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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Land O Links

"We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine" -- H. L. Mencken, 20th century American newspaperman.

* Publius, a nonprofit in Michigan dedicated to promoting civic participation, put together a short video clip that explains how Detroit got in a position where fixing streetlights or providing police protection became luxury products:

http://vimeo.com/39508782

* It has become an axiom of Michigan public policy to push all young people into higher education, most usually of the four-year variety. How said students pay for this education is increasingly a matter for them, not us, to figure out. So, what do we call the result when a person earns a college degree, builds up student loan debt, and then loses out on a full-time job because of debt? Cue Kafka. or maybe Joseph Heller:

http://www.policyshop.net/home/2012/5/1/could-your-student-loans-make-you-unemployable.html

* Brian Dickerson of the Detroit Free Press writes about the clash of justice vs. money in the Michigan Supreme Court. He wrote that there's little chance of reform in Lansing, even though, "The Judicial Selection Task Force's reasonable solution to this farce is to require public disclosure of all sources of spending on Supreme Court races. State legislators can enact such disclosure requirements in less time than it takes to cut business taxes, and Kelly, Ryan & Co. cite polling data suggesting that overwhelming majorities of both Republicans (88%) and Democrats (86%) believe such requirements are overdue." Our founder, Phil Power, has written often on the dysfunction in Lansing. Here's another example of an issue where public opinion is fairly clear, but politicians (backed by partisan and special interests) frankly don't give a damn:

http://www.freep.com/article/20120506/COL04/205060475?fb_ref=artrectop&fb_source=home_multiline

* About 2 out of every 3 Michigan school districts would be raising taxes on homeowners IF the current plan to phase out a big chunk of the personal property tax is enacted and replacement revenues are not forthcoming, says local government groups arrayed against the idea:

http://bridgemi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/SchoolDistrict-Qualified-Bonds-Apr-2012.pdf

* A flurry of nuggets here: 1. Charlotte, N.C., is paying to install 12 new miles of sidewalks each year. 2. By my math, Charlotte added 900,000 residents between 1990 and 2010 -- or about 45,000 people per year. 3. The business elites in the city apparently pushed investment in amenities and public transportation:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/05/charlottes-evolution-sprawling-metropolis-city-sidewalks/1890/

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