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Bombs away — The Soviet Union is gone, but the threat from nuclear weapons lives on. There are some 30,000 nuclear weapons in existence, 17,500 of them operational.

If you want to hear a truly informed opinion about the issue, check out the upcoming talk by Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert G. Gard. A 1950 West Point graduate, Gard served in Korea and Vietnam and has worked for the Department of Defense. An educator, writer, lecturer and consultant on international security affairs, he is currently senior military fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Proactive is taking a wild guess here, but we’re thinking Gard isn’t exactly going to be a big advocate of nukes. The Aug. 8 event, sponsored in part by Peace Action of Michigan and Citizens for Peace of Livonia, will begin at 6 p.m. with a gathering at Unity Church of Livonia, 28860 Five Mile Rd. (just east of Middlebelt Road). Gard’s talk will start at 7:30 p.m. For further information, contact Wendy Hamilton at 313-343-9028.

River givers — Here’s a chance to have a fine time while contributing to a worthy cause. The nonprofit group Friends of the Detroit River is again hosting its fall river cruise to raise funds. The dinner cruise will be held Thursday, Sept. 8. The boat leaves the dock in Wyandotte at 6 p.m. Cost is $60 per ticket.

As pointed out on its Web site, Friends of the Detroit River is dedicated to enhancing the “environmental, educational, economic, cultural and recreational opportunities associated with the Detroit River watershed through citizen involvement and community action.”

Among other things, the group helped protect the Humbug Marsh area from developers. It also plays a key role in efforts to monitor water quality and address pollution problems in the river’s watershed.

More info about the group and its fundraising cruise can be found at

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