Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Deer culling and snowy roads

I've hit at least three deer driving in my life, but in the eight
years I have been in Rochester Hills, I have not hit one deer.
Numerous times, I've slowed to let them pass or to watch them in the
woods in my neighborhood.
My daughter, who is 4, is optimistic that a deal can be struck,
suggesting that the deer will agree not to eat to people's plants and
then the city won't shoot them (actually, it's Oakland County
Sheriff's deputies doing the shooting). I told her that might work
out, but we'd have to wait and see.
Just yesterday, I saw four pass through my backyard. It reminded me
that they do eat the shrubs, but I don't care that much. I have my
dog chase them when I see them out there.
What I don't like is the deer poop under the apple trees that
overhang my yard. But I don't see bullets being an answer to that
The deer are dumb brutes and how they die does not affect me. I worry
more about my commute home and the time I waste in my car. I've seen
plenty of dead deer on the side of the road, and often I've lamented
that the city doesn't do something or come up with some money or a
program to get these up quicker. (The sheriff in Isabella County used
to take inmates out on deer clean up duty.)
But what I do wonder is what these elected officials were thinking by
getting mixed up in this method of trying to address what might be a
problem. Maybe they are naive or truly ignoring what will drive
people, as the ones inspired enough to comment against the program
far outnumber the ones who comment in favor of shooting deer.
Or maybe, they are brave, ignoring the safe path for reelection and
making the tough choice. I just hope no one gets nicked or shot by
one of these shooters, as they won't need to worry about Geoffrey
Fieger as someone will back the truck up to the city's vault.
It's against the law to hunt or shoot a gun in the city. The reason
is 70,000 people live there. It only takes one mistake. Plus,
residents generally don't like secrecy, especially when it's about
when and where rifles will be fired in the middle of a population
And though the money may come from a grant specific to this problem,
the one thing that truly troubles me about this is that all this
political capital and debate is being spent over deer, a problem that
will exist (and has existed) for years.
What about my roads? They're not plowed. I'm not one to complain if
my street is not plowed. I know they can't get them all. But when
none of the neighborhood streets get plowed, I'm frustrated to hear
council members and the mayor fighting with residents over deer culling.
Perhaps the council could fight with one another in search of
creative ways to get money into the street plowing programs,
something that truly helps every city resident. The neighborhood used
to get plowed (main streets, right after a snow storm) in way that
impressed me, even though my street was last. Now, it's been two days
since it snowed, and all of the streets remain slick and snow-covered.
Common sense for a politician would dictate that the public won't
want to hear about fights over non-essential issues, and because this
culling is not going to solve the deer problem, this fight is, I'm
afraid, a waste of time and effort.
And I hope no one gets shot.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tough day for economy, for American workers

The numbers added up quickly, 8,000, 8,000, and then 7,000.
They were job cuts, coming with major corporate news that crossed the
wires throughout Monday morning. Pfizer announced an effort to buy a
competitor for more than $60 billion but also would cut 8,000 jobs.
Sprint Nextel also announced cuts of 8,000 workers. Follow that with
7,000 from Home Depot, and now we're talking real numbers.
Locally, General Motors announced another 2,000 cuts, small compared
to the others but more dire because the company has struggled with
numerous prior cuts and recently received government bailout money.
Over at, they put everything together, and in including
Caterpillar's falling profits and plans to eliminate 20,000 workers,
they came up with 68,000 jobs lost in one day.
I know that it's easy to hate Mondays, but this was one where I
should have stayed in bed.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lie to Me, please don't lie to us

I missed it, but I didn't sweat it terribly. I had hoped to see the
premiere of "Lie to Me," a new police series on the Fox network. A
review by Nicole Robertson, an Oakland Press editor, raised my
interest in the new Tim Roth show, which runs from 9 to 10 p.m. on
Though I almost always do not like Fox's dramas, this one might have
been worth watching.
My chief concern, though, is Fox's quick hook for series. Without a
strong opening, they often get axed within weeks or months of
premiering, one reason to not jump on board until later. You can skip
the first season, then catch up on DVD if it is renewed.
I'm not too interested in trying to catch up now because with "Lie to
Me" going up against a pair of Top 20 shows (Criminal Minds on CBS,
Lost on ABC), it's chance of survival is minimal, even with the
American Idol lead in.

GM's concern

A quote from General Motors President Fritz Henderson downplayed the recent news that Toyota is now the top seller of cars, trucks and SUVs.
"I actually noticed they passed us in market (capitalization), cash flow and profitability a long ago," he said. "Honestly, this is not a measure I pay a lot of attention to. What is much more important to me is how we make GM successful."
Making GM successful is more important than the status of world's top carmaker, but it seems like he is a bit nonchalant about the capitalization, cash flow and profitability.
I know that companies love to boast their successes, and world's top carmaker would be celebrated if they had kept their position at the top.
Let's hope this is not a sign of surrender.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New administration, new era?

So with a new president in office for an hour, I thought an
appropriate stop at lunch would be to check out some sales and pump a
few dimes into the struggling economy.
With only a few minutes on my way to pick up a sandwich, I decided
that my 4-year-old daughter might deserve a superhero action figure
to go with the Batman, Joker and Superman figures she's gotten
recently. So I duck into Toys R Us to see what sales might tempt me,
but I can't find anything I want for a price I want to pay. A couple
items had my interest; however, they didn't have price tags (only
clearance stickers) so I bypassed them.
One of them, a telescope/microscope combo package might have made it
into my car, but it didn't have a price. My daughter has pressed for
a telescope, but as she is only 4, I'm not interested in ponying up
too much for that.
So my shopping trip ended up with nothing but a quick exit and fast
lunch. I had heard a radio report recently about the economy with
some wondering if enough people have enough stuff, a sure symptom of
an economy that will not grow.
That means trouble for all, but especially for advertisers and those
who rely on advertising. Newspapers have taken a beating, with last
year one of the worst as high debt loads brought on by acquisitions
being met with fast-declining ad sales. Now, few newspapers are being
sold even though numerous companies are trying to move them as their
stock prices are sinking and sinking fast.
Retailers are the next group to hurt and that will damage media
bottom lines. While I've seen some of those nice 70 percent off sales
on clothing at various stores, I had hoped for massive discounts at
Toys R Us, hence the search for a telescope.
But what if everyone had everything they needed?
At least more of us would have time to watch daytime cable news.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Changes in Allen Town?

Well, another coach, and another round of high hopes and actual
I hope it works out, but I wonder if Jim Schwartz, the new Lions head
coach, will ever work as a head coach for another NFL team.
While Bobby Ross went on to lead Army (and Dick Jauron went on to
Buffalo, but he was only an interim coach who went 1-4 after Steve
Mariucci was canned), the Lions often is the last top job.
Seems like he has the right background, but time will tell.
It has to be intimidating, going into the draft with the worst team
ever and a top pick. It seems like an easy opportunity for disaster,
but he has one thing going for him -- he's fearless, coming to work
for the Fords and the Lions.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Having the right leader in place is the key to any organization's
chance for success.
Success can be viewed differently, even in sports. For instance,
whoever takes over the Lions will be required to win one game,
preferably by Halloween. Two wins and the season is a success. Eight
wins, and we're ordering street signs.
In Cleveland, the team hoped for a return to the playoffs for the
Browns. They stunk, the coach got fired and now the Browns are
bringing in the former NY Jets coach, Eric Mangini.
That was quick, and it is little disheartening for Lions fans to
think their team will sleepwalk AGAIN through the search for an
effective leader. Last year, the Dolphins squeaked out an OT win to
avoid becoming the first 0-16 team. Quickly, they hired Bill
Parcells. They made the playoffs this year.
Now, Michigan will soon need a leader and one man is stepping up to
offer what he can, L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County's wildly
successful executive. Low taxes, high property values and a well-
balanced budget are keys to his administration.
Sounds like a winner.
So even if the Lions don't find a leader put get into the winning
column, at least Michigan residents will have the opportunity to hire
a man who does not stoop to low-level fights over gay marriage or
other social issues that have little or no impact on what matters
most in this state: the economy.