Phil Power, founder and President of The Center, spent nearly 40 years in the newspaper business as founder, owner and Chairman of HomeTown Communications Network, Inc. During that period, his weekly column appeared regularly in his Michigan newspapers. It earned both state and national honors for its balance, insight and vigorous point of view. After the sale of his company last year, Phil continued writing his column on a regular basis. If you would like to receive his column via email, sign up for the Center’s newsletter.
Phil’s most current columns can be found on our Bridge website HERE. Past columns are listed below.
Whatever you think of Detroit, it is hard to imagine Michigan thriving if our largest city isn’t on some kind of road to prosperity. And plenty of folks, both business-oriented (think DTE Energy, Business Leaders for Michigan) and philanthropic (think the Kresge, Skillman and Hudson-Webber Foundations) are committed to and heavily invested in the city’s [...]
The coverage of Betty Ford’s funeral last week pushed my thoughts back to the mid-1960s, when I ran the Capitol Hill congressional office of Rep. Paul Todd, Jr., D-Kalamazoo. Those were days when Rep. Gerry Ford, R-Grand Rapids, was on his way up in a career that would ultimately take him first to the position [...]
This may sound too good to be true, but it is true: Michigan could easily transform itself into a global freight gateway that could create more than 200,000 jobs and add billions in economic activity. And this could all happen within the next decade. If we play our cards right and this all works out, [...]
If you’ve been around for awhile, you’ll have noticed that both our state and national politics have become nastier and more partisan in recent years. Why? I have developed what I call the “single sandbox theory.” Simply put, it suggests that a fragmented news media have spawned countless single sandboxes, each occupied by a partisan [...]
There was a different, pleasing feel about last week’s Mackinac Policy Conference. True, the crowd on the wonderfully long, pale green and white porch of the Grand Hotel, punctuated by blazing red geraniums, was as aggressive as ever around the bars at cocktail time. But the mood was markedly different than in recent years. “This [...]
As we head into Memorial Day weekend, here are two straws in the wind to mull as you sip your lemonade … It’s now clear that Michigan’s economy has turned the corner. Things aren’t perfect yet, but seasonally adjusted unemployment figures put our jobless rate for April at 10.2 percent, according to the Michigan Department [...]
You may have heard that Gov. Rick Snyder sent a special message on education reform to the Legislature late last month. Well, I have actually read it — something that took me a while. This is far from a twitter message; it is several thousand words. Yet it is well worth the read. The governor’s [...]
Four months after the Snyder administration took over in Lansing, it’s becoming clear that we are living in highly consequential, if not downright revolutionary, times. Our past leaders saw the clouds approaching — and did little or nothing to shelter us from the storm. For the previous dozen years or so, Michigan government merely nibbled [...]
Michigan always has had its share of characters — and I recently shared a podium with one of our best: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a quick-witted and amiable rogue if there ever was one. The occasion was a Birmingham Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting April 21. Patterson talked about the ways in which [...]
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity … – A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens Dickens’ famous novel was set in London and Paris [...]View More Columns