To The Editor:
The Village of Hesperia is currently undergoing a governmental crisis. Several council members, elected to office just in November, are derelict in performing the duties Village residents expect of them. Two trustees have missed over 70% of council meetings, and have effectively blocked legislation needed to move Hesperia’s business district forward. The Village voted in 2018 to approve a Medical Marihuana facility. This facility would provide much needed jobs for local residents, substantial funds in the form of licensing fees for the Village, and a potentially significant increase in commerce for existing businesses. Over five months later, they have yet to approve the Village ordinance that would allow this previously approved business to open its doors.
On February 11th, these same Village trustees voted to fire the Village’s attorney, leaving the Village vulnerable to a hostile attempt to claim ownership of two islands in the White River, built by the Village and several community organizations in the late 1950s. One of these absentee trustees, who chairs the Legal committee, has made little effort to replace the Village’s legal representative. On at least three occasions, the same four trustees have failed to appear for scheduled Village council meetings, forcing an immediate adjournment of those meetings due to a lack of a quorum.
The Village of Hesperia has no newspaper. Several television stations have been asked to investigate, but as yet, there has been little response from them. As private citizens, we ask that you, as a local source of news, help raise the awareness of Hesperia’s residents – most of whom have no knowledge of the failure of their elected officials to act in the best interests of Hesperia – the duty they promised to assume as trustees of the Village.
The Village of Hesperia needs your help.
R. Christine Turple
Note: The Hesperia Village Council is scheduled to meet on Monday, May 20 at 7:30pm
By Megan Wirts
Sometimes I encounter people who seem to treat me differently because I have a disability or because I'm a woman, a mother, from a small town, etc. Their words, tone and actions can get to me. I start to over-analyze and overthink every interaction, every word said and every facial expression. Then I get in my own head and begin to believe all the negativity I was feeling was something I deserved. I start to berate myself and go down this spiral of shame, insecurity and disappointment.
"Why did you say that out loud? What were you thinking? You were bragging too much and trying to show off again. Why can't you just shut your mouth!? Nobody even cares about you."
That's where my brain goes on the worst days. Not as often as it used to but it still happens. I learned, with the help of a good dose of therapy, to actively push those negative thoughts out and replace them with positive ones, I feel more confident and happy in my life.
However, there are those nights that I find myself swirling down the drain of negativity.
When I find myself circling that drain, I need to talk about it. I need a good friend, a therapist, my husband or anyone that will listen and not judge me. Usually by the time we are done talking, I have worked out my problem myself and all I needed was an ear. Then I need to look in the mirror and remind myself that yes, I am a woman! A mother! A person with a disability from a small town that is deserving of respect, kindness, friendship, opportunities and greatness! I have to remember that not everyone is going to like me, and that's ok. I don't like everyone, but it doesn't mean I am allowed to treat them like garbage when I'm around them. "Kill them with kindness", right?
It has taken me years to feel confident in my abilities, my body, my own thoughts and opinions. I still struggle on occasion. Growing up, I was often bullied and felt I was not always given equal treatment at home because I was a girl.
So I left home after graduation at age 17 as a terrified little girl with no self confidence. I was incredibly naive. I clung to people that I thought were smarter, prettier and better than me. I believed everything they said, especially if it was something negative about me.
“You’re too chubby”, “Your arms are too fat” or, ”You’re just not interesting at all.”
And that all came from my "best friend" at the time. I finally let her go when I became a mother and I looked at my sweet baby girl and realized that I never wanted her to hear words like that from someone that was supposed to be her friend.
Those words still echo in my head every now and then. Words from people that I loved and admired and were supposed to love me back stung me the deepest and stayed with me the longest. Those words eventually became my own internal monologue. I'm here to tell you that you have the power inside of you to change those words. You have the ability to turn your inner monologue into one that is empowering instead of oppressive. For me, I think this will be a lifelong process. This cycle of overthinking, negative self talk and then finally finding my footing again isn't going to happen over night and it's not just "think positive" or "just be happy". It's hard work, being patient with yourself and in my experience there is also a lot of crying.
Over the years, I have learned to not rely so desperately on what others think of me and instead to love who I am, completely. Even when feeling moody, judgemental or just plain old bitchy, I am not those things. I will make mistakes, but I have learned to forgive. I am not nor will I ever be perfect. I am human. I am worthy.
We are all worthy of love and kindness from others as well as ourselves.
Knowing this frees us up to not just accept and embrace love and kindness when it comes our way,it also enhances our ability to express these to others.
We just need to love ourselves enough.
Not always easy, but definitely doable.
Mayor Rynberg’s proclamation shines a much-needed light on the silent pain of new moms
By Rhonda Byrne, LMSW
As a social worker who interacts with and helps pregnant women and new moms across Newaygo County, I want to commend Fremont Mayor Jim Rynberg for proclaiming May as Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Awareness Month. Once commonly known as postpartum depression, PMAD affects one in every five new moms. Men are not immune either because one in 10 new dads report experiencing PMAD.
Every day, moms who are going through some form of PMAD walk into the clinics where I work. I even see severe cases a few times each year. These moms feel depression and anxiety. They may be experiencing bipolar disorders, as well as panic, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorders. The feelings affect pregnant moms as well as women up to two years after delivering their child. PMAD is the Number One medical complication related to childbearing.
PMAD can be detected and it can be managed.
Mayor Rynberg’s resolution is timely because it aims to remove any social stigma surrounding this condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that only a fraction – around 15 percent – of mothers who display symptoms of PMAD get help from a provider or therapist. Millions of women keep their struggles to themselves because they don’t want to be judged, stereotyped or seen as an unfit mother. Mayor Rynberg’s proclamation of May as PMAD Awareness month, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, is a strong signal to families that PMAD is not something to be ashamed of.
Instead of hiding from this problem, we must face up to it. Being a social worker, I see it as my job to address PMAD by being a resource for women and as someone who can screen patients. The moment someone walks into our clinics at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, health care professionals like me and others look for signs that may indicate PMAD. That allows us to connect people with much-needed resources, from medical treatment to therapy to online support.
Recently, several Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s labor and delivery nurses as well as OB/GYN clinic nurses and social workers attended a PMAD training to learn more about screening tools, treatment methods and resources for families. These are other steps that we can do as a community to address this issue.
Healthcare professionals aren’t the only ones who can act as screeners. Family and friends can too. We can watch out for tell-tale signs: irritability, sadness, difficulty sleeping, and feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from the baby. Women who may be experiencing PMAD may cry uncontrollably and lack energy. They may say things like: “I don’t feel like myself” or “I’m just not good enough.” Some may share frightening thoughts about harming themselves and their baby.
These are red flags. They are an opportunity for us to show empathy and take action. Remind the mom and her family that they are not alone. She is blameless and with help, she will get better. If the mom has extreme thoughts and behaviors, take her to the emergency room. Contact her obstetrician. Follow up with medical care. Together, we can raise awareness about the silent suffering so many new mothers go through and help those we care about.
For support and information: Call Pine Rest Mother Baby support line 844.MOM.HOPE (844-666-4673) or go to Postpartum Support’s website atwww.postpartum.net
Rhonda Byrne is a social worker at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial. She helps mothers and families at the OB/GYN Clinic and at Gerber Memorial Pediatrics.
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