Mass Demonstration against Voter Suppression in Benton Harbor

Voter suppression led by Whirlpool Corporation and Berrien County Sheriff Department. Protest all injustices being forced on our town, your town and all around the country! It is not one thing it is everything. The murder of Benton Harbor residents, gentrification by Whirlpool, Governor Snyder’s Emergency Manager dictatorship. Find it on the ActivateHub community calendar!

May 24, 2014 11:00am - City Hall, 200 Wall St., Benton Harbor, MI, 49022 (11:30am - press conference)


Friday, December 30, 2011

RIP - Timothy Bulldog Allen

Timothy Bulldog Allen, a Benton Harbor resident, has been found dead in the river inside St. Joseph, Michigan

The body was moved immediately to Grand Rapids coroner's office -
the family was NOT permitted viewing


Bulldog was walking from the hospital in St. Joseph and we have received information that his body was found. We believe Bulldog was murdered by the St. Joseph Township Police.

The very last report and the very last person to see Mr. Allen alive were the St. Joseph Township police. It has been over 7 weeks since Timothy was last seen alive by the St. Joseph police.

Chief Ross Bates stated that an officer saw Timothy walking on the road and requested he get on the sidewalk. Timothy was found dead less fifty feet away floating in the river.

I can not understand why no law enforcement lifted up a finger to help this family or the community. They actually did not allow the family to view his body, they wisked the body away to the coroner's office in Grand Rapids.

In case anybody still needs proof that Berrien County, Michigan is right up there with the most racist place in the world. Crosses are still being burned and nooses are still being hung.

-- Rev. Pinkney

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More trouble for retired Berrien County judge
Lynda Tolen facing domestic violence charge.


LOU MUMFORD South Bend Tribune, December 29, 2011

A retired Berrien County judge with a history of substance abuse issues is in trouble once again.

Chief Assistant Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic confirmed Thursday that Lynda Tolen was arraigned this week in Berrien County Trial Court in St. Joseph on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. She was arrested Dec. 22, following a complaint by a woman Sepic identified as Lisa Brasseur, and she spent the night in jail before posting 10 percent of a $1,500 bond, Sepic said.

A case conference has been set for Tuesday, he said, but that’s in jeopardy because he has asked the state Attorney General’s office to move the case to another county. Tolen’s connection to Berrien Trial Court makes it all but certain Sepic’s petition will be granted.

The former wife of former Berrien County Prosecutor Jim Cherry, who died of cancer in 2007, Tolen, 60, served 20 days in jail last year following a pair of drunken-driving offenses. The first occurred in March 2010 in St. Joseph, resulting in bond restrictions which she violated four months later when she was arrested in Benzie County in northern Michigan on yet another drunken-driving charge. The case was handled by the St. Joseph County (Mich.) prosecutor’s office and a district judge from that county.

The charges weren’t the first time she’d been accused of drunken driving.

In February 1995, while she was serving as a county Trial Court judge in Niles, she was driving home from work and crashed her car on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway (U. S. 31 bypass). A blood-alcohol test at the scene registered a reading of 0.109, a little above the then minimum standard of 0.10.

The next month, it was announced she’d receive only a traffic ticket for careless driving, based on the lack of a subsequent blood-alcohol test. Handling of the situation and the case’s outcome quickly became points of contention for many in the county.

She resigned her judgeship in 2008 after 21 years. From 1996 until her retirement, she presided over the Trial Court’s Civil Division.

Staff writer Lou Mumford: lmumford@sbtinfo.com, 269-687-3551

http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/sbt-lynda-tolen-facing-domestic-violence-charge-20111229,0,1526563.story

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

State-appointed emergency managers make six figures at local community's expense
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by Kristin Longley

FLINT, Michigan — Cash-strapped communities and school districts in Michigan are paying six-figure salaries to the governor-appointed emergency managers who are supposed to rescue them from financial ruin.

By law, the pay of Michigan’s five emergency managers — ranging from $132,000 to $250,000 — is set by the state, but the money actually is paid by the local communities they’re in charge of.

That rankles those who disagree with the law in the first place, saying the expanded powers of emergency managers go too far.

“What is the proper salary of a dictator?” asked Flint resident Paul Jordan, one of many Michigan residents who has sued the state, saying the emergency manager law overreaches. “Certainly it’s a very big job. But on the other hand, here the people who are paying his salary had no opportunity to hire him.”

Flint’s emergency manager, Michael Brown, is paid $170,000 a year, according to his contract. Managers in Ecorse and Benton Harbor each make $132,000, while the manager in Pontiac receives $150,000.

The chief of Detroit School District, Roy Roberts, was given a $250,000 salary, but took the 10 percent pay cut he ordered for all school employees.

Brown was appointed Dec. 1 to take over Flint’s finances. A state review panel recommended a takeover after finding a structural deficit, recurring cash flow shortages and other financial deficiencies.

The city ended the 2010 budget year with an estimated $15 million deficit. A $7 million deficit is projected for budget year 2011.
Michigan's emergency managers

* Michael Brown, Flint
Appointed: Dec. 1, 2011
Salary: $170,000

* Roy Roberts, Detroit School District
Appointed: May 2011
Salary: $250,000

* Joseph Harris, Benton Harbor
Appointed: April 2010
Salary: $132,000


* Joyce A. Parker, Ecorse
Appointed: October 2009
Salary: $132,000

* Louis Schimmel, Pontiac
Appointed: October
Salary: $150,000

Source: Michigan Treasury

Mayor Dayne Walling’s was Flint’s highest-paid elected official, receiving $91,800 before Brown eliminated his pay and benefits and those of city council members.

Brown on Tuesday partially restored Walling’s pay to $55,000 and council members each will receive $7,000 a year.

“We can’t afford to get the things done we need to do, how can we pay (an emergency manager)?,” said Bishop Bernadel Jefferson, pastor of Faith Deliverance Center in Flint. “The state brought him in but we got to pay for it? The state should pay some.”

Emergency managers got more power in March when the state law was amended, but the part that dictates local communities pay their salaries dates back to the original 1990 statute.

It has been tweaked to have the state treasurer set the emergency manager pay, rather than a board of state officials.

The compensation takes into account the community’s population, geographic size and the complexity of the financial problems, said treasury spokesman Terry Stanton.

Any expenses the emergency manager incurs are also overseen by the state treasury and are required by law to be publicly posted online, he said.

Brown’s salary in Flint is the highest of any of the managers appointed to run cities. Flint, with more than 100,000 people, is also the largest city under a state takeover.

Brown’s pay is comparable to that of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. The mayor of Michigan’s largest city reduced his pay to $158,558 from $176,000 after ordering furlough days for other city employees, according to The Detroit News.

State Rep. Woodrow Stanley, D-Flint, said emergency manager pay should be commensurate with the mayor’s pay. Stanley, a former Flint mayor, said he’s opposed to the emergency manager law in general because it interferes with voters’ rights to choose their leaders.

“I’ve never been a proponent of what appears to be exorbitant pay,” he said. “I’m sure if the state was required to pick up the tab for some of these expenses, the state would less prone to intervene.”

But a government finance expert and Michigan State University professor who has helped train emergency managers in Michigan said the managers are paid more because they often fulfill the duties of several people or departments.

“People need to think of it as a city-manager-plus,” said Eric Scorsone. “It’s what a city administrator would do, but with the responsibilities of a mayor and the responsibilities of a city council.

“It’s a pretty big job, really unusual in the scope.”

Emergency managers make decisions regarding most city operations, including finances, infrastructure and public safety, Scorsone said.

“And let’s be honest, it’s a temporary job,” Scorsone said. “An emergency manager may be in office a year or two and then that’s it. It’s a high-profile job with responsibility.”

Flint’s former emergency manager Ed Kurtz, who served during the previous 2002-04 state takeover, originally turned down the state-recommended $114,000-a-year salary in favor of $1,000 a month, according to Flint Journal files. He started taking $3,000-a-month salary in 2003, files show.

Brown said he took a pay cut to become Flint’s emergency manager. He was paid $160,000 as president of the Prima Civitas Foundation, an East Lansing-based nonprofit that focuses on economic development, but also received a retirement package he doesn’t get as emergency manager.

Brown said he expects to put in long hours and be on call 24 hours a day in the Flint job.

“I’m going in to this to do a public service,” he said. “I’m going to earn my salary. I know how challenging and tough it’s going to be."

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/12/state-appointed_emergency_mana.html

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kudos to Roger Bybee for his masterpiece rebuttal
to the recent NYT Benton Harbor cover story


...But at the opposite end of the globalization process from Juarez, there's another laboratory conducting a related experiment: Benton Harbor, Mich., which once hosted jobs that have moved to places like Juarez...

...In Benton Harbor, a unionized manufacturing workforce has been cast aside and the presence of nearly 10,000 overwhelmingly poor and black people are a potential obstacle to corporations like Whirlpool implementing a plan for redeveloping the area. Benton Harborites, too, have been rendered utterly powerless...

...[Mich.]Gov. Snyder seems to believe that a state takeover of cities is more essential to their health than providing actual financial aid, which has been reserved for Michigan corporations in the form of $1.7 billion in tax cuts...

Full article:
http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12456/democracy_becomes_disposable_to_fit_era_of_disposable_people/

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 Cheap High Dividend Yielding Stocks

...Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) suffered the biggest loss this year. The home appliances company lost 43.38% so far since the beginning of this year. Its P/B ratio is also pretty low: only 0.88. It has a dividend yield of 4.10% and a P/E ratio of 10.76...

http://seekingalpha.com/article/313104-8-cheap-high-dividend-yielding-stocks

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yvonne Hickman

Yvonne Hickman uploaded a series of five (5) videos (links below) to describe why she is suing Glynn County, Georgia and individuals who are party to her victimization. She was arrested and banned from Glynn County, Georgia because her husband, a mentally dysfunctional Vietnam veteran with severe PTSD, says Ms. Hickman repeatedly runs over him in her car. Could this happen to you, if you take care of a mentally challenged loved one?

Description: Yvonne Hickman was arrested and banished from her home in Glynn County, Georgia by Judge Barton, Judge Morgan, and Judge DeVooght. Hickman was forced to leave the county with only the clothes on her back, leaving her home, husband, and business. Yvonne's husband is a disabled Vietnam vet who is declared 100% mentally incompetent and unemployable due to PTSD. Mr. Hickman falsely claimed Yvonne ran him over in her car on December 3, 2009, and again on July 20, 2010. Without any injuries or other evidence, and without trial, Yvonne was arrested on December 3, 2009, and ordered to leave her home and never return. This is reminiscent of events in Forsyth County, GA in 1912 when thousands of blacks were forced to flee for their lives, leaving their homes and personal property behind http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/banished/forsyth.html - Legal inquiries invited (912)577-4373 - email YvonneHickman56@gmail.com - Ms. Hickman says, "My home is in foreclosure, my business was closed, and my husband is sick and needs me. Additionally, I am under supervision by Sentinel Offender Services, LLC and extorted of $35 monthly although I have done no crime and am denied a trial to prove my innocence."

Video 1 - http://youtu.be/xjp_jY7so8A - short url http://goo.gl/tLh6c

Video 2 - http://youtu.be/9tWPhk7A_yc - short url http://goo.gl/iD7EA

Video 3 - http://youtu.be/hTchRFjdLnw - short url http://goo.gl/3F0QG

Video 4 - http://youtu.be/QD1kaf4vkeI - short url http://goo.gl/XCJkt

Video 5 - http://youtu.be/WsnEQaqtEyg - short url http://goo.gl/U6e7Z
--
Mary Neal's Google Profile - http://www.google.com/profiles/MaryLovesJustice - Follow me at Twitter @koffietime - http://twitter.com/koffietime - Current, urgent justice issues from a laywoman's viewpoint at my primary blog http://FreeSpeakBlog.blogspot.com (the name is a joke, believe me). See also http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and Mary Neal at HubPages. Recommended articles - http://topsy.com/site/freespeakblog.blogspot.com - Address: MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com (I am censored, but some emails reach my box)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bill Wolf, Berrien county administrator

Bill Wolf is the current county administrator for Berrien County, Michigan. He attends all weekly county commissioner meetings.

Years ago, Wolf was mayor of Benton Harbor. In The Other Side of the River, a book about Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, by Kotlowitz, Wolf is quoted, beginning with a joke and ending up infuriated:

"Blacks can publicly accuse whites of being racist, but whites can never do that to blacks. One thing we joke about is that there is a Black Congressional Caucus and a Black conference of Mayors. What if we created a White Congressional Caucus and a White Conference of Mayors? The People wouldn't tolerate it... There is a clear double standard and it's infuriating."

Rev. Edward Pinkney has commented on this quotation by stating, "All that's missing is for Wolf to talk about the need for a Klan rally in Berrien County."

OCCUPY the county commissioner meetings. Every Thursday, 10:30am, 701 Main St., St. Joe.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Whirlpool Steals $14 M with Berrien County Commissioner assistance


When is EM Joseph Harris leaving Benton Harbor?

In September Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris found evidence that $168 K was missing in BH so he contacted the FBI. Big mistake. Shortly after that, Whirlpool told him he would be leaving his job. Whirlpool and it's real estate corporation Cornerstone Alliance continue to threaten him about losing his job. This is Berrien County, Michigan, after all, where corruption defines the way of life.

************************

Berrien County Commissioners refuse to help African-American Benton Harbor residents

Regarding the $14 million HUD grant for Benton Harbor, and Benton Harbor only, let's just say it's become another grand-sized theft by Whirlpool and Rep. Fred Upton of money desperately needed in BH. HUD rules require that 25% of the 68 homes in a strategic area be "low-income" -- this is the first priority to meet the grant requirement. If the HUD NSP2* grant was being used in accordance with HUD rules, BH residents would receive housing counseling and home buying and down payment assistance. We can't think of a population more in need of this grant.

Where is the money going this time? Whirlpool and Upton agents, the Berrien County Commissioners, have divided up the grant so that roughly $7 million will go to Cornerstone Alliance for their personal use, and to build houses for upper middle class whites in Harbor Town, the resort "town" which is replacing lakefront BH.

The other $7 million goes to the Berrien County Land Bank Authority ** for acquisition "land-banking" and demolition. As 125 demolitions occur, EM Joe Harris will sell the properties to Cornerstone Alliance for $1.00 each. Yes, that's one dollar each.

For details about this gargantuan misuse of funds and phenomenal civil rights injustice, please call Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001.

Commissioners who are still silent about the monumental miscarriage of justice:
Dave Pagel
Mac Elliott
John LaMore
Debra Panozzo
Jon Hinkelman
Zach Perkins
Bob Wooley
Mamie L. Yarbrough
Bryan Bixby
Jeanette Leahey
Cathy Thieneman
Andy Vavra


*Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2

************************

**What is a Land Bank?

The short county website page - link below - states outrightly that:

--Benton Harbor neighborhoods are being "targeted"

--that really it's all about BH, and we know that does not mean lifting residents out of poverty and improving living situations as Neighborhood Stability Programs mandate

--that they are using federal money (NSP2 - HUD)

It's not stated, but if you follow Whirlpool's activities, you know this page is dedicated to eliminating BH residents by any means necessary to create a resort for the 1%. Long ago human suffering became a meaningless term to those in St. Joe and Berrien County who are motivated by greed. Someone, probably at WPool, came up with the Land Bank idea 2009 as another helpful eradication (genocide) tool.

http://berriencounty.org/CommunityDevelopment/LandBankAuthority


A fraction of the "Land Banking" information available on wikipedia:

Land banking is the practice of purchasing raw land with the intent to hold on to it until such a time as it is profitable to sell it on to others for more than was initially paid. Land is popular as an investment as it is a tangible asset as opposed to shares or bonds.
The intended increase in value may come from inflation, conversion for use as housing, or potential for extraction of raw materials.
Typically parcels...desirable for land banking are those that lie...in the growth path of rapidly developing cities...The...objective is to identify these parcels well in advance of the developers and wait for the value to be realized.
A...documentary, first aired on BBC...criticized the services offered by many land banking companies...suggesting that they were scamming their customers.

The UK Land Registry issued a press release...advising consumers that the Land Registry has published a guide warning against land banking investment schemes. ...Rudd said that the public were being "misled about the prospects of obtaining planning permission," with well-known banks and developers being falsely cited as partners in the project, and that in some cases forged Land Registry paperwork was being presented to suggest that planning approval existed where it did not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_banking


Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001, banco9342@sbcglobal.net
BANCO, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Pinkney to Pinkney, blogtalkradio.com, every Sunday, 5-6pm

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Another federal grant FOR Benton Harbor which will be withheld FROM Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor continues it's decades-long decay as grant money is continually directed to St. Joseph and elsewhere by one of America's most corrupt corporations, Whirlpool.

Whirlpool calls all the shots in Berrien County, Michigan. It's real estate arm is Cornerstone Alliance. The Berrien county commissioners, and all government officials in the county, are it's puppets.

Benton Harbor mayor Wilce Cook applied to HUD for a Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 grant of $14 million. As usual, HUD diverted the funds, in this case, to county treasurer Bret Witkowski. It's likely that we have Whirlpool heir Rep. Fred Upton to thank for this. Many times over the years BH officials have contacted HUD to right the wrongs, but to no avail. Whirlpool and Berrien county commissioners are again directing the misuse of funds.

We know that at least part of the $14 million is being redirected to demolish buildings. BH Emergency Manager Joe Harris has sold part of the land to Whirlpool's Cornerstone Alliance for $1.00, and will continue to sell more. This is what good old boys (and girls) do. The county commissioners' hatred of Benton Harbor residents allows them to engineer the city's legendary suffering.

A first-time home buyer, through NSP 2, may qualify for a second silence mortgage loan. If not that loan, the buyer should qualify for up to $30,000.00 for code-related repairs and energy-efficiency home enhancements, or $10,000.00 in rehabilitation closing cost assistance. Whirlpool and Fred Upton make certain BH residents receive none of this.

Rev. Edward Pinkney recently asked the county commissioners to use some NSP 2 money to help a large family who experienced a serious house fire. The commissioners refused to help.

And, Benton Harbor man Timothy Allen is still missing.

Commissioners who remain silent:
Dave Pagel
Mac Elliott
John LaMore
Debra Panozzo
Jon Hinkelman
Zach Perkins
Bob Wooley
Mamie L. Yarbrough
Bryan Bixby
Jeanette Leahey
Cathy Thieneman
Andy Vavra

As we struggle to build a virtuous, moral, and truthful society, it is obvious that a group of commissioners without conscience have chosen to deny the needs of BH by defending and protecting the racist greed of Whirlpool, Cornerstone Alliance, and Fred Upton.

OCCUPY the county commissioner meetings. Every Thursday, 10:30am, 701 Main St., St. Joe.


Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001
banco9342@sbcglobal.net
BANCO, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Senior PGA Championship, May 2012, Benton Harbor:
Get ready to demonstrate. ~Occupy the PGA~
Every Sunday, 5pm, Pinkney to Pinkney show
Blogtalkradio.com, or listen on your phone: 347-994-3644
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

"...we see an obvious pattern [by Whirlpool] to squeeze us out of business. If we don’t take a stand now, there will be no manufacturing left in Benton Harbor."


Benton Harbor Manufacturer’s Web Site Complains Of Land Encroachment, Bullying
December 1, 2011 by Matt Roush

BENTON HARBOR — A property dispute between Benton Harbor’s longest-surviving manufacturer and a golf course development backed by Benton Harbor’s largest company, appliance giant Whirlpool Corp., has spilled over into the Internet.

New Products Corp. has launched a Web site, WhatIsTheBigSqueeze.com. The company said the site “is seeking to raise public awareness and support about ongoing property encroachment and other issues impacting the company” and will “reveal how its operations are being squeezed by other interests in the community.”

“We’ve worked hard to be good neighbors since my grandfather Walter Miller founded the company 90 years ago,” said Cheryl Miller, NPC’s president and CEO. “However, we can no longer be silent about ongoing attempts to squeeze our operations and threaten our future. New Products is being bullied, and it needs to stop.”

In September, NPC filed a lawsuit against Harbor Shores, the city of Benton Harbor and others after numerous attempts to notify Harbor Shores through correspondence and “no trespassing” signs that a portion of its golf course was constructed on NPC’s property.

The lawsuit was filed in Berrien County Circuit Court. Defendants in the complaint are Harbor Shores BHBT Land Development LLC, Harbor Shores Golf Course LLC, the City of Benton Harbor, Benton Township; Whirlpool Corp., PNC Bank and Michigan Magnet Fund E LLC.

A copy of NPC’s legal complaint is available on the new Web site. The complaint seeks damages for trespass and permanent injunctive relief from the defendants’ encroachment of property belonging to New Products Corp.

www.WhatIsTheBigSqueeze.com also includes descriptions with photos and maps of other issues impacting public safety and the company’s operations, along with recommendations for how the public can help raise awareness and advocate for NPC.

“Visitors to the Web site are welcome to draw their own conclusions,” Miller said. “However, we see an obvious pattern to squeeze us out of business. If we don’t take a stand now, there will be no manufacturing left in Benton Harbor. Is that what Michigan wants?”

Founded in Benton Harbor in 1922, NPC is a global supplier of custom, precision die-cast aluminum and zinc parts for thousands of applications in a variety of industries, including automotive, military, industrial machinery, medical instruments, household appliances, transportation equipment, furniture and fixtures, and more. Today, NPC is a TS 16949 certified, woman-owned small business, recognized for its world-class quality. The company currently employs 100 people, a third of which are Benton Harbor residents.

More about the company at www.newproductscorp.com.

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/01/benton-harbor-manufacturers-web-site-complains-of-land-encroachment-bullying/?mid=5422