Rev. Pinkney Arrested AGAIN, supporters: Lynn Stewart, Voice Of Detroit, EXPOSED,

What's really happening to the people of Benton Harbor:
The thrust [of the Berrien county courthouse] is to physically remove and destroy families through the use
of the criminal justice system. Every person they can put in jail; every person whose voting rights they can
revoke with a felony conviction; every person they can cause to lose their job by putting them on probation;
every person they can cause to lose the ability to pay for basic necessities through imposing ruinous court
costs and probation is all part of the process. In the 1960s, it was called Negro removal. In Bosnia, it was
called ethnic cleansing. It could be called genocide, the removal of the minority population for the purpose
of redevelopment of the land. That’s what’s happening in Benton Harbor and the foremost leader
of the resistance is Rev. Edward Pinkney. --Civil rights attorney, Hugh "Buck" Davis

Friday, October 31, 2008

EXCELLENT Interview

Interview (Excerpt) with Rosa Clemente, Green Party VP Candidate

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/19274

Part of your platform focuses on the prison-industrial complex. Can you explain what that means - many people don't understand that term - and describe its economic and social impact? How you propose changing the current system?

It's based off President Eisenhower's use of the term "military industrial complex." It is the idea of corporations and the state - particularly corporations - controlling how prisons are run and operated. It also includes any aspect of policing. The phrase was coined in the early 1990s when organizers like myself began seeing the connection between private corporations owning and operating prisons and the goods and services produced by prison labor in these prisons. Then Bill Clinton passed the Juvenile Justice Crime Bill, which made young people eligible to be sentenced as adults, expanded mandatory minimum drug laws, allowed 16 year-olds to be on death row, and got rid of the right of the writ of habeas corpus for many people in prison to be able to challenge their sentences. This has created a system where at any given time over 3 in 10 African American men and 1 out of every 8 Latino men are either in prison, on probation, or on parole. In this past year, we surpassed 2 million Americans incarcerated. 1 out of 100 Americans are either in prison, on parole, or on probation. I've been intimately involved in that struggle - fighting against the death penalty, stopping mandatory minimum sentencing, and not imprisoning people for non-violent felonies, particularly drug charges.

This is related to NAFTA and CAFTA - it's all interconnected. Once the borders were opened up for "free trade," when manufacturing industries started leaving in greater numbers during the 1980s and 1990s and corporations started shipping jobs overseas, communities became blighted. There were no jobs. So, as a Senator from New York said, if we build the prisons, they will come. Particularly in upstate New York and parts of rural Ohio, prisons provide some of the biggest job opportunities for communities where people lost manufacturing jobs with good benefits and good wages. Now they are working on incarcerating other human beings. Economically, that impacts the communities from which the incarcerated young men and women come from. For example, many in prison come from urban areas, and the Census doesn't count them where they actually live, but instead counts them where they are incarcerated. That helps those rural communities where prisons are built get more money and funding.

Socially, the impact is devastating for probably the next two generations, at least. Young people of color, young men and increasingly girls, are harassed and brutalized every day. When they go to the bus stop, there are police. When they go to school, there are police, and when they leave school, there are police. When they get back on the subway there are police, and when they get home, there are police. For me and my generation, this is the most devastating thing that has happened to us.

Neither party has even bothered to reference the prison industrial complex, or made the correlation between the people who are incarcerated and these larger issues. Young people of color, particularly working class young people, get caught up in the prison industrial complex, and when they come out they can't get jobs that allow them to live. It was like this even before capitalism began falling down around us.

As for how I would propose changing it, I would completely dismantle it. Rehabilitation is necessary in some cases, but in some cases I think the police need to be restrained. In some communities, young people can go and have fun and not be arrested, but black and Latino kids in their communities - doing the same things that white kids in the suburbs are doing - shouldn't get arrested. Neither should the white kids. There's no tolerance, particularly for young men of color, in this country. I think white police officers, at the end of the day, see black men clearly as the enemy. Police are trained to see a black man as their enemy, not as someone they are there to serve and protect.

Where can people dealing with these situations go? What resources are available to them?

One organization is Critical Resistance, which works to stop the prison industrial complex.....

Book Recommendation

GREAT Book:

White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism (Paperback)
by Ashley W. Doane (Editor), Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (Editor)
Publisher: Routledge, Paperback: 304 pages


Reviews from Amazon.com -
An immensely valuable book. Here you will find vital information and analysis, both of the payoffs racism offers to whites, and of the immense costs racism imposes on the white psyche.
–Howard Winant, author of The World is a Ghetto: Race and Democracy Since World War II

Moving beyond static conceptualizations of whiteness, White Out redirects the focus of whiteness studies and produces an empirical understanding of white identity and the practices it produces.
–David T. Wellman, author of Portraits of White Racism

This wide-ranging and often brilliant collection places the critical study of whiteness right where it belongs--squarely within the larger framework of an analysis of a larger racial system that produces inequality and misery. Of all of the anthologies on whiteness, White Out is far and away the most successful at detailing how and why social structures matter when racial ideologies are made.
–David R. Roediger is the author of Colored White: Transcending The Racial Past

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Can Michigan, Especially Berrien Cty., Learn From California?

Article Excerpt: "Prop. 36 has been a huge success. What all the research tells us is that treatment can be even more successful at cutting recidivism and prison spending. That’s why Prop. 5 is on the ballot."

California's Prop. 5 Will Save Lives and Money
Alternatives to Incarceration


By MARGARET DOOLEY-SAMMULI, Counterpunch.org

http://www.counterpunch.org/dooley10292008.html

Land Conservation Information

Bumper Sticker sited:

Saving Land Lowers Taxes

From www.savejeanklockpark.org -

There are 27 golf courses within a 30 mile radius of Benton Harbor, some are exclusive, some are not. Some have closed to become residential properties and some are struggling to keep the courses open. Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses also fail and that is a huge concern. There is no guarantee that this course will succeed and it’s the opinion of many that it will not. Not in this area. To use Jean Klock Park on speculation that the course will survive is not only risky but highly irresponsible. Jean Klock Park should not be sacrificed for other’s lack of vision. Instead it should serve as its own centerpiece as an historical and natural resource.

Friends of Jean Klock Park are joined by the Alliance for the Great Lakes and local citizens and organizations in their effort to preserve the natural heritage of the park.

We are also part of the Defense of Place Michigan coalition of park advocacy groups. For more information about why parks are for future generations please visit www.defenseofplace.org.

Thanks to the sponsorship and support of the Michigan Environmental Council the Friends of Jean Klock Park were awarded a grant from the Great Lakes Aquatic Network Fund (now Freshwater Future) for various expenses.

The efforts of others in the cause to "Save Jean Klock Park" are expanding!
Please visit www.protectjkp.com.

Wall Street Journal excerpt on golf courses:
www.protectjkp.com/golf.htm

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Be Very Careful When Traveling in Berrien County

A report has just come in from two men traveling on I-94 in Berrien County who were stopped by a county sheriff's deputy. When the driver informed the deputy that he was traveling under the speed limit, the deputy said, "Oh, then you were weaving." When the driver denied weaving, things kept happening: the vehicle was searched and damaged - lining was torn out of vehicle; another deputy and a state policeman were called to the scene; $100 dollars was confiscated from the driver's wallet ("It's for bond, since you might be spending the weekend in jail," is what the deputy said.) The two men were in court for three days and were able to see the Berrien County Court in it's full glory, up front and personal: all white juries convicting one black person after another, day after day. Lives and families continue to be torn apart and devastated. That's all part of the many-decade long plan in the courthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan. As more details are known about the two gentlemen, more will be reported here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Write a Letter in Support of Clemency for Rev. Pinkney

Rev. Pinkney's attorney, Hugh "Buck" Davis, asks friends and supporters to write letters in support of clemency to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.
A note or letter can be as simple as, "I support clemency for Rev. Edward Pinkney."
Sign your name address.

Send letters to:
Honorable Jennifer Granholm
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan, 48909

Please contribute to Rev. Pinkney's Legal Defense Fund for the ACLU's appeal case.

Send donations to:

Reverend Edward Pinkney Defense Fund
1940 Union Street
Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022
See 10 Reasons to Donate $10 to the Rev. Pinkney Defense Fund

Excerpt from the Detroit Metro Times story on clemency in Michigan (8/22/07):
"In Michigan, any prisoner may apply for a pardon or commutation of sentence to the state's Parole Board, which reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the governor. Public hearings must be held before the board makes a recommendation for executive clemency. Victims, their families or other interested persons who have told the Department of Corrections Office of Crime Victim Services they want information about prisoners — including notification of parole hearings — will receive updates.
If the governor grants a commutation, the prisoner's sentence is reduced to the number of years served and the prisoner goes on parole. If the governor pardons someone, the sentence is effectively voided and the prisoner is freed.
A pardon implies society's forgiveness. A commutation says justice is not served by keeping the prisoner locked up.
Overall, prisoners' requests for clemency from Michigan's governors have had varying success with the last three administrations even as the prison population has grown and pressures to control costs have increased. Granholm, a Democrat in the first year of her second term, has granted 12 commutations and one pardon...In nearly five years in office, Granholm has granted a dozen, all for medical reasons...."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

ACLU Reports on Rev. Pinkney

Reverend Locked Up For Criticizing Judge

Reverend Edward Pinkney is an activist from Benton Harbor who for years has spoken out against discrimination against African Americans in Berrien County courts. Recently, Rev. Pinkney was charged with election law violations and convicted by an all white jury. While on probation pending a motion for a new trial, he wrote an article for a small Chicago newspaper about his case in which he severely criticized the judge who presided over the case. Paraphrasing the Bible, Rev. Pinkney predicted in the article that God would bring harm upon the judge and his family if he did not do the right thing. Based solely on the newspaper article, the judge found that Rev. Pinkney violated the terms of his probation and another judge sentenced him to 3-10 years in prison. The ACLU is representing Rev. Pinkney on the appeal. We will argue that a judge cannot punish a person for writing an article critical of the court and that Rev. Pinkney's prediction of what God might do to a judge cannot be construed as a "true threat." People v. Pinkney.

American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan,

Fall '08 Newsletter, page 4
http://www.aclumich.org
(Click on Print Materials and then Newsletters or download PDF)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mainstream Media Pick Up Pinkney Story

By JAMES PRICHARD, Associated Press (AP);
Michigan Minister Runs for Congress From Prison
(excerpt)...Pinkney says he’s being harassed for his outspoken opposition to an upscale, 530-acre residential and commercial development in southwestern Michigan. Pinkney is upset that Benton Harbor city leaders are allowing the developers to use 22 acres of a city park that borders Lake Michigan for three holes of a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course that is the heart of the project.

Pinkney decided to run for Congress to bring attention to his situation and “stand up for what is right.”

“The only way that we can get the word out and bring these people to justice is if I ran for office,” Pinkney says.

See this story in:
AOL News
Detroit Free Press
CBS News
Chicago Tribune
Fox News
USA Today
Yahoo! News
Washington Times

Even the Corrections Connection Network News is watching!

Berrien County Elite Continue the Destruction of Nature

GOLF COURSE TAKES SHAPE

Don Ames photo, HP, 10/23/08

This photo, facing northwest, shows the 14th and 15th holes of Harbor Shores’ Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course along the Paw Paw River in Benton Township. The light-green color on hole 15 is Hydromulch, which has grass seed mixed with it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

City has eye on selling park to highest bidder

"Cornerstone, the CWCC and the CPC are no more separate altruistic entities than are the tentacles of an octopus."

Editor, (HP, 10/19)

A recent Herald-Palladium editorial suggests that a court ordered temporary restraining order against further desecration of Jean Klock Park while a federal lawsuit is pending could have “killed” Harbor Shores.

This has no basis in fact.

Judge Collyer, who denied the TRO, nevertheless remarked more than once during the hearing that since most major construction will likely be halted by weather until spring, any threat to the over all project would be negligible. On the other hand, the developers will now have ample opportunity to wipe out most, if not all of the park’s remaining natural and historic features before the suit is decided. She also expressed amazement that the Benton Harbor city manager, who testified, was not conversant with Harbor Shores’ plan.

The developers claim that an exclusive view of the lake from the proposed golf course is essential to the entire project’s success. The benefits, they claim, will eventually trickle down to the people of Benton Harbor. This, too, has no basis in fact.

The 22 acres of JKP in question are arguably the most valuable undeveloped lakefront property between Chicago and Saugatuck. Yet it has been appraised at less than $1 million when 22 times that amount would be a bargain. If the golf course fails, which is a distinct possibility, particularly in this economy, the land will supposedly revert back to the city, but not JKP. And it will no longer be under the “protection” of the National Park Service. The perpetually broke city would then presumably be free to sell it for development to the lowest bidder. Guess who?

Harbor Shores does not need the park land. Benton Harbor does. Cornerstone, the CWCC and the CPC are no more separate altruistic entities than are the tentacles of an octopus.

Those who are trying to protect JKP at great personal sacrifice do not oppose Harbor Shores.

These are facts.

Scott Elliott Benton Harbor

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More Benton Harbor lives ruined - Poverty (ie, no jobs) has always been main cause of "crime" - Keep jobs out of BH, the easier to lock people up

Officer: Two nabbed in alleged drug deal; Detective says men sold suspected crack to undercover officer, By H-P STAFF, 10/18/08

BENTON HARBOR — Two men were arrested Thursday after one of them allegedly sold crack cocaine to an undercover police officer, Berrien County sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Robert Boyce said. The suspects tossed suspected crack cocaine out the window of their car as a uniformed deputy stopped them after the buy, said Boyce, of the sheriff’s Narcotics Unit.Terrance Scott, 24, of 344 High St., Benton Harbor, was booked at the county jail on charges of cocaine delivery and possession with intent to deliver cocaine, both second offenses. Scott is also charged with driving with a suspended license and was being sought on a warrant for nonsupport.Dwayne Yarbrough, 25, of 1087 Monroe St., Benton Harbor, was booked on a charge of second-offense possession with intent to deliver cocaine. Boyce said the undercover officer made the purchase around 2:15 p.m. The two suspects then drove away from the sale scene and were stopped by a deputy in the 800 block of Colfax Avenue. When the deputy made the stop, the two men began throwing suspected drugs out of the vehicle, Boyce said. Police seized $223 in cash and two cell phones subject to civil forfeiture proceedings in Berrien County Trial Court.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Benton Harbor will be stuck paying off the cleanup of all the contaminated lands for the whole project

Thank goodness for deeds of an ‘audacious few’

Editor, (HP, 10/14/08)

This is regarding the letter to the editor of Sept. 26 from Greg Allen, “An audacious few put needs of many at risk.”

In the long history of the United States, it has been actions of an “audacious few” who brought about changes in America. Examples from colonial times include the Boston Tea Party, Concord, Lexington, Ticonderoga and Bunker Hill, resulting in the freedoms we enjoy today. So the act of being an “audacious few” places them in great company!

In his letter, Mr. Allen, as do most who regurgitate Harbor Shores’ handouts and public relations, deal in generalities when referring to the “many benefits.” Exactly what benefits? How many yearlong jobs will be created? What rate of pay? How many taxproducing properties are on Benton Harbor-owned lands to provide the increased tax base?

In 20 years, when the infrastructure is due to be paid off, who will be the greatest beneficiary? Not Benton Harbor residents, from all I have read. But Benton Harbor will be stuck paying off the cleanup of all the contaminated lands for the whole project, including that donated by Whirlpool in St. Joseph, which was only annexed until the infrastructure is paid off. See, I have followed all the PR put out to the public since the beginning of this and did my own research, too.

Last, but not least, we are not against Harbor Shores per se, only against the further devastation of a public park (Jean Klock) and its sand dunes for three holes of a golf course.

Shirley Stinson Benton Harbor

Monday, October 13, 2008

Imprisoned Rev. Pinkney runs for U.S. Congress

Published Oct 9, 2008 9:04 PM

By Andrea Egypt, Detroit

Rev. Edward Pinkney

Rev. Edward Pinkney

Rev. Pinkney won the nomination even though Berrien County’s criminal justice system has locked him away on a 3-to-10-year prison sentence. The reverend is Benton Harbor’s community activist and minister for the oppressed and dissident African-American, Latin@ and white populations.

Despite his imprisonment, Rev. Pinkney remains defiant and vigilant against the ruling elites of this southwest Michigan community.

con't.:

http://www.workers.org/2008/us/pinkney_1016/

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Interview With Rev. Edward Pinkney Who is in Prison

Justice Rally
Justice Rally, Benton Harbor
The People's Tribune interviewed Rev. Edward Pinkney, a community activist and leader in the fight against Whirlpool's take over of the town of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Pinkney is incarcerated for alleged probation violations after a judge ruled that his use of Biblical quotes was threatening. After Pinkney's nomination by the Green Party for U.S. Representative, he was moved to a prison far from the media, friends and attorneys.

Interview: http://www.peoplestribune.org/PT.2008.10/PT.2008.10.12.html

How Do You Rape a City?

homes
An unidentified woman walks towards some of the expensive homes
being built near Jean Klock Park on the shore of Lake Michigan in
Benton Harbor. PHOTO /DAYMON J. HARTLEY


Park Protestors Arrested in Standoff with Police


The Whirlpool Corporation-backed Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment, Inc., started destroying the natural resources of Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor, removing 90-year old trees from the Lake Michigan shore and destroying some of the park's dunes to create an asphalt parking lot.

Residents who filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C. in August to stop the construction of an exclusive private golf course in Benton Harbor's only beachfront park, rushed to Jean Klock Park with other community activists as soon as they saw the bulldozers.

Three Benton Township residents sat on downed, historic cottonwood trees destroyed by the bulldozers and were arrested for civil disobedience.After the arrests, the developers continued the destruction of the park by cutting away some of the southern dunes.

All of this destruction is part of the illegal conversion of Jean Klock Park. A federal lawsuit is pending. The plaintiffs filed a motion for a restraining order to halt the destruction. For more informatino, visit defenseofplace.org and Protect Jean Klock Park, protectjkp.com
Excerpted from a press release from Defense of Place

How Do You Rape a City?

The way a city is raped is to take everything out of it that is of some value. Benton Harbor was a city of businesses, of restaurants, of schools and factories. You take out all the local busineses and bring in new development, but they come in with their rules and the local people don't have any jobs, don't have a chance for anything. If the downtrodden people don't adhere to the new rules, they come in with law enforcement. Do that sound like a city we know? As for what happened in Jean Klock park, "how can you trespass on your own park? How can you be arrested for trespassing in your own city, in a public park, on a public beach on the lakefront? The city has been taken over, given over by city officials, and now we are the trespassers.
- MC, a community activist
http://www.peoplestribune.org/PT.2008.10/PT.2008.10.06.html#golf

Friday, October 10, 2008

10 REASONS TO DONATE $10 TO BANCO'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

We still need 100 good people to donate $10 each to BANCO's Legal Defense Fund. In August 2008, Rev. Edward Pinkney was sentenced to prison in Michigan from a Berrien County Court that was judiciously biased in its verdict and extreme in its sentencing. Rev. Pinkney's attorney and the ACLU have filed an appeal on this decision and are awaiting court documents. In the meantime, Rev. Pinkney and BANCO truly need local, national, and international support.

You can help rectify the injustices in Benton Harbor and, particularly, against BANCO leader Rev. Pinkney as they fight alongside local and statewide residents to promote economic and social justice in this community. Please make a contribution to the BANCO Legal Defense Fund so we can "Free Rev. Pinkney!"

Use the "Make a Donation" button on the BANCO homepage for PayPal, or mail your check or money order to:
BANCO, 1940 Union St, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Your $10 will help:

1) Support the right of Benton Harbor citizens to take a stand against a corrupt political and judicial system;

2) Free Rev. Pinkney from Ojibway Correctional Facility as a political prisoner living in horrible conditions!;

3) Defend our friend and colleague Rev. Pinkney who was imprisoned after an unjust trial on trumped-up charges (several witnesses were paid to falsely testify against him);

4) Fund the appeal to have Rev. Pinkney's erroneous conviction heard before a higher court;

5) Defend the right of Benton Harbor residents to speak out against injustice without intimidation and reprisals (two key witnesses for the defense were arrested and imprisoned);

6) Stop the disenfranchisement of Benton Harbor voters (a valid recall election was overturned);

7) Support BANCO's fight against brutality and sexual harassment by police;

8) Improve the conditions in a community with 90% unemployment and under-employment (material aid is needed);

9) Challenge economic and racial apartheid in the U.S. today;

10) Spread the word as we join with others worldwide--like Danny Glover, Ed Asner, Howard Zinn--calling for justice in Benton Harbor. Together we can make a difference!

Thank you!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Irreplaceable Dunes for Unusable Wetlands

On Oct. 7 the Herald Palladium reported on the supposed "expansion" of Jean Klock Park, the comparison of the conversion of its 22 acres of contiguous dunes and other areas, and the mitigation (land swap) of 47 acres of designated wetlands which are not connected, but rather and obviously disconnected from Jean Klock Park.

The article features a post card photo layout of scenes of fisherman on the Paw Paw River (which by the way can be done without this development) next to, for the most part, unusable wetland areas that would be traded for the irreplaceable and non-renewable dune areas of Jean Klock Park.

Is it a fair trade? (PDF)

http://www.savejeanklockpark.org/news.html

Monday, October 06, 2008

Untrue Confessions

How People Tell Cops They're Guilty Even When They Aren't

by Emily Horowitz, 10/6/08, http://www.counterpunch.org/horowitz10062008.html

Emily Horowitz is a professor of sociology and criminal justice at St. Francis College (Brooklyn, NY). She serves as a director of the National Center for Reason and Justice (www.ncrj.org), an innocence project for people wrongly accused or convicted of crimes against children and a sponsor of Khemwatie Bedessie.
Excerpts:
It’s also agreed that illegal practices occur frequently in the interrogation room, and that cops later lie about them on the stand. And when there is an argument about veracity, research suggests that no group of people – not judges, prosecutors or juries – can tell whether a confession is true or false simply by reading a transcript or watching the video...not just the confession should be recorded, but also the full interrogation that led up to it. The idea is to avoid methods that – as the Supreme Court has put it – “shock the conscience” and “offend the community’s sense of fair play and decency.”

Ten years ago, only two states were recording interrogations. Now, nine states and the District of Columbia do, and they are joined by more than 500 local police departments nationwide ... it’s spreading, says Northwestern University legal scholar Steven Drizin, an expert on false confessions who has advocated for taping for years.

...1966 Miranda decision, Earl Warren recommended that the police find other evidence to solve a crime than the “cruel, simple expedient of compelling it from [the suspect’s] own mouth.”

...wholly opposes the eliciting and use of confession to solve and prosecute crimes. But, if confession is employed, he believes the case should never go forward unless meaningful evidence is first gathered...

Forensic science in the U.S. today is so sophisticated and high tech...that police have only to use it. All that is required to convict criminals justly is that the cops do their job.

Further, reliance on confessions promotes disgraceful conditions of detention. Jails are often worse than prisons. Filth, bad food, lack of sunlight, crowding and violence pressure people to say they did something – anything, whether it’s true or not – just to get out of lockup. Then, because they’ve confessed, we figure it’s OK to keep others like them in awful cells – and to bring in more detainees for interrogation. It’s a vicious circle, and most who get trapped in it are poor, uneducated, and unacculturated. Their marginal status is bound up with the moralistic judgment that they are different from us, and therefore bad. Their badness reinforces our willingness to keep a bad system in place. It probably also allows us to export illegal interrogation – our 1930s-era torture, updated – to places like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Ninety-two per cent of felony convictions are obtained by plea bargains or confessions. That’s a far higher rate than in other countries...Italy’s, for example, is 8 per cent...

Relying on confessions to prosecute crimes is thrifty because it avoids the need for costly investigations. But it’s also very destructive to justice...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Developers = Earth's Destroyers

John Madill / H-P staff

Piles of torn up boardwalk and trees are seen at Jean Klock Park on Friday. Work has been suspended while a U.S. District Court judge decides whether a restraining order should be granted to halt construction until a lawsuit filed by Protect Jean Klock Park over lease of that piece of the parkland has been ruled on.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Upton’s biggest strength is deflecting blame

HP, 10/2/08

Editor, (excerpt)

Fury at the fat cats on Wall Street will get you nowhere because they are not accountable to us. Our national interests have been betrayed, repeatedly and belligerently, by those sent to Washington to protect us.

It is time to throw the bums out. Southwest Michigan’s own Congressman Fred Upton is partially to blame. Here is an entrenched member of Congress and a Washington insider with pockets as deep as his connections to Wall Street. Upton’s mentor, Dave Stockman, is a multi-millionaire Wall Street tycoon under indictment for bank fraud, among other things.

If ever there were a henhouse, it’s Wall Street. If ever there were a fox, it’s Fred Upton. Are we angry with Congress? Yes.

Are we angry with Wall Street?

Yes. Will Upton be re-elected, nonetheless? Probably. Why?

Because people like Upton are brilliant at deflecting blame and convincing voters that it’s not their fault when things go up in smoke.

If the Fred Uptons of America are all re-elected, then this is no time of crisis. In times of crisis, Americans take a stand. Will you?

Kevin Wordelman Benton Harbor

Improvements Galore for St. Joe; A THIRD Unmarked Car for Benton Harbor

H-P

BENTON HARBOR — The Benton Harbor Police Department will add a third unmarked car to its fleet following action Monday by the City Commission.

The commission approved the purchase of a 2008 Chevrolet Impala for $17,298 from Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids. It will be bought through Michigan’s state purchasing program, police Chief Al Mingo said.

The money will come from the police department’s asset forfeiture funds. That is money police in Michigan are allowed to seize during drug arrests.

The new car will be used by one of the department’s three narcotics officers. Mingo said the two unmarked cars used by the department’s narcotics division are aging and are often in need of repairs, and a more reliable car is needed.

Also Monday, Mingo announced that state police will be helping Benton Harbor police patrol Main Street for speeders. The chief said he has gotten a lot of complaints from citizens about cars speeding on Main Street between Fair Avenue and Riverview Drive.