Say what you want about the election of Donald Trump, it defied convention. In that spirit, we recount for you 2016’s Top Ten local news stories not in boring old prose but in the style of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Just to be unconventional.
1. The Brothers Dunnings’ Woes
The Brothers Dunnings, of privilege and wealth,
Near the Ides of March did suffer a fall.
Their pandering and procuring long stealth;
Revealed in charges: followed by squall.
Women exploited, sexuality unsavoury
The women said: “They smelled of cat pee.”
AG Schuette with self-righteous fury
Sought charges, charges and charges times ten for all to see
In shame Stuart did to Tennessee escape
For his sexual addiction’s treatment.
Resignation in July, voters agape
Did shake their heads and question the punishment.
Stuart was ordered: spend one year in jail
In Clinton County he sits; end the tale
2. Exit: The City Attorney
$160K for Janene: Why, O’, Why?
Vacation and sick pay plus health benefits;
Foul! Foul! Foul! Councilmembers did cry
Quoth the mayor, I don’t give two shits.
Tis private and secret, you don’t need to know.
Sure, it cost the city thousands in defense,
It’s in city interest, honest Joe Blow,
To pay this cash without offense.
But what about the Charter, it was asked.
Doesn’t apply, doesn’t apply, damn it, doesn’t apply!
It’s solid: The contracts are unsurpassed!
But said the clerk, we’ve no way to verify.
Council cried for outside legal direction.
Bernero said: settle it by election.
3. Visions of Development Did Dance in Our Heads
Lindemann’s pollution-prevention Streams, ponds and marsh water wonders invite!
Mired in lawsuit, Joel avoids rejection — Sort of, from county hampered by foresight.
Red Cedar Renaissance a vision, a dream
‘cross the street towering cranes of SkyVue loom
The backbone develops, says the regime;
The region development does boom!
With a nod, national news highlights
“Play ball!” says housing o’er the Outfield,
Local labor signs aloft screams of slights;
Incentives galore for Georgia revealed.
School for the Blind waits new life as housing
But PILOTs and politricks did slow the move.
4. Sunken Garden Drama
Simple, quiet sunken garden in the shadows
Of neglected house. Bereft of promotion;
Surrendered to power when made appose.
Development for harmonic motion.
BWL declared: Sweet spot for power!
Nowhere else can work because: because.
Forty-foot walls and fifty-foot tower!
There’s a charter with an enabling clause.
Cried residents and preservationists; “History! Promises! Landmark treasure!”
Pay no attention to isolationists,
Countered BWL mouthpiece with displeasure.
BWL with graphics and figures to wow for all
did convince seven on Council not to stall.
5. Deputy Brown’s Big Bad Video Mistake
The traffic stop tragic ab initio.
Irritated County Deputy Greg Brown Withdrew Todd Brenizer; caught on video;
Caused the officer a near meltdown.
Sheriff Reich declared: Not acceptable here.
Brown suspended, disciplinary hearing set.
With bravado and stealth, he did disappear
Lenawee Sheriff Welsh saw an asset.
Brenizer achieved recompense contract;
But Brown fumbled and tumbled and assaulted again.
Now he’s facing court for another act,
Where neighbors in Lenawee did complain.
Eaton insurer signed the pay-off
Reich reelected and never cut off.
6. Bad Politics Rising
In January it was presumption:
Bernero: Lansing Mayor For Life.
Then came Janene’s pay-out assumption;
Now facing a mayoral race of strife.
The opponents, they are appearing.
There’s affable Andy Schor, the lawmaker ascending,
And Judi Brown Clarke busy engineering.
The polls show Bernero shall be defending
Slithering from the gutters: dark money.
Bernero’s weapon returned two fold.
The campaign attacks will cause agony;
Statements undersold and uncontrolled.
2017 promises erosions
And political social corrosions.
7. Marijuana’s apothecaries
Neighbors with petitions, raised up their voices
Dispensaries were proliferating!
Council sought an answer that all would rejoice;
Moratorium came, somewhat placating.
By then at least seventy apothecary
Throughout the city peddled medical pot.
Ordinance by acts evolutionary;
Stalled, stopped by Planning Board which thought
Provisions were too restrictive for the city.
At Council, the ordinance fell from on high
The blame placed on Council committee
Now, proliferation suspended
Residents and business offended.
Transformational avenue: Grow!
Quoth CATA, loud and proud. Michigan Avenue will boom; time savings show
Ten minutes: downtown to Okemos begin.
Alas, quoth the opponents: all is folly, Island isolation traverse dangerous
Left turns abolished: biz owners not jolly.
Cyclists and disabled: It endangers us.
The dream was built on presumptions unwise;
Opponents say in the political world State, local lawmakers cash cows traumatize
When they hack the budgets, the dreams unfurled.
Bus Rapid Transit struggles on life support
While rich folks treat it like venereal wart.
9. Housing Woes
One hundred folks, vulnerable did lose
Home, hearth and heat when evictions issue
For the Homeless Hotel did accuse
Landlord absent of lacking tissue
To care and support for the community’s
Most vulnerable and hidden denizens
Did cry for many immunities;
As City did move to protect citizens.
At 3200, corpses in the hall Were linked to non-residents; snuck
In by security systems free for all.
Leaders did accuse the media of muck.
Housing with paint of lead, regulate
The city failed to abrogate.
10. Digital Daze
A man with the color of tangerine
Did with help from enemies old, Russians,
Screw elections with byzantine
Games of hacking — with no repercussions.
Utility BWL got smacked with a ransom large
From an email click it failed to guard against.
The result: Restoration for charge;
No formal discussion of dispensed
Cash other than: claim paid by insurance.
At the county holes in the system were found
Kiddie porn not from worker assurance
Drain Commish and FBI did propound.
Lock your emails, avoid the pain today
Or suffer the cash you will defray.