Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DEARBORN (WWJ) - A new exhibit that opened Saturday at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn features a model of Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, build entirely out of LEGO bricks.
The exhibition “LEGO Architecture: Towering Ambition,” which features 13 of the world’s most famous architectural icons, runs at the museum through Feb. 24, 2013.
Developed by the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., the exhibition features large-scale models built by visionary architect and LEGO Certified Professional Adam Reed Tucker.
Tucker used Ford Field blueprints to help complete the 5-by-5 foot Lego version, which includes the field and seats.
Other models featured in the exhibition include the Empire State Building, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, the Sky Needle, Transamerica Pyramid and Shanghai’s Jin Mao Tower.
Built entirely of LEGO bricks, some of the sculptures soar up to 18 feet high and use as many as 450,000 pieces without the use of glue or other adhesives.
Exhibit admission is included in museum admission. For more information, call 313-982-6001 or visit www.thehenryford.org.
Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 09:00
Category: News Briefs Written by Huffingtonpost
Michigan Proposals 2012: State Ballot Measures Will Let Voters Decide Hot-Button Issues.
This Tuesday, Michigan voters will have an opportunity to decide on six momentous state ballot measures.
But what's on the ballot menu, you might ask?
One of the most contentious issues facing poll-goers Tuesday is a referendum on the controversial emergency manager law Public Act 4. The measure which almost didn't make it on the ballot, will finally go before the voting public for an up-or-down vote.
Several proposals would also amend the state constitution on issues like
collective bargaining, renewable energy and the process state lawmakers use to raise taxes.
And Michigan televisions seem to be streaming nothing but political ads for the six proposed measures.
To find out the pros, cons and what's going on with this year's ballot proposals, click through the slideshow.
Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 09:00
Category: News Briefs Written by Vince Keenan, huffingtonpost
Michigan Ballot 2012: Detroit-Based Website Publius Informs Voters Before Crucial Election
Do-it-yourself Detroit is on borrowed time. Working around the democratically elected government of the city isn’t a long term strategy. One day soon we’ll have to figure out how to address the future of this city that stretches out beyond the horizon of our lifetimes, past the excitement of this burst of energy, past the frustration and decline that has plagued Detroit for 50 years. Inspiration and desperation come in waves. Good government provides consistency over time; failing government erodes stability. At some point we are going to have to institutionalize our best ideas and noblest principles.
There are many stories about the positive energy in Detroit, from bright new enthusiasm to hardscrabble ingenuity. There are residents in communities that have every right to give up yet somehow find the reserve to keep things going. There are stories of large deliberate efforts and small but inspiring injections of hope. Not all of these stories get the same airplay, but many share the same theme: citizens doing it themselves.
Detroiters are finding ways to fill in gaps that shouldn’t exist. People are pulling together to solve problems, from rescuing parks to community patrols to informal business support groups to dynamic large scale and small scale investments that drive a vision for economic development. There is a resolve that excites us even if city government isn’t working the way we want. It is a resolve that says this city can come back. It’s good and necessary and ... fun. Today, we are focused on what we can get to work, to grow every spark into a flame and make sure every domino is close enough to knock down the next.
This is an era of short-term pragmatic optimism, when we focus our limited resources on achievable goals, and in many instances are knocking them back. What we can’t forget is that that we are inching closer and closer to when it will be time to take up the challenge of transforming city government. It won’t be easy – many of us benefit from the space between the rules that exist and the rules that are enforced. But if you really are pulling for Detroit there is no way to accept chaos in government.
DIY self-reliance that solves problems day-to-day with innovative practical solutions is one thing, but to make the leap to intergenerational solutions we’re going to need reliable government. Detroit’s future depends on citizens who see the connection between active and rigorous civic participation, voting and the future. It’s a boringly radical thought – democracy works when the people express their support not their apathy.
It’s time for optimistic Detroiters to rise to the challenge of bringing that optimism to voting, governance and the common good. We’ve got a pretty good handle on live, work, play. Now it’s time to tackle solutions that don’t just work for today, but for generations to come. If you live in Detroit it’s time to vote in Detroit (even if you have to figure out how to insure your car – that is an unjustifiable excuse). In the last three years, old and new Detroiters alike have voted to completely reshape city government. In the last few months we have seen issues like the consent agreement, Belle Isle and public lighting come to a head.
On Election Day, there are 12 proposals on Detroit’s ballot, not including the five statewide constitutional amendments including the Emergency Manager law and funding for the public schools. Next year, with council districts, the structure of city government changes for the first time in almost a century. The decisions we make November 6th determine our options in the future.
We may still have time and space for passion projects, but every important movement evolves. It is time to take that next step. Get informed, get local, and vote. The future depends on it.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 16:32
Category: News Briefs Written by Huffingtonpost
Detroit Sugar Law Lead Attorney Tony Paris: Emergency Manager Law Suppresses Democracy
On Tuesday, Michigan voters will cast a "yay" or "nay" for Proposal 1, upholding or rejecting one of the state's most controversial laws. Public Act 4, the emergency manager law is up for debate after a coalition called Stand Up For Democracy amassed over 200,000 signatures to put a referendum for the existing law on the ballot.
Leading the charge to have the referendum certified for the ballots was Tony Paris, the lead attorney for Detroit's Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center. Sugar Law is a national non-profit organization that specializes in providing legal support and advocacy for working people and their communities.
While Paris normally focuses on workers’ rights, especially plant closings, mass layoffs, unemployment insurance benefits and wage actions, he's represented Stand Up For Democracy and the PA 4 opposition, and helped shepherd the referendum from the first lawsuit on, even through an absurd challenge that sought to disqualify the petitions based on font size.
HuffPost Detroit asked Paris to explain his perspective on PA 4, the state's challenge to the democratic rights of Michigan residents and how growing up in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn helped inspire him to the work he's doing today.
What has Sugar Law's role been in challenging PA 4 and helping the referendum be certified on the ballot in November?
Our role in challenging PA 4 began with the filing of the lawsuit Brown, et al. v. Snyder, et al. on behalf of 28 Michigan citizens back in June 2011. This lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of PA 4 on its face and in how it’s been implemented.
Also, in the wake of a statewide coalition obtaining over 225,000 petition signatures supporting a referendum to repeal PA 4, we’ve also supported efforts to have the referendum certified and on the ballot. This has involved legal struggles with the state Board of Canvassers, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court.
What's your main argument against Michigan using PA 4 to place emergency managers or consent agreements in schools and municipalities? Do you object to the entire law, or to specific parts of it?
There are numerous non-legal arguments against PA 4, some of which I speak to in my answers below. As far as our legal challenge goes, our main arguments are that:
PA 4 suspends local democratic government, by giving EMs the sole power to repeal local laws, ordinances, charters and contracts.
PA 4 suspends home rule by effectively eliminating citizens’ right to vote for, and petition, local government on matters of local concern.
PA 4 violates the separation of powers, by allowing the executive branch and its agencies to exercise legislative duties.
PA 4 allows the Legislature to enact unfunded mandates, by using local taxpayer dollars for such purposes as EM’s salaries and staff.
Proponents of Public Act 4 say that municipalities and school districts in fiscal crisis are handcuffed in their efforts to relieve themselves of debt without the powers the law grants emergency managers. If PA 4 is defeated, how do you think that cities and school districts should avoid insolvency?
Please remember that the state constitution isn’t a handcuff. Our government’s separation of powers isn’t a handcuff. The right to a democratic form of local government isn’t a handcuff. We shouldn’t suspend the things we allegedly believe when times are tough and the idea of a dictator, even a benevolent dictator, is pretty counter-intuitive to American values. We need to care about the means and process as much as the ends. We can appreciate the notion that during hard economic times we may all have to have shared sacrifice. But that has to be shared. By the bondholders, by the banks, and not just by government workers and local residents.
One quick example, Section 18 of the law provides that EMs must maintain local services “within the resources available.” The very next sentence requires “payment in full of the scheduled debt service requirements on all bonds, notes and municipal securities.” So while services have to depend on revenues, debt service waits for no man. Wall Street bankers lose nothing … and may even gain public assets. While workers and residents pay more every day.
But overall, your question is one we all should be asking -- what type of local government would we like to see and that we can fight to make happen. Because even Pontiac’s former EM Michael Stampfler has admitted that Public Act 4 does not work. He’s been quoted as saying, "I do not believe EMs can be successful. They abrogate the civic structure of the community for a period of years then return it virtually dismantled for the community to attempt to somehow make a go of it. The program provides no structure for long-term recovery, and that is why most communities slide back into trouble, if they experience any relief at all -- a vicious cycle."
Further, as many people are aware, the previous law PA 72 (passed in 1990) dealt with emergency financial managers. However, emergency managers under Public Act 4 wield powers that reach far beyond just finances. They can unilaterally tear up union contracts, take over pension funds, make and repeal laws, sell public assets, the list goes on. Now, I’d imagine that even if PA 72 is properly ruled as repealed if PA 4 is (it was repealed when PA 4 was passed), that the state legislature will still pass another law and hopefully this time they’ll stay within the limits of the constitution.
Does the referendum for Public Act 4 represent, to you, a fight for democracy? Or something else?
We at Sugar Law are very concerned that this “manager” model will spread to other states. This model where the so-called solution to budget problems at the expense of workers and residents. Unfortunately, we’ve already seen this begin and in a way, what happens with Michigan’s law will serve as a potential model for other states to try. Imposition of the EM must be understood in the context of the many other methods conservatives are using today to suppress democracy –- especially among people of color and people in poverty.
The reality is that the crisis results from decades of financial deregulation, policies transferring wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy. Regardless of varying levels of failures on behalf of local officials ... the burdens of inadequate investment, employment, education, health care, law enforcement, housing, tax policy, insurance red-lining and transportation are far more the cause. And, we can’t be naïve enough to think that if and when things get better in Michigan, then our public unions, our public assets, and our public spaces are just going to be given back to us. They may be lost forever.
The Stand Up For Democracy coalition amassed over 200,000 signatures in order to have the referendum placed on the ballot. Did you think that was possible? Why do you think so many voters are in favor of it?
This is an issue with the potential to affect every local government in the state and we are approaching upwards of one million Michigan citizens that are under an PA 4 emergency manager or PA 4 consent decree (over half of the state’s African-American population) without local democratic rights and without a way to hold the people making decisions over their lives accountable. All of the community input, involvement, and checks and balances ... from things as simple as block clubs to our participation at the city council and school board level, can all become and remain futile with Public Act 4. The things that we’re taught in school about a government of, for, and by the people and that we should have a say in how we are governed, all go out the door.
We think so many people supported the referendum drive, because people from across the spectrum of race, class, and political parties share at least one value in common –- that we have a right to a democratically-elected government and that is not something that should be taken away, even in difficult times.
The petition was challenged in State Supreme Court on the basis of font size. As an attorney, did you ever think you'd see typeface debated in a court of law? Why do you think opponents to the referendum chose that approach?
I never thought that I would see font size debated in court of law over the absurd assertion that the title of the petitions was less than the width of a dime smaller than what opponents said they should be. Even more absurd, opponents acknowledged that the petitions were in the correct font size, but that only fonts existing at the time of printer’s used old printer blocks before computers could be used on petitions. It’s a bit surreal and would have had stifling results for the petition process in future elections. Think about all the resources and time that went into that challenge ... it very much reflects the hypocrisy of some “small government” and “limited judiciary” conservatives within our state. At least the process helped to expose that hypocrisy.
Tell me about your background as an attorney in Detroit, and how your personal experiences have led you to the kind of work that you do.
I guess a lot of it stems from the fact that I’ve grown-up and lived around so many hard-working people who were actually the ones that didn’t just up and leave their city when things got hard. They were actually the ones who chose to stay and fight to try and make things better and to try and deal with the problems. These people did not cause the problems these cities are facing and after it all, they are rewarded with their vote being taken away? They are rewarded with their tax dollars used to fund an EM that they did not elect and that they cannot hold accountable? Taxation without representation … I read about that somewhere. Meanwhile, the forces that actually caused this mess get to now come back and take over and pick clean the rest of what they left behind … all while blaming the victims and having their foxes get to guard the hen house.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 15:56
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
President Barack Obama lit into Mitt Romney during a campaign stop in Hilliard, Ohio, on Friday morning for running ads in Ohio falsely suggesting that Chrysler is moving production of Jeeps to China.
“The car companies themselves have told Governor Romney to knock it off!” Obama said to a boisterous crowd at the first of three stops that day in the Buckeye State. "Everybody knows it's not true. The car companies themselves have told Governor Romney to knock it off."
“I understand that Governor Romney has had a tough time here in Ohio," Obama added later. But "you don't scare hardworking Americans just to scare up some votes. That's not what being president is all about."
The comments are a sharp, personal rebuke of the throw-everything-against-the-wall strategy that Romney has pursued in the election's closing week. His campaign has misrepresented a news report that Chrysler is thinking of building vehicles in China (for purposes of selling vehicles in China) to suggest that the car company is moving American jobs overseas. Chrysler has vehemently denied it. And when Romney's campaign went further -- suggesting that General Motors was doing the same -- top executives of both companies criticized the Republican presidential nominee.
That response hasn't slowed down the Romney campaign. Instead, it has defended the ads by arguing that the language is technically true. Local newspapers haven't bought the explanation. In fact, their coverage of the story suggests that the gambit has blown up in Romney's face.
So it's hardly surprising that in his closing pitch to Ohio voters, Obama was quite eager to bring the discussion back to his own decision to extend the auto companies a federal loan shortly after taking office and Romney's decision to oppose that loan.
"It is hard to run away from that position when you are on videotape saying the words, 'Let Detroit go bankrupt,' said Obama. "And I know we are close to an election, but this isn't a game. These are people's jobs. These are people's lives."
Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 15:47
Category: Breaking News Written by Michael Skolnik
Global Grind's Michael Skolnik uses the story of a wheelchair-bound man's commitment to President Obama's re-election to emphasize that "anyone who can vote, needs to vote!"
... [T]oday, in his mid 60s, he looked frail. He looked sick. His wheelchair was evidence of that. But, his sickness did not stop him from trying to vote for the first time in his life. An accomplishment he achieved in 2008, when the law changed and allowed him to vote for the first black President of the United States, Barack Obama. I felt like a human being for the first time in my life. His words quieted the room.
Silence. The room went silent. Silent out of respect for the words that were just spoken. A man in his 60s who never felt human? Many in the room could relate, as they shook their heads up and down as if they understood. Instead, I wiped my eyes of the tears that had formed, as I had absolutely no comprehension of this part of the American reality. These conversations don't happen in rooms full of White people. This is not the reality of White America. Reality bit this old man again when in 2012, under Republican leadership, the law in Florida changed again and his right to vote was taken from him again. He was silent. Made silent. Put back on the back of the bus. Wheelchair de-motorized. His pursuit of liberty, roadblocked…
So, there is only one way to combat this despicable treatment of our fellow Americans and that is that anyone who can vote, needs to vote! If you have this right, remember the old man in the wheelchair who would do anything to feel human again. Do not sit this one out. Early voting has begun in many states across the country and people are waiting in line to do what the old man can only dream of. If we will wait in line for hours for iPhones and Jordans, then we must get in line to vote. The old man's pursuit for our happiness should be rewarded by us showing up to the polls in the record numbers and letting "Money" Mitt know that the White House is not for sale. He may have more money than we do, but he doesn't have the power to stop us now. We will ride for Obama until the wheels of the wheelchair fall off...
Read Michael Skolnik entire article at Global Grind
Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 15:38
Category: Breaking News Written by richard prince, the root
He did so after revealing that he disagreed with his paper's endorsement of Obama.
Rufus Friday Disagrees With Editorial Board
The publisher and president of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader became one of few prominent African Americans to publicly support Mitt Romney for president Sunday when the paper's editorial board disclosed that Rufus M. Friday disagreed with its endorsement of President Obama.
". . . He chose not to use his power as publisher to overrule the majority," the Herald-Leader's endorsement editorial said of Friday. "His primary reasons for supporting Romney are laid out here:
"President Barack Obama simply has not made good on his biggest promise: to change the culture in Washington. During his presidency, the Capitol remained mired in partisan squabbles while a host of challenges have not been adequately addressed. . . ."
Jim Romenesko wrote Wednesday on his media blog, "Editorial page editor Vanessa Gallman tells Romenesko readers that there are five people on the McClatchy paper's editorial board and that Friday 'was the only supporter of Romney and did try to sway others.'
"She writes in an email:
" 'He did not threaten to veto the edit and did not demand rewrites.
" 'The publisher, who came up through circulation, was not comfortable writing a dissenting column (which the last publisher once did on a local-government matter) yet he wanted his view reflected inside the endorsement. That seemed much too disconcerting for readers, so we agreed on the separate statement.
" 'This has generated a lot less community reaction than I expected. A few readers have criticized the publisher for what they see as hubris, a few were thankful to know he is conservative, a few said the rest of the edit board should have followed his lead.' "
Gallman is one of only five black editorial page editors at mainstream newspapers. The latest tracking poll from the Pew Research Center, taken Sunday, shows Romney with 2 percent of the black non-Hispanic vote.
A message on Friday's telephone said he would be away from Sunday until Nov. 5.
Chris Sivula, the editorial page editor at Friday's previous paper, the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash., another McClatchy Co. property, said he was not surprised by Friday's position.
"We endorsed candidate Obama four years ago," Sivula said by telephone. "The editorial board and Rufus did not see eye to eye. . . . His main concern was that he just didn't think he was presidential material." Friday had lived in the Chicago area and was "unimpressed with his performance as a state representative," Sivula said. The resulting editorial incorporated some of Friday's concerns. Sivula said Friday considered himself a conservative. Interestingly, the Tri-City Herald on Sunday endorsed Romney.
Friday became publisher of the Lexington paper last year. Before joining the Tri-City Herald, he was at another McClatchy newspaper, the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., "where he served two years as vice president of circulation. Friday spent the previous 11 years, from 1992 to 2003, with Gannett Co., Inc., directing circulation for newspapers in Tennessee, Illinois and Alabama," according to a news release.
"Friday was born in South Carolina and raised in Gastonia, N.C. He attended North Carolina State University, earning a football scholarship his sophomore year and playing three years as a tight end for the university. He graduated in 1984 with a degree in business management and economics and went to work for The News & Observer's circulation department, where he spent the next eight years before moving to Gannett."
Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 15:26
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
Royal Oak (WWJ) - In the past, treating early stage partial breast cancer with radiation took 6 weeks, recently it’s been reduced to five days and now an area doctor believes the regimen can be given in just two days.
Dr. Peter Chen, Beaumont radiation oncologist, is presenting his research this week in Boston. He says the two-day radiation treatment for breast cancer produces similar results to the five-day treatment and is much better for the patient.
“They would have the convenience of actually going back earlier to their professional and family life and daily activities, but still accrue the same amount of cure rate with minimal side effects,” said Dr. Chen of the patients undergoing the treatment.
Dr. Chen says the trial places a concentrated seed of radiation the size of a grain of rice into a balloon inside the breast. The treatment ensures healthy breast tissue isn’t affected during the procedure.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 15:22
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Mike Connolly, an independent candidate for Massachusetts state legislature, said he didn't call the late civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks "a gimmick" during a debate on Tuesday.
Connolly's two opponents, Democratic state Rep. Tim Toomey and Republican Thomas Vasconcelos, attacked his refusal to accept campaign contributions as "a gimmick." Connolly then launched into a comparison of his in-kind contributions and his opponents' cash donations, calling Parks' 1955 refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white passenger "a gimmick," according to BostInno.com.
The website reports:
“I think my campaign, sure there is a marketing element to it, but it’s also grounded in substance, take Rosa Parks for example, when she refused to get out of her seat, in some ways that was a gimmick,” said Connolly, during the debate earlier this week. “If she really wanted the bus to take her where she was going, she would have got up and moved when she was asked to leave. But what she was doing is, she was trying to make a point, and that’s what we are trying to do with our campaign.”
Connolly told BostInno.com on Thursday that he didn't mean to call Parks or her action on the bus "a gimmick." He said that he was trying to make a point about taking a stand. Parks' protest led to the Montgomery bus boycott and became a defining moment in the civil rights movement.
“I am not saying she is a gimmick or what she did was a gimmick and it makes me cringe to even say those words,” Connolly told BostInno.com. “That’s not what the context of it was. What I was conveying, is there is substance in taking an action that throws attention to an important issue.”
The Phoenix reported that the debate featured punches by all three candidates. Connolly, who was active in Occupy Boston, criticized Toomey's vote to repeal the Clean Elections program in Massachusetts. Toomey questioned Connolly's decision to spend $4,000 on his race. Vasconcelos compared Connolly's campaign to the Wizard of Oz and criticized Connolly's decision to accept $690 in "in-kind" contributions, The Phoenix reported.
Connolly told The Huffington Post in April that he decided to shun contributions to highlight the role of money in politics and to advocate a new form of campaign financing. Connolly said in August his campaign had attracted almost 60 volunteers.
"This is the only way I'd want to do it," Connolly told HuffPost in April. "It is a small district; given the size of the district, I could not do it any other way. It is not necessary for politicians on the state level to raise money."
Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 13:59
Category: Breaking News Written by Amber Bogins
DETROIT (WWJ) - Police are investigating a triple murder in Detroit.
Police, Friday morning, found the bodies of three men shot to death in a home on Braden Avenue near I-94 and Livernois on city’s west side.
The victims were not immediately identified, but police said all three appeared to be between 25 and 30 years old.
No arrests have been made.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 13:25
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!
- Bamboozled: Breast Mutilation as Preventive Care? (1)
- Mike Duggan announces official run for mayor (1)
- Detroit gears up for historic March on Woodward celebration (1)
- UPDATE: Election commission decides to keep Duggan on the ballot (1)
- African Americans Must be a part of Detroit New Development Growth (1)