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Stories written by Sandra Svoboda

188 stories found. Showing page 1 of 7.

Sociopath? Wronged man? Both?: Panel considers claims of innocence in 1986 murder

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 9/22/2010

Types: News, Law

After 30 hours of testimony in an unusual two-day hearing, the Michigan Parole and Commutation Board is wrestling with deciding the fate of convicted murderer Frederick Freeman: Is he a dangerous man, rightfully locked up or the victim of a wrongful conviction in a 1986 shotgun slaying? Witnesses c...[MORE]

Fish story: Can we eat our way out of the Asian carp crisis?

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 6/30/2010

Types: Food & Drink

Asian carp arrived in Detroit. No, it didn't invade through the Great Lakes into our local waterways, as some scientists fear it will in the next 10 years. Instead, it landed via shipping truck on my front porch, cleaned, smoked, wrapped and ready to be plucked from its bones and spread onto cracke...[MORE]

Street signs: Friends and foes of 'complete streets' bill square off in Lansing

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 6/16/2010

Types: News, Transportation

Legislation that would require road maintenance or construction projects to consider all users and not just motorists — a design approach known as "complete streets" — is winding its way through Lansing with opposition driven by the county road commissions. The House transport...[MORE]

Modern movements: Technology meets activism at Allied Media Conference

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 6/16/2010

Types: News, Media

To understand the Allied Media Conference that is being held in Detroit this weekend, think 1960s activism meets 21st century technology. Consider that leafleting is now done by text message. Those speeches on soapboxes and capitol steps are now held on a YouTube channel where they can be played re...[MORE]

Life without cars: Or a cyclist's serious summer leisure rides

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 6/16/2010

Types: Culture, Lifestyle

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS Hines Park along Hines Drive Running 18 miles along the Rouge River, Hines Drive stretches from Dearborn to Northville. Accompanying the roadway are extra-wide shoulders and a nearby paved path. What's a bonus, though, for those of us on two wheels, is that from 9 a.m. to ...[MORE]

Bike seat conversations : Talking two-wheelers with cyclists and policy folks

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 6/2/2010

Types: News, Transportation

Who rides? Cyclists are all over the place. We've got commuters. We've got families. We've got fixed-gear riders, we've got racers and mountain bikes and trail riders and BMX. There are so many divisions of bicyclists. It doesn't matter if you commute to work or you're riding 100 miles on a bicycle...[MORE]

Pedaling influence: Planning, advocacy and fewer cars could make city a cycling mecca

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 6/2/2010

Types: Cover Story

All it took for Jacinda Gant to join the ranks of cyclists was a test ride. A regular walker, she was on Detroit's RiverWalk in early May and spotted the Wheelhouse at Rivard Park, just east of the Renaissance Center, where bikes are sold, rented and fixed. Gant, who works in the Salvation Army'...[MORE]

Reading in gear: A sampling of books on how cycling can transform urban communities

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 6/2/2010

Types: News, Transportation

Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne Viking Adult, $25.95, hardcover, 320 pp. He of Talking Heads fame, it turns out, packs his bicycle when he travels, and his book is part travelogue, part cycling advocacy, part David Byrne's reflections on the world. Byrne includes Detroit in his "American Ci...[MORE]

Oh, carp!: Where'd they come from? Can they be stopped? And if we can't beat 'em, can we eat 'em?

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 4/28/2010

Types: Cover Story

In the worst-case scenario, all that's preventing Lake St. Clair from becoming a field of giant jumping carp is some poisonings, a few nets and an underwater Taser of sorts: electric "fences" in Illinois waterways designed to keep the invasive fish from reaching the Great Lakes. Because i...[MORE]

Fishing for truth: Did government agencies help create the Asian carp crisis?

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 4/14/2010

Types: News, Environmental

During his 30 years in the Arkansas fish industry, Mike Freeze has watched federal and state government agencies change from being cheerleaders to exterminators when it comes to Asian carp. Freeze is a former Arkansas Game and Fish commissioner who worked for the agency in the late 1970s. He knew t...[MORE]

Funny bridge business, part II: Committee halted then restored public span

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 3/31/2010

Types: News, Law

As the chair of the Michigan House subcommittee that deals with the state transportation department budget, Rep. Lee Gonzales (D-Flint) admits he should have been paying better attention at a certain moment last week. It was a few hours into the House Appropriations Committee meeting March 24. Legi...[MORE]

Murder case curveball: Prosecutor wants to question law students who worked on defense

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 3/17/2010

Types: News, Law

In what legal experts say is a highly unusual move, a Wayne County prosecutor wants University of Michigan Law School students to testify against a man they've been working to exonerate. Innocence Clinic co-director David Moran is asking Wayne County Circuit Judge Tim Kenny to strike the students f...[MORE]

Midtown's menu: Neighborhood coming of age as a (mostly) connected community

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 3/10/2010

Types: News, Business

Thirteen years ago, the strip of Willis Street just west of Cass Avenue in Detroit was nearly vacant. Not much retail, dining or bar business went on in the area at all, and the businesses that were there went largely unnoticed by those who traveled nearby Woodward or Warren avenues. The few estab...[MORE]

The family : The Flenory brothers' coke ring started in Detroit before becoming notorious in Atlanta

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 3/3/2010

Types: News, Law

Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory and his younger brother, Terry "Southwest T," started as street-level cocaine dealers working out of their family home on Detroit's southwest side in the early 1990s. With business genius, luck and the unquestioned loyalty of associates, they morphed...[MORE]

Cable tangles: Public access wins for now

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 2/24/2010

Types: News, Media

The two-year-old lawsuit brought against cable television giant Comcast by a handful of Michigan towns and their community-access television stations ended quietly earlier this year. There was a federal judge's order dismissing the case after Comcast agreed to the communities' terms, a cursory joint...[MORE]

Mastering social justice: Marygrove program takes aim at societal inequality

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 2/17/2010

Types: News, Education

Forget about irrelevant classes, students who never use their degrees and faculty who sit isolated in their ivory towers. A five-year-old master's program in social justice at Detroit's Marygrove College is more like guerrilla academics. "The program encourages each student to get out there a...[MORE]

Labor's love lost: An unfinished script about the public schools, with apologies to William Shakespeare

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 1/27/2010

Types: Cover Story

Editor's Note: When staff writer Sandra Svoboda said the clashes over public education were a Shakespearian-level drama unfolding, we said, "go forth, our muse, and tell the tale in the bard's vernacular." The result unfolds before thee, dear reader. Miss Juliet and Mr. Romeo are fictional...[MORE]

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