July is here, and that means celebrating Independence Day. The Fourth of July is the anniversary of the publication of America’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. While you enjoy time with your family and friends, please make sure to stay safe. If you plan to use fireworks, make sure to follow Michigan’s new firework regulations. Find frequently asked questions and answers about firework safety here. Brush up on safety tips and tricks for celebrating the Fourth available here from the National Safety Council.
While you’re at it, say a big thanks to the nurses, doctors, police and all our other community members who work on holidays to make sure we can celebrate safely.
If you want to stay involved and up to date on what’s happening in Lansing and the district, there are a few different options available to you. You can visit the House website to view our weekly session meetings or any committee meetings you might be interested in. You can also stay updated by visiting my website at Cherry.housedems.com or following me on Facebook @StateRepCherry.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, I hope you will reach out to me. You can email me at any time at JohnCherry@house.mi.gov or call my office at (517) 373-7515.
Education, Water, Roads and More
I came to Lansing to do one job: work on your behalf. You deserve a budget that reflects your needs and values and I’m ready to work until that happens by introducing bills, amendments and more. To view two of the amendments I’ve introduced, one to protect our water and the other to support local roads workers, follow this link. Captions are available.
During these summer weeks I’m hard at work on policy, budget items and more. If I’m not in my Capitol office, I’m at home in our community meeting with you and discussing our local needs. If you have ideas, questions, or problems you need to share, please reach out. My staff and I are always ready to listen.
Good Stewardship: Protecting our Species
In recent years, the Michigan DNR was forced to end grouse drumming surveys due to unsportsmanlike use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws to determine the location where ruffed grouse were in order to target those populations to hunt. That’s why I partnered with Reps. Leslie Love and Scott VanSingel to introduce House Bills 4735-37.
These bills would allow the DNR two options when location-specific data of game species is requested through FOIA: either to grant the request or require the signing of a waiver by the requestor indicating that they will not utilize the data to pursue game, prior to granting the request. Participating in the traditions of hunting, birdwatching, fishing and other activities show our love and respect for Michigan’s great outdoor spaces. Along with this enjoyment comes a duty of stewardship. Using FOIA in a way that targets the populations we are here to preserve and protect is wrong and should be treated that way.
House Bill 4735 would establish the procedure for the signing of the waiver by the individual making the request. House Bill 4736 would amend the natural resources and environmental protection act to provide for sentencing guidelines of those who have signed and violated the waiver. House Bill 4737 would amend the code of criminal procedure to provide for sentencing guidelines. These bills have been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation and are currently awaiting a hearing.
Conversation with Cherry
Have questions, comments or ideas to share? Join me for my in district open hours. I’ll give a brief legislative update, then I’ll have time for any questions, comments or concerns you’d like to share. These events are family friendly and different resources are available. I’ll have time at the end for individual questions you may not want to bring up in the crowd.
Saturday, July 13, 11 a.m.- noon
Mt. Morris Van Buren Library
685 Van Buren Ave. in Mt. Morris
Tuesday, July 16, 6-7 p.m.
McCarty District Library
2071 S. Graham Road in Flint
Friday, July 19, 2-3 p.m.
Swartz Creek Senior Center
8095 Civic Drive in Swartz Creek
Monday, July 29, 5-6 p.m.
Swartz Creek Library Branch
8095 Civic Drive in Swartz Creek
Helpful Resources for the Folks in the 49th
Stay Cool, Stay Safe: Steps to beat the summer heat.
While the summer heat is wonderful when you’re swimming or sunbathing, it can get dangerous quickly. Here’s a list of ways to stay safe:
- Use an air conditioner or go to a cool place such as a basement, neighbor’s house, shopping mall or cooling center to stay cool. Spending even a few hours a day in air conditioning can help reduce your risk for heat illness.
- Avoid exercise and physical activity during the hottest part of the day. Mornings and evenings are usually cooler than mid-day.
- Stay out of the sun. If you must be in the sun, wear thin and light-colored clothing, a hat and sunglasses. Wear sunscreen (at least SPF15) and reapply every two hours or after swimming or exercising.
- Never, ever leave children, the elderly or pets in parked vehicles. Vehicles heat up very quickly and can become dangerous, even with the windows open.
Here’s a list of Genesee County cooling centers in case you need a break from the heat:
Brennan Community Center
Burton Senior Center
Carmen-Ainsworth Senior Center
Clio Senior Center
Davison-Richfield Senior Center
Eastside Senior Center
Flushing Senior Center
Forest Township Area Senior Center
Grand Blanc Senior Center
Hasselbring Community Center
Krapohl Senior Center
Loose Senior Center
Montrose Senior Center
Pierce Senior Center
Swartz Creek Senior Center
Garden & Grow with GDL’s Seed Library
Want to help preserve variety in our veggies? Enjoy gardening? Visit Genesee District Libraries!
How does it work? You may come into the Fenton branch any time during the growing season, March – August, and check-out the seeds you want. Don’t worry, you don’t need to return them. All we ask is that you fill out a check-out card in order for us to keep track of statistics. We want to know what types and varieties are popular so we can try to keep more of those in stock.
What is a seed library? At the Fenton-Winegarden Library, we have a collection of seeds. They are free to take and grow, and if you wish, you may save seed to return at the end of the growing season.
Why do we have a seed library? Over a hundred years ago, there were hundreds of varieties of vegetables available from seed companies. As of 1983, those varieties fell to just a handful. By offering free seed to the community we can keep many of the heirloom varieties alive. And by saving the seed year after year, create varieties that are suitable to our particular environment. Donating those seeds to our seed library and sharing with other gardeners will keep these varieties alive.
Growing your own food is also fun and saves money. You’ll be eating fruits, herbs and vegetables that you grew yourself. That saves you money from having to purchase them at the store. More importantly, the food you grow is unlikely to be available at your local grocery. Commercial varieties of fruits and vegetables are usually hybrids (plants from 2 different parent plants created for combining traits such as thicker skins for shipping). These vegetables are bred for uniformity of size, color and sturdiness in shipping. That’s why most, if not all, store-bought tomatoes are tasteless and mealy. They are bred to withstand long-distance shipping at the expense of taste.
Many of the heirloom seeds have interesting histories. Backyard tomato breeder Radiator Charlie Byles developed Mortgage Lifter tomato in 1940s Virginia, using the profits from tomato seedling sales to pay off his farm. Omar’s Lebanese tomato hails from a family farm in a Lebanese hill town. A Lebanese college student brought the seeds to America to grow.
Maybe you have a family heirloom seed that you grow year after year that has been passed down through the generations of your family.
Grab a Bike and Get Going!
With warmer weather, it’s a great time to head out and explore your community on your bike. First, make sure to check out the bike trails we have here in Genesee.
After that, get your safety gear on, check your bike and head out! Need to brush up on the rules? Here’s a few to get you started:
- Wear your helmet. Follow this simple rule and you reduce your risk of serious injury by as much as 85 percent.
- Keep your head up and look ahead, not at the ground. You need to see what is coming up so you have time to react and maneuver.
- One person per bike. Riding with unsecured passengers puts you at risk for injury to yourself and others.
- Ride in single file with space between bikes.
- Ride on the right side of the road, never against traffic. Otherwise, you are at risk for an accident – or a ticket.
- Plan ahead if you will ride in a group. Agree on the route ahead of time. Have a plan on what you will do if separated by traffic.
- If you will be riding in an unfamiliar area, check out local laws and rules first.
- Avoid busy roads and peak traffic times on your route.
- Before riding at night, ask someone to help you check your visibility to motorists.
- Maintain the bikes in your household. Keep chains clean and lubricated and periodically inspect brake pads.
Avoid Damage to your Car-Avoid Animals on the Road
We live in Michigan. We’ve all seen, heard about or had wildlife run into our cars. Follow these tips to avoid animal and car collisions, and feel free to share with new drivers in your life. It’s always better to be safe when driving.
Flint Fourth of July Festival
Visit downtown Flint for this family-fun celebration with fireworks and a live performance by the Flint Symphony Orchestra featuring the Beatles’ classic hits and patriotic favorites.
When: Thursday. July 4, from 6 – 11 p.m.
Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Show at 7:30 p.m.
Fireworks at 9:40 p.m.
Where: Atwood Stadium, 701 University Ave. in Flint
Concerts in the Park – Kowalski Brothers Polka Band
Come enjoy some lively polka music in the park. Food and drink vendors will be on site, and there is parking and wheelchair accessibility.
When: Wednesday, July 10, 7 – 9 p.m.
Where: Riverview Park, 230 S. Cherry St. in Flushing
Rain Site: Flushing High School Auditorium, 5039 Deland Road in Flushing
70th Annual PLAV Polish Festival
Come one, come all to enjoy the 70th annual Polish Legion of American Veterans Polish Festival! Polish food, costumes, music, and culture with 2 bands on Saturday and 1 band on Sunday. There will also be a ceremony to honor and recognize our Veterans.
When: July 13 – July 14
Where: Polish Legion, G4323 W. Carpenter in Flint
Maker Kits in Mt. Morris
Learn about the new library Maker Kits with a fun activity. Use household items like toothbrushes and scrub brushes to make interesting robots.
When: Wednesday, July 24, from 6 – 7 p.m.
Where: Mt. Morris Library, 685 Van Buren Ave. in Mount Morris
Cake Decorating in Swartz Creek
Sweeten up your day! Join the Swartz Creek library staff and decorate a cake till it looks too sweet to eat!
When: Saturday, July 27, from 11 a.m. – noon
Where: Swartz Creek-Perkins Library, 8095 Civic Drive in Swartz Creek
I hope this information has been useful to you. As always, reach out if there is anything further I can do for you by emailing JohnCherry@house.mi.gov or calling (517) 373-7515.