Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who Is In Charge of the Henhouse?

That local governments in Iron County, Michigan, are
corrupt is the responsibility of three distinct groups,
the politicians themselves, the public, and "the media."

So far as the media goes there are several varieties
here, the same as exits everywhere in the US. We
have a TV station WLUC, Marquette. We have a
radio station, WIKB both AM and FM. We have two
newspapers, Iron Mountain Daily News and the
Iron County Reporter.

And then we have the internet. Presently there are
three outlets. Two are discussion groups based on
Yahoo, and there is Iron County Doings, that you are
reading presently. Iron County Doings is a serial
electronic publication registered as such with the
Library of Congress.

This discussion has as its basis the failure of any
of the airwaves based media and the two newspapers
to report Ben Smith's discovery that the chair of the
Iron County Board of Commissioners has placed
herself above the law and is violating it in plain sight.
The problem, as I see it, is that those reporting on
the community have a vested interest in it. They're
part of the system they're reporting about, a really
bad problem. It is no different from putting the fox
in charge of security at the henhouse.

Jay Barry retired from managing WIKB today. He
sang the praises of John Archocosky on the air
today. John is the City Manager for Iron River, and
is a mover and shaker in other aspects of the
community. The position that Jay should have held
is that of a skeptic, not a supporter of the power
elite, the oligarchy, that is running Iron County. One
wonders just what it is that Jay Barry will be doing
during his retirement years. It is an unfortunate
fact that he has ingratiated himself to the people
in power during the 45 years he's been involved
with WIKB. He'd have provided a far better service
to the community had he held those in power at
arm's length as he was instructed, by former owners
of WIKB, to do.

What we have, going on in Iron County, is a serious
and significant illegal act by the chair of the Board
of Commissioners, and the failure of the local
media, save this arm of it, to provide the public with
a report of it places the entire community in jeopardy.
In effect the media is supporting the illegality of the
acts, thereby supporting corruption of our local
government. If such a clear violation of the laws is
ignored, what about more sophisticated corruption?

Bill Vajk

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Arguing With Idiots"

Arguing with Idiots, yes, that's the title of
Glenn Beck's new book. I haven't read it, or
bought it, but the title seemed so appropriate
for this particular report submitted by Ben
Smith regarding the Iron County Board meeting
of September 22, 2009.


The meeting was called at the request of GAD
(Great American Disposal) to modify the Iron
County solid waste ordinance. Three executives
of the company presented their reasons for the
changes, which boiled down to allow them to
make more money.

They stated that they were the predominate
waste processor in Iron County. However they
did not state that they had bid for the business
in Iron County under the existing ordnance !

The commissioners presented oral reports of
the various meetings they had attended. The
commissioners mentioned their opinions
concerning what had transpired at the
meeting , no mentioned their impact on the
people of Iron County.

There was no effort made to explain the various,
reasons that they had attended the meetings,
and the cost and mileage for their attending

This site proposes that all members of the
Iron County Board of Commissioners submit
written reports of their meetings and the
cost to the county for their attending !

In other matters brought up to the board
was the fact that Bruce Tusa had refused
a citizens request to call the Crystal
Falls fire dept. to a fire in his barn !

He outlined the fact that the West Iron
County Fire Dept. had sent two trucks to
the fire and that one had gone off the
road and into a ditch and never reached
the fire site.

The Amasa Fire Dept. sent a truck and it
ran out of water after a short attempt to
extinguish the fire.

His request to the board for assistance
to prevent a similar situation from
arising, was met with rejection, due to
the fact that they claimed NO jurisdiction!

Other matters brought to the attention of
the commissioners was the fact that the
County Chair claimed Principal residence
exemptions on two homes she owns according
to Iron County Registrar of Deeds Office.

In reply she told this reporter the he has
been researching this matter for a long time
and that he should contact the State of
Michigan's Treasury Dept.

Also at the chairs request the CIVIL atty.
paid by the people of Iron County, stated
that there were many reasons for not
recording items with the registrar of deeds,
and that this reporter should contact the
Michigan Treasury with the facts outlined
by him. And get their opinion, it was at
this point that this reporter stated that
he had contacted the treasury dept. and
been told that they would investigate!

But due to privacy concerns would not
discuss the matter until they completed
the fact finding!

This reporter will continue to monitor
this matter.

Ben Smith


It would seem to me that the Chair for the county
BOC would present Mr. Smith with the chapter and
verse under which the exemption is claimed, should
there actually be a valid claim by Rosalie King
for the dual exemption.

The facts, as presented to the readers by this
publication indicate that Mrs. King is in clear
violation of the statutes, and the county's
civil attorney has expended public funds in making
the statement reported above.In the meantime, Mr.
Smith appears to have been arguing with idiots.

IronCountyDoings looks forward to reading the minutes
of the meeting.

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Need Photos

I'm looking for photos of individuals presently
members of the various boards and councils
around Iron County, Michigan. Either email me
a photo or let me know the URL of any on the

Thanks in advance.

Bill Vajk

In The Meanwhile

Back in Illinois there is an organization called
Citizen's Utility Board (CUB) that is looking
out for utility frauds missed by the state organs
who are supposed to provide that function and
don't unless they're running for office as Mike
Cox, our republican attorney general is (running
for governor and making a big splash) at the

We badly need something like this in Michigan.
What follows is bits and pieces of a recent
mailing I got from them.


Help CUB fight for a $287 million Nicor refund

In this decade alone, CUB has uncovered two
scandals involving Chicago-area gas companies.
A few years back Peoples Gas gave its customers
a record $100 million refund after CUB accused
the company of improper dealings with an affiliate
of Enron.

And now, we’re locked in battle with Nicor Gas to
win a $287 million refund for its customers. We
can see the light at the end of the tunnel—but
we need your help to get there.

Nicor, which made $119.5 million last year, is
fighting us every step of the way. Please give
to our consumer defense fund now, so we can beat
Nicor’s army of lawyers and give customers the
big refund they deserve.


Nancy won’t soon forget CUB’s recent Carbondale
phone clinic. We discovered that for nearly a
decade she had been paying for a maintenance
plan on a second phone line—a second phone
line that didn’t exist!

Thanks to CUB, Nancy got a $660 credit! She was
“astounded,” but for CUB it was just another
day at the office. With your help over the last
25 years, we’ve fought rate hikes and spotted
billing errors, such as the one that plagued
Nancy, to help save consumers more than
$10 billion.

Now, facing unprecedented confusion in the phone
market and nearly $1 billion in rate-hike cases,
we need your help more than ever. Please help us
continue to deliver on our promise to help cut
telephone, natural gas, and electric bills for
all Illinois consumers. And tell your friends
about CUB too.


By the way, we have the same phone company here
in Michigan as they have over in Illinois. The
purpose of posting this information is to show
that not only is corruption just about universal,
but so is incompetence.

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Recovery Looks Like

We are supposed to be recovering from what is
called by some to be the worse depression/recession
since 1939. A couple of things have come to the
surface as a result.

One of my windows to what's happening outside of the
Iron County area is through an organization called
The Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA.)

In the current issue of their journal, the president
of the association (Douglas H. Walker) reports that
instead of prices for work coming in 10 to 15% over
the engineer's estimates, work is actually being
completed some 20% below those estimates. What this
means is significant competition among contractors,
driving the prices down.

What this means to our local economy is that incomes
for those of our residents working out of state will
decrease in the near future. The repercussions are
yet to be determined. Will it become advantageous for
some of those people to stay at home, with the families
collecting welfare instead of an income?

Similarly, with the world wide drop in automobile
production, China has found itself in a position of
having excess capacity for the manufacture of tires.
Because they dropped their prices in an attempt to
increase sales, the the executive branch of the US
Government (Obama et troupe) announced and has
implemented a tariff on those tires. This old fashioned
protectionism, pure and simple. But it neglects the
fact that we depend heavily on China as a money lender
and trading partner.

It is the US tire manufacturers that decided to move
their operations off shore. Obama's three year tariff
seeks to more than double the price during that period.
So if you are going to replace the tires on any of your
vehicles, you have till the 19th of September to take
action. Prices will jump by at least 1/3.

This looks to be the first of many tariffs imposed
by the Obama administration. So much for the promise
made and repeated by Obama that those who earn less
than $250,000 a year will see no tax increases. The
beginnings of the redistribution of wealth hurts the
poor much more than the rich. You can bet you'll see
a tremendous increase in the price of used tires at
John's in Caspien, and on Telephone Time.

So we're faced with the prospects of decreasing
incomes and increasing costs, just as the case
was for the entire eastern block from the end of
WW2 till about 1990. If you're on a fixed income,
as I am, you'll be a bit better off for a while,
till social security, medicare and military health
care, are also effectively cut.

Our future, including for those folks still
working, looks more than a little bleak. The
really bad news hasn't hit yet. I'd be very
happy to have to retract these dire predictions
by being wrong.

Bill Vajk

Monday, September 14, 2009

If You're In Business You'd Better Know The Rules

So here in Iron County, Michigan, is an old
fashioned country store called "The Outpost."
It is designed to suit the rural needs of some
of the local population.


Once inside, one is finally faced with a sign
that tells the customer that nothing less than
$10 in purchases may be charged to a credit

Here's the basic rule of business. You let the
customer know of any special or unusual rules
before a purchase is made. I bought 2
gallons of gas and premixed it for chain saws
and the like, so I couldn't return it. There
was no sign outside at the pumps. In short,
I was stuck paying cash for 2 gallons of gas
I'd have gotten for a whole lot less had I
had to pay cash in town, and I had a choice
in the matter there.

The reasons for The Outpost taking this measure
is of no consequence. The fact that they either
don't know the rules, or don't care about them,
is all that matters.

I'm tired of playing with local amateurs making
believe they're business people. I'll drive by
The Outpost in future; they'll have no more of
my business under any circumstance. It isn't
as though they had much from me to start with,
but they can look forward to none at all from
me in future.

Bill Vajk

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Is Jehmu Greene a Pinhead?

I have my opinion on the matter, you can make your
own decisions after you read what she has written
and the things she's said:

"The Director of Athena Montessori Academy is a
close friend, and when needed I have been thrilled
to serve as a substitute teacher for her adorable
students. Throughout the day toddlers learn that
yelling, screaming, and making threats are not
socially acceptable ways of dealing with conflict.
Problem solving, conflict resolution, and critical
thinking are at the core of Montessori teachings.
On the surface it may seem simplistic, but it
actually takes courage to initiate conflict
resolution and see it through. Cambridge Police
Officer Jim Crowley, Harvard Professor Henry
Louis Gates, activists, bloggers, and commentators
could all learn from the problem solving lessons
designed for three year-olds. It cannot be denied
that the world would be a better place if adults
learned to communicate more intentionally, instead
of reacting out of emotion. "

There's plenty more at:

Jehmu talks a good line, but completely misses the
boat. The universe does not revolve around her, it
doesn't revolve around Barack Obama, and it doesn't
revolve around the Democratic Party. And quite
honestly I'm more than a little disgusted at being
dismissed, by the likes of her, as a lemming. Consider
who is following blindly here?

It is those who buy lock, stock, and barrel into any
program that is being sold by the Obama administration
without an actual bill being promoted as the final
set of facts. This is the same way that Obama was
elected. No facts have been presented, only lots of
laudable promises without the first bit of substance
backing them up.

Why would I want the leave a country to successive
generations that can never be bought out of debt?

It was the genius of Armund Hammer that saved the
Russians in the early Soviet empire from a premature
bankruptcy, and early failure. We have, in the Obama
administration, with Pelosi et troupe a willing
participant, in short term bankruptcy. We, as a nation,
have empowered a group of politicians with no vision
of nationhood and absolutely no understanding of the
financial repercussions of the paths they are eager,
as ideologues, to follow. Obama and Pelosi et troupe
have no vision beyond their programs. They have a belief
that once their programs (health care and cap and trade)
are in place, the finances will work themselves out.

Oh gee, who else believed that a Ponzi scheme would
outlive him? Oh yes, it was Bernie Madioff. In the
end there's no difference between the combination of
Pelosi, Obama, and Greene, and the Madoff schemes.

And finally, why does anyone with a good head on their
shoulders think that in order to relieve the gap that
those who are unemployed, or who work in jobs paying
minimum wages and thus unable to purchase health
insurance, requires that the US Government take over
and run all health insurance in our country?

In my opinion, a good education is easily wasted on an
individual who is handicapped, based on birthplace
and social considerations. Please take the time to read
Jehmu Greene's biography at:

Then, if you believe in Obama's promises, look at your

Lemming? Who is the real lemming in the current plot?

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mom & Pop Businesses in Iron River

I drove down Genesee street on Labor Day,
September 7, 2009. I observed one place
of business open and ready to provide
service to people, that was the Main
Street Cafe. Everything else was closed.

These are the people who all year long,
especially in mid-winter, are crying on
the radio with "support your local
merchants." But they are only there for
us, and for tourists, when they wish to
be. If being in business is an inconvenience
to them, they close whenever the whim and
will strikes.

Take a clue, mom & pop business, if you're
closed because it is convenient for you
to take a day off, you're making what in
many parts of the US is called "a fashion
statement." You're not in business to do
business, you're just making believe. I
have no respect for your investment in
time and money, you're there as a hobby

That brings me to E&E hardware, next door
to Angeli's supermarket. When I asked about
something not ordinarily stocked, the
manager literally shut down and refused to
check a catalog to see if it was available
through his wholesaler. Now there's a
hobby shop in spades. I've NEVER EVER
had such a thing happen anywhere else. It was
a very simple "I'm sorry, I can't help you."
The usual reply is to work to make the sale,
but that doesn't happen at E&E. This is a
hobby shop in spades. I won't waste my time
on them because they are there for convenient
sales only. I'll always reward the merchant who
goes that extra bit, the merchant who wants to
make the hard sale, because I'll keep coming
back for the easy ones.

Downtown Iron River was the ghost town that
the future promises because of the way the
merchants are behaving. If you actually were
open as a matter of routine, your sales would
eventually increase.

I went over to the Riverside Mall and
discovered that all the businesses were
alive and well, doing a heavier than the
usual Monday trade. Similarly, the business
street in Eagle River was busy with last
minute shoppers, stopping off to buy that
trinket that's been bothering them all
summer long.

But not in Iron River!

You reap what you sow.

Bill Vajk

Monday, September 7, 2009

Local Democrats Are Unaware

Local democrats are blindly following the national
party without realizing that the agenda has shifted
so far to the left as to be unrecognizable. The
overall picture has to be seen by each individual
because no one, so far, put the agenda into a
system that is recognizable. And in many ways,
those who believe in the "Democratic Party uber
alles" aren't going to care, thinking that whatever
the party decides must be OK.

Cap & Trade

is the first program leading to a government takeover
of the energy industry. Taxes will rise so much on
power generation that electricity consumption will
become unaffordable over minimum consumption. How
the government intends to take advantage of this
"difficulty" remains to be seen. This bill leads
to a direct tax payable across the board,
affecting economic bottom rungs far more than
the upper rungs. Obama promised not to add to the
tax burden of those making less than $250,000 a
year. This tax will impact us, the average joes,
much more than anyone else because it will take
a proportionally larger part of our income than
it will the rich.

The bulk of the auto American based industry, that
is GM and Chrysler, are already under significant
US Government control. Evidence: The US Government
forced the replacement of GM's CEO.

The Card Check Bill

forces a public system of voting for or against
union participation at your workplace. The entire
idea is to force unionization, and through the
unions, control of all workers, just as the Soviet
Union's system of "the worker's party" functioned
for decades. The Democratic Party is already working
in concert with the workers unions. See the net
effect of the Chrysler and GM takeovers. The bond
holders, who laid out hard cash, took a major
"haircut" while union members whose total investment
in the company was their lunchbox, especially the
retired ones, did not.

Local supporters of the Democratic Party better
wake up and realize what is underway in Washington.
Take your party back. We need you a viable party.
You're headed into eventual oblivion because
you've allowed Communists to take over your
party and agenda.

Bill Vajk

Is Rosalie King, Chair of the County Board, Cheating?

Rosalie King, Chair of the Board of Commissioners
for the Iron County Board, owns, according to the
official record, 2 pieces of property in Iron

She lives at 6 Berkshire. She is claiming a 100%
Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption for this

Her son Tom, the Animal Control Officer for the
County, lives at 221 Ruby. This property is also
owned by Rosalie King, and is also claimed at a
100% Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption
although it is owned by Rosalie.

Obviously Rosalie cannot have two places of primary
residence at the same time. I can't do it, and you
can't do this.

Is Rosalie King cheating the tax man, that is to
say, the West Iron School District?

For the documents, click 6_berkshire



The credit for this story, including all the research,
goes to Ben Smith.

Bill Vajk

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Getting Caught Up

I have been out of town for a few days. Now
I have to get caught up. Here are the
highlights of the stories that will be
covered in the next few days:

1) Iron County and the City of Iron River
have met to iron out issues related to tax
monies that the county has withheld. A task
force of 2 members of the County Board are
to meet with 2 members of the Iron River
City Council in order to hammer out a
solution without either body having a
"public meeting" in order to do this work
behind closed doors. This flies in the
face of government transparency and it is
a kick, by both groups, to the head of
all citizens. The sad fact is that the
bodies will, without a doubt, engage in
a "constructive quorum" by serial phone
calls after the off book meetings
thereby violating the laws regulating
these meetings.

It is an also an unfortunate state of
affairs that Ben Smith, intrepid reporter
for Ironcountydoings, was the only reporter
at this special meeting reported earlier by
our publication. The county has refused to
recognize Mr. Smith as a credentialed
reporter as yet. The county will receive
a letter discussing such matters from our
office later in the week.

2) This business with Rosalie King claiming
two properties as her primary residence for
the purposes of PRE tax exemption will be
fully documented.

3) I will present a limited discussion about
the Van Jones appointment and resignation as
"Green Jobs Czar". The national problems of
inattention remarkably resemble the local

Bill Vajk

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