November 19, 2018                 The  Source for Livonia News and Opinions
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Fire up with Healthy Livonia. Partnerships for a healthy Livonia outlook.

I t's official. Jane Cooper Muszynski is the Program Coordinator for Healthy Livonia! She will be working with
St. Mary Mercy Livonia, the Livonia Chamber, Livonia Public Schools, Livonia Recreation Center, Livonia city leaders, the community and businesses to plan and promote the Healthy Livonia initiative. 

"Thank you to those that supported me for this position and gave me so much guidance. You know who you are. Yes, I will still continue my Spitfire Training biz and other hats I wear, just will change my focus.

"Just wait... there are some cool plans for this program and I'll be getting Livonia on board."

Jane is the founder of Spitfire Training, LLC.  She provides personal training services as well as nutritional counseling and wellness consulting. She has been providing healthy programs and advice to family and friends for over 20 years.

Jane works with clients of all ages, custom tailoring workouts and educates them on healthy food choices based on their unique needs and goals. Educating others on proper form and proper nutrition is very important to her.

Jane is ACE certified, and privately insured. She also has certifications in CPR, first aid, and AED.  She has been a lifeguard, a gymnastics instructor, a Girls on the Run coach, and a cheerleading assistant coach.

Commentary: Livonia values on full display this weekend. Although some felt otherwise.

This weekend was a great time for promoting Livonia values. It was on full display. Just like 51 other weekends in our hometown.

Angie Hillman was directing another weekend of CAPA sold out performances at Churchill High School with the play Hands on a Hardbody. Making a choice to learn the value of culture in a hometown.

Pat Hutchison had assembled a Livonia Community Theatre all-star cast performing Arsenic and Old Lace who put their skills to work before hundreds of satisfied residents. Making a choice to learn the value of practice leading to success.

Barefoot Productions was sharing their youth production of Scraps. The Patchwork Girl of Oz. Making a choice as an organization to expand theatre opportunities to even more young people joining the Motor City Youth Theatre in making Livonia the home of youth theatre.

Hundreds of Livonia residents were running and walking trails through some of our 65 parks, the most anywhere in Michigan. Making a choice to learn the value of fitness combined with the enjoyment of the outdoors.

Dozens of Livonia Civic Chorus members were practicing their songs for their upcoming Christmas concert. Making a choice to learn the value of preparation.

50 students and a dozen volunteer musical mentors were spending the day at the Livonia Youth Symphony Orchestra of Michigan. Making a choice to learn the value of starting at a young age so as to enjoy music as they age.

Hundreds of moms and dads were taking their sons and daughters to soccer practice. Just a small part of one of the largest athletic programs in the state, the Livonia Junior Athletic League. Making a choice to learn the value of athletics and parental support of children.

The YMCA with over 6,000 members was filled with families enjoying the weekend with fun and healthy activities. Our Kirksey Recreation center provided hundreds of families, youth and seniors, a great place to workout, swim, play basketball while working on healthy activities in a Livonia site home to over 7,000 members. All making a choice to learn the value of family time and developing a healthy lifestyle.

Livonia values were on full display all weekend. All had made a choice to enjoy their hometown. A town called Livonia.

Oh, did I mention that a couple hundred well organized protesters came out not to celebrate all that Livonia has to offer but rather to protest. You will never find this typewriter objecting to picketing so welcome to town.

They arrived to protest in Livonia,  from Canton, Farmington, Westland and Jackson among others, the opening of a woman's healthcare center. They had been encouraged to show up after a mailing arrived at thousands of homes with the headline LIVONIA=MURDER. Our state senator Patrick Colbeck from Canton  was in a video encouraging the protesters and congratulating the 200 who showed up.

Read how Livonia resident Michelle Kees reacted to this protest in Livonia.

 She  arrived at 9:40 Saturday morning just as the bodyguard and I walked up. Her experience posted on Facebook.  The picture to the left shows the typewriter with Michelle Kees and two of the clinic escorts who also arrived early.   Here are the thoughts Kees posted on Facebook immediately after the protest ended:

"I didn't plan to protest today.

"Planned Parenthood has been in Livonia for 17 years. They are moving to a new site in town, taking over a long empty building. This clinic does not perform abortions as part of their services. They do offer affordable healthcare services in a community where there is genuine need.

"They have complied with every permit and zoning law. Yet members of City Council have urged residents to "make them (PP) feel

"A protest was planned by an organization outside of Livonia, with large numbers of non-residents showing up with professionally printed signs to protest "black genocide happens here" and that "Livonia residents say no to PP." A mass postcard campaign also went out this week saying that Livonia=murder.

"So, that's how I ended up protesting a protest instead of drinking coffee on my couch this morning. Police were there in force, as was the music-playing Trump trailer. Incense, religious hymns. Dogs and kids.

"Most of the protesters on the other side were appropriate. A few were verbally antagonistic, wanted to debate, questioned my religion, and invaded personal space very deliberately and with intention. 

"I had a lengthy conversation with a woman about personal responsibility and the role of government. She didn't much like my answers, but it was civil.

"I met some other women who are "clinic escorts" and my heart breaks for them, that there is a need for an escort for women (and men! 14% of services at this clinic were for men) seeking affordable healthcare. Access to affordable healthcare should be something we all support."

So while tens of thousands of Livonia residents made their choice over the weekend to participate in a Livonia lifestyle full of choices, to enjoy Livonia to it's fullest, some came from around the state to protest. They made a choice. Certainly it was their right but it was not a choice that the majority of Livonia residents would make.

Just one suggestion next time you send out literature equating Livonia with Murder put on your name and identify yourself. 

There are times when we take for granted all that our hometown offers. Just how stable our community is and has been over the years. So here is a hats off at Thanksgiving to those elected officials who  are giving their time to serve Livonia.

Let's wish a Happy Thanksgiving and community thank you to our  Schoolcraft College Board of Trustees: Brian Broderick, Carol Strom, Joan Gebhardt, Terry Gilligan, Eric Stempien, William Erwin, Gretchen Alaniz.


November in Livonia

Coming to Livonia November 5th through the 30th from Grand Rapids, Huaming Wang is a multi-talented artist, designer, and engineer. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally. 

His work will be exhibited at the Bennett Civic Library in the Fine Arts Gallery.

November 19 @ 2:00
Livonia Historic Society
Greenmead Blue House
Speaker: Bob Hardies

November 30 @ 8:00
Unity of Livonia
28660 Five Mile Rd.

December in Livonia

December 1 @ 10:00 - 4:00

December 2 @ 4:00
Livonia Holiday Parade

December 7 - 13
Phoenix Theatre special $1.00
The Polar Express

December 7 @ 9:00- 2:00
Senior Citizen Holiday Craft Show 
9:00 - 2:00
Livonia Senior Center

December 8 @ 2:00 & 6:00
Live Nativity
Madonna University

December 8 & 9
Breakfast with Santa
Sacred Heart Banquet Center

December 8 @ 9
The Nutcracker Ballet
Livonia Civic Ballet Company

December 8 @ 11:00
Tickets went on sale Thursday, Nov. 1 for the annual Lunch with Santa at the Kirksey Recreation Center and online at  Lunch with Santa takes place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Civic Park Senior Center.  The event includes lunch, crafts and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. 
For more information, please call (734) 466-2900.

December 8
"Joyous Wonder"
Livonia Symphony Orchestra

December 15 
Livonia Youth Symphony
Presenting partner: Robert Hardies
Holiday Concert
Madonna University
Kresge Hall

December 16 @ 3:00
Holiday Concert
Louis Schmidt Auditorium
Livonia Civic Chorus

December 21 & 22

Wow. Another success story in our hometown. Wow.

The Livonia Human Relations Commission sponsored a "2018 Back To School Essay Contest" which was open to all Livonia High School Students.  A $200 Visa Gift Card was awarded to one student from each participating High School.  

The Essay Question was "What would you do to promote respect and inspire understanding of cultural differences using social media if you were on the Human Relations Commission?" 

The winners were Mihir Satish from Churchill High School  and Jessica Zenas from Stevenson High School.  They were presented their awards and a pizza party after the Livonia Human Relations Commission meeting of November 14, 2018. 

Here are the two winning essays provided by high school students.

Mihir Satish from Churchill High School

Believe it or not, overall we are all 99.9% the same but what makes us  different is our personality, without which we would just be like any other  animal. The 0.1% subtle difference attributes to our culture and personality  traits. As a Human Relations committee member I would utilize social media effectively to inspire people to
 appreciate the diversity and cultural  differences.

One way I will promote culture and make people understand the  difference is by initiating a movement, such as by using a hashtag. Using  hashtags has brought success to many movements like the  #BlackLivesMatter movement. It raised awareness mainly among millennials  which led to its success. 

Another way I can spread awareness and generate  enthusiasm would be to involve members in an activity that is interesting  and challenging. One example of this would be the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which is a challenge where participants would dump a bucket of water on their head to spread awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Another way I will promote learning about cultural differences is by  organizing multicultural group events and promoting it using social media  such as a catchy twitter handle, facebook groups, and Group Me to spread  awareness about it. The best way for people to learn about each others  culture would be through face to face communication, and I will make it  interesting by holding cultural pot lucks where people of different backgrounds bring their traditional food to share and talk about their  culture. 

I will also bring in influential people to speak about their culture in  front of the audience. I will hold cultural shows where people can show off  their talents and skills. These events will enable people to appreciate the  commonalities and differences between their culture and also will inspire  interest in learning about other traditions. I will hold these events in local  areas such as parks, libraries, and other meeting places so it will be convenient for people to attend.

In order to promote the respect of other cultures I will raise awareness  in children by exposing them to various educational animated videos on different cultures uploaded on YouTube. Not only will this be entertaining, but the children will understand the importance of cultural differences  enabling them to embrace it and pass it onto the next generation.

Culture is what makes our lifestyle unique. Without culture, life wouldb be bland due to the fact that we will all be the same. As a multicultural  society we need to inspire people to respect the traditions and diverse  culture that set us apart, and what easier way is there to do that than using  social media to spread the message?

Jessica Zenas from Stevenson High School

In this era of technological advances, social media reigns supreme as one of the biggest  influences in our lives. It is for this reason that we must ensure that there is proper cultural  representation and acceptance. 

If I were on the Human Relations Commision I would promote  respect and inspire understanding by providing citizens with exposure to other cultures on social  media which would allow them to understand and appreciate people of other cultures as well as  create to a stronger, more unified community where every person feels accepted.

I believe the first step to respect is representation. This is an area that I have found Livonia to be very lacking in. Simply by looking at the city Facebook page, I saw only caucasian citizens. While I understand that Livonia is predominantly white, that does not mean that we do not need to show any diversity on social media. 

By simply posting photos of culturally diverse groups, people will naturally become more familiar and comfortable with other cultures. For example, Livonia has Niji-Iro Elementary, a school that could be Livonia's shining jewel of cultural cooperation if it were posted about. However, it remains largely unnoticed and unpublicized. Posting pictures or stories about Niji-Iro would not only school promote education, but it would also promote diversity through adorable elementary schoolers. 

Once the representation I have described is created and people are open to cultural diversity, it is up to the city to continue fostering unity.

Livonia must promote cultural events on social media in order for greater cultural acceptance to be successful. The city doesn't even need to plan these events; it just needs to promote them and share them with positive reinforcement on social media, a platform most citizens are familiar with. 

Livonia has missed many opportunities for this. For example, the Stevenson Marching Band went and played for Niji-Iro, but there was no acknowledgement of the event which could have been a great show of diversity and community cooperation. There are also amazing, diverse clubs at the high schools such as diversity club and GSA (Gay Straight Alliance). 

The Human Relations Commission could easily send someone to take pictures of these events or ask school staff for photos and post them on social media. But, even when pictures are not available, a simple shoutout message would be advantageous. 

The city's support of these events will help make citizens realize how important acceptance is. That is what make this step so vital: it pushes people past tolerance towards acceptance, and, eventually, to involvement. Others may claim that shoving diversity in people's faces on social media will not actually help, but rather annoy citizens. However, this line of thinking is highly flawed. 

First off, I am not suggesting that the city post an egregious amount of photos or stories on social media. I would prefer if the city made a moderate amount of endearing, nonaggressive posts that got people excited about unity. 

Secondly, these posts should not be annoying or boring in any way because they should be including a myriad of cultural groups that offer a wide range of material to be posted about. Also, the suggestion that the city shouldn't be paving the way for further cultural understanding on social media is ridiculous. Social media is where most young people express themselves, making social media the main platform of youth culture.

 Therefore, it is impossible to have adults posting on social media without them forming an understanding of youth culture. This is true for many other cultural communities, which makes social media the perfect place to promote respect and understanding between all of the different groups.

Overall, the Human Relations Commission should promote respect and understanding on social media by representing all cultures and popularizing community events that cross cultural lines. Posts that advocate unity will help everyone feel welcome and bring new light to groups that are often misunderstood. I believe citizens would find this campaign of acceptance to be a valuable contribution to our city that will make everyone of every culture feel more valued and equal. 

The equality and acceptance I speak of is absolutely possible, but only with the support of the government and the willingness of the governed, which is why I urge the Human Relations Commission to take into account all of the submissions and suggestions given to them from their active constituents to add to Livonia's growing cultural acceptance, on and off social media.

Get those tickets "Because it's Christmas"

Get ready for the opening Livonia holiday concert.  "Joyous Wonder."

Looking to share Livonia's history?

Volume 4 tells the story of our Livonia parks system. 65 parks.