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« Metro Detroit Visitors, Spending Up at Highest Level Since September 11, 2001
» I-96 in Livonia now a swimming pool

News Roundup for Tuesday to Thursday, July 10-12, 2007

First thoughts

The big event today is the NAACP presidential forum in Detroit, moderated by CBS’s Russ Mitchell and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien. All eight Democratic candidates — Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Obama, and Richardson — will be on the stage together at around 10:30 am ET. Tancredo is the sole Republican scheduled to address the NAACP, and he will take the stage before the Democrats. The Boston Globe asks: Are Republicans missing opportunities by not appearing at these kinds of forums?

[via MSNBC]

Price is right locally owned

When visitors come in from out of town, most people want to show off the restaurant scene, and that means choosing locally owned spots.

Seldom Blues, 400 Tower Renaissance Center, Detroit, (313) 567-7301. Glamorous and upbeat, it has a sweeping view of the river and a well-trained staff serving upscale dishes, including rack of lamb and lobster. Average entrée: $25

[via DetNews.com]

Taking art to the street

Never been to Wyandotte? What better time to discover this charming Downriver city than during its annual art fair? The 46th annual Wyandotte Street Art Fair runs through Saturday, complete with food, music, work by 350 artists and crafts makers, children’s activities, artist demonstrations and store sidewalk sales. There’s also a beautiful riverfront to explore.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Ohio-based banks hope to cash in on metro market

Four banks based in the Buckeye State — National City, Fifth Third, KeyBank and Huntington — plan to expand the number of branches they operate in southeast Michigan in the next few years, eager to grab new customers in a market where uncertainty surrounds the future of the top two players.

Michigan-based banks need to step up.
[via Detroit Free Press]

Award winning Telugu film `Vanaja` opens in US on Aug 31

Opening its US run in New York City at Cinema Village, the film that has won more film festival awards than any other Indian film in 2007, moves to Los Angeles Sep 14 and will debut in Boston, Detroit, and Austin Sep 21.

Detroit’s Indian population rejoices.
[via Zee News]

Barracuda opens A2 office, to employ 8 initially

California-based Barracuda Networks will open an office in Ann Arbor after a successful recruiting effort by Ann Arbor Spark. They plan to employ a staff of eight, but will recruit more from the area.

This is being called spin off from Google.
[via Metromode Media]

Realtime Technology opens RO office, staff expected to double to …

Realtime Technology AG, or RTT, a German graphics software company opened a Royal Oak office to be nearer to the automotive engineering industry in the Detroit area. The staff has grown from 1 to 15 since 2005, and is expected to reach 30 this year. The new office was designed to function for up to 55 employees.

[via Metromode Media]

Top 30 Most Popular Newspaper Web Sites in June Named

Brand or Channel, Unique Audience (000), Time per Person (hh:mm:ss)

NYTimes.com — 12,535 — 0:27:34
USATODAY.com — 8,592 — 0:12:45
washingtonpost.com — 8,181 — 0:18:34
LA Times — 5,097 — 0:10:24
Boston.com — 4,254 — 0:18:47
Wall Street Journal Online — 4,240 — 0:15:57
SFGate.com/San Francisco Chronicle — 3,953 — 0:12:18
The Houston Chronicle — 3,859 — 0:16:00
Chicago Tribune — 3,118 — 0:18:38
New York Post — 3,057 — 0:07:14
Atlanta Journal-Constitution — 2,840 — 0:21:12
Ottaway Newspapers — 2,124 — 0:04:41
Chicago Sun-Times — 1,997 — 0:07:20

The Detroit News — 1,424 — 0:11:39
The Washington Times — 1,407 — 0:04:08
Orlando Sentinel — 1,400 — 0:06:52
The Seattle Times — 1,354 — 0:11:33
Rocky Mountain News — 1,300 — 0:04:10
Village Voice Media — 1,294 — 0:04:16
Detroit Free Press — 1,243 — 0:07:58
Boston Herald — 1,233 — 0:07:36

Metro Detroit like some other major cities has multiple daily newspapers and both the Free Press and the Detroit news make it into the top 30 although if they were combined (since they are owned by the same company now) they would be in the top 15.
[via Editor & Publisher]

Summary box: Casinos key piece of Detroit’s tourism puzzle

WHAT’S HAPPENING: Detroit’s three casinos are building luxury hotels with a total of 1,200 rooms as part of their permanent developments. City officials are using the flashy new palaces as part of the overall marketing campaign to draw visitors.

WHAT VISITORS WILL SEE: MGM Grand Detroit’s $765 million complex includes a full-service resort spa, a 17-story hotel, and restaurants by celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina. MotorCity Casino is spending $275 million on a 17-story hotel with amenities such as marble bathrooms with separate soaking tubs and climate-customized rooms for repeat guests. Greektown Casino is spending $475 million to expand its existing facility and build a 20-story hotel and adjacent parking garage.

[via WOOD-TV]

From GR to Detroit, 21 cutting-edge labs lure life sciences …

A consortium of 21 laboratories across Michigan life sciences corridor are available to entrepreneurs to research, test, develop, and even package clinical products. The Core Technology Alliance (CTA), which is housed at the Van Andel Institute in downtown Grand Rapids, is making it easier for life sciences startups to make their product without building an expensive laboratory many can’t afford.

The CTA’s seven members—Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, the Van Andel Research Institute, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University—provide fee-based services in 10 core technologies: animal models, antibody technology, high throughput screening, biological imaging, structural biology, bioinformatics, proteomics, genomics, bioscience commercialization, and clinical stage pharmaceutical manufacturing practices.

[via Rapid Growth]

They came. They learned. They played.

Wide-eyed teens watched attentively as members of Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym put on a boxing exhibition in one corner of the athletic field on Belle Isle.

At the youth day on Belle Isle the famous boxing training grounds of Kronk Gym seem to be alive again. Does this mean they’re back?
[via Detroit Free Press]

Unsafe ranking misleads

“Much to my dismay Saturday evening, I’m watching the local news and one of our local TV stations out of Springfield ran this headline that says Branson is one of 100 top unsafe cities,” Branson Police Chief Caroll McCullough said.

Branson is ranked by city-data.com as the 36th least-safe city in the United States just above Detroit, which is ranked 37th.

Officials say comparing the amount of crimes in Branson to the city’s actual population of just more than 6,000, and in comparison to other towns of 6,000, is causing the crime index to appear larger than it actually is.

Well, actually, Detroit can make the same case because its downtown population swells much more than the entire city of Branson during the day and much more during special events yet those numbers aren’t taken into account when calculating crime rates either. However, separate studies have been done that do show that downtown Detroit is much safer than the national average despite what these rankings are saying.
[via Branson Daily News]

Bills would help Great Lakes

McDowell authored one of the most controversial — and needed, in my view — bills. It would remove the bottled water exception from the state’s definition of “diversion” unless the facility has a permit. He said it is paramount to “hold accountable companies that want to sell one of our most precious natural resource for profit. Our water is not for sale.”

[via Escanaba Daily Press]

Chaldean grocers serve community well

The roots of Chaldean-owned grocery stores in Detroit span more than 40 years. A number of these stores remain family owned and operate under the same sense of pride of the original founder.

The majority of these stores offer fresher produce than the major chains because they buy from terminals at Eastern Market, and fresher meat by employing old fashioned butchers who hand process steak and hamburger. They offer as competitive prices as possible due to the higher cost of doing business in the city versus the suburbs.

Are all entrepreneurs going to be selfless and socially conscious? No, of course they need to make money to survive. The people in this region need to value and reward entrepreneurship and risk-taking. I’m glad this article at least tries to point out the imbalance in sentiment. I never really thought about the fact that buying at a Chaldean grocery store or indirectly supports the Eastern Market as well.
[via DetNews.com]

Tour de Troit

It was nearly 15 minutes into Alley Cat Detroit Bicycle Race, and some of the contest’s teams had become disorganized and scattered, scrambling to find the next stop as detailed in their instructions.

Unconventional bicycling fun in downtown Detroit.
[via Detroit Metro Times]

Northern comfort

Upscale soul food would seem to be an oxymoron, as soul food’s origins are with folks who often couldn’t afford a higher-status meat than chitterlings. But as of June 3, Frank Taylor of the Southern Hospitality Group (which includes downtown’s Sweet Georgia Brown, Seldom Blues and Detroit Breakfast House) is bringing catfish and fried okra to the plush confines of the Fisher Building, charging $4 for a side of said okra or for an order of red beans and rice.

Most of the Café’s offerings merit the “upscale” label only in price. I’ve begun to doubt that anyone is going to match the late, lamented Ja*Da, downtown, where co-owner Armanda Herbert took down-home recipes and gave them just enough of a twist to make them standouts, but not enough to make them unrecognizable to their friends.

But let’s talk about Motown Soul’s excellent dishes, of which there are many…

Nice long review of a new soul food restaurant in New Center.
[via Detroit Metro Times]

Copper Thieves

The tipster got $2,500 for the information. The Miss Quickie scrap operation got shut down and according to DTE six people got locked up.

People caught stealing copper wire could face a 10-year felony.

For more information visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc

Report Copper Theft to DTE:

$2500 Reward for information leading to the arrest of those who buy stolen DTE copper wire

$1000 Reward for information leading to the arrest of those who steal copper wire from DTE

Call 313-235-9119

Scrapping for copper where staffers will steal the increasingly expensive metal wherever they can find it is a problem in Detroit, just like it is in Chicago and other large cities throughout the Midwest and the nation. It’s a plague, a cancer on society that’s not getting much attention because it remains so underground. We need to go after those who are buying illicit copper as Wells and those who are trading and selling it. Isn’t there a better way we can harness these peoples energy?
[via WXYZ]

Glomac to make foray into India

BANGKOK: Glomac Bhd is planning a mixed township in Pune, India’s biggest second-tier city, and the emerging “Detroit of India”.

Located in the state of Maharashtra, Pune is the eighth largest city with a population of 4.5 million. Many automobile, software and information technology (IT) companies are setting up their plants there

The Detroit of India, like the Detroit of the Philippines, the Detroit of Germany, etc. It’s not a bad thing.
[via Malaysia Star]

Green Ann Arbor bans bottled water

Bottled water is the latest casualty of the Green jihad.

Ann Arbor last month joined a growing list of cities like San Francisco that have banned bottled water from municipal departments in an effort to promote alternative tap water as more eco-friendly. It seems the posh health set, which once made bottled water fashionable, has now turned on the earth’s natural springs as the Green religion has become the latest fad.

It’s one thing for an organization like a company or, in this case, employees of the city of Ann Arbor to promote guidelines for greener living, while it’s another thing to ban the plastic bottles altogether for citizens and employees alike like what’s has just happened for plastic bags in San Francisco.

Of course the water in the bottles themselves isn’t necessarily better than what comes out of the path anyways around here. Especially when you consider that some bottling companies like Nestlé get their water from our Great Lakes anyways. Why pay them to put it in a bottle for you?
[via DetNews.com]

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« Metro Detroit Visitors, Spending Up at Highest Level Since September 11, 2001
» I-96 in Livonia now a swimming pool