Letters and Commentary

 Enjoying the independence that we have as Americans is a privilege we’ve earned, together. It took the sacrifice of millions of entrepreneurs and Service men and women, nurses and caregivers. You’ve done your job in making this nation what it is today: proud, strong, and secure.  For more than 80 years, Social Security has been doing the same. We’re with you through life’s journey, from birth to retirement and beyond. And one of the best tools we provide every American is my Social Security, our secure online resource customized for you.  All your hard work is recorded at my Social Security. There, you can:  Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year; Get an estimate of your future benefits, if you are still working; Get a letter with proof of your benefits, if you currently receive them; and Manage your benefits: Change your address; Start or change your direct deposit; Request a replacement Medicare card; and Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked one year or forty, checking your personalized account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount gives you control over your future.  We understand that you might lose things from time to time. In some states, you can even request a replacement Social Security card online using my Social Security. It’s an easy, convenient, and secure way to request a replacement card. We are working to add more states to this service, so we encourage you to check www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber to see where it is available.  We’ve been with you and your loved ones for a long time — more than 80 years. The journey you’re making to financial independence isn’t one you have to make alone. Join the millions of people who are strengthening their future at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

 Perhaps many people who claim that the Bible is irrelevant just wish that it was, but realize that even the most impassioned, persistent denial does not provide adequate defense against the teachings, warnings, guidance, and promises found in this, the most well-attested book in human history. The Bible won’t go away, and its influence, though temporarily stifled, can never be erased.  Bibliophobes need to remember an assurance that Jesus gave His disciples when they asked about the end of the world. It’s in Matthew 24 in the New Testament. The question: “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3, NASB) Amidst descriptions of political, social, cultural, economic, and religious developments that would accompany the consummation of this present age, Jesus made this astounding promise: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:.14, NASB)  So, what does this assurance directly from Jesus tell us? First, the gospel will never be completely stamped out, not to the end of this current age in human history, so certainly not in our present time! You can’t stop Jesus Christ and His message of God’s grace. Nor can His kingdom be stopped.  Second, all people groups will discover God’s wonderful good news. No political power, military force, or executive order can stop that! Evangelism will always remain relevant.  Third, no one controls when the end comes but God Himself, so wouldn’t it be wiser to acknowledge His program instead of trying to get Him on ours?  Those who reject the Bible’s teaching and disrespect its Author will someday wish that they had chosen differently. Promise!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA… Monday, July 4, 2016 marks the 240th birthday of the greatest country in history. On July 4, 1776 a group of malcontents, claiming to represent fellow citizens of 13 British Colonies, declared themselves free and independent of English rule and law. They did so with little money, less army, and truth be known, less support of the public. What they did have was a grand idea that all men were created equal and had inalienable rights of freedom that could not be taken away by a government or a sovereign. The first 240 years of this young nation have not been without turmoil, heartbreak, and setbacks. It barely survived its centennial when a civil war split the nation in two. While the civil war was a horrendous slaughter just 5 years long, the peace took another century to arrive. While the nation matured to an industrial giant and shared the laurels of winning a couple world wars, it was long on healing its own scars cut into the backs of fellow human beings for more than a century. Nearly a hundred years after the civil war the nation finally addressed the culture that prevented all men from being equal in the eyes of the law. Legalized segregation was replaced with integration; Jim Crow was replaced with Civil Rights. The growing culture that had finally nurtured civil rights also demanded the end to the War in Vietnam… might as right was replaced with give peace a chance. Even with continual setbacks, the process inexorably moved forward. The evil empire that had survived nearly 50 years as the Soviet Union, frequently fanning the flames of the cold war with shooting battles, collapsed in a decade of peace. America lead the way by arming for defense and praying for peace. The road to the 240th birthday is potholed with bloodshed and martyrdom. Americans rose to great heights and fell to the depths but all the setbacks were recovered by progress. When George Washington took the oath of office as the First President of the United States, no one could have or would have predicted an African American would one day hold the same office. Now President Barak Obama is closing his second term of office. But for a very few benighted bigots, no Americans give any thought or pause to his racial background. Indeed, an election issue that gained credence was whether Mr. Obama was born an American, not as a black man. Truly, the country has come a long way. Perhaps the last bastion of inequality could fall this November if a female should win the vote for President. A feeble attempt by some male candidates to play the “gender” card, questioning a woman’s temperament and strength soon died for lack of credence. Indeed, we Americans have come a long way and have every reason to celebrate our birthday. God Bless America!

CELEBRATE IN WATERVLIET ON SATURDAY & SUNDAY… The 4th of July Independence Celebrations are a long time tradition. Even in the early days, the Fourth of July was a day of remembrance and celebration. With the Fourth falling on a Monday, Americans celebrate doubly with a “long weekend.” Most businesses will be closed Monday, July 4 and many lucky folks will have Friday off as well. That makes for a great two-day celebration in Watervliet; while most of the events are scheduled for Saturday, there are still things to do on Sunday as well. Don’t forget to get your duck race tickets for the big swim on Sunday in Flaherty Park. Tickets will be for sale right up to the start at 2 p.m.

Old mill site could become park

Dear Editor,

Thus read the head line in yesterday’s South Bend Tribune, “Old mill site could become park” I suppose at this point “could” is the operative word as the last paragraph in the above the bold head line story read: “The project was developed at the request of the Berrien County commissioners who were looking to do something with the long abandoned parcel.  “This is the idea we came up with” ‘said Bailey’. Glow endorsement for an idea they brought to us!  Perhaps, in this election year, we might want to light a fire under both Smith and Hinkleman? Perhaps even send one of your reporters to coax Bailey to be more confident.  This will go forward or dig deeper to find out what plan “B” might be? I am thinking despite this article, we may be the ones being abandoned.  The looming 900 lb gorilla in the room is, what about Stevensville.  One plus is the planed 3,000 spectator arena planned here, not sure the Stevensville plan has anywhere near that number. Feeling abandoned too,


Thank you

Dear Editor,

Thank you so much for helping us with advertising for our Father’s Day Breakfast Buffet!  It was a great success.

Sincerely, Karen Urch, President American Legion Auxiliary Unit 362 Coloma

Kim LaSata gained major momentum for her campaign to become the first woman elected to the 79th District State Rep seat

Dear Editor,

Kim LaSata’s campaign to become the first woman elected to the 79th District State Rep seat has gained major momentum in the past week. Last Friday the LaSata campaign announced that they had received the endorsement of Right to Life of Michigan. This was not unexpected given her leadership in this area having attended the March for Life in Washington DC in January 2015 with students from Lake Michigan Catholic High School and assisting in the formation of a Sacred Life club at the school.  LaSata’s leadership was acknowledged as she was the only candidate in attendance at the Berrien County Right to Life banquet in April.  “I have been actively involved with RTL for a number of years and was honored to receive their endorsement” LaSata said.  Today, in a major development in the race Kim LaSata has received the endorsement of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.  The entire 110 member State House is up for re-election this year.   LaSata was one of only 23 candidates to receive the coveted endorsement. “Today we are pleased to announce the Michigan Chamber’s endorsement of 23 outstanding individuals for the State House,” said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley.  “All of these candidates have demonstrated a commitment to free enterprise and a sincere desire to make Michigan the best state in the country to live, work, raise a family or build a business.”  “The Chamber membership is energized to support these candidates as they will champion common sense policies based on personal responsibility, limited government and free enterprise,” noted Jim Holcomb, Senior Vice President for Business Advocacy and General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. “Each of these candidates have the ability to win in both August and November and the courage to govern if elected,” Studley added.  “I am honored to receive the endorsement and support of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce,” LaSata said.  “The Michigan Chamber is the largest business organization in our state representing approximately 6800 employers and trade associations. Members of the Chamber provide jobs to 1.5 million Michigan residents and many residents of the 79th District.”   “As a teacher and small business owner I look forward to working with the Chamber to promote Jobs, Great Schools and Conservative Common Sense solutions to the many issues facing Michigan,” LaSata added.

Ryan Brown

Thank you

Dear Editor,

Thank you for putting my neighbor’s service dog Skippy’s picture and obituary in the paper.  He was well known in the community. Your professionalism is greatly appreciated!


Kim & Chris Rodger

Effective gun legislation is urgently needed

Dear Editor,

In 2011, Al Qaeda posted a video urging radical Islamists to take advantage of the extremely lax gun laws in the United States. The video stated, in part: “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms…So what are you waiting for?”  As the tragic events in Orlando clearly demonstrate, terrorists are not waiting. They are taking advantage of our extremely lax gun laws and easily purchasing weapons of mass destruction.  Individuals on the FBI’s terrorist watch list are allowed to purchase any gun they want, including semi-automatic assault rifles, designed to fire as many bullets as possible, as quickly as possible. The main purpose of such guns is to kill large numbers of people in a short period of time.  Congressional Republicans have blocked all efforts to strengthen our gun control laws, including a proposed law to stop terrorist suspects on the FBI watch list from purchasing guns.  There are specific steps that Congress can take to decrease gun violence in our country: 1) Block anyone on the FBI terrorist watch list from buying a gun; 2) Outlaw the sale of semi-automatic “weapons of mass destruction” and the large-capacity magazines that are so often a part of mass killings; 3) Expand background check laws so that criminals, terrorists, abusers, and dangerously mentally ill individuals cannot buy lethal weapons; 4) Close the “gun show loophole” so that gun sellers in every setting must conduct a background check on all gun purchasers.  These important steps will only happen if large numbers of citizens relentlessly insist that our elected representatives take action to prevent future tragedies.  We have an election coming up – let’s make gun control a central issue. Let’s insist, over and over and over again, that our representatives have the courage to pass legislation that will make a difference.  We cannot continue to allow dangerous individuals to easily purchase weapons of mass destruction. We need to hold our representatives accountable. The time for common sense gun control legislation is now!

 Larry Feldman


Cemeteries look great

Dear Editor,

Kudos to the caretakers of Watervliet City and Fairview Cemetery’s, both have been greatly improved. Trees and shrubs are neatly trimmed, mulch added, roads graded and resurfaced.  If you have not noticed go take a good look. Thanks to those who have done all the work.

Marsha Cole


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