June 16, 2021

On The Side of Fact, Truth, and Decency

BENZONIA, MI — Though I never attended a formal class in journalism my career, now over 40 years in the making, is firmly centered in sturdy principles of reasoned conduct and examined execution. Stripped of adornment those principles encompass seven rules of engagement: Follow stories that matter.  Interview thoroughly. Research carefully.  Gather views from disparate quarters.  Make the complex simpler to understand. Write with energy and grace.  Follow the facts wherever they lead.  Given that …

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Pandemic Breakout Tour

NEW YORK — Thanks to the expertise and doggedness of contemporary science, which delivered a vaccine capable of warding off Covid-19, Gabrielle and I departed from our pandemic-safe home in Somerset, KY, and ventured out in April for a nine-day trip to Virginia, New Jersey, and New York. It was an adventure ripe with highlights: 1) reunions with my 91-year-old mother, my two brothers, my sister, their spouses, my nephew and niece, my sister-in-law and …

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Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Is Grand Tribute To Earth Day 2021

AUDUBON, N.J. — On March 31, you probably heard, President Joe Biden introduced a $2.2 trillion proposal to repair and modernize America’s transportation system, invest in research and technology, and expand the industrial sectors that are curbing climate change. By themselves, those provisions make Biden’s American Jobs Plan a great leap forward in how the White House regards its responsibilities to nature, and to the nation. Biden’s impressive plan, though, is considerably more expansive and …

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Covid-19 Vaccination Day in Kentucky

CORBIN, Kentucky — As of today, March 10, 2021, Kentucky has administered almost 900,000 Covid-19 vaccinations. The United States has administered more than 62 million vaccinations. I was one of them. It was a historic day of sorts. Almost exactly to the day a year ago the full measure of the pandemic’s risk took hold in the country. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shut down the league. Former President Trump — “The virus will not have …

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LeBron James’ I Promise Development Strategy Is Doing Good By Doing Well For Akron Kids

AKRON, Ohio – In 2014, when he strode into the University of Akron’s InfoCision stadium accompanied by the cheers of 30,000 people, LeBron James had more on his mind than returning to his hometown to play basketball again in neighboring Cleveland. That August evening Mr. James really wanted to talk about his new mission in Akron. The LeBron James Family Foundation, he said, would focus on strengthening the academic performance of Akron’s underprivileged public school …

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Water Could Make Michigan The Place To Be Later This Century

TRAVERSE CITY, MI –Intrigued by warming winters, researchers from the University of Michigan set out in 1989 to formally measure changes in the geographical distribution of plants and animals in the dense pine and hardwood forests of northern Michigan.  Their laboratory, the university’s 10,000-acre Biological Station east of Petoskey, had advanced forestry and natural sciences since the field station’s founding in 1909. Few projects, though, attracted the same level of attention as the migration research.  Completed in …

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Like Developing Nations, Texas Confronts Lingering Water Crisis

By Saturday, as the deep freeze lifted and temperatures across Texas warmed to near normal for this time of year, water poured from broken lines beneath streets. Fountains of water sprayed from valves and cracks in building exteriors. Indoor waterfalls spilled from caved-in ceilings in schools and homes and hospitals. Homeowners gathered up the last remnants of melting snow and stored them in buckets and bathtubs.  “Where do you want to start?” said Ty Edwards, …

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Reactionary Republican Berserk Behavior In and Outside of Michigan

The virus of berserk behavior sickening the Republican Party generated a fresh outbreak of absurd and pathetic conduct by public officers in my home region of Northwest Michigan. First it was Ron Clous, a Republican Grand Traverse County Commissioner, who responded to an appeal by a constituent to formally reject the Proud Boys by brandishing an assault rifle during a virtual County Commission meeting on January 20. Then it was Rob Hentchsel, the Republican commission …

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Joe Biden, Displaying Courage and Urging Unity, Takes Command of a Chastened Nation

SOMERSET, KY. — The English translation to the Shehechiyanu, my favorite Hebrew prayer, commends “our God, Ruler of the Universe, who grants us life, sustains us, and enables us to reach this day.” The prayer (Sha-heck-key-yaanu ) was on my lips as President Joe Biden was sworn into office today. It was followed by shrieks and shouts as I hugged my wife, clasped hands with my brother-in-law, and bellowed my joy into the streets of …

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Amazon Air Fills Skies and Airports With Packages

HEBRON, Ky. – Since the pandemic started nearly a year ago, 15,000 fewer people arrive and depart daily from CVG, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Yet the 60 percent drop in passenger traffic is not nearly so apparent on the four runways, miles of taxiways, and hundreds of acres of concrete apron handling record amounts of air cargo — nearly 4,000 tons a day.  Ranked by the Federal Aviation Administration as the nation’s sixth largest cargo …

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