Opinion – Daily Detroit http://www.dailydetroit.com What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:10:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9 For Detroit City Clerk, Garlin Gilchrist Is The Clear Choice http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/11/02/detroit-city-clerk-garlin-gilchrist-clear-choice/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/11/02/detroit-city-clerk-garlin-gilchrist-clear-choice/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 19:22:40 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=39331 The city clerk race has become interesting this year. It’s usually a sleeper with candidates nobody really cares about.

But between issues around the last general election and a dynamic figure appearing on the stage, it’s been something to watch and research.

Gilchrist II may have been an unknown figure to most media, but he was known to us. Before he was running for anything (or we knew he was running for anything), he stopped by our Daily Detroit Happy Hour Podcast to talk about Detroit technology.

When he announced he was running for City Clerk, we were initially skeptical. This is a town that historically has gone for name recognition above almost all else.

After he defeated Heaster Wheeler, a long-time operator in the Detroit scene with more name recognition in the primary, Gilchrist II deserved a closer look — especially after what happened in the last general election.

On a personal level, two of our Detroit resident team members had bad voting experiences.

In the case of one, the poll workers clearly weren’t trained. The line was long while they got their stuff together, and the mechanical issues were so bad the vote was dropped in another box.

Sure, the mechanical issues could have been explained away with new gear. But the poll workers didn’t know how to deal with it.

They just stared at it like it was some sort of magic box. This doesn’t build trust, and then were clearly “well, maybe we’ll do this…” which is problem solving — but they should immediately know what to do if there’s a problem.

Beyond that, the most recent presidential election had issues with the ballot boxes not being able to recounted. Poll workers got the number of people who voted wrong. 60 percent of precincts could not be recounted due to this human error and two thirds had more votes than voters.

It was not fraud, but it was a sign of incompetence and poor training. And that isn’t the equipment. That’s the process. We believe the current City Clerk, Janice Winfrey, owns the responsibility for that poor process.

Not to mention, Detroit continues to be slow in reporting election results. Winfrey has been in the office since 2005.

We also despise the long-standing practice of using city dollars to pay for informational billboards to plaster “So and so, City Clerk” (or any office, for that matter) all over town.

We hope Garlin Gilchrist II, who has made this somewhat of an issue in the campaign, steps up and doesn’t do this himself. Also, that the practice is ended across all offices for billboards paid for by taxpayers.

Admittedly, Gilchrist II is on the younger side at 34 when seeking this office. But his technical experience with the Obama campaign, as National Campaign Director for MoveOn.org, and Director of Technology for the City of Detroit, show that he actually understands what’s going on.

Garlin Gilchrist II has the potential of being the kind of leader that embodies the future of Detroit that we want to see. Our city, standing tall.

And so we believe Garlin Gilchrist II is the best choice for Detroit City Clerk.

Although we have an opinion, we encourage you to do your own research. Here are some resources:

Debate on WDIV: https://www.clickondetroit.com/flashpoint/-detroit-city-clerk-candidates-janice-winfrey-and-garlin-gilchrist-debate

Janice Winfrey Campaign Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janicewinfreycityclerk/

Janice Winfrey Campaign Website: http://janice4thewin.com/

Janice Winfrey Ballotpedia: https://ballotpedia.org/Janice_Winfrey

Garlin Gilchrist II Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gilchristforcityclerk/

Garlin Gilchrist II Campaign Website: https://www.gilchristforcityclerk.com/

Garlin Gilchrist II Ballotpedia: https://ballotpedia.org/Garlin_Gilchrist_II

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OPINION: Banning Billboards In Downtown Detroit Is Ridiculous And The Law Should Change http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/11/01/opinion-banning-billboards-downtown-detroit/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/11/01/opinion-banning-billboards-downtown-detroit/#respond Wed, 01 Nov 2017 20:17:50 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=39322 Active, vibrant cities the world over have billboards and advertisements. But in Detroit, almost all the ones you’ve seen pop up over the last few years? Turns out they’re illegal, according to city code.

And that’s especially ridiculous in Detroit’s core business district.

If you didn’t know, there’s a prohibition in the city of Detroit against large advertising signs, billboards and painted wall graphics basically anywhere from Grand Boulevard to the Detroit River.

Opponents of these big ads talk about them being “a big money business” that “somebody should stop.” In this case, that’s a disturbing point of view.

The signs can bring in revenue, according to folks we talked to, between $5,000 and $11,000 per month, similar to what has been reported elsewhere. That can be a significant source of revenue for building owners, many of remember when nobody wanted to be part of anything Detroit.

Rules like this show that although the city of Detroit has become more business-friendly, it still has a long way to go before resembling a normal environment.

What’s the harm in a giant Andre Drummond being visible on what is otherwise a blank wall? Or a Comcast ad that helps support the work of the Detroit Opera House on a wall that would otherwise be empty?

It’s still not easy to make it financially in Detroit, especially for smaller players.

Not to mention, in the last couple of decades we’ve had a demolition derby where we hit the destruct button on buildings that represent a century’s worth of history. It’s part of why we have a bunch of blank walls that used to be concealed by other buildings.

And now the city government is going to make sure we and our visitors stare at those failures, day after day.

We should put in common sense provisions like a license fee and approval process to make sure guidelines of decency and taste are met. No one is arguing it should be the wild west.

But tasteful signs add to the vibe that this is a bustling downtown and help fill out the streetscape. They help keep the economic engine humming.

The city is supposed to begin enforcing the ban at the end of this year. The city council and the mayor should do fast-track reforms before that happens.

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6 Bars Of The District Detroit & Little Caesars Arena, Ranked http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/10/25/6-bars-district-detroit-ranked/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/10/25/6-bars-district-detroit-ranked/#respond Wed, 25 Oct 2017 16:00:39 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=39225 One of the biggest issues plaguing both Joe Louis Arena and The Palace of Auburn Hills was the lack of quality options for eating and boozing before and after games.

The Palace had well-documented struggles with this issue and the old Joe Louis Arena, while located in downtown Detroit, was nestled in a veritable concrete fortress of freeway ramps and parking structures.

Those issues are a thing of the past with the opening of The District Detroit and its crown jewel, Little Caesars Arena. The area now counts at least a half-dozen bars and restaurants in a few blocks.

With an interesting mix of old standbys and new offerings, this area is becoming a destination on game days and off nights alike.

After visiting each one, what else is there to do then but rank these establishments on a completely arbitrary scale based on my own preferences? Here we go — and feel free to tell me how you’d order them in the comments.

6. District Market Detroit

via Facebook

District Market Detroit is fully capable food court offering a variety of food and beverage options including coffee, beer, and desserts. As with its District siblings it has TVs to watch the game and easy access right into the arena. The problem is it has little else in terms of charm or uniqueness. District Market is simply “there,” which sometimes is all you need.

5. Kid Rock’s Made In Detroit

via Facebook

The atmosphere recalls a Hard Rock Café, if the only musician who ever existed was Kid Rock. I promise I didn’t set out to drop the self-proclaimed “pimp of the nation” to number five on this list, and if you enjoy the man and his music this may be your favorite spot of the bunch. However, evaluating this place objectively, it is decidedly the priciest, whether that be $11 beers or $16 sandwiches. You’ll basically be paying “stadium pricing” for any offering here. There’s a bonus for fans of the Kid — I hear he frequents the establishment and has even been known to play a few impromptu songs for the crowd lucky enough to be there.

4. Temple Bar

Temple Bar Detroit

The longest tenured bar in the area, Temple is THE best place to get cheap drinks and mingle with true locals to the area, most of whom will openly curse the Ilitches and lament the gentrification taking place in their old stomping grounds. Temple is a true dive bar that’s affectionate appeal comes in the interesting conversation and eclectic individuals you’ll meet there.

3. Harry’s Detroit

via Facebook

Harry’s is absolutely a “District Bar” whether they want the moniker or not. Nestled right in the heart of the shining gleaming new offerings, Harry’s has undergone a subtler transformation recently, painting the entire structure black. Inside is the same casual, no frills atmosphere and offerings they have always had. Nothing special to speak of but it is not the $8 Bud Lights and $18 pizzas as some the other new neighbors, which for many old-school patrons is more than enough incentive to go here.

2. Sports & Social Detroit

via Facebook

A quintessential “sports bar” this place has the requisite massive TV’s playing multiple games at a time, a decent menu selection of game day favorites, and a great outdoor bar that becomes a lively spot for drinks and conversation on the weekends and event days. The only downside here is a limited cocktail menu and poor wine selection, but hey if you’re coming here, it should be for the big game and a tall glass of beer.

1. Mike’s Pizza Bar

via Facebook

The eponymously named flagship of The Districts offerings, Mike’s Pizza takes the number on spot on this list because of a more than respectable cocktail and beer menu, and hand tossed pizzas that easily outdo the Hot ‘n Readys that made the Ilitch family a household name.

Mike’s also has a fantastic indoor/outdoor bar area when the weather is reasonable and ample big screen televisions to catch the action going on both inside the stadium and around sports world. To top it off, there’s also live music offerings most weekends just make sure to check their active Facebook page for updates on who’s playing and when.

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Slick Hype Video & Website Launches To Push Amazon, Others To Move To Detroit http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/10/19/slick-hype-video-website-launches-push-amazon-others-move-detroit/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/10/19/slick-hype-video-website-launches-push-amazon-others-move-detroit/#respond Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:42:46 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=39035 If you’ve been bouncing around Detroit for awhile, you know that about every year or two there’s another website/video/program/etc. that’s created by corporate types to “get the word out” about Detroit being the place to be.

It’s a few minutes of poetry slam meets informercial — infoetry, if you will — with captivating shots of the city and the state.

Not to rain on anyone’s parade or good intentions, but our experience is most initiatives last for the year or so of initial funding, then can’t find more funding and collapses — or never finds a sustainable revenue source and fizzles away once the corporate champion for it moves on to another job.

The latest edition of that hype Merry-Go-Round is tied in timing to the Amazon bid. The beautiful video, embedded above, is making the rounds on various social media and news platforms. It’s well produced and the timing is perfect for sharing since we’re at the due date for submitting a bid to Amazon.

Tied to the video is the release of a new website, Detroit Moves The World.

The slick site makes the pitch, especially to businesses, on why they should locate in Detroit. It seems a logical extension of all the work that had to be done for the Amazon bid to then use that content in another way.

There’s also the required hashtag on social media, #MoveTheWorld, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The initiative is led by the folks at Bedrock Real Estate, which makes sense.

After all, if you’re looking to move into downtown Detroit from another city, Bedrock has the most to gain if a company makes that decision with a deep portfolio of buildings under their ownership and ready-to-go space leased by them.

It’s well produced. It seems some creatives of many types have done a great job putting their talents to work, and kudos to them.

Hopefully, the organizers don’t repeat past mistakes and actually invest in the project and evolve it going forward, or the real impact beyond Facebook likes and easy clicks for media outlets will be limited.

It’s obviously aimed at out-of-towners — but those of us who’ve been here awhile don’t need a hype video to know Detroit is the place to be, though we appreciate the love.

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PODCAST: HuffPost’s Listen To America Tour Visits Detroit With Jo Confino http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/10/03/podcast-huffposts-listen-america-tour-visits-detroit-jo-confino/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/10/03/podcast-huffposts-listen-america-tour-visits-detroit-jo-confino/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 00:17:59 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=38722

The HuffPost, formerly known as the Huffington Post, was in Campus Martius in Detroit capturing stories from Detroiters as part of their Listen To America Tour.

They’re visiting 25 cities across the heartland of the country to get a beat on what people actually care about. It’s an interesting experiment in outreach.

So we talked with Jo Confino. At HuffPost, Confino is Editor of Impact & Innovation and Editorial Director of their solutions journalism project, “What’s Working.”

The conversation gets into the challenges of solutions journalism — how it’s harder than chasing down the crime stories of the day, and it’s not always about positive stories. Also, breaking down the mental barriers that some journalists have.

Apologies ahead of time for a little wind noise. We recorded on location for this one.

If you’d like to get more of the News Byte show, subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/daily-detroit-news-byte/id1220563942?mt=2

Also, thanks to our network, Podcast Detroit: http://www.podcastdetroit.com

A link to HuffPost’s What’s Working: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/whats-working

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For Day To Day Usage, MoGo Bike Share Beats The QLINE Hands Down http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/19/day-day-usage-mogo-bike-share-beats-qline-hands/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/19/day-day-usage-mogo-bike-share-beats-qline-hands/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:06:47 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=38478 When it comes to practicality, the QLINE streetcar has been a disappointment.

Our team is pretty bike- and walk- friendly, and will take the bus if the timing makes sense.

We have contributors who live near the QLINE and the MoGo stations, and others who live near bus lines and use them (in the suburbs, too).

When both opened earlier this year, we had multiple debates over which service was going to come out on top. It was evenly split between bike share lovers and believers in the power of the streetcar.

It isn’t even close.

It turns out the MoGo is, from a practical perspective, what someone around here ends up using almost every time, almost every day.

At first the MoGo might seem steep at $8 a day. But here’s the pro tip. If you use it more than one day in a 30-day period, grab that monthly pass for $18 that gives you unlimited rides. That changes your whole relationship with the service, even if you drive downtown for work. You won’t need to wait for the card to come in the mail, either. Just use the Transit app and sign in.

How does it change things? Well, that meeting in Grand Circus Park? Grab a MoGo and be there in a minute or two. Dinner in Greektown? Easy. Heading to food trucks at Spirit of Detroit Park from Bottom Line Coffeeshop? A cinch. Business drinks in Corktown? Yep.

The QLINE? People from out of town always want to use it because everyone wants to see it. But if you need to get to work and do things? Let’s be real. Even if you live right on the line, in the morning one, maybe two 53 Woodward DDOT buses are going to pass in the time one QLINE comes through.

Or, just bike it.

In nice weather on a personal bike or hopping on the MoGo, if there’s any traffic, you’re going to beat the QLINE hands down and get a little exercise.

Not to mention, when hopping around greater downtown for press conferences, meetings, or whatever else, the MoGo will get you there in no time and you’re never going to have to worry about where to park your bike or if it’s going to be stolen. Not to mention, it’s easy to get from the Central Business District to the Podcast Detroit studio at 21st Street and Vernor for our shows on MoGo. There’s a station on the same block.

We’ve counted up 12 meetings that we MoGo’d to in the last week or so.

The streetcar, when you do take it and it’s not a sportsball game, looks much emptier than when they were offering free rides. It’s going to be very interesting to see what their ridership is now.

The QLINE for sure is a “catalyst” for development. Developers who don’t live here find rails much more believable than a flexible bus line or Bus Rapid Transit. From a grander vision thing, in theory, we see that argument. And streetcars — especially if they reach farther or go faster — can be an important part of a transportation mix.

But actually living and doing things here, and having an interaction with the city that’s more than once in awhile for a special event, it’s a different question. The MoGo bike share is the clear choice.

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Allow Me To Freak Out About $400K Homes In My Old Detroit Neighborhood http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/17/allow-freak-400k-homes-old-detroit-neighborhood/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/17/allow-freak-400k-homes-old-detroit-neighborhood/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 00:15:35 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=38443 I last spent time in Woodbridge Farms, my old neighborhood, last fall, when I joined some coworkers to plant trees with crews from the Greening of Detroit. And I wrote about what I saw and how it illustrated the dramatic and jarring ways that Detroit is changing.

But nothing quite prepared me for this.

A developer team is working with the city to invest around $6 million to build up to 27 houses in the historic neighborhood, which began in the early 1870s. All good. But here’s the kicker, via Crain’s Detroit Business:

The single-family homes would be market value, with prices to be determined, but likely in the $350,000-$400,000 range, (one of the developers, Douglass) Diggs said. They would be 1,800-square-foot three-bedroom homes with a private backyard, deck and two-car garage. (Emphases mine.)

This is frankly astounding.

The issue

Some of the commenters on the Crain’s piece raise the valid point that these are homes that will be marketed presumably to families in a city whose public and charter schools are in crisis, and that’s true. But I’m thinking about what it does to the neighborhood as a whole.

An old mansion on Lincoln Street in Woodbridge Farms. | Creative Commons via Girl.in.the.D

I lived in Woodbridge Farms from 2002 to 2005, during the Kwame Kilpatrick era. There were flickers of revitalization sprinkled around pockets of the city, but nothing like what we’re seeing now.

Woodbridge Farms (I didn’t know anyone who referred to it that way; we mostly just called it Woodbridge) was populated by eccentrics — reclusive Cass Corridor artists and hippies, gay couples living in perennial fixer-uppers, an anarchist collective that hosted performance art and punk bands, business owners and low-income folks who lived in apartment buildings or old homes subdivided into apartments. There was a church across the street where I remember listening to the pastor shouting out his sermon each Sunday. That describes pretty much the whole street. Yes, it was sparsely populated, with plenty of vacant lots. There was crime, and it occasionally got bad, but people looked out for each other.

It was decidedly not upscale back then, and I loved it. I loved the weirdness and the characters, the sense of possibility. The old houses and the community feel. I could wander down the block, gather wood dumped on a vacant lot and burn it in our backyard chiminea fireplace. The people down the street had a pet peacock and hosted giant Academy Awards night celebrations each year. I grew enormous sunflowers and vegetables in our backyard and made many a summer dinner from them.

The houses were beautiful, full of period architectural details and character, but often in serious need of TLC. None of them back then would have come anywhere close to fetching $350,000 on the market. Blight was always somewhere just down the street or around the corner.

These new homes, planned for the corner of Lincoln and Selden and between Selden and Brainard off Trumbull, look perfectly nice, judging from the renderings. They’ll certainly help boost property values for the existing residents. But at that price point, they’ll frankly usher in a different class of people to what has been a relatively stable but still rough-around-the-edges neighborhood.

I’m sure a list of recent home sales in the neighborhood would make these prices feel less shocking, and I know the neighborhood has seen a lot of changes since I left, many of them good. But it won’t be the same.

And so it begins, one neighborhood at a time.

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the 8-Wood Blog. Sven is also the host of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour Podcast that you can find here on Apple Podcasts/iTunes.

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10 Great Album Covers Featuring Detroit http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/15/10-great-album-covers-featuring-detroit/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/15/10-great-album-covers-featuring-detroit/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 22:13:04 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=38418 Detroit’s not just the Motor City, we’re Motown. We have a beautiful history of musical accomplishment, and one way that’s expressed is through amazing record album covers.

Vinyl aficionados can appreciate how the art goes with the record, helping reinforce the over feel of the experience. And today, although not quite the same, there are still digital album covers to promote music and appear on our Spotify or Apple Music app.

So let’s sit back and check these out who we thought we’d highlight for a variety of reasons. Some are nods to history. Some are nods to the music itself. Others are just creative uses of the imagery of the city.

1. John Lee Hooker

“The Legendary Modern Recordings” featured a picture on the now gone Hastings Street. It’s now I-375.

2. Mule

“If I Don’t Six” is a look from a couple of cars near the Fisher Building, as well as a back cover skyline shot.

3. Terrence Parker

I’m a househead, so I love that type of Detroit sound that Terrence Parker embodies. “God Loves Detroit” is a beautifully stylized version of a shot many people see driving down I-75 with the iconic steeples that seem to match the iconic RenCen.

4. Eminem

This album that featured the old house of Marshall Mathers for the Marshall Mathers LP is burned into the memories of a generation.

5. The White Stripes

Hotel Yorba was a single released with it’s own cover. Hotel Yorba, despite all of the progress so far, hasn’t been rehabilitated but Jack White has been plowing dollars and time into the city like crazy, including opening a Third Man Records and a record pressing plant.

6. The Detroit Experiment

This compilation series had a great cover mixing Detroit’s architecture. It’s a Jazz/Electronic album by a host of great Detroit musical names including Carl Craig, saxophonist Bennie Maupin, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, pianist Geri Allen, and violinist Regina Carter.

6.5 The 10 year Anniversary re-release cover for The Detroit Experiment

Make sure to check out the track “Think Twice.”

7. Detroit

Mitch Ryder’s band “Detroit” and their self-titled LP and the wings and Detroit metal theme has inspired the look of countless artists who have paid homage to this 1970s Detroit motif. You’ll find the same flag look with feathered wings on a variety of artists with a more updated theme, including Kid Rock.

8. Jazzmen: Detroit

This cover from the mid-fifties blends cars, photography, and architecture. And screams 1950s.

9. I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City

Ok, so this is a newer release (2016), but there’s two things to note about this one. First, this cover is so clearly from another era with the font stylings and the colorization. Second, way to go for making a new album at the age of 79, Andre Williams.

10. Detroit

Yusef Lateef’s jazz album “Detroit” from 1969 has a ton of track names you’d find familiar today. Eastern Market, Woodward, and yes, I’ve played “Belle Isle” while driving around Belle Isle.

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The Best Mayor In Detroit’s History And “Idol of the People” Deserves More Recognition http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/15/hazen-pingree/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/15/hazen-pingree/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 17:31:29 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=38404 The city of Detroit is rife with nods and tributes to ghosts of its past, legendary and sometimes infamous individuals who have helped shape the city for hundreds of years. Names like Woodward, Lodge, Fisher, and Cass are so synonymous with the thoroughfares and buildings they represent that many people don’t even associate the names with the actual individuals they represent.

However, one name that doesn’t appear on any major road signs or building facades is that of a man who may be the greatest and most influential political figure in the city’s history.

In fact, Hazen S. Pingree was once ranked the four best Mayor in American History by a collection of scholars however the only major public recognition of him is a commanding statue that sits in Grand Circus Park and gazes proudly yet discerningly down Woodward Avenue.

A true “Idol of the People” (as the statues inscription reads) Hazen ran on the campaign slogan “Equal Rights to All, Special Privileges to None” and throughout his time as Mayor he embodied that mantra.

What interests and impresses me most about Hazen Pingree is how relevant his work and beliefs are in today’s political and social climate and so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite nuggets of Pingree lore in the hopes that you will be inspired to do your own digging at places like the Detroit Historical Museum and Detroit Public Library to learn more about Hazen and some of his peers and predecessors.

Hazen the Urban Farming Pioneer

Perhaps the most well known aspect of Mayor Pingree’s time in office was his encouragement and advocacy for farming within the city of Detroit. When the Panic of 1893 struck he opened up tracts of land to the public, including the poor, and encouraged them to use the land for farming and harvesting their own food. This initiative earned him perhaps his most endearing nickname; Potato Patch Pingree.

Hazen the Entrepreneur

An advertisement for Pingree & Smith.

 

It’s still highly debatable whether great businessmen make great politicians but this was certainly true in Mayor Pingree’s case. Before becoming Mayor, Hazen was in the shoe and boot making business and he was damn good at it. By 1886 he was running a million-dollar company that was the second largest shoe manufacturer in the United States.

Anti-Corruption & Monopoly

Hazen despised corruption and monopolies and notably took on the Electric, Telephone, and Railroad lobbies to expose their corruption and bribery and sought to give control of those services to the public, successfully doing so with the Public Lighting Commission which was formed under his administration.

Big Fan of Public Works

We love to talk about placemaking and investment in public projects these days in Detroit, and rightfully so. Hazen recognized the importance of this over 100 years ago and invested heavily in schools, parks, and public baths (the “urban beaches” early 1900’s).

He Looked the Part

Hazen Pingree. Photo via Library of Congress.

Finally, Hazen was a trendsetter for his time not only civically in appearance as well. He was known to get the “last word on fashion” amongst his peers in the city and bore a striking resemblance to England’s King Edward VII, so much so that when he was fatally ill the King himself sent his own physicians to assist in his recovery.

Still want more Pingree bits? I’ve only scratched the surface on what a fascinating individual “Potato Patch” was; did you know he was present at the Appomattox Court House for the Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Confederate Army, or that he was also elected Governor while he was Mayor and attempted to serve both positions?

If you want to get the full story of Hazen S. Pingree and all of his amazing anecdotes and accomplishments I suggest you check out these sources:

http://historicdetroit.org/building/hazen-s-pingree-monument/

https://communityofgardens.si.edu/items/show/29

http://blogs.detroitnews.com/history/2013/01/06/hazen-pingree-quite-possibly-detroits-finest-mayor/

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Michigan Cracking Down On Marijuana Dispensaries, All Must Close By Dec. 15 http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/12/michigan-cracking-marijuana-dispensaries-must-close-dec-15/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/09/12/michigan-cracking-marijuana-dispensaries-must-close-dec-15/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 20:34:13 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=38311 It’s going to be a lot harder to get ahold of medical marijuana in Michigan soon.

According to multiple reports, the state of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is giving medical marijuana dispensaries and other businesses until December 15 to shut down.

If they don’t, they risk not being able to get a license under a new regulatory system they’re rolling out or be forcibly shut down by law enforcement. Some areas, like Oakland County, are already doing shutdowns.

New applications will not be accepted until December 15, so the practical result is that there will be a period where medical marijuana will be basically unavailable in the state.

Probable outcome: There most likely will be a lot fewer dispensaries in the state after a re-licensure process that has strong political overtones.

But… Didn’t we pass a ballot initiative, overwhelmingly?: Yeah, and elected officials don’t even have to act like they care.

If you look at polls and by the margin the 2008 ballot proposal passed (63%-37%), Michiganders wanted medical marijuana access. Recreational legalization is now favored by 57% of Michiganders in the last public poll from this year we found.

Let’s zoom out beyond the marijuana issue to explain (and, admittedly, go down a rathole).

Members of this board are selected, in part, by the Speaker of the State House and the Senate Majority Leader (also, the governor).

Through gerrymandering, in the legislature, local election outcomes are assured after the primary. Gerrymandering is a process that happens every 10 years where legislative districts are redrawn by the party in power.

Technology and politics have merged in various ways, and this is just one. Political leaders have carved out individual blocks and stack the deck so hard that the state House or Senate district is almost unflippable. On a state level Michigan voters have been stealthily silenced.

The lines of districts have been drawn to be ever in the controlling party’s favor (Republicans).

The officials on these boards are selected by elected officials, and since the current controlling party in the legislature has zero fear of being voted out of office, no matter how unpopular the program is, they’re going to do what they want.

It begs the question — and this is regardless of the party in power — if an elected leader has no real fear of being removed except by his own party, is it still a democracy?

In Michigan state politics, that’s a real question.

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