08-15-2019 Letters and Commentary

Glad-Peach Festival not promoted on TV

Dear Editor,

In the morning, I listen to Kalamazoo and South Bend TV channels and never once in weeks leading up to Glad-Peach Festival have I heard one single word about out little town’s big weekend. Merchants should advise the Chamber of Commerce that it “pays to advertise” or are we keeping our festival a big, deep dark secret? Fran Wooley, Coloma

V.B. County museum seeking vendors for yard sale

The Van Buren County Historical Society is hosting a county-wide yard sale Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., on the Museum grounds. Crafters, antique collectors and produce folks are more than welcome also, at 58471 Red Arrow Hwy., Hartford. Cost is $25.00 for a 10’ X 10’ space. Knives, guns or pornography are not allowed in any of the booths. The museum will do the advertising. Vendors have to sign up and pay by Sept. 7. Mail request/money to: V.B.C. Historical Society, P.O. Box 452, Hartford MI 49057. Call 269-621-2188 with questions; best time for calling is Wed., Fri., and Sun. from 12-5 p.m. Tables and canopies are not supplied; set up time begins at 8 a.m. The LEO Club from Lawrence Lions will provide help unloading, setting up canopies, and loading up at end of day. This event will be rain or shine, with no refunds. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be available for a nominal fee. The Museum will be open for tours with the regular fee of $5 for 12 years and up, and $2 for 5 to 11 years of age.

Hartford museum schedules events for remainder of 2019 season

As the 2019 season at the Van Buren County Museum starts coming to an end, they still have some wonderful events that no one will want to miss. On Saturday, Aug. 24 the Paw Paw Brewing Co. is hosting a fund raiser for the museum at their Pub, 780 S. Gremps St. in Paw Paw, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Twenty percent of the food bills for this day will be donated to the museum. The museum will have pictures on display showing Paw Paw in the good old days. Anyone having old pictures or a memory to share is invited; museum volunteers will be there to talk to. Sunday, Aug. 25, the museum is hosting a Murder Mystery beginning at 12 noon with clues available all afternoon. The public is invited to put on their Sherlock Holmes hat and have fun figuring out who did it. The museum board will meet Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. at the museum; all are welcome to attend and find out about being a volunteer. Board President Tad Moody commented, “I came 13 years ago and I’ve been coming back ever since. Our volunteers are a great group of people, it’s a labor of love and we always have a lot of laughs” On Friday, Sept. 27 is a Soup Supper from 4:30-7 p.m. at the museum. Menu includes homemade soups, Sloppy Joes, salads, desserts and drinks. A free will donation will be collected. Wrapping up the 2019 season will be an Oct. 1 Board Meeting at 7 p.m., all are welcome. And then Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 12-5 p.m. is the last day for Public Tours.

Red Cross urgently needs blood donations before summer ends

With many regular donors delaying giving to take final summer vacations and prepare for school to start, the American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations to help end a summer blood shortage. While thousands of donors have rolled up a sleeve this summer, blood and platelet donations aren’t keeping pace with patient needs. More donations are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for patient emergencies. Make an appointment to donate blood now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to give again. Blood can be safely given every 56 days, and Power Red donations can be given every 112 days. With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help overcome the shortage by coming to give July 29 through Aug. 29 with a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.) A local blood donation opportunity is on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 11 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. at Caretel Inns of Lakeland, 3905 Lorraine Path in St. Joseph.

“Promote the Vote” Proposal 3 Town Hall Meeting, October 7

On November 6, 2018, Michigan electors passed Proposal 3, a Constitutional Amendment that affects when voters can register to vote, how they’re registered, and who can vote by mail. The Office of the County Clerk will hold a public presentation at the Berrien County Conference Room, Berrien County Health Department, 2149 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor on Monday, October 7, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to this informational session covering topics such as automatic voter registration, registration by mail up to 15 days before election, in-person registration extended to Election Day with proof of residency, and no-reason absentee voting. For more information, contact the Elections Department, 269.983.7111, Ext. 8264 or at elections@berrriencounty.org.

Upstairs, Downtown Loft Hop to highlight urban living in B.H.

The New Territory Arts Association will host its 2nd Loft Hop fundraiser on Friday, Aug. 23 in the Benton Harbor Arts District, from 6-9 p.m. The Loft Hop will provide the public with an opportunity to walk through five Arts District loft apartments located “Upstairs” in historic “Downtown” buildings within the Arts District. The tour celebrates the growth and evolution of living opportunities in the popular Arts District neighborhood. Over the past 20 years, once abandoned and neglected buildings have been gradually reclaimed and repurposed to provide creative urban living spaces for a growing population of ‘urban dwellers’. Where once there were empty second floors devoted to nothing more than storage, there are now residents enjoying a walkable neighborhood of artists, shop owners, restaurants, breweries, and quaint parks. “There are now upwards of seventy-five loft apartments in and around the Benton Harbor Arts District”, notes James Galbraith, arts district resident and co-owner of the new Houndstooth Restaurant. “The demand is there, I just wish there were more lofts available. Young people love it down here.” Printed programs for the “Upstairs, Downtown Loft Hop” will be sold at the Phoenix Coffeeshop, 132 Water Street, Benton Harbor or at EventBrite.com. The programs will serve as tickets and provide the patrons with a map and description of the featured lofts. Price for the event will be $15 in advance, or $20 on the day of the event. Colorful flags will mark each destination and volunteers will be present to guide and assist the patrons at each site. The New Territory Arts Association was founded in 1999. Its mission is to create and support a dynamic Benton Harbor Arts District. Proceeds from the “Upstairs, Downtown Loft Hop” help support events and programs produced by the NTAA and other Arts District organizations. The NTAA thanks the following program sponsors who helped make the tour possible: Pier Realty, Houndstooth Restaurant, Mason Jar Café, Phoenix Coffeeshop, The Livery, 3 Pillars Music, ARS Gallery, The Artists at 210 Water, Water Street Lofts, Brooks Architectural, Citadel Dance & Music Center, Water Street Glassworks, Aveline Gifts, Silver Beach Pizza, The Cornerstone Alliance, GhostLight Theater, Prairie Real Estate, Second Story Development, Thayer, Emma Hearth and Market, Fresh Décor, Greenspan Construction, Pipestone Indoor Golf, Adagio Props., and The Collective.

Hospice at Home benefit raises over $100,000

On Saturday, August 3, hundreds of community members and volunteers attended the annual Hospice at Home Benefit Wine and Beer Tasting for Caring Circle which took place on the property of Dan and Mary Nulty, along the South Beach bluff in South Haven. Through sponsorships, ticket sales, and event activities, a total of $100,675 was raised in support of hospice care for the community of South Haven and surrounding areas. Attendees generously donated a record-breaking $29,225 at the event to fund 167 days of hospice care for those in need. Local artist Sabine’ Krummel created a masterful painting, “Guided Whisper” which was available for day of care donors to sign. The framed painting will be displayed in the Caring Circle office in South Haven. “We are so grateful for the generosity of many community members and volunteers who have made this event a success year after year,” said Melinda Gruber, PhD, president, Caring Circle and vice president, continued care services, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “We are pleased to have raised 25% more than last year’s event which will allow us to continue meeting the end-of-life care needs for those in our community, regardless of their ability to pay.”


The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was established to protect animals. New York State was the leader in legislation designed to protect animals from mistreatment, neglect, violence, torture, or abandonment. New York’s leadership in the area of prevention of animal cruelty set the pace for the rest of the country in the mid 1800s. A very good review can be found by web-searching “Felony Animal Cruelty Laws in New York”. Find Article 7, in the “Pace Law Review”. It identifies advocates for animals from New York’s earliest history. One of the writers noted that animals can’t reason, and can’t speak, but they can suffer. They need advocacy. Today we need a new voice to sound loud and clear, and we need a new organization – ASPCI (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Infants). And it needs to start in New York, where it would now be better to be a stray dog than a newborn infant. It’s open season on human life. A newborn baby can’t speak and can’t reason, but that baby can suffer. In New York, and in other states to follow, we evidently don’t care. We’ve become mass murderers without guns. Governments make mistakes. Even wise Solomon made mistakes. One of them was being influenced by his wives to build altars to foreign gods, some of which required child sacrifices (1 Kings 11:7). It took new legislation under a successor, Josiah, to redirect the nation (2 Chronicles 34, 2 Kings 23:10). Josiah cleaned house, destroying the altars to Molech where children met their death, barbecued alive in Molech’s hands. God condemns child sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21, 20:2-5). It has serious consequences. Abuse of animals, abuse of children, even bullying, are indicators of a secular humanistic culture of death, where without God you have no value besides that which society arbitrarily assigns to you according to political whim.

Communities Fighting Fraud

Older people are at a greater risk of fraud and other forms of financial exploitation. The United States Postal Service has seen an increase in mail fraud and is promoting community strength and fraud awareness as a way to prevent abuse. Social Security agrees. You can help your more vulnerable loved ones fight fraud. You or a loved one might receive an advertisement in the mail, but it could be from a private company or even a scammer. United States law prohibits people or non-government 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. Scammers commonly target people who are looking for Social Security program and benefit information. 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

Community can simply mean your family unit. The more you know about what your loved ones are exposed to, the better you can protect them. We also receive reports where someone pretending to be a Social Security employee has contacted members of the public. The intent of this type of call may be to steal your identity and/or money from your bank accounts. They may state that your Social Security number will be suspended or they may demand immediate payment. The caller generally asks you for personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, your mother’s maiden name, or your bank or financial account information. You should not provide any of this information to these individuals. It’s possible that a Social Security employee may contact you to follow-up on a previous application for Social Security benefits or to follow-up on other business you initiated with Social Security. Remember, Social Security employees will never threaten you or demand any kind of payment in exchange for services. It’s important that you report any and all fraud. This can only strengthen our communities and your family. You can report Social Security fraud 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.

WHAT DAY IS IT… While I was working on the last two papers, August 1 and August 8, my (subconscious) mind was still in the July mode. I was whistling Yankee Doodle to my grandkids and great-grandkids, and still planning “Mr. Wonderful” fireworks (a 30-year-old nickname I got from the neighbors for the corny dime store fireworks and watermelon treats). I was even mapping out a surprise trip to visit the U.P. As it was it wasn’t a subconscious mind block, it was the splendid two week “staycation” sponsored by Justin and Kris and supported and attended by the Gillian and Sergei family and the Billy and Amy family, with all the grandkids and great-grandkids, and numerous friends that dropped by. Thanks, one and all. With a few visits to the office sprinkled throughout, it seemed time nearly stood still as we visited and played on and in Paw Paw Lake. There were days I needed to peek at the calendar on my phone to check the date. Thanks to Amy and Laurie, there weren’t any major errors or foul-ups. Thanks as well to our Record reporters (Annette, Jon, Teresa, Nancy, Dave, Jerrod, and John), columnists, contributors, and advertisers. Even when time might stand still, the news and the presses never do. Justin asked on the ride to the airport if there has ever been a missed edition. I was able to tell him not on my watch, but there had been a couple near misses, both caused by lake effect snow. In the early days there were a few missed issues due to changes in ownership. During WWII a shortage of newsprint threatened cessation of printing the Watervliet Record, but the Watervliet Papermill stepped in and the Record was printed on their high-quality paper. There have been times when other calamities were averted by the actions of others. Most notably was the Watervliet Fire Department spraying water over the roof to keep it from catching fire as the Judd Lumber buildings were ablaze just a few feet away. The firemen contained the flames and kept them from spreading to the Record building and the Tat Parish Law Office. Had those buildings caught fire, it is not inconceivable that the fire could have spread further and ignited more buildings and residences nearby. One Saturday morning while unlocking the front door, I spotted then fire chief Lloyd Richcreek driving by. “Do you smell gas” impulsively I called out. In seconds he turned on his emergency roof light and put his yellow pickup in a U-turn that brought him to a smooth stop in front of the Record building. He was out of his truck before I got the door open, which he told me not to do. He smelled the gas as well. I gave him the back-door key and he went in that way, checking the basement furnace and gas pipes along the way as well. It wasn’t long before he was coming out the front door, reporting that there didn’t seem to be any leaks inside but that he had already called the gas company because the smell had been so strong. As it was a cool quiet morning, the gas smell was still noticeable near the gas meters between the Record and the Parish buildings. It wasn’t long before a gas company repair truck pulled up and immediately found the source… a gas line that came out of the meter and went into the Record had “rotted” where it entered the outside wall. The bad news was the Record was responsible for the 40-foot gas line as it went into the building. The good news was the gas company replaced the meter and didn’t charge the Record for the labor. The real good news was a dangerous situation was averted, quickly and safely.

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