Commentary

Susan J. Demas: Lansing is a darker place without Kelly Rossman-McKinney

BY: - November 10, 2021

I’m not supposed to be working right now, but one of the things that popped into my head yesterday as I was hiking up a pass was that I should see if Kelly would want to talk for a few minutes about her amazing life.  Anyone in Lansing knows that if you’re talking about Kelly, […]

David Hecker: Empower paraprofessionals to address Michigan’s teacher shortage

BY: - November 8, 2021

It’s no secret that school districts across Michigan are struggling with a teacher shortage—and both teachers and students are struggling as a result. Without adequate staff, schools are forced to resort to larger class sizes, increasing teachers’ workloads and making it more difficult for students to get the individualized attention they need to succeed. In […]

Column: Stolen 2020 election myth imposes loyalty test on Republicans

BY: - November 4, 2021

The narrative about a stolen election is completely fabricated. None of it is true. None of it happened. None of it, not in Arizona, not in Georgia, not in Michigan, not anywhere, none of it. All “evidence” offered to support that narrative is likewise a mirage; it vanishes completely upon closer inspection. It’s just a […]

Column: Day of the Dead reminds us to live

BY: - November 2, 2021

The nostalgic smell of pan dulce, or sweet bread, hit me when I walked into Diana’s Bakery on Cherokee Street in St. Louis. It was impossible not to think of my grandmother taking me to a similar panadería (bakery) and letting me and my sisters pick out a pan dulce, while she bought her favorite rolls. The shelves at […]

Rick Haglund: After Ford’s investment in Tenn., here’s how Michigan can attract new auto jobs

BY: - November 1, 2021

Local economic developers, business leaders and some state lawmakers are freaking out over plans by home team player Ford Motor Co. to make the biggest manufacturing investments in its history in Kentucky and Tennessee. Unless you’ve been locked inside a Tesla with a dead battery for the past month, you’re no doubt aware that Ford […]

Susan J. Demas: We have to want to save democracy as much as the far-right wants to destroy it

BY: - October 31, 2021

I spent several years covering local school boards in small communities around Michigan, where the biggest issue was funding (it was during the Great Recession, but the need remains) and mundane matters like bids for school lunch vendors and repaving the faculty parking lot. Occasionally, there would be a citizen outburst about something wackily unrelated […]

Column: My son has Down syndrome. Your taxes enrich his life.

BY: - October 28, 2021

I can’t decide which was more fun last month: The visit with my son Greg to visit my daughter, Natalie, or the 2,700-mile round trip to South Dakota and back. The visit was a typical family reconnection with Natalie, her husband, Matt, and children Cody, 9, and Emily, 5. The trip itself was … delightful, […]

Column: Code red for American democracy

BY: - October 27, 2021

For all the uproar among Democrats over restrictive voting laws passed by Republican legislatures in 17 states, Democrats have only recently awakened to the more dangerous threat to American democracy posed by Republican moves to take partisan control of counting votes and even overturn the popular vote in future elections. For months, Democrats in Congress […]

Column: Why do Canadians seem to care so little about protecting the Great Lakes from Line 5?

BY: - October 26, 2021

As a Canadian living in Michigan, I’ve never seen a state or province that identifies with the Great Lakes the way Michigan does: their silhouette adorns T-shirts, water bottles, and bumper stickers everywhere.  At the same time, I would say that the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system is woven into the nationalisms and founding mythologies of […]

Alex Rossman: A personal perspective for policy action on youth justice

BY: - October 25, 2021

I had my first formal interaction with the police when I was 14 and got caught for a particularly extensive and expensive act of vandalism. The incident was thankfully settled out of court, and while I was ordered to pay restitution, I was able to stay out of the juvenile justice system.  At the time, […]

Susan J. Demas: The soul-crushing fight of parents battling right-wing COVID nihilism

BY: - October 24, 2021

Updated, 7:35 a.m., 10/24/21 If you had told me two years ago that there would be a movement of angry parents, however small, yawping against basic measures to stop their kids from getting sick and dying with the full backing of a major political party, I wouldn’t have believed it. Sure, Americans have a long […]

Column: We are losing the values good journalism taught

BY: - October 22, 2021

Everyone should be a journalist. The problem is, few people understand what journalism really is, yet everyone with a social media account is a self-styled journalist these days. Hence the rampant embrace of myriad crackpot beliefs. We are all familiar with  these fact-free notions that have stained our collective consciousness like red wine on white […]