March 11, 2019 
The Source for Livonia News and Opinions
Musings masthead website
FridayMusings endorses Healthy Livonia and thanks the  sponsors making it all possible.

32nd Annual Seedlings Bowling for Braille Books scored big Saturday. 
Great volunteers greeting bowlers 
who wanted to be the first to 
purchase raffle tickets.
Livonia reached out and touched the lives of a young boy in India, a girl in Toronto, children in Lansing, Atlanta, Livonia, Ann Arbor. Saturday was a day that show supporters of Seedlings gathering for fun while making an impact in providing up to 6,000 braille books around the world. Think of 6,000 books being provided to children that may not have the same opportunity that you and I have in finding enjoyment in reading.

 Simply put it was just a fun day. Let me say that again. Simply put it is just a fun day. Where else can you go and be met with hundreds of smiling faces? 
Dave Rexroth and Debra Bonde
Or how about Livonia service clubs like the Livonia Lions, Livonia Jaycees, Livonia Rotary AM Club, Livonia Civic Chorus all joining together to support a hometown non-profit.

Add to that Bob Modes the owner of the Blue Plate with his grandchildren, the President of Livonia Rotary Noon Club Dave Stechholz. How about Peggy and Richard Gaskill? He just off hip replacement surgery but coming out to support Seedlings.

Where you can see Sweet Dreamzzz bowling with Alan Helmkamp. The same Alan that emailed me first thing the next morning to tell me that he was over his head with a "211, then 250 in the 1st and 2nd games."

I think Helmkamp was trying to scare me off from the challenge match we have scheduled for next year. His team versus the Musings team with me having finished all my back issues will be bowling. Musings will win of course so his attempt to frighten me off just will not work. Not at all.

Where the Jimmy Johns team had a 300 game bowled. I thought the rule was when a 300 game is bowled by anyone from Jimmy Johns it meant sandwiches all
Sweet Dreamzz enjoying the day with Seedlings.
around. Still waiting.

Another email came in the morning after. This one from Debra Bonde. How cool. "I wanted to send you the good news that you won 2 ... count them, 2! ... raffle prizes! I guess it was your lucky day." Can't wait until Monday morning when I travel over to Seedlings, right next door to Looney Bakery, so guess where my second stop will be, after I pick up my not 1 but 2 raffles prizes. I am so excited. After all it is all about me. 

Where you have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for dozens of prizes. Or be talked into the 50/50 raffle by Gary DesChenes, although it does not take much convincing as people lined up to be a part of the fun day.

You can turn around and see Clerk Susan Nash, Treasurer Lynda and Doug Scheel, Council President Laura Toy, past Council President Kathleen McIntyre and past
Livonia Rotary and Livonia Lions having a good time supporting a great hometown non-profit.
Councilman Conrad Schwartz. Great representatives of our community leadership out showing support for Seedlings.

Kathleen McIntyre and 
Kathy Ventittelli 
Dave Rexroth, meteorologist, showing his support by once again being the celebrity bowler. 
All of this and so much more on Saturday at the Novi Bowl as hundreds gathered for the 32nd Annual Seedlings Bowling for Braille Books. And more including dozens of volunteers along with current President of the Seedlings Board of Directors and Schoolcraft College Trustee Gretchen Alaniz.

The goal for the day was $60,000 which equals 6,000 more books to reach the hands of those who love to read but whose vision does not give them the number of books available to the general public.

Seedlings with a reach around the globe into 75 countries, every province in Canada and all 50 states in America, relies on this major fund raiser every year to raise
funds and raise consciousness about the mission of Seedlings.

Yes it was a fun day and our community owes a big hug of gratitude to the Seedlings volunteers who worked so hard to make the day run smoothly. And smoothly it did. And a huge appreciation to Karen Smith who led the team of volunteers in providing this awesome event. And to the 200 bowlers a big thank you for coming out and having so much fun, not just for you but as representatives of a community that appreciates all that Seedlings does around the world. Around the world and right next door.

A good feeling had by all.
Livonia Lions having fun. They serve.

Financial & Portfolio Advisors with cheerleader Conrad Schwartz
The bionic Gaskills. He with a new knee and she a new hip.
Susan Nash, Kelly Gaskill, and Laura Toy

Laura Toy is the first to file for Livonia Mayor.
Laura M. Toy announced she is running for Livonia Mayor today. Toy is currently President of the Livonia City Council and would be the city's first female mayor if elected in November.

"I'm so pleased to announce our campaign for Livonia's future," said Toy who is also a Livonia small business owner of Cardwell Florist on Plymouth Rd. "I love this city and its people. Especially for our size, we have such a sense of community and we should treasure that and protect it."

"We have excellent programs for our seniors and youth, top notch public safety and city services, great events like the parade and Spree, and some of the best schools around," Toy said. "We need to continue to build on our strengths and make this a welcoming place to live and work for all people."

"Laura Toy loves this city, you can really tell that about her," said Jim Crowley who joined Toy at Livonia City Hall to sign as her witness on filing paperwork. "She has a passion for helping others just like I do. That's why I think Laura is the best choice to be our next mayor," continued Crowley who is a Livonia resident and volunteer best known for shoveling snow and mowing lawns free of charge for local seniors and disabled residents.

Among Toy's priorities, she says high on the list is keeping the city within financial reach for the many seniors and young families who call Livonia home. She also highlighted the need for smart development that "fits" with existing neighborhoods.

"We have great city services and you want to maintain that, but at the same time you can't price people out," Toy said. "Seniors are on fixed incomes, young families buying homes in the city are already stretching their budgets, you have to be fiscally responsible with people's tax dollars."

"Laura Toy is honest and genuine, you never doubt that she's representing you," said local resident Joann Seaman. Seaman and her twin sister Janet Hicks are very active Livonia seniors who are both supporting Toy for mayor. 

In regards to development in the city, Toy says that balance must be sought between the interests of landowners and developers and those of residents. She also has serious questions about a proposal to sell Wayne County park land for development.

"You need to hear the voice of the people in what you're doing," Toy said. "Owners have a right to make productive use of their land, but you don't want one sided decisions, you want win-wins that consider the input of neighbors too."

"I do have strong concerns about the proposal by Wayne County to sell park land to developers" Toy said. "There has been an outcry from residents on this. As I understand it some of this land was donated to be used as parks and there may be deed restrictions to consider. I think we need to look at this very carefully and demand transparency from the county."

Toy is a lifelong Livonia resident and graduated from Bentley High School where she was president of her class. She got her start in community service by creating the city's first recycling center with the help of former Mayor Ed McNamara. Toy went on to win election to the Schoolcraft College board, as well as serve on the city council, as city treasurer, and to represent Livonia in the state legislature.

"I have deep roots in this community," Toy said. "My father was badge number six on the Livonia Police Department. My heart is in this city and I will work hard every day to see that it continues to thrive." 

Livonia is the ninth largest city in Michigan and third largest in Wayne County. In 2017, named the city's 48154 zip code the second hottest real estate market in the country. Livonia has received numerous other accolades including Top 100 Best Cities to Raise a Family, Top 10 Happiest Cities, and one of the safest large cities in the country. 

Current Mayor Dennis Wright has formally announced he will not seek reelection due to health concerns.
Music is  a key component of  the Livonia Community Prayer Breakfast. Local musical talent has  been showcased at the breakfast program over the last 44 years. From student choirs representing Livonia schools to children's choirs organized specifically for the prayer breakfast, music has been a highlight of this longtime community program. 

This year's event will feature " The Fifth Season,'' a women's ensemble that's been in existence for  46 years. 

Comprised of some 17 women from western Wayne County who have provided inspiring spiritual music performances to area churches, conferences and religious gatherings, the ensemble is directed by Sharon Smith, a highly acclaimed pianist from Livonia. 

 Ensemble members include  Sharon Burke, Louise Fisher, Christine Hurd, Cynthia Jones, Margot Lewis, Joan Marshall, Peg McKinley, Carole Moon, Beverly Palise, Judy Papler-Welliver, Lynda Park, Karen Reimer, Ruth Senter, Teri Stonerook, Kimberly Swan, Barbara Walkowiak and Karen Wiley. 
The ensemble will perform "God Bless America" (when veterans and first responders are honored, "Wade in the Water", "Just a Closer Walk With Thee"  and "Midnight Cry."

"We are honored to be singing for Livonia's annual Community Prayer Breakfast.  Many of our members have attended this event over past years,"  said Sharon Smith. 

This year's breakfast - the 45th annual event -  is  set for 7-8:45 a.m., Thursday, May 23 at Burton  Manor.

In addition to local musical talent, this year's breakfast will honor area veterans and first responders in prayer and music. Community and religious leaders joining the program include  Livonia Chamber of Commerce President Dan West, Livonia Mayor Dennis Wright, Pastor Don Sperling of  Clarenceville United Methodist Church, Sister Nancy Jamroz of  Madonna University and Dr. Scott McKee, senior pastor  of Ward  Church.

Delivering the featured message  at this year's breakfast will be  Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, pastor emeritus of The Moody Church and award- winning author.

Dr. Lutzer  served as the senior pastor at Moody for 36 years. He holds a bachelor's in theology from Winnipeg Bible College, a master's in theology  from Dallas Theological Seminary, a master's in philosophy from Loyola University, and an honorary LL.D. from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law.
Dr. Lutzer and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Chicago area. They have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

Tickets - which include a full breakfast and program - are $20 for adults and $17 for students. 
Tickets can be purchased online  on Eventbrite ( a service fee will be added for online purchasing) or by mail with a check payable to Livonia Community Prayer Breakfast sent to: Livonia Community Prayer Breakfast, Inc.
Attention: Sally Butler, 18858 Mayfield, Livonia, MI 48152. Tickets must be purchased by April 26. 

For more information visit or call Sally Butler at 248-476-9427.

The Livonia Prayer Breakfast is a version of the National Prayer Breakfast held annually in Washington, D.C. Inaugurated in 1953 by some members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, these events are now held in many states and cities throughout our nation.

The Livonia Prayer Breakfast was initiated in 1975 by an ecumenical group of citizens and continues as a voluntary spiritual communion. Its focus has  been on bringing inspirational speakers to communicate positive, faith-filled principles that will inspire people to think globally and act locally

Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, is a state senator representing the 7th District, covering Livonia, Plymouth, Northville, Wayne and Canton. She offered the following guest commentary for Bridge, Michigan's nonpartisan, nonprofit news source. As the subject matter is appropriate for the Livonia Public Schools FridayMusings is sharing it with our readers. As always viewpoints agreeing or disagreeing are welcome:

For decades, Michigan was a beacon for educators from around the country looking to shape the next generation.

Our education system, teachers and, most importantly, our students, thrived. Then, a massive disinvestment in K-12 education began in 2010.
As a public high school English teacher for nearly two decades, I've seen firsthand how things have changed for the worse for Michigan's schools and students over the past nine years.

Districts' ability to afford employment for librarians, classroom resource professionals, literacy coaches and teachers remains difficult. Many teachers are taking second jobs to make ends meet and paying for classroom basics from their own pockets as a result of diminishing state education funding.
So, what gives? How can Republicans continue to claim Michigan has the "most school funding in history"?

It turns out one of their favorite sources, The Mackinac Center,  is looking only at raw dollars and the Consumer Price Index, which is primarily intended to explain price changes in retail goods, not educational expenses.

So, while technically the past four years have seen an increase in raw dollar funding - which is how The Mackinac Center is claiming school revenues are at an all-time high - the dire reality is this:  it isn't nearly enough to keep up with inflation's true impact on our schools' budgets. The dollars going directly to classrooms, versus other expenses, also haven't increased.

Michigan ranks dead last among states in school funding growth since the pass of Proposal A in 1994. In fact, Fiscal Year 2018-19 funding is 38 percent lower than funding would have been if we had kept pace with inflation since 1994 as measured by the state and local government price deflator.

The bottom line is that Michigan schools and students have been struggling for nearly a decade now, and our kids are the ones being shorted. Our students' ability to succeed in the classroom or find a good-paying job - in addition to Michigan's ability to attract new high-wage jobs - are serious consequences we cannot afford.
Let's get our priorities straight by putting political games aside to make sure we give all our kids a world-class education and make our state stronger.

Livonia School Trustee Karen Bradford responded on facebook, "Yes! Let's continue to educate our communities on education funding. Thank you Senator!"
Send your calendar notices to
March in Livonia
Bennett Civic Center Library all Month

March 9 - April 14
Unity of Livonia Food Drive

March 13 @ Laurel Manor Banquet Center
Livonia State of the City 
as presented to the Livonia business community
by Mayor Dennis Wright

March 23
Kirksey Recreation Center

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

March 31 @ 4:00
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

April in Livonia
April 5-7, 12-14
presented by Barefoot Productions

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

April 12 @ 6:30
Livonia Democratic Club Membership Mixer
UAW Hall on Plymouth Road 
Open to the public

April 13 @ 11:00
Brunch with Bunny at Civic Park Senior Center

April 13 @ 9:00 - 1:00
The Annual, Maybe this year, Sometime every year, Whenever I feel like it, So let's do it this year Bake Sale @ 19514 Bainbridge

April 13 @ 6:00
Rotary Club of Dearborn Heights 
Mardi Gras @ Joy Manor

April 20 @ 8:30 - 2:30
Toy and Comic Books Show @ 
Livonia Elks Hall

April 26 @ 6:30 @ Burton Manor
10th Annual Anna Bonde Murder Mystery

April 27 @ 6:00 @ Burton Manor
Livonia Jaycees 3rd Annual Murder Mystery

April 27
Alexander Blue House @ 
historic Greenmead Village

April 29
Livonia Rotary Club Reverse Raffle
Laurel Manor Banquet Center

May in Livonia

May 3
Clarenceville Education Foundation Reverse Raffle
Corsi's Restaurant

May 11 @ 4:00
Stop Drop & Bowl
Livonia Firefighters Charity Fund @ 

May 19
Spring Concert at Churchill Performing Arts Center

June in Livonia
June 1 @ 7:00 am - 10:00
Livonia City Hall Campus
Save Our Youth Run

June 8
Livonia's Annual Passport to Safety
Safety stations where children learn about safety 
in a fun, family setting.

October 3 @ 7:00
Hall of Fame 2013
Hall of Fame 2013 

United States Congress

  Local: 43155 Main Street Suite 2300B
Novi, MI  48375 

Washington: 227 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC  20515

State Senate
5400 Binsfeld
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI  48909-7536
Fax:  517-373-9228

Terry Marecki R-9th District)
7th Floor, 500 Griswold
Detroit, MI  48226

Phone: (313) 224-0946
Fax:  (313) 967-1235


Diane L. Webb (D-8th District)
7th Floor, 500 Griswold, Suite 725
Detroit, MI  48226

Phone: (313) 224-0930


Please join State Representative Laurie Pohutsky for a Spring town hall to discuss the groundwater  contamination crisis in Livonia and the next steps that  needs to be taken to protect the families of our community.

Pohutsky aims to bring residents, elected leaders and state  officials together in one place to share information and  answer questions about this important issue. The Town Hall will take place in the Livonia City Hall auditorium. 

Special guests include: Livonia Mayor Dennis Wright, Senator Dayna Polehanki, the Livonia City Attorney, and representatives from the MIchigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Questions? Please contact Laurie Pohutsky at her Lansing office at 517-373-3920 or

St. Mary Mercy Livonia to Host Free Diabetes Workshop Beginning in March

St. Mary Mercy Livonia will host Diabetes PATH (Personal Approach Toward Health) on Tuesdays beginning March 19 through April 23, from 1:30 to 4 p.m., in Classroom 11 of the hospital.  This free workshop will teach participants how to handle the challenges of diabetes, manage their symptoms and communicate more effectively with physicians and family members.

To register or to learn more about the program, please call 734-655-8955 or register online at under "Classes and Events."

Save Hines Park takes their message directly to the 
Wayne County Executive

This coming Thursday, March 14th from 6:00 - 7:00 bring a sign, join in with your friends and neighbors who want to Save Hines Park and let the Wayne County Executive Warren Evans know what you think about selling Hines Park. 

Gather in front of the Dearborn Police Station, 16099 Michigan Ave. Dearborn.

Don't have a sign? Show up anyway and let your presence support the 12,000 people who have signed petitions supporting the effort to Save Hines Park.

Let's play Trivial Pursuit and support
Blessings in a Backpack

Turn down the television and Turn Up the Radio

Is there such a thing as School Finance Reform.
Let's find out March 20th.

The Livonia PTSA Council is hosting an informative talk on Michigan School Finance Reform and all are welcome to attend. We are excited to welcome our former superintendent Dr. Randy Liepa, who is instrumental in this movement. Please become aware and take action for positive changes at the state level, regarding funding our schools.