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Kenneth knew best

July 8, 2012
Shawn Stanley, Gwinn , The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

This past month approximately four letters to the editor of The Mining Journal have mentioned K.I. Sawyer.

Kenneth Ingalls Sawyer, the man for whom the area is named contributed much of his time, talent, and influence so that Marquette County could become what it is today. Legend has it; while working as road commission superintendent, he helped develop the first divided highway in the county.

While serving as the Mayor of Ishpeming he lifted a movie ban on Sundays. And although he would not live to see it, Sawyer advocated for the building of an airport in Sands Township long before the air force, in 1954, proposed a 99-year lease with the county for the use of the area that would become a thriving, Upper Peninsula military community, during the Cold War.

On a more personal note, I remember when Sawyer was an active air force base and many of the men and women stationed there in the early

'70s shopped at my grandpa's grocery store in south Marquette.

Back then they had to take a left on Division Street at Genesee Street in order to access Marquette County Road 553. Our family appreciated their service and they appreciated ours. I'm sure I speak for many in the area when I say that to this day those men and women, who served their country here, are missed.

In her letter to the editor on Sunday titled, "Rep Must Represent," Kimberly Libick joins the ranks of those who would like to remind us that there is a lot to be fixed at K.I. Sawyer. She claims that Rep. Benishek should be doing a better job representing those who are willing and able to accomplish this.

Having lived at Sawyer for nearly three years, I've had many frustrating moments regarding the state of affairs. That is until I started getting involved-getting to know people, who, even after so many setbacks still believe in the possibility of moving forward-has connected me with the positive development at K.I. Sawyer.

This development, occurring during Rep. Benishek's term, includes business expansion and job creation. Much of K.I.'s industrial area has been a Renaissance Zone for years. These expansions come at a time when tax breaks are being phased out.

Kenneth Ingalls' motto was, "Only our best is good enough." No one person can fix a community. Maybe we all need to take a better look at ourselves.



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