Letters and Commentary

Compass America not Christian? Not true.

 Claiming that America is not a Christian nation is like claiming that a house that has a solid, poured concrete foundation on which many additions and renovations have already been solidly b

LOCAL ELECTION LETTERS AND NEWS POLICY… Even though the big national news is the upcoming Democratic and Republican Conventions to nominate their candidates for President, there are many important local issues as well.  Coming up are the August Primary elections where partisan candidates for local office vie for nomination to the General Election ballot in November. Also on the primary ballots could be local millage proposals and renewals for issues such as library and public safety support.  Then in the November General Election voters will choose the next president of the United States, congressmen, senators, city mayors and commissioners, township supervisors and trustees and more local tax millage issues.  As the primary nears, August 2, some campaigns heighten with vote signs appearing on street corners (mostly illegal) and front yards (with or without permission).  Many others include letter writing and publicity campaigns to local newspapers, including the Tri-City Record.  Here are a few comments on letter endorsing candidates or issues. The Record encourages and welcomes letters to the editor on all issues as long as they adhere to the guidelines at the bottom of this page.  Political letters get a little more attention; campaign letters that are repetitive and or similar but have different author names will not be printed. It is not unusual to get several letters in one envelope, of similar message and with different authors, (I pick one and toss out the others).  Letters making outrageous and unfounded claims against a candidate usually are tossed. Letters poorly written and difficult to read or understand are tossed out.  Letters without a return address and author name and phone number get tossed.  Long letters (more than 250 words) are shortened (edited) when possible or they are tossed.  We do our best to check names and information in all letters. Just last week we got a letter that was endorsing a candidate but contained entirely different names for the candidate. We called the letter writer to confirm which candidate he was endorsing.   When we don’t get a call back from a letter writer to get clarification or confirmation, the letter gets tossed.  We also get letters announcing a candidacy for office; this is welcomed and will be printed in a timely matter. Photos are also welcome.  The Record will attempt to contact all local office candidates for a pre-primary election story that include candidate information and issues. Those contacts are being made now by reporter Annette Christie.  Candidates who have not heard from her by now may email her at ahilerk@yahoo or call me at 876-1327.  The Record also accepts political advertising. Political ads are required to be paid for in advance. Candidates should email me at record@tricityrecord.com for an advertising rate sheet and sample sizes.

TAKE A BOW WBA… let me offer a giant thank you and congratulations to the Watervliet Business Association committee for the excellent Independence Weekend Celebration.  I have been involved with more than 30 years of this hometown event and can truly say it was one of the best and most entertaining.  I hope the Mudd Run and Wrestling Match events return next year. These new and special events were real crowd pleasers, so was the hour-long parade, the car show, great fireworks, concerts, and shows.  A ping-pong ball record had to have been set… 4,050 balls were dropped to a couple hundred kids at the airport Sunday. Pilot Don Carney had to make two passes to drop them all!  There were many volunteers pitching in, plus Watervliet police, public works, and firemen on hand the whole weekend.  As always, thanks so much for all who attended and participated in the celebration of America’s birthday in Watervliet. It was good to see so many good folks having a great time.  If there was any disappointment, it was the poor turnout of the Veterans Park Rededication just before the parade. The Veterans Color Guard was on hand to salute the flag and VFW Commander Corky Openneer was there to conduct the service.  DDA Chairman Bob Becker introduced Corky. American Legion member Pete Petruk gave the invocation to rededicate the park in honor of all Watervliet military veterans.  As usual City officials were conspicuously absent from any participation

Preparation starts with information

 Your parents were there for you when you were born. They’ve been with you through the most important achievements of your life. Now it’s your turn to show them that they can count on you. As your parents get older, they may need help making decisions. When you volunteer to become a representative payee, you’re supporting your parents and their future.  A representative payee is someone who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments on behalf of a person not capable of managing the funds on his or her own. As a representative payee, you would make sure your parents’ basic needs are met by using the money to provide them with food, clothing, and shelter. Any leftover money goes into an interest-bearing account or savings bond for your parents’ future needs. You’re responsible for keeping records of expenses, and we request yearly reports to see how you’ve used or saved the benefits.  Other representative payee duties include knowing your parents’ needs so you can decide the best way to meet those needs with the benefits provided and telling us about any changes that may affect your parent’s eligibility for benefits or the payment amount.  If your parents receive Social Security or SSI benefits and are unable to manage their finances, or you think that may be the case in the future, take the time to become familiar with the responsibilities of a representative payee and consider becoming one.  To learn more about becoming a representative payee, you can read our publication, A Guide for Representative Payees, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs and visit the webpage, “When People Need Help Managing Their Money,” at www.socialsecurity.gov/payee. Or, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to request an appointment.  Take the steps to ensure your parents have a safe and comfortable future. After all they’ve done for you over your lifetime, volunteering as a representative payee is just one way to show how much you care for and appreciate them. Social Security will always be there for you and your parents through life’s journey.

Thank you  for the donation

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your donation toward our annual picnic bingo prizes. For the past 40 years, our Senior Citizens have enjoyed the picnic. It would not be a continued success without the contributions of local establishments such as yours.

Sincerely, Sue Dahlquist

Director, North Berrien  Senior Center

I strongly endorse Matt Nilson for State Representative of District 66

Dear Editor,

The purpose of this letter is to strongly endorse Matt Nilson for State Representative of District 66.   Matt has a history of achieving excellence in all that he pursues. Born and raised in Hartford, Matt was accepted to and graduated from the United States Military Academy as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.   After graduation from West Point, Matt served with the Special Forces, earning the privilege and honor of wearing the Green Beret.  He has been combat tested, serving his country with honor and distinction, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.  Through sustained superior performance over a twenty year period, Matt demonstrated strong leadership skills and the ability to solve challenging situations and scenarios on both a national and international perspective.  He is ready and prepared to serve the citizens of District 66 with the same energy, charisma, dedication, and leadership he demonstrated while serving the citizens of this great country.  I should also point out that Matt also earned two master degrees, one through the Naval Post Graduate Program followed by an MBA from the prestigious Kenan-Flager Business School, the University of North Carolina.  He is a busy guy who thrives on challenges and achievement. I am confident that he will serve the citizens of District 66 and the State of Michigan in an outstanding manner.  Vote Matt Nilson for State Representative, District 66, on August 2, 2016.

John “Mike” Henry  Van Buren County  Commissioner, District 1

Apology for poorly written letter

Dear Editor,

As I was reading the Letters to the Editor in your June 30 edition I became very upset reading one of the letters captioned “Old Mill Site Could Become a Park”.  I thought the composition was horrid, the content mediocre and as I read the letter I thought to myself, “who was the idiot who wrote this letter?”  Then I read the signature block came to the realization that the culprit who wrote it was ME!  Then last night in a dream my grammar school English teacher, Miss Likeness, came to me and said “Robert, you’ve written some doozies but that one took the cake”.  She said she would give me a “D” for composition, grammar and content but only because she liked me. She shamed me into writing this letter to apologize to your readers for the content of that letter.  So many are working so hard to make the park a reality and I stepped in where I should not. I still urge the county to work hard to win the grant that will help kick start the park and I commend our State Representative Al Pscholka and the “Friends of the River” for working on the grant which will help clean up the Paw Paw River Trail which in turn will enhance the county’s chances of landing the grant which will help fund the North Berrien Park.  However, most of all I apologize for a poorly written letter and too those I maligned. I can only hope Miss Likeness will give me a better grade for this and future letters!

Bob Becker

Another good year for the Watervliet 4th of July Car Show

Dear Editor,

The weatherman cooperated again this year and gave us a perfect day for a car show with lots of sunshine and mild temperatures.  We had 103 classic cars and trucks and 5 motorcycles attend the 13th annual Watervliet Car, Truck and Motorcycle show that is a part of our 4th of July celebration.  The show is a fundraiser for the Battle Creek Veterans Administration Hospital with all of the registration proceeds and our half of the 50-50 drawing donated to help fund programs that benefit patients at the hospital.  We raised $826 this year thanks to our sponsors that cover the entire cost of the show allowing us to donate profits from the show to this very worthwhile cause.  We would like to express our appreciation to those sponsors and thank them for making the show and this donation possible. Sponsors making cash donations are: Dr. David Moss- Moss Chiropractic, Alsup Painting, Active Realtors, Big Al’s Hot Dogs, Broadwaters Maxi-Muffler Door prize donors: Lane Automotive, Napa Auto Parts Benton Harbor, Auto Value Auto Parts Coloma, Tri-City Record, Paw Paw Lake Golf Course, Easy Street Inn, Harding’s Friendly Market  Award sponsors: Shear Design Salon, Technical Machine and Welding, Baroda Tire Center 3, Downtown Digits, Cayo Classics, Alsup Painting, Coloma Motor Sports, Robert Michael Salon, Pour House, Four Seasons Pool and Spa, Broadwater Maxi-Muffler, Big Al’s Hot Dogs  A special thank you to Ed Nash and Dave Coyle at The Arclight Brewery for letting us use their parking lot and facilities for the show.  This year’s award winners were: Best of Show Myron Schaffer Top Ten Awards went to: Troy Kablitz, Steve Gagliano, Gary Shindledecker, Vick Kinzler, Roger Yerington, Jeff Sink, Dan Lok, Rolland Boyd, Tim Donahue, Ken Tomaszewske Best Motorcycle: Bill Meachum  And a big thank you to our friends who spend a day of their 4th of July weekend working at the show. Cyndi Smith, Tom Carter, Frank Alsup, Bud and Shirley Tyler and my better half Sue Fairbanks. We really appreciate your help in making everything run smoothly.

Vick Kinzler and Les Fairbanks



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