Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Sunday Paper: May 9, 2010

My Mom is an antique/art glass aficionado, so just for my Mom on Mother's Day, here is a slide show of some of the pieces at the ""Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden" display that opened recently. From USA Today:

The displays are creations of world renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, whose exhibition opens Friday at the gardens and sculpture park in Grand Rapids, Mich., and runs through Sept. 30. The lush, expansive grounds will provide a backdrop that will change with the seasons.

"It's really going to be quite a strong visual sensation," chief curator Joseph Becherer said of the exhibition, which includes towers up to 30 feet and other works.

"Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden" is four years in the making and among Chihuly's largest showings. The Seattle-based artist's works will be displayed at 15 sites, sharing surroundings with a permanent collection that includes pieces from sculptors Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Mark di Suvero.

Strong visual sensation is exactly what it is - the pieces are so striking, and yet blend in with the Gardens in a way that you really need to see first hand to appreciate. The pictures really can't do the show justice, so, get to this exhibit this year if you can. And Mom, I hope you can make it down here to check it out - it's like "Fenton Gone Wild". You would love it. Happy Mother's Day!

A few tidbits from the week:

  • The Freep takes a predictable look at the gubernatorial candidates this morning, emphasizing how the Republicans have to run to the right to please the teabaggers. Hey Michigan, if you want to elect an extreme right wing Bush Republican, just take a look at what is happening in New Jersey. You won't be happy.

  • DHS workers held a protest over labor conditions on Friday. Budget cuts coupled with the exploding need for services has put employees that are juggling hundreds of caseloads and the entire department under severe strain - and the talk of reduced pay and benefits hasn't helped, either.

  • Drill, baby, drill - but this time on land, in the northern Lower Peninsula. Speculators set "historic" records for leases on mineral rights on state owned property - bids that averaged $200 an acre in 2008 shot up to $1,500 this time around. The state pocketed $150 million for the natural resources trust fund.

  • Renovations at Wayne State recently uncovered a fallout shelter, complete with provisions, that was built in 1962 right after the Cuban Missile crisis. Want to know what 50 year-old crackers from Kroger taste like? Yes, one gentleman tried them, and you can find out the answer here.

  • Analysts at MSU are predicting an up year for Michigan tourism; increased consumer confidence is expected to boost both volume and spending this year anywhere from 2-4%. The new Pure Michigan ads have hit the national cable market as of this week, and will run through the first week in July.

  • Peter Luke hammers on the do-nothing legislative political games behind our crumbling Michigan roads. Previous estimates put the construction job loss at over 8,000. Can you imagine the headlines if one employer cut 8,000 jobs? Throw in the Detroit bridge and the education cuts, and that's over 40,000 jobs and counting that our legislature is going to leave by the side of the road.

  • 70% of Michigan voters want no-reason absentee ballots, according to a new survey. Key words in this story? "Legislation to grant Michigan voters the right to receive no-excuse absentee ballots has already cleared the House, but has sat in a Senate Committee for more than a year." Our Senate, the place where Michigan's dreams go to die.

  • Cheers to the Kennecott mine protesters. The debate in the UP over the mine has been between the need for jobs vs. protecting the water of Lake Superior, and efforts are heating up after Kennecott has indicated that they are going to change a few procedures to avoid having to deal with the EPA. After watching the horror of what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico - perhaps we need to take another look at the consequences of putting the environment and the economy surrounding the Lake at risk...