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Friday, August 12, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, August 12, 2005

Downstream has Forgotten Signs of the M-204 Corridor, words and photos of a Michigan rural highway that's well worth a look.

There's Gold in Them Thar Landfills!
The Northern Express has a feature on the R.G. Engineering Company of Webberville, Michigan. The company sets up energy recovery systems for landfills that involve sinking gas wells, extracting methane and converting the methane to electric power. The electricity generated by this system is incredibly cheap, 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour to generate - a boon for municipalities.

Heritage Water Trail Proposed for Huron, Detroit and Rouge Rivers
The Detroit News has a feature on the proposed Heritage Water Trail would connect the Detroit and Rouge rivers with pedestrian and bike paths. The Metropolitan Affairs Coalition is leading the effort and the trail would include canoe liveries, boat launches, food stops, comfort stations and signage to inform boaters about wildlife and cultural or historic sites along the route.
Metropolitan Affairs Coalition web site

Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence
The Lansing State Journal reports on a free statewide training seminar (set for Aug. 25) designed to educate attorneys about cases involving domestic violence and the legal needs of victims: personal protection orders, divorce and custody. In exchange, attorneys will be asked to give 30 hours of service to domestic violence survivors or to take on three cases for free within a year.
Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence web site

Tax Revenues Fall for July 2005
The Detroit News reports that Michigan tax receipts fell by three-tenths of one percent in July, dimming hopes of state economists that Michigan's 4 year budget nightmare was ending. On the bright side, overall receipts are up 4% over 2004.

Apartment Hunting Primer
The Detroit Free Press has a feature about the ins and outs of hunting for an apartment. It also talks about "boomerang kids" those who move back in with Mom and Dad after college. Fun Fact: U.S. Census Bureau, 55% of 18- to 24-year-old men lived with their parents in 2003, as did 46% of women in the same age group.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, August 11, 2005

Check out these photos of ships in the Soo Locks from Michigan History.

MSU Medical School Could be Coming to Grand Rapids
WZZM TV-13 Grand Rapids reports that the announcement of the expansion of MSU's Medical School in Grand Rapids and could be just a few weeks away. The MSU Board of Trustees is currently in Grand Rapids touring a number of medical facilities including Spectrum Health, Saint Mary's, and The Van Andel Institute.

Romulus Chemical Plant Explosion
The Detroit News has a report on a massive series of explosions that rocked the Detroit-area EQ Resource Recovery chemical plant in Romulus, causing a fire that sent plumes of black smoke into the air and prompting hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes. The facility processed substances like paint solvent and aircraft deicing solutions totalling over 1 million gallons of waste a day.
Also see Explosions Rock Chemical Plant in Detroit from First Coast News (with video)

EPA to Perform Michigan Air Quality Study
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that as part of the 2005 Energy Bill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will perform a two-year study of how other state's air pollution affects western Michigan. The law also prevents the EPA from imposing any sanctions until the completion of its study of ozone pollution.

Fireworks, Boat Parade for Soo Locks 150th
The Soo Evening News reports that a fireworks display and recreational boat parade light up Soo Harbor this Saturday (Aug 13) as part of the Soo Locks 150th Anniversary Celebration. Fireworks will begin around 10 p.m. over the lower St. Marys River and area boaters are invited to decorate their vessels prior to joining the parade.
More about the Soo Locks Sesquicentennial from the Sault Ste. Marie CVB

EPA Developing Rapid Beach Water Test
A new rapid beach-testing program under development by the EPA would yield water quality results in just 2 hours as opposed to the current 24 hour test. Michigan beaches are tested for E. coli, a bacteria found in human and animal waste that indicates the presence of other disease-causing bacteria. The new DNA tests look for enterococci, another indicator bacteria also found in feces.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:41 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, August 10, 2005

In honor of Garfield Lawson's escape from the Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility, the Freep has a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek look at Great Michigan Escapes.

MSU Impact Radio Producing Governor's Podcast
The Great Lakes IT Report alerts us that WDBM-FM "The Impact", the Michigan State University's student radio station is producing Gov. Granholm's new weekly radio address and podcast. The weekly address may be heard on broadcast stations across the state through an affiliation with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and on the web on Mondays.
WDBM-FM Impact Radio Home Page

Michigan Association of Broadcasters web site

Michigan Sunflower Plantings Increase
The Detroit Free Press reports that a growing number of Michigan farmers are choosing to plant sunflowers, which in recent years have become a profitable cash crop, for use as bird feed. According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, 91 Michigan farms were growing a total of 2,275 acres of sunflowers in 2002, over just 32 farms growing 1,522 acres in 1997.
Get a Computer background with this Sunflower photo

Canoeing Around Lake Superior
The Mining Journal has a feature on Steve Wingard, a self-employed carpenter from Marquette, who is on a multi-year quest to circumnavigate Lake Superior in a 65-year-old, red, canvas and wood canoe. He's taking the journey at 200-300 mile increments. He started in 2003, journeying 325 miles from Duluth, Minn. to Big Bay and recently finished the segment of his journey from Big Bay to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Study Warns of Coming Doctor Shortage
WLNS News TV-6 (Lansing) reports that a study by the Michigan State Medical Society warns of a looming doctor shortage in Michigan. The study shows that the state will be short by 6,000 physicians by the year 2020.

Candice Miller Will Not Challenge Granholm
The Lansing State Journal reports that Rep. Candice Miller, a popular two-term Michigan secretary of state before her election to Congress in 2002, announced yesterday that she will not challenge Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2006. This appears to clear the field for Dick DeVos.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:48 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Bruce Bischoff (TC Record-Eagle) says a good camp is a thing of beauty. George Weeks (Detroit News) feels that the global economy & state jobs may dominate the gubernatorial 2006 election.

2005 Michigan State Fair - August 10-21
The Detroit News has a feature on the Michigan State Fair. In 1905, the Michigan State Agricultural Society bought 135 acres along Woodward Avenue as the permanent home for the Fair. It starts tomorrow, runs through August 21 and features livestock & produce displays, over 60 rides, stage shows (including Alice Cooper), and the "Miracle of Life" exhibit where you can see baby animals being born.
Michigan State Fair web site

Homeowner Fairness Bill Generates Fierce Controversy
The Detroit Free Press reports on a controversial bill that would change how pollution cleanup is handled in Michigan. The Homeowner Fairness Bill, sponsored by State Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, would (according to proponents) prevent overzealous environmental regulators from unfairly branding clean properties as contaminated. The bill has passed the state House but the Michigan DEQ, along with environmental groups lobbying against the bill, say the bill's effects will have far-reaching (and unfavorable) consequences.

Number, Severity of Hate Crimes Increase
The Detroit Free Press reports that on Sunday, someone burned a 6-foot cross on a Dearborn Heights family's lawn and that Warren, Troy and Trenton have seen similar hate crimes over the past two months. The tensions come at a time when African Americans are leaving Detroit in huge numbers (over 50,000 African Americans residents have left since 2000). Ethnic intimidation is a felony in Michigan punishable by up to two years in prison and the Federal Hate Crimes Act can deliver up to 10 years prison time.

College Students: Consider Home Purchase Over Renting
The MSU State News has a feature on 23-year-old Michigan State University anthropology senior Kate Nault. Rather than rent, Nault purchased a home that she shares with roommates. The article makes a compelling case for ownership.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Sit Me in a Michigan Seat
The Detroit Free Press has a feature on the American Seating Co. of Grand Rapids. The company was founded in 1886 has provided seats to many major league ballparks including the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and the Detroit Tigers' Comerica Park. Fun Fact: Seating at a Major League ballpark costs $4-5 million.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:44 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, August 08, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, August 8, 2005

The Lansing State Journal has an editorial saying that the Michigan Supreme Court's ruling affirming the public right to walk Michigan's beaches was the right call. We heartily agree!

Record July Rains Save Mid-Michigan Crops
The Lansing State Journal reports that timely rainfall has Mid-Michigan crops coming up strong despite hot and dry conditions. Growers of soybeans, corn and wheat in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties are expecting to see above average yields. July had 3.73 inches of rain, making it the 21st wettest July since record-keeping started in 1895.

Changing the Face of Michigan's High Schools
The Detroit Free Press reports that efforts are underway to change the face of Michigan high schools to better prepare students for the job market. The Michigan Department of Education has hired a high school redesign consultant (paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) to help address possible areas of reform, including teacher development and student testing.
Michigan Department of Education web site

DEQ Creates Inventory & Map of Michigan Groundwater
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has completed an inventory and map of the state's groundwater to help Michigan lawmakers consider water withdrawal regulations. The online tool features watersheds, water quality, wetlands wells and a host of other data. Very cool!
MDEQ Groundwater Mapping Project online tool

Two Big Recreational Land Purchases in Marquette
The Mining Journal reports that Marquette Township and the city of Marquette now own the majority of the Carp River valley area following two recent land purchases. The region includes the roughly 300-acre Marquette Mountain ski & recreational area and the township hopes to work with the city on a cooperative, comprehensive plan for the valley area.
Marquette Mountain web site

eBay, Fashion Fund Home Renovation
Detroit Free Press tech columnist Mike Wedland has a feature on Jim and Kelli Shaw, residents of the village of Sterling in Arenac County. The Shaws run Dream-Adventures, selling high-fashion women's clothing and accessories and are paying all the remodeling costs of their farmhouse using the profits from their eBay auction sales.

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