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Detroit News Roundup for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday September 6-8, 2007

Planting seeds of downtown rebirth

The array of begonias, day lilies, roses, black-eyed susans, and red, white and blue petunias softens and humanizes a corner of downtown previously more bleak than most.

People notice. Linda Merritt, an employee with the Internal Revenue Service office at McNamara, said the plantings make it “a pleasure to come down for a break at the plaza that looks that great.”

[via Detroit Free Press]

The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) A new report shows the three Michigan schools that make up the University Research Corridor generated about 69,000 jobs and contributed nearly $13 billion to the economy last year.

Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State formed the URC to help spark the state’s struggling economy. The three schools believe the report shows that the URC is succeeding.

[via MLive.com]

Abandoning Pricey Dorms for Cheap Co-op Housing

The soaring costs of higher education are reigniting interest in one of the easiest ways to work off a big chunk of college costs—doing chores in a housing cooperative. Little wonder, since the payoff can be spectacular. University of California-Los Angeles students, for example, can knock more than $6,700 off that school’s $24,000 total cost of attendance by living in an off-campus co-op and doing about five hours of chores a week. At that price, those chores pay, in effect, more than $39 an hour.

Students at the Black Elk Cooperative in Ann Arbor, Mich., grow some of their own food.

Andrea Smith, a senior at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Mich., says friends at her Lutheran college said “we’re going to pray for you over at that hippie house,” when she told them she was going to spend the summer at the Black Elk Cooperative. The independent co-op, near the University of Michigan campus, bills itself as “the vegetarian co-op that rocks.” Smith, who bills herself as conservative, says she “hardly agrees with anybody, but we get along,” especially because she and many other residents are studying art. She goes out to eat when she’s hungry for a hamburger and shrugs off house rules, such as one declaring upper floors “clothing optional.”

[via U.S. News & World Report]

50 in-home workers wanted

A London, Ont.-based call centre with 400 employees is seeking as many as 50 bilingual English/French employees in the Windsor area who are willing to work from home.

Established in 1994, Alliance iCommunications services both inbound and outbound contracts for a variety of North American clients and is looking to expand its roster of home-based employees.

[via Windsor Star]

VCs Strike Out For Greener Pastures

Cleantech venture capitalists sought out greener pastures in the second quarter, fueling a surge in investments in advanced materials, transportation, and recycling and waste technologies, the Cleantech Network said on Thursday.

While energy generation technologies and startups continued to attract the lion’s share of North American and European VC funds in the second quarter, investors increasingly turned to newer and less developed sectors, the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based research group said.

[via Red Herring]

Bohemian Rhapsody! FIVE15: A New Indie Place for Avant-Garde Lit …

ROYAL OAK, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FIVE15 (http://www.five15.net/), a new independent book, music, movie and gift store with a Left Bank feel is officially opening September 15. The store, located at 515 Washington Street in downtown Royal Oak, will disprove the much parroted line that indie stores are DOA in the 21st century. The address might say Washington Ave., but the vibe is more Greenwich Village or Haight-Ashbury, wired for our generation.

This store, the brain child of owner Gary Baglio, will saturate itself in the liberating impulses of the 60s yet surround its patrons with the multi-media innovations of our time. Interesting things are happening in the arts and popular culture right now and the store will be a reflection of these modern thinking sensibilities while its leading edge technologies will be geared for todays pulse.

[via Business Wire (press release)]

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