10-04-18 Letters and Commentary

Many appreciated for pavilion added to Hays Park Dear Editor, I, on behalf of the Watervliet Rec Council, would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that was a part of constructing the beautiful pavilion at Hays Park! There were people that spent a vast amount of time constructing the pavilion to benefit the park, the players, spectators and the City of Watervliet. Without the help and funds of the following people and businesses this project would not have been possible. I would like to first thank the Watervliet Lions Club for the generous donation to the Watervliet Recreational Council (WRC). Also, thank you to Nick Wilder with Wilder’s Custom Renovations for managing the pavilion project. Thank you to Big C Lumber, Marc Smith Concrete, Ian Eberhard with Future Construction, L&A Gutters and The Rental Branch. Also, thank you to the volunteers that helped complete the pavilion which includes Chad Priebe, Dan Whorton, Josh Westfall, Rod Kinzler, Steve Pline, and Vic Clark. Last but not least, I would like to thank the 2017-2018 WRC team for an amazing season, the hours they have volunteered and the passion they have for the program and kids – Carrie Wilder, Jessica Clark, Bryan Angelo, Arica Angelo, Brandy Eberhard, Jackie Stockton, Steve Pline, Dan Whorton, Jen Westfall, Heather Jarvis, Julie Querfurth, and Eric Kreitner. Sincerely, Nikki Priebe WRC President (2017-2018 season)

90th birthday party thanks Dear Editor, Norine Arnt and her family would like to thank everyone who attended her 90th birthday party and helped make her celebration so memorable. A special thank you to those who came from so far away to surprise her, your thoughtfulness was very much appreciated. Norine Arnt and family

Coloma/Riverside United Methodist churches hosts One Warm Coat program Coloma and Riverside United Methodist Church Missions Committees are hosting a coat drive to collect clean, gently worn, warm coats and other winter items currently between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday to Thursday at 144 S. Church St., Coloma. Area residents are invited to make a difference in our local community by donating to the coat drive now until October 17. Items collected will be distributed to those in need on Saturday, October 20 at the Coloma United Methodist Church from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon. For more information or questions, call 269-468-6062. “We are so excited about our One Warm Coat drive and hope the community will support us. There are nearly 50 million Americans currently living in poverty and struggling to provide a warm coat for themselves or their families. One Warm Coat’s program helps us keep all of the coats we collect in this community, which will make a big difference for our neighbors who need a coat,” said Coat Drive Ambassador and local resident, Beth Kraiger. Each year, hundreds of thousands of gently worn coats are distributed across North America to children, women and men in need through One Warm Coat’s Coat Drive program. “We are so grateful for our Coat Drive Ambassadors, like Coloma/Riverside churches! It is because of our incredible volunteers that we have been around for more than 25 years, helping get coats to our neighbors who need them,” expressed the organizers of One Warm Coat. One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need and raises awareness of the vital need for warm coats. One Warm Coat supports individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country by providing the tools and resources needed to hold a successful coat drive. Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected, to any person in need, without charge, discrimination or obligation. Over the past 26 years, One Warm Coat has worked with its volunteers to give away more than 5 million coats. For more information, visit www.onewarmcoat.org.

Matt Longjohn is the best person Dear Editor, Dr. Matt Longjohn, Democratic candidate for the office of 6th district congressman, has spent his entire career working to improve the health and well-being of all Americans. He has been recognized as an “outstanding health care innovator” for his important work in public health. He has built coalitions with many different individuals and groups to solve urgent problems. He listens, he cares, and he takes positive actions. Matt is strongly committed to universal, affordable health care; to increasing the number of good-paying jobs; to strengthening and improving public education; to protecting the environment; to improving roads, bridges, and all other elements of our infrastructure; to reducing gun violence; to ensuring civil rights and voting rights for everyone; to women’s and LGBTQ rights; to supporting and protecting legal immigration; to campaign finance reform; and to ending the abusive practice of gerrymandering. Matt Longjohn is an independent Democrat. He is not beholden to any political leader. He is running for office because he strongly believes it is time for new leadership in Washington. I hope you will join me in voting for Dr. Matt Longjohn on November 6. Liz Bogue, Bridgman

Senators urge funding projects critical to the Great Lakes U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force and Gary Peters, member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, as well as 10 of their colleagues last week led a bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force letter urging the Army Corps of Engineers to allocate and request funding for projects critical to the Great Lakes. In a letter to R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), the Senators requested funding for projects critical to stopping Asian carp, maintaining the Soo Locks and funding a new Poe-sized lock as well as funding for the Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Study. “The USACE is undertaking multiple efforts to stop Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. These actions are critical to protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem and our $7 billion recreational fishing and $16 billion boating industries,” wrote the lawmakers. “Accomplishing this objective requires funding to complete the Brandon Road Lock and Dam Chief’s Report and proceed to Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED); address multiple pathways for Asian carp to enter the Great Lakes; and ensure the electric dispersal barriers are operational.” “It is imperative that sufficient funding be provided to operate and maintain the Soo Locks,” the lawmakers continued. “In addition to the funds necessary to maintain and operate the Soo Locks, we ask that you include $74 million in the FY2019 work plan and $92 million in the FY2020 budget request to enable the USACE to begin the initial work necessary to construct a second Poe-sized lock.” “This study proposed by the USACE, in consultation with Great Lakes states, would be a first-of-its-kind effort to develop a coordinated strategy to manage and protect the Great Lakes’ and its 5,200-mile coastline from threats associated with lake level fluctuations, erosion, flooding, nutrient runoff, and aging infrastructure,” the lawmakers also wrote. “We were disappointed that last year’s budget did not request funding for the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study. To rectify this decision, we urge the USACE to allocate $1.2 million for the study in the FY2019 work plan and include $3.6 million for it in the FY2020 budget request.”

Music is powerful Ever get a song stuck in your head? A friend at work started a song, “Down to the River to Pray”, one morning. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. He had sung it in a choir in the Catholic church where he attends. Alison Krauss does a great job with this song on YouTube. It’s had 16 million views, so I guess a lot of other people have it stuck in their heads too. I wonder why. I find it interesting that the comments, some even from atheists, show that it “strikes a chord” in many peoples’ lives. Sometimes it seems that music can connect directly with the soul. That’s why it can be so powerful and vicariously expressive. Music can be sincere expression. Much of the music we hear over public speakers in stores, for example, is oppressively repetitive. The same words or phrases are sung over and over and over and over again. Sometimes screaming other times painfully whining, the singer seems to be stuck. No new information is given with the continued effort. It’s a welcome relief when the song finally ends! Usually the subject matter is sex or living together or breaking up or picking up a new live-in. Does that music express the hearts and souls of the listeners, or are aberrant cultural perspectives being subconsciously pounded into our brains without our permission? “Down to the River to Pray” has 16M views. Maybe we’re hungry for more like this, more with depth. We need to guard our musical diet. Like too much junk food can harm us physically, junk music can be detrimental to our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. If we start thinking that songs express real insight when they merely foist philosophical fuzzy thinking on us, we are being fooled. So pay attention. If it’s worthless, flush it and do something else.

How Social Security defines disability Disability affects millions of Americans, in one form or another. Social Security is here to help you and your family, but there are strict criteria for meeting the definition of disability. The definition of disability under Social Security is also different than it is for other programs. We do not pay benefits for partial or short-term disability. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if: You can’t do work that you did before; we decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security is also required by law to review the current medical condition of all people receiving disability benefits to make sure they continue to have a qualifying disability. Generally, if someone’s health hasn’t improved, or if their disability still keeps them from working, they will continue to receive benefits. To help us make our decision, we’ll first gather new information about a benefit recipient’s medical condition. We’ll ask their doctors, hospitals, and other medical sources for their medical records. We’ll ask them how their medical condition limits their activities, what their medical tests show, and what medical treatments they have been given. If we need more information, we’ll ask them to go for an examination or test for which we’ll pay. Social Security is a support system for people who cannot work because of a disability. You can learn more about Social Security disability at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability and also by accessing our starter kits and checklists at www.socialsecurity.gov/ planners/disability.

WHERE’S THE LOMA MOVIES? Asked a subscriber Monday afternoon as she handed over her subscription renewal check. She said, I saw the nice big colored ad but couldn’t find the movie listings. So, I went through the other pages and couldn’t find it. Another reader chimed in… I also liked the movie guide with the synopsis and the ratings. I replied that MOORE THEATRES is making going to the movies easier by posting all their movies on their web site and on their phone answering machine, both of which are on the new ad. To which the subscriber commented, I don’t go on the web and I always looked for the LOMA movie listing in the Record on Friday.

NEW FACES IN PRESS BOX… You will be seeing new sports reporter faces on our Press Box page over the next few weeks. Ben Loshbough, my grandson, had to give up his Press Box berth recently as he took a full-time staff position at Watervliet Middle School at the beginning of this school year. He also had to leave his morning show spot with Phil McDonald on WSJM Sports Radio. He hasn’t entirely left the airwaves, he is still afternoon DJ on WIRX 107 Rock Radio. Starting this week covering all the Hartford High School Varsity sports is Jerrod Birmele. A Hartford grad himself, Jerrod has never been far from the hometown sports he loves… he’s been sports announcer, referee and all points in between. On deck for next week covering the Coloma Comets sports beat is Dave Vollrath and John Oliphant for Watervliet Panther sports. Covering the Press Box these past few weeks has been former sports writer Kristy Noack. Happily, she has been able to continue as sports photographer and reporter.

ADVISE AND CONSENT… Kavanaugh case is soured by acrimonious politics. Once again our political leadership has put their own pettiness ahead of the good of the people. I don’t have a clue who did what to whom in the Kavanaugh vs. Blasey-Ford repartee in last week’s Senate interviews prior to a vote to approve Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. At first I smirked… are you really going back to high school drinking parties to get the dirt? Going in to the imbroglio I was inclined to believe the Judge’s assertation that he never sexually assaulted Dr. Blasey-Ford when they were both high school students. The Doctor’s claim that she was assaulted by the Judge at a drinking party in high school was also believable. Sadly, histrionics and politics was rife by the United States Senators charged with interviewing both to give credence to the claims with the view to recommend to the Senate on the Judge’s suitably as a Supreme Court Justice. I think Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford’s reputations are forever sullied by the mishandling of the whole issue by the Senators. They allowed, once again, partisan politics to sully an important process of government; in this case the appointment of a Justice of the Supreme Court. Sadly, while there is a statute of limitations on many criminal acts, there is none on poor taste or the lack of ethics.

TASTE OF PAW PAW… Kevin Torres, who lives along the Paw Paw River in Watervliet, dropped off a couple Paw Paw fruits last week for us to taste. The taste is hard to describe, kind of like a bland banana with a hint of lime. The trouble with the Paw Paw fruit is that it is very fragile and will not be canned, dried or frozen. That is why the fruit that the river and area is named for is not readily widespread. Kevin said he has several trees on his property but none of them have much fruit this year.

LONG LOST BUDDY… subscriber Dave Wessendorf called to say he appreciated the 60th wedding anniversary feature on Ardith and Ken Russell. Dave says he and Ken were on the baseball team together and he had lost track of him over the years. As I had no contact info on Ken, Dave asked that I put his phone number in Karl’s Kolumn… 269-424-5825.

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