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Monday, February 23, 2015

Brief Thoughts on Michigan's 2015 Proposition 1

Image via Safe Roads Yes!
On May 5th, Michigan voters will consider a ballot proposal to raise Michigan's sales tax to help fund road repairs and provide continued funding for schools and local governments. Personally I would have preferred to see the Michigan Legislature increase the fuel tax as a fairer way to address the deteriorating condition of our roads and bridges. But, this ballot proposal may be our only solution.

I ran across a couple of posts in support of Proposition 1 from two individuals whose opinions I respect:
  • Click here to read "Reality Trumps Fantasy in Road Funding" by former State Representative Chuck Moss.
  • Click here to read "No Prop 1, no good roads. Guaranteed" by The Detroit News' Nolan Finley.
More information on the ballot proposition can be found on the website for Safe Roads Yes!

Monday, February 16, 2015

University of Detroit Mercy February 2015 Economic Symposium

Received an email invitation to attend an upcoming economic symposium from Harry Veryser, a former economic professor of mine at the University of Detroit Mercy. Sponsored by the University of Detroit Mercy’s Department of Economics and the Michigan Council on Economic Education, it's titled The State of the Union. It will be held on Saturday, February 28, 2015, from 9 a.m. - Noon, at the Macomb University Center in Clinton Township.

One of the featured speakers is my State Representative, Martin Howrylak.

Even though the list of speakers is heavily weighted towards the Austrian School, it's always interesting to hear a different perspective on the economy.

Click here to view/print an information flyer for this symposium. To attend, RSVP to Donna Gormely at 586-263-6232 or

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Advance Screening of "McFarland, USA" at Troy's MJR Digital Cinemas

Last week, the head coach for the Troy Athens High School Cross County team invited his runners and their families to attend an advance screening of McFarland, USA at the MJR Troy Grand Digital Cinema 16. Alex, Mary Ellyn, and I attended the sneak preview of the movie and we enjoyed it. It may not win an Academy Award but I liked it because it was all about running, family, and the value of community.

Before I go on to give additional info on this motion picture, let me add that we are fortunate here in Troy to have a brand new MJR Digital Cinemas theater at the corner of Maple and Livernois. Click here to see a recent City video that describes the process of how this venue came to be developed at the old K-Mart store location on Maple Road.

OK, now back to McFarland, USA. Here's a description of the movie on Disney's website...
Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
By all means, see McFarland, USA when it's released in theaters on February 20, 2015.

Below are some links to background stories on Coach Jim White and the McFarland High School Cross Country team as well as a trailer for the motion picture...
McFarland cross-country team toils for 6th straight title...

Successful McFarland X-Country team loses state title after 24 years...

McFarland High: Running for their coach, their families, their town...

The faith behind Disney's McFarland, USA...