Schools Of Choice
A recent item in Street Talk speculated that MSU alum PeterSecchia must be scratching his head over the selection of University of Michigan President LeeBollinger as the December commencement speaker in East Lansing.
But that’s not exactly true.
Bollinger, it should be noted, soon will be on his way to Columbia University to assume the presidency there, which is a big reason why he will be visiting the banks of the Red Cedar.
“It’s a great choice as it really is a speech by ‘Columbia’s president-elect’ …,” Secchia said. “Bollinger is on the Grand Rapids Foundation board with (MSU President Peter) McPherson and me. And McPherson and Bollinger are 50 percent of the Life Sciences Corridor (with VAI and Wayne State University).”
Secchia said McPherson did exactly the right thing in inviting Bollinger to speak, and that action speaks volumes about Michigan State.
“Cooperation may be their legacy,” Secchia said, referring to the two presidents. “Besides, MSU is one up: (U-M) did not invite President Peter.”
- The economy may be sliding toward a recession, but the Economic Club of Grand Rapids continues to ride the bull.
MikeJandernoa, Economic Club chairman and top gun at Perrigo Co., announced last Monday that Grand Rapids’ money-minded group has passed the 1,000 annual members mark on the 25th anniversary of its existence. In November 1976, the late GeorgeSlykhouse founded the Econ Club with 40 charter members.
“The membership of the Economic Club now includes a thousand people interested in growing the economic health of Grand Rapids,” Jandernoa said. “This is a milestone for both the Economic Club and Grand Rapids because it indicates that a solid core of individuals is concerned with governmental, social and economic issues that affect our city.”
So how did the Econ Club mark the occasion? Monetarily, of course.
Jandernoa said the Executive Committee has created a new $75,000 endowed fund to foster the economic education of minority students.
“Students will be introduced to economics, the work force and the range of professional possibilities that will, one day, be available to them,” he said.
- Don’t let it be said that the U.S. Department of Justice isn’t doing its part to stimulate the economy. Wrongdoers are being sentenced to tell the world of their guilt, and advertising sales are getting a boost in the process.
U.S. District Judge DavidMcKeague has fined and ordered restitution from Traverse Anesthesia Associates and Pain Consultants PC, a pair of affiliated multi-physician practices in Traverse City, after they pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection of double-billing of medical procedures.
As part of their sentencing, the physician groups also were ordered to place and pay for one ad in a professional health care publications acknowledging their guilt and warning others about the consequences of health care fraud. The tab on that will be $5,000.
But that’s only half as bad as the sentence U.S. District Judge GordonQuist handed Lansing dentist Dr. RandolphWirth, who pleaded guilty to a double-billing scheme involving Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan. His ads will cost him $10,000, in addition to fines and restitution.
“By deterring other health care providers from committing fraud, these advertisements help protect vital federal, state and private health insurance programs,” said MargaretChiara, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan.”
For future reference, RandyPrichard is general sales manager for the Business Journal. Just in case any local businesses are ordered by the courts to be flogged publicly for their misdeeds.
- OK, aren’t SamCummings and DavidFrey taking this anthrax scare a little bit too far? After all, the Grand Rapids Art Museum currently is located at a former U.S. Post Office site.
- Who says West Michigan isn’t on the state’s political map? The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce tonight is hosting the program “Appropriations, Policy Making and Term Limits: An Evening With Michigan House and Senate Committee Chairs.”
But this isn’t just a couple of local Reps and Senators chatting over coffee.
“We expect that 24 committee chairs will be coming to West Michigan,” said RustyMerchant, the chamber’s legislative liaison. “That’s a pretty good representation like I don’t think West Michigan has ever seen.”
And it’s not just the local folks, although KenSikkema, LeonStille, BillVanRegenmorter, DougHart and others will be represented.
Merchant said Senate Majority Leader DanDeGrow, Sen. LorenBennett (education) and Rep. AndrewRaczkowski (health policy) also are expected to be present.
“This should be unique for West Michigan,” Merchant said. “It should make for a very interesting evening.”
Tickets are $75. Call AnnaKruse at the chamber, 771-0336, for more information.
- Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent PatriciaNewby is gaining some political clout, too.
Newby, in her fifth year as GRPS super, has joined the Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to improving the student experience in K-12 education.
The council serves as a forum for the exchange of information, expertise and ideas to ensure that partnerships between businesses and school achieve their full potential for meeting key educational objectives.
Newby will help the council develop a “guiding principles” document for creating and sustaining business and school partnerships that respond to the needs of educators and students while establishing benchmarks for best-practice for business partners.
“One of our guiding principles has always been to listen to educators when developing partnerships in schools, and respond effectively to their wishes and needs with programs that add value to the school community,” said JeffreyDunn, president of Coca-Cola Americas, which helped establish the council in March. “We value the expertise of local educators, and we especially look forward to Dr. Newby’s insight based on her experience with diverse school populations.”