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MC -- The Hammer

Economy's unseen side effects

MC - The Hammer

February 10, 2010 - Yeah, the economy's bad. Schools are losing funding, governments are losing funding, property values are down, blah, blah, blah. But what does that really mean?

Rising unemployment is obviously a big issue in a down-turned economy (duh), but I've come across a few trends lately that aren't so obvious and in-your-face.

The first trend is trouble with foreclosed homes. Yes, they're dark and empty and make the street look kind of crummy, but did you know they can also be a danger to you and your house?

I wrote a story on it this week (see page 3). Until the other day, I considered homeless people "squatting" in vacant buildings a problem only for urban downtowns. But, according to police, there have been people squatting in Lake Orion homes and using Sterno cans for cooking and warming up.

What if the cans tip over and the house catches on fire? What if that burning house is next door to mine? Scary thought.

The other trend I've noticed is public figures and interested community members leaving Lake Orion to seek employment elsewhere.

The community needs concerned, committed people like former village council president Rob Reetz, who moved to the Tri-city area for his job, and Jan Adams, village financial director who just submitted her letter of resignation and will head to Florida with her husband for his career, and Richard Solomon, a Parks and Recreation committee member who moved to Seattle for his job.

Come back! You did wonderful things for Lake Orion. What will we do without you?

(I think I'll write another story on this trend in the near future. If you know an involved citizen leaving Lake Orion for economic reasons, give me a call!)

All things considered, it's a sad state of affairs. Hopefully, the tough times will bring out the toughness in Orionites, with the community stepping up to the economy's challenges. On a side note, ever notice how Americans seem to always "challenge" or "fight" or "bring down" an issue? We live fighting a War on Fill-in-the-blank. But that's a whole other column for a different day.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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