10-25-2018 Letters and Commentary

Do we really want a state senator who has more ties to interests outside our own district?

Dear Editor,

In this year’s election we have seen an unprecedented amount of third party money being spent on all sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, our local state senate race has been no exception. In Kim LaSata’s quest to represent us in the Michigan Senate for the 21st District, she has taken in massive sums from the DeVos family and their pro-charter school front group, the Great Lakes Education Project. In fact, she has taken in more money from DeVos interests than any other state level candidate.

According to filings from the Secretary of State, the Great Lakes Education Project alone spent in excess of $30,000 to help her defeat state representative Dave Pagel. Conveniently, they reported spending only $5,172.66 before the pre-primary filing deadline. After voters had their say, a post primary report was filed showing an additional $26,125.12 spent.

One may argue that this kind of thing happens in politics all of the time but do voters in our district really want our state senator to be most expensive cog in the DeVos political machine? Do we really want a state senator who has more ties to interests outside our own district?

LaSata’s challenger, Ian Haight, has accepted no such contributions. Ian has run a people funded campaign focused on fixing our roads, lowering car insurance premiums, and lowering healthcare costs – issues that are actually important to all of us. I’d hate to think that further rolling out the red carpet for for-profit charter schools to crush the public teacher unions is actually a bigger priority for Kim LaSata than these issues.

James Tyler, Watervliet

A vote for Wendzel

Dear Editor,

I am strongly supporting Pauline Wendzel to be our State Representative. She is young, energetic, intelligent and intensely dedicated to Southwest Michigan.

I have known Pauline and her family for my entire life. They are farmers, business people, employers and workers. She understands what it takes to survive and prosper and has seen both great success and adversity in her lifetime.

Pauline has seen what government can do to help people and how it can also be wasteful and misguided and be a detriment to both individuals and businesses.

Pauline is a natural leader and organizer.  She networks easily and is a skilled team builder. Her ability to connect with people and build consensus is what we need to get things accomplished in Lansing.

Her dedication to Southwest Michigan will ensure that we get our fair portion coming back to build our area, our infrastructure and our future. She has strong principles but is pragmatic enough to realize that compromise is not a four letter word and that each victory, no matter how small, is still a victory.

Pauline is approachable, easy to talk to, listens well and really cares about what people have to say. I believe that she can take the varied opinions of the people in our district and represent us well.  I also think that she has the ability to see the bigger picture and trust her to make the best decision based on all of the information available and that is what a representative government is all about.

I trust Pauline. I trust her character and respect her family and upbringing. I believe that she will always have our best interests in mind and be a representative that our district will be proud of.

Please join me and vote for Pauline Wendzel for State Representative.

Deanna Heminger, Coloma

Oktoberfest raises $900 for local food pantry

Dear Editor,

On behalf of Salem Lutheran Church, we would like to thank The Tri-City Record, Coloma FOP, all the volunteers who worked or made food and all who attended and participated in our Oktoberfest fundraiser. A special thanks goes to Thrivent Financial for providing seed money to begin our project.

We would also like to thank all the local businesses, merchants and individuals who generously donated goods or gift cards for our silent auction and ticket sales. Our community is always more than generous to support a great cause.

Because of all the community support and generosity, we are able to donate $900 to our local food pantry, HOPE Resources.

Salem Lutheran Church

Outreach Committee

Reporting on dog park has not been fair

Dear Editor,

As the president of the Coloma Youth Baseball/Softball Association (CYBSA) I would like to express some concern with the recent cartoon and other published comments in your paper regarding CYBSA.  There have been several publications referencing CYBSA and a negative connection to the potential Amicus Dog Park. I personally view responsible journalism as contacting the source of whom or what one is referring to if they tend to write about them.  I, nor any of the CYBSA executive board, have been contacted to my knowledge in regards to anything you have published thus far.

I find the particular cartoon published with animals at the gate of the potential dog park stating they cannot go in because there must be a “baseball tournament” distasteful for all involved.  The Tri-City Record appears to continually publish biased views that manipulate readers to believe that CYBSA and the potential Amicus Dog Park are adversaries.  While this may be beneficial for increasing the sales of your paper, have you thought about the issues that this may fuel within a small town?  How this affects the children who play at the ball park who overhear these articles or cartoons discussed?  Or the children who want to work towards their Gold Award in Girl Scouts or another organized club that requires community support in the future?

I cannot understand how the journalism you have endorsed promotes the Girl Scout mission, promise, or law that Miss Dahn is trying to uphold and goodness she is trying to instill in our community.  CYBSA has not and will never endorse ill feelings towards Miss Dahn’s dreams to create a project that can be beneficial to the community and her fulfilling a personal goal.  This young woman has many of the qualities organized sports such as baseball and softball seek to instill in young individuals.  Based on what I have witnessed she has self-confidence, she is persistent, has an innate desire to succeed, and appears to be a natural leader. CYBSA also has not endorsed negativity towards the potential Amicus Dog Park.

Yes, CYBSA has concerns, not so much directly related to the dog park, but as to how the ball fields and the dog park will operate under the jurisdiction of the township simultaneously.  Up to the point of the Amicus Dog Park idea being introduced CYBSA was self-sufficient, so naturally, questions evolved as to the expectations of all parties involved.

As to the park being closed during tournaments, have you attended one of the tournaments hosted at CYBSA fields?  Are you aware of the amount of traffic during these tournaments?  The dog park being closed on these particular weekends is for the safety of all involved because of the amount of people and vehicles that entertain the area.  Safety is the most important factor.

My hope is that this letter assists the Tri-City Record with no longer publishing material about CYBSA, the ball fields, the Amicus Dog Park or any other players in this unfortunate fiasco that has evolved (because unfortunately, this is what it has become) without contacting the appropriate sources.  Also, I hope that you take into consideration how your journalism and cartoons may affect all involved, not just CYBSA, Miss Dahn, or the township, but most importantly the children who are hearing the ill-fated negativity being discussed in regards to any of the parties.

Respectfully,

Cande Rutherford

CYBSA President

HOPE Resources grateful for support of benefit concert

Dear Editor,

The Board of Directors of HOPE Resources Food Pantry would like to convey our gratitude for supporting our vision to grow. The sales of ads in our Michiana Lighthouse Chorus Concert program as well as the sales of tickets for the concert combined to raise about $3,600 in profit!

We could not have done this without your contribution along with that of the other businesses and organizations in the Coloma and Watervliet area. Thank you for buying your ad!

Carole Sternaman, Executive Director

HOPE Resources Board of Directors

Lt. Gov. Calley: Opioid Addiction Awareness Week calls attention to rising epidemic and what Michiganders can do to stop it

To help raise awareness of the dangers of addiction and the growing opioid epidemic, Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed Oct. 21-27, 2018 as Opioid Addiction Awareness Week in Michigan. The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that is claiming more lives every year than car accidents.

“It’s no secret that Michigan is facing an addiction crisis and we need to do everything we can to combat this deadly issue,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “We are working hard to amplify efforts focused on prevention, treatment, education and enforcement of over-prescribers but we need to do more. In order to have more second chances and fewer funerals, we need to take our efforts to the next level and that is what Opioid Addiction Awareness Week is all about.”

The opioid crisis is a public health epidemic in Michigan and across the U.S., contributing to addiction, overdose emergencies and deaths.

Michigan’s rate of drug overdose is 20.2 per 100,000, which is significantly higher than years past.

There were 2,279 overdose deaths in Michigan in 2017, 1,941 were opioid-related, up from 1,786 opioid-related deaths in 2016 and 1,320 in 2015.

Michigan also unfortunately continues to see the rates increase of infants born with drug-exposure, going from 478 in 2010 to 863 as of 2016.

“The nation’s opioid crisis impacts all areas of Michigan – including urban, suburban and rural communities – all ages including young people and older Michiganders, and is unprejudiced in its reach and devastation,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “But the good news is that there is hope for those struggling with addiction and through the collaborative efforts by the State of Michigan, assistance through strategies such as the Naloxone Standing Order are now available to residents statewide to help save the lives of loved ones.”

The state is using every available tool to combat the opioid epidemic. State agencies are collaborating to advance Michigan’s efforts related to fight this crisis. Efforts include: Providing online resources for patients, health professionals and communities about prevention and treatment of opioid abuse. The Michigan Automated Prescription System provides real-time prescription data and resources to better assess a patient’s risk for substance use disorder. Michigan State Police posts serving as drug-take back sites and providing the Angel Program for individuals struggling with addiction. Many State of Michigan agencies, communities and businesses throughout the state help with proper drug disposal of unwanted medications; and issuing a standing order in May 2017 to pre-authorize the distribution of naloxone by pharmacists to those at risk of an opioid-related overdose, as well as family members, friends and other persons who may be able to assist a person at risk of overdose. Naloxone is a fast-acting, potentially life-saving medication that reverses opioid overdose.

Opioid Addiction Awareness Week efforts can be followed on social media using the hashtag #MIOpioidsAwareness.

Red Cross calls for healthy donors to maintain blood supply

As influenza activity picks up, the American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood to ensure a strong blood supply for patients in need.

Blood and platelets can only be given by donors who are feeling well. One way to maintain health is to get a flu vaccine each fall. There is no waiting period to give blood after receiving a flu shot as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free.

Stay healthy this flu season and make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed this fall after hurricanes Michael and Florence forced the cancellation of about 200 blood drives, causing approximately 7,000 units of blood and platelets to go uncollected.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

We sang your song today, Dad My memories of my dad are sometimes associated with contexts. Whenever I hear a train, especially on a quiet night when the sound of the distant horn seems to echo off the sky, my thoughts go to my dad. He had grown up in South Connellsville in Western Pennsylvania, where coal trains could reach well over 200 cars as they went through the mountains. His dad would give him stern orders to go get some coal, so down to the train yard he would go to collect random coal off the ground to bring home. He got to be a familiar sight to the engineers on the trains that passed through. They would kindly throw extra coal off the coal car for him within his sight so he could get it. “Old 60000” residing today in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, was one of those massive engines whose engineers helped Dad. Dad said that engine could pull 300 full coal cars through the Pennsylvania Mountains. Little did he know as a young boy that someday his middle son would attend school just a few blocks from his “Old 60000”. I felt honored to stand in the cab of that massive machine and remember Dad as he might have appeared out the window of the engine. We sang a song in church today, “How Great Thou Art”. It was Dad’s favorite hymn. I remember that every time I sing it. The words of that song reflect an appreciation for God’s creation (the words used are “awesome wonder”) and for His glory and grace. Because of those truths, the future can be bright and hopeful. I am awed by a kind God who never forgot Dad. He provided him helpers along the way, even as a young boy, and gave him a song in his heart, which I’m honored to sing today.

Need to change your name on your Social Security card? Are you changing your name? If so, let Social Security know so we can update your information, send you a corrected card, and make sure you get the benefits you’ve earned. To change your name on your card, you must show us documents proving your legal name change and identity. If you are a U.S. citizen, you also must show us a document proving your U.S. citizenship, if it is not already in our records. You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We can’t accept photocopies or notarized copies. To prove your legal name change, you must show one of the following documents: Marriage document; divorce decree; certificate of naturalization showing a new name; or court order for a name change. To prove your identity, you must show an unexpired document showing your name, identifying information, and photograph, such as one of the following: U.S. driver’s license; state-issued non-driver’s identification card; or U.S. passport. If you don’t have one of those documents available, we may be able to accept: Employer identification card; school identification card; health insurance card; or U.S. military identification card. To prove your U.S. citizenship, you must show one of the following documents: U.S. birth certificate; U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad; U.S. passport (unexpired); Certificate of Naturalization; or Certificate of Citizenship. Whatever your reason for your name change, Social Security is here to help you with the new… you! Fill out the form at www.socialsecurity.gov/ forms/ss-5.pdf and follow the instructions to ensure your Social Security card is delivered in a timely manner. You can also locate your local field office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator so you can apply for your updated card and show your required documents in person. For complete instructions, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber, which includes information for non-citizens. And remember, if you simply need to replace a lost Social Security card, but don’t need to change your name, you can — in most states — request your replacement card online using your my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. 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.

I’M KARL BAYER AND I DON’T APPROVE THIS MESSAGE… I’m pretty sure I’m not different from you when I say I’m fed up with the myriad of political attack ads. I hit the mute button as soon as an ad pops up on television… my mind glazes over when a candidate for office buys commercial time to tell us what is wrong with his/her opponent. In happier election years candidates would enlighten us with a platform of ideas and issue. Now they sling dirt with no regard for the ethics of it all. Sadly our own congressman Fred Upton has joined the fray. I saw an ad by the Congressman that claimed his opponent, Matt Longjohn, was hand-picked by Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi. While I’ve not always agreed with Congressman Upton, I’ve always given him the respect due his office and supported him as a steadfast bipartisan leader. Too bad he has finally succumbed to the partisan stampede. I’ll vote for the candidate with the guts to stay out of the political slime and show me the reason to vote FOR them and not AGAINST their opponent.

ANOTHER MIRACLE STORY… from time to time I used this Kolumn to relate “Miracle Stories” that have touched me, most recently that of my own granddaughter Polly, born with Down syndrome in the Ukraine. This Miracle Story is by Terry Rose of Watervliet… Dear Karl, I have several miracle stories. The first, my son Bradley was born 16 weeks early on May 11, 1984 with hydrocephalus and VATER syndrome. We were told if I had a C-section he’d be born alive. We had him 14-1/2 years. He died on Oct. 8, 1998. Dr. Philapart in Detroit told me in 1990, the only reason we still had him was because we loved him. He was a great joy to my family and everyone who knew him. Brad was always happy. Dr. Feinberg, his pediatrician in Kalamazoo, told us he’d never seen a happier child. He asked us if a colleague could see Brad. He stated to this fellow, “If Bradley’s Mom says he’s ill, listen to her. She may not know what’s always wrong, but she knows when he’s sick.” When you’re the mom of a special needs child you really appreciate these special doctors that recognize us! My most recent miracle is myself. I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) in February 2009 at University of Chicago MS Clinic. This was found by MRIs. In 2006 I had a sleep study done. My husband at the time asked the doctor if my staggering was caused by sleep apnea. The doctor told him I needed to see a neurologist. I saw a neurologist in Fairfield, Ohio where we were living. He ordered a CT scan; it showed an enlarged ventricle. He sent me to Cleveland Clinic but they weren’t able to help me. In 2008 after I had several accidents with postal LLVs, Postmaster Clem Holland asked when my last eye exam was. I then went to a Sears eye exam. I couldn’t even see the largest letter on the wall. He informed me that my eyes were healthy and sent me to an ophthalmologist. This doctor sent me for an MRI. I went back for results and the MRI showed lesions on the brain. He informed me, “I’m 99 percent sure you have MS.” My medical doctor sent me to U of C MS Clinic. After 20 or so bottles of blood, ENT docs, vision tests with specialists, etc., the MS specialist diagnosed me with MS and prescribed medication. I moved back to Michigan on Oct. 1, 2012 after my youngest daughter married. What I thought was MS got steadily worse. My fears were that I was in end stage MS. I called my daughter, Holly Ellison and stated I needed to go to the E.R. She took me to South Haven E.R. Doctors there called Borgess Hospital and were informed as soon as a bed was available they would take me. That was May of this year. We got to Borgess and I was admitted for two nights. I had an MRI and a lumbar puncture with a bunch of vials filled with fluid. I went back to my room. A really intelligent neurologist came in and asked me if I had the lumbar puncture yet. I said, “Yes.” He told me, “Let’s take a walk!” I felt like I could run. After all the falling, not able to get up by myself, using my button to call for help or waiting for my neighbors to help, I could walk with no staggering. My oldest granddaughter, Shelby Forker, was taking a movie of me. The neurologist, Dr. Dizon, asked if she would send the movie to him. He let my MS neurologist see it, she couldn’t believe it. On May 1, 2018 I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. I had a shunt placed on June 5, 2018 and was discharged June 6. After leaving the hospital I didn’t need anything for pain. I’ve felt really great and enjoying life and am able to walk! My life changed. From 2000 to 2018, finally my miracle!! I’m so fortunate to have my family, Dustin, Holly and Sydney Ellison and Shelby Forker. Holly works at the post office, takes care of home and family, and was there when her dad and I really needed her. She was there when Brad needed her also. We love and appreciate our daughter so much! These are my stories of miracles. I have been truly blessed!

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