Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Virgin America's New In-Flight Flirting App
Traveling alone? A Virgin America flight, might be your best airline choice. The airline's new in-flight entertainment system allows passengers to pinpoint their next love interest with Virgin's digital seat map, browse the menu and have a drink, snack or meal sent over.
Passengers can also follow up with a text through the seat-to-seat messaging system. Virgin launched the service this week to mark the start of its Los Angeles to Las Vegas service, but it's available on all of its U.S. flights.
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson introduced the new feature in a video:
Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 09:50
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
In an unprecedented move, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing pulled petitions for a mayoral campaign as the May 14 deadline approaches without filling in the petition box that stipulates a run a for reelection this afternoon at the second floor of the Coleman A. Young Building in the City Clerk's Office.
If Bing decides to run for another term, his inclusion will shake up the race and make the field of candidates, including former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, more competitive.
Bing has been mum about his reelection prospects for a while, until this afternoon when his office issued a brief statement indicating press availability at the clerk's office.
"I have not obtained signatures. I've been in contact with citizens. The window is obviously open. I've said for several months that I've not made my mind yet. That is still true. The first step of the process is picking up signatures," Bing told a gathering of journalists.
Bing will need 500 signatures submitted to City Clerk Janice Winfrey's Office by May 14, the cutoff date to submit signatures for a mayoral run.
"When I make the decision to win then I'm in it to win it. This is a huge decision for anybody who is going to run," Bing said. "If I'm going to go another four years I've got to make sure I touch base with all the people."
If he jumps in the race as the incumbent, Bing said he will declare that he's running to continue to fix Detroit noting, "We've made some positive things happen."
In an era of an Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) overseeing Detroit, some critics have dismissed the mayor's race as having less significance because the EFM, Kevin Orr, potentially could be in charge of the city beyond the stipulated18 months he's required to stay.
"I accept the fact that the emergency manager is here and has the final say. I'm going to work with that team. I'm a team player," Bing said. "It's about fixing the city. We've got a lot of people that need help. The goal has to be about fixing the city. It's not going to be an easy decision."
Bing said continuing to fight the emergency manager is counterproductive because "I think the city is better off working with the emergency manager as opposed to working against him. We need the state involvement and support. We need outside support."
Bing will hold another media availability in the coming days during which he will declare whether or not he is officially in the race for mayor.
Bankole Thompson is the editor of the Michigan Chronicle. He is the author of a book series on the Obama presidency. His book "Obama and Black Loyalty," published in 2010, follows his recent book, "Obama and Christian Loyalty," with an epilogue by Robert S. Weiner, former White House spokesman. Thompson is also a political news analyst at WDET-101.9FM Detroit (NPR Affiliate) and a member of the weekly "Obama Watch" Sunday evening roundtable on WLIB-1190AM New York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 April 2013 18:28
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
LANSING – With the craft beer craze continuing to sweep the state of Michigan and summer approaching, Pure Michigan and Founders Brewing Co. have teamed up to give fans and craft beer enthusiasts a chance to pick a Founders beer style that best represents Pure Michigan.
The beer chosen by fans will be featured in the Founders tap room in downtown Grand Rapids throughout July as part of Michigan Craft Beer Month.
Starting today and running through Friday, May 3, fans can vote between the following three beer styles – Vanilla Stout, Apple Ale and Wheat IPA – to choose the one they want to try in the Founders taproom. To vote, visit michigan.org/blog. Individuals can vote once a day for the duration of the contest and the winning beer will be announced in May. Participants must be 21 years of age to vote.
“Michigan has a thriving craft beer industry that is building on our tourism efforts by offering visitors unique flavors and memorable experiences,” said George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Founders is a vibrant and growing company here in Michigan and we are excited to work with them on this fun, beer-inspired contest. And we encourage fans to stop in at the Founders taproom this summer for a taste of Pure Michigan craft beer.”
Home to more than 100 breweries, Michigan is fifth in the nation for the number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs. Grand Rapids, home of Founders, shared the designation of Beer City USA with four-time winner Asheville, North Carolina in 2012. Michigan's craft beer industry grew by 20 percent in 2012, outpacing the national industry growth rate by 12 percent, and has a total economic impact of more than $133 million in the state.
Michigan’s craft brewers are also part of a close knit community, promoting all that the Great Beer State has to offer.
“On a given weekend in our taproom, our staff will check the IDs of people from Grand Rapids to Detroit to Chicago to Louisville and beyond,” said Dave Engbers, Co-Founder and Vice President of Brand & Education at Founders Brewing Co. “Having so many great beer destinations in Grand Rapids and across the Great Beer State brings new people into town and keeps others coming back.”
For rules and regulations or for more information on voting, please visit michigan.org/blog. Pure Michigan and Founders Brewing Co. remind everyone to drink responsibly. When enjoying a brewery tour or visiting a taproom, please use a designated driver, call a cab or use public transportation. Founders is conveniently located across the street from the Rapid bus station.
For more information on beer trail suggestions and brewery tours, visit michigan.org/breweries.
Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, markets the state’s tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services. For Michigan travel news and updates, go to michigan.org.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) serves as the state's marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, with a focus on helping grow Michigan's economy. For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: MichiganAdvantage.org.
About Founders Brewing Co.
Established in 1997 by two craft beer enthusiasts with day jobs and a dream, Founders Brewing Co. has made a distinctive mark on the craft beer community by brewing complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics and tons of flavour. Founders is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the United States, currently ranking among the top 30 largest craft breweries in the nation.
Founders Brewing Co. has received numerous awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival, and its beers are often rated among the best in the world by RateBeer and BeerAdvocate users. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, Founders is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild and the Brewers Association. For more information, visit www.foundersbrewing.com.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:00
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Despite the emancipation of African Americans and the District of Columbia becoming the first thriving slave territory to free more than 3000 Blacks several months before President Abraham Lincoln rendered the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, many today, reflecting on the long and sometimes difficult journey, say the battle for real political, social and economic empowerment is not over, especially when some African Americans are still fighting for the right to vote in 2013.
A battle the Detroit Branch NAACP, the largest chapter of the nation’s storied civil rights organization, says must continue as the group hold its 58th Annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner on April 28 at Cobo Convention Center under the theme “Freedom Must Never Be Defaulted, It Must Forever Be Exalted,” during which it will honor individuals who exemplify the continued struggle for the liberation and advancement of Blacks in all facets of life.
And Washington, DC, in particular, recently commemorated the 151st Emancipation Day honoring an African American leader, Loretta Carter Hanes, for her commitment and dedication to raising the public’s conscience about the history of the Emancipation at an event attended by Black luminaries.
Clarence Davis, a leading historian in the nation and public administrator of the DC Office of Public Records and chairman of the Emancipation Day Committee, in an exclusive interview with the Michigan Chronicle said Blacks, “have an obligation to commemorate in Detroit, Washington, D.C., Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angles, Houston and all over the country, the triumphant struggle over slavery through the abolitionist and emancipation movement.”
Davis said at a time when African Americans continue to face many hurdles, including discrimination in varied forms and challenges to voting rights, it is important to commemorate it as a living memorial to the many African Americans who gave their lives in the quest for freedom.
“African Americans the country over must never forget the history and our plight in the struggle from indentured servitude, slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and the suffering of oppression in America,” Davis said. “Thus our remembrance of this struggle is commemorated through emancipation as the first historical landmark in our celebration for freedom.”
Georgia Congressman John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement and architect of the 1963 March on Washington, in an editorial published earlier this year in the Washington Post, said, “Evidence proves there are forces in this country that willfully and intentionally trample on the voting rights of millions of Americans. That is why every president and every Congress, regardless of politics or party, has reauthorized Section 5.”
Lewis, who will be in Detroit in May at the Max M. Fisher Music Center to be honored at the 15th Annual Ford Freedom Award, spoke out as the U.S. Supreme Court was considering a challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires states with a history of voter suppression to clear with the U.S. Department of Justice before any changes to voting laws.
“The right to vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy. I risked my life defending that right. Some died in the struggle. If we are ever to actualize the true meaning of equality, effective measures such as the Voting Rights Act are still a necessary requirement of democracy,” Lewis wrote.
Lewis would later challenge the conscience of members of Congress when he read the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution during the debt limit battle, noting, “It was a moral imperative, something this nation had to do to begin to free itself from the blight of selling human beings for profit. President Lincoln and others used their power to right a moral wrong and changed the destiny of this country forever. It is one example of the best kind of contribution legislators can make to society.”
Davis, the historian, agrees and said that is the reason why recognizing Emancipation Day in the nation is important to remind tomorrow’s leaders of the challenges confronting them.
“The history of the peculiar institution of slavery is our story to hold before the world in the commemoration of emancipation and as a paradigm and testament for all who yearn to be free,” Davis said. “The commemoration of emancipation is our conscience that reminds us to never forget the pain, death, and affliction suffered by many through slavery, oppression, suppression and degradation.”
The commemoration of emancipation must become a living chronicle to teach the uniformed about our plight in the struggle for freedom, liberty, justice and equality, Davis said.
“We must keep the conscience of emancipation alive as we continue to fight the battles of disenfranchisement that were so prevalent in the 2012 election,” he said. “As noted in the election of the first African American president, Barack Obama, our struggle for freedom, liberty, justice and equality is not over. Therefore, we must be forever vigilant in fighting against the oppressive forces that want to take us back to the darks days of racial oppression.”
Cynthia Brock-Smith, secretary of the District of Columbia, underscored the importance of recognizing individuals like Hanes who “organized community programs to commemorate the lost history of Emancipation Day celebrations. Because of Mrs. Hanes’ unwavering commitment to bring back Emancipation Day, it is now a public legal holiday.”
First Lady Michelle Obama, delivering the keynote address at the 2012 Congressional Black Caucus Dinner, said the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation is an indication of the long pilgrimage that has now produced the first Black president.
“It is the story of continuous, breathtaking progress from one generation to the next. It’s the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle,” Obama said. “It’s the story of men and women who said to themselves, I might not fulfill my dreams, but if I march, if I stand strong on this bridge, if I endure another night in this jail cell, then maybe my children will fulfill their dreams, maybe my grandchildren will.”
And many now look to the Obama era as the beginning of another chapter in the African American experience and what it means for Blacks to mark emancipation with special significance.
“The commemoration of emancipation is the fuel that drives the forces for freedom struggles of all types around the country today,” Davis said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:33
Dr. Patricia Maryland Promoted to President of Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer for Ascension Health
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins
Dr. Patricia Maryland has been promoted to President of Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer for Ascension Health effective July 1st. She has over thirty years of experience in healthcare leadership and has been instrumental in ensuring the vitality of St. John Providence Health System since 2008.
Dr. Maryland’s accomplishments are expansive. In one of her more recent accomplishments, she collaborated with physician leaders to develop and new, cutting edge partnership with The Physician Alliance (TPA), a 2,200-member organization whose physician practices span five counties across Southeast Michigan. The new model, Partners in Care allows the health system and TPA physicians to successfully manage populations to better outcomes and was awarded three years of funding and support from Blue Cross Blue Shields. Furthermore, it helped to ready both St. John Providence and TPA for the changes caused by the Affordable Care Act.
“Pat’s farsighted and thoughtful approach has been instrumental to advancing Ascension Health’s Mission in Michigan and reaffirming our dedication to the region,” said Robert J. Henkel, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Health. “She has motivated her Health Ministry and other Health Ministries in Michigan to aggressively look ahead to determine how to best serve a radically changed Michigan going forward. I look forward to Pat bringing her gifts and experience to her new, broader role in service to our national ministry.”
“The Michigan Market of Ascension Health has begun leveraging our Health Ministries within the state to eliminate duplicate costs, pursue statewide contracting and develop enhanced revenue opportunities,” Dr. Maryland said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to share such successes and the lessons we’ve learned in Michigan with my colleagues across Ascension Health, and to contributing in an even more far-reaching way to our common success in serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 09:55
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