As most of us in the United States are becoming familiar with the term Polar Vortex, we should now take the time to find out why this was not an issue 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. As Our weather increasingly becomes colder, it should at the very minimum make you ask questions. What is going on? Why is the weather so extreme? Obviously, we should not look to politicians who have financial skin in the game for answers. We should ask people who care about the survival of our planet what is happening.
I have lived in Michigan all of my life. The snow is Michigan weather as I remember as a youth. This extreme cold is new. No need for anyone to panic. It is what it is, but if there is something our society can do to reverse what is happening, then we should do so. Why the politicians can’t error on the side of caution on this issue. All have families. I have skin in this game. As a widowed mother of four adult children, a daughter-in-law, son-in-law and seven grandchildren I want a place for future generations to enjoy as I have.
Why does it take a catastrophic event for world leaders to come together peacefully and work on a plan to end (what some refuse to say or call it) global warming. Do we need an event like the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” depicted? I am not a scientist, politician, or my name isn’t on the Forbes list. I am a citizen of planet earth and as a citizen I know what I have observed in my 59.5 years here. The weather pattern had definitely changed. The weather has changed for the worst only for those who can’t survive the bitter cold. Should this then be a survival of the fittest game. If that is the game the politicians are playing we all lose. Even the top 1% will lose if you can’t live on this planet. Hopefully they are not playing a game of chicken like they did with the debt ceiling.
Mr. Rose and some Erickson students
Erickson Elementary School (Ypsilanti Community Schools in Mich.) has systematically restored my faith in the public school system. As a mother of 4 (four) adult children who went through the public school system, I watch the deterioration of the school system. Parent’s and educators alike seemed to no longer be engaged in what our children were learning. I was very active in my children’s education, at times sitting in the class rooms if my children had complaints, so I could make a determination of what the issue was. This dedication paid off.
Under the leadership of Principle, Aaron Rose, Erickson Elementary has set a new standard for excellence in education. I am a volunteer in Mrs. Jan Duncan, a second grade teachers class. I have watched how gentle, yet authoritative she is. She works diligently daily with the children, even giving those who need special attention what they need. Under Mrs. Duncan’s tutelage I have watched the growth of the children entrusted to her care. The school is doing their part in the education of the children that attend Erickson. They can’t do it alone. Parents have an important role to play. Parents must reinforce at home what the children are taught in school.
I have also watched the interaction between the staff. They are professional at all times. Everyone I come in contact with has a smile and they say good morning to you. As a volunteer I enjoy being a part of this excellence. The atmosphere at Erickson Elementary is warm and inviting for staff, parents, children and volunteers.
Next Thursday, January 30, 2014 I will post a statement from Principle, Aaron Rose about his vision for the school.
If you did not attend the Plymouth Ice Festival this year, you miss having a wonderful time with family. Downtown Plymouth is a beautiful place with quaint shops. In the center of downtown the festival was held. Walking through the crowd of umbrellas on a damp winter day was fun. Upon approaching the entrance to the festival I was in awe of all the intrinsic designs within my view. The festival had something for everyone.
There was wood carving which I found fascinating. Disney Jr. was there and they kept the children (and adult children like myself) engaged. I restrained myself from getting on stage with the children. I truly believe the key to a happy life is to feel free to have fun and not concern yourself about what others may think.
There was a warming tent, which was greatly appreciated. As I entered, there was an array of activities for children, including face painting. I passed on the face painting, but maybe next time I will try it. After leaving the warming tent we took a stroll through downtown Plymouth. First stop, Starbucks. Next stop, a charming bakery which had the most fabulous ginger cookies I have ever tasted. My family and I decided we are going back to Plymouth this summer to enjoy strolling downtown and visiting the shops in warmer weather.
If you did not attend the Ice Festival this year, mark your calendars for next year. I guarantee you and your family will have a wonderful day.
Foster Grandparents meet at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Senior Center in Ann Arbor.
The Foster Grandparent Program of Washtnaw County, Mich., is supervised by Cresha Reed. Every third Thursday of each month there is an in service held at the Senior Center in Ypsilanti. This in-service keeps all of the grandparents informed of current issues that effect seniors.
The in-service for January was in celebration of Dr. Kings birthday and Ms. Reed had guest speakers who spoke to that time in history. The first guest speaker was an 82-year-old Prisoner of War in the Korean Conflict, 24th Infantry Regiment Buffalo Soldier named Robert Fletcher. Mr. Fletcher told a fascinating story of life as a black man in the Army and after being captured. He discussed how it felt to return home after serving his county and being held captive for 34 months . His story was very compelling and you could almost visualize what it was like for him.
The next speaker was Dr. Elizabeth Allen. A 73-year-old black woman, an Army captain, nurse with a master’s degree who served in Vietnam. Her face has graced the cover of many magazines because she chaired the Commission for Agent Orange, a chemical used during the Vietnam War that caused illness for the troops, and had a bill put through Congress that would take care of some of the medical bills of these veterans.
Dr. Elizabeth Allen speaks at the Foster Grandparents monthly meeting at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Senior Center.
She told us about the governments Project 100,000. A program designed to draft 100,000 black men who did not qualify to be drafted. They drafted 350,000 black men who otherwise would have been denied. These men for used for Army combat. Since they did not qualify to be drafted once there service was over they did not qualify for benefits. A very sad time for our country.
The meeting concluded with lunch and Dr. Kings “I Have a Dream” speech playing in the background.