Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: How do businesses feel about the education of job applicants?

Last week in this column, I discussed what we could learn from Olympic athletes about dedication and self motivation. Before it was even printed, I read a column by Thomas Friedman titled “How to Get a Job at Google.” There were several points that were made that I felt paralleled those made about Olympic athletes.


SHORT TAKES: Winter hits budgets, infrastructure hard

This year’s winter wonderland is causing municipal governments all across Michigan to wonder if or when Mother Nature’s assault on their operations will subside.


OUR VIEW: Location key to pavilion success

Location, location, location … that’s what it’s all about in the retail business.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: What can we learn about education from Olympians?

For the past couple of weeks many of us have been enjoying watching the Winter Olympics. Whatever your feeling about these games, there is one point on which I think we can all agree. The athletes who have participated have been single minded in their effort to qualify to participate. They have prepared and trained with a focus on their goal and in the end, whether they received a medal or not, the results of their determination were obvious. Their accomplishments were stunning.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: We can learn much from wise leaders of the past

In this column last week I introduced information about legislation that is being considered to study how much money schools need to educate the children in their care. I spoke to a few concerns. I would like to add a few more thoughts this week in the hope that I can provide information to help readers form an opinion about this proposal.

Guest View | Rick Outman

GUEST VIEW: Be someone’s hero through mentoring

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines a hero as “a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life; a person noted for special achievement in a particular field.”

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: What does it cost to educate a child?

One of the pleasures of writing this column comes when I meet someone who has read it and expresses appreciation for it. The only thing that makes that better is when someone offers a suggestion for a topic that they would like to see discussed in a future column. That occurred this week when it was suggested that there was an article in a Sunday paper that I should write about.

Guest View | Daniel Petersen

GUEST VIEW: Saturday is our chance to walk for warmth

February is Walk for Warmth Month. In Michigan, that means putting on your winter coats and walking shoes. Walking for warmth is our community’s way of saying to those who are less fortunate, “We know that it is very important for you to be warm.”

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Zero tolerance laws: Do they help or hurt students?

Recently I read an article in The Grand Rapids Press regarding the Michigan laws on expulsion of students more commonly known as the “zero tolerance” discipline policies. These are well intended laws originally passed in the hope that they would make schools safer and more orderly for students and staff. However, after years of use, there are concerns about some unintended consequences. As a board of education member for many years, I can tell you that expelling students is one of the most difficult responsibilities that I fulfill. I rarely sleep well after we have expelled a student, even when I agree that expulsion is the only option we had.


OUR VIEW: Reform would make a FOIA law even better

Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is one of our state’s most beneficial, common sense laws. For almost four decades now, citizens and journalists alike have been able to stand on near equal footing with public bodies by having the law behind them when requesting public documents.