regionalism

Who's laughing now, Thirstbelt?!

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After all the abuse that Michigan has taken at the hands of the sunbelt, I just have to indulge in a moment of regional schadenfreude. Here in Michigan, we've been enjoying blue skies and 70-odd degree days, and my tomato plants are still blooming. So, hey, California, how you doin'?

Model Y - Creating an alternative narrative

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For as long as I've been paying attention, Ypsilanti residents have had some significant discontent with its coverage in the local news. Many complain that Ypsi is to the Ann Arbor News what Detroit is to the national media - that place you go when you're out of fodder for your "if it bleeds, it leads" doctrine. (I don't know if I necessarily see it, but I haven't been paying attention to the News' Ypsi coverage for the 30 years that some have.) The Ypsilanti Courier, meanwhile, has long been maligned, with the criticism stepping up recently when Heritage Newspapers closed the Ypsi office and moved the paper to Belleville.

A few attempts have been made, or discussed, to provide "better" (more thorough and/or more balanced) news coverage to Ypsi. A year or two ago, a group of local bloggers were discussing the formation of an online news site, "The Ypsilanti Sentinel", but never quite got off the ground. (Oddly, google turns up a note in 2006 Pittsfield Township Historical Commission minutes that "A new newspaper will be starting in Ypsilanti, a daily newspaper called the Ypsilanti Evening Sentinal".) Blogger Steve Pierce went ahead and started videoing meetings and otherwise devoting his YpsiNews to local current events. Finally, word on the street is that a group of old-school Depot Townies have been discussing the formation of a new print paper, to the point of putting together a business plan and starting to raise the $1 million(!) in startup costs. Edit: This new daily publication would be the "Ypsilanti Evening Sentinal" - apparently there are only so many former Ypsi newspaper names worth recycling.

Now, into that simmering brew of alt-media efforts, let's throw in an experienced regional new media powerhouse, shall we? Sure, sounds good.

Brookings on "The Vital Center", rebuilding the Great Lakes Region

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A reminded to myself to read this later, and a pointer to all of you whom I know will be interested: The Vital Center: A Federal-State Compact to Renew the Great Lakes Region.

From the executive summary:

With one foot planted in a waning industrial era, the other in the emerging global economy, the region is teetering between a future marked by growth and innovation, and one that conforms to the “Rust Belt” label applied to the region due to the decline of its factory-based economy.

The time is now for Great Lakes leaders to articulate a meaningful agenda for what the states of the region and the federal government can do together to ensure that this economic giant steps in the right direction.

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