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Raises for school admin

I can't believe the proposed increases in salaries for these two positions? With wage growth nonexistent over the past 6 years and inflation below 1% how can you possibly justify raises of 8% and 24% respectively? I guess when you're the one who decides if you should get a raise then it's pretty easy to justify? The problem with spending other people's money is eventually you run out (Margaret Thatcher)?

T Tarantino
March 10, 2015

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A word of advice: donít go to Royal Oak!

I'm sorry Mr Rush had such an awful time in Royal Oak, where I have lived the past twenty years. I'm sorry that parking meters--which are also in Birmingham, as well as just about every suburb in our area--are so alien to him. I'm sorry he thinks that charging him $25 for a $10 parking ticket he decided he didn't deserve is somehow unfair, despite the fact the rules are clearly printed there. I'm sorry neither Mr Rush nor anyone else in family (apparently) has a smartphone, as there are several parking garages--some of which offer the first two hours' parking for free--which would have provided an alternative to a parking meter.

So, meanwhile, I went on to Yelp to find a nice, upscale restaurant in Oxford. There are lots of $ and $$-rated casual dining establishments--some of which are apparently quite good--but if I want a swell night out, I'm apparently out of luck. I guess you do need to get out and about for fine dining, which Royal Oak has in abundance.

I would also love to see one of these coin changers which must be so prevalent in his neck of the woods, as I have never seen them anywhere but Laundromats and the Detroit People Mover. They're not in Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, or Birmingham, either.

Next time you venture far from the comfort of your home, Mr Rush, try doing a little research (rather like I did, looking for a restaurant in Oxford). And if you break the law--parking or otherwise--don't assume you are somehow above it.

Adam Bernard
March 01, 2015

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A word of advice: donít go to Royal Oak!

Dear Editor: I just wanted to say that I think its in poor taste for Mr. Rush to trash Royal Oak over the fact that he couldn't figure out how to ask for change to put in his parking meter.

Dear RO Hater aka: Mr. Don Rush:

Let me get this straight. It's Royal Oaks' fault that you can't read a watch? I'm sure the restaurant would've given you change. Did you ask? Probably not from the outcome. Did you know that Birmingham also has parking meters?

I'm sure you don't want Money for writing this article? That would make you just as greedy as our city, right? Your article is surrounded by Advertisements to make money for your paper. I don't know how your "perfect" city makes money, but it doesn't run on air.

You also ended up getting a ticket because you didn't keep track of time, then it cost you more because you didn't pay it by the due date. Hmmmm... It may be time to invest in a watch and a calendar.

Sincerely- happy to live in Royal Oak

PS I don't wish to have a return phone call. I just wanted to share my opinion.

February 27, 2015

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A word of advice: donít go to Royal Oak!

To whomever oversees Sherman Publications:

Don "Don't Rush" Rush was sure in a hurry to make a complete nincompoop of himself in this article. Like most driving adults, I expect certain things when I am using my automobile. For example, I expect to occasionally come to a red light, or stop for a train. Similarly, I also expect to have to pay for parking during the week-- especially in mid-size cities located in metro-Detroit. Don Rush, however, does not.

Maybe he has lived some great life of privilege or fantasy, where the toilet paper is silken, beer flows from drinking fountains, and parking is always free. Or maybe he's just an entitled whiner.

Perhaps that's what Sherman Publications needs to attract an audience; poor writing with utterly no content. If that is the case, well, you have bigger fish to fry than just one awful writer.

When you tell your readers that you spent $400 on dinner but continue to lament over the quarters you wasted on parking, well, perhaps Don should look into fundamental money management practices. Or maybe he should stay clear of Royal Oak. He labels the city as money-grubbing and haughty, but the only one I see condescending here is Mr. Rush.

Don Rush, must have been in quite the rush to exemplify himself as a hypocritical buffoon.

Stay out of our city, Don Rush.


The People of Royal Oak

A Long Term Resident of Royal Oak
February 27, 2015

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A word of advice: donít go to Royal Oak!

Dear Editor,

I've never written to a paper before but I saw a column by Mr. Rush on Facebook about Royal Oak and I felt as though i needed to comment. I just find it weird that a guy can use space in your paper to knock another city when most of what he is complaining about was his own fault. Why is Royal Oak to blame for the amount of money he chose to spend on an Italian dinner and tickets to see Ghosthunters? Yes, there is metered parking but be chose to not feed the meter, again that's on him. Then he tops it all off by not paying his ticket on time and he has to pay more..... Because of his night of stupid decisions and because he works for a paper it lows him to just bash another city???? I don't complain about driving to Clarkston for $12 Mac N Cheese. Its my choice. If i got a ticket on the way because i was speeding to get there, how would that be Clarkston's fault? I guess I'm just ticked that in this day and age a guy can turn that garbage in and it gets printed. With all the other things that can be talked about...... I mean at least have merit to the bashing. Have him write a column about how the Emagine theater in Royal Oak is a pot infested hangout for Detroit thugs and gang members on Fridays and Saturdays, then i will agree. But his rant just made him look like a dummy.

Joe Yerke
February 27, 2015

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Rezoning would bring new business downtown

Any rezoning of a multi-family dwelling to another Italian restaurant in the downtown core seems ill-advised and contrary to public policy. The area's housing diversity and availability will be significantly diminished, all for another restaurant which may, at best, generate a few low-paying service jobs. It would be nice if all affected cashed in thru the building sale and rezoning, but renters will be squeezed as more units are eliminated, and the town moves further from its roots. Why not require investors to kick in for the costs of their development, with requirements for contributions for new mixed housing stock and infrastructure creation and maintenance costs emanating from public burdens for their largesse? Development is good, if it reflects careful planning and concern for community benefit, and goes beyond whether a mere handful of investors will get richer from an ill-conceived project.

Michael Fetzer
February 27, 2015

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A word of advice: donít go to Royal Oak!

To the Editor,

I had to respond to the very irresponsible article of your writer Don Rush.

To tell people in his own words to not "go to Royal Oak" is beyond ridiculous. What his rant boils down to is basically a childish whine, placing blame on the city for his forgetting to bring change.

Ron, we are not the only local city to charge for parking in our downtown area. Birmingham (which he specifically mentions and has much higher taxes) charges for parking. This not an uncommon thing. In fact...Ferndale, Detroit, Rochester, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Mount Pleasant, Traverse City, Grand Rapids (just to name a few) ALL charge for parking in their downtown areas.

I understand that in this day and age a night out is expensive. However, you choose to attend that show and eat at that restaurant. You may not have chosen to pay for parking, but I will share with you a little lesson I tell my 4 year old, sometime in life we don't get to choose. Some things just are, and the best you can do is be prepared and have a good attitude.

So next time, you are planning an extravagant night out; factor in the parking, coat check, valet or any other possible hidden fees. Then $2 in change for a meter won't be what ruins your $400 night.

As for the upcharge for your ticket, my only response is, next time pay it on time.

Some things beyond parking to consider about Royal Oak.

According to a survey conducted this year by Area Vibes, Royal Oak was ranked the number 1 city in Michigan to live in. Their basis was Cost of Living, Crime, Education, Employment and Housing.

Also, homes here have appreciated 15.6% in the last year, while unemployment has dropped to 4%. (6.3% is the national average)

Royal Oak also boasts the best ranked Hospital in Michigan, William Beaumont.

Sincerely the happy and Proud Royal Oak Resident,

Robin Goldberg

February 26, 2015

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Michigan taxes, roads, railways and Prop. 1

Jim Sherman Sr. is correct that cutting expenses is a viable alternative to raising taxes, and I certainly support his recommendation to vote NO on the extortion proposal in the upcoming election to raise the Michigan sales tax (already one of the highest in the nation.). But simple cost-cutting is unlikely to fix the systemic economic problems faced by Michigan's increasingly impoverished middle class. The reason is that Rick Snyder and much of the state legislature cannot be trusted to make difficult but equitable and transparent spending and budget cutting decisions to strengthen the middle class. In fact, the recent business tax credit debacle shows that Snyder's own party members have been hoodwinked by the governor as he gave away millions of more dollars in tax relief to his elite base. Retired pensioners and middle class workers were easy targets for budget cuts and tax increases, but this pool is pretty much tapped out. Indeed, Michigan is full of unemployed, under-employed and discarded workers who, as they continue to age, face a reality of no pensions and otherwise insufficient retirement income for the economic security they deserve. Of course, Republicans can argue that these legions failed to save and build their 401 accounts. And of course, if current trends continue, these workers may have no option but to work til they drop before eligibility for social security. What has been ignored is that stagnate and dwindling middle class incomes, and rising tax burdens, simply do not allow for significant middle class savings. To many, saving is difficult to impossible, and often seems futile. Moreover, if current economic policy generated sufficient economic growth as promised by the trickle-down advocates, there would be no reason to raise tax rates since current rates applied to growing wealth and incomes would yield corresponding growth in tax revenue--if all who benefitted were taxed in a progressive and fair way. Instead, though, the inevitable and ridiculous result of current tax policy is that tax rates must be incrementally raised over time until the meager growth is taxed at 100%!

There is no denying that the nation's wealth is being increasingly concentrated, at an alarming rate, among a relatively small portion of an economic and politically powerful elite. While sometimes referred to as "one percenters", this group can be as large as 15-20 percent of the population. They take advantage of a complex tax system geared by the politicians they serve which grants them special schemes, loopholes, deductions, credits and shelters to limit their taxes so that their wealth can be preserved and enhanced for themselves and their progeny. Sometimes they are called the "job providers", but rarely do the jobs they purportedly create correspond in number or pay proportional to the gains realized by the investor. In fact, it seemingly it is to their economic advantage to have access to as many workers as possible so long as this labor force is cheap.

The economic survival of the middle class, as well as the nation overall, requires immediate attention to our tax system to ensure greater equity. Those who have benefitted most must pay their progressively proportional fair share. While they label inheritance taxes as "death taxes", the reality is that every year billions of dollars are transferred untaxed to new generations, with no public benefit. Our tax system must reward entrepreneurs and investors, but not exclusively and to the detriment of the middle class who make different but also important resource contributions to the nation's economy. Unfortunately, though, middle class workers get used up and die, and there are limited opportunities for them to accumulate substantial wealth for low or no tax transfers to their children.

Our tax system must apply fair but progressively higher tax rates to incomes above the national median, and must proved for enhanced taxation of expensive luxury homes, properties and other assets which are perks and not truly investments for which tax relief was initially intended. And greater attention is needed to examine the use of purported business assets for personal uses, and to guard against abusive deductions for real estate, travel, vehicles and other goods and services disguised as business expenses but used largely for personal and family benefit.

I never fully understood the rationale for tax privacy. It just seems in the public interest that we are all upfront about where and how income is generated and what taxes we pay for the public good. But I also see why some would be embarrassed to disclose. The real question, though, is why are our political leaders so loathe to equitably tax those with the wealth and provide for greater economic opportunity and security for those in the middle class who work hard, or would if they could find a job? No one wants to soak the rich. We just want to make sure that all the fluids in the system are clear and flow in all directions. More sales, fuel and consumption taxes which disproportionately impact the middle class and working poor are not the answer. Look for the money. While we appreciate all the tax-deductible charitable contributions and named hospital wings provided by the economic elite when they choose to give and to whom, wouldn't it be better if their economic windfalls were fairly taxed and put into the pot?

Michael Fetzer
February 20, 2015

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Decision delayed on sidewalk snow removal

...retired homeowner here.... I am very concerned over the total lack of attempt to remove snow on the sidewalks in my area....The businesses do not shovel the residents do not and the city oned sidewalks remain snow covered for miles...This is leaving the actual road surface of M-59 for me to walk my groceries home...

I am thinking there is or should be a code to cover snow removal and who's chore this is like in so many cities in the area it is the home owners duty to clear the snow...

I am thinking there has to be some fine for failure to clear 4 inches of snow after 48 hours of the snow event ending.....This fee should be in the area of $65.00 to $100.00 per non compliance... These fees would cover the sub contracting of snow removal sub contractors..so there is a safe place for non driving people to safely walk their city streets... The recent big snow of early February in most cases has sat there and will till spring...

On the telivised news the topic was a daily story until the residents found their sidewalks and businesses cleared theirs as well...for some it took more than one time to clear..

With everything else I need but food being shopped for on line I remain responsible as a home owner should the delivery person slip and fall ...The postal carrier expects the sidewalk to be clear if the resident wants their mail...

I understand the wheels of progress turn slow however I hope my grand kids do not have to walk in the middle of a hwy when they need things...owning a car is out of the question...there are no cabs in Waterford and no busses...

Please pass this message along to the proper desk should this have landed on an improper desk....

I can be reached at jbmmmo@aol.com....cell 414 573 2292

William Gaukler
February 16, 2015

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Iím innocent, I tell ya

Mr. Carnacchio,

Hi my name is Scott, father of the Wolf (little Scott) from the Oxford Middle School play "Fairy Tale Courtroom".

My wife Machelle and I just wanted to drop a note and say thank you so much for the article and appreciation you've shown for our boy's performance.

We think we saw you at Thursday's night's performance, if so you may remember I was the one who yelled out "not my baby" after his guilty conviction. (thought it would add something to the performance). The Bailiff looked like she didn't know what to do for a moment and I hear the kids are still talking about it.

Oh well, just wanted again to say thanks. These pictures have been posted all over Facebook and laminated in his room. Great memories for years to come.

Much joy and happiness with your journalism. You've definitely brought it to us.

Scott Spivey
February 07, 2015

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