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A bill is only a bill!

Posted on May 5, 2016 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (17)

The article by Brian McVicar for M-Live reported by MIRS exposes the inconsistency in State Government within the GOP dominated legislature. The State's Treasury Department wasn't consulted by Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee stated that the 72,000,000 allocated to the DPSD to cover payroll through the summer, plus transition costs of 30 million-which seems to leave a net of 40,000,000 that proffers a difference of only 5,000,000 from What AFT is asking for or 45,000,0000. The State Treasury said in a statement that I could not quantify in so many words the claims made by the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

Talk about compartmentalization! LOL

Alarming further is what was said by a House Democrat from Sterling Heights about an attempt to disband the full faith of The State of Michigan's agreement with the School Teachers who are already under paid "House Democrats also criticized a provision in the legislation that would prohibit existing union contracts at DPS from being transferred to the proposed community district. Rep. Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights, argued the move amounted to "union busting," while keeping inordinate high salaries of administrators in the district averaging 120,000.00 per year compared to a teacher who is paid under 40,000.00

Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing makes too much sense: ""If there is a charter school that has a D, E and F, why are we allowing them to continue? Singh asked. "If there's a public school that has an F, why are we allowing them to continue? This will actually tell those schools you have "x" amount of time to change and if you don't we are going to close you down.""

Another example of a compartmentalization is the difference in what the Senate and Governor wanted and what the House approved which equates to a difference of 200,000,000! My additional concern why the DEC is not an elected and why the Detroit School Board can not carry this function out after a new election. And if they can does the Charter for the School District need to be changed?

Currently, the DPSD is operating under a Green, Yellow and Red system-Green being Good, Yellow being Cautionary, and Red being terrible! As an educator I favor plus minus grading-so I like the ABCD plan but would like to see plus minus grading at the macro level and in the classroom as well. It gives educators more vetting room because trust me every kid is not a pure ABCD they are more then likely along the 4.33 scale and not the 4.0 scale.

This writer is in agreement with Brad Williams except again I think this can be performed by an added scope of the Detroit School Board. I will be asking Lamar Lemmons what he thinks on my show 96West on this Friday at 11am Live on Channel 91 Comcast.

M.ichigan I.nformation R.esearch S.ervice CAPS

Posted on May 5, 2016 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (1)


Duggan Lobbying Hard On DPS

"Arriving in a car he drove himself, Detroit Mayor Mike DUGGAN jumped head first into the flap over the Detroit Public Schools reform package as he spent the afternoon and part of the evening lobbying for changes to the House Republican package.

He met with Rep. Hank VAUPEL (R-Fowlerville), among others. Prior to his first one-on-one sit down with the Mayor, Vaupel embraced the concept of a Detroit Education Commission, which the Mayor favors but was left out of the House GOP plan.

"It has some merit," he told MIRS as he is looking for "more accountability" in the proposal.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Al [PSCHOLKA] (R-Stevensville) advised that the Mayor stick to running the city.

"I hope he continues to run the city of Detroit and leave the schools alone," Pscholka said.

Reminded that Duggan wants to save the schools, Pscholka said, "I don't think it is" going to do that.

The Mayor was also slated to huddle with Rep. David PAGEL (R-Oshtemo Twp.), the Governor's office, Senate Majority Leader Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive) and was going to dine with six Republicans in the evening."

Mayor Duggan is not a student of recent history. The citizens of the city of Detroit voted overwhelmingly to keep the DPSD out of the control of that office located at 2 Woodward Avenue. This says he has an agenda. The Senate version of this Bill can pass without the DEC provision. I would be for requiring School Board members to have Master's degrees in any subject from an regionally accredited university. This would usher in new leadership and vision and possibly higher expectations and achievement.

Both party Whips I am told by an undisclosed source can deliver the Senate version without the DEC. It has more funding from the Governor's office and more support across both aisles. Senate Majority Leader Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive) and House Appropriations Committee Chair Al [PSCHOLKA] (R-Stevensville) would have to concede that an elected Detroit School Board and its' Superintendent should be able to objectively manage which schools stay open and close based on the State statute.

As a future State Rep in District 3 I support this Senate version without the Detroit Education Commission, I believe in a salient and mindful elected School Board. The DEC "seems to usurp authority of an elected Detroit School Board and its authority to have a Superintendent manage the day to day operations.

M.ichigan I.nformation R.esearch S.ervice CAPS

Posted on May 5, 2016 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (3)


Needs of Mothers Not Being Met in Legislature, Says Group

"Issues important to mothers -- paid sick leave, affordable childcare and domestic violence prevention, for example -- are not being advanced enough in the state Legislature and that needs to change, according to the social advocacy group Mothering Justice, which took its message to the Capitol today.

About 100 moms told lawmakers today that passing a mandatory paid leave policy or gender pay equity legislation are not partisan issues, but issues that impact families every day.

They can make a difference in whether a single-parent household can keep current on their utility bills, for example.

"As mothers, we've always fought for our children, we've always fought for our communities," said Rep. Erika GEISS (D-Taylor). "We've always fought for our schools. And, sometimes, when we're not being listened to, we need to be much louder.”

Too often lawmakers' focus isn't on families, Geiss said. Pushing women back into the workplace after childbirth when the paycheck gleamed from the job hardly pays for childcare costs, was used as an example.

Kelly GARRETT, the mayor pro tem of Lathrup Village and a member of Mothering Justice, said too often parents feel forced to send their sneezing kids to school because they lose a day's work if they stay home with them.

For her, another kid's cold can turn into something much more serious for her child, who has sickle-cell anemia. A statewide sick leave or personal leave policy "is not a luxury. It's a need," she said.

Personally, Garrett said she's been blessed to have jobs that have awarded her sick time. However, the Institute for Women's Policy Research reported 56.3 percent of workers aged 18 and older in Michigan have access to paid sick time. The rest do not (See "Paid Sick Leave Petition Back With Paid Circulators," 4/22/16)."

As a future State Rep in District 3 I will advocate for more paid sick time. The majority of the workforce in Michigan has this benefit. Companies should want to extend this benefit to workers as it increases their job satisfaction and increased that efficiency and performance at the work place. As a teacher I saw to many students coming to school sick, because their parent could not miss another day for fear of jeopardizing their livelihood.

M.ichigan I.nformation R.esearch S.ervice CAPS

Posted on May 5, 2016 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (4)


"Juvenile's Life Sentence At Issue In Appeals Court Conflict Panel

In light of a previous ruling that granted some juveniles facing life without parole the right to have their sentences determined by a jury, the state Court of Appeals will hold oral arguments this month to address a conflict created in another juvenile offender's case.

The COA announced today it would convene a special panel for oral arguments to address the conflict between the cases People v. Kenya Ali Hyatt and People v. Skinner.

The Skinner case, decided by a split COA in August 2015, granted juveniles convicted of homicide facing a life sentence without parole a right to a sentencing determined by a jury (See "COA: Juveniles Facing Life Without Parole Have Right To Jury Sentence," 8/21/15).

In Hyatt, Kenya Ali HYATT was sentenced to life without parole for offenses committed at age 17. The COA ruled in January that Hyatt must be resentenced so that a jury can determine whether he should receive life in prison without parole, citing Skinner.

But, the COA also said that were it not for Skinner, "we would affirm the sentencing court's decision to sentence Hyatt to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole," and thus declared a conflict with Skinner.

The oral arguments are set for 10 a.m. May 18. The special panel includes Judge Douglas SHAPIRO presiding, and judges Jane MARKEY, Patrick METER, Jane BECKERING, Cynthia STEPHENS, Michael KELLY and Michael RIORDAN.

The Hyatt case is No. 325741 and the Skinner case is No. 317892"

As a future State Rep in District 3 I am aware of a Supreme Court Ruling that sought to overturn mandatory life sentencing for those under the age of 18. It has always seems to be odd to me why no young adults have challenge the local parentis aspect of the law that says they are grown at 18 and responsible for their actions, but they cannot buy liquor until they are 21 years of age. Either one is responsible at 18 or they are not! Since the Supreme in a way agrees that a minor at 17 should not be sentenced like an adult. I am a conservative Democrat. I believe in fiscal responsibility and being tough on crime. However, I had a friend who at the age of 18 committed felony murder. Since this time he has become a model prisoner-really, but he can never be paroled-according to the law. I would argue that anyone under the age of 21 who commits a felony murder should be sentenced to no less than 30 years and no more than 40 years behind bars and obviously the law should be rewritten that one is not an adult until they are 21. This may even help with juvenile delinquency in mandating compulsory education-not to 16 but to 20 years of age.

M.ichigan I.nformation R.esearch S.ervice CAPS

Posted on May 5, 2016 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (4)

On This Day In Michigan History

On May 4, 1846, the Michigan Legislature passed a measure banning capital punishment, making Michigan the first English-speaking government to stop executions. Since 1846, only one person has been given the death penalty in the state of Michigan -- Anthony CHEBATORIS was hanged for murder in 1938 in a federal case that occurred outside of Michigan jurisdiction.

The Governor ended up signing the bill into law May 18, 1846.

Source: Schoolcraft College"

Maybe capital punishment needs to be revisited for pre-meditated murder committed by persons over the age of 21 and over. With the recent barrage of killings over the last decade maybe such a penalty would thwart such violence in the city of Detroit and throughout the Wolverine State.

Driving Green Jobs: Stop Being Crude!

Posted on May 11, 2014 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (1)

The Detroit News Reported on Mother's Day  a story developing from Mountain View, Calif. — "Calling it the right thing to do for America’s bottom line, President Barack Obama announced new steps Friday by companies, local governments and his own administration to deploy solar technology, showcasing steps to combat climate change that don’t require consent from a disinclined Congress."

In 2009 and again in 2010 during my two former campaign for the Detroit City Council and the Michigan House of Representatives I cited funds available to Detroit and other municipalities to tap into A.R.R. stimulus monies to states wherein it was laid out that States could along with cities use monies to convert their buildings over to green components and re-constitute a new building code programme. This would drive the need for all counties and cities to possibly increase revenue sharing by being fiduciarily responsible while concomitantly driving a demand for green components due to the upgrade in collateral construction. Imagine every construction permit for builiding new structures as well as upgrades being required to use a content level of green technology from LED to Solar Waifers (BTW which are made in Michigan) along with Wind Turbine and Geo Thermo components to replace old consumer goods or capital goods.  Michigan has over 80 counties and hundreds and hundreds of cities that could drive this demand. 

 The President went on to say: "“The commitments we’re announcing today prove that there are cost-effective ways to tackle climate change and create jobs at the same time, this is what you call a win-win-win,” Obama said.

 Obama also announced executive actions aimed at increasing energy efficiency in buildings and appliances. The White House said the solar effort will power the equivalent of 130,000 homes and the administrative actions could reduce carbon pollution in an amount equal to taking 80 million cars off the road for one year.

 Tweaking opponents of his energy policies in Congress, Obama lamented that lawmakers have “not always been as visionary on these issues as we would like.” That’s why he’s seizing opportunities this year to act unilaterally to advance those goals. Unfortunately, inside of Washington, we still have some climate deniers who shout loud,” Obama said. “But they’re wasting people’s time on a settled debate.”Obama said.

  The President could also initiate by Executive Action a proposal I have listed on this website calling for more E85 refinery production by crude oil gasoline marketers like BP/Exxon/Shell etc. Out of 118,000 gas stations barely 2% offer a product mix of E85 along with the normal octanes: 87, 89, 91, and 93. By giving these fossil companies a doulbe credit for switching capacity from Crude to Renewable energy refining this could spur better hybrid energy technology that burns renewable bio fuel at a better ratio than .9:1

By going to a green standard in all federal, state, and city government buildings and then requiring all new permits above a certain dollar amount to infuse green technology would genetate billions in the economy and create tens of thousands jobs-continually while ridding the USA of its energy dependence and strengthening labor in the USA and abroad!


Voters Rank Education High Among Issues of Importance!

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (1)

Kimberly Helping reported in the Detroit News that in Washington — Lawmakers looking ahead to the November elections are putting renewed focus on education, tackling issues on Capitol Hill this week ranging from expanding charter schools to paying off student loan debt.  Labor should be glad to know that the new frontier besides organizing health care organizations that higher education has sought its guidance and counsel. "a House committee will examine how higher education and college sports might be affected by a regional National Labor Relations Board ruling allowing Northwestern University football players to unionize." We know that universities have take advantage of athletes-really, but now athletes are smarter and the Jocks have a point.


Also on the frontier in the House where House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has made expanding school choice options a priority. "Reflecting that enthusiasm, the House as early as Thursday will consider legislation that would provide $300 million annually to expand charter schools. It would consolidate two existing programs, provide state grants to expand and replicate high-quality charter schools and fund the acquisition of buildings for the schools."  He stated, “America isn’t working when our students do not have the opportunity to attend a school that best fits their needs.”


Educators have been against vouchers-what is interesting is that if a child can go to any public school and the dollars can follow them-what's the fuss if a private school gets the dough?  "Even as many Democrats adamantly oppose school vouchers, expanding high-quality charter schools is an area where the two sides have found some common ground. The charter schools bill, for example, has the support of Rep. George Miller, a California lawmaker who is the ranking Democrat on the House education committee. While it appeared to have a strong chance of House passage, its future was uncertain in the Senate." This will ultimately have to have the blessing of the AFT.

An idea whose time has come is re-financing of student loans-this is not mere consolidation of loans-which on the surface is okay, but this suggests that students be given an ultra low rate for re-fi and that means a big savings in the 100s of billions.


Helping reported that "Student loans, the subject of some contentious debate in 2013, are coming up again in both the House and Senate." My thoughts are what's the big debate. Brenda Lawrence said in 2012 when she ran for Congress that students basically have to man up and get it done.  What we need is a Congressman like myself who will fight for reduction in rates, loan forgiveness if you work in a Title I school district which is akin to working in a economically depressed nation-state.The only difference is we don't have goats in the streets.


With the doubling of interest rates looming, Congress last year acted to keep them at low level levels for now — but linked those rates to the financial markets. President Barack Obama had trumpeted the issue in his 2012 re-election bid, and the legislation passed with bipartisan support. I disagee with making rates adjustable to volatile markets and will fight against such GOP tactics.

What Senator Warren of Massachussetts proposes is smart and fair: "Now, moving forward a Democratic agenda focused on college costs leading to the November election, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Tuesday filed a bill co-sponsored by more than 20 fellow Democratic senators that would open the door for potentially millions of federal loan recipients to refinance that debt at the same rate as current recipients. Undergraduates, for example, qualify for loans at a 3.86 percentage rate.  Warren called the $1.2 trillion in student loan debt in America a “crisis that threatens our economy.” Her plan would fund the effort with a tax increase on wealthy Americans, but could potentially cost billions."  

Why oppose this if you are rich. You are re-investing in the USA's future and global competitiveness?  Even if you disagree with her rationale “I think bringing down the interest rates on existing student loans would be a huge benefit for young people who are trying to build some economic security and for this economy,” then, consider having less debt makes future earners more likely to make home purchases, car purchase and consume other capital goods! Miller said he’s getting less optimistic the law and another one up for renewal focused on higher education will pass this year.“This nation has a lot of work to do on its education system but there’s some belief by a lot of people that the federal government doesn’t make any difference and we don’t need to do this, but the fact of the matter is we’re falling further and further behind internationally,” Miller said.


The article went on to divulge "Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., said Republican lawmakers are open to refinancing student loan debt, but have to be mindful of the cost to taxpayers. “It’s also important we don’t drown the future generation in debt,” Messer said. In a March Associated Press-GfK poll, education was one of the few issues where Democrats had an advantage over Republicans. In the poll, 25 percent of respondents favored the Democrats approach while 18 percent preferred the Republicans. But among a public disenchanted with both parties, more — 29 percent — said they trust neither party on education. Another 26 percent said they trusted both equally. Despite the renewed focus on education, it does not appear that Congress is close to rewriting the No Child Left Behind law that’s been up for renewal since 2007. The GOP-led House passed a rewrite of the law, but no vote has been scheduled on the Senate floor on a Democratic-run Senate education panel’s version."


Going back to the Labor issue in Higher Education: "The ruling in March said athletes were employees of the university and had the same rights to bargain collectively as other workers. Northwestern University football players cast secret ballots April 25 on whether to form a union, although the results aren’t expected to be released until after the full NLRB rules on Northwestern’s appeal." My thoughts are get ready America for Unions to represent atheletes who have been take advantage of by administration and management as a sort of well this is the way we have done things in this billion dollar industry!


Now Helping observed that "Outside of Washington, lawmakers in several states are debating the future of the Common Core standards, which have been adopted in 44 states and the District of Columbia and spell out for each grade what math and English skills students should master." What's gravely disppointing as you might can ascertain is that there are not standards for Social Studies: which are at the heart of all conflict! This worries me of possible antrhopicide. The inability of humankind to harness and regulate itself with WMD. Science and math do have other applications-many useful, but the periodic table and Newtonian Mathematics are not present at Camp David or at World Tribunals. Nor were Physics in the debate in Rowanda or in Nigeria and SeneGambia or Korea or Maylasia and China.  The American College and Trustees Association did a study ten years ago about the lack of Social Studies or shared history at Americas leading Universities.  Common Core can be improved by adding a Standard for Social Studies in Middle Grades and High School.


I support Common Core with this change!  "On Monday, the group Collaborative for Student Success, which is backed by education foundations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said it would send representatives to Capitol Hill and to GOP congressional committee offices encouraging support for the standards."

The Campaign for Liberty: What's Left of the Attack!

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (1)

This interest group based out of Virginia-the home of the Confederacy that tried to break away from the Union before the North taught them a lesson is attacking Labor Union and Obama Care. However, i DO SUPPORT HR 24/S. 209 IN THE 113TH CONGRESS that seeks to bring transparency to the Federal Reserve by Roll Call Votes on Ron Paul's Audit the Fed Bill. Yes, I am for removing capital gains tax on earnings below 500,000.00 but I am willing to tax gold and silver coinage that aristocrats tried and hide money in as shelters or loop holes.


I support that Federal Government in prohibiting the sale of, use, or carrying certain types of assault weapons designed for mass destruction. I support foreign aid to a certain degree-we need to keep our interests abroad funded.


I do however, oppose adding to the national debt above inflationary amounts.


And yes I support the Constitution's 10th Amendment.


However, I will not oppose Labor Union's call for a Card Check Bill: this is needed to ensure that the rights of workers whereever they are can be respected by management. I think it is ludicrous to withdraw the USA from the United Nations! Especially since it takes a league of nation to share the vision of world peace and co-existence. I think placing airport security in the hands of Top Flight (this is a disparaging term) unarmed, lax rent a cops is insane! I fully support that TSA's mission and its men and women who protect us from harm on the ground and in the air.


As a Historian I have studied Presidential Powers and I have to side with the President in calling men and women of the Armed Forces without a Declaration of War as a quick response to threats-even while I do not believe that WMDs were real and this power was abused. I full support Obama Care's vision and mission. I do oppose taxing any e-commerce. In addition, SOPA and CISPA may be necessary to prevent ISP from deregulating to the point of creating more Ma Bells syndicates.


I believe that this sector is still yet to deliver more gains and growth in our economy that we can imagine from a supply chain perspective.


I fully support the spirit of the U.S. Constitution in protecting citizen's rights to due process and fifth amendment protection against torture even in cases of national security unless we are at Declaration of War or State of Emergency likened to what was done under Abraham Lincoln in the Merryman case. Judge Taney was wrong as he was in the Dread Scott Case. Thus, for no other reason could I imagine abrogating the sacred trust of search and seizure tenets. Domestic spying may be necessary-since there are domestic enemies of the national life thus NASA's spying program is necessary. Along these lines we have a national ID system with SS Cards but if we had to take this into the next century we may have to e-verify.


All debt is not bad and all deficits are not terrible as it takes some leverage to finance long term strategic aims. Ergo, I do not oppose all taxes as that is would be unrealistic. Still, I would support a tax cut in Estate taxes and Business Taxes below a certain amount of earning or revenues likened to what I stated in re: Capital Gains tax cuts that I support below a certain threshold.

Evaluating Teachers: A Need for Collateral Understanding

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a timely article on the necessity to remain compliant! Lack of compliance can cost the State tens of millions. However, I would have liked to have seen the Detroit Delegation speak with teachers in an open house setting. They could have been polled in re: how Title I and low Eco-Status zip codes that they teach in inhibit them from seeing the marked rise in student progress. It is unrealistic for example for Lansing to believe that Detroit will exceed the State's national average in academic growth year over year when DPSD parents in the main average household education attainment is below 12th grade. When across 8mile the average is at least 2 years beyond the Secondary Level

The Keystone XL Pipeline

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The GOP mainly and a splinter of Dems and I do mean splinter of Dems bought and paid for to see this OIL sustainability prosper is bad by the barrell full! According to the website this project will bring about peace between Palestinians and Hebrews settle land disptues in Africa that led to the massacre in Rawanda and end Racism worldwide!   How, can such an elysium and nirvana be atttained?   Theoretically an over supply will drive down the prices a few pennies a barrell is all.   In essence the con is clear: Just because Crude oil is not exclusively used to produce gasoline & The United States consumes the vast majority of its refined products ....this lobby effort believes its okay to turn away from renewable energy and thus hamper our long term global competitiveness and stunt future job growth that can be "fueled" by green energy components and green energy technologies.

The USA needs to increase credits to the Big Four in gasoline led by Exxon and BP and entice them to convert more of their refinery enrichment towards e85, bio-diesel, and other life science driven alternatives.  In addition, the POTUS needs to, along with States, pass a moratorium of sorts on gas stations that do not offer at least three alternative sources aforementioned inclusive of electric recharge pods. The presence of substitutes at the pump will cause downward market pressure on all crude oil non-renewable octanes such as 87, 89, 91, and 93.  The middle class and poor are paying too much at the pump at a national average of nearly $3.50 and $4 for diesel.  E85 engine technology needs to improve its ratio of .9:1 MPG while Diesel and regular unleaded and premium octanes get 1:1 MPG making is slightly prohibitive to want to chose the alternative. This is all part of the Big Oil's design!