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Friday, July 01, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, July 1, 2005

Check out Michigan at Gettysburg. Also: Mitch Albom writes on the complex game of chicken between the Pistons & Larry Brown while Brian Dickerson says to follow the wine money.

Republican Leadership Hopes to Leverage Tobacco Monies
The Detroit News reports that Republican leaders in the Legislature hope to jump-start Michigan's economy with $268 million a year in tax relief to businesses and guaranteed future merit scholarship awards for students. The proposal would be funded by selling investors most of Michigan's future tobacco settlement and using a lump payment of $3 billion to invest in venture capital and research, guarantee loans to new high-tech companies and set aside a half-billion dollars in reserve for Medicaid health care for the poor.

Children's Email Addresses Protected in Michigan
Registration for the Michigan Children's Protection Registry, a secure database of protected e-mail addresses, begins today. It allows parents and schools to register children's e-mail addresses and provides for civil and criminal penalties (up to 3 years in jail) for advertisers of alcohol, tobacco, pornography and other items who email the addresses after August 1, 2005.

DNR Plans Service Cuts
Eric Sharp writes that in an effort to offset a major budget deficit ($8.1 million), the Michigan DNR will eliminate or reduce funding for coho salmon stocking, trees in the Au Sable River (trout habitat), and testing deer for bovine TB and chronic wasting disease. Sharp wonders if rather than cutting services for hunters, anglers and campers, the DNR should consider cutting staff.

Edwards Speaks to Minimum Wage Rally
The MSU State News reports that Sen. John Edwards speech to a crowd of about 1,100 who were rallying for legislation that would increase the minimum wage. Legislation to increase the minimum wage to $7.15 (would benefit over 460,000 workers) has stalled in the Legislature. Republicans contend that raising the wage would force layoffs and hurt business.

Students Plant Chinook in Muskegon River
The White Lake Beacon has an interesting feature on an ongoing project by Reeths-Puffer Intermediate School 5th & 6th grade students to plant Chinook salmon in the Muskegon River. The article says that there is a webcam available - bonus points to anyone who can send us a link for it!!
small>(Via the Great Lakes IT Report)

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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Freep has a nice photo feature from the Annual Detroit Fireworks display.

Bill Has the Potential to Crush Michigan's Wine Industry
Detroit News wine editor Sandra Silfven has a detailed report that the House Regulatory Reform Committee "rocketed" the anti wine shipping measure (House Bill 4959) out if its chambers to the House floor. The bill denies the wineries many long-standing rights including shipping to Michigan residents and acting as their own wholesaler. In the words of Ed Gerten of Pentamere Winery in Tecumseh: "It will literally kill our business. This bill will crush us."

You may have noticed Absolute Michigan spotlighting this issue. This is due to the fact that we feel winemaking is an industry vital to Michigan's future as it provides a high return for farmers and keeps land in agricultural production.
Text of House Bill 4959
Wine Consumers Across Michigan site

The Oil of the 21st Century
The Muskegon Chronicle reports that Dave Dempsey author of On the Brink -- The Great Lakes in the 21st Century sees water as the oil of the 21st century and warns that Michigan may lose control of its most precious natural resource by failing to regulate how it is used.
Visit writer David Dempsey's web site

Silver Lake Dune Rides Celebrate 75th Year
The Detroit News has a feature on the Mac Wood's Dune Rides. For 75 years the rides on Oceana County's Silver Lake Dunes have been one of Michigan's most famous and popular tourist attractions. An average of 80,000 riders a year climb aboard the specially modified 1-ton trucks.
Mac Wood's Scenic Dune Rides web site (nice photos!)

National Cherry Festival to Have Local Cherries
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that a warm spring has the area sweet cherry crop roughly 5-7 days ahead of this time last year, meaning local sweets will be on hand for the National Cherry Festival. The annual celebration of the cherry begins this weekend in Traverse City, Cherry Capitol of the World.

Detroit Slides to 11th Largest US City
The Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit is now the nation's 11th-largest city with a population of 900,198 (down 12,274 in the year that ended July 1, 2004). The city lost more people in those 12 months than any other U.S. city, according to Census Bureau figures. San Jose, California took Detroit's 10th position.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, June 29, 2005

It's my birthday! (you probably didn't need to know that)

Special Report: Drunk Driving in Michigan
The Detroit Free Press has a special report on drunk driving in Michigan. It's disturbing, but certainly a good thing to read and consider before the holiday weekend...

State Sues Two Northern Michigan Tribes Over Gaming Revenues
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the State of Michigan has filed suit in federal court against the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians & the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. The suit claims the tribes improperly withheld their 8% revenue payments totalling millions of dollars, but the tribes claim the Club Keno game violates the compacts they have signed. The casino money goes into the Michigan Strategic Fund, the state's leading business development and finance agency.

MEDC to Take Over Commercial Property Web Site
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced yesterday that it will assume operation of the MiSiteNet web site. The site includes a database of over 10,000 industrial and commercial properties in Michigan available for potential development and provides digitized photographs, location maps, aerial photographs, detailed topographic maps, plat maps, traffic counts, utility providers, brownfield site data and information on existing structures.
Visit MiSiteNet for Michigan commercial/industrial property information

Southern Michigan Osprey Watch
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking for evidence that efforts to boost the osprey population in southern Michigan are paying off. Last year, 4 chicks were released at Stoney Creek Metropark in Macomb County and one was released near Barry State Game Area in Barry County. The DNR also wants people to be on the lookout for ospreys in the Maple River area north of St. Johns, and in southeast Michigan's Oakland, Wayne, Macomb and Livingston counties. People may contact the DNR or visit the department's web site to provide information about sightings.
DNR Osprey Observation Page
Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan

Munising Gets Nod for Midwest Charm
The Mining Journal reports that Munising was recently included in a "Ten Great Places to Discover Midwest Charm" list published this month in USA Today. In addition to pictured Rocks, the article also touted the area's lakes, hiking trails, beaches and lighthouses.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Booth Newspapers' Sarah Kellogg leads her thoughtful piece with "Gov. Jennifer Granholm may soon have to decide which is a higher priority in her administration: protecting Michigan's environment, or reviving the state's struggling economy." Read the analysis.
Sounds kind of like a lose-lose choice...here's hoping the Governor can find a (c) Both of the Above option.

GM Employee Discount Program a Huge Success
The Detroit News reports that General Motors' employee-discount-for-everyone sale appears to have delivered the automaker's best sales month in nearly four years. Some analysts predict that June sales will be up 30% over June 2004 and GM's share of the U.S. auto market could rise to 30%.

2005 Michigan Cool Cities Grants Announced
The Muskegon Chronicle reports that Grand Haven and Whitehall received technical assistance grants to put together marketing programs for their downtowns. Other Cool Cities grants went to Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Traverse City and four projects in Detroit.
Michigan Cool Cities for details on all projects receiving funding

Grant to Fund Migrant Farm Worker Census
The Detroit Free Press reports that a $30,000 federal grant will fund a census of the state's migrant farm workers. 45,000-125,000 farm workers come to Michigan every year to harvest the state's crops of strawberries, asparagus, blueberries, apples and other produce and social service agencies hope the census will provide a more precise figure.
Michigan Migrant & Seasonal Farm Worker Program (for farm job postings, grower profiles & migrant services information)
Also see Vistas del Campo (Migrant Children's Perspectives)

Gambling Interests Top 2004 Election Spending
The Detroit Free Press reports that an analysis of Michigan's 2004 election by the Lansing-based Michigan Campaign Finance Network found that Michigan political campaign spending topped $120 million in the 2004 cycle. Gambling was the big ticket item with 5 casino owners and 6 horse racing tracks spending a total of $27 million on opposing sides of Proposal 1.
Michigan Campaign Finance Network

Trail a Victim of Popularity
The Mining Journal reports that the popularity of the Blueberry Ridge Pathway (Sands Township in Marquette County) is taking a toll on the trail. Even thought the heaviest use occurs is by cross country skiers and snowshoers, warm-weather users like hikers, runners, mountain bikers and horseback riders are causing significant erosion.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, June 27, 2005

No idea how I found this listing of Michigan ghost stories.

Plan to Pump Water into Au Sable Headwaters Approved
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that under a DEQ approved plan, Merit Energy would pipe up to 1.15 million gallons of treated water a day from the Manistee River Watershed into a creek that is part of the headwaters of the Au Sable River, Michigan's legendary trout stream.

Michigan Mudbogging
The Detroit Free Press has a feature on Mudfest 2005, the big event for mud bog racing in Michigan will be held this weekend at the Gladwin County Ice Carnival grounds. (a little one seems to be held every other Saturday at my neighbor's house) The rules are simple: drivers take turns making runs through a 200-foot mud pit and whoever gets through fastest wins.
Visit the Albright Shores web site

Unfinished Pistons Book, Free to Download
Under the "Rescued From the Scrap Heap" heading come three chapters from the Detroit Free Press's manuscript for a "Road to the Championship" book. The PDFs contain articles and photos of the coaches and players, the story from last year's parade through the 2005 regular season and the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Michigan Schools Consider Selling Naming Rights
The Detroit News reports that the Plymouth-Canton school district (and others) are pondering selling naming rights to their new & existing schools, athletic field and even events. I'm guessing that "Recess Sponsored by Nickelodeon" would be a high-ticket item

Apple Draws a Crowd in Grand Rapids
The Grand Rapids Press reports that the opening of the first Apple Store in West Michigan (one of 103 in the world) drew the largest crowd (some from Cleveland) that the Woodland Shopping Center mall has ever seen for a store opening.
Visit the Michigan Apple User Group for lots of Apple info

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