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Wednesday, September 17,2014

Anti-incumbent mood

by Mickey Hirten
On Saturday, The New York Times captured voter sentiment in Michigan with this telling headline: “A Rebound Takes Root in Michigan, but Voters’ Gloom is Hard to Shake.” If this was news to the newspaperīs readers, it isnīt to candidates for governor, Congress and other statewide offices here in Michigan.
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Wednesday, September 10,2014

Small money first; big money coming

by Mickey Hirten
We know that big money in many forms shapes our government. Politicians may claim that the interests of large contributors, accompanied by the checks they write, donīt influence their agendas and votes. But something has distorted our political system, and big money certainly is one of the corrosive factors.
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Wednesday, September 3,2014

Military arms local police

Surplus equipment includes bomb robots, an airplane and lots of guns

by Mickey Hirten
With troubles in Syria and Iraq, rebels in Lybia, Russia invading Ukraine, itīs little wonder that we in Lansing and communities nearby are uneasy. Today itīs ISIS attacking Jawawla; tomorrow, could it be Mason or Grand Ledge or Charlotte?
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Wednesday, August 20,2014

Rewind the rollout?

LEAP calls Red Cedar Hyatt announcement premature

by Mickey Hirten
Developers of the $200 million-plus Red Cedar Renaissance project are negotiating with Hyatt International for a fullservice hotel fronting Michigan Avenue. But there are enough outstanding questions about financing for the development and the quality of the project that the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, which along with the city is negotiating the project, is calling the announcement premature.
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Wednesday, August 20,2014

Cool off at Cooley

by Mickey Hirten
While law schools enrollments throughout the country are off significantly, the decline has been devastating for Lansingīs Cooley law school. An analysis published in February by The National Jurist magazine quantified the collapse when it reported: “Eighteen law schools saw enrollment drop by more than 30 percent, led by University of La Verne (down 66.2 percent) and Thomas M. Cooley Law School (down 40.6 percent). Cooley Law School, with five campuses in Michigan and Florida, dropped from 3,931 students in 2010-2011 to 2,334 students in 2013-2014, the single largest drop in raw numbers.”
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Wednesday, August 6,2014

Gannett split

For newspapers like the Lansing State Journal this divorce makes sense

by Mickey Hirten
Gannett Co. Inc. on Tuesday succumbed to the pressure to offload its newspapers, including the Lansing State Journal, USA TODAY, the Detroit Free Press and others. For LSJ customers — readers and advertisers — the divorce suggests two paths.
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Wednesday, July 30,2014

Voters must decide on CADL, CATA millages

by Mickey Hirten
Voters next Tuesday will find a few countywide proposals and, in some cities and townships, local millages on their ballots. Heading the list are millage renewals for the Capital Area District Library and the Capital Area Transportation Authority. Neither is seeking increases, which seems to have dampened what could have been opposition to these proposals.
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Wednesday, July 30,2014

Dirt

What politics and farming have in common

by Mickey Hirten
One quick election note: This has been a refreshingly civil summer election season without many seriously contested primary fights. Which makes the attack mailing from the group that calls itself Capitol Region Progress a notable exception.
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Wednesday, July 23,2014

BWL the polluter

BWL’s poor responses to the ice storm and a plant accident may be forgivable, but failing to abate mercury pollution is another matter entirely

by Mickey Hirten
You have to wonder sometimes how the people who run Lansing Board of Water and Light sleep at night. We learned last week that the utilityīs Erickson plant installed equipment in 2007 that would drastically reduce the amount of toxic mercury is spews out over Lansing and nearby communities. But it hasnīt turned it on to save money and, well, because it didnīt have to.
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Wednesday, July 16,2014

In Michigan, why not torture?

Supreme Court, A.G., embrace cruel and unusual punishment

by Mickey Hirten
Last week I wrote about Michiganīs shortsighted fiscal policies, its unwillingness to fund education, environment, roads, communities, etc. — investments that produce good jobs and real growth.
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