Detroit Journalism Cooperative http://michiganradio.org en Detroit retirees said "yes" to the city's bankruptcy restructuring plan. What's next? http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-retirees-said-yes-citys-bankruptcy-restructuring-plan-whats-next <p>Detroit retirees voted overwhelmingly to approve emergency manager Kevyn&nbsp;Orr's plan of adjustment.</p><p>That plan includes the unprecedented "grand bargain"--a mixture of public and private funds that will minimize cuts to city pensions, while protecting the Detroit Institute of Arts' assets from other city creditors.</p><p>But retirees aren't the only group of creditors who voted on the plan. Other groups did as well--<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140722/NEWS01/307220112/Syncora-detroit-bankruptcy-grand-bargain">and not all voted "yes."</a></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:47:24 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18480 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit retirees said "yes" to the city's bankruptcy restructuring plan. What's next? We should learn whether Detroit retirees approved the "grand bargain" today http://michiganradio.org/post/we-should-learn-whether-detroit-retirees-approved-grand-bargain-today <p>We should know how Detroit retirees voted on the proposed “grand bargain” later today.</p><p>City pensioners had until July 11th to vote on the city’s bankruptcy restructuring plan, formally known as the “plan of adjustment.”</p><p>The grand bargain is just one part of that plan.</p><p>It would use more than $800 million in combined state and private foundation dollars to backstop city pension funds, minimizing retiree losses.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18446 at http://michiganradio.org We should learn whether Detroit retirees approved the "grand bargain" today Historic government building in downtown Detroit to be sold to New York buyer http://michiganradio.org/post/historic-government-building-downtown-detroit-be-sold-new-york-buyer <p>I know what you’re thinking.</p><p>This building that once housed Wayne County’s administrative office is perhaps "one of the nation’s finest surviving examples of Roman Baroque Revival architecture, with a blend of&nbsp;Beaux-Arts&nbsp;and some elements of the&nbsp;Neoclassical&nbsp;style."</p><p>I was thinking the exact same thing.</p><p>Well, I was really thinking it’s a beautiful building in downtown Detroit and I hope it gets some attention.</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:16:30 +0000 Mark Brush 18430 at http://michiganradio.org Historic government building in downtown Detroit to be sold to New York buyer Detroit "grand bargain" ballots were due today http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-grand-bargain-ballots-were-due-today <p>Today was the deadline for Detroit retirees to vote on the city’s bankruptcy restructuring plan, known formally as a “plan of adjustment.”</p><p>The California firm tallying the votes had to receive them by today.</p><p>All creditors get to vote on the plan of adjustment. But pensioners’ votes are particularly key—especially when it comes to the future of the “grand bargain.”</p><p>That’s the deal to use more than $800 million in public and foundation money to minimize pension cuts, and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection from being sold to pay off creditors.</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:38:35 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18353 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit "grand bargain" ballots were due today Detroit is shutting off water to delinquent customers. But is everyone getting the same treatment? http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-shutting-water-delinquent-customers-everyone-getting-same-treatment <p>In Detroit, controversy is raging over one of the few things the bankrupt city has in abundance: water.</p><p>So far this year, Detroit has shut off for 17,000 customers as it tries to collect millions in overdue bills.</p><p>But many residents are upset with how the city is going about it—and question whether some are getting special treatment.</p><p></p><p></p><p><strong>“Here we are, giving out water…and we still owe on the water bill”</strong></p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:57:10 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18337 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit is shutting off water to delinquent customers. But is everyone getting the same treatment? Detroit officials get pay raises http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-officials-get-pay-raises <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit emergency manager </span>Kevyn<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Orr has </span><a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140708/NEWS01/307080120/Kevyn-Orr-mayor-pay-increases" style="line-height: 1.5;">given the city’s leaders a pay raise.</a></p><p>Orr signed an order hiking city appointees and elected officials’ pay by 5% on June 30<sup>th</sup>. It went into effect July 1.</p><p>Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan seemed genuinely surprised to hear that news on Tuesday.</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18302 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit officials get pay raises Detroit Mayor gets a lot from Lansing in his first six months, but will it last? http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-mayor-gets-lot-lansing-his-first-six-months-will-it-last <p>It’s been almost six months since Mike Duggan took over as mayor of Detroit. He took over a city however, run by someone else: state-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.</p><p>But, that doesn’t mean Duggan has been denied all the rites of passage of the job including the schlep to Lansing to ask the state Legislature for something. Every mayor has to do it. And Duggan had to go to Lansing with a really big ‘ask.’ We’re talking about the $195 million dollar rescue package for his city (that’s right, ‘rescue,’ ‘settlement.’ Just don’t call it a ‘bailout.’)</p><p>Getting the Republican-led state House and Senate to go along with sending almost $200 million dollars to a Democratically-controlled city was not an easy task. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:01:27 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 18193 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Mayor gets a lot from Lansing in his first six months, but will it last? The Best Classroom Project: Helping Detroit parents navigate a confusing school landscape http://michiganradio.org/post/best-classroom-project-helping-detroit-parents-navigate-confusing-school-landscape <p>This week, the Detroit Journalism Cooperative is looking at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy.</p><p>Mayor Mike Duggan says his top priority is reversing the city’s long population decline.</p><p>But there are a couple key quality of life issues Duggan has no control over. One of them is the city’s schools.</p><p>Here’s <a href="http://bridgemi.com/2014/06/benchmark-schools/">the story of one Detroit family’s effort to find good schools.</a></p><p></p><p></p><p><strong>Meet the Hills</strong></p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18178 at http://michiganradio.org The Best Classroom Project: Helping Detroit parents navigate a confusing school landscape Detroit judge agrees to city tour, but asks for security precautions http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-judge-agrees-city-tour-asks-security-precautions <p>The judge in charge of Detroit’s bankruptcy case <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140626/METRO01/306260047/Bankruptcy-judge-favors-bus-tour-deals-some-setbacks-Syncora">tentatively agreed Thursday to tour parts of the city</a>—despite concerns about his safety.</p><p>City lawyers have been pushing Judge Steven Rhodes to take a city bus tour for some time now.</p><p>They say the judge needs to see the conditions in Detroit neighborhoods firsthand, to help him make informed decisions in the case.</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18177 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit judge agrees to city tour, but asks for security precautions You won't believe how much less Detroit will spend on streetlights http://michiganradio.org/post/you-wont-believe-how-much-less-detroit-will-spend-streetlights <p></p><p>This week the Detroit Journalism Cooperative is looking at how the city of Detroit is functioning under bankruptcy. Until recently, almost half the streetlights of Detroit were dark. Thousands of new streetlights are replacing the old broken ones.</p><p>I caught up with one of several crews installing streetlights in neighborhoods around Detroit. James England is the foreman.</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18087 at http://michiganradio.org You won't believe how much less Detroit will spend on streetlights Is Detroit's bus service improving? http://michiganradio.org/post/detroits-bus-service-improving <p></p><p>We continued our week-long Detroit Journalism Cooperative series&nbsp;with a look at how Detroit is functioning under bankruptcy and the leadership of Mayor Mike&nbsp;Duggan.</p><p>Today, we focused &nbsp;on mass transportation in the city.</p><p>Lester Graham of Michigan Watch and Megan Owens, the executive director of Transportation Riders United, joined Stateside.</p><p>Graham said one out of three Detroit households doesn't own a car and relies on the bus system. Megan Owens said it’s hard to measure whether things are improving because the bus service stopped publishing the daily pull-out rate. That’s the actual number of buses that operate versus the number scheduled for a day.</p><p>“So we don’t have any explicit data to show concrete improvements,” Owens said.</p><p>At the main garage at DDOT headquarters, they’re working to get more buses on the road.</p><p>Detroit needs 270 buses to properly serve its 100,000 passengers a day. The city only has 228 buses and a lot of them are broken down.</p><p>Read Lester Graham's report <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-struggling-get-enough-buses-road">here</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><em>*Listen to full story above.&nbsp;</em></p><p></p><p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 21:14:01 +0000 Stateside Staff 18149 at http://michiganradio.org Is Detroit's bus service improving? Detroit struggling to get enough buses on the road http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-struggling-get-enough-buses-road <p></p><p>This week the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a> is looking at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy. Mayor Mike Duggan suggested he’d get a lot done in six months. We’re nearly there and took a look at progress with mass transportation in Detroit.</p><p>One out of every three Detroit households doesn’t have a car. They rely on the bus system. But it’s broken.</p><p></p><p></p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18083 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit struggling to get enough buses on the road Detroit Mayor Duggan's blight elimination effort http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-mayor-duggans-blight-elimination-effort <p></p><p>This week Michigan Radio and the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a> are looking at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy. One of the biggest problems facing Detroit is the huge number of abandoned houses, buildings, and vacant lots. Here's a look at what’s changed in the six months since <a href="http://www.detroitmi.gov/MayorsOffice/tabid/123/default.aspx">Mayor Mike Duggan</a> took office.</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18082 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Mayor Duggan's blight elimination effort Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan not like past mayors http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-mayor-mike-duggan-not-past-mayors <p>This week Michigan Radio and our media partners in the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a> are looking at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy and the leadership of <a href="http://www.detroitmi.gov/MayorsOffice/tabid/123/default.aspx">Mayor Mike Duggan</a>.</p><p>At the beginning of the year, Mayor Duggan said to watch what happens in six months. We’ll review the changes throughout this week, but we thought we’d start with a look at the mayor himself.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18079 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan not like past mayors Schuette jumps into court fight over access to Detroit retirees' personal finance data http://michiganradio.org/post/schuette-jumps-court-fight-over-access-detroit-retirees-personal-finance-data <p>Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2014/06/attorney_general_weighs_in_on.html">jumping in the fight</a> to prevent one of Detroit’s major creditors from accessing the personal financial records of city retirees.</p><p>Bond insurer Syncora Guarantee Inc. is on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars if Detroit’s plan for exiting bankruptcy moves forward.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 23:40:24 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18100 at http://michiganradio.org Schuette jumps into court fight over access to Detroit retirees' personal finance data Midtown Detroit alleys are getting a makeover http://michiganradio.org/post/midtown-detroit-alleys-are-getting-makeover <p></p><p>When you close your eyes and think of an alley, what do you see?</p><p>Trash? Junky cars? A place where danger lurks?</p><p>Or do you see a place where people might stroll? Perhaps car-free? Certainly cleaned up.</p><p>That's what Sue Mosey sees.</p><p>She's president of Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit community-development group that is working to transform gritty urban alleys in Midtown Detroit into something that is green, something you would want to walk through, and something that helps with urban revitalization.</p><p>Mosey said the alleys in Midtown Detroit were in very bad condition, some even collapsing. Mosey said the group worked with the Department of Public works to help with underground repairs.</p><p>“Since we are going to have to redo them anyway, we figured why not make them green and sustainable and beautiful,” Mosey said.</p><p>They repave, rebuild, and add lighting to the alleys, as well as other projects to make them more attractive and safe for the city.</p><p>“It’s an opportunity to reuse something that is usually seen more as a negative and create something unexpected and really positive and people really respond to that,” Mosey said.&nbsp;</p><p>*<em>Listen to full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 01:39:13 +0000 Stateside Staff 17922 at http://michiganradio.org Midtown Detroit alleys are getting a makeover Nation's automakers pitch in $26 million to Detroit's bankruptcy reorganization http://michiganradio.org/post/nations-automakers-pitch-26-million-detroits-bankruptcy-reorganization <p>It seems momentum behind Detroit's municipal bankruptcy reorganization continues to build. If the momentum continues, the city could emerge from bankruptcy this fall.</p><p>Today, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler pledged to contribute a combined $26 million to a deal aimed at reducing cuts to Detroit pensioners while preserving the art collection at the Detroit Institute&nbsp;of Arts (part of the collection has been talked about as a city asset that could be sold to satisfy Detroit's creditors)<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>The money from the automakers will go into large pot of money – more than $800 million – collectively known as the "grand bargain."</p><p>So far, money for the grand bargain is coming from private philanthropists, foundations, the state of Michigan, and money raised by the DIA itself.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The automakers' money will be counted toward the </span>DIA<span style="line-height: 1.5;">'s goal of $100 million.</span></p><p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 19:20:46 +0000 Mark Brush 17919 at http://michiganradio.org Nation's automakers pitch in $26 million to Detroit's bankruptcy reorganization "Grand bargain" moves forward with Detroit City Council vote to transfer DIA assets http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-bargain-moves-forward-detroit-city-council-vote-transfer-dia-assets <p>The city of Detroit moved to finalize its end of the “grand bargain” Thursday, as the Detroit City Council <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140605/NEWS01/306050056/detroit-bankruptcy-grand-bargain-city-council">voted to transfer the Detroit Institute of Arts’ assets </a>to a public trust.</p><p>This week, Lansing lawmakers approved $195 million toward the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/06/michigan_senate_approves_histo.html">$816 million grand bargain</a>&nbsp;–&nbsp;a linchpin of Detroit’s bankruptcy restructuring plan.</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17891 at http://michiganradio.org "Grand bargain" moves forward with Detroit City Council vote to transfer DIA assets No "grand bargain" for Detroit's water department, as Orr considers private bids http://michiganradio.org/post/no-grand-bargain-detroits-water-department-orr-considers-private-bids <p>As <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140603/POLITICS02/306030065">“grand bargain” legislation sails through Lansing</a>, the fate of Detroit’s water department could become the biggest issue holding up a speedy exit from bankruptcy.</p><p>Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr maintains the city needs to find some way to generate revenue from the system, which serves more than 4 million people in southeast Michigan.</p><p>Orr is still pursuing two different possibilities: spinning the department off to a regional water authority, or leasing it to a private operator.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:35:54 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17860 at http://michiganradio.org No "grand bargain" for Detroit's water department, as Orr considers private bids Michigan lawmakers commit $195 million to Detroit's bankruptcy reorganization http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-commit-195-million-detroits-bankruptcy-reorganization <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">State lawmakers have committed to contributing $195 million to Detroit's bankruptcy settlement.</span></p><p>The state Senate gave final legislative approval to the bills to help protect retiree pensions and prevent the sale of city-owned artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts.</p><p>“Today we are all Detroiters and we are all Michiganians,” said<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;U.S District Court Judge Gerald Rosen following the vote. Rosen has been overseeing talks between Detroit and its creditors, and is considered the architect of the "grand bargain."</span></p><p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 21:14:51 +0000 Jake Neher & Sarah Hulett 17848 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers commit $195 million to Detroit's bankruptcy reorganization