11-16-2017 Letters and Commentary

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Annual Tootsie Roll Drive

Dear Editor,

The members of Fr. R.G. Thelen Council 4055 of the Knights of Columbus in Watervliet would like to thank the citizens of Coloma, Hartford and Watervliet.  Many people contributed to our Annual Tootsie Roll Drive held in October which helps organizations that provide services to people with Intellectual Disabilities in Berrien and Van Buren counties.

This year the council and friends of the council collected over $5,300 which will be distributed very soon to seven local organizations and some statewide organizations.  Council 4055 covered all of the expenses to run the drive so every dollar contributed went to helping disabled people.

Thank you for helping the Knights of Columbus help people in the community.

Paul Nickels & Ron Ostrowski

Co-chairmen

Road commission winter snow plow operations

 As in previous years, normal operations of the Van Buren County Road Commission are scheduled between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Routine snow removal and ice control will be performed during normal work hours only. Snow removal operations begin on county primary roads as a first priority (Red Arrow Highway, Blue Star Highway and all roads with the “CR” designation). Local roads (streets and avenues) and roadways within subdivisions are given secondary priority.

Weekend operations and/or overtime operations will be authorized in the event of a snowfall in excess of four inches only on the most critical locations on selected county primary roads, as conditions permit. In the event of a snowfall in excess of eight inches, authorization shall be extended to cover the remaining county primary road system and the local road system of the affected area(s), as conditions permit. In addition, unusual ice and/or wind conditions causing hazardous driving on the affected areas of the road system may also be authorized, as conditions permit.

In all cases, minimum crew sizes will be utilized to cover the affected areas with every effort within the physical and financial resources of the Road Commission being made to keep the roads in a safe and reasonable condition for public travel.

The Snow Plow Policy can be found on the Van Buren County Road Commission’s website at www.vbcrc.org. Remember: Drive slow on ice and snow!

Therapeutic Equestrian Center seeking volunteers for holiday season

 The Therapeutic Equestrian Center (TEC) is seeking volunteers to assist with their programs.  TEC has both weekly and occasional volunteer opportunities available.  Currently they are in need of volunteers for their Holiday Session!

Anyone who can walk for 30 minutes and is 14 years of age or older are needed.  Volunteering will “make someone’s day,” even the one volunteering!  No experience with horses is necessary for many of the opportunities.   TEC’s riding arena has heat so get your exercise with them!

To join a great team of volunteers and help special need riders sign up for one of their trainings, please email Beth at beth.drollinger@gmail.com or call 269-932-5005.

TEC services the special need communities of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. Participants gain life changing skills and their self-esteem is reflected in their smiles of accomplishment.

Riders are not the only ones who benefit. “If someone is interested in becoming involved with TEC, they just need to go watch a lesson to see how much it helps the riders and how rewarding it is for the volunteers,” said Chuck W. a fellow TEC volunteer.

The Therapeutic Equestrian Center (TEC) located at 615 M-140 in Watervliet is a non-profit 501(c)3 that was founded in 2005. TEC provides year-round therapeutic horseback riding as well as other equine assisted activities to individuals with special needs. TEC collaborates with Blossomland Learning Center to provide Saddle STARS, a school based program using horses as a theme. These programs are possible because of TEC’s team of dedicated volunteers.

To learn more about TEC visit their website at www.tecfarm.org.

Three bottom lines of faith

Success in business is all about “bottom lines” – the final result demonstrated in terms of profit and loss. Some businesses may use a “PTS,” Payroll-to-Sales, ratio approach. A lower PTS is better than higher PTS. Measures, units of measurement, give ways of evaluating performance and results.

Physical fitness is about bottom lines. We compete against ourselves to improve strength and stamina. Keeping record of how many or how far encourages us to keep at it. Sports’ bottom lines, wins and losses year to year, show us how well a team is improving – or not.

What would bottom lines of our faith look like?

While only eternity will reveal the true credibility and strength of our faith, can there be measures of our success in this realm now? Can faith have performance measures? I can think of three: How active, how directed, and how praising is our faith?

True faith must be active, not passive. There is no true faith that does not result in action (See James 2). An active faith can have a strong bottom line.

Do we have faith in God, in His Word and in His promises, or do we merely have faith in our faith? A faith that focuses not on itself, but outwardly on the object of faith (God Himself) produces a strong bottom line. An introspective faith can’t grow stronger with life’s experiences, but can only become depressed and weak.

And faith that produces confidence and praise instead of worry and complaint reflects the Isaiah 26:3 truth, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.” Growing faith gives peace. Praise and thanks to God results.

Business and faith are dynamic. Bottom lines tell the story of how well things are going.

Is it Medicare or Medicaid?

A lot of people have a difficult time understanding the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Both programs begin with the letter “M.” They’re both health insurance programs run by the government. People often ask questions about what Medicare and Medicaid are, what services they cover, and who administers the programs.

Let’s start with Medicare. Medicare is the national healthcare program for those aged 65 or older and the disabled. You pay for some Medicare expenses by paying the Medicare tax while you work. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the agency in charge of both Medicare and Medicaid, but you sign up for Medicare A (Hospital) and Medicare B (Medical) through Social Security.

You can apply for Medicare online from the convenience of your home at the link on our website: www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare. If you’re already receiving Social Security retirement benefits when you reach age 65 or are in the 25th month of receiving disability checks, we will enroll you automatically.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug) plans are available for purchase in the insurance marketplace. Social Security administers a program called Extra Help to help people with low income and low resources pay for premiums, co-pays, and co-insurance costs for Part D plans. You can find out more about Extra Help and file for it at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp. Each year, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publishes Medicare and You available online at their website at www.medicare.gov/medicare-and-you/medicare-and-you.html. This publication is a user’s manual for Medicare.

Each state runs their own Medicaid program under guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicaid offers care for the most vulnerable among us. While it does not require paying taxes while working, it does have guidelines about how much income and resources you can have to qualify. Medicaid provides coverage for older people, people with disabilities, and some families with children. Each state has its own eligibility rules and decides which services to cover. The names of the Medicaid program may vary from state to state. You can read about each state’s Medicaid program at www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/by-state/by-state.html. You can find each state’s Medicaid contact information at www.medicaid.gov/about-us/contact-us/contact-state-page.html.

Medicare and Medicaid are two of the major insurance programs that provide healthcare to the American public. Understanding each program, as well as how the two programs differ, can help you and those you care about find the right healthcare program.

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.

TAKE A BOW PANTHERS… the Watervliet Panthers football team gets a high five for the fine showing in completing a perfect season of 11-0 through their Distinct Championship game two weekends ago. Although their run for a state title was nixed this past weekend, they can hold their heads up high for a great season. For all the details, see the Press Box on Page 12.

Salutes as well to the student body, parents, boosters, friends, and school staff for spreading their enthusiasm throughout the entire community over the whole season.

GROSS CARTOON… a reader on FACEBOOK says our editorial cartoon last week was “gross.” It was of a veteran commenting to a NFL football player

“I lost my knee to a roadside bomb. Don’t talk to me about taking a knee!”

I’m sorry anyone may have been offended by the cartoon. All the rest of the comments I got were “like.”

Judging from all the comments nationally about some football players refusing to stand for the national anthem is a gross disrespect of our flag and our country.

MYSTERY TURKEY… one of the turkey coupons on our free turkey drawing page was labeled HAPPY THANKSGIVING instead of a sponsor’s name. The coupon was reserved for a sponsor that changed their mind right at deadline.  I typed in happy thanksgiving but neglected to delete the coupon.

Several people called or stopped in and asked where the sponsor-less coupon should go… it is an entry here at the Tri-City Record was my answer after explaining my screw-up.

This week’s turkey drawing page is without the mystery coupon, but has the HAPPY THANKSGIVING greeting.

Meanwhile this is the last page of coupons this year and the deadline to enter them in the free drawing is noon on Monday.

Don’t miss out, fill out your coupons and drop them off at all the sponsor locations. Good luck!

There is an early deadline for copy, photos, and ads in next week’s issue of Monday at 12 noon. The Record goes to press Tuesday afternoon, instead of Wednesday so that our subscribers will get the paper at its usual time (Friday for most).

OPEN HOUSES WEEKEND in Watervliet is a first for the Downtown Development Authority. The DDA is sponsoring advertising in the Herald Palladium, the South Haven Tribune, and the Tri-City Record promoting the Open Houses Weekend.

The event is this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. See the full-page ad in this week’s Record, there are 13 businesses listed offering special hours, items, and refreshment to kick off the holiday season in Watervliet. Worthy of note, most of those businesses are open on Sunday!

DON’T CALL ME HONEY… subscriber Kathy called last week, confused by the Happy Thanksgiving Turkey coupon. I called back and asked for Kathy, “This is her mother, honey.”

Unthinking, I replied, “Hi honey” which brought a chuckle; I explained the turkey coupon with Happy Thanksgiving was an error. I had planned to drop the turkey coupon without a sponsor and leave Happy Thanksgiving in its place.

Apparently satisfied with my explanation, my caller responded, “Thank you baby.”

I resisted the urge to reply you’re welcome baby.

I just don’t like being called honey; especially by waitresses in large restaurants, (waitresses in smaller local restaurants call me Karl or Sweetie).

Really, it bugs me when strangers call me sugar, baby, sweetie, or honey. When in doubt, call me sir. Some people around here call me sir no matter the occasion (I suspect usually as replacement for something less flattering).

If anything bothers me more than being called honey, its “dude” by youngsters. I usually ask them to call me Mr. Bayer, Karl, or grandpa, or anything but dude.

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