David Hecker writes, “This latest push to defund public schools began in the Legislature, where Republican lawmakers passed bills that would create tax credits for “scholarship funds” that could be used at non-public schools, which is just a more roundabout way of taking public money that should be spent on public education and putting it into private schools. Thankfully, Governor Whitmer continued to stand on the side of public schools and vetoed the legislation, but the fight to stop this latest DeVos-backed initiative isn’t over.”

WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “When did I make Christmas all about presents, and less about traditions and family time? I remember the first year I was a mother. I was so excited to buy Cadence gifts, even though she was only 3 months old at the time. She would never know what she was receiving. She wouldn’t even be able to open the gifts. But that wasn’t the point. I just loved the act of giving her things. And it has progressed every year since then. The gifts have become more elaborate, the quantity has increased, the price more expensive. But do they really appreciate the work that I put into this every year?”

George Ochenski writes, “For years now we’ve been subjected to an endless stream of nonsense from those who deny the inescapable reality that our planet is overheating due to human-caused pollution in the atmosphere. It’s now apparent that the cascading effects of global baking — and the concurrent lack of action by our politicians and lawmakers — are creating enormous societal, economic and environmental problems and threatening our very existence.”

Editor’s Note: This episode was recorded on Halloween.

Welcome to Screen Tea Podcast! Lisha and Jules review a different kind of film: Austin Allan James’s 2021 independent, micro-budget film Who’s With Me? (You can watch for free; links after the cut!) Make sure you have a back stock of clean water (for your tea of course!) before digging in as Lisha gets deep into theory, Jules puts her education to work, and they get into a ridiculous debate about who would escape a deadly quarantine and who would be left to die in misery 😃 Your hosts were lucky enough to get some behind the scenes info about the production of this film from the creator himself, so sit back, relax, and spend some time with us on Spooky Day. 🧡

WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “Today I want to talk about teenage dating. How can something be so terrifying and exciting at the same time? Yes, Cadence, I know you’re going to kill me for writing about your dating life, but here we are (feel free to insert a shoulder shrug emoji right here). At this time I’d like to make the official announcement, Cadence has a boyfriend. There I said it.”

Parker James writes, “No amount of lead exposure is safe, especially for children. In addition to lead in the water, lead paint in older housing stock and even lead in the ground from paint and gasoline remnants also pose danger. The damaging effects of lead exposure are well documented, and lead contamination in water plays a significant role in overall lead poisonings. Lead poisoning causes harm to brain development and can result in a range of mental and physical health conditions. For these reasons, addressing lead has been and remains a priority for advocates of children and families, including the Michigan League for Public Policy and our Kids Count in Michigan Project.”

WSV’s Charles Thomas writes about importance of beauty, as well as the risk and reward of sharing one’s creative efforts with the world. “Why do they take the risk? Why put yourself in a position to have something you worked on for hundreds of hours become the subject of ridicule? Why risk openness and honesty when we live in a culture that has a strong tendency to mock almost everything? I’m sure there is no single answer to those questions, but I think an important reason that we take those risks is because deep down, all of us want to be a part of something beautiful. In fact, I think that a drive to merge with the beautiful is essential to who we are as human beings.”

Watershed Voice’s Nancy Boyd writes, “Let me always partake of the silence of the trees that surround me in this earthly life. Allow them to teach me what chaos never will, to show me how powerful silence can be for the inward life. The seasons of my life will not come around again, they come only once, and each have their lessons to be received.”

Doug and Alek are joined by Layne Deuel (Spartans, Wolverines and Beards Podcast) to discuss the best and WORST of sports cinema. Alek tells all of the stories including how he and his brother Shane used The Waterboy against their sister Kayla, why his Uncle Andy got in trouble for showing Mystery, Alaska to his niece and nephews, and the tragedy that occurred with Alek’s VHS copy of Space Jam. Doug finally gets to talk about hockey before absolutely roasting The Natural, while Layne waxes poetic about Little Giants, Dodgeball, and Semi-Pro in an episode that has something for everyone.

Welcome to Screen Tea Podcast, and the first ever Small Screen Tea! That’s right, Lisha and Jules stepped away from the big screen for a moment because there was a spooky Netflix series that was just too good not to talk about: Mike Flanagan’s Midnight Mass! Do it up with a themed drink this week like your hosts and turn the lights down low as you listen to the dulcet tones of Lisha screeching about the hot, dorky, tragic priest; Jules demanding answers to the hard questions about poison; and both of your hosts admiring everything Mike Flanagan does, period (as well as a ton of crooning over Rahul Kohli and Samantha Sloyan). It’s a pretty blasphemous episode, but hey, so’s the subject matter, so keep the holy water nearby as you jump into this week’s episode!