09-06-2018 Letters and Commentary

Michael Zehner has  settled in comfortably in Texas and sends greetings to Michigan

Dear Editor, I’m writing to you all to give a friendly update on Michael Zehner. I know how many residents in Watervliet have asked how Michael has been doing since his move to Texas and I am happy to report he has settled in comfortably! Soon, Michael will be marking two months since his move and has had quite the adventure over the summer.

A response to Bishop’s comments on childbuse by Catholic Priests

Dear Editor, This letter is in response to Bishop Paul J. Bradley’s report on child abuse by some Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. The bottom line for these priests is they need to get saved. If Bishop Bradley believed what the Word of God says in 1Timothy 3:2a that, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” then he would leave the Roman Catholic Church, find a good wife and be married. But like many churches today they reject the Word of God, that they may keep their own tradition. There is no purgatory, nuns, cardinals, or prayers for the dead to be found in the World of God. The cover up for children being molested has been ongoing for centuries let alone decades; all to try and keep the traditions of men to be honored instead of the Lord Jesus Christ and His word. This is written not to belittle the Roman Catholic people, but to exhort them to repent, and simply believe what the Word of God says, and not some papal bull. The Lord Jesus says in Luke 4:4, “It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” But ‘by every word of God’ is missing in most all Catholic Bibles in Luke 4:4. I wonder why. Phil Nevins, Sister Lakes

Freedom of Speech column set my teeth on edge

Hi Karl, I was going to call to renew my TCR subscription, but decided to send you a note instead. I love my hometown paper and would hate to miss the news around town or the doings on Paw Paw Lake, the amusing letters to the Editor, Roy’s Journal, the Nature Notebook, and best of all! Karl’s Kolumn. The August 16th Kolumn set my teeth on edge, however. You started out in the American Way by allowing the NFL players to sit out the anthem under our hallowed tradition of Freedom of Speech. Unbelievably, you then went off about how much you dislike their “disrespecting the flag.” The fact is Karl, sitting out the anthem IS NOT and has NEVER BEEN about the flag except to Donald Trump and his sycophants. The NFL players are protesting the obvious and continuing racial discrimination and police brutality that is very much a part of the American tradition. They are choosing a peaceful and non-violent way to demonstrate their grief and hope for a turnaround in the current atmosphere promulgated by the Trump method of enforcing policies, including immigration. Then you went on to relate a story about poor Bob Taylor and his troubles. Mr. Trump apparently responded with a mealy-mouthed spiritual sentiment written by God knows which anonymous but evidently born-again-Christian troll. I have to wonder if Bob was really comforted by these hypocritical words reportedly from a person with the demonstrated and sickening moral standing of Donald Trump. No one has shown less ethical regard for the workers, business people or porn stars he has done business with. In any case, I will continue to enjoy the TCR and grant you the same courtesy of Free Speech along with the real Free Press which still exists in our country, at least for the time being. Your friend always, Jean Christiansen

Share your throughts with Karl … email to record@tricityrecord.com or mail to Tri-City Record P.O. Box 7, Watervliet, MI 49098

What are you doing here?

Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a way out. No obvious solution seems available. Hope becomes scarce. The question, “What am I doing here?” begs an answer. That’s when outside input can be helpful. Some trusted person to be a sounding board. Rather than retreating, it is better to engage, to regroup and reorient. That’s what happened to the prophet of Israel, Elijah. Only Elijah wasn’t the one asking the question; it was God asking Elijah, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah had just had a great victory over some false prophets. Unfortunately they were the queen’s prophets. Elijah got a poison-pen letter from her that scared the wits out of him. He ran and hid in a cave where she couldn’t find him. He could hide from the queen, but God never lost track of him. The account is in 1 Kings, chapter 19. When God first asked Elijah the question, Elijah knew it was God speaking to him. Two observations about the question: First, God used Elijah’s name, demonstrating that Elijah had not been forgotten by God. Second, God did not ask “Why” Elijah was there, He asked instead what he was doing there. Big difference. It was more of a, “What do you expect to accomplish by this, Elijah?” rather than a “Tell Me how you’re feeling about this situation, Elijah.” Elijah had new lessons to learn. First he needed to learn that God does things His way, and in His timing. Second, we are not on God’s “need-to- know list” when it comes to His work behind the scenes and in other people’s lives. Third, we have responsibilities that center on God’s plans, not ours. Elijah’s life was not over. He had a future. God gave him a new job to do. With that, Elijah regrouped and went on.

Beat procrastination by changing your direct deposit early

September 6 is National Fight Procrastination Day. With our busy lives, it is easy to fall into that cycle of constantly postponing some tasks because of other things we need to address right now. This may be true for you when it comes to changing your payment method for Social Security benefits. How can you change your direct deposit information with Social Security? The most convenient way is by creating a my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Once you create your account, you can update your bank information without leaving the comfort of your home. Another way to change your direct deposit is by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to make the change over the phone. If you prefer to speak to someone in-person, you can visit your local Social Security office with the necessary information. What exactly will Social Security need to make the direct deposit change? Because we are committed to protecting your personal information, we need some form of identification to verify who you are. If you are online, we verified your identity when you initially created your my Social Security account. All you need to do is log in at www.socialsecurity.gov/ signin with your secure username and password to gain instant access to your information. If you call Social Security, we will ask identifying questions to ensure we are speaking to the right person. If you visit the office, you will need to bring a driver’s license or some form of ID with you. Once we have identified you as the correct person and are authorized to make changes on the Social Security record, all we need is the routing number, account number, and type of account established. We don’t ask for a voided check, nor do we obtain verification from the bank. Therefore, you should be sure you are providing accurate information to us. The day of the month you report the direct deposit change makes all the difference. Though the exact date varies each month, generally, you will need to report changes by the 15th to see the effect on the next check. When the 15th falls on the weekend or a holiday, the cutoff is usually the previous business day. Because you may be unsure if your direct deposit change will affect your next payment, we highly recommend that you do not close the old bank account until you have seen your first Social Security deposit in the new bank account. That way, you can feel secure you will receive your benefits on time, regardless of when the change was reported to Social Security. Waiting until you see the deposit in your new account also gives you the extra peace of mind that we processed the change correctly. When you have to report changes, be sure to contact us or visit us online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Social Security always strives to put you in control by providing the best experience and service no matter where, when, or how you decide to do business with us. 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.

LABOR DAY RETROSPECTIVE… I hope you had a restful and enjoyable Labor Day holiday. In some quieter moments of the holiday I started thinking about the “jobs” I labored at up to writing this column. Except for the past 34 years, I did many things to make ends meet. My first job, assigned by my mom (bless her heart), was chores. My first beyond putting my clothes and toys away was taking out the garbage. That might be simple enough, but with a family of 15 souls, there was an unending stream of garbage. The garbage can was at the extreme end of the back yard which stretched to the middle of the block, easily 200 feet from the back door. That distance from the back door to the ‘can’ was, after sunset, in total darkness. The darkness, thanks to admonishments from older brothers and sisters to “watch out” was deepest just beyond the can because there was just a broken-down chicken wire fence between the yard and a vacant lot. The vacant lot, a place to play in daylight was also home after dark to all manner of creatures hiding in the tall weeds. My first job outside the house was doing yard work for the family doctor. I had inherited the job from my older brothers Greg, John, and Paul. Who, each in turn, had moved on to better paying positions. The doctor’s wife was a stickler for neatness and held off paying each Saturday until every weed was plucked and every leaf was bagged. She was also stingy. I got a whopping 90 cents for the two hours or so of work. When I broached the touchy subject of a raise to an even dollar, I was rebuffed with a “we’ll see”. Miraculously a weekly job I got passing out flyers door to door for the Tastee Freez at the end our street soon morphed into a 3-day weekend job of cleaning up at closing time. I was paid $4.00 cash each Sunday night, which worked out to roughly $1.33 for mopping the floors, washing the counters and breaking down and sanitizing the 2 soft-serve ice cream machines. Such a largess of funds emboldened me to cut ties with the doctor’s wife. Even as she expressed regret with my leaving her employ, she declined to sweeten the pot with a raise of a dime. My mom was disappointed I was leaving the gig as my younger brother Steve was yet too young to take on the job, thus breaking an unbroken string of brotherly child labor. I think he did get the job when he was a couple years older, probably mowing, weeding, and raking for 90 cents. Working for the Tastee Freez broke me into the realm of gainful employment. By now with a driver’s license, I was soon delivering pizza and chicken dinners all over Berkley and Royal Oak. I was getting $4 a night plus tips! There was no turning back. The big break came working the night shift washing dishes at a night club in Detroit. Weekends found me as the “daytime” pot and pan man at the same place. My dad was Executive Chef and my brother John was first cook. With such a genealogy it was no surprise that I was made a cook when I joined the Air Force. What was a surprise was I was assigned to Selfridge AFB, just 40 miles from home! Finally, I got out of town with orders to report to RAF Alconbury in Huntingdonshire, England. Working (cooking) in England on a Royal Air Force base wasn’t much different than feeding the troops stateside. The big difference was having English military veterans pulling KP (kitchen police) and barracks duties. The “blokes” were on pensions, about $28.00 a month, which was supplemented by us Air Force personnel at a rate of $1.00 a month. I’m thinking there were a 1,000 of us “contributing” to the monthly pay of maybe 100 English Vets. By the time my three-year tour of duty overseas was ending, Anne and I were married and we had a baby boy. My dad wrote from home and said there was a job for me at the restaurant he and my brother John co-owned in Dryden and that the work schedule would allow me to go to college. So the “job” called me to Dryden where I worked as many hours that I could and went to college on the G.I. bill. Anne was working too, caring for our two babies and babysitting for others. With a thought of making more money, I spent a couple years working at a factory building RVs. That great idea came to a screeching halt when my brother John called and said he needed me back at the restaurant. With a raise and medical benefits, I returned to broiling steaks and managing the kitchen as head cook every evening. I had been doing that for a couple years when the publisher of the local paper stopped by while I was at work. He offered me a job at a small weekly paper he owned in a village called Capac. That set me on the road to a newspaper career that resulted in Anne and I buying the Watervliet Record… my last (and still is) job.