Local and Michigan Headlines: Capitol News Coverage Dying; Bill Targets Teachers Who Strike

Here are some interesting stories published elsewhere on the web in the past twenty-four hours. Feel free to discuss them in the comments or let us know if we missed anything:

  • Capitol news coverage dying – This column from the Lansing City Pulse by MIRS editor Kyle Melinn looks at the dramatic decline in news coverage at the capitol. Over the past several years, media outlets across Michigan have dramatically reduced the number of reporters covering the state capitol. With important issues before the legislature–such as the upcoming budget–Melinn says that people want to know what is going on in Lansing, but he isn’t sure if there will be reporters to satisfy their interest.
  • Health and Hope – This is an interesting article from Rapid Growth Media about a dentist who was inspired by a trip to Africa to give up his lucrative dental practice in the suburbs to provide dental care for low income patients in the Burton Heights neighborhood as part of Health Intervention Services. The clinic is part of the Free Clinics of Michigan network. To be sure, it’s going to take a lot more than individual acts of charity and selflessness to fix the health care system in the United States, but it’s great to see things like this.
  • GRIID Interviews Kathy KellyThe Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID) interviews activist Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non-Violence. Kelly was in Grand Rapids last night to speak about her recent trip to Pakistan and what she learned from talking with refugees who have been displace by U.S. drone attacks.
  • War Funding Coverage Full of Omissions – Over the past week, MediaMouse.org has reported on the debate over war funding in the House of Representatives. In particular, we have looked how the Democratic Party has been willing to sellout its anti-war constituents. In this piece, the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID) looks at how the war funding bill was covered in the Grand Rapids Press. Not surprisingly, it was barely covered, but what can you really expect from a newspaper that has no national reporters?
  • White House Says, ‘Stand Tall, Michigan!’ – The Obama administration’s so-called “green jobs czar” says that Michigan has everything it needs to make it “a green energy capital of the world.” The only thing missing is the political will to adopt green policies.
  • Proposed bills tell teachers one strike, they’re out – Two proposed bills in the Michigan House of Representatives will make it easier to punish teachers who participate in strikes. The bills would enact new penalties–including loss of certification for two years–on teachers who strike. Teacher strikes were made illegal under a 1994 law.
  • Dow dioxin cleanup in mid-Michigan could take years – This article from the Detroit Free Press describes a pretty typical pollution scenario. A corporation–in this case Dow Chemical–contaminates a large swath of land with a toxic chemical–in this case dioxin. After several years of citizen complaints, the EPA finally decides to investigate the issue. First, they promise a study. Then, they decide how to clean it up, then they actually (more often, a maybe) start doing the work. It takes years before the pollution is ever cleaned up. In this case, clean up could last until 2018.
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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org

1 thought on “Local and Michigan Headlines: Capitol News Coverage Dying; Bill Targets Teachers Who Strike”

  1. Re: Dow Chemical cleanup

    Residents of the Tittabawassee area were largely ignorant of Dow’s poisoning of the river with dioxin until 2002, when it was revealed through an FOIA request by the Lone Tree Council that the floodplain was polluted at 80 times the “acceptable” rate for the state of Michigan. Dow has repeatedly tried to suppress information, disseminate disinformation, and convince residents that the dioxin hazard is not that bad. But now not only fish in the river but also deer and wild turkeys in the area are found to be toxic. And it also appears that Dow is going to spin this out as long as it possibly can, as it has already created major delays in the clean-up process.

    Several of my ancestors came to the Tittabawassee area from Germany to avoid arrest after their participation in the March Revolution of 1848. I have letters they wrote from their wilderness home, and they clearly regarded the area as a kind of paradise with everything they needed to live–clean water, good soil, plentiful game. One of my family graveyards overlooks the river. This doesn’t make the circumstances more tragic, just more personal to me because I have family stories of what the area was like before it was savaged by corporate “interests.”

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