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Salt water pools in Michigan backyards are a thing

If you've got a poool in your backyard, you're probably destination number one for neighborhood kids. BUt if you've got a salt water pool, well, you're part of a small but growing group of trendsetters. And you spend a whole lot less on chlorine.
"Developed in Australia in the 1960s, where they make up 80% of the pools there, saltwater pools were introduced to the U.S. in the 1980s but didn’t really catch on until the mid-1990s, when the technology significantly improved.
Any pool can be converted to saltwater with the purchase of a lot of salt and a special generator that electronically turns salt — sodium chloride — into pure chlorine to clean the water, then regenerates back into salt."
Read the rest here.

CNN Money notes "Treat Dreams" come true for Ferndale ice cream entrepreneur

Get your scoop while it's hot. The nation's press is descending on Treat Dreams, Ferndale's gourmet ice creamery.


"Scott Moloney started exactly the kind of business he would have once rejected for a loan.

The Birmingham, Mich., resident closed out his 18-year career as a private lending officer in 2009 to open an ice cream shop. Among the strikes against him: "I was a first-time entrepreneur, with no experience, going into a high-risk industry," he says...

In March 2010 he bought a six-quart ice cream maker, and five months later he opened Treat Dreams for business.

Initially, Moloney offered only one unusual flavor: Loopy Fruit, featuring ground-up cereal in vanilla ice cream. His next concoction, Sunday Breakfast -- with waffles, bacon, and maple syrup -- "got people talking," he says. Since then the store has produced 500 unconventional varieties, including Lobster Bisque and Raspberry Chipotle Bacon."

See CNN Money's coverage here.

And Time magazine calls "Michigan Salad" of the "Fifteen Funkiest Ice Cream Flavors on Earth."

The Autobike is less work, more play

Why not get your bike to do the work for you this summer?


"Remember when riding your bike was all about fun and adventure? Well, if you have forgotten, it's time you got to know  Autobike. Autobike, a Betaspring alum from Fall 2012, is now shipping an automatic shifting bicycle that delivers the simplest, smoothest, most comfortable riding experience ever to customers across the US...

Driven to bring back a riding experience that could delight a new generation of riders--and get riders who had abandoned their bikes back on two wheels--the team designed an automatically shifting bike with no on/off buttons, no shifting levers. Fast forward six months and the team has shipped to customers in MI, NH, TX, FL, TN, IN, NV, WA, and British Columbia so far and the pipeline is growing by the day."

More here.

TV reality show pilot and "Detroit Rubber" web series to be shot in Metro Detroit

And the latest round of film incentives goes to a reality show about the training of pro athletes and the second season of Detroit Rubber.


"The television pilot project is a reality show following a Michigan gym owner and his staff as they work to train professional athletes and the middle-aged dads that work alongside them.   Shooting in Plymouth, the project is being directed by Michigan native Chris Farah with Mike Farah and Anna Wenger producing....

Detroit Rubber follows Rick Williams and Roland “Ro” Coit, owners of the Royal Oak sneaker shop Burn Rubber and boutique two/eighteen. The show will continue to highlight these Michigan entrepreneurs as they balance family, a growing business and day-to-day struggles."

More here.

Benefit party for public art in Ferndale set for June 21

Give public art a footing in downtown Ferndale at a benefit party on Friday, June 21 from 6-9 p.m. at the Rust Belt Market. Your $20 gets you live music, food, and, hopefully, future art displys downtown.

Tickets and more info here.

Berkley's Amici's Restaurant appears on Cooking Channel

The Oakland Press reported that Berkley's Amici's Restaurant, known for its delish pizzas, was featured on the Cooking Channel's Pizza Cuz show on June 3. If you missed it, catch it again on June 8, 9, and 10.


"When they were teens, Jen Stark and Maureen McNamara played clarinet together in the Royal Oak Dondero High School Marching Band.

Now, all grown up and back together again after varied careers, the two women are marching to the tune of a different drummer.

They are running Amici's Restaurant at 3249 W. Twelve Mile, between Coolidge and Greenfield in Berkley, that is so popular the women and a couple of their crowd-pleasing pizzas will be featured on the Cooking Channel's "Pizza Cuz"   show at 9 p.m. Monday, June 3 as one of the nation's top three pizzerias owned by women."

More here.

And check out the show here.

Surprise! The creative class is thriving in Michigan

In this Bridge Magazine column, journalist Natalie Burg dispels the popular misconception that the creative under-40 class is leaving Michigan as fast as it can.


"Hi. I'm Natalie. I'm a self-employed writer, I'm 31, and, if you listen to the headlines, I don't exist. Like a centaur or a yeti, the well-educated, career-driven, creative-class Millennial like myself is not found in the wild here in Michigan. Supposedly, we've all left or are desperately attempting to do so.

Surprise! Not only am I a Michigander by choice (seriously, my husband is a musician; we could literally be anywhere), I get offended when people ask why we're "still here." I try to break it down as simply as I can for them: I know Michigan's challenges as well as anyone, but I love it here, and I know – not think,  know  – we're on our way back."

More here.

Auburn Hills ranks 5th nationally for engineering jobs

No question the Detroit economy is back. Auburn Hills is ranking right up with the major cities when it comes to jobs for gearheads.


"According to a survey by  Monster Worldwide Inc.,  owner of  Monster.com, Auburn Hills ranked No. 5, behind Houston; San Jose, Calif.; San Diego; and Chicago.

New York; Dallas; Irvine, Calif.; Atlanta; and Austin, Texas, rounded out the list."

More here

Nonprofit looks to open "art gym" in downtown Milford

Oakland County's forward thinkers are envisioning a gym where patrons can sweat over their sculptures instead of the treadmills.


"Several physical fitness gyms are located across Oakland County — but how about gyms, instead, that focus on exercising community members' minds and creativity?

A nonprofit organization in the Village of Milford is looking to raise money to open an "art gym," a center where Oakland County residents can pay a monthly fee for studio space and use of supplies."

More here.

Improving quality of place goes with economic success, Lou Glazer says

Sixty years later, Michigan Future's Lou Glazer calls for Michigan to adopt the same forward thinking of a CEO in 1950s southern Indiana. Good points.


"So I was reading, not for work,  a New York Times article on the architecture of Columbus, Indiana when I came across this:  It was, in fact, J. Irwin Miller, scion of the Irwin-Miller family and arts patron, who transformed Columbus into an architectural mecca.  As head of the Cummins Engine Company for 30 years, Mr. Miller reasoned that extraordinary buildings would help Cummins lure top talent to the rural Midwest.  (Emphasis added.)

All of sudden, I was reading it for work. In the 1950s the CEO of the Cummins Engine Company in a small southern Indiana town understood, what we are still having trouble understanding today in Michigan, that place matters. What was important in the Fifties is almost certainly more important today."

More here.

To reach out, do a dance

NPR takes time for the Ruth Ellis Center, which is energetically reaching out to disenfranchised youths in the area.


"If you're a homeless young adult, chances are good that you're gay, bisexual or transgender. And if you live in the Detroit area, the  Ruth Ellis Center  is trying to reach you. The center, based in Highland Park, Mich., has taken an unorthodox approach to helping homeless LGBT youth — and it starts on the dance floor, specifically with the dance form known as "vogue."

"It's all about your wrists and your imagination," says 21-year-old dancer Donnie Dawson. "You just have to make sure your hands are coordinated with your imagination."

"Attorneys, teachers, social workers ... saw LGBTQ youth falling through cracks in all these systems — in our families, in our schools and job opportunities — and realized that we really needed to pay special attention to this community," Fullenkamp says.

So the drop-in center always makes a space available for dancing."

More here.

Digital media projects targeted for state incentives

More state incentive money is propping up digital media projects. Animation work for "Don Cheto" and "Series One" will be handled by Southfield-based Pixo Entertainment.


"Digital media, including animation, post-production and video game development, has tremendous potential for growth here in Michigan," said Margaret O'Riley, director of the Michigan Film Office.   "The fact that these projects chose Michigan companies to do this animation and post-production work is a testament to the talent we have here in the state."

Don Cheto  –  First Cycle  is an animated web series based on the popular Spanish-language variety radio program "El Show de Don Cheto," featuring Mexican entertainer and radio star Don Cheto.   The program will air on the NuevOn YouTube channel.   Southfield-based Pixo Entertainment has been tapped to provide the animation on for the series..."

More here.

Cinetopia International Film Festival to premiere at Detroit Film Theatre

Some new feature-length films will make their North American or Michigan debuts at Cinetopia, a festival showing of over 40 such films culled from the world's most prestigious festivals. The shindig runs from June 6-9. Check it out the Detroit Film Theatre or in Ann Arbor at the Michigan Theater, State Theater, and the University of Michigan's Angell Hall.

Tickets and more info here.

Michigan ranks 8th nationally in economic development success

Call Michigan the nation's comeback kid. Site Selection magazine just named it 8th best for job creation and economic development.


"Michigan advanced eight spots in this year’s Competitiveness Awards, up from 16th in 2011.
The state's many business climate changes have resulted in other noteworthy improvements, including:
No. 1 for states that recovered most from the Great Recession.
No. 4 in the nation for most new corporate expansions or building projects in 2012.
Third most business-friendly tax ranking among the nation’s 12 largest states.
Third in the nation for high-tech growth."

More here.

Beaumont Hospital garners national environmental excellence award

A sick person is often decribed as having a green pallor, but green is healthy and well at Beaumont Hospital.


"Beaumont has received the 2013 “Partner for Change” award from  Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care membership community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care....

Some of Beaumont’s sustainability efforts include:

Supply chain -  Beaumont has worked with suppliers to reduce excess packaging and materials to achieve less waste. The hospital also works with vendors who offer “green” office supply products; 30 percent of Beaumont’s purchases are made from eco-friendly materials.

Transportation/commuting -  Beaumont offers an employee carpool program and has more than 150 participants. The hospital also encourages bike riding. The campus has clearly marked bike lanes and provides employees bikes to use and covered racks to store bikes."

More here.
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