If Only

Sep 26, 2022 by Rose O'Keefe

If only I were an audio book fan, I would skip their #1 choice, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir and go straight to #2, We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story by Simu Liu, star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. When I'm done with a current project, that's one I would read in hard copy. #3, The Sentence by Louise Erdrich, a poignant and humorous story of a Native-American woman in Minneapolis, looked promising. French Braid by Anne Tyler, a family drama about a trapped matriarch, not so much.

The long CSM article about Lynn Rogers, a long-time black bear advocate, was surprising, inspiring and uplifting. The article about "Fly Compton", a program to introduce non-mainstream youth to aviation, was equally surprising, inspiring and uplifting.

If only I didn't have to pick just one of CSM's Points of Progress! They were so different and good, but I'll go with the Belgian city of Leuven having a 40% increase in cycling in the five years since it started a people-centered mobility plan. Bike loans, low-speed zones, pedestrian-only and one-way streets led to only 25% of people who lived or worked in downtown Brussels using cars.

Most of the time I don't go around thinking, if only I were taller, but I do look up to my youngest brother, Eric, who is editor and founder of The Land Report, The Magazine of the American Landowner. How I enjoy reading his clever editor's notes, and also my younger brother Stephen's "Market Watch." While much of the magazine is devoted to large land sales in the South, South West or West, it is always a pleasure to read about big doings in the Northeast. The article on the purchase and restoration of Galloo Island, off Watertown, New York, on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, was terrific. The BackGate piece on the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa in northeastern Minnesota restoring 28,000 acres of land to tribal ownership was marvelous. It was the largest land-back effort of its kind and reversed a 100-year-old trend in which the federal government sold parcels to individual band members. The transfer was through a Sustainable Forest Incentive Act and the Conservation Fund. No need to wish, "if only" this would continue. I'm sure it will.

blog post. https://rokeefehistory.com/blog #amreading; #RochesterNY; #BooksforGlobalReaders; #humpbackwhales; #LynnRogers; #blackbears; #FlyCompton; #LeuvenBelgium; #TheLandReport; #GalloIsland; #BackGate; #BoisForteBand; #Sustainableforestry; #ConservationFund;