My friend Jim's great aunt. Photo was taken in Detroit, circa 1961.
Erin Rose
Positive Detroit Original

I feel it is time the City of Detroit got a little creative with their crime prevention tactics.  What is Einstein's definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I stress this is not a knock on the Detroit Police Department, Chief Godbee, or Mayor Bing.  This article is about getting creative and taking a look at what other cities have successfully done to lower/prevent crime without spending a lot of money.  I know this is hard for some people to grasp, but throwing more money at the problem does not exactly solve it, nor does saturating the streets with police presence.

Recently an article in Business Week paints a very realistic portrait of what is happening within city limits:  Midtown crime rates are going down while crime in other neighborhoods is going up.

To make matters worse, someone over at the Detroit News stumbled upon Google Maps somewhere between their power hour of Solitaire and agonizing over crafting the perfect someecard for their Facebook page and created the "Deadliest Crime Map."  Nothing says "Visit Detroit" like an online interactive map with up to the minute pins marking the most recent crimes.  Thanks for continuing to be a great ambassador of the city, guys.  So very 'Pure Michigan' of you.

So it looks like it is high time we roll up our sleeves, take matters into our own hands, and do something about this (and give certain publications some other uses for the internets).

Now before I present this list to you, I want to point out that there is no direct reliance on the said city government being solely responsible for the change.  It was a partnership and collective effort between residents, business owners, and the city government.  So instead of whining about Detroit's lack of funds and continuing to beat a dead horse, let's band together and make a change.

All in favor, read on.

Here is my list of three Creative, Inexpensive, and PROVEN ways Detroit can start lowering crime today:

1.  Play Classical Music

I see that eyebrow raise. Cue Gary Coleman's famous line, "Whatcha talkin' about, Willis?"

Playing classical music deters crime you ask.

The answer is a resounding "Yes."

Below are real world success stories to prove it.  Above is a video from the Library of Congress in D.C explaining the psychology behind it.  

2011, Los Angeles California  - Mayor R. Rex Pariss had 70 speakers installed along a half mile of Lancaster Blvd and for five hours a day, played a blend of classical music and bird songs (birds chirping).  Mayor Pariss believed the bird song and music combination would calm citizens and essentially deter crime.

After 10 months of playing the bird song/classical music combination:
  • Minor crimes fell 15%.
  • Major crimes fell 6%.
  • Maria Elena Grado, who runs the Lemon Leaf Café, says the area was "crime infested" when she opened in 2006. "Everybody laughed at the idea, but people don't even realize the things that make them tick."
2004, London England -  British Transport Police played classical music over loudspeakers in the most dangerous parts of London Underground stations.

After 6 months:
  • Robberies dropped by 33%.
  • Assaults on staff by 25%.
  • Vandalism of trains and stations by 37%.
2001, West Palm Beach Florida - Police mounted a CD player and speakers on an abandoned building and piped Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven 24 hours a day after Sgt. Ron Ghianda had learned about music being used for nuisance abatement in Texas at a seminar.

The corner had been a problem for 15 years and police occasionally increased patrols in the area for weeks at a time. Police Chief Ric Bradshaw demanded a permanent solution after a murder in the area in March.

They spent less than $500 for a CD player and speakers. The department also installed better lighting and cut down trees that provided shade in the daytime.

  • Drug-related calls dropped to four from February through June, compared to 20 during the same period in 2000, according to the police department.
  • Calls for service were down to 83 from 119 last year during those five months. 
  • According to Mamie Durham, 80, a 60-year resident of the neighborhood, "If someone ever told me Tamarind would look like this I wouldn't believe them. I remember when you used to have to walk in the street because (loiterers would) be on the sidewalk. It's cleaned up." 
Playing classical music also has deterred gangs of youth from hanging outside stores, reports of troublemakers and graffiti were dramatically reduced, according to a supermarket chain in the UK.

"It is mostly easy listening music that we are playing such as Bach, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and Mozart. It is a novel concept, but it does work and does move people on," said regional loss prevention manager Steve Hogarth. "The fact that youths hang outside the store is not a crime in itself, but the perception among staff and customers is that it is intimidating. It seems to make it a 'less cool' place to hang out if there is classical music playing."

Note: Studies conclude that the most effective classical music is from the Baroque period

Just imagine Detroit with the sounds of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra pouring into the streets.  They even make it convenient and inexpensive with their new app! Maybe this could be a new twist on the DIA's Inside|Out Exhibit and showcase different DSO concerts throughout the city.  Hmmm......

For those of you with a sense of humor:  Bust out the Barry Manilow.  Our friends from down under in Australia discovered that playing the sweet sounds of Barry on loop is unbearable to the ears of "delinquent  youth." It has officially been dubbed as the "Manilow Method."  So clear the cobwebs off your ghetto blaster and soon you will be humming this line with a smile "Well, you came and you gave without taking, but I sent you away, oh Mandy....."

2. Plant More Urban Farms

Oh, here is something Detroit is getting really good at!

In 2000, 54,000 lots were vacant in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society reclaimed 4,400 (8% of the existing vacant lots) planted trees and gardens along with erecting 3ft fences.

Over a 10 year span, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society beautification and farming project:
  • Reduced shootings in the areas surrounding these lots.
  • People become more in touch with their neighbors and felt more connected with each other.
  • Calls from neighbors complaining of nuisance crimes (loitering, public urination, excessive noise) went up significantly in the immediate vicinity of the newly greened land, something that had not happened in the past.
  • Research has shown that if you diminish violence, people will be less stressed, and less-stressed people eat healthier.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun to look at greening as a tool for violence prevention.
This is also helping to combat violence in schools.  Principal Myra Sampson of Community Alternative Academy on Chicago's West-Side had a garden built to help squash the gun violence occurring at her school.  The garden has become a place where students AND the community come together. The dramatic increase of students becoming invested in each other and the project has led to Sampson to request 10 more vacant lots adjacent to her to school to be turned over for more urban garden and orchard projects. 

3.  Make Streets More Walkable

Photo From Wayne State University 

At the end of 2009, Rotterdam (Netherlands) police created an experimental project called "The Neighbourhood Takes Charge." 

This was a joint effort between the police and local residents, encouraging them to draw up a list of things that they wanted to see improved to make their community safer and happier.

The police then spent 16 hours per week solving the issues that were most important to local tax-payers.

Police of course expected local citizens to list the more serious crimes, like burglary or drugs, at top of the list.

To their surprise, these three items were the most popular:
  1. Street cleaning.
  2. Dog mess.
  3. Reducing traffic speeds. 
Nearly all of the most popular suggestions involved improving the street environment and making streets more walk-friendly.

Rather than neglecting serious crimes, they actually saw some dramatic reductions in all sorts of crime over a two year period.  The UK Government took note and sent the Policing Minister to Holland to see if this new approach could work in the UK.
  • Drug crime dropped by 30%.
  • Burglary dropped by 22%.
  • Vandalism dropped by 31%.
  • Traffic offences dropped by 19%.
  • Theft dropped by 11%.
  • Violence dropped by 8%.


The July RE/MAX National Housing Report has followed the trend on an improving housing market since the start of 2012. The trend continued in July, as home sales were 10.3 percent higher than sales last July and year-over-year home sales have now risen for 13 consecutive months. Median home prices have now reached levels higher than the previous year for six months in a row, with an increase of 3.7 percent over July 2011. Inventory is now becoming a serious challenge to this recovering market, with available homes-for-sale falling 26.8 percent lower than the same month last year. Home sales could be much greater if more inventory was available, especially in the lower price range, where most sales are now occurring. With increased demand and shrinking inventory, the average Days on Market of homes sold in July was 82.

The Median Sales Price of homes sold in July was $169,000. This price marks a 3.7 percent increase over the median of July 2011, but is off fractionally from prices seen in June, down 0.6 percent. The annual increase of 3.7 percent marks the sixth month in a row with year-over-year increases. Of the 53 metro areas surveyed for the July RE/MAX National Housing Report, an impressive 42 reported price increases over last year, with 12 metro areas experiencing double-digit gains, including: Phoenix, Ariz. +33.1 percent; Boise, Idaho +22.1 percent; San Francisco, Calif. +20.6 percent; Little Rock, Ark. +14.5 percent; Detroit, Mich. +14.1 percent; and Las Vegas +13.2 percent.

For all homes sold during the month of July, the average Days on Market was 82. This represents a drop of two days from the average in June and six days from July 2011. July represents the second month since September 2011 with a Days on Market below 90, and the lowest average since July 2010. The Days on Market average continues to fall in many markets due to low inventory. Days on Market is the number of days between first being listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed.

Click HERE to read the full report! 
Historic Pewabic Pottery is welcoming families with a creative flair to come out and experience the studio’s 5th annual Family Fun Day. The free-of-charge family-friendly day of artistic exploration features clay themed games such as fishing for ceramic goldfish, clay target practice and the building of a clay community.

In the courtyard, Pewabic artists will demonstrate the skilled art of clay wheel throwing and other fascinating techniques. A variety of “make-and-take” activities will be available for guests to create artwork of their own for $5 per project. Guests will also enjoy free face painting and guided tours of the historic building – scheduled for 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 21 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Pewabic Pottery
10125 E. Jefferson Ave. Detroit, MI
48214 (313) 822-0954

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson plans to auction his 1958 Corvette with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity Detroit and the rebuilding of the Morningside Commons neighborhood on the city’s lower east side.

Akerson and his wife Karin are active in Detroit donating their time, money and fundraising support to several charitable groups. They made a personal, cornerstone $1 million donation in February to help launch
“Leaders to Rebuild Detroit,” Habitat Detroit’s three-year, $25 million initiative to serve at least 500 families in Morningside Commons through house construction, rehabilitation, critical repairs and energy-efficiency upgrades.

 “A strong America is built on strong communities, and building those communities starts with one hammer, one nail and one person – and from there it’s contagious,” Akerson said. “My wife, Karin, and I want to see this effort to rebuild our headquarters city catch on, spread out and draw scores more volunteers and millions more in contributions."

For more information about the Corvette, click HERE

Detroit’s own Kid Rock is partnering with the Detroit Historical Society to help share the story of the city’s musical past and inspire its future.

The Kid Rock Foundation is donating $250,000 to the Society to establish what will be known as the Kid Rock Music Lab, an interactive gallery that covers more than 100 years of Detroit’s musical history. It will span a myriad of genres from jazz and blues to gospel, funk, rock, pop, techno and hip hop ­– all of which have defined Detroit in song.

The donation was derived from Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie’s own love for the City of Detroit. As a result, everyone from Motown legends like Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson to rock gods like Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and the MC5 will be represented in the gallery, as will Kid Rock himself. The performer’s music has evolved since his early days. As Kid Rock rose to international prominence, his own music has transcended boundaries. Known for experimentation, he fuses multiple musical genres that resonate with Detroit audiences to create a distinct sound all his own.

The Kid Rock Music Lab will offer more than a solid education in the history of these amazing artists. It will grant visitors a glimpse at the concert-going experience itself, a reminder of venues of past and present where musicians made their way to stardom, including the Grande Ballroom and Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. The Kid Rock Music Lab will explore the way in which song has inspired generations to demand R.E.S.P.E.C.T. and reflect the struggles of the era, including the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

“We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Kid Rock for making this lab a reality,” said Bob Bury, executive director and chief executive officer of the Detroit Historical Society. “Our intention from the beginning of this partnership was to showcase Detroit as a city with a rich musical history. We believe that is the sentiment that will emanate from the Kid Rock Music Lab as all genres and aspects of the Detroit music scene are represented. Our challenge in creating it has been managing to fit in as much of the city’s exciting and important musical past as possible.”

Visitors will not only see and hear stories of Detroit music – they will experience it for themselves. The music lab stays true to its name by offering this array of interactive activities meant to educate, entertain and inspire:

· Name That Artist – sample Detroit’s Greatest Hits and guess the singer.
· Kid Rock Picture Stop – Play in Kid Rock’s band and have your picture taken.
· Concert Stage – Feel what it’s like to be on stage, in concert with Kid Rock, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger or The Supremes. · Mix Your Own Music Station – Experiment with sounds and vocals to create your own song.
· Detroit Music Trivia – Test your knowledge.

 “We believe the Kid Rock Music Lab will be an inspiring new exhibit for museum-goers,” said Bury. “We envision our school groups will try out the interactive stations and leave with the notion that they not only understand the music of artists like Aretha Franklin and Kid Rock that much better, but that they will feel empowered enough to make their own music. The intention behind the new Kid Rock Music Lab is to help usher in the next generation of Detroit’s great musical artists.”

The quarter-million dollar donation supporting the Kid Rock Music Lab marks the Kid Rock Foundation’s largest outright charitable contribution to date. The lab, 1,400 square feet, will be located adjacent to one of the Detroit Historical Museum’s brand new galleries, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, which highlights the past century in Detroit pop culture.

These additions are part of the Detroit Historical Society’s $20.1 million Past>Forward campaign, an effort to renovate the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Society collections. The upgrades represent the first major renovations to the museum since the 1960s.

On Nov. 23rd, the Detroit Historical Museum will reopen to the public, allowing visitors to explore new and expanded exhibits, enjoy technology upgrades and experience new educational offerings.

Jay Walljasper: Not Your Father’s Motor City

Cities are complex hives of human activity that highlight all that’s inspiring and troubling about modern life, often at the same time. Like any commons, they are made up of interconnnecting relationships that transcend our neat divisions into rich and poor, thriving and troubled.

New York’s revitalized districts sizzle with creative fervor yet other parts of town struggle with poverty and crime. Chicago’s Lakefront exudes prosperity while pockets of the West and South sides look like they’ve been bombed. Even an economically challenged city like Philadelphia sports charming, bustling Center City neighborhoods along with extensive post-industrial ruins.

We expect extremes in American cities–except in the case of Detroit, which all too often viewed as one, big, monolithic mess. Folks elsewhere can’t even imagine the existence of beloved spots in the city like the Riverwalk, Campus Martius square, Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut bike trail, cozy neighborhood restaurants or hot music clubs. Ambitious downtown redevelopment projects come as shock. So does a housing shortage in the flourishing Midtown area–home to Wayne State University and two world-class medical centers, Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System.

And that’s only part of what people don’t know about Detroit. While the rebounding downtown and Midtown districts fit the usual pattern of urban progress–established institutions and developers guiding most of the changes — other parts of town are following a different playbook for revitalization.

The best example is Southwest Detroit.

Click HERE to read the full article!


Eight years ago, when my husband and his brother bought three buildings on a run-down block in Corktown, a mile southwest of downtown Detroit, the structures were such a wreck that you could stand in the basement and see the sky. 

Today, the entire block is bustling with new businesses. Charming side streets lined with candy-colored Victorians and a vibrant food scene -- including my brother-in-law's Slows Bar B Q and urban farms such as ACRE and Brother Nature -- are drawing a fresh wave of pioneers to the neighborhood, which was first established by Irish immigrants in the 1830s.

Last December, I opened a tiny inn above Slows called Honor & Folly. Here, a list of the don't-miss places I share with my guests.

Click HERE to read the full article by Honor & Folly owner and Corktown Resident, Meghan McEwen in Martha Stewart Living!
(Diego) Rivera Court 
Start your Detroit tour at DIA, the city's crown jewel. The Detroit Institute of Arts opened at its current location, near downtown, in 1927, during the post–World War I auto-industry boom that made Detroit one of the world's wealthiest cities. The museum's Beaux Arts building is massive, with more than 100 galleries, but if you choose carefully among the collections, you can be in and out in two hours. Check out the works by Degas and Cézanne and the collection of pieces by African-American artists; also, definitely see Diego Rivera's expansive mural known as Detroit Industry. Finally, spend a few moments to reflect in the Kresge Court, an inner courtyard and café.

DIA locates you in the center of Detroit's cultural scene, and there are other museums worth visiting in the area, notably the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which houses the world's largest exhibit on African-American culture.

For lunch, walk — yes, people walk in Detroit, at least in this neighborhood — to a popular creperie nearby, Good Girls Go to Paris, or check out Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine in the same building.

Click HERE to read Time Magazine's full list of things to do in Detroit (and where to stay and shop!)!  
Pewabic Pottery (Pewabic) today announced the launch of a new group aimed at targeting the next generation of cultural enthusiasts. Copper & Clay: Pewabic’s New Leadership Initiative is a committee of engaged, young professionals providing their leadership skills and experience in support of Pewabic’s mission.

The vision of Copper & Clay is to “engage, network, cultivate” with the goal of expanding membership among young adults. The committee is dedicated to growing Pewabic’s associate level membership for persons under age 35 by creating a rotation of events and cultivating the energy and passion of metro Detroit’s young professionals.

The group’s first event is a summer preview party which will take place Thursday, Aug. 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Pewabic courtyard. The networking event will feature hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. The event is for adults age 35 years or younger.

Guests will enjoy giveaways, guided tours of Pewabic’s National Historic Landmark building and exclusive access to preview the annual summer sale featuring discounts of up to 50 percent on seconds, overruns and imperfects of Pewabic gift tile, vases and architectural tile.

Tickets for the summer preview party are $30, which include entry into the summer preview party and a year-long Pewabic membership at the associate level, or $15 for event entry only. Current associate level members can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $5. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.

To purchase tickets call (313) 626-2077 or email Lou at Tickets can also be purchased online at

Pewabic Pottery is a non-profit arts and cultural organization and National Historic Landmark which is dedicated to engaging people of all ages in learning experiences with contemporary ceramic art and artists while preserving its historic legacy.

Pewabic is a historic working pottery which is open to the public year round and offers classes, workshops and tours to children and adults. Pewabic creates giftware, pottery and architectural tile, showcases more than 80 ceramic artists in its galleries, and operates a museum store that features pottery and gift tile made on-site. Visitors are welcome, free of charge, Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. To learn more about Pewabic Pottery call (313) 626-2000 or visit Pewabic Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit across the street from Waterworks Park.
Tacos at Taqueria Lupita's

Detroit is a fascinating place. It has beautiful architecture, a rich history and world-class art, including a stunning collection of floor-to-ceiling frescoes by Diego Rivera. Yet much of the city is deserted. Built for three million people, it housed about two million at its peak in the 1950s and now is left with only 700,000. Vast parts of the city are empty. Many areas feel post-apocalyptic, with beautiful homes, churches and schools that have been abandoned, their windows missing, anything of value ripped out by scrappers. Fortunately, all of that makes Detroit an even more interesting place to visit.

So does the food. A recent weekend trip allowed us to sample many of Detroit's fine culinary offerings, including authentic tacos in Detroit's "Mexicantown" and fantastic Middle Eastern food in nearby Dearborn. We were aided in that endeavor by a young entrepreneur, Andy Didorosi, whose Detroit Bus Company offers a cheap, easy and fun way to sample the city's finest bars and restaurants with an evening of unlimited hop-on-hop-off privileges (and food recommendations) for only $5. He even let us enjoy some beers on the bus and gave us the use of his megaphone.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

The 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series welcomesa stellar double-bill featuring The Sweet and The Tubes for the second to last concert of the series on the GM Riverfront stage, Aug. 10.The concert presented in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM and the new Soft Rock 105.1 FM will rock the riverfront stage starting a 7:30p.m.

The Sweet rose to worldwide fame as one of the most popular glam rock acts, with a musical style that evolved from a bubblegum vibe to hard rock vocals. They achieved their first hit “Funny Funny” in 1971, androcked the UK charts with thirteen Top 20 hits during the 1970’s, including “Block Buster,” “The Ballroom Blitz,” “Fox on the Run,” and “Love is Like Oxygen.”

The Tubes catapulted into the rock and roll limelight during the mid-1970s and continued into the 1980s with classic rock staples. With top hits like “White Punks on Dope,” “What Do You Want From Life,” “Don’t Touch Me There” and their number one Billboard hit “She’s a Beauty,” the Tubes continued to evolve and ignite the rock world with their creativity.

The Sweet will open the show at 7:30 p.m. and The Tubes will take the stage at 9 p.m.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront will continue with the final show on August 17 featuring Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and Marshall Crenshaw. Located in the heart of the city, between the GM Renaissance Center and Detroit River, the concert seriesis a summer destination for dining and entertainment in Detroit.

Admission to the concerts is always free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are welcome to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the shows from the water.

Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will provide refreshment and food concessions at several locations across the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and both restaurants offer outdoor patios overlooking the Detroit River and Rockin’ on the Riverfront stage.

Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle, starting at 5:00 p.m., at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater streets, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.

The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is offering two viewing packages. The Andiamo Riverfront package includes a four-course dinner and overnight accommodations. The Joe Muer Seafood package includes a four course dinner, overnight accommodations and breakfast at forty-two degrees north. For reservations specify the package and call 1-800-352-0831 or visit Use promotional code D60.
Photo From The Twisted Onion (dot) com

The Shawarma at Bucharest Grill


They up the meat-and-pita game here by wrapping in cabbage and french fries and slathering on garlic paste. Good after a few pints of Motor City Brewing Works' Ghettoblaster ale, which you're likely to have drunk, since the Bucharest is located inside a bar. 2:00 A.M.; 2040 Park Avenue; 313-965-3111;

Click HERE to read the full list!

The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation, a foundation dedicated to awarding scholarships to Michigan students who hold close to Mrs. Parks' ideals while demonstrating academic skills, community involvement and economic need, is honoring Joshua Smith with a $2,000 college scholarship. Smith, a 9-year-old from Detroit, captured the world’s attention when he set up a lemonade stand to help the City of Detroit recover from a cash crisis.

“The philosophy behind the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation is to give young people every opportunity to be prepared for the future, to engage youth in their communities, and to demonstrate the importance of civic involvement and the value placed on civic involvement,” said Delora Hall Tyler, president of the Foundation.
The scholarship dollars will go to Joshua when he graduates high school, as long as he meets the eligibility requirements, which include graduating from a public or private Michigan high school and maintaining a 2.5 or above GPA. Joshua’s mother, Rhonda Smith, was herself a Rosa Parks Scholarship recipient, in 1987.

Each year, the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation awards 40 Michigan high school seniors $2,000 scholarships toward their college educations. The foundation, established in 1980 by The Detroit News and the Detroit Public Schools, has awarded over $2 million to more than 1,000 high school seniors. This is the first time that the foundation has granted a scholarship to an individual who is not a high school senior.

“Rosa Parks changed the world and inspired others to make it a better place for everyone. Special consideration for a scholarship was given to Joshua because at such a young age, he is an enterprising civic-minded young man who shares Mrs. Parks’ spirit of service and commitment to building a brighter future in his community. We look forward to fostering our relationship with him as he completes his education and becomes our leader of tomorrow,” said Tyler.

The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation is an autonomous entity and is not affiliated with the Raymond and Rosa Parks Institute for Self Development.

Since it was founded by The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools in 1980, The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation has awarded over $2 million in scholarship money to more than 1,000 high school seniors. The Foundation awards approximately forty $2,000 non-renewable scholarships annually.
main_bannerTeam Joseph, a locally founded nonprofit focused on funding research to fight Duchenne MD, is pleased to announce that Detroit Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello will be supporting a new online fundraising campaign, “Strike Out Duchenne”, at The announcement was made by Marissa Penrod, who founded Team Joseph when her son Joseph was diagnosed in 2008 at the age of 5.

The project will run from August 1-September 19, 2012 with all money donated to be matched personally by Porcello, up to a campaign total of $10,000. Additionally, the top five fundraisers will receive two tickets to a 2012 Detroit Tigers regular season game including an opportunity to participate in an on-field check presentation with Porcello at Comerica Park. The online effort is being supported by the innovative Royal Oak-based CrowdRise philanthropic community.

“Rick’s generosity is heartwarming and inspiring,” said Penrod. “When Rick asked what he could do to help to raise awareness and needed funds, he never wavered in lending his name, time and star power while also reaching into his own pocket. The boys love him and so do we.”

“While most young boys are out running around and playing sports, those with this debilitating disease cannot – and that is a tragedy,” said Porcello. “I have been blessed, as an athlete, with the ability to perform to the best of my physical abilities. None of us should ever take that for granted.”

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common degenerative muscle disease found in boys. As most kids are growing and gaining independence, boys with Duchenne are losing muscle function and mobility. One boy in every 3,500 will be diagnosed with Duchenne.

Donations can be made by individuals and through a team approach, which leverages online friends. A range of giving incentives celebrate Porcello’s jersey #48 and include autographed photos and baseballs at:

Team Joseph is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to aggressively fund cutting-edge research to find a treatment or cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Formed around the fight of Joseph Penrod, Team Joseph began with a mom who wouldn’t let her son be defined by his diagnosis, and with the support of family, friends and an army of volunteers, has evolved into the movement it is today. For more information about Team Joseph, visit

This final event of the Riviere28 summer series will begin with a yoga session by Yoga Shelter Midtown on the beautiful Detroit River, followed by brunch and a fun-filled day of classic lawn games including: Bocci, Cornhole, Chess, Checkers, Washertoss & Backgammon.

RAIN DATE: August 19

10 -11 AM: YOGA provided by the Yoga Shelter
11 AM - 3 PM: The acclaimed DJ Dez Andres will be spinning

Also enjoy Food Trucks, Lawn Games, Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar

***Please note that this event is BYOB (bring your own beverages). We will, however, provide the mixers and ingredients for the Bloody Marys and Mimosas!!! Feel free to bring coolers, blankets, chairs, etc...

COST: $5 online registration / $10 at the door

Visit to purchase your tickets today!

Link to event Location:
Parking will be marked and available on the grass of the park

Photographer Noah Stephens will capture special moments from the event!

College campuses are ripe with innovation, as students grow through education and experimentation in school. To help foster this innovation, many colleges and universities have opened business incubators, helping students and others in their community to help make their innovative dreams a reality. Whether they’re offering tricked-out labs or incredible funding opportunities, these incubators offer a great opportunity for students who are smart (and lucky!) enough to participate. Follow along as we explore 10 of the most exciting college business incubators around today, and be sure to share your own favorites in the comments.


In the Motor City, technology startups can turn to the super-cool Tech Town incubator, a program created by Wayne State University to reignite Detroit’s entrepreneurial culture. Founded in 2000, Tech Town boasts an incredible list of resources for tech-minded entrepreneurs, including work space, access to capital, educational workshops, and guidance with business development programs, coaching, and mentoring. Entrepreneurs working with Tech Town even get access to Wayne State’s significant research, academic, and technology assets. Although decidedly urban in nature, Tech Town boasts 12 blocks, 43 acres, and a rich history: the TechOne building was once the Chevy Creative Services building, and the Corvette was designed on the building’s third floor. With nearly 300 companies working under its roof, participants in the Tech Town program contribute to the growth and livelihood of Detroit and the Wayne State University community. Even established corporations can’t resist the attraction of Tech Town: the Henry Ford Health System relocated its genetics labs to Tech Town’s research space.

Click HERE to read the full article on Best Colleges Online! 

Route77 Travelogue, Part 9: 'Why I Love Detroit'



Day 33 
Of all the cities I visited on my trip, I was most excited to see Detroit. However, it would be too easy for this article to reinforce the status quo when it comes to talking about Detroit. Sure, I could write about Michigan Central Station which has come to serve as the de facto symbol of Detroit's landscape of abandoned buildings. (It really is a sight to behold, especially when you come across it in the dead of night like I did.) I could write about the plan to shut down streetlights or that whole Robocop / Kickstarter thing. Instead, I'm going to introduce you to some of the absolutely amazing people I met in Motor City, because the new definition of Detroit is based on the people not the city.

I stopped by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), housed in the College for Creative Studies, to understand the current context for design and designers in Detroit. The goal of DC3 is to spur economic development by "presenting assets that are uniquely Detroit," to advance Detroit creatives, and to leverage design to help solve the "deep challenges" of the city. In reality, this means the Center acts as one part business incubator, one part ambassador, and one part party planner. DC3 also happens to know everyone and everything involved in design in Detroit.

Back in 2006, Business Leaders for Michigan gathered to map the assets for Detroit and surrounding areas as a way of galvanizing the region. Creative talent was high on the list, but retaining and attracting that talent was a problem. Then 2008 hit. Although the atmosphere in the city "eventually stabilized," there are still physical and psychological barriers to developing the creative community in Detroit into a healthy and flourishing one. In order to take the first step in overcoming these challenges, Matt Clayson, Director of DC3, is asking the question, "What are the big deficiencies that prevent creative talent in Detroit from telling their stories?"

Perhaps the largest barrier is not actually in Detroit, but rather is how the media portrays Motor City as a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is a little too Escape From New York instead of Urbanized. Clayson recalled a story of how a group of politicians visiting from Algeria were scared stiff by their handlers by the time they arrived in Detroit. News stories on Detroit tend to originate from "someone who's never visited the city" or, if they have, perhaps the fact that the city is an "insider city" makes it difficult to penetrate the hard outer skin. For those who do live in the city, however, "two to three degrees of separation" creates more of a "shared experience," if not a survivor's culture.

And that's where programs like this September's Detroit Design Festival come in. "The Festival tells Detroit's story from Detroit's perspective," said Programs Manager Adrian Pittman. Designers, artists, technologists and the like can not only show off their work at the Festival but can also bring visitors into their studios and into a Detroit not yet fully visible to outsiders. Finding a balance between making Detroit "more consumable for outsiders," while maintaining that atmosphere of Where Everybody Knows Your Name, is tough, though. On the one hand, designers and artists can do their work purely informed by the city of Detroit with little "pressure from mainstream trends." On the other hand, DC3 knows that bringing "larger industry players" into the mix is crucial for transforming the city. "We don't want quick wins," said Associate Director Bethany Betzler. "We want things that will show results in the long run."

Click HERE to read the full story on Core77! 

Join the for a pre-election day Rally to Save the DIA!

  • Emceed by Spike from Mojo in the Morning (Channel 95.5) 
  • Entertainment by Urban Stringz Sign up and get involved to Save the DIA! 
  • Refreshments available for purchase at New Center Park. 


A community of local artists will distribute free art throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties on Friday, August 3 while also demonstrating their support for the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on their front steps. The free art scavenger hunt organized by Free Art Friday Detroit (FAFDET) aims to raise awareness for the upcoming millage vote on August 7 which will help fund the DIA and provide free admission to Metro Detroiters. The scavenger hunt will kick off with an artists rally on the steps of the DIA at 10 a.m.

More than 30 pieces of art will be hidden in the neighborhoods and downtowns of the three counties as part of the event. Residents are invited to join the search on Free Art Friday Detroit’s Facebook page, where artists will post photo clues leading to the location of their art.

“As artists, we support the DIA 100 percent. Without museums to educate and inspire, we would not be the artists we are today. We want to preserve that possibility for future generations,” said Shawn McConnell, FAFDET artist. “I’m happy to do what I can to support an institution that has given me so much.”

Several pieces of art will be accompanied by a t-shirt emblazoned with the message “Art is for Everyone.” In keeping with this message and the potential for free admission to the DIA if the millage is passed, anyone who finds the art is free to take it home, though they are encouraged to post photos of the art in its new home on the group’s Facebook page.

“When we started Free Art Friday Detroit, we never imagined it being used like this. But our goal to celebrate art and support Detroit led us here,” said Skidmore Studio President & CEO Tim Smith, “As a design studio, we couldn’t hold back our support for the DIA.”

About Free
Art Friday Detroit Free Art Friday Detroit (FAFDET) is a free art scavenger hunt that was initiated in Detroit by Skidmore Studio in 2011. The mission of FAFDET is to promote creativity in the city, celebrate art in all its forms and encourage people to explore the great city of Detroit. The weekly public event is fueled by professional and amateur artists that donate their talents in support of this mission. For more information about FAFDET or to find clues to free art, visit

About the Millage Proposal
Voting for the proposed millage takes place August 7. The requested increase of 0.2 mils for 10 years and equates to approximately $15 per year for every $150,000 of a home’s fair market value. The increase is projected to raise $23 million annually.

About Skidmore Studio
Skidmore is a kick ass design studio based in Detroit’s historic Madison Theatre Building. A fun, fearless and fanatical group, Skidmore is dedicated to generating inspired ideas that translate to extraordinary results. Our team of designers, illustrators and strategists work best with those who appreciate design thinking and have a willingness to build their brand with bold strategy and design. To view samples of Skidmore's award-winning creative work, visit
In Detroit, Urban Flight in Reverse
Photograph by Theodor Barth/laif/Redux

In midtown, 95 percent of the 5,884 housing units are occupied, more are being built, and 26 new shops and restaurants have opened in the last two years, according to Midtown Detroit, an economic development organization. A Whole Foods Market (WFM) scheduled to open by 2013 is the first national chain grocery the city’s managed to attract in years. It’s not far from the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Public Library, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

The result: safer streets. According to the Wayne State University Police Department, which shares patrols of the area with Detroit police, major crimes in midtown have dropped 38 percent from 2008 to 2011. That compares with a 16 percent drop for the city as a whole, FBI statistics show.

Businesses with offices downtown are trying to keep the renewal going. Nine large employers, including Detroit Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware (CPWR), and Quicken Loans have pledged $2 million a year for four years to pay employees to move to midtown and downtown. Workers get $2,500 in their first year of renting and $1,000 if they stay for a second. Those who want to buy get a one-time payment of $20,000. (The median home price was $9,500 in June, according to the multiple listing service Realcomp.) Just under 400 people are participating in the program so far, according to Midtown Detroit.

Click HERE to read the full article on Bloomberg Businessweek! 

Foxtown Food Rally Starts Tomorrow at 10 am!

Prior to its recently embarrassing period of decay, the Paris of the Midwest represented just the opposite: for decades, Detroit’s powerful heartbeat determined the nation’s innovation pulse. By stagnating, Detroit’s muscle found itself disrupted and Detroit entered a dark period chock full of corruption, greed, tunnel-vision, and crime. Revitalizing a carcass of what once was a thriving city has been nothing short of insurmountable, but incredibly, it’s happening anyway.

This reclaimed city from within, Detroit 2.0, has taken shape thanks in large part to a few powerful, dedicated individuals working tirelessly. People across the nation can recognize these names: Mayor Dave Bing, the man committed to rebooting the city’s woeful financial structure, Dan Gilbert (my friend and partner at Detroit Venture Partners), the champion behind 3 million refurbished square feet of office space encouraging a comprehensive downtown lifestyle, and Mike Ilitch, owner of two downtown sports teams and world-renowned pizza chain, bringing millions of people into the city annually for sporting events.

So what about the rest of our city? These powerhouses will be responsible for billions in revenue, but a city only truly thrives with “little guys” on board as game-changers too. I’m not Pollyanna here – there’s serious problems that won’t go away without monumental effort in numerous fields, but people are taking steps to fix issues affecting all of us – and lessons they’re teaching us here are applicable elsewhere.

Andy Didorosi of The Detroit Bus Company:
Instead of whining, pointing fingers and carrying on about Detroit’s lack of mass transportation, a 25-year-old entrepreneur started a company to connect neighborhoods. His bio-diesel powered bus service operates on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 pm until 2 am. For $5, riders can get on and off both lines interchangeably all night, drink in hand. Even more compelling is DBC’s “We Ride” program: for every seat purchased, they’ll provide another Detroiter in need a free ride to work. As it stands, thousands of people don’t have a reliable, affordable way to get to work, so this company offers a homegrown solution for people to keep their jobs, and their dignity in getting there.

Lesson Learned: There’s always a better way to connect the dots, even those on a map.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article by Josh Linkner on Forbes (dot) com! 

The 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series welcomes one of the most belovedrock personalities of all time,a founding member and lead guitarist of KISS, Ace Frehley, to the GM Riverfront stageon July 27.The concert presented in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM and the new Soft Rock 105.1 FM will rock the riverfront stage starting a 7:30p.m.

An inspiration to musicians and music lovers around the globe, Ace Frehley has shocked us with his unique style both on and off stage. The mastermind behind the persona “Space Ace,” Frehley was a crucial member of KISS from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. Returning to KISS bandmates in 1996 for the highly successful KISS Reunion Tour, Frehley also managed to launch a successful solo career with his own band, “Frehley’s Comet.” In 1988, Frehley returned to the studio once again with KISS to record “Psycho Circus” and completed his run in 2001 with the band’s “Farewell Tour.”

Frehley has continued to stay at the top of his game since his farewell to KISS in the early 2000s. He launched his solo career with “Anomaly,” debuting at number 27 on Billboard’s charts before touring the Unites States, Europe and Australia. As a solo artist, Frehley has shared the stage with artists including Slash and Pearl Jam.

Michigan band Finding Clyde will open the evening at 7:30 p.m. , and Ace Frehley will rock the stage beginning at 9 p.m.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront offers more than free concerts in its 2012 summer season spanning six consecutive Friday evenings. Located in the heart of the city, between the GM Renaissance Center and Detroit River, the event has become a summer destination for dining and entertainment in Detroit. Upcoming shows include: Lou Gramm of Foreigner on August 3; The Sweet & The Tubes on August 10; Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and Marshall Crenshaw on August 17.

Admission to the concerts is always free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are welcome to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the shows from the water.

Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will provide refreshment and food concessions at several locations across the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and both restaurants offer outdoor patios overlooking the Detroit River and Rockin’ on the Riverfront stage.

Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle, starting at 5:00 p.m., at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater streets, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.

The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is offering two viewing packages. The Andiamo Riverfront package includes a four-course dinner and overnight accommodations. The Joe Muer Seafood package includes a four course dinner, overnight accommodations and breakfast at forty-two degrees north. For reservations specify the package and call 1-800-352-0831 or visit Use promotional code D60.

Fans are invited to watch FOX2 in the Morning every week to enter a FOX2 EXPOSED contest for a chance to win a VIP prize package, which includes two (2) VIP access wristbands and lanyards with front row seats, dinner for two (2) at Andiamo Detroit Riverfront in the Rockin’ on the Riverfront VIP section (the evening of the concert only), overnight accommodations for two (2) at The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center (the evening of the concert only), free parking in the Beaubien Garage located on Beaubien Street (the evening of the concert only) and a band meet-and-greet (if available). To enter, access the online contest entry form on the and follow instructions. Questions for the Ace Frehley contest will be read on Monday, July 23.

For updates and information, visit and or

Positive Detroit Original - Erin Rose

As much as people talk about the things they do not want in Detroit (I will refrain from giving examples for the sake of this article and your sanity), I would like to provide you with a list of things I do want. I fully admit that this is a selfish list, though I have a sneaking suspicion I am not alone in my desires and could quite possibly inspire some new ones (crossing fingers).

This post just so happens to coincide with the final week to submit your business idea to the Comerica Hatch Detroit contest (watch above video).  Coincidence? Not really, just a little push to see some possible traction on the below list coming to life. Disclaimer:  I am on the executive board. 

For those of you interested in starting a business in Detroit and need some cold, hard cash to get started, you have one week left to submit to the Comerica Hatch Detroit 2012 contest for a chance to win $50K along with a matching value in business services (marketing, accounting, legal, web, photo ops with Joe Posch, etc). 

So without further adieu......

1.  Food Truck Park with a slew of amenities like seating, restrooms, wifi, bike racks, stroller valet, atm, live music stage, kid-friendly play area, gardens featuring local art and water displays, etc.  Not to mention a host of events like beer gardens, tailgates, themed parities, concerts, movie nights, private rentals.  The list goes on and on.  I think there may be a parcel or two of land available for development, maybe squeeze in next to the area of Brush Park that backs up to Eastern Market.  Just a thought......

Above is an example, the Soma Street Food Park in San Francisco that opened this year, which was inspired by Portland's Pods.

2.  Better Hours. Jimmy John's on Monroe and Griswald, I would really appreciate it if you extend your hours past the national AARP bedtime.  Same goes for you CVS.

3.  More Active Detroit. Take a look at the below picture.  Where was this taken?  Florida Keys? No. El Lay.  Err, wrong again.  Belle Isle Beach. Yeah, the one here in Detroit.

This beauty opens opportunities for kayak, canoe, paddle boat, and stand up paddle board (SUP) sales, rentals, and lessons.  Bike rentals to cruise around the island? Yes please. 

Photo taken 7/23/2012  by the lovely Michelle Srbinovich 

Personally, I would like to go back in time about a hundred years when Belle Isle looked like the below photos.  Of course in full color, 25 mega pixel, smart phone captured, HD Videoed, with more photos than Instragram can handle.

Just think:  it could be our very own Central Park, but way cooler because it is an actual island, not just on one.

*To help reopen the FIRST aquarium in the whole US of A that resides on Belle Isle, click HERE to donate (time and money, people).*

4.  Independent Health Food Store, ie The Natural Food Patch in Fab Ferndale (I would like a piece of my former life in the burbs to follow me here to Detroit).

5.  Roof Top Bars. Here is one example, The Empire Hotel in NYC, that was recently graced with a runway show by our very own Fotoula Lambros Design.  A pool would be a nice addition as well. 

6.  More Delivery!!!! Good News: Michelle at Woofbridge Feed + Supply will deliver dog food to my apartment.  Bad news:  Who else delivers besides Michelle, Sgt. Pepperoni, Bucharest, and a few chains after 4 pm? 

Actually, I think we should start with beer and then move onto food.  My neighbor's friend brings over growlers of beer on his skateboard.  Seems easy enough. 

P.S. If you do want delivery between 11 am - 4pm, Hot Spokes can help you with a myriad of choices.

7.  Art Boutique Hotels. Each room is designed by a different artist, catering to people who need a last minute room because they will be having way too much fun in Detroit and do not want to leave before sunrise.

8.  Art Street Vendors.  Since we are already on the topic of art, Detroit has a very talented artistic community. I would love to see the day that an area of Detroit was designated for people to display, sell, and create their art right on the city streets!
9.  Blow-Out BarYes ladies, this one is for you.  A "blow-out" bar is a salon that specializes in two things: blow-outs and cocktails.  So picture this scenario:  It's been a long day at work and the last thing you want to do is your hair for a night out in the city especially since it's 91 degrees with humility of 300%.  Blah. So how nice would it be to waltz on over to a salon after work, greeted by a friendly receptionist who hands you a cocktail, and quickly get your hair done by a talented hair-stylist?  Pretty nice, right?  You are now relaxed (Calgon who?), looking great, and do not have to worry about mother nature tampering your 'do.  Bonus, you get to leave all the baggage at home and no clean-up time. 

Best part:  It didn't break the bank at $35 smackers!  Nothing beats a night out on the town where you have the confidence in the way you look and can freely enjoy the company around you.

My favorite example is the Drybar.  Drybar hails from sunny California and has locations up and down the West Coast, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and The Big Apple.  I think its time to venture to the Midwest and open shop in Detroit, hint hint :).

10.  Mae's.  Real shocker here, right folks? Mae's serves up delicious breakfast and lunch in one of the most stylish locations in Metro Detroit. They are located in the 48069 and really, need to be in the proximity of 48226.  Not only does Mae's serve up yummy meals, but they clearly know how to run a successful business with a 300% growth in sales from 2010-2011.  As a new restaurant, beating the odds is an understatement.  Exactly what Detroit needs, a business that has longevity and prides itself on buying local. How many other restaurants do you know of that refuse to sell Coke or Pepsi and stick with Faygo?

Now, due to a "secret informant" (apparently Curbed Detroit,  the owner's of Mae's aim higher and in addition to serving tasty breakfast and lunch, they would love to supply you with bottomless mimosas,  McClure's Bloody Mary's, and their own tasty concoctions on Saturday & Sunday.  Rumor has it thanks to the new law signed by Governor Snyder, it's way easier to get a liquor license in Detroit than the burbs.........

Jess's latest creation: Salted Carmel Cream Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I'm sure they will be even more delicious in the 313.

11.  Fitness Studios. You cannot mention food without following it up with fitness.  Dear "Best of Hour" Five-Years-Running Nth Degree Fitness: Get your fine, well sculpted behinds down here already and give Charles Pugh a run for his money with your 6-pack abs!  You too Bikram Yoga and GoCycle!

12.  Somerset CityLoft opens up full time on Woodward, maybe on the former J.L Hudson site......... 

13.  Film Tours. Let's start highlighting all the Hollywood that Detroit has to offer! 

The weather has not been the only thing hot here this summer.  Check out all the action that's been going on in Detroit over the past few months.


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