Category: Community Written by Monica Davey, nytimes
DETROIT — This city was already sinking under hundreds of millions of dollars in bills that it could not pay when a municipal auditor brought in a veteran financial consultant to dig through the books. A seasoned turnaround man and former actuary with Ford Motor Co., he was stunned by what he found: an additional $7.2 billion in retiree health costs that had never been reported, or even tallied up.
“The city must take some drastic steps,” the consultant, John Boyle, warned the City Council in delivering his report at a public meeting in 2005. Among the options he suggested was filing for bankruptcy.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 10:43
Category: Community Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his longtime friend and city contractor Bobby Ferguson will spend the night in jail until their sentencing which could be decided in four months.
Both men, in front of their families and friends, were handcuffed by federal marshals in federal court this afternoon and whisked away to jail even as Kilpatrick asked to hug his family but was rejected.
Federal prosecutors, acting on the guilty verdict on charges of racketeering, extortion and tax evasion that a jury handed down today against Kilpatrick, Ferguson and Bernard Kilpatrick, wanted all three men to be remanded to prison immediately.
During a hearing this afternoon before Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds, prosecutor Michael Bullota, one of the assistant U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the case, argued that given Kilpatrick’s history of violating court orders in state court, he should be remanded to prison now.
Bullota said Kilpatrick during his initial legal troubles in state court when Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy was prosecuting the former mayor, Kilpatrick on a number of occasions did not live up to the orders that Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner gave.
At one point Bullota said Kilpatrick lied to the state court about only having $6 to pay back restitution when federal investigators later discovered during their investigation that hundreds of thousands of dollars were going through his bank accounts during that same time he was battling charges from the Wayne County Prosecutor.
He also cited Kilpatrick’s most recent case with his parole officers where he’s been found to have violated his parole orders numerous times. Some of the violations included not reporting large amount of cash that had been given to him.
Kilpatrick’s lawyer, James Thomas, tried to convince Judge Edmonds that Kilpatrick should be allowed to be free until his sentencing because he is a father and husband who has gone for four months without seeing his wife and children who now live in Texas.
Thomas tried to sway the court that if Kilpatrick had access to large sums of cash as the prosecution intimated, he would have been in contact more frequently with his family.
Even though Thomas admitted that Kilpatrick did run afoul of the orders of the lower court – Wayne County Circuit Court – he was before a judge (David Groner) who “publicized what he was going to do” with the former mayor.
Kilpatrick is not a flight risk or danger to the community, Thomas said, adding that his client, since the federal trial began, hasn’t missed a court date and did not violate any orders in federal court.
“All this is an opportunity for the government to impose a penalty that’s not yet decided by the court,” Thomas said. Ferguson’s attorney, Gerald Evelyn, also made similar defense for his client though the prosecution cited Ferguson’s past brushes with the law and history of intimidating witnesses as well as his access to large amounts of cash.
After a five-minute break during the hearing, Judge Edmunds returned with a verdict that both Kilpatrick and Ferguson be taken into custody immediately. There were outbursts in the court as some members of the Kilpatrick and the Ferguson families began sobbing while federal marshals ordered both men to take their ties and suits off, including their watches and other times.
Kilpatrick and Ferguson were asked to turn around, giving their backs to their families as the marshals handcuffed them.
Kilpatrick looked scared but Ferguson was smiling and appeared to be in high spirits. When Kilpatrick asked to hug his family, including his mother, former congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick who was sitting in court watching his son, one of the marshals said no and the former mayor looked disappointed.
As Kilpatrick was being taken away he turned around and looked at his mother and said in a loud voice, “No doubt no fear,” a consolation to weeping members. The former mayor’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was not remanded.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 08:30
Category: Community - Original Written by Yvelette Stines
When we find our purpose in life there is no turning back. When Dr. Akua Woolbright realized that she wanted to help people maintain and sustain health, her life changed and she is now doing the same for others. Woolbright is the senior Healthy Eating and Wellness Educator for Whole Foods Market in Detroit. Her journey started as a young girl. “I grew up on a farm and eating produce. We lived 15 miles from town. If we wanted some fruit, we would pick it wash it off and eat it.” This realization is important because most of her classes begin with her students identifying their food journey. “This says a lot about a person’s relationship with food,” she explains.
The path of health and nutrition started for Woolbright in 1990 when she transitioned into a vegetarian lifestyle. “I was learning about what was happening to our food supply. I started to have conversations with friends. Then I started doing lectures. I didn’t have a formal education in this topic but it felt like a calling for me. It started as a hobby and turned into a career that I love so much. After doing more and more classes, I decided to back to school and get A Ph.D in nutritional science.”
When she began working at Whole Foods Market she saw the confirmation that food can be healing. “Coming to the company, I started to understand deeply the impact that food has on health outcomes. When we think of food we need to go deeper and think about eating the foods that will repair cells organs and reverse disease,” she explains. She also noticed another aspect of healing through Whole Foods: “There is a group of health teams that are comprised of about 10 doctors who use food as their only medicine. They go away for 10 days listen to nutrition lectures, walk, hike and eat plant based foods. Through this program the people involved are coming off their medication by day 5 when they have been using prescriptions for years.” Woolbright realized that there were not enough people of color participating in programs like this and she wanted to create change.
“I asked my team leader if I could go take this message out to communities of color. Once she agreed I started doing healthy eating talks,” she says. The lectures included weekly travel to Detroit and it was her CEO that challenged her to confirm her mission. “My CEO called me out and said if you are committed to the work and traveling to Detroit, you will move to there.” Woolbright is now residing in Detroit and living out her mission by doing community outreach through healthy eating and education.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 14:19
Category: Community - Original Written by R.J. Barnhill
In the late 1960s, revolution was in the air in Detroit, with radical leftist activity focused in the Cass Corridor, a rundown area near Wayne State University. Feeling the revolutionary spirit, local artists also broke with tradition by overthrowing Modernism, the dominant New York art critical theory of the post-WWII era, and ushered in the Post-Modernism pluralism seen throughout American art in the 1970s.
Conventional wisdom has held that these Cass Corridor artists, as they have come to be called, were essentially “urban expressionists,” responding to the decay and danger of post-industrial Detroit, a thesis most thoroughly set forth in “Kick Out the Jams,” a 1980 exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts. “Subverting Modernism: Cass Corridor Revisited,” a much-needed scholarly reappraisal of this art movement, debunks this notion, positing instead that each Cass Corridor artist created his or her own individual styles and meanings, cross-fertilized at times by the work of his or her fellows.
While early pieces in the show push hard at the boundaries of Modernism and Minimalism, other works break forth from these limitations to create meanings of great universality, such as our need for shelter or the persistence of the life force, both human and otherwise. Many of the works speak of Detroit, both in its industrial and post-industrial stages, but they also encompass and transcend the specifics of time and place and address issues that have significance for all humans, such as violence and vulnerability, the presence or absence of order and structure in nature and human life, and our millennial old desire to make music and dance. Thus the exhibition has been divided into eight thematic sections: “The Critique of Pure Painting and Sculpture,” “Minimalism/Industry,” “Complexity,” “Violence, Destruction, Decay... and Renewal,” “Vulnerability,” “Shelter,” “Music/Dance/Industry” and “Nature/Geometry.”
“Subverting Modernism” is a multi-year collaboration between Eastern Michigan University, the Wayne State University Art Collection, which is lending most of the works in the exhibition, and Central Michigan University.
The exhibition and accompanying 100-page catalogue allows art lovers to see important Detroit art that is not usually accessible to the public. EMU art history professor Dr. Julia R. Myers’s extensive research, which included interviewing the artists, consulting hundreds of newspaper articles from the late 1960s and 1970s, and using archival materials in both Washington, D.C. and Detroit, makes for a thoroughly new look at the exciting work of these important Detroit artists. Dr. Myers says, “The work of the Cass Corridor artists is important because it demonstrates that high quality, meaningful art can and was created in locales outside New York City, a fact that has been consistently ignored by art historians with their New York-centric bias.”
The work of Dr. Meyers is commendable and this flourishing of artistic expression in a city not traditionally viewed as an “art center” should be recognized, valued, and prized, as this exhibition will do.
The exhibit will run from March 11 through April 28 at EMU’s University Gallery, 2013 900 Oakwood St, Ypsilanti. An opening reception at University Gallery will take place on March 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. A special lecture, “Envisioning Real Utopias in Detroit,” will be conducted by Vince Carducci at the EMU Student Center, room 310 A, at 6:30 p.m. A film screening of “Images” from Detroit’s Cass Corridor, by Kathryn Brackett Luchs and Shaun Bangert, will be held at the Halle Library Auditorium on March 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 14:24
Category: Community - Original Written by Amber Bogins, Entertainment Editor
The Detroit Tigers are giving young fans a chance to be a part of the excitement of Opening Day. The Tigers are now accepting nominations for children ages 5-14 who are interested in participating in the Detroit Tigers “Kids Opening Day” on Sunday, April 7. The Tigers will host the New York Yankees. On Opening Day, 21 winners will receive four complimentary tickets to the game in addition to having the opportunity to participate in one of the following ways:
• Ceremonial first pitch (one child)
• Announce the starting lineup of Fox Sports Detroit (one child)
• Announce the starting lineup on 97.1 FM The Ticket (one child)
• Announce the starting lineups on the Comerica Park Public Address (two children)
• Announce the first two Detroit Tigers batters in the first inning (two children)
• Honorary ticket takers (two children)
• Honorary ground crew (two children)
• Honorary kids take the field (nine children)
• Lineup card delivery (one kid)
“Kids Opening Day” will mark the first “Sunday Kids Day” promotion from the baseball organization of the season. During each Sunday home game, any kid 14 and younger will receive a free promotional item, free rides on the Comerica Bank Carousel or the Fly Ball Ferris Wheel, get their face painted and have a chance to win a bicycle. And then there is the traditional “Kid Run the Bases” after the game.
In order to enter, a parent or legal guardian must submit a 250 word or fewer essay answering the question, “How do you and your child pledge to live a healthy lifestyle this summer?” Kids are allowed to write the essays, but it must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian.
The first “Every Kid, Every Sunday” giveaway for children attending the game will be a Kids Opening Day Magnet Schedule.
For more information, including official entry rules, and to submit a nomination, visit tigers.com/kidsopeningday. The deadline for submissions is March 22 at 5 p.m.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:29
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