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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So I saw this tweet this morning:



Ok, That's a pretty good tweet with a fairly descriptive headline. However, it could just as easily said, Some teenagers have gotten so stupid that it's just about time to give up.

Are these the teenagers who favor getting high over not killing their parents, as in the recent rash of teenagers being charged with murder, with two in Pontiac and one in Farmington Hills?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Not bad news

Someone complained about all the bad news in the paper, and a colleague noted that today's front page actually had mostly good news with the one bad news story buried at bottom, a bit explaining felony murder statutes related to the Farmington Hills baseball bat homicides.

We had BaconFest coming to Royal Oak in June. We had record store day. And we had Pontiac selling its water system to county and possibly ending its current debt problem.

Of course, there are other ways of looking at the news.

BaconFest will kill you and other stories today are about the amount of antibiotics in meat, especially bacon. Record store day exists because record stores are doomed. And Pontiac selling its most valuable asset means it has one less valuable asset and debt that will continue to mount in coming years.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Copycats

This year, West Bloomfield students have missed school twice due to vandalism of the district's buses, first at the end of January and then this week. Each time, it's lasted for just one day, but it's enough to cause families and school employees a bit of chaos with the last minute cancellations.
And in nearby Birmingham, last year and this year, school administrators have had to send home a letter alerting parents to a racially charged vandalism within a bathroom.
However, there is some good news.
Neither of these problems have spread.
In prior years in Oakland County, such pranks โ€” really, they are crimes โ€” have made big splashes in the local news and then have found receptive audiences in other school districts.


During the 2006-2007 school year, several districts were hit by vandals hoping to cancel class by disabling the buses.
In Jan. of 2007, Clarkston buses were hit, but not enough damage was done to stop the school day.
In December, West Bloomfield buses were targeted and school was canceled.
Two days later, it happened in Waterford Twp. In that case, the students blabbed a bit and were apprehended, and I remember in court, one of them explained to the judge where they got the idea. From the news.
In early January, they struck in Farmington, again later busted after boasting about their deed. At the time, the Farmington Director of Public Safety Chuck Nebus described them as copycats who followed the media accounts of prior vandalism. In fact, I can see how it seemed like a foolproof idea for a day off. Except it takes a fool to then tell others, others who are very gossipy, about what they'd done.
Nebus went as far to say that there was too much media coverage. I don't know what he meant by that, except perhaps there were too many outlets reporting the same story.
Well, bus tires are OK, though they cost money to repair.
However, other school related stories do get copycat responses.
One is the occurrence of threats at school.

For a few years in the middle of the last decade, threats of school violence occurred frequently in Oakland County and Metro Detroit, heightened in 2006 and 2007.
Many were arrested and charged, rightfully so true, and some left court with criminal records.
Here's a sampling of struggle for a safe school day.
- 2007 - bomb threat at Lake Orion, threat at pontiac central,
- Jan. 07, Rochester Hills student threatened to kill six classmates at ACE High School
- Nov. 06, troy high school, threats on walls
- Oct. 06, rochester adams, 17, student makes bomb threat
- March of 2006, Rochester Hills student at Roch High wrote out threatening graffiti-charged, probation
- Feb. 2006, troy high student withi small explosive FOR A MOVIE HE WAS TO SHOOT, SHOW OFF
- March of 2005, holly hit list, freshman, found out, probation
- Waterford hit list, Oct. 2004 senior wrote note, mott

I'm glad the copycats have so far stayed home. These are among Oakland County's top and largest school districts. It's a drain on law enforcement and the districts to up patrols, and it's a poor reflection on all the fine work done within the districts when a few bad apples cause such anxiety.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark dies

He was called the world's oldest teenager, and he made his way through the early days of TV and into the mass consumerism that is America now.

But I'll remember Dick Clark mostly for his guest appearance in Michael Moore's "Bowling for Colombine," in which the director chased him down to ask him about his franchise of restaurants that employed a woman who was forced to work two jobs, take a bus hours to work, who still could not afford a safe environment for her kindergarten-aged son, who shot a little girl at his Flint-area school.

The restaurant was in Auburn Hills' Great Lakes Crossing. Moore tracked Clark down somewhere in Hollywood. The encounter was kinda funny.

Never a fan of American Bandstand nor New Years' Night, I still know the value of what Clark brought to the worlds of TV and music.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Youth and government; art we doomed?

Today was Youth in Government Day at Oakland County Circuit Court, a very noble endeavor to try and teach young people about why they should pay attention.

However, one part of it is a real shame.

The highlight for many, in fact, the only part of it that does not involve sitting and listening to a lecture is the police dog demonstration.

It's a shame for the media, us here at The Oakland Press, as it's the most interesting visual part of the day, and we rely on visuals to better tell stories.

But when I think of what I want our children to learn about our government, it includes the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the rules of evidence, the premise that we have rights and responsibilities.

Police dogs demonstrating how they attack and bite people? That reminds me of totalitarian governments, of suppressing the civil rights movements, even of Hitler's march across Europe.

They have entire crime lab, a jail (including the booking procedures), guns, dispatch center, training for officers. All this stuff, showcasing the rules we follow, the rights people, and the technologies we use to manage ourselves, and it's the dog that's always the most popular part of the police department.