Writer made baseless claims about Escanaba


After reading the recent article printed in The Detroit News, “Town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Celebrates Birthday, Harkens Back to Better Times,” I believe the writer made some quick, subjective, and in some cases baseless claims about Escanaba and the Upper Peninsula. The U.P. that I know is a place where:

– Traditions are acknowledged, respected, and celebrated as a foundation for a successful future

– Citizens appreciate the beauty and benefits of our natural resources

– Children have the opportunity to learn, play, and grow in a healthy environment

– “Community” and “schools” operate hand-in-hand as partners

– Community service is not just a buzzword – it is a verb that translates into “leadership in action”

– People acknowledge and rejoice in collective success – no matter how big or small

– Your child is “our child” families and schools make sure that all children are loved and feel special

– Residents do not give up rather they work harder – as evidenced by Escanaba having the only state fair in Michigan

– Residents, even from different areas of the U.P. consider each other as “family” and “neighbors”

– Deep pride for our region and people is rooted in our souls

We do not appreciate a downstate newspaper reporter putting our much-loved city and our U.P. neighbors in a negative light. This is a time when Michigan residents need to build each other up, rather than tear each other down.

The Escanaba community supported the Escanaba Area Public School District by passing a $22 million bond project to improve its schools, by providing revenue for its scholarship program (over $250,000 given annually to graduating seniors), by its continual support of our athletics, fine arts, robotics programs, and so much more. As the city of Escanaba celebrates its 150 years the focus will be on its people, its accomplishments, and its future.

I encourage individuals who have not visited our area or the Upper Peninsula to make the trip. Michigan’s motto is, “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” Escanaba, along with the rest of the Upper Peninsula is certainly “pleasant,” but a more appropriate adjective might be “phenomenal.” Visitors should not only come to see what is here, but also might try to get to know us. They also might discover the special things the area offers. Upon finding yourself in Escanaba or in the surrounding area, before you realize it, you will be treated like the family and friends we appreciate and love. This is what was missing from the most recent article published in the Detroit News, and this is what truly makes Escanaba and the Upper Peninsula a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

Michele Lemire


Escanaba Area Public Schools