01-30-2020 Letters and Commentary

CALLING ALL BAIERS… This is a family and friends alert I posted on Facebook this past weekend. You may find it of more than passing interest, if you have any German heritage that includes those that had any relatives that were imprisoned by the English during WWI. My family name Bayer was changed from Baier when my grandfather emigrated to England at the turn of the 19th century. That and other variations of the original Baier abound here in SW Michigan as many Germans emigrated here at the same time as he did to London. “Achtung ALL Bayer’s… our Grandpa Christian David Bayer was a POW at the Knockaloe Internment Camp on the Isle of Man 1914-1919 with his brothers Frederick and John. All told 23,000 German men and boys living in England when war was declared were arrested and sent to the camp. Their families, wives and children, were deported to Germany at the same time. The camp was abandoned at the end of the war and was reused during WWII with military POWs and then was left to ruin for 80 years. Now the camp is being restored as a monument and memorial to that history and to those involved. I have been in contact with the restoration process volunteers for the past 7 years. The ‘restored’ camp opened officially last year in October on the 100th anniversary of its closing in 1919. The story of the Bayer brothers will be chronicled as one of the 40,000 archives now being researched. Please contact me with any information and photos you may have. Please share this message with all our cousins from close to far.”

God was there There are peaceful places in this world that are there still. There are times when I like to remember the places I’ve been privileged to experience. How we’ve interacted with our contexts is a part of who we have become. Projecting ourselves back to those contexts can be a good thing. We can also remember that God saw us then, was with us then, and knew us perfectly then. And He still does now. It becomes a moving picture of God’s love and faithfulness throughout our whole lives. David did that in Psalm 139 when he wrote of God’s amazing awareness of him in every detail of life. The fact that the God of the universe takes any notice of us at all is both comforting and sobering. In Matthew 10:24-33 Jesus is expressing this to His disciples when He explains that God takes note of everything that happens, even those hidden things that will result in judgment. He also explains that we are personally of value. Something to remember when we are suffering. How that comes home for us is in our remembering those defining moments in our lives and being fully convinced that God was there too. For me those moments often involve the sea. Peering over the steel rail, cold rain on my face, with rocking waves of the North Atlantic drenching the “Victory Ship”, the Buckner, when I was about six. I was sea sick. God was there. A fun evening, when about 17, walking with friends on the Ocean City, New Jersey Boardwalk; God was there. There was nowhere in my life that God was not there. No matter my age, or my interests. And the same is true for you. You are loved. You are watched. You are watched over. And you have the opportunity to know the God who knows you so well. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t He amazing?

The real work gets done in Michigan I spent the last week crisscrossing southwest Michigan, attending service clubs events, at plant tours, meeting with local officials, participating in Q&A sessions – you name it. It was a full-court press here in Michigan’s Sixth District, and that’s because Michigan is where the real work gets done. Here’s the thing – folks in southwest Michigan don’t care if you have an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to your name. They want to see results, and that’s why I remain committed to working with all my colleagues on the issues that matter most to Michigan. We have a bipartisan proposal to lower the cost of prescription drugs and spur innovation so we can continue to develop life-saving cures. Because it’s bipartisan, it can actually become law and start helping patients immediately. At a number of meetings last week, I also heard about how new USMCA trade deal will help Michigan jobs and Michigan’s economy. Canada and Mexico are two of our state and our nation’s most important trading partners, supporting more than two million jobs nationally at 43,000 manufacturers. I’ll continue to work to support our economic growth. I’m also committed to protecting the Great Lakes. We continue to monitor and work on solutions for the erosion along the Lake Michigan shoreline. To learn more about important legislative issues, follow me on Twitter at @RepFredUpton or visit my website: upton.house.gov. You can also call my offices in Kalamazoo (269-385-0039), St. Joseph/ Benton Harbor (269-982-1986), or Washington, D.C. (202-225-3761).

Support Mill Creek Charlie’s… it is not closed! Dear Editor, Over the past few months we have heard multiple times that not only has Mill Creek Charlie’s been sold, but that it is closed. Because of these rumors, many people have stopped eating there. We three ha