Watervliet to take first steps in rebuilding neighborhood watch

WATERVLIET — The Watervliet Police Department will be holding an informational meeting at 1 p.m. next Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at the Watervliet City Hall, regarding the effort to build the neighborhood watch program, according to a news release.

The department is asking that anyone interested in being a block captain or participant attend the meeting or contact the police department accordingly. Topics to be discussed will include: safe houses for children before and after school, vetting processes, areas of concern, and duties/responsibilities. “This will be a great opportunity to empower the community in helping the department protect our neighborhoods while also hearing about any concerns that local residents may have,” said Police Chief Tim Sutherland in the release.

Officer Toby Thornbury, who serves as the community’s school resource officer (SRO), will lead the meeting and the program rebuild under the direction of Chief Sutherland.

For any questions or concerns, please contact the Watervliet Police Department at 463-5112.

‘Building Bridges’ discussion on Tuesday

SOUTH HAVEN — Two authors plan to discuss racial divisiveness and ways to reduce it during a program next week, according to a news release.

Larry and Sandy Feldman will be at First Congregational Church at 11 a.m. on Tuesday to talk about their recently published book, “Building Bridges Across the Racial Divide.”

The Feldmans describe their book as one that offers a hopeful view of how well-constructed diversity initiatives can combat entrenched racial prejudice and segregation in American life.

In 1997, Sandy and Larry Feldman moved from Oak Park, Ill. to Lakeside. Almost immediately, the couple said they noticed a racial divide in Southwest Michigan. As a way to bridge the tension, the couple became involved in multiple diversity initiatives like All God’s Children Choir, the Race Relations Council and Calling All Color.

Their book provides an extensive review of theory and research on methods for reducing stereotypes and prejudice. It also recounts some of their efforts in the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph area to build bridges.

The First Congregational Church is located at 651 Phoenix St.

VOICES series to feature local stories

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Southwest Michigan VOICES: Real Stories of Transgender Life will return Thursday to Lake Michigan College for its final 2019 installment, according to a news release.

This forum, “Four Real Life Stories: What being Transgender in Southwest Michigan is Really Like,” will feature a discussion and the stories of what four transgender individuals actually experience living in the community.

It will feature two local trans men and two trans women who will talk about how being trans affected their lives and how coming out changed things. Each of their experiences is different.

The forum is from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Brown Lecture Hall at Lake Michigan College.

VOICES is open to the community and was put on by the OutCenter and LMC monthly over the summer.

For more information, email info@outcenter.org, or visit www.outcenter.org.