August 31,2020 Your Source for Livonia Happenings
Check out the information provided below on when absentee ballots will be mailed

It is time for Livonia to return the issue of an
amphitheater to the front burner agenda

Ten years ago a group of art minded residents held a series of meetings resulting ultimately with a meeting at the Visual Arts Association of Livonia office including Laura Toy. We were all to fan out and determine what sites might be appropriate for an amphitheater. We were to come together again in a week to discuss possible sites and potential funding mechanisms.

Laura Toy remembers that "we researched this all over Michigan. We need one of those for sure. We even had a petition going! Bill Joyner you will probably remember that. Perhaps now we can get something going."

That meeting never took place for reasons that are not significant for this discussion but assuredly there was a cooptation of the need for an amphitheater.
Ten years later Councilman Brandon McCullough is again putting in the public space the need for a discussion to take place regarding location and financing. FridayMusings joins with McCullough and Councilwoman Toy in saying ten years is enough. It is time to place this issue on the front burner and consider a location perhaps next to the Kirksey Recreation Center or as Musings proposes as a part of the property between the dormant YMCA and Stymelski Park.

Livonia raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to attract and build the YMCA. A shame that a for sale sign is now out side of the building long housing a gathering place for Livonia residents, dating back to 1967. The YMCA owes it to Livonia to dedicate some of the land, perhaps the parking lot to the north of the building to the city for an amphitheater. Plenty of parking across the street, and a park next to the potential site.

There are lots of possibilities. McCullough is right. Start the process. Now is the time. Livonia is ready to finish what was started 10 years ago.
A look at our race for State Representative:
An Endorsement for incumbent Laurie Pohutsky
One of the significant races being watched not only in Livonia but within the power structure of the Lansing establishment is the race for State Representative in Livonia between incumbent Laurie Pohutsky and challenger Martha Ptashnik. The Democrats need to hold onto this seat in the legislature if they have any hope of attaining the majority in the Michigan House as they need to flip 4 seats to make this happen and can ill afford to lose one. The Republicans are seeking to re-establish their solid base in western Wayne County as they lost this seat in 2018 when Pohutsky defeated Councilman Brian Meakin.
The biggest issue that will separate Pohutsky and Ptashnik is support for education. Ptashnik is running on the premise that voters will appreciate and will vote for her background as a public school math teacher at Churchill High School. The assumption is that she is a strong supporter of our historic public schools.

The difficulty with this is that most of her support in the primary came from organizations, specifically those aligned with the DeVos family, for example the Great Lakes Education Project, whose model for education includes support for school choice including for-profit charter schools and virtual for-profit charter schools.

Pohutsky is an advocate for traditional, public schools and is opposed to money being shifted to for-profit public schools.

It is easy to be drawn to a public school teacher seeking office in Lansing. And Musings continues to be impressed with Ptashnik as a person, that is until one realizes that the policies being supported will continue to drain money from our own Livonia Public Schools. Support of for-profit public charter schools is anathema to the strong foundation built in Livonia for our historic, public schools.

In one of her campaign brochures mailed by the Great Lakes Education Project she says she will "keep Livonia tax dollars in Livonia." Yet with for-profit public schools there is no keeping our tax dollars in Livonia. They follow the for-profit corporation. Not necessarily in Livonia.
It is easy to be drawn to a candidate whose literature promotes that "more education decisions should be made by local leaders, parents and teachers." Yet, have you heard of Laura Dikeman or Shauna Hill, each a President of a Charter School in Livonia. Have you ever voted for them in a charter school election? Ever attended a meeting of their Board of Directors? Our tax dollars are flowing to charter schools across the state and we have little or none at all input into the education decisions made by these leaders.

When a for-profit charter school receives your/our tax dollars it can and will be spent on schools anywhere within that for-profit realm. Livonia tax dollars leaving our hometown.

You gotta like Ptashnik. Musings has met her, at her campaign kick off last spring. A delightful person, easy to talk with. Lots of people in attendance. But this election needs to be decided on policy not personality.

Pohutsky ran two years ago on a platform that included clean water and raising the issue of PFAS which find their way into the soil and, especially in some regions, into our drinking water. We're finding them contaminating many rivers, drinking water supplies, not only in the environment, but in people.

This is another issue that Pohutsky championed in 2018, continuing to champion in the legislature, resulting in her endorsement by the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action.
Pohutsky has been accessible which is seen in her record of 7 town halls held, 22 coffee hours held, 17,590 doors knocked discussing legislative issues. All in her first year.

FridayMusings is making an endorsement early, before the absentee ballots are mailed. The issues are too great to sit back. Our mailboxes will be inundated with presidential, United States Senate and Congressional literature. Add to that County Commissioner and State Represenative. We must take a look at the candidates now, not with an onslaught of TV, radio and mailed campaign statements.

FridayMusings is endorsing for re-election as State Representative Laure Pohutsky and hope that you will join us in keeping a strong voice in Lansing for our public schools, our public education and our environment.

(Musings will always offer up space for any candidate not being endorsed to share their views with our readers.)