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"If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain" -- Adlai E. Stevenson Jr., two-time Democratic presidential nominee and a governor of Illinois.

* The invaluable Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which eyes all the money swirling around the Capitol, reports that there's no recession in the lobbying business in our state capital. "(Lobbyists) reported spending $19,664,879 in the first seven months of 2011. That figure is up by 11.6 percent compared to the first seven months of 2010, and it exceeds the spending pace of 2008, the record year for lobbying in Lansing ..." And that's apparently without figures from the Detroit International Bridge Co. (think Moroun family):

http://www.mcfn.org/press.php?prId=133

*Downtown Grand Rapids is getting a "retail incubator" -- a small storefront to allow new ventures or small ones some exposure.

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/178886/14/Retail-incubator-site-opens-soon-in-Grand-Rapids

* Detroit has something similar in scope, but different in orientation:

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/blog/2011/07/downtown-detroit-tries-new-retail.html

*Quicken Loans sets a Job Fair for Sept. 17 and plans to hire hundreds of new people, about 500 for Detroit alone:

http://www.mlive.com/jobs/index.ssf/2011/09/quicken_loans_holding_job_fair_on_saturd.html

*Personal Property Tax -- three words you will hear plenty about in coming days and weeks:

http://www.michiganradio.org/post/another-tax-break-michigan-businesses

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