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Flower Power: Don’t kill the Dandelion, eat it and let it grow

I was watching TV the other day. Commercial break. Cut to a lush green lawn. A single yellow dandelion springs up through the emerald expanse. The heroic protagonist appears left. He spies the flower, runs, dives, somersaults onto the lawn and pops up sturdily on one knee. Brandishing a bottle of weed killer, he fires. The patented nozzle rains hell on the defenseless sunbather. The flower withers. And dies ...

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April is MLK’s month

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, in the middle of January, has been a national holiday since the mid-1990s. Although Dr. King was born in January, April will always be MLK’s month for me because it is not only “the cruelest month,” as T.S. Eliot put it in his 1922 poem “The Wasteland,” it is also one of the most challenging. April is the month of the Crucifixion. But it is also the month of the Resur ...

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The power of food

Why do people of color have limited access to food to feed their families? With the recent resurgence of urban agriculture, Detroiters have the opportunity to grow food in their backyards, the lots next to them or even participate in community gardens. There is fresh produce available at Eastern Market, Northwest Farmer’s Market, Seed Wayne, just to name a few. But how much produce is really getting to the ...

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With two strikes against it, Detroit Future City must connect with concerns of citizens

It may have been opening day for the Detroit Tigers, but for Detroit’s latest urban renewal plan, which changes the way Justin Verlander switches pitches, it’s simply time to step up to the plate and connect with the citizens of city. With two strikes already on the scorecard, the Sierra Club’s Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships Program took to the mound on April 4 and served up their first-ev ...

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Week Three of the Occupation: Bottom Lines

This week, Detroit’s emergency manager (EM) firmed up the foundation of his operation. After reinstating the pay of elected City Council members, the EM announced the Council is welcome to meet, but he has the final say. All decisions are his alone. A few days later, a consulting firm recommended that the City Council be reduced to part time and cut its staff. ...

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Grocery stores: Anchoring neighborhoods in Detroit

Five years ago, did you even know what “gluten-free” meant? What was your opinion then of produce that was marked “organic?” Now think about your last trip to a full-service grocery store. Chances are you encountered many options for health-conscious eaters or people with special diet requirements. Grocery stores are changing across the country as they try to respond to consumer demand for healthier choices ...

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Toward a restorative justice Detroit

For the past four years, Forbes magazine has ranked Detroit as the most violent city in the nation. Some might argue this is because we are a city without much financial capital and/or because there are too many guns on the street. Although there is truth in both these statements, I believe, as my colleague Henry McClendon likes to say, “The problem is not that we have a violence problem in Detroit; it’s th ...

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