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Mourning the loss of a hero

I feel a step slow. My head aches. My stomach is gurgling. Like so many, I am deeply saddened by the death of Kobe Bryant and eight others.

I cannot fathom the emotional and physical pain his family and the families of all whose lives were tragically cut short are experiencing. I pray for their strength and peace. I am sad not because I am a Lakers fan. I grew up a Sonics fan.

I am sad not because I idolize or romanticize famous people. I don't.

I am devastated because I respect excellence. I have the utmost adulation for Bryant’s work ethic and his commitment to continuous improvement on and off the court. He was always striving to be the best as an athlete, businessman, father and person. 

Sure, he gave us some of the greatest moments in sports. But the greatest gift for me was the way he lived his life — evolving, learning, loving. He spoke several languages, won an academy award, opened an academy to nurture young talent, was working on his spiritual life and cherishing his home life. 

The pictures of him and his girls say it all. Like all of us, he was flawed, he made mistakes that because of his status were illuminated on a public stage. Yet, he refused to let failure define him. Bryant never stopped trying to score 81 points in all aspects of his life.

That, is what my heroes are made of.

-Janice Hayes Kyser 

Repay overtaxed Detroiters

Re: "City explores options to pay overtaxed residents," Jan. 30.

The corrupt individuals in City Hall responsible for this unforgivable abuse of the city’s homeowners should be fired immediately and their salaries put toward repaying their victims. At a time when the city is desperate to attract more families, this is a public relations disaster, and the last debacle the city needs to deal with at this time in it’s history.

To the mayor: Do the right thing to make things right for the overtaxed victims of this crime. The city can’t afford to do anything less.

Angelo DiDonato, Macomb

Worries about Whitmer's upcoming speech

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has yet to give the most important speech of her life — the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union Address.

That Whitmer was chosen to give the response to Trump’s address presents a serious quandary for the state of Michigan and its citizens.

Will our governor stick with the Democrat talking points and belittle the man who did away with NAFTA? The man who negotiated the USMCA agreement that helps Michigan and the other rust belt States?

I fear Whitmer will denigrate Trump regardless of how well his policies have and will impact our state.

We just saw that GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, once targeted for closure, will add 2,200 workers and a couple of billion in spending. Similarly Ford announced investment in Michigan plants. Would this have happened without the USMCA, or would those jobs be celebrated in Mexico?

I watched the previous mayor of Flint denigrate then-candidate Trump during his visit to Flint concerning the water crisis. The mayor did this based on politics, not care or concern for her constituents. After the presidential election the mayor refused to “eat crow” and apologize, mending the fence.

We don’t know how much the president and the federal government could have helped our city because she wouldn’t do what was best for us; her loyalties were to the party.

Our governor must decide between toeing the party line or being honest about how Trump’s trade negotiations and deals are a benefit for our state and all others.

I fear that instead of looking out for her citizens, our governor will only be thinking about her re-election stipend from the DNC. We, the citizens, are going to get squeezed.

May God look after our Great State of Michigan.

Jeff Johnson, Millington

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