October 23, 2019

Gary Howe | Author

Who Runs this Town, Anyway?

Aug. 31, 2019

If an alien came to your hometown and said, "Take me to your leader," who would you ring up? On TV and in the movies, the mayor greets important visitors and re-opens beaches after shark attacks. In real life, fewer than one-third of U.S. cities, towns, and villages use this kind of a "st... Read More >>

What’s Your Issue?

April 27, 2019

While spring is renewing everything all over, I wish to ask each reader of this column to define, in a single word, the most important challenge facing our community. Or, you might prefer an alternate framing of the same question: What is the most important opportunity before our communit... Read More >>

Social Media is Dumb

Jan. 26, 2019

FOMO is not what bothers this writer about Facebook. Rather, it’s the lack of breathing room. Facebook is like inviting your friends, family, and acquaintances into your living room and then discovering that they never leave. You get notified every morning that they’re standin... Read More >>

Michigan: A Land of Opportunity in the Uncertain Times Ahead

Dec. 1, 2018

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the White House released the National Climate Assessment, a quadrennial report mandated by Congress to be prepared by 13 government agencies on climate science. This report details the coming risks, costs, and interconnected impacts that will cascade thro... Read More >>

No Shame, No Blame: #GoVote!

Oct. 6, 2018

I cast my first vote in the 1992 election and brazenly wrote in Jerry Brown for president. Three weeks later, I took my 19-year-old self down to the city clerk’s office in search of evidence that my vote had counted. Sure enough, I found exactly one write-in for president in my prec... Read More >>

Save the Doom and Gloom; Embrace the Facts

Aug. 11, 2018

Quite possibly, the world is getting better.

Unfortunately, we aren’t that inclined to accept the promising results. This is because our views are muddled by instincts that distort how we see the world. And it is this distorted understanding that stifles progress and leads t... Read More >>

Community Action Begins with an Invitation

June 9, 2018

Traverse City is known statewide for its citizen participation. I’m proud to be part of that heritage and have spent many years as an engaged citizen. And through that work, I saw results.

But it can be hard work. Sometimes it feels exhausting and difficult to even show up. ... Read More >>

The Youth Go to Washington — and They Won’t be Leaving

April 7, 2018

Right from the get-go, it was a magnificent mess. And complicated. In the history of our great United States, for every glorious achievement, history offers up parallel infamies. The Founding Fathers showed profound wisdom in basing our experiment in democracy on the Charters of Freedom. ... Read More >>

Stepping Up to the Plate: Housing Solutions Right in Our Backyards

Feb. 3, 2018

“One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks.” ― Michael Lewis, Moneyball

Getting to first base is critical to winning: That’s a fundamental lesson learned through anal... Read More >>