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Documentary on dark store issue recommended

Few issues have riveted local attention in recent years like the dark store issue, where certain businesses lead by big box retailers had its property taxes significantly due to a so-called loophole in in the state tax code.

And, notably, few issues have been so misunderstood by the people who stand to lose the most: the local resident whose children attend the local schools and who frequents other publicly-funded institutions such as libraries.

But all of that is about to change, thanks to a documentary by Dwight Brady, a Northern Michigan University professor and Emmy award-winning producer. Brady, with the help of NMU students – many of which were in his advanced multimedia journalism class – put together a 30-minute video titled “Boxed In” detailing the issue.

Like any good documentarians, Brady and his crew played it right down the middle, showing both sides to an issue that’s murky in the minds of many.

“When you look at something as a journalist, you hold it up to an objective light,” Brady said for a recent Mining Journal story. “But no matter how you look at this, it just didn’t make sense. It just didn’t pass the sniff test.”

“Boxed In” will premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the community room of the Peter White Public Library. A premiere is also scheduled for Aug. 31 in Escanaba, and it will air publicly at 8 p.m. Sept. 1 on WNMU-TV. For more information or to view a 30-second trailer, visit boxedin.news.

The Mining Journal, which has committed significant resources to covering the dark store issue, believes this documentary will help local residents better understand the issue. We recommend it.

A Mining Journal editorial