Hey all,

The first day back from work — heck, the first week in some cases — it takes some extra energy to shake the rust off, especially if you’ve had some time off. You wake up, rub your eyes and it’s “holy… it’s 2024.” So let’s rip the bandaid off and get into it.

📰 What to know

a white moving truck parked in a parking lot
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

» Where are Michiganders moving to? Keeping (and growing) our population is the focus of a huge push by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and business leaders as about 167,000 people left the state in 2022. The top states people are headed are Florida, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and California. [Fox 2 Detroit]

» There was a large report issued by the Michigan Growing Together Council just before the holidays outlining the issue, but it was light on how to actually fund or do the recommendations. [MGTC]

I plan on devoting some time on the podcast to talk about the report and what might be next, and possibly a note here. But what do you think?

» Home prices in Metro Detroit are the fastest rising in the country, up 8.1%, more than double the national average. 19 of 20 regions nationally saw prices go up in October (data is usually delayed like this). [Crain’s Detroit]

» Lange Park in Taylor is going to be turned into an extreme sports facility. The Wayne County suburb will work with the county, and use federal ARPA dollars to pay for the work on 38 acres. Some features include:

  • A BMX track
  • Disc and footsie golf
  • Slackline courses
  • Walking and cycling trails
  • Sled hill
  • Winter skating
  • Skateboarding courses
  • Dog Park


» The Michigan GOP state party seems to be in pretty deep disarray, between financial issues and internal fracturing. This American Life did an amazing piece outlining it all, talking with people involved, and spending time in the state. [TAL]

“The Michigan Republican Party is on the verge of imploding; I have more money in my campaign account than the state party has in its,” state Rep Mark Tisdel said at a town hall meeting in December. “Sooner or later, the creditors are going to come calling.” [Yahoo]

  • The latest is that there’s an all-out leadership fight underway. [Detroit News]

Turns out that people who are into conspiracy theories and questioning authority have trouble working together as they’re always suspicious of each other (which, to me, isn’t surprising no matter your political stripes).

» Just before Christmas, a court ordered some 13 existing state legislative districts around Metro Detroit to be redrawn to better represent black voters. That means that the clock is now ticking to get new districts together before the next primary election — and deal with a number of logistical hurdles in a very short time. [Bridge Michigan]

  • And some in Detroit are pushing for special elections of the Michigan Senate, two years ahead of schedule. [Detroit News]

Moving this fast in my experience creates unintended consequences. It’ll be interesting to see what they are, and may make the 2024 election far more interesting.

🍔 News bites

A Sheetz near Columbus, Ohio that I visited when I first learned we’d be getting the chain locally.

» A second location for the nationally popular gas station and eatery Sheetz in Michigan may be coming to Rochester Hills at Rochester Road and South Boulevard. The first to go up will be in Romulus. [Oakland Press] [WXYZ]

» Mabel Gray in Hazel Park is expanding their building, turning their current patio into dining space. It’ll create room for more private events and space to grow their wine offerings. Construction is starting, and the restaurant will be open through it starting January 9 after a winter break. [Instagram]

Hazel Park is not your father’s Hazel Park. From Mabel Gray to Eastern Palace Club to much more, the city is quickly transforming into a younger, more vibrant place. I talked a bit about it with State Rep. Mike McFall, who in a past role had been focused on transforming their downtown — and how maybe we need to update our mental maps of Metro Detroit and her communities.

» What are the most exciting neighborhoods in Metro Detroit for dining? [Eater Detroit]

Thank you for reading!

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