Opinion

Bill would hurt transparency in state government

Editorial

More secrecy in government is one of the last things the state of Michigan needs. A bill that would keep bids secret until the state government awards a contract is nearing final approval in the Michigan Legislature, with the legislation expected to be up for a vote in the House today. The ...

Positive energy is still here

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: It’s been only a few weeks since Heikinpäivä 2017 took place, and the positive energy generated by the festival is still resonating in the community. It’s that word, that concept – “community” – that makes Heikinpäivä possible. While the Finnish Theme ...

Breakthrough in chicken-and-egg agribusiness

Columns

Those who say that we ordinary people can't have any effect on today's corporate behemoths should check out two breakthroughs last year by a group the establishment has long derided as somewhere between wacko and criminal: animal rights activists. Members of groups like the Humane Society get ...

People remember that facts matter

Columns

I’m beginning to feel like Sally Field. Remember the 1985 Academy Awards, when she was stunned by the idea of being accepted? “And I can’t deny the fact that you like me!” she gushed. “Right now! You like me!” I could give the same speech today. I am, you see, employed in an ...

Newspapers being besieged on all sides

Editorial

If it comes to it, this newspaper — and undoubtedly a large majority of community newspapers across this country — will tell the truth to the death. In this social media-dominated, post-factual, fake-news, information-illiterate, instantly gratified, partisan-warring, blame-the-messenger, ...

Ban would make us less safe

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: Instituting a ban on Muslims from war-torn countries is not only highly unethical, it will also make us less safe, even if that ban is temporary. It is counter-productive to implement such blatantly discriminatory practices and only fans the flames of radicalism by showing ...

The Russian plot thickens in cloud of suspicion

Columns

WASHINGTON — The cloud of suspicion over Russian interference in the American presidential election has widened, with new demands from congressional Republicans as well as Democrats for a special counsel’s investigation, akin to the Watergate inquiry that forced the 1974 resignation of ...

Speaking of Planned Parenthood

Columns

Dozens of women in Congress wore suffragist white Tuesday night for President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session. You know this had to annoy him, all those dames sticking out in that sea of dark suits, but he stayed on script anyway. That was all he had to do, apparently, to be ...

Missed boat on lakes funding reductions

Columns

News of a budget proposal that broke nationally late last week detailing that the White House wants to all but eliminate Environmental Protection Agency funding that pays for, among other things, environmental cleanup and other programs for the Great Lakes, has drawn fire from a great many ...

Trump effect sends stock market soaring past 21,000

Columns

Here are two scenarios. One: you are a retiree who in recent years has been concerned about the value of your stock portfolio. Suddenly, the value of your stocks and stock-based mutual funds surges, the Dow rising 1,000 points to record highs within weeks. You examine the monthly report your ...

Citizenship path is answer to promoting economic growth

Columns

The 1980s decade was known for the beginning of the second-longest peacetime economic expansion in our history. The gross domestic product (GDP), a barometer of economic growth, grew at an average of 3.5 percent annually. In comparison, our economy has grown at an average of a little over 2 ...

Washington trip stresses forest products issues

Editorial

Workers employed in the U.S. forest products industry traveled to Washington recently and had hundreds of face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and administration officials to underscore concerns about public policies impacting the industry’s future. The Pulp and Paperworkers’ Resource ...

Residents need to lobby Congress against EAS cut

Columns

The Copper Country may soon lose valuable support for our transportation links to the rest of the country: the essential air service (EAS), which subsidizes the Houghton County Memorial Airport, is in danger. We still have a chance to fight for it, though. Houghton County is a long way from ...

Facts on ground moving immigration in Trump’s direction

Columns

The afternoon before President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night speech to Congress, Twitter watchers were treated to a flurry of tweets, inspired by comments at the traditional lunch with network anchors, that the president was going to endorse something very much like the “comprehensive” ...

Trump makes Dubya look like genius

Columns

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump, the human ruler, as in measuring stick, is at it again, this time grading his performance as president. Appearing on Fox News recently, the president gave himself an A-plus for effort, an A for accomplishment, and a C for communication. He does seem to be ...

Other revenue should pay for income tax cut

Editorial

A vote last week in the state House of Representatives that, as a practical matter, killed a proposal to significantly cut the state income tax was the right one. The proposal, backed principally by Republicans but opposed by Gov. Rick Snyder — who is a member of the Republican Party ...

State diverting funds for poor

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: Over the past 20 years, Michigan has spent roughly a half-billion dollars annually on what it characterizes as welfare. In return, Washington has rewarded the state with an even greater amount — $775 million a year in federal block grants — which, when joined together, are ...

Shirts vs. Skins contest in 2017 Democratic Party

Columns

Back before kids sports — with their pricey equipment, expensive coaches and summer camps — had become a major American industry, American boys, when playing pickup basketball on a neighborhood court, would simply separate themselves into competing teams, the Skins (without their T-shirts) ...

Toward better relations with press

Columns

Before becoming a newspaper columnist I was a broadcast news reporter for local TV stations and occasionally appeared on the NBC radio and television networks. I have some experience at being on the receiving end of hostilities directed at the media. At a pro-Nixon, pro-Vietnam war rally I ...

Bloated military not good for country

Columns

Donald Trump once wanted to cut military spending. Before running for president, he said Congress’ automatic “sequestration” cuts didn’t go far enough, that they were “a very small percentage of the cuts that should be made.” Then he ran for office and said he would “make our ...