Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 27, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 08/27/2013

Associated Press

---- — Tea party activist to run for Lt. Governor

LANSING — A Michigan tea party activist said Monday he will challenge Lt. Gov. Brian Calley next year as a way to protest major policy initiatives of Gov. Rick Snyder, a move that could muddle the Republican governor’s expected re-election bid.

Wes Nakagiri, founder of conservative political group RetakeOurGov and a vocal critic of Snyder’s proposed expansion of Medicaid, said he would bring a “conservative voice” to the administration.

“Having a grassroots conservative on the 2014 ticket will energize the base of the GOP to come out and work hard on its behalf,” he said in a statement.

Though gubernatorial candidates are chosen in primary elections, their running mates are picked at party conventions. It is customary for delegates to get behind the gubernatorial candidate’s choice.

Yet in 2010, tea party activists insisted on a rare roll call vote for lieutenant governor even though the more moderate Snyder — after beating four more conservative candidates who split the vote in the primary — had named Calley his running mate. Fruitport businessman and tea party favorite Bill Cooper ultimately withdrew his name, but not before the convention erupted into angry chants and booing.

U-M eliminates use of trays in dining halls

ANN ARBOR — The University of Michigan is eliminating the use of trays in most of its dining halls in an effort to cut down on wasted food, reduce costs and curb energy use.

The change goes into effect during fall semester at the school’s Ann Arbor campus, reports.

Trays previously were offered to help students carry food from serving areas to seating areas. Eliminating trays will make it harder to take large amounts of food at once, officials said. The trays will not need to be washed, meaning less water and energy is used in the dining halls.

“With a tray, students are more inclined to take more food than they might actually consume,” said Christine Siegel, associate director of University Housing. “What we hope to find is that students will be more thoughtful about their choices.”

Of eight operational dining halls, seven will be trayless. One is closed for renovations. The school also is considering upgrading a conveyor belt used in the Bursley Dining Hall on North Campus. With the existing equipment there, dishes could get stuck.

The University of Michigan predicts that the changes could lead to 5 percent cost savings due to less food consumption. The school earlier had a pilot project for trayless dining at two dining halls and decided to remove trays from all renovated dining halls.

Seedlings planted at site of U.P. fire

NEWBERRY — It’s been a year since an Upper Michigan fire burned more than 21,000 acres in the Duck Lake area and property owners are still rebuilding.

The Lansing State Journal reports that landowners like Bruce Marshall can replace the buildings. But it will take many years before they will have the kind of shade provided by trees destroyed in a path from north of Newberry to Lake Superior. The Marshalls lost several buildings. Their house was spared.

Meanwhile, Keith Magnusson of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says timber salvage is just about done on state land.

The DNR in spring planted about 1.2 million pine seedlings on 1,200 acres. The DNR will monitor unharmed trees that remain to ensure that their seeds help with reforestation.