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Columns

Questions answered

It was Thomas Edison who got his ears boxed by his teacher for asking, “Why is the sky blue?”  Pity. Q: So, why is it? A: The Short Answer: Gases and particles in Earth’s atmosphere scatter sunlight in all directions. Blue light is scattered more than other colors because it travels ...

It takes a village

We have all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This is going to ring true more than ever this school year. I feel very fortunate to live and work in the Copper Country. The community has always been very involved in the education of our area students and I’m ...

Parent and Community Support needed as we reopen K-12 schools

On March 12 at 11 p.m., Gov. Whitmer held a news conference announcing that all K-12 schools in Michigan would be closed to face-to-face instruction beginning on Monday, March 16. It was first thought that this would last 14 days or so. Now, six months later we will return to face-to-face ...

Time for some transparency in local policitics

In the Thursday, Aug. 13, edition of the Daily Mining Gazette, the paper ran an article citing Commissioner Mr. Roy Britz stating, “Discussions had been on hold pending the results of the August Primary election for Sheriff, as one of the candidates opposed building a new jail, Commissioner ...

Helping kids be comfortable wearing masks

A face mask is a simple thing, yet it's one of the best tools we have to help protect one another from COVID-19. That's why public health experts say almost everyone should wear a mask-including children as young as two years old who live in certain communities. "Many areas have mask mandates ...

Vote for America’s future

As the November presidential election rapidly approaches, we are once again at a crossroads. Do we continue down President Trump’s path, or strike off in a new direction? Most people care about health, security and economic well-being for themselves and their families. These basic needs are ...

Getting government to respond

Once you’ve filed your request, there are a lot of ways a government agency can respond. The best-case scenario is that a clerk or FOIA coordinator promptly turns over what you’ve requested, or even more. It does happen, but isn’t typical. Sometimes you’ll get a response that seems ...

August tidbits

Over the years, each month has developed a character all of its own, and August is no exception. The following are a few tidbits to help you enjoy it just a little better. If you live in Europe, if’s likely you’re taking an extended holiday during August. If you live anywhere in the ...

How to write a FOIA request

There are two things to figure out before beginning to write a Freedom of Information Act request. The first is to whom you’re addressing the FOIA request. Local governments and state agencies are typically required to designate a “FOIA coordinator” who handles all the requests sent to ...

Career & Technical Education update 2020

In August 2017, Copper Country voters passed a Career & Technical Education millage. At that time, I promised to give the public an annual update of what we are accomplishing with those millage dollars. The most important statistic is the number of students who are participating in CTE ...

But what to request?

Even with the Freedom of Information Act, asking the government for information isn’t as simple as walking in and saying “I want information on road maintenance”, because you would receive far too many files (and that’s only if you could pay for the copies). Alternatively, you could ask ...

Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act

Spend a little time reading in-depth news articles and sooner or later you’ll come across some mention of the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, and requests made through it. FOIA is the name of the federal law, and is used as a shorthand term for similar laws in each state, too. It’s the ...

Fund what serves, defund what doesn’t

The recent wave of protests following the murder of George Floyd have focused national attention on racial discrimination and many other serious flaws in American law enforcement. In seeking remedies, the slogan “Defund the Police” has gained popularity. While the meaning of these three ...

Aging with grace

A wise person once said, “Aging is inevitable. It has its benefits; you just have to look for them.” In many cultures of the past, the elderly were seen as wise persons who can offer advice and guidance from experience. But this is the age of state-of-the-art; we trash the old - last ...

Mail-in voter fraud: fact, fiction, the only fraud?

With November quickly arriving and a cure for COVID-19 still some time off, there is heated discussion around the pros and cons of mail-in voting. Is it a highly fraudulent system, or are these unfounded claims? The University of Chicago News released a story, “Does voting by mail increase ...

Keeping safe during reopening, summer activity

The U.P. spent late winter and spring locked up due to the coronavirus pandemic. While winter and spring are over, COVID-19 has not gone away. Here are a few things the Copper Country should keep in mind. Science is a constantly changing and evolving study. New tests, new experiments, new ...

Copper Country ISD’s mental health services continue to grow

The Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD) received money last year from the Michigan Department of Education to provide mental health services to general education students throughout the districts. Each district has decided to allow the ISD to manage the funding, recruiting, ...

Lessons from our Founding Fathers – The Declaration of Independence

Editor’s note: This column was originally set to run before Independence Day. The Second Continental Congress began meeting in May of 1775. Made up of representatives of the 13 colonies, the congress was tasked with two main goals. First, create a Continental Army under the leadership of ...

Police reform is needed in our country to move forward

Across America, people are demanding justice for George Floyd’s murder and calling for an end to racially discriminatory and violent policing. American law enforcement is seriously flawed. It is often needlessly violent, lacks accountability, and targets and kills African Americans at ...