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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Editorially speaking: "As the cuts continued, the outrage I felt over what was happening to Detroit's bread & butter industry really showed through in my work" (Pulitzer finalist & cartoonist Mike Thompson - highly recommended!); "A New Jersey jury recently did something that would be virtually impossible for a Michigan jury to do: It found a drug company guilty of consumer fraud" (LSJ); "Why must water quality be our last priority? We can build stadiums, convention centers and skyscrapers in just a few years, but when asked to deal with our sewers we say we don’t have the money right now." (Vince Deur).

E85 Ethanol Gets a Boost in Michigan

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan-based Meijer Inc. and General Motors will announce today, with Gov. Jennifer Granholm, plans to make the ethanol-gasoline blend E85 available at about 20 Meijer filling stations in Michigan. Currently, just five gas stations in Michigan sell E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

Advocates of E85 tout the fuel as a made-in-America alternative to imported oil that also cuts dirty tailpipe emissions, boosts performance and helps farmers. Michigan is one of the nation's leading producers of corn, growing more than 257 million bushels a year.
Read Meijer to sell ethanol blend in the Freep
Also see press release: General Motors Announces Collaboration with State of Michigan, CleanFUEL USA and Meijer Gas Stations to Help More Michigan Motorists Power Their GM FlexFuel Vehicles with E85
E85 Fuel Information from the Department of Energy

Students Help to Create Green Schools Designation

The Detroit News has a feature on students at Hartland High School who drafted the Michigan Green School Bill (view HB 5554), to create a program whereby the county or intermediate school district designates schools that engage in certain environmentally friendly activities as "green schools." The bill lists 20 possible activities (schools would have to participate in at least half to earn the designation) including recycling materials, improving energy efficiency and having educational programs on plant and animal habitat. It's estimate that by following the requirements, a school could save at least 5% on its energy costs.
Read Hartland High tries to go green in the Detroit News

Limited Beach Grooming to Be Allowed

The Bay City Times reports that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has announced plans to create a new general permit to allow limited vegetation removal activities along Michigan's Great Lakes coastline. The announcement follows the release of a report in March documenting the harmful effects of beach grooming activities on the state's ecology, and the DEQ's recommendation to allow provisions of the current law to expire as scheduled.

While the initial program was limited to Bay City and Traverse City, the permits will be available statewide until (at least) early June.
Read DEQ proposes limited vegetation removal in the Bay City Times
Read the DEQ report

Remembering the Pabst Mine Disaster

Ironwood Iron Mine

The Ironwood Daily Globe has a feature on the upcoming Perfectly Safe; The Pabst Mine Disaster of 1926 by author and historian Bruce Cox. The book is a day-by-day account of the over the entrapment and rescue of 46 miners who spent over five days 727 feet below the surface. 43 survived and Cox is seeking a photo of electrician Thomas Rowell, one of three killed when a cable of the cage they were in snapped. He also asks anyone with connections to the Pabst Mine Disaster to contact him as soon as possible.

Be sure to check out the Detroit News account of the event, part of their excellent "Rearview Mirror" series. It's got some great photos from their September 1926 coverage of the incident!
Read Book remembers Pabst Mine disaster in the Ironwood Daily Globe
Also see The great escape at Ironwood in the Detroit News

Bringing Broadband to Michigan

MITECHNEWS.COM reports that a group of government agencies will be bringing muncipal leaders, citizens, Internet Service Providers and other IT professionals will host forums throughout Michigan in June 2006 to explore ways to bring broadband Internet service to everyone in Michigan. Our take: The fact that they are bringing ISPs into the discussion means that they should be able to make much more headway on universal access than in past attempts.
Read Township Groups To Offer Ways To Bring Affordable Broadband To Michigan from MITECHNEWS.COM
Broadband: Bringing High-Speed Internet to Your Community from MichiganTownships.org (registration forms too)

# posted by farlane @ 11:13 AM
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