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Robin Miner-Swartz is the vice president of communications for the Capital Region Community Foundation. She’s a #lovelansing cheerleader and bleeding-green Spartan who never met a cup of Biggby coffee and a spinach and feta omelet she didn’t like. The views and assertions of guest columnists do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan.

Step by step, bit by Fitbit, self-improvement becomes a losing game

Some people can turn anything into a contest – even a friendly competition to improve one’s health. Running in place at the stove, anyone?

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Power outage was Lansing’s unwelcome Christmas gift, but a gift just the same

It drove people from their homes, stressed the whole city and fouled up the celebration, but at the end, going nine days without electricity was a blessing after all. (Sorta.)




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If you #lovelansing – or any community or charity – consider Giving Tuesday

When you’re doing your holiday shopping, don’t forget the charities that need tending, especially at this time of year. Giving Tuesday, after Thanksgiving, is the newly designated day.




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Shuttle diplomacy – to the U.P. – for two Michigan ambassadors

Not to be too Dorothy Gale about it, but sometimes, Toto? There’s no place like home. Especially when this state is home.




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A chill at the half-century mark prompts a new focus on life

Growing older brings its share of sorrows, but also a renewed appreciation of friends old and new. So raise a glass; your time’s not past.




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Lansing’s next generation of doers has things well in hand, er, paws

No need to fret over who will carry the torch for Michigan’s capital city when its current boosters are exhausted. The farm team is already stepping up.




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After a decade Up North, who would have it any other way?

Even with the work a summer cottage brings, Michigan’s relaxation zone is a place unlike any other.




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Bug juice, canoes, lanyards, s’mores and summers that change lives

Summer camp isn’t just two weeks away from the city. It’s a time for children to learn new things, and learn about themselves.




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It’s harder to be a fan ‘away,’ so make everyone feel at home

As the Big Ten grows, sports fans may want to hit the road. A little empathy goes a long way, whether at the Breslin Center or as a another team’s visitor.




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Ready, Freddy? It’s almost time for TEDxLansing

In need of a midwinter burst of inspiration? Robin Miner-Swartz found hers at a TEDx event. The fourth 2014 TEDxLansing runs Feb. 28, and just might bring an early spring to your creative energies.




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One cure for a sad Christmas: Making others’ merry

Christmas 2009 was shaping up to be a sad one. My partner’s mom died of ovarian cancer in June of that year; we’d lost her dad to pancreatic cancer three years earlier. For Betsy and her two sisters, it was their first […]

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Be happy for holidays – no matter which is yours

According to my parents, I’m the daughter of a Reform Jewish mom from Brooklyn and a nondenominational Christian dad from Battle Creek. We had menorahs and a Christmas tree in our home. According to Beliefnet’s interesting Belief-o-matic quiz, I’ve grown up to […]

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Abuse survivor lights fuse on children’s recovery

You think you know your friends. I met Tashmica Torok about three years ago. In the span of an hour I was pretty sure I’d made a friend for life. She was a hilarious, smart, driven, together, roller derby-skating wife and mom […]

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Put pen to paper, and give the world a gratitude adjustment

I sent a thank-you note to my therapist last week. I hadn’t seen her in more than a decade, but recently found myself reflecting on my time with her and feeling appreciative of the help she gave me in figuring out some […]

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Everyone dies, and planning for it is enlivening

I’ve done a handful of things in my life that made me think, “I’m an adult now” — you know, the usual milestones: – Got a driver’s license – Voted for the first time – Rented a hotel room for the first […]

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Youth Action Committees give teens head start on philanthropy

High school clubs have come a long way since I was a teenager. Even my progressive alma mater, East Lansing High — with its artsy, cerebral, diverse options — didn’t offer me the chance to be a philanthropist. But that’s exactly what […]

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