Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
hat tip: AveWatch
Friday, September 25, 2009
In the comments, commenter tracy has a humorous observation:
The posting for the position of Dean and President for Ave Maria School of Law just appeared in the Sept 25, 2009 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (Page A80). But the ad appears with the logo for Ave Maria College!!! So many entities they can't keep their logos straight.Hee, hee. Now I don't have the print edition of the Chronicle, but I just now turned to the Chronicle's website to see if they posted the job position online. Sure enough, it's posted. (Click on the picture to zoom.)
Sigh. I guess it really is hard to keep all these entirely-independent-and-in-no-way-affiliated institutions straight. Robert Falls, are you still sleeping on the job?
UPDATE: Robert Falls, you've earned your paycheck this week! Checking the Chronicle website this morning at 11:32 a.m., I see that the posting has been corrected.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
hat tip: Uncle Di.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sent: Mon 9/21/2009 5:38 PM
To: All Alumni
Subject: Personnel Update
Dear Fellow Alumni: Shortly after the announcement of Dean Dobranski's resignation as Dean and President of Ave Maria School of Law, Dean Milhizer published an internal email recognizing Dean Dobranski's service to our school. I thought that you might be interested in seeing this message (I have also included the announcement), and so I share it with you today. It reads as follows:
On behalf of the entire law school community, I would like to take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to Bernard Dobranski for his vision, leadership, and dedication to Ave Maria School of Law upon his resignation as its President and Dean. Dean Dobranski's decade-long tenure as our founding dean was marked by a number of outstanding accomplishments. Among these is that our Law School achieved full ABA accreditation in the shortest possible time, brought Judge Robert Bork to the faculty, and attracted an impressive array of speakers including Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. I am personally indebted to Dean Dobranski for the guidance and counsel he has generously provided to me. I look forward with great anticipation to his continuing contributions to our Law School in his new role as Dean Emeritus and as a Professor of Law.
I ask that each of you extend to Dean Emeritus Dobranski your well-earned gratitude for his service and congratulate him on receiving this latest honor in his long and distinguished career.
Eugene R. Milhizer
Acting President and Acting Dean
Ave Maria School of Law
Subject: Message from Chairman Monaghan to the AMSL Community
Date: August 21, 2009
Dear Ave Maria School of Law Community:
At a meeting of the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors yesterday (Thursday, August 20, 2009), the Board accepted the resignation of Dean and President Bernard Dobranski. Following this action, the Board of Governors then appointed him Dean Emeritus and elected him to serve as a member of the Board of Governors. He will also continue as a tenured Professor of Law on the Law School faculty. On the occasion of these important events, the Board of Governors would like to thank Dean Dobranski for his long and distinguished service as the Law School's founding Dean and President.
At the same meeting, the Board of Governors appointed Acting Dean Eugene R. Milhizer to the position of Acting President of Ave Maria School of Law, in addition to his duties he has been filling for some time as Acting Dean of the Law School and as a tenured Professor of Law. The Board thanks Dean Milhizer for his outstanding service as Acting Dean since April 2008, and has confidence in his future service as both Acting Dean and Acting President.
Finally, the Board of Governors has authorized the commencement of a search process for the office of Dean and President of the Law School. The process will be transparent and thorough, and it may take several months. The Board will welcome an application by Acting Dean and Acting President Milhizer as a candidate.
I will close by congratulating all those involved with the successful relocation of the Law School from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Naples, Florida. You should take great pride in this singular accomplishment.
Thomas S. Monaghan
David N. Wagner, '07
Director of Externship and
Ave Maria School of Law
1025 Commons Blvd.
Naples, Florida 34119
Monday, September 21, 2009
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
Dear Father Jenkins:
Professor Fred Freddoso has shared with me the response on Sept. 17th by Dr. Frances L. Shavers, Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the President, to Fred’s email of that date to you asking that Notre Dame request dismissal of the charges against the persons arrested for trespass on the campus in relation to the honoring of President Obama at Commencement. Dr. Shavers responded on your behalf to Fred's email because, as she said, "the next few days are rather hectic for [Fr. Jenkins]." I don't want to add to the hectic burden of your schedule by sending you a personal message that could impose on an assistant the task of responding. I therefore take the liberty of addressing to you several concerns in the form of this open letter to which a response is neither required nor expected.
First, permit me to express my appreciation for the expressions of support for the pro-life cause in your September 16th "Letter concerning post-commencement initiatives." I know, however, that in a matter as significant as this, you will appreciate and welcome a respectful but very candid expression of views. In my opinion, the positions you have taken are deficient in some respects.
In your Letter of Sept. 16th, you rightly praise the work of the Women’s Care Center (WCC) and of its superb leader, Ann Murphy Manion. I commend you on your statement that the WCC "and similar centers in other cities deserve the support of Notre Dame clubs and individuals." Your praise of the WCC and similar efforts, however, overlooks a practical step that Notre Dame, as an institution, ought to take. That would be for you, on behalf of Notre Dame, to issue a standing invitation to the WCC to establish an office on the Notre Dame campus to serve students, faculty and staff if, in the judgment of the WCC, that would be desirable and effective. Such would give practical effect, right here at Notre Dame, to your words in support of the WCC and similar efforts.
Your Letter announced your formation of the Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life. Rather than offer a detailed evaluation of my own, I note my agreement with the personal analysis of William Dempsey, ND '52, President of the Sycamore Trust, calling attention to "the obviously deliberate exclusion from Task Force membership of anyone associated with the ND organizations that have been unashamedly and actively pro-life: the Center for Ethics & Culture and the ND Fund for the Protection of Human Life. Nor was the student representative chosen from the leadership of the student RTL organization or from anyone active in last year's student alliance protesting the honoring of the President, ND Response. It is hard to resist the inference that this is as a move toward marginalizing the Center and the Fund, neither of which receives any University support the way it is…. Finally, it is unsettling but instructive that this announcement comes a day after Fr. Jenkins' annual address to the faculty in which he described his goals for the year, which included increasing female and minority faculty representation but not a word about the most crucial problem facing the university, the loss of Catholic identity through the failure to hire enough Catholics to restore the predominance required by the Mission Statement. This is a striking falling away from [Fr. Jenkins'] wonderful inaugural address. The fact that ND did nothing to serve the pro-life cause until forced by the reaction to the Obama incident testifies to the fact that, without a predominance of committed Catholics on the faculty, any pro-life efforts launched under pressure will in time fade away. The risk, and surely it is real, is that this initiative and the publicity ND is generating about it will deflect attention from the fundamental problem besetting Notre Dame….But I return to where I began: A project that deliberately excludes from participation those who have courageously manned organizations standing against the faculty attitude toward the pro-life cause ought to be regarded with suspicion."
My main concern in this letter arises from your statement in your Letter that "Each year on January 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, the March for Life is held in Washington D.C. to call on the nation to defend the right to life. I plan to participate in that march. I invite other members of the Notre Dame Family to join me and I hope we can gather for a Mass for Life at that event." I understand that Notre Dame students have invited you to participate with them in the March. The problem arises from an aftermath of Commencement. On this I refer back to Chief of Staff Shavers' response to Professor Freddoso's request that Notre Dame ask dismissal of the charges against those arrested. Dr. Shavers states that "these protesters were arrested for trespassing and not for expressing their pro-life position." That is misleading. This is not an ordinary case of trespass to land such as would occur if a commuter walks across your lawn and flower bed as a short-cut to the train station. Notre Dame is ordinarily an open campus. Those 88 persons, 82 of whom are represented by Tom Dixon, ND '84, ND Law School '93, were arrested not because they were there, but because of who they were, why they were there and what they were saying. Other persons with pro-Obama signs were there but were not arrested and not disturbed. Serious legal and constitutional questions are involved, arising especially from the symbiotic relationship between the Notre Dame Security Police, who made the arrests, and the County Police. This letter is not a legal brief. Rather I merely note that it is disingenuous for Notre Dame to pretend that this is merely a routine trespass case.
The confusion is compounded by Dr. Shavers' statement that "Under Indiana law, however, Notre Dame is not the complainant in these matters and so is not in any position to drop or dismiss the charges." That sentence is half-true and half-false. Notre Dame is the complaining victim of the alleged trespass. Whether to dismiss the charges, of course, is for the prosecutor to decide.
Dr. Shavers states that "Notre Dame officials have been in regular contact with the prosecutor’s office on these matters, and, in consultation with the University, the prosecutor has offered Pre-Trial Diversion to those for whom the May incident was a first-time offense. As described by the prosecutor, this program does not require the individual to plead guilty or go through a trial; rather, the charges are dropped after one year so long as the individual does not commit another criminal offense. We understand that most of those arrested have chosen not to take advantage of this offer and obviously we cannot force them to do so. In essence, the choice of whether or not to go to trial belongs to the defendants."
Pre-trial diversion could change their status as convicted criminals. But it is only because of the actions of Notre Dame that they are treated by the law as criminals in the first place. Notre Dame continues to subject those defendants to the criminal process. If they entered pretrial diversion they would each have to pay hundreds of dollars in costs, which would amount in effect to a fine imposed on them, with the concurrence of Notre Dame, for praying. Most of the 88 are in straitened financial circumstances. The imposition on them of such a fine would be a serious hardship. Instead, Notre Dame ought to state publicly that it has no interest in seeing those prosecutions proceed in any form and that it requests the prosecutor to exercise his discretion to dismiss all those charges unconditionally. Given the prospect of 88 or so separate jury trials, probably not consolidated, in cases involving potentially serious legal and constitutional issues, such a request by Notre Dame would surely be appreciated by the taxpayers of St. Joseph County.
Those 88 defendants were on the other side of the campus, far removed from the site of the Commencement. They are subjected by Notre Dame to the criminal process because they came, as individuals, to Notre Dame to pray, peacefully and non-obstructively, on this ordinarily open campus, in petition and reparation, as a response to what they rightly saw as a facilitation by Notre Dame of various objectively evil policies and programs of Notre Dame's honoree, President Obama. Those persons, whom Notre Dame has subjected to legal process as criminals, are neither statistics nor abstractions. Let me tell you about a few of them.
Fr. Norman Weslin, O.S., 79 years old and in very poor health, was handcuffed by Notre Dame Security Police as he sang "Immaculate Mary" on the campus sidewalk near the entrance. He asked them, "Why would you arrest a Catholic priest for trying to stop the killing of a baby?" The NDSP officers put him on a pallet and dragged him away to jail. St. Joseph County Police were also there. I urge you to watch the readily available videos of Fr. Weslin's arrest. If you do, I will be surprised and disappointed if you are not personally and deeply ashamed.
Such treatment of such a priest may be the lowest point in the entire history of Notre Dame. You would profit from knowing Fr. Weslin. Notre Dame should give Fr. Weslin the Laetare Medal rather than throw him in jail. Norman Weslin, born to poor Finnish immigrants in upper Michigan, finished high school at age 17 and joined the Army. He converted from the Lutheran to the Catholic faith and married shortly after earning his commission. He became a paratrooper and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the 82nd Airborne Division, obtaining his college degree enroute. After a distinguished career, he retired in 1968. As the legalization of abortion intensified, he and his wife, Mary Lou, became active pro-lifers in Colorado. In 1980, Mary Lou was killed by a drunk driver. Norman personally forgave the young driver. Norman Weslin was later ordained as a Catholic priest, worked with Mother Teresa in New York and devoted himself to the rescue of unborn children through nonviolent, prayerful direct action at abortuaries. In 1990 at Christmastime, I was privileged to defend Fr. Weslin and his Lambs of Christ when they were arrested at the abortuary in South Bend. One does not have to agree with the tactic of direct, non-violent action at abortuaries to have the utmost admiration, as I have, for Fr. Weslin and his associates. At Notre Dame, Fr. Weslin engaged in no obstruction or disruption. He merely sought to pray for the unborn on the ordinarily open campus of a professedly Catholic university. The theme of Notre Dame’s honoring of Obama was "dialogue." It would have been better for you and the complicit Fellows and Trustees to dialogue with Fr. Weslin rather than lock him up as a criminal. You all could have learned something from him. His actions in defense of innocent life and the Faith have been and are heroic. Notre Dame’s treatment of Fr. Weslin is a despicable disgrace, the responsibility for which falls directly and personally upon yourself as the President of Notre Dame.
The other "criminals" stigmatized by Notre Dame include many whom this university should honor rather than oppress. One is Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, who has become pro-life and a Catholic actively trying to spread the word about abortion. Those “criminals” include retired professors, retired military officers, mothers of many children, a Catholic nun in full habit, Christian pastors, several Ph.Ds, and Notre Dame grads. They are, in summary, "the salt of the earth." They came, on their own, at their own expense, and not as part of any "conspiracy," from 18 states. They came because they love what Notre Dame claims to represent. They themselves do represent it. But one has to doubt whether Notre Dame does so anymore.
Clearly, Notre Dame should do all it can to obtain the dismissal of those criminal charges. This has nothing to do with one’s opinion of the tactics of rescue at abortuaries. It is simply a matter of you, as President, doing the manifestly right thing.
Please permit me to speak bluntly about your announced purpose to participate in the March for Life and to "invite other members of the Notre Dame Family to join me." Notre Dame should have had an official presence at every March for Life since 1973. But until now it never has. Notre Dame students, with the encouragement of Campus Ministry, participate in the March but the University, as such, has not done so. To put it candidly, it would be a mockery for you to present yourself now at the March, even at the invitation of Notre Dame students, as a pro-life advocate while, in practical effect, you continue to be the jailer, as common criminals, of those persons who were authentic pro-life witnesses at Notre Dame. When the pictures of Fr. Weslin’s humiliation and arrest by your campus police was flashed around the world it did an incalculable damage to Notre Dame that can be partially undone only by your public and insistent request, as President of Notre Dame, that the charges be dropped. In my opinion your attachment to the March for Life, including your offering of a Mass for Life, could give scandal in the absence, at least, of such an insistent request to dismiss those charges. Your decision to present an official Notre Dame presence at the March could be beneficial, but not in the context of an unrelenting criminalization by Notre Dame of sincere and peaceful friends of Notre Dame whose offense was their desire to pray, on the campus, for the University and all concerned including yourself. If you appear at the March as the continuing criminalizer of those pro-life witnesses, you predictably will earn not approbation but scorn—a scorn which will surely be directed toward Notre Dame as well. As long as you pursue the criminalization of those pro-life witnesses, your newest pro-life statements will be regarded reasonably as a cosmetic covering of the institutional anatomy in the wake of the continuing backlash arising from your conferral of Notre Dame's highest honor on the most relentlessly pro-abortion public official in the world.
In conclusion, this letter is not written in a spirit of contention. It is written rather in the mutual concern we share for Notre Dame—and for her university. I hope you will reconsider your positions on these matters. Our family prays for you by name every night. And we wish you success in the performance of your obligations to the University and all concerned.
Charles E. Rice
Notre Dame Law School
Poor Kate O'Burned. She earlier made it sound like Safranek was being unreasonable. Turns out Catie's position was untenable as AveWatch is reporting that the Board of the Ave Maria School of Law had to reverse ALL of its actions against Safranek.
Monday morning crow must be salty. FUMARE suggests pairing it with a fine bottle of Strawberry Blossom hootch and the hot sauce pictured.
Friday, September 18, 2009
The relative dearth of black Catholic leadership in the Church at the time the pastoral was issued was due to "subtle racism," [Bishop Steib] charged.
Since that time tremendous strides have been made, and he cited the election of Barack Obama as president as an example.
"Most of us probably believed that would never happen in our lifetimes," he said. "To say the world has not changed is to dishonor all of those who fought the battles for us."
Some racism still exists, he said, and cited the recent furor in Catholic circles over the honorary degree awarded by Notre Dame University to Obama, who supports abortion on demand.
Other presidents have had disagreements with the positions of the Catholic Church, for example, in war policies and capital punishment, but have received honorary degrees without similar objection, he noted.
It is the subtle racism that still exists which contributes to the lack of priestly vocations among young black men because "it leads to a mistrust of the Church among young black men and women," he said. "Let's acknowledge that."
and the classic Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving:
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Rather than today's feast being relegated to the abstractions of modern talk about some metaphorical cross, or sometimes just as weak to the mind, an abstraction of suffering in general, today's feast commemorates a real historic event pertaining to the actual Cross on which our Savior hung. Two events are commemorated today, both of discovering (errr... rediscovering) the cross, in years 326 and 628,
In 326, the Holy Empress Helen uncovered the Precious Cross and Nails of the Lord at Jerusalem.
At the beginning of the reign of St Constantine the Great (306-337), the first Roman emperor to recognize Christianity, he and his pious mother St Helen decided to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. They also planned to build a church on the site of the Lord's suffering and Resurrection, in order to reconsecrate and purify the places connected with the Savior's death and Resurrection from the foul taint of paganism.
The empress Helen journeyed to Jerusalem with a large quantity of gold. St Constantine wrote a letter to Patriarch Macarius I (313-323), requesting him to assist her in every possible way with her task of the restoring the Christian holy places.
After her arrival in Jerusalem, the holy empress Helen began to destroy all the pagan temples and reconsecrate the places which had been defiled by the pagans.
In her quest for the Life-Creating Cross, she questioned several Christians and Jews, but for a long time her search remained unsuccessful. Finally, an elderly Hebrew named Jude told her that the Cross was buried beneath the temple of Venus. St Helen ordered that the pagan temple be demolished, and for the site to be excavated. Soon they found Golgotha and the Lord's Sepulchre. Not far from the spot were three crosses, a board with the inscription written by Pilate (John 19:19), and four nails which had pierced the Lord's Body.
Now the task was to determine on which of the three crosses the Savior had been crucified. Patriarch Macarius saw a dead person being carried to his grave, then he ordered that the dead man be placed upon each cross in turn. When the corpse was placed on the Cross of Christ, he was immediately restored to life. After seeing the raising of the dead man, everyone was convinced that the Life-Creating Cross had been found. With great joy the empress Helen and Patriarch Macarius lifted the Life-Creating Cross and displayed it to all the people standing about.
(thanks to the OCA site for listing this succinctly)
Then in 628, the Cross was recovered from the Persians and its return to Jerusalem, where it was raised up (elevated or exalted) for all the people to see and worship. In 614, Jerusalem was conquered by the Persians. The Persians burned the Church of the Resurrection and stole the Holy Cross.
In 628, the Emperor Heraclius defeated the Persian king and brought the Holy Cross back to Jerusalem. As he tried to carry the Cross into the Church, he was stopped by an invisible hand. Archbishop Zachary warned him to remove all his splendid clothing and imperial jewels so that he could carry the Holy Cross in humility, like Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Then, the Emperor, wearing only a simple tunic, walked barefoot with the Holy Cross to plant it on Golgotha. All the people prostrated themselves to the ground, singing, "We bow in worship before your Cross, O Christ, and we give glory to Your Holy Resurrection."
Speaking of the other lung, the quote above is a typical prayer found rolling off of eastern tongues. And the Knodakion of the day reveals more about today:
O Christ our God who chose by your free volition to be elevated upon the Holy Cross, grant your mercies to your new people who are called by your name. In your power gladden the hearts of our Public Authorities. Strengthen them in every good deed so that Your true alliance may be for them a weapon of peace and a standard of victory.
O dear Lord how we need that help today!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
September 08, 2009
Letter 2 Presadint Obama From a Kid Thx 4 Enspiring Me!!
By Jon Sanders
- Satire -
dear presadint obama,
how r u? i hope ur ok. thx 4 speaking 2 us in schl 2day. ms smith sed u wanted 2 no how u enspire us. well its alot!
1 thing u enspird me is 2 get better grades. i told ms smith it ain fair some kids get better grades then others. ms smith is cool she just outta collaj so she sed ok whacha gonna do. i sed we need a grade zar. i dont even no what a zar is but i lernt it from u. ms smith sed thats a grate idea an it correc injustis and so on so she axd me who shud be the grade zar an i was like my buddy brian cuz he smart an stuff.
so we got brian 4 grade zar an then we all got bs cuz the smart kids had 2 give the rest of us there xtra points an my mom was proud of me in schl an its all cuz of u mr presadint.
an whats so funny is some smart kids got jellis an all mad an stuff an there parents took em outta schl an we started making cs. ms smith sed there wasnt enuf points 4 bs an thats when u enspird me agin.
i sed ms smith cain we get grade points from someone els an she sed hmmm ok who u mean an i sed i dont no. but me an brian thot an then we was like we need stimulas 4 grades. so we axd ms smith an she sed thats a good idea 2.
so we got this kid owen 4 stimulas zar an he an ms smith talked an they sed we can get grade points from nex month. so then we all got bs agin but ms smith sed we gonna need 2 work harder nex month cuz we gonna all loose points remember but this wud stimalate us 2 do it cuz we ain gonna get discurraj. an this was good cuz my mom was proud agin.
but the nex month we were all making c minas cuz i dont no but it happen. ms smith was upset cuz she thot she ain making a good classrm envirament an so on. an then i was enspird by u agin.
i told ms smith we needed to fix our envirament and dint presadint obama have a fix kinda like 4 that an she sed well u had carbon credits an i sed maybe something like that? so now we got grade credits an my friend natalie is envirament zar an her job is 2 ax everyone if they needed good grades an if they sed no cuz my mom dont care then they give grade credits to me an natalie an brian an owen an a couple more kids an so we got bs agin. an it dont hurt no one cuz no child lef behind right? lol
but after while ms smith was upset an she sed the bad grades was gettin her in trouble an so she sed we needed more stimulas but she sed this time we really gotta start working harder 4 nex month cuz she dont wanna lose her job ok. so then everyone got bs agin for a while but nex month we got ds an ms smith u cud tell been cryin alot an thats when u enspird me agin. see my brother had this job where he had minimum wage an i remember he was all happy 1 day cuz he herd u got it made a lot bigger which wudda been grate cept he was let go cuz of the econimy.
so i told ms smith we shud have a minimum grade an that it shud be big an she hug me real hard an sed why dint i think of that and well GESS WHAT MR PRESADINT? I'M GETTIN ALL A'S!!!!!
Jon Sanders is a policy analyst and research editor at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jonoflocke.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/09/letter_2_presadint_obama_from.html at September 10, 2009 - 08:45:33 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
See the rest here.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
By early 2002, Monaghan had three promising schools—Ave Maria College, St. Mary’s, and Ave Maria School of Law—but they were scattered across Michigan. In the hopes of bringing them together on a single campus, he submitted plans to build a new Ave Maria University at Domino’s Farms. The proposal might have sailed through unnoticed if it weren’t for one detail: a 250-foot crucifix. That’s taller than the old General Motors building and almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The idea touched off a firestorm in Ann Arbor Township, a wealthy rural community with roughly 5,000 residents near the city of Ann Arbor.
I don't blame them, because I don't expect them to scour the Planning Commission's records, however, I am going to put all of the links to the public record here so that all of you can speak the truth about what happened.
First, the Zoning plan failed in 2001. 2001. 2001. Get the date. 2001. Think about the law school development. If memory serves, Monagahan was already making trips to Florida on and off in 2001. The amendments and petitions to amend the 1983 approved plan for Domino's Farms were deficient.
You can access all of the Ann Arbor Township Planning Commission minutes and agendas for 2001 and 2002 online.
On October 11, 2001, The Commission had a Public hearing on the "DOMINOS FARMS - PHASE 6, "AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY" Public Hearing on ZC-4-01, SP-222-01, NF-3-01, and WP-4-01"
Sidetrack for a moment, note that in September of that year, the Ave Maria Golf project was intended to be approved, wetlands permit and all. And again, a week later, but still before Ave University, on September 17, the alphabet soup of demands and conditions were tediously met and discussed and agreed upon with Monaghan for the golf course.
Just like court cases, those letters mean something in the docket for the public hearing. The golf course was able to handle the ZC (zoning change), WP (wetland permit), NF (natural features), and SP (Site Plan). AMU had those things on the docket.
The minutes of the planning commission October 2001 meeting discuss a two hour presentation by professional agencies for the ave maria university plan, however had several deficiencies from the first presentation: notably:
The applicant [Monaghan] has petitioned for seven changes in the text and seven changes in the area plan. Schmult also pointed out that the 1983 approved area plan contains five elements which have been omitted from the current area plan proposal for seven changes, as follows:
1) the farm character emphasized in the third paragraph, page 32
2) provision of the Whitehall Blvd. connection
3) the farm, as described in #4, page 36
4) the open space, rural quality image expressed in the third bullet item, page 40
5) reduced need for police and fire protection as a benefit to the Township, page 41
and this omission from the approved area plan must also be reviewed.
He also pointed out that a petition for a text amendment is required to include a description of the reasons for the proposed changes and that this has not been done as well as other standards in the Zoning Ordinance which are listed in Section 25.05 for rezoning petitions in general and Section 10.05-1c for OP district amendments in particular.
Those appear to be reasonable concerns. Moreover, compare those concerns with the onerous and tedious negotiations of the golf course plan.
Two months later, the Gabriel Richard plan sails through the planning commission. For the folks who are unaware, Gabriel Richard High School is a massive development that abuts Domino's Farms, and was created across the rural street and by clearing a woodland. So, let's not be deluded into believing that the Planning Commission was unreasonable. Monaghan managed to get two other projects, one more highly contested than the university, through the commission adjacent to the university plan.
Three months of so after the public hearing wherein the AMU zoning plans were tabled, the item was placed back on the agenda for the February 4, 2002 planning commission meeting.
The Minutes for the meeting indicate that the Crucifix had nothing to do with the proposed zoning change:
B. Domino's Farms - Phase 6 - "Ave Maria University". Barry Murray of SmithGroup JJR gave an overview and clarification of the recent submittals. Schmult referred to his review of January 24, 2002. Moran indicated that he could not support this zoning amendment and distributed a proposed resolution to deny. He also indicated that the issue of the crucifix was not a consideration in this decision as it is a site plan issue. Moran had Attorney Sorini prepare a Resolution to Approve the Zoning Ordinance Amendment which was distributed. Further discussion followed concerning the Office Park Zoning at the Domino's Farms complex. Moran moved to approve the Resolution Recommending Denial of the Zoning Ordinance Amendment and Wetland Use Permit and Denial of the Preliminary Site Plan and Natural Features Setback Use Permit as premature as set forth in the attached Resolution. O'Connell seconded and Motion was approved 6-0.
I can find no further planning commission activity on the university after that point. I can however, find two other Domino's Farms projects that sailed through the commission, one at the office complex, and the other being additional parking for Christ the King church on the June 3, 2002 agenda. Christ the King's submittal was approved later in September, and passed a final vote in October.
Let's look at those dates again. The Zoning Meeting occurred on February 4, 2002. The Detroit News first broke the story of the 250-foot (25 story) Crucifix on February 1, 2002.
In its March 5 Weekly Review spot, Harper's said the "Controversy was raging in Michigan over plans by the founder of Domino's Pizza to nail a 40-foot Jesus to a 250-foot crucifix in a suburb of Ann Arbor"
I think, and thought at the time, that Monaghan's 25 story crucifix was a ruse to make a public spectacle apart from his real motive: killing the University. Realize that this is my opinion based on the dates of things, the other planning activities, and my impressions at the time. Monaghan already had dollar signs in his eyes and needed a way to get public sympathy to favor the move to Florida. I can't prove it, and I have no actual knowledge of what was in Mongahan's head, but I think that's the only reasonable inference of the facts.
I just wish that people would stop blaming the Crucifix for the move. Monaghan, if he was really so bent on the idea, would build a 25 story one in Florida. But he's only building a 60 foot one there. (see Naples News) (see also that the 60 foot crucifix has grown to 65, and it is being delayed, also in Naples News) Just one guy's opinion, but the literal public record says the Crucifix had nothing to do with the zoning change failure, the only one who made a spectacle of it was Monaghan. So why'd he do it?
Also check out Uncle Tom's money quote in that last link, "Anything we do, we’ve got to get a donor for." He didn't think that way in Michigan.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Here is an excerpt:
Sure, you have your marital issues, but on the whole you feel so self-satisfied about how things have worked out that you would never, in your wildest nightmares, think you would hear these words from your husband one fine summer day: "I don't love you anymore. I'm not sure I ever did. I'm moving out. The kids will understand. They'll want me to be happy."
But wait. This isn't the divorce story you think it is. Neither is it a begging-him-to-stay story. It's a story about hearing your husband say "I don't love you anymore" and deciding not to believe him. And what can happen as a result.
Here's a visual: Child throws a temper tantrum. Tries to hit his mother. But the mother doesn't hit back, lecture or punish. Instead, she ducks. Then she tries to go about her business as if the tantrum isn’t happening. She doesn't "reward" the tantrum. She simply doesn't take the tantrum personally because, after all, it's not about her.
Let me be clear: I'm not saying my husband was throwing a child's tantrum. No. He was in the grip of something else - a profound and far more troubling meltdown that comes not in childhood but in midlife, when we perceive that our personal trajectory is no longer arcing reliably upward as it once did. But I decided to respond the same way I'd responded to my children's tantrums. And I kept responding to it that way. For four months.
From: Milhizer, Eugene R
Sent: Mon 8/31/2009 2:38 PM
To: All Law System Distribution
Subject: Mr. Monaghan Visiting AMSL
Dear Ave Maria School of Law Community,
Ave Maria School of Law is pleased to welcome our Founder and Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Thomas Monaghan, to campus on Friday, September 4, 2009. You are invited to attend a reception with Mr. Monaghan which has been scheduled in the library from 1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Appropriate attire is required.
Eugene R. Milhizer
appropriate attire? Are people sitting around the library naked?
Appropriate to what? King Monaghan's fantasyland of student life?
Students shouldn't be forced to dip into their dry clean only clothes just to appease the local madman. It's not like the self-coronated king is going to bless them with his sceptre of life or anything.
What a joke! Required? Are there people without shirts and shoes walking around? Does the despot publish his dress code somewhere? Can any of the current students please tell us what has been communicated to them regarding this nebulous "appropriate attire" standard? Are laundered khakis too pedestrian for king monaghan's self-described humble eyes? Is it real humility foronaghan to demand people appear before him in certain clothing? Or, are there really naked students running around down there ?
© 2007 FUMARE