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05-17-2018 Letters and Commentary

“Best Mom” nominee is selfless, devoted and strong

Dear Editor, Amy Loomis is the strongest woman I know. I know this to be true, because she has survived raising me as a single mom, which was not an easy task. I am obsessed with her massive inner strength. Her journey has never been easy, but she takes life with both grit & grace and struts through the fire. She has shown me through example the definition of selflessness. The past 21 years have been devoted to my needs, as she often forgets her own. She is so humble that she will never take full credit where full credit is deserved. This is why I nominate her as the “Best Mom.” It’s about time that she gets recognized for her selflessness, devotion, and strength. I will spend my life trying to become half the woman that she is. Happy Mother’s Day Mama! Annabelle Weeden, South Haven

WHS Post Prom, great night of fun

Dear Editor, I would like to thank the following businesses and people for their generous donations to Watervliet High School Post Prom event that was held May 13 at the Airway Fun Center in Portage. We left the high school at 12:15 a.m. via buses and returned around 5:15 a.m. A big shout out to our bus drivers for getting us there and back safely! Once again, a huge “THANK YOU” goes out to the following: Lions Club of Watervliet, Cool Tan, Tom VanNiel, Watervliet Township, Super Book, Berrien County Parks, Easy Street, Mr. & Mrs. Alton Wendzel, Arnt Asphalt, Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club, DiMaggios, Randy’s BP, Mr. & Mrs. Geoff Geisler, Silver Beach Pizza, Duffield & Pastrick Funeral Home, Mr. & Mrs. Ken Bannen, Lane Automotive, Wightman & Associates, Sharon Yoder Insurance, Celebration Cinema, Sparkle Car Wash, Honor Credit Union, Knights of Columbus, Barb Schofield, Hutchins Funeral Home, Tri-City Record, B&B Outlet, Back on the Rack, Don Young Insurance, Orchard Hill Landfill, Life Style Chiropractic, John & Carrie Brigham, Advantage Installation, Coloma Motor Sports, H&R Block, Chemical Bank, Kraklau’s Repair, TJ’s Sports Grill, Keepin You In Stitches, Robert Michael Salon, Tall Timbers, Escape Day Spa, Wilber Ellis, River of Life Church, Priebe’s Creative Woodworking, Arclight Brewery, Coloma FOP #147, Epple Insurance, The Flower Basket, Great Lakes Truck & Auto Repair, Dan & Cheryl Hutchins, Annette Christie, Billie Hunt, and Mrs. Hiler. Also, a special thank you to the following chaperones for being there “all night” to make sure this night was a fun and safe night: Tara Matthews, Tina Tucker, Bob & Deanna Shafer, Don Higginbottom, Wendy Stainbrook, Rhonda Mannino, Nikki Priebe, Susie Burkhardt and Brad Coon. Thank you all again, for a great night of fun and memories. Karla Liles, Post Prom Chairman

Mailbox Improvement Week arrives in time for spring cleaning

Dear Editor, The U.S. Postal Service is asking all Watervliet homeowners to inspect and repair their mailboxes during Mailbox Improvement Week, May 13–19. Repairing suburban and rural mailboxes improves the appearance of our community and makes delivering and receiving mail safer for our carriers and customers. 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. 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. 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 my office 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. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. Postmaster Wendy Fisher

Blessings of the Bikes is June 9

Dear Editor,

Attention all bikers and riders! Polish the chrome and put on those colors because it’s time for the annual Blessing of the Bikes on Saturday, June 9. We’ll meet at Harbor Sports Cycle at 2188 M-139 in Benton Harbor. This free event starts with registration at 10 a.m. and provides an opportunity for all to have their bikes blessed at 11:45. Kick stands up at noon with this year’s ride escorted by the Berrien County Sheriff. There’s even a free meal at the end of the ride with live music from O.T.C.! Event is sponsored by Harbor Sports Cycle and Christian Motorcycle Association, Benton Harbor chapter, Prayer Re-Riders. Thank you, Bill Bridgman CMA Chaplain Prayer Re-Riders #705

Obsolete laws should be removed to make government more efficient according to Rep. Beth Griffin

State Rep. Beth Griffin of Mattawan testified before the House Oversight Committee in support of her plan to repeal an unnecessary law from the books. House Bill 5763 would remove an outdated section of the Michigan Penal Code. House Bill 5763 removes a 1931 law which references the criminality sentencing guidelines for committing a false protest. Individuals that injure, deceive or defraud someone today would be charged with fraud rather than making a false protest, therefore making this law obsolete. “We are talking about almost a 90-year-old law that is simply no longer needed or used,” Griffin said. “Today, individuals would be charged with fraud and we have other laws in place for that. Removing this obsolete law from the books – as well as others – will make government more efficient.” House Bill 5763 remains in the House Oversight Committee for further consideration.

New scholarships available at Lake Michigan College

More financial help is available to LMC students, thanks to four new scholarship donations through the Lake Michigan College Foundation. Three of the new scholarship funds will support future professionals in advanced manufacturing, culinary management, and wine and viticulture. Another is for South Haven area women studying early childhood education, engineering and life sciences. The new scholarships add to the foundation’s $600,000 in private scholarship dollars available annually. “We are so thankful to all of our donors for helping to make the dream of a college education come true for our students,” said Lake Michigan College Foundation Executive Director Mary Klemm. The $1,500 South Haven American Association of University Women scholarship is for female residents of Bangor, Covert and South Haven who are pursuing a degree in early childhood education, engineering, or life sciences. The scholarship was established in memory of AAUW member, Annette Bacehowski, to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. The $1,000 George and Lorraine McGann “Give Them a Chance” scholarship is for students pursuing a culinary management degree. The scholarship was established by local pizza entrepreneur James DeLapa and his wife, Judy to honor the McGanns for their significant contributions to enhance the lives of many Benton Harbor residents. DeLapa sold his national frozen pizza brand to General Mills, Inc. in 1976. The $1,000 Snow Road scholarship is for students in LMC’s wine and viticulture program. The anonymous donor aims to advance southwest Michigan’s progress toward becoming a greatly renowned wine region. The $500 David L. LaGrow Memorial Scholarship is for students earning degrees and certificates in advanced manufacturing or skilled trades. The scholarship is donated by Cynthia and David M. LaGrow in honor of his father and namesake. The junior LaGrow graduated from Lake Michigan College’s apprenticeship program and now owns three, high tech manufacturing companies including Maximum Mold and the former Mach Mold. “Our employees believe in the importance of keeping our talent pool growing. The modern tool and die industry is clean and high-tech, and we want to help remove financial barriers to an education that leads to a great career,” said Maximum Mold co-owner Cynthia LaGrow. To apply for these and other LMC scholarships, visit To donate a scholarship gift, contact Rita Whise at (269) 927-6278 or For more information on the Lake Michigan College Foundation, visit

Getting off “top dead center” My first car was pretty unimpressive by today’s standards. It was a 1963 Rambler Classic, bought with $700 saved from a summer job… four-door, green with a white top. One major difference between that Rambler and today’s cars – I could “work on” the Rambler. That meant I could play with performance ideas and make “adjustments”. It was a V-8 with a very functional Holley four-barrel carburetor and a Ford ignition system. One of the adjustments related to the spark plug firing times. It was the “timing” adjustment, measured in degrees. With the timing “advanced” the engine was peppier. With it “retarded” the engine was more sluggish. “Top dead center” was neither advanced nor retarded. It was in the middle, at 0 degrees, and usually produced gutless performance. The term “being on top dead center” came to describe someone having little pep for life generally. I ran the Rambler advanced. It could “lay rubber” in first and second gear, and it was an automatic. That was fun. We’ve lived our lives with our spark advanced, but now find ourselves on top dead center, feeling sluggish at best. But life adjustments are not as easy as it was using a timing light with that Rambler. As seasons of life change, from school to work, from interesting work to boring work, from young to old, from dependent to independent to dependent again, from no kids to kids to no kids at home again, we sense a need to discover new vision for life, to find new pep. The search should include prayerfully seeking God’s mind on the matter (perhaps also exploring the book of James in the Bible). His light can help get us off of top dead center. He understands us perfectly, knows what we need, and hears our call for help.

Michigan residents can replace their Social Security Card online Need to replace your lost or misplaced Social Security card? If you live in Michigan, our online application makes getting a replacement card easier than ever. There’s no need to sit in traffic or visit a local office. As long as you’re only requesting a replacement card, and no other changes, you can use our free online service from the comfort of your home or office. All you need to do is create a my Social Security account at Your identity and personal information matter to us. We protect your information by using strict identity verification and security features. The application process has built-in features to detect fraud and confirm your identity. Once you have a personal account, simply follow the instructions to replace your Social Security card. In many cases, even if you lost your card, you may not need a replacement. Most of the time, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough. Visit our website to find out whether you can request your replacement Social Security card online or what the requirements are in your area at 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

MOWING MAYHEM… I took out Amy’s and Bill’s new mower for a practice run and promptly wedged it between the barn and the hitching post. No amount of rocking and cursing would free the big rig from the tight fit. Anxious to get it unstuck before its owners showed up, and realizing moving the barn was not an option, I chose to move the hitching post (foreground). My trusty spade sliced through the sod and clanged into concrete. Undaunted, I drove my Jimmy through the back gate and backed up to the hitching post. With a couple turns of my tow strap on the post and the free end hooked to my trailer hitch I was ready to rip the post from the grip of Mother Earth, cement and all. Putting the GMC in low gear I watched the drama unfold in the rear view mirror. At first the steel post resisted the straining but with a tap on the gas the pole bent at the ground. The tow strap slid to the end of the pole, and then with the slightest hesitation the strap ripped the cast iron horse head off and whipped back to the GMC while the horse head flew overhead. The post remained firmly attached to the ground but was bent over enough to free the mower and allow me to drive it back into the barn for another practice session on another day. Session #2 the next day had me running into a forgotten fence post standing vigil along the lot line. That was enough to make me park it again. Then a couple days later for session #3, finally I climbed back on and managed to mow the back yard without mishap. The jury is still out on whether I will use it again to mow the yard or get a goat.


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