Letters and Commentary

GIVE A THUMBS UP… It appears there’s an unending string of heartbreaking violence against the men and women we ask to serve and protect us.  As funerals were being conducted for five police officers gunned down in Dallas and for two retired officers serving as bailiffs here in Berrien County killed by a prisoner in the courthouse, three more officers were ambushed and assassinated in Baton Rouge.  While we might be at a loss for an answer of what may be done to halt this cycle of escalating violence, there is something we can do.  We can support our police officers in their mission to serve and protect us all.  Disastrous mistakes can be made, horrible errors occur; that doesn’t mean we should condemn the men and women who daily honestly and bravely uphold their mission to keep us safe.  Give your fellow citizen the law enforcement officer a wave and thumbs up for a job well done. NEW WEBSITE… if you are inclined, take a look at our new website, www.tricityrecord.com.   Amy has been busy working with a website design company for the past couple months and it now tweaking it with some adjustments.  The plan is to offer an interactive web site for this interested in such things that can be read on personal computers, smart phones, and tablets.   Access to the new website is currently free and will be for the next three months or so. Then the digital site will go “commercial” with a nominal charge that will reflect the savings of postage and printing.  At this time, Amy and I are asking you to take a look at the site and let us know of any concerns or suggestions for improvement.

                            In times of tragedy the best medicine comes from the heart

 Dear Editor,

You can feel it. No matter your age, gender, race, or ethnicity, you can feel it. No matter your education, income, political or religious beliefs, you can feel it. We’re anxious. These are tough times.  The tragic courthouse event of this week was heart-breaking and unnerving. As we were spinning up our trauma team and planning our emergency response you could sense the sadness and disbelief. So much violence, so very close to home.  And if the safety of our friends and families is not enough to worry about, there is a continuous flood of anxiety-producing national news about tragic ongoing terrorism, gun violence, heightened race relations, law enforcement under pressure, immigration, religious intolerance, and all manner of angry rantings.  All the resulting stress and anxiety matters. It matters to our comfort, of course, and it matters to our health. There is abundant evidence that stress, whether acute or chronic, can significantly harm, not only our sense of well-being, but also our wellness.  And all of that matters to your friends and neighbors that work at Lakeland Health. We’ve been working hard to better understand and more  effectively serve, not only the health care needs but also the health needs of our community. When you care about health you essentially care about everything and everybody. You care about all the things that enhance, and all the things that erode physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.  So we commit to do our best, within our facilities and across the region, to help understand and help improve those things that get in the way of good health. We’ve done a lot and we have plans to do a lot more.  The Lakeland Health family also adds our thoughts and prayers to all of yours for our neighbors and our neighborhoods. We commit to be a source of consistent love and respect to everyone entrusted to our care. In a world full of conflict we want to fill our hearts and yours with comfort and compassion.  At times like this, the best medicine comes from the heart.

Sincerely,  Loren B. Hamel, CEO of Lakeland Health

I will be voting for Hillary


In his recent testimony before the House Oversight Committee, FBI Director James Comey stated that three of the many thousands of emails that Hillary Clinton sent or received when she was Secretary of State contained classified markings. On the basis of this statement, Donald Trump and his supporters are now accusing Secretary Clinton of lying when she said that she had not sent or received any emails marked classified. What Trump and his supporters conveniently fail to mention is that Comey’s answers to extremely important follow-up questions by Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) make it very clear that Hillary Clinton was telling the truth.   Representative Cartwright asked Mr. Comey if the three documents had been properly marked as classified, according to the State Department classification manual. Comey answered: “No”. Cartwright then asked: “According to the manual, if you’re going to classify something there has to be a (classified) header on the document, right? Comey affirmed that statement and then went on to say there were no such headers on the three documents in question. Representative Cartwright asked if the absence of a classified header would indicate to anyone familiar with State Department policies that “those three documents were not classified.” Comey answered: “That would be a reasonable inference.”  This exchange clearly indicates that Hillary Clinton has been telling the truth about not having sent or received any emails marked classified. She was familiar with the State Department’s classification policies and reacted accordingly.   Hillary Clinton is an extremely qualified candidate who will bring a wealth of experience to the office of United States President. I will certainly be voting for her in November and I encourage everyone reading this letter to do so as well.

Larry Feldman,  Lakeside

Rediscovered Faith

 A very discouraged person met Jesus as He approached Bethany. Martha had come out to greet Him, having been told that He was coming. Her brother had just died four days earlier. They had sent for Jesus to help His friend, Lazarus, but He had delayed. Now it was too late. He was gone.  “If you had been here he would not have died” complained Martha. Jesus responded, “Your brother will rise again.” “I know – in the last day – I know he will rise then.” said Martha.     The encounter continued with Jesus helping her see past her grief: “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will live even if he dies, and he who lives and believes in me will never die.” Then Jesus asked Martha a question that she needed to hear: “Do you believe this?”  Martha now had the opportunity to lash out, to let her grief and pain dominate. But instead she replied: “Yes, Lord; I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, He who comes into the world.” (John 11:27 NASB) Martha affirmed that though she did not understand Jesus’ ways, her faith and commitment to Him remained. She needed to hear herself say it. Jesus helped her get to that point.  Jesus doesn’t always “show up” in the way we expect or hope. It’s during those times when He seems absent that our faith is tested, and it’s during those times that we discover our own faith revealed in our responses to God. It’s for us then to learn more about Him while learning more about ourselves. Finally deciding again to rest in His love and faithfulness, we find our souls being quieted in new appreciation for His presence, even in our worst circumstances.

Preparation starts with information

 From women and children, to the elderly and disabled, Social Security has you covered. Because we value and appreciate the differences that make up our nation, our programs are as diverse as those we serve. We’re with you throughout every stage of your life, and we’re always working to provide services that meet your changing needs.  Our programs serve as vital financial protection for millions of people. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits. These credits count toward retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.  A program everyone should be familiar with is Social Security’s retirement program. Whether you’re a young adult paying Social Security taxes for the first time or a retiree receiving benefits, this is a program that will affect you during and after your working years. You can learn more about your earnings and potential benefits by visiting www.ssa.gov/retire/.  Social Security administers the largest disability program in the nation. A severe illness or injury robs a person of the ability to work and earn a living. Thankfully, Social Security disability benefits can provide a critical source of financial support during a time of need. For more on disability benefits, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.  When a family loses a wage earner, it can be both emotionally and financially devastating. However, Social Security can help secure a family’s financial future if a loved one dies with survivor benefits. The best thing you can do for your family is prepare as much as possible: get started at  www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.  Social Security’s programs are neutral regarding gender, age, race, and orientation — individuals with identical earnings histories and needs are treated the same in terms of benefits. We’re proud the diverse public we serve reflects the programs we offer. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov today to see how we can serve you and secure your today and tomorrow.

Road millage vote is vital to citizens

Dear Editor,

In 1978 the residents of Van Buren County voted to pass a road millage for the purpose of “repair and reconstruction of primary county roads and local county roads of Van Buren County”.  The millage was last renewed in 2012.  On August 2 the residents of Van Buren County will, once again, have the opportunity to vote on the county-wide road millage for four years.  This millage will enable the Van Buren County Road Commission, and all cities, villages and townships located in Van Buren County, to continue to make annual improvements and upgrades to the county-wide road network.  The road system is vital to the social and economic welfare of the citizens of Van Buren County.  Our economy is based heavily on agriculture, agri-business and tourism.  In addition, thousands of children are transported daily over the county-wide road network.  A well-developed road network enables all of us to travel safely to and from work and school, and to and from our shopping and entertainment centers.  For more information regarding the county-wide road millage, such as WHY the millage is being requested, HOW the millage funds are utilized, and to answer questions such as, “Do millage funds pay for SNOW PLOWING on my road?”, please visit our website at www.vbcrc.org or call us at (269) 674-8011.  I urge you to carefully consider the impact this millage will have on our road network.  Please make it a point to get out and exercise your right to vote.

Sincerely, Van Buren County Road Commission, Lawrence B. Hummel

I endorse Kim LaSata

Dear Editor,

It is my pleasure to support Kim LaSata for state representative of the 79 District of the State of Michigan. I have known Kim for 30 years both as a loyal and trusted friend and fellow Berrien County Guardianship board member. She is one of the most well rounded persons I know with experience in business, community, service, education and knowledge of the legislative process.What has impressed me most about Kim is her intelligence, honesty, work ethic, the willingness to listen to views other than her own and her love and passion for quality education for all students. She has an impressive ability to grasp and implement new ideas and projects which makes me know that if she is elected to the state legislature for the 79 District, she will hit the ground running.Her campaign brochure says “ENERGY, INTEGRITY, COMMON SENSE”. Those three words best define Kim. I hope you will join me in voting for Kim LaSata for state representative in the 79 District I will borrow a prior phrase in a letter to the editor and say “Go Kim Go!

Sincerely, Mary Tatter

Please vote yes to support library millage renewal

Dear Editor,

Voters in Watervliet Township and the City of Watervliet will find on the August 2nd ballot a proposal to renew an essential part of their Library’s operating millage. This ½ mill has been in effect for many years and does not represent any increase in taxes. Voted millage will be spent strictly for running the Library. Please vote yes to support renewal. Phase 1 of the renovation of Library Park is set to begin shortly. The Park upgrade will be funded by donations not voted millage. We believe the Park’s central location on Main Street will provide a beautiful focal point for our revitalizing downtown. Please consider donating to this project!

Patricia Geisler, Watervliet District Library Board Treasurer


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P.O. BOX 7


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