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Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Missed the cut: Michigan is warned on Bond Rating, The gift of Magic: Pistons clinch best record, TC Record-Eagle says campgrounds need water, campfire, picnic tables, tent sites ... but not WiFi.

Deserting Detroit?

Jack Lessenberry had a series of pieces looking at Harvard economist Edward Glaeser's recent comments in the New York Times Magazine, saying of Detroit that "There is no reason why it can't, and shouldn't, decline. Places decline and places grow. We shouldn't stand in the way of that." In the interview, Glaeser suggests that politicians should accept the reality that Detroit will shrink and that their job is to "Focus on the people, not on the place".

Lessenberry responds that had Detroit sprung up in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, or even in some part of the water-deprived American Southwest, one could perhaps agree but that in actuality, Detroit is blessed with water resources and a geography that makes sense as a city site.
Listen to Interview: Edward Glaeser from Michigan Radio
Read Men of the people in the Metro Times
Might as well also see Is once-scrappy Detroit heading for scrap heap of history? in the Toledo Blade (takes on The Onion's Detroit Sold for Scrap)
Read Detroit Can Learn a lot from London in Absolute Michigan (in case you missed it)

Top Dollar in Michigan

The Detroit News reports that although Michigan's economy is heading south, membership in the Michigan state government's six-figure salary club has soared 85% to 700 employees since the economic slide started eroding Michigan's budget in 2000. Both Michigan lawmakers and the governor rank #2 in the nation in pay. Civil Service officials say the $100,000-a-year group has grown because of wage inflation and employee step increases, and also, according to Mike Shore, spokesman for the MEDC, "Many of these jobs require people in highly competitive fields. In the last two years, we've lost three managers and three rising stars to higher-paying jobs elsewhere. These are talented people recognized in their field." Rose Bogaert, chairwoman of the Wayne County Taxpayers Association, a watchdog group counters "The state is showing no restraint and a lot of it has to do with these salaries and pensions. While people in public sector jobs are gaining, those losing jobs are in the private sector and they're the ones expected to pick up the bill."

The article has lots of statistics, quotes and details including the fact that the governor believes she is paid too much, has asked the State Officers Compensation Commission to reduce her salary 5%, and that the commission passed a resolution agreeing with that request and forwarded it to lawmakers who have taken no action to date.
Read State's $100K club grows in the Detroit News

And They're Off: $100 Million Campaign Possible?

In George Weeks' latest feature, he writes: "In their initial election-year jousting, it's the bully pulpit of Gov. Jennifer Granholm versus the deep pockets of Republican Dick DeVos." He quotes campaign finance watchdog Rich Robinson who says he wouldn't be surprised to see spending in the gubernatorial campaign top $100 million. The pattern thus far appears to be Granholm criss-crossing the state while unprecedented (and very successful) early spending by DeVos has topped $2 million. When Weeks asked Granholm about DeVos's spending, she replied "What can I say? It is an astounding figure." The column is always an insightful and entertaining read and this week's is no exception.
Read Campaigns off to quick start in the Escanaba Daily News

Thumb Wolverine a Female from Alaska

A wolverine, photo taken by Jeffrey C. Lewis

The Saginaw News reports that animal trackers say the wolverine that has been roaming Michigan's Thumb is a female. Jeffrey J. Ford and friends have followed the wolverine and filmed it ever since coyote hunters sighted it Feb. 24, 2004, about a mile east of Bad Axe. Analyzed hair samples indicate the animal has the "haplotype C genome," which is found in wolverines in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, southeast Alaska and British Columbia.
Read DNA samples show Michigan wolverine out of its league in the Saginaw News
Visit Wolverineguy.com for photos, video & more

Exploring Easter

The Detroit Free Press has an in-depth feature on the meaning of Easter to a variety of Christians in the metro area that's worth a read.
Read THE PERSISTENCE OF FAITH: Christians reach beyond Easter uproar to find hope in the the Detroit Free Press
Easter Seals in Michigan

# posted by farlane @ 10:37 AM 0 comments
Thursday, April 13, 2006

Whitefish on junk food by Earthwatch Radio

Earthwatch Radio writes: A common fish in the Great Lakes is struggling with an eating disorder.

Steve Pothoven says whitefish seem to be getting by but they are not getting fat. Pothoven is a biologist with the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and he worked on a major study of whitefish and their diets. The study focused on fish in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Pothoven says they normally eat small native crustaceans called diporeia. But he says diporeia have disappeared and now the whitefish are eating a lot of junk food.

Read or listen to Disordered Eating

# posted by Tami @ 2:10 PM 0 comments

Thursday, April 13, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Talking tough: Stabenow: Michigan should not compete down, Leyland wants Tigers to be "Sultans of Swagger, High gas prices affecting Michigan's billion dollar tourist industry.

Wings Win President's Trophy, Legace Wants the Big Mug

View this Red Wings photo by McPhloyd

re: Sports Snobbery
A couple people pointed out yesterday that we totally ignored Manny Legace's brilliant 29 save performance as the Red Wing's downed the Oilers 2-0 and clinched the President's Trophy Tuesday night. The President's Trophy is the award for the best overall record in the NHL and was the Wing's fifth in 11 seasons. Legace said "It's been a good year for our team, but the big silver mug, weighs about 38 pounds, that's the key one. That's the ultimate goal. Presidents' trophies are nice, but the ultimate goal is the big mug."

Read DETROIT 2, EDMONTON 0: The clincher in the Freep
Also see Wings 2, Oilers 0 from On the Wings
Presidents' Trophy from the National Hockey League

Michigan Explores Fuel Cell Technology

The Detroit Free Press looks at fuel cell technology, the Holy Grail for alternative energy research, in the latest in their "Alternative Power" series (should have linked it yesterday but there was just too much "new energy economy news"!!). Fuel cells, similar to batteries, use stored fuels and an oxidant to produce power. Most are powered by hydrogen, which can be generated within the fuel cell system by reforming hydrogen-rich fuels such as methanol, ethanol and hydrocarbon fuels. GM, Ford and Chrysler are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make hydrogen fuel cells commercially viable and cost competitive with the internal combustion engine. The article also looks at how fuel cell research is having an increasing impact on Michigan's economy.

Read ALTERNATIVE POWER: Fuel cell generation in the Freep

Ann Arbor, Lansing/East Lansing Top Knowledge Industry Locations

The LSJ reports that Expansion Management magazine has selected Ann Arbor (#3 overall) and Lansing-East Lansing metropolitan areas in their top 71 "Five-Star Knowledge Worker Metros," based on education levels, higher education facilities, and science and engineering activity. Expansion Management targets executives of companies actively looking to expand or relocate their facilities.

Read Area gets 'top-hub' rating in the Lansing State Journal
Also see Expansion Management Magazine Publishes its 4th Annual KNOWLEDGE WORKER QUOTIENT Ranking of 362 Metro Areas

Benzie's Big Willy Branch

Anne Stanton of the Northern Express has written a great feature that unlocks the disturbing tale of Willy Branch. John Daughtery, Branch's former attorney said "I always used to say there were four utilities in Benzie County: water, electric, heat, and Willy Branch. Willy supplied the migrant labor for this area. He housed them, fed them, he did it all." Some also say Branch was a sort of slave master in Benzie County in the 60s and 70s, and Anne has done an excellent job of weaving together a bit of forgotten history.

Read The Legend of Willy Branch in the Northern Express

Fund Receives over 500 Proposals

MITECHNEWS.COM reports that more than 500 eligible proposals are now competing for up to $100 million in start-up funding that will be awarded this summer by Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund. The Fund supports state commercialization, capital investment, and commercial lending efforts to help convert research efforts into products and services that can succeed in the marketplace. The initiative targets life sciences, alternative energy, homeland security/defense and advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials.

Read 505 Proposals Compete For Share of $100 Million 21st Century Jobs Fund from MITECHNEWS.COM

# posted by farlane @ 9:59 AM 0 comments

Wetland Banking Study by GLRC Environment Report

GLRC writes: In some parts of the country, developers who damage or destroy wetlands are mitigating that by buying credits for wetlands that have been created somewhere else. It's called "wetland banking" and it's similar to banking programs for air pollution. Wetland banking resulted from state and federal efforts to stop the loss of wetlands nationwide. The GLRC's Erin Toner reports.


# posted by Tami @ 9:49 AM 0 comments

more money than sense by ypsi~dixit

Y. writes: YOU KNOW THE ONES. A long rod leading off an adult bike, ending in a half-a-bike that a kid rides. Reason 14,587 why Ypsidixit's eyes are sore from rolling.

My folks would no sooner have bought such a ridiculous contraption than tickets to the moon. We were on our own--to skin a few knees, watch for traffic, and explore and develop independence.

Read Umbilical Cord Bikes

# posted by Tami @ 9:44 AM 0 comments

Pistons Are Family by Need4Sheed

Natalie writes: If you are a Pistons fan you must realize that this team, and especially this season is very special. On the verge of breaking the Pistons franchise winning record, clinching the best record in the NBA and getting ready for playoff dominance, sometimes we take this all for granted.

Read The Pistons, Not Just A Team They are Family

# posted by Tami @ 9:40 AM 0 comments

Wireless Nokia (Finland, that is) et al by PC Mike's E-Journal

Mike Wendland writes: I didn't know this. There really is a town in Finland called Nokia.

Read The town of Nokia
Also read Ten great Mac apps
Also read New Google calendar service

# posted by Tami @ 9:38 AM 0 comments

Tawas Point Lighthouse Photo by Michigan In Pictures

michpics writes: Tawas Point Lighthouse, photo by yerffej9.

Jeff writes:
Tawas Point Lighthouse, in operation since 1876, and now part of Tawas Point State Park, is a fascinating attraction for maritime buffs. Tawas Point is also a mecca for birdwatchers, especially in the migration seasons of spring and fall. Tawas Point also offers spectacular views of sunrises over Lake Huron and sunsets over Tawas Bay.

View the photo and read about the Tawas Point Lighthouse

# posted by Tami @ 9:37 AM 0 comments

Trout Season Opener Preparations by Find The River

Find The River writes: Preparations are underway for the opening of Pennsylvania's trout season this Saturday.

Stellitano has more than tripled his order of fathead minnows and shiners, and has been working since last week, counting and hand-packing tens of thousands of waxworms, mealworms, maggots, redworms and crawlers.

"It's the tradition," he said.

Can you feel the excitement building?

Read Laying in the Bait; Treble Hookers

Check out the link to the fishing heritage for a more in-depth look at the interesting (and sometimes odd) history of the Heddon Zara Spook and the Heddon Company.

# posted by Tami @ 9:35 AM 0 comments
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Three takes on Ben Wallace: Patrick Walters of NOISE says special players from special teams get special treatment while Michael Rosenberg says that the Pistons decided that ignoring the transgression would be best for the team's title hopes and Chris McCosky says Wallace knows his actions that night were wrong, but his motives were right. Two sides of one issue: Andrew Revkin says media is locked in polarized view of global warming. DeVos & Granholm Agree?? One United Michigan.

Detroit Can Learn a Lot from London

Endless Columns
Endless Columns
(from the Michigan Central Station)

Model D has a brilliant feature that looks to the diverse, vibrant, ancient city of London for lessons that can be learned about making Detroit (and other cities) great. The first lesson it takes a long time and constant effort to build a great city is followed by:
London's second lesson: a city does not get better if it destroys its great buildings. Keep and preserve great architecture. There are buildings from the second century in London, beautiful ancient works. They may not perfectly suit our modern needs, but they provide an enriching spiritual connection with the past. They are critical to the character and life of the city. They tell us about human history. It's because of this history that millions of people visit London each year...
We heartily urge you to go and read the rest of London's Calling from Model D.

Detroit Hip-Hop Icon Passes

Detroit rapper Proof, born Deshaun Holton, was shot and killed yesterday. Proof was the founder of Detroit-based hip-hop supergroup D12, a close friend of noted D12 member Eminem, tireless worker on the behalf of Detroit hip-hop. Assume an "explicit lyric advisory" on all links from this post...

Visit D12 World
Proof's label Iron Fist Records (links to MySpace, which then jumps to MTV - if you're quick, you can stop the load and listen to tracks at MySpace)
Read A Day of Mourning from Clever Titles are so Last Summer (3 more tracks)
Coverage from DetroitHipHop.com
Read DESHAUN HOLTON, AKA PROOF 1973-2006: Slaying silences driving force of Detroit hip-hop in the Freep

Project Could Give Michigan the Lead in Bio-Economy

The Lansing State Journal reports that MSU prof Kris Berglund's research has helped make small-scale distilling a viable industry in Michigan, laid the foundation for the state's only gourmet mushroom production facility and could now be the key to a new biotechnology park in Wayne County that would produce ethanol and a "green" version of a molecule called succinic acid, which is used in chemicals ranging from runway de-icers to pharmaceuticals. The biotechnology park is a joint effort between Wayne County, Michigan State University and Diversified Natural Products, a Scottsville company that has licensed many of Berglund's patents.

While the project is still in the development stages, the promise of a future when the basic building blocks for fuels, synthetic materials, industrial chemicals and a host of other products can be taken from plants is compelling. If the bio-tech park becomes a reality, Berglund says it "will put the state ahead in this overall bio-economy race."
Read State leaders pin big hopes on MSU's biotechnology experts in the LSJ

DeVos Calls for Tax Cut in Addition to Replacing SBT

The AP reports Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos says that a business tax cut should be part of any plan to replace the Single Business Tax in Michigan. DeVos also said he might not come up with specific proposals before the November election for replacing the nearly $2 billion a year revenue that would be lost by a repeal. "I'm not going to get into the middle of a sort of pick-a-number time because this isn't about quick numbers," DeVos added that it "...needs to be meaningful and it needs to be significant."

Granholm campaign spokesman Chris De Witt countered "This man has no plan, he wants to cut taxes that he will personally benefit by and he will not make any suggestion on how to replace over $2 billion in the state budget. He just will say, 'Elect me.'"
Read DeVos says business tax overhaul should include tax cut in the Detroit News

Major Grant to WSU for Business Tech Research

The Great Lakes IT Report says that the National Science Foundation has awarded a $426,000 grant to Wayne State University for a three-year "Digital Diffusion Dashboard Project." Allen W. Batteau, director of Wayne State's Institute for Information Technology and Culture said "Digital Diffusion will create a dashboard to manage and accelerate the diffusion of innovations within a global enterprise -- by harnessing information that already flows through a company's IT infrastructure." The project is a partnership of communication, engineering and business anthropology scientists working with auto industry information technology professionals.
Wayne State University Institute for Information Technology and Culture

# posted by farlane @ 10:13 AM 0 comments

Marjorie's Favorite Photo by Michigan in Pictures

michpics writes: Goats, photo by I am Jacques Strappe.

This photo, taken earlier this year, is of the two goats at Cobblestone Farm in Ann Arbor. Cobblestone Farm is a historical landmark in Michigan, conveniently located quite close to my house.

Read Michigan Photographers: Marjorie's Favorite, the last installment in this three part (plus prequel) interview in the Michigan Photographers Series.

Also read Prequel: Michigan Theatre Detail
Also read Michigan Photographers: Michpics Talks with Marjorie O'Brien (Part I)
Also read Michigan Photographers: Marjorie O'Brien Answers Reader Questions (Part II)

# posted by Tami @ 9:57 AM 0 comments

Girlhood in Michigan (Part IV) by Your Brother Kings

Your Brother Kings writes: "Most of the time later I lived with my married sister in Brooklyn [Michigan] and went to school there. The two-story schoolhouse was way down past the millpond and on the very end of the street where a beautiful old tree stood, indicating that 'thus far and no farther' did that street go. A few years ago that tree became one hundred years old, and do you know what the people of Brooklyn did? They cut down that stately old landmark, and extended the street over that hallowed ground. Why couldn't they have split the street and gone each side of the tree? . . .

Read A Girlhood in Michigan, continued (Part IV)

Also read A Girlhood in Michigan
Also read A Girlhood in Michigan, continued (Part II)
Also read A Girlhood in Michigan, continued (Part III)

# posted by Tami @ 9:42 AM 0 comments

More protections for Great Lakes by GLRC Environment Report

GLRC writes: Some members of Congress are trying again to get more money and protections for the Great Lakes. The GLRC's Chuck Quirmbach reports:

The sponsors of the bill are calling it the Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act. It aims to pay for recommendations from a coalition put together by the White House two years ago. The measure would target problems like invasive species, contaminated sediment and sewage dumping.

Read or listen to New Great Lakes Bill Introduced

# posted by Tami @ 9:40 AM 0 comments

Detroit's Special Opening Day by Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb?

Greg Eno writes: Observations of another Opening Day in Detroit...

Walking to the ballpark yesterday after entertaining guests at the Motor City Sports (MCS) Magazine tailgate party, I asked my boss -- publisher Muneesh Jain -- if he had ever been to Opening Day in Detroit. He said no -- but that he'd been to OD in other cities.

"Well then," I said, "I guess that means that you've never truly been to Opening Day."

Read Opening Day In Detroit Something Special
Also read Happy Birthday To Me! (Well, Almost) by Greg Eno at Out of Bounds
Congratulations, Greg!

# posted by Tami @ 9:39 AM 0 comments

Run Belle Isle this spring by Girl in the D

Girl in the D writes: Spring has sprung, and we all know what that means - time to get outdoors and get active.

What better way to do both things - and raise money for a worthy cause - than by partaking in Detroit Synergy's upcoming fun run?

Read Spring, Nature go together

# posted by Tami @ 9:39 AM 0 comments

Prisoners may foot their own bill by Red Tape Blog

Red Tape Blog writes: Under a new law, proposed by State Sen. Laura M. Toy, R-Livonia, and signed April 5 by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a city, village, or township in a county with a population of 1 million or more can seek up to $60 a day or the actual cost of an inmate's incarceration, whichever is less.

Read Prisoners May Have to Pay for Incarceration, Medical Care Costs, While Under Custody in Michigan

# posted by Tami @ 9:38 AM 0 comments
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Girlhood in Michigan by Your Brother Kings

Your Brother Kings writes: "The building of the first log house with its wide, stick chimney; the fireplace filled with huge logs; the bedstead made of tamarack poles, with only one post; are things to remember. Straw ticks were filled with marsh hay. The first table was made of whitewood board. Its legs were like those of a sawhorse. For a cupboard holes were bored in the logs of the house and pins put in to lay the shelves on. Until the household goods came from Detroit, bread was baked in a dish kettle with the spider turned over it and coals of fire on top."

Read A Girlhood in Michigan
Also read A Girlhood in Michigan (Part II)
And read A Girlhood in Michigan (Part III)

# posted by Tami @ 10:15 AM 0 comments

Podcast #20 by Inside Muskegon

CONGRATULATIONS on your 20th podcast, Inside Muskegon!

Listen to Bill Bodell, Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts

# posted by Tami @ 10:03 AM 0 comments

Marjorie O'Brien Profile (Day 2) by Michigan In Pictures

michpics writes: Sunrise over Ives Lake, photo by I am Jacques Strappe

Welcome to Day 2 of our profile of Michigan photographer Marjorie O'Brien.

Read Michigan Photographers: Marjorie O'Brien Answers Reader Questions

# posted by Tami @ 10:02 AM 0 comments

Cleaner Diesel by GLRC

GLRC Environment Report writes: When you think of diesel engines, you might think of big, noisy, stinky trucks. But that's changing. And a domestic automaker has plans to bring a cleaner, higher performing diesel engine to passenger cars. The company insists: it's not your father's diesel. The GLRC's Julie Halpert has the story

Be sure to watch the happy little Honda Diesel Commercial!

# posted by Tami @ 10:01 AM 0 comments

The Little Things (photos) by dETROITfUNK

Take a tour of Detroit and see things that few take time to notice. Thanks dfUNK!

Read The Little Things and check out all the wonderful pics!

# posted by Tami @ 10:00 AM 0 comments

SSM Wind Project by Dave's Blog

Dave writes: By this time next year, Ontario's first wind tower manufacturing plant should be hard at work on the shores of Lake Superior, thanks to a joint venture between Algoma Steel Inc. and Schaaf Industries Corp., a German manufacturer of wind towers. The venture, known as SIAG Great Lakes LP, will employ 140 people from the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., area and consume 25,000 tonnes of steel plate per year.

Read another Great Lakes wind project

# posted by Tami @ 9:59 AM 0 comments
Monday, April 10, 2006

Photographer Marjorie O'Brien by Michigan in Pictures

Michpics writes: Grungy, photo by I am Jacques Strappe.

Today, tomorrow and Wednesday Michigan In Pictures will talking with (and looking at the work of) Marjorie O'Brien of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Read Michigan Photographers: Michpics Talks with Marjorie O'Brien

# posted by Tami @ 9:31 AM 0 comments

MGM bets big on Detroit by DetroitWonk

DetroitWonk writes: [Friday, April 7] Those are some pretty sweet artist's renderings of the new MGM Grand Casino and Greektown Casino in the Freep today.

Read Now That's One Grand MGM! as well as a link to the Detroit Free Press article

# posted by Tami @ 9:30 AM 0 comments

Windows on a Mac by PC Mike's E-Journal

Mike Wendland writes: It took a couple of hours (and $199 for a complete copy of Windows XP Home Edition with SP2) but I used Boot Camp to install - gasp - Windows on my new MacBook Pro.

Read Installing Windows on a Mac - My video and watch the video (if you can handle the truth!)

# posted by Tami @ 9:30 AM 0 comments

Toad road safety patrols by ypsi~dixit

Y. writes: GOT A BUCKET? And airfare to England? Why, then you can help frisky frogs and their blushing brides journey safely to a romantic hideaway. Or girlfriends. Fiancees. Whatever. I'm not here to judge.

Read Big Bucket O' Love

# posted by Tami @ 9:29 AM 0 comments

Featured Artist: Weezer [podcast] on Clever Titles Are So Last Summer

bethanne writes: Let me just say that Weezer has been one of those bands that I listened to obsessively throughout my junior high days and the period of time after my first relationship fell to pieces.

Read a late theme post? perhaps and listed to Island In The Sun by Weezer

# posted by Tami @ 9:28 AM 0 comments
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