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Progressive actions

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has offered almost no structural change in his proposals to move the city toward good financial health. He has slashed city workers, privatized services, and colluded in the sale of public assets for private gains. But he has done little to actually enhance revenue into the city. Other than increasing parking tickets, he has not used his powers to reassess revenue streams ...

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Race is a ‘chronic’ enforcement problem

A recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union shows marijuana laws are enforced unequally for Black and white Americans nationwide. “The War on Marijuana in Black and White” released in March reports that though the percentage of Blacks and whites who use marijuana is virtually identical, African Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested. The 190-page report states, “There were 140,000 mor ...

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Hearing exposes horrors of the EAA

Children being slapped by staff and thrown to the ground, no legally-mandated provisions for special education students, limited supplies and few, if any books, non-functioning or missing computers, kids watching pornography, high teacher turnover, test scores showing students falling further behind, curriculum development left to inexperienced teachers, and a lack of teacher support were among the Educatio ...

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The land, the people

Kathina Carey has mixed feelings about the Hantz Woodlands’ development in her neighborhood on the city’s lower east side. Carey, a Detroit native, described how she’d single-handedly cared for her block on McClellan Street for seven years, using her own money to mow the vacant lots between abandoned homes, and feed homeless neighbors in the area who sometimes went for days without a meal. She was relieved ...

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Earth Day and Hantz Farm

As Judge Rhodes interviewed experts to comment on the feasibility of Kevyn Orr’s latest plan to redevelop Detroit, people around the world celebrated Earth Day. The United Nations declared it “International Mother Earth Day” in 2009. With the growing awareness that all human life is in peril because of the accelerating degradation of our planet, this year the Earth Day Network launched a Green Cities Campai ...

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Orr wants Manhattan Institute fellow to evaluate his plan

Of all the people in America who might be considered a candidate to evaluate the effectiveness of Detroit’s so-called “plan of adjustment,” Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and a team of lawyers from his former law firm, Jones Day, suggested Harvard economist Edward L Glaeser. Glaeser’s name popped up after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes announced he is considering calling in an expert, or maybe several of ...

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Duggan spending on aides is fiscal ‘free-for-all’

Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration has an unsustainable, top-heavy operation, according to sources. As Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr takes the city through bankruptcy, Duggan has doubled the administrative staff by adding 60 new appointees to Bing’s staff and by paying salaries in excess of the city’s official compensation schedule. Some Duggan aides are making upwards of $200,000 a year. ...

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Noir is standing outside in the cold and snow, waiting for the bus driver — who is taking his break alone inside the heated bus — to open the door. Young Noir is frustrated with inadequate city services, joblessness and the city’s overall economic system, as are many of other the riders who were waiting at the Rosa Parks bus terminal in Detroit on April 15. He has a litany of complaints about social issues, ...

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Sell off DWSD, save cuts to pensions

Negotiators for Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and the police and fire retirees reached an agreement April 15 that now needs a vote of two-thirds of the retirees before it can be presented to bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes. Under the terms of the deal, the pensions of the civilian retirees will be cut 4.5 percent with no cost of living increases, sources say. Police and fire retirees will take no cuts but rece ...

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