Friday, February 24, 2006
Chicken? House v. Auto Industry
Ray at DetroitWonk writes:
"Now, I don't want to be an alarmist sounding a warning bell to the governmental affairs teams at the US automakers or anything, but it looks like those free-trading Republicans over in the US House of Representatives want to put a crimp on the one segment of vehicles still profitable for them. That's right, the US House is looking to repeal the "Chicken Tax", the one thing that is stopping foreign-built light trucks from being imported into the United States.
SKIING: Salonen steers Marquette down slopes to finals
The Freep writes:
What: The MHSAA state boys and girls skiing finals.
Where: Class A at Boyne Highlands, Class B-C-D at Nub's Nob.
Marquette is favored and has dominated prep skiing. Petoskey won Boys class A last year (and moves to BCD) while Traverse City Central won Girls . In BCD, TC St. Francis was the girls champ and Harbor Springs the Boys.
Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, February 24, 2006
Looking back: Hillsdale's "Teen Mayor" elected Homecoming King. Looking back further: Idlewild, Michigan's African American summer resort. Looking way back: Michigan Governor Austin Blair supported a joint resolution of the legislature that "unreservedly" approved President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on Feb 24, 1863. Looking ahead: Governor-hopeful Dick DeVos establishes grass roots base, now taking to the airwaves.
West Bloomfield's Alex Ostrovsky Downloads Number One BillionCheck the post started yesterday on our Blog for all the details.
Michigan Business Development Loan Program LaunchedCrain's Detroit Business reports that Charter One Michigan announced Thursday a $200 million low-interest loan program designed to create 2,000 new jobs in Michigan during the next five years. The bank is working with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. on the program, which offers loans at a fixed interest rate of 4.99 percent — 2.51 points below the current prime of 7.5%. Loans will be made over a two-year period, with the minimum amount of $1 million and the maximum of $10 million. Recipients will have three years from the time the loan is granted to add one new job for each $40,000 of the loan amount.
Read Charter One, MEDC to team up on $200M low-interest loan program from Crain's Detroit Business
Governor Plans to Dramatically Increase Michigan Travel Ad BudgetThe Escanaba Press has a column from George Weeks about Gov. Granholm's plan to use $7.5 million dollars from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to dramatically boost advertising dollars and promote summer tourism. Travel Michigan currently advertises only in Chicago, Cleveland and Indianapolis, but in April, ads will start in additional markets including southern Ontario, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee.
Read Granholm touts tourism plan in the Escanaba Press
$1 Blue Band Working Against RacismThe Lansing State Journal reports that in an effort to combat an upswing in racist graffiti at Holt Senior High, the school's International Club started a "Take a Stand, Buy a Band" campaign. The blue rubber bands are engraved with "Racism = Ignorance" and the club has sold 500. The school has about 1,400 10th, 11th & 12th-graders, and roughly 13% are black, Latino or Asian.
Sophomore Brittanie Beebe said the bracelet "is showing to all the people who are racist that a lot of people aren't. Maybe it'll change some minds out there."
Read Bracelets cool racism in Holt in the LSJ
Holt High School web site
Diving the Great Lakes in Summer ... and WinterPart III in our series of "Sports You Are Unlikely to Try, but may Nevertheless Find Interesting" is this Traverse City Record-Eagle feature on father-daughter diving duo Christopher and Claire Morey. In summer and in frigid winter months, they plunge into West Grand Traverse Bay, free diving up to 30 feet down and photographing what they see with an underwater camera.
"The Great Lakes have remarkable visibility now on par with the Mediterranean because of the zebra mussel phenomenon," said Christopher, referring to the invasive bivalve whose marked trait is filtering water. "As a kid I could see about 12 feet on a good day – now it's up to 35 to 40 feet."
Read Taking a dive: Underwater exploration is year-round pursuit in the Record-Eagle
Very cool Great Lakes diving photo gallery!!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
1,000,000,000th iTunes Song Downloaded by Michigan High Schooler
Apple announced today that Alex Ostrovsky of West Bloomfield, Michigan downloaded the one billionth song (Coldplay's "Speed of Sound") from the iTunes Music Store. As the grand prize winner he will receive a 20-inch iMac, 10 fifth generation iPods and a $10,000 gift card good for any item on the iTunes Music Store. In addition, Apple will establish a scholarship to the world-renowned Juilliard School of Music in his name to commemorate this milestone. We have some information about Alex, but haven't been cleared to post it. From what we know, it looks as if he is uniquely suited to deal with that $10,000 gift card!
UPDATE: The Detroit News reports that Alex is a junior at West Bloomfield High School, plays the guitar, is a DJ for WBLD, his school's radio station and is inseparable from his iPod. Alex had attended the Coldplay concert at the Palace and returned home to download some of their music, managing at the same time to find the "golden ticket" of the billionth song.
What's really amazing the fact that the one billion mark was reached in just 3 years, proving that there is a market for legal downloads.
Photo Courtesy of Apple
Apple - iTunes - 1 Billion Songs
Essay: Our Overmedicated Society by Jack Lessenberry
Jack Lessenberry writes: For years, our government has been trying to frighten us with the thought of terrorists under our bed. Well, here is something that frightens me much more. The thought of little kids huddling behind the elementary school, taking hits off asthma inhalers and trading pain medications they have secretly brought from home.
What is this all about? And when did it become accepted wisdom that in order to make it through elementary school, kids have to be on Prozac or Ritalin or Zoloft? Newsweek a few years ago said that something like eleven million children were on some kind of mood-altering medication. Now there is new evidence that even the kids who aren't on medication are taking other people's drugs.
Also listen to Interview: Carol Boyd.
(photos) by The Adventures of a Brit Abroad
Matt writes: Part two of my Michigan in Pictures interview is up. This time I answer a few readers' (and one or two LJ friends') questions.
TCS Daily - Will Video Kill The Blogosphere Star? by The Content Manager
Barry "ipod" Johnson writes: "Is there a WebTV box plugged into your TV set? Chances are, probably not. Since the mid-'90s, attempts to bring the Web to television have had only middling success. Lately though, the reverse -- efforts to bring TV to the Web -- have been skyrocketing. And that will increasingly affect both how we interact with video, and how the new media mavens of the Blogosphere deliver news and opinion.
design your own chuck taylors by a later date
a later date writes: For $60, you can pick your own colors for your Chuck Taylors. Oh, we are exceedingly pleased.
Tigers Should Make Sure Monroe Goes Nowhere For Years To Come by out of bounds
out of bounds writes: If I was Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, which I clearly am not, unless I have been living the much less traveled road of a double-life that I'm not aware of, I would take outfielder Craig Monroe and wrap him up so tight in a Tigers contract that he couldn't even wiggle.
Dietrich did it! by South of 8 Mile
South of 8 Mile writes: I don't care how rich you are, are you really gonna let somebody you only know as "Dietrich" drive your $1 million Ferrari? .... In the meanwhile, Dietrich is still wandering the hills some place.....riiiiiight.
The precarious status of my Man Card by Fried Rice Thoughts
Ian Casselberry writes: It looks like I could be in trouble. With the Man Card committee, that is.
After hearing of my violation due to regularly watching Dancing with the Stars, I was told my eligibility would be under review for a 30-day probationary period. ...Unfortunately, only 14 of the probationary days passed before I committed what will likely (very likely) be perceived as another violation.
I watched almost all of the ladies' figure skating short program from the Winter Olympics last night.
Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, February 23, 2006
Web Watch: Michigan in Pictures continues the profile of photographer Matt Callow with his answers to reader questions, The Freep highlights Bill Tite, who created a new web site for the city - for free (City of Clawson web site), New web site may help solve cold cases in Michigan (visit michigandoes.com).
Innovation Alliance Seeks End-to-End Biofuel
The Lansing State Journal reports that the Mid-Michigan Innovation Alliance will use a $15 million federal grant to jump-start a new manufacturing sector in mid-Michigan to create products from the state's plentiful supply of grains and plants instead of from petrochemicals. The Alliance represents a 13-county region that stretches from Lansing to Saginaw and (according to spokesman and MSU exec Paul Hunt) seeks to:
"...capture the entire value chain, from the seed of the plant or from the tree ... all the way through to the bio-refineries that make the foundational chemicals, to the (manufacturing) plants that turn the foundational chemicals into the plastics and other polymers"
Also see Granholm Applauds Decision Awarding Michigan $30 Million in Federal Workforce Innovation Grants from Michigan.gov
Sports that Sound Silly: Snowkiting
The Grand Traverse Herald has a feature on last weekend's First Annual T.C. Kite Derby held on South Lake Leelanau. Kite boarding is a year round sport that involves being towed by a large kite while surfing on a snowboard-like device.
Kite Derby web site (be sure to check the photo gallery)
Watch Snowkiting in Michigan movie
Sports that ARE Silly: Outhouse Racing
The 13th Annual Trenary Outhouse Classic will be held this weekend. The object of the competition is to be the fastest two-person team to push an outhouse on skis 500 feet down the street. The event attracts about 4,000 people to Trenary each February, swelling the Alger County town many times beyond its population of about 400.
A ton of photos from the Trenary Outhouse races (also see The 6th Ever 1999 Annual Outhouse Races in Trenary, Michigan)
Transportation Secretary Praises Michigan Auto Supplier
The Freep reports on Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta's visit with Livonia's TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. TRW officials showed Mineta a car equipped with electronically powered steering, which can be dropped into existing vehicles and improve fuel economy. TRW also has a regenerative braking system that collects the energy used in braking and uses it to power the electric motor on a hybrid.
Green Building Hot Topic in Michigan
The Northern Express has a feature reporting that "green building" where it's at in the world of new construction, remodeling and home shows. Green building means using renewable resources such as bamboo flooring, making your home more energy-efficient and avoiding products which damage the environment.
Also see Do It Yourself Windpower in the Express
MLUI's Green Goals "LEED" To Calls To Enhance Building Rating System is another great resource
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Michigan in Pictures Posts First Michigan Photographer Profile
Michigan in Pictures (our photo blog) starts a three-day profile of Matt Callow, a photographer living in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Matt takes some amazing pictures using pinhole cameras (some even made of paint cans), toy cameras and expired film.
NOTE: WordPress seems to be having some difficulties today - please check back if the link fails!!
Harrington given another chance by Northern Michigan Detroit Sports Blog
Leelanau Sports Guy writes: Lions head coach Rod Marinelli and GM Matt Millen have announced that quarterback Joey Harrington will be back and that he is the frontrunner for the starting quarterback position. New offensive coordinator Mike Martz has made some positive comments and apparently likes what he has seen from Harrington on film and from his quick talk to him yesterday.
Detroit Zoological Park by dETROITfUNK
dETROITfUNK writes: Hearbreaking news hitting the television and radio waves in the last couple days - if any of you were asking " what will be destroyed next? ", here it is. The Detroit City Counsel is taking aggressive steps to close and disband the Detroit Zoo. Somehow equating attempts by people at the State level to save the Zoo as "racism", and comparing the relationship to slavery. Absolute insanity.
In the meantime, lets take what might be our last parting glance at a great zoological park.
Red Dress Run by NOISE PhotoBlog
Jeremy Herliczek writes: Nearly 50 people donned warm clothes and red dresses for the Red Dress Run, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association Saturday. Participants ran 2.62 miles from Tripper's in Frandor Shopping Center, to Troppo downtown, stopping for refreshments at bars along the way.
Shack! Can You Dig It?! by neadfiles
neadfiles writes: In the age of drug testing and background checks in order to land a minimum wage gig, it's a wonder that RadioShack's [former] CEO David Edmondson slipped through the 'What degree did you get again?' crack. Somebody dropped the ball when they hired this self-made college grad.
Padding resumes. It's not just for middle management anymore!
Mother Jones Focuses on Ocean Woes by ypsi~dixit
Y. writes: MOTHER JONES publishes an outstanding suite of articles examining the dire state of the world's oceans, from a fascinating variety of information-packed perspectives.
Ethnic Intimidation by Jack Lessenberry's Essays and Interviews
Jack Lessenberry writes: Any kind of ethnic intimidation is bad. But the sad fact is that throughout our history, it has been as American as apple pie.
There have been anti-Irish riots, anti-Catholic riots, anti-Hungarian and anti-who-knows-what else riots. Most of all, we have had racial violence between black and white Americans.
Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Looking Back: "Big Ed" McNamara's legacy, Celebrating 100 years of corn flakes in Battle Creek, Back in the Day with Larry Henderson: Steaming Along.
Detroit Zoo Fallout
This weekend, the Detroit City Council voted 7-2 against a plan to transfer the zoo's operations and most of its funding to the nonprofit Detroit Zoological Society. The transfer would have made the zoo eligible for $4 million in state funding but now the zoo is reportedly in danger of closing.
Company Files Sulfide Mine Permit
The Associated Press reports that Kennecott Eagle Minerals has applied for permits to dig for nickel and copper in an environmentally sensitive area of the Upper Peninsula, the first test of Michigan's new mining rules. The $100 million operation would create 100 to 120 jobs, but would use an extraction process known as sulfide mining that critics fear could pollute two rivers in the Lake Superior watershed. Kennecott says it can operate the mine while protecting the environment. One Mining Journal feature adds an aerial photo with annotations along with studies by Michigan Tech University detailing the concerns, and the other reports that the company plans to begin construction of the Eagle Project nickel mine by the fourth quarter of this year.
Also see Kennecott filing in the Mining Journal
And read Mine construction could get under way this year in the Mining Journal
Piquette Plant Receives National Historic Designation
The Detroit News reports that the former Ford Motor Co. Piquette Plant, a three-story brick factory that was the birthplace of auto industry pioneer Henry Ford's Model T, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. The "Tin Lizzie" was probably the most famous vehicle ever produced.
Model T Automotive Heritage Complex web site
First Round of Tech Job Funding Draws Surprising Interest
MITECHNEWS.COM reports that nearly 800 applications were received by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. from technology, security, alternative energy, life sciences and advanced manufacturing companies in the state seeking a piece of the $100 million up for grabs in the 21st Century Jobs Fund. MEDC spokesman Michael Shore said 791 Letter of Intents were received and "Our office pool topped out at 400, so we were really surprised at the high level of interest in this program."
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
US Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Michigan Beach Walking Case
John Flesher (AP) reports:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to consider whether people have a right to stroll along private property aligning Great Lakes beaches in Michigan.Our view: Celebrate by taking a walk on a Michigan beach!
Radar...by The Adventures of a Brit Abroad
Matt writes: So, it seems I'm going to be the featured photographer on the very lovely Michigan in Pictures blog for a few days later this week, complete with a detailed profile of yours truly, posts about my favourite photos (my own and others') and an interview.
Taqueria La Loma by Kitchen Chick
Kitchen Chick writes: Once, it was nearly impossible to find good Mexican and Central American food in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. Now there are several great places to choose from. Taqueria La Loma in Ypsilanti is one of our favorites.
Senate Committee Considers Childhood Obesity in Michigan by Red Tape Blog
Red Tape Blog writes: A state Senate committee will continue to discuss the issue of childhood obesity in Michigan this week.
The Senate Health Policy Committee on Wednesday is scheduled to hear testimony on a bill that would require public schools to offer physical education for all K-5 students at least twice a week for the entire academic year.
Each physical education period would have to last for at least 30 minutes.
Gallery Project by detroitarts
detroitarts writes: At times we detroiters can be lazy- especially when it is so cold out that your face freezes instantly when stepping outside! I was happily surprised how many detroiters made their way out to ann arbor to celebrate the splendid opening: BEAUTY/SUBLIME/INTENSITY at gallery project.
Fisher Building Info by dETROITfUNK
dETROITfUNK writes: Yeah, we cant talk about all this stuff without showing a photo of the genius behind so much of Detroits architecture. Albert Kahn. Without Mr. Kahn, buildings and structures all over the face of the earth would not be the same. That is NOT an overstatement.
FreeDarko on Darko's freedom by Detroit Bad Boys
Detroit Bad Boys writes: FOXSports.com's Peter Schrager caught up with Bethlehem Shoals of FreeDarko fame - the result is a meandering Q&A that occasionally stayed on the topic of basketball but often strayed in the direction of, well, the strange
Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, February 21, 2006
News bits: First E-85 ethanol fuel pump appears in Lenawee County, Two schools scheduled to close in Holland, Detroit Zoo fans roar.
Bush Offers Nothing for Auto Companies
The Detroit Free Press has a report on President Bush's visit to Michigan yesterday. A theme that seems to be running through the coverage is that the President and his administration do not understand what the automakers (and Michigan) are asking for. Gov. Granholm said that when she told Bush he should not lose sight of Michigan's auto industry while touting alternative energy technology, he responded: "I can't make your automakers profitable, but I can show them a better way." This is the message the President has been echoing apparently to remove any doubt that the Federal Government could provide a bailout). However, as Daniel Howes of the Detroit News so aptly put it:
Detroit doesn't need a full-scale government bailout -- and it hasn't asked for one, as you've acknowledged. But it would be helpful if the president and the White House were more engaged in the American-owned auto industry's effort to safeguard its future.
Chrysler Group spokesman Jason Vines says automakers are looking to level the playing field with foreign competitors who enjoy advantages from currency and the lack of costs for retirees. "We've shown we can compete, but when you're playing uphill, its that much more difficult."
Detroit Wonk's Ray Wertz is more blunt:
Are you basically saying that Michigan and the US automakers are on their own? Are you saying that these aren't your companies? Are you implying that these bastions of American ingenuity and know-how are no longer important to you?
The US may indeed make fundamental changes in the way we power our vehicles and economy as the President suggested in Milwaukee. What remains unclear (and unaddressed) is how we will work to address the monumental challenges faced by the auto industry and its workers. While the solution to those problems is unclear, blaming the victims and ignoring the problem is unlikely to help.
Michigan Casinos Spending Millions to Quash Rivals
The South Bend Tribune reports that Michigan's gambling industry has spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and political campaigns that have stopped new casinos from opening and restricted other forms of competition. Michigan's 20 casinos (17 run by American Indian tribes and 3 Detroit casinos) brought in an estimated $2 billion last year.
Read Michigan Tribe Bets on Casino from Casino City Times
Manistee Power Plant May Burn more Construction Waste
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that a co-generation energy plant on Manistee Lake may start burning more wood products after what company officials described as a successful test burn of construction debris trucked in from Chicago. The TES Filer City Station plant burned two 15-ton truckloads of construction and demolition wood. The plant currently burns about 750 tons of coal per day along with around 100 tons of wood byproducts from Packaging Corp. of America's nearby paper mill and about 20 tons of tire chips. The plant has a permit to burn a small amount of construction waste at their plant, but it has to be 95.5% clean wood. Some residents are concerned that the plant will be the one charged with monitoring the waste for other materials like painted or treated wood and insulation.
Also see Plant's plan to burn construction waste has residents crying foul in the Record-Eagle
Mortgage Fraud Jumps in Michigan
The Detroit News reports that mortgage fraud losses in Michigan jumped from nearly $9 million to $26 million over a two-year period in what has become one of the fastest-growing white-collar crimes in the nation. Michigan has been identified as one of the top 10 hot spots for mortgage and deed fraud by the FBI. The article identifies several scams and has some great resources.
Michigan Mortgage Fraud Resources
4 Lansing Elementary Schools to be Sold
The Lansing State Journal reports that the Lansing School District stands to gain more than $1 million from the sales of four former elementary schools by this summer, possibly easing a projected budget deficit. Neogen Corp, a biotechnology firm, is expected to give the local economy a boost by expanding to Allen Elementary School. The other 3 schools will become a preschool, a church and a homeless shelter.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Michigan Photographers by Michigan in Pictures
Michigan in Pictures writes: Our first profiled photographer is Matt Callow aka Matt Blackcustard aka the Guy Who Uses All the Weird Cameras aka He Whose Photos Were So Cool That I Had to Create This Feature to Ask Him Questions.
Michigan to Bush: "More Action, Less Words" by DetroitWonk
DetroitWonk writes: When President Bush comes into town today, hopefully an advisor will hand him a copy of today's Detroit News. And when President Bush looks down at the front page of today's Detroit News, and he sees Dan Howes' plaintive plea of "Help us, Mr. President..." maybe it will cause a twinge of guilt to twist in his stomach. If it doesn't, it really should.
Is Our Water Too Clean? by GLRC
GLRC writes: Diseases caused by contaminated water are common in the developing world, but they're also making a comeback in the United States where the water might be too clean.
Detroit's Housing Boom by girl in the D
girl in the D writes: Detroit has long fought the battle of a declining population, so when the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) recently announced that the Motor City came out on top for new residential developments in 2005, pro-Detroit backers are responding with cheers and high-fives.
Water Street Walk by ypsi~dixit
Y. writes: YPSIDIXIT and a sacrilegious friend took advantage of this glorious, bright sunlit blue afternoon to explore the Water Street property and environs. Early in our walk to this forlorn locale we found this pile of railroad spikes on a rock, mysteriously undisturbed.
Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, February 20, 2006
News bits: MSU defeated UM 90-71 in NCAA men's basketball, Wayne County's Ed McNamara passes away, Upside (and downside) of tax breaks for businesses.
Clean Water Act Cases First for Alito Court
The New York Times reports that more than half of the nation's streams and wetlands could be removed from the protections of the federal Clean Water Act if two legal challenges started more than a decade ago by two Michigan developers are supported by a majority of the newly remade Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case (the first before Samuel Alito) are scheduled for Tuesday and will pit developers and their industrial, agricultural and ideological allies against both the solicitor general and an armada of environmental lawyers. The central question is where federal authority ends along the network of rivers, streams, canals and ditches.
Michigan's $2 Billion Bet
Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry asks Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future and former director of the Michigan Department of Commerce, if betting $2 billion on alternative energy, the life sciences, advanced manufacturing and homeland security and defense is a good idea. Glazer suggest that what's most important is creating a culture that is welcoming and values learning & entrepreneurship.
Also read Jack's essay: Picking Winners
DeVos Fires Opening Shot in TV Campaign
Somehow we failed to note the official opening of the 2006 Michigan Polical Campaign TV Season last Friday with the release of the "New Direction" ad by Republican candidate Dick Devos. We can now look forward to hearing about how terrible/great things are and how great/terrible they may become if we make the right/wrong choice.
Exploring the Car Factories of Southeast Michigan
Mike Wendland of the Detroit Free Press has a great feature on the discussion forums on the Detroit Yes web site web site and how they've become a hub for those interested in the hundreds of places around Southeast Michigan where automobiles have been made over the past century. An excellent feature about one of Michigan's coolest web sites!
Weather Shortens UP 200, Controversy Abounds
The Mining Journal reports that Tasha Stielstra of McMillan narrowly won the U.P. 200 sled dog challenge Saturday afternoon in a race that is likely destined for controversy. Stielstra's team crossed the finish line in Grand Marais at 3:45:39 PM, just ahead of Anna Anderson of Ray, Minn., who arrived at 3:46:53 PM Michael Bestgen of St. Cloud, Minn. placed third, getting in at 3:56:19 PM.
However, mushers Keith Aili and Frank Teasley, were the race frontrunners leaving Wetmore Saturday morning but neither finished in top spots after being misdirected when they looked for, but didn't find, proper trail signs at a Y-intersection recently plowed by a county road crew. Additional controversy may linger for some mushers, with differing opinions available on whether the race should have been stopped at Grand Marais for weather-related reasons.
LCI Web Development
Check out our growing list of!
All Michigan, All the Time...
© 2006 Leelanau Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.