Congratulations to High School and Higher Ed Graduates, Citizen Journalism Presentation, Homeownership in the UP and America, Finnish-American Classes, & Transparency in Nonprofits

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This Week in RI

On Wednesday we’ll be publishing a new article from University of Michigan CLOSEUP U.P. Scholars Research Assistant Katelyn Jasmin, looking at survey data from local Michigan officials regarding climate change.

Congratulations to All High School and Higher Ed Graduates

It is that time of year that families gather throughout the Upper Peninsula to celebrate the successes of their family members and share memories about the past several years and the next years of new opportunities. Again congratulations to everyone.

Presentation on Citizen Journalism and Rural Insights

Big Bay’s Thunder Bay Inn in Marquette County is hosting a public presentation on this topic at 7 pm on June 26th at the Thunder Bay Inn. This is open to the public and yours truly will be the presenter. Join us. Lots of time for questions and dialog. By the way, lots going on in Big Bay at the Thunder Bay Inn including these presentations, music festivals and lots more. Great menu also. Take a look and come on up to Big Bay.

Homeownership in the Upper Peninsula and in America

We continue to hear from our readers about the problems their family members are facing with homeownership opportunities and costs. Home ownership in the Upper Peninsula and across America is increasingly out of reach of many, many families. It seems to be a huge problem throughout the Upper Peninsula according to observers we have heard from in recent months.

Families are facing structural costs in rural and urban areas. Housing is the number one structural cost. Then auto costs at number two. That is followed by childcare costs and the cost of food for the family.

This from the National Association of Realtors: “Americans spent around 26% of their income on mortgage payments as of last year, but the figure is closer to 40% for first-time home buyers.”

What are you hearing about in your community? Let us know and we will get the information published here.

Finnish-American Folk School Classes Available

This is from the online publication Keweenaw Report: “This summer kids and adults can learn the Finnish language during special program offerings at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.  The learning opportunities include sessions for 3-6 year olds and 7-10 year olds.  Those programs offer an introduction to the Finnish language and culture.”  Contact the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock if you are interested.

Transparency in Nonprofits and University Foundations

Questions are being raised about this issue at the federal and state levels. Government organizations are required by law to meet transparency through Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Acts. So folks are asking if nonprofit organizations (including university foundations which are nonprofit organizations) take tax payers money, grants from government agencies, or any form of public money, should they not be subject to the same transparency requirements of government organizations?

From the World Around Us


In politics, November is a lifetime away.


Michigan spends approximately $65,000 per prisoner per year. State spending across the nation can vary from just under $23,000 prisoner in Arkansas to $307,468 in Massachusetts.

And state spending on K-12 education per student is how much?

Books Recommended By Our Readers

“The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store” by James McBride. 2023.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“What men who can afford anything tend to want, more than money per se, is adulation. And when they don’t get it they all too often go politically crazy.” Paul Krugman.

“A contract is about interests. A covenant is about identity. It is about you and me coming together to form an ‘us’. That is why contracts benefit, but covenants transform.” Jonathan Sacks.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at We love to read them.

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Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories/information you might have not seen or overlooked. We bring you original writing from Rural Insights and other researchers, change makers, and storytellers, as well as our latest research and analysis.

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Karen Ogle on June 17, 2024 at 7:14 am

    Perhaps Michigan could relieve some budget pressures by following Maryland’s lead. With the legalization of marijuana in this state, why pay for the continued incarceration of those serving cannabis-related sentences?

    • Jim Drobny on June 17, 2024 at 10:19 am

      good point, great suggestion

  2. MaryEllen Hyttinen on June 17, 2024 at 1:18 pm

    I agree. Why are we still paying for these incarcerated people when this is no longer a crime?

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