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Archive | Voices and Views

POST Scripts NOTICE

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

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Let Us never forget our solemn pledge

Director of Military & Veteran Outreach, retired US Army Captain Joe Reagan.

We must believe in our ability to work together to solve our toughest problems

 By Joseph Reagan, Director of Military and Veterans Outreach for Wreaths Across America

On Memorial Day, 1945, the war in Europe had ended but the fighting in the Pacific continued, Lt. Gen. Lucian Truscott voiced remarks at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy. Turning his back on the assembled VIP’s, he faced the rows upon rows of headstones and apologized to the 20,000 fallen Americans who had been laid to rest far from home. He was quoted as saying, “All over the world our soldiers sleep beneath the crosses. It is a challenge to us—all allied nations—to ensure that they do not and have not died in vain.”

Fast forward to Memorial Day 2022, and the familiar voices of brothers in arms begin to call one another on the phone. People usually think of reconnecting with former military buddies as a joyous happening. However, for this Memorial Day, the topic of conversation was not an armistice, a promotion, or even a daughter’s wedding or new addition to a home; it was about the latest in a string of suicides that silence the voice of our brothers but brought renewed connections from other familiar voices. One desperately said, “Sir, I needed to call someone who could understand this.”

Everyone in the greatest generation understood war. At home they experienced rationing, schoolchildren collected scrap, and women took up factory jobs while overseas the troops endured combat and were witness to some of the largest and most brutal atrocities in the modern age. When the war was over, they followed the lead of Lt. Gen Truscott and committed their lives to ensure that they “have not died in vain.” The shared sacrifice of a generation united them and helped them solve tough problems.

In subsequent wars, such as the Korean and Vietnam era, Veterans did not experience the same level of understanding and thus either turned their voice inward or used their voice to fight for one another on subjects that varied from Agent Orange, PTSD, and other once-silent conditions.

The War on Terror introduced a unique time in our nation’s collective history as acts of war played out in real-time on our media devices. Although only one percent of Americans served post 9/11, it seems 100 percent of the country used their voice to express their opinions of this shared history as it unfolded.

For Korea and Vietnam Veterans, war was not a shared experience and therefore various voices having various opinions helped further the national conversation regarding the treatment of veterans leading to safer and more thoughtful approaches. Unlike the veterans of Korea and Vietnam, the veterans of the last several decades did not return home to the voices of dissent that could be addressed directly, instead, they returned to a polite nation that creates media of dissent and very little opportunity for honest, open dialog.

This new era of media, learning, and personal discussions bring rise to the question, “Do people really remember why we hold our veterans in a place of honor?” For years, voices saying meaningless phrases like “the enemy gets a vote” or “there’s nothing you could have done” were meant to comfort those of us who have held the heavy responsibility of leading troops in combat. However, many people seem to lack the understanding that our hearts have been forever scarred by the invisible wounds of war, scarred by guilt and grief, and by the longing for forgiveness that will never come. Even if forgiveness was offered, it would be hard to accept as no mere words can undo a life experience and because of this, we often feel isolated, misunderstood, and undervalued therefore our voices remain silent.

As conversations with the voice on the other end of the phone come to its inevitable conclusion, I am reminded that to remain silent is a betrayal of my obligation to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. As Horace Bushnell once said, the best thing for us to do is to remember “what they have put it on us to do for the dear common country to which they sold their life.” As we gather as one nation this Memorial Day, my hope is that instead of directing shallow words of gratitude at each other, we do as Lt. Gen. Truscott did and direct our gratitude directly towards those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In both our words and actions, let us all commit ourselves to serve the country to which they gave their lives.

While there is still much work to be done, the generation of Veterans from this century have access to vast resources, life-saving technology, and increased information. This same generation of Veterans is just now starting to define our post-service legacy and like our grandparents, return home with a deep commitment to service, and a desire to address the many problems that we face.

One such issue needing to be addressed is helping Veterans find purpose in their post-service lives. Truscott’s apology to the dead are not empty words, but a strong voice reminding us that we have an obligation to choose resilience and purpose when faced with guilt or grief. As an example, Gold Star Families, who have experienced tremendous loss, continue to serve their communities to maintain the legacy of the loved one they lost. I often recall a colleague of mine responding to the question “why do you do so much to help Veterans?” he simply held up his finger, choking back tears he responded, “for the one I couldn’t save.” By choosing to use his voice to advocate for other veterans, he not only helped them find their purpose, but he also found his own.

It’s often said that for those who have served, every day is Memorial Day—a traditionally silent observance in the Veteran’s mind that can best be described as an impossible trinity made up of an overwhelming sense of guilt, grief, and grit. Usually, a moment of silence on this day is a welcomed and solemn way to honor the voices from our past, but for myself, after losing three former soldiers to suicide in the past few months, silence is no longer an option and the freedom to use our voice is the greatest gift that our veterans have to offer this Memorial Day.

Joseph Reagan is the Director of Military and Veterans Outreach for Wreaths Across America. He has almost 20 years experience working with leaders within Government, non-profit, and Fortune 500 companies to develop sustainable strategies supporting National Security, and Veterans’ Health. He served 8 years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army including two tours to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division. He is the recipient of multiple awards and decorations including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

 To view resources for service members, veterans, and their families, please visit learn.wreathsacrossamerica.org/veteranresources.

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How the US has remained a world leader for so long

By Lee Hamilton, Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government and former US Representative for 34 years

An interesting thing happened after Russia invaded Ukraine. Though US standing in the world had taken a knock after the much-needed but chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, there was no question where the world’s democracies would turn for leadership in the Ukraine crisis. As much of Europe and Asia has found a new resolve on behalf of democratic values, in the time since the war began the US has been front and center in rallying them to the cause.

This is a role we’ve played—with ups and downs—for many decades. It became fashionable not very long ago to argue that the US’s preeminent role in world affairs has disappeared, but it’s harder to make that case at the moment. There are other world powers, of course, China and Russia notable among them. And it’s also true that after long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public’s taste for big-power projections of force has diminished. Yet as the democracies of the world look forward, the US’s leadership role remains indispensable.

With all of our problems—and we have no shortage of them—there are several reasons we’ve retained that position. The first is that, in the end, we know what we stand for: personal liberty, justice, economic opportunity, a sense of morality in world affairs.

I will never forget a moment some years back, after a meeting at the White House when George H.W. Bush was president. He and I had become friends—across the partisan aisle—when we’d both served in the US House, and as we walked out, he turned to me and asked, “Lee, did I do the right thing?” That impressed me: The President of the United States turning to a friend and asking whether he’d gotten it right. That’s what we usually strive for as a country: to do the right thing.

There are other factors, of course, that underlie our ability to maintain our position in the world. One, clearly, is our military strength, its technological innovation, and the professionalism of our armed forces. Another is a solid economy which, despite its inequalities and occasional struggles, has over the long term brought general prosperity to Americans and made us a destination for ambitious people around the world.

We’ve also benefited from a remarkable degree of political stability. We have our hard-fought differences, and there’s no question that we face a time of testing ahead as some politicians seek to upset the institutions and rules by which we’ve lived for so long, but even so, the country’s not coming apart at the seams. In a dangerous world, that’s a vital asset not to be squandered.

So is the attitude we bring to the task of world leadership—a sense of civility that leads many nations (though not all) to trust us to act decently, work closely with allies and other like-minded countries, and cooperate with international organizations. We take risks now and then and face flak for it, but in general, there’s an expectation that we’ll behave decently.

In part, this is because we bring good people to the task of leadership. We maintain a reputation for fielding a strong civil service, treating elections seriously, and for the most part electing solid politicians. We constantly refresh the country’s talent through immigration, and our institutions of education—kindergarten through graduate school—produce a steady stream of motivated, talented people who want to do the right thing. There is no question that over the years, American education made American preeminence possible.

None of this is to say that our future on the global stage is assured. Our tendency in recent years to elect politicians who embrace the extremes has been troublesome. Our battles over the curriculum in schools threaten to undermine the basic work of education. Our immigration battles have made this a less welcoming country to talent from other countries. And, of course, we face ambitious rivals for power overseas, China especially.

Still, we have a legacy of strong institutions and national strengths that have seen us through trying times before. If we don’t undermine them from within, they can do so in trying times ahead, as well.

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.

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Inspired by Ranger Steve

I wish to express my thanks to Ranger Steve Mueller and the Post for all the interesting and informative Nature Niche articles he has written over many years. Having been employed at the Howard Christensen Nature Center, I can say that he has always been an inspiration to me. At 83, I can still find excitement in the great outdoors and am still learning as a result of his fine leadership.

My prayers continue for him and his family through this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Joyce Hosmer

Howard City

From the editor

How about sending Ranger Steve a card or letter?

In March, we let readers know that Ranger Steve Mueller, our nature expert and local columnist, was struggling with his failing health. This week’s column, on page ??, is the first one he’s been able to write in a few weeks.

If you enjoy his columns, how about showing him that appreciation by sending him and his family a card or letter? They are a local family, who has given a lot to this community—Steve through his years at Howard Christensen Nature Center, bird and butterfly counts, leading classes, writing columns, teaching us about nature, and much more; his wife Karen was a teacher at Cedar Springs Public Schools for many years. A note of encouragement is always a good thing. Send your card or letter to: Ranger Steve Mueller, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

Some of you have already done this, and Steve said he has enjoyed reading them. Thank you!


POST SCRIPTS NOTICE: 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 Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Main Street with Roger

roger on main street

Published May 24, 2012

Computer vs. columnist: Columnist wins

“We’re proud of our underwear”

Last week’s column was a first draft. Sorry about that. My new Macintosh laptop sent it off to the paper without asking me. I’ve disciplined the Mac. We hope it now knows who’s boss.

Following is the intended column, a week late. Not a lot is different. However, if you compare last week’s with this, you’ll see I refined thoughts, ditch one long joke but kept others, and stole a few short ones from other people.

Focus, folks!

It appears that our upcoming election results may hinge on the candidates’ views on marriage.

Our nation faces a variety of other issues that seem more critical. How about Syria, North Korea, immigration, climate change, economic distress, and what to do about the banking industry that seems to have gone off the tracks? (JP Morgan Chase’s recent $2 billion gambling loss [revealed this week, $3 billion!] will trickle down, so let’s find out how our politicians stand on better regulation.)

Personal opinions aside, the marriage issue affects only a few. The major problems may affect every one of us.

And speaking of that

Every few days Mitt Romney and Barack Obama accuse and criticize what the other has said or meant. They’re beginning to sound like they’re married to each other.

Political joke

A busload of politicians was traveling down a country road when suddenly the bus ran off the road and crashed into an old farmer’s barn. The old farmer got off his tractor and went to investigate, after which he dug a hole and buried the passengers.

A few days later, the local sheriff came out, noticed the crashed bus, and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone.

The old farmer said he’d buried them.

“Lordy,” said the sheriff.”They ALL got killed?”

Well, said the old farmer, “some of them said they didn’t, but you know how them crooked politicians lie.”

Another political joke

Two alligators were sitting at the side of the swamp near Washington. The smaller one turned to the bigger one and said, “I can’t understand how you kin be so much bigger ‘n me. We’re the same age, we was the same size as kids. I just don’t get it.”

“Well, said the big gator, what you been eatin’?”

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Save North Kent Community Enrichment

We moved to Cedar Springs in 2017 and instantly fell in love with the community, school system and the many programs that offer so many great opportunities to try new things, get involved in sports and most importantly, make ever lasting memories.

One of the programs that has been consistent in providing my family with such opportunities is NKCE. Although we are grateful for the programs our school offers, they are limited, especially at the youth level. Without the NKCE, many would miss the opportunity to be involved in many sports, social events, camps, events and other ways to keep them active and busy in a healthy and positive manner. Is there a possibility of attending other programs offered in different areas? I’m sure there are. However, you leave out so many kids with this thinking and usually the ones who NEED these programs the most. NKCE provides these programs at an affordable cost. Other programs are very costly and unaffordable, especially with the current inflation on many of our other needs. There is also the issue of transportation. Working parents, vehicle-less parents and low-income parents already struggle to transport their kids to programs. Why make that harder? Further travel, more scheduling issues and less opportunity to rely on other community members.

The NKCE creates experiences for kids (and adults) to bond with their peers, making connections that will last a lifetime, uniting students (making it easier to find familiarity with each stepping stone and change at school), and making it easier for parents to find and grow their own tribe. The NKCE gives kids the opportunity to try new sports and gain new skills, with less pressure- eventually carrying those skills into the Cedar Springs Schools programs. The NKCE gives opportunities that many low-income, less fortunate families may never experience without it. The NKCE is a selling point for Cedar Springs and surrounding areas. The NKCE creates bonding experiences and opportunities between parents and kids, that they may never receive with the hustle and bustle of daily life. The NKCE bonds our community. The NKCE promotes volunteering amongst both adults and kids. The NKCE is a legacy of Cedar Springs. The NKCE is something I hope will encourage my kids to remain in Cedar Springs and enjoy the many benefits with their kids.

I understand the financial concerns with the North Kent Community Enrichment program. I,  however, am also aware that a new director was hired. A new director with a fresh set of ideas. When Jaime Gunderson stepped into the role, the program began to flourish. Then, at no fault to anyone, the pandemic halted that. We are just now getting back to normal. People are excited to get out, again. Many are taking every opportunity they can to see other faces, to embrace human contact, to just do. Businesses are growing substantially. At the least, I think we need to give the program an extension of time to rebound from the downward spiral of the economy, caused by the pandemic. Programs are seeing increases in numbers, businesses are willing to make donations, community members are willing to volunteer their time and efforts. Let’s give Ms. Gunderson a chance to reinvent the wheel, expand the current programs, and add new ones. A chance to implement new fundraising ideas.  I strongly believe she is up for the challenge. I also am not opposed to a small increase of fees.

We cannot leave these opportunities, programs and benefits up to chance. Maybe other entities will pick up the programs that will be lost and fill that void- but, maybe they won’t. The last few years have been an on-going nightmare to return to normal. The kids have had so much taken from them and have been forced to grow up, faster than needed. Please don’t take this program and all it has to offer from them, too.

Samantha VanDyke, City of Cedar Springs

This PostScript is a paid item due to the length.

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Please support our hometown newspaper

After reading the front-page story in last week’s edition regarding the possible closure of The Post, I was flooded with memories of articles that have appeared over the years. The Post is our eyes and ears that connect us to our community They are a snapshot in time and space representing where our community was then and where we are now. 

I must have hundreds of articles from The Post in my children’s memory books ranging from kindergarten trips to high school graduations. There were postings of significant community events and celebrations. Weddings, births, retirements, and obituaries (becoming more important to me as I age) and other announcements which are an important part of our community. Stories that may have been forgotten had they not appeared in The Post. 

A vital community needs a local newspaper to praise good deeds and expose wrong-doings People are provided with things to do, where to go, and what’s going on. We can hold this information in their hands and readily know where The Post office is located if additional copies are needed. 

Belinda Sanderson serves the team as the graphic artist. She ultimately fits it all together to look beautiful. She creates all the advertisements. 

Mary Randall has been the smiling face that greets us as we walk through their office door answering questions, organizing information, and collecting the payments. A long-time hard-working partner of The Post.

Our significant and dedicated reporter and editor for The Post is Judy Reed. She has done an outstanding job at accurately publishing news stories within the community. She has gained the unique skills for gathering the facts and then presenting them in a way that matters to our community. All those late-night meetings (prior to online accessibility) that she has attended over the years. She would sometimes spend most of the night finalizing the lay-out before the paper goes to print. All this being done so our community members might be better informed for the next issue of The Post. 

The true and faithful heart and soul of our hometown newspaper is Lois Allen. She is why we still have The Post. For most of her life, she has used her creative mind and frugal strategies to find ways to … keep on publishing. Her continued motivation is found in her desire to serve our community! 

Thank you, team Post!

A small town is not a community without a hometown newspaper. People can lose interest in being a part of a community without access to information about unfolding events and the people within our community. 

As the song goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Let’s prevent this tune from ringing true. Please support our hometown newspaper!

Sue Wolfe, Nelson Township

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Village president is not acquitted of charges

Kent County v Mollie McClellan

Village President Mollie McClellan was charged with a felony by Kent County prosecutor’s office for violating Michigan Election Law. McClellan was charged with a felony for signing the petition to recall Rachel Gokey—once under her legal name (McClellan) and once under her husband’s last name (Doerr).

The case was not dismissed against McClellan for lack of evidence or because it was unwinnable. Technically McClellan didn’t enter a guilty plea. However, she had to admit to guilt to take part in a pre-trial diversion program. If McClellan complies with the conditions of the program, the offense will eventually be removed from her criminal record.

By Michigan law, the petition form itself states “A person who knowingly signs a petition more than once, or signs a name other than his or her own name is violating the provisions of the Michigan election law.”

The law also states “(10) an individual shall not sign a petition with multiple names. An individual who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony” (emphasis added).

The law is clear. McClellan signed the petition under multiple names and is guilty of a felony, even if it will not ultimately remain on her criminal record.

If you look at sample forms online, the warning against signing twice is displayed very prominently.

One can only assume McClellan intentionally signed the petition twice for the purpose of adding to the signature count necessary to recall Gokey. Apparently, the Kent County prosecutor agreed, and McClellan, herself, admitted her guilt so she could take part in the pretrial diversion program.

There is a provision in Michigan law that says a person convicted of a felony cannot hold public

office if “…the conviction was related to the person’s official capacity while the person was

holding an elective office…”

Someone who is willing to commit election fraud should not be serving as a public official. The residents of the Village need to call for her resignation!

Tracy Quinlan, Village of Sand Lake

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Vote for Jack Christensen for Sand Lake Village Council

Jack was part of the positive team that made “Prom on Main Street” happen. 

Jack will sign the Social Media Policy. 

Jack will continue getting previous decisions into compliance with ordinances. Jack wants to be part of the council to continue updates that benefit Sand Lake, like the new tables and updating park equipment. 

Jack sees the positive changes the new council has made. 

Jack Christensen will keep the positivity flowing in Sand Lake.

Vote Jack Christensen for Sand Lake Village Council Trustee.

Keep the Unity in CommUnity. 

See you Tuesday,November 2nd.

Cherrie Camilleri, Sand Lake

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Don’t sign the recall petitions, elect Jack Christensen

To the Village of Sand Lake taxpayers and residents,

We have not had a more honest, transparent, united hard working Village President and Council in years. You all have seen for your self’s the improvements and unity this council has done for our Village and the new DPW is awesome and has done more than you all have seen in over the past year. If someone comes to your door and is asking you to sign a petition for a recall for either Mollie, Stacy, or Marcia, DO NOT sign it. These people that are coming to your door will tell you lies about the people they are recalling and they are very convincing so beware. Just tell them to leave and do not believe anything they are saying.

And please, for unity, trust and transparency, elect Jack S Christensen for Village of Sand Lake Trustee on November 2, 2021.

Marty Helton, Village of Sand Lake life-long resident 

Former S.L. Village councilman, former S.L. Village Department of Public Works Supervisor, Former S.L. Chamber of Commerce Trustee, Former S.L. C of C President.

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Vote NO on Nelson library millage

POST SCRIPTS NOTICE: 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 Post Scripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. * We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to an election. 


Nelson Township voters need to be aware that the August 3 election is about more than just selecting a state Senate candidate. There is a proposal to increase the township library millage. This was voted down a year ago, and yet township officials refuse to accept that the people have already spoken on this issue. So, they are trying to sneak it past voters in an off year primary election where the turnout will be very low. This is totally unethical and should be illegal. Furthermore, they have misused taxpayer money and resources by including propaganda about this in the newsletter sent out with property tax bills. The propaganda states that the library needs a new roof and boiler. This is highly suspect for a library building barely 15 years old. The real question is why there is a township library tax at all. The township library millage was passed in 1987, and unfortunately has no expiration. In 1995 a countywide library system, KDL, was created with a new tax to support it. Nelson Township officials should have stoped collecting the township library tax at that time. The fact that this township library tax is still collected means we have been doubled dipped for library services for the last 25 years. Shame on Nelson Township’s self-serving and less than honest elected officials (past and present).  However, this is not a raw enough deal for taxpayers to satisfy the current township officials. They want to increase the township library tax to scam taxpayers even more. This proposal needs to be soundly defeated. Please vote NO! It also needs to be noted that the KDL library millage has increased by 85% (from 0.68 in 1995 to the current 1.26 mills), so KDL certainly could and should be paying the maintenance and utilities on the library building. In the interest of full disclosure, I do not live in Nelson Township, but I own (and pay taxes on) 80 acres in Nelson Township.

Daniel Davis

Courtland Township

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Who likes appointments at SOS?

The recent decision to offer only “appointments only” at the Michigan Secretary of State offices is nothing more than government takeover.

I believe that the Michigan Secretary of State offices are to serve the people of Michigan, not to make it more difficult to obtain required documentation.

Thank goodness I don’t have to make an appointment to shop at the grocery store!

Betty K. Towns, 

Cedar Springs

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Intandem Credit Union
Ray Winnie

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