Posted on 11 December 2014.
By Lee H. Hamilton
We are one glum country.
Trust in the federal government is at historic lows, according to Gallup. More than half of the respondents to an October Rasmussen poll think our best days are behind us. And just a few weeks ago, an NBC/Wall St. Journal poll found that the one thing Americans agree upon, whatever their race or circumstances, is that the system is stacked against people like them.
I have just one thing to say to this: could we all take a deep breath?
We deal with our challenges from a position of strength. We have friendly neighbors to the north and south, oceans to the east and west, and a growing, relatively young population. We possess abundant natural resources, the world’s most capable military force, a nuclear arsenal second to none, and a deterrent power envied by every other country on earth.
We’re doing better economically than any other major industrialized nation, and have put more people back to work since the recovery began than the rest of the industrialized world combined. Our people possess strengths in abundance. We have a remarkable reservoir of talent and a strong entrepreneurial tradition that nurtures inventiveness and draws countless people from abroad eager to make something of their future. Does that sound like a once-great nation on its knees?
I’m not blind to our shortcomings or to the severe challenges we confront. If you read this column regularly, you know that. But in the face of extraordinary difficulties, we adapt, persevere, and eventually emerge stronger. In the end, government may act slowly, and it’s often well behind where you’d wish it to be, but it does act.
All these things give our society a resilience to keep in mind the next time you see a news story or commentary hyping a pessimistic view of our future. We have a long way to go, there’s no doubt about it. But I’m reminded of a young woman a few years ago who asked me, after a bleak speech I’d given laying out the problems of the world, “Is there any hope?” My answer now is the same as it was then: Yes, of course there is.
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.
Posted in Lee Hamilton Column
Posted on 26 April 2012.
First Sergeant Michael J. Poll II US Army 236th ICTC was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for service in Afghanistan 2011-2012.
Staff Sergeant Michael F. Vandenboss US Army 236th ICTC being awarded the Army Commendation medal for service in Afghanistan 2011-2012
The Post is happy to announce the return of two good friends from Afghanistan.
First Sgt. Michael J. Poll II, and Staff Sgt. Michael F. Vandenboss, both of Sand Lake, returned home Tuesday evening, April 24. Poll, a 1989 graduate of Tri County High School was gone for four years on back to back tours, and Vandenboss was gone for a year.
“I’m hoping now to be home for a long time,” said Poll.
Poll, who served with the US Army 236th ICTC was awarded the Bronze Star medal for his service in Afghanistan in 2011-2012. Vandenboss, who also served with the US Army 236th ICTC, was awarded the Army Commendation medal for his service in Afghanistan in 2011-2012.
The two men would love to see all their family and friends, Poll said.
Posted in News
Posted on 22 December 2011.
Cedar View teacher Mrs. Poll’s son, First Sergeant Mike Poll, is serving in the 236th transportation unit in Afghanistan. He helps lead over 160 troops. Many of these soldiers will not be home for Christmas.
Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Poll’s classes decided to help these soldiers during the holidays and send some holiday cheer. They called this project Operation Christmas. First Sergeant Mike Poll mentioned the soldiers would appreciate goodies of any kind.
Ten boxes of cookies, gum, crackers, jerky, stickers, and other goodies were sent to these soldiers. The ten boxes totaled over 90 pounds.
Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Poll’s classes also incorporated writing skills as each class wrote letters and Christmas cards to the soldiers.
Posted in News
Posted on 16 June 2011.
On Friday, May 6th, Ms. Falcinelli, Mrs.Poll, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Underwood’s Cedar View Elementary classrooms went to Lansing for their 4th grade field trip to see our state Capitol building and the Michigan Historical Museum. This special trip is a culminating activity after studying Michigan history, geography, economics, and our state and federal government throughout third and fourth grades. The students are always excited to see our wonderful Capitol building and see where our laws are made. One activity they really enjoy is lying down on the glass floor in the rotunda and looking up at the beautiful capitol dome. The Michigan Historical Museum brings Michigan’s history right before the students’ eyes.
The students who attended Lansing on Friday happened to be there on a day of a historical event. It was the day of the unveiling of former Governor Granholm’s portrait. Some of the classes were able to see Governor Granholm there in the Capitol building. Mrs. Poll’s class had the honor of having a representative from the capitol explain to them some of the symbolism included in the governor’s portrait. In the portrait the governor is looking past a vase of apple blossoms and out a sunlit window. Some of the symbols in the portrait include: a small wind turbine to show her work toward green energy, a Chevy Volt to show her work support of extending the range of the electric car, a mortarboard to show that she wants to increase the number of college graduates in Michigan, and a shovel that was used to break the ground for an advanced auto battery plant in Holland, Michigan.
On Wednesday, May 11th, a second batch of fourth graders headed to Lansing. This time, students from Ms. Zank, Mrs. Baas, Mrs. Nielsen, Mr. Moleski, and Mr. Gregory visited the Michigan Historical Museum and state Capitol. Since congress rarely convenes on a Friday, it was the Wednesday group that had the opportunity of a fourth grade lifetime. Several of our groups from Cedar View were honored in the House of Representatives by our very own representative Pete MacGregor. These groups were able to see the representatives at work and listen in on how they voted on a bill.
All of the students had an awesome time viewing the history of Michigan at the Michigan Historical Museum, but the main attraction was seeing how our government actually works. The fourth grade teachers spent many hours preparing their students for this trip. No question from the tour guides went unanswered by our marvelous fourth graders. The lead tour guide at the capitol told me that Cedar View Elementary is one of the finest and largest groups to enter the Capitol and leave as the best behaved. Congratulations to all of the fourth grade students of Cedar View for representing our community and demonstrating the Habits of Mind.
Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools