08-30-2018 Letters and Commentary

Reader enjoys  yesteryear features of the TCR Dear Amy, Please renew my subscription once again. We love this paper, especially the Paw Paw River Journal by Roy. We also enjoy your dad’s articles. We love trips back to yesteryear. My husband and I went and visited Roy and his lovely wife, Marion, a week ago and they are doing well. They are from Hartford, as we were. Do have a good day and a good week. Thank you, Jerrie Williams

John McCain and Watervliet Dear Editor, Otto Jennings Helweg graduated from Watervliet High School in 1954 and went to the U.S. Naval Academy and was a classmate of John McCain. They were both commissioned as Ensigns in the U.S. Navy in 1958. While at the Academy, Otto Helweg played football and was a heavyweight boxer. John McCain, at 127 pounds, was a lightweight boxer. In a Newsweek article on May 13, 2007 called “Can McCain Box His Way to the Nomination”, Otto Helweg was quoted as saying, “McCain was not the most skilled, but he was the most feared… he never gave up!” Otto Jennings Helweg died of a heart attack on 2 November 2008 in Denver, Colorado when he was campaigning for his classmate. With the passing of Senator McCain and in memory of Otto Jennings Helweg, I quote an old Navy saying, “May you have fair winds and following seas.” Don Oderkirk U.S. Navy Reserve, Retired

BCYF numbers down; Thank you from the Fair Director to all that made it an adventure Dear Editor, “Passport to Adventure” was the theme for the 2018 Berrien County Youth Fair and what an adventure it was! Barns were decorated with a travel theme. With a few days of forecasted rain, we all greatly appreciated the sunny days and typical summer nights. Our attendance was 104,129 (down about 17,000 from 2017) -exhibitors were down by 38 at 2,134 and they displayed 11,427 exhibits. All species of livestock were represented at the 2018 BCYF. We welcomed baby goats and a baby llama during the week in Wonders of Birth plus eggs hatching each day. The grandstand introduced two nights of demolition derby (a day for cars and a day for trucks) this year in addition to truck and tractor pull, Circus Continental, LOCASH and Bullmania. The Ag·Expo building again featured information on agricultural products as well as the Farmer for a Day display. The USA building featured the 98.3 “The Coast” youth talent contest winners throughout the week as well as Robotics, Senior Day (exhibits and demonstrations) and the Baked Fruit Pie Contest. The mall stage was busy with many youth exhibit trophy and award presentations and a variety of acts throughout the week. Many fair visitors enjoyed the jazz music, oldies music and Elvis was even sighted. The Historical building highlighted the 1970s. A “big” thanks to all the livestock auction supporters -$477,674.15! 923 lots passed before the auctioneers and the crowd of buyers on Thursday (rabbits and poultry) and Friday (Iambs, goats, gallon of goat milk, gallon of cow milk, beef and swine). Volunteers are the backbone of the Berrien County Youth Fair Association, Inc. Thanks again for your tireless hours of dedication to provide a showplace for our youth. BCYF could not do it without all of you. Mark your calendars for the 2019 Berrien County Youth Fair -August 12-17. The theme for the 74th youth fair is “Country Nights and Carnival Lights”. Karen M. Klug BCYF Secretary and Exec. Director

Bones in Balance classes during September helps individuals with osteoporosis Lakeland Orthopedic Physical Therapy is now enrolling participants for Bones in Balance, a four-week program designed to teach those diagnosed with osteoporosis and osteopenia how to successfully live with these conditions through self-management. Bones in Balance incorporates education and exercise and is led by specially trained physical therapists. The program includes valuable self-management tips from a pharmacist, registered dietitian, and nurse educator. Classes meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a four-week period at the Center for Outpatient Services, located at 3900 Hollywood Road in St. Joseph. Registration is now open for the next set of classes which will run from September 4 to 27 and be held at 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. or 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that affects over 44 million Americans, and although both men and women can develop the disease, over 80 percent of sufferers are women over the age of 45. Osteoporosis is commonly referred to as “the silent disease,” because bone loss occurs without any visible symptoms at first. Many people don’t realize they have osteoporosis until their bones are so weak that the smallest strain or fall causes a bone to fracture. A physician’s order is required to participate. There is a $25 registration fee to cover the cost of materials; the remaining amount is billable to your insurance. For more information or to register, call (269) 556-7150.

Social Security when you are self-employed Most people who pay into Social Security work for an employer. Their employer deducts Social Security taxes from their paycheck, matches that contribution, sends taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and reports wages to Social Security. However, self-employed people must report their earnings and pay their Social Security taxes directly to the IRS. These taxes will help determine your eligibility for benefits later. You’re self-employed if you operate a trade, business, or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. You report your earnings for Social Security purposes when you file your federal income tax return. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, you must report your earnings on Schedule SE, in addition to the other tax forms you must file. Net earnings for Social Security are your gross earnings from your trade or business, minus your allowable business deductions and depreciation. Some income doesn’t count for Social Security and shouldn’t be included in figuring your net earnings. You can read more about self-employment, paying your Social Security taxes and figuring and reporting your net earnings at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10022.pdf. Social Security has been a cornerstone of American security for over 80 years. As a self-employed person, your small business is another cornerstone in the foundation of our economy. Working together, we make this nation stronger. We’re here for you, securing today and tomorrow. Remember, the most convenient way to contact us anytime, anywhere is to visit 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.

AMERICAN HERO… RIP – Senator John McCain died last weekend following a yearlong battle with brain cancer. This coming weekend will be his burial at the U.S. Naval Academy. Senator McCain, 81, has a lifetime of public service, first as a Navy pilot and then representing his home state of Arizona and us all as a United States Senator. As a pilot he was shot down over Vietnam and languished as a POW for six years in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton”. One didn’t have to be a Republican or a Democrat to like Senator McCain. He was always true to his country and his countrymen. He was a true consensus builder and a bipartisan legislator, working tirelessly for the good of his country. He was a straight talker with deep convictions who always listened to others and then spoke his own mind. There may not be many like him but thank the stars we had him… he will be missed.

HAPPY LABOR DAY… This is the weekend with the extra day off for the American laborer. As I recall the Labor Day holiday was created (by the government) as an end of summer holiday for the American worker. It may be that was the last time the government did anything beneficial for the worker. Most working families are working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Benefits such as health care have been cut and costs have increased. The work week (for many) has been cut in half to save benefit costs for the company owners. Any wage increase is eaten up by increased costs for food and housing. Most wage (hourly) earners have little hope of a restful and secure retirement. It will take much more to recover from the long hot summer than a day off.

HISTORY OF LABOR DAY… Now that I’ve vented my disillusion with the spirit of Labor Day, I’ll share what it was meant to be, and was, back “in the day”. According to the U.S. Department of Labor: Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievement of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During 1887 four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1884, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. More than a century after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country. The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL… Right on the heels of a three-day weekend is the first day of school for most Michigan Public School children. Be extra alert for youngsters on the roads and sidewalks in the morning hours and afternoons. They’ll be dashing across the road, cutting corners and jaywalking when you least expect it. Remember to obey the red flashing lights of the school bus, it means stop.

BONEHEAD MISTAKE… my apologies to Roxanne Rodney-Isbrecht for having her name wrong in this Kolumn last week. I’m sorry for any confusion I caused for her and our readers.

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