Matty Moroun http://michiganradio.org en Judge won't stop permit for Detroit-Canada bridge http://michiganradio.org/post/judge-wont-stop-permit-detroit-canada-bridge <p>DETROIT -- A federal judge won't stop the U.S. Coast Guard from issuing a permit for a new bridge between Canada and Michigan.</p><p><br />The Detroit Free Press reports that Judge Rosemary Collyer in Washington, D.C., disagreed with private owners of the existing bridge, who claim a permit would cause "irreparable harm." It was a defeat Friday for Manuel "Matty" Moroun, whose family controls the Ambassador Bridge and wants to build its own second span.<br /><br />Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Canada are trying to build a bridge over the Detroit River that would compete with the Ambassador Bridge. Canada is willing to pay for it and be reimbursed through tolls.<br /><br />The Moroun family says the bridge could take up to 75% of traffic from the Ambassador Bridge.</p><p> Sat, 31 May 2014 15:45:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17816 at http://michiganradio.org Judge won't stop permit for Detroit-Canada bridge The future of Detroit's second bridge now hangs on the Obama administration http://michiganradio.org/post/future-detroits-second-bridge-now-hangs-obama-administration <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So whatever happened to the New International Trade Crossing Bridge?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For years, an epic battle raged between those who knew we needed a new bridge across the Detroit River, and </span>Matty<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Moroun<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the 86-year-old man who owned the 85-year-old Ambassador Bridge, the only game in town.</span></p><p>Moroun held up a new bridge for years, mostly by buying off Michigan legislators with bribes thinly described as campaign contributions, but that ended when Rick Snyder became governor.</p><p>Snyder found a way to bypass the lawmakers and conclude an agreement with Canada. That was almost two years ago, however, and ground has yet to be broken.</p><p>So what’s happening?</p><p>This time the culprit is not Matty Moroun, but, bizarrely, Barack Obama.</p><p>President Obama has been supportive of a new bridge. There was no difficulty gaining a presidential permit to build it. Money was not a problem, because our friends the Canadians are paying for almost all of it. They are advancing Michigan’s share of more than half a billion dollars, which we don’t have to pay back until the bridge is up and tolls are being collected.</p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:28:24 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17278 at http://michiganradio.org The future of Detroit's second bridge now hangs on the Obama administration Battle over new US-Canada bridge moves to court http://michiganradio.org/post/battle-over-new-us-canada-bridge-moves-court <p> DETROIT (AP) - The owner of the Ambassador Bridge is asking a judge to stop the U.S. Coast Guard from giving a permit for a new bridge connecting Michigan and Ontario.<br /><br />Lawyers for the bridge company say it has an exclusive right to provide a bridge between the U.S. and Canada. It wants to build its own second span. The Detroit Free Press says a federal judge in Washington could hold a hearing early in April.<br /> Sat, 08 Mar 2014 17:01:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 16772 at http://michiganradio.org Battle over new US-Canada bridge moves to court Consul: Canada to buy Detroit land for new bridge http://michiganradio.org/post/consul-canada-buy-detroit-land-new-bridge <p>DETROIT (AP) - A Canadian official says his government plans to start buying land in Detroit for the U.S. portion of a new bridge linking the nations. It's a way to bypass opponents of the project and overcome the U.S. government's failure to allocate the money.<br /><br />Outgoing Canadian Consul General Roy Norton tells the Detroit Free Press that the project is too important to delay.<br /><br />Canada is paying most of the project's $2 billion-plus cost on both the Windsor, Ontario, and the Detroit sides of the river, recouping costs from future tolls.<br /> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 22:21:39 +0000 The Associated Press 16276 at http://michiganradio.org Consul: Canada to buy Detroit land for new bridge Gov. Snyder blames Washington for new bridge knots http://michiganradio.org/post/gov-snyder-blames-washington-new-bridge-knots <p>DETROIT (AP) - Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says a new bridge connecting the U.S. and Canada is being delayed partly because Washington doesn't seem to want to pay for a customs plaza on the American side.<br /><br />Snyder tells the Detroit Free Press it's a "difficult-to-understand attitude." He chalks it up to other similar logjams in Washington but says there's still time to resolve the issue.<br /> Sun, 19 Jan 2014 18:49:00 +0000 The Associated Press 16084 at http://michiganradio.org Gov. Snyder blames Washington for new bridge knots What's holding things up with the new bridge? http://michiganradio.org/post/whats-holding-things-new-bridge <p></p><p>We’ve been thinking a lot about Detroit lately, for obvious reasons. Opinions differ, but pretty much everyone agrees on this: There are too few jobs and not enough money. Unemployment is high, the tax base is low. The city is officially bankrupt.</p><p>Yet there’s a project out there that should be a huge shot in the arm: The New International Trade Crossing Bridge. Estimates are that it will create at least 10,000 good paying jobs that will last four to five years. Ripple effects from those jobs will create thousands of others, some of which will be permanent.&nbsp;</p><p>Canada is going to pay nearly all the costs of the bridge and all Michigan’s costs, pumping nearly four billion dollars into the economy. Exactly what the doctor ordered. So … what’s holding things up?</p><p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 13:29:46 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 15545 at http://michiganradio.org What's holding things up with the new bridge? Lessenberry talks abortion coverage, millions to small businesses in Detroit and bankruptcy http://michiganradio.org/post/lessenberry-talks-abortion-coverage-millions-small-businesses-detroit-and-bankruptcy <p>In this <em>Week in Michigan Politics, </em>Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss a proposal to block abortions from being covered in basic health plans, how <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/warren-buffett-michigan-praises-detroit-announces-investment-local-businesses">Warren Buffett is backing millions of dollars</a> in an initiative to help small businesses in Detroit, and look to next week when Judge Steven Rhodes will decide if Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy.</p><p> Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:18:17 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Christina Shockley & Emily Fox 15455 at http://michiganradio.org Lessenberry talks abortion coverage, millions to small businesses in Detroit and bankruptcy Holiday lights brighten up Detroit's Michigan Central Depot http://michiganradio.org/post/holiday-lights-brighten-detroits-michigan-central-depot <p>Detroit’s Michigan Central Depot is looking a little more cheery today.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For the second year in a row, the former train station which now serves as the quintessential symbol of Detroit's urban decay, is decking the halls with holiday lights. According to <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131122/METRO01/311220038/Detroit-s-Central-Depot-decks-empty-halls?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p">The Detroit News</a>, </span>Matty<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Moroun<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, who bought the building in 1996, came up with the idea of sprucing up the 18-story abandoned station with the help of his family.</span></p><blockquote><p>“Since we’ve put electricity back in, we decided to light it up, and it looks really nice,” President of the Detroit International Bridge Co. Dan Stamper said. “We’ve gotten a lot of nice comments and we just hope everyone has a happy holiday.”</p></blockquote><p>Electric lighting has returned to the building as part of an effort to (slowly) give the station a facelift. <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/03/michigan_central_station_makeo.html">Back in 2011</a>, the International Bridge Co. began to replace windows and stairwells in&nbsp;MCD.&nbsp;</p><p><em>- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom</em></p><p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 17:35:06 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15397 at http://michiganradio.org Holiday lights brighten up Detroit's Michigan Central Depot Who owns downtown Detroit? http://michiganradio.org/post/who-owns-downtown-detroit <p>If you're in Detroit, and you drive south down Woodward from Midtown to downtown, you’ll see things that weren’t there four years ago: new developments,<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-seeing-rise-pop-businesses"> pop-up businesses</a>, more people, a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/fashion/the-young-and-entrepreneurial-move-to-downtown-detroit-pushing-its-economic-recovery.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">new demographic</a>, a <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/what-whole-foods-opening-means-and-doesnt-mean-about-midtown-detroit">Whole Foods</a>, <a href="htt Tue, 09 Jul 2013 17:47:34 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13438 at http://michiganradio.org Who owns downtown Detroit? Gilbert owns downtown Detroit, but who owns the most private land in the whole city? http://michiganradio.org/post/gilbert-owns-downtown-detroit-who-owns-most-private-land-whole-city <p>Earlier today <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/dan-gilbert-buys-more-downtown-detroit-property-comments-detroits-potential-bankrupcy">we posted a story with a map</a> of all of Dan Gilbert’s properties in downtown Detroit.</p><p>That got us thinking, who else owns a lot of property in Detroit?</p><p>In 2011, the Detroit News compiled <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20110203/SPECIAL01/110202002">an interactive map that shows private landownership</a>. Click on each person or company and you can see how much land they own across the city – it’s a lot.</p><p>So who owns the most?</p><p>Michael G. Kelly, an unassuming investor from Grosse Pointe Woods.</p><p> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 16:29:47 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13155 at http://michiganradio.org Gilbert owns downtown Detroit, but who owns the most private land in the whole city? Canada scouts for property in Delray for new bridge http://michiganradio.org/post/canada-scouts-property-delray-new-bridge <p>Get ready Michigan – Canada is taking serious steps toward building a new bridge over the Detroit River, according to <a href="http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/05/22/canadian-funds-allocated-to-start-buying-property-in-delray-for-dric-bridge/">Dave Battagello from <em>The Windsor Star</em>:</a></p><blockquote><p><em>The Canadian government has dedicated $25 million in its recent budget to start buying property in Delray for the new Detroit River bridge, while U.S. federal administrators debate the size and scope of the customs plaza, Canada’s Consul General Roy Norton said Wednesday.</em></p></blockquote><p>If you aren’t familiar with the bridge project (known as the Detroit River International Crossing or the New International Trade Crossing) you certainly saw the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYsgg4mCGkI">commercials for Proposal 6 last November</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/4-things-know-about-proposal-6-bridge-vote">Proposal 6</a> was an attempt by Ambassador Bridge owner, Matty Moroun, to require voter approval for any bridge or tunnel between Michigan and Canada.</p><p>Proposal 6 did not pass and the new bridge is moving closer to reality. Thu, 23 May 2013 15:25:37 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12703 at http://michiganradio.org Canada scouts for property in Delray for new bridge Commentary: Unsung heroes and the bridge http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-unsung-heroes-and-bridge <p></p><p>Three years ago, it seemed possible we’d never see a new bridge over the Detroit River. True, most businesses and corporations felt that one would definitely be needed.</p><p>The existing Ambassador Bridge is more than 80 years old, but carries 25 percent of all the trade between the United States and Canada -- more than $3 billion a week.</p><p>There is no backup for it, and even a temporary shutdown would wreak havoc on the economies of Michigan and Ontario.</p><p>But thanks to lavish campaign contributions, Manuel J. “Matty Moroun” had been able to effectively buy off the Michigan legislature, to the point where they would not even allow a vote on the issue.</p><p>Once, when I asked U.S. Senator Carl Levin if anything surprised him about Detroit, his answer was “the incredible power of Moroun.” Yet last Friday, there stood a triumphant Governor Rick Snyder with an array of Canadian officials.</p><p>Secretary of State John Kerry had just issued a presidential permit allowing a New International Trade Crossing Bridge to be built.</p><p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 14:55:18 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 12139 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Unsung heroes and the bridge Report: Proposed Detroit-Windsor bridge gets key permit http://michiganradio.org/post/report-proposed-detroit-windsor-bridge-gets-key-permit <p>Backers of a new bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor are expected to announce that the project has cleared one of the final hurdles later today.</p><p></p><p>The Windsor Star reports that Governor Snyder and other supporters of the Detroit River International Crossing will announce that the bridge project has finally received a permit from the U.S. Department of State. .</p><p></p><p>A forty year old federal law gives the State Department the authority to approve international bridges.</p><p></p><p>The permit is seen as a key step in the 2 billion dollar bridge project.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 04:54:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 12111 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Proposed Detroit-Windsor bridge gets key permit Commentary: The latest on the bridge http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-latest-bridge-0 <p></p><p>Last year was a major milestone in the epic battle to get a new and badly needed bridge across the Detroit River. Frustrated by the Michigan Legislature’s unwillingness to even vote on the issue, Governor Rick Snyder found a legal way to bypass the lawmakers.</p><p>Snyder found a clause in the Michigan Constitution that allowed him to conclude an “interlocal” agreement with the government of Canada. This didn’t make Matty Moroun, the 85 year-old owner of the 84 year old Ambassador Bridge, happy.</p><p>Moroun then spent close to $40 million attempting to get Michigan voters to ratify a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have essentially given him monopoly control of our nation’s most important border crossing for all time.</p><p> Tue, 09 Apr 2013 14:03:28 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 12061 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: The latest on the bridge Commentary: Michigan's low integrity standards http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-michigans-low-integrity-standards <p></p><p>If you want proof we need sterner ethics laws for Michigan’s elected officials, you need only consider former State Rep. Paul Opsommer, who until this year was chair of the House Transportation Committee.&nbsp;</p><p>Term limits then forced him to give up his seat in the legislature. While he was there, he supported his fellow Republican, Governor Rick Snyder, on most issues. Except for one: Whether to build a new bridge across the Detroit River.</p><p>Opsommer, who lives in the small town of DeWitt, outside Lansing, was rabidly opposed to the New International Trade Crossing. He did all he could to stop it.</p><p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 13:25:52 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 11195 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Michigan's low integrity standards Commentary: The latest on the bridge http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-latest-bridge <p></p><p>We haven’t heard much about the great Detroit River bridge debate since the November election. That’s when Michigan voters overwhelmingly rejected Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun’s attempt to amend the state constitution to preserve his monopoly.</p><p>Earlier last year, Governor Rick Snyder bypassed the Michigan legislature and used a little-known&nbsp; provision of the constitution to sign an agreement with Canada allowing for a New International Trade Crossing to be built south of the existing bridge.</p><p>The Ambassador Bridge is currently the only way heavy freight can be moved across the river, at least between Port Huron and Buffalo. The governor and virtually all business interests agree that a backup is essential.</p><p>So why aren’t shovels in the ground? Well, the short answer is bureaucracy.</p><p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 13:47:36 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 11172 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: The latest on the bridge Commentary: Now just build the bridge http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-now-just-build-bridge <p>This has been a bad year for Matty Moroun, the billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge. In January, he was thrown in jail overnight, for failing to comply with court orders to live up to an agreement he’d signed to finish a road project near his bridge.</p> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 16:24:59 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 9889 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Now just build the bridge Moroun money pushing Proposal 5, tax hike supermajority http://michiganradio.org/post/moroun-money-pushing-proposal-5-tax-hike-supermajority <p>It’s obvious why the Ambassador Bridge-owning Moroun family is backing <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Statewide_Bal_Prop_Status_145801_7.pdf">Proposal 6</a>. That’s the ballot measure that would require of vote of the people to build international crossings. It would be another step toward blocking a competing bridge Canada has offered to fund.</p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 9665 at http://michiganradio.org Moroun money pushing Proposal 5, tax hike supermajority Commentary: The other debate http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-other-debate <p>You might say there was more than usual going on last night. There was the last game of the National League baseball playoffs, in which San Francisco completed a dramatic comeback to take on the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.&nbsp;Meanwhile, on another channel, the Detroit Lions were blowing their Monday night football game.</p><p>And Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were locked in the final&nbsp;debate of the closest presidential campaign in years, this time arguing about foreign policy and the state of the world.</p> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 12:53:38 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 9571 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: The other debate Teamsters local throws support behind Proposal 6, the bridge vote http://michiganradio.org/post/teamsters-local-throws-support-behind-proposal-6-bridge-vote <p>Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun has secured the support of Michigan’s 5,000-member Teamsters Local 299 for Proposal 6.</p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/4-things-know-about-proposal-6-bridge-vote">Proposal 6 </a>would amend the state Constitution to require a statewide vote before Michigan constructs or finances any new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles.</p><p>The Moroun-backed amendment is opposed to Governor Snyder’s New International Trade Crossing.</p> Thu, 18 Oct 2012 17:18:41 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9520 at http://michiganradio.org Teamsters local throws support behind Proposal 6, the bridge vote