Eight is Great!

June 23, 2017 by  
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Dear Eddie,

You are eight and eight is GREAT, of course.

Let me tell you all about yourself as you are right now.

You are absolutely, without a doubt, my showman. You love to have people look at and listen to you. Ever since you could toddle around, you have wanted to play with or near me (or your dad). You want to be able to give running commentary on what you are thinking. Just today, you had the entire Lego bin upstairs so you could design and build and talk. Your mind is constantly working; the wheels constantly turning. I know this, because mine is exactly the same.

In fact, Daddy and I laugh sometimes at how we can be talking about one thing, and you start talking about something totally different with no segue or introduction or anything. We often have to stop and say, “wait. What are you talking about?” We laugh because I used to do the exact same thing–all the way until I was in college. Ok I still do it to some degree.

You are such a compassionate, deep thinker. You question everything shamelessly. I admire that about you. A few weeks ago you and I were riding in the car and you said to me, “Mom. Sometimes I find it so strange that I am who I am. Like I am in this body just being a person and seeing things through my eyes. I know, that’s sort of weird and I don’t know how to explain it.” But the thing is, Eddie? I totally knew what you were talking about. When I was your age, I used to just stare out a window and think those sort of thoughts too. Shoot. I still do.

You and I have so much in common. Our brains operate much the same way. This serves us well now; we have a great relationship. We enjoy being with each other because we enjoy the same things: reading, writing, relaxing, talking. Don’t get me wrong. You like a LOT of stuff I honestly don’t care much about: Pokemon, video games, Captain Underpants, and that stupid trout song from Puss in Books on Netflix. Actually we have almost zero in common when it comes to choosing what to watch on Netflix.

But we both like to be silly. We both think a lot. We both believe in being kind. We both want to make people smile. We both believe in standing up for what is just and right.

In fact, your 2nd grade teacher this year told Daddy and me that you were a little activist. Daddy rolled his eyes and said, “I wonder where he got that?” and looked at me. I was smiling hugely, because you and I are the same.

And yet, we are not the same in some key areas. At your age I was not as socially brave as you are. I was afraid to try new things because I was afraid to fail. You are confident and willing to give anything a go. You just want to have fun whether that is in sports or school or scouts. I would not say you are serious or particularly passionate about any one thing just yet. This is apparent when anyone asks you what you want to be when you grow up.

In your mind, the whole world is open to you. You can do whatever you set your heart on. And right now, it is true. But what I want you to know is that is a privilege for you. You live a very privileged life, my son. It’s not because we are rich, because we certainly are not. It is not because you get whatever you want when you want it, because you certainly do not. But by happenstance of birth, you live a very comfortable life. You were born into a white, middle-class family who lives in a nice little subdivision in an area of very low crime. You go to a good, affluent school district. You are male.

The world is yours, so to speak.

What I hope for you is that you recognize that privilege and use it for good:

That you give more than you take.

That you listen more than you speak.

That you stand up more than you stay seated.

That you speak out more than you stay silent.

That you shine the light on those who are often in the shadows more than you hog that light for yourself.

I believe you will do these things because you are already very interested in what is right and just. And honestly, we need you–and others your age–to step up because the grown-ups right now are busy making things a mess. There is still so much racism, sexism, classism, ableism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophia…the list goes on and on. It seems that tolerance and love are buried under a lot of hate and fear.

Eddie, I know that your heart has more acceptance and love in it than anything else.

I know you will help to change the world.

I believe in you, Eddie Bear. I believe you can do what you set out to do. You will fail sometimes, yes. But I think if you are passionate and truly love, you will be successful.

I’m so glad you’re you.

And I am so honored that we are a part of each other.

I love you, my precious son.

Do great things with great love.

Happy 8th birthday.


Pick up an @Amazon #Kindle Or #Fire for you & yr gift list & then fill w/books! #SummerReading #BookRecommendations #Bookish

June 23, 2017 by  
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Everyone is a reader. Whether they like big books, small books, magazines or just perusing blogs for information. And if they say they aren’t a reader? They should be. This Summer help readers and none readers have no excuse to pick up a book by giving them the gift of reading, CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE … Continue reading Pick up an @Amazon #Kindle Or #Fire for you & yr gift list & then fill w/books! #SummerReading #BookRecommendations #Bookish

New bill in Oregon addresses housing affordability–by limiting local control

June 23, 2017 by  
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Oregon’s legislature is considering a fascinating, and controversial, bill to remove certain local controls over development in favor of new, faster development and higher density. The Atlantic’s “City Lab” reports:

H.B. 2007 would preempt residential downzoning in cities, meaning a neighborhood couldn’t seek lower density than its current status. It would also preempt cities or counties from banning accessory dwelling units or duplexes in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes.

That’s a laundry list of obstacles that developers nationwide face in building new homes in supply-strapped cities. H.B. 2007 would take the question out of the hands of local government, where lawmakers are often shackled by the wishes of NIMBY homeowners who don’t want to see more housing (and more people) in their communities. Essentially, by stripping cities of authority, the state is protecting its cities from their own neighborhoods.

I am normally an advocate for increasing local control, not decreasing it—especially in Michigan where it often seems the best interests of cities like Detroit are not exactly the driving force behind our legislature’s decision-making. But I find this approach interesting because it is a response to decreasing housing affordability, which has reached crisis levels in Portland. Poor people simply can’t afford to live there without spending a large portion of their income on housing. HB 2007 “fast-tracks” a development’s permitting process if it includes affordable housing. And by ensuring that multi-family units can’t be easily prohibited from single-family neighborhoods, the bill fosters increasing density and helps support affordability.

The Strategic Importance of Cities

The bill also acknowledges that our cities play an important strategic role in the economic development of the state and that growing major cities ability to attract and retain talent is critical to the state’s goals. Our report on how to make Michigan a high-prosperity state once again shows that ensuring our cities are places where talent wants to live and work is essential.

A lot of what Michigan needs to do to improve our cities is encourage “placemaking,” the infusion of character and activation into public spaces that is usually the result of increasing density and walkability. A risk of this bill is to historic preservation–an ethos and set of tools that are essential to providing that sense of authentic character in a city. Advocates in Portland seem split on the extent of danger HB 2007 enables, but there is reason to be cautious.

Improving Economic Integration

A serious benefit is the potential for greater economic integration, by decreasing the local power that that those in affluent neighborhoods have to curtail new affordable housing in their neighborhood. Integrating neighborhoods is one of the key levers identified in our recent report on how to improve outcomes for Michigan’s kids. And affluent NIMBY’ers fighting new housing density is a problem that exists in certain Michigan cities already (think Ann Arbor) and could start to exist in certain neighborhoods of Detroit, if not the city as whole.

I’m not sure Oregon’s approach would be the right policy solution for Michigan. But it’s an interesting experiment, and I’ll certainly be watching for the results—if it passes.

The post New bill in Oregon addresses housing affordability–by limiting local control appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

Pre-Holiday Summer Sales

June 22, 2017 by  
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We’re gearing up for the many sales that will be happening over the July 4th holiday but who doesn’t want to save a little money before then?  Check out these deals starting now with most going through the weekend and even into the holiday.

  • Ann Taylor – 40% off everything when you use ALLOUT through 6.24
  • Bonobos – Summer sale!
  • Burke Decor – The Half Yearly Sale with up to 75% off has begun. Also, get 20% off sitewide with HEATWAVE
  • Butter London – Check out the sale items at 50% off
  • Donald J Pliner – Get 30% off one, 35% off two or more sale styles. Use SUMMER17 through 7.6
  • Ella Moss – Up to 50% off Summer Sale!

  • Henri Bendel – Save up to 50% at the Semi-Annual Sale
  • Max Studio – Summer sale with prices up to 50% off select styles
  • Paige Denim – Save up to 50% off select styles through 6.30
  • Peek Kids – Save up to 50% during the Peek-A-Boom Sale through 7.21
  • Puma – Save up to 40% on new markdowns for women, men and kids
  • Revolve – Save up to 50% off summer’s hottest styles
  • Serena & Lily – Enjoy up to 30% off outdoor decor


June 22, 2017 by  
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The Zotz

Five Detroit rock bands will perform to help out one of their most ardent fans D.d. Kethman on Friday, July 28 at 8 pm at PJ's Lager House in Detroit.

Join local music scene advocate, dedicated fan, and Motor City Rah Rah, D.d. Kethman in her fight against cancer! D.d. has been a scene supporter and has had an active role in the music scene for many years starting with organizing the original grassroots Fourth Street Fair and volunteering at many cultural events including Concert of Colors, Theatre Bizarre, etc. She was diagnosed with cancer in May and has been undergoing treatment since then. Everyone can use a little help with their finances during this trying time, so the funds raised from this event will help her get back on her feet.

The show will feature performances by the unstoppable rock band White Shag who recently won the award for “Outstanding Alt/Punk Indie Group” at the 2017 Detroit Music Awards. Punk trio The Zotz will perform, along with dark wave rockers Panic or Pain, punk rock by The Dregs and a new band Rocket to Rehab will open the show. The Motor City Rah Rahs will also be there to cheer her on!

The show is on Friday, July 28, 8 pm at PJ's Lager House located at 1254 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, 48226, 313-961-4668. www.pjslagerhouse.com 21 & over are welcome and minimum suggested donation is $6.

Check out the bands' music here:

For more information on the event, check out the Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/473649316308546/

#MichLit:Blue Water Author Event June24th! Port Huron Convention Ctr! Me &60Authors! $2tix @ door! 11 AM #SylLit…

June 21, 2017 by  
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https://www.bluewaterauthorevent.com The 2017 Blue Water Author Event is being hosted by Breigh Forstner in downtown Port Huron right along the St. Clair River, directly under the Blue Water bridge. With over 60+ authors including some locally known and some from out of state, we expect to see a great turn out with many different genres … Continue reading #MichLit:Blue Water Author Event June24th! Port Huron Convention Ctr! Me &60Authors! $2tix @ door! 11 AM #SylLit…

Kansas Rs raise taxes, Michigan Ds MIA

June 21, 2017 by  
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Kansas’ Republican dominated state legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto to raise taxes ending Governor Brownback’s failed supply side tax cut experiment. That, as we have explored previously, resulted in an economy lagging the nation and budget shortfalls that required reduced spending on education and other basic services.

The Washington Post reports that 18 of the state’s 31 GOP senators and 49 of the 85 Republican members of the House voted to increase “taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents from 4.6 percent to 5.2 percent this year and 5.7 percent next year. Marginal rates on less affluent Kansan households will increase as well, from 4.6 percent to 5.25 percent by next year for married taxpayers making between $30,000 and $60,000 a year and from 2.7 percent to 3.1 percent for those earning less than that.”

So a majority of Kansas Republicans voted to increase the state’s graduated income tax for married taxpayers making more than $30,000 to rates higher than Michigan’s current flat 4.25 percent rate.

Why? Because more than two thirds of the legislature understood that investing in public services, particularly education, was of more value to Kansans’ future well-being than lower taxes.

As Stephen Henderson wrote in a terrific Detroit Free Press column this is a lesson Michigan’s elected officials need to learn quick. Michigan has been traveling the same low taxes are the key to economic well-being path for two decades. With the same dismal economic results. (See our new report for the details.)

In addition to relearning the lesson that public investments––particularly in education from birth through college and infrastructure, basic services and amenities––matter, Kansas should teach us about the importance of elections. Many of the Kansas Republicans who voted for the tax increase campaigned in contested Republican primaries on the need to raise taxes to fund important public services.

Obviously, as Henderson makes clear, there are no signs of Michigan Republicans, including Governor Snyder, abandoning the lower taxes is the answer crusade. There the debate has been over how much more to cut.

But what is arguably most disturbing is the near complete absence of Michigan Democrats campaigning on raising taxes to pay for needed public services. Overwhelmingly Michigan Democrats believe that public investments are the key to economic prosperity. But with very few exceptions, they have been unwilling to make the case that they need to be paid for.

Why is it that Kansas Republicans can campaign on raising taxes through a graduated income tax to pay for education and other vital public services and Michigan Democrats––who claim to value those services––won’t? Why is it that Michigan Democrats (and Republicans) believe that Michigan voters, unlike Kansas voters, don’t understand that there are public services that matter that must be paid for by reversing two decades of tax cuts?

It’s time we stop pretending that we can have the public investments we need and not have to pay for them. Just as in Kansas, now is the time for candidates to lead and take to the voters ideas on how to pay for the public investments that are essential to improving the economic well-being of all Michiganders. To make the case that the value of the investments is worth the cost of paying higher taxes.




The post Kansas Rs raise taxes, Michigan Ds MIA appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

A Dozen Down

June 20, 2017 by  
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Hear the sirens.
Hear the sirens.

Hear the sirens,
Hear the circus so profound.
I hear the sirens
More and more in this here town

Let me catch my breath to breathe
And reach across the bed
Just to know we’re safe
I am a grateful man

The slightest bit of light
And I can see you clear
Oh, have to take your hand
And feel your breath for fear this someday will be over

I pull you close, so much to lose knowing that nothing lasts forever
I didn’t care before you were here.
I danced in laughter with the everafter
But all things change
Let this remain

Hear the sirens
Covering distance in the night.
The sound echoing closer.
Will they come for me next time?

For every choice, mistake I’ve made, it’s not my plan
To send you in the arms of another man
And if you choose to stay I’ll wait, I’ll understand

Oh, it’s a fragile thing
This life we lead
If I think too much I can get overwhelmed by the grace
By which we live our lives with death over our shoulders

Want you to know that should I go
I always loved you, held you high above, true.
I study your face, and the fear goes away.

It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead.
If I think too much I can get overwhelmed by the grace
By which we live our lives with death over our shoulder

Want you to know that should I go,
I always loved you, held you high above, true.
I study your face, and the fear goes away,
The fear goes away,
The fear goes away,
The fear goes away.*

*I didn’t have words this year, so I chose Pearl Jam’s “Sirens” lyrics instead.
They say what I feel.
Thank you, Cortney, for holding my hand and making the fear go away.
Every time.
Happy anniversary.

Reminder of Book Of The Month Discussion: Stealing Innocence 1… #WritersLife Add yr comments abt the book now!

June 19, 2017 by  
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This is just a reminder, we’re talking about Stealing Innocence. Got questions? Comments? Have you done a review? I’d love to know what you thought of this book? If you missed last month’s Book of The Month, check out my newsletter at:  https://sylviahubbard.com/2017/05/31/missed-may-syllit-newsletter-deals-still-available-including-discount-on-dreams-of-reality-paperbackgang-read-subscribe/ Book of the Month: Stealing Innocence Book One URL  http://amzn.to/2qADEHo ISBN-10: 1440440808 … Continue reading Reminder of Book Of The Month Discussion: Stealing Innocence 1… #WritersLife Add yr comments abt the book now!

I made a new book cover for “He Touched Me” What do you think? #MondayBlogs

June 19, 2017 by  
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Fiddling around in Canva.com, I was trying to do a short story challenge promo and wanted to use all the fresh stories I’ve done instead of just the story starters. (Long story) I know in the beginning of this year, I was really just overwhelmed with starting a short story challenge, I put a half effort on the … Continue reading I made a new book cover for “He Touched Me” What do you think? #MondayBlogs

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