Keith Oppenheim http://michiganradio.org en The emergency manager idea isn't all bad http://michiganradio.org/post/emergency-manager-idea-isnt-all-bad <p>Government dysfunction and the shutdown dominated the headlines this week, but for some Michigan cities, crisis has been the theme for years.</p><p>Five cities -&nbsp; including Detroit - are run by state-appointed emergency managers.</p><p>In Benton Harbor, the story is shifting to how to return the government back to local control.</p><p>Let me get this out– understanding some of you might start yelling at your radio - or computer screen.</p><p>I’ve been a supporter of Michigan’s emergency manager law.</p><p>Well – sort of.</p><p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 12:10:49 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 14899 at http://michiganradio.org Oppenheim says state intervention working in Benton Harbor http://michiganradio.org/post/oppenheim-says-state-intervention-working-benton-harbor <p></p><p>Government dysfunction and the shutdown dominated the headlines this week, but for some Michigan cities, crisis has been the theme for years.</p><p>Five cities -&nbsp; including Detroit - are run by state-appointed emergency managers.</p><p>In Benton Harbor, the story is shifting to how to return the government back to local control.</p><p>Let me get this out– understanding some of you might start yelling at your radio - or computer screen.</p><p>I’ve been a supporter of Michigan’s emergency manager law.</p><p>Well – sort of.</p><p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 19:14:02 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 14900 at http://michiganradio.org Oppenheim says state intervention working in Benton Harbor Leaks fixed at Palisades plant, but public trust isn't fully repaired http://michiganradio.org/post/leaks-fixed-palisades-plant-public-trust-isnt-fully-repaired <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Public health should be about facts, but let’s face it -- it’s often also about perception and emotion.</span><br><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The Palisades plant is located not too far from where I live in West Michigan -– but before I go there, allow me a quick digression.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">I recently gave up diet soda.</span><br><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">I’m trying to be healthy and have been convinced by what I’ve read and been told that aspartame, the sweetener in diet pop, is really not a good thing to consume.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Is the evidence conclusive?</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">I don’t think so, but I certainly feel a whole lot better about myself now that I’ve kicked my addiction.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The emotional factors may not be so different with the Palisades nuclear power plant.</span></p><p> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:51:52 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 13585 at http://michiganradio.org Leaks fixed at Palisades plant, but public trust isn't fully repaired The downsides to legalizing marijuana http://michiganradio.org/post/downsides-legalizing-marijuana <p>This week, police in Grand Rapids began a pilot program to treat marijuana possession as a civil infraction. This comes six months after voters approved an amendment to decriminalize pot.</p><p>In Michigan, if you've got an aching back or live in Grand Rapids or Ann Arbor, there’s less reason to feel like marijuana will get you into trouble.</p><p>For better or worse, pot is gaining acceptance.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Our state is one of 20 in the U.S. where marijuana is either OK for medical use or decriminalized.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In Washington state and Colorado, recreational use is legal. Increasingly, there are American communities like Grand Rapids where voters don’t want to spend time and money prosecuting offenders caught with a bag of weed.</span></p><p> Mon, 06 May 2013 14:59:16 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 12422 at http://michiganradio.org The downsides to legalizing marijuana Right-to-work in Michigan: Is there a middle ground? http://michiganradio.org/post/right-work-michigan-there-middle-ground <p>One thing I know about politically polarizing issues: arguing for middle-of-the-road positions alienates a lot of folks.</p><p>But here goes anyway.</p><p>I don’t love unions.</p><p>And I feel I can say that with some authority, given that as an employee of several media companies, I’ve been a member of three of them.</p><p>In every case, I felt unions were so concerned about protecting territory, that they were, at times, anti-progressive, and too often in the business of preserving their power.</p><p>I couldn’t touch equipment.</p><p>I was prevented from developing technical skills I would have been wise to learn.</p><p>Later in my career, when I worked at non-union shops, I was glad that, if I wanted to try something new, I could.</p><p>Now, that may seem like a funny way for me to argue that right-to-work laws are a bad idea, but that’s where I’m going with this. Mon, 10 Dec 2012 20:04:31 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 10290 at http://michiganradio.org Right-to-work in Michigan: Is there a middle ground? Want to vote early in Michigan? What's your excuse? http://michiganradio.org/post/want-vote-early-michigan-whats-your-excuse <p>The presidential election is still a month away, but in many states, early voting is already underway.</p><p>Today, Ohio opened the polls to early voters.</p><p>It’s one of 34 states that have some kind of early voting system.</p><p>Michigan, however, is not one of those states.</p><p>Last week, I went to my local city hall. I was feeling good. It was my daughter’s 18<sup>th</sup> birthday. I helped her register to vote - civic pride for a dad.</p><p>After that, my mood darkened. Tue, 02 Oct 2012 13:00:48 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 9314 at http://michiganradio.org Want to vote early in Michigan? What's your excuse? Pulling conservative Super-PAC ads from Michigan leaves us with "swing-envy" http://michiganradio.org/post/pulling-conservative-super-pac-ads-michigan-leaves-us-swing-envy <p align="left" dir="ltr"><font face="Cambria"><span lang="EN">Conservative Super-PACS have pulled their campaign ads supporting Mitt Romney in Michigan. That’s fueling speculation the Romney campaign and conservative groups will move their efforts and money elsewhere.&nbsp;</span></font></p><p align="left" dir="ltr">Commentator Keith Oppenheim has these thoughts.</p><p align="left" dir="ltr"><span lang="EN"><font face="Cambria">Back in June, I thought we had a chance.</font></span></p> Fri, 07 Sep 2012 22:07:31 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 8999 at http://michiganradio.org Pulling conservative Super-PAC ads from Michigan leaves us with "swing-envy" What's next after the Michigan primary? We don't know. http://michiganradio.org/post/whats-next-after-michigan-primary-we-dont-know <p>Michigan appears poised to have a significant role in the presidential election as voters get set for the Republican primary next Tuesday.</p> <p>But what will the results mean?</p> <p>When it’s over, there will be plenty of analysis on radio and television, but take it with a grain of salt.</p> Fri, 24 Feb 2012 14:13:08 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 6354 at http://michiganradio.org What's next after the Michigan primary? We don't know. Michigan's Benton Harbor in the national media spotlight http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-benton-harbor-national-media-spotlight <p>Benton Harbor isn&rsquo;t very big.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s a city of about 11,000 residents in Michigan&rsquo;s southwest corner.&nbsp; But it has story lines that drive national media to pay attention.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 10.0px 0.0px; line-height: 17.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'">One is the emergency manager law which has been in effect in Benton Harbor for about 2 years.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 10.0px 0.0px; line-height: 17.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'">It transferred power from elected officials to a state appointee, Joseph Harris.</p> Thu, 26 Jan 2012 19:45:41 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 5962 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's Benton Harbor in the national media spotlight Jennifer Granholm to host new television show http://michiganradio.org/post/jennifer-granholm-host-new-television-show <p>Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm starts a new job next month.</p><p>She&rsquo;ll be a regular on cable television, hosting a one-hour nightly program on Current TV.</p><p>Granholm says the show will focus on election year politics.</p><p>I spoke with Granholm about the upcoming show. To hear her take on her future as a political talk show host, click on the audio file above. Thu, 15 Dec 2011 20:23:09 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 5412 at http://michiganradio.org Jennifer Granholm to host new television show No political ads for me http://michiganradio.org/post/no-political-ads-me <p>The election season is about to bring something that most everyone likes to complain about: political ads on television.</p><p>For me, the problem isn&rsquo;t the barrage of political ads, it&rsquo;s the lack of them.</p><p>Chances are, if you live in Michigan, you&rsquo;re different from me.</p><p>You&rsquo;re in.</p><p>I&rsquo;m out.</p><p>You will get tons of what you might think are thoroughly obnoxious TV ads about Michigan political races.</p><p>Ads that say, &quot;Debbie Stabenow is a big spender,&quot; or &quot;Pete Hoekstra is an extremist.&quot;</p><p>Stuff like that.</p><p>And I won&rsquo;t. Mon, 19 Sep 2011 16:07:12 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 4205 at http://michiganradio.org