I am the daughter of the recently passed Merle Smith. I live in Mississippi and was told to look the article up that CJ so graciously wrote in honor of my dad. Merle was a great humanitarian and beautiful person. CJ spoke honestly when he stated that even though Merle didn't see eye to eye on things he still appreciated your opinion. Even in his eulogy an email was read that stated to be kind to each other and try and like the republicans. He was funny and a staunch democrat. Thank you CJ from the bottom of my heart to recognize and write such a lovely memorial to my father. Jan Davis and the Smith family
December 05, 2013
If one looks under the bridge you will see that the center beam has failed and is several inches below the deck boards. This is what makes the deck bouncy and has caused the deck boards to fail. This bridge also has many other deficiencies and does not meet any known criteria for pedestrian bridges and public safety including federal ADA guidelines. As a walker, concerned citizen and registered professional engineer, I hope the city realizes their responsibility to the public and governing laws. It makes little sense to put more time and tax payer money into something that does not work and puts everyone at risk.
Cory Johnston, PE
December 04, 2013
Knucklehead Knoll / Heavenly Paws says Thanks! Thanks to all the "runners and walkers" last Sunday. Really enjoyed sharing the day with all of you! Hope you enjoyed the oranges, gummy's and water compliments of Heavenly Paws. My partner and I really appreciate how courteous and neat everyone was...I dropped more cups on the ground then anyone else trying to fill them up. We do this to support our furry friends. Please remember to respect and care for your pets. It is starting to get cold. Also...remember..."Adopt don't shop". Do not buy pets from pet shops. They are supplied by puppy mills which are very abusive to animals. Cages and breeding are all puppy mill dogs know. Never a kind word or comforting touch. Usually in the cold or heat living in wired cages their entire lives. "Breed them till they are of no use then cast them aside when no longer of any use". That's the puppy mill creed. Also NEVER advertise pets "free or on Ebay, etc." Predators, animal abusers and dog fighters are always looking for "bait" to train their dogs. Last but not least...pets are not a "convenience" to be discarded at your whim. Too many family pets are "dumped" with excuses such as "I have had bowser since he was a pup but now we have a baby and..." or " we are moving and can't take fluffy with us"... or " she is too much trouble, has accidents in the house and we just got new carpet". Hmm maybe if the pet was not left alone all day??? Anyway please consider ALL factors before making a commitment. Pets are traumatized when they lose their homes. They have so much love to give. Again enjoyed the day with all of you and if you are looking for new family member, want to give one of God's loving creatures a "fur-ever" home. Check out the Rescue sites and Shelters. Lots of love just sitting there waiting for a great home with YOU. Thanks and God bless!
November 13, 2013
The millage difference shown in the table accompanying this article could be confusing. Much of the taxes are imposed by other jurisdictions (schools, community college, zoo, art institute, park district, and county). Those are taxes that the city and township collect but over which they have no control. The more relevant comparison is the millage for local operations. Clarkston’s operating millage is 13.1979 mills. The equivalent township millage is 8.4814—a difference of 4.7165 mills. I am hopeful that the city’s operating millage can be reduced in future years because of its substantial fund balance (the accumulation of prior year surpluses). In addition to the operating millage, the city also imposes a debt millage to pay off bonds used to finance road and water improvements and special assessments for the same purpose. Those will end when the bonds are paid off, reducing the total city millage by 5.4527 mills.
October 26, 2013
Mr. Namowicz' admonishment to overlook any offence attendant to the black jockey statue stationed on a yard on Main Street, in the interests of minding one's own business, sadly ignores the fact that the promotion of racially and other respectful principles is everyone's business. The fact that a perpetrator or witness to boorish or offensive conduct is oblivious to the impact on others is no reason for other citizens to tolerate or remain silent about the matter. Unfortunately, our history is such that millions have been subjected to insensitive slights or injustices based on race or gender while oblivious clods and others stood silently by. Let your conscience be your guide, but never be bullied into silence when you have a right to your opinion. Gliding cluelessly through life is no formula for happiness. I still hope the lawn jockey will be removed, perhaps by new homeowners...
September 25, 2013
A statue is irking Mr. Fetzer?
Many irksome things in modern America are somewhat unsettling to those of sensitive sensitivities, but the most meddlesome are those who don't mind there own business.
Just avert your eyes from all those annoyances and your quality of life can become more bouyant, feel the joy! Dump the detritus. Noli illegitimi carborundum, Mr. Fetzer, and don't join them!
September 16, 2013
I read with great interest the recent article regarding the local controversy over the appropriateness of a black lawn jockey sited in front of an historic home. As an historian who specializes in American slavery, the Underground Railroad (UGRR) and the pursuit of freedom, I can assure you that the lawn jockey statue was never used as a signal on the UGRR. The statue was first designed and manufactured after the Civil War, making its use as a tool to guide people to freedom impossible. The myth of the lawn jockey first appears in 1951, but takes on greater importance during the 1980s with Mr. Charles Blockson's unsubstantiated claims. A quick call to the Blockson Collection at Temple University reveals there is no primary source documentation for this story. The Cousens' are like many people who own these statues - they are not racist. They are, however, unaware of the historical and cultural context that makes the statue a painful reminder of the Jim Crow era. Mr. Fetzer is entitled to his complaint. These vestiges of our nation's discriminatory and racist past belong in museums and not on front lawns.
Kate Clifford Larson, Ph.D.
September 12, 2013
One might conclude from this article that I favor a tax increase to finance a higher level of police enforcement. I haven't decided on that. I suggested appointment of a committee to look at alternatives because of the several comments and complaints I have received from residents and the recurring complaints of lack of traffic and parking enforcement. In my view, the committee should look at all alternatives and report to the city council. It will then be up to the council to make a policy decision about what, if anything, to do.
September 11, 2013
It was the contract for services that was delayed, not the fee. The fees were approved prior to anyone knowing if the work could be done for the recommended fees and prior to having anyone to actually do the work for the approved fee. Based on the information provided to the City Council, it is not known how the approved fees were determined. To explain my "opinion" on the city's procedures, the city council authorized $2500 in office renovations with no known bids and no formal plan other than what the City Manager told them. The official meeting minutes do not say where the money will come from or that it was not in the budget. Then the City Council approved $3480 for a high-tech phone system with only two quotes that were for systems that were not comparable. Once again, this was not in the budget that had been approved only two months earlier. If one knows anything about the city offices, they know that everyone sits in the same area and can easily talk to each other. I believe there are only two incoming phone lines. So if the City Manager and all three part time employees are each given their own phones, each phone will end up costing $870 and only two can be used at the same time. Most of the time they they will never all be used because no one will be there to use them. That's a very expensive phone system, approved after only one meeting and without any competitive bids. Then there is the Building Department. No bids, just a comparison of fees, and no agreement from anyone to do the work but they approved the fees with NO explanation of how they were derived. This is not the way to run a business, a very poor way to run a government and a completely unacceptable way to spend taxpayer money.
September 11, 2013
I urge all readers to encourage the Clarkston Historic Commission to take all appropriate steps to ensure the immediate removal of the black lawn jockey,displayed on the front lawn at the Miller House on South Main Street--a house in the village's historic district prominently labeled with a huge historical marker sign placed for all to see. Regardless of any purported significant historical significance of the jockey ornament, the reality is that the display is an affront and embarrassment to the respectful and increasingly diverse Clarkston and Independence Township communities. In this millennium, it is had to believe that any citizen would support or even tolerate such an ignorant and insulting display, much less allow a huge sign which draws attention to the subject property and object and touts Michigan historical significance for the property.
Michael C. Fetzer
September 01, 2013