US President Trivia, News for Finns and Friends, Old Hospital Property Construction, UP Senator’s Push for Transparency, and Proposed Hotel Tax Amendments

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Photo credit: manhhai


This Week in RI

On Wednesday we’ll be publishing Dr. Russell Magnaghi’s latest article, in which he explores the rich history of farming in the Upper Peninsula, highlighting its significance from Native American agriculture to modern-day farming practices.

Some Trivia to Start Your Week

“Hail to the Chief” is played as US Presidents enter a room. Which US President asked the bands to play something else? Answer below.

News for Finns and Friends

April 11-13 the Finlandia Foundation National (FFN) will have its annual Board of Trustees meeting in Hancock. There will be lots of events open to the public.

The FFN is the organization responsible for the properties of the closed Finlandia University and the “Saving Finland in America Campaign.” They also own the Finnish American Historical Archive, Finlandia Art Gallery, Finnish American Folk School and the Finnish American Reporter.

All of these were operated by the now-closed university.

You can go to this site to find out more about the various events during April 11-13 in Hancock: or email

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Did Northern Michigan University and/or the NMU Foundation ever sign a contract with a company to do the construction on the former site of the Lifepoint Marquette General Hospital? If so, why? If not, why not?

The buildings on the former hospital site have been being taken down and cleared. Plans for new uses of the site have been presented to the community, so the next step is presumably the formal signing of a contract for the next phase.

Upper Peninsula Senator Continues Push for More State Transparency

Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) has partnered up with Senators across the aisle to move legislation forward to require the now-exempt State Legislature and Office of the Governor to be required to comply with the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) laws.

Proposals to Amend Local Government Revenue From Local Hotel Taxes

There are discussions in our state legislature to change how local hotel taxes are collected and allocated. Some Upper Peninsula observers are talking about allowing often cash strapped local governments to add a new hotel tax on tourists who check into hotels.

This money could be collected and distributed to local communities. This proposal would not add any tax onto local residents but would tax tourists staying in hotels. The hotel tax income would help offset local governments’ dependence on property tax increases and the burden on local residents.

Other local governments have been collecting a hotel tax for several years. The thoughts from the advocates is why not have tourists help pay for our roads, law enforcement, and emergency services, etc. This has been discussed in prior years and a former state legislator had legislation to implement such a plan. The legislation did not move.

No report yet from the advocates on current progress or plans. More to come later.

From the World Around Us

Michigan unemployment fell to 4% at the beginning of this year. National unemployment stayed at 3.7%.

Over the last 50 years the marriage rate nationally has gone down by 60%.

A slim majority of Americans (53%) now say religion is important in their lives, down from 72% in 2013. (Public Religion Research Institute-PRRI).

Answer To Our Trivia Question

US President Gerald R. Ford asked bands to play the University of Michigan fight song “Hail to the Victors” as he entered the room. Ford is a graduate of the University of Michigan and played football for them. He hailed from Grand Rapids, Michigan and is Michigan’s only US President.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“Being wrong is the only way I feel sure I’ve learned anything.” Daniel Kahneman.

“Function in adversity, finish in style.” Elizabeth Hall.

Books Recommended By Our Readers

“Age of Revolutions.” By Fareed Zakaria. 2024

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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. Todd VanDyke Overbeek on April 8, 2024 at 10:24 am

    Chester Alan Arthur also wanted a different entry song than “Hail to the Chief.” He turned to John Philip Sousa, who composed a 3/4 time piece called “Presidential Polonaise.” I’m not sure it was ever used – some of the stories I’ve read about this indicate that Sousa didn’t finish it until after Arthur had left office, while others seem to indicate that it was used a few times. Whether or not it was used, Grover Cleveland directed Sousa and the Marine Band to revert to “Hail to the Chief” when he succeeded Arthur.

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