Traverse City Record-Eagle. August 28, 2020

School restart will be especially tough on our children

There’s nothing normal about this year’s first day of school.

Not even a “new” normal.

That’s because the first day of school experience for every child, every teacher, and every family will be different. At best, first day traditions this year will be anything but traditional.

Masks, social distancing and new, rigid rules.

The pandemic, and all its negative potential, has all the adults in the room stressed. Administrators are losing sleep about preparations and making the right decisions about how and when to return to school. Teachers are scrambling to upend their tried and true methods to conform to an online classroom. And parents are doing their best to shelter their children from the ongoing upheaval.

At worst, the first day of school will be little more than a walk from bed to a desk and a computer.

No first day clothes. No new backpack. No reunions with friends on the school bus.

Even in the places where students have returned to the classroom — Kingsley Area Schools started in-person instruction Tuesday — worries over a potential return to COVID-19 shutdown loom.

That’s why, regardless of all the stress the adults perceive, it’s important that we all think about how our children experience this return to school.

The next few weeks for them will be exciting, fun, a little stressful, and, if we’re not careful, traumatic. For our children, the school year restarting is not about politics or the pandemic.

No, it’s a return to something they know, something they’ve missed since March when they were sent home for what began as an extended spring break and never ended.

It’s about friends they miss, teachers they trust and the community they need.

Let’s make this first day, no matter how routine it isn’t, special for them all.


The Mining Journal. August 26, 2020

Delta county bust: Puppy mill horror must be stopped

Puppy mills are horrific places and if anyone needs proof of that, they should visit the Delta Animal Shelter’s Facebook page and look into the face of a dog recently rescued from a suspected local puppy mill.

It began with troopers from the Michigan State Police Gladstone post checking on a horse in a roadway on Monday. The event ended with 134 dogs being seized at the alleged puppy mill.

Troopers from the post originally were sent to check on a horse in a roadway, which resulted in the puppy mill bust in which 65 adult dogs and 69 puppies were seized from a residence in Maple Ridge Township in Delta County.

Troopers said many of the dogs were pregnant or recently had a litter, with some dogs suspected to be malnourished and in poor health.

Possible criminal charges will be sought with the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office regarding the operation’s owner.

The shelter, located in Escanaba, was to help the poor animals.

According to the shelter’s Facebook page, the dogs were covered in flies and had “terrible” fly strike wounds. The dogs were to be vaccinated, dewormed, treated for fleas and receive medical care.

“These dogs are scared — they’ve never been inside — never on a leash,” the post reads.

Breeds removed were golden retrievers, a standard poodle, goldendoodles, Australian shepherds, Aussie doodles, mini-Aussies, German shepherds, Yorkshire terriers, teddy bears, a pitbull/cane corso mix, several chihuahuas, a few Boston terriers and yellow, black, white and chocolate Labrador retrievers.

These dogs need good, loving, medical care. All this, of course, takes money. To donate, visit the shelter’s Facebook page.

Puppy mills are commercial dog-breeding facilities where numerous dogs are raised in poor conditions and unethical breeding, resulting in unhealthy — and presumably unhappy — animals.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in its “Puppy Mills 101” primer, said the dogs are bred in these poor conditions to keep the puppy industry in business. This means producing the highest number of puppies at the lowest possible cost.

They accomplish this through the use of tiny cages, poor veterinary care, no grooming, no playtime and nonstop breeding, among other practices. Because they’re raised in bad conditions, these puppies often arrive in pet stores with health issues.

People who want puppies should adopt from a shelter or rescue organization, or find a reputable breeder.

Putting puppy mills out of business would relieve a lot of misery in the canine world, In the meantime, we salute law enforcement and places like the Delta Animal Shelter in rescuing and helping the unfortunate dogs in a puppy mill.


The Alpena News. August 28, 2020

Get your flu shot

We agreed with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week when she urged state residents to get their flu shot in the weeks ahead.

Whitmer, who Tuesday, during a COVID-19 update and press conference demonstrated to the public how easy it was to get a flu shot by getting one herself, urged residents to follow her lead. Her justification for doing so was to avoid possibly overloading state hospitals later this year with both flu and coronavirus patients at the same time.

She would like to see a 33% increase in state residents who get a flu shot this season, which is about 1 million more than the 3.2 million who received a shot last year.

“Preventing the flu will help us save lives and preserve the health care resources we need to continue fighting COVID-19,” Whitmer said.

We know there are many “anti-vaxers” out there, and we respect your opinion, but we would argue that, when you look at the diseases eradicated by vaccinations over the past 50 years, there is compelling evidence to support vaccinations.

We also hold out hope that a vaccination for COVID-19 might be available late this year or early next year, which we believe could make a real difference in returning to life as it used to be.

By getting both vaccinations, residents would be doing everything possible to stay healthy and be safe.