The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of a planet's semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star (sun) that it orbits.
The term is colloquially used like midsummer to refer to the day on which solstice occurs. The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight – except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice.
This is sort of the Summer Solstice of Detroituncovered. For the next 90 days or so we will share with you the dark and the light of Detroit, after which we will return to hibernation until next Summer...Enjoy!!
State of Michigan Oversight destroying Neighborhoods
Travel anywhere around the city of Detroit, east to west, north to south and you will find formerly occupied school buildings that have become and eyesore and a danger. Children live near and walk by these vacant schools that are a very clear example of what State oversight of Detroit's school system has caused. Since the State takeover hundreds of schools have been closed in what was called a cost cutting measure but no consideration has ever been given to the cost of these building that have been stripped clean and left sitting open. They not only drag down the value of the homes that sit around them they are a danger to children and women who walk pass these buildings on a daily basis. Complaints have gone unanswered and the once stable vibrant neighborhoods have been left to suffer. Clearly no effort on the part of the State to board up or demolish these buildings. Recently Channel 7 News covered this and hopefully their coverage will spur some action.
The battle for oversight of Detroit in Lansing
Some of you may have missed the Detroit News story from April 21, 2014 where the editorial made the case for Dissolving Detroit. The editorial stated the city is in ruins primarily because of Detroit's political class and the only reason things are getting done now is because of state-appointed leaders, who are getting things done. Just about the same time Crain's Detroit published an article with the title, Maybe Detroit needs a permanent overseer”. As part of that story there was a picture that (seen above) that used slave plantation imagery. That picture caused such an uproar that Crain's removed the picture and changed the title of the article. Well fast forward to now and we see that when the conservative publications write the republicans in Lansing listen which has now brought about legislation that will place Detroit under an overseer for 20 years according to published reports. Governance of the city's finances are to be placed in the hands of a seven member board that will be controlled by Lansing politicians. Detroit's city council will have no say-so in the boards composition. Along with its picture Crain's Detroit wrote about the city having an overseer and in an astonishing act of blatant disrespect for the people of Detroit the Lansing legislators are caring out that very act to insure that democracy and self governance in Detroit is dead for good.The term overseer may have been an honest misuse of language on Crain's part but it speak volumes to a mind set that exist about the people of the city of Detroit
Because of the many trips to Lansing made by Mayor Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones the state legislators are scaling back their oversight. An agreement is in the works that will give City Council a seat on the board, something that was not in the original agreement. Also the agreement calls for the oversight to go dormant if Detroit can balance its budget for 3 straight years. The oversight can go away forever if the city shows financial responsibility for between 6 and 9 years. The actual number is still being worked out. Removed from the legislation were bench marks such as a triple A borrowing rating. Thanks to the hard work of Duggan and Jones a more reasonable agreement is now in the works. Thankfully Councilwoman Jones didn't just fold her arms and sit silently like recent council leadership.
Duggan's appointment sends a message to Chief Craig
From the moment Mayor Duggan took office there has been much speculation about the relationship of he and Chief of Police James Craig. Much of that speculation and rumors suggested that these two had a more than frosty relationship. The two did eventually meet and appeared to be building bridges and Craig does attend cabinet meetings with the mayor. But its always been clear from the start that if given the opportunity Duggan would want to pull the trigger and bring in his own guy to oversee the police department. As it stands right now Mayor Duggan has no control of police matters, that responsibility is that of emergency manager Kevyn Orr who brought Chief Craig here from Cincinnati and gave him a two year contract. Craig is approaching the one year anniversary of that agreement. A few months ago Assistant Chief Eric Jones fail out of favor with Chief Craig over what many described as a coup d'état. Craig apparently got wind that his number two in command was itching to be number one and had decided to push Craig out. Last month Assistant Chief Jones retired after having his authority seized and being removed as the number two person in charge. The former assistant chief has now landed a job with the Duggan administration as the Director of Buildings Safety Engineering & Environmental earning a cool $130k annually. Whether he’s qualified to hold that post is arguable but in his favor it should be mentioned that he has a law degree.
Duggan appointing Jones to this post seems to be a clear red flare and warning to Chief Craig and will no doubt make the relationship between the two even more difficult. It emboldens the belief that Duggan does not care for Craig, why else would you elect to hire his deposed assistant chief. It also highlights the relationships. Former Chief Evans gave Jones much leeway when he was in charge and Jones in turn greatly admires Evans. Evans was a supporter of Duggan's campaign for mayor early on and some believe so was Jones. If it is Duggan's desire to replace Chief Craig with his own person there are some hurdles he must overcome. First, there is no guarantee that he will get control of the police department in the fall even if Orr does leave. Orr has expressed a desire to stay involved of late and he could always extend the contract of Craig. Even if Duggan gains control of the police department keep in mind there is financial oversight of the city for potentially the next 13 years. What that means is the architect of Detroit’s current situation Governor Snyder will still be calling the shots. But lets say for argument sake power is returned to Detroit’s elected leaders, Duggan would then have to abide by the city charter which under the revised document says the Board of Police Commissioners will conduct a search and choose the three (3) finalist for the position of chief of police that the mayor would choose from, which would then have to be approved by city council. If by appointing Eric Jones Mayor Duggan wanted to poke Chief Craig in the eye his success maybe somewhat premature.
Chief Craig keeping his job should be based strictly on performance and not the usual politics we’ve become so accustom to. By most accounts citizens feel like he’s getting the job done and their opinions should not be disregarded. In addition the Detroit Police Department has seen six chief’s of police since 2008, that’s an average of one chief per year. No organization can function or be successful with that kind of turnover. The department is desperately in need of continuity, a consistent message and a clear direction. The one great benefit of the current construct is politics have been taken out of the department. The only way to continue this approach is for the current chief’s contract to be extended.
Duggan may not be hearing the right voices as it relates to Craig...Here are some comments from facbook on the job many beleive Craig is doing....
Karen Dumas Hang in there, Chief. The efforts of you and your team are recognized and appreciated. Kudos to DPD!
Brian Fitzgerald Robinson He's doing a great Job so far and the citizens of Detroit can see the change! Thank you Chief!
Monroe Bohannon Jr. The drug dealers can't stand him....bet he gets plenty of sleep at night!...Congratulations Cheif Craig!
Gina Imblezd Owens Chief James Craig you are so right. There was a shoot out yesterday in the parking lot at chene&Lafayette in broad day light like they in in the wild west some where I watched from my people duck and ran then got up and moved like nothing happened. I went down to the lobby to find our office staff and others hiding in a hall way as though they were on CNN in a third world country . This is oh so sad. Fortunately no one was hurt.
Kelli Van Buren Happy anniversary!!! Although I just moved away from the D, my heart and prayers are with you.
Sam William John Keep doing what you're doing, Chief!
Shèilãh Walters Keep doing what works!
Josh Boyle He was Chief here in Cincy for a short while. Wish he would have stayed.
Zack Bouey Good article Karen
Lettie Reid Chief Craig....I cannot begin to imagine the work you are passionate in doing...There has not been a Chief I have admired in a very long time until I met you. You have extended so much of yourself to community that I can only imagine how stressful your...See More
Bryan Gabel Keep up the good work Chief. We miss you in Cincinnati
Ronald Colquitt James E. Getting it done they way we used to working patrol together in South L.A
Operation STRAP !
State wants Detroit Police to pay for use of Belle Isle
Update: State agrees to waive the fee for this year. No word on next year or future years.
The State of Michigan not only wants every resident of Detroit to pay to come on Belle Isle they also want the city to pay to use the city owned island. Recently the operations manager of Belle Isle informed the Detroit Police Department that in order to use the island for training of its recruits it would cost $300 per day. The police department has in recent years used a paved portion of the part to teach its recruits precision driving, they must pass this course before they can graduate. Although they have used various locations over the years including city airport, in recent years the paved portion of Belle Isle just as you enter the island was where the training took place and it was free for use. But now the state of Michigan has put the brakes on that and informed the police department that a fee must be paid. They were even kind enough to reduce it to $50 per day for use of this city owned park, now leased to the state. We doubt very seriously that the council members who voted to turn the park over to the state ever stop to consider the unintended consequences of their actions. Looking back on the comment that was made when City Clerk Janice Winfrey was stopped by troopers on the island and told they were trying to keep off the riff raff, can we read into that statement that DPD is among the riff raff? Someone in the mayors office or city council needs to handle this quickly.
Detroit's bankruptcy bills top $75 million
Freeways in Detroit Neglected
If you travel along I-96 in Detroit , east or west bound you have noticed how filthy and unkept it is. The grass has not been cut and along the shoulder there are bumpers, tires, trash and just filth. Why are the freeways in Detroit allowed to look this bad? Why aren't our local politicians and the ones in Lansing raising hell about this? The state took over Belle Isle because they said they could manage it better but what about the freeways which fall under their purview? Join me in calling MDOT this week to find out why the freeways in Detroit are being neglected.
To complain about the conditions of I-96 call the Transportation Service Center (313) 375-2400) and ask for Reggie Washington or Mike Gorman. Also you can call the same two people in regards to the lack of lighting along I-94 in Detroit.
Message to Detroit and Wayne County elected officials: No time to be still.
Now that all the primary election stuff is over we can get down to the real business and that is returning the state of Michigan to a representative democracy one that represents all of its people not just special interest. We know in the city of Detroit that we don't control our own government or our own destiny currently and this will be repeated throughout the state if we let things remain as they are. Governor Snyder is not a friend to the working man. He is not a friend to public safety workers. He is not a friend to pensioners across this state. He is not a friend to organized labor and he is not respectful of voters choice. Governor Snyder failed to uphold the law and the constitution of the state of Michigan.
An old mother once said, "when your head is in the mouth of the Lion, be still". Although that maybe the condition our elected officials in the city of Detroit find themselves today its incumbent on each of them as members of the democratic party and supporters of democracy to fight vigorously to return this state to fair hands. Anything less would be unacceptable and anyone who doesn't must be held accountable.