Letter to the Editor

Ted Nugent and the National Rifle Association need to be put in their places.
Our senators were elected by the majority of Michigan taxpayers, not by Nugent and the NRA. Nugent and the NRA are a bunch of bullies that need to know who runs this state.
Nugent and the NRA are a real bunch of tough guys who want to kill a harmless bird. Cities need to ban dove hunting.
Jerome P. King

Kudos to State Representative Ruth Johnson who has courageously taken on the powerful, arrogant, overpaid and underachieving Oakland County Intermediate School District administration.
Unfortunately we will not be able to solve the poor level of the education of our “kids” (and at the same time the state deficit) unless we will drastically reform and reduce the system of 660 school districts (26 in Oakland County alone) with 660 bureaucracies and administrators at $100,000 plus per year, assistants and whatnot.
We must establish countywide school boards and administrators and at the same time revise our entire schooling program.
The latest MEAP scores indicated 50 to 60 percent (or less) adequate understanding of the subjects. Some incredibly are 25 percent.
This means that three fourths of the pupils can’t understand or did not absorb what was taught. How come 50-75 percent of the pupils are not flunking and repeating classes?
No matter how dedicated some of our teachers are, these low scores show the total bankruptcy of our methods and education — no history, no geography, minimal language skills (both English and foreign)?
How will this generation compete in a world economy?
Henry Gleisner

Do only some persons know of the state law(s) that gives Orion Township the right to put money that has been collected from property taxes for the township library into the township’s General Fund?
If Jim Marleau and/or Al Barnes, the township’s treasurer and deputy treasurer, could take some time to put so reasoning in print, the taxpaying public would like to know..
We patrons of the Orion Library would like to become informed of just which state statues apply in this matter of the $279,000 in question.
We’ll be waiting with interest for your reply in the future to be printed in The Lake Orion Review.
Clay Rathburg

Monday, November 17 made for a truly emotional and overwhelming morning.
The responses I have heard from people who visited different area restaurants during “Eat out Clarkston” exemplified the support of our community. In Renee’s words, wanting “goodness to rub off on a lot of people” is definitely fulfilling her wishes.
I am glad to see that the establishments that participated have been rewarded for their generosity by receiving new and old patrons at their restaurants, on what could have otherwise been a slow Monday for them.
The restaurants include: Fenton Hotel, Bullfrogs, Nickelodeon, Big Boy of Clarkston, Giacomo’s Ristorante, Classic Coney, Village Cafe, Las Piramides, Pete’s Coney, Burger King of Clarkston, McDonald’s on Dixie-Clarkston, Jet’s Pizza on Dixie, Little Dana’s. Gregg’s Gourmet, Little Caesar’s on M-15 and Sashabaw and Putzio’s Catering.
Thank you Kerri Gualtieri for the “Eat out Clarkston” idea. At our Fourth of July fundraiser, Kerri had asked if we ever thought of coordinating an “Eat out Clarkston” event. That was all we needed to pull together an event we believed would involve the community and soar.
Thanks to our committee co-chairs, Dawn McLatcher and Lisa Gray for their legwork and great job in pulling the 16 restaurants together.
The depth of the Spraypark project is definitely touching the hearts of the Clarkston community. Priceless. Thank you all, for your support and embracing a project that will serve our children and families well.

Michele and Ralph Przybylski

At the Tuesday, November 18 Independence Township meeting, the board made a decision that will cost the township money without getting anything in return.
Judge Fortinberry wisely withdrew her plan to have an inmate work garden in the township next year due to the outrage of the surrounding property owners. Now comes the next problem for the township board.
The judge requested the township pay back the money already spent for improvements that were made to the property to facilitate the running of the work farm. These improvements include a well, a fence to keep out the deer and an irrigation pipe.
The initial money for these improvements came from a $4,000 donation from the Rotary Club, another $4,000 donation from the well digging company and donations from five other individuals. The judge wants to use the irrigation pipe and fence at another location, which sounds reasonable.
What will cost the township money is that the board voted to pay back the Rotary Club and the well company out of the general fund. The public was initially told that this inmate garden wouldn’t cost the public a penny, only the donation of the land to farm. This was supposed to be a win-win situation.
Now the township is stuck with a $10,000 obligation to pay back the donors for this project and the money the township has already spent to add a road and gravel at the site. There are no plans to use this site for anything else, so essentially we have a piece of land in the middle of the woods that the township had to pay $10,000 to improve for no good reason.
Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me. To paraphrase Laurel and Hardy, that’s another fine mess the township board has gotten us into.
Vincent Rizzo
Independence Township

I’m writing in response to a letter that appeared a few weeks ago, written by Anthony Salazar. He ended his letter saying that members of the staff and school board of Lake Orion should be ashamed.
Well I tell you, Salazar, it’s you who should be ashamed. You and people like you that think you can write anything you want to the paper without benefit of any facts or reality.
We all know the kind of people I’m talking about, people who take any opportunity to make others, especially those affiliated with the school district, look bad.
Now I believe if these people were honestly just inquiring minds who want to know something, they would actually ask questions to the appropriate people before having their meanspirited letters to the editor published.
Now in the case of Salazar’s letter, he would have you believe several staff members and school board members had a vacation at the Crystal Mountain Resort in Traverse City. He would have you believe the high school principal was up there playing golf, all at the taxpayer’s expense, of course.
He may not have come out and said it, but he certainly implied it.
The facts are these people drove their own vehicles, paid for their own gas and went to Traverse City for lunch. That’s right, Salazar — LUNCH — a lunch you didn’t pay for!
There was no spending the night. There was no golf. There was lunch.
This was a lunch where all of these people went to surprise assistant principal Manzo, who had no idea she was receiving an award. Well, how dare these people drive their own vehicles to Traverse City to support an employee who is receiving an award?
Her family was there to support her as well — how dare they?
Salazar, how dare you diminish an award that someone has worked hard for? How dare you imply wrong doing on anyone’s part? How dare you write such unsubstantiated crap?
I’m sick and tired of the letters that some people in this community feel compelled to write that have no basis in reality.
As a member of this community, I would like to apologize to Manzo for the comments of the ignorant.
Congratulations on your award, Sarah Manzo. There are many here who appreciate you and the many others in this district who are dedicated to educating our children.
Kyle Dykman

I’m writing in response to the article published in last week’s Orion Review. The Gingellville Community Center has been and still is a very positive club for Lake Orion residents.
It has children’s activities that it sponsors such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, free Christmas and Halloween parties, Easter Egg hunts.
It has also helped numerous adult groups: Lioness Club, Freedom Works and many other organizations who hold benefit fundraising activities at the club.
It’s a shame the club had to cancel its karate classes due to an instructor who couldn’t follow the bylaws and state rules governing the status of a non-profit organization.
It would be a much bigger loss to let one man tear down the good reputation and works done by the volunteers of the club.
How could such a good “Christian” man try to take advantage of such a worthwhile organization. I also understand this man doesn’t hold down a job.
Well God helps those who help themselves. Get a job Snyder and stop looking for freebies.
JS

The Clarkston Rotary has again helped to set the festive mood in downtown Clarkston. Christmas lights and garlands now decorate lamps for the holidays.
A special thank you is expressed to Independence Township Public Works Department employees, Jeff Cooper and Chris Turk, for taking extra time and care in putting up the Christmas decorations.
The Clarkston Rotary has counted this an annual tradition for the past 53 years, and culminates the event with the Rotarians meeting afterwards for fun, food and fellowship.
Mr. B’s Roadhouse is especially thanked for the extra effort in providing hot chili, a salad and hot breadsticks that brought the evening to a great conclusion.
The Clarkston Rotary

Well, we are just a few days away from the Orion Area Holiday Lighted Parade. The support this parade has been getting from the community has been overwhelming.
Our volunteers have been energized by this support and we are committed to putting on the best holiday lighted parade in the state.
Santa will be there and you wouldn’t want to miss Santa. So come to the Orion Area Holiday Lighted Parade on Dec. 6 in the Village of Lake Orion at 6 p.m.
PS: A special thanks to the Hamlin Pub North, Environmental Wood solutions, all the residents who returned the donation envelopes and The Lake Orion Review. You, along with all our sponsors, have stepped in and made the difference for your community.
Keep those envelopes coming.
Joseph Geraci
Orion Area Parade Group

The giving season is upon us and the Lake Orion Lions Club is again running its annual Christmas Basket Program.
Community support in the past has been outstanding and the club is grateful for this community participation, Without it, the club would not be able to assist Orion area families in having a pleasant Christmas.
Especially helpful have been area businesses — too numerous to mention — and LO Community Schools and St. Joseph’s Catholic School.
These people support our project by sponsoring canned food and toy drives, placing collection boxes in their places of business or school building.
The Goodfellows newspaper sale on Dec. 5-6 will also help to purchase items for the basket program.
Again this year, the Lions Club is counting on this same support from our community.
We need collection sites in area businesses for the donations and workers to assemble the baskets. Corporate donations are always welcome.
Setup for the basket assembly begins at approximately 10:30 a.m. Dec. 19 at the CERC Building, 455 East Scripps Rd. Baskets are then assembled from approximately 3-5 p.m.
Baskets will be delivered by the Lions Club on Dec. 20.
If you know of a family in need of assistance, call Dave Kalish at 248-975-6378 or contact any club. The Lions wish everyone a blessed holiday season.
David Kalish,
Christmas Basket Chairman

It’s come to our attention that there is a great deal of confusion surrounding recent discussions at a township board meeting regarding the use of excess interest earned on the library, which expired in 2001.
Misleading headlines in the local papers have not helped the matter.
We want to make one thing clear. Orion Township has not diverted any funds from the library. Nor has the township taken the library’s share of property taxes collected by the township. Here’s what has actually occurred:
Township voters approved a millage in 1986 to purchase property, construct a library and purchase furnishings for the library. The township in 1987 issued a general obligation bond, pledging the township’s full faith and credit for the repayment of the bond.
Throughout the 15-year life of the bond, the millage was collected by the township from Orion residents on each winter tax bill.
Payments on the bond were payable in May and the November following. From the time the millage was collected in December until payments were made, the money was kept by the township in a separate, interest bearing account.
As you may imagine, over the life of the bond, interest accrued on the money received from the residents. When the millage expired in May 2001, this interest earned by the township totaled over $250,000.
When the bond was fully repaid in 2001, the $250,000 in interest earned remained on deposit. By law, (MCL 135.6), this money is to be used to pay off any other outstanding debt obligations.
However, when the library bond was paid off, the township had no other outstanding debt obligations. The Michigan Department of Treasury has issued regulations stating this interest must remain on deposit for two years following expiration of the millage in case any new debt obligations are created.
The township hasn’t created any new debt since the library millage expired (a new library millage wasn’t approved on Nov. 5, 2002).
Pursuant to the MDT’s regulations, at the end of two years (expiring May 1, 2003), the township was legally entitled to transfer the remaining interest to its general fund. The $250,000 on deposit has since accrued additional interest and has grown to $275,000.
The township board, on Oct. 15, adopted a resolution citing all relevant state law and authorizing this exact action. A copy of the resolution is available at the township if anyone wishes to review it.
The resolution and subsequent board action were prepared by and under the supervision of the township’s legal counsel.
All discussion related to this issue have taken place in open meetings, both in 2001 when the issue first came up, and most recently this past November.
The township has never held a closed session to discuss this matter. If there are further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us.
Gerald Dywasuk, Supervisor
Jill Bastion, Clerk
James Marleau, Treasurer

I was so angry with the conditions at Lake Orion High School that it kept me awake last night.
My 15 year old granddaughter came home from that school in tears recently. Why? Because at 15, she is still very sensitive about some normal female changes that are going on.
During school she needed a sanitary product and went to four bathrooms in that school only to find not only were the wall containers empty of those products, but there was also no toilet paper.
She tried three other bathrooms and found them locked during the school day!.
And why were the other three bathrooms locked? She was told in the office it was to make the custodians’ jobs easier since there would be less of them to clean.
Less to clean??? Let’s lock all of them then so there are none to take care off!
When I talked to her and her friends, they told me a custodian is seen only at lunch, leaning against the wall talking to other staff, having a good time.
All this while the teen girls have to walk the halls searching for private personal products that are missing from bathrooms.
This just makes me sick. Who is in charge and responsible for this embarrassment? And what is the custodian doing all day?
I work in retail at Somerset Collection. Can you imagine the uproar if we locked all the bathrooms so some custodian wouldn’t have to do what he is hired for?
Is it even lawful? Maybe they think they can do this because they are dealing with children and not adults who wouldn’t stand for it.
So I called the high school on Nov. 26 to talk to somebody in charge only to find out the entire staff had left for an early Thanksgiving weekend.
Gone from Tuesday afternoon to Monday for Thanksgiving — not bad for a hard working group!
Carl Strickland

The Clarkston Rotary Club would like to sincerely thank all of those who gave so generously during our 53rd Annual Goodfellows Newspaper sales this past weekend, December 5 and 6. The weekend activity raised $12,500 this year and is truly a reflection that the community supports our endeavors.
One hundred percent of all donations collected will be used to purchase new shoes and boots, hats, mittens and gloves for community children. On Dec. 13, the Clarkston Rotary will host 370 children at the Oakland Woods Baptist Church on Maybee Road.
The Clarkston Rotary Club would like to express its gratitude and appreciation by acknowledging the following for the success of this year’s program:
• A special thank you to The Clarkston News, Jim Sherman, Don Rush, Kyle Gargaro and their staffs for preparation and publication of the Goodfellows Edition. The Clarkston News has donated the special newspaper for the last 14 years.
• Oakland Woods Baptist Church, Pastor Galey and church members for joining us for the first time. Their extra help was greatly appreciated.
• Cub Scout Pack No. 314, Boy Scout Troop No. 199 and their leaders for braving the cold and selling Goodfellow papers in front of local grocery stores. Their enthusiasm for selling is something to behold.
• Employees and friends of Machine Engineering for their efforts in selling papers. They have continued to support this program and its success for the past 14 years.
• Clarkston Interact Club members for participating and selling in front of local groceries.
• Sashabaw Middle School Student Council for their generous donation.
• City of the Village of Clarkston DPW for providing a warm space for the Goodfellows headquarters.
• To the many friends and family members of the Clarkston Rotary Club who so generously gave of their time and energy in selling newspapers.
• Oakland Woods Baptist Church for hosting this year’s Shoes for Kids distribution.
• Mr. Alan’s Sportswear and Shoes of Redford, Jason Riegle, store manager, and its store volunteers for their commitment in bringing the shoes and boots to Clarkston for distribution.
• To the local elementary schools and area churches for hosting hat, mittens and glove collection Christmas trees.
This has truly become a community activity, and the Clarkston Rotary is truly grateful for having so many people committed to supporting our projects.
Finally, thanks again to all who gave donations for the ‘Shoes for Kids’ program and especially to those who gave so generously.

Joel DeLong, Lu Hewko, Mary Sloan
Goodfellows Co-Chairs
Clarkston Rotary Club

The Clarkston Farm & Garden Club would like to extend an enormous THANK YOU to the entire Clarkston Community for their generous support at our 12th Annual Greens Market. By decking your halls with our wreaths, roping and fresh greenery arrangements you allow us to continue to Help Clarkston Bloom!
Thank you to the following businesses that are adorned in our Greenery this year: Village Apparel, Clarkston Caf?, Clarkston State Bank, Clarkston Travel, Clarkston Union, Contemporary Computer Concepts, Dr. Stevenson D.D.S., Giacomos, Hi-Tech Environments, Liberty Golf and Banquet Center and Morgan’s Service Station.
Thanks, also, to the Clarkston Chamber of Commerce who continually include us in the Heart of Clarkston Holiday Festivities, as well as to this newspaper for publicizing our efforts. Special thanks goes to The Church of the Resurrection for providing us a venue for our sale. Your facilities and hospitality are outstanding.
Last of all, to our members,your hard work and commitment throughout the year benefit the community in so many ways.

With Gratitude,
Cathy Grogan and Michele Bondy
Clarkston Farm and Garden Club
Green Market Co-Chairs

Contrary to Jerome King’s opinion, Ted Nugent and the NRA are not a bunch of bullies. They are defending the rights of hunters to obtain their food from the woods not a supermarket.
There is plenty of land in Orion Township and plenty of doves to be hunted, so let us hunters get our food with a shotgun and nonhunters with a credit card.
Jordan P. Miller

Once again Thanksgiving dinner at CJ’s was a big success.
A HUGE thank you goes out to the Flaming Pistons, a local car group that collected all year long. Whether it was time, money or groceries, it all contributed to a great day for everyone.
Thank’s also to our employees, loyal customers, Caramagno Foods, Del Bene Produce, Pepsi, Metropolitan Baking Company, Orion Township Firefighters, Snug Harbor, Alice P. Young, CPA, and The Orion House. Children from Christ the Redeemer Church made beautiful placemats.
Leftover monies will be donated to the Lake Orion Lions Club for its annual Christmas Basket Program.
Carl & Joan Slomczenski

As one of the custodians laid-off due to the school budget cuts, I feel compelled to reply to a recent letter complaining about the job performance of the LOHS custodians.
The writer made many erroneous assumptions based on what he heard from a few students and one phone call to the school office.
The truth is the high school has five fewer custodians than last year, yet the student population has increased and so has the size of the school. The remaining custodians now have a far greater area to be responsible for and therefore they can’t be expected to maintain the building in the same manner as before.
This being said, they still try extremely hard to perform their duties as efficiently as possible. Will there still be occasional problems with supplies or keeping everything in order? Of course. Welcome to the world of budget cuts.
As to the claim the custodian does nothing but “stand around and talk to the staff,” whom do the students think removes all the trash from four lunch periods each day? Do they see the custodian repairing all the damage done by their fellow students while they are sitting in the classroom?
They have absolutely no idea what is involved in keeping the high school up and running. There are more than enough bathrooms open at all times for the students.
The ones being locked down are in areas of special use such as the auditorium or pool area. This isn’t done so the custodians don’t have to work, but as concession to the limited number of personnel on duty.
And by the way. these custodians were on duty the day before Thanksgiving. They don’t spend their time answering the office phone; they have far too much work to do.
The next time anyone feels like complaining about the job done by the custodians, stop and take a look at the bleachers after a basketball game. Maybe you’ll think twice about throwing your trash on the floor instead of in a trash can.
Stephen Gallagher

I’ve no idea if you’re going to print this or not, but that won’t stop me from writing this. I graduated in 2001 from LOHS and I’m currently in Mosul, Iraq right now with the 101st AA division, after bring in Korea, at airborne school.
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about people thinking we’re doing the wrong thing by being here in Iraq. Those are also the people who have no idea how the Iraqi peoples’ lives have changed.
Do those people know that Sadam conducted chemical warfare experiments on the Kurdish people in the late 80s, killing 5,000-6,000 in one village.
Have any of them seen the smiling faces of the children when we come rolling through the streets busting blackmarketers who are selling kerosene and propane at prices that the people can’t afford.
We are helping these people survive.
This place is a country full of people exploring their new found freedoms, they have a right to say they don’t like our being here. If it was still Sadam’s rule, they would have been killed.
We are giving them jobs, fixing their oil pipelines, creating a new government for them — and the Iraqi people appreciate it. That is why the majority of them tell us who the people are whom are planning attacks or have already done so.
Mosul is a city containing a constant threat of death. I have already had my brush with it.
On Oct. 30, I was hit with shrapnel from an IED bomb that hit my vehicle head on. I’ve got shrapnel pieces in my right index finger, right hand, right arm and right leg, a couple of pretty deep holes, bruises and gashes. But I’m alive and that I’m thankful for, although I’ll be setting off metal detectors for a while.
Out here the threat of death is an everyday occurrence. You never know when it’s going to be your turn or your friends. All you can do is be in touch with yourself, knowing you made the most out of your time, enjoyed life as much as you could to the fullest extent.
If I was to get hit again and die tomorrow, I would know I was doing something that benefitted other people, working to build their country back, something for their welfare.
Honestly, without a doubt, I would give my life for my country without a second thought. I would give my life fighting to give people the same freedoms that I enjoy back in the United States, those freedoms that so many people take for granted.
As one person put it, “Freedom is not free.” That’s something that so many people don’t understand. Come the Fourth of July or Veteran’s Day, it’s just another excuse for them to party.
Those days will now forever hold a new meaning to me. Come those days I’ll remember my fallen comrades who have served before me, who have served with me, and who will serve with me.
I’ll always remember the day I was spared by someone watching over me and remember those brothers of mine who didn’t make it back.
I’ll always bear the scars from a foe I never saw, nor ever understood why he/she wanted to take my life.
I’ll never forget because one you forget, those memories of your comrades are lost — they deserve more than that.
Specialist Erique De la Garza III
101st Screaming Eagle

As Orion Township residents are well aware on Dec. 8 our electric power failed again during the height of our afternoon commute (5-8 p.m.). During that time our community’s health and safety was at high risk.
The gridlock that results from these power outages makes it nearly impossible for fire, police and emergency vehicles to respond in life and death situations in a timely manner.
Since moving into the Keatington sub 15 years ago, power outages are nothing new. What is getting old is that I have yet to see the implementation of any sort of ’emergency plan.?
What I did see on I-75, M-24, Joslyn and Baldwin Roads was traffic backed up for miles, bumper to bumper, moving at a crawl if at all.
I saw cars at a dead stop on I-75 for at least a quarter of a mile because of backed-up exit ramps at M-24, Joslyn and Baldwin due to traffic lights not functioning.
I also witnessed several near-miss accidents on I-75 as surprised motorists had to come to a complete stop because of the aforementioned backed up exit ramps. I saw no traffic lights working at dangerous intersections along these roads.
Why weren’t county emergency battery trucks brought in to supply the backup power? I saw no traffic control being done by Orion Township contracted or county provided sheriff’s deputies (Note: M-24 is a state road; Joslyn and Baldwin are county roads).
I’ve heard no communication from our elected officials to deal with this emergency.
Is there an ’emergency plan?? If so why didn’t our leadership implement it? If there isn’t a plan, why hasn’t our leadership created an ’emergency plan? to deal with these events. What is the plan for emergency fire and ambulance vehicles to travel these unsafe and unattended community roads?
Why is it that the surrounding communities had power and we didn’t? Is our township’s ‘master plan? inadequate and/or ineffective?
Why haven’t our elected officials demanded that our electric power supplier provide the necessary redundancy to effectively keep the power on when the primary source fails? This is the same leadership that has let our ‘horse and buggy? roads become over burdened with development and traffic.
What about when our water went out this year because most of the township doesn’t yet have the redundancy water lines built because the township board is still haggling with the Detroit Water Board about where it should be brought in.
We should plant 20 new trees to replace any one that may be lost to get this most necessary redundant, back-up water line put in.
Bottom line, our current ‘elected officials? — state senator, state rep, county commissioner, township supervisor and trustees aren’t providing the necessary effective LEADERSHIP to adequately do the job they were elected to do.
All of them had some level of responsibility in these outage issues, yet no one has come through at crunch time with visible action.
Actions speak louder than words. With the lack of action and effective leadership, one must conclude it’s TIME FOR A CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP REPRESENTING ORION TOWNSHIP.
We must elect new leaders with new ideas and concrete plans for protecting our community — people who will truly communicate and work with all levels of government, to engage and coordinate state, county and local township resources.
Thank God, we got through this crisis without any known loss of precious life and potential taxpayer liability.
Will we be as lucky next time? We don’t need talkers; we need doers. Think about it while you are with your families celebrating the holidays. It truly is ‘TIME FOR A CHANGE!?
Happy holidays and have a, safe, healthy, prosperous New Year!!!
Daniel Myslakowski

This December the township hall will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and 26 as well as Jan. 1 and 2 for the holidays.
The township hall will be open for business Dec. 29, 30, and yes, the 31. The offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day; however, tax payments will be posted until 3 p.m. on Dec. 31.
Taxpayers can also use the drop box after hours. It is located at the front door facing Main Street.
Dog licenses are now available. Please bring proof of rabies vaccination. Also, bring documentation if the dog has been neutered of spayed. Please consider waiting until after the first of the year to get dog tags. By then the county should be sending completed forms to existing dog owners. In addition, by waiting it will become faster for taxpayers to pay their bills.
Any property tax questions can be answered by calling the Treasurer’s Office at (248) 625-5111 ext. 211, 212 or 249.
Jim Wenger
Independence Township Treasurer

Clarkston Community Church would like to thank all the local businesses that recently donated to the church auction. A fun time was had by all who attended our third annual Clarkston Community Church auction on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Thanks to all the efforts of our hardworking committee and the response of the community, we were able to raise more than $11,000. The proceeds will be used for funding of a home we are helping build in Pontiac under the Habitat for Humanity program, Haven of Oakland County and various programs supported under our women’s organization.
We would like to thank the more than 80 businesses that contributed to this auction.
Renee David
Women in God’s Service Chairperson

I would like to thank the Clarkston High School Drama Club for an incredible evening of music, dance and one-act plays.
The Drama Club recently hosted their annual CHS Theatre-a-thon from 3 p.m. until midnight on Dec. 5. During that time there was a constant flow of performances, more than 50 in all.
This event provides a wonderful showcase for the many talents of the students at Clarkston High School. All too often it seems that it is the school sporting events that get most of the recognition within the community and student body. Of course they are important, but I believe that the commitment the CHS Drama Club has to providing our community with quality theatre is equally important.
They do a terrific job and deserve to be recognized for it. It is for this dedication that I want to thank them, and I look forward to attending their musical production of ‘Once Upon a Mattress? in February.

Toni Smith
Clarkston

Good-bye Dr. Bob:
Bob was more than a physician, friend, confidant and community leader.
He was the founder of Emergency medicine in this state and county and we know it today. There was no such specialty as ER Medicine or advanced EMS until the 1970’s.
Bob took the mash unit and military medicine and brought them to civilian hospitals, EMS and first responders. His students were legions – he taught doctors, nurses, EMS and community leaders the art and science of responders and ER medicine.
Certainly he was too young to die, so much left to do and accomplish, but let us not grieve the one fourth empty cup, but celebrate the three fourths full cup of a great and accomplished life.
We all question why someone dies relatively so young, lest we forget in eternity there is no time. He gives us a measure of life. It may be 1 second or 120 years, but regardless of Earth time – this is His measure of life for us and certainly Bob accomplished more than most in his alloted time. By this time Bob, He has raised you up, anointed your wounds and ushered you into His house forever.
You need not worry about the three fourths cup, your many students will fill it to overflowing with your good leadership and lessons.
We ask God for His everlasting blessing on you, Pat, your children, friends and this community that you served so well.
We thank God that you lived and let each of us endeavor in our own way try to fulfill a life cut too short.
God bless and good-bye old friend, teacher and mentor. We shall all miss you very much.
Dr. James O’Neill
Clarkston

Don Rush got it right and he gets the credit.
Many patients, professionals, firemen, policemen…the list is too long, will miss Dr. Bob. But it is his love that will be missed most of all. That’s what this world needs and Dr. Bob knew that. He had many accomplishments and they were great; but it’s his people skills that are going to be greatly missed.
Why do you think we called him Dr. Bob? My heart and love, as does Don’s and many others, goes to his family. Each day just share love and the world will be a better place. Then maybe we can keep his legacy alive.

Bill Wint
Clarkston

Is your town a cool place to live? Mine isn’t yet but it has all the right ingredients. The right recipe is what is needed.
Does having a vision, attracting people back to downtown, breathing life into old buildings, attracting potential owners and occupants, community cultural planning, arts, culture, sound interesting to you? It didn’t to my township board when I asked them to send me on their behalf.
So, I went anyway, the opportunity being too good to miss. It was worth every penny of the $50 fee, every minute of a lost day at work and every drop of gas paid out-of-my-own-pocket to be with the who’s making-it-happen-who in Michigan. At my table I was excited to find representatives from surrounding communities: Waterford, Milford, Rose Township and Holly who ‘get it.?
Sponsors, Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Department of History and Libraries and the Department of Labor and Economic Growth stressed linking culture, community and the economy. Our break out session facilitators, Sandra Clark, Michigan Historical Center and Nancy Finegood, Executive Director, Michigan Historic Preservation Network, gave ‘cool tool? strategies to provide a sense of place; unique and intrinsic local character to enhance quality of life versus the alternative ‘Generic America.? Bottom line was historic preservation is a significant economic tool.
Sounds a lot like Davisburg/Dixie, Clarkston/Dixie or Holly doesn’t it?
Communities all over are struggling for the same thing. People move in for all the right reasons and can maintain those qualities by a mutual, comprehensive plan of ongoing action.
This is where you come in. There are so many facets of our beautiful jewel communities to get that vibrant, vital, energetic, full of life cool community all ideas and viewpoints must be represented. That’s small town America at its best. Everyone is a resource. It does not matter if you are young, old, rich or poor. They are valued for their thought and abilities, and not their status.
Invigorated to think ‘outside the box,? the talented individuals who call these places home can follow the recipes for success the dynamic presenters used to form creative communities with an attitude.
I’m willing to share materials from the conference with other energetic individuals with their community at heart. Please contact me at (248) 882-3180.

Diane Wozniak
Davisburg

The Meals on Wheels program at the Orion Township Senior Center would like to thank CJ’s Cafe for providing Thanksgiving meals for homebound seniors.
We also thank the Lake Orion Nursing Center for providing meals on Christmas and Kruse and Muer’s for the New Year’s Day meals.
Our seniors deserve the best and these businesses surely came through! Thanks again.
Joanne Benedict

My 17-year-old daughter was driving on I-75 under the M-15 overpass on Jan. 2 at approximately 8 p.m. when something struck her moon roof, pouring shattered glass over her and the inside of her Volkswagon Beetle. It was foggy and raining.
Fortunately she wasn’t injured and handled herself beautifully by getting off of the Sashabaw exit and calling her father and me.
We had her phone 911 right away to report what had happened. Much to my dismay, the dispatcher told her that no one would be out to take a report (they wanted to know if she saw anyone, please see road conditions above).
To my knowledge, no one checked to see what or who had caused this.
They left her a number to call for future queries. I called that number as soon as we got home because I was upset they didn’t check my daughter’s welfare. I asked if they were going to check out the bridge.
I left a home phone number and it’s now days later and have still not heard from them.
I’m calmer now, but no less puzzled at the lack of action or even the return of a phone call. If this is what my tax dollars are paying for, I’m being seriously robbed.
Wendy Kraus

Dear Elaine,
In response to your New Year’s wish for a wrinkle cream that really works, we would like to offer you Neova Night Therapy cream with our complements.
While nothing can make wrinkles go away (what a miracle that would be!), this cream does a great job of improving skin’s overall texture and elasticity.
Thank you for your wonderful columns in 2003. We look forward to reading more in 2004!
Camille D’Anna,
Schenden’s Spa on the Lake

The Orion Area Parade Group would like to apologize for an oversight in our ‘Thank You? ad.
We had intended to include the fire departments of Orion, Oxford and Oakland Townships for their participation and help with the Christmas parade.
Our website at www.oapg.org has been updated with all the pictures from this year’s parade. Please visit the site to revisit a spectacular evening.
Chuck Saputo

During the past 13 years, Orion Township has been one of the fastest growing townships in Oakland County. And the township continues to grow with a large number of new and important building developments.
I have been asked by numerous local citizens, as well as by the various print media, about various projects recently completed, in process or in the planning stages.
I’m proud to tell you about several of these improvements as evidenced by additions and/or expansions to our business community.
n Great Lakes Athletic Club on Baldwin Road, south of Maybee Road — Completed
n Citizen’s Bank at Brown/Baldwin Roads — Proposed
n Modetz Funeral Home on Silverbell, east of M-24 — Completed
n Standard Federal Bank on Brown Road, west of Joslyn Road — Proposed
n Orion Village Crossing on Baldwin Road — In Process
n Orion Campus at Baldwin/Clarkston Roads — In Process
n Ruby Tuesday Restaurant on M-24 — Completed
n Battaglia Bocce Ball Club and Restaurant on M-24 — In Process
n Bald Mountain Medical Center on M-24 — Completed
n Oakland Catholic Credit Union on M-24 — In Process
n Beaumont Medical Center on M-24 — In Process
n Delphi Automotive on M-24, north of Brown Road — In Process
n Atwater Commons, restaurants, businesses and condominiums in the Village of Lake Orion — In Process
n Karl’s Place Cafe on Baldwin Road — Proposed
n Orion Keg and Wine on Baldwin Road — Completed
n Ciara Produce at Baldwin/I-75 — Proposed
The major investments by all of these companies indicates that Orion Township continues to be a great place to live and also a great place to provide their services.
We wish them all great success and thank them for their confidence in our community.
As we complete another year which has presented a number of challenges as well as numerous rewards, we wish all township residents an exciting and prosperous 2004.
Gerald Dywasuk,
Orion Township Supervisor

If the people in Birdland get more than 10 percent contribution from the township for repaving of their streets then the amount more than 10 percent should be given to the people on Cramlane Drive.
If the people in Birdland think they have outside traffic they should look to Cramlane Drive. Cramlane should be renamed ‘Cut-Through.?

Bob Heazlit
Clarkston

On Friday, Jan. 2, my 17-year-old daughter was driving on I-75 under the M-15 overpass when something struck her moon roof, pouring shattered glass over her head and the inside of her Volkswagon beetle.
It was foggy and raining at approximately 8 p.m. Fortunately, she wasn’t injured and handled herself beautifully by getting off at the Sashabaw exit and calling her father and me. We had her phone 911 right away to report what had happened.
Much to my dismay, the dispatcher told her that no one would be out to take a report (they wanted to know if she saw anyone, please see road conditions above) and to my knowledge no one checked to see what or who had caused this.
They left her a number to call for future queries. I called that number as soon as we got home because I was upset they didn’t check my daughter’s welfare out and wanted to know if they were going to check out the bridge. I left a home number and it is now Tuesday, Jan. 6 and I have still not heard from them. I am calmer now but no less puzzled at the lack of action or even the return courtesy of a phone call days later.
If this is what my tax dollars are paying for I am being seriously robbed.

Wendy Kraus

I see that a local merchant, Damman Hardware, is facing economic challenges, as are other businesses at this time.
I have been a customer of Damman Hardware for over 30 years, especially the location off Dixie Highway in Clarkston. My experiences have been great. Often- 90 percent of the time- I have found what I needed at Damman when I could not find it at other establishments such as Home Depot. And, the Damman staff have always been extremely courteous and helpful.
I hope that Damman can survive in the present economy. For my money, they deserve to continue!
Tom Stone
Clarkston

Thank you to The Clarkston News for your generous donation to Lighthouse Emergency Services? Adopt-A-Family/Senior Program.
Your donation has certainly brightened the holidays for a low-income Oakland County family in need. On behalf of our clients, volunteers and staff please accept our sincere appreciation.
With unemployment rates skyrocketing, over 73,000 residents in Oakland County live below the poverty level. Many lack the basics of food and clothing. The need to assist these families is great, and through the caring support of donors like you, more than 4,700 individuals had a wonderful Christmas.
As many families will continue to struggle since the holiday season has ended, please know that your continued commitment to Lighthouse helps to provide emergency assistance to those who need it during the winter season.
Thank you again for your support of Lighthouse, its programs and those we serve.
Emily M. Nadeau
Executive Director of Lighthouse

As a senior citizen and resident of Independence Township, I frequent the Senior Center on Clarkston Rd. a couple of times a week and at times volunteer my services.
As I enter the doors of this ancient farmhouse, also known as the Senior Center, I have to ask myself why a township of this stature has not supported a first class Center for its residents. The senior population, those 50 years of age and older, is one of the fastest growing segments of our society yet, it seems, little is being done to address their needs outside of the workplace.
Seniors today are a busy group of people; couch potatoes they are not. Go to any of the Community or Senior Centers in other areas and you will see plenty of activity by seniors. Volleyball, basketball, aerobics, walking and a host of other activities are common practice.
It is my hope that in the coming years that this community will come together and realize the need to build a Center which we can all be proud of.
Bob Brown
Clarkston

Orion Supervisor Dywasuk and Treasurer Marleau are at it again. They are spreading false information to justify spending your tax dollars to try to block Bald Mountain’s efforts to further improve the quality of our state park system
Mike Weger, the owner of the Indian Lake 82.7 acres, met personally with Oakland County Eric Wilson to clear up the misinformation and invited him and Orion Township officials to visit the sites first hand to see the great benefits of this exchange.
To date, no one has even called, much less visited! Still they misguide the public about the quality and value of this proposed exchange.
The township has no legal basis to oppose anyone’s land transaction, be it a sale, purchase, trust conveyance or exchange (nor is it in the public’s interest)…why don’t they spend our tax dollars and their efforts to fight TOPLESS BARS from coming into our backyard…which they do have a legal basis and it’s in our best interest!!!
We have visited the Indian Lake property (because we asked and Weger welcomed us). We can truly say no one could walk this property without falling in love with this pristine wilderness that sits on Bald Mountain’s front door.
This Indian Lake property personifies the very existence of the DNR and its state park lands!
Congratulations to the DNR and state park officials for proposing this tremendous acquisition for the benefit and pure enjoyment of Orion Township and Oakland County residents.
Concerned Citizens of Orion Township

Congratulations Marylou Enneking and her ‘Three M? Musketeers on new jobs and exciting future for our Orion Senior Center.
We would like to say thank you for helping us with our rehearsal and program needs and a wonderful new friendly atmosphere.
We are very excited with the new programs talked about on Healthy, Wealthy and Wise and the new and upcoming programs listed in the center’s newsletter, the Orb.
It seems that finally things are looking up for our seniors who want more programming and continuity for those who play bingo and cards.
Special kudos to the supporters and ‘friends? of Orion Senior Center.
Kathy Wieland, Director
Church Street Singers

With the Orion Art Center 15th annual fundraiser gala just around the corner (Jan. 31), I would like to acknowledge the generosity of the many local businesses and individuals who have shown their support for arts and culture by sponsoring this event.
Many thanks to: Classic Printers, Environmental Wood Solutions, Oxford Bank, Snider Mechanical, Preferred Catering, Heritage Spinning & Weaving, Mary Rogers Insurance, Lymtal International, Microtech Systems and the dozens of local establishments who have supported the art center by advertising in our new community guide or donating auction items.
An outstanding committee, led by Karen Shackelford and Leslie Shields, has worked diligently for many months to insure this will be a memorable evening.
The black tie optional gala begins at 6:30 p.m. with live entertainment, hors-d-oeuvres and the silent auction.
Dinner is at 8 p.m. with an enormous dessert display and live auction.
There will be music for dancing by GT Jam, fine art, rare sports memorabilia, jewelry and theatre tickets.
Indianwood is an incredible venue and attendees will have access to the entire facility for the evening.
The art center has been on a steady growth path, thanks to local support and grant awards from the Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs for three years running.
While we are grateful for this funding, state budget cuts to MCACA force us to find other ways to carry on the mission of our founders.
Attending the Snowflake Ball is a perfect way to show your support and culture and treat yourself to a great night out.
Tickets are $100/person for an all inclusive evening. Reservations can be made by calling 248-693-4986 by this Friday at 7 p.m. Sorry, there aren’t any tickets available at the door.
Reggie Harrison, Director
Orion Art Center

It is said that testing for prostate cancer (PCa) should be done at age 50 for whites and 40 for blacks (who are more susceptible.)
It would be better said to subtract maybe 10 years and say 40 and 30 respectively. Many men are being diagnosed in their 40’s and some even in their 30’s. Usually, there are no symptoms and if there are it may be late in diagnosis.
Have your doctor or a urologist give you an annual PSA and the DRE test. There is a wealth of instant information out there via the Internet now and all related issues can be discussed in forums and support groups. Since it is difficult to get many or any of one’s questions answered in a doctor’s office, other methods for quick information are needed.
There are many decent books, tapes, articles and such, but with Internet access it is even better. I was diagnosed at age 51 and can only say that I wish I got diagnosed sooner. I got the education of my life after seeing two different surgeons and found the opinions to be ‘yes-curative and 1 percent chance of incontinence? to ‘no? I will not operate on you.?
I found plenty out via books, tapes and Internet and am learning more daily. Two of the best sources for Internet usage on this are at: www.phcagroup.org and another at Webmd.com (prostate forum.)
My advice is take the time to investigate options, ask many questions, get second opinions, do not make a hasty decision as you may have only one chance to get it right.
Robert Parsons
Davisburg

One of life’s greatest experiences is the unconditional love of a pet.
Some have their pets longer than others. We were fortunate to have our nine-year-old Rottweiller, Isis, for as long as we did. I want to let all pet lovers know our experience.
In the attempt to get Isis well, and after going to a veterinarian that did nothing but charge us $300, we went in search of a different vet. This brought us to Independence Animal Clinic on Sashabaw and Waldon. Dr. Brian Covert was the vet on duty and took care of Isis.
Isis was our baby, all 105 pounds of her. Dr. Covert had to come in on the weekend and feed, water, give medicine and help Isis expel herself. Isis could not walk or stand on her hind legs. After three days of doing everything he could, we decided that she would not live a full life this way so we had to put her to sleep.
Dr. Covert and his staff were wonderful, caring and loving. You could hear it in Dr. Covert’s voice when he told us what he would recommend. Dr. Covert stayed past his time to go home to see everything to the end.
It hurts to have lost Isis. There is an empty spot in our home and family, but we want to let everyone know how much we appreciate the service we received from Dr. Brian Covert and the staff of Independence Animal Clinic.
Thank you.
Cindy and Dessie Burroughs
Pontiac

Elaine, you asked a few questions regarding teeth in your column and who better than a dentist to answer them!
You asked why manufacturers still sell a hard bristle toothbrush. The answer to that is just straight forward economics. As long as there is a demand for a product, the manufacturers will still supply it!!
However, you’ll have to search pretty hard to find a dentist who would recommend anything other than a soft bristled toothbrush.
And many have the same thought you did, as they will take their soft toothbrush they received from the dentist and replace it with one they buy at the store. However, as you have mentioned, a hard toothbrush will not only clean the food off you teeth, but also wear down your tooth.
Teeth whitening is in general considered a temporary procedure. It can last anywhere from one year to five years or longer depending on each patient.
If the patient smokes, drinks coffee, tea, red wine, cranberry juice or dark colas, then the teeth will re-stain. One advantage for those who have bleached previously is it’s much easier the second time around to lighten up again.
You mentioned the teeth whitening toothpastes. Those toothpastes have a very minor effect and most of the time it’s too slight for the general population to notice.
You also mentioned all the over the counter products that are out right now. The Crest Whitestrips and Colgate products will work, but they have many disadvantages.
The Whitestrips will only reach the first six teeth. If you only want to whiten those teeth, then this is the product for you! They are also fairly difficult to wear on your bottom teeth as usually the tongue tends to try and pull them off.
The Colgate product Simply White also works, but only for the first 20 minutes or so. Once you close your lips, the product is broken down very quickly by the saliva in your mouth.
Dentists have two methods that they use in their offices. The dentist will make a model of the teeth and fabricate a tray that is custom fit to the patient’s teeth.
The patient will then wear a tray for generally two weeks with a gel product in the tray. Usually this has very high success and, again, as long as the trays are kept, the patient can then purchase touch up kits over the years to continue whitening their teeth.
The second method is used to bleach in office with either lasers or high powered light sources. This is a much newer method and to date has shown much success. This method does have a much higher cost to it however.
You will want to discuss with your dentist which method they employ. Remember, bleaching is a cosmetic procedure and is not going to be covered by insurance!
Christine Saad, DDS

The 2003 Winter Real and Personal property tax bills state the last date to pay without penalty is Feb. 14. The 14th is always the deadline unless it falls on a weekend or holiday.
The year Feb. 14 falls on a Saturday. The next business day is Monday, Feb. 16 which happens to be President’s Day, a national holiday for which the Township is closed.
This year the deadline falls on Feb. 17. After Tuesday, Feb. 17 any 2003 winter taxes paid will include a three percent penalty. Unpaid summer property taxes also incur an additional three percent after Tuesday. If you wish to pay both winter and summer taxes please pay with separate checks.
2003 Summer and Winter taxes can be paid at the township hall through the last day of February. This year the last day, Feb. 29 falls on a Sunday. Keeping consistent, 2003 taxes can be paid on the next business day Monday, March 1 at the township.
After March 1 all unpaid 2003 winter and summer property taxes will be considered delinquent, and will be sent to Oakland County. Once sent to the county, additional penalties are placed on the taxes due.
To qualify for a Homeowner’s Principal Resident Exemption (previously known as the homestead exemption) you must own and occupy by May 1, 2004. People who build a new home or purchase a home that doesn’t have the exemption need to pay attention to the deadline. By qualifying, the homeowner does not pay the 18 mills for school operations on their summer property taxes. The exemption form must be filled out and turned in at the Assessor’s Office by May 1.
Call the Treasurer’s Office at (248) 625-5111 ext. 212 or 247 if you have any question.
Jim Wenger
Independence Township Treasurer

Smiles, hugs and tears of happiness!
Moms and dads picking up their children’s Christmas gifts from the Adopt-a-Family program and the Christmas Store were so emotional knowing that on Christmas morning the miracle of the holiday would be alive in their homes.
And then our senior citizens… oh, how happy they were to see the special packages wrapped so pretty.
Each year, the staff at Lighthouse Clarkston witnesses the amazing end result of so many in the community coming together to make the holidays brighter for senior citizens and families experiencing difficult times. This year businesses, churches and individuals provided Thanksgiving and Christmas food and gifts to 100 senior citizens and 950 children.
So many of our Lighthouse Emergency Services families have little to celebrate this year with employment cutbacks and illnesses, higher prices and fixed incomes. When there is so much uncertainty of what the future may bring, the time and thoughtfullness you gave to our holiday programs went a long way.
The staff of Lighthouse Emergency Services Clarkston thank you for your support this past year and look forward to working with you again in 2004.
Wishing you a safe and peaceful new year.

Clarkston Lighthouse Staff

The lack of change at the Oakland Intermediate School District continues as waste and spending in this private club reigns supreme.
Intrusions by taxpayers looking for accountability and economy are barely tolerated. Three senior board members, who decline answering questions, have disgraced themselves and their local school boards and still refuse to resign.
They’ve even ignored Governor Granholm’s asking they resign. Reform is not going to start until they are out.
Have you seen any heavy cuts in staff? An realignment in top administration? Any pay reduction?
Instead, the Oakland School Board is planning to launch an $8 million bond to help pay for the new Taj Mahal administration building.
To the credit of interim superintendent Wm Keane, he is questioning the decision making of his top administration at vocational ed in the spending of $45-50 million there.
County taxpayers must demand their local school boards allow the public to elect the Oakland board by school districts — now. This is provided by state law that allows local boards to make this change by March 1.
It would then eliminate local school boards electing their own to the Oakland board, per the current practice, which we deem conflict of interest, at the least. What will the Lake Orion School Board do?
Students, their local districts and their teachers have been short changed. The flawed special election of 9-25-01 costs owners with a $150,000 home $110/year, a $250,000 home $175/year etc. in perpetuity.
While it promised increased funding of vocational ed and special ed, our FOIA affidavits prove it hasn’t occurred. It must be nullified.
Burke Cueny, Chairman
CURE-OS

I read with dismay about the death of William Robinett in The Review. Even more disappointing, though, was that neither The Review nor the school system had anything to offer about a man who was dedicated to his community and to teaching its kids chemistry.
Mr. Robinett was an eccentric man who cared more than anything that his students learn chemistry. A marathon runner at 61, he would run precariously out of breath when students couldn’t come up with the right answers and begin to ‘flail.?
He taught chemistry at the high school before advanced placement classes were available. His class was College Prep and his goal was to ensure that kids would succeed in their chemistry classes in college and in life beyond.
Neither praise nor A’s came easy in his class, but we all knew he cared.
In 1984, when Lake Orion was still considered a hick town out in the sticks, he taught us well.
In my class of 30 or so in College Prep Chemistry, I know this — at least four went on to become chemical engineers, five mechanical engineers, one electrical engineer and a medical doctor. And probably more that I’m not aware of — not bad.
Mr. Robinett alone didn’t do all of this for us, of course. But I believe he taught us about chemistry and how to work hard, really hard, to get what we wanted in life. Kibby, Cronin and Pung-you had something to do with it too.
Kendy Ball Kutchek

Middle America, sometimes called ‘Regan Democrats,? is beginning to come back home to the Democratic party. The major reason? The Bush Republican agenda has hit Middle America and Michigan very hard as evidenced by an unemployment rate in excess of 7.2 percent which leads all 50 states.
To quote James Carville, ‘It’s still the economy stupid!?
The Bush Republican agenda favors big business and its excessive insatiable ‘corporate greed.? The exportation of American jobs has exponentially accelerated under the Bush Presidency.
In addition to manufacturing jobs, the exportation has been expanded to high paying engineering, and IT professional jobs. Even ‘ma and pa? businesses are forced out of business.
To add insult to injury, Bush and his administration misled the American people about WMD and the reason we went to Iraq.
However, this big business agenda wouldn’t be complete without a new Bush immigration policy which will legalize illegal immigrants so questionable employers like Wal-mart can become legit.
Middle American clearly understands it can’t withstand another four years of Bush. This is why the ‘Reagan Democrats? have come home in droves this year, to ensure the only Republican in the White House next year will be one wearing a visitor’s pass.
Daniel Myslakowski, Chair
Orion Area Democrats

I am a sinner!
How many of you would like to publicize the fact that you are all sinners? Governor Jennifer Granholm seems to think it is okay to label people in relation to their ‘habits.?
Put an extra tax on cigarettes and alcohol because the state needs money. I’ll try to only make one point here and not go into ‘Where does all of our tax and lottery money go??
If we are to be grossly taxed on sins such as cigarettes and alcohol, what kind of tax will the ‘great? Governor put on Twinkies, potato chips and candy bars? How about anyone who curses? Will they get taxed per swear word? What if I have an impure thought? How much will be taken out of my pocket for that?
Maybe the intent is in the right place – trying to raise money for our state’s needs, (even though better spending should have been thought of first) but I sure hope that Granholm isn’t caught with another drink in her hand or a cigarette perched at her lips because I would hate to think of her as a ‘sinner.?

Tammy Layton
Clarkston

On Jan. 4, after having a huge storm, the Lake Orion School District bus drivers had a horrible morning taking the children into school and even a worse afternoon taking them home.
At the end of the day, we were all exhausted physically and mentally.
As I left work at 5:30 p.m., it was very nice to see a wonderful man with a large broom sweeping off our cars so we could go home.
To my surprise, that man was our Superintendent Dr. Craig Younkman. He swept off our cars, thanked us for doing such a good job that day and told us to have a safe trip home.
You can’t know how much that meant to us to really feel appreciated for a very long and hard day’s work.
Dr. Younkman, you are a very kind and thoughtful man and we appreciate you too.
Patricia Pollitt

As the community organizer for the Orion/Oxford Community for the past two and a half years, I have learned much about community and personal involvement.
I have also learned the Orion/Oxford community in general and the Orion school administration will allude to the support of substance abuse prevention, but fail miserable to demonstrate this support with action.
Th. coalition has and has had some wonderful people to bring knowledge, activities, programs and the Developmental Asset initiative to the schools and community.
All these would and could help to reduce the ever increasing use of illegal substances in our communities, IF we (the coalition) had the support of community and schools.
We have not been able to obtain that support. This isn’t due to lack of effort by the coalition or this community organizer, however, as community organizer I share the responsibility.
After much consideration and conversation with family and God and opportunity to pursue other interests, I’m submitting my resignation from my position as community organizer and the coalition effective March 8. I choose this date because I wish to help president Sandy with all the details of the office.
I thank all who have supported me and the coalition efforts.
Gary Binzer

I’m writing in regards to the insert from the Orion Chamber labeled, ‘Lake Orion High School is pioneering Career Focused Education,? by Janette Jones, counseling-career coordinator.
Pioneering again, please……….
Mr. Dunckley, please proof your staff’s articles before releasing to the public! This is not the first time an article has been submitted with errors by the counseling/career educator.
Our district has an excellent teaching staff and this is an insult to all educators.
As far as your program with the ‘Game Plan,? it turned out to be a flop! Many parents, students and several staff members still don’t understand the high school Game Plan. Students are writing down anything and getting credit.
Why did our assistant superintendent, Mr. Beiter allow such fancy, expensive workbooks to be purchased? Our students aren’t even allowed to take workbooks home because they are too EXPENSIVE! How much did it cost????
It might be time to put a plan together that benefits the students not meeting your benchmarks.
Mr. Dunckley, it’s time you take a leadership role at LOHS. Mr. Dunckley, I give you an F.
To the Lake Orion Board of Education…
Many parents feel the school board is not serving the public as it should. The parents/students selected by administrators usually are not the ones you should be hearing from.
I’m tired of walking in my child’s school and seeing involved parents frustrated.
If you really want to know how administrators treat staff, do a survey or hold a meeting. Why not? I hope you don’t think they will come to you.
After what we read about Oakland School Board, You Need to Start Building Our Trust!!!!
JP

Blanche Sims Elementary has placed a ban on all foods containing peanut products entering its facility due to a student who has an extreme allergic reaction to all foods containing peanuts.
Parents and taxpayer who object to this wholesale ban before our Lake Orion School Board are being treated as thoughtless, uncaring and selfish. This is definitely not the case.
I have looked up the websites of the National School Board Association (www.nsba.org) and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (www.foodallergy.org), which are also under the heading of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Neither of these sites promotes a ban on all personnel, volunteers and students from carrying or eating peanut products.
Instead, they recommend that proper medication be on hand in case of an emergency, that they be prepared to handle a reaction, that they have a no eating policy on school buses, etc.
To place a total ban is overkill to say the least.
What if you have a student who is extremely allergic to pet dander? Would the school board demand that everyone who attends, teaches, works for or visits the school be required to live in a pet free home environment for fear the pet dander would be transferred to the school on a person’s apparel?
Eventually the list of items that couldn’t enter the school environment would reach horrific proportions.
No one wants to inflict harm on any child, but there are means to resolve the issue without taking away an individual’s choice of what they prefer to consume.
Those who disapprove of the wholesale ban only wish for a fair and balanced plan with regard for everyone, including the young person who is innocently afflicted with the allergy.
The chance for lawsuits against the school district for putting the ban in place could generate from either side of the issue.
The mindset of school boards that they are the end-all and be-all of knowledge has already come home to roost within our own Oakland County Intermediate School District.
This was due in part to a former LO School Board member, Tony Rothschild, who chaired the ISD during the Sept. 25, 2001 millage increase.
Mary MacMaster

Regarding Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.
My closest friend encouraged me to write this for the editorial column after telling some friends how sad I am that we’re still missing the point.
This movie is not a debate over anti-semitism or factual violence.
Take away the Virgin Birth. Take away the Heavenly Father. Take away the Jew from Nazareth bringing ‘Christianity? to the world.
Take away any divinity whatsoever and consider Jesus as just a guy. Take away all Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist theology.
Take away any prejudice, any holy war and even in this extreme, Jesus? life still speaks clearly.
Jesus actually lived the powerfully creative life he knew he was put on the planet to live and said we can do the same thing.
He said, ‘You’ve stolen tax money from a lot of people, stop doing that now and live. He said, ‘Don’t send the children away; I want them here with me. He said, ? You’ve had eight husbands, here’s a hug; just don’t do that anymore and live.?
The violence we do to each other in our thoughts alone is the very same viciousness of Jesus? torture. He said, ‘Don’t do that anymore and live.?
Jesus lived real love — full of deep trust, acceptance, attention, support, simplicity, unchanging in any experience.
Living in this love is the reason we were all given birth. We don’t want to miss the point.
Ardean Cheryl

Orion Area Democrats Chairman Daniel Myslakowski wants to blame Republicans for Michigan’s economic woes. He says President Bush is to blame for Michigan’s high unemployment rate.
Let’s look at the facts:
As a result of the bold economic plan President Bush implemented upon taking office, the US unemployment rate is 5.6 percent and is continuing to decline — as it has for the last year.
The stock market is up and the economy is showing growth at rates not seen in over 20 years.
The tax cuts President Bush implemented put more money in the pockets of small businesses and Michigan’s working families and back into our economy which helped put people back to work.
Is there more to do? Yes — and President Bush has pledged to keep working until every person who want a job has one. Now let’s look at Michigan.
Michigan’s unemployment rate is 7.2 percent — up over 19 percent in the last year and the highest it’s been in over 10 years.
In January, Michigan lost 31,000 jobs accounting for 54 percent of all jobs lost nationally. Only Alaska has a higher unemployment rate than Michigan.
Myslakowski would like to have people think this is the President’s fault but based on national statistics, this is obviously not true.
So what is the problem in Michigan?
Easy question. The answer is Jennifer Granholm. Other states were on the ball and took advantage of the bold plan implemented by the President.
Granholm waited over a year before recognizing that Michigan was hemorrhaging jobs at an alarming rate. Then, she had no plan to help Michigan families or Michigan businesses. No plan equals no jobs.
Fortunately the Michigan Republican Legislature stepped up with a plan to help Michigan families and businesses. Their plan helps the ‘ma and pa? businesses that Granholm has ignored and comes to the rescue of Michigan’s working families.
Myslakowski claims the ‘Reagan Democrats? are coming ‘home? this year and he’s right — they’re just not going to his home.
They’ll be coming home after their shift then stopping to vote for the Republicans who are actually working to make sure they have a job and not just talking about it.
Rob Tiede, Proxy Co-chair
Michigan Republicans

A group of concerned parents formed a grass roots organization called Families in Action to combat the ever-increasing teen drug use in our community and schools in 1992. The name was changed to Lake Orion Community School Advisory in order to serve the community and work with the schools to implement programs.
It became known in 1999 as the Orion Oxford Community Coalition and joined forces with many other such organizations in Oakland County and gaining 501(c) (3) status as a non-profit corporation in 2003.
Unfortunately, the coalition has struggled over the last couple of years to get support from community members and school administration in both Lake Orion and Oxford. Lack of support, participation and funding has forced the coalition to close its doors.
As drug use in our community continues to increase and outpace county and national averages, many in our community continue to turn a blind eye for fear of bad publicity or other intimidations.
Our school officials are afraid that community members will blame them for the increased substance abuse, while our teens blame the community for not caring about them. Seventy five percent of the 1,640 Lake Orion youth, surveyed in 2003 by Search Institute, said adults in the community don’t care about them. Nevertheless, adults continue to close their eyes to the substance abuse problems.
Parents believe that having their children involved in National Honor Society, varsity sports, Student Council or other prestigious groups will keep them safe. But sadly, the drug problem permeates every sector of the school and teens are exposed to peer pressure to use drugs on a daily basis.
Still others just don’t believe we have a problem or have an ‘it’s not my kid? attitude.
There’s a serious lack of awareness in our community. Everyone should take the effort to read the police and sheriff’s reports in The Lake Orion Review and Oxford Leader to see the incidents of substance abuse cited on our public streets and schools. And urge your school officials to publicize the number of incidents in school newsletters to increase awareness.
Substance abuse isn’t a new problem in our community, however, it’s an increasing one.
Alcohol has been the number one drug among teens since 1960 and based on a national study in 2000, 45 percent of high school students are monthly users. Marijuana is also prevalent and showed a 20 percent monthly use.
Combine this information with the fact that some adults in our community are or were abusers of these drugs and you can see how this might send a mixed message to our teens.
Our actions also send a mixed message to our teens. We don’t consistently enforce MIPs (minor in possession) in our community and our school policy rewards teens with OSS (out of school suspension) rather than try to teach them about the repercussions of their actions.
Instead of giving back to the community, they sit at home (many times unsupervised, playing video games) for three days.
Our district judges even disagree with the current school policy. As drug use has increased in Lake Orion, we have gone from a full-time substance abuse counselor to a part-time counselor at Lake Orion High School.
In fact, rumors are this position could be eliminated next year, leaving our kids without any support, In addition, the LO School District was one of only a few districts in Michigan that didn’t apply for a ‘Safe and Drug Free School? grant of $25,000 that could have been used for substance abuse prevention programming.
If you want to know more about these issues at LOHS, contact the substance abuse counselor, Michele Novak. She has been a great advocate for the teens, working with the parents and the court system to ensure teens get the right message and learn from their mistakes.
It will be a great loss to our community if her job is eliminated. Please urge your school board members to keep her in the current position.
Even if you and your child/teen aren’t personally affected, look around, talk to your friends and neighbors. You will be surprised how many people you may know who have been touched by substance abuse problems.
The coalition won’t be around so you must take it upon yourself to become aware. Have a serious talk with your child/teen about what he or she is exposed to on a normal school day. You might be surprised!
Sandy Mabery, President
Orion Oxford Community Coalition

On Feb. 19, my husband and I were at the store to buy a few groceries and our truck’s battery needed a jump.
I went into the store to the service counter. They sent an employee out to help. He pushed the truck to where he could connect the cables, which started the engine. We thanked him and he said, ‘That is what I’m here for.?
Thank you again, Joe.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Waid

In a ‘fast paced? world we are forced to live in, we often overlook the human kindness that still exists. March 4 was a sad day for many business people, residents of the Village of Lake Orion and Orion Township.
We lost part of the history of this community that day, but what emerged from the ruble of those businesses is the unity of a great community.
After the flames died down and the smoke still hung low in the middle of the street, people began to come forward embracing the business owners who lost everything and vowed to help them pick up the pieces and rebuild.
This in itself shows what human kindness is all about, but what I would like to point out is what a lot of people don’t see happening in the background.
As the fire rose high into morning and smoke darkened the skies of our mighty little community, the businesses began showing their human kindness by supplying the firefighters with food and refreshments that continued until the last hose was drained and packed away.
Holding the position of firefighter is a very unique position in the workforce. Stop and think for a moment; do you go to work in the morning planning on working 10 to 12 hours without breaks or a lunch period? Is your job such that you aren’t allowed to take a lunch hour?
This is what the firefighter faces and this is what these dedicated people faced on that sad March day. When a community comes forward to be sure these people have refreshments or a donut, piece of pizza or hamburger to eat while they continue to fight the blaze is priceless to these firefighters and they want to say, ‘Thank you very much.?
This great community is being protected by a group of very dedicated people that show human kindness by making up the fire fighting force of the Orion Township Fire Department.
These people care so much for the community that they will give up everything to spend that 10 to 12 hours trying to save what they can of a business district in a historical village.
The next time we are caught up in our ‘fast-paced? schedule, let’s stop take a breath and give the person next to us a smile and nod.
That person may very well have shown great human kindness on March 4 by donating food or refreshments to the people battling the fire.
That person may very well have shown great human kindness and embraced a distraught business owner who had just lost everything.
That person may very well have shown great human kindness by volunteering to be the firefighter trying in desperation to save as much as they could of our village.
Thank you to the following: merchants who donated and supported the firefighters; Oxford Fire Department; Addison Township Fire Department; Oakland Township Fire Department; Auburn Hills Fire Department; Lake Orion Village Police Department; Oakland County Sheriff’s Department; anyone else who may have contributed.
Robert Smith, President
Orion Township Firefighters Association

Eight years ago when we opened the Sagebrush Cantina we had no idea we would be so profoundly blessed with so many friends and caring people.
We thanked God every day for this, but nothing has proven it more than the last few days. The moral, spiritual and monetary support that has poured into our lives is truly amazing and so greatly appreciated.
Helping our employees through this difficult time is one of our top priorities. We were so pleased to hear about the fund established by Downtown Lake Orion and want to thank all those who have contributed.
We also want to express our heartfelt thanks to the community, the fire department, police department and local officials for their hard work, love and support.
We are so heartbroken to see the beautiful historic buildings destroyed, but please know we will do our best to rebuild a Cantina that will complement the downtown as quickly as possible.
Again…thank you so much.
The Zarga Family

The Lake Orion Firefighters? Ladies Auxiliary wishes to extend thanks to all the area businesses, organizations and private citizens who delivered food and refreshments to our firefighters last Thursday.
Twelve hours of firefighting is exhausting and the guys were very grateful for all the goodies (pizza, donuts, fruit, pop, water coffee, etc.)
It’s comforting to know their services are appreciated by our community. They put their lives on the line each time they respond to an emergency.
LO Firefighters Ladies Auxiliary

The Orion Historical Society members and directors are devastated by the downtown fire. We share feelings of sadness, loss and reverence for the affected businesses, their owners, building owners and, indeed, for our entire community.
The JC Predmore building and the others, too, have served as a visual and symbolic center for our cultural past. But all is not lost. In spite of the loss of even some of the fa’ades, others remain. They stand (thankfully!), along with the many other very precious historic resources in town, as a testament to our unique and proud past.
The Orion Historical Society offers our sympathy, as well as our support in future endeavors to rebuild the next chapter in Lake Orion’s history.
Perhaps some of the historical data on downtown buildings and photos we have collected over the years might be of some use to those involved in planning to rebuild.
We urge everyone to remember the sense of loss that resulted not only from losing a good Mexican restaurant, but also a good gathering place, and a portion of a downtown that served as a backdrop for our identity as a community. We need to remember this very real connection to our past as we design our future. Please contact us if we can be of help.
Frank Demers, Chairperson Board of Directors

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Clarkston High School Drama Club’s performance of ‘Once Upon a Mattress.?
I have always enjoyed attending high school concert and theater performances, and this was no exception… or perhaps it was because it was… exceptional!
How good it is to see the theater program grow and flourish in the wonderful performance facility. Each year, the production gets better and better, growing in sophistication and stage technology.
The expertise of the ensemble of directors, Mr. Tice, Mr. Peterson, Mr. Chapman, Ms. Seaman, Mr. Jones and Ms. Newman, along with parents and staff, have channeled an outstanding group of talented students to achieve a beautiful artistic accomplishment. One could feel that the audience was truly impressed and delighted in the quality of the show.
How wonderful it is to see kids take on the dedication, work and responsibility in creating such a fantastic result… with each and every person involved, being as important as the next. The outcome was glorious.
My genuine hearty applause to the cast, crew and directors.
Bev Territo
Clarkston

Can the owners of the Clarkston News come to their senses and rid us of these poorly thought out editorials by an intolerant dolt?
It gives me great pleasure to be a conservative Republican who has the opportunity to lecture a liberal on ‘tolerance?. ‘Jesus Freaks?, as you call them, are not the bad guys here, despite what your liberal professors told you. These ‘Jesus Freaks? are a group of people who are trying to spread their beliefs, and the only difference between them and you is that their message has been well thought out. Your editorial, on the other hand, is ill conceived, and the manner you use to address this group of people shows a complete lack of social tolerance. Congratulations, you’re a religious bigot!
You and your liberal buddies want to infest your beliefs on the rest of this country, and you don’t have a problem reaching into my wallet to pay for it. At least these ‘Jesus Freaks? only want to keep Janet’s clothes on, and get some shock jock to shut up. I don’t have a problem with that, and it’s free to boot. By the way, it’s my guess that if Clear Channel were making a ton of money having Stern on their station, he’d still be there. Econ 101, Bud.
You close by suggesting that our political leaders are spending time talking about Howard Stern and not addressing Social Security and terrorism. You also ask how a couple jokes by Stern are more harmful to United States residents than having our presidential candidates bought by special interest groups. I hate to dignify those comments with any sort of answer, as your assumptions are completely absurd. You have thought this through like a third grader. If I owned the Clarkston News, I’d fire you for being incompetent.
Please feel free to comment about kittens or T-ball, and leave the heavier topics to those who do their homework and can think through an issue.

In response to Kyle Gargaro’s column ‘Who is drawing the line?? I have to say that on a political level you have the right to say what you like.
However, I must protest your using the name of ‘Jesus? in a derogatory way. While I understand where you got the terminology I would think a man in your position would have a modicum of respect for the religious beliefs of others and the sensitivity that the name ‘Jesus? evokes in those who believe as I do in his position as the son of God and in the sacrifices he made.
Perhaps you will argue that those are not your beliefs, if that is the case I hope that in the future you might challenge yourself to seek him further.

Wendy Kraus
Clarkston

Our hearts continue to ache for a person who we saw ‘bullied? by administration.
Let me tell you about a person we met many years ago as a parent volunteer. She gives her all and never accepts the credit. We admire her ‘Team Spirit.? To this day she continually supports our efforts, giving a helping hand ‘behind the scene? whenever needed.
This person not only gives support to our local families, but most important she has continued to help the neediest. She gives what others in the schools fail to give, genuine and nonjudgemental support to parents, staff and most important all our children.
She stands up for her beliefs! She’s a true advocate for all children!!!
Unfortunately, for all of us, she no longer is an employee for the school district. As many of you know, our district retains the ‘dead weight,? not the ones who make the difference in our children’s lives.
Recently, I was at an event with staff and parents when I heard very disturbing information regarding the strong armed tactics of our superintendent, Dr. Craig Younkman, and his ‘good old boys.?
A staff member gave me a tape of a board of education meeting where the parent informed the school board and asked for a meeting to discuss her concerns. (What strength and determination she has).
No meeting by the school board was ever held. Why?
Apparently the strong arm tactic used by Dr. Younkman didn’t surprise anyone I spoke with. It seems the Lake Orion administration resorts to harassing and intimidating those who challenge the district’s policies. Information from people who are close to her said, ‘They attacked her!?
Dr. Craig Younkman, because a parent asks the tough questions and wants answers and knowing her persistence (she may have been a threat to the underhanded tactics we see so often), IT DIDN’T GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO TELL HER IT WOULD BE IN HER BEST INTEREST IF SHE DOESN’T VOLUNTEER.
Yes, this statement is true. Dr. Younkman and another administrator made this comment to someone else who has come forth.
WE NEED MORE PARENTS IN OUR SCHOOLS AND ADMINISTRATORS ARE DRIVING THEM AWAY?
With scandals still rocking the Oakland Intermediate School District and the taint of corruption threatening to undermine public confidence in individual districts, Lake Orion’s School Board members should be more responsive to parental requests for greater openness, accountability and honesty.
We believe you might mean well, but often have become rubber stamps for administration.
It’s this type of attitude that leaves parents/staff wondering what is going on in the ‘back room.? Who is responsible for allowing this misbehavior by our Dr. Younkman.
Maybe it’s time for several of our school board members to resign.
To our former coworker/friend, we know you wouldn’t approve of us writing and know you will forgive us, that is your nature.
Just to let you know the administrators didn’t ask for our input (the people who worked on projects with you), so don’t believe in Younkman’s perceptions, this is the GAME he plays.
We miss you and your positive energy you exuberate to us all. As always, you’ve welcomed in our schools!
Staff and Parents Unite

Typically I try and keep my emotions in tact and not to respond to the negative nature of the vocal minority, however, the ‘mother in me? is forcing me to change all of that today.
I am responding to a recent letter by someone only named as, JP. JP’s letter went off into all sorts of directions blaming and naming certain individuals for all kinds of issues at the high school, but as an active parent in the building I feel I have to address this.
I would have to ask JP, please tell us what areas you are involved in your child’s school? As a parent I sit on the Career Focused Education Committee. I have taken in a job shadow student at my place of employment. I have taken an intern for work experience at my place of employment. I sat in and gave my input into the ‘Game Plan.?
I have volunteered time in the Career Center, not only to help students, but as an assistant. As a community member involved with many non-profit organizations, I have offered dozens of kid’s opportunities to achieve Service Learning hours.
Our Career Center is an invaluable tool to aid our students and our parents! This is our student’s opportunity to have hands on experiences in the career they believe they may be interested in, before they spend four years in a university trying to become an architect, only to realize in year three of college, what they truly wanted to be was a graphic artist.
This is a tool to empower our students, and possibly save thousands of dollars for parents.
You mention the cost of the, what you refer to as expensive workbooks, well, if you were as involved as you profess, then you should have done your research. As a parent and part of the committee, I can tell you that it was people like Mr. Beiter, Mrs. Jones, Chris Bell, Mr. Dunckley, and myself, along with many other people who worked very hard to make sure our students could have this valuable tool WITHOUT a large expense to the district and as a group, found grant funding to pay for those books!
JP did you even know Lake Orion was honored recently for its Career Focused Education program and the value it brings to our youth by Oakland Schools?
‘Pioneering,? is the perfect word to be used when it comes to this program. Because just as the early settlers were shot at as they made their way through uncharted territory, you too are shooting your arrows at the staff in our district.
You go on in your letter, jumping to our school board next, and I am not even sure why? Again, as a parent, I feel proud that I can say I have children in all three levels of education here in Orion.
I believe that when you live in a state, that continues to cut funding for public education, it is amazing, that yet we continue to be honored with more blue ribbon schools, and our district continues to operate in the black, I would shout out loud, that our school board made up of VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND PARENTS, the teaching staff, and all of the support staff are doing a fine job!
So JP, don’t hate on everyone around you and write letters to the editor just for the sake of doing so. Come on out, join a School Improvement Committee, or the Career Focused Education Committee, or any other committee that best suits your talents, and use your words for the positive. Our community just might benefit.
CE

The owners and management staff of the Verwood Apartments at 54 South Broadway in the Village of Lake Orion would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the fast response and safe evacuation of our tenants during the recent devastating fire.
We feel the exceptional efforts of the fire department of Orion Township (and surrounding areas) is the sole reason the damage to Verwood was minimal and our tenants were so quickly able to get back home.
The Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Methodist Church and local residents were also fantastic in providing our tenants temporary shelter, food and assistance in replacing items that were lost and damaged during this tragic event.
We can’t express enough gratitude to everyone who made themselves available to help during the emergency, along with the many individuals who continue tirelessly to provide assistance on a daily basis.
We applaud the professionalism and dedication of the people and organizations dedicated to the village. We are confident the business district will be up and running in no time.
Verwood Owners/Management

With this letter of assurance, the residents voted to take on a personal debt of $1.5 million, only to their demise. The letter in question, dated Aug. 4, 2000, was written and signed by Jill Bastian, township clerk, to Sue Turpen, president , Hi Hill Homeowners Association.
‘The Charter Township of Orion Board of Trustees, at the regular meeting of July 31, 2000, adopted the Resolution Regarding Use of Host Fee Funds for Hi Hill Improvements, which will dedicate any remaining Host Fee funds to paying for sewer and road capping cost connected with the SAD project.?
With all the stipulations of the resolution met, the township has chosen to pay its own cost of the project back from these host fee funds.
That payment to the township was not in the resolution. Nor was it part of the decision when they gifted the monies to themselves from the $30 million Water and Sewer Fund.
Hi Hill Village was put at the mercy of the Landfill Closure Committee to fight for its funds, also not a stipulation of the resolution.
At that time I had asked to be on that closure committee, but was turned down by the township board. The committee, led by Bastian, produced its first report on July 29, 2003.
The conclusion of this report determined the possible expenditures outweigh an ‘excess? of host fee funds at this time. The report was to break the spirit of the resolution and again thwart the residents of Hi Hill Village, all with township board approval.
At the Aug. 18, 2003 township board meeting, I refuted the closure committee’s report with facts from the Department of Environmental Quality. The board ‘agreed to notify Ms. Turpen and Mr. Geraci of future committee meetings.?
Trustee Gingell tried for months to get the committee to meet with us. In December 2003, he stopped trying.
Now at the March 1, 2004 township board meeting, the landfill closure committee has a new report to be filed. Obviously it found the time to meet, but just forgot to notify us.
With the board meeting running past 11 p.m., the board votes to accept the report with the stipulation of ‘no comments from the public.? The board once again voted all in favor of accepting this new report once again in haste.
After four and one half hours of waiting, I’m denied my rights as an American to question governmental policy in a public forum
Joseph Geraci, Vice President
Hi Hill Homeowners Association

March 14-20 is Media Democracy Week. Democracy is the foundation of our society and in order for democracy to flourish, people must be able to communicate ideas, share opinions and get information.
A healthy, democratic society is founded on engaged, informed and included citizens.
The primary means of information delivery and exchange today is through electronic media, especially television. Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) media centers, such as Orion Neighborhood Television, provide people with access to electronic communications training, equipment, facilities and delivery systems; encourage civic dialog and participation; and teach media literacy.
ONTV and other PEG media centers serve their communities? needs and promote media democracy for all people regardless of their life circumstances, their political or religious beliefs or their ability to pay.
Orion Neighborhood Television thanks our volunteer producers and crew for helping to keep democracy alive in our community by continuing participation in producing and promoting programming for Orion residents.
We would also like to recognize and thank our government meeting cablecasters who keep Orion citizens informed by working to provide live coverage of Lake Orion Village Council, Orion Township Board, Orion Township Planning Commission and Lake Orion Community Schools Board of Education meetings.
ONTV Staff

I was shocked after reading Kyle Gargaro’s ‘Who is drawing the line??, in the March 3 issue of the Clarkston News. I was baffled how a man who has risen to the status of editor of a newspaper, as small as that paper may be, could have such a flawed view of the workings of the American political system, and of the Janet Jackson halftime incident the editor refereed to as nipplegate.
Let me begin by saying that the Janet Jackson incident, as well as Howard Stern’s show, offended not only the religious right, but the feminist left. Perhaps Ms. Gargaro sees no problem with the blatant
objectification of women found in both instances, but members of both political spectrums do, and should speak up. Mr. Stern pays women to expose themselves so he and his cohorts can ‘rate? them, slap them, and
treat them like dirt. Again, both conservatives and lib erals agree that this was unacceptable, not just ‘Jesus Freaks? as Mr. Gargaro so ignorantly put.
Mr. Gargaro complains that the Republican’s presidential candidates are being hijacked by special interest groups. This may be true, but the exact thing can and must be said about the Democratic candidates as
well. As much as they would love to feel like they aren’t, liberals are not immune to political pressures from special interest groups, and they, like Republicans, act accordingly. Mr. Gargaro is so intent on
getting his political views across, he throws common sense and logic aside. (And I thought narrow-mindedness was a conservative problem!)
Finally the fourth paragraph from the bottom makes absolutely no sense, and is the culmination of a truly awful article, that any professional journalist should be ashamed to write. My advice: learn the facts, take
off the liberal painted goggles, and write something worthwhile.
Mike Claus
Freshman, DePauw University

As a lifetime resident of Clarkston, I was beaming with pride to know that our local resident and superb performer Kid Rock had the honor to introduce the magnificent Bob Seger as an inductee into the Hall of Fame.
Bob Seger is our original hometown hero. His music encompassed our young lives. His concerts at Pine Knob were one of a kind. Amazingly he remains innocently humble. I don’t think he truly realized his musical influence.
Congratulations to him. His recognition is long overdue.
Maybe we can get our two local boys to perform a concert together. Wouldn’t that be a night to remember? I’m sure Pine Knob would have numerous sold out shows.
Thanks for the music.
Sandy Matich

For those of us interested and sincerely concerned about our retirements, it needs to start with our kids. If you save tons of money and have a generation of kids who have no respect for themselves or their parents, money won’t fix their lives. What Keith Clement and the Clarkston Athletic Boosters are doing provides an invaluable service to all in this community. Providing extra-curricular activities for our kids guarantees the parents our children are plugged into more than just an athletic endeavor. They are completing their education and ensuring us they will be responsible, dedicated leaders in the next generation.
I don’t know Keith Clement personally, but I’ve seen him at all the football games; he is one of many unsung heroes in our community. Thanks for your write up in The Clarkston News.

Benson Lange

Ed Davis’s article, in the March 17 edition of The Clarkston News, covering the Clarkston/Waterford Kettering basketball game was very good.
But, a statement on the second page states, ‘The Wolves have never gone further than the quarter-finals? is incorrect. Around 1980 the Wolves lost to Highland Park in the semi-finals at Michigan State University’s Jenison Fieldhouse. I believe this was Tim McCormick’s senior year. Gary Nustad was the coach, prior to Dan Fife’s coaching tenure.
John Priebe
Clarkston

First, I would like to thank Jeff Key, Bob Smith and all of the FIRE FIGHTERS for the GREAT job they did fighting the Sagebrush Cantina fire.
It was a sad day for the community of Lake Orion to see one of our great restaurants, that we enjoy going to for their food and entertainment, go up in flames.
But when I was reading The Lake Orion Review and saw the article called Fire Briefs, I couldn’t believe someone wanted to find the owner of the Sagebrush because he had received a $10 gift certificate the night before the fire and wanted a refund right away.
Well, this just about blew my mind. Boy, I wish I could have been there. I would have given the guy 10 bucks and bought the gift certificate from him. I wouldn’t want the poor guy to be out $10.
Then when the day comes and Sagebrush reopens its doors, I would have used the gift certificate because I know they would honor the certificate.
One more thing, I want to thank the Zaraga family for deciding to rebuild their business. I can’t wait to get a bowl of their great chicken and rice soup.
Lloyd English

Tom Chen from Skanska through parks and rec is planning a millage that will combine a community center and senior center as a result of his firm’s $10,000 feasibility study for Orion Township.
It was requested to Chen that the seniors maintain their autonomy and have their own millage monies to support a center because in 10 years, 27 percent of our population will be over the age of 55.
We don’t want the parks and rec and senior center millage monies combined.
If the purpose of the suggested millage by Chen is to support a community center/senior center, we would like to know why the cost to the taxpayers would be $23 for 93,120 square feet at Friendship Park (supported by a 1.1 mill tax increase).
Rochester built a center for $14 million with 90,000 square feet (including the cost of the land), costing taxpayers only .25 mills.
Why would Chen propose putting $1.2 million into the exciting senior center that will NOT increase usable space, does NOT include fixing the Union Church OR more space for parking.
I’ve done my math; can you do yours?
Kathy Wieland

I have lived in Lake Orion my entire life and have spent a lot of time on and around the lake. As a village resident, I am all in favor of keeping Greens Park open year round.
It would be great to be able to use the ice for skating in the winter. I am not sure if they still have the swimming lessons in the park now that there is a pool at the high school, but besides that, I don’t feel that lifeguards are really necessary.
I also think it would be a good idea to have a skate park available for the kids so that they don’t have to use parking lots. Gaylord has a great skate park for an example. A small skate park in Green’s Park would be a great idea.
Give the kids places to do fun things and make the lake available for all. They should also make a bit more parking available, if at all possible.
Jane Chamarro

Ok, here we go again. I feel like we are talking to our kids. No means no to the senior citizens center. If seniors want a senior citizens center then they should pay for it. There are many other costs that the average family needs to pay for which is the majority in this community. Like rising insurance costs (up 250% in 6 years), home property taxes up every year. Trying to save enough money to provide our kids a college education and trying to save enough money so we can retire ourselves some day. Updating our homes and living spaces. I would never ask my neighbor to help me fund something that I would use. If I wanted it, I would save for it.

Jim Altene
Clarkston

President Bush and other conservatives have been accused in recent weeks of seeking to ‘put bias in the Constitution? by endorsing an amendment that would define marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Gay marriage has never been a constitutional right in America — or any other civilized nation. Those who support the amendment aren’t trying to deprive homosexuals of any of the legal protections they currently enjoy; instead, they are trying to prevent runaway courts from creating out of thin air new ‘rights? that would prove detrimental to society.
Amendment supporters have also been disparaged as ‘bigots.? How can that be, when the language being proposed is identical to the language of the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by 427 members of Congress? Are they — and former President Clinton, who signed the bill into law — bigots, too?
This aggressive campaign to undermine marriage, as it’s always been known, can be defeated — but only if we all stand up to support the Federal Marriage Amendment. Please stand firm for the sanctity of marriage that has served society for centuries.

Anna Anderson
Clarkston

Throughout March, I had the opportunity to read to students in every public and private elementary school in the 44th District. I really enjoyed meeting the students and sharing the joy of reading. Reading opens up a world of possibilities for young people and provides the foundation for success in life. I hope each student saw those possibilities and will embrace the value of reading as they strive to achieve their personal goals.
I want to thank the principals and teachers who worked so hard to make these ‘March is Reading Month? events happen. As educators, parents and community leaders we have a responsibility to help students develop a positive attitude toward reading. With any luck, our students will develop a lifetime interest in books that serves as a stepping stone to success.

John P. Stakoe
State Representative, 44th District

We read that the war on terrorism is now to be extended to Syria. For the consideration of your readers here are some observations by Michael Lind in his book, ‘Made in Texas,? Basic Books 2003.
? Before 9/11 Bush was busy canceling treaties and withdrawing the US from International Conventions, planning an invasion of Iraq, and treating the Likud government of Israel as it’s closest foreign ally. After 9/11 the Bush administration continued to carry out exactly the same policies – even though unilateralism, the planned invasion and occupation of Iraq and the pro-Sharon tilt undermined America’s ability to muster a long-lasting global coalition. A year after the Al-Qaeda assault, the US was more isolated abroad and more divided over foreign policy at home, than at any time since the Vietnam War.
? Shrugging off international law and diplomacy, the US would wage ‘preemptive? wars against regimes that might pose speculative threats, even if they did not threaten the US…with imminent danger. P 124.
? Career officials in the US executive branch privately described the grand strategy of GWB as ‘the Israelization of American foreign policy. P140.
? Arafat, the legitimately elected president of Palestine was treated ‘as a mere criminal who the US refused to deal with. The project for the New American Century, a neo-conservative think tank that disseminated the thinking of the Wolfowitz circle called on US military to eliminate Hussein but also engage in preemptive strikes against Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and other states that shared nothing in common other than their opposition to the state of Israel. P. 140-141.
So now we are going to attack Syria!
? Southeners, eager to support American wars are high school educated, white males from the rural or small town South. P 142.
? The religious right believes in apocalyptic ideology regarding land stolen from Arabs as the ‘fulfillment of biblical prophecy.? P. 147.
? Since 1977 Protestant fundamentalists have acted as an echo chamber for the Israeli Likud party. P 149.
? What the Scots-Irish did to the native Irish Catholics in the 17th century is remarkably similar to what the most militant Jewish colonists did to the native Arab Palestinians in the twentieth century. P 155.
The colonization projects (in Ireland) like those in Israel/Palestine have been accompanied by every kind of atrocity on the part of Israel. The American taxpayer, 98 percent of whom are not Jewish, are taxed billions every year to support Israeli policies.
Where is separation of Church and State here? Where is morality?
Irene Rauth
Clarkston

I’m against the overlay on Baldwin Road.
I spoke to Beth, the planning coordinator, Orion Township Clerk Jill Bastian, Orion Township Supervisor Jerry Dywasuk on March 4, the day after the planning commission meeting. At that meeting, Mr. Pote made a motion to go to the township board on March 15 to ask for funding to implement the Master Plan for the overlay area and the money was needed for Mr. Wortman.
In my conversation with the different township officials, I told them they should implement us on Baldwin Road between Judah and Jordan Roads.
Mr. Stiemel even told me three different times while the Master Plan was being studied that he was going to ask the board to implement us.
The board decided to place a moratorium on development or expansion of development on us, March 12, 2001. One of the reasons was to resolve traffic issues in the entire area.
Well, guess what, we still have a traffic issue so township board members be fair and SMACK A MORATORIUM on Baldwin Road between Judah and Maybee Roads.
That is the best solution at this time and please remember election time is coming soon.
Betty McDowell

As a fourth generation Lake Orion resident, I was very upset to see another resident write such a letter last week.
I’m sorry that Hadley thinks our town paper is so beneath her! Now let’s see, how did she put it? Quaint? Not particularly accurate? Not particularly well written? Very sub-average?
Well, I’m glad she canceled her subscription. I think she should stick with a larger publication.
So they misspelled some things. We all make mistakes. We are not all perfect! I love our town and its paper.
Carol Pihajlic

Thank you to all of you who put your time and effort into making the spaghetti dinner fundrasier such a huge success.
In 13 days, this community proved just how strong we are. All of the support was truly appreciated.
A special thank you to Michelle Zimmerman, Andrea Martinec, Lorrie Wood and Lisa Zyrek. Your friendship is invaluable.
Thank you to all of the Sagebrush employees, Eduardo and the Zaraga family for assisting us when it was you we were trying to help. Your continuous support is endless and we can’t wait to have you back.
Thank you to Chris (DJ), Jeff,, Kurt, Gino and your team for making our raffle run so well. A big huge thank you to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for without its facility, this would not have been possible. Thanks to John at Caramagno. Your fast response and follow up goes far and beyond.
Last but not least to the media, for your coverage to get the word out in such a short time. The Lake Orion Review, The Oxford Leader, Oakland Press, Detroit Free Press, Eccentric, TV channels 2 and 7 and a special thank you to Deena Centofanti; you helped make our day a big success.
To all who couldn’t attend, donations can be made to: National City Bank, Sagebrush Employee Fund, 88 West Flint Street, Lake Orion MI, 48362 or to Oxford Bank.
The Ross Family

We had a very cool thing happen at our school several weeks ago. A few of our students on our boys? basketball team found out that one of their teachers, Mr. Hopkins, has his car basically blow out the engine and he was without transportation.
They thought it was the perfect opportunity to show this teacher how much they cared. These boys organized with their other teammates and pooled their money together, found a car for Mr. Hopkins, paid for it get fixed and presented it to him recently.
How often do you hear of this sort of thing? It makes me proud to be an Oakland Christian School mom.
We thought it would be a perfect piece for people to be encouraged by the fact that there ARE great kids out there. This is a great school with many of its students from Lake Orion, Clarkston, Oxford, Goodrich, Rochester Hills and the surrounding areas.
Cheri Lott

Mr. Jim Altene, who wrote a letter to the editor in the March 31 edition of The Clarkston News, jumps to conclusions after reading the article entitled, ‘Officials set to revisit Senior Center issues? in the March 24 edition of The Clarkston News.
He jumps to the conclusion that he will be asked to pay for a new Senior Center after discussions by members of the township board and representatives of the senior advisory group.
He assumes the new center will be funded by increased taxes, although there was no mention of money in the article. It is much too early to project costs when we haven’t even defined the nature or size of the new center.
Altene also implies the child-like seniors of this township don’t know the meaning of the word ‘no.? In fact, the Senior Center committee is looking at viable alternatives to the proposals put forth to the voters in 2002, not a revisit to the same concept that was rejected in the election. In other words, we are taking into consideration the messages communicated to us in the election turndowns, and reworking the plans according to what the voters told us.
And, for the sake of discussion, what if the article did ask the community to pay for a new Senior Center? Actually, the community is supporting the current building, which requires constant repairs and is expensive to heat and cool.
Finally, what if we asked the electorate to pay for a new Senior Center? Such a facility could be a source of pride to Independence Township, a reward to those who have paid their dues and supported all of our kids in school during all their peak earning years. Many of today’s seniors have paid their school taxes without having any students in school, taking advantage of the educational programs offered. In most communities, it is considered a part of your real estate value, a benefit of living in Independence Township.
But we are getting way ahead of ourselves. Nobody has determined a new Senior Center will cost you or your neighbors anything. All we are doing is exploring our options, something that we have a right to do whether or not you agree with our efforts thus far to design a Senior Center that is both suited to our needs and is affordable.
This is not the time to jump to conclusions.
Harry Knitter
Clarkston

Hang in there Janet!
I know Janet Thomas and she needs to remain in her position with OISD. I met Janet while working on a committee for the Clarkston School Board. She is steeped with integrity and has a fantastic vision of what needs to happen with respect to the children she serves in our community.
She is only concerned with the welfare of children, and isn’t that why we elect the people we do to our respective school boards? I would vote for her in any position whether in our district or countywide. I believe that Janet has the backbone to remain in her position and continue to consider the best interests
of the children.
Completely cleaning house at this point would be detrimental to the children we serve. She needs to stay and fight for our kids, as she remains the historian in the group.
Jeanne Santala-Rose
Clarkston

You’ve probably heard in the past few weeks the charge that the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would define marriage in the US Constitution as the union of one man and one woman, would write discrimination into our country’s founding document. Don’t believe it for a second.
It is not homosexuals, but marriage, that is under attack. Left unchecked, rogue judges intent on finding new rights in the Constitution will succeed, someday soon, in extending marriage benefits to gays. Supporters of a marriage-protection amendment aren’t out to discriminate against anyone; they simply want to preserve the institution of marriage as it has served society for centuries.
Amendment opponents have also turned to an emotional argument in asking, ‘How does one couple’s gay marriage threaten anyone’s heterosexual marriage?? This question misses the point: The goal of gay activists isn’t the individual relationship of any two people, despite such statements. It is the revision of national policy to say that gender, especially in child-rearing, is inconsequential, even though research indicates children do best when raised by a married mother and father.
These and other distortions of the truth must be resisted, because marriage and the benefits it brings must be protected. We must stand together to support the Federal Marriage Amendment. Will you stand up for the future of our children by supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Carol Vandermeer
Clarkston

What a beautiful spin on the fire that destroyed the historic buildings in Lake Orion that I read in the Downtown Digest dated March 2004, Volume III, Issue 1.
I’m glad to see my tax dollars are at least saving some faces, but surely not the historic village store faces that were with us for so many years.
If only we all had such eloquence to tell tall yarns and to publish flashy little color montages to appease the minions with money that was basically ours and wasted on this piece of spin.
Let’s look at the real cause of the destruction of the downtown area. How about a village management, a policing authority in charge of zoning and the fire marshalling that showed itself to be inept and unable to protect and serve its community at a distance of less than one village block away.
It’s a good thing they weren’t Detroit City blocks and Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was out of the barn.
It’s my opinion all the village council and the zoning arm of the village should resign and step down with letters of apology for their inability to cope with real zoning issues, issues that affect all of the community’s fiscal responsibility.
They should be completely censured for the aesthetic and even more so the economic damage we all have suffered because of them. Please heed my words to try and put a stop to any more destruction people like this can inflict upon us.
The governing authority should immediately be given to the seat of the community that is located on Joslyn Road and thereby reducing our village taxes by almost half.
Why am I paying double taxes for this type of mismanagement of local government? Maybe it’s so my property can be assessed a higher property value for even bigger and brighter color brochures and other spin doctoring. I don’t want this propaganda sent to my home that just gets tossed into the local landfill.
As a tax paying citizen of the community, I call for a voluntarily stepping down of the current administration or an immediate election to oust this government.
I place as much blame on those that are supposed to be watching out for us as I do on the way that cash flow was generated at the Sagebrush. Why should we as a small village not police our own policies that brought about Federal agents into our midst to ‘investigate.? Federal agents, I’m sure that was a freebie!
It was only because the Sagebrush could bring in such a good draw, that is, cold hard cash, that the blind eye of small town corrupt politics would tend to overlook why this incident actually happened.
Maybe that’s why we as citizens of the village are paying to have zoning officers come around tell us we need to get our houses painted in a more timely manner or that we forgot to get a permit for putting new shingles on our roof. Or that there are no yard fences to be built. Or that our flowers and shrubs are obstructions and a nuisance.
All these items are surely much, much more important issues than protecting out homes and buildings from being burnt to the ground and ultimately raising our insurance rates.
These great property-zoning infractions must be ver-r-r-y important zoning issues, much more so than fire alarms in the commercial district.
As one great bard put it, ‘to err is human.? So lets not do it again. Do a microscopic focus on removing the root cause of the whole problem in the first place, the village council and the whole kit and caboodle wasting our tax dollars on saving their face with our money.
Pete Mauss

As Orion Township continues to grow, we are facing a public demand for greater recreational options for our residents. Fortunately, due to careful fiscal operation by our government, we are now in a position where we have excess cash reserves even though we have one of the lowest tax rates in Oakland County.
The township board is currently deciding how best to meet township recreational needs at the lowest cost.
The first decision is how we should respond to the 950+ citizens who requested a community center.
After two years of studies, surveys and group discussions, it’s estimated that a new community center would cost an additional 1.1 mils in property taxes.
There are several options currently being considered. It’s my concern that if we offer conflicting plans to voters, it will only lead to confusion.
I encourage the township board to decide on a single plan, put in on the ballot and allow the voters to make an informed up or down decision.
The second decision the board must make is how best to provide operating millage to the parks and recreation department after recent budget cuts.
The township board is currently considering a request for a 3/4 mil operating tax hike to the voters. Sometimes government officials have an urge to request a tax hike when they feel voters will vote for something that is politically popular.
In this case it’s not necessary, since our careful budgeting in the past has provided cash reserves that can fund these programs well into the future.
Let’s provide additional operating millage out of our current cash reserves to fund the parks and recreation department programs and submit to voters one concise plan for a proposed community center.
This will increase recreational options, save confusion and help keep property taxes low.
Jerry Dywasuk, Supervisor
Orion Township

In response to Ms. Rauth’s letter on President Bush and the war with Iraq: This was nothing more than a book report, and unfortunately, Ms. Rauth, most of us stopped writing those in elementary school. It may be time for you to move on, or at least find places, other than the editorial section of the local newspaper, to publish your ‘book reports.?
In your entire letter, you put forth two of your own ideas, which I will address, and seven of Mr. Lind’s ideas – one of which I will address. If you’d like me to address more of Mr. Lind’s thoughts, please tell him to write a letter to The Clarkston News.
First, let’s address one of Mr. Lind’s ideas, which you decide to highlight:
? ‘Southerners, eager to support American wars are high school educated, white males from the rural or small town South.? P. 142.
As a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame, I know hundreds of ‘white males from the rural or small town South? and all of them could likely put your education to shame. They are some of the most intelligent young men in the country, and guess what Irene – they support the war. Next time you send us a book report, please refrain from regurgitating such irresponsible commentary.
? ‘So now we are going to attack Syria!?
No, Ms. Rauth, we’re not. Don’t get yourself all worked into a tizzy.
? ?…The American taxpayer, 98 percent of whom are not Jewish, are taxed billions every year to support Israeli policies. Where is the separation of Church and State here? Where is the morality??
No, in fact, we’re supporting something much more basic and easy to understand – they’re called human rights. Remember Hitler, Ms. Rauth?
Please stop insulting the intelligence of the people of Clarkston.

Brandon Griffith
Clarkston

This is in response to Jim Altene’s letter in the March 31 issue of The Clarkston News.
I bet a lot of letters were generated from Mr. Altene’s comments about the Senior Center.
Yep, that’s right. The seniors should pay for their own center according to you. Well, who do you think has been paying for the schools for the children to use? According to you, if you don’t use it, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.
If that’s the case, then all seniors should be exempt from paying school taxes because they don’t use the schools – some only while they attended school and some used the schools for their children probably from 13 to 25 years. But, they have to pay school taxes all the years they own property. What about the seniors who paid school taxes but sent their children to private schools – years ago there were no benefits. Is that fair?
Maybe the schools should just have a place for the seniors since they’ve paid most of the school taxes. Yep, we can use the halls to walk and maybe a time to swim? Maybe the schools should use the tuition system like private schools – then it would be fair to all. You use, you pay. No means no to schools taxes too. Get it?
Remember that seniors when you’re being taxed out of your homes because of rising school taxes and when the schools ask for more money in their next election.
You are asking your neighbor to help fund something they do not use, unless you did not go to school and have no children. Or, do you apologize to the seniors for using their tax dollars to build those beautiful schools will all the non-needed frills.
M. Taylor
Clarkston

As a volunteer/member of the Gingellville Community Center and township resident for more than 30 years, I’m very concerned over what’s happening. I don’t believe we can’t come to some agreement.
The last thing we need to do is involve attorneys any more than they already have been. Wasting our taxpayer’s money and the GCC’s isn’t right.
As an Orion taxpayer, I resent any of my tax dollars being spent on this nonsense. We can and must settle this.
For 65 years it has served Orion residents well and wants to continue doing so.
I bet almost every Orion citizen has at least one special memory regarding ‘GCC? — roller skating, scouts, Pinewood Derby, spaghetti and fish dinners, kids? Christmas parties, Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties, funeral dinners, blood drives, breast cancer awareness, Boys Club, voting precinct, benefits for people in need and many more.
This charge….FREE.
The GCC has been nonprofit for 65 years. WHY NOW?
Let’s spend our tax dollars where it will do the most good. Finish the bike paths, the water system; improve our parks; clean up the dilapidated buildings and vacant properties, and for God’s sake, work with the county and state on our roads.
Dee Gordon

As a volunteer/member of the Gingellville Community Center and township resident for more than 30 years, I’m very concerned over what’s happening. I don’t believe we can’t come to some agreement.
The last thing we need to do is involve attorneys any more than they already have been. Wasting our taxpayer’s money and the GCC’s isn’t right.
As an Orion taxpayer, I resent any of my tax dollars being spent on this nonsense. We can and must settle this.
For 65 years it has served Orion residents well and wants to continue doing so.
I bet almost every Orion citizen has at least one special memory regarding ‘GCC? — roller skating, scouts, Pinewood Derby, spaghetti and fish dinners, kids? Christmas parties, Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties, funeral dinners, blood drives, breast cancer awareness, Boys Club, voting precinct, benefits for people in need and many more.
This charge….FREE.
The GCC has been nonprofit for 65 years. WHY NOW?
Let’s spend our tax dollars where it will do the most good. Finish the bike paths, the water system; improve our parks; clean up the dilapidated buildings and vacant properties, and for God’s sake, work with the county and state on our roads.
Dee Gordon

We at Oxford/Orion FISH would like to thank the people of Oxford, Orion and Addison for contributing so generously to the Postal Carrier’s Annual Food Drive for the Hungry. As you know, the food collected in our area was all donated to FISH and will help to feed the needy people of our communities for several months to come.
A special thanks to the hard-working postal carriers who collected all the food and the angels who volunteered to help at the pantry on Saturday and Sunday. There were over 10 tons of collected food to sort and store. It was a great community effort all around.
Oxford/Orion FISH

We at Oxford/Orion FISH would like to thank the people of Oxford, Orion and Addison for contributing so generously to the Postal Carrier’s Annual Food Drive for the Hungry. As you know, the food collected in our area was all donated to FISH and will help to feed the needy people of our communities for several months to come.
A special thanks to the hard-working postal carriers who collected all the food and the angels who volunteered to help at the pantry on Saturday and Sunday. There were over 10 tons of collected food to sort and store. It was a great community effort all around.
Oxford/Orion FISH

We at Oxford/Orion FISH would like to thank the people of Oxford, Orion and Addison for contributing so generously to the Postal Carrier’s Annual Food Drive for the Hungry. As you know, the food collected in our area was all donated to FISH and will help to feed the needy people of our communities for several months to come.
A special thanks to the hard-working postal carriers who collected all the food and the angels who volunteered to help at the pantry on Saturday and Sunday. There were over 10 tons of collected food to sort and store. It was a great community effort all around.
Oxford/Orion FISH

We at Oxford/Orion FISH would like to thank the people of Oxford, Orion and Addison for contributing so generously to the Postal Carrier’s Annual Food Drive for the Hungry. As you know, the food collected in our area was all donated to FISH and will help to feed the needy people of our communities for several months to come.
A special thanks to the hard-working postal carriers who collected all the food and the angels who volunteered to help at the pantry on Saturday and Sunday. There were over 10 tons of collected food to sort and store. It was a great community effort all around.
Oxford/Orion FISH

Dear Editor,
I am writing this in response to your article on ‘developmental days? at Clarkston Community Schools.
I have yet to meet anyone who is part of the ‘clear and strong majority? that is mentioned. Perhaps these 800 respondents are ‘single income? families.
The impact this program has on dual income families is huge. The cost savings to the district became a transformed cost to the families when we were forced to buy into the schools? care programs. Our options became to pay for the school care, lose our safety net at the bus stops and let the children be at risk, unsupervised, and alone while waiting for the late bus pickup. Will the district take responsibility for the safety of my child while waiting for the bus alone? I doubt it.
As to the ‘computer lab and/or tutoring times? at the middle schools, my daughter attends Clarkston Middle School and in all the ‘developmental days,? so far, they have gone to the gym twice. They are confined to the cafeteria area only. There is no provision for a more comfortable environment. Other than the two gym trips they have watched movies every time. The comment ‘It was not remarkably different from normal instruction days,? couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I was not surprised the teachers are for this program, why wouldn’t they be? The fact is that there is a loss of 30 hours of class time this year, and my children still have guest teachers frequently for one reason or another.
While we value the teachers our children have had in the Clarkston School District, we can’t help but feel that some or most of this training time could be done during the summer break.
Bill Rogers

Dear Editor,
Well, the Clarkston School Board has done it again.
They chose a CM firm that cost them the first time around. The fact they gave the project to a company that had a $500,000 higher fee, and is a foreign company makes me wonder what sort of deal was struck?
That should really make us feel good to know that our tax dollars are going to support some company in Sweden. The ‘not to exceed? comment is a smoke screen.
So, good luck Dr. Roberts and the taxpayers of Clarkston (of which I am one), I hope you get what you’re going to pay for, and believe me, we’ll all pay for it eventually. Maybe the voters will send the administration a message.
Beverly Burling
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
Dr. Roberts states there is no tax increase in either of the ballot proposals.
What is .127 mill restoration of the Headlee reduction? Vote no on the operating millage renewal with this override. It can be provided again without this override.
The reason there is no tax increase on the 7 mill bond tax is that this is limited by the state.
Bob Heazlit
Clarkston

I would like to thank Kallie and Jim Yuzwalk and their Scout sons Tyler and Troy for a wonderful donation. The Yuzwalks? Metamora Equestrian Center was the site of Pack 44’s most recent meeting.
The family performed their ‘Parade of Breeds? presentation with the help of numerous volunteers and did a splendid job.
Kallie taught us all many things about horses we never knew, and the interaction was just enough to keep even the youngest kids interested. She also prepared a special handout with basic ‘horse facts.?
Again, thanks so much to the Yuzwalk family for the dedication and generosity.
Adam Westmoreland
Committee Chair
Oxford Cub Scouts Pack 44

Dear Editor,
BGO Recreation would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who generously donated their valuable time and energy to the construction of the Ortonville Village Skate Park. We would also like to extend a special thank-you to Ron Lapp, the Brandon Township Supervisor, and Paul Zelenak, the Ortonville Village Manager, for their ongoing support and for volunteering their time and energy Saturday to ensure the completion of this park. We are grateful to have such dedicated leaders who willing to dig in and work hard to provide expanded recreational opportunities for the youth of our community. Thanks also to Ak’wa Water for donating cases of water for the workers.We applaud all the wonderful citizens who donated time, money, and services to this project. Only through your combined support could we finally make this dream a reality.

Gratefully yours, the Brandon Township Recreation Department staff:
Fred Waybrant, Recreation Director
Candee Allen, Administrative Assistant
Diane Taylor, Recreation Programmer
Drenna Beek, Office Assistant

Dear Editor,
I would like to take this opportunity to comment on recent suggestions by the Oakland County Sheriff (OCS) and Mackinaw Center for public police.
The statements indicating that the OCS could provide road patrols at a lower cost than the Michigan State Police (MSP). But the facts are, in Oakland County a deputy makes slightly more than a comparable MSP trooper.
Furthermore, this assumption misses the point in several other key areas. Oakland County is a donor county to the State of Michigan. We pay more in taxes than we get back. We should not reduce what MSP support we get. Why should every other county have MSP support, except Oakland County?
In addition, the study does not reflect that many small townships have MSP support because they do not have the tax base or crime activity to support contracted sheriff service. Small townships are being hit the hardest with the current revenue cuts. Removing the MSP would put a huge burden on the smallest communities least able to handle it.
The arrangement is no free ride, we all pay state taxes and are entitled to have MSP support in Oakland County like every other county. The current arrangement benefits the MSP, the state, our townships and the county.
Robert DePalma, Supervisor,
Groveland Township

Dear Editor,
There are very many times in our lives that we are given the opportunity to stand up and do the right thing, unfortunately, all to often we let those opportunities pass us by. On May 21, everyone in the Goodrich area has the opportunity to stand up and fight for the community they call home.
I live in Hadley Township, but am proud to say that my four children either are enrolled in or will be enrolled in the Goodrich School System. I drive on the roads in Goodrich every day and support Goodrich businesses by shopping there as often as possible. I am very proud to say I am from Goodrich.
If the Mobile Home Park rezoning were to be approved or forced upon us by a Court ruling, EVERYONE in the Goodrich School district will be affected. It is not enough for you to sit in your living room and say you don’t agree with it or you don’t want one. The schools will be overcrowded, we will lose many arts, sports and community service programs that we have worked so hard for. You will eventually be asked to pay an unfair amount of taxes so that new schools can be built. Your child’s education is at risk. Are you willing to pay for up to 1,000 extra children whose households are not paying their fair share?
We are given, by law, the opportunity to voice our concerns. We cannot win this battle unless, as a community, we stand up and say, ‘NO!?
The Master Plan for Atlas Township does not indicate a need for this development and in fact it would go against its efforts to retain rural integrity. First, we must ask the Township Planning Commission to stand by its Master Plan. We must ask them to address all of our concerns about the roads, schools and numerous environmental issues, which would have a tremendous impact on our community. Secondly, if the Township does deny the rezoning and is taken to court, continue to show your support. I would gladly give my money now to pay legal fees in a fight for my children and community, rather than to be forced to give it later so that a developer can make a profit at our expense.
This is not an easy fight, but is certainly one worth fighting. Don’t feel defeated. This is only the beginning and we only have one opportunity to voice our opinion. As a parent and a proud member of this wonderful community, I am asking each one of you to please attend the Atlas Township Planning Commission Meeting at 7:00 p.m., May 21, at Lakeview Community Church. If you are not able to attend, please put your concerns in writing and send them to Atlas Township at 7386 Gale Rd., PO Box 277, Goodrich, Mi. 48438 or call them at (8 10) 636-2548. By doing this your opinions will become a matter of public record and may used for consideration by the Courts.
Your opinions do matter! Don’t let this opportunity to do the right thing pass you by.
Thank you for your support.
Cynthia Crosby
Goodrich, MI

Dear Editor,
I am a married adult woman from Laos. I have five children. I need this program to continue so that I can increase my English skills and get a high school diploma. My family moved around a lot when I was younger. I was unable to get an education in Laos because this and the poor environment. I came to the United States in 1988, I was 22 years old. I had to go to work to support my family, and was unable to get my diploma. I presently work in a factory soldering small parts. With an education I plan to increase my salary and get a better paying job. I have been attending Adult Education for 4 years. I know I am learning a lot, it is helping to increase my English. Please keep Adult Education. My family and I need it.
Mai Xiong

Dear Editor,
Starting the evening of April 3, 2003, a series of ice storms blanketed most of North Oakland County.
According to most estimates, these storms ranked among the worst to have ever hit Orion Township and have, to some degree, affected every Orion citizen.
As the clean-up nears some level of completion, there are many who need to be acknowledged.
The Orion Township Firefighters and Oakland County Sheriff’s Department did the outstanding job that they are trained for.
There were many downed live wires as a result of the fallen trees and limbs which all needed immediate response. The Lake Orion Dispatch insured that all emergency calls were responded to promptly and efficiently. As a result, there was no loss of life or reported injuries.
The Orion Township Water and Sewer Department worked around the clock to insure lift stations without emergency back-up could be maintained with portable generators.
Through the assistance of Waste Management, over a period of eight days, over 600 truckloads of trees, limbs and debris were unloaded at Eagle Valley at no charge for Orion residents.
The Village of Lake Orion Police Chief and Orion Township Senior Center Director, with the help of Oakland County Boot Campers, cleared tree debris for at least 55 senior citizens.
The Road Commission for Oakland County cleared roads which were previously impassable as a result of fallen trees and limbs.
DTE Energy needed assistance from crews in surrounding states, including crews from as far away as Virginia and West Virginia. With this out-of-state assistance, they expedited the return of power as promptly as possible to minimize the inconvenience which all of us encountered.
Finally, we need to thank the Citizens of Orion Township. They pitched in to help one another and also worked to clear roads that were impassable to emergency vehicles as well as the citizens themselves.
Orion Township Supervisor Jerry Dywasuk

Dear Editor,
We, the students of the Clarkston Middle School Junior Optimist Club would like to thank you for contributing to the March 29, 2003 ‘Night on the Town? auction presented by the Clarkston Area Optimist Youth Club.
The Optimist Club does so much, including supporting our four youth clubs, each of which serves the community in so many ways. They also sponsor scholarships, oratorical, essay, tri-star basketball contests, a junior golf tournament, youth appreciation breakfasts, respect for law programs and much more.
Your contribution will help support all of these programs as well as individuals who need funds for special charitable causes.
Once again, on behalf of the Clarkston Area Optimist Club, our four youth clubs, and all the other young people in our community that benefit from the program…Thank You.
Katie Ballough
Clarkston Area Optimist Club

To the Editor:
I agree with the Editor that a review is long overdue on truck traffic in the Village on both South and Mill Street, especially at the current posted speed limit. In addition to the present safety concerns on South Street there are similar concerns along Mill Street because of the skate store and the skate park. Pedestrian safety issues on both South and Mill Street may actually escalate this summer because of the new skate park. A site distance issue exists on the side street beside the skate store. The building obstructs the view of motorists turning into the street. There are no sidewalks on this side street for pedestrians to use to access the sidewalk on Mill Street. Safety issues presently exist at the Old Mill as children ride their skateboards across the dock of the Old Mill and then jump the steps of the dock and land on the sidewalk. Another valid reason for heavy truck traffic to be banned or regulated with a lower speed limit on Mill Street, between M-15 and the traffic light at South Street, is to protect the structural integrity of the Old Mill, a 147 year old building. When heavy trucks travel down Mill Street at the current posted speed limit it shakes and vibrates the entire structure. It was greatly concerning and often scary last year when The Old Mill was gradually being lifted up off its foundation for berm replacement and repair, especially if you were the one inside the building when a heavy truck drove by on Mill Street. A few suggestions might be to: 1) Prohibit heavy truck traftic on Mill from M-15 to the Mill/South St. intersection. 2) Post a sign to prohibit skateboard riding on the sidewalks in the Village. 3) Lower speed limit for heavy truck traffic in Village from M-15 South Street and Mill/South intersection to Oakwood Road. 4) Regulate heavy truck traffic in Village from M-15/ South Street to Oakwood Rd. with posted hours when they are permitted to be in the Village, at a reduced speed limit. 5) Blind driveway sign should be posted on side street at the corner of the skate store. 6) Prohibit traffic from entering this sidestreet, or prohibit turing right, at the intersection of Mill.

Becky Gilpin

Dear Editor,
One day a year, Christmas in April unites volunteers of all faiths, from all walks of life, to join forces, armed with truck loads of donated materials, to improve the quality of life for those in need.? The 2003 workday took place Saturday, May 3. My wife Jody and I were pressed into service with short notice due to the retirement of our previous coordinator. With little time to plan, we were able to rely on our usual group of caring, dedicated volunteers who come out every year and work so hard. We made improvements to a home and yard of a deserving citizen. Along with our house captain Brad Medellin, we would like to personally thank those volunteers for their dedication and hard work. Many thanks also to the area merchants who donated so generously; Country Oaks, Wojos, Hamiltons and Jean Bombeck donated wonderful plants, shrubs and even a tree. Papa Bellas donated to the Volunteers? lunch which was deliciously prepared by Bob and Marge Chambers. Thanks to Brandon Fire Department for providing the space for the lunch in Station #1.
We will start planning for Christmas in April 2004 in September. We are always looking for volunteers and homes to repair. We would like to have at least 3 homes to improve. It’s a wonderful opportunity once a year to do something good for someone else. Information is available from Christmas In April at (248) 889-5450 or Information is also available from Jeannie McCreery at the Brandon Township Clerk’s office, 248-627-2851.

Rob & Jody Chambers
Brad Medellin

Dear Editor
Many young Goodrich athletes are not making the cut due to the recent explosion in the student population. Goodrich Area Schools recently jumped from a small class-B school district with a student population of roughly 2000, to a class-A district with double the student population. Not long ago this school district was comfortably housed in 2 elementary schools, one middle school and a high school. Now classes are over-crowded, and Goodrich needs another school. This is due to the recent development of 173 acres of farmland into a mobile home park. With no tax support coming from the mobile home park residents, many budget cuts are planned, including the sports programs. Those sports that survive the cuts have so many kids trying out, that many players get forced to the sidelines.
This hasn’t happened yet but if the recently proposed mobile home park is allowed to be built on Hegel Rd. east of M-15 our children and grandchildren will suffer. The developer proposes to turn the 173-acre farm into a mobile home park, which can hold more than 1000 mobile homes. This will destroy our schools and our community through uncontrolled instantaneous population growth.
Besides the issue of uncontrolled population growth there will be a heavy financial burden on each and every homeowner in Atlas Township and Goodrich Village to pay for all the needed buildings and services. Think about the cost of new schools, roads construction, improved sewers, police officers, firemen and ambulance service. By the way, mobile home residents only pay a flat $36.00 a year in taxes due to a Michigan State law established in 1956. This is not an error, this law is 47 years old and the amount is $36.00 a year.
The rural community, schools and the foundation for our children’s future is the reason we residents pay our fair share of property taxes and live in Atlas Township. This all could change immediately if we don’t get involved! I would encourage every parent, grandparent and taxpaying resident to attend the public hearing at Lakeview Community Church on Wednesday, May 21 st at 7:00 pm. This meeting is being held by the Atlas Township planning commission to hear the residents? comments about the proposed mobile home park.
Gary Sallans
Wayne Warner

Dear Editor,
Wow! What a way to start the new year…I just read your column [“Don’t move to Brandon Township,” Editor At Large, Jan. 13] and wanted to give you a slightly different perspective of Brandon Township from new residents of the area (my husband and myself).
We relocated from the Los Angeles on Thanksgiving weekend. Before uprooting ourselves from our families, church, and loved ones, we researched several areas of Michigan. We have a toddler and found Brandon schools very appealing and the neighborhoods very charming. We found our dream home and have almost finished unpacking (well, almost).
We have had a more than friendly reception at the Seymour Lake United Methodist Church from the pastor and many of the attendees. We have been so warmly received by our immediate neighbors that we have learned a valuable lesson from them within the first two days of meeting them – two of the families actually had us in to their houses for hours of chat and one even provided us with dinner.
We have never experienced such openness and hope to find ourselves as receptive to others in the future. We come from a community where open doors are a rarity. Because of the friendliness of our new Brandon Twp neighbors, we have been reminded that people come first and chores and tasks come second. In the excitement of our new neighbors, I found myself sweeping snow (a new task for us!) off of the stairs to our front door as quickly as I can, so we can be as open to them as they have been to us.
My husband and I did not see the ugly side to our town since we did not attend the board meeting on Jan. 7. I am glad that you wrote about it if it was, indeed, so ugly. This way we can work on improving the situation (we being the community) once it has been brought to our attention.
Long before we settled in, my husband and I had been dreaming of putting together a neighborhood-type phone book with people’s names, phone numbers, addresses, and hobbies listed in it. We are going to keep our “newly-moved-here rosy glasses” on and hope that projects like this can make our area more neighborly.
Thank you for your time – just wanted to give you a slightly different (and hopefully better) perspective of Brandon Township.
Julie Quinnell
Brandon Township

Dear Editor,
I am writing to draw attention to new ordinances on the planning agenda for Groveland Township, specifically Ordinance #132 and #133.
I have lived in this township for seven years and worked in north Oakland County for 10 years. This community has always been attractive to families who work and play hard. We like our toys and tend to have items that need to be stored outside our home.
The township proposes to limit off-street parking, as well as what one may store in the garages and how many licensed vehicles one may own and/or be parked at one’s residence.
I, as many in today’s society, have a blended family with many teenagers. Under the proposal, one would be limited to one vehicle for each licensed driver in the home.
What is a parent to do? A minor may not sign a contract for a car and those with adult children in college keep their vehicles plated, licensed, insured and parked in our names. Are we to force our children not to have their own transportation until they are 18 years old and/or out of college?
Is the township prepared to provide public transportation for children for after-school activities, work and socializing with friends? If one is fortunate enough to have a company vehicle, it must be stored in the garage. So are we to park the company car in the garage and put personal vehicles outside?
I, as many do, own a classic automobile, which I do not drive daily and requires constant work to maintain. How about those with motorcycles? Are they expected to choose between a car or the motorcycle?
Also in this proposed ordinance, one will be restricted to where, how, and whose vehicle one may work on. One can work only on their own titled, plated and insured vehicle (sorry husbands, the wife, children and other family members must go elsewhere) and it must be in a garage. If one needs to do any emergency maintenance it must be done between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. I have yet to run my battery down, get a flat tire or repair a fluid leak at a convenient time.
So, if we can’t store our vehicles outside and we can’t store or work on it inside, what are we supposed to do? Unfortunately, Groveland Township did not pass an ordinance requiring builders to provide a residence with garage openings to accommodate larger vehicles, so many of our neighbors cannot park their vehicles inside.
The other ordinance pertains to sales of vehicles and their display. It is aimed at businesses but it can be applied to a person if more than one vehicle is sold. Don’t we have a right to sell our own vehicles? Apparently Groveland Township feels we haven’t.
Why did we move to a country environment? One of the reasons I moved here was so I would have enough land to store as many vehicles, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles and toys that I could afford.
The Public Notice does not tell us what is being proposed. Please consider the ramifications to our homes and family life and attend the hearing on Jan. 28 at the Groveland Township offices. If citizens can’t make it in person, they should make sure their voices are heard.
Silence only guarantees that the wishes of a few are imposed on us all and one more right as a land owner and citizen is forever taken away.
Kristen Nelson
Groveland Township

From many aspects gravel roads are desirable to asphalted ones. They are environmentally friendlier than asphalt roads and contribute to the rustic atmosphere and lovely ambience of our countryside. Bicyclers and walkers horseback riders and carriage drivers prefer their beauty to going along a paved highway. All Michigan Beauty Roads in our township are gravel roads. The cost of their maintenance is approximately the same as that of asphalt roads. Asphalting them would cost $1,000,000.00 per mile. Their big disadvantage is the creation of clouds of dust during the summer months. However, dust control procedures applied consistently improve their surfaces year round, eliminate dust clouds, and contribute to the health and welfare of our community.
Oxford Township has 45.7 miles of gravel roads. Primary roads are 5. 83 miles. There are approximately 30 miles of local roads, and approximately 7 miles of sub-local roads.
Every summer the Oakland County Road Commission conducts dust control (chlorinating) on all primary roads. Many townships provide this dust control for the health and welfare of their citizens on all local roads. Oxford Township provides one-half of the cost and adjoining landowners must provide the rest. This arrangement is extremely tedious and impractical. Consequently, many of our gravel roads are not treated and generate clouds of road dust as well as more potholes during the summer months. One of the worst examples is the stretch of gravel road adjoining the future high school, heavily traveled by gravel and garbage trucks, where children appear out of dust clouds on bicycles. This is an area waiting for accidents to happen.
We therefore propose that the Township should provide the total cost of dust control in 2003 on local and sub-local roads and that this item be put the agenda of the Board of Trustees in the near future. This project should be conducted with a bidding process and negotiated at the best possible price.
Yours very truly,
Henry Gleisner
Oxford NACC Director

Dear Editor:
Private meetings are now taking place on revisions to the motorcycle ordinance in Brandon Township. These ordinances do not pertain to residents in Ortonville as was assumed by noise opposition petitioners or village residents who signed a recent noise opposition petition. There is not a review of adopting a noise standard in the community for any excessive noise of a loud and continuous nature that would disturb the public peace or create a nuisance to their neighbors as the nearby communities of Groveland, Highland, Oakland, Oxford, Springfield, Waterford, Winter Lake, Addison and Lapeer have.
This is in direct contrast with what the opposition to the noise ordinance relayed to the planning commission in 2001. They opposed a township noise ordinance that singled out or only regulated dirt bike noise. The township planning commission painstakingly created a noise ordinance that defined a noise standard in the community and did not single out a specific noise source. These noise standards were created to provide every citizen the right to the enjoyment and usability of their private property as well as protecting their financial investment in their property.
Any degradation in the quality of life, image or character of our community equates to a decline or loss in property value and the inability to attract potential buyers to our community. Who wants to relocate to any community, invest their hard earned money or pay high taxes to incur degradation in the quality of their life compared to where they previously lived or a future loss in the value of their home? No one!
Those in support of noise ordinance standards never supported a particular activity or specific noise to be singled out and regulated. They support the adoption of noise standards for our township that are different than township road standards, building standards, home occupation standards, etc. The adoption of a noise standard would respect personal/property rights, quality of life and the financial investments of every resident in the township. The township planning commission spent a year towards developing such a standard for it to rejected by elected officials who desire to revise a motorcycle ordinance when there are already Michigan laws in place for off road vehicles that are not being enforced in our community.
State law prohibits (Act 451 of 1994, Sec. 324.81133):
wORV riding within 100 feet of a dwelling at a speed greater than the minimum required to maintain controlled forward movement except on property owned or under the ORV operator’s control
wupon the waters, stream., river, bog, wetland, swamp or marsh
wprivate land, in a residential area, within 300 feet of a dwelling at a speed greater than the minimum required to mantain controlled forward movement
wriding on public right of ways or upon lands of another without the written consent of the owner
Brandon Township residents will once again have an opportunity to show support or opposition for ordinance revisions relating to noise issues. We can either work together to protect our rights, quality of life and financial investments or we can remain divided and become conquered by social politics. Everyone would have to agree that the primary motivation in speaking out publicly for opposition or support of any issue is regarding our financial investment. Despite the reasons for purchasing our property whether it was for our primary residence, a recreational activity such as dirt bike riding, for hunting, to park or store business/commercial vehicles, for a home occupation, etc. we all want our financial investment to continue to increase in value. No one wants to see a decline in the value of his or her property. The adoption of noise standards that apply to all residents is the only way our property will retain its value into the future. Surely we can all agree that we desire and expect our property to retain its value and increase in value each year. This expectation can be met if we now make an effort to work together and show support for the adoption of a noise standard in our community.
Becky Gilpin
Brandon Township

Dear Editor:
I read your news story, “Resident Claims He’s Target of New Ordinance” and the Letter to the Editor, “Laws Would Take Away Rights” [Monday, Jan. 20].
Mr. Combs couldn’t be more wrong. While it is true Groveland Township has had Mr. Combs in court this past year, it is for violations of existing ordinances.
The proposed ordinance on outside vehicles is a direct request from a group of concerned citizens to the planning commission. These citizens live on the opposite side of Groveland Township and have nothing to do with Mr. Combs’ violations or court case.
It is true, the township did take him to court for operating a used car business in a residential area, and there is still pending activity for other violations.
The letter by Kristen Nelson, Mr. Combs’ friend, also has misconceptions and contains inaccurate information.
Anybody that knows me personally is aware that I own numerous cars and motorcycles. The township does not care how many vehicles you own, but it does care about a few residents who abuse the rights of the rest of us by parking one or two dozen vehicles all over their property – similar to an impound yard. If you keep your property orderly, with vehicles stored inside, the township will not need to contact any resident regarding ordinance violations.
The statement that you won’t be able to work on your spouse’s or kids’ cars is ridiculous as well. The clear intent is to stop people from running a commercial repair service in a residential area.
As is usually the case, requests to the planning commission from our residents are the result of a few inconsiderate residents. Residents are entitled to ask the commission to review these issues. That’s how the process works!
Robert DePalma, Supervisor
Groveland Township

Letter to the Editor:
Recently, the Goodrich Area Schools Board of Education decided to name the new high school auditorium after Superintendent Dr. Raymond H. Green. My question is, why did the board of education arbitrarily decide what the name should be?
When the new elementary school was completed, names were submitted which included people who had spent their lives working and living in the Goodrich community. The board said the policy was not to name a building after a person. Hence, the new elementary was named Oaktree Elementary School. (By the way, has anyone seen that oak tree lately?)
Why didn’t the board of education present the names of the new auditorium to the community of Goodrich? Isn’t it a shame when very few people have input over the name of a structure that will be forever in the community?
At the very least, the person receiving the honor should have lived and been a part of the community for many years. Not just someone who has earned their living here. Does said honoree live in the community? Has he been a significant, integral, contributing member of the community for 22 years? I strongly disagree, as do many others.
Maybe community people are just too busy living to get involved or fear the publicity of stating their opinions. Remember, it is “our” school system, not just “theirs.” In many ways, there is no real freedom of speech within the hallowed halls of the Goodrich school system. I know, I’ve experienced it many times. Lend me your ear sometime.

Fritz P. Wolff
Goodrich

Dear Editor,
Thank you for your continued donation of a subscription to the Oxford Leader to be placed in the Creative Sharing Corner on our campus. We have appreciated receiving the paper throughout the year of 2002. The students have enjoyed reading about local news, especially when the Leader printed the feature article on our new Culinary Arts Program!
We are committed to providing a healthy, safe and age appropriate environment to the children and teens in our care. The current difficult economic times make this task quite a challenge. Thank you again for your continued support.
Janet McPeek, Ph.D., L.P.
Executive Director of Crossroads for Youth

Dear Editor,
A friend forwarded the article on Ed’s retirement to me. I was just in Oxford last Fall and my first stop as usual since 1968 was at Ed’s Sunoco. He wasn’t there, but I left him a note as I’ve done in the past.
Even though I didn’t have a car in high school (1957-1961), my classmates that did not only filled up their cars their before heading down to Pontiac (to cruise Ted’s, et al on Woodward avenue), but if you
ever had anything wrong with you car you could get free advice from Ed, and if you needed to use his hoist or tools, he would let us do it gratis….and, if you didn’t have enough cash, which he knew when you would only put $2 in your car….he’d say, “put a couple more bucks in, and I’ll carry you.”
In 1965, I did finally purchase a 1964 409/425 Impala SS….and Ed was constantly helping me improve it’s performance, as well as letting me and others wash our cars there and showed all of us, that didn’t know, how to change our own oil filters, and lube and oil our cars.
Since service in Vietnam, I’ve lived in Florida, Az, NYC, Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Lake Tahoe and now Montana….and whenever I visited Ed’s Sunoco, Ed always had time to take a few minutes to talk about the good ol days and what I was doing with my life, they don’t come much better than, Ed.
Nor than you, Jim. You provided a couple of the Sandor boys jobs when we needed it.
Many thanks, to you, Ed and others that made Oxford the greatest place to grow up.
John “Skip” Sandor

Dear Editor,
Letter to the Editor:
I, along with others, agree with Fritz Wolf about the Goodrich school board naming the new high school auditorium after Superintendent Raymond H. Green without asking the public [“Board should have asked people,” Letters to the Editor, Feb. 3].
When the new elementary was built, there were several names to choose from. The one I remember was Robert McNally Elementary, because it was the one that received the most votes by teachers, parents and students.
Robert McNally was known by everyone because he worked for the students as a teacher, student counselor and principal. Yes! He worked directly with teachers, parents and students.
Does Dr. Green? If Dr. Green showed up at Reid Elementary more than two times in a school year, we were very surprised. I know, because I worked at Reid for 13 years.
Yes! The school board said it was their policy not to name a building after a person. I have not seen in any of the board minutes where this was changed.
If it was changed, it still should have gone before the public. If this is the new policy, then I submit the name of Robert McNally for the new middle school that has no name as yet.
Let the public name a public building.

Dennis E. Harris
Atlas Township

Dear Editor,
I left a meeting with neighbors on Feb. 3, 2002 with two impressions:
1) how much we care about maintaining the integrity of our waterways; and
2) how little our government agencies seem to consider the consequences of some of their actions on those waterways. Streams, and lakes, are not, and should not be, sewers.
Years ago, storm water was managed by using flood plains and wetlands to receive and filter the water as it flowed vertically into aquifers and horizontally into streams and lakes. Now, with the loss of so much of our flood plains and wetlands – our natural filters of water – we are challenged to find other, equally effective, ways of protecting our ground water, streams and lakes from pollution.
In this the 21st Century, we continue to use certain techniques for managing storm water which date back centuries. Years ago, farmers cleared their land, put in drainage tiles, spread manure, and used the local stream as a storm drain (i.e., sewer). Now, we know the possible adverse consequences of turning our streams into sewers.
Even today, much as farmers did long ago, our management systems direct pools of storm water away from flooded sites and into streams and lakes. This is done even though those waters may contain high concentrations of petroleum products (e.g., gasoline, oil and coolant) and road salt (in the winter months).
Check your roadways – notice where the drains, or “sluiceways,” direct the water from gathering places. When my wife and I drove home from the community meeting, we had to use caution to drive around a huge gathering of rainwater on M-15, apparently caused by a plugged drain. Did you know that, when unplugged, that drain directs that water into the creek joining the Mill Pond with Parke Lake, untreated? And, that kind of management of storm water is typical.
We need to find modern ways to manage our storm water, to replace the natural ways which have been lost, if we want to preserve the purity and integrity of our groundwater, lakes and streams. Our waterways are the source of life to us: we drink groundwater, even when it is collected and distributed by a municipality; and we use surface waters for recreation (e.g., swimming, boating and fishing). If our waterways become unhealthy, so will we.
We must expect those who serve us to protect us, whether they are involved in local government (i.e., city, township or state) or governmental agencies (e.g., local DPW, Oakland County Road Commission, or Michigan Department of Transportation). We need to speak up before it is too late.

Tom Stone
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
I attended a Lake Orion Village Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Feb. 6. I was there because I heard the board wanted to evict Wendy Patton, owner of the Ehman Center, from her own building.
I can’t believe it’s acceptable for the Boys and Girls Club, community organizations, police, and all the community voters to use her building, but not the owner.
Her attorney submitted several letters to the board on Patton’s behalf from various community members and neighbors.
At one point, a board member asked if she should read the letters in support of Patton out loud into the record. LO Village Manager JoAnn Van Tassel told this board member she didn’t believe they were relevant to the variance being requested.
Just prior to voting, another board member said they had heard from several neighbors who were against granting this variance. He used this as part of his basis for a decision to evict Patton from having her business office in her own building.
These letters and what they had to say could have made a difference as to whether or not her variance was approved. Now we will never know.
I’m disgusted the village manager has taken her dislike of Wendy Patton and her ideas to this extreme. Wendy is trying desperately to bring new life into our community.
The only reason she hasn’t begun the major renovations that the building requires is because it hasn’t yet, after two years, been approved to renovate into saleable office space.
She has fixed items as they have come up with a band-aid approach in case her PUD is not approved and she can’t use the building as such.
I believe these letters should have been read into the record, if for no other reason than because residents wrote and submitted them with that intention.
When we write letters to public officials, boards, councils and such, it’s because we feel strongly about something.
The individuals who wrote those letters had every right to have them read into the record. The public has a right to hear them and take note of them. As citizens of this community, we have the right to speak out and be heard, whether we write a letter or talk at a meeting.
I hope in the future all citizens are given the opportunity to be heard. This is our community as well and I believe we can only make a difference if we assert ourselves.
I certainly hope that in the future, meetings of any kind consider what every person has to say, whether written of spoken. This will make our community one that is banded together, not one in which village officials carelessly tread over the public
Laura Proctor

Letter to the Editor:
I believe there is more than one type of problem that needs to be addressed in Brandon, other than just noise reduction. Noise reduction is an important issue and needs to be addressed in a way that will not take anyone’s personal rights away.
Noise reduction should be a common sense issue. All people need to do is ask themselves is, could I be bothering others? If the answer is yes, then maybe I should not do it.
But if it something like riding motorcycles on one’s own land, then no other person has the right to stop them. The only time I would say yes is if it is late at night and the noise is keeping people awake who may need to get up early the next morning. Face it, people move out to get away from the loud noise and want peace and quiet and that’s a hard balance to reach when the community is growing faster than people can adjust to.
My issue is drivers who do not understand how the four-way stop works. I have noticed in the mornings, at the corner of Mill Street and Church that drivers who are second, third, etc. at the stop sign behind the first vehicle will follow the first vehicle through the stop sign and not come to the proper stop. This could lead to having a traffic light installed, and in my opinion that will cause more problems than it will solve.
In the morning, people do not follow the speed limit sign; they either driver 15 mph or more faster than the posted speed, which when the kids are walking to the bus stop (and let’s face it, most the time children do not pay attention to cars going by). That could cause injury or death. That’s not something I think any of us would want to live with for the rest of our lives.
My other issue is the teenagers and moms who drive their children to school and turn onto M-15 and don’t drive the speed limit but go 15 mph slower than the posted sign. All I’m asking is, go the speed limit because there are other drivers who need to go to work.
I know it sounds like I’m complaining a lot, but we as a community need to address these issues to make life easier for all.
Andrew Fisher
Ortonville

Dear Editor,
First, large applause for mashing the sports pages into section one of The Clarkston News. For years I have been simply throwing away the second section. Now, I find reason to look through both sections. Thank you.
I was sorry to read your unhappiness with the “yuck” of Michigan’s winter. If this weather “beats you down to a shell of your former self,” what the heck are you doing here anyway? You know what they say in Maine (where folks are made of far tougher stuff) “If you can’t take the winter, you don’t deserve the summer.”
Indeed, if, as editor, your “duty is to raise the spirits of those who brave the cold weather,” consider this: Many of us don’t need our spirits raised. Many of us love the cold, crisp, snowy days and nights? a chance to take brisk walks and snuggle in front of cozy fires. The extremes which summer brings are the food of life for many individuals. It really is Michigan in February. What do you expect? Do you always see the glass half empty?
Additionally, your list of items that are worse than Michigan in February could be improved. It would appear you spend too much time on the couch watching foolish television. How about the worst being Bush charging into his war; against world opinion. Right now I’d consider that far worse than Michael Jackson and Jared. Thanks for listening.

Judy McConnell
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
In today’s paper (2-5-03) Jeff Patrus said, “The foreign policy discussion and talk about Iraq is best left to those in elected offices, political science experts, (here’s the kicker) and average citizens who have relatives in service.
Wow, what rock did he crawl out from under? Does he really advocate limiting free speech to a selected few? If that is truly his position he should not be working for your newspaper. Of course, if you agree with his position then your paper would no longer be welcome in my mailbox.

Harold Fineman
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
Thank you Elaine, for finally stating in writing, the attitudes of certain Village of Lake Orion Council members regarding the DDSA and Main Street Program.
What’s the matter with these council members that they don’t appreciate the fact that we were “chosen” to be a part of this program.
Do they NOT want the village to progress? Do they want us to stagnate and then be slowly absorbed by the township?
I, for one, am very proud of the accomplishments this village had made in the last couple of years. It’s all due to the efforts of the village manager JoAnn Van Tassel and downtown development coordinator Becky Goodman. Kudos to both of them.
Additionally, another observation made of council meetings; are there citizens out there who think by running for council, they will be above the law and above rules and regulations that are set BY the council?
At the election for village council on March 10, please vote for candidates who have the best interests of the VILLAGE in mind.
Sandy M.

Dear Editor,
Every year two things take place in Oxford at this time of the year ? there is the annual Groundhog Day event at the park and our local cable company raises their rates and fees.
Because our local groundhog passed away last year I recommend that a representative from Charter Communications be substituted for the ceremony at the park.
Of course, whether or not he sees his shadow, we will still see rates go up.
Rod Charles
Oxford

Dear Editor:
Let’s set the record straight! This is a response to the Letter to the Editor [“Raise questions on ordinances,” Feb. 17]. There are always a few people who cause problems. They don’t want to cooperate with the township. We enforce ordinances the same way for everyone. Most people comply if they are approached by the ordinance officer. However, after repeated attempts with no improvement, the township has to seek legal action, to get compliance.
This township, and every other township that I’m aware of, does not have an ordinance officer driving around snooping on peoples’ property without cause, simply to harass them and look for violations. However, if a violation is brought to the Township’s attention we do investigate. We don’t ask, “Do you like your neighbor?” That has nothing to do with the issue of violating an ordinance. The process in Groveland Township has been the same for decades.
The township has a part-time ordinance officer. He can only respond to legitimate complaints. There have been many complaints with no basis, and no action is taken after the initial investigation. But for those who think they are above the law, and not only don’t remedy, but defy it, we have to respond to protect the community.
The driveway dealer is a prime example. We asked him to reduce the intensity; he doubled it. Did they have six, eight or 10 cars on the property? No, they had up to 23 cars! Hardly appropriate in a residential zoned district. Maybe we should poll other communities like the Village of Clarkston. Do you think they would allow a used car lot with 23 vehicles on their residential part of M-15. I doubt it, and neither does Groveland Township.
We currently do have an adequate “junk car” ordinance. Some people use dealer plates or antique plates as a loophole to store 20-30 cars on residential property. That is clearly not what is intended for residential use. If we don’t fix the problem, we will become a haven for others who would damage our community.
The ordinance officer is required to follow up on complaints about anybody. The principal difference is, 99 percent of the residents will take steps to comply. Only a few make the situation worse and force the township to take them to court to finally get a blight conviction to clean up the property.
As far as most of the valid points brought up by citizens at the last meeting, I’m sure the planning commission will address the valid concerns as they always do. Citizen input is welcome and most ordinances are modified before they are recommended for approval by the township board.
It should be noted that this ordinance change request was in response to a number of citizens – not the township board or me. Citizens have the right to seek assistance when a valid problem develops. The solution is generally in the residents’ best interest and fair for all involved.
The remainder of other comments in last weeks letter does not warrant any response or comment as they are too bizarre.
I have been committed to maintaining our rural way of life for over 20 years. No one is a bigger advocate of keeping government small. But, when a minority abuse the majority, we have an obligation to respond. Nobody wants our community to be a Birmingham or Sterling Heights, but we sure don’t want it to be the junk yard of Oakland County.

Robert DePalma, Supervisor
Groveland Township

Dear Editor,
I would love to see Orion Township divided east of M-24 from Brown Road to Indian Lake to Kern and change the name to Eastway Township.
The charter of this township would have a governing board of one supervisor and two trustees elected by the citizens. The clerk, treasurer, assessor and maintenance would be appointed by the governing board.
The board would also appoint an attorney, full-time and resident.
Meetings would take place every Monday for the residents. Decisions on ordinances and rules would be decided by the residents’ and taxpayers’ vote.
I realize there would be complications with the school system adjustment and right now all this doesn’t exist, but someday this may become reality.
When the people of the east side finally wake up and realize that the only times our so called township officials know we exist is at election time. And then I think most of them need a map to find their way around anywhere east of M-24.
They say sometimes dreams come true; don’t kill the dream.
James Delavan

Dear Editor,
Well, it must be election time in the village and here comes the biased attacks against certain council people.
I thought a letter to the editor had to have a full name? Who is Sandy M?
What about Elaine Stieb and her little “Notes” column? First she writes how Brad Jacobsen is this great volunteer and she was miffed about how he was treated at a council meeting.
I saw the meeting in question. I think it was Jacobsen who was attacking the council. Also doesn’t Jacobsen sell his flowers to the DDA?
I don’t think calling Jacobsen a volunteer is fair, not if he has a financial interest in the committee he is serving on. Why does Stieb never report Jacobsen had a financial interest; isn’t she a reporter?
Speaking of people running for council being above the law, why can’t Van Tassel follow the rules? There were no permits pulled for building the gazebo in Children’s Park. Now Van Tassel is attacking people in the village for not having the right permits.
Also, Bill Siver was painting council member Cummins’ house when he voted to approve a lot split for him. Must be nice making money on your votes. (Maybe Siver will be painting the houses over on Atwater Street too.)
Does Van Tassel not work for the council? It’s very obvious she runs the council behind the scenes. Council members Hollenbeck, Stephen and Siver are puppets of hers.
Let’s get a council in there that works for the residents’ concerns, not runs Van Tassel’s agendas.
Dee Lukas

Dear Editor,
Thank you for presenting another view of local sentiment regarding the potential for going to war against Iraq.
The photo of “NO WAR” was taken of my mailbox and poster. I need to mention that this is the third such poster that has been erected at that site.
The first was stolen and the second was destroyed. If you look closely at the photo you will notice the wooden reinforcement across the bottom of the sign and the substantial number of nails that attach it to the mail post.
This, of course, is all an attempt to discourage the type of vandalism previously encountered.
Please advise your readers to spread the word that the freedom that so many want to protect by going to war applies equally to those who oppose the war, as well as signs and demonstrations supporting that point of view.
Even GW Bush recognizes that democracy welcomes open dialogue and opposing views as a way of safeguarding the rich, free traditions of America.
I wonder if the sentiment supporting war will be the same if war becomes inevitable and we start to witness the devastation of the innocent victims of collateral damage on the nightly news and the inevitable coverage of our brave troops returning in body bags to their suffering families.
Michael Bzdok

Dear Editor,
True leaders lead by example.
Our freshman governor, in the face of looming budget deficits, has proposed a 10 percent pay cut for herself and is exhorting the state Legislature to do the same. Jennifer Granholm may not have gotten my vote, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Now at the local level, our local school administration can lead by example as well, by showing their willingness to bite the financial bullet.
Superintendent Virginia Brennan-Kyro can show true fiscal leadership by buying her own gasoline, eschewing her bonus, insisting on a pay cut ? which should be frozen until better times return ? and then encouraging the other administrators to follow her lead!
This would show rank-and-file teachers and administrators that she means business, and could inspire even greater cuts through the creativity of the truly talented people of the Oxford School District.
Talk about Trickle-Down Economics!
And then there’s positions like Director of Communications ? this ain’t General Motors, folks. It seems to me that the job of gathering local school information for newsletters and such could be done well by para-professionals, and parent volunteers ? like the PTO.
Tom Moore
Oxford

(Editor’s note: This was sent to us from a reader responding to a recent column about celebrities commenting on current events including the possibility of a war with Iraq)

Dear Editor,
The following Hollywood types have joined hands in condemning the dreaded SUV. They call the gasoline fill-up of your SUV “Supporting Terrorism.” Who are these people that want to PC your automobile?
· Norman Lear (All in the Family televisions fame): Lear had a 21 car garage at his 13,000 square foot home. His servants put 40, yes, 40 trash cans out by the curb for their weekly pickup.
· John Travolta: Travolta owns a private 707 and flies it himself around the world. How much fuel does he burn?
· Adriana Huffington: Huffington moves around in her 9,000 foot home. I wonder what the energy costs of that place are each month?
· Barbara Streisand: Streisand is driven around in a 45 foot mobile home so she can avoid public restrooms. What is her cost of avoiding germs?
· Gwyneth Paltrow: She too joined hands in condemning the dreaded SUV. Unfortunately for that camp, she spoke to soon. It seems she still has not found a buyer for her Mercedes SUV.
If you drive an SUV, enjoy the ride. Your critics are all living in Hollywood or perhaps they think they are in “la la land.”

Dear Editor,
I want to state that after observing village council meetings of late, I decided to do some research on the candidates running for council.
I feel each of the following would serve the best interests of the village by their professionalism and duty to office:
Charlotte Patton: interested in seeing the village progress
Ken VanPortfliet: former council member who has proven himself with past performance
William Siver: incumbent
Harry Stephen: incumbent
Please vote on March 10.
Patricia Fry

Dear Editor,
I recently read a letter from Dee Lucus in your paper. It was titled, “I saw Jacobsen attacking the council.”
I was amazed at how a person can blatantly misrepresent the truth or is merely too lazy to check the facts. This person presented herself as an informed citizen. Here are the VERIFIABLE FACTS:
1. I obtained a lot split on May 29, more than four months before Bill Siver was elected to the council to fill a vacancy. Please see Resolution of Council dated May 29, 2001.
2. On Oct. 9, 2001, more than four months after I obtained a lot split, I didn’t vote for Siver for the council vacancy. Please see Village of Lake Orion Village Council minutes, regular meeting Oct. 9, 2001.
3. I took bids for the painting of my house. Siver was the lowest, most qualified and I awarded him the contract.
There is no payment for votes when councilman Siver wasn’t on the council and didn’t vote on my lot split. I didn’t vote for Siver to be elected to the vacancy on the village council.
It’s imperative the voters receive accurate and verifiable information before casting their votes. What a disservice to the voters by Lucus.
James Cummins

Dear Editor,
We have lived in the village for 11 years. We enjoy the friendly, peaceful feeling of living here. We have become involved in our community as volunteers and by attending council meetings quite regularly.
It seem to us there are only a few members on the council who are dedicated to serving the residents while others are busy serving their own needs.
Tom Albert, Mark Brancheau and Doug Dendel have been more than willing to address issues or concerns from ANY resident.
To further promote a “resident’focused” village council, we support MARK BRANCHEAU, JAMES KEITH CAMPELL AND ED ROBERTS in the upcoming village council election.
These candidates are committed to serving our (the residents) needs for the improvement of our community.
Vote on March 10.
Curt & Lauri Bussell

Dear Mr. Carnacchio,
We would like to commend you on the way you wrote the story about the trial of Phillip Brown.
You gave all the facts about the trial and how he murdered our son.
Thank you for the excellent way it was written.
The family of Randy Pardy would like to thank the Oxford Police and Fire/EMS departments and all who came to Randy’s aid.
We would also like to thank the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department ? all the detectives and all the experts who worked on this case.
Thanks to the many in the court system who worked long and hard to bring justice.
We also would like to thank everyone who gave to his children’s fund, sent flowers, food and had masses said.
We give all of you a heartfelt “Thank You!”
God Bless the American Justice System!
Randy was that one that was hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget.
We will love him forever.
Just be grateful now that Oxford is a safer place with Phillip Brown behind bars.
Thank you,
Phyllis Pardy

Dear Editor,
Thank you! It is so hard to believe some of these people these days (like to know where they have been these past several years or months and why they can’t see the large picture). And, it is also great to hear others’ ideas.
Simply put, she (Toni Smith, a college basketball player who turned her back to the flag during the National Anthem as a form of protest of a possible war with Iraq) may have her reasons but then leave the country that defends her if she can’t resolve her differences honorably. She should have thought it out better before acting it out.
As for those who feel they are saving the world…we should not let them back into the country if they pull pranks like being shields and causing extra trouble for our young military people who have a duty to perform for the safety of the United States’ people and under privileged souls around the world. You are correct in my eyes…no other way to look at it but treason. We must get focused on the real problem and follow it to the end.
Thanks again for your article. We at this house agree.
M. Underwood

Dear Editor,
I would like to thank my kids’ bus driver. She knows who she is. She’s the Clarkston Road route driver. Our road is one of the most difficult to travel on.
For the past seven years, you have safely picked up and dropped off my three kids. Here are just some of the special things our Clarkston bus drivers do for us:
· On developmental days kindergartners are sometimes sent on the wrong day and drivers let parents know or have calls made to notify the school.
· If a student is on the bus and there is a question as to where the child belongs (such as Kid’s Connection or home) the driver takes the time to have calls made to schools, home, parents’ work, etc. to make sure of the child’s destination.
· When dropping a child at home and the norm is perhaps a vehicle in the drive, a garage door open, a wave from a parent, etc. and this doesn’t happen they check it out before leaving the bus stops.
· On a daily basis (kindergartners mainly) or other elementary students are taken home and the parent isn’t home for them. The student isn’t released until much checking is done and students are kept on the bus until a parent comes, calls or they are returned to school.
So, with that, I say thanks to our Clarkston school bus drivers. Our unsung heroes. You are appreciated.

Joy Vander Weel
Davisburg

Dear Editor,
Oakland County Commissioners with a 10 to eight vote on March 6 opted not to appoint a temporary commissioner to fill the vacancy left by Larry Obrecht.
This will leave district 3 — Lake Orion, Orion Township and Oakland Township without representation at the county level until the June 17 special election.
Apparently a majority of the commissioners don’t share the same insight as our Founding Fathers did in regard to Taxation Without Representation.
If there was a perceived fiscal responsibility to leave the seat vacant how ridiculous when you consider the $22,000 spent on a recent junket to Washington DC to “generate ideas for commissioners that sometimes translate into cost savings.”
How do you put a price on the rights of the residents affected by the commissioners’ decision?
Orion Township Trustee Eric Wilson was the only representative from our district there on March 6, lobbying this issue of no representation to the commissioners. Lake Orion and Oakland Township where were you?
Over the next four months we will be at the mercy of the county, from making policy decisions to the current budget crisis and looming cuts.
This is a pivotal year for our district with the upcoming mandatory well and septic system inspections by Oakland County. With no representation in a district that has a good number of residents on wells and septic systems. OH MERCY!
Thanks, Eric, for your dedication to the community.
Joseph Geraci

Dear Editor,
Oakland County Commissioner Larry Obrecht’s resignation, effective March 3, means that special (primary and general elections) will be necessary to fill that position until the next regular election in 2004.
District 3 encompasses voters in the Townships of Orion and Oakland. The specific dates have yet to be determined.
As has been common practice in Orion Township, all registered voters will be mailed absent voter ballot applications (for both elections, if a primary is necessary). The application may be completed and returned to the township clerk’s office by qualifying electors choosing to vote by AV ballot.
For voters choosing to vote in person, refer to the township polling place location on your voter ID card.
Please note: It may be necessary to use several temporary polling locations for the upcoming special elections due to construction at some schools and churches.
Information will be mailed to each voter affected by these temporary changes. Information will also be posted on the township website, in the newspaper and on the local cable channel.
(Unfortunately, at the same time Obrecht was submitting his resignation, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and have been undergoing treatment. Even in my temporary absence, deputy clerk Rosalie Ward and the clerk’s office staff will be continuing to serve your needs and working diligently to prepare for the special elections at the most efficient cost to the taxpayers.)
We encourage you to get informed about the candidates and vote in the special elections to elect a new county commissioner. Please take the time to cast your vote — it’s your right.
Jill Bastian,
Orion Township Clerk

Dear Editor,
Did you know that our Governor Jennifer Granholm wants to reduce the MEAP Merit Award to $2,500 to $500?
She wants to take away our hard-earned college money to pay for the Michigan debt. I do not think so! I did not work my butt off through high school from excelling in academics, sports, leadership activities, and volunteering my valuable time for nothing. If there was no reward for this assessment test, I would not bother spending so much valuable time on it.
This is the one scholarship opportunity for every student to obtain some kind of financial help for college. Most of the middle class students depend on this money to help pay for college, since the government of the United States will not help us, yet universities’ tuition is only for the wealthy to pay. What about the students stuck in the middle? This MEAP scholarship goes to every individual who performs the required score on the test, no matter the other competitors’ scores.
I understand that the Governor needs to make cuts in the Michigan budget, but this is the only form of financial help for most students. It is the one scholarship that most high schoolers can work for and count on for the expensive tuition of higher education.
Adult authorities and corporate executives tell us we cannot get a job without earning a college degree of some sort, however the tuition scares most away to not even try. The way high school is set-up still astonishes me, but that is another concern of mine that will give you an ear full, so I’ll save it, for now at least.
I give Granholm this thought: you are not going to expect much out of the younger generation if we can not receive help from the elders. The drugs and alcohol, low-interest in learning, lack of participation in school problems will only increase.
I am student, I know this. I see it every day. And frankly, I do not the blame the kids so much as I used to for their unconcerned behavior. I have thought about giving up myself and not caring about school. Who needs it? Unless you have the money, but who has that? No one in the middle class, yet everything is increasing except salaries.
My life and my dream depend on scholarship right now. I’m going to fight and stand my ground, and I encourage everyone else to, too. We stopped them before from taking away our scholarship money by handing out ‘vote no on proposal 4′ notes on Halloween and sending out fliers at school. This is the students’ money, let the students decide what happens to it.
Elizabeth Banachowski,
Oxford High School senior

Dear Editor,
We have family in Iraq. We know the faces of women and men who live there; they are our sisters and brothers. We are the Leadership Team for the Dominican Sisters of Oxford. There are over 150 Dominicans in Iraq, native citizens. They are family to us, There are many other urgent reasons to oppose this war. We believe there must be another way to resolve our conflicts. The pope is calling for peace and we urge President Bush to listen to him and respect the United Nations process. We echo the words Of Our Holy Father John Paul II when he said that by “conversion of heart, penance and solidarity, we will become true peacemakers, both in our own families and in the world.”
We echo the words of the leader of the world wide Dominican Order, Fr. Carlos A. Azpiroz Costa, OP, who said that we can “still avoid a cataclysm that could lead to disastrous results for the Iraqi people as well as for the Middle East and its relations with the rest of the world.”
We respect and support our citizens in the armed forces who serve our country and who are called to live their vocation of assuring the peace and defense of our country, Our opposition to war is not a condemnation of their honorable service.We urge President Bush to respect the United Nations process and to turn back from the brink of destabilization and catastrophic loss of live.
Sr. Teresita Lipar, OP, Prioress
Sr. Sue McMahon, OP, Vicaress
Sr. Gene Poore, OP, Councilor

Dear Editor,
The Kids Kingdom is going to be built this Memorial Day weekend and we are looking for volunteers to help with this project. It will take 100 people every day for the three day weekend to build the playground.
This will be the biggest community built playground in the State of Michigan. It will be a lot of hard work but it will all be worth it when the project is done.
We need all kinds of help. Making telephone calls, organizing events, entertainment, child care, and of course, putting up the playground.
If you’re a local business and want to donate, we can use all kinds of help there, also. Be part of this special event. Call the Park and Recreation office at 248-628-1720 to volunteer. Let’s make Oxford a better place to live for our children.
Rick Laidler
Oxford

Dear Editor:
By all accounts, we are nearing a critical period in history as we face saber-rattling from North Korea and continued agitation by terrorist groups. However, the threat of a war with Iraq is most imminent, as there is reason to believe a strike from the free world could begin during late March.
Therefore, I would like to offer some advice and caution.
On the advice side, prepare yourself for the worst, in terms of your investments. Historically, the markets have declined at the beginning of wars. We should anticipate that happening again.
If you believe you may need to raise additional cash in the very near term – for living expenses, paying children’s or grandchildren’s tuition or any other reason – consider any sales you may have to make now, particularly if you personally believe we will go to war. I would also advise you to consult with your tax advisor on any possible tax consequences you may incur as a result of a sale.
But I am only advising this strategy if you will need new reserves of cash and you believe the markets may decline because of a war.
On the caution side, do not panic. We have been through this before with Desert Storm. Your investments are fundamentally sound. Although no one can predict exactly what will happen, I still believe a long-term approach to investing is best. A good deal of planning has gone into your portfolio and I would not recommend making any unnecessary changes at this time.
There could be difficult weeks ahead for us as a nation and as individuals. Let us hope and pray for a speedy resolution.
Robert Renchik
Raymond James
Financial Services
Ortonville

Dear Editor:
For as long as I have been writing Letters to the Editor, I have only recommended one movie to go and see: “We Were Soldiers,” about the war in Vietnam. Now comes a second must-see movie, the Civil War film, “Gods and Generals,” which was released Feb. 21.
This is one all Americans should see. It’s more than just another war film; it’s a film of a crucial period in our history, which served to define us as a nation. It’s history at its best.
Some night or weekend, take the family and go to the movies. It’s a long film, lasting 215 minutes. It’s everything you want in a film: entertainment, outstanding performances, a lesson about history, gripping cinematography and, for a change, uplifting dialogue.
The movie, “Gods and Generals,” is based on the book by Jeff Shaara, the son of Michael Shaara, who wrote the book, “Killer Angels,” from which the movie, “Gettysburg,” was adapted. The film is the prequel to that film. The film was shot on location in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The extras in the film are reenactors with authentic reproduction uniforms and equipment.
What many will find unique about this film is the deep spiritual values of those involved in this conflict, on both sides. These soldiers prayed, read the Bible, recited scriptures, faithfully carried out their duties and were faithful to their wives and families.
The War Between the States was the bloodiest in terms of lives lost and casualties. More people were casualties in that four-year period than all our wars combined, including Vietnam. During the Battle of Sharpsburg or Antietam, more Americans died in a 24-hour period than in all other wars previous; more than 23,000 died on “America’s Bloodiest Day.”
This movie will instill in citizens a sense of pride to be an American, whether your ancestors were from the north or south. In this film, viewers will discover the meanings of the terms Duty, Honor and Valor.
It is very important that this film be seen by all Americans. Believe me, it will make a positive impact on viewers. It is important that this film is a success in the financial aspect. If it succeeds, then more quality films can be made like those of the quality of “Saving Private Ryan” and “We Were Soldiers.”
Duane Getzmeyer
Brandon Township

Dear Editor,
As I read the article about the $900,000 in school cuts, the one thing I didn’t read in the article is what degree of school cuts are happening at the administrative level. As a Clarkston resident, I feel there are still too many people at the administrative level that could be cut. How many people could we cut there, having them responsible for more? Most companies look at that, too. At another level, in the high school, I find no need to have three assistant principals. One would be certainly enough. That in itself could save about $150,000. So why do the kids suffer first all the time by cutting teachers, and sports, still paying these other salaries that could be eliminated? It’s always the students that suffer. Do we have a school board that is truly looking out for our kids? Let’s look at other options first, tighten our belt and take care of students.
Jim Altene
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
I’ve been watching for another performance of the Clarkston High School Drama Club’s production of shows that they have had in the past.
It brings to mind the fantastic production of the musical “Anything Goes” which was certainly a smash hit. All the singing, acting and stage props were surely professional grade with the students giving a superb performance in every aspect of the show.
As I sat there in the beautiful theater engrossed in the performance I couldn’t help thinking I was in a Broadway theater in New York City as the performance was done to perfection.
My continued applause to see more of these Clarkston High School productions.
Vernon Kath
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
My name is Dee Lukas. I’m writing to clear up some questions regarding a letter that was printed in your paper and having my name as the author.
I’m a God fearing 67 year old senior citizen. I’m a grandmother to six, soon to be seven grandchildren. I have never sent a letter to the paper.
My husband of 47 years and I are snowbirds. We leave Michigan Dec. 1 and return April 15. Our home is completely closed up and secured with an alarm system.
I have never been active in local politics, but we vote in every election. I don’t receive The Review. I had no knowledge of an election. I didn’t receive an absentee ballot or application.
I don’t know any of the names mentioned in the letter except JoAnn Van Tassel whom I have the highest respect and regard for. She’s extremely competent and we are fortunate to have her in the village. I’m so sorry someone would make comments about her integrity.
A neighbor read the letter to me recently (I don’t have a copy). That letter was very damaging and wrongly so to a lot of people.
I’m also upset that someone would use my good name to harm good men who are working hard to create good will in our lovely community.
I would also like to state that I have attended six village meetings in the 17 years we have had a home on the lake. The last one I attended was two years ago.
Those meetings we attended were regarding our personal property and two were on the quality of life on the lake.
I have no knowledge of any questionable items that were listed in the paper. I also suggest paper research letters when they are inflammatory.
Mrs. George Lukas
Editor’s Note: Mrs. Lukas is correct. The identity of the writer of the letter that was printed in the Feb. 26 issue of the paper was not verified. I apologize for any unhappiness that Mrs. Lukas experienced over the printing of this letter.

Dear Editor,
What a joy it is to be writing to The Lake Orion Review!
A good friend, Nancy Reemer Curnow, (former Lake Orion resident), sent me a copy of the Jan. 13 Review where the Looking Back column mentions my mother, Mary Okolovitch, winning $10,000 in the Michigan lottery.
Mom actually won $50,000! She and dad were in the process of retiring to Florida and that windfall certainly enabled their successful move.
Also, there is a T in their name.
They lived in Lake Orion from 1950 through 1974. and now reside in Port Charlotte, Florida.
My husband, Victor, and I lived in Lake Orion from 1950 through 1995 and loved raising our three children (Cristal, Mark and Allayna) and living there.
However, the sea’s siren’s call of warm winter weather lured us, at retirement, to the balmy shores of Florida.
But, oh, Lake Orion will always be in my heart and I cherish all of my memories of those 45 years.
Elaine Claussen

PS: The main reason we settled here on the Cape Haze peninsula? It has the ambience of Lake Orion 15 years ago!

The March 12 Review contained an article stating my support for Eric Wilson to replace myself on the Oakland County Commission. In fact, I’m not supporting anyone as several competent candidates have entered the race.
True, early in the process I stated my support for Wilson but as he knows, I’m not endorsing anyone. Since Steve Drakos has entered the race, I’m remaining neutral.
Larry Obrecht

Dear Editor,
Isn’t it encouraging to find that the Oakland County Interim Superintendent of the Intermediate School District Dan Austin is trying to work out problems and ease tensions internally and externally?
Mr. Austin’s example of cooperation is to blatantly side-step Rep. Ruth Johnson’s Freedom of Information Act requests.
Then Austin has the temerity to accuse Rep. Johnson of refusing to meet with him.
If he can play games with a duly elected representative he can play even grander games with Oakland County taxpayers.
Representative Johnson wants not only Austin’s verbal declarations ? she wants the black and white documentation on how our tax dollars have been distributed and accounted for.
Does Dan Austin and the I.S.D. Board have a malady called “Situational Ethics?”
Has the ISD Board replaced Dr. Redmond with someone of the same stripes?
The I.S.D. is trying to take out a loan of up to $8 million dollars to pay back the unlawful expenditure on their new palace complex, and states the laws allow them to do this without a vote of the people as required by the 1978 Headlee Amendment.
Law firms and legal advisers hired by the I.S.D. act more as their defense counsel, instead of looking out for the public good.
Guess whose hard cash is actually paying for all their legal representation?
Mary MacMaster
Orion Twp.

Dear Editor,
On March 4, my son had brought his skateboard to school, so he could skateboard after school in the parking lot. As previously agreed to by my son and myself, he was to skateboard for a specified length of time, then go into the library and get his homework done, then he was to be picked up. Upon entering the Brandon Library, he was informed that he could not bring his skateboard into the library, but he must leave it outside. Being an obedient person, he left his skateboard outside unattended and proceeded to complete his homework in the library-thus fulfilling the Library’s wishes and mine also.
As we should have expected, someone decided to steal my son’s skateboard. Of course the very special one he picked out for Christmas and I went back to the local skate shop and purchased for him).
We filed a police report and asked the Library to review their surveillance cameras to see if they could see anything that would be helpful or identify the culprit. Unfortunately there was nothing they could offer and the police really didn’t do anything either.
I went back to the Library and asked if he could at least put the skateboard behind the desk inside the Library while he was inside. I was told through a library employee that Paula Gauthier, the head of Adult Reference, said that it is against Library policy and no exceptions or provisions could be made.
So, now we have a student who is thoughtful enough to get his homework done and utilize the library as it is intended, but can no longer do so because of the fear of having his skateboard stolen-or he doesn’t bring his skateboard to school and misses out on some time to relax, and blow off some energy before tackling his homework.
It seems to me that some consideration must be made for the skateboards in our community. We are funding a skate park, encouraging kids to do something that is physically challenging and trying to keep them out of trouble, but then asking them to leave their boards outside, with no way to lock them up, and take the risk of them being stolen.
Maybe $160 is not a lot to Paula Gauthier, but it was to my son. (That’s what it cost to replace the skateboard).
Kathleen A. Simms
Ortonville

Dear Editor,
The article you wrote on John Foster brought back fond memories of Dr. Forrest Dale Hunt.
He was a great mentor as I started out in the dental profession in 1987. I had just graduated from dental school when I bought his practice and would not have had the success both as a dentist and as a person without his leadership.
Dr. Hunt taught me one valuable lesson when working with patients and others,” Always tell the truth and you won’t have to remember what you said the last time you spoke.”
Dr. Hunt passed away a few years before John Foster arrived in Clarkston. It would have been nice if he too had benefited from his leadership.
Dr. Mike Hennessy
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
Isn’t it encouraging to find that the Oakland County Interim Superintendent of the Intermediate School District Dan Austin is trying to work out problems and ease tensions internally and externally?
Austin’s example of cooperation is to blatantly side-step Represetative Ruth Johnson’s Freedom of Information Act requests. Then Austin has the temerity to accuse Johnson of refusing to meet with him.
If he can play games with a duly elected representative, he can play even grander games with Oakland County taxpayers.
Johnson wants not only Austin’s verbal declaration — she wants the black and white documentation on how our tax dollars have been distributed and accounted for.
Does Austin and ISD board have a malady called “situational ethics?” Has the board replaced Dr. Redmond with someone of the same stripe?
The ISD is trying to take out a loan of up to $8 million to pay back the unlawful expenditure on its new palace complex. ISD officials say the law allows them to do so without a vote of the people as required by the 1978 Headlee Amendement.
Law firms and legal advisors hired by the ISD act more as its defense counsel instead of looking out for the public good.
Guess whose hard cash is actually paying for all ISD’s legal representation?
Mary MacMaster

Dear Editor,
Next year will be an election year and hopefully that means the end of this present Orion Township Board of Trustees.
What has this present bunch of elected officials done for township citizens?
Well for openers, the present board voted to raise your water and sewer rates to the max. Your sewer bill went from $32 per quarter to $45.10, the water depending on how much you use which if I’m not mistaken per 1,000 cubic feet or gallons.
It all depends on what makes these people happy and that’s only when they can ram the three R’s at you — Rules, Rates and Regulations — without you the citizen voting on the issues.
This present board went and purchased a $254,000 sewer machine, but said they couldn’t see spending an allotted $8,559 for new chairs for the hall, but look what those tin gods sit on!
And how about an ambulance for the township? No way! But they will waste your money and do a lot of time studies and vote themselves healthy salary raises.
By the way, just how much of a raise to you officials and trustees think you’re worth? I think the citizens should decide if you board members are entitled to a raise or not.
The best the board deserves is a pay freeze and that’s really more than they deserve! Let the citizen get the bang for the buck, not the special interests.
And as for Eric Wilson and Steve Drakos running for county commissioner, having an attorney in any political office is like having a cat guarding a fish market.
Let’s get some new fresh people in who aren’t tied to a political party or machine — non-partisan where citizens decide their fate and not by elected officials making the decisions and rules for them!
James Delevan

Dear Editor,
I’m a 2002 graduate of Lake Orion High School and feel there are matters in the district that should be shared with parents and students.
LOHS’ administration seems to lack the ambition/courage to execute the district’s polices and consequences in regards to sexual harassment toward students and teachers.
It would seem members of the school’s administration are only interested in preserving the school’s “good name” as opposed to the well bring of the students and staff.
I’m specifically referring to incidences that occurred in the past four years, since I was a junior. I come forward now because the problem has only worsened.
While I was attending Lake Orion, I worked in the theatre as a technician. The man I worked for was known (by his student crew) for sexually explicit and lewd comments made toward students, teachers, administration and other staff members.
Fellow crew members and I took these issues to the high school’s administration and were told the situation would be remedied. We continued to stay in touch with administration and were informed the “situation was handled.”
On the contrary, the sexual innuendoes didn’t stop and our boss only became more sarcastic with the crew. It was clear to us that he knew which students went to administration (we were supposed to remain anonymous) and began to speak to us and act toward us as he strongly disliked us.
We continued to speak with administration and the situation didn’t end. This continued over the last four months of my junior year.
My senior year, I didn’t continue working in the theatre, but stayed active in the drama department. Until January, I didn’t have any confrontations with my former boss.
Over the last year, he began to lose his temper toward the paid and non-paid backstage crews. In January, out of his pent-up anger toward me, he told another staff member to keep me away from him or he would kill me.
I was made aware of this and took it to the school’s administration, who did nothing about it.
After two weeks of communication between administration and myself, I wrote a letter to the superintendent of schools. Two weeks after mailing my letter, I was brought into the principal’s office to speak with both the principal and the superintendent.
I was told my letter was both a shock and an outrage. I was asked if I seriously felt threatened and replied that I didn’t, as was the case. I was told there was no problem and sent back to class. Out of respect for my elders, I didn’t respond.
The school district, in the wake of Columbine, has a strict policy against threats; all threats are to be taken seriously.
Had the roles been reversed, I the student making such a threat would be expelled at worst, but at least punished, as per policy.
This should be the same, regardless of the nature of the threat, for all staff, including those whom administration is fond of.
“…A district employee, board member’s or pupil’s exercise of free expression must not interfere with the rights of others and all must be able to work, learn and grow in an atmosphere which is free from any form of harassment.” This is a quote directly from the district handbook under the heading of sexual harassment.
This is not the case in LOHS. Many incidents of sexual harassment were reported to administration, all of which were not dealt with in a necessary manner.
I hope those members of Lake Orion administration are ashamed of their lack of immediate action in this matter, as it’s been over three years that they’ve been receiving information regarding these issues.
The removal of the harassed staff members for their courage to stand up against the harassment is NOT appropriate or necessary action. Removal of the problem is the appropriate action.
Matthew Garrett

Editor’s Note: According to Lake Orion School District Superintendent Dr. Craig Younkman, some problems did exist in the drama department. He said at the time Garrett’s letter was received, corrective action was directed to the employee, and to the best of his knowledge, the problems were resolved at that time.

Thanks to everyone who came to the Chicken Dinner sponsored by the Leonard Summer Festival Committee on March 19.
Because of you it was a success.
Those who missed it can attend the Spaghetti Dinner on April 29.
Watch the Oxford Leader for details.
The committee wishes to express thanks to the Elks Lodge of North Oakland # 2716 for the use of their kitchen facilities.
We would also like to thank Judy Verse, Phyllis Roe, Debi McDonald, Cheri Arsenault, and Pauline Bennett for their help at the dinner.
We couldn’t have done it without you.
Thanks to the Leonard residents who donated homemade baked goods for our desserts.
Last but not least, we would like to express our thanks to The Oxford Leader for their continued support in our fund-raising endeavors.
The Leonard
Summer Festival Committee

Dear Editor,
The Brandon Music Boosters is an organization whose objective is to promote interest and the continued support of the music program within the Brandon Schools community. Through various fund-raisers, these dedicated individuals volunteer many hours throughout the year to ensure that the music program will continue and with threat of financial cutbacks to our educational system from the state, it makes our goal all that more important. At this time the Brandon Music Boosters consists of mostly parents of band students, but our membership is open to anyone interested in supporting the Brandon School Music programs. We could use your help and for further information, please call Greg Dixon, the Brandon Music Booster president, at (248) 627-5821. This is a wonderful group of people and it has been my pleasure working with them for the past few years. I thank them for their hard work and their dedication. If you have or had a child or grandchild in the Brandon Music program, that child benefitted from the efforts of the Brandon Music Boosters.

Salli Pentherbridge,
Brandon Music Boosters

Dear Editor,
In 1838 just one years after Brandon Township established their local unit of government, roads were first located on townline section lines. Baldwin Road on the east and Oakhill Road in the south. Other roads followed the section lines when the terrain allowed.
The roads were made up of pit-run gravel from various farms in the area. Jim Bradford’s farm on Honert Road is one place and the Weidman farm on M-15 is another. There were many more throughout the area. There was much work into building roads in those days. Trees and stumps had to be removed with horse power and too steep an incline had to be undercut. Stump fences along side roads are no longer seen in our area, but there are still some further north.
Many farms paid their property taxes through road building. The farm that furnished the gravel was credited for the year. The one who used his team of horses to spread the gravel was credited at $3 a day, and the one who worked with a shovel to level was paid a dollar a day. That was not bad pay considering that the average income was less than $400 a year.
Grading of the roads in those days with the horse and blade was only necessary about twice a year. Today, with the heavy use, it takes about ten gradings and the makeup of the roads are the same as it was when built.
Speeds over 35 miles per hour will deteriorate a gravel road within a few days. The washboard effect on hills is caused mostly by accelerated speeds. By maintaining an even speed you will help keep a smoother roadway.
There are too many homes along our gravel roads to go any faster. Most driveways have many trees along their road property and kids have the tendency to scoot out with their bikes or wagons. There is less than a minutes difference for a mile by driving 35, instead of 50.

Bill Wright
Brandon Township

Dear Editor,
In 1620, a collective group of persecuted Christians aboard the Mayflower entered the waters outside of Cape Cod. The men on that ship signed a social contract, known as the Mayflower Compact, in which they agreed to a government under God, and whose charter focused on the good of the whole. From her humble beginnings on that cold November day, through the entire course of her short history, the United States of America has remained that Nation so conceived.
America was then, and still remains a land of higher purpose. It is much more than merely soil, air and water and has a responsibility greater than only to herself. A land so blessed can’t be so selfish as to turn a deaf ear, and a blind eye to oppressed societies. Justifying our abstinence from obligation by hiding under the infamous umbrella of value imposition, is not an acceptable behavior.
Freedom is not a Western value; it is the basic right of all men. Freedom originates from God, and he expects us to make good use of it; and that; whether we like it or not, spells duty. Everyday, American armed forces fight and die for the freedom of others, while defending their own. To deny this basic right to others – to recognize the danger to our fellow man only to cower from the fight – is akin to providing the oppression ourselves.
If we can understand that, then we can draw near parallels between what Jesus expects of our nation as a whole, and what our nation expects of us as individuals. America is, and will remain, mankind’s last, best hope on earth. Freedom has been the basis for every war for territory, occupation rights, self-proclaimed ethnic superiority and religious persecution.
But America fights only for the right of her people, and others, to be free. Men of immeasurable faith, from George Washington to George W. Bush, have led our country into some of the greatest battles for freedom the world has ever known. Those battles have been fought, and won, by men who understand the final objective of any conflict; that freedom must endure.
So we’re asked; would Jesus go to war? Jesus is always at war. It would go against every principle for the Son of man, conceived in goodness, not to battle evil wherever it exists, in whatever shape it may take. Jesus fights this battle spiritually; combating temptation by being absorbed into the hearts of his children; and shining his light through their actions.
Americans fight this war by applying discretion; directing the appropriate diplomatic methods when possible; using force when necessary, while protecting the innocent at all times. It’s His intent that men live in peace, irrespective of faith, with the expectation they will do right by each other.
Jesus died so that others may live. Evil must be defeated so that others may be free. Those who rule by force – those who kill their own people – only understand one thing; their own demise.
One day we will be called to justify our existence in His creation. Mankind will be judged, not by our deeds alone, but by our abhorrent silence in the face of evil. America must not be silent in the struggle between right and wrong. Military action has always been our last resort. We recognize the right for all societies to exist, but we can’t abide by those who threaten the existence of others. Action otherwise is conduct unbecoming of an American.
Don Herbert
Independence Township

Dear Editor,
I received a sad, and too often tragic, phone call last Sunday from a mom who had just found out her daughter was raped by two men, one a foreign national.
Besides the tragedy of the rape, we can’t track HIV or criminal prosecution.
We’ve consoled parents who have had youngsters killed, severely injured, drugged or molested, and yet they flock south.
You can have fun and be safe without alcohol, drugs or pills. Be buddies, stay away from drugs and alcohol. Bring chaperones and look after each other.
Be careful, moral and safe!
James A. O’Neill, M.D.
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
It’s not easy to express our immense gratitude in words. They can’t do justice to the incredible outpouring of love and support we received after the loss of our son Steven Crowder in June 2002.
We are grateful for the guidance and support Pastor Mike Harris of Baypointe Community Church provided for us. Our thanks to Bill and Kristin Grannis of Opa Restaurant and the LO United Methodist Church for its food and hospitality.
We thank Ed Levy and Bill Golling along with the Golling Pontiac GMC employees for their support. Thank you to Carl Zoolkoski, one of Steven’s many wonderful teachers and role model for the beautiful tribute of the song The Comet written and performed by him.
Steven’s closest friends, Radu Marginean, Matt Snyder, Kyle Dallafior, Shane Tobin and Mike LoPresti, have diligently worked on a proposal that would provide additional safety paths in portions of Lake Orion.
We thank them for their unwavering determination in cause dear to their hearts. We’re so proud of each one of you.
We truly appreciate each and every meal, flower arrangement, phone call, card, visit, gift, kind word and prayer given to us. With the monetary donations we were able to set up a fund in Steven’s memory. The generosity of our community has been overwhelming.
We have used a portion of the money to purchase a state of the art snare drum to be used ay LOHS bands. Additional money has been donated to the Michigan Animal Rescue League where Steven fell in love with and adopted his beloved dog and cat.
A band scholarship award is being set up to benefit a deserving middle school musician. Our hope and dream is for the memorial fund to grow to offer college scholarships to LOHS students.
Please know that every act of kindness was recorded in our heart. Our words have felt so inadequate and at times we had no words.
Blessings to all the special friends of ours and Steven’s who so unselfishly gave of themselves during this difficult time.
We are eternally grateful for every single thought and prayer sent our way.
Dave, Laura & Ali Crowder

Dear Editor,
A hearty, gritty congratulations to the LOHS, first ever, first place finish at the Great Lakes Regional First Robotics competition held this past Saturday in Ypsilanti.
The competition was breathtaking and showed the engineering, cognitive and team skills of our LOHS students and their alliance partners.
As parents, and members of the Lake Orion Community Family, we were awed and oh so proud.
Thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors for their hard work, time and financial commitment, which made this all possible.
Once again, good job team, congratulations and GOOOOOO Dragons….
Proud Parents of
Daniel Myslakowski

Dear Editor,
The following is my 3/8/03 response to an unsolicited e-mail from “Mary” which contained the following link http://truthout.org/docs 03/030103A.shtmi to a letter dated 2/27/03 written by US Diplomat John Brady Kiesling, John Brady Kiesling, “Letter of Resignation to: Secretary of State Colin L Powell.”
Mary,
Are we to assume the rantings of a mid level diplomat are sufficient justification to ignore the studied policy decisions of the two most powerful democracies on Earth?
The isolated policies of the late 1930s had the US ignoring the ruthless adventurism of a European dictator as our allies were falling by the wayside and suffering horrible loss of life and property.
It took the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, whose loss of life was no greater than Sept. 11, to push us into action. Have you ever pondered how many lives could have been saved (in the death camps too) had we come to the defense of freedom in 1939 when the German bombers were devastating London nightly?
The destruction of the World Trade Center was an act of war! Will it take the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction in a schoolyard in Los Angeles with a massive loss of life to remind us of the value of the adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”
Is it wise for the US to ignore the ruthless adventurism of a Middle Eastern dictator who poses such an enormous indirect threat? I think not!
Putting a stop to Saddam Hussein will not stop terrorism; it would be foolish to think so. It will however prevent a wealthy and sophisticated supplier of high technology weapons from providing them (terrorists) continued support.
It could buy us the time we will need to further reduce the threat to our homeland. There’s a huge difference between a suicide bomb on a transit bus and the destruction of an entire city.
Having served in our military during the misadventures of the late ’60s and ’70s, I understand the brutal reality of war. People die! And I didn’t like it. However I also understand a threat to my love ones and to ignore it would be criminally irresponsible.
Saddam Hussein poses a real and quantifiable threat to the free world in general and to US specifically. He has had ample time to disarm as mandated by the United Nations and he has repeatedly “given us the finger.”
Kiesling wrote in this letter, “Sept. 11 didn’t do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to do so to ourselves.”
How much damage do you think a million dead will do to the fabric of American society if we ignore our responsibility now?
Roger

Editor’s Note: The name of the victim has been deleted from this letter. This letter was addressed to reporter Jenny Matteson. Mr. LaFleur is referencing a March 19 article Matteson wrote about his capture in Texas after being a fugitive for almost two years.

Dear Editor,
I’m sure if you’re astute you already know who I am by the envelope.
I’ve recently read your latest article about me. I find it very discouraging, but not surprising that you truly don’t have your facts straight. For all I know, you’ve been fed misinformation. I’ll assume that you’re not malicious, just naive. Detective Greg Glover obviously hasn’t been told the whole truth by (the victim) or if he has, doesn’t care.
(The victim) had been blackmailing me and on one occasion even extorted a guitar from me. (The victim) also started the assault by trying to drive a kitchen knife through my chest repeatedly.
There’s a lot more to this than meets your eyes as you will see when I’m brought back to face trial. Polygraph, as well as outside testimony will confirm that (the victim) wasn’t the only victim here ? I was also a victim. The problem is is that I’m a felon on parole for aggravated stalking and she told me that very night of June 1, 2001 that she’d lie about the events – that’s why I fled.
There was no kidnapping. There’s never been seven women either, only three and a fourth filed a (Personal Protection Order) against me. The five-hour torture crap is just that ? crap.
There are many more things that were stated by you that aren’t correct. As time shows this truth you’ll see. You should be more careful when speaking on peoples lives so as not to destroy them or their loved ones. It’s not really a good idea to lie about people as I’m sure libel attaches.
I am truly sorry that June 1, 2001 ever happened, but you haven’t been fed the whole truth and that’s a fact. You’ve also through your writing tainted my possible jury pool from that area. Your writing about me being caught is good as I’m sure the Oxford public will be happy, but your facts are way off. In the future, try to be careful so as not to find yourself in court as well.
Sincerely,
Patrick Andy LaFleur
Travis County Correctional Complex
Del Valle, Texas
P.S. You can give this to Glover as I’m sure you will.

Dear Editor,
I received a sad, and too often tragic, phone call last Sunday from a mom who had just found out her daughter was raped by two men, one a foreign national.
Besides the tragedy of the rape, we can’t track HIV or criminal prosecution.
We’ve consoled parents who have had youngsters killed, severely injured, drugged or molested, and yet they flock south. You can have fun and be safe without alcohol, drugs or pills. Be buddies, stay away from drugs and alcohol. Bring chaperones and look after each other.
Be careful, moral and safe!
James A. O’Neill, M.D.
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
Brandon, Groveland and Ortonville residents have even more opportunities to actively assist in maintaining and assuring high water quality in our community by participating in April in the Township Spring Clean Up and the newly created Oakland County Hazardous Waste Disposal Program, an alliance of 19 Oakland County communities.
Additional opportunities are available in community participation in upcoming local events, such as the annual Kearsley Creek Clean Up in July; water quality programs at the Brandon Township Library in June; and the proposed Creekfest Celebration on June 7. Your participation will assist to further promote and assure that the waters and wetlands in our community will maintain high standards of water quality for all. . .the residents, the aquatic life, and the many species of native wildlife that reside here and depend on the water in our community for their existence.
Becky Gilpin
Ortonville

Dear Editor,

This was a saying in New York and the country during World War II. I feel the newscasters in the Iraqi war area are using their mouths without putting their brains in gear. They are informing us, on television, things which should only be known to the officers and generals of our armies. They are informing the enemy of our movements tomorrow, also how many of our people have been killed in action before their families here are informed. Also, where our troops are going to be tomorrow and the next day, informing the enemy so they can flank us before it happens.
We have many armed forces in Iraq. Many of them are from Michigan, some of them have already been killed. The news media are showing pictures of our dead before their families have been notified. We need only newcasters like Ernie Pile of World War II, who knew when to keep his mouth shut, and not betray our troops. Loose lips still sink ships and armies.

Lawrence Love
World War II veteran

The Road Commission for Oakland County will not allow the dirt roads in Brandon Township to be included in their road clean up program because they are deemed to be unsafe for pedestrians. Despite this fact, Supervisor Lapp, Clerk McCreery and Trustees Palmer and Willett voted to postpone any discussion with DTE until January 2005 on the proposed use of the DTE utility corridor as a safer pedestrian alternative to our dirt roads.
Supervisor Lapp declared the concept a ‘dead? issue without ever determining if any financial contribution from the township would be required. DTE may have only desired the support of elected officials to allow it to be used by residents. Besides providing a safer alternative to our dirt roads for pedestrians, the existing natural corridor is in keeping with the rural character of our community where concrete/asphalt sidewalks are not. Supervisor Lapp has also declared the adoption of a noise standard in residential areas a ‘dead? issue. The revised motorcycle ordiance to be unveiled on April 15 may be the next one. Additionally, Supervisor Lapp recently denied a citizen request for the township to obtain photocopies of 1937 township property records held in the Michigan State Archives that would provide current and future property owners information on the age of their historic barns, homes and existing farmstead structures.
Quality of life issues, additional amenities and records or safer recreational alternatives in our community for Brandon residents at no cost or minimal cost are apparently not a high priority or even desired by some of our elected officials. Perhaps this is the explanation for Brandon Township residents paying some of the highest property taxes in Oakland County while our property value has the lowest rate of increase in the county.
Becky Gilpin
Ortonville

Dear Editor,
War in Iraq, interminable power delays and the IRS deadline have made for a memorable spring for many residents.
There are several developments that may be of interest to township residents.
May 1 is an important date for property owners to have their Homestead Affidavit on file in the Assessors Office at township hall. If you are building a new house or buying a home that is currently classified as non homestead it is in your best interests to file the affidavit before May 1. You may actually file your Homestead Affidavit after May 1, but then you are required to provide physical proof that, not only did you own the property prior to May 1, but also that you occupied it as your primary residence. Proof includes driver’s license, voter registration, utility bill in your name, etc.
You are entitled, by law, to a homestead exemption for your principal residence. More about principal residence below. Homestead property owners do not pay the 18 mills operational millage to schools on summer tax bills that are included for non-homestead properties. Non homestead properties are non residential properties and residential properties such as rentals, second homes, etc.
In December of 2002 the State Legislature passed a bill that was signed into law dealing with property homestead exemptions. Prior to the passage of that law a property owner could only seek one year refund for incorrectly paying non homestead taxes. Now, a property owner can claim up to three previous years if you hadn’t filed the affidavit with the Assessor’s Office. You will need to file in the Assessor’s Office and they will take your claim to the next Board of Review. If approved the county will refund the difference you paid in non-homestead taxes and the homestead tax rate.
Currently in Lansing, the legislature is working on a language change replacing ‘homestead exemption? with ‘primary residence.? The reason for seeking the change is too many people are confusing the homestead credit (State-1040CR) and homestead exemption (local).
Currently there exists a property homestead credit as a function of your State income taxes that allows qualified residents to receive a refund based on their income compared to their property tax paid. To qualify property tax payers fill out the necessary Michigan Income Tax form, and receive their refund from the State.
Locally, there is a homestead exemption affidavit for a person’s primary residence. The exemption became part of the changes in Proposal A passed in Michigan in 1994 by the voters in the State of Michigan. The exemption is filed locally in the Township Assessor’s Office, and qualifies the home owner to not pay the 18 mills operational property taxes placed on non-homestead properties.
Jim Wenger
Independence Township Treasurer

Dear Editor,
On May 10 and 17 the Department of Public Works (DPW) will be hosting the annual spring cleanup campaign.
On the 17th, household hazardous waste will also be collected. Information about the hours, materials accepted, fees an be obtained by calling the DPW at 625-8222. There will be a nominal fee for the service. The township pays for most of the overall costs of the program. The May issue of the Parks and Recreation Magazine has incorrect dates for the cleanup. Scheduling issues caused the changes to May 10 and 17.
This year cleanup has new meaning because of the ice storm damage. DPW will take brush, limbs, etc. at their site on Flemings Lake Road. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday hours ate 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You will need to check in at the office to show proof of township residency before dropping off your debris. Sorry, there are no provisions for curb-side pick ups. DPW will be closed for the Easter holiday on Friday April 18 through Sunday, April 20. Please do not bring storm debris in on Saturday, May 10 and 17 as it would cause delays and traffic problems with the scheduled cleanup activities.
Jim Wenger
Independence Township Treasurer

Dear Editor,
Thank you, to all those people of Lake Orion who supported the Girl Scouts by buying Girl Scout cookies. It was very nice of you to buy cookies in the bad weather and when you already had some.
We would also like to thank the employees who bought cookies.
We would like this to be printed in the editorial section because there’s so much negative stuff and we’d like to have a positive note in there.
702 Lake Orion Girl Scouts

Dear Editor,
I’m married with three children and want a better future for myself and my family. In September, I decided to go back to school. I will graduate in March 2003.
Why did I want to get my high school diploma? I felt that if I was pushing my children to get a good education, I had to set a good example for them.
The program here showed me nothing was impossible, that the goals you set in life can be accomplished. I’m a better person today with a lot of confidence.
The environment here at the program makes you feel comfortable and wanted. That helped me get up every morning to go to class.
It helps to have someone on your side along the way telling you that you CAN do it if you don’t give up. It makes you feel good about yourself and who you are.
I hope the governor will give others a chance to get a better future and to further their education as I had the opportunity to do at Lake Orion Adult Education. I want to give thanks to the staff and teachers for everything they have done for me and my family.
Maria Cassavoy

Dear Editor,
I’m from Mexico. I’m studying because it’s very important to me to learn and take this opportunity.
When I arrived to US, my English was shorter and I didn’t speak very well. I didn’t know a lot of words. I couldn’t have a longer conversation, only two or three words, no more.
I think this program should be continued because the classes are of benefit to me. My fluency, practice and conversations is increased.
I’m very grateful with the teachers for the great help and the support for all students.
I have plans to stay in the US for a long time because my husband is an engineer and he’s working for Japanese company and he design air bag. I want to continue my classes because in the future I want to work and be a preparation person.
Please give us the opportunity to continue our studies with the same teachers and program and all the benefits.
Ana Maria Hijar

Dear Editor,
Liberal theologians in the past have questioned the Scriptural account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Colleges, universities and many seminars have taught their theories and beliefs. In the past few decades, evidence has been discovered that the Scripture is true, archaeology and history are supporting Scripture.
In the late 1800s, Robert Ingersol, a noted orator of the time, got involved. Ingersol was called “Beautiful Bob,” and he was hired by politicians to speak for them. Ingersol was an atheist, and he traveled through the midwest preaching atheism.
One evening, in a midwestern town, he challenged God, and took out his watch and stated “I am going to prove once and for all that there is no God, if there is a God I give him four minutes to strike me dead.”
He stood there holding his watch and as time passed the audience grew tense. As the watch ticked closer to the time he set, some women fainted. “Would God strike him dead?”
The four minutes passed and Ingersol declared “You see there is no God, I am still alive.” A white-haired farmer in the back of the town hall stood and asked “Mr. Ingersol, do you really believe you can frustrate the grace of God in four minutes?”
Ingersol went on his way on his speaking tour and got acquainted with retired General Lew Wallace.
“Wallace,” he said. “You don’t really believe all they preach at that church you attend? Join me and we will write a book that will destroy Christianity once and for all.”
Ingersol convinced Wallace, a literary genius, that they should write a book that would destroy Christianity. They decided that since the resurrection was the basis of the Christian faith, they would prove that it hadn’t happened.
The Resurrection of Christ was supposed to have happened in Jerusalem, so Wallace spent a year searching for evidence that would disprove the basic belief of Christianity. Before the year was up, he found that rather than it being a false belief, the facts indicated that the resurrection had taken place.
With the evidence all indicating the Biblical account was true, Wallace believed, and received Christ as his personal savior. Later he wrote a book that has been made into a movie, “Ben Hur.”

Hi Scouters!
What a perfect day to do yard work yesterday… even at someone else’s house.
I’d like to thank the wonderful parents (12 of them) and scouts (13 kids) who showed up yesterday, despite the work that needed to be done on their own property, to huff and sweat and toil for the sake of a sweet 93-year-old woman and for our Pack.
Thank you’s to Dawn and Jim Reis, Craig and Peta Birrell, Tom Dvorak, Ken and Rhonda Kuypers and their children for all their hard work and for (unlike me) showing up on time!
And extra special thanks again to Mike and Brenda Kubiak for coordinating this opportunity and leaving all of the insurance earnings to the Pack.
For those of you there, did you notice the wonderfully unselfish efforts of Molly’s neighbors, Rich and Angie Green? Wow! They supplied rakes, chain saws, ropes, ladders, cables, a truck, a tractor, wheelbarrows and soda and ice cream for all the workers, and they’re still going to finish the job themselves!
I thank the Lord above for people like them and all of you every time I pray, and now I remember why we moved to little old Oxford.
You all made Molly very happy.
Thank you again!
Adam Westmoreland
Council Liaison

Dear Editor,
A very special sincere & heartfelt thanks to all the gentlemen who stopped and helped my daughter and I on the morning of April 4th on Indianwood Rd. when a large tree decided to fall and total her van.Their concern for us was overwhelming. The only name I got was that of Mike who sat with me in a truck so I could stay warm. One man took pictures and many moved pieces of wood as my son cut the tree away to free the van and clear the road.
We hope everyone who helped will see this article in the paper. May the angels watch over and bless you as they did with us.
God bless all of you.
Sincerely,
Marilynn Toteff
and Susan Walton

Dear Editor,
I appreciated the article about Kenneth Acheson, I don’t know who wrote it, but it was typical of Ken. I am sure his children appreciated it too. He was my brother-in-law. Thanks.
Sincerely,
Irva Ousnamer
Editor’s Note: C.J. Carnacchio was the one who wrote on the story about Mr. Acheson’s passing. Thank you for the kind words.

Dear Editor,
A recent letter to the editor criticized the township supervisor and members of the township board for not addressing ‘quality of life? and ‘recreational? issues in the township. I find these comments to be both unjust and in opposition to the facts. At issue is the DTE services corridor running through Brandon Township, which a few individuals would favor as a public access pathway. The concept for this pathway was given a critical evaluation by the board last year, and found to contain numerous problems including safety, security, privacy, and compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Township liability would dictate that significant funds would need to be spent to properly engineer the trail. In addition, DTE indicated that public use of this active service road would require a formal township proposal and approval from eight different departments at DTE – a costly and time consuming proposition for the township, with no guarantee of a positive outcome. In an open township meeting held last year, despite an elegant presentation from the Oakland County Planning Commission, only two residents spoke for the proposal, with countless resident speaking against it before discussion was closed.
In the face of numerous difficulties, there was, and is, little public support for this project. Instead, the township has put their efforts into developing the Seymour Lake property as a community recreation area, replete with walking trails. The entire board of trustees support this concept.
To say that our elected officials are not listening to our residents and addressing their needs is not looking at the facts. Our public officials should be applauded for their responsiveness to this and the many other difficult issues which face our growing community.

Sincerely,
Stephen Robinson

Dear Editor,
In a recent editorial authored by Ms. Becky Gilpin, Ms. Gilpin accused me of arbitrarily ending discussion and research on the proposed pedestrian trail that would have utilized the DTE corridor along Granger Road. Ms. Gilpin further states that I declared the noise ordinance a dead issue, and denied a resident’s request to obtain photocopies from the Michigan State Archives of township records.
Let’s examine the facts. The idea of creating a pedestrian/nature trail along the existing DTE right-of-way, along Granger road was discussed by your elected Township officials. The Township Board authorized a feasibility/engineering study be conducted. After reviewing these reports, study sessions were held, information letters were sent to residents, and discussions regarding the proposed trail were conducted at Board meetings. Several problems were identified with this proposed trail, including cost, easement rights, privacy issues, parking and compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act. At the April 7, 2003 Township Board meeting the pedestrian-nature trail was again debated by the board. A motion was made to postpone any decision regarding the trail until January 2005. Ms. Gilpin states in her April 14 editorial that this concept was declared ‘dead? without ever determining if any financial contribution from the Township would be required. Cost estimates were provided to the Township by Hubbell, Roth and Clark, the Township’s engineering firm.
Ms. Gilpin next asserts that I declared the noise ordinance issue to be a ‘dead? issue. In this case, she is absolutely correct. After months of discussion, numerous study sessions, three public hearings, a vote by the Planning Commission, and a final vote by the elected officials of the Township Board the proposed noise ordinance was not adopted. The noise ordinance issue was again brought up at the February 3, 2003 Township Board meeting. Residents not satisfied with the outcome of the vote taken on January 7, 2003 required that the issue be reexamined. These residents were informed that the noise ordinance had been examined, voted on, and was at the present time a ‘dead? issue.
Ms. Gilpin states ‘Supervisor Lapp recently denied a citizen request for the township to obtain photocopies of 1937 township property records held in the Michigan State Archives.? The Township has never denied a citizen access to the Michigan State Archives. We did deny a request by a citizen for reimbursement of copying cost, and mileage related to obtaining information for the Historic Society, a non-profit special interest group.
I understand that citizens have the absolute right to question government, and the elected officials who hold office. I believe it is only fair that when questioned, the facts be accurately and honestly stated.
Ron Lapp, Supervisor
Brandon Township

Dear Editor,
When you marry someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you begin that process of not knowing fully what to expect in the future to an extent.
I have come to know a special person in my life who I admire more than anyone. Her name is Shiela Turk. This lady has raised our children, maintained a household, paid the bills and put herself through college at age 42.
When you admire someone, you look at the overall character of a person and their beliefs. I have come to recognize she is the type of person who someday with the help of God I can become. She has maintained almost a 4.0 in her classes and has just finished her degree in Education. I can’t fathom what dedication this takes a person with all the added responsibilities she has. She is my rock, my soulmate and my mentor.
We have three wonderful kids, due in large part to her motherly skills, who will become productive, honest and sincere citizens. They are a big part of our lives, and because she has been so dedicated at proving to herself that dreams do come true, they actually happen through hard work. Although she wanted to prove something, she already has to her family.
She will make a great teacher because she has all the ingredients. The main reason she will be successful is, she cares. That’s the core of her character.
She will someday realize that success isn’t in a degree; it’s in the person who uses that degree for the good of mankind. We are so proud of you and what you stand for.
Mike, Brooke, Addison and Michael Turk
Independence Township

Dear Editor,
Well, what do you know, our township supervisor Gerald Dywasuk has decided township citizens are going to get clean up relief from the April 4-5 ice storm that hit this area.
You know Mister Dywasuk, or would you rather be called Mister Supervisor, if this township had a disaster plan to begin with there wouldn’t be all this hoop-a-la now!
Does Orion Township have a tree and forestry department? If there is, the township must have it tucked away somewhere along with ambulance and new chairs.
It know It’s hard to satisfy all the citizens, but let’s have some common sense. If this township would let the citizens decide what kind of emergency and disaster services they need, I believe we would be a lot farther ahead and better prepared than to sit back and hope nothing will happen.
Your comment in the April 16 Review sums up my argument!
‘If funds are available after paying the contractor, the township may be able to reimburse residents who have already paid for the disposal of debris (may be?). Residents are instructed to save their receipts.?
As far as ‘may be? goes, this was a natural disaster, not a pruning and trimming on a nice spring day!
This is the reason the citizens pay taxes so we can have some protection and preparation.
But if you think Dywasuk and this present group are doing such a good job there go for it!
I hope in 2004 Orion Township gets a group of new fresh people who care about the citizens and work together to bring equality to everyone and not just the special interest.
James Delavan

Dear Editor,
We are seeking support for a very special project that we are working on.
Last June, something tragic happened in Lake Orion. A young boy, only 14, was killed in a car accident on Heights Road. Perhaps you read the story in the newspaper or heard about it on TV.
Recently, some of Steven’s friends have received publicity for their efforts in spearheading the building of new safety paths in the Lake Orion community.
Steven Crowder was an amazing student, musician, athlete and friend. And while Steven is no longer with us, his memory lives on in the hearts of those who knew him.
In remembrance and honor of Steven, we, along with the Orion Art Center, are producing a compact disk of inspirational music, with the title song, The Comet, written especially in memory of Steven.
All profits from the sale of this CD will go directly into the Steven J. Crowder Memorial Fund, which provides music scholarships for middle school students. And if enough money is raised, college scholarships will be offered to Lake Orion High School students who exemplify characteristics of Steven.
The Comet Project is a huge undertaking. We are presently searching for funding, coordinating studio work and investigating manufacturing options with plans for the album to be complete by the middle of this summer. We could really use your help.
At this time, we have exhausted monies already donated by private donors to fund this project. Donations would be used to pay for project expenses over the next few months.
Any donation money left over after the project is complete will then be put into the Steven J. Crowder Memorial Fund, along with the profits of the CD sales.
Send donations to: The Comet Project, 6581 Eastlawn Avenue, Clarkston, MI 48346. Checks may be written to ‘The Comet Project.? Because we are affiliated with OAC, which has 501(c) 3 nonprofit status, your donation is tax deductible.
Chris Whitley, Project Manager

Dear Editor,
A developer is requesting that 175 acres of land currently zoned RA (Residential Agricultural District) be rezoned to MHP (Mobile Home Park District) to build a mobile home park one mile east of M-15 on Hegel Rd in Atlas Township. This development is planned to extend from Hegel Road all the way to Coolidge Road.

How does this affect Atlas Township residents? Whether or not you live near the proposed site you will feel the impact of this development based on the following facts:

1. Mobile Home Park developers have been allowed to place up to 8 mobile homes per acre, which can exceed 1000 new homes on the proposed site. This would increase the current number of residences in Atlas Township by nearly 50%.
2. Mobile Home owners pay a flat rate, established in 1956, of $36 per year in property taxes. They are not assessed on the value of their homes, as are other residences.
3. At the estimated rate of at least 1.3 students per household, this could quickly add 1300 or more new students to our school district, which is over half of our current student population. This increase will require additional millages and the construction of new schools to support the sudden growth. Since the new homes will be taxed at a flat rate of only $36 per year, the financial burden will fall on the current residents of Atlas Township.

4. With this number of new homes, studies show that 5,000 – 10,000 vehicle trips will be added per day to already congested roadways. M-15 is currently at critical congestion levels. Hegel and Coolidge Roads are essentially secondary country roads. All of these roads will have to be upgraded in order to handle the additional traffic. Current state regulations again place the burden of any improvements on the township residents rather than on mobile home park developers, unlike other single-family home developments.

5. Additional fire and police protection will be required due to the sudden increase in new residences in the township. Again, due to the $36 per year flat tax rate for mobile home owners, current residents will fund this expense.

6. State regulations severely limit townships? authority while empowering mobile home park developers in important matters such as sewage disposal, storm runoff, effects on neighboring wetlands or streams, noise, traffic congestion and any other consequences of the development. The township, however, bears the full financial responsibility for addressing and correcting any issues that arise from the development and its impact on the surrounding area.

An Atlas Township Planning Commission meeting and public hearing regarding this rezoning request is scheduled for Wednesday May 21 at 7 p.m. at Lakeview Community Church 10023 S. State Road, Goodrich. It is important that everyone in the community attend this meeting to ask that the Township Planning Commission and Township Board deny this rezoning request.

Sincerely,
Kim Beard
Karen Warner

Dear Editor,
Please let me tell you what happened to me last Thursday afternoon. While lying prone on our front walkway, a stranger passing by stopped her car and called out to me to ask if I was all right. I assured her that I was and thanked her for her concern.
Then, she smiled, apologized for having bothered me, and drove off. I was sincerely touched by such an expression of empathy and contriteness by a total stranger.
(I should explain that I was working on the low voltage lights along the walkway.)
Isn’t Clarkston just a wonderful place to live?
Tom Stone
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
I fully support the school district’s decision to keep the developmental days despite parental objections. With the No Child Left Behind and the state’s Education YES requirements, it leaves schools with some impossible tasks ahead of them. It is important that the teachers be given the time and opportunities to discuss plans and ideas for meeting these new requirements.
It seems that parents are only worried about the school systems taking away their means of ‘child care? and ‘inconveniencing? them.
Teachers are not given the opportunity to conduct group meetings during the day or go away on lavish meetings and golf outings to discuss strategies as many of the private companies send their people to on company time and at the companies? expense.
It was mentioned in the news story in The Clarkston News that some parents believe teachers should receive training after students leave for the day, on weekends or during school vacations. How many companies require their people to receive their training on weekends or vacations? Teachers? days do not end when they leave the building or on weekends. Many hours are spent outside of school correcting papers, planning lessons, figuring grades and taking extra classes.
I applaud Clarkston for sticking with their decision to keep developmental days. They know it is something that works and is what will be best for students in the long run.

Jane MacKinnon
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
Jillian Quinlan’s column in the April 23 issue of The Clarkston News was ‘right on the money.?
The best way to get a new pet is to rescue one. In many cases you can find a specific breed, if you are looking for one.
The Michigan Humane Society, the Michigan Animal Rescue League and Oakland County’s Animal Care Center are just three local sources. There are various other rescue organizations devoted to specific breeds, both within Michigan and out of state.
You can find these easily by searching the Internet. One especially nice web site is www.petfinder.org. There are lots of ways to meet your new ‘best friend? and it is so satisfying to know that you have saved a life.
Please spay or neuter your pets.
Mary Ann Saran
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
The last few days I have heard from teachers and students that this might be the last year for Lake Orion’s Adult Ed. It makes me sad to think that next year all these people who think they will graduate won’t have a chance.
I myself started adult ed in November and I will graduate this June. When I started I was slow in math. Now with one-on-one help from my teacher, I have come a long way in just a few months.
I feel it would take a good future away from a lot of people who want to make a better life for themselves and their children.
Adult ed is important and very much needed for our fast growing community.
Margaret Garcia

Dear Editor,
I have concerns for future funding cuts of adult education. If adult ed is completely cut, there will be a large amount of people uneducated without a job and without the chance of a future at all. Are we supposed to live our lives working the fast food forever.
We aren’t here because we HAVE to be; we are here because we wish to finish our education. Without proper education, we can’t live our lives.
So many people say that an education is something we all need to live so how can we live if we are getting thrown out on the streets.
If this proposal cuts adult ed completely, you will only be perpetuating this cycle of impoverished people who have no chance in this world.
If you think there are a lot of people poor in this world, then you should be opposed to this completely. If this cut is passed, the amount of poor people will multiply by hundreds.
Without these programs, the people that truly want an education and have come back to school will be without jobs. That, in turn, will lower the economy, having the opposite desired effect.
Bryce Haviland

Dear Editor,
DOGS -I have read many articles about dogs over the past 20 years. If they’re your dog, you love them to death and treat them better than your own children.
Responsible dog owners will make sure that their pet is cared for and safe. I have the most regard for the responsible pet owner and know many. I myself had a Norwegian Elkhound, he was a beautiful dog and I loved him very much. I kept him well feed. Brushed him out constantly. Had a fenced in yard so he had room to run. When certain people would visit, I would put him in a caged area so my guest would not feel intimidated. Made sure that when he was barking, I would shut him up.
I even went to the extent to ask my neighbors if he was barking while I was gone.
However, there is the other dog owner that doesn’t pay attention to their dog(s). They put their dog(s) out their door, while they remain inside their house. They think they know where their dog(s) are, yet they have no idea. Some have thier TV or stereo up so loud they can’t even hear their own dog barking.
These people just don’t get it! Not everyone loves their dog(s) like they do. This infringement on others has ruined many relationships between their neighbors over the years.
If dogs run lose, this is what they can do:
? They can make neighbors put up fences.
? They can nip and bite.
? They bark and charge people in their own yard or just walk down the public road. ?
They run after cars. This never made any sense. Don’t their owners carefor the safety of theirpets?
? They keep their neighbors? guests away, if they’re afraid of dogs
? They dig up gardens, lift up their legs and urinate on gardens – infringing on their neighbors? consumables.
? They nudge you to pet them (thus, smelling like dog) or they put their nuzzle into your privates.
? If you like birds, you can’t throw a piece of bread out for them without dogs coming over and eating the bread.
? You teach your neighbor to dislike your dog(s) and you
? And the list goes on and on…
When dogs bark.
* They wake your neighbor up throughout the night. There are noise ordinances for certain parts of the night and into early day.
* After hearing a dog bark constantly for more than 20 minutes, it starts to get annoying. One, two, three, and more hours is nothing more than ridiculous and rude. .
Now for the debate – Who’s infoinging upon who? Who has the respect? Is it the dog owner that lets his/her dog run and bark or the one that keeps their dog under control?
Remember NOT ALL PEOPLE love your dog as much as you do or how much you think they do.
Just last year someone in our local community shot a dog that everyone loved (so they say) and got in a lot of trouble as this is a felony. Yet, if that dog owner would have kept her dog maintained in her yard (the law for most counties) this unfortunate mishap would not have happened!
Just lately another family lost their dog to a car mishap. My heart goes out to you if you kept your dog maintained to your property and it got lose.
But for those who let your dog run, you have to take the responsibility that YOU are putting your dog in jeopardy, not the driver. Dogs are quick!
Have you ever thought about the situation that you have put the driver in? That the driver has to live with killing a dog that shouldn’t have been loose to begin with.
Now the sad truth You are the bad neighbor if you:
? complain to the law enforcements for barking or stray dogs.
? run over the dog with your vehicle.
? talk to the dog owner about your concerns regarding their dogs.
Remember, everyone that has had their rights infringed upon by a dog or dogs — it is not the dog’s fault, it is their owner’s lack of insight toward their neighbor and others around them.
Call the police. More than likely you’re not talking to that neighbor anyway.
Just curious, I would like to know an attorney’s point a view on this issue…
Richard Reneaud
Goodrich

Dear Editor,
First of all, I want to thank Supervisor Dale Stuart and Trustee James Wenger for voting no on the use of the Waterford Hills Race Track for police training.
Clerk Joan McCrary is more than welcome to use my back yard anytime the race track is in use. I am sure that the noise will not bother her because the allowed noise level is 105 decibels.
In the rest of the township, the allowable noise level is 75 decibels. If the track was only used on its 14-scheduled weekends and the 38 scheduled weekdays, the extra 12 days might not be so bad. The track has already been used on two unscheduled days and the season is only two weeks old.
Clerk McCrary should leave her office and listen to the tire squealing all day from the teaching of proper breaking techniques, then decide if it is loud and annoying.
Trustee Daniel Travis, a lifetime member of the Oakland County Sportsmen’s Club, should not vote on any matter involving the OCSC due to a conflict in interest.

James K. Conway
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
Dog tags for 2003 went on sale in December at the township. It is to the dog owner’s advantage to purchase dog tags before June 1.
Michigan law requires a dog license for all dogs four months or older. Oakland County Animal Control administers the licensing for the State. Local municipalities, like Independence Township, offer the dog tag sale for the convenience of our residents.
Before June 1, neutered/spayed dog tags are $7.50. Dogs that are not fixed are $15. There are senior citizen rates for dog owners 65 years old or older. All dog licenses after June 1 are $30. The only exception would be newly acquired dogs or new residents to the community.
Please bring with you proof of rabies vaccination and proof of your dog being spayed/neutered if you are purchasing dog tags at the township. Bringing in the filled out application sent to you by the Oakland County Animal Control with you will save time at the township.
If you lost the application or never received one, the Treasurer’s Office has blank forms to fill out. You may also purchase dog tags in person or by mail through Oakland County Animal Control on Brown Road. Instructions are listed on the form the county sends to you.
For more information, there are more than 57,000 registered dogs in Oakland County. Independence Township issued 1,684 dog tags in 2002. In addition, there were 546 tags issued by veterinarians in the township. No records are available on how many Independence Township dog tags were renewed by mail or in person through the Brown Road location of Animal Control. There have been no reported cases of rabies in Oakland County in recent years.
There are a handful of Oakland County villages and cities that also require cat licensing. Both Keego Harbor and the city of Southfield fall into this category.
Jim Wenger
Independence Township Treasurer

Dear Editor,
I would like to thank the voters of Oakland Township, Orion Township and the Village of Lake Orion who made it out to the polls for the primary election on May 13.
I appreciate all of your support and the dedication you have shown to your communities. I encourage you to participate in the upcoming general election on June 17.
Thanks again for your essential contribution in regards to the future success of our communities.
Eric Wilson

Dear Editor,
Thank you for the wonderful article about River of Life. I just need to make one correction.
River of Life Watershed Projects is the parent corporation of the ROL/Clinton River Watershed Project (CRWP).
While we work with the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWP) and support many of their projects, we aren’t affiliated with them.
River of Life/CRWP is unique because of our interfaith based approach and contacts through area congregation leadership. Our mission involves reminding all those who believe in God of their responsibility to care for His gift of creation.
Debbie Riccardo,
ROL/CRWP Manager

Dear Editor,
One of our great freedoms is the right to vote. Yet when this right presented itself to citizens in the special election, only 9 percent of the registered voters showed up to cast their vote for the vacant Oakland County commissioner’s post left by Larry Obrecht this past February.
I have my doubts about the Republicans and Democrats. In fact, I don’t believe in political parties period! But I do believe in the right of the citizen vote — one of the freedoms many citizens take for granted.
You know when you don’t vote, then you give the politicians in all facets of government (state, local, federal) the authority to make the rules and laws for you, without you the tax paying citizens having any say.
A good example of what I’m stating above is the law which was passed by Orion Township trustees back in 2001. The law says you can’t park a vehicle over one ton GVW in your driveway in a residential area.
Another is the taxes, fees and expense approvals. Citizens should be deciding how they spend the tax money, not the elected politicians.
Politicians should serve at the pleasure of the citizens and should be governed by the citizens.
But it seems to me, a lot of people like being treated like sheep grazing in the meadow to be fed for slaughter, the slaughter being not getting out and voting.
James Delavan

A big stamp of approval goes to the US Postal Service and a ‘PS.? We love you from Oxford/Orion FISH, who were the lucky recipients of the generous mail carriers doing double duty picking up bags of food donated by the caring people of Lake Orion and Oxford.
We would like to especially thank Gary Richardson and Pamela Wilson from Lake Orion and Vickie from Oxford who spearheaded the drive.
Lake Orion collected 3,920 pounds of food. Oxford collected 4,020 pounds.
Besides the mail carriers, there were FISH volunteers who picked up from the post offices and took food to the FISH pantry to sort.
Added to these were donations from Lake Orion Kroger and Lake Orion Farmer Jack’s. To all who participated, we say a heartfelt thanks.
So far this year. FISH has given out a total of 31,000 pounds of food.
For some people, it’s the hardest thing to ask for help. But everyone needs a helping hand sometime, so please pass on our telephone number (248-693-0638) to anyone you think could use help.
Oxford/Orion FISH

Dear Editor,
A big stamp of approval goes to United States Postal Services and a “P.S.” We love you from Oxford\Orion Fish who were the lucky recipients of the generous mail carriers doing double duty
Picking up bags of food donated by the caring people of Lake Orion and Oxford.
We would like to especially thank Gary Richardson and Pamela Wilson from Lake Orion and Vickie from Oxford who spearheaded the drive. Lake Orion collected 3,920 lbs. of food and Oxford collected 4,020 lbs.
Besides the mail carriers there were Fish volunteers who picked up from the post offices and took food to the Fish pantry to sort.
Added to these were a donation from Lake Orion Kroger and Lake Orion Farmers Jack’s. To all who participated we say a heartfelt thanks.
So far this year fish has given out a total of 31,080 lbs. of food. For some people it is the hardest thing to ask for help, but everyone needs a helping hand sometime so please pass on our
Telephone no. 248-693-0638 to anyone you think could use help.
OXFORD\ORION FISH
P.S. to C.J.
Thank you for the great pictures you took of the ‘Crop Walk?. You certainly catch the spirit of our communities. We at FISH think you’re special!
Mary Jo Coates
Oxford/Orion Fish

Dear Editor,
One of the determining factors in our decision to purchase our home in Atlas Township was the requirement of a three acre minimum for lots upon which to build a new residence. This requirement causes a little distance between neighboring homes and helps to preserve the rural feel and character of the Atlas Township community.
If the Planning Commission approves the rezoning request for Mr. Walker, the commission will help destroy the rural character of Atlas Township. The Planning Commission historically has not approved a use of any property in the township contrary to their master plan. Approval of this request will violate their master plan for the Township.
If approved, the Mobile Home Park development will add thousands of vehicle trips per day to Hegel and Coolidge Roads. Neither road can handle the additional traffic. Coolidge Road was nearly impassible this spring with ruts and holes deep enough to ‘bottom out? trucks and SUVs, making passage impossible for some passenger cars. The road was in such a terrible condition it made school bus travel unsafe for our students and other drivers sharing the road.
If approved, the Mobile Home Park would raise the number of single family residences in this Township by approximately 50%. How will schools, fire, police and road maintenance be funded to support the rapid increase in township population? Current residents of Atlas Township know full well who will pay their fair share of the cost and it most certainly is not the mobile home park developer, nor the residents of the MHP
Mobile Home Park residents pay approximately 1 % of the property taxes paid by other single family residences in this Township. Property taxes are a very major source of funding for schools, fire, police and other services in this Township. A mobile home park will devastate the service levels we now enjoy.
The Planning Commission should not approve any request for rezoning to MHP. Approval of the request will change the rural character of this community irreparably.
Every resident of this Township should attend the Public Hearing of the Planning Commission on May 21 st at the Lakeville Community Church, 7:00 PM and voice their opinion on this ill conceived and unnecessary rezoning request.

Greg Anderson
Goodrich

Dear Editor,
On May 10th, A Charity Motorcycle Ride was held in Ortonville to raise money for Compassion International’s USA Kids Ministry. I would like to take a moment to thank those who made this event a success. Local Business, as always, were EXTREMELY generous! Boomers Biker Apparel, D.L. Bonner Jewelers, ReMax Property Center, Flagstar Bank, Hutchinson’s Appraisal Service, Tool Sign and Sport, Complete Building Mnt., and The Dave Ramsey Show, Sponsored this event along with generous donations from Brandon Chiropractic, Dr. Ronald Lane, The Village Pub, and several private citizens. We received food donations from Bueche’s and Tenuta’s market, and prize donations from Arrants Ford, Simms Chevrolet, Ace Hardware, American Cycle Mart, Anderson’s Honda and ABC Harley Davidson. I would also like to thank Gordonwood Camp for hosting us, the Oakland County Sheriffs Dept, the Ortonville Village Council, and all those who donated their time and energy to this cause.

Bobby Hampton
Empty Tomb
Motorcycle Ministries

Dear Editor,
I would like to publicly thank the members of our school board for looking out for the benefit of some of our youngest citizens. Many people do not know we were in danger of losing our half day/every day kindergarten program at the Brandon Schools due to possible budget cuts. Currently there are four sessions of half day kindergarten with busing provided at mid-day (in addition to the normal morning and afternoon runs). Some children are not physically or mentally able to handle a full day of school at this age. That day often starts at 8:30 am and ends at 4:45 pm, when the bus ride is factored into the day.
The school board rejected plans to cut the program. Thanks to the school board for recognizing that all children are different, and giving us choices to best suit our children.

Pam Coyne

Dear Editor,
The school bond issue vote on June 9, 2003 will add another $5,000 plus, on top of the already $8,000 plus per taxable household bond debt. Bond issues were approved in 1993, 1995 and 1997 and we are now being asked to add more to stretch out for 26 years.
Property taxes for schools, not counting Community College, amounts to 52 percent of the total, and state funding for schools is over 51 percent of the total state budget, plus the amount the U.S. government pays for its programs.
It is time to reduce this appetite for funds, starting with an administration that has Assistant Superintendants and Deputy Superintendents, spokespersons, personnel who decide on which courses should be offered, and which texts to be used, and plans for teachers to follow to teach.
Things like which texts, and how the subjects are taught, is the ultimate responsibility of teachers, so they should make those decisions, not someone in administration.
Isn’t this the same administration that misjudged the new high school size by 20 percent, which doesn’t give them exactly high marks? A simple check with the building department would have given them an idea of planned multi-bedroom homes to be constructed, so they could more accurately estimate future needs.
They are also the ones who complain that they are faced with a ‘moving target? as it takes them three years to develop programs to comply with new laws. What doesn’t change in three years?
Most of the teachers I’ve known are intelligent, resourceful and enthusiastic about their profession, who will cope with new changes their way and not the way some bureaucratic administration dictates it. Tell them what the new laws are, and let them do it their way.
The current bond indebtedness is more than enough at over $117 million.

Charles M. Vaughan
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
The Academic Boosters of Clarkston supports the School Bond & Non Homestead ballot proposals. Monday, June 9th is an important day for the Clarkston Community. Our school population has grown by over 750 students in the last 5 years, yet we are one of the lowest funded districts in Oakland County.
With the possibility of more state funding cuts, our schools need to pursue every opportunity to maintain funding levels. The proposed measures are necessary to avoid severe overcrowding and cuts in essential programs. In order for Clarkston to maintain the high quality education we have, the ABC’s recommends that voters pass both ballot proposals.

Sherri Kerby, President
Betty Reilly, Vice President/Treasurer

Dear Editor,
How truly privileged we are to have so highly qualified a candidate running for the Clarkston Community School Board as Jean Dasuqi, who is willing to devote her time and efforts to the business of improving the education of our children. This comes as no surprise to those of us who know Jean, as the business of children is already the focus of Jean Dasuqi’s daily life. As the owner and operator of Lil? People’s Place Childcare Centers, Jean Dasuqi has made a strong personal commitment to the welfare of children.
Annually, Jean Dasuqi works with over 300 families from our community and has first hand experience with the varying needs of a highly diverse group of children. Jean daily interacts with parents of school age children attending all of the elementary schools, both public and private, in the Clarkston school district, which gives her a unique insight into educational, economic and social factors specific to our community. Further, Jean is both educated in and directly involved in early childhood development and education. Jean Dasuqi operates pre-school, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs in the private sector, which gives her the latitude to implement and assess both conventional and innovative methods that may not yet be available to our public school system. Just as importantly, as a profitable businesswoman, Jean Dasuqi knows how to implement and run programs in the most cost-effective manner. This first hand knowledge of business operations, enables Jean Dasuqi to offer fiscally responsible suggestions that are based on fact and experience.
Jean Dasuqi is both a mother and a long-term resident of Clarkston. Although her children are now grown, her two sons attended Clarkston Schools from K-12. Jean has personally experienced the growth of the community and seen the ever-changing needs of the educational system that supports it. Jean Dasuqi’s personal, business and educational backgrounds provide her with a very broad perspective as to the impact of issues and policies upon ALL of the children and educators of our school district, as opposed to a select segment of the school population. Jean Dasuqi is a professional businesswoman, in the business of improving the lives of children. Jean Dasuqi will be an advocate of all of our children and a true asset to the Clarkston Community School Board.

Candace Woodward
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
I have been a longtime subscriber to your newspaper and have enjoyed it, but I’m upset by a recent trend.
The Looking Back column has always been a favorite, but in the past few years it has started repeating some very hurtful articles.
I question the reasoning for this. Is it to make sure the people involved are reminded of what happened or is it to make sure they are once again punished by their peers.
These articles might have been newsworthy 10 or 20 years ago, but certainly not now!
In this day of sadness and violence filling our papers, it was always nice to remind us of our youth in our small town — things like the advertised prices, our schools, and local sport teams — things that we can enjoy remembering.
I certainly can’t understand how anyone can gain anything from these articles. No one should be hurt by something from all those years ago.
A Regular Review Reader

Dear Editor,

I’m a 20 year old student who’s attending the Lake Orion Adult Education program. This program is needed for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.
My reason for writing this is that I have a goal. My goal is to be a nurse in the labor and delivery section of a local hospital. I presently work as a menial job that I hate.
Without this program, I would have no choices in life. Now my dreams can come true with this program.
I have met many people who need this education to further their lives. Some are older, some single, married, pregnant, etc. Without this program, our choices will be limited.
Michelle VanOrman

Dear Editor,
Your newspaper reported Orion Township had a 1 percent better voter turnout than Oakland Township. The reason for this and lesson for apathetic voters is the following:
As a candidate, I campaigned all day, as did another candidate at Orion’s Precinct 6. There was a very low turnout. Many times in the morning there were many long periods when no one drove or walked up to vote.
The other candidate became concerned and began calling several of his party’s precinct delegates and the chairperson of the Lake Orion precinct delegates, asking them to call his supporters and get out his vote.
This would normally be OK. However, both political parties usually try to stay neutral in their party’s primary election because all party candidates are considered to be good party members. Staying neutral doesn’t give any candidate an unfair advantage.
In this special election, there were nine candidates running. Since this candidate didn’t have a connection to any Oakland Township precinct delegates that township wasn’t influenced.
As the day wore on, voters showed up and told us they forgot. It was a good thing, thus the 1 percent increase in Orion voter turnout, the difference between first and second in this election.
LESSONS LEARNED FOR ALL. DON’T BE APATHETIC. GET OUT AND VOTE. A FUNCTIONAL DEMOCRACY REQUIRES YOU TO DO YOUR PART.
Kudos to all who participated in this election process.
Daniel Myslakowski

Dear Editor,
Why do our police harass the youth of Oxford?
I am a thirteen year old eighth grader and a few nights ago I was in downtown Oxford just associating with my peers not doing anything wrong, just talking, skating and hanging out. I was disgusted when Oxford Police rolled around back in their car and told us all to get out. So, my friends and I skated and walked elsewhere. I was on my skate board and the cops told me I couldn’t skate on the sidewalk so with my board in my hand I went and sat down on a bench behind the movie theater with three other friends to talk, drink some pop, and eat some licorice. When the officers told me & I, wasn’t allowed to sit on the bench I thought ‘what’s the deal, there’s a bench here, what’s it for if I can’t sit on it!? but I didn’t say anything, I felt real discrimination for the first time in my life.
I’m mad because we weren’t making any monkey business, it was hours before the curfew, (about 8:00) and I had the feeling the Police wouldn’t have been harassing us if we were older. We’ve all supported the merchants by buying candy, pop, coffee, ice cream, pizza, popcorn and other things like frequenting the Oxford 7 Theater and spending our money. We were not disturbing the peace, were not vandalizing the buildings, were not using drugs, were not hampering the flow of traffic in or out of the shops and we’re definitely deserving of a little more respect than we are served with now. We are told we are loitering when we want to drink the pop we bought from the sellers and sit on the benches. To me, if I am using a product bought from a certain shop on their property I’m in no way loitering. The people who own the establishments don’t mind selling us food and stuff but then they seem to mind when they call the cops on us for just eating it there.
Just because I’m a youth doesn’t mean I don’t have rights. In my interpretation of the first amendment says I can be anywhere I want to be (within reason) as long as I’m acting in a peaceful manner. As far as I know talking to my friends is not considered rioting or illegal. We weren’t chanting ‘Down with America? and we were not throwing paint on people with fur coats. So, why were we thrown out of a part of our town for no reason?
Cops wanted us to pay attention and give them respect when Officer Mike walked into our Elementary Schools with the D.A.R.E. program like ten times a year, and we did. Then they gave all of us their complimentary D.A.R.E. pencil and left. Now, my friends and I want some of that respect back and freedom just to be, and be where we want to. So to the Oxford Police I like to ask them to D.A.R.E. to be different and respect their town’s kids.
In conclusion I felt wronged and harassed by the people who are supposed to protect me and if you ever wondered why so many teens get this ‘screw those cops? attitude then now you know why. There has to be a reason for the change in attitude from the D.A.R.E. program times to now. Lastly I’d like to know why Oxford’s Sheriff has an over zealous stance on preventing the socializing of this town’s youth.
Sincerely,
Jesse Thirey
8th grade

Dear Editor,
Oxford residents have once again come through to help Veterans.
We would like to thank everyone who donated to our poppy program, and the businesses that let us distribute poppies at their business. We would also like to thank the Village and the Township for permitting us to distribute poppies.
Last but not least, we would like to thank the American Legion family members, who stood out in the rain and the cold for ‘Our Veterans.? These members are truly dedicated to the American Legion, and to the reasons why it was formed back in 1919.
The poppies are made by veterans. We purchase the poppies from them, and whatever we receive from distributing the poppies goes back to help the veterans. These veterans know first hand that freedom is not free.

Lest We Forget,
Valerie Joslin, Unit 108 Poppy Chairman
Donna Parkhurst, Auxiliary President

Dear Editor,
Dear C.J. Carnacchio,
Thank you so much C.J. for the article in The Oxford Leader. It was so much more than I expected and so perfect. You always do excellent coverage. My husband Chuck and our children were so proud and thrilled with the rock and program. Everything was perfect, even the weather. God is love and it showed in Oxford that day.
Oxford Love,
Marma and Chuck Curtis

Dear Editor,
Okay, let’s call a spade a spade.
The Clarkston School District’s bond election is a tax increase no matter how you look at it. Maybe not today, but certainly in the years 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029.
First Dr. Roberts states, ‘The district is not asking residents to increase the current seven mill debt rate. Instead, the district is asking for residents to extend the current rate for six additional years.? (Clarkston News 5-21-03)
Time is money, folks. The current average weighted residential assessment in Independence Township is $129,143 (per the Township assessor) and the extension of the seven mills is for a period of six years, from year 2024 to 2029. Let’s calculate that future tax in today’s dollars. $129,143/1,000 x 7 mills=$904 per year. $904 x six years=$5,424. That’s in today’s dollars, not 2024-2029 dollars.
Dollars you personally may or may not be spending then, but certainly your children and grandchildren will be responsible for. Using a conservative rate of inflation of 1.5 percent per year, a dollar today will be worth only .73 in 2024. $1 divided by 73 cents = a factor of 1.37. Multiply $5,424 times 1.37 = $7,431 future tax dollars, calculated at today’s average property tax assessment level, which will surely increase, possibly double, maybe even triple, by 2024. If the assessment doubles you are looking at $14,862. Tacking on six more years to your tax liability is no different than tacking on six more years to your mortgage, you’re still paying more no matter how you look at it.
And that raises another question, will the proposed physical improvements actually last that long? Will they need to be refurbished and/or replaced by the year 2024?
Secondly, the 4.5 mill renewal as part of the 18 mills the non-homestead properties must pay is not necessarily a tax increase. In 2003 most of it is a renewal. The remainder does however override a Headlee rollback. And the district’s long term plan is to have the voters renew the 18 mills each year, thus effectively and annually negating the application of a Headlee rollback altogether.
This violates the intent of Headlee, which is to limit the income to any taxing authority to what they had the previous year plus the rate of inflation, plus new construction.
Furthermore, the people that, by and large, pay the 18 mills are for the most part disenfranchised in the election, as they are the owners of commercial and industrial properties and owners of taxable personal property. They may not necessarily live in the community, and if they don’t, they don’t have a vote. If memory serves me correctly the Boston Tea Party was all about taxation without representation. Aside from all the houses, just think about Hosler’s new facility, POH/Genysys, Comerica and Recticel just off Sashabaw Road to name a few. All brand new tax dollars to the district.
The proposals are separate issues, the first discussed above is Proposition II, and the latter proposition I.
These are the facts. It is not my decision individually as to whether or not the proposals by the school district should or should not be approved by the electorate. But it is important the voters understand the long-term financial ramifications of this proposal. As Dr. Roberts states in his column, ‘As long as every resident is armed with facts and information, I will be satisfied.?
Henry M Hogan Jr.
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
The second grade classes of Pine Knob Elementary took a walking tour of downtown Clarkston last week. The tour is part of the second grade curriculum study of Clarkston History. We would like to thank all the people involved in making this a fun, learning experience for all of us.
First, we want to thank Mr. Don Schelske, at The Clarkston News. He gave an interesting history of the building and early Clarkston. Next the people at Clarkston Bank talked to us about the interesting photos on their walls, the check sorter and even locked us in the bank vault.
Later we walked to the Clarkston Union to hear the history of the church building, see the church pews and hand axe cut beams in the basement. We then visited Morgan’s Service station for a brief history lesson, including the bank robbery. Gaylene Portela of The Chocolate Moose invited us all in for a special sweet treat to go with our history of the building.
It was a beautiful day for a walk through Clarkston and then to the Independence Township Library. There the Clarkston Historical Society taught us about early Clarkston and we were able to enjoy some hands-on activities. We also toured the Clarkston Heritage Museum at the library.
We are thankful to all of you for helping us with this learning experience our children will remember for a long time.
Marilyn Brown, Janice Driver,
Kim Voog-Sabbag and Angie Winsman
Second Grade teachers
Pine Knob Elementary

Dear Editor,
During the past three years I have served as the principal at Pine Tree Elementary, it has been my priviledge to work with a remarkable group of parents, staff and students.
At this particular time I would like to recognize them for their generosity, caring and willingness to give of themselves.
Recently, due to the SARS situation, our fifth grade students and parents and teachers had to change plans for their annual trip to Tornonto.
They had already paid for tickets to see ‘Lion King? and were unable to receive a refund. These remarkable people chose to donate their tickets to students from urban schools in Toronto and United Way in Canada.
Their generosity gave others, who otherwise may not have been able to have this experience, the opportunity to enjoy this incredible performance.
Each year, during the month of May, our school sponsors an altruistic project in which we raise funds through donations. This year our ‘Helping Hands? project raised over $900 for local familes in need.
Our Pine Tree community not only gives financially, but more importantly, they give their time.
At a recent breakfast, we honored our volunteers for the hundreds of hours they devote to our students. We truly couldn’t accomplish all that we do with our students were it not for the involvement and support of our families.
I appreciate this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the members of our Pine Tree family who never ask for recognition and yet are so deserving of our gratitude.
Diane Dunaskiss

Dear Editor,
Wow! Do the people of this community care for each other? You betcha!
The response to the article about the OCEF Food Pantry’s (The Citizen, June 2, 2003) empty shelves has been heartwarming.
Many families and individuals have responded generously. Donations include everything form a check for a substantial amount (Thank you, Anonymous, we always love to hear from you) to a CoolWhip container full of coins from the Brownies.
Thanks to the many folks who brought in things to restock the shelves.
Thanks to The Citizen for publicizing the need.
This is a time of discouragement and prayer for many of our clients, as well as for the OCEF board and volunteers.
We all thank God for answering those prayers through you.
Sue Howard, Ortonville Community Emergency Fund

Dear Editor,
To the editor:
Kudos to Christiane Daily for her opinion column on the proposed trailer park in Atlas Township. How sad it is for anyone to attack another person’s character because they live in a trailer park. ‘Those people? are human beings, and deserve the same respect as those who live in a quarter million dollar house. Attitudes of superiority, as history so tragically reveals, are the cause of some of the most hideous crimes and most oppressive governments mankind has ever seen.
The size of someone’s home, the sticker price on their car, or the number of ‘toys? in their garage does not determine their worth as a human being. Every human being has worth based solely on the fact that he or she is made in the image of God. There are no ‘losers? in God’s eyes, only sinners who need His saving grace (which, by the way, includes all of us – whether we live in a mansion or a trailer).
I wonder, if we took a poll of the residents of Atlas Township, how many are one pink slip away, or one failed investment away, from living in a trailer park and becoming ‘one of those? people.
The issues, as Christiane made so clear, are whether the infrastructure, schools, and natural environment of Atlas Township can handle such a large influx of population in such a short period of time. In discussing the viability of a trailer park for Atlas Township, let’s keep to the issues, and keep personal prejudices at home , or better yet, bury them in the back yard and never dig them back up.

Pastor Frank Nolton
Lakeview Community Church
Goodrich

Dear editor,
I am writing to you concerning an article written in the May 26th edition of The Citizen. The article was entitled ‘Talking Trash.? As a 30 year Groveland Twp. resident and the last local waste hauler now serving our community, I would like an opportunity to ask a question and contradict some falsehoods contained therein.
The thing I question about this proposal, is why target the garbage industry? Maybe our township should only have one propane company or only use the U.S. Postal Service and stop allowing Fed-Ex and U.P.S. to deliver our mail. Maybe there are too many real estate signs and only one realtor should be used for our community. Why should I have to compromise my freedom to choose any of these options?
As a Groveland Twp. resident and business owner I want the opportunity to serve my fellow residents. Furthermore, I believe they deserve the right to choose between my services or the services of another company. I also do business with many other local companies here in my hometown and want to continue to do so.
Being experienced in this industry, I want to clarify some presumptions that were made about trash collection in the aforementioned article. First of all, ‘an average savings of about $14 per three month period? was mentioned. Unfortunately, large companies who come in with cheap prices usually raise their prices frequently or fail to mention surcharges or administration fees. Furthermore, the two largest haulers who would be willing to service this area are not local. The money we would be paying them, therefore, would not be reinvested into our community; in fact, it would be going to Arizona or Texas.
Another point the article made about going with one hauler would ‘hopefully eliminate the time garbage is set by the roadside reducing the opportunity for animals or weather to disrupt it.? While this may be true for some residents, others would in fact be out for longer periods giving more time for wild animals (or the neighbor’s dog!) to get into the trash. Residents in our community are already aware of the wildlife here, accommodating accordingly with pens or sturdy waste wheelers. An increase in trash exposure would increase the problem of animals getting into the trash.
Reliability was another point mentioned in the article with a reference to vacationing drivers and missed stops. Picking up stops on a route, however, is not dependent on the vacationing driver but the company the driver is employed by. Vacations are handled with experienced substitute drivers and delay time is usually minimal.
Finally, I would like to thank our friends and neighbors in Groveland Twp. for their patronage and loyalty. I appreciate being able to service my hometown and would like the opportunity to continue to do so. I would also like to thank The Citizen for allowing me to voice my thoughts and concerns on this proposal.

Matt McKay
Waste Away President and Groveland Twp.
resident

Dear Editor,
After reading Ms. Daily’s ‘Just My Opinion? column in the June 2nd edition of The Citizen I have a couple of questions.
While I agree the woman you mentioned in your column who spoke at the public hearing on May 21 may have sounded as if she were singling out mobile home owners as ‘those people?, I must say you missed the points she was attempting to make. She may have assumed you and the rest of the audience had done a little research regarding the additional needs a community must support when a mobile home park is developed and the on going cost to the community after development.
As mentioned during that hearing by another person, the number of police runs made to a mobile home development is much higher than the average single family home subdivision of site built homes. The person’s comments were based upon local police department statistics for a couple of the parks close to Atlas Township.
Fact: the number of special needs children living in a mobile home park is more than double that of the rest of the community.
Fact: the taxes paid by a mobile home owner is considerably less than a residential property owner in other zoning types.
Would you please explain in your next column how you came to the following conclusion ? ..the fact that they don’t pay the same amount of taxes as the rest of the community, which is by the way, not true.?
You may want to start your reading / research with the following links:
http://fpl.centurytel.net/c2c/taxloophole.htm
http://fpl.centurytel.net/c2c/taxplan.htm
The mobile home commission has had a free ride for too long. It is time to abolish the commission and let free trade and community needs dictate when, where and how mobile home parks are developed.
I understand this is a very emotional issue for all of us. Those who are not directly affected cannot fully comprehend the impact upon our community, rural character, roads, fire safety, police services, water quality, and schools. This community cannot handle the impact of a 50% rise in township residents.
I look forward to your column next week which will explain how a mobile home park will be taxed at the same rate as single family residential property in Atlas Township.
Thank you for your time.

Greg Anderson
Goodrich

Dear Editor,
It takes a whole community to create a post graduation party, and we have an incredible group that made it happen this year.
The class of 2003 partied until 5 a.m. on June 5, and left the CCA building with tired, but content faces. There were hugs, tears and appreciation from the more than 400 students who attended.
We personally would like to thank the committee chair-people: Lori Hall, Terry Rosengren, Beth and Will Lahousse, Sheryl Herr, Margaret Provensano, Terri Bendes, Karen Manvel, Jan Parrott, Linda Mehaffey, Nancy Carlson, Kathy Chojnowski, Carol Larson, Hope Kuhn, Pam Ruggirello, Sandy Kolano, Marty Bolten, Kathie Carroll, Gail Wojoiechowski, Bruce Rosengren, Rico Vanchina, Gary Hanna, Luanne Zimmerman and Mary Ellen McLean.
Also a big thanks goes to Pastor Dan Niewoit, Carlos and the whole CCA staff, all the junior parents, senior parents, CHS office staff, Jan Meagher and administration, and you – the community – who have helped us raise our students and gave us the opportunity to send them off with a spectacular celebration.

Carol Schwarb
Marsha Combs
2003 Post Grad Party co-chairs

Dear Editor,
I am writing this to thank everyone who helped make the Independence Township Parks and Recreation 2003 Youth Baseball/Softball Opening Day a huge success on Saturday, June 7.
The weather held out for a beautiful day and the turnout of teams and spectators alike showed this. I would first like to thank the sponsors, parents, coaches and players for putting forth their time and money to help continue a great tradition of youth baseball and softball in Independence Township. Without the sponsorship of many local businesses, the teams would not have the wonderful uniforms that they proudly wear out on the field.
I also would like to express my appreciation to the Independence Township Fire Department for supplying our sound system and the Independence Township Library for supplying our flags.
Finally, I would like to thank some specific people at Independence Township Parks and Recreation for their dedication and help to our youth baseball/softball program. I want to thank Beth Walker-P’Simer and Jeff Morris for helping me organize this event; Larry Hess, George Thompson and Eric Jenks for making the ball fields look their finest; Beth Lawrence and her concession staff; and the supervisor staff of Mike Ellsworth, Bob Soeder and Sam Webster and their umpires for helping set up for the festivities. Thanks again to everyone who participated and we hope to see you all out on the ball fields.

Scott McGregor
Youth Baseball/Softball Director

Dear Editor,
Could someone explain the logic behind the new three way stop on Heights at Lakeview? Not only is the poor person’s yard at that intersection now sliding down the hill, it provides no use at this location.
The curve was already tight enough that you had to slow down to navigate it. It appears to be a waste of taxpayer money in a time of current freezes imposed by the governor.
If the purpose was to slow traffic on Heights, why not put it in a useful place. There is no access to the lake at the end of Sherry Drive, with two blind corners. Why not put the stop signs there? Wouldn’t it improve pedestrian safety? Or at least put a flashing yellow light to warn drivers of an impending hazard.
We (the residents of Sherry Drive) have also tried to get stop signs put on Sherry to reduce the speed of people using this street as a way to avoid the Lapeer/Clarkston intersection.
The road commission did a speed study of this street, but of course, with evidence of speed monitoring clearly visible, most people reduced their speeds that day. (Yes, they did it for just ONE day!) Therefore the commission said no action was warranted.
A friend of mine, who is a former police officer, said they could have parked a vehicle on the side of the road with monitoring equipment in it that would NOT be obvious. The equipment could have recorded a more accurate picture of the speeds on this road.
Plus, the study was done midday when traffic volumes are lower, not from 5-8 p.m. when volumes are heaviest.
If there were stop signs at Buckhorn going north and Oakland going south, it would break up the straight shot between Heights/Clarkston.
There are many children on the street, playing and walking to the lake. Does it take one of them getting killed before something is done?
Concerned Sherry Drive Resident

Dear Editor,
I was impressed by the letter in the May 28 Leader from Jesse Thirey, the 13-year-old boy questioning why the police ‘harass the youth of Oxford?.
His letter was articulate, descriptive and well thought out and if all he says is true, I, as a citizen and taxpayer of Oxford, feel young Jesse deserves an answer to his question.
I also feel Jesse’s parents should be very proud of a boy who chooses this method to vent his anger.
Phyllis Hrlic
Oxford

Dear Editor,
I don’t know who you are Jesse Thirey, but I would like to let you know I am proud of you!
Not only for writing your thoughts and feelings to the local weekly paper, but for recognizing the injustice and the unfairness of it all.
I agree with you!
If adults were sitting on the bench, no one would of noticed.
If what you wrote is true to fact, it is upsetting to me and should be upsetting to everyone who read your article.
Maybe you should wear an Oxford football jersey everywhere you go, that seems to gather a whole lot of respect around town, easier and faster than acceptable behavior.
Were you discriminated against, I think so. And I am sorry for that.
I have lived in Oxford for the last 11 years. Not once have I encountered an unruly or disrespectful youth on the sidewalks. But I have encountered quite a few adults that were suspect. This town is full of them.
Once again, if you are true to fact and you weren’t disturbing the peace, vandalizing buildings, using drugs, hampering the flow of traffic, throwing paint on people’s fur coats, ? then you had every right to be where you were, and every right to be where you want to be, (young or old).
And if you were doing any of the above mentioned activities then the Oxford police were negligent in duty and should have arrested you.
So which is it Oxford?
Was he being harassed? Or was the Oxford Village police too lazy to arrest a crazed youth that walked the streets and dared to take a seat with his friends on a public bench?
Good for you Jesse Thirey, I’m sure your family is proud of you.
The Oxford Township police would have treated you fairly and respectfully. That is a fact!
A taxpayer who votes

Dear Editor,
In response to the letter from the children in our community who feel harassed by our Oxford P.D.
Be thankful they’re keeping their eyes and ears open and following you into our alley ways and behind our merchants properties.
Don’t you realize how protected you should feel? Don’t you listen to the news on T.V. or read about young people your ages being abducted and molested and/or worse right out in broad daylight?
The list of known sex offenders right here in Oxford and Lake Orion is about 4 pages long.
Why do you think we have the Amber Alert?
Why are under-18 year olds left to wander around downtown on skateboards and where does all that money you have to give to the merchants come from?
Times have changed, young man ? where are the parents of these young people?
Yes the OPD are ever vigilant! On your behalf.
A car pulls up and perhaps a man or woman you’ve seen and even spoken to many times calls you over to their vehicle and says, ‘I’ll buy you a new skateboard? or here’s some more money for pop or chips-come with me and I’ll take you to wherever! Your ‘friends? that you’re ‘hanging out? with are left to call 911 or your baby-sitter or your parents.
It may be the last time you’re ever seen alive.
Go ahead and harass those ‘street kids?, officers. I for one citizen am thankful when I see you patrolling behind the storefronts and giving the children the opportunity to become parents.
Lois J. Rice
Oxford

Dear Editor,
The Oxford 7’s management wants to thank the Oxford Police Personnel for all the help and support they have provided us. Hopefully the citizens of Oxford realize the professional work our Police do and realize how hard their duty is on a day to day basis. As one of many merchants in the Downtown Oxford area, we understand and appreciate the stress and complexity our Oxford Police go through everyday for our security.
The Oxford Police Department has always timely responded to problems the Oxford 7 has had ranging from vandalism to patrons being disruptive in our auditoriums. They have made consistent efforts to assist us in keeping problems to a minimum. Chief Mike Neymanowski has proven he is committed to our needs. It is appreciated to see the Police Department reliably and courteously interact with everyone, especially the younger moviegoers at the Oxford 7.
The Oxford 7 says thanks to the Chief and his officers for the fine job they are doing.
Brian Eichstaedt, Area Manager
Goodrich Quality Theaters

Dear Editor,
You start with a seed of an idea.
You plant the seed in ‘Friend-ly? soil.
You add a little nurture and a lot of sunshine by way of community and local business support.
Then, you wait for some of God’s sustaining rain and you grow a community event called, ‘The Friends of the Addison Township Public Library Plant Exchange and Garden Workshop.?
Thank you to our event sponsors, non-profit organizations and cast of volunteers for providing the exceptional support that made our first annual event, last Saturday, a success.
A special thank you to Oxford Leader Editor C.J. Carnacchio who gave us wonderful news coverage and participation before, during and after our event.
In addition to the Oxford Leader, we’d like to thank the following event sponsors ? Addison Township Board of Trustees, Suzy’s Sweets, Mike Mather State Farm, Marcials? Nursery and Garden Center, Oakland Land Conservancy, Caroline’s Shear Inspirations, Lakeville United Methodist Church, Louie’s Food and Spirits, Oxford McDonald’s, Oxford Meijer Inc., Oxford Bank, Oxford Farm and Garden, Nosie Rosies Flower Shop, The Roadhouse, Wojo’s Nursery, Wright’s Market and Perennial Impressions.
With Deep Appreciation,
Claudia VonDrak, President
Friends of the Addison Township
Public Library

Dear Editor,

I am writing to support Trustee David Ax and other Groveland Township officials who will be considering a township-wide preferred waste hauling contract proposal (‘Talking Trash,? The Citizen, May 26). The primary goal is to lower garbage costs to residents. Among other aims is the desire to reduce heavy-truck traffic on gravel roads.
There is another reason to reduce this traffic: damage to asphalt roads. Today a hauler collected garbage on our street, Madison Drive. Tomorrow a different hauler will be here (preceded bi-monthly by a recycling vehicle), and on another day a third company comes by. The asphalt on Madsen is beginning to deteriorate, certainly aggravated by these trucks, by far the heaviest on this no-outlet street.
This deterioration will eventually affect the appearance of the neighborhood, hurt home values and, at some point, lead to expensive resurfacing. Granted, there are few other paved neighborhood roads in the township, but the main roads are affected, too.
The waste collectors are not at fault; they’re just doing their job. But the inefficiency, fuel waste and road damage are apparent. Competition is great, but in this case it should be for securing a contract. Limiting waste collecting to a single hauler would greatly reduce heavyweight truck traffic.

Jim Grey
Ortonville

Dear Editor,

Over the past few weeks, there have been many anti-mobile home park letters, each of which have mentioned the $36 paid by mobile home owners. These people seem to feel that is all we pay.
Let’s look at facts instead of claims. Mobile home parks are owned by corporations, who pay property taxes, at a rate almost double that of homeowners. They then pass these property taxes along to those renting the lots.
Anyone familiar with Michigan’s homestead property tax credit form will note that for renters (including those that rent mobile home lots), 20 percent of their rent is considered to be property tax. Mobile home owners now have to pay an additional tax of $36 per year that homeowners and those living in apartments do not pay.
Using myself as an example, my lot rent is $426 per month. Doing the math (426 x .20 x 12) results in my paying $1,022.40 in property tax. With the additional $36 I have to pay $1,058.50, for a lot I don’t even own.
I would say that those living in mobile homes do indeed pay their fair share of property taxes.

Steven Baker
Brandon Township

Dear Editor,
There seems to be plenty of talk and opinion on the trailer park issue for Goodrich/Atlas. It is sad that anyone feels it is necessary to attack one person’s view as though that person spoke for an entire community. As to not upset, but rather agree to disagree, a trailer park has many disadvantages to our community. Our schools will suffer in both a financial aspect, as well as a population aspect. As a parent, this concerns me. However, the issue does not need to become one of religious ridicule, as Pastor Nolton should know. Unfortunately, the article which he chose to send to The Citizen quotes his own concerns. Everyone in this community, or at least the majority, do not hold responsible the owners of these trailers for being ‘financially burdened.? Although Pastor Nolton asked that we ‘stick to the facts?, he too, found it necessary to remind us of our own shortfalls by asking how many pink slips or failed investments we were away from living in a trailer park ourselves. Is this the message you meant to send? Because that statement implies that you feel all people living in a trailer park do have shortfalls of some sort. Pastor Nolton, with all due respect, take your own advice and stick to the facts.
It was best said, I believe, by Goodrich resident Greg Anderson who said: ‘This community cannot handle the impact of a 50 percent rise in township residents.? This is the fact. Are we prepared for a 50 percent population rise?
Our community is bound to expand and grow over time. The point best thought of is this fast of a pace of growth over such a short period of time. Tragic. The opinion of all should be heard, including Pastor Nolton, those who it truly effects. This community has such passion for the subject because for better or worse the Goodrich/Atlas community has always taken care of one another and yes, its shortcomings. So for those of you who do not live in this community yet feel it necessary to have an opinion; do us all a favor, print it in your own papers and we, as a community, will continue to be productive in ours with or without the trailer park community.

Lisa Johnson
Goodrich

Dear Editor,

An Open Letter to the Ortonville Village Council:
As I wrote to Sue Bess, Chairperson of the Council, it is not effective to spray the ball fields to kill mosquitoes. First, there are no mosquitoes there to kill. They are off in adjacent properties, hiding in shaded areas during the day. Also the DPW does a truly excellent job of keeping the grass well-mowed, and mosquitoes hate well-cut grass. Spraying the fields every other week will probably kill NO mosquitoes. You will not fight the Nile virus by spraying the fields.
Second, spraying will harm our children. They will kick up dust and breathe in the poison, and then they will suffer strange effects that parents will find difficult to understand and counteract.
Third, the spray will harm our ground water-the water we have to drink. Imagine drinking a glass of water that is half poison. Or a quarter poison. Or one-eighth poison. Or, get this, one-billionth poison. A bit of poison so small as a few billionths of a solution can affect humans dangerously. People living on Cedar Street, Church Street, Schoolhouse Street and Ball Street are all likely to be most hurt by all the stepped-up spraying that will take place this year. (The spraying of Crossman and Narrin Parks may harm the residents of Mill Street and Oakwood Road.)
To paraphrase Rachel Carson, there is no person on the face of the earth whose body, because of human idiocy, does not contain carcinogens-harmful chemicals. Let’s not add to the woe.
After getting permission from home owners, if the council wants to combat mosquitoes, it should spray backyards where there are bushes and trees and other spots where mosquitoes hide’and not spray the open ball fields, which have no places for mosquitoes either to hide or to breed.
It has been said that the spraying will set up a spray barrier for mosquitoes. Not so. Any reasonable person will conclude the mosquitoes will simply fly above it. For that matter, flying only one inch above the fields will allow them to escape this sprayed area. Spraying the ball fields is not a wise idea.
So, please Council, do not spray our ball fields and infect our kids with poison, while the mosquitoes come out at dusk unharmed. Save the Village thousands of dollars by canceling the contract for the ineffective spraying. But if you insist on spraying, at least notify all residents each time to keep themselves, their pets, and their children inside on the days of insecticide use.
My next letter on this topic will mention some of the things you can do to combat mosquitoes without the use of poisonous chemicals.
Fred Howard
Ortonville

Dear Editor,
I was disappointed to see the errant title in the News? lead article on June 4, ‘School election on Tuesday… Candidates attempt to show uniqueness.? In fact, the election was scheduled for Monday, June 9.
The confusion in the headline exacerbates an already troublesome problem – the proliferation of misinformation about school elections.
The News? headline perfectly illustrates my point. Most people equate elections with Tuesdays. During the presidential primary season we have ‘Super Tuesday,? Michigan’s regular primary elections take place on a Tuesday in August, and general elections occur on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. So, why are school elections held on Mondays in June? I believe the question is valid and appropriate considering recent circumstances.
The existence of two parallel election systems, one for schools and another for local, county and state elections, combined with a permissive approach to the scheduling of special elections contribute to low voter turnout, especially in school elections. It also is the cause of concern among some residents that school elections are designed and scheduled so as to produce a specific result.
Currently, local elections can be scheduled on almost any issue on any day. The process causes confusion among voters. Additionally, the elections, with some exceptions, are run by untrained school officials instead of trained locally elected clerks. The practice of scheduling elections on a whim brings the integrity of the election into question and violates the basic tenets of our democratic form of government.
We need a system that brings consistency to the election schedule and restores integrity to the voting process. Several government officials have suggested a plan to make this happen.
On Wednesday, June 11, Secretary of State Teri Lynn Land and a bipartisan group of state legislators introduced legislation to improve voter participation by consolidating elections, and requiring all elections to be administered by elected clerks who are trained and experienced in election management.
These changes will save taxpayer dollars and free up much needed financial resources so that school districts can invest what would have been spent on ballots and maintaining voting equipment, in classrooms, where it can have the best impact. By approving changes to existing law that consolidate elections and create uniformity, the state Legislature can ensure the rights of all Michigan residents and the sacred principles of our democratic society are protected.
Now, as a professional involved in media relations, I understand the importance of getting facts straight. An errant title or misconstrued fact can cause serious problems. Like The Clarkston News, as a professional involved in relating news to the public, I consider the task of providing accurate information to readers my utmost job responsibility.
Unfortunately, we all make mistakes. In this instance, some Independence Township residents may have been confused about the actual date of the election. They may have gone to the polls on Tuesday, only to find that when they arrived, there was no one to register their voice.
As an Independence Township resident, I know from experience that The Clarkston News and Sherman Publications strive to accurately inform the residents they serve. I extend my appreciation for their efforts. However, it is the solemn duty of the electorate to make informed decisions. It is difficult to do so when the information available is inaccurate.
I encourage all residents to consider their responsibilities in this process. I submit that we have a right to accurate information regarding elections. I also submit that we have a responsibility to take an active role in keeping the media accountable for providing accurate information. By doing so, we will be better equipped to make informed decisions regarding our community.
Tim Sievers
Clarkston