03-29-2018 Letters and Commentary

Go Fund Me for El Asadero Restaurant

Dear Editor,

Just an FYI, one of our Chamber members called me last week to let me know that the Mexican restaurant in Coloma, El Asadero, was struggling to reopen because of their fire and now has a Go Fund Me Page.  I have copied and pasted some text from that page in case you would like more information.

I know the fire has been devastating to their business, and wanted to help get the word out about this opportunity. They are trying to raise $10,000.

“On Monday February 19th, the unexpected happened and our business experienced a fire.  Fortunately our last customers of the evening had just left and our staff and family were able to get out on time.  We are very blessed and thankful the local fire departments were hosting a meeting nearby and were able to get to us quickly.  We would like to thank our friends, family and customers for their support during this difficult time.  Your comments on social media and direct messages have touched our lives already.

“We expected the repairs would be minimal, but the fire has caused major electrical issues that are more costly than originally projected.  Today we met with the insurance adjuster and the cost of repairs to the structure will not be covered under our business policy.

“We hope to repair the damage and reopen our restaurant as soon as possible; however, we find we need to reach out to the community for help.  Any donation is very much appreciated. We look forward to serving the Coloma community again soon.”

Sincerely, El Asadero Family


Chana Kniebes

North Berrien Community Development

Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce

Shame, shame on you

Dear Editor,

I am a little disappointed that you allowed the letter about Rep. Kim LaSata to be published without a name.

Every one of us, including us nut jobs, have a right to our opinions. Most newspapers usually allow us enough rope to express our freedom of speech as long as we allow ourselves to be identified and take responsibility for our statements and actions.  Seems like you felt differently about this author who crafted a diatribe against many of us conservatives but wished to remain anonymous.

I have no problem with the criticism of LaSata’s “no show.” It remains with Rep. LaSata to respond as to why she didn’t show up. I do have a problem with the newspaper allowing such a broad insulting letter to be published without the signer’s name pursuant to your normal policy.

Perhaps I should ask for this letter to remain anonymous, but then again I try to practice what I believe in. I can take the heat and just let most insults roll off my back like a turtle.

Matt Moser, Coloma

Shame on them

Dear Editor,

It is a free country and we do have free speech.  How refreshing one of your readers wrote to you bashing one of the country’s elected officials for “chickening” out of appearing at a planned public meeting.  The writer of this letter should feel proud that they had the right to send you a letter and proud for it to be published.  Like that person I hate wasting my time, however, my time was wasting reading someone’s opinion when they “chicken” out and don’t have the guts to sign their name.  Who cares what anonymous has to say? Shame on them. If you believe in something, stand up and shout it from the roof tops. Don’t hide behind your mother’s dress.

Yes I would have sent this letter whether the official was Democrat, Libertarian or a chimpanzee.


Proud to give you my name

Dennis Bachman, Coloma

Please tell me this was a mistake

Dear Editor,

With our subscription, I always read your paper from cover to cover and was very surprised, and actually shocked, that a Letter to the Editor was published in your March 22, 2018 edition, UNSIGNED.  I don’t ever recall any newspaper, anywhere, publishing a letter without mentioning the author.  I guess I assumed this was a code of honor for any Publication and that it was required for inclusion in the column.

This letter, criticizing Rep. Kim LaSata and Republicans used the following to describe Republicans… “screwing the American people, Republicans as the treasonous party, right wing nut jobs & conservatives, continually selling us out, (oh and my favorite) debating with mindless inbreds, who are stupid enough to be duped in voting.”  I’m surprised deplorables wasn’t included.

If this is allowed, what’s next, unsigned letters attacking the Democratic Party, the Catholic Church, people of color, peoples’ heritage and nationalities, etc? Where would it end, what vile and racist comments could follow.  Where do you draw the line.

I want to believe this was a mistake. Please tell me this was a mistake. This is a terrible precedent and I believe unworthy of your fine publication which provides excellent coverage for our very special part of SW Michigan, coverage we cannot find anywhere else.


Izzy DiMaggio, Coloma

Re: Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I read with interest the very strongly worded letter regarding Kim LaSata’s absence from the open forum.

I can understand why the writer was upset by LaSata being a “no-show” on that day and not sending a message that she could not make the scheduled meeting; the writer uses inflammatory language throughout in his/her discourse–repukelicans, treasonous, right wing nutjobs, and stupid inbreds.  He or She accuses Kim LaSata of “chickening” out and her party of being too afraid on taking criticism yet he or she asks his/her name to be withheld. It seems LaSata may not be the only “chicken” here.

Karl, I know most newspapers withhold names from letters to the editor only when it contains information of a personal and discreet nature but I have yet to figure out why you chose to do so in this instance.

Feel free to publish this letter if you so choose and you can even use my name!

Ronda Kaucher

Better things to do with my time

Dear Editor,

At this time of Easter our thoughts should be of renewal and rebirth.  A time of marveling at the emergence of flowers from ground that was frozen a few weeks ago.  Wondering at how seeds that were dry and dead can produce life with what seems to be nothing more than a little warmth and some moisture.

When I read that letter about Kim LaSata not showing up for some forum I was amazed at the hatred and vitriol harbored by a member of our community. Someone who has better things to do with his/her time than to sit around waiting but has time to spew hatred in a letter that (in their own terminology) they were too “chicken” to sign.

I sincerely hope this person does not have a firearm license because this seems to be a case where mental disorder would prevent such a thing. I follow the adage “If you see something, say something.”  I saw the letter and I am saying something.  Evidently someone needs counseling at the very least, but nobody knows who that person is so we will all just sit and wait for the violence to begin.

Each Sunday I attempt to teach and preach the unadulterated Word of God from the pulpit.

Christ taught that we should love and respect our fellow man.  Please readers, do some introspection in this Easter season.  Let’s soften our attitudes and our rhetoric and look for things to love about each other instead of focusing on our disagreements.

Pastor Larry Easton, Coloma

Grateful kayak owner

Dear Editor,

To everyone involved in the recovery of my kayak on February 25, 2018 just off County Road 687 Hartford, thank you. I’m truly thankful for your concern and capabilities to perform such a task as this. It’s unfortunate that you were called. I was safe and unharmed, but was unable to retrieve my kayak on the day of the incident. I had made plans to do so the following day.

Never the less, I would like to thank the Hartford Police Department, Hartford Fire Department, Watervliet Fire Department, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police and the Hartford Public Works department supervisor. Thank you all for your part in securing my kayak and making sure I was safe. May God bless you.

Name withheld by request

HAPPY EASTER… may the Easter message of sacrifice and forgiveness touch you and bring you peace and joy all your days.

NAME WITHHELD LETTER RESPONSE… It has been a while since a single letter has elicited such a large and immediate response as last week’s letter which took to task State Representative Kim LaSata’s no-show at her announced meeting with constituents at Mill Creek Charlie’s. Interestingly while there were different views, all the writers were concerned that the author’s name was withheld. All the letters received by deadline appear on this page. I responded to a couple writers that the letter to the editor policy, printed at the bottom of this page, allows withholding the author’s name at the discretion of the editor. There have been few occasions in my 32 years here that I’ve allowed a letter to be published without a name. I have allowed publication when there is a significant reason that outweighs the importance of the identity of the writer. Also, in the letter to the editor policy, I have the right to edit the offering for length and content. While I defend my decision to allow the publishing of the letter without a name for my own reasons; I do apologize for not removing many of the comments that were not pertinent to the issue of Rep. LaSata not showing up. My sincere apologies to Representative Kim LaSata and my readers that were offended by the comments in the letter. The following is the response from Izzy DiMaggio, who submitted one of the very first letters, when I referred him to the Record’s Editorial Policy (at the bottom of this page)… “Ok Karl, thanks for the response. It’s your business, and you have every right to set your own rules to omit the name of the author of any letter. I’m a firm believer in that no one should tell a business owner how to run their own business. “I’m just very disappointed in you. I guess I assumed that you would not allow someone to spew hatred and issue negative characterizations of a good person, and a large segment of our community, without the courage of the writer to add their name to this attack letter. “You certainly know a majority of local elected and appointed Republicans in our Coloma, Watervliet, Hartford, and Hagar Township communities. The vast majority of these women and men are decent, honorable public servants. They do not behave in the manner of these vicious attacks. “Kim LaSata is a very decent, hardworking public servant. I’m guessing the writer has never met Kim, nor her beautiful family, nor is aware of her many positive contributions to our community. “Ok, that being said, I’ve expressed my feelings, and this is the end of my opinions.” Thanks Izzy and all the other letter writers. I welcome responses to letters and columns on any subject. Once again, my apologies to Kim LaSata and any readers that were offended by what appeared on this page last week. Please read Kim LaSata’s column this week on Page 2. It recounts a typical schedule of her day as our State Representative. The typical day was Saturday March 10 when she was a “few minutes late” to a meeting at Mill Creek Charlie’s!

5 more facts you might not know about Social Security What kind of questions do you and your friends ask about Social Security? When do my benefits arrive? What are Social Security work credits, and do they have anything to do with the way my benefits are figured? Will I be automatically enrolled in Medicare? Read on to find the answers to these questions. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due. When you meet all the requirements for eligibility, the benefit check you receive is payment for the prior month’s benefits. To know when checks will be paid, you can save the Schedule of Social Security Benefit Payments to your “Favorites” or print it by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/calendar.htm. We don’t pay benefits for the month of death. Social Security uses the same throughout-the-month rule to determine eligibility for the benefit that is due for the month of death. You must live through the full month to be eligible for the payment. Survivor benefits can replace a percentage of the worker’s earnings for family members. Survivor benefits usually range from about 75 percent to 100 percent of the deceased worker’s amount. Visit our Survivors Planner for information on survivor benefits for your family if you pass away and how you may qualify as a survivor on someone else’s record. www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors. Work credits determine eligibility for benefits, but your lifetime earnings are used to calculate your monthly benefit amount. Retired workers need 40 work credits to be eligible for benefits, but your work credits alone do not determine how much you will receive each month. When we figure your retirement benefit, we use the average of your highest 35 years of earnings. See Your Retirement Benefit: How It Is Figured at www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf. If you receive retirement benefits before you reach age 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay. It also pays for some home health care and hospice care. Medicare Part B (medical insurance) helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventative services. When you’re already receiving retirement benefits, we automatically sign you up for Medicare Parts A and B when you turn age 65. You can then decline Part B if you choose, since it requires a monthly premium. If you are not receiving retirement benefits as you approach age 65, you should contact Social Security three months before age 65 to sign up for Medicare Part A and B. Even if you don’t want to retire at 65, you should sign up for Medicare only. For more details, check out our Medicare page at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare.

Easter’s peace child Frustrated missionaries to the Sawi people of Irian Jaya Indonesia, Don and Carol Richardson sought ways to communicate God’s love for them. Nothing seemed to work. Constant tribal warfare was a huge part of these peoples’ culture. There was always violence and death. Once, when Don explained the Easter story he got to the part about Judas betraying Jesus. The listeners broke out into cheers and applause! Their culture valued treachery! Judas was the hero! The people were kind enough to the missionaries, allowing them to live among them. But warfare and treachery dominated their existence. Then an amazing thing happened. The chief got tired of the violence and decided to invoke the only way they had to make peace. He would give up his own son to the opposing tribe to live in that chief’s family instead of his own. As long as the child lived there would be peace between the tribes! The boy became the “Peace Child.” Don immediately realized that God had provided the Sawi with this cultural bridge to the Gospel. God gave up His Son to live among us to establish peace between Him and us. As long as Jesus is alive that peace will maintain. God took the initiative. We must accept God’s offer, taking the peace child to ourselves. That event opened the door of understanding for God’s love for those people. That is Easter’s true story. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 5:1, NASB). His gracious peace offer is sealed with Jesus’ blood shed on the cross of Calvary. And because Jesus rose from the dead to live forever, our newly established peace will also endure for eternity. That’s Easter’s good news. Don Richardson’s book, “Peace Child,” gives the full account of this true story.


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