Friday, March 03, 2006
BREAKING NEWS: Michigan Radio's director resigns
Maryann George/Detroit Free Press reports
U-M officials have launched an internal review of Michigan Public Media, the umbrella organization for Michigan Radio, operating as WUOM, 91.7 FM; Michigan Television, the Flint-based public television channel broadcasting as WFUM, and the Michigan Channel, which carries U-M programming on the Comcast cable system, said U-M spokeswoman Julie Peterson.
On Michigan Radio's web site is a letter from Radio Manager Jan Hoban that says:
You may have heard news reports about Michigan Radio. The University has undertaken a review of the radio station, and we cannot comment further until that review is complete.Huh. Seemed like things were going fairly well for the Michigan Public Media -- no doubt we'll be hearing more as things unfold.
Links to more information:
Complete story in the Freep
Michigan Radio web site
Technorati tags: michigan, michiganradio, radio, piblicradio, publictelevision
Sun King from Detroitblog
Throughout Detroit there are hundreds of small buildings constructed during the city's heyday in the first decades of the last century, when money was no object and extravagant ornamentation was the architectural impulse, seen in gorgeous skyscrapers like the Guardian Building but also spilling over into smaller buildings that weren't shy about being pointlessly decorative.
Check detroitblog for more words and pictures!
Technorati tags: detroit, michigan, sunking, architecture
A Dam Site Better
The Leland Report writes:
Yesterday's headline in the Leelanau Enterprise, "Tentative Fishtown sale reached". Laura Quackenbush, a board member of our Fishtown Preservation Society is featured today in the Record Eagle. The power of the press gets the word out, but only the power of the your wallet gets the job done. It's not only a Leland project, it's a Leelanau project.
Visit their site for a photo of the dam ... and about 800 others.
Technorati tags: leland, fishtown, leelanau, dam, photo
Granholm steals jobs money for campaign?
Politics [Michigan] writes:
This story is still developing, it's gotten some ink, which we'll recap here:
Read the Free Press article and/or visit the DP & Company web site.
The article says Duffey Petrosky & Co. would run a marketing campaign that will begin in March and continue through October 2007 at a cost of more than $1 million a month, which -- excluding the Michigan Lottery -- is one of the largest-ever state advertising contracts ... Money for the contract comes from the 21st Century Jobs plan approved in December by Granholm and the Legislature. The ad campaign is intended to lure business and investors to Michigan by, among other things, offering grants for high-tech enterprise.
Technorati tags: michigan, politics, granholm
Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, March 3, 2006
Our neighbors are exploring alternative energy too: Wisconsin Senate passes bill requiring 10% of state utilities' energy production to come from renewable sources by 2015, EPA will propose a rule that would raise the emissions threshold for corn-milling plants that produce ethanol fuel, Minnesota has 17 ethanol plants in operation or under construction, Ohio is trying to catch up with other states to encourage electricity production from wind power, and to promote the production and availability of biofuels.
Ford Educational Buyout Has TakersThe Detroit Free Press business writer Jason Roberson reports that Ford has offered 5,000 hourly workers up to $15,000 a year in college tuition in exchange for leaving the company. The buyout is offered through Automotive Components Holdings LLC, a temporary collection of unprofitable plants that includes Chesterfield Township, Milan, Monroe, Saline, Utica and Ypsilanti. In addition to tuition, the buyout contains provisions for benefits, living expenses and a stipend equal to one-half of their annual pay. 1,500 already have accepted buyouts. Commentary: the entry for "Doing Right by Your Employees" in the Encyclopedia of Honorable Business Practices probably would look a lot like this.
Read Workers weigh college tuition as Ford buyout in the Freep
Home Values Plateau, Assessments Don'tToday's Detroit News reports that although home values remained pretty much flat, residential assessments (which go a long way toward determining property tax bills) rose in 115 of 137 communities in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Livingston counties in 2005.
Read Home taxes up, but values flat in the Detroit News
Bill Would Address Michigan's Nursing ShortageMichigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry has an excellent interview with Barbara Redman, a nurse and the dean of nursing at Wayne State University regarding a bill that would allow nurses who are licensed in other states to practice in Michigan with out getting a separate license. The bill is designed to address a nursing shortage in Michigan, and Dean Redman comments that the practice is widespread in the US. She also observes that if Michigan became a "compact state", nurses could migrate out of Michigan.
Michigan has a shortage of roughly 2,500 nurses now. However, if present trends continue, we'll be short 7,000 nurses in four years and 18,000 nurses in 2015. Lessenberry quips: "Suddenly, I had a glimpse of the future, and it involved my generation being cared for by a phalanx of rough-handed, laid-off former auto workers."
Read/Listen to Interview: Barbara Redman from Michgan Radio
Also Read Essay: Calling All Nurses by Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Near Top in New Project RankingsMITECHNEWS.COM reports that while Michigan ranks near the bottom of all states in unemployment rates, it remains near the top of Site Selection magazine's Governor's Cup rankings, behind only Texas, Ohio and Illinois. The rankings track new facilities and expansions worth at least $1 million with 50 or more new jobs. 505 such projects were counted in Michigan last year.
Since the magazine was founded in 1997, Michigan has been among the top-ranked states and won several Governor's Cups. Over that period, it is the only state that had more than 11,000 projects on the list (the 11,387 projects easily topped the 7,987 in second-place California) and Detroit was the 4th best metro area with 208 projects.
Read Michigan Ranks No. 4 In Nation For New Facilities, Expansions from MITECHNEWS.COM
Site Selection Magazine
Children's Book Writer Talks with StudentsGrand Rapids Press has a feature on Jan & Gary Bower, illustrator/author team of the new book "I'm a Michigan Kid: An Artistic Tour of the Great Lakes State." The book melds portraits of children alongside their favorite Michigan places including Frederik Meijer Gardens, Holland's Windmill Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinac Island, Soo Locks and Greenfield Village.
Read Students learn power of imagination in the Grand Rapids Press
Bower Gallery (includes artwork & book information)
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Rasheed Responds To Technical Fouls by Need4Sheed
Natalie writes: After reading this article in USA today about referee abuse, Rasheed responds in this article,
Rasheed cries foul on referees, by Chris McCosky in the Detroit News.
No it bloody well isn't... by The Adventures of a Brit Abroad
Matt Blackcustard writes: Woke up to freezing rain, on top of hail.
I don't think I can officially count it as My First Ice Storm*, especially as I have nothing that requires me to leave the house, as much as I'd like to. The river looks super-foggy and inviting from where I'm sitting, and I know it'd be the perfect morning to go and take some photos at the secret riverside park out in the township that only me and four other people know about (all of whom work for the Parks and Recreation department).
The Devil is in the Details by dETROITfUNK
dETROITfUNK writes: "The Devil is in the details" -Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Song Satarizes Trash Dumping by GLRC Environmental Report
GLRC writes: If you think your neighbor across the border sends too much garbage to your local landfill, you now have a songwriter on your side.
Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, March 2, 2006
Can we get a witness??!! We'd love it if you'd post a comment on any of our stories on the Absolute Michigan Blog! We also post a lot of links to items in other blogs there through the day!
Biofuel Buzz Building in Michigan
Michigan papers and web sites are absolutely awash in plans from all corners of the state to capitalize on interest in ethanol and biofuels. Some highlights:
Talk of Massive Leelanau Wind Farm
The Leelanau Enterprise reports that a national wind energy energy developer hopes to build 50 to 60 massive windmills on about 8,000 acres of farmland in Centerville Township and sell green electrical power to utilities in the region. Each wind turbine is nearly 400 feet tall and takes up about three-eights of an acre. Noble Environmental Power is also developing Michigan's Thumb. Managing Director Peter Mastic said "Our goal is not to change the underlying use of the land. We want to preserve farmland. However, farmers will also be able to farm wind over the top of their land, and earn money for it."
Centerville Township farmer Jerry Kelenske said "My guess is that we'll hear from some part-time residents or tourists concerned about changing the landscape or the view, but for farmers, it's a good deal.
Noble Environmental Power web site
City Turns Detroit Zoo over to Detroit Zoological Society
The Detroit News reports that yesterday the Detroit City Council approved a deal to hand over management of the 75-year-old facility (and its $20 million a year average expenses) to the Detroit Zoological Society. Zoo Director Ron Kagan said the Zoological Society will work with the state Legislature to secure a $4 million state grant to operate the zoo this year.
Also see 'Hard work ahead' for zoo in the Detroit Free Press
Midland Shipper Working Towards Great Lakes Port Association
Ourmidland.com reports that Bill Webber of Sargent Docks & Terminal Co. says that despite a report from the Army Corps of Engineers that Great Lakes shipping is dying, the Saginaw River needs to be sustained as an economic resource. About 4 million tons of freight are shipped on the river each year (106,000 truckloads) and Webber is working to form a Great Lakes Port Association to bring attention to the waterways and their problems.
Trash Ban Passes Legislature, Requires US Congress Action
The Globe and Mail reports that Michigan legislators approved a bill yesterday by large margins that would ban imports of Canadian garbage. The bill requires that Congress pass legislation currently before it that would give the state the power to act.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Pistons sign guard Delk to help fill Arroyo void
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons signed free-agent guard Tony Delk on Wednesday in an effort to replace Carlos Arroyo, who recently was traded to the Orlando Magic.
Grand Rapids Chicks Baseball Team Photo by Michigan in Pictures
Michigan in Pictures writes: Who Said Girls Can't Play Baseball? March is Women's History Month and while the idea that the legacy of accomplishment of 50% of our population can be handled with a single month seems a bit of a stretch, it's a good excuse to check out some great historical photos.
Gum, Art and Twelve year olds by Detroit Metroblogger MGal
MGal writes: According to WDET, the twelve year old boy who placed gum on a painting at the DIA had bragged on the way to the museum that he was going to put gum on something.
A museum security guard quickly noticed the gum and a conservator was able to remove it, but right now the paint (The Bay by Helen Frankenthaler) has a visible stain. Conservators are working to find a method for removing the stain.
COLLEGE RIVALS FACE OFF OVER RECYCLABLES by GLRC Environment Report
GLRC writes: More than 90 colleges across the country are locked in a competition. Only this competition isn't played with a ball it's played with trash.
Would You Buy This Non-Hybrid Fuel Efficient Vehicle? by Things I've Noticed
Things I've Noticed writes: The Autoblog showed this new vehicle a couple of days ago. It's the Loremo, which stands for LOw REsistance MObile, and the company is offering two versions, one of which gets 150 mpg. Now, it looks a bit different, as you can see, but it's cool in a funky kind of way. It definitely looks better than a Scion bB, that miniaturized Chevy Astro at least.
Essay: Flying Right - 2/27/06 by Jack Lessesnberry's Essays and Interviews
Jack Lessenberry writes: Thirty years ago, I first flew Aeroflot, the Soviet state airline. The cabins were fairly primitive, and reeked with a strange sickly-sweet disinfectant I have never smelled anywhere else.
But the fares were cheap -- there were peasants on some flights carrying produce, and even live chickens. The pilots believed in military-style takeoffs and landings; straight up and straight down.
Apple new product events not big news by PC Mike's E-Journal
Mike Wendland writes: What a yawner.
After teasing the press about some "fun new products" to be announced today and fueling a gazillion bucks worth of media speculation about what they could be, Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivered a dud.
The pre-briefing consensus of the always-rabid Mac media crowd had it that Jobs would unveil an entirely new iPod that had a widescreen that played full length movies that could be rented or downloaded from a new movie site.
Others were sure Jobs would announce a hefty increase of TV programs available from its iTunes Music Store.
Still others saw an iPod that would work like an Internet telephone.
Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Opinions: Thomas Bray: Michigan should focus on jobs, not biotech, TC Record-Eagle: Supreme Court endorses ancient premise: the Great Lakes belong to the people, Mike Reno: Will retooling curriculum save Michigan?
Details on Bid to Save Wixom Plant
The Detroit News reports that Ford Motor Co. left at least $115 million in state tax credits and other incentives on the table when it decided to shutter its Wixom Assembly Plant last month, according to documents provided by the governor's office. Economist Patrick Anderson stated: "The fact that an offer of this magnitude wasn't enough to keep one Ford factory here underlines how bad Michigan's business climate is and how difficult times are for our domestic automakers." Critics of the state's economic policies say offers like this point to more fundamental problems affecting Michigan's economy.
MSU Study Finds Michigan Schools Remain Racially Segregated
The Washington Times has a story by Andrea Billups reporting a study by the MSU Education Policy Center found that the number of Michigan schools considered racially segregated increased to 431. The results were very similar to a Harvard University Civil Rights Project report in 1993 that named Michigan schools the most segregated in the nation. Nearly 75% of black students who attend charter schools in Michigan attend schools that the study classified as segregated. The state's 216 charter schools remain popular with parents, with more than 82,000 students enrolled and an estimated 10,000 on waiting lists, particularly in urban areas such as Flint and Detroit.
Mackinac Center Offers Plan to Eliminate the Single Business Tax
Jack P. McHugh of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy writes that there is a broad consensus that Michigan's Single Business Tax (SBT) is too complex and harms our economy. He argues that the $1.855 billion generated by the SBT can be replaced by injecting competition into government operations, providing government employee fringe benefits comparable to private sector plans or eliminating non-core functions. There's probably something on the list to upset just about everyone, but the article is definitely worth considering.
Marquette & Harbor Springs Boys, Traverse City & Pontiac Notre Dame Prep Girls are Michigan Ski Champions
The Mining Journal reports that the Marquette Redmen overcame an ineligible skier and some early mishaps in giant slalom to win the boys' Class A state alpine ski championship on Monday at Boyne Highlands. Traverse City West was within 12 points of the Redmen after the morning GS, but they couldn't close the gap in the slalom and finished second, 61-89. The Titans got the better of Marquette in the girls' race. West finished with 46 points to win the first state championship in school history. Clarkston was second (85) and the Redettes third (147). In Class BCD Girls, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep narrowly edged Iron Mountain with Harbor Springs finishing 3rd. The BCD boys title was taken by Harbor Springs, followed by Benzie Central & Petoskey.
Read TC West girls claim first-ever championship, Titans settle for second in Class A boys ski meet & Harbor Springs boys roll to B-C-D crown in the Traverse City Record-Eagle
MHSAA Boys Skiing Results
MHSAA Girls Skiing Results
West Michigan Conservancy Takes Control of Lakeshore Jewel
The Grand Rapids Press has a feature by John Tunison on the new William Erby Smith Preserve (also known as Wau-Ke-Na, a title Smith created that means "forest by the water"). The Land Conservancy of West Michigan recently took control of the preserve, which they call an environmental jewel along the lakeshore. The land is divided into two tracts of 128 acres and 237 acres separated by a mile. The southern tract features the prairies, wetlands, a stream, woods of yellow birch, hemlock and red oak, while the northern tract offers old-growth forest with more duneland characteristics and 1300 feet of beach frontage. The conservancy anticipates the lands will be open to walkers, hikers, bird watchers and nature-lovers, but with no plans for beach access.
Land Conservancy of West Michigan web site
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Granholm Interview on Diane Rhem
coit avenue posted Gov Jen on the Diane Rhem Show:
Governor Jennifer Granholm did a great interview on the Diane Rhem Show today. So positive, so upbeat, so excited about strategies for moving Michigan forward out of these difficult times, where there've been 300,000 jobs lost since 2001 and unemployment is at 6.7% (national average about 5%).
Granholm's observations about health care as a competitiveness issue, observing that a major reason for increases in the number of cars built in Ontario is the national health insurance (saying that $1500 of every new car's cost is health care).
This is a very interesting interview, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum. Give a listen to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm on the Diane Rehm Show.
Technorati tags: granholm, michigan, dianerhem
New MSU.edu Launched
Confessions of an Undercover Geek wrote yesterday morning:
This morning the new Michigan State University home page (MSU.edu) launched. It is something we have been working on for a while. I am very proud of the work that we have done.
Two Observations on the Ugliness of Michigan Women
ypsi~dixit writes of Two observations on the general ugliness of Michigan women, from Lansing B. Swan: "Gracious sakes. just maybe our hardy pioneer foremothers were a bit too occupied with killing chickens for dinner, hauling wood, sweeping the cabin, rearing children, and pleasin' their menfolk to take a moment to powder their noses to Mr. Swan's finicky specifications."
Dick DeVos Planning Ahead with Web Addresses
DetroitWonk writes: "So Dick Devos, the annointed nominee for the Republican Party for Governor here in Michigan has gotten maybe a tad bit presumptuous with his purchasing of web domains."
He points to Michigan Liberal who uncovered the registrations of domains including governordevos.com, devosforsenate.com and devosforpresident.com.
No response (at least as yet) from the Devos campaign.
Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Musical Michigan Tuesday: Inside Muskegon podcast interviews Scott Speck, Music Director, West Shore Symphony Orchestra, CONCLUSION of Mozart's ASCANIO IN ALBA and Bastien und Bastienne from What's Opera Doc?, Anna and Jonathan Wege's AMAZING "Symphonic House" on Cathead Bay near Northport (related article)
Coaster Brook Trout is Potential Roadblock to MineSeveral articles have emerged over the last few days relating to the coaster brook trout and the proposed Kennecott Eagle mine north of Marquette because the Sierra Club and the Huron Mountain Club have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add the coaster to the federal endangered list. The private Huron Mountain Club owns the land on both banks of the stretch of the river accessible to coasters.
The Mining Journal reports that the mine is designed to extract an ore body 1,000 feet directly below the headwaters of the Salmon Trout River. Eagle Project Manager Jon Cherry, the top of the ore body is located 200 feet below the surface soil, which holds a stretch of the Salmon Trout headwaters. Cherry contends that separating the Salmon Trout and the ore body is a layer of 70 feet of impermeable clay, glacial till and surface soil above a 130-foot cap of bedrock. "I'm confident that this project will not have any impacts to the coaster brook trout whether they're listed or not," Cherry said.
Back to the Drawing Board for School Criminal ListDavid Eggert of the Associated Press has a report on the recent (wildly unsuccessful) rollout of a statewide list of school workers with criminal histories. The Department of Education and State Police to check all school employees against a list of people with criminal convictions twice a year until 2008.
Read State's inaccurate list of school criminals draws criticism in the Traverse City Record-Eagle
Without GM, Southeast Michigan Companies Post ProfitBrent Snavely of Crain's Detroit Business reports that as long as you exclude the monstrous losses of General Motors, Southeast Michigan's publicly traded companies collectively made a profit during the fourth quarter of 2005. Total fourth-quarter net income for 46 publicly traded companies based in Southeast Michigan was $3.67 billion, up from $1.12 billion for the same period in 2004.
Read Minus GM, earnings up for local firms from Crain's Detroit Business
Annual Hamtramck Blowout Held First Week of MarchModel D has a feature by Walter Wasacz about the Hamtramck Blowout, an annual music festival that takes place in Hamtramck the first week of March. The four-day event kicks off Wednesday at Detroit's Majestic Theatre Center on Woodward in Midtown and there are 200 acts scheduled at venues all over the neighborhood.
Read Hamtramck Rocks Out from Model D (Be sure to check out their Guide to Hamtramck)
Schedule, band links & more info from the Detroit Metro Times
Monday, February 27, 2006
An Ode to Hizzoner by River Rant
River Rant writes: Man, we wish former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young could have been here last week. All this silliness involving the Detroit Zoo, which took place as the current mayor was on a nine-day junket to Africa for the same official reason he went to the Bahamas and Vegas ("to meet officials and tour facilities"), would have gone down much differently.
New digital camera and camcorder trends by PC Mike's E-Journal
Mike Wendland writes: The weekend edition of the PC Mike Podcast is now available. This one previews the big Photo Marketing Association International trade show, opening Sunday in in Orlando, FL.
They Don't Call It The "D" For Nothing - Detroit Defensive Domination by Need4Sheed
Need4Sheed writes: The Pistons Defense will make you BLEED!
Pistons beat the Cavs 90-78 with defense, defense and a little more defense, holding the Cavs to 30 points below their average.
Radio Flyer by neadfiles
neadfiles writes: Radio Flyer. The hallmark of childhood memories. Since 1917 Radio Flyer has been manufacturing mobility for thousands of little people. If you haven't been to their website, you should check it out. You might find a memory or two :)
Women's History Month (March 2006) Rapidly Approaching by Red Tape Blog
Red Tape Blog writes: In 1981, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women's History Week. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women's History Month, and the U.S. president has issued a proclamation.
Into the Maw by Find The River
Find The River writes: The novelist and sometime fishing writer W.D. Wetherell said that the difference between hunting and fishing is that hunters seek their prey while fishermen try to become prey; they do their best to make their lures look attractive and vulnerable so that fish will attack them.
Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, February 27, 2006
Views from All Over: A British travel writer profiles the Alpine Valley ski resort, Marianne Williamson: We need publicly financed campaigns, Making English 'official' would only hurt Michigan, Local TV should be embarrassed.
Time for Michiganians to Take Charge
The Saginaw News says that with the Michigan economy languishing, it's no time to think small. They report that several organizations of business, community and educational leaders will weigh in over the next few months with their own ideas of what Michigan needs to do to pull itself out of its economic funk. The article looks at The Center for Michigan, a "think-and-do tank" founded by former newspaper publisher Phil Power and also at contentions by Lou Glazer of Michigan Future that instead of funding colleges and universities, Michigan should hand out the money in the form of vouchers to students, whether or not they're from Michigan.
Michigan Foreclosure Rate Soars
The Detroit News reports that the number of homes uder foreclosure in Michigan doubled from 2004 to 2006 to a rate that is 2 1/2 times the national average. According to foreclosure.com, Michigan had 8,240 homes in active foreclosure on Monday, 8.6% of that nationwide total of 96,019. Our population is only 3.4% of the national average.
Michigan Filmmaker Scores with MySpace Movie
mLive has a feature on "MySpace: The Movie", an online spoof of the MySpace web site by Washington, Michigan native David Lehre. With over 3.5 million views, Lehre's movie is the all-time top viewed movie on the YouTube service. (MySpace, YouTube ... anyone see a pattern there?) The article reports Lehre was offered a development deal days ago with MTVU, MTV's on-air, online and on-campus network. The deal (which has not been finalized) would have Lehre producing content and appearing as on-air talent for MTVU and its broadband service, Uber.
Please NOTE: MySpace can be totally inappropriate for children and others, so if you feel you might get offended, please don't click the first two links below!
Michigan Votes ... From Beyond the Grave
The Sunday Detroit News reported that their review of voter and registration files, criminal and death records shows that Detroit's election records are so plagued with mistakes and inconsistencies -- including voter registry rolls packed with as many as 20,000 dead people and roughly 100,000 wrong addresses -- that the overall integrity of Detroit elections is in question. Across Michigan, 132 people were listed as having voted in November's local elections although they had recently died. Holland, with just 30,000 people had 11 deceased voters (a higher percentage than Detroit).
Pumping Pasties: NMU Students Work with UP Entrepreneur
The Mining Journal reports that a Munising entrepreneur and some Northern Michigan University business students are working to Wheat Carlson, founder of Wheat's Treats has developed a trio of pasty products: Toivo and Eino's Finnish Really Secret Pasty Sauce, a pasty-shaped pillow and the Fudgie Pastie (a fudge-filled chocolate-covered candy bar shaped like a pasty).
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