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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Elections in Michigan

As the elections draw near, the political ads increase, as does the commentary. Jack Lessenberry writes about the confusion over ballot proposals.
I thought about what a farce the whole ballot proposal game has become. Most of the state's voters won't vote on these ballot proposals. Many of those who do will misunderstand them. Those who put these proposals on the ballot know that perfectly well. In fact, in many cases they want to fool the voters, as Mark Grebner, founder of the East Lansing base firm Practical Political Consulting, cheerfully confessed.

That's why this morning I heard Kirk Gibson, a washed-up baseball player, urging voters to support dove hunting. The evildoers who would ban killing this bird of peace, he said, are actually secretly plotting to take away our right to do any hunting at all.
Students across the state are learning about elections through their school government classes. At this writing, Ed Wodek's Leland Public School government students, as well as students from 10 area schools, are learning about elections through hosting a rally featuring political candidates from across the state. Dig Michigan writes:
They are getting ready to host 1,000 students from 10 schools in Leelanau County and Traverse City who will hear from state and national candidates and cast their votes. This year's rally will also be broadcast live over the Internet by MichiganLiveEvents.com and at Absolute Michigan.

Wodek created the project 20 years ago as a way to engage students in learning about civics and democracy and students research a candidate to speak on their behalf or serve on committees charged with coordinating public relations, construction, technology, painting, programs and ballots.
The Traverse City Record reports:
Each student researches a candidate or serves on committees charged with coordinating public relations, construction, technology, painting, programs and ballots. Those assigned to candidates will deliver speeches at the rally to try to capture fellow students' votes.

Candidates slated to appear at the rally include 101st District state Rep. David Palsrok, R-Manistee, and Democratic challenger Dan Scripps; 35th District state Sen. Michelle McManus, R-Lake Leelanau, and Democratic opponent Antoinette Schippers; and 4th District U.S. Congressman Dave Camp, R-Midland, and Democratic challenger Mike Huckleberry.
Read or listen to Essay: Curious Proposals - 11/1/06 by Jack Lessenberry's Essays and Interviews
Also read or listen to the companion, Interview: Mark Grebner - 11/1/06 by Jack Lessenberry's Essays and Interviews
And read Michigan Mock Election Coverage on Dig Michigan featuring a link to the LIVE Webcast - 9 AM - Noon today

# posted by Tami @ 10:11 PM 2 comments links to this post

Carrot and Olive Salad by Kitchen Chick

Kitchen Chick has a wonderful 'pan-North African' recipe for Carrot and Olive Salad. She writes:
I wanted something light and fresh and healthy (i.e. more vegetables!) as a side. This carrot and olive salad turned out to not only be tasty in itself but also to be a good pairing with our sausage dish.
Read Carrot and Olive Salad by Kitchen Chick for insight and the recipe!

# posted by Tami @ 11:06 AM 1 comments links to this post
Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Storm Water Gardens, great and small

Water Lily
Photo by oakwood.
The GLRC writes:
Cities around the country are trying to figure out how to encourage economic growth, and protect the environment at the same time. Stephanie Hemphill reports on one case where both could be winners:

Like a lot of cities, runoff from this city's streets - polluted with salt, oil, and fertilizer - flows into a waterway. In Duluth, Minnesota, the waterway is Lake Superior.

A local group wants to turn some vacant land near a popular downtown park into a storm water garden that would clean up runoff.

But city councilor Jim Stauber says by state law, the publicly-owned land must be used for economic development.
In Michigan, there are groups throughout the state offering information to residents about how storm water impacts their environment and what they can do to help. One such organization is Rain Gardens of West Michigan. They are
an environmental education program focused on stormwater education, and on the values of using rain gardens and native plants in the landscape to improve urban and suburban water quality.
The Times Herald of Port Huron recently published an article highlighting Kristen Jurs.
(S)he's growing the sedum plants on the roof of an entrance to her basement.

The bed of plants is known as a green roof - a patch of plants covering the roof of a structure to absorb rainwater, filter run-off and help control heating and cooling.
Jurs, storm-water coordinator at the St. Clair County Health Department, said she installed the roof in May 2005 as an example and to get people thinking differently.

"I wanted to show people it wasn't such a crazy idea," she said. "I decided to do a little pilot project here and show them it can work."

Jurs has done little to no maintenance on the roof - there's no watering or weed whacking necessary - and excess water is funneled through a pipe into a rain box, which is used to water bonsai trees in the yard.

"It's kind of a long road in Michigan (to get people interested)," Jurs said. "But it's happening."

Read or listen to STORM WATER GARDENS: GOOD FOR CITY GROWTH? on The Environment Report
Learn more about Rain Gardens of West Michigan
Read Municipality turns to green Ira Township installs unique natural roof by the Times Herald (Port Huron)

NOTE: The photo at right above is from the Absolute Michigan Pool on Flickr.

# posted by Tami @ 11:09 AM 1 comments links to this post
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy All Hallows' Eve, Michigan!

According to Wikipedia:
Halloween (Also called Hallowe'en, All Hallows Eve, All Saints' Eve, Samhain, Spooky Day, Snap-Apple Night) is a tradition celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting sweets, fruit, and other treats. It is celebrated in parts of the Western world, most commonly in the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and with increasing popularity in Australia, New Zealand, as well as the Philippines. Halloween originated as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain with Irish, Scots, Welsh and other immigrants transporting versions of the tradition to North America in the 19th century. Most other Western countries have embraced Halloween as a part of American pop culture in the late 20th century.
Read the complete Halloween entry on Wikipedia
Take a look at Happy Halloween! by detroitarts
Take a look at Happy Halloween by Detroit News Photo Blogger, Brandy Baker
Take a look at Happy Hallowe'en! by Lost Arts studio
Visit the Pumpkin Patch Pool on Flickr and try not to get lost!

# posted by Tami @ 10:56 AM 0 comments links to this post
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