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Distorted reality

One year ago Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr filed for bankruptcy. It has been a brutal year for the people of Detroit. Step by step we have seen long cherished rights and values trampled on in the name of financial necessity. Public lands have been given away. Generous tax breaks have been handed to developers, while elders have seen their pensions taxed and slashed. People have been threatened. Many have lost ...

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Groups announce plan to boost spending among Blacks

The U.S. Black Chambers and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers are formally partnering to make sure a significant portion of the $40 billion African Americans spend each year on travel and tourism remain in Black hands. The partnership was launched last week at the start of USBC’s professional development conference, held at the Marriott Marquis in the District of Colu ...

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Detroit Raw

Who gave the media an all-access pass into the lives of human beings 24/7? This presumption of media access has led to more undeserved trauma for an 88-year-old Detroit man who, after suffering through a beating and robbery, was taken into custody days later for allegedly firing a shot at a TV news crew. Initially this elderly Black man in Detroit was beaten and robbed after being set up by a woman. So ente ...

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‘Water isn’t free’

Despite errors, contradictions, DWSD continues water shutoffs While the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has pursued an increasingly aggressive payment collection/water shutoff campaign over the past few months, media reports have alleged Detroit residents weren’t the only ones behind on their bills. Billionaire stadium owner Mike Ilitch’s company Olympia Development was reportedly also delinquent. Las ...

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Bankruptcy judge wants solutions to water crisis

Tuesday, July 15, Judge Steven Rhodes heard two versions of how delinquent water bills are treated. After spending the morning listening to 17 citizens object to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan of adjustment, with some of the complaints and statements telling of the harm being done by the harsh Detroit Water and Sewerage Department cut offs, Rhodes ordered the DWSD to appear that afternoon and provide an ...

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Brightmoor to Beijing

Help the efforts of Kyle Baker, Jr.; Tanay Floyd; and Lashay Pearson to raise $13,000 to fund their trip. Emerging out of an abandoned garage in the Brightmoor community on the west side of Detroit, the Brightmoor Woodworkers began to make handcrafted wooden signs both as a community service project and as a business. From summer 2011 to the present, the Brightmoor Woodworkers have created and installed nea ...

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Why I chose to block water shutoff trucks

Water was created by none of us — just like air and earth and fire. Indeed, like the universe. It flows and freezes and breathes into the atmosphere as mist, without permission or legal backing. It is no one’s “machine.” It was not made to be enslaved in a market price or bottled into a “good” yielding “ownership” and power. Water is a commons — commonly shared as abundant and precious “gift” given by the c ...

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Bankruptcy judge to Detroit EM: What are you doing to help with water shutoffs?

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes, in court Tuesday, instructed Jones Day law firm, the lead restructuring attorneys in the city’s bankruptcy case, to return to the afternoon session with a report on what their former partner Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is doing to aid people who are having their water shut off. ...

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Detroit’s Jewish community reconnects with ‘the old neighborhood’ to offer helping hand

Local conversations about suburban residents coming to the city of Detroit tend to revolve around downtown and Midtown, as if there’s a transporting device that beams crowds of people for sporting events, concerts and the like. Do residents from the ‘burbs ever come to less alluring places in the city and work collaboratively with Detroiters to strengthen their neighborhoods? They do, and in increasing numb ...

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A disturbing trend

I am concerned. In the last two weeks, I have personally heard of three separate incidents in which the city of Detroit has completely mowed over or even bulldozed community-maintained green spaces or gardens. I met a woman who was nearly in tears describing how the fruit trees she planted over four years ago, which were just entering their first year of active fruit production, were mowed down in the blink ...

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