Column for April 21, 2005
I play guitar in a rock and roll band. I have even written a song or two and if there ever was a First Amendment right I would think it would be in singing songs. If I want to sing a song about clouds in the sky, Detroit, George Washington or Pam Anderson you would think I would have that right. So I was sad to see of all people civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks sue Sony BMG Entertainment over the hip-hop band Out-Kast's use of her name. Not only sue but sue for 5 BILLION DOLLARS. Yes, friends and neighbors this is not about anybody's rights, its all about the money.
In the end Sony settled out of court easier to pay some money then risk loosing BILLIONS. The settlement includes an undisclosed amount of cash for Parks and her lawyers and the record company will produce a DVD that will tell what a good person she was and how important she was to the civil rights movement. Interestingly her court appointed guardian former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer got the part of host for the DVD.
I got a lot of response from last weeks column when I said libraries like drive-ins and fish aquariums may be a thing of the past and money might be better spent elsewhere.
Most people said they thought libraries are very important and many had fond memoires of them. But no one said money couldn't be better spent somewhere else. Some agreed there might be some overlap city to city and school to school that consolidation could be looked into.
Several people told me the libraries are very busy and I agree. Though I still think a vast majority of the population never set foot inside the building. Many don't even know where the building is. Don't get me wrong I like libraries. I don't think they need to be in the CD and DVD rental business. I am not sure they even need to have a computer cafe. I just can't justify an extra $125 a year in tax money.
Tina Theeke, Director Farmington Community Library said the Column said a 1.6 millage will appear on the May 3 election ballot. Which is not correct. Voters will be asked May 3rd to approve a Library proposal of 1 mill for 20 years. The .6 mill is currently in effect for debt retirement of the bonds sold to renovate both library buildings and to expand the Main Library following approval of the voters in the 1998 election, which expires in 8 years in 2013.
I wish I had asked her if the millage passes does she believe libraries will ask for no more money over the next 20 years? Because I have a hard time believing that.