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 major newspapers and journals.

If you would like to submit an Op Ed/Opinion article please email david@ruralinsights with your proposed Op Ed. 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.

Affordable Housing in Marquette

Bill Vajda gives his thoughts on affordable housing in the City of Marquette, and in particular the impact of current rates on renters and the service economy.

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Rural Forest Markers Act is a Bipartisan Win-Win for Rural Landowners and the Environment

Rural Insights contributor Tom Watkins shares his thoughts on the bipartisan “Rural Forest Markets Act” bill, which authorizes the USDA to offer loan or bond guarantees of up to $150 million to open emerging markets for carbon mitigation, among other things, to rural forest owners.

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The UP Should Embrace Winter in 2020 to Prevent the “Twindemic”

In our latest “Rural Voices” piece, Upper Peninsula expat Alex Wellman shares his thoughts on how the UP could help prevent the “twindemic” this winter by embracing outdoor activities.

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Survey shows UP teachers’ opinion mixed on return to school

Educational technology expert Pamela Spady shares the results and her thoughts on a UP-wide survey of K-12 teachers on their opinions for how to return to school for the 2020-21 school year.

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Dickinson area sees economic growth in multiple sectors

Executive Director of the Dickinson Area Economic Alliance Lois Ellis provides an update on the economic growth being seen in the Iron Mountain Micropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses the area in and around Iron Mountain, Kingsford, and Norway.

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How land banks are transforming rural communities

Marquette County’s Finance Manager Anne Giroux writes about how land banks are proving to be a powerful tool for locally-driven development–transforming communities and improving neighborhoods.

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All is not well: UP newspapers endure in era of COVID, cutbacks and social media

Despite immense challenges and an ever-changing landscape, newspapers in the Upper Peninsula have continued to survive. However, the future of print media in the region remains unclear.

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Rural County Budgeting During a Pandemic

Marquette County Administrator Scott Erbisch provides an update on the County’s fiscal situation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19 Distance Learning Response in Rural Western UP School Districts

Longtime Marquette-area educator Pamela Spady gives a detailed account on what distance learning looks like for the four school districts in Gogebic County.

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Expansion of Telemedicine in Rural America

“The increased use of telemedicine and telehealth has been a breakthrough for rural health,” says Dennis Smith in his analysis of how telemedicine has expanded in America and the role this technology has played in rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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