Controversy has swirled around the Patmos Library since patrons began protesting some books with LGBT themes written for young adults. (Bridge Photo by Ron French)
JAMESTOWN TOWNSHIP—What started as a fight over an LGBTQ-themed graphic novel may end with the closure of a west Michigan public library.
Voters in Jamestown Township, a politically conservative community in Ottawa County, rejected renewal Tuesday of a millage that would support the Patmos Library. That vote guts the library’s operating budget in 2023 — 84 percent of the library’s $245,000 budget comes from property taxes collected through a millage.
Wall Sconce in the lobby of Fisher Building , Detroit Michigan USA.- source Mary Tampakopoulou.
Why voting is important in a nutshell, even if you feel downtrodden and gerrymandered:
Michigan has a Republican legislature. It’s damn near impossible to get anything close to a progressive bill passed, because all the democratic voters are concentrated in like 4 cities.
But! Because we show up to vote, we still have a Democratic Governor, attorney general, Secretary of State, and several county prosecutors.
This means that when Roe fell, the democrat governor had already started the process of appealing to the state Supreme Court to get an injunction on our states abortion ban. The democrat attorney general already promised not to enforce the ban in court, and the democrat prosecutors promised not to bring charges against patients or abortion providers. (Meanwhile, the democrat Secretary of State spent 2020 working to get like, EVERYONE an absentee ballot during Covid as well as applications for ALL future ballots to be sent out, so you ALWAYS know an election is coming months in advance.)
And then, if we can get enough petition signatures, abortion rights will be on the ballot come November.
Even in a state of a few democratic cities in a sea of Republican land, voting all those Democrats into office has been enormously important.
Never discount voting in front of me.
Michigan’s attorney general called for a special prosecutor to probe allegations her Donald Trump-backed opponent led an effort that gained unauthorized access to voting equipment during a hunt for false claims of election fraud after the former president lost the 2020 election.
Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) issued the request Friday after a monthlong investigation by Michigan State Police into potential breaches of voting machines in several counties. The probe began in February amid reports some Trump supporters had convinced clerks to give them access to the machines used in 2020 in an effort to prove voter fraud that cost Trump the 2020 race. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and the former president’s claims have been disproven time and time again.
The investigation, Nessel’s office said, unexpectedly led to lawyer Matthew DePerno, who officials claim “orchestrated a coordinated plan to gain access to voting tabulators.”
DePerno is the presumptive Republican nominee in the race and has earned the fierce support of Trump.
“When this investigation began there was not a conflict of interest,” the petition, first published Sunday by Politico, reads. ”However, during the course of the investigation, facts were developed that DePerno was one of the prime instigators of the conspiracy.”
Wishing you a peaceful Sunday
Near the garden, but not planted there, Canadian Horseweed. (and I don’t even have a horse) 🤣
Hey guys for those out there who need it! Please remember Ann Arbor, MI is infact a reproductive safe zone. It was voted into the city office in 1990. Wild that they saw this comibg 32 years ago.
Another place you may be safe is also Washtenaw county for the county prosecuter has stated he will not prosecute anyone for an abortion.
Learn your states reproductive safe zones if you can guys and if there isn't one find a friend in MI, there is always someone out there. Im not sure how long these will uphold but its better to know than not know right now.
As Rebecca Traister writes this week in an excellent piece in New York Magazine, there's a wide gulf between enjoying a relatively secure middle-class life, and having sufficient money to safely flout or circumvent the law.
And, she notes, it's bad political strategy to tell women of means that they're not in this fight, because they're the ones most likely to vote in this year's midterm elections.
According to Planned Parenthood's website, a first-trimester abortion costs up to $750. If Roe falls, the closest destinations for legal abortion will be Illinois and New York State.
(Some have suggested that Canada would be a reasonable destination for women in southeast Michigan. But entry to Canada has been complicated by changing COVID-19 restrictions. It also requires an enhanced driver's license or a passport. Just 37% of Americans have a valid passport, and around 38% say they've never had one at all. Obtaining a passport takes weeks or months, not days. For a woman who plans to terminate a pregnancy, time is of the essence.)
This kind of trip won't have the luxury of a two- or three-week advance fare. Per Google Flights, airfare to Chicago next week runs $261 to $337. A flight to Buffalo, where Michigan women often traveled pre-Roe, starts at $346. (It might be cheaper to fly to New York City — anywhere from $218 to $349 — but the higher price of accommodations, transportation and meals in the city would likely negate any savings.)
With a reliable car, it's a much cheaper trip. But it's still a five-hour-plus drive to either destination. Gas is at a record high of $4.36 a gallon, and prices continue to climb.
Most abortions performed in this country now are pharmaceutical, requiring two doses of medication. Generally, the initial dose is taken at a doctor's office or clinic, and the second within 24 to 48 hours. Under Michigan's 1931 abortion ban, prosecutors I've talked to speculate that ambiguous wording about who may be held criminally responsible means a woman who obtains the needed medication lawfully in another state but takes her second dose after returning to Michigan could subject to prosecution.
Regardless, medicine abortions cause bleeding and cramping, and it might not be possible for a woman who has taken either round of medication to hop on a plane or drive five hours while experiencing such symptoms. So throw in at least one night's stay in a hotel room, plus meals on the road.
Add in time off work (if the woman even has paid time off), a babysitter or other childcare arrangements if the woman already has children, and travel costs for a partner or friend, and I figure the cost of traveling out of state for an abortion to be at least $1,000. That's driving directly to Chicago and back, with no additional expenses like meals or an overnight stay. If it's a plane flight, with a hotel room for one or more nights, that's $1,500 or more.
For some women, these costs wouldn't be prohibitive. For others — those with multiple kids, out-of-work partners, or heavy student loan debt — it's a daunting prospect.
I'm a middle-class, college-educated woman who has held professional jobs since 1998, and I'm not ashamed to admit that for all of my 20s, most of my 30s, and some of my 40s, coming up with a thousand dollars on short notice would have been challenging, if not impossible. And I'm not alone: Just 41% of Americans say they could come up with $500 cash in an emergency.