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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.

Loving our Pets

February is not just for Valentine's Day. It's also Responsible pet owners month. All those squeaky guinea pigs and fluffy kittens our relying on you, their owners, to take good care of them. You can also learn about different kinds of pets to have from library books like, Extreme Pets or The House of a Million Pets. Are you taking good care of your special pet?

Write On!

Learning to be a writer takes a lot of practice, whether you're a kid or an adult. Learning to be a nonfiction writer takes research and asking lots of questions. If you would like to learn how to write books for kids check out Writing World for tips on good writing. Author Fiona Bayrock's website is another good site to get information on writing nonfiction for children.

Kids! Score Tickets for the Red Wings or Pistons

Reminder: Deadline to enter for free Pistons tickets is April 4th. Tickets for the Detroit Red Wings are sold out.

Grow your own nutrition

Did you know that there are many really easy to grow veggies that are super-nutritious? Some of them are even extremely tasty, like the sweet peas (from my garden) pictured here. You may find yourself eating them right off the vine! Check out this Top Ten list and start planning your garden for this summer.

Homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs: a bountiful, healthful garden for lean times by Jim Wilson; photography by Walter Chandoha

Vitamins, Minerals and Older Adults

As Canton Township's 100 Days of Health initiative continues, consider the needs of older family members. Research has discovered that as we age, our diets and our need for dietary supplements become greater. Doctors are increasingly concerned about boosting the levels of vitamins and minerals that we need as we grow older. Loss of appetite may account for a vitamin/mineral deficiency in older adults.

RoboCop Statue a "Rocky" Proposition?

RoboCop, a cinematic gem of the 1980s, exemplifies the attitude of many people toward Detroit: crime-infested urban ruins. So, despite the title character being [spoiler alert] a hero, the movie's setting is not depicted in such a positive light.

This is in contrast to Rocky, which shows Philadelphia in a mostly-neutral light; along with a glorious training montage that made the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps an icon and tourist attraction. Given the positive effect of Rocky on Philly tourism, the strong identification of that film with a particular filming location, demand for a statue for photography purposes, and the pre-existence of a bronze Rocky statue (which was created as a prop for Rocky III), the permanent installation of the prop statue seems natural.
Now, in Detroit, with the resurgence of civic pride and national recognition:

Some people have come forward to have a statue of Detroit film history erected.

But where? The Detroit in the film bears little resemblance to the rising-Phoenix-Detroit we see today. Additionally, no location in the film was particularly memorable above others. Maybe RoboCop isn't the right fictional Detroiter for a statue. Here are some films set in Detroit for your sculptural inspiration:

Congratulations Green Bay!

Let's all heave a sigh of relief as Super Bowl 2011 is officially over! Now, I just watch the game for the commercials, and I am sure I am not the only one, but for those of you out there who watched the game because it was a football game, well, congrats to the Green Bay Packers! The game was a bit of a nailbiter, but I have to say, I am pleased with the outcome. For those of you who rooted for the Steelers, my condolences. Here's looking forward to Super Bowl 46!

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.

Author Brian Jacques Has Passed

Beloved British author of the famous Redwall series, Brian Jacques, died of a heart attack in Liverpool, England on February 5th at the age of 71. Although best known for the Redwall animal fantasy series, which has been translated into 29 languages, he did write other books. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman is an awesome adventure series with magic, action, and enlightenment. I was really looking forward to book #4. Redwall fans will be glad to know, however, that the last book in that series, The Rogue Crew, will still be published this year. His novels have sold more then 20 million copies worldwide.

Saving and Sharing Seeds

Seed libraries are a way for people to share the seeds from the plants they grow, as well as to gain access to other heirloom varieties with which their neighbors may have had good luck. The Bay Area Seed Interchange Library is one such organization, which appears to be working well. Have you swapped seeds with others? Do you keep your own library of seeds from year to year? Would you be interested in participating in a seed swap in Canton? For more info on saving seeds, check out this article:

Library Lovers' Month!

Most people associate February with Valentine's Day, but did you know that February is also Library Lovers' Month? Check out this website to print some great bookmarks, send some online postcards, get library-inspired ideas for things to do with kids, and even see a list of movies involving librarians. Then come visit the library to check them out!

Google Art Project

The Google Art Project allows the user to tour 17 of the world's most famous museums like Google Street View. Interested in New York's Frick Museum, MOMA, or Versailles? This is a new look at museums which allows you to go from room to room and then select a painting to view. With high-resolution technology you can look at featured paintings in amazing detail. This is a unique resource for the tourist, the student, or the art lover. To learn more about the Google Art Project, check out this article from the New York Times.

Dollars and Sense

Four quick things every citizen should know from Governor Rick Snyder's new Dollars & Sense: How State and Local Governments in Michigan Spend Your Money guide to the public's checkbook. State Treasurer Andy Dillon says Lansing is about to experience "shock therapy."

You can compost

No, really, you can! Even if you live in an dwelling without a yard, you can still turn your food waste into rich, useful compost. Michigan garden expert Colleen Vanderlinden shows you how over at Planet Green. You can also check out some of our many resources on composting:

The compost specialist : the essential guide to creating and using garden compost, and using potting and seed composts by David Squire

Black Americans Making Their Stamp on History

In honor of Black History Month stop by and view our display case near the receptionist desk. It includes an authentic USPS Black Heritage stamp collection and portraits on loan from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Also showcased are just a few of the many Black Americans that have given their lives to shape our world through leadership, inventions, medicine, arts & entertainment, civil rights, sports, education, and more.

Check out our wide selection of materials including books, videos, CD’s and cassette tapes noting the achievements and notable moments in history of those of African descent. Let’s celebrate Black History Month together here at your Canton Public Library!
(image from Kevin Fell at HOZA)

Starting Your Veggie Garden From Seed

Now is the time when many gardeners in our area begin to start seeds indoors, so they'll have lovely seedlings to transplant into the garden when the weather warms up. You can even reuse many items from around the house, to save both money and time. We also have a number of books that will help you with starting from seed:

Gardening with heirloom seeds: tried-and-true flowers, fruits, and vegetables for a new generation by Lynn Coulter

Sesame Street Science

Cookie Monster presents Sesame Street Science "Sink or Float." This YouTube video is an interactive science experiment where you can discover why things sink and why they float, all while learning the scientific method. Great for those beginning to experiment with science and those seasoned experimenters. For more information on why things sink or float check out these books.

Resources for the Transgender Community

She's Not There, by Jennifer Finney Boylan, was recommended to me by a transgender friend who described it as "the book she could relate to the most" regarding her experience. The book helped her in her decision to transition and me to understand her struggle with her sexual identity and what to expect from the transitioning process. CPL has other helpful gender identity resources including a Living Book who is the co-president of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) who can discuss the topic of transgender with you.

Free Tax Help for Michigan Residents

Free tax preparation is available for qualified Michigan residents at sites around the state. You can call 2-1-1 (1-800-552-1183 if 2-1-1 is unavailable in your area) for help locating the free tax site nearest you.