Letters and Commentary



A special thank you to Grace

Dear Editor,

On Memorial Day, I and many other local veterans were getting our marching assignments before the parade started in Watervliet.  A young girl was making her way through the crowd, handing out cards and roses to the veterans.  With the parade getting ready to start, I shoved the card in my back pocket and put the rose in the truck towing the trailer with the other veterans.  After the ceremony, I got my rose and put it in water at the legion post and headed out to the Coloma cemetery for our fourth and last ceremony.  Later that day, I was taking off my uniform and found the card in my back pocket. It was from a girl named Grace, in the card she thanked me for my military service and for keeping people free and preserving this country’s freedom.  Grace, it was my honor to serve this great nation. Not all people that want to serve are accepted. I also want to thank you for your kind words and blessing.  Many other veterans I spoke with were also touched by you kind words and deeds. With young people such as you, I think this country will still be the greatest country on earth.

God Bless you Pete Petruk

Thank you for participating in the  Memorial Day celebration

Dear Editor,

On behalf of VFW Post 6803, I would like to thank all those who participated or attended our annual Memorial Day Parade and service.  Special thanks to the Watervliet Police and Fire Departments, public works department, and the Tri-City Record for their assistance every year.  Our special speaker, Karlee Liles (also Miss Watervliet) and her court, Aliea Chapin, Brittany Collins and Brody Rolland, all the local scouts, Kim and Duane Cobb, the Watervliet High School Marching Band and the North Berrien Military Rites Team.  One last thank you to all those who watched and followed the parade to the cemetery for the service.  This has become a big part of our Memorial Day tradition.

Corky Openeer, Commander

Berrien County  Animal Control Facility hours of  operation the week of June 13-17

 In anticipation of moving the Berrien County Animal Control Facility from its current home at 9204 Huckleberry Road in Berrien Center to its new home at 1400 S. Euclid Ave. in Benton Harbor, the following operating hours are hereby posted for the week of June 13-17, 2016:  Monday, June 13 – 9204 Huckleberry Road in Berrien Center will be open for the redemption of dogs and cats only until noon and will not be open to the public for the remainder of the day.   Tuesday, June 14 – 9204 Huckleberry Road in Berrien Center will no longer be open to the public. Beginning at noon, the facility at 1400 S. Euclid Ave. in Benton Harbor will be open for the redemption of dogs and cats only.   Starting Wednesday, June 15 through Friday, June 17, the Animal Control Facility at 1400 S. Euclid, Benton Harbor, however through the remainder of the week, the facility will be open only for the redemption of dogs and cats from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.   Beginning Monday, June 20, 2015 the Berrien County Animal Control Facility at 1400 S. Euclid, in Benton Harbor will be open and in full operation with the operating hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday until further notice.  The new phone number is (269) 927-5648.

Belshazzar’sknocking knees

 Many familiar sayings have Biblical origins. For example Belshazzar “saw the handwriting on the wall” and Daniel was able to read it and interpret it for him. The account is in chapter five of the book of Daniel in the Bible.  God had given Belshazzar’s father, Nebuchadnezzar, great power and honor, but he had not honored God until his recalibration by “decree of the watchers”, who evidently were not pleased with Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance. For seven years he suffered an insanity that made him think he was a cow (no kidding)! That account is in Daniel 4. He finally came out of it.  Belshazzar, his son, didn’t learn from his father’s experience. Oh well. Unfortunately, that’s not uncommon. The very night Belshazzar saw a hand write some words on the palace wall, he died. But not before Daniel interpreted the strange message.  Daniel was not very politically correct when he addressed the king. He straightforwardly accused the king of not honoring the very God “…in whose hand are your life-breath and your ways…” (5:23) But it was too late for poor Belshazzar – “You have been weighed in the balances and been found wanting” was part of the message.  Can we learn from Belshazzar’s experience? Can we avoid his mistake?  Our lives are also in God’s hand. And according to David’s words in Psalm 139, God is “intimately acquainted” with all of our ways. God is very aware of us whether we are aware of Him or not. We cannot escape God. Not in this life, nor in the next. But then, why would we want to escape God? Our greatest hope of blessing for now and for later is found in Him!  Belshazzar needed to humble himself under God’s mighty hand. Maybe we need to do that too.

Question: I am a single mother and I get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Can my daughter receive SSI benefits based on my SSI?

Answer: No. SSI benefits are based on the needs of the individual and are paid only to the qualifying person. There are no spouse’s, children’s, or survivor’s benefits. However, if your daughter is disabled, she might be eligible to receive SSI benefits. To learn more about SSI benefits, read our publication on the subject at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html.

Question:  How do I get a copy of the form, Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs?

Answer:  If you wish to apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs, we recommend you use our online application at www.socialsecurity.gov/i1020/. Meanwhile, you can view a sample at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp. There, you can also find instruction sheets in many different languages to help you understand the English application. Soon, the online application also will be available in Spanish. If you prefer not to fill out this application on the Internet, you can call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to ask for a paper application. Also, you can make an appointment at your local Social Security office to apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Question: If I call 1-800-772-1213, can a Social Security representative take my application for Medicare prescription drug help over the phone?

Answer:  If an interviewer is available when you call the 800 number, he or she can take your application over the phone. If an interviewer is not immediately available, we can schedule a telephone appointment for you. For the fastest and most convenient way to apply for Medicare prescription drug help, go online to www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S HOCKEY… When County Parks planners announced they were looking to locate an indoor hockey rink on the former Watervliet paper mill site a couple years ago there was quite a buzz.   Not all the buzz was positive. Interestingly the negative comments did not include lowering property values or creating traffic hazards.  The negative comments were mainly doubts that an indoor hockey rink in Berrien County was needed or wanted.  Recently proposals for indoor hockey rinks in Berrien County, in Benton Harbor and Stevensville have been discussed with the pro and cons including the positive effects on the local economy and cons of increased traffic and such.  Those who were (are) wondering is an indoor hockey rink in SW Michigan a good idea got their answer with the interest in getting one built sooner than later perhaps more than one.  County officials who have the inside track on the land (the Watervliet paper mill site), the location (M-140 on the Paw Paw River, 1 mile from I-94) and the idea to locate an indoor hockey rink with soccer fields, a huge park complex on the river (it was their idea) need to get moving fast.  Otherwise, there could be two or three hockey rinks in the area and who knows, they might all be busy year round.  After all, who in their right mind would suggests there could be three casinos within 25 miles of each other within SW Michigan.

SALUTE TO ALL THE GRADS…. Congratulations to all the high school graduates in the Tri-Cities this past weekend. The best and brightest of our community of Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet successfully finished their journey through elementary and secondary education.  Now they have been released by their schools to move on to the next level of education, on to college, to business, or the military. Hopefully the path they choose will be happy and full of good health and love.  I’m pleased the Tri-City Record continues its tradition of publishing the scholastic awards of the graduates. These graduates deserve recognition for all their hard work over the past four years of high school.   Too many times the community focus of the media is on the “bad kids” and the tragedy and heart break that visit us all through accidents, deliberate actions, and bad habits.  While the Record has always attempted to print the news, good or bad, that affects us all; it has also always attempted to print more of the good news as part of its weekly coverage. Certainly, reporting school news and achievement is a big part of that mission. Thanks to all the students, of all grades and classes, teachers, administrators and parents for all the achievements and for sharing them with our Tri-City Record readers.

KEEP THE SUMMER SAFE… now that school is out, the nice weather is here (finally), and the days are longer there is a lot more going outdoors and on the local roads. Drivers please be extra careful out there… now is the time of the year we all must share the roads with more pedestrians, hikers and bikers, and kids everywhere.  Those kids riding bikes on the road, should be looking out for you; be assured they are not. It will be little comfort if a youngster is at fault and you run them down.  By far summer, roads and kids are a lethal mix, toss in the tragedy of kids drinking booze or using drugs and the hapless child may as well be playing with a loaded handgun.  Despite the best education in our schools, there are kids that are drawn to experiment with alcohol and drugs. There is perhaps no greater tragedy than the annual heartbreak of youngsters dying senselessly on the roads from drugs and drink while celebrating graduation and their future. For too many, the future is a funeral a few days after a party. One of the most idiotic actions of parents, in my mind, is those that allow their child to drink alcohol in their home. Some even buy booze for the kids friends! Hardly a summer goes by where some accident is caused by drunken kids that have been supplied booze by adults.

SWEET FUN… stop by Hartford this Friday and Saturday for great fun at the Strawberry Festival. See page 9 in this week’s issue for the schedule of events and some great merchant specials.

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