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Friday, July 08, 2005

The Tangled Web of Larry Brown

Sport's Illustrated's Ian Thomsen has an eye-opening look at some of the behind the scenes actions of Piston's coach Larry Brown during the 2005 NBA Playoffs. With lines like "An unimpeachable source within the Pistons maintains that Brown's shenanigans cost him his ability to motivate his players on a personal level," you have to agree with Thomsen's conclusion that "In the next two weeks news will break that Brown is leaving the Pistons. The divorce is being held up in part because owner Bill Davidson is personally offended by the idea of paying Brown to leave, essentially rewarding him for his bad behavior, and setting him free to land with the Knicks."

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# posted by farlane @ 11:45 AM 0 comments links to this post

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, July 8, 2005

Be sure to read Father Marquette Discovers the Mississippi River, a special feature from Michigan History Magazine ... and enjoy this beautiful weekend!

Ambitious Great Lakes Cleanup Plan Announced
The Duluth News-Tribune reports that an ambitious draft plan announced on the shores of Lake Superior by the EPA calls for an end to sewage overflows, beach closings and new exotic species invasions while also pushing for restored wetlands near the lakes and cleaning up contaminated hotspots in harbors. The plan calls for $20 billion over at least 15 years but funding remains uncertain.
Great Lakes Regional Collaboration info from the EPA

Feds Take Over Detroit Housing Agency
The Detroit News reports that the federal government took control of Detroit's Housing Commission on yesterday, citing decades of neglect and mismanagement in a program designed to help some of the poorest people in the city. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development official Lindsey Reames of Grand Rapids will manage the agency.

History Day Camp in Lansing
The Lansing State Journal reports on a history day camp at the Turner Dodge House & Heritage Center in Lansing. The article is pretty lean but the Turner-Dodge site has some GREAT Lansing history!
Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center web site

Red Wings Fire Coach Dave Lewis
While there's no skating going on, the Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit Red Winds GM Ken Holland has called a news conference for 11 AM today. Freep sources say he will announce Lewis will not return as coach and speculate that Mighty Ducks coach Mike Babcock will be named as his successor.

Kayaking Across Lake Michigan for a Cancer Cure
The Detroit Free Press reports that sometime after Aug. 7, nine Michigan kayakers will load boats and gear aboard the Lake Express ferry at Muskegon, cross Lake Michigan to Milwaukee and launch their kayaks from a Wisconsin beach. With their 80 mile crossing, they'll raise money for the West Michigan Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Kayak for a Cure web site

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# posted by farlane @ 10:07 AM 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, July 07, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, July 7, 2005

We've added links to Michigan podcasts.

The Debate Over Historic Detroit
Detroit Free Press architecture writer John Gallagher writes that cities like Detroit enjoy a stock of historic structures that create a unique and appealing environment not present in suburbs. He says that the loss of the Madison-Lenox Hotel is acting as a catalyst for discussion of historic preservation by municipal, corporate and nonprofit leaders and offers suggestions to guide the debate. Well written and well worth a read regardless of whether or not you live in Detroit.
Also visit Cityscape Detroit
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

Granholm Blasts Unproductive Legislature
The Gongwer News Service reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm says Michigan's economy is in a crisis and the Legislature has not sent her any bills to address the situation. She called the 93rd Legislature so far extremely unproductive and sarcastically criticized bills including reapportioning the Potato Commission and the dead animals composting act. An interesting interview ... read it!

Bumper Michigan Tart Cherry Crop Forecast
The Paw Paw Courier Leader reports that the USDA is forecasting Michigan's 2005 tart cherry production at 190 million pounds, an increase of 28% from the 2004 crop and up 23% from 2003. Total US tart cherry production is forecast at 244 million pounds.
Also see 'Very good' sweet cherry crop forecast from the Leelanau Enterprise

Michigan Counter-Recruitment Efforts
The Detroit News reports that just 2,195 Michiganians enlisted in the Army last year, down from 2,692 in 2003 and 3,163 in 2002 and that some Michigan parents and anti-war groups are trying to derail the Defense Department's pursuit of future soldiers. The 2002 No Child Left Behind Act requires public schools to disclose contact information for students to the armed services (a little-known provision allows parents to withhold their children's information from such dislosures).

Michigan's Motor Maids
The Detroit Free Press has a feature on the Motor Maids, a Michigan-based women's motorcycling club. The nearly 800 member club is North America's oldest.
Motor Maids web site (be sure to click on the founders' bios -- great photos!)
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame

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# posted by farlane @ 9:29 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Michael Rosenberg says that nothing new from Larry Brown means everything.

Acid Mining Comes to Michigan
The Lansing City Pulse has an in-depth and engaging look at sulfide mining, which would begin at the proposed Eagle Mine on the Yellow Dog Plains north of Marquette. Interesting (and scary) items include the fact that no sulfide mine has operated 10 years without causing significant environmental pollution, sulfides mix with water to form battery acid and that the mineral belt they propose to mine stretches downstate all the way to Ann Arbor.
Eagle Alliance web site
Save the Wild UP web site
Kennecott Eagle Project web site

Dueling Traverse City Film Festivals
WorldNetDaily reports that residents of a "red state" city (Grand Traverse went 60% for Bush) have organized a competing event featuring conservative and pro-America movies. The Traverse Bay Freedom Film Festival (held July 29-30) will will screen Michael Moore Hates America, Confronting Iraq and Echoes of Innocence, as well as classic movies.
Traverse City Film Festival web site

We All Work for the Big Three Auto Companies
Well, at least (as the Detroit News reports) we now can get the same deals on cars that Ford, Chrysler & GM employees do. Joining GM, Ford (roughly 5% off Ford Family Plan) and Chrysler (about 5% off under Employee Pricing Plus) are offering sweet deals in hopes of spurring purchases. Under their new program, GM posted a 47% sales increase for June.

Great Lakes Unusually Warm This Year
The Detroit News reports that average surface temperatures of the Great Lakes are at their highest in five years. Readings in the 60s and 70s from all but Lake Superior already are warmer than mid-August of 2004. Although the temps are good for swimming, they can also lead increased growth of weeds, algae and bacteria.

Study: Demand for Water Could Outstrip Supply in 20 Years
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium reports that according to a new study by researchers at Southern Illinois University, by the year 2025 demand for water in the Great Lakes region could outstrip supply in some areas. Also available is a PDF of the report.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:47 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Dot.com kids don't graduate computer-savvy (Detroit News), warns that despite the ubiquity of computers and internet in public schools, college students are not majoring in computer science.

Great Lakes Governors Release Revised Water Proposals
The Toledo Blade reports that Annex 2001 (revised proposals regarding future Great Lakes diversion & bulk water export) was released for public comment last week by the Council of Great Lakes Governors. The proposals included a ban on diversions and more authority at the state and provincial level for decisions affecting water usage.
Council of Great Lakes Governors web site (Comment on the proposals)

Republicans Target Teacher Benefits
The Detroit Free Press reports that House Republicans want to change a statewide teacher retirement plan from a traditional pension, with a set monthly payment, to a 401(k)-style plan for newly hired teachers, similar to what most state employees receive. Republicans also are targeting health care for school employees. This is expected to generate a major reaction from the teachers' union.

UP Rural Electricity Rates May Increase
The Mining Journal reports that rural customers in five Upper Peninsula counties (Marquette, Alger, Schoolcraft, Delta and Menominee) are likely to see a 10% rate increase in electricity costs next year. Alger Delta asked the Michigan Public Service Commission for the increase, which may be a precurser to higher rates for the region.

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse Centerpiece for Port Huron
The Port Huron Times-Herald reports that the city of Port Huron plans to make the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse (Michigan's oldest lighthouse) the cornerstone of efforts to attract tourism and fund cultural growth in the area. The city is negotiating to purchase the light tower and five support buildings from the Coast Guard and plans to restore the campus.

Bicycling Hell
The Lansing State Journal reports that hundreds of bicyclists are expected to ride through the Pinckney area this Saturday as part of the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society's annual One Helluva Ride. The ride starts at the Chelsea Fairgrounds and takes paved & gravel roards through Pinckney, Gregory, Stockbridge and of course, Hell.
Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society site

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# posted by farlane @ 9:25 AM 0 comments links to this post
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