The World Around Us, Hearing on Former Hospital Site, Kingsford Project Manager at Super Bowl, Former UP Legislator Scandal Continues, Menominee Library Finalist in National Digital Effort

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This Week in Rural Insights

This week we will feature another article by Michael Broadway and his team of student researchers about what is going on in Keweenaw County. Also in coming weeks will be a podcast with the Keweenaw County EDA Director. 

Just a reminder to regularly check out our ICYMI–In Case You Missed It tab for articles and podcasts that may be of interest to our readers. They include national, state and international news from the world around us that may be of interest to you. 

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The World Around Us

  • 5.4 million applications nationally filed to start companies in 2021. That is an increase of 53% from 2019 pre-pandemic stats. (census data.org). 
  • The Michigan Senate voted to eliminate the retirement tax put in place by former Governor Snyder (R). It failed. Voting on this proposal was along party line.So the legislative debate on the FY 23 state budget continues. More to come. Lots more to come and plenty of budget debates and votes. Hang on. More to come on this and other budget issues.
  • One third of Michigan K-12 teachers plan to leave amid educator shortage, according to Michigan Advance. The MEA survey of 2600 educators statewide found that 91% of educators were extremely or very concerned about the educator shortage. “Other top concerns were student behavior and mental health (88%) and teacher and staff pay of educators (84%). Michigan Advance, 2.14.22)

Marquette City Commission Hearing on Former Hospital Site

The Marquette Commission held a public hearing to hear from Northern Michigan University about their proposal to develop the old hospital site. NMU and citizens testified. Most observers felt it was a very positive session. The City Commission said they would require a written commitment and legally binding agreement on building of affordable housing from NMU before they would approve any Brownfield money or other city required commitments. NMU President Kerri Schuilling attended the hearing. 

Kingsford Resident Project Manager at Super Bowl

Keith Hammond was the senior project manager for the construction of the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, the site of this year’s Super Bowl.

He has participated in huge, multi million/billion dollar projects around the United States. Impressive credentials. He has served on the Dickinson County Healthcare System. He is an alumnus of Northern Michigan University where he earned a Master in Public Administration.

Former UP Legislator Sex and Money Scandal Continues to Expand

Lee Chatfield represented the eastern Upper Peninsula and some counties in northern Michigan before he was term-limited out of office in 2020. The youngest person ever to serve as the House Speaker in Michigan. He was often mentioned as a successor to US Congressman Bergman when he retired. He was a star in state Republican politics.

This past week the State Police used a search warrant to attempt to seize records, materials and computers from the home of his brother Aaron Chatfield, whose wife has accused Lee Chatfield of sexual assault beginning when she was 15. Former Speaker Lee Chatfield has said the relationship was consensual. All is ending up in court.

State Police also executed search warrants at the home of Chatfields former Chief of StaffRob Minard. Besides Minard’s state legislative salary as a Chief of Staff, it is alleged that he was paid for consulting on Chatfield’s political efforts over $490,000 over a three year period. The money was paid from Chatfield’s PAC. 

The Michigan Attorney General and the State Police are involved in this investigation. All will be heard in Michigan State Courts.

Do you think there is a movie going to come out of all this–sex, money, search warrants, affairs, etc., etc.. The last big time movie about a UP story was Anatomy of a Murder. It went on to win an Academy Award. Is there another one in the works here? Any potential screenwriters and directors in the UP looking at this? I doubt it, but you never know. 

Menominee County Library is Finalist in National Digital Effort

They were one of five finalists competing for the 2022 Clarke Historic Newspaper Digitization Grant. The grant would cover converting about ten years of the Menominee County Journal from microfilm to a full access digital format, would be available online. The winner will be determined a public vote on Twitter–tweet #DigMenominee during the week of February 21-28. Everyone can vote. A wonderful public service to citizens. 

For more info contact the Menominee library at 906-753-6923 or menomineecountylibrary.org. (Hat Tip–Director Winnicki).

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.” President Dwight Eisenhower. 1956.

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack the fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.” Bishop Fulton Sheen.

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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.

5 Comments

  1. Jeff Pricco on February 21, 2022 at 11:25 am

    It seems like Bishop Sheen plagiarized another author’s phrase ….I just cannot remember whom…Shakespeare? Oscar Wilde? Anyone can save me the time to google it?

    • Ann Hilton Fisher on February 21, 2022 at 3:50 pm

      Yeats. The Second Coming.
      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Surely some revelation is at hand;
      Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
      The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
      When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
      Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
      The darkness drops again; but now I know
      That twenty centuries of stony sleep
      Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

      • Thomas Solka on February 21, 2022 at 4:15 pm

        Good job, Ann.

      • Beth Casady on February 21, 2022 at 11:06 pm

        I am impressed ANn!

  2. Jim Katakowski on March 1, 2022 at 6:18 am

    Lee Chatfield was a young upstart star in the republican party in Michigan and speaker of the house and a giant disappointment to so many. His religious affiliations with his dad and family were a big part of the problem or so it seems. Why do folks vote for these persons who lack good moral compasses to be honest leaders and role models. I guess because the voters never vet to find out the real character of a nominee and just vote a party. This is quite sad and so many keep electing these types instead of good honest folks for our government leadership positions. Please check out who you vote for in the future. Look for real honesty and not just a party. We need more honest and morally fit persons leading this State and country. Also many women make great leaders and quit selling them short because they are not men. An example might be only men seem to start wars. We missed a good one not too long ago choosing an immoral one instead. Hopefully we may learn from previous mistakes. Michigan can do better and she seems to be on a more steady course now.

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