Thursday, January 10, 2008

Joan Lowenstein, Zionist candidate for Judge:

In the early afternoon of January 10, 2007, ArborUpdate suddenly censored out all comments, starting with Comment 8, which are critical of Lowenstein's campaign to be Judge. Did Lowenstein make any non-judge-like threats to ArborUpdate, to cause this to happen?]

Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

City Council: To PUD or Not to PUD

6. January 2008 • Juliew
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Monday, January 7 at 7:00 pm.
Ann Arbor City HallCity Council Agenda


  • McKinley Towne Centre-Liberty Retail PUD request
  • McKinley Towne Centre-Liberty Retail PUD Site Plan and Development Agreement
  • Wagner Road Improvement Special Assessment Project
  • Approval of Professional Services Agreement with Winter & Company for the Ann Arbor Discovering Downtown (A2D2) Historic Preservation and Design Guidelines Projects
  • Approval of Partnership Agreement with Community Action Network for Operation of Bryant and Northside Community Centers
  • Everyday Wine liquor license decision(?)

  1. The McKinley request for PUD is likely to generate a lot of discussion. The latest trend seems to be to make every proposal into a PUD, even if it could be built under existing zoning. The Mayor has been particularly opposed to this tactic so it will be interesting to see how the vote goes on the PUD rezoning.

    The McKinley development proposal is for the “Liberty Square” (formerly Tally Hall) building and will include demolishing the former bank building on that site and building a three-story building between Orchid Lane and the parking deck stairwell. I don’t think anyone is sad to see the bank building go, but the major concern is the alley that currently runs between Liberty and Washington. The Planning Commission requested that a pedestrian alley of at least ten feet be retained and McKinley has incorporated that in the new design, but that does not address everyone’s concerns. I will try to post a document I received on that as soon as I can get it working.

    Another item of interest is the potential liquor license approval for Everyday Cook. There have been a lot of e-mails about this asking people to show up tomorrow to provide support for Everyday Cook, but it is not on the agenda so it is hard to say what will happen tomorrow.

    —Juliew Jan 6, 07:29 PM #
  2. There was a planning commission meeting (the lower burns park one) where a dispute was over vacating an alley at Maple and Jackson – at least one person on that board was generally opposed to taking alleys away from the public and handing them over to private individuals.

    Edward Vielmetti Jan 6, 11:34 PM #
  3. I was at caucus last night. Prior to caucus Rapundalo told Mary Campbell of Everyday Cook that the license would be on the Jan 22 agenda. It needed more attorney review and the city attorney in charge was on vacation so it had to be delayed.

    The McKinley PUD for Liberty is very interesting. At caucus McKinley announced they had made changes to the drawings presented at planning commission but did not have any drawings and would try to have something on Monday. I think the result was that McKinley would not develop the alley. I guess the public hearing will be on a moving target. Kunselman asked about tabling action to allow time to review the revised drawings. If he got an answer, I did not hear it.

    A number of people spoke about the potential for the alley to be developed into a public arcade. Several thought it should go back to planning commission for pubic input on this option. A PUD requires a public benefit, and it’s unclear what the public benefit of the current proposal is.

    I think the real rub was the number of votes it takes to approve the plan McKinley presented to planning commission and which is included in the council packet. The alley is owned by the city and it takes 8 votes to transfer ownership of the alley, compared with 6 votes to approve the PUD. The city staff report that went to planning commission failed to mention that approval of the PUD would also require the city to transfer land. In other words, McKinley was proposing a project that encroached on public land and the staff report failed to mention the problem. Council members found out about it from citizens who opposed closing off all or part of the alley.

    —karen sidney Jan 7, 10:20 AM #
  4. I would like to call attention to F-2 of the Council agenda. This reduces the yard waste collection service by:

    Elimination of cans: Effective April 1st, 2008, resident-supplied cans will no longer
    be allowed for compost collection.

    End collection on October 31st: Starting in 2008, it is proposed that curbside
    compost collection end one month earlier, on October 31st.

    F-2 states that this will take effect next spring without any discussion or public hearing unless Council acts.

    —G. Thompson Jan 7, 12:43 PM #
  5. Julie: I don’t think it is PUD’s the mayor objects to but instead it is Planned Projects because they are not Planned Unit Developments. Under Planned Project status developers get a zoning change but they don’t have to offer the public benefits of a PUD, parks contribution, affordable housing (in residential projects only of course), etc. It’s like a PUD on the cheap.

    —LauraB Jan 7, 12:53 PM #
  6. Ah, good catch LauraB. Thanks for clarifying.

    —Juliew Jan 7, 02:22 PM #
  7. Council approved the McKinley Towne Centre last night, but it did not go along with Roger Fraser’s attempt to cut compostable services.

    Fraser said the proposed change was “just administrative”, but Mayor Pro Tem Marcia Higgins said the change was “substantive”, and asked that the proposal be brought back in the form of an ordinance so that Council could discuss it. She was supported by Stephen Rapundalo. Fraser agreed to do this.

    Fraser has tried to cut the compostable pickup for the past several years, but he has always done this as part of the annual City budget in the spring. Council has repeatedly shot him down.

    It looks like this latest try to cut services will also crash and burn.

    David Cahill Jan 8, 09:17 AM #
  8. Not mentioned is the criticism Councilmember Joan Lowenstein came in for, at last night’s City Council meeting. Her efforts to become a Judge were criticized due to her strong support of Israel, despite its many atrocities against the populations of Palestine, Lebanon, and, yes, Africa, too.

    Councilmember Lowenstein smiled as those atrocities were described. Then she smiled again, as more of Israel’s atrocities were described.

    How would a “Judge” Lowenstein mete out justice to Palestine human rights protestors?

    —Re: Lowenstein Jan 8, 09:31 AM #
  9. Further unmentioned here is the city’s intimidation tactics which failed to deter human rights activists from delivering their message last night.

    Suffice to say that an officer who had previously attacked and abused Ann Arbor human rights activists was installed at one of the entrances to the chambers. As the public commentary section ended, and the speakers were peacefully leaving the premises, the police officer walked up to almost an inch of the human rights activists and ordered them to leave. At this time the Mayer was told to keep her off the peaceful protestors who had already been subjected to brutal treatment by the same officer in the past.


    Palestine human rights activists left the chambers in a group and the night was a victory for those who believe intimidation will not, in the long run, be effective against truth and justice seeking people.

    It is heartwarming that decent, truth seeking people still prevail in Ann Arbor.

    And hopefully Ms. Lowenstein’s great admiration for the racist state of Israel will bring us all together to question if Ms. Lowenstein is an appropriate choice to become a judge in Ann Arbor.

    I say, anyone whose solid support for a foreign government (in this case the racist, colonial, occupier, state of Israel) is well known is not fit to be a judge anywhere in the United States of America.

    —No more intimidation Jan 8, 04:03 PM #
  10. The officer you describe (in post number 9) is Lt. Angella Abrams Ann Arbor Police Department spokeswoman. She serves under Ann Arbor Police Chief Barnett Jones who was trained in Israel and says that “Israel is the frontline.”

    Chief Barnett Jones also says that Arab and Muslim populations “immediately become suspect, whether that is right or wrong, because of the global war.” (Reference: New York Times July 25th, 2005)

    One can’t help but to wonder if these comments got him the job that brought him to Ann Arbor to be our police chief?

    —Israeli police Jan 8, 04:36 PM #
  11. City Council, most belligerently Councilmember Lowenstein, has refused to even discuss any Resolution to penalize Israel, for many years. No matter how many thousands of Palestinians which Israel has massacred.

    This was true in January 1984, before Lowenstein was ever appointed to City Council. At that time, 4500 petition signatures were submitted to Council, demanding a Resolution urging a cut in aid to Israel. Council refused to even vote on that Resolution. See the Ann Arbor News for January 10, 1984.

    —Not Lowenstein Jan 9, 02:50 PM #
  12. let my fake name speak for itself

    —Wow way to hijack a posting Jan 10, 12:16 AM #
  13. The business of City Council is the business of this Arbor Update article. This article’s main title is “City Council.” You would have a lot to say, Mr. Wow, if an ambassador for any Arab country sat on the Council, attacking anyone who spoke ill of Arabs. You would probably put such a Council member in chains, in Guantanamo.

    As it is, a de-facto ambassador for Israel sits on Ann Arbor City Council. Unlike any Arab nation…

    * Israel today forcibly occupies seized territory,

    * Israel has killed many thousands in that territory, and

    * Israel has unleashed aerial bombardment against many Arab countries for many years.

    Joan Lowenstein has shown that she is an attack dog for Israel. Many “Michigan Daily” articles confirm it. Lowenstein’s own group called Israel’s massacre of Lebanon “Our War”, on its Web site, in 2006.

    With hundreds of atom bombs, Israel should not need an attack dog, on little old Ann Arbor’s City Council. Why is Councilmember Lowenstein, Mr. Wow, not appropriate to mention, when we are talking about City Council itself? Soon she will be a judge, able to jail protestors as she sees fit.

    What would have happened to Catherine Wilkerson, if a “Judge” Lowenstein had been her Judge?

    —Re: Lowenstein Jan 10, 08:07 AM #
  14. Re Lowenstein

    A couple of questions — why is the Michigan Daily in quotes (because it doesn’t come out on weekends?)?

    Second, how many cases would a local judge handle that even remotely relate to the Middle East? I would think something close to none.

    —PeteM Jan 10, 08:23 AM #
  15. You may certainly read those Daily articles for yourself.

    Joan Lowenstein declares that “Jews are under attack, even here”, in a tone of panic. Why? Simply because an academic conference on divestment from Israel was being held on the U-M campus.

    A judge was asked, at that time, to order the expulsion of a U-M student organizer of the divestment conference, and to shut down the conference, as the conference was seen to be pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.

    How would a “Judge” Lowenstein have ruled?

    —Re: Lowenstein Jan 10, 08:50 AM #
  16. Re: Lowenstein,

    Thank you for the references you have furnished already. Are there other things we should know about Joan Lowenstein?

    How do we make our voices heard, if we are convinced that Joan Lowenstein is not suitable for judgeship in Ann Arbor?

    Best regards,

    Sara Razi

    —Zionists out Jan 10, 10:42 AM #
  17. You could ask why the Michiagn Daily feels that Lowenstein’s candidacy for judge is not news-worthy. Lowenstein made a rather blood-curdling accusation, in her speech against the U-M divestment conference, published in the Daily:

    Lowenstein said the U-M was being “hijacked”, and that “Jews are under attack even here”.

    Lowenstein said this just after Israel had carried out a massacre in Palestinian cities, including Jenin.

    Ex-professor Raymond Tanter made a homicidal pro-Israel speech at the same event, with Lowenstein. That speech ended with the phrase:

    “And what do you do to the leaders? You destroy them. You kill them.”

    It makes you wonder just what kind of speech Lowenstein would allow, if any, to Palestine human rights advocates.

    Here is the Michigan Daily article quoting Lowenstein and Tanter:

    Lowenstein claiming Jews are under Attack at U-M

    If you are interested, you could simply sign up to speak your mind, at the next Ann Arbor City Council meeting. The Council’s Web site includes phone numbers where you can sign up to speak:

    Sign up to speak at City Council

    —Not Lowenstein Jan 10, 12:07 PM #
  18. Joan Lowenstein is actually running for Judge.

    Even though, while a City Councilmember, Joan Lowenstein made some ugly personal remarks about the Muslim hijab, right before last Ramadan:

    Lowenstein calls hijab a Halloween Costume

    (Lowenstein’s Comment number 181 on Arbor Update, dated September 8, 2007)

    This caused a number of Washtenaw Green Party members to appear at Ann Arbor City Council, to complain about Lowenstein’s hijab remarks.

    What do you think will happen to any Palestinian woman, wearing a hijab, on trial before “Judge Lowenstein”?

    —Not Lowenstein Jan 10, 12:28 PM #
  19. I don’t know, why don’t you tell us?

    —John Q. Jan 10, 12:34 PM #
  20. Fine.

    We actually have a good idea of how a “Judge Lowenstein” will use the police, against Palestinians and their supporters.

    In 2006, Councilmember Joan Lowenstein was witnessed demanding that the police take action against Palestinians and their supporters, who were conducting a peaceful Palestine rights vigil, with signs. It was outside Lowenstein’s “Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County”.

    Lowenstein was visibly arguing with police, pushing them to stamp out this vigil, outside her Federation’s big war event.

    It is shocking, in itself, that Lowenstein’s Federation would hold an event entitled “Our People. Our Israel. Our War.”

    Lowenstein should be ashamed to be associated with such a war-like event, bearing such a genocidal title. For details, see this article:

    Our People. Our Israel. Our War.

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    —Not Lowenstein Jan 10, 12:55 PM #

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