Category: Breaking News Written by huffington Post
Beyonce & Michelle Obama: Singer Appreciates First Lady In Campaign's New Video
The story of Beyonce and Michelle Obama's mutual-appreciation has crept onto the campaign trail. In a new video released by the president's re-election campaign, the singer reads an open letter she previously posted on her blog.
"Michelle Obama is the ultimate example of a truly strong African-American woman," the 30-year-old chanteuse begins before eventually adding, "I am in awe of [the First Lady]."
Obama took her daughters to Beyonce's May concert. That show, which took place in Atlantic City and was also attended by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, was part of the singer's post-pregnancy comeback concert series. Around the same time, Obama chose Beyonce as the one person she would want to choose places with.
The dynamic duo also collaborated on "Move Your Body," a fitness video geared at getting children exercising.
Here's the full text of Beyonce's letter, as posted on her blog.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:55
Category: Breaking News Written by crains detroit
Detroit’s Eastern Market Tuesday will add a cooking demonstration and kids activities to build on last week’s event, which drew between 3,000 and 4,000 people and about 50 vendors for its first week of the season.
Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corp., said that he expects attendance may be down Tuesday because of the heat but that many vendors will sell under Shed 2, where it is a little cooler.
Overall, the event is geared toward customers who want to avoid the Saturday crowds.
“It’s a bit smaller-scale and a bit smaller pace than the frantic Saturday market,” Carmody said.
The attendance numbers last week were consistent with the Tuesday markets last year, Carmody said. He doesn’t expect a big increase in attendance throughout the summer this year.
Eastern Market Corp. launched the event in 2011 after demand grew for expanded market days.
Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays run through Oct. 30.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:49
Category: News Briefs Written by Huffington Post
Chou Anime Cafe Offers Japanese Treats, Companionship And Waitresses In Frilly Costumes
Oneka Samet's cafe in the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit has been open for about three weeks and business is bustling. The 35-year-old proprietor says she has a steady base of customers from Detroit itself, as well as visitors from the city's suburbs. Some afternoons she gets as many as 20 to 30 people popping in to hang out, sip some coffee or grab a quick meal.
What's the recipe for her success? It's an unlikely one. Her secret is anime, a popular Japanese style of cartoons known to feature characters with dramatic expressions and exaggerated physical features -- as well as robots, Pokémon and young girls in sailor suits.
(Scroll down for photos)
Samet's business, the Chou Anime Cafe, is based off a type of Japanese establishment known as a "maid cafe" where servers dressed in lacy maid costumes lavish attention on their patrons. The Detroit coffeehouse draws from this tradition and from Japanese cartoons, but has been tweaked to appeal to an American audience.
Upon entering visitors are met with a friendly "konichiwa" from one of the establishment's maids (or its solitary butler) dressed to the nines in elaborate outfits. Some of them also elect to wear optional bunny or cat ears. Customers are free to browse a selection of anime-related merchandise or to grab something to eat or drink. The menu features a variety of fresh locally-produced salads and wraps, as well as specifically Japanese items like melon bread, pocky candy and a novelty soda called Ramune. The maids (and butler) don't just serve food though -- they also socialize and play board games with customers. Playstation 3 Video games are also available for a small fee.
One of the maids at Chou Anime, Kei-Chan, believes that, despite the American tweaks, the Detroit cafe remains pretty true to the original Japanese spirit.
"I think the concept is pretty much the same: waitresses dress up in cute little frilly dresses. We're friendly and nice and sweet to our customers," she said. "Some maids take a certain persona like the magical girl or the tough girl -- like the mean girl who's like, 'Here's your coffee I hope you enjoy it!'"
Each of the servers has a distinct profile that is listed on the company's website, www.chouanime.com. The company is contemplating listing their shifts too, so patrons will know when they can hang out with their favorites.
Kei-Chan, who won't share her given name due to a company policy, insisted to The Huffington Post that dressing up isn't an act for her. She said she dresses the same way at home. She's part of subculture called cosplay, whose followers dress up and role play as anime cartoons or other characters. It's a popular pastime in Japan that's catching on more and more in the Detroit area. The city is home to one of the country's larger cosplay conventions, an event called Youmacon that draws thousands to downtown Detroit each year.
Many of the cafe's patrons are part of this community, so the Chou Anime staff plans to sponsor some special events for them in the near future. These include a Pokémon dress-up gathering and a tea party for "Lolitas" -- girls who like to dress up in fancy dresses.
Samet isn't just an entrepreneur trying to capitalize on the anime and cosplay crazes -- she's a fan herself. Her favorite series is a cartoon series called InuYasha, which involves the time-traveling Tokyo girl and a half-demon. Samet, a native Detroiter, got heavily into the art form in 2005 while helping organize a youth anime club at the Detroit Public Library.
It's no surprise that cosplayers gravitate to the cafe. Samet started out Chou Anime as a retail operation, selling anime and cosplay merchandise -- messenger bags, costumes and craft items -- to fans at conventions and over the internet. (Chou, by the way, is a Japanese term for butterfly). She later moved her retail space into a booth at an indoor flea market in Detroit called the Russell Bazaar. These ventures helped her get the business experience and start up capital to set up the cafe, which had been her plan all along.
She was inspired after a trip to Tokyo in the fall of 2009, where she got a chance to get a first-hand look at authentic "maid cafes." It was an eye-opening experience that made her take a different look at American culture.
"People are really open and expressive -- like Kei-Chan would just be able to go outside, decide that she wanted to be cute and dress in pink frilly dresses," said Samet, "Whereas here it's a little more subdued. They're really welcome to being expressive and I think that's a part of what we want to embrace here."
Although the cafe, which is located near Wayne State University, has attracted a lot of cosplayers, anime fans and video game enthusiasts in their twenties and thirties, Samet said it also gets a fair number of older folks from the Detroit Medical Center, a nearby hospital.
Kei-Chan says those episodes result in an occasional culture clash.
"This elderly lady came inside," said Kei-Chan." She had her little grandkid. She was like, "Oh! What's this? I've never seen anything like this before.'"
Although initially disoriented, the woman eventually played a round of the board game Apples to Apples with her server. She had a good time -- even though she lost the game to her maid.
It's a moment that both Kei-Chan and Samet hope more people from outside the anime community will get an opportunity to experience.
"It's like a magical dimension," Kei-Chan said of her workplace. "It's really fun and nice to be here. It's not just for otaku (anime enthusiasts) and gamers. We welcome the normies too."
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:44
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Two days after the Obama campaign released a brutal television ad mocking Mitt Romney singing "America The Beautiful," the Romney campaign responded with a web video mocking his singing of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."
It appears to be an attempt to change the subject from the debate over when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital and his responsibility for investments made during 1999 to 2002. The video juxtaposes Obama crooning "I'm so in love with you" with headlines about Obama rewarding lobbyists and campaign donors, similar to Obama's ad showing Romney's singing contrasted with headlines about Romney's offshore financial holdings and Bain's outsourcing
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:39
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
Great Lakes Coffee Offers New Java Experience In Midtown
DETROIT (WWJ) - A new coffee bar in Detroit’s midtown offers the unique experience of having your coffee filtered and your espresso brewed one cup at a time.
Owner James Cadariu calls it an ‘Institute for Advanced Drinking’.
“So it’s something new, providing the people … with something they haven’t had before – a really well thought out beverage program that you would find in New York or Paris or San Francisco,” said Cadariu.
Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company. (Photos/Violet Ikonomova)
Great Lakes Coffee has chosen the corner of Woodward and Alexandrine as its first retail site for artisan roasted fair trade coffee. All the coffees are roasted to order on a 25 pound San Franciscan drum roaster to ensure that “quality is so fresh and so clean.”
“So not just meeting the demands of the market but I think I’m creating a space that hasn’t been available before in the city,” Cadariu said.
In addition to selling the company’s coffee, the shop offers Michigan-brewed beer, fine wine and appetizers.
Their coffee of the month is the “bailout blend,” an exclusively Detroit blend. It’s described as “a complex cup full of liquorice and chocolate.”
“Holding the high ground against a society drowning in a sea of coffee mediocrity,” is how the company describes itself on the website. “The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company is a Fair Trade certified, artisan roaster. Our coffee blends are as refined as a Bordeaux and our single-origin coffees are as unique as a single-malt scotch. Ahead by a nose.”
Organic Great Lakes Coffee sells for $13.98 a pound.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 09:43
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Obama Says He Won't Apologize To Mitt Romney Over Aide's Bain Comments
WOLFEBORO, N.H. — Mitt Romney's campaign said Sunday that President Barack Obama is willing to say anything to win a second term and should say he's sorry for attacks on the Republican's successful career at a private equity firm. "No, we will not apologize," the president responded, adding that if Romney wants credit for his business leadership, he also needs to take responsibility.
Questions about Romney's tenure at Bain Capital and the fortune he earned there have dogged the former Massachusetts governor as Obama and his allies have said the Boston-based firm shipped jobs overseas. Romney insists he left the company in February 1999 to take over the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, but documents suggest he was still in charge as late as 2001.
Romney's advisers, trying to explain the discrepancies between Romney's account and federal documents, offered fresh explanations to shift the campaign back to more comfortable ground.
"He actually retired retroactively at that point," Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said. "He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain."
A second adviser, Kevin Madden, said Romney had no choice but to have his name listed on Security and Exchange Commission documents as he sought to transfer the company's leadership to partners.
"The reason that there is a document that had ... his signature is because, during that transition from 1999 to 2002 ... there was a duty to sign those documents," Madden said.
The exact role Romney played at the firm between 1999 and 2001 is important not only because critics have raised questions about his truthfulness, but also because Bain was sending jobs overseas during that period.
The president said Romney must square his explanation.
"Mr. Romney claims he's Mr. Fix-It for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience," Obama told WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, Va., in an interview taped Saturday and posted on the station's website Sunday
"Mr. Romney is now claiming he wasn't there at the time except his filings with the SEC listing says he was the CEO, chairman and president of the company."
Obama's advisers said that story won't sell voters.
"Either you're the CEO, president, chairman of the board of Bain Capital as you attest to the SEC or he's telling the American people he bears no responsibility for that," deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said. "Both those things can't be true. Either you're in charge or you're not."
Romney has insisted he was not involved with Bain during the time it sent jobs overseas and had no day-to-day responsibility for the company. He said he wanted an apology from the president for implying otherwise.
""No, we will not apologize," Obama told the TV station.
Cutter said Romney should take the advice – stop whining – that he gave his opponents during the Republican primary.
"Instead of whining about what the Obama campaign is saying, why don't you just put the facts out there and let people decide instead of trying to hide them?" Cutter said.
Documents place Romney in charge of Bain from 1999 to 2001, a period in which the company outsourced jobs and ran companies that fell into bankruptcy. Romney has tried to distance himself from this period in Bain's history, saying on financial disclosure forms he had no active role in Bain as of February 1999.
But at least three times since then, Bain listed Romney as the company's "controlling person," as well as its "sole shareholder, sole director, chief executive officer and president." One of those documents – as late as February 2001 – lists Romney's "principal occupation" as Bain's managing director.
"He's very willing to take credit for everything good that he thinks happened after that point that Bain Capital was involved in, but he's not willing to take responsibility for this," Obama strategist David Axelrod said, echoing comments Obama and his allies leveled in a weeklong blitz about Bain.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said Obama's attacks cheapen the presidency and are an attempt to distract voters from Obama's record in office.
"With these attacks, it shows that he's just a small politician and running on small-ball politics at a time when our country is facing grave, grave challenges," Ayotte said.
Added Gillespie: "We now know this president will say or do anything to keep the highest office in the land – even if it means demeaning the highest office in the land."
Romney's campaign released a television ad Sunday asking why the president had stopped talking about hope and change, his signature message during the 2008 campaign, and criticizing him for a barrage of negative ads against Romney.
Obama's allies also pushed Romney to release more than the one year of tax returns he has shared. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former top White House aide, noted Romney released 23 years of taxes to 2008 GOP nominee John McCain so he could be considered as a vice presidential nominee.
"John McCain's people looked at it and went with Sarah Palin" as the No. 2 on the ticket that year. "Whatever is in there is far worse than the first year," Emanuel said. "The Romney campaign isn't stupid. They have decided that it's better to get attacked on a lack of transparency, lack of accountability to the American people, versus telling you what's in those taxes."
Romney has refused and says that no amount of disclosure would satisfy his critics.
But some in his party said the debate over Romney's wealth is distracting from the campaign.
"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy. You've got to release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns," said conservative Bill Kristol, joining the Republicans who want to turn the page on stories about Romney's vast personal wealth. "Take the hit for a day or two."
Unless, as Obama's team hints, the returns prove disqualifying.
"The costs of not releasing the returns are clear," conservative columnist George Will said. "Therefore, he must have calculated there are higher costs to releasing them."
Gillespie appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" and CNN's "State of the Union. Cutter and Madden were on CBS' "Face the Nation." Axelrod spoke to CNN. Kristol was interviewed on "Fox News Sunday." Emanuel, Ayotte and Will appeared on ABC's "This Week."
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 09:38
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
WOLFEBORO, N.H. (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney is talking about his presidential campaign with Oprah Winfrey.
The presumptive GOP nominee and his wife, Ann, met with Winfrey on Friday for an interview that will be published in O, The Oprah Magazine. Romney aides late Saturday said the conversation took place as the Romneys were ready to begin a leisurely weekend at their lakefront house in Wolfeboro, N.H.
The aides would not discuss the interview topics or tone before its publication.
Winfrey in 2007 broke her long-standing rule against supporting politicians and came out for Barack Obama. She became one his strongest advocates and helped him win over female voters.
The former queen of daytime talk shows still supports the Democratic president but doesn't plan to revive her role for him as he seeks re-election.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 09:25
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
WWJ Photo/Beth Fisher
HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) - Dense smoke billowing from a huge fire at the building that used to house Sanders Confectionery headquarters in Highland Park could be see from miles away Saturday morning.
WWJ’s Beth Fisher reports firefighters are trying to battle the raging fire on Oakman Boulevard, near the Lodge and Davison freeways.
Fire officials say the fire broke out around 5:30 a.m. at a commercial building that makes wooden pallets. A recycling facility is also located at the sprawling complex.
Fire Chief Derek Hillman said putting out the fire at the 100,000 square-foot warehouse is proving to be quite challenging.
“It’s a large building so we’re doing the best we can,” said Hillman. “There’s foam and pallets inside there so, it’s just combustible materials. There’s no danger to the citizens.”
WWJ Photo/Beth Fisher
Authorities say the building previously was the headquarters for famed local confectionery company Sanders. They moved to the nine acre Highland Park site from their original location in downtown Detroit in 1941. The plant remained in production until 1995 when the facility was sold to a warehousing company.
Mutual aid was called in from Hamtramck and Detroit to help Highland Park firefighters battle the blaze. No word yet on what caused the fire. No injuries were reported.
Meantime, for native Detroiters, the thought of Sanders ice cream and candies, brings back sweet memories.
Perry Knight, who worked at Sanders for 20 years, rode his bike to the scene after hearing about the fire.
“It feels bad. It’s like a part of me just died. I loved working there, it was a fun place to work at,” said Knight.
Diane Lynch was the last employee hired at Sanders about 28-years ago, one year before the company went into final bankruptcy. Knowing the old building has gone up in flames stirs up some emotions in Lynch.
“It makes me sad because when the company went into bankruptcy and the building was sold and all the equipment was auctioned off and everything, I mean, there isn’t a part of that building I didn’t walk,” said Lynch.
The famous Sanders brand was revived after being purchased by the Morley Candy Company, another Michigan-based confectionery firm, in 2002.
Last Updated on Saturday, 14 July 2012 10:18
Category: Breaking News Written by Crain's Detroit
The Troy-based Kresge Foundation has established a Detroit office on Woodward Avenue, putting it in the heart of major transformation efforts that the foundation is helping fund.
Kresge joins a number of foundations based in Detroit, including the Hudson-Webber Foundation, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, McGregor Fund and Skillman Foundation.
Kresge is leasing 2,500 square feet on the second floor of the Woodward Gardens Building, at the southwest corner of Woodward and Alexandrine, from developer George Stewart, principal of Woodward SA-PK LLC.
The space, above Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. and on the same floor as the Wayne State University Physicians Group, will provide part-time offices for Kresge's five-member Detroit program team as well as meeting space.
ROK Construction Services was the general contractor of the renovation, which cost $307,000, the foundation said.
"It's a great location for us to be closer to the work we do in Detroit and for many of our grantees and partners to meet with us and attend different convenings on different issues," said Laura Trudeau, senior program director for Kresge's Detroit program.
Kresge worked with Elizabeth Skrisson and Joel Schmidt of the Detroit-based architectural firm D Met Design LLC to do a historically accurate renovation of its space in the building, incorporating things such as reclaimed flooring from the Architectural Salvage Warehouse in Detroit, Trudeau said.
"Most of the folks we meet with are very excited for us to have a presence in the city," she said. "It's very convenient for them, and also I think they view it as a sign of Kresge's commitment to Detroit," which it "absolutely" is, Trudeau said.
Kresge has contributed about $25 million each year since 2007 to transformation efforts in the city, Trudeau said.
It's supported the downtown Boll Family YMCA, renovations to Orchestra Hall and the Detroit Institute of Arts, development of Campus Martius Park, renovation of Eastern Market and the Detroit RiverWalk with a $50 million grant to the riverfront project.
"We now have a deep focus on the transformation of Detroit through projects like the M1 Rail; the Detroit Works long-term plan, which is thinking of different uses for land that is underutilized (in the city); and our major arts focus," among other initiatives, Trudeau said.
Last Updated on Saturday, 14 July 2012 10:13
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT - For the 5th year in a row, former Detroit Lions all-pro lineman, Lomas Brown, will be hosting two free football camps for local high school athletes. They will be held on July 20 at Robichaud High School in Dearborn Heights and the following week on July 27-28 at MLK High School in Detroit.
Both camps run from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and are free for all high school athletes.
“I really love being able to offer a free camp to the high school athletes here in Detroit,” said Brown in a release.”We do this camp every year and each year it keeps getting better and we have great local supporters that make this happen like Meijer, Fathead, Happy’s Pizza and more.”
Both camps are for lineman in grades 9-12 and are open to any football players across metro Detroit. All campers will receive a free t-shirt, lunch and awards given by Lomas Brown for the camp MVP’s and competition winners.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012 12:19
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