her? Look what she has done!” my parents now said, “We’re talking about you, what you have done, and coming up with a plan how you are going to change your behavior.” By holding me accountable, helping me to take responsibility, and think of a positive outcome, they helped me mature and accomplish things.

This kind of action and responsibility is what I had hoped to see in the political candidates. The primary is August 7, and from TV ads that have run I still have not heard a plan.

I’m going to give a shout out to Randy Hekman who is running for US Senate. I have heard short and long-term goals from him. Also, Randy Hekman has said nothing negative about any candidate because he is focusing on what needs to be done.

To the other candidates I would ask: “Where is the substance?” “Why are you spending the money we have donated to you on TV ads pointing out what someone else has done?”

Your typical ad in a nutshell:

“So & So has done . I would never do that! I approve this message.”
Now that brings back childhood memories!

Janice Booy
Nelson Township

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Let’s call it a wash

To the Editor,
I’m just wondering…. Why doesn’t the City of Cedar Springs and the Red Flannel Festival just call it “a wash”?  The Festival should contribute to the City by allowing the use of the Red Flannel logo because the City is promoting the Festival. The City should contribute to the Festival by providing the services of the Department of Public works and the Police Department because the Festival is promoting the City.

Instead, both are contributing to the legal system, which, financially, may or may not be comparable to the amount of money in contention.

In the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all… just…get along?”

Dorothy Bishop
Former Chair of the Red Flannel Festival      

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Can we ever come together?

Greetings,

Cedar Springs City Hall, Fellow Merchants, Concerned Citizens:

 

Can we ever come together? Does anyone really care?

As we understand it a very generous person put up $50k of matching funds for a new future library.

We at the Amish Furniture and Gifts Warehouse, wanted to have some little part in seeing this come to fruition.

So, we spent $640.00 for ads in the local papers, giving 15% of all furniture sales for one week to this effort.

Results – none!

A planning representative that the City uses, from Royal Oak, said NO to our signage promoting this cause.

And really when you think about it, why should he care? His children and grandchildren probably have a nice new library in their city.

So, we are sorry, Donna Clark, for not giving the $640.00 to the library fund.

The $100.00 token [I donated] doesn’t quite cut it, so who knows, maybe the planning firm that takes those green backs out of Cedar Springs every year will kick in!

Then, maybe someday Cedar Springs will once again become a nice place to live, work, and play.

 

Sincerely, 

Amish Bob (Truesdale), Cedar Springs

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Response to “Solon family held up”

Dear Editor,

What a surprise to open the Post and to read about my grandparents, Dan and Sylvia Reichelt being robbed (Out of the Attic—Solon Township family held up, printed April 12, 2012). My mom was three years old at the time, the 5th of the 6 kids, the youngest not being born until a few years later. Mom was Marie Reichelt McAnally. I vaguely remember her telling about being robbed. My great uncle was Alvin, not Albert as stated. His daughter lives in Dansville.

The farm is still owned by the Reichelt family. I grew up next door [and lived there] until I was married. My mom passed away 7 years ago, next door to where she was born and raised.

We think things like this only happen in present times!

Nancy McAnally Hanna, Cedar Springs


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Enforce snow ordinances

Just wondering what gives the City Manager Christine Burns the right to pick and choose what city ordinances to enforce? The city has an ordinance for shoveling the snow on the sidewalks in town and especially Main Street. When was the last time they wrote a ticket for not shoveling? Red Flannel Day showcases the city and businesses, and when visitors return around the holidays to shop and eat they find snow on some downtown sidewalks, with curbside snow high enough it prevents them from opening the passenger doors. The piles of snow on Main Street are high enough that people who do shovel have no place to put it, as the city waits for spring to melt the snow. Let’s take care of your own house before you worry about someone else. Maybe you could use the American Legion Hall lot for the snow.

Gerald Skelonc, Solon Township


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