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Several emails today.

One about a video chronicling Muskegon's clean energy future, and the struggle to win acceptance and support for wind power.

The other about a meeting at 5:30 today about the increase in violent crime in the Muskegon area.

I am writing this because my city is in trouble.

The escalating violence you've all been reading about, or as people who live and work in this area know very well, is beginning to spiral out of control. After the last serious shooting episode near the Wood St. & Isabella area at 12:30 in the afternoon, in which my son heard a bullet whiz over his head, I have been learning all I can about what the causes are for this violence in order to find some sort of solution.

[snip]

They said the city had experienced budget problems, like all places right now; and the number of officers has actually been cut from 90 to 70.

[snip]

Every time there is another shooting, and no one is apprehended, and the witnesses will not come forward, the police lose heart, the neighborhoods grow more fearful about coming forward for fear that they will be retaliated against.

A couple friends of mine will likely be expatriating to New Zealand from the United States. Medical issues and general unease about the direction of the country set them to looking for other places to live, and New Zealand expressed an interest in investing a healthy sum in his fledgling business if he moved to the country......something he had a difficult time finding investors for in the United States.  

Tonight, another friend of mine won the 5 to 3 approval of the environmental committee of her city to proceed to the next stage of allowing citizens of her city to raise chickens for eggs, pets, or food. A sustainable food supply for an urban community.

A friend's wife is losing unemployment insurance benefits because congress failed to pass an extension and his family is looking at even harder times.

A friend's husband is working at a factory that's seeing an uptick in business and hiring.

A recent report showed Michigan added 18,000 new jobs in the month of October.

On the corner of Harvey and Sternberg a new strip mall is going up, despite all the empty strip malls already standing in the same area around the mall.

The Lakes Mall in Muskegon reported higher than expected gains for 2010 and near full occupancy.

The State of Michigan is exploring ways to manage the Asian Carps problem and tested parts of Lake Michian near the Chicaco Canal and found no DNA evidence of Asian Carps.

Methods of controlling the Asian Carps isn't expected to be viable for another three years.

Water levels in the Great Lakes continue to decline to and past historic lows.

I can't tell if it's my imagination or if more and more people have massive piles of wood outside their homes lately, clearly for burning. We just retrieved a cord and a half of wood from beech and oak from an old, old friend's house.

Recently found a half bushel of cauliflower for $5, or 30 cents per head at the farmer's market. The family will eat vegetably well this winter, I'll see to that. Dried carrots and froze 4 gallons of broccoli.

A freeze has taken to the air.

The air is crisp with a chill and fresh and cleansing.

Limbaugh poo-pooed the Chevy Volt winning the motor trend car of the year award.

And Muskegon is about to get 14 ChargePoint electric car charging stations in prepartion for the Chevy Volt and other cars like the Nissan Leaf.

Originally posted to Muskegon Critic on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:19 PM PST.

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