04-19-2018 Letters and Commentary


For the 32nd year, the Tri-City Record is sponsoring its “Best Mom” contest for Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018. On that day, a mother, grandmother, stepmother or best friend will receive a dozen red roses and many gifts from area merchants as the “Best Mom” of 2018. Selection of “Best Mom” is made by the staff of the Tri-City Record, based on the contents of a nominating letter submitted on behalf of the candidate. To enter that special lady in your life in the “Best Mom” competition, simply write a letter to the Editor of the Record. In 200 words or less, tell why she deserves to win the “Best Mom” title. Sign the letter and give your address and telephone number (don’t forget Mom’s name). Send your letter to: Tri-City Record, P.O. Box 7, Watervliet, MI 49098 or by email to record@tricityrecord.com. Deadline for the letter entry is Friday, May 11, at 12 noon. The “Best Mom” letter writer will be notified that day and the “Best Mom” will receive her red roses on Sunday, Mother’s Day. Her picture and the nominating letter will appear in the May 17, 2018 edition of the Record. All letters submitted for consideration will appear in the Record, as space allows, up to and after Mother’s Day. Previous letter writers may enter new letters! Correction In the April 12, 2018 issue of Tri-City Record on Page 10 in reporting the MYWAY Championship, it should have said that Trever Pelton won the MYWAY State Championship. Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this omission may have caused.

Correction to Planning Commission chairman name

Dear Editor, This is Joe Engel sending this in regards to the Vol. 136 Issue #15 [of the Tri-City Record]. Luke Strunk is not the Planning Commission Chairman as Annette [Christie] reported [in the Watervliet City Commission meeting of April 10, front page], I hold that position. And yes, the Planning Commission meeting April 30 at 7:00 p.m. will include a discussion on Medical Marijuana. We are looking forward to feedback from the public, so as Planning Commissioners we can make a good decision. At this time, I am unaware of the thinking of most Planners and or Commissioners as it pertains to Medical Marijuana. I will know more as the meeting approaches. Respectfully, Joe Engel EDITOR’S NOTE: Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this error may have caused.

Questions to Commission over loss of city manager

Dear Editor, I am asking these questions to the Watervliet City Commission because of my concern over the loss of yet another city manager. In the 1990s when I was mayor we would have loved to have a city manager but we were forced to do the work ourselves. How many more city managers must leave before elected officials learn to work together? How many more city managers must leave before elected officials realize that the prosperity and growth of our city are permanently damaged and that the Commission has become a laughing stock in the greater Watervliet area? How many more city managers must leave before the City Commission understands that a “committee style of city management” is incompatible with a “city manager style of management” and that the city manager is always the loser – as just happened a week ago? It is my sincere hope that the Commission quickly learns from their big mistakes, admit these mistakes and quick to rectify the harm they have done to their city. I hope for these things but I am also a realist. Sincerely, Daniel P. Schofield Jr.

Please withhold  my name

Dear Editor, Recent letters about people asking that their names be withheld has prompted me to write about my experience. Few years ago, I encouraged your readers to vote for the millage for the museum. But to my surprise, there are ugly and hateful people in the area who let me know in no uncertain terms that they did not agree with me. They did not sign their names to their letters! I don’t blame people who send letters and ask to have their names withheld. They only want to express and explain their own opinion. They don’t want backlash. If someone disagrees, then they should write a letter to the paper. Name withheld by request

Berrien County Trophy Toms thankful for support

Dear Editor, On behalf of the Berrien County Trophy Toms Chapter of The National Wild Turkey Federation we would like to thank you for posting our banquet in the Tri-City Record. We really appreciate what you do for us and the community. The monies we keep in this area are used to feed our local veterans a holiday meal and sponsor our kid’s fishing day. We also give away a $500 scholarship to a local youth. Again, thank you so very much. Karen Jasper, President Berrien County Trophy Toms

Take the thankful pill!

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a “thankful pill,” one that could work for anyone? We have medications for just about everything else, and most of us have a good selection of them somewhere handy. Whether for headache, for a sleep aid, indigestion, muscle aches, for constipation (and for the opposite), we’ve got them all… but no thankful pills. Of course we would want to know the side-effects. How would it affect us? Are there overdose concerns? Speaking of symptoms, how do we know when to take our thankful pills? How much dosage is recommended? And how do we know when they’re working? Well, you will be encouraged to know that dosages of thankfulness are described in the Bible, where we can gain some insight for answers to some of our questions. Let’s read just two dosage instructions. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) A side effect is the realization that all of God’s plans are better than our plans. This reduces anger about ‘circumstances.’ “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7) Thankful doses are to be accompanied by prayer and concern for others. We will know that we are using our thankful pills correctly when we experience peace in areas that otherwise caused worry and concern. Thankful pills get thankfulness to the core of our being displacing negative thoughts. No thankful pills in our cupboard? Remember God’s care, His wisdom, His attention, His provision and His promise to never leave us – thankfulness results.

Helpful facts about Social Security disability benefits

When the unexpected happens and you can no longer work due to a serious medical condition, Social Security is there with a lifeline to help you and your family. Most American workers contribute to Social Security through federal payroll taxes and benefit through monthly retirement payments later in life. For others whose working years are cut short by severe and lasting illness or injury, Social Security provides financial assistance to help them through the critical times. Here are six facts you should know about Social Security’s disability program: Social Security disability insurance is coverage that workers earn. The program provides a safety net to disabled workers who’ve paid enough Social Security taxes on their earnings. Social Security disability benefits replace some of their income if their medical condition leaves them unable to work. The Social Security Act defines disability very strictly. A person is considered disabled under the Social Security Act if they can’t work due to a serious medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death. Social Security does not offer temporary or partial disability benefits. Disability can happen to anyone at any age. Serious medical conditions, such as cancer and mental illness, affect the young and elderly alike. One in four 20-year-olds will become disabled before retirement age and may need Social Security disability benefits’ critical support. Social Security disability payments help disabled workers to meet their basic needs. The average monthly Social Security disability benefit is $1,197, as of January 2018. This amount helps disabled workers to meet their basic needs when they need that help the most. Social Security works aggressively to prevent, detect, and help prosecute fraud. Social Security is committed to protecting your investment. Along with the Office of Inspector General, Social Security takes a zero tolerance approach to fraud. The result is a fraud incidence rate of a fraction of one percent. Social Security helps people return to work without losing benefits. Often, people would like to re-enter the workforce, but worry they’ll lose disability benefits. We connect them to free employment support services and help them maintain benefits such as health care. Learn about our Ticket to Work program at http://choosework.ssa.gov. We’re with you through life’s journey, offering disability benefits to ten million people. Learn more about our disability insurance program at www.socialsecu- rity.gov/disability. 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.

ANOTHER GREAT TAX DAY… along with millions of other citizens I paid my income taxes this week. Along with millions of other citizens of this great land, I paid my dues to be an American and I’m proud to be an American. We should all be proud to be able to pay our share of managing this great land, from supporting our military troops, our social services, civil services and government. There are many countries that collect taxes from its citizens and give little regard for them in exchange by way of social services. Other countries use their taxes to control their citizens and to limit personal freedoms. Still others literally enslave their citizens to lives of limited freedom, menial labor and no hope. Sure, we decry paying taxes in anyway, but the truth of the matter is that the payment of taxes by all the citizens makes it our country and makes us all its’ managers.

GREAT MOVE… Daughter Amy called Saturday, “Dad, Sunday’s weather is supposed to be terrible. How about we come over around 5 and help you move. We can probably get most of it done and it won’t be so bad Sunday.” Amy and Billy, their family and friends were all planning to help us move from our house on Riverside Drive in Watervliet, to new digs at 9384 Red Arrow Hwy. Anne and I had boxed up a lot of things the week before, but since we had planned the move for Sunday, there were still things to be done. Come 5 o’clock, Amy, Billy, Willy, Karli, Benny, Tyler, Laura, Mike, Troy, and Taylor hit the ground running at our Riverside abode. Several cars and a large covered trailer were soon loaded and on their way across town to the Red Arrow address. In little time all were unloaded and as some went back for more, the rest went about filling cupboards and closets. We were moving household effects and furnishing from a three-bedroom, three bath, two living room, dining room, garage, and shed home. There was a lot of stuff accumulated from nearly 30 years of wonderful living in the City of Watervliet. Unbelievably, I brought pizza in at 8 o’clock and the last trip from Riverside Drive was being unloaded. By 10 or so the moving crew was gone after unloading boxes of dishware and hanging up clothes… they even made our beds! Anne and I were resting in our chairs, wore out and so thankful for all the wonderful help and kindness of this great group of family and friends. Amy and Billy came back Sunday after church and finished up some loose ends and left us dinner. By the way, they live next door. I’m gonna like this! Amy and I came full circle on this project, when we moved from our Shore Lane house in 1987 to Riverside Drive, most of the heavy lifting and carrying fell on hers and my shoulders as Anne was stricken with some back issues, Justin was busy and Gillian was a tyke. Monday I was back at the Riverside Drive house to pick up some loose ends and I took a few moments to recall the past three decades there. There were 30 years of mostly happy times, family times, great friends and neighbor times too. Anne’s mom lived there for 15 years, in the apartment we added to the back for her. It was truly a family project… Benny was a little guy playing in the mud with neighbors Blake and Kyler. They became fast friends. Willy was old enough to want to help his parents Amy and Billy, put on the shingles but too young to swing a hammer. I kept him distracted with pounding nails into scrap lumber. His sister Karli helped him pick up debris from the job and put it into the trash. Anne and I and “little” Grandma helped with the finances and tried to stay out of the way. We’ve been blessed with wonderful neighbors our whole history in Watervliet and doubly so on Riverside. Some were there to welcome us in 1987. Some, sadly, have since passed. Others, newcomers, have shared smiles and waves. Thank you all for the friendship; stop by our new house at 9384 Red Arrow Highway.

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