Wednesday, December 16, 2009


These were posted at BFM - I want them here because the search engine is better and I might need to reference them again someday.

  • MI Unemployment Drops for Second Month in a Row: Maybe we have hit bottom, and are now starting the long climb back up...

    Michigan's unemployment rate has improved for the second straight month.
    State officials said Wednesday that the November jobless rate dropped to 14.7 percent, down from a national high of 15.1 percent in October. It was the state's lowest rate in six months.

    The state's jobless rate reached 15.3 percent in September.

    But the news isn't all good. The state lost about 14,000 nonfarm payroll jobs last month, according to a seasonally adjusted survey of employers.

    We had gained 38,000 jobs in October, so the loss last month is disappointing - BUT - the losses have most definitely slowed down.

    That's a good thing. A real good thing.

  • Offshore Wind Farm For Ludington?: This looks promising. Four miles offshore won't ruin the view. (Have now seen a rendering of what the East Coast ones would look like, and they are still visable -barely- at 13 miles out)

    Scandia Wind Offshore says the area south of Ludington and four miles offshore is the perfect location to build a 1000-megawatt windfarm. Plans call for more than 100 large wind turbines that could turn Michigan wind into electricity for the Midwest. Residents seem to be hungry for more information.
    "I think it is important to look into other forms of energy," said Bill McBeth. "And in Michigan, wind is something to look into."

    "We have lots right here on the coast, so why not use it," said Mike McDonald. "So far I can not see anything wrong with it."

    The company believes when it comes to building an offshore wind energy farm, Michigan has the best conditions in the country.

    $3 billion in investment for the area. A meeting with residents is scheduled tonight to address any concerns they might have.

    Stay tuned...

  • Granholm Announces Over 9,000 New and Retained Jobs for Michigan: Gotta have those tax credits. If we don't, some other state will.

    Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is helping 10 companies grow in Michigan and is backing eight brownfield redevelopment projects. Combined, the 18 projects are expected to create 6,804 new jobs (2,236 direct and 4,418 indirect), retain 2,263 jobs, and generate over $672 million in new investment in the state.

    For full details, check the release here.

  • Granholm Signs Bills Restricting Utility Shutoffs: Story makes the WaPo. Nice.

    The five bills Granholm signed Monday protect eligible low-income customers and seniors from municipal utility shutoffs, govern shut-off notices and procedures and permit the state attorney general or a customer to bring a civil action against a municipal utility in shut-off cases involving serious injury or death.

    The bills also require municipal utilities to make efforts to identify customers who are 65 or older and requires the state to give utilities information about people who have applied for or are receiving public assistance so they can be helped to reduce energy costs and prevent shutoffs.

    Michigan's big, state-regulated utilities such as DTE Energy and Consumers Energy Co., along with cooperatives, are not allowed to shut off power to senior citizens in the winter and must offer payment plans to the poor. State regulators also discourage the use of limiters.

    But Michigan's 41 smaller municipal utilities - Bay City's included - are not overseen by the state, so new laws had to be passed to make customer shut-off protections uniform statewide.

    If you need assistance with utility bills this winter, check out the state's Helping Hand website, or call 2-1-1 to be connected with local resources. Make sure and check on your elderly neighbors too - no one should freeze to death when there is help available and laws in place to prevent it from happening.

  • Feds to Add $13 Million to the Asian Carp Fight: The optimum goal is $30 million total - but $13 million of that will come from the already approved $475 million Great Lakes cleanup funding.

    Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said Monday the money will be used for engineering projects to prevent the carp from slipping into Lake Michigan near Chicago.

    They include closing conduits and shoring up low-lying lands between the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and other waterways.

    Good to see some steps being taken to address this threat. Hope it's not too late.