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Date: Jan 17, 2020 - Apr 17, 2020 - Start:11:30 AM - End:01:00 PM

Programs are held on Fridays in the Library Conference Center.  $12 includes lunch.  Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m.; program begins at noon.  Reservations are required. You must call 231-348-6600 or email to make a reservation for each program in the series.


January 17 – THE CHEMISTRY OF CANNABIS.  Lake Superior State University’s new cannabis chemistry program is the first academic degree program in the nation focusing on the quantitative analysis of cannabis-related compounds, including THC and CBD. Professors Benjamin Southwell and Steven Johnson will explain their program, the career potential for graduates, and the possible positive impact their program could have on the economy of the eastern Upper Peninsula.

January 24 – 2020 CENSUS.  It’s that time again: The nation’s decennial census takes place this year.  The census is the primary source of data on the nation's population and economy.  Census data are used to determine our system of political representation, inform business investment and allocate government funds.  David Springsteen, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau, explains the process, the jobs that need to be filled and more.

February 14 – THE BLUES.   A musical genre that began in the Deep South in the 19th century has grown to influence just about every type of modern music.  Attorney Stuart Fenton was such a big fan that he hosted a weekly four-hour blues show on a Kalamazoo radio station for several years.  He will give us a brief overview of some of the most influential blues artists from the very beginning through the modern era.  

February 21 – S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD.  Drawing on rare archival material and exclusive underwater images of the wreck site, Bruce Lynn, executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, has written a richly illustrated, 272-page meditation on the remarkable life and tragic loss of a ship that has become part of the folklore of North America’s inland seas.

March 13 – REDISTRICTING THE NEW WAY.  In November 2018, Michigan voters approved the “Voters Not Politicians” constitutional amendment that makes a commission of 13 randomly selected citizens responsible for drawing district lines for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress.  You can apply to be a member of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and help draw the new lines resulting from the 2020 census.  Sally Marsh, director of special projects for Michigan’s Secretary of State, explains it all.

March 20 – TALKING TRASH.  Do you ever wonder what happens to the stuff you put out to the curb every week?  Chris Gee knows.  He got his start in the trash business at age 9.  Today, he runs the landfill in Onaway owned by GFL Environmental Inc. based in Toronto, Canada, that takes all of the trash collected in Emmet County.  He can also tell you some surprising things about eagles and how he’s looking at ways to turn some of your waste into electricity. 

April 17 – BEETHOVEN AT 250.  In 2020, orchestras across the world will celebrate the 250th birthday of one of the greatest composers of all time.  Although Ludwig van Beethoven is often hailed as a hero who overcame deafness to compose some of the greatest music ever written, there is much more to his story.  Amanda Sewell, Ph.D., music director of Interlochen Public Radio, will survey his life and music, focusing on some lesser-known facets, including his long affair with a married woman known as “Immortal Beloved.”  Dr. Sewell has written a biography of Wendy Carlos, the composer of “Switched-On Bach,” which is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.