Mike Schoonveld

Be septic smart

I was once told by a person who ran a “roto-rooter” type business that a septic tank at a private home would never clog up or wear out if the homeowner treated it right. Of course, he was in the business either because he was wrong or because homeowners were being abusive to their private sewage systems. Millions of homes…

Outdoors recreation is ‘big recreation’

This isn’t a blog about how expensive fishing, camping, hiking or participating in other traditional outdoor recreation has become. Compared to most recreational pursuits, it’s affordable. No wonder it’s so popular and its popularity is why it’s become “big recreation” in the same sense as big oil, big pharma or other big businesses. It’s easy to recognize most business categories…

Contest seeking innovative solutions to eradicate invasive zebra, quagga mussels

Zebra mussels, like these, and quagga mussels are two of the most disruptive invasive species in our waters. (Photo by Mike Schoonveld)I recently wrote and reported on the giveaway of Michigan tax dollars to scientists, deep-thinkers and/or used car salesmen who could envision the best method of keeping those pesky Asian carp (now endemic in much of the Mississippi River…

All wood is not created equal

If you use the best wood available, you’ll get the best campfire. (Photo by Bill Parker) I don’t think there is any kind of wood from any kind of tree that won’t burn. Want a campfire? Burn wood – use any kind of wood, it will burn. Some wood will burn fast, some slow, some will make great coals, some…

Dealing with unbreakable dates

I have five brothers and five sisters. When people with fewer kids or siblings hear that, one of the first questions is, “How do (or did) you ever get anything planned?” Generally, they are talking about family outings (when we were all mostly children) or family get-togethers, now that we are grown. Believe it or not, the whole bunch of…

$1.5 million for a grant on how humans hurt the environment?

The headline read, “NASA Grants MSU $1.5 Million to Study How Humans Hurt the Environment.” This is wrong in so many ways, starting with the headline. I’m horrible at writing headlines. They are supposed to be a tease, not the whole story. Even my weak headlining skills could produce something like, “Millions for Environmental Grant.” Journalism aside, the next thing…