07-04-19 Letters and Commentary

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA… today is the Fourth of July, the official birthday of the land of the free and the home of the brave. I hope you are enjoying our national celebration among friends and family. I also thank all the folks that work and serve us, public servants, medical staff, military, businesses, farmers, and all the rest that provide for us, day in and day out.

MENTAL MIDGET GOADS COP… Just when I figure I’ve seen all the stupidity that I need to keep me smiling when my mind is blank, a new moron adds to the memory bank. This story is compliments of one our local dumbest, who I assume, staged a confrontation between himself and a local, on duty, police officer, and then recorded it on his phone, and then posted it on Facebook. The aforementioned moron waved his middle finger at Watervliet Police Officer Mike Prince. Officer Prince approached the moron’s pick-up truck, and asked if he waved at him because he needed his help. The moron launched into a foul-mouthed tirade, the gist of which is… I don’t need your help, I gave you the finger, you stupid @#$@^&# cop. I hate cops and the supreme court gave me permission to call you @#$@^&# and to flip you off. To which Police Officer Prince reiterated, I thought you were waving at me for assistance. To which the moron repeated, basically, that same thing as before. This conversation was repeated, with little variation several times. Through the entire video, Officer Prince remained calm and courteous, as did the two other officers that appeared to witness the event. Sadly, the moron stopped recording the incident. Happily, he posted it on Facebook for us all to watch.

Celebrating Independence Day July 4th brings family and friends together, as well as neighbors, to celebrate that we’re all part of a community. Everyone pitches in, combining their resources — great food, music, and displays — to lift our spirits. Social Security has been helping people maintain their independence for over 80 years. In that time, we’ve made it even easier for you to access the programs and benefits you might need. Today, applying online is a fast way to get those crucial benefits. Here are some of the benefits you can apply for: Retirement or Spouse’s Benefits – You must be at least 61 years and 9 months old and want your benefits to start no more than four months in the future. Apply at www.socialsecu- rity.gov/retireonline. Disability – You can apply online for disability benefits. Apply for Disability at www.socialsecurity.gov/ disabilityonline. Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs – Some people need assistance with the cost of medications. Apply for Extra Help at www.socialsecurity.gov/i1020. Medicare – Medicare is a national health insurance program administered by the U.S. federal government that began in 1966. You should apply before your 65th birthday at www.socialsecurity.gov/retireonline. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – SSI is a federal income program funded by general tax revenues designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people who have little or no income. You may be able to apply online if you meet certain requirements. See if you can apply online for SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/ssi. Social Security provides benefits for millions of people, including retirees, wounded warriors, children, and people with disabilities who cannot work. Find the help you or your family needs at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits. We need you to let loved ones know about the ways we may provide benefits. By sharing our resources with friends and family, you can help create independence for them at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. 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.

Celebrating freedom English people may have struggled contemplating the new world order created by the loss of the American Colonies. How would commerce, social and political arrangements be affected? It was a bumpy path, with additional skirmishes to follow. But we were excited. As Benjamin Franklin optimistically observed at the First Continental Congress, which was frequently a divided body even back then, the sun carved on the back of the Chairman’s chair was rising, not setting. So the sun rose on our new nation. The providential occurrences that were a part of that age, including George Washington’s evident divine protection at the battle at the Monongahela River in Western Pennsylvania during the French and Indian Wars, made it evident that this nation had a divine place in history. At that battle, while many holes were put in Washington’s uniform, no holes were put in Washington! This led the Indian leader to instruct his warriors to stop trying to shoot him off his horse because he was being divinely protected. So the sun rose on our new nation. With our many flaws we have remained here with our ever changing place in history. So where to from here? We celebrate our freedom but we stumble over our freedom. “Freedom” itself gets constantly redefined – and compromised. Hopefully that sun has not run its course across the sky of our existence. But there is one celebration of freedom that will last at least another 1,000 years. We have Providential promise of that. Found in Leviticus 23:34 and in Zechariah 14:16, it is the Jewish “Feast of Booths”. It commemorates the escape of the Hebrew nation from Egyptian slavery. The whole millennial world will celebrate! God has His hand on history, and He has His hand on our nation – our extent and our duration. May we celebrate His blessings for many years to come!

Watervliet Independence Day Celebration

Dear Editor,

Last weekend, Watervliet held their annual Independence Day Celebration. On behalf of the City, I want to thank the Watervliet Business Association and their team of volunteers on a successful event. Additionally, I want to thank Police Chief Tim Sutherland, Public Works Supervisor Jeff Allen, Fire Chief Dan Jones, and their respective crews for their assistance in supporting the festival.

From the parade and mud run to the fireworks show and vintage base ball game, I believe a good time was had by all who attended. The countless hours and labor it takes to pull off such an event is truly remarkable and appreciated. We are fortunate to have a great core group of people who are willing to step up on behalf of our community. Congratulations on a great event and I look forward to celebrating again next year!

Tyler Dotson, Watervliet City Manager

Kuddos to everyone involved with vintage base ball game in Watervliet

Dear Editor,

Your hometown Hooterville Hitters vintage base ball team opened – and closed – their season Saturday, June 29 as part of the City of Watervliet’s 4th of July festival. The Hitters faced off against a newly established squad, the Paw Paw River Cats. Typically, the one-game season played by the Hitters is against the House of David Echoes, but due to a scheduling conflict this season, a majority of the Echoes were unable to play.

In exciting fashion, the seven-inning contest was won by the Hitters, 8-6.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who assisted with, and at, the game. A huge “Huzzah!” to Tom Reybuzk and Chester Johnson from the Echoes for playing and supplying the bats and ball needed for the game.

A big “You’re in!” to John Oliphant of Watervliet. He readily assumed the role of umpire at the last minute and did a mighty fine job!

Thank you doesn’t begin to acknowledge all the hard work provided by Tom Gear and Mary Spaulding. They go above and beyond for the game (and the festival); Tom provided emcee duties, while Mary was the tally-keeper for the game. We are grateful for you both!

Gear and Rochelle Ulleg also provided a highlight of the game with their rendition of the Star Spangled Banner a cappella. Nicely done!

Kudos to Ken and Candy Evett – The dynamic duo scoured rummage sales for four half-days in an effort to procure wooden bats and vintage base balls. Thank you, thank you!

We also appreciate the participation of the Watervliet Pageant Organization. Allowing the royalty to be part of the game is, officially, a tradition, and we love seeing the crowns come off and the jerseys go on.

Thank you to Watervliet Athletic Boosters Greg Krell and Willy Raucci for manning the concession stand. Go, Panthers!

Jeff Allen and his crew at the City of Watervliet Public Works Department are second to none. Thank you for lining the field, setting up the bases, and staying to watch the game. Your hard work does not go unnoticed!

We also would like to thank each and every fan in the stands. It was hot, it was buggy, but you came down and supported both teams. Thank you!

Of course, no game would be complete without players. Thank you to those who played for the PPRC: Evan Orlando, Nick Orlando, Jordan Brule, Emma Yazel, Dan Strong, Stacy Denton, Tyler Dotson, Tony Orlando, Emma Kraklau, Tom Reybuzk, Jen Halamka, and a last minute addition, Jarvis. The Hooterville Hitters roster included Dominic Klein, Dylan Tucker, Jeffrey Allen, Rochelle Ulleg, Mike Noack, Hannah Yerington, Derrick Burkhardt, Candy Evett, Allen Chapin, Patrick Shoemaker, Michael Atherton, and Chester Johnson.

Finally, a special thank you to Noack Construction LLC who sponsors the vintage base ball game each year. This year, K & M Properties of SWMI LLC also chipped in to purchase team shirts for the Cats, but it is Noack Construction who makes sure the game happens each and every year. They go beyond building beautiful homes; they also build and support camaraderie within the community.

Sincerely,

The Hooterville Hitters Management

Personal thank you

Dear Editor,

As a Watervliet Business Association committee member and small business owner in Watervliet, I’d like to personally say “Thank You”.

Thank you to all who attended the meetings in the many months leading up to the Watervliet Independence Weekend Celebration, took a chairman roll and assisted in coordinating events, provided monetary donations, purchased duck tickets and most of all, to all who attended the festivities. It is bittersweet to see the weekend come and go, yet the wheels are already turning for next year.

I had many ask me, “Why did you pick this weekend?” The answer is simple, “It gives everybody a chance to go support other communities and their festivities.”

I am proud to be a business owner in our small, yet mighty town. Seeing all the foot traffic on a daily basis is what making a difference in a community is all about, YOU! Your support, loyalty and presence show us that we have something to offer.

Please continue to follow the Watervliet Business Association’s Facebook page and the Tri -City Record to stay connected to what’s going on in our town.

Proud to be entering our 9th year in business!

Rochelle Ulleg,

owner-Robert Michael Salon & Spa LLC

WBA, DDA & CWACC board member

Hartford Strawberry Run support appreciation

Dear Lions Club Supporter,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the contribution you made to the 41st Annual Hartford Strawberry Run. Whether you sponsored a marker, the official t-shirt or volunteered the day of the run you made this event possible!

We hosted over 375 runners and walkers Saturday, June 8. We were leg one again in the Michigan Fruit Belt Series, which gives us exposure in other run markets as well as supports our agricultural roots. Participants came from all parts of Michigan and from Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.

This year was another great year for our 1 Mile Fun Run. We worked with the local elementary school to offer a reduced entry fee of $5 for all kids 11 and under to enter the 1 Mile Fun Run. We gave out a commemorative dog tag style award for all the kids that participated. There were about 50 kids that ran, starting and finishing in front of approximately 300 folks waiting for the main event to start. What a great way to encourage physical activity!

Unfortunately, poor spring weather prevented the strawberry crop from making it on time, but we were blessed with great weather the day of the run! Every year we get lots of positive feedback about how folks love our event, commenting that this is one of the best races they have attended. This praise belongs to you as well. We would not be able to do it without your support! We hope you are as proud of this event as we are! Community support is crucial for an event such as the Strawberry Run. Thanks to gracious supporters like you, we are able to provide Hartford with this unique event every year. We truly appreciate you and all you do.

Thank you again,

The Hartford Lions Club

Glenn Randall family thanks all involved with park improvements

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Glenn Randall family, we would like to thank the Coloma City Commissioners, Coloma City Commissioner & DDA project coordinator Marsha Hammond, city & township employees, volunteers & sponsors for the wonderful improvements to Randall Park.

Mayor Randall cared deeply for the community of Coloma. During his 50 plus years in Coloma city government, he worked passionately alongside so many others to make Coloma a town people are proud to call home. The efforts of all involved in this park renovation are at the very heart of why Mayor Randall loved this community.

Thank you for a beautiful and well-orchestrated ribbon cutting and re-dedication ceremony of Randall Park. All those involved should be proud of their hard work and dedication to this project. Your efforts will ensure that our community has a beautiful place to gather and play for many years to come. Mayor Glenn Randall would have been extremely pleased, as are we his family.

Bob & Pat (Randall) Spaulding

and family

Thanks for picnic support

Dear Editor,

Thank you for donating to our 43rd Annual Picnic! Without the continued generosity of local businesses like yours, our picnic would not be a success year after year!!

Sincerely,

North Berrien Senior Center

Michigan has bad roads

Dear Editor,

Our vacation took us across roads in Indiana, Kentucky and parts of Ohio. There was a lot of construction but the roads were great and we never hit one pothole. I guess that confirms the consensus that Michigan’s roads are the worst compared to other states.

My message to the Governor is “let’s fix the bad roads”. It made our vacation much pleasanter to travel on good roads. I’m sure our visitors to “The Great Southwest” would much appreciate seeing some improvement.

Dawn Consolino, Coloma

It’s Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week in Michigan

In case you missed it, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed June 30-July 7 as Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week. The Michigan departments of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; Natural Resources; and Agriculture and Rural Development and many partners have organized more than 75 AIS Landing Blitz events at boating access sites across the state, aimed at helping boaters comply with new laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives.

Those planning to enjoy the Great Lakes or any of Michigan’s rivers or inland lakes are encouraged to follow simple steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species like Eurasian watermilfoil or New Zealand mudsnail:

Don’t launch or transport watercraft or trailers unless they are free of aquatic organisms, including plants.

Don’t transport watercraft without removing all drain plugs and draining all water from bilges, ballast tanks and live wells.

Don’t release unused bait into the water.

Campaign educates Michiganders about possible lead sources, ways to protect themselves

To help educate Michiganders about the sources of lead in and around their homes and how to protect their health, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has launched a new statewide awareness campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to educate families about the possible sources of lead – including paint, dust, water and soil – and how to mitigate, reduce or eliminate those exposures. The campaign includes advertising on the web, social media and Pandora. A new website – Michigan.gov/MILeadSafe – has been developed to provide a one-stop-shop on lead, lead hazards and mitigation steps. It also has links to important community resources and information for families.

“Lead can be found in dust, soil, paint in older homes, in lead containing pipes and faucets,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “We want no child in Michigan to be exposed to lead, and this educational campaign is an important part of that effort.”

The campaign kicks off following an announcement by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and MDHHS about the state’s new Lead and

Copper Rule and available resources.

Michigan adopted one of the nation’s toughest lead rules for drinking water in 2018 that requires removal of lead service lines and lowers the action level over which public water supplies must take steps to reduce the corrosiveness of the water they supply. Additionally, the rule imposes more stringent drinking water sampling requirements designed to provide municipalities with more accurate readings of potential lead exposure in communities.

For children and pregnant women, lead exposure is especially dangerous because it can impact a child’s developing brain. It can also contribute to miscarriages and preterm birth.

Lead can be found in soil, chipping and peeling paint, drinking water if supplied by lead pipes, certain home remedies and is used in some hobbies and occupations. There is no safe level of lead in the blood.

For more information, visit Michigan.gov/MILeadSafe.

Hospice at Home benefit, Wine and Beer Tasting Saturday, August 3

Community members are invited to attend and support the annual Hospice at Home Benefit, Wine and Beer Tasting for Caring Circle. The event will take place on Saturday, August 3, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the property of Dan and Mary Nulty’s South Beach Bluff, located at 456 Monroe Boulevard in South Haven. This will be the ninth year hosting the event for the Nulty family. All proceeds from this benefit will support charitable hospice care for patients in the greater South Haven area.

This year’s event will once again feature the “human i-Pod,” musician John Rush, wine and beer tastings from 16 local wineries and breweries, and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Guests who fund a day of care will have the opportunity to add their name to a watercolor mural created by illustrator Sabine Krummel.

“We are grateful to all our volunteers and community members for being part of such a meaningful cause,” said Dan Nulty. “It’s incredible to have raised 443 days of charitable hospice care for the greater South Haven area last year. This year, together with community stakeholders, friends, and neighbors, we hope to achieve 500 charitable days of hospice care.”

Tickets are $75 in advance or $85 the day of the benefit. A VIP experience for $100 per ticket includes a champagne social prior to the benefit and an exclusive after party. Tickets can be purchased at Caring Circle offices, ACE Wolverine Hardware, South Haven Visitors Bureau, or online at www.caring-circle.org. For more information, call (269) 637-3825.

State income tax refunds issued for 2018 Tax Year; average taxpayer refund was $571

More than 3.3 million state income tax refunds were processed for the 2018 tax year that provided taxpayers with over $1.9 billion, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

As of mid-June, the average taxpayer refund was $571, up from last year’s $552 average. To date, more than 4.8 million returns have been processed by the state Treasury Department, with 91% reviewed and finalized within two weeks of receipt. The remaining 9% required additional review and were processed within two to six weeks.

“Refunds are important to Michigan taxpayers,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “Our team worked diligently during peak filing times to ensure refunds were issued promptly and calls for assistance were answered. I am proud of our team and look forward to continuing to identify ways to serve taxpayers better for next year.”

A decrease in filed tax returns over the past five years is due to the state Treasury Department processing returns in the year they are received. Few tax returns are being carried over into the following year.

Taxpayer calls to the Individual Income Tax Information Line were answered within 2 minutes 15 seconds, down from 5 minutes 6 seconds in 2015.

The state Treasury Department estimates more than 500,000 taxpayers (10%) have still not filed state income tax returns for the 2018 tax year. Taxpayers have four years to file a return and claim an outstanding refund.

Those who have not filed and owe taxes should file immediately to avoid further penalties and interest. The state Treasury Department can work with individuals to design a payment plan if needed.

To learn more about Michigan’s Individual Income Tax, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax or follow the state Treasury Department on Twitter at @MITreasury.

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