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Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Going up: GM shares up 10% despite $300 million loss. Going ... where? Ford reports $1.2 billion first quarter loss.

Earth Day Around Michigan

view Another Blossom by KariMelissa

Earth Day ranges from yesterday to Saturday around the state. Here's a few articles to wander through before you head outside...

Michigan's New Curriculum a (rare) Bipartisan Success Story

The Detroit News writes:
During an extraordinary bipartisan love-in Thursday, Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed legislation giving Michigan one of the toughest sets of high school graduation requirements in the nation...

Those involved said the effort was successful because Democrat Granholm and Republican legislative leaders were able to tie the stronger education standards to the urgency of improving Michigan's struggling economy.

Read High school in Mich. just got tougher in the Detroit News

Read Governor Signs Bills Establishing Rigorous High School Curriculum from Michigan.gov

Focus on Hydrogen Fuel Cells

The Ann Arbor News has an in-depth feature that uses the hydrogen-fueled Ford Focus that has been loaned to the city of Ann Arbor as the springboard to discuss the very real obstacles faced by hydrogen fuel cell technology in Michigan.
Read There's something in the water in the Ann Arbor News

Read Earth Day Success Story - One Billion Dollars, 1.2 Million Miles and 60,000 Gallons of Fuel from the PR Newswire

Chef Touts Michigan Cuisine

The City Pulse has an excellent feature on Okemos chef and TV host Eric Villegas and the Michigan cuisine he is creating and promoting. Villegas, who also hosts the PBS show "Fork in the Road" says: "We have everything in Michigan - shrimp, ostriches, cranberries. This is the most diverse state in the nation. When you go to New York or Chicago, they're using Michigan products - they just don't tell you."
Read Michigan-loving chef has diners eating out of the mitten in the City Pulse

Fork in the Road web site

Restaurant Villegas

FCC Pulls Plug on Ypsilanti Pirate Radio

The Ann Arbor News reports that Johnny Danger's Depot Town Radio, an unlicensed, Ypsilanti-based pirate station that could be heard at 89.5 FM, was shut down this week, reportedly by the Federal Communications Commission. The low-power station began broadcasting in January and was apparently quite popular. Over at the ypsi~dixit blog, the station's operator pledged to return to broadcasting, legally and over the internet.
Read 'Pirate' radio in Ypsilanti is scuttled in the Ann Arbor News
Read community reaction (plus Capt. Danger comments) in Ahoy, Cap'n Danger! Still Afloat? at ypsi~dixit

# posted by farlane @ 10:57 AM 0 comments links to this post

Unstoppable Pistons by Need4Sheed

Natalie writes: With all the playoff predictions I am sure you have been reading, all you need to know from me at Need4Sheed is that The Pistons are unstoppable. As hard as last years loss to the Spurs was and how confident I was in our team last year, this year has far exceeded anyone's expectations, except maybe the Pistons themselves.

Read A Magical Pistons Season

# posted by Tami @ 10:56 AM 0 comments links to this post

Polish settled area photos by dETROITfUNK

dfUNK writes: St. Stanislaus, anchor of the former Stanislaus District. This was one of the original Polish settled areas, long before Hamtramck became known for its Polish population.

Designed and built by Harry J. Rill (also designed Detroit Cornice and Slate building, current home of Metro Times) between 1911-1913.

Check out the photos and read about the Stanislaus District

# posted by Tami @ 10:51 AM 0 comments links to this post

I-94 Bridge nicknames by Detroit Essentials

Detroit Essentials writes: ...if you drive on I-94 you'll drive under these big blue arches. Created just in time for the Super Bowl, these arches act as the entrance-way to our city. But do they? Most people I know have come up with their own nicknames for the bridge and opinions of its meaning. The Free Press asked its readers for the funny, absurd, nicknames for the blue arches.

Read The not so infamous I-94 Bridge
Check out the Freep poll results My fav' is Bubba too but it looks like it's not the winner

# posted by Tami @ 10:45 AM 0 comments links to this post

Outlawing genetically modified crops by Jack Lessenberry's Essays and Interviews

Jack Lessenberry writes: It's estimated that nearly three-quarters of processed foods now contain genetically modified ingredients. But not everybody thinks this is a good idea. Some think they are not safe and organic farmers, worry that the GMOs could contaminate their fields. Recently, some local governments in California and several states have been outlawing genetically modified crops.

Listen to Interview: Gerald Van Woerkom
Also read or listen to the companion Essay: Genetic Modification
Also read or listen to this related story entitled BIOTECH JOBS ON THE RISE by GLRC Environment Report

# posted by Tami @ 10:43 AM 1 comments links to this post

Marketing by-product of Ethanol by GLRC Environment Report

GLRC writes: The federal government has called for more renewable fuels for cars and trucks over the next few years. Ethanol from corn is expected to meet much of that demand. As ethanol production increases, the distillers are looking for ways to make money on some of the by-products of the process. The GLRC's Lester Graham reports on how the ethanol distillers might market what's left over after turning corn into ethanol.

Read or listen to MARKETING A BY-PRODUCT OF ETHANOL (short version)

# posted by Tami @ 10:42 AM 1 comments links to this post

How a computer really works by PC Mike's E-Journal

Mike Wendland writes: Thanks to reader Helen Kraft, here, in one easy-to-understand illustration, is a graphical representation that will make it all crystal clear.

Read (and see) How a computer really works

# posted by Tami @ 10:41 AM 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, April 20, 2006

She's 106. She doesn't have to say cheese by DetroitWonk

DetroitWonk writes: I mean seriously, absolute pinnacle of adorable-ness. Absolutely un-deniably adorable. So let's get the vitals. She's 106 years young, from Farmington Hills and credits "dairy" as her longevity aid. And get this, her name is Elsie Weinert. That's right, Elsie...like the cow.

Read The Freep Is Far And Away The Picture Of The Day Winner and check out the adorable photo!

# posted by Tami @ 10:21 AM 0 comments links to this post

Garbage by the pound by GLRC Environment Report

GLRC writes: Trash containers of the future might contain an information chip that encourages people to recycle. A manufacturing company says the technology could change the way cities administer their trash programs. The GLRC's Kaomi Goetz reports


# posted by Tami @ 10:21 AM 0 comments links to this post

Renounce the internal combustion engine? by Jack Lessenberry's Essays and Interviews

Jack Lessenberry writes: There are a lot of good, sound sensible reasons, environmental and otherwise, why we should give up our private cars and get by on foot and with bicycles and public transportation instead.

But here's a reality check. We aren't going to do that. We are not only the automobile state, we long ago became the automobile nation. We love our cars, we would be lost without our cars, and some of us were even conceived and / or born in our cars.

Read or listen to Essay: Fueling Controversy
Also Read or listen to the companion Interview: Bruce Dale

# posted by Tami @ 10:20 AM 0 comments links to this post

Bottled water vs tap by Dave's Blog

Dave writes: The global consumption of bottled water reached 154 billion liters (41 billion gallons) in 2004, up 57% from the 98 billion liters consumed five years earlier.

Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing — producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy.

Although bottled water in the industrial world is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more. At as much as $2.50 per liter ($10 per gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline.

Read Earth Day tip: drink tap water

# posted by Tami @ 10:19 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Miners Castle before and after photos by Michigan In Pictures

michpics writes: A cove, photo by ReynaTerror.

This photo of Miners Castle in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was taken just about one day after the right turret fell into Lake Superior.

Read A cove and view the before and after photos of this Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore treasure.

# posted by Tami @ 9:38 AM 0 comments links to this post

One Red Paper Clip and a dream by The Royal Flush

Barry "iPod" Johnson writes: "Kyle MacDonald had a red paper clip and a dream: Could he use the community power of the Internet to barter that paper clip for something better, and trade that thing for something else - and so on and so on until he had a house?"

Read Man Starts With Paper Clip, Ends Up With Year's Free Rent

# posted by Tami @ 9:36 AM 0 comments links to this post

Solving state's unsolved mysteries by The Red Tape Blog

Red Tape Blog writes: "Casket Man" died years ago, and "Mummy" was found dead in an abandoned house last summer.

Area police and Wayne County morgue officials have pursued every lead and checked every missing persons list but have come up empty in their effort to identify the two unclaimed bodies.

Now, the last hope of solving the mystery of the identities rests largely with the talent of a state police forensic artist, Trooper Sarah Foster, part of the eight-member team of forensic artists trained in facial reconstruction. The Michigan State Police reconstruction team is the largest in the country and is on 24-hour call to assist law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

# posted by Tami @ 9:35 AM 0 comments links to this post

Source of anger toward Bonds by Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb?

Greg Eno writes: A word now about Barry Bonds, and I hate to even give it that much.

But I think folks who believe that the anger that's being levied toward Bonds in the form of yelling from the stands and objects being thrown in his direction onto the field is somehow rooted in the fans' simple lack of desire to see him eclipse Hank Aaron's all-time homerun record, are off the mark. Certainly it's not racist; Aaron is black too, after all.

Read Anger Toward Bonds Rooted In The Public's Dislike Of His Character

# posted by Tami @ 9:33 AM 0 comments links to this post

Unseen glimpse of circus life [poem] by Poetry Factory Blog

Marci Rae Johnson writes: BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

A circus is an assemblage of illusions, and here Jo McDougall, a Kansas poet, shows us a couple of performers, drab and weary in their ordinary lives, away from the lights at the center of the ring.

Read American Life in Poetry: Column 055

# posted by Tami @ 9:31 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Editorially speaking: "As the cuts continued, the outrage I felt over what was happening to Detroit's bread & butter industry really showed through in my work" (Pulitzer finalist & cartoonist Mike Thompson - highly recommended!); "A New Jersey jury recently did something that would be virtually impossible for a Michigan jury to do: It found a drug company guilty of consumer fraud" (LSJ); "Why must water quality be our last priority? We can build stadiums, convention centers and skyscrapers in just a few years, but when asked to deal with our sewers we say we don’t have the money right now." (Vince Deur).

E85 Ethanol Gets a Boost in Michigan

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan-based Meijer Inc. and General Motors will announce today, with Gov. Jennifer Granholm, plans to make the ethanol-gasoline blend E85 available at about 20 Meijer filling stations in Michigan. Currently, just five gas stations in Michigan sell E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

Advocates of E85 tout the fuel as a made-in-America alternative to imported oil that also cuts dirty tailpipe emissions, boosts performance and helps farmers. Michigan is one of the nation's leading producers of corn, growing more than 257 million bushels a year.
Read Meijer to sell ethanol blend in the Freep
Also see press release: General Motors Announces Collaboration with State of Michigan, CleanFUEL USA and Meijer Gas Stations to Help More Michigan Motorists Power Their GM FlexFuel Vehicles with E85
E85 Fuel Information from the Department of Energy

Students Help to Create Green Schools Designation

The Detroit News has a feature on students at Hartland High School who drafted the Michigan Green School Bill (view HB 5554), to create a program whereby the county or intermediate school district designates schools that engage in certain environmentally friendly activities as "green schools." The bill lists 20 possible activities (schools would have to participate in at least half to earn the designation) including recycling materials, improving energy efficiency and having educational programs on plant and animal habitat. It's estimate that by following the requirements, a school could save at least 5% on its energy costs.
Read Hartland High tries to go green in the Detroit News

Limited Beach Grooming to Be Allowed

The Bay City Times reports that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has announced plans to create a new general permit to allow limited vegetation removal activities along Michigan's Great Lakes coastline. The announcement follows the release of a report in March documenting the harmful effects of beach grooming activities on the state's ecology, and the DEQ's recommendation to allow provisions of the current law to expire as scheduled.

While the initial program was limited to Bay City and Traverse City, the permits will be available statewide until (at least) early June.
Read DEQ proposes limited vegetation removal in the Bay City Times
Read the DEQ report

Remembering the Pabst Mine Disaster

Ironwood Iron Mine

The Ironwood Daily Globe has a feature on the upcoming Perfectly Safe; The Pabst Mine Disaster of 1926 by author and historian Bruce Cox. The book is a day-by-day account of the over the entrapment and rescue of 46 miners who spent over five days 727 feet below the surface. 43 survived and Cox is seeking a photo of electrician Thomas Rowell, one of three killed when a cable of the cage they were in snapped. He also asks anyone with connections to the Pabst Mine Disaster to contact him as soon as possible.

Be sure to check out the Detroit News account of the event, part of their excellent "Rearview Mirror" series. It's got some great photos from their September 1926 coverage of the incident!
Read Book remembers Pabst Mine disaster in the Ironwood Daily Globe
Also see The great escape at Ironwood in the Detroit News

Bringing Broadband to Michigan

MITECHNEWS.COM reports that a group of government agencies will be bringing muncipal leaders, citizens, Internet Service Providers and other IT professionals will host forums throughout Michigan in June 2006 to explore ways to bring broadband Internet service to everyone in Michigan. Our take: The fact that they are bringing ISPs into the discussion means that they should be able to make much more headway on universal access than in past attempts.
Read Township Groups To Offer Ways To Bring Affordable Broadband To Michigan from MITECHNEWS.COM
Broadband: Bringing High-Speed Internet to Your Community from MichiganTownships.org (registration forms too)

# posted by farlane @ 11:13 AM 0 comments links to this post

around the world of Detroit sports by Leelanau Sports Guy's World

Leelanau Sports Guy writes: Lots going on as the Wings captured the President’s Trophy, the Tigers are back to normal, the NFL Draft is approaching and, oh yeah, our Pistons are readying for the playoffs.

Read Around the Detroit Sports Blog World

# posted by Tami @ 11:05 AM 0 comments links to this post

PODCAST inteview of Bob Scolnik, Mona Lake Productions by Inside Muskegon

Inside Muskegon writes: This episode of Inside Muskegon features an interview with Bob Scolnik with Mona Lake Productions. Jason interviews Mr. Scolnik and discusses their upcoming concert at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts in support of Downtown Muskegon.

Listen to this podcast interview of Bob Scolnik, Mona Lake Productions

# posted by Tami @ 9:48 AM 0 comments links to this post

TC Man Explores Ecotourism by Leelanau Blog

The Leelanau Blog writes: The Record-Eagle has an interesting feature by Traverse City resident Mark Livengood, Fulbright Scholar at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. In this engaging read, Mark looks at the impact of community-based ecotourism, and, as the purpose of the Fulbright is to build mutual understanding between the US and other cultures, we figure it's probably a good thing to pass along.

Read Traverse City Man Explores Ecotourism

# posted by Tami @ 9:48 AM 0 comments links to this post

Encouraging interest in veterinary medicine by GLRC Environment Report

GLRC writes: There's no shortage of veterinarians for small animals like cats and dogs. But there is a shortage of large animal veterinarians. There's also a shortage of vets who study diseases that could infect humans, such as mad cow or West Nile virus. Some vet schools hold open houses to teach the public about their profession, and to encourage kids' interest in the field. The GLRC's Melissa Ingells reports.


# posted by Tami @ 9:47 AM 0 comments links to this post

Rally or regret it by Dave's Blog

Dave writes: A cause that activists in other states of the region could imitate --

Oftentimes, the "average person" doesn't know how he or she can help clean up Minnesota lakes and rivers and conserve its prairies and forests.

Read 2nd annual MN ducks, wetlands, clean water rally and link to the referenced Star Tribune article

# posted by Tami @ 9:46 AM 0 comments links to this post

Parducci's studio photos by dETROITfUNK

dfUNK writes: This is the location of Corrado Parducci's studio, before it was demolished. This is in the Cass Corridor near the demolsihed Donovan site and in the shadow of the Eddystone.

Read Corrado Parducci and see photos of where his studio once stood
Don't miss the Wikipedia article about this Italian immigrant.

# posted by Tami @ 9:45 AM 0 comments links to this post

Remembering the Great Quake by Red Tape Blog

Red Tape Blog writes: Almost a century before Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, one of the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history devastated San Francisco. On April 18, 1906, at 5:12 in the morning, “The Great San Francisco Earthquake” struck, followed by a series of catastrophic fires that burned for three days and destroyed more than 500 blocks in the heart of the city. The earthquake is estimated at 8.25 on the Richter scale and lasted about one minute. Conservative estimates have put the quake’s death toll at more than 3,000 — with some estimates as high as 6,000 — mostly in the city of San Francisco.

Read April 18th : 100th Anniversary of San Francisco Earthquake
Also read Notes from Away's San Francisco again.. and check out the photo of Lombard Street

# posted by Tami @ 9:44 AM 0 comments links to this post

Mallard photo by Michigan in Pictures

michpics writes: Mallard, The Get Away, photo by Tut99.

Roger says that this photo (taken at River Bends Park) is Best viewed large On Black.

Check out Mallard, The Get Away and be sure to view large

# posted by Tami @ 9:43 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Records fall: Pistons top Bad Boys with team-record 64th win, Slugger Chris Shelton hits 8th HR in 12 games, fastest 8 by a Tiger or American Leaguer

Michigan's Farmers Get Creative

Sunny Bliss by Sara Steffens

This weekend's Free Press had a pair of great features looking at several entrepreneurs in Michigan's agriculture industry who are finding ways to boost their operations' bottom lines without trying to squeeze more crops from their plots. Innovations profiled include:
  • The U-Ball, a cone-shaped container for balled-and-burlapped trees that requires less labor for digging and wrapping

  • Wind turbines on farms in the Thumb (previous articles, Thumb links)

  • Kevin Brabant of Saginaw County's St. Charles Township who farms 2,000 acres of corn, wheat, soybeans and sugar beets in, bought himself a corn-burning stove and also sold dried corn for fuel to neighbors

  • Peterson Farms of Shelby who employ 60 (with plans for 40 more) to package Apple Dippers (McDonald's apple slices plus low-fat caramel dip)

  • Cherry Republic, creating a cherry product mecca in Northern Michigan

  • Russ Allen of Seafood Systems Shrimp Farm who is pioneering commercial, indoor shrimp farming in Michigan

  • The Earth Shine Farm in Shiawassee County, who raised and processed 2,400 organic chickens last year
The second article looks at how Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund is poised to provide assistance to entrepreneurs in the agricultural and food-processing industries.

Read Farmers find creative, energetic ways to earn extra cash in the Freep (if that article is gone, try this link!)

Also see Agricultural risk-takers help grow, diversify Michigan's economy in the Detroit Free Press

The Tax Man Cometh

Portion of Miners Castle Collapses

Friday's Mining Journal reported that the northeast turret of the Miners Castle rock formation in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore collapsed due to erosion and fell into Lake Superior on Thursday. The formations of Pictured Rocks are constantly changing due to the action of wind, water and ice. In 1900, the Grand Portal Arch collapsed in 1900 and The Munising News wrote:
The Grand Portal was one of the grandest, most sublime and interesting sights of the Pictured Rocks. The cavity was large enough for a good-sized steamer to enter into and it was perhaps a hundred feet or more in height from the surface of the water.
The LSJ article has a large before and after photo that you should definitely check out.
Read Superior Claims Landmark! in the Mining Journal

Read One turret of Pictured Rock's Miners Castle collapses in the LSJ

Check out Rock Collapses at Grand Portal Point for more from the 1900 article, including photos!

Michigan Women Win, Lose Representation

The Associated Press reports that when Gretchen Whitmer became the 12th female in the 38-member chamber, it marked the highest number of women in the Michigan Senate's history. However, her departure from the 110-seat House dropped the number of women there to 18, the lowest since 1985-86 and far below the 31 who served from 1997-2000. All but one of the Senate's 12 women came from the House.
Read Despite gains in Senate, number of females down in Legislature in the Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan City Sell Off

The Detroit News reports that several communities in Metro Detroit are considering selling golf courses, parking lots and other property in hopes of generating immediate cash and future tax benefits. Some see selling assets as a necessary one-time fix; others say it only delays the inevitable reshaping of services and resources that residents expect from their communities. Mayor Daniel Paletko said "You're delaying a budget problem, but you're not solving it. There is a great need to recognize in Lansing the economic model for financing a community is broken."
Read Cash-hungry cities sell assets, sparking fears in the Detroit News

# posted by farlane @ 10:51 AM 0 comments links to this post

Detroit's French Heritage by Detroit Essentials

Detroit Essentials writes: Anybody who's driven here in Detroit even for a few months has come across many of our major streets with names such as Gratiot, Dequindre, Charlevoix, or Jos Campau. This is no surprise given our French heritage. After all it was a man by the name of Cadillac that founded the city. He named the original settlement named after Riviere D'etroit which means "River of The Strait" in French, (referring to the Detroit river which is the strait from Lake St. Claire to the Detroit River).

Read Detroit's French Heritage Lost in Translation

# posted by Tami @ 10:12 AM 0 comments links to this post

Salt Print by The Adventures of a Brit Abroad

Matt Blackcustard writes [about this photo]: Salt print and acrylics on canvas board

Check out this photo!

# posted by Tami @ 10:11 AM 0 comments links to this post

Dick Posthumus by Jack Lessenberry's Essays and Interviews

Jack Lessenberry writes: I know that Posthumus is a decent man who honestly believes that would be better for Michigan. A decade ago, in an era of conservative nastiness in Lansing, he stood out as a gentleman.

He grew up on a family farm; his folks got by but were hardly rich, and he told me he didn’t even have indoor plumbing in his earliest years. He is still happily married to his high school sweetheart.

Read or listen to Essay: Capable of Honor
Also read or listen to the companion Interview: Dick Posthumus

# posted by Tami @ 10:10 AM 0 comments links to this post

BEWARE Cell phone scam by PC Mike's E-Journal

Mike Wendland writes: QUESTION: Can you get the word out there about this unbelievably cruel scam to which I fell victim recently?

I received a cell phone call and it went like this:

"We're calling about a car accident. Do you have a family member who lives out of state?"

"Well, I have a son who lives in Portland, Ore."

"Yes, that's why we're calling. This is Lt. Johnson from the Oregon State Police. He's been in an accident and we need to airlift him to a hospital. I will transfer you to our dispatcher."

Read Cruel cell phone scam

# posted by Tami @ 10:09 AM 0 comments links to this post

The Great Poochini by What's Opera Doc?

What's Opera Doc? writes: Too cute to not share, but my questions is - what would the Met use? a giant cockroach, since roaches are unofficially the city's mascot?

Read The Great Poochini brings opera to kids

# posted by Tami @ 10:08 AM 0 comments links to this post
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