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The 19th annual “Best Lips” Contest

You be the Judge – Vote online for your favorite lips!

Vote for who you think has the most luscious lips! The Post staff has chosen this year’s top ten entries, but you get to pick the winner. Voting starts Thursday, February 9. You can vote once per day. Contest closes Tuesday, February 14, at 5 p.m. The person who has the most votes at that time will be the grand prize winner, and will receive a dinner for two (up to a $20 value) at Main Street Restaurant in Cedar Springs; a $15 gift card for Bay Leaf Books in Sand Lake; a large pizza (up to 6 toppings) or two subs, and breadsticks from Mr. Pizza in Sand Lake; and a haircut from Corner Hair Design in Sand Lake (a $15 value). There will also be prizes for second and third place. So get your family and friends and start voting! Winners will be featured in next week’s issue, February 16th edition.


[polldaddy poll=5927450]

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Sand Lake to vote on Tuesday

By Judy Reed

Sand Lake voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose their next village president for the next two years. They will also vote several trustee positions, but none of them are contested.
There are four trustee positions open, and only three people running. Incumbents Dave Tibbe and Roger Towsley are running to retain their position on the board, Duncan Rogers is a write-in for Dave Dewey’s position (Dewey is not running again), and no one has filed for the partial term previously filled by Tonia Parkhurst.

Kirk Thielke

Kirk Thielke is running for his third two-year term as president of the village of Sand Lake. The former business owner said he looks at running again as a continuation of the civic service he’s done in Sand Lake for the last 25 years. During that time he has served on both the fire and police department, coached, served on the Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce and more. “I’ve been the same guy all the way through. I’ve been consistent, with the same tenacity and integrity I’ve always had. That’s what people are going to get. I enjoy it. It’s a challenge. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions that aren’t always popular. But I’ll do what the village asks me to do,” said Thielke. “The village president position is a privilege. With it comes responsibility, not a personal agenda. I think I’ve proven that. If they like what they’ve seen, then vote for me.”
He said that while he’s been in office, they have had several opportunities to cut costs through pay adjustments and looked at ways to absorb increases, and updated policies and procedures. There are also some new people in charge of various departments. One of the big projects that will pay off in the future is a $2.1 million sewer project. They received a $1 million-plus grant to update and repair the sewer system, and a $1 million loan from the USDA to fund the rest. Thielke said that they previously weren’t charging enough to ensure they had money for repairs, and in order to borrow the money, they had to up the user fee from $42 to $69 per quarter to show they could pay back the loan. He said that while some people may not like the increase, without the grant and the loan, they would be paying $135 per quarter for the repairs.
Thielke urges voters to get out and vote and not be apathetic. “We usually have about 60 people vote. There are 500 people in Sand Lake, and about 300 voters,” he said.

Todd Finkel

Todd Finkel is a newcomer to politics and is running against Kirk Thielke for the Village President position. He is manager at Tire Wholesalers Plus in Rockford, and has been a resident of Sand Lake for three years. Finkel said he has no background in politics but was asked by several people to run. “I know how to run a business, and I can’t imagine it is too much more complicated to get into the political end of it,” he said. “I’ve been running businesses my whole life.”
Finkel said he is running with the intent to save the village money, such as by moving the village election from September to November. “It’s costly to the taxpayers to have this special election,” he said. He noted that in Sand Lake they pay taxes to both the village and Nelson Township and that there must be some way to reduce taxes.
Finkel admitted he was one of the people that signed the petition last year to dissolve the Village. The Post asked Finkel, if he was elected, and another petition came around, would he vote for it or support the village? “I believe you are supposed to work for the people, not against them,” said Finkel. “People want the village to remain. It was quite unanimous that people wanted to keep the special amenities of the village. So, if elected, I would not vote for it. I’m not ashamed I did it, though, because we need change.”
Finkel said he would have an open door policy, and that he would return calls.

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America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest enters final month

Rockford Farm Market still leads entire nation

Farm Market vendor table laden with the very first of the season Michigan apples and peaches.

By Cliff and Nancy Hill

Let’s color this as an athletic event. We are about to enter the 10th week of a 13-week contest—the America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest. One might say we are entering the 9th inning of a ballgame.

The Rockford farm market is holding the lead, however slim, and it’s time to bring in the “closers” to protect our lead. Our opponent is tenacious (Venice, FL) and has been dogging us in the vote tallies for the past five weeks.  Time to put the Venice Farmers Market away and raise our hands in victory on August 31!

Now just who are these “closers”?  It turns out that they are the ones who have, as yet, not voted and have been holding themselves in reserve for this very moment in time.  It’s their time to step to the plate and hit one out of the ballpark.  It’s time for Cedar Springs Post readers, many of whom love and attend the Rockford Farm Market, to be designated hitters in this prestigious nationwide election.

Are you a “closer”? Then go online (www.farmland.org/vote) to cast your vote for Rockford’s Farm Market or visit Saturday morning’s farm market in downtown Rockford and cast your vote in person at the voting booth in front of the Lion’s Market Master stall.

Thanks to those of you who have already voted. You can also be a “closer” by using all of your social networking skills to spread the word and encourage the vote. Vote totals as of 11 p.m. Monday, August 1, 2011 for top 5 in all market size categories:

·      Rockford Farm Market (sm. mkt.) – 1886
·      Venice, FL (sm. mkt.) – 1697
·      Snellville, GA (med. mkt.) – 1550
·      Fayetteville, AR (lg. mkt.) – 1252
·      New Braunfels, TX (lg. mkt) – 1133
·      Las Cruces, NM (lg. mkt.) – 1014

If you have been following this contest online, you may have noticed that Michigan has another player in this contest. The Manistique Farm Market is no threat to Rockford’s standings but nevertheless is leading the nation in the boutique market size category with 271 votes.

Imagine the possibility of Michigan, the doormat of the nation for the last 10 years, having two small city farm markets being declared America’s Favorite Farmers Markets in their market size categories with Rockford’s Farm Market #1 overall in the entire United States.

It’s not that improbable a scenario when you consider the fact that Michigan is the 2nd most agriculturally diverse state in the nation and nowhere is that locally grown and freshly harvest bounty more apparent than every Saturday morning at Rockford’s “Pure Michigan” Farm Market.

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