Bottle Return Expansion

20 05 2008

One of the new things I had to learn upon moving to Michigan is saving cans.  It’s one of those things I’m kind of shocked that every state doesn’t do, but it took me a while to get used to it.  Now, I have a garbage bag hanging in my closet and everytime I finish a Pepsi, the can goes in that garbage….not the regular one.

I was more than a little surprised that the bottle return includes pop and beer, but not bottled water.  For a while, my girlfriend and I used to go through at least a case a week.  We finally realized all the waste and bought a Brita Water Pitcher.  That cut down drastically on all the waste we contributing. 

I came across a blurb in a newspaper a few weeks ago about HB 6000 which will ammend the current bottle return law to include bottled water. I contacted the bill’s sponsor Rep. Mark Meadows of East Lansing to see why change now. 

…the buying public’s taste has changed from carbonated beverages to bottled water. We are now finding increased litter from the latter on roadsides etc. We need to develop a system to recycle/reuse water bottles. That is why I introduced the bill.

I think this is a great idea.  There’s criticism right now because the retail industry feels like they are becoming Michigan’s trash collectors.  I don’t buy that at all.  We all need to take responsibility.  If the citizens of Michigan are willing to collect trash in their home in order to recycle then the stores should take the responsibility to recycle.  It’s win-win for everyone.  I don’t see a loser here.


Tuesday Smoking Ban Update

20 05 2008

Well, it’s Tuesday and the House is back in session.  HB 4163 is on the calendar, but as a commentor pointed out over the weekend, it’s not likely to be called.  The sticking point?  Casinos.  The Senate version did not make an exception for casinos.  The House version did.  The House now has to pass the Senate’s version and from all accounts I’ve seen, that’s not probable right now.  The legislators are worried that Indian casinos woudn’t enforce the ban and being soverign grounds, Michigan laws do not affect them.  Everyone’s worried about the Detroit casinos.  It’s definately an economic concern, but, in my opinion, not enough of one to delay a smoking ban. 

The thing I keep reading over and over and even in the comment section of this blog is how can you ban something that is legal.  You ever hear of dry counties or adult use bans?  The Detroit Free Press had an editorial this morning that compares the smoking ban to another law that was passed in the interest of public safety.

This would hardly be the first government action taken in the name of public health and safety. Did you buckle up today?

And for those who say that bar, restaurant or casino employees who worry about secondhand smoke ought to find another job, well, such folks probably haven’t been looking for work lately in Michigan’s current economy.

Both great points.  I know how hard it is to find a job right now.  I’ve been told by more than one potential employer that they would like to hire me, but don’t have the money to do so.  I’m lucky I’ve got a side job that pays better than my full time job used to.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle points out, this whole debate lies in the hands of Detroit.

Detroit and Detroit-area Democrats are not about to support a ban that doesn’t take care of the casinos, bingo halls and others; without their support a ban goes nowhere. For solid strategic reasons Senate Republicans aren’t going to exempt anybody.

That means a stalemate as well as a great talking point for the Republicans. If you want to ban smoking from bars, restaurants and all other businesses to protect workers from second-hand smoke — the major anti-smoking argument — then you ban it for all workers, including those unlucky enough to work in a Detroit casino.

I know I keep mentioning this, but I have plenty of experience with this exact same scenario in my old homestate.  I always wanted to run for Governor just to start a succession from the City of Chicago.  It sucks that one corner of the state has all the power to set the agenda for the rest of the state.  This whole thing is being held up by one part of the state. 

I’ll keep following the debate, but it’s looking less and less likely that we’re going to see something quickly.  The Senate passed it back to the House so the House looks like the bad guys.  It must be an election year or something…..

Monical’s Pizza – Champaign, IL

20 05 2008
  • 103 W. Kirby AveMonical's Pizza
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • (217) 356-4243
  • Website
  • Menu

Monical’s Pizza is a small chain located primarily in Central Illinois with a few locations in Indiana and one in Wisconsin.  I grew up eating at locations in Bradley, IL and Watseka, IL.  Monical’s was always the hang out after football games and where we went with large groups before hitting the movies.  While in Champaign for the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track Championships, I got reacquainted with this childhood memory. 

Monical’s actually got it’s start in nearby Tolono, IL.  The restaurant on Kriby Ave. is one of the new Big Tomato locations which has a bigger menu than just the pizza Monical’s has served since the late 1950’s.  I didn’t actually get to eat in the store.  The manager on my job ordered a bunch of pizza for dinner one night since we weren’t able to get a real dinner break.

Monical’s is a super-thin crust and crispy pizza.  There are actually spices added to the crust which give the pizza an interesting flavor.  Usually on thin crust pizza, you get a pretty bland crust.  With Monical’s, you actually have to wipe your hands clean because you end up with spices on them.  Instead of being cut into wedges, the pizza is cut in tiny squares.  Just something elset that makes them stand out above the usual pizza pie.  The sauce is a thin red sauce with a little bit of a kick then cheese and toppings are piled on.  Where I’m from, Monical’s pizza can’t be eaten without their signature sweet and tart salad dressing.  I always thought it was wierd, but people actually have the waitress keep the salad dressing on the table when the pizza came, but people just love this stuff.  You can actually buy bottles of the dressing on their website.

Over the years, it kind of seems like the pizza has changed and not in the good way.  The location I always used to go to in Bradley is now closed and the other locations just don’t have the same feel to them as this one did, so I’ve kind of been turned off to their pizza.  I’ve eaten at many of the locations and every now and then it’s just good to go back to an old favorite.  That’s how this weekend felt when I was unintentionally scarfing down a whole pizza.  It’s not usually my first choice any more, but when it’s put in front of me, I can’t help but wolf it down.