Readers’ Voice

Dears readers,
   Congratulations to Sierra Loughrin with the most interesting essay, “Two Brothers, One World War” accompanied with pictures (featured in last week’s Courier-Leader). We thank you for sharing this important message about your great-uncles.    
   What an honor for a high school sophomore to read at the Arlington National Cemetery, and how proud she must be that she could be with other veterans on the Talons Out Honor Flight to Washington D. C. Sierra said it all with “Faith, Family, Country. Maybe we all just need to remember the simple things.”
   Thank you and grateful to Dr. David Millard for sharing a most interesting article accompanied with pictures of his father who served in World War I to end all wars 100 years ago. Not-to-be-forgotten Private Carl Millard served in World War I, the Polar Bear Expedition, and the excellent history who was a World War I veteran.
   Thanks to The Courier-Leader newspaper, the Racette family with staff,  reporter Paul Garrod. We are fortunate to have a local newspaper for local news from our area communities.
   Phil “Luke” Coulson
   Korean veteran


Dear Van Buren County citizens,
   I would like to thank all who helped and supported me during my run for 5th District Van Buren County Commissioner.
   As this was my first time running for office, I was not fully aware of what to expect. What I found was help from many people in our community giving their support, asking to put up my signs, and taking time to listen to me when I went door-to-door.
   I very much appreciated help from others with elections experience, tutoring me on the proper ways to campaign. My family was and is very supportive of my desire to further give back to our community.
   I would also like to thank Bill Webster for being a fair and respectful opposing candidate. I only wish our national elections could be so civil.
   Most of all, my thanks to all 5th District citizens for taking time to vote.
   I am committed to doing my best on our county’s behalf.
   Thank you once again!
   Randall L. Peat
   5th District, Van Buren County Commissioner-elect


To Almena Township Residents:
   On Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, there will be a Public Hearing at the Almena Township Hall concerning Agricultural Tourism and Commercial Marihuana Growing which will impact you, depending on your zoning district.
   We all know the number of active farms has dwindled since the 1980’s, as all of us moved out of the cities to find a peaceful piece of land to call our own. We on 24th street and 24th private drive are finding our “peaceful way of life” is now being threatened as the last piece of open land has been purchased to be turned into the owners’ dream farm, including a retail store and dreams of tourism.
   There are 19 of us within one mile of the “dream farm” and we had no clue what was going on until the retail store was constructed, and a group of over 20 people showed up for an event. I was later told there was a change in the Township Website that prevented the agendas from being available to the public at the time this all began. It appears from the farm social media page, that they were told to go ahead with their dream and they have, to a lesser degree, even though no zoning changes have been made to date.  We ask that you think of your closest neighbors with three or more acres, then imagine that they now want to “dream farm,” encouraging people to come seven days a week to experience their dream. Maybe hold classes, host events, invite all to come to your once peaceful neighborhood. ALL this with only (how many?) acres of crop.
   We are not against farming, I did that, was that when I moved to Van Buren County. I even protested way back in the late 70’s, early 80’s until the Right to Farm bill was finally passed protecting farms from the growing city migration.
   Almost all of Almena Township is designated Agricultural. We here on 24th/24th Private are in AG Medium Density with the intent stating “where small scale farming activities can continue and also allow for higher density single family residential homes.” At this time, current zoning ordinance allows for general and specialized farming in all three agricultural districts.
   Straight AG District now allows for many farm related activities and with approved special use allows for many agricultural business activities that are not allowed in the other two districts. The new Text Amendments will allow for all Farm Related Activities and Agricultural Business Activities with Special Use approval to take place in all three Districts. I personally can tell you, I do not want full time Agricultural Business running in my once peaceful, laid back neighborhood.
   Please plan to attend these Public Hearings and make your opinion heard.  For more information, please contact the Almena Township Hall, (269) 668-6910 or the Township website (while there check out the Resident Tab – lots of good info.)
   Barbara Pursley
   Almena Township


Letter to the Editor:
   Thank you to each of you, who support Eleanor’s Pantry.  You participate in many ways to help feed our food insecure neighbors.
    Hundreds of you made our Harvest and Wine partnership with St. Julian a success.  For the third year, friends of the pantry poured  for wine tasting during the three-day event, earning us a generous donation from St. Julian.  Also, many gave donations at the wine tasting and downtown before the parade. Please accept our heartfelt appreciation. This will become annual partnership, so we hope to involve more of you for the wine pouring next year.
   Families and individuals choose to donate to the pantry.  Some send monthly monetary contributions. At holiday time, many choose to send checks to the pantry to honor each other, rather than buying gifts. Others request friends make memorial donations to the pantry in honor of a lost loved one.  Some children have asked friends to bring donations for the pantry to their birthday parties. 
   Lawton Elementary students, in Ms. Brayman and Ms. Holder’s classes, grew produce and donated it to the pantry. In addition, some parents with their children plan what a family may need, then shop together at the store, and  bring the items to the pantry. Many individuals and families bring fruit and vegetables they have grown.
   Our local church families make a positive, significant impact on the pantry. Thank you for supporting us in so many ways.
   Thank you for giving us your Family Fare receipts. We have earned another $1,000 from Spartan Nash! We will continue to participate in their Direct Your Dollars campaign.
   As an all-volunteer organization, 100% of the gifts you donate are used to help feed our food insecure neighbors. 
   Thank you for your kindness.
   Nellie DeLong
   Community Outreach Volunteer, Eleanor’s Pantry


Dear Editor,
   I would like to thank the residents of Paw Paw for allowing me to represent them for many years as a village council trustee. Thank you to all who have recognized what a great town we have and will continue to enjoy.
   I want to express my gratitude to our village office staff, police, public works, and all-volunteer fire departments, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.Most residents have little idea what they all do to keep a community safe, efficient, and beautiful!
   These people make sure every day that we have a community we want to live in. They care! They provide the services we want and need, and the safety we require. As a council trustee, I respect every one of them, and enjoy the opportunity to work closely with them. Together, we are the future of YOUR community, and I look forward to continuing to care for Paw Paw, its residents and businesses.
   Mary McIntosh
   Paw Paw


The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

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