11-29-18 Letters and Commentary

There’s only one you What’s your value? How can you truly know your worth? I recently read about a nickel that sold for over $7,000! It was a 1942 “s”. It again sold for a (much higher) unknown price. What makes that nickel so valuable? It’s uniqueness. There were only a few 1942 “s” nickels minted, and none were actually minted in San Francisco. The value of that nickel is whatever someone is willing to pay. On the opposite end of the value chart would be currencies without intrinsic value. Printed over and over again, for example, every dollar without real value (like gold) as its basis, devalues every other dollar in existence. That’s called inflation. So that’s a comparison of high value and low value. Then there’s “priceless”. That’s when value is unassignable, the value being so high it is outside our experience. Some huge precious stones, like some diamonds, are labeled “priceless”. Now how about you? How many of you are there? Agreed. One. That’s pretty unique! No one is like you. No one sees the world like you do, from your eyes and with your unique perspective. No one can relate to the world like you can from your unique experience. And no one can love God like you can from your unique heart. Maybe that’s why God made you. You have a uniqueness that others cannot see or understand. But God both sees and understands who you are and why you are. And John 3:16 says He loves you. There’s the key. God loves you, therefore you have value. Christ died for you, paying for your forgiveness and eternal life with His own blood; therefore you are priceless – of inestimable value. Don’t believe anyone who devalues you. Their opinion does not matter at all. God values you enough to trade His Son’s blood for your life. His opinion does matter. You are worth much.

Seasonal work can empower you Soon after school begins in the fall, many businesses begin advertising for seasonal workers. It’s a good way for people to make some extra income during the busy holiday season or ease back into working. The diversity of jobs appeals to many people. Each year, companies also hire for seasonal work-from-home positions. These jobs include: customer service, sales, tech support, call center representatives, healthcare support, order taking/review, and more. Seasonal positions may help bridge employment gaps on your resume. They show proven experience and that you are ready, willing, and able to succeed. They also can help you to develop new or strengthen existing skills through training. If you receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), special rules make it possible for people to work and still receive monthly payments. If you want to try working again, seasonal work may help you ease back into the work force. Read Working While Disabled at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10095.pdf or visit our Ticket to Work website at https://choosework.ssa.gov for more information. You can also get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. But if you’re younger than full retirement age and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced, although not dollar for dollar. Your benefits may increase when you reach full retirement age. You can read more about working while retired at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html. Getting back to work can empower you in a number of ways. Social Security is here for you throughout your life’s journey — at each step of your working life and beyond. 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.

EVER THANKFUL… I trust your Thanksgiving holiday was as wonderful as ours. Anne and my house on Riverside Drive was always the center of family events, birthdays, weddings, holidays, vacations and any gathering of family in this area, it was the party HQ. With moving to a smaller place next door to our daughter Amy’s house on Red Arrow, it was a natural move to make her and Bill Loshbough’s place the center of family action. So, 19 of us, including the Marchenkos of St. Louis… Gillian, Sergei, Lanie, Zoya, Polly and Evie, and cousin Joan Lewis from Kalamazoo and our hosts, Amy, Billy, Willy and Brook with their two babes, William and Jaxon, Ben, and Karli and Tyler, gathered around the giant table for our traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Let it be said, there is no finer meal than turkey and all the fixings with family and friends side by side.

THANKS FOR THOSE THAT SERVE… Friday after Thanksgiving, I pulled over for an ambulance taking someone to the hospital. As I always do, I offered a hopeful thought that the person in the ambulance would fare well. I also think of the sacrifices all our emergency responders, police, fire, military, medical staff, store keepers, gas station attendants, restaurant staff and etc. all make so the rest of us can enjoy holiday time with family and friends. Boy, two days later, Sunday morning I had to call 911 to get help for Anne. A friend brought her home from church because she sitting in her car, unable to drive. Within a short while first responders, police, ambulance and our next-door neighbor were all in the front room to see to Anne. Not long after we were in the good hands at the emergency room at Lakeland, Watervliet Hospital. Soon blood was drawn, x-rays taken and the decision was made to admit her to the hospital. That meant another ambulance ride to Lakeland in St. Joe and by supper time she was tucked in her bed, all hooked up to monitors and such. The prognosis is that by the time we go to press she will be home recovering from the virus that knocked her down. I can’t say it, write it, think it enough… we in the Tri-Cities are so fortunate for having such quality health care so close at hand. There are few small rural communities such as ours that are so much blessed by the wonderful folks that care for us in our hour of need.

THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE… I woke up Monday morning a little after 4. I lay in bed for a few moments, listening to nothing. I noticed the total absence of sound, there was no swish of cars on Red Arrow, no nearby dogs barking, no squirrels chattering in the trees. There was no clatter of the ice-maker or the fridge defrosting. Even the furnace was silent. With Anne in the hospital, the only breath I heard was my own. Once my eyesight caught up with my hearing, I noticed the room had a soft blue glow. It was a heavy snowfall diffusing the outside yard lights. The flakes also muffled all the sounds. What the snowfall did as well was block the TV satellite signal; fortunately, CoSY 103.7 Radio was on the air and I could get the weather and news I crave each morning with my coffee. Incidentally as much as I ranted against Compost (Comcast) cable TV, I’ll return as a customer as soon as my contract with satellite TV expires. I’m watching my Michigan news reports on my iPhone as Dish delivers no Michigan stations to this area. I’m also not a fan of the frequent weather-related interruptions of service. Nor am I a fan of their TV commercials touting Dish services and accessibility: I always add at the end… “weather permitting”.


 In the November 22, 2018 issue of Tri-City Record, an error was made in reporting Bainbridge Township General Election Day activities on Page 8. The headline stated the turnout to be the best ever which is incorrect. It was a high turnout which the township is pleased about. The article also implied a problem with the tabulator could have been caused by a computer used on election day. That is not the case. There was an issue with a computer which had to be rebooted and caused a delay. The article further stated tabulation was done by hand to verify the tabulator count. The tabulator count was verified but not by a hand count. Tri-City Record is sorry for any confusion or inconvenience this reporting may have caused.

 In addition, in the November 22, 2018 issue of Tri-City Record, an error was made on Page 9; a wrong photo was printed for the Hartford High School Students of the Week for Nov. 12-16. See Page 9 this week for the correct photo. Tri-City Record is sorry for any confusion this error may have caused.

Options for a dog park in Coloma Township

Dear Editor,

I’ve been reading about the struggles that have faced the young Girl Scout who wants to establish a dog park in Coloma Township.  Rather than having to raise thousands of dollars for the right kind of fencing and then still face a lawsuit from the adjoining property owners, I’d like to suggest a few alternatives for an exercise park for our local dogs.

Coloma Schools have several nicely fenced in areas that are only used for a few months of the year.  We could have the dogs use the baseball and softball fields in the fall and winter, and the football field in the spring and summer. Both these have ample parking and the ball fields even have dugouts for use by the humans when it’s raining! Hagar Township is going to let one of their ball fields be used in this manner already.

If that option isn’t feasible, perhaps Berrien County could be approached. They are very good at turning unused County property into public parks, i.e., Galien River, Love Creek, and Watervliet Paper Mill property.  The County has a lovely piece of already fenced in property on Angling Road which is sitting empty that would make a great exercise yard for dogs.  I can picture it now, “The Paul Bailey Memorial County Dog Park”.

Bob Wooley, Coloma

Trump and his Republican enablers are threats to our democracy


Despite the epidemic of Republican voter-suppression schemes, participation in the 2018 election was the highest it has been for any midterm in more than a century.

Democrats won back control of the House of Representatives, along with many governorships and state legislative seats. The main reason for this increased turnout and for Democratic successes seems clear – the majority of Americans are sick and tired of Donald Trump and his Congressional Republican enablers.

With Democrats now in control of the House of Representatives, Congress can begin to carry out its constitutional duty to provide responsible oversight over the executive branch, something that Republicans in Congress have refused to do.

The vast majority of these Republicans have failed to condemn Trump’s constant stream of self-serving lies, his attacks on women and racial and religious minorities, his support for white nati