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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Those that read body language understood the swag-intact handshakes the President delivered as he strolled down that aisle were not mere bravado. The community organizer side of this President is breaking out before us as he makes it clear the Obama administration intends to break the shackles of a do-nothing Congress. ...

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Talking truth

Almost as soon as Gov. Rick Snyder asked for greater civility in politics, L. Brooks Patterson’s interview in the New Yorker was released. Under the title “Drop Dead, Detroit!” the article is filled with comments that even Patterson’s supporters find embarrassing. Detroit News editorial writer Nolan Finley had to acknowledge, “We all know how he talks. I think his mouth is his worst enemy.” Free Press edito ...

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Battle for the bodies

The low-performing, state-created Education Achievement Authority and Detroit Public Schools are competing for Detroit’s children. Each district’s need for enrollment surfaced in a recent exchange of letters and automated calls to parents. It’s a “battle for the bodies,” says Tom Pedroni, assistant professor of curriculum studies at Wayne State University. Each district’s funding is dependent on enrollment ...

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‘DDOT in crisis’

New Detroit Department of Transportation manager Dan Dirks says DDOT is in a state of emergency. “We have a crisis here at DDOT and that is to get the proper number of buses out on the street and for us to meet the schedule we are supposed to,” says the former SMART general manager. “We need to assist our operators and give them everything they need to operate that bus as efficiently as possible.” ...

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Proposed tobacco settlement excludes Black media

The U.S. Justice Department and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund have reached an agreement with the four major tobacco companies that requires them to spend more than $30 million advertising with the three major television networks and run full-page ads in 35 white and Latino newspapers as well as purchasing space on their respective websites but not make a single purchase from a Black print or broadcast m ...

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Public school advocates blast Snyder

Anticipating Gov. Rick Snyder’s Jan. 16 State of the State address, advocates of public education and an educator from an Education Achievement Authority-controlled high school criticized Gov. Rick Snyder for his underfunding of public education. “We all know the way to build stronger communities and strengthen the middle class is through smart, strategic investments in public education,” said David Hecker, ...

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Alternative decisions

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes rejected the second effort by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to protect the banks at the expense of the people of Detroit. In a decision described as stunning, Judge Rhodes ruled the late-night deal to pay $165 million to Bank of America and UBS was “just too much money.” He also rejected the proposed $285 million loan to pay off these banks and provide $120 million for city ...

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations around Detroit, Jan. 20, focused on an array of issues. Martin Luther King High School students highlighted the legacy King shared with Nelson Mandela, beginning with a one mile-long parade. The Central United Methodist (once visited by King himself) program remembered Fannie Lou Hamer, while setting an agenda for future activism. At the Detroit Film Theatre docum ...

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‘Orr completely unprepared for bank negotiations’

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and his job performance took a beating in federal bankruptcy court Jan. 13. Attorneys presented closing arguments for and against the plan presented by Orr and his former law firm Jones Day to settle the city’s interest rate swap obligations. The EM and his advisers want approval from presiding Judge Steven Rhodes to borrow $350 million from Barclays bank. They will use $230 mill ...

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