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Jonathan's blog


I'm a fan of civility.  I'm not one of those folks who thinks that efforts to encourage civility (like this one) are worthless.  However, if you're the president of an organization with a project dedicated to "restoring civility to America's discourse," you ought to be darn careful not to be blatantly and publicly uncivil yourself.  Via Taranto (link, link), I saw that Froma Harrop recently wrote the following by way of criticizing Obama's negotiating skills:

Make no mistake: The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States--threatening to blow up the economy if they don't get what they want. And like the al-Qaida bombers, what they want is delusional: the dream of restoring some fantasy caliphate. . . . Americans are not supposed to negotiate with terrorists, but that's what Obama has been doing. . . . That the Republican leadership couldn't control a small group of ignoramuses in its ranks has brought disgrace on their party. But oddly, Obama's passivity made it hard for responsible Republicans to control their destructive children. The GOP extremists would ask Obama for his firstborn, and he'd say, 'OK.' So they think, why not ask for his second-born, to which he responds, 'Let's talk.'

And if someone calls you on it, admit your mistake instead of digging the hole deeper.


ELF has come a long way this summer

A Good Example of Why I Don't Like Nancy Pelosi

From Pelosi speaking to union workers on Capitol Hill this week (link):

"This isn't just about them saying we should reduce the deficit," she said, adding: "This is an excuse. The budget deficit is an excuse for the Republicans to undermine government plain and simple. They don't just want to make cuts, they want to destroy. They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, the department of education. They want to destroy your rights."


2011 Country Club Championship Swim Meet

The 2011 Country Club Championship Swim Meet (Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw) was held this past week.  Congratulations to Elliot who brought home 3 ribbons in the boys age 9-10 category:

  • 4th place in the 25 meter backstroke (time 28.12)
  • 5th place in the 25 meter breaststroke (time 34.43)
  • 5th place in the 100 meter freestyle (time 1:50.16)


Finn's Favorite Tridge Memory

From Wikipedia:

The Tridge is the formal name of a three-way footbridge above the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers near downtown Midland, Michigan, in the Tri-Cities. The bridge was constructed in 1981 at a cost of $732,000 and took 6,400 hours of labor. The site also marks the starting point of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail.


The Midland Area Community Foundation web site described the Tridge's 30th birthday celebration:

To ensure another 30 years of great community and great times, the Midland Area Community Foundation has undertaken the Tridge renovation project.  Our local citizens, foundations and businesses have contributed money to the project, resulting in new electrical & lighting, new structural components and new railing.  The Foundation is excited to celebrate this achievement  on July 16, 2011 at 1:30pm at the Tridge.

Ms. Tina VanDam will present memories of her involvement in the original celebration of this unique piece of architecture and Mayor Donker will speak to the continued value of this asset in our community and the Midland Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Craig McDonald will speak about the Foundation’s commitment to the Tridge.

In conjunction with the Tridge renovation project and 30th birthday party, the Foundation held a “My Favorite Tridge Memory” story-writing contest for elementary-age children. The stories that were submitted were greatly enjoyed by the committee that selected the two winners:  Mia Allen and Finn Moore.

Here are some photos from the event:






Here are some videos.  The first video has the introduction by Craig McDonald, memories from Tina VanDam, and Mia's story:

The second video is Finn reading his essay.  As you'll see, he did a great job!:

The third video has the speech from Mayor Donker:

Here is a link to the coverage in the paper: link.

Here is the text of his essay:

There is so much to do at the Tridge! I went to the spray park. It was so cool! I got to get wet, have fun, and it really cooled me off. You can also watch fireworks. You can go fishing too. You can go on a bike ride, go to Tunes by the Tridge, and go to the Farmers Market to buy food.

I like going to the farmers market to get honey sticks, and I sometimes get donuts if there are any. Okay, I like looking at the water too. I sometimes see fish – well mostly turtles.

But my favorite part of the Tridge is definitely climbing in the big, well not that big, park. About that – I go to the park a lot! Its so fun to play there and there you can slide down the awesome slides. I like the big fast red one the best. Once when I went on it I flipped. It was so cool!

Sometimes I go to the place where there are statues. By the way, this was all with my mom, brother, and dad so my mom sometimes takes pictures of us there.

I can’t wait to go back!

Updated 2011-08-06:

Here is the City of Midland's video about the Tridge renovations (Lisa, Marcelle, and John make a cameo at around 1:37):

Here is MGTV's video of the Tridge birthday ceremony featuring Finn and others:


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