11-05-2020 Letters & Commentary

Subscriber renews Dear Editor, We love our local newspaper – thanks so much! Sandy Kraemer, Coloma

Attention Marines Dear Editor, The Coloma Marine Corps birthday party for 2020 has been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. In the past, funds from the annual party went to the local Toys for Tots program. This year, please provide a new unwrapped toy at local establishments that have Toys for Tots drop boxes to offset this loss. Hope to see you all next year. Semper fi. Leigh Shultz

Community forum on Racism, Justice & Law Enforcement in SW MI Dear Editor Bayer, The Berrien County ALPACT and Interfaith Action Group of SW MI are cosponsoring a community forum on Racism, Justice and Law Enforcement. This is one in a series of forums designed after the death of George Floyd to examine the impact of racism and justice in Southwest Michigan. Captain Randy Miller and Charmae Sanders will moderate and representatives from the Sheriff’s office, MSP and area law enforcement agencies will be on the panel to be held via Zoom. The event takes place on Tuesday, 11/10/2020 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. To register interested individuals can send an email to: alpactsouthwest@gmail.com. Audrey Lester/Secretary Berrien County ALPACT

Watervliet Public Schools Foundation For Excellence virtual meeting Dear Editor, On Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. the Watervliet Public Schools Foundation for Excellence is holding a virtual meeting open to the public. For all of those interested, email the Foundation at: wps-foundation@watervlietps.org, to let us know you will be attending the virtual meeting. You will then be sent a link to the virtual meeting site. The meeting will take place via Zoom. The agenda items covered will be, but not limited to the following: Meeting Code of Conduct; Introduction of Foundation Board Members and others; History and Purpose of the Foundation; and the “I’m In For Twenty” Campaign. Also, Watervliet Public Schools Superintendent Ric Seager will cover “Hot Spots” – what they are, where they are, and why they are needed; followed by a question and answer period prior to the conclusion of the meeting. The Watervliet Public Schools Foundation For Excellence is an independent non-profit organization working to raise, steward, and distribute resources to enrich the education of students in the Watervliet Public Schools. We look forward to your participation in this informative virtual meeting. Greg Krell

Coffee mug storms This day starts like many others. I brew my coffee and pour a cup into my favorite mug, the clear one. I like the clear one because as I add cream I can watch the billowing clouds erupt across the bottom of the cup. Then, following rules of thermodynamics too complicated for me to ever understand, the creamy clouds roll back and forth as I watch. It is a complicated, chaotic churning. It’s a coffee mug storm full of ever-changing currents. Sometimes that describes life. There’s no peace in a coffee mug storm and peace is hard to find in life’s real storms as well. The ingredients of life’s mixtures are, like the cream, not removable once added. They are there making their presence known, becoming a part of our experience until we find ways to stir them in. The flavor of life is never the same. If that sounds hopeless, it’s not. I like cream in my coffee, and maybe new discoveries of peace can result from new challenges to faith. Chaos is an enemy of peace; chaos creates fear, and fear is an enemy of faith. So how do we deal with it? Turning our eyes upward for help in the midst of chaos, there are some pretty neat promises in the Scriptures for those belonging to Christ. Colossians 3:15-17 reads, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body, and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (NASB) Go ahead and stir some of that into the mix. The flavor will improve.

Veterans and active duty military members can count on Social Security Every year on Veterans Day, we honor the people who risk their lives to protect our country. Our disability program is an important part of our obligation to wounded warriors and their families. Social Security is an important resource for military members who return home with injuries. If you know a wounded veteran, please let them know about our Wounded Warriors webpage. You can find it at www.ssa.gov/woundedwarriors. The Wounded Warriors webpage answers many commonly asked questions and shares other useful information about disability benefits, including how veterans can receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims. Benefits available through Social Security are different from those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application. We apply our expedited process for military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs. Even active duty military who continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they’re unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay doesn’t necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Although a person can’t receive Social Security disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits. We honor veterans and active duty members of the military every day by giving them the respect they deserve. Let these heroes know they can count on us when they need us most. They earned these benefits. Our web pages are easy to share on social media and by email with your friends and family. Please consider passing this information along to someone who may need it. Vonda Van Til is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. Yo