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Building an institution out of an old house on Ferry Park

Passing cars on slow down to wave at Yusef Shakur who is sitting on the steps of 2431 Ferry Park eating his lunch. A young man passes. He, too, connects with Shakur. “I ain’t too good,” the young man says. “Come back and talk to me,” Shakur responds. The young man nods. The west side neighborhood where Shakur lives and grew up in is known to many as Zone 8. The area struggles with the structural poverty and ...

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Charivari Detroit 2014 invites the Motor City to dance on the river

Charivari is a name recognized in Detroit electronic music history as the early 1980s party that set the scene for many of the city’s great house and techno musicians. The name will once again be featured as a two-day music festival at William G. Milliken State Park along the Detroit River, August 2-3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days. Charivari Detroit 2014 is free and open to all ages. “Charivari actually sta ...

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Run/walk on Belle Isle to encourage organ/tissue donation

More than 1,000 supporters of efforts to expand minority patients’ access to tissue and organ transplant operations will participate in the 17th annual Gift of Life Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program Foundation’s Walk/Run on July 26, 2014 on Belle Isle. The event, which begins at the Belle Isle Casino, features a 5K walk, 5K run and 10K run. Funds raised will benefit public education about o ...

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Water shut offs are urban removal, prof says

The water shutoffs are more than Emergency Manger Kevyn Orr getting the balance sheet cleaned up to sell the water plant to private interests. It is part of what Hammer sees as a larger process of moving people out of neighborhoods the city wants to see emptied out—implementation of the Detroit Future City Plan. “They are also shutting water off not wishing people will pay necessarily, but implicitly hoping ...

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Detroit welcomes water from Canada

Michigan Welfare Rights Organization founders Marian Kramer and Maureen Taylor welcomed the caravan of Canadians bringing water to Detroit July 24. Greeted with cheers from over 100 activists, the Canadians were responding to the recent shut offs commanded by Emergency Manger Kevyn Orr and condemned by the three United Nations experts. While no elected Detroit city officials have taken any steps to stop or ...

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Canadians bring water to waterless Detroit

Maude Barlow, Canadian author and national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, with a delegation of water rights advocates brought 260 gallons of water to Detroiters July 24. Of the 15,000 homes that have had water shut off by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, it is estimated that only 48 percent are back in service. “We came to pay tribute to the people of Detroit,” Barlow said in remarks made at St. Peter ...

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Bipartisan progress made to address ‘rape kit’ backlog, protect future victims

Much attention has been given to the Legislature’s failure to pass a road funding plan before adjourning for the summer, but without much fanfare, very important bipartisan progress has been made to address one of the most tragic public policy issues facing our state and nation. On June 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed my bill, Senate Bill 901, and House Bill 5445, introduced by Rep. John Walsh, R-L ...

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Old school and older school: Mind Fusion cross-fades jazz and hip hop

Sam Spruill, known to many as DJ Handsome Sam, has been managing at Cliff Bell’s, a beautifully restored 30s era jazz venue, for years. Two years ago, while searching for a way to combine his two loves — hip hop and jazz — he concocted Mind Fusion. Spruill says Mind Fusion is “a chance to display talent in the jazz scene in Detroit with a hip hop mentality.” Each event pairs a DJ with either a hard bop jazz ...

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J Dilla’s legacy preserved in the Smithsonian

James “J Dilla” Yancey, the late Detroit music producer whose stardom has grown globally since his passing in 2006, is headed toward enshrinement in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Dilla’s mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, announced the news at the ninth annual “D.C. Loves Dilla” event on July 17. The legendary hip hop musician will be represented in the museum by his MPC beat machine and his cus ...

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