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Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Missed the cut: Michigan is warned on Bond Rating, The gift of Magic: Pistons clinch best record, TC Record-Eagle says campgrounds need water, campfire, picnic tables, tent sites ... but not WiFi.

Deserting Detroit?

Jack Lessenberry had a series of pieces looking at Harvard economist Edward Glaeser's recent comments in the New York Times Magazine, saying of Detroit that "There is no reason why it can't, and shouldn't, decline. Places decline and places grow. We shouldn't stand in the way of that." In the interview, Glaeser suggests that politicians should accept the reality that Detroit will shrink and that their job is to "Focus on the people, not on the place".

Lessenberry responds that had Detroit sprung up in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, or even in some part of the water-deprived American Southwest, one could perhaps agree but that in actuality, Detroit is blessed with water resources and a geography that makes sense as a city site.
Listen to Interview: Edward Glaeser from Michigan Radio
Read Men of the people in the Metro Times
Might as well also see Is once-scrappy Detroit heading for scrap heap of history? in the Toledo Blade (takes on The Onion's Detroit Sold for Scrap)
Read Detroit Can Learn a lot from London in Absolute Michigan (in case you missed it)

Top Dollar in Michigan

The Detroit News reports that although Michigan's economy is heading south, membership in the Michigan state government's six-figure salary club has soared 85% to 700 employees since the economic slide started eroding Michigan's budget in 2000. Both Michigan lawmakers and the governor rank #2 in the nation in pay. Civil Service officials say the $100,000-a-year group has grown because of wage inflation and employee step increases, and also, according to Mike Shore, spokesman for the MEDC, "Many of these jobs require people in highly competitive fields. In the last two years, we've lost three managers and three rising stars to higher-paying jobs elsewhere. These are talented people recognized in their field." Rose Bogaert, chairwoman of the Wayne County Taxpayers Association, a watchdog group counters "The state is showing no restraint and a lot of it has to do with these salaries and pensions. While people in public sector jobs are gaining, those losing jobs are in the private sector and they're the ones expected to pick up the bill."

The article has lots of statistics, quotes and details including the fact that the governor believes she is paid too much, has asked the State Officers Compensation Commission to reduce her salary 5%, and that the commission passed a resolution agreeing with that request and forwarded it to lawmakers who have taken no action to date.
Read State's $100K club grows in the Detroit News


And They're Off: $100 Million Campaign Possible?

In George Weeks' latest feature, he writes: "In their initial election-year jousting, it's the bully pulpit of Gov. Jennifer Granholm versus the deep pockets of Republican Dick DeVos." He quotes campaign finance watchdog Rich Robinson who says he wouldn't be surprised to see spending in the gubernatorial campaign top $100 million. The pattern thus far appears to be Granholm criss-crossing the state while unprecedented (and very successful) early spending by DeVos has topped $2 million. When Weeks asked Granholm about DeVos's spending, she replied "What can I say? It is an astounding figure." The column is always an insightful and entertaining read and this week's is no exception.
Read Campaigns off to quick start in the Escanaba Daily News

Thumb Wolverine a Female from Alaska

A wolverine, photo taken by Jeffrey C. Lewis

The Saginaw News reports that animal trackers say the wolverine that has been roaming Michigan's Thumb is a female. Jeffrey J. Ford and friends have followed the wolverine and filmed it ever since coyote hunters sighted it Feb. 24, 2004, about a mile east of Bad Axe. Analyzed hair samples indicate the animal has the "haplotype C genome," which is found in wolverines in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, southeast Alaska and British Columbia.
Read DNA samples show Michigan wolverine out of its league in the Saginaw News
Visit Wolverineguy.com for photos, video & more

Exploring Easter

The Detroit Free Press has an in-depth feature on the meaning of Easter to a variety of Christians in the metro area that's worth a read.
Read THE PERSISTENCE OF FAITH: Christians reach beyond Easter uproar to find hope in the the Detroit Free Press
Easter Seals in Michigan

# posted by farlane @ 10:37 AM
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