Hi! It’s Jer and it is now officially winter in Detroit. I know a lot of people are bummed, but the season now matches the temperatures. As a long-time Michigander, I’ve learned to embrace it. It’s time to put the jackets on the dogs and we’re quite close to Christmas.

BTW, above is a photo of what I saw in Campus Martius the other night. Thought you might like it.

We’ve got stuff to talk about. Let’s get into it.

COVID as we head into Christmas

» Monoclonal antibodies have been key to fighting COVID. But Omicron means only one of the three treatments that are available has effect. The state of Michigan will likely have just 4,000 doses of that treatment available by the end of the year. The catch? Between 4,000 and 6,000 people statewide are treated weekly with monoclonal antibodies right now. As Omicron is the dominant variant among new cases, that’s worrisome. [Michigan Radio]

» Rapid tests seem hard to find on pharmacy shelves in many parts of Metro Detroit. I hear that eBay and FB Marketplace are starting to see rapid test kit price gouging. Your mileage may vary.

» If you’re a city of Detroit resident or work in Detroit, rapid testing is available with extended hours at the Joseph Walker Williams Recreational Center. That’s by appointment only at 8431 Rosa Parks Boulevard.

The Center will be open Monday – Friday this week 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. including Christmas Eve, and next week Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 12/27 – 12/31, including New Year’s Eve.

Results come by text within an hour. Call 313-230-0505 for an appointment.

» Booster appointments are booking up quick at CVS/Walgreens/etc. so here’s a good tip from Ken Haddad on Twitter: Try your local or smaller pharmacy. [Twitter]

» COVID cases are also racing through college football teams. Texas A&M has pulled out of the Gator Bowl, for instance. Why does this matter here? Well, Michigan is in the College Football Playoff. U of M did a mass booster event for the team and staff today before they leave for Florida, as the CFP makes clear that if a team is unavailable to play their semi-final game they forfeit. [College Football Playoff]

» “We’re not at the beginning of the end, we’re at the end of the beginning,” says Yale Sociologist Nicholas Christakis about the pandemic. But that comment is not as perilous as one might think. I met Christakis at the Mackinac Policy Conference this year. He’s pretty bright. He makes some good points about this thing and what to be ready for. It’s an 18 minute deep-dive. [Amanpour and Company]

» Could plans for the Lee Plaza on West Grand Boulevard finally come through, after many false starts? It looks like a large chunk could turn into 117 senior housing units on nine floors for $60 million. Later on plans might mean different kinds of housing for seven other floors. [Freep]

If you don’t know the history of this truly grand place, spending a few minutes to learn about it is worth your time. [Historic Detroit]

» “The ICON” has been sold. Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock has snapped up the old UAW-GM  training center on the eastern Detroit riverfront. It’s right next door to another building they’ve bought, 300 River Place, as well as some vacant land. So smart minds should know that a ton of cash is getting poured into the near east side of the city.

The 420,000 square foot property they just bought includes three buildings with an 8-story office tower, a 375-seat auditorium, warehousing space, cafeteria and more. Plus, a 880 space parking garage and a heck of a terrace. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

Here’s some gratuitous drone footage. [YouTube]

» $52 million in loan financing means the first pair of buildings to replace a former WSU pharmacy school with residential will get underway in the beginning of 2022. It’ll mean 137 units in what has been one of Detroit’s most stable and highest-income neighborhoods, Lafayette Park. This is part of a larger development that could span 300 units. [Crain’s]

» There’s a little more clarity on the reopening of the Lexus Velodrome. They hope to set a timetable to reopen at their first meeting of 2022. So yes, progress, but also… it’s going to be a minute. [Lexus Velodrome]

What else to know around town…

» A bird in need is a friend indeed. The Detroit Zoo has rescued a Sandhill Crane, their third.

He was found in Commerce Township with a piece of rubber band wrapped around his lower beak, causing the beak to crack and break off. He also had buckshot in one of his legs.

He’s getting a special diet for now and will get a prosthetic beak soon. You’ll be able to see him and his buddies when weather allows at the Grassland Habitat near the Buddy’s Pizza. [Detroit Zoo]

There’s currently a proposal to legalize hunting of Sandhills. [Michigan Radio]

Having seen some of these up close in the wild, they’re majestic AF.

» Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib may have a primary challenger, depending on which district she chooses to run in. Millionaire Democrat and State House Representative Shri Thanedar has filed to run for Congress in 2022.  [Metro Times]

Thanedar did very well in his bid for Governor in the city of Detroit, coming in ahead of both Gretchen Whitmer and Abdul El-Sayed in the Dem primary. Tlaib gets constant national press attention as a member of “The Squad.”

And we’re done for today! Thanks for reading. You’re awesome. Here are a couple ways to help us keep this going:

A quick reminder we’re on a slower podcast posting schedule due to the holidays. We’ll only have occasional podcast episodes until the New Year, same with the newsletter. Any feedback, dailydetroit -at-gmail dot com. We’d love to do more of these if you’ll read them, and seems so far that you are. But always looking to improve.

Carry on,


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