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The Grand Rapids LipDub

To understand this video, you need to know that Grand Rapids, Michigan was named by Newsweek as one of ten dying cities in America. Grand Rapids didn’t take kindly to that news and decided to make this video, which broke the world record for the longest continuous video shot, incorporating the number of people it did. Watch it to the end, it’s riveting. Some of the featured “singers” are local leaders and VIPS. Got this from Peter Kageyama who is the author of For the Love of Cities which you must read. Now.

I AM – The Film

Late last night a friend sent me info on a podcast she liked. In investigating, I stumbled on a link about a high school friend’s movie I AM. The director, Tom Shadyac (of Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams, Dragonfly fame), just did a special screening of his film at my high school but since it’s outside of D.C. and I had Village Square goings-on, I had to take a pass. The link brought me to a trailer that I hadn’t seen yet and really liked (below). The trailer (stick with me folks, these details make a point eventually) made me realize that I really should put it up on our website – kindred rock-up-hill-pusher that Tom clearly is – so I “liked” I AM on Facebook to be able to direct people there. On the I AM Facebook page, I saw a comment that said that Tom would be on Oprah TODAY. Sure enough, I checked in with Oprah and it’s true. Read all »

Sunday at the Square: Our hearts

“I think that’s one of the worst and cruelist legacies of 9/11 is the fact that it’s changed our hearts. It’s made people more fearful of people of other religions, of people who look different or dress different.” — Queen Rania of Jordan

(Photo credit: Ranoush)

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

2010: A year of civility? Never know…

(Photo credit.)

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Peace on Earth.
Goodwill to Men.
(And may Santa be good to you.)

(Photo credit.)

Allan Katz resigns City Commission seat. He will be missed.

allan katz

Today Village Square founder and board of directors co-chair Allan Katz has announced he is resigning his City Commission seat.

To watch Allan during his many years of service to Tallahassee was to have the pleasure of seeing the consummate citizen in action. Despite the dizzying speed that he moved from one commitment to the next, he was always up on the latest news and working to fully grasp the complexities required to make a good decision for the City of Tallahassee.

For those of us who know Allan best, we know he is brave. And we’re not talking vanilla brave… he is a nerves of steel, emperor has no clothes unflinching kind of brave that is sadly rare among the too many finger-in-the-wind elected officials of our day. Agree with him or not, he has never taken the easy way if it sacrifices what he thinks is the right way. He steadfastly put the best interest of Tallahassee well ahead of how he’d be perceived or whether he’d be re-elected.

When Allan launched an initially one-man effort to oppose buying into the Taylor coal plant, his re-election campaign was right around the corner. While he knew it would be a harder slog because of the coal fight, it wasn’t even a consideration. In the no-nonsense common sense signature characteristic of Allan, he called the coal plant “like buying into the last buggy whip factory.” When he later supported biomass, he set himself against many of his no-coal allies. Didn’t matter, Allan thought it was the right thing for Tallahassee, so he took the steeper climb.

The Village Square was inspired by the way that Allan has done his public service. Despite his devotion to the Democratic party, Allan has never been limited by the ideology or party membership that most of us find ourselves boxed into. He is committed to the world of great ideas, wherever they come from. Allan has deep and meaningful friendships across the aisle which we built on to start our tilting-at-windmills-pie-in-the-sky-civility-in-politics effort.

If The Village Square is even half as successful as Allan was, we’re good.

(Link to Tallahassee Democrat article.)

Speaks for itself…