About L.A.W.

  • MOTTO: Qui male agit odit lucem. ("He who does evil despises the light.")

  • PUBLISHER: Local Area Watch, Inc. ~ a Michigan non-profit corporation ~ Copyright 2002-2011

  • STAFF: William Tingley, Executive Director ~ Bridget Tingley, Editor ~ Mary Green, Office Manager

  • CONTACT INFO: Local Area Watch, Inc. ~ 1009 Ottawa Avenue, N.W. ~ Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503 ~ ph 616-458-3125 ~ fx 616-454-9958

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March 14, 2005


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Jim Rinck

Well, now that the election is over, you can ignore this email if you wish. However, I must take great exception to Mr. Tingley's pre-election portrait of me. You could have taken the elemental journalistic step of actually talking to me as opposed to make conclusions about a number of things that you wrote in that article. I must also make the point that as a school board member, I have extremely limited powers. I cannot impose taxes, I have very little power over my budget; in short, about all I can do is direct certain policies. I've been quite successful at that; until I was elected, as you may recall, elementary school students did not take art, music or physical education classes, and there were no middle school sports programs. However, that is the main sort of thing that a school board member can accomplish. He or she has no real control over Lansing or the state economy, both of which dictate the budget and thus what can be done. You could always run and give it a try; there should be vacancies in the next election.

There is much more, but I think you should apologize for your inference that I might be too frightened to take on the River City Establishment. I thought that's what I just did, and the financial support was overwhelming. We talked years ago about your lawsuit, and, as I recall, I think I told you that I did not practice in the area of environmental law (and still don't)and that I was not the person to handle such a case. I also don't seem to recall any way to be paid. Since I have been recognized by Legal Aid for my outstanding pro bono work, you can give up on accusing me of being unwilling to sacrifice for my community.

I will say that you have tried to cover the Mayoral race, which few did. I simply resent being catagorized based on assumptions.

The Executive Director

Mr. Rinck,

Two things ...

First, I wrote this about your public service:

"Although Rinck’s liberalism has prevented him from embracing the fundamental reforms needed to rescue the system, he has been his own man, does not hesitate to speak out against nonsense, and from a managerial perspective (if not a reform one) has been a sound member of the school board. He also played a similar role as a member of the Downtown Development Authority until he was recently ousted by the establishment in favor of a more congenial placeholder."

Hardly a condemnation. While I think the crisis in public education has reached the point at which fundamental, maybe even radical, reform is necessary and I am not supportive of those who resist that reform, I still gave you your due as a public servant. Indeed, I praised you for those qualities I think are all too scarce in public officials these days.

Second, as for your lack assistance in the Toxic Towers scandal, I did not ask you for legal representation. (Having won our appeal, we already had attorneys out of Lansing handling the environmental citizen suit for us.) I asked if you could open up for us a line of communication with the City Commission in order to bring about a resolution of the illegal dumping that would be favorable to both the public schools and the city. You told me that it was possible but would have to think it over, and then you later called me back to tell me you couldn't be of assistance. Hence my doubts about your willingness to oppose the establishment (i.e., Fifth Third Bank, Spectrum Health, Warner Norcross, etc.) in a hard fight. So my opinion has been formed from personal experience, and notably that opinion is not that you are "frightened" of the establishment.

So I don't think an apology is in order, and I hope you can see that I reported what I honestly believe about each of the candidates.

Regards, Bill Tingley

philip miller

to whom it may concern i was helping someone tear down an old house and i found an old thermostat with mercury in it it was concieled in a little glass tube i know how poison it is and not to just throw it in the dumpster but now i have it and dont know what to do with it and no one seems know what to tell me i have it in a glass case in my room where noone can break it but i dont want it can you please tell me what to do with it seeing how i was responsible with and didnt just throw like an idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????


I am a person who has been charged with domestic violence, however I am not a County Commissioner nor do I have any friends who are County Commissioners. But wanting the same equal protections promised under the law and the due process of the Consitution, I would like to know if there are any Judges in Kent County who would like to come out to the jail and post my bail or give an early realese on Personal Recognizance bond (no bail).
Honestly if I were better connected I would be out of here by now. Maybe a visiting Judge could come visit me and set me free?
Thanks so much. and BTW I didn't do it, nobody saw mw do it and you can'r prove a thing! Yours, Bart Simpson


PS: forgive my many typos please, the jail does not have the spelchek service I need so desperately! I am being denied my US civil rights to free speech and internet porn! Help me!
Judge Logan where are you when I need you the most?
Maybe Mr. Rinck will defend me, or amybe Paul Mayhew will help me out of here!

The Executive Director


We forgive your typos, but if you want forgiveness of your troubles with pornography, I suggest you look elsewhere -- i.e., on high.

Bill Tingley
Executive Director, L.A.W.

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L.A.W. Highlights

  • Yeah, and Summer is Hotter Than Winter
    The Grand Rapids Press ignores science to promote feel-good politics on the environment and becomes the watchdog that doesn't bark.
  • When Will It Stop?
    Enough of the repulsive tactic of accusing everyone of bigotry who doesn't kowtow to the racemongers.
  • Thirty-Six Bucks
    Balancing the City budget: Maybe it's time for those making a living on the taxpayer's dime to give up a little instead of sticking it to the taxpayer one more time.
  • The Problem With Teachers
    Why teachers are the professionals least suited to run a school district -- or even a school.
  • The Pig in the Python
    The dirty little secret behind the success and failure of every school reform that the education establishment, the public school bureaucrats, and the teachers unions will never reveal.
  • The Fool's Gold of a College Education
    Most kids who get a college degree today have nothing but an expensive credential that lands them a job that any high school graduate could have gotten a generation ago -- WITHOUT the heavy burden of paying back a student loan.
  • The Fixer
    A four-part series about the local attorney behind the demise of Autodie, Butterworth Hospital, Amway, and Old Kent. Warning: Strong accusations of corruption, greed, and skullduggery. Not for the feint of heart.
  • Poison
    The nasty nature of the 26,000 tons of poison that The Boardwalk's developers dug up and then dumped upon the rest of us.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: The Demise of Quixtar
    The re-branding of Amway as Quixtar put lipstick on the pig, but none of the crappy way of doing business changed. Now comes public scrutiny around the world to control its kingpins and clean up the dirty "tools" business.
  • Lost Cause
    A story of how River City lost its way to a secure economic future.
  • Living Wage Kills Jobs
    City pols support a Marxist policy that, like all Marxist policies, hurt the very people they say it will help.
  • El Dorado, Big Rock Candy Mountain, and the Grand Rapids Public School District
    Those of us not in straitjackets are fairly certain that lands of fabulous wealth free for the taking do not exist. No El Dorado, no Big Rock Candy Mountain, no Shangri-la, and no GRPS with money growing on trees.
  • Defenders Who Do Not Defend
    Excessive plea-bargaining, lack of preparation, shoddy to non-existent representation, conflicts of interests are rife among lawyers taking public defender cases on the taxpayer dime.