UP School Debates Showing LGBT Flag, Ketchup on Pasties in Trouble, From the World Around Us, and Taxes Missed



This Week in Rural Insights

Tomorrow we will be sharing the latest article by Michael and John Broadway, which highlights the price premium on food in rural areas like the Upper Peninsula, and how dollar stores have likely exacerbated this issue.

UP School Debates Flag At Schools

The Gwinn Schools in the central Upper Peninsula has ordered the LGBT Pride flag removed and prohibited it from being displayed on school grounds. The flag was ordered removed, according to press reports, by the K-12 school system Superintendent. The school and community are now debating this issue.

We are hearing that this issue has been debated in other UP school districts but more quietly. Not sure how many districts ban the Pride flag or other flags from organizations or movements. What’s happening in your district?

Pasties with Ketchup in Trouble

Prices are rising for tomatoes next year (as well as for onions and garlic). No ketchup could be a national crisis for those of you who put it on pasties, hamburgers, eggs, etc. The reason? “The southwest is gripped by its worst mega drought since the Dark Ages. The past 22 years rank as the driest period for the region since at least 800 A.D. (Axios, 10.16.22)

So ketchup on pasty lovers: will you switch to mustard, gravy or mayo? What’s your preference?  

From the World Around Us

This time from Lansing, our state Capital. The first woman elected to the Michigan House was in 1924. She was from the Upper Peninsula.  Her name was Cora Anderson and was a member of the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa community. She worked on education, poverty and other issues during her tenure.

In recognition of her, the Michigan House named the House Office Building across from the Capitol building the Cora Anderson House Office Building. Her name is on the building and her portrait hangs in the lobby.

Are there buildings in the UP named after her? She seems like someone who is very deserving of more recognition in her home region, not to mention statewide. Let us know.

Maybe one of the UP universities or colleges should start the process with naming a building in her honor, or how about naming one of the University Schools/Department of Education after her?

Taxes Missed

Do you pay your taxes every year to the federal, state and local governments? Most Americans pay a required amount and know that what they pay will go for the services that they as citizens want from the government. Well maybe not always, but certainly most of the time.

Some may believe that taxes are too high or too low or that the government should provide services more efficiently, but they pay every year.

According to a recent report, over $600 BILLION in unpaid taxes is not in our government coffers, with the wealthiest 1% responsible for a third of that number. (Galloway Reports).

Quotes That Makes Us Go Hmmm

“Life without labor is guilt. Life without art is brutality.”  John Ruskin.

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” Groucho Marx.

Book Recommendations By Our Readers

“Night of the Assassins: The Untold Story of Hitler’s Plot to Kill FDR, Churchill, and Stalin. Howard Blum. 2020.

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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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. Carol on October 18, 2022 at 7:16 am

    As far as I know, there is no other group that is permitted to celebrate the sexual orientation of its members with a flag on school property.

    • DAVID LEVERTON on October 18, 2022 at 10:11 pm

      As far as I know, no other group is bullied, shamed, or threatened like lgbtq kids.

    • Carrie on November 17, 2022 at 10:03 am

      What “other group” is there? The Pride flag stands for gender diversity. CIS gender is part of this. Also, please keep in mind that gender and sexual orientation are NOT the same thing.

  2. Sarah on October 18, 2022 at 8:14 am

    Google “tomato shortage” and you will see that every year tomato growers say that there will be a shortage. Even if this shortage actually happens, there still will be some ketchup. So why is the hyperbole? That post sounds a lot like click bait. We expect more adults behavior from Rural Insights.

  3. Sarah on October 18, 2022 at 8:16 am

    Google “tomato shortage” and you will see that every year tomato growers say that there will be a shortage. Even if this shortage actually happens, there still will be some ketchup. So why the hyperbole? That post sounds a lot like click bait. We expect more adult behavior from Rural Insights.

  4. Sharon Miland on October 18, 2022 at 9:19 am

    I think the whole agenda of the LGBT Flag and information being shoved down the throats of little children is awful. The parent’s and the society does not want this happening to our children in our schools, why can’t they focus on the important things we need in our schools instead of the confusion that is coming forth?
    Children have so many things against them. Sexual Abuse, Human Trafficking, abusive teachers and others in society. Whatever happened to letting our children get a descent education, keeping sex out of the school, and stop shoving everything down these children’s throat’s. Get back to the basics and help our children learn what they need to know to be successful, I am sorry I don’t see where the LGBT Flag and agenda is helpful to children who are still growing and their brain’s develop. That is a decision the parent’s are suppose to make, not members of the school staff.Stand up and fight for our kids and the future of our nation people.

    • Jared Hautamaki on October 18, 2022 at 2:00 pm

      Keeping sex out of school is exactly how you get unwanted pregnancies in high school.

    • Carrie on November 17, 2022 at 10:16 am

      Try thinking about it this way: In order to learn, we need to feel safe. People feels safe in different ways. But all people feels safe when they feel seen, respected, and valued. How do we do this in the schools? I would suggest that “little children” would not appreciate being devalued by assuming they are capable or incapable of understanding. Maybe the best way to walk forward is to listen to the children and set aside our own judgements. It’s hard, but they are the future.

      In addition, our education system hasn’t been updated since the 1950s when the goal of public schools was to create people who could be human computers for the space race and factory workers for the war (in part). These goals are outdated, and if you research the current ideas among adults in the education system, you will see a shift happening because there is a lot of awareness that we are no longer preparing children for the adult world they will be entering by teaching the subject matter and curriculum in public schools.

      It seems like most of this comes down to adults trying to be in control. We argue what we want, but if you listen to the high school students across the UP (and there are groups of students getting together to discuss these issues as part of school), you will hear a much more open story.

  5. Joan on October 18, 2022 at 10:08 am

    When we see see children across all demographic categories successfully master math, reading, sciences, written and spoken English language, and civics we might consider if there is time to add anything else to public school curricula. Students who cannot identify the capital cities of their states, the names of their US senators or district congresspersons, their president and vice president are not sufficiently prepared to discuss the complexities of human sexuality!

  6. Joe Lamere on October 18, 2022 at 10:14 am

    Only two flags should be displayed in and at schools. The US flag and the State flag.

  7. Zeke on October 18, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    The comments regarding Gwinn reveal much about the mindset of of folks in rather area. For the first time even, I see a value in Schools of Choice.

    • Zeke on October 18, 2022 at 4:30 pm

      Zeke replies to himself: The comments regarding Gwinn reveal much about the mindset of some folks in the area. For the first time ever, I see a value in Schools of Choice. (Too bad comments can’t be edited by poster. Original post suggested my post was written by an illiterate.)

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