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7 posts from April 2011

Is Lansing's City Council still unprofessional and immature as WKAR's Rob South described?

But you also have, sort of, this general troubling immaturity about council, and, sort of, unprofessionalism. You know, as I sit and watch the city council, there are councilmembers who are on their computers, texting on their cell phones, there are some councilmembers who eat dinner at the dais, there are councilmembers who don't even look up during public comment, who ignore the public when the public is talking.


I understand that the operation of democratic government can really be messy and not much fun to watch. So, I cut the Lansing City Council some slack when I watch its meetings on Monday nights.

As a resident of the city, I'm troubled by what I see at the meetings, the lack of respect for each others and the perceived lack of respect for people during the public comment.

Click on the above link and listen to the interview with WKAR reporter Rob South about his assessment of our State Capital city's governing body. It sounds like a description of a high school student council.

Are my concerns unique to me? How does the demeanor of our council compare with other city councils? What effect is this having on the quality of life in the city?

I'm concerned. You?

Michigan voters need to take a look at themselves before next election

“I’m a proud Republican and I voted for these people,” said Ray Cornell, 74, a retired construction project manager from East Grand Rapids. “They never came out and said they were going to cut education and now they’re increasing my taxes.”


Check the above quote from the Grand Rapids Press where a Republican voter complains that Gov. Rick Snyder never came out and said during the last campaign he would cut education. It's time to stop and take a look at that comment and at the last campaign.

Think back to Michigan's campaign for governor and for the state legislature. In the primaries and in the general election, what did the candidates say about the issues and about their solutions?
Did you or any other voter ask?

And what was the answer? Usually, candidates respond with generalities that say nothing. That way they don't have to invoke unnecessary controversy where they risk offending potential voters.

In the above quote, the voter complains about Snyder not saying he would be for cutting public school education. Was he ever asked that question directly by voters and by the media. What was his response? You probably were left sucking your thumb after a typical non-response.

The level of political debate and rhetoric in this state needs to be raised. Issues need real discussion. It starts with voters holding candidates feet to the fire.

Will Michigan's gas prices top $4 per gallon this week?

Check out this list of states, including Illinois, where gas prices are topping $4 per gallon.  Will that level be topped here in Michigan this week?  Will prices hit $5 per gallon by Memorial or Fourth of July?  What effect will that have on your daily life?

MORE:  This story from the Detroit News this morning reports that AAA in Michigan says gas prices could top the magic $4 per gallon level this week.  Check the lady who filled her Honda Accord and it cost $50.  Ouch.

Is reporter Susan Demas right about Michigan's Tea Party and it's silence on Gov. Rick Snyder's tax increases?

Is the Tea Party dead in Michigan?

Why do I ask?  Because our state's new leader, Gov. Rick Snyder, is meeting with success in getting huge tax increases passed that affect a broad range of people including senior citizens and low-income folks without a whimper from the Tea Party.

Last year during the political campaign, the Tea Party types in the Great Lakes State frothed at the mouth about stopping any and all tax increases.  But not a sound about Snyder's tax increases which rival anything proposed by his predecessor, former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. 

Read this column by Susan Demas where she outlines the increases and the lack of response from Tea Party leaders in the state.

How will this lack of response translate itself at the polls next November when President Obama is on the ballot?

It did snow in Lansing (MI) last night

LATEST:  It's light out here and it's snowing hard and sticking a little. 8:27 a.m.

It did snow last night here in the heart of Michigan, but with much less than the three to five inches predicted by The Weather Channel.  Nevertheless, we are looking at the end of April.  There ought to be a law that snow and cold stop in our state after the beginning of the month.  Here's a pic taken from our front door a few minutes ago:

Video 165 0 00 04-01


The city of Lansing (MI) struggles to get a stressed municipal budget passed

As Michigan's economy continues to redefine itself, its cities are struggling to pay its bills and Lansing is no exception.  Falling property values and dramatically reduced state aid threaten basic city services like police and fire protection and road repair.

Tonight, the Lansing City Council held a hearing to gain citizen input and to build a consensus for a new spending plan.  What happened and how did it affect a city conversation on issues that will affect its future for generations to come.

In my--The Lansing Blog--I share my observations about the interaction between residents and those who represent them.  Click here for the post.

Lansing hearing typepad

Letter to my Grandson Xavier--#4

April 11, 2011

Dear Xavier,

Grandpaandgrandson It's Sunday morning and I'm waiting for Grandma Thorp to get out of the shower so I can start getting ready for church.  I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed spending some extended time with you and your parents at your home in North Carolina.

We loved it all.  Looking through the pictures from our little Olympus digital camera and my Flip video camera, I see all the great times.  You are part of a great family and they all love you very much.  Grandma and I loved getting to know your dad's parents, your Grandma and Grandpa Jones.  They are great people and we are happy that you have a chance to get to know and spend time with them.

As I write this, I know that you will be leaving for church too where your dad will be delivering a message about hope that comes through knowing Jesus Christ.  We saw him deliver the message last week at another church.  His message was clear and it was strong.

Grandma Thorp and I pray everyday that you get to know Jesus in a very personal and face-to-face way and that he become the number one relationship in your life.

She and I grew up going to church.  She grew up at Immanuel Lutheran in DesPlaines, Illinois and I grew up at Immanuel Lutheran in Bay City, Michigan. 

It was there that we learned more about Jesus and God the Father and the Holy Spirit. 

The world is pretty quirky and can get crazy.  But the answers and the hope lie in your relationship with Jesus.  As you get older, ask your Dad and Mom about Jesus and what he means to them.

You and I will get more chances to talk about this.  When you and your folks are in Bosnia and when you're probably walking, we can cruise around town talking about this and everything else.

I love you and I'm proud of you.

You are a winner.

Grandpa Thorp