Grand Rapids

Touting Michigan in 100% cotton

(Originally published May 4, 2011) Jon Bell got so tired of hearing friends slam Michigan as a place with no future, he started a company that promotes the state everywhere people go. Since the day he opened Michigan Awesome two years ago, […]

Read Jo Mathis's article

Deep inside the Lost Decade: Decline, transformation and resilience in Michigan’s regions

Ann Arbor on the east side and Grand Rapids on the west are widely regarded as the most prosperous and desirable metropolitan areas in Michigan. But Kalamazoo-Portage and Battle Creek in Southwest Michigan surprisingly outpaced Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and all other […]

Read Rick Haglund's article

Scoring the ’00s: How Michigan’s 14 regions changed

Despite billions of dollars in construction projects on the University of Michigan’s campus and Ann Arbor’s reputation as a high-tech business hotbed, the regional economy there contracted slightly over the past decade. Gross domestic product in the Ann Arbor metro area fell […]

Read Rick Haglund's article

Land O Links

“If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain” – Adlai E. Stevenson Jr., two-time Democratic presidential […]

Read Derek Melot's article

All Michigan regions grew in 2010

Michigan’s regional economies surged ahead in 2010, propelled by a surprisingly robust manufacturing sector and solid growth from the “information economy.” The latest figures are a positive pivot from a decade that saw most Michigan regions lag economically. Between 2001 and 2009, […]

Read Rick Haglund's article

Herman Miller’s Brian Walker talks LEED, green tech

Herman Miller is known as an innovative design and manufacturing firm of office furniture and equipment and furniture for the home. With 6,500 employees worldwide, this Zeeland company also has earned admiration for sustainability. Rachel Hood, executive director of the West Michigan Environmental […]

Read Jo Mathis's article

Behind good policy is good research

The other day, suitably fitted with required jacket and necktie, I made my way to the Detroit Athletic Club for the 95th  annual meeting of the best-respected — and least-known —  institutions in our state: the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. CRC […]

Read Phil Power's column

Affirmative action ban exacted price on economy, say critics

Five years after Michigan voted to ban affirmative action by public entities, anecdotes, experts and a handful of hard numbers suggest Michigan’s economy has absorbed hits due to the measure. Proposal 2 — a 2006 initiative which banned race- and gender-based preferential […]

Read Rene Wisely's article

How ‘flushed’ is your hometown?

In May 2010, in the teeth of the worst Michigan economy in a generation, Fortune Magazine came to Grand Rapids to proclaim, “A Michigan Success Story.” Grand Rapidians have much to point to with optimism and pride, from the construction on “Hospital Hill” to […]

Read Bridge Magazine's article

Land O Links

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours” – John Locke, 17th century English philosopher * Propublica says the EPA has a report linking fracking chemicals to an instance of groundwater contamination […]

Read Derek Melot's article

‘College tax’ burdens students, state

Caroline Robinson and Barbara Twist are cousins who share far more than bloodlines. They are both seniors in college; each attends one of the top public universities in the nation. The similarities stop, however, when the tuition bills arrive. Barbara is paying […]

Read Ron French's article

Many services, one patient, one roof

Dianna Thompson often has felt like a piece in a puzzle no one could solve. She saw doctors for physical conditions that include epilepsy, diabetes and chronic pain and others for treatment of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. But one group […]

Read Ted Roelofs's article

Land O Links

“I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well” – Robert Benchley, American humorist and newspaper columnist. * Bob Jones, who consults with educational institutions and others on public policy, ran through the […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Extra attention keeps frequent fliers from landing in ERs

A groundbreaking health care clinic in Grand Rapids expects to save millions of dollars a year by targeting a chronic cause of high medical costs: patients for whom the emergency room is a virtual revolving door. Based on early results, the director […]

Read Ted Roelofs's article

Time to discuss radical options for Detroit

Most of the sound and fury enveloping Detroit these past few weeks has been about the near-bankrupt city’s immediate financial survival, whether via a consent agreement between the city and the state or, failing that, an emergency manager. No one doubts Detroit […]

Read Phil Power's column

Land O Links

“Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not” – Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist. * Ice in […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Pension costs burn through city budgets

Lansing’s taxpayers were doused with some difficult news last week: The city’s pension fund for police and fire retirees could use a nearly $2 million boost from the city’s general fund. And the city’s already fighting a budget deficit. Big-city fire departments […]

Read Ted Roelofs's article

Negotiating with ‘heroes’ no simple matter

In 2009, Ann Arbor became the poster child for critics of Michigan’s public safety binding arbitration law, as a labor settlement cost the city $1.5 million in retroactive pay raises. The judgment came as police and fire departments consumed 55 percent ofAnn […]

Read Ted Roelofs's article

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