The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jean Klock Park

Joseph Harris, the emergency manager appointed to take over Benton Harbor, may also help facilitate a land-grab of Benton Harbor's Jean Klock Park.

This park was deeded to the city in perpetuity in 1917 for the use of Benton Harbor residents.


There is a plan already underway to develop the city's lakeshore and to grab this park to build luxury homes and part of the golf course that is already under construction nearby.

Here's what the Michigan Messenger reports:

The Emergency Financial Manager of the city of Benton Harbor has issued an order stripping all city boards and commissions of all their authority to take any action.

The order, signed Thursday, limits the actions available to such bodies to calling a meeting to order, approving the minutes of meetings and adjourning a meeting. The bodies are prohibited under the act from taking any other action without the express authority of the Emergency Financial Manager, Joseph Harris.

Actions such as Harris’ are explicitly allowed under a newly approved law which granted sweeping new powers to emergency financial managers. That legislation had drawn large protests, including attempts by some protesters to take over the state capitol building. The sit-in resulted in numerous arrests.

And reporting on the Rachel Maddow Show:

Daniel Burnham's plan for Chicago was to keep the lakeshore open and undeveloped so that the citizens and visitors to that great city could enjoy the lake.

I guess the new vision is to push poor people out of the way, take power from their elected officials, grab their parks, and build luxury home for the wealthy.

If lakeshore access is restricted to only those with means, then the lake becomes a possession instead of what it should be: a natural resource and treasure that all should be allowed to enjoy freely.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fan Mail!

There is that moment in the life of a published writer when their book goes out into the world.

The writer wishes it well.

And then the waiting begins...and the questions:

Will the book find readers? Will readers find the book? What will readers think? Will they share it? Tell others about it?

I have been extremely thankful that some of my readers have taken the time to write e-mails or letters to me to tell me that they read and enjoyed -- and are now sharing -- my book.

Here are just a few excerpts from the fan mail I have received.

Have always thought I knew much about my Lake, but your book certainly opened my eyes and has given me some destinations for exploring! Thanks for sharing your vision, experiences, love to such a vital resource! Can't wait to send your book to my sister in New Jersey! We grew up near Sleeping Bear and I know she will enjoy your story too!

You have accomplished a feat that will inspire thousands of people. Pressing on through the trials and hardships says a lot about your strength of spirit.

I have finished your book and it was wonderful. You are one brave lady to go so much of the way alone and in such desolate areas and dangerous areas. There were so many times I felt like was there on the walk with you. Your descriptions painted the scenes so well.

Some were from fellow hikers:

So many people have called or written to me to tell me about your story -- I just want you to know that it warmed my heart every time someone mentioned it. There's not many like us out there. I know the high moments, I know the low moments . . . and I know the ability to just keep moving on.

You have rekindled our fire, and we will definitely get a couple more segments of our own trek completed this summer. Our ultimate goal is the lighthouse at the end of the Leelanau peninsula.

And some people were even inspired to take action:

I think you have given me the idea of what I might get involved in when I retire. The lake and its preservation would be a fitting endeavor to a lifelong love with the Great Lakes.
Thank you for writing this book and taking this journey.

Thank you all so much
for taking the time to write!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tales from the BOOK TOUR...part 4

This has been a great month on my book tour.

Thank you to the Friends of Allen Park Library who hosted me last night at the Leo Paluch Retirement Center.

In this first photo, I'm with my Aunt Nancy's friend, Rita.

The second photo is with Malcolm Alestra and Marge.

The last photo is (left to right), my mom (Theresa Rugel) me, my Great Uncle Teddy, and Great Aunt Nancy.

As I expand my events to the east side of Michigan, I am meeting up with many people I know. You see, I spent the majority of my life living on the east side of the state in the greater metro Detroit area including a few years living in downtown Detroit while my husband studied at medical school and I got my Masters degree from Wayne State Univeristy.

The event in Allen Park was organized by my Great Aunt Nancy who volunteers for the Friends of Allen Park Libraries and I was honored to be introduced by her at the event.

I will do a book signing at a fundraiser for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on April 28th in Kalamazoo.

I have a packed schedule of events through the summer. Please check the sidebar here or Author Appearances page on my website:

I am thrilled to talk about Lake Michigan
with others who care about this Greatest of Lakes.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Say goodbye to the ice...

Spring is approaching and the ice is receding from the shores of Lake Michigan.

Say goodbye to the snow-topped dock supports,

the shelf ice, the icicles,

and the boulders of ice clunking together in the surf.

Welcome Spring!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tales from the BOOK TOUR...part 3

March was a big month for my book tour. I launched my book in northern Michigan by giving readings, book signings, and lectures. I was even hired as a speaker at the Cottage & Lakefront Living Show in Grand Rapids. And I partnered with Grocer's Daughter Chocolates (voted one of the TOP 5 CHOCOLATIERS in the NATION) and Black Star Farms (one of my favorite places to stay near the lake) for the show.

I gave a reading to a packed house at Kazoo Books in Kalamazoo last night. Thanks to everyone who came to the event!

I have a packed schedule of events through the summer. Please check the sidebar here or Author Appearances page on my website:

I am thrilled to talk about Lake Michigan
with others who care about this Greatest of Lakes.