Letter To The Editor

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

Dear Editor,
Thank you for the wonderful article you wrote about me and my love for Clarkston SCAMP…nothing could be more true.
In one paragraph there is a quote from me that I feel needs clarification. In speaking about the kids that attend SCAMP, it might be misinterpreted the SCAMPers are the kids who are not wanted in their neighborhoods. When, in fact, our SCAMPers are very well received in their neighborhoods.
The unique thing about SCAMP is our ability to offer SCAMPers the opportunity to be involved in a summer program with the resources and trained staff that would not be available to them in a typical summer camp program.
I sincerely appreciate your support.

Donna Clancy
SCAMP Executive Director

Dear Editor,
I work in Ortonville, and enjoy reading your paper week after week. My father worked on a small paper in Richmond, and told me lots of stories, and reading The Citizen brings back that small-town, family-publication good feeling. I’ve always enjoyed the stories, and even the columns I’ve read, even though I usually disagree with the opinions.
You see, I’m one of those’far-left wackos?, hence my differences. However, I’ve learned to always try to consider all sides of an issue, and attempt to keep my mind open. It’s a real challenge, especially today.
But I must admit from time to time I’ve come across some excellent viewpoints and arguments which have caused me either to change an opion, or at least dig a little deeper into new sources to learn more.
It’s no secret that the the majority of opinions at The Citizen are pretty conservative, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, as I just
mentioned. However, the first responsibility of good journalism is to ensure that the source of information is reliable.
So I was pretty surprised when I read Mr. Sherman’s column referring to what he had read
from the BIG EYE in the Porcupine Press, up in the UP, concerning Hillary Clinton’s coming under ‘this fancy ‘Congressional Retirement and Staffing
Plan.?? I used to get as many as 5 to 10 emails from friends forwarding outrageous stories about any number of things, this one among them, and I’ve
found that the vast majority are simply myths, hoaxes and sometimes, plain lies started on a web page or email, and forwarded ad nauseum to millions of people who don’t take the time to check.
I’ve found several websites which exist simply to collect information on hoaxes, myths and urban legends, in order to better inform people who fall for this stuff. Snopes.com, ThruthMiners.org, BreakTheChain.org all have this ‘story? covered ? go to http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/pensions.htm for one example. I remembered this one from many conservative friends who forwarded it to me, and I replied with one or more links like this.
After reading the same in a newspaper by the publisher, I did a little more checking. In the first 5 pages of hits from Google, there were 6 web sites which were dedicated to researching and debunking the story (and many other email/web rumors).
Each of those explained in large or small detail about the facts about retirement for congressional members, how the Secret Service is paid (and how any compensation wouldn’t even come close to paying the Clinton’s
mortgage payment.
Most of the other sites were various conservative groups quoting the email directly, or Rush Limbaugh reading the story, etc. ? but without any investigation, simply reciting the story as if it was the truth and raising the outrage.I understand that the opinion columns in any newpaper are just that ? opinions. But it’s a major disservice to your readers to simply state something which is, at least, not entirely true, and ? at worse ? a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. It’s been almost three years since the Clinton’s have left the White House, and I know how scared some people are of the thought of Hillary running for president.
My dad would have hated it every bit as much as the biggest anti-Hillary conservative (I wish I could have seen his face when the possiblility was first raised ), but he would have been THE FIRST to tell you that using a newspaper to spread misinformation is not just irresponsible, it detracts from the idea of a free and informed debate and decision process.
Grant Hickey
Lake Orion

Dear Editor,
The old name for Mobile homes is ‘trailer?. I will use the old name, mainly because I’m lazy, and also because it saves on the expenditure of ink.
The story of the proposed trailer park in Atlas is an old tale, currently replayed. There are many residents opposed to having a new trailer park coming in. But while fewer in number, there are parties who are strongly in favor of such a development, and are the ones who will make it happen.
The first proponent is politicians. The arrival of high density housing is attractive because, for each residence, there will be at least two more voters. Trailer park residents tend to favor liberal politicians, so you may expect to see more social programs instituted in their favor. In addition, since there will be a large number of new residents, new candidates for public office may likely come from their area. They will get the votes, based on their many neighbors. It will show in taxes.
Next, there are the school boards. Since the trailer park folks get a big break on property taxes, they tend to be heavily supportive of bond issues or increased millages as may apply. The trailer park can put over almost any program the school board wants. The prospect and need for new schools will have the school boards salivating over planning and construction of new, and as usual, extravagant edifices for the school district. Somebody else pays the big tax bill.
The churches also see a big influx of parishioners. The potential for expansion is great, and they are welcomed with open arms. We’re already seeing commentaries in the paper about the desirability of new faces. Whatever the social level, the folks in church are always nice.
The food stores are probably acquiring land already for bigger stores to serve the increased market for groceries. How could you condemn them for that?
State politicians will have a stronger case for highway expansion, so taxes somewhere will pay for the improvements.
You can never fault those who wish to take residence in a trailer park. It’s a good and inexpensive way to live. In almost any trailer park, housekeeping rules are stringent, and the residents tend to keep their little piece of the world clean and neat. As far as crime and casual offenses are concerned, the density of police activity is probably less, relative to the number of calls per capita in other less concentrated areas. More density; more action. However, the proximity of a high density populated area does have a downgrading effect on the value of adjacent property; it’s a fact of life.
So, the folks in Atlas might as well accept their fate. There will be hearing upon hearing by the zoning commission. All it takes is one meeting that is poorly publicized, and thus poorly attended. Then, stand back and watch the graders go to work.

Doug Houston
Ortonville

Dear Editor,
I work in Ortonville, and enjoy reading your paper week after week. My father worked on a small paper in Richmond, and told me lots of stories, and reading The Citizen brings back that small-town, family-publication good feeling. I’ve always enjoyed the stories, and even the columns I’ve read, even though I usually disagree with the opinions. You see, I’m one of those ‘far-left wackos?, hence my differences. However, I’ve learned to always try to consider all sides of an issue, and attempt to keep my mind open. It’s a real challenge, especially today. But I must admit from time to time I’ve come across some excellent viewpoints and arguments which have caused me either to change an opinion, or at least dig a little deeper into new sources to learn more.
It’s no secret that the the majority of opinions at The Citizen are pretty conservative, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, as I just mentioned. However, the first responsibility of good journalism is to ensure that the source of information is reliable. So I was pretty surprised when I read Mr. Sherman’s column referring to what he had read from the BIG EYE in the Porcupine Press, up in the UP, concerning Hillary Clinton’s coming under ‘this fancy ‘Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan??. I used to get as many as 5 – 10 emails from friends forwarding outrageous stories about any number of things, this one among them, and I’ve found that the vast majority are simply myths, hoaxes and sometimes, plain lies started on a web page or email, and forwarded ad nauseum. to millions of people who don’t take the time to check. I’ve found several websites which exist simply to collect information on hoaxes, myths and urban legends, in order to better inform people who fall for this stuff. Snopes.com, TruthMiners.org, BreakTheChain.org all have this ‘story? covered – go to http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/~pensions.htm for one example. I remembered this one from many conservative friends who forwarded it to me, and I replied with one or more links like this. After reading the same in a newspaper by the publisher, I did a little more checking. In the first 5 pages of hits from Google, there were 6 web sites which were dedicated to researching and debunking the story (and many other email/web rumors). Each of those explained in large or small detail about the facts about retirement for congressional members, how the Secret Service is paid (and how any compensation wouldn’t even come close to paying the Clintons? mortgage payment. Most of the other sites were various conservative groups quoting the email directly, or Rush Limbaugh reading the story, etc. – but without any investigation, simply reciting the story as if it was the truth and raising the outrage.
I understand that the opinion columns in any newpaper are just that opinions. But it’s a major disservice to your readers to simply state something which is, at least, not entirely true, and – at worse – a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. It’s been almost 3 years since the Clintons have left the White House, and I know how scared some people are of the thought of Hillary running for president. My dad would have hated it every bit as much as the biggest anti-Hillary conservative (I wish I could have seen his face when the possiblility was first raised ), but he would have been THE FIRST to tell you that using a newspaper to spread misinformation is not just irresponsible, it detracts from the idea of a free and informed debate and decision process.

Grant Hickey
Lake Orion

Dear Editor,
To the editor:
I see some armchair bureaucrat, from Oakland County wants to impose, by force, septic tank inspections. John P. McCulloch begins his ‘explanation? with a non sequitur, Oakland County has had great success with growth… we are going to have to protect our natural resources. Oakland wants to protect the Ground Water…
Meanwhile, Mr. McCulloch and the county ignore the dewatering going on by Midway Sand Gravel! What amazing hypocrisy! Groveland Twp. is having its only source of fresh water being pumped away at the incredible rate of 21 million gallons per day; does any authority in Michigan care, NO!Now these sleazy politicians want to trespass on private property, and charge you for it! Does McCulloch have friends in the septic tank business??
Robert DePalma is right on when he says, ‘I don’t think people need Big Brother breathing down their neck.? As for me, no one but no one is coming on my property, without my express permission! While I realize our United States Constitution is now considered null and void by would-be tyrants, it’s still very much in force, where I live! The county may pass any ordinance it cares to, but if it is not in pursuance of the U.S. Constitution, it is not lawful! I do not blindly obey any law that is passed in order to install a government of absolute tyranny!

Alan H. Schwartz
Ortonville

Dear Editor,
I work in Ortonville, and enjoy reading your paper week after week. My father worked on a small paper in Richmond, and told me lots of stories, and reading The Citizen brings back that small-town, family-publication good feeling.
I’ve always enjoyed the stories, and even the columns I’ve read, even though I usually disagree with the opinions. You see, I’m one of those ‘far-left wackos,? hence my differences. However, I’ve learned to always try to consider all sides of an issue, and attempt to keep my mind open. It’s a real challenge, especially today. But I must admit from time to time I’ve come across some excellent viewpoints and arguments which have caused me either to change an opinion, or at least dig a little deeper into new sources to learn more.
It’s no secret that the majority of opinions at The Citizen are pretty conservative, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, as I just mentioned. However, the first responsibility of good journalism is to ensure that the source of information is reliable.
So I was pretty surprised when I read Mr. Sherman’s column referring to what he had read from the Big Eye in the Porcupine Press, up in the UP, concerning Hillary Clinton’s coming under ‘this fancy ‘Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan.?? I used to get as many as five to 10 e-mails from friends forwarding outrageous stories about any number of things, this one among them, and I’ve found that the vast majority are simply myths, hoaxes and sometimes, plain lies started on a web page or e-mail, and forwarded ad nauseam to millions of people who don’t take the time to check.
I’ve found several websites which exist simply to collect information on hoaxes, myths and urban legends, in order to better inform people who fall for this stuff. Snopes.com, truthminers.org, breakthechain.org all have this ‘story? covered – go to www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/pensions.htm for one example.
I remembered this story from many conservative friends who forwarded it to me, and I replied with one or more links like this. After reading the same in a newspaper by the publisher, I did a little more checking. In the first five pages of hits from Google, there were six web sites which were dedicated to researching and debunking the story (and many other e-mail/web rumors.)
Each of those explained in large or small detail about the facts about retirement for congressional members, how the Secret Service is paid (and how any compensation wouldn’t even come close to paying the Clintons mortgage payment.) Most of the other sites were various conservative groups quoting the e-mail directly, or Rush Limbaugh reading the story, etc. – but without any investigation, simply reciting the story as if it was the truth and raising the outrage.
I understand that the opinion columns in any newspaper are just that – opinions. But it’s a major disservice to your readers to simply state something which is, at least, not entirely true, and at worst, a blatant misrepresentation of the facts.
It’s been almost three years since the Clintons have left the White House, and I know how scared some people are of the thought of Hillary running for president. My dad would have hated it every bit as much as the biggest anti-Hillary conservative ( I wish I could have seen his face when the possibility was first raised) but he would have been the first to tell you that using a newspaper to spread misinformation is not just irresponsible, it detracts from the idea of a free and informed debate and decision process.
Grant Hickey
Lake Orion
(Editor’s note: The Citizen is a sister paper of The Clarkston News. Both are owned by Sherman Publications, Inc. Jim Sherman’s column also appears in this paper.)

Dear Editor,
I’ve been a Clarkston resident for about six years now. One thing I learned quickly was that burn days are on the first and third Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
This is an old ordinance that needs some updating. With the Clarkston area growing immensely, this ordinance needs to change to no burn days unless you live on more than five acres of property, or even none at all. Cities around us like Waterford, Rochester Hills and Pontiac have updated to have no burn days at all.
It always happens every year when it is a beautiful day and a few residents burn their leaves and cause the majority to keep their houses closed up, not enjoying the nice weather. Not to mention I have to power wash my house every year, and the fact that breathing the air is not good for you.
I repeatedly have asked the board members, through e-mails and personal contact, to look at this and at least let the voters decide. They always skirt the issue and will have someone look into it. But they never do.
According to U. S. Environmental Protection Agency studies, besides being an irritant, leaf smoke contains many hazardous chemicals, including carbon monoxide and benzo, pyrene. Carbon monoxide binds with hemoglobin in the bloodstream and thus reduces the amount of oxygen on the blood and lungs. So carbon monoxide can be very dangerous for young children with immature lungs, smokers, the elderly and people with chronic heart or lung diseases.
Benzo(a)pyrene is known to cause cancer in animals and is believed to be a major factor in lung cancer caused by cigarette smoke. It is found in cigarette smoke and coal tar as well as leaf smoke.
So let’s let the voters decide.
Jim Altene
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
I was a sixth grade band student of Mr. Douglas Doty at Sashabaw Middle School during the 2002-03 school year.
I just wanted to tell everyone what a fantastic band teacher Mr. Doty is. He is very talented, being able to teach about several different instruments at the same time as well as play them.
He has always seated us fairly when we did our ‘challenges? and he spent his own time after school to work with students. He even found me a flute tutor for me to practice with during this summer.
I feel gypped that he is retiring this year and I won’t be able to learn more from him. I sure hope his replacement can do at least half as much as Mr. Doty. Mr. Doty is a great teacher and my favorite teacher. I’d like to say, ‘Thank you Mr. Doty, for a great year!?
Tina Layton
Sashabaw Middle School

Dear Editor,
I would like to thank all who participated in the special election for county commissioner on June 17.
The voter participation was only 8 percent, but democracy was at work because 100 percent had the option to vote or not to vote.
A special thanks to all the candidates, the Orion and Oakland Township clerks and their team, the county clerk and his team, the board of canvassers, the volunteers and poll workers who worked so hard.
Although I didn’t win it, it was a great experience for me and as I learned in sports in my youth, if you do your best, work hard you will be rewarded.
Thanks again to the 807 Orion and Oakland Township voters who supported me.
Dan Myslakowski

Dear Editor,
By now you all know about our illustrious Oakland County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson being pulled over by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.
The reason the deputies pulled him over was because of erratic lane changing or swerving, according to all the news reports.
Patterson admitted he had a couple of glasses of wine and was taking medication for some health problem previous to his driving the vehicle.
This information was what I had gotten from watching Patterson on a replay of the deputies video machine which was shown on the TV stations.
Joe Louis used to have an old saying. Before he got into the ring with an opponent, he said, ‘He can run, but he can’t hide.?
Patterson you should take a lesson from Joe Louis and from me as well. The people know when you’re not being honest with them or yourself.
Even OCSD’s Gary McClive and Mike Bouchard said on the news that ‘no one is above the law!?
I hope all the voting citizens of Oakland County remember this incident if you decide to run for Oakland County Executive again or some other office in 2004.
To be honest with you Patterson, I never thought much of you as prosecutor or county executive. This special treatment given you will always have some sort of civic unrest until we realize what our Constitution and Declaration of Independence means.
Every person in these United States should receive and get equal justice and rights, no matter what your financial status, religious belief, race or ethnic background, health status, whether you are a ruler or peasant.
And as far as rulers and peasants go, just because one person has a better education or more money than the other, doesn’t make them any better or more privileged.
James Delavan

Dear Editor,
My father, Orsel Dudley, on June 6 received his high school diploma from Lake Orion High School during the graduation ceremonies at Oakland University.
He is 77 years of age and entered the military service in 1944 after completing his junior year of high school. Through an act of Congress, the cooperation of the Lake Orion School District and school board, he was honored and received his diploma.
Thanks to all who helped, especially Leeann Bartley (president of the school board), Dr. Craig Younkman (school superintendent) and Lynn Mills who did most of the leg work to permit this to occur.
Everyone he came into contact with before, during and after the ceremony welcomed my father.
We will be forever grateful for the standing ovation, initiated by the graduating seniors and staff, that he received for his service to our country.
A special thanks to John and Sally Freeland for opening their home to us for the weekend to celebrate my father’s accomplishments and gathering of family.
Gary Dudley,
Indianapolis, Indiana

Dear Editor,
My father, Orsel Dudley, on June 6 received his high school diploma from Lake Orion High School during the graduation ceremonies at Oakland University.
He is 77 years of age and entered the military service in 1944 after completing his junior year of high school. Through an act of Congress, the cooperation of the Lake Orion School District and school board, he was honored and received his diploma.
Thanks to all who helped, especially Leeann Bartley (president of the school board), Dr. Craig Younkman (school superintendent) and Lynn Mills who did most of the leg work to permit this to occur.
Everyone he came into contact with before, during and after the ceremony welcomed my father.
We will be forever grateful for the standing ovation, initiated by the graduating seniors and staff, that he received for his service to our country.
A special thanks to John and Sally Freeland for opening their home to us for the weekend to celebrate my father’s accomplishments and gathering of family.
Gary Dudley,
Indianapolis, Indiana

Dear Editor,
Thank you for showing your confidence in my abilities by electing me as the new Oakland County Commissioner for the 3rd District.
Having the opportunity to represent you in the township has been a valuable and rewarding experience. I now look forward to the new challenges that await as I represent you as the new county commissioner.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns; it’s my honor to serve you as county commissioner.
Eric Wilson

Dear Editor,
Guest House wishes to offer a big thanks to all of the volunteers who have helped us through the very difficult time of cleaning away downed trees and branches from our property as a result of the early April ice storm.
Literally thousands of trees and branches were destroyed creating an enormous challenge for us.
Particular thanks have to go to Larry Mullins and his crew with Environmental Wood Solutions of Lake Orion. Larry volunteered his and his staff’s time to help us clear all the debris, haul it to a single location on our property, and then chip it for disposal/use elsewhere!
This was a huge undertaking that was just recently completed. In a day and age when ‘Good Samaritans? are harder and harder to find, Larry Mullins and his crew showed that in Lake Orion, at least there are some of these good people still around!!
Grateful Staff, Volunteers
& Clients of Guest House

Dear Editor,
I would like to extend much-deserved congratulations to the OHS graduating Class of 2003.
In addition to being extremely proud of my son Dan, who is a part of this fine group of young people, I think they deserve some recognition for the tremendous spirit, courtesy/manners and overall great attitude demonstrated by all of them at the ‘All-Night Party? following their graduation on Tuesday, June 16, 2003.
This is a tremendous event and from all I could see and witness the kids had a great time and demonstrated outstanding behavior. All the parents should be very proud of these graduates.
I would also like to take this time to urge parents of students who will be seniors and juniors next year to get involved. Senior parents, so that they may share and witness these special times with their sons and daughters and junior parents, to help the senior parents who are very busy at this time of year and to be prepared to be the most helpful when their kids are seniors. I can not stress this enough, high school parents get involved now! A committee will soon be working on next year’s party, it is an all year effort to do this right.
And lastly, special thanks to Josie Hunwick, her husband Ed, Dan and Noreen Keller, and Bill and Linda Hyders. These couples worked all year on this and it could not have been done with out them (and they don’t all have students in this class).
Bob Offer

Dear Editor,
This letter concerns the ineffective pesticide spraying of our three ball fields. My feeling is that the thousands of dollars you plan to spend spraying the fields this year is money wasted. I challenge you to find errors in my reasoning below. If you cannot find any, you will be left with the thought that the spray program should be stopped NOW.
1 . One field contains a paved basketball court. Mosquitoes avoid pavement. 2. The fields contain four sandy ball-diamond areas. Mosquitoes avoid sand. 3. There is a skate park built on cement. Mosquitoes avoid cement. 4. The DPW does its usual close cutting of lawns. Mosquitoes despise well-cut lawns. 5. The fields are always sprayed on sunny days. Mosquitoes avoid sunny days. 6. The fields are well-drained and dry. Mosquitoes avoid dry conditions.
Because of the above reasons, when spraying occurs, there are probably NO mosquitoes on the ball fields. The spray probably hits no mosquitoes, and so no mosquitoes are killed. All the mosquitoes are off resting in shady areas in nearby yards, waiting till dusk to come out.
The company doing the spraying talks of the ball fields as mosquito barrier areas. This sounds good, but it simply is not so. Why? Because mosquitoes have wings. They can fly just an inch above the ball fields and escape any so-called barrier. Spray barriers are effective for insects like Armyworms, which the corn and wheat fields of Southern Michigan are being infested with right this moment. But these worms have no wings. They must crawl over sprayed soil and eat sprayed plants. So spray barriers for them exist. But they do not exist for winged mosquitoes in the ball fields.
Remember this: Spraying the ball fields, where there are probably NO mosquitoes, is ineffective. Mosquitoes not hit by spray are not killed. Spraying these fields WASTES THOUSANDS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS.
Please, Council, do not continue this ineffective program. If you do, you affect ground water that residents must drink, and you almost certainly to some extent harm the health of kids who play in the fields, kick up dust, and breathe in the poison. Do you want to poison ground water? Do you want to poison kids?
My wife, Sue Howard, and I have for over forty years encouraged kids to fish in our village lake at the comer of Ball and Cedar Streets. We love kids, and we definitely do not want to see them harmed by the spray.
If for no other reason, though, stop the spray program NOW and use the thousands of saved dollars where they will be effective.

Fred Howard
Ortonville

Dear Editor,
Recently, I approached Representative Ruth Johnson about a Proposal for the State of Michigan to provide tuition vouchers or some other kind of tax credit for students who play ‘Taps at military funerals. These tuition vouchers or credits would apply to any institution of higher learning in the State of Michigan. A similar law has been proposed in the State of Wisconsin.
This proposal is necessary because a recorded version of ‘Taps? is often played at military funerals now. Last fall, a man approached me to share his opinion about this, remarking that he found it inappropriate, ?…that a final tribute for a veteran comes from a boom box.? I agree, but there are only 500 military buglers in the country. The only viable alternative is to use civilian buglers at memorial services. And yes, we do. We use civilian buglers on Memorial Day when the senior horn player plays ‘Taps?, and we have an echo.
When I was first informed that I could use civilian buglers at military funerals, I approached Mr. Russell McMartin, director of the Brandon High School Band, and he welcomed the idea. He said that, ‘He did not serve, but was willing to participate.?
He allowed me to approach some of his band students with the idea, and these students said, ‘Yes.? This patriotic response-from our senior high school band director and his students is much appreciated. Now, when a family requests a bugler, arrangements can be made. Would a small stipend for these students as a display of gratitude be out of the question?
I approached Representative Johnson as a private citizen, not as a representative of the organization I lead. Michigan is a very patriotic state, and throughout history we have sent our very best to war. Because our current financial situation is critical, I don’t hold out much hope in getting this law passed even with a strong grassroots effort. Still, some form of appreciation to the students who are willing to do this great deed would be appropriate. All we can do is try.

Duane Getzmeyer
Brandon Township

Dear Editor,
Clarkston has been a welcoming community for us after moving from Philadelphia just more than one year ago.
We quickly got involved with the community events, clubs and schools. What we are concerned with, as a new member of the community, is the constant vandalism to our house and property.
We live in a sleepy little subdivision, off Bridge Lake Road in Springfield Township, on a beautiful one-acre corner property. Apparently, because we live on a corner property, someone feels the right to toilet paper our trees and house, egg our car, trash-up our lawn with beer bottles, disregard the speed limit, and the most offensive – drive over our property all in just over one year’s time.
All this has occurred overnight while we sleep. It may seem like harmless enough pranks by local teenagers but regardless is not acceptable behavior.
Should we be concerned with the safety of our children, animals and others that visit our home? We would like the parents that live and drive through our subdivision to be aware of potentially dangerous behavior by their children. We would like our home to feel as welcoming and safe as the Clarkston community has made us feel.

Pam and Rob Aughe
Springfield Township

Dear Editor,
Property owners should receive their 2003 summer tax bills by the first week of July. Please contact the Treasurer’s Office if you did not receive your bill.
Property owners without an escrow account will receive the actual bill. Property owners that have an escrow account will receive a copy of the bill for your records. Payment of the bill covers from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004 for all education related taxes. The bills are payable through Sept. 14 without penalty.
This year the State Education Tax will be five mills instead of the normal six mills. Yes, you are reading it right – a reduction. The State of Michigan, which authorizes local municipalities to collect the SET, has reduced the levy for one year only.
The set is collected statewide and becomes part of the State aid formula to equalize spending on students state-wide. The reduction came about through negotiations to require all municipalities to collect the set on a summer tax.
Many smaller populated municipalities only had a winter tax bill which covered all property taxes for schools, municipality and county. Starting in 2003 the SET will be collected by all municipalities in a summer tax collection. Independence Township residents will not see any changes since all school millages are already collected in a summer tax.
Jim Wenger
Independence Township Treasurer

Dear Editor,
When an event is successfully completed it is most satisfying for the chairmen to sit back and be able to see that it was definitely a joint effort.
More than 140 women from all over the state gathered June 4, 2003 for installation of new officers and awards at the Liberty Golf and Banquet Center in Clarkston. The theme being as it was almost all wore hats – one covered with live orchids, one made of wallpaper and another her ‘going away? hat from the 50’s. The response was wonderful.
Both of our clubs gave us 100 percent support and the lead staff at Liberty, Jenny Locricchio, Zoe Aldrich and Tracy Molzon couldn’t have been better and were a most accomodating trio to work for.
Marsha Schweikert, Springfield Branch
Kay Robertson, Clarkston Branch

Dear Editor,
I’ve learned that practical jokes are not to be taken lightly. Crossing a fine line is very easy on this and can really hurt people you love.
They can cause embarrassment and hurt the trust someone has in you. If you’re like me, you like to be the one laughing, not the one laughed at.
But next time put your yourself in the other’s shoes before you play that so-called prank.
I hurt a friend, Todd, and now I’m really sorry. I have learned a huge lesson.
Doris

Dear Editor,
I was appalled when I read your June 25 issue. As a village resident living on the lake, I’m sick and tired of ‘fireworks.?
For the past two years, I head north to escape the chaos. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the fireworks show that the village sponsors. In fact, it’s a beautiful show that we can be proud of.
What I object to is the amateur and unlicensed pyrotechnics that disrupt our rights of peaceful living the weeks before and after July 4th. Not only is our peace disturbed, but our children, pets, cars, boats, homes and ourselves are put in harms way.
Fireworks are illegal in Michigan and anyone caught setting them off is ticketed and fined.
Your articles: ‘How to transport fireworks safely,? and ‘How to store your unused fireworks? and ‘Research your fireworks to find what’s right for you? is irresponsible reporting.
What other illegal acts will you be informing our readers about? Let’s see — maybe you’ll be telling us how to transport chemical weapons, how to store dynamite or research your explosives to find out what’s right for you.
Why don’t you offer a website on all the accidents caused by fireworks?
Cynthia Schurman

Dear Editor,
Mike Hadley was ousted from the Village of Lake Orion Planning Commission according to village council president Bill Siver because as he stated,? he didn’t want two people from Park Island on the board.?
Siver then appointed a person from Bellevue Island to replace Hadley when there is already a person on Bellevue Island currently on the board. How much sense does that make?
Interestingly, at the previous planning commission meeting, Hadley was unanimously approved to be the committee’s vice chairman, and also interestingly — Siver voted in favor of Hadley’s appointment along with the sitting board members.
I wonder what happened at the next village council meeting that made Siver want to oust Hadley? No plausible reason was given except that according to Siver he wanted ‘experienced people? to serve even though Hadley has served faithfully for a year and a half.
The other interesting part was that no effort was even made to notify Hadley — even out of courtesy — that he was going to be voted off the board at the village council meeting.
The truly interesting part is that the person (Chuck Viers) who Siver appointed to replace Hadley is a campaign crony of Siver, Stephen, Van Portfliet and Patton and had worked for all those council members on their elections.
All those council members voted in favor of ousting Hadley and appointing Viers as Hadley’s replacement.
One must think long and hard if they want to volunteer to actively sit on any board or to serve the community as did Mike Hadley. Obviously their volunteerism is only relevant if it suits the village’s council’s agenda or their crony-ism.
I think Hadley is owed thanks for serving as well and as long as he did and he’s owed an apology for the rude and ungracious way he was dismissed.
Mark Brancheau

I bid farewell to the Oxford Community Schools Board of Education. I have asked myself, where did the seven years go? It was my honor serving the kids of Oxford these last several years.
As a board member you make decisions that are best for the school district as a whole. Many decisions you agonize over but you try and make intelligent, honest, and sincere judgments, I can honestly say that I gave it 100% and think Oxford is a better place for my involvement. I tried to bring integrity and commitment to the table, so being raked over the fire by this rogue editor of the Oxford Leader is something that I took very personal. Especially, when he has never attended a board meeting or has a clue on the many diverse agenda items that we address. The one board meeting, a few months back, that C. J. was supposed to attend because our regular reporter had a conflict, C, J. was a no show. Looking people in the eye and facing them is not on his agenda. His agenda is to criticize, and bad mouth everyone and everything. Take a drive by Kids Kingdom at Seymour Lake Park and tell me that’s not a good thing for our community.
People who serve on various boards and committees do so to improve the community that they live in. To be criticized and attacked by an uninformed, insensitive coward, and backed by The Oxford Leader, is something I cannot figure out. Jim Sherman, Sr. would never let his community be torn apart by this newcomer.
My resignation in May of this year was due to my personal battle with anxiety attacks. Over the last eighteen months only a few people knew what was going on. My close friends, my son, not even my employer knew, and that’s the way I wanted to keep it. But a sleepless night in May made me make a selfish decision to step down from the Board of Education.
My personal decisions are my business, not the business of an uninformed, gutless editor of the Oxford Leader, who writes for sensationalism and controversy.
Oxford is still a small community, and I look forward to seeing C. J. face to face. Because I will confront someone when I think it is necessary, and not bide behind the word processor in my office.
Ronald Etherton

Editor’s Note: The editor covers Oxford Village Council meetings on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month, which take place at the same time as school board meetings. The only time the editor is not at these council meetings on Tuesdays is when he must spend Tuesday night working at the office instead. Reporter Jenny Matteson covers the school board meetings as part of her assigned beat.
Leader editorials regarding Mr. Etherton’s resignation were not centered on his personal reasons for resigning, but his choice of timing.
It should be noted our competitor, the Oxford Eccentric, also editorialized on Etherton’s resignation stating, ‘The timing short-changes voters of the right and privilege to choose whom they would like to fill the balance of the term.?
We wish Mr. Etherton well in his retirement from school board, thank him for his years of service and hope his health situation improves. ? CJC

Dear Editor,
Congratulations to the Fire Department and all of the participants.
The Fourth of July parade was great again this year. How many hours and how many people did it take to construct the Free Methodist Church entry? It was fantastic.
Having so many participants is what makes it so much fun for the audience and what an audience we had.
Hope you all noticed the HIM member with the red, white and blue high heeled shoes.
This is a great community.
The James Schultz family
Clarkston

Dear Editor,
There are other businesses in the Village that have been around for more than 30 years.
Morgan’s has been in the Village under the same family ownership for 71 years. Clarkston Country Store Main Street Antiques has been here 32 years with the same owners.
We enjoy the Village and its residents and their support.
The James Schultz Family
Clarkston

Please, is there anything that can be done about the stunt airplanes practicing over Orion Oaks and Orion? They are very loud, turning off their engines and restarting in mid-air is dangerous.
Orion once was a beautiful community. It’s wrecked every Saturday and Sunday and some week nights by these stunt planes.
Can anyone tell me who I can contact to inform them about this problem. Thank you.
Pete

Dear Editor,
The childish temper tantrums erupting from elected officials in Oxford Public Fire and EMS Commission are outrageous.
OPFEC should have ended over four years ago when voters rejected its funding in two separate millage votes!
Our elected officials chose to override the voters and kept OPFEC alive by funding it from village and township excess tax dollars.
Doesn’t it set off any lights there is so much money left over from our government entities that we can support an entirely different entity ? a separate taxing authority in its own right ? for not just a couple of months, but for four years?
How much faith should we put in officials who without a doubt ignore our legal votes?
Ignored what men have died for?
Ignored our freedoms?
Township officials who are voted into office and represent ALL Oxford citizens are withdrawing from OPFEC (four years after we the people voted not to fund it anymore).
What happens next?
Officials stomp out of meetings, village officials lock the township out of the old fire hall (although township tax dollars updated and maintained the building for the last 15 years), and a variety of other backstabbing indecencies by our so-called ‘grown-up? officials.
If officials couldn’t agree on a means to close down OPFEC ? after four years ? then we applaud township officials for taking the belated first step to rid taxpayers of the stagnant albatross that we VOTED to bury long ago.
Elected officials need to understand the Constitution and their oath of office to uphold the Constitution.
Government is only a tool implemented for we the people, by the people and FOR the people.
Government is not to be used for personal agendas.
Sue Bellairs
Helen Barwig
Oxford Township

I was deeply offended by Jim Sherman’s remarks in the June 11 edition of The Clarkston News about President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton.
Why did you not mention the same benefits for all living Presidents and their families? But once again you had to attack the Clintons.
When my wife and I attended a play in Traverse City some time ago the lead actress was President Reagan’s daughter Patti. The Secret Service was providing around-the-clock protection for her.
I do not object the service provided by the United States government, but I do object to the narrow-minded journalism.

Mel Vaara
Clarkston

I agree with Jim Altene’s letter to the editor ‘Let voters decide on leaf burning issue.?
I too live in Clarkston in one of the many historical wood sided houses with a wood barn. My neighbors burn something, which makes me nauseous, and the debris floats through the air.
I know they light their fires on days when the wind will not blow smoke back into their homes. Do they realize the smoke wafts into other homes? I thought it was just me, but apparently the Environmental Protection agency says it is hazardous to all of our health. That is one reason to stop the burning.
Another reason, which I consider equally important, is the fire hazard to our homes. I am sure those that burn make sure the fire is far enough away from their home, so as not to catch fire. Unfortunately it is closer to my property with its many trees and barn.
Why place our homes, many of which are wood, in jeopardy when we have trash companies that will pick up yard waste for compost, at least two days a year where we can drop off our hazardous waste, and tree companies that will chip those large lawn limbs?
If the council will not abolish burn days, let the voters decide.
Nell Deake
Clarkston

Surprised is one word to describe how I felt when I read your article about Select Soccer. Annoyed is another.
Surprised because there is no mention of the Clarkston Select Soccer Club that is already established in Clarkston. Annoyed at the implication that Clarkston isn’t qualified to have their own team and that we need to rely on another city to come in and take over.
We have a great group of kids and parents that make up the Impact and Shadows teams of Clarkston. CCSSC’s philosophy is to develop the players to the best of their ability and ‘keep them loving the game of soccer.?
So if you are interested solely in player development with no regard for your children having fun than it is best to go elsewhere.
I think I can speak for the parents of Clarkston by saying that we have a quality select soccer program here in Clarkston. Instead of dividing our city we should work together and build on what we have.

Dena Menard
Soccer Mom

Dear Editor,
I’m terribly upset to find out the Road Commission for Oakland County would consider selling its property at the corner of Clarkston and Lapeer Roads to Wal-Mart.
The last thing we need at this already congested intersection is another large chain store. A facility of this size should be located further down Lapeer Road, if at all.
We don’t need a store of this magnitude in our area, not so close to the downtown corridor and the lakes. What happened to the quaint community feel of Lake Orion? Are we becoming too focused on the almighty buck?
Another factor to consider is that along with this large discount chain will also come crime. It’s a proven fact that in other locations where this retailer and others like it, ie, Meijer, crime has followed. I don’t think we need to invite this into our community either.
I truly hope that others in the community will express their disapproval to the road commission and that we will have a voice in such a decision.
Carol Ebner

Dear Editor,
It behooves us all why the Orion Township Board of Trustees goes ahead and buys a $254,000 sewer jet cleaner without the citizens? approval and spends at least $10,000 to have a consulting firm do a study on whether or not we need a civic center.
Now we have township treasurer, planning commissioner and leather goods businessman or anything else he has his fingers in, James Marleau, telling us he’s looking at possibly turning the township’s public works over to Oakland County.
Marleau, you’re just like a lot of other business people. You always put the almighty buck first!
Marleau has been treasurer since 1996. He has approved increasing the cost of everything, especially the water and sewer rates. For a long time they stayed stabile until people like Eric Wilson, the Dywasuk, JoAnn Van Tassel (when she was on the township board), took it upon themselves to keep increasing township expenses without citizens? approval.
You people in this township should wake up (there are some of you out there who feel the same way I do, but very few). This township is going to end up being another Royal Oak Township and fall into state receivership, just like Hamtramack and Highland Park.
And if you think I’m spouting a lot of hot air, you should take a look back at what those cities like Hamtramack and Highland Park were like 50 years ago.
That’s where Chrysler, Sears, Dodge, Plymouth, Ford Chevy Gear and Axel, etc. were located.
You know what ruined these cities? The citizens weren’t paying attention. They were asleep when they should have been awake and history keeps repeating itself.
James Delavan

Dear Editor,
More than 600 employees work for the Oakland County Intermediate School District. How many Oakland County residents knew that?
More than OISD employees gross salaries of $100,000 or more and 17 staffers earn more than $90,000 annually.
Of course just like the buzz phrase, ‘It’s for the children,? interim OISD Superintendent Dan Austin states, ? I think we are comparable to local districts.?
The taxpayers of Oakland County are looked upon as a ‘cash cow? for the ISD while we have districts within the county talking about cutting out bus services and many other student amenities.
Meanwhile, we have Representative Ruth Johnson so frustrated with the ISDs lack of cooperation in supplying her with information on how the district operates and spends that she’s now planning to have hearings that will require ISD staff to give testimony.
I’m of the belief that the Michigan Association of School Board’s main goal is to teach its members how to stiff the taxpayer.
Does anyone else have the opinion that the expensive ISD bureaucracy should be dissolved?
Mary MacMaster

Compliments to Representative Ruth Johnson (R-Holly) who had the political courage to point out the overpriced, underachieving cost of our school administrations.
We have more than 600 school districts in Michigan, each with an outrageously expensive administrations. We should have county-wide school districts (as some states have) and thusly reform financially our education system.
When I pointed out this suggestion to Governor Granholm, I received a reply from her office that had nothing to do with my suggestion and was totally senseless.

Henry Gleisner
Oxford

Dear Lake Orion,
Complements to Representative Ruth Johnson who had the political courage to point out the overpriced, underachieving cost of our school administrations.
We have over 600 school districts in Michigan, each with an outrageously expensive administration. We should have countywide schools districts (as some states have) and thusly reform financially our education system.
When I pointed out this suggestion to Gov. Granholm, I received a reply from her office that had nothing to do with my suggestion and was totally senseless.
Henry Gleisner

Dear Lake Orion,
This letter is in response to the many, many letters from James Delavan. I will only sign my initials as I don’t want to become the next victim of his barbs.
Delavan, I’m weary of your complaining about our township officials. As you have brought up several times, these are elected officials.
I’m personally acquainted with a few of these officials and feel strongly they are doing the job they were chosen for. I have yet to see your name on a ballot.
Do you really feel you could do a better job? If so, then run for one of the offices and see how the populace feels about you.
While I certainly understand your right to express yourself, and the freedom of speech idea, your letters do get tiring.
I believe you have too much time on your hands and you ned a life, as they say.
Why not volunteer your time instead of constantly writing letters criticizing others? There are many places your help would be greatly appreciated.
Drive a senior van; volunteer time at a convalescent center. Join a literacy group since you’re obviously a good reader and writer.
Help at the elementary school level, doing whatever they need doing — tutoring or reading to the kids or helping them with spelling and such.
Make a valuable contributions to society. Please, please, stop complaining and do something!!!
SE

Our first North Oakland Lakes Kiwanis Charity Golf Outing raised more than $1,400 on June 14.
We would like to thank you for your participation. Through your generous contributions we were able to send two foster children to summer camp and we are purchasing a brick to help support Spraypark at Clintonwood Park.
We would like to thank all of you who contributed prizes and hole sponsor money. It is people like you who make this world a better place to be. This event could not be the success that it is without you.
We thank you again for your generosity and look forward to next year.

Tammy Anderson
Chairperson/Secretary

Being very involved in the Clarkston Select Soccer program for years, we were taken aback by your article “introducing” select or travel soccer to Clarkston.
For years Clarkston’s travel club was affiliated with the Independence Township Parks and Recreation program, but we grew beyond their capabilities. We split into a separate entity led by some very dedicated and giving parents who donated hundreds of hours of volunteer efforts to launch our own Clarkston Select Soccer Club (CSSC.)
We have met and overcome many obstacles and are growing bigger and better every year. We enjoy a great working relationship with the Independence Township Parks and Recreation Department and the Clarkston School system. Recently held CSSC try-outs for the fall and spring seasons next year drew a record number of kids.
Today, we serve more than 250 young soccer players and their families from the Clarkston area and are very proud of our program and the level of play we have achieved. We train youngsters to compete at a level that prepares them for high school competition and play.
As parents working together, we have created an enviable program and look forward to many years of great soccer in the Clarkston area. To find out more about us please visit www.clarkstonsoccer.org
Mary and Andy Pinkos
Clarkston

Riding through the city park on Thursday I observed a DPW employee cutting the park with about a 26 inch push mower.
On Friday he was still pushing and cutting. Being a frugal taxpayer, I asked why the push mower and his reply was “it is new sod.” Where he was cutting the day before was not new sod. When I asked about it he said his supervisor wanted him to cut the entire park with the push mower. He said his supervisor, Pursley, was not in.
Thursday I reported to this same DPW employee that there was loose sand on the bike path being dangerous to bicyclists near Deer Lake Road just inside the city limits.
I now understand why I had to cut the brush blocking the side walk on M-15 and near the rivers so walkers and bicyclists could pass unobstructed.
Our little city has state of the art everything. They could certainly do a more efficient job of keeping the bike paths/sidewalks safer if they weren’t doing busy work with a push mower.
C.L.Weber
Clarkston

( Editor’s note: The Clarkston News contacted Clarkston DPW Director Bob Pursley. He said the push mower is only used on the new sod so the bigger mowers do not suck up the new sod or when the other two bigger mowers are in use. Pursley said it is not true that he instructs the employees to cut the entire park with a push mower. About the loose sand on the bike path, the DPW has identified the problem and is looking for ways to correct it. It is a county road so whenever Oakland County Road Commission grades the shoulder or it rains, gravel gets on the path. “It is a continuous problem. We clean it up and in a week it is dirty again. We have one full time employee and two part time employees. We can only do so much,” Pursley said. “We know brush needs to be trimmed but we can’t be everywhere at once.”)

A great big “thank you” to all my neighbors who so graciously donated their refundable cans/bottles to the cause.
Another great big “thank you” to Dan Gauthier at American Speedy Printing for donating their time and material in the copying of the flyers that got the word out.
And last, but not least, thanks to my husband for his support and help. May God bless each and every one of you.
Dolores Smart
Clarkston

I often have to catch up on The Clarkston News two or three weeks at a time. This morning as I was enjoying a little down time I was doing just that.
I seldom read Gargaro’s World but the headlines of July 16 and July 23 caught my attention. I can say with some confidence I have not missed anything of any value.
First regarding July 16th’s “Just make my cake, lady,” perhaps the country would be in better shape if people would stop having picnics and parties on Sunday, closed the stores and attended church. Since that is not likely to happen then people like Mr. Gargaro need to quit condemning those of us who do believe in God and stand up for our right to work and practice our religion.
Secondly, regarding July 23rd’s “It is a Harry problem,” I would much rather have children and adults reading a story about a boy wizard where the true theme is good vs. evil than to have either generation watching violence on television or playing violent video games.
There is nothing wrong with a child, senior citizen or anyone in between reading something a little light for a change.
You’re right Mr. Gargaro, you don’t get it. Somehow that does not seem to be a surprise.

Leah Jones
Waterford

I am one of your three readers, so I read your editorial the week of July 16 about the lady who sued Meijer because they fired her for not being willing to work on Sunday.
I couldn’t believe your statement of, “However, it is really unimportant what her religious beliefs are.” You may not be familiar with the commandment to keep the Sabbath Day holy, but there are many of us who live it. Not only do we not work on Sundays, except for essential health care and emergency jobs, but we do not shop on Sundays, buy gas on Sundays, go to the show on Sundays, go out to eat on Sundays, etc.
In fact, I think that it would be wonderful if all stores were closed on Sundays. They used to be, you know, until the mid-60’s.
I have six children and as each of them has become old enough to work, wonderful employers who have respected their religious beliefs about not working on Sunday have hired them. Burger King, Subway, Big Boy, Office Max, JoAnn, Etc., Little Caesar’s in Troy and the Chocolate Moose are a few of the places that my children have worked.
No, they didn’t work at Meijer. My daughter applied there and was told that if she didn’t work on Sunday then she couldn’t work at Meijer whether it was for religious reasons or not. My daughter indicated that she could not work on Sundays on her application, was interviews anyway, and was berated for not being willing to change her mind. This is illegal, Kyle, whether you like it or not.
“Michigan law prohibits discrimination in employment, education, housing, public accommodation, or public service. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has authority to accept complaints based on unlawful considerations of religion, race, color…” etc. This included being refused employment.
And no, we are not “kooky.” There are many religious groups that sill believe in keeping the Sabbath.
Gerri Hofer
Clarkston

We are writing to thank Miss Claire, the children’s librarian at the Independence Township Library, for a great summer reading program.
We had so much fun at all the activities, especially the final day with the moon walk, ice cream sundaes, games and cool prizes. (Egghead was funny, too.)
Miss Claire is an awesome librarian. She knows everyone’s name and always takes a minute to stop and talk to us when we are in the library. We have been going to the Wednesday morning storytime program since we were three, but this is the first year we were old enough for the summer program, and it was so cool.
If you don’t know Miss Claire, you should go to the library to meet her. She’s a great librarian and a nice friend.

Jillian Richey, 5-years old
Abby Wilson, 5-years old
Clarkston

“Happiness was,” to have Gini and Jim plan a “Pre-90th” birthday surprise party for Bob, as we would not be here, Dec. 24.
Our Robertson Court families all came, laden with the usual good food.
Gini and Jim had a birthday sign – and a huge cake, all sang, which was a tear-jerker.
Our loving thanks and hugs for all.
Uldene and Bob Jones
Clarkston

I thought the Clarkston schools are all about the kids. It’s obvious the community wanted Tony Miller as a member of the board or he wouldn’t have won the election and it’s also obvious Tony’s athletes want him as a coach.
Why is he not allowed to do both? Is it really a conflict of interests or is it a conflict of egos and personalities? I could understand Tony not being allowed to be a member of the board and coach if he were hurting someone or working against what the school says it stands for, but Tony is all for the kids of this community.
The board had a lawyer who “interpreted” the law into a long lecture against Tony. he also said laws are put there for a reason and Clarkston schools should want to uphold all laws. I sure hope the rest of the nation doesn’t feel that way, because a lot of people would be in serious trouble.
For instance, in Iowa, a law states that a kiss can last for as long as five minutes, but not any longer. In New Mexico, females area strictly forbidden to appear unshaven in public. What if I sent my children to school in West Virginia? Their breath better not smell of wild onions, and if my husband wanted to buy alcohol in Pennsylvania, he can’t unless he has written permission from me.
Are these laws being upheld? Hardly! Are they for the benefit of the people of this wonderful nation? No! If a “law” is keeping a decent hard-working man with a heart big enough for every student in this district from helping children in a way he loves, should it be upheld? Is it truly a law or an opinion?
Well, my opinion is that you don’t find many loving and giving people anymore who are willing to donate their time for their community. I support Tony Miller and I know I don’t stand along. That is not an opinion; it is a fact.
Tammy Layton

Yes, Tony Miller should be able to serve on the school board while continuing to coach football. We should encourage all board members to be involved in various school functions to better understand the students and their needs.
As 27-year residents of Clarkston, we don’t see it as a conflict of interest, but as an interest which benefits the school district.

Ron and Cindy Juzysta

First and foremost, the community knew what Tony Miller was involved in when they voted him in. Also that is how so many people knew of him is from his coaching career.
I feel that Tony Miller would do a wonderful job at his board position as trustee, also as an assistant varsity coach he is very dedicated in what ever he may be involved in. I feel he could keep them separate.

Charles Miller

I feel that Tony Miller would do a wonderful job at his board position as trustee, also as an assistant varsity coach he is very dedicated in what ever he may be involved in. I feel he could keep them separate. This is not only affecting Mr. Miller, it is also affecting the team he would have been coaching. I don’t understand why he can’t coach but the coaches may call him and get his opinion on what he would do in a certain situation.
Katherine Eghbalian

Upon reading your recent article I began asking myself how in fact there would be any conflict for a board member who volunteers their time to assist with a school function.
The current situation at hand being that of a board member versus assisting in the coaching of a sports team for the school. If this is a conflict of interest does this mean that as a board member who determines funding for other school events such as field trips, could not additionally volunteer to be a chaperone for the event without being subjected to scrutiny and considered potentially biased. Are we saying that board members can’t be active with those they are so closely working for, the students? Come on now, I don’t believe that.
I would think that these so-called laws may have been set to prevent those on a board from inciting policies that would benefit themselves or their family members. Like a teacher on the board determining raises for their own pay, or that of board member’s awarding contracts to a family business for the sake of profit. These are the issues of bias I would consider in need of and worthy of protection.
These topics such as sports teams and extracurricular activities are for the most part set entities within the school and would seem to have very little potential for bias by the board, let alone a single member.
Are we saying that on the opposite side of the coin a single member against some standard practice of the school such as sports teams could impart their bias to eliminate the activity as well? I again would think not.
There are some things that are just the way they are. Clarkston has always had and always will have excellent programs for the students like sports, band, drama, of which many of these activities rely on the interest and offerings of citizens like Tony Miller who have devoted their time to be a positive influence in the lives of the young people of our community.
I would prefer to see the board involved and in touch with those they so closely serve. To assume they should insulate themselves is ridiculous, and addresses why in years past the focus hasn’t always been that of the most important commodity this community has: the children. I would say those who initiated such a conflict for the school should reevaluate their intent and understand their own bias assuming others are of there own nature.
Let the man coach.

I feel that Tony Miller would do a wonderful job at his board position as Trustee, also as assistant varsity coach.
He is very dedicated in whatever he may be involved in. I feel he could keep them separate. This is not only affecting Mr. Miller, but it is also affecting the team he would have been coaching.
If it were a problem why did the athletic department promote him to assistant varsity from assistant junior varsity coach until all this began?
Sandra Miller
Clarkston

Shame on you, Dr. Roberts and the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education.
Tony Miller is being denied the position of assistant football coach (an unpaid position he has held for 10 years) for Clarkston High School, due to conflict of interest because he is a newly elected member of the school board.
In reference to an article published in the Aug. 23, 2003 Oakland Press, Mr. Miller consulted with Assistant Superintendent David Reschke prior to the election and was told there would be no conflict of interest. Dr. Roberts, you have a responsibility for what your staff is recommending.
This issue has gone too far, Tony Miller should be on the football field and on the School Board, doing what we elected him to do. We voted for Mr. Miller because of our contact with him thorough the football program. He is an excellent example of the high moral values and conduct that is so beneficial to our young people today.
We applaud and support his desire to pursue this issue. There is no conflict of interest but rather just sincere interest in the students of this community on several levels. Put politics aside, Dr. Roberts, shouldn’t all interests benefit the children?
Mike and Vicki Navarre

I thought Clarkston Schools are all about the kids?
It’s obvious that the community wanted Tony Miller as a member of the board or he wouldn’t have won the election and it’s also obvious that Tony’s athletes want him as a coach. Why is he not allowed to do both?
Is it really a conflict of interests or is it a conflict of egos and personalities. I could understand Tony not being allowed to be a member of the board and coach if he were hurting someone or working against what the school says it stands for, but Tony is all for the kids of this community.
The Board has a lawyer who “interpreted” the law into a long lecture against Tony. He also said that laws are put there for a reason and Clarkston Schools should want to uphold all laws. I sure hope the rest of the nation doesn’t feel the same way, because a lot of people would be in serious trouble. For instance, in Iowa – a law states that a kiss can last for as long as five minutes, but not any longer and in New Mexico – females are strictly forbidden to appear unshaven in public. What if I sent my children to school in West Virginia? Their breath better not smell of wild onions and if my husband wanted to buy alcohol in Pennsylvania, he can’t unless he has written permission from me.
Are these laws being upheld? Hardly! Are they for the benefit of the people of this wonderful nation? No! If a “law” is keeping a decent hard-working man with a heart big enough for every student in this district from helping children in a way he loves, should it be upheld? Is it truly a law or an opinion? Well, my opinion is that you don’t find many loving and giving people anymore who are willing to donate their time for their community.
I for one support Tony Miller and I know I don’t stand alone. That is not an opinion; it is a fact.
Tammy Layton

I read Don Rush’s column in the Aug. 27 edition of The Clarkston News and have only one thing to say: You go Don.
There is no reason Mr. Miller shouldn’t be able to do both jobs. For close to 20 years now I have listened and watched the school board. I have in the past tried to communicate with the board on one or two occasions with little or no success over certain issues, leaving me with a feeling of frustration and helplessness.
I have also had the experience of hearing Mr. Miller and think he would be a fine addition to the board. He appears to possess common sense and honesty, something sadly lacking in the world at this time. I think Rush is right on target when he said the board is there for the people, not the other way around.

Wendy Kraus
Clarkston

Many thanks to Jennifer Nemer for the wonderful feature story about my good friend Judith Hoddinott.
I have been privileged to know Judy for many years and she absolutely is “dedicated to volunteerism,” although that headline doesn’t even begin to capture the depth of Judy’s commitment to giving of herself to help others. I have never seen a task that Judy wouldn’t accept willingly and accomplish thoroughly and successfully.
Her talents truly are boundless and she applies those talents with quiet grace in every aspect of her life as a wife, mother, nurse, artist, dancer, organ procurement specialist and volunteer for schools, numerous charitable organizations and community activities.
Judy Hoddinott is the embodiment of the word “volunteer” in that she gives of herself generously and with no expectation of receiving anything in return. In fact, she literally shies away from any sort of recognition for her innumerable good works. Every time I am with Judy, I find myself looking behind her to see if I can catch a glimpse of a pair or wings, for she truly is an angel here on Earth.
On behalf of all of those whose lives you have touched, Judy – thank you.
Dana Fortinberry
Clarkston

Within the past two weeks the building of Trillium Village has begun on what is familiarly known as the former “Ritter Property,” to the west of Hummingbird Lane.
In spite of many protests, we can see and hear the huge bulldozers destroying the age-old stand of trees, disturbing the wetlands and the environment of our community. Isn’t the name of this development even a contradiction?
We owe all of this to the Independence Township Council and the local developers with “deep pockets.” I just this week heard a commentator say, in reference to a similar project, “follow the money, someone is getting rich off this deal.”
We know who you are.

Norma White
Clarkston

I have read both editorials from parents affiliated with the Clarkston Select Soccer Club in response to the article on Jim Sinclair starting the Clarkston Metro-Stars/Gators. I am a Clarkston resident and Clarkston Gator parent who would like the opportunity to respond to those editorials.
I take offense to anyone thinking they can “speak for the parents of Clarkston.” What they feel is a quality soccer program and what someone else feels is a quality soccer program may be different. It should be up to each individual family to research and compare what each club has to offer and make that decision. I feel that having a choice is a good thing, whether you are trying to decide where to shop, live, attend school or worship.
I also feel the implied statement that the Metro-Stars/Gators organization has “no regard for your children having fun” couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone that would like to visit a practice and watch the players laugh and interact with their trainer is more than welcome. The reputation and philosophy of the Metro-Stars/Gators are well known and respected.
Are there families that couldn’t be happier or more proud of CSSC? Of course there are. Are there families that would rather not play with CSSC? Yes, there are. Yet I don’t think that is necessarily a direct reflection of the club or the people affiliated with it.
Families need to be able to make decisions based on what is best for them. I hope others don’t take those decisions personally and are respectful of that freedom.
Are there wonderful parents that have worked hard to build the CSSC? Of course there are. Are there wonderful parents working hard to build the Clarkston Metro-Stars/Gators? Yes, there are. I do believe that is a direct reflection of our community.
It appears to me that Clarkston is blessed in all that it has to offer our children and that the parents always work hard and are supportive. Many of us chose to live here for that very reason.
The children that want to play soccer but were turned away because of the shortage of teams and/or positions now have another opportunity to play. How can that be a bad thing? We can’t lose sight of what’s important here. It’s not important which club the kids play for but that they get to play soccer and develop a lifelong love of the game.
I know that is Jim Sinclair’s vision and his passion; he would like to see every child that would like to play soccer have the chance to play.
I see no reason why a second select soccer club in the area has to divide our city, our parents or our children if the focus is kept on what is best for the children.
Susan Batchik
Clarkston

As advocates for educational opportunities for our children, the Academic Boosters of Clarkston are concerned by the recent disagreement withing the Board of Education.
We urge a speedy resolution to the matter, without further cost or waste of time that could be better spent on educational issues.

Sherri Kerby
President, ABC’s

One thing which distinguishes us in the United States from residents of most other countries is the choice we have made to follow the “Rule of Law.”
This keeps us from being barbarians, from experiencing chaos, from depending on the whims of others for our freedom. And, we have chosen this path deliberately, democratically.
Sometimes we forget how important this principle is, and chose to bend it to our special wishes. Some of those choices can be harmful, but are viewed by us as “minor.” For example, who among us has not driven over the speed limit (where is it written that five miles over the limit is reasonable?); who among us has not turned right on a red traffic signal, when it is clearly prohibited; who among us has not elected to speed up at a yellow traffic light, only to find that we have gone through a red light; who among us has not gone through a stop sign, just because there was “no traffic in sight?” Yet, any one of these acts could cause injury to someone.
I have followed the controversy surrounding the effort of newly elected Clarkston School Board member Tony Miller to continue as an assistant football coach. I voted for him, I sympathize with him, but I don’t agree with him. We can’t be deciding issues on the basis of just whether we like a person. I liked what I heard about him and voted for him to be on the Board, but I didn’t invite him to “do whatever he pleased,” as a legally elected public official.
What is next? Shall we have the presidents or bargainers of the various groups of school employees, with which the School Board must negotiate employment contracts periodically, be on the Board if “we happen to like them?” Shall we have contractors, with whom the Board contracts to do business, be on the Board? Talk about chaos.
Sometimes living by principles, especially legal principles, can be painful, but it is appropriate. I applaud the School Board and Superintendent Al Roberts for doing what is right, even though it is unpopular.
We have selected these neighbors to represent us; we expect them to be democratic and principled. We should not condemn them for their integrity. What kind of message do you suppose such condemnation sends to the next generation of community members and leaders – the students?
We have had our freedom of speech. Let us move on. Let us enjoy all our freedoms. Let us live by our principles. Let us accept our responsibilities as Americans. Let us be an example to our young people.
Tom Stone
Clarkston

Among the Letters to the Editor in the Sept. 3, 2003 edition of The Clarkston News, Norma White wrote “…someone is getting rich off this deal. We know who you are.”
The reference was to the project entitled “Trillium Village.” We all know the developers and builders intend to make money on the project, so it’s unlikely Norma White is referencing those individuals.
The clear insinuation is that someone on the Township Board, in the Building Department or otherwise making decisions related to this project is receiving money for making their decisions other than their normal paycheck.
I, as the Independence Township Supervisor, challenge Norma White or anyone else with knowledge of illegal payments to step forward and make the facts public. If anyone in Township government “is getting rich off this deal,” the Township will take every legal step it can to punish the offenders.

Dale Stuart
Independence Township Supervisor

The Spraypark Committee would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Spraypark at Clintonwood, as of August 27, 2003. With your generous contributions, we have raised over $20,000 since April.
As many of you are aware, the Committee’s goal is to raise a total amount of $153,000 by 12-31-03. To celebrate our achievements and to get ready for the next four months to come, the Committee is hosting a KICKOFF Celebration at Clintonwood Park September 13 at 10am. Everyone is welcome! For additional information about the KICKOFF or about the Spraypark, please visit www.clarkstonspraypark.org or contact Ralph and Michele Przybylski at (248) 625-1386.
Girl Scout Troop #444, Ken and Carol Gill, The Meagher Family, The Gallagher Family, Jeremy Gill, Marion Miszcak, The James Smith Family, Dr. Richard Bolton, DDS, The 2003 Staff at Springfield Plains Elementary, The Conwell Family, Jeff Long, 2003 Student Council, The Hoffman Family, The Walker Family, Mary Schleusener, The Lowney Family, Dave Smith of State Farm Insurance, The Clark Family, Clarkston Coalition for Youth, The Meloche Family, Erika Rodgers, 02-03 CHS French X, Rita Burdick, Tom Biggs, Oxford Bank, Bailey Lake PTA, Brian & Maura Plante, The Otenbaker Family, Frank & Carole Meyers, The Twisted Sisters, The Blazevic Family, Jeff, Theresa, Jordan & Jacob LaPorte, Cathy Perry, The Cesario Family, The Torpey-VanSimaeys Family, Mark Endreszl & the Marksmen Corporation, Nancy, Amanda & Austin Guzman, The Reilly Family, Jo & Jerry Samluk, Dree Anne Wint, Dr. Richard J Baker, DDS, Gail Johnson, Optim Eyes-Dr. Todd Staniszewski, OD, ‘02-03 Clarkston Middle School Student Body, Dasuqi’s/Lil’ Peoples Place, The Licata Family, John & Ann Craven, Dale, Lori, Cal and Anna Wheeler, The Families of Stone Valley Subdivision, Elizabeth Van Horn, The Nicklins, Michael, Deirdre, Devin & Enya Spaulding, The Zak Family, The Moms Club of Clarkston, Mike Kopec, Mike Mizusawa, Baiba Ejups, The Przybylski Family, Nancy Linton, Jim, Larissa, JT, Roxanna & Michael Thornton, The Jensens, Cheryl McNeil, The Marmon Family, The Clarkston High School Graduating Class of 2003, The Leech Family, The Kelton Turner Family, The 2003 CHS Leadership Class, Jane Brodsky, Megan Gula, Virgil, Devon & Michael Martin, Endreszl and Associates Engineering, N. Oakland Kiwanis Club, Gail Hess, Walter & Jan Denio, Alison Grieme, The Yeloushan Family, Karen Czarnecki, Steve Cantrell, Albert & Margarette Gill, Elaine Peterson, Clarkston Elementary PTO, Clarkston Elementary K-Kids 2003, Linda Start, John & Millie Ham, The Davies Family, Auburn Hills Sam’s Club, Amy Wilson, Clarkston Schools Transportation, Clarkston Health Center, Martin Heiss, Michele Alli, Jeanne Molzon, Clarkston Allergy and Asthma (C.L. Cookingham, MD and D.D. Harrison, MD), Kevin Berman, Wickersham Homes, Inc., Dan & Kara Fuller, 2003 Clarkston Baseball Team, 2003 CHS Cheer Teams, Clarkston High School Attendance Office, Metro Stars/Gators Soccer Team, The Sinclair Family, Vicky Morrison and Family, Impressive Type, IGD Solutions and the Clarkston Optimist Club, Bob and Kelley Kostin.

Spraypark Committee

We would like to thank the CHS football players, coaches, parents, and the community for their tremendous support of the “Rush for Food” effort that was held August 22 benefiting Lighthouse Clarkston. Over 2,000 pounds of food was collected which filled an empty pantry and should last for several months. The players worked very hard!
We also like to thank Joe Lunghamer Chevrolet for their donations to fund the player pre-“Rush” picnic; left over funds were directly donated to Lighthouse. Thank you, also, to Nick and Peggy Sorise, owners of The Fenton Hotel, who donated burgers and buns for the pre-“Rush” picnic. The support by these businesses of the CHS football program and Lighthouse is greatly appreciated.
For the sixth year in a row our community was very generous and helped make this project a big success. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s efforts.
CHS Rush for Food Committee

Another green space in Independence Township has “bit the dust” and the sad fact is the ones responsible are local developers.
This so called progress is taking place at the former Ritter property in the vicinity of Dixie Highway and Maybee Road.
Last year, nearby residents tried their best to stop this new condo development; meetings were held, petitions were signed, all to no avail. The biggest concern was the inevitable increase in traffic in an area where the traffic situation is already the worst in the township.
Quoting a once popular song, we are still “paving paradise to put up a parking lot,” with no concern for the quality of life or future consequences. How very sad that these people are so short sighted and only interested in the profits they will reap at the expense of our community.

Jan Valliencourt
Clarkston

After the Ten Commandments and their author have been given an “Exodus” from our courts and so called places of justice, now to whom shall we swear to witness, truth and fidelity to and on what shall we place our hand?
Let us guess, we shall place our left hand on an object of no symbolic value adjudged to be politically correct and inoffensive and of no value or respect to anyone.
Then raising our right hand, we shall swear to tell the truth, and in fact the whole truth that is politically correct and essentially enlightens or offends no one nor advances the truth, so help me Lucifer.

Dr. James A. O’Neill
Clarkston

I’m a 65-year-old wife, mother, step grandmother and great grandmother. My husband, Fred, and I are fortunate to live with ou three Shih Tzus in a little stone house surrounded by English-style flower gardens on Big Lake Road in Davisburg.
I recently decided to get serious about diet and exercise. I power walk two to three miles every day in the morning and after our evening meal. As I walked I would notice trash scattered along the road.
After about a week of complaining to myself about it, I decided to adopt one mile of the road. Each morning I would stick a plastic grocery bag in my pocket and, on my return trip, pick up the litter. It took me over a week to accomplish my goal.
Was it humiliating? Not really. I’m loved and respected by my family, friends and students and my self esteem is firmly in place. One power walker approached me with a can she picked up and handed it to me saying with a smile, “good job.”
I actually began looking forward to walking as I could enjoy the differences I was making along the way. I soak in the pristine sky, woods and, now, a pristine path.
People still throw litter out their car windows but I am not obsessing about it. I now collect the litter about once a week. It’s not much.
After all there must have been years’ worth of litter before I began. If this story inspires any other walkers to adopt their own paths what a wonderful, pristine world we would live in.

Carole Overall
Davisburg

Mr. Miller was elected by a majority of voters to represent all students in the Clarkston School District.
He should not waste our education dollars on his desire to coach approximately one percent of the students. He should also realize that he has a fiduciary responsibility for all Clarkston students.
For the good of Clarkston Schools, Mr. Miller should put this issue behind him. It is time to get on with his duties or resign as a school board trustee.

Betty Reilly
Clarkston

A little rain and cooler weather did not deter the annual Labor Day Parade in downtown Clarkston from being held.
The crowds may have been smaller, but the enthusiasm was still evident, especially among the children lining the streets of Clarkston. The Clarkston Rotary has sponsored this annual event for the past 60 years.
Complete with umbrella, this year’s Grand Marshal, Ken Winship, seemed to be taking the weather in stride while riding in a Jaguar convertible. He captured the moment by video recording the people along the parade route.
More than 40 entries participated this year, including several that registered moments before the parade began. The theme for this year’s parade was “Lend a Hand,” based upon the Rotary theme chosen by this year’s Rotary International President, Jonathan B. Majiyagbe, a lawyer from Nigeria.
Awards were given for best float, the First Congregational Church; best theme, Coldwell Banker and president award, SCAMP.
The Clarkston Rotary is proud of its longtime heritage in providing community service for the Clarkston and Independence Township area, especially organizing the Labor Day Parade.
Thank you to all that participated in the parade, as well as those who waited patiently along the streets for the parade to begin.
See you at next year’s parade.

Joel DeLong
Clarkston Rotary President

I completely agree with Shirley Wilson’s letter about Rudy’s selling all those flowers.
Clarkston is a merchant community struggling to increase its retail popularity and keep up in this tight economy.
It seems to me the village retailers would benefit more by mutually agreeing about who sells what products. Instead they choose to stab each other in the back. How cooperative is that?
I see no reason to display and sell flowers at Rudy’s Meat Market. Shame on you fellows.

Judy McConnell
Clarkston

Clarkston Community School District would like to thank T&C Federal Credit Union for supporting district children in need through the Stuff A Bus program.
This wonderful program not only provided supplies for our schools, but is also provided 30 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to the Mentor Plus kids in Clarkston.
Unloading the stuffed buses provides a valuable experience for school staff and volunteers. Our District has gained a sense of how this wonderful program works and has seen first-hand how much the Oakland County community cares for children in need.
Thank you for providing your support to children in the Clarkston Community Schools.
Clarkston Community School District
Communications and Marketing Department

I read with sadness the article in your September 24 issue, “Allen Road puppy shot.” Poor Lucy is an innocent animal and, in a perfect world, the person who shot her would be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Was Lucy at home inside her fenced yard when this happened? If not, Lucy’s owners are also responsible for this tragedy.
According to the Independence Township Animal Ordinance, Section 5-5: It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog to allow or permit such a dog to run at large. At large shall mean any animal that is off the property of its owner and not under the physical control of a competent person. Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The owners of the dog are ultimately responsible for her health and well-being. If they jeopardize her safety by allowing her to run “at large,” knowing there are crazy people in the world who are not “dog-friendly,” then they are partly to blame.
Please understand that I am not supporting the sick person who shot Lucy, by any means. I am advocating responsible dog ownership. It is the primary responsibility of the owner to protect the dog. She can’t do it herself.
Mary Ann Saranen
Clarkston

I am writing in response to the letters concerning the sale of flowers at Rudy’s Market.
I am unsure of the reason why Mrs. Wilson feels threatened by Rudy’s selling flowers. She has a beautiful, well established, up-scale flower business. Anyone who knows Clarkston, knows The Parsonage.
On the other hand, anyone who knows Clarkston, knows Rudy’s. Their selection of wine, meat and produce is fabulous. I think the vibrant color that is added to our main street by the sale of these flowers is a plus.
The beauty of living in America is that we have the freedom of choice – let the customers decide what and where we buy our goods. I can walk into any store downtown and pick up a greeting card. I never feel limited, which is awesome.
I applaud all the retail stores in Clarkston for keeping up with the times, and providing us with the diversity of a big city in a small town atmosphere.
Sarah Didion
A loyal Parsonage and Rudy’s Customer

Every nonprofit project and organization in our community is dependent on the energy, generosity, and commitment of volunteers to be successful. Without such resources, many important things would not get done.
Some volunteers go the extra step by serving in leadership positions, which requires an even greater involvement by them. They are especially important and precious.
The North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy is a more than 30 year old community organization, fortified by dedicated volunteers, which has helped preserve over 1,000 acres of land. This land helps the community strive to retain its special character.
Many NOHLC volunteers have worked hard, and continue to work hard, to protect that natural habitat. Two NOHLC stalwarts, who have served longer than most, are about to retire from their leadership positions: President Bob Inskeep and Vice President Fred Roeser.
Bob and Fred should be recognized for their years of excellent service. They are the kind of neighbors who enable our community to accomplish so much.
NOHLC has been fortunate to have the unselfish and dependable leadership of Bob
Inskeep and Fred Roeser. Let us salute them and thank them.

Tom Stone
Clarkston

With regard to the letter from the owner of the Parsonage: Maybe downtown Clarkston could use a dose of healthy competition.
Since when can only one business sell a specific item exclusively? Rudy’s has gone to great lengths to improve their store. Their inviting and unique storefront is welcoming to those visiting from out of town and to those of us who live here.
In my opinion, this kind of competition and improvement can only help all of the business owners. It’s a great start to revitalize our downtown
Thanks,Rudy’s!
Jane O’Rourke
Clarkston

Thanks for helping make the SCAMP/L.E. Wint Golf Outing a “Hole in One!”
Everyone enjoyed a wonderful day; the weather was perfect for a day of golf and a few of the SCAMPers got to meet the wonderful people who make their summer dream a reality.
Your prize donation of gift certificates was greatly appreciated. We raised more than $23,000 for the SCAMP program and the L.E. Wint Nature Center at Independence Oaks County Park.
SCAMP, a summer day camp for special needs youth and young adults allowed 362 SCAMPers the chance to enjoy five weeks of sun and fun this summer. One part of the summer fun is a chance to visit the L.E. Wint Nature Center. Opportunities like this don’t come easy for the families of the SCAMPers and we are so privileged to be able to provide this enriching experience.
Without the generosity of people like you the special needs youth of North Oakland County and Southern Genesee County would not be able to benefit from the SCAMP program. On behalf of the North Oakland SCAMP Funding Corporation and Oakland County Parks and Recreation, we would like to thank you for your contribution.

Donna Clancy
Mark Verlinden
Scott Vanderveen
SCAMP

This letter is in regards to your reporter Don Schelske’s substantive error in his on the scene coverage of our Independence Township Planning Commission meeting, Thursday, Sept. 25 and my position and subsequent vote.
He reported my concerns regarding an off-site septic easement and other issues but totally reversed my voted position on a motion (Caruso) and support (Kessler) to not set a date for a future public hearing before the Planning Commission deliberating as the township “wetland board” but to refer the matter back to the Building and Planning Department to be dealt with administratively. I disagreed.
Regardless, after the meeting, I explained to the concerned neighbors and representatives of the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy; it is early in the process at the township level. The developer and property owner could not attend that P.C. meeting and represent their wetland fill request. Had the commission set a future public hearing date they would have been invited to attend.
The Oakland County sanitary permit which is another step facing the potential developer of the property has been rescinded pending legal review.
The neighbors will have every opportunity to file an appeal to be heard at the Township Board level and I believe have already followed my suggestion to do so.
Our Township Wetland ordinance has jurisdiction on this site and whether the permit request is before the Administration or the “wetland board” it is under those controls.

Daniel Travis
Township Trustee and Township Board Liaison to the Planning Commission

We at Oakland Woods Baptist Church would like to thank you for your contribution to the Family Fun Festival event, which was held on Sept. 13.
With your support the event was a huge success. We had beautiful weather and about 500 parents and children visited from the community.
Again, we deeply appreciate your contribution and look forward to working with you again.
Celeste Mayes
Event Coordinator

First of all, our sympathies and prayers to the Waller family, especially Lucy. Thank God no one else was hurt. Do not know all the facts, but just how do you justify shooting a family pet? Makes absolutely no sense at all. Firearms being discharged in a populated area is obviously very dangerous but it is not why I am writing this letter.
I have been holding back writing about the subject of family and pet safety for some years. We have lived in this wonderful community for more than 10 years. This message is to all the folks out there who truly value and love their four-legged family members. That’s right, they are more than just “pets,” and let’s try not to refer to them as “animals.” Most dogs and cats are more humane than their supposed owners.
Now to the real reason for this note. We are responsible for the care and safety of our pets. I am sure it makes us all sick every time we see a “Lost and Found” poster on a tree. There is a story behind every one of these posters. The agony, waiting, wondering and most of all, “Is the pet suffering? Sometimes accidents do happen and pets get loose, hopefully they are properly tagged and can be returned to their families.
Unfortunately, many are not. Most of these incidents could be avoided if people just used some common sense such as keeping your pets leashed or behind safe barriers. I am sure there are laws to address legal shootings but there are also laws/rules that we as responsible owners must follow as guidelines to protect our loved ones.
There are many of us who do not appreciate having your pets run loose causing disturbances; someone could get hurt. Why is it, just because we have all this open land, people think it is OK to let their pets run loose? You would not do this in the city. I believe there are leash laws and other ordinances that address these issues.
We have had several incidents with unleashed “pets” and I do emphasize the word pets. These were licensed pets. My wife, two dogs and myself were attacked by two very large dogs. The breed is not important; what is important here is the owner did not have the dogs tied up! Almost killed one of our dogs. We have also been “charged” by unleashed dogs while the owner just stands there and tries to call them back! By the way, our dogs were leashed and under control.
Unfortunately, we now view every dog as a possible threat. Ever have 50-150 pounds of uncontrolled rage going for your pet or your throat?
Don’t get me wrong. I do not defend people who terrorize, shoot or abuse defenseless, docile type creatures or our pets. These “animals,” masquerading as humans, need to be identified, charged and prosecuted to the full extent of the law and then some. But this is not enough. We must do everything possible to ensure the safety of our pets and neighbors.
In closing I would like to say thanks to all who abide by the local ordinances, common sense and just good old-fashioned common courtesy. Your neighbors appreciate it and most of all our “four-legged friends.” Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the “three-legged ones,” too. God love ‘em all! Let’s keep everyone safe and enjoy the beautiful fall season.
Mark Stesney

Lisa Valentine wrote the article on “Officials plan to fight M-24 property swap.” I would like to know what our elected officials in Orion Township are trying to accomplish.
They regularly fight every business that attempts to locate in Orion Township. They keep trying to tell us it will add further traffic burden to our already crowded roads.
Look at how they helped us in the Baldwin, Joslyn and Brown Road corridor. Auburn Hills receives all the tax base and we suffer with the traffic.
Do they think that just adding subdivisions will regulate the additional traffic? Mike Weger has been a business owner within Orion Township for the past 25 years and has served our area well.
I believe it’s time to place some of the tax burden on additional business and help out our local residents. Maybe it’s time for a change as THEY ARE ELECTED OFFICIALS.
Art Schrah

Do I have this right? If the Weger and DNR land swap goes through, some 90 acres of unused land worth three or 4 million dollars will go back on the township’s tax roles and you want to fight this in court.
Please, start running our township like it was a business.
You still control the zoning, so please take this gift and use the additional tax dollars to do some good like fix some of the terrible roads in our township.
Larry Elzerman

The natatorium (swimming pool) is a big success with LOHS students. However, I feel betrayed by the board of education about the use of this facility. I want to see more time and more schedule consistency for community access.
Back when we were voting for the new high school, the pool (which was listed as separate millage) was rejected by the community.
I did some research then and found that for the past 25 years, township residents refused to pay for a pool they couldn’t enjoy. So I approached the board with this information and with hundreds of signatures on a petition that supported a “community” pool built on high school property.
It would be designed and operated so that the residents (and other paying customers) had access similar to community centers in other towns.
This is why the pool has a separate shallow section that is kept at a higher temperature so that the very young and the very old would be more comfortable in the water.
This plan was broadcast to the community and it approved the seven million dollar pool (natatorium) by a two-to-one margin in a special election less than a year after the high school was approved.
Since the pool opened, the hours for community access have dwindled and the schedule has long been inconsistent and unreliable (meaning the pool was closed when it was posted as open).
This has created a demand for other pools to be built in and around Lake Orion as part of fitness centers that require membership fees. Many of the disgruntled citizens that I contacted share this opinion and they are enrolling at these other facilities that better meet their customer’s needs.
In contrast, the Brandon Aquatic Center is open to residents and staffed from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday. Residents can use the pool even during the school day and the pool is open all summer. They even have a punch card system that charges residents $1.69 per swim.
Consider all of the segments of the community that are served by Brandon’s schedule: stay-at-home moms with/without preschoolers, retirees, people that want to exercise and start work by 7:30 a.m., second shift assembly plant workers, etc.
How long does the leadership in this community think that it can get away with this kind of neglect to those who paid for the pool? (Think outside the school!).
Don’t ponder too long because there is always another millage vote on the horizon. Then you will find out how many citizens trust what you are trying to sell.
Mark Modlin

We here at the Orion Senior Center will miss Debra Caverly. Many of us feel she was the LIFE of the center.
If we had known she was hired in by a grant and that the grant needed to be renewed, we would have done all in our power to get it renewed.
We want to thank Debra for all her efforts on our part. We love her.
Grace Spry

The year 2004 will be greeting us in just 2 1/2 months. It should be an interesting year, especially in Orion Township.
I just wonder if enough citizens, like more than 10 percent, are going to get out and vote?
Maybe it’s just the idea that no one gives a “rats pittoo” who gets in public office these days unless it’s some movie star, wrestler or sports figure!
Arnold is now governor of California, just like his buddy and former wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura, who was governor of Minnesota.
And in case you forgot, Arnold and Jesse starred in the movie Predator back in 1988. Arnold was the headliner and Jesse was the co-star.
This is what seems to attract the attention of Americans these days — fantasy. The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Terminator, these seem to be a good background to hold public office. Become a celebrity first, like an actor or athlete, then get on Jay Leno, David Letterman and announce you’re running for governor, senator, etc.
And the majority of the general public will elect you. After all, they elected Ronald Regan for two terms. “The Gipper,” “Bongo” and “Death Valley Days,” those seem to be good qualifications to lead the United States. Voters thought so in 1980 and 1984.
Now let’s look at Orion Township. We have Deena Centafontes from TV 2 residing here. Maybe Deena would like to run for township supervisor in 2004.
I bet Deena could have that office just for the asking. Not only is she a news celebrity, but she has a good political background from being involved in the news media. Deena has charisma and showmanship and knows how to work with the public.
Are there any other celebrities living in Orion who want to take a stab at it? It can’t get any worse than it is now; it can only get better — “Deena for supervisor!”
James Delavan

There is a request to rezone a small portion of Dixie Highway from residential to commercial (case #PC2003-029) before the Building Board of Independence Township. This piece of land is located between M-15 and White Lake Road. The request was tabled at the last meeting for an approval from the Michigan Department of Transportation to create another entrance off Dixie Highway.
Century 21 Town and Country and a potential buyer went before the board totally unprepared. They were requesting the rezoning and approval of an entrance off of Pinehurst. The street in question was actually Lakewood on which I reside.
They were informed that both streets were private and owned by the Dollar Lake Subdivision. Five plats were to be rezoned and sold to the buyer for a 4,000 square foot office building with a parking lot. One of the plats (29) is actually owned by the North Oakland Headwaters Conservancy which was not known at the time either.
As many who live in the area know, the traffic on Dixie Highway is already a major problem. There have been many accidents already occurring on this portion of Dixie Highway and just within the last month there was a loss of life.
The other side of the issue is the residents in Dollar Lake subdivision who will have to suffer a loss of property value and quality of living. We will experience more trash blowing in, more run off into Middle Lake which controls the level of six more lakes, and a greater difficulty in accessing Dixie Highway. The left lane in the area is already improperly used because both Northcrest and Dollar Lake subdivision have to enter Dixie at this location.
I am asking Independence Township to consider the losses of their older resident over the gain of their potential new ones.

Alvena Vincent
Clarkston

After reading the latest article “Legal fight against school board continues” in the Oct. 15, 2003 volume regarding Tony Miller, a discrepancy of statements jumped out at me.
Secretary Stephen Hyer is quoted as saying, “As board members, we operate as one team. We don’t keep things from each other, we keep each other abreast of what’s going on. In this situation, we’re in the dark. We’re learning things from the newspapers and from our attorneys. We want you (Tony) to be a full member of this board, and we expect you to meet those obligations and communicate with the rest of this board.”
Um, wasn’t Tony asked to leave a board meeting on August 22nd, just a couple of months ago? The Aug. 27, 2003 volume of The Clarkston News reported that Tony wasn’t allowed to attend a special board meeting. What kind of communication is expected to be obtained when a member of the board isn’t even allowed to attend? Wasn’t Tony trying to meet his obligations? And, I’ve been to some board meetings and have seen the way the board acts as a team. I guess every team has a bully who picks on the nice guy.
By the way, a discrepancy of statements is also termed as a contradiction. Don’t confuse this with the word lie, which means an untruth, misrepresentation, to deceive or make false statements.
Tammy Layton

St. Daniel’s Catholic Community supports the community garden established in Clarkston by Clarkston District Court Judges Michael Batchik and Dana Fortinberry.
This is in response to the article entitled “Neighbors want to squash new garden,” in the Oct. 1. edition of The Clarkston News.
We understand in the article that Fortinberry said the garden, in its prospective stages was discussed at least two open meetings, which were also taped and rerun on local cable, as well as covered in community newspapers.
Fortinberry stated there are two supervisors from W.A.M., plus two assistants, to look over the approximately 35-40 offenders when the program is in use. They are well-monitored, Fortinberry said, noting the workers have a strict schedule to follow and must ask permission to use the port-a-john. Resident Smith stated there’s no security, no cops, no nothing. Does Smith want those cops with guns on these offenders? Do you call this better security?
Some of us heard of the garden project on the McCord Farm in August in the Detroit Free Press. Consequently, we found interesting Jennifer Nemer’s article in The Clarkston News on Oct. 1, about the garden being worked by non-violent offenders, in preference to serving time in jail at the expense of the taxpayers.
Our compliments to both Batchik and Fortinberry for a great plan which will allow offenders to pay their debt to society, while at the same time supplying the food bank with more than 3,000 pounds of produce. And an added plus is the tremendous savings in jail costs.
Will a young man be better able to learn how to be a good citizen by planting and nurturing seeds, watching the miracle of growth that happens, or will he become better by sitting in a jail cell building up more and more anger within?
The judges have assured us that their men will be well supervised, so let’s give them a chance and welcome them in the area. Visit the farm, not with a critical eye, but just to show an interest in what is being done. Who knows, you might change a young man’s whole life by letting him see you care.
People would be amazed at how many offenders are doing community service – at the township library, in parks and so forth. Let alone vegetable gardening.

Christian Service Commission
St. Daniel Catholic Community

On behalf of our physicians, nursing and administrative staff, thank you for bringing to light the work of our practice at Clarkston Medical Group.
Our practice has been fortunate to serve the needs of Clarkston for more than 40 years, due in large part to the efforts of those dedicated healthcare professionals. Our mission will indeed remain “to receive patients and focus on the delivery of the highest quality medical care” for the residents of Clarkston and the community at large.
Your article helped bring those efforts to light and has boosted morale in our practice. Your efforts and thoughtfulness are deeply appreciated.
James O’Neill, MD
Clarkston

As a taxpayer, I become more and more indignant with each development in the Tony Miller saga. This man’s number one priority is clearly Tony Miller, not the job he was elected to do: School Board Trustee.
This is not a person who is operating, or appears to have any intention of operating, with the interest of children first. The cash he’s spending on this ill advised temper tantrum isn’t just a waste of money – it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Enough is enough. Any elected official who violates the public trust to this degree, demonstrates such a continuous lack of judgment and wastes tax dollars in a narcissistic campaign for personal gain deserves to be recalled.
Penny Shanks
Indendence Township

One morning, I awoke to find that my day was not going to be the norm because of a medical problem. I asked my wife to call 911 and get some help and that started the events rolling.
The call was made, and it seemed that in no time the Independence Township Fire Departments Paramedic Unit was at the door. Chris Norgerg, Dan White and Keith Bailey arrived very fast and assessed my situation. They treated me with the utmost professionalism and respect and transported me to a hospital all within forty minutes of the call. There, they turned me over to the hospital staff and made sure that they were informed of my condition and what they had done to treat me.
With the fire department evolving, to add Advance Life Support, to their services that they provide in the last year, we are all fortunate that from the time of an emergency call and the time it takes to get a patient to the hospital has improved dramatically.
A medical emergency could happen to any of us, at any time. For all of us that live in Independence Township, we should feel very fortunate that should a normal day, suddenly turn tragic that we have a dedicated, professional, efficient and caring Fire Department that will be at our door in only minutes day or night to help us in our time of need. For these men and women are truly the professionals that we all can count on being there in our time of need.
John Nicholson

I’d like to know why Tony Miller is getting such a bad rap?
First of all, I know the man and I know how much coaching means to him. Secondly, because coaching means so much to him, if he were really told it would be a conflict on interest to coach and be on the board, I know he would not have run for the board. What does that little statement tell all the people who are tired of hearing about this case?
For everyone who thinks Tony is squandering the schools’ money, let us look at some of the unnecessary expenses Clarkston Schools has squandered money on before Tony came into the picture.
Years ago tracking devices were put on all the photo copiers in the district to curb paper costs. A code was to be entered by a teacher’s grade level to copy anything, but after that grade exceeded the allotted amount of copies, different codes were just put in and used instead. Aren’t the principals supposed to authorize copies? Why were teachers allowed to copy two sentences onto a standard 8 1/2” x 11” sheet of paper for 30 students every week when they should’ve just written them on their brand new white boards?
Why do we have children in our district who don’t have school books? Students have to get into groups and share their textbooks with each other and if they want to take their book home, they need to get permission from the teacher.
Why are we spending $10,000 per school on new sprinkler systems? So the grass will grow more so you can spend more money on fuel to fill the lawn mowers to cut it? Yep, I think it’s better that we have great grass and look like wonderful schools instead of having books for every student and being a wonderful schools.
Tony has brought up a good point at one of the board meetings asking why we have the third highest paid superintendent and the third lowest paid teachers. Why? Why are there thousand dollar bonuses going to the top while the employees who see and work with our “future” get cuts?
Tony and his attorney are not the reason the schools are losing money. Tony is the reason our eyes are being opened up to all that is wrong with the board and the bigwigs in our school system. Pay attention and read between the lines.

Scott Andrew
Clarkston

Is it just me or does the figure of $18,000 seem a bit high for the services performed by George Butler in the case between Superintendent Al Roberts and board trustee Tony Miller?
The figure sent up a red flag for me especially since the figure does not even include the court appearance. What are the school attorney firm Dickinson & Wright charging the taxpayers of Clarkston for the other cases with the custodian and the bus driver who are suing the schools?
Is the figure of $18,000 that the board is saying is for the Miller case really all for Miller, or is it a combined amount for all of the cases? And if so, maybe we as taxpayers should be asking why we are paying this firm such enormous fees that do not even include the court appearance?
Therefore, since the school board felt the need to make public what is being spent on the Miller case, I as a taxpayer would request to have the board give a detailed outline of what is being spend with all of the cases.
Tom Miller
Clarkston

In reference to the letter sent in by Penny Shanks last week, I as a taxpayer and a 20 years citizen of Clarkston am utterly appalled.
Shanks claims to be indignant with the whole situation. However, I think her true problem is she is unaware of the whole situation. To my knowledge, she does not currently attend the board meetings therefore is learning about the situation through Clarkston’s well-known gossip mill.
It is true that Tony Miller’s main love is being a coach. And being a coach for Clarkston for the past 10 years is what drove him to run for the school board. Contrary to what some people may believe, Miller’s main goal for being on the school board is to try to make a positive difference within our community.
And frankly to Shanks and anyone else in our community who believes Miller is not out for the kids, rather for himself, they obviously do not know him. Those people need to ask themselves what Miller is truly gaining from this situation. Nothing.
He was not permitted to coach this season; in return he has to be a part of a board that is cold and calculating. At a recent board meeting, Miller was publicly asked to keep the board informed of all his legal matters. Are they joking? They actually expect Miller to keep them informed when they have closed session meetings and private pow-wows without him. Come on, do they really believe he is that naive?
Brenda Davis
Clarkston

I wish to thank the person who went out of their way to take my dog “Jake” to the Springfield Veterinary Clinic last week.
I received a call at work that Jake was there and safe, and I could come and get him whenever I could get there. He had “escaped” from our yard, unknown to myself, and headed into town, towards busy M-15. My thanks go also to the wonderful staff at Springfield Veterinary Clinic – this wasn’t the first time they’ve helped return Jake to us.
There is truly a “community” spirit in Clarkston. I’ve lived here for almost 30 years, and enjoyed many of the people and businesses in town. I love stopping in at and shopping at Tierra’s. I love the small businesses and smiling faces that greet you. Rudy’s displays this summer were so colorful… and the concerts in the park that I attended were such lively fun.
Finally, I love walking Jake through the village – and he loves it, too. Thanks friends of Clarkston

Christine Moore
Clarkston

Celebrating Thanksgiving in a car, what kind of a holiday is that? That is only one of the hardships people in Oxford/Orion are enduring.
This year many of the needy families with children have had gas and electric shut-offs, prescriptions they couldn’t pay for and food shortages.
You, the people of our communities have helped these needy with your monetary and food donations through the year, but like many nonprofit organizations, we have used up most of your generous donations and must again ask for help to assure everyone in our area will have a happy Thanksgiving and a merry Christmas.
If you would do that turkey trot down the grocery aisles once again, we could use canned fruits, vegetables, pumpkin, cranberries, evaporated milk, gravies, cream of mushroom soup, pie crust mix, cornbread and muffin mix, Jello, pudding, cake mix and other goodies — please, no perishables.
We need donations of frozen turkeys. As of now we are also looking for a charitable retailer who might help store frozen turkeys and also a couple of hundred cartons of milk for FISH.
Turkey certificates are very much appreciated and we will be happy to take them anytime.
Volunteers are also needed Nov. 22 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. for heavy lifting and sorting; Nov. 23, 6 p.m.; Nov. 24, 9 a.m. and Nov. 25, 9 a.m.
Please come and help at Immanuel Congregational Church, 1 Hovey Street in Oxford. Children who help must be at least 10 years old and accompanied by an adult. We discourage them on the first night because of the heavy loads and we want to be sure of their safety.
For monetary donations, mail to FISH, PO Box 732, Lake Orion, MI 48361. For other inquiries call 248-693-6823.
FISH wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving; God Bless You and may you always have the privilege of being able to afford to give to others.
Remember this year, don’t be a turkey, give one.
Oxford/Orion FISH

Last week, Orion Township elected officials (all Republicans) voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of township funds for the county commissioner special election held last June 17. There was no debate.
Former township trustee Eric Wilson, with unanimous support from Orion’s elected officials, went on to win the special election. At the time of his election, he stated publicly he would work to have the county pay the election costs.
What happened that the township now has to bear the costs of this election? Wilson is not as effective as he thought he would be as one of the majority 19 Republican county commissioners. And we the taxpayers are paying for this.
Those tax dollars in Orion Township should have gone for basic services, roads, health department issues, etc. that all residents use, not for two county elections in almost as many months.
Now the county commissioners are saying they will save the taxpayers money because they passed a resolution to limit the number of elections per year, but in fact, just earlier this year it didn’t matter in their exuberance to reward one of their own.
This has to be the “mother of all double standards and double talk.”
Esther Morgan,
10th District Delegate

I just heard information which is very disturbing regarding my son’s school. He attends Lake Orion High School.
The students are all talking….We need the truth Mr. Dunckley!
I heard from many students that a male teacher went on a field trip with students, drank liquor and the male teacher slept in the same tent with the female student.
The student got pregnant and the baby may be the teacher’s. Is it true the teacher has recently resigned? Is it true his wife turned him in and there was an argument in the halls and students heard?
Does this mean this teacher can get a job working in another district with children? What are we teaching our kids at the high school? What kind of message are we sending?
Why do I have to continually hear this sort of information through our children — Not our principal Mr. Dunckley. What is going on there!!!!
There is more disturbing news happening at our high school. My son told me kids are coming to school drunk or high. Kids say drugs are everywhere in our community and easily accessible at LOHS.
I called the high school to find out about a parent organization or to get some information. Mr. Dunckley was not in AGAIN!!! I called back and got disconnected.
I found out parents are meeting Nov. 4, 7 p.m. at Starbuck’s on Lapeer Road.
Parents, our children need your support. If you’re concerned about your child’s safety, please attend on Nov. 4 TO HEAR THE TRUTH AND GET ANSWERS.
CBT
Editor’s Note: According to school district officials the incident written about in this letter, which took place on a camping trip this summer, was thoroughly investigated. The teacher is no longer employed in the school district.
The incident involved students who had graduated from LOHS. All the parents whose students were on the trip were contacted.
According to LO Superintendent Dr. Craig Younkman, letters about the incident were not sent out district-wide because “we are sensitive to the kids involved.”
Although hesitant to say that the teacher involved wouldn’t get a job in another school district, LO Assistant Superintendent Chris Lehman, said “severance at this time of the year will follow anyone.”
Younkman believes there isn’t a significant increase in drug usage at the high school, but because there is now a larger student population, “the numbers will go up”
The meeting on Nov. 4 is a regularly scheduled meeting that Dr. Younkman hosts throughout the school year.

Recently one of our Independence Township board members announced he is a candidate to replace our current supervisor. It seemed odd to me because it is more than a year until the next election.
Although presidential campaigns have become long, drawn out and boring, must our local elections meet this same fate? I hope not.
Nowhere in this candidate’s announcement was there any reason given for him to start his campaign so soon. So why must we be bothered by this extended campaign? What is the urgency for the community?
Perhaps there is no good reason for the community. It may be that the candidate feels the only way he can be successful is to entice community leaders to support him long before they know who the other candidates might be or what the issues will be.
Whatever the reason, we should not encourage such self-interested behavior in our local politicians. Increasingly long campaigns do not mean better leadership. Rather, skewing the process may very well make things worse. So, I urge everyone to wait and see.

John L. Wilder
Independence Township

Your recent article on the Independence Parks and Recreation Department caused me to pause and reflect on the pride I felt while watching the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I and IV Regional Cross Country meet hosted by Clarkston High School Oct. 25 at Clintonwood Park.
My pride wasn’t just that of a parent proud of the accomplishments by this year’s CHS girls cross country team that dominated the Division I race, but in our community and those public servants that work endless hours taking care of our park and recreational facilities.
I am certain that it was not without some reservations that Independence Parks and Recreation Director Mike Turk, agreed to partner with the Clarkston Community School District in hosting this year’s regional meet. This year’s regional meet at Clintonwood was a first time event for the community.
To host the meet, Turk had to cancel all of the activities scheduled at the park. That action forced the different groups to make other arrangements that Saturday. Needless to say, everyone handled the rescheduling without incident and we’re extremely grateful to those groups for gracefully accommodating the change.
The benefit of hosting a regional championship meet provides more than a home course advantage. The success formula for the regional was community participation combined with the natural resources and beauty of Clintonwood Park providing us with an event to showcase Clarkston. The CHS campus, with more than 100 acres of land simply wasn’t large enough to host a major cross-country event like a regional competition. The CHS athletic department needed a partner like Parks and Recreation to host the event.
The 2003 CHS team is the first girls cross country regional championship for this community. Clarkston has never fielded a more amazing group of talented and accomplished young runners. Their success is built upon a training program that demands dedication, long workouts and a talented coaching staff. As a community we’re blessed to have one of the state’s more outstanding young coaches, Jamie LaBrosse, assisted by former CHS runner Marley Brown.
We are now also blessed to have one of the premier running courses in the state at Clintonwood. The bottom line is that you don’t have a winning team like we do in Clarkston without community support and teamwork.
On the day of the competition, the runners arrived trained and ready. More than 2,000 spectators showed up in the rain to cheer on the participants, and Parks and Rec delivered a beautiful first class course for a regional championship race.
The park staff led by Brian Doyle selflessly worked overtime in the cold, wet weather leading up to the event to make sure the course was suitable for a race. I personally watched as Doyle pushed the paint machine the entire 5K distance of the course to make sure runners had a line to follow so they wouldn’t take a wrong turn. More than 50 high school teams from across the state ran the course, and in talking to some of the runners the one thing I heard most of them say was, “wow, what a great course.”
As a parent of a cross-country runner, and citizen of Independence Township, I take great pride in saying I am from Clarkston. The spirit and determination demonstrated by both runners and park staff shows they deserve our continued support. It was great to witness so many individuals from across our community working together to make this event a success.
One last question, who do we see about getting one of those green road signs put up now that the girls have won state, announcing to everyone entering Clarkston that this is the home to the 2003 Girls Division I State Championship Cross Country team?

Barry Bomier
Independence Township