web analytics

Archive | June, 2019

Superintendent receives “highly effective” rating

by Judy Reed

When Scott Smith was hired last summer to be the new Superintendent of Cedar Springs Public Schools, he had his work cut out for him. He walked into a district where the former superintendent had been asked to resign, and board members were being recalled. Would Smith, together with the board, be able to guide the district toward a path of unity and healing?

Superintendent Scott Smith

The Board of Education completed a comprehensive evaluation of Smith’s first year as Superintendent on Monday, June 24, and announced that he earned a rating of “highly effective.” The vote was unanimous, 7-0.

Board members used an evaluation system provided by the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) to rate Smith’s effectiveness on 57 indicators. The seven members of the Board reviewed nearly 400 pages of artifacts representing Smith’s body of work for the 2018-19 school year.

Members of the Board cited several strengths in Smith’s work throughout the year, noting his student focus, his use of effective systems, his capacity to develop others, his transparency, leadership style and details in the required artifacts for evaluation. 

While the District is in the process of developing a three-year strategic plan, Smith cites improving student achievement as his top priority for the foreseeable future.

The Post asked Board President Heidi Reed if Smith’s leadership helped bring unity at a difficult time. “We did experience tension, which was the result of conflicting visions for what was best for the students, families, and staff who call Cedar Springs home,” she acknowledged, referring to what took place last year. “We have used this year to develop a unified vision for our District. Our new strategic plan, developed with input from over 2,000 Red Hawks, will be ready to guide our work in August.” 

According to a press release from the Board, the District Wide Strategic Plan, complete with data input from stakeholders will be presented to the BOE in the July meeting. “Progress made on the District strategic plan as well as on the District’s facility plan are both essential to Mr. Smith’s success in year two,” it said.

While it’s common business practice at the time of the superintendent evaluation to review the superintendent contract, Smith recommended that the BOE leave the contract as it currently stands. 

The Post asked Smith what his biggest challenge has been this year. “The biggest challenge for our team in my first year as the superintendent was finding the ‘right prioritization and pace’ for our work,” he said. “We strive to meet each student where she/he is and help them get the most out of each minute of each school day. We realize in some cases, we don’t have the systems or programs in place yet to accomplish that lofty goal for each one of our students. We invested a great deal of time this year listening to our students, parents, staff, and community members to develop the strategic plan that will guide the work of the District for the next three years. Over 2,000 people who call Cedar Springs Public Schools home contributed to the development of our plan. At times, we found ourselves ‘going slow’ this year to help us ‘go fast’ in the future. Our strategic plan, once approved by of Board of Education, will provide our team with a prioritized set focal points in the areas of Academic and Student Services, Engagement, and Operations. This plan will clarify our priorities and the pace of our work for the next three years.”

Has anything surprised Smith about Cedar Springs? “I knew the staff, parents, and community of Cedar Springs Public Schools loved their students. [But] it quickly became apparent the staff, parents, and community of Cedar Springs LOVEour students,” he remarked. “True love means putting the needs of others before self. Webster’s dictionary defines love as ‘unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for the good of another.’ The committed partnership between Cedar Springs Public Schools, our parents, and our community will result in transformational growth for our students. I am both grateful and excited to be a part of this work.”

One thing Smith has really enjoyed this year is reading to students. “The favorite part of my year was easily sharing a good book with our students. I quickly realized that my library of children’s books was limited. I received a healthy assortment of new storybooks for Christmas and my birthday from my family. I am ready for next fall!” he said. 

The Post asked Smith if there was anything he’d like to say to the community. “Thank you! Thank you for entrusting Cedar Springs Public Schools with the responsibility of educating the children of our community. Thank you for partnering with us as we engage in this complex work. Thank you for sharing your ideas and concerns with us when you experience something that isn’t working. Our feet hit the floor each morning, knowing that we have to be better than we were the day before. We aspire to get better at what we do each day for each student. Together, the investment we make in our students will result in a brighter future for the entire community of Cedar Springs,” he said.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Superintendent receives “highly effective” rating

New sign identifies Heart of Cedar Springs

From L to R: David Ringler (DDA), Carolee Cole (CBDT), Donna Clark (CS Public Library), Jerry Gross Sr. (City Council), Mike Womack (City Manager), Perry Hopkins (Chamber of Commerce and CBDT), Rose Powell (City Council), Renee Race (City Council). Courtesy Photo

The City of Cedar Springs unveiled the new sign last Friday that officially identifies the park surrounding the Library and amphitheater as the “Heart of Cedar Springs.”

The sign was unveiled at 5:30 p.m., just prior to a concert there in the park.

On hand for the unveiling were several people representing the Downtown Development Authority, Cedar Springs City Council, Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

City Manager Mike Womack gave a short speech thanking the DDA and CBDT members for the work that they are all doing to improve the downtown and the Heart of Cedar Springs area.

“The sign dedication is simply an acknowledgement of all the hard work that has been put in by businesses, charitable organizations, the Library and citizens to create an area worthy of being known as the Heart of Cedar Springs,” said Womack. “When I came to Cedar Springs in 2016, there was no library, there was no amphitheater, there was no meadow, there were no sculptures and there were no benches in the park. Where do you think the City will be in three more years?” he asked the crowd.  

The small crowd that was there responded optimistically with lots of talk about all the projects going on in the City, all the business development and people looking forward to the new fire station to be built.

The sign was purchased by the DDA and the installation cost was $321.50. It was approved by the City Council in March. 

This area has been named the “Heart of Cedar Springs” because it is believed that this is the area where the first establishment in Cedar Springs was built, near a flowing spring, when woods covered the area and the only road was a path through the woods between here and Laphamville (Rockford).

According to the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge , Ora Lewis related that when his grandfather, Dennis Lewis, lived in Grand Rapids, he heard of a place far north called Cedar Springs. Near the road by the creek was a tavern, and close by were some Cedar trees and a large spring, giving the town its name. It was probably owned by John and Lydia Smith, who settled here in 1851. He ran a sawmill and their home was a log cabin in the forest, and also served as a pioneer hotel.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on New sign identifies Heart of Cedar Springs

Community Amphitheatre takes shape

CBDT praises City Council

Much of the work and materials on the new amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs has been donated or done at a discounted rate. Courtesy photo.

City Councilors heard words of appreciation from the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) through representatives Kurt Mabie and Sue Wolfe at their June 13 meeting. The council was recognized for their ability to create and maintain a collaborative environment where businesses, organizations, and individuals could openly share ideas, goals and strategies that would enhance the community. The council was asked to pause, reflect, and celebrate all that has been accomplished.  

The Baker family enjoys one of the new park benches. Courtesy photo.

 Those include:

• One new and one expanded city park with one to be named Heart of Cedar Springs and the other one along Pine Street to be named soon. 

• A library with a community meeting room surrounded by a beautiful patio which overlooks the park and creek. 

• The North Country Trail completed and running through Cedar Springs with Trail Town Status coming soon to the City of Cedar Springs. 

• Two art sculptures placed along Cedar Creek. 

• New pavilion in Morley Park. 

• And NOW … a new amphitheater!

And it’s all paid in full. 

Items that are in process and coming soon include:

• Fire Station

• Veterans Tribute Park

• Benches, natural playground, flowing well and more in our city parks

Still on the dream docket are …

• Board walk along Cedar Creek

• Community Building

The CBDT representatives explained an amphitheater was built after statistics showing the best liked communities had amphitheaters that…

• Provide the community with a place to gather, celebrate, and enjoy a wide spectrum of cultural activities that enrich the lives of people. 

• Promote economic growth by bringing folks into downtown during both traditional and non-traditional times of the day.

• Promote physical, social, emotional and intellectual benefits through an outdoor experience.

 “The CBDT created a sub-committee called the Design Committee, comprised of architects, builders, designers, engineers, plumbers, teachers, dreamers and doers,” explained Wolfe. “Together they were able to get this amphitheater designed, engineered, located, and built for about $150,000—well below the original estimated cost of $ 780,000.” 

The City’s website flashes “Cherishing our Heritage. Embracing our Future,” said Wolfe. “This theme is exactly what the Design Team tried to follow with the amphitheater. The design is a close replica of the original train station that stood in this area many years ago. One of the two train lines was called the Fishing Line because it transported avid outdoorsman up north to Mackinaw. The fishing line logo will hang on the building along with one of the original signs that was on the train depot. Honoring our Heritage.” 

Amphitheater location factors addressed were visibility, accessibility, sun sets, elevations, and conservation, while still highlighting Cedar Creek, White Pine Trail, North Country trail, our cedar and other trees, and natural vegetation. 

Design features include excellence in acoustics, adequate electric hookups and lighting, storage and staging rooms, with attention to adding safety features such as video cameras and surveillance lighting. Materials were carefully selected to provide longevity and address low maintenance and possible damage repairs. 

“All that being addressed…per capita I believe Cedar Springs has one of the very finest amphitheaters in the country,” Wolfe said. 

Embracing the Future 

This past week has brought about significant progress on the amphitheater through the skilled and dedicated team of Cedar Springs based companies and Cedar Springs High School graduates dedicated to serving our community. The framing and metal roof are complete while the stone, siding, and interior are close to completion. 

Duane McIntyre, a 1976 CSHS graduate, licensed and experienced builder, has volunteered his time and skills as site manager and often a laborer as well. Glen (Butch) Hackbardt, 1985 CSHS grad and local builder, has served as the general contractor. Jason Emmorey, of Emmorey Masonry, along with Austin Emmorey and Corey Terrell both 2019 CSHS grads are honored to have laid the brick on both the library and now the amphitheater. Choice One Construction, out of Cedar Springs and co-owned by Steve and Chris West (2012 grad) are assisted by Devin and Mason Boomgaard. Kurt and Sue Mabie donated some additional trees along Maple Street. 

The cement pads and most of the benches are now installed and being used. “There is still an opportunity to have your own named bench in the Heart of Cedar Springs city park,” Wolfe explained. “A donation of $1,000 will give you naming privileges on a 4-foot bench and $1,500 will give you a 6-foot bench.” 

Much of the work and materials are being donated or done at a discounted price.   

The CBDT offered assistance and support in exploring the opportunities of operation at the amphitheater. “Some communities have created an Amphitheater Committee or Commission which could include representation from area schools, community players, DDA, Chamber of Commerce, local talent, musical merchants, cultural instructors, and others. An amphitheater mission will need to be created along with goals and objectives, rules and a fee structure. The committee could assist for events such as musical, theater, dance, poetry, and art presentations. Church gatherings. Family movies and pet shows. Maybe group work-out, martial arts, or yoga classes. So many possibilities. We hope our own local talent will share their gifts at the amphitheater,” Wolfe shared. 

Gordon Neville, a retired Army veteran with a combination of active duty and Army National Guard with 21 years of service of which most of his life has been centered around music, addressed the council to express his interest in assisting. Neville taught music and band for nearly 40 years, performing with military bands and rock bands in civilian life. While retired from public school teaching, he now has a part time position with Algoma Christian School as their band director. He is the director of Grand Little Big Band, which is a multi-generational Swing, Blues, and Jazz band.     

Once an occupancy permit has been secured, the council hopes to have a preliminary plan of operation in place. If you are interested in becoming involved please contact Sue Wolfe at 696.8432 or any other CBDT or City Council member.

Posted in FeaturedComments Off on Community Amphitheatre takes shape

Post travels to Idaho

The Post traveled to Idaho with David Ringler at the end of May. Ringler and a friend personally drove samples of his beer from Cedar Springs Brewing Company to Idaho Falls for the International Beer Awards after his samples were lost in transit. The event was held by the North American Brewers Association, and a member of the board personally flew here to deliver the medals awarded to two of the beers. Küsterer Bier was named among the best weissbiers/hefeweizens in the land, taking Gold with the Küsterer Dunkelweizen and Silver with the Küsterer Original.

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

Posted in Featured, News, The Post TravelsComments Off on Post travels to Idaho

Community celebrates LifeWalk 2019

From Alpha Family Center

Above: Alpha Family Center’s LIfeWalk banner for 2019. Courtesy photo.

June 15 was a perfect day to celebrate life with Alpha Family Center’s 24th annual fundraising event—LifeWalk! This year’s theme was “Precious in His Sight!” which relays the message that no matter how big or how small, all human life is precious in His sight. 

The day began with three cyclists completing the 10-mile LifeRide course, and then 10 runners took part in Alpha’s 6th annual 5K LifeRun. LifeWalk began with a welcome, and an opening prayer from this year’s emcee Sharline Winell. Sharline has a passion for the sanctity of human life and has been involved for over 30 years in various roles with Alpha. A crowd of over 100 walkers followed behind the LifeWalk banner for the 2 mile walk down through the heart of Cedar Springs, stopping at key points to pray for our community leaders, churches, schools, and Alpha Family Center. This year the walk once again included a prayer stop at Metron Senior Citizen Center to help emphasize life is precious at all stages. The walkers returned to the park for a time of refreshments, as well as a report that included the total amount raised this year, which was over $17,000!   

Walkers supporting Alpha Family Center walked two miles through downtown Cedar Springs on Saturday, June 15 during LifeWalk. 
Photo by S. Reed.

LifeWalk covers a major portion of Alpha’s operating expenses, which allowed them to provide assistance over 657 times to families, with over 13,000 baby and maternity items in 2018. Alpha also offers free pregnancy self-testing, parenting classes, support for abuse, miscarriage, post-abortion, and Adult Education classes for both GED and high school diploma. Alpha also hopes to complete a child care area for our clients and acquire a gently used Stow N Go mini-van for the ministry.

Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director, and Chuck Smith, Alpha’s board president, awarded prizes to the five names selected from a random drawing of those who collected over $500 for LifeWalk.  Congratulations to Ruth Ann Evans who was awarded the Grand Prize of the $500 Great Wolf Lodge gift card. Alpha wishes to offer a special “Thank you” to the local communities for their ongoing support of Alpha throughout the years. LifeWalk ended with a closing prayer and the sky filled with colorful balloons that were released in memory of the over 56,000,000 babies that have been aborted since abortion became legal in 1973.  

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on Community celebrates LifeWalk 2019

Record-breaking 48.9 million Americans to travel this Independence day

Almost 1.7 million Michiganders expected to travel this year

More Americans than ever recorded by AAA—nearly 49 million—are making plans to take an Independence Day getaway this year. (AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.) For Michigan, almost 1.7 million are expected to take a vacation over the holiday, which is up 4.4percent compared to last year. Additionally, nearly 1.5 million Michiganders are planning road trips to celebrate America’s birthday. For the record-high 41.4 million Americans who will travel by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute, with Wednesday, July 3 the worst day on the roads.

In addition to lower gas prices compared with last summer, broader economic fundamentals remain strong. Low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes are all encouraging more consumers to invest their hard-earned money in travel this summer.

“As Independence Day approaches, it’s time for the much loved family road trip and this year will be one for the record books, with more Americans than ever planning vacations,” said Paula Twidale, Vice President, AAA Travel. “This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session across the country, families coast to coast are eager to travel.”

Independence Day holiday travel, by mode

Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers in Michigan–1.5 million–will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 4.7 percent more than last year.

Planes: Almost 72,000 Michiganders will take to the skies, about 5 percent more than last year.

Record-level drivers equals record-level delays

For the 41.4 million Americans traveling by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Wednesday, July 3 as commuters mix with holiday travelers. In major metros, drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute. Nationwide, delays are expected to increase by approximately 9 percent.

“With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around our major metros,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, hands down, Wednesday afternoon will be the worst time to be on the road.”

Region Worst Day for
Worst Time for
Atlanta Friday, July 5 5:00 – 7:00 PM 2.5x
Chicago Friday, July 5 1:00 – 3:00 PM 2x
Detroit Wednesday, July 3 2:00 – 4:00 PM 2x
Houston Thursday, July 4 1:00 – 3:00 PM 3x
Los Angeles Wednesday, July 3 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM 2.7x
New York Wednesday, July 3 1:45 – 3:45 PM 3.8x
Washington, D.C. Sunday, July 7 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM 2.4x

Lower gas prices motivating millions of road trippers
With today’s Michigan average of $2.69, gas prices are 20 cents less year-over-year and expected to drop even lower into the summer. This is motivating record numbers of travelers to take road trips for the holiday weekend.

“Gas prices are, on average, 19-cents cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, which is welcome news for motorists hitting the road to celebrate the July Fourth holiday,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in coming weeks.”

Travelers paying more for July 4 car rentals and airfares
Some of the savings travelers are enjoying from lower gas prices will go toward other travel costs this holiday, which are trending higher. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares on average are 10% more expensive compared with last Independence Day, while average car rental rates are 5% higher than last year, at $69 daily. Meanwhile, midrange accommodations are expected to cost travelers between $153 for AAA Two Diamond and $189 for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels.

Top Independence Day travel destinations
Fun-in-the-sun locales like Orlando and Honolulu lead the top 10 the list of popular destinations for American travelers this Independence Day, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:

Orlando, Florida

Honolulu, Hawaii

Seattle, Washington

Las Vegas, Nevada

Anaheim, California

New York, New York

Boston, Massachusetts

Maui, Hawaii

Anchorage, Alaska

Chicago, Illinois

For those travelers planning an international vacation, Europe is the destination of choice. Rome, London, Dublin and Paris are the most popular spots for international vacations this Independence Day, with Vancouver, Canada — a top departure port for Alaskan cruises — rounding out the top five.

According to Hertz, a 40-year AAA partner, the busiest airport pick-up locations for travelers renting a car this Independence Day are expected to be Orlando (MCO), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS) and San Francisco (SFO). The busiest day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Wednesday, July 3.

AAA to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists
AAA expects to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day holiday. Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. Additionally, before hitting the road, motorists need to be prepared for emergencies by taking along a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.

AAA reminds travelers that it’s not too late to plan an Independence Day trip. Visit AAA.com/Travel to get started.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Record-breaking 48.9 million Americans to travel this Independence day

Kentwood man sentenced for interstate threat to injure U.S. senator

U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced last week that Rick Lynn Simmons, 52, of Kentwood, Michigan was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff for making an interstate telephone call to the Camden, New Jersey office of U.S. Senator Cory Booker and leaving a voicemail message with a threat to injure Senator Booker. Simmons will serve 15 months of confinement, 2 years of supervised release, and pay a $2,000 fine. 

Judge Neff commented that this threat does not necessarily reflect an isolated incident based on Simmons’ Internet searches of contact information of other public officials following this incident. 

Simmons admitted at the plea hearing that he placed a call in the evening of October 26, 2018 from his Kent County, Michigan home to Senator Booker’s office and left a voicemail message from that call. Simmons further admitted at the plea hearing to leaving a vulgarity-filled message in that call during which he threatened to put a nine millimeter gun into the face of Senator Booker and put “guns a blazin.” 

“This conviction and sentence should serve as a warning to others who, like Simmons, stoop to such threats of violence,” U.S. Attorney Birge said. 

“The FBI has zero tolerance for anyone who threatens to do harm to others,” said FBI Detroit Field Office Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Slater. “We hope this sentence sends a strong message that the FBI, working in conjunction with our federal, state, and local partners, will investigate these threats thoroughly so we can keep our citizens safe.” 

The case was jointly investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police, Kentwood Police Department, and the FBI – Grand Rapids Violent Crime Task Force – which includes the Grand Rapids Police Department, the Michigan Department of Corrections, and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay M. West prosecuted the case.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Kentwood man sentenced for interstate threat to injure U.S. senator

Spring seat belt enforcement results released

Nearly 3,000 citations issued during the Click It or Ticket campaign

With Michigan’s Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign now complete, preliminary reports indicate law enforcement officers from 109 local police departments, sheriff offices, and Michigan State Police (MSP) posts in 38 counties conducted 8,145 traffic stops resulting in 2,930 seat belt and child restraint citations between May 20 – June 2.

In addition to issuing seat belt violations, officers during the Click It or Ticket campaign, issued 693 speeding citations, made 13 alcohol-related arrests, and 45 other felony arrests.

In one instance, a deputy from the Calhoun County Sheriff’s office pulled over a vehicle for driving in the wrong lane, almost going head-on with another vehicle. Upon investigation, the driver had multiple warrants and was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol. In another incident, a trooper from the MSP Wayland Post made one traffic stop that led to four misdemeanor arrests, three felony arrests, and four fugitive warrants.

 “Thank you to all the law enforcement officers who are working hard to encourage seat belt use – every trip, every time,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “Motorists need to remember that buckling up is the easiest thing they can do to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries on Michigan roads. Our goal is to save lives, not write tickets.”

Seat belt use in Michigan stands at 93.4 percent, slightly higher than the national seat belt use rate of 89.6 percent in 2018, according to the statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Buckling up can reduce the risk of serious injury or death by 45 percent.    

The Click or Ticket effort is funded through federal highway safety grants and coordinated by the OHSP. Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers, and passengers age 15 and younger, in any seating position, to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” and children under 4 years old must be in the backseat.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Spring seat belt enforcement results released


Edwin L. McIntyre, age 77, of Cedar Springs died Monday, June 24, 2019 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. Edwin was born March 15, 1942 in Cedar Springs, the son of George and Beulah (Hunter) McIntyre. He worked his entire forty-four year career at Meijer. Ed was an avid hunter, enjoying many hunting trips with his brothers and friends. What he loved the most was time spent with friends and family. He also belonged to the Rod & Gun Club. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Rosalind (Johnson) McIntyre and children, Julie (Daniel) Bayer, Mark (Christine) McIntyre; grandchildren, Chelsea (Ty) Criswell, Spencer Bayer, McKenna McIntyre, Kaitlyn McIntyre; 3 great-grandchildren, Hollis Criswell, Lucy Criswell, Conner McIntyre; siblings, Chuck (Shirley) McIntyre, John (Arlene) McIntyre, Joyce (Arch) Gamm, Fred (Betty) McIntyre, George McIntyre, Ruth Ann (Orville) Russell, Floyd (Virginia) McIntyre, Leon (Pamela) McIntyre, Gene (Deborah) McIntyre, Norma Parker, Kenny (Mary Ann) McIntyre, Carl McIntyre, Cindy (Bill) Ludtke; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Brad; parents; siblings, Raymond McIntyre, Rose Pennington, Yvonne Flood. The family will greet friends Thursday, June 27 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be Friday 1:00 p.m. at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. Pastor Bill Johnson, officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions to City Impact, 288 N. Main, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments Off on EDWIN L. McINTYRE


November 14, 1968 – July 1, 2018

Death changes everyting, 

time changes nothing.

I still miss the sound of your voice, the wisdom in your advice, the stories of your presence. So no, time changes nothing. I miss you just as much today as I did the day you died. I just miss you.

You will live on in my heart.


Posted in MemorialComments Off on MARNIE (TEMPLE) SELLA

How long can the federal debt keep rising?

By Lee H. Hamilton, former Congressman

A few months ago, the federal debt we have accumulated over the past decades crossed the $22 trillion mark. That’s a record. And it’s surely not going to be the last.

According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, annual federal deficits over the next decade—the deficit is the annual figure for how much more Congress and the president opt to spend than the government takes in as revenue — are expected to average $1.2 trillion. Overall, the debt held by the public amounts to about 78 percent of our gross domestic product.

That’s double what it was before the 2008 recession, and the CBO estimates that without significant changes, it’ll rise to 118 percent over the next 20 years, higher even than right after World War II.

Does this matter? Back when I was in Congress, I came away confused practically every time I listened to an economist offer an opinion. Some thought it mattered immensely. Others, not at all.

Indeed, I remember when the prospect of running a deficit of a few billion dollars caused fiscal experts to say we were facing fiscal catastrophe. They turned out to be wrong. The system has been able to carry heavier debt than we once thought. The problem is, all we know is that we’re okay so far; we have no idea when we suddenly won’t be.

Here’s a useful way to look at it. Interest on the debt is expected to hit $390 billion this year. We’re paying more in interest on the debt than we spend on our children, and we’re headed toward doing the same with defense. I doubt that fits the priorities of most Americans. And I don’t think it’s sustainable indefinitely. It may even be dangerous.

At a certain level, carrying such huge debt—and spending so much each year to pay off the interest — makes it harder for the government to respond to future challenges and raises the risk of an economic crisis with no gas in the tank left to accelerate out of it.

It may crowd out both public and private investment, because there’s less money for the government to invest in human capital or infrastructure, and private capital flows into government bonds rather than other avenues that might stoke economic growth. Or investors may decide that the U.S. government isn’t credit-worthy after all, and either push up interest rates or find a different currency to back, forcing the dollar’s value to plummet.

The bottom line is that ultimately government spending has to be paid for. Deficits don’t replace that need; they merely defer it.

The problem is that attacking yearly deficits is politically very difficult. They have to be addressed on both the spending and the revenue side—that is, with both spending cuts and tax increases—but there’s not much appetite in Washington for either. Even though politicians know full well that it’s not a question of whether we need to raise taxes or cut spending, just of when.

In the end, I believe strongly that the first rule for any policy-maker ought to be: Do no harm. This requires a shift in our thinking about spending policies: If something is really important to do, it’s worth paying for and not pushing the cost into the future and on to the backs of our children. If no one’s willing to do what it takes to pay for it, maybe it’s not as high a priority as its backers think.

Similarly, we need to get real about taxes. It’s hugely seductive to politicians to believe that tax cuts pay for themselves by boosting economic activity and hence tax revenues. There’s no evidence that this is how things work in the real world, however. Instead, deficits just keep increasing.

So do we need to panic? No. But we must not take the view that the question is irrelevant. Far better to begin now to address the problem gradually than to be forced into sudden and drastic measures by a crisis we all knew was coming, but didn’t have the will to forestall.

Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar at the IU Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice at the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

Posted in Voices and ViewsComments Off on How long can the federal debt keep rising?

Another bald eagle

Photo by Eric Nelson

Last week we ran a photo of a couple of bald eagles that was taken in Solon Township. This week we have another bald eagle photo—this one in Nelson Township, near where others have also seen one. Eric Nelson said he spotted this eagle at Northland Drive and 16 Mile Rd and snapped a quick photo.

Thanks for sending it along, Eric!

Do you have a wildlife photo you’d like to share? Send it to news@cedarspringspost.com, along with some info about it and your contact info. We print as space allows. Receipt of photos does not guarantee they will be printed.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off on Another bald eagle



Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!