Upcoming Events

Our guest for lunch this week was Oakland County Prosecutor, Jessica Cooper. Elected to the post in November of 2008, she is the first woman to ever hold that position. Prior to being elected prosecutor, she served a total of 28 years as a Judge sitting on the Southfield District Court, the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals. As the chief law enforcement officer in Oakland county, she works with 47 different police agencies, both state and federal, to see that the Michigan laws are enforced and convictions are obtained and affirmed. She leads an office with 180 employees in ten divisions and prosecutes cases involving violent crimes, robberies, domestic and child abuse, mortgage fraud and a variety of other crimes. Her office prosecutes between 14,000 and 20,000 cases a year and, under her stewardship, has a Circuit Court conviction rate of 97%. Jessica provided an update on synthetic drugs including K2, Spice and others.

Our guest for lunch this week was John Herrington. John is in his 41st year as varsity head football coach at Farmington Hills Harrison High School, and his 50th year of teaching. He is the only coach in the history of the school’s football program. In November 2010, Herrington guided the Harrison Hawks to a state-record 13th state title, capturing the Michigan Division 2 championship at Ford Field in Detroit. His career record now stands at 385-88-1, which includes a perfect 14-0 record in 2010. Herrington is a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. He was also named the Detroit Lions first ever High School Coach of the Year in 1997. Twenty-eight football coaches from across the country were named finalists for the inaugural Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award in 2011. The Detroit Lions selected Farmington Hills Harrison High School coach, John Herrington, as their nominee.

Our guest for lthis week was Itsy Lieberman. He's a Senior Fitness Guru and the 2012 recipient of the Alvin Foon Memorial Humanitarian Award by the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation. More recently, he teaches Sunrise Chi. Chi means “Life’s Energy”, and as he leads students through class, he takes their energy and gives it back to them a thousand times over. As the son of a former member of Detroit’s legendary Purple Gang, Itsy Lieberman climbed from truly humble beginnings to success as a coach and as an automotive marketing legend. As the son of a former member of Detroit’s legendary Purple Gang, Itsy Lieberman climbed from truly humble beginnings to success as a coach and as an automotive marketing legend. Itsy talked about his rules for getting ahead on the playing fields of life – rules that have also worked for such luminaries as his friend and former Pistons, Coach Chuck Daly. Throughout his long career, Itsy has met most of the movers and shakers in the automotive industry, in Hollywood and in sports. In his book, he introduces us to them. His stories are never mean-spirited, sometimes touching, often hilarious and always entertaining.

Our guest for lunch this week was Jack Kay, an expert on extremist groups and hate speech in cyberspace. "Hate messages have always been in the background of political and social rhetoric, regardless of the specific medium," says Kay, a professor in communication, media and theatre arts at Eastern Michigan University. "The messages are not new. What is new is the ease by which those messages can be both broadcast and narrowcast, and the ability of people to take in such messages anonymously and vicariously." Narrowcasting, or target marketing, involves aiming media messages at specific segments of the public, usually by radio or television. Kay, who specializes in the power of language, is nationally known for his extensive research on the communications strategies of some groups we won't even mention in this corner of cyberspace. Just as political campaigns are becoming more sophisticated in their information gathering and ability to target messages, "purveyors of hate" are learning to target their messages to sympathizers and recruits, according to Kay.

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