The 2009 Rockin’ on the Riverfront summer concert series, sponsored by Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM, is ready to rock the ‘D’ by setting the Riverfront Plaza’s scenic stage with some of classic rock’s most unforgettable bands.

The concert series kicks off July 24 and will make the spectacular Riverfront Plaza THE Friday night destination for food, fun and FREE concerts.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront will feature seven sizzling Friday night shows from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., July 24 through September 4.

Rick Derringer will headline the series on July 24. A seasoned musician and entertainer, Derringer has recorded four blues CDs, numerous jazz hits and has produced and written albums for the World Wrestling Entertainment. He is best known for his big hits, "Hang on Sloopy" (performed with his former band, The McCoys) and "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo."

Rockin’ on the Riverfront performers include:

July 31 – Leon Russell

August 7 – TBD

August 14 – Classic Rock All Stars

August 21 – Foghat

August 28 – Edgar Winter

September 4 – Randy Bachman

Local bands and performers will open each of the seven shows.

“Summer in Detroit wouldn’t be the same without the Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series,” said Andiamo President and CEO Joe Vicari. “The beautiful riverfront creates an ideal backdrop to enjoy these free classic rock concerts. We invite everyone out to join us on the riverfront for a memorable experience."

Admission to the concerts is free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and people are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are invited to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the view of the stage from the water.

Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will provide refreshment and food concessions at several locations on the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and invites guests to take advantage of its gorgeous outdoor patio overlooking the Detroit River.

Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.

Valet parking is also available at the GM Ren Cen North Lobby on Jefferson Avenue.

Music, Art and Summer Fun...OH MY! Families, mark your calendars for Second Saturdays on the Riverfront!

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy has partnered with the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for this one-of-a-kind summer extravaganza set against the beautiful waterside scenery of Rivard Plaza.

Second Saturdays features...Live music. Art making. Marshall Music's Instrument Petting Zoo. Airbrush and Clown Balloon Artists. Ride the Cullen Family Carousel.

Three great event dates - FREE TO THE PUBLIC!

July 11, 2009 - Southpaw Isle Steelband

August 8, 2009 - Baikuye Percussion Group

September 12, 2009 - The Gratitute Steel Band (no Marshall Music Instrument Petting Zoo)
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Parking is available: Surface lot at Atwater St. east of Rivard St. or the River East Parking Structure (entrance on Rivard St. north of Atwater St.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Time: 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Rivard Plaza
1340 E. Atwater Street
Detroit, MI

Phone: 313-566-8206

If it’s July 11 or 7/11, then Slurpee drinks must be on the house at 7-Eleven stores. That’s because this Saturday is 7-Eleven's Birtday!

7-Eleven is planning to give away close to 5 million free 7.11-ounce Slurpee drinks to celebrate its 82nd birthday at more than 6,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Click HERE for your local 7-Eleven location!

Students participating in a Michigan State University program in Detroit will learn there is more to Detroit than just making cars.
In a newly developed course in MSU's Freshman Seminar program titled “Art, Creativity and Economic Development,” students will find that Detroiters also make paintings, sculptures and music.

In its first year, the program will offer 14 students a chance to experience the rich artistic, musical and literary history of Detroit.

“Detroit has always been a world-class center for creativity and innovation,” said David Sheridan, a professor in MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and the person who developed the Detroit seminar.

Specifically, the program will focus on the arts’ contributions to Detroit’s future.

“Art, music, literature and other forms of creative expression have a rich tradition of fueling Detroit’s economic success,” Sheridan said.

This seminar will explore the relationship between creativity and economic development in Detroit through a multiday, immersive experience in the city.

In addition to the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Motown Museum, students will be spending time talking with artists and other creative professionals working in the Russell Industrial Center.

A plant designed by architect Albert Kahn in the early 20th century, the RIC is one example of how the industrial infrastructure of Detroit can be re-purposed to support creativity. With more than 2.2 million square feet, the RIC now includes studio space for 125 tenants from a wide range of creative professions, including painters, glass blowers, photographers, printmakers and videographers.

Students will stay in a residence hall at Detroit’s Wayne State University in the heart of the city's cultural center.

For additional information on this program, visit

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be traveling to Charlotte in Eaton County next week as part of an Obama administration tour of rural areas to showcase what’s been done with federal stimulus dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to benefit local communities through agricultural development.

U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, who represents Eaton County and much of south central Michigan, and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow will host Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, at the Monday afternoon event at Country Mill Farm, which will include a forum for local residents to discuss federal agricultural policy.

President Obama will be in Warren at Macomb County Community College on Tuesday for a town hall meeting.
Aileen Wingblad

If an activity-packed outdoor party — full of fun for all ages — sounds like a terrific way to spend the day, Proud Lake State Recreation area is the place to be on July 18.

In celebration of Michigan's state parks and recreation areas' 90th anniversary, Proud Lake invites the community to visit the park's RiverHawk Complex beginning at noon and enjoy live music, exhibits, guided nature walks, canoeing, a walk-climbing wall, inflatables, food and more.

And it's all free.

“We're calling it a hootenanny — the same kind of thing which some people might remember was held out in Highland for many years,” said Bobbi Audette, accountant for the Proud Lake park. “Then we added a bunch of other things — other activities, food, local vendors, artists.”

Judy Aldridge, office manager for Proud Lake, said the event is a great opportunity to see what the park has to offer — and to have an overall great time. “We want people to make memories in the park,” Aldridge said. “More people are discovering this place every day.”

Audette added that Proud Lake has the added benefit of the Huron River, which flows through the recreation area.

“It's a trout-supplied stream that stretches for so many miles, and it's great for canoeing,” she said.

Canoes will be available for rent during the event, or people can supply their own. Audette reminds people to bring along lawn chairs to sit on while they listen to the variety of bands that will be performing on a stage outside the RiverHawk Complex, from 1 to 11 p.m..

Headlining the musical entertainment is Swampside, featuring classic rock music. The group is expected to be on stage around 9 p.m.

“Earlier in the day, there will be softer, acoustic music. Toward the end, it will be harder rock,” Audette said.

Another of the bands set to perform is the alternative rock group, Bars of Gold, which Audette said played gigs at Michigan State University for several years.

Kozmos Koney Island of Milford will provide an assortment of food, available for purchase. People can also bring their own coolers.

The Proud Lake staff will be selling commemorative stuffed bears, coffee mugs, travel mugs and water bottles marking the 90th anniversary.

“This will be an event for the whole family,” Audette said. “You can sit down with your kids and watch the concerts — teenagers will love the music — do the rock climbing wall, just have a great time. Be the Michigan family you are,” Audette said.

The Proud Lake State Recreation Area is at 3500 Wixom Road in Commerce. Follow the main entrance driveway to the RiverHawk Complex. A state park motor vehicle permit, $6 for the day or $24 for the year, is required for entry.

Bill Shea
Crain's Detroit

The $22.5 million Rosa Parks Transit Center at the corner of Cass and Michigan avenues in Detroit opens to the public Tuesday.

The three-story, 25,700-square-foot facility owned by the city will serve as a 24-hour central connection for Detroit Department of Transportation, SMART and Transit Windsor bus routes and the Detroit People Mover.

On site are a waiting area, restrooms, retail space, transit police offices, transit services and a Detroit Police Department mini station. There is also a taxi stand.

The project, begun two years ago, was funded by state and federal grants.

It was designed by Detroit-based Parsons Brinckeroff and the general contractor was DeMaria Building Co.

The Detroit Economic Development Corp. in 2007 approved a $5.5 million contract with USAShade & Fabric Structures Inc. of Costa Mesa, Calif., for the massive seven-peaked canopy structure atop the facility.

The project was built for DDOT by Detroit Economic Growth Corp., which staffs the DEDC.

The 20 DDOT routes served by the center are: Cadillac-Harper, Chene, Dexter, Fort, Hamilton, Hayes, Grand River, Grand River, Jefferson, Joy Road, Linwood, Mack, Michigan, Oakland, Plymouth, Russell, Tireman, Van Dyke, Vernor and Woodward.

Josh Olson
Jackson Citizen Patriot

On a sunny Wednesday morning, football players huddled around Luther Elliss and Lomas Brown in the middle of Dungy Field, eager to hear advice from the former Detroit Lions players.

The younger players listened carefully and then darted off to their next station, the weight room.

That scene played out on the first day of the first Lomas Brown Player Enhancement camp Wednesday at Jackson High School.

The three-day, all-position camp attracted 110 local players, who began the day by rotating through stations, each one focused on a different skill set. The camp is intended to reach beyond football and help educate players on and off the field, Jackson High School athletic director Russell Davis said.

"This is more than just football," Davis said. "It's an enhancement of all the good things you're supposed to have, including character and proper nutrition."

Each day, campers gather for a "chalk talk," during which a former professional athlete gives advice to the players. Wednesday's talk was delivered by Harlan Huckleby, a former tailback at the University of Michigan who went on to play for the Green Bay Packers.

Camp attendees also will be exposed to better eating habits and NCAA clearinghouse rules, which will show players what ACT scores and grade-point averages are required to attend college.

The idea for the camp was hatched when Jackson High School football coach Jack Fairly ran into Brown at a Detroit Lions practice last fall. Fairly inquired about a possible camp, and it resulted in a perfect fit.

"This is my passion, and everything worked out great with Jackson High and the coaches," Brown said.

"It was almost like a match made in heaven."

Brown, an 18-year veteran of the NFL, played 10 seasons at offensive tackle for the Lions and won a Super Bowl in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring. Brown was named to the NFC Pro Bowl seven times in his career.

The camp continues today and concludes Friday. Campers, who paid $75, range from seventh to 12th grade and come from schools throughout the Jackson area.

"I'm real happy with the turnout," Brown said. "I think we have a great group of guys and coaches."

Players said they appreciated the presence of the former Lions and took notice of their commitment and positive attitude.

"It's great to see these guys set a good example," Gus Pack, a sophomore at Lumen Christi, said. "This is one of the better camps I've been to."

This is the first of four camps that Brown will put on. The other three will take place in Fraser, Auburn Hills and Detroit. Other former Lions players are scheduled to appear at the camp later in the week, including former wide receiver Herman Moore and former kicker Eddie Murray.

"If we can make a difference in a couple of these guys' lives, it's well worth it," Brown said.
Mark Newman

"Bran-Torino" is now a joy ride.

Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge and Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino are your choices in the dramatic 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote, comeback survivors of the closest overall balloting in the history of a four-day event that decided the 33rd and final roster spots for the 80th All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium.

Fans smashed Final Vote records and ultimately they decided on the two first-time All-Stars whose respective clubs forged a voting alliance after seeing Inge and Victorino in second place on the second day. The Tigers and Phillies called it "Bran-Torino" and those two words would become campaign fixtures.

Inge is an American League All-Star for the first time after holding off Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler in a battle that was seesaw for the first 48 hours and then close for the final 48. They were followed in order by Angels third baseman Chone Figgins, Rays first baseman Carlos Pena and Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind, all of whom drew impressive fan support but not enough.

Victorino now can add a Midsummer Classic to an eight-month party that also includes a World Series championship. He managed to overcome and then outlast a powerhouse campaign for Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the "Kung Fu Panda" from Venezuela who all baseball fans now know if they didn't already. D-backs third baseman Mark Reynolds, who had that home state endorsement from 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain, finished a strong third. They were followed by Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp and Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman.

It was the first time in Final Vote history that two players won after trailing in each of the first two voting updates. The alliance unquestionably mattered, as fans in Detroit voted heavily for Victorino and fans in Philadelphia did the same for Inge.

This was the year of numerous lead changes and unprecedented suspense, and also the year that Twitter entered the equation as a natural companion. Campaigning reached new levels with that real-time element, as people from McCain to Sandoval's teammate Barry Zito to clubs and local TV stations got involved with tweets. People posted twitpics of images such as Victorino's teammate Chan Ho Park wearing a Vote Victorino sandwich board and Uncle Sam saying "Vote for Pablo" and links to videos and blogs.

This was the year that Kinsler always seemed to be a shoe-in and then was left on the outside looking in. Kinsler was a fixture atop the weekly voting updates at AL second base, but he was overtaken at the end by Boston's Dustin Pedroia and then left off the roster by AL manager Joe Maddon of the Rays. Kinsler was the announced leader in each of the first two Final Vote updates, but he was passed by Inge on Day 3 and finished runnerup.

Mainly, it was the year of Bran-Torino.

It's a sweet ride.

The two clubs encouraged businesses in Michigan and Pennsylvania to allow their workers some time Wednesday and Thursday to vote for Inge and Victorino.

Victorino had mentioned a potential pairing to reporters Tuesday.

"The Giants and Texas did it," Victorino said. "We [were] both in second place. Why don't we join forces and join together?"

Inge said he has talked with Victorino a couple times during his career, but never really got to know him.

"I've spoken to him a couple of times," Inge said. "That's funny, though. What did they call it, Bran-Torino? That's funny."

Inge and Victorino have another thing in common: They are both key cogs for teams that have been in first place for quite a while now.

Inge entered Thursday batting .264 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs, and he is known mostly for his brilliant defense at the hot corner. He hit a big homer on Sunday, right after being announced as one of five nominees in the AL.

"The best part about it is, if it ends well and he makes it, no matter how it got there, he deserves it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before the Final Vote ended. "That's the main thing. It's like an umpire getting it right."

Victorino, the Flyin' Hawaiian, also had the backing of governors in his homeland of Hawaii and his home playing state of Pennsylvania. They had bet a friendly wager over which state could cast the most votes for him. So many people campaigned for Victorino, it almost seemed like a heavy political campaign. In the end, though, his own campaigning on the field may have mattered the most. He had four hits in the 22-1 wipeout of Cincinnati on Monday and then may have sealed the deal with a walk-off single Wednesday night.

Victorino is hitting .306 with 22 doubles, six triples, six home runs, 39 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

Previous winners of the All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote are: Evan Longoria (AL, 2008); Corey Hart (NL, 2008); Hideki Okajima (AL, 2007); Chris Young (NL, 2007); A.J. Pierzynski (AL, 2006); Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (AL, 2005); Roy Oswalt (NL, 2005); Hideki Matsui (AL, 2004); Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (AL, 2003); Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (AL, 2002); and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002).

The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
By Lester Holmes

Beginning Friday with the First Annual Fashion Show/Party Showcase featuring several Detroit clothing designers, Three Days B4 Fame is a weekend long event throughout metro Detroit featuring some of the most talented emcees, DJs, producers, clothing designers and promoters -- under 30 -- to not gain notoriety just for their talents, but also for bringing pride back to Detroit.

“These kids are really talented and they are right here in Detroit," says 20-year-old Detroit emcee Young Scolla, who is editor of the Scolla’s Word Blog and one of the organizers of the three-day event.

In addition to the fashion show at the Crofoot in Pontiac featuring performances from J-Fin and Yung Good, other events include the 3 Days B4 Fame Pool Party hosted by R&B artists and reality TV star Ray J at the Chandler Park Aquatic Center and a secret VIP party/reception on Sunday.

Scolla, whose real name is Fred Fungue, says he wanted to put together an event to showcase the next generation of Detroit talent as well as “bring something positive” to the city.

He says many 20 to 30 year olds become frustrated because they feel as if Detroit “does not provide that platform for them to go where they want to go” causing some give up their artistic ambitions or take their talents to L.A., Chicago or Atlanta.

“At the end of the day, the main thing is to shine light on kids who thought they would never get attention,” says the Howard University student.

Tyna Logan, a 23-year-old fashion designer who will have some of her clothing featured in Friday’s fashion showcase, says the event will connect young people who have the same goals and spur collaboration and networking. She considers the event a three-day conference for artists.

“It will inspire people -- those who want to pursue fashion or music -- to keep going,” says the creator of the Fanciee Clothing Line, who believes she can make it in fashion in Detroit.
“I’m staying right here. I’m not leaving.”

For more information on 3 Days B4 Fame, or access to Sunday’s Secret Party visit

By Anthony Breznican

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Put that woman on roller skates, and you've got hell on wheels.

You've also got the new roller-derby comedy Whip It, starring Ellen Page as a rebellious teenager who signs up to play the brutal and sexy female sport against her mother's will, finding friendship and freedom among the bruises and falls.

The movie, which opens Oct. 9, was directed by Drew Barrymore, who has been producing films for years (Donnie Darko, the Charlie's Angels movies) but finally decided to get directly behind the camera.

Working with Steven Spielberg on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and others on her many films as an adult, Barrymore learned that directing calls upon a lifetime of experiences.

"Everything I've learned throughout my whole life has been going into this piggy bank, and I just smashed it all over the floor for this one," she says.

The story of a young girl pushed in many different directions, and pushing back to find herself, is partly her own story as a child star who struggled in the transition to adulthood.

"I felt pressures that everybody feels, whether it's inter-office, in high school or a small town," Barrymore says. "Everyone relates to expectations others have or what the world thinks. Who am I going to become? What am I going to be in this world?"

Mirror Dog Productions will hold a casting and crew call and celebrity charity fundraiser in Utica on July 12.

The event, called "Dreamin' Big," will include a silent auction to benefit the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Producers will also be looking for cast and crew members for the new film "Fair Chase," which will be shot in Michigan.

People interested in the casting call should bring a resume and head shot.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. near Hall Road and Van Dyke Avenue.

For more information, click HERE.
Associated Press

Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is the first hospital in Michigan to participate in a successful domino donor kidney transplant in which 10 doctors at four hospitals in four states transplanted eight kidneys.

Dan Bruce, 57, of Bad Axe, Mich., received one of the kidneys. In turn, his wife, Sally, donated a kidney to a stranger.

Dan Bruce had been receiving dialysis treatments three times a week for the past 15 months due to kidney failure.

"One thing about dialysis, it takes a lot out of you," said Bruce.

Sally Bruce had originally planned to donate a kidney to her husband. They were just two weeks from surgery when a test found Dan Bruce had built up immunity to his wife's kidney enzymes. That meant Sally could no longer be his donor.

"My heart just sank," said Sally Bruce. "It was very disappointing, and it was more so because I knew he was going to be devastated."

The Bruces asked if there were any other options. That's when a Henry Ford kidney transplant coordinator suggested a paired kidney donation.

Multiple-kidney transplants occur when several people who need transplants have friends or relatives who are willing to donate kidneys but aren't compatible. A chain of surgeries is arranged in which each donor is matched with a transplant candidate who they don't know but is compatible with the kidney being given up. The chain of transplants typically also involve a so-called altruistic donor, who's willing to give a kidney to anyone and is located through a database.

In addition to shortening the wait time for patients on the transplant list, experts said kidneys given by living donors are estimated to have double the longevity of kidneys taken from cadavers.

In this chain, doctors performed 16 surgeries on the eight donors and eight recipients at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, INTEGRIS Baptist Memorial Center in Oklahoma City and Henry Ford Hospital.

On June 15, Dan Bruce received a kidney from a donor at Johns Hopkins. Six days later, Sally Bruce donated a kidney to a stranger at Johns Hopkins.

"I hope that more people will get involved in organ donation, it really is a positive thing, and I can't express in words what it has meant to our family," said Sally Bruce.

Dan and Sally Bruce are both recovering well from their surgeries. They don't know who donated Dan's kidney or who received Sally's, but both said they would like to meet those people someday.

"I'd really like to meet her, to thank her in person, if that's possible," said Dan Bruce. "The first chance I get, I'd like to give her a big hug and a kiss."

For more information on the paired kidney donation program at Henry Ford Hospital, click HERE.

For more on the paired kidney donation program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, click HERE.

To learn more about joining the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, click HERE.

Jeremy Selweski
C & G Staff Writer

Four years into a project to help the city operate in a more energy-efficient manner, officials are happy to be making Ferndale a greener place — and saving a big chunk of change in the process.

On June 22, the Ferndale City Council heard a presentation from Siemens Building Technologies, in which company representatives noted that in the past four years, the project has saved the city more than $347,000 in energy costs, including about $102,000 in 2008.

During that period, Ferndale’s municipal facilities have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent. According to Public Works Director Byron Photiades, the city has also reduced fossil fuel consumption by an amount equal to removing 343 cars for one year.

“In the past, we were spending so much money repairing our old (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems — that’s where the majority of our energy costs were going,” he explained. “We needed to find another way to do it where we could be more efficient and reduce our carbon footprint. So far, it’s been a win-win for us.”

In 2004, the city contracted Siemens to replace obsolete and inefficient HVAC equipment and lighting systems in all municipal buildings, to retrofit 25 traffic signals with LED lamps and to install pedestrian countdown timers at prominent road intersections.

The $984,000 cost, Photiades said, is being paid over a 15-year period through guaranteed energy and operational savings by Siemens. At the pace that has been established during the first four years, however, the city’s savings are poised to easily surpass that principal expense should the equipment reach its minimum estimated shelf life of 15 years.

Photiades pointed out that with this project, Ferndale is also one of five cities in Michigan to be recognized by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth for its energy efficiency.

According to City Councilman Scott Galloway, “This is a perfect example of smart management of the city’s resources. Sometimes you have to invest some money in order to realize the long-term benefits of a project like this. … We realized that we could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run, plus the added benefit of being better for the environment.”

Galloway added that at the time the project was approved, Ferndale had recently become a member of the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities — in which municipalities make a commitment to help reduce the effects of global warming — and city officials were trying to live up to the promises they had made to that organization. For that reason, he said, the project was “a really easy sell” to a council looking to be on the cutting edge of environmentally friendly initiatives.

At the June 22 meeting, the council also unanimously approved a partnership with DTE Energy to install and test six LED lights in the western portion of the public parking lot on Withington Street. The pilot project covers an initial term of three years at a cost to the city of about $4,000; the new lights will reportedly save the city a projected $515 annually.

These types of ventures, said City Manager Bob Bruner, are a great way for the city to put its money where its mouth is in trying to become a greener community.

“The bottom line is that we save more money in energy conservation each year than what it costs us to make those payments,” he said. “It’s a one-time expense, but an annual cost savings. … And the savings end up paying for the capital improvements, so it’s really a no-brainer for us.”

In addition, Bruner said that he plans to suggest to the council that the city apply for federal stimulus money — via the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program— to go toward future energy conservation projects.

For Galloway, Ferndale’s pursuit of green initiatives like this has enabled the city to become more environmentally friendly while also staying ahead of the curve financially during very difficult economic times.

“Five years ago when we first approved this project,” he said, “no one ever envisioned $4 or $5 for a gallon of gasoline or the level of energy crisis that we’re seeing now. We could never have anticipated how much money we would be saving because of that. But it’s this kind of forward thinking that has put us in better shape than some of our neighbors.”

After 45 years of Mustangs, the man responsible for the original has launched a commemorative version of which only 45 examples will be made.

Ford Mustangs, despite many having to have their steering wheels switched to the right at much expense, are almost as popular in New Zealand as they are in the United States.

Every day I see examples from just about every decade of their existence on my daily drive - yes, even versions of the awful Mustang IIs of Charlie's Angels fame.

Now, 45 years on from the launch of the original by Lee Iacocca at the New York World's Fair, the man himself - Mr Mustang to many - has announced a new version of the famous car with his name on it. It looks like the kind of car an inveterate Mustang collector would desire above all others.

The Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Ford Mustang uses latest Ford performance technology with a strikingly simplified Mustang fastback design. Only 45 so-called "2009 1/2" Iacocca Silver Edition Mustangs will be built, all finished in a special silver chosen by Iacocca.

Nearly two years in the making, the Iacocca Silver Edition Mustang is a collaborative effort by Iacocca, designer Michael Leone, and Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters, a coachbuilding and design company in California.

The new business venture is called I Legacy, and it will work in concert with the Galpin Ford dealership in offering the Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Ford Mustangs to the public.

The car begins life as a 2009 Mustang platform, which is then modified and coachbuilt. While the exterior fastback design of the Iacocca Silver Mustang is compelling, the mechanical underpinnings are true American muscle.

Two power plant options will be offered, a normally aspirated 4.6-litre Ford V8 rated at 320 horsepower (238kW) and an optional supercharged version that delivers a head-snapping 400-horsepower (298kW). Both engines are covered by a factory Ford warranty and drive through a five-speed manual transmission.

The car's suspension has been upgraded, with a Ford racing handling package employing firmer springs and re-valved shock absorbers.

Inside the Iacocca Silver Mustang are Iacocca Diamond Design leather seats with embroidery stitching, an Iacocca signature dash plaque with serial number, a leather- wrapped steering wheel with "I" badge and Iacocca-badged aluminium door sill plates.

The cars will initially be revealed and then made available at a reception next month in California.

The price of the 45th anniversary Mustang is yet to be announced.

Wheelhouse is a proud sponsor of the first-ever Bicycle Film Festival appearance in Detroit. It takes place Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18 at the Marlene Boll Theatre at 1401 Broadway. There are two programs a night, with screenings at 7 and 9 p.m. Each program is $8 — and The Hub and Wheelhouse are providing free bike parking!

After the movies, there will be a party each night — Friday at the Park Bar and Saturday at Cass Cafe. Tickets and program information are available here.

After the jump, more details about the Detroit BFF.For the first time in its nine-year history, the Bicycle Film Festival will stop in Detroit for two days of films, parties, and fun all centered around bike culture. On July 17th and 18th, the BFF will show 40 shorts and two feature films at the Marlene Boll Theatre, located at 1401 Broadway in Downtown Detroit.

The Bicycle Film Festival is a cultural phenomenon like no other. Originating in New York City, The Bicycle Film Festival is the earliest voice of one of the most powerful and culturally relevant movements of the past decade — the urban bike movement. The BFF brings many communities together — both culturally (fashion, music and art) and between different genres within the cycling community (track bikes, BMX and road cycling).

“We are extremely excited to bring the Bicycle Film Festival to Detroit in 2009,” says BFF founding director Brendt Barbur. “With its rich history of being a motorist’s town, we’re glad we could give the cyclists a voice here as well.”

Now in its ninth year, the festival has grown to 39 cities worldwide including international partners Sydney, London, Paris and Tokyo. The Bicycle Film Festival, presented by 42BELOW Vodka, will be in 27 North American cities this year and is greatly expanding to include new cities with events in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and New Orleans.

The Detroit leg of the Bicycle Film Festival will screen films on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18 at the Marlene Boll Theatre, located at 1401 Broadway in Downtown Detroit. Program highlights include the feature-length documentary Where Are You Go directed by Benny Zenga and Brian Vernor, and shorts such as Wolfpack Hustle: All City Team Race 2, which follows renegade Los Angeles night-time street racers; Keirin, a beautifully shot portrait of Japanese track racers directed by the director of Les Ninja du Japan; and Made In Queens, about native Trinidadians that rig huge stereos onto BMX bikes and then treat New Yorkers to impromptu street parties.

Other shorts cover a similarly diverse range of cycling topics, from alley-cat races to candle-lit downhill biking, from BMX tricksters to bike polo, from frame-building to track-racing – something for every taste and disposition. The films are divided into four programs – two on each day. The screenings begin on July 17 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and on July 18 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 for each program and are available at the door and online at On-site bicycle parking will be provided for free by local bike shop sponsors, Wheelhouse Detroit and The Hub of Detroit.

Following both screenings, there will be after-parties held at nearby venues. On July 17, DJ collective Haute to Death will be spinning at the Park Bar (2040 Park Ave., Downtown). On July 18, The Cass Cafe (4620 Cass., Midtown) will host Petal Shop, Steven and the Reelers and The Rev. Robert-David Jones. Both after-parties are free at the door.

“There’s been a marked increase in bike culture in Detroit in the last few years,” says Detroit BFF organizer Carrie Yager. “It makes sense to showcase films that cyclists will enjoy in tandem with a showcase of great Detroit venues and music – after all, they are certainly inter-connected.” Yager estimates that several hundred attendees will come out for Detroit BFF – a coup for a first-year festival.

That Casey Kasem Show Was More Than Just Reaching for Stars
Mike Hale
New York Times

The Casey Kasem we know was a creation of the baby boom: “American Top 40,” his signature show, went on the air in 1970, and Mr. Kasem had his biggest impact in the ’70s and early ’80s, counting down hits by Grand Funk Railroad and the Bay City Rollers. The ratings were sagging when Mr. Kasem first left the show in 1988 (he would return a decade later), and when he announced his sudden retirement this weekend from the radio franchise he helped create, it felt like the end of an era that had actually ended 10 or 20 years ago.

The funny thing was, Casey Kasem sounded old-fashioned from the start. In the mid-’70s, when I was an “American Top 40” devotee, you already could be mocked for listening to him. His this-land-is-your-land patriotism and weekly shout-outs to Armed Forces Radio were out of tune with the times; his practiced sincerity and his adherence to the Billboard pop charts were uncool; and couldn’t he have made up a better name? (That last part, of course, was unfair to the man born Kemal Amin Kasem.)

After Mr. Kasem’s departure from the countdown business, it would be easy to say that he was always comfort food, that his popularity was based on nostalgia and an appeal to Middle -American values.

That might have been true in recent years. But back in the day — before the Internet, even before “Entertainment Tonight” — there were better reasons to listen to Casey Kasem. For one thing: as bizarre as it now seems, millions of people didn’t know what the No. 1 song was each week until they heard that drumroll on “American Top 40.” It was appointment listening, as much of a weekly communal experience as “All in the Family” or “M*A*S*H.”

And the show stood out for other reasons. As square as it was, by playing the entire Top 40 it gave many people a greater variety of music than they could get from listening to their local radio stations for a week.

It also pioneered a genre that wouldn’t come into its own for another decade or two: celebrity gossip. The tidbits of biography and trivia that Mr. Kasem and his team, including the writer Don Bustany, sprinkled through the show might have been corny, but at the time there was practically nowhere else to hear them. (To my mind, they helped make up for the excruciating dedication letters Mr. Kasem read every week, though I’m sure those had their fans, too.)

All of these functions became less important, or even irrelevant, with the advent of nightly entertainment news and then the Internet. The profile of “American Top 40” shrank, though it benefited from a burst of publicity when Ryan Seacrest took over as host in 2004. (Mr. Kasem continued to preside over several spinoffs.) The show now has an odd double life, as a going concern with Mr. Seacrest and as a nostalgist’s curio: Mr. Kasem’s original 1970s and ’80s countdowns are available in syndication.

So what kept Mr. Kasem counting down the hits for nearly 40 years and continues to keep his creation on the air? Mr. Kasem is known for being a perfectionist — clips of his profane outbursts when things didn’t go right in the studio are popular on YouTube — and I suspect that a related feeling, a demand for order, may explain his show’s longevity. The welter of information and choices we now confront, a condition that has affected the music and radio industries more profoundly than most, may be democratizing, but it can also be demoralizing, and the Top 40 is something to hold on to — a life preserver in the digital sea.

Which was true even in the show’s heyday. A college friend of mine — who went on to become a world-champion video-game player when video games were still six feet tall — listened to Mr. Kasem each weekend and wrote down the Top 40 songs, in longhand. We all thought this was incredibly nerdy and weird. We were also jealous: we wished we had that set of notebooks with every Top 40 list for the last 10 years. It was so weird it was cool.

It was also valuable information. As Mr. Kasem might say, it was something that would help you keep your feet on the ground while you were reaching for the stars.

What do apples, baby food, coffee, desserts, eggs, fruit snacks, granola, hair products, ice cream, juice, kielbasa, lemon cake, milk, noodles, oatmeal, peaches, queso dip, ravioli, sugar beets, Trout Chardonnay, vitamins, woodpecker cakes, X-strength pain relievers, yogurt, and zucchini have in common with Michigan's economy?

Plenty! This A-Z grocery list represents products grown and produced in Michigan towns like Acme and Zeeland, and nearly all points in between. More to the point, buying local Michigan made products is a simple - and healthy - way to boost the state's economy.

In fact, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, if each family in Michigan started spending $10 per week of their grocery bill on Michigan products, we would keep more than $37 million in Michigan, EACH WEEK.

To pay tribute to Michigan farmers and businesses and help residents identify Michigan made products, Grand Rapids-based Spartan Stores is launching its MICHIGAN's BEST statewide campaign in its 99 Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, Felpausch, Glen's, Glen's Fresh Marketplace, and VG's throughout Michigan on July 5, 2009.

Spartan Stores carry over 2400 products grown and produced in Michigan. The products will be identified in all corporate owned stores with the MICHIGAN's BEST logo. In store specials, signage, and easy to fix recipes also will encourage shoppers to consider purchasing Michigan made products.


Family Fare Supermarket/Quick Stop
D&W Fresh Market Supermarket/Quick Stop
Felpausch Supermarket/Quick Stop
Glen's Markets Supermarket/Quick Stop
Glen's Fresh Marketplace Supermarket/Quick Stop
Bathroom Sign

Immaculate, inviting and, most of all, memorable; finalists in the America’s Best Restroom VIII contest, sponsored by Cintas Corporation, have established a new standard for restroom quality.

These washrooms are testaments to their proprietors’ sense of taste, flair and attention to detail, and feature some of the world’s finest materials and customer comforts as well as a few surprises.

Click HERE to vote for The Fox Theater. Voting runs through July 31, 2009. The winner will be announced in August 2009.

If boutique bargains, sidewalk sales and dining deals get your heart pumping for joy, don’t miss downtown Milford’s 50-year shopping tradition, Shop, Rock & Stroll, July 10-11. The two-day event is a celebration of great deals and family fun sponsored by the Milford Business Association.

Expect specials at many of downtown Milford’s restaurants, plus the best prices of the year at Milford’s many retailers. Look for up to 75 percent off the latest merchandise at dozens of clothing boutiques, jewelry stores, home furnishings and more. The downtown shops will be open from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. both Friday and Saturday for this special event. And while the adults snag bargains, children can enjoy inflatable rides, face painting, a fire truck tour and more.

Enjoy the shopping adventure, but be sure to take a break (or two) and treat yourself to delicious food at any of the downtown Milford restaurants located on Main Street. One restaurant, Gravity, will be offering a food and beer tent and entertainment by local favorite, the Aaron Vaughn Band, starting at 8 p.m. both nights.

“This is a great way for the family to be together, snag some deals and have fun,” said Aaron Goodnough, event organizer and owner of For Feets Sake, one of the participating Milford businesses.

For more information about shopping and dining in the Village of Milford, visit
Tom Herrera

Hair doesn't make the man, but for Magglio Ordonez, it sure seemed to add character. So when he decided to get his first haircut in five years, possibly in an effort to snap a brutal slump at the plate, it caused quite a scene in the Detroit Tigers' clubhouse."Change," Ordonez said.

"Overhauling. Maybe I hit like old Magglio."Ordonez then promised to auction off the shaved hair for charity, with a starting bid of $5,000. Most of us aren't the type to bid on someone's bodily artifacts, but sure enough, a fanatic out there had the fetish and cash to match.

Ordonez's auctioned items -- including the hair, an autographed bat, and use of the outfielder's Comerica Park private box for the Sept. 15 game against Kansas City -- sold for a whopping $6,100 as bidding ended Saturday night. 100% of the money received will benefit Imerman Angels, a charity that connects cancer survivors with cancer patients and also networks caregivers.
In an effort to help unemployed Michigan residents continue to take care of themselves and their families, Kmart has introduced the Kmart Smart Assist Savings Card. The program, which gives eligible customers a 20% discount off more than 1,200 regularly priced high-quality private label grocery and drugstore staples for up to six months, is a welcomed relief that has been lauded by Michigan's elected officials at both the state and federal level.

Verifiably unemployed Michigan residents who register at will receive a nontransferable Kmart Smart Assist Savings Card valid for up to six months depending on the date of issue. Although Kmart in-store associates are available to answer questions about the program, registration is a private, online process. Complete details, rules and exclusions can be found on
Dan Armstrong

This year's 4th of July race in Frankenmuth will have a little extra star power. Amy Cremen from season six of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" is running her first competitive 10K. She's doing it at the Volkslaufe this Saturday.

She lasted 11 weeks with her mother on last year's season of "The Biggest Loser." Now, Amy Cremen is taking on the Volkslaufe in Frankenmuth with a much different mind set about the city than when she was nearly 240 pounds.

Amy says, "Coming up to Frankenmuth was like chicken dinners, butter noodles, going to candy shops, stuff like that. I would never in my life would ever think that i would run a race, never."

She recently completed a 5K in Clawson. "I really was afraid i was going to be last, but there were people behind me and in front of me, which was good."

Now, she's ready to double the distance. "I'm trying to make it in an hour and 10 minutes. That's my goal."

The 28-year-old from Royal Oak says you don't have to be a runner to be in shape, but that once she started, she couldn't stop. "It's like a natural high. I just think back to where I used to be and how I thought I could never do it. Now I'm running 3 miles, then 6 miles, then 13 miles, it's like making the impossible, possible."

Her size 22/24 jeans from May of last year reminds her of where she's been. And now, the mirror and the finish line, remind her of where she's going.

Michigan Fireworks has listed 404 Fireworks displays in Michigan for 2009. Very user friendly and easy to navigate. You can search by day and location.

Also, click HERE for tips on photographing fireworks this holiday weekend!
Greg Eno

It was in a fit of boosterism, some two years ago, when I took leave of my senses and banged out some tripe on this very blog about the bourgeoning third baseman of the Tigers, Brandon Inge.

I all but called him Mr. Tiger, declaring that he would never play for another big league team. Since his career would extend a dozen or so years in Detroit, why not go ahead and erect a statue of him in left center field at Comerica Park to join the other Tigers' greats in bronze?

Well, guess what? I stand by that boisterous tripe.

Inge, the catcher-turned-third baseman-turned-catcher-turned back into third sacker, is having a career year. He's about to obliterate his previous high in home runs (27 back in 2006) and has pumped his batting average above his norm, which means it no longer competes with his weight, but the weight of an NFL linebacker (.275 thru Wednesday).

The increased power and batting average, we're to presume, is a direct result of a new batting stance—something Inge worked on feverishly in the offseason, both with and without hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.The new stance—Inge stands straighter and points the barrel of the bat slightly toward the pitcher—hasn't done anything for his propensity to strike out. He's still fanning once every four at-bats, roughly. But he doesn't seem to be striking out in as many key situations.

In fact, Inge is becoming another kind of Mister, as in Mr. Clutch (with apologies to NBA star Jerry West).

Inge is, to me, the one Tiger I'd like to see at the plate in a late-inning, close game situation—with or without men on base. With his increased power (18 homers already), Inge places himself into scoring position simply by stepping into the batter's box.OK, but what's this jazz about erecting a statue?
Catherine Kavanaugh

Children missing meals they used to get from free or reduced-cost school food programs will be served by a new summer program offered by Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners Community Food Bank.

When the last dismissal bell sounds in June, as many as 250,000 students in the tri-county area as well as Monroe and Livingston counties go without breakfast and lunch until schools reopen in the fall, according to Gleaners spokesman Gerry Brisson.

"The summer is when we see the need. That's when we need to ramp up our services," added Monica Cheick-Luoma, spokeswoman for Forgotten Harvest, which is based in Oak Park and delivers perishable food to 150 providers in the tri-county area.

Ford Motor Co. is helping the two organizations get more food to hungry families with a donation of three delivery vans and $150,000 that will boost funding to Forgotten Harvest by $100,000 and Gleaners by $50,000.

The vans are on loan for the summer from Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights and Waterford, which partnered with Enterprise Car Rental.

"It's a short-term program but we hope to serve 575,000 meals," said Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.

The $100,000 donation will allow Forgotten Harvest to provide 425,000 more meal this summer than last summer, Executive Director Susan Goodell said. The contribution will cover the cost of shipping excess corn from Iowa and potatoes from Idaho, she added.

The money also will help maintain and fuel the fleet of 21 refrigerated trucks that go to 191 grocery stores almost every day, in addition to restaurants and catering businesses, to "rescue" nutritious food.

In the last year, Forgotten Harvest picked up 12 million pounds of foods that would have ended up in landfills instead of homes where people are hungry.

"Maybe it's milk that will expire in two days," Cheick-Luoma said. "We pick it up in the morning, take it to a pantry or directly to a neighborhood with our mobile pantry, and it's on the table for dinner."

Gleaners provides pantry supplies and food that can be prepared for shelters and soup kitchens to 420 agencies. For the summer, it will add 27 locations serving children lunch two to five times a week courtesy of the Ford van and cash donations.

The new summer lunch locations include four in Clinton Township, three in Madison Heights, and one each in Hazel Park, New Haven and Oak Park.

"We're trying to get more food to families when they need it," Brisson said.

The need is expected to grow. Currently, an estimated 600,000 people in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties can't afford the minimum daily food requirements. This population could swell to 1.1 million people by 2013 depending on employment trends.

"Hunger is a real byproduct of the economic turmoil we've experienced in southeast Michigan," said Jason Vines, senior advancement director at Forgotten Harvest.

David T. Fischer, chairman and CEO of The Suburban Collection, said he is proud to use the business's resources and relationship with Ford to feed the hungry.

"We hope this initiative inspires others to join us," he said.

Darrell Clem

Plans are rolling along for a commuter transit system that is expected to start in late July for Canton residents who work in Ann Arbor.

Riders will park in Independence Park — off Denton Road between Cherry Hill and Geddes — and board Ann Arbor Transportation Authority buses that are expected to make two morning and two evening stops to pick up and drop off passengers, officials have said.

Neil Greenberg, AATA service development and communications coordinator, said Monday he hopes to release as early as next week more precise details about parking and bus schedules.

Greenberg said potential riders who want to receive updates by e-mail may contact AATA at

The service is now tentatively expected to start on July 27 rather than July 20, as officials fine-tune details about the so-called A2 Express.

AATA officials approached Canton after piloting a program already in place with the city of Chelsea. The local proposal was approved last month by the Canton Township Board of Trustees, with Supervisor Phil LaJoy saying the transit authority's research “indicated a strong need for the service.”

Specifically, buses will take Canton riders to the University of Michigan Medical Center, U-M's campus and downtown Ann Arbor. Greenberg has said more than 3,000 Canton residents work for U-M, while another 1,000 have jobs elsewhere in the city.

Greenberg has indicated the service will be free for the first month, after which it is expected to cost $125 a month. Often, he said, employers will agree to split the cost with workers.

Township officials have agreed to provide up to 100 parking spaces at Independence Park from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. In return, the township will be paid $6,000 a year by AATA.

Jeremy Carroll

One week a year, when the South Oakland Shelter would come to her church, Big Beaver United Methodist, Diana Whitefoot would volunteer as a transportation director.

With husband Jerry, her job was to make sure everyone could get from one location to another. Along the way, the two began volunteering more by helping clients fill out Social Security forms and giving computer literacy classes once a week.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Whitefoot, a Troy resident. “It’s just an amazing program.”

SOS, a nonprofit organization that provides shelter, meals and case management support services for homeless families and individuals, was recently recognized as the Most Outstanding Volunteer Program by the state of Michigan.

“It’s definitely fitting for all of our volunteers,” said Kevin Roach, executive director of the Royal Oak-based group.

He said the group is honored and humbled by the distinction. They were named one of five finalists out of the 120 groups that were nominated, and were eventually singled out as the best. The distinction comes on the heels of their 25th anniversary as an organization, Roach said.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our anniversary,” he said.

The organization has a partnership with 67 Oakland County churches and synagogues, each of which offers homeless people a warm bed to sleep in for one week out of the year. Roach said each church coordinates its own volunteer effort, and in the end, they have approximately 6,000 volunteers on an annual basis to help the program flourish.

Along with the volunteers at the individual churches, there are 30-40 regular volunteers who, like Whitefoot, help with the specific needs of the homeless population, from computer literacy and budget planning to job-hunting skills.

With the current economic troubles, Roach said they’ve seen demand for their services spike.

“We are seeing more women and children than ever before,” he said. “More than half of our clients are homeless for the first time in their lives.”

He said the response by volunteers and the community in the face of all this has been exceptional.

Through its participating churches, SOS provides shelter for 30 homeless people each week, and can serve up to 300 annually. They accept only people who are alcohol- and drug-free, and most end up with employment and/or a permanent place to stay at the end of their time with SOS, Roach said.

In addition to a great volunteer base, Whitefoot said the six full-time staff members and various part-time employees of SOS are exceptional.

“They work in a little building, and they utilize every resource they have,” she said. “They work really hard to make it happen.”

Coming to Ferndale Thursday, a brand new edition to the metro Detroit dining and nightlife scene: The new Inyo Restaurant and Lounge is all set to celebrates its grand opening.

Fresh and delicious sushi will definitely be served up as well as other modern creations, however Inyo is focused on being something different.

“We’re not really trying to do the Asian fusion,” says Service Manager Derek Rekar, “but it is Asian cuisine.”

Inyo, which is the Japanese symbol for circle and means weakness and strength, opened its doors in a soft opening June 4, but on Thursday, guests will be greeted with a full lunch and dinner menu that includes items like Bejing Duck, a newly-opened patio and sounds by Captn20.
Nightlife “is something we want to focus on,” Rekar says. “We do want the bar atmosphere but we want the lounge experience” too.

There’s no dance floor at Inyo, but with occasional DJs, a full bar, unique dishes like shabu shabu (thinly-sliced meat cooked at the table), this is a spot you’ll definitely want to keep watching on your after-dark radar.

8 p.m. Thursday, Inyo Restaurant and Lounge, 22871 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 248-543-9500.

U.S. Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today hailed news that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has awarded $2 million to Communicating Arts Credit Union in Detroit through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.

The funding will be used to expand lending and services in the Highland Park community.

“This federal funding will help Communicating Arts Credit Union fulfill its mission of providing Detroiters with affordable loans and other important financial services,” said Levin. “I am hopeful that this award will provide greater opportunities for entrepreneurs to expand and families to grow in Detroit and Highland Park.”

“Helping low-income families gain access to credit and affordable financial services is a necessary step to help get consumers back on their feet during these times,” said Stabenow. “Providing assistance to homeowners and small businesses is one of the most effective ways to stimulate the economy, and I am so happy this funding is going to good use here in Michigan.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan believes strongly in improving the health of all people in Michigan. That's why they are proud to sponsor The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition.

Take a second to enter the contest for achance to compete, it's just the first step toward a healthier you.

Have you considered auditioning for the Biggest Loser?

Here’s your chance to be a part of The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition.

Local 4 and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan are searching for OUTGOING and CHARISMATIC individuals with PERSONALITY who have the WANT, DESIRE and COMPETITIVE EDGE to vie for this chance of a lifetime.

Click HERE to enter

Associated Press

A musical tribute to Michael Jackson is planned Tuesday night at Chene Park in Detroit, former home of the Motown label that launched his pop singing career.

The free concert will include performances by Serieux & Friends, HotSauce, Asiid and Velocity. Clear Channel is sponsoring the show.

Vigils celebrating his life and legacy have been held nightly at the original home of Motown Records. An estimated 2,500 people took part in a Sunday-night gathering at the Motown Historical Museum.

Erin Galliher

The film Cayman Went tells the story of a failing Hollywood actor, sent to the island Cayman Brac to help a real estate mogul acquire the land in exchange for a career boost. It had a red carpet premiere in Los Angeles, was released to limited theaters on June 5 and even got a review inThe New York Times. Despite being a full-length feature (the flick runs 88 minutes), Cayman Went wasn't created purely for entertainment; it's actually an extravagant promotional vehicle for the Cayman Islands.

With travelers staying closer to home this summer, cities, states and countries around the world--New York, Oregon and India among them--are rolling out attention-getting ads and promotions, some for the first time. Some aim to lure travelers seeking a respite from the stresses of urban life. The latest spot in a campaign for Michigan, for instance, beckons tourists "back to what's real and true."

Hoping to woo folks interested in a more raucous vacation, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, meanwhile, recently re-launched its "What happens here stays here" campaign, which was first rolled out in 2003.
ABC News

President Obama has scheduled three Town Hall meetings for July to discuss Health Care Reform. The third meeting will be held in Detroit on July 14th, after the president returns from a scheduled foreign trip to the G8 summit, Moscow for nuclear arms reduction talks, and Accra, Ghana, his first presidential visit to Africa..
Kelly Burris of Pleasant Ridge and a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., and co-pilot Erin Recke of Atlanta, Georgia, were announced the First Place winners in the 2009 Air Race Classic, an all-female aviation race that dates back to 1929 and the era of famed woman pilot Amelia Earhart.

Burris was piloting her 1962 Beechcraft Debonair airplane, which is affectionately known as ‘The Deb.’ The race route, which started in Denver, Colorado and ended in Atlantic, Iowa, covered approximately 2,400 miles and was held from June 23-June 26, 2009. Winners were not announced until the evening of June 28th, however, because of the complexity of the scoring.

Ms. Burris and Ms. Recke will donate their $5,000 prize to Air Charity Network, a charity that matches people in need with free flights and other travel resources. They flew on behalf of Angel Flight Central, part of the Air Charity Network. Ms. Burris has been a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight Central Mid-Atlantic and Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic Central, members of the Air Charity Network, since 2004. In addition to the competition of the Air Race and the chance to experience the camaraderie of the other women pilots, Ms. Burris used the race as an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for the charity.

“I raised about $12,000 for Air Charity Network through the 2008 Air Race Classic and my goal was to raise more than $25,000 this year; I believe we are very near that goal,” says Ms. Burris, who enlisted the assistance of the Angel Flight Central member organization throughout the race route to promote the charity to communities along the route stops. Every dollar raised by Ms. Burris will be donated directly to Angel Flight Central; no donated monies will be used to offset the expenses Ms. Burris incurred to compete in the race.

HBO Series 'Hung' Gives Detroit a Starring Role

Jessica Nunez

The new HBO series "Hung" premiered last night, and while the premise of the show makes it intriguing enough alone (the main character becomes a male escort to solve his financial woes), as a Detroiter, the real anticipation was in finding out how much the city would be used in the plot.

At least in this respect, it did not disappoint. The pilot was shot entirely in Detroit, Birmingham, Livonia, Clarkston and West Bloomfield Township, as was part of the rest of the season (the rest was filmed in L.A.).

The opening sequence (which you can watch here) is jam-packed with familiar Motor City signposts, from the first shot of a barge gliding over the Detroit River, to Thomas Jane as Ray Drecker walking through Hart Plaza, below the People Mover and in front of the Joe Louis fist, Lafayette Coney Island and the abandoned Packard plant.

"Everything's falling apart," Thomas-as-Drecker narrates over shots of a crane tearing down Tiger Stadium. "And it all starts right here in Detroit, the headwaters of a river of failure."

The camera cuts away to shots of more Detroit ruins, including Michigan Central Station, while Drecker continues. "Good thing my parents aren't around to watch the country go to shit."

The rest of the first episode is full of exciting moments of recognition -- Drecker pulling up in front of Motor City casino to make his first "work call" and his teenage son going to see a show at Harpo's, for example.

Brandon Inge: All-Star On and Off the Field

John Parent

If you happened to be watching the telecast of the Tigers/Cubs game Tuesday night, either on WGN or FSN Detroit, you probably saw that Brandon Inge was sporting a new tattoo on his right forearm.

That was no tattoo.

It was an autograph signed by Tommy Schomaker, an eight-year-old boy, who is recovering from heart-transplant surgery at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Inge, who regularly visits and donates to the hospital, had made a trip there a few weeks ago, and Tommy was excited about the possibility of meeting him. Tommy has battled heart conditions since birth, but doctors were able to find a new heart for him.

He was rushed into surgery just about the time Inge was making his visit. Tommy was unable to meet with Inge at that time.

Upon hearing of Tommy's disappointment, Inge made a return trip to the hospital, just to meet Tommy. He spent time in Tommy's room, signing several autographs and talking with the young boy.

Then Inge asked if he could have an autograph of his own. He had Tommy sign his name on Inge's arm, in a spot that he wore no arm bands, so it could be seen on television.

In the game that night, Inge hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning. Although he didn't promise a home run to Tommy, the air-time that autograph got brought joy to Tommy and his family.

In July of last year, my wife and I were told that our son, Leyton, would be born with gastroschisis, a condition that affects the closing of the abdominal wall. He would face surgery shortly after he was born. Leyton was born on October 9, and was taken by ambulance to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Leyton had surgery one week later, and spent a total of 24 days in the hospital. I know first-hand how much the people at Children's Hospitals all over mean to the patients and the families they care for.

Leyton is now eight months old and his condition has been corrected. He should face no more difficulties than any other child going forward. The wonderful staff at Children's made that possible.

Many athletes, like Inge, donate their time and money to good causes. Like Inge, most do so behind the scenes. In a time when we spend so much energy discussion the evils of professional athletes, it's good to recognize those who give back.

Tommy Schomaker is progressing well in his recovery. His surgery was made possible in part due to monetary donations from large companies and extraordinary people like Inge.

He will continue his progress with a big smile on his face, and that is largely because Brandon Inge donated his time.
Los Angeles Times YouTube Channel

Comerica Cityfest Turns 21 and is Ready to Party

Comerica Cityfest 2009, formerly Tastefest, is setting the stage to deliver a festival that’s as big and bangin’ as ever, with the best tunes and tastes in Detroit from Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5. The five-day, FREE event is turning 21 this year and is of age to party for a great cause, raising funds for the development and beautification of Detroit’s Historic New Center.

Last year, hundreds of stoked and soaked festival-goers took cover in the Fisher Building when a torrential summer downpour cut the opening day short. Little did they know that Cityfest staff was already planning Rain Check Wednesday for 2009.

The festival plans for clear skies on Wednesday, July 1 for a belated kick-off performance by hip-hop veterans De La Soul, while local stars The Silent Years, Jazzhead, Magic Shop, The Dead Bodies and others will reprise their ’09 schedules on the Pure Detroit, Park and Jazz stages.

Five-time Grammy-award-winning blues guitarist Buddy Guy will close the festival on Sunday, July 5, with selections from his recent Grammy-nominated album Skin Deep and old favorites such as Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues, Feels like Rain and First Time I Met the Blues.

In addition to the great music, Comerica Cityfest 2009 will once again transform West Grand Boulevard into the area’s largest al fresco taste event, featuring cuisine diversity that is distinctlyDetroit.

Rounding out the returning Cityfest favorites are the2nd Avenue Street Market, Cityfest Gallery, Modern Skate course, and other Cool and Kids Stuff Galore.

Comerica Cityfest 2009 will maintain its extended hours offering a great time in New Center from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

The festival will also continue its green initiative that was announced last year, including banning Styrofoam, encouraging the use of green products such as Green Safe, selling 100% organic cotton festival t-shirts and drastically reducing water usage through better distribution practices.

Admission to Comerica Cityfest is free. “Taste” tickets are $10 for 16 tickets.

Red Wings' Steve Yzerman named to Hall of Fame

Ansar Khan

It's official: Former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman has been named to the Hockey Hall of Fame's class of 2009. Jim Gregory, co-chairman of the board for the Hockey Hall of Fame just made the announcement on a conference call.

Two of Yzerman's former teammates, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille, as well as former New York Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch, also were named to this year's class in the player category.

New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello was named in the builders category. The induction ceremony will be on Nov. 9 in Toronto.

Jump Start! Social Media Event is a user friendly, unique, high impact/low fear approach to all aspects of Social Media.

From Facebook & LinkedIn to Twitter & Search Engine Optimization we provide the foundation and practical application you need to Jump Start your use of Social Media today!

Join us and begin your journey to Social Media Dominance!

The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, and New York Times are a-twitter about how businesses and individuals benefit by using social networking—also known as digital marketing—as a communication tool. But do all these social media opportunities leave you feeling overwhelmed? Help is here!

Scott Monty, head of Social Media for Ford Motor Company, kicks off this program with a presentation on how Ford has used social media and benefits they have received.

Following Scott's presentation a panel of experts will dive into the "how to's" of what you need to know to engage the world by building community around your brand and empower your audience to spread the word about your business just by clicking "tell a friend."

You'll hear tips and tactics to effectively use social media, digital marketing, search engine optimization, Google analytics, online brand building, and more to build your business and your personal brand.

Angela Wisniewski - Website Producer, WDIV-TV 4

Expert panelists and the topic they will address:

Terry Bean – Chief Networking Officer, Networked Inc and Motor City Connect

Charlie Wollborg - Chief Troublemaker, Founding Partner of Curve Detroit Advertising, Marketing and Design

John Hill – Director of Career Services, Michigan State University

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Branding
Catherine Juon – Co-Founder & Catalyst, Pure Visibility

Derek Mehraban – CEO, Ingenex Digital Marketing, and Instructor, Michigan State University

Why use social media?
Social media provides measurable results for your efforts! You can track your fans and followers, follow link traffic to see who is seeking more information about you, and measure the growth of your brand online. You can:
- Target your message
- Engage your audience in a dialogue
- Monitor and track the conversation
- Lower cost than traditional marketing

Click here for a printable flyer

Inforum Member ticket: $50
Non-member ticket: $75

Thursday, June 25, 2009 7:30 a.m.-noon

7:30 a.m. - Noon
Hyatt Regency Hotel Dearborn
600 Town Center Drive
Dearborn, MI 48126


7:30 a.m. - Networking & Registration
8-9 a.m. - Breakfast & Presentation by Scott Monty

9:30 a.m.-Noon - Panel Discussion