Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Six O'Clock News Briefs - Spring Fever Edition

Did you get outside today? Felt so good to walk to the coffee shop again. Don't break out the shorts just yet though; cold and snow are forecast for the weekend...

  • Awaiting what I'm going to dub "Black Thursday" - the day Gov. Granholm releases the budget for 2010. Gongwer reported yesterday that it is being described as "grim" by Lansing officials, with cuts to everything. Now the AP is reporting that wage concessions will be asked of state employees. Details on all are still sketchy... oh, and BTW, thank a US Senate Republican for this...

    Officials working with the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures has said the U.S. Senate version of the stimulus bill now under debate could mean more than $1 billion less to Michigan than the House version.

    Sources said the administration is not likely to work any anticipated federal money into the budget presentation because it is clear that will be unsettled on Thursday.

    Republicans will obstruct progress, and then turn around and claim that the Democrats haven't brought us progress. You heard it here first, but you knew that would happen, didn't you. Sure you did. Quite frankly, when they announce that they are dumping $2 trillion in the bank mop-up and the stock market still tanks, you start to wonder how the Republicans can live with themselves...

  • The AP also has the numbers on prison guard overtime, and the figures have doubled in the past five years due to staffing shortages. An analysis shows that corrections has 500 fewer employees than it did five years ago.

  • In other prison related news, the state has finally dumped Correctional Medical Services (CMS) and signed a new contract with yet another big health corporation, Prison Health Services. Unfortunately, their reputation for neglect is about the same as the people we replaced. Time will tell if this was a good move, but what ever happened to the regional HMO idea?

  • Michigan's tourism website, michigan.org was number one! for the second consecutive year according to Hitwise. Visits rose 30 percent in 2008, reaching a total of 11.7 million viewers. Look for our new slogan, "Michigan. It's a great place to visit, just don't drive on the roads." Why, you ask...

  • Michigan roads are turning to gravel. Literally. Ideas for funding are being sought, but.... see "Black Thursday" above. Michigan could see $900 million for road funding under the stimulus, which would help a great deal of course, but eventually we need a plan to keep maintaining the roads after that stimulus is gone. We also need Richard Shelby to stuff a sock in it, but don't bet on that happening anytime soon, either.

  • Now they are Twittering live surgery at Henry Ford Hospital. Fun.

  • In Twittergate news, apparently being Pete Hoekstra means never having to say you are sorry, because he is "very transparent". That is true. You can see right through him, matter of fact.

  • Seems that everyday I see news about wind energy in Michigan, and today was no different. Muskegon is sprouting Swift wind turbines made by Cascade Engineering on various public buildings, thanks to a donation from the Eklund Alternative Energy Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. First it was the Frauenthal Center, now they are donating two more to the Central Fire Station and the city's water filtration plant at Pere Marquette Park. The Swift turbines are small and are perfect for residential use, but they are studying the results at commercial buildings and trying to encourage people to get into alternative energy. Kudos to them. Check out Swift on the web.

  • Uh oh. They found me. This is what you get when you blog about certain people.

    Hi, wizardkitten (wizardkitten).

    Detroit Lions News (detroitlions) is now following your updates on Twitter.

    Check out Detroit Lions News's profile here:

    You may follow Detroit Lions News as well by clicking on the "follow" button.


    Oh alright. Turns out Detroit ain't so bad afterall. You can watch Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. deliver the "State of the City" speech live on the Freep tonight if you are so inclined.