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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Michigan Main Street Program

In July 2008, Rogers City was named as an Associate with the Michigan Main Street Program (www.michigan.gov/mshda/mainstreet). Our new designation gives Rogers City a good chance to become a recognized Main Street community with all the benefits, priviledges, and economic opportunities associated with that status. Currently, recognized Michigan Main Street communities include Boyne City, Calumet, Marshall, Portland, Clare, Muskegon, Niles, Grand Haven, Howell, Iron Mountain, Old Town Lansing, Scottville, and Manistee.

Being a "Main Street" city is not merely a bragging right. During 2008, the 13 cities listed above experienced over $9,000,000 of new private investment. Since 2003, these cities had over $35,000,000 of new private investment. Main Street works!

As an Main Street Associate we are entitled to free training and expert advice on ways to make Rogers City's downtown more successful. With the additional prospect of Wolverine's proposed Clean Energy Venture, Rogers City has an unprecedented opportunity. Right now, we have a real chance to make our downtown something lost four decades ago--a vibrant, successful center of community life!

Some say, "the economy is terrible." Some say, "the downtown is failing." Some say, "it will never happen." In response, we say, "it is darkest before the dawn." We say, "the history of the city is strong." We say, "we can make it happen." It may take some time, but we will turn this around.

"Main Street" is not a project, it is not a grant--it is a proven method. The key to this method is citizen involvment. Rogers City is your downtown; what do you want it to become? If you care, Rogers City is looking for you! Now is the time to get involved.

We need community volunteers to help in four area: design, promotion, organization, and business development. We need all sorts of helpers: people who will show up, listen, and share; we need young people and older people; people who like to make things; people who like to decorate or design, people who like to work in a committee and people who don't, people who are good with numbers and people who are not, and people who want to lead us to success.

The City will provide you with training and a group of like-minded friends with whom you will work. Our only goal is to make a better downtown. There is no deadline, no due-date, and no fee. There is no political agenda here--only our community. You don't have to be a long-time resident. You don't have to be a full-year resident. You don't even have to be a resident. You don't have to pass any test or have a degree. You can give as much or as little time and energy as you want. Nobody will critique you; we will work together.

If you are interested, please contact Mark Slown at City Hall, 734-2191 or mslown@rogerscity.com

Financial Literacy Classes

Presque Isle County MSU Extension Office brings you the following classes at no charge:

Tuesday, Feb 17, 3 - 5 pm Basic budgeting, record keeping, and checkbooks Wednesday, Feb 25, 6 - 8 pm Identity theft, predatory lending, name protection
Monday, March 2, 3 - 5 pm Basic budgeting, record keeping, and checkbooks Tuesday, March 10, 2 - 4 pm Identity theft, predatory lending, name protection

All classes are at the Presque Isle District Library in Rogers City, 181 E. Erie Street and are open to the public. Free snacks and beverages provided by MSU Extension. Cheryl Peters will be the instructor.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snow Mobile Trail Report: January 24, 2009

All trails in our system of snowmobile trails were groomed overnight and all are in excellent condition, great riding.
Do not forget the meeting on Tues at Millersburg fire hall...
Bonnie Altman

Friday, January 23, 2009

Get on Board the Knowledge Economy

The physical thing that is our economy is changing all the time. For example, for decades our state manufactured more automotive products than any other. As we all know, this has changed as jobs and production of vehicles and parts moved to other locations. While this change has held more negative consequences for Michigan than positives, there is a silver lining. The change has made us more aware that our economy requires constant attention. Our economy was not really driven by the Big Three, but by the attitude and ability of all our businesses, including local ones.
Our economy is the result of what people choose to make it, more than just "the way it is." Our knowledge and decisions, our skill and energy shape our economy. The knowledge needed for an effective business is constantly changing. The internet, world-wide web, computers, databases, communications technology have become standard business tools. Just as trucks and cars replaced horse and buggy last century, so too must our economic tools be updated. In your business, have you tried to use a web site, email, a Blackberry?

Making needed changes is a key to the "Knowledge Economy." It is not easy to change the way we have "done business," often for decades. A proven principle of business success is a "steady state:" when you get it right, keep it right. However, "getting it right" is changing more and more frequently. New equipment is coming out all the time. It is especially difficult to keep up with all the new information and knowledge that is being generated ever day. Yet, to successfully compete, we must not only keep up but also excel in our knowledge.

My mother, bless her soul, did not want to use a computer. She called it an"infernal invention." She meant it would be a change from her "old faithful" Royal typewritter, it was unknown, and it held a connotation of evil (think of Hal in 2001: A Space Odessy).

I never tried to force computers on my dear Mom, and I'm not asking for everyone in Rogers City to embrace computer technology or the knowledge economy. However, I am certain that for Rogers City to thrive economically, our business community and a core of our leaders and entreprenuers must do exactly that.

Wolverine Power Cooperative is an excellent example a company that uses the knowledge economy. Wolverine has been successful were others failed, and they may build a billion dollar power plant in our area soon. This will bring tremendous change and many economic opportunities. Wolverine knows the "knowledge economy" just as much as they know the electrical power business. They have sought out knowledge and used tools in every field that could apply to their business: government and legal affairs, environmental specialists, forrestry and fisheries experts, shipping experts, and engineers of every sort. They are looking out for ways to leverage there operations using the changing information. For example, they already are planning for carbon capture even before it becomes required.

For our citizens to fully benefit from Wolverine's project, we must emulate their excellent example and not merely hope they create jobs. As a community, we must start to use every tool available, not just the comfortable ones. This takes time and effort, but it is not really very difficult to get started. In fact, a key principle of the knowledge economy is "work smarter, not harder." The opportunities are boundless!

Let's get on board the "U.S. Ship of Knowledge" and sail to new prosperity and success. Call or email any of people listed below to learn more about how to use the knowledge economy:

+ MSU Extension: Cheryl Peters, cpeters@msu.edu, 989-734-2168

+ Alpena Community College: Carl Bourdelais, bourdelc@alpenacc.edu, 888-454-5400 x7383

+ Presque Isle County Economic Development: Bill Valentine, info@picdc.org, 989-734-8446

+ Presque Isle District Library: Reference Librarian, pidlref@i2k.net, 989-734-2477

+ Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG): Diane Rekowski or Richard
Deuell, http://www.nemcog.org/, 989-732-3551

+ Michigan Works: Randy Neumann, neumannr@miworks-nemc.gen.mi.us, 800-371-2533

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snow Mobile Trails Report January 22, 2009

All the trails were groomed last night.
Some members rode from Rogers City to Harrison and found our trails to be the best.
Get out and ride; it is going to be a super nice day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Mobile Trails Report January 20, 2009

All the trails were groomed last night.
Rod said the snow flowed through the drag perfectly.
The hazzard has been removed from trail 99 .
Get out and enjoy the day on our trails.

Bonnie Altman

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snow Mobile Trail Report

Trail 99 has a hazzard about a mile in from the parking lot.
A mini van is stuck on the trail, and we have no idea why it is there but we hope it is out today.
Rod groomed the Rogers City connector, the Black mountain and the Silver Creek.
Arkwoods did the Rail Road grade.
It should still be good riding today, remember the hazzard.
Bonnie Altman

Great Lakes Cruising Club

The Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) has a new Port Captain in Rogers City: Beach Hall. Beach replaces legendary Harry Whiteley as Rogers City's Port Captain. Beach and his wife Kellie have been sailing for over 30 years in various boats from an O'Day Day Sailor to a classic Tartan 34: Dauntless. In addition to sailing on the Great Lakes, they have sailed in the Caribbean, in Honduras, and in Greece. Beach is retired from General Motor, and resides in Rogers City where he is active in community service, including currently being the Mayor, Chairman of the Library Board, a member of the Museum Board, a member of the Planning Commission, a member of the Community Development Commission, and many other actvities. Beach and Kellie are active members of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Beach has a message for Great Lakes boaters: Visit Rogers City on your way up or down Lake Huron's beautiful shore for a great boating experience! Rogers City is a great jumping off point to the North Channel. Both he, and the Harbor Master, Brian Wagner, and his staff are committed to making your visit a pleasant experience.

"Family Connections" Comes to Rogers City

The counseling, therapy, stress management, and parenting education service called "Family Connections" has opened an office in Rogers City. The firm includes Judith K. Thompson, Marilyn Sytsma, and Vincent Call each of whom are Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSW) with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Family Connections offers individual therapy, couples counseling, family therapy, group counseling, in-home counseling for the homebound, and crisis debriefing. The also specialize in "play therapy" which helps children heal from trauma, learn skills for appropriate expression, cope with life stressors, and more. The Family Connections new office is located at 240 West Erie Street in Rogers City. To schedule an appointment call 1-877-257-3621. They accept many forms of health insurance.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cool Video Clip: Chance of Snow

Rogers City is a great place for snow. This winter especially, we have more than a "Chance of Snow." Check out this great little video clip from Travel Michigan to get a feel for the joy of snow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IplMLvcMCY

Finally some Good News for Michigan

The press release below is not for our immediate area (here in Northeast Michigan), but it is good news for Michigan. Let's hope that we have a big announcement (Wolverine) soon too!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2009; Contacts: see below.

MSU Named Home to IBM Global Delivery CenterIBM supports creation of state technology corridor

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, on behalf of the state of Michigan, and IBM (NYSE: IBM), in close partnership with Michigan State University (MSU), today announced the creation of a global delivery center for application services to be located on the MSU campus in East Lansing. The global delivery center will be the first of its kind in the U.S. for IBM. The center will provide innovative application development and support services to modernize older and less efficient IT systems for state and local government agencies and universities. Additionally, IBM will accommodate work from telecommunications, health care and other U.S.-based clients in the center with a focus on modernizing IT applications through process excellence, tooling automation, and asset re-use. “We are working hard every day to grow our economy and create jobs,” said Governor Granholm. “This center is an outstanding example of a project that brings together economic development, educational opportunity, and jobs in a way that can help transform our economy in the 21st century.” IBM will collaborate with MSU professors to educate students and recent graduates on the application development techniques that will help to create a workforce prepared to lead in the current economic environment. “Michigan State University shares the bold vision for the role technology plays in building a diverse 21st century economy, said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Our partnership with IBM will involve a multidisciplinary approach that leverages the intellectual assets of several colleges, including business, engineering, natural science, and social science.” Michigan State University is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. “Like IBM, MSU has a long tradition of and commitment to international engagement,” said Simon. “Our understanding of the global environment makes us the ideal partner for this project.” Students studying computer science, supply chain, and engineering will be candidates for employment by programs in the IBM global delivery center.

“Combining our own expertise in services and application development, this agreement builds on a successful long-term relationship between IBM, MSU and the state of Michigan,” said Charles L. Prow, managing partner government, IBM Global Business Services. “This project demonstrates Michigan’s pledge to use technology to improve agency services as well as a commitment to create highly skilled job opportunities for its citizens.” The project supports Granholm’s vision to create a technology corridor that uses highly skilled workers as a means to generate job growth and improve the economic base in the state. Establishment of the center will help to centralize application support and increase efficiencies. In its network of global delivery centers, IBM has a set of integrated tools, processes and disciplines that will be transplanted to the Michigan center to deliver superior applications for clients. Support from the city of East Lansing, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (Leap), MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation was a key factor in IBM’s decision to locate this project in Michigan. “This is a huge opportunity for our region,” said Denyse Ferguson, Leap’s president and CEO. “We’re thrilled to welcome IBM and everything they’re bringing in terms of jobs, opportunities for students, and support for our IT sector.” IBM expects to begin operations in the first quarter of this year in the MSU Federal Credit Union building on campus, as the credit union has relocated its headquarters to another location. The state estimates that the move by IBM to bring jobs and employees to Michigan as part of the new center will create up to 1,500 new direct and indirect jobs over the next five years, with 100 new direct jobs by June 2009.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Maritime Capital of Northeast Michigan

While Great Lakes shipping may be temporarily in decline, rest assured the Great Lakes will remain the most economical transportation route for bulk cargo in the upper mid-west. From Duluth to New Brunswick, Rogers City and the port of Calcite is the geographic center of the "North Coast." For Rogers City the 21st Century may be the era of unparalled opportunity for economic growth and development.
"Who can see into the future? Only the wise...." (Unknown Author)

Winter Wonderland in Rogers City

Image used with permission of the artist, Al Stiller

Snow Mobile Trail Report for Rogers City Area

As of January 11, 2009, all trails in the Presque Isle Sno-trails system were groomed last night.
All are in top condition should be great riding any where you wish to go
Be careful with speed since the trails are great slow down and enjoy the ride
Groomers will be out again tonight.
Bonnie Altman
The MI-SBTDC is providing a great training and education opportunity to Rogers City and our area at the following workshop:
Date : Jan 16 th 2009
Time : 9:00 am
Where: Rogers City Hall Conference Room
Speaker : Joel Schultz (Regional Director of MI-SBTDC)
Contact : Randy Neumann @ 989-733-8548 or Bill Valentine PICDC @ 989-734-8446 or e-mail to neumannr@miworks-nemc.gen.mi.us or info@picdc.org

As a Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDCTM), we provide services and support in the following core areas:
CounselWe meet one-on-one with small business owners to assist in developing strategies to grow or improve their company. Consultants include insightful established professionals who provide their knowledge and expertise regarding business development. Examples of assistance provides are as follows:
Developing growth strategies
Preparing a business plan for financing
Determining cash flow issues
Defining and quantifying marketing initiatives
Developing sales strategies
These services are provided at no cost for business owners

Friday, January 9, 2009

Help Rogers City Get funding

You have all heard the news reports about a Federal Stimulus package working through Congress. Rogers City needs your help to get a share of the funding. Please write a letter or send an email to our representives in Washington D.C. , and ask them to send us some of the stimulus funding for our roads, water and sewer systems, and other facilities that need repair. A sample letter with the appropriate addresses is linked below. Feel free to make changes as you see fit, but let our elected representatives in Washington D.C. know that Rogers City needs help for critical health and safety infrastructure funding. Together, we can get the economy going again. Thank you, in advance, for your assistance.

Snow Mobile Trail Report


All trails in the Presque Isle Sno-trails system were groomed and in top condition with no issues.
Should be great riding this weekend.

Groomers are planning on being out again tonight and Saturday night so watch for the groomers on the trails.

Be sure to try out the RogersCity connector that was added this year to our system.

Bonnie Altman

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back After Holiday

I'm back in Rogers City after a needed and nice Christmas and New Year holiday visiting family in Illinois. I'll be updating the Manager's Blog with lots of new information about Rogers City soon. Despite the economic trouble and the unrest in the world, "Rogers City will be fine in 2009!"

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