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Pay up or shut off

Residents say they were “sandbagged” after receiving cumulative water bills on Christmas Eve without advanced notice from the city. Many, who had not received a water bill for a year, were given notification that they owe hundreds to thousands of dollars. Enclosed within their bills, residents and business owners received information about the city’s initiation of the Water Recalculation-Assessment Program ...

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Detroit Future City unveiled; project receives $150M from Kresge

After more than two years of planning, the Detroit Works Project Long-Term Planning unveiled its plan to re-imagine the city of Detroit at an open house Jan. 9 at their home base at 2929 Russell St., in Eastern Market. Dubbed Detroit Future City, the project provides a long list of recommendations for reframing the city’s development over the next 50 years. The “framework” covers multiple elements including ...

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New EM law: Same ol’ …

A new emergency financial manager (EM) law will go into effect March 27. A little more than a month after voters repealed Public Act 4 (PA 4) on Nov. 6, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Public Act 436 (PA 436). The replacement law mirrors its predecessor, which was rejected by millions of voters statewide. ...

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Everybody’s talking about ‘Django’

Imagine being freed, or unchained, from slavery. Learning to be a fearsome gunslinger, getting some cash and going to find and free your true love, along the way blowing up, whipping and beating all of those who have enslaved you and separated you from your wife. This is the basic storyline of Quentin Tarantino’s new revenge flick, “Django Unchained.” ...

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Black homicides remain at unacceptably high rate

As the nation continues to ponder possible solutions to curb carnage that results from the easy accessibility to firearms, nowhere is the loss of lives from guns greater than in the Black community. According to “Black Homicide in the United States: An Analysis of 2009 Homicide Data,” a report by the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., the Black homicide rate in the year studied was more than six ti ...

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Constructing a new democracy

The anti-democratic efforts by the right-wing Republican legislature in Lansing are putting Michigan in the national spotlight. One national commentator, Jim Hightower, is now referring to our state as “Michiganistan” because of what he called the rule of “iron fist-democracy, rule-of-law, fairness and the people be damned.” He described the lame duck session as “dumbfounding, anti-democratic zealotry.” Oth ...

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YEAR IN REVIEW

Though Detroiters said no, and despite a plan hammered out by a coalition of the city’s unions that would have saved $120 million in the budget, Council members Ken Cockrel, Jr. and James Tate, along with Council President Charles Pugh, worked behind closed doors with state officials and State Treasurer Andy Dillon on a consent agreement that cost the city additional millions of dollars, limited the power o ...

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