A ‘Thank You’ to Local Election Workers, a UP Mystery Resolved, New Article Perspectives, and More 2021 UP Issue Recommendations

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Saying Thank You to UP Local Election Officials and Volunteers

Our November general election is over. Votes are counted in Michigan and in the UP.

We all should give a big shoutout to UP local election officials and local government leaders for conducting such an efficient and safe election and vote count.

Also a big thank you to all the volunteers who helped our local governments this election day and after. They are truly great examples of dedicated citizens.

Next time you see any of them in your community, stop and tap elbows (with your mask on) and say thank you!!!!

Tell them how much you appreciate the quality of our local government and our citizen volunteers.

UP Mystery Resolved

Upper Peninsula veterans and NMU alumni veterans are jubilant about resolving the disappearance of the NMU campus historical marker about the NMU Barrack Boys.

It went “missing” earlier this year. We mentioned it in earlier Whispers columns.

The historical marker has been found and rescued. Mystery solved.

NMU has restored it to a prominent location on its campus not far from its original location. You can find it near the east entrance to the Northern Center. Stop by and take a look.

It is a wonderful tribute to NMU alumni who served our nation in the US military.

A big thank you to the NMU facilities staff and NMU VP for Finance, Gavin Leach, for their diligence in getting this campus mystery resolved.

Heard a rumor that Leach is throwing a thank you party with all the drinks on him for all the NMU staff involved in the rescue.  Thanks Gavin!!!

We should acknowledge that the historical marker was taken down due to renovation construction at the Northern Center and was never really lost–just in storage someplace. Just thought we would have some fun with this issue.

In all seriousness, so many veterans have already said they have seen it back on campus and we all are very appreciative of NMU getting the historical marker back up for all the public to see.  It is an important part of NMU alumni veteran history!

Thank you to everyone at NMU.

Articles We Publish on Rural Insights

Just a reminder that we publish articles that we think offer a perspective that is relevant to issues that people in the Upper Peninsula might want to read.

They might only present one perspective on an issue. We often try to find someone to write the “other side.”

Sometimes we get articles to publish that publish both sides of an issue from the author’s perspective. That does not mean there is not still another perspective to offer.

If you read something in Rural Insights that you think has another side or perspective and you want to write it up, we will be more than happy to take a look at it for publication. We try very hard to get as many perspectives as possible so let us know what you think about anything we publish.

Write up your perspective and send it on to us. We will take a look and consider it for publication–we can’t promise to publish everything, but we do promise to review everything that is sent to us for publication.

More Lame Duck and 2021 Public Policy UP Issues Recommendations

Here are some more recommendations from our fellow UP citizens state legislators and federal lawmakers:

  • Develop a plan for rural implementation of COVID vaccines as they are available statewide, using our local public health departments who best understand the complications of this task in sparsely populated areas.

  •  Establish a “Build Back A Better New Soo Lock” plan. Appoint a strong leader who is charged with coordinating the State of Michigan efforts. Seek and secure additional needed funding from the federal Executive and Legislative branches. The Soo Locks are critical to the UP and Great Lakes economies, economic and community leaders tell us. The expanded Soo Locks are crucial to international trade and national defense. The new Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader and the Governor could build a partnership around this effort similar to what  former Governor Soapy Williams did around the building of the Mackinac Bridge. This effort is equally important.

  • Develop a Pure Michigan and UP Convention and Visitor Bureaus (Travel UP, etc.) plan for a new unique Pure Upper Peninsula of Michigan campaign to complement the regular Pure Michigan advertising. UP community leaders tell us that  this would give the UP a boost in tourism to help mitigate COVID’s negative impacts on the UP economy. Small businesses and their employees could greatly benefit from a plan like this according to some UP leaders.

  • Dark Stores Loophole Reform: Local government leaders say they need some relief from the large financial hits this tax loophole has had on UP local communities. The UP’s Senator McBroom and Representative Cambensy have introduced legislation that may be able to be used to begin the reform efforts and help local UP governments and their economies.

Quotes (That Make You Go Hmmmm)

“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell.

“Politics is the art of the next best thing.” Harry Truman.

“Sorrow is how we learn to love. Your heart isn’t breaking. It hurts because it’s getting larger. The larger it gets, the more love it holds.” Rita Mae Brown.

Book Recommendations

Do you have one to suggest to us and our readers? Please send us the title, author name and publication date. Send them to david@ruralinsights.org. None of the book suggestions we publish are endorsements of the book or the author, just suggestions for you to consider.

Book recommendations from Rural Insight readers: 

“The Tyranny of Merit”. Michael J. Sandelll. 2020.

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David Haynes

Professor David Haynes is a Professor of Public Administration and teaches in the MPA graduate program at Northern Michigan University, where he previously served as President. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.

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