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Wednesday, April 30,2014

Stop the presses

Gannett’s decision to shut down its 20-year-old printing plant in Delta Township is a blow for the 103 employees who produce the State Journal and other papers

by Mickey Hirten
It was a very sad announcement from the Lansing State Journal Tuesday that it plans to close its production plant in Delta Township.
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Wednesday, April 23,2014

Song and dance man

A Lansing State Journal story catches J. Peter Lark withholding information from his bosses about serious workplace violations at the Lansing Board of Water and Light

by Mickey Hirten
If he needs to change jobs, J. Peter Lark, Lansing Board of Water and Light’s general manager, could easily play the fast-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in the musical “Chicago.” He’s got the suits. He’s got the coif. And Lark plays his board of commissioners the way Flynn plays juries.
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Wednesday, April 16,2014

Full of holes

MSU President Simon’s argument against student-athlete unions denies reality

by Mickey Hirten
There are no better forums for anti-union arguments than The Wall Street Journal’s right-wing editorial pages. It’s where Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon and Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch last week warned of the threat to the billion-dollar collegiate athletic enterprise “by a push from people who believe that unionization for a few is the best and only way to address the current dynamic of college athletics.”
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Wednesday, April 9,2014

Mayor for life?

Virg Bernero finds out that successfully leading a city, as he has done in Lansing for more than eight years, doesn’t readily translate into higher office

by Mickey Hirten
There are some political jobs that are a perfect platform for higher office. But mayor isn’t one of them.
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Wednesday, April 2,2014

Mike at the mic

Why would Rogers give up Congress for radio? The answer lies in the military-industrial complex.

by Mickey Hirten
Mike Rogers, powerful chairman of the House intelligence Committee, assured of reelection from an ultra safe Michigan district, at the pinnacle of his career, plans to walk away from Congress to do a talk radio show.
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Wednesday, March 26,2014

A rigged game

Michigan’s open-records law is loophole ridden; new proposal would at least give the public a fighting chance

by Mickey Hirten
There is no better example of a rigged game than you or I trying to pry information from a reluctant government. If a public agency like the Department of Transportation in Delta Township wants to keep secrets — and at times it does — the state’s misnamed Freedom of Information Act is a powerful enabler.
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Wednesday, March 19,2014

Wrong side of history

Jim Crow reasoning, politics guide Schuette in same-sex marriage case

by Mickey Hirten
History won’t look kindly on people like Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette who fight so passionately to withhold from our friends and neighbors their rightful, fundamental civil rights.
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Wednesday, March 12,2014

The general jabs at BWL

Lots of information, but not enough answers

by Mickey Hirten
You’ve got to give Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero credit for ordering up a hard-nosed look at what happened at his power company during the December ice storm.
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Wednesday, March 5,2014

BWL belongs to Lansing

Other communities haven’t made their case for being represented on BWL’s board

by Mickey Hirten
Even as the citizens’ panel poking through the wreckage of the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s sorry December ice storm performance, a likely recommendation when it all ends is a call for the utility to include non-city residents on its board of commissioners.
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Wednesday, February 26,2014

USA TODAY comes to town

Behind the expansion of pages in the Lansing State Journal is a strategy to boost advertising revenue for Gannett’s flagging national newspaper. But at a cost.

by Mickey Hirten
The Lansing State Lansing joined the USA TODAY rescue mission this week. Gannett Co. Inc.’s troubled national newspaper is rapidly expanding its once shrinking circulation base by adding a slimmed-down version of its national edition to the company’s local newspapers.
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