Land O Links

"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers" -- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 19th century British poet laureate.

* Washtenaw County residents are now short $350,000 because the county stepped in to cover debt payments by a township (Sylvan) for water and sewer work for a development that never materialized. (Hat tip to Bridge contributor Jon Zemke.) Now the county is going after the township for payback. Township residents have voted down a millage to cover the debts, but if voters don't agree, a judge eventually will reset the township's property tax rates to cover the debt. Is this a canary in the coal mine for Michigan local government finances?:

http://annarbor.com/news/chelsea/washtenaw-county-foots-350000-bill-during-sylvan-township-default/

* Newly learned fact: Michigan has an Environmental Hall of Fame. And it just announced its first class of inductees, which includes Grand Rapids philanthropist Peter Wege and former state Rep. Robert Slingerland, who is credited in this piece as the author of Michigan's "bottle (deposit) bill" in the 1970s. (Hat tip to Bridge contributor Jeff Alexander):

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/03/muskegon-based_organization_an.html

* A report of a government bureaucracy moving ... faster. The state Tax Tribunal is making progress against a massive backlog of cases. The small claims list (that's the one we mere homeowners end up on) has been cut from almost 30,000 to around 10,000:

http://www.freep.com/article/20120502/NEWS15/205020373/State-cuts-tax-appeal-backlog-by-65-

* WHEN ANIMALS ATTACK! We all know about the scourge of deer running out in front of our hurtling vehicles in urbanized Michigan. Bridge reported on such trends last fall. But if prey goes urban, can predators be far behind? Conservation Magazine says, surprise, they aren't:

http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2012/04/biting-the-big-apple/

* The American Lung Association says the quality of Michigan's air is improving, at least through 2010. And, good news for Bridge's Lansing bureau staff: "Lansing-East Lansing-Owosso was one of the cleanest cities for short-term particle pollution and Ingham County was one of the cleanest counties when it came to ozone pollution." County by county grades vary widely -- Washtenaw gets an A, Wayne an F:

http://www.stateoftheair.org/2012/states/michigan/

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