Bridge: News and analysis from The Center for Michigan

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Vulnerable children & families

What government owes Flint’s poisoned immigrant community

Latino immigrants, including some in the U.S. illegally, were among the last to know about lead in Flint’s water. What is the state’s duty to help hard-to-find residents?




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Phil's column

Binding cities, with few ways out

State policies over many decades are choking off revenue to cities across the state. Is Michigan willing to change?




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Guest commentary

Put down your No. 2 pencils: Too much testing in public schools

If we really want students to learn, let’s get back to classroom learning time, and cut way back on standardized testing. Their own results show it’s not working.




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Talent & education

Building a better school board

Districts across Michigan struggle to field candidates for school boards. The job can be time consuming, nerve wracking, and is often unpaid. Would proper training for new board members help?




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Guest commentary

The limits of serving on my local school board

Proposal A made school board service harder, by giving local boards less authority over finances and encouraging student poaching. No wonder fewer people want the job.




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Guest commentary

Unclogging courts by resolving simple cases online

A University of Michigan law professor argues that many civil infractions and low misdemeanors could be resolved in minutes, rather than months, if more Michigan courts offered online options.




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Economy & competitive position

Dow Chemical being courted by other states

If more business-friendly states come calling, can Midland hold on to thousands of high-paying jobs? A test of Gov. Snyder’s economic development strategy.




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Public sector

Flint syndrome:

Welcome to Pennsylvania, where cash-poor cities work together with state emergency managers.

In Part 2, Bridge shows how Pennsylvania and Ohio are taking a different approach to keeping their cities strong




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Public sector

Flint syndrome:

Revenue tools help Toledo survive through tough times

What Michigan can learn from this Ohio border city, which manages to balance its budget and keep cops on the street despite budget challenges.




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Guest commentary

Why climate change matters to Michigan

We need to reduce greenhouse gases now so that major environmental and economic catastrophes can be averted. Michigan, with its tradition of conservation and environmental awareness, should be at the forefront.




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Guest commentary

Juvenile justice reform and the myth of the superpredator

Michigan’s get-tough juvenile laws created in the era of “punk prisons” are misguided, and should be guided instead by the science of adolescent development.




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Phil's column

A death on the Internet and the gift of time

Acceleration of events imposes dimly perceived but very important changes in the way we think.




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Business Bridge

At odds over betting: Michigan’s last two horse tracks battle over electronic wagering

Hazel Park Raceway (thoroughbreds) and Northville Downs (harness racing) are battling to the wire over a bill intended to help preserve Michigan’s race industry.




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