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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:


    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.

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