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A roundup of recent Michigan newspaper editorials

December 31, 2018

Times-Herald(Port Huron). December 27, 2018

Train bridge might need a park.

There is no question the Port Huron Yacht Club knew what it was doing when it drafted a potential sales contract for the Pere Marquette railroad bridge. The yacht club has proposed to basically give the bridge to the Friends of the Pere Marquette Bridge, a preservationist group led by Marcia Haynes.

There is just one little catch. The group fighting to preserve the structure must bear all of the cost of moving the drawbridge off the yacht club’s property.

We can’t begin to guess how much that might cost. A decade ago, the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency gave up on moving the Frith Road Bridge from St. Clair Township to the Pine River Nature Center because it would have cost more than $300,000. Dismantling the bascule bridge at the mouth of the Black River and shifting the parts elsewhere would probably cost a lot more than that.

We have no problem with the idea of moving the bridge somewhere else. We’re more enthralled with the engineering genius that Hugo Abt designed into the unique bridge than with its status as a pointer to the Black River. Truth be told, any boat who needs the train bridge to find the Black River may need his or her eyes examined. It is four tenths of a mile south of the Municipal Office Center at the navigation channel range marker and east of the last high-rise on the Sarnia riverfront.

In fact, moving the bridge and lowering it probably increases its value as a historical structure and monument to the Port Huron area’s history-making heritage as the crossroads of North American transportation. People go to Marysville City Park and spend hours studying the train engine on display there. Bring the bridge to ground level and it, too, would attract the attention of people fascinated by history, transportation and things mechanical.

Put it back together so that it could be raised and lowered and visits to the bridge could be as special as holiday evening climbs to the top of the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse.

We don’t know where the bridge could be moved to, but it needs a park. Maybe it needs its own park. Add that to the bill.

Perhaps Haynes and her group can talk the yacht club into something different. It seems, though, that the club’s lawyers drafted that deal to show the Corps of Engineers how reasonable the club members are being in the face of obstinacy. The result could be a demolition permit.

The bridge is a transportation resource. We have recreation and parks people who are as brilliant at winning state and federal grants as Abt was at inventing bridges. Haynes needs to talk to them. And everyone who says they love the bridge needs a GoFundMe link to start the move.

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The Mining Journal (Marquette). December 27, 2018

Story from Brighton defines the true spirit of Christmas

The Christmas season may have come and gone, but its spirit still lives in the state of Michigan.

A southeastern Michigan girl who is battling leukemia has received more than 4,500 Christmas cards since late November, according to an article from the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

Emma Roberts of Brighton is the recipient of so much heartwarming support. The whole thing started through a social media campaign by another Brighton resident who wanted to lift the 13-year-old’s spirits.

“I feel bad for the mail lady,” said Emma’s father, Tom Roberts. He said deliveries sometimes come twice a day.

Since the diagnosis came in April, Emma has spent 48 days in the hospital. She has been unable to attend seventh-grade classes at Scranton Middle School.

Emma’s family opens the cards together and reads them aloud. Cards have arrived from all over the world, including Iceland, South Korea, Sweden, Mexico and Australia. Some were sent by childhood cancer survivors and families affected by the disease.

“It makes me feel better that it is not just me fighting,” said Emma, who sleeps with some cards under her pillow. “It’s nice to know someone else fought hard and survived it.”

While many of us rifled through a mountain of gifts on Tuesday morning, the true meaning of Christmas was unfolding in Brighton. During the incredibly hectic month of December, people from near and far had taken the time out of their schedules to let a sick little girl know she wasn’t alone. If that doesn’t define the true spirit of Christmas, we don’t know what does.

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The Alpena News. December 28, 2018

Ice rink is both magical, inspirational

There is something magical about an outdoor ice rink in the winter.

That is partially why a new rink at Bay View Park is exciting. And, while we are pleased that soon area residents will be able to skate there, that is only partially why we find this project so incredible.

The project also is magical because it was hatched from a vision that a few Alpena women had, and they pursued it until it became a reality.

The project is magical because it brings together volunteers working together with city government’s blessing, water, and property, to make it a reality.

And what we especially appreciate about this magical project is that it brings together different generations in a common focus. The concept hatched from Kara Bauer LeMonds, Melissa Tolan-Halleck and Brandy Boucher working together. The three remembered the fun from skating on an outdoor rink when they were growing up.

The project grew “legs” however, after the group received a $4,000 grant from the Youth Advisory Council of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan. What is neat about that is that the Youth Advisory Council is made up of 50 students and seven adult advisors from around the region. The students saw enough potential in the grant application to decide it was worthy of funding, since it would benefit the youth of the region.

Soon residents will begin enjoying the rink like the days of old at Mich-e-ke-wis.

Youth working together with adults. Private citizens working together with government employees.

Yes, this project is both magical and inspirational.

How exciting is that?

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