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06-13-2019 Letters and Commentary

Correction In the June 6, 2019 issue of Tri-City Record, an error was made on Page 9 showcasing the Coloma High School Class of 2019. In error, the photo is of the Class of 2018 instead of this year’s class photo. See Page 9 this week for the correct photo. Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this error may have caused.

Why was Veteran Kenneth Chappel missing from Memorial Day service roll call

Dear Editor, Again a beautiful ceremony at the Watervliet City Cemetery to honor our deceased veterans from the area. As usual North Berrien County Military Rites Team did a wonderful job; thanks for their service. My family and I are wondering who makes the veterans roll call list of recently deceased veterans from our area. We were surprised when Kenneth Chappel whom passed June 14 of 2018 was not listed. He was born and lived most of his life in Watervliet, played sports and graduated from Watervliet in 1967. He served his country proudly during the Vietnam War stationed in Korea. He lived in Coloma at the time of his death. Ken was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and past post commander of American Legion Post 362 in Coloma. Ken was laid to rest in Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta on July 13, 2018 with full military honors. His family, friends and I feel he should have been acknowledged in the Memorial Day Veterans Roll Call. Thanks, Ruth Thornton Chappel

Pesticide container recycling program launches soon

The Van Buren Conservation District is launching a free, non-regulatory empty pesticide container recycling program Tuesday, June 18. For anyone that has rigid, HDPE plastic containers that are 55 gallons or less and once held pesticides used for purposes other than home use, they can sign-up to have these jugs collected and recycled. For a full description of eligible containers, please visit To participate in the program, residents can sign up with the Van Buren Conservation District and schedule appointments to drop the jugs off. Appointment times are available the first and third Tuesday of every month April through September between 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. To sign up for the program and learn more, please call the Recycling Coordinator, Emilly Hickmott, at (269) 657-4030 x5 or stop into the office located at 1035 E Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw.

Lest We Forget salutes Navy in Anchors Aweigh weekend event June 22-23

AIR, LAND and SEA sponsored by Lest We Forget will take place on June 22-23, 2019 at 275 Upton Drive, St. Joseph. Featuring the United States Navy, “Anchors Aweigh” will include presentations from two Medal of Honor recipients, Donald E. Ballard and James McCloughan. Donald E. (Doc) Ballard, a Navy Corpsman (medic), “volunteered” to be a medic for the Marines. He was assigned to Vietnam in 1967 where he officially received three Purple Hearts but it should have been eight as he treated himself on five occasions. One of his heroic actions was to smother a hand grenade so that it wouldn’t injure a group of Marines. Fortunately, it never went off. Doc later joined the Army and retired as an Army Colonel. He operates a funeral home in Missouri and provides funerals for veterans who don’t have funds. James McCloughan was drafted into the United States Army in 1968 and became a combat medic. In May 1969 he distinguished himself in fighting near Tam Ky at Nui Yon Hill, in which he treated the wounded while fighting North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. McCloughan was wounded multiple times during the battle but refused evacuation. After his discharge from the army, he returned to his hometown of South Haven, Michigan, where he became a high school teacher and athletic coach. The National Museum of the American Sailor representatives, Tricia Runzel and Kelly Duffy, will present “The Skies Above Great Lakes.” It is about the Naval Aviation History at Naval Station Great Lakes. This discussion begins by informing on how the Navy became involved with aviation. They address Great Lakes association with Naval Aviation during both World Wars and conclude with the wider regions efforts to advance Naval Aviation during World War II. To continue this story Daniel Brandt from the Restoration Department at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo will discuss the restoration of two WWII aircraft recovered from Lake Michigan. The Douglas Dauntless SBD-2P and FM-2 Wildcat met a watery fate when WWII pilots trained with carriers steaming through Lake Michigan. Jason Kuntz will tell the story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. In 1945 the ship was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese navy submarine I-58 and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. Learn the fate of the remaining 890 sailors. John Meeks attended Scout Dog School at Fort Benning, Georgia. When he arrived in Vietnam Meeks became the sixth handler to an experienced scout dog named Artus. The German shepherd was killed in action on December 11, 1970. Meeks says, “The dogs of Vietnam, the dogs of today all serve with honor, courage and loyalty.” John and his recently retired military dog have a great story to tell. Adam Gray learned to scuba dive and saw the plane that went down in 1944 where the remains of his great uncle, Bud Rybarczyk, were recovered in 2017 and returned to St. Joseph for burial. Learn more about the life of Albert “Bud” Rybarczyk and how he has changed Adam’s life. In addition to these speaker presentations there will be several displays. The USS Silversides (Ss-236), a Gato-class submarine, was one of the most successful submarines in the Pacific Theater of WWII, with four patrols and 12 battle stars. She presently serves as a museum ship in Muskegon, Michigan and is a National Historic Landmark. The USS LST 393 is an LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during WWII. Of 1,051 built, this LST is one of only two to survive in original configuration. She is now a museum ship in Muskegon. The USS EDSON, a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer, served in the Western Pacific/Far East, operating particularly in the Taiwan Strait and off the coast of Vietnam. Her exceptionally meritorious service in 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin was recognized with the first of three Navy Unit Commendations. During the following years she was shelled by North Vietnamese land forces, and apparently received friendly fire from the US Air Force. She is now a museum ship docked in Bay City, Michigan. Master Modeler, Jerry Lindquist, has military artifacts and several base camp dioramas with thousands of green chiclets for sand bags. Twentieth Century War Museum is a hands-on experience. Their armory and motor pool will educate and thrill kids of all ages. Historian Bill Sheets has a naval display and will also narrate the five scheduled reenactment battles including the use of a flame thrower. The Spirit of America Flag designer, Dale Hemphill, Armed Service Recruiters, the Red Cross and more will be on site. Lest We Forget welcomes back three WWII boats: an LVT-2 Buffalo, a DUKW and a Higgins Boat. Membership in Lest We Forget includes rides in all three watercraft. Attendees will be able to join LWF on site. One-year membership dues are as follows: Individual, $10; two adults & children 17 and under, $25; one adult & children 17 and under, $15; 80 years and older is free. The American Huey 369 offer Honor Flights to member/owners. One hundred dollar donation will make donor a member/owner for one year. The Fortunate Sons, the world’s greatest tribute to America’s greatest band – Creedence Clearwater Revival – will perform a free concert Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. Based in Chicago, the band tours nationally and internationally to keep the tradition of CCR’s timeless music alive. Using original vintage gear and instruments, accurate costumes and spot on musical ability, The Fortunate Sons instantly conjure up the full experience of seeing CCR in their prime. Concert goers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair. Food vendors will be on site. For a complete list of activities and speaker time schedules visit:

Telescopic lens into the past

We recently finished Easter and then Pentecost. How are they connected? Going back in Jewish history to the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the celebration of First Fruits and the Feast of Weeks, we discover their connection. Our archeological digging into the Word takes us back to Leviticus 23 and to the original Passover. Pentecost occurs exactly 50 days after the First Fruits celebration. And First Fruits happens three days after Passover. This uses the rule that part of a day is considered a “day”, not requiring a 24-hour day as we normally do. Proceeding, we first note that “Easter”, like “Christmas”, is not found in the Bible – in paraphrases maybe, the Bible, no. “Easter” comes from a pagan false goddess name. But Easter is really the celebration of First Fruits, which is the acknowledgement that there is solid hope for a good crop. The “First Fruits” were a healthy sheave of earliest barley from the first crop sown. Pentecost (literally Greek “50 days”) relates to the Feast of Weeks (7 weeks and one day after First Fruits). Pretty cool, huh? There are a lot more details, but here’s the bottom line. To everyone’s surprise at the “Last Supper” (which was actually a Passover meal), Jesus initiated communion, identifying the cup of wine as the new covenant in His blood! In 1 Corinthians 15:20 Jesus is called the “firstfruits” of those who have died. That’s because He rose from the dead on First Fruits. His resurrection gives us solid hope for our own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). Then, 50 days later, the Holy Spirit was given on the same day that the Law had been given. The Law established Israel as a nation; at Pentecost the Holy Spirit established the Church. It all connects. In His goodness and kindness, God gave us pictures of Jesus Christ and of His grace in the Law.

Self employment and Social Security

Many people enjoy the independence of owning and operating their own small business. If you’re a small business owner, you know that you have additional financial responsibilities when reporting your taxes. A part of this is paying into Social Security. Most people who pay into Social Security work for an employer. Their employer deducts Social Security taxes from their paycheck, adds a matching contribution, then sends those taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and reports the wages to Social Security. Self-employed people must do all these actions and pay their taxes directly to the IRS. You’re self-employed if you operate a trade, business or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. You report your earnings for Social Security when you file your federal income tax return. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, you must report your earnings on Schedule SE, in addition to the other tax forms you must file. You must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time to get Social Security benefits. The amount of time you need to work depends on your date of birth, but no one needs more than 10 years of work (40 credits). In 2019, if your net earnings are $5,440 or more, you earn the yearly maximum of four credits — one credit for each $1,360 of earnings during the year. If your net earnings are less than $5,440, you still may earn credit by using an optional method described below. We use all your earnings covered by Social Security to figure your Social Security benefit, so, report all earnings up to the maximum, as required by law. Family members may operate a business together. For example, a husband and a wife may be partners or run a joint venture. If you operate a business together as partners, you should each report your share of the business profits as net earnings on separate self-employment returns (Schedule SE), even if you file a joint income tax return. The partners must decide the amount of net earnings each should report (for example 50 percent and 50 percent). You can read more about being self-employed and how that affects your Social Security benefits including optional methods of reporting 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

HAPPY FATHERS DAY… This Sunday is Father’s Day, a special time each year to touch the hearts of all those dads that made your life special. While a gift is always nice, nothing beats a phone call to that special man in your life. For many years, my dad was my “top pop”. What a legacy that man gave us, father of thirteen, grandpa to 150 or so, great-grandpa to 30 or so. He taught us the joy of laughter, family togetherness, and duty. I still recall a phone call, out of the blue, a family member was struggling and would I check in on them. I was able to visit him on his last days. I was crying and stammering. I was holding his hand and couldn’t say a thing. He said to me, “It will be all right, God bless you.” When Anne and I wed, I also gained a father-in-law. What an inspiration for us all. He overcame adversity and trauma with laughter, courage, and love. I called him shortly before his passing. After a few words, we each fell silent. I said something about enjoying our times together. “Yes, you have always been a good friend.” Both these strong men were great examples of being good fathers. They prepared us all to be good dads as well. Now I’m the grandpa and many times I think of my dad and father-in-law and what they did in similar situations. Their way was always the better, but I’m learning. That experience shows through on the dads in our family today, especially, Justin, Billy, Sergei, and grandson Willy. Each is a shining example of fatherhood and each share some of the traits of my dad and father-in-law passed on through me. I’m thrilled to see that legacy passed on. Happy Father’s Day, all!

BRRR… I showed up for work Monday morning in short sleeves and shorts. I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I took the weather reader on channel 22 at her words, predicting sunshine by noon and nearly 70 degrees in the afternoon. When I came in the office, I immediately realized I was underdressed. By the time I had closed the windows and turned the furnace on, I was wearing a sweater. By 11, I gave in and changed into long pants and sleeves and my spring jacket. I remember, as a kid, my mom saying we had it too good. “In my day, we walked to school. When the snow was too deep to walk, we got to ride on the horse-drawn snowplow.” Dad had better stories… they ice skated to school when the creeks and ditches froze over. He always beat his older brother in the dash to school, ice or not. One time the brothers got a thrashing for spooking a horse with crabapples thrown from the tree. Finally, the horse bolted and took off before the “just married couple” could board the carriage. While the weather hasn’t changed much in the 100 years or so, transportation sure did. My parents and grandparents both traveled by foot, bike, horse, train and boat. While my siblings were all city kids, there were times that I recall the older ones riding horses down our street. By the time I hit those teen years my aspirations were to have my own car. My older brother Paul had a green jalopy that was giving him trouble starting one day. I came walking by and he said, “You taken drivers ed yet?” Before I could get out an answer, he tossed me his keys… “Get in, the battery is dead, I’ll push you to the corner. When I push through the stop sign, put it in gear and give it the gas.” Before I knew it, I was blazing down Sunnyknoll with my brother on my bumper in hot pursuit. As I closed on the stop sign, he hit the brakes on mom’s Chevy and I was on my own. “Put it in drive,” he was shouting. Which I did only it wasn’t D for drive, it was P for park. When the screeching stopped, so did the green jalopy. Big brother was screeching too, I thought you took driver’s ed! I just started the book, not the driving part, I sobbed out. That wasn’t the end of it. We pushed the car around, and went again. This time the green jalopy’s engine caught when I put the gear lever in drive and drove confidently back to our front yard. But not into the driveway. Can I give you a ride, brother asked. Naw, I got my bike, I said.


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