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John Schneider wrote a daily column for the Lansing State Journal for 24 years, and is the author of “Waiting for Home: the Richard Prangley Story” and the play “Voice Mail.” His favorite part of brunch is the bloody Mary, which doesn’t affect his motivation to blog daily. The views and assertions of guest columnists do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan.

A broader deer hunt would save fenders and feed the needy

Michigan’s roadways can look like boulevards of broken Bambis, but if we really wanted to cut down on car-deer collisions, we’d allow a judicial increase in deer hunting.

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Kid, load the dishwasher and build a little character while you’re at it

The common household chore, i.e., a job done by a complaining juvenile, appears to be an endangered species. Why is that?




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Zero-tolerance policy abuse cuts like a knife – and slashes young lives

It’s one of those things that sounds good on paper: Caught with a weapon? Automatic expulsion. But no one ever went on a rampage with a Swiss Army knife.




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When in doubt, ask: A wonderful wedding may await in Hammond Bay

The ceremony was in peril until the father and mother of the groom Hail Mary’d a spectacular Plan B on an underutilized public harbor lawn.




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A helping hand with a business card might beat a handout for some

Lots of us struggle with how to respond to people who panhandle on street corners. This Volunteers of America of Michigan executive has his own idea.




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A law for what should go without saying: Don’t leave kids in cars

Why is it so hard for some parents to learn that a parked car is not a short-term daycare center?




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An education is rarely cheap, but you don’t have to order the caviar

College affordability is a real problem, but perhaps the time to complain about it isn’t after you’ve returned from a semester abroad.




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Served with honor, if not heroism, but they don’t offer first pitches for that

If everyone who ever wore the uniform of the United States’ armed forces is a hero, the word no longer has any meaning.




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For Michigan shore-dwellers, life’s a beach, and that’s the problem

This land is your land, this land is my land, but if you think you’re holding your bonfire in front of my cottage? We might have a problem.




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Twice the warmth, three times the stories: Heating the old-fashioned way

Word to you Paul Bunyans: Only fools harvest firewood without the proper gear, but oh, the stories those scars can tell.




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As ice fishing starts, a cautionary tale for ‘hard water’ anglers

I must have been 6 or 7 – old enough to go ice fishing with my father, but small enough to fly over four feet of deadly water. It was a balmy winter day, the kind that makes ice fishing seem like […]

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We’ll thank you, retailers, to leave Thanksgiving alone

The problem with Thanksgiving Day has always boiled down to this: How do you commercially exploit a holiday that celebrates gratitude? What’s the trick for getting people counting their blessings to pause in their prayers of thankfulness, and get back in tune […]

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Six weeks in the woods that restore the soul

I don’t keep an archery hunting journal, but if I did, a typical edition would read like this: Oct. 1: Opening Day. Warm; light south wind. In my tree stand by 6:30 a.m. Shooting light came around 7:10. Sat until 9:30. Saw […]

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What’s Michigan deer season for? Trophies or venison?

Each year, in late summer, the state Department of Natural Resources issues its “Hunting and Trapping Digest,” a 5-by-8 1/2-inch booklet of 60 pages or so, filled with the rules and regulations hunters must follow to legally take game in Michigan. Sixty […]

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Drama in household appliances, or how a dehumidifier united three strangers

In need of a dehumidifier, I go to Sears, where there are only two models on display – both Kenmores. I want a Frigidaire Model FAD504DUD because Consumer Reports magazine says it’s the best. I explain this to the sales guy who […]

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Children’s departure is part of the cycle of life

I reared my children to be independent and adventuresome, and look what happened: They became independent and adventuresome — and left Michigan. So, when Fathers’ Day rolls around, I must settle for phone calls and cards, and take a rain check on […]

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An elderly mother, the car keys and a conundrum for countless Michigan families

My mother’s driving career ended with both a bang and a whimper. From her hospital bed she told me, “I was admiring the beautiful autumn leaves when the truck pulled out in front of me.” As a matter of fact, the truck […]

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Nervously watching Michigan’s beach expansions

The joke among the people who share the Lake Huron cove on which our summer home sits is that the township may soon try to tax us on the extra land we’ve all been acquiring in recent years. This is not property […]

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