January 9, 2019 
The Source for Livonia News and Opinions
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These times they are a changing. Local journalism will never be the same.

There is huge void of quality talent, who will be missed, as more journalists leave our hometown newspaper. 

Dan Dean, content strategist for  Hometown Life, parent company of our Livonia Observer announced the retirement of 11 more journalists:

"Eleven journalists with more than 300 years of combined experience are leaving the Hometown Life staff in 2019 as they accepted early retirement offers from Gannett Co. Inc., Hometown's parent company.

"That's a lot of experience and passion for journalism leaving Hometown Life, which publishes daily at  hometownlife.com and in print with five weekly and five twice-weekly papers.

"The change will be hard, for both the retiring journalists and their colleagues who remain at Hometown. New journalists will be hired to replace some of those retiring. The number and timing of those hires is unknown.

"Hometown Life plays an incredible role in the communities it serves," said Stephanie Angel, state editor for the USA TODAY NETWORK - Michigan, which includes Hometown Life. "We'll miss these incredibly talented and dedicated journalists as they move on to their new adventures. At the same time, Hometown will continue to pursue meaningful community journalism."
Dean continues, "Familiar and trusted names in local journalism will be missed. Retiring are: photographer Bill Bresler, sports editor Marty Budner, reporter Darrell Clem, reporter Sharon Dargay, content strategist Dan Dean, copy editor Bill Emerick, sports editor Brad Emons, reporter Matt Jachman, editor Brad Kadrich, reporter Tim Smith and reporter LeAnne Rogers. 

Dave Veselenak, Livonia resident who we all need to support and get to know. Hopefully not as last man standing.
"While the landscape of journalism and its delivery has been changing for years, what we do has not changed. As the newsroom leader at Hometown Life, I could not be more proud of the work of these dedicated professionals.

"From an online perspective, our work over the past 24 months has been incredible. We are delivering more stories people want to read in a more timely fashion. We are leaving with Hometown Life on an upward trajectory that I believe will continue with Consumer Experience Director Phil Allmen and reporters Ed Wright and David Veselenak anchoring what will be a new newsroom.

"Thank you to all who have contributed to our success with your advertising dollars, contributions, ideas, support and trust. Support for our future newsroom is as important as ever."

Bill Bresler, valued Livonia journalist, recorder of our hometown history, an inductee into the 1835 Livonia City Hall of Fame, summed it up like this, " Well, that's a wrap. Today was the last day in
Bill Bresler being inducted into the 1835 
Livonia City Hall of Fame 
the news biz for 11 O&E/Hometownlife staffers.  
It has been a 39 year run for me. This isn't really a surprise. I've more or less expected it for about 10 years. I'm not hanging up my cameras. We'll see what's next."

Community organizations, leaders and readers of what was once a powerful voice standing up for the delivery of local hometown news- our Livonia Observer. Carving out a niche with news focusing on local news, local stories, local features it was truly a hometown paper whose growth was led and defined by owner Phil Power who purchased the newspaper in the mid 60's. But the concept of local news was always defined by the quality of hometown journalists who got to know the local community, attending meetings, serving on boards and commissions, being an active part of the community that they were covering.

Local journalism is facing tough times. A fact. There are plenty of stories of local newspapers closing and journalists losing their jobs. Time will tell on the impact the absence of news outlets will have on our individual communities.

Yes, more people are turning to the internet for their local news. Hometown will tell us that the numbers are large for people reading the online version of the Livonia Observer. But the reading is about the headline story, a picture that catches their attention, or looking for the gallery picture of their son or daughter. Local organizations are left with seeking out new ways to promote their activities, programs. 

Time will tell if the void left by these 11 journalists will be filled. It will not be the same. For sure. I will miss you and what you stood for.
Two generations. One business serving Livonia for 79 years. Now the second generation says it is time to retire and move on. Congratulations to Carol Marston-Foucher of Marston Optometry, Plymouth Road. New owner moving on toward year 80, 90 or more. Right here in Livonia.

In 1940 Dr. George M. Marston became Livonia's first optometrist. His daughter  Dr. Carol Marston-Foucher continued to provide experience following in her father's footsteps. After 79 years providing eye care for thousands of Livonia residents The Marston name conotinued by Carol Marston is moving on--retiring, which will end nearly 8 decades of this Livonia family business.

Dr. Carol Marston-Foucher completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and received her Doctor of Optometry degree from Ferris State University in 1980, graduating with highest distinction.

"She was appointed by the Governor to the Michigan Board of Optometry and served from 1991 through 2000. 

"It has been my honor to be your eye doctor throughout my 38 year career here, in the practice my father started.  I sincerely appreciate the trust you have placed in me, and the relationships that we have grown over the years.  I have been truly blessed in my life to find work that I thoroughly enjoy, and to have some of the nicest patients on earth to work with.  As many of you have heard me say, this isn't work, it's my hobby - I do problem solving with nice people all day.
"In late January I will retire from practice, and will leave you in the very capable care of Dr. Shea Ferree Carney and her associate, Dr. Marie Humphrey.  Dr. Carney joined me in 2011 and we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship.  She is my "optometry daughter" and I couldn't have been more pleased to transfer ownership of the practice to her 5 years ago.  Similarly, Dr. Humphrey has been an excellent addition to our practice.  I am absolutely comfortable in knowing that you will be in very good hands, cared for by these two fantastic doctors.  They are both outstanding clinicians, ethical doctors, and genuinely nice people.
"What will I do, the person who said I didn't ever plan to retire?  I will be fine.  My husband has been retired for about five years now, and throughout that time I have commuted from Gaylord and Ft. Myers to come back to the office.  This time has allowed me an opportunity to navigate a transition to retirement.  Mark and I are both very fortunate to have good health, and the opportunity to pursue some adventures.  We enjoy golfing, biking and boating and look forward to remaining very active.  Our plan is to continue to be based in Ft. Myers in the winters, Gaylord in the summers, and to travel in the spring and fall.  I am thankful to have found a free eye clinic in Florida where I have been volunteering, as well as other new meaningful activities to 'feed my soul's."

Eight decades of a family business serving Livonia. Marston Optometry on Plymouth Road is still in good hands as it heads out into another decade.
Send your calendar notices to  rwilliamjoyner@gmail.com
January in Livonia
January 12, 2019 at 10 AM - 11 AM
Laurie Pohutsky Coffee Hour
Schoolcraft Road Panera Bread

January 10 @ 6:00 - 8:00

January 12 @ 6:00 - 10:00

January 14, 15, 16 @ 5:00 - 8:00
Clue the Musical Auditions
Livonia Community Theatre
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

January 14 @ 11:00 - 2:00
Burton Manor
Celebration of the life of 
Nick Strumbus

Memorial tributes can be made to
Livonia Kids and Families 
33375 Glendale Ave.

February in Livonia
February 1 - 3
Bennett Civic Center Library

February 9 @ 3:00 - 5:00

February 13 @ 6:00
Livonia PTA Founders Day
Vista-tech Center
Schoolcraft College

February 14 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Bates Hamburgers
60th Anniversary

February 23 @ 4:00
Sponsor: Livonia Town Hall
Livonia Symphony Orchestra
Louis Schmidt Auditorium - Clarenceville

February 27 @ 5:00 - 7:30
Laurel Manor Banquet &
Conference Center

February 28 @ 3:00 
Book Club sponsored by AlphaUSA
Hosted by Chuck Dardas and Bill Joyner
Livonia Senior Citizen Center

March in Livonia
March 29 - 30
Clue the Musical 
Livonia Community Theatre
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

April in Livonia
April 6 - 7
Clue the Musical 
Livonia Community Theatre
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

May in Livonia
May 19
Livonia Civic Chorus
Spring Concert

June in Livonia
June 1, 2019 @  7 AM - 10 AM
Livonia City Hall Campus
Livonia Save Our Youth Run

United States Congress 
Haley Stevens
Northwestern Wayne, including all of Livonia and southwestern Oakland counties. 

Haley's office on Capitol Hill will be in 227 Cannon House Office Building.

Michigan State Senator 
Dayna Polehanki
Livonia, Northville (City and Township), Wayne, Canton,  Plymouth (City and Township)

Michigan State Representative 
Laurie Pohutsky

office phone number: 517-373-3920 
email address: lauriepohutsky@house.mi.gov.
N-698 House Office Building

Wayne County Commissioner 
Terry Marecki
Livonia, Northville (City and Township)
Terry Godfroid Marecki 

Wayne County Commissioner 
Diane Webb
Livonia (Partial), Redford, Dearborn Heights

Commentary from Wayne County Commissioner Diane Webb: 
This is a very sad day. I am writing to inform you that the Wayne County Executive has launched an attack on Hines Park and is currently attempting to sell off and commercialize another 15-20 acres of OUR Park Land!! You may recall he tried to sell off 255 acres of HINES PARK to one of his buddies to build a high-end gated community on the Warren Valley Golf Course in Dearborn Heights 2 years ago. 

 Fortunately, I was able to work with the Friends of the Rouge, multiple environmentalist groups, all the other local and state elected officials in Dearborn Heights and a couple thousand totally awesome WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS, TAXPAYERS, AND PARK ENTHUSIASTS to convince my colleagues on the Wayne County Commission to reject his proposal and stop the sale and development........but the threats to sell it off continued.

Given all the misinformation and half-truths the County tried to feed the Mayor and City Council in Dearborn Heights, they knew the county could not be trusted so they stepped up and bought the land to preserve and protect the green-space and keep the golf course and banquet facility in tact.

 While it is a damn shame that they had to do this, given the millions of dollars we  have given the county to maintain our park land, I am thankful that they bought it and saved it from development and I am so appreciative to the residents that helped me fight them.

Wayne County has less green space than any other county in the state!!! We have to
STOP selling off the scarce park property we left. I am not trying to speak for anyone else, but as a resident of Western Wayne County my whole life, I have many fond memories of Hines Park, and I still truly appreciate and enjoy this beautiful 17 Mile ribbon of park land, and I believe wholeheartedly that many of you do too!!!

I am absolutely outraged that the County Executive continues to try and sell off our Park! As Wayne County taxpayers, we have paid the county $247M over the past 3 decades to maintain our parks, and as a voting member of the County Commission I have supported our investments in Elizabeth Park in Trenton, Chandler Park Aquatic Center in Detroit, the Crosswinds Marsh in New Boston, and our smaller parks like Lola Valley and Bell Creek in Redford Twp., because we need to protect and maintain our park land all over Wayne County for all of our families to enjoy, but rather than invest in Hines Park, Evans continues to try and sell it off, and that is not fair to the 17 Western Wayne Communities that contribute an enormous amount of tax dollars to the county parks millage every year.

Evans' Economic Development Team are now out in Plymouth Twp and Livonia trying to sell their local leaders that same kind of BS they tried to sell Dearborn Heights two years ago, hopefully, they will take pause, listen to residents, and stay out of it. Hopefully the County Commission will have the backbone to stand up to Evans and VOTE NO to selling off our Park Land!!

Now you know what is going on, and my thoughts on the matter.  Please take a moment and tell me if you want me fight them on the sale of this property. I think they should clean the mill properties up and lease them if they want to return them to productive use, but NOT SELL the historic buildings or the park land that surrounds them.....once they sell them, they are gone forever and we will have even less park land for kids and grand-kids to enjoy.

This  is important as it will effect our quality of life for a very long time.

Musings loves the feedback, opinions and comments from friends, neighbors and readers I want to meet and hope to soon.
Dave Stechholz, President Livonia Rotary Club: Thank you for graciously naming the Rotary-sponsored World Polio Day Community Spaghetti Dinner as one of the top two new projects in Livonia.  Your kind words and great pictures were very gratifying. 

Barb Lewis, retired Livonia librarian and member of the Livonia Rotary: Thanks so much for featuring the Livonia Rotary Spaghetti Dinner as the #1 project of the year in today's Musings.  Also, thanks to you for mentioning in the article so many of the people who were instrumental in making the dinner such a success.  Of course, the person at the top of that list should be FridayMusings  because without your support and endorsement I doubt that we would have attracted nearly as large an audience.

Dick McDowell, retired President Schoolcraft College and member of the Livonia Rotary Club:   Thanks for your coverage of the spaghetti dinner. It was a great community event and commemorated Rotary International's campaign against polio, a disease that affected your mom.
It was wonderful to see some many from the community turn out. We do have a wonderful city with great residents who support worthy causes.

Laurie Pohutsky, State Representative:  I just read Friday Musings. I'm so glad to hear you're released and on the mend. I know how frightening experiences like that can be, and it's so wonderful that everyone was thorough and attentive. I'm relieved to hear you're doing well. 

Brian Wolverton, Director Livonia Y: T hank you for sharing your  human experience (in Musings today) with me this morning.  This is my 1st day back at work after some time off and reading your experience was a great way to start my day.    

Again, sorry for the reason for your experience but I love that you get it - a good portion of the challenges we may have in life are at times when we are the most vulnerable and it never ceases to amaze me the gift of a caring smile, caring conversation and the gift of the human experience.

Lonna Baum Lonna Baum, author MontyIt is so good to know that you had a good experience at St. Mary's.  Always enjoy "Friday Musings" and the information you share. Rowe Publishing has finished preparing "MONTY" and  the next book is ready to give to them.  Will see how all goes.  Thanks again for all you do for our city.

Kathy Bilger, Livonia historian:  Please Save Hines Park from
 developers. Once the Wayne County Park system is compromised,
it will become easier to sell off bits and pieces. The Park is significant in every way possible: environmental, ecological, recreational, and even historical.

 Who hasn't seen deer or ground hogs there? Schools study amphibians, birds and endangered species there. Families come to walk, run or play games.

For me, as a person who studies local history, I know well the significance of the Rouge River. It guided the pioneers to their homes. It guided the runaway slaves to freedom, follow the river to the Detroit River and cross it to Windsor and safety. Along this southern border of Livonia were the farms of significant conductors of the Underground Railroad. 

The Rouge River was once a great swamp. It was tamed by farmers putting down drain tiles made in Northville by the Harmon family. The Federal government once deemed the land in Livonia along Hines park, unfit to give veterans as bounty land. Through hard work, it has become something special. Whether you drive the parkway to work in Dearborn or walk or bike or come for the light show it impacts your life.

Livonia's 5th Annual Cook off is ready for you to sample. Get those fixins and come on out.

The 5th Annual Chili Cook off is right around the corner. 

If you are a dad of an LPS student you can sign up to compete. The winning dad will receive a prize basket and the school he represents will win $500, courtesy of the Livonia Kiwanis Club. 

Complete rules and sign up instructions can be found at:


Another night to consider your health 
at St. Mary Mercy 

St. Mary Mercy Livonia will host a free educational seminar and hernia screenings at Hernia Night in Livonia. The event will be held on Tuesday, January 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the hospital's South Auditorium. Guests should enter from the South Entrance, 14555 Levan Road, Livonia.

General Surgeon Jacob Roberts, DO, will answer questions, discuss hernia-related symptoms and provide education about the latest hernia treatments, including minimally invasive surgery. Hernia screenings will be performed following the presentation. Individuals will also have an opportunity to participate in a hands-on demonstration with the da-Vinci surgical system.

Attendees will be entered to win Red Wings' tickets and refreshments will be provided.

If you are considering hernia treatment, attend this free seminar to learn how you can take control of your life and return to the activities you love quickly.

For more information or to register, call 734-655-8486.

Livonia Community Theatre 
Clue: the Musical Auditions

Barefoot Productions
Finding Joy Around the Neighborhood
PERFORMANCE DATES: March 29-30, 2019; April 6-7, 2019 are set for Clue, the Musical directed by Pat Hutchison. Equally important is that open audition set for January 14, 15, 16, anytime between 5:00 and 8:00.

Auditions and performances will be held at 27475 Five Mile, St. Paul's Presbyterian Church. Simply bring a song of your choice to sing. Additional songs and cuts from the show will be available.

Rehearsals begin late January, approximately three evenings per week 
For more information, call/text Pat at 248-252-1940.

The internationally popular game is now a fun-filled musical that brings the world's best-know suspects to life and invites the audience to help solve the mystery: who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room, and with what weapon. The audience receives forms to help them deduce the solution from clues given throughout the fun-filled evening. Three audience members choose from cards representing the potential murderers, weapons, and rooms; there are 216 possible solutions! Only one hard-nosed female detective is qualified to unravel the merry mayhem. Comic antics, witty lyrics, and a beguiling score carry the investigation from room to room. Even after the culprit confesses, a surprise twist delights the audience. 


MR. BODDY - charismatic, handsome, playful host; 30s; soaring baritone/tenor
MRS. PEACOCK - acerbic, manipulative, sexy socialite; plays 40s; mezzo with belt
PROFESSOR PLUM - astute intellectual with a wry sense of humor; plays 30s-40s; baritone
MISS SCARLET - shrewd, very attractive vixen; 20s; wide vocal range with belt
COLONEL MUSTARD - pompous, randy military man; plays 40s-50s; baritone
MRS. WHITE - fun-loving cockney maid, portrayed by a man; plays 40s-50s; wide vocal range
MR. GREEN - slick, handsome wheeler-dealer; baritone/tenor

Produced by Thomas Mattison Jr
Directed by Mike Ludke
Assistant Directed by Trent Sutherland

Auditions January 21 and 22 @ 7:00
Location: Barefoot Productions, 33735 Five Mile Rd.

Come prepared to play! Improvisation and storytelling skills will be the focus.

Show Dates: March 15 at 8 PM   March 16 at 2 PM and 8 PM   March 17 at 2 PM

Chaotic, unforgiving, unexpected: the world is changing so fast. How can we possibly expect to stay ahead of it all? In Finding Joy Around the Neighborhood, everyone will have an opportunity to have their story told. It might be cliche, monotonous, rambling, or downright ordinary, yet that's what ordinary life is sometimes and what counter-intuitively makes it so thrilling! 

Why exclude the visceral parts of life from our stories? Life isn't always cupcakes and 
rainbows, and this show will explore themes originated by the audience and delve into the imaginary world of improv to produce new insight and connection to bring our humanity closer together. Come ready to explore the unexpected, discover the ordinary beauty around us in every moment, if we would simply be willing to experience it.

They are seeking a primary host for the show who will serve as a Mr. Rogers-esque persona and 6-8 improvisers interested in performing long form improvisation.

Let's think about managing that weight in the new year.
FridayMusings noted with interest that St. Mary Mercy Livonia is hosting a weight management program on January 23. Priorities are in order: Thanksgiving turkey and pecan pie, Christmas ham and cookies. And cookies. And cookies. You get the picture.

On Wednesday, January 23 from 6 to 7 p.m., St. Mary Mercy Livonia will host a weight management program titled "Weigh Your Options." Registered diet itians will provide attendees with information to help individuals begin a weight loss program. 

Attendees will learn about successful weight management programs, where to find reliable resources and healthy activities in the community, and what is needed to create and sustain a healthy lifestyle. 

Participants will learn how to read food labels, write SMART goals and how to determine their healthiest weight. The class will take place in St. Mary Mercy's Classroom 1, located at 36475 Five Mile Road in Livonia, accessed from the hospital's South Entrance.

There is a $5 fee for this class and registration is required by January 21. Participants can register online at stmarymercy.org by clicking on Classes and Events.

Sunday afternoon history. 
Stories to pique your curiosity.
Right here in Livonia.