Sunday, November 29, 2009

And They Say There Isn't a Problem with Health Care in This Country

If the American health care system is so great, why is it people in Livingston County are forced to have a spaghetti dinner and bake sale so that one of their friends can afford to be be treated for lung cancer?

With all the stress involved in being treated for a deadly disease such as cancer, worrying about how to pay the bills for the treatment is one thing that people in a wealthy country like the U.S. should not have to go through.

I just know all the county's tea-baggers will show up and make a donation to help the individual involved.

Senator Whitmer to be Special Guest at Local Dems' Holiday Party

Time to break out your copy of "Get Cooking with Livingston Dems," find your favorite recipe, and fix it to bring to the Livingston County Dems' annual holiday potluck.

The potluck will be Saturday, December 5, at 4 p.m. at party headquarters, 10321 E. Grand River, Suite 600, Brighton. Bring a dish to share and a donation of cash or food for Gleaners Community Food Bank or cash for the Salvation Army's Adopt-a-Family program. We'll provide the rest.

State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing will be a special guest at the potluck. This is your chance to mingle with Whitmer who is rumored to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for attorney general in 2010.

And another person interested in the nomination -- Richard Bernstein, a member of the Wayne State University board of governors -- is scheduled to speak at the Livingston County Democratic Party's executive committee meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Democratic Nominee for Hamburg Clerk Offers Stability, Civility

A long-time Hamburg Township resident with a background in accounting and business is the Democratic nominee for the Hamburg Township clerk’s position in the February 23, 2010, special election.

Annette Koeble of Whitmore Lake was nominated by the Hamburg Township Committee of the Livingston County Democratic Party. She filed her papers with the Livingston County Clerk’s office last week.

"I have been attending Hamburg Township board of trustee meetings for more than two years and have familiarized myself with the issues facing our township. I am certain that I can bring professionalism, competency, common sense, and civility to the office. As clerk, I will be focused on serving customers – our residents – and on moving our township forward," Koeble said.

Koeble was one of the three finalists for the interim clerk position interviewed by the Hamburg Township board of trustees on Friday.

Koeble served as a member of the Hamburg Township 2009 Focus group which put together the police and recreation millage proposals approved by voters in November.

"Throughout my career, I have tried to focus on being a member of a team. I consider myself to be a good listener, someone who is able to trouble shoot problems, and most importantly, to get the job done in a timely manner. I possess excellent organizational skills and I know how to prioritize and manage multiple tasks," she said.

Koeble’s work record shows the stability she would bring to the position of clerk. She has been office administrator with Turner Electric Service Inc. of Dexter since 1985, where she has been responsible for accounting, payroll, personnel files, billing, liaison with banks and bonding companies, insurance matters, and financial analysis.

From 1976 to 1985, Koeble held positions as office manager, estimator, and billing clerk for companies in the construction field. She also taught secondary school in the Jackson area from 1972-1974.

Koeble has a bachelor of science degree from Eastern Michigan University. She has been married to her husband, Bob Koeble, for 24 years and has lived in Hamburg Township since 1982.

She has served as treasurer of the Livingston County Democratic Party since 2007.
Anyone interested in volunteering for Koeble’s campaign may contact her at

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How Low Will Livingston County Conservatives Go?

Even in tough times, you would think that people would be compassionate toward children.

You would think that, unless you read the Livingston County Press and Argus' comments by Republican Rep. Bill Rogers regarding the closing of a preschool for at-risk kids due to state funding cuts.

"Some things had to go and, unfortunately, that was one of them at this time," Rogers said. "When you're making any kind of cuts, someone somehow is going to get hurt."

In other words kids, suck it up. We can't ask anybody to pay a few cents more in taxes -- not the oil companies who get double the tax exemptions of other businesses in this state, nor the tobacco companies that peddle flavored tobacco to our teen-agers in hopes of getting them hooked on cigarettes later.

Not an ounce of compassion for four-year-old children.

Nor was there any compassion among the commenters on the story, who proceeded to attack the parents who sent their children to preschool in hopes that they would have a better start in life. Commenters called the program free baby-sitting and accused the mothers of not wanting to be bothered to raise their own kids.

That's the face of conservativism in Livingston County -- ugly and mean even toward children.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Local Media Stiffs U.S. Senator, Gushes Over Celebrity

The U.S. Senate has been called the most exclusive club in the world -- only 100 people. They wield considerably more power than the 435 members of the U.S. House. They have the power to ratify treaties with our nations that can affect the global balance of power, deployment of our military might, the balance of trade, and the future of our climate. They say yes or no to presidential choices to head cabinet agencies or represent our nation abroad. They determine who will sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, with its broad powers to interpret the law of the land. And with the filibuster, and the ability of just 40 of them to block legislation, they have more than an equal say in the passage of legislation.

So you would think that when one of the members of this powerful body stops by Livingston County, it would be news. You would think that with health care hanging in the balance, climate change and clean energy legislation on the horizon, debate rising over U.S. policy in Afghanistan, and the recent horrific shooting at a military base still fresh, that a newspaper would want to find out what the U.S. senator thinks about such matters.

But, in the case of the Livingston Press and Argus, you would be wrong. The newspaper couldn't be bothered to rearrange its schedule when Sen. Carl Levin stopped in Livingston County to salute our veterans on Saturday, Nov. 7. What they missed was Senator Levin publicly answering any and all questions on matters such as health care, in public, without reservations.

Yet when a defeated Republican vice presidential candidate, whose campaign fled the state in humiliation a year ago rather than try to compete for Michiganians' votes, who abandoned the post of governor of Alaska that she campaigned for, shows up clear across the state to sell books in order to line her own pockets -- the Livingston Press and Argus thinks that is big news.

This is not the first time that the local newspaper has snubbed Senator Levin. It did the same in October 2008. Democrat or Republican, he still represents the state.

Onw wonders who sets the agenda for reporting at the Livingston Press and Argus -- and exactly what their agenda is. It certainly is not covering the news fairly.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Ray of Sunshine

Ford Motor Co.'s third quarter profit was good news earlier this month, and now General Motors Corp. is following up with a little ray of sunshine of its own.

It plans to pay back $6.7 billion it borrowed from the federal government four years early, according to the Detroit Free Press on Monday (Nov. 16, 2009).

A year ago, things were pretty dark in the auto industry, but we're not on the brink anymore.

Was He Not Paying Attention?

We keep hearing what a great job the Livingston County Board of Commissioners does here in Livingston County. Apparently, it's a job you can do without paying too much attention.

One commissioner, David Domas, says he didn't know that a county department head was losing her job. Barbara Swain had been the county's human resources director for six years until losing her job last week.

Domas says it was never discussed at any commission meeting he attended. So what gives? Did he skip a bunch of meetings, despite being paid more than $15,000 for the job? Did the layoff really take place without the full board voting on it?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cherry Campaign Puts up Video Bio of Lt. Gov.

If you don't know much about Lt. Gov. John Cherry, you'll want to check out the new video bio that his campaign has up on youtube.

It features photos, set to music, of Cherry's life and career as a political activist, conservationist, and legislator. It's a succinct summary of a long career of activism. We hope Lt. Gov. Cherry will be visiting Livingston County soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Add Your Voice for Clean Energy Jobs!

Now is the time to speak up for more jobs for Michigan -- clean energy jobs that won't be shipped overseas and that will prevent climate change and preserve our planet for our children and grandchildren.

Repower Michigan is collecting thousands of citizen voices in support of clean energy and climate legislation in a virtual "Repower Wall" available at the Repower America website.

You can join average citizens as well as leaders in business, faith, the military, and science and the environment by uploading your own message.

The wall is part of a multi-pronged strategy that includes a television advertising campaign as well as online media and grassroots organizing. It is being organized by the Alliance for Climate Protection's Repower Michigan campaign.

Michigan residents posting messages are excited about the prospects for a clean energy economy in the state and its potential for more than 54,000 jobs. Not only will it revitalize our economy, but it will break our dependence on foreign oil and strengthen our national security.

Messages from the wall have become part of television commercials supporting a clean energy economy. New versions of the ad will feature other messages from the wall. The wall already includes messages from more than 12,000 individuals and messages from more than 40 leading corporations and non-governmental organizations. These include Fortune 500 Companies such as Nike, Gap, Inc., Avon, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Staples, eBay and Exelon.

Voices from Michigan include people such as Norris Turner, a retired autoworker from Southfield: "It is so important that we have clean energy. Now is the time to clean up the air and we have to be more concerned about our environment. Let's do it, and let's do it now."

To learn more about the effort and view the television ads, visit the campaign web site:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Livingston Dems Present Lap Robes to VA Hospital

Some three dozen patients at the Veterans Administration hospital in Ann Arbor will have a little extra warmth thanks to the hands of Livingston County Democrats.

Party members presented lap robes they have been making this month to a VA official on Saturday (Nov. 7, 2009) during a luncheon honoring local veterans. Beverly Leneski, head of chaplain and voluntary services at the VA, said the robes are distributed to VA patients along with toiletries and personal items collected by the local party.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Senator Levin Joining Local Dems in Honoring Veterans

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin will join members of the Livingston County Democratic Party in honoring area veterans at a luncheon set for Saturday, Nov. 7.

The Michigan Democrat will be at the luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event, which is open to all veterans regardless of party affiliation, will be held at Livingston County Democratic Party headquarters, 10321 E. Grand River, Suite 600 of the Fonda Office Park in Brighton.

As chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Levin has worked hard to ensure that our troops have had the resources and the support they needed to do the job. Throughout his career, Senator Levin has put the morale and welfare of our military forces and their families front and center.

Also speaking at the event will be Beverly Leneski, head of chaplain and voluntary services at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor. Party officials will present Leneski with lap robes members have been making for VA patients.

There is no charge for the event.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ford Tries to Turn Its Good News into Bad News

It's good news these days when one of the Detroit automakers turns a profit -- especially one as large as the $1 billion quarterly profit that Ford Motor Co. reported recently.

But you've got to wonder what the company was thinking as it simultaneously announced the profit and asked its workers for more concessions, especially after its CEO refused to make concessions of his own regarding his salary.

If the top brass doesn't need to take a pay cut during profitable times, why do the workers? The company never answered that, so it's no wonder Ford workers turned down the concession package.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Remember to Vote Today!

Take time to vote today in important local races around the county.

Brighton City Council and Brighton Area Schools board seats are being filled today. And who can forget the Hamburg recall election?

Polls open at 7 a.m. today and close at 8 p.m.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Stop on by the Neighborhood for Mr. Rogers' latest PAC-Man adventure.

Nuclear Waste? Not a Problem--to DTE

The recent Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce Energy Summit and Expo paid a lot of attention to being "green" -- talking about green energy credits, reducing energy consumption, etc.

But the key note speaker, David Harwood, was a glaring exception. Hardwood is DTE Energy's director of nuclear developoment. His topic -- DTE's application to build another nuclear plant.

According to Harwood, all the problems with nuclear plants have been solved. In fact, he doesn't even include a slide on the nuclear waste issue in his presentation. And he had a bit of a smirk on his face when it was brought up.

There is no problem with nuclear waste, he said, except that the politicians won't decide where to put it.

How about we put it in Harwood's backyard?