News – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Sun, 17 Jun 2018 17:59:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Detroit Schools Have A Problem Hiring New People Thu, 14 Jun 2018 20:38:47 +0000

The new Superintendent is diving into the Gordian knot that is Detroit’s Public Schools, and seems to be finding challenge after challenge.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District is looking to hire more teachers, but it’s not an easy task. According to a survey released by the district itself, that’s in part because those who work for the district are saying don’t work there.

The data was released at a board meeting this week. It showed that among staff, half would not recommend the district and less than a quarter would. Among central office staff, the percentage of employees who wouldn’t recommend the district jumps to 63 percent.

“If our own employees are not favorable toward the organization, then how can we ever recruit new parents to schools or new employees to the district?” said Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

The district had more than 200 teaching vacancies coming into this school year that they budgeted for, but haven’t been able to fill.

The district also scored low among students for perceived safety.

Many people including Mayor Mike Duggan cite the quality of Detroit’s schools as the biggest barrier to the city’s comeback.


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NEWS BYTE: New Soccer Complex In Detroit, HOUR Detroit Best Of Party & Local News Thu, 14 Jun 2018 16:52:39 +0000

This is your Daily Detroit News Byte recorded on June 14, 2018. Of course, if you want to get the show first, subscribe in your podcast app of choice.

Your stories for today:

ACCUSED HOUSING DISCRIMINATION: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is accusing Oakland County of pushing discriminatory housing policies in how it divvies up federal housing money.

In a 20-page letter addressed to county Executive L. Brooks Patterson, HUD says Oakland County steered 171 million dollars in housing aid since 1989 to homeowners at the expense of renters, who are more likely to be non-white. That’s contributed to the worst housing segregation in the nation.

ROYAL OAK SELLS LAND NEAR I-696: You know that big empty parcel just north of I-696 near Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak? Maybe you’ve parked there while going to the Detroit Zoo … or Arts, Beats and Eats? Well, the city has just sold that 4-plus acre site to a private developer for $2.5 million.

DETROIT SCHOOLS HAVE A PROBLEM HIRING NEW PEOPLE: The new Superintendent is diving into the Gordian knot that is Detroit’s Public Schools, and seems to be finding challenge after challenge.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District is looking to hire more teachers, but it’s not an easy task. According to a survey released by the district itself, that’s in part because those who work for the district are saying … don’t work there.

BIKE LOVE: The Michigan legislature has passed a package of bills that would mean motorists would have to pass at least 3 feet to the right or left of a bike or, if it is not practical to do so, pass at a safe distance at a safe speed.

DETROIT SOCCER DISTRICT OPENS: Jer catches up with Joseph de Verteuil for an interview about his new facility on the near west side of the city.

FREE ICE CREAM: We give you all the details on where to get free eats from Tillamook.

HOUR DETROIT BEST OF: The Best Of Detroit is coming from HOUR Detroit. Daily Detroit Happy Hour host Sven Gustafson has all the details for you.

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$98 Million In Federal Funds Coming To Fix Mound Road In Macomb County Sat, 09 Jun 2018 19:29:27 +0000

Nearly $98 million in federal money, pending congressional approval, will be coming to help fix Mound Road.

The main artery in Macomb County serves 40,000 vehicles a day and currently resembles the surface of the moon.

The U.S. Department of Transportation grant will be targeted to Mound from I-696 to M-59, or about nine miles.

All told, the project will cost $184.6 million. Macomb County and the cities of Sterling Heights and Warren are throwing in the rest of the money.

Beyond just rebuilding the road itself, Mound Road will get sidewalks, lights and signs, and tech to support connected and autonomous vehicles.

This story originally appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte.

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FlashFoodBox Launches in Detroit, Marijuana Ordinance Proposed in Detroit, Como’s Bought & More News Thu, 07 Jun 2018 21:29:02 +0000

You Daily Detroit News Byte Podcast (subscribe free here!) recorded on June 7, 2018.

– Members of Detroit City Council will debate a new proposal to regulate medical marijuana businesses in the city.

– The Republican-controlled state House and Senate have adopted a citizen petition to pull the prevailing wage law off the books.

– City councils in two of Oakland County’s largest cities, Troy and Novi, say voters should be allowed to decide the fate of a regional transit tax in November.

– It’s one of the Detroit area’s hottest and most closely watched pieces of real estate. And now, the former Como’s Restaurant at Woodward and Nine Mile in Ferndale has a new owner.

– Nearly $98 million in Federal money, pending congressional approval, will be coming to help fix Mound Road.

– Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will be in Detroit this weekend. He’s headlining the re-opening ceremony on Saturday for Wayfinding, a combination public art installation and skate park next to Campus Martius.

– Motor City Pride festival is this weekend.

– There’s a new delivery service called FlashFoodBox that’s opening up in Detroit as its first U.S. city. The company is looking to change the game, and get fresh food delivered to people, right to their door.

Jer caught up with their founder Josh Domingues at WeWork Thursday morning.

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LISTEN: Democrat Shri Thanedar On His Proposals For Michigan, Answers Questions About Research Animals Thu, 31 May 2018 20:35:38 +0000

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar stopped by the Daily Detroit table during the Mackinac Policy Conference to talk about his campaign, his progressive views and respond to allegations that he left hundreds of research animals to die after his pharmaceutical company went bust in 2010.

Thanedar has become arguably the most colorful character on either side of the political aisle in the race for governor this year. He’s an immigrant from India who came to the United States 39 years ago, earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of Akron and formed a career as an entrepreneur.

The Ann Arbor businessman recently filed his 2015 and 2016 tax returns, which show he has assets worth nearly $30 million, according to Bridge Magazine. Like his fellow Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Abdul El-Sayed, he’s refusing to accept corporate donations, but unlike his competitor, he’s plowing $6 million on his own fortune into his campaign.

He’s touting his rags-to-riches story, but his business history has proved controversial, with a lawsuit against him alleging fraud and reports that a pharmaceutical firm he owned in New Jersey that went bankrupt abandoned hundreds of research animals that had to be rescued by animal-welfare workers. He has denied responsibility in both cases.

“A lot of this is hype and smear,” he tells Daily Detroit, saying the animals were watched after and fed by the bank that took possession of the company. (Bridge’s Truth Squad finds his efforts to deflect blame to be false.)

Meanwhile, some polls have shown him ahead of front-runner Gretchen Whitmer, and former Detroit health director El-Sayed, who we interviewed yesterday.

On the campaign trail, Thanedar is touting fixes to health care and infrastructure, saying he wants to restructure taxes to help fund universal childcare and pre-K education, plus invest $1 billion in preparing residents for skilled trades.

“I understand how Michiganders suffer,” he says. “Twenty-some percent of our citizens are living below poverty. Forty percent of african-american children live at or below poverty. I know I have lived that life. I have gone to bed hungry. I’m the only gubernatorial candidate that can say what it feels lie, knows what it feels like to go to bed hungry.”

Have a listen to the interview in the player above.

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Jason Hall Quits Slow Roll, Talks About What’s Next Thu, 31 May 2018 20:23:10 +0000

Jason Hall is retiring – sort of. The co-founder of Detroit’s beloved Slow Roll is stepping down from his role as the public personality behind the city’s now-famous neighborhood bicycle ride.

Slow Roll isn’t going away – and Jason isn’t going anywhere. He’s definitely staying in Detroit. But his role will change and his commitment to the city is going to grow in terms of what he can do for bicyclists and his hometown.

For example, Jason is relaunching (RI)Detroit, Detroit’s weekend celebration of bicycles and culture. The event, which will take place the weekend of July 20-22, will be a full experience of Detroit on two wheels. In addition to group rides and events, bicycle and non-bicycle manufacturers will be selling their new bicycles and merchandise. Community leaders and bicycle advocates will host seminars and panel discussions to discuss regional and national cycling and mobility policies that affect all of Detroit and the region.

His last official Slow Roll took place Wednesday on Mackinac Island as part of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference. The ride was good, the road was smooth and Jason’s mind was clear.

“It just felt like the time. It was a great ride,” Jason said in an interview with me (the audio is embedded at the top of this post). “It seemed like the right time.”

To say Hall is excited about the new enterprise (and a few others you’ll hear about soon) is an understatement. But, at the same time, his emotion at what his team and supporters created through Slow Roll is undeniable.

“When I started Slow Roll, it was really just about a bike ride. But through the past eight years, I’ve traveled the world and I’ve seen bicycling and bicycling advocacy and what that really means,” Jason says. “I’ve just evolved a little more. Once you’ve see what you could do, once we accomplished what we could accomplished through Slow Roll, I just wanted to go to the next level.”

After talking to Slow Roll’s board, family and friends, Jason decided it was time to make it official – he is stepping down from the organization’s leadership.

“I just decided that this would be my year to go ahead and step back and let the machine run itself. We’ve worked very hard to make that machine run,” Jason says. “I’ve got some other projects that I’m working on that are bicycling and city based. It’s still my family. But it’s time to move on.”

What changed was his mindset and evolution as a community leader. Jason says he started to see what else he could accomplish both as an individual, a bicyclist and an advocate.

“ I think it was really on my last trip to Minneapolis when I was out there. … I ran into what was called the Nice Ride Program. In Minneapolis, everybody gets a free bike. The way it works is you show up, they give you a bike, you ride it four times, you document that you rode it four times, you bring it back and you get a brand-new bike,” Jason explains. “That blew my mind that something like that existed. That became my new mission for Detroit. We’re going through all these changes with bike lanes and we’re doing all this stuff in the neighborhoods. But are we really connecting the community to these bike lanes?”

The dream he had for what Detroit could do in terms of the bicycling community began to grow. Plus, he has a flair for the dramatic and he knew there was a chance to expand his personal legacy. But, most importantly, Slow Roll could and would continue.

“It will last forever. Even if we decided as an organization, ‘Let’s stop doing Slow Roll,’ the spirit would still exist. The people would still meet every week,” Jason says. “I’m very proud of that. They’re just rocking and rolling; I’ve seen the schedule. It’s going to be a great summer for those guys.”

He also wants to thank everyone who ever took a ride with him and with Slow Roll.

“(Since I announced I’m leaving Slow Roll), I’ve received 100 emails from people from ‘Thank you for doing this’ to ‘Don’t leave.’ To all of those people: Thank you for making this what it is. It’s my baby.”

An interview with Jason Hall that appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte is at the top of this page.

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LISTEN: This Week In Detroit City FC With Fletcher Sharpe – FC Columbus and FC Indiana Thu, 31 May 2018 15:16:38 +0000

This was a big week for Detroit City FC, with two shut out matches against FC Columbus and FC Indiana.

This week Midfield Press correspondent Fletcher Sharpe spoke with Jer about the action on the field and what to expect next week.

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Democratic Gubernatorial Hopeful Abdul El-Sayed: ‘I See A State That Is Quickly Failing People’ Thu, 31 May 2018 03:06:50 +0000

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed dropped by Daily Detroit on Wednesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference to talk about his decidedly underdog candidacy, his progressive policies, why he lost the endorsement of Mayor Mike Duggan and firmly establish his outsider credibility.

“A lot of politicians come here to rub shoulders with corporate lobbyists and try and get those corporations to back their campaigns. I just don’t take corporate money,” El-Sayed said.” My role here is very different. I see myself as an informant of sorts for folks who don’t get to come to islands like this for the things that I’ve been learning about the challenges in their lives.”

El-Sayed is famous — or in some circles, infamous — for being openly Muslim. He’s the son of Egyptian immigrants who grew up in the Detroit area, played lacrosse at the University of Michigan and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in England. He’s a doctor who most recently ran the Detroit Health Department following its shuttering in the city’s bankruptcy.

He says his travels around the state have shown him that Michigan residents are concerned mostly with the quality of their children’s schools, infrastructure and health care.

El-Sayed says the state has badly underinvested in things like schools over time. He says that’s one of the primary reasons Amazon left Detroit off its list of finalists for its HQ2 project.

“The state tried to offer Amazon $4 billion in incentives. It didn’t work,” he says. “And the reason that they didn’t come is because we had not invested that same money in the same things that they were looking for in the first place: great opportunities for people to raise families because they have great public schools, and great public transportation, and great infrastructure. We don’t have those things.”

Have a listen in the player above. And if you like the show, head over here to subscribe with your favorite podcast app of choice.

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Tata Technologies Moves Their North American HQ From Novi To Detroit Fri, 25 May 2018 17:45:42 +0000 The march into Detroit from the suburbs of businesses continues.

Tata Technologies, an engineering supplier in the automotive and aerospace industries announced Friday that it’s moving their North American headquarters from Novi to Detroit in early 2019.

The move brings 150 new workers into the city of Detroit.

The new headquarters will be at 6001 Cass Avenue in Detroit, as part of the Techtown neighborhood (yes, apparently, it’s being call its own neighborhood now by the city). That’s in/near Midtown and New Center.

The building, built in 1927, will get a complete rehabilitation. It started life as the Cadillac LaSalle Sales and Service Building.

The 130,000-square-foot building is another Albert Kahn-designed structure. It’ll also be home to a 6,000-square-foot gallery for Wayne State University’s art collection.

Behind this deal is The Platform. The development company is quickly garnering Gilbert-like influence of the New Center area. In Techtown, they’re building Cass & York, a 54-unit premier condominium development. They also own the Fisher Building and recently acquired the Lakeshore building at Woodward and Grand Boulevard.

So why the move from Novi to Detroit for Tata?

“North America is a very important market for Tata Technologies,” said Tata Technologies CEO Warren Harris. “Being part of Detroit’s business environment will enable access to automotive, mobility and tech companies, thereby accelerating our growth strategy and, in return, allowing us to reinvest in the city with new jobs. We are thankful to the Mayor, The Platform and the DEGC for their support in helping Tata Technologies locate its North American headquarters in Detroit.”

Tata Technologies was founded in 1989. According to press materials:

The company delivers customized solutions for engineering and design, product lifecycle management and enterprise IT system integration for the manufacturing sector. Tata Technologies is a company of engineers, led by engineers, with more than 8,500 associates representing 27 nationalities globally.

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Caesars Windsor Postpones All Concerts and Cancels Hotel Reservations Through June 16 Thu, 24 May 2018 15:06:24 +0000

Checking in on news across the river, Caesars Windsor says it’s postponing all concerts and canceling hotel reservations through June 16th.

The casino resort is locked in a labor dispute with the union that represents 23-hundred employees.

The announcement affects performances by Blink-182 … Russell Peters … and Cole Swindell. Ticket holders will have their tickets honored when the shows are rescheduled. Hotel reservation-holders will be notified by email or phone.

Caesars Windsor remained closed for business for the 47th straight day Wednesday. It’s the longest strike in the casino’s history.

The Windsor Star says it’s the fourth strike in the casino’s 23-year history.

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