10-18-2018 Letters and Commentary

Sale of “so called park” land could benefit Coloma Watervliet area Dear Editor, An open letter to the Watervliet township board and the taxpaying citizens of Watervliet Township. I know that I’m too late to help this family, but maybe some other family who would love to build a new home on this side of the lake will not get the treatment this family received. I started to write my letter around the 4th of July, but I decided to wait until after our lake became quiet and peaceful. On the 4th of July, some friends and I went to Easy Street to eat and we had to wait for a table (you know all the lake people). Tonight I was at Easy Street to eat, no wait, and there were a lot of open tables. When I owned my business, I would teach my employees to suggestive sell when a person walked into my Ice Cream store to buy an ice cream sundae suggest to them would you like nuts and whip cream on our sundae. Now instead of a $1.00 sundae you now have a $2.00 sundae. I feel that the Township board has failed to do this. I know we call them FLIP and FISH and some of those visitors do fit these names, but a good 90% of these visitors are here to enjoy what our township and Paw Paw Lake has to offer them. A lot of them have brought property around the lake and in the township with plans to retire here, they pay a higher property tax than you and I pay and they are not allowed to vote on any new property tax increases. We have a park in the township that CANNOT be used as a park, if we were to use this park, the police would be called to come and tell you to leave (from what I have heard). There is a family that has summered in Coloma on the lake for the past 32 years, and they were interested in purchasing 40 feet of land from this so called park next to a house they was interested in buying. The house they were interested in buying would be torn down, and a new home would be built. This new home wasn’t going to a six figure home; they were planning to build a home that would have been a million plus dollars home. The only thing that was keeping this new home from being built was the 40 feet from this so called park. The offer for this 40 feet was about 1,000 dollars a foot, the tax value of this new home would have made the township tax assessor SMILE from ear to ear. The planned home was to be built with local contractors which would have created 25-30 new jobs in the township. These contractors and workers would have used our local lumber yard, restaurants, service stations and more. Our schools, police, fire department, ambulance service, and library would have all benefited from the taxes generated on this home. Did this happen? NO! WHY? A few people who don’t care for or like these citizens from the other side of the big lake, threatened to recall the members of the township board if any part of this so called park was granted for sale. What a shame!!! At the same meeting our township board was faced with a problem of trying to find a way to fund Medic 1 Ambulance service in our township or they would be forced to move out of the township (they failed to find the money). When I drive past, the Medic 1 building is empty. To me this doesn’t make a bit of sense, to keep any part of this so called park that can’t be used as a park. Then ask for an increase in the millage to fund services with the township. Like it or not we do need these visitors. Sometimes I stop and wonder what Coloma and Watervliet would be like if we didn’t have Paw Paw Lake and the people who come and visit, and the ones who have stayed and invested into our beautiful area, would we be another Benton Harbor or Gary! I don’t know if this family would even want to build on our side of the lake. They do own property in both Coloma and the Watervliet area. I think if I was on the township board, I would go put on my BIG BOY panties and find a way to sell all or part of a so called park that cannot be used. Then find a buyer that’s willing to pay what you’re asking for it. Forget the people who threaten to recall, and do the right thing. You’re not going to be there forever. P.S. I VOTE Leonard L. Seymour

Stop the “false” military political ads… Dear Editor, Fred Upton’s negative TV ads claiming that “Longjohn wants to gut our military” are untrue. Matt Longjohn has a son serving in the U.S. Air Force and fully supports a strong and healthy military. Strong and healthy means more than buying $billions of new equipment from big corporations. To Matt Longjohn, it also means supporting veterans and military families. Per a recent article, the Army Times indicated that nearly all veterans are against privatizing the VA. Yet the Trump Administration appears determined to have outside agents, Trump’s Mara-a-Lago friends, act as key architects for a host of veteran’s policy decisions, one of which is privatizing the VA. For many years I watched lower enlisted service personnel struggle making ends meet using outrageous 500% loans from payday lenders. During Obama’s administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau worked to protect the disadvantaged to include many of our lower ranking military families. That all ended when the Trump Administration began working to end payday lender regulations. Fred Upton uses the military as a pawn in election ads, but he doesn’t appear to care about enacting any meaningful legislation to protect our veterans and military families. Upton’s been in Congress for over 31 years. It’s time for new leadership in our Congress. It’s time to elect Dr. Matt Longjohn to serve in Michigan’s 6th district. Ken Peterson MAJ USA (Ret.) Buchanan Local prosecutors say NO to legalizing recreational marijuana Michael Bedford, Prosecutor for Van Buren County and Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic are among 56 of Michigan’s 83 County Prosecutors making a public statement in releasing their names to support Healthy and Productive Michigan’s efforts to defeat Proposal 18.1 which aims to legalize recreational marijuana.

Scott Greenlee, President of Healthy and Productive Michigan said, “In every county, there is a top Law Enforcement voice – and that is the County Prosecutor. They stand in the courtrooms, grapple with issues confronting families, work alongside the men and women who wear the Law Enforcement uniform, and represent the everyday citizens in the quest for Justice. We are honored to have them stand with us!” In September, regional press conferences took place around the state where Prosecutors and Law Enforcement came together to make a public statement that Proposal 18.1 is bad for Michigan.

The Chair of the Prosecutor effort, Cass County Prosecutor Vic Fitz said, “Unfortunately as County Prosecutors, we see the negative impacts that access to drugs have on the lives of Michigan citizens. We passionately believe that unleashing recreational marijuana with unlimited potency levels will have a disastrous impact on our state.”

The biggest lies It is said that any lie has some bit of truth to it. Otherwise it would not be believed. Lies hide behind a little truth. There will come a time when the second biggest lie of human history will be commonly accepted as true by the majority of the world. It will be the lie of the false Christ. That lie will come from the same mind and will be expressed by the same disguised lips that foisted the first biggest lie on mankind. That lie was “You will be like God”. That was Satan’s false statement to Eve tempting her to disobey God’s explicit instruction. Satan’s relationship with God’s created mankind started with a lie and will end with a lie. A lie is a counterfeit truth, and Satan is master of counterfeits. That is why his greatest accomplishment in the realm of lies will be to counterfeit God Himself by presenting mankind with a false Christ. Key to the lie’s content will be the denial of the death and more importantly, the denial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Christ did not rise from the dead then the Christian faith is itself a baseless, hopeless religion. This situation is specifically described in 1 Corinthians 15. But if we do not know this truth we will not realize that the resurrection is so important. Like Eve, we will be prey to those who capitalize on our ignorance of God’s true words. The world will believe Satan’s second biggest lie for the same reason Eve believed his first biggest lie – because of doubting God’s Word. They ask, “Did God really say that?” and then replace God’s Word with made-up truths, lies. Don’t be fooled. Learn God’s Word. Read it. Listen to it. Focus on it, memorize it and don’t turn aside from it. In the end all lies and liars will be exposed.

Achieving self-support with Social Security Work means different things to different people, but it can give you a sense of self, a community to rely on, and much-needed structure. Some people define themselves through their careers, while others enjoy the social aspect of their jobs. If you rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments and want to start working or return to work, we can help. A plan for achieving self-support (PASS) is a plan for your future. This plan lets you use your income or resources you own to help you reach your work goals. You could set aside money to go to school and get specialized training for a job or to start a business. The job that you want should allow you to earn enough to reduce or eliminate your need for payments provided under the SSI program. You can have a plan if: You want to work; you get SSI (or can qualify for SSI by having this plan) because you have a disability or are blind; and you have other income and/or resources to use to get a job or start a business. A PASS can even help you receive or keep SSI or could mean a higher payment. Under SSI rules, any income that you have may reduce your SSI payment. But, if you have an approved plan, you can use that income to pay for the items you need to reach your work goal. We don’t count money set aside under this plan when we decide your SSI payment amount. This means you may get a higher SSI payment. However, you can’t get more than the maximum SSI payment for the state where you live. A PASS can also help you set aside money for most work expenses. With an approved plan, you can set aside money to pay expenses to reach your work goal. You can read all about what work expenses are covered and more at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/ EN-05-11017.pdf. The plan must be in writing, and Social Security must approve it. To start, contact your local Social Security office for an application (Form SSA-545-BK). You can access this form at www.socialsecurity.gov/ forms/ssa-545.html. Your job isn’t just a source of income — it can be a vehicle to independence or a beginning to fulfilling your dreams. Let Social Security’s Plan for Achieving Self-Support help you achieve your goals. 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.

B&B DISCOUNT GROCERY MOVING TO BIGGER AND BETTER LOCATION in Watervliet. Beth at B&B Outlet said they will begin the moving process to their new location at the former Rookies Bar & Grill this weekend. Friday will be their last day on Main Street in downtown Watervliet. “Within a week, we plan to reopen in our new store,” she said. Beth and Ben Wagner have been on Main Street with their hugely successful discount grocery operation for several years now. So successful that they outgrew the two buildings they were in across the street from the TCR office. For the past six weeks or so they have been busy with family and friends getting the old Rookies building up to shape and speed to house the new operation. Not only is the building much larger, there is more than enough parking space to handle their customers and larger shipments of product. Beth said she and Ben are so grateful for the assistance of so many folks in preparing for the move and offering to help with the move just around the corner and down Red Arrow. “People have been wonderful with their support and understanding. Ben and I are very grateful. We look forward to seeing all our friends (old and new) in the new store next week.”

WHICH WAY DID I GO? Anne and I were up in the U.P. this past week. How pretty it was with all the bright fall tree colors, blue lake waters, grey skies and icy patches. On two occasions, in separate restaurants we bumped into a person “hiking” the Upper Peninsula. The first, a young woman from Minnesota had been there for a week and was visiting all the tourist spots along the shorelines. She had been on Lake Superior and at St. Ignace and was now in Escanaba. The other was a middle-aged man from Colorado who was also in the middle of an expedition to explore the U.P. colors and the many attractions along the way. Both had a few things in common. This was the first visit to the U.P. for both. They were also regular hikers who made a point to visit “new” places. What interested me was both were loaded with maps and tourist guides. The gal in Escanaba was reading a guide of historical places. She had already visited the Garden Peninsula. The guy we talked to in St. Ignace had a map of the U.P. spread out on the restaurant table and he was marking out a route to bring him to Iron Mountain later in the week. He said he was surprised by the amount of fall color. I replied I was surprised he came for fall color from Colorado. I was pleased to see his maps, surmising that most hikers would be using GPS (global positioning systems). Maps are more reliable was his reply. I agreed but noted while I usually had several maps on hand when traveling, now I had none. I could tell a person how to “Google” MapQuest, but couldn’t show him how to get there in person. Here I was jumping to the conclusion that GPS put the mapmakers out of business and internet search engines like Google had gutted the encyclopedia publishers. Like many situations, nothing is definite, GPS can guide a rocket to the moon, but in some places, including the U.P., it may not be able to guide a person home from the grocery store. In fact, just a couple days earlier, our granddaughter Brook, a new-comer to Manistique got turned around returning from the grocery. Cell-phone service in the area is sketchy and the in-car GPS system kept sending her out-of-town to the wrong address. She spent nearly two hours trying to reach family by phone… all of which (myself included) were incommunicado in the deep woods visiting Anne’s late brother’s deer camp. Happily, there was no emergency. And we were all soon reunited, not thanks to modern technology. The moral to this story is… don’t throw your maps away and put one back in the car!

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