07-11-2019 Letters and Commentary

Correction In the July 4 issue of the Tri-City Record on the front page, identification under the picture of the 2019 Little Red, White and Blue winner was incorrect. The 2019 title holder is Avery Brown, son of Michael Brown and Ashley Russell. Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused. Please see Page 3 for a repeat of Avery’s photo with the corrected information.

Vintage sale to raise funds for Hartford Library

Dear Editor, The Hartford Public Library is having a “Vintage Sale”. Our goal is to raise $500 for the new library/community center project. We have jewelry, vintage clothing and hats, collectible and designer decorative items and much more. The sale is from July 22 (Monday) through July 27 (Saturday) during library hours. The library is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We need $300,000 to complete the library project. Help us toward our goal. The new facility will benefit everyone in the community and surrounding areas. Regards, Stephanie Daniels Director

Blood emergency: Red Cross issues urgent call for blood and platelet donors

Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross now faces a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care. About 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as people across the country celebrated the holiday with activities and travel. This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week, causing the Red Cross to now have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available – and less than a two-day supply of type O blood – for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired. “Medical emergencies and critical treatments don’t stop for holiday celebrations. Patients depend on lifesaving blood transfusions every day,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Right now, the Red Cross only has less than a three-day supply when we need a five-day supply to be prepared for all situations that require blood products. To help meet this need, we’ve added about 8,000 additional appointments at blood donation centers and community blood drives over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. But we need people to fill those appointments, please join us today.” In June, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign to encourage donors – especially new donors and those who have not donated in the past years – to give blood or platelets during the challenging summer months. Through the campaign, the letters A, B and O – letters that make up the main blood groups – disappeared from popular brands to symbolize what happens when blood goes missing from hospital shelves during blood shortages. Despite an encouraging response to the campaign, blood donations still fell short of expectations in June, resulting in more than 24,000 fewer donations than needed, and causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply. “Blood is only available when generous blood and platelet donors roll up a sleeve to give, and right now, all donors – especially those give have never given or haven’t given in a while – are urged to make an appointment to give today,” Numark added. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate. Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive. Upcoming blood donation opportunities July 9-31 Saint Joseph 7/17/2019: 11 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., Caretel Inns of Lakeland, 3905 Lorraine Path Coloma 7/18/2019: 11 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., Coloma Township Office, 4919 Paw Paw Lake Road Saint Joseph 7/19/2019: 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 619 Main Street Benton Harbor 7/24/2019: 11 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., Celebration Cinema, 1468 Cinema Way South Haven 7/23/2019: 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., Moose Lodge 697, 1025 Wells St Hartford 7/26/2019: 12 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., Hartford United Methodist Church, 425 East Main Street

Stay healthy this summer when visiting fair exhibits with swine

A fun summer tradition for families is visiting county and local fairs across Michigan. Health experts at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) want people to know about the potential for swine at these events to carry influenza viruses which can make people sick, and to take some simple precautions. Swine influenza is a respiratory disease in pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that regularly circulate among swine. Swine influenza viruses do not usually infect humans, but human infections have been reported. When influenza viruses spread from pigs to people it is called a variant influenza virus. In 2018, 17 people from six states, including three from Michigan, were sickened by variant influenza viruses after having direct or indirect contact with swine at fairs and exhibits. Since 2010, there have been 466 confirmed cases reported nationally. These infections and related hospitalizations have mostly been among children; however, all age groups have been affected. Spread of the virus from a pig to a person is thought to happen in the same way that human flu viruses spread – mainly through droplets when infected pigs cough and sneeze. In a few cases, a person infected by a pig has then spread the virus to another person. People cannot get swine influenza from eating properly prepared pork or handling pork products. “All swine, even those that appear healthy, have the potential to carry influenza virus,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “Washing your hands thoroughly before and after being around swine protects both you and your family from the risk of influenza virus, and also helps keep the swine healthy.” Symptoms of swine influenza in people are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever, sore throat and respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose and other symptoms such as body aches, vomiting or diarrhea. The incubation period is most commonly a few days but may be up to 10 days. Illness may last a week or longer. Sometimes swine influenza causes severe disease even in healthy people, such as pneumonia which may require hospitalization, and in rare cases, death. Those at higher risk of developing complications include children younger than five years of age, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and people with certain chronic health disease, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems and neurological conditions. Currently, there is no human vaccine for swine influenza and the seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against it; however, antiviral drugs, such as Oseltamivir and Zanamivir, are effective in treating it. Early treatment works best and may be especially important for people with a high-risk condition. Persons who become ill with influenza-like illness after exposure to pigs should check with their doctor and ask about being tested for influenza. High-risk persons should contact their doctor as soon as possible. Also contact your local health department to report the illness. Follow these simple steps to help stay safe around swine: Refrain from eating or drinking in livestock barns or show rings; do not take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers or similar items into pig areas; anyone who is at high risk of serious flu complications and is planning to attend a fair should avoid pigs and swine barns; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way; avoid contact with pigs if you have flu-like symptoms; if you are sick, stay home from work or school until your illness is over; avoid close contact with sick people; cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and wash your hands; wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. For more information on swine influenza, visit the CDC website. For information about swine influenza in pigs, please contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at 800-292-3939.

Wait for it

Sitting on the veranda cooking up some burgers on the grill, I’m thinking “I should be doing something while I’m doing this”. After all, while I just sit here waiting for the grill to do its job, I could be productive doing something! The hardest thing is to sit and wait. But sometimes we don’t have a choice. Like eight minutes on a side for burgers. We’ve got to wait. Waiting can be for bigger things too, like surgery recovery, or test results, or a phone call. I’m not good at waiting, but I may be getting better. I think it must take practice, and the older I get the more practice I get. The Bible talks about waiting. There’s waiting on God – prayer. Then there’s waiting for God – patience. And there’s waiting with God – power for living. We’re told that the farmer “waits for the former and latter rains”. That’s learning that God’s timing and purposes are right. Wait for it. All waiting takes time. It takes time to pray, communicating with God about “stuff”. Patience, by definition, takes time. But patience helps build faith as we discover new areas where God has heard, is aware, and cares. Finally, we can find power for living when we are confident in God’s presence with us. Jesus said, “I am with you to the end of the world.” That promise gained significance for me one summer when I worked in Thule, Greenland. “Thule” means “the end of the world”. God was present there too. His faithfulness reaches to the remotest places on earth, with or without human presence. And with or without human presence, God is good. Very good. In the busyness of life we seldom take time to think about these things. We feel called to an active life, not a waiting life. But both are necessary. And it’s a good journey. I think the burgers are done.

Scams come in many different forms

Social Security is at the forefront of keeping your online data secure, but you play a vital role in safeguarding your personal information too. Scammers commonly target people who are looking for Social Security program and benefit information. You might receive an advertisement in the mail, but it could be from a private company or even a scammer. U.S. law prohibits people and businesses from using words or emblems that mislead others. Their advertising can’t lead people to believe that they represent, are somehow affiliated with, or endorsed or approved by Social Security or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Medicare). If you receive misleading information about Social Security, send the complete advertisement, including the envelope it came in, to: Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline Social Security Administration P.O. Box 17768 Baltimore, MD 21235

Scams can also happen online. A growing tactic for scammers is to use online dating sites. According to the United States Postal Inspection Service’s recent messaging, before starting an internet-based relationship, we should always keep our personal details to ourselves until you meet face-to-face. Next, do an internet search of the other person’s name and the town they claim to be living in. Here are indications that someone may not be who they say they are: A mismatch between their name and the name embedded in their email address; there are obvious spelling and grammar errors; they asked if you would send or receive money/packages on someone else’s behalf; they need money right away due to a medical emergency, or they need a visa or air tickets; or, a business opportunity arose that was too good to turn down. Can you wire a loan? If anyone asks for your Social Security number, never give it to them. And if they are specifically pretending to be from Social Security, please report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at oig.ssa.gov/report. 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.

NOT ALL CELEBRATED FREEDOM… While we celebrated our freedoms last week thousands of children were in jail for supposedly/allegedly crimes that their parents caused trying to illegally enter the United States. What is amazing, to me, is this national case of child abuse is getting double coverage on a daily basis in the national news media and that nothing is being done about it. I guess the simple answer is to let the children from infants to teenagers out of jail to live on the streets with the tens of thousands of U.S. citizens who are homeless as well. The difference is the U.S. homeless get Social Security, food stamps, and hospitalization while many of the children don’t get drinking water and food.

MG NOSTALGIA… I owned a 1952 MG YB for a couple years while stationed at RAF Alconbury UK. What a treat to drive! Most of the time I used the crank to start it as there was a bad connection at the battery that was finally fixed with a replacement ground wire. Our MG created a buzz when we drove it to Cambridge to see the movie Bonnie and Clyde… it looked the part of the vintage cars in the movie. Alas a stop at the Red Lion was ruined by the theft of the classic quartz radiator cap. Once I fell asleep at the wheel and missed a sharp turn at the bottom of a hump-back bridge at 5 a.m. I woke to find the MG’s bumper stuck in the snow and mud at the bottom of a ditch. I used my ice scraper to dig a wedge in the mud to insert the starter crank… the half turn was enough to restart the motor. By increasing the idle with the choke and putting the trans in reverse I was able to steer/push it up the bank. I was barely late for work at the mess hall… happily I had a spare “inspection” uniform in my locker. Another disaster averted was hitting a giant hog that was standing in the road. With fog so thick I could barely see the cats-eyes reflectors down the middle of the road and all I saw of the hog was a big gray shadow. Still the hog bolted one way and I swerved the opposite so the damage was minor to the car. When I got out of the MG to investigate the hog was already getting up and was squealing in pain and rage. All thought of reporting the farm animal damage to the farmer was abandoned. In the light of day, I could see the evidence of the event… there was a large bruise on the fender… with the gray paint scratched down to the bare metal. I have no idea the fate of the big sow; the only sign of its injury was a smear of blood and nose juice below the big scratch. Following a ninety-mile trek to find Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham, it was apparent the doughy MG was not a family car… in warm weather the electric fuel pump would stick and the engine would stall. While I was adept at jumping out of the car in Cambridge rush hour – pop the bonnet- whack the top of the fuel pump that by the time the glass reservoir was filled with gas the MG was running again. Less impressed with the MG was my bride and our baby. Anne was charged with feeding Justin and changing his diaper as we resolutely journeyed in search of Robin Hood and his merry men. At least one of the giant “nappies” got tossed onto the verge (roadside) when the aroma matched that of some of the hog farms along the way. There was a buddy that had several cars shipped to Kansas. Soon my MG was en route to New York and new adventures, replaced by a plain, clunky 1959 Ford Anglia. Of all the cars I’ve owned, including a brand-new Maverick, Vega, and a giant 9 passenger Chevy Station Wagon (that our kids called the “ghetto blaster), none were as fun to drive.


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