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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Voters to choose new state representative

Election Day is approaching for voters and not only is there a president to vote for, but also a state representative for Michigan’s 109th district, which includes the city of Marquette.

State representatives provide a voice for their constituents in the state capital. The incumbent Rep. Steven Lindberg has been representing Michigan’s 109th District since 2006, but due to term limitations, cannot run for re-election.

Vying to replace him, Democratic candidate John Kivela and Republican candidate Jack Hubbard head off on being elected the next representative for the 109th district.

Kivela, a Marquette native, has been mayor since 2008.

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“My main focus, as it has been as mayor, is jobs,” Kivela said. “In Michigan, that is the key to an economic turnaround. There is no money to fund education, roads and other programs unless people are working.”

According to Kivela, having a daughter in college has helped him become more familiar with the costs and obstacles parents and students face with higher education.

“Education is paramount and schools have been crippled in the last couple years with cuts,” Kivela said. “We need to put more resources into education and make it affordable. There are not a lot of opportunities for [graduates] to stay and work in the area so we need to bring better technology, infrastructure and the environment where companies can grow and bright, young kids graduating would be more than willing to start an entrepreneurship.”

According to Kivela, he wants a diversified economy.

“Eighty percent of Michigan products are shipped internationally, mostly by small to medium companies,” Kivela said. “By making Sawyer an international port, it will open doors and make it competitive, becoming a global market. As we continue to push the envelope with technology, it will create a reliable infrastructure and more people will want to live here.”

Kivela said there is a lack of reliable energy in the U.P. and without that, companies are not going to locate here. He also wants to expand opportunities with logging and mining, making sure those jobs continue to operate cleanly and safely, because the natural resources have been key to the economy.

“There are no overfunded departments out there, so we’re at a standstill unless we grow the economy,” Kivela said.b “Northern is really starting to get traction, attracting research and development grants. We’re not really high on Lansing’s radar as the representatives in senate haven’t worked well together in years past, so this area needs better representation.”

Republican candidate Hubbard was born and raised in Marquette, but has been living in Grand Marais, Mich. for the past few years. During his time spent in Grand Marais he has been the township supervisor for Burt Township, Mich., in which Grand Marais is located.’
“Land-based industries such as mining, logging, farming and recreational use of land are pretty key issues here,” ‘Hubbard said. “They are not only the key to revenue but our way of life, and they’ve always been the base of the U.P.”
Hubbard said the best way to develop the economy is to start with the natural resources and build off of that.

“We can speculate what will happen next but we have to go with the proven stuff we know, and companies want to and have been mining and logging,” Hubbard said. “This is a really big district which spreads from Michigamme to Newberry, so it’s not just about Marquette, but other areas, too. Most of the population is in Marquette County but it doesn’t mean other counties aren’t important, too.”

According to Hubbard, who is the owner of a logging company and a small hotel, both in Grand Marais, he believes the district has been underrepresented in the state legislature during the past 12 years.

“I have a real advantage, as I’ve been [to Lansing] to deal with people, and I already know an enormous amount and work with a lot of people,” Hubbard said. “The problem new legislators face is bureaucrats who try to spin them around, but I’ve been down that road and won’t get spun around the way others have.”

One issue Hubbard has fought for in the state capital was the reconstruction of a breakwall in Grand Marais.

“Grand Marais tried for five decades to get the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the breakwall and save the harbor,” Hubbard said. “It took six years of me essentially fighting with Lansing and the Corps of Engineers to get them to fix it, with the support of (Sen.) Casperson and the governor.

“It’s an economic boost not only to Grand Marais, but also a positive impact on Lake Superior and the U.P.”

For more information about the candidates and their plans, visit www.kivelaforstaterep.com or www.jack4rep.com.

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