Health Care in the UP and Statewide, AGE Updates From Our Readers, No Word On UP Appointment, Cell Phone Reception, Community College Enrollment, & Birth Control


Health Care in the UP and Statewide

Readers and others have been reporting difficulty in finding doctors in their community in specialty practices. Some in the more rural areas of our Upper Peninsula have problems with even basic access to medical care in their communities–without traveling great distances to get the access, which adds to their costs.

This past week the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan and Altarum issued a research report with some interesting findings about health care in Michigan. Among other data findings they report that “Ranked 39th nationally in overall health outcomes, Michigan has persistent disparities in health by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geography.”

It further reports that Michigan has stagnant population growth. In addition it reports that Michigan is in the bottom third of many national rankings, including 34th in household income, 36th in K-12 educational outcomes, and dropped from 32nd in health outcomes in 2008 to 39th today. This stands in contrast even to neighboring Midwestern states, who have experienced on average better overall health outcomes over the last two decades. Michiganders are dying sooner than other Americans, with health outcomes that unfortunately have barely improved over the last 20 years.

Go to to read the report.

AGE Updates From Our Readers

We recently wrote about the issue of age limitations for public officials–elected and appointed. We received a lot of reader responses about their feelings on this issue. Many were supportive of some type of limitation and others felt that it should be left to a case by case evaluation. However, most responses tended to agree with an age limitation for elected and appointed officials, but there was no single age number agreement. More later on this issue.

Still No Word On Upper Peninsula Appointment to Governor’s Population Commission

Lots of responders from our readers about last week’s story here about no one from the UP being appointed by the Governor to her new Population Commission. Overwhelming responses ranged from rage, anger, and feeling that is how the UP was always treated. Most readers felt that the Commission final report could not be considered fair or serious without an appointment from the Upper Peninsula on the Commission.

The Governor did appoint a UP lawyer, who is a Republican political operative and former staffer in the Michigan Senate, to a Commission task force, but he will not have any vote on the Commission, just on the task force. No vote for the Upper Peninsula.

Cell Phone Reception in the Upper Peninsula

“Why is cell phone reception so good in the UP? Because even the smallest towns have at least four bars.” (Hat Tip/B. Byrum).

Community Colleges Enrollment and Retention

A report recently stated that just 27% of Michigan community college students earn a degree or certificate within six years of first enrolling in that school, the second worst completion rate in the United States. Community college numbers directly impact the size of the pool of skilled workers in the state.

“Just over a third of Americans surveyed by Gallup said they had confidence in colleges and universities, a 21% drop over eight years.”

More on Higher Education Developments–Birth Control

A report released last week said that 39 universities in 17 states have emergency contraceptive vending machines. They say at least 20 more are considering them. How about your local college or university? Any reports on this? Let us know.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man (or woman) is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela.

Books Recommended By Our Readers

“Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity. By Peter Attia, M.D.. (This book has spent 18 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list).

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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. Robert Benkendorf MD on August 7, 2023 at 7:56 am

    Follow up on causes for low community college completion, or at least a source, would be appreciated

  2. Paul A Sturgul on August 7, 2023 at 9:10 am

    I do not believe in age limits for public officials, nor do I believe in term limits for them, except for federal judges, including the justices of the US Supreme Court. I recommend term limits for these judges/justices to be either 20 or 10 years. Life-time appointment creates too much unaccountable power.

  3. Joel Massie on August 7, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    As a retired judge, I have to respectfully disagree with my former partner Paul. I think that while many lawyers and judges remain sharp and capable beyond 70, change is a good thing. Age takes a toll in one way or another, physically, hearing, attention span, etc. New blood on the bench is more comfortable with rapidly changing technology and more in touch with social and cultural issues. But fortunately, my opinion carries little weight any more. And I’m glad. Joel Massie, Bessemer.

    • Paul A Sturgul on August 7, 2023 at 11:55 pm

      Thanks, Joel, for your insight from many years devoted to public service. On one of my visits to London, I came across a book in Foyle’s, by Plutarch, about whether or not the elderly should remain active in politics. This issue is timely given the ages of our President and his predecessor, the current front runner against him, in the next election. Here is a review of Plutarch’s comments on “Should an old man engage in politics?” ‘Plutarch surely knew about the mental and physical decline that comes with age. Afterall, he wrote his essay when he himself was around seventy and had been involved in local politics his entire life, and he addressed it to his friend, Euphanes, who was at the same age in life. Regardless of any impairments that they might be suffering, Plutarch saw older politicians as having entered public life primarily to do good, and therefore as having a moral obligation to remain engaged.’
      ‘Plutarch’s answer, then, is yes, old men should remain engaged in politics.’
      Jeffrey Beneker, “Should an old man engage in politics.” Princeton University Press, April 7. 2020.

  4. Donna Peterson on August 7, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Cell phone..Internet Coverage at Hiawatha Trail and H-40 has had tower down for a week…No Internet connection.!! We have Businesses to run..appts to make..Many of our residents are over 75…
    We need service …
    Fiber optics cables were run under ground years ago..and we have no benefits from it…
    Communication needs to be improved

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