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fawcettl's Blog

Michigan Legislature Begins Redistricting Process

The results of the 2010 Census require that Michigan's congressional districts be redrawn. This process which occurs every 10 years has already begun in the Michigan legislature. This time around, lawmakers face many challenges including the loss of one congressional seat and the dramatic population losses in the city of Detroit. The Michigan Redistricting Collaborative is a coalition of non-profits from all segments of the community, including business, labor and public interest, dedicated to making the redistricting process more transparent and open, while encouraging involvement from the public. Their website Michigan — Draw the Line has been designed to inform the public on all aspects of the redistricting process.

Geraldine Ferraro Dead at Age 75

Geraldine Ferraro, the woman who made history in 1984 when she became the first female candidate on a presidential ticket, has died after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma. Although best known for her VP candidacy, Ferraro was also a three time congresswoman, successful lawyer, and political activist. You can read more about Ms. Ferraro in her autobiography, Ferraro, My Story.

Free Tax Services

The Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and the Wayne County Asset Building Coalition are offering free tax preparation services for families with incomes under $48,300. Call (734) 284-6999 for a list of participating locations or to schedule an appointment.

Five Titles That Will Get You Hooked on Our DVD TV Series Collection

Watching a television series on DVD is a great way to catch a TV show you may have missed out on. Plus, you get the added convenience of being able to watch as much or as little as you want — without any commercial interruptions! Here are some recommended titles to get you started:

Deadwood — The life and times of a group of men and women who set up camp in Deadwood, South Dakota during the gold rush of 1876

Veronica Mars — Follows Veronica Mars, an apprentice private investigator, as she solves the town of Neptune's toughest mysteries

Ebay Selling — An Introduction

Most people have a stash of unused items at home. Maybe you received a gift that didn't quite fit, or have things leftover from an old hobby or collection. Join us in the Internet Lab on March 15th at 7:00PM for our Ebay Selling Class! We will teach you how to turned those unwanted items into cold hard cash! This class will cover Ebay selling basics and cover topics like researching your item, listing fees, collecting payment and other tips for running a successful sale. Hurry registration is limited.

Bubble Wrap on Detroit History!

A recent Detroit News Article highlights a collection of historically significant automobiles owned by the Detroit Historical Museum. Part of this amazing collection of cars in currently being stored at Fort Wayne in Detroit. The entire collection features approximately 60 cars that are rotated for display in the museum. While in storage, the cars are kept in plastic bubbles that help preserve these historical gems. Facinating on all counts, this article serves as a great reminder of just how historically rich the city of Detroit is.

IRS Ready to Accept All Returns

The IRS announced today that it is now ready to accept all income tax returns. "The IRS is now accepting all the 1040 forms," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. "We worked hard to update our systems and get the changes in place as quickly as possible. We appreciate the patience of those impacted by the delay. We urge taxpayers to use e-file with direct deposit, and they can get their refunds within days." In late December 2010, the IRS announced it would delay processing of some tax returns in order to update processing systems to accommodate the late tax law changes.

President Obama to Talk Internet in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

On Thursday, February 10, President Obama will visit Marquette, Michigan, to discuss the benefits of expanding broadband internet access in the United States. In particular, the President is expected to offer praise for Northern Michigan University's 4G WiMax network, a new wireless technology that promises faster data speeds than most current cellular broadband networks. In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for a National Wireless Initiative which would expand high-speed wireless Internet access to 98 percent of Americans within five years.

Beat the Winter Blues With a Beach Read

Tired of all the snow, ice and grey weather? Wish you could escape to a tropical destination but don't have the budget? Well how about escaping with a great beach read? Try one of these titles for a break from the bitter cold:

It happened in South Beach by Jennie Klassel

Beachcomber by Karen Robards

Tropical getaway by Roxanne St. Claire

Late Changes in Tax Law Delay Tax Season for Some

The start of the 2011 filing season will begin in January for the majority of taxpayers. However, last minute changes in the law mean that the IRS will need to reprogram its processing systems for three provisions that were extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became law on Dec. 17. Only three specific categories of taxpayers are affected by this:
  • Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A
  • Taxpayers claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction
  • Taxpayers claiming the Educator Expense Deduction
The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the late tax law changes.

Election 2010

November 2, 2010 is election day, and Michigan residents face many decisions this year — including selecting a new Governor. Get prepared for Tuesday by visiting the Michigan Voter Information Center. This site contains all your necessary information including polling locations and more. Don't forget to check out the League of Women Voters Guide which can be helpful in sorting through all the candidates and issues.

Free Reverse Mortgage Seminar

If you are a homeowner, age 62 years or older, and own your home outright or could pay off the remaining balance with reverse mortgage proceeds, don't miss this opportunity to meet with certified reverse mortgage consultant Stephen Bartus. Mr. Bartus from Wells Fargo will explain how you can convert the equity in your home into tax-free proceeds, proceeds that can be used to meet expenses, cover healthcare costs or remodel your home. Join us Tuesday September 14th at 2:00PM in the Library Community Room to explore your options. No registration required.

Absentee Voters Can Track Ballots Online

Voters casting absentee ballots can track their ballots online. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land announced Monday that absentee voters who enter personal identification information at the Michigan Voter Information Center website will be able to track their ballot. The absentee ballot tracking feature notes when an application for an absentee ballot has been received by the local clerk's office, when the ballot was sent, and when the clerk received the returned ballot

The Michigan Voter Information Center also allows voters to check whether they are registered to vote, print a sample ballot, find their polling place and locate their local clerk.

Set Sail with Michigan Notable Books

Looking for some suggestions to help you complete Stage II (Michigan Author or Setting) of our Adult Summer Reading Program? Well, look no further than the Michigan Notable Books website. Each year this program selects 20 of the most notable books published in the year. The website lists this year's winners along with winners from past years, and offers a variety of titles to help you sail towards that summer reading finish line.

I-275 Bike Path Open House

On Tuesday April 20, 2010, MDOT will host an open house featuring the upcoming construction for the I-275 Metro Trail in Wayne County. This project, which is scheduled to start this spring, will reconstruct 7 miles of the bike path between Michigan Avenue and Edward Hines Drive. Attendees will be given the opportunity to review final designs changes before construction. For more information, including meeting time and location visit the MDOT website.