2009-05-07 / News

Letters to the Editor 05/07/2009

Board member responds
Apparently, Mr. Daum does not have enough information about the matter at hand.
The fact that my son was disciplined is not at the crux of this dispute. Two other students were also participants in theft-related activities, one while wearing a school uniform, and participating in a school-related event. Each received 1/10 season suspension. My son received 1/3 season suspension. Since my tenure began in 2004, Dennis has been victim to at least six incidents of intentional harassment. Here, he came home from a horrible ordeal, where he participated in an event that weighed heavy on his heart and conscience. He made the choice to face the music before the radio was ever turned on. He made us aware, before knowing he was in trouble. For that, of him, I will always be proud. This “soap opera” has many sponsors. Over 40 calls and 16 letters of support for the continued commitment toward equitable treatment for all, no matter who they think you are (or who they think you are not). Received a note that said “Do you have enemies? Good — that means you took a stand for something important! Reminded me of you. Thanks for all you do!”— Lorrelei A. Natke, Vice President, North Branch Area Schools Board of Education

Do not turn a deaf ear
I, too, attended the TEA party along with many people from the Lapeer area. It’s amazing what each person has reported they “saw.” Personally I saw and felt the emotion of people searching for a way to address our government, which has refused to hear their voices. It is wonderful that we still have the right to peaceful assembly. The words of one of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, as read, wherein he warned of the pitfalls of a government that turns a deaf ear to the electorate. The Constitution was read and the song Independence Day was sung, with words and passion appropriate for the occasion.

I’m thankful that we can take the government to task at the grass roots level without fear of retribution. It’s a right fought for by bloodshed by our troops and ancestors. There were people there who have lost their jobs and worried about their future. With an expected two-year turnaround, there are many who cannot hold out that long. The next TEA party unfortunately will find gatherings in larger numbers, not to protest taxes, but homelessness, hunger and jobs. — Jean Finch, Metamora Township

Bridle tag fees for non-existent trails?
The Department of Natural Resources is again showing total disregard for the 80,000 trail-riding equestrians in the state by backing legislation that would impose a bridle tag fee on riders 18 years or older who use trailways.

The legislation, SB 496, introduced by state Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom (R-Muskegon) comes on the heels of a state House hearing in Lansing during which an overflow crowd of riders provided testimony for the re-opening of miles of rustic trails closed by the DNR.

SB-496 would impose a fee on riders who have been banned from a majority of trails in the Pigeon River State Forest area. We would be forced to pay a bridle fee of $25 — annual, $60 — three-year permit or $5 for daily.
Ironically, the fees would be imposed on a rider in any of the 108 state parks. But a search of the DNR Web site reveals only two parks as having horse trails.

Contact Van Woerkom at sengvanwoerkom@senate.michigan.gov or phone: 517-373-1635 or fax: 517-373-3300 Send mail to: P.O. Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909-7536 and let him know this is NOT the answer. More info can be found at www.bchmi.org on how this $8 billion industry that generates more than $1 billion in taxable revenue annually, wants to create multi-user trails throughout the state. — Gabrielle M. Hume, Columbiaville

The governor stumbles
Michigan Gov. Granholm has repeatedly expressed her belief that bankruptcy of Chrysler or General Motors would prove to be the “Death” of those former industrial giants. Granholm has successfully convinced the United States populace that prospective car buyers would shun future vehicle purchases because of the fear that Chrysler and GM brand names would drastically lose value. In addition, local servicing dealers may close and repair parts and qualified mechanics may no longer be available.

Therefore, unintentionally and lacking sensitivity as to the possible negative consequences of her remarks, she unwittingly fostered the belief that people should not purchase cars from bankrupt auto manufacturers. While American-owned car manufacturers will suffer from Granholm’s remarks, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen and Hyundai are thankful for her help. — Norman E. Bullock, Elba Twp.

No place like home
As Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) would say, “There’s no place like home” and that couldn’t be any truer here, at home, in Lapeer County.

On March 29th and April 17th & 18th, our organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lapeer County, held our annual “Bowl For Kids’ Sake” bowl-a-thon. This event is our primary fundraiser for the year. In spite of the downturn in our economy, our community members along with business owners, once again, came together and helped make this year’s event a success.With the cpommunity’s support , we were able to raise more than $18,700.

On behalf of our board of directors and staff, we extend a heart-felt thank you to all of our sponsors. Platinum Sponsors: Chad & Lesle Gardner and family, LA View, Wal-Mart, and Village Printing. Gold Sponsors: Casemer Tool & Machine, Inc., Tooltech Machine, Inc., Trison Tool & Machine, Inc., Kohl’s of Port Huron, Citizens First, and Wiggins Bookkeeping & Payroll. Lane Sponsors: Dr. Jean Driscoll (Orthodontist), Meijer of Lapeer, ZF Lemforder Corp., Lapeer Optimist Club, Tim Horton’s, Kriss Klaus — Primerica Financial Services, Security Credit Union, The Oxford Tap Pub & Grill, ABC Signs, and The Metamora Lions Club.
We also want to give recognition and a special thank you to newcomers, Mold Masters Co., for their Lane Sponsorship as well as to the employees who came out to bowl.

In addition to employee pledges, Mold Masters generously provided matching funds. Altogether Mold Masters raised over $2,800. Thank you Janice Melzer for all your help! What a great group of people.
Thank you bowlers for your participation and support. This year Lapeer County Community Mental Health raised over $2,000 in pledges. We were also happy to have bowlers from the Lapeer County Bank & Trust Co., Home Depot, Citizens First, National City, The Community Foundation, and Meijer.

We also thank our contributors, Best Western Inns & Suites, Calvelli’s, Dr. Murphy, Nolin, Sieting & Macksoud, P.C., Pat Cronin — State Farm Insurance, Penda Corporation. Also, thanks to Almont Hideaway Lanes and Gerlach’s Bowling Center for hosting our events.

Our first place pledge prize winner was Robert Kowalczych from Community Mental Health, the second place winner was Gary Toles from Mold Masters, and in third place was Michael Judd from Lapeer County Bank & Trust who donated his $100 cash prize back to our organization. Thank you Michael for your thoughtfulness.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a non-profit organization. We provide free mentoring services to children in Lapeer County who could benefit from having a special person in their life.

Thank you everyone for another successful year. We are grateful for your support.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lapeer County is a United Way supported agency. — Susanna Jackiewicz, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Thanks to Meijer from LICA
Our Lapeer Interfaith Community Association organization is very pleased to be chosen by the Meijer Corporation as benefactors for their “Simply Give” program. We consist of five local churches that operate the Lapeer Food for Families program. We serve free meals five days a week as well as distribute food boxes through our food pantries for families in need. We welcome the Meijer Corporation in helping us help our Lapeer neighbors. — Ann Pfeifle, LICA chairperson

FLC auction thanks
The Family Literacy Center team would like to extend our most sincere thanks to all those who helped make our 17th annual auction such a success. The event, which was held on April 24 at the Lapeer Country Club, helped the Center raise more than $18,000 to support local literacy programs.

Items that brought in the highest bid amounts were a Croquet Dinner for 12 hosted by Pete and Kathleen Whitman, a diamond twist ring from Lapeer Gold & Diamond, a Red Wings jersey signed by Thomas Holmstrom and a romance package at the Thomas Edison Inn that included a sailing excursion and a trip for 4 on the Lakes Pilot Boat.

One hundred and seventy people attended this event to show their support for the Family Literacy Center. Without these generous guests and the many generous donors, the Center would not be able to offer free literacy services in the Lapeer County area. This year’s event was particularly critical because the Center, for the first time ever, will be offering a summer tutoring program for children. This creates additional expenses in a time of financial cutbacks. However, the Board of the Family Literacy Center has committed to offering this much-needed service for the youth in our community. They are hopeful that this will become a permanent addition to their program offerings. This summer, programs will be offered in Lapeer and North Branch.
If you are interested in helping this local literacy project, please contact the Center at 810-664-2737 or visit their website at readlapeer.org.— Mary Shelton-Wiese, executive director, Family Literacy Center

Thanks for training help
The members of the City of Lapeer Fire & Rescue Department and the Elba Township Fire Department wish to publicly thank Mr. Russ Arnold (Arnold’s Five Star Auto Wash) for his generosity in allowing us to use the old Thick’s Glass building on Genesee Street for two weeks of specialized training. We were able to sharpen skills involving a number of different and complicated evolutions that are normally difficult for us to practice as they involve damaging or destroying walls, roofs, doors, etc. His willingness to let us use this building was greatly appreciated by all! — Terry Kluge, Lapeer Fire Chief, and Michael J. Burke. Elba Township Fire Chief

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