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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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What’s going on at Eastern Market?

If you have been down to Eastern Market lately you may have noticed a number of road and bridge construction projects. They are part of a project called Link Detroit that is comprised of four major elements: - Extension and connections of greenways Phase 2 of the Dequindre Cut and Phase 4 of the Midtown Loop will soon be completed. When they are connected at the northeast corner of Wilkins and Orleans you w ...

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At 99: Thoughts. Thanks. Questions.

To begin with, my thoughts this week are with my friend, Micah Fialka-Feldman, who will be undergoing open heart surgery in Ann Arbor. Next, I want to thank the folks who called, sent cards or came to wish me a Happy 99, last weekend. Special thanks to filmmaker Grace Lee and her team for producing “The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” and to PBS/POV for showing it nationally. ...

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Water choices

The pursuit of profits is endangering the health and wellbeing of everyone in Detroit. What Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Jones Day and the corporate powers they serve termed a business necessity is being revealed to the world as a violation of the most basic human right to water. This crisis was orchestrated to make the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department more attractive to buyers. Claiming they are not “ ...

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