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Roundup: Consolidation, Vaccination, Exhibitionism and More

Lots of good stuff out there to read today:

--John Mogk gives a compelling argument on why Detroit needs to consolidate its residents (and stop selling its empty land to speculators) in today's Detroit News. Mogk is a Wayne State University law professor, former Detroit school board member and chair of the Michigan Council on Labor and Economic Growth.

A highlight:

Nearly 40 percent of the city's 140 square miles is already vacant or sparsely populated. As foreclosures and abandonment continue to spread in every neighborhood, the vacant areas will soon increase, perhaps to half of the city's area or more. The fact remains that many neighborhoods need to be phased out, but few if any will be willing to plan themselves out of existence.

--Regular blog readers may remember reading about Kalyn Risker, founder of Detroit-based Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment. She's featured in a great article, also in today's Detroit News, about how Michigan's economy is putting more stress on domestic-violence shelters and non-profit organizations.

--The Centers for Disease Control were in Michigan today to advocate more people getting the N1H1 vaccine. PLEASE get this shot if you haven't already. I wish I had. I am going into the second week of recovering, having picked up this nasty flu somewhere over the Thanksgiving week. It is the most horrendous illness I have ever experienced. Besides the days of body aches, chills and fever topping 103 degrees, it has put my family and friends at risk. Both of my children are getting the vaccine this weekend.

--I was shocked to hear the negative comments on our news radio station, WWJ-AM, regarding a decision Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee to approve legislation that allows women to breast feed their children in public. One person claimed women who would nurse in public are "exhibitionists." You've got to be kidding me. Since when is the most natural thing in the world -- feeding your child -- a sexual act? Bottles are allowed in public; why not the breast? When I nursed, I struggled to overcome my fears and feed my children wherever we were when they were hungry. Ultimately, it was empowering.

More interesting, in-depth, independently reported blog posting coming -- as soon as the illness fully clears and lets me think again.

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  • 1

    I suspect the negative comments about allowing women to breast-feed in public come from the tendency to view human bodies, especially female ones, primarily in sexual terms. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but I think it merits mention in this context. I believe that tendency is also behind the sniggers we often hear when adults of the same sex show physical affection to each other, why men can't show affection for children without having their motives questioned, and so on. It's tragic.

  • 2

    About the consolidation- It is the best way to go. Think Central Park within our beloved Detroit. Larger and greener! Moving people would be hard but it can be done. Creating agriculture close to the city and restaurants would be fantastic.
    The problem is that we do not have the manpower to get it moving. What organization and coordinate it?

    But I am all for it!

  • 3

    John Mogk always has interesting things to say. And his commentaries come from the heart as he is so familiar with Detroit's histroy. Way back in 1973's Mayoral Primary, he was one of the Mayoral primarycandidates along with Coleman Young, then police chief John Nichols, then city council member Mel Ravitz, and other interesting candidates. I voted for Mogk. I know he would have been a great mayor.

  • 4

    I am all for Detroit shrinking. Could the vacant areas become townships or unincorporated Wayne County? I think if these areas weren't part of Detroit, they might be redeveloped and inhabited. What can we learn from other areas zoning and development laws?
    Also, I curently live in a sparsely populated. We have no police department (other than the Michigan State Police,) no library, a largely volunteer fire department. Until these areas of Detroit are redeveloped, how about a rural model of government?

  • 5

    Noel Night tonight 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm (Saturday the 5th)! I hope somebody from this blog gets out and sees another reat community event in Detroit!!

    "Over 40 institutions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Science Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Detroit Public Library, amongst many others, open their doors to the public FREE of charge during this Cultural Center-wide holiday "open house." Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by over 70 area music, theatre, and dance groups. The evening's festivities culminate with a community sing-along on Woodward Avenue led by the Salvation Army Band — a long-standing Noel Night tradition."

    More information and a location map of all participating sites is available at

  • 6

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    Roundup: Consolidation, Vaccination, Exhibitionism and More - The Detroit Blog -

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