Letters and Commentary

w cartoon July 28 TCR toon



KUTE KIDS KUDOS AND CONCERNS… one of the more unique and satisfying weekly features on these pages is our Kute Kids feature.   Having a youngster’s picture in the local paper, for no other reason than it can be done, is real Americana. Here at the Record the feature is one of the first inaugurated when Anne and I took over in 1984.  Over the years the feature has become a scrapbook tradition for many families. Some friends have had their group picture in every year. A Watervliet lad has his birthday picture in annually.  Others featured in Kute Kids over the past 32 years are now submitting their own youngsters’ pictures.  Even with the plethora of other places to put kids’ pictures, especially online, the Kute Kids feature seems to just keep going on. When there is a rare issue that does not have a picture, the absence seems to stimulate interest and we get more Kute Kids in for publication.  Please share your Kute Kids photos with the readers of the Tri-City Record.  When sending photos, in the mail or online, make sure you include your name and phone number with them. Also include information about the youngster, including parents and grandparents, and siblings names.  A couple problems that occasionally occur include poor quality photos or copies of photos that will not print clearly. Another problem is photos submitted by folks that are not close family relatives (or divorced relatives) that may not have the permission of the legal guardian of the child.  When the reproduction quality is poor or the legal guardianship is unclear of the kids in the submitted photos, they will not be printed in the Kute Kids feature.

God’s unchanging love

 There are a number of “minor prophets” in the Bible. One of them is Micah. They are called “minor” not because their message was less important than the “  

dave helms 2-2-06 col header
social security header holland 07-23-2015

Social Security Board of Trustees: Long Range Projection Unchanged

The Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as projected last year, with 79 percent of benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2023, extended from last year’s estimate of 2016, with 89 percent of benefits still payable. In the 2016 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced: • The asset reserves of the combined OASDI Trust Funds increased by $23 billion in 2015 to a total of $2.81 trillion. • The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2019. Beginning in 2020, the total cost of the program is projected to exceed income.  • The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2034 – the same as projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 79 percent of scheduled benefits. “I am pleased that Congress passed legislation, signed into law by President Obama last November, to avert a projected shortfall in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. With the small, temporary reallocation of the Social Security contribution rate, the DI fund will now be able to pay full disability benefits until 2023, and the retirement fund alone will still be adequate into 2035, the same as before the reallocation,” said Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “Now is the time for people to engage in the important national conversation about how to keep Social Security strong.” Other highlights of the Trustees Report include: • Total income, including interest, to the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $920 billion in 2015. ($795 billion in net contributions, $32 billion from taxation of benefits, and $93 billion in interest) • Total expenditures from the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $897 billion in 2015.  • Social Security paid benefits of $886 billion in calendar year 2015. There were about 60 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.

A Vote for Nilson as State Rep

Dear Editor,

My wife and I will be supporting Matthew T. Nilson for the 66th District representative. Matthew is experienced in education, agriculture, military defense, organization and diplomacy.  As a youth Matthew attended Hartford Public Schools, was a guard on a championship football team, ran track, placed second in his weight class at the state level in wrestling. He also played in the band, performed in plays and graduated in the top ten of his class. His record propelled him into West Point where over 40,000 students apply and only 1,440 were accepted.  Leaving West Point as a second lieutenant, he served our country for 21 years. In Iraq, he commanded troops in combat; in the Philippines, he helped reduce rebel rebellions; and in India, he was a strong leader working with the Indian government and our diplomatic corps to create a positive climate for resolving political issues. Matthew’s career has proven he can walk the walk with real positive results. During High school Matthew worked summers on the Kuenhle farms gaining valuable experience about farming. After twenty one years in the military he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and returned home to Van Buren County to work in the agriculture business as Director of Market Development for Golden Plains Farm.  Matthew is the real thing. He understands education. As a youth he watched his mother, a teacher, correct student papers in the evening. He listened to his father, a Hartford School Board member, helping to solve financial and educational issues, while remembering the schools belong to the people of the community. In his military career serving as a leader in the Special Forces (Green Beret), Matthew earned two master degrees. His military career enhanced his leadership skills while working with diverse groups of people. He demonstrated the ability to diagnosis problems and recognizes people’s different viewpoints and brings them together to solve problems.  Matthew’s education, military career, working in agriculture, in diplomacy and organizational skills qualify him to be the person we need in Lansing representing the people of the 66th District and the State of Michigan.  Matthew is no paper tiger endorsed by lobby groups who will be expecting favors. Instead, his endorsements come from his twenty one years of serve to our country, his accountability in the work for his employer, and his dedication to his family and community.  My wife Betty and I will be voting for Matthew T. Nilson for 66th District State Representative.


Robert E Pobuda

Retired Superintendent of

 Hartford Public Schools

Get out and vote

Dear Editor,

Considering the presidential choices we have this election year, I am sure that many voters are still undecided about which of these “lesser of evils” to vote for. Many might be thinking about not voting at all.  There are two legal ways to change government… Vote for change or run for office and become an agent of change.  Sitting on your duff at home during an election because you do not like any of the candidates is failing your civic duty.  Someone else who is more motivated to vote WILL go and cast their vote.  YOU can cancel theirs out if you disagree with their choice.  Everyone seems frustrated with government, including myself.  We make a lot of noise about “Voting the ******** out!”, but often we enter the election booth and find there ain’t many fools to choose from.  In Coloma Township, we have a sad state of affairs in that there are NO races!  What a travesty.  On the Democratic ticket there are absolutely no candidates for any of the open offices in the primary.  On the  republican ticket, there are just enough candidates running to fill the requisite number needed for each office.  Since I am running again for Coloma Township trustee, all I need to do is to vote for myself and I am “in like Flint!”  Personally, I would like to see a race and give voters the chance to boot me out if they want.  It seems no one wants to run for office anymore.  No one wants to be an agent of change and use the other legal option of having a hand in working to change what one might feel is wrong with local government.  In our system, we can only vote “for” a candidate.  But, when it comes to important issues like the Public Safety Millage and Road Millage, both of which are up for renewal, we do have the option of voting “against”.  I personally hope that enough people are motivated on Tuesday, August 2, to come to the polls and vote YES for the renewal of both these important millages, which support our police department and help keep our roads from deteriorating.  I do not care if you vote for me— remember I will vote for myself and that is all I need.  I do care that you vote your conscience and beliefs, no matter what they are, because that is the only way most of us peons have a means to effect change!

Matt Moser Coloma Township Trustee

Hartford Twp. meeting report inaccurate

Dear Editor,

This letter is somewhat late, but the reason for it being sent needs to be addressed. Nancy Albright’s report of the June Hartford Township meeting was not only inaccurate, but very misleading as well.  In her account of the meeting she wrote that treasurer candidate, Steve Starner, presented written statements to each board member stating his intention of becoming a candidate. This is completely untrue. There were no statements at all, written or otherwise, presented to any member of the board. It is common for political candidates to address the board, but they must first request a spot on the agenda. Mr. Starner was NOT on the agenda.  The way in which Ms. Albright’s article was printed in the Tri-City Record, including Mr. Starner’s candidacy in the headline, created a wholly inaccurate impression and gave the Starner campaign another free plug (his candidacy had already been announced in a previous article).

John McLellan

Hartford Township Trustee

Not fair

Dear Editor,

This is a letter of protest to the way a nine year Watervliet City employee was let go from her job.  It was unprofessional, not fair, and just plain sad.  We hired an outside firm to help the city become more efficient and now it seems just the opposite is happening.

Rick Rasmussen

Watervliet City Resident

Re-elect Joe Stepich

Dear Editor,

Watervliet Township residents, on Tuesday August 2, our township will hold a primary election for all candidates who are running for office.  Among the candidates running for trustee, Joe Stepich is a working trustee who is involved in suggestions as well as decision making that have benefited our township.  Not only is he a Township Trustee; he is also a member of the Planning Commission and serves on both the Fire Board and as the Chairman of the Sewer Board.  Having served on several boards, Joe Stepich has the knowledge and understanding of our township’s needs and how to get the job done.  He has the experience and the determination to improve the quality of life in the entire township.  Joe Stepich has earned our vote for Township Trustee.

 Watervliet Township resident Support son for State Rep

Dear Editor,

As proud parents, we can still make sound judgments based on the evidence.  During election years and even in-between election cycles we hear these statements, “Why don’t we have better candidates running for office? Why don’t the candidates talk issues instead of giving us sound bites? My vote doesn’t count because the system is rigged.”  But this year the citizens of the 66th District of Michigan State House of Representatives do have an answer to these questions. It is Matthew T. Nilson. Matthew is the best candidate. He is highly educated, and to our knowledge, he is the only candidate with worldwide experience that is so vital in this age of the global economy. He has no need for a learning curve. He can get straight to work helping Michigan and the district secure new markets for our products. This will result in the creation of jobs for Michigan.  Matt is the only candidate who understands and has worked with foreign bureaucracies and the largest bureaucracy in the United States to get things done. That bureaucracy is the Department of Defense.   Politicians talk in sound bites, not Matthew. On his Facebook and Web site pages, Matt presents real proposals to solve real problems. But he’ll be the first to admit he doesn’t have all the answers. This makes him open to ideas from others. He wants to serve the citizens of the 66th District not the special interest groups.  Finally, we are not expressing support for any candidate other than our son, but why do people