CNS budget, Dec. 9, 2022

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Week 14 – 12/9/22

CNS Budget

To: CNS Editors

From: David Poulson and Judy Putnam

Welcome to the 14th CNS file of the 2022 fall semester. 

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Eryn Ho at (616) 485-9295,

For other matters, contact Dave Poulson at (517) 899-1640;

Note to CNS editors: This is the last regular weekly file of the fall semester. Next Friday, Dec. 16, we’ll send our traditional end-of-semester bonus budget with some still-timely stories you may not have had space for earlier. Within a few weeks after that we’ll send a special package of Michigan environmental stories in collaboration with our partner, Great Lakes Echo.

Here’s your file:

RECREATION PASSPORT: Michigan ice rinks, volleyball courts and parks just got a $2 million boost from state park access fees. The payments range from $83,600 for upgrades to a township park in Delta County to $150,000 awards for an ice arena in L’Anse, a park project in Potterville and another for volleyball courts in Alpena. Editors: We discovered these awards before they were announced. Not all local officials are aware that they are successful. By Liam Jackson. FOR ALPENA, ALCONA, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

            W/ RECREATION PASSPORT AWARD LIST: Copy of 2022 Recreation Passport award list for localization.


HEARING AIDS: Experts are urging caution with greater access to over-the-counter hearing aids. We talk to a Holland audiologist and a Michigan State expert about the federal move to expand access to the devices. While appropriate for mild hearing loss, experts worry about people with severe loss getting adequate help. By Sarah Atwood. FOR HOLLAND, LANSING CITY PULSE, CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV AND ALL POINTS.

SNOWMOBILE TRAILS: Snowmobile trail groomers anticipate more snow this year than last winter but the season is not off to a good start. We talk to the Jordan Valley Trails Council and the Michigan Snowmobile and ORV Association. Editors: Possible localization opportunity with this map of the state’s trails and their grooming sponsors –


TAX CREDIT: The expansion of a federal tax credit to low-income families during the pandemic lifted more than half a million Michigan children out of poverty. That is set to end at the end of the year, and advocates worry some of those children, especially in rural families, could slip back into poverty. By Sarah Atwood FOR ALL POINTS.

W/COUNTY POVERTY RATES OF FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN: Editors note localization opportunity with county list of 2021 poverty rates of families with children. Source: American Communities Survey.

SCHOOL CALENDAR: While some educators, students and parents favor school spread more evenly throughout the year, the so-called balanced school calendar has not taken off in Michigan. We interview the Holt superintendent, who heads a national organization, the head of the Michigan Education Association, a Holt parent and the superintendent of Akron-Fairgrove schools. By Janelle James. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS. 

MAJOR REGRET: Nearly half of humanities grads nationwide report they wished they chose a different major, and in Michigan some universities report declining enrollment in humanities majors such as English, philosophy, language and history. One reason is the promotion of ‘hard science’ fields. There is still reason to major in the humanities, college officials argue. We talk to a MSU dean, a recent grad, and a Northern Michigan University professor. By Janelle James. FOR MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

CLIMATE TREES: New study by researchers from U-M, University of Minnesota and collaborators shows deadly effects of global warming on nine North American tree species: balsam fir, white spruce, jack pine, Eastern white pine, red maple, sugar maple, paper birch, bur oak and Northern red oak that make up boreal forests growing at high latitudes. Juvenile trees are experiencing increased mortality due to global warming and reduced rainfall. By Mackenzie DeRaad. FOR PLANET DETROIT, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

            w/CLIMATE TREES PHOTO 1: Researchers find that climate change has deadly effects on trees such as these in a Northern boreal forest. Credit: Minnesota DNR

            w/CLIMATE TREES PHOTO 2: Boreal, temperate, tropical and subtropical forest geographic distribution. Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 

FORAGING: Eat weeds? Foraging has gained in popularity since the onset of the pandemic. We find out why that’s happening and how foraging can benefit the environment from a longtime forager in Kalamazoo and an ethnobotanist at a tribal college. By Nicoline Bradford. FOR BAY MILLS, LANSING CITY PULSE, STURGIS AND ALL POINTS

            w/FORAGING PHOTO 1: Gabrielle Cerberville forages up to 80% of her diet. Credit: Gabrielle Cerberville

            w/FORAGING PHOTO 2: Foraging expert Gabrielle Cerberville holds up a giant puffball, one of many edible mushrooms growing in the Great Lakes region. Credit: Gabrielle Cerberville

            w/FORAGING PHOTO 3: Chanterelle mushrooms, sometimes confused with poisonous jack o’ lantern mushrooms, are a popular wild food. Credit: Nicoline Bradford


BATTERIES: Batteries come in different sizes: AA, AAA, a 27 billion gallon reservoir of Lake Michigan water. Perhaps someday: a warehouse of iron, salt and water, basic ingredients for manufacturing iron-flow batteries. That technology could help pave the way for the Great Lakes region’s green energy future. The Institute for Energy Innovation produced an energy storage roadmap for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy in March. It set a minimum storage requirement of 4,000 megawatts by 2040. References the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant that can store nearly 2,000 megawatts. By Jake Christie. FOR LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! OCEANA, BENZIE, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS.

PETS OF HOMELESS: Homeless pet owners need vet care and food for their animals, and some nonprofits are stepping in with assistance. We hear from the Humane Society of Huron Valley and Shelter Association of Washtenaw County and see a Street Dog Coalition free clinic in Detroit. By Vladislava Sukhanovskaya. FOR DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

            w/PETS OF HOMELESS PHOTO 1: German shepherd at a mobile clinic in Detroit. Nonprofits say they hope to step up help for pets of unsheltered people. Credit: Street Dog Coalition

            w/ PETS OF HOMELESS PHOTO 2: Pit bull at a mobile clinic in Detroit. Credit. Street Dog Coalition

COMMENTARY TARNISHED GAVELS: Escalating criminal and ethics controversy enveloping ex-House Speaker Lee Chatfield is a reminder of how far the mighty can fall. Chatfield was one of Michigan’s two most powerful state legislators, but once the Emmet County Republican left office he’s been on the firing line as investigative journalists and law enforcement agencies probe a wide range of his activities. For all its perceived power and prestige, a speakership may bring temptations marked by greed, influence-peddling, favoritism and lax enforcement of ethics standards. Maybe it’s an occupational hazard: House speakers in Illinois, Ohio. Massachusetts, New York, Missouri, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and elsewhere have been convicted of crimes. By Eric Freedman. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, DETROIT, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY AND ALL POINTS. 

            w/TARNISHED GAVELS PHOTO: Former House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, faces allegations that include bribery, embezzlement and campaign finance violations. Credit: Michigan House of Representatives


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