Letters to the Editor

A call to share in traffic solution

Dear Editor,
I agree with the people who are opposed to putting a ramp onto I-75 SB at Clintonville Road.
However, if they lived in the area of Sashabaw and Waldon they would have a different opinion.
We have all the congestion now that IRACE say they are going to have and, by the way, they are also contributing to our problem. There is a real traffic concern on Sashabaw and I feel it’s time for a change.
Just an entrance onto I-75 is not enough, the reality is there should be an entrance and exit at Clintonville which would relieve the congestion on Sashabaw.
It is only going to get worse in the next few years. So I say to the IRACE, suck it up and share in the solution with those of us that live in the Sashabaw and Waldon area.
Ray Waechter
Independence Township

Suggestions for Sashabaw traffic relief

Dear Editor,
As I read the letter to the editor- “Support for ramp”- about the proposed I-75 entrance ramp at Clintonville Rd., I immediately got the sense this person doesn’t live in the area that would be affected by the ramp, and sure enough this is true. But I did find it’s possible to redirect traffic through this man’s neighborhood to relieve pressure from Sashabaw Road.
So in the spirit of “development,” I propose the township save money on the Clintonville Road entrance ramp idea by redirecting Sashabaw congestion through this mans neighborhood.
If this man believes residents on Clintonville Road are to blame for the development in their neighborhood and on Sashabaw Road, then in the same respect he is responsible for the developments that caused the congestion on Sashabaw Road. He knew they were coming and he didn’t do anything to stop it, so he shouldn’t complain if the congestion on Sashabaw starts cutting through his neighborhood.
I bet the moment the township proposed an idea that affected him, his family, and the quality of their life he would be the first one screaming “not in my backyard.”
After all, if he truly believes it’s okay to force business traffic from his neighborhood into our neighborhood, then it should be okay for motorists to cut through his neighborhood when Sashabaw Rd. is congested.
The on-ramp at Clintonville to southbound I-75 hasn’t been approved, but in near record time we’re already hearing that “there should be a full-fledged exit at Mile Marker 87, Clintonville Road.” This is an idea that has been proposed, a feasibility study already done, and the idea was shot down by all parties involved. Why? Because Clintonville Rd. is a residential area, there are no businesses in this area. If it was a bad idea 10 years ago, it’s a bad idea today!
So what’s wrong with this plan, and who’s complaining? My family is complaining because we live in a residential neighborhood and don’t want business traffic routed through our already too busy neighborhood. Building an entrance and/or exit ramp into a neighborhood because the township planned poorly isn’t “development,” it’s poor planning.
So in the spirit of fairness, let’s get on with cutting through this man’s neighborhood to avoid traffic on Sashabaw Road. After all, it’s because of the “development” he didn’t protest against that caused this congestion, why shift it into someone else’s “apple orchards and fields” when there’s already a “relief valve” between Maybee and Waldon roads?
Michael Powell
Independence Township

Support for ramp opposition group

Dear Editor,
I feel the proposed ramp at Sashabaw Road and I-75 is an exercise in futility. The need is marginal at best, it wastes public funds and will only aggravate the neighborhood.
Will we need an entrance every two miles to satisfy some of the rabid developers in our community. Some of us are happy to enjoy our laid back environment.
Even Troy has only three exits. Why do we need more?
I strongly support the local opposition group, IRACE.
Jim Reed
Independence Township

Support for library

Dear Editor,
For over 20 years I have been involved behind the scenes working to help our library become a District Library, not under the direction of Independence Township Board. I grew up in Ohio with a wonderful District Library governed by an appointed board of people whose primary concern was for the library.
Two years ago we separated from Independence Township and I was appointed to Independence District Library Board where we set up policies and procedures for our library. However, with only .69l mills, we had to lay off one full-time staff member, cut back programs and reduce hours the library is open, as well as cutting budget for books, movies and music by 43 percent.
This is the 60 year anniversary of the start of library by the Womans’ Club. Our millage rate has never risen above .691mills. Could you live off a salary you made in 60s? I couldn’t!
Julie Meredith, our exemplary director, has made cuts for years trying not to impact the public with help from Friends of Library, Womens’ Club, Lions Club, etc., but it is no longer possible as this .691 millage expires on Aug. 5.
Please vote “yes” on Aug. 5 for the Independence District Library.
Jeanne Molzon
Independence Township

Vote for library future

Dear Editor,
Restoring funding or eliminating the library: that is the decision we face as voters in Clarkston and Independence Township on Aug. 5, 2014!
In 1999 our community library received its money from the Township general fund, State funds, gifts and grants, and a “supplemental” library millage passed by us in 1965. Since 1999 the “effective” library funding has dropped by 41percent, due to decreases in funding from other sources and the effect of inflation. Now, the library operates solely on the funding provided by that supplemental millage. Significant decreases in operation, programs, equipment, and services have resulted. This millage of .75 mills (adjusted to .691 by state law) has not changed in over 35 years.
If we want our library to survive, be restored to appropriate operation, and be properly equipped and staffed, then we need to approve the Aug. 4 millage proposal. It is a request for 1.25 mills. Yes, this is greater than what we approved in 1965, but other funding has disappeared over the years and the value of a dollar has gone down. Yes, this is an “increase” as defined by law, but it is the minimum of what is needed to restore our library. Yes, the proposal includes funds for the Sashabaw Road corridor, but this is required by law and is less than “one-half of one percent” of the money collected; 99.7 percent of the millage proposal will go to fund the library, if passed. If not passed, the library will be totally unfunded.
Mark the date of Aug. 5 on your calendar, as if you were ear marking a page in a book (printed or digital), and plan to vote in favor of retaining and restoring an essential service. Our community’s future depends on it!
Tom Stone
Clarkston

A call for transparency in government

Dear Editor,
I agree with the recent editorial congratulating the Clarkston School Board for the board’s strategic planning efforts and results, reflecting increasing transparency in government operations warranting enhanced public confidence in the quality of government (“Kudos to school board for long-term plan,” April 23).
In fact, Oakland County residents generally benefit from overall highly efficient and cost effective government services to a degree not experienced by surrounding counties, nor even statewide.
State government by Governor Rick Snyder and House Speaker Jase Bolger, supported by a too political state attorney general, has been marked by too much secrecy and policies detrimental to the middle class, particularly students, workers and retired pensioners, all struggling on fixed and declining incomes as the state’s wealthiest continue to be enriched by the current legislature’s policies.
This coming November’s election presents an opportunity for all Michiganders to facilitate greater openness and fairness in state government by electing new officials who will represent the middle class.
Please register and vote, and do what you can to encourage friends and family to have their voices heard by voting–no matter how discouraged they may be. Good leaders can be found in both political parties.
Not to worry about Snyder or Bolger– no doubt they will find greater riches in the private sector through friends they have served so well.
    Michael Fetzer
    Independence Township

Reader says local police had a purpose

Dear Editor,
This recent occurrence sounds like a good reason to get the Clarkston Police Department back (“Vandals damage Depot Park,” April 30)!
Depot Park deserves some upgrades for the future, as other communities have done so to their parks as of recently. The vandalism is upsetting for all who come to the park and distracts visitors.
I understand getting the Clarkston P.D. back is an extreme long shot, for not only this instance, but the increase in speeding through downtown. It is getting out of control! The speed limit of 30mph only seems like a suggestion these days, and many people ignore it completely.
My wife and I live downtown with our small child. While crossing Main Street you can’t help but notice people absolutely flying through town and impatiently waiting for you to cross the street. As soon as your clear by even an inch they gun it through the intersection! The Oakland County Sheriff’s can only do so much.
Thank you.
David Yackell
Clarkston

Parking ticket shock for local shopper

Dear Editor,
What? A ticket for shopping in my favorite downtown Clarkston?
I love this town for all the right reasons. It’s unique, friendly, kind, fun, everyone wants to help you.
Why, I just spent two hours in the boutique shop on Tuesday trying things on and buying. Christine is so nice and has the most unique store, then over to Essence for another hour as I bought a Turkey Loves Cherry sandwich to die for.
The Woodshop and corner restaurant other days, when my friend from Fenton comes to her favorite place in the world, Clarkston. Where everyone goes out of their way to help and are so nice, then we hit all the other stores, equally as nice, and she loves to end at Rudy’s where they jump out with kindness.
Now that’s not to mention my friend from Clarkston who never comes to town and lives two miles away.
One day I brought her to town to show her the stores. She had eight sisters from every state coming for sister weekend, what a treat  – downtown Clarkston, the Essence made up eight gift bags, which she bought to pass out to each sister as they came in the store, how neat is that! Then they continued to shop away the day and had lunch at the Woodshop.
Now wouldn’t that have been wonderful after a beautiful day to come back to your car and find a ticket because you shopped too long?
That’s what happened to me on Tuesday, April 15, my friend came from Fenton around 1:30 and at 3:32 I was issued a ticket. I arrived at my car at 4 p.m. with my friend, what a sour note that left her.
Seems to me this will only hurt the stores and uniqueness of this beautiful town I’m so proud of.
PS, what’s our time in Clarkston worth?
Carol, a Clarkston resident

Reader rejects idea for on-ramp idea

Dear Editor,
As a resident of Independence Towship living near the proposed on-ramp, I am heartily against this proposal (“Pressure Valve,” March 12).
The whole area east of Sashabaw to Baldwin and north of Walton  is primarily residential. The congestion on Sashabaw would be easily reduced if you added a cloverleaf for southbound Sashabaw from northbound I-75 and one for northbound Sashabaw and northbound I-75.  
This would eliminate one traffic light and left turn traffic on Sashabaw. Redirecting this traffic through school zones into a primarily residential area is ludicrous. It’s bad enough that Maybee and Clintonville have speed limits of 40-45 mph and now you want to add thousands of more vehicles per day through this neighborhood?  
The proposal starts as an on-ramp to southbound I-75. Everyone knows it will not only be an on-ramp South. There will also be off-ramps and access for northbound. Then you will be drawing huge amounts of vehicles North on Clintonville from Waterford, Pontiac and all the cities that presently travel Dixie Hwy to access I-75. Clintonville and Maybee would have to be widened. The intersection of Waldon and Clintoville would no longer be a four-way stop and would have to be enlarged, along with the Waldon and& Pine Knob intersection. Clintonville at Mann Road will require a traffic light. Pine Knob and Waldon Roads, if not paved, will become a nightmare for their residents.
The amount of traffic and speeds on these roads is already excessive.
Why does the township want to shift more traffic to a residential neighborhood instead of fixing the problem it already has?
Janine M. Foxx
Independence Twp.

Thanks for supporting Women’s Club

Dear Editor,
On April 12, Clarkston Community Women’s Club hosted a 60th Anniversary Celebration Tea at the Clarkston/Independence Township District Library.  
The harp music, played by Michele Roger, was beautiful, the tea sandwiches and delicious sweets were enjoyed as women socialized with friends. Louise Bisogni, president, shared information about the history of the Women’s Club, founders of the library in 1954. A number of past presidents shared their experiences.  Since the founding CCWC has supported many events and programs for all age groups in our community. Most recently, Nelson’s Wild Life Safari during spring break.
Have your children ever checked out one of the puppets or sat on the Reading Rug during Story Time in the Children’s Room?  Have you or your family participated in the Summer Jump Start Reading Program? Have you noticed the large World Globe near the reference desk? Have you noticed the placard in some of the books, “Donated by the Clarkston Community Women’s Club”?  These are just a few of the programs the CCWC has supported over the years.  
The ongoing effort of promoting growth of knowledge, socializing and community awareness for all ages provided by our library will only continue if you vote Yes on Aug. 5. Please join me on Aug. 5 and vote “Yes” for the Clarkston/Independence Twp. District Library.
Carolyn Morrison,
Clarkston Community Women’s Club
Independence Township

A call for more involvement in local work

Dear Editor,
Regarding “Contaminated soil at potential deli site,” April 30, there are several professionals in the area who are highly qualified to review the information and make statements on it. These same individuals, not just me, others with more specific remediation experience, are interested in working on the site to evaluate, assure proper environmental clean up levels are achieved, and to further develop a plan that will address historic drainage issues on site while providing continuing mitigation.
If we want Clarkston and Independence to be the best that it can possibly be, no one better to do it than local residents who will keep the concept of the greater good at the fore of any plan or claims. Those people, those idealists DO exist among us. Its not just me out here advocating for such things.
There are plenty of incredibly skilled, knowledgeable, experienced and talented “independents” that live here, and are attempting to create work and “jobs” that don’t exist, despite that they should.
Perhaps our local governments could create a listing of different individuals, by background, and tap that experience before using outside companies to resolve “internal” issues.
Maybe even call a meeting, according to all requirements of course, where those with applicable experience are appraised of whatever issue exists, and provide our governance with their range of thoughts.
This would increase the wisdom in decision making, expense to taxpayers would be lowered, living standards and stability for individuals would be improved, AND tax dollars would be spent back in the community.
When “work” on a site is to be performed, why not offer locals an opportunity to do the work. Possibly include a training element where applicable. This wouldn’t be possible on all things, but it would be on many. Keep the money in the community. It spells Win Win Win.
Tammie Heazlit
Independence Township

Thanks for community volunteer support

Dear Editor,
On Friday, April 25, was Independence Township Senior Adult Activity Center’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at Clarkston United Methodist Church, where over 100 volunteers and guests attended.
Thanks to staff and volunteers for all of the hard work they put into this event: Mary Przybycien and volunteers Bev Babiak, Ron Frank, Don Kayko, Beverly Krol, Rosie Landry, Nick Mocerino, Pam Spencer, Rose Tanner, Denise Tarchalski and others who helped prepare food and decorate for this event. Also thanks to all of our staff members for working together with our volunteers to make our center a successful place. Our over 150 volunteers make it possible for us provide higher levels of programs and services to the community. We appreciate their hard work and everything they do for us.
We are especially grateful this year for Clarkston United Methodist Church and Pastor Rev. Amy Mayo-Moyle and her staff member, Paula Acton for working with us and allowing our kitchen staff to have our luncheon in their hall. They have been very gracious to us and supportive of our center and programs.
We would not have such a successful event without sponsors Coats Funeral Home-Gold Level; Home Instead Senior Care-Silver Level; Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home, Inc.-Bronze Level; Susan’s Hallmark-Gifts for the volunteers; and Independence Village ? desserts.
Several local restaurants donated food for our luncheon. Our volunteers were very grateful for such a wonderful menu. It was a real treat to try out the different dishes that they provided.
Thank you for your generous donations of food for this event, Brioni Caf? & Deli, Clarkston Union & Woodshop, Gregg’s Gourmet Caf?, Pete’s Oven Bakery, Pizzeria Dolce, Royal Diner, Sportsmen Great Northern Grill and Uncle Peter’s Pasties.
It was a great event thanks to everyone listed above for their donations and hard work.
Barbara Rollin, supervisor, and Mary Melega, programmer, Independence Township Senior Adult Activity Center

Support for Clarkston city manager from reader

Dear Editor,
I’ve been a resident of this community for almost 60 years. I’ve seen many changes in city and township government, as well as Clarkston schools.
We now have the first female city manager. In knowing Carol Eberhardt, I’ve always been impressed with her intelligence. Carol is well read, articulate, creative, a good listener and has a vision for Clarkston.
Her task has been made more difficult because of a former city council member constantly criticizing her work. This has not been helpful in furthering the progress of keeping this community as special as it always has been.
Clarkston is a vibrant, lively, idyllic place to live, enjoy, and raise our families. Let’s keep it that way!
Thank you.
Mel L. Vaara
Clarkston

Library support

Dear Editor,
Restore funding or eliminate the library: that is the decision we face as voters on August 5, 2014.
Our library is essential; but it must have diverse resources and the ability to adapt.
Since 1999 the “effective” library funding has dropped by 41% due to decreases in funding from all sources and the effect of inflation. Also, the 0.75 mills rate has not changed in over 35 years.
The millage rate of 1.25 mills ($1.25 per $1,000 of taxable value of all taxable property). The cost to the average homeowner whose property has a market value of $200,000 is only $125 per year. This about $10.41 a month, or the cost of dinner for two at McDonald’s once a month.
The millage increase of 0.50 mills ($.50 per $1,000 of taxable value of all taxable property). The cost to the average homeowner whose property has a market value of $200,000 is only $50 per year. This about $1.00 a week, or the cost of one morning cup of McDonald’s coffee for a week.
If you are in the Corridor Improvement Authority (Sashabaw area), then only three cents will be for the Sashabaw out of every $10 approved for funding our Library.
If the millage does not pass, then the library will be totally unfunded and the doors closed within five days.
If our library closes, then we lose Book Club Discussion Groups, Pre-School Story Time, Toddler/Two Year Olds Programs, use of pre-loaded Kindles, audio books, and books on tape, not just books.
If we have no library, then we will not have a library membership and have no privileges at any other libraries.
Additional information is available.
Dr. Thomas K. Stone
Clarkston

Thanks for SCAMP help

Dear Editor,
It is with deep appreciation that we write to tell you how grateful we are to the Clarkston community for the support we felt for the Walk & Roll for SCAMP.
We moved the event this year in anticipation of the M-15 road work and it went seamlessly.
Thanks to the hard work and generosity of the school coordinators, Clarkston Schools, Mr. Adams and Clarkston El, the Pontiac Civitans, and all the volunteers, we will be able to send 30 SCAMPers to camp this summer.
Thank you very much,
Theresa Fabrizio and Theresa Rigato
Co-Chairs, Walk & Roll for SCAMP

Pay attention on roads

Dear Editor,
Last Saturday I treated myself to breakfast downtown. As I drove past Deer Lake Beach area, I noticed a beautiful swan standing on the grass. I was taken by how large it was, standing at least three feet high. I was on my way back home about 40 minutes later when I made the turn on Holcomb by Depot Park and noticed an Oakland County Sheriff’s car with its lights on.
‘Oh no,? I said out loud as I realized the deputy was picking up the swan off of the road, dead! I was so mad! Who couldn’t see this bird, white and three feet high? I say to you, the driver that took out this beautiful bird, was it texting that caused you not to notice the swan? Or were you to involved in a cell phone conversation? Or, even worse, totally unaware of your surroundings that you didn’t even see it?
Absolutely frightening! Put down the phone and drive!
Madeline Dishon
Independence Township

Comments on library

Dear Editor,
In regards to ‘Vote to determine library’s future,? May 14, Cory Johnston’s comment on the library millage is misleading.
He says ‘township residents could vote a 1.25 mil tax increase on city residents.? This is not a vote placed on the ballot by either the township or the city. It is a vote of the residents of the library district, which the city and township formed, but which is a separate entity run by a separate board. The residents of the entire district will vote whether to tax themselves to have a library and there is no distinction between city and township residents in this vote.
Likewise, there will be no ?1.25 mil increase on city residents? while ‘township residents would still only see a .56 increase.? All residents of the library district will be treated the same. In the township, the current township .691 library millage will end. It will be replaced by the 1.25 district library millage, a net increase of .559 mills. In the city, the council has committed to reducing the portion of its general operating millage that currently goes to fund the library, which is the equivalent of .691 mills, so that the net increase for city residents will be the same.
Voters should not assume that some alternative will be put in place if the millage is not approved. The agreement that created the district library provides that the district library will be dissolved, the township millage that has supported the library will end, and the city’s payments to support the library will end. The township subsidized library operations in past years from its general fund. It can’t afford to do that any more.
Our library is a great community resource. We should not lose it.
Richard Bisio
Clarkston

Support for library

Dear Editor,
In today’s world of technology and instant information (regardless if correct or not), many people still view the library as basically a warehouse of books’checking out and checking back in.
Sadly these people are not familiar with two of the Clarkston Independence District Library’s main missions? service the needs of the community and provide for lifelong learning. One way our library is pursuing these goals is by providing a wide variety of adult programming.
This past year I decided to attend four of the programs.
Privey Historian, Tony Panepucci, shared his historical expertise of glass bottle making, architecture, toys, etc, excavated from former outhouses. He had even excavated a few in the Clarkston area making his talk more relevant.
Pet Psychic with The Reverend Kathleen, looked at pictures of an audience member’s pets then proceeded to diagnose illnesses, behavioral problems and such. Whether you believed or not it proved a fascinating and fun evening.
The Spirit Hunter and the Skeptic (science vs. the psychic) presented haunting situations and findings from various areas in Michigan and Colorado.
Finally, the Orphan Train, by Al and Dave Eicher focused on the history of young children given up by their parents in New York City due to the severe financial crisis of the times. They were sent westward on trains. Many ended up in the Detroit area as well as throughout Michigan. In the audience were Clarkston residents who were descendents of these very children.
Other programs held this past year included gardening tips with Bordine’s, Michigan rich food and agricultural history, writer workshops, travel logs, tax strategies, understanding medicare, musical groups, face reading, and technology and computer instruction.
Future programs will include Finding Your Dream House, Diego Rivera and the Detroit Industry Mural at the DIA, PGA Golf Instructor Marc White, 100 Best Foods for Seniors, Creating Your Own Tea, Michigan’s Mysteries and Oddities, and Family Yoga.
To keep these informative, enlightening, fascinating and fun programs alive, I urge you to vote yes for the library millage on Aug. 5. In our quest for lifelong learning, we are never too old to learn something new.
Marion Barran
Independence Township

Thanks for Kids support

Dear Editor,
Our Kids Day in the Park was a great success this year. Attendance keeps going up every year as more people learn about this great event. The grand total of attendees this year was over 2,000 people. Everyone was able to enjoy the great weather with the sun shining the entire day.
A very special thanks you to our event sponsors: Genisys Credit Union, Lil? Peoples? Place, The Learning Experience, Great Lakes Golf & Sports Complex, Premiere Pediatrics and Thirty-One Gifts by Jeni Wise.
Special thanks to the following individuals who donated their time and talents to our Kids Day in the Park: Turtle Toys of Clarkston, Jim Tedder Productions, Michigan Youth Flag Football, Clarkston Coalition for Youth, VFW Post #582, Vision Builders Balloons, Artsy Style, Clarkston Area Mothers and More, Clarkston Independence District Library, Paws for Life, Rainforest Caf?, Oakland County Sportsman’s Club, The Artists Apprentice, Oakland County Sherriff’s Department, Clarkston Area Lions Club, Planet Kids, Culvers, Independence Township Fire Department, Planet Kids and Goldfish Swim School.
Without all of their support of everyone listed above we would not have been able to put on this great event for kids and in honor of Ryan Kennedy. We are grateful to everyone for their support.
Sincerely,
Friends of Ryan Kennedy & Independence Twp. Parks & Recreation Seniors

City help appreciated

Dear Editor,
The residents of the Clarkston Mills Pond would like to thank City of the Village of Clarkston City Manager Carol Eberhardt for arranging the pick up of our collected debris from the annual pond cleanup by the Clarkston DPW.
Frank Schoebel
Riparian rep for Mill Ponds, Clarkston

Library millage

Dear Editor,
Passing of upcoming millage for library is very important to all citizens, a passage of millage will allow a handicap/senior to continue to utilize the valuable/essential service that the library offers.
The services to which, young or old, is an important and tremendous asset to those in our community. Use of reference librarians, request from other libraries for books, handicapped citizens such as me can have books delivered to their home via library and community services. School age children as well as adults benefit from the staff services as well as the library computer services. A yes to library millage is a plus to all Clarkston/Independence Township residents.
Dan Newman
Independence Township

Pre-school will be missed, volunteer says

Dear Editor,
Traditions come in all shapes and sizes. They are as international as May Day; as national as the Fourth of July, as local as the Tulip Festival.
Still others, with little fanfare, become very personal , very special. On May 14, 2014, one of those special traditions, the Clarkston Pre-School on Waldon Road at the Clarkston United Methodist Church, ceased operation.
According to its website, it has been ‘nurturing happy souls since 1969.? I can attest to at least 20 years of that as my wife, Marilyn French, has been one of those nurturers. Many factors are contributing to its closing. Not important here.
What is important is the legacy these nurturers leave behind to hundreds of their 3’s and 4’s, and to their parents.
Marilyn, along with Karen Girard and Jill Tice, touched so many small lives in such big ways.
As a classroom parent for four children, I was witness to so many transformations, not only for my own but for others. Each morning started with hugs. The shyest, most reticent child, was soon eager for those warm embraces.
Years later, teenagers who easily forgot what they ate for breakfast, would excitedly greet Marilyn with those hugs.
It was this soul-touching quality that made Clarkston Pre-School a very personal, very special tradition that seems to live on in these children-turned young adults.
I am continually amazed at how many still recognize Marilyn and how many she calls by name, siblings and parents too. The devotion and respect she, Karen, and Jill gave to these students and their parents, and the selfless efforts of parents often harried with their own lives but always there in the classroom for their children, call to mind the finest family traditions that indulge our need for unity and purpose.
Yes, I have a personal connect with the school and its closing. But well beyond that, it’s just one more small tradition gone away. It will be replaced, but I doubt by anything with as much character.
Pre-schoolers will have places to go, but no place with as much heart. And they’ll have their teachers, but none who will touch young lives like these three have.
John Ouellet
Oxford

Historical society calls for preservation of library

Dear Editor,
Since 1999, the Clarkston Heritage Museum, operated by the Clarkston Community Historical Society, has been connecting residents and school children to local history because we believe the more people understand the past, the more invested they are in the future.
Our location within the Clarkston Independence District Library makes the museum a cost-effective, convenient and valuable community resource, drawing thousands of visitors each year to our free, continuous exhibits that change twice yearly; as well as lectures and programs that complement the library’s education and enrichment activities.
Now, the future of our museum ? your museum ? hinges on the Aug. 5 library ballot initiative.
The proposed 1.25 mills replace all current millage and contract funding for the library in the township and in the city. The millage constitutes 95 percent of the library’s budget so without it, there is likely no library and certainly no museum. The costs associated with acquiring and maintaining a separate museum facility are prohibitive.
We’re taxpayers, too, and we understand many families are just beginning to recover from the recession and housing crisis. A homeowner whose residence has a market value of $200,000 will pay about $125 per year. In many households, that’s less than a single monthly bill for ‘bundled? cable services.
While the library and museum are community assets everyone can enjoy, it’s our most economically vulnerable citizens ? including seniors ? who most need the many services our library provides. It’s truly a community hub that provides the cultural and professional enrichment and quality of life that make Clarkston such a desirable place to live.
If you value our local history and the joy of learning, please vote ‘yes? for the library millage on Aug. 5. Future generations will thank you for your investment.
Respectfully submitted,
Clarkston Community Historical Society Board of Directors, Jennifer Arkwright, president; Debbie DeVault, vice president; Jonathan Smith, treasurer; Kim Huttenlocher, secretary; Ann Degen; James Schultz; Kelly Kolhagen Crawford; Hope Mason; Melissa Luginski; and Toni Smith, museum director

Morel story leads to successful hunt

I want to thank C.J. Carnacchio and Brian Duerden for the monster morel (see right) we found on our property.
It was our first hunt!
Barbara Johnston
Oxford
Editor’s Note: You’re welcome. Mrs. Johnston is referring to a May 14 story I wrote featuring tips from local master morel mushroom hunter Brian Duerden, of Orion Township.

Fire victim grateful for assistance
On behalf of myself and my family, I would personally like to thank the Oxford Fire Department and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office for their response to the devastating fire that overcame our barn on Monday, February 17, 2014.
From the calmness of the dispatcher who took the call to the fire chief and police officer making sure I was okay until family members and friends arrived home, your skillful professionalism is very much appreciated.
A very special thank you to our neighbors for opening up their barns, supplying hay, bedding, etc. for our two horses and the two horses boarded at our barn.
Thank you to the friends that walked the horses through knee deep snow past fire trucks, hoses, and police cars to get to these barns.
I continue to be amazed by the outpouring of support, generosity and number of people offering to help in any way possible.
We are so thankful for each and every one of you!
What a blessing it is to be a part of such an amazing community of people!
Beverly Girardot
Oxford

Reader finds lots of value in library

Dear Editor,
On Aug. 5 voters in Independence township and the Village of Clarkston will decide the fate of our library. The average homeowner in both the township and the village has been paying $69.10 per year (at a rate of .6910 mills) to support the library. (The average home in the area is worth $200,000, but $100,000 is its taxable value.) If the Aug. 5 vote to raise the rate to 1.25 mills passes, the average tax bill will be raised by $55.90 for a year. If the vote fails, Clarkston’s library will disappear.
How much is the library really worth? I decided to imagine what it would cost to replace the entertainment the library provided our household in the past year:
Just since September, my husband and I read 21 books, at $20 each, about $420.00.
For myself, I listened to 12 recorded books. At about $30 each, $160. I could purchase a membership from a company at $17.98/month ? to rent one audiobook per month would be $215.76/year.
We watched four seasons of both ‘Foyle’s War? and ‘All Creatures Great and Small,? plus all episodes of ‘Fawlty Towers.? It was a long winter. Nine sets of DVD’s, used, from Amazon costs $195.
Total cost to replace what we used last year is between $775 and $830!
If our library closes, we will not be able to take out materials from neighboring libraries without a library card. Cost to purchase a library card, spending on the library and the services the card would afford, would be $250 to $750 a year.
Even at the new, proposed millage, our library is a bargain! One of the best things about a library is that it is a great equalizer. anyone walking into a library can feel rich!
Someone who can’t afford a computer can use the library’s – they even offer lessons. Parents with small children can check out a bagful of picture books, videos, and puppets every week. Raise a reader – bring your kids to the summer reading programs. Or, sit in a leather easy chair in a quiet room and read a good book. Movies, music CD’s, and E-books are free, and Kindles can even be checked out on a library card.
Clarkston is full of optimistic people – they can be seen decorating the lampposts and planters in our downtown for every season; they enjoy our wonderful shops and flock to summer concerts; they built Depot Park and donated the gazebo. Two generations of these hard-working people worked to provide the beautiful library we have today.
Vote “yes” on Aug. 5 to save our library.
Susanne McVinnie
Clarkston

Local library offers reader more than books

Dear Editor,
A library is so much more than books. I have always appreciated the programs that have been planned to appeal to community members. I have taken my grandchildren to enrichment programs. I have met friends to listen to Michigan authors and other programs of interest to adults. Did you happen to attend the recent celebration of chocolate? Fantastic!
A library is so much more than books. I have a laptop but no longer have a printer. I print at the library for a nominal fee. This is much more cost effective than keeping a printer and cartridges at home.
A library is so much more than books. I connected with some local residents who knit at the library on Wednesday evenings. I am now a knitter. I have learned so much from the knitters. It is great to have a comfortable facility where we can meet.
A library is so much more than books. Let’s keep the library open and available. It fills the needs of the residents.
Sandy Diederich
Independence Towship

Online database services key benefit for user

Dear Editor,
Clarkston/Independence Township residents may not realize that our library offers over 50 databases for use from home or at the library using your library card which can be obtained for free at the Clarkston Independence District Library.
Connecting with the library at www.indelib.org, and selecting ‘online resources? on the home page, allows the user to access databases in the areas of auto repair, business, careers, consumer information, education, genealogy, government documents, health, investments, languages and more. If you locate the cursor over each Database, information on contents and audience are displayed.
For example, Rocket Languages allows you to learn a language on your own terms in your own time. InfoTrac Newsstand contains 1,000 US and world newspapers. ValueLine contains key investment information. Kids Info Bits is great for beginning researchers. Books and Authors helps you select the best book to read, based on your interests.
Get online this summer and browse our library’s databases for fun and information before Aug. 5. Then please vote yes to keep this important community resource for lifelong learning.
Marilyn Pomeroy
Independence Township

Reading club
optimistic

Dear Editor,
The Evening Book Discussion Group of the Clarkston Independence District Library concluded its 2013-2014 season on Tuesday June 3. At this meeting, besides discussing the book designated for that month, the group optimistically chose ten books to discuss in the 2014-2015 season.
Among the books selected for the next season are recent fiction like Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt, classics like One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Quiet American by Graham Greene, and the inspiring World War II account Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
Why was this an optimistic act? Because the group which has met continuously since 1998 along with the Morning Book Discussion Group that dates back to 1994 would cease to exist if the Library’s millage does not pass on Aug. 5.
The book groups sponsored by Clarkston Independence Library are open to any participants who wish to join. You don’t have to be asked or belong to any specific group. You can come together with other readers to learn and explore ideas, make friends, and have fun.
The library not only provides a convenient meeting place, it provides the books in several formats. Many of the copies are borrowed for us through the interlibrary loan system. The librarians are happy to help us find supplemental material about the books or authors to enrich our discussions.
Other book groups throughout the community also benefit from these two book groups because books that have been purchased in multiple copies for the book groups over the years have been assembled into Book Group Kits that they can borrow. Currently the Library offers 174 different book group kits.
The book discussion groups are just one of the many services provided by the Clarkston Independence District Library that add to the quality of life in our community. Please join me in voting “yes” on Aug. 5 to keep the doors open for this vital community asset.
By the way, the name of the book we discussed at our last meeting? Its title is Life After Life. May it be so.
Patience Beer
Independence Township

Library raises property values, reader says

Dear Editor,
Being a real estate broker for over 40 years and living and working in Clarkston, and loving it, I feel it imperative to write, for the first time ever, with regard to the upmost importance of our library millage passing Aug. 5.
Just like the value our schools have direct impact on our property value, so does the library. They go hand in hand in the desirability of our community to people considering moving into and staying in our community.
In my incoming package to prospective clients, I include a copy of the Independence Township Parks and Recreations Guide so that I may point out the outstanding benefits to our seniors our youth and everyone in between.
Even if you are not a regular library user and I encourage you to investigate the programs and availabilities there they are fantastic. It is the cultural hub of our community and a huge Investment asset.
We are so much on the upswing now in our values, I would not like to see us slide backwards because of this millage not passing.
Most peoples most valuable asset is their home, mine is and I do not want to see the value of it diminished because our library or schools cannot compete with the surrounding areas.
I strongly encourage everyone to vote “yes” Aug. 5 to preserve and make even greater our library and our property value.
Sheri Allingham Baker
Independence Township

Reader finds Jottings joke inappropriate

Dear Editor,
On page 7 in the June 11, 2014, edition of The Clarkston News, Jim Sherman, Sr. posed the question: “When her eyes say, ‘Go’ and her lips cry ‘Stop,’ what’s a fellow to do” (“Sounds of spring bring back memories”)?
I would like readers and Mr. Sherman to know the answer is no, you should not rape her. Rape jokes or comments that trivialize rape have no place in a local newspaper.
Tygre Whittington
Independence Township

Thanks for community support for grads

Dear Editor,
Our community celebrated the CHS graduating seniors? success with two of our long-held traditions: the Senior Picnic and the Grad Night Party. This year, the Class of 2014 had a record number of kids attend the party!
These events take a dedicated team an entire year to plan, organize, and execute. Our area businesses are called upon to donate goods and services – one more time – to offset costs. We need more than a 150 volunteers to make these events successful, and no amount of preparation seems to reduce the stress or last-minute chaos. Why do we invest so much time and energy into these events, year after year, for more than 25 years?
We do it because the safety and welfare of our community is a priority for all of us. Studies have shown that communities that hold graduation night parties have dramatically reduced the incidence of drinking and drug-related issues. And not just on graduation night, but throughout the graduation season. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites these parties as a factor in the decline of teenage fatalities, as well as reducing the incidence of accidents and vandalism. We hold these events is to give our kids the opportunity to say goodbye to classmates and friends in a fun, safe environment and, in doing so, create a positive impact on all of our lives.
And it simply could not happen without the support of our school administration, local businesses, and some very tired parent volunteers. Other local schools charge $75 or even $100 a ticket for their parties. Because of the generosity of our donors, we were able to charge only $35, which is one of the reasons why we had two or three times as many kids attend our event as those schools did. I encourage everyone to take a minute to read the list of the friends and neighbors who donated so generously again this year, and thank them through your patronage.
If you know Deanna Olsen, Kathleen Vondette, Betty Reilly, Ellen Wright, Donna Barta, Theresa LaPorte, Kathy McCarty, Jodi Yeloushan, or Jackie Ellsworth, be sure to thank them for putting everything together and making it work.
I also wish to acknowledge all of the parents who served hotdogs, dealt Black Jack, worked security, or generally helped supervise during the events’thanks for being a part of the fun!
Andrea Schroeder
Senior Celebrations Chair, 2013-2014

Congratulations to all artists at fair

Dear Editor:
The Teen Art Fair that has been operating at the lovely Clarkston Independence District Library has continued on for its sixth year.
The fair, which might be small with little art work to show for it, not only brought the talented artists but also their families and friends that can support them.
This event brings in not just those who have submitted but the whole community; it gives the library the recognition for what it deserves, a place where individual pieces of art can be loved and admired from either afar or up close; quiet and peaceful.
I personally loved how the pieces of artwork were organized in these categories, where the voting was excitingly fun!
I was able to have my friends and family compete with one another or support one another and possibly enjoyed the fair even more by that.
Also by the idea behind a prize, I saw the bright sparkle shine upon my dear friends? eyes, even though we may have not won.
I’m glad that those who did won, congratulations to them, they do deserve it and for those who also didn’t win, their artwork is just as great!
It was fun and the people around me seemed to be happy and having a great time! I’m so glad that I could see Clarkston mostly in one place at a place I truly hold dear, a place where the books lie.
Vy Truong
Independence Township

Lions appreciate library eye support

Dear Editor:
On behalf of the Clarkston Area Lions Club, I thank the Clarkston Independence District Library for all of the support they have given our Project Kidsight free vision screening program for children.
Since our first screening at the library in January of 2009, we have checked the vision of over 400 children in our community at their location alone.
They have always been willing and eager partners in our endeavor. We are very pleased we are now offering regular screenings at the library on the second Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon.
For those of you who are not familiar with our program, we use a digital video camera to take images from each child’s pupils and compare the measurements to norms.
We receive instant feedback indicating there does not appear to be any problems at this time or the child should be checked by an eye care professional. We print a detailed report for the parents to take with them.
This is just one of the many many services provided by our library.
A library is about so much more than paper books, although they are still wonderful.
Our library had done an outstanding job of changing with the times and integrating newer learning technologies.
And they are an incredibly wonderful community resource with their many different outreach programs.
I recently attended a Friends of the Library meeting to present our Clarkston Area Lions Club donation which is used to purchase library materials for the visually impaired.
They had made a list of the many different services and programs that the library provides.
I was astounded at how long the list was. Who knew that if you need a notary public or have to make a few copies you can simply go to our public library?
I urge everyone to support this wonderful community resource by voting YES for the Library Millage on Aug. 5. I think it’s one of the best investments we can make in our community.
Chris Savage
Project Kidsight Coordinator
Clarkston Area Lions Club

Thanks for musical tribute for son

Dear Editor:
We want to thank Shelly S. Roland, The Clarkston Community Band and every fellow band member of Tony Palazzola for the Heart Warming Tribute performed for our son, Tony Palazzola.
Also, we want to thank Michael Peterson for his magnificent solo of Nessun Dorma.
Barbara and Tony Palazzola Sr
Independence Township

CNews thanks for serving community

Dear Editor,
On behalf of our nearly 600 members in the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce, we would like to recognize and thank The Clarkston News for their service promoting local commerce, free enterprise and public service.
For over 80 years our Clarkston News has been the original and enduring hyper local news medium for our community. It has carried the torch of democracy, acted as town crier, celebrated unsung heroes and told stories only Clarkston can share.
As social media and rising costs of printing endanger local newspapers, it is vital that we not lose sight of the importance of a printed weekly newspaper: informing residents, challenging status quo, bringing us the news, names and faces of our community and putting our stories in context of the larger picture that is a home town.
We appreciate that The Clarkston News survives and thrives.
Governor Rick Snyder’s declaration of July as Community Paper Month, reminds all of us not take for granted, one of the cornerstones that keeps the Clarkston area a hometown and not just a place where you live or work’our local community newspaper.
Thank you Clarkston News!
Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, President Kelley LaFontaine, LaFontaine Automotive Group; President Elect Kevin Harrison, KH Home; Treasurer Jackie Kopp, ATD Solutions; Secretary Peg Roth, Washington Management; Paul Brown, Independence Township Treasurer; Donna Bullard, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union; Laura Clark-Brown, Successful Equity Management; Katie Bowman Coleman, Bowman Chevrolet; Bryan Cornwall, Advanced PetCare of Oakland; Emily Ford, Morgan & Milzow Real Estate; Fritz Jackson, Ideas for You; Dawn Kesler, Palace Sports & Entertainment; Ryan Laforge, Movement Search; Tyler Milner, Farm Bureau Insurance; Rod Rock, Superintendent Clarkston Community Schools; Johnna Struck, Changing Places Moving; Kevin Tompkins, McLaren

Support for library’s continued existance

Dear Editor,
On Aug. 5, we will have the opportunity to vote ‘yes? or ‘no? to the continued existence of our Clarkston Independence District Library.
This is not a question of increased funding for the library. It is a question of whether will have a library.We are at the threshold of the ‘information age.? I cannot think of anything more self defeating and embarrassing than to close the library.
The library board is making a very modest request. They are requesting each home own to pay approximately $52 per year increase from last year. This is equivalent to a tank of gas and a trip to McDonalds. If the library closes, the average home would depreciate far more than $52.
We will never have the library enjoyed by Rochester, Waterford, or Lake Orion, but to have no library would be an enormous step backwards. Should the library be defeated, Clarkston and Independence might consider changing their name to ‘Endsville, USA.?
Keep the dream alive by voting to keep the library!
Gerald McNally, district court judge, ret.
Independence Township

Readers want excess city funds returned

Dear Editor,
This letter is in response to the article ‘City has lots of cash? (June 18), almost $300,000 in its savings account.
During a budget presentation, city Treasurer Sandy Barlass reported the fund balance has been on the rise for the city and is on track to keep rising.
She also said Standard and Poor’s recommends a fund balance between 5-15 percent. Eric Haven, city councilman, remarked ‘we are three times that high? as the fund balance for the city is at 43 percent.
At that same meeting, Richard Bisio, former city council member, said the fund balance is too high. Bisio suggested city officials cut the millage rate, which is now at 12.81, down by one mill. The council should reduce the general operating millage for 2014-15 so the projected fund balance after five years is 15 percent, recommended by S&P’s.
This would allow a millage reduction in 2014-2015 of 1.8947, resulting in a total operating millage of 10.9577. This would still allow funding of all the projected one-time expenses for the next five fiscal years and leave a fund balance of 15 percent.
Several years ago, the city voted to disband its own police force because the significant increase in the cost of maintaining the police force would have resulted in the city increasing its millage to the highest rate allowable by law.
Mr. Bisio’s recommendation to the city council, quoted in the Clarkston News article dated June 18, 2014, that the above mentioned reduction in the city’s operating millage is a perfect solution to effectively return excess tax dollars to the citizens of our community. Regretfully, a city of a population of 882 cannot afford the services of a larger city or township. We urge the city council to act promptly and responsibly by returning our tax dollars by lowering the tax millage rate.
Lorry Mahler, Stuart Mahler, John Phyle, Jennifer Phyle, Larry Shepanek, Sean Rush, Christopher Rush
Clarkston

Voters already spoke on library issue

Dear Editor,
Let’s see if I understand. We had a good Independence Township library governed by an obsolete state law. The millage was low and the general fund was used to fill gaps. It was decided to re-establish as a district library in order to ask voters for more funding in 2012. The voters said “no” by a small margin.
We are now being asked to vote again on the same proposal. This time we are threatened with closing the library if we answer no. Would there have been a re-vote had the proposition passed by a small margin in 2012? Shouldn’t the board have listened to the voters and proposed an alternate plan?
They could have proposed carrying over the existing rate and another proposition for a smaller increase in millage. This would allow voters to choose a status quo and consider whether the proposed improvements are worth the proposed tax increase. Another choice would be to define the minimum millage necessary to keep the library operating until the economy improves and vote on an increase at that time.
The Library Board has put forth an all or nothing proposition to Independence Township voters. As a result of not respecting the original vote, they have put the library operation at risk.
When I was a manager, I advised my engineers to consider all possible answers when looking for a decision. If you cannot tolerate all answers, you may not be asking the proper question.
Rick Gutowski
Clarkston

Support for library millage request

Dear Editor,
I am voting ‘yes? on Aug. 5 for the District Library Millage Proposal. If you ask me why, it’s because I believe the value of a community is measured by many ways, one of which is the lengths to which a community will unite to ensure that their hometown remains strong.
I don’t have to be the parent of a student to support the schools. I don’t have to have a fire to support the fire department. I don’t have to have my home burglarized to support the police department. I support them, and we as a community support them, because we know they provide for a stronger, safer and more vibrant community.
The value of the community is also measured by the strength of its library. Those who argue libraries are becoming obsolete don’t understand what libraries have to offer. Before casting your vote, visit our library and you will be amazed to see our library is more relevant than ever. Similar to strong libraries nation-wide, our library is in a state of transformation and as valuable and significant as books still are, it is moving beyond being ‘only? a repository for printed materials.
Our library is now becoming a repository for an abundance of diverse information and the manner in which it is collected, presented and used has become as important as the information itself. Even while operating on a shrinking budget and a repealed law, our District Library Director Julie Meredith and library staff have reimagined its role in our community and are actively establishing a District Library that is much more than books and technology.
On a personal level, to me the library is a place that celebrates imagination, cultivates the pursuit of knowledge and encourages curiosity. The library is a place that provides not just entertainment but opportunity as well.
Most important, the library means community, bringing together those young and old to share with one another the things that inspire and matter most to them. A library means creating a place that is valuable, unique and undeniably necessary to everyone without regard to age or ability to pay.
Sincerely,
Barbara Pallotta
Independence Township Clerk

First Amendment protects political signs

Dear Editor,
The News in Brief item “Political signs” sets out the limits on political signs. Clarkston’s zoning ordinance limits political signs to 60 days before and 14 days after an election.
These regulations violate the First Amendment. Similar ordinances have been held invalid around the country, including in southeast Michigan. Government can’t prohibit speech based on its content, especially when it comes to political speech. Sign ordinances applying equally to all signs are proper. But ordinances that pick out particular kinds of speech and prohibit them are invalid. Thus limits on the dates when one can display a political sign are not valid.
People shouldn’t be deterred from displaying political signs on their property by these invalid ordinances.
And the Friends of the Library shouldn’t be intimidated into telling me I can’t have a lawn sign supporting the library millage until two weeks before the election.
Richard Bisio
Clarkston

Parade not boos’ time, place, reader says

Dear Editor,
I would like to share an anecdote from the Clarkston Fourth of July parade this year for it illustrates the importance of ‘Correct time and place.? It is also my desire to thank the adults involved who acted in the best interest of the children.
As the Democratic Club marched by, someone in the crowd yelled very loudly, ‘Boo Obama Care? and continued to boo loudly. The group of young children around me looked up startled and upset. The members of the Club looked directly at the man and responded, ‘Happy Fourth of July to you, sir.? The relief of the adults in the crowd was palpable.
I would like to thank the members of the club with public recognition. To the bystander who could not put his personal agenda aside for the sake of the children, please let this be a learning experience for you to develop some depth of character.
Denise Anderson
Rochester Hills

Children’s appeal for library millage

Dear Editor,
‘You’re kidding me Grandma, it can’t be true.?
That’s the reaction from my grandson Dane when he was looking forward to the used book sale in September and I said the library might be closed forever.
He spent over an hour at the last book sale intent on finding ‘good stuff.? ‘Penguins,? he thought, would be the book of choice.
Penguins? Not this time, but we walked out with a 300+ page book about wildlife, specifically birds and animals and, also, a terrific small book on fossils.
A neighbor boy and Dane now hunt at least twice a week for fossils on our property. They have them sorted and ‘labeled? and even displayed them. The wildlife book, too, has become a resource book many times over this summer. Dane frequents the library and just last week brought home several books written by his favorite new author.
He has promised Hunter, his friend, he can go with us to the next used book sale. They are excited already! Please, everyone, don’t disappoint them. They might even find a book on penguins this trip.
I ask you to support our library by voting Aug. 5 for our library millage.
Patricia Evans
Independence Township

Support for Schroeder for state rep.

Dear Editor,
Of all the candidates wanting to be our representative in Lansing, I know one well, Andrea Schroeder.
Through decades of deep involvement within our community, Schroeder has become well experienced, informed and respected in matters of business, education and public services.
I personally admire Andrea Schroeder’s sense of humor, ‘can do? attitude, and uncommon ability to identify the roots of complex problems and clearly propose solutions, complete with their associated pros & cons. Schroeder does not blindly accept simple answers until she proves them accurate. She has long been the ‘go to? person for parents trying to negotiate the educational system both within Clarkston and Lansing. Schroeder has demonstrated a drive to find and implement solutions to problems rather than simply complain about them.
I have learned many things through my work with Andrea Schroeder: (1) How to politely question information without attacking those delivering it, (2) how good humor helps to build relationships and how good relationships make good things happen, and (3) how rewarding it is to use the unique talent God has given, to find and implement solutions for any problem our community may face.
On August 5, I will proudly vote for the representative I want to have in Lansing: Andrea Schroeder.
Cheryl McNeil
Independence Township

Thanks for help with Fourth of July

Dear Editor,
Our fourth annual Independence Fest Veterans Celebration in Clintonwood Park on July 4 was bigger and better than ever.
We had more military exhibits in the Carriage House covering all of the wars from WWII until recent.
Back by popular demand was T.J. Craven who entertained a large crowd with his patriotic music and opened our Veterans Ceremony with the National Anthem. In the afternoon the North Oakland Dixieland Band performed on the main stage.
The weather was perfect for us to honor all of our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers and staff for their hard work.
Special thanks to our Planning and Organizing Committee Members- MC-Bart Clark, Jim Bolin-WWII Veteran, Gordy Cloutier, Phil Custodio, Richard Lash and Mary Melega. From our first celebration Don Cremer and American Legion Chief Pontiac Post #377 graciously provided their Honor Guard.
This year they were involved in the special dedication for our new flag pole in memory of John Cesarz, Korean War Veteran and an employee of the senior center for over 17 years.
Special thanks to John’s wife Mary, children John III, Matt and Cindy and everyone who made donations in John’s name to make his wish for a flag pole in front of the senior center a reality.
Our Master of Ceremony Bart Clark, Captain US Navy Retired did a wonderful job recognizing all of our veterans at this year’s event. Special thanks to Phil Custodio, Desert Storm Veteran for leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Independence Township Supervisor Patrick Kittle read the special proclamation in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War signed by the Township Board. This year Mrs. Michigan, Rebecca Scholten thanked every WWII Veterans for their service in the audience individually.
Thanks to all of our bakers who treated our veterans with homemade desserts for the special lunch that was provided in the Center by Pete’s Coney II.
We really appreciate all of the individuals who displayed their military items in the Carriage House especially Richard Lash, Vietnam Veterans of America Oakland County Chapter #133 and his members. Without all of our staff and volunteers that day we would not have been able to have such a successful event: Sandy Bailey, Jim Bolin, Diane Brozovich, Bart Clark, Phil Custodio, Rosie Landry, Larry Larson, Richard Lash, Carolyn Morrison, Lois Seddon and Sue Shubert.
Thanks to all our special sponsors this year: Platinum Level Sponsor Pete’s Coney II who graciously catered lunch for all of our veterans and their families. Gold Level Sponsors-Coats Funeral Home and Lockwood of Waterford and Silver Sponsor-Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home.
Without all of the support of everyone listed above we would not have been able to recognize our veterans in the way they deserve. I am grateful to everyone for their support.
Barbara Rollin, Senior Division Supervisor
Independence Township Parks,
Recreation & Seniors

Praise for Lone Ranger Day
Dear Kemosabes,
Does lightning strike twice?
It did this past Saturday, Aug. 2 when the community of Oxford hosted our Second Annual Lone Ranger Day with wonderful events, displays and a fantastic parade.
Our parade ‘possse? worked diligently over the past year to put together a display worthy of the Lone Ranger character and all the good things it stands for.
The thousands of people in attendance would agree that the efforts of the posse were well rewarded.
Our parade participants were marvelous and the parade Grand Marshal, Kent County Circuit Court Judge James Robert Redford, who came in from the Grand Rapids area for the day was certainly a fitting choice as our symbol of good character and justice.
The Oxford community is fortunate to be able to associate itself with lofty ideals and values in the Lone Ranger theme.
In today’s world we can be proud to be celebrating positive values and characteristics ? and have a lot of fun while doing so.
Hi-Yo, Silver !
Rod Charles

Thanks for Strawberry Fest
I just wanted to thank the Strawberry Festival Committee and all of the volunteers for putting on such a fantastic day on July 19.
I grew up in Oxford and attended Leonard Elementary.
The Strawberry Festival was always the highlight of my summer. I live out of state now and haven’t been back to the Festival in probably around 20 years.
The parade brought tears to my eyes as the crowd honored the veterans as they marched by, the strawberry sundaes were even better than I remember as a kid, and it was pure joy to watch my three year old little girl marvel at all the things that made the festival so special for me when I was younger.
Thank you for making such a family friendly event and many wonderful memories for my family!
Kerri (Linto) Smith
OHS Class of 1995
State College, Pennsylvania

Support for Obama

Dear Editor,
I am offended by the rant of the once esteemed publisher, James Sherman, Sr. (‘President’s plan pocked with lies, not leadership,? July 30). I would expect such unfounded trite from Fox News, not from a man of education.
What explains the rage against President Obama, but silence when Bush and Cheney lied us into unnecessary unfunded war where thousands died and suffered in vain? The economy collapsed and many lost their homes and livelihood.
Why is the president who captured Bin Laden, ended wars, and gave us needed healthcare, scorned? What does it take to satisfy his critics? He can’t change his color.
I prefer a black man over a scoundrel.
I predict history will judge him respectfully, honor his presidency, and rename some schools and roads, ‘Obama.?
Dale Bond
Independence Township

Road project overdue

Dear Editor,
With all the ongoing work in downtown on the sidewalks, I would like to have seen a more appropriate crosswalk put in at E. Church/Depot and Main Street. Something along the lines of what they do in Rochester. If someone is in the crosswalk, you stop and that person/persons cross the street.
Plus it slows people down, which is much needed downtown! The speed limit signs these days are just a memory or a suggestion. This has been an overdue project for a long time since a lot of people like to cross there versus going down to Washington. I would like it and I would hope others would, too!
David Yackell
Clarkston

Congrats on vote

Dear Editor,
Congratulations to Julie Meredith, director of the Clarkston Independence District Library, and to everyone on the library staff, the Friends of the Library and the Library Yes! Committee on Tuesday’s election. Not only a victory, but an overwhelming one. We think it says volumes about what a great library we have here in our community. It also shows what a lot of dedicated people working together can do. Let the good times continue!
Ron and Chris Savage
Independence Township

Preserve Clarkston

Dear Editor,
A collection of jewels: that is what makes the City of the Village of Clarkston so unique and appreciated.
You have the romantic block of vintage homes fronted by a canopy of arching trees, reminding us of the grandeur of yesteryear.
Then you have the intriguing and inviting collection of older buildings, occupied by a diversity of businesses, located on another two blocks of roadway.
Together, these settings, these jewels, are the center – the Main Street – of a small community of neighborhoods, other jewels, consisting of a catalogue of (mostly) individual homes of varying eras and styles of architecture. Framed again by many mature trees.
And there are ponds and lakes among these structures and scenes, anchored by a small but sprawling well maintained park. The park is the site of concerts, picnics, ice skating, weddings, play structures, and solitude.
The community is one of the few places where you can walk almost anywhere, have easy access to major roadways in all seasons (assuming you clear your driveway of snow), and use every form of services – such as churches, schools, library, fire protection, police, recreation, and an adult activity center.
Most importantly, some really wonderful people live within the half-mile area which is the city. There are different ages, families, interests, and character – all of which adds to vibrancy of the community.
Clarkston has jewels. But, we must continue to polish them or they will lose their luster. We are experiencing an increase in lawlessness (everyone has an example); the trees are wearing out (some need pruning, others replacing); various things need to be repaired (park bridge, sidewalks); there are no housing options for those want to downsize and stay here; downtown parking is a problem; there is limited (selective?) enforcement of laws, ordinances, and codes.
What do we do? We decide what are the priorities for the future of our community; how that future is to be funded; who will be entrusted with the management of our priorities and our funds. How do we do this: we vote! We use our democratic process of representative government by electing those who will try to do what we want them to do.
Now, we will not agree completely on any of these choices. So, we accept the democratic principle of majority rule, and hold our representatives accountable by expecting openness, honesty, and transparency.
Tom Stone
Clarkston

Thanks for support

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the entire 2014 Library-YES committee, we would like to sincerely thank the Clarkston and Independence Township community for their support of the library millage proposal in the recent primary election. The positive response of the voters ensures our community will benefit from the many services of its own local library for the next eight years.
We also appreciate The Clarkston News’ support. Your attention, encouragement, and support added much to our efforts. Placement of ads, printing of letters to the editor, and positive comments made by your reporters were most appreciated! We are grateful for the part you played in helping to pass this crucial millage.
The 2014 Library-YES committee hopes community members will take advantage of expanded services and programs to be offered beginning in 2015, as the levy will not be collected until December 2014.
Bart Clark and Eric Haven, co-chairmen, 2014 Library-YES committee

Renewal vote thanks

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the Oakland County Sheriff’s, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Independence Township for their overwhelming support during the recent millage renewal for law enforcement.
The passage of that proposal helps insure the continued high level of services that are currently provided and expected within our community. This close relationship between law enforcement and our citizens is just one of the many reasons that Independence Township continues to be such a desirable place to live.
Lt. Dirk R. Feneley, substation commander, Independence Township

Agreement on Obama

Dear Editor,
I don’t know what planet Mr. Bond is from but it can’t be planet Earth (“Support for Obama, Aug. 13) ? 70% of those individuals who happen to populate the USA strongly agree with Jim Sherman, Sr. As far as to how history will treat Obama, it is my opinion he will go down as the worst president (not one of but the) this country has ever had to endure.
However, history always depends on who writes it. And that comment about Obama capturing Bin Laden ? I was under the impression Navy Seals shot Bin Laden. While it may have been on Obama’s watch, so was the VA scandal, IRS scandal, and Benghazi, just to name a few. Could it be that God just may be using Obama to punish this nation? Read the Old Testament, you may be surprised.
Bruce Marsee
Davisburg

Votes appreciated

Dear Editor,
Heartfelt thanks to the residents of the 43rd District for your support in the August Primary Election. Your trust and support is gratifying and invigorating! It was a pleasure meeting many of you as I walked door to door. In the next few months, I hope to meet more of my neighbors and learn about what expectations they have of me as their state representative.
Both the Republican and Democratic candidates in the primary election are to be commended for their willingness to serve. Each of their campaigns reflected the diverse views and ideas that collectively represent the diversity in the 43rd District.
Congratulations to Jim Tedder, I trust we will be crossing paths frequently in the next few months.
I look forward to serving everyone in the 43rd, whether you consider yourself a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I will work to fairly represent your needs and issues as your State Representative.
Thank you for your support and friendship! I am honored and grateful to you.
Dennis M. Ritter
Democratic candidate, state house 43rd District.

Thanks for votes

Dear Editor,
The Clarkston Independence District Library Board would like to thank the city and township residents who supported a community library dedicated to providing services to both book and technology users in the 21st Century. The collection of this funding will begin in December 2014 and will be used as the library’s 2015 budget.
The Library Board and Staff will spend the next few months preparing to unveil expanded services in the new year. In addition to restoring hours, and increasing programs and materials, both physical and electronic, we look forward to expanding collaborations with the schools and promoting resources to help local businesses succeed. We have also been developing a Capital Improvement Plan to properly maintain the library building and grounds.
We encourage the residents of Clarkston and Independence Township to attend library board meetings and the library itself to be involved in these plans as they develop and unfold.
Marilyn Pomeroy, president, Clarkston Independence District Library Board

Voters duped by library campaign, reader says

Dear Editor,
The letter “congrats on vote” (Aug. 13) congratulating the Clarkston Independence District’s library’s “overwhelming victory” by holding its second vote in less then two years in a August primary “stealth election” failed to mention the fact that 10,860 fewer voters voices were heard in the Aug. 5, 2014 primary vs. the 2012 general election, where half the township’s population, or 18,918, people voted. Disenfranchising 10,860 voters is hardly something to be proud of!
What is “overwhelming” is the fact that this township ignored 10,860 voters in 2012 when it chose to put this back on the ballot in an August primary when the township should have honored the wishes of voters in 2012 by negating the agreement and starting the process from scratch.
In the spirit of fairness I suggest that township officials do the right thing for township taxpayers by renegotiating the agreement and then putting it back on the November 2014 general election. Why not go with the best two out of three? Those who complained about this proposal failing in Nov. 2012 by a “small margin” surely wouldn’t object to another vote knowing that 10,860 voters didn’t vote in the August primary, right?
But, the this time around lets do it right. Give us a proposal that offers voters a renewal, and an increase. Not an all or nothing proposal that blackmails voters with threats of closing . The third time around lets tell voters that the Clarkston Independence Library agreement gave away control of almost half (43%) of our library and it’s assets to three board members who are appointed by 2% of our population. Do ya think township taxpayers would vote differently with this knowledge?
The Clarkston Independence Library Board is comprised of seven appointed board members, four appointed by the Independence township board, which has over 36,000 residents, one board member for every 9000 residents, and three appointed by Clarkston City Council, a city of 800 residents, one board member for every 266 residents.
Something is clearly wrong with an agreement that gave away control of 43% of our library to a city with just 2% of the population. This agreement doesn’t fairly represent township taxpayers because we can’t vote for the city council that is appointing those who will control 43% of our library. Two percent of the population should never have been given 43% control of anything that is getting 98% of it’s funding from township taxpayers. Yet not a single member of the new township board looked over the library agreement and corrected this inequality in the agreement before you voted.
The present district library agreement gives our Independence Township library and control of all of its assets to an appointed, unelected library board who answers to no one. Passage of this agreement not only increased your taxes by 81%, it gave you a board that has absolutely no accountability to you. Yet, if you look at other district library agreements, you’ll find that a majority of district library boards are elected by the people. This agreement could have done the same.
People were “overwhelmingly” duped and blackmailed by an agreement that didn’t fairly represent them and now we’re stuck with an agreement that will never give you the opportunity to recall or fire a single library board member. I’m overwhelmingly disappointed in our township board and our local papers for not pointing this out, or correcting this. Not only are we stuck with an 81% tax increase, township tax payers have now lost control of almost half of our library. Not exactly worth cheering about is it?
Michael L. Powell
Independence Township

Schools not the same

Dear Editor,
Our family recently moved to Clarkston from a town of 10,000 on the west side of Michigan. My husband and I grew up in Clarkston and were excited to expose our children to the great place we grew up. My excitement has been diminished by the school system here.
I feel the school system is not conducive to two working parents. First, we had no information about which elementary they would attend, their teachers or their bus routes until the last week. In the town we came from, all of this information has been distributed for over a month.
It is very difficult to plan when no information is available. We tried calling both the administrative offices as well as the school. While the staff was pleasant, no information was available. Secondly, when we tried to register for Kids Connection, we were told there was a significant wait list. We really do not have options for child care on the few days per week we need the service as we are new to the area. Thirdly, I am not sure the purpose the late start days serve, but again this puts more burden on families in which both parents work.
Additionally, our children’s bus stop is 0.3 miles away from the house and I don’t think that is an appropriate distance for elementary students to be expected to walk alone. Lastly, even the new family orientation and “meet the teacher” is in the middle of a work day.
Clearly, this is not the same Clarkston school system we grew up in and I am sadly disappointed in its lack of consideration for working parents.
Jennifer McAlister
Independence Township
Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock responded: “I welcome the feedback and apologize for the negative experience. We aim to serve the needs of all families and will continue to do so. We receive a tremendous amount of positive feedback on our processes and products and make adjustments continuously.”

Support appreciated

Dear Editor,
We would like to thank the Clarkston Community for their support in the 17th Annual Rush for Food that was held on Friday, Aug. 22.
The Varsity and JV players canvased over 40 neighborhoods while the Freshman team worked all evening sorting and stocking the pantry of Lighthouse North. With a goal of 6,500 pounds, the teams collected 7,463 pounds of food, an increase of 1,066 pounds over last years drive!
Special thanks goes to Better Made Snack Foods Inc., Clarkston Athletic Boosters and Neiman’s Family Market for donating supplies for the pre-Rush dinner. Thanks to the Clarkston Chiefs and Clarkston High School Cheerleaders for contributing food donations. Thanks to the many other parents and coaches who pitched in and volunteered at the event and provided additional donations!
Thanks go to the 17th annual Rush For Food parent committee which included Penny Canada, Lauryn Eriksen, Erika Heaton, Nancy Linton, Karen Nicklin, Kathy Kerrigan, Diane Pierce, Kim Scarlett, and Claudine Schoenherr for their time and commitment in organizing another successful year!
Finally, we would like to thank The Clarkston News and St. Daniels for hosting community drop-boxes and the Clarkston homeowners who generously donated to make this event, the 17th annual Rush For Food, such a great success! Together, we once again proved what a wonderful community Clarkston is to live in!
Karen Nicklin, publicity
CHS Football ‘Rush for Food?

Thanks for votes

Dear Editor,
I am writing to thank the many voters who supported me on Aug. 5. Your support meant a great deal to me and everyone involved in my campaign.
During the campaign, I worked alongside the candidates from both parties and I respect their dedication and commitment. We all have the same goal of making our district and state a better place to live, work and play; I am committed to making this a reality as your next state representative.
Having lived in this area for most of my life, it was rewarding to get to know thousands of people on a personal level, listening to their views. I will give these views a voice in Lansing. I look forward to getting to know many more of you over the next couple months and to earning your vote on Nov. 4.
Jim Tedder, Republican candidate
State Representative 43rd District

Named was confused

Dear Editor,
I was surprised to see my name in the caption under a picture of my brother Dennis in your Aug. 13 election follow-up for the 43rd District state representative race.
While I am happy to be compared to any of my six brothers, I am especially proud to be confused with Dennis who has led an exemplary life in public service. In addition to having served three tours of duty in Vietnam he has had a distinguished career in Waterford Township as trustee, treasurer and supervisor and served with distinction for four years as the city manager of the City of the Village of Clarkston.
I believe Dennis will win this election and will do an outstanding job for the citizens of the 43rd district. I hope my name on his picture doesn’t hurt his chances.
In the meantime, don’t worry about having confused me for Dennis. Being two of 12 siblings our parents couldn’t keep us straight either.
Fred Ritter
Clarkston

Trucks were there before homeowners
It never ceases to amaze me how people will move near an airport, in the direct line of a runway, and then complain about the sounds made by the airplanes.
This mentality seems to be right here in Oxford.
W. Burdick has been where it is almost as long as the Village of Oxford, possibly longer. No one can honestly claim large trucks have not used that road until now. People moved into homes near this road. For some reason, instead of accepting responsibility for their actions, some of those living near W. Burdick want the Village Council to ban truck use, or part of it, on that road.
In The Oxford Leader, 8/20/14 article one person said her family has lived on W. Burdick for 22 years, said continuing to allow the current level of traffic is ‘unfair to the families that live here?. Two things came to my mind when I read that statement. Her family moved into the situation 22 years ago. Trucks were already there when the family moved in. Her family chose to live there. Why, now, should other residents of the township be made to suffer? Action by the Village Council would divert those large trucks onto other nearby roads, (most likely Drahner, Granger and then onto Marketplace through Waterstone, Hummer Lake Rd. and Oakwood). There are homes as close or closer to the roads as the homes on W. Burdick.
These other roads are not made to handle large heavy truck traffic. Drahner is not paved all the way from Lapeer Rd. to Baldwin. Continued heavy truck traffic will destroy the unpaved portions leaving Oxford Township taxpayers or the adjacent property owners to pay to keep it in usable condition. Granger is a gravel road and would suffer the same damage and expenses or worse, not to mention residents along Marketplace surely don’t want heavy trucks in Waterstone. They should not have to; they are not the ones who moved near a busy road. Hummer lake Rd. is gravel and would suffer the same damage and expenses or worse. It is not built for the truck traffic it already has and doesn’t need more. Oakwood is paved but does anyone using common sense really believes all those large heavy fuel consuming trucks will travel the extra distance to Oakwood?
I called the Oxford Village offices and was told that Drahner, Granger, Hummer Lake Rd, and Oakwood are not state approved truck routes so large trucks should not be using them. Neither is W. Burdick and the Village Council haa spent much time addressing the problem of trucks on it. If large, overweight trucks are not allowed on any of these roads, including W. Burdick, the responsible answer for the village lies with enforcement, not creating problems and expenses for residents of Oxford Township. If large trucks are violating the law now and the drivers are ignoring the law, what makes anyone think they will obey a new law?
We have repeatedly heard: ‘The Village and Township need to work together we have to get along.? The village diverting large heavy trucks onto township roads, not made for them, is showing no regard for the rest of the township and no effort to get along. Should the Village Council be foolish enough to divert truck traffic off W. Burdick, it is in fact saying ‘This is class warfare, Oxford Village residents moved into a bad situation, but the rest of the township is going to pay for their short sighted thinking. We only want to get along when doing so benefits the village over the township.”
It is easy to be swayed by fifty or a hundred citizens filling a room, but the Township has thousands of residents that could be affected by the Village Council’s actions.
Ron Meyer
Oxford

Thoughts on twp. hall, Vets Hall
I know the town hall expansion is a done deal but I often get upset at the “out with the old, in with the new” attitude that seems to prevail in our government. According to the Oxford Leader article we will now be expanding our new township hall, at the cost of over $1M, to accommodate meeting room space for 100, “future” use space and a new sheriff department substation. This enables the township “to rid itself of the aging building, commonly known as Vet’s Hall, that costs much more to maintain than it generates in revenue…”.
Well, I believe that almost every government building in Oxford costs more to maintain than it generates in revenue. How much revenue, I wonder, does our new township hall generate? I bet it’s close to zero. How much revenue will it generate after the $1M expansion? Again, I’m guessing close to zero. I also wonder how much the new township hall costs to maintain?
Also it was reported that a group of senior citizens meet a few times a week at Vet’s Hall. In reality, the hall is used every day of the week for Meals on Wheels, two days a week for bingo, two days a week for dancing and two days a week for card playing. It also houses a computer lab and a give-and-take library for seniors.
The Vet’s Hall is a wonderful location for weddings, showers and graduation parties but the marketing of it seems non-existent. It’s a beautiful building and would generate more revenue if marketed correctly.
Mary Reynolds
Oxford

Thanks for Football for a Cure support

Dear Editor,
The McLaren Health Care System extends a heartfelt thank you to the Clarkston High School staff and students, the football coaching staff and team, the cheer coaching staff and team, the pom coaching staff and team, parents, the boosters, all volunteers and the community for their hard work and support in making the 2014 Football For A Cure Fundraiser a success.
With your help a little over $12,000 was raised and will go towards our patient support program, helping patients who are treated at the McLaren Breast Center and the McLaren Cancer Institute with transportation and daily living needs.
These funds go directly back to our patients who are seen and treated in Clarkston. Thank you again for helping us help our patients.
Deanna Hart, patient navigator
McLaren Cancer Institute Clarkston

Reader support for President Obama

Dear Editor,
In response to the letter to the editor ‘Agreement on Obama,? Aug. 20, in support of Jim Sherman Sr., Mr. Bruce Marsee recommends we read the Old Testament to determine if God may be using President Obama to punish this nation. But Mr. Marsee fails to provide us with chapter and verse.
The teachings of the New Testament, however, clearly require we feed the poor and heal the sick. Raising the minimum wage would help feed the poor, as would the creation of jobs through a federally-funded infrastructure rebuilding program, stimulus, both President Obama initiatives blocked by the Tea Party. His Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, is already helping improve the health of millions of previously uninsured Americans.
By contrast, Mr. Marsee and Mr. Jim Sherman’s anti-Obama, anti-tax, anti-government views reflect the idea that infinite wealth amassed through laissez-faire deregulation is the ultimate good, views that don’t include anything to help the less fortunate or promote the commonwealth. They adhere to the egocentric gospel of Ayn and the Tea Party as preached by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, and funded by the obscenely rick Koch brothers. What do the Scriptures say about extreme wealth and salvation? We are all God’s instruments, but Messrs.? Marsee and Sherman’s level of doctrinaire selfishness make them blunt ones.
Finally, Mr. Marsee mentions the VA scandal, IRA scandal, and Benghazi that happened on President Obama’s watch and are ranted about constantly by Fox News. Compared to the Bush Cheney initiated war in Iraq, these are pimples versus a stage-four cancer. To mix metaphors, if God’s keeping score, which side would be called out?
Bob McGowan
Independence Township

Bucks for Buses support appreciated

Dear Editor,
We had a very successful ‘Bucks for Buses? Fundraiser on Aug. 20 at Over Tyme Grill & Tap Room in Waterford.
This special event was sponsored by Independence Township Parks, Recreation & Seniors and the Senior Adult Activity Center to raise money for our transportation program that takes seniors and disabled adults in Clarkston, Independence and Springfield Township to and from doctor’s appointments, work, grocery stores and other places they need to go.
Sponsors making this event extra special included Platinum Level Sponsor Waterfall Jewelers; Gold Level sponsor McLaren Health Care; Silver sponsors Clarkston Medical Group, Clarkston News, Lockwood of Waterford, Lourdes Senior Community, Pallotta heating and Cooling, LLC, Smith’s Disposal, Inc. and Susan’s Hallmark; Bronze sponsors All Saints Cemetery & The Preserve, Connie’s Creative Cakes, Davita Dialysis, Home Instead Senior Care, Lake Orion Assisted Living, Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home, Oakland Eye Care, Over Tyme Grill, Oxford Bank and Roeser Dental Associates.
Without the generosity of our sponsors we would not be able to offer our clients the level of service that we currently do.
Thanks to all of our ‘Bucks for Buses? committee members who worked hard to put this event together: Dr. Tim O’Neill-Honorary Chair, Barbara Rollin-Chair, Colleen Burke, Pat Edwards, Connie Hutchison, Lorriane Janes, Amy Laboissonniere, Mary Melega, Nicholas Williams and Decoration Committee Members Diane Brozovich, Mary Cesarz, Kim Coates, Christie Kay and Rosie Landry.
Special thanks to Dr. Michael Baker from the Clarkston Medical Group for entertaining us that evening. Everyone enjoyed his music and it made our event extra special.
Thanks to all of you who attended and supported our ‘Bucks for Buses? fundraiser for our transportation program.
Barbara Rollin
Senior Adult Activity Center coordinator

Reader calls for change in governor

Dear Editor,
I hope all area residents will make a special effort this Fall to acquaint themselves with community and state issues and vote carefully in the upcoming election to ensure more transparent and accountable government.
We need change. Not more empty promises that things will get better to those who have been disadvantaged while the rich got richer under the Rick Snyder/Jase Bolger machine.
Not more minimum and low paying jobs Governor Snyder touts as proof of economic recovery. Not a further widening of the income divide and diminishment of the middle class that Snyder and Bolger have delivered. Real change, now.
Voter turnout by an informed electorate is critical to good government. Governor Rick Snyder’s slick Hollywood-produced and billionaire funded television ad campaign must not be overlooked for what it is–a cynical disinformation scheme only thinly disguising Snyder/Bolger and company’s ongoing contempt for the Michigan middle class.
Snyder’s policies and campaign are insulting to hard working Michiganders whose intelligence has been undervalued. Snyder and his group simply do not respect working people.
Under Snyder, business has received almost two billion dollars in new tax reductions while the taxes of many middle class workers and pensioners (hardly well-positioned to increase their fixed incomes) have increased by thousands of dollars per family per year.
Snyder says these taxes are fair, that we should not place the burden on our children. The middle class does not want to further burden it’s children.
Rather, it wants the wealthy and privileged in our society to show leadership and appreciation for their privilege by more fairly shouldering the load.
They want a forthright legislature that doesn’t sneak through special laws while circumventing the voters. It wants transparency in government operations and spending, and an end to the secret access Snyder’s friends and associates have been permitted to purchase.
The middle class wants truly straight answers from its governor and not more spin and glitzy TV ads produced in Hollywood. It wants fair and effective access to education for its children and adults in transition.
It wants an end to an increasingly complicated tax code that rewards the wealthy with more expense and tax deductions, loopholes and benefits while squeezing every dime from wage earners and retirees.
It wants decent paying jobs and economic security for the elderly. Snyder has simply shifted tax burdens from his children and those of his friends to the backs of middle class families.
Don’t let Snyder crack another glib smile as he continues to trickle down. We want our nerds to be fair, straightforward and compassionate.
Being a bean-counting accountant lackey for billionaires is not enough for Michiganders.
Michael C. Fetzer
Independence Township

Make Dixie corner green space, reader says

Dear Editor,
As futurists and planners go forward beautifying the Dixie Highway corridor, consideration should be given to demolition of the old gas station at M-15 and Dixie.
The vacant lot then could be repurposed as ‘open space,? an evergreen tree mask planted, shielding the power transmission towers, and lovely grass planted, perhaps some benches for meandering foot traffic.
Dixie is already a traffic nightmare, that corner made commercial would only exacerbate congestion.
Imaging a lovely space!
Rob Namowicz
Independence Township

Vote gives reader right to share opinion

Dear Editor,
I hope that you are among those who voted in the primary election.
Everyone has their own opinion concerning for whom and for what to vote. Some of us are happy with the outcome; others are not. The important thing is that we voted!
Did you know that less that 30% of the eligible voters went to polls, and some of them did not vote on every item on the ballot? That means a small group of voters decided matters for everyone else.
It is said that we get what we pay for; well, those who don’t vote are “paying” others to decide for them. One of the keys to our democratic form of government is that we get to decide – we don’t always get our way, but “we” decide!
So, however we feel about a topic or candidate, we need to express ourselves as voters- as Americans – by voting. That means voting on every item: national and local government, proposals, schools, etc.
We get what we pay for!
Tom Stone
Clarkston

Thanks to Neiman’s for scout support

Dear Editor,
Clarkston Boy Scout Troop 189, would like to sincerely thank Neiman’s Family Market in Clarkston for their help and support with the Operation CARE program.
The donuts, coffee, fruit, and water were a tremendous help to travelers for the Labor Day weekend.
The scouts, who were located at the Northbound I-75 rest area just north of Clarkston, attained service hours needed for rank advancement.
Thank you to the associates of Neiman’s and to manager John Schmidt for the products and outstanding service.
Sincerely,
John A. Sentgerath
BSA Troop 189, Clarkston

Hope for happy Jewish New Year

Dear Editor,
I would like to wish family and friends a very happy and healthy Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year. The High Holy Days, beginning at sunset, Thursday, Sept. 25, are the most important days in the Jewish year.
The first two days are Rosh Hashanah. The last day is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on Saturday, Oct. 4. The days between are called the Days of Penitence. Rosh Hashanah is also called Yom Hadin, the Day of Judgment.
Have people been good? Kind to others? The Jews try to understand anything wrong they have done in their lives and then try to change their ways.
As the sun goes down on Yom Kippur, God writes down or inscribes what life will be like for the year to come.
Customs include Challah, a round braided bread, ‘the year goes round and round.?
Sweet things include pieces of apple, or Challah, dipped into honey, a symbol of a sweet year.
A ram’s horn, the Shofar, is blown, remembering Abraham’s great faith in God.
To the Jewish families in any area, I wish you a joyous New Year, Rosh Hasannah, and they your name is written down for a healthy prosperous year ahead.
Mike and Nancy Brown
Clarkston

City snow ‘no’ concern for reader

Dear Editor,
Once again the public has seen first hand how inept, incompetent, and unnecessary Clarkston City Council is. This winter, Clarkston residents can thank their city council for uncleared, snow covered sidewalks thanks to the failed motion to “direct the City Manager to enforce the city sidewalk snow removal laws,” (“‘No? to snow enforcement,” Aug. 27).
Yep, residents and businesses in the city of Clarkston can now legally put away their snow shovels and not fear enforcement of snow removal laws by their city government. On the other hand, outsiders better not stay in the city more then two hours or they can expect a parking ticket. This “meddling outsider” finds it comical a city council would vote down a motion merely directing its city manager to do the most important part of her job, enforce laws.
Council members voted down a motion that merely instructed their employee to enforce a city law, a law that has been on the books and discussions were held at the time that the shoveling ordinance was passed.
If a city manager is directed not to enforce one city law, then the city council has given the city manager the green light to selectively enforce all city laws.
From the Aug. 25, 2014 Clarkston City Council Meeting: “Motion by Sabol Supported by Roth to Direct the City Manager to enforce the ordinance of snow removal on the sidewalks this winter. Motion Failed.”
So don’t bother calling the city with complaints about sidewalks not being cleared of snow, the city manager has been directed to ignore this law. One has to wonder how the citizens of Clarkston are being served by a government that directs its employees not to enforce their laws?
In the end, township residents can be thankful this group’s buffoonery is representative of a one square mile, 800 person city and not their township. Clarkston residents surely must be tiring of paying a premium for the embarrassing antics of this inept city council.
Michael Powell
Independence Township

Questions about McLaren development

Dear Editor,
In response to the Sept. 25 article on McLaren (‘Rule change could revive hospital plan?) and some of our local government individuals? continued insistence we need a hospital here in Independence despite study results, let me ask a couple of questions.
Do you drive the Waldon Road or Sashabaw Road corridors very often? How about at key hours? What are your plans to address traffic flow increases in an already overwhelmed system?
How exactly do you think DTE concert and proposed hospital traffic will function effectively together? How do you anticipate emergency vehicles will navigate such traffic?
What about the increase in biological and radiological, not to mention chemical wastes that will be moving through our community in already overloaded intersections?
Are you prepared, or how will you prepare the community for increased risks? What if there is a spill? What about noise and light impacts? Will you be developing restrictions so local property owners won’t be negatively impacted?
And since we are in the headwaters of the Clinton River, and this project will increase our percentage of impervious surface to that which will then degrade watershed health for chemical, biological and physical parameters here and everywhere else downstream, into perpetuity, how do you intend to address such impacts in a meaningfull way?
What will the new facility use as their source for drinking water? Will they tap into the well system? And if so, have you done studies on the long term capacity, storat’vity and transmissivity of our aquifer?
Just wondering. Please respond with facts, not political rhetoric. Thanks.
Tammie Heazlet
Independence Township

Support for Kelli Horst on school board

Dear Editor,
We have known Kelli Horst and her husband, Scott, since we moved to Clarkston 11 years ago. Our decision to raise our family in Clarkston was influenced by the reputation of the public school system. We have not been disappointed.
The quality of the teaching, school facilities, and extracurricular programs have provided our three daughters with the opportunity to grow both socially and academically.
Electing a fellow parent like Kelli to represent us on the Board of Education will ensure that our children will continue to have success.
Because of her extensive volunteer leadership and hands-on involvement in our schools, she understands what parents want: excellent teachers, manageable class sizes, appropriate technology, modern facilities, and open communication.
We are voting for Kelli Horst on Nov. 4 because she shares our philosophy that a community cannot reach its potential, economically and culturally, without an unwavering commitment to public education.
Kelli will be a champion of Clarkston schools. We owe it to ourselves as parents, property owners, and local business owners to invest in the future and elect Kelli Horst to the Clarkston Board of Education.
John and Laura Neumann.
Independence Township

Reader support for
Lieblang, Deering

Dear Editor,
I would like to publicly support current school board president, Rosalie Lieblang and candidate, Dr. Donald Deering for the Clarkston school board election in November.
During Rosalie Lieblang’s leadership, the school board has been able to, not only remain solvent during the drop in school funding from the state, but to rebuild the district’s cash reserves. This has prevented the district’s credit rating from being lowered and kept the district from being considered ‘distressed? by the state.
All of the remaining candidates were the ringleaders for the failed school bond request in 2012. I believe that if the 2012 bond had passed, it would have bankrupted the school district with the extra expenses related to the bond that would not have been covered by the bond.
Please show the district that you support fiscal responsibility by voting for Rosalie Lieblang and Dr. Donald Deering for the Clarkston Community School Board.
Dawn Schaller
Independence Township

Horst endorsed by reader

Dear Editor,
Both of our children have graduated from Clarkston schools. We are still proud to be Wolves and continue to be active in keeping the community strong. We need positive leaders on the school board who show that same pride and enthusiasm for our school district and community.
Kelli Horst will be professional, courteous and decisive in weighing the best interests of students, parents, school employees and our community. She will make sure the quality of our public schools continues to make Clarkston a desirable place to live, which will maintain the value of our homes and property. Kelli is our choice for the Clarkston Board of Education on Nov. 4.
Yvonne and Mark Wiedemann
Independence Township

Thanks for feature

Dear Editor,
Jim Powers and I would like to thank you for the wonderful article and picture you put in The Clarkston News for our 65th anniversary.
We never thought there would be the wonderful write up that appeared. Perhaps I was thinking we were having a conversation? This was the best gift for our anniversary! Thank you ever so much.
Joy and Jim Powers
Independence Township

Hospital plan

Dear Editor,
In regards to “Rule change could revive hospital plan,” Sept. 25, I see our township supervisor boasts of thousands of new jobs and many additional businesses from the McLaren Hospital coming to our township.
Besides the fact that the state has several times denied this proposal as not needed and counterproductive, I would like to ask the citizens of our township how many of them really support this plan. It will create additional congestion, crowd our many streets and greatly reduce the rural environment that many of us moved here to enjoy.
I, for one, have no interest in becoming another Troy or Rochester Hills and cannot understand the motivation for this move. In addition, we already have several hospitals nearby and at least three emergency health care centers in our community. In conjunction with this proposal they want to add additional interchanges to both Sashabaw and Clintonville roads which will cost us and the taxpayers of Michigan even more money and to what benefit?
So, what can we gain except an increase in congestion, exploitation of our remaining rural areas and huge demands on our already overloaded infrastructure.
The old adage, ‘follow the money? makes me wonder exactly who will benefit from this power grab. I urge our local folks to question this effort to impose an unneeded and expensive effort to impair our quality of life in our community.
Also, we feel that the best candidates for our School Board are Rosalie Liebling and Dr. Donald Dearing. They offer the most effective and balanced approach to the job.
John Reed
Independence Township

Reader for Rosalie

Dear Editor,
We are endorsing Rosalie Lieblang for election to the Clarkston School Board.
Rosalie was elected to the board in 2009 where she has served as treasurer, secretary, and board president for the last two years. A balanced budget was created while she was president, she voted against school of choice, and pushed to make student achievement a priority for the administration.
Under her leadership the board created and implemented a five-year strategic plan. She is committed to working hard to keep Clarkston Community Schools a great school district for our children and deserves to be reelected.
Jackie and Dan Fromm
Independence Township

Lieblang for board

Dear Editor,
I wanted to publically endorse Rosalie Lieblang, the current board president, and Dr. Donald Deering in the Clarkston School Board election on Nov. 4.
When I was elected in 2012 I didn’t really know any of the board members. Now that I do, Mrs. Rosalie Lieblang is the only one running for reelection that I would care to endorse. She has worked tirelessly to try to bring the board together and has been a champion of making information available to not only the board but the community as well.
Student achievement has also been made a priority of the district because of the efforts of Mrs. Lieblang. I was completely shocked to learn after I was elected that student achievement was not a priority, but rather that they ‘learned.? That standardized tests were not important as long as they ‘learned?? which is fine and dandy until you need to do well on a college entrance exam (colleges still think they are important!). That legacy was left by two former board officers seeking re-election, whom are now touting student achievement as they campaign.
One of my biggest concerns for the district is school of choice. Rosalie Lieblang is clearly against school of choice and has voted against it, where the other current board members seeking reelection have publically supported open enrollment.
Dr. Donald Deering’s background in psychology would be an invaluable tool for the board to move into the whole child approach and evaluate new teaching methodologies.
Please think about what you want for the district, a return to backroom deals and certain members of the board using the superintendent as a puppet, or open and honest dealings with the public where student achievement is a priority.
Please join me in voting for Mrs. Rosalie Lieblang and Dr. Donald Deering for Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education!
Craig Hamilton
Clarkston Board of Education

Thanks for support

Dear Editor,
We would like to thank the following for their help in making the recent veterans? benefits seminar a success:
American Legion Post #63, Clarkston for hosting the event, the Oakland County Veterans Administration for providing a speaker, and local businesses and media for assistance with announcing the event. Your help was truly appreciated.
The attendees learned about valuable benefits available for their service to our country. For those unable to attend, please contact Wint Funeral Home at 248-625-5231 or email wintfuneralhome@gmail.com for a free informational packet.
The staff at Wint Funeral Home

Support for Egan

Dear Editor,
Elizabeth Egan has served on the Clarkston School Board with distinction for many years. She is a respectful listener, she has a keen mind for understanding the many complex issues our school board faces, and she is unfailing in her respect for fellow board members, employees, and community members. She always puts kids first, making good and necessary decisions on programs and finances benefitting all students.
We have two grandchildren attending elementary school in Clarkston. We know Elizabeth Egan is the right choice for the Clarkston School Board. Her leadership and commitment is just what our grandkids need.
Dave and Roxanne Reschke
Independence Township

Lieblang, Deering

Dear Editor,
In 2012, this community was presented with a school bond issue, a special election unnecessarily costing the district $35,000. Along with a majority of the community, I voted ‘no.?
I believe the district needs a technology overhaul, since I am sick of seeing my son work from photocopies instead of text books in most subjects. However, with 85% of the budget going to wages and benefits, the remainder needs to be carefully managed. It is very easy to predict deferred maintenance of all our buildings and grounds is building up, with wages and benefits 20% over historic levels of 65% of the budget. Are we two failed roofs and a broken heating system from eliminating transportation or classroom aides in kindergarten?
It took Rosalie Leiblang’s care and attention to create our long term capital and asset management plan, which through her careful supervision, can achieve district upgrades and put us back on a firm footing. 15% of total revenue is not much to work with and needs to be carefully overseen by our school board. I would rather see open debate than unprofessional tweeting during meetings.
I also believe Don Deering brings a level of communication skills paramount to moving this district forward. As a higher level educator, he understands what it takes to advance our student achievement. They are both parents of students currently enrolled in the district. I will be voting for them Nov. 4 and can only hope the majority still agrees with me.
Bridget Gibbs
Past PTA vice president, Bailey Lake El

Support for Horst

Dear Editor,
My teenage daughters do not attend Clarkston Schools, but I am still paying close attention to the school board race this fall. How can I not, with so much negativity and bad behavior from a few members of the current board?
These are the people we elect to work together with the superintendent/administration to make educated decisions for the district. It seems to me if we do not put the right people on the board of education – people who reflect our positive values – we stand to lose our reputation as one of the most enviable communities in Oakland County. Can diminishing home and property values be far behind?
Todd and I support Kelli Horst, a good friend who is a great champion of Clarkston’s public schools. I encourage all private school parents in Clarkston not to overlook the vote on Nov. 4. This vote can have a direct effect on you, too.
My children attended Clarkston schools up until grade 9, and I have worked with Kelli throughout her positions within the district. I know where her head and heart are at when it comes to our children. She has the passion and commitment to get our school district back to where it needs to be. I firmly believe that. Please take the time to read what the candidates stand for and vote with me for Kelli Horst.
Tracie McCallum
Springfield Township

Obamacare support

Dear Editor,
In regards to “Rule change could revive hospital plan,” Sept. 25, about several northern Oakland County politicians trying to overturn a state law to prevent overbuilding medical facilities so McLaren Hospital can build a 200 bed $300 million facility in Independence Township ? since there are eight hospitals within the state mandated radius all with over 40 percent open capacity, the law must be amended to in order for the facility to be approved.
I believe this attempt to amend the law shows a complete lack of awareness of the upcoming wrenching adjustment American Healthcare is about to encounter.
The wrenching adjustment to heath are will be as severe as the adjustment the auto industry received in 2009. American heathcare is tremendously overpriced, double Europe and triple Japan with life expectancies five and nine years lower rspectively. Obamacare is largely unfunded, and will not be funded by a Republican House of Representatives–play with government calculators for 40 and 50 year olds. The subsidies are in the $6,000-$7,000 range in many cases, and the largest penalty an employer pays is $2,000 for dropping health care coverage. It will not be too many years until all private companies force their workers in the the government system.
Michigan voted to accept Obamacare. Elected officials must do everything possible to reduce costs in the system. Amending a law to add capacity to a system which already has huge existing overcapacity simply means that instead of having eight hospitals fighting to survive, there will be nine. This is very poor public policy.
Paul Secrest
Democrat state senate candidate
Bloomfield Township

Thanks to band

Dear Editor,
The most sincere thanks to the Clarkston High School Marching Band, who has once again performed a beautiful show titled ‘Lasting Impressions? at the annual Michigan Competing Band Competition at Clarkston High School, Saturday, Oct. 18.
This competition is hosted by the Clarkston School Instrumental Music Association, and we are honored to have the pleasure and privilege of hosting this competition for the last 37 years!
I would like to thank the area businesses supporting us year after year, all of the chair people who put in so much preparation and then work the entire day, our Pit Crew who always come through with whatever is needed as well as hefting instruments around, and Phil Bertolini and Gary Kaul for coming out in the cold and presenting awards.
I can’t say enough about all the volunteers that stepped up and helped out on a day when it would have been so much nicer to stay home and watch the Michigan State University game all warm and dry! A special thank you goes to our very dedicated and talented directors; Mike Lewis, Shelley Roland, and Justin Harris. They too put in many hours in preparation for a marching show, as well as work tirelessly teaching and encouraging our students. There is also a number of support staff, too many to mention, who also work with the band to successfully execute a wonderful show and I thank you also.
Of course the most heartfelt thank you goes to the band! The hours of hard work these students put in to a final performance is staggering. They memorize music and movements that create such a delightful show.
The weather was cold, windy and sometimes rainy for this year’s competition, but our Clarkston High School Marching Band students rose to the occasion and put on a fantastic show.
I can’t say enough about this group of dedicated students. I am proud and honored to be a part of instrumental music in Clarkston. March on.
Kelly Finazzo, president,
Clarkston Schools Instrumental Music Association

Horst stands out

Dear Editor,
If you were unable to attend the candidate forum for the Clarkston School Board, co-hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Clarkston PTA this past Thursday, you missed the chance to hear how prepared or unprepared each individual is to lead the educational activities of this community.
For me, the candidate who stood out was Kelli Horst. Horst responded to the questions asked during the forum with a resolve focused on education.
I was impressed with both the depth and scope of understanding she voiced on all of the topics, especially the financial issues facing the district as well as the need for a return of accord among the seven citizens we as a community elect to serve as trustees on the School Board. I left the forum grateful that we have Horst on the ballot this election.
On Nov. 4, vote for an advocate of education, change and leadership. Vote Kelli Horst for the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education.
Barry Bomier
Independence Township

A call for safer driving in community

Dear Editor,
What a shame to hear about Phil Custodio being hit by a car (‘Hope for clear roads,? Oct. 22), but good to hear that he is OK. There are two things unfortunate about this event ? it happened to him and it is typical of what is happening all too often to others.
What a surprise ? a driver purposely paused to let us walk across a street recently. We have found this to be unique! Not only is there a significant increase in discourtesy, there is a major increase in lawlessness, especially on our roadways.
Many motorists do not look out for pedestrians, ignore traffic signs (e.g., speed limit, children at play, no left turn, no turn on red, stop), ignore painted road lines (e.g., solid white, double yellow, wide white at intersections), and weave through traffic, don’t use turn signals, pass on the right, and block intersections.
Why? Perhaps, it is because they are unlikely to be punished; we don’t have enough enforcement of our laws, partly because of insufficient police and partly because of decisions not to enforce laws.
This has got to stop! Now, we will never stop all lawbreakers, but we can do more to discourage people from breaking the laws. It all depends on you and me, and what we are willing to demand and pay for.
Where do we go from here?
Tom Stone
Clarkston

School view misses connection, teacher says

Dear Editor,
In his letter “Lieblang for board,” Oct. 22, Craig Hamilton states “student achievement was not a priority” in Clarkston Community Schools.
As a parent and teacher in this district, I can assure our community this is completely untrue. Mr. Hamilton wrote in his letter the focus was on learning. This part is true. What he seems to be missing is the obvious connection between learning, understanding, and student achievement.
Dr. Rod Rock is the most powerful leader I have worked for and his vision for thinking and learning is moving our district forward. We are constantly thinking about student achievement and how we can move our children toward their learning goals. We rely on more than just one standardized measurement to determine the success of our students and our instructional direction.
Clarkston Community Schools is truly a great district because of the people who work with our children on a daily basis and the administration that continues to provide us with innovative vision that supports student thinking and learning, which leads to achievement.
Beth Rogers, fifth grade teacher, Springfield Plains Elementary

Teacher points to superintendent in school success

Dear Editor,
There have been several mistruths lately about situations at school board meetings, which show the lack of professionalism such as the rudeness shown to technology consultants, who as a result, walked out of a meeting saying they were not interested in working any further with our district, and the statement the CEA president’s summer accident caused a delay in settling teacher contracts (“School board’s role is to oversee plan, president says,” Oct. 15) ? it had nothing to do with it.
School achievement increases are the result of our superintendent’s direction and the hard work of the staff in the schools. Revenues are up due to Dr. Rod Rock’s work to develop shared services and other funds.
The school board’s role is to oversee these areas, not to micromanage them. It is also their role to treat the superintendent they hired with respect, which is often not the case at the meetings.
Kathleen Noble, first grade teacher
Bailey Lake Elementary

Thanks for ‘Michigan’s Great Artist’ votes

Dear Editor,
I want to thank everyone for their love and encouragement in supporting me in the “Michigan’s Great Artist” contest (“Clarkston woman looking for your vote,” Oct. 22).
I just received the news that I am not a finalist.
Even though I’m disappointed about the contest, the people I’ve met in our community in the last couple weeks, the sweet emails, Facebook messages, and shakes of the hand I’ve gotten from the wonderful people of this community have been overwhelming.
I’m so glad to call such a friendly and nurturing environment home!
Girded by the support of our community, I have several new art projects in the works, and I fully plan on trying for “Michigan’s Great Artist” again next year!!
Thank you so much, Hugs and Love to you all.
Vanessa Myers
Clarkston

Pink and Pampered support appreciated

Dear Editor,
The sixth annual Pink and Pampered event on Oct. 23, 2014, proved to be another elegant success!
This partnership between McLaren Cancer Institute, McLaren Breast Center and the Independence Township Senior Adult Activity Center continues to grow each year.
Those who attended were treated to a relaxing evening of pampering, shopping and camaraderie that would not be possible without the overwhelming generosity of area businesses, Neimans Family Market, Pita Way Restaurant, Hungry Howies and Klever Kreations, along with raffle prize donations from Rose Mayo, Robin Bouscher, Jamie Davis, Sheri McDonnell, Nancy Weightman, Angie Pesta, Heather Shields, Murphy Family, Frank Beven, Dottie Kobus and the Independence Township Senior Adult Activity Center Quilters.
Thank you so much for all of the beautiful baskets donated for the raffle from employees and departments at McLaren Oakland, McLaren Cancer Institute and McLaren Breast Center.
This event would not take place without the participation and continued support from the vendors.
We cannot begin to express our appreciation to the hard-working, dedicated committee members and volunteers who donated countless hours before, after and during the event. Thank you to everyone involved.
2014 Pink and Pampered Committee

Thanks to News, community for bus help

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the Independence Township Senior Adult Activity Center and the entire Bucks for Buses Planning Committee, I would like to thank The Clarkston News for your $500 sponsorship of our Bucks for Buses transportation fund raiser on Aug. 20, 2014, at Overtyme Grille and Taproom.
A fun time was held by all, many attending walked away with a fabulous raffle prize, and the transportation program raised over $11,000. We could not have achieved this without your donation!
We appreciate your support and that of all the area businesses of our transportation program which serves seniors 55 and over and special needs travelers in Independence and Springfield townships and the City of the Village of Clarkston.
Sincerely,
Amy Laboissonniere
Events coordinator

In favor of $3 million local investment

Dear Editor,
I am in favor, and do strongly support, a new hospital here in Clarkston.
For our increased population, including many seniors and families, in Independence, Waterford, Brandon, and Springfield townships having a full service medical facility within 5-10 minutes will be a welcomed presence to be sure.
Personally, I lost more than one friend over the last few months due to heart attacks; this makes me think how difficult it would be in an emergency to drive 30-plus minutes on a wintery night to a hospital in Grand Blanc or Pontiac.
Public Safety is not the only benefit of a new hospital. McLaren wants to invest $300 million of private, not taxpayer, money into our community. This will bring 3,000 new jobs, including carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc., for the 2-plus year building project, and long-term positions for doctors, nurses, physical therapists, x-ray techs, etc.
Plus, there will be more entry-level career opportunities for our high school grads, and even new markets for small business start-ups med-transport, home and hospice care, and medical equipment sales, etc.
In addition, all the new workers will be spending their money at local businesses, improving our economy, and paying taxes on their income, supplying much needed revenue for community projects.
I actually testified before our State Senate in Lansing concerning this issue. We are competing with other states like Indiana and Ohio who would also love this several hundred million dollar investment.
It’s essential for us to create a friendly financial environment for all investors. A new hospital can even indirectly benefit local libraries, police and fire departments, without asking for a new burdensome millage. We cannot miss this amazing opportunity.
I have been speaking with many people in our area, and the new hospital is a very popular idea. This will help ensure our future, even strengthening us to weather any further economic challenges. Let’s help our citizenry with financial rewards, as well as better full service health care by supporting a long overdue local hospital. I believe in my heart Michigan’s and North Oakland County’s best days are yet to come.
Sincerely,
Jose Aliaga
Independence Township
Township Board trustee

Middle class has faith in trickle down

Dear Editor,
Corporate profits are at record highs and the income gap between America’s middle class and the nation’s wealthy elite continues to widen at an alarming rate.
The job market is growing with low wage jobs and increasing underemployment. Future retirement prospects for current generations are bleak, with inabilities to earn and save now increasingly common. Student debt is enormous.
Recent election exit polls show that a majority of Americans, including Michiganians, are very concerned about a weak economy and dim economic prospects and little financial security for their families.
Still, Rick Snyder and his state legislature and administration will continue to mouth family values as Michigan workers, pensioners and students struggle to pay the price for the state’s wealthiest to get wealthier.
Apparently, the middle class has faith in trickle down economic policies and continues to eagerly await being further trickled upon by state government.
Mike Fetzer
Independence Township

Superintendent proud of school audit

Dear Editor,
On Oct. 27, Clarkston Board of Education received the annual audit from our auditing firm, Hungerford and Nichols, as required by state law. CCS received the highest opinion an auditor can give, including compliance with federal programs, with no significant deficiencies or material weaknesses. The district increased its fund balance by over $2 million. The general fund now represents 7.15% of the district’s 2014/15 budgeted expenditures, which is an increase from the 4.39% on hand at June 30, 2013.
The community should take great pride in knowing CCS is one of the few school districts in the state to add to its fund balance this year. This is quite an accomplishment, given the very challenging economic times experienced in our state and country.
Through our excellent financial work, including bringing in substantial revenues from shared services programs and reducing expenditures, we’ve now been able to give increases in pay to our employees, maintain programs, reduce class sizes, and updated infrastructure on a limited basis. In the future, via our strategic plan, we expect to continue to enhance learning opportunities for our students, to update technology, and to improve our facilities.
Congratulations to our staff, administration, and board of education on these accomplishments.
With the election season behind us, the district looks forward to continuing to move toward its goals, including academically, fiscally, in technology and operations, and in communications and human resources. We all care deeply about this community’s children, and our collaborative efforts cause positive outcomes for kids.
Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock
Clarkston Community Schools

A call for fact checking Jottings

Dear Editor,
I often receive chain e-mails with inaccurate information but I consider the source and discard them.
The statements Mr. Sherman makes, in his article about athiests, attributing certain facts to presidential candidate Obama and now President Obama have been shown to be false at a number of sites. It only took me two minutes to find the following three:
? www.factcheck.org/2008/08/obama-and-the-christian-nation-quote, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation ? at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers”;
? www.politifact.com/new-jersey/statements/2012/feb/09/chain-email/claim-obama-canceled-national-day-prayer-has-been, “despite the numerous errors in the email, it does contain an element of truth ? and that fits the Truth-O-Meter’s definition for Mostly False”; and
? www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/01/presidential-proclamation-national-day-prayer-2014.
I am surprised that his “jottings” aren’t checked for accuracy. Some people still believe what they read in newspapers.
Jim LeBlanc
Springfield Township

Hats off to departments after I-75 accident

Dear Editor,
What started out as a typical 10 minute commute to work last Friday ended up in an hour and a half ordeal that made my heart skip a few beats.
You see, I was cruising the middle lane at 75 mph on I-75, when out of the blue, literally, a small to medium size light blue car came across my lane in front of me. I’m not sure if she hit me or I hit her; the next thing I remember is driving out of control directly towards the guard rail in the medium.
I watched almost in slow motion her car jump on top of the guard rail but fortunately rebounded back on my side landing in the ditch with the airbags blown.
I sat there making sure this was not a dream and was amazed at the amount of people who stopped right away to check to see if we were alright.
Kristina, a nurse from McClaren was one of the first,along with a young man who works at The Town Center Auto Wash. (This day and age most people would either gawk or make obscene gestures because of the incident) but today the Good Lord sent several angels down to watch over us. I was most grateful neither one of us were hurt.
The paramedics showed up lickity split probably because it looked far worse than it was. Physically I was fine and turned down the ride to the hospital. However my adrenaline was fueled with what I had just been through.
I was instructed to stay in my Jeep Grand Cherokee so I called my wife Tami to let her know what had just happened.
She answered the phone in the usual ‘Hello? which I thought was funny because 30 years ago when I was in a similar accident on 75 and called her.
The first thing out of her mouth was ‘Are you alright?? not knowing why I was even calling. I guess her intuition has gotten a little rusty.
The ambulance drove me to work, everything is fine. Turns out the other driver fell asleep at the wheel (and I’m the one with narcolepsy).
My hat goes off to the Oakland County Sheriff Department, Independence Township Fire Department especially Frankie Cruz and Matt Decker for their promptness and professionalism.
Tom Lowrie
Independence Township

Help for snow shoveling

Dear Editor,
I just received notice from the City of the Village of Clarkston ? they’ve voted down taking care of the sidewalks and want to charge $130 if they shovel your sidewalk and can fine a homeowner up to $500 if they do not shovel two inches of snow within 24 hours (‘Snow ordinance to be enforced,? Nov. 27).
They also attached an opinion form, a little late, asking homeowners/tax payers what we think is important, including shoveling the sidewalks.
I work many hours, live alone, don’t know my neighbors ? one is an empty lot next to me and the other lives out of town. I also travel on business, but know there are a lot of older folks as well. Does the city have any ideas for those who are not able to shovel the twoinches of snow within 24 hours?
Any recommendations would be appreciated. Are there any local kids or folks who would be interested in doing this service for the folks affected by this decision? I’m sure we’re all willing to pay for the help.
Ellyn Rogers
Clarkston
(The City said residents with difficulty could call City Hall at 248-625-1559.)

Former gas station ideas

Dear Editor,
The gas station property being demolished at Dixie and M15 (‘Station demolition makes way for redevelopment,? Dec. 10) does have significant redevelopment “challenges including traffic, safety and contamination.” These three issues existed long before the station closed its doors. It is a very dangerous intersection which leads me to believe why “several plans for the property had fallen through ? unable to satisfy township requirements,” And rightfully so.
The old saying, “trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” comes to mind.
Has there been any consideration to turning it into a green space? Simple landscape scene with a well done sign reading something like “Welcome to Clarkston, Independence Township and Springfield Township.” Maybe a display of our community’s great service organizations, not a park, but a simple no entry triangular green space which would eliminate the traffic and safety issues likely to continue to kill all “redevelopment” plans that may be submitted for consideration.
I realize the property has monetary value and has the potential to generate tax revenue. But at what price? Years of time and energy by our local government rejecting development proposals, which will stop eventually when developers realize it just isn’t gonna happen? At the price of significant potentially tragic traffic/safety issues, which residents and visitors will be subjected to, assuming the property will ever be developed?
Supervisor Pat Kittle was quoted as saying “developing the property would have a ricochet effect on the area by encouraging neighbors to upgrade properties and storefronts.” Agree. But must the development be brick, chrome, glass, increased traffic hazards, unsafe conditions, and more. Why not a warm welcoming low maintenance green space that eliminates the traffic and safety issues and looks good? Did you ever notice when one neighbor spruces up their yard others soon follow? Examples. Look at our beautiful downtown Christmas light displays. The constantly improving and beautiful landscape/gardens of homeowner’s in our community. These, and more, did not happen all at the same time on day one. “Ricochet” indeed!
Realize “money talks” and the tax generated on a property valued at $209,000 could add to our tax revenue. Not sure if I’m buying that the property “will increase to over $525,000.” Based on what, land that will probably never be or dangerously developed? Don’t think so.
The concept to implementation will certainly be a challenge, especially with several governmental bodies involved, but please let’s at least explore other financial/development possibilities.
Mike Cascone
Clarkston

‘No? to new hospital plan

Dear Editor,
Our family has lived in Independence Township for over 30 years. As parents of two boys, we’ve had our share of emergencies. In those 30 years, we’ve never thought our or our children’s lives were in danger. After all, a hospital is just eight miles away. We’ve found this distance to be safe and reasonable. We also realize hospitals can’t be on every corner like Rite Aid or CVS pharmacies. Considering it’s not unusual for northern Michiganians to have to travel four times that distance for emergencies, we question a new hospital is needed for our “safety.” We don’t buy it, just as the CON board (twice), the courts, and the legislature (twice) didn’t buy it. Senate Bill 1073 (a.k.a. the McLaren bill) was McLaren’s most recent attempt to exempt itself from our laws.
If ever there was a bill meant to benefit one group, S.B. 1073 was it. Fortunately the bill was overwhelmingly rejected on Dec. 4 by the state senate. They saw this bill for what it was, a scheme that would have changed Certificate Of Need laws to allow building hospitals every eight miles in our state. How did the sponsors of this bill come up with the not so arbitrary distance? Because eight miles is the distance from McLaren Pontiac to the proposed hospital in Independence Township. A distance purposely written into the bill to create a “need” for a hospital in Independence Township where no such need exists. This type of bill isn’t good governing. We applaud the state senate for voting this down.
It’s time for McLaren to accept the rule of law, pick up their marbles, leave our community and go elsewhere with their hospital proposal.
Michael and Lori Powell
Independence Township

Thanks for Holiday Lights Parade help

Dear Editor,
What happens when a whole community comes together? A great evening of family filled fun, celebrating with businesses, friends and neighbors.
On behalf of Independence Township Parks, Recreation & Seniors, thank you to everyone in the Clarkston community for supporting our annual Holiday Lights Night in Depot Park.
Our sincere appreciation to the City of the Village of Clarkston and their staff for allowing us to take over Depot Park; Oakland County Sheriff’s Substation for coordinating all traffic and delivering Santa safely to our event; and Clarkston High School National Honor Society Volunteers for working our event.
A very very special thank you to Santa and Mrs. Claus for stopping by and working with me to respond to all the letters left in our care!
Sincerely,
Amy Laboissonniere
Event Coordinator, Independence Township Parks, Recreation & Seniors

Reader hopes hospital comes to town

Dear Editor,
I was disappointed to see that our legislators turned down the bill to expand the distance limitation for moving beds within the Certificate of Need regulations. However, I’m still hopeful our Supreme Court will see the benefit of allowing McLaren to move forward with this plan.
I agree with our supervisor, Mr. Kittle’s, comments on the use of the Sashabaw corridor. I too, would rather see that corridor develop with high tech and long term businesses and employment opportunities than more strip malls.
A hospital in this area of Oakland County is needed.
This isn’t about whether we have quality hospitals not too far from us, its about have a quality hospital close enough when its critical to have one close by.
As one who has been involved with emergency services in this county for 35 years, I know first hand the importance of having a hospital close enough.
Mortality rates climb with every minute that passes when you are dying from a heart attack, stroke or trauma. All this concern about traffic and “adding beds” (I can’t figure that one out – why does everyone keep thinking this is about adding beds?), is misplaced.
This is not about adding beds, it is about “moving” beds. What difference does it make if McLaren puts one on every corner or all in one or two places? And this issue about traffic. The traffic is already there.
My belief is a hospital would bring less traffic than many small developments along that corridor, and if it’s a decision between the traffic from a hospital or other types of businesses, I vote for the hospital.
Have a good day, and Happy Holidays…
Bob Cesario
Independence Township

Thanks for help with Holiday Party

Dear Editor,
We want to thank you for your recent donation to our Holiday Party Silent Auction. Your donation was a wonderful addition to our gift table and we had a very successful evening.
Proceeds from this event support the Clarkston Heritage Museum and all the items in our Clarkston collection.
The museum collects and cares for Clarkston artifacts, as well as provides exhibits, programs, field trips and many other events. Your generosity helps make all this possible. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support of the Historical Society and Museum.
Your commitment to our mission will be evident in our collections and to this community for many years to come.
Thank you again.
Toni Smith, director
Clarkston Heritage Museum

Reader rejects state road fix proposal

Dear Editor,
I am genuinely incensed at the recent actions taken to “fix the roads” by our lame (“duck” omitted intentionally) legislature.
Based upon what I have read, the current 19-cent-per-gallon gas tax and 15 cent diesel tax will be replaced with a 14.9 percent wholesale fuel tax.
It is being said that “at current prices” this results in 41.7 cents per gallon tax for gasoline and will raise $1.2 billion dedicated for roads.
I purchased gasoline this morning for $1.99 per gallon retail. At the current wholesale price, 14.9 percent tax would generate less than 30 cents per gallon of revenue. A wholesale fuel tax of more than 20 percent would be required to generate 40 cents per gallon.
If the price of gasoline were to remain at the current level, the “fix the roads” revenue will fall short and we will be stuck with the seven percent general sales tax that will be used to payoff the special interest groups that will support the legislation. The road fix will not be funded.
Not only do I think that this “fix” is a bad deal for taxpayers, but I also feel that all representatives and senators and the governor who supported this “compromise” should be made lame ducks at the next election cycle.
Rick Gutowski
Independence Township

Reader commends Rush for column

Dear Editor,
I’ve known Don Rush since he was a Wee Lad, having read his writings every since he began at the Clarkston News.
Many times I have thought you were “nuts.” Other times I have thought you were “wise” beyond your years.
In between I’d say “He’s smart as a whip,” “hilarious,” and then “dumb as a rock.” Now, then, your column “Bummed out because it’s the holiday season?” has shaken my old bones.
It is without saying that this column, in my opinion is the most wonderful writing that has ever come out of your mouth. It is great, fantastic, super, intelligent and very thought provoking. In this world where hate, greed, egotism, vulgarity, rudeness, deceit, killing and other things I can’t say in a local news publication.
I just want to say “thank you,” “God bless you,” Merry Christmas,” and well written, local lad.
Sincerely,
Vince Alonzi
Clarkston

A call to keep public notices in print

Dear Editor,
To state Sen. Dave Robertson regarding HB 5560, please consider the negative consequences of the action proposed by HB 5560, moving public notices from newspapers to websites 10 years from now.
Our free press is already threatened on every front, and the removal of public notices from the printed page would be yet another nail in the coffin of daily and weekly newspapers. But far worse is the assumption people will look to websites to learn:
Decedents? estates, where and when claims are to be filed;
Proposed changes in legislations;
Proposed changes in ordinances;
Proposed zoning modifications; and
The potential of mortgage foreclosures.
That’s a partial list. The existence of HB 5560 would be unknown if not published in the opinion pages of the Clarkston News.
Yours very truly,
Nancy L. Lopez
Davisburg

Board should focus on future, reader says

Dear Editor,
We were not surprised with your story about Superintendent Rod Rock and his negative evaluation by the previous school board. Anyone paying attention certainly isn’t surprised by his low approval rating. And thanks to your story (“Low score for school chief,” Jan. 15) the public has once again seen first hand why his rating is so low.
The stalling and incomplete information your paper received is typical of the Rock administration. Requests for specific information such as yours would take an effective superintendent less then a day to complete, yet your simple request required a 10-day extension to complete. Some board members have also run into the same problems getting information they were promised from the Rock administration. So it isn’t any surprise why he has such a low approval rating among a majority of previous board members. What is surprising is how board members Steve Hyer, Elizabeth Egan, Cheryl McGinnis, Kelli Horst, and Superintendent Rock foolishly believe they can go back in time and change an evaluation that is impossible to erase from the public records.
The absurdity of those board members was multiplied ten fold when they voted to reopen a past superintendent evaluation because the superintendent disliked the results. This shows us how “arbitrary and capricious” the new board already is. Deciding to go into the past to subvert an evaluation made by members of the previous board reminds me of the Eagles song, “Get over it.” The notion that this board would even consider a subversion of the past makes it very transparent to us that the November election has given us a board that is as “minimally effective” as Superintendent Rock.
Good luck to the public, the press, and to board members Susan Boatman, Joan Patterson, and Craig Hamilton. The days of free speech, free press, and a board answering to the people is a thing of the past. The public can now expect four board members who will re-install the draconian “shut up, don’t ask questions, and don’t micromanage” bullying of past boards, all while they hypocritically sing unquestionable praise of a “transparency” that never is, and never will be in the future of the Clarkston schools.
The school board and superintendent should stop wasting our time and money trying to change a past evaluation, and focus on doing better in the future. They could start by apologizing to the public for insulting our intelligence, accept the evaluation for what it is, learn from it, move forward and stop trying to change the past. This decision has shown the public the new board is as “barely adequate, and minimally effective” as the Superintendent is. Too bad for the kids!
Michael and Lori Powell
Independence Township

A call for more focus on the middle class

Dear Editor,
I wish The Clarkston News would have more coverage about the plight of the area’s middle class and working poor to better inform readers about the real condition of the national, state and local economies as the Michigan legislature appears to once again embark on an agenda hostile to the middle class.
The nation’s wealth continues to be increasingly concentrated among the very wealthiest while middle class incomes stagnate and decline. There appears to be little legislative interest in rectifying a tax system that rewards the wealthy with a plethora of tax breaks, deductions and loopholes while failing to have them taxed at progressive rates which reflect their growing incomes and wealth.
Meanwhile, the legislature purports to be interested in saving taxpayers money. It does this by imposing new taxes on already retired pensioners on fixed incomes, attacking the prevailing wages of skilled workers, and supporting increases in fuel and sales taxes, which disproportionately and adversely affect the middle class.
Legislators claim to be reluctant to make purported ‘job creators? pay their fair share. Never are the state’s wealthiest looked to for more revenue via taxes they can afford to pay.
Instead, the middle class stagnates among low wage jobs and sinking financial security.
Of course, there is a need to educate and skill-equip workers, but not just so they can labor in what is fast becoming the futility of middle class life, with its legions of relatively low paid workers whose labors mostly benefit the wealthy while the legislature contemplates more ways to squeeze the already repressed middle class. Voters must make their voices heard, not just through voting, but also through decisions about how and where they spend their (diminishing) incomes.
Mike Fetzer
Independence Township

A lifetime of work

Dear Editor,
Hi Jim’s Jottings ? here’s my ‘work done? list (re ‘Depression thinking, clowns and computers,? Jan. 21).
I grew up during the depression years, a time when money was scare and jobs were few.
My first recollection of work, other than household chores, was when I was about 10 years old.
My father had brought home an array of evergreen branches, which he laid on the kitchen floor. My sister and I then wired them around coat hangers, making them into wreath. They hung in the windows of the Clarkston State Bank at a cost of 50 cents each. Another early seasonal job was picking strawberries ? five cents a quart.
My first real job was dipping ice cream at Cheeseman’s Ice Cream Parlor when I was 13. This paid 18 cents an hour. Evening workers earned 25 cents an hour. I worked there three summers.
My next job was selling in the ladies? ready-to-wear department at Sears Roebuck store in Pontiac. I worked Saturdays 9 a.m.-9 p.m. during the school year and then full time during the summer.
While in college I earned money babysitting, making salads for the cafeteria, weekly cleaning of an apartment and modeling for an art class.
Other jobs I have had are as a chamber maid at a hotel on Lake Michigan, a kitchen helper at a Christian summer camp, an interviewer of credit card applicants in a large department store and as a post office mail sorter during the Christmas season.
My longest and last employment was as a school teacher for 30 years, the last 28 in Clarkston. In our generation, all legitimate work was honorable. There were no ‘jobs Americans won’t do.?
Happily retired,
Ethelyn Hyde
Independence Township

Retirement ends era

Dear Editor,
Last month Sandra “Sandy” Ritter attended her last meeting as an Oakland Community College Trustee, after having served in that capacity for 36 years. She may be the last of a generation of the iconic Ritter family to serve in public office.
Sandy began her OCC tenure as a mother of a very young child and left it a grandmother. She began as a caring community volunteer and left as a proud veteran.
Her generation of Ritters has served us in Washington, Lansing, Oakland County, and locally. As descendants of a local grocer, they served us willingly and well.
“Whether you know it or not, we leave parts of ourselves wherever we go.” The Illusion of Separateness, Van Booy. Everyone leaves something behind.
We are the recipients of the unique legacy of the Ritter family. Fortunately, their community service will not end with Sandy’s retirement as an elected official. We are, and will be, all the better because of it!
Tom Stone
Clarkston

Would leaving cracks make road worse?

Dear Editor,
Jim, regarding your column “Cracking concrete and bad roads. Why?”, a glaring observation I’ve noticed is how the RCOC (Road Commission for Oakland County) gets a head start on cracking our concrete roads by cutting “expansion cracks” in the roads.
You would think they would notice that everywhere they have cut “expansion cracks” are the areas where the crumbling starts. Walton Boulevard west of Sashabaw Road is just one of the many examples of this.
I would find it hard to believe leaving the roads alone to crack where they would crack naturally would make our roads any worse.
And don’t get me going on the “No turn on red” signs the RCOC has put at almost every intersection! Are we really that stupid that we can’t even make right turns at “T” intersections? The “commission of no” thinks so.
Regards,
Michael Powell
Independence Township

Councilman ready to put bridge behind him

Dear Editor,
Regarding “County official weighs an on bridge,” Jan. 28, this article says I stated at the Jan. 26 city council meeting that the city manager has been bullied online over the Depot Park bridge project. That is not what I said. I said the city manager has been accused of being a bully, a liar, and incompetent — all of which I believe are untrue.
In any event, I hope this matter is now behind us, as the more temperate recent comments from Tammie Heazlit seem to indicate.
Notwithstanding her latest post characterizing the city manager as “a spiteful, vengeful, deceitful, nasty human being,” the city staff will continue to consider her comments and work to assure that the bridge project is being properly completed.
Richard Bisio
Clarkston City Council

Dear Editor,
The school board’s recent decision to go back and reopen the superintendent’s negative evaluation made by the previous board when no such reevaluation policy exists is an unprecedented violation of school board policies (“Supt’t rating’s up after redo,” Feb. 4).
Requests for simple, very specific information that would take a competent superintendent less then a day to complete always take the Rock administration 10 day extensions to complete.
School board members have run into the same problems getting information that they requested and were promised by the Rock administration.
It isn’t any surprise why he has such a low approval rating among a majority of previous board members.
What is surprising is how board members Hyer, Egan, McGinnis, Horst, and Superintendent Rock foolishly believe that they can go back in time and change an evaluation that was required by state law to be completed by Dec. 31, 2014.
The absurdity of those board members is multiplied ten-fold when they voted to reopen the superintendent’s evaluation because the superintendent disliked the results ? results that the superintendent was aware of long before the new board was sworn in.
Yet he never requested a reevaluation from the previous board. The notion that this board would even consider a subversion of the past makes it very transparent to us that the November election has given us a board whose agenda will be nothing more then a rubber stamp for Superintendent Rock’s lack of transparency.
In record time we’ve seen the new board has a political agenda, so much so that they’re willing to go back in time to change an evaluation made by a previous board.
Good luck to the public, the press, and to board members Boatman, Patterson, and Hamilton. The days of free speech, free press, and a board that answers to the people is a thing of the past.
The public can now expect four board members who will re-install the draconian ‘shut up, don’t ask questions, and don’t micromanage? bullying of past boards, all while they hypocritically sing unquestionable praise of a ‘transparency? that never is, and never will be in the future of Clarkston schools.
The school board and the superintendent should stop wasting our time and money trying to change a past evaluation, and focus on doing better in the future.
They should start by apologizing to the public for insulting our intelligence, accept the evaluation for what it is, learn from it, move forward and stop trying to change the past.
This decision has shown the public that the new board is as ‘barely adequate, and as minimally effective? as the superintendent is. We can’t say as though we’re surprised.
Michael and Lori Powell
Independence Township
A goal discussed by the school board is ‘Board and Admin Communication ? Board Better Informed.? We’ll be watching with great interest to see what comes of that. ? PMC

Reader welcomes new McLaren plan

Dear Editor,
I was pleased to read, after repeated denials, that McLaren will proceed with a phased project at the Clarkston Medical Group campus (“New plan: smaller McLaren hospital,” Jan. 28).
The battle for healthcare services in Clarkston has been long and arduous. Many passionate and dedicated Clarkston citizens spent years evaluating the larger scale hospital plan ? before involvement by the courts and legislature that ultimately denied a transfer of hospital beds from Pontiac to Clarkston.
Now, we can expect a plan calibrated for our needs that will provide for balanced growth in the future. Township officials will be deeply involved in the development of these plans and I hope they will continue to be informed by the physicians who serve our community.
Dr. James O’Neill was the Clarkston physician voice for this project in the beginning. Though he has retired, many fine doctors continue his tradition of excellence in patient care at Clarkston Medical Group.
I can think of no other physician voices I would trust as much to hear about the new hospital plan than those of Clarkston Drs. Timothy O’Neill, Dean Moscovic, and Renny Abraham, who continue to tirelessly care for patients at Clarkston Medical Group every day.
I think we are all looking forward to enhanced services for the community.
Sue Nederlander
Springfield Township

Trustee calls for savings spending on roads

Dear Editor,
Recently, Oakland County got some bad news: Lansing is going to allocate less money for our road repairs in 2015 than they did in 2014. If you didn’t like the roads last year, this year will surely disappoint.
When I heard this I began picturing Maybee Road, Clintonville Road, Clarkston Road, Waldon, Sashabaw, and several other dreadful pothole zones in the greater Independence Township area.
It is the county’s responsibility to fix our roads. However, since Independence currently has a budget surplus, I support our township Supervisor Pat Kittle’s proposal: we should use some of these extra funds to address dangerous road areas that the county would be forced to ignore, due to lack of revenue.
Of course our township cannot afford this supplementation every season, but since the road damage in the Clarkston area is so severe right now, this year, we can not rely on the county alone to do a satisfactory job.
Independence Township will have between $300,000-$400,000 of extra revenue in 2015, without raising any taxes or millages, and without removing monies from any township services.
Independence could earmark $250k of our surplus to severe pothole repairs that are urgently needed.
For the safety of our citizens, in 2015, we need to act on our own behalf. This would be money well spent. It can literally save lives, while also saving families thousands of dollars in auto-repairs and increased insurance rates, and take the stress out of driving around our great city.
Sincerely,
Jose Aliaga
Independence Township trustee, resident

Thank you to Morgan’s for neighborly help

Dear Editor,
Recently I experienced a hometown story that needs to be told.
Not since I grew up in a small town in upper Michigan some 40 years ago have I experienced such friendly and efficient service.
Like any day, I went to start my car in the morning to go to work, but the battery was dead.
I called Morgan’s to see if they could help me out. They said they didn’t usually do service calls to jump batteries, but they offered to send someone to assist since I lived nearby.
Within minutes a young gentleman was in my driveway to charge my battery and had my vehicle running.
When I asked how much I owed him, he just smiled and said, ‘nothing.’All he asked was that I keep Morgan’s in mind the next time I need service.
Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. I know that I will not need to think twice about where I will go for service when I need it again.
Sometimes the advantages of living in a small town such as Clarkson are taken for granted, but the service of small businesses such as Morgan’s is hard to come by and not taken lightly.
Please join me in supporting local businesses such as Morgan’s within our community ? they are truly diamonds in the rough of the service industry. Thanks again, Morgan’s!
Elise Schmidt
Clarkston

‘No’to another restaurant, reader says

Dear Editor,
Any rezoning of a multi-family dwelling to another Italian restaurant in the downtown core seems ill-advised and contrary to public policy (“Rezoning would bring new business downtown,” Feb. 26).
The area’s housing diversity and availability will be significantly diminished, all for another restaurant which may, at best, generate a few low-paying service jobs.
It would be nice if all affected cashed in through the building sale and rezoning, but renters will be squeezed as more units are eliminated, and the town moves further from its roots.
Why not require investors to kick in for the costs of their development, with requirements for contributions for new mixed housing stock and infrastructure creation and maintenance costs emanating from public burdens for their largesse?
Development is good, if it reflects careful planning and concern for community benefit, and goes beyond whether a mere handful of investors will get richer from an ill-conceived project.
Michael Fetzer
Independence Township

Reader supports Keystone pipeline veto’

Dear Editor,
Kudos to President Obama for his veto of the Keystone pipeline.
The propaganda this was a job creator was belied by the rejection of a Democratic amendment that all the pipe should be made in America, creating thousands of steel manufacturing jobs, suggests a hidden agenda.
Was it a coincidence some proponent senators received large campaign donations? I concede many jobs would be created, in perpetuity, cleaning up the oil spills.
Dale Bond
Independence Township

Reader finds flaw in Sashabaw plan

Dear Editor,
Looking at the Independence Township plans for changes to Sashabaw Road, I note that after all is done the one really dangerous turn situation will not be improved!
The left turn from northbound Sashabaw will not be change; we will still have to turn left against south bound traffic coming over the hill.
So what has $3 million or $4 million really bought us? Seems that our planners need to consider threats to traffic rather than better access to Sashabaw!
Jim Reed
Independence Township

Salary increases too high for reader

Dear Editor,
I can’t believe the proposed increases in salaries for these two positions (“Raises for school admin,” March 5).
With wage growth nonexistent over the past six years and inflation below one percent, how can you possibly justify raises of eight percent and 24 percent respectively?
I guess when you’re the one who decides if you should get a raise then it’s pretty easy to justify? The problem with spending other people’s money is eventually you run out (Margaret Thatcher).
Todd Tarantino
Independence Township

Thanks for help at chocolate contest

Dear Editor,
The Board of the Friends of the Clarkston Independence Library would like to thank the community for their participation in our recent Chocolate Celebration at the library. We especially appreciate those who made chocolate items for the contest!
It was a delicious event and there were many positive comments about the items submitted for the contest.
We also would like to recognize and thank Bordine’s for their support with this event. The flowers added a beautiful touch to the festivities.
Janet Coffing
Independence Township

A call to oppose public-notice bill

Dear Editor,
My wife and I vehemently oppose H.B. 4183 (“Public notice act up for vote,” March 18). The costs associated with printing public notices vs. website upkeep hasn’t been established fully for anyone to support a bill that provides government complete control of its public notices. Nor does this bill consider the 25 percent of the population who don’t have internet in their homes.
We hope state Rep. Jim Tedder does not support this bill. Public notices in a public newspaper can’t be changed after publication, and holds government accountable that those notices are as accurate as possible. When you compare that to a government run website where notices can be easily changed at any time up until, and after, meetings is exactly why passing this bill is a danger to transparency printed notices give to citizens. As taxpayers we believe the cost is worth it!
From what we gather there are no rules in H.B. 4183 governing the time frame in which a public notice can be changed before or after a meeting; when public-meeting minutes must be posted to the website; and finally, it’s illegal for any government to change a public notice after the website posting has occurred.
For these reasons and many more, we hope you don’t support this infringement H.B.4183 would put on our right to know.
Michael and Lori Powell
Independence Township

Proposal 1 plan corrupt, reader says

Dear Editor,
There used to be a difference between Dems and Repubs. The federal government takes in $3-4 trillion and spends $4-5 trillion each year. Now both want to have a say in spending so they can have power and live cushy lives. Big government only gets bigger. Each party is a cesspool of corruption. It’s only a matter of the rate at which we go down the drain, not the direction we go.
A good example is the “plan” to fix our roads. If we vote “yes” in May: taxes go up by $2 billion and during the first year, less will be spent to repair roads than currently since $800 million will be used to retire debt. Because there were not enough Republican votes willing to “compromise,” Democrat votes were bought by increasing school spending, earned income tax credits and revenue sharing.
A mailer from “Safe Roads Yes” says “now is the time to fix the problem.” Notice the “loose chunk of concrete” flew through the air over 10 years ago, in 2005! The committee is funded primarily by the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association and individual construction companies to the tune of $3 million last report. I doubt they influenced any of our representatives.
Vote “no” on Proposal 1!
Rick Gutowski
Clarkston

‘No’ to repealing ban on animal coloring

Dear Editor,
Every year around Easter time, we see pictures of baby chickens and other small animals dyed different colors. While they look really cute, the dyeing process can be stressful for them, and it’s widely considered cruel. Thankfully, the sale of animals who have been dyed is currently illegal in our state.
But that could change if Representative Andrea LaFontaine succeeds in passing HB 4251, her bill that would repeal Michigan’s law against selling dyed animals. I can’t understand why anyone would want to make this practice legal; the only reason I can think of is that the current law must be preventing someone somewhere from making a buck. I hope the legislature rejects HB 4251 if it comes up for a vote.
According to MDARD Animal Shelter Activity reports, in 2013 nearly 900 rabbits were surrendered to Michigan shelters and nearly 300 were not adopted.
Petfinder.com currently over 4,000 rabbits available near me in Clarkston, so personally I do not think we need to be ‘marketing? more rabbits.
Pam Sordyl
Independence Township

Kudos for Independence S.O.C.K.S.

Dear Editor,
Hats off to the leadership of Chris Turner to nurture this great team at Independence Elementary – and to the teachers and parent volunteers who energize and channel all the energy of this elementary school community!
The S.O.C.K.S. (Serving our Community Kid Style) program on March 26, socksday.weebly.com, is a whole school initiative integrated with the curriculum. What an awesome way to mix the academic study with the practical needs of life in our community.
As a parent of a soldier serving in Afghanistan, it really does give me courage and hope for the future to be part of such a great community like Clarkston. Thanks again to Independence Elementary in whole, and to the 2nd grade class in particular for their support of our troops.
Mike Timm
Independence Township

Sashabaw info online, supervisor says

Dear Editor,
There was a recent Letter to the Editor voicing a concern the new I-75 Sashabaw Road construction project did not have a left turn lane for North Sashabaw to North I-75 (“Reader finds flaw in Sashabaw plan” — “the left turn from northbound Sashabaw will not be changed; we will still have to turn left against south bound traffic coming over the hill,” March 18).
This statement is not accurate. There is a dedicated left turn lane to north I-75 being added at this high accident location.
All residents are encouraged to visit the new township website to check out all the elements of this road project.
From the township website (www.indtwp.com) click on Planned Improvements under the heading Proposed Interchange Improvements I-75 & Sashabaw. A full color map with construction areas highlighted is available for you.
Patrick Kittle, supervisor
Independence Township

Pride in students’ help for classmate in need

Dear Editor,
A kindergarten student was diagnosed with diabetes, and his family wants him to use a therapy dog, which is costly (“Kindergartners rally around classmate, living with diabetes,” March 18).
Our students participated in a “Quarter War,” in conjunction with Spirit Week. The “war” was between Upper El, third-fifth grades, and Lower El, K-second, and the kids brought in quarters all week. Together, the whole school raised over $800, and all proceeds will be given to this child’s family to help obtain the therapy dog.
I am beyond proud of these students and families who pulled together to help one of our own.
Jeanna Klebba
Independence Township

Yoga pants perspective appreciated

Dear Editor,
Mr. Rush, I appreciate your column on yoga pants! I have a young 14-year-old (soon to be 15) girl who is now a freshman at Clarkston High School.
The argument for years in our house has been, “no yoga pants to be worn in public” (a rule created by my husband). Now that she’s older, the discussion is, “You must wear a tunic/long sleeve shirt over your rear end” to hide from wondering eyes.
Also, another statement I make to my daughter and her friends very often is, “Leave them something to wonder about,” and “be mysterious.”
I ask them, “Why do you want to give it all away in the first ten minutes you meet? Make them work for it”? In all of these statements, it’s always referencing the damn yoga pants and their clothes.
I remember going to a football game this past fall and it was cold out…very cold. A young girl( probably 16-18 years old) in front of us was walking with her boyfriend. They were about 25 feet in front of my husband and I. My husband was in such shock at what he saw, he looked away and waited about 15 seconds, I asked him what was wrong. He said, “I can see right through that girl’s pants.”
Of course, out of curiosity, I looked and he was right! Her pants were so tight (or thin) you could see her flesh beyond the pants. Needless to say, my husband was embarrassed for himself and that young girl.
I’m pretty frank with my daughter about many things about being a girl (name calling, behavior with boys, make-up, etc.) and this is one of them. How you dress describes yourelf to others, and what you want people to think of you.
My daughter and her friends were at the mall a couple weeks ago and came home grossed out. They had older boys/men following them at the mall.
The first thing I said was, “What did you expect them to do when you dress like that?”
Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t dressed trashy or revealing, but they ALL had their LULU Lemon yoga pants on, and my daughter was the ONLY one wearing a shirt to cover her rear end. The rest were wearing shorter shirts and blouses. It’s difficult enough to manage/monitor/police these damn cell phones and text messages in and out of school. Now we have to monitor/manage their clothing. But I think that has been a fight every mother has had since the beginning of time!
I would have loved to help you write this column. Keep up the great work! I think it’s great a man/father wrote it, too. Maybe some of these mothers thought about it a little more (the creepy older man thing, and it scared them a little to make their daughters wear longer shirts).
Best Regards,
Julie

Deerhill Highlands disappoints reader

Dear Editor,
Think for a moment about the most pleasing neighborhoods you’ve ever experienced; those where you would have liked to have lived; those that stay in your memory as places that have simply made you feel good. Regardless of what size the homes were or the space between them, chances are your visions include winding streets that follow the natural ridges and valleys of the land, mature trees, play areas, and community gathering spaces.
This is exactly what the 26-acre vacant property at Dixie and Deerhill Drive lends itself to be. As a promising point of departure, the existing land possesses the natural features that set the stage for just such a picturesque hamlet, including rolling hills and extensive woodlands. In many ways, it exemplifies, and is consistent with, what we have come to regard as the definitive and well-established character of Independence Township itself.
Unfortunately, the Troy based developer of this parcel has a much different vision. Sadly, it is one that mimics the wall-to-wall density and mass-graded cookie-cutter subdivisions that would blend in fine with the tightly packed and amenity-free starter developments normally found to our south, but not with Clarkston.
The Independence Township Board of Trustees has chosen to enter into a Consent Judgment with this developer, issued through the courts, bypassing their carefully conceived zoning ordinance, to get this intruding development built. The preliminary site plan has been approved by the Planning Commission, and the final approval by both that body, and the Board of Trustees, is pending and imminent. Significant changes must be made and they need to know that we expect more from them as they represent us and the future of our community.
Our neighborhoods are the settings for our lives ? the places where our families are nurtured and raised ? they should be designed to dignify our daily routine. They should be planned to be the kinds of places that are essential to lives well lived, and not simply to satisfy the bottom line of an absentee developer
Gary J. Gavulic
Independence Township

Property suggestion

Dear Editor,
In regards to ‘Rumors surround corner lot,? April 9 edition ? this really got our interest! Having read several articles discussing the corner property, Main and Waldon, we see no reference to the best of all possible uses! Leaving it as a restored natural green corner! That is, return the only significant open lot on south Main Street to a designated natural conservation preserve, in marked contrast with using every piece of valuable open land for suburban development!
So why not? Well, that defies economic sense! As J.P. McCarthy said, ‘It’s not the money, it’s the amount!? But does it? A land donation or a properly construct Conservation Easement placed on the lot, or even on a major portion of it, could return a very significant benefit not only as a charitable donation, but also as a beautiful public park and walk-thru entrance to our Clarkston! And with much popular credit to the owners! What an idea whose time has come in this new greening era!
If promoted though an organizational effort, we believe the project would be amply contributed to by many public and private interests. We would invite the owners to consider the many good sides of this option and discuss possibilities with our local land conservancy.
Sincerely,
Tom and Loraine Hall
Independence Township

Leave Clarkston as is

Dear Editor,
I left Birmingham 30 years ago to escape ‘five star? places/people like the Townsend Hotel. Why must our beautiful, quaint community be destroyed by these ‘five star? places/people? Isn’t Clarkston perfect as it is? Please stop this desecration of our lovely village.
Thank you.
Judy McConnell
Clarkston

Not profits over all

Dear Editor,
In regards to ‘Rumors surround corner lot,? April 9, not every taxpayer agrees with Washington Management’s Robert Roth’s apparent view that investors have an absolute right to determine how land they own is used for development and profit.
While investors may expect to reap rewards, “development” efforts and profits must not ignore views and needs of others in the community, including other taxpayers, who also have compelling interests in how the community evolves. Feudal lords and 18th century land barons may have had their way, and today’s wealthy elite expect to benefit from their economic and political access and advantages, but most contemporary middle class Americans expect to have significant, meaningful input into decisions affecting their communities’ overall development.
They also expect public officials who are responsible to all constituents and not just to the financially privileged. Of course, wealthy corporate and individual investors who donate land for parks and other civic purposes in the communities where the investors have so richly prospered are also appreciated.
The community is grateful for all property owners who pay their taxes. Still, the fact that investors may have paid property taxes over a 10-year period in the expectation of eventually reaping a windfall does not sound like much of a risk or hardship to most middle class Americans, especially without full disclosure of the itemized expense and other deductions that may have otherwise affected the investors’ balance sheets over the decade. Hopefully, none of the investors starved for lack of cake.
Investment is essential for economic growth, but investor profits must not come at the exclusion and expense of other individuals and families who might be left holding the bag with future water, traffic, infrastructure and other quality of life expenses and costs–all endured with fewer trees.
Mike Fetzer
Clarkston

Subscriptions a hit

Dear Editor,
Thank you for the generous donation you made to the Clarkston High School lacrosse fund raiser. The Clarkston News subscriptions were popular items at our silent auction!
We have enclosed a CHS lacrosse window decal as a small thank you for your support of the program.
We hope to see you in the CHS stands this spring. GO Wolves!
Thank you!
CHS Boys Lacrosse Program

Thank you, CNews

Dear Editor,
The Clarkston Optimist Club would like to express our sincere thanks for your support of our annual fund raiser, Denim and Diamonds.
Your donation for the auction will help us continue the Optimist’s mission of ‘Bringing out the best in kids.?
We invite you to join us at our meetings at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings at the Fellowship Hall of the Clarkston United Methodist Church, 6600 Waldon Road. We share information about upcoming events and usually have an interesting speaker. Please consider joining us.
Thanks for your support. We are building a stronger and more connected community!
Best regards
Andrea Schroeder, co-chairperson
Chandler Fleming, co-chairperson
Denim and Diamonds

A call to reconsider development

Dear Editor,
In regard to Mr. Gary Gavulic’s letter in the Clarkston News of April 8 (“Deerhill Highlands disappoints reader”), I share his concern and support a re-examination of the development of the 26-acre property at Dixie and Deerhill Drive.
Clarkston represents a unique community that is unlike others in Michigan, or other states for that matter, where the aura and attraction to live here is because of spacious lot sights, green space and protection of the natural landscape.
Deerhill Highlands is a direct contradiction to the philosophy that “Clarkston is different.” It is too dense, there is no protection of natural landscape, and its current status will negatively affect nearby wetlands, creeks, and nearby neighborhoods.
Please reconsider building this development as it is currently proposed.
Lolly and Ed Jozwiak
Springfield Township,
at Independence Township border

Two eye-sores too many for reader

Dear Editor,
Wow. I can’t believe because of the City of the Village of Clarkston, our village is now bookended by two eye-sores.
First, the owners of the lot of Waldon and Main plowing down the trees, because the city would never agree on what to let them develop. And now, after bickering for over a year, the Brake Shop on the corner of Clarkston Road and Main is NOT going to be renovated to architectural splendor by the Catallo group, but is now going to be a bigger mechanic’s garage than it is now — the city’s own DPW garage.
So now, because of the City of the Village of Clarkston government, visitors will see something ugly upon leaving AND entering.
Any alternative to these two conclusions would be better, aesthetically and logically
Way to go!
Vanessa Myers
Clarkston

Thanks for community volunteer help

Dear Editor,
On Friday, April 17, Independence Township Senior Adult Activity Center hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at St. Daniel Church, where over 100 volunteers and guests attended.
Thanks to the following staff and volunteers for all of the hard work they put into this event, Mary Przybycien and volunteers Diane Brozovich, Ron Frank, Beverly Krol, Rosie Landry, Nick Mocerino, Ron Pointer, Peggy and John Schorsch, Pam Spencer and Rose Tanner and others who helped prepare food and decorate for this event.
Also thanks to all of our staff members for working together with our volunteers to make our center a successful place. Our over 150 volunteers make it possible for us provide higher levels of programs and services to the community. We appreciate their hard work and everything they do for us.
We are especially grateful this year for St. Daniel Church and Nancy Steele for working with us and allowing us to host our luncheon in their hall. They have been very gracious to us and supportive of our center and programs.
Thanks to our Bronze Level sponsors, Clarkston Brandon Credit Union, Home Instead Senior Care, Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home, Inc., and SMART Transportation.
Thanks to these businesses for raffle items, Computer2tur, Carol Compagnoni, Culver’s of Clarkston, and Sue Fryer of Susan’s Hallmark.
Several local restaurants and businesses donated food for our luncheon. Our volunteers were very grateful for such a wonderful menu. It was a real treat to try out the different dishes that they provided. Thank you to these businesses for your generous donations of food for this event, Brioni Caf? and Deli, Clarkston Union and Woodshop, Connie’s Creative Cakes, Deer Lake Racquet Club Back Court Restaurant, Gregg’s Gourmet Caf?, Independence Village of White Lake, Pete’s Oven Bakery, Pizzeria dolce, Royal Diner, Sportsmen Great Northern Grill, Uncle Peter’s Pasties, and Via Bologna.
It was a great event thanks to everyone listed above for their donations and hard work.
Barbara Rollin, senior division supervisor
Mary Melega, senior center programmer

Reader calls for Proposal 1 rejection

Dear Editor,
Well, they’re at it again. The tax and spenders want another tax increase. This time it is to fix the roads. Well, what happened to the tax increase money we gave them to fix the roads last time? I remember the headlines back then. They read something like this: Tax increase approved, roads will finally be fixed! You will see improvements within 30 days!
Did you ever notice that the tax and spenders never ask for a tax increase to fund bloated bureaucracies and government waste? That’s because they know the increase would never pass. Instead, they always cloak it in something that is important to the voters like schools, roads, police, and fire. Then, every time the voters approve an increase, it is consumed by bloated bureaucracies and government waste. Then they come back and ask for another increase to fund schools, roads, police and fire.
To top it off, they always schedule the vote for an unusual time when the expected voter participation will be low. That way, they can improve the impact of their ultraliberal voter blocks.
How long are we going to be suckers for this ruse? The tax and spenders have used it for decades and we still fall for it. As stated by Dr. Gruber, passage of a tax increase like this relies upon the ‘stupidity of the American voter.?
On May 5, there will be a ‘special election? to vote on another tax increase. The proposal on the ballot changes the state constitution to raise the state sales tax from 6% to 7%, a 17% increase. Did you get a 17% increase in your income? I didn’t think so, me neither.
Please join me and other hard-working Michigan taxpayers and vote ‘No? on Proposal 1. Proposal 1 means more to the tax and spenders in government and less to your family. It’s that simple.
NO MORE!!! Not one dime!!!
Randall S. Fike
Independence Township

Support for Patterson’s continued work

Dear Editor,
Regarding the article ‘Fight continues for kids,? April 22,? on Joan Patterson, I have known Joan for many years. Joan has a real passion for our youth and their education. When I hear the term ‘for the kids,? which is commonly used, I think of Joan Patterson.
Over the years, she has recruited mentors for many students in Clarkston schools. She also is an active mentor.
Joan is also past president of our Clarkston Area Optimist Club. Our Optimist Club has 30 plus programs for our Clarkston area youth. The overriding theme of these programs is ‘bringing out the best in kids.? Joan is an active member of the Optimist and volunteers regularly to assist in many of these programs.
Joan stated in her article she is not done trying to make a difference in education. She mentioned she would like to spearhead an initiative to continue the discussion on education in an open forum.
She plans to continue her series of coffee chats on educational issues. These sessions have been at the Independence Clarkston District Library. I can tell you first hand these meetings are open, informative, and very worthwhile. I would recommend them to anyone, especially parents of Clarkston students.
In closing, I wish Joan the best and thank her for all of her work, especially for her pursuit of the best education for our youth.
Dick Ellis
Independence Township

Prop 1 support from League of Women Voters

Dear Editor,
Nothing is more important than providing our young people with the means to develop their potential, both as individuals and as contributing members of society. In order to provide adequate funding for quality education, the League of Women Voters Oakland Area supports the Operating Millage Renewal Proposal on the May 5, 2015, ballot for the Clarkston Community Schools District.
This funding on the non-residential property (businesses, commercial and rental property) in the district provides essential revenue and is also required to continue receiving the full state per-pupil foundation allowance. Voters must approve renewal of this millage every 10 years. This proposal will not change the allowable tax rate for the school millage nor does it apply to residents? homes.
Therefore, based on our long support of quality education, we urge voters to say YES to the Clarkston Community Schools operating millage renewal proposal in order to support the education of the district’s children.
Jerry Burden, President
League of Women Voters Oakland Area

A call for community response to heroin

Dear Editor,
I was shocked to find out that Heroin-Use among Clarkston area youths has been on the rise (“Horrors of heroin,” April 9). We all know that peer-pressure can lead teens to ‘experiment,? but I guess I was na’ve to assume that our fine and affluent community would be immune to this particular kind of drug abuse.
Shortly after reading an article about this troubling reality in the Clarkston News, I was pleased to see Independence Township Trustee Jose Aliaga bring it to the floor at a recent board meeting.
Mr. Aliaga recommended some straightforward ways to address this issue. He mentioned the possibility of PSA’s on Clarkston’s Public Access TV station to raise awareness to local families; and he confirmed Independence Township sheriff’s substation will accept unused prescription drugs from residents and dispose of them safely. The article explained how some Clarkston teenagers are pilfering parents? unused meds, which actually can become a gateway to harder and illegal drug use.
Trustee Aliaga also welcomed feedback from the board, and any concerned citizens, who may have other ideas for solutions to this very real and very serious problem confronting our community.
I hope to see some follow-through from the board, law enforcement, and other entities who share responsibility in such matters.
Barry Cohn
Independence Township

City needs to look into road pile, reader says

Dear Editor,
I hope someone from city government investigates the road millings piled up at Deer Lake Beach to create the new walkway slopes at the south bridge. They are in the back storage area of the park along with what appears to be other waste/discards. It looks like it’s for filling the area between the bridge and the south entrance to the park.
Some of it looks to be contaminated with a petroleum product and may not be environmentally suitable. Someone may have bulldozed a toxic waste site and conveniently unloaded the waste!
With a city attorney who purports the public has no need to know about every “hiccup” in local government, confusion about closed government meetings and emails flying among the parties, we want to be sure officials can be relied upon to distinguish between a hiccup and major gastrointestinal illness and will keep the patient who pays the bills in the informational loop.
Mike Fetzer
Independence Township

Residents hope resignations don’t mean silence

Dear Editor,
As long time residents of this township, it hasn’t gone unnoticed the extent some in this community will go to try to silence opposing viewpoints. The degree of malfeasance of those who think only their voices should be heard is a matter of public record, if you can get your hands on those records.
We’ve witnessed the Clarkston school board lawyer trying to silence board members by publicly berating them for speaking to parents, teachers, school employees, and pupils, claiming that their freedom of speech was against board policies (“Gag rule,” Feb. 22, 2012).
And now we have the new board majority instituting a ‘new question and answer procedure? eliminating direct communication with speakers and presenters (“Fight continues for kids,” April 23). ‘Questions by board members are first submitted to board President Steve Hyer.
And now we’re seeing a mirror image of the same type of anti-free speech, censorship behavior coming out of the City of Clarkston. The city lawyer said the city ‘has to find a way to adjust information coming out of the city? and that ‘the public does not need to know every little hiccup? (“Councilman resigns over social media dispute,” April 30).
Which begs the question – if the public doesn’t need to know about the ‘hiccups? in our government, then we surely can’t expect our government to inform us about matters larger then ‘hiccups? can we? ‘If we allow our government to decide what information is ‘important? and what is not, then corruption will soon follow. ?
And Clarkston Mayor Joe Luginski thinks council members should have a chance to censor Facebook posts before they are posted and was ‘concerned when a letter to the city council hit the social media site within minutes of being sent.? A letter of which a knowledgeable lawyer knows is the public’s property the moment it is sent to the government.
Make no mistake about it, in the last two weeks we’ve seen two people with a record of pushing for transparency and free speech who have resigned because they are fed up with the leaders of the school board and the city council for their continued assault on our fundamental rights to free speech and have refused to participate in the illegal and fraudulent actions of the few. ‘We’re certain that the resignation of both of these individuals hasn’t silenced either one of them. We hope both of them will make life miserable for those who continue to try to limit our rights to free speech and information in Communist Clarkston. ?
Michael and Lori Powell
Independence Township

Reader enjoyed corner trees and flowers

Dear Editor,
Regarding the once beautiful land at Waldon and Main Street, I’ve seen all the Facebook posts; I’ve read the Clarkston News articles; and the neighbors and I have been talking. Well after this last article in the Clarkston News (“Letter led totree cutting, Adler says,” May 6), I would like to say something.
Mr. Adler, I was born to Clarkston in 1970 and have lived here my entire life. I have been fortunate enough to live close to town as a youngster, and now as an adult with my own family.
I would like to congratulate you on your success for being able to own such a wonderful piece of property in our community.
When our family saw the first week of demolition however, our hearts were broken, I have to be honest!
I used to comment to my family on how beautiful the flowers were growing all over the property between the “junk trees,” as you called them, the trees and shrubs.
Not to mention I wanted to steal those flowers and put them in my own yard.
I am sorry you appear to be in a constant fight with our city. It’s obvious there is a tug of war going on. That lot may have not had President Lincoln stand on it, but I can tell you that we worship our little town. Please stop with the sarcasm in your statements, you’re not just yelling back at the city, you’re yelling at your community.
Take care, and I will hope that your existing plans for this corner will be even more beautiful than it once was.
Erika Hunt-Arms
Independence Township

Thanks for supporting church Refuge Run

Dear Editor,
Thank you for your very generous donation of two quarter page ads for our 10th Annual April Refuge Run. Due to your generosity and the 160 participants who raced and walked we raised over $4,100 for our Youth Ministry Missions.
Our church, Clarkston Community Church, encourages our youth to choose compassion and reach out to those less fortunate in our community and around the world.
Your sponsorship has made this possible for many of our youth to do just that this summer. Their lives will be changed as well as those they touch in the name of love!
Thank you again and may God bless you!
Sue Kilbourne
Youth Ministry Fundraiser Leader Clarkston Community Church

Music from DTE too loud, says reader

Dear Editor,
Is it just me, or is everyone else in’Independence’Township’wearing earplugs when they go to bed??
Our neighborhood has been calling and writing letters for years to get DTE Energy Music Theatre to turn down the volume, but without success.’I have called Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle’s office and been rerouted to the person supposedly in charge of testing the decibel levels.’I was told they would call me back.’That hasn’t happened.?
Now I find myself writing to our state representative and asking them to look into possible shenanigans between DTE and local government. I hope that is not the case but what else could it be?’If any one of us made that much noise at night the police would be at our door. ??
Maybe the Michigan Tourist Bureau should adjust the volume of their font, PURE MICHIGAN, just to let people know what they’re in for.
Harvey Sarkisian
Independence’Township

Excited about city grant for watershed

Dear Editor,
I was over the moon when I read the article in last week’s CNews (“Getting greener ? City awarded grant from watershed council”) discussing native plantings and stormwater controls being installed at the new bridge in depot park. It was exciting to learn the city is working with both the CRWC and LTU. Excellent! It was also a relief reading the state had stepped in and wanted the city to do more ? at last!
My excitement comes from the fact that a few months ago, during the bridge installation fiasco when the city manager was talking about installing planter boxes, these were all the suggestions I personally made on the Facebook “Village of Clarkston” page.
You can also go back and verify how awfully I was treated for making these suggestions by the city manager. To say it was not well received would be an understatement.
Imagine my surprise, then, to read of how Mike Sabol and the city council, congratulated the city manager for her ideas and work, with no mention of me!
I don’t want to break my arm patting myself on the back here, but, all the behind the scenes work I’ve done, the amount of ongoing effort it’s taken, to get the state to step in and agree my recommendations are what should be happening as a partial fulfillment of requirements under the cities stormwater permit, for effective best management practices to protect our little stretch of water. This is a personal victory for me. I’m relatively confident none of it would have happened without my efforts. And so I’m quite proud of this accomplishment.
I thought about staying quiet and just letting the city manager take credit for my efforts. But given how much she has said about me and my intentions and efforts, I feel I was treated like common trash by the council and city manager even though I was the only one telling the truth. I thought I’d tell the truth here, too.
You’re welcome.
Tammie Heazlit, hydrogeologist
Independence Township

Where is the pride in downtown?

Dear Editor,
We have such wonderful businesses downtown and we host so many out of town guests who come to visit our lovely village.
Have you taken a walk downtown recently? I do every morning and I must say it looks neglected!
To be clear, I’m not referring to the businesses, I’m talking about the sidewalk areas in particular. The trash containers are sometimes overflowing and some have broken cans with garbage ‘oozing? out from under them on to the sidewalk!
We have the nice grates around the trees, but they are full of weeds and cigarette butts! Check out the mail box near Main and Washington streets. If the weeds get any taller there, you’ll need to push them to the side to get your mail deposited! Where’s the pride? Come on village officers, let’s get things cleaned up!
Madeline Dishon
RE/MAX Encore, Clarkston

Memories shared of Hollywood Squares

Dear Editor,
I just had to comment on Don’s column this week (“Hollywood Squares: Do female frogs croak?,” July 1).
I’ve just finished it and laughed so hard the tears ran down my legs! I too grew up watching Hollywood Squares. I distinctly remember every one of those quoted persons, and the memories of how much fun they all had while doing the show brought a smile to my mind.
Thanks Don, for letting me walk down memory lane with you and for making me laugh so hard. Have a happy (and safe) Fourth of July.
Sincerely,
Beth Sulek-LaHousse
Springfield Township

Thanks to DPW for beautiful downtown for Fourth

Dear Editor,
What a fantastic Fourth of July in downtown Clarkston!
The weather was perfect, and the parade was wonderful. In the 20-plus years we’ve been attending the parade, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the streets of Clarkston are cleaned up and restored to their early summer beauty following every parade.
Abig thank-you to the DPW for their continued efforts in keeping Clarkston a place we can be proud to live.
Anne Clifton
City of the Village of Clarkston

Veteran’s celebration a success

Dear Editor,
Our Fifth Annual Independence Fest
Veterans Celebration in Clintonwood Park,
on Saturday, July 4, was bigger and better
than ever. We showcased our new Senior
Center Addition by adding more military
exhibits covering all of the wars from WW I
until the recent war in Afghanistan. This
year for entertainment we had the
Barbershop Quartet 4GVN open for our
Veterans Ceremony. In the afternoon the
Mike Sugg, Toby Keith impersonator, rocked
our Veteran’s Stage with county music.
The weather was perfect for us to honor
all of our veterans who made the ultimate
sacrifice for our country. Thanks to all of our
wonderful volunteers and staff for their hard
work. Special thanks to our Planning and
Organizing Committee members, Bart Clark,
Gordy Cloutier, Phil Custodio, Amy
Laboissonniere, Richard Lash, Mary Melega
and Lois Seddon. Don Cremer and the Chief
Pontiac Post 377 graciously provided their
Honor Guard for the Flag Raising Ceremony,
Moment of Silence, 21 Gun Salute and Taps.
Our special guest, Piper MacConaghy,
going into the second grade and daughter
of United States veteran, Brian from the
Afghanistan War, sang this year’s National
Anthem. Bart Clark, captain, US Navy retired,
did a wonderful job recognizing all of our
veterans at this year’s event. Special thanks
to Phil Custodio, Desert Storm veteran, for
leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Independence Township Supervisor Patrick
Kittle read a special proclamation in
Commemoration of Active Duty Military
Personnel, signed by our Independence
Township Board.
Thanks to all of our bakers who treated
our veterans with homemade desserts for the
special lunch provided in the center by
Sportsmen’s Great Northern Grill.
We really appreciate all of the individuals
who displayed their military items in the
Carriage House and the organizations that
serve veterans. Without all of our staff and
volunteers, Sandy Bailey, Diane Brozovich,
Jeanne Messing, Carolyn Morrison, Mary
Lou Schell, and Sue Shubert, the day we
would not have been able to have such a
successful event.
Thanks to all our special sponsors this
year, Platinum Level Sponsor Sportsmen’s
Great Northern Grill who graciously catered
lunch for all of our veterans and their
families, Gold Level Sponsors-American
Legion Auxiliary Unit 63 and Lockwood of
Waterford, Silver Sponsors-Independence
Village of White Lake, Grosse Pointe Party
Supply, The Clark Family, The Print Shop
and West Shore Financial Group and Bronze
Sponsors-All Saint’s Cemetery, American
Legion Post 63, American Legion Post 377,
John Acton, Pat Kittle, Lewis E. Wint & Son
Funeral Home and Visiting Angels.
Without all of the support of everyone
listed above we would not have been able to
recognize our veterans in the way they
deserve. I am grateful to everyone for their
support and making our 5th Annual Veterans
Celebration a huge success.
Barbara Rollin, senior division supervisor
Independence Township Parks, Rec., Seniors

Concerts are music to reader’s ears

Dear Editor,
Concerning the Letter to the Editor
‘Music from DTE too loud, says reader,? July
1, you people crying about the noise at DTE
are something else.
What did you think when you bought a
house near an outdoor entertainment venue?
Did you think you’d move in and make
them quiet down so you’d get your beauty
sleep? Really?
They do have a curfew ? it’s 11 p.m.! So
you have to put up with noise because you
live too close to DTE for a few hours one or
two days a week for a few months in the
summer.
I’ve lived here over 30 years and I look
forward to hearing the concerts. It’s a unique
thing here. If you don’t like it, move
somewhere else more quiet and quit your
crying!
Keith Kolich
Independence Township

Thanks to Patterson for years of service

Dear Editor,
A belated thank you to Joan Patterson
for her years of service to our community as
a member of the Clarkston Board of
Education.
No one since Sheila Hughes has worked
harder to educate herself on the issues and
then to investigate the results of those
decisions. Her votes were not just dependent
upon her views. She made sure the children,
staff and families of Clarkston benefited from
those decisions.
Thank you, Joan
Liz Meyer
Clarkston

Thank you for support at car wash

Dear Editor,
What a beautiful day for our annual Auxiliary Support Our Troops Car Wash Fundraiser, July 26! It was a combined effort and I’d like to thank the Legion, SAL, Auxiliary, Jr. Auxiliary and family members who helped.
A big thank you also goes out to Wint Funeral Home for their support and donation, the Dairy Queen of Clarkston for the delicious ice cream treats, all of our customers, and Annie Germic and Deanna Perysian, who chaired this event.
Uni Marbutt, president
American Legion Unit 63 Auxiliary

Call for township to rearrange priorities

Dear Editor,
Regarding “Township considers road millage” (July 29 edition), Proposal 1, which proposed a tax increase to fix roads, overwhelmingly failed in May. Now, Supervisor Pat Kittle is proposing a property tax increase to fix our roads?
The voters said rearrange priorities and use existing revenues! If our local elected officials believe that fixing the roads is a priority that deserves local funding, then rearrange local priorities and use existing local revenues!
The voters have already spoken.
Rick Gutowski
Independence Township

Reader supports marriage viewpoint

Dear Editor,
I appreciated the viewpoint of Father Kelly Todd in his Spiritual Matters article ‘Tolerance shouldn’t compromise beliefs? (Aug. 12 edition).
As a fellow Christian and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, I agree wholeheartedly we can love our fellow man but we do not have to agree with all of their actions. There is a difference between tolerance and acceptance. I have friends and family who are gay and I love them for who they are, but I don’t agree with their lifestyle.
It is my belief marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and for the well-being of society. Civil laws may change, but those laws cannot change the moral laws God has established.
We are truly blessed to live in a nation where we have our freedom. Because of that, there are many different beliefs and opinions. Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility ? even when we disagree.
It is frustrating and disheartening to be labeled a ‘bigot? or ‘lowlife,? as Father Todd described, just for standing firm in our beliefs. I would hope we could all show kindness to each other despite differences of opinion.
Trish Andrew
Clarkston

Thanks from Lions for Kidsight support

Dear Editor,
The Clarkston Area Lions had a very successful day this weekend as we performed two Project Kidsight free vision screenings in our community.
In addition to our regularly scheduled monthly one at the Clarkston Independence District Library we were at the delightful Tons of Trucks event.
We more than doubled the number of children we had last year with a grand total of 98 children screened, the vast majority of them preschoolers who are our primary target audience.?
We would like to extend a special thanks to the Independence Township Parks, Recreation and Seniors for having us at Tons of Trucks and being so helpful. We also want to recognize our member who worked at it including Bob Murdock, Kellie Shelton and Brace Case. It was a very busy day for everyone.
Ron and Chris Savage, coordinators
Clarkston Area Lions Project Kidsight

Car wash sponsors appreciated by band

Dear Editor,
We would like to send out a big thank you to Ken Lee and Bowman Chevrolet on behalf of the Clarkston High School Marching Band. They furnished all the supplies needed for our car wash and the use of their parking lot.
With their continued support of the band, they made our fundraiser a huge success! The kids washed everything from cars to pickups with large trailers, and they did an amazing job!
Thanks again!
Clarkston High School Marching Band

Appreciation for man who found purse

Dear Editor,
On Wednesday, Aug. 19, my husband answered our doorbell and saw a man there saying he had found my purse on a road. I had been working at the Community Garden on Pine Knob Road near Stickney that morning. I must have left it on the trunk hood after putting other things in my trunk.
This kind man found my address on my driver’s license and brought my purse right to our home, several miles from where he found it. He left so quickly I didn’t have a chance to come to the door to thank him. I was changing my clothes and hadn’t even realized my purse was missing.
The purse had been run over but all my credit cards, driver’s license, and cash were still intact.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, mystery man. I hope you read this.
Janet Shaw
Independence Township

Road work took too long, reader says

Dear Editor,
As a concerned citizen, there is no question the Sashabaw/I-75 interchange required improvement.
And I currently believe, in the final analysis, it will help the large volume of traffic that flows through it move better.
However, for the home owners who live in close proximity to the construction, it is becoming a nightmare. We realize construction means more time will be required to get from point A to B. But, to totally shut down one lane of Waldon Road for 10 weeks to add a couple of hundred yards of concrete is totally uncalled for!
I say this because Detroit has experienced two horrific tanker crash/fires in the last six months, with extensive pavement damage. Amazingly enough, repair and traffic was back in operation in less than a week!
You don’t have to be a construction expert to see something doesn’t add up here. I’m pretty confident a better plan could have been developed to complete this small section of road addition. Come on, highway engineers, give us a break!
Tom Keel
Independence Township

Thanks for help with Rush for Food

Dear Editor,
We would like to thank the Clarkston Community for their support in the 18th Annual Rush for Food that was held on Saturday, Aug. 22.
Every year at this time our Clarkston football players enjoy the opportunity to give back to the community that faithfully supports them.
The Varsity and JV players canvased over 40 neighborhoods while the Freshman team worked all afternoon sorting and stocking the pantry of Lighthouse North. With a goal of 7,000 pounds, the teams collected 7,475.5 pounds of food, once again a year over year increase!
Special thanks goes to the Clarkston Athletic Boosters, Dunkin Donuts of Sashabaw Rd., and Neiman’s Family Market for donating supplies for the pre-Rush breakfast.
Thanks also go to the Clarkston Dance team and Clarkston Cheerleaders for contributing donations. Thanks to the many other parents and coaches who pitched in and volunteered at the event and provided additional donations!
Thanks go to my partners on the 18th annual Rush For Food parent committee which included Erika Heaton (chair), Lauryn Eriksen, Claudine Schoenherr, Nancy Linton, Kathy Kerrigan, Diane Pierce, and Trish Newblatt for their time and commitment in organizing another successful year!
Finally, we would like to thank the Clarkston News, St. Daniels Catholic Community, Waypoint Church, and Leo’s Coney Island for hosting community drop-boxes and the Clarkston citizens who generously donated to make this event, the 18th annual Rush For Food, such a great success! Together, we once again proved what a wonderful community Clarkston is to live in!
Thank you,
Karen Nicklin, Publicity
CHS Football ‘Rush for Food?

Kudos for successful season at DTE

Dear Editor,
Thank you to the Pine Knob staff and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department. Another great season of events has come to a close and what could have been an absolute disaster every night, with the construction, turned out to be not that bad.
We knew when we moved here six years ago that DTE Music Theatre was there before we were and they have been great neighbors. I don’t think we ever heard an artist go past curfew or we never had issues with concert goers around town. When the summer first started we were having a number of people try to cut through our neighborhood, Wyndgate, after events. One phone call to the Palace and the rest of the season they had a truck blocking the front of our sub turning away anyone who didn’t live here.
Big props to the deputies from Oakland County too. Rain or shine they were out there keeping traffic moving and making sure it wasn’t a free for all.
I know some people grumble about the noise and the traffic, but it is going to happen no matter what when you live that close to a major music venue. The deputies and Pine Knob staff has done a great job making sure they were good neighbors and as respectful of us residents as I could expect.
Chris Drouin
Independence Township

Reader calls for development reconsideration

Dear Editor,
After attending the Independence Township Planning Commission meeting Aug. 13, attended by a large crowd, where our township master plan, 20/20 goals, zoning, and density were thrown out, one is left to wonder (‘Housing plan moves forward over objections,? Aug. 19).
Why do Independence Township boards all seem to work only for lawyers, developers, and planners rather than those who live here and elect them?
Seemingly in a rush to turn Clarkston and Independence into an urban blightscape, our local elected are furiously pounding nails in the coffin of our old comfortable township. This latest outrage will bring more traffic congestion, ugly buildings, and glots of humanity, planners have approved 92 more nails. This at the intersection of I-75 and the old Dixie Highway.
Maybe this last weekend’s traffic tragedy can shock sense into these ‘urban? planners. Let us not allow inappropriate density to pollute our quality of life.
Sincerely,
Rob Namowicz
Independence Township

Community support at Tons of Trucks appreciated

Dear Editor,
It may have been a little damp but over 500 kids came out Aug. 8 to lead their parents around Clintonwood Park in search of the next big rig.
Tons of Trucks rolled into Clarkston so kids of all ages could climb in the drivers seat, honk the horn or find out just exactly what’s in the back of all those trucks.
Over 25 local businesses lent their trucks and their staff to come out and participate. Clarkston Area Lions Club performed Project Kidsight Vision Screenings and Munk Orthodontics was on hand to pass out cotton candy.
Bob the Builder made a special visit for the day while Yesteryears Tractor Club gave lots of wagon rides. Special thanks to Smith’s Disposal for sponsoring our Train rides and Genisys Credit Union for sponsoring our music and the wagon rides. Be sure to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages for all the pictures and the rest of our sponsor recognition. See you next year at Tons of Trucks!
This event is brought to you by Smith’s Disposal & Recycling. Other event sponsors include The Learning Experience, Fort Clarkston, Van Horn Concrete, Lowries Landscape, Two Men and a Truck, Grennan Construction, Planet Kids, Bright Side Dental, Carnwath Excavating, Munk & Associates Orthodontics, Burke Building Centers, and Assured Carriers.
Amy Laboissonniere, event coordinator
Independence Township Parks, Recreation & Seniors

Many to thank for new Depot Park bridge

Dear Editor,
On a sunny Labor Day afternoon, Diane and I had the pleasure of officially dedicating the new bridge at the south end of Depot Park. About 50 Clarkston area residents attended the ceremony to formally open the new bridge to the Clarkston community. Clarkston Mayor Joe Luginski officiated at the event.
The Clarkston Union graciously provided punch, cupcakes and cookies to celebrate the occasion. The new bridge is a welcome and attractive addition to Depot Park. Diane and I are happy to have been able to donate funds for the bridge in memory of my brother Jeff, who had planned to retire to Clarkston. Sadly, leukemia took him from us before he could come to the village, which takes its name from our ancestor, Jeremiah Clark.
While Diane and I donated the funds for the new bridge, the most striking aspect of this project was the wonderful way the community came together to make it a reality. Diane and I would like to pass along our sincere personal thanks to all those who helped make it happen.
First, our thanks go to City Manager Carol Eberhardt, who organized and coordinated the many aspects of this project. Without her strong support, the bridge project would not have been possible.
Next, recognition must go out to the Clarkston DPW Director Jason Miller, and to the DPW staff members Jake Harless and Jacob Lorenz. They did a tremendous amount of work to plan and implement the many improvements needed for the bridge that we can now enjoy. Clarkston is lucky to have employees like Jason and his staff.
At night, the new bridge is illuminated by four very attractive lights. These lights were donated by Clarkston residents Don Frayer, Eric Haven, Sharron Catallo and Carol Eberhardt. These charming lights make the new bridge very attractive and safe after dark.
Those who cross the new bridge will see a totally new ADA compliant walkway from the bridge to Main Street (M-15). The labor and materials for this greatly improved walkway were donated by Ottmann Advanced Asphalt. This very generous contribution to the bridge project will benefit users of the bridge for years to come.
As you approach the new bridge, you will see gardens at the end of the bridge. All the plants in these gardens were donated by Trish Herning, the owner of American Roots Wildflowers. These native Michigan plants will grow and continue to beautify the bridge for years to come. Thanks also to a local community group, “The Wild Ones,” who helped plant these gardens.
To provide safety and to prevent vandalism near the new bridge, the Optimist Club donated funds for a security camera which will soon be installed. This camera will protect the entire south end of Depot Park. Thank you Optimists!
Thanks also go out to the Clinton River Watershed Council for their very generous grant of $5,000 and to the firm of Hubble Roth and Clark for their generous donation to the project of more than $3,000. These funds helped cover many unanticipated costs relating to the project.
Last of all, our thanks go out to The Friends of Depot Park for their enthusiastic support of the project.
Diane and I are very fortunate to have been able to donate funds for the new bridge in memory of my late brother Jeff. I’m sure that somewhere Jeff is smiling now.
Bart and Diane Clark
Clarkston

Paramedics restored pulse

Dear Editor,
A point of correction in the story of the young boy who drowned (“4-year-old drowns in pool,” Sept. 9).
Pulses were restored by Independence Fire Department paramedics while enroute to the hospital.
The hospital staff stabilized the vital signs while Independence Fire Department Paramedics waited.
Independence Fire Department Paramedics then transported him to the helicopter landing pad, transferring care to Beaumont 1 flight crew.
This is not a criticism of the story, but our men put everything they had to into saving him leaving them emotionally, mentally, and physically drained after the call.
We bear witness to the final moments of many lives but that experience, when it comes to a child’s, is different.
Our men need to have proper credit assigned, and their efforts need to be portrayed accurately.
Independence Township
Fire Department

Thanks for hosting Football for a Cure

Dear Editor,
McLaren Cancer Institute and McLaren Breast Center would like to thank the Clarkston High School football coaches, staff, players, families of players whom supported the cause, community at large and the entire committee and volunteer crew who worked prior to, day of and post event to help raise approximately $17,000.
This money will be used to assist our patients with transportation and nutritional products.
There are so many patients who have barriers with transportation that without your support it would be very difficult for them to receive their treatments so we truly appreciate all of your support year-after-year.
Deanna Hart
McLaren Cancer Institute

A call for candidates to address real issues

Dear Editor,
Did you notice from the recent televised political debates that all the presidential candidates support the middle class–so long as the nation’s richest and most privileged citizens don’t have to pay higher taxes and military spending can escalate?
Little mention was made of income security for the increasing cadre of senior retirees who already face meager or no cost of living raises in the face of rising medical and other costs. No plans and goals for creating more higher paying jobs for middle class workers.
Instead, we were told that the educational system–already gutted by Lansing and Washington politicians–is at fault for producing too few properly educated and skilled workers. Usually, shortages of valuable resources mean higher costs, but not when it comes to middle class workers whose wages have stagnated or fallen under the current political leadership where only “talented” CEOs deserve astronomical compensation and pay increases to complement their already cushy tax situations.
But the candidates tell us that a flat rate tax system where millionaires and billionaires pay the same percentage rate as poverty level workers is fair. Meanwhile, our beloved governor–masquerading as a populist–is establishing a new PAC to help more talented geniuses get elected throughout Michigan. But no new PACs or plans to advocate for the middle class.
Politicians pretend to represent their constituencies as they quibble over immigration and computer servers, but no realistic or equitable answers or plans result.
They purport concern for saving unborn children, yet have done little to improve wages, living conditions and opportunities for existing working families and single parents with children who struggle with low paying jobs and dwindling household incomes and net worth.
America’s wealthiest citizens and corporations are faring relatively well as their bank accounts grow, but only the foolish or arrogantly ignorant believe that most Americans–those who generate the nation’s wealth–are receiving their fair share.
If you read the newsy email updates your elected representatives send to keep you informed, you may notice the topics they tout rarely address the real issues and concerns you and your family face.
Let them know. Well, they already know, but advise them you are tired of distractions and want real action and accountability–something akin to the quick action they took when state Rep. Todd Courser and friend strayed from things like more taxes for pensioners and less funding for education–on matters affecting you.
Mike Fetzer
Independence Township

Clarkston Lions made donation for security cams

Dear Editor,
The excellent letter to the editor from Bart and Diane Clark (“Many to thank for new Depot Park bridge,” Sept. 16) mistakenly credits the Optimist Club for the donation of funds to purchase a security camera for the new bridge and surrounding area.
In fact, these funds were contributed by the Clarkston Area Lions club.
We thank Bart and Diane Clark for their generosity and enthusiastic support of Clarkston and our local community.
Ron Savage
Clarkston Area Lions Club

Rush appreciated

Dear Editor,
It seemed to me that once in a while we should all just stop and thank one another for the effort they make on a regular basis. It is time to thank Don Rush!
Since you arrive at my home on a weekly basis via The Clarkston News, I get to read the thoughts you have decided to share with your readers. You never disappoint…you are uniquely yourself and I sincerely appreciate that aspect about you.
Thank you!
Dorothy Stout
Springfield Township

Thanks for donation

Dear Editor,
Thank you for supporting the Clarkston Dance Team! With your donation, we will gain valuable resources that will be used throughout the year. Your generosity and support make it possible for us to continue dancing throughout the year.
Thank you,
The Clarkston Dance Team

Reader shocked by woodland construction

Dear Editor,
While driving down Waldon Road between Clintonville and Sashabaw roads, I was shocked and saddened to see a huge tract of woods totally decimated, clearcut of hundreds of trees.
What happened to the woodlands ordinance we have or should have that prevents this kind of horrible destruction of the land.
No doubt numerous homes of birds, squirrels, deer and other wildlife plants and insects are gone. It’s a travesty to nature.
The small town quiet country life we had here is quickly turning into a noisy fast paced suburban madness! Is that really what we want or need? If it is, then that’s a very sad day for God’s creations.
Keith Kolich
Independence Township

A call for new national leadership for change

Dear Editor,
In regards to Andrea’s Anecdotes “Canceling America,” Oct. 7, yes, America needs to change, and if you believe presidential candidate John Kasich’s comments this week, Republicans have stealth plans to “reform” entitlements.
Kasich chastised a senior citizen that the citizen would just have to “get over” the reductions that are coming.
Of course, middle class Americans will be most affected. They probably can expect to work until age 90 or so, at the low-paying and flat income careers provided by the “job creators” who’ve received more tax deductions and write-offs for their economic contributions. Not to worry, though–Republican congressman and chairman of the congressional Ways and Means tax-writing committee Paul Ryan purports disinterest in the House speaker post vacated by Boehner, claiming his real interest is in “reforming” the nation’s tax code before he leaves for a lucrative job in the private sector.
Guess who will benefit from his reforms? The middle class? Wrong! It will be the same high income “job creators”, business owners and high income contributors who have funded our legislators and will cushion their move to the private sector. It’s the same in Lansing as in Washington D.C., and will stay the same unless middle class Americans, including their voting age children, mobilize and vote for something different.
It simply is not true that our wealthy nation, with wealth built by the middle class, cannot afford decent health care and income security for its senior citizens, all while providing affordable education and healthcare for younger Americans.
Politicians are playing older Americans against younger ones in a competition for available resources–a competition in which the entire middle class loses. The reality is that things like social security, technical and college education, healthcare and all the other things middle class families deserve could easily be funded if the nation’s piles of money–now concentrated in the hands and portfolios of a priveleged few–were rearranged more equitably.
The trillions of dollars that have been wasted on ungrateful and hostile citizenry in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan could have been better utilized here at home. Fair tax reform would mean that the nation’s wealthiest would have fewer tax shelters, deductions and write-offs, and instead would be required to pay higher taxes commensurate with the largesse they have generated off the backs of the middle class.
Ideally, transparency would mean that we’d all see the tax returns the one per centers are filling. After all, the middle class is funding their tax relief.
The “death tax” that Republicans bemoan would be retained. It is not a death tax. It is an equitable way to prevent huge accumulated wealth being bequeathed untaxed to subsequent generations who often have had no significant role in earning the wealth. If you’re middle class, you’re never going to have to worry about a death tax–Mom and Dad will never have a bundle to drop on you! Don’t be fooled by the slick marketing of politicians who largely believe the population is stupid.
Another “Main Street Fairness Act” and “Fair Pension Tax” are probably in the offing. How about a “Make Multi-Millionaires Pay Their Fair Share for a Change Act?” We’re not likely to see that from the current Lansing and D.C. crowd.
Nothing is going to change and things will worsen if we don’t insist on new political leadership, locally and nationally. Seniors will never retire and kids will graduate loaded down with unmanageable student debt which cannot possibly be repaid with the low-paying jobs they’ll be chained to for life.
Mike Fetzer
Independence Township

Reader questions price for lone parking spot

Dear Editor,
I read with interest, the article “Parking ideas at meeting” by Phil Custodio in the Oct. 21 issue of The Clarkston News.
It seems there was much debate about how to address the issue of parking in downtown Clarkston, and whether or not there is a lack of public parking available. One comment that leaped out at me was “A parking deck would cost $15,000 to $20,000 per space.”
That seems to be a preposterous amount of money to pay for, quite literally, one parking space, although it would be a parking space in what I presume would be a covered, multi-level parking garage.
Would anyone want to see a multi-level parking garage in Clarkston? I would think not. However, since the “blighted” lot on the southeast corner of Main and Waldon was stripped of its trees, and is now a truly blighted lot of weeds and scrubby overgrowth, I believe it will only be a matter of time before the powers that be decide that a parking garage on this site would be an answer to their dilemma. I sincerely hope that I am wrong.
Marjorie Runyan
Independence Township

Speed limit too high for rural roads

Dear Editor,
After living on South Eston Road in Independence Township for almost five years, I have confirmed that the speed limit on my residential road is 55 mph.
How can this be! Well, after contacting the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Independence Township sub-station, I was told, if it is a dirt road, which it is and if there are no posted speed limit signs, which there is not, the speed limit is 55 mph.
I was told by the deputy this law was passed about 10 years ago by our former governor.
Even Sashabaw Road has a lower speed limit! On any given day you can see residents walking their dogs or jogging. My house sits 100 feet from the road, so, I owe it to my two small children and the residents on South Eston Road to take a stand against our 55 mph speed limit before someone becomes a statistic.
Mark Scaglione
Independence Township

Clarkston Invitational a success

Dear Editor,
I would like to once again to thank the Clarkston High School Marching Band, who this year performed a beautiful show titled ‘Romeo and Juliet? at the annual Michigan Competing Band Competition at Clarkston High School, Saturday, October 24th.
This competition is hosted by the Clarkston School Instrumental Music Association (CSIMA), and we are honored to have hosted this competition for the last 38 years! A lot of people don’t realize this is probably the biggest event that happens in Clarkston every year! Thousands of students participate and thousands more attend.
A special thank you goes to our very dedicated and talented directors; Mike Lewis, Shelley Roland, Justin Harris, and newcomer Ross Taylor. They put in many hours in preparation for a marching show, as well as work tirelessly teaching and encouraging our students. There is also a number of support staff, too many to mention, who also work with the band to successfully execute a wonderful show and I thank you for your hard work all season.
Of course the most heartfelt thank you goes to the band! The hours of hard work these students put in to a final performance is staggering. They memorize music and movements, with the guiding hand of Ivan Manning, that create such a delightful show. This year it seemed Mother Nature was not very nice to us on many of our Saturday marching competitions and so it was a wet season, including our own Clarkston Invitational. However, these students brought it no matter the weather and I applaud their commitment to keep on marching in the rain and cold. I can’t say enough about this group of dedicated students.
I would also like to thank the area businesses who support us year after year, all of the chair people who put in so much preparation and then work the entire day, our pit crew who always come through with whatever is needed as well as hefting instruments around, and Phil Bertolini and Gary Kaul for coming out in the cold and rain to present awards. I can’t say enough about all the volunteers who step up and help run this event. You are all awesome!
On a personal note, I am sad to see my tenure come to end this season. I’ve been so honored to be the president of Clarkston Schools Instrumental Music for more years than I thought would be possible. I’ve enjoyed every single minute of my four children being in band from sixth grade to 12. It’s been almost 10 years in marching band alone! There have been so many concerts, practices, football games, marching band camps, competitions, festivals, and much more. It’s been hard work, but simply joyful, and I consider myself so very lucky to have been a part of instrumental music in Clarkston. I want each person I have worked with over the years to know how much you have touched my heart. Shawn Chamberlain, you are simply wonderful.
Kelly Finazzo
President, CSIMA

A call against ‘business as usual?

Dear Editor,
I noticed with some dismay that there were no letters to the editor in last week’s Clarkston News. Even in the tiny Village of Clarkston there was much to write about.
Multiple law suits against the city with more rumored, a new path and bridge in the park that does not meet ADA or any other governing criteria for a public walkway, undefined parking problems that will no doubt be ignored after much study, a council member berating members of the public for commenting during public comments at Council meetings and not one member of the council saying anything in defense of those they supposedly represent, a city manager who berates a state representative for talking to those they represent, and an election that pretty much confirms business as usual in the Village Hall.
On the positive side, we have successful restaurants with some exciting new ones coming very soon, some great stores with great owners, a renewed interest in the arts with the Clarkston Cultural Arts group, and good people living here. OK, that’s all that I can think of and that’s troubling so perhaps some of your other readers can help me out.
At a minimum, let’s inform our leaders and the public that any attempt to limit free speech and the ability to talk to our representatives is not acceptable. That those who think we cannot have civil discourse should not be representing us. That those who represent us but do not want to talk to us in a civil manner, should not be in our government.
Unfortunately I don’t see it happening any time soon in the Village of Clarkston with the government we currently have. Congratulations to the newly elected City Council members. Business as usual is not acceptable.
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
So, the owners of the Sutherland building on Main Street are suing the city over failure to grant rezoning from residential to restaurant use (‘Lawsuit charges city with Catallo favoritism,? Nov. 4).
I, for one, hope the city stands firm and refuses to allow scarce residential housing in a historic home to be destroyed. Another area newspaper indicates the building owners, CBC Joint Venture, experienced a $1,200 operating loss on the building in 2014.
It would be nice if the affected owners and partners had all been identified in the paper so we’d all know exactly who is involved.
Maybe the judge can require them in the course of their litigation to divulge their complete tax returns for 2014 and the preceding five years or so to allow all see how such a loss was sustained and how the parties may have suffered financially over the years thru this particular investment.
All of us could be educated on exactly how the tax system works. Alternatively, but I suspect less likely, the tax returns might reveal a lack of business/financial acumen such that those involved could not be expected to successfully manage a restaurant. In any event, more transparency is warranted here.
If the plaintiffs are struggling financially, perhaps the court will not hold them liable for the costs of the city in responding and defending against the lawsuit.
Mike Fetzer
Independence Township

Reader raises concerns about buy out

Dear Editor,
In regards to “McLaren plans upset urgent care,” Nov. 4, I scratched my head at the article announcing negotiations for McLaren to buyout the Urgent Care and imaging facilities of Clarkston Medical Group. After some thought, perhaps the auxiliary services at Clarkston Medical Group today would be duplicative in a future full ER/short-stay hospital.
However, Ms. Erica Halsey and Cherie Montpetit-Bursthat are quite right that there is a difference in wait time and cost between urgent and emergency care.
I had hoped McLaren would come forward with their proposed full emergency room and short-stay hospital plan first that would address an affiliation or coordination of services with Clarkston Medical Group.
There has been no plan shared yet, just the announcement of negotiations for a buyout of pieces of CMG. The message, in the absence of further comment, is indeed one of ‘takeover.?
I have some questions I hope can be addressed. Why is there a billboard on southbound I-75 advertising an ER at the Sashabaw Road location when there isn’t one?
In the midst of all the discussions and announcements, what about the McLaren Emergency Room on Dixie Highway at White Lake Road today?
I also want to comment on the economics of the proposed short-stay hospital. To the $100 million already invested, how much is tied to the purchase and development of the site, the cancer treatment center, and pursuit of the Certificate of Need?
Are hospital revenue bonds planned to fund the short-stay hospital? Revenue bonds are issued on projected revenues, and while it wouldn’t place a burden on Independence Township or Oakland County as on obligor, the issuance of debt is based on the health of the local economy, that would be impacted by a default.
I feel that plans for the proposed project; coordination and delivery of services that meet the needs of the community; and funding should be commented on comprehensively.
Sincerely,
Sue Nederlander
Independence Township

Job well done by Hunter during service

Dear Editor,
The Friends of the City of the Village of Clarkston would like to recognize Tom Hunter for his eight years of service to the Village of Clarkston as a city councilman.
Tom and his late wife, Jerry, built a home on Middle Lake Road and raised their family here, both giving years of service to the village.
He served for many years as an attorney for the City of Pontiac. His deep knowledge of municipal policies and procedures, his keen love of Clarkston, and his dedicated involvement in committee work was a huge asset to the city.
Tom served on too many committees to mention, his last being the Ordinance Codification Committee. Tedious at best, Tom played a key role in ensuring city ordinances complies with state law and then moving them to acceptance by City Council at his last official meeting in October.
Tom also served a mayor pro-tem, strongly leading the City Council members in the mayor’s absence. A job well done, Tom. We applaud you.
Frank Schoebel
Clarkston

A call for new ideas for city spending

Dear Editor,
It’s glaringly obvious our city government has a major public relations issue on its hands, regarding construction of a new DPW building in Depot Park.
This has been brought to a head by the costly new building, which will be paid for with our tax money. Throw in two pending, highly public, and potentially avoidable, lawsuits likely to be defended with more of our tax money, and you can see why residents are ready to purchase every pitchfork and torch they can find to prevent this building from happening. Things are sour in our city. Whichever side you’re on, and hopefully it’s the side of common sense, there’s a palpable polarization that only succeeds in making us all look foolish.
Let’s face the facts; this building is going to happen regardless of how many petitions, letters to the editor, Facebook posts, heated public meetings, or debates take place. The eventual construction of a new DPW building is matter of when, not if. The residents of the city have been told it’s bedtime, and it does not matter how hard we throw ourselves on the floor and say it’s not fair, we’re still being told it’s time for bed. And therein lies the heart of the issue’we’re being told, not asked. Let’s say it again in case there’s any confusion ? the city government has a major public relations issue on its hands. So why are they not reaching out in an attempt to fix it? The silence is deafening. There’s nothing to see here, go back to your homes (but be sure pay your taxes).
It seems obvious extending an olive branch would go a long way towards repairing this PR issue. The overall mood for many residents would likely be more cordial if they simply felt like they have a say, or their tax dollars will also be spent on additional services that directly benefit them. Yes, the city already provides many services. But if a building potentially costing well into the six-digit range can fit into the budget, then so can more public services.
So where is this olive branch? Why is this seemingly so hard to do? There’s a school of thought the role of government is to serve, which means the officials work for the residents. Public opinion should actually matter. Since there’s an abundance of bad mojo, it might be a good idea to reach out and serve residents with an overt effort to make peace. If this building is going to happen then what’s in it for us? We’re paying for it, so let’s see some give-and-take. There are many options that can put our money to work for us before it goes to work for you. Some low-hanging fruit:
? Clear the weeds growing along our downtown sidewalks. It’s embarrassing to see people browsing downtown with six inches of weeds growing through the sidewalks. Bush league.
? Put planning and effort in beautifying downtown in general. We can do better.
? Offer to pick up our leaves in the fall. We can’t burn them, so help us out.
? Holcomb Road from Washington to Depot is a mess and gets worse every winter. Any plans to fix that? And not with another cold-patch Band-Aid, but permanently fix it?
These are just a few ideas for putting our tax money to better use, which may also help prevent a spike in pitchfork and torch sales. Yes, we, as citizens, can come across as overly-sensitive on the issues, but this is not without merit. As our elected and hired officials it’s your job to bridge this gap. That’s what we pay you for ? service and leadership. If you want your building, show us the business plan. Let’s be honest, it’s a dysfunctional marriage between the city and its residents. It’s clearly a matter of co-existing and staying together for the kids, which is unfortunate.
There is a huge opportunity for improvement over the current situation. Ideas for progressive change are something our city officials need to seriously consider in order to better serve their community. And quite honestly, this long-standing resistance to new ideas has plagued our town for decades and makes our community look small-minded. We can still be quaint without the quackery. New ideas cannot continue to be ignored in lieu of an agenda that the public has no visibility to nor benefit from. Excuses such as ‘you just want the village to go back to the township? must be put out of their misery. Not only is it practically impossible, but it’s also lazy logic. It’s like arguing the world is flat even though everyone knows it’s not ? it only causes people to look at you funny and shake their heads in disbelief. As a non-resident told me recently, this is exactly what people are doing when they hear about our foibles. And we should all be embarrassed by that.
Rick and Jen Detkowski
Clarkston

Thanks to DPW for help at invitational

Dear Editor,
I want to thank the friendly staff at Independence Township DPW. Every year, for the Clarkston Marching Band Invitational, they provide barricades, cones and construction barrels that allow us to arrange the parking lots to accommodate the dozens of buses, semi-trailers and thousands of spectators.
A special appreciation goes out to Ray Neubeck who makes sure the barricades and cones are set out for us. This helps us make the event organized and safe for all participants.
Thanks so much!
Steve Hyde
Independence Township

Reader warns against tree ordinance

Dear Editor,
Beware of a threat to your property rights! The Independence Township Board is studying a Woodlands and Tree Ordinance. From discussions, it would propose that certain trees would be ‘heritage trees.? These trees would be protected from cutting down.
Let’s look at this.
1. An arborist would be the one to determine which trees qualified.
2. The tree would be on private property.
3. Taxes have been collected and would continue to be collected on this property.
4. Someone would have to enforce this ordinance ? would neighbors tell on each other? Would the taxpayers be required to pay for the arborist and the enforcement? Think about drones inspecting.
5. Legal fees would be incurred to develop the language. Also funds for the lawsuits which this would create.
The Planning Commission has the obligation to determine the outcome of trees on property being developed.
If we drive around the township we can see that all subdivisions have trees planted by the developer. The township was farm land in the past. There are more trees now than at any other time. If neighbors see open land around them for sale and development, they should either purchase it or go to the Planning Commission meetings and see the legalities of how land is developed and how landscaping, drainage, open spaces, trees and all are considered.
It is also the Planning Commission which develops new ordinances and regulations. The Township Board approves the final product.
We can’t let the complaint of one or two persons create a knee-jerk reaction. A reaction which could cost us freedoms and additional money in taxes. Let your Township Board know your opinion.
Joan McCrary
Independence Township

Thanks for supporting Horn of Plenty

Dear Editor,
The 24th annual St Daniel Catholic Community’s Rose Mary Smith ‘Horn of Plenty? Auction, Raffle, Dinner, and Dance on Nov. 7 was a success due in a large part to your contribution to this event. We asked for your support for this event and you gladly gave it.
Your contribution helped make our silent auction a success. By donating to our event, you have insured funds for our community outreach programs for this next calendar year. We thank you and your business for your support.
God bless you for your generosity.
Sincerely,
The 2015 St. Daniel Rose Mary Smith Horn of Plenty Committee

Friendly Forest help appreciated

Dear Editor,
On behalf of Independence Township Parks, Recreation and Seniors and the Clarkston Area Optimist Club, I would like to thank you and The Clarkston News for sponsoring the 2015 Friendly Forest.
The event was a huge success, with almost 900 kids walking through the trail! There were 22 theme decorated stations and 38 costumed characters.
After the children collected candy from the characters, they enjoyed a hay maze, crafts, photos, wagon rides, and juice and donuts under the pavilion.
Even with so much to offer at this event, we were still able to charge an affordable ticket price. This was made possible, in large part, by your media sponsorship. Again, thank you for your support and we greatly appreciate your devotion to our programs and this community.
Sincerely,
Amy Laboissonniere
Events coordinator

Thanks for help with Wild Night Out

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the North Oakland Land Headwaters Land Conservancy, I would like to thank you for your donation to our fundraising event, A Wild Night Out.
Your donation of a one-year subscription to the Clarkston News helped us in achieving operating funds for our non-profit organization. Our event was a successful undertaking on many levels, but clearly it was an opportunity for preservation minded folks to gather together and celebrate a cause for the land.
We fully appreciate your contribution to the community and thoroughly value our partnerships with you in making a difference of the citizens of Oakland County.
With appreciation
Janette Kolodge
N. Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy

Half marathon support appreciated

Dear Editor,
Many thanks again for sponsoring the 2015 Clarkston State Bank Back Roads Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K!
With your generosity, we not only had a wonderful event but were also able to donate $7,000 to Clarkston SCAMP and Blessings in a Backpack of Clarkston.
We truly appreciate your support and hope we will have the pleasure of working with you again for our fourth annual race on Nov. 13, 2016.
Wishing you an enjoyable holiday season!
Deanna Hart and Megan Holt
High Five Races

Thanks for help with Goodfellows

Dear Editor,
The Clarkston Rotary Club would like to express a heartfelt thank you to the Clarkston community and those people who gave so generously during the Goodfellow newspaper sales this past weekend. The success of the ‘Shoes for Kids? program is predicated on so many factors including the weather, but more importantly the support by the residents of Clarkston.
‘Shoes for Kids? has been the Clarkston Rotary’s signature community project for the past thirty-seven years. It takes the collaborative efforts of not only club members but the support from the volunteers to bring each year’s project to fruition.
A special recognition to following groups, organizations and businesses for their exemplary support and dedication during this year’s Clarkston Rotary Goodfellow newspaper sales leading up to the ‘Shoes for Kids? program
The Clarkston Rotary would like to recognize and thank the following:
? To those individuals, groups, friends of Rotary and family members who spent countless hours this past Friday and Saturday dodging traffic in order to collect the money necessary to provide shoes and boots to 300 Clarkston children.
? The Clarkston News and Sherman Publications for publishing the Clarkston Rotary Goodfellow newspaper each year.
? Don Rush, assistant publisher, and Rotarian Mary Sloan for their efforts in compiling and editing this year’s paper.
? Boy Scout Troop #199 and their troop leader for organizing troop members in collecting donations at three different locations. They exemplify everything that a community looks for from its future leaders. The troop has provided continuous support to this community service project for the past seventeen years.
? Cub Scout Pack #499 in their third year of selling newspapers at Neiman’s Family Market. The enthusiasm and efforts of the scouts didn’t go unnoticed.
? Oakland Woods Baptist Church for opening their doors for use of their church annually for the upcoming shoe distribution. Their church members support the endeavors in so many ways.
? The Clarkston Area Lions who work each year on our endeavor while allowing the Clarkston Rotary to reciprocate during their White Cane collection.
? The Clarkston Optimists who are involved in so many children related programs, including their Opti-Socks project.
? Neiman’s Family Market for permitting the Cub Scouts to learn community service by selling newspapers at their Clarkston store.
? The Clarkston Union and The Woodshop, Hamlin Pub, Tim Horton’s (Maybee Rd), and Neiman’s Family Market for their support during the two day event.
? To the many volunteers who gave of their time, money and efforts to again make this year’s event a complete success.
? Finally to the Clarkston Community, collectively we can make a difference in a child’s life.
Thank you!
The Clarkston Rotary Club &
Joel DeLong, Program Chair

Some love for Love Clarkston support

Dear Editor,
I cannot thank you enough for helping me kick start this fundraiser that turned into a crazy ‘Love Clarkston? frenzy!!
I am overwhelmed with the support of the community and the support of the teachers and staff, and the parents of all schools and sports! Even the Chiefs parents were buying my shirts and sweatshirts! With an estimated number of items sold to be over 600! And to imagine I was told before I ever sold my first shirt that ‘they will never sell!? I proved that man wrong and succeeded beyond my highest expectations for this ‘little idea? I had.
I had to contact an attorney because a rival school tried to copy my design and use it for themselves to fund raise too. Oh heck no! This is Clarkston bred and only Clarkston Lead!
The Clarkston News was a huge part of the success! Thank you.
It was a lot of work and many, many hours of traveling to the schools for teachers lunch hours to make it convenient for them. They were out biggest supporters! If I had to, I would have marked Independence Elementary our biggest sales out of all the schools! Haha! After that, I had teachers emailing me asking me to come in and sell them. Teachers buying shirts for other teachers as birthday presents!
Parents asking to buy them to wear them into the schools when they volunteer. I had people sharing the pictures of their kids to me, pride. It’s amazing! After the sales started, the CHS school store teacher said yes, let’s sell them there too. I am so grateful to all those who were kind with praise and compliments.
And Lake Orion’s varsity basketball coach’s daughter emailed me from Grand Rapids and asked for a sweatshirt to mail to her over in GR, so that she had it in time to wear to her fathers basketball game against Clarkston this Friday night at Lake Orion. How funny is that? A sweatshirt! Gotta Love our Alumni.
Amazing how something so simple could be such a huge inspiration to a proud community!!
Thank you again.
Merry Christmas!
Julie LeBourdais

Cost concerns

Dear Editor,
If Independence Township already has a $678,000 deficit in the 2016 budget, I can’t see how we could possibly consider adding more positions to the payroll to cover administration and enforcement of a tree ordinance.
Belinda Billings
Independence Township

Open swim wanted

Dear Editor,
Staring January 2016, the open swim hours at the swimming pool at Clarkston High School are being reduced 80 percent! There will be no open swimming on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays any longer. Monday open swimming was eliminated last summer. The only open swimming hours will be on Saturdays. For those of us who utilize the pool regularly, this is a significant loss.
Not only have we lost swimming opportunities, but I feel sorry for the fitness instructors and pool lifeguards who will be out of a job.
Barry Snyder
Independence Township

Prayer for Holy Land

Dear Editor,
I will pray this Christmas for Christians in Bethlehem, which is six miles south of Jerusalem, and would love for others to join me.
The town is surrounded by a 25-foot-high wall with watch towers. Entry and exit are only possible at the whim of heavily armed soldiers, some 18 years old. If they choose, they can bar residents from leaving, even to go to work, school, or to a hospital. Essentially, Bethlehem today is an open air prison, under military occupation. Some Bethlehem citizens have been barred from visiting family members in Jerusalem for years. Israeli settlements have been built all around the town, taking land away from Bethlehemites.
I pray for Pastor Mitri Raheb and all the members to Christmas Lutheran Church, all the other Christians and Muslims in Bethlehem, and for the Jews who live in the Holy Land, that they might know a just peace and security.
God bless us all.
Pastor Bon Walters
Independence Township

City ignores problems, reader says

Dear Editor,
Over the weekend I watched the recording of the first Clarkston City Council meeting for 2016.
It was good to see all seven members of the council in attendance. A resident spoke during public comments about the inherent danger of the newly constructed path and bridge at the south end of Depot Park. The council said and did nothing. The mayor then commented that snow is not being cleared from sidewalks. The council said and did nothing. Sidewalks still had snow and ice on them at the end of week, four days after the meeting.
We all know about the problems in Flint and the ongoing problems with the Detroit Schools. The problems are not yet as severe in the Village of Clarkston as in some other Michigan cities but they are self caused and they are ignored just like those other cities as evidenced at the City Council meeting. Our city government deals with these problems much in the same way as our state agencies.
The task force that looked into the water problems in Flint and the response to community health complaints is quoted as stating the DEQ response “was often one of aggressive dismissal, belittlement and attempts to discredit those efforts and the individuals involved.”
This is exactly what our city officials, county officials, and DEQ have done in our city and continue to do while ignoring the problems in front of them, often denying the problems exist when the evidence clearly shows otherwise.
What do the city DPW employees do during the fall, winter and spring when there is no grass to mow, no snow to remove and while the city manager claims they do not have the manpower to address public safety problems?
If there is no money to do city work correctly or to fix it when it is done wrong, how can the city consider spending over $420,000 on a new garage that will do nothing for the residents who have to pay for it and take funds away from everything else the city could be doing? Why do our elected representatives ask no questions and say nothing about any of this?
It seems a competent government is hard to find. On a positive note, the City Council did vote to participate in the Oakland Council hazardous material disposal program. It’s a start.
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

Residents call for review of city leadership

Dear Editor,
We are a group of concerned City of the Village of Clarkston taxpayers who want to bring a pressing issue to your attention that you may not be aware of.
The City of the Village of Clarkston owns several pieces of equipment that are used for clearing snow from the streets, cutting trees, etc. After 15 years, the city’s lease to store city equipment at 3 East Church Street expired at the end of December, and the city moved its equipment and records out of that location. Our lease payment was $1,625 per month, but in addition to that, we were also paying for all of the utilities and maintenance at that location. Because the City Council was aware that the lease was going to expire, they considered a number of options for storing this equipment.
For now, the City Council has chosen to lease space for some of the equipment from the Clarkston schools for $240 a month, which is significantly less than we were paying for the space at 3 East Church.
The space is located behind the Clarkston Junior High School at 6595 Waldon Road. This is just one mile away from the City Hall, so it is easy for our DPW workers to retrieve equipment when it is needed. Both the school district and Independence Township have advised the city that there may be additional space to lease to the city in the future if we need it and both have secure outdoor storage areas available, something the city does not have now.
Problem solved, and this sounds like a win-win solution. The taxpayers pay less, the equipment is protected from harm, it’s stored in a place that is close to the city offices, and the school can use the extra money for school purposes. It’s the kind of choice that we would make if we had to personally write the check to pay for storage, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, our City Council has control of the checkbook for our tax dollars. Even though we have a place to store the city equipment that costs us a lot less than we were paying, the City Council wants to use the perceived need to find a place to put the city equipment as an excuse to expand City Hall.
Why would they do that? Well, the city manager wants a private office, they want to increase the size of the room where they meet for a few hours every other week, and the city manager says that our three DPW employees think driving one mile to pick up their equipment is an inconvenience.
Incredibly, the original plans called for private offices for each and every one of the city’s parttime employees. Though the city doesn’t readily share information, it appears that the current plans would enlarge the office space with no modifications for private office spaces ? yet. The city manager has stated many times that she believes she is entitled to a private office, and we believe that once the city has put the taxpayers on the hook for the $442,000 expansion, the private office(s) will be built because the incremental increased cost won’t be as significant.
It must be noted that city employees, including those in the DPW, regularly drive to locations outside the city on city business. Necessary stores and services do not exist within the borders of the City of the Village of Clarkston and, when you live in a city that is only 1/2 square mile in area, driving to another community for goods and services is not the exception, it is the norm.
The cost for this expansion is estimated at around $442,000, including interest on the loan that the city would take out. This would amount to a charge of over $500 each for every man, woman, and child living in homes that are subject to property tax in the city and does not include the ongoing costs for utilities and maintenance that are part of any building.
In addition, we would be stuck paying back the loan for this expansion for 15 years! Paying back this loan will also make fewer funds available for other services. Our City Treasurer has said that paying this bill will require almost all available discretionary funds, and she’s counting on increased property taxes (yes, higher taxes) to pay this bill.
We are a small city of just over 800 people ? can we really justify paying a fortune for a private office for anyone? And, if space for public meetings is really a concern, the City Council, or any other group, can meet at the Independence Township board room, the Independence Library, or at the Fire Station for free. As for the DPW employees, they need to go wherever the tools for their jobs are stored, whether they like it or not, just as we have to do when our bosses give us equipment to do our jobs.
One has to ask why the City Council even considered this when so many people are struggling to make ends meet, since we have a place to house our DPW equipment right now. Private offices, complaining employees, and larger meeting rooms are simply not justifiable expenses at the expense of all the other services, benefits and improvements that could be made in our city.
You may not be aware of any of this. It’s understandable. The City is a wonderful community, we all have busy lives, and there are lots of things to do around town. Sadly, the City Council seems to have forgotten that these are real dollars, coming out of real pockets – dollars that we might prefer to keep and use for our own families. Unfortunately, when the City Council doesn’t hear from you, they assume you agree.
Time is running out. The City Council is moving forward with plans and bids to expand the building. There is still time to stop them, but to do that, you need to make your voice heard. If you think that it’s not OK to spend $442,000 of your money to pay for private offices, a larger meeting room, and a more expensive place to keep our equipment than we have now, then you need to let your City Council know now.
City Council members don’t have offices at the city, so the fastest way to contact them is through email ? check www.villageofclarkston.org.
You can also send your City Council members a letter addressed to them at the City of the Village of Clarkston, 375 Depot Street, Clarkston, Michigan 48346. The phone number is 248-625-1559, but you will have to leave a message with a City employee if you call because the City Council members aren’t usually in the office unless there is a City Council meeting. City Council meetings are on the second and fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the City Hall at 375 Depot Street and are open to the public.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We wish you a healthy and happy New Year.
Your Clarkston Neighbors

Mayor addresses city hall concerns

Dear Editor,
A letter was sent to every resident in the city last week, seemingly citing facts regarding the addition to City Hall. Unfortunately, the ‘facts? in this letter are a misrepresentation of the proposed DPW building addition project.
The City Council appointed a facilities committee, which has investigated many ways to house our DPW equipment after our rented facility at 3 East Church was sold and we were required to vacate the facility. After a year and a half of investigating alternative solution, the committee recommended to the council an addition onto City Hall.
Many factors were considered and presented to the council at numerous council meetings. The City Council ultimately decided it was more prudent, financially, to invest in an asset for the city, as opposed to continuing to rent.
Had the same decision been made years ago when the city first entered into the rental agreement for 3 E. Church, we would already have this asset and this would be a moot point.
The goal is to keep the cost of the addition as close as possible to the past rental expenses. Over the rental period, the city spent $384,000 in rent. There has never been a discussion, nor do we have any plans to raise taxes.
There are, at this point, no dollars approved for the DPW addition until we get firm construction bids.
Also, there are no plans to have private offices during the remodeling to City Hall. There is an alternate plan, which will be bid as Alternate No. 1, to add onto and convert the current DPW bay into a meeting room.
This, however, may be something the city looks at in the future, based on cost.
The council will not make any decisions on any addition until they see exactly what the cost will be based on the bids. The public will be notified and have the opportunity to attend public meetings to learn the ‘true? facts and express their opinion before any final decisions are made.
The city pledges to all citizens this process will be open and transparent, and every citizen will have the opportunity for input.
The village is an amazing community. Inferring circumstances, misrepresenting the situation and misstating costs only fractures our community. There is a Town Hall meeting on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. at Fire Station #1, 6500 Citation Drive.
This is a great opportunity to talk with the facilities committee and get the facts known as of now.
This is also an opportunity to meet the council, city staff, and committees.
The city’s newly launched website will be showcased. You can always stop by City Hall and talk with the city manager.
Joe Luginski
Mayor

Teachers preparing students for future

Dear Editor,
On Monday, Jan. 18, every educator in the Clarkston Community School District spent the day together examining how we teach, why we teach the way we do, and imagining what we would do differently if we could apply what we know is best for children.
John Dewey, an American philosopher and educational reformer has said ‘If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.? For those of you who graduated more than five years ago, just think about how different our world is today from when you were in school.
For me, it means the invention of computers, cell phones, the internet and so much more. As a teacher, if I do not teach my students how to utilize technology to research information, to evaluate the accuracy of information, to be safe when using technology; I fail my students in a great way. But I was not taught those things in school, why should it be a part of today’s curriculum?
We are no longer an industrial society, which was how our educational system was founded and has continued for over the last hundred years, instead we now live in a society that requires teamwork, critical thinking, determination, perseverance, and the ability to think outside the box and apply the skills learned rather than just spit back information. As an educator and an education system, we are preparing students primarily for jobs that have not been created yet.
With the guidance of our superintendent, who is highly regarded in educational circles, we are being encouraged to develop innovative and creative programs that energize our students.
It allows them to be motivated and demonstrate their knowledge in a way that is meaningful not only to them but to real life situations. They collaborate with others, think critically, and take risks. As a result students will be better prepared for the real world and the employment avenues that will be available in the future.
Parents when you realize school is not the same as when you were a student, just remember the world is not the same and trust we are working hard to provide them with the skills they need to be successful citizens in our ever changing world.
Sincerely,
Leanne Draving, third grade teacher
Andersonville Elementary

Reader’s response

Dear Editor,
Clarkston mayor’s response to the letter “Residents call for review of city leadership,” Jan. 20, is troubling both for what it says and what it doesn’t say.
What he says:
? Shoot the messenger. Reminiscent of attacks on people who spoke out against the expansion of the village hall at city council meetings and characterization of them as ‘the usual suspects,? the mayor starts with personal attacks on the Clarkston neighbors. They are ‘misrepresenting the situation and misstating costs.? Disagreeing with the council ‘fractures our community.? We’ll have an opportunity ‘to learn the ‘true? facts? later.” Basically, the neighbors are liars who are disrupting the city. This tactic of personal attack is one the city uses with some frequency to divert attention from the merits of issues. It’s an insult to the 120 people who signed a petition expressing concerns.
? It’s not going to cost any more than the city was paying to rent 3 East Church. How is that relevant or responsible? The fact the city for years paid a lot of money to rent a building that it didn’t need doesn’t justify continuing to spend the same amount of money on another building that it doesn’t need.
? It’s already been decided. After a year-and-a-half of facilities committee meetings, ?[t]he City Council ultimately decided ? to invest in an asset for the City, as opposed to continuing to rent.? So he’s basically saying this ship has sailed. The decision has been made. What was the basis for the decision? Not the ‘open and transparent? decision-making process the mayor now pledges at the end of his letter. The facilities committee is a four-member committee, two of whose members, the city manager and the DPW supervisor, have a vested interest in expanding the village hall. They met in secret until recently. Even now, they meet at times when it’s not convenient for most people to attend. And attending their meetings is the only way to know what they are doing, since there are no minutes or agendas, materials that they consider are not made public, and, to my knowledge, there are no written analyses of alternatives. Notwithstanding later questions raised by a significant group of concerned citizens, the council has already ‘decided ? to invest? in the village hall expansion. It’s a done deal.
? Everyone will get to ‘express their opinions before any final decisions are made.? Sure. We can express our opinions. But the council has already ‘ultimately decided? to ‘invest? in the village hall expansion. Nothing the mayor says even hints the council is willing to revisit that decision or consider alternatives.
? ‘There are, at this point, no dollars approved for the DPW addition ?.? It’s small comfort they aren’t going to spend money ‘until we get firm construction bids.? They’ve already decided to spend the money. And, even though they haven’t ‘approved? spending it, they’ve already started by spending money on architectural drawings and engineering work.
What he doesn’t say: the mayor doesn’t address the real issue. Why does the city need a village hall expansion when it has now found space for the equipment and records that were moved out of 3 East Church? The Clarkston Neighbors letter made a simple point. Since the city moved its equipment and records out of 3 East Church, it has found other space for everything at a fraction of the cost of renting 3’East Church. We don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on an expansion of the village hall.
The mayor doesn’t offer a justification for rejecting the current state of affairs in favor of a massive, expensive building addition. He doesn’t explain why other alternatives were rejected.
Other than the rhetoric coming from city hall, I haven’t heard anyone else in favor of spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a village hall expansion. If the council really believes that this is in the city’s best interest and that a majority of residents would support this project, let’s put it up to a vote at one of the three elections scheduled this year.
Richard Bisio
Clarkston

Concerned citizen

Dear Editor,
Having followed the Flint water debacle brought to us courtesy of the State of Michigan government and more specifically the DEQ, I’d once again like to congratulate Clarkston resident Lorry Mahler for her tenacity in pursuing the water pollution problem that exists at 148 N. Main and could have been exacerbated by the development that had been approved for that site by our City Council.
Due to Lorry’s and others? perseverance, the developer changed his plans and left the underground contamination on this site undisturbed. If this had been left up to our mayor and City Council they would have placed the fate of our water in the hands of the State DEQ.
Because of this, and again what has occurred recently within our state government, I find it difficult to accept as factual the mayor’s letter sent the week of Jan. 18 to village residents. The purpose of his letter was to refute ‘misinformation? he believes was presented in the neighbors? letter. At this point I’m very skeptical of any information provided to me by a government representative.
Once again, kudos to Lorry and other concerned citizens, we need more of you.
Robyn Johnston
Clarkston

Food donations appreciated

Dear Editor,
The First Congregational Church of Clarkston would like to thank the Clarkston community for the amazing support we received during our annual Kroger Food Drive at the Sashabaw Kroger on Jan. 24 and 25. With your help, we collected 30 grocery carts of food, 2,668 items, to stock the shelves of Kids’ Kloset.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered and contributed to this important event. Your generosity allows Kid’s Kloset to help families of Oakland County through difficult times.
Kids’ Kloset, located at the corner of Pine Knob and Clarkston Roads, is a mission and outreach of the First Congregational Church. It focuses on helping families with children ages 0-7 years old. Families with older children are served as our resources allow. Families can come to Kids’ Kloset each month for one year to receive food, formula, clothing, diapers, and toys.
Thank you again, Clarkston, for helping us help others. We couldn’t do it without you! If you would like more information about Kids’ Kloset or FCC please find us on Facebook or @ fcclarkston.com.
Traci Cooley
First Congregational Church

Thanks for Retro pics

Dear Editor,
I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful coverage of the Strolling Retro Party (“Downtown strolling at Retro Party,” Jan. 20).
I really enjoyed all the photos and the Clarkston News getting the info out there about what the event was that we hosted. Not only did folks have fun but we were able to raise a good amount of funds to donate to Stiggy’s Dogs, which is such a worthwhile program for our veterans.
Thanks again for taking the time to attend and cover our fundraiser.
Peg Roth
Clarkston

‘Neighbors? group timeline for city hall

Dear Editor,
We are, once again, sending a letter to respond to the mayor’s letter. Unlike the mayor, we will tell you where you can find the facts yourself, which is always best. The mayor’s letter tells us we are going to be building something; the only question is how big it is. We hope you continue to direct your elected representatives to consider alternatives before committing you to a 15-20 year obligation for a building expansion paid for at the expense of other more pressing things, such as sidewalk repair.
We have taken our information from the city agenda packets, found at www.villageofclarkston.org. Contrary to the impression the mayor letter tries to make, the city council decided early on to spend tax dollars on expanding the city hall, gave only cursory consideration to less costly alternatives, and did not take seriously the concerns raised by over a hundred residents who submitted a petition to the council. The following chronology shows that.
On July 14, 2014, the city manager notified the city council the owners of 3 East Church intended to sell the building and stated the mayor wanted to appoint a facilities committee at this meeting. The city manager mentioned a letter from the owners? attorney, but it’s not in the packet. The facilities committee will either recommend buying 3 E. Church or building a new building. As you can see, from the beginning, they were only focusing on buying or building something. The building lease expired on Dec. 31, 2015.
On July 28, 2014, a four-member facilities committee was established and approve by the city council. It consisted of two city employees ? Carol Eberhardt, city manager, and Jason Miller, Department of Public Works supervisor ? both of whom would benefit from private offices or an expansion of the village hall. Tom Hunter, then a city council member, and Jim Brueck, a former city council member, were also appointed and approved.
On Aug. 26, 2014, the city manager met with James Renaud of JFR Architects, apparently chosen because he worked with the city in 2012, the last time the city considered an addition to city hall. There is no indication the job was competitively bid or a qualifications-based selection was done. The agenda packet contained a resolution stating a new facility was needed, Renaud’s services were required ‘to begin the process of building a new facility,? and the council was asked to authorize $2,936 to pay for these services. Renaud’s proposal included three options, all of which assumed a new building would be built.
On Sept. 22, 2014, the city council decided not to buy the building at 3 East Church ‘due to the price of the purchase and the cost of repairs,? but they don’t tell us what those costs are so we could assess for ourselves whether buying the building would cost more than building a new one.
On Oct. 13, 2014, the city manager advised the city council each member of the facilities committee would be considering different options for housing the equipment, and she believed the city had only six months to vacate the building once we have been given notice the lease is terminated.
On Oct. 27, 2014, a resolution was introduced stating the facilities committee considered other options, but they concluded, after talking to one real estate agent, there are no rental facilities close to the city. ‘Close? is not defined. They didn’t want to store equipment outside, even though other public bodies do. And they didn’t want to share space with Independence Township out of co-mingling fear and supposed difficulties transporting equipment. Therefore, they determined the best solution was to go ahead with the expansion. Renaud’s architectural services, JFR Architects, were requested again because they needed him ‘to begin the process of building a new facility,? asking for the same amount as before, $2,936. They also submitted the same proposal from JFR Architects as before.
Nov. 24, 2014, the facilities committee was moving ahead with plans for a new DPW facility, and they considered using part of the Deer Lake Beach parking lot.
Jan. 7, 2015, to ‘continue the momentum? toward the new building, specifications were sent to the architect. These specifications would be used to seek bids for the new building, but they wanted to commit the city to a monthly payment equivalent to the lease at 3 East Church. The next steps were to advertise for bids, present them to city council, and move forward with site work. No information is included in the packet to tell us what the specifications were, how they were derived or how they were to be used.
Jan. 21, 2015, the facilities committee decided the best thing to do was to pay for an addition to city hall and ruled out the Deer Lake Beach property as an option. Again, we weren’t provided with facts, but they do say they thoroughly investigated the matter.
Jan. 29, 2015, the architect sent three proposals, and the facilities committee asked for a fourth option.
The facilities committee decided on the plans to be presented to the city council from three plans submitted by the architect, and the architect was estimating costs.
March 5, 2015, the facilities committee met with Chase Bank to discuss financing options for the addition to city hall.
March 20, 2015, the facilities committee was moving along with its plan for the building, adjusting floor plans and getting more quotes.
April 27, 2015, the facilities committee asked the city council if it could hire the architect to prepare a bid document, so they could get cost estimates from contractors. They claimed this in no way commits the city to going forward. After that, the facilities committee intended to submit a request for proposals to finance the expansion. The facilities committee made a presentation to the council for three options to expand city hall, and the city council approved paying the architect to prepare bid packages for three of the proposals, at a cost not to exceed $23,000.
May 11, 2015, the facilities committee had met three times since the last city council meeting and planned to continue to meet this frequently ‘in order (to) begin construction in a timely manner.?
May 26, 2015, the facilities committee was waiting for all the measuring to be done so they could bid the project, and they added a volunteer from the Union Joints as an additional ‘consultant.? Union Joints is owned by Council member Sharron Catallo’s son Curt. Curt now owns 3 East Church, the building the city had to vacate when the lease was terminated.
June 22, 2015, two site plans and a construction schedule were approved by JFR Architects. There were private offices included in the drawings of the proposed city offices. They were targeting a construction start of Oct. 1, 2015, with completion on Jan. 29, 2016.
The city manager said a document retention and software package, something to reduce the amount of space required for office paperwork, is too expensive because it’s estimated to cost $20,000-$25,000. Apparently, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to expand city hall to provide space to store these records is a better use of taxpayer dollars. No information was provided concerning this cost or any alternatives considered.
Finally, they listened to citizen input and explored a number of other storage options, including $240 per month for a heated 10-by-25 storage facility. The architect was still creating the drawings to send out for bid. Although they were researching offsite storage options, the committee was discussing specific details regarding the building material.
A request was made to lease space from the Clarkston Community Schools for $240 per month to hold the sweeper, lift, and a small dump truck. This option was researched and arranged for by concerned citizens acting independently of the city.
They were exploring other meeting places, but the library wasn’t available on Monday nights. A number of options were presented to the city council. Option #1 would require a total cost for 20 years, with interest, of $587,668.53 and included private offices; Option #4 would require a total cost for 20 years, with interest, of $623,530.84 and included private offices; Option #5 would require a total cost for 20 years, with interest, of $539,392.52 with no private offices. The city published its own chronology with far less detail than we have done, Oct. 12, 2015. They noted numerous Clarkston News articles documenting the extensive and continuing taxpayer pushback against this project, which included a petition signed by over 120 people who were against the project.
Oct. 26, 2015, the city rented climate controlled storage space at Maxx Self Storage and is using the space at the township’s Brady Lodge.
Nov. 9, 2015, there was a proposal to modify the lease with the Clarkston Community Schools. The expansion options were provided, for $398,912, $402,035, $200,001 and with a continuation of the $240 per month lease, and $400,000, but none of these options included the cost of interest. The two plans provided include private office space. The city council asked the financing scheduled be reviewed for options 1 and 2.
Nov. 23, 2015, the finance committee was exploring the cost of borrowing $200,000, $305,000, and $308,000, but they prefer ‘schematic #5? costing $336,000, $442,547.33 with interest on a 15 year loan. They were moving forward on getting a bid package together for option #5.
Dec. 3, 2015, the facilities committee was beginning the next step in the bid process. They asked for two to three options to work from regarding the appearance of the building and other details.
Dec. 30, 2015, the facilities committee met to collaborate with the Historic District Commission regarding the exterior design components of the building. They requested color and material samples.
Based on what we’ve learned from city records, the city has spent a lot of money so far on this project the mayor claims they haven’t decided to commit to: James Renaud of JFR Architects, $2,936; Hubbell Rock and Clark, engineers, $371.26; James Renaud of JFR Architects, $8,350; Hubbell Rock and Clark, $666.34; Hubbell Rock and Clark, $883.36; Hubbell Rock and Clark, $281.34; Hubbell Rock and Clark, $6,268.56; Hubbell Rock and Clark, $63.72; and Hubbell Rock and Clark, $153.90.
That totals $19,974.48. Recall also the council authorized up to $23,000 more for the purpose of preparing bid packages. It is unclear whether the $8,350 JFR charge noted above was made against the $23,000 maximum authorization, and it is also unclear whether other charges have been paid but not specifically identified.
Now let’s look at what the mayor said in his letter. He claims no decisions have been made, but the money authorized and spent to date could range from $34,624.48 to $42,974.48, depending on whether the $8,350 JFR charge is part of the $23,000 authorization. He said the city ‘ultimately decided? to invest in a new asset ? that certainly sounds like a done deal and a decision has been made, doesn’t it. He doesn’t tell you how long we rented the building at 3 East Church Street, but the fact we paid rent for decades totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars doesn’t have any bearing on whether the taxpayers should be committed to a huge expenditure going forward.
And, while taxes may not be raised specifically for this project, the increased taxes you pay as a result of inflation will most certainly be required to pay for this expansion, and that is what the treasurer meant when she said it would be paid for with higher taxes in addition to the use of all other available funds. The proposed budget for next year, and all other years, has no funds for things like sidewalks, street repairs, storm water management, etc. as they are required to pay for this building.
Listen to the recording of the Nov. 23, 2015, city council meeting to hear exactly what was said. The mayor wouldn’t even rule out building private offices in the future. As far as the mayor is concerned, you aren’t going to have a say in whether the expansion will be built; the only input you will have is which expansion project you will pay for. The city manager’s comment to the Clarkston News on Jan. 7, 2016, confirms this when she said ‘administration goals include completing an addition to city hall.?
Since we’re focusing on ‘facts,? we also want to mention it was quite misleading for Mr. Luginski to send you a letter signed as ‘the mayor,? because it suggests he leads and speaks for the city. That’s actually not true. The City of the Village of Clarkston has its very own Constitution, which is referred to as the Charter. It was authorized by you, the voters, it cannot be altered without a public vote, and it gives the mayor no power to run our city except in an emergency.
Mr. Luginski does have ceremonial powers, so if you want one of those fake keys to the city or need someone to ride around in a parade, he’s your guy. He leads the city council meetings, unless he’s absent, in which case someone else leads the meeting, but he is their equal and has only one vote. So, if our government wanted to send you a letter with any real authority behind it, it would have been signed or approved by all the members of the city council. You can read this for yourself, since it’s all spelled out in section 4.9 of our Charter.
Shouldn’t there be an open public discussion about whether it’s really in the city’s best interest to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars and take on a 15 to 20 year debt to expand city hall? Shouldn’t the city council set aside the decision it has seemingly already made and seriously consider alternatives based on fact as opposed to opinions? Shouldn’t they consider whether the money they are ready to commit to this project could be better spent on other city services, or even left in the taxpayers? pockets by lowering taxes? If you’re concerned, contact your council members.
Your Clarkston neighbors

What is in a name for the City of Clarkston

Dear Editor,
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet”
Romeo and Juliet, – William Shakespeare
It appears to be all but official that the City of the Village of Clarkston no longer exists and is now the City of Clarkston. No vote, no amending the Charter, no permission from the governor, but it is a fait accompli, a done deal.
It is on the Village Hall, on the city vehicles, on the stationary, on Facebook (City of Clarkston-from the city office) and on the city web site which, while named www.villageofclarkston.org, sends messages and reminders out as City of Clarkston. Pick the “Citizen Service Request” button on the city web site and you will be transported to the Form Center with “City of Clarkston” proudly on it.
The sign at the north and south end of Main Street doesn’t even bother with “City of” but simply says “Welcome to Clarkston” which is really a mailing address or a school district and does not start or stop at the beginning of what was once the Village of Clarkston.
But then, what’s in a name?
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

Meals on Wheels a success with community help

Dear Editor,
Clarkston in Oakland County and five other counties in Southeast Michigan are fortunate to provide Meals on Wheels programs through grants from the Area Agency on Aging 1-B for individuals 60 and over who meet eligibility requirements.
A hot meal is delivered at lunch time to homebound seniors. This program is a life saver for those individuals who receive it. We have volunteers at our center deliver around 30 meals a day our clients. To apply for this program you can call the Older Person’s Commission at 248-608-0264. Independence Township through the Senior Community Center supports this program seven days a week.
We had several local organizations and business who provided meals and special treats during the holidays when are center is closed. A special thank you to the following business who provided meals, Thanksgiving Day, Deer Lake Racquet Club; Christmas Day, Autumn Ridge Assisted Living; New Year’s Day, The Woodshop; and United Methodist Ladies Club for individual holiday treats.
Our Meals on Wheels program is very important to us and the seniors who receive it. Without the wonderful support from our community we would not be able to provide the extra special service we provide. Thank you to all of our volunteers and everyone listed above for your support.
Sincerely,
Barbara Rollin, senior division supervisor
Independence Township Parks, Recreation & Seniors

Thank you for school carnival community support

Dear Editor,
On Friday, Jan. 29, Independence Elementary held its 2nd Annual Winter Carnival and the night was a roaring success. The goal of the carnival was to raise money to fund an all-purpose running/walking track around the school grounds and we were able to exceed all expectations.
Of course, any large event like this cannot be pulled off without the help of a lot of people, including all of the parents, teachers and staff members at Independence who kindly donated time, money and auction items to help with this goal.
We would like to take a minute to pay special recognition to our community businesses who were generous beyond compare: Pepsi, Bellezza Salon, The Gateway, The Woodshop & Clarkston Union, Scott Dobson Fishing Expedition, Picasso’s Grapevine, Fort Clarkston, Goldfish Swim School, The Fountains, Stars & Stripes, Carah K Photography, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Zoo, Twisted Root Yoga & Fitness, 2GG Apparel, Avanti Spa & Salon, Clarkston CrossFit, Clarkston Auto Wash, Oak Electric, Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, Diana Casetti Photography and Video, Via Bologna, Gregg’s Gourmet, Jet’s Pizza, MJR Cinema, Runnin? Gear, Neiman’s, Little Caesar’s, The Print Shop, Sunoco, Rainforest Caf?, Disney World, Clarkston Community Education, Ava Anderson, Simply Scratch, Lisa’s Confection Connection and Cherry Hill Lanes North.
We are truly in debt to your kindness and look forward to working with all of you in the future.
Sincerely,
Brad Shires, president
Independence Elementary PTO

Reader suggests ‘salute? on election day

Dear Editor,
Some 30 years ago, a Connecticut state police officer was following a school bus filled with junior high school students.
A young man in the rear of the bus gave the middle finger salute to the state police officer. The officer immediately stopped the bus and made collar. He arrested the young man for making an obscene gesture in a public place. The case eventually got to the Connecticut Supreme Court and the court ruled, in dismissing the case, that the middle finger salute is not an obscene gesture but a gesture of anger or irritation.
If the Independence Township Board rules in favor of the 92 rental units at the north end of Deer Lake, they will be giving the citizens of Independence Township the middle finger salute. I suggest we return the favor by giving the board the salute on election day this fall.
Sincerely,
Gerald McNally
Independence Township

Concerns, questions on road condition

Dear Editor,
It is amazing to me that within several years the new Sashabaw Road from Maybee to I-75 is falling apart.
When is the road commission and our local government going to step up to the plate and demand this is fixed without taxpayers? money?
Why don’t the contractors have to be responsible for their work? The potholes along this section are disgusting. Now we will have to see orange barrels along Sashabaw while the road is repaired. When are we as taxpayers going to stand up and demand better workmanship? This is why the people are upset with our government representatives.
Why is it no one really cares?
Doug Alexander
Independence Township

A call to observe Black History Month

Dear Editor,
Growing up, I never had to assert my blackness. I attended a predominately black school until the eighth grade, all while being exposed to other cultures and ethnicities. The dance school I attended was mostly white, as well as the environments surrounding the extra curricular activities I pursued.
Regardless of how I was treated, at the end of the day, I had my black friends, teachers and family to validate the treasure in my blackness. It wasn’t until college I became ‘the only chocolate chip? ninety percent of the time.
Suddenly I was beginning to understand the disparity between African American culture versus the Anglo-American culture which comprised most of the student body at the university. I became frustrated with the lack of knowledge held by a few of my classmates regarding black people’s contributions to the United States. While I was able to maintain a positive image of myself, I realized this was a given strength.?
In the 1940s, psychologist Kenneth and Marmie Clark conducted doll experiments. These experiments included four identical dolls with color as the only variant. In an interview produced by Blackside Inc., Dr. Kenneth Clark explained the purpose of the study: ?…to communicate to our colleagues in psychology the influence of race and color and status on the self-esteem of children.? The children did not view themselves as valuable, and repeatedly chose the dolls of a lighter shade over the black doll.
This should explain why programs and organizations created by and for people of color are crucial. Black Girls Rock, the BET Awards, the NAACP and black student organizations across campuses nationwide are just a few examples of the ways black people have had to come together due to a lack of representation.
When the history of your ethnicity has been characterized by dehumanization, these alliances are necessary for the amelioration of the black community.?
I hold no animosity toward those who do not acknowledge black history, which does not begin at slavery, but it is undeniably important. So encourage your fellow brothers and sisters revel in the annual observance that is Black History Month.?
Rhea Reid
University of Illinois grad student from Clarkston

Reader says technology threatens lotto law

Dear Editor,
Michigan Constitutional Proposal 04-1, which passed overwhelmingly in 2004 and is now in our state Constitution, requires voter approval of any form of gambling authorized by law after January 2004.
Yet the state lottery commission has now added “Draw Games Online” “Online Keno” and “Online Instant Games” so that gamblers can play the lottery games with their “electronic devices.”
Also, after 2004 “self service lottery machines” “online terminals” and “scratch-off ticket dispensers” were put into service by the state lottery commission in violation of the Michigan state constitution. None of these new forms of gambling were ever brought to voters for their approval as the states constitution has required since 2004 – https://www.michiganlottery.com/
From the state’s own 2004 Prop 04-1 analysis report, “The proposal (Prop 04-1) would seriously hamper the operations of the state lottery, which provides a substantial amount of funding for the state’s K-12 educational system. It prevents the lottery from introducing new electronic games or table games, which it will need to do in order to remain competitive, without a popular vote.
“To maintain player interest and maintain state revenue, the lottery regularly replaces older games or underperforming games with newer ones.
“As technology advances, the lottery is likely look to alternative forms of games, including electronic and mechanical devices operated by the player, including self-service, online terminals and scratch-off ticket dispensers. This proposal threatens those efforts.
“Note that the lottery would have to get legislative approval of any ballot language (it could not put a question on the ballot itself) and would not be allowed to spend money in support of proposals (even though the opposition could).
“Not only does the proposed amendment require a statewide vote for the introduction of a new game, it would prevent a new game from being introduced into any given local unit of government without local voter consent.”
Why were new games added online, self service lottery machines installed, online terminals and scratch-off ticket dispensers added at Kroger, Meijer, etc. without voter approval? Please investigate this violation.
Regards,
Michael Powell
Independence Township

Council careless with closed meetings, reader says

Dear Editor,
Government transparency is very important, especially in small town government. There are cases where closed meetings are necessary and there are strict procedures that need to be followed when voting to go into closed meetings.
The Clarkston City Council held an illegal closed meeting last night, Monday, Feb. 22.
Michigan law states a body must state the reason for the closed meeting prior to a roll call vote. Last night’s vote was proceeding without the council doing this, even though they regularly call for closed meetings. As the council prepared to go into a closed session, I reminded Attorney James Tamm, the lawyer who was present at the meeting and who is representing the city in at least two lawsuits, of the correct procedure, and he corrected council before the vote.
Council then voted to go into closed session to discuss the ‘Bisio lawsuit.? As the audience members were leaving, Mr. Tamm jokingly turned to me and said, ‘You should have asked which Bisio lawsuit.? However, this lawyer, who is representing the city in more than one ‘Bisio lawsuit,? never corrected council, nor asked them to amend their vote.
(Editor’s note: Richard Bisio and his wife Susan Bisio have both filed suit against the city. The Open Meetings Act allows closed meetings “to consult with its attorney regarding trial or settlement strategy in connection with specific pending litigation, but only if an open meeting would have a detrimental financial effect on the litigating or settlement position of the public body.?)
In one of the Bisio lawsuits, the city is being sued for holding an illegal closed meeting. Because of this lawsuit alone, the city council and lawyers should be very aware and sensitive to the reasons and procedures for calling a closed meeting. The reason for these rules to control closed meetings is to help ensure transparency in government. I am sure that the Clarkston City Council will enter closed session again. I hope before that occurs, the council members and their lawyers will read the law about open and closed meetings, and follow those laws.
Steve Wylie
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
As the United States search for ways to promote peace and global understanding, one key initiative is taking place right here in our own Clarkston neighborhoods.
Feb. 24 through March 2 will mark the 3rd Annual AYUSA Host Family Appreciation Week. This is a time for saluting families around the country that have opened their hearts and homes to international exchange students.
Now more than ever, student exchange programs help pave the road to peace and global understanding. It has been the warmth of the people here that has made it possible for Clarkston to enhance our community through international friendships.
To all the host families in Clarkston: Thank you for being a true example of American goodwill and hospitality. I invite others in our community to also get involved in this great community-building activity that not only enriches our community, but also our country.

Cindy Dibble
Community Representative
AYUSA International

Dear Editor,
The next meeting concerning Parke Lake, and its watershed, will be held on Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m. at the Independence Township Firehouse #1.
Among the matters to be discussed at the meeting are: status of the City of Clarkston storm water management plans, the pollution plumb spreading from the former gas station at the corner of Main Street and Clarkston Road, the pollution plumb spreading from the former landfill (i.e. Powell Dump) which is located north of Clarkston Road and east of Perry Lake Road, and lawn treatments and water quality.

Tom Stone
Dave McCarty
Fred Roeser
Clarkston

The letter to the editor by Bob Gritzinger, vice president of the Lake Orion School Board “is a story about a $5 bottle of water.” This is NOT the issue.
The issue is how was taxpayers’ money spent under Tony Rothschild’s leadership as board president of Oakland Intermediated Schools?
Under Rothschild’s leadership, Oakland ISD had a special election, at a cost to the taxpayers of $300,000 for a special and vocational education millage on Sept. 25, 2001. With a little foresight, that election could have been held with the regular school election in June 2001.
That raises a few interesting questions. Did the Oakland ISD Board think the proposed millage would be defeated in a regular school election? Did the board decide to have a special election hoping fewer voters would turn out than in the regular school election and thereby having a better chance of passing?
Also under Rothschild’s leadership, the Oakland ISD Board approved the use of $18.9 million of “Special education” monies for a new building. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
It was bad enough to hold a special “stealth election” for a special and vocational millage, but to use special education monies to build a new office complex is a violation of the taxpayers’ trust.
If Oakland ISD needed a new office complex, then the board should have held a bond election for that purpose and let the taxpayers decide.
Has Lake Orion’s School Board become paranoid? Gritzinger’s statement as to “this continuing attack…to put in charge of public schools those who ultimately want our schools to fail, making way for a private, profit-making system of education in America” is an indication the LO School Board doesn’t get it.!
Howard Sherman

The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was adopted in 1789. It forbid lawyers from holding public office. The 13th Amendment was ratified by 12 states, but the War of 1812 put this amendment on hold.
Somehow this 13th amendment disappeared in 1845, never to be brought back to the US Senate or Congress again. This is what I learned in US History back in 1960 when I was in the eighth grade.
Now when you look at the majority of your elected officials today, the majority of them are attorneys.
Nationally for example: Senator Joe Lieberman, Carl Levin; in Michigan: Governor Jennifer Grandholm; locally L. Brooks Patterson and county rep Eric Wilson.
The reason why our founding fathers wanted to adopt the 13th Amendment was so we could have a government run for the people by the people.
If you pay attention to what’s going on, you’ll notice all the forms of government (national, state, local) will try to pass rules and regulations without you the citizen being able to vote on whether or not you approve.
These politicians set up commissions and committees and what does it usually favor — the rich and special interest.
We citizens always end up paying out of our pockets for some representative or senator who is usually in some lobbyist’s back pocket — as well as our local politicians.
It seems the big time developers and companies like Wortman and Carlisle or Plante and Moran have more clout and say so about what goes on in Orion Township then the citizens do.
But what can you do when only 10 percent vote and hardly anyone goes to the Orion Township meetings to speak up.
I maybe see a ray of hope. At the township’s budget meeting on Sept. 8, a group of high school students came in to watch the meeting.
I had made a comment that you can’t spend what you don’t have and don’t rob Peter to pay Paul. These youngsters understood what I was getting at, especially when a member of the township board let it be known they didn’t agree or care for my comment.
I believe there is hope for us yet. These boys and girls are a lot smarter and innovated than our present leadership wants us to believe.
James Delavan

Just before Christmas while meeting with a client, I could not help but notice that he (my client) looked extremely frail and had, obviously, lost a lot of weight.
When I inquired as to his weight loss, my client advised me that he could not understand why he was so weak and had lost so much weight and had recently had a complete physical at a nearby hospital and had been advised that there was ‘nothing wrong with him.?
I could see, with my own eyes, that there was something very wrong with him and I called my personal physician, Nathan Chase, M.D., and I asked him if he would be willing to meet with my client. Dr. Chase indicated that he was leaving on vacation the following day, however, based upon what I told him, he would meet with my client at 8 a.m. the following morning prior to leaving on his vacation. Thank God he did.
Dr. Chase diagnosed my client’s problem as a severe endocardiac infection which without treatment would surely have been fatal.
Dr. Chase’s willingness to meet with my client on a day he was leaving for his own vacation saved my client’s life.
After a 10 day stay in the hospital and approximately one more month of IV treatment at home, my client will recover fully and return to good health.
How lucky we are in Clarkston to have such a dedicated physician, who not only is an expert in what he does, but is willing to meet, diagnose and treat a patient and sacrifice his own personal time to meet and care for a patient due to a telephone call from a fellow member of his community.
My personal thanks to Nathan Chase, M.D.
Robert E. Kostin
Clarkston

To the editor:
As responsible American citizens it is our right, as well as our civic duty to vote in all elections. But when the people come out to cast their vote and their polling location has been changed or closed, with no sign giving the relocation site or reason for the closure of the precinct, who is ultimately responsible for the disenfranchisement of these voters? Though the new locations were listed in some newspapers, not everyone was aware of it. After the serious issues that have been raised regarding the voting rights that were denied to citizens in past elections throughout the country one would think that new processes would have been implemented to prevent further impediments to the people being able to exercise their right to vote. When the basic electoral process has flaws they need to be addressed immediately to prevent denial of the privilege and obligation of the citizens to vote and be counted. If we are truly a nation ‘of the people, by the people and for the people,? then who is responsible to assure that the people’s voices are heard?
On Saturday Feb. 7, 2004 at 12:15 pm I headed out to the polls to cast my vote in the 8th Congressional District for the Michigan Democratic Caucus in Ortonville, but to my surprise the precinct was closed. There was no sign on the door of the Intermediate school that is the site where I normally vote. I went to the entrance on the other side of the building and still no signs. Because there were cars and people around I went inside and found that a basketball tournament was going on. When I asked at the concession area where to vote one person responded: ‘what caucus?? Another then told me that it had been moved to the Old Town Hall on Mill Street. Relieved, though concerned about the lack of organization or notification, I went on my way. Imagine my astonishment when the Town Hall was closed and no notice was posted there either. Because Ortonville is such a small village the options were quite limited as to where the voting could be held so I tried the Township offices, which were also closed with no sign. Frustrated and almost ready to give up, I drove to the Fire Department, where a fireman was very helpful and sent me to the Brandon Township Library, where the Caucus had been moved. Ironically, it is near the same parking lot as the regular location for voting in my district, but had no signs outside the building to identify it as the new location. Once inside the library, I found the new site and was able to cast my vote.
Because I feel very strongly that voting is vital in a democratic society, I wanted to be sure that those who came after me did not have to endure the hassle I had gone through, so I asked the people working the polls if they would put a sign outside. One of the people responded: ‘Of course, we want everyone to be able to vote that wants to.? (Isn’t that the whole point of holding elections?) He then moved a sign on an easel outside the entrance of the building. I thanked him and left.
As I drove home, the whole incident began to bother me. Had the community not been so small, I would not have been able to find the new location and exercise my right to vote. I can certainly understand the concerns and feelings of anger and frustration of those in the Detroit districts whose polling locations had also been closed without notice of relocation who ended up not getting to cast their votes. In a time of apathy and dissatisfaction where the people are calling for serious changes to the way our government operates, it is imperative that if they make the effort to get out to vote they should be provided with an appropriate place for their vote to be counted. As a democratic society we need to encourage, rather than discourage, people to vote in order to have a truly representative government at all levels.
I am puzzled and disturbed by the lack of consideration shown to the voters by incidences such as these. Who decided to move the location for the Caucus? Why? (I know how important basketball tournaments can be, but was it more imperative than an election?) Why were no signs posted at the original location or at the new location? And why should this type of blatant disregard for the people’s rights be tolerated? What else can be expected of the people, if they fulfill their duty by being present and ready to be counted? In my case, because of the small town, I went home, printed out signs for the location change and posted them at all the places I had checked, but they were not up until 1:00 pm. How many other people showed up to vote prior to me, but became frustrated or outraged and gave up and went home leaving their voices unheard? Posting signs was a simple solution to a problem of utmost importance, which took me a total of 15 minutes. Whoever made the decision to move the location or anyone involved at any level of the process could have taken the time to do the same thing to help facilitate the election. Was this incident, or those in Detroit, a case of oversight, incompetence, or a deliberate effort to sabotage another election? Only those responsible for their actions or inactions know for sure.
Obviously the system is broken and needs to be fixed. After the embarrassing national election debacle in Florida in 2000, among others, one would think that some very serious issues would have been addressed to prevent any further incidents of voting mishaps. If the people are willing to do their part by showing up to cast their votes, then the government or political party responsible is obligated to assure that the officials in charge do their part to provide them the opportunity to fulfill their duty as citizens of a democratic society. The American people want their voices to be heard and rights to be guaranteed. Who will step up and take the responsibility to ensure that this is possible? Would someone just give me a sign to let me know that the voice of the American people will truly be heard?

Kim Bildson
Brandon Township

You admit that you are not familiar with the facts about ‘Education YES?, and yet you feel qualified to judge both the system and the school administrators who must implement it. Although I am not an expert, I have read about and attended information sessions on the impact of Education Yes on Michigan’s education system. Here are some of the problems that we face in Michigan:
On February 8, I read in the Detroit News how PSAT scores for Michigan students have to be ‘supplemented? by additional points in order to bring them up to a level to compete with the other states in the nation in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. Only one state in the nation (Indiana) has more points added to scores than Michigan. (How many National Merit Finalists did Clarkston High School have last spring? ? the answer will surprise you).
On February 4, the Wall Street Journal ran a feature article, second in a series of two, where they discuss the discriminatory nature of ‘No Child Left Behind? ? the federal program that fathered ‘Education YES? in Michigan. These ‘Accountability? programs discriminate against our most able students. (Home school districts are withholding information and referrals for gifted students to attend specialized schools so that their per child dollars and the students? above average test scores will remain in the home district).
An October 28, 2003 article in the Michigan Education Digest discusses why colleges and universities are spending precious resources on remedial courses, mentoring and tutoring programs because of grade inflation in the high schools. (students are earning more A’s and learning less).
Education YES is discriminatory against academic achievers, is statistically next to impossible to achieve (from Bruce Beamer’s presentation to the School Board early in 2003) and uses an inaccurate measuring tool (the MEAP test) to determine funding for our schools. Schools labeled as ‘Exemplary? within the last two years are now being labeled as ‘failing? because of Education YES.
Despite all this, we still have a member of the School Board who will argue that dollars to fund athletics should be taken out of the savings that Clarkston holds against cuts in state funding for education. What we in Michigan need to understand is that we depend on these students for our future. If we do not focus on educating them properly, more businesses will leave Michigan, more jobs will leave Michigan, and our children will find it difficult to earn a decent living.
You are quick to find fault with our administrators, who are trying desperately to provide a good education to students in Clarkston, while spending countless hours on a worthless state-mandated program. I believe that the fault more properly lies with politicians like those who implemented Education YES without consulting with educators and without regard to possible outcomes for our students. (And the people who vote for them). Perhaps, before you put ‘pen to paper? in the future, you should take a closer look at the real issues.
Sherri Kerby
President
Academic Boosters of Clarkston

Mallia offers mea culpa for sign violations

To the residents of the Village of Leonard,
In response to C.J. Carnacchio’s column dated October 23, I do humbly offer my apologies to the residents of the village. C.J. was very correct in pointing out that I had violated election law by not having placed the proper information on my campaign signs.
I clearly did omit the information and have since corrected my oversight.
To those who have supported me in the past, I do not want to offer an excuse in this matter; I accept my responsibilities as village president and as an elected official.
I have worked hard in the Village over the last 16 years and will continue to do so in the future.

Leonard Village President Eugene Mallia

Disagreed with vandalism, comments

I do agree with Sarah Reyes that no one has the right to destroy anyone’s property–her McCain campaign signs were slashed by vandals. That’s just not right.
What troubles me is two of her statements:
‘What kind of neighborhood are we in??
Well, Sarah, the people of Oxford area are good, honest, hard-working moral people! Her other statement: ‘It just shows what kind of people are really rooting for the other candidate.? (Obama)
Come on, Sarah! They are the same great, hardworking, moral people that want (what’s in their opinion) the best for our beautiful wonderful country.

Carole Marshall
Addison Township

Thanks for a great homecoming

Dear Parents of the Class of 2009 that helped:
We would like to thank the parents that have helped with the Homecoming Floats over the past years. While we were in School, You were running for supplies so no time was wasted during float building. For the parents who sacrificed their evenings, weekends and their families, Mr. Couch, Mr. Rizzo, Mrs. Bosetti. Somehow we finished it all and with your support.
We would also like to thank The Moses Family that helped with the Sound system and sign on our floats. The support we have had from more parents that are not mentioned here. You all know your part of the class of 2009. The Photos taken will be part of history. The laughs, the poses and the paint. We only took one first place. That’s fine. We finished and marched proudly. Now it will be time for us to watch to see what everyone else will create. We could not have done any of this with out any of you.

Katherine Bosetti, Class of 2009

‘Stop throwing your weight around?

Myself and all affected residents came to you a while back with a signed petition to stop sidewalk construction on our street. Ultimately you chose to ignore it, and you chose to ignore us. In the end, you were able to spend your grant money before you were required to, as you say, ‘give it back?. Congratulations to you all, you spent it, you beat the deadline. Those sidewalks are now in. You got what you wanted ? what YOU wanted. And now the entire community knows that you plainly do what you want, when you want, no matter who’s involved or what’s at stake. High fives all around! If you’re a resident and you have an issue or complaint and want to be heard, you’ve pretty much told us that we’re better off standing on the corner of M-24 and Burdick ? wearing a sandwich board ? than to gain the sympathetic ear of a council member. You WON! You must feel so proud of yourselves! Council 1. Residents 0. NEXT!
To all the residents on the original plan to have sidewalks installed on your property ? but escaped the destruction of your yard and privacy this time, know this: you will not matter and your opinions will not matter. If you go to council meetings next year to have your sidewalk project stopped about all you’re likely to get from them is a distant, sort of deer-in-the-headlights stare and an undeserved dose of near complete indifference. That is, if things go for you like they went for us. I wish you all luck. Let me know how it all works out, but I’m not about to cancel my plan to ride a bike in your yard in the very near future. Even if that new sidewalk leads to nowhere and connects with nothing!
On the Sept. 11, 2007 (last village council election) we had 3,540 residents, of those residents 2,361 were registered voters. Not a bad percentage. But of those registered voters, only 288 (12.2%) showed up to vote for any of you. In other words 87.8 percent of the registered voters didn’t think enough about you or your position to get up off the couch to cast a vote. Well over 2,000 of them would rather watch Seinfeld re-runs or take a vacuum to the basement stairs than be bothered by what you campaigned for in that election. I would even go as far as to say that if you were to ask anyone who lives here to name even one of their Village’s Council members you’d be lucky to get one correct answer. Based on those numbers, I believe it is safe to say that a very large segment of the population doesn’t give a darn about what you do here. So please stop throwing your weight around town as if you feel you have the support of the masses. You now know the numbers. Be a neighbor once in a while, I challenge you.

Bill Savage
Oxford

Dear editor,
The Orion Township Fire Fighters Goodfellows would like to thank all those who made our 2010 Christmas Food Baskets a success. Local Orion and Oxford businesses donated everything from cash to turkeys and Barbie dolls to smoke detectors.
Residents purchased a special Goodfellows edition of The Lake Orion Review (donated by The Review) and gave us toys, cash and winter clothes. The Orion Township Fire Department provided working space so we could load it all up and deliver it. The heartfelt gratitude expressed by the families who received the baskets made it all worthwhile.
-Orion Township Fire
Fighters Goodfellows

Jean’s story

Dear Editor,
Our friend, Jim Sherman, Sr., was kind enough to drop off the July 20 copy of The Clarkston News because he knew I would want to read the article about Jean Saile.
I was fortunate to be working at The Oxford Leader as a typesetter when Jean was at The News and of course became one of her many friends and admirers. I think anyone who ever met Jean was a friend!
Although we hadn’t kept in touch for the last 20 years or so, I treasure the memories from our past acquaintance’some parties at the old house and elsewhere’but mostly feel I was privileged to know and love her. I loved working with her and am certain she had no equal as a newspaperman ? or woman.
Your coverage of her life in The News was excellent and I enjoyed reading the whole paper. Thank you.
Sue Stilwell
Oxford

Garden Walk

Dear Editor,
The Clarkston Farm and Garden Club would like to thank Clarkston homeowners Patricia Clees and Dennis Kwasny, Diane and Henry Woloson, Raeann and David Spanks, Sue and Bob White, Virgil and Diane Roberts, Pat and Doug Bailey and the Community Garden volunteers for opening their gardens for the 2011 Garden Walk.
The gardens are beautiful and the many extras that our gardeners added for the walk are appreciated. About 400 people from Clarkston and surrounding areas visited the gardens.
We would like to thank community members and businesses who supported the walk. Local restaurants provided specials, businesses supported a beautiful garden guide. Volunteer musicians and artists played and painted in the gardens. Local artists sold pieces at an Artist Market at Independence Township Library, which hosted the event for the second year.
Funds raised will be used for scholarships for high school graduates, grants and programs for Clarkston staff and students, plantings for the Main Street planters, and Independence Township Library gardens.
Clarkston Farm & Garden Club

Concerts in park

Dear Editor,
As the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce wraps up the 32nd Season for Concerts in the Park, I would like to extend a special thank you to the City of the Village for their support in helping us host these popular concerts.
DPW’s Jason, in particular, was an outstanding resource to have on site each evening. He helped with traffic congestion, crowd control, handicap accessibility and electrical support. Crowds have been big. Great weather, good bands and an eager community have helped us average nearly 2,500 each evening.
There have been some electrical issues this summer. From the very beginning the city was alert to the issue and proactive in resolving the problem.
I’m very grateful that we have so many people come out and attend the concerts. And I am equally grateful that we have the helpful and caring staff and support at the city offices.
See you next year for our 33rd Season when the Chamber will once again host six more free concerts in Depot Park.
Penny Shanks, executive director, Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce

No more restrictions

Dear Editor:
Thanks for asking our opinion on this issue.
I believe the current burning ordinance works well. You have to register with the Fire Department, a burning permit is issued, only certain days of the month are designated as burn days, restrictions apply to what can be burned, and if you are sensitive to smoke, you know what days to close the doors and windows.
Further restrictions are unnecessary. If I wanted Big Brother to regulate everything I did, I would move to the southeast section of Oakland County.
Thank You,
Larry Liggett

Some limits helpful

Dear Editor:
There are many interesting issues that can be discussed related to the burning privileges we enjoy in Independence Township. I believe the majority of people who live in this semi-rural community would have a major problem not being able to exercise our right to dispose of leaves, sticks, brush in an environmentally friendly manner. When brush is dry and burned, there is little smoke. Filling our landfills with compostable matter in not an acceptable alternative.
I have to ask myself, how long has the person with allergies lived here? She should have educated herself on community policies before moving here. In any densely populated areas in this township such as neighborhood areas, there usually is no burning. It is mainly the residents with larger lots and large amounts of brush/leaves that burn. If you burn on non-windy days, smoke rises with the heat.
I suggest publishing guidelines that only Dry brush / leaves should be burned on non-windy so all understand. Possibly limit burning to exclude Sundays. Six days a week should be enough. Every other week would be reasonable.
Phil Zuelke

Stop lighting up

Dear Editor:
No smoke please. There are many alternatives to leaf burning.
Not only is the smoke toxic there is also a danger of fire spreading to my property and burning down all my beautiful trees.
I also have COPD and it makes it hard for me to breathe.
Lillian Hall Christein

Changes would make burn policy clearer

Dear Editor:
I am in favor of continuing the burning permit policy. We do not burn leaves. We mulch them.
However, I have a suggestion: Instead of four days a week on the first and third week of each month (8 burn days) how about choosing the same two days out of every week. For instance every Tuesday and Thursday or every Monday and Wednesday.
This way when the weather doesn’t cooperate (rain and/or ozone days) you don’t have to wait two week before burning.
It would also be easier to remember whether or not it is a burn day.
Cliff and Dolores Smart

‘Disappointed? by schools

Dear Editor,
I had high hopes that a new Clarkston superintendent would end the secrecy and arrogance that seemed to pervade the previous administration and certain board of education members.
However, it was very disappointing to read that Dr. Rod Rock believes it is “wasteful” for a district resident and taxpayer to use the law to obtain information that many school districts make public. (“FOIAs Under Fire,” Oct. 12).
This is the same superintendent who recently leveraged taxpayer resources to criticize charter schools. Apparently, it’s not “wasteful” when you spend the people’s money on issues you support.
It is equally disaappointing that several board members have joined the “move on, there’s nothing to see here” bandwagon. Diversionary tactics — such as insinuating that the citizen in question is in cahoots with the local paper — only reinforce the notion that there is something to hide.
Until certain Clarkston Schools leaders learn what transparency means, I don’t care if Santa Claus files FOIA requests and pays for them with money from the Easter Bunny, if that’s what it takes to get answers.
Kelly Kolhagen
Independence Township

Sunlight best disinfectant

Dear Editor,
There have been statements made that a member of the community is wasting the school district’s time and resources by making FOIA requests for information which some on the Board and in the administration feel is a fishing expedition.
Let’s be clear on a very important point: community oversight of our elected and appointed officials is not just a community right, it is a community responsibility and it can only be accomplished with adequate information in a format that lends itself to review and analysis.
In the absence of full, voluntary disclosure on the part of officials, the law provides citizens with a tool to use to obtain the needed information ? the Freedom of Information Act.
This tool provides the community with access to sufficient information to be able to make an informed judgment regarding the performance of those officials who hold the public trust when complete information is not readily available to the community for whatever reason.
To those on the board and in the administration who are opposed to these requests, my suggestion is to re-examine their position regarding the voluntary release of information and to encourage members of the community to become involved at a more granular level of detail in the areas of greatest concern such as finance and policy.
If no problems are found, this assistance will still enable the district to stretch its scarce resources by engaging these additional creative minds in process improvement.
On the other hand, if there are problems they can be identified early and corrected quickly because in the words of US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant?.
Lawrence Matta
Independence Township

Public has right to know

Dear Editor,
I am in shock at the tone and comments coming from the Clarkston School Superindent and some School Board members (“FOIAs under fire,”Oct. 12).
These are the people we assume are establishing the policies for educating our students and I presume that includes civics and law. Instead of my usual long winded complaints, I offer the following explanation from the Michigan Legislature as contained in a very good document on the Michigan Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Acts which is available for free and online from www.Michigan.gov. This is what it says:
Availability of Public Records:
Any person may ask to inspect, copy or receive a copy of a public record. There are no qualifications such as residency or age.
As soon as practical, but not more than five business days after receiving a request, the public body must respond to a request for a public record. Under unusual circumstances, the time can be extended by 10 days.
The public body or agency has a responsibility to provide reasonable facilities so that persons making a request may examine and take notes from public records. The facilities must be available during the normal business hours of the public body. A public body may make reasonable rules necessary to protect its public records and to prevent excessive and unreasonable interference with the discharge of its functions.
My opinion is that it is public information, created, compiled and maintained with public money. Therefore, in accordance with the law, the public has the right to any information for any reason, even if it is just because they are curious and want to know how their tax money is being spent. So tell the School Board to stop their whining and get back to educating the public, whether student or parent. It is not the School Board’s information, it is ours.
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

FOIAs waste of money

Dear Editor,
I concur with Kelli Horst’s views that Dawn Schaller is wasting our tax payer dollars on ridiculous FOIA requests. I believe this is part of a bigger effort to tear apart the fabric of public education. Now is the time to rally and support our public schools before this uniquely American success story is undermined by for-profit corporations.
Thank you,
Ann Lehman-Rittinger
Davisburg

Outraged by newspaper

Dear Editor,
As a parent of children that attend Clarkston Community Schools, I am outraged that your newspaper is supporting the crazy antics of a delusional resident of Clarkston.
Dr. Rod Rock has done an amazing job of being the superintendent of Clarkston Schools. He has opened lines of communication that were not open before. He has also gone above and beyond in keeping Clarkston residents informed about all of the changes that could be occurring in education funding and policies.
If there is no evidence of wrongdoing, please let him get back to doing what he does best ? caring for the education of our kids.
Noelle Collis

Get behind Dr. Rock

Dear Editor,
I, too, have had many frustrations over Mrs. Schaller’s relentless campaign to expose some type of fraud or misspending on the part of the Clarkston School District (‘FOIA questions focus on school spending,? Oct. 12). I think after 18 months and 4,760 pages of information, she should stop wasting our time and money.
I am focused on moving forward with our new superintendent and excited about the direction in which he is moving our district. I have noted the School Board members who support Mrs. Schaller and will not vote for them. I want them to move into the future and get behind Dr. Rock. He has new and exciting ideas that I want to explore for the sake of my two children currently in the Clarkson school system. The recent economic situation within our state calls for new and inventive practices, not conspiracy theories.
Of great concern to me is why the Clarkston News supported Mrs. Shaller’s efforts by supplying her with money. Isn’t this the time when we should be working together to create solutions and a new paradigm rather than steeping ourselves in past practices?
Aimee Baker
Davisburg

Kudos to you for your recent articles on NOTA. It is high time that the truth comes out into the light. Your questions and research are just what is needed. You are exposing the old-boy network for what it is ? stagnation and self-serving political oligarchy sustained by a group of back-stabbing, co-dependant individuals with secretive and undisclosed agendas. When challenged, they hide behind speech limitations at meetings and meaningless circuitous answers and comments, all not answering the real questions. What answer is given depends on which old-boy is speaking.
I have several questions which require answers: What were the purposes of the catered affairs and how much was spent on them? Do the NOTA minutes reflect the appointment or election of Eric Wilson as a member of the board ‘at large,? or did he simply stay on after his term expired? Why has the NOTA board permitted on alleged member to vote on anything? Will the NOTA facilities again be used for meetings to promote the tri-township senior center? If so, by whose authority and expense? How much taxpayer money is being expended to appeal the ruling in the NOTA vs. Poole unemployement case?
I sincerely hope that this entire fiasco will soon be opened to public view and knowledge.
Sereal Gravlin
Lakeville

I think C.J. hit the nail on the head about the Planning Commission trying to run Kohl’s out of town. What are they thinking? Is this the same commission that just let Waterstone run rampant and build whatever they wanted? Now that we have more people around here than we can handle with hardly any shopping, you wold think that we would welcome a business like Kohl’s with open arms.

Mark Skrzypczak, Oxford

First of all, I must state that I have never agreed with C.J. Carnacchio’s point of view in the past. However, that all changed when I read his column on the ridiculous requirements the Oxford Township Planning Commission is requesting Kohl’s to meet.
What is wrong with these people? If I were Kohl’s, I would tell Oxford to take a hike. My neighbors and I have been chomping at the bit, waiting for Kohl’s to come here, and then I read last week’s Leader article on what Oxford is asking them to do and I was flabbergasted. I mean, let’s face it, these little downtown shops that keep opening up and then closing six months later are not cutting it. It’s nice that we have a quaint little downtown, but these shops are not going to help Oxford’s economy or tax base. And another thing ? C.J. was right ? we don’t walk around in barn boots in Oxford, not unless you live on a farm, which most of us here do not.
Now, I am beginning to understand why there is such little economic or any other type of healthy growth in Oxford. The decision-makers just want themselves to seem important in front of a group of people, spew a bunch of nonsense and expel the hot air that they are so full of. They don’t care about Oxford in the least.

Dawn Gwisdalla, Oxford

Dear Editor,
I will admit that I do not read the Clarkston Village meeting minutes in the Clarkston News as there is even less content in this “summary” version than there is in the official full version.
However, I noticed that the date of the meeting minutes is Feb. 13 and published in the paper on Feb. 29, 16 days later and after the next meeting of the council has taken place.
If someone had an issue with what the Council did, they would not be able to publicly comment to the Council until two meetings or four weeks later Ordinaces generally have a 20 day period until they go into effect after being approved by the Council.
If one only went by the minutes published in the newspaper, it would be too late to address the council on the matter as it would be at least two meetings, four weeks or 28 days later.
The open meetings act require meeting minutes to be available eight business days after the meeting takes place.
By my count, that would be Thursday of the following week for the regular Monday meetings and in time for readng before the next meeting.
Of course the city does not generally follow this rule and I have found it impossible to get any informaton, including meeting agenda and minutes, no matter how many times I ask.
Perhaps they only want the public to read the approved minutes even though it provides little opportunity to publicly discuss an issue. Perhaps they just don’t want anyone to know what they are doing.
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
I wish to comment Mr Larry Rosso for his long and valued service on the Independence Township Board.
Larry was always a moderate and thoughtful voice on a board that could get very contentious and he also acted as chair during the long absence of Supervisor Wagner.
I feel the township residents owe Larry a big thank-you for 16 years of dedicated service on the board and hope we do not lose his thoughts and ideas as he leaves the board. Best Wishes Larry!
Jim Reed
Independence Township

Provides tech

Dear Editor,
As seniors, we personally feel we need to vote ‘yes? on the proposed school bond issue for the following reasons:
State school funding has dropped to the 2005 level and, as we know, with 80 percent of school budget costs for employees, there is little room for cost cutting;
Due to home values dropping, our property tax has also been reduced and we still have the homestead tax program;
Most of us are not being taxed on our pensions and Social Security; and
If we expect our home values ever to regain pre-2007 levels, we need to provide excellent schools and this starts with technology.
To summarize, we, as a group, have not felt the hardships that are a real problem for families educating children.
Paul and Geri Ilg
Clarkston

Alternative to bond

Dear Editor,
In regards to ‘Group spreads word on school bond,? April 18 edition, their placing Dr. Rod Rock on a pedestal causes some readers to wonder if their opinion was merited.
Dr. Rock left a school district that had children no different than ours. He left because ours is a more elite district and his salary was increased.
Do you think he would stay here if another school district offered him a job at a more prestigious school with a salary higher than ours? Of course not. No one would blame him. He owes it to his family to provide the best he can for them.
Here’s my alternative to raising our taxes for the next 20 years. We charge our athletes on a pay-to-play plan. If we were to do the same for students having the latest computer technology, there would be a number of advantages.
It would be less expensive, instead of paying the increased taxes for 20 years.
Parents would own the computer and students would have it throughout their entire school career. If they moved from the district, their computers go with them.
The student would possess the computer year round, through Christmas, spring break, and summer.
Students going to college would already have theirs ? most colleges require them.
Parents would be spending for only their children, not those for the next 20 years.
The school board would reap the benefits of not having to supply them.
Our seniors living on a fixed income would not lose 4.2 percent of their purchasing power ? the government gave Social Security receivers a 3.6 percent increase this year, but said cost of living increase by 4.2 percent over the last 30 years.
Our school board or lending institutions could contract to pay each year the amount they would have paid in tax increases until the cost is paid.
Our school board wouldn’t have to ask for an additional $20 million every 10 years.
It would send a message to our school board, they don’t have the option of raising our taxes each time additional revenue is wanted.
For those in favor of the tax increase, please don’t use the same old excuse, ‘it’s for our kids? when listing its advantages. That line is overused.
Just in case you thing I’m against everything pertaining to our schools, I voted for the building of our newest high school. But I will vote against the bond issue.
John Thomas
Independence Township

Adds to debt

Dear Editor,
Our former county clerk worked to eliminate stealth millage elections outside the regular two year cycle. If there isn’t, there ought to be a law. This May 8 election is costing a casually estimated $35,000. Rod Rock seems to think it akin to rolling the dice for $20,000,000. He, and some members of the local school board are willing to flaunt voters, gambling with your money. With Clarkston area taxpayers already in debt tens of millions for public education, a giant new high school, ‘early education? buildings and luxurious administration offices, they are demanding ‘just another $20,000,000.?
Flaunting election laws are nothing new to the public education lobby. Signs supporting the May 8 election millage went up over the weekend when local ordinance officers are off duty. Political signage in Independence Township is limited to 14 days before an election. This matters not to supporters of another further reach into your future earnings.
The ends justify the means, if you know what that means. Former Michigan legislator and candidate for Governor Joe Schwarz said it best, “The public education lobby is pretty much insatiable….” Vote NO May 8.
Rob Namowicz
Independence Township

Focus on the kids

Dear Editor,
In regard to the Clarkston education bond election, it is disappointing to see the NO supporters continue to behave so negatively and contentiously.
Now they have decided to set up straw men to distract the election with information that is totally irrelevant to the bond election -this is unfortunate.
To me the heart of the difference is in the names. Clarkston Kids First focuses on kids – while the naysayers focus on dollars.
Its also very disheartening when my 6-year-old daughter sees a NO sign in a yard and asks “why wouldn’t they want to help my school”.
I have only seen positivity come from the administration, the wonderful teachers and staff of Clarkston schools, and Clarkston Kids First therefore, I will be voting YES on May 8th.
For all the negative naysayers: “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you” -Robert Fulghum
Janel Sadowski
Springfield Township

Reasons to say ‘no?

Dear Editor,
I have never voted against a school millage in the past, but I will be voting ‘no? on the $20 million Clarkston school bond.
Most of the first half of the bond proceeds of $10 million would be to provide wireless devices to the students and teachers and to provide the Wi-Fi mast infrastructure, which uses radio waves to provide high-speed network and Internet connections throughout all of the schools.
There are so many reasons why this bond is wrong at this time. I have been made aware of the health dangers of Wi-Fi microwaves in general, but especially when it is turned on all the time in schools where it can affect the health of the students, staff, volunteers, and other visitors.
The district is claiming the wireless devices will have a useful life of six years to justify using the bond to pay for them, but I doubt the devices will survive nearly that long. Where will the district find the funds to pay for the next batch of wireless devices in two or three years to pay for the replacements when they can’t be replaced or repaired any longer?
Although probably fun to use, the use of the technology has been tested elsewhere with no evidence of increased test scores or clear benefits to the learning of the students.
It’s ill timed with the economy as it is, the unemployment, the high percentage of families in the district on subsidized meals, and the extra $35,000 it will cost to have the ‘stealth’ one topic election in May when nothing else is on the ballot and most won’t come out to vote.
Dawn Schaller
Independence Township

Discuss upgrades at a better time

Dear Editor,
Property owners in Independence Township, do not get caught up in the rhetoric of the school bond proposal of May 8.
I am appalled at the decision to go forward with a $20 million bond request when Clarkston’s school district is already $200 million in debt.
We already owe more than we have in assets. Sound familiar? This non state bond doesn’t need collateral because property owners will be on the hook of having the proposed l mill increase continue to increase perhaps to 2 mills when the school district cannot make the payment.
How real is this possibibity? Well we have already borrowed from the Michigan School Bond Loan Fund to make our payment on the current bond. This is not an option for the non state bond. So I must ask, if we cannot meet our current obligation how can we commit to a second one?
The state of Michigan has already said less money for the schools is a given, student enrollment is declining, and a shadow wave of foreclosures is waiting to hit the market again, thus driving property values down further , not upwards. In coming money to pay for this bond will be considerably less than predicted.
The real reason there was a rush for the May ballot is because the school was hoping not to compete with the other millage requests which will be on the November ballot. Tax revenues are down for all levels of government.
There is not a crisis in the schools. Nothing catastrophic happens if the proposal is turned down. We need to stop this madness of racking up debt.
The Clarkston school district is not large enough to carry a debt of this size. This is how school districts get into financial trouble. Poor decisions, and missappropriations of funds leave an ugly legacy of overwhelming debt long after the current people in charge have gone.
Please make your decision on May 8th as a concerned citizen and property owner. We can always discuss upgrades to the system when the economic reality is better.
Mary Walker
Independence Township

Dear Editor,
How many of you remember Oct. 22, 1962 and Nov. 22, 1963?
I remember both of those dates as if they were yesterday.
I was 15 years old on 10-22-62, and I remember President John F. Kennedy on all the television stations the night before, addressing the nation on how the Russian Premier Nikita Khruschev, and the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, were pointing nuclear missiles towards the eastern half of the United States from the country of Cuba, or as JFK would pronounce it, ‘Cuber!?
It was a standoff and I recall JFK sternly saying, ‘Mr. Castro and Mr. Khruschev, for every missile you point towards the United States of America, we’ll point two missiles towards Cuba (Cuber)!?
The standoff was on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 1962, and our school had sent us home that morning fearing that an attack might take place. I remember one of my classmates having a fallout shelter built underneath their garage, filled with canned goods and flashlights, and an all transistor radio, AM only, FM was a luxury then.
Well as history shows, Castro and Khruschev backed down and Khruschev took his missiles and boats back to Russia.
Thirteen months later, to the day 22, President Kennedy was murdered 11-22-63, in Dallas, Texas, by a lone bullet fired from atop the Dallas Public Schools book depository building, by Lee Harvey Oswald, or so this is what some of the media wants us to believe. I have my own beliefs on how JFK was murdered, and there are plenty of cover ups on 11-22 as there are on 9-11! So I’ll leave it at that!
This Thanksgiving marks the 44th year of the JFK murder, a day we should never forget because that marked an end of our last U.S. president who was truly for the common everyday people.
Even though JFK came from a wealthy family, he instilled a lot of excellent benefits for the U.S. citizens: the School Lunch Program; Medicare, which started out as a no-cost benefit for the retirees and disabled on Social Security, but later was dismantled by Presidents Nixon and Reagan so that you had to pay for Medicare because Reagan had let Medicare be taken over by a private company. Remember Reaganomics?
But anyhow, JFK was the last U.S. president to have programs that the people, in other words you, got something for your tax dollar, not like today when our elected leaders want to take our benefits away from us and at the same time charge us and add more taxes!
This year, 11-22 falls on Thanksgiving. Let’s remember the last president who, I believe, really cared about the people, JFK.
— James B. Delavan

Dear Editor,
There has been a recent controversy regarding the Michigan State University chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Director Mark Potok called the YAF, ‘a very virulent, nasty little group.?
This is due to the YAF at MSU having a speaker from the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, whose volunteers patrol the U.S-Mexican border trying to keep illegals from breaching our sovereign borders.
Let me persuade the Young Americans for Freedom and anyone interested to look into the Southern Poverty Law Center’s credibility. The SPLC’s co-founders are Morris Dees and the very liberal Julian Bond, who had implied that Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell were ‘token black appointees? in the Bush administration.
In 2001 JoAnn Wypijewski wrote in the Nation magazine, ‘No one has been more assiduous in inflating the profile of [hate] groups than the center’s millionaire huckster, Morris Dees.?
The SPLC will label anyone a racist who does not follow their socialist/liberal line. They have thus labeled the Ludwig von Misis Institute, the Council of Conservative Citizens, Pat Buchanan, and David Horowitz. All conservative in their principles. None of them are racist by any means.
I recommend that the Young Americans for Freedom and young and old alike keep doing their research. Carry on cognizant, objective investigations of both sides of an issue, organization or individual.
Above all, hold educating yourselves high above having yourselves indoctrinated by any professor, individual or organization. Anyone who would try to deter your ability to question and examine does not believe in, ‘Liberty for All,? let alone academic freedom.
Read Karl Marx, and then counter him with the writings of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Frederic Bastiat. Listen to the Jessie Jacksons and the Reverend Al Sharptons and then counter with the statements made by Bill Cosby, and the writings and statements of Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell. Weigh both sides and come to your own objective, rational conclusion.
You cannot become intellectually objective if you take someone’s writings or statements at face value. Or, if you follow along like a sheep. Check your premises — because you cannot unearth truth through just your emotions.
— Mary MacMaster

Happy to support bond

Dear Editor,
Thirty years ago I served two terms as a member of the Clarkston Board of Education. One significant learning from that time was that it’s easy to tear down, complain, and criticize, and much harder to build up and support.
The present school bond proposal isn’t perfect. But it is an attempt to make the education of our students better in a time of significant technological change, and give them and their teachers improved tools.
As older citizens, whose children are grown, and home owners, my wife and I will pay higher taxes if the proposal passes, and will be happy to do so.
Join us in supporting the proposal.
Bob Walters
Clarkston

Go back to basics

Dear Editor,
I will vote No on May 8 because this district has more important issues than a wish list of updates and upgrades which include new furniture, a bus wash and bus garage doors, storage sheds, resurfaced tennis courts and floor coverings just to name a few.
Clarkston needs to get over itself and get back to basics. Our kids are sitting in overcrowded classrooms and teachers today spend more time on crowd control than instruction. The board just approved layoffs for 14 more teachers; more debt, technology and a wish list won’t cure the problems this district faces.
In fact, it is estimated that the new technology will cost the district about $100,000 each year in maintenance, upgrades and updates, security and insurance costs. These costs will come out of the general fund, something I am sure the board doesn’t want the residents of Clarkston to know.
What happens when the board decides to cut even more teachers to pay this bill? Once again our students will suffer. There is no statistical information to support the use of these devices to gain educational bench marks. Our teachers and students deserve small, well controlled classrooms to learn in, not new toys.
I am voting no because I care about the education my children receive and would like to see Clarkston become a trailblazing district because it gives students a substantial foundation to build upon, not distracting, shiny new devices that have little impact on learning.
It has been said, that for the first time in history this generation of students will not be smarter than the preceding generation. Our kids have enough technology in their lives, it is your job to educate them, not entertain them. Vote NO on May 8 and stop the district form racking up more debt.
Stacey Frankovich
Clarkston

Too much debt already

Dear Editor,
Providing our children with a good education is one of the most important things that a community must do. However, they must do so in a responsible manner.
This proposed $20 million bond is not a responsible proposal. The technology items like computer tablets will not last the 17 years that we will be paying for the bond. By spending money for things now, and paying for them for a longer period of time than the equipment will last, we are in effect stealing from the future. We are providing for this generation at the expense of the next generation.
We already have over $180 million in school debt. This amounts to about $10,000 for every household in the township. This is money that you have to pay the school system. It is like a second mortgage on your house. Just look at your summer tax bill and you can see what you are paying and will continue to pay.
This bond is additional debt on top of what you already owe. The school board must be fiscally responsible. This bond proposal is not.
Education involves providing the students with information and knowledge and explaining it to them in a way that they will understand and remember. This can be done with a text book, handouts, lectures or any combination of these. There is no reason for each child to need a computer notebook or tablet for this to happen.
By making the whole school wireless and providing each student with total access to the internet at all times we just provide them with the opportunity to get in trouble. They will be able to access face book and other social media web sites and spend time on them when they should be paying attention to what is going on is class.
As other school systems have found out they will also access sites that are not appropriate and measures will have to be taken to prevent this.
These technology improvements are not at all necessary to provide a quality education. They are just toys for the students and faculty.
Almost all the students in this district have computer internet access at home and they also have access in computer classes, the school and public libraries.
As far as the building maintenance items that have been listed, they were supposed to have been covered by the last bond.
I cannot in good conscience vote for this bond.
Dan White
Independence Township

More research needed

Dear Editor,
I know of no well run business which would invest $10+ mill. with the type/amount of supporting documentation given for the technology costs in the May 8 $20 million bond proceeds.
We associate being a ‘technologically progressive school district? with being a ‘good school district.?
But there have been no definitive studies supporting a blind belief that giving students computers improves academic performance. A report done by ASCD surveyed a range of studies and data on the topic and concluded the results are mixed, at best.
It summarized a Michigan study as follows: ‘An evaluation of Michigan’s one-to-one laptop program found similarly mixed results. It examined eight matched pairs of schools and found higher achievement in four laptop schools, lower achievement in three, and no difference in the final pair.”
We should beware of any school district decision to gamble more than $10 million on a bet with only 50-50 odds.
One reason given for the bond is to offer technology parity for all students.
How many students do not have access to a computer at home. Is it 40%? 5%? That data would help us understand how big a problem inaccessibility of technology is and whether this is the best method for addressing it.
Schools already have computer labs, dozens of computers are in school/public libraries, and there are laptop carts throughout the schools with computers for all students to have access in class.
Even without the expenditures in this bond, none of our students are leaving the Clarkston School District ignorant of technology or how to use it.
To deal with tablet loss/breakage, the school district will offer insurance at $50/student/year.
So students? families will be faced with the decision of whether they will pay, or can afford, extra money for insurance ? resulting in added costs of up to $300,000/year or nearly $6,000,000 over the 20 year term of the bond.
I encourage a ‘No? vote. This bond proposal amounts to a ‘wish list? not a ‘needs list.”
Maria Chasins
Independence Township

Tech evidence

Dear Editor,
Further evidence that technology alone doesn’t ensure sound decision-making: Clarkston schools have had computers for years, yet there are people who think it’s sound fiscal policy to take out a 20-year note on iPads that will be obsolete — or broken — in two.
Kelly Kolhagen
Independence Township

School bond helps make district slave to lenders

Dear Editor,
As a reminder the average Clarkston homeowner is in the Federal Income Tax Bracket of 25-28 percent, a 4.35 percent State Income tax rate, a Social Security rate of 7.65 percent ? 15.3 percent if you are self employed ? a sales tax of 6 percent on everything besides food, property taxes which have a huge range depending upon where you live and hidden taxes on necessary items such as the gasoline tax. I could go on and on.
We are already taxed too much everyone agrees on that. Now you have the $20 million bond proposal which is debt that will be incurred by the district and paid for years to come by every homeowner in the district.
Debt is never a good idea. It makes one a slave to the lender.
We must live within our means. If we cannot afford it, we do not buy it. That goes for households and it certainly goes for public entities.
It takes real leadership and management to live within ones means and not incur debt. We must hold our leaders accountable. The signs that are in favor of the bond proposal try to pull at the heart strings of the citizens with a statement of ‘put kids first.? I feel that is truly irresponsible to incur debt for technology that will be obsolete soon after it hits the classroom. Really? An I-Pad for every student from third grade on?
I believe in education and I believe in kids. I have them in the district, but enough is enough. Get out and vote on Tuesday, May 8, and follow your common sense. Send a message that we will not be taxed at a higher rate to incur more debt.
Rob Butler CPA/ MBA
Springfield Township

Dear Editor,
We wanted to say, ‘thank you,? for recently putting our article regarding AngelFISH in your newspaper. Several new donors contacted Oxford/Orion FISH as a result.
As of right now, we have even more youngsters in need than last year. We’re still trying to find additional donors, so we’re especially grateful for those caring folks in the community who called after reading about this holiday program.
— AngelFISH Committee

Dear Editor,
The big ol? totem pole is the highest in the village, other than the pole behind the old Elizabeth Street High School (which looks a lot cleaner). Somebody in the planning department missed that design.
The suggestion by Doug Dendel is a little late in coming. About two + years ago, I suggested a Lake Orion sign, something like the one on the old water tower.
With that totem pole, it kind of looks like the village is drilling for oil!
The (wind, snow and ice) stress test/radio frequency interference should have been done before construction. They now say a sign on the tower would be rather difficult, but they built the totem pole, did they not?
Village Manager JoAnn Van Tassel says the state historic preservation office would need to be contracted for their ‘ok.? Why? They seem to be a couple dimes short of a quarter to go along with placing that thing right in the middle of historic downtown Lake Orion.
We must remember that good old Homeland Security paid for this totem (others will say it was free). Homeland Security may not want an item on the tower not dedicated to Homeland Security. It’s probably best to contact them.
Councilman Mike Toth envisions something over M-24 before you get to Broadway. How about a pedestrian overpass at M-24 and Atwater? Then we could be a sister village to Oxford.
Quick, call a village design committee meeting to examine this one.
Mike, you have a chance with that one, as council didn’t drop it like they did Dendel’s sign idea.
— Roy Blankenburg

Dear Editor,
First let me say that I have been a resident and subscriber to The Lake Orion Review since 1981. I couldn’t live without the local news!
I know that the paper has received a lot of criticism from new residents who want the paper to become something else. And the paper has made changes. Some are ok, but some bother me as a longtime reader.
What forces me to write is the change in the Public Safety column. Let me make it clear that I religiously read this column to keep tabs on the crime in my neighborhood and around the area. It is important to me.
I was very glad that the paper did not eliminate the column when there was criticism that the column makes the paper seem ‘small town? ? what is wrong with that, by the way? Anyway, I am unhappy with the new cleaned up, journalistic prose, lengthy descriptions that are now included. Instead of a quick scan of the column, I have to wade through tons of words.
This doesn’t seem to be an area that needs to be made ‘literary.? Just the facts are sufficient.
In addition, I must admit that the way the Public Safety column was before offered some humor. Perhaps that wasn’t the intended goal, but the wording from the Deputies? reports offered that as an extra. I miss my weekly humorous read.
Please just cut to the chase with this information. Make it brief. Who has time to read so much description?
— Bonnie Britton

Dear Editor,
The members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan ? Orion/Oxford Club would like to offer our sincere thanks to the members of the Lake Orion Rotary Club for their ‘Gloves for Good? Campaign.
We received over 250 pairs of gloves to help keep our members warm on their way to school and the Boys & Girls Club every day.
With the cold weather soon to arrive your donation will be put to good use.
Because of the support of community groups, such as the Rotary Club, we continue to be the ? Positive Place for Kids? in Lake Orion!
— Timothy S. Dougan
Club Director

Well, Al, I read your letter.? Apparently you need to read ‘What Every Michigan Bicyclist Should Know? a little more carefully.?
My letter was out of concern for our local bicyclists, because someone is going to get hurt.’You call it throwing stones. I call it COMMON SENSE.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?’You state that it’s perfectly acceptable to ride away from the curb IF there are road hazards or broken glass on the side of the road.’Are you telling me, seriously, that you believe the entire length of Atwater (part of which was recently repaved) had potholes and broken glass on it to the point that the bicyclist in question had to ride in the center of the westbound lane?’If so, you are delusional.’Ditto M-24.?
Now let’s look at what ‘What Every Michigan Bicyclist Should Know?, shall we?’On Page 4, it states: ‘Ride in the right lane except when avoiding road hazards, passing another vehicle or preparing to make a left turn.?’On Page 6 it emphasizes: ‘Where possible, ride in bike lanes or on paved shoulders except when avoiding road hazards, passing another vehicle or making a left turn.?’In other words, Al,’get over to the right.?
Now your second point, that of riding two abreast.’Apparently there you don’t know what you’re talking about.’On Page 4 again:?’When lane width permits, you may ride two abreast. Don’t ride more than two abreast except on bike lanes, bike paths or shoulders. When riding two abreast, don’t impede normal and reasonable movement of travel.?’Let’s read that again.?’WHEN RIDING TWO ABREAST, DON’T IMPEDE NORMAL AND REASONABLE MOVEMENT OF TRAVEL.??
That means, Al, don’t hold people driving up. And I’d have to say that the majority of bikers out there are smart enough to do just that.? ?
Now the cyclist at night, you conceded, wasn’t doing things properly.’On page 6, regarding low visibility or night conditions: ‘The law requires you to have a white front light, red rear light, reflectors and wear high visibility clothing.?’The cyclist I saw had none of these.’Nada. Zippo.? How is a motorist supposed to see a cyclist, wearing all black on a road with limited sight distances?’He should have been ticketed for his own safety!
And Al, I really have to take issue with you regarding that snarky remark you made about tractors and other slow moving vehicles on our roads.’Point one is that those vehicles are required to have that bright orange triangle on them, so they are visible.’Point two is that those vehicles take up the entire lane of the road and they are made of metal, more metal than the average car.’Bikes don’t take up entire lanes of the road and they are virtually defenseless if a car should hit them.’And their visibility depends on the cyclist.
There’s no excuse for a bike not to get over when there is a line of cars stacked up behind them, especially when there’s no reason why they couldn’t ride further over to the right, in fact, the publication states that is what they are supposed to do.
‘What Every Michigan Bicyclist Should Know? also has a great deal of information for motorists, chief of which is looking out for bikers in blind spots, safe passing procedures, and tips for dealing with bikers making left-hand turns.’The point again, is that bikers are supposed to allow people to pass.’You can’t pass a biker in the center of the lane without crossing the yellow, and it’s not always practical or safe to do that.’The guy had no excuse for what he did, other than sheer arrogance.? ?
M-24 is a dangerous place.’Many pedestrians are hit right along with cyclists.’Lots of motorists don’t have their heads on straight either, being high, drunk, or yapping on a cell phone.’Throw into the mix those road rage types and I believe cyclists are playing with fire even attempting to access M-24.?
I don’t want to see a cyclist hurt, and people who have head injuries sometimes never recover.? Even with a helmet, there is a high risk you could have a closed head injury on a bike.’Is it really worth it?
And Al, if I might return the favor, you don’t pay for a license to ride that bike of yours on public streets.’You don’t buy tabs or have a plate.’All motorists in this state do.’In other words, we pay to drive on our streets!?
Since you’re getting a freebie riding on our streets, is it too much to ask that you get over to the right and let people pass you safely?’Is it too much to ask that you wear the appropriate gear for conditions, or that you be considerate of others?’Does your safety really mean so little to you that you’re willing to risk your life out of sheer arrogance??
All I can say is you’ve been warned, since you seem to lack common sense to begin with.
— Laura Allen

Councilman responds

Dear Editor,
This is regarding the city manager’s attempt to portray my views on the city’s repeated spending of unappropriated funds as some kind of aberrant personal opinion with no basis in fact, since the city’s auditors supposedly have blessed the city’s budget (“City 2012-2013 budgets OK’d,” July 4).
Here are facts: The city budgets on an activity/department basis. During my tenure, it has several times spent unappropriated funds, exceeding the budget amount for a particular activity/department.
For just one example, before amending the budget in April 2012, the city budgeted $37,400 for professional services and, as of March 31, 2012, spent $45,111. That’s an expenditure of unappropriated funds. That violates state law. Fixing it by amending the budget to catch up with the spending doesn’t make it right. The budget is supposed to control and limit spending, before the money is gone.
And this is not just my personal opinion. The auditors, whom the city manager relies on to say all is ok, said this in their last audit: “The adopting of the Michigan Uniform Local Budgeting Act … has made it mandatory that balanced budgets be adopted and that those budgets be amended before expenditures exceed the budgeted amounts.
‘We noted that the budget was amended during the fiscal year in an attempt to comply with the budget requirements. As previously noted, despite the amendments, expenditures exceeded budgeted amounts in various activities.?
I leave it to the city’s taxpayers to decide for themselves whose view of the city’s spending is right.
Richard Bisio, City Council member
Clarkston

No vote for Wallace

Dear Editor,
President Obama said, as a Christian, he believed marriage was between one man and one woman. Well, Obama changed his mind after the Hollywood gay community threatened to cut off donations to his campaign.
Now we have Neil Wallace, who was opposed to the commercial corridor on Sashabaw Road, championed by former Supervisor Dale Stuart, which most agreed was a good idea.
Neil was also opposed to the McLaren hospital project but now he supports it.
I guess, like Obama, Neil has evolved.
It’s amazing what these guys will say to get elected.
Rudy Lozano
Independence Township

A call for new trustees

Dear Editor,
We need new blood on the Independence Township Board. Jose Aliaga and Ron Ritchie are two young men who are running for Independence Township trustee. They are both great candidates and will serve you well.
Jose Aliaga promises to work on creating a friendly business environment. He plans to encourage new business and retain our current businesses. He is community minded and will be focused on the needs of the community. Jose is well-educated and will be fiscally responsible.
So far in this current election season, Jose has visited over 2,500 homes, explaining his reasons for wanting to be a trustee. So you can see he will certainly be accessible to the taxpayers of this township. We respect his hard work, commitment and dedication to becoming a trustee.
Ron Ritchie understands business and how it should function. He has been a successful business owner/ operator for over 30 years. This talent is needed for a well managed township board. Ron has been directly involved in the community by being a township planning commissioner. He is a certified planning commissioner and vice chairman of the commission. He is always well-prepared for the meetings, insightful and respectful of the applicants, often presenting new, acceptable ideas.
Other township activities include the Township Safety Path Committee and the Dixie Highway Corridor Improvement Committee. Vote Aug. 7 for Jose Aliaga and Ron Ritchie as Independence Township trustees.
Joan McCrary
Independence Township

Support for Wallace

Dear Editor,
My wife Barbara and I are supporting Neil Wallace for Independence Township supervisor.
During my time on the Planning Commission, I witnessed Neil’s hard work, perceptiveness, and his dedication to Independence Township .
It should be obvious to citizens that Neil has served on this commission and on many other community township boards and committees out of a genuine concern for the future of Independence Township
Because of his service both inside and outside of government, he has acquired the understanding and experience to get things done to make this an even stronger, more liveable community.
A month ago we had a problem with the road in front of our home. Neil was very responsive to our concerns and helped us get a timely answer.
Neil provides the kind of leadership we need now.
Sincerely,
Bob McGowan

Iacocca for Kittle

Dear Editor,
I met Pat Kittle in November 1978 when I first joined Chrysler.
Pat was a member of the Special Security Team assigned to my family and me. Pat served in this role for almost seven years during which time he completed his MBA while working in excess of 60 hours per week on top of raising a family of his own.
Over the years, Pat proved to be a loyal, honest and trusted employee and a devoted friend of the family. After leaving my personal staff, Pat worked his way up the corporate ladder to become a member of the Sales and Marketing Executive Leadership team.
Chrysler lost a great executive when Pat retired. Independence Township is about to gain a great Township Supervisor when Pat wins the Aug. 7 primary.
Lee A. Iacocca, Chrysler
Chairman of the Board, retired

No endorsement from exec

Dear Editor,
Despite the rumors that are floating around, I have not endorsed any one for the local office in Independence Township, including any candidate for township supervisor.
Even though I am a resident of Independence Township and very much concerned with what happens here, I do not think it is appropriate for me to weigh in with a recommendation. Frankly, I trust the good people of Independence Township to be able to sort out in the primary the very best folks to represent them.
Best of luck to all.
Sincerely,
L. Brooks Patterson
Oakland County Executive

A vote for Kittle

Dear Editor,
I write today to whole-heatedly support Pat Kittle for Independence Township supervisor.
I have known Pat for over 30 years. I have come to know him as a man of integrity. He’s a straight-shooter who gets to the heart of any matter thoroughly and will do it without all the dramatics and grandstanding we see from the group of so called leaders in place today.
He’s always been a hard working, level-headed individual and I assure you he will do what’s best for our community.
He is not motivated by personal platitudes nor for the glory of hearing his name being praised. He is not one to speak merely to hear himself talk. He doesn’t claim to be the smartest man in the room, nor is he loudest. If he is doing something, he is doing it for what he believes are the “right” reasons.
In short, he is the right person for Independence Township supervisor. This community deserves somebody as refreshingly open and honest as Pat Kittle. I encourage you to vote for truly the best man for the job on Aug. 7
Jim White,
Independence Township

Picks by Doc O’Neill

Dear Editor,
In the upcoming election we all have the opportunity to elect an Independence Township Board that serves all of the citizens in a respectful, distinguished and helpful manner.
In my opinion, I feel the meetings shouldn’t last for more than 2-3 hours. To keep it legal, let’s finish the meetings on the same day. If we run the meetings effectively and make wise use of our consultants, we may have extra money for police, fire, recreation, etc.
I am endorsing Todd Waring for supervisor and Jose Aliaga and Ron Ritchie for trustees. Jeff Decker has a lot of real estate experience and, in my opinion, he would make an excellent clerk. I also feel Paul Brown would make an excellent treasurer.
James A. O’Neill, MD
Independence Township

Clark supports Wallace

Dear Editor,
I have known Neil Wallace since I moved to Clarkston in 2005 and became involved in local community affairs. Since that time, I have found Neil to be an intelligent, energetic and above all an honest man who deeply cares about the well-being of Independence Township.
Neil is a longtime resident of Independence Township. He has played an active role in local matters from the time he served as chair of the Planning Commission beginning in 1982 to his first service as township trustee in 1996 and then elected again to trustee in 2008.
As a current township trustee, Neil is an active participant in many aspects of township affairs.
He has been instrumental in guiding the township through the recent difficult economic times. His managerial and administrative skills have been the driving force in improving the efficiency of township operations.
In my present role as township superintendent, I have sought Neil’s counsel many times on a wide variety of issues. Each time, he has given me wise and thoughtful advice. I am extremely pleased that Neil is a candidate for township supervisor.
Without hesitation, I fully endorse him for that position and I urge all Independence Township residents to vote for him Aug. 7.
Bart L. Clark, superintendent
Independence Township

Reader sickened by O.J. theories

Dear Editor,
I was nauseated after reading the article in this week’s Clarkston News about the O.J. movie, and the up-coming debut and “fund-raiser.”
I’m sure Mr. Pardo will enjoy his 15 minutes of fame, but to say that this is a movie that will tell the real story of O.J., and how racism plays a part in the justice system is an insult to your readers’ intelligence. His conspiracy theories are laughable.
The real story of O.J. is that he’s a thug who finally got what was coming to him, although hardly the justice that most Americans would have preferred that he receive. And who is going to be the recipient of the funds that might possibly, but I find it hard to believe, be raised by the movie? O.J.?
I certainly hope that the people who read your publication will disregard this “debut” and put their hard-earned money to better use. Perhaps a donation to a battered women’s shelter, or orphaned children.
Margie Runyan
Independence Township

Pros and cons of Jim’s Jottings

Dear Editor,
While reading Jim’s Jottings (“2 Topics: Ballot props and Phyllis Diller,” Oct. 3), I have to agree with him, our founding fathers in Michigan did a good job with our state constitution.
However, I disagree with Jim in regards to Proposal 2. Union members wouldn’t request a constitutional amendment to protect our rights if the elected officials in Lansing weren’t trying to take away what is rightfully ours, the right to collectively bargain. In short, “they started it.”
I urge everyone to become educated on the six proposals you will be asked to vote on when you head to the polls Nov. 6. The ballot is huge, lines will be long, and you need to know ahead of time what your plans are.
I am a teacher in Oakland County, and I strongly urge you to vote ‘yes? on Proposal 2. Working conditions and continued education of teachers are both collectively bargained.
If Proposal 2 does not pass, there is nothing to stop a politician from arbitrarily decided what class sizes should be. If he or she thinks 50 students would be appropriate, that’s what it will be.
A few years back at my kids’ elementary school, the parents were up in arms about 5th grade class sizes. Just wait, people! If Lansing has its way, you won’t be able to learn, let alone move, in a Michigan classroom.
Training and equipment used by the police officers who protect you and the firefighters who save your life are collectively bargained. Are you willing to sacrifice your health and well-being if the rights of public safety employees are taken away?
Do not believe the blatant lies you’ve seen on television about Proposal 2. In fact, contact the local media to urge them not to run ads that are full of misleading and more often than not, false information.
Proposal 2 does not allow criminals into schools, legalize strikes by unions, nor harm you in any way. Proposal 2 simply allows us to keep doing what we’ve been doing, collectively bargaining. If you enjoy 40 hour work weeks and weekends off, you probably have a union to thank for those benefits.
Union members are not asking for more. We simply want to retain the rights we currently have. Finally, please remember, a teacher’s working conditions are your children’s learning conditions!
Jill Leider
Indepedence Township

More on library tax, city birthday

Dear Editor,
The new District Library tax increase to the residents of the City of the Village of Clarkston will be 1.25 mills, not the .559 mills increase that township residents will pay if this is approved. The local tax millage in the city is now 13.1979 mills and the highest rate possible by city charter ? 1.25 mills of new taxes would be an increase of 9.47 percent to city residents for essentially the same services we have today.
Whether the City Council levees the full amount or not remains to be seen but if passed, they will control it, not the people. Historically the city has always established the local tax rate at the maximum amount possible and done so without any public hearing. This is a violation of state law if anyone cares about such things. I see no reason why they will not continue to do the same as they have in the past.
Contrary to another article, it is not the 180th birthday of the City of the Village of Clarkston as the city has only existed since 1992. As noted in your article, the village has only existed since 1884. This was a point of discussion when new signs were donated to the city in 2006 which simply say ‘Welcome to Clarkston.?
If the Village of Clarkston residents are so proud and protective of their history, why do they keep trying to rewrite it?
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

School board issues

Dear Editor,
Attention voters in the Clarkston School District. Please take the opportunity in the November election to relieve Cheryl McGinnis of her place on the school board. The school bond request, lack of transparency, and deficit spending are clear reasons why she should be terminated from her current position. Ms. McGinnis has been presiding over a board with a continual gridlock of 4-3 majority. Clearly a board not united. She is lacking either leadership abilities or the desire to contemplate a different perspective in the stewardship of our school district.
Please re-elect Sue Boatman and Joan Patterson, who both share in the current board’s minority. They have proven with their voting record they are more in touch with the current economic reality and are more willing to make the harder decisions regarding the financial management of dwindling resources.
Newcomer Betty Reilly, who has tirelessly attended school board meetings and has spoken many times before the current board, also deserves your vote. She has done her homework and would bring some much needed creative thinking to a group whose current leadership under Ms. McGinnis continues the tiresome trend of under funding maintenance and upgrades and then asks voters for more funds.
We must hold our elected officials at all levels of government accountable for their decisions. A good dose of realism not idealism is much needed if we are to fix the school district’s balance sheet, which is currently very shaky.
Mary Walker
Independence Township

Support for Bushroe

Dear Editor,
I am supporting Kevin Bushroe for Independence Township trustee for a number of reasons.
I believe he is the fresh change the township needs. New ideas, a different approach to issues, and willingness to put his energy into making Independence Township a better place. Three values come to mind: integrity, initiative, independence. In the spirit of full disclosure, the fact he married my only daughter has some influence on my recommendation, and he really likes his mother-in-law!
Seriously though, I believe he will act with the best interest of the township and his family, and wants to make a difference. If you want positive change and creative thinking for the board, elect Kevin Bushroe.
Jim Brueck
Clarkston

Heartsick over defeat, but appreciative of yes votes

Dear Editor,
I am just heartsick the millage proposal on the ballot for the newly established Clarkston Independence District Library didn’t pass. It went down by just 30 votes and I had envisioned it passing by many more than 30! I was on the Library Yes Committee ? what happened?
My memories floated back to the early 60s when the Clarkston Library was located in the small white building in front of the old Township Hall. Great minds the likes of Merle Bennett, Virginia Leonard and Janet Rose suggested Clarkston might be ready to support a larger library facility. With support and cooperation from the Clarkston Women’s Club, a Story Hour was announced sort of to test the waters and what a response. Had there been chandeliers, kids would have been hanging from them. As it was, they were in every corner, 5 years and younger. The original plan had been for one reader. Luckily, three people had volunteered and we were able to break the children into smaller groups. There was no doubt the interest was there. The Independence Township population was so much smaller then, that Women’s Club members could easily split up and go house to house seeking donations and pledges. The seed was now planted to form a library at 6495 Clarkston Road. The original building was dedicated in April 1969.
The Library Yes yellow information sheet clearly stated where we stand with neighboring communities in regard to millage received. We have not had a millage increase in eight years. Even if our millage had passed we would still have had a lower millage rate and spending per resident than surrounding areas. Yes, things have changed. Population in the township has increased two-fold and evidently this information didn’t reach enough people. Many chose to not even respond yes or no to the library proposal.
No question we have a blue ribbon librarian who has a very accommodating and informed staff. All are aided by superb volunteers. The Library Yes co-chairs worked endless hours to do what they could in a short time. I might be heartsick right now but at the same time I am so appreciative of those who did vote ‘yes? for the library proposal. Thank you so much!
Kay Robertson, Independence Township

Voters set up for another tax hike for library

Dear Editor,
We have 9,473 reasons why the Clarkston Independence township library tax increase failed and why the library district agreement should be dissolved today. 9,473 voters didn’t support this tax hike. Those 9,473 voter’s will be disappointed when they hear that their NO vote did nothing more than put the very same proposal on the August 2014 primary election.
Here’s the dirty details that the Clarkston Independence Township Library Board President neglected to tell you when the August 2014 election date was announced last week.
The “automatic termination” clause of the district library agreement gave the library board until Aug. 10, 2014 to get this tax hike passed. Three years since it’s inception to get a tax hike passed? Unbelievable! Why was the August 2014 date picked as the cut off date for passage of this tax hike proposal? Aug. 10, 2014 is the week ending date of the August 2014 primary election.
Instead of respecting your No vote, you were set up from the get-go for another election if the first attempt were to fail. Of course the same terms didn’t apply if the tax increase proposal succeeded. That would be unthinkable!
The library board president announced less then a week after the election that this tax hike will be on the August 2014 ballot. This shows taxpayers that the agreement’s termination date was drawn up with the understanding that taxpayers would have to vote this tax hike down twice. Now we know why there was no urgency to “educate the public”, supporters knew that the failure of this proposal virtually guaranteed them another attempt. Not only is this sneaky, it’s dishonest to voters. The claims that some voters may have mistakenly voted is not a legitimate reason to re-visit any election. We could never know whether a voter disliked the outcome and is lying about voting improperly.
We believe that it’s indefensible for the township to have set-up voters for two elections before a single vote was cast in the first election. That is exactly what has occurred. Not only does this disrespect voters,before they vote, it’s unethical and wrong!
We find it a stretch of the imagination to believe that 9,473 people who voted no didn’t know what they were voting for, at the same time that those who voted yes did.
We hope that the new township board works to correct this type of dirty politics. Yes or No, all voters should find it upsetting to hear that an outcome of a tax hike proposal deemed unfavorable by their government was purposefully set up to trigger another election that would favor a tax hike’s passage.
There are some in this community who refuse to accept no for an answer time and again. Clearly the library agreement was drawn up by one of those people. Please let both boards know how you feel about an agreement that gives Yes voters a second chance, while not affording those same opportunities to No voters if this proposal had passed.
The people have spoken, they have said no, that should have brought the discussion of all future library funding back to our elected township board, not a board that doesn’t have to answer to the people.
Michael & Lori Powell,
Independence Township

Should the Village of Oxford become a city?
Generally, people in favor of cityhood say that they don’t like paying both Village and Township taxes.
Certainly no one likes to pay taxes!
However, consider what services each provide. Consider how much of the Township tax you pay that may be somewhat duplicated by the Village. If one excludes such things as Fire and EMS, Library, Parks & Rec., and School taxes, on a home valued at approximately $200,000 you are paying about $125 per year to the township. What do we get for $125?
Well for one thing we get a VOTE! We can elect the Township Board, we can serve on the Township Board, and we can serve on various committees that impact our community, such as planning and development committees.
If we were to become a City, do you know that a City can impose higher millages without a vote?
Do you know that a City can impose a City income tax? Do you know that we would likely still pay Township taxes for Fire and EMS, Library, and Parks & Rec. or pay higher fees for the use of these services?
And ask yourself this question, will the litigation and attorney fees involving the Township and City stop? I think not! And in all likelihood the disputes will become even more intense.
Will you actually pay less tax? Again, the answer is likely no!! Members on the cityhood committee have repeatedly said they don’t know what the taxes would be. It seems to me that we should be asking if we can dissolve the village and only have one form of government, which based on current State law would be a township.
There is also a State Boundary Commission public hearing scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday May 3, 2007 at the Oxford Middle School. Why at 4 pm when most people are at work? Never-the-less this is an important issue and I encourage all to attend.
Charlie Stevens
NOTE: The comments above are my personal comments, however, I am President of the Oxford Lakes Homeowners Association

The people who pushed for the cityhood adventure with their secret ‘invitation only? meetings are no longer even Oxford residents. So, if this group wasn’t open and honest in the beginning ? what makes it that way now?
What kind of answers will you really get when government is backing something? Remember the old ‘half-truth? days of Gary Ford? Remember who backed a police chief and an entity gone wild? Remember how the truth didn’t unfold until voters were smart enough to cut off the cash flow and read between the lines?
More than once I have heard that becoming a city will end all that double-dipping, but nobody really says what double-dipping will be eliminated other than ‘you will no longer have to pay township taxes on top of village taxes.?
Truth? Half-truth?
Oxford Township keeps only .95 of one mill paid by Oxford taxpayers ? not even one mill! So becoming a city will knock off less than one mill. Whoopee!!! And in exchange, the new city can pick up the added expense of maintaining a cemetery, establishing an election and assessment department, sending out taxes, etc. They will also lose township tax dollars ? part of that lowly mill ? that was captured and returned to the village to fund their Downtown Development Authority.
Village officials refused to accept Christine Burns? letter of resignation ? proving she must have been an exceptional employee. So why didn’t the same officials even comment on her unbiased thesis ? her extensive research that proved Cityhood WOULD NOT save village residents any money?
Although townships require the vote of the people to raise taxes ? villages and cities do not. But there are limits on how many mills officials can raise their no-vote tax. Did you know becoming a city raises those limits from what a village allows? Doesn’t that translate into more money for government to spend with no vote!
But of course ? official proponents say they will not raise taxes, they will not implement a city income tax like most cities have ? they will reduce taxes, they will not lead you astray, they will tell you the truth.
Something sounds very familiar ? doesn’t it?
Sue Bellairs
Oxford

Sheriff service

Dear Editor,
In regards to the story “Questions on city use of township’s sheriff services,” June 12, I was just wondering if the City of the Village of Clarkston can demand sheriff deputies drives through downtown even if they’re on their way to dinner, can I demand they start to hang out on Cramlane at the Snowapple cross street or near where it connects to Chestnut Hills Farms, to nail the speeders, stop sign ignorers and mailbox knocker overs that frequently use our neighborhood as a cut through?
We’ve submitted requests on the Road Commission web site, asking to eliminate the cut through or make our streets for private residents only (preferred) several times, but they never respond.
The current method of control is to not fix potholes, but the main stretch is in just too good of shape to thwart the scoundrels. The traffic volume and behavior on our once quiet street makes it impossible to walk safely at certain times of day.
Nearly missing being hit three times in one walk and calling the sheriff, I’ve been told they just don’t have the resources for traffic issues.
I’d think it would be a priority. If they started ticketing all the reckless drivers it would be enough to fund both the township and the city’s police force a couple of times over!
Tammie J. Heazlit
Independence Township

‘Look back? memories

Dear Editor,
I always enjoy reading ‘A look back? column in The Clarkston News and I noticed an item in the June 19 issue that brought back some special memories. It was the ?50 years ago? item ‘Postmaster Elizabeth Ronk announced the five digit ZIP code for Clarkston as 48016.?
Having arrived in Clarkston as a beginning teacher in 1955, I supplemented my income by working for Mrs. Ronk on weekends, holidays, and summer months as a substitute mail carrier. Later, when I became a principal, I realized how much I had learned about leadership from this remarkable woman.
Observing how she dealt with customers and employees was an inspiration. She was always kind, courteous, had a genuine concern for what was going on in their lives ? remembering Ray Klein, Ray Jarvis, John Adams, Howard Bliss who have all passed on ? and the pleasant working environment Mrs. Ronk created was a special time. She demonstrated a positive, cheerful outlook on life and treated everyone with utmost respect and appreciation. She had a personal strength and confidence that she imparted to others.
It’s too bad that many of your readers didn’t have the opportunity to meet Clarkston’s outstanding postmaster ? today it would be postmistress ? Elizabeth Ronk.
Mel L. Vaara
Clarkston

No meddling in city

Dear Editor,
I find it interesting, and a bit disturbing, that Michael Powell, who resides in Independence Township, should be meddling in Clarkston Village affairs regarding the city manager and the city’s operations.
During my eight years in Independence Township government, Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission, I always respected the sovereignty of Clarkston Village, and its government, and worked to make sure that on those occasional issues of mutual interest, they were represented.
As well-intentioned as it may be, it’s more appropriate to let the village solve its own issues, unless help is requested, without any Monday morning quarterbacking from non-residents.
Joseph Lawrence
Traverse City
Formerly of Independence Township

Thanks to Buck

Dear Editor,
Thanks to Buck and Joan Kopietz as they close their small business, the former Tierra, in downtown Clarkston. For many years, sometimes in less than inviting business conditions, they steadfastly held forth, an anchor in the downtown business district. Long before its current illumination, downtown was well served by Tierra. In all its incarnations over many years, Tierra always offered friendly, personal service. Best wishes to Buck and Joan. Thank you.
Zac Bell
Independence Township

Help during crisis

Dear Editor,
The family of the late Eleanor Croom would like to express an enormous thank you to the following for all their time, patience, compassion and guidance.
Independence Township Fire Station #3, especially Shaun Fitzpatrick, Ron Bray, Bobby Pursley, Derek Stamper, Don Herbert, and Captain Tom McDonald.
Montgomery and Sons Fire and Windstorm Restoration Services, especially Tony.
And to the unknown passerby who made the 911 call after noticing smoke coming from a house on Clintonville Road on the early morning of May 7.
We are so very grateful for all you have done and continue to do for our family during this terrible tragedy.
Sincerely,
Larry and Linda Dean and family
Scott and Renee Dean and family
Mike and Lori Hall and family
Independence Township

Veterans support

Dear Editor,
This year our third annual Veterans Celebration in Clintonwood Park during the July 4 festivities was bigger and better than ever. We had military exhibits in the Carriage House along with entertainment by T.J. Craven and the Fifth Michigan Regiment Band (Civil War Reenactment Band) on stage in the shaded orchard. It was a wonderful day for our veterans and for us to remember that the 4th of July is really about the sacrifice they made for our country. Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers and our sponsors who made this event possible: Planning and Organizing Committee members Bart Clark, John Cesarz, Gordy Cloutier, Phil Custodio and Jim Bolin. American Legion Chief Pontiac Post #377 for providing their Honor Guard and 21 Gun Salute.
Our Master of Ceremony Bart Clark, Captain US Navy Retired did a wonderful job recognizing all of our veterans at the event. Special thanks to T.J. Craven for singing the National Anthem and Phil Custodio, Desert Storm Veteran for leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The following individuals made homemade baked goods for dessert: Sandy Bailey, Marie Blaszczyk, Dee Campbell, Betty Colver, Ruth Emerick, Theresa Gordon, Carroll Harris, Shirley Hockey, Larry Larson, Sally Long, Donna Schneider, Sue Shubert, Joanne Townsend and Gerry Townsend. Thanks also to the individuals who displayed their military items in the Carriage House. Without all of our staff and volunteers that day we would not been able to have such a successful event: Michelle Drake, Pat Edwards, Carolyn Morrison, Joe and Jean Pachuta, Mary Lou Schell, Lois Seddon and Sue Shubert. We also appreciate all of the help from our volunteers and staff before the event.
Thanks to all our special sponsors this year: Platinum Level Sponsor Petes Coney II graciously catered lunch for all of our veterans and their families. Gold Level Sponsor-Friends of the Independence Township Senior Adult Activity Center, Silver Sponsor-Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home and Bronze Level Sponsors-All Saints Cemetery, Coats Funeral Home, Independence Village of Waterstone and Patrick Kittle.
Without all of the support of everyone listed above we would not have been able to hold our tribute to our veterans. I am grateful to everyone for their support.
Barbara Rollin, senior coordinator
Independence Township
Senior Adult Activity Center

Orchestra welcome

Dear Editor,
Thank you to the Clarkston Community for encouraging the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to perform here in 2012. Thank you to the Orchestra and Clarkston Schools for the outstanding performance last Thursday, and thank you to the wonderful Amy Seaman for making it all happen so well at Clarkston High School.
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

History belies racism in statue, reader says

Dear Editor,
I am writing in response to Mr. Fetzer’s letter about the black lawn jockey at the Miller House (“Reader calls for removal of ‘insulting? statue,” Sept. 11).
I spent many years working in the racehorse industry where, as expected, there are quite a few lawn jockeys to be found. Not only at the racetracks, but out in the surrounding communities that support the races.
While black lawn jockeys are no longer the norm, I can guarantee they are around in places other than Clarkston.
I have seen several in Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. I also observed one outside a nationally known trainer’s barn at Churchill Downs the week of the Kentucky Derby this year.
In fact, the first time the Derby was run in 1875, the winning horse was ridden by a black jockey and trained by a black trainer.
Thirteen of the first 15 runnings of the Kentucky Derby were won by black jockeys, who were called ‘the first great American sports heroes? by Edward Hotaling in his book The Great Black Jockeys.
Unfortunately, as racism and the white lawn jockey took over racing at the turn of the century, much of that history was forgotten or ignored.
The most ironic thing is that places like Saratoga Springs, NY, and Louisville, KY, are more diverse and every bit as respectful as the town of Clarkston.
Daily, hundreds of people walk by close enough to touch the jockeys, barely noticing and hardly offended. TV cameras and news reporters from all over swarm the barn area during Derby week, but none reported the the supposedly offensive statue.
There are plenty of wonderful things about living in a small, quaint town, but when something that is hardly newsworthy outside of that small town can be so misconstrued, one has to wonder where the true ignorance lies.
Katie Colosimo
Independence Township

Reader vouches for statue owner’s character

Dear Editor,
I wonder if the respectful, educated, as opposed to ignorant and insulting, citizens of Clarkston have gone out and purchased their tar and feathers yet.
Jim Cousens has already been told, in a letter to the editor (“Reader calls for removal of ‘insulting? statue,” Sept. 11), by an upstanding member of the community that ‘his kind? wasn’t welcome here.
If you will note, the big sign in front of the house with the statue is telling about the house so it can be sold. Sold mainly because of the treatment the Cousens have received from this community and the Historical Committee. Obviously, in a historical community, Mr. Fetzer feels some markers of historical significance should not be allowed.
I have known Jim for over 55 years and having gone to school in Pontiac together, I’d bet you he was thinking only of the historical significance of the statue.
I wonder what Dr. Miller would think of all the hoopla some people in the community are creating over the house and statue he once owned.
Jennifer Stark
Clarkston

Statue not racist, not Underground Railroad either

Dear Editor,
I read with great interest the recent article regarding the local controversy over the appropriateness of a black lawn jockey sited in front of an historic home (‘Statue irks but is historical,? Sept. 11).
As an historian who specializes in American slavery, the Underground Railroad (UGRR) and the pursuit of freedom, I can assure you the lawn jockey statue was never used as a signal on the UGRR.
The statue was first designed and manufactured after the Civil War, making its use as a tool to guide people to freedom impossible. The myth of the lawn jockey first appears in 1951, but takes on greater importance during the 1980s with Mr. Charles Blockson’s unsubstantiated claims.
A quick call to the Blockson Collection at Temple University reveals there is no primary source documentation for this story. The Cousens are like many people who own these statues – they are not racist.
They are, however, unaware of the historical and cultural context that makes the statue a painful reminder of the Jim Crow era. Mr. Fetzer is entitled to his complaint. These vestiges of our nation’s discriminatory and racist past belong in museums and not on front lawns.
Kate Clifford Larson, Ph.D.
Winchester, MA

Sheriff’s service outstanding, reader says

Dear Editor,
I wanted to weigh in on the matter of a reincarnation of the Clarkston Police Department (“Police for Clarkston?,” Sept. 11). I voted to have them disbanded and will likely do so again, if it ever comes to a vote.
From the perspective of cost only, using the numbers as cited in the article, we, City of the Village of Clarkston, are saving about $139,000 per year as contrasted to when we had our own police department. That’s a lot of money. I bet it equals or exceeds the average income of 2-3 households. And we only have about 900 citizens so that’s not a strong tax base.
Just a few years ago, when we had our own police, my wife called them early in the morning about an incident, and was connected to a voice mail directing her to call the Oakland County sheriff. No one on duty from midnight to sometime in the morning.
On another occasion, one of our neighbors had a break-in, by a person who had grown up in the neighborhood, but the villain was discovered while in the house and then managed to escape outside. Luckily, the police were immediately called and they in-turn called the sheriff’s department. Another stroke of luck occurred; there was a shift-change at the sheriff’s office and several deputies showed-up and captured the guy.
I liked the former police chief; a very amiable guy and on a couple of occasions as he cruised thru our street, if we were outside tending to our lawns, etc., he would stop-by and chat for a few minutes. But, how was he serving the other 900+ citizens? Feel good policing is not effective law enforcement.
I own and operate a business in Pontiac and about 2-3 years ago, the emergency manager eliminated the Pontiac Police and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office took over. What a positive change that has been. Response times have substantially improved, crime is immediately addressed, and the deputies are very professional officers.
The depth of resources available from our sheriff’s deptartment is exceptional. Yes, they are always there for us, regardless, but if you contract directly with them, this will reduce the chance of a “dropped call” or some other glitch.
From the perspective of my wife and I, we are comfortable with the existing law enforcement structure and consider the tax cost to us to be a reasonably good investment. However, other’s may not feel this way and one has to take this into consideration.
Perhaps we should consider contracting directly with the sheriff’s department. Rochester Hills, Pontiac, and other communities do this and it might afford us greater police presence at a more reasonable cost.
But, I would not favorably consider any proposal to re-establish our own police department.
David Fritzinger
Clarkston

Councilman clarifies police committee views

Dear Editor,
In regards to “Police for Clarkston?,” Sept. 11, one might conclude from this article I favor a tax increase to finance a higher level of police enforcement.
I haven’t decided on that. I suggested appointment of a committee to look at alternatives because of the several comments and complaints I have received from residents and the recurring complaints of lack of traffic and parking enforcement.
In my view, the committee should look at all alternatives and report to the city council. It will then be up to the council to make a policy decision about what, if anything, to do.
Richard Bisio
Clarkston City Council

Reader urges keeping perspective on statue

Dear Editor,
In regards to “Statue irks but is historical,” Sept. 11, a statue is irking Mr. Fetzer?
Many irksome things in modern America are somewhat unsettling to those of sensitive sensitivities, but the most meddlesome are those who don’t mind their own business.
Just avert your eyes from all those annoyances and your quality of life can become more bouyant. Feel the joy! Dump the detritus.
‘Noli illegitimi carborundum? (don’t let the bastards wear you down), Mr. Fetzer, and don’t join them!
Rob Namowicz
Independence Township

A call to examine shifting millage money

Dear Editor,
Remember the fire tax increase that was presented to the public in 2012 as necessary to hire more firefighters, buy equipment, etc. (“Twovotes for Independence fire millage,” Aug. 1)?
If the township doesn’t need a deputy chief now, it didn’t need one a year ago and shouldn’t have asked taxpayers for as much of an increase as was passed in August 2012 primary. There was no mention of this money being used for safety paths.
Though the present board had nothing to do with putting a fire increase on the ballot, the public would be better served if the 2012 fire millage increase was reduced and then asked in a proposal in the next scheduled election if they approve of a corresponding safety path increase.
Even though the present board went through the legal process necessary to transfer funding, the question still remains as to why township residents were duped by the previous township board about the need for a tax increase.
If some of the fire protection money is now going to be diverted to safety paths, then the 2012 fire millage increase that was approved asked for too much (“More funding for safety paths,” Oct. 2).
Though switching funding may be legal, doesn’t every taxpayer now have to question what our money will be used for on every tax increase proposal from here on out? Switching funding without taxpayer approval clearly makes the 2012 fire millage increase proposal a sham. Taxpayers were asked for too much.
This shows taxpayers that there is nothing to stop boards from requesting increases for increases in funding for services that usually pass, such as police and fire protection, and then in the future turning around and funding something else with our money?
We have a library millage increase proposal coming in August 2014. I’ve gone over the numbers and it’s clear to me, the library is asking taxpayers for too much. If passed, what will that increase be used for the senior center?
Mike Powell
Independence Township

Don’t go blind with positives, readers say

Dear Editor,
Walking into town on a foggy but still warm morning, enjoying the fall color change, seeing a man riding a bicycle with his dog in a trailer behind him, talking to other dog owners, saying hello to neighbors as you pass, greeting friends on their front porch as they get their morning paper, saying hello to the store owners as they open their doors, and making plans for the weekend with friends on Main Street.
These are some of the positive things we can all enjoy and celebrate about Clarkston. We can also enjoy reading and voicing opinions in the local paper, hopefully without being told those opinions should not be believed simply because a few people may consider them negative and without first considering whether they are true or not.
Positive things are good but ignoring and not believing what may be considered negative by some will not make real problems go away. If you don’t want to believe what is in the newspaper, you may find fiction more enjoyable.
Hans Christian Anderson’s The Emperor’s New Clothes comes to mind as a place to start.
Cory and Robyn Johnston
Clarkston

Thanks for veterans? seminar support

Dear Editor,
We would like to thank the following for their help in making the recent veterans? benefits seminar a success:
American Legion Post #63, Clarkston for hosting the event, the Oakland County Veterans Administration for providing a speaker, and local businesses and media for assistance with announcing the event. Your help was truly appreciated.
Fifty eight attendees learned about valuable benefits available for their service to our country. For those who were not able to attend and would like to receive material provided at the seminar, please contact Wint Funeral Home at (248) 625-5231 or email wintfuneralhome@gmail.com for a free informational packet.
Sincerely,
The staff at Wint Funeral Home

Thanks from Hugheses
There are times in our lives that great adversity can actually show you that there are those who extend a hand. I want to thank all who have helped us during this challenging time in our life.
I first want to assure you that a road back to recovery has started and the help of all of you played has made things easier. There are, of course, trips back and forth to the hospital and getting back to normal may take some time. We, of course, miss our two little friends, Mitchell and Sarah, but are thankful for the ability to have our grandfather, dad and husband Jim Hughes.
I would still feel remiss without extending a word of thanks to a special few. Thank you C.J. Carnacchio from the Oxford Leader for the story and tribute to our friends; (Oxford Township Supervisor) Bill Dunn for helping around the house with lawn-mowing between our trips back and forth to the hospital; the staff at McLaren Oakland for treatment and therapy and Carol, our neighbor, for cooking and providing baked goods. We would also like to extend a special ‘thank you? to our friends in East Tawas for closing up the summer home and making it effortless on our part.
The phone calls and wishes for healing have sustained us during this difficult time. I realize times like this test your faith and ability to find the good in what seems to be wrong. The help and well-wishes have touched our hearts and will last for forever.
Jim and Diane Hughes, Oxford

No joy over fed. shutdown
In Mr. Carnacchio’s “My Way” column of Oct. 2, he expressed his joy over the government shutdown and the opening of archery deer season.
It seems ironic that, as I recall, Mr. Carnacchio was in favor of more restrictive government control of fireworks because the noise was scaring his dog.
Also I wonder how many bow hunters are hunting on State or Federal “government” land?
Of course the hunters are seeking deer which would not even be here if it were not for the Pittman /Robertson Act of 1937 which taxed firearms and has brought millions of federal dollars to Michigan protecting natural resources and improving hunting and fishing habitat.
It seems to be the same old story:
Taxes and government are bad unless they’re doing something we as individuals like.
Alan Hafeli
Oxford

Facts show fluoride concern warranted

Dear Editor,
Kudos to Don Rush on his column regarding toothpaste (“The Super Secret Codeword is (ssh) toothpaste,” Oct. 16). The question is IF fluoride in toothpaste is necessary, how much is enough?
According to the EPA, ‘exposure to excessive consumption of fluoride over a lifetime may lead to increased likelihood of bone fractures in adults, and may result in effects on bone leading to pain and tenderness.
Children aged 8 years and younger exposed to excessive amounts of fluoride have an increased chance of developing pits in the tooth enamel, along with a range of cosmetic effects to teeth.?
The average tube of commercial toothpaste contains 1,000 to 1,100 ppm of Fluoride. In 1997, the FDA ordered toothpaste manufacturers to add a poison warning on all fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S, because ‘children who swallow too much fluoride toothpaste can suffer acute poisoning, even death.?
In fact, a single tube of bubble-gum flavored Colgate-for-Kids toothpaste contains enough fluoride (143 mg) to kill a child weighing less than 30 kg. (Whitford 1987a).
Fact #1: More people in the US drink fluoridated water (including pop and other beverages) than the rest of the world combined.
Fact #2: Fluoridated countries do NOT have less tooth decay than those without it.
Fact #3: There are 28 studies showing a direct relationship of fluoride intact on lowered IQ’s.
For more info, see: www.fluoridealert.org
Sherry Regiani, former dental hygienist
Independence Township

Support for Backyard Jam appreciated

Dear Editor,
We would like to extend a very generous thank you to all those who helped make our 3rd Annual Backyard Jam a success. This year our beneficiary was the American Legion Post 63 of Clarkston.
To all the volunteers who donated their time and to all the businesses who donated items for our auctions, you are amazing! We are so proud of the support that everyone has given for this annual event for the military.
We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful team of employees and be a part of this great community.
Please join us in thanking these fine individuals and businesses: Peg Roth, Mary Pope, Dan and Lori Dickerson, Fleming Well Drilling, Clarkston Union and Woodshop, Union General, Great Turtle Toys, Fountains Golf and Banquet, Mesquite Creek, Oakland Eye Care, Waterfall Jewelers, Pine Knob Golf Club, Premier Eye Care, Village Eyecare Co., Tom’s Market Ortonville, Pepsi, Better Made, Angie Pesta, Debbie Cicinelli, Palace Entertainment, Bellezza, Good Time Ice, Cranberries Cafe, Made In Detroit, Rudy’s, Hav-a-Bar Ice Cream, Meg Whitcomb, Brioni, Paris Nail and Spa, Fitness Quest, Luca’s Chophouse, LaVida Massage, Bullfrog’s, Sagano Japanese Bistro and Steakhouse, Coach’s Corner, Frames and Art, Champs Cleaners, Culvers, Clarkston Hot Yoga, Deer Lake Athletic Club, Winship, Village Hair Salon Ortonville, Morgan’s, Blazing Bagels, Wing Lauk, Pine Knob Wine Shoppe, Glitz, Any Occasion Cakes, Montgomery and Sons, Rain Forest Cafe, Belle Tire, Via Bologna, Pink the Salon, Anytime Fitness, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hair Co., Ortonville Liquor Shoppe, Avante, Star Nails and Spa, Essence on Main, Subway, Wendy’s, Pita Way, Mazza Auto Parts, Qdoba, ACE Ortonville, Wojo’s, Hungry Howies, Red Knapps, Don’s Lil’ Johns, Beuches, China Fare, and Eastern Pearl.
With thanks,
The Birdfeeder – Clarkston Flower Shoppe – bonnie and clyde

Scout thanks for help with Operation Care

Dear Editor,
The young men and volunteer leadership of Clarkston Boy Scout troops 49 and 189 would like to express their sincere thanks to Neimans Family Market on Dixie Highway at White Lake Road for their support of the Labor Day community service project at the northbound and southbound I-75 rest area, just north of Clarkston.
The troops supported Operation Care, a program designed to encourage alert driving and safe arrivals during holiday travel. The scouts gave out water, coffee, fruit and doughnuts as well as dog treats for furry passengers.
John Sentgerath
Clarkston

Millage differences will drop, candidate says

Dear Editor,
In regards to “Candidates mixed on city taxes,” Oct. 23 edition, the millage difference shown in the table accompanying this article could be confusing.
Much of the taxes are imposed by other jurisdictions, such as schools, community college, zoo, art institute, park district, and county. Those are taxes that the city and township collect but over which they have no control.
The more relevant comparison is the millage for local operations. Clarkston’s operating millage is 13.1979 mills. The equivalent township millage is 8.4814 ? a difference of 4.7165 mills.
I am hopeful that the city’s operating millage can be reduced in future years because of its substantial fund balance ? the accumulation of prior year surpluses.
In addition to the operating millage, the city also imposes a debt millage to pay off bonds used to finance road and water improvements and special assessments for the same purpose. Those will end when the bonds are paid off, reducing the total city millage by 5.4527 mills.
Richard Bisio
Clarkston

Parent pride in marching band success

Dear Editor,
I have been told by so many folks over the last few years they had no idea an event the size of our Clarkston High School Marching Band Invitational took place at Clarkston High School!
Over 2,000 students participate from bands all over the state of Michigan and thousands more come to watch our students perform and compete every year! This exciting event takes place every year in October, and Clarkston High School has had the pleasure and privilege of hosting this event for the last 36 years!
I want to thank the area businesses that support us year after year, all of the volunteers who put in so many hours of preparation and then work all throughout the day, our Pit Crew who always come through in a pinch, Dr. Rod Rock and Gary Kaul for coming out in the cold and presenting awards, and our directors; Mike Lewis, Shelley Roland, and Justin Harris, who dedicate their time, talent and generous spirit to our hard working students.
The biggest thank you goes to our marching band students! The hours they put in to march a show is staggering. The weather was cold and rainy for this past Saturday’s competition, but our Clarkston High School Marching Band students rose to the occasion and put on a show I know all of us were proud of, and that garnered an excellent score! I’ve never been so full of joy to be a part of instrumental music in Clarkston. March on.
Kelly Finazzo, president, Clarkston Schools Instrumental Music Association

Get your Christmas cookies at gift fair

Dear Editor,
Family and baking is a big deal during the holidays. Special recipes come out and we take time to bake them together. In my family, that means three generations getting together to bake my grandmother’s favorite cookie recipes.
As members of Clarkston United Methodist Church, we also bake cookies for the UMW Cookie sale during the Alternative Christmas Gift Fair, Dec. 7-8.
There are great selections of cookies all homemade with love. They are sold by the pound and they go quick! This year we plan on baking one of our family favorites ? Christmas shortbread. Please come by and get yourself a box full of wonderful treats that light up any holiday get together ? Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
All profits benefit people in need locally, nationally and globally. Come join us and buy meaningful Christmas gifts for your family and loved ones, and stock up on Christmas cookies.
For more information contact Cheryl Kelly at ckelly@clarkstonumc.org, 248-625-1611.
Here’s my recipe for shortbread cookies!
Ingredients: 4 cups flour, ? cup Oleo, ? cup of butter, 1 cup confectioners sugar, ? tea of salt, 1 tea. of both grated lemon and orange peel. Sprinkles to decorate. Sift flour, salt, sugar, cream in shortening. Knead like dough. Chill. Place between two sheets of wax paper and roll to ? thickness. Cut into shapes. Brush with egg white and water mix. Cover with sprinkles. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 5 doz small cookies.
Cheryl Kelly
Clarkston United Methodist Church

Thanks for supporting Blessings program

Dear Editor,
On behalf of all of the members of the Clarkston area Blessings in a backpack, I would like to thank the community for their donations and the any raffle tickets that were purchased at Thursday’s Clarkston Area Chamber Best of the Best Business and Community Expo.
I would also like to thank the community businesses that donated items included in the backpack; Coach’s Corner, Lisa’s Confection Connection, Rudy’s Market, Neiman’s family market and the Wolves Den at CHS.
Blessings in a Backpack is a ‘neighbor-helping- neighbor? program that is designed to help meet the nutritional needs of children and families.
Each week, volunteers, in cooperation with school officials, distribute backpacks filled with enough non-perishable food for the weekend (six meals) to ‘at-risk? students. These students are participants in the government subsidized free or reduced fee hot lunch program.
The goal of the Blessings in a Backpack program is to keep these students from going hungry on weekends and remove barriers to academic success.
Thanks to the generous support of the community we are now able to provide this much needed service into all of the buildings in the Clarkston Community School family.
Thank you again to our generous business owners for their donations and to the members of the community who continue to support the children in our community.
Leanne Moore
BIAB representative

Savor your championship now, because governor wants to take control
of our local schools

Dear Editor,
As I watched community members pour into the high school to get their football playoff tickets for our team and then fill Ford Field to watch our football team win our first football state championship, I know we are blessed with a community that not only supports our sports teams, but the whole school district in general. Even though the last school district millage failed, many community members came out to support our schools and I feel that the economy had as much to do with that as anything. The community spoke and decided what was best for our school district at the time.
Not only are our sports teams doing well (see boys tennis, girls swimming & diving etc..), our academic teams such as Mock Trial and FIRST Robotics are making headlines. Our performing arts teams are regularly making state tournaments and our theatre productions are first class out of this world.
Say good bye to them along with local control Clarkston Community School district citizens if Gov. Snyder and his Oxford Foundation or other ‘skunk works? projects get their way.
Although most of the recommendations (www.oxfordfoundationmi.com) from this project have not been enacted upon yet, the Michigan legislature is looking at many of the objectives in the upcoming legislative session.
In short, Gov. Snyder is looking to privatize public education and take away local control of our school district. If this happens, no public school system will be able to afford any extra-curricular activities, which include sports, clubs and performing arts.
Many readers will remember that Proposal A mandated that school funding follow students from one district to another or to charter or on-line schools. The Oxford Foundation and Gov. Snyder’s proposals go one step further and suggest that school funding be piecemealed and follow students by the hour. This would theoretically allow students to take more on-line classes from anywhere. The Oxford Foundation and Gov. Snyder’s proposals would allow corporations and cultural institutions to open up ‘school districts? to receive state funding. By the way, the Michigan legislature passed and Gov. Snyder signed legislation allowing unlimited charter schools (P.A. 277).
Since these new ‘school districts? would NOT have to transport students, would NOT have any class size limits, would NOT have to offer special education services and would NOT have to offer extra-curricular activities, they can run at a much lower cost than traditional public schools. Where do social skills and collaboration fit into these new ‘school districts?? Gov. Snyder and the Oxford Foundation do not see the relevance of these skills for the 21st century learner.
Public school per pupil funding has been cut 24.5% in real inflation dollars since 2002 (MI Dept of Ed.) Combine this with the expected enrollment decreases in Michigan and funding decreases from Gov. Snyder’s attempt to privatize public education and you will get a public school system that cannot service special needs students, yet alone field competitive, functional sports, academic and performing arts teams.
Clarkston citizens, you better savor our first football state championship now because if Gov. Snyder gets his way, local control of school districts is on paper only and this may be the last time you will see a Clarkston sports team able to be called state champions.
Sincerely,
Brooke Davis

Bridge in Depot Park
has several deficiencies

Dear Editor,
If one looks under the bridge you will see that the center beam has failed and is several inches below the deck boards (“Depot bridge out for repairs,” Dec. 4). This is what makes the deck bouncy and has caused the deck boards to fail.
This bridge also has many other deficiencies and does not meet any known criteria for pedestrian bridges and public safety including federal ADA guidelines.
As a walker, concerned citizen and registered professional engineer, I hope the city realizes their responsibility to the public and governing laws. It makes little sense to put more time and tax payer money into something that does not work and puts everyone at risk.
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

Thanks to EMS

Dear Editor,
On Wednesday evening prior to Thanksgiving, I had a major problem and Independence EMS literally saved my life.
Ross and Keith were in my home within five minutes of calling 911, I was stabilized and transported to St Joe’s Hospital in Pontiac.
I’m serious when I say this, without Independence Township EMS, I would not be here to write this thank you.
Gentlemen, thanks.
Jim Carlson
Independence Township

Watch out for kids

Dear Editor,
If you drop your children off at school in the morning, please consider this. Consider how fast and how safely you are driving through the school zones where children and teachers are walking.
Most mornings I am concerned to see parents driving with a lack of concern for these young pedestrians. Having dropped off my children at the middle school, junior high and high school, I can assure you speeding and passing in the drop off zone, parking lots and exits will not get you home or to work any sooner.
Also, mornings are dark and kids are in a hurry making them more prone to make sudden moves around cars. So please consider the risk to our children and teachers compared to spending a few extra seconds in line it just isn’t worth it.
Thank you,
Chris Walker

School funding response

Dear Editor,
This letter is in response to letter to the editor, ‘Savor your championship now, because governor wants to take control of our local schools,? Dec. 11.
The funny thing about government funding is that we all want our programs funded. If my child plays football, football should be funded. If my child is special needs, special needs programs should be funded.
The reality is that the government lives with limited funds, just like we do. If the Oxford Foundation can find alternative sources for funding education, I say let them do it. If the foundation can find alternative and effective methods of teaching, let them do it.
Not all children do well in a traditional classroom setting. My son would die trying to do an online course, but I would bet you there are some children that would thrive in a computer environment.
I have often thought that our school systems could be more effective with a business/education partnership. I’m thinking of the apprentice programs common in Europe. Complex concepts like physics and calculus are better learned through application. Practical application and hands on experience do not happen in the traditional classroom.
As to the fact that football may lose state funding, I am not sympathetic. Almost all Clarkston sports, other than a select few like football and basketball, are self-funded.
Sincerely,
Denise Prock

Support for family store

Dear Editor,
We have a new family owned market that opened in 2013 in the shopping plaza at Dixie Highway and White Lake roads (Neiman’s Family Market, see ad on page 3). This very large building stood vacant for about five years as we, the people of Clarkston, certainly wished for occupancy to arrive soon.
That wish came true!
Let’s show our Clarkston spirit by recognizing that competition is productive and welcomed in our community.
Another chance to shop locally!
Dee Alonzi
Independence Township

Help appreciated in reliving history through CNews

Dear Editor,
This letter is to thank the Clarkston News and specifically the editor, Phil Custodio.
A couple of months ago I went in to get my paper and asked Rose Mary at the front desk if they kept their old newspapers. She said they have them back to the 1930s. I asked what form are they in? She said they have the actual newspapers. I asked if I could see them, and she said I would have to make an appointment with the editor. Phil called me the next day and asked me when I was available. I said how about now.
I told Phil I played for a Clarkston American Legion baseball team in the summer of 1951. The team was made up of boys from Clarkston and Waterford. Some of the boys from Clarkston I recall were Tom Bulen, Dave Vincent, Pat Jewell, Rick Huttenlocher, and Earl Lamberton.
The rest of the boys, like myself, were from Waterford. Jack Saylor, a sports writer for the Pontiac Daily Press, was our coach. We played Birmingham, Royal Oak, Berkley, Milford and a few others I don’t recall. One memorable game was with Birmingham. Their pitcher was Tom Tracy, the star running back for the Detroit Lions back in the 50s.
Now I told Phil I would like the newspapers from May through September, 1951. We went upstairs and Phil went through the large bound binders, which contained the newspapers. He found the ones I was looking for and brought them downstairs and put them on a table and told me to take my time.
Well, to my disappointment, I did not find anything on the ball team. However, I did find many ads from local businesses that brought back fond memories.
It seemed like every week there was an ad from the auto dealers in town. Beatty Motor Sales always had a large pictured advertisement. Beatty was a Ford dealer on the southeast corner of Church and Main. My dad worked for Beatty before and during World War II as a mechanic.
When we were kids, my three brothers and I would go in to see my dad. Mr. Beatty would shake our hands and pat us on the head and sometimes gave us candy.
Other memorable ads were Whipple Pontiac, Rudy’s Market, that is the original Rudy’s owned by Rudy Swartz, Terry’s Market, O’Dell’s drug store, Cheeseman’s ice cream parlor, the Dixie Spot, and many others. What a great way to spend a couple of hours.
Thanks again, Phil. You made my day.
Sincerely,
Dick Ellis
Independence Township

Reader sees no reason for a hospital in township

Dear Editor,
Regarding McLaren Hospital in Clarkston, I see no need for the proposed McLaren Hospital and indeed see numerous reasons not to allow the hospital.
We already have two fine urgent care clinics here and they have done a good job. There are three excellent hospitals no more than 20 minutes away. With that, why more expense and congestion?
The infrastructure costs to the county and township will be considerable and those monies could be used for much better purposes.
Anyone who has driven on Sahasbaw and Clarkston roads around 6 a.m. knows we already have too much congestion and traffic. The addition of the 1,000 people projected would create a colossal mess and frustration.
The state has already denied the McLaren request twice. Why move all the beds around to satisfy McLaren and Mr. Kittle?
Many of us moved here for the rural aspects and natural environment we have here. We DO NOT need to become another Troy or Rochester Hills.
Jim Reed
Independence Township

Thanks for help at Holiday Candle Lighting Ceremony

Dear Editor,
Thank you to the many people who assisted with our Annual Holiday Memorial Candle Lighting Service on Dec. 17.
Special thanks to Clarkston Community Church for opening the doors to their beautiful church and many gracious members from the church who assisted behind the scenes. Valuable insights to help cope with the Holidays were shared followed by a touching memorial candle lighting ceremony.
Sincere gratitude to talented local performers: soloist Matthew Duncan and pianist Liz Melli, who blessed all in attendance with their talent.
Sincerely,
Jenni Simsack, funeral director, Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home, Clarkston

A call to reconsider emphasis on parking rules

Dear Editor,
In regards to “Parking confusion downtown,” Jan. 29 edition, it’s clear that parking downtown should be an important issue for local business owners and the community, but in this election year many hope that we can focus greater attention on perhaps more substantive issues affecting our local and national communities.
We are confronted with the effects of a state governor and legislature dominated by elitists who operate with stealth and lack of transparency and accountability, and with what appears to be a patronizing or even despising view of the larger population they are supposed to represent.
They’ve taxed pensioners, reduced educational funding and progression, and now in an election year pander to voters they obviously despise and insult by proposing an income “tax cut” for the middle class which in reality more greatly rewards high income earners–who continue to grow richer as the middle class stagnates or regresses–and which in any event represents little more than the value of a few McDonald’s value meals for working people.
Paintings in museums, while important culturally, are more highly regarded than the lifelong contributions of working families. Some powerful political leaders obviously believe that our educational experiences and common sense have so deteriorated as to render us stupid.
The income gap between the few rich and the large middle class has become a a Grand Canyon, and we are learning that the Affordable Care Act really is not so affordable. The number of people looking for decent paying jobs is greater than the mostly low paying jobs our leadership claims to have created.
Perhaps it is time to look beyond parking and potholes and get politically active this year to ensure that the much needed changes in high level political leadership and direction take place.
It’s time for some career politicians to move on. Encourage your family and friends to register to vote, critically examine the issues, and vote this year. Perhaps our parking and pothole issues can be resolved without more tickets or signs.
Michael Fetzer
Independence Township

Smoking ban unfair to businesses, readers say

Dear Editor,
Why has no one repealed, struck down the way the smoking ban is written for bars and restaurants in Michigan?
This law especially hurts the small, mom and pop businesses that do not sell 50 percent or more food and make their living from local people. They should still have the right to determine what they want to allow in their privately owned business.
As it stands it is unconstitutional and illegal. How can the rights of a private establishment be unlawfully taken away without people like you not protecting them?
Things like this are destroying our State and our Country, little by little, one by one at the whim of a few! Is there no one left who cares to protect the peoples rights from unlawful laws?
It is a discriminating, depraved and unjust law that makes a person stand outside in the cold or a storm to smoke!
Charlene and Larry Liggett
Independence Township

I am outraged by the recent article concerning the township’s stand on the HealthFirst shuttle bus for seniors.
Everyone knows there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch? in this world, but this may be the one example to the contrary.
The doctor bought the bus, pays for the driver, the gas, maintenance and insurance and brings non-driving seniors to the medical building free of charge — then returns them home.
Where’s the crime? He should be applauded in a day and age when we are nickled and dimed to death for everything.
I have seen all these little trashy signs up for months all over M-24. Why was that allowed and what did that do for the community?
I’d like to know what law he has so seriously violated as to threaten his apparently well-meaning service.
I haven’t heard of the township coming up with anything for our seniors, such as free transportation or any medical office.
I sincerely hope the township sees this for what it truly is, someone being extremely generous to the community. — Mrs. Hogan

I am outraged by the recent article concerning the township’s stand on the HealthFirst shuttle bus for seniors.
Everyone knows there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch? in this world, but this may be the one example to the contrary.
The doctor bought the bus, pays for the driver, the gas, maintenance and insurance and brings non-driving seniors to the medical building free of charge — then returns them home.
Where’s the crime? He should be applauded in a day and age when we are nickled and dimed to death for everything.
I have seen all these little trashy signs up for months all over M-24. Why was that allowed and what did that do for the community?
I’d like to know what law he has so seriously violated as to threaten his apparently well-meaning service.
I haven’t heard of the township coming up with anything for our seniors, such as free transportation or any medical office.
I sincerely hope the township sees this for what it truly is, someone being extremely generous to the community. — Mrs. Hogan

I apologize for not being more clear when I wrote ‘them? instead of ‘The Gingellville Community Center? in my letter, published Oct. 25.
It’s the Center, not HealthFirst, who has to sell their property because the Board brought legal action against them for not paying taxes.
That’s why it’s so ironic that the new buyers are also tax-exempt. For all the Board’s mean-spiritedness, our community is no better off financially.
The same argument applies to the HealthFirst situation and to the audit, which is why I put all three situations in my letter.
The emphasis of the letter isn’t just the one situation with the bus, but the attitude of the Board in general. Thanks for making this correction. — Carol Roughton

We support the Orion, Addison, Oxford Tri-Township Senior Center and senior services like NOTA that meet the needs of our growing senior population.
We believe in taking care of Veterans (many of whom are seniors) and their families who need information and services to care for loved ones.
Being prepared is our motto — and we believe the senior center prepares all of us for a better future.
— Joel Schleifer, Commander, Sons of the American Legion Lake Orion Squadron #233

We support the Orion, Addison, Oxford Tri-Township Senior Center and senior services like NOTA that meet the needs of our growing senior population.
We believe in taking care of Veterans (many of whom are seniors) and their families who need information and services to care for loved ones.
Being prepared is our motto — and we believe the senior center prepares all of us for a better future.
— Joel Schleifer, Commander, Sons of the American Legion Lake Orion Squadron #233

Judge Lisa Asadoorian has been my colleague and personal friend for over 15 years.
As a current judge with the 52-3 District Court and as a former prosecutor, magistrate and defense attorney, Judge Asadoorian has sat in every seat in the courtroom.
Her experience along with her strong work ethic and respect and compassion for all who appear before her, make her uniquely qualified to continue to serve as a district court judge.
— Cheryl A. Matthews, Judge, Oakland County Circuit Court

I would like to thank Judge Lisa Asadoorian for her dedication, commitment and compassion to our community and students in Lake Orion.
I am continually impressed with her candor and enthusiasm towards making Lake Orion a better place to live.
I urge our community to support her in the November election as she has supported our community, schools and childrren for the past six years.
— Michelle Novak

Sorry, Mr. Dan Dewey, that you feel I should be apologetic for expressing my opinion on the issue of both an Orion Township trustee and his wife holding Township positions; one as an elected official and the other as a full-time employee in the Clerk’s office.
As an observer, I was only bringing up a comparison; that what seems to be good for some is not good for others in Orion Township politics.
I try to get to as many township meetings as I can, so I can see first-hand what is going on.
Hardly anyone attends these meetings unless there is an issue that affects their neighborhood, or when someone is receiving an award or proclamation.
Mr. Dewey. I feel I do not owe anyone an apology for expressing my opinion. That is our right in a free democracy: Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press.
— James B. Delavan

Reader calls for city manager to step down

Dear Editor,
Regarding your stories “City spat unresolved despite many letters” and “City Manager breaks contact with the News,” (Feb. 19), it should be quite clear to your readers and the Clarkston City Council by now that the Clarkston city manager’s erratic behavior presents a negative image for the city. Her actions of late are an embarrassing black eye for the entire Clarkston community, not just the city.
Now that the city manager has said that she “won’t participate in anything that in some way encourages continued harassment” when those who employ her ask her questions, then she has unquestionably resigned her position as the city manager. Insubordination of the duties that the city council hired her for clearly demands that the city council hold her accountable for failing to do her job. It’s past time for those who hired the city manager to step up to the plate and to do their job.
In one breath the city manager says that she “doesn’t mind when residents have criticisms for her or the city,” especially when they “get the facts straight if they want to complain,? and in another she says that she is done with the Clarkston News and refuses to speak because they have done so. And the citizen(s) asking questions are “erratic,” really? The parties involved are simply exercising their first amendment right to question and demand answers from their government, why the silence?
It’s time for the city of Clarkston and it’s residents to be “done” with this city manager. If she’s allowed to ignore the public, and now refuses to talk to the News, then she has become a dictator.
The city council and the people of Clarkston deserve a better representative. Any public employee who considers it “harassment” for those who exercise their first amendment right to ask questions and speak out is no longer a “servant,” they have become their “master.” The likes of the dictatorial “masters” with whom millions of Americans died defending us from!
It’s time for the Clarkston city manager to listen to the advice of ex-mayor Steve Arkwright’s in his Feb. 12 letter to the editor, “Let good people do good things.” Stepping down from a job that she clearly doesn’t want to be “harassed” by would be a good start.
Michael L. Powell
Independence Township

Appreciation for Freedom of Speech coverage

Dear Editor,
We are proud we subscribe to a paper that stands up for the First Amendment and the Freedom of Information Act that is always being challenged, especially lately.
The Clarkston official should be challenged for refusing to be part of our main voice of freedom here, The Clarkston News. It is part of her job to answer to the public.
We appreciate the public officials who also voiced support for our paper and concern that public officials have a responsibility to answer to the public, it is part of their job.
We also look forward to reading the “passionate” articles by Andrea Beaudoin. Her latest article “Death by Dog,” Feb. 19, about losing our Freedom of Speech was appreciated by many of our peers.
God Bless America and this newspaper
Mike and Debbie Dettling
Independence Township

Reader disappointed with negative news coverage

Dear Editor,
I was disappointed the News gave so much space to the whiny Cory Johnston man. However, I am glad he has resigned from whatever ‘community organization? he was involved in.
I really don’t believe any community, most especially ours, needs anyone with such negative views. I wonder, does this man have nothing else to do but nitpick, complain, and endlessly write letters?
I love my village and I love all the folks who work, doing the best job they can. These people make my life here in Clarkston very happy and I am pleased with all they do.
Thank you, Carol Eberhardt, and the rest of the crew.
Judy McConnell
Clarkston

More watch dogs needed in community

Dear Editor,
In response to: “One man can bring down the government!?” Don’t Rush Me, March 5, page 7, great commentary, Don. Unfortunately, indeed, there are not enough folks that stand like a rock. We as a society continue to cede control of our own destiny out of ignorance and complacency. People choose to ignore the issues of the day and are content with that fact.
They are too busy to be bothered, too scattered to care, too willing to write a blank check. I know, because I am one of them far too often! We need people like you. We need more watch dogs. More folks that care and question the leaders of policy. I wish that elections to government seats ran more like a jury pool. Serving your community should be a duty and privilege….not a career!
I trust no one that makes it a occupation. No matter the noblest of intentions, special interests and personal greed almost always rise to the top. It is time as a community, a state, and a country that we look to what our forefathers envisioned and scrap the path that we are now on. It is a trail that leads to nowhere and we’re getting there fast!
Mike Shea

Thanks to patrol, EMS

Dear Editor,
I want to extend a huge thank you to the Pine Knob Ski Patrol for their excellent, immediate response when my son was injured while skiing, March 9.
Their expert knowledge with handling his injury and emotional trauma was incredible. They also went above and beyond to comfort his brother who was with him, as well as mom and dad!
Additionally, we are so grateful to the Independence Township EMS for their quick response in handling his pain and advising us of the best hospital to go to for his injury so no further transfers were needed. We are so blessed to have been taken such good care of. Thank you!
Kim Hardtke
Independence Township
Kim said her son is getting better but still in pain due to his broken femur, and will be in a wheel chair for 4-6 weeks.

Rights in jeopardy

Dear Editor,
This is an alert to all Independence Township waterfront property owners.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014, the Township Board listened to attorney Steve Joppich try to explain extensive changes to ordinances covering Wetlands and Watercourses. The stated goal of township Supervisor Pat Kittle is to bring ordinances in harmony with state law.
Dozens and dozens of interested individuals, many owners of waterfront property listened, then questioned the wisdom of proposed changes. I congratulate those who came and spoke for their diligence on such short notice.
The supervisor, having seen and heard the large concerned crowd, floated the idea of a volunteer citizens panel to make suggestions. People were encouraged to sign up, and meet with building department officials to guide changes. Their first discussions will have already happened by the time you read this.
This is a dodge.
If the township wanted to become harmonious with state statute they merely could ‘cut and paste’ verbiage from state law and leave jurisdiction to the alphabet soup of state and county regulators, DNR,DEQ, WRC, RCOC, rather than spend taxpayer money on rewrites that deny rights to riparian property owners.
To see this meeting at home, fire up that computer, go to the township website (www.twp.independence.mi.us), click on departments, click on Independence Television, go to the small beige box on the right, and click on ‘on demand’ viewing to watch the meeting.
Your waterfront property rights are in jeopardy. Proposed ordinance changes would make removing debris from your culvert or weeds from your beach a ticket-able offense. The number of boats, docks, rafts, jet skis, and hoists and how you can use them will be dictated by township building officials.
Contact your township officials and trustees after watching the meeting, and become involved now. Ice out is just a few weeks away.
Rob Namowicz
Independence Township

No to ramp proposal

Dear Editor,
It’s surprising to see the Independence township officials who are in support of the proposed McClaren hospital on Sashabaw Road has failed to get a certificate of need from the state three times in a row are now complaining about congestion problems on the Sashabaw – I-75 corridor, exactly where the proposed hospital would be located (“Pressure Valve,” March 12, page 19).
The “fix” to the congestion problem of the township’s making is even more surprising ? a proposal for a I-75 entrance ramp on Clintonville Road at Maybee Road.
The ramp being proposed is for the expressed purpose of shifting Sashabaw roads “congestion problems” into a residential area who’s residents thought they were successful keeping the I-75 ramps out of their residential neighborhood. Yet, here we are again!
If there’s a congestion problem now, just imagine the traffic problems there will be if a major hospital is put on Sashabaw Road.
The “pressure valve” I-75 ramp being proposed on Clintonville Rd. at Maybee Road would shift that congestion into residential neighborhoods that have already said no to the I-75 ramps long before the Sashabaw corridor businesses were even in place.
Township residents should be aware the proposed I-75 Clintonville entrance ramp is on property now being “conserved” by the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy.
It will be very interesting to see if the NOHLC fights to “conserve” a green space they are entrusted to conserve, or if they sell this green space to relieve congestion so a hospital can be built on another green space.
Independence Township officials want to know what you think about this idea. By all means call them at 248-625-5111 and email them Pressurevalve@Indetwp.com. Let them know what you think about their Clintonville Road – I-75 “pressure valve” ramp proposal for your residential neighborhood. Tell them to keep their “Sashabaw Corridor” congestion problems in their own neighborhood and not visit those problems onto your neighborhood. No still means NO!
Michael Powell
Independence Township

Yes to library millage

Dear Editor,
On Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, Independence Township and Clarkston voters will decide if our district library will be funded.
The issue on the August ballot is a survival millage. Without approval, the district library, which is no longer funded by township budgets, could be forced to close. How attractive will our community be to current and potential residents if we lack something as fundamental as a public library?
As a newly formed district library serving residents of both Independence Township and City of the Village of Clarkston, the millage on the August ballot will provide virtually all funds needed to operate the building.
The district library is an important community center. In addition to providing access to books and electronic media for all age groups, our district library hosts a wide range of informative programs at little or no cost to residents.
It is far more cost effective for us to maintain and improve our existing library than to lose it due to lack of funding and then try to replace it in the future.
We need your help and your support. Please vote YES on the district library millage on Aug. 5.
Henry S. Woloson
Independence Township

Library part of community

Dear Editor,
In the next couple of months, you will have the opportunity to vote for a library millage.
I strongly encourage you to vote in favor of this proposal. Whether you use the library a lot or a little, a good library is a cornerstone of any community.
The significance of our spiritual values is reflected in our many magnificent churches. The many wonderful national and state parks reflect our love of nature and our intention to preserve nature and the importance of physical fitness.
The statues in Washington D.C., Mt. Rushmore, and Stone Mountain, Ga., reflect our love and admiration for our nation’s founding fathers.
Our libraries keep under one roof and available 3,000 years of learning.
Libraries indicate our interest in lifelong learning.
A library is much more than a building that stores books. A library represents how far we have come out of the cave and out of the tall grasses. A failure of the library millage would be a step bck into the cave and tall grasses.
Gerald McNally, retired judge
Independence Township

Negative coverage

Dear Editor,
I served on the Clarkston Board of Education from 1973-1981, and learned firsthand it’s very easy to stand outside and complain, even tear down, and it’s very hard to have a public position and work to encourage and build up in the face of the criticism. During those years, the late Jean Saile, then editor of The Clarkston News, was very positive in her editorial leadership, building up the community.
In recent years, the News seems to me to have given special place to carping and even mean-spirited and very personal criticism, highlighted by the present kerfuffle. In fact, the News has even become a party in the negative exchanges. The March 5 edition did run former city councilman Richard Bisio’s informed and constructive opinions, but also printed the usual ranting on the front page with the largest headline, along with other negative and defensive editorial commentary.
I long for healthy editorial perspective, constructive criticism, and efforts to build up our community instead of tearing it down.
In concern,
Bob Walters
Clarkston

Solve water problems with cascading waterfall

Dear Editor,
I’d like to clarify and expand on some of the comments in the article related to the Mill Race (“Delayed repair could be costly,” March 19).
The broken pipe leading to the sinkhole on the Christea property did so because of sediment build up from the streets. The hardness of our water here added deposits, eventually causing the pipe to be unable to manage the flow entering it and it broke. This is what happens at your house, sans the sediment, as a result of hard water.
This could have been prevented if proper protections were introduced early enough. I warned Clarkston City Council members the issue will eventually present itself, albeit possibly in a different manner, if they installed the pipe the way they did without installing available protections. They ignored me and now we have an issue.
The stormwater permit the city holds requires a 25% reduction of sediment discharged into the system and currently the efforts are nothing more than a pencil pushing exercise.
There are cost effective products on the market that can help reduce the amount of sediment that enters the system. Look up Dandy products and Silt Savers to familiarize yourself with a few.
However, there is another way to address the sediment and the current issue, that is also much more cost effective, not to mention beautiful. ‘Daylight? the pipe.
With the proper permissions, a tiered, cascading waterfall with an infiltration based reinforced by geotextiles for stability, can be installed. Lined with native flowering plants, whose roots additionally add stability, the flowing water would also pick up oxygen for a healthier river habitat, while dropping out sediment before it enters the mill race. Native flowers are not only beautiful, but add to the habitat created by the rain garden in Depot park.
This could be amended with terraced grass pavers and picnic tables. Add in a few fruit bearing plants and trees and you create an oasis. The additions could be added in over time so the cost would be spread out. And the design, installation and maintenance would all be more cost effective for the city and taxpayers. Oh, and did I mention there are many local experts I am certain would be delighted to help? This would create work for many locals.
In addition, if the city were to partner with local universities and school district, possibly even the township, and use this as an outreach and education opportunity in partial fulfillment of their requirements under their stormwater permit, which the township and school district also have, it would benefit them all and they might even be eligible for funding, since this is what is being promoted by the Federal EPA and the State DEQ, not to mention SEMCOG.. .Oh, and the International Commission on the Great Lakes too.
The city is planning on using outmoded methods without the consideration of newer, less expensive, more river friendly approaches. If the public is interested in a better way to do things that contributes to place-making while saving their hard earned tax dollars, I encourage you to speak up.
Tammie J. Heazlit
Independence Township

Thanks to community for help during difficult time

Dear Editor,
Our family was touched by the generosity shown by the families of Clarkston Community Schools. Considerable funds were received with the intention of helping with the difficult battle of pancreatic cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Children in the schools expressed heartfelt thoughts by decorating ‘get-well? notes, that truly meant so much to both my husband and me. The thoughtfulness of the community along with the constant words of encouragement lifted our spirits every day. The funds that were received covered a significant portion of my husband’s treatments, and for that we are forever grateful.
In late February, I received an unexpected check from the Cancer Center to reimburse us for the chemotherapy treatments! I had previously promised that I would pass these funds forward if we were reimbursed in any way. As promised, all of the monies you gave will go straight to help another victim of pancreatic cancer fight the battle.
Although Benny lost his fight against pancreatic cancer in August of 2013, the chemotherapy kept him with us so that he could achieve his goal to meet our new grandson. We were not able to travel to meet him with Benny’s frail condition, but Jake was able to meet his GrandDaddy just weeks before he lost his battle with cancer.
Thank you, Clarkston community for your loving care. Your generosity not only blessed our family, but will bless another family.
With grateful hearts,
The Family of Benny Reed
? Mary, Laura and Ben
Mary teaches music at Andersonville and Springfield Plains Elementary schools.

Lakeville Lake and fairness

Can you imagine having a great recreational area in your front yard?
This area is almost 500 acres and a major source of value for your township.
It’s Lakeville Lake and it’s a real selling point for all of Addison Township.
This is a great resource for your community and because you live very close to it your taxes are higher than the comparable houses in your area.
In fact, the township supervisor has bragged that our SEV has gone up more than any other township. Wow!
Realtors advertise that there is a major lake in the area and it is open to the public.
However, none of those people outside of home owners are taking any responsibility to maintain or exercise security of Lakeville Lake.
I have witnessed small children being towed around with no spotter and in a very dangerous manner. I have seen people ripped open from a prop due to drunk driving on the lake, trespassing beyond what any reasonable home owner could endure and deliberate endangerment of non-motorized boats.
I just cannot imagine what will happen without the sheriff’s department on the lake ? ever!
The weekend cost is less than $5,000 for the summer.
Does anyone have a family member they are willing to sacrifice for $5000?
In Lakeville, I pay for my own streetlights, my own trash pickup and even snow removal for my supposed county road.
My taxes do nothing in the form of service.
I will deal with that.
However, I do not want to see someone hurt or killed because our government doesn’t think it is as important as their issues.
Ellen DeLater
Lakeville

More watchdogs are needed

Great commentary from Don Rush (‘One man can bring down the government?!? March 5).
Unfortunately, indeed, there are not enough folks that stand like a rock.
We as a society continue to cede control of our own destiny out of ignorance and complacency. People choose to ignore the issues of the day and are content with that fact.
They are too busy to be bothered, too scattered to care, too willing to write a blank check. I know, because I am one of them far too often! We need people like you, Mr. Rush. We need more watch dogs. More folks that care and question the leaders of policy. I wish that elections to government seats ran more like a jury pool. Serving your community should be a duty and privilege….not a career!
I trust no one that makes it a occupation. No matter the noblest of intentions, special interests and personal greed almost always rise to the top. It is time as a community, a state, and a country that we look to what our forefathers envisioned and scrap the path that we are now on. It is a trail that leads to nowhere and we’re getting there fast!
Mike Shea

Maybe the answer is smaller class sizes?

The concept of year round schools is interesting and there are many aspects that can be explored such as what if school is closed because of weather when it should be in session, how do families arrange for child care when school isn’t in session, how well do students learn when it is 90 degrees and the sun is out, which costs more ? heating schools or cooling them?
Another obvious question is are students learning or just memorizing if they don’t retain subject matter over the summer?
Dr. Schwarz may be right, it may all depend on the quality of the teacher. It is ironic then that we require teachers to be continuous learners and once they obtain their PhD. we offer them early retirement because they cost too much and we hire new teachers.
There are also plenty of studies that prove students perform much better with smaller class sizes and starting the school day at 10 a.m. instead of 7 a.m.. So, why don’t we make these changes.
Dr. Skilling has told me that class size does not matter. I respectfully disagree. Again the irony is the more kids in a class, the more profitable the class.
To support this statement, why do we continue to recruit more students from outside the district and from China?
The answer is simple, more money!
And why do we start school so early? I have never heard an explanation. I suspect, in part, it has to do with extracurricular activities.
Perhaps starting later and with smaller class sizes, students would learn, retain more and perform better on standardized tests.
Charlie Stevens
Oxford

Support for ramp

Dear Editor,
As I read the story in The Clarkston News about an exit ramp at Clintonville, which is long overdue, I get the sense the ‘not in my backyard? syndrome is rearing its head again. I’m sure the people who lived up Clintonville before Oakhurst was built, or those along Maybee before the failed subdivision/golf course came along were saying the same thing about those developments. Doesn’t seem anyone was able to stand in the way of the developers then, why is it there’s an issue now?
Complaining about an on-ramp at Clintonville to southbound I-75? Why, there should be a full-fledged exit at Mile Marker 87, Clintonville Road, just like there is at mile 89, 91, and 93 ? every two miles, just like the road commission would draw it up. Looking at the map, we could have the northbound on/off ramps just west of Mt. Zion church exiting on Maybee, and the southbound on/off ramps exiting on Clintonville.
Would the exits get used? Yes. Would there be more traffic on Clintonville that might lead to its expansion to four lanes around I-75? Most likely. Could those that live anywhere near Clintonville and Waldon/Maybee roads get onto I-75 quicker? Of course. Would there be less traffic/congestion at all times of day/night at Sashabaw Road, even when there’s not a concert at DTE (Pine Knob to the oldtimers)? Guaranteed.
So what’s wrong with this plan, and who’s complaining? Let’s get on with getting this exit built. It’s called development, and if we didn’t have any, most of this township would still be apple orchards and fields.
John Orminski
Independence Township

Studies aren’t free

Dear Editor,
The article “Ramp riles residents,” March 26, says “The township supervisor said the study is free.”
Later in the article, “The township’s engineering firm Hubble, Roth and Clark, as well as the South Eastern Michigan Council of Governments, will conduct a feasibility study…”
The engineering firm will be paid with tax payers’ money! They are not doing it for “free.” Mr. Kittle would have known better before he was elected supervisor. How quickly citizens become politicians.
Rick Gutowski
Independence Township

Thanks to community

Dear Editor,
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Clarkston community for all the support we’ve received this past winter for our upcoming service trip to Kenya.
We have reached our fund-raising goal and would like to thank the countless family members, friends, neighbors, and community members for their friendship and generosity.
Special thanks to the Clarkston Chapter of Woman’s Life for sponsoring a pancake breakfast fund raiser that was loads of fun and a huge success. Our service trip is only three short months away and we are very excited about this opportunity.
We’re looking forward to sharing our experience with you when we return from Kenya. Again – many thanks!
Malcolm and Veronica Hill
Springfield Township

Ferrari defends his performance, abilities

I understand that we are in the middle of a political season, but I need to correct errors stated last week by a treasurer candidate.
1) Seeking grant dollars for Oxford Township is what I have done over and above my duties as township treasurer and will continue to do. There have been grants applied for in past years that were, unfortunately, not successful. Not every grant researched and applied for gets funded.
2) The treasurer’s department is not ‘pretty much automated by computers.? While computers definitely assist in the process, there is also much more to the job that just punching in data. The part-time administrative assistant, deputy treasurer and myself balance millions of dollars in taxes TO THE PENNY every year. Please feel free to contact the Oakland County Treasurer or the township auditor and ask them about our balancing and settlement record for any township fund. At least week’s township board meeting, the township auditor commended me on the investment income earned on our various funds in 2007.
3) Attacking me as being a non-working treasurer is completely wrong and I will always defend myself on that point. I have worked hard and will continue to work hard for the taxpayers of Oxford Township. I have proven that I want the job as I have continually updated my skills for the betterment of my community. I have had the privilege of being your township treasurer and would be honored with another four-year term.
Joseph G. Ferrari
Oxford Township

Not happy about Moe’s leaving

I would like to say Maureen Helmuth, who has about 20 years seniority, is being mistreated. We the people of Oxford should decide whether or not she should retire. Moe could do the job of any one of these councilmembers who gave her the boot.
Nora Miklia
Oxford Village

Safety path to park needed

I’d like to throw in my two cents on what can be done with some of the safety path funds that have been in question in recent weeks.
First off, it really seems ludicrous to put safety paths were they’re not wanted or needed.
The gentleman who went and spoke to his neighbors andfound out that seven out of nine of them didn’t see the need or want for paths on their road couldn’t have been more clear. Find another spot! I know the funds are supposedly a ‘use it or lose it? thing, so use them in places they are actually needed.
We’re going to be building this wonderful water park out at the Seymour Lake park, how about using some of those funds to put paths around there so that all the kiddies won’t have to risk their lives while trying to get to that park!
By the way, ‘Attaboy? to Ron Davis and the work he did to secure the funds for that project. It’s nice to see someone getting something done around here! A path should be put from Seymour Lake and Baldwin all the way into downtown eventually.
I know for fact many of my neighbors out here would love to be able to ride to the Polly Ann Trail or downtown without risking life & limb trying to get there.

David Yell
Oxford Township

Library benefits all, not just ‘certain groups?
As an educator, imagine my surprise to learn that, according to Addison Township trustee Christine Sypitkowski, libraries, like senior centers or parks, exist for the benefit of a ‘certain group? as opposed to ‘something that affects every citizen who lives in Addison Township.?
According to my research, the Addison Township Public Library has over 2,400 registered patrons and circulated over 3,000 items in July alone. In addition, these resources were evenly divided between adult items and children’s materials. This library provides more than just books and magazines, such as audio books, preschool story time, summer reading programs, teen book collections, DVDs, videotapes, reference materials, fax facilities, internet, interlibrary loan…well, you get the idea. There is something for everyone.
I’m sure trustee Sypitkowski meant no disrespect to our own township library, yet we need to remember that libraries ? ALL libraries ? are not luxuries designed for special interest groups, but an integral part of an educated society.
Lynda Henderson, Lakeville

DDA chair says progress is happening
We, the board of the Oxford Downtown Development Authority, would like to take this opportunity to wish Amanda Cassidy success in her new job and to thank her for her time and effort on behalf of the DDA during her tenure.
As the board searches for a new Executive Director, we are committed to the ongoing process of moving Oxford forward. While change is never easy, it does provide an opportunity for regrouping, evaluation, and progress. It is from this vantage that the current DDA board is looking forward.
The board and our interim Director, Joe Young, are dedicated to the vision of the Main Street USA program and the mission of the DDA to create a viable and successful downtown.
While progress may seem slow or non-existent to some at times, it is happening.
We are happy to welcome three new businesses to the downtown area and are looking forward to the completion of the Centennial Development next to Centennial Park and the Broadway Plaza Development (located where Jeff’s Tire use to be).
During the next month we will be placing additional parking signage to help with directing visitors to municipal parking lots; soliciting development proposals for the lots on E. Burdick, finalizing designs for redeveloping the parking lot on the SE section of downtown, working with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce on the upcoming Scarecrow festival; and beginning plans for the Christmas Tree lighting and shopping day.
In July, the DDA adopted an updated Master Plan which will serve as a guide to the current and future development of Oxford’s downtown and we are working with the Village Council and Planning Commission to have the plan finalized and to begin the implementation of the plan, including a marketing survey to help with attracting businesses to Oxford.
On going items include the relocation of the house at 19 W. Burdick; redesigning and improving the remaining parking lots, looking into ways to improved traffic and pedestrian flow in the downtown area, and working with current businesses in downtown in an effort to continue improving current conditions.
Yet, for all the progress made, much remains to be done (the above ongoing list is a sample of what remains). The DDA board realizes that the efforts of nine members are not enough.
We appreciate and value each person who volunteers to help us with this effort by serving on one of the four standing subcommittees; organization, design, promotions, and economic redevelopment’as with all volunteer organizations, there is no such thing as too many volunteers.
We are always in need of additional volunteers and would ask that you consider joining us in our task. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to talk to one of the DDA board, please feel free to contact the DDA at either (248)628-3905 or via our website www.dowtownoxford.org.
Kevin A. Stephison,
Chairperson, Oxford DDA

Seniors have ‘earned the right? to a center
In response to C.J.’s comments about the new proposed senior center for Orion, Oxford, and Addison townships…We seniors worked all our lives, paid taxes and have earned the right to have this new center. C.J. says he minds paying taxes for the new center. On an average, the center will cost taxpayers as little as 12 cents a day. Much of the money comes from many other sources.
I, as well as millions of other seniors, have paid school taxes and have not had a child in school for many years, but we understand the need. I don’t like paying taxes for prisons or welfare! Unlike us seniors, those people never worked and paid into the system like us seniors have. In a few years, over half the population will be seniors. You are not paying for our recreation, C.J. We seniors worked very hard for years and through our tax money, the government gives a portion back.
You are young, C.J., so you call it recreation’we call it therapy for our arthritic bodies. Have you heard the phrase ‘Don’t get surgery, get better?? I have put off surgery for two-and-a-half years now by working out in the pool at Older Persons Commission (OPC) three days a week. The temperature of the water is 92 degrees. We could never use school pools or the Great Lakes Athletic Club pool’too cold and much too expensive, along with other obvious reasons.
Also, C.J., the Polly Ann Trail that you suggested is all stones across the road from where I live. Seniors cannot walk on that, plus, three-quarters of the year they couldn’t be out in the weather. The senior center has a padded track, and should a senior have a problem, help is there in seconds.
A new senior center in our community will accommodate 100 percent of our seniors, not 1/10 as our one and two rooms do now. OPC is very successful with hundreds of seniors using their facility on a daily basis. Our area has grown so much over the last few years, that’s why we need a new and bigger senior center to accommodate the growing number of seniors in Orion, Oxford and Addison townships.
We have 10 acres of land donated that won’t cost taxpayers a cent. So, please’residents of this tri-community’vote ‘yes? for the new senior center. If you get a chance before November, please go to OPC in Rochester and view the entire center. Our new center will not be as big or elaborate, but will be ‘ours? and close to home, and help us to live a longer, healthier life.
JoAnn Adkins
Oxford Township

96 and going strong …
I thank those who remembered me on my 96th birthday and Kalloway’s for the special treat!
Margaret Stoddard
Oxford

Senior citizen’s prescription money stolen

To the person at the Oxford McDonald’s on Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. who took my purse and the money in it, I now have no money to buy my medication that I need.
I am a senior on limited income, and now I have to choose between buying my food or my medicine.
Thanks for turning in my purse but shame on you for taking my money.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Begs to differ on Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize

In regards to your article about Al Gore’s Peace Prize (Jim’s Jottings, ‘Just Jotting Again,? Sept. 10, 2008):
If he were aware of Irena’s fantastic story, he should have refused the prize!
I hope nobody breaks his limbs or beats him for his efforts to ‘save the planet?!
Do you suppose the committee was comparing the whole world, thus making the lives of 2,500 children insignificant?
How pathetic! It seems to me these are two entirely different categories. Just my opinion.

Allene Foland
P.S. I so enjoy your ‘Jim’s Jottings.?

Not thrilled with Addison’s ‘demands?

Enjoying my coffee Sunday morning ? yes, I didn’t get to reading the Leader until then ? I almost spat my Java across the page upon reading Richard Zowie’s report on Addison Township’s ‘demands? to be met before they rejoined the Polly Ann Trail Management Council, following their unilateral and prejudiced departure a few years ago. Who do they think they are, to issue a list of demands to be met ? stipulations that only benefit Addison, and at the expense of the other participants ? in order for us to enjoy their return to the fold?
While I allow that a better distribution of (funding) obligation needs to be put in place, to accommodate municipalities (like Addison) that are land rich, but population ? and tax-base ? poor, it can’t be all one-sided. Base the assessment on an equitable combination of both trail mileage and population, and then require Addison to ‘come clean? and pay up their back dues before full reinstatement. Until then, giving them a free pass to reinstatement, along with consideration of narrow-interest, but hugely expensive requirements such as an equestrian side-path, is a disservice to all Oxford, Orion and Leonard residents and trail users.
On another note, I wish to commend Jim Sherman in his column, Jim’s Jottings, on getting to the point regarding lobbyists in Washington D.C. All too often politicians use the ‘war of the sound bite? to battle their opponent, the truth and common sense being collateral damage in their campaign to win election or re-election. Jim’s honest and truthful assessment of the benefits ? and facts ? surrounding lobbyist activity in our Nation’s capital is a refreshing breath of fresh air, in what is often the polluted haze of politics. His points and position will not make him a favorite in either Washington or Lansing, but occasionally someone has to say it and point out their hypocrisy for what it is–pandering for votes and playing to the lowest, common denominator. This country deserves better from its public servants.

Dan Mitzel
Oxford Township

Thanks to all for trail event

Many thanks and compliments to Oxford Parks & Recreation for representing our community well again! On September 13th the Pink Ribbon Trailblazers held our annual event Trail to raise funds for uninsured women. We begin this event at Powell Lake Park, where participants can walk, jog, or bike through the park down to the wonderful Polly Ann Trail, enjoying the beauty of Oxford’s setting and recreation opportunities. Oxford Parks & Recreation provided and set up their beautiful, generous tent to be the focal point for the event’s kick off and cool down, and lent a professional air to our charity work.
I am proud to help with this event and to say I am from Oxford, with our great Parks & Recreation system and our beautiful Polly Ann Trail. Thanks again to the P & R Commission for supporting our community.

Amy Murray and the Pink Ribbon Trailblazers

Shame on Oxford gas station owners

I am concerned about the price of gas in Oxford. After filling up at a local station, I asked the person in charge why the gas price was higher than the price in stations located in Lake Orion and elsewhere. His answer was, ‘Oh, we don’t go by those prices. We go by the Oxford prices.?
Does this mean that, each morning, many gas station owners in Oxford communicate with each other to set the price of their gas?
The truth is that most gas prices in Oxford are higher than the prices in Lake Orion, sometimes varying by as much as twenty or 30 cents per gallon.
True, dissatisfied customers can trade at other stations if they are not pleased with the price that a local station offers.
However, we are or should be a community here, with the convenience and satisfaction of doing business in our local establishments.
With gas prices still so high that a single gallon takes a huge bite out of a five dollar bill, why shouldn’t all Oxford gas stations have prices that are near those of nearby communities?
If what this gentleman told me is true, I think that many Oxford gas stations owners should hang their heads in shame!

Herma Snider, Oxford

Thanks for makeover

I would like to say ‘Thank-you? to the following Oxford businesses for making my day!
VillDeGoochi — Desiree, Kelly, Jennifer: I love my haircut, color, eyelash extensions and all the pampering I received.
Arbonne — Alison: Your application of my make-up was so artistic (I love the product!)
Massage — Sara: Your healing hands provided great stress relief.
Oxford Lakes Dental — Tracy, staff: Everyone was so friendly and patient during my teeth-whitening procedure.
I had my granddaughter, Kayla, with me and the staff kept her totally entertained for 1? hours….WOW!
Manicure — Amy: My manicure was way over due…my nails look great.
Fashions — Theresa and Louise of the Red Tag Store: Words cannot express my delight with the time, energy, and generosity I received while shopping for my new outfit with acessories.
Professional Photograph — Dorothy: What a wonderful keepsake of this memorable day.
Harvest Time: The bouquet of flowers are gorgeous.
Oxford Leader — Chris and C.J.: What a wonderful gift this whole package was. I was honored to be selected.
P.S. A special ‘Thank-you? to my wonderful daughter-in-law, Kristie for taking the time to write a beautiful essay. I love you!

Jan Drogosch
Oxford

Job shadow gets lesson in community journalism
Dear Mr. Carnacchio,
Thank you for allowing me to shadow you on Oct. 2. It was very interesting to see how you conducted yourself out in the field and to learn more about journalism.
I especially enjoyed being able to follow you to the Women’s Expo and learn more about what exactly a day in the life of a journalist is really like.
I also enjoyed learning the difference between big company journalism and smaller company journalism and the differences as far as personal responsibility.
Following you throughout the day, I was able to recognize the relationship between you and the people in the community, which is something I really admire.
It was definitely my privilege to walk in your shadow for a day. Because of your sponsorship, I was able to gain new knowledge that will be valuable for my future.

Sincerely yours,
OHS Senior David Michael Parkin

Resident thanks Project S.H.A.L.O.M. Team 12 for yard work
I want to express my heartfelt thanks for the great job you did. It was wonderful having my windows washed, my yard mowed and raked, my gutters cleaned and my trees trimmed.
It is heartwarming to know such caring people!
I had a wonderful time visiting with all of you–especially the young people!
There is hope for the world with you in it. I love all of you.

Jean Jorgensen, Oxford Township

Parent says kudos for successful homecoming parade
Watching this years homecoming parade, there was so much hard work put into each and every float. Definitely no toilet paper or pop cans were thrown around. I was proud to see that the expanded two weeks were used wisely.
I also would like to thank whoever worked so hard to allow the floats to sit on the north side of the track during the game, knowing all the hard work that was spent on the floats, parents that could not make the parade are now able to see both the float and the game.
Thanks to Grove’s True Value, as the parent that hosted the class of 2009. You were so generous with supplies. In the tough times such as these you have always supported the youth of Oxford Homecoming.
Go Wildcats!

Lorie Ann Bosetti
Oxford

Ferrari’s the man for the job
I have known Joe Ferrari for 16 years and have worked with him as a resident and through the Michigan Municipal Treasurer’s Association. Joe is very well qualified. He is a Certified Public Finance Administer, a member of the Association of Public Treasurer’s for the United States and Canada and the President of the Michigan Municipal Treasurer’s Association. I have trust and confidence in Joe to invest the Township’s money safely and within the State Statue.
Joe is always working for the residents of the township and finding ways to help them and not burden them.

Dennise Clippert, Oxford

I’m urging voters in Oxford Township to cast their vote on November 4th in support of the re-election of Oxford Township Treasurer, Joe Ferrari.
As Treasurer of Commerce Township for the past 17 years, I have first-hand knowledge of the qualifications and leadership Joe brings to the treasury position.
The differences between the candidates in the race for Township Treasurer begin almost immediately when you examine the qualifications and experience of the candidates. Joe is a professional, experienced and qualified Treasurer who is highly respected by Treasurers through the state.

Treasurer Susan L. Gross
Charter Township of Commerce

Dear Editor,
Reelect Julie Nicholson as the 52-3 District Court Judge. Judge Nicholson is fair, honest and consistent. Her decisions are reasonable and she has a strong work ethic.
Judge Nicholson has initiated programs designed to educate children about the legal system. In addition, she has initiated night court to accommodate the busy work schedules of small business owners and working residents of the district.
Here are a few more examples of her activities and accomplishments: she is the recipient of the Michigan State University College of Law 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award; she has completed her twelfth year on 52-3 District Court bench as Chief Judge/Chief Judge Pro-Tem; and she is an adjunct professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law Schools in Auburn Hills.
Judge Nicholson has earned the votes of the citizens of the 52-3.
–Rich Strenger

Dear Editor,
The latest tax bill that Representative Jim Marleau introduced on Sept. 24, House Bill 6514, will give townships the authority to assess road improvement special assessments on a per-lot basis in addition to the per-frontage foot basis authorized under current law.
I am sorely disappointed in the means to get more tax dollars out of homeowners. I take it that Marleau owns one lot of property,’so his proposed legislation will in no way’carry any consequence for him.
The timing on HB 6514 is absolutely abhorrent, because Marleau has the knowledge that many of his constituents are losing their homes due to foreclosure, and the inability to pay their taxes or mortgages.? Many people who have been in their homesteads for years will suddenly be stuck’with an additional tax if the legislation passes.
With the economic recession in Michigan, the last thing that should be done is devising new means’to add’additional’tax to any constituents.
I do not own more than one lot, but I can have great empathy for those who do and’could get hammered with an additional’tax that never existed before’this’blind-siding legislation.
I cannot even fathom the rationale.? Why should a taxpayer pay more due to the owning of back lots or acreage that does not front a road?? What next?? Tax the homeowner more because they have a larger driveway or’mailbox than their neighbors? Tax them more because they live on a cul-de-sac?
What Marleau should be researching’is the means to cut taxes so that Michigan could look favorable to the business climate’and home ownership. In the meantime, we are experiencing the devaluation of our homes’without a concurrent lowering of our property taxes.
There are people who have’held’land in their family for generations, including farmers who could face dire financial consequences with this scheme.
I want our representatives on both sides of the aisle to stop adding, raising, devising and creating new taxes and start looking into cutting the pork-barrel waste, and duplicating bureaucracy’in Lansing.? Michigan government needs to start’experiencing’downsizing? equivalent to that which those in the private sector’are encountering.
–Mary MacMaster

Dear Editor,
On Friday (Oct. 4) my son and I went mountain biking. We patronize Main Street Bicycles (located in Oxford) because we find them friendly and caring in addition to being knowledgeable. Anyway, after getting my son’s bike back from the shop, we wanted to go for a ride. Off we went towards Bald Mountain, passing over Paint Creek Trail on the way. The sun was shining and the bikes were transporting us through beautiful fall scenery. Then, my son experienced what all mountain bikers learn to expect: a flat tire. This one was from a thorn.
We thought we had the remedy in my backpack. After taking the bike wheel off and removing the tire and inner tube, we found I had the wrong kind of tube. Now miles from home, we were now faced with walking our mechanical steeds home instead of enjoying a ride on the trail. Before giving up, I called Main Street. I spoke to John and Brian and asked if they might help us. Sure enough, in ten minutes, Brian drove up with not one, but three inner tubes. He pulled out the thorn and had a chuckle with us.
I doubt they can give this kind of curb-side service everytime, but they saved our Friday afternoon. This kind of spirit is worthy of note and something you might consider if you are going to buy a bike. Thanks Brian.
–Joe and Ben Bird

Dear Editor,
On Friday (Oct. 4) my son and I went mountain biking. We patronize Main Street Bicycles (located in Oxford) because we find them friendly and caring in addition to being knowledgeable. Anyway, after getting my son’s bike back from the shop, we wanted to go for a ride. Off we went towards Bald Mountain, passing over Paint Creek Trail on the way. The sun was shining and the bikes were transporting us through beautiful fall scenery. Then, my son experienced what all mountain bikers learn to expect: a flat tire. This one was from a thorn.
We thought we had the remedy in my backpack. After taking the bike wheel off and removing the tire and inner tube, we found I had the wrong kind of tube. Now miles from home, we were now faced with walking our mechanical steeds home instead of enjoying a ride on the trail. Before giving up, I called Main Street. I spoke to John and Brian and asked if they might help us. Sure enough, in ten minutes, Brian drove up with not one, but three inner tubes. He pulled out the thorn and had a chuckle with us.
I doubt they can give this kind of curb-side service everytime, but they saved our Friday afternoon. This kind of spirit is worthy of note and something you might consider if you are going to buy a bike. Thanks Brian.
–Joe and Ben Bird

Dear Editor,
On Friday (Oct. 4) my son and I went mountain biking. We patronize Main Street Bicycles (located in Oxford) because we find them friendly and caring in addition to being knowledgeable. Anyway, after getting my son’s bike back from the shop, we wanted to go for a ride. Off we went towards Bald Mountain, passing over Paint Creek Trail on the way. The sun was shining and the bikes were transporting us through beautiful fall scenery. Then, my son experienced what all mountain bikers learn to expect: a flat tire. This one was from a thorn.
We thought we had the remedy in my backpack. After taking the bike wheel off and removing the tire and inner tube, we found I had the wrong kind of tube. Now miles from home, we were now faced with walking our mechanical steeds home instead of enjoying a ride on the trail. Before giving up, I called Main Street. I spoke to John and Brian and asked if they might help us. Sure enough, in ten minutes, Brian drove up with not one, but three inner tubes. He pulled out the thorn and had a chuckle with us.
I doubt they can give this kind of curb-side service everytime, but they saved our Friday afternoon. This kind of spirit is worthy of note and something you might consider if you are going to buy a bike. Thanks Brian.
–Joe and Ben Bird

Banachowski’s their pick for treasurer

We would like to express our confidence in Larry Banachowski, who is running for Oxford Township Treasurer.
Larry would be an excellent public leader due to his genuine concern for the Oxford community.
Our personal experience interacting with Larry throughout the last twenty years has convinced us that his fairness and honesty would be an asset to Oxford Township.
If Larry is elected as your treasuer, we can be certain that he will represent our community wisely, efficiently, and with integrity.

Doug and Theresa Myer
Oxford

Be considerate of little ones this Halloween

Halloween should be fun for all but all to often, it’s not much fun for the little ones.
To those in horror costumes, please be considerate of your actions while around younger children.

Linda Gierak
Addison Township

Business participation in Scarecrow Fest lacking

Last year, our family moved back home to Michigan from Los Angeles so that we could raise our sons closer to their grandparents and the rest of our extended family. We settled in the Oxford area and love living here after returning to our Midwest roots. Fall is probably our favorite season and we were very much looking forward to this year’s Scarecrow Festival since it was going to be our first.
After dressing our two youngsters in their Halloween attire (a Stormtrooper and Clone Warrior from Star Wars) we found a parking spot along Washington and proceeded to look for the scarecrows to judge and the businesses to visit to trick or treat. Much to our dismay we soon discovered how few of the downtown businesses were actually participating in this annual tradition. By our informal count about 1 in 3 downtown businesses were actually involved in some way ? either by having a scarecrow on display and/or by inviting little ones into their shops for trick or treating. As a case in point, in one of the downtown ‘blocks? there was only 1 business out of nearly 10 that was participating.
With the little ones in tow we made the trek from Oxford Farm & Garden south to past Centennial Park and then back north on the other side of Washington to the pedestrian bridge. We were shocked by the pathetic participation and the dismal lack of spirit demonstrated by the majority of Oxford businesses. It was not that these businesses were closed ? it was early afternoon on a sunny Saturday. This was prime time ? an opportunity to welcome some additional foot traffic into these establishments. Being still somewhat new to the area, our family visited several stores that we had not set foot into previously. In fact, we ended making purchases in two of those stores and will likely make return visits to two others.
Even though our experience with the Scarecrow Festival lasted all of 1 hour, it made a lasting negative impression on us. All the while my wife and I kept asking each other ‘Why are these businesses not participating? ‘What is the ‘cost of entry? ? a $3 bag of candy and a sign in the window?? ‘What is wrong with these business owners?? It still makes no sense to us.
I understand that times are tough and that Michigan is lagging the rest of the country in terms of economic health. It seems that this all the more reason for business owners to embrace any opportunity to welcome new customers ? not turn their backs and close their doors. Perhaps the Downtown Development Authority needs to rethink this event for next year and/or light a fire under those member businesses who choose not to participate. Otherwise the only ‘scary? part to future festivals will be the additional empty store fronts.

Mike Rowe
Leonard

Consult your local pagans about Halloween’s origins

I completely disagree with Dr. McPeeks? perception on how Halloween originated. Samhain is the earth-based religions? time for reflection, rememberence of loved ones or deeds of the past, and a day of serious worship.
Yes, it was a big Irish/Druid/Celtic thing; that’s where a lot of this started. It was a thinning of the lines between us and the mystical world where they practiced divination through means we no longer condone.
Currently, we see this time as a chance to commune with Divinity, seeking a way to better ourselves and invest energy in improving the world as a whole. Many seek communion with those they lost and seek guidance from the spirits.
The Catholic Church changed the Samhain holiday in order to convert natives and extinguish opposing belief structures. It is sad how little exposure and positive press Paganism or alternative religions receive in this modern age. It is inaccurate information and a lack of acceptance for different beliefs that leaves so many people hounded or prejudiced against.
I welcome anyone with questions to contact me or other Paganism groups around the United States for more information.

Christine Herbert
Oxford

Vote ‘no? on state Proposal 2

I would like to urge you to vote NO on Proposal 2 for the following reasons. There is a huge difference between adult stem cell research and embyonic stem cell research. Using adult stem cells, over 72 different diseases are now being treated successfully. You can read the reports of these success stories at www.frc.org and click on stem cell cures.
Dr. Prentice, PhD, has testified before the U.S. Congress about the great strides being made using adult stem cells. Opponents of adult stem cells say that what is needed are cells that can be made into any type cell. Well, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Japan has successfully used skin cells to act like embryonic cells. He has received the Shaw Prize, called the Nobel Prize of the East. His work has been worked on by labs successfully in the U.S. since last November. They are Stanford University with William Hurlbut and leading another group is James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin.
When John McCain was asked about embryonic stem cell research, he said in light of the new breakthroughs, it is a moot point. (That is not a direct quote, just the right idea). That, of course, is the point. Now that human skin cells can be reprogrammed to behave as all-purpose cells, there is no need to keep trying to make embryonic cells work.
You can read the entire article about Dr. Yamanaka at www.investors.com. It was in the Sept. 15, 2008 edition on page A4.
You probably know that California passed taxpayer embryonic stem cell research. Cost to the taxpayers in California — $5,000,000,000. That’s 5 billion! Scientists there with high hopes, money and belief have failed again. Still in the animal test phase, using mice, embryonic cells died within days. Even after being given anti-rejection drugs, the embryonic cells died wtihin 28 days. To read the whole report, go to www.NRTL.org. It is in the Sept. 8, 2008 issue on page 20.
I would like to recommend that you also go to www.factcheck.org and use their archives to read the voting records of both candidates regarding this issue. Please visit www.micause.com. to read how this proposal would affect us.
The current success rate using embryonic stem cells to treat human diseases is 0.
Let’s use our hard-earned tax dollars to support what works: adult stem cells. Vote no on Proposal 2.

Pauline Blanka
Leonard

Quarterback’s mom thanks Coach Rowley

I know at times parents often wonder what importance sports play in our children’s lives.
As a parent, I have some very strong observations I would like to share with all of you. My son has played football for Oxford High School since his freshman year. For the past two years he has started under the direction of Coach Rowley and company.
Through the years, I have seen my son grown in ways that are beyond imagination. As I have watched the many scrimmages, practices and games, I have witnessed more compassion and dedication displayed by this coaching staff than could ever be imagined.
Some may question this, as I am sure you have all seen Coach Rowley shaking his finger, waving his hat, and losing his temper on more than one occasion.
However, I will tell you, there was never a minute that I didn’t have the utmost confidence that he was instilling values in my son that as a parent, I will treasure forever.
Everything he does, he does with compassion and desire to make your child the very best he can be. As I watched the seniors walk across the field a few weeks back, I saw a group of young men that have been fortunate to share a bond that will leave its mark wherever life takes them.
Last week, although we lost the playoff game, again life lessons prevailed until the very end. As I sat and watched quarter by quarter, I witnessed a group of kids that played their heart out until the last minute. And then, when it was finally over, to see the tears flow from some of these players that played so rough and tough all year long was overwhelming. I must admit, as a parent, it was one of the most profound moments in my life.
As I sat in the back of the school, facing the locker room and watched my son sit on the ground, fully dressed for more than an hour, I realized the value of high-school football. As the tears flowed from my son’s eyes, it was tears of passion for a sport that he poured his heart and soul into over the years.
This passion does not just happen ? it has become a culture created by amazing coaches led by the best, Coach Bud Rowley.
In closing, I want to say thank you for the many lessons that you have taught my son that go beyond parenting. Lessons that he will carry with him for the rest of his life. Memories that will never be forgotten ? not only for him, but for me as well. You’re the BEST!!!
Sue Tombrella
A Quarterback’s Mom

Fears cell tower radiation

The new school curriculum: reading, writing and RADIATION. With all negative effects of radiation poisoning from cell phones and cell towers being discovered at an alarming rate, the last place a cell tower should be erected is right next to Leonard Elementary School.
The closer a person is to a tower, the higher the health risk there is. Children are at a greater risk because of their thinner skulls, which are still maturing and growing.
It is recommended children under the age of 16 should not even use cell phones. Other countries have either adopted or recommended bans or limitations on cell phones.
Brain tumor cases in the United States have increased 40 percent over the past 20 years, in all age groups. A Swedish study concluded that people who use mobile phones for an hour or more each day had a 240 % higher brain tumor risk than a non user.
Russia even advises against their use by women who are pregnant. Kind of makes you think the next time you reach for your cell phone.
The second largest school system in the country is the Los Angeles Unified School District in California. Its serves 694,288 students and has a total yearly budget of $19,986,000,000.
The district has decided to ban the installation of cell phone towers on all school property.
They based their decision on the grounds that there have been no conclusive studies done to eliminate the possibility of health risks to children exposed to cell phone towers.
As recent as October 14, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded ? the scientific community has not proven the dangers of Electromagnetic Waves (RADIATION) and health risks due to their exposure but ADMITS THERE ARE GAPS THAT WARRANT FURTHER INVESTIGATION. Kind of like the gap or link scientist had between cigarettes to cancer years ago.
Verizon claims there is a need for better coverage in the area, there are dead zones.
Lets not put modern technology before the health and welfare of our children.
Twenty years from now, when they have made the link, and have filled in the gaps, our children will be the dead zones.
The stories of peoples lives being saved because they had good phone coverage are minor compared to the sad stories (there are no happy ones) we hear about cancer. There are plenty of open spaces available, put it somewhere else, a safe distance from our children.

A Leonard resident
Name Withheld by Request

Halloween should be family-friendly, not terrifying

As a kid and an adult, I have long cherished the tradition of Halloween. As a mom and a teacher, I believe that the appeal goes far beyond the amassment of large quantities of sugary treats. It is an opportunity for kids and parents to take back the streets and to connect with our neighbors with faith and fearlessness.
Since my childhood, this annual event has served to renew my faith in my community and my sense of security in the world. That’s pretty empowering stuff. Faith and fearlessness are the seeds of unity which will ultimately solve our world’s problems.
Unfortunately, recent experiences have tainted my view and threatened my love for this cherished tradition. Instead of looking forward to something that has always made me feel happy and connected to others, I now find myself anticipating the last day of October with dread. The cause of my change in feelings is the recent popularity of Halloween decorations and costumes which evoke terror. They are not kid friendly. They are not even adult friendly. The demand for these products has escalated to such a degree that they now first appear in the stores in early August. It is not just a matter of avoiding certain houses, streets or neighborhoods for a few weeks. For three months, my family is confronted with sinister images as we go about our business in various stores buying groceries, filling prescriptions and purchasing lawn and garden supplies.
As I approach my once beloved Halloween, I look at my surroundings in bewilderment and can’t help but wonder, ‘Whose holiday is this anyway??

Joan Baldiga
Leonard

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the entire Pink Ribbon Trailblazer committee, I would like to thank the paper for your generous donation of time and talent to the event, held Saturday, Sept. 13 on the PollyAnn Trail.
Despite the monsoon, we had a great turnout. And the best news, we have raised over $10,000 at this time for mammograms for under-served and uninsured women in Oakland County. This money will be donated to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Oakland to continue their mission of providing services for those in need.
The PRT are grateful to the community members like you who help behind the scenes, to make events like this happen. We all have a choice about what charities and causes we wish to support. Thank you for making our organization one of your choices. The health crisis in Michigan is not going away. Our desire to support women needing an annual mammogram, or worse, fearing a breast cancer diagnosis, is paramount to our mission.
Thank you again for helping to make our second annual walk/run/bike fundraiser a wonderful success.
Please accept our wishes for a happy

Dear Editor,
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped the Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority make the Halloween parade such a huge success.
Special thanks goes to the following: Brad Jacobsen, our parade leader, who drove his 1947 truck; Tom Allport and his crew of marching veterans; Dick Hassberger, captain of his antique fire truck; Sara Van Portfliet, our Wicked Witch, and her Tin Man, Ken Van Portfliet, who patiently posed for pictures taken by Kerry Cochell, store manager of the Lake Orion Walgreen’s; and Angie, owner of Poppyseed Deli & Coffee, for the free hot chocolate and coffee.
I also want to thank the following volunteers who helped pass out candy at the Gazebo in Children’s Park: Phil and Dani, owners of Powerhouse Gym; Jessica and her partner from Buffalo Wild Wings; Kerry Miotke and her dancers from Kerry’s Dance Stages; Bill Kokenos and Lisa Sokol from the Orion Senior Center and James Jenkins and his son James Jenkins and his friend, Paul Sokul.
Thanks also to the Lake Orion Police Department for the extra officers who kept the street safe for everyone.
This event could not have been done without our premier sponsors, Waste Management, T & C Federal Credit Union and Renewal by Anderson. Thank you all.
And last but not least, thanks to all the merchants of downtown Lake Orion who choose to stay open to make this a special trick-or-treat evening for everyone.
–Jean Keitz
Events Coordinator, Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority

Pastor appreciates Potato Drop coverage

I most definitely loved the Potato Drop article (Oct. 22). I’m having it laminated for my memoirs. Thank you for coming to the event and capturing the excitement of it. It was a ‘Good News? moment.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Doug McMunn
Oxford United Methodist Church

Quilt store owner wants her stolen rocker back

On Sunday, I spent several hours cleaning at my business. In the process, I set items outside of the back door to take home, and garbage to take to the dumpster. Someone removed a white handpainted child’s rocking chair from among the items I was returning to my home. I would greatly appreciate it if the individual who took this piece of furniture would return it to my place of business, no questions asked.

Dianna Griggs
Aunt Nan’s Fabrics, Oxford

Candidate offers thanks to voters

I would like to thank those who voted for me in last week’s election and to those who allowed me to post signs on their property during the last month. I would like to thank The Oxford Leader for their endorsement as well. Good luck to the new elected officials in the next four years.

Oxford Township Treasurer candidate
Lawrence ‘Larry? Banachowski

Band says thanks for support

Thank you to those in the community who generously supported Oxford Marching Band Tag Days this past weekend. We raised approximately $6,500 over two days.
The monies donated will help pay for supplies for marching band, upkeep and gas for the band trailer, and out of state trips where the band is invited to represent Oxford.
We would like to invite everyone to attend the FREE band concerts held at the Oxford High School Performing Arts Center.
The next concert will be a performance by the Varsity and Concert Bands on Wednesday, December 10 at 7 p.m. Then the Symphonic Band will perform on Monday, December 15. Both of these are Christmas Concerts.
Hope to see you there. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child and it also takes a village to move a band.
Thank you for your support.

Oxford Marching Band Members
Oxford Band Boosters

Thanks for helping Tenaglia Family
One week ago, we were three friends who wanted to help our very ill friend fulfill her dream of taking her family to Disney. One call to The Oxford Leader and two eloquently written articles alter, we were on our way to fulfilling Audrey’s dream. CJ Carnacchio’s article got the call for help out to our community. CJ’s wife, Connie, volunteered to organize a pancake breakfast at the Immanuel Congregational Church in Oxford. The church generously opened their doors to us. With CJ’s articles and Connie’s breakfast, we saw a community come together like we’ve never witnessed before. CJ and Connie–Oxford is a better place because of you. You two embody that which inspires us to be a great community.
Friends and neighbors gave of their time, money, baked goods and love. Because of the amazing support Oxford residents gave, we are well on our way to making Audrey’s dream come true. The generosity from this communtiy proved that Oxford truly has the spirit of giving. We thank you and Audrey thanks you. Thanks also to Paul with Country Club Limo of Clarkston.
To the businesses and people in our community that gave, a sincere thank you for your contributions. Our small town has a heart of gold. A very special thank you for the generosity of the Macey and Kroninger Family and Ryan and Mark Austin. You are wonderful people.

Lisa Scribner, Laura Wiseman and Evelyn Pickwick

Thanks for pitching in
My thanks to all who have aided in the fundraising efforts for the Tenaglia Family.
My most humble gratitutde to all who answered my call for the Pancake Breakfast. You have proven once again waht a great community like ours can do when we work together.

Connie Miller
Oxford Village

Thanks for garage sale success
We would like to thank everyone who came to our Garage Sale last Saturday to benefit the OHS Senior All Night Party. We had a very successful event. Thanks to everyone who donated items, and for the Senior and Junior parents that worked so hard to make it a success. All of the extra clothes were donated to charity.
Also, we would like to thank Christopher Desrochers, a 5th grader from Oxford Elementary, who found and turned in a large sum of money during the sale. His honesty is unforgettable. The owner of the money was so grateful for his honesty.
Way to go Christopher!

Parents of Project Graduation 2009

‘Overwhelmed?
Dear Editor,
We were overwhelmed by the gift given to honor our father, Jim Ricketts, on Veteran’s Day.
The Oxford Township Parks & Rec staff called and asked what they could do to help. They then spent the morning blowing leaves, trimming trees and bushes, cleaning out flower beds . . . no job was too big or too small.
Throughout the morning, they came in and out of the house talking to our parents and asking if there was anything more they could do. They were so enthusiastic and acted as if we were doing them a favor!
Words cannot express our appreciation and gratitude. People like you make Oxford a great place to live.

Thank you, the family of Jim & Shirley Ricketts

Outgoing clerk thanks voters
Dear Editor
Thanks to all Orion voters who participated in the Nov. 4 general election.
In Orion Township, we had a 77.5 percent voter turn-out, with a record number of voters casting their votes by Absent Voter (AV) Ballot.
For those who chose to go to the polls on Election Day, we appreciated your patience, as you waited with fellow voters through the morning hours for your turn to cast your ballot. Please know that we met our goal that voters would have to wait no longer than 30-40 minutes in line, even during the busy times.
The Township Clerk’s office staff, election assistants, and election inspectors worked very hard to make your voting experience as successful as possible. I am confident that they will continue that same dedication to serving you under the direction of incoming Clerk Penny Shults.
As you may know, I chose to not run for reelection and will be leaving office at noon on Nov. 20. I have enjoyed serving as your Township Clerk and have always worked hard to make elections in Orion Township the best that they can be.
And you, the voters, have rewarded us by participating in the process..
Jill D. Bastian, Clerk
Charter Township of Orion

Thanks for tater help

The Oxford United Methodist Men would like to thank everyone who helped make the Potato Drop a huge success.
We appreciate The Oxford Leader for covering the event and Grove’s True Value Hardware and Oxford Farm and Garden for the use of their forklift trucks.
We also want to thank Marty Collier for use of a pallet truck and for his unselfish support.
Special thanks to the 105 area volunteers from four United Methodist Churches, Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troops #366, Cross Roads for Youth, and the Oxford Rotary and Lions Clubs.
All of this helped make it possible to distribute 42,000 pounds of potatoes to 15 area churches, soup kitchens and food pantries in Oakland and Lapeer Counties in three hours.
May God bless you all,

Charles W. Garrard
Oxford United Methodist Men

Where’s the baseball program in the bond?

I’m all for improving the schools academic and athletic programs as long as it gets distributed equally and fairly.
Academically, it sounds like all the schools are getting what they need.
But athletically it sure sounds like the other sports programs are getting the shaft. AGAIN! So let me bring up a few points.
Do we really need to replace the grass on the football field with artificial turf? I don’t think so. The grass is only a few years old. How much will this cost to replace??
The press box. Sounds like someone dropped the ball in the designing process here. Oops! Maybe we should have made it bigger. I’ve seen other schools with smaller press boxes and they work fine. Well, in my opinion, live with it. Learn to adapt to your space.
Seating is not an issue for the away side. The stands are hardly ever full over there. 500 more seats on the home side would be great though. Not a 1,000.
Now for what’s really needed.
I don’t know much about what the other sports programs need, but I’m pretty sure what the baseball program needs. It seems like baseball always gets pushed to the side.
So let me bring up a few things.
They could use another batting cage and machine when they have their indoor work outs. Sometimes the kids only get a chance to hit once while at practice. It’s not enough, especially for the freshmen kids.
The varsity field is great except for the batting cage. It’s junk. It’s practically falling over. It needs new netting, a new L- Screen and put some artificial turf down so the weeds don’t grow in the cage and the kids don’t have to stand in the mud after a little rain. It’s an embarrassment to see it next to the varsity field. And run power to it so we can set up the pitching machine in it.
The freshmen baseball field needs the water retention problem fixed badly. The infield gets soaked every time it rains and it takes days for it to dry out. It turns to mud. And how about dugouts?? The kids have no place to hide from the heat and the rain. They need dugouts. Or is the freshmen team not important enough. They need cages with power for a machine to hit in for practice before the games. And the seating is awful. Old wooden bleachers for the away team. It sucks.
And lastly the old high school baseball field on Pontiac Street. It is a disgrace. It’s an accident waiting to happen. As far as I know the school district still owns it. Rebuild everything from the ground up.
Dr. Skilling would you want your kid to play on that field?
All I’m trying to say is spread the money as evenly as possible to the other sports programs. Not just football which seems to get everything they ask for.

Jay Woody, Oxford

Dear Editor,
It is a pleasure to join with the families of the Lake Orion Dragons football team, the entire school, and all of Lake Orion in celebrating the achievements of its wonderful success over the season.
With the fine record this squad attained, which culminated in a state championship game, this group of disciplined student-athletes has generated great pride throughout this part of our state.
Much to the delight of their loyal fans, the Dragons have also earned the respect of prep sports followers elsewhere in Michigan through their talent, teamwork and determination.
As opponents have found out all season long, this is a team that brings unity and a positive outlook to all levels of competition. In the face of challenge and pressure, this is a group of young people who maintain their focus on making their dreams come true and accepting nothing less than their best effort.
Winning titles or compiling outstanding seasons is never a fluke. While anything can happen in a single game, all teams show their true abilities and dedication over a long season or a difficult tournament. What distinguishes the best, however, is usually the effort that appears in practice, far removed from the excitement of game day. We admire the efforts, team spirit and preparation of these talented young people.
Again, congratulations to the members and coaches of the Lake Orion Dragons football team upon the occasion of achieving the designation of state finalist.
Jim Marleau
State Representative

Dear Editor,
There are songs about the pain one feels inside. Songs about how sometimes the curve balls of life make one feel inadequate and about the agony of defeat.
I write about a little tourist town that turned into a residential metropolis. I write about the pride I felt at watching a program that I was once a part of as an assistant coach and announcer. What a marvelous display of a game we all played and coached because we love it.
At Saturday’s game, I saw:
1) a team with no three point stance on offense
2) a high school team that played without a huddle
3) a team run by a freshman quarterback
4) a single back offense…….and the beat goes on.
It was a team that was the runner-up in a state championship game, something that has never been accomplished in the past. Something like the change that came when Obama was elected president-where for a short time the country put aside racism and did what was correct for the country.
I saw an old college quarterback taking on the challenge of things unheard of in high school football and accomplishing them with class, dignity, and a ferocious desire to win. Something that as I grow older and weaker in stature and mind, I find difficult to put in words.
You didn’t lose today…you just ran out of time. We are coaches of young men and young men like any men make mistakes. Pass defense; interceptions; turnovers….none of that means anything.
What means something is that you were there way back to Doug Holcomb and Mike Berry; now you and your staff accomplished something never before accomplished by this town on the lake with a fast food alley and some tradition in football, baseball, basketball, wrestling and the beat goes on.
I didn’t come away from there broken. We went to Greektown and ate and laughed with a bunch of Orion graduates that felt that same enthusiasm of where we have arrived. The journey is not complete in a small way but we have arrived.
In my coaching career, I have never been more proud of Lake Orion and its coaches and athletes as I am. This is not a man looking in the looking glass and lamenting the things I have missed, but a person that has made a mark in the past, made this place a better place to live.
Now I see a young man carrying on in the same tradition. God bless you and yours in this season of Thanksgiving and in the joy of our newborn Savior.
You accomplished something William Ford and Rod Marinelli have been unable to accomplish, You filled Ford Field. You suffered two setbacks. What a display of the importance of high school athletics and the people who spend their time and energy making them successful.I am so fatherly proud of you.
You are a master in knowing how to take a group of diverse people and turn them into a winning team. The principles you employed are identical to those that help grow a successful business. ‘No, No TOGETHER, TOGETHER NOT LIKE A TYPEWRITER INDIVIDUAL LETTERS BUT TOGETHER,? said Vince Lombardi, the godfather of successful football programs.
The best to you and yours. Look forward, not back. Keep climbing. You surely have the correct formula.
Congratulations to one and all. Revel in success and teamwork for that’s what every phase of life is all about.
I even thought about contacting you for a pre-game; pre-dress talk…but you don’t need me…you have the power, keep it and use it to continue develop fine young men.
Donn Hoganson
Former Lake Orion coach

Dear Editor,
I am writing in support of our amazing Lake Orion Choir program who feature singers representing us yearly in the MSVMA Honors Choir.
This year we started a Choir Boosters program to assist our excellent, hard-working, and dedicated choir directors. Most people have heard of the band boosters–I volunteered to sell food at homecoming for them and, wow, were we busy!
Now I would like everyone to consider the fabulous choir students, as well. We desperately need new uniforms this year and do not have the band booster budget to purchase them, and are in need of donations.
Please join us for our free winter concert on Thursday, Dec. 11, in the beautiful high school auditorium. We will showcase the high school’s talented singers and dancers performing selections that include your favorite holiday music. You can also donate funds that evening or participate in our silent auction to finish your holiday shopping.
The auction begins at 6 p.m. and runs through intermission.
Michelle Moore

Returned wallet good sign, despite economy
Dear Good Samaritan,
Last Monday, while cutting down our Christmas Tree at Niklas Tree Farm, I lost my wallet.
In it was a little cash, a couple gift cards, and some credit cards.
More importantly, it had several years of wallet pictures of our kids, tiny pictures they had drawn, and even a sticker of a Tiger put there by one of my sons so I would always think about him when I opened my wallet.
I assumed if I ever found the wallet it would be missing the things of monetary value, but I would be happy so long as I got those other things back.
Today, five days later, I got a call from Connie at Niklas Tree Farm, saying that a person had found the wallet in a tree patch this afternoon (in the snowy 20-degree weather no less) and turned it in.
Didn’t leave their name, didn’t want a reward.
To that person, I just want to say thank you for doing such a nice thing.
You didn’t have to,but you did.
And to Connie and Norm at Niklas Tree Farm, thank you for all your help, too ? you were both so kind.
At a time when many are struggling financially, to get a wallet back untouched is a good sign that everything is going to be all right.

Scott Huller
Oxford

(Posted online at www.oxfordleader.com)
Editor’s Note: It’s nice to hear happy endings like this. It does a lot to restore people’s faith in the goodness of their fellow man.

FISH says thanks for all the food
Oxford/Orion FISH wishes to thank all those who contributed to our Annual Holiday Food Drive.
It was a total community effort involving the Boy and Cub Scouts, our churches in the area, the many schools who worked hard collecting the cans of food, the businesses who acted as Collection Centers for the drive, and you, our most generous benefactors who donated from your heart.
We were able to collect over 17,000 pounds from you, our friends and neighbors.
Thanks to you for your support of the poor and needy of the area, we were able to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for 209 families, soon a Christmas dinner, and stock for our empty pantry shelves. God Bless You All!

Oxford /Orion FISH (our neighbor)

Go slow, put school bond on hold
In the current economic climate going forth with the school bond proposal makes no sense to me and others I have talked to. To say this is NOT a tax increase is deceptive and fraudulent. When all this proposed construction is complete the system needs an additional $250,000 per year operating cost.
The Middle School ‘transformation? sounds like the biggest boondoggle yet. Rather than consolidation of administration the board wants to double the administrative and support overhead.
Now the Superintendent has scaled back the bond request because of the state’s School Loan Revolving Fund. The ‘Super? should have known this when developing the plan and the 80 citizens would have come up with a completely different approach. Now we have the ‘district’s steering committee, comprised of 10 citizens?, to discuss how to scale back the bond proposal. How might the 80 citizen approach be different with 20 million less to work with? We have just negated the original ‘strategic plan?.
I encourage the board to vote no on the placement of the ‘scaled-back? $70 million bond proposal on the February ballot. I for one have not been convinced of the critical need in the first place to extend this debt. This is a historically unprecedented economic challenging time for us all. Our state of Mchigan has been the leader in this economic disaster. I hope others will join me at the 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 meeting and encourage a go slow approach on future debt.

Tom Garretson, Oxford

Dear Editor,
While recently we have been plagued with bailout talks concerning the Big Three automotive companies and Wall Street’s 700 billion dollar plan, the Brother Rice High School community feels there is another quandary.
We feel that the impact and effect people have on their environment is critical. While we all know the term ‘Going Green,? it’s complicated to actually know what it means. Every person from the lake shores of Michigan to the white glazed, snow-covered Ural Mountains in Russia have an impact on the health of our society.
At Brother Rice, we are trying to convey to others the significance of the role of the individual. Brother Rice recently had a debate on the issue of battling climate change through individual action. While large scale environmental plans are every bit as important, what you do and how you act contribute to the success of a healthy earth.
It starts at home. Do you leave the water running while you brush your teeth? Did you know that turning off the faucet while you brush saves on average four gallons a minute? That’s two hundred gallons a week for a family of four. Do you put those dirty clothes in the washing machine on hot water? Let them soak in the cold water. By not using the hot water cycle you are saving energy that is needed to heat up the temperature of the water used, and you might save a pretty penny on your energy bill next month. Like to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the home, but can’t ever seem to get up to wash all those dishes? I know, I hear you, I’m the same way. Run the dishwasher. Running the dishwasher is far more efficient than washing the same number of dishes by hand. For example if you had a Energy Star dishwasher which requires four gallons of water compared to the 24 gallons it takes to do them by hand, it saves five thousand gallons a year, and forty dollars in utility costs.
Another undemanding solution: listen to what you’ve been told and put on a sweater already.
Turn down the furnace.Turning the furnace down one degree for eight hours a day can save you one percent on your monthly heating bill.
Personally, I see these plans as efficient, while at the same worry free. I have no trouble cutting back on a few bad habits (Running excess water, etc). I’m not personally one of these ‘Green Guys,? conistently bugging others to cut back on our damage to the environment, but I feel that these ideas may just be the answer for me. They’re easy to do, yet at the same time effective.
We must all understand the importance of our actions. We are not saving this world for ourselves. We are saving this planet for our children and grandchildren, the future of the world.
Matthew B. Carney
Lake Orion native
Brother Rice High School, Class of 2011

Dear Editor,
Kudos to the Orion Area Parade Group and to the hundreds of people who attended the Holly Jolly Folly, and the thousands of people who attended the Holiday Lighted parade’it was the official kick off to our holiday season!
To see the entire community come together for that parade was heartwarming. It almost made you forget how cold it was outside. Both events were well put together and a lot of fun, thanks to the Orion Area Parade group.
This non-profit volunteer organization has worked tirelessly for months to put these events together, and they deserve a round of applause. Well done OAPG, Golling Pontiac (hosts of the Holly Jolly Folly) and everyone else involved, thanks for giving the Orion Community a weekend to remember!
Reggie Harrison

Dear Editor,
My husband and I have been wanting to write to the community for quite awhile. First off, we want to say thank you to the community that surrounded us with love and concern when we lost our son Jacob, March 2007.
It starts with friends and family and stretches to those we do not even know, to the folks at Sparks-Griffin, Lake Orion High, Ace Hardware, King of Kings Church, Fantastic Sams, Men’s Wearhouse, A&A Florists and so many, many more. With each I could tell you a story of something special they did for us or for Jake.Thank you for letting us know you love us and Jacob.
As we have entered the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving, it is a very, very difficult time for those who have lost someone. Our community has lost many children in the last few years. I speak to this more directly, but this is for anyone who is grieving for the loss of someone close to them. If you know someone who has lost a child or someone close to them, let them know you remember they are missing someone. The worst thing you can do is to not acknowledge that they are grieving for someone they love. If you are afraid to say something to them because you are afraid to hurt them or remind them, believe me, they have not forgotten and they can let you know whether they want to talk about it or not.
More than likely they will appreciate that you remember they are going through a horrendous time in their life. Let them know you remember who they lost. You can do this in so many ways: phone calls, text messages, cards, emails, hugs or even visit the grave of the person they have lost (footprints left in the snow means someone remembers, someone cares). I’m sure there are even more ways I can’t think of right now.
During this season of giving, try to reach out and give to someone who has lost so much. You can help make a difference during this very difficult season. I have always heard that Christmastime can be the saddest time of the year for some. I did not understand this until I lost my son. If it is the person’s first Christmas without their child, they are just trying to get through each and every day, if it is the person’s second it may be just as hard or harder than the first.
Let these people know you care and you remember. You can be giving them the most meaningful gift they will receive this year. Thank you and love to all.
–Kenny and Mindie Wolvin

Dear Editor,
Once again Thanksgiving dinner at CJ’s was a big success.
A big thank you goes out once again this year to the Flaming Pistons Car Club, oldies D.J. and all the cruisers that supported the weekly car cruise nights in the Lake Orion/Oxford area. Their very generous donation was appreciated very much.
Thanks also to all the volunteers who made the day, CJ’s employees, loyal customers, Lake Orion Lions Club, Lake Orion Fire Association, Snug Harbor, Tom Stefanek Dairy, Caramagno Foods, Kroger, Metropolitan Baking Company, Alice Young and Carl Schrieber. We’d also like to thank the children from Christ the Redeemer Church and the local Brownie troops who made the beautiful placemats. The waitstaff was remarkable thanks to all of our little helpers.
Leftover food was donated to the Pontiac Rescue Mission and leftover money will be donated to the Lake Orion Lions Club for their Christmas Basket Program.
Thanks again!
–Carl and Joan Slomczenski
CJ’s Lakeside Grill and Sandbar

Dear Editor,
The bickering over the automotive bailout seems to indicate that ‘the South is trying to rise up again.?
Perhaps we in the North should react in a fashion that impacts these rednecks where it really hurts – let’s have all the domestic auto companies pull their support immediately for all the NASCAR events. Just think of the reaction from Skeeter and Possum and the other good ‘ole boys in the South when their only reason for living is canceled!
Also, a good portion of the Republican Senators who are voting against the loan are lame-duck Senators who lost their seat because the UAW financed their opponents in the last election. Thus they are retaliating. But I think we in Michigan should demonstrate our largesse for these losers especially at this festive time of the year. Let’s have everyone in Michigan send these Senators a miniature toy car to brighten their Holidays. We could announce it as our ‘Toys For Turds? campaign.
–Bill Kalmar

Lions Christmas baskets a success
The Oxford Lions Club would like to thank all of the people who helped make their annual Christmas Baskets Project a great success.
The Club could not complete this project without the help of the Oxford Leader, Meijer, the Oxford Middle School’s Food Drive, Oxford Frosty Boy, and Vaughn Custom Sports? Toy Drive.
Plus, we want to thank everyone who bought Good Fellow Newspapers. In addition, we are grateful to the North Oakland Dental Group, the Oxford Veterinary Hospital, AFSCME Local 1472, and other generous donors, who helped us raise the necessary funds.
We also want to thank Cub Scout Troop #366, the Oxford United Methodist Church Bible Study Group, and several other families who provided toys. This year the Lions Club provided food and/or clothing for a total of 40 needy families in our community. This number included 46 children and 13 seniors. Happy New Year to one and all!
Charles Garrard
Oxford Lions Club President

Twp. raises ‘a slap in the face?
How low can people get? Our Township Board just voted themselves a 2.5 percent raise. At a time when many are losing benefits and taking pay cuts, losing jobs, losing their houses, scraping the bottom of the barrel to feed their little children, facing a sparse Christmas and losing their pride and confidence, how can this board be so cold hearted? What a slap in the face to the taxpayers.
Why did they wait till after the election to vote themselves a raise? They cry that they haven’t had a raise in two years when there are people that haven’t had a paycheck in that time.
What a bunch of low lifes. They sure care nothing about their community and the residents.
Every one that voted this in should be recalled and shamed.
It seems that the older board members are responsible for this unforgiving act.
People in this township depended on them for responsible assistance, not take away from their already unfortunate plight.
The more people we lose, the less tax dollars that come in.
I am sure this money could be put to much better use for the community.
Shame on all of you.
Let’s see if you get seated again in the next election as this act is something we all remember for a long long time.
I hope you all enjoy your extra income.
Sandy Schefke
Oxford

Oxford/Orion FISH would like to take this opportunity after the holidays to thank the community for the many gifts of food and money for the needy people of the area. We started out to thank our benefactors individually, but soon became overwhelmed by the generosity of the community at Christmastime. Thanks to all of you who flooded our storage area with food in all shapes and forms ‘from small plastic bags filled with shampoo to cases of peaches. What we lacked in certain areas, we replenished with the money donated. Throughout the year we have come to count on our neighbors to keep our shelves filled, but it is at Christmas that we build up our surplus to carry us through until the Postal Workers Food Drive in May. This year, despite all the reports of people out of work and businesses closing, we have had our finest outpouring of gifts donated by neighbors to their less fortunate fellow humans. We thank all of you and God bless!
The Many Grateful Volunteers of Oxford/Orion FISH
&
John Cass

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