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‘What time is it on the clock of the world?’

Living for Change By Grace Lee Boggs Special to the Michigan Citizen  At almost 100 years old, I experience falls, new levels of pain and difficulties moving. I also feel the need to reflect on that which has sustained me over these years. In particular I want to emphasize the importance of philosophy in my life.  When I started college I had no idea what I was going to study.  Japan had just invaded Manchu ...

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Teaching responsibility

In the booklet, “Responsibility, Foundations of Democracy,” the Center for Civic Education lists six sources of responsibility: Promises, assignments, occupation, rules and laws, customs, and civic principles. I don’t disagree with this list. But in my 25 years as a physical education teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, I discovered much simple ways of teaching responsibility, ways that are also availabl ...

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Healthy food access includes first foods

An amazing thing has happened to me since my second son was born nearly one year ago. When we are in public places like the library or the grocery store and I need to feed him, I have gotten resounding messages of support and encouragement from virtual strangers — many of them also mothers, but some of them are not. I cannot express how reaffirming this encouragement is, because breastfeeding is hard. Women ...

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To market, to market

Summer sizzles with farmer-friendly fresh food and fun. This is the time of year when people don’t think me crazy when I say, “eat like a rainbow.” You have heard it before: Fruits and vegetables are not only good for you, they are your ticket to a lifetime of disease-free health. They are not just for preventing disease; they provide essential nutrients and minerals that research has shown will ease chroni ...

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A disturbing trend

I am concerned. In the last two weeks, I have personally heard of three separate incidents in which the city of Detroit has completely mowed over or even bulldozed community-maintained green spaces or gardens. I met a woman who was nearly in tears describing how the fruit trees she planted over four years ago, which were just entering their first year of active fruit production, were mowed down in the blink ...

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Gardening: From the Paleolithic to the Neolithic

Over the 4th of July weekend, I enjoyed a visit from Michelle Lin, landscape architect and former Detroiter who now lives in NYC and builds rooftop gardens. As we talked, I thought about how new societies evolve from gardening, and about how ingenious human beings have been over the millennia in finding new spaces for gardening when space on the ground becomes unavailable. Two-and-a-half million years ago, ...

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WATER: City officials quiet on shut-offs; DWSD dysfunction victimizes many

Although Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr promised citizens that emergency management would mean improved city services, their program of water shut offs has left thousands of residents without the most essential service: water. Citizens who lined up outside the west side DWSD payment center, July 8, told stories revealing DWSD’s dysfunction more than the customers’ delinquency. DWSD reports ...

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