Village Life:  We all need a “madness-free” zone
Feb02

Village Life: We all need a “madness-free” zone

By The Rev. Dan Scheid Closing St. Paul’s every-Tuesday lunch ministry for the end of November and all of December last year was one of the more frustrating calls I’ve had to make as parish priest. I had been noticing, along with volunteers and lunch guests, that tension and tempers in the parish hall were rising all year, and on consecutive weeks in November, scuffles broke out. The first was over an accusation of a stolen cell phone...

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Village Life:  Midnight run leads to handcuffs and a jolt about privilege
Jan06

Village Life: Midnight run leads to handcuffs and a jolt about privilege

Editor’s note:  EVM editor Jan Worth-Nelson offered her Village Life column this month to Flint-based writer Connor Coyne, who has a good story to tell. By Connor Coyne Chicago in one day is always a whirlwind, but I did it anyway because in the writing life, a person will do almost anything for an audience and a mug of good beer. I had been invited to read at a literary event among old friends and I didn’t have the luxury of an...

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Village Life:  Buckle up for the pursuit of truth
Nov27

Village Life: Buckle up for the pursuit of truth

 Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. By Jan Worth-Nelson There’s a room in our house I can’t go into right now. It’s the den, a formerly beloved room we’ve always nestled into, a small...

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Village Life:  Getting on the bus might help alleviate community’s “toxic stress”
Nov03

Village Life: Getting on the bus might help alleviate community’s “toxic stress”

By Jan Worth-Nelson The water crisis has taken its toll on more than our pipes. As Elizabeth Burtch, a supervisor at Genesee Health System puts it, “There is a lot of anxiety out there, a lot.” And there’s what she calls “toxic stress,” leading to understandable but troubling reactions such as obsessive water hoarding,  exacerbated physical symptoms, confusion, guilt and anger. And for the most part, the precipitating triggers have...

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Village Life:  City Council meeting a mess of bedlam:  is this how Flint reclaims self-rule?
Sep30

Village Life: City Council meeting a mess of bedlam: is this how Flint reclaims self-rule?

By Jan Worth-Nelson This week I lost my city council virginity. It wasn’t pretty. Like most losses of virginity, it wasn’t particularly enjoyable and I’m not sure I want a repeat experience. Some things get better with practice – and are especially improved by having good partners. I don’t know if I can count on any of that in the city council chambers. In my 35 years in Flint, including 26 years at the UM – Flint, going to a city...

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Village Life:  scratch a Flintoid these days, you’ll find a chemist
Sep01

Village Life: scratch a Flintoid these days, you’ll find a chemist

By Jan Worth-Nelson One Thursday in August, as Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards was presenting his most recent findings to the cameras and lights nearby, another less glamorous group of us — me a lone reporter in the third row — were sitting restlessly in a chemistry class at City Hall. It was actually a meeting of the Flint Water Recovery Group, an ongoing consortium of social service agencies and residents closely...

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