09-14-2017 Letters and Commentary

Paw Paw Lake Foundation compliments townships

Dear Editor,

A few words and compliments for a job well done by both Coloma and Watervliet townships.

The Paw Paw Lake Foundation dedicates all of its efforts and resources to improving the water quality of Paw Paw Lake. Because its financial resources are limited to donations, their initiatives are limited also.

Thanks to the Special Assessment District (SAD) for Paw Paw Lake that was created by both townships, resources are now available to provide lake management tools that are state of the art and very effective.

We receive comments from many people who use the lake for fishing and recreation, as well as from lakefront homeowners.

Without exception, the comments are enthusiastic praise for the outstanding improvement in the overall condition of the lake.

The most frequent comments are: “I’ve never seen the lake in such an excellent condition.”  “The weeds are virtually non-existent; they are gone.”  “The water is clearer than ever.”  “Fishing is great.”  “What a difference the SAD has made!”

The entire board of both townships, as well as the appointed SAD committee, should be complimented for a job well done.

Joseph Wasserman, President

Paw Paw Lake Foundation

Let’s support America’s dream of hope and opportunity for all!

Dear Editor,

Today, I found a certificate registering my grandmother in the Statue of Liberty, Immigrant Wall of Honor. My Italian grandparents emigrated here from Italy around 1920.

We always say that America has a long tradition of welcoming immigrants. But we also have a long tradition of treating immigrants with open discrimination and even violent hostility.

More than 4 million Italians immigrated to the U.S. between 1890 and 1920.  And in the early 1920s, Italians were portrayed in the U.S. media as ignorant and lazy.  Foreigners in general were feared and vilified.

Today, Hispanic immigrants and Muslim refugees experience discrimination. President Trump’s comments have legitimized discrimination against both of these groups.

I certainly agree we need to strengthen our borders to prevent illegal immigration, and we must get a handle on those individuals arriving and staying here illegally on expired visas.  But it’s time to stop blaming immigrants for all our country’s problems; and it’s certainly time to stop encouraging hatred and discrimination toward Hispanics and Muslims.

According to the Center for American Progress, 1.8 million children of undocumented immigrants are eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Approximately 800,000 “Dreamers” have registered for the program; 80% of Dreamers have jobs, 75% are in higher education.  They paid two billion in taxes last year. The Center for American Progress estimates ending DACA would result in the U.S. losing $460.3 billion from the nation’s GDP and removing 685,000 workers from the economy.

I urge everyone to call on Congress to develop a comprehensive immigration bill that gives undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.  And most certainly we need to preserve the DACA program to give the 800,000 “Dreamers” the ability to stay here, get an education and become productive citizens.

My grandmother’s certificate says that those visiting Ellis Island will recognize America’s dream of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all.  Let’s get Congress to ensure that happens for the “Dreamers.”

Ken Peterson, Buchanan