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, February 26, 2010

Bill Dwyer, man of action

Whatever you may think of Bill Dwyer and his politics, I must admit he knows how to make a move. 
The longtime former police chief of Farmington Hills, who is working as police commissioner in Warren, says he is considering a run for political office.
So just as a critic complains about Dwyer trying to hold a county commissioner seat while working a full-time job (as many commissioners do in Oakland County), he announces that he is retiring from police work.
Nice job, completely keeping the complaint out of the news cycle. If a man can control his message this effectively, I think he's smart enough to make tough decisions to control a county's budget.
And whatever people may have thought about his police management, I heard very few complaints about his former department. 
They had top-notch people and top-notch equipment, and I don't recall them losing any major cases. 
Farmington Hills is a nice city with lots of residents, small neighbors, exclusive neighborhoods, major highways, and significant development. Keeping all those differing bases happy is a difficult thing, and Dwyer seemed on top of it on the police side.

Friday, February 19, 2010

So, Tiger, you're sorry, wow!

Sounds like all Tiger Woods had to say was that he was sorry.
Why did it take three months to get that out? He could have stepped out of his house, in front of a camera or two dozen and simply apologized, declining questions.
It would have taken some of the thunder and rightful criticism of today's joke, which was more a reminder of the genius of Dave Chapelle's show than an actual update.
Glad the wife wasn't there, but he did sink to a new low, dragging out his mom for the photo-op hug.
I didn't mind the mentioning of Buddhism, but the shallow whining about his kids being followed rang extremely false, considering he could have avoided that by simply making the "I'm sorry" statement 11 weeks ago. Instead, he disappeared and allowed the media firestorm to explode.
Today, all he said was I might return to golf but I don't know when. That was the only news really offered.
Oh well.
Plus, being a womanizer hasn't hurt people like Mick Jagger. He still sells plenty of tickets, songs, shirts and other junk.
Tiger ain't going broke, and it was rather pathetic watching him act like he's sincere.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

School closures; school counts

"Why did some school districts (e.g. Rochester, Troy, Oxford) wait until after 5 a.m. this morning to make the decision to close school?" asked one reader. "Couldn't they have made the decision last night? Wasn't it obvious by 10 or 11 p.m. that the snow was falling and that the meteorologists got this one right? What an inconvenience to parents who live in the districts that dragged their feet on making the inevitable decision."

This comment came from a reader today and it's a good question, especially because I suspect that school leaders knew they were going to cancel classes, due to the impending school count day on Wednesday.
Why hold school on a day when everyone is told that it is likely to be a snow day, a day that everyone is blasted with media reports of a foot of snow, a day that is bound to keep a large percentage of students home.
Some people just don't like to drive in the snow. 
It's too bad that school leaders cannot have more flexibility with their school count days. I say, instead of debating the issue or closing just for the count, if weather appears to be a problem, then a school leader (or even a county-wide Intermediate district) could simply announce that the count day is moved a week back.
That would help the state's school districts, who nowadays seem backed into a corner of playing games on count day. 
I mean, winning prizes for coming to school???? Cash gifts or iPods? 
What has happened? 
We live in Michigan, and weather should be factored into these funding-based rules.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

School count days versus snow days

Schools live for count days, and it's understandable, as that is how
they get their money. That is the way the state divides its pot of
school money, giving it on a per pupil basis. Makes a lot of sense,
that does.
But when everyone knows that a potentially big snowstorm is coming on
school count days, should districts have the right and ability to
switch the count day.
Otherwise, I imagine some superintendents might want to cancel class
so that a large percentage don't simply stay home because they can't
dig out or don't want to travel across a snow-covered city.
And with cities, townships and counties cutting back on snow plowing
and salting, it's even harder sometimes to get out of your neighborhood.
I would not be surprised if school leaders are planning preemptive
snow days today to avoid a possible conflict if some people can't
make it to school, when they normally might want to hold off a
decision until early morning or else might take a 'grin-and-bear-it'
And if school is closed on Wednesday and the count day is pushed
until Thursday, do they run into the same problem, some not being
able to make the trip into school?
Remember, every dollar counts nowadays.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

News online, in print

I got a peek into how people are reading their news, in print
versions or on computers. And computers are winning in this one glance.
Recently, I paid a visit to my daughter's kindergarten class for a
"Donuts for Dad" ceremony, in which the children put on a show,
shared what they do and then gave the dad a donut. (Hope didn't like
my repeatedly calling the event Dads for Donuts, which seemed to
carry more of a political calling. I'm already out of touch.)
Part of the ceremony was for a description of each child's dad to be
read out by the teacher, and for the dads to try to guess which one
was their child's explanation of what dad likes.
I picked out mine, based on having taken her to a basketball game.
One of the questions each child had been asked about their dad was,
What does he do when he gets home. About three or four answered,
Reads the paper.
A few watched TV.
More than a dozen answered, Works on the computer.
I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that in my daughter's class, more
parents are reading their news online than get it in the paper each
day, a trend that's only increasing.
I was happy to hear some are still reading the paper when they get
home, but I know where this is going.
Of course, the two sides do merge often, and last night, I had that
happen as I waited for Hope outside of dance class.
In the hall, one father was talking to two other parents about a
story in that day's edition of The Oakland Press, a story about
students from Troy Athens High School linking up for a discussion
with astronauts at the International Space Station. The man with the
paper noted that a video of the interaction could be seen at the
papers Web site, at which time I decided to join the conversation.