Friday, September 30, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, September 30, 2005
MSU v. UM: A State Divided ... sorry, here's the link.
Uniform Post-Labor Day Start for Michigan Schools
The Detroit Free Press reports that Gov. Granholm signed a bill yesterday to require all public schools in the state to start after Labor Day. Polls show that a majority of voters prefer an extra week of summer vacation in August with their kids. Starting next school year, schools must open after Labor Day unless they have union contracts specifying an earlier start (new contracts will be required to have the new start date). The law doesn't affect private schools, universities or year-round public schools, but it does apply to charter schools.
High Tech RV Delivers Aid to Businesses Hit by Katrina
Detroit Free Press tech writer Mike Wedland reports on Jim Watry of Wixom who runs a small tech company called Nucleus. Wixom has been living and working from a specially equipped RV parked in Gulfport, Mississippi and is helping damaged businesses start rebuilding and communicating again with their customers. His effort is sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber and he has equipped the RV with two-way satellite systems that provide Internet access and VoIP telephone. Also available are 15 computers, fax machines, scanners and copiers.
Also see Detroit Regional Chamber Adopts Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce from the Detroit Chamber
New State Site Promotes Manufacturing Careers
MITECHNEWS reports that the State of Michigan has launched a web site aimed at encouraging 12 to 24-year-olds to explore careers in manufacturing. The site features techno music (yes, your co-workers WILL hear it), flash animation, a virtual tour of a General Motors plant, interviews with teens, and the state of Michigan's first blog.
Visit Michigan careers in Manufacturing
UM Seeks to Engage Public in Research
Today's Great Lakes IT Report highlights the new University of Michigan Clinical Research web site engage, which seeks to match study participants (with and without medical conditions) to health research studies. The site also contains information about the centers, institutes, offices & departments involved in clinical research at UM.
Bay City on 2006 Tall Ship Racing Circuit
The Bay City Times reports that Bay City will be part of the 2006 Tall Ship Celebration. The challenge is a series of races that will take place on the Great Lakes and the ships will come to Bay City July 20-23, 2006. Other host cities on the Great Lakes circuit include Chicago, Green Bay and Cleveland.
Also see Bay City Times becomes port sponsor for 2006 Tall Ships Celebration
American Sail Training Association's Tall Ships site
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, September 29, 2005
Wildly unrelated bits: AAA Michigan Fall Color Update, Detroit Police Request New Tank and Hundred Dollar Student Laptops from MIT.
Numerous Factors Make Heating Assistance Troubling to Agencies
In a story that is all too common in Michigan, the Leelanau Enterprise reports that area human services officials say they've been out of money for two months and don't know how much funding will be available to help the growing number of people who will need heating assistance this winter. The article also explores how Katrina has drained charities' coffers and alternative heating solutions.
Calvin College Student Studies Parabolic Sand Dunes
The Detroit Free Press reports that Calvin College student and Saginaw native Melinda Campbell studied how the wind affects the growth and erosion of parabolic sand dunes (dunes blown into crescent shapes) at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon and has been invited to present her findings to the Geological Society of America. Campbell's work also will create a new online information center, the Lake Michigan Coastal Dune Web site, likely to be launched in mid-October by Calvin's geology department.
Calvin College Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies
More about Parabolic Sand Dunes from Wikipedia
A Look Back at Mariucci & NMU's National Title
The Mining Journal has an in-depth feature (with a typically fine photos) that reaches back 30 years to when Steve Mariucci was the quarterback who led Northern Michigan University to a National Division II championship. Perhaps Mooch could strap on a helmet this weekend...
Dale Chihuly Exhibition in Kalamazoo
Travel Michigan reports that world-reknowned glass artist Dale Chihuly has an exhibition at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts through January 1, 2006. On display is an impressive collection of works designed exclusively for Kalamazoo. Chihuly is perhaps the best-known artist of our day working in the medium of glass.
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts web site
Dale Chihuly's web site
Deer Herd Down in 2005
The Cadillac News reports that the deer herd in Lake and Wexford counties is down 44% and 33%. Statewide, the deer herd is between 1.6 and 1.7 million and the 2005 hunt is expected to be similar to or slightly below last year's 450,000.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Tech Bits: Detroit Public Schools & Apple Computer team up, St. Clair Shores man wins with Pink Is the New Blog, Google offers prime-time video streamcasts.
Archaeology Day at the Michigan Historical Museum
The Lansing State Journal reports that artifacts as old as 10,000 years will be on display from 11 AM - 3 PM this Saturday (Oct 1) at the ninth annual Archaeology Day at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. The event will also feature presentations including "Earthworks, Mounds and Monuments: New Research in Northern Michigan" and a report on the excavation of MSU's first dormitory.
Michigan Historical Museum site
Cuts in Michigan Arts Funding Likely
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Legislature sent a bill to Gov. Jennifer Granholm Tuesday to cut state funding for arts and culture grants by 17.5% -- much larger than the 4% reduction she had proposed. That means a loss of nearly $2 million to zoos, museums, symphonies, theater and dance companies, rural arts agencies, school residency programs and other grassroots arts initiatives in Michigan.
Ingham Judge Rules Benefits can be Provided for Gay Partners
The AP (via the Detroit News) reports that Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk has ruled that public universities and governments can provide health insurance to the partners of gay employees without violating the Michigan constitution. In the ruling related to the 2004 constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions and is expected to be appealed). The judge wrote: "Health care benefits for a spouse are benefits of employment, not benefits of marriage."
Trail 8 to Run Through Marquette
The Mining Journal reports that the Marquette City Commission has issued a snowmobile trail permit to Hiawatha Trails, Inc. for a route that runs through property the city purchased in a major land deal earlier this year. The trail runs between Munising and the Copper Country and is known as Trail 8.
Information about Trail 8 & other UP snowmobile trails
MEDC Offers Assistance for Hurricane Relief Contractors
Crain's Detroit Business reports that the the Michigan Economic Development Corp has resources for Michigan businesses seeking government contracts to provide products and services for Hurricane Katrina relief. The MEDC wants businesses to be aware of 13 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, not-for-profit organizations funded by the Defense Logistics Agency, the MEDC and local partners.
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers of Michigan
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Susan Ager writes about trouble for a skinny dipper. Also don't miss Ready to Pick: Apples! from Taste the Local Difference.
Report Says Michigan at Risk for Declining Housing Prices
The Port Huron Times Herald reports that while PMI Mortgage Insurance Co.'s summer 2005 Economic & Real Estate Trends report ranks Michigan among 10 states with the greatest risk for a decline in housing prices in the next two years, Port Huron area agents expect the market to continue to be steady, with affordable interest rates and creative financing giving things a boost.
Study Finds Michigan Losing Ground in Tech Education
Detroit Free Press tech columnist Mike Wedland looks at a 6-month-long study by Wayne State University study that examined the internet and the potential for e-learning. The report concluded that Michigan has lost an early lead in technology learning and recommends that high school students be required to pass at least one course online and teachers be tested for technology integration skills.
Wayne State News Release & Report
Evacuee Job Fair Overwhelmed By Residents
The Detroit News reports that a job fair for victims of Hurricane Katrina was overwhelmed Monday by victims of an economic storm as unemployed Metro Detroiters searched for work of their own. More than 80% of the nearly 400 people filling out applications were from Metro Detroit. Michigan has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates (6.7% in August) - Detroit's unemployment rate is 14.2%.
Michigan Television is a Reality
The Detroit News profiles 4 Michigan residents who are appearing on reality TV shows: Pete Thomas of Ypsilanti (The Biggest Loser), Shawn Killinger of Grosse Pointe (The Apprentice: Martha Stewart), Kyle Kavanagh of Dexter (America's Next Top Model) and Gary Hogeboom of Grand Haven (Survivor).
SUVs Sales Down, Gas Misers Up
From the News That's Not Terribly Surprising Dept comes a Traverse City Record-Eagle report that while Northern Michigan shoppers continue to buy new and used vehicles, smaller, more fuel-efficient cars are outselling big trucks and sport utility vehicles, breaking a longtime trend. One dealer reports SUV and truck sales down about 40% while another says hybrid sales are up 10-15%.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, September 26, 2005
MSU v UM this Saturday: Michigan State Ranked higher (Wolverines not in top 25), Sparty defaced, Problems abound for UM.
Beach Ruling Update
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that nearly two months after the Michigan Supreme Court rendered its decision, the debate over beach access continues. Last week the court denied a request to reconsider their July 29 ruling, but Save Our Shoreline, a group representing lakefront property owners, may take the fight to federal court. Highly recommended reading
Brush Park Offers Lessons for What Doesn't Work
The Detroit News has an excellent, in-depth feature reporting on how a deeply flawed redevelopment program has allowed Detroit's historic Brush Park neighborhood to fall into seemingly irreparable disrepair. Experts say the lack of progress casts doubt on the city's overall ability to deal with one of its most pressing problems: blight and abandonment.
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
Warren Podcasts Generate Visitors, Criticism
The Detroit Free Press reports that while the City of Warren's new weekly podcast has dramatically increased visitors to the site, some are objecting to the guest list, as those featured are often those known to side with Mayor Mark Steenbergh on political issues.
City of Warren web site
Grand Rapids Astronaut Consults for NASA
WOOD-TV Grand Rapids reports that Colonel Al Worden of Grand Rapids (command module pilot for Apollo 15, NASA's fourth manned lunar landing mission in 1971) is working with NASA on its new 104 billion dollar moon exploration plan. Plans for the new exploration plan would allow four astronauts to stay on the moon for a week - twice as long as Apollo missions.
Christmas Film May Be Shot in Traverse City
The TC Record-Eagle reports that Traverse City may be the location for a feature film that would be shot this winter and directed by Rich Brauer of Brauer Productions. Actress Jill Jaress, head of Got A Laugh Entertainment, wants to use the city as the setting for her first production, "The Christmas Spirit." The film also would use local and Michigan talent with the exception of a few "stars" to help secure distribution.
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