michigan

Solar-powered beer comes to Michigan

Article: Solar-powered beer comes to Michigan

Seen that ad for GE turbines in which a bar full of working class customers raises their glasses to “the guys that make the power that makes the beer?” Those same beer drinkers should be ecstatic, then, at news out of Michigan involving a brewery that makes its own power (and probably better beer than the Budweiser mentioned in the ad – and, yes, I am a St. Louisan saying that!).

The Vaginagate roundup

Article: The Vaginagate roundup

In case you were wondering why all your friends were using the word “vagina” in their Facebook status updates over the weekend, late last week two representatives (both women) were banned from speaking in the Michigan House during a debate over a bill that bans all abortions after 20 weeks, with no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother. The Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas hasn’t specified exactly what offended him, but one of the representatives, Democrat Lisa Brown, claims it’s because she used the word vagina. “Apparently, ‘vagina’ is another v-word that Must Not Be Named. Like Voldemort,” Brown told Jezebel.com. Here’s a (very abridged!) sampling of Vaginagate coverage:

Front yard garden may earn Michigan woman jail time

Article: Front yard garden may earn Michigan woman jail time


Off the top of my head, I can only think of one way that growing plants will get you arrested… but Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan, doesn’t have any illegal substances growing in her front yard. The raised beds and vegetable plants she does have, however, have earned her a misdemeanor citation from the city… and a potential punishment of 93 days in jail!

Letters to the children of Troy

Article: Letters to the children of Troy

In 1971, Marguerite Hart, the first children’s librarian at the local library in Troy, Michigan, began a letter writing campaign to many famous people asking them to respond with an open letter to the town’s children about the importance of libraries and reading.

Michigan siblings upcycling aluminum cans into jewelry

Article: Michigan siblings upcycling aluminum cans into jewelry

Most of your aluminum can likely go into the recycling bin (because we’re certain you don’t just throw them in the trash!). Scott Bertelsmeyer, along with his sisters Sue, Sherry, and Shannon, thought something even more valuable could be done with those recyclables: they could serve as the drivers for economic redevelopment in their hometown of Vassar, Michigan (which, like the rest of the state, suffers from high unemployment: currently 13.7%), while still keeping them out of the landfill. Their company Cangles makes jewelry from the cans… which is now sported by celebs ranging from Paris Hilton to Kelly Rowland to Ian Somerhalder.

Sculpture artists compete to create recycled masterpieces

Article: Sculpture artists compete to create recycled masterpieces

2009 Scrapfest Redux from SUCH Video on Vimeo.

Summer festival season is upon us, and towns and cities large and small are celebrating their history and culture (as well as trying to attract tourist dollars). In 2009, Lansing, Michigan’s Old Town district added a new event to its Summer solstice celebrations Festival of the Moon & Festival of the Sun: Scrapfest. For the two weeks leading up to the midsummer events, twelve teams of artists root through materials at local scrap processing and recycling company Friedland Industries, and create a sculpture from their finds.

Michigan solar power farm not your typical father-son project…

Article: Michigan solar power farm not your typical father-son project…

Solar power in Michigan? Really?

While it’s probably not the last state you’d associate with solar power (that’s Alaska), Michigan likely appears far down on your list of places ideal for a large-scale solar power installation. Attorney Sam Fields, his son Connor, and two other partners hope to prove you wrong with their 700-panel array in Galesburg.

Are required eco-driving lessons an affront to personal liberty?

Article: Are required eco-driving lessons an affront to personal liberty?

Whether you agree with the argument or not, you might understand how global warming legislation might be viewed as a government intrusion into the private sector. Same might be said of the “no child left inside” bill? But mandating “eco-driving” habits be taught to teenagers? While this seems relatively harmless, a bill introduced by Detroit Democrat Bert Johnson into the Michigan legislature has spurred debate over the proper roles of both driver’s education and government.

Michigan universities launch online tools for planners, activists, citizens

Article: Michigan universities launch online tools for planners, activists, citizens

Are you looking for information on lightening your neighborhood’s or town’s environmental footprint? Want to figure out how to reduce your own energy and material consumption? Or, just need facts on hand for that annoying climate-change denying brother-in-law? Michigan’s largest universities have released new online tools that may have you covered in all of these…