2008-05-01 / News

Letters -- 5/1/08

Thanks for
care and support
Due to the death of my husband, Paul Schank, I would like to thank Lapeer Regional Hospital ER and staff, 2nd floor staff, Dr. Salem and Dr. Bikkina for the wonderful care they gave my husband.
Also to all the fire departments who donated their services.
To the pall bearers. A special thanks to Ss. Peter & Paul Altar Society for the luncheon. Also thanks to Father Treml. To all the family, friends for all the food, flowers, cards and thoughts. A special thanks to Blackburn Chapel-Martin Funeral Home. And all the others who I may have forgotten.
Thanks again. It will never be forgotten. — Ruth Schank, and childen Patricia Schank, Mark (Trisha Estfon) Schank, Don & Hannah Schank, North Branch
Time for a change
It’s time for a change on the North Branch Area Schools Board of Education! Like many of you, we have always been proud of our schools! Events over the past few years, however, have raised concern that several of our current board members represent special interests and groups rather than representing our children, parents and taxpayers!
North Branch Schools, along with school districts throughout Michigan, are facing difficult economic times. It’s more important today than it has ever been to have board members who are independent thinkers and are open-minded and willing to make decisions based on the best interests of our students and their education.
Board members need to focus on setting goals and priorities for the school district, developing policy and making tough economic decisions. Actions of several of our current board members lead us to conclude that they are more interested in serving the needs of special interest groups, which has created an environment of mistrust and dissension.
As former board members and school administrators, we urge you to cast your vote for change on May 6 in the annual school board election. A vote for Jerry Schlaud and Cory Mabery will provide the kind of open-mindedness and independent leadership that is sorely needed on the North Branch Board of Education. Help our school district maintain the pride and excellence that has become a North Branch tradition.
Vote May 6 at your township hall for Jerry Schlaud and Cory Mabery for the North Branch Board of Education. Thank you! — Brian Ferguson, former Board of Education member, Chet Rozanski, former Board of Education member, Ron Bower, former Board of Education member, Dawn Johnson, former Board of Education member, Nancy Barrios, former Board of Education member, Dave Collinge, former Board of Education member, Don Gleeson, former Superintendent, Rick VanHaaften, former Superintendent
We did nothing wrong
In response to Douglas Nucci, Dryden Construction: There are more than just a few residents that have made complaints to the State of Michigan — that their homes are not being built to code. None of us have the same builder, but, we all have had the same building Inspector.
I don’t care who does the inspections, as long as the builders are made to build homes by the State Code. Us residents that are going through this terrible situation are being ruined financially. As for the majority, I wouldn’t wish or want any resident to have to go through this. We did nothing wrong. — Patrick Smylie, Almont Twp.
smashes old record
The Human Development Commission’s 2008 Walk-for-Warmth campaign is now over and all contributions are in. The citizens of Lapeer County have demonstrated once again how deeply they care for those less fortunate than themselves. Despite the difficult economic times we are in, despite high unemployment and record home foreclosures, the generosity of Lapeer County residents is overwhelming.
This year, the annual HDC Walk-for-Warmth campaign raised a total of $19,452.45 — a record amount that beats the previous record by more than $3,000. We were pleased to see 93 walkers — led by Judge Nick Holowka — turn out to walk on a cold February morning so that others might keep warm. HDC and the community we serve want to offer a special thanks to the following organizations and individuals for their compassion and support:
Platinum Sponsors (contributions of $1000 or more): Wal-Mart Super Center of Lapeer; Women’s Council of the Home Builder’s Association of Lapeer County; and Lapeer Entertainment Group.
Gold Sponsors ($500 or more): UAW Region 1; Lapeer Odd Fellows Lodge # 94; Sheet Metal Workers Local Union # 7; Lapeer County Democratic Party; Dort Federal Credit Union; DTE Energy; and Blue Flame Propane/Foster Oil, Tom & Jenny Roberts.
Silver Sponsors ($300): Lapeer County Bank & Trust; VFW & Ladies Auxiliary # 4139; Fraternal Order of Eagles Ladies Auxiliary #2427; Michigan Education Association (MEA) 10-D PAC; and Rolling Hills Apartments, St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Bronze Sponsors ($150): ELGA Credit Union; State Farm Insurance, Keith Byard; Al Parsch Oil & Propane; Durakon Industries; North Branch Thrift Shop; Thumb Management Services; Independent Bank of East Michigan; and Lapeer Area Elks Lodge # 2567.
Other Sponsors:Nolin, Oesch, Sieting & Macksoud, PC, CPAs; American Legion Post # 16; Hamilton’s Propane; North Branch Eastern Stars; Molly Maid of Metamora; McAlpine Chiropractic; CMS Oil Company; Olga Long; Lapeer County Parole Office; Donald Lackey; Harmon Oil Company, Thumb Management Services, Mary Ann Vandemark, Barbara Hunter and Citizen’s First Bank, Lapeer Branch.
A very special thanks goes to the Lapeer Entertainment Group and to the actors, singers, musicians, production staff and stage crew of the “Lapeer’s Tribute to ‘Hee-Haw’” production — which contributed more than $1200 to this years W-4-W. The Women’s Council of the Home Builder’s Association also sponsored a Casino Night to benefit the Walk-for-Warmth and we want to thank the Council and all the volunteers from the dealers to the food servers to the clean-up crew that helped make this night a success. And thank you as well to the many students from area schools who walked in the cold or sponsored an event at their school to help raise funds for the Walk-for-Warmth. Just as importantly, these students helped raise awareness of the needs of many in our community, in their homes, schools and communities.
In these difficult economic times, people from all across Lapeer County - many experiencing their own economic hardships - demonstrated their caring and compassion for those in need. We at HDC are grateful for and humbled by the community’s support of this annual campaign, especially this year. Thank you so very much to all who support the annual Walk-for-Warmth. — Debbie Marquardt, HDC Community Liaison
Empty buildings
vs. memories
I’ve read what now seems like dozens of comments regarding revitalizing “historical” buildings in Lapeer. The Lyle Stewart building was most recently mentioned. This site is well past its prime, offers no significant value to our community, and limited the scope of county services because of age and condition of the building while in use.
The Stewart building was falling apart well before the “services” found the new location on M-21. In fact, the only significant architectural icon on that building is the yellow-domed windows.
The county poor-farm is better immortalized on paper, not by making the building a tribute to itself. No twenty-year leases for $1; just sell the land for what it’s worth (or less) so a developer can use the land for something significant.
The E.T. White building should go, too. If city planners and county educators were sincerely concerned with preserving the site, they might have thought twice about sticking that eyesore Rite Aid on the corner. E.T. White now sits in the shadow of commercialism and a fast buck.
I went to White, I remember lots of neat things about it, but I don’t honestly believe that a developer would want to take on such a red-herring. Take some pictures of the building, hang them at the Historical Society with all the graduating class photos. I’d rather see a Pizza Hut at that corner. — Steve Smith, Lapeer
Appreciate teachers
Honor our teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week May 5-9. Our teachers are the backbone of our education system and play a huge role in helping our children to develop into happy, healthy and successful adults. Often times they work with limited resources and frequently under trying circumstances. Without their hard work and dedication, our children, our future political and social leaders, artists, scientists, teachers and doctors would not be among the best in the world.
Please take some time to give them the recognition they deserve. Whether it be a note of encouragement or a small token of thanks, it may remind them how much they make a difference in our children’s lives. — April Wilson, on behalf of Almont PTA
Thanks to educators
I would like to acknowledge our educators, teachers, principals, para-pros, secretaries, dean of students, people in the lunchroom, crossing guards, etc. The responsibility of our children’s safety, self-esteem, education, etc. has fallen on them. Most embrace it with their heart and soul. They spend more time with our children than we do.
We depend on them to help and guide our children. They give them gifts that can last a lifetime. Many of our children have challenges; educational, emotional or physical. They try to recognize these challenges and adjust situations to accommodate the best they can. They have our children about seven hours a day. If we subtract transition and lunches it is more like five and a half hours a day. Most have about 33 students per class. Many change classes, about four to six classes a day. In actuality they are able to spend only about five minutes a day per student.
When was the last time you, as a parent, spent time at your school assisting them. If everyone who had a child in the school helped out at the school, even one hour a week, I think it would allow teachers to teach more effectively. It is crucial we give our children the best education we can and we need to become proactive and not reactive.
Maybe instead of a gift at the end of the school year for your child’s teacher, you should pledge to give them the gift of your time. I realize many of us work and it is difficult, but with some creative time management and effort, I’m sure we could all do a lot more. I am sure our entire community will benefit! It is crucial that our children know they are the most important thing is our life! Supporting their school is one way to do that!
Thanks for all your efforts! — A grateful parent

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