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There was a time in America, unknown or not experienced by people under the age of 50, when politics was a contact sport played with mostly accepted rules and the equivalent of “sportsmanship.” Losers would graciously concede and wish the victor well, in most cases vowing to work with him or…

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Falling cases of the coronavirus imply that the U.S. economy could improve over the next month or two as lockdowns ease and Americans resume their normal lives. There is, however, an unexpected short-term risk: that a vaccine will be ready by November.

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The famous American journalist H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) famously said, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” Was he right?

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Even with the cancellation of the Coast Guard Festival and other local events, there still seemed to be a steady stream of tourists in town who kept their summer plans for a visit – a little unnerving as far as COVID-19 is concerned, but great for our businesses, for sure!

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I have been troubled recently. Really troubled. And I’ve be saddened, disappointed and upset. I asked my wife recently, “What country is this anyway? Are we living in America yet?” I hardly recognize it sometimes. It does not seem like the country I grew up in.

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Once again I am at the radio ranch with another case of writer’s block. It seems irresponsible to me to not write about the political climate in this country. I don’t want to, really. I know better, but I feel as if I need to weigh in.

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We are in the midst of a renaissance in rural Michigan infrastructure investment. Since the invention of the internet, each administration – both state and federal – have promised more resources to help connect rural areas, but it is only now that these promises are being kept.

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2020 has taken its toll on everyone. Each of us feels the pressure building as the election year, an ongoing pandemic and the continuous tide of racial injustice violently collide, one thing against another against another.

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Labeling another person has become a popular political pastime. The intent is to use a label that is impossible to disprove no matter the amount of contrary evidence.

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The term “pirate” has conjured up negative connotations over the years. Most who think of pirates think of Captain Hook dueling with Peter Pan, or Blackbeard sailing the high seas ready to steal treasures. Some may even think of Captain Jack Sparrow causing a ruckus. Many think that the tale…

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There’s an oft-reposted meme on my social media feeds. It basically says the months of April, May, June and July are lost to us. This rings true for me, and maybe for you, too – all of us lost in our different pandemic haze, all of us trying to build a plane and fly it, too.

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Dr. Albert Schweitzer was a well-known missionary doctor to Africa. He could have had a medical practice anywhere in the world, but he chose to work among the poorest of the poor in Lambarene and Gabon. He was a theologian as well as a musician. He worked as a missionary until he was in his …

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Before Dr. Alan Steinman moved to Michigan, where he would eventually become director of the Annis Water Resources Institute for Grand Valley State University, he worked in the Everglades. While the Everglades and the Great Lakes are two different worlds, balancing the budget is a battle reg…

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My favorite television show from the late 1950s and early ’60s was Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone.” Each episode would take on an important issue of the day, whether it be racism or war or fears of alien invaders.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good walk. I’m just not used to taking so many! Not that I’m complaining. These past days have been the greatest of my life!

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When you watch the news these days, you really have to pinch yourself to try to internalize the fact that these things are really happening around our nation. In the midst of the continuing COVID-19 saga comes what seem to be some questionable decisions by decision makers around the nation.

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They canceled football. They blew the whistle. They threw the flag. That’s all there is; there is no more of the 2020 season. And not just football – all college sports.

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Good science takes time. This has always been clear to those of us doing health research – less so to the general public. In the pursuit of treatments for COVID-19, we need to manage expectations about what’s not just possible, but also desirable.

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I am sitting here at the radio ranch at 1 South Harbor here in Grand Haven with another case of writer’s block. So many serious things I could write about right now, but I think instead I will delve into my radio career for this column. People are always asking, so here goes.

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The ballots have been counted (mostly), the November election ballot is set (almost), and the first pandemic-era presidential election is less than 100 days away.

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I am meant to keep secrets. This is what I’m discovering as a foster parent. I am meant to stay silent about the great big things affecting our very small foster child in order to protect his privacy and that of his biological family.

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On July 28, State Superintendent Michael Rice told a Michigan Senate committee that students and parents should just grin and bear whatever their local schools have to offer this upcoming school year. “For a single year, we ought to freeze enrollment so that we mitigate the movement of child…

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Politicians and various social justice groups have long used labels that have nothing to do with the real intent of legislation, or an organization, to dupe the public. But, to paraphrase Shakespeare, a rose by any other name is still a rose.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the coronavirus “the Trump virus,” explaining that the president has caused deaths with his initial, ho-hum reaction to it. The verbal assault should be no surprise. After all, she said Republicans “were trying to get away with murder” on a police reform…

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There is an acrimonious debate between urbanists and anti-urbanists. Some analysts say emphatically that the suburbs are unpopular and that people are fleeing them for the dense city core of metropolitan areas. Others say the opposite.

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If President Donald Trump loses the election on Nov. 3, what are our chances of a peaceful, dignified transfer of power of the sort that has generally characterized our republic from its beginning?

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Over the course of the last several months, COVID-19 has dominated our lives. Schools closed, churches closed, theaters, bars and restaurants have all closed. For months we were told to stay home and stay safe. We lived in lockdown except for the occasional trip to get groceries.

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I am not in the habit of quoting leftist Noam Chomsky, but this line seems relevant when one considers our growing national debt: “When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think.”

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In any other year our small berg would be (mostly) looking forward to upcoming Coast Guard celebrations. My own church fronts Washington Street, and every year we gather for a sung Morning Prayer and fellowship as the parade marches slowly past. We eat authentic tacos and pop up sun umbrella…

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When you think of heroes nowadays, health care workers and first responders are likely the first to come to mind. Prior to the pandemic, you might have cited someone from the Avengers movies or a sports figure perhaps.

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The past few months have been difficult for all of us. We have had to endure shelter-in-place, and wear masks when going to public places to reduce our chances of contracting COVID-19.

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Before I fell in love with geology at Grand Valley, I was going to be a history major. If you think about it, it’s all history; geology just deals with history that is just a little bit older.

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If you watch Ken Burns’ documentary on the Dust Bowl, you see how much help was provided to the poor by FDR’s New Deal. Jobs were provided through the WPA and CCC, people were fed, Social Security was enacted, and on and on. Today, our federal government seems to be missing in action on so m…

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I think we all can agree on one thing: Due to COVID-19, it’s a different kind of year. Schools shifted to online learning. Many jobs did, too.

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It’s the summer of 1978 and I have everything I need. A powder-blue Schwinn 10-speed, The Rolling Stones’ new album “Some Girls” and a slew of neighborhood friends to tool around with.

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As near as I can tell it began in 1995, when Republicans won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years and captured a Senate majority.