January 11, 2019 
The Source for Livonia News and Opinions
Musings masthead website
   Locally sourced 
  Locally created
        Locally opinionated         Locally enjoyed

 Musings Commentary:
Just say no. Stop the development of Hines Park. 
Livonia officials should take a strong stand to oppose the development of Hines Park

We may take it for granted. Driving along the 17 mile parkway. Northville to Dearborn. 

Stop and think for a minute. We are traveling the pathway that was created 100 years ago. A parkway that has given tens of thousands of families through the depression, a war, happiness. Giants with a vision, Henry Ford, Edward Hines looking past their time on earth to leave a legacy for generations to come.

Now there are those who want to sell off, not just buildings, but rather property. Not lease for historic renovation and public use but rather sell with a plan for housing. Housing? Really.

The Wayne County Department of Economic Development has put the historic mills in Hines Park, including the property at Newburgh and Hines Drive up for sale. However, not only are the mills up for sale, but much of the parkland around them.

Livonia resident Bill Craig sums it up, "our biggest concern is the 11 acres up for sale
Commissioner Diane Webb
 behind Wilcox Mill for housing. We did not pass park millages so that the parks would be sold off to private developers for housing. This negatively impacts our flood-way, reduces the ability to bring in future grants and destroys thecontinuity of the parkway."

Nancy Darga, former chief of design for Wayne County Parks, explains that adaptive reuse of these facilities is possible under a join lease agreement not requiring the sale of parkland.

"There is no economic benefit to selling the Mills. The County should leverage grants, foundation monies and private donations. You can not do that if the lands are in private ownership. The supporters of the Wayne County Park Millage supported the millage to save the parks, not sell them."

When over 300 residents turned out for a Save Hines Park meeting at the Livonia Public Library it was real clear that the plan of County Executive Warren Evan had hit a nerve.

On hand were County Commissioners Diane Webb, Terry Marecki, Melissa Daub and Glenn Anderson. They will have a vote to stop this plan of the County Executive. Only need 8 votes to turn it down. 10 if the Executive vetoes the actions of the county board.
Glenn Anderson

Glenn Anderson writes, "Great to see the response (large crowd at the Bennett Civic Center Library) to this  "rotten egg" laid by the Evans Administration! This illustrates how out of touch he is with the desires of Western Wayne 

Livonia resident Bill Craig, President of the Holiday Park Nature Preserve
Kathy Bilger, local historian commented that 
"The turnout was amazing, exciting and inspiring. Dearborn, Canton, Plymouth, Livonia all showed. People came armed with notebooks. Wayne County commissioners Diane Webb, Terry Marecki and Glenn S. Anderson, LPS Liz Jarvis, Northville city and township elected officials, Fred Shadko, Friday Musings, channel 7 news, Observer newspaper, Henry Ford Museum and lots of people who just care. The people made it clear: save the park, keep it green."

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 recreational, and even historical. Schools study amphibians, birds and endangered species there. Families come to walk, run or play games.

Bilger provides some historic perspective, " I know well the si gnificance 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. 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. It impacts your life."

Chris Last comments that he is   "not aware of what studies have been done.. As this is a Park, should the MDNR, MDA and MEPA be contacted regarding the "oversight" of this plan? Due to the fact that this property is directly related to the Rouge River, is the surrounding soil even capable and or allowed to be built on?"

Jim Jolly, Livonia City Council is supportive of the growing movement to Save Hines Park:  I do not support Wayne County selling of the mills throughout Hines Park.  I do support a model where the mills are developed into park attractions that will add value and draw attendance to Hines Park.  It's logical that these historic mills would be utilized to reinvigorate Hines Park with availability of boat rentals, establishments that would offer food, event spaces, showcases for the history of the area and development of the park, space for artists to show there works, or even a children's hands on museum.  Let's make Hines Park a space for all ages and tastes that draws people to the park.  These are all very real and vibrant possibilities for success for the proprietors and Wayne County, but none of this will happen by selling the property, in selling the property there is too much community control lost.
Robert Donovic

Robert Donovic who is expected to announce his candidacy for Livonia City Council in the coming weeks wades in with his support to SaveHines Park. "I do not support any of our parks being sold and turned into new homes or businesses that do not support our recreational programs. It is important that we as a community and city leaders stand up for Hines Drive and all of our green space, places where members of our community have enjoyed and built fond memories for decades. We as a community must stick up for our parks, it's what makes us "Families Still First." 

Laurie Pohutsky
State Representative Laurie Pohutsky states her position by saying  that she "also value our green spaces and believe that our county officials need to listen to residents who are clear that they do not want this land sold to developers. I find that the issue is further complicated by the area being a flood plain and being what I would assume is an undesirable place to develop."

Mayor Dennis Wright was asked for a statement on the Wilcox property and through his assistant responded that "Generally, I believe in protecting our parkland. However, I am waiting to get all the information on the proposal from the County before taking a position."
The Livonia City Council will be discussing the issue at their January 23rd meeting at the Livonia City Hall. County Executive Warren Evans is expected to attend. FridayMusings is calling on our city leaders to stand in support of the Save Hines Park movement and oppose the changes the Evans administration in their attempt to sell off park-lands.

To support the sale of parkland in Hines Drive at the gateway from the south into Livonia raises the question, "will next be the parkland in other parts of Livonia." As a community we must say no to this proposal by Executive Warren Evans.

Peggy Tuttle receives Richard P. Newton Employee of the Year
Peggy Tuttle, billing manager, at Cole Newton & Duran CPAs has received the firm's Richard P. Newton Employee of the Year award. This annual honor is given to the employee who exemplifies outstanding service and dedication.

"Being voted employee of the year by your colleagues is a great honor and Peggy is a well-deserved recipient," said Art. "This award is in its 15th year of existence and Peggy joins an elite group of former winners. As CND's billing manager, Peggy plays a crucial role in the firm. Her dedication and passion to working with staff combined with her client relation expertise is what makes Peggy the perfect choice for this year's award. She will forever be enshrined in CND's rich history."

Peggy joined Cole, Newton & Duran CPAs in 2016 and is responsible for managing the firm's billing department. She has over 18 years of experience working as an administrator assistant in public accounting. Prior to joining the firm, Peggy worked as an assistant to Michael G. Thomas CPA. Before working in public accounting, she worked as a supervisor at Pepperidge Farm specializing in communications, team building, problem solving, and quality control.

Cole, Newton & Duran CPAs (CND) has been providing quality, personalized financial guidance to local individuals and businesses for more than 50 years. Our expertise ranges from basic tax management and accounting services to more in-depth services such as audits, financial statements, and financial planning. CND is one of the leading firms in and throughout the area. By combining our expertise, experience, and the team mentality of our staff, we assure that every client receives the close analysis and attention they deserve.

Send your calendar notices to  rwilliamjoyner@gmail.com
January in Livonia
Livonia Fine Arts Gallery
Bennett Civic Center Library
Featuring Samantha Lewis on exhibit

January 12, 2019 at 10 AM - 11 AM
Laurie Pohutsky Coffee Hour
Schoolcraft Road Panera Bread

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 15, 16, 17

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

Musings loves the feedback, opinions and comments from friends, neighbors and readers I hope to meet soon.
Conrad Schwartz Conrad Schwartz, former Livonia City Councilman: it doesn't matter whether you read The Observer in print or on the computer, when you subtract that amount and that quality of talent from the newsroom, the paper will suffer. I don't believe the "spin" the executives are telling us that the tradition will continue. 

Robert Hardies, Livonia Rotarian and Marston Fellow: Were you aware that George Marston was a valued member of the Livonia Luncheon Rotary Club AND that the club created a George Marston Fellow fund as part of the Livonia Rotary Foundation? I have been a Marston Fellow with the Club since 2013 AND is it an exclusive group inside the Club because to become a fellow you must donate $1,000 to the Foundation in his name. I would say there are only a dozen or so members (current and past) that are Marston Fellows. It would be easy to check though. Next time you are in the office look at the wonderful plaque that is in my office above the couch. I've always thought it was very impressive plaque.

Becca Rowan, posting on facebook: I'm saddened by the loss of these veteran local journalists. Hometown reporting is a important calling, one perhaps overlooked in a time when the atmosphere of national news is so bombastic. 

Thank goodness for you, Bill, and your commitment and coverage of our local news and views!  Happy New Year, and stay well!

Scott Bahr, Livonia City Council: Just read your comments about local journalism.  My wife is from a small town of 2,500 in Kansas.  They still have a weekly newspaper with two sections, a front section and a sports section, that is filled with relevant content.  Their subscription cost is about $50/year, and they naturally get additional revenue from local advertisers, all of which supports a staff of four people.  If a town of that size can support a newspaper, why can't a city of our size support its own newspaper any longer?  

I know the Observer is now operated by a national conglomerate.  Perhaps we just need a local entrepreneur to make a go in the newspaper business.  I would like to think it could still work if contented and marketed correctly.  As you noted, we already have a very capable reporter who lives in our city.

Lets get together and play some trivia with the Ian Clemens Foundation
Registration is now open for the 3rd annual foundation Trivia Night hosted by Quizzo Detroit at St. Mary's Cultural Center, 18100 Merriman Road. The cost for the evening is $35 and it includes 2 hours of trivia, a buffet dinner, dessert and non-alcoholic beverages. Prizes will be awarded to the Top 3 teams. 

Register your team of 10 or make new friends by allowing us to assign you to a table. Everyone is welcome (ages 16+). This is a BYOB event (mixers provided). Raffle item tickets and 50/50 tickets will also be available for purchase. All proceeds from this event benefit The Ian Clemens Foundation

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Michelle Clemens at (734) 915-0180 who dropped a note to FridayMusings to pass along:

"Happy New Year Everyone!

"I hope that 2019 is starting out to be a great year for all of you. I wanted to personally invite you to our upcoming Trivia Night that will be taking place on Sunday, February 24th, 2019.  It is always a fun evening with some friendly competition. Prizes are awarded to the top 3 teams and we will also be having a raffle and a 50/50 drawing. 

Last ye ar was the biggest turnout for one of our events and we are hoping to beat that number this year. 

Teams are made up of 10 people, but if you do not have a team of 10, not to worry, we will pair you up with some other amazing people and you can make new friendships. Please feel free share this event with anyone you think might be interested. The more the merrier.

Online registration can be found here:   http://ianclemensfoundation.org/index.php/upcoming-events-2/

Payments can also be made by check, payable to "The Ian Clemens Foundation" and mailed to 9950 Levan, Livonia, MI 48150. Please include the names of those you are registering. 

Sponsorships and raffle prize donations are also being accepted. If you are interested in a sponsorship, please contact me directly and I will be happy to provide you with that information. If you have something you would like to donate, please let me know and I will be happy to make arrangements to pick the items up.

Schoolcraft College rocks.  Winter, Spring, Fall.  And yes, Summer for sure.

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:


Registration for the 2019 Run 2 Save Our Youth and Family Fun Fest is open! You can register online at https://www.raceentry.com/race-reviews/run-2-save-our-youth or you can access a mail-in registration form at http://www.livoniasaveouryouth.org/events/run-2-save-our-youth-2019/  

Jim Jolly makes it a point to run in the 5K, with his children of course.
Please feel free to share via email, social media or word of mouth!

The event is sponsored by the Livonia Police Department and Livonia Save Our Youth Coalition taking place at Livonia City Hall. There is something for everyone with a 5K timed run, a 5k untimed walk, Kids' Fun Run and more!

~Bounce house, music, kid-friendly activities and sponsor tent.
~Finisher medals for the 5K run, trophies for overall winners, medals  for age group winners.
~Certified course, professional timing and more!
~You can also form a team - organize a crew of your family, friends
or co-workers! Choose your team shirt color by May 17th!
~Early packet pick-up on May 31, 2019 from noon - 8 PM at the  Livonia Save Our Youth office in the Livonia City Hall Annex.
~Registration on race day begins at 7 AM, Kids' Fun Run begins at  8 AM and the 5K run and 5K walk start at 8:30 AM.

For questions or more information contact Shari Davidek at sdavidek@livoniasaveouryouth.org or 734-338-9580.

Compass starts up the new year. Baseball on your mind.
And they are back and excited to be kicking off 2019 by bringing back the highly motivating Jeff Totten to speak at the Western Wayne Chapter of Compass!Totten is the director of SCORE ministries and has served as the Baseball Chapel Leader to the Detroit Tigers since 1991! 

Register for our upcoming February 7th event!  Be sure to register before tickets sell out! You won't want to miss Jeff speak plus have a great lunch surrounded by wonderful company. Happy New Year!

Detroit Tigers chaplain Jeff Totten will share his spiritual journey during the Compass Christian Business Alliance luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Feb. 7 at St. Mary's Cultural Center.

Raised in a "non-church upbringing," Totten was a sophomore in high school when he " came to the place of understanding of who Jesus is, what he accomplished through his crucifixion and resurrection, and my need of a savior," Totten said.

"Since the beginning of that personal relationship with him, I have had a desire to share his story and God's Word with others," he added.

Totten plans to speak about "Building a Team to Accomplish a Goal" at the Compass meeting, held monthly with the motto,  to equip, encourage and connect Christians in southeast Michigan who are called to the marketplace.

Totten has served as Baseball Chapel Leader to the Tigers since 1991.  He worked with the Detroit Rockers, the Detroit Fury, as well as other professional and amateur athletes. In 2002, Totten was selected to serve as a chaplain to the athletes in the Olympic Village at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He also speaks weekly in churches and various ministries.

Ernie Harwell, the Voice of the Tigers from 1960-2002, was once quoted as saying, " As a Baseball Chapel leader, Jeff Totten has strongly influenced the lives of many baseball professionals. His counseling and discipleship have been especially effective with the Detroit Tigers."

Totten also made an impact on players, like Todd Jones, former Tigers pitcher.
"During my 16-year major league career, I know the importance of having some stability and constants in my life," Jones said.  "Baseball chapel leaders provide spiritual encouragement and guidance for those of us desiring to follow Jesus Christ. Jeff Totten has been that guy for me.  Through chapels, Bible studies, one-on-one discipleship, and outreach opportunities, I have grown in my walk with Christ."

Totten also oversees the annual  HOME PLATE  outreach event that hosts more than 180,000 people at Comerica Park and minor league ballparks in Michigan and Ohio.
"Several thousand decisions for Christ have been made at these events," Totten said.
In early 2019, Totten made his fourth ministry trip to India to teach at a Bible institute for pastors and conducting golf outreaches and leadership training for business and community leaders.

From 2006-2015, Jeff and his wife, Karla, regionally coordinated the annual Great Lakes Coaches Time Out Conference.

Totten was born and raised in the Detroit area and he began Sharing Christ Through Outreaches, Resources and Encouragement Ministries in 2000 after 20 years of pastoral staff experience.

He has been married to Karla for 36 years and they live in Troy. Karla works in the Alterations Department at an area Nordstrom. They have three adult children.
The Compass luncheon is open to the public-the cost is $20. Tickets are available online by going tomichigancompass.org/westernwayne.