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Whistle-Stop (3/14)



  1. Dad, you should probably read your links before you post them. Again, there is no comparison between Enron's financial dealings and how much executives are getting paid at AIG. While paying executives large amounts for little performance is disgusting, it is not illegal. As far as prices “skyrocketing” on foreign cars, there is more than enough excess capacity. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/business...amp;oref=slogin By the way, who said anything about filling demand with some new concept car? Currently there is a panoply of vehicle offerings out there. Do we really need all these different car companies. What is the difference between an Escalade and a Yukon anyways? You are trying to compare whether Dale from Greenville can get a brand new F150 versus the entire financial system of the Western world tumbling down. It really is apples to oranges. You at least need some limited knowledge of finance before you make some of these claims. Watching Wood TV at 11 every night probably wont do that for you. Let the auto industry rot and bailout the workers who didn’t have all that much to do with their companies downfall.
  2. Nice try at hyperbole Dad. If AIG is the Enron of the financial world then GM is the Enron of the Auto world... which in both cases is false. AIG did not do anything illegal that we know of. Buying and sell derivatives was never illegal, and as a matter of fact, was essentially endorsed by Greenspan. Obviously if GM were to fail it would be a pretty bleak scenario, but nothing compared to if AIG failed. GM makes cars. Americans can do without cars (or should I say gigantic gas-guzzling SUVs). The Japanese and Koreans would take up the slack in a heartbeat. If AIG were to fail the whole medical, auto, commercial, catastrophic, and life insurance model in the US would be called into question. Not to mention millions of people losing their entire retirement savings that are held by AIG. No one would be there to take up the slack except for the US government, if that is even possible. Essentially, the loss of AIG would be way more devastating than the loss of GM.
  3. I just saw that round-trip tickets from New Buffalo, MI to Chicago are $20. I guess they are starting non-stop service this summer with four departures/arrivals a day. I searched for later in the summer and only saw one departure/arrival, but I am sure that on the press release they said they will have four. This is pretty awesome considering the trip only takes about an hour and 15 minutes, which is comparable if not better than driving. It is obviously way better than taking the commuter train from Michigan City, since it takes 2+ hours I believe. Plus, I would rather park in N.B. than Michigan City.
  4. Here is a pretty good story on the GR Metro area/West Michigan in the NYTimes.
  5. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/18/business...amp;oref=slogin I had not heard this before, but I am sure it has been reported here in the local media.
  6. ^^^Rizzo, you know what is funny is that there was a rather large picture of a streetcar in the Press on Saturday in response to a some whiny antithetic letter to the editor on the topic of streetcars.
  7. It is anybody's guess in the long term if new airlines would add flights to GRR, but I would think that would happen due to reduced service from the NWA/Delta merger. What is for sure is the closure of Memphis and Cinci as hubs for NWA and Delta respectively to create savings and eliminate overlap. This would portend the loss of nonstop flights to those cities in the short term. In the broader sense, Alex is correct in how cut-throat the business is. It is funny to see people complain about full flights and lack of destinations. I think people fail to grasp the enormous capital costs involved with an airline adding capacity, especially on a whim. This is not even taking into account operational costs. Just about every major airline is a couple bad quarters away from going bankrupt---profit margins are razor thin. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to never fly on a full flight and be able to fly nonstop to SFO or SEA, but it is just not practical. We already have 15 non-stop destinations(1 is seasonal). What I could see happening is for America West/US Air adding flights to PHL or possibly PHX in the next couple of years if the demand is there and this merger goes through.
  8. ^^^ Great read Dad. Thanks for the link! I dont think GR will ever be like Denver, but it can certainly take some notes and apply the lessons learned to our own unique situation. On a side note, it will be interesting to see how the Stapleton development pans out in the next 10 to 15 years, especially considering the brownfield sites along the 131 corridor which could eventually be modeled after the former Denver airport.
  9. I cant believe that we are even having this discussion, again. Didn’t we talk about light rail to GVSU several months ago? Andy, I really respect your work, but I would not expect this out of you---it is completely ridiculous to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on something that would have one legitimate station. Would Meijer in Standale be slated for a station? Maybe the Wendy’s would be a better solution. I could quite possibly be wrong, but most light rail projects being developed now are integrating park and rides along busy/frustrating commuting routes with several feasible stops along the way. Just look at “Fastraks.” Furthermore, I think that it would only increase sprawl considering all of the undeveloped land along this route we are discussing. Just because it is a fixed guide way does not mean that there wont be any sprawl. I mean you work for the MLUI, how can you be advocating this type of development? Wouldn’t this be the absolute essence of urban sprawl? I could think of 4 or 5 routes in the GR area that would be much better served, with brownfields crying out to be redeveloped along each of those routes. BRT would be a fine solution
  10. Well, regardless, I still like it alot.
  11. I agree somewhat, but what I am not so sure about is the East wall. Has anyone seen any renderings for that side of the hotel? If there was some substance to the East side I could definately live with the North, especially considering how fantastic this hotel looks to me so far(from the GRD posted image of the West side).
  12. "DeVos went off script during his comments, which ranged from jabs at casinos, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and other would-be hotel developers to his recollections of the development of DeVos Performance Hall and the Amway Grand Plaza." http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2007/09/hear...arriott_an.html This was from mlive. It would be great to be able to read his comments verbatim regarding other "would-be hotel developers." I am not totally surprised since he is a business man, but come on. The JW is in a whole another league compared to what this project is proposing and it is pretty lame that Devos would allegedly make a jab (during the JW opening ceremony!) or two at a local company developing NoMo--if that is indeed who he was targeting (probably).
  13. I believe we described the same thing, but in your instance the right to add on vertically was passed in favor of the right to ensure views. The original holder of air rights is nonetheless compensated for not building up, which was what I was getting at. Same means just different ends. Joe, I am holding you to that promise you just made.
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