Category: Community Written by Patrick Keating, Chronicle Staff Writer
Opening July 12, "Dinosaurs - The Lost World" is a stunning new, original exhibit developed by Cranbrook Institute of Science in collaboration with John and Jack Hankla, who have assembled one of the world's most significant private fossil collections, The Hankla Collection.
The exhibit features more than 50 species of non-avian dinosaurs and contemporary marine reptiles, pterosaurs and birds (avian dinosaurs) from 20 Cretaceous rock formations in North America and Eurasia - many are newly described species never displayed in Michigan.
In addition, there are more than 60 complete skeletal mounts of research quality casts and several real skeletons, five types of fossil eggs, skin impressions, plants and invertebrates displayed in three galleries covering over 6,000 square feet; A 36' long molded track way with the foot prints of four dinosaurs and traces of other contemporary animals, the only cast of its kind from the end of the dinosaur era in North America; and a 4' by 8' slab of sandstone loaded with real fossil bones preserved in coastal lagoon storm deposits, including numerous Edmontosaurus and T. rex bones and teeth.
For children, there will be a special area with excavation activities and a focus on how paleontologists and geologists, plan, search for, collect and artistically restore the form of dinosaurs and other extinct organisms.
Other features include special Dino Prep Lab days when visitors can help prepare real dinosaur fossils still in rock and field jackets from the Late Cretaceous Lance Formation collected from the Hankla Ranch in Wyoming; and special lectures by local and visiting paleontologists and geologists.
There will also be gallery guides for visitors and special teacher guides available on-line, outlining key educational benchmarks for various grade levels, with QR codes and links to on-line data and images.
The primary focus of the exhibition is on the incredible diversity of dinosaurs, pterosaurs and marine reptiles of western North America during the Late Cretaceous Period. These animals lived in a super warm, lushly vegetated western Lost World landmass called Laramidia, which was isolated for 20 million years by a seaway extending through the center of North America, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. Dinosaur faunas range from the north slope of Alaska to Mexico.
The main gallery is anchored by new specimens from the strata of southern Utah recently reviewed in the March 2012 issue of Scientific American; including the newly described tyrannosaur Teratophoneus and the bizarre new ceratopsian Kosmoceratops bearing 15 horns on its head, along with the contemporary monstrous 30' crocodile Deinosuchus. Especially awe-inspiring is the newly discovered largest known specimen of the giant 22' long, armored tank-like ankylosaur Peloroplites.
Highlights of the Wyoming component from the Hankla ranch include: an adult hadrosaur, Edmontosaurus paired with a complete mounted skeleton of a juvenile; an awesome Struthiomimus nicknamed claws; the large marsupial Didelphadon, and a composite specimen representing the controversial predator Nanotyrannus.
The marine fauna of the seaway is anchored by a 33' foot long skeleton of a newly described species of the ferocious mosasaur Prognathodon accompanied by Archelon the world's largest turtle, and the diving bird Hesperornis. Four species of pterosaurs patrol the skies including Pteranodon longiceps with a 24' wingspan!
A special feature of Dinosaurs – The Lost World is a fascinating comparison between the Late Cretaceous dinosaurs of western North America with time equivalent dinosaur communities from Central Asia, highlighted by complete skeletal mounts of the terrifying Mongolian tyrannosaurs Tarbosaurus and Alioramus along with a pack of marauding velociraptors, and groups of fleeing conchoraprors, protoceratopsians, and psitaccosaurs.
In addition to the awe-inspiring newly discovered specimens and related activities, Dinosaurs – The Lost World is one of the most up to date exhibits featuring the current state of knowledge of this remarkable period in Earth history – with something for everyone.
Cranbrook Institute of Science is located at 39221 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills. Hours, through Sept. 1 are Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday/Saturday: 10 a.m.- 10 p.m.; and Sunday: Noon-4 p.m.
Call (248) 645-3200 for more information.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 14:40
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
June on Jefferson is a month-long series of music, fun, Pop-Up retail stores and activites in the heart of the historic Jefferson-Chalmers commercial district on Detroit's east side. The activies kick off with the 10th Annual Jazzin' on Jefferson outdoor music festival, June 14-15th and the opening of a series of pop-up stores. This project is collaboration between Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Detroit Chapter, Urban Priorities Committee and local entrepreneurs, businesses and artists.
The Pop-Up businesses will temporarily set up shop inside five newly renovated storefronts in the heart of the historic Jefferson-Chalmers commercial district on Detroit's east side. Each space has a team of architectural designers that are creating a custom retail space for the businesses. In a DIY spirit each team was given a limited budget, paired with a Pop-Up client and challenged to design and build an inviting retail space in only 2 months. All of the design teams are volunteering their time to promote the revitalization and activation of the area. Locating businesses in these spaces show the potential for permanent development and can potentially attract entrepreneurs to the area.
In addition to the retail Pop-ups, events and programming including art openings, live music and movie nights will be happening each weekend. Doors open Friday, June 14 (the inaugural night of Jazzin' on Jefferson) and will remain open every Friday and Saturday until July 6, 2013.
PARTICIPATING POP-UP BUSINESSES INCLUDE:
Coffee and ______ (coffee, homemade pastries and more)
Goodwells (natural food market)
Myra's Sweeth Tooth (ice cream and cupcakes)
River's Edge Gallery (art gallery)
DHIVE (community development center)
Fairview Historical Society (museum)
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 10:32
Category: Community Written by Nick Carey, Reuters
The solid red brick house on a block of similar homes in Northwest Detroit sounds like a steal at $3,728.
But in many ways, it's a lemon.
The house, sold at an auction last fall, sits at the edge of Detroit's infamous urban blight. And scrap thieves, or "strippers," have taken anything of value, including the kitchen sink and metal pipes, requiring repairs of up to $15,000.
"You could take a great picture of this house, put it online and make buyers ... think it's a good thing," said Antoine Benjamin, chief operating officer of real estate firm Benjigates Estates, which bought the house at a Wayne County auction to renovate and rent out. "But you have to understand how close you are to wasteland."
Low property prices in Detroit in the wake of the housing crash in 2008 have lured investors from California to China. Speculators bank on high returns despite a financial crisis so dire Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has cited a 50-50 chance the city will file for bankruptcy.
But small-time speculators eyeing quick profits often let the houses fall into disrepair because they lack the funds for renovations or end up abandoning them - and frequently do not pay real estate taxes.
In 2011 alone, the last year for which data is available, Wayne County had to write off $170 million in uncollected taxes on Detroit properties. About 100,000 city-owned properties, many of which are abandoned, are in limbo until a study of local property values is completed.
"The city has made no effort to make those 100,000 available, so we don't have a real market," said Jerry Paffendorf of Loveland Technologies, whose widely followed property database includes Detroit's tax delinquencies and foreclosures.
Bill Nowling, a spokesman for Orr, said the city does not intend to sell right now because there is no way to discover fair market value, and the emergency manager is awaiting the result of the Michigan Tax Board study.
"There is serious concern that the assessment process in Detroit is broken and many, if not most, properties have been inappropriately assessed at artificially high levels for years," Nowling wrote in an email.
A state plan to demolish abandoned buildings may eliminate some of the blight, but would do little to resolve city property codes that are unclear or largely ignored.
"The lack of property code enforcement means there is no risk for investors who buy here and neglect their properties," said Khalilah Gaston, executive director of the local nonprofit Vanguard Community Development Corporation. "We have to ensure there is risk and not just reward."
One speculator, 22-year-old graduate student Darin McLeskey, who also runs a non-profit urban farming group, noted Detroit's many rules on property use but few resources to police them.
"With no code enforcement, it's the Wild West," said McLeskey, who moved to Detroit from an outer suburb. And he has taken his shot, spending $25,000 to snap up 20 empty plots and three homes in the city.
McLeskey is a rarity among speculators because he plans to make Detroit his home. Detroit's population fell 25 percent in the past decade to 700,000, well off its 1950 peak of 1.8 million, as manufacturing declined and white residents moved to the suburbs following race riots in the late 1960s.
A $500 STANDING JOKE
In a few neighborhoods, sales are picking up on recent talk of new infrastructure projects including a light rail line, a new hockey stadium and a new bridge to Canada.
At Wayne County's annual foreclosure auction last year, 12,000 properties were sold online, some for the minimum $500 bid. More bargain seekers are expected this fall when around 25,000 properties will go on the block.
"Just a few years ago the big joke was, 'You can buy a house in Detroit for $500, ha ha ha,'" said Ted Phillips, executive director of the nonprofit United Community Housing Coalition, which helps homeowners fend off foreclosure. "Now the buzz is, 'You can buy a house in Detroit for $500 and it's a great investment.'"
Detroit property prices rose 20 percent year-on-year in April, Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed.
Benjamin estimates the house Benjigates bought in Northwest Detroit for less than $4,000 will ultimately cost about $20,000 after renovations. But the company has a renter lined up and should be able to sell it for $30,000, he said.
The North End district in central Detroit sits alongside the route of a planned $137 million, 3.5-mile light rail line and has attracted serious investors. On a recent visit to the area, groups speaking with New England, British and other accents and were seen walking the neighborhood looking for deals.
Phillips of the United Community Housing Coalition worries about a get-rich-quick mentality. "These homes are not just paper investments," he said. "If they're left to disintegrate, they undermine neighborhoods."
'HASN'T LOST A HOUSE IN 7 YEARS'
To monitor abandoned properties and foreclosures, Loveland Technologies, a for-profit company, has created a private online database, www.whydontweownthis.com, that Wayne County deputy treasurer David Szymanski has described as the most reliable source for such information.
Data provided to Reuters by whydontweownthis.com depicts the city as a patchwork of neighborhoods where multiple foreclosed homes belonged to individual owners.
One such owner, Shirley Ray of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, bought dozens of houses on April 21 2011, for $10,000 each, according to whydontweownthis.com. Of the more than 20 Detroit-area homes still listed under her name, most have been foreclosed on and the rest are seriously delinquent.
Ray did not respond to numerous calls seeking comment.
Other speculative buyers hurt the city's cash flow by refusing to pay property taxes.
According to whydontweownthis.com, a local investor named Ralph Kinney owes more than $70,000 in property taxes on seven Detroit homes.
Kinney could not be reached for comment, but his property manager, Darren Pettway, said Kinney buys homes cheap and rents them out. He then sells them at a profit to buyers who also agree to pick up the back taxes.
Occasionally, Pettway said, Kinney defers foreclosure proceedings by paying down a nominal amount of the property taxes he owes.
"He (Kinney) hasn't lost a house in seven years," he said. "The taxes eventually get covered by someone else, so it all works out."
In some of Detroit's more vibrant neighborhoods, residents are fighting back, targeting blight where the city lacks the resources to do so.
Economics are improving to the point that some "benevolent speculators" are investing in ways that benefit neighborhoods, Gaston of Vanguard Community Development said.
For instance, Abass El Hage's Upstream Real Estate Investments has bought nearly 30 homes to renovate, rent out, or sell to investors, she noted.
Vanguard is helping El Hage seek up to $1 million in financing toward a retail and restaurant project called Milwaukee Junction in an abandoned and stripped red-brick building purchased for $15,000 last year.
El Hage said longer-term investments, like Milwaukee Junction, are the next wave in Detroit's real estate market. "Too many people are trying for a quick flip," he said. "That kind of deal is gone." (Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by David Greising, Frances Kerry, Mary Milliken and Richard Chang)
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 10:15
Category: Community Written by Nick Andersen, Detroit Eater
Joe Nader is the executive chef at Ford Field and Levy Restaurants, which in itself is already a hefty job. (65,000 hungry fans every week for a whole season?) But the longtime Metro Detroiter thinks he has time to spare, which is why he and two other Detroit chefs are teaming up to launch the Detroit Three, a food-focused philanthropic concern with a special eye for the young and hungry.
Though they're not as far-reaching as that other, more automotive-minded Detroit Three, Nader says he thinks his group can use the excitement bubbling up around the burgeoning Detroit culinary scene to change the conversation about the city's future.
Nader has already devoted a sizable chunk of his time to area food-related charities. He told Eater Detroit that his work with Cooking Matters Michigan, the state chapter of a national organization devoted to teaching good culinary and food preparation skills to underprivileged and SNAP-program recipients in the community, inspired him to collaborate on the Detroit Three.
"I see it as using culinary-based events for a cause," Nader said. "I don't want to just do my own fun time in my free time. If I can help facilitate other chefs collaborating on a cause, I'm doing something right."
The Detroit Three — Nader, Jake Williams of Cooking Matters Michigan and Scott Breazeale, executive chef at John D Bistro in Ferndale and formerly of Novi's Chop House — will come together for the first time on Tuesday, July 9 for a special six course Asian-themed prix fixe Umami dinner at St. CeCe's Pub in Corktown, with the profits from the food portion going to Cooking Matters Michigan and The Chef and Child Foundation. St. CeCe's already features guest chefs for popup meals on Tuesdays, but Nader said that he sees his event as an opportunity for something more.
Nader said he thinks the energy and group mentality of local chefs could help make people outside the city recognize both the charities that benefit and the chefs that help put future events together. Chefs with ties to the area and careers in other cities have already expressed an interest in creating guest chef events for future Detroit Three meals.
"We want people to realize the grassroots movement on the ground here," Nader said. "We want to keep all this untapped talent in town before everyone leaves, and we wanna keep fostering that movement."
The Detroit Three Umami Dinner is Tuesday, July 9 at St. CeCe's Pub in Corktown. Seatings, which cost $50, are available at six and eight p.m. All proceeds from the meal portion of the event will go to Cooking Matters Michigan and The Chef and Child Foundation.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 10:13
Category: Community - Original Written by Amber Bogins
The 34th annual Detroit Jazz Festival "Imported from Detroit," the world's largest entirely free jazz festival, is proud to announce the headlining performers for its Labor Day weekend festival (Aug. 30 through Sept. 2). Spread over four days and four stages, headliners include: 2013 Artist in Residence Danilo Pérez, David Murray Big Band with Macy Gray, Ahmad Jamal, Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell, Joshua Redman Quartet with string orchestra, John Scofield Überjam, McCoy Tyner Trio with special guest Savion Glover, Yellowjackets, Gregory Porter, and Robert Glasper, among others. Hundreds of Detroit regional artists are performing within national groups this year as well as headlining their own sets.
"We strive to make the Detroit Jazz Festival's Labor Day weekend concerts more exceptional every year, and continue to show people from around the world what our great city has to offer," says Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. "Everything we do at the Detroit Jazz Festival is meant to enrich the lives of music lovers everywhere. We want to make it possible for them to see their favorite jazz artists all in one place, and most importantly, offering these performances for free. It's not just about amazing music; it's about making it available for anyone that wants to listen."
"This year's lineup was again carefully selected. We want to represent real jazz in all its forms. This year, we're focusing on all dimensions and the different generations of jazz music. The creative artists we're bringing together are pushing boundaries to create new, unique approaches that explore the true nature of jazz music," said Chris Collins, artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival. "Making an impact in the jazz world, but also creating meaningful experiences for the audience, is what the Detroit Jazz Festival is all about."
GRAMMY® Award-winner and Mack Avenue Records pianist/composer/educator Danilo Pérez, one of the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time, will serve as this year's Artist in Residence, performing material from his upcoming album, Panama 500, as well as the Panama Suite, with other works for large ensemble. The Panamanian pianist also will join Detroit native Geri Allen in an acoustic duo piano performance. Also performing as a piano duo are husband and wife, Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes.
Several Detroit luminaries are also returning to their beloved hometown for special performances. Aside from her duo performance with Pérez, Geri Allen will serve as the musical director of this year's Detroit Homecoming Band which will include vocalist Sheila Jordan, saxophonists JD Allen and David McMurray, trombonist George Bohanon, bassist Robert Hurst, and drummer Karriem Riggins. Gary Smulyan, Howard Johnson, and Frank Basile also will pay tribute to Detroit's own late Pepper Adams. Trumpeter Marcus Belgrave will return for his second consecutive year with a program titled "Trumpet Call." Saxophonist James Carter is presenting a tribute to Don Byas, and JD Allen also will return to perform at this year's festival with his trio.
This year's lineup features an array of piano masters and sax legends, including NEA Jazz Master Ahmad Jamal, who will perform with his quartet. The pianist recently received a GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category last year for his Blue Moon album. NEA Jazz Master McCoy Tyner also will perform with his long-standing trio with special guest Savion Glover. Another cross-medium combination this year is clarinetist Eddie Daniels, pianist Roger Kellaway, and cellist James Holland, who will be joined by painter Doug Coffin. Coffin will create new works based on the music by Kellaway and Daniels. Aaron Diehl, a 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz from the American Pianists Association, will perform in support of The Bespoke Man's Narrative, his recent debut on Mack Avenue Records.
A rare U.S. festival appearance by the acclaimed Saxophone Summit, which includes Joe Lovano, David Liebman, and Ravi Coltrane, is scheduled. Saxophonist Charles Lloyd has assembled an exclusive project billed as Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell performing in selected markets only in 2013. Frisell is also scheduled separately with his working band recasting the music of John Lennon. NEA Jazz Master Lee Konitz will perform with his quartet including 2007 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz from the American Pianists Association, Dan Tepfer. The prolific Paris-based saxophonist David Murray will bring his big band, which features vocalist Macy Gray, in support of their recently released album, Be My Monster Love.
The 2013 Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra, an all-star Detroit big band under the musical direction of Chris Collins, will perform newly commissioned arrangements from arrangers including Bob Mintzer, Bill Cunliffe, David Berger, and Chuck Israels based on Dave Brubeck compositions and featuring guest soloists from throughout this year's festival. The DJFO returns to the stage on Monday to honor the works of Duke Ellington under the direction of Ellington Scholar, Berger.
The festival will present an exclusive Dave Brubeck Tribute Series, which will be comprised of four separate performances, starting with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet on Saturday. The Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra Brubeck Commission Project with newly commissioned arrangements of Dave Brubeck compositions will be presented on Sunday, as well as The Real Ambassadors - a recasting of Dave and Iola Brubeck's dramatic masterpiece with conductor Bill Meyer. The series will conclude on Monday with TO HOPE, A Celebration: Dave Brubeck's Historic Mass, a stunning masterpiece which will feature a 65 voice choir, string orchestra, and the Brubeck Brothers Quartet with saxophonist Rick Margitza.
Saxophonist Joshua Redman and vocalist Sheila Jordan are also slated to perform this year in respective orchestral programs. The Joshua Redman Quartet with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers & Gregory Hutchinson will be joined by an orchestra and will be performing selections from the new album Walking Shadows. Jordan's performance also will feature the Alan Broadbent Trio and a Detroit-based 18-piece string orchestra.
The Yellowjackets, who have been together almost as long as the Detroit Jazz Festival - 34 years and counting - are performing in support of A Rise In The Road, their new release on Mack Avenue Records. This serves as their debut project with new bassist Felix Pastorius. Guitarist John Scofield is set to perform with his Überjam group, bringing jam-oriented funk to this year's lineup. Also on the schedule is the the Robert Glasper Experiment, the GRAMMY® Award-winning group which transcends genre, drawing from jazz, hip-hop, R&B and rock.
Two impressive new talents are also set to perform. Exciting young vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant will perform in support of her recently released Mack Avenue debut record, WomanChild, which has received much critical acclaim already. New York luminary David Berger has written customized arrangements of McLorin Salvant's music to be performed by his own New York Big Band; this will serve as the young vocalists premier in a highly customized large ensemble setting. Also performing is vocalist Gregory Porter, who recently earned a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance, and is set to release Liquid Spirit, on Sept. 17 via Blue Note Records.
The Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest entirely free jazz festival in the world, with attendees and artists alike gathering from all over the globe (with 25 percent of the audience coming from outside of Michigan). In addition to providing incredible opportunities to see jazz legends, the festival has an important economic impact, bringing in tens of millions of dollars and contributing greatly to the city of Detroit. The festival also was voted the number three jazz festival in North America in a reader's poll by JazzTimes, the world's leading jazz publication.
Now in its 34th year, the Detroit Jazz Festival takes place over Labor Day weekend (August 31 - September 2), in Hart Plaza, downtown Detroit. Attendees can see world-renowned artists on four stages: JP Morgan Chase Main Stage, Carhartt Amphitheatre Stage, Mack Avenue Records Waterfront Stage, and Absopure Pyramid Stage.
This year's major corporate sponsors include the Chrysler brand, JP Morgan Chase, Opportunity Detroit, Carhartt, DTE Energy Foundation, and Mack Avenue Records. Fans are encouraged to become Rhythm Section members by making donations of any size online to support keeping the festival free to the public.
About the Detroit Jazz Festival
The Detroit Jazz Festival "Imported from Detroit" is an independent, non-profit organization that presents jazz and educational workshops throughout the year. Recently voted number two in North America in a JazzTimes reader's poll, the Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the world and a major tourist attraction for the City of Detroit, with 25.8 percent of its audience coming from out of state.
The festival receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Erb Family Foundation; Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs; the SAP REFX Expert LLC and DE FRANCE DE TERSANT Trust; and the Kresge Foundation. Major corporate partners include JPMorgan Chase, Opportunity Detroit, Carhartt and Mack Avenue Records. Additional partners include Absopure, Amtech International, Art Van Furniture, Bingham Legal Group, Charity Motors, Comcast, Detroit Marriott, Dickinson Wright, Dirty Dog Jazz Café, Domino's, Fathead, Great Lakes Beverage, McDonalds, Meridian Health Plan, MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Pepsi Beverages Company, Plante Moran, PNC Foundation, St. John Providence Health System, Wakefield, Sutherland and Lubera, PLC; DownBeat, Hour Detroit, JazzTimes, MetroTimes and Fox 2. The Festival's Greening Program, now entering Phase IV, is supported by a generous grant from the DTE Energy Foundation.
For more details, visit the Detroit Jazz Festival website at DetroitJazzFest.com
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 09:48
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