CROPDAMAGE: Farmers are worried about deer damage to their crops but can obtain DNR permits to hunt them out of season—a move that makes some hunters unhappy. We hear from a Traverse City farmer, a legislator from Traverse City, the president of the Northwest Farm Bureau and Michigan United Conservation Clubs. A Southwest Michigan legislator wants to make it easier for farmers to shoot nuisance deer, and co-sponsors include representatives from Tipton, Holland, Lum, Constantine and Niles. By Adam DeLay. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, SOUTH BEND, LAPEER, STURGIS, UP NORTH & ALL POINTS.
SEXED: Pending legislation would require public school districts to teach students more about sex education than just abstinence. The measure, which unanimously passed a House committee, is backed by the state Association of School Board but is drawing fire from the Michigan Family Forum. Sponsors include representatives from Royal Oak, Warren and Mount Clemens, and the lead sponsor is from Salem Township. By Emily Lawler. FOR MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, OAKLAND, LANSING, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
TRANSPARENCY: Once the state budget is resolved, some legislators, including one from Evart, want to move to tighten ethics and financial disclosure requirements for politicians and candidates. Attorney Gen. Mike Cox wants to extend disclosure requirements to immediate relatives of state and local officials and candidates. A Canton senator, backed by colleagues from East Lansing, Holland, Saugatuck, Algonac and Bay City wants to prohibit lawmakers from voting on bills when there’s a conflict of interest. By Quincy Hodges. FOR CADILLAC, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING, OAKLAND, ROYAL OAK, HOLLAND, LAPEER & ALL POINTS.
STANDISH: A legislator from Farwell is among the vocal critics of a proposal to house Gitmo terrorism suspects at the state prison in Standish. A local corrections officer reflects some of the community criticism of the idea under review by the Obama administration. We also hear from a senator from Bay City and the Corrections Department. By Nick Mordowanec. FOR CLARE, GLADWIN, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
SHERIFFBUDGETS: Sheriffs across the state have been cutting services and face even more constraints as state and local government revenues shrink. The executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association says he’s warning his members to “buckle up ‘cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” However, the sheriffs in Mason and Manistee counties say they’re running tight ships and hope to be able avoid serious cuts in 2010. By Jordan Travis. FOR LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.
FREETUITION: A Detroit lawmakers wants the state Constitution to establish and fund a program to reimburse high school grads for undergraduate tuition and vocational training at universities and community colleges. The Three Rivers schools superintendent and Glen Oaks Community College like the idea, which would require participating students to do a year of public service. By Hyonhee Shin. FOR THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, SOUTH BEND, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
GROCERYSTORETAXBREAK: Northern Michigan could gain jobs and improve public health due to new tax breaks for grocers selling healthy produce in underserved areas, including parts or all of Charlevoix, Alpena, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Mason, Clare and Gladwin counties. The owner of 12 Save-a-Lot stores, the Michigan Grocers Association and a state Agriculture Department official talk about the program. By Caitlin Costello. FOR ALPENA, CHARLEVOIX, TRAVERSE CITY, CLARE, GLADWIN, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.
ALGEBRA2: The superintendent of the Manton schools and the principal of Cadillac High School are among advocates for modifying the state mandate that students must pass algebra 2 to graduate from high school. They favor allowing practical-oriented alternatives, such as diesel fuel technology or learning how to manage a ledger. The House and Senate must negotiate different proposals to accomplish that aim and, for example, let students substitute a class such as financial literacy, engineering or electronics. The House lead sponsor, from West Branch, tells how one of his own sons struggled with math. Other sponsors include legislators from Alpena, Tipton, Hart, West Olive and Wallace. By Vince Bond. FOR CADILLAC, HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, OAKLAND, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ALPENA, BLISSFIELD, LUDINGTON, MARQUETTE & ALL POINTS.
GREENJOBS: The Granholm and Obama administration are aggressively pursuing a green jobs agenda, and some Michigan companies, including ones in Royal Oak and Rochester Hills, are taking advantage of that interest. So is Lawrence Technological University and its Center for Sustainability The Mackinac Center for Public Policy questions the move, however, but the Michigan Manufacturers Association and Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth like its potential. By Mehak Bansil. FOR ROYAL OAK, OAKLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
URBANFARMERS: The two-story brick building on Chene Street in Detroit has a dirt floor and no roof, but it does have four walls – more than you can say about many remaining structures in the neighborhood. The walled garden is part of a bigger food-growing effort by Peacemakers International, a ministry that helps addicts get off the streets and into jobs. Meanwhile, a Detroit-based financial holding company plans to buy thousands of Motor City acres and turn them into what may be the world’s biggest urban farm, intending to put the properties back on the tax rolls. By Andy McGlashen of Great Lakes Echo. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, OAKLAND, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK & ALL POINTS.
w/URBANFARMINGPHOTO: Shirley Robinson and Mike Score work in a walled garden at Peacemakers International in Detroit. Credit: Andy McGlashen, Great Lakes Echo
CITYWATERSISLAND: Michigan is a state of connections, from the vibrant urban life of Detroit and its suburbs to the water passage between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean and on to the historic links between the Ojibwe and Isle Royale. Three new books explore these themes. A photographer shows us 365 days in Southeast Michigan. A Muskegon environmental journalist explains how the St. Lawrence Seaway has opened the Great Lakes to dangerous invasive species. An ex-national park historian highlights the long involvement of Native Americans with Isle Royal. By Eric Freedman. FOR OAKLAND, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, HOLLAND, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, LUDINGTON, SOUTH BEND, ALPENA, PETOSKEY, MARQUETTE, TRAVERSE CITY & ALL POINTS.