March 26 • 07:05 AM

'ReLiterate' opinions on Thursday

May 20, 2009
A few observations this week:

What is going on in the newspaper business? I'm sure you've read or heard about the downsizing and unbelievable closings of tried and true newspapers in communities like Ann Arbor and Birmingham, and the cutbacks in the Detroit and Flint papers. Do you ever wonder what this may mean to the local scene?

If so, please join Janis Grant and me—and maybe a few others in the business—at a open house/community forum on the subject at Janis's ReLiteration Used Books store in Almont. Janis, a lover of the written word, invited representatives from the local print media to talk about the changes in the business and the effect, if any, on the local scene. Her really well-crafted invitation reads as follows:

In observation of Love Your Print Media Before It's Too Late Week, ReLiteration Used Books is hosting a forum on Thursday, May 21, on the future of print media in an electronic world. Toward that end we at ReLiteration invite you to send two members of your staff to discuss this very pressing problem, if you'll pardon the pun, before a local audience. We will begin with an open house at 6:30 p.m. and commence our discussion at 7:30. The focus will not be on balance sheets per se but rather more broadly on relevance. We hope you will find this an interesting and informative event. We look forward to welcoming you to ReLiteration's new location at 610 S. Main.

I'm glad that Janis decided to host this forum on a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Yes, the electronic age has changed a great many things, but the relevance and value of a local newspaper is not one of them. I look forward to talking all about it at ReLiteration's open house, and hope you'll stop in too and say hello. Again, the discussion begins at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, May 21) at the store's new location at 610 S. Main Street, Almont. Call 810-706-0220 for more information or detailed directions.

I won't have to stretch too far to demonstrate the relevance of a local newspaper...another observation...

It's great to see signed letters to the editor regarding the Capac School Board election. It seems Dave Naeyaert's letter struck a nerve but at least it opened a dialogue. Coupled with our decision a few weeks back not to print opinions regarding the contract negotiations in the district unless they were signed, it's pleasing to see that people are standing by their words. As one who must do so every week, I know it's not always easy. It is, however, the right thing to do...

...While on the subject of the situation with the Capac School District, I must pass along another observation: There have been no layoffs in the Capac School District, nor any talks of layoffs. Surrounding districts (who reached contract agreements with teachers unions) have all announced layoffs, with more projected. I'm not a budget analyst, nor am I praising or condemning any one for doing what they must in order to function. I'm simply making an observation. That's it...

...Speaking of functioning, it seems everything is a little dysfunctional these days. What used to be predictable, dependable and known is suddenly redefined. In a relatively short period of time I've seen tremendous instability in the lives of people I know and love. It's been pretty tremendous in my life, too. It doesn't seem to matter much how hard you work, what you believe in, how nice you are or how helpful you've been. The bottom has fallen out and the American Dream is shrouded in fog for those of us who embraced it wildly and believed in it wholly and worked hard for a piece of the pie. Like Linda Taylor, who also made her voice heard on this week's editorial page. Though it seems the pie has been chewed up by the Wall Street bankers who had their cake and ate it, too, there is help. And there is hope. Somehow things work out, and innocence and faith are not some sort of wild crimes. It's a struggle, but we can still refuse—at least on a personal level—to accept any punishment for continuing to believe...

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