Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
As they wait for their rides out side the Westin Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh Detroit Tiger's Tori Hunter shakes hands with a WWII Vet and tuskegee airmen Flight officer james E. Bowman as his daughters look on Pittsburgh public school superintendant Dr. Linda Lane and her sister Gayle Bowman.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 10:26
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Patrick Keating Chronicle Staff Writer
By Patrick Keating
CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Facing criticisms from some political candidates, like Tom Barrow, who are questioning her stewardship of the Detroit election process, Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey, who has won repeated reelection, is vigorously defending the integrity of the voting process in Detroit.
Winfrey, speaking out on the electoral process of Michigan’s largest municipal government during an editorial meeting with the Michigan Chronicle, explained why this year’s election is not only crucial but underscores the essence of the ballot box.
To her critics, Winfrey said her record stands on its own and that voters will continue to decide on the work of their elected officials.
“I’ve administered an unprecedented 11 elections in four years,” Winfrey said. “We’ve right-sized our precincts, we’ve right-sized our voting file, and we ensure that election results are presented to the public by the 11 o’clock news.”
The clerk said that is because people need to know the outcome of their votes as expeditiously as possible.
During this election campaign, there have been a number of legal challenges, including Barrow’s contention that fellow candidate Mike Duggan wasn’t qualified to appear on the ballot. In addition, one of Winfrey’s own opponents for the position of city clerk, D. Etta Wilcoxon, recently won a ruling to have her name put back on the primary ballot.
Winfrey said challenges are the order of the day.
“Every race, every category has been challenged, to date, for this particular election,” she said, adding that it’s the right of candidates and voting citizens to do so.
According to the clerk, the fact that some council members will be elected by district this year won’t present any particular challenge to the Department of Elections because there have been candidates who’ve run in districts, such as state representatives, state senators and school boards.
On the other hand, the council by district elections are an educational piece for the electorate; and it’s important that voters know who the candidates are in their district and where their district falls.
Winfrey said while there has been legitimate discontent about the state of affairs in Detroit, voters need to come out and vote because those running for such offices as mayor, city council, city clerk and police commission are the ones who will affect the day-to-day living of the average citizen.
“So the municipal race is very important,” Winfrey said. “And, as we are under the supervision of an emergency manager, it’s important that we exercise our right to vote. It’s important that we come out, so that those in power understand that our voting rights are important to us.”
She said if voters want to retain their voice and for that voice to be heard publicly, it’s imperative to vote, in this election in particular.
Winfrey is hoping that the existence of an emergency manager is enough incentive for people to come out and vote to send the message that their vote matters.
But what on the clerk’s end will happen to motivate people to vote?
Satellite voting locations will be established again to make voting easier for those in distant location as was the case in the previous election.
She said it ensures that voters have two weeks outside of Election Day to come out and cast their votes easily by way of absentee voting in person.
Satellite voting, according to Winfrey, worked very well in the last election and she expects it to work very well this time, too.
Another push is the Election Connection newsletter that she sends out to every registered voter. She said that this year it will contain a map of the district in which a particular household resides, as well as a copy of the ballot that corresponds to that district and the location of their polling place.
Her office also sends out a notice about an upcoming election in the water bills of all Detroit residents. It’s a free mailing.
She also said absentee voting in person isn’t early voting.
“Those ballots are kept,” she said. “They are not opened and counted until Election Day.”
Her newsletter includes pertinent articles about unsubstantiated rumors.
“We need our voters to be prepared,” she said, adding that her last newsletter had an article about a scare that convicted felons wouldn’t be able to vote.
“Whatever the thought is of the day, we want to educate our voters to ensure that they are thoroughly prepared to vote on Election Day,” Winfrey said. “And we always include a piece on absentee voting because that’s very important for a number of our citizens.”
Another accomplishment she cited is that voters no longer have to provide a reason to vote absentee in person.
However, she believes that her signature accomplishment is the opening of the City Clerk Archives and Records Management Division. She said that’s pertinent to the office of city clerk given that she’s the keeper of all official documents, the archivist.
She said that when she first took office, those documents were scattered throughout the city.
“They were in abandoned buildings for two decades,” she said. “They were in the basement of City Hall. These documents lined the perimeter of the office of the city clerk.”
She also said it cost the city several hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits, because it was tearing down buildings without notifying the owners.
“It took a year and a half for staff to go through and catalog and digitize those documents,” she said. “But we’ve done it and its in our archives facility.”
Some of these documents date back to the 1800, Winfrey said, adding that when an individual requests information, her office is able to pull it up within 24 hours.
Winfrey wants to get across to voters that it’s imperative that they vote.
“If you don’t like how things are going in city hall, If you’re not impressed by the fact that we are under the authority of an emergency manager, now is your time to come out and voice your opinion by voting,” she said.
If she had a “magic wand” regarding the election process overall, Winfrey would like for voters to ensure that their children understand the significance of the voting process and why voting is important.
Second, in a perfect world, individuals would automatically receive a voter ID card upon getting their driver’s licenses or upon graduation.
She’d also like to see school curricula that speaks more to the democratic process, what it means and its importance.
“I think those would make for more informed voters, and more informed voters make for better decisions,” she said.
The biggest myth, she pointed out, is that people’s votes don’t matter.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 11:39
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Real Times Media
Multimedia company fully focused on transitioning traditional Black Press properties into digital contenders for urban news, lifestyle information, and entertainment.
DETROIT – Real Times Media (RTM), a multimedia company focused on urban news and entertainment which includes the nation’s largest African American-owned newspaper and digital media operation, today announced that it has hired digital media expert and the founder of the original BlackVoices.com, Barry Cooper to strategically transition its traditional print properties into a more robust digital platform.
“Barry’s extensive experience with, and comprehensive understanding of, digital media is a tremendous addition to Real Times Media and one I’m sure will become a valuable resource to our clients,” said Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer, Real Times Media. “It is truly exciting to have one of the founders of the digital Black Press as a part of our team as we flesh out a digital first strategy which will ensure a strong, vibrant future for our newspaper brands and a the successful platform upon which we’ll launch new online brands.”
A digital strategist today, Cooper possesses a deep understanding of traditional media having got his start as a journalist. He has worked as a reporter, columnist, editor or newsroom manager for the largest newspaper chains in the country, including The New York Times Co., Knight-Ridder, Gannett, Tribune Co., and Landmark Communications. Cooper also has a Pulitzer Prize nomination to his credit.
In 1998, as an employee of Tribune Co., Cooper convinced the Tribune to invest $5 million to launch Black Voices, an online destination for African American-geared news and information. Mr. Cooper grew the company to 45 employees with offices in L.A., Chicago and New York. In 2004, Black Voices was sold to AOL, and still ranks number one in its category as the leading social media destination targeting African Americans.
The hiring of Cooper is the first of several strategic moves for RTM in transitioning its iconic newspaper brands into large-scale digital contenders for urban news, lifestyle information, and entertainment.
“The Real Times Media team is doing some things that I think will revolutionize the Black Press as we know it,” said Cooper. “From its digital evolution to the 360 degree integration approach it is serving clients, Real Times Media is creating a platform simply not found in black media today. I’m ecstatic to be partnering with the company in these early stages and am confident that together we are going to create something amazing.”
Founded in 2006, the Real Times Media family of companies includes include Who’s Who Publishing Company, the premiere platform for celebrating African American achievement, the nation’s largest African-American owned and operated news organization including the Atlanta Daily World (www.ADWNews.com), Chicago Defender (www.ChicagoDefender.com), Michigan Chronicle (www.MichiganChronicle.com), FrontPage Detroit (www.FrontPageDetroit.com), Memphis Tri-State Defender (www.TSDMemphis.com), and New Pittsburgh Courier (www.NewPittsburghCourier.com) and RTM Digital Studios, an archival image licensing arm which houses more than 2 million photos, articles and other artifacts documenting the past 100 years of the African American experience.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 00:00
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by RJ Barnhill
The DYC Detroit APBA Gold Cup, presented by Jarvis Property Restoration, returns to the Detroit River with fun for the whole family July 13-14.
The APBA Gold Cup is the oldest active trophy in all motor sports, with the first trophy awarded in 1904. The weekend-long event promises to pack more entertainment and excitement than ever. Guests — which topped over 100,000 last year — can enjoy food, live entertainment, a classic car and vintage boat show, and, of course, thrilling Unlimited Hydroplane races that near speeds of 200 miles per hour.
“All of us at the DYC are proud to be the title sponsor, and to continue to partner with the DRRA to keep this tradition alive in the city of Detroit,” said Scott Allen, commodore of the Detroit Yacht Club.
“We have been so fortunate to have had the DYC serve as the presenting sponsor of the APBA Gold Cup for the past three years,” said Mark Weber, event director for the Detroit River Regatta Association. “They brought prestige and a rich Detroit history to the event, and we’re now thrilled to welcome Jarvis Property Restoration as a new addition to the Gold Cup family.”
Jarvis Property Restoration is a full-service restoration company with offices in Michigan, Florida, Illinois and Iowa, that helps property owners recover from unexpected disasters, such as floods and fires. Bill Jarvis, owner, has been actively involved in the Gold Cup races for the past 12 years.
“I fell in love with the sport instantly and would come to the races with clients and staff, all of whom enjoyed the excitement of the event,” said Jarvis. “Each year we got more involved, even sponsoring three different boats that competed against each other. Events like this are what keep Detroit moving. We must ensure that it continues for another 100 years.”
In addition to a new sponsor, The DYC Detroit APBA Gold Cup welcomes back Free Friday. The additional free day is back this year courtesy of Made In Detroit and American Badass Beer. The sponsorship from the two Michigan-based companies restores the 104th-annual event to a three-day schedule running July 12-14; the 2013 races had previously been slated to be condensed into two days due to budget constraints.
“We are proud to partner with the Gold Cup races to bring back Free Friday to the city of Detroit.” said Thomas Dubak, VP of sales, American Badass Beer, Co. “We have big things lined up for the weekend, including games with giveaways including the chance to win free front row tickets to an upcoming Kid Rock show this August at DTE Energy Music Theatre.”
“Friday gives fans the opportunity to watch more action on the water, see more of the drivers, spend more time on the river, all at no cost to them,” said Tom Bertolini, president of the Detroit River Regatta Association.
General admission ranges from $15 to $45; reserved seating starts at $60.
For more information visit www.gold-cup.com, www.facebook.com/APBAGoldCup or call (586) 774-0980.
Official Weekend Lineup
Thursday, July 11
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Rescue Practice
Friday, July 12
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Mondays Lie performs
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm Unlimited Testing
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm “Mondays Lie” performs
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Super Cat Offshore Testing
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm See Jane Rock performs
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Vintage Testing, All Classes
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Unlimited Qualifying
Saturday, July 13
8:30 am – 10:00 am Unlimited Testing
10:00 am National Anthem
10:00 am –10:25am Super Cat Offshore Testing
10:25 am –10:40am Vintage Large & Medium
10:40 am –10:55 am Vintage Small
10:55 am –11:10 am Vintage Flat Bottoms & Skiffs
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Unlimited Autograph Session
11:10 am –11:30 am Super Light Tunnel 1A
11:30 am – 12:10 pm Super Cat Offshore 1A
1:10 pm – 1:30 pm Unlimited Heat 1A presented by Royce and Kathy Richards
1:30 pm –1:50 pm Unlimited Heat 1B presented by Royce and Kathy Richards
1:50 pm – 2:10 pm Unlimited Heat 1C presented by Royce and Kathy Richards
2:10 pm – 2:25 pm Vintage Large & Medium
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Groove Worthy performs
2:25 pm– 2:45 pm Vintage Small
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm Vintage Flat Bottoms & Skiffs
3:00 pm – 3:20 pm Super Light Tunnel 2A
3:20 pm – 3:40 pm Unlimited Heat 2A presented by Hylant
3:40pm – 4:00 pm Unlimited Heat 2B presented by Hylant
4:00 pm – 4:20 pm Unlimited Heat 2C presented by Hylant
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Groove Worthy performs
4:20 pm – 5:00 pm Super Cat Offshore 2 A
5:00 pm – Course Closes
Sunday, July 14
8:00 am – 9:00 am Unlimited Testing
9:00 am – 9:30 am Opening Ceremonies
9:30 am – 9:50 am Super Cat Offshore Testing
9:50 am – 10:10 am Vintage Large & Medium
10:10 am – 10:25 am Vintage Small
10:25 am – 10:40 am Vintage Skiffs & Flat Bottoms
10:40 am – 11:00 am Unlimited Heat 3A presented By Complete Machining Services
11:00 am – 11:20 am Unlimited Heat 3B presented By Complete Machining Services
11:20 am – 12:00 pm Super Cat Offshore 3A
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Vintage & Super Light Tunnel Autograph Session
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Matt Austin Band performs
1:00 pm – 1:20 pm Super Light Tunnel 3A
1:20 pm – 1:40 pm Unlimited Heat 4A
1:40 pm – 2:00 pm Unlimited Heat 4B
2:00 pm– 2:20 pm Vintage Large & Medium
2:20 pm – 2:35 pm Vintage Small
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Matt Austin Band performs
2:35 pm – 2:50 pm Vintage Skiff & Flat Bottoms
2:50 pm – 3:10 pm Super Light Tunnel Final
3:10 pm – 3:30 pm Super Cat Offshore Final
4:00 pm - Detroit APBA Gold Cup Final!
Note: Vintage, Super Cat Offshore & Super Light Tunnel Participants head to Awards
Presentation Stand after Final.
*Please note that schedule is tentative and subject to change
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:29
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Donald James
On Krystal A. Crittendon’s campaign webpage, she admits that before 2012 most people outside the legal community did not know her, or know her name as head of the corporation counsel for the City of Detroit from 2009 to 2012. But things quickly changed.
In the spring of 2012, Crittendon’s name began to dominate local and regional news stories when the city’s law department filed a civil action asking the court to determine the legality of a Financial Stability Agreement entered in between the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan. Her bold action and stance were not popular with some top city officials, in particular, Mayor Dave Bing. Yet, in the face of mounting pressure, Crittendon never wavered or backed down, showing what many Detroiters called “ethics and integrity” in local city government.
Crittendon is currently one of 21 candidates (14 on the ballots, 7 cleared for write in) running for the office of mayor of Detroit. The Michigan Chronicle caught up with her recently on the campaign trail. The candidate shared insight into her candidacy and feelings about Detroit’s past, present and future.
MICHIGAN CHRONICLE: Why do you want to be the mayor of Detroit?
KRYSTAL CRITTENDON: Detroit is going to need strong leadership as we move forward. The events over the past year and a half in our city have demonstrated to me that there are not a lot of people in this town who are willing, able or ready to stand up and fight for the people who live here. I know as we go forward there are some marvelous things happening in the city, but unless we have strong leadership, everyone is not going to get the chance to participate. I believe that I can be the difference maker in moving Detroit forward.
MC: When did you decide that you would make a run for the mayor’s office?
KC: Last summer when I was going out to speak and explain to the people of Detroit the charter, the consent agreement and the emergency manager law, which was then under Public Act 4. I was also a member of the election commission. The people that I encountered were encouraging me and asking me to run for mayor. I started to consider it when I saw that there was such a void with respect to other people standing up for the people in the city. There were people who had positions and the ability to speak out, but were not. No one was standing up for Detroiters.
MC: What separates you from the other candidates?
KC: I am the one candidate who knows municipal government inside and out. I know what works and what doesn’t work. The things that do not work, I know why they don’t work and know how to fix them. I am the one candidate where there will be no learning curve on day one in office in January, 2014. People are glad to see me as I campaign throughout the city. They recognize me as the one candidate in this race who will truly and honestly stand up for Detroiters, without compromise.
MC: You are one of several women running for the office of mayor. Has the fact that you are a female candidate factored in on the campaign trail?
KC: People want jobs. They want to have a clean and safe environment for their families. They want the street lights to work. People want someone who is not going to sell them out. They want someone who does not have any political favors to repay. The people want someone who has not been involved in past scandals that have plagued Detroit and Wayne County. Detroiters want someone who is going to bring ethics and integrity back to city hall and the office of mayor. The fact that I am a woman has become incidental.
MC: What’s your take on Detroit’s emergency manager?
KC: One of the biggest problems with emergency managers is that after they leave, they have destroyed the infrastructure of the city. The city’s assets, for the most part, are gone. Therefore, some of the same problems creep back. An EM is not the answer to fix our city’s problems.
MC: Have you met EM Kevyn Orr?
KC: I have not seen or met Mr. Orr. Let me make this clear: I don’t have anything against Mr. Orr as a person. I have a problem with the emergency manager laws because those laws here in the state of Michigan are illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional. I believe the courts will resolve the issue of this unconstitutional law and that it and Mr. Orr will be gone.
MC: Whoever becomes mayor will have to work on some level of cooperation with the EM.
KC: The biggest problem that I hear coming from some of the other candidates is that they are saying things like they can work with the emergency manager, or work with him to get him out of here quicker. Under the emergency manager law, the EM has all the power. There is no working with someone who has all the power. The EM can make you (the new mayor) disappear with the stroke of a pen. There is no negotiation as our City Council president learned recently. Mr. Orr holds all the cards. That’s the type of dictatorial powers that emergency managers have.
MC: The blight throughout the city is difficult to ignore. While downtown seems to have a master plan for upgrading, the neighborhoods don’t seem to have one with any sustainability. What’s your take on the city’s neighborhoods?
KC: We need a mayor, not just for downtown and Midtown, but for all around town. People should not have to live in neighborhoods where when they open their front doors, they see abandoned homes, many of which have been abandoned for many years. They are eyesores. They are dangerous. They attract crime. They are dangerous for our school kids to have to walk pass every day. The person who owns that abandoned or blighted structure is leaving it that way because he or she knows that the city will not do anything to them to make them bring that house or blighted building up to code.
We have to change the culture. People need to know that if you are going to be a property owner in the city of Detroit, you are going to have to take care of your property. If not, we are going to take you to court and make sure we enforce the code to the fullest extent of the law. A lot of these abandoned structures are bank owned and have been allowed to just sit in our neighborhoods unoccupied for far too long.
We have to force the banks to rehab the structures. If they can’t be rehabbed, the structures need to be demolished…fix them up, bring them up to code or tear them down. The city also needs to stop sending money back to the federal government that we receive to demolish abandoned structures…it’s unconscionable!
MC: For many years, Detroit experienced White flight. Now, there is a pattern of White people moving back into the city, as well as businesses coming back. What’s your take on this trend?
KC: We need an integrated society. I think it’s important to live in a city where people who love Detroit want to live here with others who love Detroit, whether they are Black, White, male, female, old or young. People want to live with people who are committed to making the city better, making it strive and survive. Hopefully, we are getting to a point where race is not as relevant. We have a long way to go, but we are making great strides.
MC: How do you assure the people of Detroit that they will be safe under your administration and that the police will show up when called?
KC: We are at the point now that when people call 911, the people don’t look at their watches to see when the police will show up; they look at their calendars. We just don’t have enough police officers working in the neighborhoods. On any given Sunday at sports arenas downtown, there may be 85 police officers working. If we can have 85 police officers downtown at sports venues, we must make sure that we have enough police officers to respond to 911 calls in the neighborhoods.
One way that we can pay for more police officers is to go after that $800 million owed to the city by the state. We need to have a grant writing department in Detroit to pursue grant money that’s available. We also need to do something to incentivize police officers to move back into the city. because we know that when we have off-duty police officers living in the community and shopping in the community, the communities are safer.
MC: Talk a little about your background in the Motor City.
KC: I was born and raised in Detroit and went to Detroit public schools. I graduated from Cass Tech High School. The first seven years of my life, my family lived on the east side of the city, in the Seven Mile Rd. and Dequindre area. We later moved to Sherwood Forest on the west side. Growing up, I always told people that I wanted to be a lawyer. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in English Literature and earned my law degree from the Detroit College of Law. While I was attending law school, I worked as a caseworker for the State of Michigan’s Department of Social Services.
MC: If you are elected mayor, what’s you first priority?
KC: We have to be able to multitask from day one. The city can’t wait for us to solve one problem before we take on another. On day one we will be sending out letters to everybody who owes the city money so that we can begin to get the finances to do what we need to do to deliver the services that the people are entitled to. The reason the city of Detroit has a financial problem is because it has a collection problem. We just don’t collect the money that is owed to us. That will change if I’m elected.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 17:10
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