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Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday, May 8, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Opinions, bad days everyone has them: Stupak, Stabenow on Gas Prices (Northern Express), Recycling could bring jobs & money to Michigan (Oakland Press), You (Cavaliers) had a bad day (Cleveland.com - thanks Detroit Bad Boys).


Probing Michigan's Billion Dollar Tribal Casino Industry

The Detroit Free Press's Jennifer Dixon (one of Michigan's best investigative reporters) has an excellent feature exploring Michigan's 17 tribal casinos that have swelled to become a billion-dollar-a-year industry. Part one looks at how Michigan has lost out on more than $300 million in revenue from Native American casinos since the state's deal with seven tribes allowed them to halt payments.

Part two analyzes the structure of payments from the tribes to neighboring communities and there's also an article about recently introduced federal legislation from Rep. Mike Rodgers that would double funding for the National Indian Gaming Commission (the agency that monitors the roughly 400 tribal casinos and gambling operations nationwide). Rodgers says that the lack of state and federal oversight of Michigan's tribal casinos, combined with the amount of money flowing through, "is trouble waiting to happen if it hasn't happened already."
Read SPECIAL REPORT: TRIBAL GAMING: State is losing a casino jackpot in the Freep
Read TRIBAL GAMING: Casinos' neighbors: Give us our fair share
Read TRIBAL GAMING: Better U.S. control sought
Also see The 9 tribes that run casinos in state

Penske, Bing to be Tapped for Detroit Redevelopment

Crain's Detroit Business reports that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is expected to announce today that Roger Penske (point man on the Detroit Super Bowl) and Dave Bing (chairman of The Bing Group) will work with the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Penske will lead programs aiming to attract business while Bing will focus on neighborhood improvement. At the top of the list is the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) for downtown and perhaps other sections of the city, gap funding for residential housing, grants for facade improvements, a crackdown on code violations.
Read Penske, Bing to lead Detroit rebuilding from Crain's Detroit Business
Downtown Detroit Partnership web site

Phone, Cable Companies Battle Over Michigan Broadcasting
The Lansing State Journal reports on the battle between phone and cable companies being conducted over the airwaves. Michigan legislators are considering a bill that would help phone companies roll out new video services to compete with cable. AT&T and other backers say streamlining would stimulate competition in Michigan, where all but about 50 communities have just one cable provider but cable providers and local governments warn that the measure would keep the state from requiring service to everyone in a community in exchange for a licensing agreement - a requirement in existing contracts. You can view competing industry "advocacy" sites below.
Read Phone vs. cable debate takes to the air in the LSJ
Michigan Cable Companies' advocacy site
National phone companies' advocacy site

MI Boating Industry Pinched by High Gas Prices

The Detroit Free Press has a feature about how the soaring cost of gas is impacting boat sales and causing folks to rethink their recreational plans. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has seen an 11% decrease in the number of slip rentals from the same time last year and Van Snider, president of the Michigan Boating Industries Association says "We're having a challenging economic situation in Michigan, and that means it's going to be challenging for marine sales and other discretionary spending."

Boating is a $3.9-billion industry in Michigan, employing some 51,000 people.
Read It's a nice day for boating. Let's not go in the Freep
Michigan Boating Industries Association web site

Teens Looking for Work Face Competition
The Detroit News reports that students looking for summer jobs are facing stiff competition from more experienced workers for traditional summer jobs. Patrick Anderson of Anderson Economic Group LLC in East Lansing said "Anytime the unemployment rate among adults is 6 or 7 percent, summer laborers are going to have a hard time finding jobs." The number of 16- to 24-year-olds with jobs or searching for them dropped from 127,000 in 2004 to 118,000 in 2005.
Read Students are losing summer jobs race in the Detroit News

# posted by farlane @ 11:11 AM
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