Odds And Ends
HOW CAN MICHIGAN AFFORD A DRIC BRIDGE
Let's get serious for a minute.
Do you really think that any Legislator in Michigan other than Steve Tobocman and perhaps a few other anti-Bridge Co. reps will support DRIC? Michigan would have to pay hundreds of millions for new DRIC roads, plazas and a bridge. This is after Michigan agreed to pay for the Ambassador Gateway project. Moreover, Michigan also makes about $2B in matching Federal grants with the Enhancement project which they can use for their purposes.
If there was any doubt, this story should help ensure that the Enhancement project goes forward:
- Tough Mich. Economy Hits Companies That Build Highways
July 9, 2007, WDIV news
Some companies that build highways in the state are laying off workers, Local 4 reported.
A weak Michigan economy in part has left less money available to fund infrastructure projects.
Slagter Construction is a Grand Rapids-based road builder.
It recently said it has cut its work force to 66 from 102 in the past five years -- and plans to open a Florida office for the first time.
State funding for highway construction and maintenance is expected to drop 24 percent over the next four years -- to $1.23 billion in 2011 from $1.62 billion this year.
THE LEAKOR'S MEDIA FRIEND
It is amazing the stories that Today's Trucking has been able to break. They are a good source for border news I have found.
A few of us have been trying to figure out who the leakor is especially since most of the stories leaked are designed to hurt the Bridge Co. We have narrowed the choices down to a few people but it would not be fair to speculate on names until we are more certain.
It was interesting to read the story they did on the Bridge Co. in their online edition http://www.todaystrucking.com/news.cfm?intDocID=18161 "Stamper fires back." (I posted the poll results from that story)
You might want to take a look at it and judge for yourself. You might learn a fact or two that our local media has not told you.
WATCH YOUR WALLET
Now infrastructure funds are again being touted in the Globe and Mail as a good investment for the retail customer:
- "Toll roads, seaports and utilities may not seem like sexy investments, but they are part of what some see as an emerging, attractive asset class.
Investing in infrastructure has become a hot sector in recent years for pension funds seeking steady cash flows to meet obligations to retirees.
But more investment companies are jumping on the bandwagon to give retail investors a chance to profit too.
Toronto-based Mackenzie Financial Corp. is the latest to join the infrastructure trend with today's launch of the Mackenzie Universal Global Infrastructure Fund."
We in Windsor are familiar with 3 infrastructure deals: DRTP, The Detroit/Windsor Tunnel and the new DRIC bridge. Would you invest in any of them today?
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WINDSOR'S POST-EMPLOYMENT CODE
I see that Ottawa's new Conflict of Interest Act comes into force soon. We in Windsor are still waiting for how many years now for Councillor Postma to bring hers back to a public Council meeting for a vote.
I am glad that Standard and Poor's and Dominion Bond Rating Services have ranked OMERS "AAA." You will remember how the contribution rate for municipaliites and their employees rose dramatically over the past few years to cover the OMERS deficit.
It's a nice position to be in isn't it? Make some investment mistakes and no worries---the taxpayer pocketbook is there to bail you out. No wonder the ranking is so high.
This is due in part to the fact that:
- "The Dominion Bond Rating Services said the C$48bn pension funds strong investment returns of 16.4% in 2006, coupled with the increase in contribution rates in January 2006, led to a 15.9% increase in net assets and helped lower the plans funding deficit.
Standard & Poors cited the steady flow of employer and employee contributions into the plan and its prudent and conservative asset-management framework.
CHANGE THE POLITICIANS' DIET TO ELIMINATE HOT AIR
Given my past extensive research into bovine flatulence, a reader thought this story would be of interest to me. He wrote that if we could just alter the diets of politicians, who excrete the same substance as offending bulls, we might get somethimg accomplished. So for the pre-Council dinners, no more lambchops:
- Move to cut methane emissions by changing cows' diet
David Adam, environment correspondent, July 10, 2007, Guardian
Burping cows and sheep are being targeted by UK scientists to help bring down Britain's soaring levels of greenhouse gas pollution. Experts at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research in Aberystwyth say the diet of farmed animals can be changed to make them produce less methane, a more potent global warming gas than carbon dioxide. Farmed ruminant animals are thought to be responsible for up to a quarter of "man-made" methane emissions worldwide though, contrary to common belief, most gas emerges from their front, not rear, ends.