Obscure Websites and Protecting Great Lakes

Big pot of federal money attracts attention

Reporters, editors, activists and some politicians have used strong language to describe the consequences of possible spending reductions in activities funded through a $300 million federal “Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.”

The Associated Press reported that the spending “combats invasive species, curbs nutrient-fueled algae blooms, cleans up toxic messes and restores sensitive fish and wildlife habitat.”

ForTheRecord says: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds hundreds of activities.

For example, in 2010, the initiative gave $440,519 to an obscure website called the Great Lakes Regional Research Information Network (GLRRIN) for “expanding Lake Michigan food web knowledge.”

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Renting out the family summer cottage is a common practice in Michigan, and with today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever, empowered by services like AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO and more. These short-term rentals mean vacationers can find a place much more easily and inexpensively, while owners can earn some extra money. It seems like a win-win. Not everyone agrees. Some in the accommodations and tourism industries aren’t happy with the increased competition and are advocating for limiting people’s rights to rent out their homes. Some homeowner associations are pushing back as well. And while cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids have mostly embraced home sharing, some local governments have restricted and even banned the practice.

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