03-19-2020 Letters and Commentary

Corrections In the March 12, 2020 issue of Tri-City Record, an error was made on Page 12 in the continuation of the Blossomtime story from the front page. The photo identified as Mr. Coloma Ian Ishmael was incorrect. Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this error may have caused.

Blossomtime pageants postponed

Dear Blossomtime Friends, As a Festival that has been creating joy for more than 114 years, we value the trust you place in us every day with your children and we appreciate your community support. As our country works to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we support and respect Lake Michigan College’s decision to close the college and the Mendel Center. At this time, the Mr. Blossomtime Contest/Showcase of Queens and Miss Blossomtime will be [has been] postponed temporarily for the weekend of March 15 and March 16 to help keep you and your loved ones safe. The Blossomtime Festival takes our responsibilities seriously and please do know a plan of action will be coming soon with an alternate date and more information. Anna Abdelnour, President Blossomtime Festival Board of Directors

Bipartisan legislation to help Great Lakes communities address rising water levels, shoreline erosion

(Press Release) U.S. Senators Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ranking Member and Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation to provide support for local communities facing rising water levels, coastal erosion, and flooding that have put homes and property at risk, and caused millions of dollars in damages. The Great Lakes are expected to hit record high-water levels this year, and communities in Michigan and Wisconsin are facing serious shoreline erosion challenges that have destroyed homes and beaches and have even forced residents to relocate. Peters’ and Johnson’s bipartisan bill would establish loans that local governments could access to help mitigate the impact of rising water levels, coastal erosion and other damage caused by natural disasters in a more cost-effective way. Studies have shown that resilience and mitigation spending saves taxpayers more than $6 for every dollar invested. U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow from Michigan and James Lankford from Oklahoma cosponsored the legislation. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously approved the legislation. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act of 2020 would allow FEMA to help states establish revolving loan funds that could be used by local governments to carry out mitigation projects that reduce natural disaster risk, including shoreline erosion and rising water levels. Unlike existing FEMA grants, these low-interest loans would allow local governments to invest in resiliency and mitigation projects that help reduce loss of life and property, the cost of insurance, and disaster recovery payments. These loans would reach the communities more quickly than FEMA’s traditional grants and provide local communities with capital necessary to invest in more resilient infrastructure. The Army Corps of Engineers expects the Great Lakes to hit record-high water levels in the coming months, which intensify the impacts of high winds and contribute to shoreline erosion. Along the Great Lakes, rising water levels have already flooded campgrounds and streets, caused boating problems due to submerged structures, and destroyed several beaches and homes. These disasters often cause long-term economic, social, and environmental effects for states and communities, including deaths, injuries, property destruction, and an increased burden on taxpayers. Currently FEMA programs are unable to provide assistance for projects related to sustained high water levels and long-term shoreline erosion. This bill would ensure that communities facing these hazards are eligible for loans to fund such mitigation projects.

Then there was silence

Walking Cripple Creek’s deserted main street back in 1971, I had an acute awareness of human history. It was almost like sensing invisible faces staring back from empty, dark shadows in the places of business that once saw many customers in this ghost town’s heyday. It was easy to imagine playful children accompanying their parents along the wooden sidewalks as if they had never left Cripple Creek behind a hundred years before. But now, in reality, there was only silence, the wind in the bright sky, the hot dust, and an occasional shred of curtain waving out an empty window frame. Google Earth takes us to the site of another more distant ghost town – Ephesus, Turkey, a ghost town with a much longer history. Thousands of people once packed the amphitheater still there today, chanting “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians” as they tried to shout away the gospel of Jesus Christ that had come and had challenged their favorite goddess worship. Their voices have long faded into the surrounding hills. Now there is silence. Again, the winds the only witness, the ancient faces have become dust. But the most important part of these ghost towns is not the structures or the changed appearance. It’s the people. The voices of the people are missing. Nothing remains of the laughing children, nor of the thousands of Ephesians. All are silent. Yet, according to the Bible they will all see resurrection. And so will we. Jesus once said, “…a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:27-29, NIV) With Christ as our Lord and Savior we needn’t fear that day – check out 1-800-NEED HIM, or PeaceWithGod.net. Find new hope in Him.

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