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Friday, February 11, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, February 11, 2005

If you like old photos, you'll love Superior View.

Detroit to Close 34 Schools
The Detroit News reports that 10,600 students will be bound for different buildings this fall as the Detroit Public Schools on Thursday announced it would close 34 schools to cut costs and get the district in sync with its dwindling population. The move will also cause an unspecified number of staff layoffs. The article has a ton of background information on the issue.

Wi-Fi Cloud Over Oakland County
The Detroit Free Press reports that Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson presented a vision in his annual State of the County address of free (or minimal cost) wireless Internet access for the whole of the county. Many college campuses and small cities like Grand Haven have done this, but the 910-square miles of Oakland County would be one of the largest anywhere.

Under The Influence Part 2
Yesterday the Detroit Free Press began a three-part series on the influence of the Beer & Wine Wholesalers. Today's report features an analysis of campaign finance records that found that the wholesalers association and some members have hosted at least 83 political fund-raisers for lawmakers from Wayne, Oakland & Macomb counties during the last 4 years. The lawmakers raised over $440,000.

Granholm Proposes State Budget Cuts
The Detroit News reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm's $41.2 billion budget proposal would cut 3 state police posts (Groveland Township, Grand Haven & Iron River), MEAP monies for private college students as well as funds to young adults who qualify for Medicaid and doctors who don't serve poor patients. The cuts would be to eliminate a $773-million deficit for next year's budget.

DNR Hears About Northern Michigan Snowmobile Trail
Interlochen Public Radio has an audio feature about recommendations received by the Michigan DNR about ways it could live up to a promise made to snowmobilers. The DNR promised (late 90s) to connect Cheboygan & Gaylord with a snowmobile trail. To do it, the state could either break another promise to Mullet Lake property owners or run a snowmobile trail through one of Lower Michigan's most wild places.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:55 AM 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, February 10, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, February 10, 2005

In the 21st century, scary is good, that's why our Canadian neighbors are looking at a Lake Erie Monster, "Mishepeshu" as a tourist attraction. Nothing like a sea serpent to encourage travel...

This Weekend In Michigan - February 11 & 12
From Calendar Advertising Co. Michigan Calendar of Events with information provided by Google search...
Winter Fest (Beulah/Benzonia), Gladwin County Ice Carnival, Shanty Days (Caseville), Snow Box Derby (Oscoda), Chain of Lakes Tip Up Festival (Quincy), Brockway Mountain Challenge (Copper Harbor), Taste of Oscoda County (Lewiston), Winterfest (Roscommon), Snowmobile Poker Run (St. Ignace).
NOTE: Please verify event dates as they may have changed or be inaccurate!

Under the Influence
The Detroit Free Press has an article that looks at how the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association courts politicians including free trips, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in campaign contributions, picking up large food and bar tabs and golf outings in northern Michigan. Despite the state's budget crisis, state commodity taxes on beer and wine haven't changed in decades.

Meijer Gardens Adds Three Sculptures
The Detroit Free Press reports that significant works by three important French artists have been added to the growing, permanent collection of contemporary sculpture at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. The park acquired a 24-inch bronze cast of "The Kiss" by Auguste Rodin, a 19-inch bronze cast of "Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot" by Edgar Degas and a 24.5-inch bronze cast of "Autumn Lovers" by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, Rodin's one-time mentor.

Ford as "Deep Throat" ... Don't Bet on It
WZZM TV 13 of Grand Rapids reports that Jim Kratsas, curator of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum dismissed as "preposterous" the possibility that former President Gerald Ford was the secret Watergate source known as "deep throat". The rumour mill started up recently when former Watergate figure John Dean wrote that "deep throat" was ill (Ford, 91, is not).

Granholm Proposes More Dollars for Michigan Schools
The Lansing State Journal reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to boost the minimum per-pupil foundation grant for the 2005-2006 school year from $6,700 to $6,875 (plus add another $50 for high school students). The article points out that the increase could be eaten up by rising retirement & insurance costs.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:08 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, February 9, 2005

If Aretha doesn't sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XL, I'll want my money back. (note: the censors pulled our Bob Seger wardrobe malfunction bit)

Gov. Granholm Touts $2 Billion Tech Plan
The Detroit News reports that in her State of the State address last night, Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants Michigan voters to approve a $2 billion bond proposal this fall. The proposal would create 72,000 jobs in advanced automotive development, new life sciences technologies and other high-tech industries.

UM Prof Teaching Businesses to Blog
Today's Great Lakes IT Report highlights a University of Michigan business school assistant professor's new Web site and business. The Community Engine is designed to help companies learn the ways blogging can help them get closer to their customers.
Sign up for the Great Lakes IT Report

Showcase Detroit Music at Super Bowl XL
Detroit Free Press Entertainment columnist Brian McCollum asked readers who should perform at the Super Bowl XL halftime show. The consensus? Motor City music should take center stage. A Motown revue and Bob Seger topped the list with other artists including Stevie Wonder, Eminem, Kid Rock, Aretha Franklin and Madonna.

Michigan Climate to be like Ohio ... or Northern Arkansas?
The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that while there isn't (yet) a lot of hard data, signs in Michigan like migratory bird species arriving earlier in the spring and some flowers blooming earlier than decades ago are convincing some scientists that global warming is having an impact in Michigan. The article also discusses a 2003 report on the potential impact of climate change in the Great Lakes states that predicted by 2030, Michigan's climate will resemble Ohio's today, and by the end of the century it will be more like northern Arkansas is now.

Barnstorming Social Security Changes: President Speaks in Detroit
The Detroit News reports that President George W. Bush pitched Social Security reform Tuesday to the Detroit Economic Club. The article gives reactions of Michgan legislators, economists and citizens.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:55 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, February 8, 2005

If there's a more gut-wrenching feeling than when your car goes into an uncontrolled slide on an icy road, I'd prefer not to experience that either.

Michigan's Future Starts Today
The State News (MSU) reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm's third State of the State address tonight will focus on plans to improve the economic climate, increase job growth and diversify the economy. Also expected is a proposal to eliminate the $2,500 payment students receive for high MEAP performance and replace it with a grant of $4,000 for students who complete two years of college.

2006 Federal Budget May Be Bad News for Michigan
The Detroit News reports that the 2006 Federal Budget proposed by president Bush may mean even more cuts in education, health care, housing and community programs. Although overall Federal revenues would rise 3%, most of them (like Medicare) have costs that are increasing much more. Add to this a projected state budget shortfall of $700 million, and this does not look like good news.

Michigan Mountain Bikers Work for Better Trails
The Detroit Free Press has a feature looking at how the Michigan Mountain Biking Association is working to extend and maintain the state's trail network.

Where Michigan Gets Road Salt
From the "Bet You Didn't Know This" files (and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium) is a fascinating story about a salt mine that extends about four miles under Lake Erie (accessed from the northern edge of Cleveland).
Transcript of Exploring a Great Lakes Salt Mine from the GLRC

Michigan Must Diversify & Educate
Free Press columnist Tom Walsh has a thought-provoking piece arguing that Michigan needs to both diversify its economy and focus on higher education. He cites US Census data that shows Michigan ranks 40th out of 50 states in the percentage of adults with a college degree.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:27 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, February 07, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, February 7, 2005

April showers might bring May flowers, but February showers seem to just bring mud.

State of the State of Michigan
Today's Detroit News has an excellent and detailed article detailing the State of Michigan's economy, budget and the challenges that Gov. Granholm (and the state as a whole) faces heading into the second half of her term.

Michigan Home Builders Sue to Block New Energy Regulations
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Association of Home Builders is suing the state to block it from enforcing stricter energy rules for new and remodeled homes and condos because the new energy code doesn't meet a state requirement that new regulations pay for themselves in under seven years.

Ice Climbing in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
The UP Mining Journal has a feature on last weekend's 2005 Ice Fest celebration in Munising. The festival drew ice climbers from across the US to tackle ice formations in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the feature has a great photo!

Third Coast for Film Industry?
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Muskegon Film Festival is pitching Michigan to be the Third Coast (along with Hollywood & NYC) of the film industry, hoping to bring a new revenue stream into the state.

Lower Peninsula Wolf Search
WZZM TV-13 of Grand Rapids reports that for 2 weeks starting Feb. 21, biologists will search for wolf tracks and other signs in a northern Lower Peninsula area centered on northern Montmorency and southern Presque Isle counties. Residents of lower Michigan north of M-32 who find tracks or are able to photograph wolves during the survey period, Feb. 21 through March 4, should call the DNR office in Gaylord at (989) 732-3541.
Also see Traverse City Record-Eagle story on the Wolf search

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# posted by farlane @ 7:43 AM 0 comments links to this post
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