I had the opportunity yesterday to attend another one of those "state of michigan budget" forums. This was one was pretty similar to the one League CEO Dan Gilmartin participated in a few weeks ago. Mitch Bean of the House Fiscal Agency gave his usual sobering statistical presentation once again showing how far we've fallen in terms of overall prosperity and how we're bound to stay to there for some time without some changes. But in spite of all this, it was former state legislator and state department director David Hollister who reminded us all that despite the tough times, there are good things going on as he noted, "right here in river city". Mr. Hollister is now head of a Lansing based non-profit working on regional collaborative economic development initiatives in mid-michigan. And he let everyone know in no uncertain terms that despite the dysfunction going on under the capitol dome, we must continue to move forward on our own. For instance, the tri-county region in mid-michigan is now home to 350 hi-tech companies and is only second to Hartford, Connecticut in terms of insurance and finance based business activity. Such reminders help me to remember that, while there is little question of continuing struggles to right our state's eocnomic ship, the League's message and initatievs are on the right path.