Archive for December, 2007

Christmas Realities…

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Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, December 2007

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Flying and Fleecing in Grand Rapids…

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Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, December 17, 2007

It’s heinously expensive to fly out of Grand Rapids. Mostly it’s Northwest scaring away low cost carriers by undercutting them till they leave. Just another reason to hate flying….

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The Many Flavors of Financial Ruin…

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Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, December 10, 2007

For those of you who may be unaware, Hannah Montana is the latest creation from the Disney media juggernaut that separates kids, tweens, teens, and parents from their money. Her concert tour swept through Grand Rapids earlier this month, selling out instantaneously and drawing frenzied families from Detroit and Chicago and beyond who had gotten shut out of the tour dates in their cities. Crazy. But even as I write this, passing judgment upon fellow parents who allow the┬ámarketing machinery to play them like pawns desperate to please their little angels, I reflect on the hours Jane and I have spent trying to score a Wii this Christmas and, well, I have nothing further say about this….

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Granholm in Hillary’s Back Pocket…

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Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, December 3, 2007

Yeah, yeah… not very nice. But that’s what I liked about it….

(That’s Michigan’s governor, Jennifer Granholm in Hillary Clinton’s back pocket. Granholm was an early and enthusiastic endorser of Clinton to the point of helping her rig the upcoming Democratic primary in Clinton’s favor.)

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Least Likely to Hear in West Michigan…

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Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, November 26, 2007

  1. Like several other states, Michigan has attempted preempt the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary in an effort to become more relevant in determining presidential candidates. Iowa and New Hampshire have, of course, simply moved their events back to remain the first. Politicians, pundits, and party officials have waxed ad nauseam in passionate tones of the importance of all this. Important? Maybe. Stupid and mind-numbingly boring? Certainly.
  2. As the longtime home to America’s major automakers, it’s no surprise that Michigan in general (and the Detroit Metro area in particular) has lousy public transportation. Nothing to feel guilty about, really. We hitched our wagon, so to speak, to the automobile world, and it worked really well for several decades. But, hey, if we are going to move forward, we really ought to consider looking outside of Michigan for a public transit model.
  3. Peter Secchia is a West Michigan businessman and philanthropist. He has been instrumental the rebirth of downtown Grand Rapids through his money, time, and leadership. Mr. Secchia is also, well, surly. He doesn’t suffer nosy questions lightly, which makes it terrific fun when somebody makes the mistake of asking one.

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