The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, May 25, 2007

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Cerebral palsy bike run is July 28
The second annual Benjamin Franklin Memorial Poker Run will be held starting with registration at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 28 at the Lansing at the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 333 union hall.

Last year's poker run, sponsored by Local 333, raised $5,200 for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Michigan.

The motorcycle ride is held in memory of Benjamin Tyler Franklin, who died at age three of cerebral palsy. He's the son of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 333 secretary April Franklin and Iron Workers Local 25 member Benjamin Franklin.

In a poker run, drivers of cars and motorcycles make five stops on a pre-planned route and draw a card at each stop. At the final stop, prizes are given out for those who have the best poker hand.

The ride will start at the Local 333 union hall, at 5405 S. Martin Luther King Drive in Lansing. Bikers will head south before ending at the Wooden Nickel Saloon in Dansville, where there will be food, music and prizes. There will be first and second place prizes, as well as door prizes for longest distance and youngest and oldest riders.

The registration cost is $20 per bike/$5 per passenger. Call April at (517) 749-9583 or e-mail for more information.

'Big Mac' work is a Dirty Job
Is working on the Mackinac Bridge considered a dirty job?

Apparently, the people at Discovery's Channel's "Dirty Jobs" show think so. Mike Rowe, the show's host, will come to Northern Michigan on May 25 to tour the Mighty Mac and highlight the daunting work bridge maintenance crews perform each year on the structure.

Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) officials said the project is a unique opportunity to showcase the significant work done in Michigan on the landmark structure, which turns 50 years old this year.

"Our crews take an incredible amount of pride in what they do," said MBA Administrator Bob Sweeney. "I would describe our maintenance activities as daunting or difficult, as opposed to dirty. But, it takes a special person to meet the challenges of the job. Our crews are preserving the integrity of the bridge. They are the reason it will be here at least another 50 years."

The Discovery Channel program is expected to focus on a cable painting project above the Straits, and/or preventive maintenance inside one of the tower cells.
MBA Chief Engineer Kim Nowack said the visit by Rowe and his show is an opportunity to "gain national exposure for our employees and will showcase the awesome work they do that often goes unnoticed."

Arnold Line hires union
If you're headed to the Straits of Mackinac this summer, and intend to take a ferry to Mackinac Island, now hear this.

The Arnold Line is the only one of the three ferry services that employ union members. The International Longshoremen's Association and the Seafarers International Union represent Arnold Line workers.