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Friday, February 04, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, February 4, 2005

It's the winter festival season ... now where's winter?

This Weekend In Michigan - February 4 & 5
From Calendar Advertising Co. Michigan Calendar of Events with information by Google search...
Winter Festival (Boyne City), Clare Snow Show, Zehnder's Snow Fest (Frankenmuth), Ice Breaker (South Haven), Ice Spectacular (Milford), Dowagiac Ice Festival, I-500 Snowmobile Race (Sault Ste. Marie), Dow Corning Tennis Classic (Midland), Michigan Tech Winter Carnival (Houghton). We'll try to do these earlier in the week in the future!
NOTE: Please verify event dates as they may have changed or be inaccurate!

Michigan Chamber of Commerce Questions New Business Tax Proposal
In a news release, the Michigan Chamber holds that Governor Granholm's proposal to restructure Michigan's business taxes would benefit some manufacturing businesses but would also "result in major tax increases for many Michigan job providers -- including certain manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, utilities, professional service providers, commercial property owners, banks and others". This conclusion was from the Michigan Chamber's Tax Committee, 70 corporate tax executives, CPAs, tax attorneys and other business leaders.

DEQ Permit Granted for Michigan Ethanol Plant
The Toledo Blade reports that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved a permit requested by Great Lakes Ethanol LLC to install a $72 million ethanol plant in Riga Township (outside of Blissfield, Lenawee County). The plant would produce 50 million gallons of ethanol (bio-fuel made from corn used in gasoline) per year.

Hunting & Fishing License Fees to Increase
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has approved a new fee structure for hunting and fishing licenses. Most resident licenses will increase by $1 and non-resident by $4.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources web site

MSU Seeks to Triple Federal Research Funding
The Lansing State Journal reports that Michigan State University has set a 10-year goal to triple its take in federal funding for medical research to $100 million a year. The university claims that high-tech jobs and spinoff companies would benefit East Lansing (and mid-Michigan).

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# posted by farlane @ 8:56 AM 2 comments links to this post
Thursday, February 03, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, February 3, 2005

Read this story and understand that spam is about to get a whole lot worse: Zombie trick expected to send spam sky high.

Michigan Legislation to Require Consent for Nationwide Cell Phone Directory
The Associated Press reports that Michigan lawmakers have introduced a bill to require consent from Michigan residents before their cell phone numbers are listed in a proposed nationwide directory. Some cellular carriers have proposed a nationwide 411 directory of mobile numbers but companies such as Verizon Wireless U.S. Cellular Corp. oppose it.

Zebra Mussels Spread to More Michigan Lakes
The Detroit Free Press reports that zebra mussels have been identified in more Michigan lakes including: Tamarack (Washtenaw County), Runyan (Livingston), Marion (Charlevoix), Spider (Grand Traverse), Long (Hillsdale), Indian (Kalamazoo), Gunn (Mason), and Corey, Fisher, Palmer, Sturgeon and Wahbememe (St. Joseph County).
Complete list from Michigan Sea Grant

UP Moose Relocation Celebrates 20 Years of Success
The UP Mining Journal has a nice feature (with great photos) about successful moose translocation efforts in Michigamme Township (begun in February of 1985 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources). 19 cows and 10 bull moose were captured from Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, and released just north of Michigamme on the Peshekee Grade. Township officials plan to recognize the historic event with a celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Michigamme Museum.

Michigan Reactions to the State of the Union Address
Both the Detroit Free Press & News have features on last night's State of the Union address. The Detroit News added reactions of Michigan residents Predictably, jobs, manufacturing and health costs were important.
State of the Union in the Freep

Tower Automotive Files for Bankruptcy
The Detroit Free Press reports that multibillion-dollar auto supplier Tower Automotive filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, citing lower vehicle production, rapidly rising steel prices and massive debt. Tower (based in Novi) has 2,800 employees in Michigan.

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# posted by farlane @ 11:39 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, February 2, 2005

"Ice" appears to be the word of the day in Detroit. Locked out Red Wings are skating on it and it's falling from the sky as well...

Forest Service OKs Natural Gas Exploration near AuSable
The Free Press reports that the U.S. Forest Service has approved Traverse City-based Savoy Energy's plan to explore for natural gas near the AuSable River (a Michigan fishing mecca) and the Mason Tract (11 miles long, 4500 acre+) in Crawford County, rejecting arguments that the project was too environmentally risky.

Hockey News: Motor City Mechanics sign 3 Wings
The Detroit Free Press reports that with the NHL (and Red Wings) mired in a lockout, the Motor City Mechanics of the United Hockey League have signed Red Wings stars Kris Draper, Chris Chelios and Derian Hatcher. The Mechanics play at Fraser, a Michigan hockey mecca.
Another Freep article on the Red Wings players

Broadband Price War in Metro Detroit
Detroit Free Press technology writer Mike Wedland reports that metro Detroit's two major high-speed Internet providers (Comcast Cable and SBC Communications) are engaging in a price war. The winners? Users of cable and DSL.

Silver Lake & Dam to be Restored
The Mining Journal reports that the Upper Peninsula Power Company will spend $5 million to restore the dam at Silver Lake (25 miles northwest of Marquette), which flooded into the Dead River in May 2003 and caused an estimated $100 million in damages. The lake will be rebuilt as a reservoir for hydropower generation.

Great Lakes Cities Initiative Seeks Policy Voice
The Associated Press reports that mayors and other city officials in the Great Lakes region are demanding more input on water policies that can affect their budgets and economy. The Great Lakes Cities Initiative was established in 2003 and over 55 member cities are using the initiative to have a voice in state, federal and international issues that impact the lakes and their city.

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# posted by farlane @ 7:25 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, February 1, 2005

On a gray day like today, you have to be thankful for evergreen trees.

February is National Cherry Month
Michigan is the largest producer of Montmorency tart cherries, growing 70-75% of the crop. The Cherry Marketing Institute has information available for educators and other folks regarding the history and present state of the cherry industry including growing research showing that antioxidants in tart cherries may relieve the pain of arthritis and gout & help fight cancer and heart disease.
Tons of cherry information from the Cherry Marketing Institute
Cherry Links from Absolute Michigan

Impacts of Potential SBC Purchase of AT&T
The Detroit Free Press reports that SBC Communications Inc.'s proposed purchase of AT&T Corp ($16 billion) could change Michigan's telecommunications industry substantially. In addition to creating the nation's largest telecommunications company, the purchase could impact thousands of Michigan workers and possibly raise rates for business customers. The deal remains to be approved.

Pistons Meet the President
The Detroit Free Press has a feature on yesterday's visit to the White House by the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons. President Bush praised the Pistons' teamwork and unselfishness and was presented with an "04" jersey (instead of the usual #1).

CMU Study Finds Early Computer Use Beneficial
The Great Lakes IT Report reports that a study by three Central Michigan University researchers finds that children who begin using computers earlier are better prepared to meet the challenges of an information technology society and the demands of college. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Sign up for the Great Lakes IT Report
Central Michigan University

Michigan Gas Prices Soaring
The Detroit News reports that the average cost of a gallon of gas in southeastern Michigan was $1.95 (and three cents more statewide) after starting 2005 at $1.72. Industry analysts believe that prices may climb as much as 30 cents more, which would top Michigan's previous high of $2.13.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:10 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, January 31, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, January 31, 2005

My dream job is to coach the Pistons ... wonder if Larry Brown has a dream to make web sites..?

State Superintendant of Schools Resigns
The Detroit Free Press reports that State Superintendant of Schools Tom Watkins resigned Saturday, preempting a special meeting of state Board of Education to decide his future.

Control-Alt-You're Fired: Hazards of Online Posting by Employees
The Detroit News has a story about a Kmart employee being fired for posting confidential company information on a message board. The article lists several examples and underscores that employees need to think about company policies as they relate to chat rooms, blogs and email.

Middle School Basketball Player Draws National Attention
The Detroit news reports that Juwan Moody, student at Madison Middle School in Pontiac is drawing national attention. Colleges from Oakland to Duke have sent him information and agents have contacted him. We hate to editorialize, but we're talking about a 12-year-old boy here!

Great Lakes Freighter Food & the Ship's Steward
The Detroit Free Press has an interesting feature on the importance of the ship's steward and the elaborate meals they prepare aboard Great Lakes freighters. "A bad steward can spoil a good crew," said Steve Pringle. "There are days of monotony on these trips and sometimes the food is all you're looking forward to."

New Reference Book for Michigan Schools
Michigan and southwest Ontario received a new reference book called Explore our Natural World: A Biodiversity Atlas of the Lake Huron to Lake Erie Corridor, created by Lisa Appel. The book features more than 130 pages of color charts, graphs, text and pictures of the various forms of wildlife in the Blue Water Area's back yard.
More about the book "Explore Our Natural World: A Biodiversity Atlas of the Lake Huron to Lake Erie Corridor"

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# posted by farlane @ 9:23 AM 0 comments links to this post
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