Columns

Avoiding ‘The Summer Slide’ through reading

On average, students lose two months of reading skills over their summer break. This is due to what is called, “The Summer Slide.” Students, parents, and teachers work hard all year to build students’ reading abilities. By spending as little as 20 minutes each day, you can turn the ...

Myths of Becoming a Foster Parent

Have you considered becoming a foster parent, but feel you may not qualify? It’s possible you may have heard one of many myths regarding becoming a foster parent that lead to this assumption. Did you know that our local communities in the UP have an ongoing need for loving foster homes? ...

Many humbling, inspiring lessons from big storm

It was 5 a.m., and it had been raining and thundering all night long. Then in an instant, the house shook like it had been hit by a bolt of lightening, followed by an explosion. Waking from a sound sleep, my wife and I rushed to the other side of the house, peering into our living room ...

Good leaders are out there — always have been

In one of her comic monologs back in the 1980s, Phyllis Diller said, “I went to Hollywood hoping to become a star overnight - because I heard that’s how it’s done, overnight.” The audience roared; it was popularly known about such transactions made to “make it” in that Sin ...

Taking ‘beauty’ out of pageants

The Miss America Organization announced this week that it will no longer judge women on their “outward physical appearance.” To that end, the swimsuit competition is gone. “We are no longer a pageant,” Gretchen Carlson, the group’s head, explained. “Miss America will represent a new ...

Donald Trump, Rod Blagojevich and cost of corruption

When President Donald Trump blurted out that he was thinking of springing thoroughly corrupt former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich from federal prison, the reaction was predictably tribal. The pro-Trumpers spun it all by saying his Blagogevich move was a shot across the bow of his enemies in ...

Is second US civil war possible?

Imagine that an impeachment resolution against Donald Trump passes the House. Trump claims it's the work of the “deep state.” Sean Hannity of Fox News demands that every honest patriot take to the streets. Right-wing social media call for war. As insurrection spreads, Trump commands the ...

Ebb tide: California results suggest blue wave over

The nation is just past halftime in the 2018 primary election cycle. Twenty states -- containing the majority, 228 of 435, of House districts -- have held their primaries, and all but the three with runoffs have chosen their nominees. The latest results, taken together with the generic vote ...

Reading books will prevent summer slide

For kids, few moments in life are more glorious than the end of the school year and the start of summer vacation. Hooray! Three whole months of sweet freedom! Unlike in the past, many students do not spend summer break at the library or reading books in the backseat on family trips. In fact, ...

Corrupt crony capitalism

“Are you on the take?” When I tried to get Edgewater, New Jersey, politicians to answer that question, the mayor wouldn’t discuss it, ultimately telling me, “You may sit down.” The town of Edgewater is right across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Anyone fortunate enough to live ...

RFK and nation we might have been

It made my mother scream. That’s what I remember. I had been lying dozy in bed, but at the sound of her, I scrambled into the living room. She was standing before the television watching an image of chaos in a hotel ballroom. Although I grew up in the 1960s, very few of the signal events ...

One of haves, RFK connected with have-nots

WASHINGTON — Television’s remembrances of Robert Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his death this week have brought back images of the huge crowds he drew, both in life and in leaving it. They mobbed and cheered him as he motored through big-city streets and then stood in stark silence ...

We already knew about Rosanne

It was the fall of 1989. Or maybe the following spring. I remember the rising heat in the room but not the season outside the windows. I was one of the few non-lawyers in the packed house, feeling conspicuous in my bright new blazer. I kept catching myself swaying as if my baby were on my ...

Ireland abortion vote revokes unalienable right

The scientific, moral and theological battle between life as an “endowed unalienable” right and the evolutionary view that we are just material and energy shaped by pure chance in a random universe with no author of life, no purpose for living and no destination after we die has been won in ...

Deep State dedicated to…what?

During the so-called McCarthy era, a single question cut across all partisan and philosophical lines: Were you on Sen. Joe McCarthy’s side or not? McCarthy’s conspiratorial, bullying, blunderbuss anti-communism and “red-baiting” was either defensible or it wasn’t. Remarkably, for ...

Recent immigration stories make bad situation worse

Maybe you’ve seen the video of the hero the French have dubbed “Spider-Man.” When he saw a toddler dangling off a fourth-story balcony, he scaled the exterior of the Paris building in about 30 seconds to save the child. Turns out Mamoudou Gassama was a newly arrived illegal immigrant from ...

Are you maximizer or satisfier in making choices?

A couple walked into a local store to buy a new vacuum cleaner to replace their ailing Bissell. They found a wide variety from low cost Hoover to high-dollar deluxe Shark models. They began reading about the different air filters, the WindTunnel, the no-filter versions, self-propelled, and even ...

I-vanka be Daddy’s girl

WASHINGTON — Of course, I’m jealous of Ivanka Trump — because any criticism of another woman has to be jealousy, according to the letters I shall receive. In the following order, I want her wardrobe, hair, makeup, private transportation and height (5’11”) — and all of her trademarks ...

We’ve lost sight of plot in immigration debate

As the immigration debate hit another low last week, I received the news that my favorite immigrant died: my father-in-law, Paul Gavora. I don’t want to politicize Paul’s story too much, or really at all. For me, the man wasn’t a talking point; he was a hero. Still, one of the things ...

Prof opposes higher ed subsidizing

Today, all Americans are told, “Go to college!” President Obama said, “College graduation has never been more valuable.” But economist Bryan Caplan says that most people shouldn’t go. “How many thousands of hours did you spend in classes studying subjects that you never ...