Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) The Royal Oak City Commission will consider drafting an ordinance Monday night to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and a host of other things like height and weight.
It’s being proposed by City Commissioner Jim Rasor, who also has a law practice in Royal Oak.
“I own a business and I am a job creator, I could walk in tomorrow to one of the young attorney’s office and say ‘Your heterosexual lifestyle is not compatible with this firm’s goals’ — He has no remedy under federal or state law for that,” Rasor said.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected a similar proposal in 2001, but Rasor thinks attitudes have changed since then. Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Birmingham and Ferndale already have a Human Rights Ordinance.
“We are one of the pre-eminent communities in southeastern Michigan that is diverse and eclectic and cosmopolitan. Beaumont Hospital and 89 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination in their employment agreements that I’m seeking to put in Royal Oak’s,” Rasor said.
Rasor, who has also pushed for marijuana legalization efforts, doesn’t think federal non-discrimination laws are enough. Federal laws apply to minority groups and cover housing and employment.
“I’m a landlord, I could put a sign in front of one of my units, and on that sign I could say ‘No heterosexual people allowed,” the attorney said. “Is that what we want in Royal Oak? No.”
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 15:45
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
A Gleaners Food Bank worker unloads food collected in a food drive. (WWJ Photo/ Pat Sweeting, File)
DETROIT (WWJ) - Just in time to help out during the busy holiday season, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan has received one of four new Ford F-550 box trucks.
The trucks were donated to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.
The latest trucks bring the number donated by Newsman’s Own, Inc. and Ford Motor Company to 107.
Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford handed over the keys to the Gleaners’ truck at the food bank’s warehouse on Detroit’s east side on Monday.
“This is hugely important to us because, you know, the whole ethic of Ford Motor company is to give back to the community,” said Ford. “This volunteer corps that you see today, that’s something I launched about 10 years ago to formalize what was already happening in our company … and I wanted to make it easier for our employees to do it with company support.”
Ford said his late friend, actor Paul Newman, came up with the idea that the two could help feed the hungry in America.
Ford said Newman sent him a handwritten letter asking, “Do you think spaghetti sauce and Ford trucks would be good together?” Ford said he enthusiastically answered, “Yes,” and 12 years later — and four years after Newman’s death — the partnership between their two companys is still going strong.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 14:27
Category: Breaking News Written by Clarence Page
In his Chicago Tribune column, Clarence Page tackles the failed GOP presidential candidate's "gifts" comments, saying they echo his earlier remarks about "47 percent of Americans" who "don't pay taxes," and concludes that Romney is out of touch.
... Romney was proud to contrast Obama's so-called gift-giving strategy with his own tight-fisted talk about "big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth."
"With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift," said Romney, who probably never had to take out a college loan in his life.
"Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women," he said. Sounds like he's been listening too much to Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talk show host who called law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" for advocating government-funded contraceptives. Republicans fume at Democrats for suggesting the Grand Old Party is waging a "war against women," although it's not hard to see where the Dems get that idea.
In that light, I congratulate Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, for introducing a bill in April that would require men to visit a sex therapist before getting a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra. What's good for the gander should be good for the goose.
"And then, finally," said Romney, "Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents' plan, and that was a big gift to young people." And, I would add, to many of their parents.
Read Clarence Page's entire piece at the Chicago Tribune
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 14:15
Category: Breaking News Written by Jenée Desmond-Harris
The Root) -- Civil rights attorney and law professor Sherrilyn Ifill will be the next president and director-counsel of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. (LDF), the racial-justice organization announced today.
Ifill, who will take on her new role in January 2013, is no stranger to LDF's work. Early in her career, before joining the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Law, authoring On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century and making a name for herself as a respected civil rights strategist, she served as assistant counsel in LDF's New York office. There she litigated voting-rights cases, including the landmark Voting Rights Act case Houston Lawyers' Association v. Attorney General of Texas.
"It was a dream come true to serve as a lawyer at LDF years ago, and it is a high honor to return to this premiere institution as president and director-counsel," Ifill said in a statement today. "I am looking forward to working with the LDF team, allies and partners to advance an innovative 21-century civil rights practice that confronts the barriers to equality and justice in the lives of the most marginalized members of our community."
In her new role, Ifill will lead LDF's efforts to expand political participation, forestall injustice in the criminal-justice system, broaden avenues of educational opportunity, defend economic freedoms and further the nomination and appointment of fair-minded and diverse judges through impact litigation and advocacy.
"With Sherrilyn at the helm, LDF will be stronger as the fight for racial justice in the 21st century continues," Gerald Adolph, co-chair of LDF's board of directors, said.
Ifill, a contributor to The Root, has provided her analysis of a range of topics, including racialized attacks on President Obama, affirmative action, voter-ID laws and the impact of Supreme Court decisions.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 14:07
Category: Breaking News Written by Chicago Defender
A flurry of racist tweets that followed President Barack Obama's re-election came primarily from southern states, according to a map that geographically pinpointed the point of origin of the hate speech.
Tweets calling the president a monkey or using racial epithets prompted a group of geography experts to try and break down whether the hateful language was more prevalent in some areas of the country than others.
As it turns out, it was. The bigoted tweets serve as a useful reminder that technology reflects the society in which it is based, both the good and the bad, said geography research group Floating Sheep.
The group took 365 tweets and laid them over a color-coded map of the United States to analyze the frequency of hate tweets compared to the frequency of election-related tweets in that state.
Mississippi and Alabama had the highest ratio of racist tweets. They were followed by Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, forming a fairly distinctive cluster in the southeast of online hate speech, the research finds. North Dakota, Utah, and Missouri also had a high prevalence of racist tweets. In the west and northwest, there were very few racist tweets, with the exception of Oregon, the map indicates.
Rates of racist tweets compared to overall Twitter usage was also low in the Northeast, the research found. Some states, including Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota, had no hate tweets, but the research notes that the prevalence of Twitter use is lower in those states.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 12:33
Category: Breaking News Written by Emily Jane Fox
(CNNMoney) -- A group of Wal-Mart workers are planning to stage a walkout next week on Black Friday, arguably the biggest holiday shopping day for the world's largest retail store.
The walkout builds on an October strike that started at a Wal-Mart in Los Angeles and spread to stores in 12 other cities. More than 100 workers joined in the October actions.
One of the workers who plans to join next week's walkout is William Fletcher, who works at a Wal-Mart in Duarte, Calif.
Fletcher, who also participated in the October strikes, claims Wal-Mart cut his hours after he asked to move from the receiving department to another division because of a knee injury. He has since switched departments.
"I kept asking myself, 'when is the retaliation for speaking our mind and acting on our rights going to stop?' " he said. Wal-Mart did not have an immediate comment in response to Fletcher's claim.
The union-backed groups OUR Walmart and Making Change at Wal-Mart, and a watchdog group Corporate Action Network, are calling on the nation's largest employer to end what they call retaliation against employees who speak out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care.
On Black Friday, the organizations expect 1,000 protests, both at stores and online.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the number of workers who are raising concerns is very small and don't represent the views of the vast majority of its workforce of 1.3 million.
But labor experts say that even a small number of workers could make an impact.
"Even if there aren't that many people, it could have an effect, because their campaign in front of stores could discourage shoppers," said Ken Margolies, senior associate at the Worker Institute a Cornell University.
The strike could have an even greater impact if workers from its supply centers participate, according to Margolies. He said it could impede distribution of merchandise on what is usually the busiest day of the year.
Organizers have planned a social medial blitz, mobilizing workers through Facebook pages, a YouTube video, Twitter and Tumblr. They're also using online platforms to collect donations to sponsor striking workers. So far, the campaign has raised more than $22,200.
Wal-Mart workers have been battling with management over pay, benefits and their ability to speak up for years, experts say.
According to Anthony Bianco, author of Wal-Mart: The Bully of Bentonville, butchers at a Wal-Mart supercenter in Jacksonville, Texas, voted to form a union in 2000 -- the first time employees had done so. But soon after that, Wal-Mart eliminated butcher departments in its stores across the country, he said. It has been reported that Wal-Mart said it got rid of its meat department as a cost cutting measure.
A similar thing happened when workers at a Quebec store attempted to unionize in 2005, Bianco said. Wal-Mart closed that store a few months after that. The company said at the time that its decision was prompted by the union wanting to change how the store operated.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 12:25
Category: Breaking News Written by CNN
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hostess Brands will ask a bankruptcy judge on Monday for approval to shut down the company and pay $1.75 million in executive bonuses.
Unions representing workers at the maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Drake's snacks are arguing against the bonuses.
But there appears little the unions can do in court to block the shutdown of Hostess or save the 18,500 jobs at the company.
At a court hearing set for 2 p.m. ET, the company will ask U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain in New York to approve retention bonus payments to executives expected to oversee the shutdown of Hostess.
"The cessation of ... operations is not a simple matter of turning off the lights and shutting the doors," the company wrote in a court filing. "A freefall shutdown and fire sale liquidation" could result in damaged production equipment and the "improper disposal" of waste, the company added.
Under the plan, bonuses ranging from $7,400 to $130,500 will be paid to 19 executives. The company argues the bonuses are below market rates for such payments.
But the unions, which blame mismanagement for the company's demise, say the bonuses are unjustified and should be rejected by the judge.
The unions filed various motions over the weekend seeking to protect pension funds and salaries under previous contracts.
But as of Monday morning no motions had been filed seeking to block the liquidation plan itself. And the unions' statements seemed resigned to the fact that Hostess will be closed down and the hourly workers will be out of work.
The Bakery Workers union, whose Nov. 9 strike prompted Hostess management to announce the shutdown, issued a statement Saturday saying that mismanagement over a number of years is the reason the company is shutting down, not the strike.
"Hostess failed because its six management teams over the last eight years were unable to make it a profitable, successful business enterprise," said the union.
But it said its members understood when they went on strike that a shutdown of the company would likely occur.
"They were well aware of the potential consequences of their actions but stood strong for dignity, justice and respect," the union's said.
Hostess has announced its intention to sell its brands, recipes for various products and other assets as a way to generate cash for its creditors. Even if the products are purchased by other companies and once again sold to consumers, it's unlikely that the current employees will be rehired to produce or deliver those products.
™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 12:16
Category: Breaking News Written by Sean Yuille
The Detroit Lions were unable to finish the job on Sunday and ended up losing to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 24-20 as a result.
Against a team like the Green Bay Packers, you can't afford to miss out on chances to put the game away. When you drive inside the 10-yard line in the final minutes of the game, you need a touchdown, not a field goal. Settling for three points means giving Aaron Rodgers a chance to lead the Packers to a comeback win. When you're a 4-5 team with your season on the line, settling for three is setting yourself up for defeat.
This is the script that played out for the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. The Lions had a chance to take a 10-point lead on the Packers with the fourth quarter winding down. Instead, the Lions were forced to settle for a field goal, putting the pressure on their defense to hold a six-point lead. The defense folded under this pressure, and the offense couldn't bail the Lions out, allowing the Packers to win by a score of 24-20. In a season full of missed opportunities, the Lions suffered another agonizing defeat because they left points on the field.
The return of this whole theme of the offense costing the Lions games didn't come as a huge shock given what occurred at the start of Sunday's contest. The Lions won the toss and elected to receive only to go three-and-out yet again. Slow starts have been a problem all season, and this one continued after the defense came up with a stop, as the Lions again went three-and-out. This resulted in outstanding field position for Green Bay, as the Lions began their drive at their own 2-yard line thanks to Stefan Logan letting yet another punt bounce.
The Packers were poised to score given their starting field position, but with an assist to a couple holding penalties on Green Bay, the defense was able to hold tough. The Packers actually went for it on fourth-and-4 from the 31-yard line, and an incompletion resulted in the Lions getting the ball back.
The Lions' offense showed some life on its next drive. On third-and-12, Matthew Stafford threw a bomb downfield into double coverage. Calvin Johnson somehow made the catch for a gain of 53 yards, and following a 4-yard run and a penalty on Green Bay, the Lions found themselves inside the 10. They actually got all the way down to the 3-yard line, but a terribly designed play on third-and-goal resulted in a sack. This was the first time the Lions left points on the field in this game, as they had to settle for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
The Packers bounced back from a couple of rough opening offensive possessions with a scoring drive of their own. The Lions made good plays on first and second down, but the Packers owned them on third down. Detroit just couldn't get off the field, and three third-down conversions later, Green Bay was in the end zone on a 20-yard pass to Jermichael Finley, who was completely alone in the middle of the field.
The Lions provided a nice response of their own when the offense returned to the field on its next drive. They got a couple of third-down conversions and some big pass plays, including a 17-yarder to Will Heller and a 21-yarder and 14-yarder to Johnson. Mikel Leshoure also chipped in with a 10-yard run to set up his one-yard touchdown on the very next play. The score put the Lions back on top, 10-7.
Following a punt by the Packers, the Lions were again on the move after a 15-yard run by Leshoure and a roughing the passer penalty kept the drive alive on third down. At the very least, the Lions were in position for a field goal before halftime, but a turnover prevented that from happening. Stafford didn't see Casey Hayward, who undercut Titus Young's route for an interception. The Packers took over near midfield and appeared to be in position to tie things up or retake the lead. Again, a turnover prevented that from happening, as Jacob Lacey picked off Rodgers.
This ridiculous sequence of turnovers continued about a minute later on the Lions' next possession. Stafford made a great move to avoid a sack, but he didn't protect the ball when he started to scramble. This allowed the Packers to punch it loose, and they recovered it at the Detroit 42. Rodgers threw passes for 7 and 11 yards to move Green Bay into position for a touchdown, but a Nick Fairley sack for a loss threw a wrench into those plans. The Packers amazingly let the clock run down following the sack for reasons beyond me, and Mason Crosby missed a 50-yard field goal twice to end the half. (Jim Schwartz called timeout right before the first attempt, which went wide right. The second kick went wide left.)
The Lions came out roaring in the second half by forcing a stop and quickly moving into Green Bay territory. The offense was rolling and had a chance to really start pulling away from the Packers. Then disaster struck. Stafford threw a pass in the direction of Tony Scheffler just off target. Scheffler got a hand on it but couldn't make the catch, tipping it right to M.D. Jennings in the process. Jennings proceeded to return it 72 yards for a touchdown, giving the Packers a 14-10 lead and stunning Ford Field at the same time.
The Lions managed to shake off this killer mistake and put together another solid drive. They worked their way down the field through the air, on the ground and thanks to another personal foul by Green Bay. Ultimately, they managed to score a touchdown despite facing second-and-20 from the Green Bay 25. Stafford threw a bullet that went through the hands of a Green Bay defender and right to Johnson, who amazingly made the catch for a touchdown. The Lions were now back on top by a score of 17-14 as the end of the third quarter neared.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Packers faced fourth-and-5 from the Detroit 40. They surprisingly came out to attempt a 58-yard field goal, causing the Lions to take a timeout to prepare for a possible fake. Green Bay was certainly up to something, as they tried to send a man in motion before the snap. This resulted in a false start penalty, though, forcing Green Bay to punt. At the very least, it forced Detroit to burn a timeout, which would turn out to be a big deal later in the game.
Following a three-and-out by the Lions, the Packers again had outstanding field position. Once again, though, they couldn't do anything with it. The Lions forced a stop, and Crosby's struggles continued, as he pushed a 38-yard field goal wide left. With only 8:37 to go, the Lions remained on top, 17-14.
The Lions had a chance to essentially put this game out of reach on their next drive, and they seemed like they were going to accomplish this based on how it started. Stafford found Ryan Broyles for 27 yards on third down before finding Young for 24 yards a couple plays later. With first-and-goal from 10, the Lions were knocking on the door for a touchdown, especially after Leshoure went for three on first down. Second-and-goal from the 7-yard line is a pretty good spot to be in, but another run by Leshoure went for a loss of 2 yards, and a pass to Young on third down was incomplete. There should've been a flag considering Young was basically tackled in the end zone, but no call was made and the Lions had to settle for a 27-yard Jason Hanson field goal.
The Packers had 4:25 to score a touchdown and overcome the 20-14 deficit they faced. As it turned out, they only needed around half of that to score the go-ahead touchdown. A 40-yard pass to Finley set the Packers up to score, and on third-and-1 from the Detroit 22, they reached the end zone on a great catch by Randall Cobb. The Lions' defense collapsed at the worst possible time, and the Packers were now ahead 21-20 with 1:55 to go in the game.
The Lions had plenty of time to get into field goal range, but they couldn't even muster a first down. Stafford threw four consecutive incompletions as the Lions turned the ball over on downs. Green Bay got stuffed on three running plays after taking over and added a 39-yard field goal to make this a 24-20 game. The Lions used their final two timeouts and had only 19 seconds left when they got the ball back. This wasn't enough to do anything, as Johnson, on the desperation final play, lateraled the ball right to the Packers to end the game.
The Lions are now 4-6 with this 24-20 loss. Given their schedule, it's pretty clear this season is over as far as making the playoffs goes. It would require a miracle run for the Lions to have a good enough record to make the playoffs, and this team has shown week in and week out that it isn't good enough to make that happen. The players constantly fail to execute, and the coaching staff consistently looks clueless on the sideline. This team has big problems from the top on down, as evidenced by all of the mistakes they make each week.
It's pretty clear changes will need to be made next offseason. Just how major those changes are will come down to the final six games of the season. If the Lions completely collapse and fall apart down the stretch, those changes could cost several coaches their job. It would take an absolutely huge collapse for Schwartz to lose his job, but somebody will need to be the scapegoat, and the assistants are the most likely candidates to take the fall if things really go south to end the season.
I was really hoping to avoid NFL Draft talk before we even get to December, but with the 9-1 Houston Texans coming to town next Thursday, it's really inevitable at this point. The Lions came into this season as a franchise on the rise, but they have been nothing but a flop so far in 2012.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 09:14
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Gas prices have fallen 4.2 cents per gallon in the past week, now averaging $3.50 per gallon in Detroit.
That’s according to the website DetroitGasPrices.com, which says the national average has fallen 3.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.43 per gallon. However, as of Sunday, prices were still 24.6 cents per gallon higher than the same day a year ago and 1.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.
“While gasoline prices have dropped in the last month and a half, the national average will still come close to breaking a record- the highest ever national average for Thanksgiving,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “I don’t really see how gas prices could greatly improve between now and Christmas, given the new military action in the Middle East, and other pressures. It’s all but certain the national average will not drop under $3.25 per gallon, which could lead to a perilous start to 2013,” DeHaan said.
Michigan Drivers Planning To Hit The Road Over Thanksgiving Holiday
With gas prices down a bit, Michigan’s roads and airports are expected to be more crowded this week — as people pack up and head out of the town for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Nancy Cain, AAA Michigan spokesperson, says more than 1.3 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home. That’s up seven percent from last year.
“We’re catching up with the rest of the country,” Cain said. “We stopped traveling when the economy hit so badly for so many folks. But now, people are feeling a little more comfortable and they’re starting to travel, especially during holiday periods when it’s important to be with family and friends.”
About 89 percent of Michigan residents will travel by car, eight percent by air and three percent by bus or train.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 09:03
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – The Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking for special agents, intelligence analysts and interns. If you think you have what it takes to meet that need, give the FBI Detroit Field Office a call.
Special Agent Laura Watters tells WWJ the bureau is looking for a diverse group of people.
“We’re looking for special agents who have either an extended degree or a degree with at least three years work experience. We’re looking for interns who are either in grad school or will be juniors next year,” Watters said.”And for the intelligence position, we’re looking for folks who are ready to move on, possibly relocating in March when the position is posted.”
Watters says Intelligence Analysts and Special Agents do have the opportunity for overseas travel on temporary duty assignments. The internships are 40-hours per week between June and August. Some interns work beyond that 10-week period.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 08:58
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