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« Taxpayers: Spend money on improving and hardening our regional transportation infrastructure
» Detroit News Roundup for Monday, August 27, 2007

Detroit News Roundup for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 24-26, 2007

A rail line is an idea worth exploring

Livingston County’s commissioners are skeptical about a proposal to create a commuter rail line between Howell and Ann Arbor.

That’s understandable. Backers are seeking an initial county commitment of about $150,000, and there is no telling if future requests would be even higher. Commis-sioners are right to be cautious before dipping into the wallets of taxpayers. However, the board should be wary, not obstructionist. This commuter rail is an intriguing idea and it deserves a fair hearing.

As proposed, it is far less expensive for both taxpayers and riders. It can make use of existing rail and rolling stock. There are promising economic development benefits at both ends of the line.

Anytime a voice in Livingston County expresses a slightly progressive thought, ears should perk up throughout the region. Now to be sure there are still lots of very strong voices there who will never entertain the idea of public transportation because they made up their minds decades ago. And they’re not about to start showing compassion or concern for their fellow Michigan citizen now. But there must be enough good people up there who will at least consider the pros and cons of a modern transportation option that they are in the fortunate position to have the chance to choose, which will increase mobility for their residents, save their residents time and money, and make their county a more attractive place to live and maybe even do business.
[via Livingston Daily]

Cuba trains Detroit doctors

As Detroit Public School students affected by school closings try and figure out the best routes to new destinations, two former DPS attendees are getting ready for a much longer trip on their first day of class.

Chinere Knight and Ese Agari, both Cass Technical High School graduates, were recently accepted to the free scholarship program at the world renowned Latin American School of Medicine (LASM) in Havana, Cuba.

The Latin American School of Medicine was conceived in 1999 as a way to train doctors from areas in Latin America and the Caribbean which were hard hit by Hurricanes Mitch and George the previous year.

Cuba offered 500 full scholarships to medical school candidates from each of the four hardest hit countries with the stipulation that graduates return to their countries of origin to serve in impoverished communities. Cuba now reserves spaces for students from countries all over the world, including 250 scholarships earmarked for students from under served communities in the U.S.

According to the World Health Organization, Cuba has twice as many physicians per capita as the United States and the infant mortality rate is less than most cities in the United States.

If the idea of Cuba and a world-class healthcare system still seems unthinkable to you, go see the movie Sicko .
[via Michigan Citizen]

Grand Prix fuels push to restore Belle Isle

DETROIT — In the five years since Belle Isle last hosted auto racing, Detroit’s historic island park has endured the close of its zoo and aquarium, reduced hours at its museum and the continued deterioration of its historical structures.

But the arrival of Indy cars next weekend, along with the popularity of Detroit’s RiverWalk and successes by conservancy groups here and nationally, has Belle Isle supporters saying the time is right to reclaim the island’s lost luster. Leaders of two citizens groups plan to pitch the idea of a Belle Isle conservancy — a privately funded group to oversee its maintenance — to city officials in the coming months.

While Belle Isle has continued to deteriorate, the RiverWalk enjoyed a rousing opening in June with a six-day festival that drew more than 700,000 visitors. Once finished, the RiverWalk’s first phase will cover three miles along the water from Joe Louis Arena to the MacArthur Bridge at Belle Isle.

The RiverWalk project is another product of a conservancy. And so far, the nonprofit organization has raised $93 million of its $140 million goal. Despite the proximity, the project does not include Belle Isle.

[via DetNews.com]

MGM Grand Detroit shutdown for opening

DETROIT, Michigan — As reported by the Detroit News: “For about 36 hours leading up to the opening of the new MGM Grand Detroit on Oct. 2, the gaming company’s temporary casino will go dark.

“Which means MGM customers will have to go somewhere else to gamble, which means MGM Grand Detroit will lose about $2 million in revenue, or $1.35 million a day, $56,249 an hour, $937 per minute or $15.62 a second. Other losers: Michigan and Detroit, who won’t collect $480,000 in gambling taxes. The numbers are based on figures MGM reported to the state for the first six months of 2007.

[via Casino City Times]

Martini and seafood bar planned for downtown

The architect behind the chic Melange Bistro and Wine Bar in downtown Ann Arbor has designs on a skinny space down the block that used to house a Subway sandwich shop.

Restaurateur John Janviriya is working on a plan to transform the storefront into The Black Pearl Seafood/Martini Bar.

[via MLive.com]

4th Friday has Latino flavor

This week’s 4th Friday at Campus Martius has a Latin music theme. The music starts at 11:30 a.m. with Universal Xpression for a lunchtime concert. At 5:30 p.m., check out the Latin Dance Competition to get into the groove of the weekend.

National headliner Children of the Revolution performs at 7:30 p.m. This contemporary world music blends Greek and flamenco sounds. The core of the band is Greek frontman Vassili, American guitarist Eric Jaeger and Spanish belly dancer and vocalist Encarnacin.

[via DetNews.com]

Indie Style

Sept 2: Sunday Crafternoons. From 1 to 5 p.m., take in the works of a rotating bunch of local artists and crafters from Handmade Detroit at Woodward Avenue Brewers, 22646 Woodward Ave., in Ferndale. Sunday Crafternoons is held the first Sunday of every month. It’s free and open to all ages.

Sept. 8: Dally in the Alley. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., you’ll find local artists along with tons of live entertainment and food vendors at the 30th annual street fair near Wayne State University in Midtown Detroit. You’ll find all the fun between Forest and Hancock and Second and Third avenues. Visit DallyInTheAlley.com for more information.

[via DetNews.com]

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« Taxpayers: Spend money on improving and hardening our regional transportation infrastructure
» Detroit News Roundup for Monday, August 27, 2007