Time To Motivate


    Who says Grand Rapids isn’t a business town? For anyone who still believes that, circle Aug. 2 on your calendar.

    Then try to come downtown during morning rush hour.

    Some of the biggest names in business (and comedy and sports) are scheduled to appear live at Van Andel Arena, beginning at 8 o’clock that morning. So, parking for about 12,000 people will be needed.

    ZigZiglar, billed as America’s No. 1 motivator, probably would send this message to most downtowners: Ride the bus.

    Ziglar, along with GeorgeRoss (you know, DonaldTrump’s vice president and co-star of that oh-so-real business drama, “The Apprentice”) and SuzeOrman (a one-woman financial advice powerhouse) are among the featured speakers.

    For laughs, JerryLewis (Labor Day MD telethon fame) will offer a presentation on humor at work, and TomIzzo, MSU’s revered basketball coach, will talk about how competition is no laughing matter.

    Finally, former New York City Mayor RudolphGiuliani is scheduled to speak on “How To Lead In Difficult Times.”

    That’s a traffic-stopping lineup if ever there was one.

    Van Andel Arena spokeswoman HilarieSzarowicz said the event will have a “major impact” on rush hour traffic, as it goes all day until 4:45 p.m.

    • Now here’s a sweet deal.

    As reported in this week’s Business Journal, a free trade agreement for Central America may be close to passage. The biggest stumbling block for GOP supporters was opposition from American sugar producers.

    Now, according to Rep. VernEhlers, that problem is solved.

    Thanks to a “side deal” worked out with House leadership, Congress will help the sugar industry by “finding new uses for sugar in this country.”

    The country where the average citizen already eats 150 pounds of sugar each year? Mmmm… Subsidelicious!

    • One of several harrowing stories last week, the online presence of The Grand Rapids Press and the rest of the Booth Newspaper group, Michigan Live at mlive.com, apparently didn’t follow the same precautions as prescribed by CPR Director of Technology Jeff Tatreau in the June 27 Business Journal story, “Data Center Completes CPR Offerings.”

    For the better part of two days last week, the growing portion of Grand Rapids that foregoes the print version of The Press in favor of its free online offering had no source of local news. With the exception of its AP feed, Michigan Live was down for the count from Tuesday evening until Thursday morning, the result of a power outage at its New Jersey hosting facility.

    Disaster recovery is all the rage in the technology world, and a power outage is to DR what a rain storm is to Florida. Large businesses have sought offsite backup and recovery strategies. They have placed redundant servers in offsite data centers, which replicated the data of the primary system.

    Had Michigan Live gone local (granted the site is hosted by Booth’s parent company, Advance Newspapers), CPR’s data center would have had its back with a 600kW generator.

    If nothing else, a great many people likely picked up the nation’s 71st most-read newspaper than would have otherwise last week.

    Michigan’s third most popular Web site behind the online versions of the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, Michigan Live took a serious dump last week. With its viewership already at its lowest point in two years, with an Alexa ranking of following a 2,000-point slide to the Web’s 6,338th most popular site, Michigan Live sank another 3,000 points to 9,445 on the seven-day average. On Thursday, the first day the site was up again, it had slid 100 percent, to 13,744.

    Meanwhile, grbj.com viewership last week was up 100 percent for its highest Alexa ranking in two years, all the way to 619,962. Thanks, mlive!

    • This might be a cheap date, if you work it right.

    The Wealthy Theater is in need of volunteers to help out on film nights. Volunteers who commit to taking tickets, refreshment serving, and cleaning up after the films will receive free admission to the movie and complimentary popcorn and soda.

    You also would be supporting Community Media Center’s effort to engage the community in enriching and entertaining events at the theater. Movies are shown at various times Thursdays through Mondays. If interested, contact JamesWalker at the Wealthy Theatre: 451-8001.    

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