One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Media roundup: Good, bad and ugly

Here's the good. It's an interesting essay from the Web site Sharable by Aaron M. Renn, an urban strategist, about the city and its potential.

Whether (trends like urban farming and artist colonies) really pumps life back into Detroit remains to be seen. But it has done one essential thing: it has created an aspirational narrative of success in Detroit that other Americans might imagine themselves being a part of. If that starts to attract people in sufficient numbers to reverse core city population decline, Detroit could be at the start of the long road back.

Whether that road leads anywhere depends on whether the region musters the courage to pair that renewed core vitality with a commitment to investing precious dollars in the core instead of making it even easier to live even further away.

Here's the bad. Its a well-written essay in the Wall Street Journal by Reason Foundation senior analyst Shikha Dalmia, who frequently writes about the city. She lives here in the suburbs of Detroit. It is about whether Dave Bing, our new mayor, can save Detroit from bankruptcy or worse. This is my favorite section:

Detroit now more closely resembles a frontier town that needs not flashy stadiums and art institutes but basic services: police, firemen and good schools. Mr. Bing needs to confront the hard reality that the city needs to pare back its liabilities, identify infrastructure it can no longer afford to maintain, and (though this is anathema to Detroit's political class) perhaps auction off portions of its 140 square miles to neighboring counties, shrinking to a size that its diminished population base can support.

Here's the ugly. Nice slap at Detroit. Really, we know we're a punchline for jokes. This one, by the Arizona Zany Press, is particularly weak. I have emailed the paper, which is part of what seems to be a legitimate news orgization, to see if they want to explain why they think this is funny. Its title is: "Entire City of Detroit to be Auctioned Off – Sold to ‘Highest' Bidder." Har har.

The highest bidder will get his chance to walk off with a city of broken dreams next month. Detroit, once lauded as the epitome of futuristic cities, will be sold off in an absolute auction next month and sold to the highest bidder.

“The city is a shambles,” said acting mayor Dave Bing. “I don't know how high you're gonna have to be to buy this city, but pretty damn high, I imagine,” he continued.

Just how high the buyer will have to be to buy a city with unemployment hovering at around 28 percent and the median home price stuck at below $10,000 is anyone's guess. Economists predict the person or group who emerges as the winning bidder will likely be just south of cloud nine.

Detroit once boasted a population of over 1.8 million. The latest census information pegs the city's current population at less than 900,000 people.

“Hopefully the city sells for at least a reasonable amount, and we hope the bid is as high as the bidder when it all closes,” said one city official.

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  • 1

    Isn't the WSJ article essentially the same thing as the "ugly" article? (Well, maybe not the SAME thing). I'm all for "right-sizing" Detroit, but I don't think auctioning off parts of the city to neighboring counties is a viable solution. To me, shrinking Detroit has less to do with getting rid of land, and more to do with eliminating blighted neighborhoods and combining the populations into smaller, more effective neighborhoods. It's cheaper to pick up garbage and provide police to a viable neighborhood, rather than a few houses spread over a large area.

  • 2

    Most here would probably keel over from shock the day the Wall Street Journal writes a positive article about Detroit,

  • 3

    I have major reservations about the nature and quality of the outcome of elections in this region and in Detroit. Voter turnout was disappointing even in suburban elections. In the city we now have an all Black city council. This lack of diversity cannot be viewed as progressive.

    A financially challenged gay candidate who has never confronted homophobia in many Black religious venues was elected this disappoints on so many levels. The passage of an educational funding proposal which continues to dump money into a failed school district is not a progressive development it echoes a theme of desperation and a misguided belief that educational outcomes are about money and not fundamentally driven educational agendas.

    Fact is over 85% of the electorate in the city did not elect or approved of these new public officials. Educational progress is never the result of spending money. When the last vote was cast has our region really improved?

    Why would anyone pay attention to the fiction, disinformation and market driven noise from media types both in and outside the city and this region.

    The media in our city and region has never been diverse with regard to staffing and content of coverage..The usual soundbites and data are often cited and more importantly none of the media in this region even the so-called progressive rags like the Metro Times really published materials which take the reader to new elevated and progressive places. Even so called cutting edge Inclusive web sites like Detroit Yes offer nothing but cult musings..

    No at end of day the media here in this region and the city reflect the decay, stale, killjoy aura of the nation. A country in a spiral meltdown unable to inspire it's self..A nation incapable of collective evolution and collective bliss...

    • 3.1

      It's a little early to be trashing newly elected officials, don't you think?

      As far as voter turnout, there is an inherent problem with those numbers due to the process required to remove no longer eligible voters from the roll. This leaves the rolls larger than they actually should be thus artificially lowering the turnout percentage.

  • 4

    I recently wrote this to my brother, a currently unemployed architect in the Chicago area:

    Detroit has the potential to take it as an opportunity to rebuild in very different creative ways -- Detroit needs to stop trying to get back to what it was -- that didn't work. The corporations got Detroit into the mess they are in -- including when things got rough, they bailed out and left the workers behind to suffer and too bad. To try to rebuild by trying to entice corporations back to the city is just stupid and not learning from your mistakes. They should be looking for an entirely different model, and if they make it work, then they become the pioneers for a better life and a better world. My view is to go small, local, barter, self-sufficient, sustainable -- put the unemployed to work growing food on empty lots to feed people in the neighborhood, or building furniture, fixing furnaces and windows and plumbing, repairing streets, making abandoned homes livable -- creating things which are needed, instead of all these stupid manufacturing jobs to make plastic crap people don't need to clutter their homes and heap up landfills. With great expanses of vacant land, an architect with a vision could come in and create a space that was more people-friendly, more community-friendly, a happy, healthy sustainable, self-supporting place to live and work. The goal would be NOT to draw more people to live there, but to make a healthy and viable life for those who live there already. There's a real potential in Detroit for something new, exciting and much better than any other major city in the country, but it would take guts and charisma for a leader to move people away from what they know, even after it is dead -- like kittens clustered around the corpse of a dead mama cat. They need to move on and support themselves -- or slowly starve to death. needs a person with a vision, the ability to articulate it, and the charisma to be the kind of leader others will follow. The whole point is to NOT have corporate dollars flowing into the project with all their ugly strings attached, but to start small and build on a base of productivity of many small individuals -- but all moving in the same direction. I'm sure it would take some capital along the way -- but with the right person leading, it could get off the ground on very little cash and a lot of coordinated personal effort.

    But that's just my opinion.

  • 5

    No amount of money or redevelopment is ever going to work until the residents of Detroit take responsibility for their actions and move on from their self-destructive culture. All outside funds should be cut off and then let the people there fend for themselves, without welfare and entitlements. No more pity; let them get out and work and make it in the real world. Nearly every other group as a whole has made it in the US, let the urban inner city dwellers pick themselves up and make it, as well.
    The WSJ article wants to blame unions. The unions are a different issue. The welfare class didn't want jobs when there were jobs here 30 years ago. Why do we always pay for their unwillingness to do anything more than make babies, be fathers who abandon their babies, deal drugs, and fill the prisons?
    Anyone who has been on welfare and AFDC for more than 1 generation should be excluded from these statistics, and put in a special category of those who are just plain lazy and incorrigible.
    See the movie "Precious" and you will have an idea of the millions of people, such as her mother in her movie, who suck off of my 45% of income that goes to taxes.

    • 5.1

      Yes, we already know. You hate welfare recipients. You've expressed it repeatedly as if it's your mantra. For me that is now your identity: "grewupindetroit" = hates welfare, most likely racist and misogynist in general

  • 6

    No I don't hate women and whites. I just think that all of these editorials and pundits miss the real story of Detroit over the past 40 years, which is the welfare class sucking off the rest of us, assuming that the other posters here work and are not on welfare.

    I work with these people every day, and it is very bad. No one addresses it, as then they get called "racist and misogynist." You have proved my point. That is why this is tolerated. If I were a politician attempting to really address this, then self-righteous people such as above would begin to name -call. And I will continue to make these points until they are addressed. Until then, I continue to pay outrageous taxes to support teen moms getting bonuses for babies. Not where I want my $$$$$$$$ to be going!

    • 6.1

      If you truky do work with "these people" every day I hope your supervisor recognizes your bad attitude and either transfers you or terminates your employment altogether. You are definitely in the wrong position.

    • 6.2

      truky = truly

  • 7

    Actually I am the best worker for this population, because I don't accept that this is the best they can do. Unlike the politicians, who are afraid to lose votes by speaking the truth about this system.

    Obama almost did something, but he backed down. or maybe he never really understood, since he had such a middle class upbringing.

    And it's easier to union bash than take on the real issues of Detroit. The unions aren't perfect, but at least the members pay taxes. Their tax base going down is going to squeeze the welfare system, but it will be preserved at the expense of services such as police and firefighters.

    • 7.1

      Yes - at the expense of Public Safety (Police/Fire), Amenable Habitat (Fresh Parks, Clean Streets), and Good Schools..

      Too much wasted investment in failed policies and people - despite billions spent, it simply is just never quite enough, and never has positive results....

      Detroit needs to realign and reprioritize allocation of its meager resources to things that work - or are more/most likely to... Charity has become all to consuming and all too much an expectation - to the detriment to the body whole...

    • 7.2

      Welfare systems and police and firefighters are funded from different sources, but of course don't let that fact get in your way at all.

    • 7.3


      No one is concerned with SOURCES... rather I am speaking of CHOICES...!!

      X dollars, Y opportunities - how/what/why do you choose...?? WISELY!

  • 8

    It is never to early to question public officals or to demand from them whatever is critical in the marketplace...Detroit now has an all Black city council with a basket full of retreads and shallow political credentials at best. There is nothing progressive about a city with a diverse population has a segregated city council.

    From my perspective perhaps it is go that cities out live thier functional value and purpose....The city matured and now is in the stage of decline. This region needs to create new goverance paradigms not recharge a old and obsolete vessel . I am tired of the narrative which depends so much from it's residents who have such little assets.

    I argue that people need to abandon lethal and toxic venues in order to develop and live in a orbit which values them and does not penalize them. Detroit long ago lost its luster deservingly so...

    • 8.1

      Living in a world of postulates and theories will not do you well.

      Consider Detroiters the national cockroaches if you want to but, despite everything thrown this way, Detroit is still here and will remain.

      Study history. River cities survive.

    • 8.2

      Yes indeed Anounceoifactio...River Cities do survive - as has Detroit...but survived as What???? ... Unlike Chicago as heralded in song, its definately "Not My Kinda Town..."

      Yes - Detroit survives -,but as a metaphor for failed political policies (Coleman Young and the 'Get Whitey' philosophy), prioritization policies (let's close the Belle Island aquarium, cut Public Safety expenditures, and continue to increase support for the things/persons/programs that make no contribution to success - and actually siphon funds that might help) as a bad reminder of what NOT to do .....

      Detroit as a beacon and center of urban greatness..Could'a, Should'a, Would'a - but Didn't, and Wasn't...and most likely Won't/// Really too bad..

    • 8.3

      Ah, perhaps that's it...Detroit exists so that others can turn blind eyes to the problems in their own cities. Is that why Oprah sent Anderson Cooper to Detroit to interview those living under the overpass when she did her special show on poverty and homelessness? I wondered why she didn't just go down to the Loop or out to the seminary on the "Magnificent Mile" where some of Chicago's homeless bed down on warm summer nights. Those wide store window ledges apparently make great bunk space. Or perhaps even the might O was afraid of incurring the wrath of the Daly machine by soiling in the city's own yard??

      Continue along with your blinders on if you wish to. We at least acknowledge, discuss, and work within our reality.

    • 8.4

      That's pretty much what I've been saying, gthrasher -- trying to get back to the past (which failed miserably) is NOT a good idea -- turn faces to a new and different future. No other major city in America has the opportunity Detroit has -- with so much just plain wiped out, you all have a chance to start over fresh with a clean slate, LEARN from mistakes, put the past -- good and bad -- behind you and be something new, different, better -- a model for future cities totally unlike the cities of the past.

    • 8.5

      Aaah, the evergreen promises of 'the future'. Human and Mother Nature be damned.

      There are reasons things happen the way they do and certain states of being are returned to time and again. Empires rise and empires fall.

      Heaven forbid that lowly Detroit tells the Emperors in the East that they have no clothes.

    • 8.6

      You're going to have to explain that poetic but enigmatic post, anounceofaction -- what's your point?

      No argument that human nature is undoubtedly the biggest impediment to our own happiness and success, both as individuals and as communities, societies, nations and as a whole. Nonetheless, it is also our nature to strive and keep trying. Certainly it is a better plan to work for an improved future than to pine away after a lost past.

      I said nothing against Mother Nature, quite the contrary, so that comment must have been directed at someone else?

      Empires rise and empires fall, and eventually they rise again -- sometimes with new features, but perhaps with some flaw which, even as it carries us to the top, contains the seed of our next fall.

      Detroit is in the "fall" stage, and time to turn minds to building the next rise. Take it as an opportunity -- aside from coastal cities wiped out by storm and flood, seldom does a location have such a chance to start over, and, unlike New Orleans where they just keep doing the same thing that doesn't work over and over, Detroit has a chance to reflect on the past and the things that do NOT work and try to avoid them as much as possible in plans for a new future.

      Your reference to the "Emperors in the East" is unclear. If it refers to the corporate system which was a major player in putting Detroit where it is today -- then, bravo, yes, and I would be one of the first to urge Detroit on to call the lack of clothing what it is. If it is a reference to my currently living in the Eastern United States and some kind of criticism of my posts -- I don't follow at all. If it is a reference to the way this country has sold its sovereignty to China for loans to the point that the Chinese can dictate our domestic policy to a frightening degree -- there's another calling-out I would support. Maybe it is a reference to the politicians in Washington, D.C.? I really can't say -- you weren't clear at all.

  • 9

    Actually both postulates and theories have served me quite well in fact in this thread I find my comments defeating your anger..

    Interesting how you felt the need to define and call Detroiters "cockroaches" folks in the city are under siege and reeling under the reality of decay and depravity..

    Defensive posturing serves nothing but a low self esteem hunger.. Please step up your analysis and threaten me with logic and principled reasoning not venom and nonsense

    • 9.1

      A call to logic and principled reasoning is the refuge of idiots who don't know how to survive in the real world.

  • 10

    The real world is full of logic and principled people who reason and survive as well...Only idiots refer to those they claim to support as 'cockroaches'...

    Again threaten me with substance or remain a impotent blogger lost at sea.. I dominate chatter rooms and I dispose of shallow posters at ease..Either step up or step away or get stepped on by my superior talents in this format..

    I come here to interact with hopes of being elevated..I do not suffer fools lightly...

  • 11

    Cockroaches are among the ultimate survivors, predating dinosaurs by at least 55 millions years...but I guess in all your infinite wisdom you knew that, eh?

  • 12

    Not about blinders anouncefactio - rather its really all about VISION - periphial and straight forward...

    And working within your reality is exactly what is NOT happening - rather you are only wishing within it. Working requires strategies and tactics - not wishing and railing !!!!!

    PS: Why do you sound so ...well... ANGRY?

  • 13

    I could less about the narrative of cockroaches..I leave that zizzle stuff for you to get your ego fix....Now can we discuss substance or must I continue to be bored with your angst??

    Please bring the anger but couple it with some value.. I like a good battle if it moves the pieces of course..

    To be continued...

  • 14

    Besides the usual observations that Detroit has gone downhill during the past 40 years (which is obvious and doesn't require all of this banter or TIME journalists to write) none of you have offered any solutions beyond farming the land. Also, the WSJ op-ed did not have solutions. Selling off pieces of Detroit as they suggested is absurd, because there is more than enough better, more usable land outside of Detroit that no one can afford to develop now anyhow.
    Lots of journalists are getting mileage off of Detroit with no solutions, and ditto for commenters. The closest I've seen to a solution is to start farming Detroit land, but I can't see the people who can't even take care of their lawns doing this en masse.
    So, Karen Dybis: give us 10 solid suggestions for making Detroit a viable place to live and work, and earn your big TIME mag salary today!

    • 14.1

      There you go, grewup, proving your own point about everyone wanting something without putting any of the work in. Come up with 10 of YOUR OWN solutions. Help YOURSELF. Don't EXPECT Time bloggers to save YOU.


  • 15

    Karen Dybis is a reporter, not a politician running for office claiming to have solutions. She can report on stories as she sees them and stimulate ideas, but it's hardly fair to expect her to have "solid suggestions for making Detroit a viable place to live and work."

    Likewise, Time is a news organization, not a think tank for solving the world's problems. They can set up a project which may engage people in conversation and in so doing, create a dynamic ideas space in which possible solutions may be formed. But again, it's not really a sensible criticism to throw at either of them that they are somehow not doing their jobs because they are "only" reporting and don't have solutions.

    I had a rough idea and I posted it here a couple different ways -- but I am not a charismatic leader with the articulation of a plan nor the necessary leadership skills to inspire people to follow, if that plan is indeed the right one.

    It sounds like you are waiting for the magic recovery fairy to come down from the sky and present you not only with a viable plan, but all the means to make it happen and anything less is falling short and unworthy. Your expectations are unrealistic, unfair and stifling.

    People need to be able to throw ideas out on the table, to kick them around, to try them out, to like some bits and hate others, to accept, reject, and think about it some more for later -- without fear of being ridiculed or put down for trying. Brainstorming is a first step towards finding a solution.

    To the best of my knowledge, no one here is a politician on whose shoulders officially rests the responsibility for leading and finding solutions. Everyone here is an interested party, in all kinds of varying degrees, some with ideas, some only with a lens of interest through which to view the ideas of others. Let the space breathe. Give it some room to grow, take tottering steps and either move ahead or fall by the wayside. But don't set the bar inappropriately for the roles of the participants. Reporters report. News organizations shed light on news. It's up to the people and the politicians we elect to come up with solutions, and here is one space where such plans may germinate.

  • 16

    I expected more of these TIME reporters than just collating op-eds from 3 newspapers. Reporters nowadays frequently offer opinions. Even in the local papers here, the Free Press and The Detroit News, there are op-eds, editorials and investigative reporting.
    This blog then is just meant to regurgitate the obvious by the TIME reporters and commenters? That Detroit has problems, along with every other large urban area? That's news?
    I stopped reading TIME many years ago, as it seemed so superficial, when I was then a college student. Guess it hasn't changed! Just a lot of nonconsequential reporting, with no real thought or analysis? Funny, there ARE publications that report AND analyze. Guess not TIME, according to the above?

  • 17

    I am not a Time reporter, and I have yet to see their mission statement -- have asked and am still waiting -- so I can't speak for what the blog is meant to do.

    I would not argue if you were asking for news plus analysis -- that would be great. But your previous post was asking for solutions -- which wasn't reasonable to ask of journalists.

    I hadn't picked up a Time magazine in years when I saw the Detroit issue at the doctor's office -- that's what brought me here.

    So, let's ask again -- how about that mission statement? And as you journalists go looking for stuff to post on the next day's blog entry, think about a little analysis in addition to the reporting.

  • 18

    The recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, referenced above, does make a stab at solutions, as do many op-eds. I think it is just semantics to differentiate news + analysis from presenting solutions. The "solutions" in the WSJ article were such things as Detroit going bankrupt or selling off land. The writer obviously is not well-informed if he thinks Oakland County wants to buy parts of Detroit (with the exception maybe of some downtown land for a Pistons venue.)
    This is what I mean: so many "reporters" get so much mileage off of Detroit without any ANALYSIS or the OFFERING OF REAL SUGGESTIONS, SOLUTIONS, ETC ETC ETC (whatever you want to call it) or even showing that they have more than the same superficial viewpoints that have been published for the past 40 years. This is the disappointment with the TIME blog. Just the same old ____! But what should we expect from reporters, as it is a dying art form, anyhow.

  • 19

    The ability to communicate in general is a dying art form, even as the mediums for doing so are rapidly expanding. Ironic, isn't it?

  • 20

    That is very true, karinwikoff. The anonymous nature of the Internet has something to do with it.

    I still wish that this TIME Detroit blog had more substance.

    Maybe there just is no solution for Detroit, and it will just be a giant hole to suck up government money indefinitely, so the various levels of government will just have to factor this into their budgets.

  • 21

    Maybe a little -- but I think it's more speed and ubiquity of telecommunication devices than anonymity -- that and the dumbing down of the general public -- most people I meet can't really think deeply enough to understand more than a superficial sound byte's worth of info at a time. Since the real world is very deep and complex, it makes them easy to lead, like sheep -- all the while denying the importance of spelling, grammar and communication skills. Sorry -- just my little soapbox. :-(

  • 22

    This is the film that says it all. My fear is that the government soon is going to run out of enough taxpayers to support the Idiocracy. My taxes are going to go up again under Obama. I am certain that more industry will leave the US due to regulations and taxes. Eventually the shrinking tax base will make even more services impossible to maintain. I have no solutions, as entitlements seem to be a bottomless pit in the face of the shrinking tax base of workers in the US. The current Congress throwing trillions of dollars into government services without really creating long-term jobs is not the solution, but it is way too late to reduce the deficit now. I have seen no good solutions except to ignore it all and smell the flowers!

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    Idiocracy is a 2006 comedic film, directed by Mike Judge and starring Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph.

    The film tells the story of two ordinary people who are taken into a top-secret military hibernation experiment that goes awry, and awaken 500 years in the future. They discover that the world has degenerated into a dystopia where advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly stupid human society devoid of individual responsibility or consequences.

    Despite its lack of a major theatrical release, the film has achieved a cult following.[1]

    Directed by Mike Judge
    Produced by Mike Judge
    Elysa Koplovitz
    Michael Nelson
    Written by Mike Judge
    Etan Cohen
    Narrated by Earl Mann
    Starring Luke Wilson
    Maya Rudolph
    Dax Shepard
    Music by Theodore Shapiro
    Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
    Editing by David Rennie
    Distributed by 20th Century Fox
    Release date(s) September 1, 2006 (2006-09-01)
    Running time 84 minutes
    Country United States
    Language English
    Budget $2-4 million
    Gross revenue $444,000 (Domestic)

  • 23

    I will never pay attention to grammar, syntax, in a chat forum...Form means nothin substance rules for me..

    • 23.1

      You're coming across OK so far -- in fact, I haven't seen any of the terrible communication skills here I have seen elsewhere online -- but when people's spelling and grammar are really bad, the content gets lost -- what's the point of even spending any time at all writing something up if people can't understand your point because your communication skills are so poor?

      I can't tell you how many times I have been forced to go back and re-read a post several times (which I'll only do if I am interested in the topic -- if it's too much work and I'm not that interested, I just ignore the person) -- and STILL not be able to make out their point due to excriciatingly bad grammar, spelling and total lack of ability to communicate -- because the writer figured it didn't matter online.

    • 23.2

      "excriciatingly" = "excruciatingly" -- that's a typo, not a lack of spelling skills.

      Anyone who is a professional writer -- journalist, editor, author, newscaster, etc -- should have good grammar, spelling and punctuation as absolute job requirements. For one thing, they are legal liabilities if they miscommunicate news, and for another, they are the models for everyone else.

      A reporter who can't write proper English should be ashamed and embarrassed, as should the editor who doesn't catch the reporter's errors.

      I wince at those substitutions, like "breaks" for "brakes" -- but at least you can make out the meaning (most of the time!) But so many times I have seen writings which reflect a mind so disordered that the person can't string together words, much less ideas, in any logical order that anyone else could understand. Words are flowing out of one person, but no communication is occurring -- and those will be the first people to get all huffy and snap back rudely when others ask them -- What the heck do you mean?

      What's in your head, is in your head until you can find means to get those ideas across to another person. If you do not take time to learn and use the standard language that all English speakers can understand, those ideas will be trapped inside your head and you will be cut off from connecting with other people.

      Language is a tool for the wonderful gift of communication, which if too badly abused and neglected, loses its function.

      Communication will never be irrelevant, grewupindetroit, no matter how many people say so, think so, behave as if it were so.

  • 24

    The problem with that is that the substance is difficult to understand when there are words missing or misspelled. But then maybe a point is not so exact that the meaning matters.

    I do often wonder if the population I work with, which very often has "nontraditional grammar", will find it an impediment, or if that kind of thing will soon be irrelevant.

    For instance, an article yesterday about cars written in a major newspaper with the word "breaks" substituted for "brakes." The author's name placed her in a group that is often not very educated, ie usually very poor HS graduation rates. There were several other grammatical errors, but the word substitution was very pronounced.

    Does it matter that this journalist doesn't know the right words, or is it more important that she has a job? So someone who studied more spelling and grammar does not have that job. Where is the value of education? There are so many out-of-work journalists, how did this one qualify? Obviously not by her writing skills, which may now be irrelevant vs finding her some employment.

  • 25

    ..Hey.., wait a sec'...My 23 old duaghter recently "hitched" completely across US 1 and 1/2 times. Occasionally Her GROUP (while I didn't like anything THEY wwere doing !) ate out of dumpsters and did Odd jobs(very odd!) to feed and make fuel. From Detroit to L.A. , then all the way to N.Y.C., and every park and Major City in between! I mean the thousands of Drug addicts all over LA AND CA. thru Chicago, Portland, Seattle To NYC. BY FAR...BY FAR THE WORST CITies she FOUND WERE #3 LA, #2 Chicago, and the 'final envelpoe, please!' New York City!! Isn't that the place so F----d up , WALL STREET totally Raped THE , What Republicans like to call, ..' the free marketplace...' and STOLE more Trillions from investors AND US Taxpayerrs AND STILL are DOING IT , AGAIN!? More Hardcore-AIDs addicted , meth. messed up , homeless, than anywhere else on the Planet!? WALL STREET JOURNAL, hey?... You GO Journal!..

  • 26

    I look to the west
    I look to the east
    I think,
    "The sea levels can't begin to rise fast enough."

  • 27

    [...] imploding into the decaying husk it is today. Things like this article and the reports from the “D Shack” seem edgy at best, as if journalists have been embedded in a war zone, and as the butt of a joke at [...]

  • 28

    [...] American frontier was featured by the New York Times as a must read Idea of the Day. It was also featured at Time (actually, featured twice). This attracted the notice of the Detroit News and [...]

  • 29

    See that's one of the points that I've been trying to make: if these TIME reporters want to act as if they are embedded in a war zone, then they need to be living where the "folks" are, i.e. somewhere off Woodward in the war zone. Or the parts of east Detroit where the real action is. Not cushy Indian Village, which has its share of problems,( with private security guards), but not as much violent crime as other parts. If they want to laud the urban pioneers who are going to save Detroit living in $100 houses, then let them go where the action is, and give us a real taste of the new vision of Detroit.
    A $100 house says they are too yellow-bellied to do it!
    Otherwise, the assignment loses its edge.

    • 29.1

      1. They aren't in Indian Village
      2. You obviously aren't familiar with the nature of the $100 houses
      3. Based on your posts I'm not convinced you are local or know the area as it is now as well as you pretend to.

      4. "$100 houses"; "urban pioneers"; DRINK!

  • 30

    anounceofaction: If you read the recent TIME blog entitled "the new geography" which I believe you responded to in the comments as listing some history from the 1920s, which you and Darrell deemed relevant to the 21st century, there is a link to an article that Mssr. Darrell was pontificating about. In it, there was the following quote:

    "Toby Barlow wrote in the New York Times about out of towners buying up $100 houses, moving to Detroit, and doing all sorts of interesting things with them:

    Recently, at a dinner party, a friend mentioned that he'd never seen so many outsiders moving into town…Two other guests that night, a couple in from Chicago, had also just invested in some Detroit real estate. That weekend Jon and Sara Brumit bought a house for $100."

    You may want to actually read more thoroughly the references that you comment on.

    I thought this group of TIME "journalists" were in Indian Village. Could you please reference then their location? Did they move to Highland Park? That would be a start in the right direction.

    As to who knows what, I will not comment on the validity of other posters, just wish they would actually be more thorough before they jump impulsively onto another.

    • 30.1

      You have to reference the NY Times about $100 houses, eh? The $100 houses are not liveable as is. Most have been stripped. You really think Time is going to move working journalists into a house like that (not that they legally could since many of those houses can't get certificates of occupancy without substantial repair first)?

      The Time shack is in West Village, not Indian Village.

      And, as for Highland Park - a relative (a white man, no less!) lived in Highland Park for 67 years and was never a victim of violent crime. Despite being a traveling salesman, out of town for extended periods, his house was broken into twice over the years but each time he lost little more than his tv set. He was never a victim of violent crime and never had a car stolen or broken into.

      Thanks for confirming that, while you might have grown up here, you currently aren't in touch.

  • 31

    The "West Village" is adjacent to "Indian Village" and doesn't seem to have physical or social barriers.

    Crime stats for Highland Park are quite bad: crime index = 1371.2 (higher means more crime, US average = 328.1)
    But if you consider this acceptable, so be it.

    As to my location, I spend most days with the people of Detroit, knowing a lot about their lives, goals, hopes and dreams. It is very revealing, fairly shocking and not easily fixable.

    I personally don't think farming is going to solve the problems of Detroit, but hey, if you want to pick up a hoe, go ahead!

    I do not actually care where you or anyone else on the Internet lives or where they are from, I just take blogs for what they are.

    The $100 homes are very stripped down, but the image of the urban pioneers restoring them is beautiful. The NY Times article implies that this is a movement. Glory be to them and their garden plots!!!! Maybe we'll get some more organic bakeries in Detroit. The last time I went to one, there were mouse dropping in the package (true). Hopefully the others are cleaner.

  • 32

    Alas Walgreens I refuse to shut up.

    Local television here in Detroit are pooh-poohing around their sponsors and, when there is any REAL breaking news about human suffering or financial devastation caused by a major retailer like Walgreens everyone plays hush... Geeze I wonder why? Case and point everyone a word to the wise when you're a victim of retail fraud at Walgreens...Read and observe.

    Here in Oak Park, MI I had my credit card stolen and the perp wiped out my life savings of which there was a charge for $272.49, 5.05pm,10-31-09 and another attempt for $400 11-01-09 at 8.36am. Walgreeens has a 'swipe & go' system. According to Paul Bernicchi, District Manager when asked, "It is not corporate policy to train cashiers to validate the card bearer for signature, it is also not Walgreens policy for ANY staff member to validate ID with the card bearer presenting the Debit or Credit card. Further to that end Mr Kevin Schmidt, Market Regional VP (something rhyms with 'shick'), states as long as its a valid card, with valid funds and it's a valid transaction that Walgreens is not in the business of inconveniencing the 'consumer'.

    So I did some investigating while I'm languishing here without ANY money, food, water. and medicine compliments of Walgreen's Store Manager, Chris Priebe who when asked at the store November 2, 2009 why ID wasn't checked responded, "I don't know! Go file a police report." His tone was quite dismissive so I went to the Oak Park Police Station where, they informed me that the police report about my card would become just a "Lost Property Report." And nothing else. So, why would I tie up my police officers with needless police reports when, we need their eyes and ears on the street protecting the residents.

    I informed my bank of the loss, terminated the card and filed my affidavit. Meanwhile, Walgreens staff the balh headed Chris Priebe, License Plate BVK 9576, Blk Ford, Focus/Fusion as seen on Face Book, Paul Bernicchi, Kevin Schmidt and now John Foley, VP Operations refuse to give any apology (say I'm sorry), let alone give any humane sensitivity assistance by reversing the charges. Infact, these good old boys are CYA in action (Cover Your Ass) and refuse to acknowledge e-mails or give a call. Until, they brought in their attorney James Fitzgibbons of Troy (two weeks later). .

    So in defense of being a victim if they won't come to you then, you bring the issue to them. Being raised in the Jamaican Culture we are taught as children a very profound sense of communal fiscal responsibility, social responsibility and any shameful acts in the community are rippled like the news wire service for gossip. Neighborhood embarrassment is a very big deal so I told my storey and I talked to 30 merchants, various residents, Deputy Chief of Police and shoppers alike in Oak Park which, is 5 square miles, 22.5% unemployed, 12.81% foreclosure with 11,000 taxable homes.

    Attention Walgreens shoppers the other retailers in Oak Park are horrified at fiscal accountability being exhibited. Many of the merchants in Oak Park do ID their Credit/Debit Card transactions. Look! We the 'consumer' have bailed out the banks, endured $35 overdraft fees, sustained egregious hikes on interest rates for credit, paid higher prices for retail theft and now, just because Walgreens knows it will get it's money back via credit card fraud and the victims of retail fraud will be made whole that,we the public and freelance journalists must shut up and simply go away. Well, in my culture they say, "If it is too easy - don't do it." For all you victims of Walgreens this one is for you.

    Ok! Lets address those 2 big bill board signs in the window at Walgreens that say, "Working Police Station"
    which, are incidentally bogus and Deputy Cooper categorically denies, "The police department has nothing to do with the signs in the store window. So FYI all you crooks, thieves and robbers give our Oak Park Walgreens a visit. They make it quite convenient for you to process your fraudulent credit card transactions with no questions asked just swipe and go! Chris Priebe, Store Manager is really approachable and quite helpful when he wants to be. As for the rest of you honest to goodness shoppers who, want to feel secure about your retail experience in Oak Park please, feel free to visit any of our other merchants at Nine Mile & Coolidge. You'll lbe treated with respect and there won't be any long lines at the checkout.

    This cavalier display of a lack of respect for money in the immediate community is a problem and it affects us all. I now suffer at the corporate behest of greed by having my life savings obliterated. So, to Walgreens, its executives and shareholders perhaps, this article makes it to the boardroom where you're staff can be held accountable for questions.

    My special thanks for my survival to Sahara Restaurant and Davison Coney Island for providing me with meals in this unfortunate and stressful ordeal

    Say! You all remember how all those passengers were help up on the runway for 9 hours with no food, water, clean air, screaming babies and a backed up toilet. They didn't say 'sorry' either so video of the incident made it to the Internet and, when Congress summoned the airlines for deposition on Capitol Hill. You bet that Northwest Airlines had to apologize. And they did!

    Walgreens, I want an apology from you too! And I'm waiting so, why do you need Attorney Fitzgibbons to hold your hand? Which reminds me about that famous song in Europe from the show The Gibbons, "Oooo! Oooo! Oooo! The funky Gibbons! We are here to show you how.... Funky Gibbons."

    So, Mr John Foley, VP Operations you call this
    "Reaching out to me" would you leave your mother, wife or daughter to starve like this for two weeks? And to Ann Daniels,Secretary for dropping the ball to other merchants. boy you sure know how to irritate folks - Way to go Ann!

    And, Walgreens calls this customer service? God help us when, they start discriminating against sick shoppers during the H1N1 Panemic!

    Blogg all your bad experiences here for Walgreens to see....

  • 33

    [...] since we all love our beloved Detroit, I want all my fellow NFL Lions fans to check out detroit.blogs.time and tell me what you think about[...]

  • 34

    thenetland Deer hunter 2014 Hack

    Media roundup: Good, bad and ugly - The Detroit Blog -

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