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Post Script to the Editor

To All Concerned Cedar Springs:


I have repeatedly said I was not going to get into this fiasco but the more I read and hear people talk that old saying comes back to me, “You have the right to remain silent but you don’t have the ability,” so here go again.

It is time for all parties to button up the flap on your Red Flannels and end this “blank” contest. I mean the School, City Hall, and the Red Flannel Committee.

I for one do not need a new logo, theme, handle or any other saying to know I am from Cedar Springs Michigan the Red Flannel Town U.S.A.

If the Red Flannel Committee, City Hall, and the School wan to end this BS before someone goes off and spends a lot of money to hire a consultant to give us a new logo you all can do it. If you have four council members who are sorry this happened then you have a majority to change the outcome.

If the Red Flannel Committee has to charge for the logo, then sit down and come to an agreement on the fee.

If the School needs to charge the Red Flannel Committee for the use of the parking lot, sit down and come to an agreement on the fee.

We as taxpayers of Cedar Springs have a right to say how our money is spent and I for one want the Cedar Springs Red Flannel underwear flyng from my light post, I want the Red Flannel logo on our police cars, I want the Red Flannel logo in the City Hall council room. I want that Red Flannel logo in as many places as possible and so should you all.

I do not think anyone really wants this outcome we are now faced with.

So button up that flap and celebrate Red Flannel Day in Cedar Springs, Michigan.

Sincerely, Bud Bailey

Cedar Springs

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Amazing community gatherings

Our community recently received encouragement, inspiration, and acts of love while facing some serious challenges and saddened hearts. Some awesome people stepped up to remind us that we are surrounded by some of the most wonderful, united, and compassionate human beings found on earth.

In the last week, we’ve had a peaceful compromise on use of the Red Flannel logo, gathered at Morley Park in a united celebration of faith, and celebrated the life of Wyatt Phillips.

In my 45 years in this community, these few days have been the most amazing community gatherings of God’s faithful servants. It has been overwhelming and almost too much for me to absorb in a short period. We are fortunate to have some of the best Christian and educational leaders and followers living here among us.

On Sunday, I heard several profound messages and challenges at the United worship service. The pastors, the music ministry, and the members of various churches who provided us with lunch, showed us the message of God’s true love for us. People of all ages and faiths gathered, free of traditional symbols from their particular denomination, yet sharing in the bigger picture of following, serving, and celebrating Jesus Christ. Strangers held hands to pray for peace, guidance, and love within our community and the world as a whole.

On Monday, I walked away from the funeral service feeling blessed to have known Wyatt and to have the Phillips family living within our community. The messages of this celebration were life-changing experiences. Zack Phillips challenged us to live with passion, and at the close of each day to ask ourselves if we had followed our passion and lived it to the fullest. The closing song, “Surrender,” challenged us to surrender our lives to God and reminded us we are not in charge, but God is, with the perfect plan for each of us.

Celebrations in both the park and the auditorium were filled with family, friends, and neighbors. It was a united display of this community’s concern and love for each other. God has placed the perfect people in our lives here in Cedar Springs. I am thankful to our Lord and Savior for placing such awesome people in our community. Thank you to those of you who are following your passion and surrendering your lives as servants to God, and who give so much only because you want to. You are making a positive difference.

Sue Wolfe

Cedar Springs

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Postscript to the Editor

The truth and nothing but the truth

Our former City Manager is now history, and as the dust settles from the fallout of the Red Flannel Festival vs. the City of Cedar Springs, we will probably never know who falsified or told the whole truth. As a merchant on Main Street, it sure leaves me disillusioned as to where we all go from here. I, for one, having lived here all of my life, can’t seem to comprehend how we can have one without the other. History proves that nations fall when divided, so I am sure cities do the same.

Written with a saddened heart,

“Amish Bob” Truesdale, Cedar Springs

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Community garden thief

To whoever keeps taking the vegetables out of our garden, it is not appreciated. The community garden does not mean that you can pick whatever you want. You did not plant it, weed it, or water it. My grandchildren did all of the work, so stay out of our garden. That watermelon you took, my grandchildren were looking forward to it.

Vicki E. Covell
Cedar Springs

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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!

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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