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Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday, May 5, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

The Lansing Hub has a cool Cinco de Mayo picture and the Freep explains a bit about the history of the holiday (but seems to be a little more focuse on the tequila).

Huron Explorer Totally Petroleum Free

The Alpena News reports that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel Huron Explorer, the first U.S. government research vessel to be completely petroleum free, will be returning with honors to its home base at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, one of the agencies under the NOAA umbrella, recently received an award for converting the Huron Explorer and two other vessels in its fleet over to environmentally-friendly fuels. In addition to utilizing 100% soybean oil B-100 for propulsion, the boat uses a canola oil blend for motor oil and rapeseed hydraulic oil for its deck crane, winches, and marine transmission gear.

Dennis Donahue, marine superintendent for GLERL said of the B-100 biodesiel "It's a renewable energy source ... It's a Michigan-grown product, and Michigan processed and used right here in Michigan as well."
Read Research vessel returning home as award winner in the Alpena News

Group to Work on Legislative Solution for Michigan's Energy Woes
The Freep reports that the Senate Technology and Energy Committee is forming a technical working group to come up with long-range legislative solutions to Michigan's energy crunch. While focused primarily on electric generation capacity, the group will also address related issues such as petroleum delivery, nuclear power options, renewable fuel alternatives and other concerns.
Read State launches next phase of energy plan in the Freep

Timeline of Detroit and the Detroit Free Press
In celebration of its 175th Anniversary, the Detroit Free Press has a great timeline from 1831 to the present that charts the growth of Detroit and the newspaper. In 1831, Detroit had a population of 2,300 (35th in the nation). The mayor was Marshall Chapin and Lewis Cass, John R. Williams and Joseph Campau were the power brokers. At its launch, the paper was called the Democratic Free Press and M
Read Evolution of a paper, city in the Freep

Bono Preaches Against Poverty

In 1981, U2 held a concert at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids. He returned to the city to tout his ONE Campaign and to deliver an hourlong speech about the twin crisis of AIDS and poverty in Africa, which he likened to a preventable modern-day Holocaust, saying
"If you look at what happened in South Asia with the tsunami, you had 150,000 lives lost in an instant ... Well, in Africa, 150,000 lives are lost every month -- a tsunami every month. And it's not a natural disaster. It is a completely avoidable catastrophe."
Read Bono takes GR pulpit in the Grand Rapids Press
Visit the ONE Campaign

Employment Outlook for Michigan Graduates
Jack Lessenberry interviews Phil Gardner of Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University to find out what kind of jobs are out their for this years crop of college grads. Jack then muses about the wisdom of tattoos, email addresses contaqining Boopsie, Dominator, & Hotmama and the importance of getting a foot in the door before trying to change corporate culture.
Read/Listen to Interview: Phil Gardner from Michigan Radio
Also see The Job of Getting a Job

# posted by farlane @ 12:12 PM 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thursday, May 4, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Michigan in Pictures takes you to Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan. Jack Lessenberry says build a wall around Detroit (he also rails against "those swarthy types that don't speak our language and don't have good American names like Szymanski.") The Detroit News says Michigan must end addiction to tobacco cash.

A Wakeup Call from ... Lyndon LaRouche??
Lyndon LaRouche is a name held in scant regard by many who know it (myself included). I was thus very surprised to find this remarkably cogent document that begins:
The purpose of the following communication is to prompt the immediate crafting of urgently needed emergency Federal legislation: Legislation to prevent the threatened immediate collapse of the U.S. national automobile industry from becoming the beginning of a virtually irreversible chain-reaction of destruction of approximately the entirety of the present physical economy of the U.S.A.
LaRouche argues that our agriculture, manufacturing, health-care systems, and other basic economic infrastructure are being allowed to collapse calls for the protection of America's manufacturing base by the creation of a Federal Public Corporation. The coporation would operate factories that are being discarded by the automobile industry in similar manner as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Editor's Note: I really thought a long time about linking to this as I have grave problems with a lot of what LaRouche has said in the past. In the end, I decided that the message he sends, and the fact that I agree that we might be in the process of throwing away our industrial capability, outweighs problems I have with the messenger. While nationalizing the cast-off capacity of the auto industry may not be the solution (or feasible), we do need serious consideration of what the auto industry did for the war effort in WWII. Caveat emptor.
Read Emergency Legislation, Now! from the Executive Intelligence Review
Lyndon LaRouche entry in Wikipedia

Group Seeks Fourfold Increase in Michigan Tourism Promotion

This week's Crain's Detroit reports that the Michigan Hotel, Motel & Resort Association, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the state's three largest destination-marketing organizations have formed a coalition to boost Michigan's annual promotional spending from $5.7 million to $30 million. Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau executive vice president Michael O'Callaghan says "Right now in spite of the fact that we are the Great Lakes state, our hotel occupancy is ranked 50th. We really haven't gotten the message out to the region or the rest of the country that this is a great state to visit."

More money for tourism is expected to be a tough sell as funding was just increased. Ari Adler, press secretary to Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema said "Some may see them as looking at a second bite of the apple, when some people haven't been let in the orchard yet."
Read Groups push hike in tourism spending from Crain's Detroit Business

Michigan Businesses Stronger than Percieved
Today's Detroit News has an article by David Sowerby (classed as opinion) making the case that despite the Single Business Tax (which the News is not a fan of), Michigan is competitive or at least at the median for the majority of our other major taxes like personal income, sales and property taxes. Despite the heavy hits to the auto industry, corporate profits for Michigan's 80 publicly traded companies are estimated to increase approximately 12% in 2006, exceeding forecasted profit gains of the S&P 500 in 2006. According to preliminary estimates for the fourth quarter of 2005, combined job and personal income growth for Michigan was 5% (7% nationally). A year ago, Michigan was more than 6% below the national average.
Read State's business strengths outweigh its weaknesses in the Detroit News

Michigan Businesses to Watch

West Michigan's 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For were announced yesterday. The awards recognize companies for strategies they use to create the best human resource initiatives for their employees. The "Best of the Best" award was presented to Deloitte & Touche USA LLP of Grand Rapids.

Also announced were the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, recognizing companies that employ 6-99 employees, generate $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue and are privately held and headquartered in Michigan. (check the link below for profiles of all 50)
Read http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060503/dew006.html?.v=43 from the PR Newswire
Profiles of the 2006 "50 Companies to Watch in Michigan"

Pistons Defeat Bucks in 5
Chauncey runs the show, Rip goes for 40 pts in 3 quarters, Big Ben gets back on track, Rasheed stays loose and Tayshaun Prince hits from waaaay downtown. Detroit's 122-93 series-ending whooping of Bucks means venison jerky for everyone, a healthy dose of confetti and that the Detroit Pistons remain the best show in town.

# posted by farlane @ 10:55 AM 0 comments links to this post

Amazing Tulip Time photos by Michigan in Pictures

michpics writes: 2005 Tulip Time 09, photo by msprague.

Tulip Time is coming! Holland, Michigan may not have fields as big as those in the region it is named for, but they do have windmills and wooden shoes.

Read Tulip Time :: Holland Michigan

# posted by Tami @ 9:23 AM 0 comments links to this post

Rapid Transition by Jack Lessenberry's Essays and Interviews

Jack Lessenberry writes: Every age has intellectual giants who are so much a part of the cultural fabric that it is almost impossible to imagine life without them. John Kenneth Galbraith was one of those.

That's why I was a bit shaken by the great economist's death last weekend, even though he was almost 98 years old and had lived a full and wonderful life. I was a college freshman when I read his best-known work, The Affluent Society. I picked it up and leafed through it Sunday afternoon, and was startled, fascinated ... and depressed by how relevant it seems today.

Read or listen to Essay: Rapid Transition

Also listen to the companion Interview: Tom Barwin

# posted by Tami @ 9:22 AM 0 comments links to this post

Bye Bye Bucks by Need4Sheed

Natalie writes: Detroit sent the Bucks back to Milwaukee for an early vacation, blowing them out 122-93. The Pistons weren't going back to Milwaukee for one more game, that was Guaransheed. Detroit came out strong in the first quarter scoring 39 points topped off by a Tayshaun Prince half court buzzer beater.

Read Bye Bye Bucks, Piston Take The Series 4 - 1 including some great action shots!

# posted by Tami @ 9:22 AM 0 comments links to this post

rare lakeside daisy by Dave's Blog

Dave writes: The yellow blooms are open on the state's rarest wildflower, the Lakeside daisy, which grows in just three places around the world including on Lake Erie's Marblehead Peninsula.

The Lakeside daisy thrives where other plants have trouble growing: on limestone rock out in full sunlight.

Read in praise of the rare lakeside daisy

Also link to the Ohio DNR website to see these rare blooms and read about the preserve.

# posted by Tami @ 9:20 AM 0 comments links to this post

Sacred Sand by NOISE PhotoBlog

Jeremy Herliczek writes: Watched over by a portrait of the Dalai Lama, the Venerable Thupten Tsondu Tashi, a Tibetan Monk, creates a sand mandala Tuesday at the Kresge Art Museum. He will work on the traditional Buddhist sand art until May 4. The completed mandala will be on display through Sunday, May 7.

Read Sacred Sand and check out the photos

# posted by Tami @ 9:19 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Pet adoption at the zoo by Girl in the D

Girl in the D writes: It may be best known for its Arctic Ring of Life, a state-of-the-art exhibit that simulates life on the North Pole, but housing the world's largest polar bear exhibit isn't the only thing on the Detroit Zoo's bragging-rights list.

There's also "Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo" - the nation's largest off-site pet adoption program.

Read Nation's largest pet adoption event this weekend at the Detroit Zoo

# posted by Tami @ 9:40 AM 0 comments links to this post

Cut River Bridge by Michigan in Pictures

michpics writes: This photo is one of a series of cyanotypes of the Cut River Bridge and other subjects. You have to go see it because there's a VanDyke in there of the understructure that is amazing.

The bridge is located on US-2 and if you have a few extra minutes, be sure to stop and check out the stairs or trail to explore a little. It's really an amazing structure.

Check out Cyanotype 03 (Cut River Bridge)

# posted by Tami @ 9:39 AM 0 comments links to this post

Coins [poem] by Poetry Factory Blog

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

Midwestern poet Richard Newman traces the imaginary life of coins as a connection between people. The coins--seemingly of little value--become a ceremonial and communal currency.

Read American Life in Poetry: Column 057

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

Red Wings out in first round (again) by Leelanau Sports Guy's World

Leelanau Sports Guy writes: The Detriot Red Wings once again lost in the first round of the NHL playoffs after an incredible regular season. The Wings fell 4 games to 2 against the Edmonton Oilers and were eliminated from the Cup chase.

Lots of fans will point at Legace as the main reason as it seemed like he was unable to come up with the big save when needed. That might not be fair, but it's the life of a goalie in Hockeytown. The offense can also share the blame as at times they struggled to score goals.

Read Maybe it wasn't Dave Lewis after all…

# posted by Tami @ 9:34 AM 0 comments links to this post

Murphy's Law and a little tree by detroitblog

detroitarts writes: A little while back, during the slowly warming nights of April, we paid another visit to the Farwell Building, otherwise known unofficially as Hotel Hobo.

The adventure couldn't have started out more troubled. We had originally targeted a nearby building, but the annoying presence of pedestrians made things tough. We opted for the Farwell, but the annoying presence of intoxicated, criminal pedestrians did likewise. We kept flitting between the two buildings, wasting precious weeknight time, waiting for a break.

Read Little tree

# posted by Tami @ 9:33 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tuesday, May 2 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Oil Fires: ...consumer fury against oil companies and politicians ought to focus less on current gas prices and more on national energy policy that has set the stage for three-buck-a-gallon gas. (LSJ) New CAFE rules could save less than two weeks of gasoline a year, loopholes could undermine savings (Freep) Gas prices boosting bus, car pool ridership (Ann Arbor News) Stupak accuses congressional Republicans of helping oil companies (Detroit News)

Lessons from the Farm

The Michigan Land Use Institute's Elm Street Writers Group has an excellent piece that begins:
The Deals and the Josephs settled on the same hill. They were looking for a fertile place to drop their roots; instead they found a landscape ripped apart by lumber barons and a growing nation. Ghosts of majestic white pines, stumps of slow-growing oaks, and sand revealed by unforgiving winds made a barren home that allowed no mistakes.
We really encourage you to see how it ends...
Read Between Soil and Clouds from the MLUI

Gauging Impact of Day Without Immigrants in Michigan
The Detroit Free Press reports that along Vernor Highway, the main commercial strip for Latino-owned businesses in southwest Detroit, most of the businesses were closed. Two rallies in Detroit drew over 1,000 demonstrators, speakers emphasized the importance of unity across racial and class lines, urging the mostly Latino crowds to link with African Americans, labor groups, and Arab Americans in a movement for worker and civil rights.

Jack Lessenberry spoke with Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett about the protests in Detroit and what the goals are. Sarah said that these folks are looking for concrete things, like clear and fair rules. She also says this is part of planned campaign to address these issues. In his essay response, he suggests: "Let's admit about 400,000 hard-working Asian or Nigerian immigrants, and let them settle in the ruins of the largely depopulated city of Detroit. I'll bet they would change its character, all right. We should be so lucky."
Read Interview: Sarah Hulett from Michigan Radio
Also check out Essay: Keep 'em All Out, Except Me!!?? from the Jack Lessenberry blog
Read Immigrants' message: Justice for all in the Freep
Read Immigration rallies in West Michigan at WZZM-13

Get Fit in the Mitt!

The LSJ reports that Senate Republicans have proposed the Michigan Outdoor Fitness Award, an award program designed to encourage Michigan residents, particularly women and young people, to take up hiking, canoeing, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. "We need to get kids off the couch and off the computer to experience the outdoors," said Patricia Birkholz, R-Saugatuck. The idea is receiving support from Democrats and outdoor sporting groups, including the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
Read Bill urges getting fit outdoors in the Lansing State Journal

Red Wings Grounded
The Detroit Red Wings were unceremoniously tossed from the playoffs by the Edmonton Oilers last night, falling 4-3 in last night's Game 6. Wings captain Steve Yzerman is expected to announce his retirement this week. I feel for the Red Wings fans this morning.
Read IT'S OVER! in the Detroit News
Read THE BITTER END: Wings blow lead, waste great regular season in the Freep

New Company Looks to Fix Michigan Manufacturers
The Detroit Free Press takes a look at serial entrepreneur John Psarouthakis, who has formed JP-Management Consulting, a company designed to help fix and grow midsize Michigan and other Midwest manufacturing companies before they shut down or wind up in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Read TOM WALSH: Michigan entrepreneur seeks fixes, growth for businesses in the Freep
JP-Management Consulting web site

# posted by farlane @ 10:18 AM 0 comments links to this post

Disheveled dog photo by there is no happy here

Check out this black and white photo. It instantly made me laugh!

# posted by Tami @ 9:19 AM 0 comments links to this post

Pistons Poach Bucks by Detroit Bad Boys

Matt Watson of Detroit Bad Boys offers great analysis of what the Pistons need to do to be successful in the playoffs.

Read Pistons Poach Bucks

# posted by Tami @ 9:18 AM 0 comments links to this post

May Day means different things to different people by ypsi~dixit

ypsi~dixit writes: "A colleague where I work sent a message all around the building to invite only those who believe in the "power of prayer" to a session of praying in the conference room. The first of May, the colleague has advertised, is "Prayer Day."

"In many places around the world, Europe in particular, today is "Workers' Day." This celebration seems to be a carryover from the good old days of communism. Remember those tanks and goosesteppers in Moscow's Red Square? I knew a drunken, loudmouthed, commie-hater from Arkansas when I was in the army who ended up, though unable to swim, drowned in the Nekar River. Rumor claimed that Donald had railed once too loud against The Red Menace and that the evening swim was against his will.


# posted by Tami @ 9:17 AM 0 comments links to this post

Recycling with a twist by GLRC Environment Report

GLRC writes: Across the country, nursing homes destroy thousands of dollars in medicine at each facility every day. The medicine is still good. But destroying the drugs has been the traditional way to keep prescription medication out of the wrong hands. A new federal directive might encourage more nursing homes to recycle unused medicines for the use of the poor. The GLRC's Lisa Ann Pinkerton reports.


# posted by Tami @ 9:17 AM 0 comments links to this post

More tourism dollars by Red Tape Blog

Red Tape writes: Michigan business officials have begun a push to quintuple state tourism spending — an investment they say the state can’t afford not to make.

The Michigan Hotel, Motel & Resort Association, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the state’s three largest destination-marketing organizations have formed a coalition to boost Michigan’s annual promotional spending from $5.7 million to $30 million.

Read State Tourism Industry Lobbies for More Support

# posted by Tami @ 9:16 AM 0 comments links to this post

Look up [music podcast] by PodPlaces.com - Grand Rapids

Monday, May 01, 2006

Monday, May 1, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

So hot the ice will melt: Red Wings have talent, need fire (Yzerman's career CAN'T end in a Game 6, round 1 loss ... can it?). Department of Obvious Sub-Headings: Game 3 blowout means Detroit can't sweep (in related news, April shower means ground is wet). Matt Millen can't win: Rob Parker writes "Leinart could have been the Lions' answer. Instead, fans are left with the worst draft day since Harrington was selected." (after 3 years of reaching for the glamour pick, Matt "Fire" Millen passes). Head of the class: Tigers outscore Twins 33-1, most lopsided three-game series in the majors in years (great way to cap winningest April since '84).

Why Not Shoot for the Moon with Energy Plans?
Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes writes that although the restructuring of the auto industry is fraught with pain, Michigan and its broadening automotive R&D base has a golden opportunity to remain the intellectual heart of an industry poised to remake itself for a global era. He talks with Subrata Sengupta, dean of the University of Michigan-Dearborn's College of Engineering and Computer Science who says that if the federal government were to committ $10 billion a year over 10 years, enrollment in science and technology programs would skyrocket; new high-tech jobs would be created; oil prices would drop on fears that the Americans would succeed.
Read Michigan needs shoot-for-the-moon plan for new energy in the Detroit News
Visit the Apollo Alliance to see how this might work

Macomb County Falcon Cam!

Peregrine Falcon by Derek Bakken

Last Friday the Detroit News had a cool feature on Horus and Hathor, a pair of peregrine falcons who've been nesting high atop the Macomb County Building in Mount Clemens and are featured on a webcam. According to the Falcon Cam site, the falcons' four eggs should be hatching around the 4th, 5th or 6th of May. One hatched last year, but the chick was hit by a car.

The site explains that "Hathor spends much of her time incubating the eggs while Horus keeps watch and hunts. In the Peregrine world, males also do nest duty - called "nest relief" - when the male incubates and the female stretches her wings to prevent atrophy. Horus has been observed at this task for longer periods of time this year - a sign of maturity and experience."
Read Falcons lucky enough to get own Webcam in the Detroit News (has some links to other webcams in the Detroit area)
Peregrine Falcon Cam from Macomb County
Peregrine Falcon entry in Wikipedia

Granholm, DeVos Take the Stage in Detroit

Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Republican challenger Dick DeVos face-to-face for the first time Friday in a debate at Cobo Center. While most of their talk appeared inconsequential (state IDs, auto insurance, gas tax) there was apparently some discussion of econmic platforms. Granholm touted the "most complete and detailed economic plan of any state in the country, one that will create the next Michigan" while DeVos worked on the theme that Michigan is in a "one-state" recession.
Read Granholm, DeVos tout economic plans from mLive
Read DeVos, Granholm fire early salvos in the Freep

Intentional Community in Northern Michigan
The Detroit Free Press has an interesting feature on Telford Farm, one of just a few intentional communities in Michigan. Residents of the 90-acre community own their own homes, but hold the remaining 80 acres, some old farm buildings and a seven-acre vineyard collectively as an LLC. The group's mission statement says something about how they hope to live:
We are a self-governing, diverse community guided by the ideals of self-reliance, cooperation, participation, creativity and sustainability which will help us preserve the environmental, historical and rural integrity of the Telford Farm.
The article provides a thought-provoking look at a thoughtful process and is well worth a read.
Read A utopian way of life in the Freep
Also see In a healthy vineyard, good grapes for wine benefit all in the Freep

Michigan Foreclosures Climb Sharply in March
MITECHNEWS.COM reports that Michigan is one of the five states with the highest foreclosure rates and that Michigan's rate grew by about 1/3 in March. The state has nearly 9000 homes currently in foreclosure and almost 15,000 more in bankruptcy proceedings. We're linking to a map below from foreclosure.com - we thought it interesting and that the ability to look at the data on a county by county basis was very useful. We don't endorse the site or their services.
Read Michigan One Of Leading States For Home Foreclosures from MITECHNEWS.COM
Also see Home foreclosures on the rise from ABC-12 Flint/Bay City/Saginaw
Interactive map showing foreclosed homes

# posted by farlane @ 10:25 AM 0 comments links to this post

Michigan's Adventure Interview [podcast] of Laure Bollenbach by Inside Muskegon

Inside Muskegon writes: This episode of Inside Muskegon features an interview with Laure Bollenbach with Michigan's Adventure, a commentary on the interview, listener feedback and information on contacting Inside Muskegon.

Listen to Inside Muskegon #22: Laure Bollenbach, Michigan's Adventure

# posted by Tami @ 9:37 AM 0 comments links to this post

Ernie Sims - first round draft pick by Detroit Wonk

Detroit Wonk writes: With the 9th pick, in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions pick...Matt Leinart? Jay Cutler? Haloti Ngata?

Nope -- Ernie Sims.

Read NFL Draft - - The Detroit Lions Now Have A Guy Named Ernie. We'll Keep The Sesame Street Jokes To A Minimum.

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

Lucky Day [podcast] by Grand Rapids Podcasts


Protecting Native Fish by GLRC Environment Report

GLRC writes: A new, national effort to protect aquatic species and habitats could bring needed cooperation between state and federal agencies. Individual states aren't able to deal with the problems themselves, but say the newly-formed coalition of partners might help. The GLRC's Kaomi Goetz reports.


# posted by Tami @ 9:32 AM 0 comments links to this post
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