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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Village Life:  It’s been a little hard to write about nuthatches
Aug06

Village Life: It’s been a little hard to write about nuthatches

By Jan Worth-Nelson I’d really like to go back to writing about nuthatches. A buddy of mine recently gently noted that my Village Life columns seem to have strayed from the easy-going neighborly flavor of my early years on the back page (or tucked into some weekend post online, like here and now).  This observer was sitting in my sunroom, one of the best spots in our beloved house. So it made sense, when my friend stared out at...

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Village Life:  When you need to turn to art, how satisfying to find it here
Jul15

Village Life: When you need to turn to art, how satisfying to find it here

By Jan Worth-Nelson Maybe it feels like we have to, but we can’t think about water all the time. We can’t worry about water all the time. We can’t be depressed about politics all the time. We can’t be sad about Orlando — and now Baton Rouge, and now Minneapolis, and now Dallas, and now Nice, and now Turkey — all the time. We can’t be angry about gun violence all the time. We can’t mourn the extinctions of blameless...

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Village Life: Primal scream, anybody?  This is going on too long
Apr25

Village Life: Primal scream, anybody? This is going on too long

By Jan Worth-Nelson I was warned: I had Kleenex at the ready. Still, when my tears started up in the dark during Flint Youth Theater’s production of “The Most (Blank) City in America” Saturday night at the Elgood Theater, they hit me like a squall. I was crying for this beleaguered, heartbreaking, devastated town. And for all of us entangled in its travails. Andrew Morton’s powerful, participatory play, framed around the...

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Pretending to be happy:  smart guys say it works
Apr04

Pretending to be happy: smart guys say it works

This column first appeared in the April, 2009 edition. In light of the rough “Winter of the Water” and all of its depressing side-effects Flintoids have survived, it seems appropriate to remind ourselves of these ideas again. By Jan Worth-Nelson Sheepishly, I admit it: two of my favorite words are “lugubrious” and “lachrymose.” They’re fun to say. I dare you to say them out loud yourself, right now, in Steady Eddy’s or the Lunch...

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Village Life:  Flint’s water story triggers writers’ unease
Mar03

Village Life: Flint’s water story triggers writers’ unease

By Jan Worth-Nelson Scene One: I’m sitting under a yellow umbrella with Andrew Highsmith and my husband Ted in a sunny plaza at a California university. The yellow makes our faces look like we’ve smeared ourselves with dandelions. It’s a chilly but sunny 63. Highsmith has just gone back for seconds on his drink. “This diet black cherry soda is unbelievably good,” he says. I’m finishing my avocado and quinoa salad and Ted is leaning...

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