Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wanted For Crimes Against Humanity: So-Called Public Defenders from Berrien County, Michigan -

Ernest White
Rodney Fuller
Michael Renfro
Jim Miller
And the notorious Scott Sanford (the Worst of the Worst)

All Defenders are white

Overseeing these Defenders are the County Commissioners who refuse to take action

Overseeing the Commissioners is Whirlpool and everyone knows the corporation's position regarding the courthouse role in African-American removal from Benton Harbor for land development

These Berrien County public defenders have sent more people to prison than most judges. Rev. Pinkney has not witnessed one of these men ever win a case in his ten years of court watching. They work hand-in-glove with judges and prosecutors. The Michigan ACLU has named this court the worst in the state.

In 2005 the Michigan ACLU sent a group of New York law students to study the courthouse. They were so shocked that they returned several more times to verify what they had seen and heard.

All public defenders in Berrien County are picked by the judges, undermining the independence of the public defender system from the court.

News: Right to Counsel may have a chance in Michigan

In the latest twist in the truly bizarre history of an important 2007 lawsuit, the Michigan supreme court recently reversed its reversal of a previous ruling to allow a legal challenge to the state's woefully inadequate indigent defense system to move forward.

The lawsuits were filed by the ACLU of Michigan on behalf of the indigent criminal defendants in Berrien, Genesee, and Muskegon counties alleging that the state's public defender system is so inadequate that it violates the Sixth Amendment guarantee of the right to counsel.

In April 2010 the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously rejected the state's motion to dismiss the case. Three months later, the court inexplicably reversed that unanimous ruling and dismissed the case. Three weeks ago, it reversed itself again, dismissing their July order. They sent the case to the lower court for a full trial.

News: McGinnis Murder Case May Re-Open in Berrien County

The Eric McGinnis murder case just might re-open. A witness has come forward. Berrien County Judge Dennis Wiley was one of the last people to see McGinnis alive. Rev. Pinkney suspects Wiley and believes this is why he drinks, even on the bench. Stay tuned for more information.

In 1991 McGinnis was badly beaten and murdered. He was an African-American teenager, age 16, from Benton Harbor who had been dating a white St. Joseph girl. She became an outcast in St. Joe and was eventually forced to leave town.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reasons why this courthouse is different

Berrien County Court Information
(Berrien County, Michigan)

-- Approximately 90% of the court's litigation involves trying and usually convicting residents from only one town in the county: Benton Harbor. That's out of 60 municipalities.

-- Harsher sentences than the fact of the warrant and no alternatives to incarceration. (African-Americans from Benton Harbor receive harsher sentences whether guilty or not. Example: in Sept. 2010 DeMarco Allen was sentenced to 45 years even tho the normal sentence is 9 months in the county jail. He was in possession of some ecstasy pills.)

-- Right before sentencing, judges force defendants to say they are happy with their court appointed attorneys.

-- Defense attorneys never see clients until they have entered the courtroom and everyone present can hear their conversation, ie, "I'm your court appointed attorney. Plead guilty; there's too much evidence against you."

--The indigent defense service has the following deficiencies, among others.

No written client eligibility standards.
No merit-based attorney hiring and retention program.
No written attorney performance standards or meaningful systems of attorney supervision and monitoring.
No guideline on how to identify conflicts of interest.
No attorney work standards.
No adequate attorney training.
No independence from the judiciary. Judges, prosecutors, and indigent defense all work together against defendants.

-- There exists the inability of indigent defense counsel to put the case against their clients to the test of the law.

-- Court appointed attys. do not provide a legal defense for the defendant.

-- Wrongful denial of representation. (Defendants are denied legal representation since defense attorneys are simply there, but not defending.)

-- Wrongful conviction of crimes.

-- Unnecessary or prolonged pre-trial detention. Defendants stay until they plead guilty.

-- Guilty pleas to inappropriate charges and denial of the right to trial when meritorious defense is available.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Innocent Benton Harbor prisoner will challenge Smigielski in court

BHPD officer Wes Smigielski sent innocent BH resident, Charles Gray, to prison. Gray will go back to court with a judgement against Smigielski in the coming year. So far, the judgement contains the following: Falsified BHPD forfeiture paperwork; Falsified a sworn complaint and affidavit; Falsified police report; Planted drugs on Gray; Lied about searching Gray's truck and about Andrew Collin's involvement; Lied on the stand. Berrien county prosecutor's office assistant Mary Malesky was involved in the cover-up. To make his case stronger, Smigielski attempted to involve two other officers - det. Hopkins and officer Long from St. Joe. They had nothing to do with Gray's case.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Smigielski manipulates another citizen to lie

Benton Harbor police officer Wes Smigielski is looking for another witness to lie for him in a January court case. See if you can follow the workings of a psychopathic mind.

(Information on psychopaths:

Ok, here goes - Pat Taylor's son, Patrick Thomas, is charged with murder and is currently in jail waiting for trial. (He's innocent and is taking the fall for Dewayne Yarbrough, member of a Whirlpool sponsored family. See story here:

Camilla Crumbley's children were taken from her by Child Protective Services. Officer Smigielski tells Camilla that Pat Taylor made the call to CPS which got her children removed. He wants Camilla to be a witness in the January trial of Patrick Thomas. The rationale he's using is that lying to help convict Patrick Thomas for murder will give her the chance to get even with Thomas's mother for calling CPS.

Nothing he's saying is true as he manipulates more Benton Harbor residents for Berrien county's corporate master, Whirlpool. We wouldn't be surprised if Smigielski himself called CPS. Eradication of the African-American population for development of the land is the decades old project of the state sponsored corporation.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daily Crimes Against Humanity

The Sick and Twisted Values of St. Joseph, Michigan and the Rogue Berrien county court

1. Shannon McKinney, a Benton Harbor man in his 30's, was a victim of former officer Andrew Collins. Today McKinney must go to court for a charge of which he is innocent. Collins planted drugs on him, he did time, and was one of the few to be released from prison by Prosecutor Art Cotter after Collins was convicted. Now, law enforcement is going after those who were released.

McKinney was recently stopped by deputy Haskin who told McKinney he'll "make life hell for him." Haskin took McKinney's truck, impounded it, took all of McKinney's money, and issued a warrant for his arrest. He charged him with Delivery of Drugs. Now McKinney doesn't know what to do. In a different vehicle, McKinney was stopped a second time by Haskin who put a gun to his head - payback for McKinney filing a complaint with the county. Haskin found it in the car, took it, and tore it up.

2. Rishar Goss, a BH man in his 30's, has been in county jail for armed robbery. Yesterday was his preliminary examination in Berrien county court. Always on the lookout for new ways to ruin black peoples' lives, Wes Smigielski brought a 15 year old boy to court to lie and say Rishar Goss was part of a group who committed a robbery. Unexpectedly, the boy's father showed up before the examination and told his son not to lie. Bolstered with confidence, he answered prosecutor Mike Sepic's repeated 'question:'

"You said Goss was part of the robbery" by stating,

"No, Smigielski said that."

The case was dismissed.

BRAVO to the teenager!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Pagel finally admits all-white juries are racist

Rev. Edward Pinkney attended the Berrien County Commissioner meeting on Dec. 2. He reported that county prosecutor Gerald Vigansky and chief prosecutor Art Cotter have refused to prosecute a rapist. Charles Washington is a police informant who has attacked and raped several (at least) women in the community. His attempted rape of Vanity Swift is the most recent known crime he's committed.

After asking what can be done to protect women and children in Benton Harbor and the area, commissioner Gloria Gillespie said, "prosecutor Art Cotter can pick and choose who he wants to prosecute." Stunned by her statement regarding violent crimes which are being committed, Pinkney concluded that the commissioners and the courthouse are one and the same.

After years of talking to the commissioners about the enormous numbers of lives being stolen by all-white juries, Rev. Pinkney was happy to hear commissioner chairman Dave Pagel finally admit that all-white juries are racist. A minimum of 70% of people being tried and convicted in Berrien Cty. are African-American. Almost all of them have all-white juries. (probably 100%)

Information abounds pointing to the injustice and inequity of all-white juries trying African-American defendants, but Berrien County will be the last to acknowledge it. In fact, they just might have been the originators of all-white juries. At least they institutionalized it. Here's just one article on the subject:

Required reading for all Americans should be a new book by Atty. Michelle Alexander -
The New Jim Crow.

“After reading The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander's stunning work of scholarship, one gains the terrible realization that, for people of color, the American criminal justice system resembles the Soviet Union's gulag---the latter punished ideas, the former punishes a condition.”
—David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer-prize winning historian at NYU and author of W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963

"We need to pay attention to Michelle Alexander's contention that mass imprisonment in the U.S. constitutes a racial caste system. Her analysis reflects the passion of an advocate and the intellect of a scholar."
—Marc Mauer, Executive Director, The Sentencing Project, author of Race to Incarcerate

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lake Michigan College: Another Berrien County Bastion of Racial Injustice

After some investigation, we found that Mr. Sherman's experience is not unusual. (scroll down to see his story) Lake Michigan College has a history of expelling African-American students, but Sherman's the first to publicly stand up for his rights. We also found that Sherman's funding was taken by the college, part of which he depended on for living expenses. We wouldn't be surprized if this is also common practise at LMC.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Two recent letters from Berrien County prisoner Jessica Thomas to Rev. Edward Pinkney

Berrien County: Brutal Plantation

Dear Rev. Pinkney,

I am writing this letter to inform you that I would not have gotten as much time as I did if I had said my brother killed Clay.

Smigielski is looking for anybody who will lie for him. He told me he will help me get out if I lie for him in court. Then he went to my sister Kendra and lied to her.

He is like a mad man. The hate that is inside this man is out of control. He is just like Collins.

I am writing you to let you know what is going on.

Jessica Thomas

Dear Rev. Pinkney,

Just a few lines to let you know what is going on in Berrien County jail. I was beaten, maced, tazed, choked, kneed in my back, finger stuck behind my ear, all my clothes stripped off by a white male guard, beaten by men and women guards, was put in padded crazy cell [padded] and strapped to a chair for hours. All because I asked about my handcuffs being too tight. My hand was bleeding and I did not want to give them my other hand until they stopped the bleeding.

They said I was already using the phone in the holding cell, and could not use it again, but I was supposed to be able to use it all day and all night.

Another African-American named Marilyn Murphy came to jail with breast cancer - the judge sentenced her to 45 days in jail. She had an appointment for surgery and she had to cancel it because she did not want to be shackled at the appointment. She would be too ashamed and embarrassed.

A caucasian woman named Mindy was in jail and was released to go have an abortion. She was free of shackles and handcuffs and was allowed to leave and return 4 days later - her word was good enough for them.

I finally got xrayed where a guard beat my hand. My bones are damaged. I was pregnant at the time and given an abortion pill that was illegal. A deputy told me I had to be locked up until my wounds healed. I also have witnesses and names for you.

I was denied a visit from my mother and family. The wounds are still visible and I believe they will be there forever.

There are many more concerns. Lady guards giving African-American administrative lock down all day everyday. You should come talk to some of the ladies in the jail to see how they are treated. It is unfair, unjustifiable, and definitely wrong. Please come see me.

Jessica Thomas

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Informants and friends are permitted to rape women and children in Berrien County

As Berrien County, Michigan head prosecutor, Art Cotter refuses to prosecute Charles Washington for the violent crime of attempted rape. Washington is a paid informant for the police/court system. Washington hit his victim 5 times in the head with his fist until she was knocked out.

More on Cotter: his close friend Richard Pahl is doing forty years in a Minnesota prison for molesting children.

Cotter is known throughout Berrien County for being "tough on crime." A real tough guy who hasn't come close to bringing to justice the victims of former cop Andrew Collins, big-time drug planter. And he refused to prosecute his good friend, Pahl.

Pahl used to live in Berrien Cty. where he molested many Benton Harbor children between about 1995 and 2005. He had "easy access" as director of the Link Crisis Intervention Center. He often took children to his St. Joseph home for weekends.

In approximately 2006 Pahl moved to Minnesota where he was caught molesting more children -- in a MN court he admitted to molesting at least 20 BH children.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

More racial injustice in Rep. Fred Upton's Berrien County

Lawrence Sherman, age 59, was until very recently a student at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He would have graduated in May, 2011, most likely with all A's.

1. Sherman went to the college employment office and stated that the office would not find him a job because of his appearance. He admits he doesn't pay a lot of attention to dress and hygiene.

2. Two women in the office asked him to sit down. When he attempted to stand up, they pushed him down, even finding a third woman to help them repeatedly push him into the chair. They (3 white women) wouldn't allow him to stand, and went so far as to call the police, who, upon arrival were told that he 'cursed' at them. (You can't make this stuff up.) He insists that he doesn't use that language.

3. The women likely figured out that they could be accused of assault, and decided to accuse him first. Of cursing, no less.

4. After a hearing and "investigation" by a college official, Lawrence Sherman was SUSPENDED from Lake Michigan College.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another non-incident resulting in another kangaroo court in St. Joseph, Michigan

1. Two Benton Harbor high school boys have a one-on-one fight with friends watching. End of story. (Well, yes, but not for African-American children in Berrien County.)
2. Cops start arresting teenagers (hoping for multiple convictions as usual).
3. The boy who caused the most injury is jailed for 'assault with intent to kill.'
4. Tuesday 11/23: Court hearing for a 17-year-old boy who was not present at the fight, but was on probation, so of course the fight provided an excuse to bring him in for a framing. (Many teenagers and adults are on probation in BH because it's an easy step to jail.)
5. Five people testified that the boy was at home where a party for his aunt was underway. One eyewitness to the fight testified the boy was not present at the fight. Judge Charles LaSata STILL pronounced the boy guilty of probation violation because BH detective Wes Smigielski testified that he was present at the fight.
6. During prosecutor Mike Sepic's cross examination of Smigielski, the two laughed and giggled like the hearing was a joke, and that they knew beforehand what the decision would be.

In another community the teenagers might have been cited for disturbing the peace. Might have. BH authorities, under the auspices of Whirlpool and Rep. Fred Upton, are out to destroy lives and remove the African-American population. How long will Michigan residents allow the unspeakable injustice in Berrien County to continue?

Read about Berrien County authorities and others like them here:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Taking American jobs away is a Whirlpool Specialty

Whirlpool layoffs in Fort Smith total 850 11/23/2010

Whirlpool Corp. has confirmed that two rounds of recent layoffs have resulted in 850 indefinite job losses at its Fort Smith operation, and leave the employee count at 1,020 hourly and 110 salaried workers.
Confirmation of deep layoffs came Aug. 18 when company officials confirmed that production would be reduced on the 25-cubic-foot side-by-side refrigerator made at Whirlpool’s Fort Smith plant. At the time, a union bulletin indicated that production of counter-depth refrigerators would end Oct. 11 and second-shift production of 25- and 27-cubic-foot models would “tentatively” end Nov. 29.
Company officials said Tuesday (Nov. 23) that 260 employees were laid off in October and 590 in November...

Corporate Profits Were the Highest on Record Last Quarter Nov. 23, 2010

The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.

American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or noninflation-adjusted terms...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More on Vigansky

Another case Berrien County's Gerald Vigansky prosecuted last summer involved a 17-year-old Benton Harbor high school student who had a boyfriend, but no idea that a warrant for his arrest had been issued. She was arrested at school while rehearsing for graduation (typical technique used in these parts to instill "group fear" - in how many towns would cops wait until a teenager was in school to arrest them?) She innocently told police that she had been in a motel with her boyfriend, so they arrested her for aiding and abetting a fugitive. She had never been in court before, and was like a lamb going to slaughter with Vigansky vigorously attacking her, prosecuting her like a pit bull in a hearing where he forced her to plead guilty.

Like so many BH residents before her who's lives and liberty have been stolen from them by the Berrien County authorities, she will have a lifetime record preventing her from getting employment, entering college, and receiving grants. Or at least making these things much more difficult.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Prosecutor Gerald Vigansky, a monster

Berrien County Commissioners have knowledge of the following, but remain mute

Seeing Benton Harbor residents and Berrien County Courthouse authorities interact is like seeing naughty children being verbally abused. Authorities rarely show respect to the people they force through their corrupt, illegal system.

This week prosecutor Gerald Vigansky was verbally attacking and shouting at BH residents Mrs. Freddie Swift and her daughter, Vanity in a hallway. He actually said he would dismiss charges against Charles Washington, age 33. In August, Washington, a BH paid informant, knocked Vanity to the ground and pulled down her underwear. She fought him off, and, bloodied, he ran away. An ambulance took Vanity, in a state of shock, to the hospital where Washington's fingerprints and blood were found on her clothing and body.

He was arrested, released on bond, and charged with only a misdemeanor for his violent crime - informants are above the law and protected in Berrien County. A felony charge and fifteen year sentence is the norm for sexual assault. He is also guilty of resisting arrest and fleeing, but was only charged with trespassing. THE CASE WAS EVENTUALLY DROPPED.

Vanity and Mrs. Swift showed up for the Nov. 16 trial which, unbeknownst to them, had been cancelled. Instead, they were treated to a mad prosecutor, frothing at the mouth, screaming that he was on the side of the man who attempted to rape Vanity.

Washington is known to have attacked and raped several women in Benton Harbor. In a recent case, charges against him were dismissed and an innocent man was convicted in his place.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In the town which has been home to Whirlpool forever, a town needing jobs more than words can describe, a town full of African-American people who have been Whirlpool employees forever, loyal workers -- the corporation steals land from them, takes their park, outsources their jobs, now pulls out completely.

Whirlpool is driven by greed, and lacks any ethical foundation.

Whirlpool's Benton Harbor Plant to Close, Cutting 216 Jobs

SUGAR LAND, TX, Nov 17, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Whirlpool Corporation (Benton Harbor, Michigan), the world's leading appliance maker, will no longer manufacturer appliances at its plant in Benton Harbor. A plan to close the hometown factory by mid-2011 is imminent.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Comment from March 8, 2008
Stories From Another Planet (we wish)

"I personally know Officer Igert and was in his presence when he called the 70 year old woman a 'stupid nigger.' Officer Igert is a rogue cop who has sexually molested his young child and most recently broke into a girlfriend's house and robbed her and her young child of everything they own. He has gotten away with everything he has done by using his badge."

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Racial injustice never stops rearing its ugly head in Berrien County

Innocent 17 year old in jail for murder

The most recent case involves murder charges against a trio of African-American youths all who have been jailed awaiting trial in January.

Dequarius Stewart and Kanisha Dyer, cousins, were hanging around outside a store in Benton Harbor when Lavors Coats, 17, comes along. A Mr. Kusiak, middle-aged and white, had entered the store earlier, and Dequarius asked Lavors to see if he had any money.

Coats goes in and comes back saying Kusiak had no money. He was trying to protect Kusiak from harm. Kusiak then comes out and goes down the street where Dequarius was waiting. Dequarius hit Kusiak several times, killing him.

BHPD and detective officer Wes Smigielski arrived along with the FBI (presumably because Kusiak was white.)

During the preliminary examination in the notorious Berrien County Courthouse, det. officer Wes Smigielski stated that Coats said Krusiak had a little money, along with other untruths. Courtroom attendees could tell that Smigielski was obviously lying each time he made a statement. Coats was branded the "lookout" by Smigielski.

The paid defense attorney, extremely uncommon in the Berrien County courthouse, let Lavors Coats explain that he just didn't want Krusiak to get hurt, and told Dequarius that Krusiak had no money. The judge then abruptly said, "Lavors Coats, Dequarius Stewart, and Kanisha Dyer will be going to trial for murder."

Knowledgeable observers are rightfully outraged over how Berrien County law enforcement and judicial system have gone to great lengths to complicate a straightforward case. But, as it has been said, not one but three black youths have been taken off the street to the obvious satisfaction of authorities. Hidden agenda: state protected Whirlpool is devouring land and does whatever necessary to eradicate it of African-Americans.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Monumental Miscarriages of Justice continue in Berrien County, Michigan. Two stories.

Former Benton Harbor policeman Andrew Collins, controlled by Whirlpool, was arrested in 2009 for possession and intent to sell drugs, and planting drugs on over two hundred people in BH. Countless families suffer because of his false arrests ending in false convictions and imprisonments. Berrien County Prosecutor Art Cotter reversed less than fifty cases. Collins served only 7 months of a 37 month sentence, and is back in town.

Now BH has Det. Officer Wes Smigielski who is going for the throats of residents. He pays people to lie in court. When will people take a stand against Mega Corrupt law enforcement in Berrien County?

First story

On August 3, 2008 Clarence Martin (little Clay) was killed by Dewayne Yarbrough or Ryan Reed. Yarbrough, who lives five houses away from the murder, and Reed had a fight with Martin which ended in his murder. The Yarbroughs are a "Whirlpool sponsored family" so police protect Dewayne. He was taken in for questioning only because all of BH knew he killed Martin. He was released.

To the present. Det. Smigielski framed a young man not only because he's African-American, but because the BHPD needed a fall guy for Yarbrough. He is Ronald Goodlow (Rocky). He's committed multiple armed robberies in the community, and always carries a gun. Goodlow was ordered to go to court and say that he was gambling with a Patrick Thomas and Clarence Martin when Thomas pulled out a gun and shot Martin. A total fabricated lie. Thomas was chosen because he rubs BH police the wrong way; he knows his rights and doesn't cooperate with racial profiling.

Smigielski paid Goodlow to lie under oath in exchange for getting all charges dropped for the robberies. The innocent Thomas will be found guilty because he's black.

Second story

Then there's Loren Robinson who's about to get a life sentence along with three friends. Det. Smigielski wants to save a young white man (name unknown at present) who's father is wealthy. The story starts with this white man coming to BH from Niles, Michigan for the pupose of doing drugs. He smoked over two thousand dollars worth, but didn't have money to pay the four BH men he was partying with.

He had a plan to fake a kidnapping with the threat of murder so his father would pay off his drug debt. After his father brought the money, father and son fought and police were called. They searched the man and found a large amount of crack cocaine.

Smigielski liked the story concocted by the young man from Niles and told him to tell it in court. So, four more Black men will be removed from Benton Harbor (for the purpose of redevelopment of the land) to the brutal confines of Michigan prisons.

The trial is scheduled for November.

Det. Wes Smigielski is another Andrew Collins. He must be stopped before it's too late. There are ten other cases he's worked on. We must stop him now!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

[Whirlpool: "...yearly sales value of 10 billion within five years."]

[Whirlpool: a greedy monster which created a population in poverty, then kicked, battered, and beat them]

Suning to Become Largest Distributor for Whirlpool

NANJING, Oct 25, 2010

One of the world's largest home appliance makers Whirlpool Corporation is deepening its cooperation with one of the top Chinese home appliance retailers Suning Appliance Co., Ltd.
Lately, Whirlpool held a meeting of its directors in China to discuss its strategy for the Chinese market. Its board met with Suning Board Chairman Zhang Jindong and other top executives. Both parties plan yearly sales value of CNY 10 billion within five years. Thus, Suning will become the largest distributor for Whirlpool
around the world.
They will jointly search for new cooperation forms so that more products made by Whirlpool could be sold at the first time in retail outlets under the aegis of Suning. Besides, special teams from the two sides will be responsible for the constitution and implementation of specific plans.
Whirlpool was founded in 1911. It has been 17 years since its foray into China...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Monumental Miscarraige of Justice Continues in Berrien County, Rep. Fred Upton's and Whirlpool's Oligarchy (Land controlled by a group of people who pass their influence from one generation to the next. Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist.)

When the Herald Palladium, known to locals as the Hell Pollution, publishes articles about Benton Harbor, the comment section can fill up with many phrases reflecting the racism, control, and abuse used by the good ol' boys and girls to get the land they want (Benton Harbor). The article below is a good example. If you can get to the article online before the paper makes it disappear, you'll see plenty of these comments. It's been suggested that they are written by only a small group. (Prosecutor's office? Whirlpool? Hell Pollution?) Here we include a few comments by citizens who understand what's going on.
1 step back, 3 forward
City commission approves Whirlpool tax breaks but rezoning is on hold

By Kate Genellie - H-P Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BENTON HARBOR - Though it stumbled at the Benton Harbor Planning Commission meeting Monday, the Whirlpool Corp. headquarters project took a jump forward after the City Commission approved four resolutions that will allow the company to take advantage of tax breaks.
With no discussion before the vote, the City Commission voted 8-1 to approve a property tax break for the company, with Commissioner Dennis Knowles voting no. Mayor Wilce Cooke and Commissioners Marcus Muhammad, Eddie Marshall, James Hightower, Juanita Henry, Duane Seats II, Bryan Joseph and David Shaw voted yes.
The commission approved four other resolutions, all by 7-2 votes with Knowles and Henry voting no. Two of the resolutions will provide tax breaks for personal property at the headquarters. In another resolution, the city agreed to vacate part of River Street in Benton Harbor, a section of road between the St. Joseph River and the proposed site of the headquarters. The park along the river will remain open to the public.
The city also agreed to rezone the proposed project site, conditional on the approval of the City Planning Commission. In order for Whirlpool to go ahead with its plans for the project, the triangle of land along Main Street, between River Street and Riverview Drive, needs to be rezoned from D-2 commercial to an E-business district, which would allow for a higher maximum height for buildings.
But the Planning Commission at a meeting earlier in the evening rejected a motion to accept Whirlpool's site plans. The vote was 4-3 with Planning Commissioner Robert Hansey abstaining. Chairman Robert Taylor and Commissioners Susan Flowers, Emma Kinnard and Ronnie Whitelow voted no. Commissioners Wilce Cooke, Eddie Marshall and Ron Carter voted yes.
After the vote, Whirlpool representatives got up and left the meeting en masse. The Planning Commission meeting continued as Whirlpool representatives spoke in the hallway outside the commission chambers. After the meeting was adjourned and several planning commissioners had left, other commissioners tried to get them to return for another vote, but they were not able to convene a quorum before the City Commission meeting.
After the planning commission meeting, Jeff Noel, Whirlpool's vice president of communication and public affairs, said the actions of the Planning Commission "speak volumes."
"Tonight's action clearly sets this community back," Noel said. The planning commissioners "have indicated it's not about the project" but that there are "other issues."
Whitelow said that the Planning Commission can't just accept concept drawings provided by Whirlpool, because they are not specific enough.
All of Whirlpool's plans need to be on paper, Whitelow said. "Suppose they change their mind, well, we're already committed."
After the commission approved the tax breaks, Noel struck a more conciliatory tone and said Whirlpool is prepared to provide blueprints, although that is outside the norm for what most municipalities require.
"We knew going in it would be a process," Noel said. He urged planning commissioners to be specific with their questions and said that the resulting plan would be stronger for the input.
In response to the City Commission's vote, Noel said it showed they "overwhelmingly want this project."
"It was time for leadership to go forward," Noel said.
The headquarters is part of an $85 million plan to consolidate 15 Whirlpool facilities in the Twin Cities area into three, one each in Benton Harbor, Benton Township and St. Joseph. The Benton Harbor complex will house 1,100 workers and is planned to be completed in five years.
In his closing statements to the City Commission, Cooke talked about the $200,000 yearly donation the city will receive from Whirlpool, as part of the headquarters project. After three years, the amount will go up to $300,000 for nine more years.
The donations have been part of the plan from the beginning, Noel said, and will go toward areas affecting public education, parks and recreation and public safety, such as police or fire department equipment.
Cooke said he would like to see new community development built around the headquarters project, and added that much of that development should mean work for Benton Harbor locals.
"We need to put that money in areas of employment for our citizens," Cooke said.
"I feel good about it," Cooke said after the meeting. "The project's going to fly. We need them, they need us."

Gerald wrote on Oct 19, 2010 1:33 PM:
" Sounds like the Whirlpool cry babies did a bit of thumb sucking and pouting because they didn't get their way last night. That action, in and of itself, shows their true colors! Cookes comment about "they need us" makes just about as much sense also!


EDWARD wrote on Oct 19, 2010 2:24 PM:
" Whirlpool please move out of Benton Harbor. I WILL PAY YOU ! WE DO NOT WANT YOU OR NEED YOU. MOVE OUT. "

Muse wrote on Oct 19, 2010 4:30 PM:
" Why don't they use some of the money to keep jobs in this country? Why do they need a palace in this economy? Sends the wrong messgae. "

Thursday, October 21, 2010

[Dishonesty runs deep in all facets of Whirlpool Corporation]

Jury Finds Whirlpool Falsely Advertises Clothes Dryer

CHICAGO, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal court jury today found that Whirlpool Corporation violated the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which prohibits false advertising, by marketing "Steam Dryer" models that use a cold water spray instead of a steam generator.

The court will now determine the scope of an injunction prohibiting Whirlpool from continuing to market its misting dryers as "Steam Dryers."

In the cased filed on Jan. 10, 2008, LG Electronics alleged that Whirlpool made false statements in marketing its Duet and Cabrio Steam Dryers, as well as the Maytag brand Bravo Steam Dryer manufactured by Whirlpool, because these products do not produce or use steam. Instead, they spray water from a cold water source into a heated drum, which tumble dries the wet clothes in the same manner as conventional dryers. Whirlpool claimed that evaporation from the heated clothes is steam, but the jury rejected that defense, finding that Whirlpool violated the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

With Judge Amy St. Eve presiding, the eight-woman, one-man jury made its determination of facts in the case upon deliberating for one day, after hearing from more than 19 witnesses during the 11-day trial...

See more news releases in: Household Products, Household, Consumer & Cosmetics, Computer Electronics, Consumer Electronics, Banking & Financial Services, Legal Issues

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Extreme justice is extreme injustice.

-Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman,
orator, writer (106-43 BCE)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Documentary spotlights Berrien inmates, kids

DePaul University film team hopes to capture how severely children are affected when a parent is serving time

By Scott Aiken - H-P Thursday, September 9, 2010

ST. JOSEPH - When a mother is convicted of a crime and goes to jail, the punishment may not fall on her alone.
Children, unable to understand why their parent is gone, often suffer lasting harm.
"The effect of a woman leaving for a few months is devastating, it's heart-wrenching," said Kim Clark, part of a documentary film team that has been working in the Berrien County jail since July....

Policy matters
wrote on Sep 9, 2010 4:46 PM:
"...There is nothing at all contradictory about the notion that very bad social outcomes - in this case, the prospect of children growing up with one or both parents incarcerated and the myriad associated problems - can be a result of both irresponsible personal behavior and bad policy. Certainly, parents ought to consider the well-being of their children when they engage in risky, illegal,and unethical behavior. Acknowledging this fact, however, it is still the case that incarceration policies in this country are badly out of whack. The rate at which we imprison people is the highest in the world, there is little evidence of any safety benefits accruing to this rate, and there is a great deal of harm that comes from placing almost two and a half million people behind bars at any given time. One of the harms being the incidence of broken families. "

wrote on Sep 9, 2010 5:16 PM:
" America, land of the free, has the largest prison population in the world. Since 1980, the US prison population has risen 400% and the trend continues upward.

The cost to our society is simply unsustainable. One-third of all black males are either in jail, or on parole/probation. Half of all black males have criminal records...We continue to enforce a 'War on Drugs' that costs over $100,000,000,000 a year and has only made the black market more lucrative for both the suppliers and dealers as well as members of the arrest and punishment industry while creating an unemployable underclass that is a cause, in large measure, of the results reported in the HP story. "

Gotta Wonder wrote on Sep 9, 2010 5:18 PM:
" I understand that we should have zero tolerance for crime. But this documentary is addressing a particular aspect of crime and its effect on children.

I think the point is, who will teach these children? Their parents may not be the best role models, but who really gets punished when they are incarcerated and not even able to care for their children in the most basic sense? So, who gets the job? Grandparents, the State, and perhaps a little attention from a social worker at school.

Particularly with women, I think there is a lot of incentive to go straight and sober up, so to speak, if it means rebuilding the family. I think the Fresh Start program has had some success.

It isn't necessarily in the best interest of children of offenders or society to issue lengthy sentences to mothers. Once the bond of mother and child is removed, mothers lose incentive to improve their lives and the kids start to drift toward crime. We are talking about people who have been raised in a cycle, a culture, a heritage of crime. "

Policy matters
wrote on Sep 10, 2010 10:21 AM:
" To Logician: There is nothing in my first post to suggest that I think incarceration is never appropriate for parents. What I am claiming is that our country locks up far more people than is optimal, with no appreciable safety benefit, an enormous burden on state budgets, and a host of very serious social harms. One of these social harms, as depicted by the documentary in question, is borne by the children of the incarcerated.

Prison time is no doubt warranted for parents who pose a genuine threat to society. Likewise, all parents ought to be compelled by the state to abide by the law. There is quite a lot of careful thought, however, to suggest that this compulsion as currently applied is grossly inefficient in many ways. What we need, and what is clearly possible, is a criminal justice system that better provides the desirable outcomes of a safe and orderly society without the massive externalities of the current system. Such a system will almost certainly entail locking up many fewer people, parents included. "

wrote on Sep 10, 2010 1:37 PM:
" These jails are owned by private corporations they rely on incarcerations....more people in jail=$ "

Sunday, October 17, 2010

BH cops chief: Cuts won't hurt public
Police union officials say they are skeptical, will file labor charge

By Julie Swidwa-H-P, Saturday, September 18, 2010

BENTON HARBOR - Police Chief Roger Lange said public safety will not be compromised with the loss of nine full-time patrol officers.
But a labor representative for the police officers' union and the local union president said they're not so sure. The Benton Harbor Police Officers Association is preparing to file an unfair labor practice charge against the city, union President James Wilkins said Friday after a news conference.
The layoffs leave the city with 11 full-time patrol officers, Lange said.
Union representatives held an impromptu conference of their own outside City Hall.
Mike Woronko, a Police Officers Labor Council representative from Rockford, Mich., said the conference inside reminded him of "a scene from 'Animal House'" in which "one minute the guy says 'Don't panic,' and the next minute they're all trampled."
"I don't quite believe everything I heard in there," Woronko said.
Woronko said he also wonders why a donation from Whirlpool can't be used to retain full-time officers.
"Whirlpool is a private company, and they can give money to anyone to use in any form they want to, but it seems odd they'd give money to an outside agency so they can send people here on overtime instead of sending it right to Benton Harbor and we could keep people on straight time..."

Paul wrote on Sep 18, 2010 2:51 PM:
" If laying off officers will not affect public safety, then why were they on the force in the first place? The chief's statement was unwise. "

concerned wrote on Sep 18, 2010 5:15 PM:
" How pathetic are those that believe that the loss of 9 full time officers won't hurt. How pathetic it still is that the city pays HUGE $$$ for outsiders to come in and cut the force so they could get their salary paid..."

Facts wrote on Sep 19, 2010 10:38 AM:
" The fact is that Whirpool donated money to help law enforcement in Benton Harbor. The problem is they donated it to another agency to patrol the city, while cops in Benton Harbor are losing their jobs and will now be forced into part time positions with no benefits... Instead of paying BH cops at straight pay, they will be paying higher paid Berrien County officers at overtime pay. "

wrote on Sep 19, 2010 3:32 PM:
" It is a fair question since Benton Harbor does not handle it's own finances- why wouldn't Whirlpool donate the money to keep these officers employed? Could it be that Whirlpool just wants their own town with their own police so why should they support the community they used until they got all the waterfront and now aid in disbanding it.
Granholm did an incredible job with her task force to revitalize Benton Harbor. She has done nothing but help it be wiped out. This is just the final blow to get rid of Benton Harbor and Harbor Shores will take it's place. Wake up people - it is so obvoius. "

Mike Woronko wrote on Sep 19, 2010 9:08 PM:
" I'm not blaming Whirlpool for anything. But apparently some readers can't do simple math. You can make money go further on straight time than on overtime. That is the point. If you are concerned about getting the most bang for your buck, you don't pay some one else more to do the same job. "

what a mess wrote on Sep 20, 2010 9:05 PM:
" Just a little information...there are no benefits-the officers are losing those, the part time is not guaranteed, and in truth because the department is offering this part-time crap it will mess up the officer's unemployment. "

Saturday, October 16, 2010

BH city commissioners to take Harris complaints to Lansing
[lansing meeting never happened]

State's emergency manager short on communication and collaboration, commissioners say
By Julie Swidwa-H-P Tuesday, September 21, 2010

[The problem is not Harris. The problem is Whirlpool which runs gov. Granholm, Joe Harris, and the city commission. And the county and Herald Palladium. Corporate greed on steriods.]

BENTON HARBOR - He was sent to fix the city's finances. But the Benton Harbor City Commission thinks Joseph Harris is causing more harm than good. The commission voted Monday to send a delegation to Lansing to meet with the state's Emergency Loan Board to air its concerns about the emergency financial manager.
"We've made an honest attempt to develop a relationship with the EFM," said Commissioner Marcus Muhammad. "We recognize the fiscal authority of the EFM, but there is a great concern in the community."
Harris told The Herald-Palladium earlier he will not respond to criticism by commissioners and will do the job he was sent to Benton Harbor to do.

always positive wrote on Sep 21, 2010 1:43 PM:
" If the commission didn't give whirlpool the ridiculous tax breaks, they would have the money to kick Harris out of town. Anything whirlypool wants whirlypool gets. No wonder they stick around. "

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Commissioners OK tax abatements for Whirlpool construction

By Scott Aiken-H-P Friday, October 1, 2010
ST. JOSEPH - Tax abatements sought by Whirlpool Corp. as incentives for $86 million in new construction got a green light Thursday from the Berrien County Board of Commissioners.
The board without dissent voted to extend Renaissance Zone status for the site of the company's proposed world headquarters campus in downtown Benton Harbor, and for its Edgewater Technology Center in St. Joseph and call center in Benton Township...

Could Pay For Construction With 92 Million Dollar Criminal Fine
wrote on Oct 1, 2010 2:06 PM:
--whirlpool could pay for all of this new construction with the money it is going to use to pay its $92 Million Criminal Fine for Anti-Trust Price Fixing instead of demanding tax incentives and abatements from the Tax Payers (of whom some may have been ripped off by buying higher priced appliances from the global aplliance giant so those lucky duckies are paying Twice).

oh well. we still have harbor shores !!!!

Jim wrote on Oct 1, 2010 2:29 PM:
--Dear "Could Pay"....what do you expect? After all, it's WHIRLPOOL, and we are all expected to bow down and worship the ground they walk on, right? I agree with you 100%. Somehow they must preserve the financial opportunity for Fettig to get his sickening annual bonus...and perhaps this is the way, eh?

The Federal Farmer wrote on Oct 1, 2010 10:12 PM:
--What a bunch of criminals!

Friday, October 08, 2010

"It is very evident that political neglect, oppression, racism and discrimination are alive, well and thriving in St. Joseph/Berrien County"

Date: 5 October 2010
From: Tiffany Henderson

RE: Discrimination in Berrien Country (Eddie Peek Death)

On 15 May 2010 my father, Mr. Eddie Peek (Afro-American 61 yrs of age), was rear-ended and killed by a drunken driver, Paige Karsten (Caucasian 21 yrs of age) at 2:21am while traveling on I-94 eastbound to Benton Harbor after picking up newspapers from Herald Palladium, his place of employment. The impact from the crash was so great that Mr. Peek’s (herein after called the victim) van flipped and the rear caught fire (extinguished by a witness). When the Benton Township Police Department (BTPD) arrived at the scene it was obvious that Paige (hereinafter called the perpetrator) was drunk.

Per the police report the following bullets are known facts:
· The victim died at 3:25am at Lakeland Hospital from injuries sustained from the accident.
· The perpetrator was speeding drunk and hit the victim without breaking.
· Officer Robert Fuller found the perpetrator walking around in the median area after hitting the victim.
· Strong odors of intoxicants were coming from perpetrator‘s breath/her eyes were bloodshot red & her speech was slurred.
· The perpetrator said she only had 2 “Jaeger-bombs” at Nacho Papa’s.
· The perpetrator was not able to recite the alphabet from D to P, only reciting “D,E”.
· The perpetrator could not do the one-leg stand, only being able to raise her left foot 6” from the ground a dropping it saying she could not do this.
· The perpetrator stumbled to the right when taking to take her first step in the walk-in-turn test and did not walk heel-to-toe but took steps with her feet apart.
· The perpetrator was charge w/Operating a vehicle While Intoxicated Causing Death.
· The perpetrator’s Breath Test result at scene (administered by Officer Fuller) was 0.201% and blood alcohol content from blood specimen (administered at Lakeland Hospital at 4:40am) was 0.217%.
· The accident scene was cleared and cleaned up of all debris and both cars were towed to Jeff’s Towing Yard by 3:30am
· The accident scene was not preserved because officers were not notified of the victim’s death until after 3:30am.

Other known facts:

· The Herald Palladium has not published any news relative to the case or accident since 5/17/10 and has not responded to inquires from the family regarding their lack of coverage considering the victim was killed while working.
· The Herald Palladium has historically and continues to report “front page” news on other accidents, murders and criminal cases when black on black, black on white or white on white outside of St. Joseph/Berrien County.
· The State Police not being called to the scene when the accident occurred in their jurisdiction.
· Officer Robert Fuller addressed the perpetrator as “Paige” and the perpetrator addressed the Officer Fuller as “Bobby” at the scene.
· The perpetrator was allowed to talk on her cell phone for 10 to 15mins in back of the police car prior to being transported from the accident scene.
· Officers were at the hospital (with the perpetrator) when the victim died at 3:25am, yet officer(s) at the crime scene said they were not notified of his death in time to preserve the scene.
· No photos were taken of the scene on the date of accident.
· Because the scene was cleared no attempts were made to reconstruct the scene.
· The BTPD refused to release a copy of the police report (public documentation) and accident records ( CDs) to the family of the victim until August 2010 after numerous requests had been made by the family.
· The Prosecuting Attorney (PA) Michael Sepic met w/the family members of the victim for the first time on 9/30/10 to discuss the status of the perpetrator’s case after being non responsive to prior requests from the victim’s family.
· PA said to the victim’s family, “he was sorry for making so many mistakes” “don’t we (victim’s family) make mistakes too”.
· The PA told victim’s family it’s not the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office responsibility to investigate the accident, but to prosecute on information provided by the police dept.
· The PA said “Anything the perpetrator did prior to killing the victim (drinking at two bars, possibly driving faster the 80mph and possible DUI priors) was irrelevant. He was only concern was the victim being dead, the perpetrator being drunk and what the police has to say.
· When the victim’s family asked the PA why the perpetrator was not being charged with Vehicular Manslaughter or Second Degree Murder, he responded “because I don’t have time” and “I don’t feel like it”.
· PA provided the victim’s family with “new” toxicology report dated 5/25/10 with the blood alcohol level of the perpetrator being .18. He stated the initial report was incorrect because the serum was tested and not the whole blood.
· PA provided the victim’s family with “new” evidence. A toxicology report dated 5/25/10 with the blood alcohol level of the victim being .06. He said the defense attorney would question the victim’s blood alcohol level and him not wearing a seat belt.
· PA said the perpetrator could possibility be sentenced to 1-3yrs or less.
· PA told the victim’s family that a nationwide criminal check was conducted and the perpetrator had no priors. Yet when asked to provide a copy of the CHH report he refused saying it was against the law (Law Enforcement Act). When asked for a written statement he also refused.
· PA said to the victim’s family “hasn’t Ms. Karsten suffered enough”.
· Since the perpetrator was charged, a judge has recused himself, three/four court dates have resulted in continuances, the trail was scheduled for October because the perpetrator had classes and the trial was adjourned by the court on 10/1/10 (with possibly reschedule in Feb. or March of 2011) as a result of “new evidence” (toxicology report) dated 5/25/10 that Mr. Sepic said he received in mid September.

The Berrien County Courthouse, Prosecuting Attorney Office and Benton Township Police Dept. have historically and continue to blatantly legitimize the differences in the judicial process used for “Blacks” and for “Whites." Based upon the reports/evidence provided by their offices, documented/verbal admittance of numerous mistakes, multiple court continuances, the PA’s refusal to provide requested material (full reports), the lack of media coverage by the Herald Palladium, and the arrogant/unprofessional/non-responsive/misleading manner in which the PA has dealt with the victim’s family. It is very evident that political neglect, oppression, racism and discrimination are alive, well and thriving in St. Joseph/Berrien County. I’m requesting support from the NAACP (and any other partnering Civil Rights organizations) to ensure the prejudice in this case is made public and stopped, as well as ensuring the victim rights of my family and other minorities in Benton Harbor are not continually violated by the discriminatory judicial processes of Berrien County. I was taught the Government is “for the people”, yet in Berrien County “the people” don’t include minorities.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Excerpts From Speeches Given at the August 10 Benton Harbor Rally

“All is not well here in Benton Harbor. Look at our educational system. Whirlpool started this 40 years ago. They came in with a plan to make all the people illiterate. They corrupted our school system, took away our hospital, you have to go to St. Joseph to see the doctor. I want the people here in Benton Harbor to wake up. We have to come together. We can’t fight this giant alone. We have to unite. Whirlpool is the devil; people are tired, people are broken and broke. It’s time to rise up, its going to take doing what we’re doing here today.” Belinda Brown, formerly of Benton Harbor

“I came up here not only to support this struggle but to stand shoulder to shoulder with you. You’ve got friends in Southern Illinois. Whirlpool closed down our plant and threw 1000 people out of work. It took $35 million out of the coffers and people are hurting bad. We don’t have any industry coming in, its all closing down and leaving. These corporations are planning on privatizing everything, all of our land, all of our resources, taking our water, our air. The only people they are depriving are the poor. They can’t take from the rich.” — Cathy Talbott, Southern IL

“What is the worst part to me is the way the courts have acted to facilitate this entire thing. … that they would set aside the most basic process of democracy, and set aside a recall election so they could make a few more dollars. The people of Berrien County have to remove these people. And I mean Jennifer Granholm too. The Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans.” — John Mann, Kalamazoo

“...The power of the people is stronger than the man’s technology. The struggle in Benton Harbor is being carried out throughout this nation. These apartheid dogs are taking land from the people...” — Larry Pinkney, MN

“We are still dealing with the same issues – police terrorism, political prisoners … they are taking this land, the occupying army... Whirlpool is symbolic to BP; Whirlpool is the BP of Benton Harbor. We have to draw the connection from them making this move on this land here to the police terrorism in Oakland California. Power to the people.” —Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr., Chicago

“This week in downtown Detroit they are talking about taking the land right on the water. They are talking about taking the land in every major city in this country. They are talking about not just the land, but your heart, your soul, stealing everything and then rolling your bones over. We are standing on the bones of Native Americans...Rev. Pinkney has fought a valiant battle. We stand with Rev. Pinkney. He epitomizes what it means to be a true warrior in this battle.” — Ron Scott, Detroit

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

LG Electronics Seeks $60 Million From Whirlpool in Dryer Advertising Case By Andrew M. Harris - Oct 4, 2010

LG Electronics USA Inc. asked a federal court jury to award it $60 million in profits the company’s attorney said Whirlpool Corp. reaped by falsely advertising the steam capabilities of its clothes dryers.

LG lawyer Lawrence Desideri made his request to the panel of 10 women and one man today at the start of what is expected to be a three-week trial at the U.S. courthouse in Chicago.

“Whirlpool falsely represented that its dryers created and used steam,” when in reality they didn’t, Desideri said. That misrepresentation, he said, injured consumers and his client, a unit of Seoul-based LG...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Whirlpool Corporation under investor investigation over possible breaches of fiduciary duty
Investigation on behalf of investors of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) over possible breaches of fiduciary duty
– WHR stockholders should contact the Shareholders Foundation, Inc at

PRLog (Press Release) – Oct 04, 2010 – An investigation on behalf of current investors of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) over possible breaches of fiduciary duty by certain officers and directors of Whirlpool Corp. after its Brazilian subsidiary admitted to price fixing.

If you are a current long term investor in Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) securities, and/or have any information relating the investigation, you have certain options and you should contact the Shareholders Foundation at or call +1(858) 779 – 1554.

The investigation by a law firm concerns whether certain officers and directors of Whirlpool Corporation breached their fiduciary duty owed to WHR investors after its Embraco North America Inc., subsidiary admitted to price fixing. The investigation seeks to determine whether certain officers and directors at Whirlpool were negligent in overseeing the Embraco subsidiary to detect antitrust violations...

Sunday, October 03, 2010

This is the type of speech we want to hear from all candidates! Vitale's views on state prisons come at the end

Video: Fred Vitale, Green Party candidate for State Representative of district 3.


Saturday, October 02, 2010

FBI Top Ten News Stories for the Week
Written by FBI
Saturday, 2 October 2010

Washington, DC - FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending October 1, 2010:

1. Albuquerque: Arizona Fugitives Indicted on Capital Charges - Arizona fugitives John McCluskey, Tracy Province, and their accomplice, Casslyn Welch, were indicted in connection with the August 2, 2010 carjacking and murder of Gary and Linda Haas of Oklahoma.
2. Detroit: Panasonic Corp. and Whirlpool Corp. Subsidiary Agree to Plead Guilty for Role in Price-Fixing Conspiracy Involving Refrigerant Compressors - Panasonic Corporation and a Whirlpool Corporation subsidiary pled guilty and were criminally fined $140.9 million for their role in an international conspiracy to fix the prices of refrigerant compressors.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Whirlpool unit fined in price-fix plan
Page 11A of Friday, October 1, 2010 issue of The Detroit News
Embraco pays $92M, cooperates in probe that slaps Panasonic
BY JACLYN TROP, The Detroit News
A subsidiary of Michigan-based Whirlpool and Panasonic Corp. have agreed to plead guilty and pay $141 million in fines for their involvement in an international conspiracy to fix the prices of household and commercial refrigerant compressors.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Letter to Editor, Thursday, September 30, 2010
Harris' methods are in violation of state statute
[Joe Harris was sent by Granholm to BH as state financial mngr.]

You can get a prescription for drugs from your doctor. It will make you feel better or kill you. Gov. Jennifer Granholm gave Joseph Harris a prescription to cure Benton Harbor's financial problems; he must have had a pocket full of methadone, because he is killing this city and its residents.

At Benton Harbor High school, Mr. Harris told the citizens (with his boss present) he was working with the commissioners and he will continue to do so and that he would be transparent. His job description clearly states that he was to collaborate with the city officials to formulate plans to eliminate the city's deficit. He said he had and will continue to do so. He lied.

On April 10 President Obama said that the loud voices of the special interest should never be allowed to drown out the voice of the common man.

Public Act No.72 clearly states that Mr. Harris is supposed to collaborate with commissioners. I read this to him at the high school. Now all of a sudden he gets amnesia and disregards everything he said.

What's wrong with checks and balances? The only oversight committee connected to Mr. Harris' job is the Emergency Loan Board (appointed by Gov. Granholm) and they are all in bed together. Why shouldn't the commissioners and mayor meet with him? The last time I looked we were still a democratic nation.

Gov. Granholm is doing a darn good job of turning this blue state red. And for the first time in my adult life I am considering voting Republican.

George Moon, Benton Harbor

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Airs Thursday: Cooney, Upton debate on radio

Kalamazoo Gazette
John A. Lacko | Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette

ST. JOSEPH — U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and Democratic foe Don Cooney took part Sunday in an hourlong debate recorded in the studios of Benton Harbor radio station WSJM-FM (94.9) and scheduled to air on the station at 7 p.m. Thursday, according to Cooney’s campaign. It will also be available online at

Cooney and Upton have also agreed to a debate sponsored by the Kalamazoo Gazette and tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12.

The last day to register to vote in November’s general election, meanwhile, is Oct. 4. Voting information is available online at
Article with 2 comments:
"we have actually lost jobs from Whirlpool while giving Whirlpool tax cuts"

County backs tax break zone for Whirlpool

Creating the rehabilitation district would allow appliance maker to apply for abatement, freezing taxes on properties
By Scott Aiken - H-P, Friday, September 24, 2010
ST. JOSEPH - Berrien County commissioners Thursday agreed to support the creation of a commercial rehabilitation district to provide Whirlpool Corp. with a tax abatement on a planned $68 million world headquarters in Benton Harbor...The Benton Harbor City Commission has voted to create the district. But under the state law that allows the tax abatement, the county has a rejection right...The complex is part of an $85 million plan to consolidate Whirlpool's 15 operations in the Twin Cities into three, one each in Benton Harbor, Benton Township and St. Joseph.
The world headquarters complex is to be built on Main Street in Benton Harbor between River Street and Riverview Drive.
Another abatement being sought by Whirlpool is an amendment to the Harbor Shores brownfield plan to include property at the LeValley site and certain nearby properties the company does not now control.
A third abatement that requires county involvement would extend the Renaissance Zone designation for Whirlpool properties...Fette said approval of all the abatements would mean a $100,000 annual loss of tax revenue for the county.

JamesO wrote on Sep 25, 2010:
" "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go..." "

we need a balance sheet wrote on Sep 25, 2010
" I...think it's time that our elected officials asked Whirlpool for a balance sheet comparing their donations to their tax breaks. Who wouldn't like to trade paying taxes for the ability to chose where and how to spend the money in donations. That's not how democracies work. We elect people to represent us in determining how the money is best spent in the public interest. As for the economic benefits of jobs we have actually lost jobs from Whirlpool while giving Whirlpool tax cuts. Middle class jobs we so desparately need have been sent to other states and out of the country..."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Herald Palladium - Propaganda Watch

Beginning of an article, followed by an informed reader comment

Joe Harris, flak catcher
He's the Slasher In Chief, but that's the job the governor gave him
By Julie Swida-H-P, Sunday, September 26, 2010
BENTON HARBOR - His own job is on the cutting room floor.
Still, Benton Harbor City Manager Ron Carter Jr. says Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris is doing exactly what he was sent here to do.
Most Benton Harbor city commissioners and several city residents disagree and say Harris is overstepping his authority. Others say he is doing his job, and doing it well.
Harris was sent to Benton Harbor in April after Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared that a financial emergency existed in the city. The declaration came under Public Act 72, also known as the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act...

Resident wrote on Sep 27, 2010 5:24 AM:
" Someone tell me how there is going to be a city left without a fire department, a city manager, an administrative staff, city assessor and city clerk? Who will be left to run the city - oh that's right Whirlpool is already. Very convenient for them to eliminate the city assessor's position when the properties they are getting tax breaks on have yet to be assessed I wonder in who's favor they may end up? Wake up people.Governor Granholm brought in a task force in 2003 to revitilize Benton Harbor and this is what you got. She also had the heads of all governmental agencies sign a letter supporting Harbor Shores. Harbor Shores used Benton Harbor to get all their infrastructure paid for and where are the benefits of Harbor Shores for the city now ? "

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cotter blasts state again
Parole board's decisions 'abysmal,' prosecutor says

By Scott Aiken, H-P
Published: Friday, September 10, 2010
ST. JOSEPH - Berrien County Prosecutor Arthur Cotter is not backing down from his contention that violent criminals are being released too soon from state prisons.
Speaking to county commissioners Thursday, Cotter repeated his earlier criticism that "money driven" decisions by the Michigan Parole and Commutation Board create risks for the public...

Maybe ...not wrote on Sep 10, 2010 4:42 PM:
" To Maybe, the judges do not need any more power! As corrupt, unfair and immoral as the local ones have proven to be, it would be horrible for them to have any more power. They abuse what they have already. The parole board should be given more information about each person and there should be more time spent on each case/person before the consideration for granting parole is given. "

get real wrote on Sep 10, 2010 7:37 PM:
" Violent offenders should be in prison, too bad that drug offenders are taking up so much space. Does Art have a solution, does he want more taxes, does he want to let drug offenders out? Besides self serving blame what does Art offer? "

Friday, September 24, 2010

Harbor Shores propaganda is constant in Whirlpool's "company" paper, the Herald Palladium. Below are parts of two "golf" articles, each followed by reader comments.

Driving forward

[photo] Karl and Karen Karg of Glen Ellyn, Ill., enjoy hamburgers as they sit in front of a mural at the North Shore Inn Tuesday. The mural was painted by Eric Bradford and was commissioned to celebrate the recent Champions for Change golf match featuring Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Johnny MIller. The restaurant is near the 13th and 14th holes of The Golf Club at Harbor Shores, where the match was played.
Officials, business owners: Harbor Shores golf course grand opening event already paying dividends for area
By Julie Swida-H-P
Friday, September 10, 2010
BENTON HARBOR - The grand opening of The Golf Club at Harbor Shores was more than a fun event that participants and spectators will remember for the rest of their lives, Harbor Shores and other community officials said Thursday.
The event will have a far-reaching effect on the economy and reputation of the Twin Cities area, said the officials, who spoke to reporters at a media roundtable meeting Thursday...

We Liked The Livery Beer Flow Stats wrote on Sep 10, 2010 2:06 PM:
" we liked the Livery increased beer flow stats in the chart that went with the press release, oops, the well researched and sourced "news" story - more drunk drivers for the cops to pull over and generate revenue from. "

Pollyanna Belts Out Kumbayah wrote on Sep 10, 2010 2:07 PM:
" Pollyanna breaks out yet another resounding rendition of Kumbayah. Stenography at its finest. "

Oswald Spengler wrote on Sep 10, 2010 3:02 PM:
" Man, that mural is so cheesy. I hope they haven't gotten rid of the bullfighting scene, with the big 3-D bull! "

Dan Loops wrote on Sep 10, 2010 4:00 PM:
" This is a great thing... But the "participants and spectators will remember for the rest of their lives." comments have to stop. And lets face it, Whirlpool (Kitchen Aid) was not "selected", they bought (they are sponsers) the 2012 and 2014 Senior PGA Championships. Not knocking what this brings to the community. But the bombastic marketing and over the top verbal junk is insulting to most people's intelligence. "

wrote on Sep 10, 2010 8:30 PM:
" Is the airconditioner a Whirlpool? That's a classy location for the mural. Right uinder the A/C. LOL "

wrote on Sep 11, 2010 9:54 AM:
" As a long time resident and very involved in the development of the Arts District, I take offense that in some way, Harbor Shores had anything to do with that neighborhood coming alive. If it had not been the hard work and personal cost of those who bought and worked their butt off to get the Arts District going, there would be no Arts District. Whirlpool, Cornerstone, Harbor Shores had nothing to do with it. For that matter they did nothing to help other than be a bank and give out loans, and not great ones at that. Cornerstone has lied to many business owners in BH. I personally worked with the Benton Harbor Children's Art Fair for 6 years, Where was Whirlpool then? The District was always alive, now it is just to their benefit to advertise for it. Nothing stopped them from doing it years ago - but there was no benefit for them then. It is not their work - so stop taking the credit. Any place benefits when you have a PR firm working nonstop to promote it. "

Golf challenge by the numbers

Friday, September 10, 2010
BENTON HARBOR - The national spotlight was on Benton Harbor on Aug. 10 as four golf legends played at the grand opening of the Golf Club at Harbor Shores.

About 4,000 people watched as Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus, the course designer, raised $1 million in the Champions for Change golf tournament. The money was given to the Benton Harbor Boys & Girls Club...

Resident wrote on Sep 11, 2010 3:36 PM:
" So how much free food and T-shirts and raffle tickets did you offer to get your statistics up?

Did Harbor Shore's ever get permission slips from the parents of the kids they used for their Earthday photo opportunity? When they had the youth of Benton Harbor cleaning up a known contaminated site adjacent to Jean Klock Park.

They continue to use the youth over and over again to pretend like they are really making a difference. Summer jobs taught them how to push a broom to clean not their streets, but Harbor Shore's streets. Challenging and rewarding work.

It is disgusting to read and reread this crappy PR is to how wonderful this all is. There is definitely better news to report Herald Palladium. Haven't you been bought off enough? Give it a rest with Harbor Shores. It is really nauseating. "

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Is the rumour true that Harris is moving to Benton Harbor? And that, in reality, he's Whirlpool's hatchet man, working to dissolve every Benton Harbor department? Will Whirlpool replace BH with Harbor Town? Has this been in the works for decades, hence the most innocent and juvenile convictions in the state? Will this MONUMENTAL MISCARRIAGE of justice ever be prosecuted?

9 Benton Harbor officers face layoffs this week

By Julie Swidwa H-P
Wed., Sept. 15, 2010
BENTON HARBOR - Nine Benton Harbor patrol officers can expect to find layoff notices in their mailboxes this week after a unanimous vote by the union Monday to refuse a 25 percent pay cut.

Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris said three will be called back to fill grant-funded positions, resulting in a net loss of six full-time patrol officers. Harris said some of them will be offered part-time jobs...

always positive
wrote on Sep 15, 2010 1:36 PM:
" Now this is when whirlpool should step in and help fund their ailling city of choice. Oops. They only want tax breaks from their hometown city of choice. The amount of tax breaks certainly would make a BIG difference. "

Rick wrote on Sep 15, 2010 1:52 PM:
" Instead of laying off police officers and closing the fire dept, why dosen't Harris stop the city trash pick-up which has made the owner of Industrial Sanitation rich. "

BH Resident
wrote on Sep 15, 2010 3:38 PM:
" Why is Whirlpool giving money to the County and not to the BENTON HARBOR POLICE DEPT? And the city wants to allow Whirlpool to build down town. That's crap. Whirlpool doesn't give a darn about BH. "

Concerned wrote on Sep 16, 2010 5:10 AM:
" Harris is cutting every employee he can. But he is not cutting is own over a $100,000 a year or the City manager and his high paid assistant. That is a real concern to me. If the City is so broke then HOW does he justify his salary and having a City manager and a assistant as well. Harris is taking over every department and running them himself. To me he is going about this all wrong. He was brought in to manage the money and help to guide the City. But is has taken of the role of GOD over the City. Something is wrong with this picture. Or is he actually making the City FAIL on purpose. We better ask that question very soon or it will be GONE "

wrote on Sep 17, 2010 12:22 AM:
" Ok who is behind the Township water plant? None other than Jim Boothby and his wife. WHY? They do not wish to be a part of the community any more. If people would only look at what is happening you can see for yourself. St Joe needs more capacity. Benton Harbor was able to get the grant and St Joe could not. So why was there a new connection pipe put under the river a few years back to join Benton Harbor and St Joe. The real reason: so that St Joe can get water from Benton Harbor when they run short. Why? So that in time the water plants will be under an authority much like the one in St Joe now and the townships. All but Benton as Benton wanted to be on their own and used The Benton Harbor situation to scam the voters. I am hoping that once all the new pipes and valves and such is placed and the total costs are figured the citizens will be outraged that they were scammed. This whole area is going to be in time a Water Authority and a New town in time watch and see what I say. There is a reason for what is going on and why it is happening. But that reason has not been made public as of yet. The talk of combined Fire services is only the start of things to come. St Joe is land locked and no way to gain land for future expansion and more tax base. Benton Harbor has the land and the river front and that will be the driving force to make the changes in the future. Why do you think Whirlpool decided to build there??? You answer that one HARBOR TOWN "

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stage set for Whirlpool incentives


Benton Harbor City Commission OKs measures that will allow company to seek tax breaks on $68 million office complex

By Julie Swidwa-H-P
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
BENTON HARBOR - A package of resolutions approved by the City Commission on Tuesday brings Whirlpool Corp. a step closer to getting incentives the company is seeking to build a $68 million world headquarters office complex in downtown Benton Harbor...

Not Fooled wrote on Sep 8, 2010 1:23 PM:
" Bringing "1.100workers into downtown Benton Harbor" should not be interpreted by the lay reader as adding 1,100 jobs! Come on people...who do really think Whirlpool is doing this for? First of all, Muhammed has absolutely no clue what he is talking about, and Jeff Noel is a smooth talking front man who summed up what Whirlpool is really about when he stated that "Whirlpool could have benefited from lower tax rates inother communities." The cart is driving the horse! Time for more "WE LOVE WHIRLPOOLl" signs in the area (lol). "

sick of the outsourcing wrote on Sep 8, 2010 1:35 PM:
" whirlpool, you want tax breaks - bring back the jobs sent to Brazil and Mexico! then we will talk tax breaks! "

Tom Joad wrote on Sep 8, 2010 2:46 PM:
" Small business is the engine that drives the American economy, not large multi-national corporations that outsource U.S. jobs and hide their profits in overseas tax shelters. These are the businesses that should be receiving tax breaks, not Whirlpool. "

Deb wrote on Sep 8, 2010 2:53 PM:
" No company that exports JOBS should benefit from any tax break. "

really wrote on Sep 8, 2010 9:16 PM:
" And this too shall pass. More lies and heart ache for the people of Benton Harbor. "

Oswald Spengler
wrote on Sep 8, 2010 10:23 PM:
" Jeff Noel asks, "how do we attract new business so that over time we can lower the millage rate?"

Who is this "we", Jeff Noel? You don't run the city. It's not you who decides the tax rate.

Coming soon: Joseph Harris, Ron Carter and the commissioners lower taxes (pushed on apparently by Jeff Noel). Marcus Muhammad supports his vote with talking points from the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, Heritage Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Club For Growth.

Benton Harbor is getting weirder and weirder all the time. "

Nelly wrote on Sep 9, 2010 2:08 AM:
" The debt mongers and haters are in the house! While it is great point out the difference in the millage from one city to another, Mr Noel should also have mentioned the fact that the people of Benton Harbor subsidize public transport, airport, and utility services for those nice folks in Benton Township. WE pay more in taxes because we and (Niles) provide more services through the property tax levied.

Maybe if St Joe, St TWP, and Benton TWP all paid their fair share of the additional services provided their citizens, the rates would be much closer. "

Common Sense Rules Clarification
wrote on Sep 9, 2010 8:05 AM:
" This is not about the WHR tax breaks as they are what they are but a desire to keep the debate accurate. While "common sense rules" is accurate in the fact that the U.S. has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, he/she fails to also acknowledge that we also have one of the most charitable set of allowances for tax credits, deductions, and write-offs which lowere to true effective level of that rate. Public policy is much more nuanced than what is discussed here which is unfortunate. Corporations are doign just fine from a tax standpoint and have teams of accountants and tax attorneys to ensure such. The area which really deserves attention is the tax burden of truelly small businesses. I bet if you look at it from a relative percetnage of revenue, they pay a far higher rate than larger companies. "

Monday, September 20, 2010

Letter to the Editor and comments. Topics: Whirlpool stolen land development and Berrien county prosecutor Cotter.

Excerpt from a 9/16 Letter to the Editor (HPalladium)


I have enjoyed Jean Klock Park all my life...
...the illustrious leaders of Benton Harbor and Whirlpool were keeping up the hype that "no one goes to Jean Klock Park."
...What next? Probably luxury condos on all public waterfront property, or casinos, strip joints, hotels and motels. Then it probably will mean some more bars. Oh, and we can all have corporate "campuses" that won't employ any of our residents.

What is important to [our "leaders"] is that they carry out the orders of the entities who want to develop every square inch of lake front property, make a profit, get filthy rich and move on.

That's it, take away all the residents' personal freedoms and let the developers and corporations have their way. Is that the way you want it? If you don't wake up, that's exactly what will happen.

Too many people still have their heads in the sand.

Lea'Anna Locey, Benton Harbor


Letter to Editor comments

The Federal Farmer wrote on Sep 17, 2010:
"Let's hope that visitors to the area take their dogs to the Whirlpool Golf Course to poop."

Another windbag supporter
wrote on Sep 16, 2010:
"I bet Mr. Cotter don't advocate should felons have work, some of them may not turn to street crimes in the community, and I bet Mr. Cotter when putting his foot in his mouth never takes this foot out to advocate for a better juvenile justice system in this state. Mr. Cotter knows full well how to gain followers and support by egging on those that whine about tax dollars spent on criminals. Mr. Cotter is a foot inserting in thy own mouth windbag, who needs to do a better job in application of the laws and stautes of this state. Maybe someone should do some research to find out how many of his cases are questionable?"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Below are three HPalladium readers' opinions. All are in line with NAACP-BH strong support for Don Cooney's US House of Rep. campaign to oust incumbent Fred Upton, heir to Whirlpool trillions.

Letter to Editor - comment

spare me wrote on Sep 16, 2010 10:10 AM:
" You only need to take a look at Fred's [Upton] contributors. Being on the communications committee he takes donations from all the big telecommunications companies that stand to make great profits on increased limits and fees for the whole internet. We pay now for higher speeds next we will pay for greater access. The internet is an economic engine for purchasing, information and should not be hampered by corporate interests who only want profits that come from control not capitalism. It's time to rebel against Fred and his corporate buddies "

9/15 Letter to Editor (HPalladium)

Upton on the wrong side of net neutrality issue


I was amazed to read of the attitudes of Fred Upton, our local representative in the U.S. Congress, that were published in an article in a recent edition of The H-P.

If true, he appears to have sold out to a group of interests that are determined to milk the "free" Internet for corporate profits in a manner that will stifle growth of this valuable resource. The USA is already falling far behind the rest of the world in the speed of local services, and the loss of net neutrality will only accelerate their lead.

The Internet is a valuable resource for advancement of science, industry and free speech, and we certainly can't afford to sacrifice its growth for the profit of a few greedy corporations or compliant politicians!

Daniel Groteke, St. Joseph

9/14 Letter to Editor - Excerpt

...At the national level, Don Cooney is a compelling candidate for election to the House of Representatives. Don is currently in his sixth term as a Kalamazoo city commissioner, where he focuses on issues affecting working families. He has developed a detailed plan for bringing jobs back to Michigan by promoting new industries (e.g., green energy, technology, local food processing), providing tax incentives for companies that expand their work force or supply skills training for their existing workers, and investing in education from early childhood through college...

Larry Feldman, Lakeside