Opinion – Daily Detroit http://www.dailydetroit.com What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Wed, 05 Dec 2018 23:51:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 The Stupid Move Of Demolishing A Historic Building For A Parking Lot Might Happen Yet Again http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/11/29/stupid-demolishing-detroit/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/11/29/stupid-demolishing-detroit/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 21:20:10 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=43717 Here we go again.

Yet another Detroit developer with ideas rooted in the 1980s is trying to bring down another great, old building that has been part of the fabric of the city.

The latest is the news that the first Detroit Saturday Night Building at 550 Fort that has a target on it to be demolished by the same folks who own the Fort Shelby Hotel. There’s a petition online to save the building built in 1911 by Preservation Detroit.

The Historic District Commission has a meeting about it on December 13, but since the building isn’t located in a historic district, the vote would be a suggestion and not binding.

Following the paper trail, Emmett Moten, Jr. looks to be the owner of the building in question and the surface parking lot next door. Also, importantly, he’s the orchestrator of the nearby Fort Shelby hotel that received a huge bucket of incentives to be built.

He’s also very connected in town with roots going back to Mayor Coleman Young, serving as his director of community and economic development from through most of the 80s. He was one of the folks behind the development of the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck (we happen to have a clip of a resident back then cursing his name in our podcast on the subject).

Some say he was instrumental in bringing the Ilitch empire downtown for the Fox Theatre deal, too. Moten is now in the private sector and involved in their District Detroit projects, too.

He has access to people and capital, so here’s what’s perplexing about this move. Detroit real estate is in demand. Talking to multiple real estate sources over the last year, it’s stuff with character and age that people moving downtown really want. And we really don’t have much of it left.

After all, no one moves to Detroit for the surface parking lots.

In Detroit, we’ve decimated our downtown and our community fabric in a quest for the tin holy grail of suburbanite sportsball traffic and easy parking. Now, I love the sportsball as much as anyone, but there’s no reason as a major city we can’t have both a neighborhood and attractions.

Except lack of vision.

The market has changed. Folks like Dan Gilbert and The Platform have proven that it can be done, and done well.

I’ve been here long enough to remember the series broken grand promises and seemingly forever empty buildings.

And yes, it’s great the the Fort Shelby was renovated. But that was 10 years ago. That doesn’t give you a free pass forever.

Just walk around the block of the Shinola Hotel and you’ll see what I mean. There was a surface parking lot filled with a beautiful, new building and historic rehabilitation around the entire block. The Madison block next door, too. There are plenty of examples.

And if the hotel needs more parking (that’s going to be my educated assumption knowing the ownership connection), there are plenty of ways to incorporate old and new. And a surface parking lot is the least, worst best use of land in a major city.

Just like we should have affordable opportunities to keep long-term residents in the city, we should have development that keeps the long-term character of our city.

Maybe I’ll hit Warby Parker on the way home and buy Mr. Moten a new set of glasses to help him have a little better vision.

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Here Are The Shows We’re Listening To On International Podcast Day http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/09/30/here-are-the-shows-were-listening-to-on-international-podcast-day/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/09/30/here-are-the-shows-were-listening-to-on-international-podcast-day/#respond Sun, 30 Sep 2018 16:48:44 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=43034 Podcasting is great because it’s like radio, but better. Here are some key differences.

  • Podcasts can be about whatever topic you’re interested in because you aren’t limited to the geography of how far the signal from a broadcast tower can go.
  • The formats are more varied. Some are 20 minutes. Some three hours. As long as it’s not boring, it’s fine.
  • There are usually fewer ads, and those that are there are generally less annoying.
  • It’s on-demand, so you can play when it fits into your life.
  • And, of course, no pesky FCC regulations.

So if you have an oddly timed commute? Spin up a podcast, stay in the know. Is your time to listen while walking the dog? You can find a podcast about dogs for your dog walk. Cleaning the house? I often listen to a show.

For International Podcast Day, me and Sven Gustafson put together this list of shows we listen to and talked about them on our most recent Daily Detroit podcast.

Here’s that conversation, and the links to the shows we talk about are below the player:

National podcast recommendations:

All Songs Considered

The Daily

Football Weekly (Soccer)

The Joe Rogan Experience 

One Bad Mother

Pod Save America

Revolutions podcast

Song Exploder

Sound Opinions

Today, Explained

WTF with Marc Maron

The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe

Local Detroit podcast recommendations:

Already GoneHere’s our interview with Nina Innsted

Arc Junkies

Heard Podcast

The Detroit History Podcast

IT in the D

Shattered (most recent season about White Boy Rick)

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Yes Brooks, Rebuilding Detroit Is A Righteous Cause http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/08/09/rebuilding-detroit/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/08/09/rebuilding-detroit/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 18:34:58 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42502 In his latest divisive missive, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson sounds like an emperor yelling at the thunder clouds in the sky, ordering it not to rain.

According to the letter, some CEOs of large companies and organizations in the area are getting together an initiative to either improve or go around the Detroit Regional Chamber. I have no knowledge of the ins and outs of the plan. If there’s anything to know in Detroit area politics, plans aren’t done until they’re done and things can shift quickly.

Patterson’s letter calls on Oakland County Chamber directors to meet at his office to discuss a few things. Specifically the idea that Detroit is going to take the suburb’s investment leads.

“You don’t have to read between the lines, it is clear what is happening: these self-appointed saviors for southeast Michigan are in the process of forming an ‘economic partnership’ to direct business investments to the City of Detroit … They will have no hesitation about coming into your community and snatching business leads in the righteous cause of ‘rebuilding Detroit.’ “

This is ironic because for decades Oakland County has benefitted on the decline of Detroit, offering incentives to attract businesses while the whole region sinks (more on that in a minute).

It’s only recently the shift started going the other way, starting with Compuware and Quicken Loans and increasing in pace as of late.

But the world is changing around Brooks and leaders like him. Not only is Detroit improving its business climate (and acumen at keeping employers), but the overall talent market is changing, too. To be globally competitive for top talent, you need more urban spaces. More walkability. Real transit. Amenities. There’s a reason why Ford is moving their mobility operations to the old Michigan Central Depot and making huge investments in Corktown. It’s not charity.

It’s because they believe it’ll be attractive to workers that will keep their business competitive.

Although I applaud Patterson and his balanced budgets, I also don’t buy that the last set of city or suburban leaders going all the way back to 1970 have been very good for metro Detroit. They’ve played our divisions (and we citizens fell for it) to our detriment.

Everyone talks about the city of Detroit’s decline and the suburbs rise. But I pose another idea.

That while we’ve been fighting with each other, we all have been losing. People haven’t been choosing metro Detroit while the country has lapped us. The entire Detroit region has lost people between 1970 and 2016, while the country gained nearly 60 percent.

In 1970, the Detroit region’s population was 4,490,902. In 2016, it was at 4,313,002. That’s a drop of 3.9 percent.

The entire region has seen a decline while the rest of the country’s population grew 57.6 percent. In 1970, there were about 205.1 million people in the United States. In 2016, 323.4 million.

If metro Detroit was just keeping pace with the growth the rest of the country saw, our region would now have about 7 million people. That isn’t winning. That’s not even keeping up.

Patterson may have a large amount of power in his fiefdom, but greater forces are gathering around him that he cannot control.

Many workers under 40 today have a different set of priorities. Not just any job will do. They saw their families and parents get decimated by the housing crisis, so many don’t buy into the traditional system of get a white picket house in the ‘burbs, drive around everywhere, eat a bunch of fast food and go home.

In fact, many workers can’t afford that suburban house (if they even want it anymore) with high student loan debt and other burdens that previous financial generations didn’t have. It’s rare that quality talent stays in the same job for years, and so they may move… or even move cities. Their purchasing tastes are different too. For instance, the giant brewers are suffering while craft ones are rising. There’s a reason you see so many so-called “hipster” places in Detroit. Because it works. People frequent them.

Sure, those workers — often referred to as millenials — are the brunt of a lot of jokes, but that’s who is the predominant workforce now.

And to be sure, there have been suburban areas that have seen more major investment as of late. They look more like Ferndale and Royal Oak.

Detroit’s legacy leaders shouldn’t think about competition against each other, but that we’re in a national and global marketplace.

Detroit’s brand is hot. Those ads in subways in New York and on billboards across the country don’t read “Shinola Huntington Woods,” or “Shinola Franklin,” or “Shinola Bloomfield Hills.”

They read Shinola Detroit.

Because Detroit matters. The brand matters. And so does rebuilding Detroit.

Yes, we need to make sure the comeback is inclusive. Inclusive for the citizens that live here, and inclusive as in the entire region seeing benefits and growing together. To me, that’s part of what it means to be a Detroiter. We pioneered the $5 work day, and we for years were a place where the middle class could enjoy an amazing standard of living. We set that bar.

So yes Brooks, rebuilding Detroit is a righteous cause. One to be proud of and part of. But to make it happen, we’re going to think differently than we have in the past.

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On Aug. 7, Vote ‘Yes’ To Support SMART Bus Service http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/07/31/on-aug-7-vote-yes-to-support-smart-bus-service/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/07/31/on-aug-7-vote-yes-to-support-smart-bus-service/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 12:23:29 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42463 The Detroit region already squandered the latest, best opportunity to invest in our region and sharpen our economic competitiveness, thanks to the intransigence of Oakland and Macomb Counties in stonewalling the latest Regional Transit Authority plan.

The refusal of Oakland and Macomb representatives to simply approve putting the proposal before voters this year means we’ll likely have to wait at least two more years to try and resurrect the issue yet again after voters narrowly rejected a similar plan in 2016.

Meanwhile, we can preserve the modest transit system we do have next week, when voters in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties will consider renewing the millage supporting the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, the bus system that provides nearly 10 million rides annually, through 2021.

Voters last approved a SMART millage in 2014 with 66 percent of the vote. The bus agency is using the resulting funding increase to replace 35 aging buses, most of which had racked up at least 500,000 miles (show of hands how many of you are driving cars with that many miles on them — we’ll wait).

The approval has also allowed the agency to put money it had been pouring into maintenance toward expanding service and launching the FAST bus service, which offers seven-day-a-week limited-stop express service on Woodward and Gratiot Avenues and from downtown to Metro Airport aboard WiFi-enabled buses. Ridership on those corridors is reportedly up more than 30 percent, while overall SMART ridership has risen 11 percent.

Yet proponents of SMART are clearly nervous. Blame anti-transit sentiment dredged up by the latest failed Regional Transit Authority plan and concern that voters will confuse the proposals, but also blame anti-tax zealots who are trying to defeat the proposal. A group called the MI Taxpayers Alliance out of Macomb County is making robocalls and sending out mailers, setting up a false choice between the SMART renewal and fixing the region’s crumbling roads.

It’s not an either-or scenario. The reality is, the increases that would result from the proposal passing are miniscule. Residents who own a home valued at $200,000 in Macomb County are looking at a whopping 78 cents extra per year over current levels, and $1.37 more each year in Oakland County. For voters in Wayne County who already pay the full 1-mill levy, there would likely be no change in their SMART tax levy.

Voting no also does nothing to fix our Third-World roads. The two are separate issues, and neither cancels out the other.

Claims that public transportation is somehow rendered obsolete by ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, or by the dawn of self-driving vehicles, are absurd. Let’s be honest: Uber is great, but it’s a privilege available to people of means who are comfortable using technology. It has nothing to offer seniors who don’t use smartphones, the poor or disabled people who need wheelchair access. As for the latter? Well, consider the fact that Congress still hasn’t been able to pass legislation governing autonomous vehicles. And think about the problems leading companies like Uber and Tesla have had with their own autonomous or semi-autonomous programs. Bottom line: the technology isn’t ready.

Detroit is seeing levels of investment and economic wins the likes of which your Daily Detroit team has never seen in their lifetimes. But the need for economic development remains massive, and it hardly stops at 8 Mile Road. We see plenty of examples of older suburbs falling into blight and disinvestment.

SMART has demonstrated sound fiscal stewardship and impressive operational improvements. It’s far from perfect, or comprehensive, but it’s the region’s best option for getting people to and from jobs. Cutting off funding now would be the worst kind of self-inflicted economic wound.

Vote yes on renewing the SMART millage Aug. 7.

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Progressive winds are blowing across America. We’re about to find out how strong they are in Michigan. http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/07/23/progressive-winds-michigan/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/07/23/progressive-winds-michigan/#respond Mon, 23 Jul 2018 16:38:51 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42427 Staring at the computer on Thursday night watching the Democratic debate for Michigan governor, a realization hit. Abdul El-Sayed could win this primary.

It’s not that Gretchen Whitmer hasn’t been a public servant with a strong record. Or that she’d be a terrible choice of governor if you’re a Democrat. She’s running up against forces out of her control, forces that the party and the country and part are wrestling with nationally. As there isn’t much policy daylight between the candidates, this race may come down to just how strong those forces are.

And Abdul El-Sayed might just be strong enough of a candidate to capitalize on those larger political winds.

For a variety of reasons, the reality is that the base of both political parties cares little for the moneyed establishment. The party’s decision-making power is waning, and primaries are about the base of the party and turning out folks to vote.

Let’s not forget. Bernie Sanders won Michigan in 2016 and the polls were spectacularly wrong. So my gut says traditional polls are not a great guide for picking up the whims of progressive voters — and there haven’t been many polls this cycle. In some cases, the polls were off 20 or 30 points here in 2016.

That’s not a margin of error. That’s a guess. 

Whitmer has a compelling and interesting story. Going through their policies, the candidates don’t have that many differences. But her campaign comes off as the definition of the establishment. She has almost every single endorsement of the unions and of other Democratic politicians in the party. She’s the party’s choice.

In past years that’d be a huge asset. I don’t know if it is a guarantee of victory in these times. Both political parties are struggling with the Iron Law of Institutions.

For the Democrats, it’s not just the Michigan Bernie victory in 2016. Another is the establishment and union pick for Attorney General went down in flames back in April, with Dana Nessel becoming the first openly gay candidate for Michigan statewide office.

Detroit is crucial.

Democrats can’t win a general statewide election without a strong African-American and Detroit turnout.

The Whitmer campaign has to know this. There have been a couple of reports of rising star Garlin Gilchrist II being vetted by the Whitmer campaign as Lieutenant Governor. The former Barack Obama campaign organizer and failed (only by a little bit) candidate for Detroit City Clerk, Gilchrist II is someone I pegged early to be more successful than people thought and has grassroots support.

The irony of that move — if true — is that the same energy I felt when I met Garlin, I felt that when I met Abdul.

Abdul’s Achilles Heel?

The suburbs and outstate voters are where Abdul El-Sayed’s Achilles Heel could be. Will Michiganders look past the fact he’s Muslim if nominated? Many Democrats openly talk about the fact they don’t think a Muslim can win in Michigan. That Whitmer is the right choice to win in the general. Or that Gretchen can bring more people into the tent.

And they have a point. Tension among the state’s general electorate is real, with places like Sterling Heights getting the nickname “Saudi Heights” and the spotlight on Hamtramck having a majority Muslim city council.

I’d expect the national spotlight on our worst prejudices if El-Sayed is nominated. Pundits and activists from around the country will swarm into the state. Money on both sides would flow into what could become an active battleground in America’s modern civil war of identity politics. Unlike Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, this isn’t a House seat. This is a governorship responsible for millions of people.

One of the things about Abdul’s pitch I take issue with is that he asks, in relation to Whitmer’s 527 funding mechanism “Build A Better Michigan,” what deals were cut behind the scenes with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Those donors to the 527 should be voluntarily disclosed. Most of the coverage around the campaign omits the very important detail that Gretchen Whitmer’s father is the longtime former CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Dick Whitmer. I don’t think she had to cut a deal for support. She’s literally family. If they didn’t support her it’d be surprising.

Not to mention, Blue Cross Blue Shield’s executive team actively supported Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and there’s no love lost between Duggan and El-Sayed over difference of opinion on corporate financing, water shutoffs and lead issues around the demolition program.

The fireworks of that relationship would be very interesting to watch with a El-Sayed primary victory.

via GIPHY

Gretchen Whitmer’s best insurance of primary victory is the existence of Shri Thanedar. If he siphons off enough votes, it’s a very hard path for Abdul El-Sayed. 

I haven’t talked about him much in this piece, and I could eat a lot of crow later, but I don’t see a scenario where Thanedar wins right now. He hasn’t captured the national attention or support of the Democratic Socialist movement. This election will, however, raise his name ID for future endeavors — as it will for El-Sayed. This probably will not be the last we see of either man.

At the risk of sounding cliche, this race isn’t a lock. Which kind of Democrat shows up to the ballot box on August 7 may very well decide the nomination.

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What Metro Detroit Leaders Don’t Want To Tell You Is Our Region Has Been Losing Since 1970. Let’s Change That. http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/07/05/metro-detroit-leaders-dont-want-tell-region-losing-since-1970-lets-change/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/07/05/metro-detroit-leaders-dont-want-tell-region-losing-since-1970-lets-change/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 19:47:38 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42310 The common story is that Detroit’s suburbs have done great while the city fell apart and just now is coming back. And a common storyline I’ve heard is that Detroit wants a “free ride” off of the successful suburbs.

Locally, people look at the city of Detroit’s decline as somehow separate from the suburbs. That after 1967 it all went to hell (although you should by know now that the city’s population peaked in 1950).

But what if I told you that the suburbs aren’t truly successful? That although the city of Detroit did decline, so did the entire region?

via GIPHY

Although it may have felt like success to many in suburbia, which has seen more development since 1970, in fact, the entire Detroit region hasn’t been keeping pace with the rest of the nation for nearly half a century. Turns out it’s not just Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan who’s dealing with a population decline.

The reality is, according to the U.S. Census, the entire Detroit region has lost people between 1970 and 2016.

In 1970, the Detroit region’s population was 4,490,902. In 2016, it was estimated at 4,313,002. That’s a net drop of 3.9 percent.

The entire region has seen a decline while the rest of the country’s population grew 57.6 percent. In 1970, there were about 205.1 million people in the United States. In 2016, 323.4 million.

If metro Detroit was just keeping pace with the growth the rest of the country saw, our region would now have about 7 million people.

There are many reasons for this, but people haven’t been choosing our region to live or invest in for a long time. We need to look in the mirror and ask why. I don’t think we have far to look for one of the causes.

Up at the Mackinac Policy Conference, I heard squawking that Detroit’s becoming too powerful. That we’re back to animosity across 8 Mile. I was reminded (and inspired to write this) by a recent blog post on New Geography.

That animosity reminded me that many elected leaders and some businessmen know the numbers that I write above is true. That people have been voting with the feet for decades, so leaders (and many residents) feel we have to play a zero-sum game. That we need to steal pie from our neighbors instead of making more pie for everyone.

And back to the old, divisive tactics folks went. The attitude of “I’m gonna get mine” instead of looking to see how they can build something bigger. 

I believe a strong city of Detroit also means a strong Detroit region. We should be about lifting each other up, pulling ourselves out of the hole we’re all in. This hole that stretches across decades, across city, county and party lines.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve been on a losing path for longer than I’ve been alive — with many more years of insanity ahead unless we realize where we really are and make changes in our hearts and minds — and demand those changes of those we put in charge.

Why do I bring this up? Not to bring you down, but to bring us to action.

After all, loving Detroit means more than buying the T-shirt. The “brand” of Detroit seems to mean to folks that you believe in the power of hard work and making something.

Everyone has their own opinion, but in my mind, you don’t deserve to wear “Detroit” on your chest unless you’re willing to do work and take action for your community to make it better.

Working together seems to be the best way to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. And if we’re going to work together, we need to demand that action of our leaders — and if they don’t do it, change our leaders.

One way to do this? We have a key set of elections coming up in cities, counties, the state legislature and yes, all the way up to the governor’s office. The registration deadline for the August primary election is July 9 — and there will be many more after that. It feels like a lot of folks on both sides are taking our votes for granted lately. Let’s make them earn it.

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8 Things We’ve Learned Producing More Than 80 Episodes Of A Daily Podcast http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/25/how-to-daily-podcast-learn/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/25/how-to-daily-podcast-learn/#respond Mon, 25 Jun 2018 16:33:54 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42209 The last few months have been crazy for us. Why? We now produce a daily, original, all-local podcast. 

Monday through Thursday we produce 15-20 minutes of audio that is the Daily Detroit Podcast.  It includes originally reported stories, key headlines, and usually a feature audio documentary or interview.

On Fridays we produce the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast with Sven Gustafson. It’s evolving into Detroit’s podcast dinner party. 

So in reality, we produce podcast shows five days a week. 80+ Daily Detroit News Bytes and 50+ Happy Hours. 

We still have a lot of room to grow and a lot more we’ll learn as we keep doing this, but here are 8 things we’ve learned producing a podcast every day.

1. There are no rules, but have a process

With a daily show, things can easily change in within hours or minutes of post time. There are no hard rules as to when the rest of the world happens. This means you need a strong process so you can put out fires as they arise instead of dealing with basics.

We like perfect audio, but with our time constraints we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We use low-cost tools that work well like Slack and Google Docs every day to coordinate. 

We have to creatively solve problems all the time — including where to record on the fly.

We’ve recorded inside of cars. In quiet parks. In a quiet corner of the GM RenCen. Outside of the old train station… and in the lobby of the Grand Hotel up on Mackinac Island.

2. Get solid gear, but focus on your story

The new podcast studio space before any work got done.

If you want to think about gear all day, go be an engineer and help produce someone else’s show. At the end of the day, most listeners do not care what you recorded on as long as it sounds good. Our reliable workhorse is an old, dented, screen-cracked Tascam DR-40. 

Good mic technique and basic processing can get you most of the way you need to go. 

Although we can record independently, we often choose to use the service of a local studio and incubator, Podcast Detroit. Why? Because it’s an easy button and sometimes we need to go in, record, and be done. We’ll soon have an announcement about regular recording digs in the city of Detroit with them.

After all, we make shows — not technical audio equipment discussions.

3. Digital media is its own thing

When people approach digital media of any kind, they tend to think it’s an echo of the world they came from. Former print people often think the internet is text. Video folks believe everything should be video. Radio folks, audio. Photographers, images.

In fact, digital is its own medium. Each story format has its strengths, and you need to be able to switch between them depending on the story you need to tell.

Podcasting allows for more tone and personality to come out to the audience than text does. You can hear the energy someone brings to the mic.

4. Think evergreen

Viranel Clerard (left) with Sven Gustafson (right) in studio

Episodes of the Daily Detroit podcast are often listened up to a week from the day they are posted. We have to think about that with every story we select, and give people enough lead time to binge listen or catch up. That’s just the nature of podcasting.

5. Focus to stand out

Here’s a fact traditional media should shudder at: 44 percent of the time, people don’t even know what the original source is of what they’re reading if they’ve followed a link from Facebook.

If done right, podcasts set your brand apart. You don’t need to put out 30 or 40 stories a day like so many local outlets do nowadays to be valuable. In fact, traditional media may be wasting audience’s time trying to offer too much.

Per Stratechery:

A sustainable local news publication will be fundamentally different: a minimal rundown of the news of the day, with a small number of in-depth articles a week featuring real in-depth reporting, with the occasional feature or investigative report. After all, it’s not like it is hard to find content to read on the Internet: what people will pay for is quality content about things they care about (and the fact that people care about their cities will be these publications’ greatest advantage).

Our experience so far is that Ben Thompson’s above theory is correct.

6. This will be hard work

Getting interviews at Jimmy John’s Field in Shelby Township

I get asked a lot about our technical tricks to put a show out every day. Our app we use that does it all. Our simple steps.

There are no shortcuts. You have to show up every day. You have to do the work.

You will always be thinking of ways to work smarter, not harder, sure. But doing something of quality every day is not a hobby or a side project.

7. You can’t build anything that lasts by yourself

Sven Gustafson (Daily Detroit), Jordan Hoffman (PARC), Steve Wilke (Editor, Hour Magazine)

Collaborate wherever you can. We’ve had people from Hour Detroit, Bridge Magazine, the Detroit News and others on our shows. Guests sometimes become regular contributors.

Having an “us vs. them” attitude of the traditional newsroom simply doesn’t work in digital. Have a great story and want to talk about it? Come on by!

Unlike some folks, we take PR pitches. Not all of them are great, and some are outright awful. But a good one is how we got an episode with play-by-play announcer Dan Dickerson and Tigers legend Willie Horton on a show.

Beyond our little core team, we collaborate with Fletcher Sharpe to cover Detroit City FC on a regular basis, a beat traditional sports stations basically ignore. Chef Godwin Ihentuge will be adding depth of flavor to the culinary side of our Daily Detroit Happy Hour. Viranel Clerard, the man behind DetroitMurals.com, now comes on to talk about street art. Karen Dybis appears often to add context and helped us with our Mackinac coverage.

8. Put the audience — your community — first.

WIIFM. What’s In It For Me. That’s what almost every listener that’s not your mom thinks, every day. Time is now our most valuable asset as a society. Look at all the on-demand services out there now designed to save us time. Shipt. Lyft. Amazon Prime. The list goes on.

With a podcast, you can’t force people to subscribe. They’re making an active choice. Honor that decision with everything you produce, and have fun with it. Remember that people can often hear how you’re feeling. This is challenging but rewarding work. People can hear it if you love what you do.

I hope this post helps your project. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe (free!) to our shows. Thanks!

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Keith Crain’s Editorial On Bike Lanes In Detroit Is Out Of Touch And Reeks Of Privilege. Here’s Why. http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/17/keith-crains-editorial-bike-lanes-detroit-touch-reeks-privilege-heres/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/17/keith-crains-editorial-bike-lanes-detroit-touch-reeks-privilege-heres/#respond Sun, 17 Jun 2018 17:14:37 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42126 If you want to be a city of tomorrow, you need to have the building blocks for it. And tomorrow — even today, as Ford and General Motors have acknowledged with their recent investments in mobility — involves many different kinds of transportation options.

Keith Crain’s editorial on June 17, “Say goodbye to the Motor City” was emblematic of old Detroit thinking. Detroit thinking from the world of 1950, not 2018.

Lots of Detroit’s leaders talk about bringing back the city’s glory days. To me, the “we’ve always been the Motor City” trope feels similar.

Here’s a newsflash: To lots of Detroit residents, especially those of African American descent, Detroit’s glory days in the 1950s weren’t such a great time. We white folks don’t like to talk about it, especially in business circles, but it’s a real thing.

Black and brown folks were extremely limited as to how they could participate in Detroit’s community and commerce back then, and when you focus on the glory of Detroit’s past, that was a glory that didn’t include what is now the city’s supermajority population.

It was great in old Detroit if you had money and you were white. If you were a person of color, you could only live in certain parts of town, the jobs available to you were greatly reduced, not to mention the rampant segregation of the era mostly shut you out of Detroit’s success. 

And don’t even get me started on how car-centric development in later years decimated neighborhoods in Detroit and emptied out the city.

Personally, I think I live in a city that wants to look forward while taking the best parts of the past, be inclusive, and celebrate all different kinds of people and preferences.

Why do I bring this up? Keith’s response reeks of privilege. He doesn’t need to think about any other transportation options.

But many of my fellow residents do. About a quarter of households in the city of Detroit do not own a car – putting it in the top 10 for cities with more than 100,000 people. Michigan is also a state that’s seeing a decline in households that own a car. Don’t they deserve safe travel, too? 

A bike is a real thing people use to get to around. I know. I live over by Livernois and Six Mile. I see it every day. I see the bikes on the front of DDOT buses. When I come downtown, I see MoGo bike share bikes being used by all kinds of people as an alternative to hopping in your car for a mile-long trip.

And as to a “powerful lobby” he refers to? The Detroit Greenways Coalition is basically one guy, Todd Scott, supported by a lot of grassroots folks.

It says something about the fragility of the halls of power at the Detroit Athletic Club if one guy and a like-minded movement of passionate urbanists can rattle their cigar lockers and make someone wonder why THE Keith Crain wasn’t included with an embossed invitation.

Crain says there must be some master plan we haven’t seen. But there have been a lot of public presentations and meetings on the topic.

We at Daily Detroit covered some of those meetings. We’ve devoted our small resources multiple times to these events. You chose not to go, not to see it.

I remember that bike lanes were also talked about in the Detroit Future City planning process, I want to say in 2011 or 2012.

The bike lane projects haven’t been perfect in their rollout, but if we’re honest with ourselves, almost no infrastructure project is.

Speaking of  “I am not sure whose idea it was,” If you had been paying attention to this topic — even to the excellent reporters at your own publication — you’d know that another champion for bike lanes has been Detroit Mayor Duggan’s own planning guru Maurice Cox.

Cox brings a global, urban perspective to a city and a leadership community that’s not used to embracing outside ideas, even if they’ve been proven time and time again. He’s been a mayor himself. He’s worked in Italy and around the United States. I could go on an on, but he’s basically a true Detroit renaissance man.

He has seen that the rest of world that’s attractive to young talent has basics like bike lanes. Bike lanes aren’t the answer, but they’re part of the solution along with functional mass transit and, yes, smartly designed roads.

This may be uncomfortable for Crain to think about as a member of the Automotive Hall of Fame, but for many people, the car is no longer the center of the conversation.

Even Bill Ford Jr. picked up on the fact that times changing and bought the old train station in Corktown, among other properties, to position his company for the future of mobility. And mobility means a variety of ways to get around, not just the traditional car. If that’s not enough to convince you, his Fontinalis Partners invests in all kinds of startups that aren’t just about four wheels.

Maybe it’s time you, Keith Crain, and the others that think like you in Detroit’s leadership set, picked up on that fact, too.

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PODCAST: Breaking Down The Michigan Governor’s Race With Jonathan Oosting (And A Few Words On Anthony Bourdain) http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/10/podcast-breaking-michigan-governors-race-jonathan-oosting-words-anthony-bourdain/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/10/podcast-breaking-michigan-governors-race-jonathan-oosting-words-anthony-bourdain/#respond Sun, 10 Jun 2018 21:59:28 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42027

The candidates running for governor were out in full force at the Mackinac Policy Conference and for this edition of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour we caught up with Jonathan Oosting, political reporter from the Detroit News, about the race.

Then, Sven Gustafson and Jer Staes from Daily Detroit then broke it down from their perspective.

We also spent a few minutes in the beginning on the tragic death of Anthony Bourdain and what he meant to Detroit.

Like the show? Subscribe free in Apple Podcasts or wherever shows are found.

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Democratic Gubernatorial Hopeful Abdul El-Sayed: ‘I See A State That Is Quickly Failing People’ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/30/democratic-gubernatorial-hopeful-abdul-el-sayed-see-state-quickly-failing-people-state/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/30/democratic-gubernatorial-hopeful-abdul-el-sayed-see-state-quickly-failing-people-state/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 03:06:50 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41899

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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