Concerned Taxpayer 12:00AM on 1/27/07
Please keep your website online with free speech. It’s unfortunate that our newspapers don’t address the issues that you cover. Why are our local papers so politically correct ? You provide a real eye-opener to the citizens of Dearborn. The real question is -- will residents do anything about the problems and illegal issues after reading about them in your column? Maureen Keane-Doran’s exit interview in the Detroit Free Press doesn’t give us much hope -- residents prefer to keep their head in the sand.
Thank you for placing “Answers Please” online for us. The resultant comments were very enlightening, as well as disheartening.
Thank you Russ! You're the greatest!
12:00AM on 1/28/07
Just wanted to say a harty congradulations to the Dearborn Unified High School Hockey Team. Tonight at U of M, led by some incredible goaltending by DHS’s sophomore goaltender, beat Divine Child to clinch the Mayor Mike Guido Memorial Cup. Dearborn had been defeated the previous 8 years by DC but took complete control tonight winning 3 to 1. Everyone behaved well and it was a very exciting game. Hats off to these kids in paying tribute to our fallen Mayor in a positive forum of good sportsmanship.
Nice to see Dearborn Kids doing something positive in the community.
I didn't write this, but I admire the person who did! Good reminders as we enter the New Year! Try to see the glass half full and not half empty! In this case, MUCH more than HALF full!
The Newsweek poll alleges that 67% of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69% of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger that I am, I starting thinking, ''What are we so unhappy about?''
Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4% of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
Perhaps you are one of the 70% of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that, in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bulletproof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.
Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.
I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31% approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?
Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a "general" discharge, an "other than honorable" discharge or, worst case scenario, a "dishonorable" discharge after a few days in the stockade or brig.
So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69% of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds, it leads, and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they were going to allow a murderer like O.J.Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did, how he would do it . Insane!
Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.
I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:
"What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man'. Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs."
I suggest we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the "greediest and most ungrateful generation". A far cry from the proud Americans of the "greatest generation" who left us an untarnished legacy
You speak often on your blog about education. Please, may I share my experience at the Henry Ford Community College ?
When I first went to HFCC the most prevalent concept in my head were numbers. Money could be saved by going here. My mindset was that I would get the same certification for the same classes to get me into a major university for less. But in the end, after dropping my classes in Fall of 2006, I realized that there was more to my college journey than a rubber stamp on a piece of paper saying “I did it.” I was here for knowledge and training but what I was receiving was far from what I bargained for.
The best example, and most straightforward, was in an ill-named class for Earth Science called “Physical Science.” I was told that the class would focus on Earth Science but fulfill a requirement for Physical science at a University. My first task after signing up was getting my supplies which, of course, started with the textbook.
I felt a bit disappointed, I must admit, to look into a College 131-level Earth Science Textbook to find it explaining basic empirical science. In fact, the entire first chapter covered nothing but what a theory is, the mystery of the hypothesis and even had a wonderful graphic displaying what parts of the earth were the crust, mantle and core.
It was insulting to me, not just because I knew this already from a collection of 7th, 8th and 9th grade classes, but also because I realized that my certification would say “I know about physical science”
in a manner that major Universities would have to recognize. My record would lie, but my mind could not. I found out very quickly that the discrepancy between the community college and University would set a false expectation for people in my future that “I did it,” when in reality, I did nothing.
Perhaps most disturbing is that in Chapter 22, out of a 24 chapter textbook, the chapter title is “The Planets: A Brief Tour.” Pardon me, but I did not sign up for college to get “brief tours” on the mysteries of the universe. I did not come to HFCC to have the planets dangled before me only to realize I was learning “Neptune is a blue, gaseous planet…”
Students who desire a college education want answers and we want them so we can ask questions. We want to ask questions so that we, in our own lives, can actually answer them. Our hunger for knowledge is so great that we are willing to pay an institution thousands of dollars simply to learn a collection of things all available on the internet and in libraries. We’re willing to spend that amount because we desire guidance in our studies – not feathery certificates of accomplishment.
If the point of a college education were simply to get a certificate to say “I did it” then why not simply give everyone a certificate? Since the community college is giving these things out to people with rudimentary knowledge of 8th grade science – why not just let people buy them if they’ve completed the 8th grade? It would save time, quite a bit of money on the college’s part, and the students at the art college could learn skills on how to work a printing press and stamp embosser.
It only took a month in class to realize that just as the textbooks were backwards, so was the instruction. It was hard to trust a Professor when they openly admitted they were teaching at a community college to avoid having to publish worth while contributions to the academic community for tenure. The one “good” professor I had that semester openly admitted she was teaching political science at HFCC out of altruism since she could easily get a better job in a University.
Aside from your institution and the ramifications there… what does that do to the students who truly seek knowledge? How does it degrade us to know that by buying an affordable solution to a University we were selling our capacity to have a decent education? Where does it leave us when we go to Universities in our Junior year to realize that all along we had put ourselves two years behind people in the same vocation? What would it do to our confidence to find out that people who in different circumstances would be far behind us – are excelling ahead of us – simply because we chose your college first?
The only answers are negative in this case. Every Junior University Student at MSU and U of M that I have spoken to, including members of my own family, repeat the tale of how community college students walk into highly specialized vocations with little or no knowledge from their prerequisites to back up their future courses. Many of them, albeit intelligent and highly motivated, are defeated from the very beginning of stepping into the University because they simply are not prepared.
So while my mind came into HFCC thinking of numbers and certification, my heart walked out feeling the ache and pain of those who stayed for that certification. I knew full well that my leaving was a moment for celebration, but the fact I should mourn those other students in my “Physical Science” class was no cause to be joyous. Deceived from the start in thinking that they were receiving what others were for a bargain of the price, they would receive something they would never have bargained for.
Thanks for reading my comments, Brian
12:00AM on 2/5/07
As of this posting, 387 school districts in the Metro Detroit Area have cancelled classes for today. Dearborn is not one of them. Is there any more reason than that to believe that the leadership of this district does not have a clue? Kids are walking to school and the windchill is -25 degrees !
I do not care about how we do it!. The Dearborn Public Schools should be closed today.
Any idiot can watch TV to see that all stations were talking about the danger of being outdoor and how frostbite can occur after 5 minutes on unprotected skin. They were also warnings that people with lung conditions should not be outdoors as the air must be warmed before it enters the lungs.
I did call and I did suggest that you go out and walk around the block a few times this morning. Accept the responsibility for this instead of putting it on on Jerry or other districts. I was watching the news at 6:30 am and many districts had already called school off and were listed. I thought it was an error that our district did not appear. I think that this is a blatent example of you not caring for our kids and especially those who walk or wait for the bus.
The TV and radio warnings were very clear for the past few days. Did you expect the gulf winds to blow this way and warm it up between the 11:00 pm news and 5 am this morning? This decision should have been made this morning at 5 am. Perhaps I shall buy you a thermometer. The wind chill was 26 below at 6:30 am.
I am appalled by your decision. I am answering each and every email as well as any other place I can get it to let the parents and public know that this was not a board decision but a decision that YOU made. Shame! I hope that no child suffers because of this!
487 days left until Dr. John Burl Artis is out of Dearborn.
The National Association of State Title I Directors (NASTID) has selected Dearborn Public School, Lowrey Elementary as a Distinguished Title I School. The official announcement came during the NASTID Conference held at the end of January. Lowrey is one of two schools in the state that was recognized and one of only 64 schools nationwide to receive the honor. Lowrey was nominated by the Michigan Department of Education after they received a recommendation from the school district.
“The success of Lowrey students is due to a variety of strategies, such as the coordination of our Title I program with other learning opportunities; sustained professional development; and a partnership with parents, families, and the community,” commented Samir Makki, Principal at Lowrey School.