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Friday, March 04, 2005

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

Hey! Check out this Historic Look at Grand Marais from Michigan History Magazine!

Miller Seeks Federal Study of Great Lakes Water Loss
The Detroit Free Press reports that US Rep. Candice Miller has proposed a $2.5-million federal study to determine if St. Clair River erosion has permanently lowered Great Lakes water levels. An engineering study commissioned by a homeowners group concluded earlier this year that lakes Michigan and Huron have permanently lost a foot of water since 1970.
Read Miller seeks federal study of erosion link to lakes' water loss in the Freep

Michigan 2nd in Corporate Expansion for 2004
Crain's Detroit Business reports that Michigan ranked 2nd in the nation (behind only Texas) for corporate expansions and locations (up from 5th in 2003) according to Site Selection magazine. In 2004, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. recorded 653 projects, a nearly 46 percent increase over 448 for '03.

Arguments for Increasing Tourism Spending
The Oakland Press has an editorial advocating that Michigan invest more (not less) in tourism. They have some compelling figures including that tourism in Michigan is a $16 billion industry (roughly the same as agriculture, behind manufacturing). The industry also employs the equivalent of 173,000 full-time Michigan workers who earn $3.8 billion per year. Despite all that, spending on tourism is only half the national average.

Sweet Science
The Detroit News has a feature on this weekend's Cranbrook Institute of Science's annual Maple Syrup Festival. Families can see syrup being made in the Institute's longhouse by re-enactors dressed as French fur trader who talk about the Native American way to make maple syrup and how they taught Michigan's French settlers.

First Winter Guests Check In
The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan's landmark hotel, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, has opened 2 months earlier in an effort to secure the hundreds of foreign laborers required for operations. Federal law limits to the number of visas issued to foreign nationals who take seasonal jobs in the US and employers cannot apply for the visas until 120 days before they need the workers.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:39 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, March 02, 2005

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

Due to a speaking engagement at the Michigan Wine Industry Annual Meeting, there won't be anything you need to know for Thursday, March 3rd!!

Modern Day Voyaguers
This morning's Great Lakes IT Report had a feature on 17 Lawrence Technological University students and three professors who will paddle their historic replica (plus a few modern-day canoes) from Detroit to Pittsburgh to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War. A study of the five watersheds will fulfill civil engineering & science requirement of the course.
Sign up for the Great Lakes IT Report

State Ski Championships
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports on last weekend's State Ski Championships. In Class A action, the Traverse City Trojan girls team upset six-time defending champion Marquette to win their first title since 1998 while the Petoskey boys edged Marquette for the championship. Harbor Springs won the Class B-C-D boys championship while Traverse City St. Francis won their first B-C-D girls title.
Read Trojans stun Marquette in the Record-Eagle
Read Behan, Chopp lead Petoskey to championship in the Record-Eagle
Harbor Springs boys win back crown in the Record-Eagle
Gladiator girls win first state title in the Record-Eagle

GM to Close Historic Lansing Car Plant
The Detroit News reports that General Motors told workers yesterday that the 85-year-old Lansing Car plant. Hourly workers will be temporarily laid off, and then most will transfer to a new GM plant under construction in nearby Delta Township.
Also see Workers ponder life after closing in the Lansing State Journal

Port Huron Granted "Maritime Capital" Trademark
The Detroit Free Press reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted a trademark to the city of Port Huron for "Maritime Capital of the Great Lakes". The news drew fire from other cities, including Duluth, MN (which handles more freight than any city on the Lakes.
Also check out City's slogan prompts furor in the Duluth News Tribune

Blue Cross Rates to Climb
The Detroit News reports that Michigan's largest insurer, Blue Cross, will increase its insurance premiums for group medical coverage by an average of 7-9% this year while individual policy rates will jump by nearly 15%.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:13 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, March 01, 2005

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

It's in like a lion, I guess (a real lion, of course, not the Detroit variety).

Case Could Determine Beach Access
The Associated Press reports that the Michigan Supreme Court hears oral arguments March 8 in a case that has caught the attention of property owners, businesses, environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts. The outcome could affect not only beach walking, but the balance of power between riparian landowners and government regulators on shoreline environmental issues.

Michigan Identity Theft & Credit Reports
The Detroit News reports that a package of laws that include more protections of personal information, particularly Social Security numbers, add provisions giving victims more time to clear their credit history and make it easier to prosecute identity theft go into effect in Michigan today. This is a very detailed story (lots of info on how to read credit reports) that says consumers in Michigan can go to annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228 to receive free copies of their credit reports from the nation's three major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Michigan Chamber Opposes "Blank Check" for Schools
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has a news release opposing legislation that would provide for automatic annual increases in government spending on K-12 school districts, community colleges, and state universities (Senate Bill 246). The Chamber takes issue with the fact that (a) no fixed dollar amount is associated and (b) no funding source is identified.

Port Huron Coast Guard Appreciation Day Planning
The Port Huron Times Herald reports that organizers are finalizing plans for Port Huron's first Coast Guard Appreciation Day (August 19-21). The event will pay homage to local "coasties" and give participants a glimpse of the Coast Guard lifestyle.

Gambling on Wind Energy
The Miami Herald reports that Clark County school officials (Las Vegas, NV) are talking with McKenzie Bay International Ltd., of Brighton, Mich. about building and operating wind turbines and selling the energy produced to the school district at a discounted rate.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:20 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, February 28, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, February 28, 2005

Freep technology writer Mike Wedland takes a look at the networked homes of tomorrow. Conspicuously absent is the flying car...

Aging Sea Wall Puts Great Lakes in Peril
The Northwest Indiana News reports that a fracturing sea wall in East Chicago is threatening to allow tainted soil from an abandoned oil refinery to spill into the waterway linked to Lake Michigan and has put local, state and federal agencies in crisis mode. A combination of age, freezing and thawing, and this year's heavy snow and rain are likely suspects in the shifting of the sea wall.

Plans for Higher Standards for Michigan High Schools
The Lansing State Journal reports that a coalition of 13 states (including Michigan) confirmed plans Sunday to require tougher high school courses and diploma requirements, changes that could affect about one in three students. Changes include requiring every student to take rigorous math and English regardless of career plans and tying college admissions to high school exit exams.

Small Towns, Big Dreams
The Detroit News has a feature on how the basketball playoffs light up small towns across the state. Today 748 high schools and nearly 9,000 student-athletes begin play in 128 districts throughout the state in single-elimination playoffs. The action culminates with 4 teams being crowned state champions on March 19 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

Michigan Made Movies
The Lansing State Journal has a feature reviewing two wildly different films made in Michigan. Jeff Burton's "Dead End Road" (a slasher pic) and Rich Brauer's "Barn Red" (a thoughtful film about land management). The reviewer's verdict? Good production values but some inconsitent quality.

Home Builder Profile
The Detroit Free Press has an article profiling southeast Michigan home builder Julie Fielek who went from a desire to try a new career to an architectural drawing class at Schoolcraft College in Livonia to owning Fielek Builders. She is also the first woman president of the Michigan Association of Homebuilders.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:48 AM 0 comments links to this post
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