Random thoughts on specific things

Peppers

When we tried to grow regular old bell peppers, they never ripened. So we tried jalapeños and they did very well. That’s great as Ian and I enjoy adding the canned peppers to meals throughout the year!

Why gardening?

I love being in our garden. Folks not from the U.P. are often surprised at the gardening we can do here. As you can see, these delphiniums are quite happy–that’s them not yet at their complete height! Our home here has a lot of room for gardening and I’ve been slowly getting rid of sod since we moved in here eight years ago. Why? Because I keep running out of space for my plants! Gardening …

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The School to Prison Pipeline

Schools are blamed for many things and many social ills in American culture.  Following the most recent school shooting in Oxford, MI, the phrase “school to prison pipeline” is rearing its ugly head again.  I’ve been a school administrator in some fashion now for sixteen years, this saying is among the most offensive I’ve encountered.  

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Opinion | Oxford shooting: Don’t blame high school for following state rules

“As a superintendent in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I am concerned that school officials in Oxford may be judged unfairly, considering the laws and regulations that cover Michigan’s schools. It was inevitable that, following the horrific shooting in Oxford High School, that a search for folks and systems to blame would begin…” Read this guest commentary published on Bridge Michigan

Pension Plan Deceptions and DeVos Diversions

Michigan’s Republican governor and its Republican legislature are at odds over finalizing the state budget for upcoming fiscal year. The main hangup for pols is the state teacher retirement system and whether the current system should be maintained or turned into a 401k styled plan. Politicians favoring the 401k system are falsely arguing that Michigan cannot maintain the current system. Taxpayers should not be fooled. Republican leaders are following the marching orders given to them …

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Implausible Solutions for Michigan Education

Ross Douthat of The New York Times has been presenting a series of articles that suggest ways of approaching difficult national challenges that he calls, “deliberately implausible ideas.” These particular columns approach topics with answers that are sure to irritate all sides of any selected issue. Today I am presenting solutions to Michigan’s education matters in a similar manner.

Your Taxes are Paying for Hobbies

The following article was written collaboratively with Craig Allen, who is the Superintendent of Breitung Schools. The opinions expressed here are our own. Our tax dollars are increasingly paying for boutique classes attended in segregated settings for homeschooled families. Homeschool parents, who do not want their children to attend school with children in their communities, are being catered to by public school districts who are finding workarounds and loopholes in Michigan’s school funding rules. The …

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