Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Curbed Detroit
As Wayne County's overbudget tab for that new downtown prison gains additional commas, the idea of simply giving up has gained some traction. Turns out, there's already an empty prison over on Mound Road owned by the state. It might—might!—make more sense to stuff the prisoners in there rather than spend $300M to build a new jail in downtown Detroit. Too bad no one had their thinking caps on two years ago, when the state offered to sell Wayne County that prison for a mere $1.5M. Live and learn, right?
The Detroit News predicts that throwing in the towel would mean demolishing the partially built prison, which--at over $100M invested so far--would make it something like the world's priciest sand castle. Adding to the hilarity, Wayne County would probably end up selling the land to Greektown Casino, the very entity they bought it from in 2011.
Even if abandoning the prison would be quite a financial loss, downtown Detroit would be the better for it. We'll have to see how this one plays out, but let's close by reflecting on the fact that Wayne County Sheriff/Mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon's fingerprints are all over this project, which has actually been scaled down from the orgy of private bathrooms and tablet computers he originally wanted it to be.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 18:17
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
Detroit's inter-faith community leaders are staking a claim in the political process that will define the next leadership of Detroit, by sponsoring a mayoral debate June 4, 6pm at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church on 5251 East Outer Drive in Detroit.
The debate will feature candidates running for mayor of Detroit including former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, State Rep Lisa Howze, State Rep Fred Durhal and Tom Barrow.
The candidates will face questions from the two moderators of the evening Mildred Gaddis, Host of "Inside Detroit" on AM1200 (Radio One) and Bankole Thompson, Editor of the Michigan Chronicle.
The role of faith in Detroit's political and economic development has been a conversation in the political world in the city as Detroit struggles to find new leadership.
Rev Tellis Chapman, Senior Pastor of New Galilee Baptist Church, and Moses, an organization of ecumenical ministers are hosting Tuesday night's debate to further enhance the role of faith and the clergy on public policy issues.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 09:50
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Jesse Jackson
Without vision, the Bible teaches, the people perish. And in Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Newark and cities across the country, the people are perishing.
Each week in Chicago, we witness more pain. Teachers are laid off and schools are closed. Transit workers are terminated and bus service is cut. Families lose their homes, and thousands remain underwater, unable to refinance mortgages greater than the worth of their home. Hospital budgets are shut, and costs go up. Summer Pell grants are cut, and students drop out into an economy with no jobs. Schools cut athletics and music and afterschool programs, and can't understand why more students drop out. Parking meters are sold off, and parking becomes unaffordable.
In the pain, we start turning on each other. Parents revolt as administrators pretend that school closings are progressive reforms. Teachers strike against schools without adequate textbooks or libraries. Banks hound homeowners to collect on subprime loans that were peddled fraudulently by agents who targeted African Americans and Latinos for higher rates. The cities head into a hot summer with more unemployed youth, fewer summer programs, fewer jobs programs, less hope and more dope.
The supposed recovery hasn't reached the people. The new jobs offer less pay, less security and fewer benefits than the ones that were lost. African-American families lost nearly a third of their wealth between 2007 and 2010. (Hispanic families lost more than 40 percent). A fragile middle class has been devastated. Investors and corporate CEOs clean up. The top 1 percent have captured all of the income growth over the first two years coming out of the recession and then some.
We cannot cut our way to a prosperous economy or a healthy city. We can't cut our way to good schools, safe streets or affordable health care. We have to find another way.
In Washington, investigations reveal how Apple and other corporations transfer billions abroad to avoid paying taxes. Apple's CEO says this is all at least arguably legal. What he doesn't say is that the companies spend millions on lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the rules. We don't have that power. We must see our way through -- and mobilize people to act.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sparring with teachers, transit workers, parents, students, the young and the old. If the city doesn't blow, some say he might profit politically by looking tough. But that won't revive the city. No one will gain or profit morally by looking tough.
It would be wise if President Barack Obama and Emanuel convened a summit to create a prototype for urban policy. A meeting of stakeholders and key leaders from HUD, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The aim would be to put forth a vision of what must be done, a plan for how to do it, and a budget that lays out the costs. We should make this a model for cities across the country.
The summit should assess the assets of Chicago -- not simply our budget and tax base, but also public pension funds, what the government, hospitals and universities buy, and how we can use that money to anchor our economy -- and put people to work. It should lay out what we expect from the state and the federal government -- and what it will cost to rebuild the public sinews of our economy -- from schools to public transit to hospitals to training. It should pave the way for robust urban development.
It's time for vision, for a plan, for some hope. Let's have the summit before the city explodes, not after.
Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 11:29
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony
Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevin Orr was doing all right until he obviously, to some, “stepped
outta line.” Talking about a Pandora’s Box being opened, here is one. If ever there was a case of
political hypocrisy and blatant demagoguery, it is in the State of Michigan by those who originally
cheered for and legislated into action Michigan’s new misguided Emergency Manager Law.
As cries of, “how dare you even consider selling our art” are loudly heard throughout the state, with
threats of no new art for Detroit in the air, it’s now on and popping. The behavior, and verbal (dare I
say it protests), of many ought to at least be consistent with those who have declared the unfairness
of this process from day one.
The great French writer of “Democracy in America,” Alexis de Tocqueville must be leaping in his
grave. As he said years ago, “The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic
paint but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through.”
Everyone heard Kevin Orr and Governor Rick Snyder (the real Emergency Manager) both declare that
everything was on the table in order to bring the City of Detroit back to financial stability. No they
didn’t just say cutting workers’ salaries, health care, pension benefits, police and fire, or selling Belle
Isle and the Water Department. In my neighborhood “everythang means everythang.”
Randy Richardville, Republican leader from Monroe, the great champion of Emergency Managers,
who pushed hard for an Emergency Manager for the city of Detroit and helped to craft the
Emergency Manager Law, now has a major problem. His problem lies in the fact that the Emergency
Manager has said that everything must be on the table. Even Picasso, Renoir, Van Gogh, Rembrandt
and all the other fellas and ladies on the walls of the DIA. Mr. Richardville has now introduced an
amendment requiring art museums to follow the standards of public trusts governing museums
such as the DIA.
This was done faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than 2.3 million Michiganders who said
no, and he was able to leap over democracy in a single night. Richardville even said at the recent
Mackinaw Conference, “We can’t let somebody take our best stuff away.” Lord have mercy! As the
saying goes, everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die--hmmm.
It’s all right to take the Water Department. It’s all right to take Belle Isle. It’s all right to take our
voting rights. It’s all right to damn the people but at the same time long live Picasso! I like good art
just like everyone else. As a matter of fact, I supported the recent millage along with the members
of my church and the people throughout Wayne County. We believe in protecting the jewels of
Detroit. Yet we also believe in protecting the rights of the people, preserving families, creating jobs
and ensuring our right to vote for our own elected officials.
I’m told that the high talk at Mackinaw Island wasn’t on the subject of who would be the next Mayor
of the City of Detroit or the educational achievements of the students in the Detroit Public School
System, rather it was on keep your hands off of our art. This does not sound very much like shared
sacrifice to me. It does not sound like everyone is at the same table to me. Why must the pain and
the sacrifice always be made by the poor and those not wealthy enough to impact and influence
those political leaders who have the authority to make laws governing their lives?
Many of the same people who were high-fiving when Kevin Orr was brought into Detroit by the
Governor and Andy Dillon are now turning a thumbs down on his work. This has a potential to
create one of the most visible and wide spread divisions within our community. It is a visible
indication of those who are not concerned about the creation of two communities. Those
communities are one of the haves and the have-nots. Many will say that they are already here.
At this kind of political chicanery and hypocrisy, selectivity does nothing but widen the breach of
race, class, and culture. It is an example of an arbitrariness and capriciousness of intent on the part
of those who put art over people, material things over spiritual values, and culture over civility. This
does not mean that I do not support the arts. My home and my church are both filled with
representations of cultures and art from more than one source. But I am not willing to declare that
in a war of economic survival, art on the wall and animals in the zoo must be preserved. Certainly
not at the expense of the Water Department and the iconic family area of relaxation and celebration
known as Belle Isle. Surely Michigan can do better than this. This is why we must look to real
alternatives to stabilize our economy, bring in new revenue, and to draw in new citizens to our city.
As the cloud of bankruptcy hangs over the head of the City of Detroit, let us realize that every time
we announce these kinds of measures, people who would contribute to Michigan pull back.
When an Emergency Manager was first appointed for the City the word was who would want to invest
in the City of Detroit now? Well guess what? As the potential for the selling of art in the DIA was
announced, the word is who would want to donate their art work to the DIA now?
Shades of Marie Antoinette, to whom many attribute the infamous words, “Let them eat cake!‘
Perhaps she has come back now to sit on the throne here in the State of Michigan.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 08:04
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Have you ever heard of Scleroderma? If you are a black woman of childbearing age, you need to find out. According to the Scleroderma Foundation, African-Americans in that group are 15 times more likely to contract the disease than Caucasians. The disease occurs when a person's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy tissue in the body.
The month of June is Scleroderma Awareness Month. Here in Detroit, one group hopes to bring attention to the disease, it’s symptoms and affects on the body. The Miss Lu Foundation, established by Lu Brooks, is sponsoring Ladies Let’s Live!, a “Beauty Breakfast and Fashion Show” on Saturday, June 1 to benefit the Scleroderma Foundation of Michigan.
There are two forms of the disease, localized and systematic. Localized affects only the skin. The systematic form can affect any part of the body (skin, muscles, blood vessels and internal organs).
In the United States alone, an estimated 300,000 people suffer from the disease. Of that number, experts say a good percentage, one-third of those affected by the systematic form, are African-American.
“I was extremely tired in the early nineties and noticed spots on my fingers, but no doctor could tell me what it all stemmed from,” says Miss Lu, hostess of the Ladies Let’s Live event. After being misdiagnosed several times, the culprit was finally identified. I wasn’t diagnosed with Scleroderma until 2008, after I was asked to see a rheumatologist,” added Miss Lu.
The June 1 event, taking place at Burton Manor in Livonia, will bring together women from all walks of life. The goal is provide an environment where they can learn, get and give support, enjoy national speakers and celebrate all aspects of beauty, confidence, generosity and perseverance that makes women beautiful.
Harriet Goodall, a senior citizen who lives in Detroit, was diagnosed in 1999 and was only given five years to live at the time. Today, she lives with the disease and has hopes research and awareness will lead to a solution for sufferers. “I just want to live to see a cure,” she says.
Since the disease can potentially affect internal organs, there is a risk of mortality with the Systematic form of the disease. The good news is that with advances in diagnosis and treatment, those affected can potentially live as long as someone without the disease.
When asked why she decided to put on this event, Miss Lu said, “Everybody I talked to had never heard about this disease, so I want people to be aware of it so at least it would be known.”
Ladies Let’s Live includes health and fitness tips, beauty bags and prizes. Also, nationally-known speakers and entertainers including saxophonist Yancyy, Oprah Winfrey Popstar winner LaShell Renee, former Miss USA winner, Carole Gist, and national speaker and author, Kim Brooks, are scheduled to be there to uplift and encourage those that attend.
Ladies Let’s Live! Beauty Breakfast and Fashion Show is taking place on Saturday, June 1 from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM at Burton Manor, 27777 Schoolcraft Rd, Livonia, MI 48150. Tickets for the fund-raising event are available at Baker’s Bible and Bookstore, 10200 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48204 or Truth Bookstore inside Northland mall or online at http://www.beautybreakfast.eventbrite.com Call 1-313-757-0345 for more info.
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 15:56
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!