Friday, January 27, 2006
Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, January 27, 2006
Writing: Highland Middle School students (Milford) write about saving Great Lakes, Freep/Detroit News write that in Granholm's Michigan, it's a chicken for every pot, Brian Dickerson writes that "Governor Gipper" (and all of us) are hoping it really is morning in Michigan.
Super All Year
Mitch Albom has a compelling column that discusses his reaction to visiting the Detroit Rescue Mission, site of a three-day "party" over Super Bowl weekend that will provide food and a big-screen TV for Detroit's homeless ... and would also cut the visibility of our most downtrodden citizens. He wondered what would be happening on Monday and came up with "S.A.Y. Detroit" -- which stands for Super All Year. The goal is to raise $60,000 for the Mission by kickoff and you can call 313-993-4700 or visit the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries web site.
Also see Homeless people to get Super Bowl party in the Freep
GM Loses Almost $9 Billion in 2005, Warns of More Cuts
As if the news from the auto industry was not bleak enough, the Lansing State Journal reports that General Motors announced yesterday that it lost $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter that ended in December, and $8.6 billion for all of 2005 on revenue of $192.6 billion. GM has hinted that the jobs bank, where laid off workers continue to receive full wages and benefits, could be targeted for cuts.
Also see GM warns of more cutbacks in the LSJ
Counterfeit Super Bowl XL Ticket Alert
The Detroit News reports that police and NFL security officials are warning fans to be alert for counterfeit Super Bowl XL tickets. The article describes the tickets in detail including the fact that on the back of the tickets is the numeral 40 in ink that disappears when heated. Folks are cautioned against buying tickets on the street or over the Internet, and to be aware that sports bars and the streets around stadiums on game day are hot spots for counterfeiters.
Interview with Actor & Playwright Jeff Daniels
The Detroit Free Press has a nice interview with Jeff Daniels, Michigan actor & playwright whose tenth play, "Guest Artist," opens tonight at the Purple Rose Theatre. Daniels is also expected to receive an Academy Award nomination next week for his performance in "The Squid and the Whale".
Ice Mountain, Water Group Reach Agreement but Matter Not Over
The Associated Press reports that the Ice Mountain Spring Water water bottling plant and Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation have reached a deal on how much spring water can be pumped from Mecosta County wells. The MCWC (an environmental group) still plans to bring the issue of diverting water outside Michigan before the State Supreme Court.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Foggy Detroit by The Adventures of a Brit Abroad
A Brit Abroad writes (about this photo): Diana, Classic Pan 200 (pushed somewhat)
Aspiring to Greatness by Ann Arbor is Overrated
Ann Arbor is Overrated writes: Just what Ann Arbor needs: another "aspiring writer/artist." But this one's special; before he moves here, he wants to line up a female sponsor who's "smart, attractive, younger than me, meaning under 30, and prepared to pay the bills" in return for "soaring conversation and passionate erotic ecstasy."
Stay Awhile by Grand Rapids Podcasts opens in QuickTime
Grand Rapids Podcasts posted this tune by Paula Toledo
Company sees market for Flirting-in-traffic site by PC Mike's E-Journal
Mike Wendland writes: People read books, do e-mail and apply makeup behind the wheel so I suppose the concept for this site maakes about as much sense:
You're in your car stopped at a red light. You casually glance out your window and see a really attractive blonde. You want to roll down your window and get her (or his) phone number, but the light turns green and she (he) speeds away.
Party Hearty, Pistons Fans -- But '84 Tigers' Start Was More Impressive by Out of Bounds
Out of Bounds writes: It's almost unbelievable, really, to consider that anyone over 25 in this town has seen two Detroit teams begin a season with a record of 35-5 after 40 games.
The Pistons joined the 1984 Tigers last night, working overtime to escape the Milwaukee Bucks, 106-102 at the Palace.
Making an Impression by NOISE PhotoBlog
NOISE writes: Brooke Courter, 7, made slime Tuesday at the Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing. "It's hands-on learning," said Amy Courter, 33, Brooke's mother. "With kids that don't hear, it gives them another way to learn." The two visited the center with the deaf education program from Nikkory Elementary and Carrie Knause Elementary in St. Louis.
Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, January 26, 2006
Of course for many the big news this morning is that the University of Michigan scored a surprising victory 72-67 over #11 Michigan State.
Deconstructing the State of the State
Last night Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm delivered her fourth State of the State Address. Among the high points were calls for a "Michigan First Health Partnership" and a proposal to creat a statwide 401(k) plan. She also called upon lawmakers to increase funding for early childhood programs, cut auto insurance rates, raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.85, provide heating assistance, enhance the Michigan Merit Award and eliminate restrictions on stem cell research in Michigan.
Granholm also said that alternative energy presents a huge opportunity and that she wants Michigan to be "the alternative-energy epicenter of America". From Crain's Detroit:
Michigan's focus on the development of the alternative-energy industry would get a boost, in part through a statewide partnership Granholm plans to form among all alternative-energy research and development institutions. The governor said she also wants to increase the demand in Michigan for renewable sources of energy.
Read State of State: Granholm pushes state-administered 401(k) for small biz, alternative energy and health care initiatives; GOP says make job climate the priority in Crain's Detroit Business
Read GOP accuses Granholm of rhetoric in the Detroit News
Read Granholm offers few solutions for state, DeVos says in the LSJ
Michigan Green Party Response
Michigan Government Television (they say they'll be posting an archived telecast online)
Brownfield Redevelopment Boosts Michigan's Economy
The Michigan Land Use Institute has a special report that explores brownfield redevelopment in Michigan. Michigan's brownfield redevelopment program is responsible for 14,000 new jobs since the mid-1990s and $3.8 billion in private investment since 2000, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and is the most successful state urban redevelopment program of the past generation.
Also see Governor, Mayor Hatched State's Brownfield Boom from the MLUI Gov. Engler & Grand Rapids Mayor John Logie
Bush to GM & Ford: Develop a Product That's Relevant (free today only)
The Detroit Free Press reports on a Wall Street Journal interview with President Bush. The President discouraged any thought that the federal government might provide a Chrysler-style financial bailout. Bush also called on GM, Ford and others to be careful about backing away from fully meeting pension obligations saying "That's not how the market works and that's not corporate responsibility as I see it. I'm very firm on seeing to it that this government hold people to account."
Read President offers auto makers little encouragement on possible bailout in the Freep
Supreme Court Ruling Clears Way for Toyota Plant
The Michigan Supreme Court upheld a Court of Appeals ruling that ruling that the state could consider a lower offer for a piece of property because the proposal would create highly skilled jobs and foster technological research and development. This apparently clears the way for Toyota to build a $150-million research center on 690 acres of state land near Ann Arbor expected to bring 400 jobs.
Also see Toyota land: Court's volte-face is strange twist on dubious land precedent in the Lansing State Journal
Detroit Flavored Super Bowl Spread
The Hub & Noise has an excellent feature on adding local flavor to your Super Bowl spread (w/ great links). Recommended fare includes Detroit-style Coneys, Better Made potato chips, Sanders Hot Fudge and (of course) Faygo & Vernors. The Detroit News takes matters a step further with some surprising recipes including Better Made Potato Chip-Encrusted Lake Perch. Dig in!
Also see Score points with Michigan foods in the Detroit News
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Amir Johnson gets first NBA points ... with a ton of style
Need4Sheed.com writes: Rookie Amir Johnson was activated for the first time this season and thanks to the shellacking The Pistons handed the Timberwolves, Amir got his first NBA minutes, points and the first block of his career. Check out the bench after Amir throws down the awesome windmill jam.
Click on over to Need4Sheed for this great video.
Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Tuning into the State of the State: Scholarship compromise is a good deal for students, but Granholm's health care handout looks worrisome, BRIAN DICKERSON: The State of the State speech you won't hear, Broadcast Schedule.
Michigan Author Lynn Rae Perkins is 2006 Newbery Medal Winner
The 2006 Newbery Medal has been awarded is Criss Cross written by Lynne Rae Perkins of Cedar, Michigan. Criss Cross (Greenwillow Books) follows the lives of four 14-year-olds in a small town, each at their own crossroads. This ensemble cast explores new thoughts and feelings in their quest to find the meaning of life and love. The medal was the world's first children's book award and has been awarded annually since 1922 to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Lynn Rae Perkins site at Harper Collins (chapter excerpt from Criss Cross available)
Books by Lynn Rae Perkins at Leelanau Books
Listen to an interview with the author on NPR's Talk of the Nation
Michigan Cougar Watch: Escaped Pets or Wild Population?
The Dowagiac Daily News continues its coverage of Michigan cougars with a report on whether or not wild cougars inhabit Michigan or whether they're a few former illegal pets. DNR wildlife biologist Dave Bostick is quoted as saying: "...we think there's only a handful of cougars in Michigan and, at least in this part of the state we think most of them are escaped cats." A statement from the Michigan Nature Conservancy was read that "The reality is that the DNR prematurely declared the cougar expatriated from our state by the early 1900s ... the DNR has ignored eyewitnesses, scientific studies, videotapes, still photos and requests for assistance from citizens and law enforcement agencies and animal control officers."
The article also reports that nationwide, cougars have been responsible for 20 deaths since 1900 (domestic dogs cause 20 deaths every year) and gives tips for fending off a cougar attack.
Michigan Nature Conservancy web site
Maker of Spirit of Detroit Profiled
The Detroit News has a detailed feature with great photos on sculptor Marshall Fredericks. In addition to the Spirit of Detroit, Fredericks created numerous other sculptures in Detroit and Michigan including the Cross in the Woods, a 55-foot redwood crucifix in northern lower Michigan near Indian River.
Sending Unsolicited IMs to Michigan Children Carries Penalties
MITECHNEWS.COM reports that sending unsolicited instant messages to children in Michigan will now carry the same fines and as sending kids unsolicited emails under changes made Monday by the Michigan Public Service Commission. The MPSC said it opened the Protect MI Child registry to instant messenger IDs, mobile text messaging and fax numbers.
Michigan Public Service Commission web site
Trails in Great Condition for UP XC Ski Race
The Mining Journal reports that trails are in great shape for the 8th annual 51K Subaru Noquemanon Ski Marathon. The cross-country ski race begins at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming this Saturday morning and ends at the Superior Dome in Marquette. The event draws about 1,100 participants, including world-class skiers from across the continent.
Subaru Noquemanon Ski Marathon web site
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
It's time to put "Fire Millen" to bed by Northern Michigan Detroit Sports Blog
Leelanau Sports Guy writes: I am bored with the Fire Millen movement. It's time to move on. Ford likes Millen, Millen likes Marinelli, let's see how it works this time. I am as big a Lions fan as anyone and I see lots of reasons for the Lions problems, and they aren't just Millen.
Millen can't be blamed for everything bad that's happened with the Lions.
Ford Company Layoffs - White Collar Employees First! by Michigan Real Estate Investment Blog
Michigan Real Estate Investment Blog writes: My heart goes to out to the people working in Wixom and the ones about to get en masse pink slips in the coming weeks. Irrespective of whether they wear a blue overall to work with a UAW card in their pockets or a white shirt with a blue tie - in the end they all have families at home, kids in schools and colleges and bills to pay.
Jimmy by The Snowsuit Effort
The Snowsuit Effort writes: "Hong Kong is cool...Detroit is cool..."
"I came here to cook."
Jimmy lives on the streets of Detroit.
Things from Detroit are just Better Made. by DetroitWonk
DetroitWonk writes: So with SuperBowl XL around the corner and in the continuing spirit of celebrating things that come from Detroit, let's take a quick look
at Better Made Potato Chips.
Motown Documents by dETROITfUNK
dETROITfUNK writes: Heres a series of documents rescued from the hasty demolition of the Motown office complex on Woodward. Mind blowing that some of this stuff would just be left in a building to be destroyed and disposed of in the rubble.
Something That Should Never Happen (& Confessions of a Public Lands Fundamentalist) by Find The River
Find The River writes: Saturday's Grand Rapids Press reported a rather troubling proposal for infusing much needed cash into the state budget:
With assets that range from sparkling lakes to towering sand dunes to remote hardwood forests, Michigan's state parks rank among our most prized resources.
But in these cash-strapped times, a free-market think tank is floating a novel idea: Why not sell off and "privatize" 14 state parks, including Interlochen, Newaygo and Mears near Pentwater?
Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, January 24, 2006
In the Neighborhood: Conservatives win Canadian elections, Legal challenges ahead for state air pacts, Chocolate massages are the rage in Wisconsin spas.
Ford Charts its Way Forward
Our staff has put together a fairly comprehensive look at the announcement yesterday by Ford Motor Co. of their "Way Forward" strategy that we really recommend reading. We'd also welcome your comments.
Some Michiganians Stranded on Broadband Superhighway
The Lansing State Journal had a trio of articles on Sunday looking at those in rural mid-Michigan who are currently left in the 56k dust as the others in the state cruise on broadband connections. Students who have never downloaded video or audio clips would seem to be at an incredible disadvantage in the modern world. The article also reports on hope offered by broadband over power line that Lighthouse Broadband (and other companies) will be rolling out in Grand Ledge and St. Johns.
Also see High-quality technology key to kids keeping up in the LSJ
And finally Official says broadband may impede rescuers in the LSJ
Snowsuit Effort Photo Blog Nominated for Award
The Snowsuit Effort, a Michigan based blog, is a finalist for "Best Photography of a Weblog" in the 2006 Bloggies. The prestigious (at least in the Blog-o-verse) Web Log Award is now in its sixth year and voting is open until 10:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 31. The Snowsuit Effort is an unflinching and compassionate look at the streets of Detroit.
Four Universities, Science Foundation Announce Partnership
The Detroit News reports that a partnership between four state universities (UM, MSU, WSU, WMU) and the National Science Foundation will provide minority college students with help in the fields of science, mathematics, technology and engineering. Major goals include freshmen transition programs, more undergrad research projects, internships and changes in curriculum.
Northern Michigan Farmers Conference
The Northern Express reports that it's an exciting time to be in the business of agriculture, especially in Northern Michigan. The rise of the wine region, new markets for the cherry industry and changes in consumer wants are boosting small family farm operations. This weekend (Saturday, Jan 28) hundreds will gather in Grayling for the 7th Annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference.
Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference information from MSU Extension
Monday, January 23, 2006
A Closer Look at Ford's Way Forward
Bob Allen of Crain's Detroit Business writes:
I just finished reading a critique of an important move made by the head of Ford Motor Co. The critic says the CEO has "committed economic blunders, if not crimes. They may well return to plague him and the industry he represents as well as organized society.Bob writes that the criticism was directed at Ford ... Henry Ford by the Wall Street Journal ... in 1914. Continue reading Bob's Excellent Column.
The next stop is Ford itself for an archived copy of the webcast of the Ford Motor Company Business Review and news releases including a detailed explanation of the North American "Way Forward" plan and the text of remarks by Chairman and CEO Bill Ford where he makes sweeping statements like:
Here is what we will not stand for: incremental change, avoiding risk, thinking short-term, blocking innovation, tying our people's hands, defending procedures that don't make sense, and selling what we have instead of what the customer wants. In short, we will not stand for business as usual.The Detroit News Auto Insider reports that the end of "business as usual" means that by 2012 Ford will close 14 plants (seven of those vehicle assembly plants), cut North American manufacturing jobs by 25,000 to 30,000 and cut 4,000 salaried positions. That's nearly 30% of Ford's 122,000 person North American workforce and 25% of its capacity. Plants targeted for closure include Wixom MI, St. Louis MO, Atlanta GA, Batavia OH, Windsor Ontario. The company also plans to cut 6 or 7 of its 53 corporate officers by the end of the 1st quarter.
A key part of Ford's strategy is to increase production of hybrid gas-electric vehicles to 250,000 units by 2010. For plans hybrid versions of the Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, Ford Edge, and Lincoln MKX debuting between 2008 and 2010. These were hyped in a couple of Time Magazine pieces that were, if anything, well timed to soften the blow.
The reaction to the sweeping plans was (predictably) mixed. Shares of Ford gained 42 cents 5.3% to close at $8.32 on the New York Stock Exchange Monday.
The Detroit Free Press said ...If it works, Ford will become a smaller company, making less but selling all of it. If it doesn't, Ford will become a smaller company with even larger problems. The Wall Street Journal wrote ...What's really sad is that Ford is in such bad shape that few people think the restructuring and job cuts are too aggressive, even though they were larger than many auto industry analysts had been expecting.
The United Auto Workers response was pretty predictable. In Wixom, where Ford opened the plant in 1957 and 1500 workers will need to find new employment, there was anger and sadness. Thankfully, Wixom has reduced its dependence on Ford (12% - far down from 50% of days gone by) and much the same story is true in Hazelwood (near St. Louis).
The final verdict on yesterday's actions will not be known for years. One thing that is sure is that the auto industry has changed forever and Michigan will have to find a path to its future that relies less on cars. Here's hoping we can.
Thanks Dave for helping us out!
Multimedia and the Web by PC Mike's E-Journal
Mike Wendland writes: I am daily surprised about how versatile the Internet is when it comes to multimedia. In 2004 we saw MOBogging get traction, as early bloggers started posting still images from camera phones. Podcasting was all the rage last year. This year, it will be video blogging, or vlogging.
URBAN BLIGHT GETS A PAINT JOB by GLRC
GLRC writes: Football fans are gearing up for the bright lights and glitz of this year's Superbowl in Detroit. One event that won't make the halftime show is a tour of the city's dilapidated and abandoned buildings. They're everywhere. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Jennifer Guerra reports on a group of artists sneaking around late at night hoping to draw attention to the urban decay
Late Chocolate Friday! by The Chocolate Runner's Blog
The Chocolate Runner writes: So this is an EXTREMELY dark chocolate. I expected it to taste like Baker's baking chocolate, but it doesn't. It has this funky floral, perfumey kind of taste when you first taste it. Then its just wildly dark and bizarre. Its not something I could eat a giant bar of at once because it is so dark, but one square at a time is very satisfying. If you need a chocolate hit, this is like the baseball bat that you are looking for.
American Life in Poetry: Column 043 by The Poetry Factory
Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate writes: Lola Haskins, who lives in Florida, has written a number of poems about musical terms, entitled "Adagio," "Allegrissimo," "Staccato," and so on. Here is just one of those, presenting the gentleness of pianissimo playing through a series of comparisons.
GoldFish Bowl XL by Detroit Bikeblog
Detroit Bikeblog writes: The tents are going up, the roads are closing down and there are even shops downtown where you can buy stuff you didn't know you needed, now that's civilization.
Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, January 23, 2006
Recommended reading: Big Content would like to outlaw things no one has even thought of yet through customary historic use, Rev. Bernice A. King: decide to be either a thermometer or a thermostat.
Ford to Announce Restructuring, Secret Project & 2005 Profit Revealed
The Detroit News has a report on the Piquette Project, a secret research project begun by Ford that aims to develop renewable, clean and safe vehicles that are both socially conscious and provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This morning the automaker will unveil its "Way Forward" restructuring plan today, which is expected to call for at least 25,000 job cuts. The Freep reports that Ford announced this morning it made $124 million in the fourth quarter of 2005 to finish the year with a $2 billion, or $1.04 per share, profit.
Also see With cuts looming, Ford announces $2 billion profit in 2005 in the Detroit Free Press
And read the Cover story My Goal Is To Fight Toyota... from Time Magazine
Gov. Granholm to Deliver 4th State of the State
Governor Jennifer Granholm will deliver her 4th State of the State speech on Wednesday (Jan 25) at 7 PM. The Detroit Free Press takes a detailed look at what the governor inherited in 2002, what she's done since and the current situation in various areas of Michigan including education, medicaid, roads, the environment and the budget deficit.
This Week in Detroit Football: Bus Comes Home, Jauron Breaks HC Curse
The Detroit News reports that Super Bowl XL will be a homecoming for Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome "The Bus" Bettis from Detroit Mackenzie High School. Also, outgoing interim head coach Dick Jauron has been hired as coach of the Buffalo Bills. Jauron, a former Lions defensive back & Pro Bowl return specialist became the first Lions head coach to get another head coaching job in the NFL.
Also see Jauron will be coach of Bills in the Detroit News
Measure to Ban Affirmative Action to Appear on November Ballot
The State News reports that the state Board of State Canvassers voted unanimously Friday for a revised version of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) to appear on the ballot after public hearings and testimonies. The initiative would make it unconstitutional to take race, gender, skin color, ethnicity or national origin into account for public contracting, employment and education.
Line of Michigan Healthy Foods to Benefit Cass Community
The Detroit Free Press has a feature on Just Belicious Granola, a new product line created by Kathleen Daelemans of Sylvan Lake is the author of three books about healthful eating, a chef involved with numerous restaurant starts and a diet expert. She plans to donate money from sales of the food products to Cass Community Social Services. The agency is working with her on the venture.
just be-licious web site
Sunday, January 22, 2006
New Senate Broadcast Flag Bill Would Freeze Fair Use
Shlep writes: Hollywood now wants their old business model frozen into a law to prevent any technology newer than their "historical" distribution method from being created. This would have prevented iPods and Tivos from ever being considered. Yet another corp. shill acting like a senator
read more | digg story (comments uncensored and often contain rough language)
There's no benefit here for artists or customers, and for infringing copiers, evading these copy controls will be as easy as ever. No matter how inconvenienced individual users would be by a flag, pirates would be able to bypass it. The bill would usher in a new world of anti-consumer electronics, and a chance for the MPAA's and RIAA's member companies to seize even greater control over all media distribution and use.
Rights and Speech
Absolute Michigan mini-Editorial by Andrew L. McFarlane
The above two articles link to detailed web of information about a remarkably ill-advised piece of draft legislation in the US Senate. As the editor of a publication, writer, photographer, application developer and media end-user, I have a lot of hats I can try on as I consider this piece of legislation.
The end-user is not happy about the prospect of paying media hardware and software makers more due to increased costs from compliance measures. The application developer worries about lawsuits when/if something he wrote or relies on is exploited to The writer wants to be paid for his work while the photographer just wants people to see it. The editor sees a future where content cartels with powerful lobbies like the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America (wikipedia) and media conglomerates utilize a legally complex and prohibitively expensive copyright system to strangle content producers and small media companies.
I have a lot of hats, but none of them can make the consistant and blatent disregard of our fundamental right to speech by lobbyists and cash-hungry legislators palatable.
To my mind, our Nation (and the state of Michigan) need to act now to analyze, determine, codify and protect the rights of all players in the media mix.
Technorati tags: media, media law, copyright, legislature, politics, us senate, ipod, government stupidity
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