News Briefs 6-9

      On Tuesday, June 5, 2007 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm The Greater Lansing Area Commission on Race and Diversity will hold a reception to acknowledge and celebrate past accomplishments and reaffirm future work of the Commission. 
  The mission of the Commission is to empower the community to recognize and value diversity by creating an environment for safe discussion and resolution of race and diversity issues.
       Willard Walker, CEO, of the Commission said, “We are dedicated to continuing the meaningful work that began in 2003.”
     The event will be held at Gardner Middle School, 333 Dahlia (Door #14).  The keynote speaker will be Commissioner, Fred McGlone, III, Senior Pastor, New Covenant Christian Church.  For more information call 517-887-6116 or to RSVP  Visit them on the web:

Civil Rights Department Affirms Right To File Complaints Without Retaliation

     LANSING, MI – – The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) released the following statement today in response to a report issued last Wednesday by the Judicial Tenure Commission (JTC) recommending the suspension of Lansing Judge Beverly Nettles-Nickerson.
    “While neither the Commission nor Department has any current involvement or legal interest in the matter involving Judge Nettles-Nickerson, it is imperative to clarify that the legal right of Michigan residents and visitors to file complaints with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights is protected.  Both the Elliott-Larsen and Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Acts explicitly provide protection from acts of retaliation for civil rights activity, including filing a complaint with MDCR.
        It is our sincere hope that the JTC did not intend to imply that Judge Nettles-Nickerson should be disciplined in any way for exercising her right to file a civil rights complaint if she believed that she was being subjected to illegal discrimination.  A suspension for filing an allegation of illegal discrimination would violate state and federal civil rights laws designed to protect those who stand up against discrimination from any acts of retaliation.  Such a message from a legal authority would have a chilling effect on the state’s ability to protect persons who legitimately believe they may be victims of illegal discrimination.
     While we take no position on the veracity of any fact claimed by any party in this matter, we ask the Judicial Tenure Commission to amend its complaint to clarify that they are not seeking to discipline Judge Nettles-Nickerson for the act of filing her complaint with the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and Department.

      We further call upon the Supreme Court and any appointed Special Master to clarify that, regardless of what decision they may ultimately reach in this matter, their ruling is in no way predicated upon the protected act of filing a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights." 


     Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church and its Pastor Nathan Dixon, together with the Sons of Allen, are pleased to invite the Lansing community to this year’s Trinity Men’s Day worship service which will be held at 10:00 AM on Sunday, June 3, 2007.  The Men’s Day theme is:  “In unity and fellowship.”
       The service will be conducted at the church which is located at 3500 West Holmes Road, Lansing, Michigan.  The featured speaker will be the Reverend Walter W. Reid, Jr., who is the pastor of Saint James AME Church in Memphis, TN. Pastor Reid is the eldest son of the late Walter W. Reid, Sr., Trinity’s former pastor, who previously had been slated to be the speaker prior to his unexpected death on April 23, 2007. Also, the Trinity Male Chorus will perform under the directorship of Dr. John Revis.  All men are invited to be at the church at 9:45 a.m. Sunday morning for the procession into the sanctuary.
     Immediately following the service there will be a reception which will include a multi-media presentation depicting the 10 year history of the Sons of Allen. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. 
     Anyone with questions should contact the church office at (517) 882-5722.


     The search is on for the 2007 got milk? Healthiest Student Bodies! As you may recall from the 2006 program, this contest  challenges students all over America to prove why their school deserves to be recognized nationally as an environment that encourages healthy choices. From April 20 to June 20, 2007, the “got milk?” Healthiest Student Bodies Contest is accepting applications at Winning students will receive a prize package that includes cool new gear from Adidas and an i-Tunes gift card. The winning school will receive a $1,000 grant as well as a special milk mustache assembly.
     Twenty-five (25) winning schools will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year, and the got milk? team will begin visiting winners in September.

Avoid bumps in the road when buying, selling cars
Cruise Secretary of State Web site for info

       Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land today encouraged vehicle buyers and sellers to understand their rights and responsibilities before making a deal, and urged them to visit her agency’s Web site for helpful information.
“Buying a new or used car can be exciting,” Land said.  “But it’s also a significant financial investment.  With spring and summer being busy times for car sales, it’s good to keep some tips in mind.  All parties can help ensure their satisfaction by knowing what to look for and what is required by law.  Having the proper information is key.”
The Department of State licenses and regulates auto dealers and repair shops.  It also informs consumers of their rights and investigates related complaints.  Its Web site at has several brochures that offer tips for buying or leasing vehicles, as well as doing business with an established dealer or a private individual.
     Before buying a used vehicle the department recommends:
·        Test driving it and having it inspected by a mechanic.
·        Making sure that it has a title.  A vehicle cannot be registered without one.  Don’t agree to the sale if a title cannot be produced or there are discrepancies.  Also be certain that the owner named on the front of the title is the same person signing it.  If there is more than one owner or buyer, all parties must sign the title.
·        Matching the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the title with the number on the dashboard.
·        Checking the odometer’s mileage accuracy.  Under state and federal law, the mileage for most vehicles must be provided when ownership transfers.  Vehicles that are 10 or more years old are exempt.
When doing business with an auto dealer, it’s wise to ask questions and read all documents before signing.  It’s also important to note that there is no “cooling off” period.  Some consumers mistakenly believe they can return a vehicle within a certain number of days after a contract is signed.
Remember that a vehicle being sold “as is” means just that.  In fact, most used vehicles are not under warranty for any period of time.  There also is no such thing as a verbal warranty.  Get any guarantees in writing, including promises of repairs to be made prior to the vehicle’s sale.  Keep in mind that Michigan’s “Lemon Law” for defective vehicles only pertains to new vehicles.  Used vehicles are not covered.
“The vast majority of Michigan auto dealers are conscientious professionals who work hard to serve their customers,” Land said.  “Still, consumers should take the time to fully understand what type of vehicle they’re getting, all details of the warranty and financing obligations.  Buying a car should be a positive experience.”
If consumers do have a complaint, they should first try working it out with the dealership owner or manager.  If the problem isn’t resolved, contact the Department of State’s Bureau of Regulatory Services at (1-888) SOS-MICH (767-6424).  An automotive complaint form also is available online.  The bureau investigates issues within its authority.