LA Dave

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About LA Dave

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  1. LA Dave added a post in a topic Beer   

    Great thread -- beer, good food, wine are tremendous attractions for younger folks. My kids (who are in/almost in their 20s) are much more knowledgeable about food and alcohol than our generation. For us it was burgers, pizza or lasagna, washed down with Stroh's. Now, it might be tapas or locovore delights, accompanied by the best of Founder's or Bell's.

    My frustration is that it is almost impossible to find Michigan beer in Southern California; we can buy East Coast microbrews, but not the best of the Great Lake State. I hope that the local brewers can expand their marketing efforts, as I find the beers to be fantastic.
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  2. LA Dave added a post in a topic Photos De Jour - Grand Rapids and West Michigan Area   

    Great seeing City Hall in its original glory. I remember when those screens went up, totally destroying the skin of this Skidmore building. I know that the International Style is not popular with the younger crowed, but I for one have always thought that the City/County complex was an elegant addition to downtown.
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  3. LA Dave added a post in a topic GR Press moving   

    You got that right. Any buildings now constructed for medical or research purposes must be designed with very sophisticated air handling, fire suppression and other utilities. For example, the new Mott Women's and Children's hospital in Ann Arbor has 20-foot floors -- 10 feet for occupancy and 10 feet for the utilities.

    The Press building is toast. It will be an interesting demolition, though; it was built to house heavy linotype machines and presses and should be a doozy to take down.
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  4. LA Dave added a post in a topic GR Press moving   

    I don't think that there is any doubt that the rank and file (or what is left of it) at the Press knew that the building ultimately would be sold. MLive has already announced its new quarters, and given the tremendous staff reductions, there was no need for the old Press building, which was built in 1965 when the Press probably employed 400-500 people (pressmen, linotype operators, copy editors, classified staff, display staff, photogs, librarians and reporters).

    Good point about the price -- hopefully, MSU will use it for something good. One commenter on the MLive blog thought that it might be student housing. Not sure about that; and there must be plenty of apartments available in Heritage Hill. MSU Medical School is not known as a big research med school (more focused on clinical training) but with some additional facilities, who knows? That would be very good for GR.
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  5. LA Dave added a post in a topic GR Press moving   

    Don't see U-M following suit. Michigan has forged some links with GVSU (in the kinesiology department) and a Regents' meeting was held in GR last year. Still, the U-M Medical Center and Med School are closely linked and unified at Ann Arbor. And, those are huge facilities. For example, the total square footage of the MSU medical school and the new DeVos hospital, and I believe some other projects on Pill Hill was no greater than the new Women's and Children's hospital in Ann Arbor -- about 1 million square feet. MSU, with a younger and more clinically based medical school, needed GR and its large hospitals much more than U-M does.

    While it is good that MSU might be using the GR Press lot for a new building, it would be irritating if instead it just became a parking lot (and one, presumably off the tax rolls).
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  6. LA Dave added a post in a topic Grand Rapids Airport (GRR) News and Developments   

    What market at IAD? Dulles is a joke. I speak as one who, because of geography, cannot board a plane at LAX that will land at DCA. If you are connecting to a transatlantic flight, JFK or BOS are better options. For that matter, ORD or DTW are even better.

    I think Walker nailed it -- the loss of the daily Delta flight is big. On the other hand, I remember having to connect at DTW in the past, so I guess Frontier's 3 a week is still a better option.
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  7. LA Dave added a post in a topic GR Press moving   

    Yes, the Press does seem to have moved quite a ways right. Years ago, it was a very middle of the road paper, endorsing Democrats and moderate Republicans. When the Press endorse McCain and Palin in 2008 (one of only a handful of papers in the country to do so), I was amazed.
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  8. LA Dave added a post in a topic GR Press moving   

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of long-time readers will make the same choice. The Ann Arbor experiment has not been terribly successful, though apparently the Flint paper is now being delivered four or five days a week.

    It baffles me that a paper that was a money machine for decades could fall so far, so fast.
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  9. LA Dave added a post in a topic GR Press moving   

    There will probably be a string of these "final columns." The new MLive operation wants cheap, young reporters, not experienced journalists.
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  10. LA Dave added a post in a topic Comparing Michigan's Public Universities   

    You nailed it, Veloise. Acceptance does go both ways. Michigan (my alma mater) has become infamous for stringing kids along on the "waiting list." This is a particular form of torture that I would not recommend for anyone. Glad you liked MSU.

    I think that the stats point out that GVSU is really carving a niche for itself and is arguably separating from Central and Western, especially for what I would call the B+ students; ACTs in the high 20s or SATs in the high 600s, strong grades in hard but not top classes. There are plenty of kids in that category and Grand Valley can offer them a newer, prettier campus, access to a more interesting city than Mt. Pleasant (I like Kalamazoo a lot, but Western's campus is older) as well as excellent leadership. President Haas has done a great job interacting with West Michigan's movers and shakers as well as with other University presidents. And, Dr. Haas (who has at least two master's degrees, a doctorate and served to the rank of Captain in the US Coast Guard) is a real academic, unlike GVSU's previous president. Well done, Lakers.
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  11. LA Dave added a topic in Grand Rapids Coffee House   

    Comparing Michigan's Public Universities
    A few years ago, there were some posts in the GVSU development news thread the exclusivity (or lack thereof) of several state universities. Using CollegeData.com information (which presumably is reasonably acccurate), I have compiled some statistics for the Michigan public universities. I may have missed one or two, but have captured most of them. I will have the admission rate (percentage of applicants admitted) middle ACT (25-75%) range and, in the case of some Us, the percentage of entering freshmen in the top 10th of their high school class.

    University of Michigan: 51%/27-31/92%
    Michigan State: 70%/23-28/29%
    Wayne State: 86%/17-24
    EMU: 66%/18-23
    CMU: 73%/20-24/14%
    WMU: 83%/20-25/11%
    GVSU: 81%/22-26/21%
    FSU: 54%/18-24
    NMU: 73%/19-24
    Mich. Tech. 73%/23-29/30%
    SVSU: 81%/18-24
    Oakland U: 69%/19-25
    LSSU: 29%/19-24
    UM-D: 64%/21-27/26%
    UM-F: 72%/19-25

    This is very unscientific, but gives a thumbnail sketch of which schools are more "elite," at least in terms of entering freshman stats. There are of course many more factors that go into the admission decision and these stats can vary from year to year. In the list, UM-Ann Arbor clearly stands out. Michigan Tech is slightly more rosy stat-wise than MSU, but it is a much smaller school. UM-Dearborn and GVSU arguably come next, though CMU and WMU are very close. The rest are quite similar, with ACT ranges in the high-teens mid twenties and admission rates generally well north of 50%. I can't explain Lake Superior State's lowest admission rate, as the rest of its stats are unremarkable.
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  12. LA Dave added a post in a topic Old media, new media   

    "The Wyoming strip mall of news."
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  13. LA Dave added a topic in Grand Rapids Coffee House   

    Old media, new media
    I don't know how many of you have gone onto the Rapidian website (therapidian.org), but this hyperlocal citizen based journalist enterprise is very promising. It is focused on restaurants, clubs, music, arts and neighborhood happenings with a strong emphasis on younger readers.

    Compare this with the Press, which seems to be written for the 60-something in Hudsonville who is, well, far from liberal. Were I living in GR, I would not even buy the paper. Of course, starting in February, the Press really stops being the Press, as it ends 122 years of daily publishing.

    I think that the future of non-television media may well be with the organizations like the Rapidian. There are downsides -- using citizens to report can lead to axes being ground, leads being buried, stories being missed. On the other hand, the abject failure of the Press to respond to the vitality of the new Grand Rapids makes it less relevant.

    What do UP readers do to find out what is going on in GR?
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  14. LA Dave added a post in a topic GR Press moving   

    He is reportedly going into PR; probably not. Also, the blog is an M-Live product, isn't it? Unlikely that they would allow a former employee to continue blogging on it.
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  15. LA Dave added a post in a topic GR Press moving   

    Chris Knape is reportedly leaving the GR Press. A blog, freefromeditors, written by a former Flint Journal reporter, says that "Chris K," the business editor of the Press, is leaving to take a PR job.
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