Friday, October 28, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, October 28, 2005
Mars: "I'm ready for my closeup", Study says Michigan computer use lags behind nation, Fall color still out there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, October 27, 2005
News Bits: Michigan wants piece of Hollywood action, Voters pin state economic problems on Bush more than Granholm, Benefits of eating fish outweigh risks.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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
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
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)
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!
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."
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"
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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).
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, October 24, 2005
The Good: Mitch Albom plays "What Did Garcia Do That Joey Harrington Wouldn't?". The Bad: MSU Thumped by Northwestern and the Internet has gotten ugly.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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