Letters to the Editor

A board united in supporting “Go Comets”


To the Coloma Community Schools community:


January is a celebration of many things – a New Year, a fresh start, remembering Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and Board Appreciation Month. At the local level, school boards play a vital role in the community’s success. To that end, I am grateful to work closely with a group committed to the health and well-being of our children, our schools and our community.


The Coloma Community Schools board is united in representing our community and helping steer the district to meet its primary goal – providing a high-quality education for our students. Board members put substantial time and effort into their role, yet their dedication and commitment often go unnoticed.

This month, I want to thank each member of our board - Heidi Ishmael, President, Apryl Watson, Vice-President, Doug Kraemer, Secretary, Nicole Hickmon, Treasurer, William Stowers, Trustee, Robert Hirsch, Trustee and Steve Groendyk, Trustee. Their guidance this school year has been instrumental in helping to navigate through the many challenges we’ve faced during the pandemic, ensuring our students are able to grow academically, socially and emotionally.


Coloma Community Schools is devoted to providing a distinctive, contemporary education within a compassionate, structured environment that draws on our unique heritage. Our board, staff and community are dedicated to working collaboratively with families to produce independent, responsible, and confident citizens.


As we celebrate Board Appreciation Month, I would encourage everyone throughout Coloma to take a moment to thank the men and women of our school board. “Go Comets” is a phrase I use quite often, and I do so proudly because I know how much work goes into supporting the development of our children. That work starts with our board.


For more information on our school board, to attend meetings virtually or get to know each member more in depth, visit: www.ccs.coloma.org.

Superintendent Dave Ehlers


HOPE benefactors


Dear Editor,


HOPE Resources is proud to recognize outstanding benefactors for 2020. HOPE is Coloma’s organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those neighbors experiencing hardship. HOPE currently operates a fully functional food pantry and a clothing depot, with plans to incorporate classes in nutrition, finance, sewing as soon as safely possible.


None of this would be happening without the incredibly generous support of our community. From June 2020 through January 2021, HOPE has received monetary and in-kind donations from over 120 individuals and organizations totaling $31,499.15. HOPE Clients and Board Members are very grateful for this outpouring of community support. We thank each of you who have taken time to contribute to HOPE.


We would especially like to recognize special donors at the Bronze ($500), Silver ($1,000), Gold ($2,000) and Platinum ($5,000) levels.


Bronze: Coloma Lions Club, Maurice McCoy Memorial Fund, Salem Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, The Walkie Talkies (aka Pink Hat Ladies), the Robert & Debra Peterson Charitable Foundation and six local families.


Silver: Bob Eberhard of Future Construction, Menasha Corporation and two local families.

Gold: Coloma United Church of Christ, Harding’s Market (September round up program), the Paw Paw Islanders and one local family.


Platinum: Private Family Foundation


It takes a village to raise our children. HOPE Resources is proud and grateful to be a part of this village. HOPE is located at 262 North Paw Paw Street in Coloma (mailing address PO Box 985, Coloma MI 49038). Residents interested in a tour, please visit after the corona virus is under control.

HOPE Resources Board


AAA issues winter weather safe driving alert


(Press Release) Snow, rain and ice make the winter months a risky time for motorists to be behind the wheel. According to data from the Michigan State Police, last year two out of three (67%) traffic crashes that occurred during inclement weather were on snowy, slushy or icy pavement.

With this in mind, Michigan motorists are reminded that when it comes to driving in winter weather conditions, it’s important to revisit the safe winter driving playbook. These tips are for everyone:

Before starting out, remove ice and snow from the entire car, mirrors and lights so you have clear driving visibility. Don’t use cruise control in precipitation and freezing temperatures. Remember that four-wheel drive helps you to get going quicker, but it won’t help you stop any faster. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s braking system. Drivers with anti-lock brakes should apply firm, constant pressure while those without may need to pump the pedal in order to avoid loss of traction while stopping.

Always drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions – even if that means driving below the posted speed limit. Compensate for reduced traction by increasing your following distances (normally three to four seconds) to eight to ten seconds. Allow sufficient room for maintenance vehicles and plows, stay at least 200 feet back and, if you need to pass, go to the other vehicle’s left.

Watch for icy surfaces on bridges and intersections, even if the rest of the road seems to be in good condition. If you get stuck in snow or ice, straighten the wheel and accelerate slowly. Add sand or cat litter under the drive wheels to help avoid spinning the tires. If your tires lose traction, continue to look and steer in the direction you want to go. If the drive wheels start to spin or slide while going up a hill, ease off the accelerator slightly and then gently resume speed.

AAA tips for vehicle prep: Carry a charged cell phone; top off your gas tank; check washer fluid and anti-freeze, to ensure they are at adequate levels; tires should be inspected to ensure they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth; equip your vehicle with a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and some warm clothing and blankets.


Stimulus payments by prepaid Visa debit card are not a scam


(Press Release) Michiganders who receive their stimulus payments in the form of a prepaid Visa debit card should know that this method is not a scam, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced as more second round payments are disbursed by the federal government.


“As many Americans await their second stimulus payment, it’s important to keep in mind that such payment may be disbursed in three different ways – direct deposit, paper check or prepaid debit card,” said Nessel. “Mailed stimulus payments will arrive in a white envelope with the U.S. Department of Treasury seal. Michiganders screening their mail for scam offers should watch for that to ensure their stimulus funds are not accidentally discarded.”


The preloaded Visa debit card displays the Visa logo on the front and the issuing bank name, MetaBank, N.A., on the back. Each mailing will also include instructions on how to activate and use the card. Those who receive their stimulus payment via prepaid debit card can make purchases online or in-store wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. Recipients also have the option to transfer funds to a personal bank account and check their card balance online via mobile app or phone. The debit card provided by the federal government also includes certain protections against fraud, loss and other errors.


For additional information on how to use the preloaded Visa debit card, or to confirm the status of a stimulus payment, visit the IRS website.


Federal Court rules 1992 Term Limits Amendment to Michigan Constitution was lawful

(Press Release) A federal court sided with the offices of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel when it dismissed a lawsuit Jan. 20, 2021 that challenged the current status of Michigan’s term limits under a constitutional amendment passed by voters nearly 30 years ago. 


The challenge to the 1992 amendment was filed by 10 former Democratic and Republican state legislators in Kowall et al v Benson, 19-985 (WD Mich). But Judge Janet T. Neff, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, dismissed the case, in part, because the plaintiffs’ constitutional claims were barred in light of a previous court decision – or were otherwise without merit.


Neff also found plaintiffs’ state constitutional challenges to the petition and ballot language in the 1992 amendment meritless. 


“Michigan voters took action three decades ago to change our state constitution, and that amendment has now held up twice in a court of law,” Nessel said. “I appreciate the Court’s ruling and review of the case law on this matter, and while the legal challenges have failed, the Michigan Constitution – and term limits for our lawmakers – remain something voters can revisit and amend through lawful means as they deem appropriate.” 


The amendments to the Michigan Constitution referenced in the case were approved by the people in 1992 and have been on the books for almost 30 years. They were previously upheld as constitutional by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998.  


Upton named Republican leader on House Energy Subcommittee


(Press Release) U.S. Congressman Fred Upton issued the following statement after Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers named Upton as the House Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader:


“As the Republican leader on the Energy Subcommittee for the 117th Congress, I will prioritize an energy policy that spurs job creation - including in Michigan’s auto and manufacturing industries - supports the clean energy economy, ensures an “all of the above” approach - from nuclear to hydrogen to clean fossil fuels - fosters innovation, and provides a reliable and affordable energy supply.


“There are other significant challenges facing our country that I expect will be before us in the 117th Congress. We need to tackle climate change without stunting economic growth. We need to secure our electrical grid and prevent cyberattacks from our foreign adversaries. We must ensure we have the infrastructure necessary to fortify this new era of American energy independence. We must keep energy prices low as small businesses look to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We must examine the impact of COVID-19 on our energy sector. And lastly this committee will play a critical role in bolstering Michigan’s and our nation’s auto industry as we continue to move toward cleaner, safer, smarter vehicles.”

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