Take Action, Take Heart
By Cathye Williams | Sept. 21, 2019
The folks I have met volunteering for environmental causes come from all walks of life. There’s some who spend their days looking through microscopes, some crunching numbers, some wiping noses. Some are retired, while others are still figuring out what they want to be when they grow up. Some of us spend our weekends following rivers and trails; others follow fantasy football.Our one commonality is our concern for where humanity is heading ...
By Stephen Tuttle | Sept. 21, 2019
October 8, 1871, was a very bad day for fires in the United States. At the end of an unusually hot and dry summer, railroad workers clearing brush outside of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, accidentally set a fire that quickly turned into a wind-aided conflagration. Known as the Peshtigo Fire, it quickly burned 1.2 million acres of eastern Wisconsin, including parts of the contiguous Upper Peninsula. The death toll was at least 1,500 people, ...
Short-sighted and Spending Big in Antrim County
By Donna Gundle-Krieg | Sept. 14, 2019
Four Antrim County Commissioners bravely stood up at a recent meeting and voted for a resolution to postpone moving ahead with building plans for a new jail. Unfortunately for the taxpayers, the motion failed 4–4, and the commissioners continue with plans to build the jail.The four commissioners who voted against the delay need to stop pushing their pet project forward and be transparent to the taxpayers who are funding it. They should ...
Perflouroalkyl and Polyflouroalky Substances
By Stephen Tuttle | Sept. 14, 2019
Quite a mouthful, otherwise known as PFAS. Now the trick is to actually keep them out of our mouths. PFAS, first developed in the 1940s, is not a single thing but a massive family of man-made chemicals — nearly 4,700 of them now, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The concoctions have been and still are widely used as soil and water repellents, in fire-fighting foam and non-stick cookware. In other ...
JFK and the Law of Unintended Consequences
By Isiah Smith | Sept. 7, 2019
America would be a much different country today if JFK had not suffered from a bad back and other serious medical conditions.If, like a young Donald Trump, JFK had been stricken by “deadly bone spurs” in his foot, he might never have joined the Navy, never have become a war hero, never have written “While England Slept,” or won the Pulitzer Prize for his “Profiles in Courage.” He almost certainty would not ...
Who Runs this Town, Anyway?
By Gary Howe | 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 "strong mayor" system. In New York, you'd need to pull Mayor Bill de Blasio off the presidential campaign trail ...
A Cautionary Tale
By Stephen Tuttle | Aug. 31, 2019
The Michigan Legislature is currently contemplating competing bills regarding short-term rentals. One of them might not be such a good idea. Supported by the real estate industry, companies like Airbnb, and private property rights advocates, the first would prohibit zoning ordinances involving short-term rentals, allow short-term rentals in any residential neighborhood, and classify them as residential, not commercial. The hotel/resort industry and local governments support competing legislation that essentially keeps control ...
By Stephen Tuttle | Aug. 24, 2019
Numbers are funny things. They can illuminate or deceive, confirm or deny, prove or disprove. Often, they mean little without accompanying context, and these days, we all add our own context. When President Trump, who often makes up his own numbers, ran for president, he emphasized his love for coal, his disdain for immigrants, and his ability to make deals. He once said he could eliminate trade deficits and budget deficits in ...
The Audacity of Enbridge
By Barbara Stamiris | Aug. 24, 2019
Michigan said no to Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 by electing a governor who promised to decommission the pipeline that threatens our Great Lakes. The backroom deal that former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made with Enbridge, a Canadian multinational energy transportation company based in Calgary, Alberta, called for a new Line 5 in a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, ignoring the advice of his own safety board. The agreement says Michigan will ...
The Real Welfare Queens
By Amy Kerr Hardin | Aug. 24, 2019
It’s rare that I agree with the Koch brother-funded conservative think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Hen’s teeth come to mind. After all, they’ve had a hand in shaping some of the worst public policies in Michigan’s recent history. Their boondoggles include vigorous support of the Emergency Manager law, which resulted in the Flint water crisis. They have also backed disastrous privatization schemes in state prisons and public schools. They advocated ...
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