07-23-2020 Weed removal from Paw Paw Lake and potential marijuana dispensary light up Watervliet Tw


John & Laura Busch celebrate 50th wedding anniversary

John and Laura Busch, of Hartford, celebrated their 50th wedding Anniversary on July 18, 2020. Fifty short years ago, John and Laura (Easter) were married at Lincoln Park Methodist Church in Flint, Michigan. The early years of their marriage brought them from their home town of Flint to Kalamazoo, where John completed his teaching degree at Western Michigan University, and Laura worked for the Kalamazoo Post Office. After John completed his degree, they moved north to Gaylord, where John began his teaching career. They soon began their family with the arrivals of their daughters, Sarah Elizabeth and Katie Ann, only 22 months apart. During this time John completed his master’s degree at Central Michigan University.

In 1979, the family moved to LeRoy, Michigan, where John began his first role as principal. During this time, Laura worked with other moms in the community to begin a preschool program in LeRoy. In 1981, they were blessed with a son, Thomas Raymond. One final move brought them to Hartford in 1982, where John served as the principal at Red Arrow Elementary from 1982 until his retirement in 2010. After moving to Hartford, Laura began her journey towards her teaching degree at Western Michigan University. After graduation, Laura held various positions, including: ESL tutor for VBISD, coordinator of the Newspapers in Education program for the Herald Palladium, and phone consultant for Whirlpool. Then, she officially began her teaching career teaching music for several small schools including St. Joseph Catholic, Wood School, Sodus Elementary, and Brookside Montessori. In 1996, she became the elementary music teacher at both Red Arrow and Woodside Elementary Schools, until her retirement in 2008. Since retirement, John shares his time among various hobbies such as woodworking, bicycling, classical guitar, reading, and most recently, gardening. Laura continues to enjoy her musical hobbies with a large collection of musical instruments. Her love of the fine arts does not stop there though! She also enjoys other arts such as painting and drawing. During the summer months, Laura loves camping with family. Of course, at the top of both their lists, is spending time with their three children – Sarah (Dan) Posey of Niles, Katie (Brad) Muth of Watervliet, and Thomas (Nicole) Busch of Clearwater, FL – and three granddaughters – Julia Arndt, Elizabeth Arndt, and Lucy Muth – whenever possible.

Weed removal from Paw Paw Lake and potential marijuana dispensary light up Watervliet Twp. meeting

By Joshua Coffin Watervliet Charter Township Board met for their monthly meeting, held as a teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Monday, July 20, 2020. The meeting was led by township clerk Patricia Bambrick to discuss a variety of township issues from community grants to a further discussion on a marijuana dispensary, to Paw Paw Lake cleanliness, upkeep, and management. State representative candidate Jacquie Gnodtke Blackwell attended the township meeting on Monday. With her attendance, she noted that she wanted to keep and cultivate an open door policy as well as maintain steady communication with the 79th district if she were to be elected to the state representative position. Local grants The Berrien Community Foundation granted North Berrien Community Development a $7,500 grant to be used for operations during the COVID crisis with non-profits. This grant will aid in the unfortunate downturn the area has endured during the pandemic. In addition to that, a realtor’s grant of $5,000 was given for community developments. The nature of a realtor’s grant is that it can be used for projects within a community. For example, in 2018, a realtor’s grant was used to purchase the antique styled clock in downtown Watervliet. This year’s grant will be put towards another downtown embellishment of an LED electronic sign that will resemble a natural boulder. The sign will be placed in Baker Park in downtown Coloma and will be used for showing the time and will cycle through other city announcements. The LED boulder sign will, in fact, cost more than the granted $5,000. Nonetheless, the grant will be put toward the payment for the upcoming sign. Recreational marijuana facilities In hopes that the board had any reconsideration or further decisions regarding a local recreational marijuana facility, the topic was once again discussed at the Monday night meeting. If at some point the movement was to be approved, it was proposed that each grow facility in Watervliet could give full-time jobs to 15-18 people and a dispensary could also employ about 15 people, proving to be an economic benefit for Watervliet. According to citizen research, The Green Door in Bangor averages 55 cars per hour and Herbology is averaging 30, whereas Compassionate Care By Design in Watervliet is averaging three cars per hour. At this time, there has been no further township board discussion on this topic. However, township supervisor Dan Hutchins moved to discuss further details at a later date. Paw Paw Lake health issues A large portion of the meeting was taken tending to concerns pertaining to lake cleanliness. Township resident Tom O’Donnell gave his in-depth over the phone presentation with the goal of improving the overall condition and decreasing the levels of phosphorus in Paw Paw Lake. Having lived on the lake for 70 years and being a point of passion for himself and those around him, O’Donnell claimed that in a previous township meeting held as a Zoom video call, the lake was misrepresented as being in better condition than in the past. His presentation was a culmination of his and his neighbors’ detailed concerns surrounding the phosphorus levels creating an increase of the amount of algae bloom and weed growth in Paw Paw Lake, causing issues with boat insertion and removal for the residents in the surrounding area. O’Donnell claimed that the phosphorus levels have risen 100% between 2014 and 2018, but was met with much disagreement from the township board on that statement. O’Donnell suggested that they stop all work currently being done on the lake and that the committee should find a new professional program manager to create a new master plan regarding the lake cleaning plans. He suggested the board create a four-year plan, if one didn’t already exist, that would decrease the phosphorus levels by 50%. This master plan should provide detailed tasks to be performed to fulfill the goal of lowering the phosphorus levels. He was approached with some disagreements as trustee Bob Wallace mentioned that no matter how much removal of phosphorus, there will always be weeds and algae growing in Paw Paw Lake, thus continually causing the issues he wishes to end. As for a resolution for the future of Paw Paw Lake, trustee Joe Stepich moved to approve the resolution that after a future public hearing, the township board will adopt a resolution to continue the lake improvements, discontinue the lake improvements, or discontinue the entire project. The board approved the still undecided resolution.

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