CRC reports on what Prop A hath wrought

There’s political dynamite to be detonated in the latest report on education funding out of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. Not from CRC, mind you. As usual, the invaluable nonprofit, nonpartisan organization does what it does: tackle the numbers and details […]

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Scoring the ’00s: How Michigan’s 14 regions changed

Despite billions of dollars in construction projects on the University of Michigan’s campus and Ann Arbor’s reputation as a high-tech business hotbed, the regional economy there contracted slightly over the past decade. Gross domestic product in the Ann Arbor metro area fell […]

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Stomach-churning: Highs and lows in Mich. economy

Michigan has starred in its own disaster movie in the first decade of 21st century. The economic equivalents of F5 tornadoes and magnitude 9 earthquakes have battered the automotive industry and smashed construction work in the state. You knew all that, having […]

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All Michigan regions grew in 2010

Michigan’s regional economies surged ahead in 2010, propelled by a surprisingly robust manufacturing sector and solid growth from the “information economy.” The latest figures are a positive pivot from a decade that saw most Michigan regions lag economically. Between 2001 and 2009, […]

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Oh, horrors, a recall election

The jobless rate in Michigan is above 11 percent (it’s higher than that, but the official rate is 11.2 percent). The Legislature and the Snyder administration have taken budget actions that are leading to cuts in employment in the public sector. The […]

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Land O Links

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice” — Anton Chekov, 19th century Russian writer. * Noted lefty Todd Gitlin — a senior figure in the SDS movement in the 1960s notes CFM President Phil Power — writes in […]

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On the block: Taxes in Lansing, Troy, Wyoming

Three residential blocks in three different Michigan communities show how the massive decline in property values and the resulting “Shadow Tax Cut” rolled across the state. Bridge looked at residential blocks in two suburbs (Troy and Wyoming) and the capital city to […]

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Land O Links

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours” — John Locke, 17th century English philosopher * Propublica says the EPA has a report linking fracking chemicals to an instance of groundwater contamination […]

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Young professional groups sprout to grow Mich. connections

Traveling around Michigan is one of the pleasures of running the Center for Michigan. You get a sense of the rhythm of communities and what trends are developing. One such positive development made the front page of the Battle Creek Enquirer this […]

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Michigan’s ‘Faltering 40′ on college prep

If you want your son or daughter to succeed in college, there are 40 public school districts you may want to avoid. In an analysis by Bridge Magazine and Public Sector Consultants, these 40 districts, spread across the state and ranging from […]

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Merging fire services is tricky business

In January, the state started handing out money to local governments as incentives to consolidate public services with neighbors. Fire protection sharing figured prominently in the first round of 27 grants totaling $4.3 million. But it’s the lack of money, rather than […]

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Pension costs burn through city budgets

Lansing’s taxpayers were doused with some difficult news last week: The city’s pension fund for police and fire retirees could use a nearly $2 million boost from the city’s general fund. And the city’s already fighting a budget deficit. Big-city fire departments […]

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Medical calls dominate fire run stats

When the dispatch call goes to a typical Michigan fire station, chances are it has nothing to do with fire. In fact, odds are about four in five it’s some kind of medical emergency. And even then, it may well turn out […]

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In some cities, it’s cash that’s burning

In Michigan, your home address says everything about how much you spend for fire protection. In Midland, a city of 41,000, residents paid $155 per person in 2010 for their Fire Department. But in Wyoming, a West Michigan city of about 72,000, […]

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Double-duty fire chief serves two Lansings

Randy Talifarro has dealt with his share of dangerous situations during nearly three decades in firefighting. Perhaps that’s why the veteran East Lansing fire chief didn’t exactly charge into the fray when asked to assume the task of also running the city […]

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Michigan food and the case of the Chinese cherries

Matt Gougeon runs the Marquette Food Co-op, a store that began the way a lot of co-ops did in the 1970s, as a buying club for a number of families who wanted food that was hard to find in the Upper Peninsula. […]

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Truth Squad delves into casino land ownership

A plan to build eight casinos in Michigan moving toward November’s ballot remains almost as sketchy in financial detail as the day it was announced in April. One of the key features of the proposal is to prescribe eight specific casino locations. So, […]

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Guest column: Politicians get big favor with IRS-backed spending accounts

By Steve Harry What are 527 accounts and why should the voters of Michigan care? I’ve been all worked up about Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero’s 527 account since September 2009, when I read an article in the Lansing State Journal by Derek […]

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