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Thursday, December 19,2013

City Pulse asks local figures what's on top of their wish lists this season

by City Pulse Staff
Deborah Diesen

Grand Ledge-based children’s author

For every child on the planet:
• Health, safety, and stability.
• Lots and lots of love.
• A really good book! If the genie grants those three, everybody else’s wishes are bound to come true, too.


Rhoda Wolff

Manager, Schuler Books & Music, Eastwood Towne Center

This feels like a Miss America contest:
• More people would read — when they don’t, the whole community loses out.
• Adopt a dog or cat.
• Wish the Tigers would win the World Series.
My own wishes which someone asked me about:
• That everyone’s wishes come true.
• A massive pendulum swing on the political landscape.
• A society where everyone is warm and fed.


Nancy Robertson

State librarian, Library of Michigan

• I wish for all of Michigan's libraries to have the ability and continued effort to look outward to their community’s needs, particularly to help the underserved and those in need of services that empower them to succeed in whatever endeavor they undertake.
• I wish every school building in Michigan would have a library and a librarian to ensure educational success for all of our students.
• Finally, I wish for everyone a book, the ability to read it, and a passion for reading more.


Maureen Hirten

Director, Capital Area District Libraries

The first one is easy: • I wish for a successful millage outcome for CADL in 2014.
• The second one is pretty “libraryish”: I wish that everyone who enjoys reading, listening and watching (books, music and movies) finds the perfect “next one.” Coincidentally, CADL staff can help make that wish come true.
• My third one is for the country. I wish that Congress finds ways to compromise and agrees to put the best interests of the country first.


Bob Trezise

President & CEO, Lansing Economic Area Partnership

• That our Greater Lansing region continues to celebrate its unique and individual character — that’s what makes us strong — yet continues to unify under one Pure Lansing belief that we are one region competing on a global stage for jobs and talent. To me, beyond the obvious hoping that private business continues to invest and create jobs in the Greater Lansing region, is that all municipalities, businesses, public institutions and private citizens prioritize money and resources to creating an international place — a place that truly retains and attracts talent and families (thus business and jobs). Yes, I believe it is in that order.
• Greater Lansing becomes' one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurial environments. The wish is that MSU, Spartan Innovations and MSU President Simon, as well as LEAP’s New Economy Division, continue the hopeful and emerging partnership between the two in working to increase commercialization of ideas and products from MSU into viable, job producing innovative, high tech businesses that produce exportable products and create good jobs for our region and then throughout the nation and world.
• Of course, I wish for more wishes: That our region’s parents and schools nurture and generate a total regional population that one day exceeds 50 percent or 60 percent as college graduates. That we focus as much education on the value of liberal arts as we do STEM. That downtown Lansing would have two new hotels. That our region’s population would grow by 100,000 in 20 years. That a casino is built in downtown Lansing, stopping the giant sucking sound of people and money leaving our region for casinos far away or online while prompting the expansion of our conference center and hotel business everywhere. That downtown East Lansing becomes downtown MSU, the state’s talent portal for corporations wishing to introduce themselves to their future talent and workforce — MSU students. That our region becomes the Accelerator Region of North America. That newspapers remain a thriving and critical component to the Lansing region, unlike so many other regions.


Chad Badgero

Founder & artistic director, Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

OK, first of all, I love this story, and it's also really hard. With that said, here are my three wishes this holiday season:
• I wish for quality access to art, culture, and education for everyone in the state of Michigan. These are areas I feel are significant in creating kind, wise, creative, passionate people and yet are so often devoid of funding, left by the wayside, or ignored when it comes to developing diverse and dynamic communities and lives.
• I wish for marriage equality in Michigan. I've had too many friends and loved ones move out of state or whose relationships are ignored by our state government in a situation that is a very, very basic case of civil rights. Plus, I'm getting married next year and it would be sweet to have same-sex marriage legalized by then — I have high hopes!
• I wish for continued success for my theater company, Peppermint Creek. As we are celebrating our 11th season as a nonprofit in Lansing, my wish is to have longevity, financial and artistic success, and for the people of Lansing to continue to embrace us and our mission.


Gino Federici

Singer

• Healthy and energetic throughout the rest of my life.
• Be a multi-platinum recording artist.
• Set up the first Goya Center in Lansing.


Kelly Rossman- MCkinney

CEO, Truscott-Rossman

• Statesmanship would replace partisanship at all levels of government (as in, why can't they all just get along?).
• Regionalization would be pursued aggressively but diplomatically — sans name-calling and insults and instead with decorum, compassion and commitment to the greater good.
• (If) “aging gracefully” actually felt even remotely close to graceful.


Mark Schauer

Former Congressman, likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate

• Good schools for every Michigan student — More than one in 10 Michigan school districts are facing deficits, which means larger class sizes and less individual attention for our kids. As the son of a teacher, my dad taught me that good schools mean good jobs. My first wish would be for Michigan to live up to its constitutional promise of a quality education for every child.
• Unemployment below the national average — Michigan has the third worst unemployment rate in the country, and we’re ranked 47th for business and careers. We put the world on wheels and built the middle class — I know we can do better. My second wish would be to get our unemployment rate below the national average by investing in our highly skilled workers and small businesses to compete for good jobs.
• Secure Retirements for Michigan Seniors — The new pension tax on hard-earned retirement income is costing Michigan seniors thousands each year. For seniors living on a fixed income, that means less to spend on things like gas, prescription drugs, and family Christmas gifts. For my final wish, I would help ensure Michigan seniors have secure retirements by eliminating the tax on pensions.


Tim Barron

Host of “Tim Barron Mornings,” 92.9 FM-WLMI

• Though it sounds clich' to say END WORLD HUNGER … It is clich' for good reason — it’s at the top of many a wish list, including mine. Since so many of our modern global issues — including terrorism, hate groups masked as religions and redneckery — stem from the hopelessness of hunger AND ignorance.
• I would have to place K-THRU-COLLEGE-LEVEL SECULAR-BASED EDUCATION FOR ALL HUMANS in second. These first two would give a swell jump start to a better world — indeed with all these newly well-fed and educated folks everywhere, we might find America getting itself “discovered” like the Europeans “discovered” the Native Americans — and boy could that get interesting!
• The final wish is selfishly for me — EXACTLY 100 MILLION DOLLARS (US). A million isn’t what it used to be — trust me on this — and a billion is too much (emperors clothes time and all that!). A hundred million, however — I could actually blow. So it will keep me grounded to have a realistic yet very nice pile of dough with which I can live well, take care of my family and continue to quietly and sometimes not so quietly help people I naturally encounter through the course of my life ... as I choose to.


Tony baltimore

Director of external affairs, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers

• To see loved ones who have gone on before … miss them dearly. Would like them to see the man I have become. And my beautiful wife, Taylor.
• That Congress (government as a whole, really) would get to doing the people's work. Taking care of America’s people and making sure that taxpayers are a top priority. Hopefully this would instill trust and faith back into elected officials to govern. Maybe our approval rating would go up.
• Well of course to hit the Lotto … No brainer. Won’t make life happier so to say. I’m pretty blessed already. But it makes it a whole lot easier …
• For all of you to have a Merry Christmas and safe Happy New Year! (Can I get four? I was good this year.)


"Boogie" Bob Baldori

Musician, film producer and attorney

• World peace.
• Family happiness.
• A bass player and a guitar player who don’t play too loud.


Joe Quick

Actor

• Marriage/family equality for all in Michigan. I’d like to see the same rights as heterosexual couples and families have with respect to marriage, benefits, dual-parent adoption, etc., apply to myself and so many of my loving, committed friends and family members in samesex partnerships.
• Student loan forgiveness/ affordable college education. I’d definitely wish for more affordable post-secondary education, especially for those that have significant financial barriers. I’d love to see my own debt forgiven/ decreased to allow for further schooling. And, of course, more cash to stimulate the local economy!
• More time and money to travel. I do a fair amount of traveling within Pure Michigan, and have seen much of the United States but, as a former anthropologist, I am itching to have more time and resources to travel abroad.


Etienne Charles

Trumpeter and professor of jazz at MSU

• Direct flight from Lansing to Trinidad.
• A heavier coat.
• For my students to relax and not stress out during finals week!


Randy Gelispie

Drummer and professor of jazz at MSU

• First, I wish I could bring back all my loved ones that have passed on and all the great musicians. Bring ‘em back.
• I wish I had billions of dollars so I could give most of it away to the poor folks who need it.
• I wish I could hear children’s laughter all over the world. That’s the only thing that doesn’t have any negativeness.


Lynn Crandall

Astrologer

• To travel a lot and be in a warmer place. This is really awful.
• To finally finish the book I’ve been working on forever.
• From the point of view of an astrologer, I wish Comet Ison hadn’t melted. (Comet Ison, recently touted as the comet of the century, fizzled out from buzzing the Sun too closely last week.) There’s a lot of speculation that it went out with Nelson Mandela. Comets often take important people out or bring them in, but when they bring them in, you don’t find out for several years.


Addiann Hinds

Actress

• At the top of my list is eliminating racism. And that probably would be second and third. It saddens me very much. I have no wishes for myself. I live the kind of life I want. I have my house. My career keeps on going on, and that’s fun. I have no wishes about that at all.


Doak Bloss

Actor

• My first wish would be that I could marry the man I’ve shared the last 20 years of my life with — in Michigan. No more lawsuits over my employer’s ability to cover him on my insurance policy, no more separate tax returns, no more anxiety about property rights should one of us die. There wouldn’t be a lot of fanfare, I’m not sure we’d even have a ceremony; we’d just be rock-solid legally recognized as two valued members of the community who have chosen to belong to one other.
• My second is for my cat, Gus, who came to live with us in 2010 after spending four winters trying to insinuate his way into a friend’s house. This sounds a little odd, but my wish would be that Gus, who is more affectionate than any cocker spaniel I’ve ever met, would have a slightly smaller heart. I don’t mean metaphorically; I mean the actual organ, which is enlarged and will probably lead to his sudden passing one day. Barring a cure for that condition, my wish is that he stay the same crazy clown he is now for as long as he’s with us.
• My third wish — let’s aim big here — would be for people across Lansing, across Michigan, and across the U.S. to stop talking about the economic downturn as something that just “happened” to us, randomly, like a spell of bad weather. I’d like to see us awaken to the fact that banks, corporations, and politicians did this to us, intentionally, to increase profit, cheapen labor, minimize human values, and disenfranchise those most likely to dissent. I’d like us to realize that we are not powerless, and that powerlessness is instead an illusion created to keep us from acting and voting in accordance with our own values and self-interest.


Jen Sygit

Singer/songwriter and host of Eclecticana on WLNZ

My three wishes:
• End all wars
• Feed the hungry
• Ten million dollars (my selfish wish, but I could also use it to do good! So it's a win win.)


Joel Mabus

Singer/songwriter

• That smart-phone addicts would take their eyes off the screen once in a while, at least in public. At least while driving.
• That the Tea Party tossers would just give it a rest.
• That young artsy urbanites (especially on public radio) would quit the “vocal fry” mannerism of speaking — it is sooo 2008.


Scott Harris

Owner, Everybody Reads Bookstore

• World peace, for sure.
• End to diseases that cause suffering. I know we still have to cull the population, so some people have to die, but they shouldn’t have to suffer.
• Fair and equitable distribution of resources.


Ruelaine Stokes

Poet

• I want to grab the hand of the Muse of Creative Endeavor and never let go.
• I want humans to “civilize capitalism” by constructing a safety net and regulations that limit greed and economically driven cruelty.
• I want us to build societies in which children (and adults) can thrive. Thanks for making these take effect immediately. I feel so much happier


Richard Sherman

Principal flutist of the Lansing Symphony

• Unlimited free seasonal lattes from Starbucks.
• Weekly dinners for a year with my favorite Classical composers (ie Bach, Debussy and Mozart) with the expressed intention of commissioning new works from them.
• To be a Jedi knight with the light saber color of my choice.

Michael Rush

Director, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

  • Like every non profit executive in the world I would hope that Santa, along with some sugar cookies, would deliver a sugar daddy to guarantee our financial future. Is that a wish or a hallucination? :)
  • On a more serious note, I truly wish for a healthy year for my great staff of colleagues. We've had some broken bones, sprained backs, and other challenges this year.
  • Health is a precious gift.
  • Of course I wish that the Rose Bowl will be ours!


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