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Friday, June 10, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know (or Need to Do!) for Friday, June 10, 2005

Absolute Michigan Arts & Entertainment Editor Stephen Johnson has pulled together some events for this weekend and next, and I'm lazily going to use them today. You'll be able to find them on a regular basis in our Arts & Entertainment section!

7th Annual Saugatuck Waterfront Film Festival - June 9-12, 2005
Don't miss the opening night party, featuring musical performances by Emerson Hart, Brian Vander Ark, and Franky Perez, followed by an outdoor screening of Unsalted: A Great Lakes Experience. Honored guest Wendie Malick, Golden Globe and two-time Emmy Nominated actress, will be in attendance. Enjoy the Beer Garden featuring WATERFRONT ALE by New Holland Brewing Company!

Lansing Juneteenth Celebration - June 17 & 18, 2005
This annual celebration features an Old Negro League Baseball Game, Bar-B-Que Rib Cook-Off, Health Fair, lots of activities for kids and a wide range of music showcasing the history of African American music including gospel, blues, jazz & soul.

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival - June 10-19, 2005
The 56th Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival celebrates the hundreds of lilac varieties in bloom on the Island which are among the largest lilacs found on American soil. It features a parade, 10k race and concert.

Detroit Festival of the Arts - June 10-12, 2005
The annual festival presents outstanding visual and performing artists from around the world, while showcasing the city's premier arts and cultural institutions clustered within its boundaries.

Leland Wine & Food Festival - June 11, 2005
The annual Wine and Food Festival will be held from Noon to 6 PM this Saturday (Jun 11) in Leland's Fishtown. The event features live music and local wines and foods from the area.
Leelanau Vintner's web site

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

NBA Finals Wish List

This Mark Stein column (ESPN) is really worth a read, if only for the last paragraph.

# posted by farlane @ 7:49 PM 0 comments links to this post

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, June 9, 2005

Well, we now have cold fusion. The Christian Science Monitor reports that "A very reputable, very careful group of scientists at the University of Los Angeles (Brian Naranjo, Jim Gimzewski, Seth Putterman) has initiated a fusion reaction using a laboratory device that's not much bigger than a breadbox, and works at roughly room temperature."

Michigan Grown Shrimp ... Now That's Cool!
The Detroit Free Press reports that Seafood Systems Inc. research center and pilot shrimp farm in Okemos is selling indoor-raised shrimp. Russ Allen has worked for 11 years and invested more than $2 million on proprietary indoor saltwater farming techniques and is ready to build the full-scale commercial facility. He is having difficulty finding state-backed grants or low-interest loans to take the next steps and launch the plant, however.

Shrimp consumption is rising, the US imports almost 90% of the 1 billion pounds we eat -- what's not to like about this??

U of M Wins Women's College World Series
The Detroit News reports that the No. 1 Michigan softball team proved to be the top team in the United States in the Women's College World Series last night, defeating UCLA 4-1 in the Women's College World Series. Michigan (65-7) became the first team east of the Mississippi River to win the national championship.

KI Sawyer Technology Park Deal Finalized
The Mining Journal reports that the Marquette County Board signed the $4.5 million deal Tuesday to create the Telkite Technology Park at the former KI Sawyer Air Force Base. Telkite plans to market the properties to high-tech firms.
Telkite Technology Park at Sawyer International info from Marquette.org

Pipelines & Utility Lines to be Exempt from Local Control
The Detroit Free Press reports that the state Senate has approved legislation that would allow pipelines and utility lines to be built near highways without the consent of local governments. This immediately affects Lansing because its leaders have fought a proposal to install a 12" underground gas pipeline along I-96, arguing any leaks could endanger the city's water supply & resident safety.
Also see Class and the pipeline: Is it environmental discrimination? from the Lansing Pulse

Michigan Students -- Class Acts
The Detroit Free Press has posted their "Class Acts", the All-City and All-State academic teams selected each spring by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. Congratulations to all those selected!
Detroit Free Press Class Acts (7 MB PDF) (new window)

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wedland Wonders About Virtual Schools

In Virtual schools on the Internet: Could this cure education's woes?, Freep Tech Columnist Mike Wedland writes that the Michigan Virtual University, the nonprofit organization created by the state to offer online training and education, is changing its focus to concentrate exclusively on high schools. The organization will be referred to as the "Michigan Virtual High School".

Wedland relays the words of MVU interim president Jamey Fitzpatrick talking about the 2-by-4-by-6 paradigm:

"The whole concept of e-learning at the high school level is catching fire across the nation, and we in Michigan are leaders in this field...the two covers of a textbook, the four walls of a classroom and the six hours a day that students are in school. That's been the old model for the way we educated, and it's a model that's increasingly less efficient."

Fitzpatrick (and ultimately Wedland) appear convinced that the new model will increase efficiency and decrease costs.

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Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, June 8, 2005

BBC reports that spending on weapons around the world topped $1 trillion for the first time in 2004 (that's $162 on weapons for each person on the planet). On a totally different note, check out this Bob Wojnowski column on the Pistons and There's a Ring to It by Mitch Albom.

GM Plans to Cut 25,000 Jobs
The Lansing State Journal reports on plans by General Motors to eliminate 25,000 jobs in the US and close several plants - part of a 3-year plan to revive the struggling North American operation. 1 in 6 GM employees in the US would be cut by 2008 under the plan.
Also read Can Cuts Lift GM? in the Detroit News (about 15 articles!)

Watch How GM's Cuts May Effect Michigan's Economy from WLNS TV Lansing

2005 Traverse City Film Festival Announced
The BBC reports on the Traverse City Film Festival that will be held July 28-31, 2005 at the Open Space in TC. The festival was the idea of filmmaker Michael Moore and will show independent, classic, documentary and foreign films (rated G and PG). Moore said the event would be strictly non-partisan.
Michael Moore's web site

Lack of Spring Rain Impacting Lake Levels
The Soo Evening News reports that a 6" rainfall deficit so far in 2005 across northern Michigan and the Eastern Upper Peninsula is starting to impact Upper Great Lakes water levels.

Traverse Bay Tech Connect Seeks Wireless Proposals
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corp. is seeking proposals from telecommunications companies to establish a wireless broadband network throughout Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Kalkaska counties. Area businesses and residents would be able to utilize wireless Internet and other broadband services.
Visit the Traverse Bay Tech Coast web site

Big Ben Needs a New Pair of Shoes
Feeding off the NBA Finals hype, the Detroit Free Press has a contest to create a shoe design for the Detroit Pistons. The top designs will be featured in an upcoming Free Press story, and the top three sneaker designers will be awarded $150 each ... to buy a new pair of shoes, of course.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:56 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Pistons advance to NBA finals!! Mitch Albom says "Bring on the Spurs!". Also see ESPN's Daily Dime and These Finals are must-see by Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports. I have to tell you, knowing that these finals are straight out of Bill Walton's darkest nightmares makes me feel warm inside.

Michigan GOP Announces Balanced Budget, But Few Details
The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan House Republicans announced that they have a plan to balance the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year without raising taxes and fees. They have yet to explain how they will come up with the estimated $543 million in cuts needed to balance the budget, however. Welfare changes will be part of the plan.
Then read Welfare changes among those in the House GOP balanced budget plan in the Freep

Also see Michigan Chamber Supports Plan to Balance State Budget Without Raising Taxes from the PR Newswire

Archeology Students Seek to Unearth MSU's Past
The Lansing State Journal reports that a team of MSU archaeology students will spend the next 6 weeks excavating the site of the school's first dorm, a three-story dormitory building, nicknamed "Saints' Rest" that was destroyed by fire in 1876. They hope to find for clues about how students lived in the latter half of the 19th century.

U-M Softball Team Falls in National Championship Opener
The Detroit News reports that the #1 ranked University of Michigan softball team reached its goal of earning a spot in the national championship series, but lost 5-0 to two-time defending national champion UCLA in Game 1 on Monday night. Game 2 of the best-of-three series is tonight (7:30, ESPN) and Game 3, if necessary, will be played on Wednesday.

Legislation Signed to Regulate Ballast Water, Form Invasive Species Coalition
The Detroit Free Press reports that Gov. Granholm has signed legislation requiring oceangoing ships to prove they will not discharge ballast water or are equipped to treat it. The law also authorizes Michigan to form a coalition with other states in the Great Lakes region to deal with invasive species like the zebra mussel, sea lamprey and round goby.

Old Rails to Become Gaylord to Mackinac Trail
WOOD-TV Grand Rapids reports that over 60 miles of abandoned railroad rights-of-way in northern Lower Michigan will be turned into paved recreational trail linking Gaylord and Mackinac City. Slated to open next year, it will be open to walkers, bicyclists and both cross-country skiers and snowmobilers in the winter.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, June 6, 2005

The National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005 ... seems to contradict itself. First, it says "in a manner that ensures that all members of the public have the opportunity for simultaneous and equal access to such data," then it turns around and says "through a set of data portals designed for volume access by commercial providers of products or services and by such other mechanisms as the Secretary of Commerce considers appropriate..."

read more from Kuro5hin

Michigan's Biggest Asset: The Great Lakes
Andy Guy of the Great Lakes Bulletin News Service and Michigan Land Use Institute writes that in the race to attract talented workers and lure new economic opportunities, one of Michigan's great advantages is a robust water supply. The 15 page report looks at a variety of issues and is highly recommended!

Power Companies Give $1.5 Million to Campaigns
The Detroit News reports that Michigan's two largest utilities shelled out more than $1.5 million to state officials in the middle of a major upheaval in the state's electric industry. Campaign finance records show the DTE Energy Co. political action committee gave $884,000 to lawmakers, the governor and attorney general during the last three elections, while Consumers Energy gave nearly $700,000.

Homer in Record Setting Streak
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Homer High School baseball team, defending state champion, won its 71st straight game on Saturday and set a new national record for consecutive wins. Homer (33-0) tied the record with a 10-0 victory over Albion and then broke it with a 14-3 mercy of Union City. A school official has spoken with General Mills about the potential of a Wheaties box cover.
Also see Mercy, mercy! Homer wins 71st straight game in the Jackson Citizen Patriot

Detroit Home Prices Among Worst in Nation
The Detroit News reports that although home prices are skyrocketing around the nation, Detroit home prices (and prices in Michigan as a whole) are about $16,000 below average. Median home prices in Metro Detroit increased just 1/2% to $151,000 from the first quarter of 2004 to the first quarter of 2005 while national prices jumped 9.7%.

Rough Weather Leaves 175,000 Powerless
The Detroit Free Press reports that severe thunderstorms swept across Michigan on Sunday, knocking down trees and power lines, spawning two suspected tornadoes in Saginaw County and leaving at least 175,000 utility customers without power.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:39 AM 0 comments links to this post
Sunday, June 05, 2005

Game 7!

I would rather play an elimination game every game.
- Rip Hamilton

The Detroit Pistons ripped the Miami Heat 91-66 last night to force a Game 7 on Monday night in Miami.

The Super Bowl and elite championship boxing matches have that power. So do college football and basketball title games. For some, it's the Kentucky Derby and the Masters.

And in the NBA, it's a Game 7 in the playoffs.

The most highly anticipated NBA Game 7 in three years, since Lakers-Kings in 2002, is in the Eastern Conference finals, Monday night in Miami. It's the reigning champion Detroit Pistons versus the team with the East's best record in the Miami Heat. As they say, win or go home.

-Marc J. Spears, for ESPN Daily Dime

...or they might say it:
We're going home, and we've been good at home all year long. You know, win or go home. And I don't fish.
-Damon Jones, Heat guard (and former, as in last year former Piston)

Dwayne Wade watched in street clothes and, after a strong 1st quarter, Shaquille O'Neil got little help from the rest of the Heat.

This is how this basketball brawl must end, and this is how Dwyane Wade's legacy must begin. If he wants to be Russell Crowe in Gladiator, a weary and wounded Wade has to not only slay the defending champions Monday night, but he has to do it with a knife in his side.

Man, this is going to be really, really cool to watch.

-Dan Le Batard, Miami Herald

Basketball fans can be a bloody-minded bunch.

This is a great series (at least between the shooting droughts). The Pistons and Heat are evenly matched, and both teams are playing hard. Monday night should be a fantastic game, even if Wade doesn't play (but you know he will).

There are storylines aplenty. You have a hobbled Shaq, an elemental force, nearly impossible to stop when he decides to be unstoppable, calling out NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace. And then you have Ben responding by stopping him. You have Rasheed Wallace, a great talent whose passion for playing often gets the better of him, invoking the secret masters of the NBA and drawing a $20,000 fine after the game 5 Piston's loss. You have Heat President Pat Reilly, who has coached game 7s and won championships versus Pistons President Joe Dumars, who has played in his own (losing one in Game 7 against Reilly's Lakers) and won his own rings. You have Wanderin' Larry Brown, who has been flirting with other teams all season (even during the playoffs) but who is also one of the all-time best facing Heat coach Stan Van Gundy who, though he looks like a hockey coach, has done a great job of directing his team.

As an added bonus, you will not have Bill Walton on the sidelines to bewail the lack of wide-open shots and low scoring that will almost certainly be part of Monday's game. Instead, TNT's team of Doug Collins (ex-Pistons coach). Steve Kerr (ex-Chicago Bull, ex-San Antonio Spur, Top 10 All-time NBA Clutch Guy Off the Bench) and Marv Albert with his signature "Yes!". All three appreciate tough, physical, playoff basketball and will make the game interesting even when it isn't.

It's true that sports aren't real life. They probably don't warrant a passion equal to many other pressing concerns. Still, watching players and coaches (and even referees) who are very, very good at what they do and care very much about the final score will be a special treat indeed.

Game 7, bring it on...

Read all about it in ESPN's Daily Dime (a great "basketball in one page" page)

Dan Le Batard's column (new window, free subscription required)

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