New York Post
The city's most famous pizzeria is located at the corner of Conant and McNichols, deep in the heart of the East Side.
Buddy's dates back to Prohibition, when a man named Gus Guerra ran the joint as a speakeasy.
With money tight and a war on, he added pizzas to the menu, and by the end of the 1940s, everyone knew about his unique, Sicilian-style pies. Buddy's has been on this corner for more than six decades, which is a testament to the quality of the pizza.
There are many ways to get to Buddy's. Needing to find my way there from the eastern suburbs on an uncharacteristically warm and sunny late spring afternoon, I end up on Seven Mile Road, which, as far as the map goes, looks like a fairly direct route. The weather is fantastic.
Just as I'm about to admit to myself and my passenger, a fellow reporter from New York, that this was the Worst. Idea. Ever. and that we should probably just find the nearest freeway on-ramp and get back to civilization, there it is: Buddy's.
The former speakeasy still feels very much like a fortress. A couple of bocce-ball courts are surrounded by fences.
To enter, you walk down a long tunnel, lined with newspaper clippings that either discuss or honor the legend. Entering a windowless room, a server welcomes us warmly and invites us to take a seat wherever we'd like. We head down to the bar, take a booth and check out the menus.
Detroit-style pie is a cousin to the Sicilian slices you can get all over New York, but made with twice the attention to detail. After all these years, it remains elegant, a light, sugarless crust with not too much mozzarella and a fragrant tomato-basil sauce on top. The dearth of liquid around the edges allows the cheese to bake into the porous crust, a crispy little miracle that you never really lose a taste for once you've tried it. A small pie; four sizable squares, costs just a few bucks. It's pretty spectacular stuff; I eat a whole pie on my own.
"How'd you like the pizza," says our waitress, a gentle, middle-aged woman.
Hated it, we say, pointing to two empty pans. She laughs. On our way out, a couple more staff members stop us to say goodbye. They thank us for coming.
"I heard you hated our pizza," says one, smiling broadly. "Next time, we'll try harder."
Outside, I start snapping pictures, standing near a dark-green Range Rover, windows down, the bass thumping, unfamiliar snatches of hip-hop providing a rather nervewracking soundtrack as I make my way around the intersection. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see a man flying at me from across McNichols Road. He's waving something in his right hand.
Engine oil, he shouts, out of breath. The real deal. Can he hook me up?
Behind me, I notice that my colleague, Justin, has been drawn into conversation with a lanky young man in a long yellow T-shirt, his eyes hidden by sunglasses. Why are we here, he wants to know. Where are we from?
New York, we say. We're here for pizza.
Satisfied with this information, the young man insists that we take his picture in front of his car, which turns out to be the thumping Range Rover. It's parked up against the wall, on which they've painted a big sign denoting Buddy's status as one of the Food Network's favorite pizzerias in the United States. Our new friend sends the engine-oil man back across McNichols, where he came from, pulls Justin to him and grins for the camera.
"Now," he says, "you may get really drunk tonight and forget everything you saw in Detroit today, but you won't forget Buddy's."
HELLO AND WELCOME
It has now been nearly ten years since I first laid eyes on Detroit, and the one thing I learned almost immediately is that you never know who you are going to meet, where you are going to meet them, how it's all going to play out and how many other people you will be introduced to before the day is over. In other words, don't make a lot of plans.
Detroiters, quite simply, are people people. No visitor ever need be a stranger here, unless they want it that way. Stick around and, pretty quickly, you'll be longing for the day when you could just sneak around without being recognized.
Most of the time, you don't even need introductions -- simply showing up makes you part of the gang. Everyone wants to know how you got there. At times, you feel like you're in a small town in Japan, except there are fewer schoolgirls pointing at you and giggling.
I've crossed the Ambassador Bridge from Canada and gotten into a lengthy discussion with a customs agent about the latest special exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts. One time at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, I was chided by an official for staying in Windsor when my business was in Detroit. Were Detroit's hotels not good enough for me, he asked? (I wormed my way out of that by saying that the skyline view from the Canadian side of the Detroit River was just too perfect to pass up.)
Something as simple as going for coffee in the city's Mexicantown neighborhood once turned into a half-hour chat with the proprietor, who moved here recently from Barcelona. Each time I stop by, I'm not just getting a double espresso -- I'm going to see a friend.
Everywhere you go in Detroit, you automatically have one thing in common with the people around you: You're here and alive and making the best of a city that so many people long ago left for dead. As conversation starters go, it doesn't get much better than that.
GOOD GOVERNMENT, NO. CREPES, YES.
Nicole Rupersburg writes about food, which, along with drinking, is one of the major local pastimes. Her blog, Dining in Detroit, covers the local scene, a scene that surprises most people when they first visit. I join her for a walk through Southwest Detroit, where she's working on a feature about taco carts in this predominantly Mexican neighborhood.
Rupersburg, a child of the suburbs, lives in a landmarked historic district designed by Mies van der Rohe, just steps out of the downtown core. She lives cheaply, like most young people do in the city, renting an apartment for a few hundred dollars a month, working a day job to support her writing habit.
Somewhere between the stellar carnitas taco from a truck off of Vernor and a tasty torta con chorizo served hot off the grill in the parking lot of a gas station, we start talking about how, even here, city life can be genuinely stimulating.
"At a certain point," says Rupersburg, "you stop getting riled up about what's wrong with Detroit and just start living."
You'll find people like her all over the city. People who didn't move into the city because they wanted to save it, but simply because it appealed to them. Then, of course, there are the people who grew up here, had the chance to move away, but came back. Torya Blanchard used to teach French in a local charter school. She's a lifelong Detroiter except for a stint in France. Today, she operates a small creperie out of a window on John R Street in the heart of the city's attractive Downtown, whose only real sin is being grossly underutilized.
I sit down with Blanchard on the rooftop deck of the Park Shelton building in Midtown, a former hotel across from the Detroit Institute of Arts. It was once owned by Gilda Radner's father. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo lived here for a time. W.C. Fields also once slept here.
Blanchard is preparing to open a second location of her creperie, Good Girls Go To Paris, on the building's ground floor. A bookstore, Leopold's, is slated to take up residence next door, joining an existing Korean restaurant.
"People tell me I'm courageous, taking a chance like this," she says. "I'm not courageous at all. I'm fed up."
In Blanchard's opinion, the economic outlook for the region isn't all that worrying, even if she admits that she doesn't know whether or not she'll survive. Still, she knows this much: She's done talking about Detroit's future.
"I'm sick of talking about what we're going to do," she says. "Just do it."
Being happy hour at this point, we retire to the nearby Book Cadillac Hotel, the tallest in the world when it was built back in the 1920s, and today a proud beacon of Detroit's past greatness. Here, the elegant 24 Grille is currently offering a small plates menu, $5 each.
Blanchard orders a glass of champagne and, of course, introduces me to at least three different people, one of them a home owner in the city's historic Boston-Edison district, a collection of some of the most spectacular examples of residential architecture standing in the United States today. Henry Ford lived here in the early days of Model T production; Motown Records founder Berry Gordy lived just a couple of blocks over, decades after that.
As truffle macaroni and cheese arrives, the conversation descends into casual gossip, spiced with talk. I quickly secure an invitation for a house tour on my next visit. The evening ends with a friendly argument over who'll pick up the tab. (I win.)
DOWN BY THE RIVER
Perhaps the lack of barriers and the subsequent connections you make here on a daily basis are all simply due to the fact that in a city this tormented, the locals have figured out a secret that many Americans never do: Community matters. You'll often hear Detroiters referring to their home as a small town trapped in the body of a big city.
The following evening, the downtown riverfront is swallowed up by the crowds attending the Movement festival, an annual celebration of electronic music in the city that created techno. The festival, which gets better each year, draws followers from around the globe. I ditch the car and walk down Griswold Street, past the exuberant Guardian Building and down to the Detroit River, where DJ Carl Cox is in the middle of a set loud enough to rattle the General Motors headquarters off its foundations. A gentle breeze is blowing off of the river.
Working on the first drink of the evening and caught up in the tornado of people and energy and color, I think to myself, as I always do when I'm here: If only people knew what they were missing.
Think you have Detroit figured out? 10 reasons to love the Paris of the Midwest
1) THE LOOK Detroit came of age in the Roaring Twenties, and it shows. Tour some of downtown's best buildings with Inside Detroit insidedetroit.org
2) THE SPACE The half-empty city can be a cyclists's dream; rent a bike from Wheelhouse Detroit and explore the ever-improving riverfront. Crowds? What crowds wheelhousedetroit.com?
3) THE BEER Michigan is brew heaven -- locally, it's all about Motor City Brew Works in Midtown. Must try: Ghettoblaster Ale (470 W. Canfield St.).
4) THE MARKET On Saturday mornings, the historic Eastern Market district draws followers from around the region for breakfast and a stroll throught the market halls and the old-school shops easternmarket.org
5) THE PIZZA When GQ magazine recently named the top twenty-five pizzas in the U.S., four of the winning pies were from Metro Detroit. Start at Buddy's, the spiritual home of Detroit-style pie (17125 Conant Ave.).
6) THE MUSIC Detroit has a long list of musical success stories; the region remains a breeding ground for interesting talent. Find out who's hot, what's next and who's playing where at eatthiscity.com.
7) THE ART The Detroit Institute of Arts is home to Diego Rivera's impressive Detroit Industry murals, plus a film theatre and a highly regarded permanent collection. For art lovers, this museum alone is worth a trip dia.org.
8) THE TEAMS The Red Wings may have lost the Stanley Cup and the Lions are still in the hall of shame, but hey -- how about them Tigers?
9) THE NIGHTLIFE If you can't find a bar that suits you in the city, you've either recently quit drinking or have forgotten how to have fun.
10)THE PARK Detroit's Belle Isle Park is an Olmsted-designed island in the middle of the Detroit River. Make sure to hit the beach, where there's a spectacular (and affordable) water slide.
Creating an application whose objective is to keep talented, recent graduates in the state of Michigan was not a task done overnight or by one individual. It was a joint effort between 49 academic institutions, business and foundations and a team of strategists, designers, content creators and programmers.
Media Genesis, a Troy web development firm, along with the Detroit Regional Chamber, Issue Media Group, Digerati, West Michigan Strategic Alliance and Presidents Council / State Universities of Michigan won the 2009 Midwest Collaboration Award for their involvement with this application - Intern In Michigan http://www.interninmichigan.com/
The award was created in 2005 by the Midwest Technology Leaders to identify, create, support and honor effective partnerships among Midwest companies and local individuals or groups advancing the technological community. The collaboration was honored for each party’s role in a national initiative to improve workforce conditions in the state of Michigan.
The Midwest Technology Leaders conference is comprised of the Great Lakes Region's top executives who are dedicated to technological innovation that brings positive results within the community. The conference addressed the critical issues impacting the local and regional IT industry, including economic policies and business developments. Also, presented was an analysis of the future of the industry.
Antoine Dubeauclard, president of Media Genesis, accepted the award on behalf of the company.“Advancing and improving education has always been a top priority to me personally and to Media Genesis,” Dubeauclard said. “Strengthening the connection between employers and students is critical to the economic success of Michigan.”
In addition to the Midwest Collaboration Award, the 2009 Corporate Commitment to Michigan was awarded to Robert Ficano, Wayne County Executive; Stephan Pickett, vice chairman of Oakland Family Services; and Ed Copley, founder of The Kid-Safe Network. This award honors corporate individuals who are proactive in community relations, organizations and other philanthropic activities to support a healthy and high-functioning Michigan.
Both Mike Brennan, the president of United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Keith Cooley, president of NextEnergy spoke at the event.Intern In Michigan matches students from Michigan’s many colleges and universities with internships at in-state companies. The site also gives advice for students on how to obtain an internship and to employers on how to have an internship program that is cost effective.
The Web site already has more than 3,000 students using the site.The Intern In Michigan Web site is one of several initiatives in Michigan being funded by a WIRED Grant, or Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development. The WIRED grant is a federal program intended to encourage regional collaboration from both public and private companies to expand its skilled workforce and increase economic development and jobs.
Media Genesis is a leading independent provider of programming solutions, intranets, Microsoft SharePoint, and a range of web development services.
For more information, visit http://www.mediag.com/
Clarkston High School student Michelle Lee said she learned of her perfect SAT on her birthday.
Her mother, Patricia Lee, found the scores on line. "We found it was 800, 800 and 800," her mother said.
The news of her perfect ACT score came a week later. Her mother found the scores online and rushed to her daughter's bedroom to give her the news. "She said, 'You got perfect ACT scores.' It was a good way to wake up," Michelle said.
Michelle's mother first told her about the importance of the tests when Michelle was in the third grade. "I didn't even know what the test was about or anything but she was always telling me it's really important. I really think you should try to get a perfect score," Michelle said.
Michelle knew ahead of time what was needed to do so well on the tests. "One of the most important things beside preparation before the exam is during the exam. Time management was really important for me."
Michelle's parents operate Deer Lake Dry Cleaners. They are both immigrants and speak Korean at home. Because of that, Michelle said she was especially proud of doing so well on the English portion of the test.
She said she was inspired by the work ethic she sees in her parents and has worked to emulate them.
Her proud father has a message for her.
"Michelle, I do not have many accomplishments in my life, but you are my accomplishment right there. I was so proud," Michael Lee said.
Michelle is a member of her high school’s varsity golf team, plays the violin, is a National Honor Society member and volunteers regularly reading to elementary students in Spanish.
She also takes advanced math classes at Oakland Community College and volunteers in the radiology department at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital.
Michelle is considering 13 colleges, including the University of Michigan and Stanford. She said she would like to become a diagnostic radiologist. Michelle said that has been her career goal since she was in the fifth grade.
Forgotten Harvest, Metro Detroit's only mobile food rescue organization, recently took delivery of its first hybrid-powered truck. The Class 7 Freightliner, donated by Daimler Trucks North America, Daimler Financial Services, and Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, will enable the organization to rescue 850,000 additional pounds of fresh food on an annual basis at a 30-percent fuel savings, according to a Forgotten Harvest statement.
Susan Goodell, executive director of Forgotten Harvest, was presented the keys to the 2009 M2e Hybrid Freightliner diesel-electric truck by Klaus Entenmann, president and CEO of Daimler Financial Services, and Chris Patterson, recently retired president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, at Forgotten Harvest's Metro Detroit facility. Ron Ricci, president of Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies of Rice Lake, Wis., donated the 20-ft. fiberglass refrigerated truck body with ElectriMax, all-electric refrigeration that will keep the food fresh during deliveries to homeless shelters and social service agencies that feed the hungry throughout Metro Detroit.
"This generous donation...will not only improve our operating efficiency by keeping fuel costs down, it will also allow us to direct more donated dollars to distributing food in a way that protects the environment," said Goodell.
The 31,000-lb. Class 7 truck is the fifth truck donated by Daimler Financial Services and Daimler Trucks North America and aftermarket "body builders" in the past four years, bringing Forgotten Harvest's growing fleet to 21 vehicles.
The Young Adult Council at Gilda's Club Metro Detroit is partnering with Go Comedy Improv Theater in Ferndale to host a Happy Hour Comedy Night on Friday, June 19.
Happy hour begins at 6pm with 50/50 raffle and $1 pizza slices. The comedy shows begin at 8pm and 10pm. Tickets are $20 for one show, $36 for two shows (this is improv comedy so no two shows are alike!).“We’re very excited to partner with the actors and staff at Go Comedy,” said Heather Hall, executive director of Gilda's Club Metro Detroit and member of the Young Adult Council.
“Gilda’s Club was established in memory of Gilda Radner, who loved to laugh and make others laugh. She faced her cancer with a positive attitude, laughter and courage. A comedy night is the perfect type of event to raise awareness of Gilda’s Club and raise money so our red doors stayopen for anyone touched by cancer.”
Proceeds benefit the Young Adult Council, a network of young adult professionals dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the young adult programs at Gilda’s Club, a free non-residential cancer support community for men, women and children affected by cancer.
Young Adult Council supporter, Bill Crawford, is also one of the improve actors performing on June 19.
Tickets are available by calling (248) 327-0575. Go Comedy Improv Theater is located at 261 E. Nine Mile in Ferndale.
Gilda's Club Metro Detroit is a nonprofit cancer support community that provides free social and emotional support for men, women and children living with cancer, their families and friends. Its innovative program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, education and social activities.
Named in memory of former Detroiter, Gilda Radner, Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit opened in 1998 and has welcomed morethen 6,000 people through the red doors. For more information, call 248-577-0800 or visit http://www.gildasclubdetroit.org./
Contact Information:Gilda's Club Young Adults CouncilHeather HallTel: (248) 577-0800 x 17
But do either of them match the fortitude of Red Wing defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom?
Lidstrom acknowledged that he missed Game 4 in the NHL semifinals because he was undergoing surgery on a testicle that had been "speared" a couple of days before. He even managed to practice between his injury and surgery.
Less than a week after being operated on, Lidstrom was back on the ice. That takes, well ... guts.
A Detroit Free Press headline read, "Lidstrom Admits Having Surgery During Playoffs," but given the circumstances, most guys would be bragging about that sort of perseverance. To nobody's surprise, he called it the most painful injury he has had.
Although Detroit eventually fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup, Lidstrom's consolation prize may be the undying respect of every man, everywhere, forever.
Panera Bread of Southeast Michigan has teamed up with The Henry Ford of Dearborn to launch the Bread Lovers Recipe Contest, taking place through July 27.
Residents from southeast Michigan are invited to submit original bread recipes online and find additional contest rules and details at:
Entry forms are also available at all of Panera Bread’s 41 metro Detroit bakery-cafes.
Visit http://www.panerabread.com/ for the location nearest you.
Recipes must include a type of bread purchased from Panera. Recipes can include, but are not limited to, casseroles, bread puddings, bread salads, stuffing, sandwiches, crostini, appetizers and bruschetta. Creativity is encouraged!
Following the July 27 deadline, Detroit-area culinary arts professionals and Panera bakers will pour over the entries to determine the three top finalists. The lucky trio will then compete in a “recipe showdown” on Aug. 7 with their original recipes at the Panera bakery-cafe located at 23719 Greenfield Rd. in Southfield. The judges will taste-test the three dishes to decide on the grand prize winner.
The contest grand prize winner will receive a $500 Panera Card and have their recipe featured on a recipe card in the Panera Bread bakery-cafe closest to their home the last two weeks in August.
Second place will receive a $250 Panera Card and third place will receive a $100 Panera Card. All three winners will also win a Greenfield Village Bakers Delight package, including a Panera branded hand-crafted bowl made by Greenfield Village artisans, historically-inspired baking tools, a Panera Bread apron, coffee mug and a free bread for a year certificate.
Those not interested in submitting a recipe still have an opportunity to enter the sweepstakes to win a Greenfield Village Bakers Delight package. Panera is inviting the public to stop by any metro Detroit bakery-cafe and fill out an entry form to be entered in the sweepstakes. Panera will randomly choose 30 winners from entries received from each of its 41 participating metro Detroit locations.
The Bread Lovers Recipe Contest and sweepstakes is part of The Henry Ford’s Saturday Baking Series at Greenfield Village, presented by Panera Bread. Every Saturday, June 20 through Aug. 22, visitors can enjoy culinary demonstrations inside the historic kitchens at Greenfield Village, where bread will take center stage. Visitors will learn the history and significance of baking bread and watch specialty baked goods being freshly prepared using 18th century techniques. Visit the Panera Bread booth in Greenfield Village on June 20, July 11, July 18, Aug. 1 and Aug. 15 for fresh baked samples and giveaways.
The top three contest finalists will also have the opportunity to participate in the Saturday Baking Series to sample their recipes in Greenfield Village at the Panera Bread booth.
Jackson Citizen Patriot
New Detroit Lions football coach Jim Schwartz was asked Sunday before the LifeLock 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn if he had a favorite Kid Rock song.
With the artist sitting next to him and the pressure on, the coach didn't fumble.
"'Cocky,' " Schwartz said without hesitation.
Then he went the extra mile.
"It ain't bragging if you can back it up," Schwartz said.
Kid Rock was impressed.
"He even knows the lyrics," Kid Rock said. "Best coach we've ever had in Detroit."
Kid Rock was the grand marshal for the LifeLock 400, while Schwartz was at the speedway as the honorary starter in the flag tower.
The prerace meeting between the two quickly turned into a pep talk for the state of Michigan and the economy.
"I see hope every day. I still live in Clarkston," Kid Rock said.
"One thing I know about this town and why I stay here, I could live anywhere I want in the world, is the people and who they are. It's a hard-working town with hard-working people. It's not the first time we've been down. We'll get back up and dust ourselves off."
Schwartz, too, said he sees hope throughout Michigan.
"There's a sign on my refrigerator that says, 'Tough times don't last. Tough people do,' " Schwartz said. "That's what we're all about."
Schwartz also leaked his rooting interest in the race.
"It's hard to root against (Joe Gibbs Racing owner) Joe Gibbs and his affiliation with the NFL and the respect that I have for him," Schwartz said. "But I know where my bread is buttered.
I'm employed by the Ford family, so I'm behind all the Ford drivers today."
Downtown Ferndale merchants love families and will show families all there is to love about their downtown with a special promotion on June 18.
“Families at Woodward 9” will be the first in a year ‘round series of “Third Thursdays,” featuring shopping and in-store special events from 6 - 9 p.m.
This Thursday, merchants will offer family-oriented activities and unique inventory for children and their parents. Participating merchants, identified by orange and white balloons, will be open until 9 p.m., and many will be setting up outside for their own sidewalk sales.
Families can expect such things as candle making fun at The Candle Wick Shoppe, children's book reading at Twisted Shamrock, and a chance to draw your favorite hairstyle in a contest at Meagan Mitchell Salon.
There also will be Gelato ice cream at the Pinwheel Bakery, a family-priced spaghetti dinner at Maria's Front Room, and 20 percent off family/grad photo framing at State of the Art.
And don't forget a ghost story exchange at the Boston Tea Room.
“Third Thursdays” is a collective effort by downtown merchants to better serve the buying public by staying open later and offering more, according to a press release from the Downtown Development Authority.
Many merchants plan to be open until 9 p.m. every Thursday. Shoppers can visithttp://www.downtownferndale.com/ for updates.
Future “Third Thursdays” themes are:
July 16 — East Meets West at Woodward 9
Aug. 20 — Wine Dine at Woodward 9
Sept. 17 — Beauty on the 9
Oct. 15 — Thrillers on the 9
For more information regarding “Third Thursdays,” please contact Chris Hughes, communications and marketing manager at the Ferndale DDA, at (248) 546-1632.
C & G Staff Writer
There’s finally a bit of good news in real estate: Sales are up.
A combination of the up to $8,000 first-time homebuyer — technically someone who hasn’t owned a home in three or more years — federal tax credit, a plethora of homebuyer programs and the lowest home prices seen in years has helped spur home sales.
The question is what can you really get for your money?
The answer, say local Realtors, is a really great deal — from east side to west, no matter what the price range, homebuyers across the board are getting more home for their money.
“There are just some incredible deals right now, and I mean incredible,” said Realtor Kathy Wilson, one of five co-owners of Prudential HWWB Realtors, formerly Hannett, Wilson and Whitehouse Realtors, in Birmingham.
To that end, local Realtors Joanna Darmanin of Century 21 Town & Country in Birmingham, Gary Patrosso of Keller Williams in St. Clair Shores, David Reese of Real Estate One in Troy and Wilson share concrete examples of what homebuyers can get — that are move-in ready — for their money.
First things first, what does move-in ready mean? Well, the Realtors agree, that depends on the buyer, the location and the price range: For some people it means everything — the roof, flooring, furnace, bathrooms, kitchen, etc. — is updated and the house is freshly painted; for others, it means the home is structurally sound, but may need to be painted, the carpet cleaned or replaced, or the fixtures updated.
No matter where the home is located, the Realtors agree, great deals are everywhere.
"Buyers just have to identify an area where they want to live, and they can get a real good home,” said Reese.
Less than $100-grand homes
Typically, homes in this price range are being sold as foreclosures or short sales and may need a bit — or in the case of foreclosures, sometimes a lot — of work.
For those looking for move-in ready homes, Patrosso suggests looking at short sales.
“Most short sales are in much better shape than bank-owned homes because people are typically still living there and caring for the home. Short sales are a huge avenue for homebuyers to get great homes at bank-owned prices,” he said, noting that short sales often take longer to complete.
“If you’re patient and willing to wait, you can basically get a great home at half price,” said Patrosso.
He recently sold a 1,300-square-foot brick home in Harper Woods, in the Grosse Pointe schools district, for $42,000, and a similar brick ranch in Roseville for $49,000 — both, he said, were “pretty much move-in ready.”
What you can get in this price range in Oakland County, said Darmanin, really varies by location.
“It’s hard to put a number on it, but you can maybe get something a bit smaller,” she said of homes in the Royal Oak and Birmingham area. “There’s a listing in Birmingham, a tiny little condo that’s completely refinished, you can get for $100,000.”
Reese said he’s starting to see a few homes right around the $100,000 mark in the Troy area: “Some of them are in good condition, but many, especially the foreclosures aren’t — you need to go through a few to find the right one.
“Some communities have seen a 65 percent decrease in median price. South Macomb and has taken a big hit, and so has South Oakland.”
In areas like Hazel Park, Reese said, there are “lots of homes priced between $30,000 and $50,000.”
Great buys in the $150,000 range
Move-in ready homes of various styles — ranches, bungalows, colonials, and depending on the area, even newly built homes — abound in this price range.
“Most of the homes that are selling are selling for under $150,000 right now,” Reese said. “Right now, for around $150,000, you can buy a 1,700-square-foot, three bedroom, 1.5 bath ranch in Rochester.”
Similar homes are going at the same price in Troy, and in northern Macomb County, Reese said, a newer home of that size is “probably 5 to 10 percent off that price, about $135,000.”
These are homes that were selling for closer to $200,000-$250,000 just a few years ago, Reese said.
If you’re looking at short sales, said Patrosso, you can get an even better deal.
“Right now, I have a short sale in Clinton Township by Fern Hill golf course that’s listed at $170,000. It’s a 2,753-square-foot brick ranch that needs some work … but this is an area where a few years ago houses were going for around $400,000,” said Patrosso, noting that with short sales, “after a month, the price starts dropping drastically, from $5,000 to $10,000 a week.”
Meanwhile, in the Royal Oak area, homes in this price range tend to be a bit smaller, said Darmanin, but are typically in excellent condition.
“At the $150,000 mark, you can get a really nice 3-bedroom bungalow with one bath, maybe a bath and a half. … A home going for around $160,000 would be more of brick bungalow with an attached garage,” she said, adding that these homes, at around 1,200 square feet, are typically completely updated. “You maybe could get a two bed instead of three for around $120,000 in Royal Oak.
Fantastic homes for $200,000-$300,000
More than move-in ready, homes in this price range tend to be pristine.
“You can get something today in the Birmingham-Bloomfield-Beverly Hills area for $200,000 to $300,000 that you could have gotten a few years back for $500,000,” said Wilson. “In Birmingham, I have a couple of little houses in the low twos ($200,000) — completely redone — that should be $350,000 or $400,000 all day long,” Wilson said.
“There’s one in Beverly Hills that Doug (Whitehouse, co-owner of Prudential HWWB) in my office just listed for $275,000 that’s a ranch. It was totally redone from top to bottom and has a granite kitchen … and a beautiful master suite,” said Wilson. “Three years ago, I would have put it at $400,000-$450,000. So, there really are some wonderful deals right now.”
No matter which real estate company across metro Detroit, the word is the same: The deals that can be found in every price range and every community are astounding, and never before have so many prime properties been priced this far below value as now.
“This time in real estate is going to be written in the history books. We haven’t seen prices drop like this since the Great Depression, the last time prices dropped 50 percent. … The difference today is financing is available,” Patrosso said.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm remains upbeat in her efforts to lead Michigan.
This past Wednesday, following a meeting at the White House, she got the ears of Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "If the U.S. is going to make a long-term commitment to high-speed rail, they're going to need someone to build cars," she remarked to the Associated Press. "I really wanted to put in a plug...for us to make the cars."
Good thinking, Governor. For more then a century, Michigan has proved to the world that it knows how to manufacture automobiles. It's not building and selling as many these days, but there's no reason why the industry couldn't gear up and re-tool to make another transportation-related product.
Granholm based her pitch to Biden and LaHood on the presumption that the first phase of the proposal connecting Detroit and Chicago via high-speed rail is likely to receive approval from the federal DOT when it begins awarding competitive grant money in September. "Because the engineering work has all been done, it puts us in a good position to be able to get some of that first funding," she said.
In this space earlier this spring, we commented favorably on the Obama administration's plan to upgrade a 43-mile rail stretch between Kalamazoo and Niles. The improvements would enable the speed of passenger trains along that section to increase to 110 mph from 95 mph.
Funding for the Kalamazoo-Niles project, which could be completed by the end of this year, would come from $8 billion in federal stimulus money that Obama said will be aimed at improving high-speed rail corridors nationwide.
The area project, of course, is a tiny part of a bigger picture. Granholm pointed out that a high-speed rail corridor linking Detroit and Pontiac to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and St. Louis will spur job creation and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
Kirk T. Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, is a strong supporter of enhanced passenger rail travel. In a recent article that he wrote, Steudle pointed out that the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) was created by nine states in the mid-1990s. The effort has evolved into a 3,000-mile system blueprint that the states are slowly implementing and has since grown to become a well-established, 3,000-mile system plan.
The system, Steudle said, is predicated on three needs: 110-mile-per-hour service, significantly increased frequencies and what are being called "next generation" trains that will bring reduced travel times, more reliable service, and more service-focused mobility options to travelers.
We're looking at a tall order, but one that can be filled. Given the uncertainties of gasoline prices, which are now approaching $3 a gallon, expanded and improved passenger rail travel for motorists continues to make sense.
What else makes sense is that Michigan becomes the state that helps fill the order.
Panera’s newest menu addition, the Chopped Cobb Salad, is a hybrid of a traditional Cobb and a chopped salad. This salad features all-natural, antibiotic-free pepper-mustard chicken, Applewood-smoked bacon, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, fresh tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and crisp chopped romaine lettuce tossed with an herb vinaigrette dressing.
Panera Bread also offers several frozen beverages for those looking to beat the summer heat. The Low-fat Strawberry Smoothie, blended with Stonyfield Farm low-fat, organic vanilla yogurt and a full serving of fruit, is a healthy addition to any meal and makes a nutritious snack. Additionally, the Frozen Lemonade nicely complements any summer salad or sandwich. For those seeking a more decadent treat, Panera’s Frozen Mocha is made with Belgian cocoa, pure vanilla extract made from Madagascan Bourbon vanilla beans and a topping of whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
“Whether you’re planning a picnic, meeting a colleague for lunch or simply escaping the heat of a summer day, Panera’s salads, sandwiches and frozen beverages say summer at its best,” said Lee Carmona, area director of Panera Bread of the Great Lakes Region. “As always, customers can take comfort in knowing that many of their Panera favorites can be customized to fit many dietary needs or taste preferences.”
To find the Panera Bread bakery-cafe nearest you, visit www.panerabread.com.
For one evening, the city’s downtown district became a center for debate about of the recent struggles of Detroit’s Big Three automakers and the thousands of local workers impacted by them.
On May 27, the crew of the Public Broadcasting Service’s “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” visited AJ’s Café, 240 W. Nine Mile Road, for a roundtable discussion about the current state of the American auto industry. PBS News correspondent Paul Solman led the interview with five
United Auto Workers members and various PBS News pundits, focusing on, among other topics, the future of the union’s pension fund if General Motors files for bankruptcy. Lehrer himself wasn’t there.
At press time, the segment was scheduled to air on PBS at 6 p.m. on either May 29 or June 1.
“It was great to be a part of that,” said café owner A.J. O’Neil. “I really appreciate them coming out here to our little café. It was a lot of fun.”
O’Neil believes that PBS selected AJ’s Café as the location for the newscast after learning about its recent Assembly Line Concert, the continuous 288-hour musical tribute to the Big Three and Detroit auto workers held at the café from March 20 to April 1.
“It doesn’t surprise me because of all the activism we’ve been a part of,” he said. “We’re one of the Main Street faces for this challenge. We try to be as proactive as we can: We put on events that create international interest and hopefully make a difference in the world. I think that’s why we resonate with people.”
For O’Neil, the biggest hope is that the efforts of his business will shine a positive spotlight on Ferndale and bring more awareness to the plight of autoworkers throughout the region.
“I really believe people should take time to pay attention to the AJ’s (Cafés) of the world,” he said. “It’s not just about supporting your local coffee shop — it’s about coming out and helping to make an impact. This is something that’s way bigger than me.”
Come out Friday June 12th at 7PM to D’Amatos in Royal Oak for the official Launch Party of the Ferndale-Based Livio Radio featuring Pandora.
Complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres from 7-9 courtesy of Livio and Pandora Internet Radio. Music provided by DJs Urban Kris, Ben Scott, The Golden One, the John Arnold Trio, Pathe Jassi, and Jared Sykes. Party to follow.
The Livio Radio has been recently covered by Fox News National, CNBC, Kanye West’s personal blog, Crave cnet, The Chicago Tribune, Gizmodo, Engadget, and other national press.
More information can be found at http://www.livioradio.com/ and http://www.pandora.com/
For this one night only Livio will be selling the Pandora radio for $99.99 usually $149.99 and you get a free Livio T-Shirt with purchase.
To get on the invited guest list please email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=I with your first name, last name, and email address.
Party is open to the public but making reservations is recommended due to limited space.
The top 10 Stanley Cup comebacks include some that are amazing and historical Stanley Cup comebacks only include two three to zero comebacks in NHL history.
The top Stanley Cup comebacks all were considered astonishing upsets:
1. 1942 Final Toronto Versus Detroit
What is still considered the biggest comeback in the history of hockey, or any sport for that matter, is the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals. In an amazing comeback, Toronto won the championship after being behind, with the score three to zero at the start of the fourth game. This is the only time in the history of all sports that a team has come from behind this far and won a championship series.
2. 1962 Semifinal Detroit Versus Chicago
In the 1962 semifinals, Detroit was behind by two games, and made an amazing comeback to win the series, with a score of four to two. Many fans and commentators alike believed that after the loss of the first two games the Detroit did not stand a chance, but they pulled off an astounding comeback to move on to the finals.
3. 1975 Quarterfinal New York Versus Pittsburgh
This is only the second time in the history of hockey that a team has made a three to zero comeback in a seven game series. At the start of the fourth game, New York was behind with a score of three games to zero. The Islanders came back to win all four of the last games, and the championship.
4. 1987 Division Final Detroit Versus Toronto
In 1987, at the division finals, Detroit made an amazing comeback to win the series after starting out behind. In the beginning Toronto held the lead, but by the fourth game Detroit was making it clear that they would not go quietly. This comeback was unexpected, which made it even more astonishing.
5. 1999 Colorado Versus Detroit
With Detroit ahead by two at the start of this series, it looked like Colorado did not stand a shot. Starting with the third game in the series, there was a whole new perspective when Colorado came from behind with a sweeping comeback and won, with a final score of Colorado four and Detroit two.
6. 2001 Los Angeles Versus Detroit
In this game, Los Angeles was behind with the score two to zero. Los Angeles came back to win, with a final score of four to two, in part thanks to Chris Osgood losing four goals in a row for Detroit. This comeback ended Osgood’s first stint as a member of the Red Wings.
7. 2002 Detroit Versus Vancouver
In this series, it looked like Detroit was going to lose going into the third game because Vancouver was ahead two to zero. Instead, Detroit made a stunning comeback and won the series four to two. The Canucks lost all four of the last games, handing the win to the Red Wings.
8. 1998 Western Conference Quarterfinal Edmonton Versus Colorado
In this seven game series leading up to the Stanley Cup, Edmonton made a terrific comeback and went on to win. At the start of the fifth game the score was three to one against Edmonton, but the team proceeded to win the remaining three games to come out the victor. This comeback was one of the ten most amazing in the history of the NHL.
9. 1994 Western Conference Quarterfinal Vancouver Versus Calgary
During this series, Vancouver made a great three to one comeback. The team was behind by two at the start of the fifth game, but Vancouver overtook the lead that Calgary had and went on to win the series in a comeback that rocked the fans and players both.
10. 2003 Western Conference Quarterfinal Minnesota Versus Colorado
In this stunning three to one comeback, Minnesota was behind significantly. That did not stop this team from moving forward and winning the last three games of the series to move on. The final score was Minnesota four and Colorado three.
Here's another reason to go out on a fine spring day: The Birmingham Farmers Market kicks off today, Sunday, June 7, at parking Lot No. 6 on North Old Woodward.
The annual event will feature more than 30 booths filled with locally grown produce, plants, fresh prepared foods and hand-crafted items. Musical performances will add to the atmosphere, and this year there will be a Kid Zone at the market where the little ones can try their hands at arts and crafts.
The market, staged by the Birmingham Principal Shopping District, is a grand event that offers a perfect activity for a nice day. And it's good for the community. Along with providing a venue for Michigan made and grown products, it brings people into the city as well as offering fine products to city residents.
These days, every town, including Birmingham, can use the business. Bringing more life to downtown is a great side benefit of the market.
Farmers Markets will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday through Oct. 25 at Lot No. 6, which is north of Maple, across from Booth Park.
Grab the kids or just go yourself and have a good time. There will be plenty to see and do — and buy. It will not only be an opportunity for an enjoyable outing for the family, but also helps boost the city.
And that's always a good thing.
A judge has halted the demolition of Tiger Stadium just hours after crews began tearing down what's left of the Detroit ballpark. A temporary restraining order was issued by Wayne County Circuit Judge Isidore Torres.
Crews are barred from "engaging in any demolition activity" at the Detroit stadium until a Monday morning hearing before Judge Prentis Edwards. The judge then will decide whether to extend the ballpark's reprieve from the wrecking ball.
The injunction was sought by the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy.
Associated Press Writer
A feature film being shot at Tiger Stadium may mark the last time the old ballpark is used before it becomes a memory itself.
"The Irishman" tells the story of 1970s Cleveland-area union organizer and mobster Danny Greene. The picture stars Ray Stevenson, Val Kilmer, Vincent D'Onofrio and Christopher Walken.
The movie is being shot in Detroit through June, and filmmakers wanted to use "some kind of iconic landmark that was in Detroit ... even though we're going to play it for Cleveland," said Bart Rosenblatt, the film's producer.
Tiger Stadium, which opened in 1912 as Navin Field, was a perfect choice, Rosenblatt said, even if it meant tweaking the script to have it replace a boxing arena in one scene.
"It has a great look," he said.
Filming at the stadium was set for Thursday evening.
The Tigers departed the ballpark for nearby Comerica Park after the 1999 season. Wrecking crews went to work last June, and much of the stadium was torn down by fall.
A section stretching from dugout to dugout was left standing while a nonprofit group sought to raise money to preserve and redevelop the stadium as a commercial building with a working ballfield. But the city's Economic Development Corp. board voted Tuesday to reject the $33.4 million plan, saying the funding wasn't in place.
Complete demolition could begin as early as Monday, according to the city's Detroit Economic Growth Corp. Supporters of saving the stadium gathered there Wednesday evening after demolition equipment began to arrive.
Rosenblatt grew up in Boston attending games at Fenway Park -- which opened the same day as Tiger Stadium -- and said it's a shame the Detroit landmark soon may be gone.
"There aren't many of these ballparks left," he said.
By Mike Ball
A couple of weeks ago my family made our first trip to Comerica Park to see a Detroit Tigers game. I have to admit that while we’re all long-time Tiger fans, I have not been in a big hurry to go down there – and only partly because I resent having to apply for a home equity loan to pay for a couple of plastic cups full of lukewarm beer.
My biggest issue with Comerica Park is that I really loved the old Tiger Stadium, a place where you could save a few dollars and buy “obstructed view” seats. This meant sitting directly behind a steel I-beam support, so pretty much all you would see of the game was that beam and the hot dog vendor.
Even so, there was always a lot of noise in that old park, the hot dogs were pretty good, and on your way in and out you got to feast your eyes on the greenest green you’ll find anywhere in the world – Tiger Stadium grass.
I think part of the attraction was the history of the place. The first ballpark built at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull was Bennett Park, carved in 1895 out of an old-growth forest. The management at the time was way out ahead of the curve on that whole idea of obstructed view seating, since they decided to leave eight of the biggest elm and oak trees in the outfield.
In 1912, when they remodeled the park for the new century and named it Navin Field, they took out the trees and installed a 125-foot flag pole in center field that set a record as the tallest obstacle ever built in fair territory in a major league ball park. For years the charm of watching a game from the bleachers was made even better by the occasional thud of a center fielder smashing into that flag pole.
I should point out that I did not become a Tiger fan until I moved to Michigan in the mid-1970s and fell in love with the old ball park. Back then the Tigers themselves were pretty much an acquired taste, like drinking Irish whiskey or having a mule kick you repeatedly in the side of the head. You see, the Tigers had won a World Series in 1968, and something in that experience apparently convinced them that they would better off if they were to almost completely avoid winning for about the next 15 years.
By the mid-‘70s, Detroit’s success-oriented fans were staying away from the Tigers in droves, which in turn meant that my wife and I could usually wander down to Tiger Stadium on the just about any day and drop a few dollars on great seats to a game featuring the strange and wonderful assortment of lunatics that made up the Tigers’ roster.
When I first got to Detroit, the Tigers had a first baseman named Norm Cash, who once came to bat against Nolan Ryan swinging a table leg. They also had a third baseman named Aurelio Rodriguez, who could throw a ball over to first about as hard as anyone on the planet, but who might as well have been swinging Cash’s table leg at the plate. He was from Mexico, and in interviews he sounded exactly like the old Saturday Night Live parody of the Latin ball player; “Baseball ‘been ‘berry, ‘berry good to me.”
Al Kaline, one of the greatest right fielders of all time, retired in 1974 and become a broadcaster. In 1971 Kaline had turned down a raise that would have given him the first $100,000 salary in Tigers history, saying that he didn’t feel that he had played well enough that year to earn it. In 1972 he played a little better and took the dough.
Does anybody besides me think Mr. Kaline could have done the Detroit Pistons a favor and had a little mid-season chat with Allen Iverson?
There was a pitcher named John Hiller, who once showed up sporting a nasty-looking Fu Manchu and a shaved head just to psych out batters, and another one named Dave Rozema who messed up his knee and probably his career trying to execute a flying kung-fu kick during a bench-clearing brawl.
And then there was Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. My wife and I happened to be sitting behind third base on the evening Fidrych made his first home start, crawling around on his knees to groom the mound, talking to the ball and bounding around the infield to congratulate teammates for making nice plays. He also threw the liveliest fastball I’ve ever seen, and a diabolical slider.
After one loony but brilliant season, The Bird tore his rotator cuff trying to pitch on a bad knee, and never made it back to major league form. The gentle grace and good humor he used to deal with his too-short career made his accidental death earlier this year seem all the more tragic.
Over the years I got to see a lot of baseball and even another World Series victory in Tiger Stadium. Some of the players were great, some just greatly interesting: Alan Trammell, John B. Wockenfuss, Lou Whitaker, Rusty Staub, Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris, Lance Parrish, Cecil Fielder, Todd Jones and many others. Now, the Stadium and all those guys are gone from the game.
OK, I’ll admit it – Comerica Park is really nice. There are good restaurants, real bathrooms, a Ferris wheel and no obstructed view seats. The Tigers of today are all fine professional athletes who seem to know quite a bit more about winning than the guys in the ‘70s did.
And the grass in Comerica is pretty green, too. Maybe it’s not the greenest possible green that it was all those years ago at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull – but I guess I can try to get used to it.
Wind turbine company Danotek Motion Technologies has opened a new manufacturing center in Canton, Michigan.
“Michigan has the chance to become a leader in wind energy,” said Dan Gizaw, president and CEO of Danotek. “The state's existing manufacturing and engineering infrastructure, skilled labour force and national ranking in wind generation capacity make it a perfect location for Danotek operations.”
During a tour of the new Motown Motion Picture LLC studios at 1999 Centerpoint Parkway, company president Linden Nelson said he met Spielberg at a Hollywood gathering, where Spielberg told him he wanted to use the Silverdome in a movie project he was developing.
“Spielberg is looking forward to doing things in Michigan. He is very interested in the Silverdome,” Nelson said. “He is looking to do a movie to star the Silverdome.”
Nelson said the movie may hasten the sale of the dome.
Nelson also said that Ariel Emanuel, founder of the Endeavor Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif., and current partner William Morris-Endeavor Entertain ment, is on board with the Motown Motion Picture studio project.
Emanuel represents Hollywood stars such as Martin Scorsese, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Larry David, Michael Moore, Jude Law, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Wahlberg, among others.
Nelson said that Emanuel has already promised to develop 20 films at the Motown Motion Picture site.
Among the dignitaries touring the new studio home, a former General Motors property, were Gov. Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, auto recovery director Ed Montgomery and representatives of the city.
“It looks like a movie studio,” said Granholm, as she made her way though the lobby of the 410,000-square-foot building.
During a short comment session after the tour, Granholm spoke on diversifying Michigan’s economy and the importance of projects like the Motown Motion Picture LLC studio complex.“We are focused like a laser on saving what we can of our auto industry and diversifying the economy at the same time,” Granholm said.
A number of colleges and universities are expected to be involved in the Motown Motion Picture project, including Oakland University and Baker College.
Pontiac City Council President Arthur McClellan Jr., who used to work at the GM site, believes the building will be a ideal place to build a movie studio. McClellan works for General Motors.
“I am really excited about the educational component,” McClellan said. “I am looking forward to the groundbreaking.”
Nelson said he expects 700 to 800 students a day to be taking classes at the studio when the classes begin. The film classes should begin by September. There also is expected to be a 200,000-square-foot addition for sound stages added to the building.
Three thousand jobs are expected to be created at the site and an additional 10,000 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the studio being placed in Pontiac, Nelson said.
Nelson said the sale of the building by GM to Motown Motion Picture LLC has been completed.
Novi Artist Nina Cambron's one-of-a-kind art glass sculptures are adorning windows & desks in the Midtown Manhattan accounting firm, Eisner, LLP. Cambron incorporated the company's logo & colors into each of the 100 commissioned fused glass pieces.
Nina Cambron is known throughout the art community as an innovator in fused glass. Eisner, LLP, is known as one of the premier accounting and consulting firms in the United States. Eisner found Cambron via her website,http://www.ninacambron.com/ while searching for an artist to create unique handmade gifts for the partners in their Northeast office. Ms. Cambron bid on the project and was commissioned to design and execute 100 one-of-a-kind glass sculptures for the Manhattan office.
Previously, Cambron's work could only be found in galleries and private homes throughout the world. Entering the corporate arena was new to the artist, who embraced it as an exciting venture, wrought with potential. "I'd never done a commission of that magnitude - 100 unique pieces, in the same color palette, the same size, incorporating a corporate logo. With 6 months lead time, I was able to complete a few pieces at a time, allowing me to keep the sculptures fresh."
The discipline of the project reminded the artist of art school - an assignment to depict an object in numerous ways, in numerous techniques. The most gratifying part to Cambron, though, is hearing how the artwork was received and how the office is now spotted with her work. "I'm planning on visiting New York City this summer and Eisner's offices will be my first stop!"
Cambron recently launched a page on her website introducing her foray into corporate gifts.
She hopes to grow this segment of her business in the coming year and considers this the perfect opportunity to encourage the buying of American Made Craft. Cambron is a member of the American Made Alliance, whose mission is to preserve, promote and protect the value of American made products and their producers.
Fused glass, sometimes referred to as kiln formed glass, is a centuries old process that involves the layering of sheet glass that is then fired in a kiln at 1460 degrees fahrenheit.
Nina Cambron has been a self employed artist for over 30 years. She attended Cleveland Institue of Art & University of Michigan where she received a BFA degree. She is represented by over 50 galleries in the US. She maintains a studio in a suburb of Detroit.
The Ford Motor Company, said its market share rose to the highest level in three years. Ford said it would increase production by 6 percent, or 52,000 vehicles, through September.
The seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate for the industry was 9.91 million, the highest so far this year. Until 2008, automakers had been selling about 17 million vehicles a year for much of the last decade. G.M., once it restructures and emerges from bankruptcy, has predicted it can break even if industry sales are at least 10 million a year.
May was the best sales month of 2009 for General Motors.
“Does it mean we’ll continue to improve and we’re out of the woods? No, but it was a good month,” Ron Pinelli, the president of MotorIntelligence.com, said. “It’s certainly positive in that it’s not getting worse. All things considered you can’t expect some crazy miracle overnight.”
For the second consecutive month, Ford outsold Toyota.
“It’s become clear to the consumer that we’re going to emerge from this, that we’re going to be around to keep providing products to the marketplace and take care of their service needs and that G.M.’s going to be a viable enterprise,” Mark LaNeve, G.M.’s vice president for sales, service and marketing, said in a conference call Tuesday.
“I think we see from the May results that we’re going to be O.K.,” he added.
The firm was honored today in Troy, along with 49 other Michigan businesses, at the CORP! 2009 Michigan Economic Bright Spot awards ceremony.
According to CORP! magazine publisher, Jennifer Kluge, “Our state has reason to celebrate those companies who stand out from the crowd. They have made a conscious decision to stay in Michigan, despite opportunities to locate outside of the state. They have also experienced expansion and economic development.”
Nemeth Burwell, the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes, was recognized as one of Michigan’s economic bright spots because it has been adding attorneys and support staff.
“We are pleased to be a part of an awards program that looks positively at Michigan’s economic vitality. Our firm growth has been from the ground up and not the result of mergers or acquisitions. We have been able to grow through strategic hires at our own pace, reinforcing that our strategy is the right one for the firm, regardless of economic conditions,” explains Nemeth Burwell partner, Linda Burwell.
As of today's American League ballot update, Miguel Cabrera is in fourth place for the first base position, about 150,000 votes out of the lead.
Placido Polanco is in fifth place for the second base position and Curtis Granderson is among the top 15 vote-getters for for outfielders. Adam Everett, Brandon Inge, Gerald Laird, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordoñez are also still in the running. However, the Tigers need your help to guarantee a Tigers starter at the 2009 All-Star game!
HURRY!!! Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, July 2, 2009
Click Here to cast your vote for your Tiger!
The Cupcake Station in Birmingham is in their own Stanley Cup(cake) competition with Pittsburgh-based CoCo’s Cupcake Café to see who has the most cupcake loving fans in hockey.
For every Wings or Pens cupcake purchased, a goal is added to the Goals Chalkboard located in each store. At the end of the series, one cupcake bakery will be able to claim the highest scoring, most dedicated, cupcake loving fans in hockey, and will be the rightful winner of The Stanley Cup(cake). Each location will be updating the “opposing” team’s score daily.
From now until the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Cupcake Station will be offering special Red Wing cupcakes. Choose from an Octopus cupcake, a “Go Red Wings” cupcake or one in the team colors of Red and White. Why not score a hat trick and try all three?!
CoCo’s customers can choose between black and gold cupcakes, ones the spell out “Let’s Go Pens,” or those that show their support for a favorite player.
The Cupcake Station is in Birmingham, at 136 N. Old Woodward Ave., just north of Maple. The Cupcake Station was founded in 2006 and serves up fresh-baked cupcakes unlike any you’ll find in other area bakeries. We proudly cheer for our Red Wings. Let’s keep the Cup(cake) in Detroit! For more information, check out www.cupcakestation.com or call 248-593-1903.
JOIN US FOR CRAZY DAYS!
Monday Madness - any size Coffee, only $1 all day.
Two Buck Tuesdays - All Regular Size Cupcakes are $2 and Minis are $1.
Wild Wednesdays - Buy 2 Cupcakes and receive 1 free all day.
Thirsty Thursdays - All Fountain Drinks are 75 cents.
Frosting Fridays - A Shot of Frosting is only 25 cents.
Shop till you drop Saturdays - All Cookies are $1, while they last.
Sunday Sundaes - Buy a Frozen Yogurt and Receive 2 Free Toppings. Walk-In purchases only.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has selected new breast cancer research conducted at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.
Karmanos' potentially ground-breaking findings identify a promising new therapeutic target for aggressive hormone receptor negative breast cancer tumors.
The research appears at http://www.asco.org/ and http://www.jco.org/ and is entitled "Enhancer of Zeste Homologue 2 (EZH-2) expression in breast cancer: a novel marker and potential target."
Karmanos scientists tested 84 cases of hormone receptor negative human breast carcinomas and discovered that the protein EZH-2 was expressed in 74 percent of those cases. Hormone receptor negative breast carcinoma is considered an aggressive cancer and one that is hard to treat. The finding suggests that EZH-2 could be an important therapeutic target in this patient population.
"We were interested in looking at a new target," said Zeina Nahleh, M.D., co-director of the Breast Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine in hematology and oncology at Wayne State UniversitySchool of Medicine. "We wanted to see how much expression of the protein was present. We were surprised that 74 percent of tumors expressed that EZH-2 protein."
Ann Arbor News
Six Chelsea baseball and softball fields will get a facelift next spring thanks to a $12,000 matching grant from the Detroit Tigers Foundation.
The Chelsea Recreation Council's fundraising project, For the Love of Baseball and Softball, includes plans for new backstops and netting to catch foul balls as well as safety fences, benches for players, removable pitching rubbers, infield compound and clay bricks.
"This is the first major grant for the Rec Council,'' said Jason Lindauer, Chelsea City Council liaison to the group.
Because of budget constraints, the fields have been neglected, said Jeremy Hodges, assistant recreation director, yet participation in baseball and softball programs has soared from 491 players in 2003 to 589 players registered for the upcoming season.
The Rec Council hopes to raise $70,456 before the end of the year for the project and plans phased-in improvements and a maintenance program beginning next spring.
Fittingly, the Rec Council has planned a fundraising trip to a Tigers game as it works to raise the $12,000 match before Dec. 1.
Chelsea Recreation, which is funded by participation fees, provides youth in the Chelsea School District with "quality opportunities to develop lifelong leisure skills,'' Hodges said.
More than 4,400 people have participated in its programs since its inception in 1971.
For more information about the project, go online to www.chelsearec.com.
Jonathan Ericsson will have a pretty good tale to tell his grandkids someday.
Ericsson scored for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, helping them beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 to take a 2-0 lead, and got the best of superstar Evgeni Malkin three times on the same shift.
Not bad for a defenseman who played just four days after having his appendix removed.
"We've got really good team doctors here, so they take care of that so I can get out there," Ericsson said. "It doesn't bother me at all right now."
After Ericsson's goal made it 1-1 early in the second, he sure did bother Malkin on a shift later in the period.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Swede stood up Malkin to thwart his rush with about 12 minutes left in the period, then used his big body to get the MVP finalist off the puck again.
Malkin reacted by interfering with Ericsson, putting Detroit on the power play.
The Red Wings scored just after the penalty was killed, generating enough pressure that Valtteri Filppula's backhander gave them a 2-1 lead.
Ericsson is one of the young players performing for the defending Stanley Cup champions after being forced to develop in the minor leagues.
Detroit general manager Ken Holland likes his prospects "overripe" before they get a chance to play in the NHL.
The 25-year-old Ericsson was buried at Grand Rapids in the AHL until getting called up in March because defenseman Andreas Lilja was sidelined with a concussion.
Ericsson played 19 times in the regular season, scoring once and adding three assists.
In 17 playoff games, he has three goals — including on in his playoff debut in the first round against Columbus — and six points. Ericsson missed only one game after abdominal pain the morning of Game 5 in the Western Conference finals sent him to the hospital.
"He's a real good player," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "He's got the long reach. He's got the ability to get his hands out and get you on his back and make that good pass to get you going with speed.
"He's a guy who is going to be, I think, an elite player in the league for a long time."
Plenty of teams had a shot at drafting him because he lasted until the 291st — and final — selection in the 2002 NHL draft.
With the Detroit Red Wings advancing to the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, fans are eager to get their hands on tickets.
At Superior Fish Company in Royal Oak, owner Kevin Dean is just as interested in landing the biggest octopus.
The sea creature is the traditional mascot of Red Wings playoff runs, its eight tentacles signifying the number of wins it once took to win a Stanley Cup.
Each time the Wings reach the finals, Dean fills the Superior showcase with the biggest octopus available on order.
Its biggest on record, weighing 52 pounds, with a height of 7 feet, 2 inches and wingspan of more than 12 feet, was aptly named “Octo-zilla,” Dean said. Also dropping by have been “Octo-Al,” named after the octopus swinging Zamboni driver Al Sobotka, and “Oscar the Octopus,” according to Dean.
The name for this year's import?
“We're toying with the idea of calling it ‘Octo-dad,'” Dean said.
Superior Fish, at 309 E. 11 Mile Road in downtown Royal Oak, has gained notoriety over the years as the place to go for octopi.
Dean said the National Hockey League called in advance to find out Superior's plans to hype the Stanley Cup finals. In the past, the octopus/Wings connection has led to televised spots locally, nationally and internationally, he said.
Throwing octopi onto the ice at Wings games is a tradition rarely observed anymore, though one landed in Wednesday's Game 5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, clinching the NHL's Western Conference championship.
Dean prefers Wings' fans eat their octopi. An Octopus Taste Fest was planned before Game 1 of Saturday's final round at Superior, he said.
Some view Detroit as a symbol of a vast industrial failure. Delta Air Lines sees it as a jewel. "We're most excited about the future of Detroit, its role as the primary Asian gateway from the East Coast," says Glen Hauenstein, executive vice president of Delta, which acquired Northwest and its hub here in October. The deal makes Detroit the second-biggest hub, after Atlanta, for the world's largest airline.
"Not only is the airport beautiful, but to fly from the East Coast, it is the most direct route to Asia." Transportation infrastructure has always been the key to economic growth, says professor John Kasarda of the University of North Carolina. "Detroit Metro Airport is the region's primary infrastructure asset (and) the speedy connectivity it provides to area businesses can help Detroit's economy transform to new sunrise industries."
"Detroit is a very large city, in the top metropolitan areas, and an optimal hub," Hauenstein said, in an interview. "Not only is the airport beautiful, but to fly from the East Coast, it is the most direct route to Asia." Detroit-Wayne County Airport is the country's 12th busiest, with about 36 million passengers annually.
Already, Delta and its partners fly non-stop to Tokyo, Nagoya, Amsterdam, Paris and London, with flights to Shanghai and Rome scheduled to begin June 1. One-stop service to cities throughout Asia is available through Northwest's Tokyo hub. And "We think Detroit to Asia can be larger," Hauenstein says.
Amazingly, the Detroit that Hauenstein sees goes largely unnoticed by many, particularly in a city so busy feeling sorry for itself that it can barely conceive of such vast potential in its midst.
Throughout history, the most important cities have been transportation hubs, says John Kasarda, a professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina. "In the 18th century, the great cities were ports," Kasarda says. "In the 19th, they were railroad cities. In the 20th, they were highway cities. In the 21st century, they will be cities with international airline connections."
Clearly, a continued role as a primary gateway to Asia and Europe can help to assure Detroit's future, he says, noting: "Detroit Metro Airport is the region's primary infrastructure asset (and) the speedy connectivity it provides to area businesses can help Detroit's economy transform to new sunrise industries."
John Carroll, executive director of the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership, says companies from around the world see value in locating in Detroit, still an automotive center with an expanding global airport.
"Quite frankly, the merger is going to strengthen the airport and Detroit's position," Carroll says. Like many major hub cities, Detroit is keen on presenting its best face at the airport, where each year millions of connecting passengers gather impressions of the area.
In the weeks leading up to the expected bankruptcy of this century-old icon, majority sentiment in the U.S., and to a lesser extent here, has been hostile about rewarding a chronically incompetent enterprise with a taxpayer-funded bailout.
Yes. A humbled GM can change.
Post-bankruptcy, a leaner and much healthier GM will continue to put bread on the table for tens of thousands of employees, about 4,000 suppliers, and several thousand dealership employees that often are the business mainstay in small-town North America.
GM remains the U.S.'s biggest manufacturer, still a powerhouse of engineering and technological breakthroughs, most visibly with its all-electric Chevrolet Volt. GM is America's biggest purchaser of information technology.
Entire states in the industrial Midwest and Canadian cities such as Oshawa, Oakville, Windsor and St. Catharines rely on GM and its employees for an outsized portion of their property and income-tax revenue.
All of which is moot, if GM is ultimately destined, as many believe, for the scrapyard in the sky. Somehow, I don't think so.
GM will emerge from bankruptcy with only one-quarter or so of the debt it held earlier this year.
GM's hourly wage costs, after enormous concessions by the Canadian Auto Workers and the United Auto Workers, are now in line with wage rates at "transplants" – the U.S. and Canadian factories operated by foreign-based automakers. The UAW has given up its right to strike until 2015.
GM will have cut its fixed costs to levels enabling it to compete on price with foreign-based rivals.
CEO Fritz Henderson told reporters last week,"We will come out of this rid of some of the historic legacy costs that have been dragging us down for the last 20 years or so," Bob Lutz, GM vice-chairman, said in a Thursday speech. "We will come out of it with an all-new focus on product development."
In an off-the-record briefing of reporters that same day, an Obama administration official said: "GM should be highly, highly profitable given the new cost structure that is being put in place, given the vast reduction of liability that has been achieved."
Fact: "Auto companies rarely die," CEO Henderson reminded reporters last week.
He's not whistling in the dark, having overseen in the past few weeks the drastic makeover of GM that critics have demanded for decades. And he's right – out of national pride, France, Germany, Japan, China, Russia and others routinely subsidize profit-challenged local automakers.
Focused on just four brands rather than eight, Buick and GMC will no longer be deprived of new-product development funds. For the first time, Buick will have close to a full line of models. And GM will have a $1.3-billion annual marketing budget for each of Chevrolet and Cadillac, double the current ad spend, and close to what Toyota commits to its namesake and Lexus brands.
That's crucial, because GM quality and reliability have vastly improved in the past decade (Buick typically tops or is near the top of J.D. Power quality surveys), but GM has lacked the money to tell that story to potential customers that first turned away from GM decades ago. A clean-slate GM has a decent shot at winning customers among Gen Y motorists (ages 22 to 32).
At 70 million people, that group is larger than either Gen X or the baby-boom generation.
Certainly GM has the J.D. Power- and Consumer Reports-acclaimed vehicles for making converts, including the Chevy Malibu, Impala, HHR and the Cadillac STS sedan.
One of the nice things about not being No. 1 is that rivals aren't all gunning for you. With half the market, GM had the most to lose over the past three decades. Now everyone from Kia Motors to Ford Motor Co. will have Toyota in their sights, instead.
And Detroit has a spokesman in Barack Obama, who at a news conference two weeks ago sang the praises of the Ford hybrid parked in his Chicago garage.
"A year or two of Obama emphasizing the restructured GM and Chrysler," U.S. marketing consultant Dennis Keene told Business Week recently, "which he has staked his reputation and taxpayer money on, and you could start to see Gen Y take a lot more interest in these brands and looking at them in a new light."
Alluding to some of the unexpected roles he has taken on as President, Obama joked at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner a few weeks ago that Car & Driver had named him its "CEO of the Year."
We can only hope.