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[5 Aug 2013 | No Comment | ]
Shared Responsibility for Detroit’s Woes

As a Michigander for the past 21 years, I’ve heard my share of Detroit criticisms, jokes, and put downs, both from within and outside the Great Lakes State. While fingers can be  pointed at the lack of past civic and political leadership in Detroit, our collective actions (or lack thereof) can certainly share in the responsibility. Some may scoff at such a notion, but here’re a few reasons why:

As a nation we elected leaders who adopted a tax code and laws that advocated, promoted, and accelerated flight from cities and …

Book Review, Brain Drain, Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes, Headline, Labor, Politics, Race Relations, The Environment, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »

[3 Jun 2013 | No Comment | ]
A literary triumph – “Nothing But Blue Skies” by Edward McClelland

It is difficult to describe how truly outstanding the book entitled Nothing But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland is to read. As a nearly lifelong Rust Belt resident, I can attest to the fact that Edward McClelland’s newly released book simply nails our industrial heritage, decline, and hopeful potential squarely on the head. From nationally known politicians like Dennis Kucinich or Coleman Young to the everyday blue-collar laborer toiling in our mills and factories, Mr. McClelland personifies the Rust Belt like no other book I have ever read on the subject. As a Lansing native, he has personally witnessed the dramatic (and sometimes catastrophic) changes just in his lifetime. In Nothing But Blue Skies, Mr. McClelland takes the reader on a quasi-chronological step-by-step sequence of events that shook the Rust Belt down it its very core.

Crime, Race Relations, Urban Poverty »

[26 Feb 2013 | No Comment | ]

Late last year, at the culmination of a long high-speed chase, 13 Cleveland police fired 137 rounds into a car in East Cleveland killing two unarmed people.
State and local authorities are currently investigating the case: why the chase — which violates official department policies — occurred; why police thought the fleeing couple was armed.
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Crime, Economic Development, Featured, The Big Urban Photography Project, The Media, Urban Poverty »

[11 Feb 2013 | No Comment | ]
Burned: A Photo Essay on Arson in Toledo

Why should we, as a community, care about arson and its impact on the Rust Belt?

Brain Drain, Economic Development, Featured, Politics, Real Estate, Regionalism, The Environment, Uncategorized, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »

[9 Jul 2012 | No Comment | ]
Niagara Falls: Reversing decline in a bipolar city

My definition of bipolar urban areas are those that have two principal cities at their core, but they have each taken nearly opposite paths socioeconomically. The two cities posses an almost Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-like qualities – one being quite healthy and prosperous while the other may suffer from poverty, economic distress, or environmental degradation. While every significant urban area has its areas of poverty, distress, and degradation, a bipolar region varies in the fact that one of two primary core communities is the site of concentrated problems.

Headline, Urban Poverty »

[15 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
In Honor of the Casino Opening: A Look at Cleveland’s Long History of Class Warfare

There are many histories of Cleveland. Not just one history of the city. No history that would tell us, “This is the way it was.”

There are many ways to report history. It could be from the view of different people. Different movements. Different economics. Different heroes. Different villains. Different reasons why the city went this way or that way.

Now, there is a new history examining this city through the eyes of what many people might see as odd or unusual.

Daniel Kerr’s “Derelict Paradise – Homelessness and urban development in Cleveland, Ohio,” does this. It is a remarkable testament of how – through the city’s history – the poor (especially black poor) have been pushed aside to make way for what the wealth of the community deemed Progress.

Economic Development, Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Politics, Public Transportation, Regionalism, The Environment, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »

[3 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
Making Sustainable Attainable in Greater Lansing

Monday evening I had the honor to join approximately 100 fellow participants, planners, partners, and stakeholders from throughout Greater Lansing at a kick-off meeting for the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability at East Lansing’s Hannah Community Center. Partners in the program include the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Lansing Area Economic Partnership, Michigan State University Land Policy Institute, Michigan Energy Options, the Michigan Fitness Foundation, Greater Lansing Housing Coalition, the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, and CAM-TV.
The four-hour event showcased the nine sustainability projects that will be part of the three-year effort …

Economic Development, Education, Featured, Good Ideas, The Environment, Urban Poverty »

[1 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
East Lansing Org: Helping the Poor, One Bike at a Time

Founded in 1994, Share-a-Bike is an East Lansing, Michigan-based charity that receives old, unused, discarded, and donated bicycles. Whenever practical, these bicycles are completely refurbished and then donated to the underprivileged in the community, including the homeless, new immigrants, and the poor. Last Saturday, I had the honor to work with them collecting bicycles at a local spring recycling event in cialis e viagra a confronto the community.
For many of the recipients, the gift of an operable bicycle may be their lifeline of last resort. Either they cannot afford …

Uncategorized, Urban Farming, Urban Poverty »

[20 Feb 2012 | No Comment | ]

It was 4:15 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Snowflakes were drifting down and there was already a line of 50 people waiting outside the North Lansing Police Precinct gymnasium in the February cold for food. Some of them had already been there more than an hour and the distribution was not set to start for another 90 minutes or so.  On this Friday night, we were not celebrating the bright lights of the gridiron, but instead trying to fulfill the basic needs of the less fortunate.

I had the distinct honor of …

Featured, Urban Poverty »

[16 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]
The Real World Cleveland (or Detroit, Buffalo, etc.)

Goethe said, “Few people have the imagination for reality”. And that is why we make stuff up. Like reality shows, and the illusion that the state of the union is strong. That last bit was said for much of the last ten years. The words hung hollow for those in the Rust Belt, particularly its cities.
Because while many were popping bottles at the economic house party inside a house of cards, most in these parts already had morning-after eyes. It was hard not to—the reality, and the commonality of the …