03-23-2017 Letters and Commentary

Who is in charge of the electric company?

Dear Editor,

I am writing a book called Doing Business In Michigan. I have already written two books.

Today’s problem: Indiana Michigan Power. I came to work on February 22 and an employee for Indiana Michigan Power showed up telling me to pay this bill or they are going to shut off my electric. I told them that I had paid that bill on February 13 for the amount of $334.12 with check #6140. I was informed that they never received it and so I told them I could write another check. The employee told me no, that I could go to Harding’s Market in Coloma, Michigan and make a payment that day.

I made out another check and took it to Harding’s but they told me that they don’t accept checks for the electric or the gas companies. I went back to the store, wrote another check, cashed it at the bank then took the cash back to Harding’s. I paid them and told them to call it in before 8 a.m. the next morning but they told me that it takes at least five days for the payment to go through. Went back to my store then over to the bank; I cancelled the first check and the lady there called in my payment and got that bill paid.

I got a letter from Indiana Michigan Power on March 14, 2017. They tried to cash the check they said they never received. It cost me $30.00 to cancel that check and the electric company is charging me $15.00 on said check. I called two different numbers to get this straightened out. I could probably talk to a fence post and make more headway.

If there is anyone who is in charge of this electric company, please let me know.

Robert Taylor

Grant money is community money

Dear Editor,

God bless Watervliet and their new park. God knows Watervliet needs another park. I really don’t care.

One thing I do care about, however, is the attitude concerning the grant money for this park.  The attitude appears to be one of joy as if this money is coming from Heaven.  Wake up everyone; it was our money to begin with.

That money could have been allowed to remain in the community in the first place and Watervliet would have had more money for their park than what the government has decided to return to them.  You know how that works, we send $10 and get back $2 because we have to pay the administrative costs.


Dennis Bachman, Coloma

Thank you Meme

Dear Meme (Maryann Worl, Tri-City Record ad sales),

Thank you for letting me job shadow you. It was fun getting to see all the local businesses of Watervliet and Hartford. I also enjoyed getting to meet some of the business owners. Seeing the Tri-City Record archives was cool. Thank you for letting me job shadow you!

Love, Abby

Thank you for generosity

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Berrien County Trophy Toms chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation we would like to thank you for your generous donation to our annual Hunting Heritage Banquet. Our local chapter uses the monies we keep in our area to sponsor our annual kids fishing day and to feed our vets in the V.A. Hospital in Battle Creek an annual holiday meal.

Again, thank you for your generosity.

Karen Jasper, President

Berrien County Trophy Toms

Parents, older adults, and caregivers encouraged to prevent traumatic brain injuries

More than 28 people are hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every day in Michigan; more than one each hour. As March is Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) are encouraging residents to take steps to keep themselves and their families safe.

On average, there were more than 10,300 hospitalizations and 1,500 deaths a year between 2010 and 2014 due to a TBI in Michigan, and the majority of these injuries are from falls. Other preventable causes of TBI include being struck by or against an object or person, motor vehicle crashes, and assaults, including abusive head trauma.

In many cases, traumatic brain injuries and deaths are preventable, said Nick Lyon, MDHHS director. Specifically, parents, older adults, and caregivers are encouraged to take steps to eliminate the risk for these types of injuries and keep their loved ones safe.

Parents are encouraged to be involved in their teens driving education to help foster safe driving practices. Additionally, parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to make sure infants have a safe sleep environment, and take steps to make sure TVs and heavy furniture are anchored. Older adults are encouraged to speak with their doctors for a falls risk assessment to prevent falls at home and improve mobility. All residents are encouraged to wear helmets when riding bikes or motorcycles, and everyone engaged in youth sports is encouraged to learn about sports concussions.

Michigan law requires that a youth athlete be immediately removed from physical participation in an athletic activity if a concussion is suspected. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include (but are not limited to) a headache or feeling of pressure in the head, nausea or vomiting, balance problems or dizziness, double or blurry vision, sensitivity to light and/or noise, feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy, having confusion or concentration or memory problems, not feeling right or feeling down.

An estimated 58,000 Michigan residents sustain a TBI every year, said Tom Constand, President of the BIAMI. Whatever stage of recovery they may be in, we can help survivors, families, caregivers and the public access Michigan’s extensive network of resources to help support TBI survivors.

More information is available from the BIAMI at 1-800-444-6443 or www.biami.org. Additionally, there are a number of informative resources about TBI at www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury.

For more tips to keep your home safe visit www.cpsc.gov, and www.safekids; more information about sports concussions is available at www.michigan.gov/spotsconcussion.

Additional resources for seniors for classes to prevent falls and improve mobility and independence may be found at www.greatatanyagemi.com.

You, women’s history, and the power of Social Security

March is Women’s History Month; a time to focus not just on the past, but on the challenges women continue to face. Nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women, and in the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Knowing this, you can be the author of your own rich and independent history, with a little preparation.

Social Security has served a vital role in the lives of women for over 80 years. With longer life expectancies than men, women tend to live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. With the national average life expectancy for women in the United States rising, many women will have decades to enjoy retirement. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a female born today can expect to live more than 80 years. As a result, experts generally agree that if women want to ensure that their retirement years are comfortable, they need to plan early and wisely.

You can start with a visit to Social Security’s Retirement Estimator. It gives you a personalized estimate of your retirement benefits. Plug in different retirement ages and projected earnings to get an idea of how such things might change your future benefit amounts. You can use this valuable tool at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

You should also visit Social Security’s financial planning website at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners. It provides detailed information about how marriage, widowhood, divorce, self-employment, government service, and other life or career events can affect your Social Security.

Your benefits are based on your earnings, so you should create your personal my Social Security account to verify that your earnings were reported correctly. Your account also can provide estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

If you want more information about how Social Security supports women through life’s journey, Social Security has a booklet that you may find useful. It’s called Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know. You can find it online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10127.html.

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.

How many stars?

In our desire to understand the universe in which we live, we explore as far as we can. The limits of our observation however can be very frustrating. It isn’t necessary to know how many stars there are, for example, but to better understand our universe, knowing the number of stars (at least in the ballpark) might be helpful. We are no better able to count the stars now than we were a century go. We see a lot more of them now of course, but their number remains a mystery. Sooner or later we will either settle on that or just remain frustrated.

Ultimately, it must be acceptable to us for God to “withhold” certain information. Maybe that’s not the right word. But consider, would we inform a two-year-old child about how to drive a car or fly an airplane? We would “withhold” that information because we know better than the child that they don’t need that information, at least not at this time. They still have more to learn and some growing to do first. Can’t God do that with us?

I love Isaiah 55 and God’s response to Job’s questioning towards the end of the Bible book bearing his name. Both scripture areas clearly explain in wonderful terms God’s wisdom and our limitations in understanding. Considering how God’s ways are “past finding out”, His love for us (for each of us) is that much more amazing!

So how many stars are there? Any estimates will only be shown to be foolish, just like past estimates are laughed at now. But this we can know – God knows the names of all of them (Psalm 147:4)! Yet, more amazing than that – God knows your name and mine even before the first man was created! We have a most amazingly wonderful God that He would condescend to love us!

WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN… I am continuously amazed as politicians from every level get caught with their tongues flapping or their ethics lagging yet they deny responsibility for their transgressions.

I’ve seen them deny stealing public funds, misusing equipment, leaking information, breaking oaths of office and so on.

It is bad enough we’ve come to expect less of those folks we elect to office. It is sad we are not surprised when they lie, cheat, steal, and conspire to break our laws.

What is surprising is all of them expect not to get caught and then when they do, they deny any responsibility or wrongdoing.

The new short-term “deniability” is to say something is fake news. That may well wash in much of the manure found on social media. But ultimately the truth will win out and the sleazebags who steal, cheat, and lie will be exposed by the honest lawmakers, lawmen, and the free press.

Then is it up to us citizens to aspire to the higher standards we expect of all elected officials. And then get rid of those who misuse their office unethically and dishonestly.

Fortunately for us all, most elected officials from all levels are honest, hardworking citizens that serve us well. Sadly they are too much consumed by the transgressions of the dishonest few.

LET’S BAND TOGETHER FOR THE PARADE… The Glimpses of the Past photo this week on Page 4 is of the Watervliet HS Marching Band in the early 1940s on Main Street.

That picture jogs some great memories of our local band marching in the July 4 parade, something that has been non-existent in Watervliet for some years.

The last time a Watervliet band of any kind marched in a 4th of July parade was when band teacher Randy Carrier organized a “community band” because the school board wouldn’t allow the high school band to march as a unit or wear the school band uniform. That had to have been a while ago.

The organizers of this Independence Weekend Celebration are seeking to bring back an alumni band to march in the parade. Organization efforts are being lead by Amy Loshbough with the help of past music teacher Marsha Cole. Call Amy at 876-1326. Each participant will receive a Watervliet alumni band T-shirt to wear the day of the parade, Saturday July 1, 2017 compliments of the committee.

All musicians including current band members are invited to participate.

BJ THE DJ RADIO DEBUT… Grandson Benjamin Joseph Loshbough made his debut Monday as Rock 107 radio host in the 2 – 6 p.m. time slot.

The show is titled “Afternoons with Benny” and while I’m no fan of hard rock, I may learn to like it as I enjoy listening to Ben introduce the songs and comment.

Who knows I may call (text or email) in a request… I wonder if he can play “Hello Mary Lou” by Buddy Holly.

GET WELL SOON SILKY… Brother-in-law and best friend Silky “Dennis” Sullivan is quite ill. I pray he has a successful recovery.

Silky had that nickname, as the story goes, since grade school when a thoroughbred named Silky Sullivan won the Kentucky Derby. The horse’s claim to fame was it would always come from behind and win the race. I guess it was only natural an easygoing guy named Dennis Sullivan would collect the nickname.

By the time I met him freshman year he was known school-wide by the moniker. Even some of the Nuns would slip occasionally and call him Silky.  Others to be on the safe side called him Mr. Sullivan.

When he married Babette, she began a well-meaning campaign to call him Dennis. She even corrected me, her big brother, when I called him Silky.

After years of partnering with him from high school shenanigans to becoming relatives, raising kids and raising Cain, my long-time fishing buddy was still Silky to me, sometimes it was shortened to “Silk”.

Some time over the span of 55 years or so, my little sister stopped correcting my “Silky” to Dennis and even uses the moniker herself on occasion.

Will wonders ever cease, now other folks are even calling him that. Like that thoroughbred racehorse in the 1950s, always coming from behind to win the race, I’m now looking forward to seeing him get out of his hospital bed and look my way when I say, “Hey Silky, how you doing?”


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