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.”