Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Sunday Paper: April 11th, 2010

Alex Aliva Whitecaps 7/3/08
It's official, Spring is really here. Midwest League Baseball returns to Michigan today, as the West Michigan Whitecaps host the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, and the Lansing Lugnuts travel to Midland to face the Great Lakes Loons. Above is current Detroit Tiger Alex Avila, catching for the Whitecaps in 2008. Come on out and watch your local players climb the ladder to the big leagues. Play ball!

Some promising economic news from the week, with a sprinkle of political speculation to top it all off:

  • Ford announced they are going to build battery packs at the Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti Township, details to follow. Ford is currently building battery packs in Mexico, and that work is coming home. This was part of the 1,000 job announcement made last January that will see the Ford Focus hybrid and electric vehicles built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.

  • The American Wind Energy Association called Michigan a "manufacturing powerhouse" when it comes to making wind energy components, citing up to 4,000 direct and indirect jobs already, with hundreds more coming from GE, Global Wind and Energetx in the near future. We are lagging in wind installation though, ranking 17th in the nation. Some interesting facts from the report: All renewable energy sources provided 10.5% of the U.S. power mix in 2009, and 90% of all new generating capacity since 2005 has come from renewable energy or natural gas.

  • MEGA credits have been very effective, says a new study from the non-profit, non-partisan Upjohn Institute. MEDC has created at least 18,000 jobs from 1996-2007 at a "modest" cost of $3,500 a job. Each of those jobs "created more than $20,000 in economic benefits". But wait! There's more!

    The study also found that every MEGA-created job leads to nearly three spin-off jobs. The program created 16,700 more jobs than would have been created had the money socked into the tax breaks been used to cut the state's business tax rate, the researchers report.

    No-No Nancy Cassis immediately stuck her fingers in her ears and went "la la la, I don't believe you!" at this news, even though the Upjohn Institute is one of the most respected research outfits around. Why do Senate Republicans hate success? And speaking of other jobs that Nancy would like to stop from being created...

  • Michigan celebrated the two year anniversary of the expansion of our film credits last week. Since April of 2008, we have seen 89 movies or TV shows filmed in the state, created 8,000 jobs last year alone, and brought in nearly $349 million in revenue. Total in 2007? 2 million. We are now one of the top three states in the nation for production of all types of media. We might even get a Harold & Kumar sequel, that's how cool we are!

  • Governor Granholm is on a trade mission overseas, visiting Italy and Germany to drum up some biz. Prior jobs travels have recruited 47 companies to Michigan, bringing $1.6 billion in investment and the creation or retention of nearly 13,000 jobs. Very conveeeeeenient timing, given all the press gossip about the SC - which she batted down again last Friday.

  • When you stop polluting the water, the critters come back. The DNews has a nice piece on the new life showing up in and around the Detroit River, but warns there is still a long way to go on cleaning up the chemcals. In other water news, the feds are going to give us $10 million for Great Lakes cleanup, funding a public-private partnership that will address invasive species and other projects.

  • Stupak for Governor? Ha ha ha - Skooby's been pushing my buttons all week. The quotes I've read from Bart have sounded like he is simply burned out at this point though - but with Stupak, you never know, do you.

  • Prusi for Congress? Oh hell yes. And teabagger Republicans looking to run in MI-01? Best take note that the folks up there loves them some government spending.

    Enjoy your Sunday, for the Legislature returns next week....