Thursday, April 26, 2012

Obstructing Traffic in Oshtemo

The leadership of Oshtemo Township has some strange ideas about traffic. Supervisor Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell recently asserted that MDOT was conducting a study to eliminate left turns at the west entrance to Meijer. MDOT is denying this.

MDOT says it has made no recommendation for changes to Oshtemo Meijer east entry
MDOT recommends changes to Oshtemo Meijer east entry

There is no good reason to eliminate left turns. As MDOT points out, it is not a dangerous intersection. Sometimes you have to wait a while turning left onto West Main, but restricting left turns would force everyone onto 9th Street, which would take even longer.

This is part of a larger pattern. Since Heiney-Cogswell was elected, many new stoplights of dubious necessity have been added around Oshtemo. One particularly unnecessary light is at Stadium Drive and Venture Park. Venture has little traffic after 5, and left turners can always go to 11th street, so this light isn't necessary. It may well contribute to accidents rather than prevent them.

Another conundrum is the light at the railroad tracks on Drake Road on the boundary of Oshtemo and Kalamazoo. As I have written before, it occasionally turns red for no apparent reason.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gisler Defers to Maturen

Too bad, as Gisler is one of the better commissioners. Maturen is a moderate. The new district contains all of Maturen's current district but only half of Gisler's.

Kalamazoo County Commissioner John Gisler not to seek reelection

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Democrat for Congress

The democrats' new candidate for Congress is Mike O'Brien, a former Marine, farmer, and businessman. He is a political unknown, though his resume sounds decent. Democrats seem to be trying the strategy of running former members of the military, which has had mixes success elsewhere. John Waltz, who dropped out due to health problems, also is a former member of the military.

Democrats have ex-Marine Mike O'Brien as candidate for Congress

Republican Sheriff Candidates

There are now two Republican candidates for Kalamazoo County Sheriff. Ward Lawrence, a sergeant in the Sheriff's office joins retired police officer Bruce Labrie in seeking the nomination. Lawrence is endorsed by Tom Edmonds and Michael Anderson, the last two Republican sheriffs. LaBrie has been running since November. The winner will face democrat incumbent Richard Fuller, who defeated Anderson in 2008.

Ward Lawrence, Kalamazoo County sergeant, announces bid for sheriff
Retired police officer announces candidacy for Kalamazoo County sheriff

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Upton Trolls on

Articles on covering the 6th district congressional race between Congressman Fred Upton and Jack Hoogendyk often see comments attacking Jack and praising Fred Upton. Are these comments by normal readers, or are they actually written by people associated with Upton's campaign? Let's examine some of the commenters.

As of April 11, 2012, we have

First comment January 17, 2012
10 comments, all on the Upton/Jack race
Someone ripped of the name of this blog and is using it to attack Jack.

First comment January 12, 2012
15 comments, all on the Upton/Jack race

First comment January 17, 2012
9 comments, all on Upton/Jack

First comment January 18, 2012
4 comments, all on Upton/Jack

First comment January 17, 2012
5 comments, all attacking Jack

First comment January 17, 2012
12 comments, all but one on Upton/Jack

First comment January 17, 2012
6 comments, all but two on Upton/Jack

First comment January 26, 2012
2 comments, both on Upton/Jack

First comment January 17, 2012
2 comments, both on Upton/Jack

Don Williams
First comment January 17, 2012
2 comments, both on Upton/Jack

First comment January 17, 2012
2 comments, both on Upton/Jack

First comment January 17, 2012
2 comments, both on Upton/Jack

On this article, the first five five commented at the times 1:05, 1:08, 1:15, 2:47, 2:55. On this one, several commented at 10:19, 10:31, 10:32, 10:35/37, 1:33, 6:18. On this one, they commented at 11:51, 11:56, 12:07, 12:21, 1:39.

All 12 profiles were created around the same time, nine on the same day, January 17. What's special about that day? Jack announced for Congress on January 17. All but two post pro-Upton and anti-Jack comments exclusively. Many of them use lines straight from Upton campaign literature. These comments are almost certainly posted by someone with the Upton campaign, whether it is one person using all the accounts or separate people. Note that not all pro-Upton/anti-Jack commenters are trolls, as the others post comments on a wide range of articles.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fred Upton Not a Career Politician?

Congressman Fred Upton made a rather astounding claim on the radio today.

Southwest Michigan Politics: Congressman Fred Upton says he's not a career politician; Jack Hoogendyk gets endorsements
UPTON ON THE RADIO: Upton was on The Rocker Morning Show on WRKR-FM 107.7 today, and amid jesting with the hosts, talked about what's coming up in Washington D.C. for him and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which he chairs.

At the end of the interview, co-host Mike McKelly told Upton, “I don’t consider you a career politician.” Upton responded, "I'm not."

Upton, 58, served his first year in Congress in 1987 and has been in office for 25 years. Before that, he worked on the staff for U.S. Rep. David Stockman from 1976 to 1980 and was in the Office of Management and Budget from 1981 to 1985.
The Mlive commenters aren't buying it.

According to Wikipedia, the only work Upton has done that is even close to the private sector is writing for his college newspaper.

If Upton isn't a career politician, what is his career? Rich inheritor? OMB staffer on a really long break?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Worthams v. Rogers

The open 5th district seat on the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners has attracted two experienced candidates. David Worthams is running as a Republican, and Julie Rogers is running as a democrat.

David Worthams of Kalamazoo Township announces candidacy for the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners
Julie Rogers announces candidacy for the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners

Both candidates have lost two previous runs for office, though performing better than expected. Worthams lost bids for county commission in 2000 and 2003 (he got 45% in a special election). Rogers lost two bids for 61st district state rep. in 2006 and 2008, receiving 48% and 49% of the vote respectively in two good years for democrats.

The new 5th contains Alamo, Oshtemo 1,2,3,6,9 and Kalamazoo Township 3,6,9. It is normally about 55% Republican. Thus while the race may be competitive, Worthams starts with a definite advantage.

Julie Rogers Already Wasted Your Money
Julie Rogers' Office for Nobody

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Fire Rich Lowry

Shame on Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, for firing John Derbyshire. Derb wrote the following non-politically correct article below for Takimag. Ann Coulter was right when she called the editors of National Review "girly-boys".

The Talk: Nonblack Version

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Wayne County Loses More Population

According to the latest census estimates, Wayne County lost about 19000 people from 2010 to 2011. That is more than a fifth of a state house seat. If this trend continues for the decade, Wayne will lose two more house seats, after losing almost three in the last decade.

Wayne County population loss continues as Oakland gains