February 19, 2014 - Last week in these parts was -- well, newsflash -- it was cold and snowy. Aside from that, I attended my first State of the (Oakland) County address and my first Oakland County Economic Development & Community Affairs Quality of Life committee meeting. And, I will get to them later.
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First I was approached by Jackie Smiertka, she's a registered nurse and owner of Quality of Life Adult Day Health Care. Which is all fine and dandy . . . she's also sits on the board of a program called Faith In Action. Jackie needs some introductions for this group.
Faith In Action works with area houses of worship (off all faiths and beliefs) to match "community volunteers with seniors and the homebound who need help with everyday activities."
It's only been around locally since 2012 and since Oakland County is kinda big and has a lot of preachers, priests, rabbis and imams running around who need to be reached -- she needs help. Some knuckle head thought Jackie's job might be easier if somebody (wink, wink) could just blast out some information (wink, wink) to everybody in our community. (Wink, wink) and wouldn't you feel good, Don (wink, wink) if it was you?
According to Jackie, Faith in Action provides "transportation to doctor appointments, shopping, and worship services; runs errands such as grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions; relief to caregivers, including friendly visits and phone calls; home repairs, light housekeeping, and yard work. These services are provided by screened, trained and insured volunteers."
If there are church types reading this column today (and I know there are), please contact Jackie to see if her program matches or can help what your church does. The phone to call is 248-820-3767 or e-mail FaithInActionOakland@gmail.com, and tell 'em Don sent ya.
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So, aside from the theatrics from last week's State of the County presentation by Oakland County Executive and Independence Township resident L. Brooks Patterson, I heard and saw some interesting things.
An almost unfortunate situation
It was quite awkward during the rush to finally sit down so the program could begin. There was a mass of humanity clamoring for their seats. There -- with his back to me, standing tall and proud -- was Detroit Deputy Mayor Isaiah "Ike" McKinnon. In slow motion, I watched a small, pink hand politely touch the small of his back to move him out of the way.
(Let me stop here and say this: Ike McKinnon is about 9 feet tall, former cop and former Detroit Police Chief. He's a tough-looking dude.)
There, the small, pink hand of a north Oakland County man felt the hard and unmistakable butt of a holstered handgun. And, in that nanosecond it took to move one step from behind to one step next to Ike, the big man's head turned with a look that made my blood turn cold.
I think I meekly said something akin to, "I enjoyed your book, Ike." and quickly found a place to sit.
From ye old reporter's notebook
In L. Brook's estimation the Detroit Water and Sewer department has suffered from "decades" of mismanagement and "corruption." And, folks' water bills around here will probably go up two to three times the current rate. Lucky you. I'm on a well.
At any given time in Oakland County there are 632 homeless people and 2,000 kids "couch hopping." Never knew there were that many kids either not welcome in, or not having their own beds.
Science fiction to reality. L Brooks is pushing to make Oakland the first county in the nation to have a "Connected Cars Ecosystem." And, that means lights, vehicles and computers will all be linked for safer, faster and more efficient local traveling.
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The Quality of Life folks at the county have deduced they need to attract and retain two demographic groups: 25-35 year-olds and retired folk. They are working hard to figure out how to reach and connect with these folks. They want a young person to intern and maintain social networking sites to make this happen. If you know of a young, area person who wants a paid internship gig, contact me.
Of course, I say if they want to reach those two groups they need to contact moms, aged 35-55, because these women look out not only for their children but their parents and the parents of their husbands. And, moms are community newspapers biggest group of readers. Hmm? Who woulda thunk it?
Comments, concerns and suggestions to: Don@ShermanPublications.org
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com