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Celebrating National Apple Month

Gov. Snyder has declared October as Pure Michigan Apple Month. This year, the Michigan apple crop will be one of the largest apple crops Michigan has seen. Last year, Michigan broke records with a 30 million bushel crop. (about 1.26 billion pounds) Michigan is the third largest producer of apples in the United States, behind Washington. (Michigan’s average harvest is about 19.7 million bushels, or 828 million pounds per year!)

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U.S. Manufacturing is Coming Back…maybe.

US manufacturing is poised to make a comeback. We certainly have seen that occurring in Michigan with the revival of the auto and furniture industries. But according to a recent report the US is continuing to lose ground to global manufacturing rivals. Four years ago, President Obama aimed to double exports over 5 years. Can we meet that goal? Congress is fighting about the bill to extend the life of the Export/Import Bank which helps finance exports. Should Congress and the President move aggressively to support US manufacturing? What is the “Right Thing to do?”

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Harvest Season: Potatoes

Whichever way you eat them—baked, mashed, roasted or fried—the potato is an American favorite! Potatoes are harvested in early fall, typically late September to early October. Idaho leads the nation producing about 13 billion pounds of potatoes every year from over 300,000 acres. Michigan is 8th on the list of leading potato growers, producing about 1.6 billion pounds each year.

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To Spend More or Not Spend More (on Education), that is the Question

I expect most people have seen the political ad criticizing Governor Snyder for cutting $1 billion from public education. And with that criticism comes Mark Schauer’s promise to spend more on public education. This is a common campaign issue, one that has surfaced in Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kansas and elsewhere. Is there a problem with funding for public education? Is a call for spending more a no-brainer—we should do it. Or is this a case of lack of information to make a decision? There certainly is concern that that US has fallen far behind in basic education relative to the rest of the world. What is the “Right Thing to do?”

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Best Foods for Women

Tina Miller 2011A balanced diet, abundant in plant foods, is fundamental to feeling vibrant and staying well. For women, however, there are certain foods that are especially beneficial. Many of the same antioxidants and nutrients, like vitamins A and C found in these health promoting foods also support beautiful skin and a youthful glow! Here they are…

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Climate Change Revisited..again

Tens of thousands of environmental protesters paraded through New York a week ago Sunday, in a people’s climate march designed to lobby world leaders arriving for the latest United Nations climate summit. President Obama spoke at the summit stating that “There is one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other. That is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” Is there an urgent and growing threat of climate change? Is the problem so dire that we must impose huge new costs on carbon and energy production? Is this the number one priority for the United Nations? Should the US agree to new reductions in carbon emissions? What is the “Right Thing to do?”

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Get Cooking with Cans

Canned foods are a smart solution for better eating in today’s fast-paced world. The can seals in freshness, flavor and nutrition without sacrificing convenience, enabling you to be confident about creating more, healthy meals. Start cooking today – Canned foods make homemade easy!

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Are Your TIF Dollars Being Spent Wisely?

Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) are common entities across the state of Michigan. They use Tax Incremental Financing Authorities (TIFs) to capture property taxes for various projects to promote economic development. How effective are DDAs? Are basic municipal services suffering because of TIFs? Should changes be made to provide more accountability and to limit the use of TIFs? What is the “Right Thing to do?” Let’s look at some issues…

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The Colorful Power of One

Every day this month Cathy Cieglo is wearing the color teal. Teal-colored shirts, sweaters, pants, and skirts. She scoured thrift shops to add the color to her wardrobe, and even painted her toenails teal. Her colorful way isn’t just a fashion statement, but a heartfelt cause.

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Broccoleaf: The (Not So) Superfood

If it tastes like a sugar snap pea but looks a bit like kale, it must be BroccoLeafs! The leaves of broccoli plants are the newest superfood trend and for good reason. One Broccoleaf serving provides 100% of your daily value requirement for vitamin C, essential for immune health during this cold and flu season and tasty green provides more calcium than a serving of Kale. BroccoLeafs are also an excellent source of vitamins A for healthy skin and vitamin D for mood and bone health.

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