08-22-2019 Letters and Commentary

Humble beginnings There are many big names in industry that have had humble beginnings. A few popular ones would include Whirlpool, McDonald’s, and Ford. These all started small and then grew with good ideas and good management. Considering such origins should encourage us about our own “small ideas”, and should remind us to encourage humble beginnings in the minds of young people as well. Some hymns and songs also have humble beginnings. One such children’s song that most of us can probably remember hearing at some time in our lives is “Jesus Loves Me”, written by Anna Bartlett Warner in 1860. In its original form it was actually a part of a novel, “Say and Seal”, of her authorship. It was composed as a song sung to a dying child at one place in the story. The words of the popular three-verse version are: “Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong. “Jesus loves me! He who died, heaven’s gate to open wide. He will wash away my sin; Let His little child come in. “Jesus loves me! He will stay Close beside me all the way; Thou hast bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for Thee.” Those three verses profoundly explain the message of the Gospel in simple, childlike terms that can be widely understood. That song has given encouragement to many children and adults. I remember my uncle, Homer Grasberger, an attorney in Philadelphia, requesting that song to be sung at his funeral as an expression of his simple faith. As a member of Tenth Presbyterian Church he regularly had rich musical worship experience as the orchestras played from the rear balcony, but that song was one of his favorites. The humble statement, “Jesus loves me!” will always express the most profound truth in the universe.

Five ways to use Social Security online Social Security is here for you, not just when you need us financially, but when you need accurate information about our programs, retirement, and more. There are many online sources for Social Security information, but you need to make sure you’re getting the right information. By using www.socialsecurity.gov, you know that what you’re reading and watching is approved by our experts and specifically created for you. Here are five of our resources that can offer you invaluable information. Want access to our latest news, retirement planning tips, and helpful information? Social Security Matters is our blog at blog.socialsecurity.gov. From there, you can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, where you can watch our popular videos. Our online calculators, such as the Retirement Estimator, the Life Expectancy Calculator, and the Early or Late Retirement Calculator, can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/ planners/calculators. Have you lost or misplaced your Social Security card? Find out how to get a new, replacement, or corrected card at www.socialsecurity.gov/ ssnumber. In fact, you may be able to quickly request a replacement card online with a “my Social Security” account, if you meet certain qualifications, at www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount. Verify your annual earnings and review estimates of your future Social Security benefits when you access your Social Security Statement, one of the many services available with a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Do you have to pay taxes on Social Security benefits? How do you apply for Social Security retirement benefits? What is your full retirement age? Discover the answers to your Social Security related questions at our Frequently Asked Questions page at www.socialsecurity.gov/faq. With so many services available online, Social Security is here for you when your schedule allows. And we’re the authority for Social Security program and benefits information. Be sure to tell friends and family about all the business they can do with us from the comfort of their home or office at www.socialsecurity.gov. 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.

COMMUNITY CENTER IN WATERVLIET’S FUTURE? This Monday, August 26 at 6:05 p.m., citizens of Watervliet are invited to discuss the future of the downtown by way of a special land use permit for the building that formerly housed Bob’s Hobby Shop. The discussion will be held as part of the agenda of the Watervliet City Planning Commission meeting at City Hall. The special land use permit is requested by the Freshwater Community Church, which is currently leasing space from Coloma Schools. That lease expires in October. The church is proposing to rehabilitate the Watervliet Main Street building to use as a church for worship and a non-profit community center. This is an important meeting for all that are concerned with the future of the downtown. As more and more businesses are leaving the downtowns for elsewhere, those of us that choose to stay are encouraged by new business concepts to populate vacant buildings and to bring customers to the sidewalks. This is something that a hands-on community church can do by stimulating activity with an involved church family and by providing space for a community center in Watervliet. Frequently the idea of a community center comes up when there are visioning discussions. “There’s nothing for the kids to do in Watervliet” is the lament. “We need a community center”, is the idea. When such a discussion becomes heated, it is soon cooled by the questions, “Who will pay for it and who will operate it”? The answer this time is… Freshwater Community Church will pay, open, and operate a church and a community center in Watervliet. The church and community center will not disenfranchise any business or service. It will not take away business space for a more vital need. It will not cause any parking issues (there is numerous parking spaces on the same block and same side of the street). Any tax revenue lost because the building is owned by a church was brought up at a recent DDA meeting. Freshwater Church Pastor Justin VanFerrari said the proposed church/ community center could generate increased business on Main Street through its activities every day. This might be the case that a new idea can grow and flourish because the time is right for a new idea to grow and flourish in Watervliet. In full disclosure, my daughter Amy and her husband Bill Loshbough are active members in Freshwater Church, as are their children. I share their excitement that Freshwater Church wants to relocate to Watervliet.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GUN RIGHTS DEBATE… Two weeks have hardly passed when people were gunned down by domestic terrorists in Texas and Ohio. While political leaders promised unilateral action to protect citizens from homegrown terrorists and to protect citizens’ rights to own guns, such promises have already faded away nearly as quickly as the smoke from the gun barrels spewing bullets at innocent targets on American streets. I read a news piece on the National Public Radio web site earlier this week which claimed that Americans polled mostly supported laws that help families and police to remove guns from those that display traits that may indicate the gun owner is at risk to himself or to others. The NPR article read: “Poll: Americans, including Republicans and gun owners, broadly support red Flag Laws… Strong majorities of Americans from across the political spectrum support laws that allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from a person who is seen to be a risk to themselves or others, according to a new APM Research Lab/Guns & America/Call To Mind survey. These laws, often called extreme risk protection order laws, or red flag laws, have received renewed attention after 31 people were killed during mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Variations of these red flag laws are in place in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Since the mass shootings, President Trump and some congressional Republicans have signaled support for federal red flag legislation, though next steps in Congress are unclear at this point. Overall, 77% of Americans surveyed support family-initiated ERPOs, and 70% support them when initiated by law enforcement, according to the survey, which was conducted before the recent Texas and Ohio shootings. There is broad support among Republicans and gun owners for these types of laws, the poll found. Two-thirds of Republicans and 60% of gun owners support allowing police to seek the court orders; higher percentages — 70% of Republicans and 67% of gun owners — support allowing family members to seek them. There is broad support among men and women, but there is a gender gap — with more women in favor of red flag laws than men. There are also regional differences, with a smaller percentage in the west (though still a majority) supportive of these laws. Support for the laws also increases the higher the level of educational attainment.” Hey, it’s a start, isn’t it?

Correction

In the August 15, 2019 issue of Tri-City Record, an error was made on Page 11 in the article on the 2019 Berrien County Youth Fair royalty. The last name of the 1st runner-up to the queen was listed as Jackemeyer in the second column. It should have read First Runner-up Gruss.

Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this error may have caused.

N.B. Community Development & Coloma Watervliet Chamber Community Golf Outing

Dear Editor,

The North Berrien Community Development & Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce had a great golf outing on Friday, Aug. 9 and we want to thank all that participated, we could not do this without you!

We had the best weather we have had in a long time and we look forward to next August for our 17th Annual Community Golf Outing at the Paw Paw Lake Golf Club.

The following were Hole Sponsors: Spectrum Lakeland Health – Major Corporate Sponsor, Combined Insurance Agency (CIA), Wightman, Honor Credit Union, Lane Automotive, Midwest Family Broadcasting, Bob Becker – Alfred Metals, Brian W. Smith – Edward Jones, American Homes Real Estate Mikki Swisher, Centsible Heating, Orchard Hill Landfill, Bestway Disposal, Dicastal, Sheriff Paul Bailey and Robert Michael Salon.

A big thank you as well to any business that donated prizes for the raffle and or swag bags, such as: B&B Grocery, Blackbird Waterhouse, Berrien County Community Development, Boelcke Heating and Cooling, Chemical Bank, Coloma Community Schools, Coloma Glad-Peach Committee, Contessa Wine Cellars, Dicastal, Honor Credit Union, Crown Trophy #104, Karla Smothers State Farm Agency, Grapevine Nursery, Lazy Ballerina Winery, Mattson’s House of Décor, North Berrien Community Development, Robert Michael Salon and Spa, The River, and Wightman.

Centsible Heating out did themselves this year with two teams, a hole sponsorship and a beautiful basket for Closest to the Pin Contest.

We appreciated the support of volunteers and all the teams representing businesses, municipalities, police and sheriff departments and members of the community!

Congratulations to the three teams that placed, Coloma Township Police Department, Brian W. Smith team and Honor Credit Union.

Our volunteers, were so important, so thank you Sherri and Rochelle Ulleg, Jen and Patty from Centsible Heating, Robin from Grapevine Nursery, Marsha Hammond and Jim & Sherry Polashak.

If I have forgotten anyone I apologize, and we hope you tell your friends to participate next year!

Chana Kniebes, Director

North Berrien Community Development

Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce

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