03-30-2017 Letters and Commentary

Congratulations to the new Miss Blossomtime

Dear Editor,

Watervliet Charter Township would like to extend our congratulations to Kaylee Chapin, Miss Watervliet 2017, on becoming the 2017 Miss Blossomtime.  We are proud to have her represent our community and the Blossomtime area, and hope she has a wonderful time fulfilling her reign.

Watervliet Charter Township

Board & Staff

Downtown improvements

Dear Editor,

Downtown Watervliet will slowly be getting a makeover. The DDA has recently approved the start of beautifying the town.

Over the next few weeks our buildings will brighten up as Precision Cutz, LLC trims the trees back, giving them a fresh start.

Please be aware of the men working and understand they will do their best to work efficiently and effectively.  We are also pleased to announce that Kris Krogel, owner of The Flower Basket will be assisting the next stage as she heads up the Beautification Team as they prepare to add a splash of color and plant life to the downtown streets.

All this made possible through the dedication of your Watervliet DDA Board.

We’re excited to see what’s next for our town.

Rochelle Ulleg

DDA Board Member

CWACC Board Member

Watervliet Business Owner

Red Cross calls for type O negative and AB blood donors

Blood donations essential to patient care

The American Red Cross is issuing a call for type O negative and AB blood donors to make an appointment to give after severe winter weather in some parts of the country caused about 250 Red Cross blood drives to cancel in March, resulting in more than 8,500 uncollected blood donations.

Type O negative blood and type AB plasma are two of the most in-demand blood products by hospitals. Those who give can help patients locally or across the country as the Red Cross has the ability to move blood products where and when they are needed most.

“All blood types are needed to meet the constant need of patients, and there is a significant need now for type O negative and AB donations to help some of the most vulnerable patients,” said Todd Kulman, external communications manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “We ask that you schedule an appointment to roll up a sleeve to help save a life in the coming days.”

Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is often needed in emergency situations when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type. While less than 7 percent of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, hospitals depend on frequent O negative donations to ensure it’s always available for patients in need. Type O negative blood donors are an important part of the Red Cross trauma team.

Type AB is the universal plasma type and can be transfused to patients of any blood type in an emergency. Plasma helps maintain blood pressure and supplies critical proteins for clotting and immunity. Plasma can be donated through a blood donation.

Eligible donors can learn more, find a donation opportunity and schedule an appointment by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can save time at their donation appointment by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Fentanyl increases risk of fatal overdose

Those with loved ones who are using opiates or heroin have a new risk. Drug dealers across the United States have begun to mix drugs with an extremely powerful and dangerous drug known as Fentanyl.

The drug Fentanyl can be from 50 to 100 times more powerful then heroin, making the risk of a fatal overdose much higher. Drug dealers have been using this drug to increase the potency of their heroin at a lower cost.

Now more than ever it is essential to get those you know who are addicted into treatment. Having a relationship with a person who has an addiction to opiates is often stressful. Although you just want to help the addicted person, they many times fight against you as if you were the enemy.

Addicts can be very difficult to get into treatment and it is important to ask for help when you need it. There are professionals who can help you handle your loved one before it is too late.

Do not be surprised if your loved one accuses you of contributing to their addiction. Hear them out and take their words into consideration but at the end of the day realize getting them sober and continuing to live is the most important thing.

Fentanyl has made the risks of being a heroin addict even higher than it already was. Get yourself educated. If one of your loved ones is struggling with addiction, get them into treatment. Don’t wait until it is too late.

There are many different approaches to the challenge of how to help addicts. For free information, visit http://www.narcononnewliferetreat.org/blog/fentanyl-laced-heroin-worsening-overdose-crisis.html or call 1-800-431-1754 to get help for your loved ones.

Ray Clauson

Denham Springs, LA

As tax day approaches, get your benefit statement online

Social Security is with you through life’s journey, putting you in control of your finances and future. With this in mind, we have made getting a replacement Social Security Benefit Statement even easier. Now you can instantly print or save a replacement any time you want. That’s control!

The Benefit Statement, also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S, is a tax form Social Security mails each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to the IRS on your tax return.

An SSA-1042S is for a noncitizen who lives outside the United States and received or repaid Social Security benefits last year.

If you currently live in the United States and you need a replacement form SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, simply go online and get an instant, printable replacement form with a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

If you already have a my Social Security account, you can access your online account to view and print your SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S. If you don’t have a my Social Security account, creating a secure account is very easy to do and usually takes less than 15 minutes.

Keep in mind, your Social Security benefits may be taxable. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/taxes.html if you have other substantial income.

Securing today and tomorrow doesn’t have to be difficult, and Social Security continues to improve our customer service with easy-to-use online features. Find out more about what you can do online at www.socialsecurity.gov.

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.

Got your ears up?

Back when CBs in vehicles were a new thing to me I was probably a major annoyance to many other drivers with my constant, “Breaker one-nine for a radio check.” I didn’t really know what it meant, so I repeated it even when someone had already responded. Other times I would identify another vehicle (usually a truck) and ask: “Got your ears up?” asking, of course, if they had their radio on. Occasionally, when friends were in another vehicle on the same trip, that question would result in a good conversation about whatever. It helped keep us alert on long rides.

In a way God asks us the same question: “Got your ears up?” In Psalm 19 we read about a sequence of invitations to conversation that can help keep us alert on our long trip in life. God gives His own radio calls to us warning about road hazards, speed traps, noting points of interest, and providing other helpful information for the journey.

First is a welcome to the road in the first few verses. God the Creator gives us our context. We are on an interstellar interstate. Be aware of that. It didn’t just happen. Our journey has an origin, a purpose and a destination. We are not here for no reason.

Second, God has given specific instructions for the entire drive – encouragements and warnings addressed specifically to each of us. Hopefully we’re listening.

Last, the same Creator wants to travel with us the whole way and have us know Him personally as our own strength and Redeemer, not just as a distant Creator. Quite an offer considering He made it all before we even existed!

But do we have our ears up? Are we listening to the messages, and are we responding? Safe journey!

REPUBLICANS & DEMOCRATS NEED TO COME TOGETHER… If ever there was an opportunity for our warring political parties it was the vote to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.

It seems everybody agrees Obamacare needs fixing at least. At the most, it could be repealed but then millions of Americans (voters) would be without healthcare.

We still have that stalemate brought on by lifetime politicians to let the country suffer before making any amends with the opposition party.

The failure of the Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare last week should be another wakeup call that American voters are fed up with politicians living high on the hog and not working for the good of the country.

The first wakeup call was electing outsider Donald Trump as President. The next will be to oust all the fat cats with health care and pensions that few Americans enjoy.

The next election could be the last for the Congress that built a wall between the parties instead of reaching across the aisle for the good of their country.

WELCOME BACK SNOWBIRDS… Now is the time when many of our friends return from their winter month’s sojourn in warmer climes. Welcome back folks. Hope your winter escape was warm and free of troubles.

Here at the Record we call them snowbirds; those folks who go south for the winter but still enjoy reading their hometown newspaper. Happily (and for the extra postage), we send them the Tri-City Record.

Part of the deal is to let us know when they head back to the Tri-Cities so we can change their address back to their hometown domicile.

So welcome back folks, and please call Amy as soon as you can and give her your “new” address.

TRY THE E-EDITION… Some Record Readers are now enjoying their hometown paper by reading it on their smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. What they are reading is the e-edition of the Tri-City Record, 100% of everything in the published issue.

Additionally the e-edition is a searchable data base of all the previous issues from its debut in November 2016.

The e-edition is free to paid subscribers or separately for just $32.00 a year and is available Thursday mornings at about the same time the printed version is on the store shelves.

RIP SILKY… There’s a saying, “You can’t pick your relatives, but you can pick your friends.” I guess that old saw can cut both ways… either to cut the cord on friends or to explain the unruly relative in the front parlor.

In the case of my long-time fishing partner, Silky Sullivan the comment would never apply. We became fast friends the first few weeks of freshman year at Shrine High School in Royal Oak.  By the time we graduated, we had delivered a few thousand pizzas and chicken dinners for gas money and tons of laughs at the Chicken Delight.

Then I was stationed at Selfridge Air Base in Mt. Clemons, it was Silky who drove me out there from my parent’s home in Berkley. Silky regularly picked me up and drove me home from the base nearly every weekend.

Only somehow, my sister Babette ended up riding along, in the front seat no less! Soon, she and Silky got married and promptly began raising a family.

Anne and I got engaged while babysitting for their first-born Pat. When we got married, Silk was the best man, Babette was maid of honor.

Much of the next 10-15 years, we all lived in Dryden. Silky and I worked a few years together at Champion Motor Homes, raised more kids, had some great fishing adventures and played thousands of games of cribbage.

At Champion, over a couple years, we played more than 2,000 games of cribbage just over the half-hour lunch break. When I tallied up the games won noted on the back of the board, we had broken nearly even. It worked out we were pretty well suited and knew the other’s moves. I might have been the better pegger he got the great cribs!

The next 35 years we went our separate ways, but thanks to those wonderful family ties, we remained fast friends. Our large Bayer family draws close in times of joy and sorrow. Few weddings, births, or funerals go by without us all getting together to celebrate the event. We share the best of times and the worst of times and Silky was always there with us.

Well Silky “Dennis” Sullivan passed away last week, following a valiant fight for life. When we Sullivans and Bayers (et al), and friends gathered to celebrate his life (and our friendship) I know he was with us.

May you rest in peace brother.

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