Hey, it’s Jer.

On this day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day — a day of service and reflection, I hope — there’s a lot to cover around town.

Let’s jump into it.

What to know

» The lead vocalist and co-founder of the Detroit Cobras, Rachel Nagy, has died. No cause has been shared as of this writing.

Founded in 1994, the Detroit Cobras are one of the bands that define the Detroit rock and garage music scene.

Third Man Records wrote this, in part, in her passing: “In both her voice and personality, Rachel Nagy was the perfect balance of tough badass and absolute sweetheart.”

You can listen to a lot of the catalog here. [Spotify]

[Rolling Stone] [Consequence of Sound] [Third Man Records] [Bandmate Announcement]

» The Detroit Historical Museum and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History are looking to put an operating millage on the ballot.

The pair of historically underfunded cultural institutions are looking to put a 0.4 mill levy on the ballot for Oakland and Wayne counties. This could happen if the state legislature and governor approve a new law.

It’s early in the process and maybe I wouldn’t usually mention this at this stage. But not including Macomb county is interesting to me.

As the politics of the region have shifted, I imagine that there will be more regional projects that Macomb just isn’t asked to participate in. And my sense from conversations a lot of the residents there are fine with it.

In news stories, the organizations say internal research shows that their members, visitors and support comes from those two counties.

My two cents: One of the things I’ve learned leading projects is that it’s a mistake to try to bend over backwards for people who don’t believe in or want to support your thing. It’s better to have a smaller project with people who want to be there than a bigger thing with people who don’t share your vision and goals. Yes, I’m thinking of you, Regional Transit Authority.

[Crain’s] [Detroit News] [Daily Detroit Podcast discussion]

» I know from our survey late last year that 5% of our audience resides in Macomb.

If you’re interested: 30% of you live in the City of Detroit, 29% Oakland County, and 27% is in the rest of Wayne County that’s not the city proper.

But hey, if you’re reading this in Macomb, welcome.

BTW, I tried Dawaat over the weekend. It’s an Indian and Chinese food place in on Nine Mile near Van Dyke in Warren. Butter Chicken was pretty good.

» Speaking of transit, the QLINE streetcar had a public information meeting last week. I hope to have one of their people on the podcast soon, but one of the biggest takeaways I heard is that signal priority for the streetcar is on the way on Woodward. That’ll revolutionize travel times. They’ve already installed Michigan’s first transit-only lane in front of Little Caesars Area.

My two cents: After watching the wonders that new-ish QLINE leader Lisa Nuszkowski made happen when she was at the bike sharing service MoGo, I wouldn’t bet against her success.

» There was a shooting early Sunday morning at Cash Only — the extra-exclusive part of the already fancy Prime + Proper. A security guard in his 50s asked a guest multiple times to remove their jacket, and the guest refused. As the guest was being escorted out, he stabbed the guard multiple times. The guest was shot and killed by another guard after he was commanded to stop and drop the weapon.

The wounded guard reportedly suffered life-threatening injuries and went through five hours of surgery after the stabbing incident. [Instagram] [Fox 2] [WXYZ-TV] [Freep]

Cash Only is best described as a legal speakeasy. No phones are allowed.

» The Detroit Land Bank has new leadership. The quasi-governmental organization handles Detroit’s huge inventory of unused properties. The move comes as supporters say that it’s put a lot of properties into use; some detractors say it’s too hard for Detroit residents to get ahold of homes, property maintenance is lacking and allege favoritism.

[Free Press] [Deadline Detroit]

My two cents: What’s more interesting to me than who is in leadership is the possible future of the organization itself.

I hope to dig into deeper this week with Building Community Value founder and developer Chase Cantrell on the Daily Detroit podcast this week about this one.

» I was honored to be next to a bunch of smart people for Hour Detroit’s 2022 predictions issue on newsstands now. [Hour Detroit]

» The historic Lee Plaza is indeed getting new life. It’ll become, in part, affordable housing for seniors. The Detroit City Council approved $7 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding as part of a $59 million rehab by the Roxbury Group. [Historic Detroit]

» The Lexus Velodrome has a reopening date. On January 31 they hope to be fully operational, with races starting in mid-February. A crew from Canada came to make repairs after the venue deflated due to the impacts of a storm about a month ago. [Facebook]

» An apartment building built in 1927 in Detroit’s Piety Hill neighborhood is getting rehabbed. The 44 units will all be affordable housing. Additionally, Key Bank is putting $10 million into affordable housing projects. [Urbanize Detroit]

» Downtown Royal Oak now has about 20 black-owned storefronts. This is as the region’s suburbs diversify. [Freep]

"It just makes me feel great — makes me like I picked the right location to be at,” (Chi) Uwazurike (founder of Le Don Collection) said, “and that's the best decision I could’ve ever made — is making sure that the location of my business, I can be proud of it 10 years to come, 20 years to come. It’s just going to keep evolving.”

» The automaker semi-conductor shortage woes continue. Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant will be idled this week. That’s where they make the Ford Mustang. [Detroit News]

» No new suburban downtown for now: Warren city council has denied a $30 million bond to remake nearly 15 acres around their city hall into a sort of downtown.

Supporters say that it would help Warren be more attractive for younger residents; detractors say that the kinds of stores it’ll bring like Trader Joe’s are too expensive for Warren residents and that the city shouldn’t be on the hook for the dollars. [Macomb Daily]

If you want more background, here’s a conversation with involved Warren resident Dave Gifford we had when this first came up as an idea. [Daily Detroit podcast]

On the show

» ⚽️ Detroit City FC has made some new player signings for their move to the USL Championship, including Rhys Williams. Plus, what if Detroit had built a domed stadium on the riverfront fifty years ago? Fletcher Sharpe joins me to discuss. [Daily Detroit Podcast]

» 🚙 We finally have new dates for the North American International Auto Show. It’ll restart in mid-September of this year. In years past, we’d be starting things up just about *checks calendar* now.

Since we’ve said goodbye to winter with this event, what might be different about the auto show? And how should the auto show consider evolving?

Eric Trytko joined me to talk about that and the North American car, truck and utility vehicle of the year winners. [Daily Detroit Podcast]

» 🚲 Woodward is narrowing in Pleasant Ridge and Ferndale by deleting a lane on either side. The idea of more bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets where the Dream Cruise comes once a year has set the local comment threads on fire. Some people love it, some hate it.

We talk about why there’s more of these projects to come for areas that want to keep people living in — not just commuting through — a community. [Freep] [Daily Detroit Podcast]

» 🦾 The giant Robocop statue is done. As far as sculpture and art goes, it’s something to behold. But where should it go? A plan for the Michigan Science Center fell through and at least as of this writing there’s not a publicly known future location. Where would you put it? Reply to this email or dailydetroit - at - gmail - dot - com. And see pics of Robo here: [Instagram]

» 🍹 I’ve heard the requests for more coverage of non-alcoholic drink options. So I got in touch with my neighbor Jason. He’s one of the people behind the leisure soda Casamara Club and talked about the flavor profiles for our fun Friday podcast. [Daily Detroit Podcast]

Thanks for your time with this one. If you enjoyed it or found it useful, think about sharing it with a friend.

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Take care of each other and I’ll see you around Detroit.


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