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Roe v. Wade fallout in Michigan; River otters return for first time in a century; Generator scam
Plus a west side weed vending machine, building from the top down, and Le Rouge win again
There’s a lot to get to, so let’s do it. Remember my analysis is in italics. This one is gonna be a bit heavy. If this is the first time here and you want more, be sure to sign up for our email free below:
What to know…
» I can’t overemphasize the impact of the (probable) decision coming with Roe v. Wade to be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. [Politco]
I don’t normally focus on national stuff but since it means big changes here, we should talk about it.
If Roe is overturned, thanks to a law from 1931, abortion would likely become a felony in Michigan in all cases except to preserve the mother’s life. No carve outs for rape or incest, so it would become one of the toughest laws in the country.
This is in opposition to what the supermajority of Michiganders want, with 67% wanting to keep Roe and only 19% who want to get rid of it. 66% of Michiganders want to repeal the 1931 law I mentioned above. [ClickOnDetroit]
The current administration has pledged not to prosecute, as well as Democratic prosecutors across the state. That’s a real thin thread to be hanging on.
Last month, Governor Gretchen Whitmer used her authority to request a ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court on the legality of abortion, knowing there was a good chance this was going to happen. [Twitter]
All 10 Republican candidates for Governor are anti-abortion, with only two (and none of the front-runners) wanting cut-outs for rape or incest. [AP]
My two cents: In an interview for Hour Detroit at the start of the year, I predicted this issue would be a big deal in local politics.
My sense from talking to non-media types is that lot of people seem to have been caught off guard by this news and thought it was settled. But court decisions don’t have the same force as a law does, and this should be a lesson learned on a number of issues.
I’m self-aware enough to know most people don’t actually care about politics until it hits them personally. This will.
It’ll bring out a ton of voters who wouldn’t have showed up for a midterm. There’s a clear supermajority to be motivated here, and while Republicans may get the W with this battle, there may be a political backlash like they’ve never seen before.
You simply can’t go against the will of 2/3rds of the state without electoral consequences.
Here’s another couple cents and then I’m really done on this: I’ve said it a million times — local elections matter (including those for state house and senate). They often matter more than president despite the king-like way lots of people treat the office. One of my favorite quotes is from former Pres. Barack Obama, when he talked about how being president is actually “middle management.” [WTF with Marc Maron]
» The top three Republican candidates for Governor have petition problems. Most likely to be bounced from the ballot? Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig as he may come up completely short on signatures. [Detroit News]
This applies to all parties —IMHO, if you and your team can’t handle the complexity of a petition process, I don’t think you can handle the complexity of being the leader of 10 million people.
Let’s get back to the region…
» The Feds bust a weed vending machine on the side of a house in Detroit. Even crazier, it’s been operating for four years. 43-year old Marcellus Cornwell is alleged to have made $2,000 a day with it. He also had a collection of 18 guns when he wasn’t allowed to have them due to previous convictions. [Fox 2 Detroit]
But you gotta see this thing in action. It’s absurd. Video below. I wish this entrepreneurial spirit could have been harnessed in a more legal way.
» “Generating” income, fraudulently: A pair of Wayne County road employees are in hot water for reselling nearly 600 generators bought with taxpayer money to the tune of $1.7 million that they’d then personally sell online. [ClickOnDetroit]
» Building something from the top down? That’s what’s happening in Greektown. Friend of the podcast Robin Runyan over at Urbanize has the details. It’s something to behold as the top has been raised first on the new residential tower. [Urbanize Detroit]
» The Emagine Theater in Royal Oak is getting a Caesars Sports Book Lounge. They say there are two-story tall TV screens. The goal is to capture an audience other than the typical moviegoer. [Audacy]
For years before the pandemic, movie ticket sales nationally were gradually declining. Although rebounding from the lows, I think we’ll see more movie theaters doing creative things to get people to come out. We also discuss it on the podcast.
» There’s a new Detroit Refugee Network to support those coming to Metro Detroit from Afghanistan and Ukraine. I caught up with Kelli Dobner of Samaritas about it.
» I think you otter know about this. A river otter has been spotted in the Detroit River for the first time in a century. Pollution, hunting and industry drove away what was a vibrant eco-diversity in the Detroit River. Whether it’s our furry friends, or when chefs used to get frogs out of the river to serve in high end downtown restaurants, the Detroit River was a bounty before it got mucked up.
Between this — and the news of beavers and bald eagles — I’m optimistic that nature is healing a bit and the river is getting cleaner. [Bridge Michigan]
Having a new critter to look for when I’m on the river is exciting! Here’s more gratuitous river otter footage and information. [Big Story]
Where to go…
» Fashionable Ferndale is showing off their vintage side this weekend. At the Rust Belt at 9 and Woodward, the Ferndale Vintage Fashion Market is running May 6th-8th with more than 20 vendors. [Facebook]
» The Detroit Festival of Animation returns for their 7th year. This time, it’s at the historic Senate Theater. You won’t want to miss the Wurlitzer organ pre-show on Saturday evening, either. I talk about it with one of the organizers on the podcast. [Tickets]
» If you’re in downtown Detroit tomorrow (Wednesday) around lunchtime, you’ll be able to check out the Detroit Hometown Tourist Day in Campus Martius. Running from 11a to 2p, there will be reps from 40 different spots with coupons and a chance to win a hometown tourist package. [Visit Detroit]
⚜️ Le Rouge Report
» Detroit City FC loaned Karl Ouimette from Indy Eleven, adding needed depth to their bench. We discussed him and looked ahead to the match vs. Tulsa on the latest podcast.
» Also, here’s our post-game wrap-up as the team beat New York Red Bulls 2. It was a messy win, but a win nonetheless. It was great to see Francis Atuahene get his first goal in the rouge & gold.
A couple quick things before you go.
Mark your calendar for Friday, June 10. From 5p-8p will be our happy hour celebrating 1,000 episodes of the podcast at The Congregation. That’s on Rosa Parks, just north of Clairmount in the city of Detroit. I’ll have an event up on social media and I’ll mention it again here. We can’t wait to see you!
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Remember you are somebody, and I’ll see you around Detroit.