Thursday, February 26, 2009

Six O'Clock News - Earmarks Are Good For Michigan Edition

Question: How will you keep these budget stories separate from stimulus stories? Ha ha. Yeah, good luck with that. The budget passed by the House yesterday was actually a carry-over from the Bush budget that they decided they didn't want to fight over last year. A heads up - all Michigan Republican Congresscritters, with the exception of Miller and Upton, voted against this. Be on the lookout for stories from their districts trumpeting projects, and then look into where the money came from as well.

  • The biogas plant in Flint will receive nearly a million from the feds according to Dale Kildee's office. The plant is the first of its kind in the nation, and will convert waste into fuel. The King of Sweden visited and everything. You remember.

  • Mark Schauer's office announced three projects from the budget - a new runway for WK Kellogg Airport, new buses for Marshall that will help the elderly and disabled with transportation needs, and funding for Starr Commonwealth, which is a living program for emotionally troubled at-risk youth and young adults.

  • Carl Levin joins the earmark parade with $3.8 million to save a portion of Tiger Stadium. The total project will cost $27 million to create a community center and save the field for youth baseball.

  • Not budget, but maybe stimulus. Concrete tramway platforms built in the 1920's in Tawas Bay to ferry gypsum to freighters may be used to study wind power on Lake Huron. A non-profit corporation from Alabaster Township has been formed to approach the state with a plan with the hopes of securing stimulus funds for the project. Two years of data is needed to determine whether or not it would be a viable location. In other wind news, the Saginaw Chippewa's are studying whether wind and solar can be used to power the Saganing Eagle's Landing Casino and neighboring outreach center.

  • Wind energy from solar panels? Ann Arbor based Accio Energy is developing the "aerovoltaic" technology, figuring that panels are better than replacing moving parts in traditional wind turbines. Another Ann Arbor company, WindSight, is looking at commercializing wind-farm site assessment technology. Both companies will be at the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association's 2009 Michigan Wind Energy Conference March 3-4 at Cobo. For more info, click here.

  • President Obama is proposing $475 million for Great Lakes cleanup. This is a down payment on the $5 billion promised overall. Invasive species and pollution will be targeted first.

  • Vacuum sex? Not allowed in public in Saginaw County. What will you boys think of next?

  • Michigan Votes Wingnut Watch: House Concurrent Resolution 9

    Introduced by Rep. Paul Opsommer (R) on February 25, 2009, to reaffirm the right to bear arms under the Michigan Constitution, the supremacy of the Second Amendment over the Commerce Clause, and the intent of the Michigan Legislature to not recognize or enforce unconstitutional firearm restrictions placed upon its citizens.

    Whatever. If it's unconstitutional, how is it the Legislature could enforce it? More Republican legislation looking for a problem that doesn't yet exist - wasting your time and taxpayer dollar. Let's see THAT put on the state "transparency" web site.