LSSU releases list of banished words

An annual list from Lake Superior State University tells us which words or phrases were among this year’s least popular.

LSSU’s “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use, and General Uselessness” has been released in time for the New Year every year since 1976.

LSSU’s John Shibley helped compile the list this year.  He says the university takes nominations from the public to determine which words should be banished.

“One phrase that’s floated to the top since October, during the Senatorial race and debates out in Nevada is ‘man up.’  ‘Harry Reid had to man up,’ is what Sharon Angle said, so that’s floating to the top.  And a lot of nominators think that’s sort of sexist, even considering that a woman said it to a man during a debate.”

Shibley says election years generally provide a lot of good material for the banished words list.  He says another popular nomination were some terms made infamous by Sarah Palin.

“‘Momma grizzly,’ related to Sarah Palin.  Another word, or Palinism — which is another word that’s been nominated as well, Palinism — but, ‘refudiate.'”

Words made popular in social networking and text messaging received a lot of nominations, too, according to Shibley.

“‘Facebooking,’ using Facebook to keep in touch is ‘Facebooking,’ and the horror of horrors — if you’re ever ‘defriended,’ [and] ‘K,’ just the letter K, for ‘okay’ or ‘I agree with you.’  K, capitol K.”

“Defriended” of course referring to someone severing Facebook ties, Shibley says.

You can find a link to the complete list of this year’s banished words here.


Amber Alert issued for East Lansing girl

EAST LANSING — An Amber Alert has been issued for a 3-year-old East Lansing girl, who is believed to be in extreme danger.
Police are searching for 3-year-old Amaya Marie Pernell. She is an African American, 3 feet tall, 30 pounds, and has brown eyes and black hair. She was wearing multi colored striped pants and a long sleeve white shirt.
She was allegedly abducted by Lester Devon Pernell. He is 28 years old, 6 feet 6 inches tall, 22 pounds, and has brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a long dark dress coat. 
The suspect’s vehicle is a gold Mercury Cougar, with Michigan license plate CFA0330. The car has a dent or damage on the drivers side door.
Anyone with information about the victim, suspect or vehicle is asked to immediately call 911, or the East Lansing Police Department at (517) 351-4220.

Bills to change portions of tax structure among those still on Governor’s desk

Officials from Governor Granholm’s office estimate 77 bills sit on her desk, awaiting review before she leaves office.  Two of those bills would amend certain parts of the state tax structure.

According to Novi Republican Senator Nancy Cassis, who sponsored the bills, the Michigan Business Tax currently charges multiple companies for a single transaction in some cases.  She says Senate Bills 192 and 883 look to eliminate portions of what have been called “cascading taxes.”

“This would allow the removal from the gross receipts portion, payments made to subcontractors that transport freight, and payment by joint ventures for services related to construction.”

Senator Cassis says at least one small-business owner reported opening an office out-of-state, to avoid cascading taxes in Michigan.

“We had one of our major companies based in Dearborn, Michigan, that actually had decided they had to set up an office in Tennessee, and maybe even shut down operations here in Michigan, if this problem was not fixed.”

The legislation would also eliminate a tax on a refundable recycling fee for worn-out parts of certain construction equipment.

The Governor has 14 days from a bill’s passage to sign or veto legislation — or to let it become law without any action on her part.  The legislature’s last session was on December 15.

MBS International Airport terminal construction on-schedule, on-budget

A $2 million grant from the Dow Chemical Company will help support the expansion of MBS International Airport in Freeland.

The airport is building a new terminal, with an expected price tag of $48 million.

Dow Chemical Company spokesperson Greg Baldwin says the airport expansion is important for the region.

“It’s a very important project to the Great Lakes Bay Region.  A modernized MBS Airport terminal is critical for the growth and prosperity for this area.  And MBS, when you look at it, is really a gateway to the business opportunities that are already in this region, and that will certainly come to this region.  Dow is going to be contributing a total of three million dollars to the MBS Commission.  Two million is a grant, and the final million goes toward advertising rights in the new terminal.”

Officials from the MBS International Airport say the project is on budget, and the MBS International Airport Commission has pledged not to use local tax dollars for the project.  Other funding includes support from the Federal Aviation Administration and state funds.

Officials say they expect the terminal to open on schedule, in 2013.

International law firm supports Attorney General’s health care challenge

A case filed in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, argues that federal health care legislation is unconstitutional.

A recent move by an international law firm puts that organization’s support behind Attorney General Cox.

The American Center for Law and Justice, or ACLJ, filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday, on behalf of the Attorney General.

ACLJ Senior Counsel Ed White maintains that the legislation oversteps constitutional boundaries.

“We’ve been filing amicus briefs, urging a position that Congress doesn’t have the authority to control people’s decisions.  If Congress can require all Americans to purchase health care or to pay a penalty, there’s no reason why Congress can’t require all Americans to join a health club, to eat a certain diet, or to run five miles a day for health reasons.”

White also says Michigan’s Attorney General appealed the case to the Sixth Circuit after a federal judge upheld the health care legislation.

“The federal judge in Detroit had said that a person sitting in his or her house and deciding not to purchase health care is an economic decision, and therefore is the equivalent of economic activity — and therefore, Congress can regulate that.”

White contends that the individual mandate requiring most Americans to buy health insurance or to pay a penalty establishes a risky precedent for congressional authority.

White says the next step in the case will be for the federal government to file a brief outlining its position.  He expects that to happen by mid-January.

In addition to filing the friend-of-the-court brief on Michigan’s behalf, White says the ACLJ filed its own federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C., challenging health care legislation.

Pure Michigan gets boost in funding

Governor Granholm signed legislation this week that will boost the advertising budget for the Pure Michigan tourism campaign.
The legislation moves $10 million from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to the Pure Michigan fund.
This funding is in addition to the $5.4 million dollars Pure Michigan received for 2011.
George Zimmerman is the Vice President of Travel Michigan. He said the funding was necessary for the campaign.
“Well it was really essential.  When the legislature passed this a couple weeks ago, we told them if we’re going to be able to reach out of state markets like Chicago and Indianapolis and to get started on our spring advertising for spring summer we need this funding.  Before this $10 million we had dropped to $5.4 million for the budget, and that compares to $28.4 million just two years ago” said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman said although the funding is only for the winter, spring, and summer campaigns;  he is confident the program will get more money in the future.
 “Well we’re very encouraged that Governor elect Snyder has said that he supports Pure Michigan. We’ll be working with the new legislature and the new administration to get the funding so we can have a more comprehensive funding program, and the program makes money for the state so we think it would be a no brainer.  But we have to meet with the new governor and his legislature” said Zimmerman.
Visitors that come to Michigan spend a little over $15 million annually traveling. This supports over $800 million  in state taxes and supports over 140,000 Michigan jobs.

State unemployment rate drops in November

Capital Bureau Chief, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING — Michigan has gone 11 months without an increase in its unemployment rate. In November, the state’s jobless rate fell slightly to 12.4 percent. 
The November jobless rate is 2.4 percentage points lower than it was a year ago.
The state Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth says the last increase in Michigan’s jobless rate was in December of 2009. 
There was a very slight uptick in jobs this past November, mostly due to hiring at restaurants and other hospitality businesses. But most of the drop in the jobless number was because 19 thousand unemployed people stopped looking for work. They are no longer counted as part of the state’s jobless rate. 
When people who stopped looking are counted, along with part-timers who would like to work full-time, Michigan’s rate of unemployment and under-employment is 21.2 percent. 
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