Senior Vet finds it strange decision to close DAV mealsite made in winter…

February 1, 2018

Dear Editor:

Is it not strange that a “decision” to close the Lake Senior Center was made in the dead of winter. At a time when a number of those Seniors, who somehow can, have gone south for the season to keep the chill from their bones. They likely have no idea what has happened, and if so, are too far away to tender their concerns and objections.

Oh well, they’re only just Seniors. The ancient Inuit just wrapped up worn out old Granny in a robe, gave her a sled ride out onto the glacier, gently set her off, then left her to wait for hungry polar bears that hunted there. Fortunately Lori (Ware) Phelps and Karen Lipovsky don’t have that latitude.

Nope, we’ll just toss the Seniors a bone, with a “promise” of busing them to another spot closer to Farwell. Really? Like to the now closed Senior Center there? Why not bring the Farwell Seniors to Lake? Well, we all know how such promises seem to simply fade away, like Seniors. Whose bus might it be, and maintained by? Of COURSE it will have little “convenience room” like the long distance Greyhound rigs do, right? After all, they ARE Seniors! Also, when you force seniors on a bus, they lose ALL flexibility in their out of home mobility, to come and go/do other things enroute.

I read that it’s only an “average” of 8 that go there daily. Does that include the Snow birds? Averages consist extremes. An old example comes to mind. Stick your head in a bucket of dry ice and your butt on a red hot pot belly stove, the temperature at your belly button should be pretty comfortable.

On to the DAV building being “Unsafe”. It’s a brick building with a good roof. The heat, water, lights and such work as they’re supposed to. It has passed the safety inspection TWICE within one year, with Fire Chief Kevin Tubbs finding NO CONCERNS as threatening conditions. Further, it’s virtually just a few yards across the street from the Garfield Twp Fire Department where all their firemen and EMTs would report in for ANY 911 emergency call. The parking area is flat and on the same plane as the building’s floor, having NO STAIRS go gain access. Good Lord, it was good enough to use as a Fourth Grade Farwell School building, not in a flood plain and has a WIDE hallway through it.

One previous writer alluded to lies being proffered to substantiate this PUNITIVE DECISION, meaning used incorrect info to do so. Maybe. An old AC engineer, that invented the tachometer for GM quoted a man far HIS senior, that “Figures don’t Lie, But Liars Figure”.

Who were the people that sacrificed, paid their taxes in every form that nominated and supported Clare County’s very own Debbie Stabenow who now sits in Washington? Clare County SENIORS. Her retirement benefits alone will likely make up in more dollars than many of those Seniors earned in their working lifetimes. But those Seniors don’t matter.

I have a copy of the 1873 map which shows Clare County and it’s only TWO settlements at the time.

Farwell, on the then Assemoqua River and REMICK, two miles south of the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad – on what later became Lake Station Avenue Remick gradually faded away as the main population migrated that 2 miles north to the railroad, near where the trains stopped at the refueling and water towers, becoming LAKE STATION. These villages are the CRADLE of Clare County. Built and populated by the forefathers of today’s taxed surviving SENIORS that contributed immensely through the decades since. But they don’t matter, they’re only just seniors.

I read in the Jan. 26, 2018 issue of the Clare County Review that Lori (Ware) Phelps was quoted as saying that the Lake (DAV) site was in disrepair – – but we are not in the business to keep their building open. Really? That’s NOT what the results of the Fire Chief’s Inspection shows. Yet, Ms. Phelps could NOT BE BOTHERED to keep the appointment date for a Jan 5thmeeting with DAV Commander Jason Vaughan so she could ascertain which factors may constitute “UNSAFE CONDITIONS”. As of that publication, Commander Vaughan said he was STILL WAITING for that list from her. Does that not smack of Dereliction of Duty?

Yes, the building’s maintenance is up to the DAV. But, Good God in Heaven, GO THERE, WALK THROUGH, make your nit picking list, give it to the Commander, he’ll take care of it! It’s like WHAT? The color tint on the wall doesn’t suit you?

Further, the community, myself included, make donations of material things to be sold to the public for the benefit of the Senior Center. It also provides a source of cost effective items to a number of low income families to buy there. SOME of those proceeds, I’m reasonably sure, go to the building’s needs.
With all that said, IF the site will STILL be abandoned for the SENIORS, WE THE PEOPLE, then it’s time to to seriously find replacements for those making such HURTFUL, detrimental decisions.

Dorn L. Blachard
Veteran, senior and Lake Station resident

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