Sept. 12, 2008—Week 2
to: CNS Editors
from: Eric Freedman & Vic Rauch
MUCC AHEAD: Your correspondents will interview Dennis Muchmore,
executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs, on Monday, Sept. 15.
Likely topics include environmental enforcement efforts; public lands policies
related to hunting, fishing, boating and camping; a possible expanded beverage
container deposit law; and wildlife habitat preservation.
HERE'S YOUR WEEKLY FILE:
SMOKINGBAN: The owner of a smoke-free Ludington restaurant favors a
proposed state ban on smoking in the workplace, as does the manager of a local
restaurant that now permits smoking in its bar. The House and Senate have yet to
agree on details of a possible ban, despite 10 years of discussion and debate. One
hang-up is a House provision to exempt non-tribal casinos. The Small Business
Association of Michigan frets that a ban may drive the public to shop across the
state borders. By Brittany Kinstle. FOR LUDINGTON, GRAND RAPIDS
BUSINESS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, SOUTH BEND, MONROE & ALL
GREENRECOVERYENERGY. An ambitious national plan to promote green
energy could pour $3.1 billion of federal funds into Michigan, create about 60,000
jobs and cut the state's unemployment rate, a new study claims. The Michigan
Energy Council favors the plan, and a think tank expert says it could benefit such
urban areas as Detroit, Lansing & Flint. By Alison Costello. FOR LANSING,
MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
BENEFITS: A GOP lawmaker from Grandville predicts Attorney Gen. Mike Cox
will torpedo Grand Valley State University’s policy of providing health benefits
for unmarried couples, including same-sex couples. He also plans to seek to cut
state aid to universities with similar policies, including Wayne State, U-M,
Michigan State, Michigan Tech and Central. The West Olive legislator who
requested Cox’s opinion said the policy violates a state constitutional provision
defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but GVSU insists it isn’t
breaking the law and the governor’s office says trustees should be free to set
institutional policies. A Chelsea Democratic representative accuses her GOP
colleagues of creating an irrelevant wedge issue. By Ryan Secord. FOR
HOLLAND, GREENVILLE, LUDINGTON, LANSING, MARQUETTE,
MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
ENERGYPACKAGE. A compromise state energy plan that might pass the
Legislature the fall is likely to have a strong economic impact on Northern
Michigan, but it’s uncertain whether it would create a significant number of new
jobs there. Aides to the Democratic governor and a Traverse City GOP senator
talk about the legislation now under negotiation in the House and Senate. By Nico
Rubello. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, UP NORTH,
LUDINGTON, CADILLAC, MARQUETTE & ALL POINTS.
GREENRECOVERYJOBS: A national “green recovery” proposal to pump federal
funds into alternative energy, energy conservation and mass transit would create
tens of thousands of jobs in Michigan, advocates say. A Greenville business owner
explains the benefits of energy efficiency in construction. By Charles Roltsch.
FOR GREENVILLE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
MACOMBCLOUT: Political eyes around the country are focused on Macomb
County, which candidates Obama and McCain have already visited and where
partisan media spending is expected to be high. Already, one political action
committee aired 1,000 anti-Obama spots in a single week. The presidential
contest could impact two state House races as well. We hear from a Macomb
Community College political scientist and from party leaders. By John Hudson.
FOR MACOMB, ROMEO, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
UNIONELECTION: Like most unions, the Michigan AFL-CIO and Michigan
Education Association are pushing to elect Barack Obama and other Democratic
candidates. An Alpena UAW retiree and the president of the state AFL-CIO say
the Democrats understand worker needs and the economy better than the GOP.
But a Republican legislator from Farwell says some union members do support his
party’s candidates, and the Fraternal Order of Police recently announced its
endorsement of McCain at a Detroit meeting. By Courtney Bowerman. FOR
ALPENA, CLARE, GLADWIN, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
HISTORYICONS Few images of American nostalgia are as iconic as the one-
room schoolhouse or the lighthouse – the schoolhouse with its spinsterish
schoolmarm in the front, children from 5 to their mid-teens arrayed at rows of
wooden desks before her, the lighthouse with its lore of narrowly averted
shipwrecks amid howling Great Lakes gales. Most of those schoolhouses have
closed and many lighthouses have fallen into disrepair. Two new books chronicle
those important symbols of heritage and history, one by a Macomb County
photographer and the other by a Frankfort historic preservation activist. By Eric
Freedman. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, ROMEO, MACOMB, LUDINGTON,
HOLLAND, PETOSKEY, SOUTH BEND, ALPENA, UP NORTH,
MARQUETTE, OAKLAND & ALL POINTS.