01-31-2019 Letters and Commentary

Thank you from Miss Coloma 2019 Dear Editor, Thank you for the one year subscription! You guys always put the most memorable things in the paper and I will definitely be picking up the paper pretty frequently this year! Thanks again! Samantha Scott Miss Coloma 2019

Thank you from Mr. Coloma 2019 Dear Editor, Thank you Tri-City Record for the generous year subscription to our local newspaper. Also, thank you for making me a part of history by displaying me and my court of honor on you front page. This truly means a lot, and I look forward to seeing all the wonderful news you deliver to my home. Your Mr. Coloma, Sin’cere Taylor

Wesco matching funds program benefits local food pantry Dear Editor, The Living Water Food Pantry at Watervliet Free Methodist Church (WFMC) has received a generous check from Wesco to help with the mission of assisting anyone experiencing a need for food. During the month of December collection containers at the Watervliet and Coloma stores were designated to benefit the food pantry at WFMC. Wesco matched the funds donated by the community at these two stores. The food pantry received at total of $3,637.74 from this effort. The congregation and staff would like to thank the community for their support and well as Wesco for choosing to assist this ministry. Living Water Food Pantry located at 7734 Paw Paw Ave. in Watervliet is open every Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for families who are in need of food assistance. We reach across many counties having no restrictions with age or income status. Watervliet Free Methodist Church Living Water Food Pantry staff

United Way to aid local residents amid government shutdown As the longest government shutdown in history stretches on, United Way of Southwest Michigan (UWSM) has formulated a plan to help local residents impacted. UWSM has launched the Emergency Relief Fund to assist federal employees in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties who may be impacted by the ongoing government shutdown. The fund is addressing vital needs, such as food, utility assistance, rent, mortgage payments and other basic needs. The fund will make it possible for generous individuals and others who want to help. To contribute to the fund, visit www.uwsm.org/emergency-relief-fund or text UWSMrelief to 51555. Check payments are accepted as well and can be made out to “United Way of Southwest Michigan,” referencing “Emergency Relief Fund” in the memo. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to United Way at 2015 Lakeview Avenue, St. Joseph, MI 49085. One hundred percent of all funds received will directly benefit those impacted. Anna Murphy, President of UWSM says, “UWSM values the contributions of all federal workers in our communities who have supported their neighbors through their work and their philanthropy over the years. UWSM is committed to standing by federal workers impacted by the government shutdown in their time of need.” In addition to the fund First Church of God in St. Joseph, Cass District Library in Cassopolis and the Van Buren County United Way in Paw Paw are collecting gift cards for federal workers. Meijer, Walmart and/or gasoline gift cards are preferred. The drop-off locations are First Church of God, 2627 Niles Ave., St. Joseph (Mon.–Thurs. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.); Cass District Library, 319 M-62, Cassopolis (Mon.–Thurs. 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., Fri. 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Sat. 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.); Van Buren County United Way, 181 W. Michigan Ave. #4, Paw Paw (Mon.–Fri. 8:45 a.m.–4:00 p.m.) . If you are a federal worker impacted by the shutdown, please visit www.uwsm.org/emergency-relief-fund for information on how you can receive services. 2-1-1 United Way is encouraging federal employees in need of social services to contact 2-1-1 for help. 2-1-1 (or 844-875-9211) is a free and confidential service that helps people find the local resources they need. For a list of resources in Southwest Michigan, please visit www.mi211.org or text your zip code to 898-211 to hear from a specialist.

It’s about America, not you! Dear Editor, Many in the House and Senate need to realize this is ABOUT AMERICA, NOT ABOUT THEM, and their morally corrupt political parties. They are paid high wages to work for America in a fair, sensible, and godly way. That is not what we are getting for our money now! The safety of America should be the most important thing to our legislators. Is there any common sense left in city Mayors and state Governors? What has happened to the education systems across America that turns out such irresponsible leaders? These leaders cannot take care of their own, yet most offer sanctuary to illegals, even if they are known criminals. By doing so, they are encouraging the world to migrate to America, against our immigration laws. Anyone who encourages others to break our laws is, or should be considered a criminal themselves. Those who claim it is immoral to use barriers to stop illegals from entering our country happen to be the most immoral people around. The most recent example is the ungodly state of New York, which passed a new Bill, and their proud Governor signed into law, allowing that state to legally murder babies “UP TO THE DUE DATE.” Unless they REPENT and TURN BACK TO GOD, America WILL GET SICKER THAN THAT! The guilt rests on unbelievers and on believers too. On believers, because we failed to stand on God’s Word. That Word of God tells us that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION in righteousness.” Yet we remained silent! A murderous heart requires REPENTANCE, or Hell will be the judgment. Saying the Wall/or Barrier is immoral does not cancel the horrible immoralities you support. Manuel Ybarra Jr., Coalgate, OK

Enter the Be My Valentine Love Letter contest and win prizes for your sweetie! The Tri-City Record is once again sponsoring a “Be My Valentine Love Letter” contest for Valentine’s Day, February 14. On that day a special someone will win dinner for two at Easy Street Inn in downtown Coloma along with many more gifts from the Tri-City Record advertisers. Selection of the “Be My Valentine Love Letter” winner is made by the staff of the Tri-City Record, based on the contents of a nominating letter submitted on behalf of the candidate. To enter that special someone in your life in the “Be My Valentine Love Letter” contest, simply write a letter to the Editor of the Tri-City Record. In 200 words or less, tell why this person deserves the “Be My Valentine Love Letter” title. Sign the letter and give your address and telephone number (do not forget that special someone’s name). Letters exceeding the 200 word limit will not be judged. Letter writer or nominee does not have to be a subscriber. Deadline for the letter entry is Friday, Feb. 8, at 12:00 noon. The “Be My Valentine Love Letter” writer will be notified that day and the special someone mentioned in the letter will also be notified by the Tri-City Record. Winning letter and picture of winner will appear in the February 14 edition of the Tri-City Record. All letters submitted for consideration will appear in the Tri-City Record, as space allows, up to and after Valentine’s Day. The Tri-City Record reserves the right to not publish any letter for inappropriate contents.

Earth’s scary response The earth is headed for a determined destiny and we can’t avoid it. We were the ones responsible for Earth needing redemption; we got this trip started. But now we’re along for the ride – an increasingly rough one. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The sadness, loneliness, violence, and the suffering, were not a part of God’s intentions for us. When He created all of nature and gave us instructions for understanding how to thrive in His unblemished environment, we should have taken better notes. When sin destroyed our potential it also destroyed the potential of Earth itself. The resulting curse was twofold. The Earth inherited God’s curse because of our sin (Genesis 3:17-19), and then the Earth also cursed us in response to the first murder of an innocent person. It would no longer yield the wealth of its resources to man in spite of his best efforts. (Genesis 4:11-12) The prophet Micah, who accurately predicted Messiah’s Bethlehem birthplace at His first coming (Micah 5:2), also made this statement in Micah 7:13 about the times of Jesus Christ’s second coming: “And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants, on account of the fruit of their deeds.” (NASB) That is the direction of human-natural history, and it is evidently unavoidable. It is a promised event resulting from irresponsible actions. It’s sobering to realize the Earth welcomes the arrival of that day! According to Romans 8:19-22 it “longs for” and “awaits eagerly” for the day of redemption and for the “revealing” of the Sons of God (even though the pathway involves desolation and devastation). While the Earth’s promised destiny is redemption as a renewed Earth, our promised destiny is also redemption if we belong to Christ. Don’t miss it. Take action today to assure your own redemption – call 800 NEED-HIM, or on the net, go to “Evangecube – YouTube”, https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=GhVldzsGEck.

Social Security and self-employment If you are not self-employed, Social Security taxes are typically taken out of your paycheck automatically. You and your employer each pay a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your earnings and a 1.45 percent Medicare tax on all earnings in 2019. You don’t have to do anything extra for the coverage you will one day receive because your employers handle the deduction as well as matching that contribution. Then they send the taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and report your wages to Social Security. If you’re self-employed, the process is a little different. You report your earnings for Social Security and pay your taxes directly to the IRS when you file your federal income tax return. You pay the combined employee and employer amount, which is a 12.4 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your net earnings and a 2.9 percent Medicare tax on your entire net earnings in 2019. You are considered self-employed if you operate a trade, business or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, you must report your earnings on Schedule SE, in addition to other tax forms you must file. Net earnings for Social Security are your gross earnings from your trade or business, minus your allowable business deductions and depreciation. Some income doesn’t count for Social Security and shouldn’t be included in figuring your net earnings. You must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time to get Social Security benefits. The amount of time you need to work depends on your date of birth, but no one needs more than 10 years of work. You can read more about self-employment and Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10022.pdf. Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.

DEEP FREEZE SURVIVORS… I hope you are among the majority that successfully weathered the great freeze of 2019 earlier this week. Hopefully Punxsutawney Phil will correctly predict an early spring when he is dragged out of his burrow on Groundhog Day. Meanwhile, we’ll do as most Michiganders, add a layer of clothing and shovel the snow a little at a time. As of this Friday, Anne and I have entered our 34th year as publishers of the Tri-City Record. The weather then was just as frightful, with blowing snow and frigid temperatures. We purchased the then Watervliet Record from Gordon and Joan Banasik who had purchased the paper from the Case family just 25 years earlier. E.F. Case bought the paper in 1891 from Albert Woodruff, who had moved the paper from 404 N. Main (on the Some Things Different lot) to its present location, at 138 N. Main. Whew, that’s a lot of history in a single paragraph! Anyway, Anne and I are forever grateful to all our faithful readers for the years of support and encouragement. Thank you all!

VALENTINE FAUX PAUX… Not many Valentine’s Days ago Anne and I were on our way back to Watervliet from a wonderful trip to Sarasota. Somewhere, still in warmer climes, our journey stopped on February 14. While traveling, dates and days lose meaning. At least ordinary days lose any special import; other days, such as Sundays, and dates like Christmas, are inviolate. So that particular Feb. 14 dawned warm and sunshiny. As usual I slipped quietly out of the room; had a morning coffee, read the papers, watched CNN, gabbed with other early risers on the blizzard testing the mettle of those hapless souls trapped in the great white north. By the time I returned the bed had been made, the room picked up, and Anne was in the small room “doing her hair”. All was as it should be. Except for the red envelope on the night stand with “Karl” printed on it. It was the most beautiful Valentine’s card with sentiments of undying love and appreciation on each panel. I didn’t have to read anymore, I was holding Anne’s missive of love and devotion and had no card with which I could reciprocate. With inspiration a comedy writer might appreciate, I quickly corrected the faux paux. I boldly scratched out the “Karl” and replaced it with “Anne”. As I did with the “I love you” on the inside replacing it with the secret pet name I always used for messages professing love or begging for forgiveness. Anne spied the Valentine’s card from me, but her smile soon faded as she realized what I had done. She did accept my lame explanation of loss of the track of time whence traveling, as she did my invitation to breakfast and other Valentine’s goodies to come as we sped homeward. The ride got frostier as we traveled northward, not all due to the Arctic Clipper throttling the Great Lakes Region. Happily, the social blunder of regifting one’s wife’s Valentine’s card to her on the same day was soon pushed aside by happier memories. So well were they faded, that the next Valentine’s I retrieved the card and gave it to her once again, this time with gifts and such! I’d like to report my idea of beginning a holiday tradition of re-giving the same card has been long established but alas the card has disappeared.

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