0-07-2019 Letters and Commentary

Correction In the February 28, 2019 issue of Tri-City Record, an error was made on Page 6 in the continuation of the Coloma City Commission meeting story from the front page. In the subheading “Local issues” it made reference to a survey regarding proposal for city-wide bus service. It should have read county-wide bus service. Also, in that same paragraph it should have reported that the south end of the county is interested in bus service, not south end of the city. Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion these errors may have caused.

George Darling family grateful for acts of kindness Dear Editor, The family of George Darling would like to thank everyone for the many acts of kindness during our recent bereavement. The thoughts, prayers, many cards sent, flowers, memorials, monetary donations, food, the kind words spoken, and for being there for us is very much appreciated and will always be remembered. Thank you to the Coloma Township Police Department, Pride Care Ambulance EMTs, and Lakeland Hospital of Watervliet – Laura Grant and the rest of the Emergency Room staff. Also, the Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph Intensive Care Unit staff for the loving care that was taken of George and our family, Rev. Brian Hall, Gary Jewell and his employees at the Hot Spot, Pastor Jay Hartmann for the wonderful service, and the Ladies of Faith of the Faith Lutheran Church for preparing and serving the meal after the funeral. God has truly blessed us with a loving family and friends. Sincerely, Martha Darling & family, Coloma

In regards to trash everywhere Dear Karl, I just finished reading your comments on trash is everywhere and you couldn’t be more right. We need to develop new packaging for many of our food items and items that are referred to as disposable. I have to ask (I don’t know the answer) but, if we switch to cloth diapers then we have huge amounts of detergent and bleach soaking into our ground water, is that better? Eventually too, the cloth diapers will end up in the landfill. You would think with all the technology we could invent these and other items from a material that would decompose. Respectfully as always, Dennis Bachman, Benton Harbor

Great job! Coloma Lioness hosts Community Soup Supper Dear Editor, We had a packed house for our March 1st Community Soup Supper! 106 people were served some delicious homemade soup, salad, bread and oh, so delicious homemade desserts! Over $500 in donations were received to help the HOPE Resources Food Pantry at the Coloma United Methodist Church. Helping our community… that’s what we do! Julie Mayuiers 11-B2 2nd Vice District Governor

Watervliet Library assessing children’s programs, public survey underway The Watervliet District Library is undertaking an extensive review of their children’s programming, and community input is requested. In an effort to better assess the needs of Watervliet families, the library has created a survey to share opinions, ideas or suggestions for future children’s events. The survey can be accessed through the library’s website at watervlietlibrary.net or Facebook page. Direct online access to the survey can be reached through the following web address: https://www.surveymon- key.com/r/3XBY7VJ. Paper copies are available at the library, as well. All survey responses are anonymous. The survey itself is limited to eight questions and should take less than five minutes to complete. Answers will be used to guide the staff towards next fall’s programming. The library currently offers story hours, LEGO Club, Sensory Bin Blast, and Make-It Monday programs, all designed for the youngest members of the community. To find out more about the survey or any of the library’s programs, contact the library at 269-463-6382, info@wdlib.org, or stop by to pick up the latest copy of the newsletter.

Nesbitt introduces legislation to provide better access to internet State Sen. Aric Nesbitt on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 introduced legislation that seeks to improve access to reliable broadband internet by increasing incentives for expanding broadband infrastructure in underserved and unserved areas. “So many modern services rely on the ability to connect to the internet,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Many jobs and educational opportunities are becoming increasingly mobile. This is an issue that has plagued communities in my district for far too long. I am happy to have taken the first step in getting this issue resolved.” Senate Bill 163 would promote investment in broadband equipment, with the desired result being more high-speed internet service to underserved and rural areas of the state. The legislation hopes to prompt investors to upgrade their equipment and expand services to areas that currently cannot receive high-speed internet. “Many of those underserved areas are rural and farming communities,” Nesbitt said. “Ensuring high-speed service reaches these areas will not only help families at home but will attract the job creators we need to invest in local economies. “Reliable internet service is also a property value issue,” Nesbitt said. “Homes without access to good internet are less desirable and harder to sell, which in turn lowers their value. I think we owe it to residents in rural areas to get this done. It is 2019, and good reliable broadband service should not be such a rare commodity.” The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance for further consideration.

“Spring Into Reading” in March with book drive United Way of Southwest Michigan aims to collect 5,000 books at 40 drop-off locations in Berrien and Cass counties. United Way of Southwest Michigan presents the “Spring Into Reading” book drive this March 2019 in celebration of National Reading Month. In partnership with Berrien County Great Start Collaborative and Cass County Great Start Collaborative, United Way of Southwest Michigan seeks to collect 5,000 new and gently used books from March 1-21 for area children and young adults. There are nearly 40 drop-off locations throughout Berrien and Cass counties. They are listed at uwsm.org/bookdrive. Books will be distributed through area home-visiting programs, tri-county Head Start programs, area shelters, strategic businesses, area food pantries and targeted agencies to get books in kid’s hands during summer months. “We are fortunate to have such a great outpouring from the community for this event,” said Julee Laurent, Volunteer Engagement Manager at United Way of Southwest Michigan. “Last year we had a goal of 5,000 books and collected 10,000. This enabled us to put books in the hands of kids all summer long. We were able to distribute them everywhere from area ‘Meet Up, Eat Up’ summer meal sites, to area home-visiting programs, to supplementing summer rec sites and little free libraries.” Any company or business that would like to collect books to add to the drive should email julee.laurent@uwsm.org. The Great Start Collaborative is an early childhood community initiative that brings community leaders, business owners, charitable and faith-based organizations, health and human service agencies, educators and parents together to focus on families with children prenatal to age 8. Together, these groups work to provide a network of resources that help families obtain services that will allow their children to succeed in every facet of their lives. “Studies show that exposing children to books at a young age, and having books to read at home, is one of the best ways to develop children’s literacy skills,” said Kristen Chism, Director of Berrien County Great Start Collaborative. “However, many children living in poverty in the U.S. do not have access to books at their homes. This book drive will get books in the hands of kids who may not have had access before and open a whole new world of words to them.” The Collaborative works to expand and enhance early childhood systems in Berrien and Cass counties and make progress toward early childhood outcomes including overall health, early academic development and school preparedness for children from birth to 3rd grade.