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Tag Archive | "education"

CHRISTOPHER DAVID COX


Christopher David Cox age 45 passed away Sunday, August 13, 2017 at his home in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Chris was born July 21, 1972 in Manchester, New Hampshire but grew up in Sand Lake, Michigan. He always had a smile on his face. He loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time hunting and fishing. He also loved playing the guitar. He loved all children but especially his sons, nieces, and nephews. Chris was the greatest son, dad, brother and grandson you could ever ask for and will be deeply missed by his family. Chris is survived by his sons, Christopher and Kevin; mother, Susan (Ken) Whitney; father, Bruce (Maureen) Cox; sister, Michelle (Joe) Murdoch; brother, Paul Cox; step sister, Leslie (Josh) Lille-Whitney; grandparents, Carol Cox, Betty Fath and Earl Fath; nieces and nephews, BreAnne, Seth, Bernadette (Naddy), Sullivan, Ike, Ian, and Asher; great nephew, Oliver; special friend Sharon Kahn; the Faylor family; so many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Virgil Cox and Ted Green; grandmother, Arlene Eden; great-grandmother, Evelyn Cox; niece, Halee. The family will meet with friends Friday 11a.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to his sons for their education at any Independent Bank.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs 

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Amash talks partisanship, Syria, healthcare


N-Amash1

N-Amash-pullquoteBy Judy Reed

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash told the crowd at Cedar Springs High School Monday night, April 10, that the partisanship in Washington is the worst he’s ever seen, and that the leadership doesn’t seem to be interested in breaking the gridlock.

“I’ve always said that we need to work with each other, have honest debate, and let things fall where they may. The only way you fix it is by choosing a speaker of the house who is non-partisan. It takes tremendous will, and I haven’t seen that with this or the previous speaker,” remarked Amash.

N-Amash2The town hall meeting was the first of several that Amash is holding throughout the district over the next week.

He explained that the only things that go to the floor for a vote are the things that the leadership wants, things that have no chance of passing, or things too mild to affect anything. “We either need a change in direction from this speaker, or we need a new one,” he said.

Amash is a firm believer in the principles of the Constitution. He is known for not only standing up for those principles, but also for not mincing words when it comes to politicians he feels are violating them, such as President Trump. That was the case with the President’s recent strikes on Syria.

“The process was not right,” said Amash. “He risked escalating the situation. The framers of the Constitution gave to Congress the power to declare war because we are the closest to the people. I’m here holding the town hall meeting, not Donald Trump. With war, I might be sending your son or daughter off to be killed. To think you can launch a missile strike with no consequence is naïve.”

Amash explained that the War Powers Resolution is often used to justify one-off strikes. Those cases are supposed to only happen when the U.S. itself has been attacked. It says: “The President’s powers as Commander in Chief are exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization from Congress, or a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States” (50 USC Sec. 1541).

“It did not give the president the authority to do what he did,” noted Amash. “There are times we want him to act quickly. But it’s not for offensive acts against another government.”

Amash said the framers of the Constitution left it up to the people to decide whether they want war, and the president then conducts the war.

He did say he thought they should continue to go after ISIS, but that they should update the 2001 mission and goal, and have more debate about it in Congress. “I don’t think you can have perpetual war; it’s dangerous,” he said.

Amash also talked about why he didn’t support the failed Republican proposal on healthcare. “It didn’t repeal the ACA, just tweaked it,” he explained. “The ACA is not functioning the way we’d like it to function. Premiums are going up for a lot of people. It helps many, but also hurts many. We need to start over, in a bipartisan way. The Republican proposal just restructures it, and tweaks can make it worse. It left the sickest and most vulnerable at risk.”

He said that there is no reason to rush it. “We want to make sure we get it right. They just wanted to get it done quickly. It was just a political plan. I’m part of the Freedom Caucus, and I’m sure you heard that we caused it to fail. It’s not true. There were more Republicans going to vote against it than were part of the Freedom Caucus.” Amash said that 50-80 Republicans would have voted against the bill. “It would have been actually very embarrassing, and that’s why they pulled it,” Amash said.

After the failure of the bill, an aide to President Trump called Amash a liability over Twitter and urged Trump supporters to vote for a different Republican candidate in 2018.

But Amash isn’t letting that sway him. “We should’ve worked with the Democrats on it. It needs to be bipartisan. We need buy-in. I still believe the best system is to let states regulate health care. They have different people, different demographics. Allow them to try out a variety of ways. There would be more alternatives, more choices, and would cause the least amount of tension. If you didn’t like it, you could move to another state. I think it would be easier to move out of state than out of the country,” he said, which brought a chuckle from the crowd.

Amash touched on several other topics including immigration, Internet privacy, education, the presidential transparency act, and more, and answered questions for two hours. He also encouraged residents to let him know their feelings on possible war with Syria, and to reach out to his office if they have problems, such as veterans getting assistance, immigration issues, and other concerns.

You can contact the Grand Rapids office at (616) 451-8383 or send physical mail to 110 Michigan St NW, Suite 460, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. You can also email him through his website. Visit https://amash.house.gov/contact-me.

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March Reading Madness


Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor stopped by Creative Technologies Academy for a visit the morning of March 13 and read to the kindergarten, first, and second grade students. He read Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain by Dave Keane. Senator MacGregor discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction books with the young students and encouraged them to read with their peers, siblings, and adults. He made sure to allow time to answer the many questions the students had, such as: How did you get elected? Who’s your boss? What do you like to read? What’s your favorite color?

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Ferris State University’s women’s basketball Coach, Kendra Faustin, and Assistant Coach, Sharonda Hurd, brought a few of their players to the CTA elementary in order to spend time reading with students during March is Reading Month. The coaches and players also visited with the middle and high school students in an assembly to share powerful lessons about the importance of personal responsibility and accountability in everyday life.

CTA’s middle school students were visited by the Grace Bible College Tigers basketball team. The students watched a video, produced by MAPSA and Buddy Morehouse, about the story of Curtis Jones. Jones was widely considered the greatest basketball talent ever to come out of the city of Detroit, but his dreams died and his life spiraled downward because he couldn’t read and write. After viewing the video, team members led small group discussions with CTA students about lessons to be learned from Curtis Jones, specifically, about the importance of getting the best education possible.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

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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 PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.


 

Education is proactive

Laura VanDuyn, our Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent’s message to us in The Post of April 14 was filled with good news about our improving educational program for our youth.

An extended study of change in business and industry years ago showed production improved with each change in work environment, leveled off, and eventually decreased. I think it was called the Hawthorn effect.

Education is a proactive thing. It’s good that the program we offer our children is proactive.

Lyle Perry Jr.

Cedar Springs

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Change is a Part of Life


 

My name is Karen Mueller and I have taught at Cedar Springs Public Schools since 1987. This year I will be retiring. My husband has terminal cancer and is feeling well enough to travel, so off we’ll go!  I will miss my precious students very much, but change is a part of life.

Through the years, I’ve seen many changes at our school.  Every change was made for the good of our students. I’m not saying I’ve agreed with every change, but I know the people who made the changes have always worked for what was best for our kids.  Change is a part of life.

Currently I’m excited about my smaller class sizes and having a counselor in the building. During my time at CSPS I have taught over two thousand children, and loved every single one of them.  I have worked under six superintendents and eight principals.  I did not agree with every decision they made, but I am part of a team, so I enthusiastically did my best in every new program that we offered. Change is a part of life.

We will always see change in education. There should be change in education. I hope we can all work together, like we expect our children to. Every teacher and administrator, past and present, truly cares about our kids. We need to do what we expect of our youngest children, “We need kind hands, kind hearts, and listening ears.” I’ve enjoyed working with our current administration at CSPS and I understand change is a part of life. Give change a chance to continue improvement for our district and for our kids.

Karen Mueller, Cedar Springs

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Main Street


So long, Steve, and thanks

The paper you’re reading was produced on a Macintosh computer. By “produced,” I mean typeset, proofed, designed, and sent out of town to the printer directly from the Mac. Steve Jobs’ invention changed publishing in ways that are nearly indescribable. You had to have been there, and I was.
The Post and Squire have at least a dozen Macs and we couldn’t do a paper without them. Personally, I’ve owned five or six Apple computers.
The early electronic computer was “Eniac,” built at the University of Pennsylvania and put into operation in 1945.  It occupied a whole floor of the Engineering building and weighed 30 tons. Steve Jobs had not been born.
In 1976, as you’ve probably been hearing this week, the Apple Computer was invented in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage.  Steve was 21 yrs old.  From then on he took control of the company, imagining things he would like to have and then making them.
My own first computer was an Apple II, a desktop model. You had to hook it up your TV because there was no monitor. There was also no hard drive.  You got a manual that told you how to write your own programs. You could save your programs if you bought a “floppy drive” and “floppy discs” (which were actually floppy). My Apple II was great. It had a mouse!
Steve Jobs went on to imagine and produce the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. All have been extremely popular.
Steve is gone now, too soon at age 56. Let’s hope that somewhere there’s another communications genius driven to think up products we might like to have—only to discover that we couldn’t do without them.

High stress

The doctor remarked on a new patient’s extraordinarily ruddy complexion. “High blood pressure, Doc,” said the man. “It comes from my family.”
“Your mother’s side or your father’s?”
“Neither,” replied the patient. “It’s from my wife’s family.”
“Oh, come now,” said the doctor. “How could your wife’s family give you high blood pressure?”
The man sighed. “You oughta meet ‘em sometime, Doc!”

Best try

“Dad,” said Marcus, “I’m late for football practice. Would you please do my homework for me?”
The father said, irately, “Son, it just wouldn’t be right.”
“That’s okay,” replied Marcus, “but you could at least give it a try, couldn’t you?”

Primary education

A second grader came home from school and said “Mom, guess what? We learned how to make babies today.”
More that a little surprised, the mother said, “That’s interesting. And how do you make babies?”
“It’s simple,” replied the girl. “You just change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es.’”

Disclaimer

These sentences were composed  on a Macintosh computer. No animals were killed or injured in the preparation of this column.

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United Lifestyles offers Diabetes education


United Lifestyles, a member of Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville, is offering a three-session Diabetes Education group class. The classes will be held on Mondays, beginning October 10, 2011 from 5 to 8 p.m. at 407 S. Nelson, Greenville.
This American Diabetes Association recognized program includes education on glucose levels, dietary guidelines, and management techniques.  Most insurances cover all or part of the class fees, with a physician’s signature. Registration is required.  For more information, call 616.754.6185, ext. 100 or 800.406.4551.

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Inside the state house


With Rep. Peter MacGregor, 73rd District

I am pleased to announce that the 2011-2012 budget passed before Governor Snyder’s May 31 deadline. We set an ambitious goal to pass the budget early so that schools and local governments could plan for next year without any guess work. The resulting budget is fiscally responsible and structurally sound. This has not been achieved since the Reagan administration.

I want to address K-12 education because I know how important it is to our local school districts. The final agreement distributes $150 million to schools that show “best practices” and $160 million to pay down pension obligations. This restores approximately $200 per pupil from the Governor’s original $300 cut.

These “best practices” include the 1) district paying at least 90 percent of employee health care contributions, 2) the district being the health insurance policy holder, 3) bidding out non-instructional services (the district doesn’t need to necessarily take the bid), 4) creating a performance-based dashboard for parents and 5) service-based consolidation sharing. These are all potential cost saving measures for school districts and therefore can be applied for every district. If a district meets four of the five “best practices”, they will receive an additional $100 per pupil. I am confident that the schools in the 73rd district can, and will, fulfill these “best practices” and therefore qualify for the additional $100 in per pupil funding.

The agreement also provides $160 million to help districts pay for future retirement costs. I wholeheartedly believe that this is the right thing to do because we are applying funds to address long-term debt that cripples school districts. It is no secret that Michigan has pension liabilities it must address ($27 billion in pensions liabilities alone). This funding supports our retired teachers who contributed so much to Michigan’s future. We must ensure that money is in the pension system when our current teachers are ready to retire.  It is estimated that paying down this obligation will save school districts approximately $100 per pupil.

The smaller, remaining portion of funds from the revenue estimating conference is being applied to address future needs. Over the last decade, we have reacted to the economy instead of planning for it. The Budget Stabilization Fund (“rainy day fund”) is designed to help offset budget difficulties during economic downturns. In 2001, Michigan had nearly a billion dollars in that fund. Currently, the fund has a balance of $2.5 million. We are now placing $256 million back into that fund so that we can fund education, public safety and other critical departments in times of serious economic need. These dollars meet our present needs while planning for the future.

I also understand many of your frustrations, one being the transfer of money from the School Aid Fund (SAF) to Higher Education. I do not support this, but I worked with leadership to get $50 million restored into the School Aid Fund in the House version and was assured that more was on its way after the revenue estimating conference, which they have done by giving us back the $330 million in the areas mentioned above. If a school district meets the criteria for the additional funding I stated above, the overall cut in education will only be an average of 1.4 percent. If they do not meet either of the criteria, the cut will be 4.1 percent. I understand that funding for our children is critical but I am confident that our schools will continue to thrive because of how much our community values education. As I look at the funding around the state, one thing is clear: funding is not nearly as important as quality teachers, loving families and passionate communities. We can fund many schools to the gills but students succeed because they come home to a loving family that supports their education. That being said, I take the cuts very seriously and understand your frustrations.

The federal stimulus money over the past three years ($900 million for education), which came with much hope and hullabaloo, created as many challenges for our state as it solved. Please keep in mind that from 2004 to 2010 the state has added over $8 billion in spending to a collapsing and shrinking economy. State spending needs right-sizing, because it is not sustainable.

Overall, I am pleased with the budget. Despite our original shortfall, and the elimination of federal stimulus money, we were able to address long term debt that has long been ignored. It’s easy to spend all of the available money, but we must think of our children five, ten or twenty years from now and the Michigan they will inherit. As we move forward, please keep in mind that I am one of 148 legislators. I am committed to continuing the fight for our public schools, keeping in mind that I have a responsibility as your legislator to balance the budget and ensure other core functions of state government such as public safety, roads and caring for the vulnerable are protected as well. Although I am anxious to find inefficiencies in government, cutting vital programs is NOT something I enjoy. However, the state’s ability to pay is limited. We cannot settle for the status quo and my decision-making will always prioritize long term solutions rather than Band-Aid fixes. We are laying the foundation for a long-term economic recovery and job creation for Michigan.

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Banking on Education


By Sarah Read

Elementary students from Greenville Michigan Home Learners were taught the three S’s of money last Friday at their weekly learning cooperative.

“Share, spend and save,” explained Nancy Martin, the bank manager at United Bank of Michigan in Rockford. Martin was a featured guest speaker at the homeschool group for a Teach Kids to Save Day. A field trip to United Bank followed, where students glimpsed the workings of a bank, teller duties, how the drive-up tube and counterfeit light worked and a walk-in look at the vault and safety deposit boxes.

During the class presentation, Martin led the kids through examples they came up with for each category of share, spend and save. For share, the list included suggestions such as church, the humane society, and the Red Cross. For spend, Martin also had the students examine all the ways their parents had to spend money, on things like food, clothes, home repairs, and gasoline—with ideas of ways they can help around the house to make meeting those needs easier on the family. For save, Martin broke down the list of goals into things that take either a short time to save for, like a toy or video game, versus things that take a long time, such as college or a house.

After the discussion, the students, ranging in ages from 4-12, tossed money bean bags into a piggy bank toss and won dollar sign pencils. A drawing to give the kids “Moon Jars,” small banks divided into the three categories they had learned was also a big hit. “My kids had a blast,” said homeschool mom, Jennifer Dugan. “She did great with all the ages. They were all very entertained and learned too!”

To learn more about this home learning group, visit www.greenvillemichiganhomeschoolers.com.

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