Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Sunday Paper: August 22, 2010

"The World's Largest Waterslide" brought thousands of people to downtown Grand Rapids yesterday - some waiting as long as four hours to ride 500 feet down the Lyon St. hill by Grand Rapids Community College. Check out the 1000 px version here.

Some stuff to ponder on this fine August day...

  • Kathy pointed this out in a Blast over on the side, but let us bring it out front and center for everyone to see. You know how the Republicans love to screech over and over that people don't want to pay taxes for public services? Yeah, well, they were lying. We loves us some taxes.

    Across the state, voters approved 86 percent of the 623 ballot proposals affecting how much they would pay in taxes or, in a few cases, fees, according to a Center for Michigan analysis. They OK’d 96 percent of the requests to either renew taxes or restore rates that had been reduced by the Headlee amendment in the Michigan Constitution.

    And perhaps most surprising: They supported too 69 percent of the proposals that were flat-out tax increases.

    Now the rabid anti-tax loons are saying, "Oh, it's OK if it's for local government." Uh huh. Funny that wasn't mentioned before.

  • The Sierra Club of Ontario is looking to block the DRIC, claiming that the bridge would threaten endangered species. Permits have already been granted though, and the court challenge is expected to fail. But, the MI Senate is still sitting on the legislation, having made changes to the House bill and yet noting voting on it. 10,000 jobs, obstructed by the Republicans. Campaign commercial, anyone?

  • August is NOT November, as John Lindstrom of Gongwer correctly points out in Dome Magazine. And I will admit, I've been guilty of this myself. I'm sorry, I'll try to stop.

    So it is time, more than time, in fact, to remind people to breathe oxygen, not the polluted air of assumption. The only thing inevitable politically now is that the voters will decide between Mr. Snyder and Mr. Bernero. There is much yet to occur before either man can plan on standing on the cold steps of January and raising his right hand for the oath.

    Check out his analysis of the possibilities and problems facing the candidates. Good stuff. And a good message to everyone to just settle down - anything can happen between now and then.

  • Governor Granholm will appear with Dick Armey on "Meet the Press" today to talk teabaggers and elections and fun things like that. Lucky her, eh? Check your local listings.

  • Piranha 3D! No, it wasn't shot in the Capitol Building like you would think, it wasn't even shot in the state of Michigan, but the post production team spent six months in Ann Arbor working on the film - the first movie to bring the technical work of post editing to our state. Read the Freep article for the details, and see how this facet of the industry has the potential to create a great number of permanent movie jobs.

  • Midland has been ranked No. 3 in the country for economic growth potential and for Alternative Energy Industry Leaders by Business Facilities Magazine. The rankings were for cities under 200,000 in population. This comes on the heels of Michigan itself being ranked No. 3 in the country for "Alternative Energy Leaders" by the same mag, trailing only Arizona and Iowa. Nice to see that others are paying attention and applauding our efforts here. We should do the same.

  • Speaking of those outsiders and their applause, the New York Times ran a nice piece on the rebound of the auto industry and how it has helped Detroit - but they warn that there still may be excess production capacity overall. Time will tell.

  • The Feds were aware of problems with Enbridge concerning "corrosion monitoring and its delayed reporting of spills" as far back as 2002. That can't be good for the lawsuit. Rep. Mark Schauer, along with company officials and the EPA, will be holding a community meeting to update the situation this Thursday night, August 26th, at 7:30PM at the Marshall Middle School auditorium. Bring your questions to the top.

  • The ship Westmoreland went down in Lake Michigan in 1854, carrying winter supplies from from Milwaukee to Mackinac Island. On July 7th, diver Ross Richardson found the ship - and now you can see the video of the wreck, courtesy of MLive. He won't reveal the exact location until he has documented the findings, rumors of gold and all...