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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Economic Growth and the Great Lakes

Economic Growth and the Role of the Great Lakes Highlight Discussion at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch Meeting

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Abraham Lincoln

DETROITThe Great Lakes form the largest surface water system on earth, with 20 percent of the world’s fresh water located right in our backyard. With Michigan at the heart of that system, surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, the economic impact of water for future economic development was the topic of conversation at an informal meeting held last month at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch.
Emphasizing that water is a resource not a commodity, discussion centered on utilizing this resource as a catalyst for economic development; by adding value through safe and environmentally sensitive industries related to water technologies. This includes incorporating plans for the design, funding and implementation of a robust, vibrant, productive and sustainable aquaculture industry in Michigan.
“We here at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit Branch truly understand the importance of the Great Lakes to this region. Investment in research that would help to preserve the integrity of the Great Lakes is something that could have a long lasting impact on the economic viability of Michigan as well as the region as a whole,” said Robert G. Wiley, SVP and branch manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch. Joining in the exchange of ideas was Paul Traub, research economist of the Federal Reserve Bank, Detroit Branch and Dennis Cawthorne, chairman of the board of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.
“From my Mackinac Island perspective where I see two of the five Great Lakes intersect, I know firsthand the huge economic impact of this resource. We need to move in new ways to benefit from our unique location in order to both preserve this resource for the future and take advantage of its economic benefits,” Cawthorne emphasized.
Dennis Cawthorne, chairman of the board of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission; Paul Traub, economist at the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; and Robert G. Wiley, SVP and branch manager of the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Making the Case: Economic Growth and Fresh Water
Anyone who lives in Michigan knows that water makes this a special place. “The Great Lakes and their connecting channels, form the largest surface fresh water system on earth. Michigan is at the heart of that system, surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes. Water is what makes Michigan a special place, with more than 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers. The Great Lakes represent about one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water supply, and nine-tenths of the U.S. supply. Environmental stewardship, sustainable economic development and responsible use of the Great Lakes are in the best interest of Michigan, the Great Lakes region, the country and the world,” said Dr. James S. Diana, Director, Michigan Sea Grant, and Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the University of Michigan.
“Investment in research that would help to preserve the integrity of the Great Lakes is something that could have a long lasting impact on the economic viability of Michigan as well as the region as a whole.”
Robert G. Wiley, SVP and Branch Manager
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch
“The Great Lakes is one of the greatest resources on the planet, and effective management of available high quality fresh water for human consumption needs is essential. As an example, new USDA Dietary Guidelines point out that Americans eat only 44 percent of the seafood required for optimal health,” explained Dr. Chris Weeks, Aquaculture Extension Specialist, North Central Region, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, at Michigan State University. “Since wild harvested seafood is considered to be at or near maximum levels, sustainable aquaculture development in Michigan is an opportunity to utilize the precious resources we have, albeit carefully and wisely, to help promote human health and at the same time increase employment opportunities in our state.”
Dr. Frank A. Fear, Senior Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University added, “Without question, a primary issue in agriculture is water. Water for food will be a defining issue in the quest to feed the world.”
On October 31, 2011, the world’s population reached 7 billion, and human population continues to increase at a rate that makes food production a critical need for future generations. “According to the United Nations, food production must double by 2050 to feed a growing world population. At the same time, it is estimated that humans are already using 40-50 percent of globally available freshwater, with over 70 percent of that water utilized for agriculture. Centered in the Great Lakes Basin, Michigan is well positioned to significantly increase food production,” noted Kent B. Herrick, president, Aquaculture Research Corp. “This will be technically challenging, to increase scale in a sustainable manner, but Michigan, as one of the most diverse crop producers in the United States, already has strong capabilities to meet this challenge. Aquaculture development will be an important contribution to efficient protein production and integrated with a host of other agriculture advancements, we will expand value creation from our water sources.”
Restoration Leads to Economic Benefits
A recent example that highlights the benefits of ensuring water resources and connecting it to economic growth efforts can be found in the Great Lakes restoration project in Muskegon. A story posted in May on www.healthylakes.org by Jeff Alexander covered a Grand Valley State University research effort; a $10 million shoreline restoration project on Muskegon Lake. It is designed to generate more than $66 million in economic benefits. That’s a 6-to-1 return on investment over a 10-year period, according to the GVSU study.
“The results are clear and we are excited to know that this restoration project will have a significant beneficial economic impact on the community,” said economics professor Paul Isely chairman of the economics department.
The $10 million project is being overseen by the Great Lakes Commission and West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission. According to the new report the project will generate:
  • A $12 million increase in property values
  • Up to $600,000 in new tax revenue annually
  • Over $1 million in new recreational spending annually in Muskegon
  • Nearly 65,000 additional visitors annually
  • $66 million in economic benefits over ten years
  • More than a 6-to-1 return on investment
The restoration project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will bring about the removal of 180,000 tons of unnatural fill from the lake, restore several miles of shoreline habitat and advance efforts to heal one of the region’s most abused waterways.
According to the study, the work will make Muskegon Lake more hospitable to birds, fish and people. It will also bolster the economy of a community that has been hit hard by the national recession.
On a broader scale, the Muskegon Lake project highlights the tremendous economic benefits that can be realized by removing toxic mud from Great Lakes harbors, restoring wetlands and fighting invasive species. It also underscores the need for Congress to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Congress funded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $475 million in the 2010 budget and $300 million in the recently passed 2011 budget (a significant victory considering the fact that some U.S. House budgets had the initiative at $225 million).
The Muskegon Lake project builds off of an earlier study by the Brookings Institution found that every $1 spent on Great Lakes restoration creates $2 in economic benefits.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Public Hearing for Walking Trail

This map shows a proposed improvement to an existing walking trail in Rogers City.  The City Council will hold a Public Hearing at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 to take comments about the proposed improvement.  The City hopes to clear the trail area of brush and trees to make it more walkable.  Currently, the trail wonders out of the Airport Drive right of way (ROW) and on to private property.  Opening up the path in the ROW will not only make the trail more user friendly but also set it in the public ROW.  The City hopes to accomplish the project for $5,000 or less.

If you have comments on this project, please email mslown@rogerscity.com or come to the Public Hearing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rogers City Christmas Band Concert

Terry Wolfgang Habermehl posted the following information:
"Rogers City City Band will be presenting a Christmas concert on Thursday , Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Rogers City Theater.  Hope to see you there!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Safe Routes to School

Here is the Press Release


CONTACT: Jeff Cranson, MDOT Director of Communications, 517-335-3084

MDOT announces Safe Routes to School grants
to 10 schools in four counties

December 13, 2011 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) today announced that 10 Michigan schools in four counties will receive federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grants averaging approximately $155,500. The grants will pay for safety improvements and education programs aimed at encouraging students to travel safety between home and school.                                                                                                                                     "These grants will fund sidewalks and infrastructure improvements that encourage children to safely walk and bike to school and enable schools to offer educational programs and safety campaigns," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "MDOT is proud to work with schools and communities on these initiatives."
            "The grant will help Rogers City provide safe access for all families, not just to school but throughout our community," said Katy Xenakis-Makowski, superintendant/elementary principal/director of special education for Rogers City Area Schools. "The construction of new sidewalks to help protect children from traffic will help ease the minds of parents whose children walk to and from school, sometimes in the dark."
            "We are thrilled to be part of the Safe Routes program at Washington Elementary and our whole team is excited about improvements to the outdated infrastructure in the neighborhood surrounding the school," said Crim Fitness Foundation Active Living Director Lauren Holaly. "These improvements, in combination with education and encouragement, will help create a vibrant neighborhood where healthy kids are using active transportation to get to school."
            Federal SRTS funding enables schools to make infrastructure improvements and offer educational activities and safety campaigns that encourage students to walk and bicycle safely between home and school. MDOT and the Michigan Fitness Foundation partner to work with

-more-

MDOT announces Safe Routes to School grants
to 10 schools in four counties
December 13, 2011
Page Two

schools, neighborhoods, students, teachers, parents, school transportation directors and local law enforcement agencies.                                                                                  
            The following projects were awarded funding. They are listed alphabetically by county:
Genesee County
            Washington Elementary School, in partnership with MDOT and the city of Flint, will install sidewalks and crosswalks on Ohio, Missouri, Arlington, Franklin, and Vernon avenues, along with pedestrian countdown signals at the intersection of Vernon Avenue and Davison Road. It also will implement pedestrian and bicycle safety education, walking school bus, and parent patrol programs. The project budget is $331,022.
Muskegon County
            Central Elementary School, in partnership with Laketon Township and the Muskegon County Road Commission, will install sidewalks and crosswalks on Giles and Horton roads and solar flashing beacons on Giles Road. It also will implement a walk-to-school club. The project budget is $265,664.
Newaygo County (two school systems)
            Fremont Middle School, Daisy Brook Elementary School, and Pathfinder Elementary School, in partnership with the city of Fremont, will install sidewalks and crosswalks on Woodrow, Cherry, and Pine streets and Gerber and Mechanic avenues, multi-use nonmotorized paths on Oak Street and Lake Drive, a bicycle lane on Locust Street, and bicycle racks at all three schools. The project budget is $338,754.
            Grant Primary Center, Grant Elementary School, and Grant Middle School, in partnership with the city of Grant, will install sidewalks and crosswalks on Commerce, Lake and Brink streets and Elder Avenue. The project budget is $246,878.
Presque Isle County
            Rogers City Elementary School and Rogers City Middle/High School, in partnership with the city of Rogers City, will install sidewalks and crosswalks on Wenonah Drive, Huron Avenue, and West Erie and State streets, and implement pedestrian and bicycle safety education and encouragement programs. The project budget is $372,736.
           MDOT's role is to administer the federally legislated SRTS program that creates opportunities for collaboration with agencies and partners not traditionally involved with transportation funding. The SRTS program provides educational programs, infrastructure

-more-

MDOT announces Safe Routes to School grants
to 10 schools in four counties
December 13, 2011
Page Three

improvements and encouragement activities to help children safely walk and bike to school and increase their physical activity. Funding was established by Congress under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users of 2005 (SAFETEA-LU). SRTS funding is 100 percent federal, with no local match required. More information is available at online at: www.saferoutesmichigan.org.
###
MDOT reminds drivers: Snowplows need room to groom.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Good News about Michigan Tourism

News from Travel Michigan's Director, George Zimmermann

Winter is approaching, but good news from our summer season keeps coming in. Use tax and sales tax data from June through September indicates 2011 was one of the best seasons for Michigan hotels in recent years. The total combined sales and use tax collected was $44,104,375 – the second highest of any year since 1999. The Michigan Department of Treasury reports that the total use tax of June-September was $29,561,930 – the highest number in 13 years. August and September also experienced the highest single month collections in recent history, with July numbers close behind.

We are also seeing positive lodging numbers for the fall tourism season; and yet another positive story in the Detroit News about growing hotel occupancy rates. According to Smith Travel Research, in October hotel occupancy in Michigan averaged 58.4 percent, a 5.9 percent increase from the same period last year. Detroit saw a 10.4 percent increase in occupancy rates from October of 2010 and was ranked 13 out of the top 25 U.S. markets. Michigan also continues to outpace the national growth-rate in lodging occupancy.

Combined these numbers help tell the story that Michigan has experienced very strong room sales so far this year. This is great news as we work to build on the success we have already had with the Pure Michigan campaign here in the state as well as regionally and nationally.

And while we are always thankful for good numbers, sometimes it takes a personal story to put it all in perspective. In today’s Tourism Update be sure to watch the incredible story of the Blakemore family from St. Louis, Missouri. As part of their visit to the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda they received a family trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City and a chance to create some great family memories in Pure Michigan.

With the snow starting to fall and the Pure Michigan winter ad campaign gearing up we are excited for the coming winter tourism season here in Michigan. We have placed nearly $1.7 million in winter advertising in Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, Green Bay, South Bend and Toledo, plus Michigan markets for December and January. To quote a famous Christmas carol, it is a most wonderful time of the year.
 
For more information, contact George Zimmermann at (517) 335-1879

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lake Huron Predator Diet Study

Here is a report from Jeff Schaeffer of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Great Lakes Science Center: 
The third and final year of the Lake Huron predator diet study has once again been successful.

We still have many frozen samples, but expect that once again anglers were able to again provide about 2,000 stomachs during 2011.
Our total count for three years will be over 7,000, which is almost unheard of in a diet study, especially with large piscivores.

The study has been an unqualified success. We learned (and are still learning) how predators have responded to food web changes in Lake Huron, and study results are already being used in management decisions and as inputs in several models being developed to better understand Lake Huron's aquatic community. Results have been presented at a variety of venues including fishing club meetings, national fishery meetings, and even to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and Michigan's Natural Resources Council. At least two graduate students have used study data as part of their theses, and more will likely use the data over the next few years. In addition, the story of how we came together to achieve these results has been "the talk of the town" in several meetings. The idea that citizens can do great science is topic of discussion among many scientists, but we simply did it.

The data collection part of the study is now over, and we will not collect stomachs during 2012. There are many people who have asked that the study be continued, but we need to move into the next phase with these thoughts in mind.

1. The study is continuing, but we have a huge amount of data to summarize, analyze, and publish. This much effort deserved publication in journals and we need to make sure that happens. This is a full time job that will occupy our time during 2012.

2. We believe strongly that we have already asked too much of you, and we can not ask any more.

3. The Lake Huron fish community has not changed that much over the past three years in that alewife are still scarce and prey biomass is likely low compared to the years prior to 1994, and especially during the 1980's when the previous diet study was performed. Three years of great data given that situation are more than adequate to answer all the questions that this study was designed to answer.

4. We are faced with shrinking budgets, and may not have the resources to fund additional sample processing. Ed and I also have additional responsibilities and new projects that require our time and attention. The new projects are one of the reasons you have not heard much from us over the fishing season.

For all those reasons, it is time to stop collecting new data and devote our attention the data we have. If any of you have stomachs that we have not picked up, please email Ethan Bright (Ebright@usgs.gov) so we can make arrangements to pick them up.

In summary, we can't thank you enough, although I will remind you that I made a wager three years ago at one of the spring workshops. Someone in the audience stated that "I would love to help with this, but we have done this before and we never see any results". My response was this: "if you guys get us enough stomachs for a publishable study, I will present results at your club's spring banquet or meeting". I would have to say that you won that bet, and I don't think that I was ever so happy to lose a wager. So our plan is to share study results as soon as we can, and hopefully begin that process by next spring.

We wish you happy holidays and best of luck for next year's fishing season.

Thanks,

Jeff

Jeff Schaeffer
USGS Great Lakes Science Center
1451 Green Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-214-7250 (voice)
734-994-8780 (fax)
Jeff_Schaeffer@usgs.gov

Thanks to Julie shafto for sharing this information.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Students Help Lift Michigan Up

The following article is from Kellie Woodhouse: University of Michigan's fourth-annual student-run 1,000 Pitches entrepreneurship contest received a record number of pitches this year.

The group received 3,303 video pitches of entrepreneurial ideas from U-M students, topping last year's pitch total of 3,031.
Those ideas include everything from a combined washing and drying machine to a robotic mosquito swatter to the instillation of coffee carts at the university's bus stops.
1,000 Pitches will announce winners on Sunday, Dec. 11. The contest closed Nov. 18.
The 1,000 Pitches contest began in 2008 as an initiative to "create the entrepreneurial spirit of change and innovation at Michigan," project co-director Najia Yarkhan said last month. This year, winners in nine separate categories will be given $1,000 each.
MPowered, the student group that sponsors 1,000 Pitches, also held its first summit in association with the contest on Dec. 3. The summit is a way to broaden the reach of 1,000 pitches, leaders said.
"The summit at the end (allows participants) to network with sponsors and each other," Yarkhan said. "We wanted to increase quality over last year."
At the summit,1,000 Pitches participants mingled with the event's sponsors —which include Ann Arbor's SPARK, Bizdom, Google, Quicken Loans, Mobiata, Pure Michigan, Energy Stage Partners, Menlo Innovations and several other local businesses.
Winners will also have a chance to tour local Google and Quicken Loans offices.
Thomas Madigan, a U-M junior who has worked with the project for three years, said the summit is one more way the 1,000 Pitches contest has become more established over the years.
"It’s getting a little more well known and through that turning into an overall better competition," he said.
Take a look at the finalists here.
Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at kelliewoodhouse@annarbor.com or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.

Rogers City students are bright and talented.  Perhaps some of them see a future as business people and have their own ideas to help grow our economy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Michigan Economy Story in Bloomberg

Here is an interesting article about the Michigan Economy from Bloomberg publications: 

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Michigan’s sink-or-swim automotive economy is swimming again and taking Toby McGowan with it.

McGowan makes $15.78 an hour as one of 280 production workers hired in the past two months at General Motors Co.’s Lake Orion assembly plant as the state’s carmakers increase sales and add personnel. He lost his last job at a print shop thanks to slow business.

“I had to cut out Internet, text messaging, cable TV,” said McGowan, 33, a single father who lives in Ortonville with his 4-year-old son. “Those aren’t necessary. I can put food on the table, keep a roof over our heads. I wouldn’t call it the most comfortable life, but it’s comfortable for me.”

Michigan lost 860,000 jobs from 2000 to 2009, almost half in the final two years. One of every five residents receives Medicaid assistance, and Detroit is in peril of state takeover. Since 2008, however, its economy fared better than that of any other state, except for oil-booming North Dakota, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States. The index calculates growth by examining job creation, personal income, tax revenue, housing prices, mortgage delinquencies and the stock performance of state-based companies.

Republican Governor Rick Snyder, 53, said in an interview in Ann Arbor that the index confirms that “we are the value place to be.”

Snyder, who cut $1.5 billion in spending, said finances are more stable and a slimmed-down auto industry can better withstand downturns.

“We’ve gone through tough times, high unemployment,” Snyder said. “We have a lot of talent ready to work and we have a great work ethic in this state. We have low-cost housing because of depressed property values.”

Hinging on Building

The question is whether the surge, enabled by the Obama administration’s auto-industry bailout, will return Michigan to its prerecession state.

“We have an economy that cannot grow unless manufacturing is healthy,” said Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. reported a third-quarter profit of $1.65 billion Oct. 26. The next day, Chrysler Group LLC, the Auburn Hills carmaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, raised its forecast for its first annual profit to $600 million.

GM’s U.S. sales climbed 15 percent this year through October from the same period a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp. Deliveries rose 11 percent at Ford and 23 percent at Chrysler, the Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, researcher reported.

Newer and Cheaper

GM, Ford and Chrysler will hire or retain 42,300 employees nationwide over four years thanks in part to a new United Auto Workers contract that continues to pay rookies such as McGowan less than the $28 per hour that senior workers make, according to the Center for Automotive Research. Also, those higher-paid employees receive no raises under the four-year contract.

Such hiring helped Michigan’s October unemployment rate drop to 10.6 percent from 11.1 percent in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s one percentage point lower than a year ago, though higher than the 9 percent national rate.

Jeffrey Hickmott, 26, graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2009. He’s still hunting for a job and lives with his parents in Taylor, a Detroit suburb.

Tough Search

“It’s better than a year ago,” Hickmott said in a telephone interview. “Last year I had two interviews. This year I’ve had 20 or 30 contacts over the phone. They said they were impressed, but they wanted someone with more experience.”

His prospects may improve: A University of Michigan report last week predicted 0.8 percent job growth in the state next year and 1.4 percent in 2013.

Michigan’s rebound from the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009 gives it a higher BEES ranking -- in part because it fell so far. Compared with a decade ago, the state’s economic health has fallen 25.4 percent, ninth-worst among states.

During 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, though, Michigan’s economic health improved by 8.8 percent, second to North Dakota.

The state still suffers from free-falling property values, which have starved its municipalities of property-tax revenue. Statewide real and personal property values declined about 20 percent from 2007 to 2011, according to the state Treasury Department.

Detroit in Danger

Oakland County, with Michigan’s second-highest median household income of $62,626 in 2009, lost almost one-third of its overall property value in that time, according to Robert Daddow, deputy county executive.

Last week, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said the city faces a $45 million shortfall by June, on top of a $155 million long- term deficit, and he said he would eliminate 1,000 city jobs in February. He warned that without union concessions, the city may face state takeover.

Snyder said economic growth needs a stable political and tax environment. The state this year cut business taxes by $1.7 billion and balanced its budget without temporary fixes.

In July, Fitch Ratings revised Michigan’s credit outlook to positive from stable, citing a balanced budget and improved economy. Moody’s rates Michigan’s general-obligation bonds Aa2, third highest, and both Fitch and Standard & Poor’s rate the state AA-, fourth highest.

‘Ready to Explode’

Doug Rothwell, president and chief executive of Business Leaders for Michigan, which includes 80 executives of the state’s largest companies, said most are more optimistic about Michigan’s economy than they are about the U.S. as a whole. Rothwell said there is pent-up demand for cars and services.

“The economy is ready to explode,” he said.

Doug Gaylor, 53, a New York-based municipal fixed-income portfolio manager for Principal Global Investors LLC, said he’s delayed replacing his 2001 Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan, which has 133,000 miles. He said he’ll look to buy a U.S. car first, when the next minivan repair costs too much.

Gaylor, who once oversaw a Michigan bond portfolio, said he’s impressed by the state’s handling of its finances and its positioning for more high-tech jobs in the future.

“They did a really good job of addressing problems in a timely manner, more than other states did,” he said in an interview in New York.

--With assistance from Craig Trudell in Southfield, Michigan. Editors: Stephen Merelman, Mark Schoifet

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Christoff in Lansing at cchristoff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

Monday, November 28, 2011

Transfer Station Hours for the Holidays

The Rogers City Transfer Station will have special holiday hours and dates. The Transfer Station will be closed on Christmas Eve Day, Saturday, Dec 24 and New Years Eve Day, Saturday, December 31, 2011.
The Transfer Station will be open on Friday, December 23 and 30, 2011 from
10 am to 6 pm for your recycling and waste disposal needs during the holiday season. 


Merry Christmas from Dave, Larry, and Wayne!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Business After Hours

Every one wants to see our economy pick up!  But, what can we do to make this happen?  Here is one way!

The Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting "Business After Hours," Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at the District Library beginning with refreshments at 5pm and the E-Smart Technology presentation at 5:30pm in the Constance Jordan room. There is no cost to attend, and we hope business owners and the general public will take an hour to learn about the newest technology at the Library. The E-Smart Center will give you the ability to reach out and "touch" global markets today!

Come to "Business After Hours."  You might learn how to improve your business.  You might learn about advanced technology to simplify running your business. 

What do you have to lose?  Invest 30 minutes in your future.  This might be the best investment you make in 2011.  

You are welcome to join us at the Rogers City Branch of the Presque Isle District Library.  I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

America Recycles Day--Today!

Today is America Recycles Day.  Did you know:

  • The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. In other words, five percent of the world's people generate 40 percent of the world's waste.

  • We use more than 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year. (But because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than one percent of the total U.S. waste stream, according to EPA estimates. And there is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.)

  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.

  • An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space -- almost 40 football fields.

  • Obviously, we have a long way to go to improve our consumption and recycling habits.

    Recognizing America Recycles Day (ARD) (a program of Keep America Beautiful) on November 15 is a great place to start. Since 1997, public and private organizations have dedicated the day to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products.

    Today is a great day to start recycling, or, if you already are recycling--give yourself a pat on the back and keep up the good work.  Thank you for doing a good job!

    Michigan Trail Wins Award

    North Central State Trail Recognized as Best Example of Michigan’s Trail System

    Grab your bike or your favorite walking shoes and check out Michigan’s 62-mile long North Central State Trail.  This crushed limestone trail that stretches from Gaylord to Mackinaw City was recently recognized by the Mid-America Trails and Greenways Conference as the best example of the state’s extensive rails-to-trails system.

    “This is a perfect trail to have been chosen,” said Jim Radabaugh, the Recreation and Trails Section manager for the Department of Natural Resources.  “From the shores of Mullet Lake to the rolling farm fields near Vanderbilt to the birch trees outside of Gaylord, a day spent on this trail is a day spent experiencing a little slice of Michigan.”

    The North Central State Trail occupies what was once the northernmost segment of the Michigan Central Railroad. This Detroit-based railway, one of the largest and most profitable in the Lower Peninsula, constructed a land grant section of tracks northward from its primary service area to Mackinaw City in 1882. This spur line served what was then a booming area of old-growth timberland.  When the Mackinac Bridge was opened for public use in 1957, passengers and freight in this area shifted to road-based vehicles, and the section of railroad line where the North Central State Trail runs today began to fall out of active use.  The North Central State Trail was dedicated for public use in June 2008.  That fall it was named one of the top five “Trails for Autumn” by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

    Michigan is home to the largest rails-to-trails system in the country with over 2,400 miles of trails available for use all across the Lower and Upper Peninsulas. 

    “We have long been a national leader in both the quality and quantity of our trails,” added Radabaugh. “Michigan’s trail system is a hidden gem.”

    The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.  For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Light Up the City

    Light Up the City is November 23, 2011

     A parade through the downtown begins at 5 p.m. and Santa lights the trees in Westminster Park at 6 p.m. The "Light Up the City" event is sponsored by the Optimist Club of Rogers City.  You may donate a lighted tree to the project with your personal message for $40.  This is a fund raiser for the Optimists as well as a great community attraction.  It's not too late to sponsor and decorate a tree! The "Parade of Lights" will start and the Water's Edge and go through downtown to Westminster Park.  If you want to participate, please call the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce.  Call 734-2535 for more info.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Shop Locally to Help Your Community

    Based on a statistical model:
    Spend $100 locally, $62 stays right in your community
    Spend that same $100 in a national chain, only $42 stays in your community
    Spend that same $100 on-line, $0 is returned to your community


    You amy not find everything that you want locally, but you can find everything that you need.

    Check with the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce to locate a business that offers the goods or services that you are seeking. 

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Election Day

    Please exercise your constitutional right to vote in the City election on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. The polling location is Rogers City High School. The polls are open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Michigan State Park System Best in the Nation

    A longtime leader in outdoor recreation, Michigan can now officially boast being No. 1, receiving the 2011 National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal for the top state park system in the nation.
    The award, given for excellence in planning and long-range resource management, recognizes Michigan’s innovative Recreation Passport program and the creative strategic planning the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Recreation Division has done to deliver a high quality customer experience to every state park visitor.

    Michigan’s 99 state park and recreation areas are popular destinations for residents and visitors alike, and help make the quality of life in the state unbeatable.  The state parks offer 22 million annual visitors access to more than 13,000 campsites, trails, inland lakes, rivers and the Great Lakes.

    They are also a key partner in the state’s Pure Michigan tourism effort – which last year helped to generate $17.2 billion dollars create an estimated 152,600 jobs statewide.

    Governor Rick Snyder has appointed a Blue Ribbon Panel on Michigan State Parks and Outdoor Recreation to guide the state park system in the future.

    “This award is a credit to the people of Michigan,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “For more than 90 years, Michiganders have realized that these unique areas are an integral part of the cultural enhancement, economic enrichment and overall quality of life that we value. Our parks are what we make of them and the people of this state clearly prize these treasures. I commend the DNR for its outstanding stewardship of these resources and look forward to working with all stakeholders so that we have a parks system that serves our state and its visitors for generations to come.”

    Michigan beat out North Carolina, Florida and Missouri for the top honor.  In addition to the Recreation Passport, the state parks recreation initiatives include Recreation 101 programs, ongoing efforts to make state parks more accessible for all visitors and alternative lodging and green initiatives.

    A local note:  Harry Whitely, who is being honored Saturday night, November 5, 2011 at the Annual Dinner of the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce, has long been a key factor in the Michigan DNR, as a Board Member and strong Champion for State Parks and Trails.  This national recognition of the quality of Michigan's Park system can be attributed, at least in part, to Harry's leadership and vision.  If you have not already done so, please consider purchasing a ticket to the annual dinner in honor of Harry Whitely and his many contributions to our community and our State Parks.


    For more information on state parks in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/stateparks.

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    State of Michigan Economy

    Michigan ranks 2nd in Bloomberg study of states’ economic health

    Michigan’s economic health is second-best in the nation, according to a prominent national ranking released today. 

    Bloomberg, a respected global leader in business and financial information, released its first-ever economic health evaluation during a conference in New York City. The Bloomberg analysis considered important indicators such as personal income, tax revenue, employment and housing prices. 

    This pure analysis of data has placed Michigan at the top echelon on the ranking, second only to North Dakota, which is experiencing an economic boom fueled by oil exploration. 

    Rogers City is contributing to the revitalization of the local Michigan Economy.  The City has spent approximately $10,000,000 over the past two years mostly from federal grant funding and USDA-Rural Development low-interest rate loans to accomplish several major infrastructure projects such as a new water tower, a refurbished wastewater treatment facility, water and sewer mains, and new street lights/improved streetscape.  These projects are paying fair wages to many construction workers in our area and are improving the quality of life for residents and visitors.  


    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Key Club Induction Ceremony

    Congratulation to new Rogers City H. S. Key Club officers & members! Last evening, 49 new members were inducted into the Key Club. The club motto is "Caring--is our way of life." The Key Club does excellent work, including refurbishing the Ocqueoc Outdoor Center, contributing to the Food Pantry, and recycling aluminum tabs to help the Veterans Hospital.

    This year's Key Club officers are:

    President--Abbey Idalski
    V.P. -- Mariah Lloyd
    Secretary--Kelleigh Lamb
    Treasurer--Andrew Deletka
    Historian--Cynthia Kerr
    Editor--Rebecca Myers

    Mrs. Marilyn Dimick and Mr. Mike Myers are the Key Club's Advisors.

    Go Rogers City Key Club!

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    America Recycles Day


    To learn more about recycling, visit:

    http://americarecyclesday.org/pledge/index.php?lang=

    Halloween Party Thank You

    Thanks to the Kiwanis Club, Key Club, Hospice of Michigan, Fire and Police Departments for making the Halloween Parade and Party a big success.  Over 200 children participated in the organized activities which included a parade, "pumpkin bowling," scary costumes, and lots of treats. Everything proceeded without incident and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

    The Kiwanis Club organized the event and provided most of the treats. The Mike Myers Family deserve a special thank you for providing the decorations. The Key Club provided positive energy, helped with set up and tear down, served up the treats, and ran the pumpkin bowling. The Fire Department was generous with their facility, moving all the fire trucks out of the Fire Hall, so the party could take place.
    Police Office Matt Bission handed out over 300 glow bracelets to help identify numerous ghosts, princes, pirates, and other action figures.  Hospice provided popular popcorn treats. All-in-all it was a grand time.
    Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Purple Martin Nature Center and Lakeside Inn

    Cindy Vezinau is developing the Purple Martin Nature Center and Lakeside Inn, located on Depot St. Today, 40 students from CMU are helping develop the site to offer non-profit programs for children in addition to commercial lodging at the Inn. Stop in and see the changes going on. Also, don't miss the "Flash Mob" at 3rd and Erie at 3:30 pm.

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Rogers City Needs Entrepreneurs

    We need you to be entrepreneurs. These are people who start businesses. We have examples of success! Domaci, Scill's, The Painted Lady, Sexy Shoes, and more. You could be the "next big thing!" If you have some ideas about starting a new business in Rogers City, please email me. 

    Our website www.rogerscity.com contains a report about the business climate here and many opportunities available.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Holiday Extravaganza !

    You're Invited !

    .... to the 7th annual   Holiday Extravaganza !

    October 21st & 22nd - Friday 4pm - 8 pm & Saturday 9am - 4 pm

    Arts, Crafts, Holiday Gifts & Treasures... this is more than

    just a Craft show.

    Do your Christmas Shopping Early this Year !

    Our Artists will be offering unique Handmade Baskets,

    Jewelry and Cosmetics You will find many beautifully

    crafted Holiday Gift items, Wonderful Edibles, Ceramics

    and one of a Treasures. Also Stain Glass, Original Watercolors,

    and so more.

    On Saturday you might enjoy a nice luncheon, sponsored

    by the Rogers City Senior & Community Center.

    This is a perfect opportunity to start your Christmas shopping

    early this year, so bring along a friend and enjoy!

    Our Location…

    Rogers City Senior & Community Center

    at the corner of Third St. & Superior in Rogers City,

    US 23, 40 miles North of Alpena

    This event is an annual fund-raiser for, and sponsored

    by the Rogers City Senior & Community Center.

    ...hope to see you there!

    (Post credit to Debbie Stiller)

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    New Website Coming Soon

    Rogers City will launch a new website very soon.  Check in to see the new format which will make the site easier to use and contain more fresh information.  The expected launch is Wednesday, October 12, 2011.  Your comments are always welcome.

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    City Council Meeting

    City Council meeting has moved up to Monday, October 3, 2011 due to the annual Michigan Municipal League Meeting next week. The meeting time remains at 7:00 pm. If you have a question or comment, please come to the Council meeting and "sound off." This is your local government--we want to hear from you.

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Nautical City News

    This is a special edition of the Nautical City News.  Look for a full newsletter in the next edition.

    Mayor’s Message: Thanks to all the citizens of Rogers City for putting up with the many challenges of the USDA construction projects.  Many of you put up with torn up streets, discolored water, and possibly other issues.  The good news is that most all the street work has been completed; although, some clean up items are still in progress.

    Other, project work is still on going at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), new water tower, and new well drilling efforts. The WWTP project will most likely continue into next year, but it has remained in continuous operation during the construction.  The WWTP continues to meet all regulations and standards.  The improvements will make the WWTP more energy efficient and reliable.

    The new water tower is structurally completed; however, it is not yet in operation.  Electrical system installation was delayed due to Consumers Energy power supply issues.  The new water tower is expected to be in operation by the end of the year.

    The well drilling going on in the Seagull Point Park area will result in higher quality drinking water for all.  A primary and a test well have been successfully drilled with preliminary water test results positive.  A third well is going to begin drilling soon.

    Again, I want to thank each of you for your patience with these large and complex projects.  They will make Rogers City a better place to live for decades to come.

    Internet:

    Rogers City’s website has a new look and some new content at www.rogerscity.com
    There you will find a link to Facebook, a calendar of local events, links to other websites, information about taxes,  Chamber of Commerce information, and the City Manager’s weblog.   Your tax information is also on the Presque Isle County website:  www.presqueislecounty.org

     Street Light Construction:

    Phase 2 begins in October 2011 and should be completed before the end of the year.  There may be periods when there are no street lights operational on Third Street between Huron and Depot Street.

    Elections:

    Don’t forget to register and vote in the election scheduled for November 8, 2011.

    Dashboard/Citizen’s Guide:

    To obtain full funding from the State of Michigan, Rogers City has published a Dashboard and Citizen’s Guide.  These documents are available at City Hall and at www.rogerscity.com

    ☺ Shop Rogers City ☺

                                City Hall will be closed on November 24 and 25, 2011.

    Community Mediation Services

    Have a serious problem with someone? Try the Community Mediation Services as a means to resolve the problem. Their mission is "to assist people in resolving their disputes in a confidential, affordable and peaceful manner by providing trained mediators in a neutral setting." Call 1-800-873-7658.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    International Walk to School Day--October 5, 2011

    Everyone is welcome to celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 5, 2011.  The Rogers City "Walking" School buses will be in operation with various community leaders and parents walking with the students to school.  Walking does a body good!  Come out and set an example on October 5, 2011.

    Rogers City has participated in the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program for over four years.  If you believe in walking as an important part of a healthy life you are welcome to get involved.  Please contact me and we will find a role for you to help with this great SR2S program

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Website

    Rogers City's website will be getting a new look soon.  Watch for the updated sight coming soon.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Employment Opportunity

    If you're unemployed, you may be able to get a job cleaning up the Great Lakes.
    The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has about $6 million for federal agencies that propose restoration work in federally-protected areas in the Great Lakes basin.
    A requirement for projects is to put at least 20 unemployed people to work. Interested? Reply with your name and email address or phone number.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Rogers City Community Theater

    The Spotlight is on Rogers City Theater! Willy Wonka Jr. Opens Thursday, August 25th. Doors opens at 7:00 with show at 7:30 pm on August 25, 26, and 27. Also they are showing a Sunday Matinee; doors open 2 and show at 2:30 pm only on August 28, 2011. This youth theater production is great fun. Don't miss our talented young people perform!

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Need a Break?

    Make that last minute vacation to Rogers City before school starts. Lot's to see and to do. The beaches are clean and sandy. The water is warm and clear. Visit the Lighthouses and museums--some of the best in Michigan. Ride the trails and enjoy our many parks. Find unique shops and great dining. We had BBQ ribs at Scill's Grill on Saturday night--wow!

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Hammond Bay Biological Station

    Here is a picture of an adult sea lampray eel being studied at the Hammond Bay Biological Station.  The scientists and researchers at the station are doing cutting edge work to determine how to prevent the sea lampray eel from destroying sport and commercial fishing in the Great Lakes.  This facility is a true treasure for Northeast Michigan.  Please let your legislators know how important it is to continue funding of this critical research.

    Hammond Bay Biological Station

    Representatives from Congressional Staff and the City of Rogers City toured the Hammond Bay biological Station last week.  The experience was fantastic. 

    The Hammond Bay Biological Station is conducting important research on the Sea Lampray Eel, an invasive species that has had a devestating impact on Great Lakes fishing. The bright young professional scientists and staff at the Station were most impressive.  We are lucky to have this great facility and these great people as part of our community.

    The U.S, Geological Survey (USGS) and Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) are responsible for this station which is helping to preserve sport and commercial fishing in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan too.  City of Rogers City representatives, the GLFC, and the USGS are asking Congress to continue funding for the Hammond Bay Biological Station.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Flushing Water Mains

    The Water Department will be flushing water mains at various locations throughout Rogers City from    8-21-11 through 9-2-11 between the hours of 9:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. Due to the process of flushing water mains, there may be some discoloration of your water at times. Please, check your water for discoloration before doing any laundry. The purpose for the flushing is to improve water quality.  This service is provided as part of your utility service.  For more information call 734-2191. 

    Thank you for your cooperation.

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