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.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornado videos

It's an incredible story developing in the South with the wide areas damaged by tornadoes this week.

What is most amazing, just as with the earthquake and tsumani in Japan, are the videos that show the destruction. It really opens up my eyes, even though you can measure the damage in lives lost, homes damaged and dollar amounts. But seeing what people lived through, wow, that is eye opening.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quick reaction for Obama's birth certificate

The comments came in fast and furious and they were informative, informed, sharp and pretty much on target. Two postings on our Facebook page results in about 20 comments, and two versions of the AP story on Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate brought another 20 comments.

I liked the variety of comments from the community, a real highlight to my day.

Kenya? No. It looks like it's Hawaii.
Readers were split on Wednesday's release of the president's birth certificate, a hot button topic in the cable news political arena.
Barack Obama said he hopes the "silliness" of this debate ends so he and other leaders can focus on real problems, such as jobs, the economy, and the national debt.
But others believe that the subject of Obama’s Hawaiian birth, and subsequently his nationality, are real issues. Even Donald Trump, the possible Republican candidate and NBC reality TV star, claimed victory, pronouncing his pleasure at having finally convinced the president to release the long version of his birth certificate.
Here, though, is some of what you had to say, both on our story page and on our Facebook page:
- Liz Scott Waters: "Trump is a joke."
n Maria Christina Gusmano-Tomasino: "Nothing more important going on than this silly issue? I'm embarrassed and saddened by our priorities today."
n Venus Long: "It's a shame that we can not take the word of our president and he has to show proof!"
- Mark Steven: "Obama’s Dad was born in Kenya ... so Obama is not a natural born citizen. People don't even know what the Constitution says."
- Vq Videos: "Trump is NOT part of the political establishment and doesn't give a rat's behind what the media wants to say about him, AND HE GOT IT DONE ... FINALLY someone who's willing to stand up to the "get-along" political establishment."
- Vq Videos again: "How come "Mr. Transparency" has fought this simple, trifling matter for this long in the first place? Because he and other politicians think they don't REALLY answer to anyone?"
- Melissa Behm Marra: "It's really a shame when the president has to tell the politicians to stop being so immature."
n Diana Clark Davis: "If he wasn't hiding anything he shouldn't have had a problem with it."
- Ed Fisher: "I just wonder how many presidents have been harassed regarding their birth certificates? Is it because he is bi-racial, admitting to his father being from another country? Just curious is all."
- Joan G. Berndt: "I don't know what took him so long, but the whole matter is irrelevant. Let's get the economy solved and the dollar shored up. Since his mother is a native born American, the whole debate is absurd."
- rd rge: "To me it is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard of. Why he would have waited so long? Let's just hope no more taxpayer dollars are WASTED!"
- Big Boss: "If there was no doubt, it would have taken just a few days at best to produce, not a few years. Why did it take so long to show a birth certificate if the Obama camp knew this was going to be an issue?"
- Jim: "It's just more proof that Obama is a wimp who caves to right-wing idiots and extremists at every opportunity. He needs to grow a pair and fight instead of constantly begging the GOP to stop hurting him. "
- gg10: "I would rather see Donald Trump's tax statement and see how much money he hides in overseas banks or how many of his businesses have overseas addresses."
Stephen Frye is online editor at Follow him on Twitter @stevefrye or @TheOaklandPress. Email him at He also writes this blog.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Readers react to Independence Township dustup

The story from Independence Township in Tuesday's paper seemed to be about a fight between a boss and an employee as well as about a baseball bat and workplace aggression.
But it all started with a tractor donated to the township's parks and recreation department in the 1970s and a policy about returning donated property the township receives.
Readers, though, saw the real point of the story within unions and local governments.
Here's a look at some of the comments posted on about this story about an employee filing a grievance about an alleged threat made with a baseball bat by Township Supervisor Dave Wagner.
n big Al: "This is priceless. Where else but in government would you be able to hire an investigator for not more than $1,000 to locate an old tractor probably worth not more than $100."
- wrobinso: "And you wonder why the Unions have no place in the workplace? This Supervisor should have been fired on the spot and arrested."
- waterfordmike: "If you have worked with union employees, you know the frustration of working with people who believe less work, more pay."
- GABBY12: "This goes to show just how out of control Independence township really is.... I, for one, am glad it made the papers. Too much is getting swept under the rug and the public never finds out about."
- rob neighborhood: "Open meetings, open government, open the books, open the back rooms, open the files, get to the truth. Somewhere in this collection of accounts lies the truth, and all these closed doors allow lies."
- Katie F.: "I hope The Oakland Press doesn't feel it was singled out by Mr. Wagner. He doesn't return any of our calls either."

Stephen Frye is online editor at Contact him at or follow @stevefrye on Twitter. Please, join the conversation online.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lions, MNF and Bears

Yes, we Lions have finally made it.... to the second-tier level of popularity?

Everyone is excited about the Detroit Lions playing a real Monday Night Football game, in October and against the Bears. I'm afraid, though, the people who should be most happy are from Chicago, as they can travel a short distance to see their team. I don't know if the Bears will crush the Lions, but based on recent years, early bets are the Bears. As for the night of the week, it's not that big a deal anymore.

But hey, it's still a night game, so a little bit of primetime celebration is in order.

I was at the last Monday Night Football hosted by the Lions, back in 2001 when a young Marty Mornhinweg was 0-2 and ready for his first win. New team president Matt Millen was ready to reinvent team leadership. I didn't watch the game; didn't need to, it turned out. However, I covered the fans excitement over being on the real MNF on ABC. It was the team's last season at the Pontiac Silverdome, so I ended up covering a few finals .... final Thanksgiving tailgate, final night game, final game.

The Lions ended up getting smoked by Mike Martz and Kurt Warner, 35-0, I believe. They would lose 10 more games before Marnhinweg got to celebrate a victory as a head football coach in a professional league. He didn't ride his Harley to practice to celebrate after that eventual win.

Of course, Mornhinweg's inaugural season ended 2-14. He improved with a 50 percent increase in wins in 2002, the first season in Ford Field in downtown Detroit, ending his career with a 5-27 record for a .154 winning percentage - lower even than Rod Marinelli's .200 career record with Detroit (which included the infamous 0-16 record).

Mornhinweg went on back to Philadelphia, where he leads the Eagles' offense. The Lions went downtown, where they have wowed the world with losing.

And MNF, well, it went to cable, where it is now the second-tier NFL showcase. Not to knock ESPN, but, they aren't like ABC or NBC. Instead of all the rowdy friends coming over on Monday, they come over on Sunday's now, where NBC has led a successful reinvention of how America watches football. It's not important on Monday; it's Sunday that is "football night in America."

But like every Lions fan believes, this is a new season. This could be the year. However, MNF isn't any kind of 'making it' or show of respect. That comes if we're still playing in January.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Uh oh, are we doomed to get dumber in Michigan?

Yes, the budget it short and the economy stinks, but we are in trouble if we sacrifice learning in Michigan.

I read an interesting piece last year, I believe in Time magazine, about the importance of giving value to smart children, the over-achievers. They will be the ones who invent new technologies, develop new practices, find new cures or vaccines. They will be the leaders who help keep America the number country in the world.

Except, we don't value them. We've emphasized including everyone of making sure the dumbest people can do the basic things. We have larger classes. We slow down the learning to make sure everyone can pass the same simple test.

And it will only get worse in Michigan, where education is not valued, it seems.

The Trenton Patch reports today that Trenton schools are considering doing away with the AP, advanced placement, courses due to budget cuts. So the smart students you do have get less education. AP courses are one of the significant benefits of a good school system, as if you have a strong elementary and middle school years, you can let high school cover some of the basics of college, giving an opportunity to jump ahead in the first years at university.

Ouch. Not something you'd want to cut.

In Troy, they want to close the library to save money, knowing that the public safety unions will ensure that is the last area cut. No one working in city hall really wants to cut the perks of city hall, so the library is first to go. I understand cuts have to be made, but it would be better if they were spread out equally, not targeting a single entity.

Meanwhile, the state's leadership has targeted education again, and again learning will suffer.

Again, I know cuts need to be made, but education is an investment in a society's future. There's little point to staffing and filling prisons to keep us safe if we're only going to need more prisons because there's less chance for the state's economy to improve. We've already suffered a brain drain, and we're not teaching our children as well, it will only get worse.

Oh well, at least we have casinos.

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Monday, April 18, 2011


It's just a little snow. Sure, I could have joked about having to dig out the snowthrower, or perhaps, asked if I could just mow the snow off the driveway, but there was not snow on my driveway as the warmth has kept things pretty normal while yards and trees get covered.

The snow does not bother me.

However, a reporter rumbling that we may not have a summer as cool weather will linger until end of May and will not be overcome with excessive summer warmth leaves me wondering, why am paying for a pool membership this year?

Here's to a lovely spring.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

The Onion picks on the Pistons

One group not given to share even a slight amount of hope about the Detroit Pistons after their sale to billionaire Tom Gores are the writers over at

The satirical online news site has a story today about the JumboTron no longer caring about the Pistons chances. One joke is that the JumboTron encourages fans to stand up, but not to cheer, rather to walk out and "do something worthwhile with your night."

Read the posting here.

Yes, the Pistons will miss the playoffs, struggling at 29-51, but at least they are better than Cleveland, which has languished without LeBron James at 17-63, tied for last in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

And speaking of LeBron, his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday beat the Pistons, who had won a road game the prior night in Charlotte.

Tiger Blood

So The Masters went to a man named Charl, but it was Tiger who had to make CBS's day and weekend. Tiger Woods stormed back as Rory McIlroy crumbled, who started the day four strokes up from second but ended out of the large -10 crowd in the final holes.

McIlroy's 80 may be remembered when considering final day slip ups, but Tiger Woods would have dominated the story had he been the one to win.

But just getting onto the leaderboard this late during a major was enough for the TV crowd, I'm guessing.

I'm pleased that the winner was Schwartzel, the South African, because he relied not so much on someone crumbling but because he made the shots when he had to. (Of course, that 8o helped).

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