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Friday, February 18, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, February 18, 2005

Late again today ... or is it just very early for Monday?

History of UP Sled Dog Racing
The Mining Journal has an excellent feature on the history of sled dog racing in the Upper Peninsula. The article has photos from the Marquette County History Museum of sled dog racing from Ishpeming in the early 1900s that make it more than worth the click!

Impact of Michigan Merit Scholarship Changes
The Detroit News reports that while proposed changes in Michigan's Merit Scholarship program will cost more money, hurt some low-income students and reduce the total number of students receiving scholarships, they might also help increase the number of college graduates in Michigan.

Detroit Free Press technology writer Mike Wedland reports that a report from a task force of regulatory officials chaired by Michigan Public Service Commissioner Laura Chappelle concluded that BPL (broadband-over-power-line) will serve the public interest by expanding efficient broadband access.

US Fish & Wildlife Service to Seek Lake Sturgeon in Saginaw Rivers
The Bay City Times reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to begin a three-year project next month to see if lake sturgeon, a species native to the area, are swimming in from Saginaw Bay and up the Saginaw River to drop eggs in the Tittabawassee and Cass rivers. Sturgeon can grow to be 9 feet long, weigh up to 300 pounds and live to be 150 years old.

Deficit Forces Lansing to Close Five Schools
The Lansing State Journal reports that the Lansing school board voted Thursday to close five schools. The decision will save the district $4.6 million a year but displace more than 1,000 students. The 16,750-student school system is facing a $10 million to $12 million deficit and losing about 400 students every year.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, February 17, 2005

Telephones are an amazingly useful modern convenience, but sometimes you wish they hadn't been invented.

Black History Month in Michigan
All this month, Michigan newspapers and government have been honoring Black History Month with calendars of events, photo galleries and feature stories.
Black History Month links from the Michigan Electronic Library
Black History Month coverage in the Lansing State Journal
Black History Month coverage in the Detroit Free Press

HockeyDown (for the count)
The Detroit News reports that the National Hockey League has made history as the first major sport to cancel a season because of a labor dispute.
Mitch Albom column Hockeyfrown: NHL season dies a senseless death in the Detroit Free Press

Hotel Pontchartrain Purchased, To Be Renovated
The Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit's Hotel Pontchartrain has been purchased by Shubh Hotels Detroit LLC (a Florida-based group of investors) just weeks before it was to have been auctioned off. The new owners plan to renovate the Pontchartain top to bottom, a few floors at a time and the hotel will remain open throughout the renovation.

More Trees, Less Farms
The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan has more forested land than 10 years ago, but that (according to Larry Pedersen of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources) abandoned farm fields being overgrown by immature stands of trees account for much of the increase.

Sport Fishing Group Urges Continuation of Lake Superior Splake Stocking
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Alger County Fish and Game Alliance is urging the state not to dismantle a program that stocks Lake Superior with splake, a cross between female lake trout and male brook trout.

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# posted by farlane @ 11:57 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Well, here's Six Things You Don't Know About Michigan. Favorite: #4 Michigan Has Two Peninsulas: Lower and Crazy

Lessons About Grand Rapids Gang Life
Grand Rapids WZZM TV-13 reports on a presentation in Adelante High Scool that seeks to educate students about the violence and consequences of gang life with representatives from the police, prisons and a former gang leader who will also discuss issues with students.

2005 State of the State Address Online
The full text of Governor Jennifer Granholm's 2005 State of the State Address is available online.

Metro Detroit Job Sprawl Among Worst in Nation
The Detroit News reports that a study by the Brookings Institution has found that jobs in Metro Detroit sprawl across the suburbs more than almost anywhere else in the US, isolating many African-Americans from potential employers.
Detroit News Special Report: The Cost of Segregation

New Workers' Privacy Legislation Drafted
OccupationalHazards.com reports that Michigan state Senator Virg Bernero is drafting legislation that would make it illegal for employers to make hiring and firing decisions based on a worker's smoking preference. The bill says you cannot fire a worker for engaging in legal activities outside their workplace unless they directly infringe on ability to perform your job or there's a conflict of interest with the organization and was prompted by the decision of Okemos-based Weyco to no longer employ smokers.

New Ash Tree Removal Program to Help Combat Ash Borer
The Detroit Free Press reports that the state of Michigan has a new plan under which local governments and residents can get ash tree removal rates $100-400 less than normal. The ash tree removal program is open to municipalities in the 20 counties under state quarantine to try to contain the spread of the emerald ash borer (a bright metallic green, wood-boring beetle).

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# posted by farlane @ 10:00 AM 1 comments links to this post
Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Just after finishing this month's Wired Magazine feature Nuclear Now!, I came across a Detroit News editorial called Put Nuclear Option Back on the Table which argues that Michigan should take another look. Definitely food for thought...

You Can't Spell Snowmobile Without Snow
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that warm temperatures and lack of snow this winter are hurting Northern Michigan lodging, dining and other businesses who depend upon snowmobilers. With a long-range forecast that calls for above normal temperatures, it sounds like these businesses are out of luck.

Belle Isle Aquarium Closing Concerns
The Detroit Free Press reports that with the closing of the 101-year-old Belle Isle Aquarium (North America's oldest continuously operating public aquarium) all but certain, Detroit Zoological Institute staff is worried about the survival of the fish and marine animals housed there when they are transfered to other institutions.

Michigan Chamber Supports Removing Health Care from Single Business Tax
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday support for the State House GOP plan to finish the job on removing health care from the base of the Single Business Tax (SBT). In 2003, Republican & Democratic lawmakers voted to remove 50 percent of health care from the base of the SBT over three years. The GOP plan would remove the remaining 50 percent of health care from the SBT base by 2007.

Sue Flint, Lose Business
The Associated Press reports that Flint Mayor Don Williamson has come under fire for a January 21 policy that withholds city business from any person or entity involved in a lawsuit against Flint within the past five years. The Greater Flint ACLU plans to bring the matter before the U.S. District Court to have the policy declared unconstitutional.

New Fees at Mackinac Island State Park?
The Detroit Free Press reports that Dennis Cawthorne, chairman of the Mackinac Island State Parks Commission, worries that additional fees floated by Gov. Granholm to cover the parks' $3 million in annual expense could decrease the number of visitors to Michigan's oldest state park and the island as a whole.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:22 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, February 14, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, February 14, 2005

"I eat once a day, mostly crusts and day-old bread."
Joseph lives on the streets of Detroit. He is 82 years old.
This and other profiles of people in the streets of Detroit available through The Snowsuit Effort. The pictures are amazing.

Michigan Universities Transform Michigan's Tech Industry
Detroit Free Press tech writer Mike Wendland reports that technology transfers from the University of Michigan last year resulted in 13 new businesses & 285 inventions in medicine, engineering, chemistry, biophysics, education and transportation systems. Royalties and ownership holdings netted the university almost $12 million. MSU brought in $20 million.

Under the Influence Part 3
The final installment of a Detroit Free Press three-part series reports that records obtained by the Free Press under the state's Freedom of Information Act show that a Michigan Liquor Control Commission quorum -- at least three of its five members -- has met behind closed doors with the wholesalers or their chief lobbyist four times since November 2003, a violation of the state Open Meetings Act.
Read Part 1 of 3 of this Series
Read Part 2 of 3 of this Series

2006 Great Lakes Aid Concert
Organized along the lines of the successful Farm Aid concerts, Great Lakes Aid will hold their inaugural concert in 2006. Proceeds will benefit grassroots community conservation efforts and the organization is currently seeking your support.

Some Michigan Colleges Say Granholm Broke Promise
The Detroit News reports that some of Michigan's 15 four-year universities say Gov. Jennifer Granholm's proposed $30 million cut in higher education funding goes against her vow last year to boost funding in exchange for caps on tuition hikes. The Governor's office has responded that the state's universities come out $70 million ahead to to a $200 million bond initiative.

Business & Networking Group Buy-in Key for U-M Tech Plan
The Ann Arbor News reports that the University of Michigan's plan to grow and promote Southeast Michigan's technology strengths to the world may depend on getting buy-in from a multitude of local nonprofit business and networking groups.

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