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Friday, August 05, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, August 5, 2005

There's an article today on former President Gerald Ford from Michigan History Magazine and you can also check out all features from Michigan History Magazine.

Energy Bill Passed, Includes Great Lakes Drilling Ban
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium reports that the recently passed Energy Bill contains an amendment that permanently bans oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes, affirming that drilling in the Great Lakes is not worth the risk to the environment or human safety. The President is expected to sign the bill.

Lansing Old Town JazzFest this Weekend
The Lansing City Pulse has an in-depth preview for this weekend's 11th Annual Old Town JazzFest (August 5 & 6). Jazz musicians taking the stage will include Juno award-winning Michael Kaeshammer, the Professors of Jazz from Michigan State University, East Lansing's funk-infused Soul Content and many others.
Old Town JazzFest web site

Lower Peninsula Phone Rates Deregulated
The Detroit News reports that the Michigan Public Service Commission has voted 2-1 to deregulate residential phone rates in Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Mount Clemens, Pontiac and Ypsilanti. SBC Communications Inc. requested the move which will allow them to change rates and service offerings without state approval.
Read Regulators give up control of phone rates across Lower Peninsula from the AP (TC Record Eagle)

Iacocca Teams with Snoop Dogg
The Detroit News has a special feature looking at Chrysler's $75 million ad campaign featuring Lee Iacocca. They also have all 4 commercials in the campaign (including the final one which debuts Saturday night) available for online viewing. Strange that commercials can be considered internet content but the article is an interesting read...

Michigan Stamps
The Detroit Free Press reports that a new stamp honoring presidential libraries premiered yesterday at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids and the Ford Library in Ann Arbor. The article also lists stamps that commemorate various Michigan things like Tiger Stadium, Henry Ford, the St. Joseph Lighthouse and the Mackinac Bridge.
Michigan in Stamps from Michigan history, Arts & Libraries (lists all of them, pictures of some)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:17 AM 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, August 04, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, August 4, 2005

Detroit News wine writer Sandra Silven reports on the success of Peninsula Cellars at the Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition in East Lansing.

Detroit Free Press & Detroit News Ownership Changes
Both the Detroit News & Free Press have features on a complex deal wherein the MediaNews Group acquired the News from Gannett Co who then purchased the Freep from Knight Ridder (owner since 1940). The two newspapers will continue to combine advertising, circulation, distribution and other business operations. We almost expected to see Antoine Walker as part of the deal...
Read A NEW ERA FOR FREE PRESS: SOLD TO GANNETT: Deal will end newspapers' joint weekend editions in the Freep
Read News, Free Press change owners in three-way deal in the Detroit News

News You Can Use: Avoiding & Surviving Rip Currents
The Petoskey News Review has a feature that warns swimmers on the dangers of rip currents, strong currents of water rushing out from the shore to deeper water. A sign of a rip current is a channel of churning, choppy water and a break in the wave pattern. To get out of one, don't swim against the water as the currents can be much stronger than even an experienced swimmer. Instead swim parallel to the beach or save your strength, relax and float out with the water where the current is weaker.
Water Safety & Rip Currents from Michigan Sea Grant

Four Marquette City Commissioners Recalled
The Mining Journal reports that in the Marquette's first-ever recall election, four commission members - Mayor Jerry Irby and commissioners Stu Bradley, Sandy Spoelstra and Sue Kensington - were removed from office by a nearly two-to-one vote. The ballot asked whether the commissioners should be recalled "because of his/her vote on January 31, 2005 to fire the City Attorney, Ms. Bonnie Hoff?"

June Michigan Business Index Rises, Further Improvement Forecast
The Michigan Business Activity Index, compiled by Comerica Bank, rose 5 points to 107 in June, putting it in the middle of the range over which it has been moving in 2005. Comerica economist Dana Johnson said: "The Michigan economy probably bottomed out in May. I expect a pattern of gradual improvement to emerge over the second half of 2005."

In Season: Michigan Blueberries
Taste the Local Difference reports that Michigan blueberries are ready to pick and that farmers say the colorful berries will last until September. The feature includes some blueberry facts, locations where you can buy them and recipes for Blueberry-Spinach Salad, Blueberry Gingerbread and a very tasty and interesting Mixed Berry Gratin.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:14 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, August 3, 2005

News Blips: Auto sales reached a historic high in July, Freman Hendrix whomped Kwame Kilpatrick and Steve Yzerman returns for a 22nd season.

Study: Raising Fuel Economy Standards Would Increase Employment
The Great Lakes IT Report informs us that the National Environmental Trust has released an economic study showing that raising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 36 mpg would reverse this downturn even if oil prices remain high, creating 15,000 new autoworker jobs while maintaining the same profit growth.
National Environmental Trust web site
Report Summary
Full Report

MSU to Offer New Video Game Design Program
Starting this fall, Michigan State University will offer a new game design and development program. The Specialization in Game Design and Development brings together students from computer science, studio art and telecommunication, information studies and media to explore the history, social impacts, technology, design fundamentals, and team-based production of digital games. Fun Fact: The average game now costs about $20 million to produce.
Specialization in Game Design and Development from MSU

More Michigan Moms Working from Home
The Detroit News has a feature on the growing trend of mothers who are raising children and telecommuting or running home businesses (one assumes that there are also fathers doing the same thing). The feature also reports that Michigan had about 357,000 woman-owned businesses in 2004, accounting for half of Michigan's privately owned companies, a 20% increase from 1997.

Schooners are the New Great Lakes Classrooms
A pair of features profile a pair of schooners used as classrooms. The Wisconsin-based S.V. Denis Sullivan (on the Ontonagon River last weekend) takes people on the Great Lakes to help them learn about the science and history of the lakes. The Inland Seas will be docked at the Muskegon Channel wall Aug. 10-11, providing free dockside tours and a paid science sailing trip.
Read Schooner a Superior draw in the Ironwood Daily Globe
Read Tall ship coming as part of Lake Michigan tour in the Muskegon Chronicle
Web site for the Schooner Inland Seas

Reduced Rates for Lake Michigan Ferry
The Lansing State Journal reports that the Lake Express ferry has dropped the cost of transporting a vehicle on the ferry's 11 PM EDT departure from Muskegon to Milwaukee from $59 to $40 for August. It has increased the fuel surcharge $1.50.
Lake Express Ferry web site

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# posted by farlane @ 9:43 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Maureen Patzer of the Greater Lansing Woman (LSJ) has three reasons we're not going on vacation outside of Michigan until my children are old enough to stay home.

TC Film Festival a Rousing Success
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that while the Traverse City Film Festival may not rival Sundance or Cannes, Michael Moore says the film festival was a bigger hit than expected. It featured 31 films, mostly sold out, and panel discussions with Hollywood insiders. About 20,000 tickets were sold for the indoor showings and total festival attendance was estimated at 50,000.

Farmers Markets Boosting Business
The Michigan Land Use Institute has a feature on the spin-off business and social buzz that farmers markets bring to downtowns. The number of farmers markets nationwide more than doubled between 1994 and 2004 — from 1,755 to 3,700. In Michigan in 2004 nearly two-thirds of the state's 120 farmers markets were sponsored by governmental groups, chambers of commerce, and downtown groups.

iPod in Michigan
The Detroit News has a feature on how Apple's iPod (and other MP3 players) are affecting the Michigan nightclub scene as well as how Michigan's radio stations are incorporating podcasting.

Higher Tax Revenues May Stave Off UP Cuts
The Mining Journal reports that higher than expected state tax revenues may help save two Upper Peninsula prison facilities (Newberry Correctional Facility and Camp Manistique) and erase a proposed funding cut for Northern Michigan University.

Marathon Swimmer Seeks Superior Crossing
The Detroit Free Press reports that endurance swimmer Jim Dreyer has tried five times to swim across Lake Superior. He began his sixth attempt yesterday and seeks to swim roughly 54 miles from Whitefish Point to Cape Gargantua, Ontario, and become one of the first swimmers to make direct crossings of all five Great Lakes. His site has a live tracking feature and he looks to be over half way.
Jim Dreyer's web site

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# posted by farlane @ 9:20 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, August 01, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, August 1, 2005

Michigan History Magazine informs us that on August 1, 1831, General Lewis Cass, second governor of the Michigan Territory, resigned and left for Washington, DC, to serve as President Andrew Jackson's secretary of war.

Beach Walkers, Tourism Industry Winners in Ruling
The Chicago Sun Times reports that the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right to walk the area from the water's edge and the ordinary high water mark on Michigan's 3,200 miles of Great Lakes beaches (whether lakefront property owners like it or not).
Also see Beachowners: Take a walk in the Grand Rapids Press

Special Tax Districts Creating Conflict
The Detroit News reports that even as they struggle to fund basics like police and fire protection, several suburbs are spending lavishly on frills like brick sidewalks, antique-style lighting and elaborate landscaping. Special tax districts are credited with reviving blighted areas and creating desirable destinations, but critics worry they draw money away from more basic services.

Ancient Egypt Exhibit Coming to Grand Rapids
The Associated Press (via the TC Record-Eagle) reports that "Treasures of Ancient Egypt: The Quest for Immortality", a traveling exhibit of Egyptian antiquities will be at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids from January 28, 2005 to May 7, 2006. It will cover two-thirds of the Van Andel Museum's third floor.
Public Museum of Grand Rapids web site
Treasures of Ancient Egypt exhibit web site

Internet Aids in 2nd Home Purchases Up North
The Detroit Free Press has an in-depth feature that explores how the internet is saving time, reducing long-distance phone bills and driving miles and making buyers aware of properties they wouldn't otherwise know of. Last year, 74% of home buyers used the Internet in their search. That's up from 37% in 1999 and just 2% a decade ago.

Faith Based Michigan Billboards
The Detroit Free Press reports that several billboards around Lansing and Ann Arbor proclaim: "Dear Gracious Heavenly Father, Forgive us our sin of being dependent upon the Automobile Industry and not on You. Please restore invention, productivity and prosperity. In Jesus Name, A Michigan Citizen."

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