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5 April 2012

“I have approximate answers and possible beliefs in different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and of many things I don’t know anything about, but I don’t have to know an answer” — Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize-winning American physicist.

* Michigan’s local governments were collaborating and sharing services before Gov. Rick Snyder pushed through Economic Vitality Incentive Program, which uses state aid dollars to encourage locals to look for collaborations. However, survey work done by the Center for Local, Urban and State Policy at theUniversity ofMichigan has found that:

“Despite those high levels of existing collaboration, the new incentives appear to have fostered more plans for new or expanded collaboration. Overall, 91 percent of eligible jurisdictions submitted plans by the state’s deadline, certifying for Category 2 funds that they were now planning new or expanded collaboration efforts. Furthermore, among the local governments that weren’t exploring increased collaboration before the EVIP incentives were announced, about 88% eventually changed their minds, or “flipped,” and did submit plans in 2011 for new or expanded cooperation”:

* Bridge created a handy breakout of how student loan debt has piled up on Michigan’s 15 public university campuses. It ain’t pretty. But the challenges of repaying student loans isn’t just a matter for the 20somethings in our community. (Hat tip to Nancy Derringer and her always entertaining personal blog.):

* A move is afoot to amend the state’s non-discrimination law — the Elliott-Larsen Act — to include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens. At the moment, it is legal In Michigan (and in plenty of other states) to fire a person from a job based on the employee’s sexual orientation. Advocates for workplace protection point to this 2011 survey as evidence thatMichigan voters would prefer to see the non-discrimination law updated:

* Detroit Public Television began airing this week “Arab American Stories,” a13-part national series on contemporary Arab-American life. Here’s a preview:

* This is sure to raise some hackles in lakeshore communities in West Michigan: “The Obama administration has joined with the governors of five states bordering the Great Lakes as well as 10 federal agencies and departments to sign a new memorandum of understanding to boost development of offshore wind energy”:

* Regular readers of Land O probably know I’m a sucker for maps. Well, here’s one that shows wind power possibilities overMichiganat a height of 50 meters (that’s about 164 feet for us non-metric types):


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