Category: Breaking News Written by David Sands, Huffington Post
Michigan State Rep. Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (D-Detroit) responded to release of the Detroit Future City framework Wednesday with an appeal to city and state officials to respect current residents when considering land use policy and the distribution of city services.
The book-length Detroit Future City strategic document was created by the Bing administration's Detroit Works think tank with participation from business leaders, community groups, foundations and residents. It is intended to guide decision-making on change and development in Detroit for the next 50 years.
While Tinsley-Talabi acknowledged that the framework offered a new vision that could help bring resources and opportunities to urban areas like Detroit, she urged state and local leaders not to overlook the needs of current property owners while moving forward with the plan.
"Although the proposal offers our community a plan to address the issues of blight, there must be additional consideration given to recognize certain needs within urban communities, including responsible property ownership and the allocation of taxpayer-based city services," Tinsley-Talabi said in a release.
To protect residents she recommends that the sale of land allocated for innovative productive or ecological uses should be prioritized so that the first areas available for purchase would be located on blocks where no one is living. Further land purchases should be then be made in areas with higher amounts of vacant parcels. She added that residents should be given the first option to purchase the properties and that negotiated prices should affect their ability to afford the land.
"We must be careful to not minimize or trivialize the time, money and energy our neighbors and friends have invested in either maintaining property or community gardens," said Tinsley-Talabi.
The city's policy regarding the sale of vacant land became an issue during the recent debate over the sale of roughly 140 acres the land on Detroit's east side to financial services magnate John Hantz through his Hantz Woodlands company. Though the deal was eventually approved many critics claimed the city's land sale process favored wealthy investors over ordinary city residents.
At a Tuesday press briefing on Detroit Future City, Detroit Works consultant Alan Mallach, said those involved with the framework were calling for a single set of property disposition policies that would apply to all the agencies involved with purchasing land in Detroit.
"This should be something official that all the different groups have signed on to," he said. "Something that's clear so that … anybody that's interested in city land can pick this up and see what are the ground rules."
Tinsley-Talabi also called on elected leaders to provide fair and equitable levels of city services to residents in the new land use areas in accordance with the state constitution's fairness doctrine. Concerns about shut-offs initially created vocal community resistance to the effort, which had originally been portrayed as a downsizing of city services and infrastructure.
In her statement the state lawmaker said it would be unfair for taxpayers to receive city services disproportionate to their assessed taxes.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2013 08:00
Category: Breaking News Written by Madeline Boardman, The Huffington Post
Quvenzhané Wallis just made history. With the announcement of the nominees for the 85th annual Academy Awards this morning, the Louisiana-born Wallis, just 9 years old, is now the youngest ever nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Wallis, who was just 5 when she auditioned for the role in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," has received major recognition and critical acclaim for her portrayal of the character Hushpuppy.
She beat out former record-holder Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was nominated in the Best Actress category for "Whale Rider" at age 13. Wallis is up against Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty," Jennifer Lawrence for "Siver Linings Playbook," Naomi Watts for "The Impossible" and Emmanuelle Riva for "Amour." In an interesting twist, Riva, at age 85, is now the oldest nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role. (Riva will turn 86 on Feb. 24, which is Oscar night.)
The youngest actress ever to win any kind of Oscar was Shirley Temple, who received the Academy Juvenile Award in 1935, when she was just 6 years old. Ten other youngsters between the ages of 7 and 17 accepted that award -- a miniature statuette standing just seven inches tall -- between 1945 and 1961, when Hayley Mills ("Polyanna") became the last recipient.
Wallis, who is 9 years and 135 days old today, is the third youngest person to be nominated for an Oscar in any of the four acting categories, behind Justin Henry ("Kramer vs. Kramer"), who was 8 years and 276 days old when he was recognized for Best Supporting Actor in 1980, and Jackie Cooper ("Skippy"), who was 9 years and 20 days old when he earned a spot for Best Actor in 1931.
If she wins, Wallis, who will be 9 years and 180 days old on Feb. 24, will be the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award in an acting category. The current record holder is Tatum O'Neal, who was 10 years and 148 days old when she claimed Best Supporting Actress honors for "Paper Moon" in 1974. O'Neal is closely followed by Anna Paquin, who was 11 years and 240 days old when she won in the same category for "The Piano" in 1994. The youngest woman ever to win Wallis' category, Best Actress, is Marlee Matlin, who was 21 years and 218 days old when she accepted the statuette for her performance in "Children of a Lesser God" in 1987.
Since her breakout role in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Wallis has been cast in the upcoming movie "Twelve Years a Slave," which also stars Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt, and Michael Fassbender.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" was nominated for a total of four awards. In addition to Wallis' nod for Best Actress, the film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Benh Zeitlin), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Zeitlin again).
Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2013 07:10
Category: News Briefs Written by Hillary Crosley , The Root
Following the Newtown, Conn., shooting spree that left 20 children dead, Vice President Joe Biden met with victims and gun control supporters on Wednesday. According to NBC News, Biden is hosting a number of meetings this week, including one with Wal-Mart, on behalf of the Obama administration and its upcoming decisions concerning gun control.
"If our actions result in saving only one life, they're worth taking," Biden said at a meeting of victims and gun control proponents at the White House. "But I'm convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of Americans and take thousands of people out of harm's way if we act responsibly."
Biden indicated that President Barack Obama is considering executive action to address the gun issue, although he noted that it's not yet clear what options may be plausible outside of legislative movement.
"The president is going to act," Biden said. "There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken."
The meeting was the first in a series scheduled for this week with the task force led by the vice president. On Thursday, Biden will meet with sportsman's organizations, gun sellers -- including Wal-Mart -- and the National Rifle Association. Biden is also expected to meet with representatives of the entertainment and video game industries this week.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:32
Category: Breaking News Written by Hillary Crosley , The Root
Following reports that Treasury Secreatary Timothy Geithner may not return for President Obama's second term, the Washington Post reports that the president is expected to be nominate Jacob Lew for the position this week.
Lew, the White House chief of staff, was also a behind-the-scenes fixture during the Clinton administration and served as chief operating officer for New York University and Citigroup, among other organizations.\
Lew previously served as Obama's budget director and a senior State Department official. He also was budget director during the Clinton administration and has been negotiating bipartisan compromises over taxes and spending since the 1980s, when he was a top aide to then-House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) ...
Lew will be taking over Treasury at a time of serious challenges to the nation's economic picture. Congress is facing a battle over raising the $16.4 trillion debt limit, as well as a clash over how to stop deep spending cuts, which are set to take effect in early March. A continuing resolution funding the government expires later that month, setting the stage for battle that could lead to a government shutdown.
The nomination also means that Obama will have to choose a new chief of staff. Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Biden, is among the rumored candidates, as is Denis McDonough, a deputy national security adviser.
Lew's nomination is the latest as Obama rounds out his second-term team. This week, he nominated former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as his next secretary of defense and counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan as director of the CIA.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:14
Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano appoints respected Clark Hill lawyer to the Airport Authority Board
Category: News Briefs Written by Sarah Bazzi
Detroit, MI— Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano announced the appointment of Reginald Turner to the Wayne County Airport Authority Board today for a term commencing immediately and ending October 1, 2018. A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law and a highly regarded litigator, Turner currently resides in Detroit and serves as a member of Clark Hill’s Executive Committee. He will replace Charlie Williams on the board.
“I am proud to appoint Reginald Turner to the Wayne County Airport Authority Board. His background and unmatched experience make him one of the most-respected in his field, and will help us in moving the region forward as a global economic hub. We look forward to all that he will offer in the future,” said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.
Turner is named in the peer review guides, The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and Crain’s Detroit Power Lawyers. He is a past president of the National Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan and the Barristers of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. Currently, Turner chairs the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honor reserved to less than one percent of lawyers in each state and. Turner is Vice Chair of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, and a member of the Boards of Directors of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Hudson-Webber Foundation.
Turner has government experience at the federal, state and local levels. He has served as a Special Assistant to Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros and Andrew Cuomo, as a member of the Michigan State Board of Education, and on several local government boards and commissions.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve our region because the airports are important engines for economic growth that require sound stewardship and good governance” said Turner in response to the appointment.
“The management team welcomes Reginald Turner to the Board with great enthusiasm,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Tom Naughton. “Mr. Turner has an impressive history of service to this community and we look forward to working with him and the entire Board to move Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run Airports to a brighter future.”
About the Wayne County Airport Authority:
The Wayne County Airport Authority was created by the state legislature in March 2002, and became effective in August of that same year. Responsible for the management and operation of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Willow Run Airport - including the power to plan, promote, extend, maintain, acquire, purchase, construct, improve, repair, enlarge, and operate both Airports, the Authority is managed by an independent, seven-member Board of Directors. Four members are appointed by the Wayne County Executive; two members by the Governor; and one member by the Wayne County Commission, all serving a six-year term.
The Authority has established guidelines for competitive bidding of contracts, including provisions to ensure maximum participation of disadvantaged businesses, minority businesses and other targeted business enterprises. They’ve also developed ethical standards that preclude transactions that would create conflicts of interest involving Board members and employees. The Authority includes an Audit Committee, which can order audits of any and all Airport activities.
About Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 32 million passengers in 2012 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs. With service from 13 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers more than 1,200 flights per day to and from nearly 150 non-stop destinations on four continents. In 2010, DTW ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction among large airports in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airport Satisfaction Study. With two new state-of-the-art passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America. Nearby Willow Run Airport is an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility. Visit www.metroairport.com for more information.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:09
Category: News Briefs Written by Zack Burgess
For far too many years now, African Americans have been overlooked by the mainstream media when it comes to being major players at how the American public looks at the concerns of the Black audience.
Well earlier this week, the African-American media-watching site Shadow and Act, reported on how all of that may have changed, as MSNBC reported a huge increase in their overall ratings.
The cable news network saw a monstrous 20% increase in 2012. And while much of that can be attributed to the 2012 Presidential campaign, much of it is due to another major factor - Black viewership. The network announced an incredible increase in African American viewers – a mammoth 60.5% increase during the past year.
The numbers were compared to CNN, whose African American viewership increased last year by 23.7%, while Fox News' Black audience decreased by the same amount of 23.7%.
Surely, MSNBC's progressive leaning approach to the news and their wide array of black hosts and pundits such as Toure, Melissa Harris-Perry, Tamron Hall, Joy-Ann Reid, Karen Finney, Michael Steele, Al Sharpton, Eugene Robinson, Jonathan Capehart and Goldie Taylor.
"I think we made a commitment, we decided, that in order for this channel to succeed, that we had to reflect the country,” MSNBC president Phil Griffith said to Shadow and Act. “This meant that we had to be part of the country in ways that the other channels weren’t."
He went on to say:
”We have a diverse on-air group of people, because that matters, and people want to know that we reflect their world. And it’s not just a single show – it's across the board. You look at the guests every hour and we make sure that we have women, African Americans, everything, and I think to spend a day watching MSNBC is to see America as we have seen it."
Finally, he said:
"It wasn’t like we said ‘Oh, we have to have a diverse person on here and there,’” he said. “We made a decision. We made a commitment in ideas, issues and everything – the audience followed, and that goes back to four or five years ago. As we grew, we recognized that it was the right thing to do. It’s giving a voice to people in these kinds of programs who don’t always get a voice. Our look is as diverse as any on mainstream TV. I’m incredibly proud of it. It’s not like we decided ‘We’re going to increase our African American viewership by 60%,’ but I’m thrilled that it happened, and it says a lot about what we’ve been doing over the last few years."
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:52
Category: Breaking News Written by Rachel Tepper, The Huffington Post
Although hoopla surrounding the inauguration on January 20 is expected to be less frantic than it was four years ago, Washington, D.C. is still expecting plenty parties of presidential proportions. Details about more events are begining to trickle in, including the inaugural luncheon -- and the menu is already finalized.
About 200 guests will be in attendance, including President Obama, Vice President Biden and their families, plus the Supreme Court, Cabinet members and members of Congressional leadership. The event, which has been a tradition for more than a century, will be hosted by members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
Arlington, Virginia-based catering firm, Design Cuisine, designed the menu to highlight ingredients from across the country. Paired wines hail from New York, the home state of Sen. Chuck Schumer, the host committee chairman. In a release, Sen. Schumer described the menu's significance:
“Agriculture has always played a starring role in American culture and has been at the heart of our cuisine since the birth of our nation,” said Schumer. “This Inaugural luncheon menu incorporates foods that the first Americans enjoyed, but with a modern, forward looking approach. I’m confident that Democrats, Republicans, and representatives from all three branches alike will enjoy these incredible dishes from all corners of our nation.”
The hosting committee has already posted the menu online, as well as recipes for those who'll be unable to attend and want to experience the luncheon for themselves.
Without further ado, here's the menu for the 2013 Inaugural Luncheon:
First Course: Steamed lobster with New England clam chowder sauce, served on sauteed spinach with sweet potato hay.
Wine: Tierce 2009 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (NY)
Main Course: Hickory grilled bison with wild huckleberry reduction, strawberry preserve and red cabbage, red potato horseradish cake, baby golden beets and green beans and butternut squash purée.
Wine: Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot (Long Island, NY)
Dessert: Hudson Valley apple pie with sour cream ice cream and maple caramel sauce. Aged cheeses and honeycomb will also be served, including Toma Celena and Jersey Girl Colby from Cooperstown Cheese Company (Milford, NY).
Wine: Korbel Inaugural Cuvee (California)
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:47
Category: Breaking News Written by thehuffingtonpost
Kwame Kilpatrick has once again found himself in a sticky situation with the law after he was spotted on a security camera at Walmart. The former Detroit mayor, currently on trial for corruption, could be facing another stint in jail for not reporting a $2,000 Christmas gift from a supporter.
A security camera at the Chesterfield Township, Mich. store recorded him cashing a $2,000 wire transfer sent by Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks in December, Detroit affiliate Fox 2 reports. Officials told the news station that Kilpatrick kept about $800 for himself and wired around $1,100 to Texas, where his family now resides.
Brooks told Fox 32 in Chicago he had done nothing illegal by sending the money, which he called a "Christmas gift."
The Detroit Free Press reports Kilpatrick lied to a parole officer about the $2,000 when he was asked if he had reported all of his December income and gifts. Failing to report the funds could be a violation of his parole for crimes related to a text-messaging scandal.
Kilpatrick lied under oath about an affair during a police whistleblower lawsuit, pled guilty in 2008 to two counts of obstructing justice and served a little over a year in jail.
According to the Detroit News, the state Department of Corrections is reviewing the situation to determine whether there will be a consequence for Kilpatrick.
The News reports that he called the matter "trivial" after a day in court Tuesday. Kilpatrick is currently on federal trial along with his father Bernard and his friend Bobby Ferguson for running the mayor's office as a criminal enterprise for their own profit.
The ex-mayor owes the city of Detroit more than $800,000 in restitution for his crimes.
In March, the State of Michigan tripled his restitution payments from $160 to $500 after giving evidence that Kilpatrick was living a "life of luxury," despite claims that he could not make his payments.
Kilpatrick reportedly missed his November restitution payment and almost received a parole violation for failing to prove he had logged his required community service.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:40
Category: Breaking News Written by David Sands, thehuffingtonpost
The Kresge Foundation has pledged $150 million to aid in the implementation of a long-ranging, comprehensive framework for Detroit's future. The Detroit Future City plan, which paves the way for the city's evolution over the next 50 years, will get a jump start with the Kresge Foundation's five-year gift announced Wednesday.
CEO Rip Rapson announced the donation at press conference held by Mayor Dave Bing to unveil the Detroit Future City plan, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"It is a fundamental belief on our part that every dollar we spend simply has to reinforce the spirit, the letter and the intent of this plan," he said.
The Kresge Foundation, along with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, also committed $3 million on Wednesday to support operations at the project management office for two years.
Created by Bing's Detroit Works Project, the Detroit Future City strategic plan maps out possibilities to transform the city over the next 50 years, charting paths for land use, neighborhoods, economic development and more. Over two years in the making, Detroit Future City is intended to guide decision-making on change and development in the city over the next 50 years.
Bing first proposed the idea that would become the framework in 2010, as a way of re-envisioning a city plagued by population loss, large legacy costs associated with infrastructure and other long-term financial issues.
"As mayor of Detroit and a longtime member of this community, I've witnessed the steady decline of a city with so much promise," Bing said during the conference. "It became clear to me that business as usual would not effectively transform our city and a new framework for Detroit's future needed to be developed."
At the time, he called for downsizing Detroit into between seven and nine different population centers. As much as 45 square miles of the city, or one third of Detroit's total land, would have been essentially shut down, with city services cut off for any residents who remained. Concerns about service cuts and the administration's top-down approach sparked a community outcry that eventually forced the Bing administration to re-evaluate their stance.
A reboot of the project -- Detroit Works 2.0 -- made participation of Detroit citizens and community groups central to the effort. Under the new setup, ideas for restructuring the city were to be based on a combination of community and technical expertise. The project's civic engagement team held numerous community talks, sponsored a roaming table that engaged people around the city and even created an online game to gather input from citizens. Their work included 30,000 conversations with residents and the gathering of 70,000 survey responses.
Roundtable discussions were also held with businesses, as well as philanthropic groups -- who helped foot the bill for the project. In addition to the Kresge and Kellogg Foundations, Detroit Works Long-Term Planning also received financial support from the Erb Family, Hudson Webber, John S. and James L. Knight and Ford Foundations
Acknowledging the challenges Detroit Works faced in establishing its Detroit Future City framework, Mayor Bing noted the wide range of actors involved in its creation at Wednesday's conference.
"I know that it has been very, very difficult to get from where we were two years ago to where we are today," he said. "And I think the beauty of this is that we had so many people from so many different walks of life that came to the table to participate because we care for and love this city and its people. "
With the strategic framework now established, it now remains to be seen how Detroit Future City will be implemented. Detroit Work's steering committee has recommended creating a consortium that could help provide guidance and maintain citizen involvement, but the future of the project will depend on the political will of many different groups and governmental entities.
Detroit's current financial difficulties, which could lead to bankruptcy or a state takeover, also loom heavy over the venture.
At Wednesday's press conference, Bing admitted there were challenges ahead, but remained optimistic about the future of the project.
"The work really starts today. We planned for two years. We've got a lot of recommendations. We've got a lot of data and now we're ready to move forward," he said. "Let's make Detroit great again!"
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:29
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
The hot toddy is the quintessential wintertime drink. Typically served at ski lodges and similar destinations, it is best enjoyed in front of a roaring fire after a cold day spent braving the elements. Although not known for certain where the origin of the name is from, the toddy itself does have a storied history. Although some say it originated in the 1700s from the Todian Spring in Scotland, it is most likely from India, as toddy is the word for the ‘sap’ of the coconut tree found throughout the region.
When Jack Frost nips at your nose, he’s surely advocating a trip to discover one of the best hot toddies in town, and the establishments listed below are the city’s top contenders.
Is there a blizzard outside? Not to worry, simply prepare a toddy within the comfort of your own home, following the instructions below. Adjust according to your tastes.
1 ounce brandy, rum or whiskey
1 ounce honey
4 ounces hot water
A slice of lemon, whole cloves pierced into the rind
Combine all ingredients in a glass mug. Place water in a teapot and bring to a rolling boil. Add water to fill mug. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Some Michiganders may want to substitute 4 ounces of Vernors Ginger Ale.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 10:52
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