Joel Kurth, Bridge Magazine

Joel Kurth

Bridge Magazine

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Past articles by Joel:

As COVID rages on, Whitmer, Michigan GOP quarrel over lack of common ground

A year of tension over COVID restrictions has devolved into finger pointing, power plays and comments about appearances between the Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers → Read More

Wayne County canvasser: I sought to 'protect' Detroit vote, ‘not be racist’

As Wayne County commissioners are set to demand the resignations of two GOP canvassers who initially refused to certify the county’s election, Monica Palmer says the experience was 'heartbreaking.' A fellow member says she's not 'ready for prime time.' → Read More

Before you vote: These are facts, issues shaping Michigan in 2020 election

With the Nov. 3 election weeks away, take time to familiarize yourself with the Bridge Michigan’s 2020 Fact & Issue Guide to help inform your vote and separate rhetoric from facts. → Read More

Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations

The Edenville dam that catastrophically failed and prompted thousands of evacuations was cited repeatedly by federal authorities, who allege its owners had a “long history of noncompliance.” → Read More

In Detroit, a funeral moves outside as coronavirus deaths mount

An open-casket funeral outside is a small step toward closure and rethinking funerals at a time traditional spaces are forbidden, says the pastor of Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit. → Read More

Detroit moving faster to restore water, but hundreds still without service

Ten days into an emergency effort to restore water to Detroit homes, several hundred residents still remain without water and activists wants Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to enlist the National Guard to help in the effort. → Read More

Detroit off to slow start restoring water to homes as coronavirus hits

Detroit has turned water back on to fewer than 100 homes despite a program that slashes reconnection fees to $25. City officials say they are racing to solve phone and contractor issues they blame for the delays. → Read More

Coronavirus fears renew calls for Gov. Whitmer to end Detroit water shutoffs

One day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer denies a request for a health emergency in Detroit’s water shutoffs, activists again are seeking another one, saying that living without water could spread coronavirus. → Read More

Detroit says no proof water shutoffs harm health. Get real, experts say.

As City Council prepares to ask Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to end Detroit’s water shutoffs, debate is roiling about how much proof is needed about the health impacts of shutoffs that researchers say are obvious. → Read More

Bernie Sanders blasts Detroit shutoffs as ‘outrage,’ as city seeks more help

Citing a Bridge Magazine article, Sanders blasts water shutoffs as a ‘moral outrage.’ City officials say they want to expand relief efforts for thousands of impoverished residents with no running water → Read More

Detroit wants to expand water help. Here’s how to avoid disconnections.

Detroit officials want to double the amount of help available for low-income customers facing water shutoffs. Most programs help those who aren't yet disconnected. → Read More

Michigan could decide presidency. These are the facts that shape our state.

With the Michigan primary just weeks away, Bridge Magazine is unveiling its 2020 Fact Guide to help frame the debate and separate rhetoric from facts. → Read More

Michigan K-12 test scores slowly improving but remain mediocre at best

Education funding in Michigan hasn’t kept up with other states, and lawmakers are trying a host of reforms to boost outcomes that, while improving, lag much of the nation. → Read More

Early childhood education is key to success. Michigan still has work to do.

Michigan has vastly improved access to state-funded preschool, but gaps remain. Should the state spend another $400 million to make its Great Start Readiness Program universal? → Read More

Jobs up, poverty declines as Michigan emerges from Great Recession hangover

In the past five years, total employment and personal income have grown by double-digits in Michigan, while poverty has plunged. But not all news is good. → Read More

Incomes climb in Michigan, but state still struggles with loss of manufacturing

The loss of 300,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs means that, even though, Michigan wages have climbed over the past few years, they’re still less than the nationwide average. → Read More

Michigan’s cherished Great Lakes, clean waters face threats from all sides

Flint was a wake-up call about access to clean water. Since that crisis, numerous new threats have emerged to Michigan’s waterways, from PFAS to corporate extractions. → Read More

Michigan roads are infamously bad. But sewers and dams are in rough shape too

Even with new funding to pay for roads, Michigan’s infrastructure is aging rapidly. Solutions are not only expensive but politically divisive in an era of divided government. → Read More

Michigan doles out more in business tax breaks than it spends on schools

More than $25 billion in tax breaks go to businesses and Michigan is considered the nation’s 12th most business-friendly tax state. And even though tax bills increase, the amount of money flowing into state coffers is restricted. → Read More

Michigan employs 48K people. A quarter of them work in prisons.

The average Michigan state government worker is a woman who makes $64,000 and works in either corrections or health and human services. That’s just one takeaway from a vast enterprise with a $60B budget. → Read More