09-05-2019 Letters and Commentary

LIFE CHANGING EVENT… What were you doing the morning of September 11, 2001 when 4 hijacked passenger planes became deadly missiles? Those planes carrying innocent passengers slammed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, into the Pentagon and into a vacant field in Pennsylvania. When the dust cleared nearly 3,000 heroes were the victims of the terrorist attack on America. Anne and I were watching the national news that morning. Katie Couric had just announced there was a news report of an airliner crashing into one of the towers. Moments later she announced they had a live feed at the World Trade Center and as we watched a second plane crashed into the other tower. From that moment on, America knew it was under attack. By then there was news of a plane crash in Pennsylvania and another in Washington D.C. From those horrendous moments, America had changed forever. Now there is ever increasing security for travel, public gatherings and at schools. We are more vigilant, but also more suspicious of strangers. The “land of the free” has embraced giving up certain freedoms in exchange for more safety of our family, friends and country. At the same time, we remember the victims of that awful attack. This coming Wednesday is September 11, 9-11. The Watervliet VFW will host a ceremony to recall the sacrifices of those that gave their lives serving others.

POLKA IN HEAVEN? Do they polka in heaven? If they didn’t, they are now since brother-in-law Leroy joined the Angels Saturday night. Leroy loved to dance the polka and when he couldn’t dance, he would listen to his polka records. On many occasions he could be found sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a cup of Sanka coffee and listening to his records. Kids and grandkids all knew they would get to dance with Leroy. While I never danced a polka, I have wonderful memories of him at most family occasions dancing, especially with his daughters, his mom, and mine. I called him “this that and the other”, he greeted me as “you old rascal”. Leroy had a large vocabulary of wonderful phrases suitable for any occasion, probably all the way back to his days in the navy and from years on the CB as he drove a truck. “You know what I mean, Fur sure, By golly and You betcha” peppered every story plus “this, that and the other.” He loved to fish, especially ice fishing on a particular farm pond. Ten years or so ago, while fishing that pond he hooked the giant pike of his dreams. At Christmas last we were chatting about (what else) fishing. I was loath to bring up THE FISH as Leroy was confined to a wheelchair and had not fished in a couple years. I didn’t have to worry, with a twinkle in his eyes, he asked, “Doing any fishing lately”? Knowing he meant ice fishing, I retorted, “The only ice I want is at the bottom of a glass of Kessler’s.” “You old rascal you, you’d be on the ice today if you saw what I did a few years back,” This that and the other said. “I hooked a big one, I just got a look at its head and it took off thataway. By golly, when I got that rascal back to my hole in the ice, I could see that pike’s head wasn’t gonna fit through it. You know what I mean, you betcha. He wagged his head and headed for bottom like hell wouldn’t have it and slapped his tail in my other ice hole, by golly, at least 5 feet away! You betcha!” Leroy will be missed, you betcha by golly!

Back to school with Social Security

It typically takes people a lifetime of planning to reach their retirement goals. The earlier young workers know about saving for their future, the better chance they’ll have at achieving a comfortable retirement. This is why Social Security has created a resource specifically for teachers and students. Our Information for Educators page contains a toolkit with information and resources to educate and engage students on Social Security programs and services. Within the toolkit, you’ll find: Two lesson plans with objectives, infographics and handouts for each lesson plan, links to Social Security webpages, talking points, and quiz questions and answers. It’s important for students to understand why Social Security was created and why it is essential to their lives today and in the future. This knowledge and understanding will provide students a strong base on which to build their financial future. You can access the webpage and toolkit at www.socialsecurity.gov/ thirdparty/educators.html. Young workers can also see how Social Security directly relates to them at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/students. Encouraging young people to save now for long-term goals that are decades away can be somewhat difficult. Let them know they have a better chance of realizing their dreams if they start planning and taking action early. And also let them know that they can share this information with friends, both in person and on social media. 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.

Is this Tuesday already?

We hear it all the time. “Where did the summer go?” Or maybe, “I can’t believe it’s September already!”, or “The older I get, the faster life seems to go by.” When I was a kid and it was dinner time, my mom would call us to come in. I remember a favorite response, “Aw mom, we were just starting to have fun!” That was usually not true, but it seemed valid to us at the time. That’s how it may feel to those who are growing older. “I was just starting to have fun.” A retirement that too soon greets us with health challenges, either for us personally or for someone we love. Or we watch someone closer to the beginning of their young life adventure as they deal with some accident or an unexpected and unfair health issue. “He was just starting to have fun,” we might legitimately say. How do you encourage someone in those circumstances? A lot changes when life gets challenged by surprises. One thing that needn’t change is your friendship. Availability of caring friends helps people handle troubles and look beyond the immediate struggle. Anchors in storms can help. Be a living anchor. Another anchor is God’s presence. He is certainly a good source of hope and encouragement. In Psalm 90:12, which is actually a prayer of Moses, we find, “Teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” (NASB) Moses asks God to help him deal wisely with the realities of life, including his limited time here. Why does he ask that? Partly because we don’t tend to stop and think about it in a timely manner. Life creeps up on us and surprises us sometimes. May we discover our most sure anchor in a loving God Who promises never to leave our side.

Superhero Mud Run thank you

Tri-City Record, Thank you so much for sponsoring our Superhero Mud Run by advertising our event in your paper! We appreciate it more than you know and your support is worth more than you know! Sincerely, Amanda Goss youtoo.nonprofit

Heart failure class should be renamed

Dear Karl, I just opened my TCR (Tri-City Record) dated August 29, 2019 and read a small article submitted to you by Spectrum Health Lakeland. Now, I know “Lakeland” has had mixed reviews from people in the area. You recently commented on the great care your wife received. I could tell you the “great care” I received from “Spectrum/Lakeland” just a year ago when I was misdiagnosed and treated for the wrong ailment for two days which resulted in two minor heart attacks. But it is a long story and I digress back to the article. My comment/reaction to the small article is… are they (Spectrum/Lakeland) that stupid? The title of the article concerns a free class they are holding and the name of the class is “Living Well with Heart Failure” and the article is titled “Learn to live well with heart failure”. I was taught when your heart failed you are dead. I guess Lakeland/Spectrum really is a great hospital to keep you alive with a dead heart. Giving a solution to the name of their class, which will help them sound more intelligent, there are several words that could be substituted for failure, for example: ailments, troubles, pain and etc.

Respectfully, Dennis Bachman Benton Harbor

B.C. Youth Fair thank you

Dear Editor, “Country Nights and Carnival Lights” was the theme for the 2019 Berrien County Youth Fair and we had lights across the mall and a carnival theme throughout the barns. Several warm days followed by cool nights kept animals and fair visitors happy during the country nights. Our attendance was 101,383 (down 2,746 from 2018) – exhibitors were down by 162 at 1,972 and they displayed 10,692 exhibits. All species of livestock were represented at the 2019 BCYF. We welcomed baby goats during the week in Wonders of Birth plus eggs hatching each day. Children and adults alike are always drawn to this barn. The Eli Yong Band was featured in the grandstand on Wednesday night and almost filled all the $10 grandstand seats! Two nights of demolition derby (a day for cars and a day for trucks), tractor pulls, Circus Continental and Bullmania filled the week. The Ag-Expo building again featured information on agricultural products as well as the Garden of Education. The USA building featured the 98.3 “The Coast” youth talent contest winners throughout the week as well as 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 Berrien County’s rich agricultural history – exploring the many ways produce travels from farm to plate. A “big” thanks to all the livestock auction supporters – $534,241.80 (an increase of $56,567.65)! There were 925 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 2020 Berrien County Youth Fair, August 17-22. The theme for the 75th youth fair is “Diamonds are Fair-Ever”. Watch our website (www.bcyf.org) and our Facebook page for events to celebrate 75 years of BCYF.

Very truly yours, Karen M. Klug BCYF Secretary and Executive Director

Berrien RESA to host 2019 Festival of Families and 5K Run/Walk

Free transportation available for Festival attendees! Free lunch for first 500 children in attendance! This fall, Berrien Regional Education Service Agency (Berrien RESA) will be hosting its seventh annual countywide event for families and children wishing to learn more about educational programs offered in their community. The event, the Berrien RESA Festival of Families, will be held on Saturday, September 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds in Berrien Springs. The Festival of Families will feature a resource expo where families can learn about a variety of community programs and services designed to help their children thrive. Additionally, the Festival of Families will host a 5K walk/run, sponsored by First Student, Inc. and Sunset Coast Striders immediately preceding the event. This competitive race will start at 8:30 a.m. Those interested in participating in the 5K can still register – a link to the official registration page is accessible via www.berrienresa.org. Proceeds benefit MyTEAM TRIUMPH and United Way of Southwest Michigan. “This event continues to grow each year!” said Berrien RESA Superintendent Dr. Kevin Ivers. “The Festival of Families provides a networking and resource opportunity for hundreds of people throughout Berrien County. If you are looking for information about early child development, K-12 education, advanced programming, transition services, special education opportunities and higher education, this event is for you!” Through conversations with their constituents, Berrien RESA learned that families are seeking a one-stop source for information and tools to help their children be successful in all areas of their development. Families said they wanted to learn more about community athletic opportunities, financial literacy, Career and Technical Education, resources about transitional needs, and occupational and volunteer opportunities. Therefore, Berrien RESA established the Festival of Families, providing such a resource for families of children ages 0-26. The Festival of Families will also feature carnival games and activities that are accessible to children of all abilities. During the event a variety of local entertainment acts will perform including recent winners from 98.3 the Coast’s Youth Talent Show that was held during the Berrien County Youth Fair, and I Heart Spanish, a local youth Mexican Heritage dance team. Children will also be able to play games, visit with animals from Potawatomi Zoo and Sarett Nature Center, have their faces painted and enjoy hands-on activities, as well as participate in a communitywide “Arts for All” project. Free lunch and dessert will be provided for the first 500 children in attendance. Additional items may be purchased from a select menu being offered by Lark’s BBQ, Michiana Hot Dog, Wagner’s Ice Cream, and Babatürk Food Truck. Event sponsors include: 97.5 Y Country, AIG Retirement Services, Art & Image, Berrien County Youth Fair, Berrien RESA, Boulevard Inn & Bistro, Celebration Cinema, Competitive Edge LLC, First Student Inc., Four Winds Casino Resort, Honor Credit Union, Kalamazoo Wings Hockey Club, Kruggel Lawton CPAs, Miller-Davis Company, Plante Moran, Potawatomi Zoo, Silver Beach Carousel Society, Silver Beach Pizza, Spectrum Health Lakeland, St. Joseph Today, Sunset Coast Striders, and United Federal Credit Union. Vendors include: All Star Family Chiropractic, Andrews University, Berrien County 4-H, Berrien County Great Start Collaborative, Berrien County Health Department, Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Berrien RESA Parent Advisory Committee, Berrien RESA Programs/services, Berrien Springs Oronoko Fire Department, Best Friends 4-H Club, Boys and Girls Club, Camp Millhouse, Disability Network, Fully Alive Chiropractic, Living Alternatives for the Developmentally Disabled, Logan Autism Learning Center, Michigan Alliance for Families, Michigan Career and Technical Institute, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Rise All Lives Matter, Riverwood Center, Sarett Nature Center, Spectrum Community Services, State Senator Kim LaSata, Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Well of Grace Ministries, United Way of Southwest Michigan, YMCA of Southwest Michigan, and more! The event and all activities are free-of-charge. Pre-arranged shuttle service throughout Berrien County will also be available (at no cost to families) thanks to the continuous support of First Student Transportation. The shuttle service is door-to-door and can accommodate riders needing wheelchairs or car seats. Please contact Karen Heath at (269) 471-7725 ext. 1147 to request transportation. For more information about the Festival, please visit www.berrienresa.org.

AG Nessel commends Gov. Whitmer’s move to ban flavors in vaping products

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel praised the bold move made Wednesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by declaring a public health emergency and putting in place emergency rules that ban flavors in nicotine vaping products to better protect the state’s children from addiction, saying: “With a more than 1.5 million increase in the number of students using vaping products in just one year, the governor’s emergency actions today are exactly the bold measures we must take to protect Michigan’s children from the dangerous effects of vaping.” Nessel added, “I commend the governor’s decision and pledge my department’s continued and shared commitment to keeping these products out of the hands of our kids.” Michigan League for Public Policy COO Karen Holcomb-Merrill stated, “Within the last 60 days, Michigan has had six apparent cases of vaping-associated respiratory illnesses. Considering these cases and the first confirmed vaping-related death in the nation, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has rightfully recognized the public health emergency e-cigarettes and vaping tools pose to Michigan residents, especially our kids, and has taken decisive and sweeping action against them. We applaud Gov. Whitmer for refusing to wait any longer to address the danger of these products and their negative impact on the health of Michiganders.”


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