Detroit’s Start Gallery hosts “Beyond the Machine” – a fine art exhibition from some of the nation’s most revered tattoo artists. The show opens on Friday, February 24 and runs through Saturday, March 3.

“Beyond the Machine “ will showcase tattooists’ work outside the human canvas. Picking up paintbrushes and other artistic mediums instead of their tattoo machines, the show features creations by top tattoo artists not limited by the constraints of flesh.

“The goal of the exhibit is to expose the fine artwork by tattoo artists in a gallery setting to a new crowd, while also appealing to tattoo enthusiasts who seek to further explore the depths of tattoo culture,” explains Start Gallery owner and director Jason Reed.

“Beyond the Machine” will include work by a myriad of tattooists, from nationally recognized names like Detroit’s Bob Tyrell and Mark Heggie, to just under the radar artists David Hale (Athens, Georgia) Zach Hewitt (Farmington Hills, MI) and David Poole (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Excitement abounds with artwork flying in from all corners of the country. “This will be a very rare chance to see fine art by legendary artists and newcomers alike,” adds Reed.

Exhibit highlights include an opening night meet and greet with many of the tattoo artists on Friday, February 24 from 6 pm – 11 pm with Ghettoblaster Beer on tap and other refreshments. Ages 18 and over are welcome and admission is free.

On Saturday, February 25, “Beyond the Machine” is the setting for a full-throttle Autorama Afterparty with live music by honky tonk rockers The Orbitsuns plus rockabilly trio the Hifi Hellfires! Motorbilly Radio’s DJ Del Villareal will also be spinning. Doors are at 8 pm and admission is $8. Ages 21 and over are welcome to attend.

Secure parking is available at the Opera House parking garage directly across from the gallery.

Following the opening weekend - Ages 18 and over are invited to the Start Gallery for additional “Beyond the Machine” dates including:

Monday Feb 27 - March 2: Daytime hours 2pm-6pm Friday March 2: 8pm-Midnight Saturday March 3: Special Closing Event 8pm-1am

If you can’t make it down to the show in person the artwork will be available for the world to seeing during the online opening, which can be found at

For more information about “Beyond the Machine” including an updated participating artist list please or call 313-909-2845. Call for art ends February 13.

Start Gallery is located in Detroit’s Harmonie Park at 206 E. Grand River (at Broadway).

Art Road Nonprofit, the organization bringing art class back to schools that lack art in their curriculum throughout Southeastern Michigan, is pleased to announce they will be awarded with a donation of $7,500 from the Junior League of Detroit (JLD). The money was raised through the JLD’s annual Fall fundraiser, the Festival of Wreaths, held on November 19 in Grosse Pointe, MI. Ann Turnbull, JLD President and Ann Baxter, JLD Festival of Wreaths Committee Co-Chair will present the check to Art Road at the organization’s “Have a Heart for Art” mixer on February 15th at Mitchell’s Fish Market in Livonia.

“We are deeply grateful to Ann Baxter, her committee and the volunteers that created the spectacular Festival of Wreaths Event that benefited Art Road Nonprofit,” said Carol Hofgartner, president and founder of Art Road. “The $7500 donation to Art Road from the Festival of Wreaths provides art class to a classroom of 25 students for an entire school year. Students that otherwise would not have art class, will have art class because of the Junior League of Detroit. We look forward to the Junior League of Detroit members volunteering in the art rooms to see firsthand their donation at work.”

“The Junior League of Detroit is committed to broadening the opportunities available for children and their families in the City of Detroit,” said Turnbull. “Arts education has been proven to be an important part of a student’s curriculum and we are so pleased to be able to provide this funding to Art Road Nonprofit, bringing the joy of art to an entire classroom of students.

Tickets to the “Have a Heart for Art” event are $20 per person.
RSVP online at and click on the donate button or call Carol Hofgartner, Art Road at 313.407.9805.

The event will include a silent auction. Drinks, appetizers and desserts will be served in the private dining room. Donations to Art Road are also being accepted online or by calling the organization directly.

About Art Road
Art Road’s mission is that children throughout Southeastern Michigan have access to art instruction. Currently, Art Road is providing art class to 800 students that lack art in their curriculum. The organization’s goal is to raise $186,000 by August 1, 2012 to provide art class to 1200 students for the 2012/2013 school year. To be inspired and get involved with Art Road, visit

Date: Feb 10th – Feb 12th
Hours: Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: Bring a donation item to any gate (canned food, children’s book, $1) some events may have additional charges.

The cold weather will be no match for the awesome energy outside, as people will be bundling up and making their way to the Motown Winter Blast, which returns to Campus Martius Park. The Ambassador Bridge will join festivities in 2012 as presenting sponsor of Detroit’s perennial outdoor event. Originally created in January 2005 as a promotional event for Super Bowl XL, the festival was tipped to attract more than 75,000 people last year and organizers are betting on a great turnout for this year’s festivities.

Here are some of the top events and exhibitions at this year’s Winter Blast:

  • Free ice skating at Campus Martius skating rink 800 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48226 Price: Free to skate, $3 skate rental. Lace up your skates or rent a pair for $3 and get out onto the ice at the Campus Martius skating rink. Bring your children or a date and take advantage of the only time of year that offers free ice skating in the park.

  • Greektown Casino Ice Garden Cadillac Square Detroit, MI 48226 Price: Free
Cadillac Square will be transformed into a winter-wonderland complete with illuminated ice sculptures during Winter Blast. Take a stroll through the ice garden while snapping photographs, sit on ice benches and other ice structures and even watch live ice carving demonstrations on Friday, Feb. 11.

  • Taste of Detroit 800 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48226

Let your taste buds join in on all the fun at this all new addition to the Motown Winter Blast. The Taste of Detroit showcases restaurants from across the metro area. Find the Taste located at the GM tent next to the Michigan Lottery Stage.

  • Kid Zone 800 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48226

Parents and children will enjoy an exciting, fun-filled, energy-exhausting day in the park at Motown Winter Blast. Have your kids strap on some snowshoes and run wild on the snowshoe course provided by the Winter Blast’s “Get Fit” campaign. They can rush down the much anticipated, Ambassador Bridge Snow Slide or enjoy lots of fun and games at the various Winter Carnival locations around Campus Martius.

Be sure to take a break from all the physical exhaustion and visit the Campus Martius skating rink for demonstrations by professional and amateur ice skaters. Or grab a cup of hot cocoa and watch the Snomad Racing Sled Dogs, led by Amanda Vogel, dash across the park.

If you are feeling a little frosty during all of this fun, don’t miss any one of the warming tents set up around the park. According to festival organizers, Comfort Zone warming tents are erected every 150 feet.

Finish off an event-filled day with a little comfort food. Visit the marshmallow roasting stations located next to the ice skating rink and purchase yourself and your kids all of the great fixings for a fabulous s’more.

  • Breaking the ICE on the cycle of Poverty program 800 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48226

For the 3rd consecutive year, Winter Blast has partnered with Matrix Human Services and the Grosse Pointe Rotary to organize this charitable event. Volunteers from each organization will help collect nonperishable food items and children’s books at the festival gates as part of a special Motown Winter Blast “admission fee.” All donated items will be used to support a major service project that will fight hunger and promote literacy in metro Detroit. Donations will be accepted at all Winter Blast entrances.

There are several preferred areas for parking during the Motown Winter Blast.
 Click here for rates, hours and directions.
QuikklySara Schmid

A few weeks ago, Dan Gilbert and the Detroit Venture Partners (DVP) crew welcomed reporters for a tour of the newly renovated Madison Building in downtown Detroit. Gilbert had recently spent $12 million to turn the former theater into a sort of fantasy workspace for budding entrepreneurs, and the results of his makeover didn’t disappoint.

 The building features plenty of walls that function as whiteboards, a 150-seat auditorium that seems the perfect place to host an investor pitch meeting, and a stunning rooftop kitchen and deck that overlook Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. Little flourishes, like the exposed brick and the fact that some of the graffiti found in the building during renovations has been preserved, give the space a young, slightly edgy feel. All of it is meant to transform the Madison Building into a destination for startups across the nation—and if the story of Quickkly‘s Shawn Geller is any indication, it’s working.

Geller, a native of Pennsylvania, graduated from Temple University in 2009. While in school, he was bothered by what he saw as a disconnect between the small mom and pop stores surrounding the campus and the students they sought as customers.

“It wasn’t just local stores, but even the national brands would only come on campus one day a year with student ambassadors,” Geller says, noting the cost and inefficiency of that strategy. “It wasn’t a good model whatsoever.”

Geller worked with local merchants in need of promotion to create a simple landing page where students could find coupons and send them to their phones via text message. They would then claim the coupon by showing the text message at the store offering the discount.

Word of mouth quickly spread, and Geller built up a database of about 3,000 Temple students. He then went around to different restaurants and stores and asked them what their slowest times and days were. Armed with that information, he created his first “flash deal,” where he sent a text out to his database offering the first 150 people who responded within a certain amount of time a large pizza for $5. When close to 100 students went in to the pizzeria to claim their coupons, Geller knew he was onto something.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article on Xcomony! 

Monica Covey
The New York Times

Over most of the past decade, budget deliberations in Michigan have taken on a glum and familiar monotony: What do we cut now?

But the state that experienced an economic downturn earlier, deeper and longer than most of the rest of the country has made an unlikely discovery as its officials closed out its latest financial books: Michigan has a $457 million surplus.

Even more surprising: Revenues, which had sunk or had been mostly flat for all but one year since 2000, have grown. Not a lot, but grown.

Michigan is the most unlikely example of a phenomenon that was unimaginable in most states in recent years. Though nearly all states are required by law to balance their budgets, most have been able to do so only through rounds of painful spending cuts to make up for deep shortfalls in revenue.

Now, however, as a majority of states have begun collecting tax revenues that are on par with or even above expectations, they face some measure of Michigan’s situation — trying to sort out whether the worst is really over, whether it is safe to start spending again, or whether a rainy day fund may be the prudent course.

“Revenues are definitely improving, but it’s just unsure where it’s going to head from here,” said Todd Haggerty, an analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, who noted that although revenues in many states have not returned to pre-recession levels, 17 states exceeded their expected personal income tax collections in the first quarter of the current budget year, and 18 states got more in sales tax than they had anticipated.

Even the federal government has seen an encouraging boost in revenues. After declining sharply (17 percent) in the 2009 fiscal year and rising only 3 percent in 2010, federal revenues rose 6 percent in 2011, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article from The New York Times!
Larry Abramson

Ask Detroit teachers about their biggest challenge, and many will say, "You can't teach kids who don't come to class." Last year, the average Detroit public high school student missed at least 28 days of school.

Now, as part of its effort to get parents more involved, the district has launched a major initiative to improve attendance. The effort includes parent workshops and attendance agents charged with pushing parents to send their kids to school every day.

George Eason is one of Detroit's 51 attendance agents. He's staring at a printout that says a lot about the city's attendance problems. He flips the pages, counting the absences that one student has racked up only midway through the school year.

"To date, this student has 23 absences," he says, "and a couple of suspensions."

As an attendance agent for Detroit Public Schools, Eason covers the city's border with Dearborn, Mich. He says most parents want their kids in school — they just need a little help. Others need a good strong shove.

"We do take parents to court, depending on the dynamics of the case," he says. "If we see that the parent is willfully keeping the child out for things such as babysitting or whatever, and not sending the child to school, then we will take every means necessary to enforce the law."

A Landscape Of Closed Schools

The city hopes to convert more than 40 schools into charters to cut costs and improve enrollment.

Eason gathers up his attendance records and climbs into his trusty Honda. On the way to his first stop, he points out school after school that was forced to close as the city's population contracted. He says that when he started this job 18 years ago, Detroit Public Schools had more than twice as many students as it has today.

Click HERE to read or listen to this full story!
Associated Press

A Detroit school's science project got the attention of President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

The White House hosted a science fair, featuring projects by more than 100 students from across the country.

Obama visited the exhibits in the State Dining Room, and his first stop was a design for a more energy-efficient city by a team of students from the Paul Robeson, Malcolm X Academy in Detroit.

The president asked a few questions, shook hands and thanked the Detroit students for their work.

Later, he commented on the Detroit project in remarks to all the students.

"There's a group of young engineers from Paul Robeson-Malcolm X Academy," Obama said. "And nobody needs to tell them the kinds of challenges that Detroit still faces. Where's my team from Detroit? In the house -- there they are. Stand up. They believe in their city, and they're coming up with new ideas to keep Detroit's comeback going."

The Robeson academy is part of the Detroit Public Schools and has about 600 students in kindergarten n through eighth grade.

The projects also included a robot that helps senior citizens connect with their families via Skype and a portable disaster relief shelter that could be used to house people who have been displaced from their homes.

"It's not every day you have robots running all over your house," Obama said. "I'm trying to figure out how you got through the metal detectors."

The president said the students participating in the science fair were an inspiration, and made him confident that the nation's best days were yet to come.

"You're getting America in shape to win the future," Obama said.

Featuring Passalacqua, Charlie Slick, Patrick Elkins’ Puppet Show, Run Jit More!

Saturday, February 11th
PJ’s Lager House
1254 Michigan Ave,
Detroit MI 48226
$7 with mask, $10 without
Doors 8pm, 21+

The Detroit Party Marching Band is an ever-evolving collective of Detroit area musicians devoted to unanticipated revelry, driving jams, and the power of the un-amplified horn blast. They believe the essence of music is celebration and joy. They’re devoted to deploying impromptu jams to celebrate life and community in & around our dear city of Detroit. The group has been featured in the New York Times, The Detroit News and was recently profiled by French journalists on the blog “Detroit je t'aime.” (
In February, the 25-piece ensemble is preparing for its most ambitious excursion yet: a trip down the mighty Mississippi to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. The band will be bringing Detroit pride to the streets of the Big Easy, performing in parades, clubs, and backyard celebrations.

Before departing, the band is bringing a bit of New Orleans soul to Detroit, transforming PJ’s Lager house into a blowout masquerade party! The show will feature the glitter-drenched electro-pop of Charlie Slick, the idiosyncratic hip hop of Passalacqua, the whimsical shadow puppetry of Patrick Elkins, the footwork mastery of Detroit’s Run Jit, curated New Orleans dance music, plus myriad local sideshow acts and local intrigues, a ceremonial king cake cutting at midnight and the Cajun cooking of PJ Ryder. And, of course, a rare billed performance by the Detroit Party Marching Band themselves.

Don’t miss it!
Photo: Man in Guardian Building
The vaulted artistry of the Guardian Building impresses doorman Christopher Roddy—and is just one of the reasons Detroit is looking up.
Photograph by Melissa Farlow
From the March/April 2012 issue of National Geographic Traveler
Andrew Nelson

It's not called a “tug” of memory for nothing: I’m outside Detroit’s railroad station, and I instantly recall my mother’s gloved hand pulling mine as we rushed through the vast atrium that was inspired by the imperial baths of ancient Rome. We are in a hurry to get somewhere, and Detroit is, too. Even a little boy in the mid-1960s notices the tempo. The Motor City is in motion. We build America’s cars. Thanks to Berry Gordy’s Motown, the world hums our songs. The city, fifth largest in the U.S. by population, is at the top of its game.

Today, Michigan Central Station still looks Roman, but it’s a Roman ruin. Closed since 1988 and stripped of valuables by vandals, or “scrappers,” the empty hulk symbolizes my old hometown’s decline, buckling beneath crime, corruption, and events such as the 1967 riots, the 1970s gas shortages, and the rise of Asian auto imports. My family, like others, moved away. A city of almost two million residents in 1950 shrank to 713,777 in 2010.

To visitors, Detroit’s attractions verged on the desperate: Three new casinos corralled gamblers inside windowless rooms; a desultory monorail circled downtown. The city’s collapse actually created a new business in “ruin porn,” as locals escorted tourists eager to experience the postapocalyptic atmosphere of decaying factories and abandoned offices.

But Detroit has been down so long, any change would be up. And “up” is why I’ve returned. Something’s happening in Michigan’s southeast corner. Call it a rising, a revival, a new dawn—there’s undeniable energy emanating from Detroit. America noticed it first at the 2011 Super Bowl. Chrysler debuted a TV commercial with rapper Eminem, star of the film 8 Mile (named after the road that serves as Detroit’s northern border). The ad crystallized the city’s spiky, muscular pride and won an Emmy, but Detroit was the real winner.

“This is the Motor City,” Eminem declared, “and this is what we do.”

And, increasingly, Detroiters are doing:
Working-class Latinos in Southwest, recent college grads in Midtown and New Center, and African-American professionals in Boston Edison are improving their neighborhoods. An expanding Detroit RiverWalk edges downtown, where corporations like DTE Energy, Quicken Loans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield have moved in thousands of workers. A favorite 1960s-era restaurant, the London Chop House, has announced its reopening. And that badge of gentrification, Whole Foods, plans to build a store in the inner city.

Even outsiders have started arriving, drawn by a sense of adventure. A new resident had told me: “If you visit Detroit, you’re an explorer. Be prepared for a rich, very soulful experience.”

A flashing red light jolts me back to the train station’s razor wire and rubble. A fire engine pulls up alongside me.

“Anything wrong, officer?” I ask, nervously. Maybe they think I’m a scrapper.

“Naaah,” says Ladder 28’s Capt. Robert Distelrath, with the backslapping, broad a’s of the Midwest. “Just checking things out. What are you doing?”

 I tell him I’m here because I hear Detroit is coming back.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article on National Geographic!

The number of housing markets showing measurable improvement expanded by 29 metros in February to include a total of 98 markets listed on the Improving Markets Index published monthly by First American and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Thirty-six states are now represented by at least one market on the list.

The index tracks those housing markets that are showing signs of improvement in overall economic health, based on growth in employment, home price appreciation, and increases in single-family housing permits. The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement in each of these three areas for at least six consecutive months.

The 29 metros added to the index in February include:

Napa, California Deltona, Florida Miami, Florida North Port, Florida Tampa, Florida Augusta, Georgia Shreveport, Louisiana Boston, Massachusetts Springfield, Massachusetts Cumberland, Maryland Lewiston, Maine Detroit, Michigan Duluth, Minnesota

Click HERE to read the full article on DS News!

9 Businesses from 4exit4 on Vimeo.

Toby Barlow
The Huffington Post

The first person I worked for was Hal Riney, the man who, over whiskeys at the Washbag, wrote the famous "It's Morning Again in America" for Ronald Reagan. Hal wrote those ads at a unique time in America's history and the work framed Reagan as a leader who had successfully rekindled the great possibility of the American Dream.

Like a lot of people, I was reminded of those ads yesterday during the Super Bowl, when the spirit of Detroit was once again celebrated, this time by the former mayor of Carmel, California wandering through an ad made by an advertising agency from Oregon for a great Italian car company that is located in some foreign land called Auburn Hills.

With all due respect to Chrysler's work -- and I think it's emotional and compelling stuff, though perhaps a little rambling and incoherent -- I am much more interested in this very different, very short film, "9 Businesses," a sincere celebration of our city's entrepreneurs, local business people who have dreams, ideas and discipline and who are currently making our city a more vibrant and successful place.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article on The Huffington Post!

Brad McCarty
The Next Web

Over the past few months there have been lots of stories of what many of us would consider to be atrocities when it comes to the people in Apple’s supply chain. With the company sitting on nearly $100 billion in liquid assets, Apple has a prime opportunity to simply do what’s right, but only if it chooses action instead of denial.

For a bit of history, the Foxconn plant in Chengdu, China is one of the main places where Apple hardware is manufactured. The plant has been rife with stories of suicides and dangerous working conditions. Apple has stated that it monitors the process at every step and, most recently, CEO Tim Cook said “Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.” But there’s still a PR nightmare at hand.

For shareholders, $97.6 billion in liquid assets is a liability. Very few investors will ever tell you that they want a company sitting on that much money, because they’d prefer that it be doing something to earn more, rather than simply earning interest in bank accounts. So Apple is faced with eternal questions of what it will do with the cash, and now the “human cost” of Apple’s products.

Yet the company is still one of the darlings of the United States. People take great pride in that “Designed by Apple in California” badge. If, however, the company truly wants to be a shining light in America’s technology leadership, there’s a single answer that can solve the PR issue while answering the money question too:

Start assembling in the US.

With only 5% of its liquidity, Apple could spark a complete resurgence to American manufacturing, at least in one major city. Let’s say, for instance, that the company chooses to build a manufacturing facility in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit has been plagued with poverty and one of the highest unemployment rates in the US as it reels in agony from the collapse of the American automotive manufacturing boom. It’s almost certain that Detroit would make it well worth Apple’s time and money to invest into a plant within its borders.

By the numbers, Foxconn has 70,000 workers living in dormitories. Detroit has a present unemployment rate of over 9%, leaving 92,000 people out of work. Clearly not all of the 70,000 Foxconn dormitory residents work exclusively on Apple products, and not all 92,000 of Detroit’s unemployed would come work for the company, but the numbers should still match up nicely if Apple were to move manufacturing to the city.

We also know that Foxconn recently set up a $1 billion plan to double the manufacturing capability of its plant. Let’s assume (because that’s all that we can do) that Apple would only need the full capability of a single plant — because mind you that Foxconn makes more than just Apple products out of its existing location — so setting aside $1 billion to build the facility should suffice.

If Apple then took the remaining $3.88 billion (5% of Apple’s current liquid $97.6 billion is $4.88 billion, less the $1 billion for building the plant) and focused on paying fair wages to Detroit workers, it could completely revitalize the city as it stands today. Assuming that Apple paid its workers an average of $20 per hour, 70,000 workers would cost the company $2.9 billion per year in salary. Factor in other costs of doing business and that remaining $3.88 billion would likely be gone in a year, but Apple is still turning profits, adding to the coffers.

Click HERE to read the rest of this story on The Next Web!
Cord Jefferson

We've told you before that in these times of hardship for so many, others have made it their mission to lighten people's burdens wherever they can. In South Carolina, they're buying each other's coffee. Throughout the Midwest, they paid for one another's gifts around the holidays. Now, one florist is looking to brighten the flagging state of Michigan one bouquet at a time.

Lori Morrison has been selling flowers for three decades in Plymouth, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit whose name it once shared with a brand of automobiles that has since ceased production. The struggling auto industry gave way to a struggling Michigan, where nearly 15 percent of the population now lives below the poverty line. Wanting to give back to the people who have kept her flower shop running in these financially trying times, Morrison came up with something called a "Good Job Bouquet," a simple reminder that someone in the Detroit area still cares.

For the rest of 2012, Morrison will accept nominations for people in Plymouth and the surrounding area who deserve recognition for nourishing their community.

Click HERE to read the rest of this story on 

Michelle Maynard

By now, you’ve probably heard these words, spoken in a famous, raspy voice, during Chrysler’s commercial during half time of the Super Bowl.

“This isn’t a game. The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together. Now, the Motor City is fighting again.”

But did Clint Eastwood refer to the city of Detroit — or Detroit, the auto industry? Did he mean the actual residents of Detroit, or everything involved in the imaginary Motor City, which sweeps from Detroit, down through Louisville and on to Dallas?

As a city fights for survival, and car companies fight for revival, it’s very easy for images, metaphors and symbolism about Detroit to become mixed up in a big pot of mythical gumbo. (Not to mention a bubbling political controversy.)

We’ve been trying to discern the different flavors at our public media project, Changing Gears, and it just isn’t easy.

The city of Detroit. Once, it was the industrial Midwest’s version of a gold rush town. From the 1920s to the 1950s, new residents were pouring in every hour, people of every race, ethnic origin, wealth and education level. By 1950, Detroit had 2 million people, making it the size of Houston today.

In that Detroit, one of every two adults worked in a manufacturing job, according to Kevin Boyle, a native Detroiter and historian at Ohio State University. Images of that Detroit are embossed in the American consciousness, the idea of a sprawling city, with prosperous blue and white collar residents, and Motown music rollicking from every transistor radio.

But that Detroit is long gone. The Detroit of today has barely 720,000 people, or less than half the size at its peak. Only 20,000 of those residents, or about 2.7 percent of the people who live there, hold jobs in factories, Boyle calculates. Classic Motown lives on mainly in PBS specials and on satellite radio.

Wealth has been depleted and homes abandoned, schools struggle. Far from being self-sufficient, Detroit could still almost lose everything, writes Dustin Dwyer at Changing Gears. If it can’t fix its finances, it could soon fall under the control of a state appointed emergency manager, the kind that already runs the city’s schools.

Detroit, the auto industry. Now that General Motors and Chrysler are back on their feet, and Ford is successful, the industry seems like a point of national pride. But we didn’t all “pull together” to save it, as Eastwood suggests. Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked efforts at a Congressional bailout in the waning days of the Bush administration.

Click HERE to read the full article on Forbes!

The “Strive to Survive” concert tour kicks off Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. Proceeds from the nationwide tour will benefit the Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation and the Great Lakes Burn Camp.

America’s Got Talent winner and Rochester Hills native, Geechy Guy will be taking a break from his Las Vegas show to help launch the charity tour. American Idol’s Bucky Covington and funny man Billy Ray Bauer are just a few of the acts to light up the stage at the benefit concert, which is being emceed by local comedian Gary Thison. Also appearing is local musical group Fifty Amp Fuse.

"I'm really looking forward to coming home to perform at the Fillmore," said Guy. "Not only will I see some old friends and make some new ones, but we'll all be helping a very worthwhile charity."

Proceeds from the Strive to Survive concert benefit two amazing organizations – The Great Lakes Burn Camp and the Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation.

The Great Lakes Burn Camp in Jackson, Mich. serves as a place of solace and acceptance where burn survivors ages 6 to 17 can heal, grow and support one another. It was established in 1995. The Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation provides international outreach, support and resource assistance programs for firefighters stricken by cancer. The Foundation creates state of the programs for cancer education, awareness and prevention, ensuring the quality of life for firefighters around the world.

Tickets can be purchased for $25, $35 and $75 online through and For more information visit

The “Strive to Survive” concert tour’s Detroit stop is being sponsored by Adamo Group, Detroit Fire Fighters Association Local 344, LPL Financial and 1-800-Board-Up.

Click HERE to help open the Belle Isle Aquarium!

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