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Historical action taken at Central Michigan University

Last Thursday, Aprill 11, the Board of Trustees approved a historic project to build a new Biosciences Building on the Central Michigan University campus.

“In 2009, 450 CMU students majored in biosciences. Today, it’s 920, and more than 7,500 students a year take biology classes,” said President George E. Ross.

The current biology building, Brooks Hall, was built in 1965 and is not an adequate facility to house an increase in students studying in the field and does not have state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, according to CMU.

In fall 2017, the university will open a four-story, 158,934-square-foot building in the middle of campus that will house research facilities, laboratories, 40 faculty offices, an auditorium and classrooms for biology and science studies.

This $95.3 million project will of course result in a 2.47% raise in tuition for the upcoming academic school year.

CMU Music Major Katie Derees said “maybe this was the wrong time, but CMU’s campus has really developed a lot over the years and I think they are attracting a lot of new students with the way they are moving forward.”

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Colin Powell: A True Inspiration

On January 24, the Central Michigan University community had the opportunity to hear from former Secretary of State and retired four-star general Colin Powell. The people of McGuirk Arena, which was almost filled to capacity with nearly 5,000 in attendance, were clearly inspired by his every word.  Phi Mu Alpha member Kevin Stobbe said “The speech was great. It mixed in history with personal anecdote, and it really made me believe in America again.”

Walking into McGuirk Arena that evening, things got off to a rough start.  With several people in attendance receiving incorrect seating information from a University Events usher, five minutes before Powell began his speech they were told to move to upper bowl for general admission, and by that time the only seats available had an obstructed view of the stage. Along with the uninformed employees, University Events seemed to also be having sound issues. Despite the obvious problems that University Events had that night, Powell still put on a wonderful speech.

Any person with a background in communications could see how well put together his speech was. Not only did he present thought provoking information, he presented it in a way that had the crowd completely engaged. Virginia Martinez, the sign language interpreter for the event, talked about the powerful energy she felt from him on stage. “You could feel the crowd being drawn in closer with every word he said.”

Much of Powell’s message was putting forth his idea of leadership. He explained that “Leadership is leadership is leadership, whether you’re a college president, a cadet battalion commander or anybody in this room in a position of leading others.” He also brought up that it is not where you start in life; it is where you end up.

Powell, who was raised in the South Bronx, found his calling when he joined the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) and quickly made his way up to commander of his unit. According to biography.com, this experience set him on a military career and gave him structure and direction in his life.

 In his speech he told the audience that he graduated college with a 2.0 GPA. He said, “my professors would be rolling over in their graves,” to find out he now has a school named after him at the City College of New York: The Colin Powell School of Global and Civic Leadership.

Through the inspiration and the humor Colin Powell incorporated in his speech, you could feel him gaining support and trust from the community.  

CMU student Josh Hartge said, “Colin Powell’s speech was incredibly uplifting to a nation that is slowly losing hope in our democratic system”, “He was down to earth and well poised, and connected with every person in the audience. It gave me a new perspective on our country and the condition it is in.”

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Board of Commissioners

 

 

Last Tuesday at 7 p.m. dated one of many of the regular board meetings for the Isabella County Board of Commissioners here in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The meeting is held at the first and the third Tuesday of each month at the Isabella County Building at 200 North Main Street, right next to the Isabella County Courthouse.

The board, which is a body of seven elected officials from various districts here in Isabella County that each serve a two year term, is tasked primarily with the development and administration of the county’s annual budget, according to the Isabella County website.

The Isabella County Board of Commissioners is the legislative branch of government seated here in the county. Duties include policy making, including procedures for public accountability and internal control.

The Isabella County government website also states that it is responsible for approval of all contracts, grant agreements, and personnel procedures and matters, including collective bargaining agreements, and board and commission appointments.

The board includes five members from districts in Mount Pleasant, one from Shepherd, and its chairperson, from Farwell. Michigan local and county governments rely a great deal on its boards and commissions for decision making on a county to county basis.

During the meeting, the events were already outlined in a public handout which sat on a table in the center of the room before the podium the seven members sat behind. It began with a call to order, and the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the roll call, and the approval of the agenda for the night by the seven members, voicing whether they approved or opposed a topic.

The public was allowed to make comment before the board, once at the beginning, and again, at the end, after all business was stated. The officials moved quickly through their business, voting in agreement on every issue that was proposed on the agenda. Much of what was discussed was of a local budgetary nature.

The meeting was very short, lasting all of roughly seven minutes from beginning to end, and it was all recorded via video camera from the back of the room. There were areas that had no new business at all, and the business that was attended to was quickly and decisively resolved.

After the meeting was adjourned, James Moreno, representative from District 5 of Mount Pleasant said that the board has a work meeting that is closed to the public earlier in the day, around 3 p.m. That is where much of the budgeting and decision making is done previously, where it is presented to the public by the Board of Commissioners later in the day. Such topics during the closed meeting included the sales and storage of fireworks, and their safety, and issues with the Right to Farm Act.

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Puppy Mills

Puppy Mills

After the First World War in the late 1940s, people had a lot more disposable income. At the same time farmers in the Midwest were seeking alternative crops. People had lot of extra money, and a growing supply. The result was the development of the commercial puppy business.

People began breeding dogs for all sorts of reasons. Some do it as an “agricultural commodity” to solely make money. Unfortunately, many puppy farmers had very little knowledge of animal care, and started out with very little money and poor housing conditions. These “breeders” sell puppies to brokers, who sell them to pet stores.  They had little care for the health or conditions of the dogs, or about the housing and care they provide. They housed the dogs in the rabbit cages and chicken coops that they already had, gave the dogs very little socialization because they didn’t know it was needed, and they often couldn’t even afford to pay the vet costs. The problem is, to make a profit, commercial breeders must cut corners. Dogs are kept in cages all the time, with the minimum legal space allowed (six inches larger than the dog on all sides), females are bred as often as possible, and when they are no longer able to “produce,” they are discarded. It is no life for man’s best friend.

Many people do not realize that almost any pet sold at a pet store is from a puppy mill. Many states have banned the sale of domestic animals (cats and dogs) at pet stores, Michigan being one of them. States like California and Illinois continue to sell puppy mill puppies.

It may come as a surprise to you that of the biggest puppy mills in the United States, are in a sense “in cahoots” with the USDA and the AKC. Though Cruel and inhumane, puppy mills are legal and often licensed puppy mills have been regulated by the federal government since the 1960’s. Breeders who sell puppies to pet stores must hold a USDA dealer license, and many states also require breeders to obtain a license to have a dog breeding kennel. However, the standards they must adhere to are little more than requiring food, water and shelter. It is perfectly legal for licensed breeders to own several hundred, even over one thousand dogs, keep all dogs in cages for years at a time, and to breed dogs as often as possible, and to churn out as many puppies as possible.

As for the American Kennel Club, the AKC’s main source of income is the money they get from having a litter ‘registered’. A good breeder will register maybe 2 or 3 litters a year. A puppy mill will register 200 to 300 litters a year. So puppy mills give the AKC a lot of money. Last year the AKC had a ‘deal’ where if you register 10 litters the 11th litter is free. Who breeds at a volume high enough where a deal like that helps? Puppy mills. The standards set forth by the government are not meant to ensure a good life for dogs; they are meant to impose the only bare minimum of care requirements.

Puppy mills sell several million puppies every year. Another way to say this is that millions of people are buying dogs from puppy mills each year, and none of them had any idea. Puppy mill owners count on people falling in love with their puppies, either in the pet store or through adorable photos on the Internet. As a good rule of thumb, if you cannot meet the parents of the dog, assume it came from a puppy mill. IF the pet store is selling dogs from reputable breeders (unlikely but possible) they’d at least have contact info for the breeder, and you could go check out the place, see the conditions, and meet the parents. Many people get their dogs from classified ads in the newspaper. Beware of any ad that lists several breeds for sale, and if the breeder offers to meet you anywhere other than where the place where the dogs and puppies are raised. Puppy mill breeders also have great-looking websites all over the Internet to sell puppies directly to the public. Beware of any site that sells dogs, especially if they offer to ship puppies to you. No matter how convincing the site is, the reality could be tens or hundreds of dogs warehoused for breeding. They will even say they are not puppy mills right on the site, but you can’t be sure unless you see for yourself. Never, ever buy a puppy online.

The puppy mill epidemic in our country is ever growing and the only way these helpless animals can be saved is if a change is made, and fast. Adopt from an animal shelter or rescue group; never buy from a pet store, remember that 25% of shelter animals are purebreds. Write your elected officials to outlaw puppy mills. Urge them to demand that the USDA enforce the Animal Welfare Act, and please; educate others about the cruelties of puppy mills and the importance of adopting from shelters. 

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The importance of Public Broadcasting

http://www.current.org/2013/04/maine-public-broadcasting-cuts-staff-puts-show-on-hiatus-after-more-funding-cut/

 Big Bird is dead. At least, without Public Broadcasting, he and characters known and loved by all may never exist for children. Public Broadcasting is an integral part of our society as we know it, but stations and fans know how much more Public Broadcasting really does. Without Public Broadcasting, quality programs such as Sesame Street, Bill Nye, Frontline, and other shows would never exist, taking away not only entertaining and educational figures in the crucial young learning development of children, but also other shows loved by the community.

The Public Broadcasting Service is a nonprofit American public broadcasting network with 356 member stations.While public broadcasting has existed in the United States since the early 20th century, today’s iteration of public broadcasting was created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The Act, which was envisioned to, in President Johnson’s words “enrich man’s spirit,” founded the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as the steward and dispensary of public money to local broadcasters. Since 1968, CPB has maintained its position as the largest single source of funding for American public television and radio stations, spending about $1.40 per American per year. Public media receive between 2 and 15 percent of their revenues from CPB’s federal appropriations. <intellectualtakeout.org>

PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, whose members are America’s public TV stations—noncommercial, educational licensees that operate member stations and serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. The nonprofit organization also reaches almost 117 million people through television and nearly 20 million people online each month.

Unlike other programming on television, PBS does not have the bias of commercials or extreme media influence. PBprovides its member stations with programming in cultural, educational, and scientific areas, in children’s fare, and in news and public affairs but does not itself produce programs; the programs are produced by the member stations, independent producers, and other program producers worldwide. Programs that bring news, such as Frontline, brought only by PBS and used frequently in schools and universities, bring an unbiased and factual opinion into the world of news. There is no agenda for programs like this, and unlike many other news sources that report from a left or a right-wing perspective, Frontline gives viewers the facts to make their own opinion about topics important to the world.

 PBS has been around for almost 45 years and in that time it has made not only a difference in the individual lives of many people, it makes a great difference in our society. The main thing that PBS promotes is providing quality educational programming to everyone. PBS makes for great programming because They  work with each other and with hundreds of national and local producers and community partners to ensure that Americans have universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children, minorities, and low-income Americans. This ensures that everyone can have access to free education.

PBS makes public events to promote learning, reading, and public broadcasting. Libraries, malls, and other community centers are frequently visited by staff and employees of PBS, adorned in costume or not, to promote learning, to promote station support, and to involve the community. This increases viewer support, which allows for more donations to PBS, which allows for even better quality programing.

As you can see, PBS does a lot of good for the community by educating the public but there are many people who believe government should not fund Public Television and even wish to have it cut out entirely. Because of this we must take action.

Truly without donations from viewers like you, PBS could not survive. The government provides a small amount of funding to stations, but primarily, those only cover some operational costs. Viewer support is the biggest way to strengthen your local PBS. The more donations from viewers, the more programs, higher quality, and more community events the station will be able to produce.

Beware politicians and officials with views that cut “social programs.” Some people don’t believe that PBS serves a purpose, or should be funded uses tax dollars or government funding. These values are not consistent with the truth, individuals such as Mitt Romney, who had openly stated that they would cut the program, don’t understand how much PBS does for the community, and only want to cut funding to save a few dollars in a budget. Electing people who wish to cut social programs such as PBS could be damaging to not only the station, but to the entire community without the free programing and educational television enjoyed by many.

Public Broadcasting brings families rich and poor, young   and old, in just about all corners of America free, quality, educational programming. We need to defend this service before it is taken away forever, as too many people don’t appreciate these programs, it’s truly time now more than ever to grow support from viewers like you. 

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