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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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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