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Archive | December, 2010

The tree fit for a king

by: Pastor Judy Buffum-Hemmila of Crossfire Ministries

I love the Christmas season.  I enjoy everything about it.  The carols playing in the stores and complete strangers smiling and saying Merry Christmas!  Baking cookies with the grandkids and decorating the house. I usually have my very own festival of lights going on right in my living room. My children lovingly have always called me Mrs. Clause.
However, my favorite symbol of this awesome season is the tree.  I’d love to have a big beautiful tree in my living room year round. As it is, I leave it up until the end of January.  I was so happy to find that in some countries, this is normal, which I found comforting, and a tradition that I now claim.
I love to decorate the tree with special ornaments that friends and loved ones have purchased for me, especially the ones that catch the light.  Sometimes, I grab a cup of hot tea and just look at it for the longest time. It is just so peaceful to me.
That’s when I thought of another Tree that has always brought such peace to me.  It was chosen for “The King of Kings.” It isn’t a tree that you can find on a tree lot, or at a cut your own in an evergreen field.  It was a special tree that held the most precious ornament known to mankind—Jesus. It didn’t need twinkle lights, for the light of God’s glory still illuminates it for all the world to see.
This tree was the Cross of Calvary, which held the innocent body of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  You see, to me this is the true Christmas Tree.
So, the next time you see a Christmas tree, covered with beautiful decorations,  I hope you remember that God loved you so much that He gave the most precious gift He had, His only son, Jesus, who hung upon that tree for all eyes to see and all hearts to know. Now, that was “The Tree Fit For A King.” It needs no lights, for He is the light of the world.
John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of Life.”

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Walter and EllaMae KnochWalter G. Knoch Sr. of Rockford  & Ella Mae Mosher of Sand Lake were united in marriage 2pm Dec. 12, 2010 at Pilgrim Bible Church in Cedar Springs. Pastor Mike Shiery officiating. Attendants were Rod & Sue Mosher.

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Vernon Riley Eldred

Vernon EldredVernon Riley Eldred, 91 of Cedar Springs, passed away Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at his son’s home. Mr. Eldred was born May 1, 1919 in Cedar Springs, MI the son of Riley and Clara (Jacobs) Eldred. He married Delores Zank on March 25, 1939 and she preceded him in death on December 21, 2010. He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Carol Ruth Tiede on February 15, 1971; son-in-law, Richard Tiede; brothers and sisters, Leon, Elwin, L.D., Max, Keith Eldred, Bernice Parker, Eula Truesdale, Norma McNeive, and Thelma Phelps. He was a custodian for Cedar Springs Public Schools and after retirement loved helping the children as a school crossing guard. He enjoyed woodworking and making furniture and was always willing to help others and put them first. Surviving are one son, Bruce (Sheryl) Eldred; grandchildren, Mark Eldred, Melissa (Casey) Ward, Matthew (Marie) Eldred; great grandchildren, Nicole Renee, Stephen Cruse, Nayeli Rose, Triston Matthew, Colton Jon, Riley Davis, Cody James, Kira Elaine, Skylar Devon; many nieces and nephews. Visitation for both Mr. and Mrs. Eldred was held Sunday, December 26 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, www.blisswitterspike.com. Combined services were held Monday, December 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the Pilgrim Bible Church, Pastor Michael Shiery officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Mission Fellowship or the Pilgrim Bible Church.

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Ranger Steve’s Nature Niche

By Steve Mueller

When a Theory is not a Theory

A theory is not always a theory. People confuse everyday use of the word theory with scientific theory. Applying the wrong theory definition in nature niches causes problems. The two theories have different meanings (like many words often do) and that makes it difficult for us to understand why science has only one accepted theory for a given conclusion.
In everyday use the word theory means best preliminary idea of that happened. “How did the accident occur?” In science, a theory is the evidence-based conclusion proving “How the accident occurred.” For scientific acceptance, it must also have accepted repeatable methods of experimentation. A scientific theory requires physical evidence as proof. In everyday use the word theory precedes evidence-based proof as a potential truth.
Scientific theory is the refined statement of knowledge based on experimental and physically supported evidence. It is more correct than facts. Facts are transitional truths at a moment in time. Facts may used to develop theories and later facts may cease to be true.
Examples of known facts from an earlier time:
Humans see the same visual spectrum
The Earth is the center of the universe
Swallows hibernate in winter at the bottom of lakes
The Sun moves around the Earth daily
These facts were the best knowledge of nature niche occurrences based on known evidence at that time. Now all are proven incorrect. Gathering of experimental evidence often changes facts and our working knowledge of how nature functions.
Scientific theories, however, are the most supported evidence for understanding how nature functions. They are based on continuing experimentation and rigorous scientific challenges. Science has a self-correcting design. Scientists challenge experimental methods and conclusions for every finding. Each conclusion must be verified with repeatable physical experimental evidence before it is accepted as the most correct explanation. If 100 percent of the time the physical evidence supports the conclusion, it may be elevated to theory status. It is then considered more correct and truthful than facts that tend to change with time.
When the scientific community identifies something as a theory, it means scientific evidence is overwhelmingly conclusive as the one correct explanation. When new scientific experiments demonstrate a flaw in a theory, the theory must either be discarded or the flawed portion removed from the theory. Scientifically, theories are the one correct explanation. For this reason we do not have a theory of global climate change because there are too many contributing factors that have not all been experimental incorporated together to explain the causes of climatic change. That does not mean global climate change is not occurring or that we do not know many of the causes.
Science has a limited number of theories but has a tremendous number of hypotheses. A hypothesis is a synonym with the word theory used in everyday conversation. That is where many people get the false idea that a scientific theory is an educated guess instead of the most truthful account with an evidenced based conclusion. Theories like the Cell Theory, Gene Theory, and Theory of evolution have repeatable experimental evidence support used to scientifically understand how nature niches function.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net  Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433.

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Roger on Main Street

Roger on Main StreetHappy New Year!

Seems to me that the beginning of spring is a logical time to start a year. Green is a hopeful color but January has no agricultural significance. On the other hand, our New Year observance day occurs close to the winter solstice, when we begin to notice a few more minutes of sunlight each day. Makes sense.
Whatever the official date, we can all use a fresh start on our ambitions and projects. It’s useful to look back on the previous year of our lives to remember the good times and, perhaps, mourn friends gone forever.

Coach Joke

A football coach walked into the locker room before a game, looked over to his star player and said, “I’m not supposed to let you play because you failed math, but we need you in there. So, what I propose to do is ask you a math question and if you get it right you can play.” The player agreed, so Coach looked into his eyes intently and said, “Okay, now concentrate hard and tell me the answer to this: What is two plus two?”
The player thought for a moment and answered, “4.”
“Did you say 4?” the coach exclaimed, excited that he’d got it right.
Suddenly all the other players on the team began yelling, “Come on, Coach, give him another chance!”

Parson Joke

The young couple invited their aged parson for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having.
“Goat,” the little boy replied.
“Goat?” asked the startled reverend. “Are you sure about that?”
“I’m sure,” said the youngster. “I heard Pa say to Ma, ‘Might as well have the old goat for dinner today as any other day.’”

Bar Joke

A guy walks into a bar and orders a beer. “Listen,” he says to the bartender, “if I show you the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, is my beer on the house?”
“We’ll see,” says the bartender.
So the guy pulls a hamster and a tiny piano out of a bag, puts them on the bar, and the hamster begins to play.
“Impressive,” says the bartender, “but I’ll need to see more.”
“Hold on,” says the man. He pulls a bullfrog out of the bag and it sings, “Old Man River.”
A patron jumps up from his table and shouts, “Absolutely incredible! I’ll give you $100 right now for that frog.”
“Sold,” says the guy. The patron takes the bullfrog and leaves.
“It’s none of my business,” says the bartender, “but you just gave away a fortune.”
“Not really,” says the guy. “The hamster is also a ventriloquist.”

Final Words of Wisdom

A calendar’s days are numbered.

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Lady Red Hawks slip by Spartans

The Cedar Springs Lady Red Hawks Varsity Basketball team chalked up another win last week when they took on the Sparta Spartans at home, on Friday, December 17.
The Red Hawks took charge early, and finished out the first quarter with a 15-6 lead. The Spartans were not just going to lay down, however, and came back with a quick 10 points in the second quarter, and limited the Red Hawks to 5, ending the half at 20-16 Red Hawks.
Play in the third was much the same, with the Red Hawks scoring only six points and the Spartans pumping out another 10 points to tie it up. The third quarter ended 26-26.  Cedar commanded the lead again the fourth quarter and outscored the Spartans 13-5, finishing the game with a 39-31 win.
Leading scorer on the night was Red Hawk junior Rachael Ludtke with 14 points, and the Spartans’ Karen Bacon had 13.
Also contributing for the Red Hawks was Tiffany Karger with 9 points, Hannah Wight with 6, Molly Holtrop with 5, Brittany Todd with 3, and Chaya Coxon with 2. Ludtke went 8 for 8 on free throws and snagged 9 rebounds. Wight and Coxon had three steals each.
This win brought the Red Hawks overall team record to 4-1. They travel to Kenowa Hills to take on the Knights on January 4.

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Cedar Springs Defeats Kent City 43-26

Red Hawk defense shuts down the Eagles in tournament opener

Cedar Springs varsity boys basketball held Kent City to only 9 second-half points in a much needed victory Monday in the opening game of the 2nd annual Cedar Springs Holiday Tournament. The Red Hawks, playing without injured team captains Hank Porter and Kyle Chaney, used stifling man-to-man defense to shut down the Eagles in a 43-26 victory.
Point guard Jason Gingrich scored the first 9 points for the Red Hawks as they got off to a 9-3 lead. Then lay-ups by Derek Ash and Ryan Dines followed by an Alec Hanmer three-pointer gave Cedar a 16-5 lead after one quarter of play. Baskets by Andrew Klompstra and Hanmer began the second quarter for the Red Hawks. Then a Tyler Covell 3-pointer followed by a 3-point play by Ash gave the Red Hawks a 26-17 halftime lead.
The defense took over in the third quarter, holding the Eagles to only 3 points. Field goals by Derek Ash and Tyler Covell, and a Ryan Dines trey, built the Red Hawk lead to 33-20 after three quarters.
In the 4th quarter, Ash scored 6 points, and buckets by Trey Reed and Dines sealed the victory for the Red Hawks.
Ash led the Red Hawks with 13 points, shooting 60 percent from the floor and collecting 4 rebounds. Jason Gingrich scored 9 points, with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Ryan Dines had a fine all around game with 7 points, 5 steals and 3 assists. Hanmer and Covell scored 5 points each, and Trey Reed finished with 2 points and took 2 charges.
“We continue to play good team defense,” said head coach Andy Secor, after the game. “But we are still struggling to score points. Playing without Porter and Chaney, I thought our guys really stepped up and played hard.”

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Wrestling club off to a winning start

youth wrestlingCedar Springs Youth Wrestling Club has begun the 2011 season the same way the ended the 2010 season, winning!
On December 19, Northview hosted their annual “kick-off” tournament which included both open and novice divisions. Out of the 23 Cedar Springs Youth wrestlers who registered for the two tournaments, 20 of them won medals by placing in the top four!
Special congratulations go out to 10 of the first and second year wrestlers who placed in the novice division. Novice wrestlers in the 5/6 year old division include Cody Averil 2nd/37lbs, Tacho Gonzales 2nd/46lbs, Maston Wood 1st/55lbs and Ronnie Brown 2nd/55lbs.
In the 7/8 year old division, placers include Triston Eldred 2nd/43lbs,  Trevor Marsman 2nd/52lbs and Tretyn Roelofs 3rd/55a.
In the 9/10 year old division, the lone placer was Karson Miles who took 4th in the 67lb class.
In the 11/12 year old division, placers were Freddy Rutledge 3rd at 85lbs and Tylor Carter 1st at 112lbs.
The other 10 wrestlers placed in the open division. In the 5/6 year old division, placers were Landon Demorest 1st at 37lbs and Sergei Byxbe 3rd at 58lbs.
In the 7/8year old division, placers were Treton Snoeyink 2nd/63lbs, Aiden Bouwens 1st/ 67lbs and Kody Miles 3rd/67lbs.
Placers in the 9/10 year old division were Logan Hull 2nd/63lbs, Ricky Wood 4th/75lbs and Allexis Gonzales 3rd/90lbs.
The lone placer in the 11/12 year old Open Division was George Gonzales Jr. who was bumped up from the 126lb weight class to take a 1st place finish in the 133lb class.
These wrestlers have already been working hard and it shows. Be sure to keep up to date on all the Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers or if your child may be interested in wrestling, check out the youth wrestling web site at www.cedarspringsyouthwrestling.com.

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Cross-country skiing in Michigan state forests, parks and recreation areas

With the winter recreation season underway, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment announces that several of the state’s 23 cross-country ski trails are groomed and ready for skiers.
Michigan state forests have 23 cross-country ski trails in the Upper and northern Lower Peninsulas.  A total of 14 trails will be groomed this season.  Three pathways will be groomed under a grant funded contract by local organizations; Blueberry Ridge in Marquette County, Ogemaw Hills in Ogemaw County, and VASA in Grand Traverse County.  Seven pathways will be groomed under volunteer agreement; Chippewa Hills and Norway Ridge both in Alpena County, Black Mountain in Presque Isle County, Tisdale Triangle in Roscommon County, Days River in Delta County, Canada Lake in Luce County, and Indian Lake in Schoolcraft County.  Also, four pathways will be groomed by DNRE staff due to private donations; Muncie Lakes in Grand Traverse County, Cadillac in Wexford County, Algonquin in Chippewa County, and Pine Baron in Otsego County.  The remaining pathways will be available for ungroomed cross-country skiing and only a few will have plowed parking lots available.
A 2010-2011 State Forest Cross-Country Ski Pathways (XC) list may be found on the DNRE website at www.michigan.gov/dnr under Recreation & Camping, Seasonal Recreation Opportunities.  The XC list will include all pathways, county name, contact information number, and their grooming status.  It is suggested that visitors call the contact numbers to check conditions and grooming prior to their trip.
“State budget issues continue to challenge the DNRE’s Forest Recreation Program,” said Lynne M. Boyd, chief of DNRE’s Forest Management Division.  “With the help of local groups and a small Recreation Trails grant we will be able to provide some services for skiing, but not to the extent we have been able to in the past.”
For more information on the state forest cross-country skiing program, please contact Mark Mandenberg, DNRE Trails Program technical designer, at 517-335-3037; or via e-mail at mandenbergm@michigan.gov.
Cross-country skiing also is allowed in all 98 state parks and recreation areas. However, not all trails within the state parks and recreation areas are groomed for cross-country skiing.
“Cross-country skiing is a great way to ‘GO-Get Outdoors’ to experience the winter season, enjoy nature, and get physically fit at the same time,” said Ron Olson, chief of the Recreation Division. “Twenty-two state parks and recreation areas throughout the state will have groomed, cross-country ski trails this winter season.”
Information regarding cross-country skiing in state parks or recreation areas is available at www.michigan.gov/stateparks under Seasonal Recreation Opportunities, or by contacting an individual park.
The Recreation Passport replaced the state park and boating access site permits and provides resident motor vehicles access to all state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access sites.  It is a new way of funding Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities, also helping to preserve forest campgrounds, nonmotorized trails, historic and cultural sites in state parks, and providing grants to local communities for park development. The cost is $10 for resident motor vehicles; $5 for resident motorcycles.  To purchase the Recreation Passport, simply check “YES” on your Michigan license plate renewal form. To discover where Michigan’s $10 Recreation Passport can take you, call 517-241-7275 or visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.
Nonresident motor vehicles must still display a valid Motor Vehicle Permit to access a state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access site, which can be purchased at any state park or online through the Michigan E-store at www.michigan.gov/estore. The cost is $29 for a nonresident annual; $8 for a nonresident daily.

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Drivers urged to watch for eagles along roadway

LANSING, MICH.  – The Service and Michigan DNRE and the Environment (DNRE) urge Michigan drivers to use caution Michigan this travel season as bald eagles may be present on or near roadways.  Bald eagle mortality rates due to vehicular collisions in Michigan have risen in the last six years, accounting for 222 out of 774, or 29 percent, of recorded eagle mortalities between 1987 and 2008.
“Michigan drivers, especially in the northern part of the state, should be aware that eagles are often along our roadsides and can help out by taking necessary steps to help reduce eagle mortality,” said DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “Slowing your vehicle if you happen to spot an eagle near road kill is a good start.”
“A recent analysis of data from Michigan indicates that collisions with vehicles are a significant cause of eagle mortality,” said Jack Dingledine, Deputy Field Supervisor of the East Lansing Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  “The bald eagle tells one of our nation’s most revered conservation success stories, and although this species has recovered to sustainable levels, we must keep in mind that as numbers rise, so does the risk for mortality due to human interactions.”
In addition to catching and eating fish, eagles commonly feed on dead animals.  Road corridors often attract eagles, which will scavenge on large road-kill such as deer, coyote, fox or raccoon. Scavenging behavior tends to increase during the winter months when ice develops on lakes and rivers, making foraging for fish more difficult.
“There is no one solution that will completely eliminate vehicle-caused mortality in Michigan,” said Dingledine. “But efforts from all sides, including help from the driving public, can reduce vehicle-caused eagle mortality.”
Eagles that appear to be outside of a vehicle’s path may feel threatened by the approach of an oncoming vehicle and may attempt to escape, often leading the bird to cross the roadway, in front of oncoming traffic.  Drivers who do not anticipate this reaction by the eagle put themselves, the eagle, and their vehicle at risk. If a driver observes an eagle on or near a roadway, and if it is safe to do so, vehicle speed should be reduced immediately to give the driver and the eagle more time to react.
To report a live or dead eagle (or eagles) on the ground or scavenging on road-kill near a roadway in Michigan, please submit your observation at the following Web address: www.fws.gov/midwest/eastlansing/eagleform.htm. This information will help biologists determine where management action are most needed and the appropriate steps to reduce future collisions in these areas.
Reporting road kill to your local transportation agency can prevent eagle-vehicular collisions. Road kill removal requires proper authority, safety equipment and training, and drivers should not independently attempt to remove road kill.
To report road-kill both on and off the pavement or shoulder of a road:
· Drivers on state highways should call their regional MDOT Transportation Service Center – Visit www.michigan.gov/mdot/ for contact information (click on ‘About MDOT’).
· Drivers on county roads should call their local county road commission maintenance garage – See the government section of your local phone book for contact information.
Following the ban on many chlorinated pesticides in the 1970s and the protections offered by the Federally Threatened and Endangered Species List, bald eagle populations have stabilized and begun to recover in many regions of the country. In Michigan, populations have increased from 52 breeding pairs in 1961 to 630 breeding pairs in 2010.  The conservation community celebrated the de-listing of the bald eagle from the Endangered Species List in 2007.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.  For more information on our work and the people who make it happen visit www.fws.gov .

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