The flags will fly on 9/11

This weekend is the 20th anniversary of 9/11; and the flags at Mt. Rest will be going up, weather permitting, from 8 a.m. through 7 .m. Please plan to drive through and see them.

Michigan Singer/Songwriter Captures the Spirit and Pain of 911

In just a few days the country will be remembering the attacks that happened 20 years ago on September 11, 2001. Award-winning Michigan singer/songwriter Kitty Donohoe channeled her feelings that day into a song, “There Are No Words.” Ms. Donohoe has just released the official video of the song, which can be watched on Facebook, youtube, Vimeo on Demand and

This powerful music has had an amazing grassroots journey; it received a Michigan Emmy,

it was used in the film, “The Nation Remembers – the Story of the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial;” Kitty performed it live at the dedication of the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial in 2008; it’s even included in a segment of the television show “Ariel & Zooey & Eli, Too.” In addition, musician Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary fame has added the song to his repertoire – not to mention countless others who have personalized the song and recorded and performed it.

In the years since that unforgettable day in 2001, Kitty has made her song available free to anyone who wished to download it though her Web site, and it has touched thousands of lives. You can read the entire lyrics and more about the song at this page.

“One of the comments I received most often then was that the song was expressing for people what they couldn’t say for themselves,” Donohoe said. “I consider it an honor as a songwriter to be able to fill that role for others.”

“There Are No Words” is included in Kitty Donohoe’s CD, “Northern Border,” which is available at the Music page online at The lyrics to the song include these words:

“We were forged in freedom, we were born in liberty
We came here to stop the twisted arrows cast by tyranny
And we won’t bow down, we are strong of heart
We are a chain together that won’t be pulled apart”

Museum to feature medical items from yesteryear

The Clinton County Historical Museum is showcasing a very interesting exhibit of medical items from yesteryear, along with pictures of Doctors and Dentists. All are displayed in new room arrangements.

Also plan to visit the newest room on display, the Mid-Century kitchen.

Check it out at 106 Maple, St. Johns, MI, west of the courthouse square. Open Sunday 1 to 4 and Wednesday 2 to 6. Also see or contact

Remember When – Lions Club dedicates bench to memory of George Campbell in 2015
by Maralyn Fink

Kathy Campbell was joined by her grandchildren.

On Wednesday evening I attended the Lions Club picnic held at Motz Park. The purpose of the picnic was their year end summer event and also to dedicate a handmade bench in memory of George Campbell, a long time member, who passed away in 2014.

George was a hard working member and very involved with this group for a number of years. If anything needed doing, George was your man and the club was very close to his heart.
Along with Kathy his wife who was a Lioness, they worked every event the Lions had including the pumpkin trot and serving in the lunch trailer at many events.

Hence, last evening was George’s night with many of the group present to honor George with this bench that will be placed at the City Park near the pavilion for all to enjoy and sit a spell.
The Lions Club was very grateful to George for all he did and for his friendship thru the years. He is missed greatly.

Tim Black said that this bench is dedicated to the community in honor of George Campbell and his commitment to Lionism and the community. “I want this bench to be something that his wife can sit on when she comes back to St Johns occasionally and reminisce, and know in her heart that we felt very fond and appreciative of George and grateful for all that he did for us, our club, and the community.”

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Is Toilet Water Safe for Pets to Drink?
courtesy of David F. Kramer

When it comes to strange pet behaviors, drinking out of the toilet may very well be at the top of the list.

Oddly enough, some of the reasons for a pet drinking out of the toilet are rather sensible—at least on the surface. Dr. Jennifer Coates puts it this way, “When was the last time you dumped and scrubbed your pet’s water bowl? If you can’t remember, the water in the toilet may be more appetizing than what’s available in the water bowl!”

Why Are Pets Attracted to Toilet Water?

The fact that your toilet is running (complete with sounds of flowing water) may very well speak to the primal nature of your pet to seek out running water in the wild. According to Dr. Coates, running water tends to be a healthier choice than stagnant water in a natural setting. “Perhaps some of our pets have an instinctive pull towards running water and that’s why they’re attracted to water that ‘moves’ in our homes,” she says.

Ask anyone who has a cat that hangs out on the kitchen counter. Turning on the faucet can be an irresistible temptation for the cat to saunter over and have a sip. Similarly, many dogs love to drink water running from the hose when you’re washing your car or watering the lawn. Even knowing this, pet owners still scratch their heads when, after they go to the trouble of providing fresh water—perhaps even water of a trendy and imported nature—their fur kids still line up for a crack at the toilet when they’re feeling parched.

Coates has another hypothesis. “It could be that some pets prefer the relative solitude of the bathroom. If their water bowl is in the middle of a chaotic home, they might not feel comfortable settling down to drink at that location,” she says.

So, are the dangers of drinking out of the toilet real, or are we worrying ourselves over something that is harmless for our pets?

Is Toilet Water Dirty?

“I think [the dangers] are real,” says Dr. Patrick Mahaney, a holistic vet who practices in Los Angeles, California. “I’m not a fan of letting your pet drink out of the toilet.”

Dr. Mahaney says, “if you were to swab your average toilet there would be an issue. If you don’t clean your toilet very often, you are going to put your dog or cat at risk for coming down with an infection, such as E. coli, because our feces can contain that—as well as other bacteria.”

The risk of infection increases greatly when we ourselves are sick. According to Dr. Mahaney, humans can pass diseases like Giardia to their animals, and the consumption of toilet water can put your pet on the road to illness. And intestinal bacteria and parasites aren’t the only risks. Humans who are undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy can also shed toxic chemical substances in their urine and stool. While the chances of such exposures may be low for pets, there remains a potential for it to happen.
Toxic Toilet Cleaning Products

Another danger associated with consuming toilet water come from the chemicals that we use to clean our toilets—with chlorine bleach products being one of the main offenders. Toilet cleaners can contain sodium hypochlorite, hypochlorite salts, sodium peroxide, sodium perborate, and other chemicals that can be lethal when directly consumed.

Restricting your pet’s access to the bathroom for a few hours (and a few flushes) after you’ve cleaned is a good rule of thumb. And never use the types of cleaners that are added to the toilet reservoir. They continuously release chemicals into the water with every fill of the bowl. Of course, it is also a good rule to be vigilant for symptoms of any sort of poisoning.

Poorly diluted toilet bowl cleaners can cause chemical burns in the mouth and throat while going down, as well as other serious complications once fully ingested. Symptoms of bleach ingestion in pets can include vomiting, drooling, redness in and around the mouth, abdominal pain, and a sore throat.

“Any toxin is not good for a pet to ingest,” says Dr. Katie Grzyb of One Love Animal Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Coates agrees but adds, “when used properly in a toilet bowl, bleach is usually so diluted that healthy animals would be expected to show only mild gastrointestinal upset after ingestion.”

How to Stop Your Pet Drinking from the Toilet

“I think the best way to curb drinking from the toilet is to keep the lid down and the door closed. Also offering several bowls of clean, cool, fresh water around the house can help to deter toilet-water drinking,” says Dr. Grzyb.

Dr. Mahaney also advises owners to keep the lid closed, but realizes that is not possible for everyone. “If you can’t [keep the toilet closed] because you have children, for example, then just try to keep the toilet as clean as possible,” he says.

For pet owners who want to offer all of the excitement of drinking from the toilet without the risk, a pet water fountain can provide that experience. Dr. Coates recommends them, “particularly for cats who may not drink enough water from bowls to stay well hydrated.”

Of course, you’ll need to keep your pet’s fountain filled with fresh water, as well as thoroughly cleaning the interior once a week and periodically changing the filters. Dr. Coates cautions, “if you don’t clean and maintain your pet’s water fountain, the water in it just may be dirtier than what’s available in your toilet.”