11-17-2016 Letters and Commentary

Witness to veterans thanking each other

Dear Editor,

I witnessed something fantastic on Veterans Day at Texas Corral. My husband and I went to dinner.  Texas Corral gives Veterans a free meal for their service and of course there were a lot of people in line waiting to be seated.

What I witnessed were veterans coming into the vestibule, milling around in their coats, sweaters, hats etc. with the name of the service they had served in stating that they were a veteran.  (These) Proud men and women smiling, shaking each others’ hands, hugging, laughing together and thanking each other for what they had done for their country. Most of them did not know each other but they had a common denominator, the love for their country.

They were big, little, black, white, men and women.  All respecting each other and delighted to be recognized. They served.  No one complained.  No one appeared to be bitter.

I am so delighted to have witnessed this event.  In light of all the complaining that is going on with the elections, people protesting and having temper tantrums because they didn’t get their way, I just want to say, “Grow up, get involved in your country, do something good in your community. It all starts with us being good citizens, looking out for each other and oh my gosh… being happy to live in such free society.”

Thank you to all the veterans for your sacrifice.  Thank you to all the people that were not in the armed forces that works for our benefit.  I feel so blessed.

Verna Smith

North Berrien Senior Center is a blessing

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my thanks to the North Berrien Senior Center for the many services they provide.   A special thanks to the local farmers who have brought in fruits and vegetables this summer.  Not only does it save us money but we have the assurance that they are fresh off the farm.  The volunteer drivers provide a much needed service for those seniors who do not drive getting them to their appointments and shopping.  The staff is very friendly and is helpful in answering questions regarding Medicare and other related issues.  For those who take advantage of the lunch program it gives them social interaction which is important also.  There is a variety of exercise programs available also.  We are blessed to have this facility in our area.

Dawn Consolino

Thanks to Hagar voters

Dear Editor,

I wish to express my appreciation and a sincere thank you to the residents of Hagar Township for their overwhelming support of my re-election as your supervisor. Our election committee employed a professional, positive campaign, which I believe our residents are entitled to. We have an excellent township board and with their support, I again pledge to continue with no tax increases, maintain balanced budgets, full financial support of our fire department, maintain and enhance our facility for the sheriff and state police, aggressively enforce our ordinances, and continue to provide funds for road and park improvements. Of course, residents will continue to have an opportunity to express their views on any and all business items at our meetings. I will always welcome your thoughts and comments and remain accessible to all our residents.

Izzy DiMaggio

Thank you to the citizens of Van Buren County

Dear Editor,

Thank you to the citizens of Van Buren County for placing your trust in me. I consider it a great honor to have been chosen to serve on the bench for our county. This is a responsibility I take very seriously. I promise you I will always work to be effective at protecting our communities and being of service to people in every case that comes before the court. I have seen firsthand the good our courts do every day for our county. Replacing Judge Hentchel will be no easy task and I thank him for his service. Finally, I am humbled by the support I received during this campaign and look forward to the challenge of serving as one of your judges. Thank you again.

Mike McKay


While shopping online, visit Social Security

 “Black Friday” is the busiest shopping day of the year, with people lining up at midnight for deals as they begin the busy holiday shopping season. More people than ever are taking advantage of online holiday deals. “Cyber Monday” is the day internet-savvy people search for deals, all online.

You are smart, and you probably already know there is more than one way to find value on the internet. For example, Social Security offers many online services to the public — and they are free and secure! Another example is doing business online with Social Security will also save time. The feeling of instant gratification is like clicking submit on that online shopping cart.

Here are some of the most popular online services you will find at www.socialsecurity.gov. Each site is safe and secure.

Need a replacement Social Security card?  You may be able to request your replacement card without visiting a local Social Security office.  Still working and wondering what future Social Security benefits you might receive? Your online Statement provides you with a record of your past earnings along with projected earnings for future years to give you estimates of future Social Security benefits. Do you already get Social Security benefits? You can use your online account to manage your benefits, such as starting or changing direct deposit, getting an instant proof of benefits letter, and much more. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

The Retirement Estimator is another easy way to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits. Just enter some basic information and the Estimator will use information on your Social Security record, along with what you input, to give you a benefit estimate on the spot. You can even experiment with different scenarios, such as changing your future earnings and retirement date. Check it out in English at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator or in Spanish at www.segurosocial.gov/calculador.

The online Retirement Application is the most convenient way to apply for Social Security retirement benefits. You can apply from the comfort of your home — it is convenient and secure. In fact, you can apply online in as little as 15 minutes. When you are ready to retire, apply at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.

Learn more about all you can do online at Social Security on Cyber Monday, or any day, at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.


 It was 3 a.m. A quiet night in Fulton, NY situated about ten miles south of Lake Ontario. We lived in a two-story house in town.

Imperceptible at first, distant low rumbling woke me from sleep. I had heard that sound before, in Philadelphia when I was a kid. It happened in the middle of the night then too… an approaching, low frequency, distant roar.

Now, in Fulton, I knew what it was. Earthquake!

No one else awoke. I knew there was no time to react. It got louder and louder. The house swayed back and forth just once. The roar retreated into the night.

Getting up, I went to the basement to inspect for damage and discovered something I had not noticed before. While no damage appeared to have occurred, perched atop a block pillar was the main beam supporting the back of the house. It was about three inches from slipping off!

That morning I contacted my insurance agent to inquire about earthquake insurance. The conversation was almost funny. He said I did not need earthquake insurance because we did not live in an earthquake zone. I said that was good because it meant it would not be very expensive. It was not. Semiannually about $7.00! “Let’s do that right now.” He still argued! I insisted, and from that day on we have had earthquake insurance on every house we have owned. I only needed one “wake up call” for that one! It has not always been seven bucks, but it has always been a good investment!

There is a distant rumble that we may not yet hear, but when our house starts to sway it will be too late to get insurance. When it comes to eternity we all live in an earthquake zone. We are wisely instructed to “Seek the LORD while He may be found” (Isaiah 55:6).