02-21-2019 Letters and Commentary

CORRECTION In the February 14, 2019 issue of Tri-City Record, the following errors were reported in the article on the Bainbridge Township meeting: The survey was for Boyer cemetery (not Byers); Nancy Weber was reported to be the Clerk, she is the Treasurer; salary increase of 3% not 2% approved for hourly, salaried and deputy employees. In addition, in the article reporting on the Coloma City Commission meeting, the Coloma royalty listed Miss Teen Coloma 1st Runner-up as Kylie Smith. The correct name is Kylie Prisk. Missing to the list was Miss Teen Sweetie Isabella Greenman. Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion these errors may have caused.

Family Dollar announces grand re-opening celebration in Coloma, Saturday Family Dollar Stores, Inc., a leading small format and convenience retailer, has announced plans for a renovated store’s grand re-opening in Coloma. “Family Dollar is proud to be a part of the Coloma community and we’re excited to welcome existing and new customers to our newly renovated store,” said Heather Briganti, Family Dollar spokesperson. “In addition to providing everyday low prices and a broad assortment of merchandise, we have expanded our selection of food, beauty and essentials, household products, and seasonal items. Our renovated store should provide even greater value and convenience to our shoppers.” There will be a grand re-opening celebration for the community from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23. The event will feature gift basket raffles, giveaways, free samples and family-fun entertainment. In addition, the first 50 customers on Saturday will receive a gift card and reusable gift bag. Family Dollar stores are open seven days a week and offer everyday items for the entire family in an easy-to-shop neighborhood location. The store is located at 251 North Paw Paw Street.

Bishop Bradley releases statement on the Holy See’s decision to dismiss the former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick from the clerical state Bishop Paul J. Bradley has released the following statement upon the decision of the Holy See announced Feb. 16 regarding the former Archbishop Emeritus Theodore McCarrick: “Today’s announcement that Pope Francis has approved the dismissal from the clerical state of the former Archbishop Emeritus, Theodore McCarrick, comes as a sad, yet just decision. While further investigation into this grave matter continues, this unprecedented step of dismissing a member of the hierarchy from all rights and obligations of ordained ministry, as well as all ability to function as a member of the Catholic clergy, is an important step forward. It is also a significant demonstration that everyone, regardless of rank or status, is accountable to the Law of God and the Laws of the Church. I affirm the statements made by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the official statement from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “Most importantly, I call on all of us to unite our prayers with all survivors of clergy sex abuse. As Pope Francis prepares to convene the historic worldwide meeting of Bishops, representing all Episcopal Conferences throughout the world, beginning on Thursday, February 21, through Sunday, February 24, let us also pray that the Holy Spirit will guide those important deliberations, enabling us to find the necessary and effective solutions to root out the evil and sin of sexual abuse, especially among those raised to ordained ministry, forever. “I take this occasion to reaffirm my efforts to continue doing all that we can in our Diocese to ensure that I, all our priests and deacons, as well as all those who have any involvement in carrying out the apostolic life of the Church, remain firmly committed to protecting our precious children and all people entrusted into our pastoral care. We remain steadfast in the implementation of our ‘Plan to Protect’, as well as all our Diocesan policies and procedures related to creating a safe environment for all God’s people. I also take this occasion to urge anyone who has ever experienced anything of that nature, who has not already done so, to come forward by contacting the Diocese of Kalamazoo’s Sexual Misconduct Question and Reporting Line (877) 802-0115, your local law enforcement, or both.”

Berrien County 9th grade students to learn about careers, pathways while meeting with employers On Friday, Feb. 22, over 1,500 freshmen will visit Lake Michigan College’s Hanson Technology Center to meet with Berrien County employers to learn about future job opportunities during Berrien Regional Education Service Agency’s (Berrien RESA) Career Pathways Day. The event’s aim is to help 9th grade students begin to identify career choices that they are interested in, help them determine how to prepare themselves for that career by aligning their high school and post-secondary education curriculum choice, and then learn about the employment opportunities within the community that may help them with their future post-secondary training and education. Employers will be organized into sections based on Michigan’s Career Pathways: Arts & Communication, Business Management, Marketing, Engineering, Manufacturing and Industrial Technology, Health Sciences, Human Services, and Natural Resources & Agri-Science. College representatives from both Lake Michigan College and Southwestern Michigan College will also be onsite to answer any questions students may have. “This is a tremendous experience for area students,” said Berrien RESA Career & Technical Education Regional Director Chris Machiniak. “They will enjoy hands-on activities presented to them by employers from the area. Based on what interests them the most, they will then return to their home districts and meet with their counselors and teachers to help them determine how best to prepare for employment in their chosen field. The goal is to help students narrow their focus on what they want to do in the future and to realize that Southwest Michigan offers a multitude of job opportunities that will satisfy their career aspirations.” Machiniak explained that this is not a job fair, but a career exploration opportunity. Students will be interacting with engineers, business owners, instructional technologists, biologists, crop consultants, office managers, bankers, nurses and more to gain a first-hand understanding of what it means to be employed in that field. Berrien County employers will benefit too. The event will bring employers and students together in an effort to help close the ‘skills gap’ that we are experiencing in our region. “For many of our young people, they have never had the opportunity to ask a welder or a human resource professional what their day-to-day life is like,” said Machiniak. “This event will provide students with direct access to these individuals and see first-hand that they are successful. Students will also recognize that the featured employees are their neighbors and people that they see in their communities regularly, providing a connection for the students to see people they know living out their career goals right here in Berrien County.” Participating companies include: Maximum Mold, Moersch Hospitality Group (Round Barn Winery and Public House, Tabor Hill Restaurant), Honor Credit Union, Whirlpool Corporation, Eagle Technologies, Vickers Engineering, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 357, Cook Nuclear Plant, Edgewater Automation, Spectrum Health Lakeland, Moored Beauty Schools, GreenMark Equipment, Kellogg Company, Shuler Dairy Farms, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Dargus AG, LLC and more! The event is graciously being hosted by Lake Michigan College.

Michigan AG joins states opposing Trump’s National Emergency Declaration Calling President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency “a manufactured crisis,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 15 other states to seek an injunction against the president’s actions. The states joined forces in opposition to the president to “protect revenue, natural resources and economic interests” from Trump’s “flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers.” The president’s declaration will redirect federal funding already appropriated for the states and divert it toward building a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico. “This fake emergency is a publicity stunt that will raid our federal funding and cost us millions,” said Nessel. “We cannot in good conscience stand by while our president seeks to undermine our own efforts to keep our residents safe and our military strong.” The Michigan National Guard has more than 10,000 soldiers and airmen, employs a substantial number of employees on a full-time basis, and operates more than 40 facilities in the state. The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs receives a majority of its funding from the federal government. It performs missions training and prepares citizen soldiers and airmen to respond to, among other things, state emergency response, military support, and protection of local communities. Loss of funding negatively impacts this vital service for the State of Michigan. Joining Attorney General Nessel in the lawsuit led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra are the attorneys general of 14 other states.

Wait for it Tough times help us distill our hope by reviewing our foundations. There’s a football half-time analogy that applies as the Gospel of Jesus Christ advances. Do we think that there will be no opposition? Are we in fantasy world? There are those who are very opposed to Jesus Christ’s victory, and they do not plan on losing the game. Let’s say you can’t watch your football team play because you won’t be home in time. So you record it. You can watch the whole thing when you get home. Meanwhile, you listen on the radio while driving. It’s half-time and your team is down by 14 points. Not good. You’re worried, tense. You sweat through the second half. The game goes on, but it’s not until the last 30 seconds that a successful field goal from 60 yards out scores your team’s winning points. Yes! You’re elated! So you get home and download the recording so you can watch it. It’s half-time. You’re team is down by 14 points. Are you worried? NO! Of course not. Why should you be? You know how it ends! God has told us how it ends. Jesus Christ wins. And it’s not going to be a “just-squeak-by” field-goal win either. His win is going to be so huge the entire universe will be impressed! We embrace Philippians 2:9-11: “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”(NASB) That’s how it ends. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33, NASB) Wait for it, and stay in the game.

Social Security and America Saves Week Planning and saving are core elements to a successful retirement. For over 80 years, Social Security has helped Americans achieve that goal. Each year, the American Savings Education Council and America Saves coordinate America Saves Week. The week is an opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior; and a great time for people to assess their own saving status. Social Security is collaborating with America Saves Week to promote our shared mission of helping millions of people prepare for their future. This year, we are celebrating the week from February 25 through March 2. Join the #ASW19 movement by using this hashtag when posting about your savings goals. It is never too early to start planning for your retirement. Set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically. Savers with a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. Pledge to save for America Saves Week at www.americasaves.org. Social Security has many tools for retirement planning. You can access our online information and resources at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/ retire. Younger people know that the earlier they start saving, the more their money can grow. Our website for young workers at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/earlycareer has resources that can help you secure today and tomorrow. 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.

UNREADABLE… Last week some Record readers got a paper that had a couple inside pages that were unreadable because of large swatches of ink spread across them. I’m no printer, but as I understand it the unreadable pages are meant to get tossed in the recycle bin as the press starts up. As the press gains momentum ink is spread across the page images (plates). At first the ink is dense and the images are dark and blurred, as the press increases speed the press operators adjust the amount of ink to fine tune the print and pictures. Another operator at the end of the press continually checks papers as they come out the folder; looking for the best print on every page. By the time the press reaches optimum speed, the pages are print quality and ready for delivery to the Tri-City Record. This process is all done at high speed. There are a few moments when the badly printed papers cease coming off the press and the good printed papers begin. As I understand it, that’s when some papers, still with unadjusted inside pages, get mixed in with the papers intended for delivery to our readers. I’m sorry that this happened and if you received a badly printed one and you want it replaced, give us a call at 463-6397 and we will mail another copy to you.

RESPITE… for many of us the past weeks of arctic weather stretched the limits of the food pantry and the budget and gave us all a bad dose of cabin fever. My fishing buddy and I made a Saturday trek to Bass Pro Shop just to sooth our winter jitters. The place was packed; we quickly took advantage of some of the better sales and got out of there in barely an hour. All in all, the 3.5-hour excursion (includes 2.5 hours of road time) was worth it. This week’s brief glimpses of sunshine and warmer temps are a welcome relief, although I don’t need the rain to turn the snow meadows into fields of mud. As John Martin’s cartoon shows this week it’s never too early to stock up for the next round of winter weather. Be prepared.

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