Our Opinion Tab Explained, Teachers and School Staff Exit Stage Left, an Upper Peninsula Slogan, UP Rents Remain High



This Week in Rural Insights

This week we will feature a podcast with Duane DuRay, the Airport Manager for Sawyer International Airport in Marquette.

Note that under each podcast link we include a written transcript of each podcast for those of you who prefer to read the information contained in the podcast.

If you live in the UP and use air service at one of our five regional airports, you have heard of and maybe even experienced the reduction in air service. Mr. DuRay is national expert on rural air service and shares a lot of very interesting information in this podcast on Upper Peninsula air service now and in the future.

If you happen to be one of the other UP airport directors and would like to do a podcast with us about air service issues in your community, please send us a note at david@ruralinsights.org and we will set something up.

Rural Insights Opinion Tab

On our website, www.ruralinsights.org, you will find a tab on the top entitled Opinion. We wanted to tell our readers about it, so here is what it is all about:

The opinions expressed in these publications are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Rural Insights or its members.

The Opinion Section is meant as a place where we share opinions of people with some expertise and/or thoughts that are relevant to issues of importance in public policy, both in rural areas and a broader community. This section is not meant as a typical “Letters to the Editor” section but more like Op Ed sections we see in newspapers and journals.

If you would like to submit an Op Ed/Opinion article, please email david@ruralinsights.org with your proposed piece. We will review and decide if we wish to publish what you have sent us. We reserve the right to publish or not publish what is submitted.

We look forward to reading your opinion pieces.

Teachers and School Staff Exit Stage Left

We have all read and heard about the challenges and stress that teachers and classroom aides have felt in their classrooms during COVID.  It is easy to forget that it was a very difficult job before COVID and just got harder and harder during the COVID era.

New teachers have found the entering job salaries not what they had hoped they would be, and it was difficult to meet their monthly family budget on these salaries.. Add to that the challenge of, shall we say “difficult parents,” and constant criticism of the teaching profession and schools in general has not helped the teaching environment in our public schools.

All of this has also impacted the many other important non-teacher jobs in local school districts. They too have felt the stress.

Many school districts across Michigan, including rural areas and the Upper Peninsula are experiencing difficulty finding qualified teachers and other school positions to fill many, many openings.

Now we hear from the state that since 2020, 15,000 public school employees have retired.

A Slogan for the Upper Peninsula

Some folks have been throwing around various slogans for the Upper Peninsula to market itself.  Of course, many of us believe that the beauty of our surroundings and the wonderful people that live here should not require a slogan. However in these days of social media we might need to consider a little something to tell people about us.

Here are a couple for you to consider. Let us know which of these you like best and also let us know if you have an even better idea. Send them to david@ruralinsights.org or put them in our comments section:

  • The Third Coast

  • The Technology Coast

  • The Innovation Coast

  • Other (please describe)

Rents Continue to be High in Upper Peninsula

Big cities are not the only locations feeling the pain of rising home/apartment rentals. Rural areas are feeling the pain and pressure also. We have heard from readers all across the Upper Peninsula about the cost of housing and the affordability of housing purchases.

What we are also hearing is that housing to rent is hard to find and that it is very costly. Continuing higher rental costs combined with affordable and available child care are causing a lot of stress on families throughout the UP.

One interesting side effect is that with rental costs increasing university/college campuses are finding that they have lots of interest in their on-campus housing. Often observers say that students cannot find affordable off-campus housing so they are looking for on-campus housing–residence hall.

There continues to be demand for more apartment types on campus housing. With declining enrollment in higher education the demand for on-campus housing is a positive development and helps those financial problems that universities/colleges are facing.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“If you don’t know your history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Michael Crichton.

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e. the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e. the standard of thought) no longer exist.”  Hannah Arendt.

Books Recommended by Our Readers

“War on the Run: The Epic Story Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America’s First Frontier.” John F. Ross.

“Distant Rumble”. GT Long. 2022. Lulu Publishing.

Talk To Us

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

About Us

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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If so, please forward it to your friends, and let them know they can sign up here or on our website: www.ruralinsights.org.

TWITTER: Follow us @ruralinsightsUP.

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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. Jared Hautamaki on September 12, 2022 at 7:10 am

    Slogan – Michigan’s Indian Territory – The UP and a third of the lower Peninsula are ceded Indian territory where tribal members retain rights to hunt, fish, gather and practice a traditional lifestyle. In order to honor the treaties it is essential the state limit development in these areas so that not only can tribes access traditional foods but that these wilderness areas filter water to keep the Great Lakes clean and healthy.

  2. Robert Thompson on September 12, 2022 at 7:30 am

    Michigan’s Tourist Playground … No Rules, No Consequences

  3. How about, “The North Coast?” Lake Superior is the north coast of the continental US and the U.P. has the largest chunk of its U.S. shoreline. Plus, the U.P. has the northern shores of both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

  4. Sarah Smith on September 12, 2022 at 9:49 am

    Typically, the usage of the word “coast” refers to where land meets an ocean. Occasionally it refers to where land meets a lake, but that is more typically referred to as a “shore.” Referring to the U.P as a “coast” seems very peculiar. Also we have a south shoreline on Lake Michigan, so are we also the “south coast”? 😉 And what about the central U.P? Let’s not exclude that area. My vote would be for “The U.P. Country.” Lots of nuances in that one. Inclusive of the whole U.P., suggests lots of natural surroundings, which is what tourists are looking for, pays homage (obliquely) to those historical figures that wanted to secede from the U.S. and become a separate state or country (ha, ha). More seriously, it reflects the independence of Yooper culture.

  5. Monica Thoune on September 12, 2022 at 10:27 am

    The entire Great Lakes region is already sloganed as the Third Coast. So I think that’s a no for marketing the Yoop.

  6. Paul Claxton on September 12, 2022 at 11:55 am

    “It’s just better UP here”

  7. Butch on September 12, 2022 at 2:16 pm

    I say don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you to those teachers that want to indoctrinate our children with CRT and sick lifestyle alternatives that only sick societies promote. Pay should be in line with how hard the work is and not how hard you feel it is. Come on now “those that can’t do teach” .

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