05-09-2019 Letters and Commentary; “Miss Pat” to retire after 60 years  of dance

Miss Pat” to retire after 60 years of dance

By Annette Christie Being enrolled in dance at the young age of six, the woman that would fondly become known as “Miss Pat” to many Tri-City generations knew that dance is all she would ever want to do. Raised at Twelve Corners, she and her sisters were all enrolled in dance but it was Patrice Culver that grew to love it and make it her career. Following her graduation from Benton Harbor High School, she worked for her father’s business in the morning and taught dance in the small studio that her father built behind his business. Once she was married, she and her husband moved to Coloma and since then, has remained a staple in the community of Coloma while training and teaching youth from all over Southwest Michigan. With a steady stream of students and individuals expected that she describes as “my second family,” Miss Pat will be honored this Saturday, May 11, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Watervliet South Elementary as she prepares to retire with her final bow after 60 years of dance instruction.

Evaluation of marijuana use Dear Editor, One of the issues facing society today is the production, sale and use of marijuana for recreational use. I would like to encourage your readers to read an article written by Alex Berenson. The article is available on line at hillsdale.edu. Go to their publication, Imprimis and look for the article, “Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence”. I believe it is an honest evaluation of the subject. Sincerely, Roy Jeffery, Coloma

Attorney General Barr should resign Dear Editor, William Barr does not seek truth nor does he protect the people of the United States. Donald Trump, according to basic facts, has now passed the 10,000 mark in lies and misrepresentations. We are exhausted by the daily onslaught on the rule of law by this president, now fully supported by Mr. Barr. Since the release of the Mueller Report on the 2016 election investigation, it has been clear that the characterization portrayed by Barr in his “summary” letter and in his news conferences distorted and misrepresented the facts presented in the rather lengthy report. It has now been revealed that Special Counsel Mueller responded by letter to Attorney General Barr objecting to the “summary” given to the public and to Congress. Mr. Mueller stated, “The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions… There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.” In his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr was confronted about his previous false statements to the committee in which he denied knowing about any challenge from Mr. Mueller. If you had the opportunity to witness any of his responses to the Committee it was obvious he did not want to answer the most basic questions in a forthright manner; and refused to answer some queries at all. Now Barr balks at testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Truth denied to the American People is no truth at all. The Attorney General must represent the citizens of the United States of America. Mr. Barr has shown that he is unfit for office and holds the rule of law in contempt. We should all be requesting his resignation. Respectfully submitted, Cynthia Miller, Benton Harbor

Mailbox Improvement Week arrives in time for spring cleaning The U.S. Postal Service is asking all homeowners to inspect and repair their mailboxes during Mailbox Improvement Week, May 12–18, says Coloma Postmaster Marilyn Wassell and Watervliet Postmaster Wendy Fisher. “Repairing suburban and rural mailboxes improves the appearance of our communities and makes delivering and receiving mail safer for our carriers and customers,” says Wassell. The Postal Service makes this annual request because of the wear and tear that occurs to mailboxes every year. “This is especially important after the effects of last winter,” adds Fisher. Some of the typical activities homeowners may need to do include: Replacing loose hinges on a mailbox door; repainting a mailbox that may have rusted or has started to peel; remounting a loosened mailbox post; replacing or adding house numbers. “If a homeowner plans to install a new mailbox or replace a worn one, he or she must use only Postal Service–approved traditional, contemporary or locking full/limited service mailboxes,” said both Postmasters. “Customers must be careful when purchasing curbside mail receptacles because the use of unapproved boxes is prohibited. Customers may use a custom-built mailbox, but they must consult with our offices to ensure it conforms to guidelines applying to flag, size, strength and quality of construction.” For more information on the use of names or numbers on mailboxes, or answers to any other questions, contact your local Post Office directly.

County seeks public input on 2020-2024, Berrien County Parks Five Year Plan Berrien County Parks and Recreation officials are seeking public input on the development of the 2020-2024 Berrien County Parks Five Year Plan. The plan will cover Rocky Gap, Silver Beach, Love Creek, Madeline Bertrand, Paw Paw River, Historic Courthouse Square and Galien River County Parks, as well as the Red Arrow Linear Trail. Park officials invite the public to share their ideas at “Open House” style meetings on Wednesday, May 15, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. before the Berrien County Parks Commission Meeting and after the meeting from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Madeline Bertrand County Park, 3038 Adams Road in Niles. Meetings will take place periodically at different locations around the County in 2019 to seek public input and ideas for Berrien County Parks’ future plans. The public is also invited to send written comments to: Berrien County Parks, 701 Main Street, St. Joseph MI, 49085 or email comments to parks@berriencounty.org. Please have written or emailed comments in by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

Educational Hemp Seminar at MSU Extension Center Join the Berrien Conservation District, MSU Extension, and Guest Speaker Milan Kluko for an all-day Educational Hemp Seminar on Tuesday, May 21 from 8:30-4 at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center – 1791 Hillandale Road in Benton Harbor. The cost is $35 and includes snacks and lunch. The all-day conference on hemp will cover various topics. These will be presented by Milan Kluko, an established grower in Oregon and a vertical farmer in Southwest Michigan along with Eric Anderson, Field Crops Educator, from Michigan State University Extension. A list of potential topics include: Industrial Hemp Uses, Licensing, Production and Equipment for Industrial Hemp, Markets for Industrial Hemp, Seed Selection – to Maximize CBD in the Hemp, Nursery and Seedling Development for Mother Plants, Cloning of Seedstock (from Mother Plants), Lighting and Nursery Procedures for Seedstock, Hardening of Seedstock Prior to Planting, General Procedures for Transplanting of Seedstock, Growing Hemp for CBD, Harvesting Hemp to Maximize CBD Potential, Post-harvest Drying and Sizing, Post-harvest Storage, Processing for CBD Oil – “Extraction 101,” Post Extraction “Value Added” Oil vs. Distillate, Distillation Process, and CBD Market Consideration. Time permitting all topics will be covered. Registration can be done at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/educational-hemp-seminar-berrien-conservation-district-tickets-61099841270. Space is limited to 65 attendees and tickets are only available online at the link above. RSVPs will be taken until May 15, 2019 or until attendance limit is reached.

Great Lakes water levels expected to set record highs The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces that record high water levels are forecasted on several of the Great Lakes over the next six months. Due to recent wet conditions, the six month water level forecast now predicts higher forecasted water level peaks this summer. The forecasted water levels on Lakes Superior, St. Clair and Erie are all expected to break records set in the early 1950s and middle 1980s. While new record highs are not currently forecasted for Lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario, very high water levels are expected there as well. “Several months of wet weather, including a significant snowpack across the northern Great Lakes basin and recent heavy rain events have pushed water levels higher than originally forecasted,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, in coordination with partners in Environment and Climate Change Canada, release the official six month forecast for the Great Lakes. This Monthly Bulletin of Water Levels for the Great Lakes is complete at the beginning of each month, with the latest edition covering the period from May to October. The Great Lakes region will continue to see the threat of coastal flooding and shoreline erosion, especially during storm events. Localized water levels are often impacted by winds and can be significantly higher during storms. Water levels and flow rates in the connecting channels of the Great Lakes are also high and may, depending on winds and other atmospheric conditions, lead to localized flooding. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has authority to support communities in flood fighting by providing technical expertise, and in certain instances, provide flood fight supplies, such as sand-bags and plastic sheeting. This assistance must be requested by state authorities. Communities should contact their county emergency management offices, who can begin coordination with the state and the Corps. For additional information, contact Lynn Rose, director of public affairs at 313-226-4680 or Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District at 313-226-6442. To find the Monthly Bulletin of Water Levels for the Great Lakes visit: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Great-Lakes-Information/Great-Lakes-Water-Levels/Water-Level-Forecast/

It’s not all Mom’s fault Spell check does not help with tongue twister names like Hephzibah, Meshullemeth, Jedidah, or Hamutal. Yet they are real names of real people who are remembered as being the moms of a sequence of kings of Judah. Probably some of them would wish they could have been more effective in influencing their sons’ decisions in life. Perhaps, like every mom, they learned something about the limits of motherhood while trying to do their best for their children. The kings of which these women were mothers were Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoahaz. All related, their respective ages when they became kings were 12, 22, 8, and 23. Only the youngest, Josiah, did well. The others did real bad, especially Manasseh. The account is in the Bible in 2 Kings 21-23. Three of them “did evil in the sight of the LORD”. Josiah, however, “did right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all of the way of David his father…” The Jewish historian, Josephus, makes interesting observations about these kings. Of Josiah he says, “He was of a most excellent disposition, and naturally virtuous, and followed the actions of king David, as a pattern and a rule to him in the whole conduct of his life”. (Antiquities, 10.4.1) But of the others Josephus reports differently, and of a fifth king, Jehoiakim, we find, “He was of wicked disposition, and ready to do mischief…” (Antiquities, 10.5.2) Josephus doesn’t blame the moms for their sons’ messes. Neither does the Bible. Do we really get a “blank-page-to-write-on” when we become moms (or dads)? Newborns come with an agenda, not a blank page. Their “disposition” will help or hinder their ability to respond to instruction. It’s not all Mom’s fault. Keep praying for your children; keep seeking God’s wisdom (James 1:5). Ultimately they will answer for their own choices, whether good or bad.

Social Security announces top 10 baby names Each May, Social Security releases the top 10 baby names of the previous year. We are the leading source for America’s popular names because almost every newborn gets a Social Security number at birth. In a way, your name is your first “personal” information — a piece of identification that you have for the rest of your life. Having a Social Security number provides the foundation for vital benefits to that child if they need them in the future and when they retire. Saving early is a key to having enough money to live on in retirement. Because we’re living longer, healthier lives, we can expect to spend more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did. Achieving the dream of a secure, comfortable retirement is much easier when you plan your finances. The three major elements of your retirement portfolio are pensions, savings and investments, and Social Security benefits. We can help you plan for retirement with our online resources at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire. Your benefits are based on your entire earnings history. We calculate your monthly benefit amount based on your highest 35 years of earnings. To learn more about benefit calculations and other important retirement information, check out our Retirement Checklist at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10377.pdf. This publication is easy to download, save, and share. As you can see, a name and Social Security number provide an important first connection to potential future benefits. Are you curious where your own name appears in the baby names line-up? You can look up the top names throughout history at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/oact/babynames. The top names will be announced at some point in May so stay tuned. You can write Vonda VanTil c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.

STILL TIME TO ENTER BEST MOM… There’s still time to honor your mom with a letter to the Record’s Best Mom Contest. Plus, there are several Mother’s Day gift ideas on Page 6.

MY THREE GENERATIONS BEST MOM… Monday morning I noticed a framed picture on a shelf. It was a photo of grandsons Ben and Eli both in homemade Batman masks and capes. At the base of the frame is “What happens at Grandmas stays at Grandmas.” I chuckled looking at it. Some things never change with kids and “Grannie Annie”. Beginning with our own kids, nieces and nephews, and neighbors, our house was always a haven of fun. There was making cookies, building forts, making dolls and doll houses. “Art” was always included, with drawings and crayon colorings taped to the fridge door that, when their display time expired, were filed in a desk drawer. When school photos were sent, all were hung in places of honor. When the next year’s picture arrived, it went into the same frame; last year’s was left in place. Some of our “kids” pictures have become a historical archive with a dozen or so of pictures beginning with kindergarten and through high school. Before long our walls and fridge door would be festooned with second generation snapshots. And lo and behold, the activities at school and at home were recorded the same. Now a third generation is caught on camera at Great Grammy’s house. With the digital age, the process changed a bit. For much of our chronicling the lives of the new young ones are taken with a cell phone camera and video. What hasn’t changed is the fun the youngsters have staying with Grannie Annie, hence the picture of Ben and Eli each posing as the “Batman”. I could have never predicted the stacks of toys accumulated over nearly thirty years of “watching the kids” would be out in the garage ready to be put to use by the next visitor to come visit “Grammy Bayer”. All because the toys, from Justin’s wooden blocks to Polly’s Barbies, are needed when our grandkids and great-grandkids come to stay and play; made comfortable and welcome by Grandma Bayer. Certainly, one of the best moms I know.

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