Book Review:  “American Dialogue” offers indispensable conversation between “then” and “now”
Jul13

Book Review: “American Dialogue” offers indispensable conversation between “then” and “now”

By Robert R. Thomas In assessing the here and now, history offers an indispensable perspective. American Dialogue is an enlightening example. As author and historian Joseph Ellis puts it, “The study of history is an ongoing conversation between past and present from which we all have much to learn.” Subtitled The Founders and Us, his book’s focus is a dialogue between America’s founding fathers and our current historical state. “We...

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Village Life:  A raptor crash heralded my life with birds
Jul08

Village Life: A raptor crash heralded my life with birds

By Teddy Robertson Smack! The front legs of my chair leave the floor, my hands pop off the laptop keyboard; I jerk backward.  A split second, then a tinkling sound ripples over my left shoulder.  I turn and look: in the storm window beside me fissures radiate outward as if pushed by an invisible hand.  Something’s struck the plate glass almost dead center. I’m out the door — scanning the front porch for a clue — but the missile...

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Commentary:   A funny thing happened on the way to the election
Jul02

Commentary: A funny thing happened on the way to the election

By Paul Rozycki Note:  This column has been updated for a correction via City Clerk Inez Brown: it was the city’s Finance Department that initially omitted the $320,000 in the budget for this year’s election, not the City Council–Ed. For most cities, villages, and townships, an election is a pretty routine thing.  Candidates file, their names go on the ballot, they campaign, voters go to the polls, and the next set...

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Commentary:  Fix the roads?  Who gets the money?
Jun03

Commentary: Fix the roads? Who gets the money?

By Paul Rozycki Gov. Whitmer is continuing her statewide campaign to garner support for a 45 cent gas tax increase, which would be used to “fix the damn roads.”  It remains to be seen whether or not she will get what she wants.  Most public opinion polls show little support for the large increase.  Republicans in the legislature have already called the proposal a “non-starter,” and it seems to have little chance of success in Lansing....

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Commentary:  Fix the “damn roads”?  But how do we pay for the “damn roads”?
May04

Commentary: Fix the “damn roads”? But how do we pay for the “damn roads”?

By Paul Rozycki Are you ready to “fix the damn roads?”  It was Gov. Whitmer’s campaign promise, and just about everyone agrees that it’s job one for Michigan this year. But, how do we pay for it?  By most estimates, the state needs to raise about $2.5 billion to get the job done.  And even then, it will take years to undo the harm from the underinvestment over the past decades. In 2018, only 77 percent of the state’s roads were in...

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Village Life:  In LA or Flint, tai chi yields gifts of challenge, elation, peace
Apr01

Village Life: In LA or Flint, tai chi yields gifts of challenge, elation, peace

By Teddy Robertson “Breathe from the diaphragm,” says Beverly, my tai chi instructor. “Clear your mind; try to go slowly,” she reminds us before we begin. We never go slowly enough. We stand in two rows in a large room, the dining hall in a senior center. Some wear the thin-soled martial arts slippers that help in tai chi’s turns and kicks, glides and slides. Through its floor-to-ceiling windows a hummingbird jabs at the orange and...

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