If The Spirit Moves You)
hat do you look for in a vacation? Are you
seen in the recreation room and at the foot of the first-floor
seeking warm climes, sunny beaches, miles of
shops? Perhaps you prefer to visit exotic set-
Further south, in Rockledge, Fla., is Ashleys Restaurant,
tings. Maybe you want to ski or skate to your heart's content.
where the ghost of a young girl, dressed in attire of the
. Some go wherever the spirit moves them.
1920s, haunts the ladies' room, breaks dinnerware in the
I am taking a literal bent here when I say "spirit." Have you
kitchen, turns off lights in the bar or shoves customers
ever thought of picking your vacation destination because it
from behind in the dining room.
was haunted? If so, consider some of the following places.
Head to the Southwest and make a stop at the Lodge
In Buffalo, N.Y., there is the Buffalo Holiday Inn, where,
in Cloudcroft, N.M. The restaurant in the inn was named
Sy M anello
supposedly the ghost of a little girl, who was burned to death
after a ghost named Rebecca; and her portraits, including a
in a house that once stood there, haunts the modern motel.
stained-glass window, are scattered throughout the estab-
Staff has witnessed the girl's spirit jumping on beds in empty
lishment. She was murdered by a jealous lumberjack at the
rooms or running through the halls at night. The housekeep-
inn in the 1930s.
ing staff has "stories that could fill a book," says the manager.
An invisible presence is said to walk the corridor from the bar to
Moving south, you may consider a stop as the Crescent Hotel in
the men's room and flush the toilet at the White Eagle Cafe and Saloon
Eureka Springs, Ark. A room in this old resort hotel is haunted by the
in Portland, Ore. There are many candidates for the other ghostly
ghost of an Irish stonemason, who worked on the hotel in 1885, fell
occurrences there, including a former bouncer, who mysteriously
from the roof and died in a second-floor area that became Room 218.
disappeared, and a 10-year-old boy. The owner has seen several tear-
Now he plays tricks with the lights and TV or pounds loudly from
drop-shaped ghosts in upstairs rooms.
inside the walls of the room.
The ocean liner that is now the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach,
He is not, however, alone. The ghost of a nurse in white has been
Calif., has had many reported incidences of strange rapping noises,
reported on the third floor; a gentleman in Victorian clothing haunts
moving objects, disembodied voice and ghostly apparitions.
the lobby. In the 1800s, the resort hotel was used as a college and
So, if the spirit moves you, grab a bottle of spirits and go haunt
became a hospital-health resort in the late 1930s. The confused ghost
some of these locales. But, if you plan to see a spirit, I personally think
of Dr. Baker, the charlatan who ran the hospital in the 1930s has been
you don't stand a ghost of a chance. iii
Lifelines For Uninsured Kids
Robert A. Sklar
aking certain that America's health coverage program for
kids is reauthorized by the federal government is a mis-
sion straight from God, the top professional of the public
affairs voice for American Jewry declared in Metro Detroit last week.
"Can those of us with insurance even imagine what it must be like
to feel that you cannot see a doctor
when you need one because you cannot
afford one?" asked Rabbi Steve Gutow,
executive director of the Jewish Council
for Public Affairs. He spoke at the April
23 kickoff event of Cover the Uninsured
Week, now in its fifth year.
The Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation organizes the weeklong
nonpartisan drive to mobilize citizens
to seek solutions for the 45 million
Americans, including 1.1 million in
Michigan, who are not insured. Most
are in working families.
Gutow is a Reconstructionist
Rabbi Steve Gutow
rabbi serving on the National
Interfaith Advisory Board of Cover
the Uninsured Week. He once was a student rabbi at Congregation
T'Chiyah in Oak Park.
People should not fear illness, the rabbi said at the Southfield
gathering of faith, health care and state government representatives
on behalf of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. SCHIP
funds MIChild in Michigan. Families whose kids are eligible for
MIChild pay $10 a month per child for coverage.
"Our sacred texts speak eloquently, passionately, unreservedly
about the scourges of poverty and about God's role in providing
health care for the sick:' Rabbi Gutow said. "Christian, Jew, Moslem,
Hindu, Buddhist — it does not matter. 'Healing the sick' is embedded
in our religions."
For the last 10 years, SCHIP has covered 6 million kids not poor
enough to be covered by Medicare but whose families are too poor to
"This country should find a way to cover all of the members of
those families:' Rabbi Gutow said, "but in the meantime, we can at
least continue to cover the children.'
Even with SCHIP, there are 9 million uninsured kids in America. In
Michigan, only 35,000 kids are covered, which means 160,000, or 6
percent, are not.
"This is not a safety net that can fall away:' Rabbi Gutow said.
When kids grow up without adequate health care — lack of check-
ups, medicine and immunizations — their lives are shaped forever.
"Illnesses untreated, diseases left until it is too late to cure them,
morph into tragic inabilities to learn, to grow, to be a part of society:'
the rabbi said.
"When we speak of illness, the children own a special piece of our
hearts. They must. They are a sacred trust; and if we fail them as par-
ents or as a society, we have little comprehension of God or human
Rabbi Gutow called for a renewed SCHIP that covers even more
kids. "The present proposed 2008 budget asks for five years' funding
but provides less than half of what is needed to maintain the existing
SCHIP caseloads;' he said.
"Religiously, pragmatically, morally — we cannot afford to let chil-
dren go for even a moment with health care Rabbi Gutow said.
"The very quality of our souls is being tested in what we say and
how we respond in this important national conversation."
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