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11/27/18
Bewildered and Confused
by Alan Robandt

The Buchanan City Commission did well last night to unanimously reject the proposed opt out ordinance for Regulated Adult Marijuana Use. It just didn’t make sense, and the intent of the hasty, gesture left everyone bewildered and confused.

Here’s some voter approved law from Proposition 1 which goes into effect on December 6th:

Sec 9.1 (6). The department shall begin accepting applications for marihuana establishments within 12 months after the effective date of this act. Except as otherwise provided in this section, for 24 months after the department begins to receive applications for marihuana establishments, the department may only accept applications for licensure: for a class A marihuana grower or for a marihuana microbusiness, from persons who are residents of Michigan; for a marihuana retailer, marihuana processor, class B marihuana grower, class C marihuana grower, or a marihuana secure transporter, from persons holding a state operating license pursuant to the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801; and for a marihuana safety compliance facility, from any applicant. One year after the department begins to accept applications pursuant to this section, the department shall begin accepting applications from any applicant if the department determines that additional state licenses are necessary to minimize the illegal market for marihuana in this state, to efficiently meet the demand for marihuana, or to provide for reasonable access to marihuana in rural areas.

   It appears that we’re looking twelve months out before the State begins even to consider license applications for this new commercial market; and, for twenty four months the only licenses to be issued will go to state license holders under the medical marijuana program. 
   The City’s position was essentially that the City is unable to handle the process. Cited was the medical application received after five were being reviewed for local permitting. Had the sixth applicant filed on a timely basis there would not have been an issue. Whining and looking for special favors is appealing in neither children nor adults. 
   The other argument was to prevent people from lining up leases and space without prior approval. That’s an enterprises decision — not City of Buchanan decision. That’s entrepreneurial risk. The City needs to step back from picking favorites, winners, and losers and refocus on providing  consistent, reliable, and regular city services.

11/21/18
Not a Fan of Facebook 
by Patricia Banker

Facebook was one of the reasons we decided to start a “real” newspaper. It was autumn of 2016 and we started to become alarmed by the hostility and outright nastiness that was coming from “friends.” We saw facts being denied despite evidence and were, frankly, shocked by some things family members and acquaintances  were posting.  I had several friends who previously had been heavy users give it up completely because the atmosphere had become so toxic.

I think I joined at least seven years ago, but I’m just not very good at it. I do go on a few times a week just to keep in touch with my small number of family and friends who use it (letting them know I’m still alive and well). And most of them put it to good use. Our book club uses it to keep everyone informed–but not everyone is informed, because not everyone is a member. So it becomes exclusionary. It’s exclusionary in another way as well: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I have on two separate occasions listened to someone in tears because she had found out (via Facebook) that she hadn’t been invited to a social occasion. 

As I type this, Facebook is under fire yet again for nefarious deeds. But when I’m finished here, I’ll be updating The Paper’s Facebook page to let people know they can read the latest edition. It can be a useful tool. But our motto here is: We’re all in this together. That’s why we also publish a web edition in addition to the printed one. We want to be as inclusive as possible.

Inclusivity is also why we’re starting this Opinion section. We want to give our readers an opportunity to express themselves, in a “safe environment. All comments will be moderated before they are published. We will publish some of these Opinion pieces in the print edition – but will always give the writer a chance to approve of the piece before we do. (It might be edited for grammar and length.) Facts must be verified (no Fake News allowed!). Anonymity is allowed (but we will need to know your “real identity).

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