Smart Meter Silliness

In what I can only imagine is an act done out of pure defiance of logic and good sense, people are placing locking bars on their analog power meters to prevent DTE from replacing them with so-called ‘Smart Meters’, and are reaping what they sow in the form of a power shut-off.

There are few things that make sense to me about the Smart Meter debate.  There is no privacy issue: the fact that you are using electricity in your home can be seen with the naked eye by anyone standing in front of the place at nighttime.  There is no health and safety issue: the world we live in is literally bombarded by microwave radiation, all of which bounces harmlessly off of our skins.  There is no issue with rising energy cost: Smart Meters are being installed to lower the public utility’s cost of operation and improve its response time to power outages, not nefariously find ways to charge you more; if they want a rate hike, they’re going to have to go through the Michigan Public Service Commission if they want a rate hike, and that has always been something done out in the open.

And perhaps most importantly, this is not a Sterling Heights issue.  The vast amount of time that has been wasted at City Council meetings over something that is not within the city’s legal purview to regulate is the result of the pure sophistry of anti-Smart Meter advocates.  I have little to say to anti-technology Luddites other than to point out that their ongoing temper tantrum has gotten them exactly nowhere, and can we please have our city council meetings back now?

With a little luck, these folks are soon going to have to spend their spare time refueling their generators and resupplying their stock of dry ice.  Hopefully they’ll be too busy with that to trouble city council any further.

Crashing and Smashing at 15 Mile and Cavant Drive

I’ve spoken several times at City Council meetings and with Sterling Heights Police regarding all of the accidents that take place just outside my house at 15 Mile and Cavant.  Although I keep hearing that there are things which might get done to help, it has been going on for years and there has been little or no relief.

Now it has become personal: someone I know has recently been involved in an injury accident which destroyed his vehicle and has put him onto disability for the at least the next two years.

A few weeks ago, my next-door neighbor was involved in a crash while travelling east on 15 Mile past the 7-11 store at 4191 15 Mile Road.  A driver trying to turn left out of the shopping center crossed the two westbound lanes of traffic and the left turn lane at a high rate of speed, broadsiding my neighbor’s F150 pickup.  The collision was severe enough to bend the frame of the truck and intrude into the passenger compartment, striking him as he sat in the driver’s seat.  He has significant spinal and neck injuries as a result, and now is unable to work at his job as a glass installer.

Crashes near my location are hardly uncommon, and I’ve recently started taking pictures when I’m unable to render assistance.  I didn’t get a picture of my neighbor’s collision, but here are  a few photos of the wreckage from just some of the accidents that took place over the past few months.

Vehicles involved in collision 28-JAN-2015


Vehicles involved in a collision 29-DEC-2014


Vehicles involved in collision 28-JAN-2015


Vehicles involved in 4 car accident 11-AUG-2014


The problem is not limited to my corner.  The entire area between Hatherly Place and Ryan Road along 15 Mile Road, highlighted in yellow below, is dangerous.  Just last evening I was almost involved in a head-on collision myself.  At the very least, this stretch of road should have ‘Dangerous Area’ signage.

Map of 15 and Ryan

!5 Mile, east of Ryan. The blue dot marks my location. Directly south are heavily populated multi-family residential buildings. To my south and west, popular retail and dining establishments.



I am not a civil engineer, but it has been my observation that many of these accidents seem to have one thing in common: drivers attempting to turn left out of the driveways of businesses and the condominium complex onto 15 Mile during periods of heavy traffic.  Another prevalent problem comes from people using the left turn lane as a traffic lane.  Someone doing just exactly that nearly hit my vehicle last night during the snow storm.

A large number of adults living in my immediate area are new to driving.  Many have not had the benefit of driver’s training.  The stretch of 15 Mile Road for about a quarter mile east of the intersection with Ryan is heavily congested and home to a significant number of retail businesses and restaurants.  Unfortunately these folks lack the experience behind the wheel to negotiate a left turn onto 15 Mile at peak traffic times safely.

As a result, the sound of a high speed collision has become all too familiar.  Having had a modicum of training in emergency first aid, I go running when I hear the sound but typically I can’t even get across the street on foot through traffic to be much help.  People, many of very modest circumstances, are losing their vehicles and suffering serious injury.  Something must be done.

Upon reflection, I think that the Sterling Heights Police are doing everything they can about this situation, but their hands are tied.  There is no existing traffic ordinance preventing left turns out of businesses or the condominium complex onto 15 Mile.  There should be.  There may well be an argument to be made that left turns from Cavant Drive onto 15 Mile ought to be banned as well.  This would personally inconvenience me greatly, but I could work around it if I had to.

It is no secret that 15 Mile and Ryan is one of the most dangerous intersections in the city, topped only by the intersections at 16 Mile and Van Dyke.  The problems there may have no easy solution, and I’m not certain 15 and Ryan can be made perfectly safe either, but I’m certain that a change in the traffic laws here would make a big difference.

Southfield enacts LGBT protections

According to today’s Detroit Free Press, Southfield has enacted an anti-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBTs very similar to what was made into law and subsequently repealed in Sterling Heights.

I have to wonder: what will the fallout be from this?

Can Southfield expect to see a petition drive to remove the law?  Will there be a cadre of small-minded, pro-discrimination candidates for Mayor and City Council at the city’s next election?  Will the churches rise up and demand the right to continue to discriminate?

Perhaps even more importantly, will the folks who did all of those things in Sterling Heights take their message and their mission over to Southfield?  Will Paul Smith be making an appearance at that city’s council chambers?

I’m asking these things but I strongly suspect that none of the above will take place.  I could be proven wrong, but my gut instinct tells me that without a disgraced ex-councilman to lead the charge in Southfield, there is little chance that the town will be embarrassed by a sudden materializing of its most Neolithic residents.  People there will live and let live, and there will be little in the way of an organized effort to deny basic human rights for all of Southfield’s residents.

I could be wrong, though.  If our local batch of crazies happens to ask you for directions to get to Southfield, do us all a favor:

Direct them to Ohio.

RIP, Mayor Notte

After a long and storied career serving as the Mayor of Sterling Heights, Richard Notte passed away this morning after battling pancreatic cancer.  He was 76.

Although the mayor and I did not always agree, he was ever the perfect gentleman to me, even one time offering me a hot cup of coffee as I stood in a cold parking lot in support of his opponent on election day.  Though we differed on matters of politics and style, he was a worthy political opponent, a gentleman, congenial, a tireless booster of Sterling Heights, a man who worked hard at doing the job the way he thought it should be done, and a proud American.

Whomever follows in his footsteps will find it difficult to approach the level of respectability, dedication and high esteem he brought to the office, and without question he will be sorely missed.

I can only offer my deepest, most sincere condolences to the entire Notte family in their time of mourning, and hope they soon are spending their time not in grief, but in reflection on the great credit that Richard brought to the Notte family name.

Rest in peace, Mr. Mayor.

Proposed New Ordinance and Statement Before Council

Last evening I spoke before council regarding the now-repealed Anti-LGBT Discrimination Ordinance.  As it happened, I was the first in line to speak on the issue.  Citizen participation took a couple of hours.

My Proposed New Ordinance

My major point in this, which may have eventually gotten lost in the shuffle of hours of testimony, is that I believe the city has a responsibility and a duty to protect its employees, board members, and volunteers from LGBT discrimination.  I believe strongly that we can and should at least do that.  It should take the form of a new ordinance.  I hope that my friends on Council and in the City Administration take me up on this, it is the right thing to do.

Somehow, only an hour or so later, people were coming up to the podium and misquoting what I had said.  One person stated that I wanted to only protect “Cops and Firemen” with my proposal for another ordinance.  In order to set the record straight, here is a video segment of my talk.

Why We Need This

Last night’s meeting was painfully long and depressing for all of the hatred plainly on display.  I don’t think I can stress enough that this means we need to continue to fight for freedom and justice for everyone.

It is plainly evident that discrimination pervades our city despite the protestations to the contrary by the religiously or politically motivated.  The fact that a member of the city’s Ethnic community committee was openly discriminated against by the chairman, who I might add sat two seats over from me during this meeting applauding every anti-ordinance speaker, is simply incredible.  I renew my request that this man, Dr. Steve Naumovski, be removed from his post.

I respectfully submit that one doesn’t need to be LGBT themselves to feel the scorn of those who are against these protections; you only need to be pro-freedom in order to be the subject of ire.  That just amplifies the need for legal protection as soon as possible.

Thoughts on the culture war

The culture war is very much alive in Sterling Heights.  Apparently some perceive the America of the 1940s to be the good old days.  Blacks were subservient.  Women stayed home, raised children, and cooked dinner.  Gays and lesbians were deeply in the closet.  Schools, buses and lunch counters were segregated.  I believe that a lot of the resistance we’ve seen to this ordinance has been the product of people who for some reason yearn to return to days like those.

Unfortunately for them, the last 70 years did, in fact, happen.  During these past 70 years we have moved more toward the freedom the Framers envisioned than we ever had as a nation up until that point.  It is a painful process, and there are setbacks along the way.  But I will remind you that the Revolutionary War was fought with only 30% approval by the public, and it was still the right thing to do.  We have a republic because the costs of a pure democracy are too high, and the tyranny of the majority should not and will not be allowed to destroy the lives of the minority.

On display for all of the world to see last night were people representing the worst side of Sterling Heights politics.  The Christian culture warriors were determined that no matter what, they would not allow the LGBTs to be recognized as equal members of our society.  The sophists were there claiming their only reason for organizing the petition drive was “to let the people decide” whether 2% of the population should be protected from discrimination by the other 98%.  Washed up former politicians sought to avenge years-old disputes by making false accusations against current city officials.  And future politicians with poor critical thinking and English speaking skills made their best attempt to seem potentially electable, or at least somewhat relevant.

Such is the plight of a free society attempting to find the path to freedom through the darkness of ignorance.  Do not despair.  The LGBT community will become a protected class in Sterling Heights.

A few points of order of my own from last night:

  • If you want to avoid being compared to ISIS, stop behaving like ISIS.  You don’t get a pass for touting your religion’s form of bigotry just because people of your religious persuasion wear crucifixes and go to church on Christmas.  If you want to oppress people, find a place like Syria and do it there.  Here in America, the operative term is “liberty and justice FOR ALL.”  You may not be beheading anyone, but that’s really the only difference.  Your goals and intentions are the same as those of the Muslim Caliphate: to oppress any form of thought or expression that does not align with your own.  Yes, I am equating you with terrorists.  Deal with it.
  • If you are capable of standing up and speaking on an issue, it is generally considered to be good form to actually know what’s being discussed.  The City Council does nothing in a vacuum.  Every bit of information the council members use to prepare themselves before the meeting is publicly viewable on the city’s website in the form of something called an ‘e-packet’.  The e-packets are available on the Friday morning proceeding a regularly scheduled meeting here.  So if you found yourself feeling a little foolish asking basic questions about what was being discussed, perhaps you could save us all the trouble by reading up ahead of time.   Get somebody to read it to you and explain it if you’re one of the aforementioned washed-up politicians.
  • There are literally thousands of words accepted as law in Sterling Heights which have been adopted over its 46-year history.  Very few of them had to meet with your approval beforehand, and equally few of them will have to in the future.  Not everything the council does will be spoon fed to you with coffee and cookies at a symposium.  If you want to know what’s going on in town, pay attention.  Claims that the anti-LGBT ordinance was somehow sprung on an unsuspecting public only go to show the public’s relative ignorance of the political process, not the sneakiness of the government body.
  • The Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem and Members of Council are all people who a.) have a formal title which you should use to address them in a public meeting, b.) have been placed into office by the votes of thousands of people, many of whom do not show up for council meetings, and c.) all are individuals with their own thoughts, aspirations, life experiences, and Constitutional guarantees.  They are there because they were put there via a Democratic process, but they are not obliged to apportion their support on the various issues according to polling data, or your perceptions of what the polling data would be if it in fact existed.  They are not obliged to agree with you no matter how many you number.  They’re not puppets.  And their right to speak, to protest and to act in good conscience is not abridged by the fact that they’re your elected representative.   If you don’t want them carrying signs and calling you a bigot, don’t act like one.  Oh, and by the way, protesting bigotry is not “harassment” to the bigoted.  Put your big girl pants on and accept the fact that what you were doing in front of the library there was going to be controversial.
  • Finally, I am pleased that you read my blog.  I am even more pleased if you opposed this ordinance and something I said about that upset you.  If you would like to cite something I’ve said in a public forum, please be my guest, but please take the time to learn to pronounce my name correctly.  My first name is “Geoff”, but it’s pronounced “Jeff”.  The last name is “Gariepy”, which rhymes with “therapy”.   Thanks.

LGBT Ethnic Committee Member Quits: Sterling Heights Loses

Despite taking a courageous stand against LGBT discrimination by publicly supporting the anti-LGBT discrimination ordinance (hence, “the ordinance”) in Sterling Heights and accepting a position on the city’s Ethnic Community, Julie Bondy apparently felt her efforts were in vain and announced her resignation from her appointed post today.

Citing being “called a dyke, sinner, unnatural, sick, immoral, freak, and many more derogatory statements by the Referendum Petition group”, Ms. Bondy tendered her resignation in an email sent out earlier this afternoon to a wide group of recipients.

Ms. Bondy also stated that a current candidate for Mayor, Paul Smith, singled her out for some particularly abusive treatment: “One of the individuals of this group (Paul Smith) even yelled at my 75 year old mother and told her that I am sick, she has nothing to be proud of, and I am worth $50K worth of bad advertising.”

When Bigotry Goes Unchecked

During the debate over the ordinance, City Council was subjected to what, in my mind, were the depraved ravings of people who cited their religion as an excuse for bigotry.  They weren’t called on it by anyone from the religious community in Sterling Heights who could speak with authority on the teachings of Christianity.  Rather, an attempt was made to mollify these folks by including exceptions in the ordinance designed to give religious institutions latitude to discriminate as they saw fit.  A couple of ministers spoke during the debate; none of them preached the message of love and acceptance that my 16 years of religious education imparted to me as a youth.

What we have here is a travesty.  Sterling Heights, in its attempt to ensure the rights and freedom for all, has instead quashed the freedoms of the very group it attempted to protect because the unethical lies and behavior of those who were against it went largely unchallenged.   These lies were used to dupe an unsuspecting public into forcing a parliamentary procedure that had the net effect of usurping the right of the representative government to enact laws.

In other words, our elected government, the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, was effectively rendered ineffective because of the desires of less than one tenth of the electorate.

I don’t call that a victory for Sterling Heights.  I call that a loss.

I was afraid this would happen

When all of this blew up yesterday, I sent a note of encouragement to Ms. Bondy.  Why?  Because I knew the pressures on her were real, and the challenge of fighting for what you believe in when it is not perceived as “popular” can seem insurmountable.   Paul Smith and his ragtag group of cronies set out to destroy this woman because they didn’t like her.   They see her as a threat to what they imagine is the “proper order” in our society, and so they found it acceptable to cite their religious beliefs while making every effort to smear her, insult her, and verbally abuse her.

Like all rational people, Ms. Bondy did a cost benefit analysis: would the community support her and make her efforts worthwhile, or wouldn’t they?  If they supported her, would what she was fighting for be worthwhile?

Apparently she concluded the potential benefit, an LGBT protection ordinance that made exceptions for religious groups, was not worth the enormous psychological and physical costs of facing a fringe group of religious extremists that was willing to use tactics approaching violence to achieve their goals.  I cannot blame her.  These folks are the ISIS of Sterling Heights.  They are beneath disdain for me.  Who needs it?

What you should do

If you think that Sterling Heights residents of all types should be protected by law, it’s time to say so.  Once again, the issue is going to come up on October 7, and if you feel this is important, you should be at City Council.

If you cannot attend the meeting (I may not be able to myself) the following folks need to hear your opinions on the issue:


Mayor Pro Tem Michael C. Taylor
(586) 648-0008

Councilwoman Deanna Koski
(586) 566-2388

Councilman Joseph V. Romano
(810) 499-5599

Councilwoman Maria G. Schmidt
(586) 264-9242

Councilman Doug Skrzyniarz
(586) 289-8788

Councilwoman Barbara A. Ziarko
(586) 939-0332


Ms. Bondy’s Letter

Reproduced below with names of the recipients redacted is a copy of Ms. Bondy’s email sent out this afternoon.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Julie Bondy
Date: Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM
Subject: Ethnic Community Committee
To: <redacted>

Hello Sterling Heights Ethnic Community Committee, Sterling Heights Mayor Pro Team, Sterling Heights City Council, One Sterling Heights, Members of the Media:

On August 6th of 2014, “Mayor Pro-Team Taylor recommended the appointment of Julie Bondy to the Ethnic Community Committee.  Moved by Councilman Skrzniarz and seconded by Taylor.”  I know that the entire Sterling Heights City Council was also behind me and supported this appointment.  I agreed to take this role seriously because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to make a difference and help the children of Sterling Heights.

According to the City of Sterling Heights Boards & Commission Handbook, The Ethnic Community Committee function is,  “The committee develops programs and activities that promote cultural diversity and understanding.”

Ethnic group is defined “a socially-defined category or people who identify with each member based on common ancestral, social, cultural or national experience.  Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by shared cultural heritage, ancestry, myth of origins, history, homeland, language, or even ideology, and manifests itself through symbolic systems.”  According to this definition, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender) group is considered an Ethnic Group, therefore, should be included in the Ethnic Community Committee.

Cultural diversity is defined “the existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society”.  Again, according to this definition, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender) group is considered an Ethnic Group, therefore, should be included in the Ethnic Community Committee.

If you have been on this committee for any length of time, you should understand the definition and there should be no confusion whatsoever regarding the scope and mission of the group.  Apparently, there was confusion with a few individuals.

My idea was to bring PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays ) to our city to offer education and support groups for parents of LGBT in Sterling Heights.  Their Mission:  “PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons their families and friends through; support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights.  Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.”  If the parents are given an outlet, a support group, education, etc., they will be better equipped to understand their children and provide the necessary support to foster their emotional development appropriately.  In addition, PFLAG of Macomb County wants to ensure there are specific bully programs, safe place plans, and other appropriate programs in the schools.  I have copied them in this email as well for your future reference.

I also wanted to provide FAQs about the LGBT community, truths and untruths, and possible do’s and don’ts.  We could have had an open meeting to the public to answer any non-sexual questions.  All I wanted to do on this committee was to provide education, resources, support groups, and open communication.

During this whole process of trying to pass the Non Discrimination Ordinance in Sterling Heights, I have been personally attacked.  I have handed out flyers, talked to business owners, spoke at city council meetings, spoke at county meeting, picketed at the library, been quoted by the press via paper and internet, and spoke at many more venues.  I have been called a dyke, sinner, unnatural, sick, immoral, freak, and many more derogatory statements by the Referendum Petition group.  One of the individuals of this group (Paul Smith) even yelled at my 75 year old mother and told her that I am sick, she has nothing to be proud of, and I am worth $50K worth of bad advertising.  I have been physically pushed and blocked from talking to people while picketing.  I have put myself through so much underserved anguish to be the voice of the voiceless.

I am hoping that through this process I have ignited a fire in many more who want to lead.  I don’t have to prove anything to the Ethnic Community Committee, Paul Smith, the Referendum Petition group or anyone else.  I am a true leader to whom it matters; myself and my son.  My son, Mitchell Hintze, spoke off the cuff at a city council meeting during this ordinance “We are a race; the human race.  And what did Bob Marley teach us?  He told us this is One Love, and also, you have one life to live, and live on this earth, and to make it right, and to make it matter, no matter what.  Because in the end, we are going to be judged by our actions, not if we are gay or straight or bi, but by whether we did right or whether we did wrong”.   After this particular meeting, he walked up to a marine that spoke as well, who served 5 tours in Iraq, who happens to be transgender, and all Mitchell saw was a hero.  THAT moment represented One Love.  THAT is what the future is supposed to be.  THAT represents what Sterling Heights needs to be.

So whether you believe you won or you lost, it does not matter to me.  I do not wish to participate in any group that does not believe in progressing as a society; who does not believe in educating our children; or who does not believe in providing a safe and accepting environment for our children to grow, play, learn, work, and live.  I don’t want to be hushed, patronized, or forced upon any committee.  My fight for LGBT equal rights in Sterling Heights has taken its course, it is time for others to help lead, and time for me put my focus where it is desperately needed; homeless children.

If you still wish to carry out my original ideas, please contact PFLAG of Macomb County at

I am representing myself in this email, not Chrysler.  I will follow this email up with the appropriate resignation letter.

Julie A. Bondy

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” – Helen Keller



LGBT Discrimination in Sterling Heights on the Ethnic Community Committee

Many times during the debate over the LGBT protection ordinance in Sterling Heights we heard “there is no discrimination against gays in Sterling Heights.”


I have been recently been made aware that not only is discrimination against gays happening in Sterling Heights, it’s happening on one of the citizen boards sponsored by the city.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael C. Taylor writes:

From: Michael C. Taylor <>
Date: Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 9:58 AM
Subject: FW: How do I make a difference?
To: “” <>

Geoff —

See  below. I spoke with Dr. Steve today and he confirmed everything Julie said.

Michael C. Taylor
Sterling Heights Mayor Pro Tem
(586) 822-3500
From: Julie Bondy 
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:19 PM
To: Doug Skrzyniarz; Michael C. Taylor
Subject: How do I make a difference?

Dr. Steve Naumovski from the Ethnic Community Committee called me today to welcome me and ask how I am part of the committee.  I told him that I have Italian citizenship but I represent the LGBT Community here in SH.  He told me because of all the religious people represented in the committee that we won’t speak about any LGBT issues because it is too controversial and the don’t ask don’t tell works well with the Army. (emphasis added)

I am not here to wave a rainbow flag, but what is my exact role in this committee?  How can I contribute if I can’t talk about inclusion or any issues?    Am I going to stir the pot when I get there?  How do you see me making a difference?

I know what I would like to see come of this, and know how to do it diplimatically, but I would like to  know what you two want from me?

Julie A. Bondy
<personal information redacted>

My Take

I have briefly met Ms. Bondy in person.  She is a well spoken, educated, professional woman who is active in the Sterling Heights community.  She also happens to be gay.

It should come as no surprise that there is a gay viewpoint on public matters in Sterling Heights.  If even 1/2 of 1% of our population is gay, that means we have 650 people living in this city who have that perspective.

If we were to tell 650 Italian people that their voice would not be heard, it would be an outrage and the next City Council meeting would be crowded out onto Utica Road.

If we were to tell 650 Chaldean people that their voice would not be heard, there would be marches on Ryan Road similar to the ISIS protest.

If we were to tell 650 African-American people that their voice would not be heard, the Revs Sharpton and Jackson would catch the first flight to DTW and organize a protest likely involving tens of thousands of people.

Somehow, though, it is perfectly acceptable for Dr. Steve Naumovski to tell an appointed member of the Ethnic Community Committee that she cannot speak on LGBT issues.

This is wrong.  It is immoral.  And, without the LGBT ordinance, it is completely legal.

Dr. Steve Naumovski should either reverse his decision or resign, immediately.  If he fails to do either one, City Council should have him removed at the next meeting.

What we should do

If you support the LGBT ordinance, you should make an appearance at the next City Council meeting and say so.  That meeting will take place in less than one week on October 7 at 7:30PM, City Council Chambers, 40555 Utica Road, Sterling Heights, MI.

The ordinance is technically suspended.  It can either be repealed, or it can be put to a vote by the public.  It needs to go to a vote by the public.

I would also strongly encourage you to sound off publicly on this issue.  Call your City Counselors today and implore them to support moving the LGBT ordinance to a vote by the public at the earliest possible date:

Mayor Pro Tem Michael C. Taylor
(586) 648-0008

Councilwoman Deanna Koski
(586) 566-2388

Councilman Joseph V. Romano
(810) 499-5599

Councilwoman Maria G. Schmidt
(586) 264-9242

Councilman Doug Skrzyniarz
(586) 289-8788

Councilwoman Barbara A. Ziarko
(586) 939-0332


Online, virtual tour of Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

Only a few people might know that I am a diehard fan of Chrysler LLC’s products. In fact, in 24 years of vehicle ownership, I have never owned another marque besides Plymouth, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep or Ram Trucks.

Chrysler has just announced a virtual tour of Sterling Heights Assembly Plant using technology similar to Google Maps Street View. It is a fascinating look at the inside of the factory on Van Dyke Avenue that gives the viewer a guided tour of the facility as it builds the well regarded 2015 Chrysler 200 product.

You will recall this factory nearly closed a few years ago, and some of the credit for saving it goes to the folks on Mark Vanderpool’s team in the Sterling Heights City Administration building.

Since Chrysler LLC purchased the factory from the bankrupt remains of the former Chrysler Corporation, over $800 million was invested in bringing the plant up to date to build the current generation of products. I saw the plant before its transformation in person, and now can see all of the improvements that have been made since. If you’re a car guy like I am, you can’t miss this.

View the tour at

Insanity writ large: Mr. Smith attempts to debate Mayor Pro-Tem Taylor

In an edition of Fox 2 TV’s Let It Rip, Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Taylor successfully managed to demonstrate the utterly obtuse nature of former Councilman Paul Smith’s opposition to the LGBT protection ordinance.  It is several minutes of very revealing television which will show you who is and who is not for human rights in Sterling Heights.

I will let the segment speak for itself, adding only that Mr. Smith recently requested nominating petitions to collect signatures to have himself placed on the November 2015 ballot as a candidate for mayor.

It would be a sad day for all of us should the likes of Mr. Smith actually manage to win an election, and I personally will devote as much time and effort as possible to make this apparent to all who will listen.   Fortunately, the position of dogcatcher is not an elected post in Sterling Heights; if it were, Mr. Smith would not be qualified.

As it stands, the folks who opposed the LGBT ordinance claim to have enough people willing to run to replace the entire city council in slightly more than a year from now.  It is high time that candidates who are pro-human rights begin to make themselves known.


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