Young People’s View on the Election



A lot of issues have come up in the recent election. Things like the economy, foreign policy and energy.  But which of these issues are affecting young voters.   What is gearing their decision making? 

Experts say the young vote is crucial in the upcoming election.  But what issues affect the younger voter?  Just like older voters young adults in Michigan have told me that the economy is their main concern.  They say they want to elect a candidate who not necessarily has better political sense, but can help their financial future.

Julius Bryant is a junior at Central Michigan University.

“I’ll be graduating soon and I would like to stay here in Michigan and have a job here after I graduate.  But it’s become almost a regularity for a student to graduate here in Michigan to go out of state for a job.  Just because the economy is so terrible here there’s few jobs here. I think the economy is probably the thing effecting me most.

Many students like Julius, who try hard throughout their college career, are sometimes stuck after graduation when it comes to job hunting.  Most of the young voters I spoke with felt they can relate better to Obama than McCain.  Some say this could be because Barack Obama stresses issues in his campaign that affect middle class young people more than others.  Issues like education.

Ricardo White is vice president of the College Democrats at Central Michigan University.

“If barrack Obama is president, he has insured that he will invest more in education.  John McCain on the other hand has said he wants to eliminate education all together. Which to me symbolizes that he doesn’t really care what happens in education.  Because he went to the naval academy he doesn’t know first hand how much college cost.  Being a millionaire and having children that go to college really shows that you don’t know what it’s like to take out loans and pay for school.”

 Many say that if young people want their concerns addressed they have to simply “show up”.  Assistant political science professor Cherie Strachn says Presidential candidates usually address the concerns of those who vote, which may be why the youth vote is stressed in the current election. 

 “The issues that affect young people have been but their being exacerbated by the poor economy.  Either presidential candidate that gets elected will have to deal with these issues whether they deal with them in a way that is most helpful to young I think depends on how many young people show up.  Politicians pay attention to issues based on who votes.  Which is why we’ve heard so much in the past about retirement packages and social security.  So if young people show up then perhaps they will get some some economic relief in terms of access to student loans, access to affordable housing while they’re in college and while they are searching for a job.”

 There are also young people who agree with Senator Mccain when it comes to tax breaks and funding for education. Some youth believe MCcain’s plan will make getting money for college less complicated.

 Nathan Inks is Vice Chair of the College Republicans at Central Michigan University.

 “The main focus of Senator Mccain’s tax cut plans when it comes to education is to simplify the tax code so that students can find the tax breaks that are there and the tax code.  Right now the code is very complex and it’s hard for people who don’t know the ins and outs of the tax code to find the tax credit so simplifying it is gonna make it easier for students to fill out the forms and get the money back.”

 Professor of Political science Sterling Johnson says the power and potential of the youth vote is nothing new.  Johnson believes that America is counting on young voters to put the best person in the white house come November 4th.

 “Since the 60’s, since gunner generation and revolution of the 60’swe’ve been taunting the possibility and the potential power of the youth vote.  But more importantly the global community is counting on young Americans to turn out and put someone responsible with whom they can actually have a political economic dialogue and move the planet forward.”

Lack of voter participation from young people, may be why the potential power of the youth vote is just that; potential. Most of the people I spoke with say that in order for the power of the youth vote to be unleashed, young people have to go out and vote.



“Insecurities” Photo Exhibit at CMU

A unique exhibit at Central Michigan University.   Two students have put their digital cameras  – and creativity- to work showing how people can be too hard on themselves.
The exhibit is called “Insecurities”.  It’s a series of photos depicting areas of a young woman’s body with words scrawled across.   For example there’s a picture of her back with the word “inexperienced” written on her skin.
    Kate Burchett is the originator of the show and the model in the pictures

“I hope that in each one, we took the photo in a way that shows that the things that I’m insecure about aren’t always true”

Burchett and fellow student Liz Brass completed the photo shoot in one night. Brass says she hopes it sends a message to other women and to society.

“Society I think creates those insecurities that people have.  Society just really has a pressure on people and so that’s how the insecurities can be created sometimes.”

The “Insecurities” exhibit ran through the month of October.  Its final day is tomorrow (today) in the extended study room in Park Library on the campus of CMU


Alcona Schools Recycling Program

Alcona school officials met with Recycle Alcona Incorporated and Waste Management to develop a new recycling system for the schools.

In the new program, schools received free tote-bags from Waste Management to collect paper, plastic, and cardboard products.

The recyclable waste is then collected once a month directly from the school’s site.

Alan Shillair is the Business Manager for Alcona Community Schools.

He says the students have joined together in helping with the new recycling initiative…

“There’s the FFA, Junior National Honors Society, Senior National Honors Society, and Student Council.  And they split the chores of collecting that once a week.”

Shillair says the new program has cut their garbage waste in half.

Essexville power plant hopes to attract bald eagles

Bald Eagles have made an amazing comeback in Michigan – from having only 70 mating pairs in the state in the 1970s to having over 550 mating pairs today.

Part of the challenge now is providing nesting sites, like one that was recently constructed at the Karn-Weadock Generating Facility in Essexville.

Dave Best, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, beleives the power plant offers a great habitat for eagles.

“Eagles are quite common in that area,” he said. “Their water discharges and intakes attract a lot of fish, and probably waterfowl, particularly over the wintertime.”

Best, with the help of Consumers Energy and Utility Workers of America Local 144, recently installed a nesting platform near the power plant, on Windy Point. He also created a starter nest, hoping it would make the platform more inviting to eagles.

“(It’s a) wooden box with wire bottom, and some pieces of wood to help retain nest material,” explained Best. “And then we just basically seed the box with a bunch of sticks, and actually kind of then line that nest structure with a grass. And hopefully it simulates a nest enough that an eagle would take interest in it.”

Best hopes that a pair of eagles will adopt the platform and nest as their own, and remain at the site through the spring mating season.

Northern Michigan hit hard by unemployment

The September unemployment rate was higher in all of Michigan’s 17 labor markets than it was in 2007.

The seasonably unadjusted unemployment rate is 8.3 percent, 1.5 percent higher than it was a year ago. It is the second highest in the nation, behind only Rhode Island.

Jim Rhein, an analyst for the Michgan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, said economic problems seem to be spreading to every sector of the economy.

“Michigan tends to be a bellwether on economic distress in the country,” said Rhein. “In the U.S., we’re just starting to see real unemployment rate up ticks in the labor market in the summer, where as in Michigan we started seeing this in late ’07 and early ’08.”

The northern part of the Lower Peninsula was especially hard hit during September. Unemployment increased by half a point in the northwest corner of the peninsula, and by three tenths of a point in the northeast corner.

“This is seasonal, and expected for the most part with the winding down of the summer tourism season,” explained Rhein. “And that will dominate the labor market in those areas completely.”

Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities



There are over fifty-two million Americans with disabilities.  Thirty-eight million are of working age.  Of those able to work seventy percent are unemployed.  Mike Zellie is president of the Disabilities Network in Flint. He says companies such as IBM and Dupont have conducted studies on their workforce that show employees with disabilities are more dependable, and loyal to their companies. 

“I have to solve problems everywhere I go. I have to plan ahead in terms of accessibility.  Well that’s a transferable skill.  It helps me problem solve whether it’s in a work environment or a like environment.  So there are several transferable skills or other skills that people have that is just an untapped labor pool for employers.”  

 The Department of Labor and Economic Growth is currently airing a show on cable television, talking about the good things that come out of hiring people with disabilities.

Secretary of State Announces Record Voter Registration Numbers

Over 95 percent of people able to vote in Michigan are registered.  The Secretary of State has reported record voter registration numbers this year.

Nearly seven and half million people have registered to vote this year.  Various voter registration campaigns like the “mobile secretary of state offices” have sparked record voter registration numbers in Michigan. 

Bonnie Friedrichs is the County clerk for Alpena.  She says they are preparing for a heavy turnout come election day.

“Alpena County we’re preparing for high voter turnout, we’re reviewing all of our procedures and policies and letting the poll workers know that there will be a heavy turnout be ready for it.  Pretty much everyone is interested, very active and aware that election is coming up and they want to vote.”

The secretary of state also wants to remind voters to bring a photo ID with them to the polls.