The Facts Speak…

This past Sunday, my post here on The Civil Arab discussed the ongoing property tax dispute between HYPE Athletics and the city of Dearborn Heights.  Read that post here to get the full background.

In short, I strongly implied that Dearborn Height’s denial of HYPE’s request to be considered exempt from property taxes has a racial element to it.  Many readers messaged me, questioning how I could make such an insinuation.  Although I noted that a city council member had called HYPE’s 104,000 square foot facility “that Arab center,” I presented no hard, solid evidence.  Now let’s be clear about one thing.  Discrimination, especially in the 21st century, rarely happens out in the open.  It happens behind closed doors.  It is subtle, delicate, and silent.

But I simply felt that things didn’t smell right.  But since I didn’t have a smoking gun, I did a little investigative reporting.

Right next door to HYPE’s recreation center we can find the Sokol Cultural Center.  Sokol calls itself “the oldest nonprofit organization still in existence” in greater Detroit.  The organization has existed in the US since 1865 and has roots in the Czech Republic.  According to the group, “SOKOL is Czech for ‘falcon.’ SOKOL is English for a great group of people bonded by a common ethnicity, heritage or interest.”

Sokol claims it is “a safe place for children to learn personal discipline, physical fitness and gymnastic skills,” and offers “gym classes and social activities for teenagers.”

The Sokol Cultural Center is a membership-based organization.  It charges a membership fee because, as the group states, “nothing comes for free in life.”  Members have access to the center, but must pay extra fees for gym classes and some other activities.  Further, in order to gain membership, a petitioner must be sponsored by an existing member, then accepted at a general meeting.  It is not clear on what basis membership is granted, but there are clearly some restrictions.  If you are granted membership, you must survive a one-year probationary period, whatever that means.

Sokol owns it facility in Dearborn Heights, is a federally registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and… ready for this… pays no property taxes to the city of Dearborn Heights.  Yes, according to the city of Dearborn Heights, the Sokol Cultural Center meets the requirements to be exempt from property taxes.

Let’s take a minute to compare Sokol and HYPE:

  • HYPE charges membership fees. So does Sokol.
  • Sokol’s members must be “approved.” HYPE’s prospective applicants suffer no such restrictions.
  • HYPE offers athletic, fitness, and youth services.  Sokol does too.
  • Sokol was started and built by an immigrant community.  So was HYPE.
  • Sokol’s immigrant community was white.  HYPE’s is definitely not.

Smells a little fishy, doesn’t it?

I guess I still can’t say with a 100% certainty that the city of Dearborn Heights is acting in an anti-Arab, discriminatory manner.  But 99% isn’t that bad.

Source: The Civil Arab

 

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34 thoughts on “The Facts Speak…”

  1. Grandma Suzanne,s

    All options depends on the development agreement between the county and HYPE. I hope that they get the tax exempt status and this issue die.
    The recreational services they provide are needed.

    I hope the city will be able to execute the $100,000.00 plus Canfield shovel ready plan. May be another shovel ready federal funding will come again.

    Like

  2. Truthtelling, you bring up a very good point.

    Is there a reason why HYPE couldn’t lease out the facility from Wayne County for $1.00 a month and just keep on doing business as usual?

    Would appreciate some more feedback on this.

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  3. Grandma Suzanne,

    HYPE center was build by Taxpayers money, and if tax exempt status not granted, the center will revert back to the county and HYPE will keep running the youth services under lease or similar arrangement. County properties are tax exempt.

    The best solution is a PILOT arrangement. But at this stage holding the status for the state verdict.

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  4. The funny thing about America is that the majority of us have ancestry that came from another country/tribe and most from the past generation or two. So the first Americans are the Native Americans and they are the only ones that have the right to complain about other peoples coming here.

    We need to stop complaining and start working together. Yes, there needs to be a discussion on our differences and the fact that some tribes ( yes, many tribes, one race, human race) do get treated differently needs to be aired and resolved before we can go further and make progress.

    At the expense of HYPE doing a superb job with our youth we are using it to battle the differences between our tribes. We are cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

    Like

  5. “BIGDOG says:
    SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 AT 5:15 PM
    I know tomorrow is labor day can somebody tell why the hell people putting there trash out on Sunday mornings and leaving it there till Tuesday.. And you people want me to stop call this city. DETROIT HEIGHTS. We got some dumb ass people that live in this f up city. Maybe our screw up council can make a point to say something in you next council meeting.”

    As you can read, he is not blaming the council, he is asking if they can address this issue.

    BIGDOG referring to The most important factors that lead a municipality to deteriorate ” Pride in the neighborhood” “Self policing” and ownership, most residents who place their trash in violation of the ordinance don’t see the difference.

    May be an educational trash program on city cable channel will help?

    Proper trash containment reduce rat infestation, municipal investment in industrial trash containers will be a wise action.

    In Detroit the trashed homes are everywhere, I don’t think D/H has this problem

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  6. Any organization that helps our youth is a plus and should be receiving tax dollars and not paying them. I have a feeling the young man that started the HYPE center in Dearborn Heights was and is dedicated to our youth, too bad he didn’t see the nest of rattlesnakes he was stepping into trying to do a good thing. Don’t take out your frustrations on HYPE because Ficano’s shady dealings.

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  7. Big Dog, why should the council be responsible for people putting out their trash on the Holiday week-end. If you use your head and the holiday falls on a week day we should know trash will be a day late. That’s the way it has always been. Doesn’t that make sense?

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  8. Discrimination based on national origin is evil and federally prohibited.

    This blog is not steering any pot, the Arab American are from the Arab word and have unique cultural characteristics, but enjoy and chair their common humanity with all American, and are part of this community and their public issues are public community matters.

    Discussing and debating public matters is very healthy practice, it expose the facts and help solve the real issue.

    Sharing information to expose and eliminate discrimination will benefits the society and enhance the public peace.

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  9. I do have to agree with Boohoo. Kathy you do a lot of talking about the Arab community. They are not the only ones who live in the Heights. Do you hear the rest of us complaining we are not treated fairly and don’t say it’s because we’re not Arab. Just look around you a majority of the business are Arab owned. They have as many if not more rights than the rest of us do. Every time something doesn’t go their way they shout discrimination. Just give it a rest. It’s talk like yours that stirs the pot.

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  10. Any elected or appointed D/H official can answer the questions about “Fridays” closing of non-emergency city offices and services.

    Lets hope they have the courage and the commitment to engage in a public dialogue regarding a 20% reductions in non-emergency city services?

    How much saving in building operation cost? and employees cost?

    Is the savings justify the 20% lost services?

    Please answer! and promote/practice transparency!

    Sharing information by private citizens to benefit or enhance public services is a civic duty, but an obligation for public servants.

    Like

  11. Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton,

    I’m very happy to see public servants (PS) in DH coming to this blog to read and engage in discussion. And as you promised, your

    actions proved and shows your commitment to serve the public by seeking information and concerns about DH from any media outlets regardless who they are. The more (PS) we have like you, the better the city will be. (PS) should never hide from public debates unless they avoiding public scrutiny and questioning. Thank you.

    Good news: The closing of the city non-emergency operations on Fridays continue since September 2011, indicating that its beneficiary to the city, therefore, please address the following and correct me and set the record straight if needed, the aim is to put the most accurate and factual information for the public to benefits from:

    A- Definition of the closing of the city non-emergency operations on Fridays:
    The city of Dearborn Heights started closing for non-emergency business on Fridays back on 26/2011 to save 8 daily non-emergency operational hours of salaries per week (May includes payroll taxes but excluding benefits) and to reduce some of non-emergency buildings operational cost.

    B- Analyses of the closing of the city non-emergency operations on Fridays:
    Since 9/26/2011 the accumulated numbers of non-emergency Fridays and hours are:
    1- In 2011: 15 Fridays = 120 hours
    2- In 2012: 52 Fridays = 416 hours
    3- In 2013: 30 Fridays = 240 hours (Up-to July 2013 for easy count)
    4- Total hours = 776 city non-emergency operational hours

    C Questions regarding the closing of the city non-emergency operations on Fridays:
    1- Any effect analyses and evaluation study done on this program?
    2- How many difficulties in qualitative measurement the closing caused to citizens?
    3- How much dollars saving in employees salaries from 776 operational hours so far as defined above (The saving will include all employees hours who are not working Fridays including public officials)?
    4- How much saving in buildings operational cost?

    D- Summary of the closing of the city non-emergency operations on Fridays:
    1- The city normal operation days are 5 days per week.
    2- Closing for business for one day = 1/5 = 20% cost saving from closing of the city non-emergency operations on Fridays.
    3- The city should brag about the significant saving from closing of the city non-emergency operations on Fridays.
    4- The city should be a bench mark for other municipalities to follow.
    5- The program should be illustrated on the city front page website all nuts and bolts of the savings that this program contributed to the defect reduction of the city.
    6- The savings was part of the promise to Dearborn Heights citizens to vote for the HO.
    7- This task should be easy for a city with 2 elected officials CPA’s, and one of the best accounting firm in the world. (Those figures should be on record and available to the council for review and evaluation)

    E- General information related to the closing of the city non-emergency operations on Fridays:
    1- Addressing the above program in general and proved the dollars figures in specific for the public using any media outlet including this blog. An editorial in the Press and Guide will be one of best outcome of this dialog. I challenged myself and others that you exhibit the highest level of integrity and transparency; also you are knowledgeable, able, and capable of addressing this matter.
    2- Continuing the 20% reductions of non-emergency services will depends on Transparent, accurate and detailed study. Otherwise it’s “shooting from the hip” reacting not responding.
    3- Do you close your business doors on Fridays, losing some customers and angering others, and sending your employees homes with 20% less pay without your accounting books showing material benefits?
    4- Some of the city council members own successful business, others manage successful enterprises. They should be asking and demanding for the results of these 20% reductions in city non-emergency services.
    5- The administration of the city also is full of experienced and knowledgeable officials and staff and also capable of conducting and crushing numbers to produce accurate results.

    F- You are free to use this comment as your own and publish its content fully or partially with or without editing or corrections under your name without regard to given any credit. The information is public and the public is the owners.

    G- Sharing information by private citizens to benefit or enhance public services is a civic duty, but an obligation for public servants.

    H- Public trust is the scale used to measure public official’s performance.

    I- Elections are the pass or fail exams public officials must tack at the end of their terms or up-on recalls.

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  12. I don’t know if they will be posted before election. Will say some departments understaffed and city closed one day a week. Maybe one of the council can ask about this. It’s frustrating considering there are residents who want this information and they can’t get it.

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  13. Bigdog

    They do have it posted on the city web site right on the home page in red writing. That would be the first place someone would look if they had doubts. The second would be the name of the holiday Labor Day.

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  14. drheights48127

    D/H budget posted on city website for 2013-14, list revenue and essences up to April 2013,

    2013 fiscal year ended on June 30,2013, that is 2 month ago, Do you know why D/H administration not posting the 2013 FY numbers up to June?

    Or will they be posted before the election?

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  15. I know tomorrow is labor day can somebody tell why the hell people putting there trash out on Sunday mornings and leaving it there till Tuesday.. And you people want me to stop call this city. DETROIT HEIGHTS. We got some dumb ass people that live in this f up city. Maybe our screw up council can make a point to say something in you next council meeting.

    Like

  16. Tony

    Point taken about article I put up I apologize to those it offended.

    I’ve made no bones about the fact that I don’t like, trust, or believe this Mayor. Having said that I wouldn’t support just any candidate unless I believed they could do a much better job than what he’s done. I’ve never casted my vote in a reckless manner and not about to start now.

    I’ve heard candidate for mayor councilwoman Janet Badalow at council meetings voice her concerns about cash flow. Years ahead of the financial disaster. Steps should have been taken years in advance not only did the Mayor not take steps. He stood at a state of the City address and told all that the City was in great shape. Less than a month later at council he announced just how bad things were in the City.

    I do believe she would have done a much better job, and will do far more for the City moving forward. There’s nothing wrong with me or anyone else using this blog to express our support for Councilwoman Badalow. As you expressed your support here on the blog for the Mayor. That’s what the blog is for to get all different points of view. Your welcome to come everyday here and praise the Mayor if you’d like.

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  17. bitsy08

    According to Munetrix (Available General Fund Balance, “source: Annual data per Michigan Department of Treasury Auditing Procedures Report # 496)

    In 2008 D/H Has $5,563,524.00 Available General Fund Balance
    In 2012 D/H Has $5,577,335.00 Negative General Fund Balance

    Total spending over total revenues between 2008-2012 =

    $11,140,859.00

    D/H was really floating financially during those days?

    Councilwomen Badalow voted NO for spending over revenue, but she was overwhelmed with the financial realty as a council member, she was limited to one option: VOTING NO, and she did over and over and over.

    Check the number out yourself by clicking on the following link:

    http://www.munetrix.com/Michigan/Municipalities/01-SEMCOG/Wayne-County/City/Dearborn-Heights#

    Like

  18. Wow, Tony. You are SO WRONG about Janet. She can only vote her conscience and most of the time, she is the ONLY council person voting against the policies of the mayor. As far as the budget is concerned, she, along with Lisa Hicks-Clayton were the ONLY two voting against it; so it passed. What can 2 do against the majority? Tom Berry says that no one came up with a better idea but I ask, why don’t you vote no and make him go back and come up with something else? Janet tried to update the Ordinance Officers and the way they report and file their reports. She was outvoted. When the city was paying for I think it was gas and mileage for some of its employees, she wanted to monitor where they were going and was outvoted. Ford Motor does this very thing. They certainly have more money than DH and that’s probably one of the reasons. You say this mayor has kept the city afloat. Wow. You couldn’t be more wrong. He upped our taxes with scare tactics and THAT’S how we’ve stayed afloat. But afloat is not where I want my city to be. He promised more cuts to save money and has made NONE after he got our money. We have RATS in the south end and he says there’s nothing we can do about it. I can’t for the life of me figure out why you like him. IF you’d been paying attention, you’d see that he has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to move this city forward. I see other cities around us doing so much for their citizens and their seniors. What do we do? We have TWO, yes TWO senior centers in which the quality at both of them can’t equal the quality of one in another city. Now we’re in jeopardy of losing our libraries. What’s the answer? RAISE OUR TAXES. You go ahead and vote for him and while you’re at it, vote for Marge, too. Then when you want to know why nothing has been done, she can tell you to shut the hell up.

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  19. Public record:

    Dearborn Heights community will overcome the challenges of this issue.

    Crestwood School District serve the north part of Dearborn Heights, North of Cherry Hill, east of Inkster Road, and west of Telegraph only.

    “Feds: Dearborn Heights’ Crestwood Schools discriminated against Arab Americans in hiring, recruiting”

    10:03 PM, July 17, 2013 | 15 Comments

    By Lori Higgins

    Detroit Free Press Education Writer

    FILED UNDER Local News Wayne County Dearborn

    http://www.freep.com/comments/article/20130717/NEWS02/307170115/EEOC-rules-against-Dearborn-Heights-Crestwood-school-district-in-hiring-of-Arab-American-teachers

    Like

  20. Tony,

    Your comment: “I do not agree with the comments made by Boohoo, but I do……….”

    As long as a community enjoy diverse and multiple races and culture, the race and diversity will always be a point of debate, and nothing ugly about debating and improving race relations in a diverse society, actually its a healthy social discussion.

    Dearborn Heights community embrace and value diversity, they voted “Arab-Americans-Muslims” municipal judge and city councilman twice. They were elected by diverse voters of all races.

    This community should welcome any “race card” issue without any concern at all. This community is beyond that, and any attempt for improvement to this community cultural relations should be encouraged and welcomed.

    Kathy posted the news article on this blog because its a Dearborn Heights (DH)Tax issue, and concern DH tax payers/voters.

    Regarding HYPE,

    It was a county decision to use the federal funding to support this center.

    Why the city didn’t apply to the county to fund their

    “Shovel Ready Project”

    to up-grade Canfield Center? This project is a “public facility” And may qualify for federal funding? The plan was done and cost DH over $100 K?

    If the state say YES than its mandatory, and NO means its not mandatory and its up to the municipality to decide. Both can appeal the state decision.

    If the state says NO, DH council can grant HYPE a PILOT if they believe its in the best interest of the city, and of a good value to the community. Other taxing authorities may be consulted also.

    Regarding the good job of DH city administration,

    Absolutely correct about their ability to convince DH voters to Approve HO and bail-out DH. It was a good move and DH voters accepted their responsibilities and the majority responded positively to the emergency call by the administration and council, and agreed to pay more taxes to keep the level of the city services at where its.

    No secret that the revenues shrink-ed dramatically and got the majority of municipalities administrations by surprise, and DH administration was one of them.

    But other municipalities administrations took preventive measures ahead of the catastrophic financial storm and avoided the financial destruction on their municipal operations.

    The financial storm was massive and for some municipalities no measures would’ve helped anyway, and may be DH was one of them.

    I don’t know what preventive measures DH administration took ahead of the financial storm?

    Councilwomen Badalow opposed the budget and voted NO, and according to her public statements she demanded more cuts and preventive methods. I don’t know what they are and were they are recorded.

    Councilwoman Badalow must respond to your claim and clarify publicly her position with facts and figures.

    You praised this administration for the way they handled DH financial crises, you may be correct with facts and figures.

    “I am glad for our mayor and the fact that he has kept this city afloat even if I am paying more in taxes”

    Please inform this blog readers about few important preventive measures(Facts and Figures) that DH administration took since 2009 that support your claim?

    Paying more taxes is not a preventive measure it is bail-out, its tax increase, its additional financial burden on DH property owners.

    In 2009, DH was in the black ink with surplus fund balance.

    Please check the following website for comparison and add-up all spending that DH administration with council approval expended from 2008 to 2013 above and beyond their revenues, then ask why spending more than what receiving?

    Its acceptable to spend the saving(fund Balance-Surplus) it exist for that purpose. But that should be a buffer time and a red light to spend only the revenues after the saving is gone.

    http://www.munetrix.com/Michigan/Municipalities/01-SEMCOG/Wayne-County/City/Dearborn-Heights#

    Like

  21. drheights48127,
    I do not agree with the comments made by Boohoo, but I do agree that the race card should have never been brought to the blog even if you did not write the article. I am getting so tired of everyone always using the B.S. race card when things do not go there way. The biggest racist are the people that use the race card.
    As for the HYPE Center I and a lot of other people that I have spoken too believe that it is just another way to scam the system and was a dirty deal especially when Ficano was involved. Maybe you should write more about him and what he has done to our county and the problems Snyder has created for most cities with taking away revenue sharing.
    I am glad for our mayor and the fact that he has kept this city afloat even if I am paying more in taxes. I am glad we still have our police and fire and continue to hire and maintain them. You and a lot of people are using this blog to promote Badlow for mayor, but do you really believe that she could have done a better job then our current mayor. She talks a lot and gets nothing done and most the things she complains about she voted for.

    Like

  22. To all American:

    HYPE founded by and Arab American, HYPE includes Arab American on their board of directors, HYPE attended By a large number of Arab American, and finally HYPE is a county public facility established and supported by federal funding to serve this area.

    ARAB AMERICANS ARE AMERICAS? CORRECT.

    And they should be free to express their point of views. The author of the article believe that the administration of Dearborn Heights choose to reject HYPE EXEMPT STATUS not the state. In his opinion the administration should accepted HYPE application similar to others in the same line of services.

    The state will decide later wither the administration made its decision according to the state guidelines.

    The administration believe they made the right decision, but HYPE claims they submitted all the requirements.

    Let address certain comments about howssssssssssssssssssssssssss welcome
    in the neiborhoodsssssssssssssssssssssssss

    You are free to live wherever you want to live if you can afford it, and if you can’t afford it, you should consult the housing commission in that city for assistance, or you should contact HUD to report any suspicious of believe that a community may have impediments to Fair Housing.

    You are welcome to any neighborhood in America, regardless to how some “neighborhooders” thing or believe. Discriminatory intimidation is a federal crime.

    If you don’t like the way your neighbors look, eat, dress, socialize, park the cars, up-grade their homes, landscape their backyards, their language, their religion, or any other characteristics, as long as they live in peace within their private live without infringing on your right to live in peace, then you please learn the art of the (ART) A=Accept, R= Respect, T=Tolerance. Otherwise you will make your’s and their’s lives miserable. Why not embrace them as humans and make it WIN WIN.

    All-in-all, right for privacy in this great nation is still alive and enforceable, violators usually pay hefty price if found guilty. Therefore we all have to learn the art of the ART.

    Leave the privacy of your neighbors alone, Just because they don’t fit your perception, that mean you should be suspicious. All what it take, is one of them to pursuit a legal action in the court of law.

    Don’t force your raw Kuby on me please, I eat them only cooked, and I will make sure I feed you Halal hot-dogs with non-alcoholic Laziza, wile I’m sipping on my heavy Corona.

    We both win and getting along, you love me and I love you. I pry in my church and you do in your mosque, and couple others attend their synagogues, and few others gathers in different centers, and the rest we don’t know about and we shouldn’t care to what God they worship.

    When you don’t like your neighbors you start snooping on them to prove that they are different, and you start publicize and chair the truth abut them with others, including officers, public officials, other Sympathizers, on social media, your friends and family, in your place of worship, at work, wile you shopping. Their truth is their privacy and you probably violating their privacy rights.

    Hate is evil and destruction, but love is mercy and peace.

    Read the following public information and welcome every law abiding neighbor:

    ” Privacy laws of the United States From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Privacy International 2007 privacy ranking green: Protections and safeguards

    red: Endemic surveillance societies
    United States privacy law embodies several different legal concepts. One is the invasion of privacy, a tort based in common law allowing an aggrieved party to bring a lawsuit against an individual who unlawfully intrudes into his or her private affairs, discloses his or her private information, publicizes him or her in a false light, or appropriates his or her name for personal gain.[1] Public figures have less privacy, and this is an evolving area of law as it relates to the media.
    The essence of the law derives from a right to privacy, defined broadly as “the right to be let alone.” It usually excludes personal matters or activities which may reasonably be of public interest, like those of celebrities or participants in newsworthy events. Invasion of the right to privacy can be the basis for a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity violating the right. These include the Fourth Amendment right to be free of unwarranted search or seizure, the First Amendment right to free assembly, and the Fourteenth Amendment due process right, recognized by the Supreme Court as protecting a general right to privacy within family, marriage, motherhood, procreation, and child rearing.[2]

    Right to privacy
    Early years
    The early years in the development of privacy rights began with British common law which protected “only the physical interference of life and property.” Its development of tort remedies is “one of the most significant chapters in the history of privacy law.”[3] Those rights expanded to include a “recognition of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and his intellect.” Eventually, the scope of those rights broadened even further to include a basic “right to be let alone,” and the former definition of “property” would then comprise “every form of possession – intangible, as well as tangible.” By the late 19th century, interest in privacy grew as a result of the growth of print media, especially newspapers.[3]
    Between 1850 and 1890, U.S. newspaper circulation grew 1,000 percent—from 100 papers with 800,000 readers to 900 papers with more than 8 million readers.[3] In addition, newspaper journalism became more sensationalistic, and was termedyellow journalism. The growth of industrialism led to rapid advances in technology, one product of which was portable, hand-held, cameras, as opposed to earlier studio cameras, which were much heavier and larger. In 1884, Eastman Kodakcompany introduced their Kodak Brownie, and it became a mass market camera by 1901, cheap enough for the general public. This allowed people and journalists to take candid snapshots in public places for the first time.
    Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis, young partners in a new law firm, feared that this new small camera technology would be used by the “sensationalistic press.” Seeing this becoming a likely challenge to individual privacy rights, they wrote the “pathbreaking”[3] Harvard Law Review article in 1890, “The Right to Privacy”.[4] According to legal scholar Roscoe Pound, the article did “nothing less than add a chapter to our law,”[5] and in 1966 legal textbook author, Harry Kalven, hailed it as the “most influential law review article of all.”[3] As recently as 2001, in the Supreme Court case of Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001), the article was cited by a majority of justices, both those concurring and those dissenting.[3]
    Brandeis and Warren Article
    The development of the doctrine regarding the tort of “invasion of privacy” was largely spurred by the Warren and Brandeis article, “The Right to Privacy”. In it, they explain why they wrote the article in its introduction: “Political, social, and economic changes entail the recognition of new rights, and the common law, in its eternal youth, grows to meet the demands of society.”[4] More specifically, they also shift their focus on newspapers:
    “The press is overstepping in every direction the obvious bounds of propriety and of decency. Gossip is no longer the resource of the idle and of the vicious, but has become a trade, which is pursued with industry as well as effrontery. To satisfy a prurient taste the details of sexual relations are spread broadcast in the columns of the daily papers….The intensity and complexity of life, attendant upon advancing civilization, have rendered necessary some retreat from the world, and man, under the refining influence of culture, has become more sensitive to publicity, so that solitude and privacy have become more essential to the individual; but modern enterprise and invention have, through invasions upon his privacy, subjected him to mental pain and distress, far greater than could be inflicted by mere bodily injury.”[4]
    They then clarify their goals: “It is our purpose to consider whether the existing law affords a principle which can properly be invoked to protect the privacy of the individual; and, if it does, what the nature and extent of such protection is.”[4]
    Warren and Brandeis write that privacy rights should protect both businesses and private individuals. They describe rights in trade secrets and unpublished literary materials, regardless whether those rights are invaded intentionally or unintentionally, and without regard to any value they may have. For private individuals, they try to define how to protect “thoughts, sentiments, and emotions, expressed through the medium of writing or of the arts.” They describe such things as personal diaries and letters needing protection, and how that should be done: “Thus, the courts, in searching for some principle upon which the publication of private letters could be enjoined, naturally came upon the ideas of a breach of confidence, and of an implied contract.” They also define this as a breach of trust, where a person has trusted that another will not publish their personal writings, photographs, or artwork, without their permission, including any “facts relating to his private life, which he has seen fit to keep private.” And recognizing that technological advances will become more relevant, they write:
    “Now that modern devices afford abundant opportunities for the perpetration of such wrongs without any participation by the injured party, the protection granted by the law must be placed upon a broader foundation.”[4]
    Modern tort law
    In the United States today, “invasion of privacy” is a commonly used cause of action in legal pleadings. Modern tort law includes four categories of invasion of privacy:[6]
    1. Intrusion of solitude: physical or electronic intrusion into one’s private quarters.
    2. Public disclosure of private facts: the dissemination of truthful private information which a reasonable person would find objectionable
    3. False light: the publication of facts which place a person in a false light, even though the facts themselves may not be defamatory.
    4. Appropriation: the unauthorized use of a person’s name or likeness to obtain some benefits.

    Intrusion of solitude and seclusion
    Intrusion of solitude occurs where one person intrudes upon the private affairs of another. In a famous case from 1944, author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was sued by Zelma Cason, who was portrayed as a character in Rawlings’ acclaimed memoir, Cross Creek.[7] The Florida Supreme Courtheld that a cause of action for invasion of privacy was supported by the facts of the case, but in a later proceeding found that there were no actual damages.
    Intrusion upon seclusion occurs when a perpetrator intentionally intrudes, physically, electronically, or otherwise, upon the private space, solitude, or seclusion of a person, or the private affairs or concerns of a person, by use of the perpetrator’s physical senses or by electronic device or devices to oversee or overhear the person’s private affairs, or by some other form of investigation, examination, or observation intrude upon a person’s private matters if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. Hacking into someone else’s computer is a type of intrusion upon privacy,[8] as is secretly viewing or recording private information by still or video camera.[9] In determining whether intrusion has occurred, one of three main considerations may be involved: expectation of privacy; whether there was an intrusion, invitation, or exceedance of invitation; or deception, misrepresentation, or fraud to gain admission. Intrusion is “an information-gathering, not a publication, tort…legal wrong occurs at the time of the intrusion. No publication is necessary.”[10]
    Restrictions against the invasion of privacy encompasses journalists as well:
    “The First Amendment has never been construed to accord newsmen immunity from torts or crimes committed during the course of newsgathering. The First Amendment is not a license to trespass, to steal, or to intrude by electronic means into the precincts of another’s home or office.”[11][12]
    Public disclosure
    Public disclosure of private facts arises where one person reveals information which is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person.[13] “Unlike libel or slander, truth is not a defense for invasion of privacy.”[14] Disclosure of private facts includes publishing or widespread dissemination of little-known, private facts that are non-newsworthy, not part of public records, public proceedings, not of public interest, and would be offensive to a reasonable person if made public.[12]
    False light
    Main article: False light
    False light is a legal term that refers to a tort concerning privacy that is similar to the tort of defamation. For example, the privacy laws in the United States include a non-public person’s right to privacy from publicity which puts them in a false light to the public; which is balanced against theFirst Amendment right of free speech.
    False light laws are “intended primarily to protect the plaintiff’s mental or emotional well-being.”[15] If a publication of information is false, then a tort of defamation might have occurred. If that communication is not technically false but is still misleading then a tort of false light might have occurred.[15]
    The specific elements of the Tort of false light vary considerably even among those jurisdictions which do recognize this tort. Generally, these elements consist of the following:
    1. A publication by the Defendant about the Plaintiff;
    2. made with actual malice (very similar to that type required by New York Times v. Sullivan in “Defamation” cases);
    3. which places the Plaintiff in a false light; AND
    4. that would be highly offensive (i.e., embarrassing to reasonable persons).[15]
    Thus in general, the doctrine of false light holds:
    “One who gives publicity to a matter concerning another before the public in a false light is subject to liability to the other for invasion of privacy, if (a) the false light in which the other was placed would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and (b) the actor had knowledge of or acted in a reckless disregard as to the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the other would be placed.”[16]
    For this wrong, money damages may be recovered from the first person by the other.
    At first glance, this may appear to be similar to defamation (libel and slander), but the basis for the harm is different, and the remedy is different in two respects. First, unlike libel and slander, no showing of actual harm or damage to the plaintiff is usually required in false light cases, and the court will determine the amount of damages. Second, being a violation of a Constitutional right of privacy, there may be no applicable statute of limitations in some jurisdictions specifying a time limit within which period a claim must be filed.
    Consequently, although it is infrequently invoked, in some cases false light may be a more attractive cause of action for plaintiffs than libel or slander, because the burden of proof may be less onerous.
    What does “publicity” mean? A newspaper of general circulation (or comparable breadth) or as few as 3–5 people who know the person harmed? Neither defamation nor false light has ever required everyone in society be informed by a harmful act, but the scope of “publicity” is variable. In some jurisdictions, publicity “means that the matter is made public, by communicating it to the public at large, or to so many persons that the matter must be regarded as substantially certain to become one of public knowledge.”[17]
    Moreover, the standards of behavior governing employees of government institutions subject to a state or national Administrative Procedure Act (as in the United States) are often more demanding than those governing employees of private or business institutions like newspapers. A person acting in an official capacity for a government agency may find that their statements are not indemnified by the principle of agency, leaving them personally liable for any damages.
    Example: If someone’s reputation was portrayed in a false light during a personnel performance evaluation in a government agency or public university, one might be wronged if only a small number initially learned of it, or if adverse recommendations were made to only a few superiors (by a peer committee to department chair, dean, dean’s advisory committee, provost, president, etc.). Settled cases suggest false light may not be effective in private school personnel cases,[18] but they may be distinguishable from cases arising in public institutions.
    Appropriation of name or likeness
    Main article: Personality rights
    Although privacy is often a common-law tort, most states have enacted statutes that prohibit the use of a person’s name or image if used without consent for the commercial benefit of another person.[citation needed]
    Appropriation of name or likeness occurs when a person uses the name or likeness of another person for personal gain or commercial advantage. Action for misappropriation of right of publicity protects a person against loss caused by appropriation of personal likeness for commercial exploitation. A person’s exclusive rights to control his or her name and likeness to prevent others from exploiting without permission is protected in similar manner to a trademark action with the person’s likeness, rather than the trademark, being the subject of the protection.[19]
    Appropriation is the oldest recognized form of invasion of privacy involving the use of an individual’s name, likeness or identity without consent for purposes such as ads, fictional works, or products.[12]
    “The same action – appropriation —can violate either an individual’s right of privacy or right of publicity. Conceptually, however, the two rights differ.”[12]

    Constitutional basis for right to privacy
    Federal
    Although the word “privacy” is actually never used in the text of the United States Constitution,[20] there are Constitutional limits to the government’s intrusion into individuals’ right to privacy. This is true even when pursuing a public purpose such as exercising police powers or passing legislation. The Constitution, however, only protects against state actors. Invasions of privacy by individuals can only be remedied under previous court decisions.
    The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States ensures that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
    The First Amendment protects the right to free assembly, broadening privacy rights. The Ninth Amendment declares that the fact that a right is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution does not mean that the government can infringe on that right. The Supreme Court recognized theFourteenth Amendment as providing a substantive due process right to privacy. This was first recognized by several Supreme Court Justices in Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 decision protecting a married couple’s rights to contraception. It was recognized again in 1973 Roe v. Wade, which invoked the right to privacy to protect a woman’s right to an abortion, and in the 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas, which invoked the right to privacy regarding the sexual practices of same-sex couples.”

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  23. Boohoo

    I’ve been looking at your comment for the past hour. Not in shock just wondering how to answer. The first thing I would like to set straight for you is I’m not Arab American. I’m however American as are all of us my heritage would be American Indian, Swedish, and German. I’m sure Boohoo that you don’t speak for the vast majority of the City the ‘we’ you like to use so much should be changed to “I”. The “Arab crap” you refer to is City Crap the Arab center isn’t an Arab center at all. It’s a center for everyone to use. Maybe if you took half an hour out of your day to stop by the HYPE center you would see for yourself. America is a great country indeed to think someone like you is entitled to freely express such hatred openly. Yes we live in a great country and even better someone like me who would accept such disgusting comments here and even take the time to respond to them. Oh and thank you so much for giving me permission to write about the “city government” how precious is that? Enough of this I’m not the one you should be concerned with nor are Arab Americans. No you have something, or someone that you should direct your concerns towards. That’s the man who’s running this City into the ground Mayor Dan Paletko.

    For the record could you please tell me what “whining Arabs” are you talking about? I don’t see them at council meetings asking for anything. I don’t see Arab Americans holding press conferences demanding something from the City. I don’t see them protesting outside of City Hall demanding anything. I see average Americans working, paying taxes, and living their lives like everyone else. The only one “whining” is you right here on this blog Boohoo fits you well my dear.

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  24. Well, lets take race out of the equation. Does the “SOKOL” building have any religious affliation? you mentioned ” federally registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization” This could be the reason. Someone should check into that. If so (regardless off race) each building should pay the appropriate taxes unless unknown factors the pose a legit reason say otherwise.

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  25. Boohoo Kathy, When are you and the rest of you Arabs going to get the message Dearborn Heights doesn’t want you. We don’t want your Arab center to use Horvaths name for it. We don’t want your kind working for the city. Stop bringing the Arab crap to the blog give it a rest. Want to write about the city government feel free, but we don’t want to hear about the whining of the Arabs. You are right about one thing you should know better then to bring anything Arab here. Got it? Good now move on to something that’s important to everyone who lives here.

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  26. As I said to Tony I put an article that someone else wrote. I all so said that the club he wrote about is getting what he said they are according to the papers I’ve seen from the city. It’s his opinion that its being done because of race. I didn’t say that’s the case what I’m saying is there is another club that has tax exempt from the city. Why not HYPE?
    I just thought it was something interesting to read another take on the issue. At any rate I should know better by now to bring anything on this blog about Arab American it always ends up with race. I just want the same rules applied to all equal no more no less. Makes no difference what nationality that organization is. Just keep a level playing field for all concerned.

    Hope that clears it up.

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  27. I believe the decision on whether this business will be taxed is up to the Michigan Tax Tribunal and not the city. I don’t believe it’s up to the mayor to decide. According to an article in the Press & Guide, Sayed says he will wait for a decision from the tribunal and if that goes against him, he will file an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals. If that goes against him, he will pay the taxes. As to something being racist, it seems, Kathy, you’re on the teeter totter. It’s bad when the mayor says they won’t be taxed but it’s racist when the city wants to tax them. You can’t have it both ways. I would also imagine that Sokol is also doing what the tax tribunal told them they could do. It’s not the city’s decision. So where racism on the part of the city comes into it is a puzzle to me.

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  28. Tony

    I put up something that was written by someone else I pulled no card race or otherwise. The information about the club in the article is true that I do know from FOIA. He obviously did is home work and is of the opinion that something isn’t right.

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  29. When something does not go a certain way that a person or group agrees with they pull out the old race card. I cannot believe, but am not surprised that you are traveling that road. I think that Dearborn Heights and the residents have proven that we welcome the Middle Eastern Community. The HYPE Center was another deal ???? made by the Ficano administration and I believe they are a business and should be taxed.

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  30. Rose,

    HYPE is a not for profit organization. They provide wide range of community services, Their programs are in schools and other centers. I heard they are very effective and well respected. This community agency is committed to help kids and teens across the board. I visited the center and founded to be a place of great value to this area.

    HYPE project is a community center, it was funded by about $6millions HUD/Wayne county NSP grant.

    For HYPE to qualify as a developer not sub-recipient for that project they must have control over the land, the county sold HYPE the land for $$$$$$, and they become eligible to receive NSP funding as developer to develop the community center. The following may help explain the different rules for program income:

    ” Subrecipients and Developers
    When subrecipients are involved, the grantee and subrecipient may negotiate the disposition of program
    income in their agreement; there is substantial flexibility in its allocation, subject to the grantee’s
    approval. This applies to members of consortia as well. The written subrecipient agreement must specify
    whether any program income received by the subrecipient is to be returned to the grantee or retained by
    the subrecipient. If the latter, the agreement must describe which NSP-eligible activities such program
    income will fund. Subrecipients are described at 24 CFR 570.500(c). Section 570.503 describes the rules
    for subrecipient agreements. These sections are reproduced in full in Appendix 2.
    The financial records of the subrecipient (as well as the grantee) must include complete information on
    the receipt and expenditure of program income. At the end of the term of the Agreement, program
    income on hand or subsequently received by a subrecipient must be returned to the grantee unless
    otherwise specified in the subrecipient agreement. Grantees may designate a different subrecipient for
    use of program income, but should specify in the first agreement that program income will be returned to
    the grantee. In accordance with the first use rules, though, this program income may not be held for the
    disbursement to the second subrecipient. Rather, funding of the second subrecipient will be available
    from future program income or grant funds remaining in the line of credit.
    Revenues received by developers are NOT considered program income. This is because developers are
    treated in NSP as end users, not intermediaries like subrecipients. Households receiving financial
    assistance are also considered end users and are not required to operate like grantees or subrecipients,
    either. This determination derives from the CDBG regulation below; for NSP, it also applies to new
    construction.
    Assistance to private individuals and entities, including profit making and nonprofit organizations,
    to acquire for the purpose of rehabilitation, and to rehabilitate properties, for use or resale for
    residential purposes; 24 CFR 570.202 (b)(1)
    Although revenues received by developers are not considered program income, grantees and
    subrecipients may negotiate terms for transactions which result in the return of some revenues to the
    grantee or subrecipient. To avoid unduly enriching third parties such as developers, NSP funds must be
    carefully underwritten. Depending on the underwriting analysis, grantees may require developers to treat
    the NSP funds as a loan, or may negotiate the return of a percentage of the revenues from rents.
    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 3
    Office of Block Grant Assistance
    2011-0

    The county facilitate for HYPE to become a developer then granted them the NSP funding to build the center.

    I don’t know the details of the project underwings or if the developer agreement content obligations on HYPE to return a portion of the program income or restrictions on its use.

    HYPE president said they are facing a serious financial challenges after not qualifying for property tax exemption, the case currently under review by the state.

    I hope that helped simplify this issue.

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