06-01-2017 Letters and Commentary


Top Pop Contest… Deadline is noon Friday, June 16

Looking for the area’s

“Top Pop” for 2017

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18, and some lucky Tri-City Area dad will be the happy recipient of dozens of great gifts, compliments of the Tri-City Record and its advertisers.

The winner of this year’s “Top Pop” contest will be selected by the staff of the Record from letters written to the paper during the contest period.

Letters to the paper, nominating your “Top Pop,” should tell why he is the greatest. List some of the things he does to deserve the award; and be sure to include his name, your name, and your telephone number.

Send your letter to: Tri-City Record, P.O. Box 7, Watervliet, MI 49098 or by email to record@tricityrecord.com. All letters will be published in the Record as close to Father’s Day as possible.

The “Top Pop” will be selected from those letters after the 12:00 noon contest deadline on Friday, June 16. The writer of the winning letter will be notified that afternoon.

Keep an eye out for prizes and complete contest rules in future issues of the Tri-City Record; and start working on that letter today!

Fentanyl danger

Dear Editor,

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

An independent investigation of Russia and the Trump Campaign is urgently needed

Dear Editor,

With the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel for the investigation of the Russian connection to President Trump and his campaign, the possibility of a politically independent process has increased.

When Trump fired James Comey, Director of the FBI, he left the door open to the investigation being conducted solely by Trump allies. I wonder how that would have turned out?

In an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt, Trump admitted that he fired Comey because the FBI Director continued to pursue the “Russia-Trump” investigation. A recent article in the New York Times reported that after meeting with Trump in February, Director Comey wrote a memo indicating that Trump had asked him to “let go” of the investigation of Michael Flynn, who had just been fired from his position as National Security Adviser for lying about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

The Republican leadership in Congress is either silent or is willing to sit on their hands rather than express anything close to the appropriate outrage that these acts call for.  Why?

Those backing Trump obviously see benefit in governance that reaches out to and praises dictators and authoritarian leaders that have a history of eliminating a free press, killing off opponents and undermining democracy: Erdogan in Turkey, Duterte in Philippines, Kim Jong Un in North Korea, and Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.

It also seems abundantly clear that (most but not all) congressional Republicans are more committed to their party than they are to their country.  They are more concerned with getting their legislative agenda through congress than ensuring we protect our American Democracy.

It is clear that Putin and his cronies used cyber-attacks on U.S. citizens and put out fake news to influence the U.S. election.  It is unclear yet whether there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. That is why a thorough, impartial investigation is needed.

If we allow a cover up to occur and we don’t get a full accounting of the Russia connection, we will see even more drastic consequences to our Democracy once truth sees the light of day.  Our members of Congress must be “Guardians of our Democracy” rather than use this situation for political gains or accept this situation as business as usual.  Let’s be reminded that a previous president (Richard Nixon) tried to avoid the truth, and many helping him paid a heavy toll.

Kenneth R. Peterson

MAJ USA (Ret.)


Special counsel investigation is critically important

Dear Editor,

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been appointed as special counsel to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” as well as any crimes that may take place during the investigation, including things like perjury, obstruction of justice, and witness intimidation.

If Mueller finds enough evidence, he can seek an indictment from a federal grand jury against one or more suspects. If the grand jury chooses to indict, the case would then potentially go to a federal criminal trial.  If appropriate, findings can be used by Congress for the impeachment process.

Mr. Mueller comes to this appointment with a strong history of honesty, thorough investigatory experience and bipartisan trust.  It remains to be seen how his work will be received by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans.  His appointment is at the behest of the Deputy Attorney General (AG) Rod Rosenstein due to AG Jeff Sessions’ recusal from this investigation. Rosenstein is a Trump appointee, so it remains to be seen how this chain of events will play out.

Since Trump fired James Comey while conducting the same investigation, Rosenstein’s days are probably numbered.  With a new Deputy AG of Trump’s liking, Mueller’s work could be conducted under a cloud of disapproval, or perhaps he might even be dismissed if the investigation becomes too effective.

And then there is the question of financing the investigation.  Will there be roadblocks by the Justice Department or Congress relative to providing required resources to do the job properly? The next few weeks should provide interesting news as these events unfold.

Whatever the result, this investigation is absolutely necessary to maintain the viability of our democracy!

Gretta Van Bree

Lincoln Township

Social Security supports National Cancer Survivors Day

 In 2017, more than a million people will be diagnosed with cancer around the world. This alarming statistic affects people and families everywhere. Chances are you know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease.

On June 4, we observe National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States. In support of this day, Social Security encourages getting checkups to provide early detection, raise awareness through education, and recognize the survivors who have gone through this battle or are still living with the disease.

Social Security stands strong in our support of the fight against cancer. We offer services to patients dealing with this disease through our disability insurance program and our Compassionate Allowances program. Compassionate Allowances are cases with medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Security’s disability standards, allowing us to process the cases quickly with minimal medical information. Many cancers are part of our Compassionate Allowances list.

There’s no special application or form you need to submit for Compassionate Allowances. Simply apply for disability benefits online, in-person or over the phone. Once we identify you as having a Compassionate Allowances condition, we’ll expedite your disability application.

Social Security establishes Compassionate Allowances conditions using information received at public outreach hearings, from our employees, who review millions of disability cases each year, from medical and scientific experts, and from data based on our research. For more information about Compassionate Allowances, including the list of eligible conditions, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

Social Security is with you throughout life’s journey, through good times and bad. If you think you qualify for disability benefits based on a Compassionate Allowances condition, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov to apply for benefits.

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.