State rep: no more heat shut-offs

State rep: no more heat shut-offs

There are 122 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Feb 16, 2009, titled State rep: no more heat shut-offs. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

A Muskegon County state representative is calling for an investigation into whether the state could have prevented the deaths of two children in a house fire.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

DJL

United States

#102 Feb 17, 2009
As is typical of the government, the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing.
Tragic.
Will

Broomfield, CO

#103 Feb 17, 2009
Dian Stallings wrote:
Who ever is at fault here, and there are two sides, has left two precious children dead. This is America folks. We need to start caring about each other. Let's get this bill passed. Kudos to Mary Valentine.
I am sick of legislators that rush in to exploit every tragedy by announcing they are going to pass legislation so "that this terrible tragedy never happens again." Whatever.

Legislation will not compensate for lack of personal and corporate responsibility.

Seems to me that maybe Mary Valentine ought to go talk to her friend Granholm and ask her why she accepts tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from DTE Energy and other utilities while they jack up our rates and run their monopoly.

Maybe this is all Granholm's fault, because she turns a blind eye to the abuses of DTE after she takes their campaign money.
Justice Mom

Lansing, MI

#104 Feb 17, 2009
I am always amazed at the folks who think its all black and white. Yes, DTE is a business. And yes, there are agencies to go to...but they don't hand checks out willy-nilly. These processes take a long time, usually, because of the work load at DHS and other places. For those out there who think that everyone without your good fortune are losers who just don't WANT to pay, well, you need a reality check. As far as offering the utility company some sort of payment...well, good luck! I've had to do that before and they aren't interested...
Home Heating Credit

Greenville, MI

#105 Feb 17, 2009
Help in paying heating bills is available to low income people. In early January the home heating credit forms were sent out to people receiving assistance. My neighbors sent their form back right away and recived their credit by the end of January. It was a voucher they gave to their propane company. Also free help is available to fill out the form.
Pissed

United States

#106 Feb 17, 2009
I am not gonna pay anymore of my bills....period!!!!!
own choice

Plainwell, MI

#107 Feb 17, 2009
Jan wrote:
<quoted text>
But what has Obama done for these people? NOTHING. Obama promised everything to everyone and then didn't deliver. He LIED!
He has only been in office for a month. Do you think he is a miracle worker. Give the guy a chance. This is way off the subject of the death of the two inocent children.
Jan

Broomfield, CO

#108 Feb 17, 2009
own choice wrote:
<quoted text>
He has only been in office for a month. Do you think he is a miracle worker. Give the guy a chance. This is way off the subject of the death of the two inocent children.
Obama promised all kinds of miracles when he was campaigning last fall, but now "he needs more time." The fact is that he has no clue what he is doing and he is running up massive debt ten times worse than anything Bush did.

He has not stopped the Iraq War like he said he would, he has not repealed NAFTA like he said he would, and he is just full of nothing but hot air and empty promises. He is like Granholm on a national level - lies and empty promises.
John Doe

Fulton, MI

#109 Feb 17, 2009
In watching multiple stories regarding this tragic event,I saw the mother saw say she was at work and the grandmother state she was at the store. Who was the responsible part at home with these young children?
Chelsea Sooner

Lansing, MI

#110 Feb 17, 2009
Pissed wrote:
I am not gonna pay anymore of my bills....period!!!!!
Well good luck at the shelter you'll be bunking at after those shut-offs roll in.
John M

Rockford, MI

#111 Feb 17, 2009
You know the way people are all talking on here it is hard for me to believe that our species ever survived winters in the past before we had heaters. Why is it that the indians never froze to death? How is it that the human before heaters ever survived?
biker mike

Grand Rapids, MI

#112 Feb 17, 2009
internet troll wrote:
Sweet. I from now on I am not paying my electric or gas bill.
Apparently it's fine if I have 80K in the bank and still don't pay my bills.
I can't believe people are blaming the gas company for the foolish decisions of the parents in the house fire.
A Kerosene heater inside, with no cap on the fuel cell, hear flammable products (laundry), and the fault lies with the utility company.
Should we also sue the local grocery store for not giving free food off their shelves to every unemployed or homeless person? I mean, people can add a few layers of clothing if it's cold...but you gotta eat.
When does it stop? How long can the gas company go without getting paid, now that we have all agreed that they can't shut of the gas to deadbeats.
you sorry piece of sh^t im sure if it were your kids or a loved one you would feel different but then again probably not you cold hearted sob people like you who judge other people by the size of their wallet make me puke id like to ring your pathetic little neck

“Infinitely Interesting”

Since: Jan 09

Kalamazoo, MI

#113 Feb 17, 2009
I grew up poor. I know what it is to make too much money to receive aid, but not enough to pay all your bills down the line. You have to make sacrifices and choose those bills that NEED to be paid. Set up a payment plan, do something. There really is no excuse for their lack of effort over 6 months. Another thing that catches my eye, the mother was working, the grandma was working, what about the other 5 deadbeats that were living in the house? What where they doing? Another issue, why couldn't those 5 adults get the children out. I am sorry, but I would burn alive before letting a child die from my mistakes. Gross negligence end of story. I have seen poor people and I have seen users. This definitely could have been prevented and it really has nothing to do with DTE cutting the heat.

“Infinitely Interesting”

Since: Jan 09

Kalamazoo, MI

#114 Feb 17, 2009
Jan wrote:
<quoted text>
Obama promised all kinds of miracles when he was campaigning last fall, but now "he needs more time." The fact is that he has no clue what he is doing and he is running up massive debt ten times worse than anything Bush did.
He has not stopped the Iraq War like he said he would, he has not repealed NAFTA like he said he would, and he is just full of nothing but hot air and empty promises. He is like Granholm on a national level - lies and empty promises.
It took Georgie boy 8 years to rack up our national debt and get us into a war. Obama has been president just shy of 4 weeks and you think he can change everything in that time. You are clueless if you think Obama or ANYONE for that matter is capable of correcting the 8 years of problems that Bush left us with in less than a month. Big Dreamin Clueless!!!!!!!!!!
Old Rocker

Deerfield, IL

#115 Feb 17, 2009
Home Heating Credit wrote:
Help in paying heating bills is available to low income people. In early January the home heating credit forms were sent out to people receiving assistance. My neighbors sent their form back right away and recived their credit by the end of January. It was a voucher they gave to their propane company. Also free help is available to fill out the form.
Trouble is, there are some people who are either too ignorant too irresponsible or too lazy to follow up on these programs. They are walking around oblivious to their surroundings. You can't help everyone. People need to learn to help themselves. Sadly, many never will and it's the children who suffer and then grow up to behave the same way.
Obama

United States

#116 Feb 17, 2009
biker mike wrote:
<quoted text> you sorry piece of sh^t im sure if it were your kids or a loved one you would feel different but then again probably not you cold hearted sob people like you who judge other people by the size of their wallet make me puke id like to ring your pathetic little neck
You welfare bums sure are violent.
Pissed

United States

#117 Feb 18, 2009
Chelsea Sooner wrote:
<quoted text>
Well good luck at the shelter you'll be bunking at after those shut-offs roll in.
It won't happen because my car is now my home

“Have a nice day!”

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#118 Feb 18, 2009
I think I will stop paying my bill as well. Maybe I'll start buying lottery tickets and cigarettes.. or maybe just tuck it away somewhere...
I'm already thinking about stopping paying on my house as well. Why not? Doesn't it seem like the only ones getting bailed out are the irresponsible?
I would have moved in with relatives before using a kerosene heater and NEVER would have left my children alone.
safety 1rst

Littleton, CO

#119 Feb 18, 2009
I agree you should pay your bills or at least attempt to, but there still needs to be a safety net in place to protect children and the elderly.
About a month ago there was a big fire about a block from my house. It was caused by an alternative heat source. It was no fault of the tenants who lived there. The gas was included in the rent, the landlord nor the property management company paid the bill. DTE knew there was kids there (because they came to the door and saw them)the tenants explained to DTE that the gas was included, they tried contacting the landlord and the property management company and it went to voicemail. DTE still turned off the gas. The girl sent her 2 children to stay at her mothers until something could be worked out. The property management company brought over electric heaters for all 3 apartments until they could get ahold of the landlord. About 3 days later a fire broke out in the attic from all the strain from the electric heaters. Nobody was hurt or killed but if the fire would've happened at night it might have been a different story since it did alot of damage.

Since: Jan 09

Hersey, Michigan

#120 Feb 18, 2009
John M wrote:
Why is it that the indians never froze to death?
They made more Indians under buffalo skin rugs.
Joy W-Grand Haven

Grand Haven, MI

#121 Feb 18, 2009
I am deeply sorry for the loss of the kids, and for their family. But I do not agree with Ms. Valentine that the fire is the fault of the gas comapany. Yes, there should be accomodations for the disabled and elderly, as they often are on set and very limited incomes and also often have special equipment that needs ongoing heat and electric. But since when is the gas company responsible for the fact that the family put a kerosene heater too close to combustibles? Since when is the gas company responsible for the fact that the adults in the home did not make getting the children out FIRST a priority? Now, I am NOT blaming the family-they are hurting enough. My only point is don't put blame where it doesn't belong. We cannot give free heat to everyone...we are already too much of an entitlement-minded society. But we CAN create more "heat and electric banks" that people can contribute to to help those in need. And we need to make access to existing help easier. And, more neighbors need to just be helping each other directly during times such as these. God Bless those beautiful kids.

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