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Archive for March 13th, 2009

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on March 13, 2009

Lady Lightfoot really is a sweetheart. She just has an expression that could qualify her for the Disapproval Olympics.

Lightfoot - Friday Cat Blogging - 3-13-09

Posted in Friday Cat Blogging, Lady Lightfoot, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Minnesota’s Construction Workers Grateful For Stimulus Money

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 13, 2009

Spring is coming to the Upper Midwest, and with it road construction season. Thanks to the stimulus package, lots of long-neglected road projects are going to be dealt with, providing jobs and money for tens of thousands of Minnesota workers:

The impact of the stimulus dollars?

“I’m hoping we’ll have everyone working,” said Glen Johnson, business manager of Local 49 of the Operating Engineers Union.

That means 13,000 people from one union alone will be collecting paychecks. Non-union operators also will be getting work, especially in Greater Minnesota regions where unions aren’t as strong. And unlike last summer, Johnson said, virtually everyone should be working full time, plus overtime.

“Most of our people were working last summer,”Johnson said, “but we had a lot of guys working four-day weeks so that everyone could have a job.”

Johnson is sensitive to the suggestion that operating engineers are being paid too much.

“I saw one report saying our guys make $50 an hour,” he said. “What they didn’t say is that most of our guys have nine months to work. They didn’t say that that $50 an hour includes all benefits. They didn’t say our guys get paid only if they work. If it’s raining and they can’t work, they don’t get paid.”

Johnson is a huge believer in the ripple effect of construction work.

“It’s said that every dollar spent on construction touches 10 hands,” he said. “… When our guys are working, the pavers are working. When we’re working, the people who make tires are working. And most of the money being spent is spent locally.”

This is excellent, excellent news. And this is just one chunk of the stimulus money allocation for just one state.

Posted in 111th Congress, economy, Good Things, our tax dollars at work, unions, when government is a good thing | 2 Comments »

Here Comes The Electric Car

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 13, 2009

The Norwegian company TH!NK is planning to start producing electric cars in the US as soon as next year:

The company is currently in discussions with eight states, including Michigan, hoping to host the facility, which will initially employ about 300 workers with a starting capacity of 16,000 cars per year. The technical center will provide jobs for another 70 engineers and electric drive specialists. Plans ultimately call for up to 900 employees and a capacity of 60,000 electric vehicles per year.

TH!NK uses lithium batteries from two American companies: EnerDel in Indiana and A123 in Massachusetts.

It will be interesting to see which car hits US roads first: The TH!NK city or the Chevy Volt.

Posted in automobiles, economy, energy, environment | Comments Off on Here Comes The Electric Car

 
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