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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Granholm over Coffee

Governor Jennifer Granholm stopped in Mt. Pleasant today to have coffee and chat with some of the area's women in leadership. In my capacity as a photojournalist for the Morning Sun I was able to attend this event and take pictures. As a journalist, I am bound by the ethics of my profession to remain as nuetral and unbiased in political issues.

Because of that, I'll avoid discussing my opinions of the governor too much before the election. If you've ever talked to me outside of my professional obligations, you probably could guess how I feel anyway.

However, local politician Sharon Tillman said something to Granholm that struck a chord with me. Tillman spoke about women being tired. That women in politics face more obstacles than men, not just in the political arena, but in their personal lives. Women may keep their families running smoothly, they may be single heads-of households, and so the stress and pressure and time of running a political campaign may deter women from pursuing or continuing a political position. Tillman spoke of needing more young women to to step up and pursue positions. She expressed concern that there wouldn't be enough women to fill the shoes of other women who may be leaving politics.

I couldn't agree more. My profession dictates that political offices are not something I can hold, that political causes are not things I can fight for. But I know there are women out there who are smart and diligent, who can. I hope that female leaders can find a way to reach out to these bright women and encourage them to participate.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fall Color Spectacular

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This was the scene along Loomis Road, northeast of Shepherd in the early eveing hours of Oct. 19.

What a wonderful combination of fall harvest and foliage colors, combined with a vivid, full-arch and sometimes double-arch rainbow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How 'Bout Those Tigers?!

While I'll admit that I'm sort of a fair-weather friend when it comes to baseball, I have completely gotten caught up in Tiger Fever. The last time the Tigers were in the World Series I was 7, and I remember my dad laughing and crying while banging pots and pans on the front lawn with our neighbors.

EVERYONE is talking about the Tigers, and where they were the last time the team went this far. Anyone out there have some great '84 memories? Is there anyone in the Central Michigan area who scored some of those hot tickets to the series?

Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Go Tigers!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

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Snow at the Chippewa Hills vs. Lakeview football game tonight.

Although it's a bit premature for winter, the snow has me thinking of the season. My appreciation for winter has diminished significantly with age: scraping ice off windshields and watching for it with every step; the biting cold and the winter blues; the neverending grey skies. But there are still things I like about winter. I like watching snow fall, and I like how quiet the world becomes under a blanket of snow.

Like it or hate it, what are some of your thoughts about the quickly-approaching winter?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


That animated sequence of the Bader Building chimney demolition (below) by Victor Fitzsimons is what the kids would call "way cool." (Am I dating myself?)

Anyway, as one who has been around the photo and news business as a professional for about 40 years, now, I think that use of of stills taken in sequence really epitomizes the idea of news photography as historical documentary work.

Kudos to our new technology that made this possible. But especially, kudos to my young colleague, Victor, for having the curiosity and imagination to explore and exploit it in this medium.

Chimney demolition animated

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I know it's not news any more, but I just learned how to put together an animation with Adobe Imageready from the sequence of photos I took of the Borden Building's chimney's demolition. You can now watch it fall, again and again, in case you missed it!

Friday, October 06, 2006

What a sight!

Morning Sun photo by Victor Fitzsimons
It fell gently, almost reverently. The Borden Building chimney was demolished shortly after noon.
An excavator with a hydraulic hammer knocked enough bricks out of the base, and the force of gravity did the rest. Souvenir bricks from the chimney were picked up by the dozens.
The chimney wasn't sound, but the rest of the building is, according to engineers with the West Broadway Redevelopment Project. Once the last state approvals are in, work will begin on what will be Mount Pleasant's new city hall and other office and residential space.

Launch delay

The demolition of the Borden Building chimney has been delayed, if only for a few hours.
The contractor, for reasons that have not been made clear, did not "mobilize" until after 9 a.m., and is now expected to be on the scene until 10:30. The chimney now is expected to fall about 12:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, downtown business is booming.
It's sort of like a NASA space shuttle launch delay.