Archive for May, 2007

Councilmen on the loose in Ann Arbor

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007


Ron Suarez and Steve Kunselman, out on town, State St., with ecologically harmless vehicular transportation

         Never know whom you’ll meet on the street. Here are two AA City Council newbies, no doubt finding some way to improve the city and raise some night time h-ll at the same time.
         R & S were recently noted by AA News for protecting our cops, see Council OKs work for city center: Plan/design firm to be hired; new offer made,

         “…The council voted 7-4 to hire the Quinn Evans Architects for planning and design of the Ann Arbor Municipal Center, which includes a new district court and police facility. Hieftje and council members Ron Suarez, D-1st Ward, Bob Johnson, D-1st Ward, and Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, voted “no.”         
         Kunselman said he couldn’t vote “yes” when the city was cutting 18 police positions, including nine civilian employees.
         Hieftje said the resolution approved Monday ‘puts handcuffs on the city.’ …” (Get it? “Handcuffs”, “police”! Ha ha Hieftje!)

         Good job folks!

Save Ann Arbor School District lunch ladies

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

         If you’re into that: Michigan NOW sent me this info,
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Dear MI NOW Members especiall those in the ANN ARBOR School District.


This Wednesday, May 30th, the Ann Arbor School Board is scheduled to vote on a proposal that would outsource and fire 73 food service workers.

Ann Arbor School Board Meeting Wednesday
MAY 30th ? Arrive at 6:30 pm at the
District Library, 4th floor board room, 343 South
Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI

Most of the workers are women and many are seniors. The proposal has a disproportionate impact on these women, the lowest paid employees in the district. Some have worked for the school district for over 25 years.

Initially, supporters of the proposal argued the outside vendor would pay similar wages and benefits. At the last board meeting, it was revealed that the women in food services would suffer 30% reductions in pay and benefits. If the school board votes to privatize, the women lose their pensions.

The National Organization for Women supports economic justice for women. We
don’t believe the district should balance the budget disproportionately on the backs of the lunch ladies, the lowest paid employees in the school system. The pain should be spread across departments. This proposal cuts too deep. The lunch ladies are team players and are offering 10% concessions to give the district $180,000 in savings. The district should negotiate with the Lunch ladies, not fire them.

Also, with no cuts from the state in per pupil funding, Ann Arbor Schools are in better financial shape.

Please call and e-mail the school board. Outsourcing food services is not a good idea. Please stand with concerned parents, teachers, administrators and food workers in opposing this proposal. Calling each board member is key.

e-mail the entire board at once:

Karen D. Cross
1803 High Pointe Lane
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
734-741-4480 or 734-677-5018 or


Randy Friedman
1010 Berkshire Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Helen Gates-Bryant
1424 Astor Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Vice President
Deb Mexicotte
2660 Yost Blvd
Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Glenn Nelson
1323 S. Forest Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Secretary, Parliamentarian
Irene Patalan
5175 W. Liberty
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Todd Roberts, Superintendent

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Call/write your rep about Sudan/Darfur divestment

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

         If you like. Just offering information from and U. of Michigan STAND (from  “Students Taking Action Now: Darfur”), if you’re interested…

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Hi, please take a moment THIS WEEK to shoot off  letter to your representatives and senators.  this should take you all of 5 minutes as there is a template attached.  We want them to CO-SPONSOR the bill.

For House contact info:
For your senators:

We have a House and a Senate sponsor.

…EVERYONE please call these Senators and reference supporting Hansen Clarke’s forthcoming legislation
Majority Leader in the Senate : Michael Bishop 517 373 2417
Minority Leader in the Senate: Mark Schauer 517 2426
Democrat Floor Leader: Buzz Thomas 517 373 7918
Michigan Legislative Black Caucus Members: Irma Clark Coleman 517 373 0990, Bill Hardiman 517 373 1801, Martha Scott: 517 373 7748

EVERONE Please call these House leaders:

Majority FLoor Leader: Steve Tobocman 517 373 0823
Republican FLoor Leader Chris Ward 517 373 1784

The plan is for the bill to be introduced during the first week of June (finally). Please try to make these calls and write your letter today….as soon as you are able.

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         You may even be able to go to Lansing and meet one or more reps, if you really want… Enjoy your calls and letters on this crucial issue!

RIP Charles Nelson Reilly, 1931-2007

Monday, May 28th, 2007

         See AP via Yahoo, Actor Charles Nelson Reilly dies at 76,

         “Charles Nelson Reilly, the Tony Award winner who later became known for his ribald appearances on the “Tonight Show” and various game shows, has died. He was 76.
         Reilly died Friday in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia, his partner, Patrick Hughes, told the New York Times. …
         Reilly ruefully admitted his wild game show appearances adversely affected his acting career. “You can’t do anything else once you do game shows,” he told The Advocate, the national gay magazine, in 2001. “You have no career.” …”

         As if there were any higher calling than game shows.

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

         See AA News, here and here for some lists of local Memorial Day activities.

Wyly, the new Taubman? or, Wile E. donors to UM

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

         He may not be Wile E. Coyote per se, but UM donor Sam Wyly looks like a wily fellow indeed, cf. the Michigan Daily article ‘U’ donor under investigation for tax evasion,

         “University alum and donor Sam Wyly is the subject of a Senate investigation relating to the transfer of $190 million from three Dallas-based companies to offshore trusts, and Wyly’s use of that money for personal purchases.
         Wyly, along with his brother Charles Wyly Jr., came under scrutiny last year after Congress challenged their practice of skirting U.S. tax laws by sending funds overseas.
         Wyly donated $10 million in 1997 toward the construction of Sam Wyly Hall, which cost a total of $20 million to build. His gift is the largest ever for a University facility and is one of the two largest gifts ever made to the University’s Business School.
         The Wylys sheltered money from their U.S companies to trusts on the Isle of Man over a span of 13 years. The trusts bought items such as houses, furniture and artwork - including a $937,000 portrait of Benjamin Franklin - for the Wyly family, the Los Angeles Times reported on May 2. …
         In May 2006, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) returned $20,000 in campaign contributions from the Wylys after his political action committee Straight Talk America learned of the ongoing investigation of one of the Wylys’ companies.
         “We have a policy internally not to accept contributions from people in that situation, so checks were returned,” said Craig Goldman, then-executive director of Straight Talk America. …
         The charges against Wyly follow a similar scandal involving Alfred Taubman, another University alum and donor. After being convicted of anti-trust violations in 2001, Taubman was fined $7.5 million and sentenced to one year in a Minnesota federal prison.
         Then-University President Lee Bollinger backed Taubman throughout the trial and chose not to change the name of the University building named after him.  …”          

         So UM is less ethical than John McCain. That’s pretty bad.

Bud Bundy arrested for smoking buds

Friday, May 25th, 2007

         See MSNBC, Former ‘Married … With Children’ star arrested: David Faustino, who played Bud Bundy, charged with pot possession for the start of the sad story, though it’s gotten a little brighter, see USA Today, Bud Bundy gets a break,

         “A disorderly intoxication charge against David Faustino was dropped, but the man who played Bud Bundy on Married With Children still faces a drug charge.
         The charge was dropped Tuesday because Faustino’s arrest May 12 was sufficient punishment for the disorderly intoxication charge, Linda Pruitt, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office said. …”

         The Bundy good luck is holding, I see. Ed O’Neill must be so proud.

95% of Britain will burn in Hell

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

         See the Guardian today, Theologian damns most Britons to hell. Has the Guardian ever been wrong?

Bench warrant on Sweatfree students (UPDATED)

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

         See AA News, 5 U-M protesters no-shows in court,

         “Bench warrants were issued…for five University of Michigan students after they didn’t show up in court on charges related to a protest at the offices of U-M President Mary Sue Coleman on April 3. …
         Six other students who were in court…before 15th District Court Magistrate Michael Gatti pleaded not guilty [and] were released on personal recognizance bond and are scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing before District Judge Ann Mattson on May 22. …
         The students face up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine on each count upon conviction.
         Ann Arbor-based attorney Doug Mullkoff, who is representing the group, was at trial in Wayne County and could not be reached for comment. …a U-M freshman…said the missing students were out of town because the school year is over. …”  

         “Paging Doug Mullkoff”! –One would’ve expected a lawyer would’ve explained that folks are out of the state or even out of the country or whatever, and that should have produced an appopriate delay in the whole process. Hm.

         But when a university president–unlike her predecessor–starts up the chopping machine, we shouldn’t be surprised if people get hurt…

         UPDATE: A reliable source tells me that, fortunately, the bench warrants weren’t actually issued; maybe people realized that it’s not always easy to get back to an Ann Arbor courthouse from another state or whatever.

         We also hear that the pre-trial hearing might be June 5, not May 22/23.

         And finally, here is La Sue, uh, President Coleman, with her decision *not to endorse®* the DSP (Designated Supplier Program). That was a hard one to predict, whewwwww.

         Stay tuned, dudes.

$10 Gardasil HPV vaccine available for Washtenaw County women

Monday, May 21st, 2007

         See AA News, Uninsured women offered $10 vaccine,

         “Washtenaw County women 19 to 26 years old with no health insurance can receive the HPV vaccine Gardasil for a $10 administration fee from the Washtenaw County Public Health Department.
         The immunization is made possible through state and federal funding, said Kathy Webster, the immunization nurse coordinator. The grant provided a limited amount of the vaccine, which the department began to distribute on May 1.
         For more information, call 734-544-6840.”

         (Earlier HPV post here.)