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Friday, October 28, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, October 28, 2005

 

Bills Introduced to Protect Michigan's Water

The Detroit Free Press reports on a slew of proposals to regulate water withdrawals from lakes, streams and underground aquifers that were introduced this week in the Michigan Legislature. The Republican plan speaks specifically to protecting the state's premier trout streams from withdrawals while the Democrats' versions are more broadly worded to encompass all the state's waters.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:57 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Bill Introduced to Require Health Insurance Reductions for Healthy Habits

The Detroit Free Press reports that Senator Tom George (R-Portage) has introduced legislation to require HMOs and insurance companies to offer financial incentives that reward people for healthy behavior. George is a practicing physician and says Michigan is facing a public health crisis due to poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise. While life, auto and home insurers can give premium reductions for measures like anti-theft devices, state law currently bars health insurance companies from offering incentives for good behavior.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:56 AM 1 comments links to this post
 

FDA Warns Companies About Cherry Health Claims

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to 29 companies that manufacture, market or distribute products made from cherries or other fruits. FDA officials directed the businesses (11 in northern Michigan) to stop making "unproven claims" on their Web sites and product labels that their fruit products treat or prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease and arthritis. The companies may face FDA seizure of the products, injunctions or criminal sanctions.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:56 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Forum Considers Michigan's Economy

The Midland Daily News has a report on the opinions of speakers at CMU's Griffin Policy Forum. The topic was "Michigan's Economy: Can It be Saved?" and while panelists answered "yes", they identified problems including a need to spend more on education (and for education beyond high school) and a need to shift policy focus from the Big Three to small business.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:55 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Halloween in Michigan

The Detroit News has a feature that looks at the history of Halloween and how adults seem to be enjoying it as much (or more) than kids. There's also links to Halloween recipes, healthy Halloween treats, haunted home decoration, costumes and pretty much anything else holiday-related.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:54 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Thursday, October 27, 2005

Solar House by Fredosphere

Fredosphere writes: Among the classicist or neo-traditionalist architectural projects, the Solar House by Robert Adam is unusual because of its "progressive design." Although its look is traditional, effort was made to employ the most advanced technologies so the building might be heated and cooled passively.

The pictures of the home are surprising!

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# posted by Tami @ 3:43 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

If you don't buy that handmade scarf, the terrorists will have won by ann arbor is overrated

ann arbor writes: Business Review's profile of 16 Hands Gallery provides what we can only describe as a uniquely Ann Arbor perspective on September 11th.

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# posted by Tami @ 3:27 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan senator wants to tie health insurance to behavior by Michigan New Roundup

Michigan Roundup writes: Michigan senator wants to tie health insurance to behavior Insurance companies and HMOs in Michigan would be required to offer financial incentives that reward people for healthy behavior under legislation introduced Thursday in the state Senate quoting the Associated Press.

Check out the other Mid-Day Roundup articles.

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# posted by Tami @ 2:45 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, October 27, 2005

 

House Republicans Propose Diverting Tech Money to Tax Cuts

Mitechnews.Com has a detailed look at the bill introduced Wednesday by Michigan House Republicans that would divert tobacco settlement money from technology and life sciences start ups to fund business tax cuts. The plan calls for $300 million of the securitization money to be earmarked for life sciences, homeland security, high-tech automotive and alternative energy, rather than the original $2 billion proposed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The remaining $700 million would then be used to cut industrial personal property taxes and bring the Single Business Tax rate down to 1.7% over four years.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:34 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Beer & Wine Wholesalers PAC Contributions Disclosed

The AP reports that new campaign finance reports show the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association's political action committee spent nearly $50,000 on campaign contributions at the same time it was working to prevent wineries from shipping directly to Michigan customers. Contributions were made to Gov. Granholm and Democratic and Republican lawmakers between July 21 and Oct. 20, 2005.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:33 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Lansing Asks Itself: Is Sexy Cool?

The Lansing State Journal takes a look at a controversial request from Club X-Cel to have a monthly, Las Vegas-style revue with topless dancers. While some downtown business owners fear it would create the wrong image, recalling the days when hookers and adult bookstores lined Michigan Avenue, others (including some urban experts) feel it would bring needed traffic & appeal to young professionals.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:32 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

2005 Michigan Football Playoffs

The Detroit News has a pair of articles highlighting the games and various things to watch for in the 2005 Michigan High School football playoffs, which begin Friday night.
Also see Inside the Playoffs in the Detroit News

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# posted by farlane @ 10:30 AM 1 comments links to this post
 

Polish Cuisine & Recipes

Since October is Polish American Heritage Month and Metro Detroit has the third largest Polish-American community in the country, the Detroit News has an in-depth feature on Polish cuisine. In addition to an overview of Polish cuisine, the article has some great recipes for sorrel soup, city chicken and the pinnacle of Polish fare, the pierogi.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:28 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Seasonal residents UP North here... by The Pasty Cam

Photos of large migratory birds including a Sandhill Crane and a Great Blue Heron from the Keweenaw Peninsula area. Be sure to check out some of the interesting forest finds too.

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# posted by Tami @ 9:36 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

New Mural in Old Town by NOISE PhotoBlog

NOISE writes: Tina Block, 40, of DeWitt, Dawn Massey-Mariage, 40, of DeWitt, and Ann Siegle, 36, of East Lansing, joined dozens of volunteers who painted a new mural on the wall of 408 E. Grand River in Old Town.

Check the link to MediaGraphicsDesign for more photos of this work of art.

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# posted by Tami @ 9:02 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Starbucks Challenge by a later date

a later date writes: Green LA Girl has asked her readers to see if they can get Fair Trade coffee at Starbucks. The company has said that its policy is that it will be available at all stores in the countries it is licensed to provide Fair Trade (which includes the US). So here is my experience.

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# posted by Tami @ 8:49 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

88 Years Later, The White Sox Finally Get To Kick Sand by out of bounds

out of bounds writes: It's happened two years in a row now. The million-to-one shot came in. It snowed in hell. The calendar shows a month of Sundays. The coyote caught the roadrunner. Charlie Brown got a chance to kick the football out of Lucy's hold.


The second Sox team, in as many years, to end a long drought.

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# posted by Tami @ 8:35 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, October 26, 2005

File under "Why Didn't We Think of That?" this news that Wisconsin may open a private spaceport. Also, the Freep remembers & celebrates Rosa Parks.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:12 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan Senate Passes $1 Billion Business Tax Cut

Crain's Detroit Business reports that the Michigan Senate passed a plan yesterday to cut the state's single-business tax (SBT) by $1 billion over six years, starting with a $100 million SBT cut next year. To help pay for the cuts, the plan would institute $519 million in tax-policy changes, a tax-amnesty program, and would limit state spending growth to the rate of inflation plus 1%.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:11 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Jeff Daniels Movie: The Squid and the Whale

Detroit News Film Critic Tom long has a profile of Michigan's most famous (or is that "only") movie star, Jeff Daniels. Daniels' new film The Squid and the Whale opens Friday. It has been receiving acclaim from critics and is the story of a New York couple's divorce and the effects it has on their kid.
Movie site for The Squid and the Whale

Note: if you read the comments, you'll find that a helpful reader has listed about 40 movie stars (including Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones and Charlton Heston) who could certainly give Jeff a run for his money. In my defense, I just picked up the article's sub-headline

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# posted by farlane @ 9:10 AM 4 comments links to this post
 

Michigan Winery Reports Great Harvest, Recieves High Praise

The Detroit Free Press has a profile of Lee Lutes, head winemaker at Black Star Farms of Sutton's Bay (just north of Traverse City). Lutes is overseeing what may turn out to be the best Michigan harvest ever, better even than the legendary 1991. Winemaker & winery received a 2-star rating from Tom Stevenson's New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia (the only winery outside of California and the Pacific Northwest to have been given such a high rating).
Black Star Farms web site

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# posted by farlane @ 9:09 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan License Plate History

The Detroit News has a feature on the history of Michigan license plates that is chock-full of interesting facts such as: the earliest recorded Michigan law requiring motor vehicle registration took effect in Detroit on Dec. 1, 1903 (fee $1) and that personalized plates become available in 1939 and became popular with amateur radio operators (who would register their call signs).
Michigan License Plate Collectors Association
G. William "Whit" Whitworth Jr's Michigan License Plate pages (You cannot imagine the depth of this)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:08 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Web site optimization for the 2005 Halloween shopping season by Vacuum

Vacuum writes: Andy King from Web Site Optimization has put together a report on how this year's crop of Halloween shopping site are put together, both from a technology point of view and from a narrowband vs. broadban assumptions on the user experience.

BEWARE, it's kind of techie!

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# posted by Tami @ 8:46 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Ultima Thule: China is a slave state by The Royal Flush

Royal Flush writes: "Those who believe that we can democratize China by increasing investment are sadly mistaken. China is using the investment to develop a powerful military with hegemonic aims for the future, and it is utilizing repression at home and virtual slave labor in its factories to attract all that investment."

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# posted by Tami @ 8:41 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Buddy Culver Podcast - October 24

Buddy Culver Show #23: The southern, soulful rock of Motown's own Terry Lee Bolton, the heavy-groove-indie-grunge rock of Median and the azz-kicking, in-your-face rock of Mindrought.

"from the bowels of the basement in Dearborn, MI"

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# posted by Tami @ 8:31 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Pheasant Hunting in Michigan's Thumb

With the opening of pheasant season in Michigan, the Huron Daily Tribune ran a detailed feature on the history of pheasant hunting in Michigan's Thumb. It's an interesting read and has some nice, historical photos.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:20 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

The First Thing To Do Before You Do First Deal! by Michigan Real Estate Investment

Mark Ijlal writes: When you get 9 emails and 12 faxes in a row that ask the same question – you know that there is a problem. All of them are from my fellow Michigan residents, people whom to learn and do real estate investment – mostly buying and selling of foreclosures for a profit. They all want to know what are the most important things that should be doing first?

Here is some good advice not only for real estate, but for life.

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# posted by Tami @ 8:14 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tami has joined our Absolute Michigan News Blog team and is patrolling the Michigan blogosphere. Among today's finds: WPA ART IN YPSI by ypsi~dixit.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:36 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Rosa Parks Remembered

The Detroit News has a special feature on the life and impact of Rosa Parks, who died yesterday at her Detroit home at the age of 92. She and her husband moved to Michigan in 1955 and Parks had a major impact on the city of Detroit, which will host a public memorial to honor Parks on December 1.
See also: Civil rights pioneer dies in the LSJ has a great picture of Parks

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# posted by farlane @ 9:34 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Republicans Present Tax Plan

The Detroit News that Senate Republicans offered a plan Monday to slash state business taxes by at least $483 million over the next six years and slap limits on state spending growth. The plan would gradually reduce the corporate tax rate and provide additional relief if state tax receipts grow by more than the inflation rate plus 1%. Democratic critics said the proposed limits on government spending could cripple programs such as Medicaid health care coverage for the poor, which has seen cost hikes well above inflation for several years. Fun fact: Michigan was the only state in the nation that had a net job loss last year.
Also see Economic solutions unveiled to fix Michigan's struggling economy from WZZM TV-13 (video)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:33 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Mulching Leaves Is Good for Your Lawn

The Detroit News has a feature reminding folks what any horticulturist or serious gardener knows: the best way to improve your lawn and garden is to add organic material to the soil via compost. Michigan blesses us with an ample supply of leaves (which your many of your neighbors will helpfully bag up for you). Michigan State University research found no adverse effects or increase in the thatch layer and that mulching maple leaves into turf actually reduced weed competition the following season. Also, turf receiving mulched tree leaves greened up faster in spring and required less fertilization the following season.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:32 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan Churches Getting Bigger

The Detroit Free Press reports that dozens of Michigan churches are expanding either to compete with their larger brethren or to (in the case of the Detroit Catholic Church) to offset declining clergy numbers. Michigan has as many as 100 megachurches, defined as congregations with an average weekly attendance of more than 2,000 people. The article lists Michigan's largest churches (some over 10k).

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# posted by farlane @ 9:29 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Swinging for the Golfing Record Books

The Muskegon Chronicle has a feature on Jim and Pat Healey, a retured couple from Grandville who played one 18-hole round of golf (on regulation courses) in all 50 US States, all 10 Canadian Provinces and Washington DC. The journey took them 13,500 miles by car and another 20,000 by air. 74-year-old Jim remarks: "My thought right now is 'What the heck am I gonna do for the rest of my life?'.
Jim and Pat Healey web log of the feat

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# posted by farlane @ 9:29 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

the lights are much brighter there by A Life Extraordinary

Amber writes: On my drive home tonight I couldn't help but notice a few classic examples of what a great little town I live in. First up is the moose that stands proudly in front of Woodstock Gifts downtown. He's always appropriately dressed for each season as you can see. This is his mummy impersonation, although I prefer the pair of red, white and blue boxers he pulls out for the 4th of July.

Check out the photos, especially the moose!

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# posted by Tami @ 9:22 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

A Contrarian Viewpoint by GM Fastlane

Bob Lutz, GM Vice Chairman writes: Most of you participants in the FastLane know by now that I get pretty fired up about conventional wisdom, particularly when it is wrong! Well, it seems that ever since we announced we were bringing out our next generation full-size trucks and utilities, people seem to think it’s unwise. And, perhaps worse, even though those that have seen the vehicles have generally come away impressed, they often leave you with the impression that’s all we sell.

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# posted by Tami @ 8:35 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

New video iPod could send the entertainment world spinning by PC Mike's E-Journal

PC Mike writes: There is something really addictive about holding an iPod video player in your hand, no matter how cheesy the program. And the limited shows availabe through the iTunes Muisic Store so far are pretty cheesy, indeed. Still, I believe this ultra-chic device will be viewed as one of those seminal technology moments that take digital entertainment to a new level.

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# posted by Tami @ 8:28 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

WPA ART IN YPSI by ypsi~dixit

ypsi writes:There [are] a series of murals in the Lincoln Consolidated School, Ypsilanti, done by two brothers, Leon and Bronislau Makielski [of berry-farm fame? --ed.] of Ann Arbor. These photographs were taken a number of years ago in a condemned part of the school building. It is not known if they are still extant.

She also links to the photographs of the murals and they are amazing.

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# posted by Tami @ 8:11 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Monday, October 24, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, October 24, 2005

 

Number & Pay of Women Executives Declines in Michigan

The Lansing State Journal reports that according to a study to be released today, the 2005 Michigan Women's Leadership Index, women hold 5.7% of top officer positions (down 20% from 2003) at Michigan's 100 largest and most powerful businesses. The study also found that female executive officers in Michigan earn an average of 49 cents for each $1 that male officers make (base salary $317,380 to $650,509) and that there is not a single woman officer in the top five spots at any of the 20 Fortune 500 companies based in Michigan.
Also see Exec suite still closed to women in the Detroit News

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# posted by farlane @ 8:38 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Logs Piling Up in Easter Upper Peninsula

The Mining Journal reports that timber producers in the eastern Upper Peninsula say they're in crisis as a shortage of rail cars, soaring gas prices and spiking freight rates are choking off their pulpwood from reaching mills in Wisconsin and Minnesota. An estimated 50,000 cords are waiting along the Canadian National Railway and the company hasn't allowed short line railroads to use its tracks.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:37 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Granholm Sends Letter of Appeal for Support for Auto Industry

The Detroit News reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm has sent a letter to Michigan's congressional delegation asking for more focus by the federal government on the troubled domestic auto industry and its suppliers. The governor urged action on health care costs, assisting companies in preserving pensions and to level the international trade field.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:37 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan Broadband Authority Under Attack

The Detroit News reports that the Michigan Broadband Development Authority, created to Michigan to high-speed Internet and economic opportunity has been labeled a failure by business groups and Republican leaders, who will move to eliminate it. The organization is also under fire for exorbitant staff salaries and for what a state audit said was a lack of a plan to become self-sufficient.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:34 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Divers Seek to Create Preserve in West Grand Traverse Bay

Interlochen Public Radio has an excellent audio feature that a group of scuba divers in the Grand Traverse area are putting together a plan to sink a former car ferry, the Arthur K. Atkinson, in West Grand Traverse Bay of Lee Point in Leelanau County. While the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve is close by, it requires a boat and is only diveable about 1/4 of the time while the West Bay site would offer nearly 90% availability.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:34 AM 0 comments links to this post
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