Thursday, April 02, 2009

Six O'Clock News - Had to Do Yardwork Edition

Needed to spend some time today cleaning up the yard before the SNOW falls. So much for spring. As a result, less blather than usual.

  • Yet more proof that cutting people off of health care is simply a back door tax increase on those that can afford coverage. The Center for American Progress estimates that 8 percent of your annual health insurance bill goes toward cost shifting to pay for the uninsured - hospitals and doctors are recouping that cost from you. In Michigan, that translates into $900 on a family premium of $13,200 a year, and $330 for individuals.

  • Mariah Power of Nevada will launch high-volume production of the Windspire wind turbine at MasTech Manufacturing in Manistee on April 20th. Different from the ordinary blade propelled turbines, it relies on an "ancient Egyptian design". Click the link to see a picture. The content in the turbine will be 95% Michigan produced, and the process used in manufacturing will allow for quick turnaround that will keep costs competitive with manufacturing it in China. No need to outsource for profit motive - something all American manufacturing should shoot for.

  • The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Michigan's law that restricts protests at funerals in unconstitutional. In 2007, an Army veteran and his late wife were arrested in Clare County after displaying anti-Bush signs on their van in a funeral procession. The ACLU says the law is vague and violates free speech rights.

  • Farms on vacant land in Detroit? Sure, why not. Hantz Farms wants to turn the nearly 40 square miles of vacant parcels in the city into commercial farming - anything from fruits and vegetables to horseback riding. It would be fascinating to watch Detroit slowly turn from abandoned industrial to green and growing.

  • One artist has used abandoned industrial for inspiration. Scott Hocking has explored the warehouses and factories in Detroit in an admiration of "tragic beauty", and that has landed him in a Time magazine story on Detroit urban visionaries. Time also has a web exclusive pictorial, but you can find better shots at Forgotten Detroit. I really want to get into Michigan Central Station sometime and shoot. Maybe this summer.

  • End of an era - ER wraps up after 15 years tonight. Although I had really lost touch with the show after Carter left, I still watched from time to time, especially in the past year. And when I really stop and think about it - this is the end of a Thursday night NBC tradition for me that started with Hill Street Blues back in 1981, which was followed by LA Law, and then ER.

    Almost thirty years as a customer. Thank you NBC for all the great entertainment.

  • Gretchen Whitmer. In leather. Chastising the Senate Republicans. It just doesn't get any better than this.