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824 stories found. Showing page 1 of 28.

Firestorm of questions: How can a cash-strapped city squelch the flames?

By Bill McGraw

Published: 9/15/2010

Types: News, Government

If Detroit were a normal city, the Fire Department's dispatcher would have sent Engine Co. 47 first when reports started coming in Sept. 7, about fires breaking out around East Robinwood and Van Dyke. Engine 47 is only 1.3 miles away, and it's the closest rig to the scene with the ability to put wat...[MORE]

DPD soap opera: The latest on Detroit's newest text-message scandal

By Larry Gabriel

Published: 8/18/2010

Types: News, Government

This stuff is stranger than fiction. Detroit's newest text-message scandal, involving interim Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, takes things even further off the charts for Detroit's beleaguered police force. I say beleaguered not because I have any particular sympathy for a department whose leade...[MORE]

Poletown meltdown: Tax fracas over GM plant revenues pits Detroit against tiny Hamtramck

By News Hits staff

Published: 8/11/2010

Types: News, Government

A serious struggle is quietly playing out over tax revenues from the General Motors' Poletown plant, pitting the city of Detroit against the tiny city-within-a-city of Hamtramck.  Detroit, which collects taxes from the assembly plant straddling the border between the two cities, normally gives Hamt...[MORE]

Give vets their park: They have the plan, but the city won't give them the time of day

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 7/14/2010

Types: News, Government

You can, and should, hate war with a passion. The Vietnam War, in my opinion, did more to ruin this nation than any single event in history. The war in Iraq, which we were lied into, not ready for, and then badly botched, is now widely acknowledged to have been a criminal mess from start to a finis...[MORE]

Getting steamy: The lowdown on a possible sale of the incinerator

By News Hits staff

Published: 7/7/2010

Types: News, Government

At this point there are as many questions as answers, but one thing is certain: The owners of Detroit's incinerator are negotiating sale of the facility to the company that provides steam for heating and cooling buildings to 104 downtown and midtown customers — including the city of Detroit. ...[MORE]

Park's love match: Do-it-yourselfers have been taking care this Detroit park for years

By Larry Gabriel

Published: 7/7/2010

Types: News, Government

Last week I rode my bicycle over to Palmer Park to check out a demonstration against Mayor Bing's announced closing of 77 Detroit parks to help bridge a city budget gap. As I pedaled along, I wondered how many people it would take to adopt the park and keep it neat, clean and usable. When I got ther...[MORE]

Tax the brewskis!: Brew tariff could solve education budget woes

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 6/16/2010

Types: News, Government

Everyone who knows anything about economics knows that Michigan's only hope for the future is a better-educated workforce. Our old-fashioned muscle-based, assembly-line economy is gone. There will be virtually no more high-paying jobs for unskilled high school graduates, ever, and no hope for dropo...[MORE]

Time to get involved: Good plans are great, but community voices need to be heard

By Larry Gabriel

Published: 5/26/2010

Types: News, Government

Last October, I participated on my neighborhood radio patrol's special Angel's Night crew. A Channel 7 news team rode with neighborhood activist Sheila Ward and me as we drove slowly through Detroit's Green Acres area. The reporter asked me about the importance of patrolling that particular night. I...[MORE]

Grand Ol' Party of hate: In the 1960s, at least mainstream liberal Democrats did not egg on the violent left

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 3/31/2010

Types: News, Government

"Don't retreat, just reload." — Sarah Palin, siren of the half-wits They filled up voice mail systems with hate-filled messages. One spat on Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri. Another called Georgia Congressman John Lewis a "nigger" — Lewis, a 1960s hero who h...[MORE]

Smashing ACORN: There’s a bigger scandal than the pimp tapes

By Curt Guyette

Published: 2/3/2010

Types: News, Government

You haven't seen Carrie Guzman on the television shows hosted by archconservatives Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck. Her name hasn't appeared on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal. And she hasn't shown up in any surreptitiously videotaped sting operations conducted by youthful right-wing zealots. ...[MORE]

Two cheers for Granholm: Our governor (finally) decides to lead on two key issues

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 2/3/2010

Types: News, Government

Last week Gov. Jennifer Granholm actually did blow me away for the first time since she took office more than seven years ago. What's more, she did so in a positive way — twice. First, she came out strongly in favor of holding a convention to rewrite Michigan's now-broken Constitution. More t...[MORE]

A tale of two cities: Ferndale and Pontiac prepare for even tougher times

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 1/13/2010

Types: News, Government

Bob Bruner is like a lot of young guys in downtown Ferndale. He's in his early 30s, married, and is the proud father of a wonderful little daughter named Audrey. He's also a little different from everyone else in the city, however: He runs the place. Next month, he'll celebrate his third anniversar...[MORE]

Fast times in Washington, D.C.: A Royal Oak stonemason makes his case with a hunger strike

By Curt Guyette

Published: 12/16/2009

Types: News, Government

Striding across the gleaming marble floors of a congressional office building in Washington, D.C., Thomas Mahany does not look like a man who hasn't eaten for nearly a month.  He's moving too fast. And he doesn't rest, hitting office after office. The spacious hallways of the Cannon Building, a Be...[MORE]

Best defense: The state's legal aid system needs a lot of help

By News Hits staff

Published: 12/16/2009

Types: News, Government

If the Michigan Legislature doesn't reform the state's system for defending indigents, the federal government or the courts just might, says the guy who chairs the state House Judiciary Committee. "It's obvious we have to do something," says Mark Meadows (D-East Lansing), who held a commi...[MORE]

Detroit's inferno: Imagining circle of hell for our many rogues

By Larry Gabriel

Published: 12/16/2009

Types: News, Government

The devil came to my hometown Made everything fall down If you ain't seen chaos and destruction Just take a look around The frigid weather that swept in this past week has folks zipping up their overcoats, slipping on gloves and pulling their hats down tight. Which in Detroit begs the question: ...[MORE]

SOS: Save our state: You think things are bad now ...

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 12/9/2009

Types: News, Government

Last week I went to see Andy Dillon, the speaker of the House, to talk about what will happen to us in Michigan next year. Most people have no idea what's coming. They know that times are bad; they may know schools and cities took a big hit when Lansing finally managed to balance its budget in Octo...[MORE]

Make them fix it

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 10/28/2009

Types: News, Government

Everybody's sick of the state budget crisis, and for good reason. The idiots in Lansing have not only screwed us over, they have bored us to death. We've had pretty much all we can take of droning Andy Dillon, the caveman-like Mike Bishop and our governor. Probably the nicest thing you can say abou...[MORE]

Merrily down the drain: Lansing sharpens the cleaver for social programs

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 9/30/2009

Types: News, Government

At the moment I am writing this column, the collection of largely pathetic political creatures known as the Michigan Legislature is fighting over how to damage our futures. Basically, one of two things seems certain to happen. They may pass a budget that is guaranteed to weaken the quality of educa...[MORE]

Single-minded about single-payer: Mad as Hell Doctors make case in Detroit on Thursday

By News Hits staff

Published: 9/23/2009

Types: News, Government

They're calling it a "Care-a-van" — a cadre of medical doctors who piled into a motor home and pulled out of Oregon's Willamette Valley on Sept. 8, to rally support across the country for a single-payer health care system. And the doctors — aided by the likes of Dennis Kucinich...[MORE]

Going down: Detroit isn't the only city on the fiscal skids

By Curt Guyette

Published: 9/2/2009

Types: News, Government

When it comes to economic news in Michigan, the headlines in recent months have been mostly about the financial crises facing the state of Michigan, the city of Detroit and Detroit Public Schools, all of which are awash in red ink. Below the radar of a lot of people, though, is another layer of tro...[MORE]

Barack’s backbone problem: As Obama seems prepared to drop 'public option,' progressives protest

By News Hits staff

Published: 8/26/2009

Types: News, Government

Michigan on the rocks: How the tax-haters have taken us to the brink

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 8/19/2009

Types: News, Government

Everybody hates government, right? We bitch, moan and complain about it constantly. Nationally, the right wing is cleverly whipping up the yahoos, getting them to noisily protest against a health care plan that would drastically help this nation and greatly improve most of their lives. Here in Mic...[MORE]

Our dire states of America: The fiscal nightmare is hardly Michigan's alone

By John Nichols

Published: 8/12/2009

Types: News, Government

In what should be the greatest liberal moment in decades, Barack Obama runs the risk of presiding over a socially and politically devastating triumph of conservative strategy and policy. It won't happen at the federal level, where a reasonably progressive president and Congress have begun to renew t...[MORE]

Too poor to parent?: Critics say when the state takes kids away, the real problem is poverty.

By Curt Guyette

Published: 8/5/2009

Types: News, Government

Melanie Morgan sits at the kitchen table of a mobile home in Lansing, nervously smoking a hand-rolled cigarette.  She’s nervous because she’s talking to a reporter with a photographer snapping pictures as she answers sometimes deeply personal questions about her four-year ordeal with the Michigan D...[MORE]

The "B" word: When Bing talks bankrupcy, is it bull?

By News Hits staff

Published: 7/29/2009

Types: News, Government

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing put it right out there: the possibility of the city filing for bankruptcy. But was he making an educated prediction or rattling his proverbial saber? In an exclusive interview with the Detroit Free Press last week, the new mayor set the stage for what promises to be a dramat...[MORE]

Mixed-up priorities: Why should the state fund preventative care when it can pay for emergencies instead?

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 6/17/2009

Types: News, Government

Miriam Braunstein was one of the funniest, sassiest and most brilliant students I've ever taught at Wayne State University. Actually, she could have gone to Brown, or probably any Ivy League school. Delightfully irreverent, she was always happy to lampoon the too-politically-correct on either the l...[MORE]

Municipal bankruptcies?

By News Hits staff

Published: 4/15/2009

Types: News, Government

With the weak economy resulting in declining incomes for Michigan municipalities, could one of our villages, townships or cities go Chapter 9?That's the Chapter 11 parallel in the federal bankruptcy code that provides a process for municipalities to address insolvency issues, much like Chapter 1...[MORE]

Safety nets

By Sandra Svoboda

Published: 4/15/2009

Types: News, Government

For a comprehensive list of assistance available through the Michigan Department of Human Services, go to michigan.gov/dhs and click on "Assistance Programs" on the left for a menu of cash and food assistance, child care and medical and emergency services or call 517-373-2035. Here are descript...[MORE]

Real representation

By Larry Gabriel

Published: 4/8/2009

Types: News, Government

Talk about a dysfunctional City Council. Last week's dust-up between President Monica Conyers and council member Sheila Cockrel — just in time to entertain visitors for the NCAA Final Four games — is just another reason for Detroiters to be fed up with the way politics works &mdash...[MORE]

Sunny days

By News Hits staff

Published: 3/18/2009

Types: News, Government

Forget the strange bedfellows, some truly unholy alliances are going on in politics this year. They were set up by one particular line in President Barack Obama's inaugural address: "Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do ...[MORE]

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