Your Detroit Reading List For March 22, 2015

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Here are 5 stories you don’t want to miss about Detroit.

How Detroit Became a Maker Hotspot (Yahoo)

Yahoo highlights a few of those that are part of the maker movement here in Detroit. Here’s a quote from the owners of Douglas & Co. (who we profiled earlier here).

“Many people abandoned this city and ripped the ground out from under it. Those who remained are passion-driven people–artists, creators, and crafters who use their pleasures as a vehicle for business. There is such strength behind that kind of work. It is no longer just a hobby,” Douglas says, reflecting on the vitality of the city’s patriots.

“No dream is too big for Detroit,” says his wife Melissa, an artist and lifetime Metro Detroiter and co-founder of Douglas & Co.

Read more: Yahoo

Detroit’s ‘Frida’ Aims To Build Latino Audiences For Opera (NPR)

Did you know that the Michigan Opera Theatre (based in downtown Detroit) is doing a series of free outdoor shows around the city?

To showcase the opera to a larger audience, excerpts will be performed for free outside the Detroit Opera House. Wayne Brown, the Michigan Opera Theatre’s president and CEO, says it’s important to show that opera isn’t just a black-tie affair.

“Clearly, Frida Kahlo would have been very upset if everyone showed up in mink coats,” Brown says.

So Frida is also being performed at venues throughout the city and southeast Michigan to attract young Latinos like Ricardo Barajas, who’s seen ads for it on Facebook.

“I love anything that has to do with [a] real-life story that’s reflected in Hispanic culture,” says Barajas, who has also seen the Rivera murals at the museum. “I don’t like just going on with my life and not knowing what my culture is.”

Read more: NPR

Detroit’s Village People: Why interest in Woodward Village is on the rise (DetroitUnspun)

“This is a neighborhood with a whole lot of charm and beauty,” says Dunn, 34, a partner with Maxwell Dunn PLC in Detroit. He and his wife, Meagan Dunn, a communications executive with Henry Ford Health System, live on Lawrence Street, a block from the home where he grew up.

Now he has the resources and clout to show off that charm and beauty.

“We have 60 to 70 people working on committees to beautify, stabilize and promote our neighborhood,” Dunn says.

With the zeal of a city planner and the respect of an urban historian, he notes the neighborhood of 526 stately homes, west of Woodward and just north of Boston Boulevard, was built by doctors, inventors and lumber barons in the late 1800s.

Source: DetroitUnspun

Who’s watching the Detroit watchmen? (Freep)

This is definitely getting people heated up with the added investment downtown. Some believe that private security should be given free reign; others are especially suspicious of a private police force, especially one that isn’t actively transparent. This conversation opens up a bigger bailiwick in our opinion. Not in this Freep piece is the information that there is actually a procedure for having security with arrest authority – 13 organizations in the state have security with that. Rock Ventures, or Rock Protect, is NOT one of them. Therefore, their powers by law, should be quite limited.

Corporations patrol their own buildings and campuses all the time. But because Gilbert’s holdings sprawl across downtown, and because Detroit’s need is so dire, the reach of Rock Ventures and other private corporate security has expanded. Increasingly, corporate security is actively patrolling public spaces, using tactics more in line with public police departments than private security guards.

And because such security forces are privately employed, they’re not publicly accountable.

Read more: Detroit Free Press

Brothers’ lofty idea 30 years ago gave Eastern Market something to build upon (Crain’s)

Many people think Detroit’s engine just started to hum, but much of the work has been going on for years to set the groundwork for the progress made today. This is a look back at the first legal lofts in Detroit, 30 years ago.

Few people thought the development would work, said Robert Heide, Rocco’s son-in-law and the project manager on Rocky Peanut Lofts.

” ‘Rocky is crazy,’ people said. ‘No one will want to live at Eastern Market,’ and that turned out not to be true,” Heide said.

Rocky Peanut Lofts sits above the building that houses Supino’s, Russell Street Deli and others. Thirty years ago, the building needed things like new electrical and water systems, and wall and window replacements. However, the five retail tenants on the first floor didn’t generate enough revenue for the brothers to complete them.

So the 10,000 square feet of unused second-floor space was converted into the lofts.

Read more: Crain’s Detroit Business

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