Candy Cane or Coal?

Santa’s local roster of who’s naughty and who’s nice
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A candy cane to…

• Gov. Jennifer Granholm, for signing a law in April making it a crime to text and drive.

• Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga, for behaving like a gentleman after an umpire’s boneheaded call robbed him of a perfect game.

• President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama, for giving a $10,000 check to Detroit’s Mosaic Youth Theatre early this year.

• Detroit City Hall for conducting public forums as part of The Detroit Works Project, which seeks to map the city’s future.

• Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner, for not caving in to Kwame Kilpatrick’s bellyaching.

• Those behind Michigan’s smoking ban.

• Southfield-based automotive supplier Lear Corp., for donating $5 million over 10 years for community projects and infrastructure work in Detroit, as well as committing to building an assembly plant in the city.

• Detroit’s Mower Gang, a group of volunteers who donate time and manpower to mow overgrown city parks and lots.

• Liviu Talos, the Romanian construction worker who risked his life to pull a child from a burning house on Detroit’s west side.

• Gallery owner George N’Namdi, for investing millions into Midtown’s Sugar Hill Arts District.

• Actor David Arquette, for his very public adoration of Michigan while filming here.

• Quicken Loans and Blue Cross, for moving thousands of workers downtown.

• Entrepreneur/investor John Hantz, for his plan to replace abandoned parcels of land in Detroit with farms.

• Coca-Cola, for promoting healthful living with a $25,000 grant to America’s State Parks Foundation to build an adventure play facility at the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor on Detroit’s riverfront.

• The more than 5,000 Detroit Public Schools Reading Corps volunteers.

• Michigan drivers, who lead the nation in buckling up.

• DFCU Financial of Dearborn, for committing  $10,000 to the Detroit Public Schools’ Volunteer Reading Corps.

 
A lump of coal to…

• Matt Millen, former general manager and CEO of the Lions, for calling fellow commentator Ron Jaworski a “polack” on the air on ESPN, for which he later apologized. And it’s not the first time Millen’s bigoted trap got him in trouble. In 2003, he called then Chiefs wide receiver Johnnie Morton a “faggot,” for which he also apologized.

• State Sen. Nancy Cassis, R-Novi, for slamming Michigan’s film-incentive program because it isn’t “paying for itself.” Cassis and other critics are looking merely at the numbers. What they fail to measure are the intangibles.

• While Detroit bleeds financially, several Detroit City Council members, including James Tate and President Charles Pugh, gave their aides raises in July.

• Michigan Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Shirvell, for his anti-gay blogging against Chris Armstrong, the president of U-M’s Student Assembly, as well as for protesting and videotaping outside Armstrong’s home. (U-M banned Shirvell from campus.)

• Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, for not firing Shirvell. Although he condemned Shirvell’s actions, and told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Shirvell is “clearly a bully,” Cox defended Shirvell’s First Amendment right to free speech. However, Shirvell’s behavior is clearly conduct unbecoming of a state employee, reason enough to give him the boot.

• NFL referees who disqualified a touchdown by Lion Calvin Johnson against the Chicago Bears in September.

• Carol Lynn Schnuphase, the Warren woman who pretended her son had leukemia in order to bamboozle people into contributing to pay his medical expenses. She even shaved his head and eyebrows and laced his food with drugs to make him appear sluggish. She deserves a whole sack of coal.

• Otis Mathis, former Detroit Public Schools president, for fondling his genital area during meetings with then board superintendent Teresa Gueyser. Earlier in the year, Mathis admitted he struggles writing coherently, inviting a rather obvious question: Why was he at the helm of DPS?

• Andy Dillon, ex-Democratic gubernatorial candidate, for hiring a Chicago firm to help create his TV campaign ad touting “Hire Michigan First.”

• Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans founder and Cavaliers owner, for his juvenile tirade about LeBron James leaving Cleveland.

• Blabbermouth and crook Sam Riddle for his part in a bribery and extortion scandal. In October, he was sentenced to 37 months in the clink.

• Former Southfield councilman William Lattimore, convicted of taking a $12,500 bribe from Sam Riddle. His greed landed him in the slammer for 18 months.

• MLB umpire Jim Joyce, for ruining Armando Galarraga’s perfect game.

• Eugene Thomas, for snatching a $244 Greektown Casino voucher from 91-year-old Frank Pierce, who then suffered a heart attack. Thomas pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and larceny.

• The Rev. Jesse Jackson, for calling urban farming in Detroit “cute but foolish.” As quoted in The Detroit News, he said: “We are not offering a farming plan for Baghdad.”

• Kwame Kilpatrick, again.

• Warren Evans, for going Hollywood with “The Chief” sizzle reel and having a relationship with a subordinate.

• Fox 2 Detroit, for airing photos of the body of Matthew Landry, the 21-year-old Chesterfield Township man who was abducted and fatally shot.

• MSU Spartan Dion Sims, for acting more like a wide receiver than a tight end. He pleaded guilty to receiving and concealing stolen property in connection with a crime ring accused of selling 104 laptop computers stolen from four Detroit Public Schools buildings.

• Jennifer Petkov, the Trenton woman who taunted a mortally ill 7-year-old neighbor girl, both verbally and on Facebook, all because of an old feud with the child’s grandmother.

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