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Thursday, July 29, 2010

A CADL call

I'm a little nervous these days, and that's because the Capital Area District Library here in Ingham County, Michigan, has its millage up for renewal on August 3.

Not only am I a patron of the Capital Area District Library (CADL), but I am also employed there. 90 percent of CADL's operating costs come from our millage, which is derived from homeowner's property tax in the county. Since property values have decreased substantially in Ingham County (and the rest of Michigan, for that matter) over the last four years, CADL will not receive as much money as it did before. Therefore, if the millage does not pass, the library system will close (and yours truly will be out of a job by the end of 2010, as will all of my CADL cohorts). But the loss of the library system will have more far-reaching consequences beyond my own self-interests. Everyone in the county, and all of our non-Ingham County patrons, will be without a library system. They'll have to look elsewhere for the services we provide.

If there is anyone out there reading this who has any interest in this millage, I urge you to go out and vote "YES" on August 3. In addition, I want you to know that we at CADL have, for the last year or so, taken big steps to streamline our operation to maximize our budget. We're all tightening our belts.

Anyway, I think CADL will be okay and we'll get this millage passed. I've seen a lot of positive feedback and comments regarding the libraries in the last few days, so my fears have been assuaged somewhat. Still, the possibility of NOT passing the millage is scary as hell. I'll be relieved when this is all over (that is, I'll be relieved when this is all over AND this millage has passed).

So Ingham County folks, think of how terrible our community would be without a public library system, and please, please go out and vote YES on the CADL millage on Tuesday, August 3.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The first (and the way things usually go, the ONLY) July post

Hi folks, I’m back again for what, these days, amounts to my monthly blog post.

So what’s been going on since the last time I wrote in this blog almost a month ago?

On June 12, I was stressing out about Tom Izzo’s flirtation with the NBA. Well, thank God for all of us MSU fans, Izzo is staying put. It was a tense few weeks, that’s for sure. It’s a little sad that at a time when the nation is experiencing its worst ecological disaster in history (BP oil spill) and the economy continues to be stagnant at best, I’m most nervous about whether my alma mater’s basketball coach will take another job. Got my priorities in the right place, don't I?!

The school year has ended, and now my sons (ages 8 and 5) are on summer break. Every other week (when they are not staying at my in-law’s house during the day), they will spend at the summer “kids’ club” (or “day camp,” as they called it when I was a kid back in the ‘70s). Wow, I sure wish I could go to kids' camp these days! There is nature camp, history camp, mythology camp, just about every kind of activity for any interest under the sun, run by people that actually have souls. They've come a long way from the "Lord of the Flies"-like day camps I had to endure, where the only activities were archery, swimming, horseback riding (which for me was more like bronco busting), followed by a little more archery and topped off by getting picked on by a few neanderthal bullies. Then again, maybe my sons are enjoying their camps because, unlike the withdrawn nerdboy I was at that age, they are actually social and confident (thank heavens).

In other news, tonight is "The LeBron Show" and I'm not tuning in. I don't want to encourage the narcissism of having a one-hour show on national television dedicated solely to informing the world of what multi-million dollar contract King James will be accepting. If LeBron stays in Cleveland, that would be a nice story: the prodigal son STAYS home and continues his quest to bring that city its first championship of any kind since 1964. If LeBron leaves, however, he becomes just another pro athlete going where the glitz and glamor is--and rubs it in the face of his hometown in front of a national audience.