Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Sunday Paper

Holland Lighthouse, couple of weeks ago. Melt, melt, melt!

Some articles of interest for your Sunday reading pleasure. Jobs, budget and the ever-present election season all on the menu...

  • Know what creates jobs? Funding road construction and renewable energy projects such as wind farms. And since there isn't much new construction out there, retrofitting old buildings for energy efficiency is another idea as well. Biosciences are another high growth field as well. Those four stories make a good argument for incentives and/or funding in those areas.
  • When people say you should start your own business, performing circumcisions on adult males in your own home is probably not one of those high-demand services. Or, maybe it is, who knows. Don't do it though. Bad idea. Try again.

  • The Freep has a great editorial on the Race to the Top competition. Bottom line: If the Legislature doesn't get its act together, we probably won't have a shot at the next round of funding, and school kids will lose out. Too bad those school kids can't write campaign donation checks, maybe then they would get some action. (Bitter? Do I sound bitter?)

  • Wayne County school districts are considering taking matters into their own hands and asking voters for a millage increase. Thanks to Prop A, the only way districts can do this is to ask on a county-wide level. Polling so far shows a split for the proposal, but maybe when the fine folks in the Legislature propose another $255 per pupil cut, that will change. (Not bitter at all.)

  • Michigan's Supreme Court weighs in on budget cuts, telling lawmakers that court-run programs, such as the Foster Care Review Board, are in jeopardy if funding isn't made available. Take a number, and have a seat.

  • Already waiting with number in hand, the fund to cleanup toxic manufacturing sites in Michigan is out of money, threatening both the environment and future economic development in and around those areas.

  • Health care has been one of the biggest job creators in Michigan in the past few years, but between patients losing their private insurance, cuts to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements, and stunning levels of "uncompensated care" as the bills are now going unpaid, hospitals and other health care providers are now forced to cut jobs as they start running deficits.

  • Democratic Silly Season gets underway in Grand Rapids, as Dillon supporters target Virg Bernero with robocalls in the first shot of the upcoming labor-on-labor battle brewing in the party. Paid for by the electrical workers, the recording implores people to "call the UAW" and tell them not to support Bernero. Dividing labor is just the first fissure Dillon seeks to exploit, can the "Punch A Hippie" strategy be far behind?

  • Labor numbers: Michigan is 6th in the nation with 18.8% of workers belonging to a union. Tops is New York at 25.2%.

    Conclusion of the week? Damn, do we need some money. Better get on that pretty soon...