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walker last won the day on May 9 2012

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  1. walker

    West Michigan/Grand Rapids Economy

    Just an update on opportunity zones, John Gallagher, the business editor at the Free Press, a couple of days ago wrote about a study that says that the opportunity zones tax break is/was not a good idea. But then GRDadof3 already said that above: FREE PRESS: opportunity zones study
  2. walker

    New projects on the West Side

    I'm not too familiar with electrical engineering terms and Google is failing me here. Is "dead face" essentially the same as "dead front," in that it refers to some kind of interface that keeps the operator from being electrocuted?
  3. walker


    Right, that's what next took over the space after Bill Knapp's. Ground Round was a chain of hamburger restaurants that were upscale compared to fast food places. The chain was started by Howard Johnson in an attempt to diversify away from their fading namesake restaurants.
  4. walker

    Wealthy Street Mega Thread

    It doesn’t have to be all new containers. Thanks to a comment on Mlive, I found this alternative hybrid design that would be much more environmentally friendly and that would likely fit on the Wealthy-Fuller lot. It only requires a couple of new unused containers combined with a number of recycled residential modular units: I think actual raccoons would love this. EDIT: when I wrote fit on the lot I meant physically fit, not necessarily historically fit.
  5. walker

    Wealthy Street Mega Thread

    I can see where making homes out of shipping containers might make some sense in certain situations like in a war zone where empty ones pile up because war supplies travel to the area and little returns and people would otherwise be living in squalor. The ones I’ve seen in the U.S. cost about the same or more than more conventional housing after they are converted up to code, and first world aesthetics, and after utilities and appliances are installed. Only my opinion of course but I think it’s the novelty of the containers right now and the girls in shorts and summer dresses walking by on a sunny day that makes the shipping container bar in Austin seem cool but I suspect as time goes by it will begin to remind people of a rusty storage area in a rail freight yard. So, I’ve cherry picked an article to support my opinion: pros and cons of shipping container architecture (mostly cons) rusty storage area in a rail freight yard:
  6. walker

    Division / Wealthy and ICCF

    So here's the announcement on Mlive: MLIVE: grand-rapids-food-co-op-announces-new-location
  7. walker

    Suburban Projects

    So there used to be a combination laundromat / drycleaner in the Ramblewood Shopping Center Strip Mall off 44th Street. A few years ago, the owners closed the laundromat part and moved the dry-cleaning business across the street to a new strip mall on the south side of 44th. Same name and same owners as far as I know. Now CWD, the new owner of the shopping center property, has been awarded a MDEQ Brownfield grant and a loan in the amounts of $202,000 and $433,000 respectively. The money is supposedly to be used primarily to remediate the environmental contamination caused by the dry-cleaning business. If I understand how the loan works, it is not so much a loan as it is a tax abatement since it will be paid out of future taxes on the redeveloped property. What I don’t understand is that the old shopping center isn’t abandoned property and the business that caused the alleged contamination isn’t long gone, it still exists and is a going concern that is located just a couple hundred feet away. Why isn’t the current property owner and/or the business that caused the contamination responsible for the clean-up? Say in a few years the dry cleaner moves again, maybe back across the street, can the strip mall owner on the south side of the street then also get free money from the state and city? If the dry-cleaning business is so toxic, why are they allowed at all? MDEQ press release about grant and loan MLIVE article: 640K state assistance
  8. walker

    Grandville Castle Apartments

    Interesting watching the video and listening to the locals complain, it’s sort of like Grandville. Considering Turkey’s Syrian refugee problem, once the developer goes bankrupt, maybe the government could take it over and make it a refugee camp. According to the video they’ve already got the barbed wire up. It would solve two big problems at once. Maybe sometime in the future something like that might be the creative solution to the Grandville castle too.
  9. walker

    New projects in East Hills

    She needs a rich benefactor. The Wealthy Street Theater rehab muddled along for some time before Peter Wege stepped in.
  10. walker

    People talking about Grand Rapids

    Pretty cool in the sense of weather in that because of its elevation it never gets really hot like the rest of Arizona. It's a little warmer than here in the winter but if you're looking for a few weeks of warm sun in the winter, better to head forty minutes south to Sedona or two hours south to Phoenix. If I wanted to live in Arizona year-round though, I think I might pick Flagstaff. There's also an interesting canyon about an hour and a half to the north. Flagstaff is kind of isolated and not that big. It's about the size of Kalamazoo and property is expensive. I thought this thread was suppose to be about people talking about Grand Rapids?
  11. walker

    New projects on the West Side

    The BEFORE image below from Google 2009 (when this was considered part of the slummy Cass Corridor neighborhood rather than hip Midtown) looks a lot like the west side does now with all the low-rise small manufacturing buildings. I slid the image over a little to include the front door of one of my favorite Detroit restaurants, Traffic Jam & Snug. It's been there since 1965. I started going there in 1978 when I lived a few blocks to the north. Still go there every time I am in Detroit. I guess I was an early trend setter. I recommend this place if you are looking for a good place to eat or drink. They say they were the first brewpub in Michigan. Here's their website: traffic jam detroit
  12. MLIVE: buddys pizza coming to kentwood
  13. walker

    People talking about Grand Rapids

    I was born in 1946 and I'm 72, not 83.
  14. walker

    Grand Rapids Airport (GRR) News and Developments

    WARNING: old man long story coming up: Sure GRR can handle large planes. In fact, on July 26, 1989 a flight from Grand Rapids set the non-stop distance record for a commercial twinjet, 8,893 statute miles, GRR to the city of Mahe in Seychelles, an obscure island country in the Indian Ocean. The trip was done covertly and there was no mention of it till after the plane landed in Seychelles just under seventeen hours later. In order to get my facts straight, I found an article at the library published in the GR Press the day after it landed. Here’s the story: The president of Seychelles came to the United States to meet with President Bush and to pick-up a new Boeing 767-200ER aircraft for their national airline. Intent on setting a new distance record, it was determined that Grand Rapids was the best place to take off from in order not to come up short and run out of fuel and crash into the Indian Ocean. GRR was a clear shot and not being particularly busy there was much less chance of congestion delays than say in Chicago. The state department and the secret service ran the show. So, the plane overnighted at an obscure part of the airport away from the terminal. Boeing provided security to guard the plane. Airport officials were told to not tell anyone about the plane or the flight until it landed at its destination. According to the Press, there were thirty-two passengers including the president of Seychelles, France-Albert René, his cabinet, the U.S. ambassador to Seychelles, and a representative of the National Aeronautic Association who was along to verify the flight. The Press said they stayed the night before the flight at a nearby hotel. I no longer remember why I believe this but I think they stayed at what is now the Crown Plaza but then was probably the Marriott. I could be remembering wrong though and I suppose it could have been the nearby Motel 6. Since they were traveling incognito, I wonder whose credit card and driver's license they used when they checked in. The plane took off around six the next morning and arrived in Mahe sixteen hours and forty-nine minutes later. According to the article, a Boeing publicist said that it was a record likely to stand a long time. He was wrong. Eleven months later a passenger-less 767-200ER took off from Boeing Field in Seattle and landed in Nairobi, Kenya, seventeen hours and fifty-one minutes later, after flying 9,253 statute miles. So why all the secrecy? The Press article doesn’t say. Here’s my speculation: I Googled up President France-Albert René. He was installed as president in 1977 in a coup d'état while the then current president was in London attending a conference. I’m guessing he wanted to keep his trip out of the country a secret from his enemies so that the same thing didn’t happen to him. Apparently he had plenty of enemies. Over his long reign several failed coups were attempted against him. The U.S. apparently was at times for him and at other times against him. The CIA sponsored one of the coup attempts but on another occasion they discovered a coup being planned and let him know about it. Despite all the coup attempts, he became known as a benevolent dictator and he actually peaceably retired in 2004 and I believe he is still around. FOOTNOTES: Wikipedia: President France-Albert Rene Declassified memo – Bush SR. meets with France-Albert René a few days before flight PDF of GR Press article July 28, 1989: Seychelles flight.pdf
  15. walker

    Grand Rapids Airport (GRR) News and Developments

    Deja vu: FEB 2010: Allegiant expanding their base here, adding 60 positions Didn't last long back then, just long enough for people to move here and buy homes and then have to move. Maybe it will work this time. I wonder if the 42.8 million in capital is actual parts and equipment permanently based at the airport or if it just represents the value of the planes parked overnight on the tarmac, that's pretty much what it amounted to last time.