Archive for February, 2011

Finding News in the Depths of February…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, February 19, 2011


Imported from Detroit…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, February 12, 2011


The Joys of Grocery Shopping…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, February 5, 2011

Quickly: Our new governor is proposing to repeal a Michigan law that requires all items in a grocery store to be individually marked. His argument (and it’s a good one) is that it needlessly adds costs — it’s a lot of work to mark all those items. But it is nice to know that the price on the shelf matches the price on the item. So, yeah, could go either way, right? Well, the clincher argument is that Michigan is the only state that has a requirement this strict. If the other 49 states do it a different way, why shouldn’t we be like them? Make sense to me.

Now you tell me: Why is the United States the only advanced, industrialized country with a healthcare system that allows its citizens to fall into bankruptcy if they are unfortunate enough to contract the wrong disease? Shouldn’t we want to be in step with other countries on this, too?

Anyway, that’s my two minute thought. I’m a bit late posting again. Been preoccupied with work, and life, and (not least of which) our two new kittens:

That’s Jooniper on the left and Zoobin on the right. They are such sweet babies they make my uterus ache. (And I’m pretty sure I don’t even have a uterus.)


Grand Rapids: Not Dead Yet…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, January 29, 2011

So Newsweek magazine came out with a list of “dying” cities, based on census data from 2000 to 2009. It ranked the city of Grand Rapids at #10. No reporter came to visit GR; nobody researched additional information about actually living in GR; and there was no consideration for the metropoltian area as a whole. Flint and Detroit were slightly higher up on the list. (And there is nothing that riles a West Michigander more than being put on a list with Flint and Detroit.) 

Like most of these listy sort of things, it was a snapshot of highly selected data and sold with hyperbole (Dying! For God’s sake! They are DYING! Oh the humanity!!!!). It is really not to be taken seriously. (Likely list for next issue: American cities with the best cupcakes!)

The irony here is that I’m a subscriber to Newsweek. (I like it. It’s a perfect read during work-day lunches.) But it is very clear it is going downhill quickly. It was spun off from the Washington Post last year, lost its editor and several key writers, is hemmorhaging advertisers, and (worst) has redesigned to print only one editorial cartoon per issue (used to be three). Dying, indeed.